There are a virtuous few [atheists]; those who behave with genuine altruism, be it on an understanding of the optimal handling of the Prisoner's Dilemma, a genuine commitment to rational utilitarianism or simple goodness of heart. I may disagree with these atheists; they are also not those of whom I wrote.
Readers who have managed to get through this entire thing will realize that Vox Day's protest here is manifestly untrue. In his column he continually speaks about "the atheist," a label that cannot reasonably apply to only a subset of atheists, and he does very specifically address those atheists who are committed to something like a rational utilitarianism: he calls them "irrational" and "moral parasite[s]." I think that they may also be the ones he refers to as "sociopaths."
Vox Day's ideas about science aren't too relevant to the general theme about morality and atheism, but I can resist including a bit of them:
Whereas a scientist will declare that of course he does not believe there are multiple universes since it is only a hypothesis designed to counter the anthropic principle, the non-elite atheist whose only exposure to science is his science fiction novels will declare that of course they exist since Dr. X said so - this is the faith in science of which I spoke. The same holds true of evolution, the geological age of the Earth and many other untested scientific and pseudo-scientific hypotheses.
So, Vox Day believes that evolution and scientific conclusions about the "age of the earth" are really just hypotheses which have no more substance and factual support than ideas about multiple universes? The scientific ignorance he displays here is truly astounding - not unusual, I should hasten to add, but still quite astounding. Neither evolution to the "age of the earth" are simply hypotheses, untested, or pseudoscientific. They are, in fact, rigorously tested scientific understandings of our world. If Vox can't be bothered to do the modicum of research necessary to realize this, he frankly shouldn't pretend to know enough to write about them like this.
This statement is especially interesting:
Perhaps you don't need a God to prevent you from behaving in an immoral manner. I certainly do.
Let's also take this in conjunction with:
If God is the authority, he alone defines the good. The Bible not only suggests but outright declares that God's wisdom (and presumably his notion of good) is beyond ours. It is also pretty clear that God has commanded all manner of what we see as atrocities.
So, putting all of that together... Vox Day can only act morally if his god exists; Vox Day regards his god as the origin of what is and is not moral; Vox Day does whatever his god commands is moral; Vox Day acknowledges that his god has, in the past, commanded things that "we see as atrocities" (note: he doesn't say "things that are atrocities," but rather "thing that we see as atrocities).
Now, isn't it reasonable to suppose that Vox Day would willingly and even gladly commit some act that "we see as an atrocity" if he sincerely thinks that his god commanded it? Yes, I think that such a conclusion is not only reasonable, but the most obvious one that we can draw from the above. Vox criticized atheists "who do not fear to determine their own moral compass," but I submit that Vox does not even have a moral compass - or, if he does, it has become so warped by his religious beliefs that is no longer recognizable as something that actually serves morality.
But no, he appears to have always been this way - consider his statements about his beliefs before he was a Christian:
I was somewhat of a rational quasi-sociopath, who was always amused at how I would receive lectures on my "bad" behavior from atheists who subscribed to moral relativism. "Do what thou wilt, with due regard for the policeman around the corner" was pretty much my amoral code.
Was? It is his current code - except that "policeman around the corner" is replaced with "God up in heaven." And, according to Vox, his is an amoral code. So what do we have? Well, we have a Christian who criticizes atheists for their morality but, at the same time, admits to following a code that is "amoral" and which basically consists of doing what he is told by an authority figure that has the power to punish him.
I have written more than once about the relationship between morality and theism, but I must confess that I have never encountered someone who is so open (relatively speaking) about their willingness to do whatever they are commanded to do by god, no matter how ugly and atrocious it might seem to be by others. And let's not forget the context here, which are the actions of people in the Old Testament: mass slaughter, slavery, and so forth.
It's curious that Vox Day claims to be a libertarian because libertarians are generally the sort of people who reject the need for authority figures for people to live well and good lives. That, however, is not the case with Vox. True to his fundamentalist Christian principles, Vox regards all of humanity as inherently depraved and evil (except, perhaps, for a virtuous few) who desperately need the authority of God in order to lead anything like a moral and good life. But of course, most people will never communicate directly with God, right? This means that they will need religious and political leaders to help them...
It is, I think, pretty plain that while Vox Day professes to being a libertarian, his religious beliefs put him squarely in the camp of authoritarianism. Can one be an authoritarian libertarian? I doubt it. But, hey, considering how perverted his sense of morality has become, I suppose anything is possible.
Update: Vox Day pretends to have something intelligent to say about the above:
...concluded I was only claiming to be a libertarian and that my forthright Christian stance indicated I was truly an authoritarian. Which makes sense, as long as you assume that Christian = authoritarian and ignore all Western history.
"Only if?" Well, I guess one could reach that conclusion "only if" they didn't read what I actually wrote - or were deliberately distorting the truth in an effort to avoid facing hard questions. It's pretty clear what I said: libertarianism, the political philosophy Vox Day claims to subscribe to, is not a political philosophy that generally looks with favor on the premise that people need authority figures to regulate and control their behavior. This, however, is not only what Vox Day personally accepts, but actually promotes as having value.
Not all Christians are also authoritarians because not all Christians believe that people need their god in order to be good. Vox, however, does believe this - and because of that it is legitimate to question just how committed he really is to libertarianism. Personally, I don't think that his writing on the matter of atheism and morality indicates that he is very committed at all.