15 common christian questions answered
Behold, my latest work. I've tried to answer 15 common christian questions in a short and easy to read format. Thought it might be a good resource to point new xtian posters to when they come with Pascal's Wager. As always, critisism is welcome, and nominations for other questions to answer.
Common christian arguments
(In no particular order)
1. Pascal’s Wager
Premises: You have everything to gain by believing, and everything to lose by not. So why not believe?/What if you’re wrong?
Problem: What if you’re wrong and allah is the true god? Pascal never indicated which god we should believe in. With thousands of them out there, they chances are choosing the right one are slim. If you are a christian and allah is the right choice, you’re going to have a small problem after death. Isn’t it more logical to choose none? It also assumes that god isn’t going to mind you just believing because you don’t want to go to hell, and doesn’t want true followers.
2.Argument from ignorance
Premises: Atheism is not a logical position to hold, because to say you know there is no god, you would have to be all-present and knowing. You would have to be god.
Problem: There are several flaws here. Firstly, not many atheists will claim to know beyond a doubt there is no god. It is impossible to prove a negative. They have no belief in one.
Secondly, it is just as impossible for a theist to prove there is a god without ultimate knowledge. More so, since the burden of proof rests with them.
Thirdly, by this reasoning, every god and imaginary creature ever created must exist, since you can’t prove it false. This means yahweh is not the only god, and christianity is negated.
Just because you can’t prove something false, doesn’t mean it’s true.
3. Atheism is a religion/ atheists have faith.
Premises: Exactly what it says in the title
Problem: Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color, off is a tv channel, and not playing football is a sport. It is the lack of belief. The Cambridge online dictionary defines religion as “the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship.’’
An atheist has neither belief in any gods, nor worships any. Religion can also be defined as “a set of rituals and ceremonies pertaining to a deity.” Again, this is not demonstrated in the atheist’s life.
I will assume the Christian reader does not believe in Thor. Is you’re a-Thorism a religion? Do you call yourself a follower of the ‘There is no Thor faith’, and go to Thor unbelief church? No.
4. Appeal to Popularity
Premises: Billions of people have believed in christianity. If it’s wrong, why would so many believe it?
Problem: There was once a time when everybody believed that the earth was flat. Just because people believed that, doesn’t make it true.
Premises: If you were walking along and found a watch, you would note it’s complexity and conclude someone had designed it. It is the same with the natural world. Everything needs a creator.
Problem: Watches are designed. We know this because we can go to the watch factory and talk to the designer, and see the plans and processed for it. I’ve yet to see anyone do this with the universes’ supposed creator. Watches are non-organic things, and therefore couldn’t naturally evolve. Of course you wouldn’t think it just grew there. You might with a plant though. It is interesting to note that while this is n argument against evolution, watches evolve in their own way. The complex digital watch you found started as a simple sundial. In using this argument, the creationist must give credence to evolution.
This boils down to everything created needs a creator. The thing here is, who created god?
If nothing, then everything, including the world, does not need a creator. There is no reason to believe creationism.
If something, then god is not the universe’s creator. There is no reason to believe creationism.
6. Argument from fine tuning/Improbability
Premises: The earth is just right for life. A bit more that way, it would too cold. A bit, more that way, too hot. It has just the right kind of atmosphere, nice solar system with a asteroid belt that protects us from errant meteors that could hit the earth, etc. Or just look at us. See how complex the eye is. That couldn’t have just happened.
Problem: So the earth is just right for life and life happens to exist there? Didn’t see that coming! This doesn’t seem as amazing when you realize there are billions of planets, around billions of stars. Given the astronomical numbers worked with here, it isn’t that unlikely one would have the right conditions for life to appear. In fact, the universe speaks against intelligent design. So many galaxies and dead planets, so one can have life? It resembles far more the result one would get from an event such as the Big Bang.
The earth itself does not seem so intelligently designed. 70% of it is water, not much good for us non-gilled humans. Of the remaining land, much is in-hospitable dessert or ice land. Why would god give us one planet in the whole universe and make most of it useless?
It is the same if we look at the eye. Yes, it is very unlikely it just appeared. Remember to factor in few million years though, and it’s not so unbelievable that it manage to work it’s way here. If it was intelligently designed, why do so many people need glasses, and why are eyes so sensitive and easy to injure?
7. Atheists are just as bad as christians, cramming their beliefs down peoples throats.
Problem: When last did you see atheists going door to door?
When last did you see an atheist tv channel preaching to people?
When last did you have to see a monument of Richard Dawkins quotes in a courtroom?
When last did you see children going to a private atheist school were they are taught to distrust theists?
8. So what if people believe something else. Why not just let them be?
Problem: Remember the Twin Towers? Want to live in a world were stem cell research could prolong lives? Then speak out against religion. If an adult still believed in Santa, wouldn’t you feel compelled to put them straight? Religion is severely dangerous to our world. Try find a war that didn’t have religious influence behind it. Whenever there is religion, knowledge is shunned and ridiculed.
Most christians think the world would be great if everyone thought like they did. We had that once. It was called the Dark Age, and it set humanity back possibly centuries. The fact is, people will rather vote for someone who has no qualification except believing in god, than a highly capable person who doesn’t.
People once believed demons caused illness and drilling holes in peoples head was considered the cutting edge of medicine. If that’s the world you want, keep up your religion.
9. How can you be moral without god?
Premises: It is impossible to be moral, the bible is the ultimate source of morality.
Problem: This is very insulting to the atheist, and completely baseless. First you have to accept the bible is the source of morality. There is no reason to believe anything in it is true, and do you really want to live by a book that has this:
Killing innocent babies-Exodus 12:29
You must kill your child if they disobey you-Exodus 21:15
Beat your slave, just make sure he doesn’t die! Exodus 21:20-21
They complete destruction of peoples, including infants, women, and animals. 1 Samuel 15:2-3
Giving your daughter away to her cousin in payment for his killing someone. Joshua 15:16-17
Condones child sacrifice. Judges 11:29-40
Sell your clothes to buy swords. Luke 22:36
Less than 1% of America’s prison population is atheist. (http://www.adherents.com/misc/adh_prison.html ) Even if those numbers are skewed, there are still a lot more christians than atheists in prison. Obviously, there are a lot more christians than atheists in every facet of American life, but should there be any in prison in the first place if they have the moral high ground?
The buckle of the Bible Belt has extremely high levels of teen pregnancy, (http://www.physorg.com/news104658683.html )violence,( Louisiana has the highest churchgoing rate in the country, but its murder rate is more than twice the national average) and religious intolerance . Why if christians are so much better?
10. You’re an atheist because you hate god.
Problem: Do you not believe in Santa because you hate him? Atheists may be resentful or angry about their former theism and that they were lied to, but you can’t hate something you don’t believe in.
11. Hitler and Stalin were atheist, they killed millions.
Problem: There is little evidence Hitler was atheist. He made many remarks consistent with a belief in god, such as:
‘Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator, by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” –Mein Kampf, pg 65
“We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”- in a speech delivered in Berlin, October 24, 1933.
‘We don’t want to educate anyone in atheism.’-Table-Talk ,pg 6
‘I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.’-from John Toland ,Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507.
It is interesting to note Hitler was never excommunicated from the church, as opposed to say , Galileo , who was only pardoned in 1992.Furhtermore, his campaign against Jews was possible largely because of anti-Semitic preaching’s by the church for hundreds of years.
It is likely Hitler simply choose to say whatever his particular audience wanted to hear in regard to belief. There is no reason he should be called atheist.
Stalin may have been an atheist, but christians overlook one obvious fact. He killed in the name of Communism, not atheism. Communism is in itself a religion, where the state and leader are worshiped, as opposed to a deity.
Neither of these men, or any other leader I’m aware of, ever killed in the name of atheism.
12.Evolution is just a theory.
Problem: So is gravity. Now go fly away. The word theory has different meanings in laymen and scientific contexts. In science it is something that has been tested and has evidence supporting it.
Example: The Theory of Gravity, Atomic Cell Theory
In science, something can be both theory and fact.
13. Argument from personal experience.
Premises: I know god’s real because I’ve felt him! I’ve seen miracles! How do you explain that?
Problem: I know god’s not real because he told me so! See, just you because you say something, don’t make it so. Christians will usually resort to the personal experience argument when all other arguments have dried up, because it is impossible to prove or disprove. The thing is, many people have had the personal experience of seeing Elvis, getting abducted by aliens, and having the CIA secretly spy on them. Shall we now afford all these claims complete credibility?
As a former Christian, I’ve had personal experiences. However, when you remove the blind faith and indoctrination, you realize they are the product of highly emotional settings, usually combined with peer pressure. Everyone around me is talking in tongues! I better do something. The mind’s capability for imagination is vast, and if you want something to be badly enough, you will likely experience it.
That which can be presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
14. Most of the great scientists believed in god! Einstein believed in god! Are you smarter than him?
Problem: Most of the great historical scientists (Newton, Kepler, etc) lived in times when not being a christian or opposing the church meant at worst death, at best rejection or exile. (see: Galileo) Moving into the 20th and 21st centuries, the correlation between christian and scientist drops sharply.
From The God Delusion, pg 126:
“The only website I could find that claimed to list “Nobel-Prize winning Scientific- Christians” came up with six, out of a total of several hundred scientific Nobelists. Of these six, it turns out that four were not Noble-Prize winners at all; and at least one, to my certain knowledge, is a non-believer who attends church purely for social reasons.”
“A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientists considered imminent enough by their peers to be selected to the National Academy of Sciences … only about 7 percent believed in a personal God.”
Einstein was at best a deist. Yet more quotes:
“ It is of course a lie what you have read about my religious conviction, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbound admiration for the structure of our world so far as our science can reveal it.”-1954, in The Human Side
“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human fragility. Neither can I believe that an individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”- 19 April 1995, Breaking the Last Taboo
[mod edit: Einstein was originally quoted on Nov. 9, 1930 in the New York Times. James Haught included this quote in Breaking the Last Taboo, 1996. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/james_haught/index.html --Hambydammit]
15. Everyone needs to believe in something. It’s comforting.
Problem: Believing in christianity may be comforting at times, but only in the way that telling a small child a deceased person has gone for a sleep. It’s still a lie, and shouldn’t be found in adults who have the intelligence to know better.
You can believe in yourself. Believe in your capability and intelligence as a human being to make your life better and accomplish your goals. Wouldn’t you agree that’s a better approach than sitting back and waiting for a magical god to fix all your problems? All believing in a religion does is teach you to never question or grow, and sugarcoat the pressing issues of humanity.
Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible
This is getting redudnant. My patience with the unteachable[atheists] is limited.
Argument from Sadism: Theist presents argument in a wall of text with no punctuation and wrong spelling. Atheist cannot read and is forced to concede.