Flipping convention on its head, Eric Dietrich argues that science uncovers awe-inspiring, enduring mysteries, while religion, regarded as the source for such mysteries, is a biological phenomenon. Just like spoken language, Dietrich shows that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. Science is the source of perplexing yet beautiful mysteries, however natural the search for answers may be to human existence.
Excellent Beauty undoes our misconception of scientific inquiry as an executioner of beauty, making the case that science has won the battle with religion so thoroughly it can now explain why religion persists. The book also draws deep lessons for human flourishing from the very existence of scientific mysteries. It is these latter wonderful, completely public truths that constitute some strangeness in the proportion, revealing a universe worthy of awe and wonder.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Eric Dietrich is professor of philosophy at Binghamton University and the founding editor and current editor in chief of the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. He is the author of numerous papers and several books focusing on cognitive science, consciousness, artificial intelligence, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind.
Table of Contents
Who's in Charge of the World's Mysteries?
1. The Traveler to Excellent Beauty: Invited Rather Than Drafted
Part I. Of Spiritual Journeys
2. What Is a Religion?
3. The One Billion
4. The Traveler's Dark Night of the Soul
Appendix to Chapter 4: Statistics and Probability Meet Job
Part II. The Biology of Religion, the Psychology of Morality
5. Justifying the Ways of God to Man via Evolution
Appendix to Chapter 5: Yes, There Really Is Such a Thing as a Coincidence
6. Does God Want You Dead?
7. Good Without Gods
Part III. The Journey in Tatters
8. Beyond Atheism: The Religion Illusion
9. The Janus-Faced Hominid
Part IV. Ther Heretic's Way: Into the Mysterious Realm
10. Some Strangeness in the Proportion
Appendix to Chapter 10: A Compendium of Mysteries
11. The Beauty of Seeing More Than We Can Understand
Appendix to Chapter 11: Welcome to the Inscrutable
12. The Personal Mystery and the Impersonal God
13. Summa Mysteriologica