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The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 judgement 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.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Transcendental Temptation, The Courage to Become, and Embracing the Power of Humanism, plus nine hundred articles and reviews. He was the founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He appeared on many major television and radio talk shows and has lectured at universities worldwide.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780879756451
Author:
Kurtz, Paul
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Location:
Buffalo, N.Y. :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Child Psychology
Subject:
Child psychology and development
Subject:
Parapsychology
Subject:
Occultism
Subject:
Skepticism
Subject:
Parapsychology - General
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
skepticism;paranormal;atheism;religion;philosophy
Copyright:
Edition Number:
2
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
no. 18
Publication Date:
19910331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
516
Dimensions:
9.32x5.98x1.01 in. 1.58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » Atheism and Humanism
Metaphysics » Parapsychology
Metaphysics » Skeptics and Debunkers
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal Used Trade Paper
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Product details 516 pages Prometheus Books - English 9780879756451 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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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