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

How the Media Influences Us...Perhaps Without Our Awareness

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 20, 2017 in How To Do Life
We explore using an example: the play, The Book of Mormon.

Yoga Beyond an Exercise Class

Yoga affords significant physical and emotional benefits: is it possible that most participants may only see the tip of the iceberg from this powerful practice?

Psychiatric Treatment as Religious Experience

Like all religions, psychiatry's aim is social control and the explanation of deviant and socially undesirable human behavior.
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Why We Hate People Who Disagree

By Mark Alicke Ph.D. on August 13, 2017 in Why We Blame
Can we like people who disagree with us?

The History of the White Wedding

By Neel Burton M.D. on August 12, 2017 in Hide and Seek
How weddings became so formal, and so lavish.

Two Parallel Events Together Send a Message to You

Conjunctions of Meaningfully Parallel Events (CMPEs) is a coincidence type that provides highly useful messages to those who learn how to use them.

When the Church Harms Your Child

How do families survive clergy child sexual abuse?

Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Bible

By Neel Burton M.D. on August 09, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Many traditional attitudes have come down from the Bible. What is their basis?

False Is the New True—Part 2

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on August 08, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
Humans have never really like the truth, simply because it is almost always inconvenient. So, what's different now about blizzard of lies we experience everyday? Backsliding.
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The 3 Most Dangerous Topics in Relationships

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on August 04, 2017 in Fixing Families
Sex, money, and kids—the three power issues in relationships, the ones that cause power struggles and acting out. How to navigate them and use them to help you define your needs.

Does Science Really Say There’s No Purpose to Life?

Many scientists see humanity as just a cosmic accident. But in a recent journal article, I describe a natural process that could have endowed humanity with an ultimate purpose.

What Keeps Partners From Cheating?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on August 04, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Infidelity generally leads to pain and suffering for all involved, and is the most common factor in divorce. How do we resist temptation, making it more likely we'll stay together?

Chewing on the Twizzler Coincidence

Out of the mundane discover of a package of Twizzlers comes a meaning loaded sequence that challenges the materialist view of how the world works.

Why Religions Support Elites

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 02, 2017 in The Human Beast
Pope Francis acts out the humility preached by Christian ascetics for two millennia. Yet, he owns what is probably the most valuable art collection in the world.

Navigating Abuse by the Clergy - Part 2.

Discover how the clergy can play an important role in helping survivors and victims of abuse to heal.

Science and Religion: Compatible or Not?

Is there a worldview that would satisfy our psychological cravings for religion, without requiring us to sacrifice any dedication to science? There probably is, so stay tuned.

Mourning a Young Life

I went to a funeral this weekend for a woman whose bright life ended far too soon. As I sat there, steeped in grief, I reflected again, anew, on how religion is dance.

The History and Psychology of the Orgy

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 29, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Orgies gave people a much-needed break.

Do We, as Americans, Worship God?

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on July 27, 2017 in The Secular Life
Most Americans believe in God. But many don't — and their numbers are growing.

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.