スピリチュアリティと科学的研究 : 脳内のセロトニン受容体結合力を中心に [in Japanese] Spirituality and Scientific Research : The Effect of Serotonin 5-HT_<1A> Receptor on Spirituality and Depression [in Japanese]
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The purpose of this article is to discuss the relationship between scientific research and spirituality. Thus far, many epidemiological researchers have studied the positive effects of spirituality on depression. Borg et al. showed a negative association between inter-individual variability of serotonin 5-HT_<1A> receptor binding potential and spiritual acceptance, whereas Karlson et al. reported no association between them. Although the 5-HT_<1A> receptor plays a crucial role in major depression, neither of these studies showed a positive association between the 5-HT_<1A> receptor binding potential and spiritual acceptance. Thus, both these studies deny the possibility that the 5-HT_<1A> receptor may be a confounding factor connecting spirituality and depression. Generally, there are two different negative attitudes to such researches: some think that spirituality is a mystical and non-scientific concept, which is inappropriate for medical research, while others believe that the transcendent(i.e., God) cannot be examined by scientific methods. Our stance depends on neither of these attitudes, but if spirituality does in fact influence our health, we should confirm whether biological research on spirituality is possible because spiritual experiences have a close association with our brain. This viewpoint may resonate with the theological perspective of imago Dei, wherein the human being as a whole is believed to be the bearer of the divine image in a spiritual as well as in a physical dimension. The effects of spirituality on health are open to scientific research. The purpose of introducing the concept of spirituality to medical science is to reject the reductionist view of human beings and to consider each individual as a whole.
- Annals of the Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine
Annals of the Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine 29(0), 15-25, 2011
Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Reseaerches in Medicine