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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default Defeating Atheism's "Difficult Questions"

    Dinesh D'Souza is a name I've known for some years, even decades. I had probably seen one of his articles in Objectivist literature when I was much younger, or seen him cited somewhere. But I had never really checked into his beliefs until someone here mentioned a new movie ("2016") which is based on one of his books.

    In this video, D'Souza defends Christianity against its "new atheist" opponents. But his is a rational faith-based view that is rarely seen. One example of what I mean by "rational" comes from another youtube video in which he explains that it is rational for a cab driver to drive past a black male looking for a cab based on the driver's bad experiences with blacks. It is rational because he desires to be safe and make it back home to his family every day after work. Or, to use an example of my own, it is irrational to hire a lesser candidate for a job based solely on skin color. (By the same token, it is irrational to hire anyone based on anything but ability to fulfill the duties of the job.)

    The question of religion is an interesting one, because its opponents only point out the bad features of religion. D'Souza mentions religious wars. But getting rid of religion would not make the world a safer place. After all, the vast majority of simple crimes committed in the world are not religious-based. They in fact fly in the face of the Ten Commandments.

    D'Souza also teaches me something about the two church-goers I work with. One (the ISTJ) is a more intellectual Christian. He likes to listen to deep religious broadcasts from really good speakers. The other (INTJ) practices a more baby-Si form of religious belief, what D'Souza calls in the video below "crayon religion." This is the religion most of us are taught by the time we are 5 years old. In the INTJ's case, he simply has not grown beyond the 5 year old level of religion, and his defenses of crayon religion are completely based in rationalizations and in some cases outright lies or exaggerations. When worse comes to worse for him in a debate, he simply closes his mind. D'Souza has helped me see this distinction in how a religion intellectually develops or fails to develop in an individual Christian.

    That however is not even the point. I got this from only a few minutes of this excellent video!

    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #2
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    Atheism is for people who do not believe in a supreme power in the Universe which is so senseless when you look at the splendors of all of creation and then to realize that this delicate fabric woven by nature was indeed woven by God!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Atheism is for people who do not believe in a supreme power in the Universe which is so senseless when you look at the splendors of all of creation and then to realize that this delicate fabric woven by nature was indeed woven by God!
    Are you asking for the new atheists to simply demolish an argument that came out of the Middle Ages? The technique would be to make your own view appear senseless, subjective, and arbitrary.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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  5. #5

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    An objectivist Christian?

    Seriously? I struggle to think to two more incompatible creedos.

  6. #6

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    Also in terms of rational Christianity I would recommend that you instead consider Roman Catholicism, especially Thomas Aquinas, Erasmus and Moore.

    If you read Erasmus and Luther's discourse on free will you will see the rational vs. the dogmatic mindset which has been reproduced ever since and probably was channelling a more fundamental timeless dichotomy, despite many, many protestants believing they are the modern, new, progressive and heirs in ascendency of rationality the discourse itself portrays the exact opposite. I've actually read more recent material which suggests that the present establishment and even the papacy have more in common with Luther's dogmatics than Erasmus's scholastics.

  7. #7

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    Johnathan Sacks and the Jews are better at countering the new athiests than anything from within Christianity.

    Although I'm more and more thinking that a wrong turn was taken in Christianity back when James and Mathew lost out to Paul.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    [video]
    This seems pretty hopeless. But the bald guy doesn't make very many good points. He believes there is only truth 1 (God) or truth 2 (no God). I call that a false alternative, and that he has not justified this view despite the fact that everything he states is based on the "god" of justification.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Atheism is for people who do not believe in a supreme power in the Universe which is so senseless when you look at the splendors of all of creation and then to realize that this delicate fabric woven by nature was indeed woven by God!
    Repeat these words after me: 'non-sequitur, non-sequitur, non-sequitur', and say it again every time you feel tempted to make this comment.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    This seems pretty hopeless. But the bald guy doesn't make very many good points. He believes there is only truth 1 (God) or truth 2 (no God). I call that a false alternative, and that he has not justified this view despite the fact that everything he states is based on the "god" of justification.
    I could be with you on this point, I think the question is not whether or not there is a God, what is the nature of God and why to believe are much better questions. I mean what if God at a time had a very active role in human affairs and has since abandoned humanity altogether? There are so many other conclusions about God which historically have hinged on belief in the existence of God which I do not believe actually automatically follow from that first premise, for instance the existence of an afterlife, eternal life etc. etc. Perhaps God has animated beings for a time and when they are extinct that is it, its not what I believe and I have other reasons for that but its one example of the mistaken automatic conclusions thinking I'm talking about.

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