The Abraham Dilemma: A Divine Delusion

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Oxford University Press, 2015 - Delusions - 172 pages
"What is a religious or spiritual delusion? What does religious delusion reveal about the difference between good and bad spirituality? What is the connection between religious delusion and moral failure? Or between religious delusion and religious terrorism? Or religious delusion and despair? The Abraham Dilemma: A Divine Delusion is the first book written by a philosopher on the topic of religious delusion -- on the disorder's causes, contents, consequences, diagnosis and treatment. The book argues that we cannot understand a religious delusion without appreciating three facts. One is that religiosity or spirituality is a part of human nature, whether it takes theistic or non-theistic forms. Another is that religious delusion is something to which we are all vulnerable. The third is that the delusion is not best understood by reducing it to brain chemistry, or by insisting that it is empirically false. It is best understood by examining its harmful personal and moral consequences -- consequences that nearly unfolded when the biblical patriarch Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac in response to a command, he thought, from God. The book presents a fascinating and profound exploration of a phenomenon as old as mankind itself."--Publisher's website.
 

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Contents

1 No One Left But God
1
2 Religious Belief and Belief in Delusion
25
3 Modes of Morals Made
45
4 Spiritual Sense and Sensibility
59
5 Theistic Pragmatics and Personal WellBeing
93
6 The Elements of Religious Delusion
109
7 Straight from Crooked Wood
135
Bibliography
159
Index
169
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About the author (2015)


George Graham, Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University

Born in Brooklyn, New York; educated in New York City, Canada, and Boston. George Graham has served on faculties of Alabama-Birmingham and Wake Forest University and is currently on faculty of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He has produced or helped to produce more than 12 books and is the former President of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Winner of numerous fellowships and teaching awards, he specializes in philosophy of mind and mental illness.

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