Monday, July 07, 2008

Is Christianity the Problem?

I recently enjoyed listening to a debate between Dinesh D'Souza (representing the Christian point of view) and Christopher Hitchens (representing the non-Christian point of view) on the topic: Is Christianity the Problem? While Dinesh used some arguments I would never use (and seemed to base part of his argument on "free will" in a libertarian sense), he made some good points that Professor Hitchens had trouble addressing. Both men have sharp wits, and it shows. There were a few points at which the debate started to get a little sharp-edged, but on the whole it seemed to be reasonably calm and moderate. If you have interest, consider blocking off an hour and forty minutes to listen to the debate in its entirety. (link)

5 comments:

natamllc said...

Yes, Christianity is the problem.

I will be happy to debate it!

Wow TF.

I am reminded of something a Biblical Jewish Convert to Biblical Christianity noted as I listened to Pro. Hitchens.

I will note it here as a reply to Hitchens the professor of a strongly held position of vain faith.

The note is this, of the fruits from the trees in the Garden, only one was of "mixed fruit", that is, the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, or the "forbidden" fruit is to which we all have succumbed by the deed of our first father Adam, to the eventuality of death itself appointed to us all, of which, Christ has defeated.

O Death, where is your sting?

The Apostle rightly wrote writing this:

1Co 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

The Greek word used by Paul to those "Greeks" at Corinth for vain is:::>

κενός
kenos
ken-os'
Apparently a primary word; empty (literally or figuratively): - empty, (in) vain.


A tone of what surely ends as empty is the tone of this man, C. Hitchens.

And certainty abounds in this one's spirit, Dinesh D'Souza.

Quite a colorful and lovely debate!

Thanks TF for the link and the enjoyment experienced. Well worth the time listening to the debate and watching these Words of God:::>

Pro 18:20 From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Ben Douglass said...

Just listened to the debtate. I now understand your comment that "Dinesh used some arguments I would never use." If it is a Christian ideal that no man has the right to rule another without his consent, why did it take Christians 1700 years to figure this out? What about Romans 13?

Also, I wish Dinesh had taken Hitchens to task for appealing to Islamic wickedness in attempts to prove something negative about Christianity. On the other hand, it was quite refreshing to hear Dinesh all but call Hitchens a God-hater to his face.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Ben,

It's a little bit of a tangent, but to me the idea of "government by consent" is simply rebellion against divine authority.

Your reliance on Scripture to settle this matter is exactly the approach I'd use: and I'd appeal to the same text:

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

-TurretinFan

Ben Douglass said...

Dear Francis,

In addition, I would quote Leo XIII's encyclical Diuturnum. D'Souza is far too influenced by classical liberalism and American political conservatism, and not enough by Catholic social doctrine.

By the way, I forgot to mention in my first post that it was great to watch Hitchens flounder when an audience member asked him what's to stop him from transcending the moral instincts beqeathed to him by evolution. Since Hitchens has no transcendental frame of reference for morality, the answer is clearly nothing! Right and wrong have no objective existence in an atheist worldview. As such, if Hitchens prefers a different morality over the one beqeathed to him by evolution (say, Nietzschean, Communist, Existentialist, Hedonist), there is nothing to stop him from switching morals, just like there is nothing to stop him from switching arms if someone invents a bionic arm that he likes better than the arm evolution gave him.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Ben,

You wrote: "D'Souza is far too influenced by classical liberalism and American political conservatism, and not enough by Catholic social doctrine."

Obviously, from my point of view that would not be a complete repair. Nevertheless, this is not the place for me to debate that issue.

I should add that I posted the video largely because it demonstrated some of the gaping holes in atheism as an apologetic ground ... holes that I'm glad to see you noted as well!

-TurretinFan