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,

    You’re flailing — and failing.

    Any Christians out there who want to jump in and help Mung out?

    Colewd?

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

    If we don’t agree on the elements of what the argument should consist of is there any point? Do you at least agree that an argument ought to have a conclusion?

    What is the “conclusion” of the following “argument”?

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

    I don’t see one. Do you?

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

    Christianity acknowledges that men are evil and claims to have the solution. I fail to see how the existence of evil is incompatible with Christianity.

    As for a dog eating a baby head, Christianity teaches that God allowed His own son, who was without sin, be crucified. keiths may as well be asking, why would God allow His own son, who was without sin, be crucified? What kind of omniGod would allow that, Christians? Huh? Therefore, Christianity must be false.

    To a Christian it’s a ludicrous argument.

  4. keiths,

    You’re flailing — and failing.

    Any Christians out there who want to jump in and help Mung out?

    Can you summarize why Mung is flailing? To me he looks like he is up material while playing 5 chess boards 🙂

  5. You’re avoiding the question, Mung. The doctrine of atonement has its own problems, but we can talk about that later.

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

    ETA: What is your answer, colewd? Don’t hide your lamp under a bushel.

  6. keiths needs to hide the fact that he wrote 18 OPs and none of them ended with the conclusion that Christianity is false.

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

    No, I can’t. Neither can you.

    Let’s follow the logic so far:

    Mung cannot tell us why an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly loving God allows dogs to eat living babies’ heads. Therefore, Christianity is false.

    That about it keiths?

  8. 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.

    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.

    Indeed. However, when those private beliefs are used to defend public acts like denying women reproductive rights, preventing marriage equality, or imposing sectarian dogma on public school children, then demands that they be supported rationally are justified.

  9. It is a fundamental Christian belief that God does not allow dogs to eat babies.

    But God does allow dogs to eat babies.

    Therefore Christianity is false.

  10. It is a fundamental Christian belief that God exists.

    But God does not exist.

    Therefore Christianity is false.

  11. Mung,

    I have an explanation for why dogs eat babies’ heads: the Christian God doesn’t exist. There is no omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God to step in when such atrocities happen.

    My explanation makes sense and fits the evidence. You don’t even have an explanation, except to shrug.

    You claim that the Christian God exists, but the massive evidence of evil and suffering in the world — and dogs eating babies’ heads is just a tiny part of that evidence — shows otherwise.

    To believe in the Christian God is deeply, embarrassingly irrational.

  12. keiths,

    ETA: What is your answer, colewd? Don’t hide your lamp under a bushel.

    Keith, you are playing football where the agreed upon game is basketball. You are making philosophical arguments to a claim of truth about existence. There is historical evidence you need to attack or you have not even moved your first pawn.

  13. Mung: It is a fundamental Christian belief that God exists.

    But God does not exist.

    Therefore Christianity is false.

    Yes. If those premises are true, the conclusion is true, because the argument is valid.

    So Mung, do you think that it isn’t a fundamental Christian belief that God exists?

  14. colewd,

    Read this again:

    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.

    Do you regard the uncle’s actions as responsible, upright, and loving? If not, why do you excuse the same behavior in your supposedly perfect God?

  15. colewd: Keith, you are playing football where the agreed upon game is basketball. You are making philosophical arguments to a claim of truth about existence. There is historical evidence you need to attack or you have not even moved your first pawn.

    No Colewd. If a core property of Christianity is the existence of some particular entity, in so far as that entity doesn’t exist, Christianity is false.

    This is unassailable. And I don’t use that word lightly.

    You may of course disagree about whether any particular argument successfully establishes the nonexistence of said entity, and you may disagree about whether the entity’s existence is a core property of Christianity. But in so far that it is, whatever other properties of Christianity you can think of in addition to the existence of said entity (such as certain historical events), is irrelevant.

  16. Patrick: Indeed. However, when those private beliefs are used to defend public acts like denying women reproductive rights, preventing marriage equality, or imposing sectarian dogma on public school children, then demands that they be supported rationally are justified.

    Of course, I fully agree. But one can take up that project without engaging in whether Christianity itself is false.

  17. keiths: I have an explanation for why dogs eat babies’ heads: the Christian God doesn’t exist. There is no omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God to step in when such atrocities happen.

    And another straw man- to step in when blah, blah, blah. The retreat is in full swing now

  18. Alan Fox: 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.

    Sorry, I shouldn’t have implied that ALL Christians are disgusting, lazy, etc. I’ve heard there’s one in Des Moines who’s actually quite nice.

    I was thinking of the disgusting, lazy etcetera Christians who post here. Not to mention the ones who put Trump into office.  (Quote in reply)  (Reply)

  19. keiths,

    Do you regard the uncle’s actions as responsible, upright, and loving? If not, why do you excuse the same behavior in your supposedly perfect God?

    What ever my opinion is, this does not support an argument that Christianity is false. We know bad stuff happens however this does not falsify that we live in a created universe. It does not falsify that the resurrection occurred either.

  20. Rumraket,

    You may of course disagree about whether any particular argument successfully establishes the nonexistence of said entity, and you may disagree about whether the entity’s existence is a core property of Christianity.

    I am arguing that he is making a philosophical argument and not an evidence based argument for a created universe or a resurrected being. There is lots of historical evidence for the resurrection. The existence of probability and free will, that can lead to suffering, does not impact this evidence. It is a condition of the world we live in.

  21. keiths:
    CharlieM,

    I addressed that in an earlier OP:

    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:

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

    You still haven’t answered my questions;

    Can one be a Christian without attributing these things to God or even without knowing that these things have been attributed to God? I am sure that some, maybe even most Christian denominations require God to have the qualities you mention. But do you think that it is a necessary requirement of Christianity?

    What about people who claim to be Christian but do not believe in the omnipotence of God? Do you think that someone can be called a Christian who believes in Christ and the Resurrection and tries to live a Christian life but takes no account of philosophical questions on the nature of God? If not why not?

  22. fifthmonarchyman:

    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.

    Fmm: When did we learn that the universe started out “dirt simple”?.

    If you look around the universe today, you see galaxies, stars and planets. On at least one of those planets you find incredibly complex living organisms, some of whom post on blogs. All of those entities operate according to the laws of physics.

    If you could look at the universe at the time of the big bang, you wouldn’t find any galaxies, stars, planets or life. Or atoms. Or sub atomic particles. You probably wouldn’t even find any laws of physics. We know today that the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force were once a single electro-weak force. We suspect that the other forces also merge with the electro-weak force at higher energies to form one single force. We also suspect that the forces separated at random times and their eventual properties were affected by this.

    So, at time zero there were no stars, galaxies, planets, living things or even subatomic particles, just a lot of amorphous matter crammed into a tiny space plus a single ur-law of physics. Pretty dirt simple. So simple that no Intelligent Designer was necessary to create it.

    fmm: I thought that in a closed system like the universe entropy always increased.

    Entropy was about zero at the big bang.

    fmm: When did I miss the overturning of thermodynamics?

    You were probably too busy praying for your high school football team to win the big game to learn any cosmology.

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

    Your OP starts from an illogical position. You ask people to prove Christianity false when you have provided no evidence that it is true. You ask people to prove Jesus didn’t exist when you have provided no evidence that he did. Your beliefs are not the default.

    The questions are utterly disingenuous in any case. You aren’t a Christian because you evaluated the evidence and arguments. Statistically speaking, you’re most likely a Christian because it was how you were raised and it’s the dominant religion in your geographic area and social circles. Christianity meets your emotional needs.

    Disagree? Then present the evidence and arguments that convinced you to be a Christian and that would convince you to lose your faith if they were refuted.

  24. colewd: I am arguing that he is making a philosophical argument and not an evidence based argument for a created universe or a resurrected being. There is lots of historical evidence for the resurrection. The existence of probability and free will, that can lead to suffering, does not impact this evidence. It is a condition of the world we live in.

  25. Mung:
    . . .
    As for a dog eating a baby head, Christianity teaches that God allowed His own son, who was without sin, be crucified. keiths may as well be asking, why would God allow His own son, who was without sin, be crucified? What kind of omniGod would allow that, Christians? Huh? Therefore, Christianity must be false.

    Actually the question is “What kind of sick bastard would require that?” Humans are capable of forgiveness without blood sacrifice, but your god isn’t?

    To a Christian it’s a ludicrous argument.

    Christians are certainly experts on those.

  26. Kantian Naturalist:

    Indeed. However, when those private beliefs are used to defend public acts like denying women reproductive rights, preventing marriage equality, or imposing sectarian dogma on public school children, then demands that they be supported rationally are justified.

    Of course, I fully agree. But one can take up that project without engaging in whether Christianity itself is false.

    Sure, but it’s a fine line to walk. When disagreement on policy comes down to “The bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” there isn’t a lot of room for compromise.

  27. CharlieM: Can one be a Christian without attributing these things to God or even without knowing that these things have been attributed to God?

    I’m sure you can consider yourself a Christian and believe you are adhering to proper Christian doctrine, yet be factually wrong in that belief. If Christianity is true, whatever the essential truthes of Christianity may be, they’re going to be what they are and there’s going to be a way to fail at being a Christian. For example, you can be an atheist. Is an atheist a Christian? I would say no.

    I am sure that some, maybe even most Christian denominations require God to have the qualities you mention. But do you think that it is a necessary requirement of Christianity?

    I don’t presume to be an authority on what Christianity is truly essentially about. I merely go by what Christians, in their masses, generally profess to believe. I was one myself, I believed there was a God. If and when I argue against Christianity, I try to argue against what Christians generally believe.

    Taking this tac you are erecting to it’s logical conclusion, I might as well define Christianity however the hell I please, then disprove it and declare my work over. Would that mean I have successfully disproved Christianity? Of course not, let’s not be ridiculous.

    What about people who claim to be Christian but do not believe in the omnipotence of God?

    What about them? Who are they? How many of them are there?

    Doesn’t it strike you as a rather silly ad-hoc excuse, when faced with an argument against Christianity that has as a component an omnipotent God, to suddenly start redefining Christianity to not have that component? Have you really succeeded in showing Christianity was not disproven, or have you merely invented an ad-hoc excuse to avoid falsification?

    What’s the next thing going to be? God isn’t required to be all-knowing? Or even morally perfect? How many things can we pick away and keep having a “Christian” belief? It seems to me that once you start down this path, you’re essentially prepared to excuse away your reasons for belief indefinitely. You are simply not prepared to admit that your religion might be false, and whatever core attribute you previously believed, which you now perceive to be under threat, you simply dispense with as you go along.
    So Christianity can be literally anything anyone wants it to be. Christian Atheists is a thing. If that is really the case, if one can be a Christian atheist, then I outright concede I can’t show Christianity to be false. Noone can. It’s unfalsifiable.

  28. Colewd: “There is lots of historical evidence for the resurrection. ”

    Bull! We’ve got four anonymous contradictory accounts from the gospels plus Paul’s hearsay. Paul’s own personal account of the resurrection sounds about like the kind of mental breakdown you’d expect when an unstable man with a raging guilty conscience goes for a long walk in the hot Mediterranean sun.

    If you want to see something very much like the gospel accounts of the supposed resurrection, get a book of Elvis sightings.

  29. davemullenix,

    If you want to see something very much like the gospel accounts of the supposed resurrection, get a book of Elvis sightings.

    There are around 2 billion people that disagree with you. The minority position takes guts 🙂

  30. Patrick,

    Hmm, I could have sworn you said “historical evidence for the resurrection”.</blockquote.

    Mathew 28

    Jesus Has Risen
    1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  31. keiths:

    Do you regard the uncle’s actions as responsible, upright, and loving? If not, why do you excuse the same behavior in your supposedly perfect God?

    colewd:

    What ever my opinion is, this does not support an argument that Christianity is false.

    Sure it does.

    It shows that believing in the Christian God — omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly loving — is ridiculous.

    An uncle who allowed a dog to eat his baby niece’s head would be regarded as a monster by most Christians — including you, I’m willing to bet. Yet when your God does exactly the same sort of thing — and he does, plus far worse things, all over the world, every day — you make excuses for him, continue to believe that he is perfectly loving, and even sing his praises.

    If someone were to lavishly praise the uncle, you’d consider that person sick. You, colewd, are that person — it’s just that you’re praising a monstrous God instead of a monstrous uncle.

    How can you escape this conundrum? I laid out some rational options already:

    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 evidence shows that the Christian God — omnisicient, omnipotent, and perfectly benevolent — does not exist. Why do you still believe in him?

  32. keiths: The evidence shows that the Christian God — omnisicient, omnipotent, and perfectly benevolent — does not exist.

    No keiths- it only shows that your straw man of the Christian God does not exist.

    Nicely done

  33. Just think of all the bad things that have happened in the world and continue to happen. Make a list. A long list. One long enough to justify at least 18 different OPs.
    Be sure to leave the actual reasoning by which it is concluded that Christianity is false out of all the OPs.

    Claim that there are lots of arguments that Christianity is false. Post a list of your OPs, none of which actually contain an argument with a conclusion that Christianity is false.

    For each event, ask Mung why his “omni-God” would allow such a thing. If Mung says don’t know, reason that since Mung don’t know, Christianity must be false.

    Is this the height of atheism here at TSZ?

  34. Patrick:

    Indeed. However, when those private beliefs are used to defend public acts like denying women reproductive rights, preventing marriage equality, or imposing sectarian dogma on public school children, then demands that they be supported rationally are justified.

    KN:

    Of course, I fully agree. But one can take up that project without engaging in whether Christianity itself is false.

    KN, in 2015:

    I don’t think that non-believers have any business criticizing religious beliefs as such. Non-believers have a right to criticize religious beliefs only when believers are drawing upon their religious beliefs in order to justify public laws and policies that non-believers are also obliged to follow (including, as noted above, protected legal status attaching to religious communities).

    I found that position bizarre and indefensible:

    You can’t be serious. You actually think that religious beliefs should be exempt from criticism unless they are affecting nonbelievers through public policy?

    So no one should point out that Scientology, for example, is batshit crazy?

    KN,

    Are you still actually arguing, as you were in that thread, that religious beliefs deserve some kind of special protection against criticism?

  35. Just relax, Mung. Everyone already knows that you can’t defend your faith.

    It’s ridiculous and irrational to believe in the Christian God — omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly loving — when the evidence points in the opposite direction.

  36. keiths: It shows that believing in the Christian God — omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly loving — is ridiculous.

    Let’s follow the logic:

    Believing in the Christian God — omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly loving — is ridiculous. Therefore, God does not exist. Therefore, Christianity is false.

    Believing in such a God may in fact be ridiculous. It doesn’t follow that God does not exist. And it does not follow that Christianity is false.

    Come on keiths. Even if the concept of God that some Christians hold is inaccurate, it doesn’t follow that God does not exist.

  37. keiths: Everyone already knows that you can’t defend your faith.

    Hilarious. Why should I defend my faith? It’s faith, after all. 🙂

  38. keiths: To believe in the Christian God is deeply, embarrassingly irrational.

    It does not follow that God does not exist. Can you at least try to reason logically?

  39. keiths: I have an explanation for why dogs eat babies’ heads: the Christian God doesn’t exist. There is no omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God to step in when such atrocities happen.

    This is revealing. You believe that the non-existence of God explains why a dog would eat a baby’s head. Something that does not exist can serve as an explanation for events in the physical world. To me, that is deeply irrational.

  40. Mung,

    Your flailing is becoming more frantic.

    As I’ve explained, the evidence shows that the Christian God — omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent — doesn’t exist.

    Why do you still believe in him?

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