Sunday, July 03, 2011

what happens when the ignorant pretend at a "scientific" study of the insane...,



CommonGround | The recent success of and growing interest in the cognitive science of religion (csr) indicates that it has a lot of potential not only for the comparative study of religion but also for the cognitive neurosciences. Despite these successes, we should not be blind to the fact that a number of challenges must be overcome in order to ensure future growth in the field. My own list of challenges, idiosyncratic as it may be, looks like this:
– accommodating current breakthroughs in the social neurosciences ;
– bringing deficient methodological paradigms to terms with cutting edge philosophy of science ;
– obtaining both cross-cultural and ecological validity of current psychological hypotheses ;
– broadening perspectives and theories to accommodate the accumulated knowledge and breakthroughs in the comparative study of religion ;
– broadening perspectives and theories to accommodate the accumulated knowledge and breakthroughs in semiotics, history, literature and linguistics ;
– recruiting young scholars, especially women scholars, and encouraging exchange between the few cognitive science of religion centers and research units that exist in the world.
In a word, current cognitive science of religion is too much mind and not enough brain, body and culture. It is swiftly becoming esoteric in the sense that many studies are coming out now which are exclusively and narrowly concerned with proving the hypotheses of an earlier generation of csr pioneers and are thus failing to pay attention to current trends in cognate sciences. A significant portion of the csr is caught in a limbo, as it were, of its own choosing, by methodologically ignoring neural correlates on the one hand and cultural constraints on the other. Thus, many of its results are disembodied, disembrained and disencultured.

I am firmly convinced, however, that we need more scholars of religion to participate in the cognitive science of religion. If we don’t, then psychologists, anthropologists and neurologists will do it for us. I, for one, am not satisfied with simply ignoring the challenges that the cognitive sciences present to the comparative study of religion. Our colleagues in the cognitive science of religion deserve a much more qualified response than they have been getting from some quarters.

Unfortunately, research on this perhaps most important aspect of the study of religion is seriously hampered on all sides for a variety of reasons. What one would assume to be the closest and most relevant discipline in the study of human cognition, namely psychology, has been of little assistance. Either religion is not considered to be a serious area of research or those who do pursue the psychology of religion often do so for religious or spiritual reasons which clearly influence the kinds of questions asked, the people studied and the conclusions drawn. Furthermore, the results are based on American and, when comparative, European, mainly Christian and Judaic, populations. And, as Henrich and colleagues’ humorous title indicates, these are simply the WEIRDest people in the world (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic).

3 comments:

nanakwame said...

Destroy theology and there is
little need to discuss atheist. There is now even competition for the new
bishops in tropes and scritupres that evolved out of Shaman traditions (>40k
ago). They are fighting for power. WTF. Oh well human nature doesn’t change.  And Yes! Even now the educated and well-to-do
have to re-tool, find that niche, and parochial - a living, especially the new migrants
like Nigerians. The game is Adapt or Die, the kids play it.


I beilieve a learned, Way of
Life, is connected to a kwonledge base in scienc and art. I don’t agree
withitall; I enjoy uncertainies.


The traditional notion is the self-
dependent person and wise elder is an advantage to well knitted group; prefer
the hunting and gathering system, which is on the way back btw


 I stand on the notion that Faith is not
religion, and you can have a religion and minue culture. And a a lived life, Faith
in 20/20 appears irrational to the person, yet; better than group irrationalsim

CNu said...

Destroy theology and there is little need to discuss atheist.

Two flavors of ignorant literalism. Good riddance.

There is now even competition for the new bishops in tropes and scritupres that evolved out of Shaman traditions...The game is Adapt or Die, the kids play it.

It's hard out here for a pimp...,

The neurobiological sickness of faith must be eradicated.

Our religion must be based in direct entheogenic experience - and become more materialist than materialism.

Everything else is magical-thinking and crazy-talk among the hoodwinked, bamboozled, deluded, and insane.

nanakwame said...

Rain here yesterday so didn't stay for the Gil Scott memorial. Not cooking Saturday was the party, can't do it fequently these days. Our man

http://www.prometheus6.org/
Hit a nice example of materialist, energy and form. Knew boys in grammar school who fucked teddy bears.

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