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Maple Grove Book Club: The Belief Instinct by Jessie Bering

  • Feb 28, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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Jesse Bering spoke to MN Atheists last year at a book store on campus.  My husband enjoyed the talk so much, he bought the book.  I figured, he married me, so he must have pretty good taste.  :)  I look forward to keepin' it real with you.  Bring your ideas for summer reading.


"In this lively and masterfully argued new book, Jesse Bering unveils the psychological underpinnings or why we believe.  Combining lucid accounts of surprising new studies with insights into literature, philosophy, and even pop culture, Bering gives us a narrative that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking .   He sheds lights on such topics as our search for a predestined life purpose, our desire to read divine messages into natural disasters and other random occurrences, our visions of the afterlife, and our curiosity about how moral and immoral behavior are rewarded or punished in this life.

Bering traces all of these beliefs and desires to a single trait of human psychology, known as the "theory of mind", which enables us to guess at the intentions and thoughts of others.  He then takes this groundbreaking argument one seop further, revealing how the instinct to believe in God and other unknowable forces gave early humans an evolutionary advantage."


March:  The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

April:  The Year of Living Biblically : One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible / Jacobs, A. J.


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  • Rhonda

    Thanks for coming out on such a crummy night, peeps! I'm still "high" on the discussion.

    February 29, 2012

  • Rhonda

    If you can push yourself through the 1st chapter, it gets much more interesting in chapter 2. Don't give up!

    February 19, 2012

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