Item description for The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul [With Headphones] by Mario Beauregard, Denyse O'Leary & Patrick Girard Lawlor...
Did God create the brain, or did the brain create God? Do religious experiences come from God, or are they merely the random firing of neurons in the brain? Drawing on his own research with Carmelite nuns, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard shows that genuine, life-changing spiritual events can be documented. He offers compelling evidence that religious experiences have a nonmaterial origin, making a convincing case for what many in scientific fields are loath to considerthat it is God who creates our spiritual experiences, not the brain. Scientific materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter, of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the placebo effect in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source. A lively introduction to a field where neuroscience, philosophy, and secular/spiritual cultural wars are unavoidably intermingled. Publishers Weekly
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Running Time: 780.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.6" Width: 4.6" Height: 1.2" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Jan 23, 2008
ISBN 1605145092 ISBN13 9781605145099
Availability 0 units.
More About Mario Beauregard, Denyse O'Leary & Patrick Girard Lawlor
Mario Beauregard is an associate professor in the Departments of Radiology and Psychology at the Universite de Montreal (Canada). Denyse O'Leary is a Canadian journalist based in Toronto who writes on topics related to science, religion, and faith. An "AudioFile" Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist, Patrick Lawlor is also an accomplished stage actor.
Mario Beauregard has an academic affiliation as follows - Universite de Montreal.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul, Library Edition?
Possibly the worst argued book I've ever read May 23, 2010
I hoped to enjoy this book! If you don't already agree with them or have any knowledge or experience in any of the things talked about whatsoever, you're not going to get this book, because the logic jumps are just constant. "Chimpanzees only spend 25% of their time socializing and that's why they're not good behavioral model for humans!" ...So how much time do humans spend socializing? Oddly enough, this is never mentioned! "The fact that the mind can affect the body is proof that materialism is inadequate to explain it." ...Why? No seriously, I do not get this. I might if they ever offered any evidence, but it's just assumed as unassailable fact. "A woman seeing her surgeon cut into her head while she's unconscious is evidence that she experienced a true out of body near death experience." ...Because of course a surgeon cutting your head is so unpredictable when that's what you're paying him for. "The idea of a God module in the brain existing is totally inadequate to explaining the vast variety of religious experiences people experience." ...Okay first off, I see absolutely nothing incompatible with a part of the brain designated to work with God and religion. Second off, why? This is a particularly frustrating instance because I can see the dim glimmer of a point under there, but it's buried under giant leaps of logic, so you never quite get it.
And of course, besides the logic jumps, the authors throw in random quotes from everyone on the planet pretty much every other page, in order to make sure you never get into a rhythm of reading them. I suppose it's reassuring in a sense that their writing style is as jumpy as their logic, but it makes it very hard to read at times.
In the end, I don't know if I could really call it a book on neuroscience so much as a poorly argued diatribe about materialism/atheism. The authors spend so much time on it that any actual neuroscience just gets buried under "And this is what the materialists say and they are bad and evil and wrong because we all believe in free will right?" (While I'm going "...wait where did you get them talking about free will from that and how exactly are you defining free will in this context anyway?", but that goes back to the logic gaps.) Don't buy this book for the neuroscience - or any science whatsoever, because as much as the authors accuse others of leaping to conclusions, they've got anti-logic springs strapped to their feet the entire book. If you want to read possibly the most illogical arguments I've ever seen against materialism, however, feel free.
A neuroscientist's case for consciousness Apr 10, 2010
This book delves into the research done regarding mystical experiences; the subjects were a group of Carmelite nuns. While I don't agree with the conclusions the book reaches, it makes for thought-provoking reading. The authors attempt to weave science and religion together but contrasting the materialist viewpoint ("the cosmos is all that ever was or ever will be" according to the late Carl Sagan) with neuroscientific findings that suggest that we are more than "computers made of meat".
It's good but a little preachy Dec 28, 2009
A lot of this is just opinion. I was hoping it would be more scientific since it's written by a doctor...
a book to have Dec 8, 2009
I was not sure if I would buy this book or not,but after buying it I see that it was a great gift to myself. There are a lot of interesting facts and scientific datas that are easily explained and the author have done a lot of homework before writing it. The narrator voice is clear and I felt confortable listening to him. It is a great book to add to your library
Disappointing Nov 28, 2009
The subtitle "A neuroscientist's case for the existence of a soul" is extremely misleading. They never actually make a case. They never advance a hypothesis at all. All they've done is to fMRI images of nuns' brains while they meditate.
There are 200 pages of, frankly childish, bashing of a scientific school of thought that claims that the mind emerges from the brain. It gets so juvenile that they suggest obliquely that this school of thought is responsible for nazism, the Khmer rouge, and other genocide.
They seem to reject not only that specific scientific school of thought, but the idea that logic apply in the advancement of understanding. They seem to sincerely believe that slagging a particular hypothesis provides of proof for another. They never once actually describe their own thinking on what a soul is, how it arrises, where it comes from, or anything else.
Any six year old with an MRI machine could have done their research.
The one redeeming feature of the book is that the accounts of spiritual experiences are compelling. They describe the subjective nature of these experiences, and how they appear to be universal to humanity. This is quit interesting. If only they had done something more with it.