• IS ANXIETY A SUFFICIENT INDICATOR OF LYING? WHAT ABOUT THE LYING BRAIN?

    Traditional and common beliefs held, and for long, that the external signs of anxiety are reliable indicators of a person's truthfulness or deceitfulness. However, our common experiences have shown that this is not always the case. There are, indeed, people who can tell lies without showing any external signs of anxiety. It is quite simple; when lying becomes a currently repeated action, the signs of anxiety would not be triggered any more. So, would it be wise to, always, refer to external signs as mere reliable sources of information? Shouldn't this trigger us to learn more about the components of our brain and see its different fuctions from breathing, speech and movement to moral reasoning and free-will? A scientist in biological pyscology (I forgot his name) stated that a truthful answer is automatic, but a deceitful one requires always something more; a double effort to proveit.Magnetic resonance imaging techniques, called as lie detectors, which we have been introduced to lately, have indicated that 'the act of lying triggers activities in the brain that sends blood to the prefrontal cortex (the area behind the forhead,or called as the forelock), which controls several psychological processes, and is labelled as the center of decision-making and moral reasoning.The prefrontal cortex or forelock is called in Qur'anic terminology as the 'Nasiya',and it has been refered to in Qur'an as the area of lies and moral reasoning and there are many verses in Qur'an refering to this area of the brain. For this reason, I will cite the surah of al Alaq, one of the Meccan verses which are short but are embedded with numerous scientific data pushing more to logical reasoning about faith. God says in this Surah:

    "...No, indeed Man trangresses, as he sees himself as self-sufficient. Indeed, to your lord is the return. Have you seen the one who forbids a servant when he prays? Have you seen if he is upon guidance and enjoins righteousness? Have you seen if he denies (the truth) and turns away? Does he not know that God sees? No, if he does not desist, We will, surely, drag him by the forelock.A lying, sinning, forelock.Let him call his associates, We will call the angels of Hell. No, do not obey him, but prostrate, and draw near (to God)."

    God refers in this part of the Surah to the well known personality of Abu Jahl, one of the unbelievers and oppressors of Muslim communities during the beginning of the call to Islam in Mecca. So, these verses have been revealed as a response to his corrupted and sinful character. What is striking in this Surah is that God refers to the forelock of this person as a lying and sinful one, which triggers the question: why does God refer to the forelock and not to the person himself as sining and lying? Most traditional commentators of Qur'an have stated that the forelock is metaphore of the person himself. However, with the advent of modern biological pyscology it has been stated that the forelock (Nasiya) or as they call "the prefrontal cortex" is an area of the brain which is responsible for most of our psycological responses, decision-making and moral reasoning (sinning forelock). Look, Qur'anicterms are simple and clear: a lying, sinning forelock, which means that this part of the brain is the one responsible for lies-telling, and moral reasoning.

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