David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Mind and Behavior 27 (3-4):357-366 (2006)
The thesis that Dennett argues for in Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon has a double aspect. First, religion being but one natural phenomenon among many should be subject to scientific investigation. Resistance to this notion constitutes the first spell or taboo and is in complicity with the second “master” spell, that of the phenomenon of religion itself. Dennett’s tentative naturalistic recommendation is two-pronged: he primarily deploys an evolutionary biology perspective, and derivatively a highly suggestive appeal to memetics. To acknowledge that religion is natural “is only the beginning of the answer, not the end”. Religion as a natural phenomenon has to answer to Dennett’s Darwinist refrain — cui bono? (to whose advantage?). And derivatively, how or why highly exotic and implausible supernatural religious ideas (or memes) are transmitted and sustained? Humankind, naturally disposed cause-seeking creatures, are inclined to hypostasize all manner of beliefs (virtual agents free to evolve to amplify our yearnings or our dreads — when explanation of some phenomenon is not forthcoming — this constitutes the “master” spell.
|Keywords||religion consciousness evolutionary psychology philosophy of religion intelligent design creationism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Leslie Marsh (2009). Mindscapes and Landscapes: Exploring the Extended Mind. Zygon 44 (3):625-627.
Similar books and articles
Leslie Marsh (2007). Taking the Super Out of the Supernatural. Zygon 42 (2):356.
David Hume (1992). Writings on Religion. Open Court.
David Hume (2007). A Dissertation on the Passions: The Natural History of Religion: A Critical Edition. Oxford University Press.
Andrew Dole (2004). Schleiermacher and Otto on Religion. Religious Studies 40 (4):389-413.
Jerome A. Stone (2009). Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. By Daniel C. Dennett. Zygon 44 (3):739-741.
Leslie Marsh (2007). Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Journal of Mind and Behavior 24 (3-4):357-366.
Added to index2009-03-26
Total downloads108 ( #16,122 of 1,700,324 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #62,577 of 1,700,324 )
How can I increase my downloads?