I have no idea why I have ever heard of Dinesh D’Sousa. Every time he opens his gob, some fetid dead rodent seems to tumble out. How does someone like him get employed?
Anyway, he seems to have hopped onto the Worldview Weekend party barge. He wasn’t there an hour ago, I swear. But there he is. It’s called “A Challenge to Believers–and Unbelievers,” and it limps along like a Pinto in first.
The Bible tells Christians not to be of the world, sharing its distorted priorities, but it does call upon believers to be in the world, fully engaged. Many Christians have abdicated this mission. They have instead sought a workable, comfortable modus vivendi in which they agree to leave the secular world alone if the secular world agrees to leave them alone.
Shh! Dinesh! Don’t encourage them. Jeez…they are fruitbats enough as it is! And how can you not be “of” the world? Please. Get a grip. Or at least get control of your prepositions. You give the illusion of making a distinction where there is none.
Biologist Stephen Jay Gould proposed the terms for the treaty in his book Rocks of Ages when he said that secular society relies on reason and decides matters of fact, while religious people rely on faith and decide questions about values. Many Christians seized upon this distinction with relief. This way they could stay in their subculture and be nice to everyone.
Gould, I suspect, was tired of tedious tits like yourself bitching and badgering him. And it is sooooo presumptuous to the point of ridiculousness to imagine that secularists do not make decisions about values. (We’ll get to that.) And I see no reason to let the self-annointed morality police make those decisions for me. The idea of separate magisteria is impossible in a world where there are observable changes wrought by the Divine Whoosit. It was a half-assed cop-out on Gould’s part, I’m afraid.
But a group of prominent atheists-many of them evolutionary biologists-has launched a powerful public attack on religion in general and Christianity in particular; they have no interest in being nice.
Well, why should we, from a rhetorical point of view? I mean, after all, as Dave “I’m Tired of Being Nice and I Get the Words Nice and Batshit Evil Mixed Up” Daubenmire has pointed out, it is not in radical Christians’ interest to be nice at all. From an ethical point of view, I suspect that the atheists are only doing what they think is in the interest of humanity, shedding light on some pretty basic issues that have usually been punted to the Most Holy and Eternal Robocop in the Sky.
A new set of antireligious books-The End of Faith, The God Delusion, God Is Not Great, and so on-now shapes public debate. These atheists reject the Gould solution. They say that a religious outlook makes specific claims about reality: there is a God, there is life after death, miracles do happen, and so on. If you are agnostic or atheist, you have a very different understanding of reality, one that is formed perhaps by a scientific or rationalist outlook. The argument of the atheists is that both views of reality cannot be simultaneously correct. If one is true, then the other is false.
Damn skippy. The say this cat Dawkins is a bad mother…
Shut your mouth!
I’m only talking about Richard Dawkins.
Then we can dig it!
And remember, Dinesh. You will be well to note right now what these books are about: these are books that reject the notion of religion in general. Now, let’s see how quickly you forget that.
The atheists have a point: there are not two truths or multiple truths; there is one truth. Either the universe is a completely closed system and miracles are impossible, or the universe is not a closed system and there is the possibility of divine intervention in it. […] So far the atheists have been hammering the Christians and the Christians have been running for cover.
It took you all of a single paragraph to start building your own conservative (starched and uncomfortable) Burning Man of a straw man. You want to convince every last one of us skeptics? Then pony up with the miracles, little guy. The bar is sooooooooo low. Please. Just one. Just. One. 1.
This is not a time for Christians to turn the other cheek. Rather, it is a time to drive the money-changers out of the temple.
You would go and pick the least appealing moment in Jesus’ life. Not “It is time to gather those who have strayed from the flock,” or “It is now time to…not break private property.” Anything but that one. And this guy is a free-market capitalist?
The atheists no longer want to be tolerated. They want to monopolize the public square and to expel Christians from it. They want political questions like abortion to be divorced from religious and moral claims. They want to control the school curricula, so that they can promote a secular ideology and undermine Christianity.
We would like to be understood. We would like to be respected. We would like evidence to drive political decisions, not mindless obeisance to unfounded appeals to moral supremacy. We would like to see kids protected from the sort of proselytizing claptrap you bozos specialize in without allowing them to develop the critical skills that would allow them to decide what they believe for themselves. We do earnestly oppose unchecked Christianity. And Islam. And goat-worship.
They want to discredit the factual claims of religion, and they want to convince the rest of society that Christianity is not only mistaken but also evil.
What are the factual claims of religion? We want you to PROVE your claims of fact. And when you present us with only more preachin’, well, we accept you at your word. That you have no evidence to support your claims of fact. We are only holding you to the standard that we hold everyone else. We are sort of knocking religion off of its pedestal, opening it to critical scrutiny, just like any other system of beliefs. And ridicule…oh dear how I love the ridicule!
They blame religion for the crimes of history and for the ongoing conflicts in the world today. In short, they want to make religion-and especially the Christian religion-disappear from the face of the earth.
Not all of the crimes of history. I mean, unchecked religion has been used to justify a lot of horrid stuff in the past, but not all criminality stems from religion. A lot of it is simply thoughtlessness, callousness, maniacs in power. But when you think you have a divine blank check to do whatever you please, man’s potential for depravity comes into sharp relief. And when you feel like you are being persecuted on top of having divine diplomatic immunity, you will justify anything.
Then Douchebag D’Sousa plugs his stupid fucking book.
Taking as my foil the anti-religious arguments of prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and the others, [my stupid fucking book] shows the following:
Here we go. Another irritating Christian list. Let’s pretend that I am at a batting cage, let’s we?
1) Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilization, the root of our most cherished values.
So what? I strongly think that “God” has co-opted innate tendencies and said that they are his own. Basically, religion is taking credit for the obvious. This is hard to prove, but the fact that the same underlying moral principle “Do unto others…” seems to appear in all major world religions is a good hint that there is something bigger than any local religion at work here.
2) The latest discoveries of modern science support the Christian claim that there is a divine being who created the universe.
Why do guys dismiss reason and then try to use it as an argument on behalf of your cause? I mean, this is not an original move. Your book must be as bad as you make it sound. So, where is the peer-reviewed article that proclaims “God Found!” Could you show me your work, Devo, or should we just accept that you are a better interpretor of scientific research than, say, actual scientists?
3) Darwin ‘s theory of evolution, far from undermining the evidence for supernatural design, actually strengthens it.
Blasphemer! Crucify him! Crucify him!
4) There is nothing in science that makes miracles impossible.
Of course not. It’s the lack of miracles that suggests that they are impossible–we’d love to be proved wrong. You have no evidence of miracles–of course, even if there was a miracle, we’d still want to know how it was done. Nothing is outside the realm of scrutiny.
5) It is reasonable to have faith.
Depends on what it is. Also, religious people don’t get to decide what counts as “reasonable.” Just saying.
6) Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.
Fuck. You. Sure, we don’t end up in prisons, but we do the big religious genocides. Whatever. I’ve talked about this before, long before anyone ever read a word of mine.
7) Atheism is often motivated not by reason but by a kind of cowardly moral escapism.
Bitch, I have to figure things out for myself. There is no instruction book. I refuse to be spoon-fed someone else’s morality. You appeal to the Tickle Me Elmo in the Sky as the justification for your actions. I appeal to myself. It’s a type of responsibility the faithful can not comprehend.
Dinesh, I’m done with you.