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Why the liberal West is a Christian creation
Dominion presents a rich and compelling history of Christendom. What makes the book riveting, though, is the devastating demolition job it does on the sacred history of secular humanism. Holland summarises this intellectual folk tale:
The triumph of the Church had been an abortion of everything that made for a humane and civilised society. Darkness had descended on Europe. For a millennium and more, popes and inquisitors had laboured to snuff out any spark of curiosity, or inquiry, or reason… That nothing in this narrative was true did not prevent it from becoming wildly popular.

It is a tediously familiar mythology that no amount of historical evidence is likely to dislodge. It was Christian bishops and theologians, as Holland points out, who opposed the enslavement of indigenous peoples in Latin America, and Aristotle who was invoked to defend it. Secular liberals will immediately point out that slavery was practised throughout Christendom during much of its history. Of course this is so, but the fact does not alter Holland’s central point. Even if Christianity in power sanctioned all manner of evils, it set a standard of goodness that simply did not exist in the pagan world.

At the same time Christianity brought with it a new evil of its own. The very universality of the Christian message, its insistence that all human beings are equal in the sight of God, inspired a ferocious assault on other faiths. Christians made a claim to unique possession of the truth with no parallel in pagan religion, and the result was an unprecedented type of repression. As Holland writes: “A Church that proclaimed itself universal had, it seemed, no response to those who rejected it save persecution.” The rise of Christianity spelt the end for pagan toleration. [...]

It may well be that liberal values as they were understood in the past are on the way out. But the source of their decline is more paradoxical than the mere loss of Christian belief. Beyond the West, Christianity is undergoing a revival. In post-communist Russia, for example, the Orthodox Church has re-emerged strongly. But the distinctive pattern of development through which Christianity generated liberal values in western Europe was not replicated in eastern Orthodoxy, and there is nothing liberal about resurgent Christianity in Russia. The same is true, for different reasons, in Africa. In the West, liberalism is not fading away with Christian belief but becoming more zealous and dogmatic. Ironically, today’s ultra-liberals have more than a little in common with the Christians who destroyed the pluralistic tolerance of the ancient world. Policing opinion, shutting down debate and bent on extirpating any beliefs and values other than their own, they are like the early Christians in seeing themselves as actors in an unfolding story of sin and redemption.
religion  Christianity  atheism  from instapaper
yesterday by ayjay
Dr James Tour Faith and Science at August Apologetics - YouTube
explains just how improbable an Origin of Life event becomes when you examine the molecular process required ....
Dr James Tour has published over 650 papers and awarded 120 patents. He’s a synthetic organic chemist, specialising in nanotechnology. Tour is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and Nano Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Rice University and as such is highly qualified to speak on the topic of the Origins of Life .
apologetics  atheism  evolution  ie  tour  video 
9 days ago by to
James Tour - Origins of Life
Complete YouTube playlist for James Tour
evolution  origins  atheism  video 
9 days ago by to
Importance of religion by country - Wikipedia
The table below is based upon global Gallup Poll in 2009 research which asked "Is religion important in your daily life?". Percentages for "yes" and "no" answers are listed below; they often do not add up to 100% because some answered "don't know" or did not answer.[1]
religion  atheism 
17 days ago by bouvin
How NOT to React to Joshua Harris’ Announcement | Michael Patton | Credo House
..Either way, I am glad that he seems to be taking his faith (or lack thereof) seriously. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean I am apathetic to his situation simply because I don’t know the guy and have not really put any weight in his faith. It is tragic if this comes to an end that finds him at enmity with God for all eternity. But we don’t have to see him as a damned soul. And we don’t have to feel guilt for the pain we feel at such a tremendous perceived loss that the church may suffer from his absence. He truly is a gifted and thoughtful individual and I wish him the best.
Atheism  Narrative  Evangelicalism 
24 days ago by AfroMaestro
France’s Master Of ‘Materialist Horror’
In the case of Christianity in Europe, I think the question to ask is something like this: can a civilization maintain its identity if it sheds its native religion? Houellebecq doesn’t think so, and neither do I. This isn’t a political or polemical point. Imagine taking as an anthropological platitude the claim that human beings will be religious and, moreover, that civilizations are built upon the metaphysical systems they create (or which are revealed to them, to give credit to the metaphysical on its own terms). It’s obvious from such an assumption that the collapse of the metaphysics entails the eventual collapse of everything else. This should be deeply alarming to anyone who cares about the West’s tradition of humanitarianism, which emerges—and it would be wonderful if we could all agree on this—out of the original Judaic notion of imago Dei and later from Christian humanism. Secular humanism has been running for quite some time on the fumes of the Judeo-Christian religious inheritance, but it’s not clear how much longer that can go on.
Europe  christian  christendom  atheism  from instapaper
27 days ago by ayjay

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