Customer Reviews for

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Average Rating 3.5
( 34 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Fascinating book!

This book is well written and thought provoking. I am a Christian, and never felt that the author was insulting or demeaning to any religion. I felt he made many good points, made many suggestions towards the study of religion as a natural phenomenon, and did so in an e...
This book is well written and thought provoking. I am a Christian, and never felt that the author was insulting or demeaning to any religion. I felt he made many good points, made many suggestions towards the study of religion as a natural phenomenon, and did so in an entertaining way. He challenges believers without degrading them.

posted by 14327116 on July 19, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Longwinded and self-important

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, and soon after had the chance to see Dennett in person at a lecture at Caltech. As another reviewer here reflected, I wanted to like this book, and have long been interested in some of the ideas its based on. Unfortu...
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, and soon after had the chance to see Dennett in person at a lecture at Caltech. As another reviewer here reflected, I wanted to like this book, and have long been interested in some of the ideas its based on. Unfortunately, Dennett's circular logic and rambling writing (and speaking) style left me more frustrated than illuminated, and for someone who argues against unsubstantiated faith, I felt he left science far behind in many of his assertions. The topic itself is worth a second star, but I would recommend choosing another author.

posted by Anonymous on October 17, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    Provocative and cutting edge

    Daniel Dennett has written what may turn out to be one of the most significant works on the religious phenonmenon offered as a point of departure. The book does not succeed at all levels and in all areas, but that is hardly a damning assessment, for what he does succeed in doing is to break down the wall that many religous authorities wish to construct around their faith--wishing to apply their morality to the secular world but remain immune from criticism from that world. Probably the most effective portion of the book concerns his investigation of unquestioning faith in the correctness of someone's moral teachings and the inherent immorality of this position--an argument at once shocking and effective. The book is a little weak at the end, particularly the last chapter, but his central thesis, that religion deserves our attention and study as a natural phenomenon using a scientific approach to explain its pervasiveness and whether it is good or bad for humankind is a strong one and one that he effectively proves, sometimes to the point of overkill.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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