Breaking the Spell (Book Review)

Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett is a great exploration of religion. What it does best is ask questions, and look at religion in a new way.

Here are the parts from the wiki

Part I

Part I discusses the motivation and justification for the entire project: Can science study religion? Should science study religion?

Part II

After answering in the affirmative, Part II proceeds to use the tools of evolutionary biology and memetics to suggest possible theories regarding the origin of religion and subsequent evolution of modern religions from ancient folk beliefs.

Part III

Part III analyzes religion and its effects in today’s world: Does religion make us moral? Is religion what gives meaning to life? What should we teach the children? Dennett bases much of his analysis on empirical evidence, though he often points out that much more research in this field is needed.

He doesn’t take a hard stance (or at least not as far as I read it), but does make a great point/case for being more hostile towards religion (and teaching it to kids).

There are many more questions to be answered and I hope he has sparked some to go and find some.

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