The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life

The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life

by Jesse Bering
4.5 4
ISBN-10:
0393072991
ISBN-13:
9780393072990
Pub. Date:
02/07/2011
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

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Overview

The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life

God is not merely an idea to be entertained or discarded based on the evidence. Nor is God a cultural invention, an existential Band-Aid, or an opiate of the masses. Instead, Jesse Bering argues, belief in God evolved in the human species as an "adaptive illusion." Drawing on groundbreaking research in cognitive science, The Belief Instinct unravels the evolutionary mystery of why we grapple for meaning, purpose, and destiny in our everyday lives. Bering argues that the strangely deep-rooted sense that some intentional agent created us as individuals, wants us to behave in particular ways, observes our otherwise private actions, and intends to meet us after we die would also have been felt by our ancestors, leading them to behave in ways that favored their reputations—and thus saved their genes. But in today's world, these psychological illusions have outlasted their evolutionary purpose, and Bering draws our attention to a whole new challenge: escaping them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393072990
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/07/2011
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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