Only the Godless Die Young

With apologies to Billy Joel, new research from Harvard shows that, irrespective of the state of their general health, only the godless die young.Over the last 20 years, research has gradually accumulated suggesting that religious service attendance is associated with better physical and mental health. For example, research articles have indicated that regular religious service attendance is associated with a 30 per cent reduction in depression, a five-fold reduction in the likelihood … [Read more...]

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What Faith Stage Are You? The 6 Stages of Seeking Meaning, Significance, and Transcendence.

The following article is adapted from Discovering God Together:  The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful KidsMost people think that faith is something you either have or you don't.  But research by Emory University's Dr. James Fowler revealed that faith evolves in discernible stages throughout our lifespan.  At each stage, a person's faith needs to be nourished in different ways if it is to grow and mature into the next stage. If we don't receive the right kind of support, faith development ca … [Read more...]

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Challenging the Atheist Narrative: Study Says Religious Faith Prevents Violence

For the study, 555 Palestinian adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 were presented with a classic “trolley dilemma” that involved a Palestinian man being killed to save the lives of five children who were either Jewish-Israeli or Muslim-Palestinian. The participants responded from their own perspective and then again from Allah’s perspective.  The results showed that although Muslim-Palestinian participants valued their own group’s lives over Jewish-Israeli lives, they believed that Allah p … [Read more...]

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FAITHLESS: Why Don’t Millennials Believe?

           Why are "nones" on the rise?  The answer might surprise you.I recently gave a radio interview about the latest Pew Center finding that "nones" (unchurched/"spiritual not religious") are the fastest growing demographic on the religious scene.  The interviewer asked me if I thought the increasingly secular culture was responsible for both the loss of faith and the breakdown of the family.  I surprised him by saying that the research suggests it just might be the other way around … [Read more...]

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Holding Children Hostage to Doubt

Interesting article on the soul-searching of religious "nones" and whether they should saddle their children with their own doubts.What if the religion you rejected was a rich and wonderful part of your own childhood that made you feel protected and safe? Should you attempt somehow to recreate that feeling, along with transmitting your secular perspective, so that your children can make their own decision? But how can you do that with integrity if you no longer believe what you were taught? … [Read more...]

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Separate But Equal? Why “Freedom of Worship” Makes Religious People Sit at Back of the (Church) Bus

In light of my earlier post advancing a secular, empirical argument for the value of public prayer, I've been engaged in an interesting discussion with a couple of atheist bloggers at Patheos on what religious freedom really entails (Note: the discussion occurred on a private forum and I don't have permission to share their thoughts so I will refrain from naming  or quoting them or the other participants).   I realize that politics is outside the usual purview of this blog, but I thought this w … [Read more...]

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Prayer Works: A Psychological Case for Public Prayer and Graceful Governance

On the Patheos Atheist Channel, Jeffrey Jay Lowder posted an article titled, "Question for Theists:  Why Is It Important to Begin Governmental Meetings with Prayer?"  I appreciated the honest and respectful attempt to engage believers on this controversial issue--especially in light of Canada's high court ruling that such prayer is impermissible-- so I thought I would attempt a purely secular, non-theist, research-based response to the question.   There actually is a purely psychological ar … [Read more...]

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Is Atheism A Mental Illness?

Sean Thomas at the London Telegraph seems to think so....Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but...Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades … [Read more...]

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