A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why by David G. Myers

By David G. Myers

A pleasant Letter to Skeptics and Atheists is helping readers—both secular and religious—appreciate their universal flooring. For these whose pondering has moved from the non secular thesis to the skeptical antithesis (or vice versa), Myers bargains tips to a science-respecting Christian synthesis. He indicates how skeptics and other people of religion can proportion a dedication to cause, proof, and important considering, whereas additionally embracing a religion that helps human flourishing—by making feel of the universe, giving aspiring to lifestyles, connecting us in supportive groups, mandating altruism, and supplying desire within the face of adversity and dying.

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On this task, most people make money, as the emotions generated by their unconscious brain figure things out ahead of their conscious reasoning. Without these feelings to inform their thinking, the emotionless patients typically lost money. This illustrates a big lesson from today’s psychological science: pure reason is half-witted. Emotion and reason, like warp and woof, together weave the fabric of our minds. ” Faith, too, is an expression not only of the mind but also of the heart. indd 24 6/21/08 6:24:15 PM a fri en d l y l et t er t o s k ep t ic s an d at h e is t s debunking of pseudoscience and things paranormal, explained why he was not an atheist.

So are we scientists of faith indeed open to evidence that challenges popular religious presumptions? Are we, skeptics wonder, open to data that dispute cherished beliefs? It’s a fair question. Before noting some ways in which science affirms religious wisdom, let’s acknowledge its challenges to three specific presumptions of popular religion: the existence of an immortal soul, the potency of petitionary prayers, and the plausibility of a created universe. indd 25 6/21/08 6:24:16 PM Inseparable Body and Soul Today’s behavior genetics and neuroscience teach a compelling and provocative lesson: everything psychological is also biological.

As suspicions about the study emerged, one of the study’s authors pleaded guilty to criminal business fraud and was sentenced to prison. indd 41 6/21/08 6:25:06 PM a fri en d l y l et t er t o s k ep t i c s an d at h e is t s turned out he had no direct involvement. And its other coauthor was discovered to have committed academic fraud (plagiarism) on a prior paper. Climaxing this string of negative or discredited results came the likely coup de grâce for intercessory prayer experiments: intercessory prayer in the Harvard prayer experiment had no positive effect on recovery from bypass surgery.

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