Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Irrational Atheist

Vox Day's new book, The Irrational Atheist, aptly demonstrates the basic thesis implicit in the book's title: that today's most outspoken atheists have no idea what they're talking about, having utilized a healthy dose of conscious falsehood, illogic, and error in arriving at this point of intellectual "brightness."

Imagine watching Andre the Giant piledrive a blind, quadraplegic midget, and you'll have an inkling of the proverbial head-handing Vox provides. I actually felt sorry for Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens upon finishing the book. Not only do they come across as dishonest, mistaken, and desperate, but they also look like bumbling idiots. These "brights" must have broken headlights.

Vox does not set out to debunk atheism by making a positive case for God; rather, he shows that leading proponents of atheism provide reasoning for their arguments that are anything but reasonable. Their attacks on religion--particularly Christianity--are fallacious, while their attempts at insulating themselves from the logical actions and ends of disbelief make clear the higher standard to which they hold religion. The book's novelty is that it meets atheists on the ground of their choosing--i.e., reason and science--and achieves victory, not content in a mere defeat of the enemy, but gnashing for a full-on rout.

I enjoyed the humor and highly factual nature of the text. The footnotes slow one's reading pace a bit, but they're worth the effort, offering anecdotes, tidbits of information, and snickers.

I disagree with some of Vox's assessments, such as his take on the Crusades and his game designer concept of God, articulated near the book's conclusion. I also question his declaration, "I don't care if you go to Hell," in Chapter One, though I appreciate his candor. But in the long run, these are just quibbles, because they don't constitute the book's focus, nor do they negate its basic premise: that the leading lights of atheism are far dimmer than their followers imagine.

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