Beta testing a book: The many gods I don’t believe in (yours included)

This chapter, titled “The many gods I don’t believe in (yours included),” is not quite finished. No “in this chapter,” only just started adding subheadings, and the endnotes aren’t done. Not much of a conclusion either. I could have spent more time on it, but I just got sick of writing it after awhile. The problem is that I consider the stuff I cover incredibly basic, more basic in some ways than the things covered in chapter one, but I know these points somehow manage to be points of contention anyway. If you thought the last chapter was condescending, you may find this one even worse. But tell me what you think.

Introduction: The one book that will convince you Christianity is false

Chapter 1: Don’t panic!: On finding atheism unfamiliar and scary

  • Steerpike

    Caught a typo on page 5: “This does not mean Paine though miracles impossible.” I think you mean “thought”. This is that insidious kind of typo: the wrung word spelled the wright way, that spellcheckers won’t catch.

    Still reading the rest of the chapter, and enjoying it so far…

  • Steerpike

    “his was, after all, a time when religious and intellectual freedom were news idea, “

  • Steerpike

    also: “Not only is he very clear that he think he can prove people who deny the existence of God are wrong…” (P.11)

  • Steerpike

    Also: I think the reason is that for many liberal religious believers, fundamentalism is like an embarrassing uncle. They don’t really like their embarrassing, but they can’t stand to hear people bad mouth him…

  • dorfl

    I don’t know if this is the right place to point out typos, but in chapter 1 you have written

    I think what makes the popular is not that they make any sense

    shouldn’t it be “them” instead of “the”?

    • dorfl


      Re read him. It may feel different now. And he doesn’t yell in his YouTube videos.

      Isn’t “reread” a single word? It doesn’t trigger the spell-checker at least.

    • dorfl

      You also seem to switch letter size every once in a while for no apparent reason.

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  • Disagreeable Me

    Very good idea for a chapter.

    Agree that ideas of eastern religions is too romanticized. Well worth pointing out.

    Don’t know why you’re bothering to state that you’re going to use words the way most people use them. If there are ambiguous cases coming up you should probably explain each case. (Actually, your reasons are somewhat cleared up later when discussing Haught. Considering moving the two sections to be closer together). This ties in to what I noted previously about your tone, but overall I find this chapter not to be too patronising. The tone is fine.

    Not sure that I’d agree with your definition of god. I don’t think atheism is about rejecting the notion of god-like ETIs. It’s more about rejecting the supernatural. If sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable than magic, the atheistic position should probably be that it is technology nonetheless, while the religious or superstitious would be inclined to suppose it is magic. There may be really advanced ETIs, but they are not supernatural, they did not create the universe, and they are not omnipotent.

    Nice clear refutation of McGrath’s BBQ quote mining.

    Nice clarification of why Paine’s deism is not acceptable.

    Your point about Spinoza was well made.

    Nice example of the intellectual wishy-washy dishonesty of theology, quoting Haught.

    Interesting note about the origins of the term fundamentalist. This was new information for me.

    Helpful clarification of the difference between biblical literalist and biblical fundamentalist. It’s not a distinction I had been particularly aware of.

    Nice point about the moral insanity of condemning atheists to hell.

    Nice defence of the God Delusion against Eagleton.

    Haven’t read Armstrong’s book so can’t comment on your criticism of it. If what you say is true, it probably isn’t worth reading.

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