Scientists reduce belief in God by shutting down the brain’s medial frontal cortex

New research involving a psychologist from the University of York has revealed for the first time that both belief in God and prejudice towards immigrants can be reduced by directing magnetic energy into the brain.

Dr Keise Izuma collaborated with a team from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to carry out an innovative experiment using transcranial magnetic stimulation, a safe way of temporarily shutting down specific regions of the brain.

The researchers targeted the posterior medial frontal cortex, a part of the brain located near the surface and roughly a few inches up from the forehead that is associated with detecting problems and triggering responses that address them.

In the study, half of the participants received a low-level “sham” procedure that did not affect their brains, and half received enough energy to lower activity in the target brain area. Next, all of the participants were first asked to think about death, and then were asked questions about their religious beliefs and their feelings about immigrants.

The findings, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, reveal that people in whom the targeted brain region was temporarily shut down reported 32.8% less belief in God, angels, or heaven. They were also 28.5% more positive in their feelings toward an immigrant who criticised their country.

Dr Izuma, from the University’s Department of Psychology, said: “People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems. We wanted to find out whether a brain region that is linked with solving concrete problems, like deciding how to move one’s body to overcome an obstacle, is also involved in solving abstract problems addressed by ideology.”

This interest in the brain basis of ideology led the team to focus on religion and nationalism.

Dr Izuma added: “We decided to remind people of death because previous research has shown that people turn to religion for comfort in the face of death. As expected, we found that when we experimentally turned down the posterior medial frontal cortex, people were less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas despite having been reminded of death.”

The investigators asked participants to respond to both negative and positive emotional aspects of religion and of nationalism. Specifically, they rated belief in the Devil, demons, and Hell, in addition to God, angels, and heaven. All potential participants were pre-screened to make sure that they held religious convictions before beginning the experiment.

With regard to nationalistic ideology, the participants read two essays ostensibly written by recent immigrants. One essay was extremely complimentary toward the United States, and the other essay was extremely critical.

The investigators found that the magnetic stimulation had the greatest effect on reactions to the critical author.

“We think that hearing criticisms of your group’s values, perhaps especially from a person you perceive as an outsider, is processed as an ideological sort of threat,” said Dr Izuma.

“One way to respond to such threats is to ‘double down’ on your group values, increasing your investment in them, and reacting more negatively to the critic,” he continued.

“When we disrupted the brain region that usually helps detect and respond to threats, we saw a less negative, less ideologically motivated reaction to the critical author and his opinions.”

Dr Colin Holbrook, from UCLA and the lead author of the paper, added: “These findings are very striking, and consistent with the idea that brain mechanisms that evolved for relatively basic threat-response functions are repurposed to also produce ideological reactions. However, more research is needed to understand exactly how and why religious beliefs and ethnocentric attitudes were reduced in this experiment.”

The scientists say that whether we’re trying to clamber over a fallen tree that we find in our path, find solace in religion, or resolve issues related to immigration, our brains are using the same basic mental machinery.

237 Comments

    • I wouldn’t be surprised, but I am surprised that doing that wasn’t an extension to this experiment.

      • No, I would see that believing in imaginary beings makes one brain damaged, at the very least irrational.

        • Vivat Phyrexia on

          The brain damage is proven to correlate with atheism, which is also proven to score high on the sociopathic and autistic spectrum.
          But you don’t want to see that proven, hmm?

    • Then my brain makes me religious and nothing you say can change my brain. If that’s the case, why waste your time trying to tell us what you believe? Based on your observation, your arguments are futile except in the sense that your brain is telling you to do this.

      • The article just showed you how scientists can remove your religion with the flip of a switch. What does that tell you about your beliefs?

        • Trias_Betrayed on

          They can destroy your ability to feed yourself the same way, I guess feeding yourself is bad. Fuck motor controls and knowledge it’s all in the head!

      • People ought to stop trying to persuade people that the way they see things is right, eh? The God question is the Worlds most famous unfalsifiable hypothesis, and also impossible to prove, no need to go in circles forever. We just need to be kind to each other, and all living creatures, and the planet…that’s all that matters, right?

  1. Could this discovery help treat anxiety patients? By reducing the ability to perceive threat, they should be able to reduce anxiety symptoms in patients who’s brains perceive threat when there is none… Yea?

    • The only people who would seriously advocate for that would be the religious. How many Christians do you think would love to forcibly extract Islam from human minds?

      • Лука Стојановић on

        Creating an argument in an imaginary opponent’s stead. That’s a double strawman you just did.

          • If you want to be taken seriously in a debate (and not look like a complete dumbass), then you should probably avoid misrepresenting your opponent’s beliefs to the point of utter absurdity. Do you honestly believe that the Christian concept of God is no more than a “sky demon”? Are you that uneducated in the Christian faith? I’m guessing no to both questions is no (at least I *really* hope they are) , but maybe it makes you feel better to pretend so

          • Sorry, did the guy who believes in talking snakes and virgin births just tell me to stop treating his beliefs as if they’re absurd? Pardon me while I get a sharper irony knife.

          • Лука Стојановић on

            There are things that are called ”allegories” and ”metaphores”. Haven’t heard of them? That’s what you get for skipping English classes.

          • Oh really? And the magical sky ghost with the zombie son who’s also him? Is that an allegory? Or a metaphore (sic)?

            (Pro-tip: if you want to pretend to be smarter than you are, run a spellcheck before posting)

          • Лука Стојановић on

            I know exactly how smart I am and to which extent my knowledge goes. You, on the other hand, continue to deliver small-minded pseudo-reductionist arguments to look smart, without even making an effort to examine the opposing side’s arguments properly. That’s not how you debate. That way of reasoning is not very ”scientific” coming from someone who believes everything apart from science is wrong and that religion is a sheer opposite of science (a false dilemma, logical fallacy). English is my second language, my spelling is 99% good, but sometimes I make mistakes. Still, my knowledge of English is very good for someone whose mother tongue is not even from the same subdivision.

            With best intentions, I suggest you read some serious books on that matter. You don’t have to agree with it, but it will definitely create a basis for future debates. Philosophy and theology are interesting. It’s something you read and think about, it’s not something that must be agreed with. For your own sake, make a distinction between dogma and spirituality.

          • Theology is bullshit. The vast majority of philosophers are atheists. If you use both in the same sentence, it’s a pretty good indication that you’ve never taken a college course on either.

          • Лука Стојановић on

            ”The vas majority of philosopher are atheists”
            [CITATION NEEDED]

            I used them separately with a reason, you don’t seem to understand the concept of using different nouns. They are different but have the same goals. Maybe you have taken a course in philosophy, but it wasn’t adequate since you don’t know the three relations of theology and philosophy.

          • Лука Стојановић on

            It’s amazing how many self-important people with literally no education in philosophy and history are on the Internet. I guess that is the downside to the Internet, you wouldn’t even be allowed to debate in real life, people would laugh at your lack of education.

            Now, about my last comment. The man you replied to neither has declared himself as Christian nor religious. He could be an Atheist for all I know. Yet you triggered a small part in your even smaller brain that automatically makes you use the idiotic shit-tier rhetoric you heard from some semi-educated comedian/actor. Nice going, pal.

          • Oh right. You’re the guy who had to be schooled on what a straw man is. Gotta say, most people wouldn’t return to the thread after being that thoroughly embarrassed.

            Please, continue pretending you know something. It’s fun to watch.

          • Лука Стојановић on

            You don’t have to be schooled to know what a straw man is. You have to be educated not to use one. It is a worthless and invalid way of debating. You are embarassing yourself for using idiotic arguments of a 9-year old and being all over the place using them. I take it you are unmarried and unemployed. Or a bad father and a lousy employee? Both are possible.

        • I think gnocchi is absolutely correct with his point. Your not liking his conclusion does not invalidate it. That “double strawman” criticism makes no sense.

      • as a true bible believing christian i can tell you that force is against Gods character and therefore as a christian who is to reflect the character of God, force is an evil thing to me. we are never to force the others to do anything against their will and conscience. we are by all means to deliver the truth, but never to force someone to accept it. the choices people make must be their own and they will be judged by those self made choices.

        • Yeah, you might want to do a bit of re-reading there. There’s this part called the “Old Testament” where your god basically murders anyone he doesn’t approve of.

          • Well, He also gave them life in the first place, right? And gave all of them ample time to repent. By the way, how does a God who make life ever “unjustly” and illegally ever take life – the definition of murder?

          • So now you’ve switched from “he doesn’t use force” to “they had it coming”. Do you guys ever get tired of moving the goalposts?

          • Well that’s certainly good to know! Since you haven’t gotten around to repenting (I’ve given you PLENTY of time to do so) you don’t deserve to live! Christians seem to be awfully big on that punishment thing…

          • That’s a wrong understanding of the bible on your part. You’ve skim read it and are parroting others without your own personal thorough investigation.

            God promised the land to his people but that land was occupied, you’ll find that God didn’t tell them to take the land, they never received the land until the occupants had become so corrupt and their hearts so evil that they would not repent and turn to good, only then did God Jane no other choice but to destroy because if he didn’t many more would be lost. In every case, their end is their own making and so it will be at the coming of Christ the second time.

          • Yes, I know it helps to tell yourself that, but I’ve actually studied Biblical history (and actual history) quite a bit. But there’s really no need for biblical knowledge since your argument is laughable on its face. Explain how an omnipotent, omniscient being has “no other choice”. Do you realize how nonsensical what you said is?

            What you don’t get is that any atheist understands your magic book far better than you do, regardless of how much we’ve studied it — because we know it’s fiction and you don’t.

        • every time you try to make or change a law that reflects your bible or god, you are forcing your beliefs on us through govt. just stop it.

          • Yup, when those terrible Christians wiped out child-sacrifice, gladiatorial battles, lead the fight against slavery and fought for women’s rights and Civil Rights (MLK Jr was a pastor remember), they imposed their religious views of valuing life, equality for all people and rights that must be recognized not created on society. They were so evil!

            BTW, when you tell others to stop forcing their morality on others, aren’t you imposing that moral view [that it is wrong to impose morality] on them?

          • Christianity didn’t wipe out child sacrifice. Human beings did. The Christian God asked for a human sacrifice from Abraham, and accepted a child sacrifice from Jephthah in the bible (neither was punished for their willingness to do such evil). So apparently God is only displeased by child sacrifice when it’s not for him.

          • Church and state must be separate. We don’t believe in laws that force someone into religion. It must be by choice because God is looking for love and love cannot be forced.

        • And yet you have no issue forcing Christianity into children’s minds literally from the day they’re born. You go to work configuring their brains for belief from day one with indoctrination. Their response to the indoctrination reconfigures their neural pathways just as much as an electromagnet.

        • “…force is against God’s character” … What? How many instances in the Old Testament are there where “God” instructs one group to kill another group, including the babies, and rape the women? That’s not force?

      • Jonathan Kumar on

        I don’t know the answer to your question, but I know that Christ offered us choice. If He would’ve “loved to have forcibly” done anything, we would have been toy soldiers. We’re not, are we?

        • According to your magic book, we’re abuse victims with a gun to our heads: “Love me or burn forever”.

          How’s that “free will” working out for ya?

      • No, they just said “an innovative experiment using transcranial magnetic stimulation, a safe way of temporarily shutting down specific regions of the brain.”. Shutting down is clearly not… shutting down.

        • They are just testing which parts of the brain attribute to idealistic and abstract reasoning. When they dampen or shut down a specific part of the brain, the participant’s brain does not receive the idealistic data and therefore creates a response without that input. It doesn’t mean the brain is damaged, just modified from how it originally evolved. To say that shutting this part down is damaging the brain would be similar to saying that circumcising a baby makes the baby damaged. It definitely changes what was there and there are arguments on both sides as to whether it should be done or not, but to say that something is now damaged just to make a snarky point about “brain damaged atheists” is dishonest. I know you didn’t actually say that, so this post is mostly about your support of that statement.

          • But atheism increases when part of the brain is made not to work. That is clear. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in this argument, but atheists will take this and say “See? It’s all in your head.”

            But if it means anything at all (and it probably doesn’t), it would be my original comment.

          • Well, the problem with this argument is that we can alter the brain in many ways to change many things. We can locate the parts of our brain that leads to irrational phobias and by using this same method help people overcome these. We can alter the brain chemically to make it run more efficiently or to counteract an evolved overclocking of our fight or flight response. My point is that all of these are normal traits that we are born with because of how our brain has evolved. No one says that being scared of heights when you know there is no danger is good and that by fixing it that you are “damaging” the brain. I’m not saying that believing in a god is right or wrong or rational or irrational. I’m just saying that our brains have evolved throughout history to make us best equipped to stay alive and reproduce on our earth. Just because something is built into our brain doesn’t automatically make it correct, neither does it make it incorrect. Facts are facts regardless of how our brains are wired, so my main argument is that when you say that being brain damaged makes you an atheist, you are not adding any useful information to whether a god exist or not, you are just making childish on liners that turn people off.

          • Lighten up, Clinton. I sure hope you’re as diligent at scolding secular liberals, since 95% of what they say is childish one-liners. Just look at any internet comment board. And they clearly have no sense of humor, as is demonstrated here.

            WSAY, “Multi-verse” “Imaginary physics that can explain the uncaused beginning of the universe”. That should ring a bell to you.

            Eoomba, given that Marxism was so popular in elite circles, you likely could show a positive correlation between Marxism and IQ. It was still absurd.

          • I actually do go after secular liberals when they say something ignorant, but i’m not getting where this turned political. The left side of the political paradigm is not immune to nonsense and childish statements, but it sounds to me like you are admitting that you are just as bad as they are. You just pulled the “But he’s doing it too, so why am I in trouble” card on me.

          • You are having trouble comprehending. The brain continues to work. The fantasy of a god does not. And the reason atheists will “take this and say “See? It’s all in your head,” is because it IS all in your head. You believe in a god because you were inculcated to believe in a god.

          • There are plenty mentally retarded people who believe in God. I had a few in my church. Studies also consistently show higher levels of IQ and education among atheists. I bet if you emailed your hypothesis to the group conducting this experiment, they’d be scratching their heads at how far off your assumption is compared to their actual research.

        • Like I said…what you tried to say they said was not what they said. It was what you wanted to hear.

        • Paul you have a part more in your brain, that makes you prone to mistake fables for reality.
          Are you happy to know this?

      • Now imagine how these people interpret their Bible if they can’t properly read a short article. Actually, they don’t interpret it, their pastor does.

        • Trias_Betrayed on

          Lol destroying the part of the brain that processes threats isn’t damaging? Just don’t react to any threats next time, in fact fire isn’t hot – go stand in one

    • There are parts of the brain that can be shut off to curb epilepsy. Do you think that people with epilepsy are less intelligent than people who don’t have epilepsy? Or do you think it might just be possible that your view of intelligence has no basis in reality?

    • A pilot whale has almost twice as many cells in its neocortex than you do. Would you say that your intelligence is about half that of a pilot whale? Or that a pilot whale understands God about twice as much as you do?

      • Fact? Is there a peer-reviewed paper that can be linked to about this “fact”, or is this actually just an opinion…?

        • I would say that the definition of faith and illogical thinking match up pretty well. Many christians do not have a problem with it being illogical to believe in their god because they have faith. It is well known that believing something on no evidence is illogical. I personally wouldn’t use the word FACT, but that doesn’t mean that RononDisqus is wrong.

      • So your not going to address what the Article Speaks of only Divert a Conversation on the internet and waste both your Time and My Time on a topic Irrelevant to the one stated in the Article simply to boost your own Ego and Feed into your Narcissism

        Nope I don’t play Childish Games like that.
        When you Graduate Highschool or obtain GED as well as Learn Social and Debate Skills I will be happy to pick this up. Till then little man you should sleep plenty of hours and Eat plenty of Seafood.

        • I am highly entertained by the fact that you insult the intelligence of atheists but can’t even grasp the concepts spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

          • If you Have Basic Deciphering skills and are so intelligent than I shouldn’t have to Hand hold you. I made a Quick on the fly comment and Went about My day.

      • Лука Стојановић on

        You cannot say that a single god or many gods are real. Religions are explanations of the same thing. That’s the point of open questions, that’s how philosophy works, there is no definite answer. Have any of you people ever had philosophy classes?

  2. I have a bad feeling the people in power, or with cultural influence, would use this as a forceful way to eliminate dissenters of the utilitarian, hedonistic, socialist, secular society we currently live in.

    • My wife was talking about this the other day, she can’t get her head around the fact that some people believe we live in a society where the socialists have the power, and i have to admit, the notion is hilarious. But its true, many people do think this way so we have to accept that. How do you think we should be living?

      • Trias_Betrayed on

        depending where you live in the western world you give up at least 40% of your taxes to socialist programs and up to 90% of it if you’re in some shithole like Sweden. You get arrested in western Europe for trying to defend your countries cultural identity but yeah it’s all just ‘right-wing neo-nazis in control of everything for white supremacy’ which is why no one gives a shit about the on-going genocide of white people in South Africa but every white country in the world needs to be flooded and overcome with ‘refugees’ from a fake war that they aren’t even targets in

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Yes that shithole, you know the one with rape rates competitive with the third world and an economy in a free-fall since they decided to give away their nation to ungrateful Somalians. You know the one that has been burning down for the past week.

          • Like its the first time riots have occurred anywhere. There is ethnic hatred all around….whats the answer?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            There’s not a lot of ethnic rioting going on in Japan. Seems like it only happens in places that attempt to force people with hostile cultures to get along and cater to one over the other, gee maybe we should just let people have their own nations. Oh I guess that’s just white supremacy, there should be no place in the world for whites to go because nations are bad and evil but only for white people.

          • yeah..but in the absence of that being a possibility now…in 2015, what else could we do?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            it’s not impossible. White people aren’t being forced into South Africa or Rhodesia anymore, they have their own countries. We could just as easily remove the Africans and Arabs from Europe, to say it’s not a possibility only highlights that you simply don’t want it to be a possibility. If you were against apartheid or China destroying Tibet to be ideologically consistent you would have to be against arabs and africans destroying Europe.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Not many whites left in South Africa since the government there has had an open policy of genocide for years now. Other-wise I think there’s more than enough room if you removed the foreigners for whites to inhabit the European-Russian area, particularly Russia’s landmass isn’t filled. Though I would only prefer this outcome if the native tribes were free from interference from others so that they could re-populate. Though technically solutreans descended from Europeans were in the US first, I’d still prefer it to what we have to deal with now

          • The Solutrean hypothesis has been quashed. Do you think that people could learn to not fight each other?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Citation needed. Name one place in the world where every culture lives in harmony, it’s never happened and never will. The closest thing you could find would be the Ottoman Empire or Genghis Khan’s Empire that both used the extreme threat of genocide if a group acted hostilely towards another in the empire.

          • There are certainly still a small minority of people clinging on to the Solutrean idea, do a google search. I can’t think of anywhere that humans have learned to eliminate prejudice and fighting… but me and my friends all do it, so i think there is hope.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Still, you would have to agree that apartheid and the ethnic mixing out of Tibetans was acceptable as a practice to force people to get along then or agree that at the very least we currently can not and should not accept in millions of hostile foreigners.

          • No because people of the same race, same country, same town are awful to each other all the time….i don’t see how everyone would magically just get along simply because they were of the same race. Its more complicated than that. We have to rise above our intolerance and biases and practice compassion and patience, or go round in circles forever. It will take a long long time, and may never happen…but in terms of time, we are only just down from the trees. I’ll just do my bit for now and try to get along with people and enjoy learning about the differences.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Ok, so apartheid should never have been stopped the africans should’ve just dealt with it. Matter of fact we should never have stopped colonialism at all, we should have forced multiculturalism globally.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            If we have to put up with hostile foreigners in Europe because magically one day we’ll just all get along then to be consistent they should have had to deal with the same, regardless

          • Well obviously i wish apartheid had never happened. Not magically all getting along, just trying to improve ourselves in order to do so. I don’t think Colonialism had anything to do with promoting multiculturalism, do you?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            How is it any different? Apartheid and colonialism are both forcing whites into non-white areas regardless of the natives wishes, modern day multiculturalism is forcing non-whites into white areas regardless of the natives wishes. Outside of the race of those involved, they’re exactly the same. So do you want multiculturalism for everyone or do you only want to destroy white countries?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Ok so colonialism was good and there should be no cultural or national identities, just one big ‘everyone is exactly the same’. K

          • Well Colonoliasm was bad because of marching in to places and killing and pillaging and taking over. That isn’t good.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Huh, kinda like how Sweden has had a skyrocket in rape and violent crime like they pillaged and took over

          • No not like that. The riots are certainly bad by Swedish standards, but not as big or widespread as those seen in the UK in 2011, or in various US cities over the years. sometimes civil unrest happens, and it can happen for a variety of rather complicated social reasons. You keep alluding to ‘hostile foreigners’ and ‘hostile cultures’ and talking as though Europeans and Americans are somehow omitted from that.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Europeans and Americans aren’t immigrating by the millions into the middle east or Africa

          • Europe and America have pillaged the Middle East and Africa for centuries…..oh yeah, and raped and tortured too.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Citation needed. Europe has barely been involved in the current debacles, Sweden never was but they’re flooded with immigrants. The crusades were defensive wars fought in retaliation to muslim aggression, also invalid. America is just a zionist Israeli puppet, but I guess if you do bad things to someone at some point it entitles them to destroy countless innocent lives of people who had no say in that. So we can kill as many of them as we want because ISIS crucifies people and throws gays off buildings, regardless of if they are involved with ISIS. Logical consistency, y liberals hate it

          • Citation needed, seriously? How about diamonds in Africa, Oil in the middle east for a start. How about shipping hoardes of people out of Africa and enlaving them. How about completely wiping out the indigenous people of Jamaica, and a huge amount of Native Americans? Just for a tip of the iceberg type thing. You don’t honestly think that when Europeans (or white people) have ever done anything terrible throughout history its only ever been in retaliation, but when anybody else does it its just hostile aggression, do you?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            No, but it’s hardly unique. Most native americans died to disease and the ones who were wiped out by warfare were facing plenty of opposition from others, like Aztecs who faced an army of almost all natives led by the Spanish. Africans were already slaves to Africans, we just purchased them and the trade was largely dominated by Jews and Arabs anyway. Less than a tenth of death through warfare has been caused by Europe/America but liberals tend to ignore any type of aggression outside of ‘white devils’.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Well exactly the same except that whites tended to bring industrialization, medicine, agriculture, and a better way of life where-as modern day multiculturalism just destroys those things

          • Not surprised to see you cherry-pick reality, since you do it so often with your magic book and the Constitution.

            Tell me: how many times have you been to Sweden?

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Not surprised you see you try to strawman the debate, I never mentioned anything about a ‘magic book’ or any of my positions on the constitution. How many times have you been to Sweden you pretentious piece of shit? Doesn’t really matter, how many times had you gone to South Africa under apartheid? None? Oh I guess it was pretty awesome then, because you can’t understand how something is without personally being there. In-fact the crusades were super awesome and the inquisition was the best thing to ever happen, don’t argue it because you weren’t there.

          • You need to stop using words you don’t understand, son. I’ve been to Sweden twice. My company has an office there and I work with the Stockholm crew on a regular basis. It’s one of the many things I know more about than you do.

            Such a sad, small little man. Grab a Bud, turn on Fox, and snuggle up to your guns. It’ll make all the fail seem far away.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            Provide no statistics, deny, ‘fox news’, yeah typical liberal ‘debate’. Just go fuck yourself, or find some nearby muslim to behead you for being an infidel. Shouldn’t be hard to do in Sweden, given that someone who was shot for recently doing that is why they’re burning the country to the ground, but you must know that since you’ve ‘been there’. You’re probably just some 18 year old college junior who still thinks ‘communism has never been tried’ and that leftism is all edgey and counter-culture.

          • Of the two of us, which one is throwing a tantrum like a three-year-old? It’s a pretty good indication of how secure you are in your arguments. And your manhood.

          • You have a funny definition of reality. I guess your fantasy makes it easier to feel better about failing at life. Some of us don’t need that.

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            of the two of us, which one has supporting data and which one out of hand denies anything that conflicts with their world-view of only whites are evil?

          • Come on dude… you know its not the same when you go for ‘travel or bussiness’ to when you actually intend to move and live in a new area. Here in mexico foreginers always get treated nicely so they get a good impression, but the reality is that the country is really poor, starving to death and in need for decent paying jobs.

            The same can happen in other areas, if you only go to Hotels and Meeting it will always be good, but try to live in a regular house in sweeden, live there for a while in a mundane way, take a trip in the morning train and see how it goes.

          • Are you high? Mexicans are treated like crap here. In fact, we have more Mexicans leaving the US than coming here.

          • Danny Motorcycle on

            so what you’re saying is, you’re totally ignorant of the world of all places you’ve never been to? You have to be shot in the head to know it hurts and can kill you?

          • No, I’m saying he’s totally ignorant of a place I’ve actually been to. I’m guessing you are, too.

        • I honestly don’t know your world, so i don’t follow. I think the majority of people on the planet clearly feel that murder is abhorrent, wherever the person comes from and whatever colour they are.

  3. Do people even realize that nothing good will ever come from man playing god with other lives of others.. Think about it.. They want to shut off parts of your brain to essentially let that part of you die.. They think they can remove the moral safe guards on a person’s mind without seeing repercussions? These men are playing with fire.. Look up the family that decided to adopt a lion.. or just look up Neil the lion and you will get an idea where this could end up heading…
    What if the person turned to religion to avoid suicide?? What then? We cannot just shut off parts of the brain, because something is of inconvenience! You would be killing yourself in the process! It is my Faith in God is what gives me respect for the lives of others… Respect for Life itself is born from one’s faith in God.. We are motivated to generosity through Faith.. So the Liberals want to kill human charity and kindness too? Did you know that with out religious faith or a sense of taboo that comes from that part of the brain is what helps people suppress feelings towards murder? without faith in God what kind of amoral society would we end up with?? These people do not know the Pandora’s box they are opening… There is a difference in simply believing in God and knowing God.. This might be why the Lord Opened my eyes to things in this world, so that my belief would be more than mere belief…
    Look up the ruin of Pharaoh’s chariot army in the red Sea..
    Look up the ruin of Sodom and Gomorrah by the Dead Sea..
    Look up a satellite images of Noah’s ark on Mount Ararat!
    Science has become the pawn of the devil..
    May these scientists be murdered by their own patients! There will be no forgiveness for these godless men not in this world and not in the next..

      • Trias_Betrayed on

        pretty rich coming from the side that wants to make others mentally retarded so as to force them into agreement

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            So remove the ability to ever be able to tell because it has your desired outcome, yeah it’s the right-wing people who are trying to brainwash everyone

          • Trias_Betrayed on

            So remove the ability to ever be able to tell because it has your desired outcome, yeah it’s the right-wing people who are trying to brainwash everyone

        • Um, they’re not shutting it down permanently. They’re temporarily inhibiting it looking to understand why and how belief in the supernatural (or just doubling down on groupthink when beliefs are challenged) happens in the human brain.

          There have been other experiments where they actually induced ‘spiritual’ experiences using the same methods, only stimulating instead of suppressing.

          Who knows, maybe one day it will explain exactly how we contact god. Or maybe it will unlock a biological need that is met by tight in-group ideology of all sorts, like nationalism, race, etc. And then maybe we’ll be able to move beyond superstition about that aspect of humankind’s psyche once and for all.

    • Do you feel threatened that your belief appears to be more about neural connections and configurations than a magical spirit floating around in your body?

    • One of the best quotes from the show True Detective: “If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of sh!t; and I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible”

    • You’re comparing seeking knowledge through science to bronze aged mythological fables?
      We may as not build walls anymore, since a storybook says that Humpty Dumpty fell off one.

    • If you require a belief in theism in order to have respect for the lives others, you’re doing it wrong.

  4. This makes an interesting thought experiment for people who believe in heaven and hell.
    If someone’s ability to believe in God was shut off involuntarily (say, an injury to the part of the brain that controls belief), would God send them to Hell? Would he deny them heaven?

    God needs to update the bible for medical issues.

  5. Oliver Watkins on

    Man was only capable of understanding the universe in simple concepts in the beginning, thus the Father(God, Hashem, the creator or whatever you want to label it) was set up as being the central authority figure. Most pagan belief structures were based around necessity, if they needed more crops they prayed to rain gods, if they needed more children to help they would go to the fertility god. Though it started that way humanity has always searched for answers to where it all began and where its going. just like our ancestors we still yearn to learn the answer to where life began and how common/rare it is to exist at all. We seek answers because man does not dictate the course of nature, we can help mold it but the ones that asked this question knew it wasn’t man made, therefore we wanted to discover the principles behind creation.

    This discussion is like laughing at early man for not knowing how to make fire, while we bask in the greatness of our new technologies. I did not invent no damn lighter or match, and though I use them, I’m only as smart as my current zeitgeist. I may be able to form new questions, and be able to recognize new patterns but that is where our pre-fontal cortex comes into play.

    The pre frontal cortex is alot more involved than just the “god” concept, its responsible for abstract thought, cognitive reasoning, and memory. It is one of the biggest linchpins in perceiving the universe, let alone being able to function as a being with the ability to recognize patterns and actually form a concise scientifically based concept of reality. If this did indeed work, its only because it stopped the ability to recognize any sort of complexity in the universe and dampened the mind into something that just accepts its ignorance and base instincts. Not cool. Many great minds that believed in something more have innovated the sciences more than we can imagine, and to take away someones belief because it cannot conform to your ideology is just like the religious zealots that have tried to cleanse the world from unbelievers.
    Its Like nietzche said “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

    I personally stand grounded in physics and the sciences, but that does not mean I am not aware of concepts that religions have been saying since early man ” We are all connected” ( string theory), “We were all at one time one” (The Big Bang theory), or that the human soul is eternal ( Principle of mass conservation). I applaud these “religious” people to come up with such astounding principles when the very thought of defying the church was punishable by death. We masturbate our egos by pontificating our ideas online to people who already read the same bullshit, but when do you challenge your theories? Its like all I read is the same regurgitated crap online, but noone is like “hey you might be right, let me look into that”.

    Believers keep believing, and Non Believers keep questioning. We need all of you to make this world work and somewhere in between the lines of false bravado, we’ll remember that we are all finding purpose and reasons to keep living. For some its the search for truth, to others its the ability to provide the answers; but in this world to deny the path of another is to deny the path of all. So Are you helping build, or destroy humanity?

    • Marvin Gardens on

      Those that depend on ideology rather than reason, anyway, so far more effective on Republicans than Democrats.

  6. If these people change their beliefs after being exposed to some magnetism, they’ve got a weak belief system.

    • People can lose their ability to do math if exposed to enough magnetism in the right place. Would you say their ability to do math was weak in the first place?

  7. I wonder if it works the other way, like if that part of the brain were stimulated enough, they would become super religious and initiate a holocaust on immigrants.

  8. Danny Motorcycle on

    This study is worthless. You would have to present them the same data before and after, with different results. The study would certainly be flawed if they offered the study “open to people with religious beliefs” with a pay in mind, so of course they’d say “oh hi i’m religious where do i sign up?” then after the sign up and method they might just let their true feelings out. Also if it shuts down the brain area responsible for problem solving as far as body movement, it basically makes them mentally handicapped. So you’re saying when people become mentally handicapped they lose faith in God and then believe immigration is a good idea? It almost points out the opposite of their argument the way you interpret it. If it can be interpreted both ways, it’s basically worthless.

  9. i dont believe in a god. but i do know that immigrants from less developed countries will on average (not always) show more criminal tendencies than citizens from more developed countries. you can shut off all my fucking brain i will still know this and the archived memory will never leave my mind.
    I will not allow crime just because someone calls me a nazi. no race no religion no nationality,all of this means shit to me,if ur a criminal i dont want you in my country. that is why immigration is bad. average number of criminals and no benefits for the victims of crime. diversity and multiculturalism will mean nothing to you once your loved one gets murdered by an illegal immigrant.
    immigration is fine as long as you dont make it become a mass criminal import.
    thank you.

    • Your contention that “immigrants from less developed countries will on average (not always) show more criminal tendencies than citizens from more developed countries” is false. I am not sure where you read that or why you think that. If your last sentence implies that a member of your family was murdered by someone who was in the country illegally, I empathize with your pain, but basic cognitive reasoning and statistics teach us that not all people from “less developed countries” that emigrate (legally or illegally, refugee status or worker, etc) have “more criminal tendencies” just because some commit crimes. Two members of my family have been murdered, the individuals who killed them are not representative of their race, nationality, or anything else except their mental state at the time of the crimes.

      • Did somebody shut down your brain’s medial frontal cortex? You’re exhibiting the signs of brain dysfunction described in the article.

        • Do you need an adult? I can call your QMRP for you too. Are you all trolls? Are you all at the same party? This does sound like a good idea.

          • You shilled for migrants right before the Paris attacks started. Could your timing be any worse for you? Your poverty of ideas is laid bare.

          • “Your poverty of ideas is laid bare”= “I am trying to sound intelligent but I’m not. You can tell by my complete disassociation from reality and ignorance of, you know, facts, because fuck facts.” “Wait, why are you commenting on some ignorant shit from the internet two months later? Doesn’t that make you just as stupid?” “No silly, it means it’s Saturday night and I’m wasted and bored so this seemed like the idiot to fuck with.” “Oh, I see. Carry on.”

          • Hey it’s late and I’m partying with some friends, we’re on this other website where Disqus comes up and they start reading this thread. These guys are almost pissing themselves over “Your poverty of ideas is laid bare” LOL. This girl J is like, “Shilling for migrants? Paris? Who the fuck does this bitch think you are?” Then she spouted a bunch of facts that you likely don’t care about or understand (terrorists in Paris attacks were French Nationals, you don’t know what the word shill means, etc) and so I took a shot in your honor. Also your picture is still hysterical. I think that from now on, when it’s late and we’ve depleted all the party favors, this is what we’ll break out to keep our vibe going.

      • people from less developed countries are themselves less developed mentally and will resort to primitive behavior more commonly aka violence.
        that’s that.
        dont give ur liberal garbage. i can right now import a thousand monkeys. yes they dont necessarily have to behave like monkeys but since they are monkeys they most likely will.
        you can explain this with biology,psychology,neurology whatever you prefer.
        i don’t care about their fucking race. if ur a primitive neanderthal who likes raping and murdering then gtfo outta my country.
        primitive country primitive people. average number.not total number. product is violence. i do not tolerate violent crime or any crime. now go away with your “lets all love each other regardless of race” i dont give a fuck about ur fucking race.

      • Just a single example.
        1 on 11 people in France is muslim.
        Prison population is 70% muslim.
        That should start your brain now.
        Stop refusing reality.

          • Try to make a search with this sentence:

            muslim population in france and prison population

            You will see what are the FACTS.

        • “That should start your brain now” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA This is so perfect, that months later, we can still come here and be entertained. <3

          • BAHAHAHAHAHA “LITTLE STUPID COW” !!! XD XD XD!!! No, that’s great though. Try another one! You’re almost speaking coherent English!

            So, I just came back today, because we were working on another site and noticed that I had a notification from this thread, and we were still excited about it, which means the novelty has yet to wear off. We are not sure how long this will go on, but we know we will miss it when it’s gone, so we’re making the most of it. Kevin over at Patreon says, “Weird ass goat face”. Frankly I think he can do better, but, hey. We’re working today, they turned the heat off in the office already, which sucks because it’s only March, I mean, come on, it still gets down the 30 degrees at night and this wind is BLOWING. Like you, “Weird-ass goat face”

          • Marco Maltese on

            At least I show my face, you are probably too ugly to show yours, stupid cow.

          • Stupid cow! Hahahaha! Again with the insults from the 19th century mysogonists! You can’t see me? That’s weird. I use my fb to connect with disqus, I see my profile pic. Maybe it’s because we’re not friends on fb. 🙁 OH wait, none of that matters, because you’re an idiot who can only call me a cow over and over because facts are hard and you suck at logic.

            Sorry, I had almost forgotten why. I picked on you in the first place. It was because you said something so incredibly stupid.

            Oh hey, it was just pointed out to me that you might not be a native English speaker, judging by the rest of your comments in other places on your profile. Kevin again. I think he likes you. Are you on fb? He wants to be your friend. That’s hysterical. Anyway I made a reference to your English earlier. My bad. But you’re still an idiot. Get some help. Peace out, I’ve got some work to finish, but we’re having a game night next month, they go late and involve alcohol, I feel like that would be a prime opportunity to check in on what creative insults and fear mongering hate speech you come up with then. Be creative!

          • So…no Facebook friending then, huh?
            Do you have anything better than stupid cow? Most people in modern times don’t use “cow” as an insult, I mean, it’s unique and all in the hipster sense, but not very, uh, clever or well played. It would be like using cur. Can’t really being stuff like that back, you know? How about “ignorant dicksmacker” or “ill informed fucktard” or, if you are maintaining the livestock theme, “mangy ass fucking goat” or “nerfherder”?

    • Oh, you mean like those white folks who committed genocide on one race, only to go about systematically enslaving another?

        • If you’re not Native American and you’re in America then you’re either an immigrant or descended from one. Since it was “discovered” by Columbus by far the most murderous ethnic group have been white Europeans; They committed genocide on the Native Americans, and treated Africans as property for hundreds of years.

          Even working on your logic, the strategy you extol is one of segregation, not integration, which ultimately strengthens the cultural stratification you’re condemning. You haven’t thought this through.

          • The fact that our ancestors did something doesn’t mean we must allow other people do that to us, especially after we realize they committed errors.
            I wouldn’t invade a country EVER.
            So I will do whatever I can to defend me from an invasion.
            I cannot be held responsible for the past flow of history and who thinks different is a complete idiot.

          • The fact that your ancestors did something should help you understand you have benefitted from the misfortunes of others. It should help you understand that if you perpetuate the oppression, then you continue to have unearned privilege. You should understand that except for a few psychopaths, most people respond to kindness, dignity, and inclusion. Home grown terrorists often are responding to injustice and exclusion by the dominant culture. You’re not responsible for the past flow of history but if you treat people the way you talk here just because they ran away from torture, slaughter, witnessing the loss of those around them, then you are the idiot.

          • The only idiot here is somebody who thinks all cultures in the world are the same, that they bring the same respect, courtesy, values.
            It’s not like that.
            I just make 2 examples, then I’m done with it, because I know it’s a waste of time, but it’s just to show how ignorant you are.
            In France, 1 person on 11 is muslim. Despite being a minority in population, muslims account to 60% of prison population.
            In Sweden, for 1 rape commited by a swedish, 23 rapes are committed by muslims.
            No take up your taqiyya and get away with it.
            And no, I won’t bring you SOURCES about these statements, you search yourself “muslim rapes sweden” and “french muslim population in prison”.
            Byeeeee!

          • Vivat Phyrexia on

            1.The country was founded by Europeans on lawless lands. They are no more “immigrants” than Indians are.

            2.Smallpox is not “white Europeans”.

            3. Africans were sold by other Africans for baubles and booze. Europeans were the only ones who abolished slavery.

            Since the article above shows that liberalism is caused by brain damage, I have no high hopes for you seeing your error.

    • Vigourously saying “I know” doesn’t make you accurate or correct. If you make a claim, you have to back it up with facts and you won’t be able to. What we know from research is that people who have to encounter idiots like you on a day to day basis experience high levels of stress .

  10. This research alone constitutes more evidence that brains create gods than exists anywhere to support the claim that gods create brains.

      • Actually, this research provides clear evidence belief in gods is a product of evolved brain structures. Uncompromising fixation on fantasies for which no evidence exists is undeniaby symptomatic of mental illness.

        • Vivat Phyrexia on

          Atheism, i.e. uncompromising fixation on an your very own idea about what you have decided someone else must be believing in is undeniaby symptomatic of mental illness.

          It is also strongly implied to be a type of brain damage.

          • Setting up and knocking down self-descriptive straw men indicates you have no credible evidence to prove your own gods exist, foolish theist. The burden of proof rests with those who claim something exists, not with those who point to a lack of all credible evidence for gods.

          • Vivat Phyrexia on

            Setting up and knocking down self-descriptive straw men indicates you have no genuine clue about what “credible evidence” of gods constitutes of, village atheist.

            Contrary to what Dawkins fanboys believe, rambling about ‘burden of proof’ every second sentence does not mitigate the fact that you are asking others to prove something you made up about them.

            But as the article shows, it’s not like you can help having brain damage.

          • Wilhelm Guggisberg on

            You are repeating yourself and getting tediously redundant pretending your lack of sustainable argument for your improvable claim has to be provided by the contender. You lose. Good bye you silly sophist. Keep yourself in the anonymity so you won’t ever will have to be publicly accountable for your shortcomings.

          • Wilhelm Guggisberg on

            Well but even if this brain damage were true in case of all atheists reality is still the same: there’s no deities nor Afterlife. Learn to live with that!

          • Vivat Phyrexia on

            The reality is that you have no idea what you are pontificating about, and you expect the world live with that.

          • Wilhelm Guggisberg on

            I’m not pontificating when I abide to empirical testable evidence to base my knowledge of the reality.

            “A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.” -David Hume.

          • Vivat Phyrexia on

            Suckling on your favourite thumb to decide what others actually believe in is not empirical, knowledge or anything to do with reality.

            And ‘evidence’ has been established to be a construct of the theory that determines how it is supposed to look like, but they didn’t know that in the 18th century.

            But given how high atheists are on the autism spectrum, I bet none of that matters to you.

  11. LePatriote1980 on

    So their solution to force their views on others is to shut down our brains until they are atrophied enough so we become dumb…

    • For me it sounds more like you need literal brainwashing in order to comform both Imigrant suppourters and atheism… remember, today lefty atheism are the new right-wing conservative christians from years ago…

      Claiming they know better just to control what others want/do

  12. Oh wow, you found a wackadoodle site that agrees with you. That must be so nice for you.

    I’m really impressed. Really I am. You may now return to surfing gay porn, secure in the knowledge that you have totally put me in my place. Totally.

    (Pro-tip: don’t look up the backers of the Gatestone Institute. I’m guessing you already have enough disappointments in your pathetic little life)

  13. You want us to believe immigrants are good because they are dumbasses that buy useless shit that ofcourse those in charge of deciding are in favor. what company doesnt want idiots that buy any shit regardless of quality of product? companies and rich fucks love immigrants. small citizens dont as they are criminal shits on the average number. immigration or mass criminal import. that’s that.
    just another brainwash to get your money. sick fucks abusing human psychology since 1914 and before.
    use your brain. go out. hand out with “immigrants”. check their behavior. then ask yourself the question if ud let ur kids play with em. some immigrants are fine. but a number are nothing but sick criminals.
    this is pure reason. i don’t understand why you shit fucks have to into fucking racism. fuck your racism. fuck your races. all i care for is the safety of my people. immigrants included.
    for fucks sake stop sticking up for crime.
    no race or nationality has the right to commit crime. nobody. NOBODY

    • Completely agree. And this is all PLANNED by the real rulers: masons. Search for PLAN KALERGI.
      A lot of people that are pro immigrants don’t really know how these people behave, they only know they are “like us”. Yes, they have two arms, two legs, and one head.
      But brain is completely different, but you can’t know it if you don’t meet them and live some days with them or you don’t accept the news of violence that DAILY come on newspapers.
      Unluckily, a huge part of humanity is just schizofrenic, completely slave to COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, they can’t accept reality.

      • Just Jews. How many times do I have to hear a lie about someone’s grandmother being gassed six times but still worships Satan, god of the jew.

        • It should be applied to pretty much everyone that believes in a god. They’re all delusional.

          Also, what the fuck are you talking about?

      • Majority Christians stopped taking Jesus seriously since the end of dark ages while muslims still live in them

  14. You’re an idiot. Your links are all bogus shit because LOOK AT YOUR SEARCH YOU IDIOT. And did you just fucking threaten me? YOU are bullshit. Why am I wasting my time here? What the fuck are you even doing here? You’re fucking retarded why are you reading articles on a science research site you fuck? I’ll be right over. I’m glad I checked this shit today because I am on a fucking roll with fucking trolls. It’s on motherfucker. Hang on, I’ll be right over.

  15. Real Medicine science yes– just not the Psychiatric kind that forcefully messes with the planets confidence–the message of misery.

  16. Basically religion is like seeing some rustling bushes and thinking it’s a tiger when in fact it’s just the wind . . .

  17. If you shut the spiritual eye in the forehead, you become spiritually blind. Is this really news?