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Publisher's Summary

For thousands of years, the faithful have honed proselytizing strategies and talked people into believing the truth of one holy book or another. Indeed, the faithful often view converting others as an obligation of their faith - and are trained from an early age to spread their unique brand of religion. The result is a world broken in large part by unquestioned faith. As an urgently needed counter to this tried-and-true tradition of religious evangelism, A Manual for Creating Atheists offers the first-ever guide not for talking people into faith - but for talking them out of it.
Peter Boghossian draws on the tools he has developed and used for more than twenty years as a philosopher and educator to teach how to engage the faithful in conversations that will help them value critical thinking, cast doubt on their religious beliefs, mistrust their faith, abandon superstition, and ultimately embrace reason and rationality.
©2013 Peter Boghossian (P)2013 Pitchstone Publishing
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Customer Reviews

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By Paul on 03-18-14

The first atheist missionary

Peter Boghossian didn't have to make the case for atheism to convince me. But it was great to hear how many ways that case can be made. Atheists are a small minority in the USA. Whether that's changing or if people are just becoming more apathetic about such questions, I think that's a tough call. But Peter has a plan. Part of the plan is to use words like epistemology (How you know what you know) as often as possible. In fact, Boghossian doesn't want you to become an atheist, he pretty much assumes it. He wants you to become "street epistemologists", people who ask "how do you know that"?

One more word would be good to know when reading/listening to this book: doxastic logic - reasoning about beliefs. The key is to get people to apply reasoning to their beliefs. In doing so you get at the main problem which is not god and is not religion. It is faith itself. Some will object to making "faith" be the target because they say they have faith in their spouse or in a scientific theory. But Peter will explain that sometimes we use "faith" when we really mean "hope" or we mean something for which we have evidence - even if only partial evidence. While religion wants to reward those who have faith with no evidence.

I don't know how much of this book I can put into practice. I should try it on my wife but we have an agreement about that. But I didn't make any such promises to my siblings so maybe I'll start there.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful


By Gary on 01-31-14

Faith is no way to build a foundation

You don't need to want to convert others into atheism to enjoy this book. A theist would not be turned off while listening to this book. The author is fairly non-threatening in his presentation.

I usually don't listen to every word when I'm listening to an Audible book, because sometimes my mind will wonder. This book was different. I listened to every word from the author since he writes simple sentences and reads his own work better than a professional could have and says something I was really interested in, namely how the scientific process works.

Faith, is best thought of as "pretending to know something you don't know". Facts need support beyond "I just believe" and such people who believe such things belong at the child's table not the adult's table. He warns of falling for the trap of 'having faith" that the light will turn on when you turn the light switch on. You really have knowledge in that situation not faith. It's part of the 'word play' of Wittgenstein, but it is a way to confuse the word faith in the non believer.

The author explains what critical reasoning is and shows how it is a foundation to philosophical thought, but at the same time the listener will realize how the Socratic method is the foundation for the scientific process (he doesn't explicitly state this, but as I was listening to every word it became obvious).

Even if you don't want to convert others to be an Atheist, the book is still valuable. It will teach you about critical reasoning and how to learn about your proper place in the universe just a little bit better.

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19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By sarah on 02-04-17

decent content / slightly obnoxious

good content, candidly put. very listenable but found it consistently hard to get over my feeling that if i met this guy in real life he'd come across as patrionising, obnoxious and annoying haha

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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