Read Recently — November 2014 — Evangelism

A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian

Right on the front cover we find the words, “Foreword by Michael Shermer”; on the back cover we have a paragraph of praise by Richard Dawkins. He who has ears, let him hear.

Boghossian has written a text for atheistic evangelism; the first complete sentence he writes in the book is “This book will teach you how to talk people out of their faith.” This in and of itself doesn’t bother me; I would treat “street epistemologists” (as he calls them) exactly the same way I treat Christian street evangelists: ignore them. Actually, it would be even easier because, of course, I have no faith for them to argue me out of. What bothers me, throughout the book, is his use of the “intervention” model (you are not staging an intervention; you are harassing people based on their beliefs) and the fact that he’s a right-wing asshole.

Which is not to say that the book contains nothing good. There are many good sections, and lots of good arguments/counter-arguments useful if you do happen to fall into a discussion with someone determined to convert you. Most of these, however, can also be found in other books without the sneers at Atheism+ and so-called left-wing academia.

Not recommended.

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