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Denish D'Souza

A frequent debater on the God question is Dinesh D'Souza, former President of The King's College in New York, and author of various books. He has debated Christopher Hitchens, and he was one of two in the Intelligence Squared debate against the motion "Science refutes God."

D'Souza was on the same side of the debate as those of us who understand science as agnostic about God rather than refuting God. D'Souza added that science "isn't telling us what's right or wrong at all" – which is something non-believers can also accept, believing as they do in thinking for themselves and accessing their own values in choosing right from wrong.

In the debate D'Souza made the dubious claim that belief in God is reasonable because it's so widespread, raising the question of societies, including those mentioned in scripture, that believed with virtual unanimity in gods that were rivals to D'Souza's god, Jehovah. Looking across history and the world, holding to the number of believers as a measurement of what is a real is hard to accept.

D'Souza argued also that people find purpose in life not from empirical evidence but from Christianity. I don't recall him saying that Hindus and Muslims find purpose in their religion. He added that empirical evidence cannot tell us what happens after death, but Christianity does.

In his book Life after Death, D'Souza describes his faith as associated with agnosticism, that he believes in God not because he had empirical evidence of God. His faith is a decision to believe because he wants to believe. He writes of this combination of faith and agnosticism as a philosophical foundation. It is his choice, indeed, and we can wish him well while not accepting his argument as compelling.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.