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In my few encounters with people of extreme religious behaviour, I have noticed that Parkinson's disease seems to be prevalent amongst them as they age.

Of course I wouldn't claim that people with Parkinson's disease are religious extremists, but the extreme religious lifestyle of others, does seem to me, to precipitate neuroses akin to utter insanity which would explain deteriorated brain function, if not the size of their braincell.

Religious indoctrination in early childhood appears to me to be instrumental in limiting brain function as one ages.

It follows that if the religious experience provides the answers to life's most enigmatic questions about our existence as self-aware beings, then the brain atrophies due to lack of exercise; it no longer has to concern itself with, or 'think' about, such things.

What do we know about the size of the brain in old atheists and agnostics; provided of course that they haven't been burned at the stake or stoned to death, whilst they were enjoying the pleasures of youth, by the religious extremists?

Allowing ourselves to be brainwashed by cultural exploitations to accept what everyone else believes without question, seems to be a sure way to diminish our cognitive abilities, not to mention our full and happy enjoyment of being alive. Old age does dim the responses, but that is no need for us to replace the wonder of life with superstition.

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Religious indoctrination in early childhood appears to me to be instrumental in limiting brain function as one ages.

It follows that if the religious experience provides the answers to life's most enigmatic questions about our existence as self-aware beings, then the brain atrophies due to lack of exercise; it no longer has to concern itself with, or 'think' about, such things.

While I don't think 'religious experience provides the answers to life's most enigmatic questions', I agree that it's proponents tell you it does, and if you're the type who can be brainwashed, I can easily see that you might accept their answers, and in doing so, never have to think about them yourself. Perhaps those late night or all night skull sessions in darkened college dorm rooms with a bunch of other kids, debating religion, the origin of the species, the existence of God, anthropomorphism and the Christian Great Chain of Being and whether if someone won't go down on you by the fourth date you should move on, really did tune the brain for greater performance in life. It's a credible theory.

C

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This fits with some of the research I've read lately about what areas of the brain are responsible for religious experiences, and how and why they do what they do. This doesn't in any way discount or trivialize those who believe--one of the best people I know is a strong believer--but it perhaps goes some way to explaining why the more out-there fundamental types, especially those why try so hard to convert others and to force their way of life on others, do what they do. Ultimately, for me, that is the crux of the issue. Believe what you choose. Just don't attempt to force others to do so, and don't make wide ranging policy decisions on these beliefs. That is, quite simply, indefensible.

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I was born-again, but this time I was born-gay. :icon_thumleft:

Great article. I've saved a copy for future reference when writing a story with that type of action happening to a character.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I self-identified as "born-again" at age six. I didn't quite get the irony of needing to be born again so soon after having been, uh...born.

But now that I identify as agnostic, would that make me re-born-again? Un-born-again? If, some day, I convert back to Christianity, would that make me re-un-born-again? Born-again-again? Double-plus-born-again-no-tag-backs?

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Colin, you may have invented a new T-shirt:

Born Again Gay.

I love it! I will go to a T-shirt shop and get that one printed up.

I also like my other T-shirt idea, ‘Your Boyfriend Thinks I’m Hot’. I have that one! It works regardless of whether it's worn by a guy or a girl, gay or straight.

Colin :icon_geek:

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