By David Bentley Hart
Currently it's trendy to be devoutly undevout. Religion’s so much passionate antagonistsChristopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and othershave publishers competing eagerly to industry their quite a few denunciations of faith, monotheism, Christianity, and Roman Catholicism. yet modern antireligious polemics are dependent not just upon profound conceptual confusions yet upon facile simplifications of background or perhaps outright historic lack of information: so contends David Bentley Hart during this daring correction of the distortions. probably the most marvelous students of faith of our time, Hart presents a strong antidote to the hot Atheists’ misrepresentations of the Christian prior, bringing into concentration the reality concerning the such a lot radical revolution in Western history.
Hart outlines how Christianity reworked the traditional global in methods we could have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring nice dignity on people, subverting the most harsh features of pagan society, and raising charity exceptionally virtues. He then argues that what we time period the Age of cause” used to be actually the start of the eclipse of reason’s authority as a cultural worth. Hart closes the booklet within the current, delineating the ominous outcomes of the decline of Christendom in a tradition that's outfitted upon its ethical and religious values.
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Extra info for Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies
D. 2 38 t he myt h o lo g y o f th e s e c ul a r a g e There was, however, a “daughter” library, which may have been located in the grounds of the Serapeum, perhaps placed there by Ptolemy III Euergetes (ﬂ. d. 3 The twelfthcentury Byzantine historian John Tzetzes claimed that Callimachus of Cyrene (c. 305–c. ) catalogued forty-two thousand scrolls in the library built by Euergetes outside the Brucheium, but whether this is to be trusted, and whether that library was in fact at the Serapeum, cannot be determined.
Gibbon discounts this tale, as do most historians today (perhaps too hastily), on account of how late the story appears in Arab and Christian literature. d. c. 4 In a sense, this is all of very limited importance. Even if the sordid fable of the destruction of the Great Library by a Christian mob were true (and it deﬁnitely is not), or even if there had been a substantial collection of books at the Serapeum that was stolen or destroyed by the soldiers and their Christian accomplices in 391 (and the silence of Eunapius, to say nothing of Ammianus’s tenses, is suﬃcient evidence that there was not), this would tell us nothing about the Christian view of pagan learning or classical culture.
But there is something delusional nonetheless in his optimistic certainty that human beings will wish to choose altruistic values without invoking transcendent principles. They may do so; but they may also wish to build death camps, and may very well choose to do that instead. For every ethical theory developed apart from some account of transcendent truth—of, that is, the spiritual or metaphysical foundation of reality—is a fragile ﬁction, credible only to those suﬃciently obstinate in their willing suspension of disbelief.
Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart