Drawing on years of research and real-world experience, Dr. Peter Boghossian gives a crash course on how to talk people away from faith and towards a life of reason. If you find this talk interesting, be sure to check out his book "A Manual for Creating Atheists": http://tinyurl.com/mlpdpbf

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I gave some general suggestions on what anyone could do to contribute to the development of a more secular society. If you took that as me giving you orders, then maybe you're taking things wrong.


When I said "you" in a post above, I was talking about Dr. Boghossian's book, and how he was saying that the reader could contribute in other ways. I wasn't actually speaking to you, specifically.


Yes Luara - no one needs to be told what to do.

That is short and sweet Luara - I usually don't say much myself either.

Someone like Peter Boghossian who finds it worthwhile to expend a lot of personal energy on trying to deconvert people, is probably doing this for emotional reasons of their own. 

When people shake off religious indoctrination that they were exposed to as children, the religious conditioning persists somewhat in their minds.  Sometimes to resurface in middle age, when they're past their youthful rebellion. 

So going around trying to deconvert religious people, may be a way of fending off childhood religious indoctrination in their own minds. 

I wasn't brought up religious and don't have this motivation.  Trying to dialogue with a religious proselytizer in an extended way, would take up a lot of thought-space. 

Almost all people are in fact agnostic - the difference between the religious and atheists is what thoughts are emphasized in their minds.  Religious people pay attention to "how it makes me feel" and atheists pay attention to the (lack of) evidence for religious claims.  Sometimes you hear claims about fact from religious people, but those are secondary to how religion makes them feel. 

He is a philosophy professor. Do you not think it's possible that he is just genuinely interested in promoting reason as a way of life?


"Someone like Peter Boghossian who finds it worthwhile to expend a lot of personal energy on trying to deconvert people, is probably doing this for emotional reasons of their own"

I dont question the emotional motivations of the guy doing life-saving surgery on me... why should I do that for a guy who seems to be interested in helping people get along better? I see this as a service to all parties involved, motivations aside. In fact, even if this was some kind of bad-childhood-inspired personal crusade its still a good thing. He certainly cant destroy the world by making everybody more reasonable, now can he?

Agreed. I've not seen any evidence that Dr. Boghossian has been anything other than objectively professional in his work.

My wife senses a change in my belief system although she doesn't know I am atheist. I'm not even sure if she knows what an atheist is, but she keeps telling me that it does not matter what people believe. Usually I get this from her after I comment on some lame religious view. On the contrary, I tell her it matters very much what people believe.

Indeed, it can matter a lot what people believe, because belief has the potential to give rise to and drive actions.

Question is: what kinds of actions?

Good picture Dennis - you can see the hypocrisy.

Peter's methodology is very interesting, and it's clear to me that he has put a lot of work and analysis into it.  I suppose my problem is that 1) I'm not a huge people person and 2) my willingness to indulge in analysis of what is going on with the person I'm engaging in conversation isn't all that great.  Nevertheless, I see the points he's making ... and maybe I'll try to absorb them (rather slowly, I would think!) before attempting to employ them.

Great conseptual resource. Thank you for posting this.


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