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

Playing God Can Make You Better

Is there a moral value to playing God?

Secularism and the City

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on February 10, 2016 The Secular Life
The most secular cities in America are among the best in America.

Robert Salvit on Kabbalah and Spiritual Healing

The future of mental health interview series continues with Robert Salvit on Kabbalah and spiritual healing.

Religion Matters

Humans take religion seriously..but how well do they know the global religious landscape?

How Religion Can Disconnect Us from Ourselves and Others

We're familiar with common addiction, but might we consider how religious beliefs can become an addition?

On Religion, Sanders and Clinton Differ Sharply

By David Niose on January 28, 2016 Our Humanity, Naturally
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have many differences, but few are more prominent that the religious contrast.

Star Wars: Answering the Big Questions

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on January 27, 2016 Plato on Pop
Who are Rey’s parents? Why exactly did Luke go into hiding? Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? What’s the deal with Kylo’s lightsaber? Careful reasoning might reveal the answer.

Are You the Listener You Think You Are?

In The Listening Life, author and ordained minister Adam McHugh examines what it really means to listen--to God and to others.

An Open Religious Market

Religions in America must adapt to changing conditions in order to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Day 8: Henry Shukman on Buddhism and Healing

The future of mental health interview series continues with Henry Shukman on Buddhism and healing.

Does the Internet Promote Delusional Thinking?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on January 25, 2016 Psych Unseen
With biased brains operating in online echo chambers and filter bubbles, normal people increasingly hold beliefs with delusional qualities.

The Future of Relationships

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 20, 2016 How To Do Life
Societal, technological, & religious trends portend revolution in relationships.

The Psychology of David Bowie’s Major Tom

Surviving in space emerges from this study as appearing to be much more of an interactive, mutually cooperative enterprise, than rugged individualism.

Moral Function and Moral Perfection

We have a natural morality. But it is limited. Moral perfection requires work.

Slanted Eyes

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 14, 2016 Minority Report
“Chink!” “Where are you from?” “Do you eat dog?” “Why don’t you go back to where you came from?!” “You speak such good English!" This is part of the Asian-American experience.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Princess Leia has not lost faith. Persephone is rising.

Fighting Radical Islam—A Virus of the Mind

The ideology of ISIS is a mental parasite that self-replicates, evolves, and spreads best through destruction. Stopping this viral replicator from infecting more brains is a must.

What Makes A Mass Murderer?

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on January 12, 2016 Time Out
From Pedophile priests to mass shooters, communities need to examine their role in enabling crime.

Calm Down with Logic-Based Meditation

Practice the contemplative life; relinquish the craving for what cannot be; attain enlightenment, and transcend the self-defeating thoughts that painfully overwhelm consciousness.

Is Islam Jewish?

By Izzy Kalman on January 08, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
The realization that Islam and Judaism are versions of the same religion has tremendous potential in promoting world peace.

Secularism and the Internet

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on January 07, 2016 The Secular Life
The Internet is no friend to religion. Here's why.

Solving the Health-Religion Puzzle

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 05, 2016 The Human Beast
Religion boosts health in the US. Yet, the most religious countries are the sickest. This paradox is explained in terms of stress management.

The United States Is Not So Religious

Are we really a religious nation? History suggests a different story from the one you've probably been told. And what role does religion play in debates about the environment?

Who Wants the End of the World?

Who is drawn to believing in the end of the world?

Do Christmas Miracles Really Exist?

For example, compared to Protestants, being a Catholic or a Jew is associated with lower mortality. The risk of death for Jews is about 0.80 times the risk for Protestants.

Violence in the Name of God

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on December 28, 2015 Am I Right?
The issue isn’t whether terrorists and fanatics are acting in the name of their religion but whether they are acting on behalf of humanity.

Psychotherapy

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on December 24, 2015 Minority Report
Has the church abdicated its sacred role and responsibility to bring wholeness and healing to the realm of the private psychotherapist? It certainly looks that way.

Announcing a New Lobby: Atheists for Christmas

Why should the faithful have all the fun? There's much for non-believers to value in the Yuletide tradition

What Scientists Take on Faith

Why should we trust a mainstream newspaper or a scientific journal more than the Bible?

Is Christmas Killing the Planet?

According to sources cited by Carol Farbotko and Lesley Head, Santa Claus as a myth developed as a method for removing perceived commercial taint during the festive season.