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HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY AND THE GAP BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION

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Abstract:

Abstract.

Personality may play a role in disputes between religion and science. Personality is influenced by sixteen basic desires and core values, which provide the psychological foundation of meaningful experience. How we prioritize these sixteen desires is what makes us individuals. Religious persons may place a low priority on the desire for self-reliance (they enjoy being in need of others), whereas nonreligious scientists may place a high priority on self-reliance. These differences may motivate religious persons to find meaning in images of psychologically supportive deities and may motivate nonreligious intellectuals to find meaning in abstract scientific principles. To bridge the schism between religion and science, we need to appreciate the extent to which spirituality is an individual experience.

Keywords: evolution; religion; science; sixteen basic desires

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2005.00649.x

Affiliations: Steven Reiss is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Director of the Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University, 1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, OH 43210-1296;, Email: reiss.7@osu.edu.

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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