THE BELIEF INSTINCT

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The Belief Instinct The Psychology Of Souls Destiny And The Meaning Of Life

Author : Jesse Bering
ISBN : 9780393080414
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 83.23 MB
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Top 25 Books of 2011 by the American Library Association, Choice Reviews Named one of the 11 Best Psychology Books of 2011 by The Atlantic "A balanced and considered approach to this often inflammatory topic." —Nature Lively and brilliantly argued, The Belief Instinct explains the psychology behind belief. Drawing on surprising new studies as well as on literature, philosophy, and even pop culture, The Belief Instinct will reward readers with an enlightened understanding of belief—as well as the tools to break free of it.
Category: Psychology

The Existence Of God And The Faith Instinct

Author : Howard P. Kainz
ISBN : 9781575911434
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 53.56 MB
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Responding to the rash of books supporting a "new atheism" in recent years, some excellent rebuttals and refutations by Berlinski, Novak, Hart, Day, and others have also been published. The present book, however, is not a continuation of these critical salvos against the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Harris, but engages in a fresh reexamination of several important aspects of the "God-question," along with an exploration of the theory of the "faith-instinct"---a theory that emerges from a respectably long tradition, but in recent years has been largely relegated to the sidelines in theology and philosophy. In the first chapter, scientific, metaphysical, and theological approaches are utilized and integrated in relationship to the question of God's existence. The second chapter is devoted to the "problem of evil," differentiated into the special categories often lumped into that all-too-generic term---moral evils, natural evils, suffering as an evil. Chapter 3 concerns the obvious follow-up question concerning what sort of characteristics, personal or otherwise, we can attribute to God---going beyond the question of God's mere "existence," even if and when we are intellectually convinced of this existence. In the second half of the book, the various meanings of "faith" are considered; and the apparent discrepancy of many New Testament descriptions of faith with the conventional Catholic and Protestant concepts of faith is investigated. Some "family resemblances" of supernatural faith seem to emerge. Then a monograph by Tubingen theologian Max Seckler, Instinkt und Glaubenswille ("Instinct and the Will to Believe"), which comments on thought-provoking texts concerning a "faith-instinct" in the works of Thomas Aquinas, is considered; Seckler brings out the philosophical and theological basis for this concept, as well as its reverberations for modern theology. The theory of a faith-instinct, however, leads to the question of the proper and improper, real or substitute, "objects," of the proposed instinct. Finally, if this instinct is, as hypothesized, implanted in human nature itself, for all places and all times, what is the function of the various religions in "activating" or placing obstacles to, the activation of this instinct? How are "false prophets," who may be instrumental in redirecting or misdirecting this instinct, to be recognized? Is faith bolstered or hindered by miracles---do miracles have any important relationship to faith? The book ends with a final consideration of the probable mental outlook of the atheist confronted with claims by theists of varying persuasions.
Category: Philosophy

The Digital God

Author : William Indick
ISBN : 9780786498925
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 38.5 MB
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As humans charge up the steep slope of technological innovation, Digital Age media increasingly shapes our perception of everything--even spiritual matters. The next stage of spiritual development may be the product of a digital interface between our own image of the divine, virtual reality technology that produces real perceptions, and with devices that stimulate areas of the brain associated with spiritual experience. This book explores the influence of digital media on spirituality and the impact of the digital environment on our experience of the spiritual world. The author predicts a future in which digital technology and neuroscience will combine to create a new understanding of the divine.
Category: Literary Criticism

Religious Evolution And The Axial Age

Author : Stephen K. Sanderson
ISBN : 9781350047440
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47.7 MB
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Religious Evolution and the Axial Age describes and explains the evolution of religion over the past ten millennia. It shows that an overall evolutionary sequence can be observed, running from the spirit and shaman dominated religions of small-scale societies, to the archaic religions of the ancient civilizations, and then to the salvation religions of the Axial Age. Stephen K. Sanderson draws on ideas from new cognitive and evolutionary psychological theories, as well as comparative religion, anthropology, history, and sociology. He argues that religion is a biological adaptation that evolved in order to solve a number of human problems, especially those concerned with existential anxiety and ontological insecurity. Much of the focus of the book is on the Axial Age, the period in the second half of the first millennium BCE that marked the greatest religious transformation in world history. The book demonstrates that, as a result of massive increases in the scale and scope of war and large-scale urbanization, the problems of existential anxiety and ontological insecurity became particularly acute. These changes evoked new religious needs, especially for salvation and release from suffering. As a result entirely new religions-Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism-arose to help people cope with the demands of the new historical era.
Category: Social Science

The New Reflectionism In Cognitive Psychology

Author : Gordon Pennycook
ISBN : 9781315460154
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 77.64 MB
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This volume presents detailed reviews and will be of use to anyone interested in the strengths and weaknesses of human reason. This volume will also be of use to both proponents and skeptics of dual-process theory as it represents a strong case for the wide theoretical significance of the distinction between intuition and reflection. The empirical evidence indicates that analytic thinking plays a significant role in everyday life. Reason does, in fact, matter.
Category: Psychology

A Dictionary Of Human Instincts

Author : Mitch C. Bronston
ISBN : 9780595720941
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 23.13 MB
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This dictionary is probably the first dictionary of human instincts to be published. Moreover, the Introduction of the dictionary contains the first publication of the new and important Bronston heritability coefficient. Note: A Dictionary of Human Instincts also appears as an appendix to Human Behavior: The New Synthesis by Mitch Bronston and Nils K. Oeijord.
Category: Psychology

Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That

Author : Jesse Bering
ISBN : 9781448111381
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 57.34 MB
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Why do testicles hang the way they do? Is there an adaptive function to the female orgasm? What does it feel like to want to kill yourself? Does ‘free will’ really exist? And why is the penis shaped like that anyway? Research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering takes readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behaviour. Exploring the history of cannibalism, the neurology of people who are sexually attracted to animals, the evolution of human body fluids, the science of homosexuality and serious questions about life and death, Bering boldly goes where no science writer has gone before. With his characteristic irreverence and trademark cheekiness, Bering leaves no topic unturned or curiosity unexamined, and he does it all with an audaciously original voice. Whether you’re interested in the psychological history behind the many facets of sexual desire or the evolutionary patterns that have dictated our current phallic physique, Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That? is bound to create lively discussion and debate for years to come.
Category: Psychology

What Is Religion

Author : Jeppe Sinding Jensen
ISBN : 9781317545996
Genre : Religion
File Size : 21.30 MB
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Religious belief is one of the most pervasive and ubiquitous characteristics of human society. Religion has shadowed and illuminated human lives since primitive times, shaping the world views of cultures from isolated tribes to vast empires. Starting from the premise that religion is a concept which can be analysed and compared across time and cultures, What is Religion? brings the most up-to-date scholarship to bear on humankind’s most enduring creation. The book opens with a brief history of the idea of religion, then divides the study of religion into four essential topics - types, representations, practices, and institutions – and concludes with a final, eye-opening chapter on religion today. Packed with case studies from a wide range of religions, past and present, What is Religion? offers a very current, comprehensive, yet intellectually challenging overview of the history, theories, practices, and study of religion. Accessible, wide-ranging, engaging, and short, What is Religion? is written primarily for undergraduate students in the study of religion, but it will also be invaluable for students of anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, and theology as well as anyone interested in how and why humans came and continue to be religious.
Category: Religion

Judaic Technologies Of The Word

Author : Gabriel Levy
ISBN : 9781317543442
Genre : Religion
File Size : 89.54 MB
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Judaic Technologies of the Word argues that Judaism does not exist in an abstract space of reflection. Rather, it exists both in artifacts of the material world - such as texts - and in the bodies, brains, hearts, and minds of individual people. More than this, Judaic bodies and texts, both oral and written, connect and feed back on one another. Judaic Technologies of the Word examines how technologies of literacy interact with bodies and minds over time. The emergence of literacy is now understood to be a decisive factor in religious history, and is central to the transformations that took place in the ancient Near East in the first millennium BCE. This study employs insights from the cognitive sciences to pursue a deep history of Judaism, one in which the distinctions between biology and culture begin to disappear.
Category: Religion

Human Hope And The Death Instinct

Author : David Holbrook
ISBN : 9781483145587
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 82.27 MB
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Human Hope and the Death Instinct: An Exploration of Psychoanalytical Theories of Human Nature and their Implications for Culture and Education focuses on the study of human nature. The manuscript first offers information on psychology as a form of philosophical anthropology and reactions against the Freudian theory, including the origins of love and hate, death instinct, and metapsychology and negation. The book then discusses human nature and the development of object-relations psychology. Topics include the theories of W. R. D. Fairbairn on love and structure of personality; relationships of psychology, poetry, and science; Fairbairn’s analysis of the logic of hate; and Melanie Klein’s concept of phantasy and aggression. The text evaluates the relationships of identity and social theory, education, culture, and moral development, as well as amorality, progress, and democracy. The manuscript also discusses the connection of psychoanalysis and existentialism, including Jean-Paul Sartre’s concept of freedom and R. D. Laing’s position on existentialism. The book is a vital source of data for readers wanting to study human nature.
Category: Psychology