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The skeptical world view has been given little currency even in advanced societies, because of a cultural prohibition against the criticism of religion. At the same time, science has become increasingly narrow and specialized so that few people can draw on its broader intellectual and cultural implications. Skepticism and Humanism attempts to meet this need. It defends skepticism as a method for developing reliable knowledge by using scientific inquiry and reason to test all claims to truth. It also defends scientific naturalism -- an evolutionary view of nature, life, and the human species. Kurtz sees the dominant religious doctrines as drawn from an agricultural/nomadic past, and emphasizes the need for a new outlook applicable to the postindustrial information age.
There can be no doubt that as a new global civilization emerges, scientific naturalism,rationalism, and secular humanism have something significant to say about the meaning of life. Skepticism and Humanism shows how they can be used to foster democratic values and social prosperity. The book will be important for philosophers, scientists, and all those concerned with contemporary issues.
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