ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2014 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Fifth Horseman 1

Peter Boghossian has written a little manual on atheist evangelism that has concerned some Christians. Having read two of its nine chapters so far, I can assure you that it is simply a weaponized version of the same endless bait-and-switching upon which Messrs. Dawkins and Harris rely so heavily. However, given MPAI, I have no doubt there are living, breathing human beings who found Mr. Harris's Red State argument as conclusive and convincing as Mr. Dawkins did, so it seems worthwhile to provide an inoculation to Mr. Boghossian's poisonous little book as a public service.

This I shall do on the blog, going through it in much the same way various atheists went through the first three chapters of TIA before reaching Mount Chapter Four and running off to Las Vegas and so forth.
This book will teach you how to talk people out of their faith. You’ll learn how to engage the faithful in conversations that help them value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their beliefs, and mistrust their faith. I call this activist approach to helping people overcome their faith, “Street Epistemology.” The goal of this book is to create a generation of Street Epistemologists: people equipped with an array of dialectical and clinical tools who actively go into the streets, the prisons, the bars, the churches, the schools, and the community—into any and every place the faithful reside—and help them abandon their faith and embrace reason.

A Manual for Creating Atheists details, explains, and teaches you how to be a street clinician and how to apply the tools I’ve developed and used as an educator and philosopher. The lessons, strategies, and techniques I share come from my experience teaching prisoners, from educating tens of thousands of students in overcrowded public universities, from engaging the faithful every day for more than a quarter century, from over two decades of rigorous scholarship, and from the streets.

Street Epistemology harkens back to the values of the ancient philosophers—individuals who were tough-minded, plain-speaking, known for self-defense, committed to truth, unyielding in the face of danger, and fearless in calling out falsehoods, contradictions, inconsistencies, and nonsense. Plato was a wrestler and a soldier with broad shoulders. He was decorated for bravery in battle (Christian, 2011, p. 51). Socrates was a seasoned soldier. At his trial, when facing the death penalty, he was unapologetic. When asked to suggest a punishment for his “crimes,” he instead proposed to be rewarded (Plato, Apology).

Hellenistic philosophers fought against the superstitions of their time. Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and others combated the religious authorities of their period, including early versions of Christianity (Clarke, 1968; Nussbaum, 1994). They thought the most important step was to liberate people from fear of tortures of the damned and from fear that preachers of their epoch were spouting. Hellenistic philosophers were trying to encourage stoic self-sufficiency, a sense of self-responsibility, and a tough-minded humanism.
Boghossian starts off by trying to fire up the troops. They're going to be as tough as street preachers and unemployed boy-buggering Greeks! More importantly, he also signals right away that he's going to play very fast and loose with the readily verifiable truth, given that Lucretius (55 BC) lived before Jesus Christ, Sextus Empiricus wrote against mathemeticians and the very Hellenic philosphers Boghossian is lionizing, and Marcus Aurelius actually WAS the religious authority, being not only the Emperor of Rome, but a member of "all the priestly colleges" of Rome who was literally deified in 180 AD.

None of these four examples, not a single one, "thought the most important step was to liberate people from fear of tortures of the damned". Sextus Empiricus, for example, declares that "the aim of the Sceptic is tranquility of soul in those things which pertain to the opinion and moderation in the things that life imposes." Indeed, Boghossian's very stated purpose is in direct and explicit opposition to everything Sextus Empiricus advises, beginning with "suspension of judgment".

Boghossian intends to teach atheists how to become an evangelical. And I am going to teach you how to crucify and humiliate those evangelicals using the very tools to which Boghossian is fraudulently appealing. He may be an educator and a philosopher, with two decades of what already appears to be not very rigorous scholarship behind him, but then, I am a superintelligence who has already taken four atheist scalps.

The fifth one won't be any trouble at all. The manual is nothing but rhetoric in the guise of dialectic, and as most of you have learned, rhetoric combined with actual dialectic will reliably trump the pseudo-dialectic.

Labels: ,

84 Comments:

Blogger Longstreet January 12, 2014 9:32 PM  

I have a passing familiarity with Boghossian's book, and find it to be less than impressive. Looking forward to your examination of it.

OpenID simplytimothy January 12, 2014 9:37 PM  

So, the playoffs got boring and you decided to write this during halftime? Or was it a timeout?

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 9:42 PM  

The fifth one won't be any trouble at all. The manual is nothing but rhetoric in the guise of dialectic, and as most of you have learned, rhetoric combined with actual dialectic will reliably trump the pseudo-dialectic.

Would love to meet one of his disciples, I would tear him apart in a few sentences. Hope you stay on this bud, I have seen too much and know too much for such fools. And embarrassing them in front of people would give me great pleasure.

Anonymous zen0 January 12, 2014 9:46 PM  

before reaching Mount Chapter Four and running off to Las Vegas and so forth.

"and so forth" involved pictures of the person spread eagled with a "for rent" sign propped up over her vulva.

Can't make it up.....

Blogger Crude January 12, 2014 9:55 PM  

Excellent, I was hoping you'd give this one a thorough look-over.

Anonymous zen0 of Canada January 12, 2014 9:55 PM  

I like the " Street Epistomologist" tag. We call them "bums" or "the homeless' depending who we are talking to.

(sometimes "crackwhores", depending on gender)

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 10:04 PM  

Atheist everyone I know are the stupidest people I know. They may have knowledge but never have wisdom and it is why all their arguments fall on their face. I am really looking forward to Vox to quote another poster "Curbstomp" the book.

Blogger Bogey January 12, 2014 10:05 PM  

Peter Boghossian is promising a dialectic approach to atheism, I'm intrigued, but not enough to spend $8 on the book. I look forward to this series of posts.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 12, 2014 10:07 PM  

This is going to be fun.

Blogger Jeff January 12, 2014 10:10 PM  

I always laugh at how atheists devote themselves to reason not realizing that the reason they defend will eventually be destroyed by their atheism. They don't see that modernism turned into postmodernism for a reason, the reason being that without God to ground their reason one necessarily becomes a solipsist. The current scientific atheist is 100 years out of date. Their intellectual movement has already failed, they just aren't well read enough to realize it.

Anonymous kh123 January 12, 2014 10:28 PM  

"The goal of this book is to create a generation of Street Epistemologists"

Mental image of MC Hammer pants.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus January 12, 2014 10:33 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus January 12, 2014 10:34 PM  

Atheists - too stupid to even understand the authorities to which they appeal.

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli January 12, 2014 10:35 PM  

"...before reaching Mount Chapter Four and running off to Las Vegas"

Saw her in person once, some years back in D.C. Short hair but nice rack... bangable.

Blogger Longstreet January 12, 2014 10:41 PM  

Peter Boghossian is promising a dialectic approach to atheism..
If so, he's obviously never heard the phrase "under promise and over deliver".

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 12, 2014 10:42 PM  

"too stupid to even understand"

Maybe. I don't know much about these clowns, but I get the sense that they're basically midwits, and their real problem is that they're sort of blinded by hatred, especially and specifically of white Christians, and that they're driven into brick walls by their various emotional hangups. The whole thing strikes me as so much psychological and crudely political (in the sense that their fondest dream is of the end of white Christians) rather than actually intellectual.

I don't know why VD spends his time addressing these people, they seem silly and beneath contempt. I guess he views them as sort of intellectual chew-toys, a punching-dummy that you use just to stay in shape. It's not like they ever say anything of a substantive nature that a serious man would genuinely consider.

As an aside, I'd love to see the conference where these clowns spew their bile at Muslims and Hindus and black Baptists. But we all get that idea already.

Blogger Longstreet January 12, 2014 10:45 PM  

"Saw her in person once, some years back in D.C. Short hair but nice rack... bangable."

Yes, well, you'd probably want to duct tape her mouth first.

Aside: I don't know why I have so much trouble with tags here.

Anonymous Truth January 12, 2014 10:47 PM  

Vox's fantasy, "I am a superintelligence who has already taken four atheist scalps."

Vox's reality, "I am a superegotist who has already taken 0 atheist scalps."

Blogger Jeff January 12, 2014 10:50 PM  

Truth,

Would you please defend the Red State argument?

Anonymous cheddarman January 12, 2014 10:54 PM  

Release the Dread Ilk!

Anonymous HardReturn¶ January 12, 2014 11:00 PM  

Looking forward to your take on his mini-festo. The shelf life of that sort of 19th century angry agitating atheism is way past the sell-by date. And maybe they realize that. The style of trendy rhetorical atheism is First World self-indulgence; so much cognitive dissonance necessary to enjoy the fruit while cursing the vine.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 11:04 PM  

.” The goal of this book is to create a generation of Street Epistemologists: people equipped with an array of dialectical and clinical tools who actively go into the streets, the prisons, the bars, the churches, the schools, and the community—into any and every place the faithful reside—and help them abandon their faith and embrace reason.

Vox's reality, "I am a superegotist who has already taken 0 atheist scalps."

OK that's it, Who is self centered? A man who defends his belief in God, or a man who defends the fact that what he doesn't believe in? If I go out into parks and public places denouncing the belief in the tooth fairy you would call me crazy. But you will go out into all those places denouncing something you know doesn't exist. Who would be more insane, me are you if I was handing out bibles and you were handing out pamphlets of something you never believed in the first place?

I think you know the answer, and your fear of the unknown is clear, you are afraid, not insane.

Anonymous nordicthunder January 12, 2014 11:12 PM  

"I don't know why VD spends his time addressing these people, they seem silly and beneath contempt. I guess he views them as sort of intellectual chew-toys, a punching-dummy that you use just to stay in shape. It's not like they ever say anything of a substantive nature that a serious man would genuinely consider."

- because entertainment !

in addition to keeping skills finely honed

Blogger Allabaster January 12, 2014 11:16 PM  

Ah, we have not heard much from the basement dwellers in quite some time.
Has preparation for your next round with Dominic rekindled your interest?

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 11:17 PM  

To clarify, I don't go out handing out pamphlets about the tooth fairy not existing. Why would one preach the non existence of God unless they really did believe in him? The militant atheist is afraid or he wouldn't care

Blogger Allabaster January 12, 2014 11:19 PM  

Yeah, 5 minutes on Google and there isn't much of her you won't see.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 11:30 PM  

My great 8ncle a WWII vet 23 months on the line from Italy to Germany told me a story once. When they were landing on the beach they were being bomb by artillery and the guys in the boat would all go huddle up together in a corner. He said in his words that if they were going to die they didn't want to die alone. I am seeing the same fear from atheist and may he rest is peace, he taught me more about war than any book I ever read as he lived across the dirt road from me and ask me to help him with his cows many times and told me story's.

Anonymous tmason January 12, 2014 11:44 PM  

Hmmm, curious to know how effective this pamphlet has been.

Anonymous Harsh January 12, 2014 11:52 PM  

Just when we thought there were no interesting trolls to bash Truth shows up. Wait, I said interesting, didn't I?

Blogger Patrikbc January 12, 2014 11:55 PM  

I have my own method
For debating atheists, I try reason until they get nasty, then I punch th in the mouth... Debate over

Blogger Doom January 12, 2014 11:57 PM  

Ha! I already distrust my faith. Not in God, mind you, but in the physical aspects of those who offer the worship services. Some are trusted more than others. I simply abide the faith, look at what my church has historically believed and supported, and ignore the modernistic measures that have and are taking place. No church is safe.

I've dealt with these atheist evangelists before. I've gotten some of them to rethink church. They really aren't very good at their lack of faith, really. Only true psychopaths seem to be dead sure, but then it isn't even that they don't believe in God with many of them. It's more that they know they should burn so don't really care. The academic sort is easy to sway... until they realize their job is probably at stake, certainly their place in their social order. Well, and they don't want to face their sins. Still, for a moment... they almost cross that bridge. You should see their faces when it hits... just how close I got. Yum!

Anonymous dh January 13, 2014 12:16 AM  

Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and others combated the religious authorities of their period, including early versions of Christianity (Clarke, 1968; Nussbaum, 1994)

This has all the hallmarks of petty atheism which has it's main feature a stunning lack of scholarship and education. One of the main attractions of the RC church is that despite all the many faults, and theological questions I may have, the long and ancient history of scholarship remains unbroken. Whatever you think of any given Pope, it's unlikely that anything he ever wrote would be so filled with rote unverifiable garbage.

What's not to love about our atheist foil? Let's see, he's got:

1. Impressive sounding names - Lucretius! Sounds fascinating!

2. People I recognize from movies - Marcus Aurelius - wasn't he in Gladiator? He wore purple and was played by that guy who was that other dude in The Italian Job remake. He's so smart, he said some smart stuff in that movie!

3. PLUS FOOTNOTES. I think, anyways. It's helpful to see's quoting an archaeologist, at least, right? Indiana Jones was an archaeologist and HE'S AWESOME! Plus his dad is James Bond!! And that scene with the bull whip? That was the bomb!

4. And back to those names! They sound Latin-y. And we know that those Latin-y sounding names are the mark of some old stuff, and back then they knew a lot of stuff. So yeah!

Clearly, a smart man. Because when I think of engaging people on the street, my first though is: "What would Lucretius say to convince this prisoner of how rational I am?"

Anonymous The Deuce January 13, 2014 12:18 AM  

...Las Vegas and so forth.

IIRC, she took up tailoring. Or something along those lines. I just remember it had something to do with pincushions.

Anonymous The Deuce January 13, 2014 12:24 AM  

Saw her in person once, some years back in D.C. Short hair but nice rack... bangable.

Haven't seen her in person, but I've seen her in a state of undress courtesy of Encyclopedia Dramatica. They might've looked good with clothes on, but, well...

They're fake and they're spect-horrifying.

Anonymous Fidgit January 13, 2014 12:25 AM  

Vox, wondering about your opinion of Boghossian's definition of faith: "Pretending to know things you don't know."

Anonymous Toby Temple January 13, 2014 12:41 AM  

Vox, wondering about your opinion of Boghossian's definition of faith: "Pretending to know things you don't know."

That fits scientists today.

But then again, isn't Peter Boghossian pretending to know that there is really no God at all?

Anonymous Josh January 13, 2014 12:47 AM  

"Hellenistic philosophers were trying to encourage stoic self-sufficiency, a sense of self-responsibility, and a tough-minded humanism."

The guy is a buffoon. Ancient Greek philosophers were really, secretly adherents to a secular humanism developed in the 1700's out of late medieval Christian humanism? Uh-huh.

OpenID thetroll January 13, 2014 12:54 AM  

> the reason being that without God to ground their reason one necessarily becomes a solipsist.

Oh, I don't know about that. If you have a nodding acquaintance with modern game design and physics both, it's kinda hard not to notice that the universe looks really suspiciously like it's being lazily rendered. That doesn't really fit solipsist beliefs. Fits best for me with a strong agnostic (in the sense 'the Creator's nature is unknowable by design') outlook. Call it the Red Dwarf 'Better Than Life' Theory Of Existence.

Anonymous Earl January 13, 2014 1:03 AM  

Uh, Plato is a classical theist, freekin Boghossian.

Blogger IM2L844 January 13, 2014 1:53 AM  

Truth: Vox's reality, "I am a superegotist who has already taken 0 atheist scalps."

Truth? What is truth?

Just thought I would go ahead and dispense with that Nietzcheistic deconstructionist psychobabble that always turns up whenever Asher inevitably arrives as one of his many personas when these threads with religious implications get going.

Anonymous wEz January 13, 2014 2:17 AM  

So whats the end game in Bogs eyes here? Not believing doesnt promote anything, so what makes this douche wet? Atheist evangelism serves no objective purpose.
Their circle jerk is simply a biproduct of being dealt a favorable hand in life in nearly all cases. But the pride and stupidity in their braggery is laughable...Life ends in death!! And in 100 years we're all corpses or ashes and the best of us is nothinf more then a fleeting memory!!!! Yeah bitch! Pass the memo! Lets go troll people with hope!!
High church atheists are f*ckin tards.

OpenID mattse001 January 13, 2014 2:24 AM  

Per scoobius dubious' comment:
I would also love to see them try this on our Muslim "friends." The reason they don't is because they'd get their asses killed.

Blogger IM2L844 January 13, 2014 2:52 AM  

But then again, isn't Peter Boghossian pretending to know that there is really no God at all?

He has faith.

Blogger Outlaw X January 13, 2014 3:12 AM  

Truth? What is truth?

Just thought I would go ahead and dispense with that Nietzcheistic deconstructionist psychobabble that always turns up whenever Asher inevitably arrives as one of his many personas when these threads with religious implications get going.


Pilate asked the same question of Jesus before he had him crucified. What was his answer?

Blogger Outlaw X January 13, 2014 3:18 AM  

Nothing, he remained silent as we do, and washed his hands of the sin he was to commit with water. A fool as we all are. Baptized by water and rejecting sin we all crucify our Lord.

Blogger Outlaw X January 13, 2014 3:32 AM  

To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Blogger Markku January 13, 2014 3:36 AM  

I mentioned the book to Vox because there was a Stand to Reason episode on it. They are mainly concerned because there is one major game-changer in it. One flash of methodological genius. "Don't be an asshole".

If he can get this message to the ranks (which would be a feat indeed, but IF), then the movement will no longer self-sabotage. And this could perhaps allow Peter to become the New Atheist leader he aspires to be.

Blogger Markku January 13, 2014 3:40 AM  

Luckily, knowing the human material he is working with, this will probably be understood as "be a condescending prick."

Anonymous The Great Martini January 13, 2014 3:58 AM  


Indeed, Boghossian's very stated purpose is in direct and explicit opposition to everything Sextus Empiricus advises, beginning with "suspension of judgment".


He hasn't seemed to run afoul of this yet -- I just started reading the Kindle version. Sextus advised suspended judgement but didn't preclude the assertion of claims, that seems to be how his skeptical philosophy would be conducted. As far as I've gotten, Bog affirms Dawkins' 1-7 level of belief, that Dawkins only claimed a 6, and that the definition of "atheist" he wants to use is a person who doesn't believe there is enough evidence to confirm the existence of God. I'm sure he's not going to spend the entire book holding to strict suspension of judgement (I mean the entire purpose of the book is to weaken the societal influence of religion, which implies a judgement), but at least he seems to be aligning himself with the skeptical stance from the beginning.

Blogger vandelay January 13, 2014 4:32 AM  

The "don't be an asshole" message has been around awhile now. It may have been Phil Plait who first started saying "don't be a dick" to overly aggressive atheists, and that was back in 2009 or so, maybe earlier. It gained some currency but soon enough the tactical geniuses of the atheist blogosphere like PZ Myers decided it was more important to instantly indulge each autistic urge to attack religion (read: Christianity) for every bad thing in the world.

The ranks have heard this message and, for the most part, rejected it. They have no regard for strategy. They think of themselves as humanists but their dominant philosophies are hedonism and libertinism, which unfortunately makes them sound a lot more fun than they really are.

They've already done away with moral restraints, and they likewise see little use for practical restraints, even when employed towards a goal (eliminating religion) that they generally all agree on. Even for the ones who can conceive of working together towards (what they perceive as) the greater good, the tendency for infighting and instant gratification is too great.

The truth is atheists have already taken their best shots. The combined effect of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennett has been to sell a small number of books and to fill the comment sections of some worthless blogs with worthless adherents - all of which I say as an agnostic.

Maybe it's possible for the atheist movement to change its character, but if so it will take a much more charismatic and effective leader than Boghossian or any of the Four Horsemen.

Blogger Duke of Earl January 13, 2014 4:38 AM  

JP Holding covered some of it too. Likewise he found it unimpressive, even by the low standards experience has taught him to hold atheists to.

Blogger Longstreet January 13, 2014 4:48 AM  

Luckily, knowing the human material he is working with, this will probably be understood as "be a condescending prick."

I'm reading a discussion of this book on another blog and that's exactly how the Boghossian side is behaving.

Anonymous The Great Martini January 13, 2014 4:51 AM  


Maybe it's possible for the atheist movement to change its character, but if so it will take a much more charismatic and effective leader than Boghossian or any of the Four Horsemen.


Each side can debate in a forthright, principled and vigorous way while being somewhat respectful of the other side. It's true that Harris, Dawkins and definitely Hitchens, and to a lesser extent Dennet, kind of came charging out of the gate expecting a great contest and decided to be preemptively combative. I think you can be both straight talking and forthright while being respectful without overly pandering to the sentiments of the other side. Anything else is probably going to come off as false and deceptive anyway.

I think the overwhelming liability working against atheists who choose to debate theists, certainly if they're actually explicitly stating that they intend to deconvert, is that this plugs into the Christian sense of morals. The attempt to deconvert a Christian (or Muslim, of course) is actually considered an act of evil. So in the Christian mind they are not only engaged in debate, but actually confronting evil. The atheist proselytizer is considered evil by Christians, if not evil per se, then instrumentally evil, whereas the Christian proselytizer is at most considered annoying by the atheist--perhaps evil on rare occasion, but that's usually reserved to the Fred Phelps level Christian.

Anonymous VD January 13, 2014 5:31 AM  

It's true that Harris, Dawkins and definitely Hitchens, and to a lesser extent Dennet, kind of came charging out of the gate expecting a great contest and decided to be preemptively combative.

Come now. Dawkins has been a combative asshole his entire life. And he shies away from debate with anyone who is likely to actually attack him. Harris has more guts, but he got so badly beaten by everyone he debated that he's retreated to science and morality.

I think you can be both straight talking and forthright while being respectful without overly pandering to the sentiments of the other side.

Of course you can. Read the debate between Dominic and me, for example. I like Dominic. I enjoy hearing his opinions and seeing how he responds to my arguments. We don't have to agree in order to get along.

I think the overwhelming liability working against atheists who choose to debate theists, certainly if they're actually explicitly stating that they intend to deconvert, is that this plugs into the Christian sense of morals.

No, the overwhelming liability working against atheists is that they reliably fail to hold themselves to the same intellectual standards they demand of others.

Anonymous MPC January 13, 2014 5:35 AM  

Ah ha ha ha ha haaa, the idea of atheist street preachers. Like Mormons, but they're too obese to ride bikes, so they ride Rascal Scooters around, clutching their fedoras else they blow off in the wind.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2014 6:27 AM  

>The truth is atheists have already taken their best shots.

Christianity is 2000 years old. Atheists have been taking their best shots for centuries. The New Atheists have nothing to add to the debate. Their arguments have already been made (much more capably) by their predecessors.

Anonymous FrankNorman January 13, 2014 6:56 AM  


No, the overwhelming liability working against atheists is that they reliably fail to hold themselves to the same intellectual standards they demand of others.


This.
And they are often pretty blatant about it too. Thumping the tub about how their worldview is so "rational" - yet when asked to actually defend it with rational arguments, promptly changing the subject by attacking Christianity.

How to argue like an Atheist:

1) Put all the burden of proof on anyone who disagrees with you
2) Make the standard of "proof" an impossibly high one
3) Claim victory by default

oh, and...

4) If anyone calls you out on this, accuse them of being racist.

Anonymous curious agnostic January 13, 2014 7:09 AM  

"whereas the Christian proselytizer is at most considered annoying by the atheist--perhaps evil on rare occasion"

now THIS is hilarity.... just WHO is trying to ban prayer in school and public meetings? who are those freaking out about nativity scenes and 10 commandments?

Anonymous MendoScot January 13, 2014 9:10 AM  

He can't be a Horseman without a Demotivator. How about:

Street Epistemology
'Cos crackwhores gotta eat.

Well, then we stand on our own two feet, don't we? Then we become responsible for ourselves and we don't defer to books that were written thousands of years ago by people who didn't know anything. Anybody alive on Earth today has more knowledge than the people did then. I mean, they didn't even have lens technology. They had these weird flat-earth notions. They didn't have microscopes. They died young. They didn't have advanced dentistry. They didn't have any of that stuff! And so we're taking guidance from these books? Are you kidding me? Using these ancient texts to make objective claims is not valid.

Oh, the irony.

Anonymous Edjamacator January 13, 2014 9:33 AM  

Thumping the tub about how their worldview is so "rational" - yet when asked to actually defend it with rational arguments, promptly changing the subject by attacking Christianity.

Spiritually, their master and leader is Satan, so what else would one expect from the Prince of Lies but more of the same? It should never, ever, come as a surprise that an atheist, spiritually under bondage, would play the hypocrite once the veneer of a rational deep-thinker is torn from them and they are left exposed. They're only being good little soldiers.

Anonymous wEz January 13, 2014 9:34 AM  

Agreed. If they didnt hate and weren't hostile then they wouldnt ban, piss, mock, and attack all things Christian. They're more then annoyed, and frankly I dont care how they Manifest their disbelief as long as they allow me to hold my worldview, but they dont agree to disagree. Therefore, ill stand my ground, stake my claim for my family, and bitch slap the fascists that want to control and silence me. Im tired of taking it on the chin for these a**holes. I will soccer kick the dog from now on. Being nice doesnt work on the power hungry aggressive bitch.

Anonymous E.G January 13, 2014 10:05 AM  

"And I am going to teach you how to crucify and humiliate those evangelicals ..."

Cool. Can't wait! :)

Blogger njartist January 13, 2014 10:08 AM  

This is the proper answer once given to such as Peter Boghossian:
Joh 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Joh 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Anonymous David of One January 13, 2014 10:08 AM  

It seems no surprise that the unabashed attacks against Christianity by "atheists" is nearly lockstep (or is it "buttstep") with the unabashed thrust of homosexuality.

Both have a history of attempting to be normal and healthy all the while of having a pronounced historical penchant for the abnormal and prolific murder & disease of millions.

Anonymous Wilbur Periwinkle January 13, 2014 10:30 AM  

If only L. Ron Hubbard lived 2000 years ago, then you sheep would be fervently defending Scientology as the Truth, and cursing those evil (Xenu-backed!) non-believers. All their arguments against the existence of thetans is just ignorance after all...

Blogger Longstreet January 13, 2014 10:48 AM  

Yep, you got us there!

Anonymous VD January 13, 2014 11:13 AM  

If only L. Ron Hubbard lived 2000 years ago, then you sheep would be fervently defending Scientology as the Truth.

An appeal to your own imagination? That's convincing. If only a golden fish had born in the 1600s, you atheists would all be Hindus.

Anonymous Krul January 13, 2014 11:49 AM  

Street Epistemology harkens back to the values of the ancient philosophers—individuals who were tough-minded, plain-speaking, known for self-defense, committed to truth, unyielding in the face of danger, and fearless in calling out falsehoods, contradictions, inconsistencies, and nonsense. Plato was a wrestler and a soldier with broad shoulders. He was decorated for bravery in battle (Christian, 2011, p. 51). Socrates was a seasoned soldier. At his trial, when facing the death penalty, he was unapologetic. When asked to suggest a punishment for his “crimes,” he instead proposed to be rewarded (Plato, Apology).

Hellenistic philosophers fought against the superstitions of their time. Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and others combated the religious authorities of their period, including early versions of Christianity (Clarke, 1968; Nussbaum, 1994). They thought the most important step was to liberate people from fear of tortures of the damned and from fear that preachers of their epoch were spouting. Hellenistic philosophers were trying to encourage stoic self-sufficiency, a sense of self-responsibility, and a tough-minded humanism.


Apparently one unstated purpose of this project is to butch up atheism.

Atheism isn't very "manly" in general perception. It is associated with pretentious twig-wristed professors, slovenly out-of-shape nerds, effete male feminists and whiny queers. Its leaders claim to be the heirs of the Enlightenmet: dainty French philosophes with their perfumes, lace and powdered wigs.

Bog's attempt the associate atheism with toughness, courage, and the virtues of the Classical world is understandable, if inaccurate.

Blogger Markku January 13, 2014 11:58 AM  

Apparently one unstated purpose of this project is to butch up atheism.

Tom Gilson, who originally brought Peter to my attention with his ebook, thinks that he is pretty intentional about becoming the leader of the New Atheist movement, because he sees a persuasiveness deficit in the existing Four Horsemen; that there is a place for him at the top

Anonymous Tex January 13, 2014 12:03 PM  

"If only L. Ron Hubbard lived 2000 years ago, then you sheep would be fervently defending Scientology as the Truth"

The amazing thing is Scripture predicted Scientology... as well as every other religion that's appeared since:

See 1 John 4:

"4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. "

Anonymous Wilbur Periwinkle January 13, 2014 12:24 PM  

Tex,

The book that defines the belief system claims anything that doesn't follow the essential characteristic of the belief system is not to be believed. Truly amazing.

Anonymous MendoScot January 13, 2014 12:33 PM  

He can't be a Horseman unless he has a Demotivator, just look at all the books! Note the titles towards the camera. My suggestion:

Street Epistemology
'Cos crackwhores also need to eat.

Well, then we stand on our own two feet, don't we? Then we become responsible for ourselves and we don't defer to books that were written thousands of years ago by people who didn't know anything. Anybody alive on Earth today has more knowledge than the people did then. I mean, they didn't even have lens technology. They had these weird flat-earth notions. They didn't have microscopes. They died young. They didn't have advanced dentistry. They didn't have any of that stuff! And so we're taking guidance from these books? Are you kidding me? Using these ancient texts to make objective claims is not valid. Emphasis added.

Oh, the irony...

Anonymous Krul January 13, 2014 12:42 PM  

Re: MendoScot

"They didn't have microscopes"? Seriously?

... There is only one response.

Anonymous Krul January 13, 2014 12:44 PM  

There's another argument for the list:

ARGUMENT FROM MICROSCOPES

1) Ancient people didn't have microscopes.

2) Therefore God doesn't exist.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2014 12:56 PM  

> If only L. Ron Hubbard lived 2000 years ago, then you sheep would be fervently defending Scientology as the Truth.

The last time I checked, L. Ron Hubbard was still dead.

Blogger RobertT January 13, 2014 2:02 PM  

" I am going to teach you how to crucify and humiliate those evangelicals using the very tools to which Boghossian is fraudulently appealing. "

I love this kind of stuff.

Isn't Boghossian a Scandinavian word that means lederhossen of hot air?

Blogger Markku January 13, 2014 2:05 PM  

Armenian, Wikipedia informs us.

Anonymous MendoScot January 13, 2014 2:18 PM  

"They didn't have microscopes"? Seriously?

Eratosthanes wept.

Anonymous sawtooth January 13, 2014 3:20 PM  

"Street Epistemology";..... the practice of running up to unsuspecting people who are minding their own business and harassing them about their most cherished beliefs.

...and who thought militant atheists couldn't possibly be bigger assholes then they are now?

Anonymous Tallen January 13, 2014 3:45 PM  

My mentor said to me once, "Pete, you'd be so much better if you just didn't do stupid shit." - Peter Boghossian

Anonymous cherub's revenge January 13, 2014 5:10 PM  

Armenian, Wikipedia informs us.

"Trust a snake before a Jew, a Jew before a Greek and never trust an Armenian."

Put this on your "do not read list".

Anonymous What Would Lodi Do? January 13, 2014 5:47 PM  

Plato was a wrestler and a soldier with broad shoulders.

Does Boghossian live in the Castro District by any chance?

Anonymous GreyS January 13, 2014 7:10 PM  

Belated thanks for this series of posts. Been gone for a few days.

Blogger Michael S. Martin January 23, 2014 3:12 PM  

Vox said, "...I am going to teach you how to crucify and humiliate those evangelicals," which is the exact moment he lost all credibility.

Your hostility clearly outranks your lucidity. Boghossian approaches atheists and theists alike with concerned humility and a desire to help. You may disagree with his position, that is your privilege, but your attempts to crush a peaceful approach to reason is very telling.

All the best in figuring it out. Cheers.

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Anonymous comments will be deleted.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts