The cowardly atheist

PZ explains why he hasn’t ever encountered any strong arguments for the existence of gods… it’s hard to listen when your head is buried in the sand:

The fact that the Northern Alliance radio show actually thinks Vox Day is a credible voice for conservative thought tells me right away that there is something wrong with them, and no, I’m not going to trust them at all.

I’ve also read Day’s horrible little book, The Irrational Atheist. Well, to be honest, I read a few chapters of dreck, then flipped through the rest rather quickly. It’s actually the “Vox Day Hates Sam Harris” book, with occasional potshots at other New Atheists, and it’s really not very good. You would think that if he had a strong rational argument with evidence for any gods, then he would have put it in there — nothing would more seriously deflate one of us scientific atheists who claim there is no evidence for god than, say, presenting credible evidence for god. That was what I actually skimmed through the book for, but it wasn’t there.

I don’t know, I wouldn’t have cared if it was Minnesota Atheist Talk. The venue makes no difference to me. Also, it’s worth noting that I’m a libertarian, not a conservative, and the Powerline guys aren’t a whole lot fonder of me than PZ is. (They’re pals with Malkin and they support the Iraqi occupation and I doubt they’re down with legalizing drugs.) But I guess it’s hard to blame him for not wishing to imperil his sobriety and his sanity in an encounter with the dark and mysterious brotherhood known collectively as the Fraters Libertas.

As for TIA, I didn’t take the occasional potshot at Dawkins, Hitchens and Onfray, but devoted an entire chapter to each of them. PZ also skips over the small fact that TIA not only wiped out Dawkins’s self-described central argument of TGD, but also inspired Sam Harris to admit that he didn’t have a case against religious faith, but rather tribalism. And I suspect Dawkins isn’t going to be citing that “striking” Red State argument again anytime soon. I don’t know how I could have made it any more clear that TIA was a book about atheism and atheist arguments, not a theological book about God. I may well write that book someday, in fact, this little episode makes it much more likely that I’ll write it sooner rather than later, but TIA isn’t it and it was never intended to be.

She gets it

Rachel Lucas figures out why many conservatives and Republicans won’t be voting for John McCain:

The moment of my epiphany was when one parent said something that was almost verbatim what I’ve said about voting for McCain and the fact that you are getting a new president whether you like it or not so you may as well do what you can to get the less shitty one. It was something like, “Well, Billy IS going to smoke pot. There’s nothing I can do about that, he’s GONNA smoke it no matter what I say. So I may as well at least try to keep him as safe as I can, and if that means I have to buy it for him, I will.”

Quickly I ran it through my brain: what if I had kids and was in this situation? Would I get drugs for them just because that was better than them getting drugs from strangers and scumbags? Especially if I knew for a fact that my kids were just dumb enough to get busted and would almost certainly end up in jail if I didn’t choose the lesser evil by getting the drugs for them?

Shit no, I wouldn’t! Because it would violate my principles.

Bingo! Supporting the lesser of two evils is STILL SUPPORTING EVIL! I understand why those who will vote for McCain as a vote against Obama are doing so; what they don’t understand is that this guarantees that the Republican party will continue to move further to the Left if they are successful.

Euro 2008 day 2

1. Austria was terrible. Rough, foul-prone play, no hint of an attack, no decent passing in the midfield. Giving up a penalty shot in the first five minutes was just horrible and there was no question that it was a penalty either.

2. Croatia was competent but they really didn’t show much after being gifted what turned out to be the winning goal right at the start. They’ve got the talent to beat Poland, but they’ll have to be a bit less lacksadaisical. On the other hand, it seemed like the Austrians were dragging them down to their level, so who knows what they’re actually capable of.

2. There was an awful lot of room being created for Polack jokes in the first 25 minutes of the Poland-Germany game. Speaking as a tactically-oriented coach, it’s really not a good idea to play a high offsides trap with a slow and undisciplined back four. They got badly burned three times and if the German strikers had any idea how to pass to one another, they’d have been down 4-0. I have to seriously question any coach who watches the other side running right through his trap but refuses to change anything until he actually gives up a goal.

3. The Germans won 2-0 and they deserved the victory, but their strikers are not impressive. They’re fast and they’ve got solid midfield support, but they attack rather like midfielders who get squirrelly in front of goal. Germany appears to be one of those teams who need three or four good chances to put one in the net, which is fine against the lesser teams but makes life difficult when playing a powerhouse like Italy or a defensive turtle like Greece. On the other hand, they’re a pretty young team, so they may outlast teams at the tail end of close games.

4. Still haven’t seen anyone I expect to beat Italy.

An invitation to PZ Myers

Dear Dr. Myers,

You recently complained that you’ve never found any intelligent arguments for gods and said the reason you only addressed the weak arguments was because you were unaware of the strong ones. Happily, not only did I hear this intellectual cri de coeur, but so did the good hosts of the Northern Alliance Radio Show in your home state of Minnesota.

So, no doubt you will be delighted to hear that they have invited the two of us to debate the existence of gods on their show this coming Saturday. It is my contention that there is not only substantial evidence for the existence of gods, but that the logic for the existence of gods is superior to the logic for the nonexistence of them as presented by yourself, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett, to name a few.

I have accepted the invitation to the show and I hope you will soon do likewise. You can let them know if you intend to show up and defend your side or not by emailing The Elder at rightwinger23 at

With regards,

Since Dr. Myers does not always make a habit of reading this blog, I posted NARN’s invitation on his blog as well, in addition to emailing him.

Update – PZ reveals himself to be nothing but another atheist coward:

Wait — I complain about the absence of intelligent arguments for God, and Vox Day pops up his little pin head and squeaks about miracles and bleeding statues and liquefying holy relics? Vox, you don’t qualify. You’re a pathetic little twerp with delusions of grandeur.

Typical atheist. He beats his chest and then runs away scared as soon as anyone calls him out. He’s obviously afraid that he’ll get exposed and then won’t be able to play the big bad atheist hero of science anymore. You have to love atheist illogic… just when did I say anything about miracles, statues or relics anyhow? Run away, little professor, run away….

The child-abuse of vegetarianism

Why isn’t the CPS kidnapping the children of vegetarians around the country? I doubt they ever meant any harm, and yet it appears they’re demonstrably more harmful to children than the infamous Texas polygamists:

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman. Doctors are under pressure to report the couple to police and social workers amid concerns that her health and welfare may have been neglected in pursuit of their dietary beliefs. The girl, who has been fed on a strict meat and dairy-free diet from birth, is said to have a severe form of rickets and to have suffered a number of fractured bones.

Give your children bacon cheeseburgers tonight in good conscience. Hold the lettuce.