D'Souza's Evidence: Is there life after death?

Newsweek reviewed Dinesh D'Souza's new book (Life After Death: The Evidence) which answers the question, Is there life after death? Yes, there is, he says.
...D'Souza takes it as given that we are all consumed with wondering what will happen to us after death, the way all Europeans were in medieval times, and D'Souza himself still is. Believers, of course, need no convincing on the subject of life after death, so D'Souza must address himself to skeptics, who presumably have made their peace with the expectation of personal annihilation. Skeptics may object to D'Souza's mode of argument, which is to state a proposition, present the evidence for both sides with an elaborate if spurious show of impartiality, and proceed briskly to the conclusion that his own preference is obviously the winner. But on some level, D'Souza believes, even skeptics would like to be convinced...
Update: We add a few of our own observations now that we have read the book. What comes through in it is a great energy and intellect with a triumphal mission to fulfill. Look at me, says the author. I am literate and know philosophy, biology, physics, biology, neuroscience, sociology, psychology, ethics and more. And from each discipline I can find evidence to support my belief that there is life after death. EVIDENCE. And in the end, in 16 pages this author proclaims his belief in Jesus' resurrection as the most compelling evidence.

The book is not an honest treatise. It presents argumentation and rhetoric, innuendo, clever insinuation and sophistry and yet not a single shred of evidence.

This book will dazzle and comfort the believer with its citations of dozens of learned and scientific tomes. We do not think the book is meant to convince the searcher, nor will it serve that purpose.

All said and done, this effort reminds us once again that Christianity took up the single area of religion that Judaism had elided - the mystery of death - and built upon that with a simple narrative of a dying and rising savior - a powerful world wide religious empire.

Some of us Jews are occasionally wondering how this happened - how we had the nearly exclusive franchise to Western religion and watched as it slipped from our grasp, based mainly on a tale of life after death.

1 comment:

Richard said...

My own view is this. Judaism seems to more about how to live i.e. responsibilities and actions in the here and now, while Christianity is far more focused on death.

The whole resurrection story never made sense to me. If Jesus were indeed God, all of the uncertainty associated with his own death would be absent and the presumed sacrifice nothing more than a pretense. On the other hand, if he were just a man then the death would have meaning. However, in that case he would not be God and there would be no reason to worship him.

Comparing ancient stories, Hector of Troy showed far more courage than Jesus, in my opinion, and really sacrificed himself for a cause. He took on a demigod - Achilles - knowing full well he would die, but did it in a Talmudic way, out of responsibility to the living.