Mailvox: undermining atheism

These emails tend to illustrate the effectiveness of refusing to permit atheists to make their evangelical claims unchallenged. I particularly appreciated the first email, as it highlights the importance of shattering the false intellectual pride that holds so many young and psychologically immature atheists entrapped. One man writes some encouraging words about the breaking of a spell:

I wanted to personally thank you for the impact you’ve had on my life. This was the first time in several years that I celebrated the holiday by worshipping Christ. Your debate with Luke broke the pseudo-intellectual spell that atheism/agnosticism held over me, introduced me to a sophisticated Christian theology, and helped to reconnect me with my faith. The unwelcome eviscerations of an AWCA found their way to a young man whose ego desperately needed a disemboweling. In a delicious twist of irony that Tolkien himself would have appreciated, your indifference towards my salvation has made all the difference towards achieving it. With the amount of hate mail that you must receive, sometimes it’s nice to know that your words do inspire. I’m truly grateful.

A lawyer reading TIA writes with a related question:

After coming across atheist trolls in the comments section of a CNN article, I was disturbed by militant atheism and its assertions after reading more about it. Writings from individuals such as Gregory Paul caused me trouble with my faith, so I bought your book, The Irrational Atheist, as a Christmas present to myself. I am enjoying your book – it’s entertaining and useful for strengthening my faith since I don’t have a lot of time to both read the claims of New Atheists and methodically consider them. I thank you very much for your work for packaging an analysis of their works into one book.

If you would indulge a question, I would appreciate it. While at Barnes and Noble, I decided to look for New Atheist works to quickly peruse and get a feel for them. While there, I encountered a book from Sam Harris called The Moral Landscape where Harris claims that science can determine morality.

My question is this: I am on page 66 of The Irrational Atheist, and, given Harris’ new book, I am curious as to what you would add to or subtract from the following statement: “The second possibility is that they genuinely believe science leads ineluctably toward certain moral conclusions. Although the careless reader could be convinced of this by a judicious selection of quotes, both Dawkins and Dennett specifically deny this to be possible and even Harris only dares to base his moral appeals on reason, not science.”

I would simply add what I have already written about The Moral Landscape, which is to say that Harris is correctly attempting to provide atheism with a science-based case for rational materialist morality. Without any form of universal warrant, rational materialism remains a barren and psychologically vacant philosophy that lacks emotional appeal as well as even the smallest modicum of moral authority. Harris understands this, which is why he wrote the book in a futile effort to provide a basis for both. I would also note that this attempt does not change the quoted sentence from TIA in the slightest, as Harris not only fails to begin making his case, and as anyone who has actually read the book will know, does not even claim to have done so but merely argues that such a case might one day be made.

But I’m not the only one undermining atheism; I have considerable help from within the godless citadel itself. In this very interesting review from danieljc, we can observe that Mount Chapter Four appears to have struck again!

I decided to give this book a chance seeing as how passionately anti-atheist the author is, I wanted to see if the author could muster up any reasonable arguments for his position. With an open-mind, I proceeded reading the first few chapters….and then I closed the book. The quality of the writing is abhorrent and haughty, not to mention unjustifiably egotistic since the author does not offer any reasonable argument for his position. The author goes on in hopeless drivel with repeated digressions attacking Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens that are almost all ad hominem. There was not an instance of reading this pathetic book where I felt my mind changing for the better, even worse I felt as if I was reading Christian right-wing propaganda. I tried to be as unbiased as I possibly could reading this, but the sheer amount of deceit and misrepresentations of facts forced me to close it for fear of vomiting my lunch if I read just another sentence. This is vile, contemptible nonsense ladies and gentlemen, this book adequately personifies everything that is wrong with the United States of America. This anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-reason, movement that marches under the banner of the Christian right. I tried to stay neutral, tried to stay balanced, but this book as forced me to take a side, the opposite side of whatever loathsome position this author seeks to uphold.

It is easy to see the deceit that is so habitual for many evangelical atheists, which ironically enough, is the very weakness that makes them so easy for the informed theist to defeat them in debate. This is precisely why I have repeatedly pointed out that one MUST assume they are lying snakes until it is demonstrated otherwise; that review is a beautiful attempt of the utterly shameless manner in which so many atheists attempt to deceive.

The amusing thing is that the book doesn’t pretend to be more than a critique of the fallacious arguments presented by the five atheists mentioned, and even if one wants to argue, however unconvincingly, that the critiques are flawed and the arguments are correct, one cannot possibly claim that any of the critiques rely upon ad hominem attacks. These “reviews” are not actual reviews, they are merely thinly disguised efforts to prevent people from actually reading the book and discovering how feeble the atheist arguments presented by the various New Atheists happen to be.

As the more intelligent atheists will recognize, this tactic is very counterproductive from an evangelical perspective, because if the effort is unsuccessful, the subsequent discovery that the book is not as it is described only underlines the popular sentiment that atheists are immoral, dishonest, and completely untrustworthy. This is not fair to the individual atheist who is intellectually honest and personally reliable, but is the inevitable consequence of the tendency of many atheists to rely upon attempted emotional manipulation rather than reasonable intellectual disputation.