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

True Believers and Donald Trump

A True Believer who has passionate faith in a fundamentalist credo or a charismatic leader, totally accepting the promises and predictions as absolute truth, is often disillusioned
Wikimedia Commons

Is Using Profanity a Sign of Honesty?

A recent paper suggests that profanity may be a reflection of emotional honesty and candor. However, closer examination of the studies' results casts doubt on this idea.

The Psychology Behind London's Terrorist Attacker

A recent study found that much tactical planning goes into lone-actor terrorist events.

We Are All Mojo Addicts

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
We all gravitate toward self-revitalizing signs of hope, and in the process, we generate social and interpersonal congestion.

Intellectual Humility Augments Nonpartisan Open-Mindedness

Regardless of your party or religious beliefs, new research from Duke shows that intellectual humility may be the key to breaking down barriers that divide us.
Hydra: Wikipedia commons

Why Do We Die?

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on March 18, 2017 in Statistical Life
Our survivability is the bargaining chip that life pays to keep us immortal.

The Meaning of Adam and Eve

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 18, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Was the fall from Eden a price worth paying?

Fervor and Fanaticism

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Side Effects
On the parallels between Trumpism and other mass movements.

Humanists Doing Good in Uganda, Part 2

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on March 10, 2017 in The Secular Life
Humanism and secularism are growing in Africa, and doing good.

Help! I Hate My Daughter's Boyfriend!

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in Social Lights
How parents can cope with their child’s dating choices

Mothering Nature in the Age of Trump: Dr. Riane Eisler

By Rachel Clark on March 08, 2017 in Mothering Nature
We have to recognize that the rape of nature and the rape of women is of the same dominator cloth: part of an authoritarian and exploitive system of top down-rankings. —Dr. Eisler

An Autistic Saint?

Modern understanding of autistic spectrum disorders may shed light on the eccentric behavior of the Hindu saint, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Humanists Doing Good in Uganda, Part 1

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on March 01, 2017 in The Secular Life
Humanist schools and orphanages in Africa are helping children in need.

Mark Stewart's Faith Is Room For Doubt

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in Brick by Brick
Mark Stewart of the band The Pop Group told me, “People for some reason say that my stuff is prescient.”

Martyrdom: Worst Idea Ever

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 26, 2017 in Boundless
Martyrdom as an idea causes massive problems, on both the interpersonal and geopolitical levels.

The Trader

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 25, 2017 in How To Do Life
Sex, money, religion, and politics and your relationship.

Why Progressive Humanist Values Will Ultimately Prevail

Increasing geopolitical instability may threaten progressive, Humanist values in the short-term. But here's why I'm optimistic that these values will ultimately prevail.

Funny Philosophers

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on February 23, 2017 in Play in Mind
Can philosophers afford to be funny when asking the ultimate questions about life, the universe, and everything?

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

By Dean Olsher MA, MT-BC on February 15, 2017 in A Sound Mind
Meeting life’s challenges head-on allows us to not be crushed by anxiety. It is this struggle that gives our lives meaning.

It’s on: Science & Religion Throw Down; Part 2

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
A prominent argument that evolution cannot explain why humans are religious is examined and found wanting.

David Bowie's Life at the Extremes

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in In Excess
David Bowie was one of the most interesting people that ever lived. With an ever-shifting persona he sometimes lived life at the extremes (addiction and an interest in the occult)

The Head, Heart, and Soul in Psychotherapy

Material loss clears the way for spiritual gain, but why wait?

Hope for Restavek Children in Haiti

By Jamie D. Aten Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in To Heal and Carry On
New HDI research finds that culturally adapted intervention lowers PTSD symptoms and spiritual struggles in traumatized Haitian children sold into slavery.

Welcoming Refugees and Immigrants Is Good for the U.S.

When the U.S. welcomes refugees regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity, we reap important social and economic rewards.

Royally Bad Philosophy (A Reply to Craig and Colbert)

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on February 07, 2017 in A Logical Take
The cosmological argument ("why is there something rather than nothing") is not nearly as strong as many suppose.

5 Essential Facts About Children and War

If we want to help children exposed to armed conflict, we would do well to heed the findings of recent studies.

Thoughts on Grof, Epilepsy, and Mysticism

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 04, 2017 in Boundless
The boundaries between neurological disorder and mystical experience cannot be mapped neatly.

Fake News has a Real Audience

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in The Human Beast
In a golden age of fake news we are becoming more accustomed to politicians spouting self-serving lies. We are also beginning to grasp the complicity of their audience.

Why Avoiding Life’s Big Questions is Not a Good Choice

By Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in Making Change
You live life in the details of each day, but you build strength and happiness by confronting life’s big questions.

God Has Nothing to Do With Morality

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on January 30, 2017 in The Secular Life
The relationship between God and morality is much more problematic than most people realize.