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Spirituality and religion just chemicals?

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posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 10:53 AM
Study: The Effects Of Serotonin On Spirituality

According to Psychology Today and referencing the American Journal of Psychiatry, serotonin, the brain chemical in charge of moderating mood, metabolism, and sexuality, has been linked to spiritual experiences. Psychology Today reports:

A team of Swedish researchers has found that the presence of a receptor that regulates general serotonin activity in the brain correlates with people's capacity for transcendence, the ability to apprehend phenomena that cannot be explained objectively. Scientists have long suspected that serotonin influences spirituality because drugs known to alter serotonin such as '___' also induce mystical experiences. But now they have proof from brain scans linking the capacity for spirituality with a major biological element.

So what does this mean? Well, the researchers believe that it provides evidence that religiosity and spirituality are not defined necessarily or entirely by environmental or cultural factors, such as upbringing. Basically, those with a higher concentration of serotonin receptors will therefore most likely show a stronger inclination towards spiritual acceptance.

What do you think? Does this belittle the notion of spirituality or encourage it?

Taken from this article :

[edit on 22/7/08 by tep200377]

posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by tep200377

Good thread topic. I read this somewhere else but didn't think to post it on ATS.

I believe the religious impulse is an evolved one and that it had survival value for primitive humanity (though it has exactly the opposite for modern human beings).

In response to your question

Does this belittle the notion of spirituality or encourage it?

I would say that it is ambivalent. I'd explain further, but I won't right now, for fear of prematurely terminating the thread.

[edit on 23-7-2008 by Astyanax]

posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 09:49 PM
Makes perfect sense, one of the pillars to all religions were psychoactive plants combined with ritual to induce altered states of consciousness. Psilocybe mushrooms mimic serotonin and have been used for thousands of years, until recently.
Christianity for example has a fascination for the amanita muscaria and the psilocybe.

Saints and prophets were revered for their visions and encounters with entities, these days you'd just be locked up.

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