60 Second Review:
The Irrational Atheist

In Review — By on February 29, 2008 at 12:01 am

irrational_atheist.jpgThe Book: The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens by Vox Day
:10 — The Gist: Maybe I should let Day explain the purpose: “I’m not trying to convince you that God exists. I’m not trying to convince you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I’m not even trying to convince you that religious people aren’t lunatics with low IQs who should be regarded with pity and contempt. But I am confident that I will convince you that this trio of New Atheists, this Unholy Trinity, is a collection of faux-intellectual frauds utilizing pseudoscientific sleight of hand in order to falsely claim that religious faith is inherently dangerous and has no place in the modern world. I am saying that they are wrong, they are reliably, verifiably and factually incorrect. Richard Dawkins is wrong. Daniel C.Dennett is wrong. Christopher Hitchens is drunk, and he’s wrong. Michel Onfray is French, and he’s wrong. Sam Harris is so superlatively wrong that it will require the development of esoteric mathematics operating simultaneously in multiple dimensions to fully comprehend the orders of magnitude of his wrongness.” (pgs. 13-14)
:20 — The Quote: ” Of course, the simplest explanation for this mystery of why so many people believe that citing the historical atheist predilection for mass murder is a devastating retort to the assertion that religious faith is dangerous for mankind is because it is a devastating retort that demolishes the argument. This simple
explanation also happens to be the correct one. After all, if religious faith is the root cause of violence, then it should not be so easy – so trivially easy – to find so many historical examples of individuals who lacked religious faith and still managed to commit large-scale acts of lethal violence.” (p. 149)
:30 — The Good: The meticulous attention to detail makes it as useful introduction and reference for responding to the inane and superficial assertions of the New Atheists.
:40 — The Bad: Some of the apologetic sections rely on theologically suspect contentions. For example, Day seems to subscribe to “open theism” (“…the Christian God…makes no broad claims to omniscience….”) and uses that position in arguing against the appearance of logically inconsistent divine characteristics.
:50 — The Verdict: Vox Day is a cyberpunk sage, equal parts inflammatory and erudite. Those familiar with his blog and his WorldNetDaily columns will know what to expect from Day, while new readers may find his style abrasive and off-putting. (For example, he starts Chapter 1 with “I don’t care if you go to Hell.”) But those who stick with the book will find a well-researched and exhaustively documented rebuttal. Day has applied his skills as a blogger to present a book-length fisking of the writings of antagonistic atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens (indeed, Day should excerpt his book as a daily blog entry). Reading the book is like watching a streetfighter hammering a string of inferior and nasty opponents–while a bit tedious in the blow-by-blow its ultimately exhilarating to see them get their comeuppance.
:60 — The Recommendation: Both fans and foes of the New Atheists should read Day’s well-reasoned rebuttal to their inane and superficial assertions.



  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Vox Day,
    Thank you for engaging the evangelical atheists on their own turf, which would be polemics as opposed to apologetics. It sounds like you have written a very interesting book.
    I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’d like to respond to the quote that Joe chose to highlight.
    Of course, the simplest explanation for this mystery of why so many people believe that citing the historical atheist predilection for mass murder is a devastating retort to the assertion that religious faith is dangerous for mankind is because it is a devastating retort that demolishes the argument.
    Atheism is a rejection of theism. It is a rejection of all theistic religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
    In historically theistic countries and regions, such a rejection of ancient traditions has led to instability and sometimes even to the embracing of crazy ideologies, which in turn have led to the disasters of total war, genocide, and all-encompassing dictatorship.
    I agree with you that the Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris have all downplayed this side of atheism.
    This simple explanation [i.e., “the historical atheist predilection for mass murder”] also happens to be the correct one. After all, if religious faith is the root cause of violence, then it should not be so easy – so trivially easy – to find so many historical examples of individuals who lacked religious faith and still managed to commit large-scale acts of lethal violence.
    While I still agree with your earlier point, it seems to me that you might be setting up something of a straw man here.
    I don’t remember any of the evangelical atheists making the claim that religious faith is the only root cause of violence, or even the primary cause of violence, in the world today. If I am wrong about this, please let me know, but I am pretty confident that I am right.
    They do make the case that sometimes religious faith contributes to violence. I believe that they are correct to point this out.
    For example, the hijackers of 9-11 seem to have been motivated by their religious beliefs, and by their faith in God.
    Of course, to focus on the violent tendencies of religion, and to claim that religion is in itself somehow pathological, is a highly polemical proposition. Religious believers in particular are not going to focus on all the qualifications and nuances in the atheists’ books, especially when such distinctions are downplayed or not clearly stated.
    Nevertheless, if you attack a straw man, then you are not actually hitting your target. Unless Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris claim that religion is the primary cause of violence in the world, then your argument is invalid.
    Now if you wanted to make the case that atheism causes more violence than religion, that might undercut some of the bravado of your antagonists. Why should the atheists pick on religious faith if un-belief leads to worse consequences?
    And maybe you do argue along those lines in your book — I would be interested to hear what you have to say. But that would be very different from saying that religious faith itself does not or cannot lead to violence. For of course, religious ideologies as well as atheistic ideologies are susceptible to leading to massacres, wars, and worse.
    I find consequentialist arguments in favor of or against religion or atheism to be interesting and important. But of course, the most important question of all is which beliefs are true and which are false — which beliefs make the most sense. Looking at consequences is a big piece of the puzzle, but it is not the whole thing, or even the biggest piece.
    Either God exists or she doesn’t. It doesn’t depend on whether or not belief in God tends to make people naughty or nice.

  • http://bevets.com/evolution.htm bevets

    Whatever may be the case, it is not that the atheists are having a field day because of the brilliance and novelty of their thinking. Frankly — and I speak here as a nonbeliever myself, pretty atheistic about Christianity and skeptical about all theological claims — the material being churned out is second rate. And that is a euphemism for “downright awful.”…Dawkins is brazen in his ignorance of philosophy and theology (not to mention the history of science). A major part of the book involves ripping into the chief arguments for the existence of God. I confess that it is the first time in my life that I have felt sorry for the ontological argument. ~ Michael Ruse

  • Rich

    Dr. David Aikman, a Patrick Henry College professor, recently gave a presentation on these “New Atheists.” A brief summary as well as a link to the speech can be found here: http://www.phc.edu/news/docs/20080220Media.asp
    He apparently also has a book coming out later this spring on it as well.
    Best line from the summary: “Aikman validated complaints about ‘the wickedness of atheistic leaders or regimes’ by citing the 100 million people ‘murdered’ by the atheistic regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot in the twentieth century alone. It is a record of atrocity, he says, that dwarfs all those killed in all the religious wars of history.”

  • Vox

    I don’t remember any of the evangelical atheists making the claim that religious faith is the only root cause of violence, or even the primary cause of violence, in the world today. If I am wrong about this, please let me know, but I am pretty confident that I am right.
    I appreciate your rational approach to the discussion, but you are wrong about this. Harris makes explicit arguments that religion is the primary root cause of violence, war and even homicide, it’s the very raison d’etre for the title of his “The End of Faith”. Dawkins is a little cagier, but he repeatedly makes an implicit case. Both men claim that religion is the SOURCE of the divisions between warring groups even when it isn’t the explicit cause, although anyone who knows history knows that this is obviously not true in most cases. Hitchens doesn’t actually ever make a coherent case about anything, but religion=war is the picture he paints with his disjointed anecdotes. Dennett’s the only one who doesn’t repeatedly equate religion with war, conflict and violence.
    Unlike their purely logical approach, I favor an empirical one. Religion is the primary cause of around 7 percent of the wars in recorded human history. The book is available for free download if you like, check out the chapters entitled “Sam Tzu and the Art of War” and “The War Delusion”.
    Now if you wanted to make the case that atheism causes more violence than religion, that might undercut some of the bravado of your antagonists. Why should the atheists pick on religious faith if un-belief leads to worse consequences?
    I do precisely that in chapter entitled “The Red Hand of Atheism”, which shows that the majority of atheist-led regimes have committed mass slaughters of their own people, compared to less than one percent of Christian regimes.
    Either God exists or she doesn’t. It doesn’t depend on whether or not belief in God tends to make people naughty or nice.
    Totally true. I state as much in the book, which is why it is not an argument for the existence of God, merely an attack on the arguments of the New Atheism.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Vox,
    Thank you very much.
    I’ll check out the free download, as you suggested.
    Best of luck with your book,
    Matthew

  • Ludwig

    “Aikman validated complaints about ‘the wickedness of atheistic leaders or regimes’ by citing the 100 million people ‘murdered’ by the atheistic regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot in the twentieth century alone. It is a record of atrocity, he says, that dwarfs all those killed in all the religious wars of history.”
    I m curious about a few things….how many people did each of the aformentionned individuals kill PERSONALLY? As far as i know,the answer to that question is ZERO. I could be mistaken here but in any event,i m fairly certain that it was certainly not 25 million each. So it stands to reason that their underlings did the lion share of the killing…how many of these were actually atheists? my guess is very few…the overwhelming majority of russians for exemple were and still are some form of catholics…so were the germans. And most chinese and cambodians followed some form of buddhism. They outnumbered their so called atheistic leaders several tens of thousands to one so they certainly could not be forcibly compelled to murder people wholesale against their own wishes or personal religious conscience. Yet they did….so i submit to you that the overwelming majority of killings in those “atheistic” regimes were perpetrated by RELIGIOUS people.
    And of those 100 millions,how many were intentionnaly killed….(like shot,stabbed,hanged,poisoned or clubbered to death)? Seems to me that the charge of murder requires one to act in a way that is explicitely intended to turn a living human being into a dead one. Most of those people died as a result of idiotic and/or merciless policy decisions that caused them to starve. Thats how most the native americans were wiped out…as a result of stupid and/or merciless policy decisions by the US governement…was the US governement an “atheistic” regime?
    The biblical naratives of the old testament depict events that can only be described as genocides perpetrated by deeply religious people. The victims of the Joshua campains are i believe numbered in the hundreds of thousands…most of those were non combatants…women,children…even little sucklings…hell even the livestock. And that was accomplished with swords and spears and clubs…which means that none of the killings were collateral….everyone that was killed was killed INTENTIONALLY…now if Joshua’s rampaging hordes had had modern weaponry available to them to perform their murderous campains in the name of Faith, i believe their victims would probably range in the few millions…but only because they would have quickly run out of people to kill. And Joshua is by the way a CELEBRATED biblical figure. I ve actually heard some people actually justify these depraved acts of barbarism and let me assure you that i would never turn my back on those vile and depraved souls….so what conclusion can be drawn from all of this? that atheists kill and religious people kill and both groups will always find justifications for their killings and thats its hypocritical of one side to accuse the other of being the “most” murderous…the proverbial pot calling the kettle black

  • oclarki

    Ludwig,
    “the overwhelming majority of russians for exemple were and still are some form of catholics”
    In the pantheon of ignorant statements you have made, this may take the cake.
    What’s up with the all the elipses in your posts? They make you look uneducated about simple grammatical rules, or schizophrenic. Maybe you should see a psychiatrist.

  • Ludwig

    oclarki
    According to censsus,89.1 % of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, although under Stalinist rule,it was better not to make a big show of it…but even at that time,marriages were still being mostly performed by priests and people attended mass. And the soldiers who enforced the regimes rule came from that population…they were not “screened” for christian beliefs upon entering in the service of the Red army. In any event,was that your sole objection?

  • oclarki

    Ludwig,
    Apparently you are unclear as to what Orthodox Christianity is. Try to tell a Russian he is Catholic and see what reaction you get.

  • Ludwig

    oclarki
    you are correct…i mistakenly interchanged orthodox christianity with catholic…now tell me how that invalidates my claim that 90% of russians are religious people?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Reading the book is like watching a streetfighter hammering a string of inferior and nasty opponents–while a bit tedious in the blow-by-blow its ultimately exhilarating to see them get their comeuppance.
    That sounds like an enjoyable read to me!

  • Raging Bee

    So basically Vox “Turbo Porsche” Day is confining his attention to the three least credible atheists in the entire movement — all of whom are already being disavowed and renounced by significant numbers of atheists, who are waking up to the fact that those three have contributed little or nothing to the most important battles of their day.
    Wake me up when Day and WorldNutDaily are ready to take on a less easy (and more relevent) target.
    PS: didn’t WorldNutDaily at one time hire failed propheteer Hal “The Late Great Planet Earth” Lindsey — FIVE YEARS after his Armageddon book was proven completely wrong? You really need to find yourselves a more credible publication.

  • tertius

    Ludwig, you demonstrate the danger of “lies, damned lies and statistics”.
    To clear up some of your misunderstandings:
    1) The gaffe of referring to the Russian Orthodox Church as “Catholic” strikes one as not being a mere clerical error but as reflecting a very real lack of knowledge about the differences between these two ecclesiastical bodies.
    2) The 1989 Russian census did not find that 89.1% of the population identified as Orthodox. The actual figure was around 66% – though of ethnic Russians, 80% self-identified as Orthodox – of whom less than 10% attended church services more than once a month. The fact that you then “clarified” your figure to indicate that you meant that 90% of the Russian population identified with a religion – any religion – shows that you at least realised your gaffe and tried to cover it.
    3)You then go on to make an even bigger error of thinking that the self-identification of a majority of Russian citizens in the 1989 census as having a religious affiliation should be understood as indicating the actual number of observant believers either in 1989 or (more pertinently) during the 70 years of official State Atheism where every obstacle was put in the way of the practice of religion in the Soviet Union.
    Taking statistics at face value you fail to take into consideration that the majority of ethnic Russians may identify with the Orthodox Church on cultural, historical and nationalistic grounds and not on the grounds of personal religious practice.
    4)Your use of quotes around the word “atheist” when describing the Soviet Union is both interesting and revealing. I am well aware that a number of atheists try to pretend that the Soviet Union was not an atheist state, and that atheism hasd nothing to do with any of the savagery and brutality that occurred there but the historical fact remains that, based on the the principles of Marx and Lenin, the Soviet Union was officially an atheist state and indeed promulagated what was known as State Atheism and “godlessness”.
    In such an environment no statistics on religion were kept (thus no census ever polled the religious beliefs of the people). Before the Communist takeover however the vast majority of ethnic Russians identifed with the Orthodox faith. Various sources have suggested that about 33% of the Soviet population still professed their allegiance to a religious faith despite the heavy hand of State Atheism.
    The other side of the coin is that two-thirds of the Soviet population, were irreligious. Of these about 50% of the people, including members of the ruling Communist Party and high-level government officials, professed atheism. For the majority of Soviet citizens, therefore, religion was an irrelevancy.
    5)You also fail to factor in the “religious revival” which has taken place in Russia since the fall of Communism after seven decades of religious percecution and suppression. Despite this, research shows that 70 years of official atheism and its attendant policies has meant that 50% of the current population can be effectively described as “irreligious” – despite any census self-identification with a particular denomination.

  • BONNIE

    ENT, URGENT, URGENT, URGENT,
    PASTORS WILL PREACH ON SUNDAY IN TEXAS AND OHIO SO,,,,,THIS IS MY MAX- OUT- FOR- MIKE- URGENT MESSAGE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. DEAR RANGERS AND FRIENDS
    PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS LETTER (BELOW) THEN E- MAIL TO CHURCHES
    IN TIME FOR SUNDAY’S
    SERMONS, THEN VOTING
    TO TEXAS CHURCHES FIRST, THEN OHIO….ON SAT, MARCH 4
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    THE LETTER:
    DEAR FRIENDS:
    IN LIGHT OF RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS, AND KNOWING HOW FAITHFUL YOU ARE TO GOD, FAMILY, AND FREEDOM, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO PLEASE EXAMINE MIKE HUCKABEE’S INCOMPARABLE, IMMACULATE, RECORD ON MY BEHALF,… AND CONSIDER HIM AS YOUR CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT !
    PLEASE READ THIS, EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY VOTED.
    A VOTE (OR FINANCIAL HELP) FOR MIKE HUCKABEE IS A STEP TO PRESERVE AND IMPROVE AMERICA ..IT IS ESSENTIALLY A VOTE FOR ALL WE HOLD DEAR ! YOU KNOW I AM USUALLY NOT POLITICAL, BUT TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WE AMERICANS CAN ALL LOSE IF WE AREN’T MOTIVATED AND INFORMED, AND CAREFUL:
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    BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA : “THE TALK,TALK,TALK-SHOW HOST”, JUNIOR SENATOR , WHO HAS BEEN “APPROVED” OF ,BEING “UNPATRIOTIC”, AND REFUSED TO HONOR OUR SIMPLEST TOKENS OF RESPECT (OUR SACRED AMERICAN TRADITIONS), WANTS THE SAME RIGHT TO KILL AMERICAN OFFSPRING (WITH PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION ). HE ALSO STATES THAT HE WOULD LIKE TO “PARTNER WITH
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    JESUS SAID: “BY THEIR FRUITS YOU SHALL KNOW THEM.”
    HE IS PRO-GOD, PRO-LIFE, PRO-AMERICA AND PRO-FAMILY…
    HUCKABEE, WANTS TO “TRIM THE FAT”. GO WITH A MAN WHO ISN’T PLAGUED BY SCANDAL OR SQUANDERED MONEY ! (HILLARY CAMPAIGN-131 MIL, CAMPAIGN HUCK-9 MIL )
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    HE IS THE TRUE CONSERVATIVE. OH, BY THE WAY, MC CAIN IS TRYING TO IGNORE A HUGE PETITION FOR A REPUBLICAN DEBATE WITH THE REMAINING CANDIDATES…EVEN THOUGH HIS REPUBLICAN CONSTITUENTS WOULD LOVE ONE !
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    WHEN COMMUNISTIC SYMPATHIZERS (read:OBAMAS COMMUNIST TIES,WIKIPEDIA), AND NAZI-LIKE TACTICS RULE THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS SUPPORT STEM-CELL (EXPERIMENTS ON HUMAN FETUSES)…WHEN WE
    HAVE NO VIABLE, TRUE CONSERVATIVE VOICE IN “JOHN MC CAIN AND COMPANY” … THEN WE MUST VOTE AND HELP MIKE HUCKABEE , OR WE WILL HAVE HELL TO PAY.
    HUCKABEE—CONSISTENTLY PRO-AMERICA, PRO-FREEDOM AND PRO-LIFE.
    GOD DID GIVE US LIFE..LET US GO FORTH TO HELP HIS TRUE SERVANT, MR MIKE HUCKABEE MAKE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE !!
    PS: YOU KNOW, I HAVE NEVER BEEN POLITICALLY-INCLINED BEFORE THIS ELECTION..BUT I BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART AND SOUL THAT EVERYTHING WE VALUE MAY BE A STAKE IF WE ALL DON’T HELP MIKE HUCKABEE GET THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION !
    HE IS A WISE AND HONORABLE MAN AND THE ONLY REMAINING CANDIDATE WHO HAS EVER EVEN GOVERNED !! (VOTED AS A TOP GOVERNOR -10 YEARS) REMEMBER THE ALAMO ???? —AMERICANS OVERPOWERED 40 TO ONE ! REMEMBER WHO WON?
    GO TEXAS ! GO TEXANS !*
    VOTE HUCKABEE! GET THE WORD TO THE PRIESTS, PAPERS AND PREACHERS, AND PARADERS ! PROCLAIM IT FROM THE PULPIT…PRAY IT IN THE PEWS! AMEN ! STICK IT IN THE HYMNAL BOOKS .
    CIRCULATE THIS LETTER OR ONE OF YOUR OWN …WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO REALLY HELP THIS MAN, HELP US, IF HEAVEN WILL HAVE IT’S WAY.
    PEACE BE WITH YOU,
    BONNIE BUCKLAW-ORTIZ
    GOD’S KINGDOM COME. GOD’S WILL BE DONE. ON EARTH,AS IT IS IN
    HEAVEN———————————

  • Rob

    “…that the majority of atheist-led regimes have committed mass slaughters of their own people, compared to less than one percent of Christian regimes.”
    What is more to the point is whether or not these mass slaughters were informed by atheism. This, of course, is impossible. Atheism is the lack of a god-belief; it informs nothing. The mass slaughters were about power and politics, not religion.
    If the rest of V.D.’s book is this intellectually bankrupt, it is a complete waste of time. It is ironic that a person making such a vacuous argument would dare call Dawkins, Dennett et al “…a collection of faux-intellectual frauds utilizing pseudoscientific sleight of hand in order to falsely claim that religious faith is inherently dangerous and has no place in the modern world.” Nonetheless, like Matthew, I’m willing to have a look (so long as doing so does not contribute materially to the author).

  • Rob

    Another note: The only reason we can rightly call the dictatorships that Vox Day refers to as “atheist regimes” is that they are, first and foremost, dictatorships and/or repressive regimes. As Ludwig pointed out, Russia is comprised, by and large, of Christians. The fact that its government was so long officially atheistic (as opposed to secular) is indisputable evidence of the repressiveness that led to the slaughters in question.
    If you compare the record of secular states to religious states, a far different picture emerges.

  • http://thechristiancynic.wordpress.com The Christian Cynic

    RB:

    So basically Vox “Turbo Porsche” Day is confining his attention to the three least credible atheists in the entire movement — all of whom are already being disavowed and renounced by significant numbers of atheists, who are waking up to the fact that those three have contributed little or nothing to the most important battles of their day.

    I’m with you that Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens are relatively easy kills, but I think you’re far understating their influence. I’m not saying they’ve contributed meaningfully to the debate – far from it – but people are listening to them, unfortunately. When there are so many people willing to accept what they say, then it makes a market for people to demonstrate how their words are unreliable. I don’t think you can fault someone like Day for picking a target when the three (plus Dennett) are practically the spokespeople for mainstream atheism (for better or worse).
    Rob:

    What is more to the point is whether or not these mass slaughters were informed by atheism. This, of course, is impossible. Atheism is the lack of a god-belief; it informs nothing. The mass slaughters were about power and politics, not religion.

    Couldn’t precisely the same thing be said about the actions of oppressive religious regimes – that they were about power and politics, not about the religion?

  • Rob

    “Couldn’t precisely the same thing be said about the actions of oppressive religious regimes – that they were about power and politics, not about the religion?”
    Absolutely! In fact, I would say that MANY conflicts that were ostensibly about religion were in fact more about power and politics. Religion is just one of many things governments use as a pretext for war to gain the support of the populace.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Wake me up when Day and WorldNutDaily are ready to take on a less easy (and more relevent) target.
    May I take this as your confession that Vox Day soundly refuted the arguments of Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Hitchens?
    Please name the more difficult and more relevant targets,
    PS: didn’t WorldNutDaily at one time hire failed propheteer Hal “The Late Great Planet Earth” Lindsey — FIVE YEARS after his Armageddon book was proven completely wrong? You really need to find yourselves a more credible publication.
    This is an example of a specious argument. Attacks the publication outlet that Vox publishes. What’s that got to do with his taking apart the atheist assertions by Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Dawkins? Nothing!
    Raging Bee, if you’re going to rage and emote, try to do it with some modicum of intelligence. Right now, you’re raging stupidly.

  • http://thechristiancynic.wordpress.com The Christian Cynic

    Then I’m with you on that, Rob. Some people take a much harder position on religion, but your statement is a reasonable representation, in my estimation.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I’m sorry, remind me again how “Christopher Hitchens is drunk” is an actual argument?
    I’m with you that Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens are relatively easy kills, but I think you’re far understating their influence. I’m not saying they’ve contributed meaningfully to the debate – far from it – but people are listening to them, unfortunately.
    Actually they are not so easy kills. They are three very smart people who have mounted a respectable argument. Yes there are people who argue at a more esoteric level than they do but that hardly makes them ‘easy kills’. And no, even if they are easy kills childish name calling doesn’t do the job.

  • http://thechristiancynic.wordpress.com The Christian Cynic

    Boonton, I’m afraid we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the respectability of the arguments put forth (when they are actually recognizable as arguments) by Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. I don’t doubt that they’re intelligent individuals (and I personally find Hitchens’ oratory skills to be quite excellent), but it doesn’t take a great deal of thought to find parts of their arguments that are especially vulnerable or just plain irrelevant given what others have said before them.
    And I’m not sure exactly what ‘childish name calling’ has to do with my comment. If it’s in reference to Day’s comment, it should be fairly obvious that “Christopher Hitchens is drunk” isn’t an argument; it’s just abrasive language (poking fun at Hitchens’ ubiquitous glass) used to draw the reader’s attention.

  • Wolf Potter

    The mere fact that the books of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett and Harris are bestsellers strongly indicates the public’s need to discuss the topics they deal with.
    On the other hand the question is why are the books trying to refute these atheists hardly successful? Of those who buy them who does actually read them. If I am informed correctly a lot of these books end up in garage sales in mint condition and more often than not even in their original plastic wrappers!
    If Dawkins’s et. al. arguments and logical train of thought were so easily debunked, why is it that almost exclusively the “debunking” takes place among theists who are hardly qualified to dabte such topics for want of the ability of clear thinking?
    Prior to writing this I listend to the most recent Dinesh D’Souza – Hichtens debate. What D’Souza delivers is an extremely coarse misrepresentation of history. But he becomes a real idiot when he talks of scientific matters. He is not even aware that there is a huge semantic difference between the term “law” in science and in jurisdiction. How ignorant must one be in order to defend Christianity on such a feeble basis?

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