Recently, there was a press release about a study that showed twelve Catholics, as compared to twelve atheists, felt less pain as they received electric shocks while looking at a religious picture. I wonder why they switched from their original plan to electric shock.
They spent half an hour inside an MRI scanner, receiving a series of 20 electric shocks in four separate sessions while looking at either the religious or non-religious picture.
The Catholics said that looking at the painting of the Virgin Mary made them feel 'safe', 'taken care of' and 'calmed down and peaceful'.
More significantly, they reported feeling 12 per cent less pain after viewing the religious image than after looking at the Leonardo.
The front right-hand side of their brains lit up on the scanner, indicating that the neural mechanisms of pain modulation had been engaged.
There was no such brain activity among the atheists, whose pain and anxiety levels stayed roughly the same throughout the experiment.
Make sure you know who the Catholics are so you know who to get behind when you hear the cop yell, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" No doubt they will be 'taken care of'.
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