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Law and NeuroscienceCurrent Legal Issues Volume 13$
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Michael Freeman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.001.0001

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Neuroscience and the Free Exercise of Religion

Neuroscience and the Free Exercise of Religion

(p.449) 24 Neuroscience and the Free Exercise of Religion
Law and Neuroscience

Steven Goldberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on religion. Would respect for religious belief erode if religion came to be seen as merely a byproduct of biology and, not a very attractive byproduct? But, for two reasons neuroscience is not likely to undermine the social and legal status of religion. First, because of the philosophical hurdles that need to be surmounted — upon which there is hardly a beginning. And, recently, because the challenges are not new — they can be traced back 100 years or more — and have had little or no impact. But this is only ‘half the story’. Neuroscience plays a role in law and religion disputes in courts, for example where parents object to medicine for their children on religious grounds.

Keywords:   religious belief, neuroscience, law, religious disuputes

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