Gary Gutting, New York Times: Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and prominent “new atheist,” who along with others like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens helped put criticism of religion at the forefront of public debate in recent years. In two previous books, “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation,” Harris argued that theistic religion has no place in a world of science. In his latest book, “Waking Up,” his thought takes a new direction. While still rejecting theism, Harris nonetheless makes a case for the value of “spirituality,” which he bases on his experiences in meditation. I interviewed …
I remember the day I realized I was an atheist. I was sitting on an S-Bahn in Stuttgart, reading Richard Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker for the second time – this time paying more attention. I finally came to know that for my purposes there was no credible need to believe in the god I had been raised to worship. The ties were already very loose by then. Dawkins just helped me to be honest with myself.
There has always been some kind of searching going on in my life (if you are reading this blog then there is no need to explain that idea). I had tried out Buddhist meditation a few years previously and … Read more »
Reuters: Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns boost their brain power through meditation and prayer, but even atheists can enjoy the mental benefits that believers derive from faith, according to a popular neuroscience author.
The key, Andrew Newberg argues in his new book “How God Changes Your Brain,” lies in the concentrating and calming effects that meditation or intense prayer have inside our heads.
Brain scanners show that intense meditation alters our gray matter, strengthening regions that focus the mind and foster compassion while calming those linked to fear and anger.
Whether the meditator believes in the supernatural or is an atheist repeating a mantra, he says, the outcome can be the same – a growth … Read more »