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Born to Believe God, Science, and the Origin of Ordinary and Extraordinary Beliefs

ISBN-10: 0743274989
ISBN-13: 9780743274982
Edition: 2007
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Description: "Born to Believe" was previously published in hardcover as "Why We Believe What We Believe". Prayer...meditation...speaking in tongues. What do these spiritual activities share and how do they differ? Why do some people believe in God, while others  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.99
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 10/2/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

"Born to Believe" was previously published in hardcover as "Why We Believe What We Believe". Prayer...meditation...speaking in tongues. What do these spiritual activities share and how do they differ? Why do some people believe in God, while others embrace atheism? From the ordinary to the extraordinary, beliefs give meaning to the mysteries of life. They motivate us, provide us with our individual uniqueness, and ultimately change the structure and function of our brains. In "Born to Believe", Andrew Newberg, MD, and Mark Waldman reveal -- for the very first time -- how our complex views, memories, superstitions, morals, and beliefs are created by the neural activities of the brain. Supported by groundbreaking original research, they explain how our brains construct our deepest convictions and fondest assumptions about reality and the world around us. Using science, psychology, and religion, the authors offer recommendations for exercising your brain in order to develop a more life-affirming, flexible range of attitudes. Knowing how the brain builds meaning, value, spirituality, and truth into your life will change forever the way you look at yourself and the world.

Preface
How the Brain Makes Our Reality
The Power of Belief
A Mountain of Misperceptions: Searching for Beliefs in a Haystack of Neurons
Reality, Illusions, and the Aunt Who Cried Wolf: The Construction of Perceptual Beliefs
Santa Claus, Lucky Numbers, and the Magician in Our Brain: The Biology of Conceptual Beliefs
Childhood Development and Mortality
Parents, Peas, and "Putty Tats": The Development of Childhood Beliefs
Ordinary Criminals Like You and Me: The Gap between Behavior and Moral Beliefs
Spiritual Beliefs and the Brain
Nuns, Buddhists, and the Reality of Spiritual Beliefs
Speaking in Tongues
The Atheist Who Prayed to God
Becoming a Better Believer
Epilogue: Life, the Universe, and Our "Ultimate" Beliefs
Endnotes
Acknowledgments
Index

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