The Skeptics Contemporary Essays

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.

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Many of the authors, for example, express great affection for particular religious traditions, even as they explain why they cannot, in good conscience, embrace them.

None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive, and several even express regret that they cannot, or can no longer, believe.

This book was required reading for “Why We Believe Weird Things: Science and Pseudoscience in Psychology” taught by Dr.

Jeffrey Brookings and for “Parapsychology & the Occult” taught by Dr. Popular culture fills the mind with a steady diet of fantasy, from tales of UFO landings and alien abductions, haunted houses, and communication with the dead to claims of miraculous cures by spiritual healers and breakthrough treatments in ‘alternative’ medicine.

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.

As a journalist who has travelled widely and interviewed many highly accomplished people, quite a number of whom are believers, Harrison appreciates the variety of belief and the ways in which people seek to make religion compatible with scientific thought.

Nonetheless, he shows that, despite the prevalence of belief in God or religious belief in intelligent people, in the end there are no unassailable reasons for believing in a God.

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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