The Irrational Atheist reviews

These are selected quotations from various reviews of The Irrational Atheist. To read a review in its entirety, please click on the link provided at the top of each quoted section.

– REVIEWS BY ATHEISTS –

The Irrational Human” by Brent Rasmussen of Unscrewing the Inscrutable:

It was actually painful for me to read. This is due to the fact that that I really do respect Richard Dawkins and his scientific accomplishments, as well as Daniel Dennett’s heady forays into philosophical thought. I also absolutely love listening to Christopher Hitchens speak and debate. As for Michel Onfray and Sam Harris? Eh, not so much, but I do appreciate their ability to raise awareness and articulate some of the same things that I have thought about myself over the years and to put them into commercially successful books.

I am not going to go into a point by point review of the various arguments that Day addressed in TIA. Suffice it to say that by the end of the chapters dealing with the individual authors, I was happy that it was over. It was a thorough, detailed, dispassionate (with a little snarky levity thrown into the footnotes for flavor), and completely disheartening take-down of some of the best arguments that the godless have put into print – on their own terms, without using the Bible (in the first part of the book, that is), or any other sacred text to do it with. Amazing. And depressing. It is not my place to defend their books. I truly hope that they do find time to defend and clarify their books, specifically to the counter-arguments and claims made by Vox day in TIA, though, because they really need to. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty….

My advice is to read this book – and then do your damnedest to find something in it that you can argue against. Something beyond “that’s stupid!” – which is what always seems to be the first-blush response from an atheist to a theist. (Fucking hell I’m tired of that shit.) I couldn’t do it. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did. I hope you do.

I strongly encourage Dr. Dawkins, Dr. Dennett, Hitch, Harris, and M’sieur Onfray to respond to TIA. It is not your run-of-the-mill “flea” book looking to make a quick buck riding on the coattails of The Amber Heard Fan Club*. It’s the real deal, it’s substantive, meticulously researched, it brings up real problems, and it addresses these problems without falling into the trap that other fleas have fallen into in the past.

– REVIEWS BY CHRISTIANS –

Thoughts and Ideas is moved to pity the fallen.

A common mistake in this debate–or indeed any debate–is to argue exclusively from one’s own perspective. Quoting verses from the Bible is ultimately ineffective to someone who views it with the same amount of respective as one would regard the Weekly World News…. Vox steers clear of this trap and meets the atheist charges head on. The results are glorious to behold, though a tremor of pity may escape the human breast if one glances at the slain trinity. It’s not just that Vox is intellectually honest whereas Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens are not. Vox has clearly read books relating to the subject matter–his knowledge of history is especially keen–whereas it appears that his opponents have assembled books after a series of college bull sessions and limited research, probably involving Wikipedia.

Ian McCleod of the Clan McLeod declares a winner:

Vox Day’s new book raises the bar in the debate between Theists and Atheists. Rather than resort to traditional modes of debate favored by Christians, Vox Day plays by the rules of the opposition, and wins.

Vox’s arguments are exquisitely documented and impressively reasoned. His annihilation of the “Religion Causes War” myth ought to ruin any anti-religionist’s day (I find it the most convincing and potentially useful argument in the book, though your mileage may vary.) The Irrational Atheist attacks the three pillars of New Atheism, not by proving that there is a god, but by proving that their arguments are not the paragon of rationality they bill them to be.

Pretty Lady gives out a “Literary Award“:

Pretty Lady is shocked. She did not, truly, believe it to be possible.

But she must give credit where credit is due. Ladies and gentlemen, she gives you Vox Day, who in his recently released little tome, The Irrational Atheist, has proven himself a greater Master of the Footnote than David Foster Wallace himself!!!

Indeed. Vox plays his footnotes like a veritable fugue, striking an insouciant balance between formidable scholarship and a fey, swashbuckling sarcasm that never overbalances into the sort of ramble that makes a person seriously wonder if Mr. Wallace forgot to take his ADD meds today…. Incidentally, Vox has also left a smoking hole in the turf where Sammy Harris used to stand, whining, and for this, Pretty Lady is profoundly grateful.

Blonde Moment is down with living and letting live:

Day provides a valuable service to Christians, particularly those who are not capable of pulling apart arguments against God. I strongly recommend the book.

Bane paints “A Portrait of the Author as a Serial Killer:

And what a work of art it is…. It grabs you by the nose with velvet gloved fingers, pulls you around where it wants you to go…I am reminded of the Francis Dollarhyde character in Manhunter, when he is giving the slide show to the creep reporter Freddy Lounds, saying “Do you see?” as he takes Freddy from one scene of horror to the next.

The Responsible Puppet isn’t so keen on the attitude, but finds the book to be effective anyhow:

I must say I’m a bit torn on this one. But the tear doesn’t go down the middle of the page; the Good piece is bigger than the Bad…. It is my prayer, hope and expectation that this book will serve to make atheism less tenable in many minds.

Single Mind writes an extensive four-part review. 1. Why Vox? 2.What is an atheist? 3. Atheism and Science 4. Vox Day and the Game Designer Model: My $0.02:

No Christian apologist or theologian could have done what Vox Day has done to [High Church Atheists] in The Irrational Atheist. Whereas an apologist, philosopher, or theologian could easily dismantle HCAs–as HCAs have nothing new under the sun to offer–only a Vox Day could properly hoist them on their own petard.

Christian philosophers, theologians, and apologists are trained to think and reason within the sphere of theology, philosophy, and apologetics. They are trained to apply the exegesis of Scripture–using sound hermeneutics–to principles involving theology and philosophy to (a) make a case for the Christian faith, (b) demonstrate why certain ideas or frameworks are or are not compatible with Christianity, and (c) to logically challenge the veracity or efficacy of worldviews….

What did Vox do that an apologist or theologian would not have done? He applied the scientific method–using historical data–to test the assertions of the HCAs. The result is a smackdown of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens–and to a lesser extent, Dennett–that borders on cruel and unusual punishment.

Killing Snakes with a Shovel” by Farmeruminator:

I’ve heard Christian friends and leaders say that it’s not possible to use reason, logic and facts to show the existence of God. While this may be true, Vox does an absolute masterful job of using those three things to eviscerate the arguments of D[awkins], H[arris] and H[itchens]….

A few disclaimers. Vox writes with a slash and burn style. A take no prisoners, blow them up and leave a smoking hole mentality. Some in the Christian community are going to be offended by this approach. I would remind them that our Lord said some rather harsh things to say to some of His critics. You don’t call someone a “generation of vipers”, “whited sepulchres”, and “fools” without having your targets tend to react unfavorably to these terms. Vox does not treat D[awkins], H[arris] and H[itchens] with kid gloves. It’s an in your face, put up or shut up, throw down.

– REVIEWS BY JEWS, AGNOSTICS AND VARIOUS OTHERS –

Dr. Helen Smith finds it to be a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon:

You might know Vox Day from his blog and interesting take on feminist issues–he always has something provocative to add to that particular conversation and his book proves to be just as stimulating in regards to religion and faith…. The book is definitely thought provoking and worth a read if you are interested in the topic!

If you have written a review of the book, please let me know and I’ll be happy to post a link to it here.