• June 29, 2019

In Gods We Trust has ratings and 23 reviews. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human. Recommended by Caspar Henderson: “In Gods We Trust is not easy Scott Atran – an anthropologist who has studied cultures as different as. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Atran, Scott, In gods we trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion / Scott Atran. p. cm. — (Evolution .

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It suggests that scientific thinking has a hard time matching what religion can provide in some situations.

Subscriber Login Email Address. None of this is to imply that religion is a form of PTSD, any more than people like Dostoyevsky having spiritual experiences right before temporal lobe epilepsy seizures, and with similar aatran of the brain affected, implies religion is a form of epilepsy. Atran offers an innovative and interesting look at religious thought.

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran

Books by Scott Atran. How could evolution have favoured wasteful investment in preposterous beliefs? One idea that intrigues me is Atran’s suggestion that religious statements are “quasi-propositional”, by which he means that they share the syntax of ordinary propositions but, since they counter-intuitively violate the expectations of the core modules that make up our brains, we can never resolve them to propositions that have actual meaning.

In and Out of Each Other’s Bodies. The contrast with the clarity of Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained is remarkable. The problem is that you can just as well do this with Atran’s preferred cognitive explanations. The natural tendency to see supernatural agents was then adapted to promote loyalty to the larger group, and replace selfish behaviour with a group morality.

In terms of particulars, however, be warned: Quotes from In Gods We Trust Atran reviews all standard atrzn to religion psychological, sociological, evolutionary,memetical and showcases the critical neglect of the role of the brain’s cognitive apparatus in these explanations ‘mindblindness’. Jul 04, cat added it Shelves: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Not sure how much this is a legit critique and how much an ad hominen; I’ve not read MacDonald.


Atran covers lots of territor Atran pieces together data from cognitive psychology, anthropology, and other fields trkst elucidate how evolution lead to religion. Real issues are being addressed using the religious part of the brain, which obscures identifying real causes and finding workable solutions. I need some godz to think about this difficult idea.

The book is sprinkled with lists, chosen as examples in support of a point. Dissociation in Late Modern America.

‘In Gods We Trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion’, Scott Atran | openDemocracy

Still, the trail takes one to some very interesting vistas. Remember that experimentally controlled and induced hypoxia can also induce an NDE.

Ebook This title is available as an ebook. Part 2 Absurd Commitments. With the large number of attacks in Iraq for instance, and the 7th July bombings in London, the issue of the “suicide bomber” is often on many people’s minds. If you aren’t prepared for some dry, academic writing, avoid this book and pick up Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained atrna, which covers much of the same ground but in trusf more accessible style.

I’ll start with a warning: It tries to answer the age old question of why atrsn exists and nails it. Selected pages Title Page. I fully support challenging ideas on their own merit rather than the usual mindless name-calling and instant dismissal. Healing Symbols in Psychotherapy. Natural Law Anver M. He rambles off on to all sorts of interesting by ways and loses track.

Research on Judaism as allegedly showing tightly cohesive religion as reflecting group selection has many problems in methodology, not actually listed by Atran. There are some places where the writing meanders or goes off taran tangents, though Atran often has something interesting to say on a wide range of subjects.

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion

Once or twice Atran says that he is going to tell us how religion originated, but I cannot fathom what he thinks he has told us.


The other is deeply racist and isolationist and is designed to maintain moral integrity among Jews alone. Religion in Personality Theory. But this does not entail that such terms will have a causally coherent extension.

Kevin Bradshaw rated it it was amazing May 22, It is the direct cognitive result of suspending the relevance criteria that universally apply to ordinary communication. On the social level, religion preys on these basic cognitive elements, such as rituals being used to display hard to fake commitments an idea put forth by William Irons. One of his exceptional talents is in weaving together a vast number of strands that most of us keep asunder.

What he does do is describe a cognitive backdrop against which religious claims, once they appear from wherever, appear to tdust to make sense. It seems that he is trhst the main trying to address contemporary religion, seldom older, never original forms.

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices: Open Preview See a Problem? Mar 15, Nebuchadnezzar rated it it was amazing Shelves: He could have written a great tfust. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. He has done long-term fieldwork in the Middle East and has also written and experimented extensively on the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and reason about nature.

Dec 27, Socraticgadfly rated it really liked it. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. For example, arbitrarily select any news item and see how the different news media present it.