About the Book

For thousands of years, the faithful have honed proselytizing strategies and talked people into believing the truth of one holy book or another. Indeed, the faithful often view converting others as an obligation of their faith--and are trained from an early age to spread their unique brand of religion. The result is a world broken in large part by unquestioned faith. As an urgently needed counter to this tried-and-true tradition of religious evangelism, A Manual for Creating Atheists offers the first-ever guide not for talking people into faith--but for talking them out of it. Peter Boghossian draws on the tools he has developed and used for more than twenty years as a philosopher and educator to teach how to engage the faithful in conversations that will help them value critical thinking, cast doubt on their religious beliefs, mistrust their faith, abandon superstition and irrationality, and ultimately embrace rationality and reason.

About the Author


ISBN: 978-1939578099 (paperback)

SRP: $14.95

Page count: 280 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: November 2013

Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Yes

Foreword by Michael Shermer. Street Epistemology. Faith. Doxastic Closure, Belief, and Epistemology. Interventions and Strategies. Enter Socrates. After the Fall. Anti-Apologetics 101. Faith and the Academy. Containment Protocols. Acknowledgments.

Appendixes. Glossary. References. Index. About the Author.


“Peter Boghossian’s techniques of friendly persuasion are not mine, and maybe I'd be more effective if they were. They are undoubtedly very persuasive—and very much needed.”

—Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion

“A book so great you can skip it and just read the footnotes. Pure genius.”

—Christopher Johnson, co-founder, The Onion

“Up to now, most atheists have simply criticized religion in various ways, but the point is to dispel it. In A Manual For Creating Atheists, Peter Boghossian fills that gap, telling the reader how to become a “street epistemologist” with the skills to attack religion at its weakest point: its reliance on faith rather than evidence. This book is essential for nonbelievers who want to do more than just carp about religion, but want to weaken its odious grasp on the world.” 

—Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True

“If I started reading A Manual for Creating Atheists as a Christian I would have been an atheist by the time I finished it. Peter Boghossian’s book is the perfect companion to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. They should be bundled like an atheist software package to reprogram minds into employing reason instead of faith, science instead of superstition.”

—Michael Shermer, from the foreword to A Manual for Creating Atheists


Dr. Peter Boghossian is a full-time faculty member in Portland State University’s philosophy department. He was thrown out of the doctoral program in the University of New Mexico’s philosophy department.

“Since atheism is truly Good News, it should not be hidden under a bushel. Peter Boghossian shows us how to take it to the highways and the byways. I love it!”

Dan Barker, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

“I wouldn't be surprised if ten years from now we realized that this book’s publication was a turning point in the decline of Christianity in the West.”

Tom Gilson, Christian apologist and author, Thinking Christian

“A ‘how to’ book for the ages. Boghossian manages to take a library's worth of information and mold it into a concise and practical tome to guide through the murky waters of magical thinking, docking the reader safely on the shores of reason, logic and understanding. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and highly recommend it.”

Al Stefanelli, author of A Voice of Reason in an Unreasonable Word: The Rise of Atheism on Planet Earth and Free Thoughts: A Collection of Essays by an American Atheist

“This is a manual that we can use in our everyday interaction with those infected by the faith virus. The skills and concepts are both practical and learnable. As the founder and Chairman of the Board of RecoveringfromReligion.org, I recommend that all of our facilitators and leaders not only read and share this book, but actually learn how to use the questioning and dialogue techniques Dr. Boghossian illustrates. It will help you avoid common mistakes and give greater value to the conversations you have with the religious.”

Darrel Ray, Ed.D., author of The God Virus and Sex and God

“There is nothing else on the market like this book that helps atheists talk believers out of their faith. Every atheist interested in doing so, or who talks to believers about faith at all, should read it. It's both needed and brilliant!”

John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist and The Outsider Test for Faith

“Boghossian has provided an indispensible chart book for all of us who must navigate the rising sea of magical thinking that is inundating America today.” —Victor Stenger, Ph.D., author of God: The Failed Hypothesis and God and the Atom

“If we want to live in world that is safer and more rational for all, then this is the guidebook we have been waiting for. Relying on extensive experience and a deep concern for humanity, Peter Boghossian has produced a game changer. This is not a book to read while relaxing in a hammock on a sunny afternoon. This is the how-to manual to take into the trenches of everyday life where minds are won and lost in the struggle between reason and madness.”

Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian and Race and Reality

“After the Four Horsemen comes the infantry—the army of evangelical rationalists making the world safe from faith. Boghossian’s book is both clarion call and roadmap for these heroic new battalions. Onward atheist soldiers!”

Tim van Gelder, Ph.D., Principal, Austhink Consulting, Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne, Eureka Prizewinner for Critical Thinking

“I predict that within one week of the publication of this book it will be banned in at least 20 countries.”

Kevin Boileau, Ph.D., author of Essays on Phenomenology and the Self

“I was so impressed by your book, and have been using the techniques every time I go out against the street preachers on a Friday or Saturday night with my atheist group. The fact is, it’s perfect. It’s simple, and (most importantly) accessible. The same techniques you outline can be used in all walks of life, also, for social justice issues, to boardroom negotiations. Your book does what no other atheist/skeptic book has done in the past, it gives you somewhere to go to after you’ve read everything and said, “well, that was fascinating, where the hell do I go to now?” It works. It really does.”
Jake Farr-Wharton, author of Letters to Christian Leaders: Hollow Be Thy Claims and host of The Imaginary Friends Show

“A brave, clear book, crammed with useful insights. Boghossian’s call for honest, evidence-based thinking has implications far beyond its focus on debates about God and religious faith. A Manual for Creating Atheists is a strong challenge to ideology and propaganda, wherever we find them.”
Russell Blackford, Ph.D., author Freedom of Religion and the Secular State and co-author 50 Great Myths about Atheism

“This book is a feisty, tough-minded attempt to undo what the author sees as the profound damage done to society by faith. There is something here that lots of people are likely to get angry about: liberals, academics, feminists, psychologists, politicians, progressives, and libertarians—and everybody in between. The book is a Molotov cocktail of ideas, arguments, policy proposals, thought experiments, encouragements, and denunciations.

Steven Brutus, Ph.D., author of Religion, Culture, History

Advance Praise

Peter Boghossian lectures on street epistemology at Imagine No Religion 3

Article about the book and authorhttp://livepage.apple.com/

Video review

In conversation with Richard Dawkins

Interview by Sam Harris