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

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Faith in miracles shouldn’t be mistaken as a sign of mental illness. It diminishes giving meaning to life, particularly when life is threatened.

The Psychology of Religion

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on December 14, 2017 in The Pursuit of Peace
What explains why some individuals are more religious than others? Scientists interested in the psychology of religion seek answers.

Study: Measuring Aspects of Religious Experience Is Hard

By Art Markman Ph.D. on December 13, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
Religion is an important part of many people’s lives all over the world. How can we measure the dimensions of religions experience?

Study: "Pride Comes Before a Fall" Is Flawed in Two Ways

By Christopher Bergland on December 13, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Does pride really come before a fall? A quirky new study tackles this question from two seemingly unrelated angles.

'End Times' Beliefs Are Extreme, and Extremely Influential

By David Niose on December 12, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Should public policy be shaped to appease those who eagerly await the End Times?

Will Baby Boomers Ever Find Religion?

By Lawrence R Samuel Ph.D. on December 09, 2017 in Boomers 3.0
For a good number of boomers, finding a little or a lot more faith is a kind of coming full circle.

What's Wrong With This Religious Wedding?

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on December 07, 2017 in Am I Right?
Getting married in a religious ceremony when couples don't really believe can create serious problems, for the couple and the religion.

Global Mental Health Challenges and Remedies in Chicago

By  Stevan Weine, M.D. on December 07, 2017 in Cafes Around the World
Are there global mental health problems in our university's backyard?

Bayes Odyssey

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in One Among Many
Some of the pioneers of statistics were deeply religious. Little seems to have changed.

Could Morality Have a Transcendent Evolved Purpose?

Evolutionary theory can explain morality in terms of survival and reproduction. Could it also explain morality in terms of some larger purpose?
J. Krueger

The Kingdom of Bayes

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in One Among Many
Will there be a second coming of the Reverend, or is the Bayesian revolution a matter of rhetoric? Consider some eschatological perspectives.

Does Science Require a Leap of Faith?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in Talking Apes
No one has ever changed their essential beliefs on the basis of rational arguments.

Wisdom From the World of Dance

By Kimerer LaMothe Ph.D. on November 30, 2017 in What a Body Knows
I offer a playful, very preliminary exploration of “wisdom” I have learned through the study of American modern dance and contemporary ballet.

Paradigms Lost

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on November 30, 2017 in Pura Vida
It is a common myth that the human species is somehow uniquely endowed, the center of the universe and the apple of god's eye. Reality is quite different, and much better.

Are Virtual Experiences Real?

By Jim Davies Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in The Science of Imagination
Can a virtual church on a computer give you feelings of spirituality? Our recent research explores this.

Roy Moore and Sexual Abuse of Young Women

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in The Human Beast
Conservative politicians seem compelled by a malicious elf to behave in ways that expose their rabid hypocrisies in public.

Child Sexual Abuse Declared an Epidemic

Child sexual abuse epidemic acknowledged by WHO.

Fighting for the Separation of Church and State

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on November 28, 2017 in The Secular Life
Secularism requires a strong wall between government and religion.

Synchronicity at Play

Analyzing coincidences includes looking at how they impact you in your life right then!

On the Virtue of Not Knowing

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on November 24, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
Dawkins's has said that religion teaches the false virtue of accepting our not understanding the world. Is he right?
rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

10 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays as an Interfaith Couple

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on November 19, 2017 in Off the Couch
If you need a flow chart to figure out where you’ll be on a given day during the holidays and to help you remember who celebrates what and when, these 10 ideas will help!

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

By Asa Don Brown Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Towards Recovery
Spanking a child is about the parent not the child. The child will learn more from positive correction than physical manipulation.

Testamentary Restraints on Marriage

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on November 16, 2017 in So Sue Me
Many parents have a lot to say about their children's love interests and relationship decisions. Some parents want to have the last word, even after they die.

A Farewell to Skepticism

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in One Among Many
Keep theological hypotheses out of science.

Roadblocks to Intimacy & Trust X: Breaking the Silence

I know of no relationship that improved without conversation.

What is Redemption After All?

It helps to be a little more found than lost.

Analyzing a Long Series of Dreams: A Conference Presentation

A new method of exploring the meaningful patterns in a long series of dreams can shed light on personal relationships, emotional concerns, cultural activities, and spiritual views.
eric maisel

What You Can Expect From an Authoritarian, Part 2

Based on research on authoritarian wounding, learn what you can expect from authoritarian contact and how you can heal the wounds inflicted by that contact.

Roy Moore, Sex, Republicans, and Religious Conservatism

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on November 11, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Roy Moore embodies an arrested sexual development common among fellow Republicans and conservative Christians.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Seven Pathways to Thriving

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on November 08, 2017 in What Matters Most?
New research reveals key personal enablers of thriving in life. Learn these seven pathways and the ingredients that can help you create them.