The Invention of Religion
In the past, arguments against the existence of gods have mainly come in the form of scientific inquiries that attempt to show the ...more
In some ways, The Invention of Religion is like a modernized (and much shorter) version of James Frazer’s The Gold ...more
Drake takes us through what almost seems like a mathematical proof (although less confounding) of how religions would have formed in early humans. He uses a “Man on an Island” as an abstract representative for early man—like an unknown in a math equation—and then explores certain psychological phenomena to see how early man would have reacted to certain pressures. The book really goes in depth into the psycho ...more
Even with its emphasis on psychology, this book delves into other interesting topics like the origins of morality, experiments with prayer, free will, etc.
And I really thought ...more
I felt like this was a much more enjoyable read than other books on the same topic because the author wasn't belligerent. The most interesting thing (for me, at least) was that it read almost like a mathematical proof (although less confounding). While reading this book, I could tell that D ...more
A fairly short concise read regarding evidence that religion is nothing more than a human invention. It does a fairly decent job of laying out the evidence, and though some of the evidence has been around for some time, the author puts it together in one place with this book. I found this book to be a good place to start exploring the concept that religion is make believe and should promise to be a good source for further exploration (see the cited works section). I found the section on NDEs and...more
“The Invention of Religion" is a brief, well-referenced, well-argumented book that provides the most likely psychological mechanisms that led to the invention of religion. As the author notes, “In the absence of knowledge, humans will invent a religion”. This is the perfect introductory-level book for the layperson. The author does a wonderful job of laying down the foundation of his theories and building sound arguments to a satisfying conclusion. Thi ...more
Thankfully it sticks to science and research and stays away from ...more
At one point the author seems to discourage questioning the theory of evolution; a bad precedent by someone who sets out to question religion which like the theory of evolution has a lot dependent on it. Whether the theory of evolution is correct or not ...more
At the core of the book is the age old idea "Man invented religion to explain his surroundings". But what Drake does very well is break that concept down into stages and analyze it layer by layer.
At the center of everything is the Man on an Island, a naive, simplistic individual with no past experiences who lives on an island in isolation. Drake then goes onto the explain how ideas like rituals, deities and structured religious beliefs can come to this Man on an Isla ...more
The argument is easy to follow since it is broken down into certain “key aspects” of religion, which are then each expl ...more
I’ve read a few by Dawkins, but when you read his books you can just tell that he’s a jerk, so you almost don’t want to agree with him even though you do. Drake is a much more objective writer/thinker.
It explains just HOW religions developed from the needs for security in early man who had no information. He explains how these develop and are propagated, through conquering people, how superstitions form and how they may become anthropomorphised, and eventually may become a god. And, how that deity can perhaps take over more areas.
He explains how ritual came to have meaning, through coincidence, that coincidence recurring, and the psychological theori ...more
It is a simple approach that is neat in its simplicity. He does a good job of explaining how we might form beliefs and ascribe seemingly random and unconnected event ...more
It's an excellent book, with thought-provoking experiments and conjectures/ideas.
The first few chapters concerning (possible) origins of rituals, deity, soul, and afterlife (The 4 cornerstones of any religion), backed with experiments and scientific studies (done by various people over decades) are stimulating and fascinating.
Last couple of chapters of book deal with morality (is it inherent, or adapted?) and origin on life. These chapters too provide with plenty of food for thought.