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Record Type: Review   ID: 1146

The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal

Kurtz, Paul

 Kurtz is a leading secular humanist philosopher and founding chair of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the Paranormal. He aims this book at the general reader and argues on behalf of secular humanism as a replacement for religion and paranormal belief systems. The first part is on "Skepticism and the Meaning of Life." The second is on "Mysticism, Revelation, and God," and the third is on "Science and the Paranormal." Kurtz argues that the major religions are based on revelation, and that the phenomena of parapsychology share a similar base. He feels that these fields have a large following because their adherents have succumbed to the "transcendental temptation," or a proclivity for magical thinking, which undermines critical judgment. He discusses the prospects for developing a humanistic society based on a truly scientific foundation. The areas of parapsychology dealt with are mediumship, ESP experiments, and survival.
Publisher Information:Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1986. 500p. Bibliographical footnotes; Index: 485-500; 1 table
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