Do human beings have free will? Can we choose among different possible actions and beliefs? Or are we controlled by our genetics, or by blind physical processes in our brains? And if we couldn’t make genuine choices, would that diminish us? Would we be any different from animals, except a little smarter … perhaps? And […]
Last post I looked at the differences between scientific thinking and religious thinking, at least as one social scientist sees it. But where does religious thinking come from? Religious belief has been an important component in virtually every culture in human history. Why is this so? Social scientists have studied this question extensively. Whether you […]
Many people claim to have experienced God directly in some way. They claim to have seen a vision, or received divine healing, or they have had some deep spiritual experience, or God has turned their lives around in some way. They come from different religions, even from no religion and atheism. Sometimes the experience changes […]
Most of us like to think that our beliefs are logical and based on the evidence. But we also know that very few things can be known with certainty – after all, this may all be a dream. But we need to live our lives and make choices. So sometimes we have to act despite […]
Most people agree that we cannot answer the question, is there a God? with a clear proof, either way. So most arguments for or against the existence of God start with observable features of our world, and try to show that these are compatible with the belief we ourselves hold, but incompatible with the opposite […]
Religious people, especially conservative and fundamentalist believers, are often stereotyped as dogmatic and intolerant. Do the facts support this stereotyping? How do other people compare? And what is the cause?