Sunday, October 21, 2007

How To Argue With An Atheist

Just can't overlook this text. Excellent review of two books: What’s So Great about Christianity and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible. The books answer plenty of atheist’s pet questions about the existence (or non-existence) of God and denounce the allegations that Christianity is oppressive, regressive or that it impedes science.
4. When they get sweaty and tell you that the Bible breeds intolerance, refresh their memory with the fact that only those societies influenced by biblical teachings (in North and South America, Europe, and Australia) today guarantee freedom of speech and religion. Period.

5. When one of them queues up and quips that the Bible opposes freedom, smack ‘em with the fact that the Bible’s insistence that no one is above the law and all must answer to divine justice led to theories of universal human rights and…uh…limited government.

6. When they tell you that Christianity and the Bible justify war and genocide, unsympathetically remind them that societies which rejected biblical morality in favor of a more “rational” and “scientific” approach to politics murdered millions upon millions more than the Crusades or the Inquisition ever did. Hello. “Atheist regimes have caused the greatest mass murders in history,” says D’Souza. Inside D’Souza’s book you’ll find little gems like, “The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair, and witch hunts together make up less than 1% of the murders that have occurred during modern atheist regimes like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.”
I guess the 6 examples alone that Doug Giles provided in his review (I only quoted the last three) would be enough to get an average secular fundamentalist running low on arguments.

Doug suggests the books are especially beneficial for high school and college students to draw upon when their secular anti-God fuming delirious instructors start railing against God and Christianity. I couldn't agree more.

2 comments:

genslub3 said...

Used to read him in the western standard, I'll miss it.

Course the left is good at looking for flaws and never keeping their scope in perspective.

The Crusades always bug me, every one of their campaigns was fought in countries that used to be Christian. There's a reason there are still Coptics in Egypt.

MonctonAtheist said...

Leo
If you are preaching to the choir you might as well be honest and let em know how an atheist works around such answers.
#4 We Atheists usually argue not just that religion breeds intolerance but that the bible has a bad quote to equal every good one allowing one to cherry pick a stance. On the freedom thing you might give fair thought to the idea that modern western freedoms originated from the division between church and state. Many early european scientists have faced the wrath of a church who couldnt deal with the results of experiments we now accept. Atheists generally agree that our western freedoms came by keeping religion in check and limiting its influence. Religions constant outrage at our govts decisions lends support to this. Some of our planets worst countries are run by religious like personalities (N.Korea)or theocracy like Iran. Its worth a thought that most of christianitys finest features that contributed to freedoms are simply human nature as mankind shared many of these features prior to christ. You should prepare your readers for real discussion with alternative ideas to work with.
on point five i repeat that for every good quote in place i can find one that suggests the opposite which allows for a cherry picked stance. Slavers had a theolgically solid position to legitimise even if they ignored the parts that oppose it. It took a civil war in the states to change which bible quote we use.
Your last part on Stalin Mao and Hitler is misleading. The problem was not religion or lack of but that their control shared many of the features of nationalism and religion gone amok. there is also much debate on all sides on the role of religion in those affairs. You are not being very fair to the integrity of your discussion.