Understanding Religion

Though we can't prove the existence of one (or many) god(s), we can provide evidence for the power of religion. For good or for evil, faith factors into our everyday functioning: We've evolved to believe. Religion can help us make sense of our world, provide motivation, and bind us together. Nevertheless, structured belief has its drawbacks. So keep your mind open when dealing with dogma.

Recent posts on Religion

Besides Religion, Immutable Nature Is Key to Civil Rights

Confusing "immutable nature" with "lifestyle choices" leads to disrespect, oppression, and "slippery slopes."

If You Got It, Think Hard About Flaunting It

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on July 21, 2017 in Pop Psych
To what extent does promiscuity drive attitudes towards homosexuality?

Religion, Secularism, and Homophobia

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on July 21, 2017 in The Secular Life
Millennials are the least homophobic Americans, and also the least religious.

Real Reasons for Sex Before Marriage

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 19, 2017 in The Human Beast
More people today are sexually active before marriage than ever before. The true reasons are practical and have little to do with changing belief systems.

In Kindness Will I Speak

In due season will I speak, not out of season. In truth will I speak, not in falsehood...

Just to Be Safe, Should You Believe in God?

By David Niose on July 16, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Religious doctrines disagree about who gets eternal bliss. Could it be the atheists?

Option B and Option Buddha—Sheryl Sandberg and Kisa Gotami

A review of Sandberg's Option B, and some lessons from Buddhism about grief and mortality.

Navigating Abuse by the Clergy—Part One

Oftentimes, abuse inflicted upon victims by clergy occurs within a context that is religious and is supposed to be safe.

Am I an Illusion?

Is mindfulness the religion of atheists?

Matter- but Not Mind-blind—and Vice Versa

A pioneering study shows mentalism to vary inversely with mechanistic cognition as predicted by the diametric model.

Sacred Values and You

Motherhood and death have psychological power over you because they’re sacred. You can’t question them.
Manu Praba / Wikipedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Be(lie)ve It or Not: Part One

Is belief a psychological condition? Why do we believe what we believe? What does belief mean? Is it many things?

Are We Really Made of Stardust?

We are connected, one to another, in every imaginable way.

The Question of Contact

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Plato on Pop
Can personal experience ever be used to justifiably override scientific evidence or argument?

Gender Fluidity in the Gods

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 09, 2017 in Hide and Seek
And what it might mean.

Trump and Putin Do a Scene from a TV Series at G20 Summit

Artists unknowingly predict and sometimes create the future through their work. These coincidences point to a greater mind of which we are all a part.

Why the Five Stages of Grief Are Wrong

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on July 07, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Despite our society’s widespread belief that grief proceeds in five simple stages, research shows that this isn’t the case. So what is true?

Open Message to the West on Canada Day

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on July 01, 2017 in Homo Consumericus
Prospective immigrants must fully adopt the foundational values of their host nations and never the other way around. Immigration is a privilege. Protect free societies.

Reincarnation Research: Just a Coincidence?

Children ages 2-3 sometimes report details of the past lives of other people, claiming to have been that person.

How Do We Handle Religion in Mental Health Settings?

By Jean Kim M.D. on June 27, 2017 in Culture Shrink
What is the best way to handle a client's religious views if they differ from your own?

A Short History of Love

By Neel Burton M.D. on June 23, 2017 in Hide and Seek
How love became the new religion.

Beliefs: Twelve Myths You'll Be Relieved to Debunk

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 20, 2017 in Ambigamy
Getting realistic about beliefs can go a long way toward peace of mind and better decision-making.

Why Does the Religious Right Hate Your Birth Control?

By Marty Klein PhD on June 19, 2017 in Sexual Intelligence
Scripture doesn't mention birth control. So why are many religious people against it—for you?

When Spirituality and Sexuality Clash

Are sexuality and spirituality naturally antagonistic? Recent research suggests that sexual thoughts can weaken spiritual motivations. Can the two be reconciled?

Getting Straight About Love and Hate

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 16, 2017 in Ambigamy
We say we have love, not hate, in our hearts. It's not that simple.

Comedy as Church

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 15, 2017 in Ambigamy
Comedy, like art or religion can be a chance for us to commune together in our unrequitable quest for relief from the messiness of life.

Atheist in Appalachia

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on June 14, 2017 in The Secular Life
What's it like being secular in the Bible Belt?

A Possible Sign from God That He (It) Exists

By Izzy Kalman on June 14, 2017 in Resilience to Bullying
Could it be that a familiar cosmic illusion considered by scientists to be a pure coincidence is actually a clever sign from God to mankind that He exists?

Pope Francis, Conservation Psychology, Science, and Earth

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 13, 2017 in Animal Emotions
The Pope's encyclical letter on care for our common home has many very important ideas that are closely related to conservation psychology, anthrozoology, and the role of science.

What Would Gandhi Do About Trump?

The science of wisdom can help us deal with turbulent political times!