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A Manual for Creating Atheists Paperback – November 1, 2013
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"Dr. Peter Boghossian's 'A Manual for Creating Atheists' is a precise, passionate, compassionate and brilliantly reasoned work that will illuminate any and all minds capable of openness and curiosity. This is not a bedtime story to help you fall asleep, but a wakeup call that has the best chance of bringing your rational mind back to
life."--Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain Radio, the largest and most popular philosophy show on the web
"If we want to live in world that is safer and more rational for all, then this is the guidebook we have been waiting for. Relying on extensive experience and a deep concern for humanity, Peter Boghossian has produced a game changer. This is not a book to read while relaxing in a hammock on a sunny afternoon. This is the how-to manual to take into the trenches of everyday life where minds are won and lost in the struggle between reason and madness." --Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian and Race and Reality
"I wouldn't be surprised if ten years from now we realized that this book's publication was a turning point in the decline of Christianity in the West..." Tom Gilson, Christian apologist and author, Thinking Christian
"A 'how to' book for the ages. Boghossian manages to take a library's worth of information and mold it into a concise and practical tome to guide through the murky waters of magical thinking, docking the reader safely on the shores of reason, logic and understanding. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and highly recommend it."--Al Stefanelli, author of A Voice of Reason In An Unreasonable Word-The Rise of Atheism On Planet Earth and Free Thoughts-A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist
"A book so great you can skip it and just read the footnotes. Pure genius." —Christopher Johnson, cofounder, the Onion
"There is nothing else on the market like this book that helps atheists talk believers out of their faith. Every atheist interested in doing so, or who talks to believers about faith at all, should read it. It's both needed and brilliant!" —John W. Loftus, author, Why I Became an Atheist and The Outsider Test for Faith
"Boghossian has provided an indispensable chart book for all of us who must navigate the rising sea of magical thinking that is inundating America today." —Victor Stenger, PhD, author, God: The Failed Hypothesis and God and the Atom
From the Author
--Michael Shermer, from the foreword to A Manual for Creating Atheists
Top Customer Reviews
Many of the concepts are heavily rooted in the Socratic method but the material has been conveyed in a much more applicable and relevant way for our day in age. Critical thinking and analysis plays a crucial role in accurately understanding the people around us as well as helping to make educated decisions in our daily lives. This subject is unfortunately not taught in many curriculums because of its controversial nature but the skill of being able to assess a person's thought process is priceless.
I have many religious friends whom I tend to shy away from talking with on the subject of religion mostly because I don't want to offend them. This book has given me a look at a completely different approach the way I articulate my questions and comments. I highly suggest this book to anyone that is even remotely interesting in understanding why people think the way they do.
Nomenclature refers to the names we give to phenomena. I love Boghossian's nomenclature. Richard Dawkins coined the word "meme," which is an idea or behavior that spreads from person to person within a society. Daniel Dennett popularized the word "deepity," which is a statement that seems profound but actually asserts a triviality on one level and something meaningless on another. Generally, a deepity has (at least) two meanings: one that is true but trivial, and another that sounds profound, but is essentially false or meaningless and would be "earth-shattering" if true. [From RationalWiki].
Boghossian is changing how we see faith. He defines faith as "pretending to know things you don't know." He says that when we hear the word "faith" we should think of that definition. Why? Because that's exactly what believers are doing. They're playing a childish pretend game. Faith stunts one's intellectual growth. So he talks in terms of the medical and/or psychological professions. Believers are infected with a faith virus. The believer is the host of this virus. And we are in the midst of a faith virus pandemic. Boghossian says, "The pretending-to-know-things-you-don't-know pandemic hurts us all. Believing things on the basis of something other than evidence and reason causes people to misconstrue what's good for them and for their communities." (pp. 31-32).
So he's calling on a potential legion of people who are willing to help cure believers of their faith virus. He calls them "Street Epistemologists" who are equipped with the tactics he presents in his manual.Read more ›
Now it's time to admit to ourselves that we are, in fact, our brother's keeper. As Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens observed in slightly different ways, we are rapidly approaching the interaction of apocalyptic weaponry and apocalyptic beliefs. We must help those around us realize that faith is a failed epistemology. If you believe that you owe anything to future generations, then you owe them, at a minimum, the truth.
Boghossian suggests that we become "street epistemologists", taking upon ourselves the moral obligation to help our fellow human emancipate themselves from the cognitive virus of faith.
*My Encounter with kind but deluded "Jesus Freak" Jackie*
Friday night on the streets of Missoula, Montana, I had the opportunity to try, for the first time since reading his book, a few of the techniques. After having dinner in a popular Missoula pub, the Old Post some friends and I walked outside where a "non-religious" proselytizer named Jackie asked if we had submitted to Jesus. With her were two young people in their early 20s and a child of about 8 or 9, all three paying rapt attention to our conversation. My friends proceeded to Charlie B's where I would meet them, later.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a thoughtful, well-reasoned book that I personally learned a lot from. I have personally argued religion a lot, however, this book takes a different approach by attacking... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
A wonderful tool to calmly help those still infected by these mind viruses. The mechanism by which individuals attempt hold myths as reality is truly uncoveredPublished 26 days ago by bear
In formulating a counter to faith based beliefs, Boghossian draws from a diverse range of secular and religious literature. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Redshaman
I've abandoned other books, but I haven't yet abandoned the Manual. The word "epistemologist" has wandered from my passive to my active vocabulary, so I have hopes for... Read morePublished 1 month ago by PMB2
A very detailed philosophical look at atheism and how to address theism and its proponents intelligently and well. A heavy read in spots, it is well worth the effort you make.Published 1 month ago by Joseph Tripoli
I actually learned a lot of good communication tips from this book that apply to all conversations.Published 1 month ago by TR
If you want to turn the nominally religious (those who don’t really know what they believe or why they believe it) into atheists, the methods in this book will probably work. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gary Good