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Why We Believe In God S

Author: J. Anderson Thomson
Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
ISBN: 0984493239
Size: 54.80 MB
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In this groundbreaking volume, J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD, with Clare Aukofer, offers a succinct yet comprehensive study of how and why the human mind generates religious belief. Dr. Thomson, a highly respected practicing psychiatrist with credentials in forensic psychiatry and evolutionary psychology, methodically investigates the components and causes of religious belief in the same way any scientist would investigate the movement of astronomical bodies or the evolution of life over time—that is, as a purely natural phenomenon. Providing compelling evidence from psychology, the cognitive neurosciences, and related fields, he, with Ms. Aukofer, presents an easily accessible and exceptionally convincing case that god(s) were created by man—not vice versa. With this slim volume, Dr. Thomson establishes himself as a must-read thinker and leading voice on the primacy of reason and science over superstition and religion.

Why We Believe In God S

Author: J. Anderson Thomson
Publisher: Pitchstone Llc
ISBN: 9780984493210
Size: 11.54 MB
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In this groundbreaking volume, J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD, with Clare Aukofer, offers a succinct yet comprehensive study of how and why the human mind generates religious belief. Dr. Thomson, a highly respected practicing psychiatrist with credentials in forensic psychiatry and evolutionary psychology, methodically investigates the components and causes of religious belief in the same way any scientist would investigate the movement of astronomical bodies or the evolution of life over time—that is, as a purely natural phenomenon. Providing compelling evidence from psychology, the cognitive neurosciences, and related fields, he, with Ms. Aukofer, presents an easily accessible and exceptionally convincing case that god(s) were created by man—not vice versa. With this slim volume, Dr. Thomson establishes himself as a must-read thinker and leading voice on the primacy of reason and science over superstition and religion.

Supernatural Agents

Author: Iikka Pyysiainen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199701759
Size: 28.35 MB
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The cognitive science of religion is a rapidly growing field whose practitioners apply insights from advances in cognitive science in order to provide a better understanding of religious impulses, beliefs, and behaviors. In this book Ilkka Pyysi?inen shows how this methodology can profitably be used in the comparative study of beliefs about superhuman agents. He begins by developing a theoretical outline of the basic, modular architecture of the human mind and especially the human capacity to understand agency. He then goes on to discuss examples of supernatural agency in detail, arguing that the human ability to attribute beliefs and desires to others forms the basis of conceptions of supernatural agents and of such social cognition in which supernatural agents are postulated as interested parties in social life. Beliefs about supernatural agency are natural, says Pyysi?inen, in the sense that such concepts are used in an intuitive and automatic fashion. Two dots and a straight line below them automatically trigger the idea of a face, for example. Given that the mind consists of a host of such modular mechanisms, certain kinds of beliefs will always have a selective advantage over others. Abstract theological concepts are usually elaborate versions of such simpler and more contagious folk conceptions. Pyysi?inen uses ethnographical and survey materials as well as doctrinal treatises to show that there are certain recurrent patterns in beliefs about supernatural agents both at the level of folk-religion and of formal theology.

Lies We Believe About God

Author: Wm. Paul Young
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501101412
Size: 63.60 MB
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From the author of the bestselling novel The Shack and the New York Times bestsellers Cross Roads and Eve comes a compelling, conversational exploration of twenty-eight assumptions about God—assumptions that just might be keeping us from experiencing His unconditional, all-encompassing love. In his wildly popular novels, Wm. Paul Young portrayed the Triune God in ways that challenged our thinking—sometimes upending long-held beliefs, but always centered in the eternal, all-encompassing nature of God’s love. Now, in Wm. Paul Young’s first nonfiction book, he invites us to revisit our assumptions about God—this time using the Bible, theological discussion, and personal anecdotes. Paul encourages us to think through beliefs we’ve presumed to be true and consider whether some might actually be false. Expounding on the compassion fans felt from the “Papa” portrayed in The Shack—now a major film starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer—Paul encourages you to think anew about important issues including sin, religion, hell, politics, identity, creation, human rights, and helping us discover God’s deep and abiding love.

Why Would Anyone Believe In God

Author: Justin L. Barrett
Publisher: Altamira Press
ISBN:
Size: 40.81 MB
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Because of the design of our minds. That is Justin Barrett's simple answer to the question of his title. With rich evidence from cognitive science but without technical language, psychologist Barrett shows that belief in God is an almost inevitable consequence of the kind of minds we have. Most of what we believe comes from mental tools working below our conscious awareness. And what we believe consciously is in large part driven by these unconscious beliefs. Barrett demonstrates that beliefs in gods match up well with these automatic assumptions; beliefs in an all-knowing, all-powerful God match up even better. Barrett goes on to explain why beliefs like religious beliefs are so widespread and why it is very difficult for our minds to think without them. Anyone who wants a concise, clear, and scientific explanation of why anyone would believe in God should pick up Barrett's book.

Inference To The One True God

Author: Evan Minton
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781535461290
Size: 69.75 MB
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There are so many religions in the world that it can be confusing for a spiritual seeker to figure out which, if any, are true. There are as many gods in mythology as there are people to believe in them. In fact, one of the common retorts from atheists when talking to Christians is "Why do you believe your God is real while thinking all these other gods are false?" In this book, Christian Apologist and blogger Evan Minton gives evidence for the existence of the God of The Bible, and shows why it's rational to believe the God of Christianity while disbelieving in all others. Mr. Minton argues for the biblical God, using arguments that draw from a wide range of disciplines such as science, philosophy, and history. This book is a must for any spiritual seeker.

God S Defenders

Author: S. T. Joshi
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615925562
Size: 25.58 MB
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We non-believers have been taking it lying down, and what this country needs is a good hot religious war, with the pen, not the sword.-Letter from George Sterling to H. L. Mencken (1926)Committed atheist S. T. Joshi takes up this long-dormant call to arms in this highly acerbic critique of the religious point of view. With the aim of combating religious mummery and obscurantism he dissects the arguments offered by well-known apologists for various tenets of belief. Taking on both the famous intellectuals of the recent past as well as leading defenders of the supernatural today, he rigorously examines their claims and in every case finds them deficient in logic, evidence, or both. Nonetheless, he points out that despite the rather obvious fallacies of religious apologies, people continue to believe, whether from ignorance or psychological need. Accusing his fellow nonbelievers of complicity through their silence in perpetuating religious nonsense, he argues that a more vocal and vigorously asserted atheism is needed today.In ten chapters he considers and rebuts the defenses of William James, G. K. Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, William F. Buckley, Stephen L. Carter, Jerry Falwell, Reynolds Price, Annie Dillard, Elisabeth Knbler-Ross, Neale Donald Walsch, and Guenter Lewy. Though all of these very different people - poets, preachers, psychologists, visionaries, and writers - explain religion from utterly different perspectives, Joshi notes that they all share an underlying unwillingness or inability to answer the crucial question: Is religion true? Religion, if it is to survive, insists Joshi, must like science show that its claims are true. For over two hundred years science has been clearly demonstrating the truth of its propositions about reality, while religion has at the same time been consistently failing this test. As long as influential people continue to defend religion, it is time, says Joshi, for nonbelievers to point out -loudly and clearly - that the emperor has no clothes.S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer, scholar, and editor whose previous books include Documents of American Prejudice; In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women; God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong; Atheism: A Reader; H. L. Mencken on Religion; The Agnostic Reader; and The Angry Right: Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong.

The God Delusion

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1784161926
Size: 17.64 MB
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The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

The Believing Brain

Author: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781429972611
Size: 78.83 MB
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The Believing Brain is bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. In this work synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist, historian of science, and the world's best-known skeptic Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths. Interlaced with his theory of belief, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not a belief matches reality.

The Science Of Religion

Author: Paramahansa Yogananda
Publisher: Ravenio Books
ISBN:
Size: 77.76 MB
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This book is intended to give, in bare outline, what we should understand by religion, in order to make it universally and pragmatically necessary. It also seeks to present that aspect of the idea of the God-head which has a direct bearing on the motives and actions of every minute of our lives. It is true that God is Infinite in His nature and aspect, and it is also true that to prepare a chart detailing, so far as is consistent with reason, what God is like is only an evidence of the limitations of the human mind in its attempt to fathom God. Still it is equally true that the human mind, in spite of all its drawbacks, can not rest perfectly satisfied with what is finite. It has a natural urge to interpret what is human and finite in the light of what is super-human and infinite,— what it feels but can not express, what within it lies implicit but under circumstances refuses to be explicit. This book includes the following chapters: I. The Universality, Necessity, and Oneness of Religion: The Distinction between Pleasure, Pain, and Bliss: God II. Four Fundamental Religious Methods III. Instruments of Knowledge: Religious Point of View