by Rebecca Bynum (September 2009)
by John Derbyshire
Crown Forum (September 29, 2009)
Having read this, I must say, yet again, to anyone who has read this article: get yourself, and read, slowly and carefully, the following books by David Bentley Hart, Orthodox theologian: 'In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments' (a collection of essays, of which the most interesting, and relevant to Mr Derbyshire's malaise, are 'Christ and Nothing (No Other God') and 'The Anti-Theology of the Body'); 'Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies' (parts three and four are particularly of interest); and 'The Beauty of the Infinite' (the first part being a thorough analysis of the nihilism of late modern western philosophy).
I would advise that the second part of 'Atheist Delusions', which discusses the truly revolutionary challenge that Christianity posed to the pagan Greco-Roman world, should - indeed, *must* - be read in conjunction with Tom Cahill's very useful book, 'The Gifts of the Jews'. For then one sees that the Christian revolution is the logical outworking, continuation, or worldwide extension, of that which one might call 'the Hebrew revolution'; there would be *no* Christianity without the Jews. Hart speaks of 'the Christian invention of the human', the discovery of 'the face of the faceless'; but I think Cahill makes a good case for seeing the *original* 'invention of the human', of the sanctity and dignity of each individual human person qua unique and irreplaceable human person, vis a vis the God in whose image he or she is created, as a Jewish accomplishment.
John Derbyshire is not original at all. We just have to look at B.F. Skinner to see a similar viewpoint. John Dewey would be an even earlier example of the determinist/rationalist mentality. The curious thing is is that such views have normally come from the left, and have been associated with totalitarian movements(Remember Scientific Socialism). John Derbyshire seems to be just another "Projector" peddling his nonsense to those who do not know any better.