Rational Response Squad debate I

Kelly kicks things off with her review of the first chapter of The Irrational Atheist:

I am going to be going through this book one chapter at a time in order to keep the posts relatively short and still allow for a detailed analysis. I mentioned that plan to Vox Day, who kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, and his suggestion was to read the entire book first before beginning. After getting about half-way through it, I didn’t see anything that necessitated that, but just as an FYI, if any of my points of contention are dealt with in later chapters, I’ll note that in later posts.

The first thing I noticed about this book is that Day’s writing style is quite humorous, and if I may, even endearing. This is troublesome as many readers will fall into the trap of getting caught up in the seemingly personable style and disregarding critical inquiry of the content. Day comes off as the friendly but mischievous antagonist in what he terms “an intellectual deathmatch” (p. 3) between himself and the “Unholy Trinity” of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. I must also note a point of agreement before I continue into the actual substance of the book: I appreciate Day’s regard for the autodidactic learner and his insistence that one not be swayed by degrees and credentials as they don’t necessarily make one’s arguments more or less valid. (p. 3) This is a point far too often missed by the pseudo-intellectual crowd who seem to desire a type of hegemonious rule over knowledge itself with authority to speak on a subject deemed only by universities.

Read the entire thing over at her place. I’ll post my response both here and in the TIA forum in the next day or two. This isn’t going to be a proper debate per se, but it should be an interesting back-and-forth since unlike other would-be chapter-by-chapter reviewers, Kelly is clearly doing her best to comprehend what is actually written and go after the weak points she perceives rather than seeing only what she wishes to see and then crying strawman.

And if she happens to take a cheap shot or two along the way, hey, so much the better. It’s not like I’m in any position to complain about that, and let’s face it, I’m far more inclined to applaud an amusing one than get upset anyhow.