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BREAKING THE SPELL: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

An exploration of modern scientific theories of religion, framed by an argument that society must overcome its "spell" against studying religion as a natural, evolutionary occurrence.Dennett (Center for Cognitive Studies/Tufts), a National Book Award finalist for Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995), seeks to expose religion to the systematic tools of modern science. It is too important in our global ... Read full review

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Rambles on with much repetition but not elucidation, as if it is believed that provocative comments are sufficiently self evident as to not require criticism themselves, and, in lieu of 'deemed needless' argumentative support, will some how convince the audience through repetition. All along, it is rather obvious that, in the guise of philosophical authority, the author is merely drawing cheers and warm and fuzzy feelings from an irreligious audience who just want to hear that rhetoric (over and over again) and are willing to pay for it by the droves...so the author hopes. Thought stimulating but never drives a point all the way home. Makes presumptions (that an entity called God cannot be clearly defined) that are not well supported. In the Quran, for instance, God is the sole creator and determiner of all things, besides whom there is no creator or determiner of things. All that this true God's creatures can determine (hopefully) is their fate in the next life by their own constant resolute exercise of faith in the one creator, God, who, claiming to be such, provides a guiding list of things to believe in and act on. Such a prescription is well distilled in the Quran, but also strongly present in the scripture of Torah and Gospel and others. The author is a jester (unconsciously admitting to himself that the subject of religion rather than the subject of true or false religion is big business in a secular world) to a court of religiosity tourists, fence straddlers, and atheists who put all their eggs in a basket which spans only from procreation to death, tacitly flaunting that being held to account for proper/improper faith and actions after their death is dogmatically not at all a possibility to consider. The author steeps all religion, without exception in a brew of casted spells and confusion. Yet he seems to add his own ingredients of confusion by generalizing without following a concise set of premises and a proper logical train of thought. I fail to see where the veils or spells are in truly believing in a good, pure and moral life and an over arching unfathomable yet intimately aware ever-living benefactor/judge that will ultimately supply me with eternal risk free pleasures, honors, and above all, the eternal approval (vs. dis-approval) by this utmost authority on this and all the other sides of reality.  

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