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Cognitive Science And The New Atheism

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Chapter Summary

The new Atheism based in cognitive science questions all three elements: 1) I, believe in, and 3) God. Belief is certainly an object of study in cognitive science, and the results of research do not closely match popular notions of faith. With respect to God, cognitive scientists can legitimately ask: If a god did exist, how would its own cognitive functions operate, and what material basis would enable them? The scientific discipline that has studied religion in modern societies most intensively is sociology, and the original scope of cognitive science left out sociology, and indeed much of social cognition in general. This chapter anticipates the currently progressing union of cognitive science with cognitive social science, and employ a broader definition of the field that includes social cognition, communication, and the ways that humans use information pragmatically during interaction with others.

Keywords: cognitive science; communication; new atheism; social cognition



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