60 Second Review:
In Review — By Joe Carter on February 29, 2008 at 12:01 am
The Irrational Atheist
The 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.