Comments on: Beware brain scientists bearing gifts (gee-whiz journalists too…) http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/08/09/beware-brain-scientists-bearing-gifts-gee-whiz-journalists-too/ Religion, faith and ethics Sat, 23 Apr 2016 23:25:07 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: AJ Hess http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/08/09/beware-brain-scientists-bearing-gifts-gee-whiz-journalists-too/comment-page-1/#comment-14299 Mon, 10 Aug 2009 15:08:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=7431#comment-14299 I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to say, Pete. HOWEVER! Just because there is increased activity in this or that area of the brain, we still don’t know if that activity is a _cause_ or an _effect_ of the decisions we make. You cannot use these findings to say that people are not responsible for their actions, that their brains _made_ them do things, that our actions are pre-determined and we are just victims of the chemicals in our brains.

That’s lame. We’re just beginning to understand the astonishing magnificence of our brains, and it is simply premature to make leaping conclusions about human morality or psychology or spirituality (for that matter) from watching which areas of the brain light up at certain times.

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By: Pete Cann http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/08/09/beware-brain-scientists-bearing-gifts-gee-whiz-journalists-too/comment-page-1/#comment-14283 Mon, 10 Aug 2009 01:56:59 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=7431#comment-14283 I think it’s getting harder and harder for informed people to talk about people “deserving” things. When we say that, it tends to mean that we want to do something to them, to make ourselves feel good. We need to reorient to the questions, “What is right; what do we want?” and “How do we get it?” The second question is the subject of a treasure trove of knowledge in the field of behavioral psychology. Every day, billions of people try to get others to behave some way in utter ignorance of what we’ve known for decades about how to do that, relying only on their animal desires (which frequently is the same offense committed by their victims). For instance, punishment is a very tricky, unreliable method. It frequently INCREASES the frequency of the punished behavior. Only a moral imbecile would say that didn’t matter.

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