Oxford's new Centre for the Science of the Mind is to use imaging systems to find out how religious, spiritual and other belief systems, such as an illogical belief in the innate superiority of men, influence consciousness.
Researchers believe the study will provide insights into the war on terrorism.
A central aspect of the two-year study, which has $US2 million ($2.65 million) funding from the US philanthropic group the John Templeton Foundation, will involve dozens of people being subjected to painful experiments in laboratory conditions.
While enduring the agony, they will be exposed to religious symbols such as images of the Virgin Mary or a crucifix.
Their neurological responses will be measured to determine the efficacy of their faith in helping them to cope.
The aim is to develop new and practical approaches "for promoting wellbeing and ultimately maximising individual human potential".
The pain experiments will be conducted under the direction of researcher Toby Collins, who has a background in marine biology and the nerve systems of invertebrates. He said many people in pain turned to faith for relief.
Dr Collins said the experiments would involve non-invasive simulation of burns and would be conducted according to strict ethical rules. As they suffer, the human guinea pigs will be asked to access a belief system, whether religious or otherwise.
"We will simulate a burn sensation to see how people, through distraction or by accessing different strategies, can modulate and reduce the levels of pain," he said.
A neuroscientist from Oxford's physiology department, John Stein, said: "Pain has been central to a lot of problems that religious and other thinkers have concentrated on."
Professor Stein said people differed widely in the extent to which they felt pain. "What we want to do is correlate that with their underlying beliefs."
The study is considered of vital importance in the present world climate, given the role of religious fundamentalism in international terrorism.
A better understanding of the physiology of belief, the conditions that entrench it in the mind and its usefulness in mitigating pain, could be crucial to developing counter-terrorist strategies for the future. - The Times in London
In the article it stated that, ďWhile enduring the agony, they will be exposed to religious symbols such as images of the Virgin Mary or a crucifixĒ Those are Roman CATHOLIC images of worship are they not? It was also stated in the article that, ďA better understanding of the physiology of belief, the conditions that entrench it in the mind and its usefulness in mitigating pain could be crucial to developing counter-terrorist strategies for the futureĒ
Did you catch that? Itís easy to miss, so I will try to explain. One minute they are speaking of using torture on religious people so as to see if they will have any problems torturing them. Will their God help them? Then the next minute they admit it will be used on what they define as TERRORISTS! They are openly stating in this article that they will be using torture on what they have just defined in that article as CHRISTIAN TERRORISTS!
One other thing I did appreciate here is the sheer stupidity of the powers that be. Besides the fact that we, as Remnant Christians know "...Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." We also know a crucifix and a statue of Mary are in no way something we consider godly in any way shape or form. Do they actually think God Almighty is going to play along with their ridiculous plans? Think about that simple fact for a moment. Do they THINK God is a puppet or something? Do they think they can sneak a Christian volunteer into their lab torture chamber, inflict torture to them, and then ask them to ask their God for strength so they can find a better way to bypass Godís protection? As if God didnít see them walking into the lab in the first place to test Him? A TRUE Christian would never put the Lord the God to a foolish test, and most assuredly they would never help teach an evil government on how to get around God. As if that was possible to do anyway! The people they are bringing in those labs are NOT Christians. Christians simply donít do that! They are CATHOLICS theyíre bringing into that lab! The fact they are using Catholic images proves this. Only a Catholic would be moved by those idols. The reality here is they have actually solicited the help of Roman Catholics to try and figure out how to attack Godís people! Strange as it may seem that appears to be the case here.