Psychology

Religions

July 12, 2017

If you are a religious person, you may have felt at some point a certain closeness to god or even experienced his presence or the happening of quasi-miracles vividly. In these cases, we and those around us who are religious tend to think that this is a sign of being chosen by god to witness greatness or a sign of great piety and faith. But the other edge of this blade says that humans are among the only creatures that experience these religious feelings and episodes and while this may be in line with religious texts, it is still something that science will always strive to explain in terms of logical theories, data and conclusions.

Following this line of thought, multiple studies in the last century have been looking at the relationship between the brain and religion and more specifically between neurological conditions and strong religious episodes. A recent study was therefore added to this list.

Epilepsy is a mental disease that makes the sufferer experience severe seizures and spasms due to exaggerated activity of neurons hitting the brain. This condition has been frequently linked to religious experiences in the past which is what formed the basis of this new study.

In the course of the study, the researchers collected information from people suffering from epilepsy in the form of a survey about their behavior since their diagnosis as well as their religious beliefs and spiritual practices and principles.

The results showed that there was a solid concordance between the frequency and intensity of religious thoughts and epilepsy. However, the researchers found no result indicating a link between emotional thinking and epilepsy.

The results therefore indicate that humans have a natural predisposition to religious thoughts, but this tendency does not in any way include emotions.

The team hopes to continue this research by studying the impact of brain surgery on religious episodes and hope to find the origin of religious thought inside the brain.

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