Lacking faith and a sense of humor

Rich demonstrates the essential humorlessness of so many atheists:

“Vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science.”
—CHARLES DARWIN, “Organs of Extreme Perfection and Complication”

This is a quotemine. It distorts the meaning of the original and is intellectually dishonest…. In the great Christian tradition, Vox starts his book with a lie. I saw no point continuing.

It’s not exactly a mystery why no one likes Dawkinsian atheists or they are so much less likely to marry and stay married. They’re so completely materialistic and socially autistic that they see everything through a purely literal lens. As I’ve said before, they’re the sort of men who will answer a woman asking “do I look fat?” by saying “yes, I think you need to lose ten pounds; that dress makes your butt look monstrous.” This social autism is highlighted by the observable fact that they’re completely mystified why even women without religious faith dislike them; they’re somewhat like engineers, if engineers were given to rabidly attacking everyone they meet.

Literally thousands of readers understood that this abridged quote from Charles Darwin – which also appeared in abbreviated version in Christopher Hitchens’s book – was a humorous and sarcastic means of referring to the way in which my supposed hatred for science somehow renders me sans credibility. It had nothing else to do with the chapter; it was merely a joke. Kelly of the Rational Response Squad, for example, clearly understood this. Indeed, she found the book’s sense of humor to be a little alarming even though it has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of the arguments contained therein because she understood the appeal of the approach.

I imagine it must be difficult to tell a joke when Rick is within earshot:

“So a rabbi, a priest, and an atheist walk into a bar-“

“Did they? How do you know that?”


“When did they walk into the bar? What was the bar’s name? How do you know, did you actually see them or is this just hearsay? Were there any witnesses – not that eyewitness evidence means anything – but who saw them? And even if they did see three men walking in, how could they know the priest was actually ordained properly? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!”


“What’s the point of beginning a story with a lie? It’s intellectually dishonest and distorts the meaning of the events being incorrectly described! I see no point in continuing!”

(Rich angrily storms off in search of his next victim. The joke-teller rolls his eyes, the two women who were listening to the joke when Rich interrupted watch him go with the same sense of frozen horror that causes commuters to stare at car wrecks, and they shiver with momentary disgust.)

“So, anyway, a rabbi, a priest, and an atheist walk into a bar….”

The reality is that Rich was looking for an excuse, any excuse, that would allow him to avoid reading something that systematically destroyed several of the foundations of his lack of religious faith. If he hadn’t found one in the chapter heading of the book’s first chapter, he would have simply manufactured another. This is typical atheist behavior, claiming to be unable to find that which they are resolutely avoiding.

In fact, given Rich’s rationale, he could have as reasonably abandoned ship with the beginning of the Preface. The quote from Tupac Shakur is even more severely abridged and is an even more blatant “lie”, considering that the book does not, in fact, contain a gangster party.