EDIT2: The contest is now concluded. Thanks to everyone who entered! Remember to catch the interview to find out the names of the winners and make sure you contact Nelson within 48 hours to claim your prize! Otherwise, you can hear the interview any time after it airs live, just as you can any of our great interviews!
EDIT!: The contest giveaway is now live! The contest entering tweet is: "I'm a member of @ThinkAtheist & I want a copy of Thomas Riskas's Deconstructing Mormonism http://bit.ly/o4QBTr #atheism #mormon #theism"
Copy and paste the entire tweet between the quotation marks (leave off the quotes). Tweets that are not exact won't be recognized by our tracking and will certainly be missed and therefore can't be considered as entries. Don't miss out because you didn't copy and paste!
Alright, we're at the point now where we can release the details of our newest contest! FIVE Think Atheist members will win a copy of Thomas Riskas's new book Deconstructing Mormonism: An Analysis and Assessment of the Mormon Faith. (See here)
Mr. Riskas served for 20 years as a member in good standing in various teaching and leadership roles as an Elder, Seventy and High Priest in the Mormon priesthood; experiences that provided him, along with his own extensive personal study and experiences in the faith, with the needed grounding in Mormon history, doctrine, religious practice, and culture to author this work. Since his formal resignation from the Mormon Church in 2002, Mr. Riskas considers himself a naturalist and secular humanist, entirely without belief in any gods or the supernatural. You'll all get to hear Mr. Riskas during our interview with him this Sunday night, October 16nd, but we wanted to give you an opportunity to win a copy of the book first! And don't make the mistake of thinking this book is only applicable to Mormonism; the great majority of points weigh against theism in general just as well as against Mormonism. Entire swaths of the book could be swapped into a book about theism in general and and no one would be the wiser! And even if not, with Mormonism growing, with the Church playing such a prominent role in moves aimed at denying civil rights to everyone (gay marriage), and since two Republican presidential primary candidates are Mormon, it behooves us to be able to confront this particular brand of theism on its unique grounds.
The description of Deconstructing Mormonism reads as follows:
Since its inception in 1830, Mormonism has continued to gain prominence on the world stage as a unique form of Christianity embedded in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Mormonism not only holds that the Mormon Church was literally "restored" to the earth by `God' through direct revelation to its founder Joseph Smith, making it therefore the "only true" church of Jesus Christ, but regards itself as a "rational" theology, and a way of life that is beneficial to the social and psychological well-being and welfare of its adherents and society at large.
Deconstructing Mormonism explores these claims in depth. In the end three unavoidable conclusions are reached. First, Mormon theological truth-claims are ultimately false or incoherent, and therefore unjustifiable and unwarranted as truth-claims. Once deconstructed such truth-claims are found to be factually vacuous. At bottom, there is simply nothing to believe, leaving Mormons, like all theistic believers, with merely subjective, non self-justifying interpretations of brain-induced phenomena, and an irrational belief in their beliefs derived by self-deception. Second, the status of Mormon truth-claims, including their believed origin, makes Mormonism, like all other theistic faiths, an irrational belief system, and its adherents likewise irrational in holding such beliefs and asserting them as Truth. And finally, that at its darkest and most fundamental core, the Mormon faith, as an authoritarian and `revelation'-based social system, represents the worst in all theistic faiths, and is potentially, if not actually, one of the most personally and socially damaging, dangerous and destructive theistic religions of all. While the argued conclusions reached and personal criticisms made in this work will likely be troubling to honest readers of any faith (particularly parents raising their children in their faith), they will hopefully be therapeutic and liberating as well, leading them - defensive and resistant or not - slowly but surely back to their natural atheism, and to the path of mental health and intellectual integrity.
A Mormon reviewer on Amazon describes the book as "without question one of the most, if not the most, formidable and deeply troubling challenges to our faith published to date."
Here are the contest rules:
1) The contest is open to members of Think Atheist with a Twitter account. Create one now so that you're prepared ahead of time for the contest. (Each contest we have one or two people saying "I don't want to create a Twitter account just for the contest!" and then invariably we end up with one of the winners being someone who created their account just for the contests.)
2) The contest will be held 9AM Friday October 14th to 12PM Sunday October 16th. (All times are Eastern US. Here's a timezone converter for those in other timezones around the world.) The contest will go live with an announcement from the Producer of the Think Atheist Radio Show's Twitter.
3) You will be considered to have entered the contest when, as a Think Atheist member, you take to Twitter between the hours of 9AM Friday October 14th to 12PM Sunday October 16th to follow Think Atheist on Twitter and send the specified contest entering tweet. This page will be updated at the launch of the contest with the contest entering tweet. Create your Twitter account, join Think Atheist if you're not already a member.
4) One entry per person. Multiple entries will not count and may result in your being excluded from the contest entirely! Follow the Producer of the Think Atheist Radio Show's Twitter to watch for confirmation that your entry has been received.
5) At the conclusion of the contest we will randomly draw 5 numbers corresponding to 5 entries. Provisional* winners will be announced on the Think Atheist Radio Show on October 16th beginning at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern*. Make sure you tune in to the show to see if you've won! (Remember, if you can't listen live you can listen to the show from the archive at any time immediately following its having aired live!) *Should any of the chosen entrants not be verified as Think Atheist members and as followers of Think Atheist on Twitter we will then randomly select another entrant. This will continue until such time as we have 5 verified Think Atheist members/Think Atheist Twitter followers as winners.
6) Winners MUST contact Nelson by emailing Nelson@iThinkAtheist.com with their address within 48 hours of the announcement of the winners to be eligible to receive their prize.** Upon receiving the shipping addresses of the verified and eligible winners we will forward them to the publisher. All costs of shipping the book will be handled at no cost to the winners, whether a winner is within or without the US.
**IF YOU DO NOT CONTACT NELSON AT NELSON@ITHINKATHEIST.COM WITHIN 48 HOURS TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE YOU WILL FORFEIT THE PRIZE AND ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN. THIS WILL GO ON UNTIL WE HAVE 5 CONFIRMED WINNERS THAT HAVE CLAIMED THEIR PRIZE
So there you go everyone! Thanks to American Atheists President David Silverman, American Atheists, American Atheist Press and, of course, Thomas Riskas for being so gracious! Create your Twitter profile. Join Think Atheist! Get ready! Make sure you check out our past shows, and keep an eye out for upcoming guests as well! And, hey, if you enjoy the show and you can spare a few bucks, help us make sure we stay on the air! Alternatively, shop the Think Atheist Radio Show book store where you'll get the same deals as Amazon direct but Amazon gives us a bit of the profit on each sale from the store which goes to support the show! We'd love to continue doing book giveaways, getting great guests and putting them in front of you each week so that you can hear their thoughts but in order to do so we have to pay the bills! We appreciate all the help you guys can provide!
Done, though Nelson now that Google+ has support for #tags too, wondering if you could extend the contest to google+?
Thanks for entering! Sure, yes, coming so close together as your entry and the joining of the site do, we won't consider that a problem. :)
And thanks for pointing out the oversight with the link in #5. I fixed it so that it directs to the show page for the Thomas Riskas episode.
My only question is this: When you draw the winners, how will you know if the tweet is linked to a Think Atheist account? I sometimes use different information for my email, twitter and misc social networking sites, so is there specific ways you want us to connect Think Atheist to Twitter accounts?
If the person's Twitter name and TA profile name aren't the same often their Twitter name is listed on their profile page and hence will return a search result to that person's TA profile page even if their Twitter name and TA profile name are different. It is almost never the case that one of these things isn't true. But If I can't confirm that a person is a member of TA by doing that I contact them via Twitter asking them to point me to their TA profile page for the purposes of confirming eligibility. Google is also quite helpful at times.