Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. The result offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions.
A new edition covering the latest scientific research on how the brain makes us believers or skeptics Recent polls report that 96 percent of Americans believe in God, and 73 percent believe that angels regularly visit Earth. Why is this? Why, despite the rise of science, technology, and secular education, are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all? These provocative questions lie at the heart of How We Believe , an illuminating study of God, faith, and religion. Bestselling author Michael Shermer offers fresh and often startling insights into age-old questions, including how and why humans put their faith in a higher power, even in the face of scientific skepticism. Shermer has updated the book to explore the latest research and theories of psychiatrists, neuroscientists, epidemiologists, and philosophers, as well as the role of faith in our increasingly diverse modern world. Whether believers or nonbelievers, we are all driven by the need to understand the universe and our place in it. How We Believe is a brilliant scientific tour of this ancient and mysterious desire.
This book is…an act of witnessing, a testimony to the generosity of God that Catholics experience in accepting and living out the gift of faith that Christ has bestowed on them.—from the Introduction A bishop is not only a spiritual shepherd but a teacher. In Being Catholic Archbishop Pilarczyk teaches in clear, concise language the basic beliefs and practices of Catholics and what shapes a Catholic's thinking. The book discusses: HOW WE BELIEVE: Believing Catholic is a matter of knowing, understanding and responding to a story-the true story of God's love for us. It offers "the fundamentals that have to be there if thinking and practicing Catholic are going to have any appeal or make any sense." HOW WE PRACTICE: Reflections on the behaviors that express our faith and our membership in the Church, such as going to Mass, receiving the sacraments and raising children Catholic. By being a practicing Catholic, we strengthen our behaviors so we can proclaim them to others. HOW WE THINK: A series of thoughtful, pastoral and heartfelt reflections on all aspects of our lives in the world, seen through the eyes of one deeply faithful to the tradition and teachings of the church. Topics for "Thinking Catholic" include respect for life, spiritual maturity and a universal Church.
Arguably our brain's greatest sense is the ability to understand the minds of others - our sixth sense. In Mindwise, renowned psychologist Nicholas Epley shows that this incredible capacity for inferring what others are thinking and feeling is, however sophisticated, still prone to critical errors. We often misread social situations, misjudge others' characters, or guess the wrong motives for their actions. Drawing on the latest in psychological research, Epley suggests that only by learning more about our sixth sense will we have the humility to overcome these errors and understand others as they actually are instead of as we imagine them to be.
Thomas Gilovich offers a wise and readable guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. When can we trust what we believe—that "teams and players have winning streaks," that "flattery works," or that "the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right"—and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social, and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgments and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action.
Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.
The Believing Brain is bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. In this work synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist, historian of science, and the world's best-known skeptic Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths. Interlaced with his theory of belief, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not a belief matches reality.
Traces the decline of Christianity in America since the 1950s, posing controversial arguments about the role of heresy in the nation's downfall while calling for a revival of traditional Christian practices.
Offers a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making--and how it can help us make better choices.
The myth of fixed intelligence debunked For all the productive conversation around “mindsets,” what’s missing are the details of how to convince our discouraged and underperforming students that “smart is something you can get.” Until now. With the publication of High-Expectations Teaching, Jon Saphier reveals once and for all evidence that the bell curve of ability is plain wrong—that ability is something that can be grown significantly if we can first help students to believe in themselves. In drill-down detail, Saphier provides an instructional playbook for increasing student confidence and agency in the daily flow of classroom life: Powerful strategies for attribution retraining, organized around 50 Ways to Get Students to Believe in Themselves Concrete examples, scripts, and classroom structures and routines for empowering student agency and choice Dozens of accompanying videos showing high-expectations strategies in action All children in all schools, regardless of income or social class, will benefit from the strategies in this book. But for children of poverty and children of color, our proficiency with these skills is essential . . . in many ways life saving. Jon Saphier challenges us all—educators, students, and parents—to get started today. About Jon Saphier The author of nine books, including The Skillful Teacher, Jon Saphier is founder and president of Research for Better Teaching, Inc. (RBT), a professional development organization dedicated since 1979 to improving classroom teaching and school leadership throughout the United States and internationally.
Dr. Leach answers these pertinent questions: (1) Is the Bible really true? (2) Where did our Bible come from? (3) Has our Bible suffered change through the years? (4) When were the books of the New Testament collected? (5) Did Christ use our Old Testament? Dr. Leach first discusses the New Testament then the Old, and finally traces the history of our English Bible. Dr. R.A. Torrey concludes with ten reasons given to prove that the Bible is the Word of God.
How We Became Human: A Challenge to Psychoanalysis tackles the question of what distinguishes human beings from other animals. By interweaving psychoanalysis, biology, physics, anthropology, and philosophy, Julio Moreno advances a novel thesis: human beings are faulty animals in their understanding of the world around them. This quality renders humans capable of connecting with inconsistencies, those events or phenomena that their logic cannot understand. The ability to go beyond consistency is humans’ distinctive trait. It is the source of their creativity and of their ability to modify the environment they inhabit. On the basis of this connective-associative interplay, Moreno proposes a new approach to the links human beings create amongst themselves and with the world around them. This theory focuses on a key question: What is the difference between human beings and the other animals? From this perspective, Moreno seeks to reformulate many of the classic psychoanalytic, psychological, and anthropological postulates on childhood, links, and psychic change.
The first book in a major new trilogy, How to Live: How We Are, How We Break, and How We Mend We live in small worlds. How We Are is an astonishing debut and the first part of the monumental How to Live trilogy, a profound and ambitious work that gets to the heart of what it means to be human: how we are, how we break, and how we mend. In Book One, How We Are, we explore the power of habit and the difficulty of change. As Vincent Deary shows us, we live most of our lives automatically, in small worlds of comfortable routine—what he calls Act One. Conscious change requires deliberate effort, so for the most part we avoid it. But inevitably, from within or without, something comes along to disturb our small worlds—some News from Elsewhere. And with reluctance, we begin the work of adjustment: Act Two. Over decades of psychotherapeutic work, Deary has witnessed the theater of change—how ordinary people get stuck, struggle with new circumstances, and finally transform for the better. He is keenly aware that novelists, poets, philosophers, and theologians have grappled with these experiences for far longer than psychologists. Drawing on his own personal experience and a staggering range of literary, philosophical, and cultural sources, Deary has produced a mesmerizing and universal portrait of the human condition. Part psychologist, part philosopher, part novelist, Deary helps us to see how we can resist being habit machines, and make our acts and our lives more fully our own.
"It's okay to doubt." With these opening words of his introduction, Michael Babcock draws in skeptics and believers alike with the comforting assurance that their questions do not disqualify them from faith. Rather, he asserts, doubt is essential to faith because our doubts drive us to God. Readers will instantly relate to Babcock's personal, casual tone as he deftly leads them on a journey between two dangerous extremes. On one side, he cautions readers against a fundamentalist attempt to wipe doubt away. On the other side, he guards against a contemporary tendency to make doubt a badge of honor. Penetrating insights into Bible stories and characters provide a solid scriptural foundation as Babcock describes doubt as a natural part of the human condition. Babcock leads readers to a wonderful conclusion: The only answer to doubt is an encounter with the living God.
Why do we exist? Is there a God? What’s the point of it all? These are some of the questions that all thinking people ask at some point in their lives. John Cottingham explores the whys and wherefores that lead people to become believers. Contents 1.The starting point 2.Why want to believe in the first place? 3.The human quest 4.Reaching for the unknown 5.The still small voice 6.Intimations of the sacred 7.Evil and waste 8. Belief and observance
An expert on the psychology of belief examines how our thoughts and feelings, actions and reactions, respond not to the world as it actually is but to the world as we believeit to be. This book explores the psychology of belief - how beliefs are formed, how they are influenced both by internal factors, such as perception, memory, reason, emotion, and prior beliefs, as well as external factors, such as experience, identification with a group, social pressure, and manipulation. It also reveals how vulnerable beliefs are to error, and how they can be held with great confidence even when factually false. The author, a social psychologist who specializes in the psychology of belief, elucidates how the brain and nervous system function to create the perceptions, memories, and emotions that shape belief. He explains how and why distorted perceptions, false memories, and inappropriate emotional reactions that sometimes lead us to embrace false beliefs are natural products of mental functioning. He also shows why it is so difficult to change our beliefs when they collide with contradictions. Covering a wide range -- from self-perception and the perceived validity of everyday experience to paranormal, religious, and even fatal beliefs--the book demonstrates how crucial beliefs are to molding our experience and why they have such a powerful hold on our behavior.
How We Do Harm exposes the underbelly of healthcare today—the overtreatment of the rich, the under treatment of the poor, the financial conflicts of interest that determine the care that physicians' provide, insurance companies that don't demand the best (or even the least expensive) care, and pharmaceutical companies concerned with selling drugs, regardless of whether they improve health or do harm. Dr. Otis Brawley is the chief medical and scientific officer of The American Cancer Society, an oncologist with a dazzling clinical, research, and policy career. How We Do Harm pulls back the curtain on how medicine is really practiced in America. Brawley tells of doctors who select treatment based on payment they will receive, rather than on demonstrated scientific results; hospitals and pharmaceutical companies that seek out patients to treat even if they are not actually ill (but as long as their insurance will pay); a public primed to swallow the latest pill, no matter the cost; and rising healthcare costs for unnecessary—and often unproven—treatments that we all pay for. Brawley calls for rational healthcare, healthcare drawn from results-based, scientifically justifiable treatments, and not just the peddling of hot new drugs. Brawley's personal history – from a childhood in the gang-ridden streets of black Detroit, to the green hallways of Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest public hospital in the U.S., to the boardrooms of The American Cancer Society—results in a passionate view of medicine and the politics of illness in America - and a deep understanding of healthcare today. How We Do Harm is his well-reasoned manifesto for change.
Offers a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making--and how it can help us make better choices.