Mutual Kindness As The Key To A Successful Relationship

Emily Esfahani Smith has a really interesting article in The Atlantic about Ty Tashiro’s recently published book The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love. Contrasting the “masters” of love with the “disasters” in love, she summarizes research covered in the book in which newlywed couples are observed in how [Read More...]

The Smarter You Are, The More Trusting You Are?

The smarter you are, the more trusting you are? That’s apparently the pattern emerging in recent studies: A new study is giving the mistrustful something to consider:Intelligence strongly correlates with “generalized trust,” or the belief that most people can be trusted—that, on average, your fellow man or woman is probably a good egg. As it turns out, a [Read More...]

Does Belief In Hell Increase Unhappiness?

This is a guest post by Matthew Facciani. He is a cognitive neuroscience graduate student at the University of South Carolina. Are religious people more happy than non-religious people? You may have heard other people provide an opinion about this or perhaps you have an opinion yourself. Fortunately, the scientific method can address such questions [Read More...]

Philosophical Advice for a Procrastinating Graduate Student

This is a long post about procrastination. It is long for three reasons:

(1) I have long experience myself with procrastination and specifically with graduate school induced procrastination, and a ton to say about it.

(2) People who suffer from procrastination I think will be greedy for as much insight and help as they might be able to get.

(3) A nice, 4,000 word article is ideal for procrastinators because it can either give an excuse to spend a lot of time not working or become so much of a chore that just getting back to the work you’re supposed to be doing suddenly seems preferable. Whichever this turns out to be for you: you’re welcome. [Read more...]

Vulnerability, Victim Blaming, and The Just World Fallacy

Trigger Warning: What follows are speculations about the implicit philosophies and psychologies underpinning victim blaming. Years ago I read an article by a rape survivor who talked about how after she was raped she would obsess over what she should have done differently to prevent the attack. By beating herself up over what was done [Read More...]

Philosophical Advice About Not Appearing Closed Minded (Part 1)

Dear Dr. Fincke, I’m a big fan of your blog and I absolutely adore your articles. I have a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy myself, and I am always up for a rigorous debate. I pride myself on being able to keep an open mind on a lot of issues and entertain assertions and their logical [Read More...]

The Neuroscience of How Personal Attacks Shut Down Critical Thinking

Psychologist Nicole Currivan is the organizer of the Pittsburgh Freethinkers. She spoke at the 2012 Pennsylvania State Atheist/Humanist Conference (keep apprised on the details about the upcoming September 2013 conference as they become available here. While at the American Atheists convention a week ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a long chat with the [Read More...]

A Powerful Account of One Ex-Christian’s Journey to Apostasy

Above is a beautifully made video that Prpl Fox made about his deconversion from Christianity. As I did, Prpl Fox deconverted as a 21 year old college senior. I recommend this video summing up his story to Christians who want to learn how to love and understand apostates and to the many atheists who identify [Read More...]

Childhood

Prefacing his analysis of Wes Anderson’s films in The New York Review of Books, Michael Chabon writes: The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.” There [Read More...]


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