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Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily exclusive columnist Vox Day’s new book, “The Irrational Atheist,” scores a direct hit on atheism’s most well-known practitioners. Using reason, science and historical documentation – not theology – Day argues the atheists into an inescapable corner.
WorldNetDaily Editor Joseph Farah recently interviewed Day about the new book, which is available at WND’s online store.
Joseph Farah: The title of “The Irrational Atheist” refers to the Unholy Trinity of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, while Dawkins.Net is advertising the Four Horsemen of Atheism, which includes Daniel Dennett. Given that you wrote a chapter about Dennett, why didn’t you include him in with the other three?
Vox Day: Originally, I intended to do just that. But after reading four of his books, it became quite clear that for all his atheism, Dennett really doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with the other three. Despite his occasional problems with logic, Dennett is a respectable intellectual. He is seriously interested in the scientific questions, and he is very willing to ask hard questions about his own assumptions and core beliefs too. This is totally different than Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, who are entirely occupied with making groundless assertions when they aren’t busy drawing errant conclusions from incorrect data.
Farah: Why have we seen this explosion of atheist titles?
Day: It’s a bit strange because the so-called New Atheists are really not new at all. There is very little that Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens say that was not already said by Jean Meslier prior to his death in 1729. If Sam Harris didn’t talk so much about Islam and make so many egregious errors, you’d think that he was Bertrand Russell’s parrot. I suspect the reason is related to the current state of physics and the increasing uncertainty scientists feel about the universe based on the very, very low probability that the universe randomly happened to turn out the way it is now observed to be. Atheists have felt that science was on their side ever since the Enlightenment, and now they see it slipping away from them. So, this recent explosion of atheist books is not a sign of strength; it’s a sign of desperation.
Farah: Are atheists becoming more militant? Extreme? Why?
Day: The outspoken ones are certainly becoming more desperate and shrill. Part of this is because they’ve got such terrible front-men. They’ve got these spokesmen who are demonstrably incapable of making a sober and rational case for atheism, so they have to make up for it by setting off rhetorical fireworks and making outlandish statements – for example, Dawkins’s stupid assertion that a religious upbringing is worse than sexual child abuse. If I were an atheist, I’d be deeply embarrassed to have these clowns as the public face of my religious identification. I think the end result will be more atheists identifying themselves as agnostics, which is a much more reasonable perspective.
Farah: What are the consequences of widespread atheism?
Day: There are none, because atheism will never be a widespread phenomenon. Like socialism, it’s a parasitic phenomenon that can’t survive on its own. As Chesterton pointed out long ago, atheism rapidly mutates into paganism and diverse forms of spiritual absurdity. And we’re already seeing signs that the post-Christian West is returning to paganism; it’s not transforming into some sort of shiny, super-rational, post-superstitious science fiction society.
Farah: Why do you refer to Richard Dawkins as Darwin’s Judas?
Day: He only finds Darwin useful insofar as his theory of evolution by natural selection can be used to eliminate the basis for a belief in a Creator God. As Dawkins states in his own words, he’s “a passionate anti-Darwinian” with regards to the proper conduct of human affairs. Dawkins thinks humanity should follow Darwin just long enough to cast off Jesus Christ, then ditch Darwin in favor of following Richard Dawkins’ opinion on life, the universe and everything. Just like philosophers, you can always count on a scientist to come around eventually to the concept of rule by scientist-king.
Farah: You compare Sam Harris to Michael Bellesiles, who was convicted of academic fraud and lost the Bancroft Prize awarded to him. Is that a fair comparison?
Day: It’s probably not fair to Bellesiles. He may have made stuff up, but at least he can handle elementary school division. I also suspect he knows the difference between difficult concepts like “counties” and “states.” Harris demonstrably does not.
Farah: What are the most common mistakes made by Christian apologists when dealing with atheism? How is “The Irrational Atheist” different?
Day: Too many Christians forget that their basic assumptions are not shared by the atheist with whom they’re talking. Christians always want to quote the Bible to try to prove a point, but to the atheist, that’s no more meaningful than reading Shakespeare at them. And Christians often want to talk about the way God makes them feel, forgetting that the atheist’s feelings are equally relevant. My book doesn’t rely on the Bible or theological gymnastics or emotional appeals; it simply makes use of detailed historical and scientific evidence in order to expose the logical and factual flaws in every atheist argument you’re likely to encounter. “The Irrational Atheist” isn’t a defense of God or Christianity; I assume the Creator Lord of the Universe can defend Himself. He doesn’t need my help.
Farah: Are you considering an apologetic sequel making a case for Christianity?
Day: Not at the moment. Right now, I’m more interested in the philosophical implications of biotechnology. Cross some of biotech’s more questionable developments with globalism and post-Christian paganism, and it’s not hard to see that we’re looking at some crazy days ahead.
Farah: I’ve heard the book has gotten off to a great start. So why are you making the entire book available as a free download from your blog?
Day: Yeah, it’s already on its second print-run ahead of the official release date. As for the download, my theory is that the main problem from which most books suffer is that too few potential readers have heard about them, so I figure that word of mouth from someone who’s read the ebook is just as important as that from someone who’s read the hardcover. Also, if people like a book that they’ve read, whether it’s a download, a library book or just one they borrowed from a friend, they want to have it. I must have four or five copies of Eco’s “The Name of the Rose” myself, not counting translations. But “The Irrational Atheist” ebook isn’t a free download per se. It’s a Radiohead-style pay-what-you want setup, which includes the option to pay nothing. Various formats including PDF, PDB and LIT will be available starting on the official publication date of Feb. 1.
Farah: Or they could buy it right here at WorldNetDaily today.
Day: That would be even better.
Farah: One last question, and it’s an important one. When are you going to lose that ridiculous mohawk and grow a righteous mustache like mine?
Day: The hawk is gone, I’m sad to say. But I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes pull off the Magnum P.I. look.