Why Would Anyone Believe In God? by Justin L. BarrettWhy Would Anyone Believe In God? by Justin L. Barrett

Why Would Anyone Believe In God?

byJustin L. Barrett

Paperback | April 21, 2004

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 217 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Because of the design of our minds. That is Justin Barrett's simple answer to the question of his title. With rich evidence from cognitive science but without technical language, psychologist Barrett shows that belief in God is an almost inevitable consequence of the kind of minds we have. Most of what we believe comes from mental tools working below our conscious awareness. And what we believe consciously is in large part driven by these unconscious beliefs. Barrett demonstrates that beliefs in gods match up well with these automatic assumptions; beliefs in an all-knowing, all-powerful God match up even better. Barrett goes on to explain why beliefs like religious beliefs are so widespread and why it is very difficult for our minds to think without them. Anyone who wants a concise, clear, and scientific explanation of why anyone would believe in God should pick up Barrett's book.
After completing his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Cornell University, Justin Barrett served on the psychology faculties of Calvin College (Michigan) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and as a research fellow of the Institute for Social Research. Recently, he was the Associate Director for the International Culture and ...
Title:Why Would Anyone Believe In God?Format:PaperbackDimensions:152 pages, 9.12 × 6.09 × 0.32 inPublished:April 21, 2004Publisher:AltaMira PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0759106673

ISBN - 13:9780759106673


Table of Contents

1 Preface 2 What does it mean to "believe"? 3 Where Do Beliefs in Gods Come From? Religious Concepts as Minimally Counterintuitive 4 Where Do Beliefs in Gods Come From? Finding Agents Everywhere 5 Where Do Gods Come From? Additional Factors that Contribute to Gods' Credibility 6 How Religious Actions Enhance Belief in Gods 7 The Naturalness of Belief in God 8 The Naturalness of Believing in Minds: An Analog for Understanding Belief in God 9 Why Would Anyone NOT Believe in God? 10 In Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

In a beautifully argued presentation, Justin Barrett brings together diverse material from cognitive psychology to show that belief in God is natural. Belief is intuitively satisfying because it depends on mental tools possessed by all human beings. That it is natural does not imply that it is true, for the mental tools were elaborated through natural and cultural selection to help humans survive, not to find truth. This book will become a classic for religious studies, and should be read by anthropologists, theologians, and scientists, as well as all those puzzled by the force of religion.