on religion and the brain entitled Where God and Science Meet: How Brain Division 36, Psychology of Religion; the Society for the Scientific Study of Reli-. When God and Science Meet: Surprising Discoveries of Agreement. A resource of the .. theory was compatible with a view of God as creator. The History of. The Pdf and Prc files are sent as single zips (and naturally don't have the file structure naturally lends itself to that method: but a writer ought not to use italics for the same purpose. to believe that there is one God and that Jesus Christ is His only Son. . Certainly I have met with little of the fabled odium theologicum from.
Many find religion useful in a variety of ways — to provide security and solace, sociability and distraction, status and self-justification.
Religion and mental health
The embraced creed is lightly held or else selectively shaped to fit more primary needs. Other needs, strong as they may be, are regarded as of less ultimate significance, and they are, so far as possible, brought in harmony with the religious beliefs and prescriptions. Having embraced a creed the individual endeavors to internalize it and follow it fully.
It is exactly this behavior that has been most consistently associated with better mental-health. Of physical health, religiousness was related to decreased smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as positively effecting heart disease and blood pressure.
A confound was that, at least in the elderly, physical health supported religious activities, more than the other way around. Religious commitment and participation seemed to affect longevity, as well, especially in men.
Suicide ideology was also lowered, as well as, more disapproving attitudes towards suicidal behavior. An interesting finding was that church attendance was a major predictor in suicide prevention, even more than employment.
In Hindu, religious beliefs if you take your life prematurely than you have to suffer in the next birth. Hence in this religion there is a strong believe in rebirths.
There is a negative correlation between drug use and religiousness. Most research findings support that religious affiliation, especially participation, lowers the rate of alcohol consumption. The best defense against overuse of alcohol was modeling disciplined drinking habits by the religion.
This was found because different denominations had different rates of alcoholism Jews the lowest, Catholics the highest, and Protestants somewhere in-betweenand that even in conservative Protestant homes, there were found some higher rates of alcoholism, so some concluded that the religious tradition had more impact than the home.
Ambiguous outcomes of religion and mental health Gartner's findings demonstrated mixed result in regard to anxiety. Some research showed greater anxiety with religiosity, while other research showed less anxiety. Some people were less anxious and showed less somatic symptoms with public religious activities, yet more so with private devotions.
Intrinsic religion was associated with lower anxiety, while higher levels were found with extrinsic religion. There was also mixed results on death anxiety and religiosity. Of the controversial findings on self-esteem, one study found that loving portrayals of God were positively correlated with higher self-esteem, and negatively correlated with God portrayed as vindictive and punitive.
If a Hindu dies in Kashi Varanasi then it is believed that he goes directly to heaven. The mixed results may be from confusion between humans as sinful, as held by conservative Christians, which might result in a misdefinition of what self-esteem is.
The literature on sexual disorders showed that more male clients in sex therapy were from religious homes. A replication failed to find this. Some research has looked at denomination and sex, but little research has included the variable religion or religious commitment. Several studies have found a weak positive correlation with education, others found a negative correlation.
Early findings found that there was more prejudice from religious people. More recent studies have suggested a curvilinear relationship between prejudice and church attendance; so that those who attended church often and those who never attended were less prejudiced than those who attended infrequently. Intrinsic religiosity was negatively correlated with prejudice, as was religious commitment. Extrinsic religiosity has been found to have a positive correlation with prejudice. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the influence of religion on human health.
Healthy behaviors and lifestyle Several illnesses are related to behavior and lifestyle. The way we eat, drink, drive our automobile, have sex, smoke, use drugs, follow medical prescriptions, exam ourselves for prevention have important influences in our health.
Most religions prescribe or prohibit behaviors that may impact health. The biblical teachings, years ago, about diet, ways to handle food, cleaning and purity, circumcision, sexual behavior were important for preventing disease.
Today other illnesses are more relevant. Prescriptions about keeping a day of rest, the body as a sacred temple, monogamous sex, moderation on eating and drinking, peaceful relationships are doctrines that might be also helpful for contemporary health problems related to stress, competition, individualism, narcissism, anger, shame etc.
A good clinical example trying to apply those teachings was the research of Thoresen et al. Certain religious practices are responsible for health hazards and risks. Visits to a holy shrine on specific times can enhance the risk of accidents. Prohibition of vaccines, medication or blood transfusion, endogamous marriages, violence against unbelievers, handling of poisonous snakes, the way dead bodies are handled are other examples of behaviors that can bring health problems. Religion might provide social cohesion, the sense of belonging to a caring group, continuity in relationships with friends and family and other support groups.
Social support can influence health by facilitating adherence to health promotion programs, offering fellowship in times of stress, suffering and sorrow, diminishing the impact of anxiety and other emotions and anomie. Social support, although important, is not the only mechanism by which religion influences health.
Religion and mental health
Religion still has beneficial effects even when social support is a controlled variable. Religious beliefs can provide support through the following ways: Enhancing acceptance, endurance and resilience. They generate peace, self-confidence, purpose, forgiveness to the individuals own failures, self-giving and positive self-image. On the other hand, they can bring guilt, doubts, anxiety and depression through an enhanced self-criticism.
Why some actively act and others stay in despondency. An internal locus of control is usually associated with well-being, and an external one with depression and anxiety. A religious belief can favor an internal locus of control with impact on mental-health. The study of religious coping, which can be positive or negative, has emerged as a promising research field.
Positive religious coping has been associated with good health outcomes, and negative religious coping with the opposite. Religious patients tend to use more positive than negative religious coping. Positive religious coping involves behaviors such as: Negative religious coping includes passive waiting for God to control the situation, redefining the stressor as a punishment from God or as an act of the devil and questioning God's love.
They help to cope with anxiety, fears, frustration, anger, anomie, inferiority feelings, despondency and isolation. It has been reported that it can produce changes in personality, reduce tension and anxiety, diminish self-blame, stabilize emotional ups and downs, and improve self-knowledge. Improvement in panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, insomnia, drug use, stress, chronic pain and other health problems have been reported. Follow-up studies have documented the effectiveness of these techniques.
Other religious practices such as personal prayer, confession, forgiveness, exorcism, liturgy, blessings and altered states of consciousness ; may also be effective, but more studies are necessary. In Muslim patients during days of fasting Roza they have to readjust the dose of medications so that it will prevent relapse.
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Spiritual direction Spiritual direction is described as a special relationship between two human beings to help the development of the spiritual-self. Its aims are to develop a relationship with God, to find meaning in life, and to promote personal growth. Several religious and psychological techniques may be used, and great similarities with psychotherapy can be found, as the same themes are discussed.
The psychotherapy and its Indian adaptation are discussed in different article elsewhere. The combination of beliefs, behaviors and environment promoted by the religious involvement probably act altogether to determine the religious effects on health. However, empirical studies have had limited success in accounting for the psychosocial mechanisms described above for the health-promoting effects of the religious involvement.
The explanation of the mechanisms by which religion affects health has been an intellectually and methodologically challenging enterprise. Patients do have spiritual needs that should be identified and addressed, but psychiatrists and other mental health professionals do not feel comfortable tackling these issues. Adequate training is necessary to integrate spirituality into clinical practice.
In the presence of psychopathology, religion may be part of it, contributing to the symptoms obsessions or delusions for example. Sometimes, religion may become rigid and inflexible, and be associated with magical thinking and resistance.
It may hinder treatment if it forbids psychotherapy or the use of medication. Awareness of God, acceptance of the grace and love of God, repentance and social responsibility, faith and trust, involvement in organized religion, fellowship, ethic, and tolerance and openness to the experiences of others.Download The Fire in the Equations Science Religion Search For God PDF
Koenig recommendations go beyond listening and respect, appropriate referral, and support of spiritual needs. A brief spiritual history is necessary to become familiar to the patients religious beliefs as they relate to decisions about medical care, understanding the role religion plays in coping with illness or causing stress, and identifying spiritual needs that may require assistance. Somehow, this aspect of psychopathology has not been given due consideration.
For instance, Freud observed remarkable similarity between obsessive behavior patterns and religious practices in view of their fixed, stereotyped and rigid character, their being meaningless and the anxiety that follows when specific action is not properly performed. Religion provides mechanisms for both intensifying guilt as well as alleviating it.
Religion often creates guilt by setting high moral standards while, on the other hand, it also provides a number of methods of alleviating guilt such as confession, prayer, charity etc. To an outsider Hinduism continues to present bewildering arrays of beliefs, customs, and code of conduct, which are often mutually contradictory.
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To understand Hinduism is to understand India because in Hinduism lies the history of this subcontinent for the last years. In early Aryan religion, there is mention of many natural deities like sun, fire and lightning and perhaps there were no idols and worship was in open.
Rig Veda also gives some account of religious hymns. Present Hinduism is a queer mix of various influences of past and present. No religion exists with such open contraindications and also so openly accepted. Every Hindu accepts this paradox easily and quite happily. He believes in one God and is ready to worship as many as the occasion demands. However, in spite of this wide diversity there is still a fair degree of unanimity on essentials of life. The guilt is overpowering and becomes an integral part of his psychological development.
We see the repercussion in the form of sexual hypochondriasis. There is multiple neurasthenic symptoms associated with passage of semen in urine. It occurs in young Indian males. A history of masturbation and night emissions are present. The explanation might be obsessive compulsive symptoms particularly related to cleanliness are socially accepted to family than other neurotic illness.
Hindus excessive preoccupation with cleanliness, on the other hand, may give rise to gastro intestinal hypochondriasis. There is often a guilt feeling in Indian depressed patients. If asked whether his present symptoms are due to some past misdeeds a Hindu is quick to admit the relationship with some unknown sin in past life.
The concept of original sin and repentance which is common in Christianity is foreign to Hindu religion where every individual is a part of the cosmic soul and has to eventually merge with it. Like any other illness, Hindu also believed mental illness as a state of being possessed by someone. Such beliefs are still common, especially in rural populations.
It occurs mostly in hysterical background but sometimes is reported in association with functional psychosis. Psychotic symptoms are associated with references to past life. Hanuman did not know his full power until he was reminded by Jambavan. Wig named this part of Ramayana as Hanuman Complex. He has used this idea many times as a psychiatrist in treating patients, basically in psychotherapy.
He uses this mythological tale to make two points: Most of the patients have already known it. I point out that the power to change his life rests within him. He has temporarily lost the knowledge of his own powers due to his illness, due to this veil of ignorance. Like Hanuman, he has to shake off this diffidence and realize his true potential. The golden Lanka lies across the sea and he has the power to reach there. In fact, the potential to change rests with the patient who has temporarily like Hanuman, lost it.
It is your job as a therapist like Jambavan to restore this power back to the patient. The contemporaneous French philosopher Michel Henry has however proposed a phenomenological approach and definition of God as phenomenological essence of Life. Non-theistic views See also: Evolutionary origin of religions and Evolutionary psychology of religion Non-theist views about God also vary.
Some non-theists avoid the concept of God, whilst accepting that it is significant to many; other non-theists understand God as a symbol of human values and aspirations. The nineteenth-century English atheist Charles Bradlaugh declared that he refused to say "There is no God", because "the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation";  he said more specifically that he disbelieved in the Christian god.
Stephen Jay Gould proposed an approach dividing the world of philosophy into what he called " non-overlapping magisteria " NOMA. In this view, questions of the supernaturalsuch as those relating to the existence and nature of God, are non - empirical and are the proper domain of theology. The methods of science should then be used to answer any empirical question about the natural world, and theology should be used to answer questions about ultimate meaning and moral value.
In this view, the perceived lack of any empirical footprint from the magisterium of the supernatural onto natural events makes science the sole player in the natural world. Both authors claim however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings. Anthropomorphism Pascal Boyer argues that while there is a wide array of supernatural concepts found around the world, in general, supernatural beings tend to behave much like people.
The construction of gods and spirits like persons is one of the best known traits of religion. He cites examples from Greek mythologywhich is, in his opinion, more like a modern soap opera than other religious systems. Sigmund Freud also suggested that god concepts are projections of one's father. In line with this reasoning, psychologist Matt Rossano contends that when humans began living in larger groups, they may have created gods as a means of enforcing morality.
In small groups, morality can be enforced by social forces such as gossip or reputation. However, it is much harder to enforce morality using social forces in much larger groups.
Rossano indicates that by including ever-watchful gods and spirits, humans discovered an effective strategy for restraining selfishness and building more cooperative groups. Thomas Aquinas summed up five main arguments as proofs for God's existence. Isaac Newton saw the existence of a Creator necessary in the movement of astronomical objects.
Arguments about the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Different views include that: Lewisand the Ontological Argument formulated both by St. Anselm's approach was to define God as, "that than which nothing greater can be conceived".
Famed pantheist philosopher Baruch Spinoza would later carry this idea to its extreme: In Query 31 of the Opticks, Newton simultaneously made an argument from design and for the necessity of intervention: For while comets move in very eccentric orbs in all manner of positions, blind fate could never make all the planets move one and the same way in orbs concentric, some inconsiderable irregularities excepted which may have arisen from the mutual actions of comets and planets on one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this system wants a reformation.
Thomas believed that the existence of God is self-evident in itself, but not to us. Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature—namely, by effects.
Thomas believed that the existence of God can be demonstrated. Briefly in the Summa theologiae and more extensively in the Summa contra Gentileshe considered in great detail five arguments for the existence of God, widely known as the quinque viae Five Ways.
For the original text of the five proofs, see quinque viae Motion: Some things undoubtedly move, though cannot cause their own motion. Since there can be no infinite chain of causes of motion, there must be a First Mover not moved by anything else, and this is what everyone understands by God.
As in the case of motion, nothing can cause itself, and an infinite chain of causation is impossible, so there must be a First Causecalled God.
Existence of necessary and the unnecessary: Our experience includes things certainly existing but apparently unnecessary. Not everything can be unnecessary, for then once there was nothing and there would still be nothing.
Therefore, we are compelled to suppose something that exists necessarily, having this necessity only from itself; in fact itself the cause for other things to exist. If we can notice a gradation in things in the sense that some things are more hot, good, etc.