Sleeping with Extra-terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety

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Pantheon Books, 1999 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 278 pages
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In Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials, Wendy Kaminer argues that we are a society intoxicated by the irrational: religion, spirituality, and popular therapies threaten to replace rational thought with supernaturalism and impassioned but unexamined personal testimony. Ranging from our fascination with angels, aliens, and near- death experiences to the rise of junk science, the recovery movement, and the digital culture, Kaminer points out the amusing and ominous effects of our deference to spiritual authorities and resistance to critical thinking. She questions conventional wisdom about the association of religious belief with virtue, identifying the sectarianism of efforts to establish religion in the public square. With both wit and empathy, Kaminer takes on what many people hold sacred.
Kaminer is an eloquent and incisive critic and rationalist living in a superstitious, evangelical age. In Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials she challenges us to exercise skepticism, reason, and irreverence and to appreciate the pleasures of free inquiry.

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SLEEPING WITH EXTRA-TERRESTRIALS: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A thorough examination of faith-based beliefs, from visitations by angels to abductions by aliens, with a detailed list of the problems these beliefs create in society at large. Cultural commentator ... Read full review

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User Review  - atyson - LibraryThing

Highly entertaining and extremely well-written supported by source references. If you are in the UK a lot of it seems more pertinent to the US. However, the final chapters on Junk Science, Therapy culture are Cyberspace are definitive works in the struggle against contemporary nonsense. Read full review



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About the author (1999)

Wendy Kaminer is the author of five previous books, including I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional; her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and The New Republic. She is a contributing editor at The Atlantic Monthly and a fellow at Radcliffe College.

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