Peter Boghossian is a New Atheist activist who has a book coming out entitled, “A Manual for Creating Atheists.” This is a book that promises to help atheist evangelists in their quest to proselytize for atheism and confirms that atheism, in the form of New Atheism, has taken on yet another religious characteristic.
I have not read the book, but I assume it will have pretty much the same message as this speech Boghossian gave:
Let me summarize Boghossian’s points. First, he assumes that faith is an epistemology and a method people use to come to knowledge. Then he defines faith “as belief without evidence or belief without sufficient evidence.” So from the start, he goes off the tracks and we’ll get to that in a later posting. Right now, let’s consider his Nine Strategies for converting people to atheism.
1. Meet people where they are.
2. Non-adversarial relationship. Avoid doing anything to come across as the angry atheist
3. Reconceptualize – need to think of religious people as being infected with a virus, they are not well; don’t be upset with people who have caught the faith virus; need more compassion to help convert people to atheism.
4. Faith is not god – do not target God, by arguing about God you are addressing the symptom, not the cause (faith)
5. Faith is not religion – do not target religion; target faith
6. Faith is not politics – discussions about politics will sidetrack the targeting of faith
7. Avoid facts – don’t use facts when people are precontemplative as they will not work; no fact will change their mind
8. Focus – always focus discussion on epistemology – on how people know
9. Belief – divorce belief from morality; faith is simply an unreliable espistemology
Oh my. Okay, if there are any New Atheist readers out there who would like to practice putting their new manual to work, feel free to try and convert me.