Psychics, Mediums and Fortune Tellers
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Post No.: 0591   Fluffystealthkitten says:   So-called fortune tellers, spiritual mediums and psychics routinely employ a technique called ‘cold reading’. Without any prior knowledge of a person, they start by spewing out some vague and general guesses that have … Read More

Why Aren’t Some People Religious or Spiritual?
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Post No.: 0571   Furrywisepuppy says:   Why are some populations far less religious than others?   There are contextual reasons, such as one’s sense of security and safety, which stems from factors like living in an affluent area of … Read More

The Evolution from Religious to Secular Institutions
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Post No.: 0551   Furrywisepuppy says:   The belief in an afterlife can provide one with existential security and a sense of immortality, which is comforting. But afterlives can serve a double-duty – you could go to heaven… but you … Read More

Superstitions and Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Post No.: 0523   Furrywisepuppy says:   Many of us – even those whom consider ourselves otherwise rational and scientifically-minded – believe in superstitions.   Superstitions are beliefs or behaviours that pertain to claimed supernatural forces acting via specific objects … Read More

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing
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Post No.: 0496   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Successful cultural memes don’t so much survive because they help the individuals who believe in or copy them (although that’d obviously help their transmission) but survive because they benefit the particular meme itself. … Read More

A Supernatural Deterrence to Spur Ingroup Cohesion
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Post No.: 0477   Furrywisepuppy says:   Is religion an effective mechanism for encouraging more moral and pro-social behaviours and for enforcing compliance with the social rules or norms within a group?   Cooperation is the cornerstone for group cohesion … Read More

Our Weak Compared to Strong Moral Evaluations
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Post No.: 0439   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Our ‘weak or non-moral evaluations’ are those evaluations that are highly subjective, such as what pudding, painting or piece of music is best, and we wouldn’t really be bothered if someone else differed … Read More

How to Create a Cult
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Post No.: 0417   Furrywisepuppy says:   This post isn’t really about teaching people how to start a cult(!) Its purpose is learning about and watching out for some of the common signs of cults so that you or someone … Read More

Facts are One Thing, Subjective Values are Another
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Post No.: 0399   Furrywisepuppy says:   Human rights don’t arise from genetic evolution per se – nothing in genetic evolution or ‘survival of the fittest’ even says that people must behave morally. Humans have genetic instincts for both compassion … Read More

Religion for Social Support, Purpose and Meaning
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Post No.: 0387   Furrywisepuppy says:   Religiosity or spirituality is, generally, correlated with better health outcomes, such as lower levels of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, hypertension, emphysema, some cancers, chronic pain and premature death overall. This may be … Read More

Credibility Enhancing and Undermining Displays
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Post No.: 0349   Furrywisepuppy says:   Credibility enhancing displays (CREDs) are behaviours that signal one’s belief in and commitment to something, such as to a religion. Examples that enhance one’s credibility include putting your own money where your mouth … Read More

Is Religiosity in Decline?
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Post No.: 0322   Furrywisepuppy says:   In the industrialised world, religiosity has been on a marked decline, even in the USA. This may be because life has somewhat improved for many people overall over the past several decades, and … Read More

Rituals and Demonstrating Commitment to the Group
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Post No.: 0304   Furrywisepuppy says:   Post No.: 0283 discussed rituals and their personal effects on individuals. In this post, we’ll explore their social effects on groups…   For groups – rituals can bring and bind people together in … Read More

Religious Rituals and Anxiety Relief
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Post No.: 0283   Furrywisepuppy says:   The vast majority of people in the world currently affiliate themselves with a religion, whether they’re actively practising or not. Religion can be broken down into the beliefs (e.g. gods, afterlives, spirits and … Read More

What Religious Beliefs Say About Morality
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Post No.: 0258   Furrywisepuppy says:   Humans weren’t completely amoral before religion was invented. Other social primate relatives and mammals demonstrate what seem like compassionate behaviours and a sense of fairness too (although to a lesser degree e.g. chimpanzees … Read More

Religion, Fidelity and the Benefits for the Group
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Post No.: 0247   Furrywisepuppy says:   Religion is affiliated with commitment and family values, and therefore religiosity arguably makes a long-term mate more attractive – for women (commitment and fidelity) as well as for men (reducing the risk of … Read More

Religious Norms on Sex and Marriage
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Post No.: 0217   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Religions have had, and still currently have, a lot to directly say about sex and marriage norms across the world. Different major religions have different fertility rates, and other factors (e.g. poverty levels) … Read More

Groups and Cultural Group Selection
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Post No.: 0203   Furrywisepuppy says:   ‘Cultural group selection’ occurs because there’s inter-group competition. Group selection is basically natural selection but played out between groups rather than individuals. And via this inter-group competition, we developed ways to enhance intra-group … Read More

Sacred Values and Their Effects on Conflict
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Post No.: 0162   Furrywisepuppy says:   Sacred values or beliefs (special values or beliefs placed above the merely material, secular or profane) are considered non-tradable or non-negotiable – thus they violate rational cost-benefit rules. This is because they are … Read More

Are Atheists Regarded as Lacking a Moral Compass?
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Post No.: 0153   Furrywisepuppy says:   Anti-atheist prejudice or antipathy can sometimes result because a lot of people will only trust in a state leader (or any other person in a role where trust is particularly important) who holds … Read More

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