the illusion of gods presence the biological origins of spiritual longing

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The Illusion Of God S Presence

Author : John C. Wathey
ISBN : 9781633880757
Genre : Religion
File Size : 27. 64 MB
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An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion. Starting with a vivid narrative account of the life-threatening hike that triggered his own mystical experience, biologist John Wathey takes the reader on a scientific journey to find the sources of religious feeling and the illusion of God's presence. His book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond. Dr. Wathey, a veteran neuroscientist, argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy. These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like the popular belief in a god who is judgmental and punishing, yet also unconditionally loving; the extraordinary tenacity of faith; the greater religiosity of women relative to men; religious obsessions with sex; the mysterious compulsion to pray; the seemingly irrepressible feminine attributes of God, even in traditionally patriarchal religions; and the strange allure of cults. Finally, Dr. Wathey considers the hypothesis that religion evolved to foster reproductive success, arguing that, in an age of potentially ruinous overpopulation, magical thinking has become a luxury we can no longer afford, one that distracts us from urgent threats to our planet. Deeply researched yet elegantly written in a jargon-free and accessible style, this book presents a compelling interpretation of the evolutionary origins of spirituality and religion. From the Hardcover edition.

The Illusion Of God S Presence

Author : John C. Wathey
ISBN : 9781633880740
Genre : Biology
File Size : 68. 80 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion. Biologist John Wathey takes the reader on a scientific journey to find the sources of religious feeling and the illusion of God's presence. His book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond. Dr. Wathey, a veteran neuroscientist, argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy.

God Is Watching You

Author : Dominic Johnson
ISBN : 9780199895632
Genre : Fear of God
File Size : 55. 81 MB
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The willingness to believe in some kind of payback or karma remains nearly universal. Retribution awaits those who commit bad deeds; rewards await those who do good. Johnson explores how this belief has developed over time, and how it has shaped the course of human evolution.

The Resurrection A Critical Inquiry

Author : MICHAEL J. ALTER
ISBN : 9781499054033
Genre : Religion
File Size : 51. 42 MB
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The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry is a scholarly work that refutes Jesus’s purported physical, bodily resurrection and those writings in support of it. This book is compelling, relevant and current for those readers seeking scholarly refutations of that resurrection. This in-depth work presents the reader with 113 issues. Altogether one hundred twenty contradictions and 217 speculations are examined. Topics include cutting edge research in astronomy, geophysics, criminology and the rules of evidence, the social sciences and cognitive psychology.

Battling The Gods

Author : Tim Whitmarsh
ISBN : 0571279309
Genre : Atheism
File Size : 35. 12 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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How new is atheism?In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean to recover the stories of those who first refused the divinities.Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively free-thinking voices of antiquity.Tim Whitmarsh brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief.Battling the Gods is the first book on the origins of the secular values at the heart of the modern state. Authoritative and bold, provocative and humane, it reveals how atheism and doubt, far from being modern phenomena, have intrigued the human imagination for thousands of years.

Biology The Unity And Diversity Of Life

Author : Cecie Starr
ISBN : 9780495557920
Genre : Science
File Size : 83. 39 MB
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By using an issues-oriented approach, the new edition of this respected text grabs student interest with real-life issues that hit home. This text includes new coverage and pedagogy that encourages students to think critically about hot-button issues and includes outstanding new features that take students beyond memorization and encourage them to ask questions in new ways as they learn to interpret data. Show students how biology matters Biology’s connections to real life are reflected in every chapter of this new edition, beginning with opening Impacts, Issues essays a brief case study on a biology-related issue or research finding and is revisited throughout the chapter, reminding students of the real-world significance of basic concepts. Additional, online exercises promote critical thinking about issues students will face as consumers, parents, and citizens. Link concepts from chapter to chapter Links to Earlier Concepts appear near the Key Concepts, to help students remember what they’ve learned in earlier chapters and apply it to the new material to come. At the beginning of each section, students are reminded of the earlier link that is most appropriate for their current. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

The 16 Strivings For God

Author : Steven Reiss
ISBN : 0881465577
Genre : Religion
File Size : 58. 95 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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This ground-breaking work will change the way we understand religion. Period. Previous scholars such as Freud, James, Durkheim, and Maslow did not successfully identify the essence of religion as fear of death, mysticism, sacredness, communal bonding, magic, or peak experiences because religion has no single essence. Religion is about the values motivated by the sixteen basic desires of human nature. This is the first comprehensive theory of the psychology of religion that can be scientifically verified. Reiss proposes a peer-reviewed, original theory of mysticism, asceticism, spiritual personality, and hundreds of religious beliefs and practices. Written for serious readers and anyone interested in psychology and religion (especially their own), this eminently readable book will revolutionize the psychology of religious experience by exploring the motivations and characteristics of the individual in their religious life.

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