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

    That’s just bullshit I’m afraid. Christianity includes the belief that there’s an omnipotent, all-knowing and omnibenevolent God. Any argument against that is an argument against Christianity.

    What are you trying to insinuate, that there’s no tri-omni God in Christianity?

  2. Mung: 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.

    Right, those would all be bad arguments against Christianity, because I can agree that the flatness of the Earth, or the relative motion of the planets, aren’t really essential or core properties of Christianity. Though they might be arguments against specific Christian denominations with specific and very literal interpretations of some biblical passages.

    That there is an all-knowing, omnipotent, morally perfect God and that that God took human form and got itself crucified somewhere around 2000 years ago, seems to me to be an essential Christian belief.
    Am I wrong and if so, in what particular way?
    Is Jesus not the Christian God in human form?
    Is He not a God at all?
    Is the Christian God not all knowing?
    Is the Christian God not omnipotent?
    Is the Christian God not morally perfect?

    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?

    I became an atheist in my mid-twenties (I’m 36 now) as I realized I had no good reasons for belief according to the principles I used to justify believing anything at all. Simply put, if I was to remain a Christian, I would have to deliberately erect a different class of beliefs maintained by an entirely different standard of evidence from all my other beliefs. That seemed to me self-serving and hypocritical, so I eventually stopped as the excuses I found myself rationalizing became ever more hollow and ad-hoc. I realized the only reason I believed in the first place was because of childhood indoctrination and after-the-fact rationalizations.

    As I read arguments both for and against christianity, I saw the same flaws of rationalizations in the pro-christian arguments as I would be doing myself. So since none of the reasons for belief held up to scrutiny, and many of the arguments against it made perfect sense, one day I eventually concluded I was an atheist. At that point I probably had been for a time, yet never thought about it explicitly in those terms. My beliefs simply waned as I stopped myself from inventing those ad-hoc reasons for belief when I caught myself doing it (I would literally think to myself, “You’re making shit up again, Mikkel”).

  3. Rumraket,

    That’s just bullshit I’m afraid. Christianity includes the belief that there’s an omnipotent, all-knowing and omnibenevolent God. Any argument against that is an argument against Christianity.

    Mung knows that perfectly well, but he also knows that he can’t defend the existence of an omniGod.

    Far safer for him to pretend that there are no arguments against Chjristianity here at TSZ than to actually respond to them. He invariably loses when he attempts the latter. No surprise then that he chooses the former, dishonest path in a vain attempt to save face.

  4. Mung,

    How old were you keiths? Were you even in your teens?

    You can read my deconversion story here and in subsequent comments.

    I learned to question my beliefs, and I’ve never stopped.

    How old are you, Mung? Why haven’t you learned that lesson?

  5. Regarding that attack, I wrote:

    Think about it, Steve. If God is omniscient, he knew that the dog was about to eat the baby’s head. If God is omnipotent, he could have prevented it. He knew it was going to happen, but he made the choice not to prevent it.

    Now suppose that the baby’s uncle had been present, that he had observed the dog killing the baby, and that he hadn’t lifted a finger to stop it. Who in their right mind would say, “Oh, what a loving uncle!”

    Your God is that uncle — but even worse, because he could have stopped the tragedy before it even got started. He knew it was going to happen, after all.

    You can tie yourself in knots trying to make excuses for God, or you can accept the obvious conclusion: your omniGod doesn’t exist. If there is a God, he isn’t the omniGod. And more likely still, there is no God at all.

  6. Mung: “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?”

    It’s sort of like Santa Claus. I don’t think anybody ever proved that Santa Claus didn’t exist, but as you grow older and learn more about the world and the people on it, you gradually realize that a lot of the stories about him don’t add up, that people are often wrong and that they sometimes outright lie.

    It’s also a bit like the phlogiston theory of heat. Nobody ever proved that there wasnt an invisible fluid inside combustible objects that causes heat and flames, but some facts were discovered that couldn’t be explained by the theory such as cannon barrels getting hot as they were bored and these facts raised doubts. The phlogiston theory finally died for good when a better theory involving vibrating molecules and chemical reactions explained everything the phlogiston theory explained, including the hot cannon barrels.

    Christianity (and every other religion that involves supernatural beings) died the same way. We found better, non-supernatural explanations for all the things that religion used to explain, including how humans happen to be here and why we are the way we are. The observations that led to the Big Bang theory put a cap on it when we learned that the universe started out so dirt simple that an intelligent being isn’t necessary to create the universe.

    I guess in a way Dr. Dr. Dembski threw the last spade full of dirt on Christianity’s grave when he calculated that the odds against even something as simple as a hundred base pair chunk of DNA “just existing” or “always existing” are skazillions to 1 against and anything as complicated as an intelligent being who could hear and comprehend a simple prayer are unimaginably worse. (The internet hasn’t got enough electrons to write those odds out.)

    But of course, the most convincing reason to disbelieve in Christianity is the childish, disgusting, lazy ignorant a–holes who so confidently believe it’s true.

  7. From the authors of “There’s no theory of evolution”… Plugged-Ears productions presents…

    “There’s no argument against christianity”

    soon in theaters

  8. keiths: Let’s start with an example that flummoxed Steve, FMM and Mung when I presented it:

    bad things happen therefore Christianity is false?———– right

    quote:
    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation [trouble]. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
    (Joh 16:33)

    and

    Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
    (Rom 5:3)

    end quote

    peace

  9. davemullenix: The observations that led to the Big Bang theory put a cap on it when we learned that the universe started out so dirt simple that an intelligent being isn’t necessary to create the universe.

    When did we learn that the universe started out “dirt simple”?.
    I thought that in a closed system like the universe entropy always increased.

    When did I miss the overturning of thermodynamics?

    peace

  10. fifthmonarchyman,

    When did we learn that the universe started out “dirt simple”?.
    I thought that in a closed system like the universe entropy always increased.

    When did I miss the overturning of thermodynamics?

    Equating entropy with disorder, as you seem to be doing, can lead to misunderstanding. Increase in entropy is often accompanied by increase in ‘order’ – even in closed systems. For example, the gravitational accretion of a diffuse gas to make a star.

  11. Allan Miller: Equating entropy with disorder, as you seem to be doing, can lead to misunderstanding

    You don’t think equating small with simple like Dave is doing can lead to misunderstanding?

  12. fifthmonarchyman,

    You don’t think equating small with simple like Dave is doing can lead to misunderstanding?

    I don’t think Dave was equating small with simple.

  13. fifthmonarchyman: Claiming something does not make it so.

    LOL! Off to get a new irony meter!

    As for your videos…why exactly should claims by proxy be taken with any more weight than your claims of ignorance?

  14. I think you make some excellent points but I can’t agree with this remark.

    davemullenix: But of course, the most convincing reason to disbelieve in Christianity is the childish, disgusting, lazy ignorant a–holes who so confidently believe it’s true.

    I’ll agree that some US Christian evangelists are truly obnoxious (Ted Haggard comes to mind) but what drives them looks more like opportunism than true belief.

  15. A parable I used to illustrate the problem of evil:

    Consider an analogy:

    You are a child with an absentee father. Your mother and siblings all tell you how wonderful your father is; incredibly powerful, wise, and loving. Webcams and microphones are installed throughout the house. Your mother tells you that your father is constantly monitoring those so that he is aware of everything that happens in your home.

    A neighbor comes by periodically and beats you and your siblings with a baseball bat, in full view of the webcams. You cry out to your father, but he doesn’t respond, and despite all his power, he does nothing to prevent the beatings. When your uncle sexually abuses you, the same thing happens; you cry out to your father, but your father does nothing to prevent the abuse. You begin to wonder if your father is loving after all, or whether he is as powerful as your mother claims. You even sometimes wonder if he exists at all. Maybe he’s dead, and your mother is just telling you an elaborate story to make you feel watched over and loved.

    You tell your mother about the beatings and the rape, and ask her why your father doesn’t intervene. She says that your father is far more loving and wise than you are, and that if he permits these atrocities, there must be a very good reason that’s beyond your ken. Perhaps he’s teaching you about perseverance in the face of suffering, or maybe it’s just really important to him that your neighbor and uncle be allowed to exercise their free will in beating and raping you.

    Would it be rational to accept your mother’s explanation? Is that the best explanation available?

    Of course not. It’s a ridiculous explanation, and the alternatives are far better.

    I hope it’s obvious how this analogy relates to the problem of evil, and why the theistic responses are so inadequate.

    I should add that my analogy considerably understates the problem for the omnitheist. In a more accurate analogy, the father himself would do some of the beating, and some of those beatings would be fatal.

    The problem of evil is very real, which is why it is taken seriously in philosophical and theological circles.

  16. This was fifth’s pitiful attempt to rationalize the suffering of the baby whose head was eaten by the dog:

    keiths:

    What is the greater good that God accomplishes by allowing dogs to eat babies’ heads? That couldn’t be accomplished by a less grisly and painful process?

    Open your eyes, fifth. If you look at the world, it’s clear that the God you believe in — omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly loving — doesn’t exist.

    fifth:

    Allow me to speculate. Remember this is only speculation.

    Suppose The greater good is the full display of God’s wrath to the universe. If so it would be necessary for the process to be as grisly and painful as possible. Otherwise it would seem that God was winking at sin.

    keiths, incredulously:

    WTF? If dogs didn’t eat babies’ heads, we’d think God was “winking at sin”?

    fifth:

    And once again keep in mind we are assured that everything including grizzly and painful things are for our benefit and good if we are God’s children. Also keep in mind that we are also assured that in the end justice will prevail

    keiths:

    And you’re as stupid to accept that as you would be to accept your mother’s rationalization in the parable above. You’re fighting against the evidence instead of taking it into account.

  17. God allows dogs to eat babies’ heads so we won’t think he is “winking at sin.”

    This is your brain on religion, folks.

  18. keiths to Mung: Christianity claims that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. The evidence undercuts that claim and shows that Christianity is therefore false.

    Where does Christianity claim these things? Can one be a Christian without attributing these things to God or even without knowing that these things have been attributed to God? What about people who claim to be Christian but do not believe in the omnipotence of God?

    I think you have an issue with various sects of Christianity, in other words, various interpretations of Christianity, not with Christianity itself.

    In this regard I have no problem with your concerns. I just don’t see this as an argument against Christianity as such.

  19. There’s a reason smart young people are heading for the “None” category faster than for any other religious/philosophical outlook.

  20. davemullenix: But of course, the most convincing reason to disbelieve in Christianity is the childish, disgusting, lazy ignorant a–holes who so confidently believe it’s true.

    And that is one reason why I think materialism and evolutionism are bullshit- the childish, disgusting, lazy ignorant a–holes who so confidently believe it’s true.

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

    Unfortunately for keiths he doesn’t know what such evidence would look like. The alleged problem of evil isn’t evidence against such a God as you don’t know God’s plan nor God’s will.

    So all keiths can do is erect straw man after straw man and attack those.

  22. Let’s follow the logic.

    keiths claims that all that’s required for an argument to be an argument that Christianity is false is to argue that some thing or other “undercuts” some aspect of Christian belief.

    So in keiths logic, if you can find a way to “undercut” the belief that Jesus walked on water, for example, that suffices as an argument that Christianity is false because some Christians believe that Jesus walked on water.

    I’m not impressed.

  23. Rumraket: Any argument against that is an argument against Christianity.

    An argument that Christianity is false would end up with a conclusion that Christianity is false, don’t you agree?

    Do you honestly believe that every single “argument against Christianity” has as its conclusion that Christianity is false?

    Some Christians believe some things, and other Christians believe other things. Do you honestly believe that attacking individual Christian beliefs constitutes making an argument that Christianity is false? At best, wouldn’t the conclusion be that this particular belief or that particular belief is false?

  24. keiths: Far safer for him to pretend that there are no arguments against Chjristianity here at TSZ than to actually respond to them.

    This is absurd. What’s the basis of your claim that I pretend there are no arguments against Christianity?

  25. keiths: I learned to question my beliefs, and I’ve never stopped.

    And how do you decide which of your beliefs are false?

    Do you think Christianity consists of one single belief that you can decide is a false belief?

  26. Mung,

    Rumraket: Any argument against that is an argument against Christianity.

    Time to define Christianity?

  27. fifthmonarchyman: bad things happen therefore Christianity is false?———– right

    keiths logic. That along with “Christians can’t explain ‘X’…” Therefore Christianity is false.

  28. keiths: God allows dogs to eat babies’ heads so we won’t think he is “winking at sin.”

    This is your brain on religion, folks.

    Therefore Christianity is false. That’s your brain on something, but it sure isn’t logical.

  29. Mung: An argument that Christianity is false would end up with a conclusion that Christianity is false, don’t you agree?

    No, I don’t agree. And you failed to answer my questions to you.

    Among essentially christian beliefs is that there is a God. An argument that concludes that a God doesn’t exist (theism, or monotheism), entails that Christianity is false. It doesn’t have to be explicitly stated in the conclusion of the argument that Christianity is false. In so far as the argument concludes that theism, or monotheism is false, Christianity is false too.

    Do you honestly believe that every single “argument against Christianity” has as its conclusion that Christianity is false?

    No. For reasons just stated, that isn’t required. The arguments could be easily extended to include premises and a conclusion that demonstrate that Christianity, through the nonexistence of God, is thereby also false.

    But by simply looking at this diagram, it should be clear why that wouldn’t be strictly necessary. A subset of theism is monotheism. An argument that shows all theism to be false, entails the falsity of monotheism. An argument that shows monotheism to be false, entails the falsity of all monotheistic religions. A subset of monotheistic religions is tri-omni monotheistic relgions, of which christianity is one. There are additional subsets within Christianity to be sure, but in so far as christianity is a tri-omni monotheistic religion, an argument against tri-omni monotheism is an argument against Christianity.

  30. Frankie: So all keiths can do is erect straw man after straw man and attack those.

    People have split brains, therefore Christianity is false. Is he serious? If dualism is false, Christianity is false? Really?

  31. Hey Mung,

    Is Jesus not the Christian God in human form?
    Is He not a God at all?
    Is the Christian God not all knowing?
    Is the Christian God not omnipotent?
    Is the Christian God not morally perfect?

  32. Mung: Do you think Christianity consists of one single belief that you can decide is a false belief?

    In so far as one of the essentially Christian beliefs is false, Christianity is false. The other beliefs might be true, but what is left isn’t Christianity. Otherwise what was removed wasn’t an essentially Christian belief.

    There is an omnipotent, all-knowing and morally perfect God, is among essentially Christian beliefs. Or are you saying it isn’t?

  33. Rumraket: The arguments could be easily extended to include premises and a conclusion that demonstrate that Christianity, through the nonexistence of God, is thereby also false.

    Yet you say that you don’t agree that an argument that Christianity is false would end up with a conclusion that Christianity is false. What am I missing here?

  34. Mung,

    You’re flailing.

    Care to tell us why an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly loving God allows dogs to eat living babies’ heads?

  35. Mung: Yet you say that you don’t agree that an argument that Christianity is false would end up with a conclusion that Christianity is false. What am I missing here?

    You’re missing everything else that was in the post you respond to. LOL

  36. keiths:
    Mung,

    You’re flailing.

    Care to tell us why an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly loving God allows dogs to eat living babies’ heads?

    Because the soul that was in the baby was reincarnated from a baby killer. And tat is what happens to baby killers- they get to come back and get killed as babies. It’s all part of the plan

  37. Suppose someone asked me to prove that Mung doesn’t exist. So I come back with an argument that no human being exists (yeah yeah I know, we exist, that’s not the point). An argument that concludes “human beings do not exist”, does not have a conclusion that Mung doesn’t exist. But… does it not follow? Yes it does.

    Mung is a human being. So an argument that concludes “human beings do not exist”, entails the nonexistence of Mung too. It doesn’t have to be explicitly stated. We can think that far ourselves.

    We can substitute many analogies here. An argument that concludes that no vehicles exist, would entail the nonexistence of cars, even though the explicitly stated conclusion “cars do not exist” isn’t in the argument.

    And so on and so forth.

    Did I really just have to sit here and spell this out?

  38. Rumraket,

    Mung is a human being. So an argument that concludes “human beings do not exist”, entails the nonexistence of Mung too. It doesn’t have to be explicitly stated. We can think that far ourselves.

    We can, but can Mung?

  39. I think he can. If he wants.

    There’s the rub.

    That would require intellectual honesty.

  40. Rumraket:
    I honestly think so. I think he can. If he wants.

    Can he want to?

    Oh I know, it’s the five-year-old’s “why?” to infinity. Still being serious to some extent, the desire to think things through properly has never come through in his comments.

    Glen Davidson

  41. CharlieM,

    I addressed that in an earlier OP:

    The problem of evil remains as much of a problem as ever for Christians. Yet there are obvious solutions to the problem that fit the evidence and are perfectly reasonable: a) accept that God doesn’t exist, or b) accept that God isn’t omnipotent, or c) accept that God isn’t perfectly benevolent. Despite the availability of these obvious solutions, most Christians will choose to cling to a view of God that has long since been falsified.

    The omniGod is entrenched as part of standard Christian doctrine, and God knows (so to speak) Christians are reluctant to give up their dogma. Here’s a statement from the First Vatican Council, for example:

    The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection. Since He is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, He must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in Himself and from Himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined.

    I was raised as a Lutheran and was taught similar things. The “omniness” of God was never questioned.

  42. keiths,

    Except the existence of evil has never been a problem for Christians. The only problem is how to deal with it.

    Your straw man argument lists only three choices and as such demonstrates a limited thinking capacity.

    d- It’s part of the plan
    e- Can’t have good without evil
    f- free will and Judgement

  43. keiths: Care to tell us why an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly loving God allows dogs to eat living babies’ heads?

    That’s a question, not an argument. Do you have an argument? You know, premises -> conclusion. Therefore Christianity is false.

  44. Kantian Naturalist: I have a a pretty good handle on what’s being claimed when one says that theism or atheism is true or false. Theism and atheism involve assertions. Theism is the assertion that God exists, and atheism is the assertion that God does not exist.

    We’ve discussed this issue before, without resolution apparently. When I say that I am an atheist, I mean that I lack belief in a god or gods. I am not making a positive claim that such do not exist. You are referring to a “gnostic atheist”.

    If you disagree, how would you classify me?

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