NCBI ROFL: Atheism: Solved.

By ncbi rofl | December 7, 2009 4:00 pm

Genospirituality: genetic engineering for spiritual and religious enhancement.

“The most frequently discussed role for genetic engineering is in relation to medicine, and a second area which provokes discussion is the use of genetic engineering as an enhancement technology. But one neglected area is the potential use of genetic engineering to increase human spiritual and religious experience – or genospirituality. If technologies are devised which can conveniently and safely engineer genes causal of spiritual and religious behaviours, then people may become able to choose their degree of religiosity or spiritual sensitivity. For instance, it may become possible to increase the likelihood of direct religious experience – i.e. ‘revelation’: the subjective experience of communication from the deity. Or, people may be able to engineer ‘animistic’ thinking, a mode of cognition in which the significant features of the world – such as large animals, trees, distinctive landscape features – are regarded as sentient and intentional beings; so that the individual experiences a personal relationship with the world. Another potentially popular spiritual ability would probably be shamanism; in which states of altered consciousness (e.g. trances, delirium or dreams) are induced and the shaman may undergo the experience of transformations, ‘soul journeys’ and contact with a spirit realm. Ideally, shamanistic consciousness could be modulated such that trances were self-induced only when wanted and when it was safe and convenient; and then switched-off again completely when full alertness and concentration are necessary. It seems likely that there will be trade-offs for increased spirituality; such as people becoming less ‘driven’ to seek status and monetary rewards – as a result of being more spiritually fulfilled people might work less hard and take more leisure. On the other hand, it is also possible that highly moral, altruistic, peaceable and principled behaviours might become more prevalent; and the energy and joyousness of the best churches might spread and be strengthened. Overall, genospirituality would probably be used by people who were unable to have the kind of spiritual or religious experiences which they wanted (or perhaps even needed) in order to lead the kind of life to which they aspired.”

Thanks to Bruce for today’s ROFL!

  • Anonymous

    I truly and earnestly hope that this was an ironic article…?

  • Anonymous

    Considering that is was published in Medical Hypotheses, aka the crackpot journal, I am afraid it wasn't.

  • eyeawry

    Atheism: THERE I FIXED IT.

  • Anonymous

    Considering that there were not paragraphs, I am afraid it wasn't.

    Thinking people pause for breath.

  • david.atillo

    At least engineering people into spirituality makes a change from atheists trying to argue people out of it. Got to have balance in your bizarre causes I guess.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn't artificially increasing spirituality be the same as creating a fake spirituality in someone? Almost as if cheating.

    It seems to me that it would be wrong to physically "inject" your beliefs into someone. the person has no choice. As if being held at gunpoint and being told to believe in something.

  • Deray

    Brain-washing in one simple injection!

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn't legalising drugs do the same, and cheaper, and at will?

  • Anonymous

    necromancers of the Riddick universe?

  • David Jackson

    Mutating or deleting genes associated with rational deductive thought would probably be a more effective path to getting atheists to believe in a god. Moreover, one problem with the article is that it assumes that atheists are not spiritual. I would pose that an honest sense of spirituality is an important path to atheism.

  • Anonymous

    this wouldn't brain wash people, or give them new beliefes, it would only give them new experiences that they would proceed to interpert as they saw fit

  • Bob Shier

    I’ve always thought that atheism was the solution to start with.


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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