Who has ever said that more succinctly than Paul [in Galatians , discussing the spirit and the flesh]? Again, who has ever said it more powerfully and succinctly [than Jesus in Matthew 7:3-5, speaking of specks and planks in the eye]? My second book, a wonderful book by Robert Putnam and David Campbell, they synthesized all the research they could find, and they reached this conclusion: “Religiously observant Americans are better neighbors and better citizens than secular Americans.
They are more generous with their time and money, especially in helping the needy, and they are more active in community life.” I was coming to think of religion in a new way, and as a social scientist, I had to say, “There are many pluses and minuses, and boy, the pluses are quite large and underestimated.” I started realizing that the scientific community at that time was underestimating and misunderstanding religion.
The Pew Foundation has been asking a set of questions now and then since 1994, and there are 10 items that they have been asking about repeatedly. They take different groups, such as by gender, andon these 10 items.
In 2004, men and women were about eight points apart; in 2017 they’re about seven points apart, so no change. We’re different kinds of people on the two sides, and we increasingly cannot compromise and we cannot live together. Let’s talk about what you can do to survive in this incredibly polarizing world.
At UVA, there are a lot of students from the western and southern part of the state. I had never actually met evangelical Christians growing up in New York and going to Ivy League schools.
They radiated a kind of sweetness, a warmth, gentleness, and humility that I just hadn’t really seen before. And when your heart is open, then your mind is open. I study positive psychology, like the causes of happiness.But if you fill it with garbage – with materialism, with petty motivations – then things will go badly.As far as I can tell, Christian colleges do a good job of filling that hole and training students not just in the facts but in virtues.In 2004 Americans who went to a [religious service] regularly were not very different from those didn’t. The first basic principle is that intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second. That first truth I told you about before – that the mind is divided in parts that conflict – every society knows this.Plato and the Western tradition gives us the idea that the mind is divided like a charioteer – reason – who struggles to control the passions.I started writing essays for the scientific community saying that religion has been misunderstood and arguing against the New Atheists.I even gave a TED talk on how human beings evolved to be religious; it’s in our nature.He gave the following talk from the main stage at the 2018 CCCU International Forum. I was born and raised in a Jewish family in the suburbs of New York City.I was the sort of kid that was so attracted to science that within two years of my bar mitzvah, I started calling myself an atheist.Men and women are not any more different in our attitudes than we were 10 or 20 years ago. My book, , describes three principles about moral psychology.And that’s generally true for all of those things with two exceptions: Religious attendance and political affiliation. But that’s a small increase compared to the growing split by political party; that gap has also more than doubled so that on average, there is a 36-point difference between the left and the right. And if you understand these, you can use these and apply them in any complicated situation.