Sarah Paquette (for_sarahious) and Christine Vigeant (@CVeeg) will be joining me on The #GSPodcast this week. They will be telling all about the exciting new ‘Atheos’ app. We talk about scientific literacy, evolution, examining your own beliefs, logical fallacies and street epistemology. Find out more at www.atheos-app.com.
Tag Archives: Peter Boghossian
Update: 22/10/2014 – Soon after publishing this article on 17/10/2014, the charges of plagiarism contained within were confirmed to be accurate, revealing CJ Werleman to be a serial plagiarist. As a result, many new developments have occurred – including the discovery of 14 additional instances of plagiarism and a number of Werleman’s publishing outlets taking action against him. I have now added additional footnotes to highlight these developments.
I recently documented a number of concerns regarding the unpleasant behaviour of ‘Author’ and ‘Social Commentator’ CJ Werleman in my article: ‘CJ Werleman: Misrepresentation, Dubious Ethics and Unoriginal Hackery’. Expressed within that article and reproduced below are my thoughts on some of Werleman’s published writing:
‘[Werleman] is simply regurgitating past hack jobs and slapping sensationalist headlines on them’
‘…you’ve already heard this elsewhere, many times before, many years ago.’
‘Also, what he has cobbled together in his attack on Harris has already been written by others many years ago’
I attributed his imitative output to an absence of original thought rather than something altogether more cynical. But it’s now possible my feeling of ‘having read this all before’ was a symptom of literally having read some of this before.
The above article mentions Dr. Peter Boghossian (@PeterBoghossian), which subsequently prompted a conversation between us. During our conversation, Dr. Boghossian called attention to some things he’d identified in CJ Werleman’s writing that I hadn’t previously considered, and so I decided to conduct an independent investigation to determine whether or not CJ Werleman is guilty of actual plagiarism. (Parts of Dr. Boghossian’s letter have been reprinted here with his permission.)
I own a couple of Werleman’s books: ‘God Hates You, Hate Him Back’ & ‘Jesus Lied – He Was Only Human‘. I’d never heard of him beforehand, but I was happy to receive them as Christmas gifts a few years back – my Dad’s cool like that.
They’re ok – they don’t cover any new ground, the humour is a bit too school yard for my taste and reading them created the impression of an author who’d spied an opening in a growing a market – but it doesn’t really matter. I decided they were essentially good, as they were accessible (that’s a polite way of saying ‘dumbed down’).
The so-called ‘Four Horsemen/New Atheists’ are often accused of being elitist, as if that’s somehow an invective. Whilst not really sharing this concern, I think I understand one aspect of it. We have a group of incredibly intelligent, likely privileged (white – must mention white!) and qualified individuals who write on topics in such a manner that may require a life-time worth of research and expertise to fully get to grips with. Not everyone feels this way of course, but it’s not necessarily entry-level stuff for some either. I count myself amongst those that have their own intelligence challenged (and often pummelled) by the ideas these people so effortlessly hold court on. So I also consider any contribution to a body of literature that’s critical of religion to be a good thing, especially if it reaches a broader audience.
Needless to say we won’t be seeing Werleman follow up with ‘Allah Hates You, Hate Him Back’ or ‘Muhammad Lied – He Was Only A Charlatan’ any time soon, as he’s currently preoccupied with the deeply courageous task of mocking Republicans, ‘New Atheists’, and bravely highlighting the dangers posed by talk show hosts & neuroscientists (see the article ‘What atheists like Bill Maher have in common with medieval Christian crusaders‘). Islamic terrorism can wait – or rather, is explained away as a product of politics, not a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam – as though the two are mutually exclusive. Drop in a pinch of white guilt, a dash of masochism and you’ve already heard this elsewhere, many times before, many years ago.
Author of ‘A Manual For Creating Atheists’ and Philosophy Instructor Peter Boghossian drops in on the #GSPodcast to talk faith, street epistemology and critical thinking. How do we convince people that faith is not a reliable path to truth? Also, did the #GSPodcast experience a divine smiting?*
Guest: Peter Boghossian (@PeterBoghossian)
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