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

Is the World More Dangerous Now Than Ever?

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on July 24, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
Fear of violence seems to be governing our lives these days. But should it? Could the world actually be safer now than it has ever been?

What Is the Best Path Forward After Terrorism?

Our mind makes intuitive mistakes about how to deal with terrorism in the best manner. This article uses insights from neuroscience to show the best path to deal with terrorism.

Renewed Faith in Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment

I have witnessed staff conduct insurance utilization reviews advocating for additional days of treatment for clients desperately in need—sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

Is Atheism Just Another Religion?

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on July 19, 2016 in The Secular Life
Lacking a belief in the supernatural, atheism is not a religion.

The Disunited States of America and the Bystander Effect

By Sean Cort on July 18, 2016 in The Power of Perspective
Our nation is actually a 'nation-family' and we are suffering from an illness that could prove fatal.

Why No One Should Ever Use the Word 'Cult'

By Guy P. Harrison on July 18, 2016 in About Thinking
If "cult" is a sleazy, illogical slur word, why does everyone use it?

After Dallas, Why Aren't Whites Rushing to Enact Gun Reform?

Guns have become mythologized in our culture. And when something is sacred, regulating it becomes much more difficult.

GOP Declares War on Modern Sexuality

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Women Who Stray
The 2016 GOP convention is contemplating strident stances that express opposition to our society's sweeping changes to sexual values and behaviors.

Evolved as One People

Right before our eyes, the world has seemed to all but unravel. Perhaps an evolutionary perspective can help us remember that we’re all in the same boat.

Not All Muslims? Not All Mental Illness Either.

Yes, moderate Muslims are too often painted with the same brush as jihadists, but people with mental illness are no more monochromatic than the Muslim world.

Does Play Give Life Meaning?

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 05, 2016 in On Having Fun
"Sacred play promotes the best of our human nature, improves our wellbeing, and is fun. Religion lacking play is suicidal." - Peter Gray

How to Live a Purpose-Driven Life

How can you find purpose and meaning from a secular perspective?

Dying to Tell a Good Story

Sometimes meaningful stories are what we really want.

DNA Imaging: Icon of a New, Genomic Literacy

Images of DNA pose the problem of genomic literacy and raise questions about what the text of the genome means, with potentially revolutionary implications for society.

The Psychology of Truth: Feeling It

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on June 25, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
Is there anything to truth over and above truthiness? Human psychology seems to say "No!"

Can Love Live Out Loud and Proud?

By Marty Babits on June 22, 2016 in The Middle Ground
Even in 2016, many still live in the closet. Despite the legalization of gay marriage, the forces of homophobic violence still exact a horrifying price from all.

Do You Need Religion for Life Meaning and Purpose?

Do you ever struggle to get up in the morning and go about your day? You might lack a sense of deep meaning and purpose in life. This article can help!

7 Myths About Mindfulness (and What You Need to Know)

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 16, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Mindfulness is a deceptively simple practice, and can be life changing. We shouldn't let misunderstandings about it prevent us from trying it out.

Invisible Homophobia

Why is it difficult for the mainstream to accept that the Orlando massacre was a hate crime against LGBT people?

Orlando Shooter´s Homophobia: Ideology or Identity?

Did Omar Mateen´s homophobia reflect outrage or identity? Counterintuitive, yet empirically corroborated, some individuals despise the same community with which they identify.

Instead of Being Silent

What does love look like in the wake of violence I cannot grasp?

Fear and Loathing in Orlando

Most people respond to being hated by hating.

Multi-Factorial Causation and the Orlando Shootings

People across the world are arguing as to the “true” cause of the Orlando killings. Without question, in fact, there were multiple causes. Here’s why.

The Orlando Massacre: Why We Hate

The killings in Orlando were an act of hate. But what are we going to do in response? We can fight hate with love, but only if we target the processes that underlie both.

Gay Rights vs. Religious Intolerance

Think of the Emancipation Proclamation, or Civil Rights Act of 1964: both drew battle lines, and signaled the start of the ‘real fight.’

The Book of Rubenstein

By Eliezer Sobel on June 13, 2016 in The 99th Monkey
The “Church of Rubenstein,” often ridiculed in the media as a superstitious and dangerous cult, has at long last revealed the true story behind its creation myth.

Clinician’s Corner: Well-being and African Americans

A new study in the Journal of Black Psychology suggests that ethnic identity and religion are significantly important to the well-being of African Americans.

Love Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

“It’s my marriage that has been the place that I have found that has met my deepest needs to experience purpose, meaning, and contribution in my life."

Who Will Save Us From Rape on Campus?

Who will save us from rape on campus? A college chaplain responds to the Brock Turner case and the epidemic of campus sexual assault.

Porn vs. Religion

By David J Ley Ph.D. on June 08, 2016 in Women Who Stray
People are struggling over porn use—but their problems are consistently related to a conflict between their religious values and their sexual behaviors, not to porn itself.