- Published on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 07:21
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 2508
Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris and others have written books about atheism - some of them best-sellers. Recently John Loftus has joined them with his book The Christian Delusion and like the other authors, he has been diligently promoting it. (Debunking Christianity). I say "Good luck to him" - and also to the others. I've read several of them and they have shown with many examples that rational thinking cannot support any version of god and made me feel that I'm not alone in my thinking. But do the books actually convert anyone? Atheists, including John Loftus, argue that the Bible, the Qur'an and the book of Mormon have convinced people so why not an atheist book?
Whether reading a single book will change anybody's mind or not, it should certainly provide food for thought. If a book's author provides reasons why the faith that you've held for years is just plain wrong, then your first (irrational) reaction is to look for "reasons" as to why he's wrong. The reasons are many and varied and make interesting reading.
Based on his experience, John Loftus has collected the ten top ways Christians (and Muslims and Mormons) deal with his book on atheism. The same arguments would apply to all books on atheism so with his permission, I've listed them here:
10) Read it and then reject your faith. Actually I haven't heard of anyone who would leave the fold after reading one book, but it may happen depending on other factors. This might be a strong indication of how culturally entrenched believers are in their faith and how blinding it is. It lends more credence to our claim that believers cannot be reasoned out of their faith because they were never reasoned into it in the first place.
9) Study through it honestly and fairly to see if there is much in it that could be true. This is the honest response and not many seem to be doing this. No, Christians just know the book is wrong, or worse, evil coming from the father of lies himself.
8) Shhhhhh. Ignore it after reading it. Don't let anyone know it exists. Keep quiet about it. Put it on a high shelf and never say anything about it again. It's simply too dangerous.
7) Nitpick it to death. Find some minor statement or paragraph in it that you can show is patently false, then write a blog post about it as an indicator of how badly the rest of the book is as well. Forget that we're all learning as we go and that this is an ongoing discussion that seems never-ending. Forget too that since no book is inspired there will always be some things in any one of them that are wrong. And then ignore the over-all thrust of any chapter or the book as a whole. Major on the minors to save your faith from refutation.
6) Proclaim loudly that the book does not deal with YOUR kind of Christianity. Since YOUR kind of Christianity acknowledges that the cosmological depictions in the Bible were not meant to be taken literally, and that YOUR kind of Christianity does not think God commanded genocide or child sacrifice, and that YOUR kind of Christianity does not think Jesus bodily arose from the grave, and that YOUR kind of Christianity already acknowledges Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet, say the book does not deal with Christianity at all. Yeah, and in other news Christian scholars all over the world gathered together last weekend and came to a consensus on what TRUE Christianity represents.
5) Respond to it out of sheer ignorance as one who is unskilled and unaware of it. I am constantly amazed as many Christians respond to it with a High School mentality that merely takes the Bible as a given and simply responds that we are wrong because the Bible is right. These Christians don't even know how to respond properly to the chapters in this book. All they end up doing is revealing their ignorance with a heavy dose of special pleading while begging the question.
4) Lie about it. Yep. If you'll take a look on Amazon there is a smear campaign taking place by a few Christians who simply do not want their brothers and sisters to even read this book. So they lie about it. Come on, can you really take seriously a reviewer who rates the book with one star when there are so many high recommendations written about it by Christian scholars and skeptics?
3) Attack the editor/authors. Yep. When all else fails you can always call people whom you disagree with names. Ouch! That hurt but not as much as sticks and stones do. Yeah, we're god-hating atheists who don't care about truth. We just want to rid ourselves of God and live our lives eating children, robbing, raping, and stealing to our heart's content. Right. We could say the reverse about you Christians okay, that you don't have the inner strength to do what's right because it's right. Why? Because you are rotten to the core. You have an infantile sense of morality which demands most of the ethical details to be spelled out because you refuse to take responsibility for yourself.
2) Don't ever buy it or read it in the first place. Ignorance is bliss, right? But if that's the case then with so much ignorance why aren't more people happy? In any case put such a thought out of your pretty little head. You know we're wrong because, well, you just know it. We might only confuse you. We can't teach you anything. There is nothing here. Please move along.
1) Burn it back into the pit of hell where it came from. That's what one preacher said he did when given the book. Ahhh yes, book burning. Where have I heard that before? No wait, don't tell me. It's right here on the tip of my tongue....