The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural Is Unjustified

Hardcover | August 30, 2016

byLawrence Shapiro

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There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation.

Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify belief in the supernatural, laying bare the fallacies that such attempts commit. Through arguments and accessible analysis, Larry Shapiro sharpens our critical faculties so we become less susceptible to tales of myths and miracles and learn how, ultimately, to evaluate claims regarding vastly improbable events on our own. Shapiro acknowledges that belief in miracles could be harmless, but cautions against allowing such beliefs to guide how we live our lives. His investigation reminds us of the importance of evidence and rational thinking as we explore the unknown.

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There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists s...

Larry Shapiro is professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Embodied Cognition (2011), Zen and the Art of Running: The Path to Making Peace with Your Pace (2009), and The Mind Incarnate (2004), and the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition (2014) and Arguing About the Mind (200...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:August 30, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231178409

ISBN - 13:9780231178402

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Justified and Unjustified Belief2. Miracles3. Justifying Belief in Supernatural Causes4. Justifying Belief in Improbable Events5. Evidence for Miracles6. Jesus's Resurrection7. Should We Care That Beliefs in Miracles Are Unjustified?Appendix 1. What Is Supernatural?Appendix 2. Supernatural CausesNotesFurther ReadingIndex

Editorial Reviews

Most people, at least in the United States, believe in miracles. But should they? In this easy to read and often witty book the philosopher Shapiro demonstrates that there is no scientific or logical justification for doing so. I suspect that The Miracle Myth will convert few true believers, but even they should benefit from reading it.