Manual for creating atheists
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21-11-2013, 03:46 PM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
The term of "Atheism" is very politically muddled you see for every religion non-believers are essentially atheists no matter what.
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21-11-2013, 10:20 PM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
(21-11-2013 03:22 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  I like Comic Sans. If God is the font from which all flows, then why do we have fonts (like Gothic) which are not flowing? CHECKMATE, THEISTS!

More seriously, I'm reading through this book now. It's mostly about shifting people from an epistemology of "knowledge" through faith towards an epistemology of skepticism, questioning, and reason. The author asserts (and I find quite plausible) that this will turn many theists into atheists, but the focus on methodology can hardly be described as indoctrination. IIRC, the author gave an interview... I think it was on Dogma Debate... where he said he wanted to call the book "Street Epistemology" but the editor or publisher changed it.

(21-11-2013 11:56 AM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  Yeah. It kind of reinforces the idea we're always confronting that atheism is a belief. The goal isn't to convert people to atheism but rather to get them to critically evaluate existing beliefs that won't hold up to scrutiny.

That's almost exactly what the book's about, except the focus is more on targeting the basis for the false belief rather than the belief itself. To paraphrase him, "I don't want to hit the target on the bullseye, I want to level the entire field on which the target is standing."

(... dammit, this forum needs a Comic Sans font.)

I like his idea of inserting the words 'pretending to know things you don't know' every time you read the word faith. The message is to relentlessly attack faith as a means of knowing anything, and the rest of the belief system will crumble when the faith foundation is undermined. I agree with the author that we owe this to people who suffer from religious delusion. Probably could've made the point in about 40 pages, but some of the footnotes are pretty interesting.
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21-11-2013, 11:06 PM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
I really enjoyed the podcast with this guy on.
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21-11-2013, 11:18 PM (This post was last modified: 21-11-2013 11:21 PM by evenheathen.)
RE: Manual for creating atheists
(21-11-2013 10:20 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  I like his idea of inserting the words 'pretending to know things you don't know' every time you read the word faith.

I didn't realize it was the same guy until you said this and it rang a bell. Here's a lecture I watched quite a while back that he gave on that very phrase. He's a bit in your face, but right on.





Edit: I totally forgot, at the very end there's a hilarious surprise.

"It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
― نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street
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21-11-2013, 11:35 PM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
I want to read this book. I just put it in my queue for audio whenever it comes out but I might have to breakdown and get the physical version.

It's not about actively de-converting anyone, it's about helping to bring people to logic and reason. It puts forth the notion that if one is provided the means to rationality, they may or may not convert themselves.

Shit, whether they drop their faith or not, at least they will become more reasonable and logical to deal with. I'm all for that!

But yes - I detest the name as well and I think that might keep a lot of people away from it. I'd heard of it prior to Seth's podcast but the title turned me off.

He should take charge and change it back to his original title - nothing wrong with Street Epistemology. Shy

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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21-11-2013, 11:38 PM (This post was last modified: 21-11-2013 11:45 PM by sporehux.)
RE: Manual for creating atheists
Just tried to get my Theist m8 to watch this, what he heard , blablablablabla this guy is rejecting God out of pride for his own intellect..


Facepalm

He did laugh at the Eat Shit and Die Quilt though, not sure if he got the analogy .

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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22-11-2013, 07:52 AM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
(21-11-2013 10:20 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  I like his idea of inserting the words 'pretending to know things you don't know' every time you read the word faith. The message is to relentlessly attack faith as a means of knowing anything, and the rest of the belief system will crumble when the faith foundation is undermined. I agree with the author that we owe this to people who suffer from religious delusion. Probably could've made the point in about 40 pages, but some of the footnotes are pretty interesting.

I agree but take issue with you saying "owe" it to people. That sounds suspiciously like that Christians owe it to everyone to be evangelical. My baptist friend lives in torment over the thought that I will go to hell. She "owes" it to me to save me. *sigh*

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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22-11-2013, 08:45 AM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
(21-11-2013 09:48 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(21-11-2013 08:50 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  I do not like the title. I don't think atheists are "created". That smacks of indoctrination and that is something most of us have issues with.

Yeah, it strikes me as unnecessarily sensational, likely for marketing purposes.

I think the title is fine, and the book content is excellent. It talks about freeing people of their delusion of belief. It doesn't approach doctorine, but phrases theism vs. atheism in a way that talks about attacking what causes religion; belief in faith. Freeing people by teaching critical thinking by participating in dialectical interventions.

Why are you still reading this line when it is obviously my signature line?
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24-11-2013, 09:11 PM
RE: Manual for creating atheists
I love the book.

Dr. Boghossian doesn't seem to put much weight in the "atheist" label, and he says in the book that the goal is not actually getting someone to leave their religion or stop believing in gods. So, yeah, I take it that the title is more of a marketing thing - and it seems to be working.

If you want to get deeper into the content & methodology, there are already two facebook groups devoted to AMFCA. And I hope that there will be many more in the future, based around local practice groups.

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