Believing Bullshit

A book recommendation for you:

Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole by Stephen Law

Since leaving Christianity I’ve waded a bit into the debating waters but have never had a clear view of what makes up a good argument and what is just a bullshit argument.  This book has cleared some of that up for me.  Here’s a good description from the back of the book:

“Believing Bullshit helps immunize us against the wiles of cultists, religious and political zealots, conspiracy theorists, promoters of flaky alternative medicines, and proponents of other crackpot theories by setting out the tricks of the trade by which such insidiious belief systems are created and maintained.”

I think everyone should read this book because it will help them recognize a bad argument when they see it and then dismiss it.  There is so much information coming at us these days – we need a rational way to weed out the good from the bad.

While he does take on bad religious arguments, that is not the sole focus of the book.  However what struck me when I had finished the book was how dependent religious arguments are on these non-argument styles.  I would hope if a Christian read this book (and I doubt they will) that they would come away saying, ‘I need to stop using these bullshit tactics and instead rely on more honest methods to argue my point.”

He also takes a good stab at new-age type thinking and pseudo-science bullshit.  You can’t help but recognize so much of the crappy information that is thrown at us everyday and realize why it can sound compelling but why you can now dismiss it as bullshit.


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