Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

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Penguin, 2006 - 448 страница
An innovative thinker tackles the controversial question of why we believe in God and how religion shapes our lives and our future

For a growing number of people, there is nothing more important than religion. It is an integral part of their marriage, child rearing, and community. In this daring new book, distinguished philosopher Daniel C. Dennett takes a hard look at this phenomenon and asks why. Where does our devotion to God come from and what purpose does it serve? Is religion a blind evolutionary compulsion or a rational choice? In Breaking the Spell, Dennett argues that the time has come to shed the light of science on the fundamental questions of faith.

In a spirited narrative that ranges widely through history, philosophy, and psychology, Dennett explores how organized religion evolved from folk beliefs and why it is such a potent force today. Deftly and lucidly, he contends that the "belief in belief" has fogged any attempt to rationally consider the existence of God and the relationship between divinity and human need.

Breaking the Spell is not an antireligious screed but rather an eyeopening exploration of the role that belief plays in our lives, our interactions, and our country. With the gulf between rationalists and adherents of "intelligent design" widening daily, Dennett has written a timely and provocative book that will be read and passionately debated by believers and nonbelievers alike.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Коментар посетиоца странице  - Razinha - LibraryThing

This was a challenge. I kept putting it aside after reading a few pages, picking it up and digesting a bit more, until about six years ago when I tucked it in my night stand for what I thought would ... Прочитајте целу рецензију

LibraryThing Review

Коментар посетиоца странице  - GlennBell - LibraryThing

The author attempts to kindly encourage religious people as well as non-religious people to read his book. He spends a great deal of time trying to be pleasant and thoughtful of those who are ... Прочитајте целу рецензију

Садржај

OPENING PANDORAS
3
To break or not to break
12
Religion as a natural phenomenon
24
Should science study religion?
34
Might music be bad for you?
40
Why Good Things Happen
54
Asking what pays for religion
69
THE EVOLUTION OF RELIGION
95
Morality and Religion
278
Is religion what gives meaning to your life?
286
What can we say about sacred values?
292
spirituality and selfishness
302
Now What Do We Do?
308
how can we home in on religious conviction?
314
What shall we tell the children?
321
Toxic memes
328

The raw materials of religion
104
Religion the Early Days
116
The Evolution of Stewardship
153
The Invention of Team Spirit
175
Belief in Belief
200
Toward a Buyers Guide to Religions
249
The academic smoke screen
258
Why does it matter what you believe?
264
What can your religion do for you?
270
Patience and politics
334
A The New Replicators
341
B Some More Questions About Science
359
The Bellboy and the Lady Named Tuck
379
Kim Philby as a Real Case of Indeterminacy of Radical Interpretation
387
Notes
391
Bibliography
413
Index
427
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О аутору (2006)

Daniel C. Dennett is a professor and director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. His many books include Darwin's Dangerous Idea and, most recently, Freedom Evolves.

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