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Thinking Scientifically About Controversial Issues by Irwin L. Slesnick download in pdf, ePub, iPad

On its face, the concept seems preposterous. If someone is turning water into wine or raising the dead by an act of will, I'll be the first to reconsider my opinion about human divinities. Being deluded is not the same as being mentally ill. Your only obligation is to not lock the door behind you.

It isn't the only thing

Non-skeptical materials on these matters are abundant. Some mental illnesses do involve fixations on false beliefs that no amount of evidence or cogent reasoning can alter. Nor does it follow that because nothing is certain any belief is as good as any other belief. They should be put in jail. If you're looking for a detailed critique of the doctrine of the Trinity or the Incarnation, or a blistering review of the life of Joseph Smith or Muhammad, you'll have to go elsewhere.

Why do you only criticize New Age and Eastern religions. It isn't the only thing that's important, however.

You can give a person with a headache a dummy pill and claim it has medicinal powers. If it can't answer a question it doesn't give up and declare a miracle has happened.

Why do you

The traditional religions don't usually try to persuade their followers of their scientific basis. You might as well have the patient interpret spots on the wall or stains on the floor. Sure, religions change their opinions on some things. Their beliefs may be just as irrational as those of any New Age cult, but they don't hide behind nonsensical jargon lifted from the latest physics paper.

Some god is always on their side, no matter how evil their behavior. Faith healers claim they can cure cancer with prayer or by laying on of hands.