Oct 17 2013

The best review of The Happy Atheist yet

The Happy Atheist

It’s good to see The Happy Atheist getting great reviews. This one is from…the Discovery Institute! And even better, they put their top man on it, the inimitable Casey Luskin!

Go ahead, you can read the whole Luskinish thing, but here’s the shorter version of Casey Luskin:

PZ Myers can’t be happy, because he’s angry and kinda mean.

Thank you, Casey! I’m glad you were able to discern my true character there, unlike all these other people I meet who keep insulting me with phrases like “teddy bear.” But I should point out that “happy,” “angry,” and “mean” aren’t necessarily incompatible. Maybe he’s used to the Christian version of “happy,” which is synonymous with sheeply and oblivious bliss-ninny idiocy.

I like my joy ferocious.


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  1. 1

    God is angry and kind of mean too. Therefore PZ is god? :D

  2. 2
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And even better, they put their top man on it, the inimitable Casey Luskin!

    *snicker* *full belly laugh* *falling on the floor laughing**SQUEAK!!!*
    Just finished the cracker desecration in your book…

  3. 3
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Happiness is another of those things that religious fetishists like to claim as solely in their realm. I’m happy when I’m cursing the lot of them for trying to shame the truly pleasurable things in life.

  4. 4
    Phil Crawford

    best PZ quote ever, “I like my joy ferocious.”

  5. 5

    Some of those lines DO sound happy though! You sound like you’re having a blast.

    I am quite able to agree that you Christians are mostly harmless. But when you look objectively at the goofball ideas that you consider to be essential core beliefs of your religious philosophy, it’s a fair cop to say that you also look like freakin’ idiots.

    Come on, he was obviously grinning when he wrote that.

  6. 6

    I think by “kinda mean” he means kinda average.

  7. 7

    PZ Myers can’t be happy, because he’s an atheist. Atheist and happy are mutually exclusive because God has a monopoly on joy. QED.

  8. 8
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Casey Luskin:


  9. 9

    You’d write those crazy things if you were insane too!


  10. 10

    Casey and Oprah. Twins!

  11. 11

    I just finished reading “The Happy Atheist” this morning.
    The last chapter was positively inspiring. I like the way you write, PZ and you really outdid yourself with that last chapter.
    You met my beautiful neurobiologist daughter at the book signing in D.C. She was impressed by your talk. At my request, she bought your book for her father’s birthday present (which is why I let him read it first) and she bought a copy for herself and her hubby to read.
    Do I get points for getting you a double sale?

  12. 12
    PZ Myers

    Two gold stars!

  13. 13
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I like my joy ferocious.

    I know what you mean. That viking blood is hard to shake.

  14. 14

    Jeeze, Luskin, can you project any more?

    A person can be happy that they are of their worldview, because it gives them something to be angry about. Righteous indignation, you Christians call it. And really, you accused an atheist of demonizing people?

    Way to work a sermon out of a lack of comprehension.

  15. 15

    Magistramarla (#11): “The last chapter was positively inspiring. I like the way you write, PZ and you really outdid yourself with that last chapter.”

    I read that and thought, nonono, the chapter I bookmarked for my wife to read was the most inspired. I went and got it and looked, and it was the last chapter. I guess I just couldn’t accept it was the end of the book.

    When I bought the book, I considered I was doing it mainly out of a desire to show solidarity with one of the people whose blogs I read the most. Having been an atheist for 40 years, and having roamed the innertubes for the best atheist writers, and having read PZ’s blog since discovering it around the time of the GCI (great cracker incident), I thought the book would be a mildly disappointing rehash of old arguments, with maybe a chance of a few I hadn’t heard before. I thought its main purpose would be to lend to a friendly theist who was genuinely interested in hearing what an atheist’s atheist had to say, and that was a good second reason to buy it. So I was happily surprised to find it was not only NOT a rehash of what I’d read in his blog (maybe it all pre-dates the GCI), but was very interesting even to an old goat like me (I’m PZ’s ages, so that may explain some of it too). Anyway, it turns out, I can honestly say that the best reason to buy a book – namely, that it makes an original and valuable contribution to the mind – pertains with this book. PZ, congrats on a job well done, and I hope you make a million from it.

  16. 16

    oblivious bliss-ninny idiocy.

    I am so going to commit plagiarism with that phrase.

  17. 17
    chigau (違う)

    I just bought the tree-version.
    I bought it at the Chapters store in the Mall*.
    It was between Design in Nature by Adrian Bejan
    The Illustrated Origin of Species by David Quammen.
    good company

    I took a photo of the shelf before I bought the book and I now see that just over to the left is a tome
    Why is the Penis Shaped Like That?
    why didn’t I buy that one?

    * I’m in Edmonton. Which Mall do you think I mean?

    I read the e-book when it magically appeared on my magical e-thingy.

  18. 18

    Just bought it on Kindle. Looks great so far!

  19. 19
    Kristjan Wager

    . So I was happily surprised to find it was not only NOT a rehash of what I’d read in his blog (maybe it all pre-dates the GCI), but was very interesting even to an old goat like me (I’m PZ’s ages, so that may explain some of it too).

    Yes, most of the stuff in the book are based on blogposts predating the GCI, but quite worth the re-read.

    PZ, didn’t a couple of the posts even predate your move to ScienceBlogs?

  20. 20

    I’ll just leave this here. Because happy, happy, joy, joy.

  21. 21

    I notice that Brave Sir Casey published his little foot-stamping screed at EN&V. How appropriate that he’d hide behind the protective skirt of EN&V’s no comment policy to fling his poo!

  22. 22

    Well this is bad timing. I have a 14 hr to Dallas tomorrow and PZ’s book was going to be my in-flight entertainment. Thanks a lot Casey.

  23. 23

    I think that people who pick up PZ Myer’s The Happy Atheist and assume it’s going to be a p.r. attempt to smooth over the rough idea that atheists are uncivil are a bit like people who pick up Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene and assume that it’s going to be an argument that evolution makes us selfish. They’re reading too much into the title. And if they read the book and still think the book is meant to be about what the title obviously says it’s about — well, then they’re even more like each other.

    Here’s my take: PZ is clearly concerned about the bad PR from his incivility, but if his new book is an attempt to counter that perception, then it’s an incredibly tone-deaf attempt.

    I think PZ’s is attempting to explain why some “incivility” is a reasonable response and it comes from a happy and hearty outlook on life, not in spite of it. And he does it very well.

    “…materialism seems to have a strong correlation with disgust and contempt for fellow humans. There seem to be real-world implications for how you treat people once you reject the idea that humans have fundamental value because they are made in the image of God.”

    They don’t get it, do they? Humanists simply shift God’s intrinsic value over to humans. Why does God have value, Casey? You can’t name a virtue that doesn’t have its corollary in human beings — until you get to the ‘omnis’ and the ideal of ‘perfection.’ And if THOSE are your yardsticks for measuring all worth, then you will have contempt for humans instead of respect because we fall so far short on the scale. We become vile and worthless on our own. That always happen with utopian idealism. Thus the concept of damnation: human beings only have worth to the extent that they resemble God — and some choose to look more like Him than others … to their ultimate blame. Theism divides like no world-based philosophy can, carrying these divisions even beyond life.

    No, my dear. Atheists are mocking and insulting religion not because there is something wrong with us, but because there is something wrong with religion.

  24. 24

    Once again, Casey shows us what a mindless twit he is.

  25. 25
    Crimson Clupeidae

    PZ, you are so rude. You forgot to include Luskin’s title.

    It’s Caesy “Elite Attack Hamster” Luskin, to you, mister Poopyhead!

  26. 26

    He sounds kind of angry.

  27. 27

    Your Darwin fish shoulda had teeth.

  28. 28

    #17. @chigau (違う)

    * I’m in Edmonton. Which Mall do you think I mean?

    Well, if you live in Edmonton, it ain’t WestEd. That’s for the tourists from Calgary.

  29. 29
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I went looking for the book in Hong Kong. No luck. I have had to place it on “special order”. :(

  30. 30

    oblivious bliss-ninny idiocy.

    awesome assonance.

  31. 31
    Brad Emery

    I was told, by a couple of people, that you were a ‘teddy bear’ before I came to the little luncheon after the WiS2 conference. I was incredibly nervous. They were right. You’re nice :)

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