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Yet another flea - Comments

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 1 by The Truth, the light

...alerting them to the imperative need for taking seriously atheism's challenge...

At least that part is true.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:17:05 UTC | #894250

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Comment 2 by Tiende Landeplage

Just to waste a few seconds, I browsed around their website and found an alleged satire entitled "The Loser Letters":

A wickedly witty satire, The Loser Letters chronicles the conversion of a young adult Christian to atheism. With modern humor rivaling that of the media lampooning Onion, found on college campuses all over America, A. F. Christian’s open letters to the “spokesmen of the New Atheism” explain her reasons for rejecting God and the logical consequences of that choice. Along the way she offers pithy advice to famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, in the hope of helping them win over more Christians.

“Of course we score big time with the young guys who aren’t responsible for anything, and don’t really care about anything besides spending most of their time in the basement playing video games and texting girls,” A.F. Christian points out. But what about all those serious, thoughtful people who are Christian believers? If the New Atheism is to make real headway, she argues, its advocates must do more to persuade intelligent theists living meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Amid the many current books arguing for or against religion, social critic and writer Mary Eberstadt’s The Loser Letters is truly unique: a black comedy about theism and atheism that is simultaneously a rollicking defense of Christianity.

Echoing C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters and Dante’s Divine Comedy, Eberstadt takes aim at bestsellers like The God Delusion and God Is Not Great with the sexual libertinism their authors advocate. In her loveable and articulate tragic-comic heroine, A.F. Christian, Dawkins, Hitchens and the other “Brights” have met their match.

So now you know, folks. Sexual libertinism and texting girls is what Dawkins, Hitchens and New Atheism is all about.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:21:18 UTC | #894251

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 3 by QuestioningKat

"apologetics experts Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley help Christians wake up to the crisis of godlessness, alerting them to the imperative need for taking seriously atheism's challenge, while learning how to effectively engage in today's atheistic debate. With a systematic and comprehensive approach," theist are taught how to saw a branch while they sit high in a treetop. Afterall, God will protect them.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:21:36 UTC | #894252

                                   ike's Avatar Comment 4 by ike

while learning how to effectively engage in today's atheistic debate.

Wait a minute. Is this learning something to do with adopting a follow the evidence attitude?

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:22:15 UTC | #894254

some asshole's Avatar Comment 5 by some asshole

If it were $9.54 cheaper, I'd buy a copy and read it, just to see if I still have the same steel stomach of my youth. This book seems to follow the ridiculous argument that evolution could not explain things like love and moral feelings. How can this get off the ground floor? Am I nuts? It seems obvious to me that evolution would strongly support urges that bind us together into family units; into paired couples for the purposes of child rearing; into loving parents that would die to protect their offspring. Nothing new here; but that doesn't stop religious idiots from pretending that this drivel proves naturalism (read: truth) wrong.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:40:17 UTC | #894260

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 6 by Neodarwinian

" Arguments against god?!?! "

Just show me the evidence and shut me up!

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 01:14:20 UTC | #894263

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 7 by mjwemdee

I went to the Catholic Answers website which presents this volume for sale. I clicked on the tab marked 'Chastity' and got 'Page not found. This page may have been removed...'

Interesting.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 01:26:21 UTC | #894265

mirandaceleste's Avatar Comment 8 by mirandaceleste

Comment 7 by mjwemdee :

I went to the Catholic Answers website which presents this volume for sale. I clicked on the tab marked 'Chastity' and got 'Page not found. This page may have been removed...'

Interesting.

It works for me: http://shop.catholic.com/home.php?cat=14

The "Friendly Defenders Flash Cards" are even creepier, though:

These cards are designed to help you "train up your child" so that they will never stray from God's love and from the Catholic Church our Lord Jesus established.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 01:43:10 UTC | #894269

crusader234's Avatar Comment 9 by crusader234

...never stray from gods love.... thats such a freaking joke.....

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 01:57:43 UTC | #894272

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 10 by Starcrash

I understand they want to make a play on words with the title, but if it was true that we didn't see something that was there, would that still be a delusion? At least's Richard's title made sense.

While I'm sure it's helpful to their side that they see "inner contradictions" in our arguments, it still doesn't prove God. Let's not forget who has the burden of proof in this case. All of our arguments could have logical fallacies, and it still wouldn't matter if they can't prove God with unfallacious evidence of their own.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 01:59:40 UTC | #894273

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 11 by Alternative Carpark

Why do you keep giving sanctimonious twats like this, with their vanity-press toilet paper, free publicity?

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:17:42 UTC | #894275

Daisy Skipper's Avatar Comment 12 by Daisy Skipper

"...inner contradictions in their arguments"

What? It's like their only defense is to keep their arguments obscure.

I think nearly every sentence uttered or written in defense of belief uses this tactic. I can see why it fools the stupid, but why do otherwise smart people listen to this garbage? I guess a lifetime of reading/listening to this type of talk renders one desensitized.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:30:51 UTC | #894279

JCarr's Avatar Comment 13 by JCarr

These books are really meaningless from an intellectual standpoint. They can pick apart atheist arguments, they can attempt to poke holes in evolutionary theory, and they can spread rhetoric meant to unite the masses in a church-driven attempt to establish an American theocracy....but it all boils down to the same thing: if they can't prove anything, then it remains an unsubstantiated claim,...just another mythical deity in a long line of mythological deities.

Every one of these books I've read in the past can be summed up as follows: there is a god,.....no, really. Trust me.

Nothing more to it than that.

It's amazing to me that after all these years, they still can't provide a single shred of proof to back up anything. That's the beauty of religion! It's leaders can make any claim they want, have nothing to back it up, and it's accepted as truth.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:41:02 UTC | #894282

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 14 by susanlatimer

I just returned from a seven hour road trip to attend the funeral of someone I love deeply. He died under tragic circumstances that haunt me and probably will for a very long time. The family had a mass. It was the first time I have been at a mass since I escaped my childhood indoctrination.

It was the strangest thing. I didn't go in with a chip on my shoulder but I left with one. I was there to honour a great man and all they talked about was how great Jesus was. There I was with a church full of grownups acting out fairy tales.

I'm sure it's because of this that the OP really hit a nerve. How dare they? How dare they mock atheism? How dare they talk about logical contradictions when the book looks to be just another one of thousands that ignores the atheist "arguments" and does nothing to provide a speck of evidence for its claims? How dare they act as though theirs is the intellectual position? What a bunch of gobshites.

Jesus was not the son of god. The god they claim exists does not exist. It's really very simple. They pretend that it's true and anyone who cares about truth should admit that it's make-believe. They haven't a leg to stand on.

I have no patience right now for arrogant catholic posturing. I still have a great deal of patience for many catholics because so many of them are good, substantial human beings who were raised in the tradition of their community and what they do when someone dies is have a mass. I understand that on many levels. What I don't understand are arrogant gits writing books about grownups playing make-believe and suggesting that atheists are intellectually naive.

I could spit right now.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:44:01 UTC | #894283

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 15 by susanlatimer

One more thing.

This man was my uncle and he was raised Irish Catholic. He and the wife he loved dearly had eight children. He loved every one of them. He loved all children but especially his own.

I remember years ago when he said to me (in his beautiful Brooklyn accent) "Sweethawt, I quit being a catholic the day the doctah told me that your Aunt would die if she had another baby."

That's morality. All the theology in the world is meaningless. It was simple for him. That's the day he quit being a catholic.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:52:01 UTC | #894287

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 16 by glenister_m

I'm presently having a friendly debate with a young-earth creationist. However he is trying to use the argument from the uniformity of nature to claim that my worldview is irrational (since I can't explain why science/logic work and I'm assuming the universe will continue to be predictable in the future without any proof it will be or why). Of course "the god hypothesis" explains all that...lol, but he tries to use it to undermine using science/logic to argue against the existence of a god. It's been an amusing debate at times, but he won't let that point go. I mentioned how he was being like the villain in Ayn Rand's "Fountainhead" who said something like "And if they say it doesn't make sense, then you must be careful to cut the supports out from it. Tell them there is something above sense. You don't have to be very specific...".

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:55:23 UTC | #894288

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 17 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 14 by susanlatimer

I just returned from a seven hour road trip to attend the funeral of someone I love deeply. He died under tragic circumstances that haunt me and probably will for a very long time.

Sorry for your loss.

It was the strangest thing. I didn't go in with a chip on my shoulder but I left with one. I was there to honour a great man and all they talked about was how great Jesus was. There I was with a church full of grownups acting out fairy tales.

I call it "having a captive audience" and I refuse to go into the buildings nowadays for fear of not being able to hold my tongue.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:56:21 UTC | #894289

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 18 by susanlatimer

Sorry for your loss.

Thank you. It's deep. I don't have to tell you. The world is a different place.

I refuse to go into the buildings nowadays for fear of not being able to hold my tongue.

I was relieved to make it out without drifting the priest. If it weren't for my love and respect for many of the people there, I would have done so. And I'm a very, VERY non-violent person.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 03:02:41 UTC | #894290

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 19 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 18 by susanlatimer

Thank you. It's deep. I don't have to tell you. The world is a different place.

I know all about it.....a wee drink and a good cry is what I do, works for me in the short term anyway.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 03:07:30 UTC | #894291

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 20 by susanlatimer

I know all about it.....a wee drink and a good cry is what I do, works for me in the short term anyway.

I could use a good cry. I still ache so much, I'm numb. I'll start with a wee drink and see how it goes. Everything's short term right now. Thanks for the advice. I have faith in advice coming from you. Not from that priest.

Really. Thanks, Paul. You've made me feel a little better.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 03:18:28 UTC | #894294

Metamag's Avatar Comment 21 by Metamag

Comment 12 by Daisy Skipper :

"...inner contradictions in their arguments"

I'm very interested, does anyone have any idea to what they are referring to? I have a suspicion it is something very banal.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 03:26:08 UTC | #894297

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 22 by susanlatimer

Comment 21 by Metamag

Comment 12 by Daisy Skipper :

"...inner contradictions in their arguments"

I'm very interested, does anyone have any idea to what they are referring to? I have a suspicion it is something very banal.

No idea. It's a technique the religious use. They allude to these things so that people unfamiliar with the whole discussion are given the impression that any intellectual KNOWS that atheist arguments are weak. Every time I look for details, it turns out that they're attacking strawmen. It's very effective for them. And terribly dishonest.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 03:32:59 UTC | #894298

some asshole's Avatar Comment 23 by some asshole

Comment 21 by Metamag :

Comment 12 by Daisy Skipper :

"...inner contradictions in their arguments"

I'm very interested, does anyone have any idea to what they are referring to? I have a suspicion it is something very banal.

It's usually something painfully idiotic such as "The universe cannot be naturalistic; something cannot come from nothing. Therefore, OLLLLLMATTA GAAAAAAAAAWUD did it!"

Never anything deeper than that.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 04:24:05 UTC | #894309

mmurray's Avatar Comment 24 by mmurray

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 07:12:51 UTC | #894324

Mumbo-Jumbo's Avatar Comment 25 by Mumbo-Jumbo

Comment 11 by Alternative Carpark :

Why do you keep giving sanctimonious twats like this, with their vanity-press toilet paper, free publicity?

Well, I suppose it is because we have nothing to fear from religious apologists. Their arguments are certainly tiresome but it is worth being aware of them if one is interested in helping people who are fooled by them.

I just realized that apologists themselves would say something very similar to what I said in the last sentence. The key difference though is that at no point do atheists make the illegal move of saying, "ah reason only takes you thus far, after this there must be faith". And unfortunately for the apologists every work of apologetics I have ever read always boils down to that: you gotta have faith. Which really shows that all their pretensions to honest ratiocination were really nothing more than sophistry after all.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 07:58:11 UTC | #894328

andersemil's Avatar Comment 26 by andersemil

ROFLMAO

This cover had me in the biggest fit of laughter yet this year. Thank you, Cats! Now, unless you point a shotgun at my face, I do not accept your challenge.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 08:38:58 UTC | #894334

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 27 by Jos Gibbons

The Godless Delusion

You could probably write a computer program that could generate parodies of a given book title. It would do the title–writing work of pretty much every flea ever.

Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley

So it's come to this – apologists who have to team up to write a flea. (Although technically it's not the first example – Alister McGrath cowrote his with his wife, which is surprising considering (a) his being a former Oxford Professor and (b) it being just about the shortest of all the fleas.)

today's atheistic debate

Why name the debate for one of the sides in it? Do we call the creation–evolution controversy the creationist debate, or the debate over the best approach to economics the Keynesian debate? (To name the debates for another side in them would be just as dumb.)

Madrid and Hensley make plain the truth of God's existence and the foolishness of the atheist-naturalist worldview.

(1) So they'll provide evidence that “God exists” is a true statement, will they? If they do, it'll be the first time it's been done in thousands of years of apologetics.
(2) Atheism doesn't have a world view; it's just the absence of theistic conviction.
(3) How would one find evidence for the failings of a naturalist approach to accounting for the phenomena we detect in evidence through explanations whose veracity is tested with recourse to further evidence?

Most books that take on the current spate of atheists look at the inner contradictions in their arguments—and there are many.

Such as?

Madrid and Hensley try another, more fruitful approach.

Is that demonstrated with recourse to how readily reading it has caused people to let go of their prior position that The God Delusion makes a good case for its theses, compared with the success in this regard of other approaches?

They look at the contradictions of the atheists with themselves, showing their arguments against God are at embarrassing odds with their own everyday experience and actions, their own deepest assumptions, and their own moral compass.

That would require that experience provides empirical evidence for a god, that atheists act in a way that would be impossible if a god did not exist, and that atheists' assumptions and morality would be similarly impossible in a godless universe. But since the existence of a god is not a theorem in any scientific model, none of these things can be true if the phenomena in question – our experiences, our actions, our assumptions, our morality – have scientific explanations, which they all do.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 08:45:27 UTC | #894337

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 28 by DavidMcC

Has this site done a business deal with the Catholic Bookshop, or something? (The "Read more" link gets you straight through to sales!)

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 08:51:40 UTC | #894338

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 29 by Oromasdes1978

So this is IT is it? Finally, The Book - The One - The Only - Look out Richard!!

All that magnificent work you put in is all for nothing - cos this book is going to destroy atheism once and for all..........

Right?

I bet this is what they are sitting smugly thinking to themselves.

Problem is, without even reading it I can make a very good guess that they a) have not read The God Delusion in it's entirety b) Have quote mined what Richard and others have said and c) have not produced a single argument that hasn't been addressed in The God Delusion already.

What makes me sick is they are using practices as ancient as those who were involved in the Talmud or Bible writing in that they use somebody elses name to make their own nonsense more appealing to read.

Except this isn't their own nonsense, I'll bet it's the same repeated crapulent nonsense being regurgitated and vomitted forth again because they think keeping the importance of ignorance is of the utmost importance. Their "arguments" have already been refuted, they just want to make money and better their reputations in their own small circles of ignorance promoters.

No doubt with that rather asinine joy of "Ooooh I just took on Richard Dawkins, look at how brave I am and sure of my arguments!"

(By the way, my sincere condolences Susan Latimer, I understand how awful it must be for you not only to lose someone like that but to hear all that religious rubbish at the funeral - I've been there and I know the feeling far too well. Take care, I hope things get better for you)

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 09:02:44 UTC | #894339

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 30 by Michael Gray

Comment 14 by susanlatimer : : Jesus was not the son of god.

Indeed. He can not have been, for he never-ever existed.
The "Jesus" of the NT is a 100% pure fabrication, and a very poor one at that.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 09:19:03 UTC | #894343