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Rompere l'incantesimo. La religione come…
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Rompere l'incantesimo. La religione come fenomeno naturale (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Daniel C. Dennett (Author)

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2,091283,162 (3.82)37
Member:piopas
Title:Rompere l'incantesimo. La religione come fenomeno naturale
Authors:Daniel C. Dennett (Author)
Info:Cortina Raffaello (2007), Perfect Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:scienza, religioni

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Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
In his book Dennett tries to describe a probable evolutionary progression of organized religions and argues that religions cannot scrutiny as anything else because of their 'holy' status. A bit hard to read but a food for thought nonetheless... ( )
  TheCrow2 | Aug 23, 2013 |
I found this book to be a refreshing take on the atheist argument in that Dennett focuses on the evolutionary function of religion within the human species. Dennett is not as "in your face" aggressive about the argument for atheism as say, Harris, Hitchens, or Dawkins. He is a bit kinder and just has a more methodical approach to his writing. As with the other "four horsemen" writers, I wonder what the intended audience is for these books. I am often left with the feeling that these books are written for the atheist as booster shots. They aren't, what I would call, atheist evangelism, or at least they aren't effective as such. If I had to pick one however, Dennett seems to be less focused on preaching to the choir and more interested in assuming the reader is a believer who is trying to give the atheist argument a fair shot. I tend to believe that if any meaningful dialog is going to come out of the believer/nonbeliever conflict, this type of approach is the only one that has any chance at working. I love reading Harris, Hitchens, or Dawkins because their tenacity is humorous, but they are polemical. I would never give one of their books to a Christian friend who was interested in understanding my point of view. I would consider giving them Dennett though. He explains that one is not stupid for having religious conviction, but there are measurable scientific ways of exploring why humans have those religious convictions and where they possibly came from in the first place. The idea that religious faith as a psychological element has certain evolutionary benefits makes some believers very uncomfortable. That's where Dennett's rubber meets the road. Once belief, even "belief in belief" as Dennett puts it, becomes testable than the magical thinking starts to wane. Believers begin to panic and we end up with a reason vs. unreason. Not a fun place to leave a friend when discussing this sensitive topic. I think this book helps on both sides a breaking down each chapter with summaries and self criticism.
  BenjaminHahn | May 15, 2012 |
Really makes sense of the human propensity to have a god. One of the best books I've ever read. ( )
  Savagemalloy | Feb 20, 2012 |
Dennett is much more readable than many of today's philosophers. He doesn't obscure his ideas behind a wall of abstruse language designed more to befuddle than illuminate. Maybe that's why he has become so controversial when other writers on the same topic have not: people can actually understand what he's saying. Dennett calls for a new paradigm that allows for the open, honest criticism of religion just as other fields of study are openly evaluated. I recommend this book for anyone; and I promise, you won't be struck by lightning if you read it (or at least, I wasn't. I don't actually control lightning, so maybe I should say it's improbable.) ( )
2 vote quantum_flapdoodle | Apr 15, 2011 |
On the one hand, an interesting speculation on religious creeds as competing "memes" (ideas that struggle for survival through reproduction and mutation), on the other, a tedious rhetoric aimed at dissuading people with strong religious convictions. The book would have been so much more interesting as an empirical and theoretical investigation of the survival and evolution of religious ideas. ( )
  Mandarinate | Jan 20, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
He quotes himself (approvingly) as follows (p. 302): ‘‘Yes we have a soul; but it’s made of lots of tiny robots.’’ Thus, for Dennett, our beliefs reside not in our verbal and nonverbal behavioral patterns but in a set of mechanisms (the tiny robots) in our brains.... But, granted that no complete understanding of human behavior can be achieved without understanding internal mechanisms, if you knew everything there is to know about those tiny robots (and the tinier robots inside them, and those inside them) you would still not understand why people do the things they do and why they say the things they say. You will have ignored the most important scientific fact—the most important Darwinian fact— about those patterns (including religious patterns): their function in the person’s environment (including the social environment).
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143038338, Paperback)

For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Religion plays such a powerful role in the world that we should try to understand it in all its complexities, but most adherents bristle at anyone who wants to investigate their practices and beliefs in a scientific manner." "In this new book, Daniel C. Dennett seeks to uncover the origins of this remarkable family of phenomena that mean so much to so many people, and to discuss why - and how - they have commanded allegiance, become so potent, and shaped so many lives so strongly." "Breaking the Spell is not an antireligious screed but rather an eye-opening exploration of the role that religious belief plays in our lives, our interactions, and our country."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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