Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett

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Title : Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 067003472X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 464 pages


Manny rated it ★★★☆☆

June 13, 2015

As people who read books on evolutionary theory will know, mice sometimes exhibit bizarre behavior, fearlessly walking into the waiting jaws of cats. They do this because they have been infected by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can only reproduce in a cat's digestive tract; the mouse's be...

Marina rated it ★★★★★

February 15, 2008

To preface my remarks here, I think it is important that I note Dennett's definition of religion and its implications. He defines religion as social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought. Two elements of the definition almost cause...

Tucker rated it ★★★★☆

October 06, 2007

An admirable intellectual, Dennett spends the first several chapters carefully establishing the parameters of his discussion. His book addresses the adherents of organized religion: more specifically, those who believe that God is a "who" rather than a "what", and who hold certain sets of beliefs...

Paul rated it ★★★★★

January 08, 2009

I can't recommend this highly enough. This is not an anti-religion screed at all, but comes at the topic of religion as a naturally emerging aspect of humanity in a thoughtful, funny, accessible way. It is "New Atheist" only in that it calls for open questioning and research of religion and its u...

Rod rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 21, 2016

This was my fourth attempt at reading Breaking the Spell. Back when I first got interested in nonbelief, it was one of four books I purchased physical copies of at the bookstore, along with The God Delusion, God is Not Great, and The End of Faith. In fact, it was the first of those four books I d...

Jamey rated it ★★★★☆

November 04, 2007

If I understood it, the basic thesis of Dennett's arrogantly titled Consciousness Explained was that consciousness is a phenomenon that emerges from the harmonious orchestration of many smaller, dumber subsystems in the brain. Among the good ideas in Breaking the Spell is the claim that one of th...

Paul rated it ★★☆☆☆

December 06, 2007

I really wanted to like this book, because I'd just finished reading The End of Faith and God is Not Great, but this book suffers from lack of conviction. Where The End of Faith is the absolute model of conviction, and God is Not Great lays out convincing arguments (but takes some of their moment...

Miloš rated it ★★★★☆

July 17, 2016

Već od samog provokativnog naslova nam je jasan cilj knjige, ali ton samog izlaganja je zapanjujuće prijateljski, sa vrlo malo provokacija. Izgleda da je autor zaista iskren kada kaže da je knjiga napisana da bi je čitali i religiozni ljudi. Naravno, on misli na obrazovane i intelektualno poštene...

Jed rated it ★★★★☆

July 21, 2009

I considered for the first time that teaching a child religion might be a form of child abuse. I learned that there might be bio-evolutionary reasons why religions develop and that when we come to see that religion is invented, we need to remember to be gentle with others who might not have seen...

Aya rated it ★★☆☆☆

November 10, 2016

The problem is that there are good spells and then there are bad spells. If only some timely phone call could have interrupted the proceedings at Jonestown in Guyana in 1978, when the lunatic Jim Jones was ordering his hundreds of spellbound followers to commit suicide! If only we could have brok...

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