We're social animals, and we're at our best in social groups. Religion just happens to be a really accessible group.
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It makes sense that the brain might be specialized for religious experiences. Indeed, an evolutionary perspective on religion implies that humans are inherently susceptible to religious views.
How has it changed as human societies have evolved over the centuries? These musings are precisely the ones posed by America's premier sociologist, Robert Bellah in "Religion in Human Evolution."
Eradicating religion is not possible. It is a fallacy that ignores the specs of the human machine. We are not rational entities. Religion grows on the social machinery in our brains.
The face of religion in the United States is changing dramatically. This seismic shift is not going unnoticed.
Maybe religion is beneficial, after all. That's the natural inference to draw from psychologist Susan Blackmore's sudden reversal of her long-held position that religion is a parasite on human existence.
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