The Table

Topic: Consciousness

  • Happiness on the Brain: The Neuroscience of Happiness, Part 1

    By Kevin CorcoranOctober 21, 2015

    The last fifteen to twenty years have witnessed a lot of talk about “neuroplasticity”—the idea that we can “rewire” our brains. The very idea has spawned a new kind of industry, the “neuro-industry.” From neuroeconomics, neurocriticism, and neurotheology, to neuromagic and neuromarketing, “neuro” sells books and seminars. But the way that findings in contemporary neuroscience are routinely applied to issues for which they were never meant to serve leads some to refer to the whole “neuro-this-that-and-the-other-thing” as nothing more than “neurobollocks.”

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  • A Ghost in One's Own Country: C.S. Lewis on Surviving Death

    By Center for Christian Thought September 14, 2015

    Christianity maintains that our true home is in heaven, with God. Will we be ghosts—that is, souls—without bodies there? C.S. Lewis seems to suggest not.  

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  • Immortal Diamonds: An Interview with Richard Rohr (Part 2)

    By Richard RohrMay 11, 2015

    Interview Part 2 of 2 with Fr. Richard Rohr | "Many saints said some rather stupid things, but humbly and completely loved God and their neighbor. Many contemporaries say quite intelligent and true things, and live in union with nobody."

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  • Following Jesus, Believing in the Soul

    By Mike SanbornFebruary 9, 2015

    "When I talk with people at my church about the implications of neuroscience on Christian faith, and I tell them that there are serious Christians who do not believe that we have souls, they look at me with bewilderment."

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  • Squaring Christianity & Neuroscience

    By Malcolm JeevesMarch 24, 2014

    What is the Christian response to the scientific enterprise?

    Thoughtful Christians worship the God who created all things and who holds them in being moment-by-moment. They seek to follow their Lord's example and commands to show compassion, to heal the sick, and to worship God with their minds. Thus they see their engagement in science as a key part of obeying his commands and learning more of the greatness of God, by applying the fruits of scientific researches to the tasks of relieving suffering and bringing healing.

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  • Through a Mirror (Neuron) Darkly

    By Adam GreenSeptember 30, 2013

    Adam Green (Azusa Pacific University) writes: 

    "Mirror neurons quickly became a sexy topic for brain savvy folk in the ‘90s and early aughts. One of the things that helped this trend was the discovery that there appear to be neurons with mirror properties of many different kinds all throughout the animal kingdom (e.g., they are supposed to be involved in songbirds learning their songs), but they also seem especially associated with human beings.

    The thought was that mirror neurons might tell us something deep about human nature. Mirror neurons were commonly implicated in imitation, action understanding, and empathy, though claims about their role in other areas were not uncommon."

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  • Can the Soul Interact with the Body?

    By Alexander PrussAugust 19, 2013

    Could we have non-physical souls that control our bodies by causing effects in the brain that propagate via the nervous system to our muscles? Contemporary naturalist philosophers—philosophers who understand the world solely in terms of physical causes—have three main objections to this idea. Philosopher Alexander Pruss (Baylor University) considers these objections, with attention on what has been called the "Closure Principle," which is the principle that the physical world is explanatorily closed—the explanations of physical states of affairs are always physical in nature. He concludes that the Closure Principle is false, and doesn't provide an objection to the interaction of soul and body.

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