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Letter to an Atheist Paperback – April 3, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must-read for Christians and non-Christians who truly seek the truth about the toughest long-standing issues confronting humanity. Mr. Leahy has used a logical, step-by-step, reasoned, and well-referenced approach to engage and refute an attack on Christian positions and principles. The material is well worth reading and debating. I was especially impressed by the defense of Christians' track record in opposing slavery. With the recent public attention to the life and contribution of William Wilberforce, this chapter could not be more timely." -- Reginald Finger, MD, MPH Independent medical researcher

"Finally, a strong Christian voice addresses the intellectual dishonesty of atheistic evangelism" -- Christine Schaub, Author of The Longing Season Christine Schaub, best selling author of The Longing Season, the story of John Newton and Amazing Grace

"Michael Patrick Leahy skillfully debunks Harris' charge that serious Christians and Islamic radicals should be equally feared; He also exposes the bigotry and distortion typically shown by secularists when addressing Intelligent Design. More importantly, Leahy shows that Harris' proposed utopia, in which religion is caged and tamed by the secularists, has already been shown to produce a world that most do not care to inhabit." -- Ralph Seelke, Phd. Professor, University of Wisconsin-Superior

"Michael Patrick Leahy's book is a substantive critique of the work of Sam Harris in Letter to a Christian Nation. Leahy shows how wrong minded and frankly lopsided Harris' view of reality ends up being. Good intellectual stuff." -- Dr. Bob Harrington Lead Pastor of Harpeth Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee

About the Author

Michael Patrick Leahy is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, and has an MBA from Stanford. His professional career has been in technology marketing. He is also the Managing Editor of Christian Faith and Reason.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Harpeth River Press (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097949740X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979497407
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,153,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Garrett Birkel on August 14, 2007
One need merely read the introduction of this book to realize that the entire thing is a carefully constructed straw-man argument. After four or five empty paragraphs spent characterizing himself as reasonable and Sam Harris as emotional, himself as honest and Harris as dishonest, et cetera, Leahy defines his three main complaints as:

1. Sam's book is rife with inaccuracies.
2. Sam wants to curtail the rights of Christian citizens relative to non-Christian citizens.
3. The Christians Sam describes and is speaking to are not "true Christians".

Leahy makes a few attempts to justify number 1, but his meager refutations are usually uncited nit-pickings, and do not come anywhere near the level promised by the word "rife".
Item 2 is an outright lie, and the bulk of the straw-man argument.
Item 3 is an all-too-typical piece of literary tap-dancing known in high-school debate classes nationwide as the "all true Scotsmen fallacy", and he wastes a good portion of his time essentially reassuring readers that the Christians he speaks for are entirely unlike the Christians Sam is addressing in his book. Which, if he had bothered to read Sam's own introduction, he would have seen is completely unnecessary. OF COURSE Sam is not speaking to gentle, moderate Christians when he lambastes them for petitioning to teach Intelligent Design in science class. Though he does admonish them for allowing others to conveniently do so in their name and supposedly for the sake of their faith.

Long story short, I don't know why I bothered reading this.
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Derek Jones on April 16, 2008
Really didn't expect much from this book. Typical nonsense spewing from the mouth of an Ignorant person. I find it almost hysterical that Christians continue to buy into the propaganda fed to them. I read this book only out a deal I made with a Christian friend of mine. He would read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and I would read this. He is now no longer a Christian, bordering on Agnosticism and Deism. I don't suggest that anyone read this nonsense.
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16 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Maryland Man on June 2, 2007
This was a good response to Sam Harris overall. However, the author went into the history a little more than I would have liked. In some areas he went into real depth, while other areas were treated somewhat superficially. This especially was true for his section of 20 errors in Letter to a Christian Nation. It seemed like he threw some in without much explanation just so he could reach twenty.

The book could have used a bit more editing, too. But it still is a worthwhile read alongside Metcalf and Wilson. Read the three books as a set and you have a solid refutation of Sam Harris.

I was torn over whether to give this book 4 or 3 stars. I would have given 4 if it wasn't for the fact that there aren't many reviews of it yet, and the editing needed work.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on October 10, 2009
Leahy offers a very logical and well researched book which attempts to expose the inconsistencies, contradictions and fallacies of Sam Harris and the other pugnacious public atheists. He does a very adequate job on the surface, but doesn't refute many of the underlying a priori assumptions which modern atheists take for granted.

Leahy supplies quotes that reveal many of Harris' goals are to remove the rights of religious people. He demonstrates that Harris, not only has positions which are contrary to the USA's Bill of Rights, but that he seeks to undermine some important rights of people of faith.

The author recounts history when it is favorable to the Christian position, but I would have preferred that he defeated the irrational pre-commitments that under gird an atheist's view of history and ethics. This book does provide evidence and arguments which make atheism improbable and illogical. I enjoyed reading it, nevertheless I would have received more intellectual ammunition if he argued that only Christianity furnishes the rational and moral pre-necessities that make proof and evidence possible.
Letter to an Atheist Nation: Presupositional Apologetics Responds To: Letter to a Christian
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14 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 26, 2007
Can you really fault me for honestly and sincerely not having any desire to believe in a god or religion?

Yes I read the book.
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