In his blockbuster new book published October 15, "What’s So Great About Christianity" (Regnery), Dinesh D’Souza attacks atheism at its very roots, draws line between Darwinism -- which he maintains is the creed of atheists -- and the scientific theory of evolution, shows how atheistic inspired movements killed millions in the last century alone, and explains why Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world today.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.Com Dinesh D’Souza tackles some of the issues raised in his book.
Newsmax: You say the new atheism is engaged in a one-sided all-out war on religion with Christians on the sidelines instead of fighting back. You write that “atheists have been hammering Christians and the Christians have been running for cover.” How should Christians be responding?
D’SOUZA: For a long time Christians have abandoned the public square, thinking that this is neutral space and if we just build up our homes and churches everything will be fine. But now a bunch of raging atheists have come charging into the public square, and they are blasting religion in general and Christianity in particular. The new atheists have mounted an aggressive intellectual and moral attack against Christianity. Their goal is to take over the minds of the next generation, so that America moves into a new age of science and moral freedom liberated forever from its Christian heritage.
Newsmax: The atheist belief that in essence the universe created itself and everything in it, including us, is on its face an absurdity. How can they defend it?
D’SOUZA: Within the Newtonian framework, it was actually possible and even reasonable to believe in an eternal universe. Newton didn’t invent this idea; it went back to Aristotle. But Newton gave it a powerful scientific justification. The problem for atheists is that we now know that the universe had a beginning. The significance of the big bang is not just that matter came into existence, but that space and time came into existence. The laws of physics came into existence; there were no laws of physics preceding the big bang. For two thousand years the Bible has contended, in some ways against all reason and evidence, that the universe has not always existed; rather, it was created along with space and time. Now modern science has come to agree with the ancient Jewish and Christian text.
Newsmax: You accept the so-called “big bang” theory as the method God used to create the universe . What evidence is there to prove that contention which most atheists deny?
D’SOUZA: Today the evidence for a big bang or moment of creation is so strong that there are hardly any reputable scientists who do not believe it. Several lines of evidence have converged to make the big bang the closest thing we have to a scientific fact.
Newsmax: You write that Darwinism is the religion of most atheists. Can you explain why?
D’SOUZA: Interestingly the leading atheists today are mostly Darwinians. I distinguish Darwinism from evolution. Evolution is a scientific theory. Darwinism is a worldview or metaphysics. Evolution simply tries to explain how one life form gave rise to another. Evolution doesn’t even pretend to account for the origin of life. Evolution cannot explain consciousness or morality. But the metaphysical Darwinists think they have come up with a master key to understand the entire universe. This is where they rely not on reason or evidence but on blind faith.
Newsmax: Do you believe that God used evolution to create mankind? If so why would He have employed such a cumbersome procedure when all he had to do was think and his Divine will would have produced humans instantly, as we are informed by Holy Scripture in the Adam and Eve story?
D’SOUZA: We don’t know what processes God used to create the universe. We also don’t know how God chose to create man. The Bible doesn’t say man was made out of nothing; rather the Bible says man was made out of the existing materials of the earth. “Dust thou art and to dust thou shall return.” The Bible also says we are made in God’s image, but God is not a material thing. God is a spiritual being. So our resemblance to God is clearly not physical but rather spiritual and moral. For these reasons I’m not worried about whether evolution is right or not. It doesn’t threaten my Christian faith and it shouldn’t threaten anyone else’s.
Newsmax: Atheists have blamed religion for killing millions of people in the name of Christianity. Isn’t it a fact that atheist have been the most murderous of all?
D’SOUZA: Well, Henry Kamen’s study of the Spanish Inquisiton which is the most authoritative one found that the Inquisition killed around 2,000 people over a period of 350 years. That’s 2,000 too many. But compare that death toll to the number of people killed by atheist regimes in the past century. Pol Pot alone killed a couple of million, and he was a very junior tyrant by atheist standards. The regimes of Mao, Hitler and Stalin together killed more than 100 million people in the space of four decades. Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.
Newsmax: Without God and the Ten Commandments and the moral way of life demanded of believers, how can there be peace among humans? Does not the denial of a necessary religious moral order lead inevitably to chaos among a mankind cut loose from all moral structures and ruled entirely by self-interest?
D’SOUZA: Yes, morality is a defining characteristic of human beings and there is no way for us to rise “beyond good and evil,” as Nietzsche would have it, and still remain human. Of course different religions put forward their own moral codes, and yet there are some important similarities between these. What seems to be new in the West is not a complete denial of morality but rather a denial of the idea of an external moral order.
Many people seem to think that morality is something that we make up for ourselves. Of course this is a very attractive idea especially for young people because it offers them the prospect of escaping from the old moral rules, especially the rules about sexual restraint. I sometimes think that if it wasn’t for the Old Testament injunction against adultery, and Christ’s idea that if we have contemplated the sin we have in a sense committed it, if it wasn’t for these two things Western man would still be Christian.
Newsmax: Isn’t the demand for freedom from all morality and a license to do whatever one’s carnal desires crave the real reason why most atheists deny the existence of a divine lawgiver?
D’SOUZA: I think it is the main reason, the desire to escape not just sexual rules but also to escape from ultimate moral judgment. Marx once said that religion is the opiate of the masses. He implied that religion was a kind of refuge. I turn this around and note that atheism is the opiate of the morally corrupt. Atheists try and escape the idea of judgment by getting rid of the judge.
Newsmax: What proof can you offer for the reality of a soul?
D’SOUZA: The soul is that capacity that we all have within us to make free choices, both ordinary choices such as answering these questions, and moral choices, such as whether I should tell the truth or not. In both cases our choices are up to us. They are not determined entirely by physical laws such as the movement of atoms and molecules. If they were so determined then it would be pointless to say to someone, “You shouldn’t have done that,” because clearly he would have had no choice in the matter.
But this is absurd. We exercise choice all the time, and these choices are in some sense outside of the mechanical laws of nature. So we inhabit two domains: the natural domain and the metaphysical domain. Atheists ridicule the soul as the “ghost in the machine.” But there is a ghost in the machine, and it’s called free will.
Newsmax: Atheists reject the possibility of miracles. Why do they deny that miracles are possible?
D’SOUZA: The short answer is because they don’t understand what science shows and what it doesn’t show. There is nothing in science that contradicts the idea of miracles. Science uses observations and experiments to posit laws. But these laws are provisional truths that are always open to revision. We believe that “all swans are white” until we run into a black swan. We believe that “light travels everywhere at 186,000 miles per second” until we find a situation where it doesn’t travel at that speed.
Miracles are impossible only if the laws of the universe were known to be true in a final and unrestricted sense. But there is no scientific law, no matter how basic, that is true in this sense. I’m not trying to show that this miracle or that miracle is true, only that miracles are entirely consistent with modern science.
Newsmax: How can Christianity improve people’s lives?
D’SOUZA: Christianity makes sense of the world that, without God, would lose its ultimate grounding and meaning. Christianity also gives life a goal and purpose. It makes available to us on a regular basis the experience of the sublime. It removes the cosmic loneliness that we all feel in the world. It enables us to cope with hardship and suffering and death. It fills us with the hope that we will ultimately see God. It gives us a reason to be moral and also shows us how to be moral. It’s simply a fuller, better, more fun way to live.
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