What's so great about Christianity?
Not much in my opinion. Nonetheless and despite my atheism, yesterday I checked out the book by the same name from my local library. The author, Dinesh D'Souza, has a big task ahead of him. I think he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

In the book D'Souza (supposedly) reveals the following, which is laid out on the inside flaps of the cover.

*Why Christianity explains what modern science tells us about the universe and our origins-that matter was created out of nothing, that light preceded the sun-better than atheism does.

Hmmm, well modern science does not tell us that matter was created out of nothing and it certainly doesn't tell us that light comes before it has a source.

*How Christianity created the framework for modern science, so that Christianity and science are not irreconcilable, but science and atheism might be.

A framework for modern science huh? I'm sure that Philolaus, Archimedes, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Copernicus, and many more would be delighted to know that Christianity takes all the credit for modern science. I also get the feeling D'Souza doesn't quite know the definition of atheist if he thinks it may be irreconcilable with science.

*Why the alleged sins of Christianity-the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair ("an atheists fable")-are vastly overblown.

Did he just say alleged and overblown in regards to the Inquisition and the like? How pompous! Oh and isn't it nice to know that the Galileo affair is an "atheist's fable"? I wonder if Galileo knew that?

*Why atheist regimes are responsible for the greatest mass murders of history.

I think this guy needs to take another look at the Old Testament. He seems to have forgotten about the mass murders his so-called benevolent god ordered.
Atheist regimes?! WTF?

*Why evolution does not threaten Christian belief, but actually supports the "argument from design".

I can't wait to see how evolution supports the argument from design. But hey, at least he doesn't seem to outright deny evolution.

*Why atheists fear the big bang theory and the "anthropic principle" of the universe, which are keystones of modern astronomy and physics.

Who's afraid of the big bad bang? It's funny that he thinks atheists would fear it when it's the religious that are the main ones to object to it. And as far as I'm aware, the anthropic principle is not a keystone of modern astronomy or physics.

*How Christianity explains consciousness and free will, which atheists have to deny.

Why would an atheist have to deny consciousness? That seems a bit silly.
And the only type of free will that all atheists would deny is that which is given by a creator, but a creator is not the only thing to consider when toying with free will, so I'm sure not all atheists deny it.

*Why ultimately you can't have Western civilization -and all we value from it-without the Christianity that gave it birth.

Oh yes, let's thank Christianity for all it's wonderful contributions to western society-thank you for your lacking morals, your willingness to deny basic human rights to some, and your deafening cries of outrage against scientific theories. Thank you for your vehement opposition to condoms and your adamant teaching of abstinence only. Thank you for your loyal faith in things without evidence and accepting them as fact. Thank you for all the prejudices your unshakable faith has taught us and that unfortunately still lingers today. Surely without Christianity western society would be all but impossible. Thank you again Christianity.

OK, enough criticizing a book I haven't read yet. Fair is fair after all. But I'm sure I'll have more than enough criticisms for another post or two after I'm done.

Till then, happy reading all!

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Comment by Richard Healy on April 24, 2009 at 12:52pm
Be mindful also of them not distinguishing between materialist and empirical from 'science'

I'm thinking of that free will and consciousness statement - consciousness can be conceived and studied in materialist terms. I've just finished reading Dan Dennett's book on consciousness, which sets out the parameters for what a non-dualist explanation of consciousness would look like and what studies would advance the understanding of it.

That last part's important - about testing - because it leads onto what empiricism is. The evidence and proof of an idea is not just is logical congruency (as in philosophy), so for example when Danesh is waffling on about the big bang and evolution, recall that science is methodologically materialist and empirical by practice.

My bet when he's trying to resolve dualist accounts of supernatural creation or how religion shows evolution to support creation, will be a combination of lies, ignorance or obfuscation of the above points, that religion is not materialist nor empirical.

I speculate that Science will be shown to be the totemic bad guy (not accounting for the above) when it comes to 'those abusing it' like building nuclear weapons, Bully pharmaceutical companies etc... but that scientists like Einstein, Newton were devout and believed science revealed the created world of the living god etc. And science (not accounting for materialism and empiricism) can be rehabilitated if it goes back to it's (circa 16th century) roots, of explaining divinity, not challenging it, because it's be hijacked by Atheists and Ultra Darwinists. (Which is one of my biggest irritation with religious proselytisers, they want to ground humanity in the past)

Also there'll be an implicit assumption that this creative force is the god of christianity, of course.

I'm sure I'm not saying anything you don't already know.
Comment by Dre Smith on April 23, 2009 at 11:29am
Whatever that is I still haven't found out what that is.



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