The Skeptics Contemporary Essays

The Skeptics Contemporary Essays-20
Journalist Guy P Harrison argues that this is an ineffective way of encouraging people to develop critical thinking about religion.

Devoting separate chapters to psychics, life after death, parapsychology, astrology, UFOs, faith healing, alternative medicine, and many other topics, Hines examines the empirical evidence supporting these popular paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Used in a variety of courses in various disciplines, Asking the Right Questions helps students bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis.

New to this edition are extended sections on psychoanalysis and pseudopsychologies, especially recovered memory therapy, satanic ritual abuse, and facilitated communication. Specifically, this concise text teaches students to think critically by exploring the components of arguments–issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language–and on how to spot fallacies and manipulations and obstacles to critical thinking in both written and visual communication.

Godless is a fascinating memoir, a tour of one distressing extreme of religiosity, a handbook for debunking theism.

But most of all, it is a moving testimonial to one man’s emotional and intellectual rigor in acclaiming critical thinking.

This makes sense, because one of the hardest things we confront is the need to change.

By this criterion, in the enormous story of what we all do with our lives, Dan Barker is one of the most interesting and brave protagonists I know.Conversions on the road to Damascus are for those who hear voices and fall prey to delusions and who would be better off seeking professional help.Much more valuable in the human story are the reflections of intelligent and ethical people who listen to the voice of reason and who allow it to vanquish bigotry and superstition. My kids are in the process of learning about literature, and a rule of thumb they’ve picked up concerns how to recognize the protagonist of a Story: it’s the character who undergoes the greatest transformation.Now, in this revealing volume, nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism, shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief.These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists, providing a portrait that will surprise most readers.Whether you’re a believer, a complete sceptic, or somewhere in between, you’ll find Harrison’s review of traditional and more recent arguments for the existence of God refreshing, approachable, and enlightening.From religion as the foundation of morality to the authority of sacred books, the compelling religious testimony of influential people, near-death experiences, arguments from “Intelligent Design”, and much more, Harrison respectfully describes each rationale for belief and then politely shows the deficiencies that any good sceptic would point out.For sceptics looking for appealing ways to approach their believing friends or believers who are not afraid to consider a sceptical challenge, Harrison’s book makes for very stimulating reading.Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals, antagonistic to religion, devoid of moral sentiments, advocates of an “anything goes” lifestyle.Plus, you’ll also find: (1) Sagan’s Ten Tools for Baloney Detection and Shermer’s Ten Questions For Baloney Detection.(2) How Thinking Goes Wrong: The 25 Fallacies of Thinking Problems in Scientific Thinking.

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