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Download Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology: From Human Minds by Justin L. Barrett PDF

By Justin L. Barrett


Cognitive technological know-how, faith, and Theology is the 8th identify released within the Templeton technology and faith sequence, during which scientists from a variety of fields distill their event and information into short excursions in their respective specialties. during this quantity, recognized cognitive scientist Justin L. Barrett deals an obtainable assessment of this interdisciplinary box, studies key findings during this sector, and discusses the consequences of those findings for spiritual idea and practice.
Cognitive technology is the interdisciplinary learn of minds and psychological job, and as such, it addresses a primary characteristic of what it's to be human. additional, in as far as non secular traditions problem rules and ideology in regards to the nature of people, the character of the area, and the character of the divine, cognitive technological know-how can give a contribution either without delay and in some way to those theological matters. Barrett indicates how direct contributions come from the starting to be sector known as cognitive technology of faith (CSR), which investigates how human cognitive platforms tell and constrain non secular idea, event, and expression. CSR makes an attempt to supply solutions to questions corresponding to: Why it truly is that people are usually non secular? And why are convinced principles (e.g. the potential for an afterlife) so cross-culturally recurrent? Barrett additionally covers the oblique implications that cognitive technological know-how has for theology, reminiscent of human similarities and changes with the animal global, freedom and determinism, and the connection among minds and bodies.
Cognitive technological know-how, faith, and Theology critically stories the learn on those attention-grabbing questions and discusses the numerous implications that come up from them. furthermore, this brief quantity additionally deals feedback for destiny learn, making it perfect not just for these trying to find an summary of the sphere to this point, but in addition for these looking a glimpse of the place the sector should be stepping into the future.

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Additional info for Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology: From Human Minds to Divine Minds

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In this chapter I present how nonconscious information contributes to the formation of beliefs, an area of broad application and particularly relevant to religion and theology. 2 Common sense tells us that much of what we believe was imparted to us by other people. The importance of testimony bears upon every domain of knowing, even in the sciences: we believe things because trusted others tell us that they are true. Arguably, we would know very little in life if we did not give testimony the benefit of the doubt—sometimes called the credulity principle.

Similar lessons apply to other beliefs that are not directly formed through perception or memory. I discuss these below. Two Kinds of Belief In a similar vein to Kahneman, and following anthropologist Dan Sperber, I find it helpful to talk about two kinds of “beliefs”: reflective or explicit beliefs, and nonreflective or intuitive beliefs. Reflective Beliefs Reflective beliefs are those beliefs we consciously hold and explicitly endorse. Barring deception, simple verbal responses are the most direct measure of reflective beliefs.

In terms of the two-system model above, reflective beliefs are a product of the reasoning system. Reflective beliefs are typically represented as propositions. “The chair is ugly,” “England won the last World Cup,” “Bob is angry at Emma because Nick told Tom about Bob’s secret,” “Maple leaves have five points,” and “Harvey is seven feet tall” are all examples of reflective beliefs. Note that reflective beliefs are not necessarily inferential in the sense of reflectively drawing inferences from consciously accessible evidence or reasons or inferring them from other beliefs, a point I return to below.

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