The Belief Instinct by Jesse Bering
The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life

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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.
 

About Jesse Bering

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Jesse Bering, Ph.D. is a frequent contributor to Scientific American and Slate. His writing has also appeared in New York magazine, The Guardian, and The New Republic, among others, and has been featured by NPR, Playboy Radio, and more. The author of The Belief Instinct, Bering is the former Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at the Queen's University, Belfast, and began his career as a professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives in Ithaca, New York.
 
Published February 20, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 272 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Things have a preconceived purpose, from the soul to signs in nature, and are put on earth to solve human problems and for human use, perceived as evidence of a designing hand at work, some supernatural agent behind tornadoes, volcanoes, human destiny, the flight of birds, etc.

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About.com

In The Belief Instinct, evolutionary psychologist Jesse Bering sets out to illustrate why belief in God is not a delusion, as Richard Dawkins would have us believe, but a useful illusion, an adaptive trait that we humans have evolved over time.

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Scientific American

Moreover, it makes the additional assumption that the belief that "God is watching" must be coupled with the belief that God will tell on us, since social bias is asserted as the "fatal" pressure on the chance to reproduce.I find your personal attacks to be quite amusing, as they seem to be based...

Apr 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Belief Instinct: The Psyc...

Scientific American

Either that, or we must concur with them that meaning is in fact “out there” and that the evolution of the human brain was indeed guided by God, a God that slowly, methodically, over billions of years, placed our ancestors into the perfect selective conditions in which they were able to develop t...

Jan 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Belief Instinct: The Psyc...

Scientific American

Either that, or we must concur with them that meaning is in fact “out there” and that the evolution of the human brain was indeed guided by God, a God that slowly, methodically, over billions of years, placed our ancestors into the perfect selective conditions in which they were able to develop t...

Jan 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Belief Instinct: The Psyc...

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