Shaking the ebook tree

Everything’s not quite as slick and sophisticated as we would have liked, but both Paid and Free ebook versions of The Irrational Atheist are now available from the TIA downloads page. You can also access the downloads page from the link underneath the picture of the book cover on the right sidebar.

The PDF is the cleanest version; the LIT and PDB versions are functional but will require some polishing over the next few days thanks to the copious footnotes. I appreciate the work done on those versions by Adam and SWW, who jumped in on short notice and made it possible for us to have them available now. If you’d like to create another version in whatever idiosyncratic format you happen to prefer, you can do so from the DOC file; please send it to me when it’s done and we’ll add it to the page. If you run into any technical issues with the downloads or whatever – you know there are bound to be some – let me know.

There is also a new TIA forum for reviews and TIA-related discussions. If anyone is interested in volunteering to moderate them, please let me know here. There’s bound to be a need for it. Thanks very much to Digital Cowboy, who managed to get this together on time despite having a few curveballs thrown at him over the last few weeks.

A woman of sense

Dr. Helen casually consigns David Frum’s plan for a Republican comeback to the circular file:

John Hawkins has an interview up with David Frum, author of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again. Frankly, after reading the interview, I couldn’t tell many of Frum’s supposedly conservative responses from that of a liberal Democrat–don’t worry about cutting taxes, give even more government handouts to low income groups, etc.

Frum’s comeback plan is merely the blueprint for permanent Republican minority. In their arrogance, George Bush and the neocons have destroyed the Republican party by betraying conservatives at every opportunity. The only thing that will keep Republicans from another multi-decade spell in the political wilderness is if Hillary Clinton approaches governance with the same laid-back reserve that she showed in pushing her socialized health plan on America. As it stands, they’re toast for at least eight years and quite possibly twelve.

The insane thing is that Frum’s approach couldn’t possibly work anyhow. You can’t beat Democrats by competing for the handout vote. They’re not just willing to trump you every single time, they’re delighted that you decided to play their game on their turf.

A Republican Aleph

Joe Carter chronicles, in painstaking detail, why John McCain may not actually be the worst possible Republican nominee, all appearances to the contrary:

The main reason I can’t support Mitt Romney is because of John Kerry. I spent much of the 2004 election bashing Kerry for his political expediency. How then can I defend a candidate that is a bigger flip-flopper than Kerry?

A challenge to Dawkins.Net

Dear Dawkins.Net,

While your various attempts to review The Irrational Atheist without reading it or preemptively excuse yourself from the risk of having your atheist apple cart upset has certainly been impressive in its own quixotic way, I should not like you to be under the mistaken impression that I am inclined to ignore what will certainly be your intelligent and eminently rational responses to my critiques of Richard Dawkins’s various arguments.

Hence my challenge to the collective you. In the chapter entitled “Darwin’s Judas”, there is a section called “Atheism’s Red Queen” which describes seven impossible things asserted by Richard Dawkins. The ebooks will be available later today; I will give the Dawkins.Net crew one week to select seven representatives to respond to each of those seven points and have that representative email me either his response or a link to a site containing his response, which I will then post here in its entirety, followed by my comments. This should be ample time to read a single chapter dedicated to a subject of particular interest to you.

You have two choices before you. Concede or respond. If your collective intelligence is as high as you believe it to be, then your band of brilliant “brights” should have no trouble at all trouncing a single lunatic handicapped by his god delusion. If, on the other hand, the sum total of your cumulative intellect doesn’t rise to the level of a solitary Internet superintelligence, then you will not dare to respond to this challenge but instead will slink away in silence, exactly as previously predicted.

My very best regards,

UPDATE – I particularly enjoyed the little dialogue between Steve Zara and Righton:

Steve Zara: My impression is that anything we do to respond is going to give this fellow more money in terms of hardback sales.”

Righton: 100% right, fuck this guy and his book. Im not reading it, ill take someone elses word on it.

Drat! There goes my clever plan to fund my next Lambo on the godless dime. And I’m sure it’s just going to be tremendously difficult to make use of the entire pack of howling monkeys at Dawkins.Net turning tail, running away and refusing to read a challenge to their hero for the purposes of publicity. A more accurate statement would have been to simply leave out the words “to respond”. And for those determined to take someone else’s word for it rather than make up their own minds, they can read the reviews right here. And yes, I am amused by Amazon’s Best Value deal, actually.

UPDATE – Verylee isn’t going to read TIA, no doubt for the very best of reasons, but he backpedals just to be safe anyhow. As Vince Lombardi said, confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence and I have to say, we’re just not seeing a lot of confidence in Richard Dawkins from his biggest fans. I’m sure the Archbishop of Oxford must deeply appreciate the level of support he’s being shown in the forums.

I for one will certainly not be downloading, reading or replying to his challenge (The author’s name is enough to put me off)….because I don’t really give a F**K if he trounces the “Unholy Trinity” with his arguments….it does not change a thing for me, can he prove the existence of a supernatural being?

An unusual argument

Beelzebub takes a shot that I will readily admit to not expecting:

I’ll shoot the first volley. The Voxster makes a big case about the religious causalities of War. True/false? In the end it doesn’t matter, and in essence, by your comments you know it too. All we really need to prove is whether ONE war, or even one death can be ascribed to religion, and we’ve already condemned it.

True. I certainly do devote two entire chapters to it, mostly because one of the New Atheists primary arguments against religion is because they believe it to be a primary cause of war and military conflict. They make both implicit and explicit arguments for this. Both their implicit and explict arguments are incorrect, as I demonstrate in no little detail. Beelzebub says “Screw the “New Atheists” and claims my successful dissection of their war-related arguments is irrelevant because a single historical death ascribed to religion is enough to condemn religion. While I’m glad to note that he concurs with my assertion that I have effectively refuted Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, I have three questions for him.

1. On what basis does a single death ascribed to anything condemn that thing?

2. Does Beelzebub condemn everything else to which a single historical death can be ascribed?

3. Is that to which more deaths can be ascribed to be more strongly condemned than that to which fewer deaths can be ascribed?