PART 1: SEEING GOD IN A NEW LIGHT
Chapter 1: Is God beyond the Reach of Science?
A Road to Damascus Not Taken
What Is the Real Reason for Belief in God?
A Sense of Presence
Requirements for a Scientific Theory of Religion
Chapter 2: Illusions Can Be Broken
What Does It Mean to Call Something an Illusion?
The Illusory Perception of God
Parable of the Mysterious Witness
Chapter 3: The Elephant in the Room
Is There a God Instinct?
Is God an Evolutionary By-Product?
Is God a Virus?
Is God a Figment of Our Cognition?
Why Is God a Cruel Tyrant?
Why the Obsession with Death?
Something Is Missing from This Picture
Chapter 4: The God-Shaped Vacuum
A Sea Turtle’s Infancy
Human Infancy and the Presence of God
The Innate Image of Mother
The Gull-Shaped Vacuum
PART 2: EVIDENCE AND QUESTIONS
Chapter 5: Infantile Imagery in Religion
Popular Religious Literature
Sunday School Lessons
Art and Architecture
Chapter 6: The Nature and Nurture of Religious Experience
Attachment as a Biological Need
God as an Attachment Figure
Correspondence and Compensation
A Menu of Life Paths
The Raw Material of Evolution
Chapter 7: Two Biological Roots: Social Cooperation and Neonatal Survival
The Two-Faced God
The Dichotomy of Religion
Spiritual but Not Religious
Our Coins, the Pledge, and Prayer in Public Schools
The Mysterious Appeal of the Shakers
Is Religion Only Two-Dimensional?
Chapter 8: Is God an Evolutionary Hack?
Why Would the Innate Model Persist beyond Infancy?
The Hack of Infantile, Maternal, and Sexual Love
Why Are Women More Religious Than Men?
Why the Obsession with Sex?
The Hack of Hypersociality
Chapter 9: From Cuttlefish to Cults
How or Why?
Malignant Narcissism as an Adaptation
Leaders, Followers, and Evolutionary Stability
Sacrifice as a Biological Signal
Human Nature Run Amok
Chapter 10: Creator, Mother, Fluid, Etc.
Why Is God a Creator?
Why Is God Not Female?
Why Are Priests Not Female?
Why Do Believers Pray?
Why Ecstasy and Violence?
Why So Many Nasty Gods?
What about Godless Religions?
Why Are There Atheists?
Chapter 11: Does an Infant Have a Mind?
Infantile Amnesia and Neural Development
Selective Attention as a Window to the Mind
The Sense of Motion
The Smell and Taste of Mother
The Perception of Faces
Seeing Biological Motion
Imitation and the Expectation of Mother
Isn’t This Illusion Maladaptive?
Chapter 12: A Trick of the Brain
Innate Knowledge Is the Core of Human Nature
Faith Is Tenacious Because It Is Addictive
An Embodied Self Reads the Minds of Others
God’s Presence Is a Drug-Free Hallucination
Chapter 13: The Supernormal Phantom
Are We All Born Atheists?
Other Things Explained
Red Pill or Truman’s Boat?
PART 3: PERSONAL IMPLICATIONS
Chapter 14: The Illusion of Immortality
Chapter 15: What If God Is Not Real?
A Drastic Change in Worldview
God, Your Loved Ones, and You
Coping with Death
God, Humanity, and the Earth
APPENDIX 1: THE STUMBLING BLOCK OF CREATIONISM
Adjustments in Thinking
APPENDIX 2: A PSYCHOMETRIC TEST