Atheist Delusions

Atheist Delusions

The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

eBook - 2009
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Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruelest aspects of pagan society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what we term the "Age of Reason" was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of reason's authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present, delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values. --from publisher desciption.
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2009
ISBN: 9780300155648
0300155646
1282352660
9781282352667
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiv, 253 pages)

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n
Nosad_Nomad
Sep 11, 2019

Verbose and combative, as others have noted, but also nuanced, informative and insightful. Regarding the pagan Greco-Roman world view, Hart writes that, “Even the most ardent secularists among us generally cling to notions of human rights, economic and social justice, providence for the indigent, legal equality, or basic human dignity that pre-Christian Western culture would have found not so much foolish as unintelligible.” Why pre-Christians would have found those concepts “unintelligible” is what he explains to greatest advantage.
Hart also takes up specific accusations aimed at Christianity and successfully demonstrates, for example, that early Christian scholars were thoroughly familiar with pagan works and even students and colleagues of pagan scholars, female as well as male, including the famous Hypatia. Anti-intellectual book-burners they were not.
In some instances it is difficult to know how broadly representative of Christian thought Hart’s examples are, but all historians face this problem when dealing with intellectual life in the ancient world. On the other hand, many of his secondary sources are 50 years old or more, and since I’m not a specialist in his area of history, I would rather have seen more recent sources that might account for changes in our knowledge and understanding of the events he describes. Overall a valuable book, his arguments are fresh, historically informative, tightly reasoned, illuminating, and nearly always persuasive.

g
green_cat_3454
Feb 23, 2018

Lord please forgive Red Dog. Let me point out those who liked his comment, are also people who do not have Jesus' love and no respect for their current leader.

r
red_dog_14987
Feb 21, 2018

This book is nothing but illogical trash. Anyone who has researched the history of the bible and Christianity knows that this book is pure fabrication.

n
naturalist
Aug 19, 2015

further reading:
“A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom” two volumes 1896,
by Andrew Dickson White, the founder of Cornell University.
and,
“Imagine There's No Heaven – How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World”
by Mitchell Stephens, published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, ISBN-1137002603 . .
9781137002600
and,
“Kindness in A Cruel World : the Evolution of Altruism”
by Nigel Barber . . published by Prometheus Books 2004
and,
“The Origins of Virtue : Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation”
by Matt Ridley, published by penguin 1998
and,
“The Altruism Equation : Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness”
by Lee Alan Dugatkin, published by Princeton U.P. 2006
and,
“Primates and Philosophers : How Morality Evolved”
by F.B.M. de Waal, published by Princeton U.P. 2006
and,
“The Discovery Institute gives David Bentley Hart a spanking”
by Jerry Coyne, posted at “Why Evolution Is True"
https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/the-discovery-institute-gives-david-bentley-hart-a-spanking/
and,
“American Armageddon : How the Delusions of the Neoconservatives and the Christian Right Triggered the Descent of America--and Still Imperil Our Future”
Craig Unger
Free Press Reprint edition 2008, pbk, 480 pages
ISBN-10: 074328076, ISBN-13: 978-0743280761
and,
“Blueprint for Theocracy : The Christian Right's Vision for America : Examining a Radical Worldview and Its Roots”
James C. Sanford
Metacomet Books 2014, hc, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0974704202, ISBN-13: 978-0974704203
and,
“Enlightenment Now : The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress”
Steven A. Pinker 1954-
Viking 2018, hc, 576 pages
ISBN-10: 9780525427575, ISBN-13: 978-0525427575
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Pinker
and,
“Fixing America : Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media, and the Religious Right”
John Buchanan (author), John McConnell (foreword)
Trine Day 2005, pbk, 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0975290681, ISBN-13: 978-0975290682
and,
“Imagine There's No Heaven : How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World”
by Mitchell Stephens
St. Martin's Press (Feb. 25 2014, hc, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1137002603, ISBN-13: 978-1137002600
and,
“Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States”
Warren J. Blumenfeld, Khyati Y. Joshi, Ellen E. Fairchild (contributors)
Sense Pub, 2008, ISBN-10: 9087906773, ISBN-13: 978-9087906771
and,
“The Fundamentals of Extremism : The Christian Right in America”
Edwin Kagin, Bobbie Kirkhart, Ed Buckner, Herb Silverman, John Suarez (authors), Kimberly Blaker (author, editor),
John G. Swomley (foreword)
New Boston Books 2003, hc, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0972549609, ISBN-13: 978-0972549608
and,
“The New Religious Right : Piety, Patriotism, and Politics”
Walter H. Capps
University of South Carolina Press, Revised edition 1990, pbk, 268 pages
ISBN-10: 0872497410, ISBN-13: 978-0872497412

j
jkeaton
Apr 01, 2013

While verbose (though no more so than Dawkins or Hitchens), this is well worth reading. Hart provides a robust, carefully reasoned defence of how Western culture and morality - including human traits (such as charity and compassion) that others claim are 'innate' - are the result of the Christianisation of Western Europe 1800 years ago. Hart's dismissive tone can seem harsh, but it matches the tone of those he criticises - while his clear logic and wealth of carefully researched examples explodes many of the favourite myths of atheists and anti-theists.

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jkeaton
Apr 01, 2013

jkeaton thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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