In an experiment funded by the U.S. government,
researchers at Oxford University will attempt to find out if belief in christianity and other patriarchal religions is effective in relieving pain.
Numerous doctors; neurologists, and other medical
specialists, as well as those from related fields,
and christian leaders will examine these religious
beliefs to see if they are merely placebos.
Researchers will be using imaging systems to look
into religious dogma, such as the biblical belief
of white christian racial superiority.
Researchers believe that this study will provide
deeper insights into the war on terrorism.
Oxford University, which has received $2 million U.S.
to conduct this two-year study, will use dozens of
people for many painful experiments in the University
In addition to having to endure the pain, the test
subjects will have to wear religious symbols, such
as crucifix's, etc.
The neurological responses of the guinea pigs will
be measured and recorded, which will help the
researchers to see if their religious beliefs will
help them to cope with the experiments.
Dr. Toby Collins, who will be directing the
experiments, has a background in marine biology
and the nervous systems of invertebrates.
Dr. Collins says that the purpose of the
experiments is to create and develop new and
practical applications for promoting individual
"Many people," said Collins, "who are in pain
turn to religious beliefs for relief from pain."
Dr. Collins said the researchers will use "simulated"
methods of burning and that these methods would be conducted according to strict ethical rules.
Dr. Collins also said that these "simulated" burns
will determine whether the test subjects can
regulate and reduce their levels of pain.
John Stein, a neuroscientist from Oxford University's physiology department, says that pain has been central to all of the problems that religious thinkers have pondered on, and religious people differ widely in
relation to the pain they feel.
"What this research will do will be to correlate
their pain in relation to their religious beliefs,"
This study is considered to be vitally important in the post-9/11 world, in relation to understanding international terrorism.
The researchers hope to obtain a better under-
standing of the physiology of religious belief, and
the conditioning upon the human mind.
This research is considered to be crucial for the
development of counter-terrorist strategies for
the 21st century.