The Infidel Delusion

My friends over at Triablogue have written a 250-page response to The Christian Delusion (which they’ve naturally entitled The Infidel Delusion). I’ve only had time to scan through it today, but it looks to be a pretty devastating rebuttal of a book praised by atheist philosopher Michael Martin as “arguably the best critique of the Christian faith the world has ever known” (a commendation I won’t contest).

The Christian Delusion purports to do to Christianity what The God Delusion did to theism. Well, if that was the ambition, apparently it’s a stunning success — but not in quite the way its authors think. It makes a lot of noise and kicks up a lot of dust, but once it’s spent the Christian worldview has nary a scratch. In fact, the contest between Team Loftus and Team Hays rather reminds me of the following classic scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark:

Anyway, I commend The Infidel Delusion to you, dear reader, and you can make your own evaluation. It will make for an informative and entertaining read, and unlike the book it rebuts, The Infidel Delusion won’t cost you a penny.

7 Responses to The Infidel Delusion

  1. David McKay

    Haydn, thanks for telling us about this book.
    Seems worth looking into.

  2. David McKay

    Whoops!
    I thought this came from another similar-looking blog.

    Sorry James!

  3. G. Kyle Essary

    I wrote a review at Amazon after reading this week just after it came out. I’m a presupper, but even if I were an evidentialist (which was the outlook I tried to assume while reading the book since it’s mainly against evidentialist arguments), I found it seriously lacking. My review was actually largely positive, but it didn’t mean that within 24 hours Loftus hadn’t called me an idiot, deluded and everything else.

    I much preferred Loftus’ original book because at least it was honest with the moral and personal reasons that contributed greatly to his de-conversion and didn’t act like it was a solely logical move (as if such a thing as logical decisions devoid of moral repercussions exists). One thing is for sure, in this new volume, you can just feel the hatred for God beneath the text as you read it. They of course deny that they believe in Him, but the hatred is clearly evident regardless.

  4. G. Kyle Essary

    That should be “after reading this just a week after it came out.”

  5. davidjhouston

    I love that scene! I’ll have to check out the e-book.

  6. So I read a fair amount of the Triablogue response and thought a lot of it was very good and very reasonable, but I have to say that I found their defense against the flat-earth accusation particularly weak. Their argument is basically that anybody can tell that the earth isn’t flat, etc., so it’s ridiculous to think that ancient Israel would have thought so. But it seems to me that there have been plenty of flat-earthers, even in years long after the Hebrew scriptures were written.

    That’s just a specific criticism of what I thought was a very weak argument. The rest of what they said seems quite reasonable.

    Steve Thompson

  7. stephennhays

    1. First of all, the standard argument of critics like Babinski, Seely, et al., is that, given their prescientific limitations, it wasn’t possible for OT writers to know any better. They were judging by appearances, and the earth was apparently flat (not to mention the whole triple-decker architecture). I simply demonstrate from common sense arguments that it was possible for an ancient earth-bound observer to know better.

    2. In addition, I don’t leave inspiration out of the equation.

    3. I’m no expert, but I’d like to see the evidence for his sweeping claim that there’ve been plenty of flat-earthers, even long after the OT was written. To my knowledge, that’s a modern myth, popularized by anti-Christian writers like John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White. But even unbelievers like Stephen Jay Gould reject that historical revisionism:

    http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/SS05/efs/materials/FlatEarth.pdf

    Although geocentrism was widely held because geocentrism and heliocentrism are empirically equivalent from the standpoint of an earthbound observe, a flat earth is a very different proposition.