In his latest book, conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza says that thanks to recent scientific discoveries (think dark matter) and new theories (think the big bang), the idea of resurrected bodies and realms like heaven and hell don't seem so outrageous. CT senior managing editor Mark Galli spoke with D'Souza about Life After Death: The Evidence (Regnery Press), and about how modern science presents no stumbling blocks for the Christian view of the afterlife.
Why do we need a book on life after death when it appears that most people believe in it?
Life after death is a universal sentiment, but in modern times and only in one civilization—the West—a powerful movement has risen to deny life after death. Ordinarily you could ignore the deniers because they are a small minority, but they tend to be some of the most educated people, and they appeal to the authority of knowledge and science.
This book is different in that it doesn't attempt to present what the Bible says about life after death. Rather, it's an attempt to provide secular corroboration through reason and science for what believers have affirmed by faith. There's a lot of powerful evidence, and new evidence, that shows that not only the afterlife but also the Christian conception of the afterlife can be affirmed by modern science.
What to you is the strongest argument against life after death?
There are two strong arguments. One was made most famous by Sigmund Freud. It essentially says that belief in the afterlife can be safely dismissed because it is a case of wish fulfillment. Freud distinguished between error and illusion: An error is a mistaken belief; an illusion isn't a mistaken belief, but it's a belief rooted in what you hope will be rather than ...1