“Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Wasting Paper (Part 3): Deepities”

Randal Rauser on Peter Boghossian

Chapter 2 of A Manual for Creating Atheists addresses the topic of “Faith”. In this installment I’m going to camp on pages 21-22 as I analyze Boghossian’s use of the concept of “deepity” and his list of alleged paradigm instances of deepitiness as regards faith. I’m camping on this brief section because it highlights effectively the degree of Boghossian’s unparalleled analytic confusion, inexcusable sloppiness, and barbaric hermeneutical presumption.

[From Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Wasting Paper (Part 3): Deepities]

If you haven’t read anything by Rauer, this would be a great time to get to know him.


  1. Larry Tanner

    Rauser’s piece is about the stupidest thing I have read in a long time. He doesn’t even try to take the concept of Deepity seriously, and so doesn’t look at whether the examples of Deepities actually say anything meaningful and pragmatic or not. He comes across as a jealous and petty hack.

  2. Post
    Tom Gilson

    Duly noted. Please re-read the comment guidelines.

    You might notice in the meantime that what Rauser does, and Boghossian does not do, is take Dennett’s concept of Deepity seriously.


  3. SteveK


    …and so doesn’t look at whether the examples of Deepities actually say anything meaningful and pragmatic or not.

    Tell us how they can say anything meaningful when the definition states they can’t do that? I am assuming this definition is the correct one.

    “A deepity is a statement that looks profound but is not. Deepities appear true at one level, but on all other levels are meaningless.”

    With a definition like that, I wouldn’t even bother to try.

  4. Post
    Tom Gilson

    Frankly, Larry, Rauser took a different tack than I expected—a rather brilliant one, I thought. Had he done as you suggested, analyzing whether any of Boghossian’s Deepities meant anything meaningful or not, he would have had rather an easier time of it than he did with the analysis he actually undertook. Boghossian’s selection of Deepities is a list of straw men, chosen for vacuousness from various religious traditions, not truly representative of any religion.

    Therefore whether any of his Deepities said anything meaningful or not is beside the point. Anyone could assemble a list of empty sayings from any tradition. I don’t know why Rauser didn’t say anything about that, but for my part I’m glad he did the analysis he did—I had missed what he covered.

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