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The "God" Part of the Brain: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God Paperback – September 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Brilliant...Enormously important...Full of scientific and philosophical truths." -- Mark Waldman, Senior Editor of Transpersonal Review
"Brilliant...Provocative" -- Arnold Sadwin, M.D.; Chief of Neuropsychiatry at University of Pennsylvania's Grad. Hospital; Who's Who in Science, 1995; In Medicine, 1996
"Clear, Concise...Bold and Masterful" -- William Wright, Author of Born That Way
"Excellent Reading for every college student--The resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education." -- Edward O. Wilson; Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
"Matthew Alper is high maintenance. Not only is his intellect superior to most Ph.D. candidates that I know, but his intensity in displaying that intellect and arguing his world view is more compelling than many of my grad school courses. So, here I am, fiercely advocating for a self-published, self-educated, thoroughly unconventional first time author who, with one slim book, has thrown hundreds of years of human religious beliefs out the window and replaced them with a concise scientific view of spirituality that is impossible to argue with...The brain is the secret. In our brains lie nature's survival mechanisms in which god is nothing but a protective lens through which humanity is "programmed" to view the world. Matthew Alper has the chutzpah to remove that lens, to crush it under his heel, and then, as we cringe in the unfiltered light, he dares us all to look up into and stare into the pure scientific truth he has discovered...The "God" Part of the Brain is a challenge at first, but once you open your mind to the potentials of its theories, there is nothing to do but follow its arguments to their logical conclusions. And although he rips away our old stiff crutches, this audacious philosopher is kind enough to spoon feed us a new and positive way to approaching our existences." -- Rebecca Morris
"Thank you for finishing what Julian Jaynes and Joseph Campbell started." -- B.Brown
"The Atheist's Bible" -- Bob Worthington
"You have presented what amounts to a unified theory about the nature of mankind's concepts of God and an afterlife, their origins and evolutionary purposes. I have never seen a better-supported, more comprehensive theory on those questions. Until, or unless, I encounter evidence that meaningfully contradicts your conclusions, I'm going to adopt yours as my own working theory. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it available to me." -- James Hazel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author ties together his own spiritual journey with ideas strung together from the likes of Jung, Kant, Plato, Freud, Darwin and E.Wilson, but unfortunately, in my view, leaves out many ideas concerning group conflict-something with which 'groupish' primates are very much affected. One trouble with emphasising 'awareness of death' in the evolution of religious impulses, is just how relevant the 'fear of death' is to say, teenagers-and yet teenagers can have a quite developed 'spiritual impulse'. (eg The average age of 'religious conversion' quoted in the book is 15.2 years, from a study of 15,000). The association of prayer with healing is discussed, (ie essentially placebo, but also stress reduction), 'near death experiences' (neurochemistry evolved to reduce anxiety), 'speaking in tongues' (glossolalia-not explained here, but possibly, in my view, an infant/childhood mechanism overlapping into adulthood-like crying tears), and others such as guilt, morality, etc are discussed in the light of evolutionary theory as applied to human behaviour.Read more ›
However, I do not recommend it as a book with much to say about the answer to the Big Question for someone else. He comes up with a conclusion, and I'm afraid my review is going to be a spoiler. So if you want to enjoy the explorations and follow him as he asks his questions with equally open mind, I would stop reading this review now.
In my opinion his conclusion is a direct result of his process. His result was pre-ordained by his methodology and the decisions he made along the way. He walked himself into a box canyon and then concludes the canyon leads nowhere. I could see the result coming a thousand miles away. I don't think he had an agenda ... the book is personal enough for me to believe he has an open mind ... I just don't think he let his mind far enough out of the box.
To appreciate where I'm coming from as a reviewer, I've signed up for the belief that we all create our own reality. And I believe that in just about every way one can believe it.
So, in chapter 5 the author struggles with what he knows for certain about god, he comes to the conclusion that god is a word. At one level this is brilliant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been an atheist since I was a teenager so I didn't need any convincing. And yet Alper's writing offers such a thorough analysis of the source of the God myth that even I was... Read morePublished 3 days ago by William G. Schmidt
Reading this is as if you're sitting directly across from the most dim-witted member of your friend group, as they are explaining to you the connection between Mickey Mouse, World... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Aviduser888
I would not treat this work with authenticity. After all, within the chapter, "A Very Brief History of Time", author Matthew Alper explains as "factual evidence"... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
At times the writer sounds a little bit angry toward belief in God, however, I love the book!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
While the first 2/3 of book began to be a little like reading "files" of patients I liked to ending very much, but it wasn't until the end that saw why it was that way.Published 4 months ago by Rachel Wierda
Very interesting perspective! I like that Matt has combined so much research into explaining why humans have such a tendency to believe in god. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Matt James
Did you hear the one about the insomniac, dyslexic agnostic? She stayed up all night reading... Matthew Alper. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rachel Dowling