Born to Believe: God, Science, and the Origin of Ordinary and Extraordinary Beliefs

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 2, 2007 - Religion - 352 pages
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Born to Believe was previously published in hardcover as Why We Believe What We Believe.

Prayer...meditation...speaking in tongues. What do these spiritual activities share and how do they differ? Why do some people believe in God, while others embrace atheism? From the ordinary to the extraordinary, beliefs give meaning to the mysteries of life. They motivate us, provide us with our individual uniqueness, and ultimately change the structure and function of our brains.

In Born to Believe, Andrew Newberg, MD, and Mark Waldman reveal -- for the very first time -- how our complex views, memories, superstitions, morals, and beliefs are created by the neural activities of the brain. Supported by groundbreaking original research, they explain how our brains construct our deepest convictions and fondest assumptions about reality and the world around us. Using science, psychology, and religion, the authors offer recommendations for exercising your brain in order to develop a more life-affirming, flexible range of attitudes. Knowing how the brain builds meaning, value, spirituality, and truth into your life will change forever the way you look at yourself and the world.
 

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This book will help you open your mind and understand how your brain works to create your beliefs. You will end the book better understanding who you are and what you believe. Much like the summary explains, "Knowing how the brain builds meaning, value, spirituality, and truth into your life will change forever the way you look at yourself and the world." 

Contents

in a Haystack of Neurons
16
Santa Claus Lucky Numbers and the Magician
70
CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND MORALITY
101
Ordinary Criminals Like You and
132
SPIRITUAL BELIEFS AND THE BRAIN
165
Speaking in Tongues
191
The Atheist Who Prayed to God
215
Beliefs
273
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Page 13 - We believed that the spirit pervades all creation and that every creature possesses a soul in some degree, though not necessarily a soul conscious of itself. The tree, the waterfall, the grizzly bear, each is an embodied Force, and as such an object of reverence.

About the author (2007)

Andrew Newberg, MD, is an associate professor of Radiology and Psychiatry and an adjunct assistant professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and also director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind. He is co-author of Why God Won't Go Away and The Mystical Mind. He lives in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Mark Robert Waldmanis an associate fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. A therapist and the author of nine books, he founded the academic journal Transpersonal Review. He lives in Agoura, California.

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