This page in brief …. Neuroscientists tend to conclude that the processes in our brains follow known physical laws, and so our thinking is determined by physics – meaning we don’t have genuine free choice. But our experience is that we do indeed make choices and they seem to be free most of the time, […]
Have you ever wondered: if the cells in our bodies change every 10 years or so, am I still the same person I was 40 years ago?
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 […]
When Martin Luther King said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”1, most of us like to believe he was expressing a deep truth. We want to see justice done, at least for causes we believe in. But do we live in a moral universe? What does that even […]
Most of us want to be happy, and most of us want our lives to be meaningful. And psychologists confirm that we are happier when we feel our lives have meaning and purpose But what gives our lives meaning? It used to be that religion gave life meaning. Even if life was hard drudgery, or […]
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 […]