The Invention of Religion [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this book, the author explores the question of whether religions were invented by humans or given to us by some other means. It is a scientific look at how ancient humans made sense of the world and the phenomena they encountered around them.

In the past, arguments against the existence of gods have mainly come in the form of scientific inquiries that attempt to show there is no evidence for their existence. The Invention of Religion, ...
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The Invention of Religion

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Overview

In this book, the author explores the question of whether religions were invented by humans or given to us by some other means. It is a scientific look at how ancient humans made sense of the world and the phenomena they encountered around them.

In the past, arguments against the existence of gods have mainly come in the form of scientific inquiries that attempt to show there is no evidence for their existence. The Invention of Religion, however, investigates the psychological mechanisms that cause religions to originate and it sets out to prove that when humans have neither science nor religion, these mechanisms cause them to invent new religions. It also investigates how the differences (like monotheism vs. pantheism) between religions arise and how probable these differences are.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014746724
  • Publisher: The Emperor Has No Clothes Press
  • Publication date: 6/2/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 126
  • Sales rank: 246,977
  • File size: 208 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    I really enjoyed The Invention of Religion, because it was very

    I really enjoyed The Invention of Religion, because it was very logically written. It is basically an exploration of how religions come to be. It's a really interesting exploration of ancient human psychology.

    I felt like this was a much more enjoyable read than other books on the same topic because the author wasn't belligerent. The most interesting thing (for me, at least) was that it read almost like a mathematical proof (although less confounding). While reading this book, I could tell that Drake is a very logical thinker.

    He also makes very concrete definitions, which I liked, and plenty of experiments to back up his ideas. Overall it's a very thought-provoking and accessible read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    One thing that I really liked about The Invention of Religion wa

    One thing that I really liked about The Invention of Religion was its focus on psychology, since that is really the only way we can "know" early man. Each chapter explores new psychological phenomena to see how early man would have reacted to certain pressures and I felt that I could really see the world through their eyes.

    Even with its emphasis on psychology, this book delves into other interesting topics like the origins of morality, experiments with prayer, free will, etc.

    And I really thought the book was structured well. I especially liked how each chapter investigated certain psychological phenomena and then tied it all together with the Man on an Island at the end of the chapter. The whole book seemed very logical with sound arguments.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Kudos to Mr. Drake on a knowledgeable, accessible and thoroughly

    Kudos to Mr. Drake on a knowledgeable, accessible and thoroughly enjoyable read! The Invention of Religion reveals the nuts and bolts of why religion exists. It is very well researched, with source citations throughout and includes a complete listing of the works cited. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in religion and/or it's history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    The Invention of Religion is an investigation into the evolution

    The Invention of Religion is an investigation into the evolutionary origins of religion.

    Drake takes us through what almost seems like a mathematical proof (although less confounding) of how religions would have formed in early humans. He uses a “Man on an Island” as an abstract representative for early man—like an unknown in a math equation—and then explores certain psychological phenomena to see how early man would have reacted to certain pressures. The book really goes in depth into the psychology of ancient humans and looks at the world through their eyes. Each chapter explores how different aspects of religion (belief in deities, a soul, afterlife, etc.) come to be formed and is backed up by ample research and source citations. And there is also a section exploring how religions evolve over time.

    One aspect of this book that makes it enjoyable is the fact that it isn’t an attack on religion but an analysis of how religions can be formed. I always feel that books are more pleasurable when they aren’t didactic and it doesn’t seem that the author has a bone to pick. But it is also a very accessible read, because Drake really takes you through every step of logic so that you can tell he has followed the scientific method of reasoning.

    And, in the end, the author even provides what he humbly calls “partial evidence” which actually seemed very convincing and conclusive to me. On the whole, I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the origins of religion and how they are formed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    WHATTA book this is! if you are not prejudiced or have open mind

    WHATTA book this is! if you are not prejudiced or have open minded approach to ideas, you will love this book. goes into the deep insights of how, why religion was formed. why do we need it today and in fact do we really need it now?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    This highly accessible book is filled with those 'fancy thats' t

    This highly accessible book is filled with those 'fancy thats' that go over good at parties and it answers all the things you'd want to know about the origins of religions. A fascinating book!

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    I had been looking forward to reading this for a long while and

    I had been looking forward to reading this for a long while and I finally got the time this weekend. And I was happy that it was interesting enough to read entirely in one day. I can’t always do that with non-fiction books. The explanations of the “psychological phenomena” are interesting in their own right, but even more so when tied into the whole premise. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book. It really encourages you to reconsider things you might have taken for granted.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    The book is a good read, but fails to deliver what it advertises

    The book is a good read, but fails to deliver what it advertises. The studies used are interesting and helpful. Unfortunately, the book is filled with suppositions, hypotheses, maybe's, etc. There is nothing conclusive about the arguments used. Too bad, it would have been much better if there were a few proofs instead of conjectures.

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  • Posted June 6, 2012

    This is probably the best atheist book I’ve read. I&rsquo

    This is probably the best atheist book I’ve read.

    I’ve read a few by Dawkins, but when you read his books you can just tell that he’s a jerk, so you almost don’t want to agree with him even though you do. Drake is a much more objective writer/thinker.

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