Texas Faith: Do we put too much emphasis on the brain to explain human behaviors?

Dr. Mike Ghouse   May 9, 2013   Comments Off on Texas Faith: Do we put too much emphasis on the brain to explain human behaviors?

The social scientists have a greater role to play in completing the transaction of human behavior to separate the genuine conflicts from imagined ones to keep societal equilibrium. The new conflicts are a product of people of different faiths, cultures and races, working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together. Even with minimal interactions we have at this time, it is generating conflicts between those who believe their path alone brings salvation and those who believe in other avenues. 


  Texas Faith:  Do we put too much emphasis on the brain to explain human behaviors?

  

 

| Dallas Morning News | Published on May 7,  2013Do we put too much emphasis on the brain?

That thought came to me after reading a recent New York Times piece that questioned whether kidswho are being diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may simply suffer from loss of sleep. Wrote Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University’s School of Medicine:
“I don’t doubt that many people do, in fact, have A.D.H.D.; I regularly diagnose and treat it in adults. But what if a substantial proportion of cases are really sleep orders in disguise?”
Don’t get me wrong. I am fascinated by how much more we know about the brain’s influence over our behaviors. Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman of the Center of BrainHealth at University of Texas at Dallas. She talked about how the brain’s development affects early learning. You can read more about her thoughts at this link.
Still, I have wondered whether the science of brain chemistry has risen to such a place that we may overlook other reasons for behavior. That includes whether the old-fashioned notion of sin could perhaps also explain the actions people take. Could it be that man’s rebellion against God is driving people to act the way they do as much as any influence their brain has on their actions?
We can never quantify the reasons for actions, but I would like to hear your thoughts about this issue: Are we relying too much on the science of the brain to explain human behaviors?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas, and Speaker on interfaith matters, diversity and pluralism

When our universe came in to existence, two major components were its outcome; matter and life. Matter, comprising the sun, planets, moon, and everything else in the universe was programmed to maintain its own equilibrium, and doing precisely what they were scheduled to do. As humans, we were not set on a fixed program, but are equipped with a brain to freely guide us to find our own dynamic balance.
When we go off the balance, we consciously or instinctively make attempts to regain that elusive balance, failure to do so will result in a variety of pleasant and unpleasant actions that we may enjoy and or painfully endure. For guidance, we reach out to the stocked shelf and grab elements of religion like forgiveness, repentance, prayers, meditation and a variety of prescriptions to reboot our system.
Are we relying too much on the science of the brain to explain human behaviors?
Not at all, we are still at a nascent stage of exploring all that our brain does reflexively by the deficiency or excess of the chemicals. The more we identify the elements the greater chances we have of mitigating the nature of our being. Thanks to the insights unearthed in the interview with Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman. It gives a lot of hope.
However, a greater part of our behavior is nurtured by the social aspect of the environment, including what transpires in the developmental stage of our lives and as a member of the society at large. The founding fathers of human behavior like Freud, Jung and others were successful in identifying the behavioral issues stemming from nurture.
And now the social scientists have a greater role to play in completing the transaction of human behavior to separate the genuine conflicts from imagined ones to keep societal equilibrium. The new conflicts are a product of people of different faiths, cultures and races, working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together. Even with minimal interactions we have at this time, it is generating conflicts between those who believe their path alone brings salvation and those who believe in other avenues.
Pluralism is the upcoming social supplement for salvation. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge for cohesive and functional societies.

………..

To see all the other responses, at Dallas Morning News at: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/texas-faith-do-we-put-too-much-emphasis-on-the-brain-to-explain-human-behaviors.html/

….Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel,India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive Americaand offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest onSean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly atHuffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal sitewww.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.

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