Collected essays from bestselling author Michael Shermer's celebrated columns in Scientific American For fifteen years, bestselling author Michael Shermer has written a column in Scientific American magazine that synthesizes scientific concepts and theory for a general audience. His trademark combination of deep scientific understanding and entertaining writing style has thrilled his huge and devoted audience for years. Now, in Skeptic, seventy-five of these columns are available together for the first time; a welcome addition for his fans and a stimulating introduction for new readers.
Is it possible to be spiritual and yet not believe in the supernatural? Can a person be spiritual without belonging to a religious group or organization?In Spirituality for the Skeptic, philosopher Robert Solomon explores what it means to be spiritual in today's pluralistic world. Based on Solomon's own struggles to reconcile philosophy with religion, this book offers a model of a vibrant, fulfilling spirituality that embraces the complexities of human existence and acknowledges the joys and tragedies of life. Solomon has forged an enlightened new path that synthesizes spirituality with emotions, intellect, science, and common sense. His new paradigm, "naturalized" spirituality, establishes as its cornerstone the "thoughtful love of life"--a passionate concern for the here-and-now, and not the by-and-by. Being spiritual doesn't mean being holed up as a recluse, spending hours in meditation and contemplation, Solomon argues. It demands involvement and emotional engagement with others in the struggle to find meaning in our lives. As such, this modern-day spirituality encompasses a passionate enthusiasm for the world, the transformation of self, cosmic trust and rationality, coming to terms with fate, and viewing life as a gift, all of which are explored in depth throughout this book.Spirituality for the Skeptic answers the need for a non-institutional, non-dogmatic spirituality that leads to personal fulfillment and satisfaction. By examining the ideas of great thinkers from Socrates and Nietzsche to Buddha to Kafka, Solomon arrives at a practical vision of spirituality that should appeal to many seekers looking to make sense of the human condition.
Christian faith almost always meets skepticism. Are you equipped to effectively handle the skeptic’s questions and debates? Meet the Skeptic is a new approach to equipping believers to engage the non-believing culture. Author Bill Foster takes the multitude of objections and reduces them to four basic categories. Understanding these categories will enable you to effectively share your hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ and clarify the skeptic’s root objection. Foster offers pop culture references and biblical support so that you can: Recognize the Red-Flag Words that prop up objections Ask probing questions and acquire an ear for opportunities Develop an understanding of the skeptics ideas and better fulfill the Great Commission. This easy to read approach to apologetics and evangelism is a field guide to faith conversations. It is written for teens, college students, and adults and can be used as a group study with the leader’s guide and workbook.
Greg Boyd and his father, Ed, were on opposite sides of a great divide. Greg was a newfound Christian, while his father was a longtime agnostic. So Greg offered his father an invitation: Ed could write with any questions on Christianity, and his son would offer a response. Letters from a Skeptic contains this special correspondence. The letters tackle some of today's toughest challenges facing Christianity, including Do all non-Christians go to hell? How can we believe a man rose from the dead? Why is the world so full of suffering? How do we know the Bible was divinely inspired? Does God know the future? Each response offers insights into the big questions, while delivering intelligent answers that connect with both the heart and mind. Whether you're a skeptic, a believer, or just unsure, these letters can provide a practical, common-sense guide to the Christian faith.
When a friend dies mysteriously, Dr. Mike Ballantine's assumptions about the universe are challenged, and with the help of a gifted CIA agent, he fights a conspiracy to steal research regarding evidence of life after death. 75,000 first printing. Tour.
James L. Kelley, a skeptic about religion, writes with insight and humor of his life as a member of St. Mark's, an Episcopal church that welcomes doubters without pressuring them to compromise their intellectual integrity. When Kelley first visited the church, he was well into his forties and searching for a respite from urban malaise. At the same time, he found himself filled with disquieting questions: How could he reconcile his convictions with the central purpose of the church - to worship a God he didn't believe in? Could he say the prayers and sing the hymns while remaining an honest skeptic? After fifteen years of full participation in a church that is open not only to skeptics but also to gay men and lesbians, blacks and Jews, where members are invited to critique Sunday sermons, and where hymns are rewritten to reflect feminist concerns, Kelley found that his agnosticism remained but his skepticism about church participation had disappeared. Modern urban life can be a sterile, isolating experience, yet in St. Mark's Kelley discovered a place of vibrant community, honest inquiry, and support over the hard places in life.
How many of us have felt like Phillip Z? He has a staunch belief in the Twelve Steps, yet struggles with the concept of a Higher Power.
In A Skeptic's Guide to the 12 Steps, the author investigates each of the Twelve Steps to gain a deeper understanding of a higher power. He examines what may seem like ""unsettling"" concepts to us including surrendering one's will and life to God, and he encourages us to understand the spiritual journey of recovery despite our skepticism.
In 10 Answers for Skeptics, McFarland identifies the 10 most common types of skepticism that plague doubters’ minds and offers believers proven strategies for connecting intellectually and spiritually with those who are skeptical about the claims of Christianity. Today’s skeptics are looking for authenticity, integrity and straightforward truth. Readers will learn how to answer intimidating questions, identify the root issue behind those questions and dismantle the “spiritual bombshells” dropped by atheists. Plus, they’ll find encouragement to face hostility by persevering in love—the ultimate apologetic Christians can offer as witness to our loving God.
Examines supernatural controversies such as crop circles, the Shroud of Turin, and cold fusion, and provides evidence for and against each phenomenon.
Nick Fiedler (of Nick and Josh Podcast fame) decided to travel the world for a year or so, and in the process of figuring out what to set aside, what to carry along and what to throw out, heard a little voice telling him to set aside the faith of his childhood. So Nick changed his Facebook religion status from Christian to "Hopeful Skeptic" and set out to see where God would take him. If you find yourself asking nagging questions of the faith you were born into, put on your boots and take a little trip with Nick.
It happens every day: we pick up a newspaper or magazine or turn on the television and are bombarded with urgent advice about how to stay healthy. Lose weight! Lower your cholesterol! Early detection saves lives! Sunscreen prevents cancer! But in many cases, pronouncements we rarely think to question turn out to be half-truths that are being pushed by various individuals or groups to advance their own agendas. The Healthy Skeptic explores who these health promoters are—from journalists and celebrities to industry-funded groups and consumer activists—what their motives are, and how they are spinning us in ways we often don't realize. This treasure trove of little-known facts, written by a seasoned health reporter, provides invaluable tips, tools, and resources to help readers think more critically about what they're being told. Becoming a healthy skeptic is vital, Davis argues, because following the right advice can have a profound impact on overall health and longevity. IN TEN ENTERTAINING CHAPTERS, ROBERT J. DAVIS DISCUSSES: * Diets and why they don't work * Dietary supplements * The campaign to reduce cholesterol * Celebrity exhortations to "get tested" * Sunscreen and its promoters' claims * The antichemical activists
Anita Superson challenges the traditional picture of the skeptic who asks, "Why be moral?" While holding that the skeptic's position is important, she builds an argument against it by understanding it more deeply, and then shows what it would take to successfully defeat it. Superson argues that we must defeat not only the action skeptic, but the disposition skeptic, who denies that being morally disposed is rationally required, and the motive skeptic, who believes that merely going through the motions in acting morally is rationally permissible. We also have to address the amoralist, who is not moved by moral reasons he recognizes. Superson argues for expanding the skeptic's position from self-interest to privilege to include morally unjustified behavior targeting disenfranchised social groups, as well as revising the traditional expected utility model to exclude desires deformed by patriarchy as irrational. Lastly she argues that the challenge can be answered if it can be shown that it is, in an important way, inconsistent and therefore irrational to privilege oneself over others. The Moral Skeptic makes an important contribution to both metaethics/moral theory and feminist philosophy, and brings feminist thinking into the larger discussion of the skeptical challenge.
A rational explanation of 27 paranormal phenomena - from walking over hot coals to spontaneous combustion - that appear to defy the laws of science.
"Data is here, it's growing, and it's powerful." Author Cathy O'Neil argues that the right approach to data is skeptical, not cynical––it understands that, while powerful, data science tools often fail. Data is nuanced, and "a really excellent skeptic puts the term 'science' into 'data science.'" The big data revolution shouldn't be dismissed as hype, but current data science tools and models shouldn't be hailed as the end-all-be-all, either.
The essays of leading scholars collected in this volume focus on Salomon Maimon’s (1753-1800) synthesis of 'Rational Dogmatism' and 'Empirical Skepticism'. This collection is of interest to scholars working in the fields of history of philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, rationalism and empiricism as well as Jewish Studies.
Through his provocative and influential work, most notably The Culture of Desire and A Queer Geography, Frank Browning has proven himself to be an erudite and intellectual writer with deep insights into the fusion of culture and identity. In his new book The Monk and the Skeptic, Browning examines the intersection of sexuality and religion through the framework of conversations between the author and a gay priest to discuss the nature of secular and spiritual friendship; religious thought on same-sex marriage; the relation of the body to God; the mission of charity enacted by the drag troop Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; the biblical prohibitions on improper pleasures of the body; and the history of how the church has viewed the body and desire. Browning manages to bring in a host of influences to his discussion: Descartes, Locke, Greek Myth, Christian Myth, Buddhist myth, Harry Potter, St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as modern writers like Jeanette Winterson, John Boswell, and Daniel Mendelsohn. The result is an engaging, timely, and very modern discourse on how the self and sexuality has been interpreted throughout the ages.