Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
This book is Daniel Dennet's purely scientific take on religion. Dennet, a cognitive scientist and a philosopher, contends that a scientific analysis of religion could actually help predict the future of the phenomenon.
Innovative thinkers question the reason behind most people’s belief in a god, and how religion influences and shapes lives. This is apparent in how religion is an integral part of marriage, raising children and social structure.
In a bold move, Dennett takes a closer look at the phenomenon and asks the big question: "Why?". He tackled questions such as the following: Where does devotion to a supreme being come from and what do we get out of it? Is religion brought by an evolutionary compulsion or is it a coherent choice? In Breaking the Spell, Dennett implies that he intends to come up with a solution to not to break faith but to break the belief that religion should not be subjected to scientific inquiry.
The book features a vigorous narrative that ranges from history, philosophy and psychology, where the author discusses how organized religion has developed from folk beliefs, into the potent force that it is now. He argues that this "belief in belief" has actually blurred man's attempt to sensibly consider the existence of God, as well as the dynamics of divinity and human needs. The author makes it clear that book is not really anti-religious. It is merely an exploration of how religious belief affects our lives, our relationships, the community and even mankind as a whole.
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