Scientists are testing new magnets–that can alter a person’s brain chemistry to make him or her more liberal, and less likely to believe in God.
Volunteers for the study had their brains hit by large magnets as part of the experiment, and answered survey questions about political and religious stances both before and after the “treatment.”
The scientists announced their findings: that, after the magnetic treatment, belief in God was “reduced by almost a third,” and that on liberal social issues, like immigration, “participants became 28.5 percent less bother.”
One of the researchers, Dr. Keise Izuma at the University of York, explained, “People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems…
He added: “We wanted to find out whether a brain region that is linked with solving concrete problems, like deciding how to move one’s body to overcome an obstacle, is also involved in solving abstract problems addressed by ideology.”
Izuma explained that, after treatment, people were “less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas despite having been reminded of death” and had a “negative, less ideologically motivated reaction.”
The study isn’t officially designed to change people’s views, but rather to explore new treatments for depression.
However, the idea that a magnet can change deep-seated beliefs–including beliefs about religion–could have dire and widespread repercussions for society moving forward.