What Dale McGowan Learned When Writing Atheism for Dummies

Last month, the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison held their second annual Freethought Festival. Videos of the event are now going up and they’re definitely worth your time to watch.

In the following video, author Dale McGowan talks about 20 things he learned when writing the book Atheism for Dummies:

The first point alone (at the 3:16 mark) is one you want to see :)

I think Dale’s book is fantastic, for what it’s worth. If you haven’t done it already, you can read the introduction here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

    The first point alone (at the 3:16 mark)

    What kind of subliminal messages are you sending, Hemant?!

  • Robert Stoll

    hm… interesting….

  • A3Kr0n

    Pretty good history lesson. It’s too bad I missed the fest this year. I’m really glad wiscatheists got the videos out so soon! Now I must watch someone talking about posting first, and asking questions later.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Watched a good 10 minutes of it, very entertaining and will watch the rest later and….
    Heil, No!

  • http://twitter.com/Ro542124 Gideon

    McGowan did a great job. His delivery, his slides, his information…it’s all so well-done.

  • NoYourGod

    But, a “for Dummies” book?!? A “for Dummies” book?!?!?


  • Nox


    We don’t actually have the entirety of True Discourse. There are large passages quoted in Contra Celsus. If we leave out Origen’s words, what is left is an interesting critique, but probably not anywhere near all of what Celsus wrote (and that is even if Origen quoted Celsus accurately).

  • Smiles

    Nice catch…I missed it.

  • Smiles

    Atheists are not really his audience…he is reaching out to the “dummies”. I do not think his audience is necessarily “dumb”, but misguided and proud may be more appropriate.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    I’m sure what your objection is to a Dummies book — since you didn’t express any — but I’ll make the following effort to address what it might be.

    “One of the things I have to say about the Dummies series… One of things that they’re very, very clear about, with the publisher, is that the readers are not assumed to be dummies in general. They are assumed to be intelligent people who simply don’t know much about a particular issue and want to learn about it.” — Dale McGowan @ 1:13 of this video

    Also, what kind of fried chicken? :p

  • gg

    I do believe I shall be purchasing that book, as well as his other one.

  • http://twitter.com/mywall mywall

    One thing I don’t like; the definition at around 5:10, “Atheists are people that do not believe in God”, it makes it sound like a god (specifically one god, named God) is an actual existing thing that is being denied.

  • meekinheritance

    That’s true, but I wouldn’t recommend giving this particular book as a gift to religious friends/family, only because the title makes it easy for the recipient to go on the defensive. This year, I’m giving “50 Simple Questions for Every Christian” as gifts.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    You’re right, though I think any Christian to get hung up on “dummies” might be a lost cause.

  • Barry Lynn

    Any synchronicity in the fact that you suggest starting at 3:16 of the video and Christian sports fans are always holding up signs with the citation: “John 3:16″? Since it is “Ask An Atheist Day”, I thought I would inquire. OK-I should read your blog more regularly. This fact was noted 10 days ago. (What do I know? I’m a theist.)