Are there benefits to religious belief and participation?

Introduction

Recently several books written by prominent authors have been published that attack religious belief as a pernicious delusion. The four most prominent authors are Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, who collectively are often called the “new atheists” [Dawkins2006; Dennett2006; Harris2006; Hitchens2007]. In his book, prominent biologist Richard Dawkins asks us

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