An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion.
"... [Dr. Wathey's] book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond...[He] argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy.
These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like:
I would suggest that because the terms "illegal alien" and "illegal immigrant" are widely considered to be offensive, primarily because the concept of labeling a person as "illegal" is wrong, (as Taylor mentions in the book) that those terms be changed to the currently more politically correct term for an immigrant who enters a country illegally: "undocumented/unauthorized immigrant". This would show respect to both those who use Sparknotes and would read this synopsis, and also to the book, The Bean Trees, which very clearly rejected the u... Read more →