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History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Atheist, and Christian, delusions

May 17th, 2010 · 1 Comment

I commented already today on this book, or rather on the commentary at Truthdig, but the book arrived and I have been looking through it: Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies [Paperback]
David Bentley Hart

I think this book is proof of the failed strategy of the New Atheists, and this rejoinder was invevitable. But I fear that the author is a near Christian chauvinist, and goes to the opposite extreme, in the process setting up the New Atheists to trash the whole of modernity. Won’t do at all.

I think that the cult of New Atheists needs to change tactics in a hurry, before books like this win the war and in the process destroy modernity.
Could the New Atheists sit up and think a bit? I can hope, but I don’t think so.
They have that cocky stupidity that made Dawkins a millionaire, and the high priest of Darwinian pseudo-science.

This book has a good idea, one that it can’t realize properly, because its author is too much of a Christian: the book tries to show the context of the ‘Christian revolution’ in the context of the Roman Empire. Great idea.

But what we need is something still more general: the whole of world history and all of its culture, and the right narrative of modernity. Pitting scientism against all religion, or Christianity against modernity, are both failed strategies.

More tommorrow: but it is essential to see that ‘secularism’ begins with the Protestant Reformation. It is not true to claim that the secular is against all religion, is the property of the cult of scientism, Darwinism, or the new atheism. The ignorance of history, and the history of religion, on the part of scientists and new atheists is drastic, and has invited books like this that are going to sink modernity if the stupid blab of the Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens cult keeps going. Shut up already, you have made your point. Shut up as an exercise until you have studied world history, the history of religion, in some detail. We have heard the atheist blurbs. Big deal.
I think the author here, ironically, can’t explicate the rich history of Christianity in the Roman empire because he is too immersed in it, just as the modern member of the science cult is too alienated, and badly educated.
But the basic point is crucial: the action of Christianity in the culture of Rome was a world historical achievement. The nitpicking idiocy of the current science/religion debate is a losing proposition. Dennett’s Breaking the Spell has broken the spell of science, and one looks on helplessly, what a gang of idiots!

Wake up. This book is flawed on its own terms, but one sees beyond it at once to realize the need for a larger framework of world history, not just the Christian/Roman West. And the right and proper account of modernity and the Enlightenment. These Christian authors are as narrow in their own way as the New Atheists.

Incidentally, the framework of the eonic effect, which is basically an periodization outline of world history and not another theory, can help because it enforces the discipline of multiple perspectives over five, then ten, thousand years, and more. There everything has to find its place, from Christianity to modernity, and much more. With the eonic model as a failsafe you will stop making the one-sided errors we see on all sides of this debate.

Tags: Science & Religion · selections

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