What is a religious or spiritual delusion? What does religious delusion reveal about the difference between good and bad spirituality? What is the connection between religious delusion and moral failure? Or between religious delusion and religious terrorism? Or religious delusion and despair?
The Abraham Dilemma: A Divine Delusion is the first book written by a philosopher on the topic of religious delusion - on the disorder's causes, contents, consequences, diagnosis and treatment. The book argues that we cannot understand a religious delusion without appreciating three facts. One is that religiosity or spirituality is a part of human nature, whether it takes theistic or non-theistic forms. Another is that religious delusion is something to which we are all vulnerable.
The third is that the delusion is not best understood by reducing it to brain chemistry, or by insisting that it is empirically false. It is best understood by examining its harmful personal and moral consequences - consequences that nearly unfolded when the biblical patriarch Abraham prepared to sacrifice
his son Isaac in response to a command, he thought, from God.
The book presents a fascinating and profound exploration of a phenomenon as old as mankind itself.
Born in Brooklyn, New York; educated in New York City, Canada, and Boston. Served on faculties of Alabama-Birmingham and Wake Forest University. Currently on faculty of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Produced or helped to produce more than 12 books. Former President of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Winner of numerous fellowships and teaching awards. Specializes in philosophy of mind and mental illness.
1. No One Left But God ; 2. Religious Belief and Belief in Delusion ; 3. Modes of Morals ; 4. Spiritual Sense and Religious Sensibility ; 5. Theistic Pragmatics and Personal Well-Being ; 6. The Elements of Religious Delusion ; 7. Straight from Crooked Wood