I can’t wait for this book!

I really enjoy Jesse Bering’s psychology blog on Scientific American; he writes in a style that I find humorously clever and engaging, and broaches some very brave topics. He pushes and challenges the boundaries around the psychological phenomena and behaviours we find acceptable (e.g. with this post); but at the same time, he is certainly not on some sort of reactionary tirade against traditional values, and his writing supports these values where they make sense, e.g. in this post (“Monogamy may not be natural, but neither is indifference to our partners’ sex lives or tolerance for polyamory.”) Because you can’t choose your beliefs, I feel a certain anxious gratitude towards people who show me that the values I have are actually more compatible with my humanistic beliefs than with religion. It is such a relief and makes everything feel well in my mind.

Anyway, so imagine my glee when I found out about the book he has written:

I had no idea he was interested in such subjects! I simply cannot wait for this book to come out!! 😀

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11 Responses to I can’t wait for this book!

  1. LK says:

    OH This sounds interesting! Might have to be added to my list. I take it its about why we as humans believe in God, souls, and the like? Or what it means psychologically?

  2. sanil says:

    YAY! I have never heard of this person before. But the blog sounds interesting, and now that I know about it, I can’t wait for the book either! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Achelois says:

    Thanks for sharing the link to his blog and book! I think I would be really interested in reading it.

    “It is such a relief and makes everything feel well in my mind.”

    I’m so happy, darling!

  4. Sarah says:

    It is being released in the US next February (so you Americans have a bit longer to wait than me I’m afraid) – under a slightly different title for some reason. Here is the Amazon.com link: http://www.amazon.com/Belief-Instinct-Psychology-Destiny-Meaning/dp/0393072991

  5. Marahm says:

    This book sounds like a good one to pair with the book I am now reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

    • Sarah says:

      I’ve never read The God Delusion, because from what I read in reviews, Dawkins isn’t well-versed in philosophy and is spouting a lot of arguments that philosophers consider not very strong. Plus of course he is so unsympathetic to belief. But it would be interesting nonetheless, and I always admire religious believers who want to see what people like Dawkins have to say… I hope you post about it and let us know what you thought!

      I get the impression Bering’s book is less about the question of whether there’s a God, and more about why we are inclined to believe, which is really interesting for me.

  6. Marahm says:

    I will post about it. I can say now, though, that I am enjoying the book precisely because he is unsympathetic toward belief, and he brings his British humor into every page. He doesn’t talk much about philosophy. The criticism you mentioned may be true. He examines the issue mainly from a scientific viewpoint that makes perfect sense to me, as I am trained in scientific methods, not philosophical theory.

    I wouldn’t become an atheist on the strength of this book alone, but another person might be convinced. I’m simply interested in viewpoints opposite my own. I don’t want to miss out on learning a small bit more of ultimate truth.

    • Sarah says:

      Maybe I shall eventually read it as well 🙂

      “I don’t want to miss out on learning a small bit more of ultimate truth.”

      Applause to that!

    • Coolred38 says:

      Thats exactly why I read books Muslims consider “haram”…because of the unsympathetic tone of the writer. I want to read varying opinions and not just the “accepted concensus” one. How boring is that? Muslims seem to make it a habit to ban books or whole authors in an attempt to keep the agreed upon concensus the only opinion available to other Muslims.

      And some are so agreeable to being sheep.

      • Achelois says:

        Coolred, I read a couple of anti-faith books this year and it was really an eye-opening experience. I have noticed this fear in theists about books that *shouldn’t be read.* A Muslim will gladly read anti-Christianity books and a Christian will happily read anti-Islamic books but God forbid if they read something that will shake their own belief!

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