As part of “The Psychology Of” series, organized by the Psychology Club at UVU, a discussion regarding different world views of religion was held on Nov. 29. The guest speaker, Ben Knowlton, discussed the impact that religion has on one’s behaviors and beliefs and how religion can help one to understand what is meaningful in life.
Knowlton, an adjunct professor in the UVU School of Behavioral Science and Research, specializes in interpersonal relationships. He gave students an inside look on what various religious beliefs are.
“We have been influenced by all kinds of different sources in our life. I think religion is the most powerful one and is training how we think,” Knowlton said.
Knowlton explained that most of the Indian religions, such as Buddhism or Taoism, focus on how humans value and deal with injustices in life. He shared that in Buddhism, the law of karma is one of the most experienced constructs of the theory. According to Knowlton, everyone has to participate in life to make a meaningful existence and earn “good karma.” Knowlton himself believes that good karma is a real thing.
He went on to discuss Christianity and how they see the injustices of life. “There is actually a quote from the bible that summarizes the way Christians believe. It says that ‘we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose’,” Knowlton said. “As a Christian, I know that everything has a purpose and this has helped me through a lot in my life.”
Sharing another perspective, he presented the concept of “Wu-Wei” in Taoism religion. Wu-Wei is the idea that individuals have to go with the natural flow of things.
Amy Brodhead, the vice president of the Psychology Club, highlighted the reason for the lecture series.
“We wanted to get students together to think about the psychology of different issues that matter in our society, such as eating disorders and love,” Brodhead said. “They should understand what the psychology of each construct can look like and how [religion] can help us to deal with that.”
Another psychology major shared Broadhead’s point of view.
“I think it was really interesting to see what different kinds of religion and worldviews are out there. It is important to know about these various beliefs,” she said. Everyone can have their own type of religion, but you have to accept all the other perspectives too.”