The Transcendental Temptation Download Ebook PDF Epub Online

Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2013-09-10
Page : 516
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1616148284
Description :


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.


Author :
Publisher :
Release : 2015
Page :
Category :
ISBN 13 :
Description :



Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2015-05-13
Page : 178
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1615929126
Description :


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.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2010-10-29
Page : 326
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1615921486
Description :


Paul Kurtz, America's leading secular humanist philosopher, affirms that it is possible to live the good life and be morally responsible, without belief in religion. In this original and penetrating book, Kurtz delineates the means by which humanity can transcend the limitations of traditional religious loyalties and achieve a higher stage of ethics. Fundamentalists deny the possibility of ethics without belief in God. Conservatives rail against secularists. Yet belief in God is no guarantee of moral virtue - as the evils committed in the name of religion have vividly shown. Are there secular ethical principles and values that are vital for a world in crisis? In this new edition of Forbidden Fruit, Kurtz defends the ethics of secularism and humanism. In order to progress to a maximum level of creative development, he maintains that we must be nourished by the "forbidden fruit" of the knowledge of good and evil, grounding principles and values in autonomous reason. This is the path that leads to the discovery of significant ethical truths that can guide both self-reliant conduct and consideration for the rights of others. By breaking the bonds of theistic illusion, we can summon the courage and wisdom to develop a rational ethic based on a realistic appraisal of nature and an awareness of the centrality of the moral decencies common to all peoples. The ultimate key to the good life, Kurtz writes, is to eat of the fruit of the second tree in the Garden of Eden - the tree of life - discovering for ourselves the manifold potentialities for a bountiful existance. Forbidden Fruit contains important chapters on ethical excellences for individuals, moral education for children, and thoughts on privacy and human rights, in addition to presenting concrete ethical recommendations as alternatives to the reigning orthodoxies.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
Release : 2000
Page : 227
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780847699667
Description :


Paul Kurtz argues that it is possible for rationalists and free thinkers to lead exemplary lives.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 1994
Page : 159
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 :
Description :


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.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Greenwood Publishing Group
Release : 1997
Page : 138
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780275958978
Description :


Kurtz offers an optimistic appraisal of the "human prospect" and outlines a philosophy both for the individual and the global community.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2010-10-29
Page : 230
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1615929703
Description :


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.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2013-06-24
Page : 368
Category : Religion
ISBN 13 : 1615921710
Description :


In recent years a noticeable trend toward harmonizing the distinct worldviews of science and religion has become increasingly popular. Despite marked public interest, many leading scientists remain skeptical that there is much common ground between scientific knowledge and religious belief. Indeed, they are often antagonistic. Can an accommodation be reached after centuries of conflict? In this stimulating collection of articles on the subject, Paul Kurtz, with the assistance of Barry Karr and Ranjit Sandhu, have assembled the thoughts of scientists from various disciplines. Among the distinguished contributors are Sir Arthur C. Clarke (author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and numerous other works of science fiction); Nobel Prize Laureate Steven Weinberg (professor of physics at the University of Texas at Austin); Neil deGrasse Tyson (Princeton University astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium); James Lovelock (creator of the Gaia hypothesis); Kendrick Frazier (editor of the Skeptical Inquirer); Steven Pinker (professor of psychology at MIT); Richard Dawkins (zoologist at Oxford University); Eugenie Scott (physical anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education); Owen Gingerich (professor of astronomy at Harvard University); Martin Gardner (prolific popular science writer); the late Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize-winning physicist) and Stephen Jay Gould (professor of geology at Harvard University); and many other eminent scientists and scholars. Among the topics discussed are the Big Bang and the origin of the universe, intelligent design and creationism versus evolution, the nature of the "soul," near-death experiences, communication with the dead, why people do or do not believe in God, and the relationship between religion and ethics.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2012-06-26
Page : 361
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1616142790
Description :


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.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 1977
Page : 178
Category : Conduct of life
ISBN 13 : 9780879803537
Description :



Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Release : 2013-04-16
Page : 310
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1616147369
Description :


In his final book, the late Paul Kurtz outlines his personal vision for a planetary ethics inspired by scientific wisdom. Blending realism and optimism, he lays out the basic principles of an ethical approach that he calls humanist eupraxsophy--that is, the application of practical moral choices inspired by scientific wisdom. Emphasizing the dramatic character of the biosphere, human affairs, and the physical universe itself, Kurtz has structured the book in terms of an operatic scenario, with an overture, intermezzo, nine acts, and a grand finale. Citing the emergence of a new planetary civilization, he proposes the development of a planetary ethics based on universal human rights, free scientific inquiry unfettered by dogma, an attitude of exuberance toward human potentials, and courage and determination in the face of the daunting challenges of our time. Kurtz concludes on an enthusiastic note: there is meaning to be found in creative human endeavors as well as a sense of awe and profound reverence inspired by the spectacle of the enormous universe and the prospects for the human adventure.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 1974
Page : 216
Category : Humanism
ISBN 13 :
Description :



Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 1983
Page : 273
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 :
Description :


A collection of essays by Paul Kurtz that offer a closely reasoned defense of secular humanism, arguing that ultraconservatives are not simply attacking secular humanism but also the basic tenets of free society and explaining the benefits of secular humanism in the modern world.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 2007
Page : 62
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9781591024996
Description :


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.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 2011
Page : 61
Category : Religion
ISBN 13 : 9781616143541
Description :


Out of the long and enlightened history of humanism--with its concern to overcome superstition in all its varied forms by employing reason, the scientific method, critical thinking, pluralism, democracy, tolerance, and compassionate caring--has emerged an exciting new antidote to the infectious factionalism that plagues every facet of our lives. Paul Kurtz and the Institute for Science and Human Values offer the world this compelling Neo-Humanist Statement of Secular Principles and Values as a reasonable, and practical approach to living a vibrant, meaningful, and morally grounded life. Endorsed by over 100 leading scientists and public intellectuals, the statement celebrates the many differences that highlight our uniqueness while emphasizing that we are all members of the human community and we must act cooperatively using transnational institutions if we are to solve our many pressing problems. The endorsers include Arthur Caplan, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Lawrence Krauss, Elizabeth Loftus, Joe Nickell, Jean-Claude Pecker, Steven Pinker, James Randi, Carol Tavris, and Lionel Tiger, among others. Paul Kurtz, a leading humanist advocate, is the chairman of the Institute for Science and Human Values, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a humanist laureate, and president of the International Academy of Humanism.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 1992
Page : 371
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 :
Description :


No Marketing Blurb


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 2005-08-01
Page : 127
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9781591023890
Description :


In this optimistic, life-affirming book, philosopher Paul Kurtz succinctly outlines the main characteristics of the humanist perspective. Centered on human concerns and employing rational and scientific methods to determine objective truth, humanism is dedicated to the development of individual human potentials and the improvement of the planetary community. Emphasizing that the good life is achievable by everyone, Kurtz has coined the term eupraxsophy, based on Greek roots and meaning "good conduct and wisdom in living." By using the most reliable scientific knowledge and critical reason, he shows how wisdom can be applied to conduct while leading a life of commitment and passion. Regarding the perennial search for happiness, Kurtz affirms that secularism also holds far more promise than either religion or political ideologies. Through creative action in the pursuit of goals focused on the enhancement of human welfare the individual has the best chance of realizing a rewarding and meaningful life. The author goes on to show how this realistic and fulfilling life stance is expressed in various human endeavors ranging from ethics to environmental protection, forming lasting human relationships, eroticism, sexuality, being a good parent, finding meaning in life, striving for a beloved cause, facing death with courage, and the goal of creating a stable, thriving, democratic world community.


Author : Paul Kurtz
Publisher :
Release : 1980
Page : 29
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780879751494
Description :


No Marketing Blurb


Author : Paul Kurtz
Vern L. Bullough
Publisher : Transaction Pub
Release : 1994
Page : 401
Category : History
ISBN 13 : 9781560001188
Description :


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."