Atheist author leads event about listening to reason


    Correction: This story has been changed to correctly identify the subject that Peter Boghossian teaches. 

    Atheist author Peter Boghossian visited TCU Wednesday to talk to the Freethinking Frogs student organization.

    Peter Boghossian, a philosophy instructor at Portland State University, encouraged members of the audience Wednesday to use reason when evaluating their beliefs. Boghossian is currently touring the U.S. to talk about his new book, “A Manual for Creating Atheists.”

    Boghossian is advocating that people “confront dangerous ideas and not cower to them.”

    The purpose of Boghossian’s new book is to help atheists convey their beliefs to convert everyone to atheism, from the common believer to theologians.

    Boghossian says that by using facts and non-confrontational tactics, even those who have believed in religion their entire life can reexamine their own beliefs. He calls this process “street epistemology.”

    “Reason has been under siege and been slapped around. Believing things on the basis of something other than evidence and reason causes people to misconstrue what’s good for them,” said Boghossian.

    Justin Loar, a junior sociology major, is an active member of TCU’s Freethinking Frogs. Loar was very excited for the talk Wednesday, calling Boghossian a “big deal.”

    “I would go as far as to say this guy will be the fifth horseman,” said Loar. He is referring to the four horsemen of atheism, who are prominent figures in modern atheism.

    Alexis Lohse, a junior political science major, founded the Freethinking Frogs in 2013.

    “I know a lot of people would probably find this to be a somewhat controversial topic, and we absolutely recognize that, but we thought it was a worthwhile conversation to have,” said Lohse.

    Boghossian will be speaking to students, faculty, and guests at SMU on March 21 as he continues on his tour.