Why reason and religion aren't opposites

Is religious faith illogical? Is it more sensible to doubt God’s existence than to believe in a higher power? Does reason exclude prayer from being valid?

According to one recent study, published in the journal Science, analytic thought can cause people to have less religious faith (see “Thinking can undermine religious faith, study finds,” Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2012). The theory is that belief belongs to the intuitive side of the brain (the “gut”), whereas analysis belongs to another (the “head”). And while both intuition and analysis can be useful, studies show that analytic thinking can override intuition. So if belief is an intuitive process, thinking analytically can cause one to doubt.

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August 13, 2012

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