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

Fb2 God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life ePub

by Jesse Bering

Category: Personal Transformation
Subcategory: Self-perfection
Author: Jesse Bering
ISBN: 1857885600
ISBN13: 978-1857885606
Language: English
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (November 1, 2010)
Pages: 252
Fb2 eBook: 1493 kb
ePub eBook: 1354 kb
Digital formats: doc lit mobi azw

Jesse Bering is a brilliant young psychologist, a gifted storyteller, a careful reader of Jean-Paul Sartre, and a. .

Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University, author of How Pleasure Works. An interesting and pleasurable book to read, mainly because it throws up demanding challenges

The Belief Instinct book. That is why so many people believe in destiny or fate. Fate is really God stripped of his identity".

The Belief Instinct book. In this lively and masterfully argued new book, Jesse Bering unveils the psychological Why is belief so hard to shake? Despite our best attempts to embrace rational thought and reject superstition, we often find ourselves appealing to unseen forces that guide our destiny, wondering who might be watching us as we go about our lives, and imagining what might come after death.

Jesse Bering writes a book that balances between being. impression of the book is one of creative scholarship, and the most important. aspect of it is that it has managed to achieve a signicant goal, that is, to popu-. larize the discussion about aspects of what we call religion, belief in gods and. superstition.

Nature Lively and brilliantly argued, The Belief Instinct explains the psychology behind belief.

The God Instinct explores how people's everyday thoughts, behaviours and emotions betray an innate tendency to. is a regular contributor to Scientific American, Slate, and Das Magazin (Switzerland).

The God Instinct explores how people's everyday thoughts, behaviours and emotions betray an innate tendency to reason as though God were deeply invested in their public lives and secret affairs. In this entertaining and thought-provoking book, Jesse Bering unravels the evolutionary mystery of why we grapple for meaning, purpose and destiny in life. He argues that 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, an opiate of the masses.

Bering reveals the roots of religion in our ability to think beyond our immediate surroundings .

Bering reveals the roots of religion in our ability to think beyond our immediate surroundings, and explains why this capacity for belief sets us apart from other animals. From a respected psychologist and award-winning columnist, this is the only book to explain belief in God from a scientific perspective. What's in the Box? 1 x The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life.

Jesse Bering Originally published in Great. Jesse Bering Originally published in Great Britain under the title The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life All rights reserved For information about permission. plebes, and the bloated politicians of ancient Greece and gave them all a show. During public debates on the most serious matters of the day-from the rape of Helen, to the economy, to the nature of.

The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life (Paperback). In this entertaining and thought-provoking book, Jesse Bering unravels the evolutionary mystery of why we grapple for meaning, purpose and destiny in life

The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life (Paperback). Jesse Bering (author). Instead, Bering proposes, God is a way of thinking - one that evolved through our ancestors, millions of years ago, to keep us in check and give us the edge on our competitors.

Bering does not follow this style in the book and I found no reference of a companion scientific style publication by.

Bering does not follow this style in the book and I found no reference of a companion scientific style publication by him on this idea. So: Bering has found three ways in which religion is evolutionarily adaptive: it (sometimes) makes us more social and moral; it (sometimes) makes us more reproductively fit, and it (sometime) helps us see the universe in a more efficient way. In other words, religion makes evolutionary sense even if it isn't true.

The new science of religion - there is no bigger subject In this book, we're going to address head-on some of life's biggest questions: Is there really a God who cares about you? Is there really a special reason that you are here? Will your soul live on after you die? Or, alternatively, are God, souls and destiny simply a set of seductive cognitive illusions, one that can be accounted for by the unusual evolution of the human brain?A" The God Instinct explores how people's everyday thoughts, behaviours and emotions betray an innate tendency to reason as though God were deeply invested in their public lives and secret affairs. In this entertaining and thought-provoking book, Jesse Bering unravels the evolutionary mystery of why we grapple for meaning, purpose and destiny in life. He argues that 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, an opiate of the masses. Instead, Bering proposes, God is a way of thinking. That strangely sticky sense that some intentional agent willfully created us as individuals, wants us to behave in particular ways, observes and knows about our otherwise private actions, communicates messages to us in code through natural events and intends to meet us after we die would also have been felt by our ancestors and led to their behaving in ways that favoured their reputations (and thus saved their genes).
Comments to eBook God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life
Wohald
This book is a fascinating exploration of what drives human beings to believe in all kinds of ludicrous ideas, like destiny, purpose, meaning, and god. Most shocking of all is the dawning understanding that evolution has actually wired our brains to indulge in such delusional thinking. The book could be described as an in-depth analysis of Theory of Mind: the uniquely human capacity to understand that other people and creatures have mental states, or subjective experiences. This ability causes us to see purpose, intelligence, and intentionality in just about everything. What started as a social skill to help us survive in small tribal organizations has become a fundamental building block of how we perceive reality itself. Mr. Bering does an excellent job of fleshing out his arguments and covers the topic quite extensively. A slight warning is necessary, however: do not read this book until you are completely ready to abandon every last scap of magical thinking that you have heretofore indulged in. It's conclusions can be depressing, but this must be tempered with the realization that no one perspective on reality encompasses the whole picture. If nothing else, it's the best book on Theory of Mind that I've yet found.
Dalarin
This book, without resort to conventional atheism, explains the nature of our religious and supernatural beliefs. It is highly recommendable. Jesse Bering explains that our superstitious intuitions depend on humanity's evolved capacity to reason about the unobservable mental states of other beings. This is unique to mankind and is called "theory of mind". However, we do not only interpret the mind-states of persons, but also of animals, artifacts, and natural events.

Such ideas are not simply errant ways of thought invented by religious charismatics. In fact, it is part of our nature to think in a religious way. According to Bering, "culture develops and decorates the innate psychological building blocks of religious belief" (Kindle Loc.1835). These are adaptive illusions, because being observed by a supernatural audience promoted inhibitory decisions against ancestral biological drives, which in turn bolstered reproductive success. After all, being "good" would have been highly adaptive, especially since our verbal capacity of gossip often has the consequence of ostracism. Supernatural reasoning has served to restrain our selfish and impulsive behaviour, since it undermines the anonymity of the situation (cf. Kindle Loc.2844f). Says Bering:

"The cognitive illusion of an ever-present and keenly observant God worked for our genes, and that's reason enough for nature to have kept the illusion vividly alive in human brains." (Kindle Loc.2912f)

So this is an entirely different take than the hard-hat kind of atheism as represented by Richard Dawkins, for instance. According to Bering, God is an adaptive illusion, which means that the notion has been functional in human history. This opens up the question whether supernatural beliefs should be regarded *psychologically* real, since they have a pronounced effect on psychic and social life. After all, that which works is usually regarded real. Comparatively, our self-conscious ego is an illusion created by the brain. Although we know this, few people question the reality of their own ego. (This review has largely been retrieved from my article on synchronicity.)

Mats Winther
Rrinel
Jesse Bering achieves two tasks here. First he provides a nice overview of the status of theory of mind hypotheses in the scientific community, both for humans and other animals.

Secondly and most interestingly, the book's last half drills down into research on how humans think about the supernatural - in particular the different conclusions between religious believers and non-believers. Related and also covered is research on the different thinking observed by the children of the religious vs. the children of non-religious parents.

The research Bering provides on [religious] belief reveals some interesting surprises amongst even atheists. In some areas up to 1/3 of some adult atheists aren't immune from our belief instinct.

The first half isn't all that illuminating if you're already well-read on the basics of theory of mind. The second half is easily worth the price of admission when it comes to parsing out the differences in thinking between believers and secularists. That and explaining why some humans refer to a god to explain death and tragic results; that's the chapter I found most interesting.
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