Why We Believe in God(s)

Why We Believe in God(s)

A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith

Book - 2011
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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.
Publisher: Charlottesville, Va. : Pitchstone Pub., c2011
ISBN: 9780984493210
Branch Call Number: 200.19 THOMSON
Characteristics: 144 p. : ill. ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Aukofer, Clare
Dawkins, Richard 1941-


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Aug 26, 2017

Concisely and informally explains the psychology behind the ideological structures of religious belief. The bibliography is rather short, but its in the form of an essay, so in that sense its a little more helpful. There is also a brief glossary at the end too. I suppose it would be great first little book for people to read to think critically about religion.

roaddogg09 Jul 31, 2011

I was hesitant on whether or not I wanted to read this, not because the material is offensive to me, but I thought I wouldn't learn anything. After just finishing it, I am glad I made the investment.

"Why We Believe in God(s)" is a nice summary of all of the research done in recent years on why humans are primed to accept religious notions. If you have any inclination to learn about why people accept belief in god(s) and why religions are so comforting to people, this is a wonderful place to start.

The discussion of neurochemicals and how they effect belief and ritual were very informative, along with the authors explanation of suicidal acts within religions.

It's not a very large book, so it could be read in a day. "Why We Believe In God(s)" isn't a comprehensive guide to explaining faith, but a great introduction to the topic.


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