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Dinesh D’Souza was born in Bombay, India; he came to America at the age of 17; and he eventually graduated from Dartmouth. He was a policy adviser in Ronald Reagan’s White House until 1988. His latest book, What’s So Great About Christianity? is a response to many of the new atheists who are traipsing around saying that the greatest problems of the world are caused by religion (in particular Christianity and Islam). Surprisingly, even Michael Shermer, publisher of the magazine, Skeptic, and an ex-Christian, had this to say of D’Souza’s book, What’s So Great About Christianity?:

“As an unbeliever, I passionately disagree with Dinesh D’Souza on some of his positions. But he is a first-rate scholar whom I feel absolutely compelled to read. His thorough research and elegant prose have elevated him into the top ranks of those who champion liberty and individual responsibility. Now he adds Christianity to his formula for the good society, and although non-Christians and non-theists may disagree with some of his arguments, we ignore him at our peril. D’Souza’s book takes the debate to a new level. Read it.”

I listened to three of his debates against non-Christians and was impressed by his knowledge of history, science, and culture. He speaks with passion and handles some really difficult objections to Christianity with zest and style.

Michael Shermer God, Religion, Morality [2hr 14min]
Daniel Dennett What’s So Great About Christianity? [2hr 11min]
Christopher Hitchens Is God/Religion man-made? [1hr 35min]
Dan Barker Christianity vs. Atheism at Harvard [2hr 7min]

8 Responses to “Dinesh D’Souza Defending Theism”

  1. on 28 May 2008 at 8:40 amMorse

    Quite apart from his points and argumentation, I find Dinesh to be quite shrill and far to apt to yell in an attempt to get his points across. The impression he gives to nonbelievers is that he desires to preach, as opposed to actually debate. Not that that’s surprising, of course, but when someone preaches (on either side) as opposed to talking and debating they tend to only appeal to those who are already on their side.

  2. on 28 May 2008 at 8:59 amSean

    quite, the people on the atheist side tend to be incredibly condescending and arrogant and often intentionally misrepresent the Bible and Christianity.

  3. on 28 May 2008 at 9:18 amMorse

    And the people on the theist side tend to be incredibly condescending and arrogant and often intentionally misrepresent science and theism.

    So we’re even.

  4. on 28 May 2008 at 9:19 amMorse

    *Science and atheism.

    All we can do is strive to be intellectually honest with each other.

  5. on 28 May 2008 at 11:37 amFortigurn

    Morse, I’d like to qualify your comments. I have found North American atheists and Christians to be the most ‘incredibly condescending and arrogant’ and most prone to misrepresentation.

    The atheists in North America tend to be, on the whole, a very poor breed. Lack of intellectual rigor and honesty, lack of critical thinking, and lack of logical thinking skills are all prominent.

    It seems that one of the reasons for this is that so many of them are deprogrammed Fundamentalists, who never learned these skills in the first place. That’s certainly one explanation. But it doesn’t explain all the others.

    One factor which does help to explain all the others is that the atheists in North America tend to react in kind to the Fundamentalists who dominate the North American religious landscape (in terms of propagating their message, not in terms of numbers). So the Fundamentalists shriek their over the top extremist nonsense, and many of the atheists feel the need to respond in the same unrestrainedly frantic way.

    I find UK atheists much better to discuss things with. A more relaxed attitude to religion in the UK, together with a generally more educated clergy, seems to encourage a more rational breed of atheist.

    The best atheists of course are Australian atheists, bred in a rugged and pragmatic country which has also bred a well balanced and intelligent attitude to religion, as well as a historically enlightened Christianity. I enjoy discussions with Australian atheists, who are rarely idiotic. Of course there are exceptions.

  6. on 28 May 2008 at 12:41 pmMorse

    I would counter with this:

    The Christians in North America tend to be, on the whole, a very poor breed. Lack of intellectual rigor and honesty, lack of critical thinking, and lack of logical thinking skills are all prominent.

  7. on 28 May 2008 at 1:11 pmSean

    Fortigurn,

    When you use the word Fundamentalist, what do you mean?

  8. on 28 May 2008 at 5:10 pmFortigurn

    Morse, it’s clear you didn’t read my post. I already commented unfavourably on North American Christians. I haven’t even tried to say that Christians in North America are better quality than atheists in North America.

    By the way, a proper argument doesn’t actually consist of simply taking whatever your opponent says and saying the opposite. You need to reason for yourself, and present a rational case.

    Sean, Fundamentalism:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism#Christian_origins

  

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