Implausible Beliefs: In the Bible, Astrology, and UFOs / Edition 1

Implausible Beliefs: In the Bible, Astrology, and UFOs / Edition 1

by Allan Mazur
     
 

ISBN-10: 1412806771

ISBN-13: 9781412806770

Pub. Date: 03/14/2008

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

Why do people accept ideas that are contradicted by science or logic? In Implausible Beliefs, Allan Mazur offers a comparative look at the nature of irrational belief systems, their social roots, and their cultural and political impact. He begins by providing standards for judging beliefs implausible and assessing the impact of such belief systems

Overview

Why do people accept ideas that are contradicted by science or logic? In Implausible Beliefs, Allan Mazur offers a comparative look at the nature of irrational belief systems, their social roots, and their cultural and political impact. He begins by providing standards for judging beliefs implausible and assessing the impact of such belief systems onpolitics and social policy in the US. Mazur describes and defends commonsense criteria for establishing that certain views should not be sustained in the face of present-day understanding. He presents a statistical portrait of implausible beliefs rampant in the US, and who tends to accept them.

Mazur applies criteria for implausibility to the Bible, astrology, and visitation to Earth of intelligent beings from other worlds. Pointing out that everyone "knows" the Bible but few actually read it, the author scrolls through the first five books of the text, noting points that undermine the scripture’s natural history and moral guidance. Working on the assumption that implausible religious views are fundamentally no different from implausible secular views, he critiques secular beliefs in astrology and UFOs. Mazur concludes the volume with an attempt to explain why most people accept implausibility—some more than others—despite evidence and logic that refute them.

Looking to mainstream sociology and psychology, Mazur shows how children are socialized into such beliefs, and how adults are influenced by spouses and friends. Personality is also a factor, sometimes abetted by stressful or lonely life situations. Lucidly written, this is a provocative and informative contribution to social psychology, sociology, religion, political science, and American studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412806770
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
03/14/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
246
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
16 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Implausible Beliefs
Why Are We So Gullible?     3
Implausible Beliefs     23
Scientifically Implausible Beliefs in the U.S.     39
Is the Bible Inerrant?
Introduction to Part 2     55
Creation     57
Eden to Babel     63
Patriarchs     71
Exodus     79
Who Wrote the Torah?     87
Archaeological Evidence     99
Secular Implausibilities
Introduction to Part 3     113
UFOs and Alien Abduction     115
Astrology     141
Why Do We Believe these Things?
Social Influence     167
Personality     195
Sincerely Irrational Convictions     213
References     227
Index     235

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