Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Faith and the Brain

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr. [ANDREW] NEWBERG: Religion and spirituality do help to lower a person’s feelings of depression, anxiety, gives them some meaning in life, helps them to cope with things, and that’s going to have a potentially very beneficial effect.

[LUCKY ] SEVERSON: But Newberg has made another discovery, a controversial one, that our belief system, how we view God, can make a huge difference in how it affects our well being. If we believe in a loving God it can have a positive effect, even prolong our lives. But believing in a judgmental, authoritarian God can produce fear, anger, and stress, and that’s not healthy.

Dr. NEWBERG: When it ultimately turns towards hatred, and whether it’s people who believe in abortion versus those who don’t, whether it’s just one religion versus another, when you hear rhetoric which is hateful, filled with anger, that turns on the different parts of the brain that are involved in our stress response and our anger response.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & Technology

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Posted July 31, 2010 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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