“Do I believe in God?”
This is a question many people will ask themselves this week – even if only to themselves – as they go to church to commemorate Easter.
Religious beliefs and behaviors are changing. According to the most recent Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Study(link is external), the number of Americans who aren’t affiliated with any religion has grown substantially over the past 7 years, rising from 16% to nearly 23% of the population. Some of these individuals are disconnected from organized religion, while others are atheistic or agnostic.
It often is assumed that belief in God, or lack thereof, is based upon intellectual reasoning. For instance, some atheists argue that God is unlikely to exist because of Occam’s razor, a logical principle basically stating that, all things being equal, the view most likely to be true is the one with the least assumptions. Only in the past couple of years have psychological scientists turned their attention to non-intellectual factors that may influence unbelief.