My wife shared an entertaining column with me from the April 1 issue of TIME magazine. In short, it is about how the columnist pitted his marriage against the algorithms of the online dating site, eHarmony. In taking the eHarmony compatibility test, the columnist and his wife received a "0" in one category because they are both atheists—and according to the eHarmony algorithm, atheists are not as happy in marriage. The validity of that "fact" aside, algorithms and statistics are descriptive, meaning they describe data obtained from current samples, they are NOT prescriptive, meaning they do not alter the chances of any individual relationship succeeding. This might seem like a minor detail, but the psychological implications are significant. Specifically, since beliefs can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies.
When you see studies and statistics that appear to tell you how likely you are to fail or get some horrible disease, remember that these studies and statistics are describing averages and likelihoods based on sample data—they are NOT describing YOU, and certainly not offering a prescription to your future. Acknowledge the risks, be mindful of the statistics, and take action toward the future you desire, not the one described to you based on sample data.
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If you spent your life assuming "God" was the answer to all of life's biggest questions, but can no longer believe, you might have many questions that begin with the phrase, "If there is no God..." If there is no God, how did we get here? If there is no God, what's the point of life? If there is no God, where does our morality come from"? If there is no God, won't the world collapse in anarchy with murdering, coveting thy neighbor's wife, and eating shellfish? These are just some of the common questions to which there are good answers. These courses will help you build a strong foundational secular worldview based in science and reason.
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