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In Science Salon # 26, Dr. Michael Shermer talks with philosopher Dr. Stephen T. Asma, a Professor of Philosophy and Founding Fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science, and Culture at Columbia College, Chicago.

SCIENCE SALON # 26

Dr. Stephen T. Asma — Why We Need Religion

In Dr. Asma’s new book, Why We Need Religion, he argues that, like art, religion has direct access to our emotional lives in ways that science does not. Yes, science can give us emotional feelings of wonder and the sublime—we can feel the sacred depths of nature—but there are many forms of human suffering and vulnerability that are beyond the reach of help from science. Different emotional stresses require different kinds of rescue. Unlike secular authors who praise religion’s ethical and civilizing function, Asma argues that its core value lies in its emotionally therapeutic power. Asma and Shermer also discuss the relationship of science and religion, why people believe in God, atheism vs. agnosticism, the “new atheists”, humanism and the need for social and spiritual community, and other hot topics.

This remote Science Salon was recorded on June 3, 2018.

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