Thomas Ramey Watson

Thought and religious belief

While people with strong religious beliefs may insist that nothing could make them waver in their faith in God, it seems that religious belief, like other intuitive thinking, is affected by many different circumstances in our day-to-day lives, including experiences, emotions and intellectual challenges. A person’s faith may change subtly over time — and that isn’t a bad thing, but rather a sign of growth.

Ara Norenzayan, co-author of the study, said: “There’s much more instability to religious belief than we recognize” (CNN Belief Blog). Although the study may not have permanently affected anyone’s religious beliefs, particularly devout worshippers, it does illustrate the differences between analytic and intuitive thinking, and how religion may fit into that dichotomy.

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