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?
I seem to have had this feeling of deja vu before! 🙂 Conversations on the internet where the topics were very different, but the discussions seem to go in the same direction. The other person might be an atheist or they might be a christian, but I seem to end up saying the same things.
A lot of christians struggle with the idea of biological evolution because it seems to leave God out of creation. But I think evolution points to God if we consider some of the findings of neuroscience and psychology.
Most of us have experiences, both positive and negative, about religion and God. In each of our lives there have likely been religious people and institutions that have left a positive impression, and others that have hurt us. And if we look at the world around us, now and through history, we can easily form […]
I have a growing interest in neuroscience. I wouldn’t like to poke around in brains with probes, still less dissect a brain. But I’m finding so much that is fascinating and helpful in the latest findings of neuroscience. One of the interesting researchers is Andrew Newberg, who I’ve briefly written about before, and who researches […]