Blaming ISIS on generic religious irrationality makes us completely blind to the social processes that are actually happening. People really do have more needs than superficial prosperity. When these deeper needs aren’t met, things get ugly. Read more

Darwinian evolution is amoral. Evolutionary adaptations are often extremely nasty. Genetically maladaptive behavior can be subjectively wonderful. We should never get Darwinian success mixed up with objective goodness. Read more

Belief in hell is good for society – it frightens people into shaping up, toeing the line, and playing by the rules. But this fear of God isn’t so great for people at the individual level. A loving, forgiving God is psychologically better for you than believe in a punitive and angry one. Read more

Interreligious tensions in Europe are growing and American religious resistance to evolution slouches on intransigently. We’ll need to actually understand religion if we want to deal with these issues, and that’s why I’m moderating this comment board more strictly from now on. Read more

Secular religious studies could add vibrant insight to a dialogue whose main purpose is to achieve rapprochement between religion and science. Read more

Skeptic thinker Michael Shermer believes that Western society is becoming more moral because we’re very abstract thinkers. Concrete thinking leads to tribalism and prejudice. But doesn’t Shermer realize that somebody needs to attend to “concrete reality?” Otherwise, who’s growing the food or fixing cars? Read more

Publication bias is rampant in psychology. Has it led us astray with one of the most important psychological theories of all time? Read more

Sports exemplify the central role of play in human culture, the crucial importance of arbitrary rules and ritual. But the hyper-commercialized ritual of the Super Bowl is becoming increasingly disturbing. Read more

Instead of going back and forth between true believers in NDEs and skeptics, let’s take NDEs seriously as human phenomena. This can help us understand why stories like Eben Alexander’s grip us so profoundly. Read more

Eric Metaxas’s “scientific” argument for God makes religion too literal, placing it squarely in science’s crosshairs. But let’s not make the opposite mistake: protecting religion from the objective facts won’t keep it vital. Read more

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