How to Create An _________ (hint: it begins with an ‘a’)

So, the book below just popped into my life (how do things like this just ‘pop’ into my life anyway? Providence? Contingency? Accident? Amazon referrals?)

And I my first thought was, “Great. Just great. Not only do I have to worry about assholes trying to convert me to Christianity, now I have to worry about assholes trying to convert me to atheism. Why does everybody gotta be such a @#$%?”

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It’s a legitimate question.

But, hey, at least the so-called new atheists (cue your best Paula Cole: “Where have all the good Nietzscheans gone?”) are radically different from all the religious practitioners they decry. Atheists would never refer to believers as subhuman, stupid, foolish, ignorant or idiotic.


Only religious people do that to others.

(If you want to keep believing that, never ever listen to Dawkins or Harris speak about religious people. And, truth be told, this is where I miss Hitchens the most. Though he was a terribly careless scholar, he was witty as all get out–which did not require him to be a jerk to make his point. Though, on occasion, he could be a tad pompous, but, as you well know, I’m okay with that.)

Granted, I’m not saying that’s what Boghossian does in his new book, A Manual for Creating Atheists. Not at all. Actually, he seems like a pretty cool dude. Anyone who teaches the Socratic method to prison inmates can’t be too shabby. No, it’s his recent converts and disciples that are doing it.

How cute.

This makes me wonder if this particular stripe of atheism fits the definition of a meme or, better yet–if I may subvert a pejorative description I learned from Richard Dawkins–a virus? If so, it appears that the virus is indeed spreading. Just look at the booming sales of Peter Boghossian’s book–along with the books of Harris, Dennett, Dawkins, Hitchens, Shermer . . . wait, there’s a trend here . . . what is it? Oh, if only I were a brilliant objective non-deluded purely cognitive free-thinking ‘bright’ I would be able to discover the truth!

“Alas, fear not loyal readers!” (I just snagged that phrase from a 60′s issue of X-Men–I now own the first and second appearance of Polaris!) I have just scored an interview with Brother Pete where we will make all kinds of fun of one another, discuss the proper use of the Socratic method (I prefer the Wittgensteinian method or, at the very least, the Evan Dorkin method), and, more importantly, provide him the space to convert any of you kids who are on, under, or even straddling the fence as to why you should be an atheist.

So, tune in next time for  . . .

How to Create An ________ (hint: it begins with an ‘a’): Part Deus! (Get it? See what I did there. Okay, okay.)


PS: Here’s hoping he succeeds . . . at least with me. Matthew 5-7 is brutal. I need a respectable way out.



  • mountainguy

    I dont have much problem with Harris calling me asshole anymore I have it beacuase of his continual support for USA’s ugly foreign policy. That makes me want to give up on anabaptism (unless we mean the violent anabaptism of Jan De Leyde et al) to get him and hang him in the gallows.

    • theamishjihadist

      Harris’s support of the US’s violent foreign policy (along with d-bags like Dawkins who thinks it’s okay to support violence as long as it’s done in the name of democracy) is atrocious. It’s the same inane point that they all, including folks like Bill Maher, continually miss. It’s rather embarrassing actually. I mean, you come to think they should know better, being all ‘smarter’ than everybody else, but at the end of the day, it’s just sad.

  • David Driedger


    • theamishjihadist

      Here’s hoping, David D. (I think the interview will be fun, actually.)

    • theamishjihadist

      Oh wait, David, were you referring to my ownership of the first two appearance of Polaris? If so, yes, yes . . . very nice.

  • rjsm

    Are you really doing an interview with him? Looking forward to that!

    • theamishjihadist

      Yep. We’ve emailed back and forth. It will probably go up in about two weeks. I just need to finish his book and then we’re chatting next week.

  • Peter McCombs

    Once I had a dream that Richard Dawkins and I were somehow buddies, and we went to lunch together. I admit that Mr. Dawkins was a real jerk to me, always criticizing my belief in the metric system and my choice of workshop tools. It made me kind of sad.

    He wasn’t all bad though, because he volunteered to offer Grace at our lunch table, and the blessing was very pleasant indeed. I needed it too, because the cook had messed up my order and provided a meal consisting of a cardboard box and packing peanuts. Luckily they were those biodegradable peanuts, so it was OK.

    Anyway, I hope this little anecdote–by revealing the true nature of one of atheism’s brightest stars–will contribute to meaningful discourse on the matter. Let it be known that Richard Dawkins is a closet theist and that his real beef is with millimeters and those thick metal scrapers that are so hard to sharpen.

    (P.S. The kind of packing peanuts you get in dreams taste just like Cheetos, in case you’re wondering.)

    • theamishjihadist

      I frickin’ hate those metal scrapers!