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The Believing PrimateScientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion$
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Jeffrey Schloss and Michael Murray

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557028.001.0001

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Religious Belief as an Evolutionary Accident

Religious Belief as an Evolutionary Accident

(p.118) 5 Religious Belief as an Evolutionary Accident
The Believing Primate

Paul Bloom

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how religious belief emerges as a by-product of ‘highly structured’ systems, or pre-existing adaptations in the social world. It starts by presenting evidence that argues that the universals of religion exist because of the general habits of the human mind: the thought of having ‘agents and designers’ of everything, and having a common-sense dualism (bodies and souls are distinct). It further explains the implications of these habits of thinking.

Keywords:   evolution, religion, dualism, superhuman designers, social structures, evolutionary accident

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