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In this landmark work, Paul Kurtz examines the reasons why people accept supernatural and paranormal belief systems in spite of substantial evidence to the contrary. According to Kurtz, 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. Kurtz 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 nineteenth century, and the paranormal belief systems of today. This acclaimed and controversial book includes sections on mysticism, belief in the afterlife, the existence of God, reincarnation, astrology, and ufology. Kurtz concludes by explaining and advocating rational skepticism as an antidote to belief in the transcendental.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release: 2013-09-10
File: 516 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781616148287

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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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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Pyr Books
Release: 1991-02-01
File: 516 Pages
ISBN-13: 0879756454

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No Marketing Blurb

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Genre: Reference
Author: Matt Cravatta
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release: 2004
File: 150 Pages
ISBN-13: UOM:39015060863472

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Paul Kurtz was one of America's foremost expositors of humanist philosophy. In Living without Religion he introduced a new word to describe humanism - eupraxophy. Derived from the Greek roots eu (good), praxis (practice), and sophia (philosophical and scientific wisdom), eupraxophy means literally "good conduct and wisdom in living." Eupraxophy draws upon the disciplines of the sciences, philosophy, and ethics - yet it is more than these. Not simply an intellectual position, eupraxophy expresses convictions about the nature of the universe and how to live one's life with commitment and dedication. It thus combines both a cosmic outlook and a life stance. Kurtz maintains that the eupraxopher can lead a meaningful life and help create a just society, and he offers concrete recommendations for the development of the humanism of the future. An entire section of this book is devoted to the careful definition of religion, which clearly demonstrates than an authentic moral life is possible without religious belief. Following Kurtz's Transcendental Temptation and Forbidden Fruit, Living without Religion completes a trilogy of humanist works that responds to theistic critics of modern secular humanism.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher:
Release: 1994
File: 159 Pages
ISBN-13: UCSC:32106010987334

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Paul Kurtz has been the dominant voice of secular humanism over the past thirty years. This compilation of his work reveals the scope of his thinking on the basic topics of our time and his many and varied contributions to the cause of free thought. It focuses on the central issues that have concerned Kurtz throughout his career: ethics, politics, education, religion, science, and pseudoscience. The chapters are linked by a common theme: the need for a new enlightenment, one committed to the use of rationality and skepticism, but also devoted to realizing the highest values of humanist culture. Many writings included here were first published in magazines and journals long unavailable. Some of the essays have never before been published. They now appear as a coherent whole for the first time. Also included is an extensive bibliography of Kurtz's writings. Toward a New Enlightenment is essential for those who know and admire Paul Kurtz's work. It will also be an important resource for students of philosophy, political science, ethics, and religion. Among the chapters are: "Humanist Ethics: Eating the Forbidden Fruit"; "Relevance of Science to Ethics"; "Democracy without Theology"; "Misuses of Civil Disobedience"; "The Limits of Tolerance"; "Skepticism about the Paranormal: Legitimate and Illegitimate"; "Militant Atheism vs. Freedom of Conscience"; "Promethean Love: Unbound"; "The Case for Euthanasia"; and "The New Inquisition in the Schools."

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2018-04-17
File: 401 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781351294386

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The secular age has confronted human beings with a fundamental challenge. While the naturalistic worldview rooted in science has persuasively shown that traditional religious conceptions of the universe are unsustainable, it has so far offered no compelling secular narratives to replace the religious narratives so entrenched in civilization. In the absence of religion, how do thoughtful contemporary individuals find meaning in a secular world? In this book, philosopher Paul Kurtz argues for a new approach that he calls eupraxsophy. Kurtz first coined the term in 1988 to characterize a secular orientation to life that stands in contrast to religion. Derived from three ancient Greek roots, eupraxsophy literally means "good practice and wisdom." Drawing upon philosophy, science, and ethics, eupraxsophy provides a thoroughly secular moral vision, which respects the place of human values in the context of the natural world and presents an empirically responsible yet hopeful picture of the human situation and the cosmos in which we abide. Editor Nathan Bupp has conveniently gathered together Kurtz’s key writings about the theory and practice of eupraxsophy for the first time in this volume. Written with eloquence and scope, these incisive essays show how Kurtz's brand of humanism moves above and beyond the current "new atheism." Eupraxsophy successfully bridges the cultural divide between science and value and provides a genuine and constructive alternative to religion. Bupp’s informative introduction places the concept of eupraxsophy in historical perspective and shows why it is critically important, and relevant, today.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release: 2012-06-26
File: 361 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781616142797

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Are there any ethical values and principles that nonreligious individuals can live by? In a time when many have forsaken otherworldly religions, what does human life mean? What is its significance? Secular humanism attempts to answer these questions in a way that resonates with human aspirations and the findings of science. It provides a scientific, philosophical, and ethical outlook that exerts a profound influence on civilization and that may be traced back to the ancient world, through the modern world, down to the present. Today many schools of thought broadly identify with humanist ideas and values. By conjoining the term secular with humanism, we may narrow its focus and meaning, enabling us to distinguish secular humanism from other forms of humanism ... in the contemporary world Secular Humanism offers a bold new paradigm.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher:
Release: 2007
File: 62 Pages
ISBN-13: 1591024994

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As we begin the third millennium there is cause for cautious optimism regarding the human prospect. Democratic revolutions and the doctrine of universal human rights have captured the imagination of large sectors of humanity, while major advances in science and technology continue to conquer disease and extend life, contributing to rising standards of living, affluence, and cultural freedom on a worldwide basis. Paradoxically, at the same time ancient authoritarian fundamentalist religions have grown in vitriolic intensity along with bizarre New Age, media-driven paranormal belief systems. Also surprising is the resurgence of primitive tribal and ethnic loyalties, unleashing wars of intolerance and bitterness. In Skepticism and Humanism, Paul Kurtz locates these threatening developments within a long-standing and largely unchallenged theological worldview. He proposes, as an alternative to religion, a new cultural paradigm rooted in scientific naturalism, rationalism, and a humanistic outlook. An estimated 60 percent of scientists are atheists or agnostics. However, the skeptical world view has been given little currency even in advanced societies, because of a cultural prohibition against the criticism of religion. At the same time, science has become increasingly narrow and specialized so that few people can draw on its broader intellectual and cultural implications. Skepticism and Humanism attempts to meet this need. It defends skepticism as a method for developing reliable knowledge by using scientific inquiry and reason to test all claims to truth. It also defends scientific naturalism-an evolutionary view of nature, life, and the human species. Kurtz sees the dominant religious doctrines as drawn from an agricultural/nomadic past, and emphasizes the need for a new outlook applicable to the postindustrial information age. At the same time, he rejects postmodernism for abandoning science and embracing a form of nihilism. There can be no doubt that as a new global civilization emerges, scientific naturalism, rationalism, and secular humanism have something significant to say about the meaning of life. Skepticism and Humanism shows how they can to foster democratic values and social prosperity. The book will be important for philosophers, scientists, and all those concerned with contemporary issues. Paul Kurtz taught at Trinity College, Vassar College, and State University of New York at Buffalo. He is founder of Prometheus Books, a major publisher of philosophical works. He is the author of some thirty books including Toward a New Enlightenment (available from Transaction) Humanist Manifesto 2000, and A Secular Humanist Declaration. He is chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, and editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry magazine.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Release:
File: 306 Pages
ISBN-13: 1412834112

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Happiness is within everyone's grasp and is only a matter of making the right choices. Taking destiny into one's own hands and having the creative audacity to strive, seek, and meet challenges is the essence of life's drama and exaltation. Life per se has no meaning; it only presents opportunity to be seized and acted upon, thus paving the way for personal achievement and the full life. Paul Kurtz, in Exuberance, shows his readers how to banish drudgery from life and how to find happiness in the active life. Drawing upon his personal experience, knowledge, and success, Kurtz explains his philosophy of life, discussing learning and work, pleasure, eroticism and sexuality, morality, the need for love and friendship, and participation in contemporary issues. He suggests that self-power, resourcefulness, daring, creativity, and intelligence help guide and control one's life in spite of the many obstacles along the way. Only the individual can initiate his own success and therefore can take pride in accomplishing what he sets out to do. Exuberance also shows the reader how to cope with an ambiguous world. Life is charged with unexpected events and bizarre happenings. It is filled with richly diverse and idiosyncratic characters. Constant effort and exertion is needed in making a living, meeting new friends, falling in love, raising children, seeing projects through, and coming to terms with old age and death. Dealing with these problems directly rather than fleeing from life's risks reinforces a person and leads him towards an exuberant, rich, zestful life. According to Dr. Kurtz, the fulfillment of one's own purpose is in creating one's own ends and expending the power and energy to attain them. Thus, life's great sin, he suggests, is being lazy and noncreative.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release: 2015-05-13
File: 178 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781615929122

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For more than three decades, philosopher Paul Kurtz has been a strong advocate of skepticism, not only as a philosophical position, but also as a fulfilling way of life. Contrary to the view that skepticism is merely a negative, nay saying, or debunking stance toward commonly held beliefs, skepticism as defined by Kurtz emerges reborn as "skeptical inquiry"—a decidedly positive philosophy ready and able to change the world. In this definitive collection, editor John R. Shook has gathered together seventeen of Paul Kurtz’s most penetrating and insightful writings. Altogether these essays build an affirmative case for what can be known based on sound common sense, reason, and scientific method. And as each essay cogently and convincingly explains, so much can be known, from the natural world around us to the moral responsibilities among us. The work is organized in four topical sections. In the first, "Reasons to Be Skeptical," Kurtz presents compelling reasons why the methods of inquiry used by the sciences deserve respect. In short, science provides reliable knowledge, without which humanity would never have emerged from the age of myth and widespread ignorance. In the second section, "Skepticism and the Non-Natural," Kurtz shows how skeptical inquiry can be fruitfully used to critique both paranormal claims and religious worldviews. He also investigates whether science and religion can be compatible. In the third section, "Skepticism in the Human World," he considers how skeptical inquiry can be applied to politics, ethics, and pursuit of the good life. Realizing the essential connections between scientific knowledge, technological power, and social progress, Kurtz has understood, as few philosophers ever have, how the methods of intelligence can be applied to all areas of human endeavor. The book concludes with Kurtz’s authoritative reflections on the skeptical movement that he founded and has led. As he explains, the forces of blind faith and stubborn unreason still fight for control of the mind, so the skeptic can never rest. If there is a brighter future for humanity, a future in which every person enjoys a realistic opportunity for the pursuit of excellence, Kurtz’s ‘exuberant skepticism’ can show us the way.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Paul Kurtz
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release: 2010-10-29
File: 230 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781615929702

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