Arguments against Christianity, for the ‘forgetful’

Today Mung claimed of TSZ that

I see mocking of Christianity, what I don’t see are arguments that Christianity is false.

As the regulars here (including Mung) know, this is bollocks. There have been many such arguments, and Mung has fled from a number of them.

I replied:

You see plenty of them [arguments against Christianity], but you’re in denial.

Want to test that hypothesis? Start a thread asking for arguments against Christianity. You’ll get an earful.

He got cold feet, so I am starting the thread for him. I’ll provide some arguments in the comments. Feel free to add your own or to cross-post or link to old OPs and comments, if you can’t be arsed to reinvent the wheel for Mung’s trollish sake.

Mung’s fellow Christians are welcome to come to his aid. He’ll need all the help he can get.

534 thoughts on “Arguments against Christianity, for the ‘forgetful’

  1. Do the links posted by keiths work for anyone but keiths?

    Rather than reposting them, I’ll advise interested readers to copy and paste the thread titles into the search box at the top of the page.

  2. petrushka: Perhaps it would be better to cite reasons for not believing.

    Sure. But that doesn’t even begin to approach an argument for why Christianity is false.

  3. KN,

    Just for the record, I have no idea what “Christianity is false” or “Christianity is true” is even supposed to mean.

    That’s easy. Christianity is true or false to the extent that its essential beliefs are true or false.

  4. Mung:
    Do the links posted by keiths work for anyone but keiths?

    Only if you click on them.

    ETA Ninja’d by Neil!

  5. Kantian Naturalist: Just for the record, I have no idea what “Christianity is false” or “Christianity is true” is even supposed to mean.

    This is the sort of thing that keiths should be addressing here.

    He needs to define is terms satisfactorily first and as far as KN is concerned he has not done that. Until he does so this exercise is nothing but noise

    peace

  6. keiths: To present arguments against Christianity.

    No, not arguments against Christianity. One or more arguments that Christianity is false.

    Mung: I’m also a Christian. I believe Jesus existed. I see mocking of Christianity, what I don’t see are arguments that Christianity is false.

    And then keiths immediately tries to move the goalposts:

    keiths: Start a thread asking for arguments against Christianity. You’ll get an earful.

    Pretending that we haven’t argued against Christianity is a lot easier than responding to our arguments, isn’t it?

    Avoiding the subject is a lot easier than making an argument for why Christianity is false, isn’t it?

  7. keiths: That’s easy. Christianity is true or false to the extent that its essential beliefs are true or false.

    What are it’s essential beliefs? You need to be very specific here because it will serve to focus the conversation that follows.

    peace

  8. keiths: Christianity is true or false to the extent that its essential beliefs are true or false.

    How does one define what those “essential beliefs” are? By what criteria do you propose to evaluate those beliefs as being true or false?

    If one were to assume in advance that the “essential beliefs” of Christianity are true or false in terms of whether they conform to the requirements of empirical investigation, you’re not exactly parking your priors at the door.

  9. keiths: Christianity is true or false to the extent that its essential beliefs are true or false.

    I would say that the belief that Jesus actually existed would be a core belief. But you’re not arguing that Jesus never actually existed.

    I would say that the belief that Jesus was crucified would be a core belief. But you’re not arguing that Jesus was never actually crucified.

    But I think we’re at least starting to get some idea about what an argument that Christianity is false would need to establish.

  10. As a non-theist, all I ask for from my religious co-inhabitants of the world is the right to not be treated as a second-class citizen by virtue of lacking religious convictions. But the demand for equality and recognition has to be mutual or it’s nothing.

    It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to demand of them that their privately held convictions must pass muster by the lights of public reason. What someone needs to believe in order to hold onto hope in the face of despair is a private matter, not an issue of public concern.

  11. KN,

    How does one define what those “essential beliefs” are?

    By observing which beliefs Christians regard as essential, of course. Explicit creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are quite helpful in that regard.

    By what criteria do you propose to evaluate those beliefs as being true or false?

    By the same criteria I’d apply to any question of truth or falsehood. For example, the claim ‘Jesus is God’ is true if Jesus is God, and it’s false if Jesus isn’t God.

    If one were to assume in advance that the “essential beliefs” of Christianity are true or false in terms of whether they conform to the requirements of empirical investigation, you’re not exactly parking your priors at the door.

    The requirements vary according to the claim. If a claim can be shown to be logically necessary, for example, then empirical support isn’t required.

  12. Kantian Naturalist: As a non-theist, all I ask for from my religious co-inhabitants of the world is the right to not be treated as a second-class citizen by virtue of lacking religious convictions. But the demand for equality and recognition has to be mutual or it’s nothing.

    Precisely!

  13. keiths: Explicit creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are quite helpful in that regard.

    I’d agree, why not take the Apostles’ Creed and work through it line by line disproving it as you go?

    now that would be interesting

    peace

  14. KN,

    As a non-theist, all I ask for from my religious co-inhabitants of the world is the right to not be treated as a second-class citizen by virtue of lacking religious convictions. But the demand for equality and recognition has to be mutual or it’s nothing.

    It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to demand of them that their privately held convictions must pass muster by the lights of public reason. What someone needs to believe in order to hold onto hope in the face of despair is a private matter, not an issue of public concern.

    No one here is advocating that people be forced to abandon beliefs that don’t “pass muster”, KN, nor that they should be treated as “second-class citizens” for holding such beliefs.

    As far as I’m concerned, Scientologists have the right to believe in the Marcab Confederacy and to state their beliefs publicly if they so desire. Likewise, critics are free to disbelieve in the Marcab Confederacy and to state their disbelief publicly. Both sides are also free to state the reasons for their respective beliefs and to try to persuade others.

    I absolutely oppose any attempts to infringe on the above rights, which means that whether a belief is privately held by someone should have no bearing whatsoever on whether it is fair game for criticism.

    You’ve expressed a protective attitude toward religious beliefs in the past, perhaps because you sense that your own religious beliefs (such as they are) would not “pass muster”. Giving special status to religious beliefs is a mistake. People should be as free to criticize religious beliefs as they are to espouse them, just as with political or scientific beliefs.

  15. What is Christianity? What makes Christianity what it is now and what it is supposed to be?
    Same applies to individual Christians… What make one a Christian or more specifically a real Christian?

  16. Kantian Naturalist: As a non-theist, all I ask for from my religious co-inhabitants of the world is the right to not be treated as a second-class citizen by virtue of lacking religious convictions. But the demand for equality and recognition has to be mutual or it’s nothing.

    This demand to your religious co-inhabitants of the world would make sense if they ran the world. Perhaps in your view they indeed rule the world and have power over citizenships of several classes.

    Or you could say they once ruled the world. You can turn this into an argument against Christianity. Go ahead.

  17. J-Mac: What is Christianity? What makes Christianity what it is now and what it is supposed to be?

    Be patient apparently keiths is going to spell it all out for us.
    Then he will prove that it is all false. 😉

    peace

  18. If you can’t even figure out what ‘christian’ means, i really doubt your intellectual efforts will go anywhere.

  19. keiths: No one here is advocating that people be forced to abandon beliefs that don’t “pass muster”, KN, nor that they should be treated as “second-class citizens” for holding such beliefs.

    ORLY?

  20. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

    1 Corinthians 15:3-8

  21. What one does to other people who do not share one’s beliefs is a matter of public concern.

  22. keiths, If I’m going to go through your links don’t expect me to look further than your OP. If your argument for why Christianity is false isn’t in an OP you’ve written you probably have no such argument to offer.

    A specific instance of the problem of evil

    I don’t see an argument that Christianity is false.

  23. Erik: Or you could say they once ruled the world. You can turn this into an argument against Christianity. Go ahead.

    I’m not interested in making an argument against Christianity. Or in favor of it.

    If I were to make a case against Christianity, I’d do so more along Nietzsche’s lines: that Christianity is psychologically harmful.

  24. Kantian Naturalist: I’m not interested in making an argument against Christianity.

    If we’re talking about an argument that Christianity is false, keiths seems to share that same sentiment. 🙂

  25. keiths quotes me in his OP:

    Mung: I see mocking of Christianity, what I don’t see are arguments that Christianity is false.

    And his response to that:

    keiths: As the regulars here (including Mung) know, this is bollocks. There have been many such arguments [that Christianity is false – Mung], and Mung has fled from a number of them.

    I’ve only been through six of his OPs and I haven’t seen one yet, much less the indicated many. I guess I just have to have faith. I know, I’ll say a prayer. 🙂

  26. An astonishingly lame argument from Alvin Plantinga

    Ah. Surely this OP has an argument that Christianity is false! It’s short enough to quote in full:

    Alvin Plantinga is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading Christian philosophers. Watch the video below and ask yourself, WTF?

    So as not to spoil your fun, I’ll refrain from offering my take on the argument until readers have had a chance to comment.

    Nope. No such argument to be found.

  27. Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, continued

    Another short one:

    It’s time to start a continuation thread for Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, because the original thread is being affected by a software bug. Only the final page of comments is affected.

    Moderators, could one of you move all of the comments (except for the metacomments) from the final page to here? Also, could you inform Sriskandarajah by email about this new thread, in case he has bookmarked the old one? Thanks.

    That’s quite the argument! Total number of arguments that Christianity is false just climbed sharply up to zero!

  28. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

    Oh look. An OP mocking Christianity. A SERIOUS OP! “…the question actually deserves genuine, serious consideration.”

    To the theists reading this: When you’re stranded on the throne, why doesn’t God poof a roll into existence for you? He’s surely powerful enough to do it, with less effort than it takes you to lift a finger, so what holds him back?

    But as an argument that Christianity is false it fails. Flush it.

    Zero of nine.

  29. Halfway through the list of OPs keiths provided and nary a one makes the argument that Christianity is false. Are we looking at the largest literature bluff in the history of TSZ? You’ve seen what’s behind half of the doors.

    I’ll pray harder. Won’t you all join me?

  30. Questions for Christians and other theists, part 3: The Atonement

    From the OP:

    Here’s Christianity’s dirty secret: No one has a good explanation of how atonement works. There is no consensus among Christians, and none of the theories offered actually make sense.

    keiths doesn’t argue that the atonement is false, he only claims that no one has a good explanation of how it works. That’s a rather important distinction to make. Perhaps one atonement theory is better than the others but keiths still doesn’t find it satisfying. Perhaps no one of the theories can outdo any of the others. It hardly follows that they are all false. And even if they were all false, it still doesn’t follow that Christianity itself is false.

    Think in terms of evolution. There could be competing explanations for something, perhaps none of them adjudged to be good. Perhaps they are all false. It doesn’t follow that evolution is false.

    keiths thinks he has arguments that Christianity is false, but all I see so far is no argument at all or a basic logic fail.

    The argument that Christianity is false is still MIA.

  31. Questions for keiths and others who have no argument that Christianity is false. Where’s the link to Part IV?

  32. Questions for Christians and other theists, part 5: Satan

    From the OP:

    Pope Francis believes in Satan:

    [snip quote from Pope Francis]

    Theists, do you agree with the Pope?

    A question for those who do: If God is omnipotent, he could crush Satan like a bug at any time. Why doesn’t he?

    Is this supposed to be an argument that Christianity is false? Seriously?

    0 for 14. Still no such argument from keiths.

    Please send money so that we can pay for more people to be freed up to pray for this miracle. An actual argument from keiths that Christianity is false. Send money now to receive your free gift. And God bless you.

  33. Pascal’s irrational wager

    From the OP:

    Pascal was a brilliant guy, but his famous Wager is an irrational mess. (Religion can have that effect on otherwise bright people.) In the comments, let’s explain the Wager’s shortcomings to Sal.

    Not an argument that Christianity is false. Fail #15. We’re in the home stretch now. Only three more keiths OPs to go and no reason at all to believe they will contain an argument that Christianity is false.

    Zero.

  34. keiths: Rather than reposting them, I’ll advise interested readers to copy and paste the thread titles into the search box at the top of the page.

    Don’t bother folks. I provided the links and what we have here has to be the greatest literature bluff in TSZ history.

    Good thing the topic isn’t honesty and integrity!

  35. Christianity is false because the earth isn’t flat after all. Christianity is false because the earth isn’t at the center of the solar system. Christianity is false because it is almost certain that life exists on other planets. Christianity is false because I can’t believe that it’s true.

    Given that quite a number of atheists here have confessed to becoming non-believers at or before their early teens, I still don’t think the question has ever been answered, what argument convinced you that Christianity is false?

    My review of the OPs authored by keiths revealed that none of them present the argument that convinced keiths personally that Christianity is false. Perhaps there was no such argument and keiths became an unbeliever for no good reason at all.

    If there was an argument that convinced keiths that Christianity is false now might be an appropriate time for him to share it. How old were you keiths? Were you even in your teens?

  36. Heh.

    I’ve got Mung wound up pretty tightly. That was quite an adolescent display on his part.

    I commented on similar behavior over a year ago:

    1. TSZ is full of arguments I’ve made against Christianity, but you’ll miss them if you go looking for the specific words “Christianity is false because…” and nothing else. Instead, you’ll need to think about what you’re reading, as uncomfortable as that may be for you. For example, I am arguing against Christianity in this very thread. See if you’re smart enough to figure that out for yourself. If you can’t, then you’re going to have a very difficult time keeping up with the adults.

    Don’t worry, Mung. I’ll connect the dots for you this time, since you can’t seem to do it on your own.

    I did so in that same thread:

    I’m arguing against Christianity in this very thread, via the problem of evil. If Mung really wanted to engage me over the truth of Christianity, he would respond to my argument instead of pretending that I haven’t presented one.

    I think he’d prefer not to engage, given how that usually turns out for him.

    You remember — the problem of evil, of which you eventually said:

    I have no problem agreeing, for instance, that the problem of evil is the most (only?) serious objection that can be offered against the existence of God.

    …thus demonstrating that you are now lying when you say:

    I see mocking of Christianity, what I don’t see are arguments that Christianity is false.

    Christianity claims that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. The evidence undercuts that claim and shows that Christianity is therefore false.

    Will you actually confront the problem of evil this time, Mung, instead of fleeing from the discussion?

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