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The Rationality of Heuristic Religious Belief


Wood, G, The Rationality of Heuristic Religious Belief, A New Science of Religion, Routledge, GW Dawes and J Maclaurin (ed), Abingdon, pp. 189-204. ISBN 9780415635851 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

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Religious belief takes many forms throughout the world, and has taken many forms throughout human history. And although over the past several hundred years some have assumed that religious belief was an outmoded form of thought, the majority of humans still hold some form of religious belief. So it seems that religious belief is a robust and persistent feature of human thought. (And I wager it will remain thus.)

This book explores a new science of religion. But what does it mean to study religion scientifically? In Breaking the Spell (2006), Daniel Dennett argues for a scientific attitude to be taken toward religious belief. Rather than consider religious belief "off limits" to scientific study, Dennett advocates its study. Psychology, understood as a science, has been very successful in understanding much of human thought. So it seems reasonable to approach our understanding of religious belief from a psychological perspective.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Philosophy of religion
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Wood, G (Dr Graham Wood)
ID Code:80296
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2012-10-29
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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