superstitions and why we have them

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Author : Max Cryer
ISBN : 9781775592853
Genre : Reference
File Size : 39. 91 MB
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Some people casually say ‘touch wood’ when they speak of something they hope will happen. Others won’t allow peacock feathers into the house. And almost anyone who finds a four-leafed clover will treasure it and keep it. Why? Some superstitions are so ancient and have been practised for so long that they have come to be regarded as just harmless and widely observed ‘customs’, without people realising they are basically superstitions. For instance, many people wouldn’t bother tossing spilled salt over their left shoulder or avoid walking under a ladder. But they happily continue to wear a wedding ring and blow out candles on a birthday cake. They don’t know why — ‘it’s just a custom’. But both are actually superstitions. In a book full of surprises and revelations, Max Cryer explains the origins of many of the things we commonly say and observe and why we continue to include them in our lives: kissing under the mistletoe, the unlucky number thirteen, the significance of the bridal bouquet, saying ‘bless you’ after sneezing, the hanging of a horseshoe, ‘the Scottish play’, the danger in opals, the Leap Year proposal … so many aspects of our lives are coloured by superstition. Now you can discover the reasons for them in a book that is both witty and informative. Superstitions will provide many ‘Eureka’ moments and settle many family disputes.


Author : Robert L. Park
ISBN : 1400828775
Genre : Religion
File Size : 58. 98 MB
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From uttering a prayer before boarding a plane, to exploring past lives through hypnosis, has superstition become pervasive in contemporary culture? Robert Park, the best-selling author of Voodoo Science, argues that it has. In Superstition, Park asks why people persist in superstitious convictions long after science has shown them to be ill-founded. He takes on supernatural beliefs from religion and the afterlife to New Age spiritualism and faith-based medical claims. He examines recent controversies and concludes that science is the only way we have of understanding the world. Park sides with the forces of reason in a world of continuing and, he fears, increasing superstition. Chapter by chapter, he explains how people too easily mistake pseudoscience for science. He discusses parapsychology, homeopathy, and acupuncture; he questions the existence of souls, the foundations of intelligent design, and the power of prayer; he asks for evidence of reincarnation and astral projections; and he challenges the idea of heaven. Throughout, he demonstrates how people's blind faith, and their confidence in suspect phenomena and remedies, are manipulated for political ends. Park shows that science prevails when people stop fooling themselves. Compelling and precise, Superstition takes no hostages in its quest to provoke. In shedding light on some very sensitive--and Park would say scientifically dubious--issues, the book is sure to spark discussion and controversy.

Why People Believe Weird Things

Author : Michael Shermer
ISBN : 9780285639690
Genre : Science
File Size : 53. 71 MB
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"(A) splendid book." Vanity Fair Why do smart people believe weird things? Why do so many people believe in mind reading, past-life regression therapy, extra-terrestrial abduction and ghosts? What is behind the rise of 'scientific creationism' and Holocaust denial? In an age of supposed scientific enlightenment why do we appear more impressionable than ever? Scientific historian, and director of the Skeptics Society, Michael Shermer debunks these extraordinary claims in a no-holds-barred assault on the popular superstitions and confused prejudices of our time. Exploring the very human reasons behind otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories and cults Shermer explains why are they are so appealing to so many. "Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency." Stephen Jay Gould, from his foreword Shermer reveals the darker side of wishful thinking, through the recovered memory movement, satanic rituals and other modern witch hunts, and ideologies of racial superiority. Confronting those who take advantage of the gullibility of other people to advance their own, self-serving agendas Why People Believe Weird Things is compelling and often disturbing. It is a perceptive portrait of the human capacity for self-delusion and a celebration of the scientific spirit.

Superstition Diversity

Author : Andrew Nyakupfuka
ISBN : 9781452559995
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 69. 51 MB
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Superstition, myths, and legends are part and parcel of each and every culture. Professionals and the general public pay attention to some cultural issues they do not fully comprehend. Superstition, myths and legends agents are similar the world over though they have different meanings. Dreams, certain animals, weather conditions and the zodiac are couriers of superstition, myths, and legends.

Jewish Magic And Superstition

Author : Joshua Trachtenberg
ISBN : 0812218620
Genre : Religion
File Size : 67. 13 MB
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Alongside the formal development of Judaism from the eleventh through the sixteenth centuries, a robust Jewish folk religion flourished—ideas and practices that never met with wholehearted approval by religious leaders yet enjoyed such wide popularity that they could not be altogether excluded from the religion. According to Joshua Trachtenberg, it is not possible truly to understand the experience and history of the Jewish people without attempting to recover their folklife and beliefs from centuries past. Jewish Magic and Superstition is a masterful and utterly fascinating exploration of religious forms that have all but disappeared yet persist in the imagination. The volume begins with legends of Jewish sorcery and proceeds to discuss beliefs about the evil eye, spirits of the dead, powers of good, the famous legend of the golem, procedures for casting spells, the use of gems and amulets, how to battle spirits, the ritual of circumcision, herbal folk remedies, fortune telling, astrology, and the interpretation of dreams. First published more than sixty years ago, Trachtenberg's study remains the foundational scholarship on magical practices in the Jewish world and offers an understanding of folk beliefs that expressed most eloquently the everyday religion of the Jewish people.

Curiosities Of Superstition

Author : W. H. Davenport Adams
ISBN : 9781365375651
Genre :
File Size : 32. 15 MB
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Missing On Superstition Mountain

Author : Elise Broach
ISBN : 9781429975001
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 68. 57 MB
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It's summer and the three Barker brothers—Simon, Henry, and Jack—just moved from Illinois to Arizona. Their parents have warned them repeatedly not to explore Superstition Mountain, which is near their home. But when their cat Josie goes missing, they see no other choice. There's something unusually creepy about the mountain and after the boys find three human skulls, they grow determined to uncover the mystery. Have people really gone missing over the years, and could there be someone or some thing lurking in the woods? Together with their new neighbor Delilah, the Barker boys are dead-set on cracking the case even if it means putting themselves in harm's way. Here's the first book in an action-packed mystery series by a New York Times bestselling author. Missing on Superstition Mountain is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011.

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