‘God Made Me an Atheist…’
by David Swanson
Peter Boghossian’s A Manual for Creating Atheists is a curious and ultimately very valuable book.
It’s curious because it doesn’t make much of a case — or at least not the sort of case I would have liked — for why we should create atheists.
It’s valuable because, if you believe we’d be better off with more atheists, this is a remarkable tool for accomplishing that goal.
I don’t view sloppy thinking as a great evil in itself. It doesn’t offend me the way hunger and lack of medicine and Hellfire missiles offend me. So, I look for the argument — which I think can be made — that sloppy thinking has serious results, or that belief in a god leads to a lack of responsibility, or that belief in eternal life diminishes efforts to improve real lives. This book does not focus on those arguments.
Boghossian points to abstinence-only sex-ed, bans on same-sex marriage, teaching Creationism, corporal punishment in schools, and other offenses in the United States, as well as pointing to various more-severe abuses by the Taliban, as the undesirable results of theism. But, with the possible exception of Creationism, these things could continue without theism or be ended while maintaining theism. (more…)