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34 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Straw atheists and vilification, November 30, 2011
This review is from: The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism (Paperback)
Though I've only read the first chapter, seems to me like Patrick Madrid has not actually talked to many atheists. In chapter 1, Patrick commences building up a straw man version of atheism to argue with:

"They hate the idea of God, and thus, they hate the idea that some people would believe in Him." (p.12)

"Atheists are bent not simply on 'proving,' once and for all, that God does not exist, but on convincing believers to stop believing." (p.13)

None of the dozens of atheists I know match that description. In my experience, atheists think they have nothing to prove. They will say theists, not atheists, have the burden of proof, and that burden has not yet been met. For example, if someone asserts that fairies in your garden make their flowers bloom so prettily, it's not up to you to prove there are no fairies, it's up to them to prove there are. Until they do, disbelief is a proper default stance to take with claims of beings with magical powers.

When I got to this bit of vilification:

"Just consider such notable modern mass-murdering atheists such as Stalin, Mao, Planned Parenthood, and Pol Pot (and some heavily influenced by atheism, such as Hitler)." (p.14)

I decided I'd already given Patrick's screed more attention than it deserved.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 6, 2011, 9:48:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 6, 2011, 9:54:36 AM PST
B. Bauman says:
Thanks for providing those quotes. As a former devoted evangelical Christian turned God skeptic, I concur with your experience with atheists. I left Christianity not because of some "hatred" of the idea of God, but simply because after looking at my religious beliefs through a more critical eye and reading deeper into the bible I found no reason to be a believer anymore. My church had very kind and loving members, I believed in and loved God very strongly, and I really enjoyed being a Christian. If the kind and loving God I believed in were proven to be real, I would have been very happy. But current evidence (and lack of evidence), and rational arguement points toward that not being the case.

These quotes you provided show a deep intellectual dishonesty in the characterizations of atheists by the author. In trying to demonstrate how atheists are hateful people, he's really shown his own hateful nature. Too many times a false image of atheists is created to argue against, or a particularly violent atheistic viewpoint is chosen to make an emotional rather than logical argument (like if we chose Timothy McVey to represent all anti big government religious conservatives).

Posted on Dec 11, 2011, 7:53:02 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 19, 2011, 7:27:02 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2013, 10:56:16 PM PDT
Good quotes and good points. I myself am an atheist, and I must say that my quest for a strong basis in ethics and morality was ultimately the reason for my transition. I've never met a thinking atheist who "hated God," "wanted to deny God," or other such nonsense. I would guess that many, like myself, even came from religious backgrounds, where the road to atheism was long, arduous, and filled with much study, thought, and introspection. It was a conclusion that was not arrived at easily, nor comfortably. I would guess that most "thinking atheists," like myself, are on a never-ending quest for The Truth, and sometimes what we find on our search for it -- if we're truly looking -- is not what we expect to find. I never set out to "become an atheist," but now that I am I find myself at peace in a way I never did as a Christian. I would even go so far as to suggest that atheism and humanism present a better model to live life by, but that would take more time to explain than I have at the moment.
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