Belief and Make-Believe

Belief and Make-Believe

Critical Reflections On The Sources of Credulity

eBook - 2013
Rate this:
Why do so many people - sometimes even intelligent people - swallow the preposterous claims of religion? G. A. Wells, the leading freethinker of our time, tries to shed light on this puzzle in his entertaining and enormously learned book, Belief and Make-Believe. Professor Wells begins by analyzing the nature of belief. To dispel popular confusions on the relation between words and thoughts, he compares the thinking process of scientists, laymen, and chimpanzees. The power of emotion and instinct to help form people's ideological outlooks is analyzed by preference to "defiance" and "reliance", polar attitudes which arise from the need for dominance and submission in primate groups. Wells shows the influence of defiance and reliance in patriotism and in monotheistic religions, where submission to the will of the omnipotent is a wonderful technique for feeling secure in the face of life's actual and ineradicable dangers. Since the knowledgeable Christians now accept that the Bible is uneven, unreliable, and sometimes morally abhorrent, and that the New Testament account of the origin of Christianity is mostly legend, various attempts have been made to save something from the debris by selective re-interpretation. Wells evaluates several typical examples, showing how the apologists shrink from the clear implications of their arguments, which would demolish the whole edifice of Christian doctrine. Finally, Professor Wells debunks some of the extravagant and mystical claims that have been made for the arts, notably poetry, as quasi-religious vehicles for gaining insights into the human condition.
Publisher: [United States] : Open Court : Made available through hoopla, 2013
ISBN: 9780812698701
0812698703
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GSPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top