Philip's Reviews > The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens

The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day
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's review
Aug 01, 11

bookshelves: christian, non-fiction
Read from November 06, 2010 to August 01, 2011

Vox Day succeeds and fails. He succeeds in refuting many fallicious and factually incorrect arguments made by prominent atheists.

But he fails to do this without coming across as an arrogant jerk on the same scale as Dawkins. Rather than stick to the logic, arguments and facts like he says he means to, he gets personal on a very regular basis. He evidently enjoys pointing out that Dawkins has had more wives than children, that Hitchens probably drinks too much, and that Michael Onfray is French.

He also enjoys tootling his own horn, reminding everyone that he's been in a band, that he's a member of Mensa, and that he thinks evolutionary theory is wrong and man-made climate change isn't happening (apparently those last two are something to be proud of).

As if the unhelpful number of snarky comments in the main text weren't enough, he evidently took glee in inserting a few extra remarks in the form of footnotes. Footnotes are also used for the more usual book references and additional stats, which I don't mind, but the huge number of just plain irritating footnotes (probably around half the total) meant that towards the end of the book I would flinch every time I saw a new one.

Maybe he's just trying to be funny. Perhaps he doesn't only think he's an intellectual genius but a comic one, too.

He also has an agenda he's trying to push throughout the books. He things socialism is stupid. He has a particularly large beef with science. He devotes an entire chapter to arguing why science will Kill Us All, notionally to refute an argument made by Harris about how science will save us all. But I couldn't help but feel that when devoting a whole chapter to what could have been done in a couple of pages, Vox Day was pushing his own agenda.

If I wanted to read about how much Vox Day Hates Science And Socialism, I'd probably be reading a book bearing that title. But I'm not. If he wants to vent his frustration of the world, perhaps he should consider alternate approaches in future. I dunno, maybe screaming into a pillow or something. That at least wouldn't add pointless drivel to a book.

If he just stuck to the arguments against atheism without trying to be funny, and without trying to push his own agenda, I'd be tempted to give this 4. When he does lay his ego to one side, he provides some very thoughtful, well-written discussions which made genuinely enjoyable reading. It's just a shame that much of the book is peppered with such a nasty overtone.
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