God on the Brain

Where does religious belief come from? Some believe that faith is a divine gift, a faculty of divine origin; others, more skeptical of such claims, think that it can be attributed to the experience of one's own cultural upbringing.

Although there is no conclusive evidence yet --and no one simple answer to such a complex question-- there is a growing body of evidence strongly suggesting that religious belief and spiritual personal experiences, at least in some cases, can be explained as the misinterpretation of certain brain states, leading the faithful to believe that one's purely subjective mental experiences refer to something outside of one's mind.

The original phenomena that gave rise to this view started with the understanding of temporal lobe epilepsy and the powerful religious visions that such patients often experience. In an attempt to prove the temporal lobe connection with religious belief, neuroscientists are now able to induce religious and out-of-body experiences in subjects by artificially manipulating their brains. Will Richard Dawkins be induced into having a religious experience? You are about to find out...


Why didn't anyone apply this same reasoning to, I don't know... say, Jesus?!?
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