Baha’is champion rationality and science as essential for human progress. The harmony of science and religion is one of the fundamental principles of the Baha’i Faith, which teaches that truth is one and that religion, without science, soon degenerates into superstition and fanaticism, while science without religion becomes merely the instrument of crude materialism.
“Neuroscience, Ethics and Religion: Moving Beyond Coexistence” is a panel discussion that was delivered by Gillian Hue, Karen Rommelfanger, Paul Root Wolpe and chaired by Tara Raam at the Association for Baha’i Studies Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) in August 2018. The panelists provide an introduction to neuro-ethics within the context of science and religion. The panelists share their thoughts on the diversity of learning among scientific disciplines, and how values affect scientific inquiry. They discuss how the methods and technologies of neuroscience address mental health, and the role religion might play in the discourse on mental health and suffering. To conclude, they answer questions from the audience about consciousness, justice and trauma, and about the nature of ethics.
Dr. Gillian Hue earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. In 2008, she completed her doctoral research in Neuroscience at Emory University. She is also Managing Editor at the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience.
Dr. Karen Rommelfanger is the Program Director of Emory University’s Neuroethics Program at the Center for Ethics and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University. Dr. Rommelfanger received her PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University.
Dr. Paul Root Wolpe is the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. Dr. Wolpe moved to Emory University in the summer of 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was on the faculty for over 20 years in the Departments of Psychiatry, Sociology, and Medical Ethics, and faculty in its Center for Bioethics.
Tara Raam grew up in California and graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience. She then abandoned the beach and purchased her first pair of winter boots in pursuit of a PhD in Neurobiology at Harvard, where she worked on the role of oxytocin signalling in the hippocampus during the formation of social memories under the mentorship of Dr. Amar Sahay.
This talk was filmed at the Association for Baha’i Studies Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in August 2018.
The Association for Baha’i Studies (ABS) promotes the advanced study of the Baha’i Faith and its application to the needs of humanity, it holds an annual conference and sponsors seminars and symposia, engaging participants from all over North America. It publishes a peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Baha’i Studies, occasional books and monographs, as well as other publications. It is also engaged in a number of initiatives to advance Baha’i studies among students and young adults and to stimulate broader interest in Baha’i studies.
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.