An interesting -- if strange -- new study suggests that atheists may believe in their brains that there is no god but their hearts aren't nearly as certain.
All this for me raises the old question of the nature of belief and of what we really can know. I suspect that if you gathered up a group of people who say they have deep faith in God and somehow could find a way to test that, you'd find that there is uncertainty there just as the Finnish study found uncertainty among people who say there is no God.
But in a healthy faith community one is encouraged to express doubts and to ask hard questions so that, together, the community can wrestle with the questions. In toxic faith communities, by contrast, questioning and doubts are not welcome.
And where there is only one truth to be expressed in one particular way, there is trouble.
I'm intrigued by people who define themselves as atheists because I've often found among them a level of certainty that, were it found among people of faith, is unhealthy. But maybe, as the Finnish study suggests, there isn't as much certainty there as they lead others to believe.
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A BENEFIT OF BELIEF
And speaking of new studies, one from Harvard suggests that people who believe in God have better outcomes when they receive treatment for psychiatric ailments. I think I may have to pray about what this means.