Brent Rasmussen of Unscrewing the Inscrutable reviews The Irrational Atheist:
This is my review of Vox Day’s new book called “The Irrational Atheist”. I’d like to make some things perfectly clear before I proceed with this review. I am still, and barring some pretty convincing evidence that I find personally credible, will most likely always be an atheist…
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.
Brent and I have certainly exchanged a fair amount of fire in the past, but I have never doubted that in addition to being a formidable opponent, he is a serious and intellectually honest man. I have no trouble believing him when he says that he scrutinized TIA twice over looking for any errors that might allow him to rip it apart, in fact, knowing that intelligent and competent critics like him would surely be doing just that forced me to write a stronger and better-documented book than I otherwise might have written.