Be afraid. Be very afraid.
When it comes to advances in science regarding the brain and our understanding of where our thoughts, emotions, consciousness, perceptions, choices, and more come from, some of our religious notions like the idea of the immaterial soul, or free-will, or sin might be shaken. That shaking however, so far seems to involve religious traditions and a few interpretations of the Bible, but not the Bible itself. Turns out the actual Scripture is holding up just fine.
Neuroscience, thanks to the use of brain scan technology, is a rapidly growing field of science that is in the process of revolutionizing psychology and our understanding of ourselves, but ironically Jesus and the Bible seem to have been saying similar types of things.
Some logical premise building first: If God is real, and the Bible was truly inspired by him, then it stands to reason that it would remain consistent with much of our own science. That’s not the case with church traditions or some interpretations of the Bible. Those things change all the time. In fact, discovering the truth about most anything, means also discovering what was not true. So while Christians may have to wait until reaching heaven before some arguments over interpretations are settled, it may be that some new scientific discoveries could actually help resolve some long standing debates.
Yeah, that’s probably wishful thinking, but at least the discoveries make the debates more interesting.
For instance, if neuroscience could prove (and some research makes a strong case) that our brain makes a decision BEFORE we are conscious of it, that seems to take away our ability to have free will over our own actions. If we have no real choice, then what about sin? How could God judge us? Continue reading