1. According to The Atheist’s Way, what is the harm in believing in gods?
2. In your own estimation, what is the harm in believing in gods?
3. Why should it matter to the rest of us whether or not a person believes in gods?
4. If you made the journey from belief to non-belief, what (if anything) was the hardest part of that journey?
5. If you made the journey from belief to non-belief, what (if anything) remains the hardest part of that transition?
6. If you are a lifelong atheist, what ongoing social, interpersonal or existential challenges, if any, have you faced because of your atheist views?
7. If you are a non-believer, to what extent do you see it as “safe” or “unsafe” to practice a non-god-based religion like Buddhism or Taoism (religions referred to in the book as “river religions”)?
8. What do you take “the paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making mean” to signify?
9. Is this idea personally relevant to you?
10. Do you see it as relevant to society in general?
11. What do you take “nominating yourself as the hero of your own story” to signify?
12. Is this idea personally relevant to you?
13. How do you currently deal with meaninglessness?
14. Would you prefer to deal with meaninglessness in some other way?
15. What criteria to do you employ to make your meaning choices?
16. How do you currently deal with meaning leaks, lapses, and crises?
17. What, in your estimation, is the difference between making meaning and maintaining meaning?
18. Which do you find harder to do, make meaning or maintain meaning?
19. What sorts of events and circumstances threaten meaning in your life?
20. What sorts of thoughts and feelings threaten meaning in your life?
21. What is your understanding of the idea of meaning as a “wellspring and renewable resource”?
22. Is this idea personally relevant to you?
23. What do you take “making our ethics as active moral philosophers” to signify?
24. Is this idea personally relevant to you?
25. What is your understanding of the idea of a “shared vocabulary of meaning”?
26. Do you feel that you have a sufficient vocabulary of meaning at your disposal?
27. What do you take “the atheist lifestyle” to mean?
28. Would you say that believers or non-believers are more prone to depression?
29. Some atheists don’t mind the word “spiritual” and others do. Where do you stand?
30. How would you paraphrase the argument in The Atheist’s Way that all “supernatural enthusiasms” are dangerous?
31. Some atheists believe that they ought to be “activists for atheism.” What, if any, atheist activist activities could you see yourself supporting? Conversely, why might you refrain from becoming an “atheist activist”?
32. What would you say is the central message of The Atheist’s Way?
33. Do you feel aligned with that message or at odds with that message?
If you, your students, or your study group generate additional study questions, please forward them to Dr. Maisel at firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be included on this list.