One prime example he gives for Christianity is that they are to blame for the Jews who were killed at the holocaust. This is not a fair assessment. Listen to the words of Ravi Zacharias in response to this argument:.
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Is he aware that Hitler personally presented the writing of Nietzsche to Stalin and Mussolini? Is he ignoring the fact that others who were not Jewish were also slaughtered by Hitler? But when a Holocaust is engendered by an ideologue, it is the culmination of four hundred years of Christian intolerance for the Jew.
There are plenty of examples, and it is horrendous and embarrassing. But for Christianity, the murder of Muslims in the crusades or the burning of witches and heretics in the medieval times See chapter 3 are in violation of what it means to be a follower of Christ!
You cannot blame a system of belief based off its malpractice. Throughout the entire book, Harris evaluates the history of religion as he makes moral judgments. This is thin ice for an atheist because a worldview without God does not offer a foundation for making universal claims to good and evil. For a Christian, evil is a violation of the sacred purpose for which God intended in something, and it goes against the very nature of who God is. But if everything is merely atoms and chemicals, and if life is only a product of evolutionary processes, what makes something good or evil?
Why is killing worse than giving?
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Why is love better than hatred? Why should we equate morality with happiness? Why are we responsible to affect the happiness and suffering of someone else? What if a rapist experiences more happiness raping someone than the sadness in the one being raped? Harris never really addresses these deeper issues. Science cannot answer questions of morality.
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It will never get us any closer. If atheists are to defend themselves against this moral dilemma presented by theists like myself, they must not get sidetracked with conversations of moral motivation or unsubstantiated ethical theories. Is it necessary for science and religion to conflict in this manner? Albert Einstein seems to have felt not, but at the same time, he often recounted just such conflicts occurring. Part of the problem is that Einstein seems to have thought there existed a 'true' religion that couldn't conflict with science.
The principle of morality originating from a god is the foundation for many theistic religions. Many believers even subscribe to the thought that non-believers cannot be moral. Einstein took a different approach to this matter. According to Einstein, he believed that morals and ethical behavior are purely natural and human creations. To him, good morals were tied to culture, society, education, and the " harmony of natural law.
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He often acknowledged that this is the basis for many religious beliefs. He did also express religious feelings, often in the form of awe in the mystery of the cosmos. In many of his writings, Einstein professes a respect for the mysterious aspects of nature. In one interview, Einstein says, " Only in relation to these mysteries do I consider myself to be a religious man Religious beliefs often influence political beliefs. If religious theists were hoping that Einstein stood with them on religion, they would be surprised at his politics as well.
Some of his positions would surely conflict with conservative Christians today and may even extend to political moderates. In " The World As I See It " he says, " Social equality and economic protection of the individual appeared to me always as the important communal aims of the state. Share Flipboard Email. Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. According to Einstein's own words,.
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In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him? At the least, he is to feel pity for the adherent of another religion but usually it does not stop there. The faithful adherent of a religion will try first of all to convince those that believe in another religion and usually he goes on to hatred if he is not successful.
However, hatred then leads to persecution when the might of the majority is behind it. In the case of a Christian clergyman, the tragic-comical is found in this
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