Vote for CommonSenseAtheism.com and The Christian Delusion!

by Luke Muehlhauser on February 12, 2011 in News

Earlier, I asked you to vote for CommonSenseAtheism.com in About.com Reader’s Choice poll. Well, thanks for voting – I made the final round!

Now, please vote for CommonSenseAtheism.com one for Best Atheist Blog of 2011.

But, I doubt I’ll win a popularity contest against P.Z. Myers. So even more important is that you vote for the best atheist book of the year: The Christian Delusion. This is the #1 book I recommend to Christians. So go vote for The Christian Delusion!

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin February 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Damn. P.Z. just has too big of an army of followers to compete with. Too bad, as this blog is much more equipped to deal with the super-smart theists that are percolating out there…

  (Quote)

Steven R. February 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Only 2% of the vote? Damn populism. And why isn’t “There’s probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life” winning the vote either? I think it’s so much more on par with the nature of most atheist’s atheism (is there a way to make that seem less redundant?).

Honestly, even though I’ve never really searched other Atheist blogs and stuff, the popular ones I’ve been to don’t seem to be of the quality of this one. Kinda ironic since I happened upon this site back when I was a Theist after typing “Arguments Against Atheism”, having one of the results being “Atheists Are Hypocritical” from this blog. Still, it was a kind of a wake-up call for the “theist just because I was raised that way” that I was back then to see someone intellectually debunking the arguments (which never really convinced me) and pointing out the questions and/or flaws raised by the arguments. So, in a way, this blog was a major factor in admitting to myself I had no reason to believe in God.

Back to the point though, I do think this blog deserves to win (+ those podcasts are pretty awesome) and is of a high quality, for what it’s worth.

  (Quote)

Garren February 12, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Voting for CSA; voting against TCD.

  (Quote)

Luke Muehlhauser February 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Garren,

Why against TCD?

  (Quote)

J ridm February 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm

If the Jesus myth book wins it will be an embarrassment for all atheists.

  (Quote)

Luke Muehlhauser February 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Garren,

I started reading through your blog just now and it is really, really excellent.

  (Quote)

Garren February 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

@Luke
“Why against TCD?”

I should moderate my comment about TCD. As a by-Atheist for-Atheists anthology, TCD is pretty damn great. I especially recommend the following chapters: ‘The Cosmology of the Bible,’ ‘What We’ve Got Here is a Failure to Communicate,’ and ‘Why the Resurrection is Unbelievable.’ Also, Loftus’ introduction is worth reading (it has important content beyond summaries of chapters to come).

Where I strongly disagree is in recommending TCD to Christians. This is something I’ve complained about in the past, and I don’t want to harp too much, so I’ll just say it would work much better if the first three chapters were moved to the end of the anthology. It’s a rhetorical mistake to preach to the choir (so to speak) under the assumption that Christianity is a semi-nutty result of human psychology if your goal is to start challenging Christians to reconsider their beliefs.

But, since this poll is not asking which book is the best present for Christian friends and families, it would be entirely fair to vote for it on its for-Atheists merits. I don’t feel bad about voting for The Moral Landscape instead, since I really do like what Harris did with that (except the darn, distracting subtitle that probably helped sales a ton).

@Luke
“I started reading through your blog just now and it is really, really excellent.”

Thanks! Your CPBD podcast has played a major role in my interest in Philosophy. Of course, so has Craig’s infuriating rhetoric about how Atheism leads to Nazi vivisections. Yours was more…positive.

  (Quote)

John W. Loftus February 13, 2011 at 3:00 am

Thanks so much Luke! I concur that you do a yeomen’s job here and very much deserve the nomination. If it wasn’t for the PZ Myers popularity it might be a close race, but then it is a popularity contest after all.

Garren your first comment was a Freudian slip and probably more accurate of your intentions. But how to you vote against TCD? That category doesn’t exist.

I think I know a lot about evangelical Christians and I think the first part of my book softens them up to consider the arguments in the later parts. That’s my informed judgment. And from the results it was a good choice. Besides, Chapter four on the OTF needed to be placed first in the book but it must follow chapters 1-3. Do you really think separating them like you suggest would make sense?

I do hear your complaint quite a bit from atheists though. I respectfully disagree. It is most definitely a book to give to educated Christians. You must have in mind people like Fred Phelps or something when you complain like that. I target the Christian university student and/or the educated pastor. They are reading it. There are a number of wannabe Christian apologists out there. They MUST read it if they want to be an apologist. That is my target audience. And Christian professors have recommended it like James McGrath, Matt Flanagan, and Rich Knopp.

What more do you want?

  (Quote)

John W. Loftus February 13, 2011 at 3:18 am

Garren, for emphasis. You assume the sort of Christians that do not want to read the opposition. Those kind of Christians would not pick up any skeptical book. The kind of Christian my book aims at (apart from the university student) is the inquisitive Christian. That is the kind of Christian who would read a skeptical book anyway. And given the high praise for TCD they would want to test their faith against the best. Or do you assume the worst about them as human beings?

Also, I talked with Eddie Tabash last week and he told me to keep arming the skeptical troops with my books–that I do a real service in helping them argue against Christianity. So even though my target audience is the Christian, if no Christian ever reads them they will still do great damage to Christianity. In order to arm skeptics I must write my books to Christians since that is who they must deal with. If you don’t think doing so is worth your vote then so be it.

Cheers

  (Quote)

Garren February 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

@John Loftus
“I think I know a lot about evangelical Christians and I think the first part of my book softens them up to consider the arguments in the later parts. That’s my informed judgment.”

And mine would be that opening with the assumption that Christianity is wrong would generally have the opposite effect. “Let’s see. We Christians are delusional because…wait, these people just assume we’re wrong from the get-go. If that’s how skeptics are, I’ll go back to reading inspirational literature now.”

@John Loftus
“I target the Christian university student and/or the educated pastor. They are reading it. There are a number of wannabe Christian apologists out there. They MUST read it if they want to be an apologist. That is my target audience.”

Well, sure, if certain Christian readers feel they have to finish it, they’ll get through the largely question-begging opening and on to the parts which argue against Christian beliefs. I just think you lose many curious, average Christians prematurely.

  (Quote)

John W. Loftus February 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Garren, I get that you do not recommend TCD for Christians. Luke does, as do many many others, including the authors in the book along with several Christians. Do you think it’s possible that one book can be recommended by everyone? I don’t. But it is a good one. And that’s good enough. I’m very happy with it.

Perhaps you will do better. If so, do so. Have at it.

Cheers.

  (Quote)

Garren February 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm

*nod*

Best wishes, John.

  (Quote)

Steven R. February 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm

“I started reading through your blog just now and it is really, really excellent.”Thanks! Your CPBD podcast has played a major role in my interest in Philosophy. Of course, so has Craig’s infuriating rhetoric about how Atheism leads to Nazi vivisections. Yours was more…positive.  

Heh, I never got to comment on your Love Potion analogy for free will (and, btw, thanks for those posts on morality. So much easier to understand positions and stuff) which I found to be a very interesting take on compatibilism. What I do have to say is that maybe the Love Potion isn’t quite an analogous to the situation. Reason being that we are completely erasing somebody else’s desires, without their permission and making them fit to our whims. So, that one instance of disrupting a person’s free will could possibly invalidate the side-effects. The key difference is that when we’re born (assuming Atheism) no intelligent being chose what our desires would be and thus it isn’t comparable to the Love Potion.

Funnily enough, I do think that if we add a God who creates us and gives us our personalities, as suggest in the Old Testament, we would indeed be no different a position as the Love Potion. That and the concept of Free Will as libertarians espouse it seems incoherent to me. How can you say that somebody’s decision is their own when they don’t really have any reason to choose X over Y (because we can usually trace a reason back to some prior event) or that any given option could have been taken at a point in time…it just seems really odd and to undermine what it attempts to prove. It seems incoherent. Well, just my response to that article.

And I really just stopped paying attention to what WLC says, apart from the Kalam Argument which IMO brings up some interesting philosophical points (though it’s usually someone else bringing them up, not Craig). I gave up when I heard him in a debate. He “proved” the existence of objective morals by saying that “deep down we all know some things are wrong” but when he responded to the Problem of Evil, he said “we must distance ourselves from our own emotions. There is an emotional problem of evil, and an intellectual, and I’m afraid that we just can’t know if it really is evil” or something very much akin to it. Talk about changing positions for rhetorical effect! And he knows that “deep down we all know it” is hardly an argument, for later in his argument, he said we can’t merely appeal to consequences for an argument, yet that’s what he does for morals…”if no morals exist, then it’s okay to rape children!!!” That and “I have FIVE arguments for God”…later on that night “Well, this isn’t really an argument but I’ll say it anyway….” The guy would be so much more respectable if he cut the crap and stopped playing to audiences who don’t think.

*Sigh*/endrant

  (Quote)

Garren February 14, 2011 at 12:01 am

@Steven

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to reply to one of my posts on my blog rather than on Luke’s? Sure, fewer people will read it, but then I’d feel ok about responding to it!

  (Quote)

drj February 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Damn it.

While PZ is great dealing with creationists… he’s just to much of a philosophical rube to contend with serious theist heavyweights.

CSA is much more deserving of the win.

  (Quote)

Leave a Comment