The New York Times opinion piece by David Brooks, titled “The Neural Buddhists,” drives a wedge between mystical and “revealed” religions by citing recent philosophical and scientific scholarship. Brooks suggests that neuroscience (including psychology) poses a considerable challenge to religions that emphasize divine law or revelation. Brooks is right to predict that neuroscience will profoundly affect our culture’s thinking. Neuroscience forces us to revise our concept of self. And I agree that the investigation into universal moral intuitions raises interesting questions about the emergence of religion. My guess is that its most significant cultural contribution will be, simply, increased happiness. […]Read the rest of Is this anything or is this nothing?.
Brent A. Field
Brent A. Field is Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University's Center for Health and Wellbeing, as well as its Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior. His current research interests are in the neuroscience of meditation and well being. Previous research has spanned various topics in mathematics, computer science, human-computer interaction, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology.