Atheism and Unbelief: Different Ways to Apply the Evolutionary Framework

Studia Humana 8 (3):7-20 (2019)
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Abstract

Religion has been intensely studied in the last years inside an evolutionary frame, trying to discern to what extent it contributes to fitness or becomes an adaptive entity in its own. A similar heuristic can be tried regarding the opposite tendency: unbelief and atheism, since these cultural phenomena could help to better adapt to some social settings or become an adaptive socio-cultural niche on its own. The present paper examines some scenarios in which that question makes sense: the tradition of sociology of religion, with its different strands, including recent studies on ‘non-religious’; the cognitive; and the philosophical-theological reflection. The proposed venues show to what extent the evolutionary model might reveal neglected aspects in the study of unbelief, and at the same time its limits or the open questions that such application raise.

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Lluis Oviedo
Pontificia Universita Antonianum

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