Dennett & his second question concerning natural basis for religion

Daniel further expands his vision in order to answer the crucial question pertaining to religion in the sense that he asks this very pertinent question that should signify study of religion. The question in itself is a very interesting and a triggering point to start our discussion on religion, which would help us to further comprehend things into its right perspective, without being waylaid by extraneous elements.

“If you can approach the world’s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.”- Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.

Daniel makes it a point that since religion was acquiring a very prominent position in the starting of the 18th century, when the logic and renaissance was a very distant idea, the traditional values determined and dictated every contour of the public life and the private sphere of every person’s life. It is a point that now since there has been a promulgation of technology, technology, material cards, world, desires, and earthly fascinating objects in our significance surrounding in this empirical world, people have been taken a bag by the series of events. They have been completely diluted by their delusions as well as swish desires, which could be satisfied by such worldly elements, but once these people will awake from the so-called dogmatic slums, they will regain their consciousness back from these material objects of sensory gratification. They will understand that religion has again taken its prominent position.
We can extend this point also to this very fact that having peaceful – 
coexistence friendly rivalry where one religion is spread over its point of having great environmental protection and the other is spreading over to the fact that they are having social economic justice and qualities. These greater degree of specifications are welcome and acceptable.

We can even understand the relevance of religion in these contemporary times by the thought experiment, which Daniel provided through his example of music. He says that if one day you will see this particular news in the science section of a newspaper that music is the prominent reason for which it could result in severe health related ailments, psychological disruption of the mood, as well as It is also clearly responsible for spouting aggression, violence, as well as xenophobia among the people. The news that tells you that music is responsible for an increased chance of heart attack as well as people to commit acts of violence and grave aggression, which increases if they are listening to the musical tones in their life.

You will be shocked to hear such information being transmitted in the news report. However, you will have a very defined perspective towards such a message. This would be evident from the statement that Caltech and Harvard know about music. I like music and I do not care about such information. Life without music would be a life, not worth living, not worthwhile at all, hence the music which is having such melodious stones that are helping millions of people and like by thousands of beings in this world, it is lessened by everyone. We must make this a point that even a region is considered as the objectionable drug which is to be prohibited as per the context of many religions in this world. It is still listened to and cherished by most of the people in this universe.

It could be here by efficiently concluded by the aforementioned arguments that just the way we had a rational and a scientific scrutinisation of alcohol and tobacco. We should apply the same scientific rigor and critical competency related to religion as well, thereby, in conclusion, I can confidently and emphatically reiterate towards the point which Daniel intended to make through his study of this religion, and that is the very fact that The scientific study of religion is the need of the hour.

Daniel Dennett (2006); Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.
Dennett, D. 1971. Intentional systems. The Journal of Philosophy 68:87-106.
Iannaccone, L. R. 1991. The consequences of religious market structure: Adam Smith and the economics of religion. Rationality and Society 3:156-177.

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B.A Philosophy (Hons.) from Hansraj College, University of Delhi


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