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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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Scientific Explanations of Religion and the Justification of Religious Belief

Scientific Explanations of Religion and the Justification of Religious Belief

Chapter:
(p.168) 8 Scientific Explanations of Religion and the Justification of Religious Belief
Source:
The Believing Primate
Author(s):

Michael J. Murray

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557028.003.0009

This chapter provides scientific explanations about religion and justifications of religious belief. It presents the four most interesting arguments that are of importance in this claim: (i) religious beliefs are unjustified because they spring from a mechanism known to produce many false positives; (ii) religious beliefs are unjustified because they are produced by mechanisms that generate mutually exclusive beliefs; (iii) religious beliefs are unjustified because, if these accounts are right, the beliefs do not have the proper relationship to the object of the belief; and (iv) religious beliefs are unjustified because the mechanism that produced them was not properly subject to the winnowing power of natural selection.

Keywords:   religion, scientific explanations, religious belief

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