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

Good Faith

By Russ Gerber on April 22, 2015 in Our Health
Materialism or spirituality? Which way should you go? Which way can you count on?

A Dream of Decapitation

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Couch and Stage
Two drama therapists discuss a dream about a beheading and an attempt to restore life. In doing so, they recount two mythological stories, one about the Golem of Prague and the other about a simple journey home. Through their dialogue they seek to understand the meaning of healing.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Language in the Mind
What accounts for the hullabaloo surrounding the publication of The Language Myth. Is Chomskyan linguistics a form of intellectual fundamentalism? And is language science in the throes of a paradigm shift? It's certainly beginning to look that way!

Alien Landing in Sindelfingen

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 19, 2015 in One Among Many
Imagine a world in which “learning” is easy. Believe anything! Such a world exists. It was recently put on display in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Moral Motivation and God's Rewards

What humans' moral intuitions suggest about the relative merits of religious versus secular accounts of moral motivation.

3 Simple Steps to Control Anger and Frustration with Others

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on April 19, 2015 in Living Forward
The majority of anger and frustration in life, no matter what the situation, has at it’s basis one simple thought….It shouldn’t be this way. Learn what to do when other people don't play by our rules.

We’ve Been Warned!

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on April 19, 2015 in Time Out
The precursors of group violence, terrorism and even genocide have been identified. Despite extreme cultural and religious differences between the terrorist of Oklahoma City and 9/11 - they emerged from ideologically similar muck that continues to produce horrific mass murderers internationally. We hate to face it, but we must.

Will You Be Openly Secular?

By David Niose on April 19, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Openly Secular Day aims to encourage nonbelievers to be open about their personal secularity.

What Causes You Inner Turmoil?

Being in heated conflict not with others but with yourself can—let’s face it—be agonizing. To be split down the middle, to endlessly waver between two (and sometimes more) options, can at its worst be almost unimaginably distressing. Obsessive to an extreme, it can lead to a paralysis of will (not to mention, much lost sleep). . . .

Bethlehem: A Subjective Travelogue

My love of the capacity of the human spirit to transcend all odds soared as I munched on a traditional oven-baked lamb dish. Across from me sat one of Holy Land Trust’s core team members, telling me bits of his story of opening up to the vision that fuels the organization. As hard as it was to be there, it was also a tiny slice of what’s humanly possible.

God, Humans, and the 20th Century

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in The Secular Life
More humans died from diarrhea than all genocides combined.

The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Neuroscientists often quote Emily Dickinson's poem that begins, "The brain is wider than the sky," in support of their view that the mind is nothing but the brain. But they interpret the poem too narrowly, and miss its deeper meaning. Her poetry can teach us about the brain and mind, in ways that neuroscience can't.

Empathy

How do we come by what's morally right or wrong?

Finding Home with Jesse Malin

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Jesse Malin shares how he has used music and creativity to create community.

Why Your Next Vacation Should Be Nowhere

By Gregory Ciotti on April 14, 2015 in Habits, Not Hacks
The value of stillness.

Tired of Being 'Stuck' in Your Relationship?

There is an art to creating and embracing change so you can reinvigorate your relationship.

Loving the Process Means Everything for Creativity

By Gregory Ciotti on April 13, 2015 in Habits, Not Hacks
Artists must enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.

Heisenberg Capacitor

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in One Among Many
Here’s Part III of my effort to strike a blow for hedonism by nullifying Nozick’s experience machine. Reality as it is is good enough. Enjoy it.

5 Questions We Often Ask Ourselves After Microaggressions

Society’s awareness of microaggressions and its many expressions have increased over the past few years. The internal dialogues and psychological struggles that microaggressions cause marginalized people, however, are rarely discussed and remain largely “Unseen and Unheard” by the general public. I hope this helps.

Putting Music to the Words

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Talking Apes
In animal communication systems, you can have either syntax or semantics. Human language, however, integrates the two. As a result, our range of expression is almost limitless.

When a Sociopath Is Hell Bent on Destroying You

By Carrie Barron M.D. on April 13, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Sociopaths (anti-social personality, psychopath) can decimate a life. The mental, emotional or physical trauma can be stunning. The aftermath of sociopathic is unique because the assault instills a dim world view, a shaky sense of safety and a feeling that one has been visited by evil. Here are 16 points of focus to begin recovery.

Do Most People Fit in Liberal and Conservative Boxes?

With so much talk of liberals and conservatives, it's tempting to think the labels really do capture public opinion. But it's not so simple, not even close.

12 Keystone Principles That Bolster Resilience

These 12 keystone principles will increase your resilience and help you stay brave in the face of adversity.

The Experience Machine Reloaded

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in One Among Many
In a famous thought experiment, philosopher Robert Nozick tried to refute hedonism, or the idea that pleasure is the best and pain is the worst. But not so fast, please.

Why Stress Rules Our Lives

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why today's adults feel more stress than did their predecessors -- and the lessons that we might learn from the past to better cope with our life stresses.

Business As Unusual

Bring it or blow it. Can you stand the feeling of intimacy and closeness in a new business relationship? Does this throw you off your game and make you back off, or blow it? In this entry we address how it is that irrelationship can trigger old, and familiar anxieties, kick up old song-and-dance routines, and ultimately, cause you to fail in your entrepreneurial efforts.

Dying Well Means Dying At Home

By Allen J Frances M.D. on April 11, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
There is no worse death than a hospital death. Dying well means dying at home. This requires preparation and preparation requires recognizing that dying is a necessary, and indeed desirable, part of life. Preparing for a good death may be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life.

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

By Peter Gray on April 11, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been giving their children some of the same freedom that they themselves enjoyed as children, in a world that is safer than the one in which they grew up. As a consequence, they have been visited by police, and the county Child Protective Services have threatened to take their children away. Here is my interview with Danielle.

Smiling at Fear

I’m remembering the words of Swami Satchidananda , who was fond of saying that we can’t stop the waves from coming, but we can learn to surf. Hang ten!

Starbucks "Race Together Campaign"

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 10, 2015 in Minority Report
What happens when Starbucks unveils a campaign to encourage conversations about race and culture? A Starbucks executive didn't receive the memo and makes his own racist comments to a Chinese-American at a Seattle store.