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Old 03-23-2017, 06:39 AM   #1
Mightyboosh
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A Manual for Creating Atheists

Just curious if anyone has read "A Manual for Creating Atheists" and what you think about Peter Boghossian?
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

It's on my wife's book shelf but I haven't actually picked it up. I could ask her what she thinks later
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:35 AM   #3
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

nah, i haven't figured it out yet. But going to read it very soon.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:23 PM   #4
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

The best manual I've ever seen for creating atheists is the Bible. I wonder how many Christians have actually read it all. I've tried several times and just made another attempt recently. It's worse than trying to read James Joyce.

The god of the bible is laughably misogynistic, egotistical, capricious and genocidal. As George Carlin once noted, this is not impressive for a supreme being. It's more like what you would expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.

I'm so glad I gave up this fairy tale years ago.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:59 PM   #5
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Originally Posted by W0X0F View Post
The best manual I've ever seen for creating atheists is the Bible. I wonder how many Christians have actually read it all. I've tried several times and just made another attempt recently. It's worse than trying to read James Joyce.

The god of the bible is laughably misogynistic, egotistical, capricious and genocidal. As George Carlin once noted, this is not impressive for a supreme being. It's more like what you would expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.

I'm so glad I gave up this fairy tale years ago.
Hundreds of millions of people disagree with your perspective, maybe,
just maybe you are misguided?
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Nope. But while going through numerous web links about Peter Boghossian, he is linked to the CFI (Center for Inquiry, I used to get their magazine); I came across this:

Blasphemy_Day

Held every September 30.

**********************

I do have this book:

Anthology-Atheism-Rationalism-Gordon-Stein

A reasonably good read. A better and more up to date book is the one edited by Chris Hitchens:

Portable-Atheist-Essential-Readings-Nonbeliever

But a specific "Manual" - I don't know, it sort of has the stench of proselytizing. Perhaps it is useful - But personally, I am ambivalent about the whole thing.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:01 AM   #7
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

I'm with Zeno, the title does come of as a little obnoxious. But then again, perhaps it is just willfully controversial for marketing purposes.

On a semi-related note I think this Ted-talk by former Westboro Baptist church member Megan Phelps-Roper was very good:
https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_phel...e_s_why_i_left
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:13 PM   #8
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

So a a manual for creating a belief system that worships the aspect of God that is nothingness rather than the aspect that is everythingness. Sounds like a religion based on identification with nothing that has become so self absorbed in nothing that it can't identify with it's own identifications and belief systems. If you're really an atheist why would you need a manual to create belief structures telling you so? Isn't lack of experiential awareness of God the real and only basis an atheist should use to form such an opinion? Also why would you need to create other atheists, beyond your own lack of faith and insecurity in your current belief system that you need others to confirm it's relevance to you? It seems as though atheists are constantly looking for God and making sure there are others out there who will still confirm back to them that they also still haven't found God despite their constant and incessant seeking. Attempting to push your experiential perspective onto others and sell them on it is different from any other religion how?
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:56 PM   #9
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

I was having a really interested conversation the other day with a MD about theories of change in the medical community regarding vaccinations. She wants patients to vaccinate their children, but many don't engage in this behaviour, so what is the optimal strategy to try and convert as many patients as possible to vaccinate. And apparently large interventions such as a "big lecture" after patients have decided they are against vaccination are very ineffective, but small and minor interventions during "precognition" phases (before patients are even thinking about whether they want to vacinnate their children or not) are much more effective.

My point is this: theory of belief changes are often very murky and unsubstantiated and counterintuitive. A lot of people (politics is another example) spend a tonne of energy on pretty bad theories of change, often without even actively contemplating what their theory of change is. So I want to reject the title of this book right off the back....have they really found a uniquely effective theory of change for converting people to atheism?

The four horsemen provide another example. It is clear from their readership and numerous testimonials that they really did have a profound impact on many peoples lives. Some went from devout christians to strong atheists because of these books. Probably far far higher percentage had their views sort of activated and strengthened by the books.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:04 PM   #10
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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The four horsemen provide another example. It is clear from their readership and numerous testimonials that they really did have a profound impact on many peoples lives. Some went from devout christians to strong atheists because of these books. Probably far far higher percentage had their views sort of activated and strengthened by the books.
I wonder whether the impact that they've had on the general population is any bigger or smaller than the impact of things like fad diets have had with regards to, for example, gluten products or GMOs. I think I could say the underlined sentences about things like that and it would be accurate.

Certainly, there has been an impact on particular subpopulations, but my suspicion is that the overall influence is significantly lower (at least in the US).
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:04 PM   #11
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Hundreds of millions of people disagree with your perspective, maybe, just maybe you are misguided?
I recently had a discussion with a christian who used that same bit of logic. I pointed out to him that over a billion people subscribe to the religion of Islam. I asked him if he loses any sleep over that fact. After all, to them he is an infidel and doomed to eternal damnation. He said he doesn't lose a bit of sleep over it. I told him "Now you know how I feel."

Numbers alone are not persuasive. Or perhaps you may be misguided in being a christian and not a muslim?
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:12 PM   #12
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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So a a manual for creating a belief system that worships the aspect of God that is nothingness rather than the aspect that is everythingness. Sounds like a religion based on identification with nothing that has become so self absorbed in nothing that it can't identify with it's own identifications and belief systems. If you're really an atheist why would you need a manual to create belief structures telling you so? Isn't lack of experiential awareness of God the real and only basis an atheist should use to form such an opinion? Also why would you need to create other atheists, beyond your own lack of faith and insecurity in your current belief system that you need others to confirm it's relevance to you? It seems as though atheists are constantly looking for God and making sure there are others out there who will still confirm back to them that they also still haven't found God despite their constant and incessant seeking. Attempting to push your experiential perspective onto others and sell them on it is different from any other religion how?
You are correct that there is no need for such a manual. The only thing required to be an atheist is to not subscribe to the belief in a god. That's really the only thing the word means and that's the real beauty of being an atheist: it requires so little effort.

Just this evening (and this is absolutely true), I was talking to one of my brothers. He had been over to visit our father (who art in Great Fall, Virginia) along with one of my other brothers. As my brother John said to me, "It was nice having a conversation among the three of us, all Republican and all believers in God." We both had a chuckle over that one.

Then he told me that our father had asked him and my older brother "How can I get Steve to believe in God."

I told John that it was actually very simple: just show me evidence. And that's when John said "You just have to have faith." And I shared with him my favorite definition of faith: the willing suspension of critical thought. He didn't want to discuss it further.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:49 PM   #13
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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"You just have to have faith." And I shared with him my favorite definition of faith: the willing suspension of critical thought. He didn't want to discuss it further.
Go skiing and hurl yourself down a steep mountain. While doing so attempt to have critical thoughts about your upcoming taxes, your review of the latest movie you watched, and what you will have for dinner later that night.

What you will find is that you will not only very willfully suspend critical thought, but that you will will also find a newfound faith and trust in something beyond your mind to get you down this mountain in 1 piece. That is God, you can only really experience it. It's an energy that flows through your body, but where will that energy go when you die? It's not your energy, it doesn't belong to you as a possession, it simply flows through you and you're a vessel or container for it...who does it belong to though? Some would call it God, it's not required that you do, no name is necessary...however the experience of such is very real.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:02 AM   #14
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Go skiing and hurl yourself down a steep mountain.
You must be a christian. I can feel the love.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:35 AM   #15
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Must I? I guess I missed all those Christian ski trips. I'm lead by my own experience and internal truth. What that means for me will never be the same as for anyone else. I also don't come with a self creation manual, it all creates itself from the inside out.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:23 AM   #16
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

An increasingly popular YT channel was set up by Anthony Magnabosco, who wanted to try out some of the methods from "The Manual...", esp in talking with Christians. It is basically the Socratic Method, with extra special attention paid to The Pause (a very useful tool that can give the subject extra time to think about a comment they'd just made themselves, if they're getting into sticky territory, rather than being able to quickly move on without those extra lingering thoughts - and since ppl dislike pauses they will often fill the silence themselves, so you get them talking even more).

The strategy is called Street Epistemology, and Anthony is really well practiced in it now. It can be really interesting to watch someone trying to address their own beliefs. The topic is not necessarily Christianity or even religion.

https://www.youtube.com/user/magnabosco210/videos
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:27 AM   #17
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Originally Posted by LucidDream View Post
Go skiing and hurl yourself down a steep mountain. While doing so attempt to have critical thoughts about your upcoming taxes, your review of the latest movie you watched, and what you will have for dinner later that night.

What you will find is that you will not only very willfully suspend critical thought, but that you will will also find a newfound faith and trust in something beyond your mind to get you down this mountain in 1 piece. That is God, you can only really experience it. It's an energy that flows through your body, but where will that energy go when you die? It's not your energy, it doesn't belong to you as a possession, it simply flows through you and you're a vessel or container for it...who does it belong to though? Some would call it God, it's not required that you do, no name is necessary...however the experience of such is very real.
The mind has a great ability to create illusions.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:33 AM   #18
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Originally Posted by uke_master View Post
I was having a really interested conversation the other day with a MD about theories of change in the medical community regarding vaccinations. She wants patients to vaccinate their children, but many don't engage in this behaviour, so what is the optimal strategy to try and convert as many patients as possible to vaccinate. And apparently large interventions such as a "big lecture" after patients have decided they are against vaccination are very ineffective, but small and minor interventions during "precognition" phases (before patients are even thinking about whether they want to vacinnate their children or not) are much more effective.
This is why I believe it is wrong that religion has such a prominent place in state funded schools.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:16 PM   #19
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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The mind has a great ability to create illusions.
What's your point? That's true but how does it have any relevance to what I stated beyond just being some abstract remark?

What I'm talking about is an experience. I'm not requiring that anyone name that experience, I'm simply saying that if you do such a thing, your critical thinking mind will be moved to the background and something that is seemingly beyond that and beyond yourself will move to the forefront and take over. You can't understand what I'm talking about by reading a book on skiing.

The mind obv creates illusions. Most people actually believe they're a real person having a real experience while actually they're just energy vibrating in mostly empty space. Something is certainly having an experience of this but it isn't some person having it, no such person exists, it's an illusion of the mind as you stated already. So who's having the experience?
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:02 AM   #20
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Ive done a lot of downhill (cross county and water) skiing. No God there for me.

Getting in the "zone" in basketball would be the closest to what i think you are saying that ive experienced.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:23 AM   #21
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

"If your brain is busy doing other things you're not going to be able to think about algebra" isn't a good argument for God.

I don't have any problems with your feelings of faith or "God". Just the same as spooky feelings of aliens nearby or a presence in the room aren't uncommon. Our brain fires off the equivalent of farts all the time, although like farts this propensity varies with your constitution and your mental diet. It's when you try to claim these feelings represents something real that you're either kooky/insane or religious, depending on the subject matter.

I got your point about going down the mountain. Faith is very valuable in life. You don't need to attach to bizarre ancient desert-tribe myths for it to function though.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:04 PM   #22
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Quote:
Originally Posted by LucidDream View Post
Go skiing and hurl yourself down a steep mountain. While doing so attempt to have critical thoughts about your upcoming taxes, your review of the latest movie you watched, and what you will have for dinner later that night.

What you will find is that you will not only very willfully suspend critical thought, but that you will will also find a newfound faith and trust in something beyond your mind to get you down this mountain in 1 piece. That is God, you can only really experience it. It's an energy that flows through your body, but where will that energy go when you die? It's not your energy, it doesn't belong to you as a possession, it simply flows through you and you're a vessel or container for it...who does it belong to though? Some would call it God, it's not required that you do, no name is necessary...however the experience of such is very real.
Couldn't your first paragraph just be our brain going into a certain mode?

Your conception of what might be called God is more akin to some kind of spiritualism. You could still be an atheist while ascribing to this kind of belief in 'life energy'
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:55 PM   #23
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

If I give you certain drugs you'll see time laid out all before you, colors as sounds, and feel a deep profound oneness with the universe.

It's all bull**** - just me making your brain go wonky. Is it evidence of cosmic oneness? Or that colors are sounds?
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:35 PM   #24
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

I agree it's all bs and has 0 evidence
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:43 PM   #25
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Lol, looks atheists now have a "Creator" too.
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