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Posted January 7, 2009
I liked reading David Aikman's most recent book, The Delusion of Disbelief, just because he is a skilled writer, unfortunately this is where the kudos stop and the criticism starts. <BR/><BR/>Aikman¿s entire premise is fatally flawed as anyone can clearly see if you look at the data which shows that the countries with higher rates of disbelief are better off regarding factors such as childhood mortality, life expectancy, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, and teen pregnancy, among others. If disbelief was truly the cause of the atrocities of the 20th Century totalitarian Communism and Nazi regimes, then why in the world aren¿t Japan, Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, etc. wallowing in despair, poverty, and immorality (see Zuckerman, 2006)?<BR/><BR/>This data alone smashes Aikman¿s claim right out of the park. <BR/><BR/>Other than the author¿s bias regarding history and Christianity, he takes the ¿new atheists¿ out of context several times and, despite being a historian, didn¿t do very good research regarding the `founding fathers¿ of the united states. He claims this is a nation founded upon Christianity and that the `founders¿¿ feelings were that religion was a necessary component of morality. These claims are plainly false as several quotes of Thomas Jefferson prove as well as a study which proves that the founders relied heavily not on religion in the founding of the country, but the ideals of the enlightenment. <BR/><BR/>In regards to the last error of Aikman¿s he cites unspecified research that out of the many quotations the `founders¿ used in their writings, 34 percent came from the bible, while only 22 percent from the enlightenment authors (page 156) in an attempt to prove that Christianity was a huge influence upon them.<BR/><BR/>After reading a book called ¿The Origins of American Constitutionalism¿, by Donald S. Lutz, he provides research he did which gives the exact same percentages. Since Aikman didn't list any sources for his information I rightly assumed this was the research he was referring to. This research has also been used by the Christian history revisionist David Barton so I know it's been used by theists in the past to distort the facts about the founding of the country. Well, to make a long story short, yes the figures are accurate but - and this is a big but - Aikman (not to mention Barton) fail to give Lutz's explanation of these figures which is that most of the references to the bible included in this figure of 34% come from reprinted sermons - not writings of the founders or official documents. Taking that sub category out would leave us with about ten percent of secular publications citing the bible. So, with these facts in mind, the actual percentage of writings is actually about 90 percent for the enlightenment writers, and 10 percent for the bible, confirming what most atheists already are aware of. The enlightenment writers were the largest influence upon the `founders.¿<BR/><BR/>These, and other glaring errors can be found within the pages of David Aikman¿s new book. I wouldn¿t recommend this book by any means due to the shoddy arguments and ¿research¿ used by the author. <BR/><BR/>If anyone is interested in reading more about the errors in this book please feel free to stop by the blog Arizona Atheist where a chapter by chapter refutation is posted.
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Posted May 24, 2008
Dave Aikman thoroughly explains the new atheist movement and the grounds they base their beliefs on. He challenges the four horsemen and proves the deceitfulness behind no faith. The former time correspondent dispels any desire to conform. Great for believers and non-believers. I highly recommend!
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Posted February 10, 2012
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Posted January 10, 2010
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