Dave Winter's Reviews > Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett
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's review
Oct 15, 2009

it was amazing
Read in January, 2007

This is one of the more poignant books in "The New Atheism" movement.

Dennett's tone isn't mean, as some people say his more widely read counterpart, Richard Dawkins, is. Dennett actually shows a little compassion for believers, reminding the reader that much of the time the believer has no clue that he or she is "addicted" to their religion, or that they are imbued with its influence because it was among the first things he/she was taught about how the world works. I appreciated Dennett's tone.

The real force behind this book is the biological and philosophical reasoning for belief in (a) god. Dennett deftly illustrates that non-believers are just as moral and "well-behaved" as the believers are, so why have belief in god at all? He shows that there was an evolutionary advantage to belief which allowed our species to advance. I won't spoil it here, but it was fascinating.

5 star recommendation!
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