Well worth reading, and it has a comprehensive reference reading list at the end.
In his 2004 book, The End of Faith, Sam Harris pointed out that alone of all human assertions, those qualifying as "religious," almost by definition, automatically demand and typically receive immense respect, even veneration. Claim that the earth is flat, or that the tooth fairy exists, and you will be deservedly laughed at. But maintain that according to your religion, a seventh-century desert tribal leader ascended to heaven on a winged horse, or that a predecessor had done so, without such a conveyance, roughly 600 years earlier, and you are immediately entitled to deference. It has long been, let us say, an article of faith that at least in polite company, religious faith — belief without evidence — should go unchallenged.No longer. If recent books — many of them by prominent biologists — are any indication, the era of deference to religious belief is ending as faith is subjected to gimlet-eyed scrutiny.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The DNA of Religious Faith
I just read a very interesting long and detailed article in the Cronicle of Higher Education, titled The DNA of Religious Faith By DAVID P. BARASH. It opens with this: