2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

The Rational Choice Theory and the Phenomenon of Religious Choice


Meredith D. Hessling
Dr. Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor

People are led to their specific religion for an abundance of reasons including, but not limited to, family influence, negative experiences with past religions, and personal growth throughout their lives. The rational choice theory explains how people make choices based on what they perceive as the best choice for themselves under their own personal pretenses. By relating a person’s religious experience and which of Ninian Smart’s Seven Dimensions of Religion that they most value, gained through research of past studies and survey, to D.C. Dennett’s understanding of religion as a systematic and natural phenomenon, one can hope to answer the question, “Is religion truly a choice, and, if so, is it a rational one?

Keywords: Rational Choice Theory, Religious Choice

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 210-4
Location: VH 1224
Time: 10:15

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