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. fifthmonarchyman: [Woodbine: God does not need to perform X in order to bring about Y.]

    You certainly have not demonstrated this to be the case and it directly contradicts the teaching of Christianity.

    It’s implicit in the concept of an omnipotent being.

    An omnipotent being does not need to perform X in order to bring about Y – that’s pretty much the definition of omnipotence – being able to instantiate something without any prerequisites.

    fifthmonarchyman: Remember Jesus had to die to bring salvation to his people.

    He elected to die – that’s not the same thing as it being logically necessary. An omnipotent being can choose to ‘save’ his people by whatever methods he desires. Jesus could have performed an Irish jig as the payment for sin – after all he’s making the rules up as he goes.

    fifthmonarchyman: Since Hitler was a human being he had no good reason.

    Moses (a human) had a good reason (God’s command) to exterminate the Amalekites did he not? Then why not Hitler? Unless you can demonstrate the impossibility of Hitler having a good reason to exterminate the Jews then we really ought to give the guy a break.

  2. fifthmonarchyman: In my opinion the existence of things that are objectively evil makes Christianity more plausible and falsifies atheism.

    iirc, in the “dog eats baby head” thread I asked keiths why he thought that what the dog did was an evil act. I’ll ask if you can predict his response.

  3. Mung,

    I just followed your link. Holy crap, that’s a bad argument.

    More later when I have time to properly dismantle it.

  4. Woodbine: An omnipotent being can choose to ‘save’ his people by whatever methods he desires. Jesus could have performed an Irish jig as the payment for sin…

    There is however a problem with this sort of reasoning. How would the people know that their salvation had come? What would lead them to believe that their sins had been forgiven by seeing Jesus dance a jig?

    There’s no logical connection between jig dancing and forgiveness of sins. And there is no connection between jig dancing and Jewish history and beliefs (that I know of).

  5. Mung: There is however a problem with this sort of reasoning. How would the people know that their salvation had come?

    This is God, remember? He is infinitely powerful. If God wants to inform people of their salvation I can’t see it being particularly difficult. And if their salvation came by way of an Irish jig then let me suggest some species of Leprechaun apostles.

    Mung: There’s no logical connection between jig dancing and forgiveness of sins.

    There’s no logical connection between blood sacrifice and forgiveness of sins. You can plot an historical tradition, yes. A logical connection – not so much.

  6. Woodbine: Moses (a human) had a good reason (God’s command) to exterminate the Amalekites did he not?

    Moses did not order the extermination of the Amalekites.
    If were to do such a thing he certainly would not have a sufficient reason

    Woodbine: It’s implicit in the concept of an omnipotent being.

    no omnipotence does not entail the ability to do the impossible

    Woodbine: He elected to die – that’s not the same thing as it being logically necessary.

    Again, God can’t do the impossible.

    quote:

    And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
    (Mat 26:39)

    end quote:

    peace

  7. fifthmonarchyman: You have yet to demonstrate that the existence of evil is not a necessary part of any physical existence. You need to do so before you can say that God has the ability to flip the evil switch.

    Baloney. The onus is on the person who claims the existence of an Omnibenevolent, Omnipotent being to demonstrate the evil is a necessary outcome of that being’s creation.

    The existence of a god is not the default.

  8. fifthmonarchyman: Moses did not order the extermination of the Amalekites.
    If were to do such a thing he certainly would not have a sufficient reason

    While it’s fun to watch the ‘just following orders’ defence rolled out it misses the point entirely.

    None of us can demonstrate that God didn’t order Hitler to exterminate the Jews so we have no basis to condemn him.

    The rest of your reply was just noise, really.

  9. Mung:
    In what way is it false to love one another, love your neighbour and even love your enemies?

    Those aren’t essential Christian beliefs.

    That’s a damn shame.

  10. Woodbine: None of us can demonstrate that God didn’t order Hitler to exterminate the Jews so we have no basis to condemn him.

    Sure we can. For one thing he never claimed to be acting on behalf of God. For another his actions were directly apposed to commands that we know were from God. Finally he fails the test that has been revealed for determining if someone is acting on God’s behalf.

    Woodbine: The rest of your reply was just noise, really.

    So your slam dunk “argument from evil” has in the end boiled down to your inability to know if Hitler was doing what God told him to.

    My how far we have fallen. 😉

    peace

  11. Pedant: The onus is on the person who claims the existence of an Omnibenevolent, Omnipotent being to demonstrate the evil is a necessary outcome of that being’s creation.

    Who said??

    The “argument from evil” was supposed to show how God’s existence was incompatible with the evil we see.

    It fails totally in that regard. Serious philosophers have known this for decades. It’s time to quit beating that dead horse.

    Pedant: The existence of a god is not the default.

    You of course know that I disagree vehemently.

    Do you have any way to demonstrate that you are right and I am wrong on this one?

    peace

  12. So commandments are not the same thing as beliefs. Surprise.

    Is belief that love thy neighbor is a commandment from god an essential Christian belief?

  13. Woodbine: None of us can demonstrate that God didn’t order Hitler to exterminate the Jews so we have no basis to condemn him.

    You just have to love atheist reasoning on this issue. First, claim that God did not stop Hitler, therefore atheism is true. Next, claim God could have ordered Hitler to do what he did, so atheism must be true.

  14. So has keiths given up on the logical problem of evil if so why is that not evidence for the existence of God?

  15. keiths: 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?

    Is it just me, or does this sound like the logical problem of evil? As I’ve said, keiths appears to be confusing the two arguments. keiths hasn’t shown that belief in God is irrational. Why won’t he just admit it and stop accusing theists of being irrational?

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

    Again, keiths is confused. Either his argument is the logical argument or it’s the evidential argument. He claims it’s the latter but repeatedly argues as if it’s the former.

  17. Too funny.

    Mung actually thinks that logic applies only to the logical problem of evil, and not to the evidential problem of evil.

  18. David B. Hart and the problem of evil

    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.

    That the Christian view of God has been falsified by the problem of evil certain implies that keiths has in mind the logical problem of evil.

    The language that keiths uses, words such as false and irrational, seem out of place unless he has in mind the logical problem of evil. I think Christians here can be forgiven for thinking that’s what he was talking about.

    Right, keiths?

  19. fifthmonarchyman: Who said??

    The “argument from evil” was supposed to show how God’s existence was incompatible with the evil we see.

    Wrong. It shows that your god’s presumed properties are incoherent, i.e., self-contradictory: your god’s assumed infinite goodness is incompatible with its assumed omnipotence. Your straw claim is all too obvious.

    Pedant: The existence of a god is not the default.

    You of course know that I disagree vehemently.

    Do you have any way to demonstrate that you are right and I am wrong on this one?

    Anybody can presuppose the existence of a god. That isn’t an argument. Apologetics wouldn’t be necessary if the existence of any kind of god were the default.

  20. The language that keiths uses, words such as false and irrational, seem out of place unless he has in mind the logical problem of evil.

    Mung,

    You seriously think that philosophers and other thinkers only use logic when the word “logical” is part of the name of the problem they’re addressing?

    Philosopher 1: Given the evidence, it’s irrational to believe in the Christian God.

    Philosopher 2: Stop using logic! This is the evidential problem of evil, not the logical one.

    Philosopher 1: Oh, right. Sorry. I’ll be irrational from now on.

  21. keiths appears to have it in for free will generally, and more specifically the free will defense to the problem of evil. But Plantinga’s free will defense is a defense to the logical problem of evil.

    But keiths tells us his argument is the evidential problem, not the logical problem. You could have fooled me. But then, I’m easily fooled.

  22. Their your words keiths, even if poorly chosen ones. Own them. False and Irrational have clear connotations. They imply some contradiction, which is what the logical problem is supposed to show, that there is a contradiction. Many of your OPs are of that sort. Hinting that there must be some contradiction somewhere, though you never seem to be able to put your finger on just where it is.

    If all you’re arguing is that Christianity has some probability of of being wrong and it’s therefore unreasonable to believe, then just say so. You’ve been claiming the existence of arguments that Christianity is false. Notthat it ought not be believe because the odds are against it.

    Fess up.

  23. And while we’re on the subject, I did in fact ask you a ways up thread whether your argument was deductive or inductive, and I didn’t see where you ever responded.

    So let me ask again, are you making an inductive argument?

  24. Mung is serious, folks. He actually believes that it’s illegitimate to be rational if you’re dealing with an evidential question.

    That explains a lot, actually.

  25. This brings up a corollary to the problem of evil — the problem of stupidity. Glen alluded to it earlier:

    If Christianity were true–couldn’t God come up with better defenders?

    If the Christian God exists, why is he allowing three doofi — colewd, fifth, and Mung — to represent him here?

    I’m hoping he’ll send vjtorley into the fray. Vincent won’t be able to solve the problem of evil, but he at least understands it, and unlike Mung, he won’t chide anyone for being rational.

  26. Still flailing keiths. if you’d answer my rather simple questions we’d be able to move the conversation along. Unless that’s not what you want.

    Do you really think there is no theistic answer to the evidential argument? Because that would be pretty naive on your part.

  27. This is so funny, it deserves to be highlighted again:

    Mung:

    The language that keiths uses, words such as false and irrational, seem out of place unless he has in mind the logical problem of evil.

  28. Mung,

    Do you really think there is no theistic answer to the evidential argument?

    Of course I don’t, and I’ve already provided some answers for you. One of them was the possibility that God isn’t omnipotent.

    Suppose God hates evil and suffering but is too weak to defeat them, at least at the moment. Then any such instances can be explained by God’s weakness.

    It addresses the problem of evil without sacrificing theism. I’m amazed that more theists don’t seize on this sort of resolution. They’re too greedy in their theology, too reluctant to give up the omnis.

  29. Mung: You just have to love atheist reasoning on this issue. First, claim that God did not stop Hitler, therefore atheism is true. Next, claim God could have ordered Hitler to do what he did, so atheism must be true.

    You are a non-sequitur on legs. None of that makes any sense whatsoever.

    Where has anyone here claimed that God did (or did not) stop Hitler?

    And where has anyone claimed that “God could have ordered Hitler to do what he did, so atheism must be true”?

    Whatever it is you’re reading – I’m not writing.

  30. Mung:

    keiths, if my case was as weak as yours I’d be grasping at straws too.

    Says the guy who admitted that he has no answer to this simple question:

    If your omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly loving God exists, why does he do nothing to prevent dogs from eating the heads of living babies?

  31. Woodbine, to Mung:

    Whatever it is you’re reading – I’m not writing.

    It seems that reading comprehension is not one of the gifts the Christian God bestows on his followers.

  32. keiths: If your omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly loving God exists, why does he do nothing to prevent dogs from eating the heads of living babies?

    Pretty hilarious that you would bring that up.

    Your response, which I shall never forget (talk about an argument so stupid that it deserves to be highlighted again), was to appeal to an entity that doesn’t even exist.

    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.

    My explanation makes sense and fits the evidence.

    Your “explanation” was so ludicrous I almost cried. It made no sense at all and to say it “fits the evidence” is to beg the question.

    Do you often appeal to non-existent gods for your explanations, or do you save that for special occassions?

  33. Someone puts a rabbit in a cage, but forgets to install the door. The rabbit escapes.

    Someone else asks: “The rabbit escaped. How can you explain that?”

    A normal person answers: “There was no door on the cage.”

    Mung chimes in: “That’s ludicrous! You’re appealing to an entity that doesn’t even exist.”

    What was that you were you saying about stupid arguments, Mung?

  34. Pedant: Wrong. It shows that your god’s presumed properties are incoherent, i.e., self-contradictory: your god’s assumed infinite goodness is incompatible with its assumed omnipotence.

    Describe it however you wish. It makes no difference
    if it claims to demonstrate that there is a logical problem with God and evil coexisting it has been defeated.

    Pedant: Anybody can presuppose the existence of a god. That isn’t an argument.

    I”m not making an argument I telling you what the default is

    Pedant: Apologetics wouldn’t be necessary if the existence of any kind of god were the default.

    You have a jacked-up idea about the propose of apologetics.

    peace

  35. keiths: What was that you were you saying about stupid arguments, Mung?

    This has been asked an answered. It’s yet another stupid argument. Don’t you have something else you should be working on? You know, a rebuttal to my post that you said you’d get to. Someday.

    keiths: Someone puts a rabbit in a cage, but forgets to install the door. The rabbit escapes.

    What door? How could someone “forget” to install something that does not exist?

    If the door actually exists then it’s not analogous to appealing to the absence of something that does not exist to explain the physical phenomenon in question. Which is what you did.

    If the absence of a God that does not exist can serve as an explanation then perhaps it’s time to rethink modern science. Again, this was already addressed up thread.

    Stop stalling.

  36. How did the rabbit manage to escape the cage? There was no door to stop it.

    How did the dog manage to eat the baby’s head? There was no loving God to stop it.

    This, apparently, is beyond Mung’s powers of comprehension.

    To borrow fifth’s phrase: Are you really this dense, Mung?

  37. keiths: I’m hoping he’ll send vjtorley into the fray. Vincent won’t be able to solve the problem of evil, but he at least understands it…

    I have a suggestion. Not that you’ll heed it. Start a separate OP on the evidential problem of evil. I also suggest that you give it the title, “The Evidential Problem of Evil.” That might catch VJT’s eye.

    I have another suggestion. Not that you’ll heed it. Explain what the evidential problem of evil is. That’s something you never did in any of the 18 OPs that you referenced earlier in this thread. You never mentioned the evidential problem of evil and you never explained the evidential problem of evil.

    Another suggestion. Not that you’ll heed it. Explain why atheists have retreated to the evidential argument.

  38. keiths: To borrow fifth’s phrase: Are you really this dense, Mung?

    Density suggests something that actually exists.

    Mung chimes in: “That’s ludicrous! You’re appealing to an entity that doesn’t even exist.”

    No, keiths, that would be wrong. The door actually exists. Unless your claim is that someone forgot to install something that did not exist. And that is an issue that I already raised that you did not answer.

    Nor did you answer whether science ought to be able to appeal to entities that do not exist in their explanations.

    How long do you intent to hold on in the face of being shown that you are wrong?

    How did the dog manage to eat the baby’s head? There was no loving God to stop it.

    Perhaps it’s time to go in for a chemical imbalance test. How did a dog manage to eat something? Why on earth do you feel compelled to appeal to the absence of God to explain how something happens?

    How do things evolve? There’s no God there to stop them!

    FFS keiths. Give it up an move on.

  39. Mung:

    No, keiths, that would be wrong. The door actually exists.

    One of the pleasures of communicating with intelligent people is that they can figure out, without being told, what is and isn’t relevant in an argument. Mung is not one of those people.

    Okay, Mung, I want you to concentrate. Try really hard. Turn off the cartoons and put away the Play-Doh.

    Suppose that the reason the door doesn’t get installed is because it doesn’t exist.

    How did the rabbit manage to escape the cage? There was no door to stop it.

    How did the dog manage to eat the baby’s head? There was no loving God to stop it.

    Keep concentrating until the bulb of understanding lights up.

  40. fifthmonarchyman: I never cease to be amazed at the power of confirmation bias.

    First Woodbine pulled the cork and then keiths forgot to install the door. Evidence that neither the cork nor the door exist. So it’s perfectly ok to “explain” events in the physical world by recourse to entities that do not in fact exist. But it’s not ok to appeal to God to explain anything at all, even if God does exist.

    Atheism is not just irrational, it is anti-rational. I, for one, will be bookmarking this thread.

  41. Look keiths, you have more important things to attend to. You already conceded this argument when you changed your story after I pointed out how utterly irrational it was.

    Address my posts starting here. We can always come back to the door to the rabbit cage that did not exist later. I apologize for distracting you. Focus, keiths! I want you to focus.

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