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Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Brain Damage and Fundamentalism

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2 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

Doesn't surprise me, but it's always nice when something is scientifically proven...

 

 

In fairness, it's only an association at this point.  Not a causal relationship.  Much like the early research, linking smoking and lung cancer.  Still, it has to start somewhere.

 

:mellow:

 

 

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A link is a correlation, and not all correlations are causal, but there's (obviously...) a correlation. 

 

Am wondering if it's significant (and eventually... causal). 

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8 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

A link is a correlation, and not all correlations are causal, but there's (obviously...) a correlation. 

 

Am wondering if it's significant (and eventually... causal). 

 

 

I think we have to be careful of how we interpret these results.  To my understanding, it is not that brain damage leads to Fundamentalism.  Rather, brain damage leads to rigid thinking.  It is rigid thinking that leads to Fundamentalism.  This can happen without brain damage.  I expect that damage to the frontal lobes, does impair mental flexibility.

 

In any event, I want to be cautious in my interpretation.  This material feeds into my personal bias.  I might not be fair in my understanding.

 

:whist:

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I wonder if the founders of these religions were brain damaged and that shaped the beliefs of millions?  Never know since most were anonymous.

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

I wonder if the founders of these religions were brain damaged and that shaped the beliefs of millions?  Never know since most were anonymous.

 

 

There is an old line.  I don't know who said it.

 

"When we speak to God, it's called prayer.  When God speaks to us, it's called Schizophrenia."

 

St. Paul, on the road to Damascus, comes to mind.

 

:devil:

 

So does Mohamed.

 

:devil:

 

And Joseph Smith.

 

:devil:

 

Also, various Saints and Holy Men.

 

:whist:

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl
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The study referenced is a slightly different approach in a relatively new research arena of liberal/conservative neuropsychology, which often uses religious conviction as a dependent variable in the experimental design. Some of the research is clearly agenda-driven, unfortunately.

I can’t find the source right now but I remember a student coming into my office incensed with an empirical [and peer reviewed!] report she’d read that stated “conservatives don’t use all of their brains”. False, of course – self-identified ‘conservatives’ have been shown to use different areas to different degrees than self-identified ‘liberals’.

Whether the neurophysiological activity begets conservative attitudes or simply echoes and thus perpetuates learned behaviors is unknown, and the answer may be “both” (The Jost article below provides a good summary).

These are tough reads even if you have the stats and neurophys to follow them, but a look at the abstracts, introductions, and discussion sections will give you an idea of what’s going on in (reliable / professional) research in this area. They should be available via Academic Search Complete at any state’s or college library’s portal.

Amodio, D. M., Jost, J. T., Master, S. L., & Yee, C. M. (2007). Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism. Nature Neuroscience, 10(10), 1246–1247. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1979

Inzlicht, M., McGregor, I., Hirsh, J. B., & Nash, K. (2009). Neural markers of religious conviction. Psychological Science (0956-7976), 20(3), 385–392. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02305.x

Jost, J., & Amodio, D. (2012). Political ideology as motivated social cognition: Behavioral and neuroscientific evidence. Motivation & Emotion, 36(1), 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-011-9260-7

Tritt, S. M., Peterson, J. B., Page-Gould, E., & Inzlicht, M. (2016). Ideological reactivity: Political conservatism and brain responsivity to emotional and neutral stimuli. Emotion, 16(8), 1172–1185. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000150.supp

 

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I won't pretend that I understood most of the content.  Much of it went right over my head, without slowing down.

 

To the extent that I did understand -- we have to be careful of what the study claims.

 

That people with highly rigid thinking, tend to have similar brain dysfunction.  That should apply to minds that lack flexibility, in other areas of life, besides religion.

 

In addition, the link between rigid thinking and Fundamentalism is an "association".  It is not "causal".  No where is the claim made, that brain damage causes Fundamentalism.  I do think, that it is self evident, that rigid thinking contributes to becoming and remaining a Fundamentalist.

 

Again, the association is rigid mental patterns and brain damage.  Not a specific belief and brain damage.

 

Since the study does feed my personal bias, I am not the best person to defend it.

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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11 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

[...] Since the study does feed my personal bias, I am not the best person to defend it.

 

 

 

 

Nah... I think you nailed it!

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What about people that start off liberal or conservative then switch?  Reminds me of douglas monroe and his forgeries on druidry.  He stated the left brain is artistic and instinctive, feminine. The right is logical and male.  Of course he seemed to entirely forget its one brain in one head with a corpus collosum communicating between.

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

What about people that start off liberal or conservative then switch?  Reminds me of douglas monroe and his forgeries on druidry.  He stated the left brain is artistic and instinctive, feminine. The right is logical and male.  Of course he seemed to entirely forget its one brain in one head with a corpus collosum communicating between.

 

 

To my understanding, it is not the doctrine that matters.  Only how rigid we are in following that doctrine.  People can be equally rabid on both the Left and the Right.

 

Yes, Atheists who foam when someone says -- "Have a blessed day"  or  "God bless you" -- are just as likely to have brain damage, as the Godly Fundamentalist.  It's about being inflexible.  Not what we are being inflexible about.

 

:coffee:

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3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

What about people that start off liberal or conservative then switch?  Reminds me of douglas monroe and his forgeries on druidry.  He stated the left brain is artistic and instinctive, feminine. The right is logical and male.  Of course he seemed to entirely forget its one brain in one head with a corpus collosum communicating between.

 

Wasn't it Churchill who said:

 

Quote

A young man who isn't a socialist hasn't got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn't got a head.

 

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4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

To my understanding, it is not the doctrine that matters.  Only how rigid we are in following that doctrine.  People can be equally rabid on both the Left and the Right.

 

Yes, Atheists who foam when someone says -- "Have a blessed day"  or  "God bless you" -- are just as likely to have brain damage, as the Godly Fundamentalist.  It's about being inflexible.  Not what we are being inflexible about.

 

:coffee:

 

There you have it... Anyone one can be rigid or inflexible... I don't believe it insinuates brain damage,  just a stubbornness not to change one's attitude or position on something.

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When a brain cannot accept new information or keeps a person from accepting fact because of previous false information...it's damaged.

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55 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

When a brain cannot accept new information or keeps a person from accepting fact because of previous false information...it's damaged.

Sorry, can't help it, but this explains Trump so much!

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