A landmark work. Mandatory reading for anyone who wants to learn to be a good skeptic.
In this widely acclaimed and highly controversial book, Paul Kurtz examines the reasons why people accept supernatural and paranormal belief systems in spite of substantial evidence to the contrary. According to the author, it is because there is within the human species a deeply rooted tendency toward magical thinking – the “transcendental temptation” – which undermines critical judgment and paves the way for willful beliefs. He explores in detail the three major monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – finding striking psychological and sociological parallels between these religions, the spiritualism of the 19th century, and the paranormal belief systems of today. There are sections on mysticism, belief in the afterlife, the existence of God, reincarnation, astrology, and ufology. Kurtz also explains the nature of skepticism as an antidote to belief in the transcendental.
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