Presenter Information

Shaun SmithFollow


Liberty University

Start Date

30-4-2014 1:00 PM


This paper was presented at the 2014 Liberty University Graduate Research Symposium.


Apr 30th, 1:00 PM

N, N-Dimethyltryptamine and Biological Reductive Accounts for Religious and Spiritual Experiences

Liberty University

There is unquestionably a plethora of details and mysteries regarding the mind and the body. However, with the advent of psychopharmacology (the study of how psychedelics inform or alter brain states), there are more issues at hand. Do psychedelics allow us to access deeper areas of our consciousness? Are we having a spiritual experience under the influence of psychedelics? Dr. Rick Strassman does not want to continue asking these rather conspiratorial-like questions. Instead, Dr. Strassman believes that there is one special, endogenous psychedelic, synthesized within the human physiological framework: N, N-Dymthethyltryptamine. Dr. Strassman concludes that this chemical is produced within and around the pineal gland, and is often the catalyst for spiritual and religious experiences. I will explore this topic further under the framework of discovering whether a naturalistic type explanation of spiritual experiences accounts for all types of spiritual experiences and whether one may be rational or justified in believing in God if a naturalist could explain spiritual experiences.