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Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Psychology > B013MOAIV6
  1. Can Science Explain Religion?: The Cognitive Science Debate
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  2. Can Science Explain Religion?: The Cognitive Science Debate

    [B013MOAIV6]
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Additional Information

The "New Atheist" movement of recent years has put the science-versus-religion controversy back on the popular cultural agenda. Anti-religious polemicists are convinced that the application of the new sciences of the mind to religious belief gives them the final weapons in their battle against irrationality and superstition. What used to be a trickle of research papers scattered in specialized scientific journals has now become a torrent of books, articles, and commentary in the popular media pressing the case that the cognitive science of religion can finally fulfill the enlightenment dream of shrinking religion into insignificance, if not eliminating it altogether. James W. Jones argues that these claims are demonstrably false. He notes that cognitive science research is religiously neutral; it can be deployed in many different ways in relation to the actual belief in and practice of religion: to undermine it, to simply study it, and to support it. These different approaches, Jones suggests, reflect the background assumptions and viewpoints brought to the interpretation of the data.

The goal of this book is not to defend either a general religious outlook or a particular religious tradition, but to make the case that while there is much to learn from the cognitive scientific study of religion, attempts to use it to "explain" religion are exaggerated and misguided. Drawing on scientific research and logical argument Can Science Explain Religion? directly confronts the claims of these debunkers of religion, providing an accessibly written, persuasive account of why they are not convincing.

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Specifications

Country
USA
Author
James W. Jones
Binding
Kindle Edition
Edition
1
EISBN
9780190249403
Format
Kindle eBook
Label
Oxford University Press
Manufacturer
Oxford University Press
NumberOfPages
248
PublicationDate
2015-09-30
Publisher
Oxford University Press
ReleaseDate
2015-09-30
Studio
Oxford University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is by far the best book I've read on the relationship science has to religion. Not focusing on any particular religion, the author provides powerful arguments that religion needs to be seen in its own terms rather than as just a simplistic holdover of our ancestral DNA. I particularly liked his multiple explanations argument, showing that something like suicide can be explained sociologically, psychologically, economically and even through physics (the rate of a falling body off a tall building) rather than as a simple one-cause. I get tired of hearing reductionist explanations that attribute religion to evolutionary processes and so am so pleased that this book was written. I've been recommending it to my friends and hope that it becomes widely known and read. Maybe someone could be ambitious and consider doing an unabridged audio version. I give it my highest recommendation!
A great expose on where we stand in the Grand scheme of things. We basically dont know up from down. There are many opinions on the nature of reality. Each comes from a special point of view or context. Every possible explanation is incomplete, :) as constraints, and is rendered from a specific worldview. A pluralistic universe requires many types of explanations. This is the thrust of this work.. well worth the read.
Should be required reading for all budding scientists. Practicing scientists need to read this book, but will they take the medicine it offers? On the other hand, if you are not in this field, the first chapter may bog you down with all the personalities and seemingly trivial understandings and developments in the field.

Chapter 2 heats up! Finally an ADULT enters the room, someone who has lived a fuller life outside the mind-distorting ivory lab, has seen these same ideas meet their proper nemesis and back off. Don't worry we'll never wake up to a newspaper headline: "Science has discovered that God is dead!" but this book gives you the insight and analysis you need to take on similar thinking and assertions. You are not merely imagining that such an anti-religious effort is underway; it is.

James W Jones does not present a religious outlook of his own, but argues that many cognitive scientists have not been neutral -- and should be. He shows you in... Read more
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