Scientists Reveal We’re All . . . Buddhists?

Wow. A spectacularly interesting article by David Brooks on two issues upon which I am largely uninformed: religion and neuroscience. In his article “Neural Buddhists”, Brooks posits that the arguments between scientists and the religious will not be the current spat over the existence of God. The argument will pit advocates claiming scientific proof of the universal tendency of man toward a generalized spirituality and orthodox religious folks still claiming the need for their particular brand of religious worship. Brooks states that in the future the holy writings and practices of all major world religions may just be defined as “cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits.”

Science is increasingly able to study and identify the physical evidence of moral and ethical transcendence in humans, which in its distilled essence looks more like the ethical underpinnings of Buddhism than anything else. Brooks predicts a future where science actually argues on behalf of the mysticism of universal love, leaving current believers of orthodox religious practices to argue that they aren’t some sort of Model T Ford and have value as a way to experience the infinite.

I guess. As a lapsed Episcopalian who took history and sociology of of science courses to get out of my college science requirement, I’m guessing this is what Brooks means. So break out the prayer flags and chant om, we’re all Buddhists now (or not.)


One thought on “Scientists Reveal We’re All . . . Buddhists?

  1. man. a movement toward the idea that the overwhelming moments of clarity – looking down from a height on a scene of great beauty and feeling connected on infinite points to something larger – is not sensory silliness but fundamental recognition?

    it also is a gentle way of pointing toward the great tragedy – with elements of dark comedy – of our existence: all the established religions are part of a quest toward an overwhelmingly powerful, beyond our ken, intensely loving, intensely forgiving creator, whether you see that creator as personal and conscious or part of the natural whole – yet our history is one long tale of staggering intolerance and emotional and physical violence, from one culture to another, toward anyone who sees that quest in a slightly different way, when the quest itself ought to involve nothing but humility. different vehicles on route to a truth that will always involve peace, compassion and love? if we can stop killing each other long enough, it’s worth thinking about.



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