- Age Range: 8 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 6
- Paperback: 84 pages
- Publisher: Dangerous Little Books (January 30, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908675314
- ISBN-13: 978-1908675316
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Belief Book Paperback – January 30, 2015
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And that's pretty much where it ended. I wish I could have had access to David McAfee's book. It would have taken the discussion to a much more insightful level, if not then, then perhaps a year or so later. Beliefs, non-Belief, science, questioning, myth ... the roles that these things play in the varied aspects of our lives and culture are explored in an imaginative and fun way. While geared for the youngster, and speaking on their level, it doesn't come across as condescending, or judgmental.
To summarize, this books fills an important gap for the secular parent (or parents) who want to encourage free thought and independent evaluation and an understanding that thinking and questioning are valuable and valued qualities for children as well as adults.
All that to say that you absolutely should buy it.
There are two prominent ideas about the patterns of religions across humanity. One is that we make up stories when we don't know the answer. The second is that our brains are more hard-wired to narratives than evidence.
This book sticks with the first idea.
David divide his book into an introduction, seven chapters and a conclusion. It is a very short read, but each page is helpful. David organizes each chapter into one overall narrative: we have questions, we come up with and eventually believe stories to answer them, and when enough people organize around the beliefs they become religions.
I will be pleased (and grateful) if David ever writes a follow-up discussing why stories resonate with us more than evidence. I think that would make an excellent companion for this book.
As it stands, David is very careful not to paint believers as inferior in any way. This is important to me because I don't want to teach my kids to avoid, or be scared of, or worry about how to interact with those who believe. I think the best way for them to grow up is understanding how faiths came to exist, and to look for advantages in sharing our world with religious people.