As a rule, societies are rarely inclined to examine their own premises. Instead, people are routinely expected, if t compelled, to endorse the prevailing system of values and beliefs. While this approach may appear useful in terms of maintaining cultural harmony, in truth it constitutes a serious threat to a society's general health and well-being because society can benefit from having mechanically endorsed views serve as authoritative rms. It is imperative, therefore, that we continuously ratify our cultural premises and that skeptics and contrarians be given pride of place in this process. The Heretic's Handbook seeks to address these concerns by encouraging a series of irreverent assessments in such areas as human obligation, religious conviction, friendship, ecomic pursuits, and the role of techlogy in modern life. Ultimately, readers are encouraged to approach this volume as a kind of whetstone aimed at restoring the edge to perspectives too often dulled by the sophistries of conventional belief.