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A Manual for Creating Atheists von [Boghossian, Peter]
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A Manual for Creating Atheists Kindle Edition

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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. Its both needed and brilliant!--John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist and The Outsider Test for Faith Boghossian has provided an indispensible chart book for all of us who must navigate the rising sea of magical thinking that is inundating America today.--Victor Stenger, Ph.D., author of God: The Failed Hypothesis and God and the Atom 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

Kurzbeschreibung

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 20 years as a philosopher and educator to teach how to engage the faithful in conversations that will help them value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their religious beliefs, mistrust their faith, abandon superstition and irrationality, and ultimately embrace reason.

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
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  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 276 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pitchstone Publishing (1. November 2013)
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch von Dr. Boghossian gibt Hinweise und Beispiele, wie man seine Gespräche mit Menschen, die einem irrationalen Glauben folgen, besser und präziser machen kann.

Die im Buch beschriebenen Methoden werde ich in meinen Diskussionen mit anderen Menschen anwenden, und so hoffentlich dem Ziel, eine Menschlichen Gesellschaft die rational handelt, ein wenig näher kommen.
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Eine der besten Bücher zum Thema. Viele (Richard Dawkins) nehmen Religionen analytisch und argumentativ auseinander. Peter Boghossian bietet einen weniger konfrontativen und allgemeineren Ansatz: Woher wissen wir, was wir zu wissen glauben? Das ist nicht nur in der Auseinandersetzung mit Religionen sondern mit allem ohne weiteren Nachdenkens übernommenen "Wissen" sehr hilfreich.
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The arguments for atheism, naturalism and secular humanism are around for quite a long time. So why is faith so resistant against them and what can be done to address this problem?

You get some answers to this question when reading Peter Boghossians book.
Basically he advocates a Socratic strategy of making people doubt by simply asking questions pointing to possible inconsistencies of their views. That's not novel but always deserves a reminder. More important is the authors insisting claim that we shouldn't accept an intellectual and social preserve for religious faith, treating it as a no-touch private preference or matter of taste. Boghossian's attack on constructivism and epistemological and moral (multicultural) relativism as an academic and social aberration is justified and deserves support. So far the motivating aspects of the book.

But unfortunately there are severe flaws. The author has no empathy for religious people. You can't understand the comforting effects of faith by simply stating that there is no evidence for it. For example many people want to believe that there beloved ones still exist somehow and somewhere after having passed away. Wrong - but we should be able to feel some empathy for the emotionally comforting effect of such wishful thinking. Lack of that pushes Boghossian to demand that we should try to talk everybody out of his or her faith, people personally unknown to us, everybody, everywhere, in principle regardless of the personal situation (desperate life conditions, terminal illness, high age, psychological stability or instability?). And here things begin to turn unpleasant and even potentially dangerous.
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I found this book very wordy and I am not sure that this is the way to change people's views on religion and faith. There are some interesting dialogues between the author and people he is conversing with but it was not a book that gripped me.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x926c239c) von 5 Sternen 392 Rezensionen
136 von 149 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x926d1fc0) von 5 Sternen A must read regardless of your religious affiliation! 20. Oktober 2013
Von Micah B. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
There are a great deal of gems in this book that anyone, no matter your background, can find engaging and useful when talking with someone of a different background. This book gives a practical and logical guideline to analyze a person's epistemology whether its for self-reflection or to help understand others. It is written in such a way that people outside of the philosophy field can easily comprehend the ideas and find ways to apply them to their social life.

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.
207 von 235 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x926d3264) von 5 Sternen Boghossian's Book Will Change Our Nomenclature and Effectiveness 11. November 2013
Von John W. Loftus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Peter Boghossian's new brilliant book will change our nomenclature and effectiveness in disabusing believers of their faith. His book will definitely change the religious landscape.

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. They are to use the Socratic method for instilling doubt within the host of the faith virus. That's what Socrates did with people through a dialectical series of questions. After all, "certainty is an enemy of truth." The wise person is the person who doesn't pretend to know what he doesn't know.

Street Epistemologists should view our interactions with believers "as clinical interventions designed to disabuse them of their faith." (p. 18). We will likely be more successful if we view the believer as a person who needs help. "Your new role is that of interventionist. Liberator. Your target is faith. Your pro bono clients are individuals who've been infected by faith. Street Epistemologists view every conversation with the faithful as an intervention....You administer a dialectical treatment with the goal of helping them become less certain and less confident in their faith commitment (or perhaps cured of faith entirely)" (p. 67).

Since Boghossian's book is going to be a very popular one among atheists he is popularizing this whole nomenclature. It will change the way atheists think about faith, believers, and what we're doing when we engage them.

I love it!

It will also increase our effectiveness in disabusing believers of their faith.

The Proper Diagnosis.

Medical doctors prescribe a treatment to heal someone by first properly diagnosing the disease. So the good doctor Boghossian begins by doing just that. The disease is the faith virus.

He argues: "Faith is an epistemology. It's a method and a process people use to understand reality. Faith based conclusions are knowledge claims." To people who demur Boghossian says, "That faith is unreliable, or discredited, only makes faith unreliable of discredited, it does not entail that faith is not an epistemology...Faith claims may be endemically flawed, bizarre, or highly implausible, but they are still knowledge claims" (p. 40). However, he also says, "Faith is a failed epistemology" (pp. 29-30). "The greatest obstacle to engendering reason and rationality is faith" (p. 75)

The faith virus produces what Boghossian calls "doxastic closure," that is, belief closure. People of faith are less likely to have doxastic openness, that is, to be aware of one's own ignorance and open to the idea they are wrong. They are less likely to revise their faith-based conclusions. They feel certain about their conclusions because that's the nature of this virus. Faith, he argues, "taints or at worst removes our curiosity about the world, what we should value, and what type of life we should lead. Faith replaces wonder with epistemological arrogance disguised as false humility" (p. 43). He rightly argues: "When someone suffers from a doxastic pathology, they tend to not really listen to an argument, to not carefully think through alternatives, and to lead with their conclusions and work backward. The moment we're unshakably convinced we posses immutable truth, we become our own enemy...Few things are more dangerous than people who think they're in possession of absolute truth. Honest inquiry with sincere questions and an open mind rarely contribute to the misery of the world. Passionate, doxastically closed believers contribute to human suffering and inhibit human well-being" (p. 70).

So the triple problems of the faith virus are, 1) It is a failed epistemology, 2) it produces doxastic closure, and 3) it is dangerous.

The Treatment

In a word, deprogramming, by creating doxastic openness within the believer. "Among the goals of the Street Epistemologist are to instill a self-consciousness of ignorance, a determination to challenge foundational beliefs, a relentless hunger for truth, and a desire to know. Wonder, curiosity, honest self-reflection, sincerity, and the desire to know are a solid basis for a life worth living. The Street Epistemologist seeks to help others reclaim their curiosity and their sense of wonder--both of which are robbed by faith." "As a Street Epistemologist, one of your primary goals is to help people reclaim the desire to know--a sense of wonder. You'll help people destroy foundational beliefs, flimsy assumptions, faulty epistemologies, and ultimately faith" (pp. 43-45). For "The tools of faith--certainty, prejudice, pretending, confirmation bias, irrationality, and superstition--all come into question though self-awareness of ignorance" (p. 51).

The cure, Boghossian writes, produces a liberated mind: "Wonder, open-mindedness, the disposition of being comfortable with not knowing, uncertainty, a skeptical and scientific-minded attitude, and the genuine desire to know what's true--those are the attributes of a liberated mind" (p. 138).

To administer the proper vaccination to the faith virus the Street Epistemologist should not attempt to change the particular beliefs of the host, but rather change the way they form their beliefs. For the problem is the faith virus itself, "not the conclusions people hold" (p. 72). "To demolish a building," he says, "start with he base. Take out the support beam and the entire structure will fall. Faith is the base. Faith holds up the entire structure. Collapse faith and the entire edifice falls" (p. 75). So to be effective we should not target religion, God, morality, politics, or the hosts of the virus themselves. We should stick to asking Socratic dialectical questions about how they know what they know. "By undermining faith one is able to undermine almost all religions simultaneously, and it may be easier to help someone to abandon their faith than it is to separate them from their religion" (p. 75). "Belief in God(s) is not the problem. Belief without evidence is the problem. Warrantless, dogged confidence is the problem. Epistemological arrogance masquerading as humility is the problem. Faith is the problem" (p. 77).

To be clear, Boghossian doesn't say we should never argue with the conclusions of religionists. Sometimes they are impervious to all arguments against their faith foundation. So "the more closed the subject is about certain beliefs, the further up the belief chain--the higher in the house, to use our foundational metaphor, one must go." He says in cases like these "the way to loosen the foundational belief is through the ceiling boards in the attic. Once the attic is demolished, one can destroy the top floors of the house and work one's way down to the foundation" (p. 123). But the focus, our target, is, was and should always be their faith-based epistemology.

Boghossian also teaches us by example, by reproducing several verbatims of attempted interventions he has had with believers. So he lives what he preaches (imagine that!). He even seats himself on airplanes a little later than others so he can target believers by sitting next to them whenever he can (p. 96).

The Premise That Lies Behind the Proposed Treatment.

One of the premises of Boghossian's book is that believers can be reasoned out of their faith. Can they? For the record I think believers cannot usually be argued out of their faith because they were usually never argued into it the first place. Sometimes we say it as Jonathan Swift did, whom Boghossian quotes as saying, "You do not reason a man out of something he was never reasoned into." But Swift's way of saying this is a rhetorical exaggeration to make a point. The key word in the more accurate ways of expressing this sentiment is the word "usually." Usually we can't. But it does happen. I get several emails from former believers who have left their faith every year. Boghossian says he has "helped countless people abandon their faith" (p. 130).

Perhaps we haven't had that much success because we've been doing the wrong things. Perhaps it's because we're arguing strictly against the conclusions of religionists rather than their failed epistemology. Perhaps we're getting sidetracked into arguing over the beneficial aspects of religious faith, or morality or politics. When it comes to the beneficial aspects of religion Boghossian says, "I never allow people to steer these discussions from 'faith is true' to 'faith is beneficial' (comforting) unless they explicitly acknowledge that faith is not a reliable guide to reality" (p. 119).

I think that with the Socratic Method as an excellent tool in our toolkit (as he explains in chapter five), Boghossian has given the Street Epistemologist a better understanding of how to argue believers out of their faith, even if many of them still probably cannot be argued out of it. He writes, "In order to reason them out of their faith they'll have to be taught how to reason first, and then instructed in the application of this new tool to their epistemic condition." (p. 63)

This is the brilliant part of Boghossian's book. I look forward to the results in the years to come.

--------

To read more of my thoughts about Dr. Boghossian's revolutionary book do a search on my blog, "Debunking Christianity," for his name, Peter Boghossian.
167 von 195 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x926d351c) von 5 Sternen Street Epistemology might just save civilization from the virus of faith 21. Oktober 2013
Von Gary W. Longsine - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Peter Boghossian has advanced a unique and valuable contribution to the project of human emancipation (if I may borrow this turn of phrase from the departed Christopher Hitchens). Faith, Boghossian observes, is nothing more than a flawed reasoning process. A substantial portion of the human population has tried over a period of at least a few thousand years, to use faith as a means by which to learn about the world. The experiments have been run over and over. Faith has proven to be an unreliable method of discovering truths about the universe and ourselves.

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.

Jackie was a true believer. Her responses were all reflexive reaches for occasionally relevant scriptural references (she wasn't a "quoter" and was more interested in the ideas, which I took as a sign that she was a sane person, engaged like much of humanity in a quest for understanding, knowledge, and truth). She was prone to cliche "Jesus freak" claims that she wasn't religious and that submission to Jesus was the only way (to what she wouldn't say.)

So I started asking questions about the things that she was saying. I didn't follow any of the example conversations in Boghossian's book directly, but I did borrow from some of them, and followed the general approach of asking questions, rather than the traditional "debate" approach of making statements and deconstructing her arguments and claims.

As it happened, on the sidewalk in front of the Old Post, I had a great opportunity to observe her companions as we chatted. After a few minutes of patiently trying to draw Jackie into a more meaningful conversation, she asked her first real question, saying, "Is there anything that I could say that would persuade you to submit to Jesus?" She was really all about submission, I made a mental note about that, as I thought, "Bingo!" She had uttered the magic question.

In street epistemology, if the person you're engaging is utterly unwilling to imagine the possibility that they might be wrong, you won't be able to help them throw of the mental shackles of faith. I didn't need to ask the question, Jackie did. She had introduced the complexity of submission, though, which I used as an opportunity.

I took a moment to tease apart this issues, to allow focus on the core concepts. "I'm not convinced that Jesus even existed as a historical figure. I can certainly be persuaded on that point, and I could even be convinced that he was god, or the Son of god, or both. I consider the question of submission to be a moral question, though, and a question that should be considered separately."

Boghossian largely ignores the entire edifice of religion, as these tend to be things which people often feel very deeply about. When we rising (or only just risen) apes feel deeply about something, when our emotions are triggered, we tend to think less reasonably and to be rather less susceptible to reason (The Backfire Effect). Furthermore, those with the least knowledge about a subject are least likely to realize the expanse of knowledge they haven't yet mastered, nor to recognize new knowledge when they see it (The Dunning-Kruger Effect). We are least likely to recognize good ideas in domains we haven't much studied.

Jackie really wanted me to submit, and to be willing to submit. She wasn't able to muster any relevant responses to my questions about what she meant by submission, so I suggested directly that the desire to submission was really an impulse to slavery (avoiding a direct confrontation with the patriarchal nature of the Abrahamic religions, while trying to help her see the point of submission as a separate question from whether Jesus existed as a real person, and whether he was god, or god's son.) I suggested that submission was a moral question, and that as moral persons she and I might be able to discuss whether or not a demand to submit could ever be moral.

Here I had made a mistake, departing from the methods of the street epistemology and slipping into a more traditional "debate" style of making a rational argument. I should have asked a series of questions to circle in on that issue, questions which lead to a natural conclusion that submission to arbitrary authority of self-professed divine entities or their self-proessed representatives on Earth, might be problematic. Is it OK to demand submission of another person? If I threaten you, and you submit, is that OK?

Breaking this down into a few more questions that approach the topic less directly might have been more effective. However, in the context of the conversation, it seemed to have more impact than I would have expected, not on Jackie, but on her companions. They clearly didn't see this coming, and hadn't thought of anything like it. They were genuinely surprised.

Now, later on it's very likely that they'll be told I was evil. It will be too late, though, the seed of reason was sparked in the young folk in her company. It *is* OK to consider the moral implications of the rote scripture with which you've been indoctrinated. You can ask deep questions. You can make moral evaluations yourself.

I know that they'll be told I was evil, by the way, because Jackie tried to turn the tables on me, asking me a couple questions about my own failings, in an effort to convince me that I deserved and chose to spend eternity in hell, if I didn't submit to Jesus. Despite her efforts to convince me that I was, and we all were, unavoidably wicked, she was reluctant to admit that she believed in Original Sin. The deluded are remarkably flexible at self-deception. For her, "original sin" was part of religion, and religion was wicked. I asked her several questions about Adam and Eve and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She *does* believe in original sin, and in the implications that we are born sinners. She just doesn't like the phrase which describes the concept.

Several questions later, and after several attempts to evade the basic question, Jackie had admitted that she did believe in heaven, and in hell, and she did believe that people who didn't "submit to Jesus with all their heart and soul" would spend eternity in eternal torment -- including me. I knew that she believed this from her prior statements, but it was important to coax her into stating these core beliefs simply and directly. Once she admitted this openly, she next easily admitted that, yes, there is no appeal, no possibility of reprieve, from hell.

So then I asked, "Jackie, when you've gone to heaven, and you're peering over the edge looking at the torments of the damned, how long will you watch this, my profound and desperate suffering, before your inner moral sense compels you to intercede on my behalf? Will you say to god, about me, or someone you know and love perhaps, 'God, I know that person and I'm sure they were a good person, simply because they didn't submit to Jesus in their short lifetime, surely that's no reason to torture them, forever?' Will you wait a billion years? 10 billion years? A trillion years? How long will you wait? Or will you be afraid to ask for forgiveness? on my behalf, because you see infinite torment, and fear that you might be thrown into the pit, to suffer alongside me?"

You should have seen the looks on their faces. Jackie was phased for only a fraction of a second, before falling back to her script, people make a choice to go to hell. Her young companions, however, were shocked. They'd never thought about it, been steered their whole lives carefully away form serious contemplation of the immorality of these core tenets of their religious faith. One of them regained his composer and started citing biblical passages, jumping into the conversation for the first time. It was clear that he was trying desperately to convince himself, not to persuade me.

I had succeeded in helping someone start to question, and questions are the start of knowledge. I had given water to the seed of reason in his mind. He had suddenly a very serious doubt with which he now must grapple. Jackie will spend more time trying to answer the questions that his mind will generate.

*Faith is Virus -- You Can Help Save Humanity*

Boghossian's book arrives at just the right moment, a tipping point in history. We have the opportunity to build a more rational civilization, and to reject faith as the basis of politics and societal organization.

Boghossian is working to remove the layers of obfuscation wrapped around faith, all the alternate oily definitions which allow the shell game or the sleight of hand which protects faith. Faith claims are knowledge claims, he insists, and any other use of the term faith is incorrect. Faith is a flawed reasoning process. If you cannot engage in a healthy reasoned discussion of your claims, and if you insist that faith is the only basis on which your claims will stand, then you are not sitting at the adult table. You have ceded your right to participate in the discussion.

Importantly, Boghossian advances the idea that socratic pedagogy is the most effective way to help people realize that faith is not the only basis, nor even a healthy basis on which to build their world view. He has practiced helping people shed many types of false belief by starting with the question, "Are you willing to be wrong?" or "Can you imagine anything which would convince you that you might be wrong?"

Boghossian's argument is orthogonal to and compatible with the arguments advanced by Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, as well as the many others who have contributed over the past couple millennia.

Peter Boghossian has advanced an argument compelling and a method elegant which take the fight directly to the religious. This by the way, is the primary appeal of the "new atheists" in particular Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, but also Dennett to an extent that isn't as obvious given his comfortable, grandfatherly and gentle manner. (Darwin's Dangerous Idea is a frontal assault on the castle). 



Boghossian's move, once you fully grok it, is truly profound. He rejects the inherent premise that religion is the default, and that it has already dominated the board with a three millennia long flood of obscurant moves, which must be countered. This game has played on for centuries, endless defense against myriad rapidly proliferating and mutating claims (it is with obliviousness to irony that religion itself does indeed evolve). Two millennia of religious apology amounts to little more than a denial of service attack upon the Enlightenment and human reason itself. Boghossian refuses to play the game offered by the religious, endlessly debating silly unanswerable questions and their answers which only make sense when you realize the real objective is controlling your thoughts 



Boghossian defeats them at once, by identifying the claims as knowledge claims, and rebuking them all, with a single move: I don't know, and you cannot know, either. This frees him, and us, to look at the very core problem: the use of faith as a method to sort truth from falsehood. It doesn't work, and has no better chance of working than does random guessing. Faith is a method of reasoning, which does not work, and cannot work.



The Boghossian argument is pure and elegant, like a judo roll, playing the inertia of religion against itself. The religious assert faith as a virtue, and make any arbitrary claim, pretending to know something they do not know. Boghossian steps slightly to the side -- reminding us that pretending to know things that we do not know is not virtuous -- he let's religion come in close as it wants, and lets it strike with any argument in its arsenal, grabs it round the neck of faith, and exposes its inner weakness.

Faith is a fundamentally flawed reasoning process which carries you further from the truth on average. Faith can carry you closer to the truth only by accident, or by cheating (i.e. by using reason and evidence to bolster your faith based claim.) Once you cheat, you have conceded that faith is insufficient, and you've accepted the tools of reason and evidence, so you must and can only accept the outcome of those tools: your claim may be right, wrong, or unknown, but not because of your "faith".

We don't know exactly why, but suddenly about 1/3 of people under 30 have rejected religious faith as the basis of their epistemology (it's likely that the Internet has something to do with it, others speculate the influence of the New Atheist movement). That's up from almost none only 10 or 15 years ago. If we, those interested in civilization, reason, science and love of our fellow human, read this book, if we take a few moments each week to engage with the people around us on the questions of faith, if we take time to model the rational thinking we want to see in politics, then the world can be changed.

If you are a fan of Dawkins, Pinker, Hitchens, Harris, please read this book, and become a street epistemologist. Help those around you liberate themselves from the virus of faith. It might be a risk, but it's a risk we can take, together.

[Note: This review is in two parts, the first I wrote a few moments ago as a result of my first attempt to use the "street epistemology" methods described in this book. The second part, my analysis of Boghossian's methods, is modified from a comment I posted to a blog somewhere over a year ago. It applies very directly to material that Boghossian used in this book, and the purpose of this book itself.]
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HASH(0x926d37bc) von 5 Sternen A much needed tool in the fight against bad science and dangerous ideas 20. Oktober 2013
Von SamanthaCorinne - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I lost my religion many years ago, but I quickly realized that being an Atheist says little about one's actual thought process. Faulty reasoning leads to many dangerous ideas, from religion, alternative medicine, horoscopes, psychics, anti-vaccination, anti GMO and so on. Teaching people the value of honest, critical thinking is the best way to ensure that they don't just move from one bad idea to the next. Being able to engage in conversations with people suffering from faulty reasoning or the faith virus, can be exhausting because they are very good at pretending to know things that they don't know. A manual for Creating Atheists is essential or anyone wanting to fight bad science, and dangerous ideas. I was on a plane with a Mormon man while finishing the book, and I felt more confident and able to respectfully engage with him. The approach reminds me of the way Socrates talked to Euthyphro. Respectful and welcoming but it's like catching flies with honey, then swatting them with a logic stick. Read this book, you will be a better and more honest person for it.
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HASH(0x926d3618) von 5 Sternen what the secular movement was missing 28. November 2013
Von Steven - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Dr. Boghossian's book is exactly what the secular movement was missing. Denouncing poor critical thinking, moving past religious dogma, decrying pseudoscience, and talking responsibility for one's beliefs are easy to do if one is already predisposed to self-honesty, suffers little peer pressure, or respects science. A Manual for Creating Atheists is an indispensable guide for rational people to talk to people who value irrationality and to do so with real affect. It is the connection between people who will never read Professor Dawkin's God Delusion and those who already have.

I have never read a book that offered clearer and more practical advice while maintaining such easy readability.

I have one critique- where's the pocket version?
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