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Featured Could pre-frontal brain damage be a cause of fundamentalism?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by IndigoChild5559, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I think the study might provide evidence for the hypothesis that brain damage can be associated with fundamentalism but it's a far cry from any conclusion that all fundamentalism is a product of brain damage.

    At heart, fundamentalism -- of any religious stripe -- appears to be a reaction to modernity. Whether it also has a physiological basis in the functioning of the brain is another matter. I think it might, but that we're most likely a long way to understanding just how.

    One avenue of research that I believe might be fruitful is to see if there is some kind of link between fundamentalists and authoritarian followers. They seem very similar in many respects.
     
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  3. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I would never classify fundamentalist sects in general as cults, but certainly cultish behavior seems to be over-represented in fundamentalist communities. I do think this is because fundamentalists prefer authoritarian leadership, and that opens the door to the possibility of cult leaders. Certainly, though, cults are not limited to fundamentalists.
     
  4. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    An interesting article. Fundamentalism is very damaging to the people concerned, as it skews their brains and can make them a danger to others, mentally and sometimes physically.
     
  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    It should be no suprise that the way we think and more importantly act can affect our neural pathways. So while a traumatic brain injury could result in cognitive rigidity and relative lack of insight, so too could fundamentalism. What the paper can't establish is whether or not the association between cognitive rigidity and fundamentalism is causal. Are people who are black and white thinkers inclined to fundamentalism or does fundamentalism result in rigid cognitions? I suspect there are elements of both.

    I believe its more important to recognise most of us have the capacity to change for the better. Ironically labelling someone as fundamentalist can be a form of mental rigidity and therefore fundamentalism in its own right. It can be unkind to stereotype people and label them. When we do that we can easily treat that person as someone less than ourselves which in turn leads to arrogance.
     
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  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    It would be interesting if some illness underlay fundamentalism and the illness could be cured. Interesting on so many levels -- including the ethics of administrating a cure to someone that could potentially change their religious views.
     
  7. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    I think that Fundamentalism, not just Christian but other, very conservative belief systems can "Program" or "Brainwash" individuals. Included would be radical Islam, Mormonism, and Fundy Christianity. I may have missed some. It was a huge loss and empty feeling when I left Fundy Christianity, and it took me a long time to recover. I still get angry feelings of hurt and violation when I see a Cross, not because of Jesus, but because of the hateful things they did to me. Later I felt the same things about the school of thought in Islam that I'd been part of. The hardest part for me was getting over the Mormons, and It's not done yet. I still have friends there, but I think their Leaders are disciples of satan and "I'm not ready to make nice."

    So, I think the only so called Brain Damage is actually in getting over the sense of wrongness of the beliefs, and the sense of violation, almost like being molested. I condemned myself for being so dumb, and as is evident, I am still trying to get over it all.
     
  8. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Active Member

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    You can't blame yourself. Children and young adults instinctively look to the caretakers and other close adults in their lives for guidance and protection. Children's brains and personalities, thought patterns etc, form during these years. If those adults are hammering in these religious thoughts and views, there is absolutely nothing to keep them from affecting those children. Children and young adults can only repeat what they have been exposed to and taught. Only when becoming free of indoctrination, which is not often, can they see for themselves that maybe Santa isn't real and what they have been taught about religion isn't real either. At least you finally made it out.
     
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  9. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    My apologies, but at first brush all I can muster is rolling my eyes and thinking "great, so now we have to denigrate fundamentalism by claiming those who follow that way of life are brain damaged? Seriously?!" I don't agree with a fundamentalist approach to ideas, but that doesn't cause me to turn off basic respectfulness. There are no good directions this line of thought goes in, especially these days where so much of basic respectfulness seems to have lost itself out the window.
     
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  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I thought you and I had an agreement, Ellen. :( I guess not. You know I sympathize greatly with your experience as a Latter-day Saint, because you were kind enough to share it with me personally. But "disciples of Satan"? Really? Do you really believe that? It's not just one person you're talking about.
     
  11. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps a word spoken in pain crossed the intended boundary? I'm sorry.

    Some think of me as championing LGBT causes, but that is not true. I have nothing to do with them, but don't judge them. My entry into the life I now live was legally involuntary. By the time I had understood that, the statute of limitations had run out. It can't be over soon enough.

    So, perhaps a dozen of the leadership then. So many leaders do not understand their own "Stake Presidents and Bishops Manual" and the mistakes within them. There needs to be two way communication, and I have despaired of that ever happening.
     
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  12. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I can certainly understand why you have. More than having a misunderstanding of their handbooks, I think they are simply ignorant of the facts in many cases. Sexuality is complicated and so many people are simply in the dark. Their decisions, unfortunately, are often based on a view of everything as being either black or white, when it's simply not.

    Another thought just crossed my mind. If you will recall, when Jesus hung dying on the cross, He looked down at the men who had just nailed His hands and feet to the cross and prayed to His Father, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." When people are oblivious to the truth, they do some pretty stupid and thoughtless things. I know that if I were in your position, I would find it very hard, if not impossible, to forgive the leaders who made the decisions that were made in your case, so I'm certainly not going to say, "You just have to forgive them." But, it might help to consider the fact that maybe they simply didn't know what they were doing any more than the Romans who crucified the Son of God did.
     
    #12 Katzpur, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  13. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    It sounds more like you are suffering from Religious Traumatic Syndrome than Toxic Fundamentalism.

    I am glad you are safe now.
     
  14. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I don't think the study is saying that all fundamentalists have brain damage. But it has definitely proved that damage to certain parts of the prefrontal cortex do produce fundamentalism.
     
  15. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    Thank you.

    I think about the various times that G_d dealt with those who had disobeyed him in what Christians call the OT. To me, it feels like in America, a country that has been richly blessed, wrath is coming.

    One of the exacerbating factors has been that my own family was part of all that rejection and abuse. (We've talked about this, right?)

    The American Christmas is especially difficult because I used to be the "Christmas Nut", and then the whole world caved in during the week before Christmas. Every year at that time life is very hard. Won't have to deal with it for another year now, and perhaps I'll do better then?
     
  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    Be sure to remind him that we atheists haven't disobeyed him.
    (He never infused us with his spirit or knowledge of him.)
    So he should vent his wrath on his believers.
    We'll sit that process out, & just watch.
     
  17. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I hear you.
     
  18. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    It is up to you to deal with existence the best way you can. You could always argue that religious folk were so humiliating that you wanted nothing to do with them.
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    I never found them humiliating (except sometimes towards fellow believers).
    The problem is this God fellow....I've never seen nor heard hide nor hair of'm.
     
  20. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    The fable is that the Spirit of God will inhabit true believers. Looking around me and past experiences make that seem questionable. I believe that I am guided at times but can not clearly identify the mechanism. Is the Kingdom even now locked in mortal battle? I can not say.
     
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