As you might have noticed on the sidebar, my latest book, The Making of an Atheist, has just been released.  In the book I discuss the moral-psychological roots of atheism, showing how disbelief in God is not the result of an intellectual assessment of evidence but rather the consequence of willful suppression of the truth about God.  Essentially, I turn the tables on Richard Dawkins and his ilk, as I argue that it is not theists but atheists who are delusional.  You can find out more about the book here.

I was recently interviewed about the book on Prime Time America.  The interview is in two 10-minute parts.  Here are links to the first and second parts of the interview.


6 Responses to “The Making of an Atheist”


  1. James in Madison

     

    While I have not read the book, I am skeptical of the psychological paradigm. Even if the individuals did deconvert from a religion, it does not mean that they did not have rational arguments for not believing that may have motivated the change; nor does it mean that they did not develop rational arguments after deconverting for not believing in God.

    Rather, this seems as an ad hominem attack on the new atheists by saying that their motivations for believing that God does not exist was motivated by something other than pure reason (which I’ve never heard any of my atheist friends claim, some of whom are new atheists). The truth of a belief is independent of the emotions that an individual holds. If we discovered that Heisenberg contemplated suicide because his principles for quantum mechanics rendered his Newtonian view of the world completely null at the atomic level, it would not change the fact that his principles are rationally motivated and grounded in evidence. Or if Godel was spurred to prove the incompleteness of mathematics because his logician father beat him, it wouldn’t change the power of his proof for the incompleteness of arithmetic. What is needed to counter the new atheists’ claim that they hold a rational belief is an argument showing that each and every one of the possible arguments against the existence of god cannot be rationally grounded and therefore are subject solely to the psychology of the individual. An argument of that sort ought to be shared freely with the world so that all the new atheists could learn from it; it should not submerged in a book to profit off of it.

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  2. Jim Spiegel

     

    James,

    You would do well to read my book first before commenting on it.

    You misconstrue my book’s claims at several points. I do not pretend to offer an argument against atheism, in which case my thesis would indeed be an ad hominem. Rather, I develop an explanatory account of atheism, which is very different.

    As for your point that the truth of a belief is independent of any person’s emotions, I heartily agree. But the question is whether one’s beliefs ABOUT what is true are independent of influence by one’s emotions (or other non-cognitive factors). That beliefs are not immune to such influence is a plain psychological fact—even in the sciences, as so powerfully shown by such philosophers of science as Michael Polanyi, Thomas Kuhn, and Paul Feyerabend, among many others.

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  3. Jason

     

    you do realize an “explanatory account” is only explanatory if it actually explains something.

    Explanation is useful – we use it to demonstrate cause and effect relationships. When we better understand how things come to be, we have more control over our lives.

    If I tell you that you can cure your wife’s cancer by praying, explaining that most people who lose a loved one to cancer pray less than others, I am encouraging people to believe that praying is a cause of preventing death from cancer.

    What if that explanation is FALSE? What if there is no causal relationship between praying and curing cancer, but people have made choices about treatment based on believing that praying cures cancer.

    Nothing can be proven false with 100% certainty, and in science nothing can be proven 100% true either. But that leaves the entire spectrum of probability. There is a 10% chance it will rain tomorrow, but there is a 99.99% chance the sun will rise tomorrow. It is silly to say both statements are true – they have the potential to become true, and the level of confidence I have in that outcome varies depending on many other facts and explanations about the causal relationships between those facts.

    Many scientists take the time to study the bible and theology before making claims about its validity. You would do well to study science, it’s methods, and the difference between correlation and causality before you continue expressing your guesswork as “explanation”.

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  4. Mark

     

    Kudos, thanks for this great defense from atheist attack.

    I hope that God will bless this revelation of truth.

    Sincerely

    Mark

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  5. Patrick Tomlinson

     

    “In the book I discuss the moral-psychological roots of atheism, showing how disbelief in God is not the result of an intellectual assessment of evidence but rather the consequence of willful suppression of the truth about God.”

    Ah, so your book, should I decide to read it, will contained the long-promised evidence of your God’s existence?

    I hope so. Because we’ve been waiting for centuries, millenia even. Many theists have insisted the proof/evidence was right there for all to see, but failed to actually provide any of it for inspection.

    So, for you to make the claim that as an atheist, I actively supress the evidence for your personal God, the very first thing you should be able to do to support that claim is to provide said evidence for inspection. Like, in the first chapter. Maybe even the introduction. Only then can the rest of the book be considered anything more than the same tired projections, obfuscations, and strawmen that we’ve been dealing with for generations.

    Once the evidence for your version of God is on the table, I will gleefully purchase your book and learn all about the ways in which I have been deluding myself these past decades.

    I look forward to the conversion process. Please don’t leave me hanging, as so many of your fellow theists have.

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  6. Apuva

     

    Have not read the book yet but will order now. Great topic, something I also have been pondering. I suffered from atheism in university and few years after it, because it was the norm and it was easier to think like other students thought, or lecturers and big figures (like Dawking) proclaimed. Students tend to believe everything their teachers tell them. Only years after university, with lots of self-reflection, therapy and exposing myself to deep thinkers, I was able to start think freely and really choose what I believe in. I created a hybrid model where religion and science can co-exist. Many christian scientists see no problem in science and religion co-existing. In the end, I really think atheism is the free ride that requires no thought process – just re-iterate what Dawking says ad infinitum. Its scary how popular multi-millionaire Dawking is, how he is able to manipulate weak-minded people. Atheism is not a solution, its a symptom of a dysfunctional soul.

    Reply

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