One Way to De-Bunk Christianity

June 17, 2008 at 12:01 am 20 comments

Christian Commentary

Hello again everyone. I’m happy to say that I finally have some time to make a post on this blog. Sparing you the details, let’s just say that finishing up grad school is pretty time consuming… but enough about that, on to the my topic!

Without question, the internet has increased the level of human interaction and discussion (this blog alone stands as a perfect example). Through the years, I have seen discussions of all sorts, but naturally, I am most interested in ones concerning religious manners. I have seen countless arguments on why Christianity is a fraud, so I thought that I would share one with you.

One way to argue the falsehood of Christianity is to point out the human element of the Bible, that is, to demonstrate that the Bible contains political and social biases of the variety of authors. Doing so provides evidence that the book is more or less human invention and therefore discredits any divinity claims.

There you go! That is one way to de-bunk big bad Christianity!! The end!

Wait!!!…. you’re still reading? Shoot, okay… well I guess you figured there would be more given that I am the “Christian Contributor”. I mean, you’re probably wondering why I would give an argument for discrediting Christianity in the first place! Well, I must admit that I have another motive to this post.

You see, I come across this argument quite a bit. But here’s the thing, I totally agree that such political and social influences exist (the result of being a religious studies minor). This method of argument against Christianity is the result of the relative positivism movement in the late 1800s. During this time, there was in increase on the importance of physical evidence in human reason. For example, my computer exists because I can see it with my eyes and physically feel it with my hands. This type of reasoning naturally made its way into the religious arena.

But what physical evidence does the Christian have? Ah yes, the Bible! During this time, people of the Christian faith (utilizing the relative positivism method of reason) claimed God existed because we have his physical word. Therefore a natural way to claim God doesn’t exist is to discredit the Bible! Done deal right? Well, for someone who believes in the literal translation of every word in the Bible while ignoring context and situational circumstances during the time of authorship, this can pose quite a problem.

However, there are people of theological thought and interpretation that will remain a theist despite such arguments (myself included). I suspect that many of the de-cons that come here may have lost their faith because of the argument I laid out in the beginning of this post. That’s okay, I am not here to create “Re-Cons” (hmm, perhaps a RE-conversion.com) :) … my point is to again reiterate that it is possible for people to be theists and reasonable simultaneously. De-conversion doesn’t always result because someone has learned more about the origins and history of their religion.

For those that it does, it is likely that their faith was like a brick wall. You remove a brick or two and it all comes tumbling down. I encourage a trampoline religious perspective – even if one spring breaks, you can keep happily jumping for joy.

Thanks for reading everyone!

God Bless,

- Justin

Entry filed under: Justin. Tags: , , , , , .

Why d-C? – The Problem of Other Religions A Curious Christian with A Few Questions for de-cons

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sandy  |  June 17, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    The way I see it…you can still be a Christian an believe and still realize that the Bible isn’t the end all be all. If the book helps you be a better person over all…that is great. Just keep in mind where it came from and who wrote it before you start spouting off scripture as “proof” of me doing wrong or why I need to convert. Come up with your own answers to questions, don’t always refer to the Bible as your only source of information or at the very least pay attention to where it is…if Jesus died for our sins and make the Old Testament obsolete as it were, then don’t quote from the OT what I need to be doing.

    Yes, it makes sense that you shouldn’t go around killing people or stealing…those things are in the Bible and it is also just common sense…but also in there is the fact that a woman shouldn’t be allowed in a holy place during her menses or while she is still bleeding after giving birth…so is animal sacrifice (I always felt sorry for Cane) and a multitude of other things that were supposed to no longer be practiced after Jesus…

    I don’t think it is so much that people believe in the Bible and therefore must be discredited, it is the way the Bible is used to prove Christians are “right” and everyone else is “wrong”. I think many de-converts would be ok with most Christians if they would just stop trying to beat us to death with their book.

  • 2. Zoe  |  June 17, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    That’s okay Justin. I’m not here to deconvert you. By the way, have you ever jumped on a trampoline that is missing one spring?

  • 3. dsmith77  |  June 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Just a thought on the wager you’ve posted in the side panel.

    You said, “Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.”

    I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t work. If the Bible is the bona-fide Word of God and it says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that “8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV), then it doesn’t matter what a person does. He or she is not going to be judged worthy by God when it’s all said and done. But there’s more…

    There is a further explanation in Ezekiel, though I do not know the verses. The theology goes like this: Jesus, and more precisely faith in Jesus, is it. Alone. Nothing more. Nada. Either a person believes in Jesus and all the spiritual stuff that goes with it, or not and that is the only basis that God will use to determine the future destiny of that person. Keep reading…

    Are humans on Earth capable of doing good and living good lives, like your wager says, etc? Yes. Do they? Not always. Is that enough? According to the bible, no. For those people (and this is where Ezekiel ties in) that do trust in God, God will judge their place in heaven based solely on the good things they did. He forgets the bad things that Christians have done when judging. For those people who do not trust in Jesus, He forgets all the good things and judges their place in hell based on the evil they did. (What?…)

    You probably think this isn’t fair, but do you recall a verse in one of the new testament letters by Paul when he says that his righteousness is as filthy rags? As it turns out NOTHING anyone does that isn’t strictly part of God’s will is considered good by God. Therefore, even the so-called good that a non-Christian does is really evil in God’s eyes. So God, in his mercy, counts the (not really) good that Christians do to their credit and forgets the (not really) good that non-Christians do so that they earn a lesser sentence.

  • 4. Yurka  |  June 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    So where do you actually stand on inerrancy? How do you feel about Peter Enns and WTS?
    Can you agree with the WCF and the CSoBI? Or are you more in the Bultmann/Tillich/Spong camp?

  • 5. TheNerd  |  June 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I have to say, it’s way more fun to jump up and down on a short-springed trampoline than to walk balanced across an unstable brick wall. There’s that added element of surprise: you never know where you’ll bounce off too, and there are no loose bricks to dampen your mood. Thanks for the joyful post – I love hearing people talk about how richly they experience life, no matter what their religious orientation.

  • 6. Ubi Dubium  |  June 17, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    You know, if one spring on your trampoline breaks, I’d think it would be a good idea to check the other springs carefully before you bounce on it too hard. If your other springs are still really solid, then jump away.

    dsmith77:

    If the Bible is the bona-fide Word of God and it says in Ephesians…

    And if it isn’t? If it’s just a book of ancient myths? Then the rest of your post really isn’t meaningful. Trust me, we’ve all heard the bible quotes before.

  • 7. Quester  |  June 17, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    dsmith77

    The de-conversion wager mentions a benevolent God. That disqualifies the God described in the Bible, not least because of the verses you listed.

    Justin

    When I found no reason to believe in a god beyond personal hopes and fears, I could no longer believe. Other people can believe, despite the evidence that the Bible is a human creation and the lack of evidence that a god exists. That is their choice. I have no reason to try to make them choose differently, but it is not a choice I can make myself.

  • 8. thesundaygap  |  June 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Here’s my two cents. For what it’s worth.

    Faith is faith.
    Reason is reason.

    There’s absolutely no reason (within the framework of reason. hah.) why the two can’t co-exist, even within the same person. But one should not be applied to the other, nor set restrictions on the other. They are separate (not opposing) ideologies.

    You wouldn’t say “I believe in gravity because that is what I believe” – if you enter into a reasoned debate on this theory, you can trace back the reasons why you believe in it, deconstruct the belief down to a catalogue of observations and experiments, and say to your debate partner, “well, based on the evidence, it’s the best theory we’ve got.” Or, disprove your theory and be overcome with excitement at what else has taken it’s place.

    You can’t do that with faith. Faith doesn’t need to be justified, it needs to be lived. Criticism ought to be levied against peoples actions in this world and not why they do the things they do. You wouldn’t enter into a reasoned debate with a stranger on why you love your wife or child, so why would you attempt to prove or justify your love for your chosen God?

    Have your faith, it’s pretty. It provides your life with meaning and hopefully makes you a better person. We should all be so lucky as to believe in something comforting. Show us the joy it brings you and when we say, “but don’t you think it might all be a big LIE?” Say, “no, i don’t believe so.” and smile and change the subject.

    further, and I’ll keep this short as I’ve already ranted for too long on someone else’s blog:

    Pascal’s wager really irks me. I appreciate faith. I respect it.

    I believe that you can arrive at a basic humanist ethic from an atheist or agnostic standpoint (Kant’s categorical imperitive, the golden rule Jesus was on about). Without threat of punishment. Faith by proxy doesn’t work.

    Be good people, encourage others to do the same. Full stop.

  • 9. Bad  |  June 21, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Sandy: I’m a non-believer who agrees with you and your approach to the Bible as being a much more reasonable one than literalism.

    But I’m also curious what you think of these thoughts I had about the Bible and my interest in why or why not someone who thinks like you do supports the very concept of having a single, unchanging Bible at all. And I mean genuinely curious, in that I don’t think there is any one correct answer to the question: different goals, theologies, and concerns could lead one in various directions on the subject.

  • […] And how is this conclusion, this interpretation, reached? By appeal to consequences. Which is clearly fair game in theology. Maybe old understandings of God did not consider God to be as “infallible” as current understandings, somewhat closer to Greek polytheism where the gods shared human flaws. However, by current Christian theology, Christians worship an infallible God. Passages must then be interpreted in ways that support that notion of God, or alternatively the flawed hand of man must be recognised in the writings in the Bible. (Personally, given the list of contradictions and errors in the Bible — same link as above, I cannot see how one can avoid recognising at least the influence of the errant hand of man. And this need not be a hurdle to Christian belief.) […]

  • 11. Terry Larson  |  July 13, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Faith and logic should be compatible. Faith without logic is like life without hope.

    One thing wrong with man is his proneness to believe that he is so much above animals. Well, he forgets that he is also an animal. He is so egotistical about this, he treats other animals horribly. Part of the problem is that the Bible teachs him that animals were created by God especially for man’s benefit.

    Being above animals, man believes that he should have an everlasting life. I haven’t seen any written material that states animals should also be included in this pert. What will happen when man is surpassed in intelligence by a future species, one that will most likely develop if man doesn’t destroy Earth. Will that species then be the only one that can go to heaven?

    The Bible teaches that homo sapiens are born evil, thanks to the illogical Adam and Eve story. That seems strange and probably only reflects that little was known in the days the Bible was written. Now we know that so-called evil characteristics are simply those that animals – which includes man – are born with in order to survive. In other words, survival instincts eqate with evil thoughts and tendencies. In the past few years, scientists are finding that even though animals have these “evil instincts,” they also are capable of altruistic and moral actions. How about that?

    Okay then, have faith, faith perhaps in everlasting life, but also have faith based on reality, faith that we are what we are and that we can do the right thing and not be scared to death by horrific teachings of the Bible.

  • 12. Debbie  |  October 22, 2011 at 3:02 am

    The idealism of christianity is false. Jesus was a man, not GOD. What does GODs stand for? Guardians of the (da) Sky. The Jesus “story” was 2,000 years old before the birth of Christ. Jesus’ lost years? Try Western Egypt where esotherical teachings were common. Jesus learned esoterical teachings then travelled to the near/far east where he learned of the 2,000 year old incarnated man story. Times were brutal 2-4 thousand years ago, people needed some sort of hope. So, Jesus “reincarnated” himself to be perceived as the “chosen one” and sacraficed himself in the hopes that the redemption of the faithful would lead down a path of self realization. Realization that GOD is within. What went wrong? The essence of Jesus’ message was doctrinated! Power, if nothing else is “All Powerful”.

  • 13. Debbie  |  October 22, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Kiss That!

  • 14. Debbie  |  October 22, 2011 at 3:07 am

    The world is reborn every 26 thousand years. Any civilization that existed 26 thousand years ago would easily be erased after only a few thousand years. Our time is near – alignment is not a prophesy, it is an astronomical fact. If it were not for the Christian leaders over the past thousand years, we would be rich with know ledge from around the world about the nature of the world. For me there is only one true GOD and it is not Jesus it is the natural forces of the universe.

  • 15. Ubi Dubium  |  October 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    The world is reborn every 26 thousand years.

    Umm….citation needed. Because – no it isn’t. Where did you study astronomy?

    I would agree that religion has greatly held us back.

  • 16. Thomas  |  August 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    When I was a kid, my younger sister had an imaginary friend. Of course, none of us could see her friend, but she really believed that her friend existed. And obviously, her friend did exist! Like God, the friend wasn’t a phenomenon subject to the normal laws of physicis. All we needed was faith …

    Oh wait. The imaginary friend didn’t exist at all. And nor does the deity that a stone age desert tribe patched together from a variety of belief systems that existed at the time. That deity is nothing more than a very persistent collective imaginary friend with the mother of all mean streaks. (With a dad like that, who wouldn’t rather me an orphan?)

    Let’s talk about debunking chrtistianity by summarizing what christians ‘believe’ to be true:

    There is an all-powerful supreme being who raped an unwilling virgin (well, that’s not totally accurate: he had his Holy Ghost do it). The son resulting from that violent union walked the earth for about 30 years, after which he was sacrificed to atone for the ‘sins’ (i.e. transgressions against a set of arbitrary rules that the supreme being gave humanity, which was created a little over 6000 years ago and originally consisted of just one man) of all mankind. After three days, the offspring of the raped virgin mentioned above arose from the dead, and later he was taken up into the sky, to be reunited with his father ….

    And throughout the approximately 2000 years that have since passed, christians ‘believe’ that the son is about to come back to earth (any minute now, promise!), to judge every man, woman and child.

    What beggars belief is how someone in their right mind can actually believe that this is something that needs debunking.

    God does not exist! So, for the love of Mazda, Wodan, Krishna and all other collective imaginary friend, can all you people who ‘believe’ that such a monstrosity is actually real finally get help!

  • 17. Charles Allen  |  January 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    First of all I believe in the Bible, and have no doubt that many of it’s prophecies are proving to be true. But! About Christianity today, I believe it is more of a disturbed freek show than of the truth. Taking a look at all the other practicing religions of the world, Christianity is the most confusing and divided religion of all religions. Christians have proven themselves to be self-righteous and full of falsehood, waging war against each other and agaist those who do not believe. They love preaching for financial gain, but when it comes to practicing what they preach, they just seem to hide. The truth is, Christianity as a whole has become a circus of a variaty of acts, and the ring master is the devil, the audiance are the fools who attend the show.

  • 18. cag  |  January 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Charles Allen, so you believe that the earth was created before the rest of the universe (geocentric universe). You believe that it took 5 days to create the earth and one day to create all of the rest of the universe. Your ignorance has now been memorialized for all rational people to see that you are a proponent of slavery, misogyny and all the other barbaric practices condoned in the bible. After all, you wouldn’t be one of those people who ignores the parts of the bible that any civilized human would abhor, would you?

    At least you recognize that christianity is inanity. Now take the next step and recognize that there is no such thing as the supernatural.

  • 19. Charles Allen  |  April 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Well whatever, I am done about arguements on the Bible, and what is and what is not about the truth. As Christians are trying everything in their power to prove the Bible to be true, so are there those who have proven facts that there are aliens and that UFOs have been sighted, having photos to prove this. Just by taking the story of Noah and the ark before and after the so called flood. The claim is that earth and all thereupon was destroyed by the flood, but after the flood the earth was suddenly filled with people, animals, towns and cities. If it was only Noah and his small family that was saved, makes it basically impossible for the sudden growth of different tribes and nations, not talking of how long it would have taken to build towns and cities. Then the building of the ark, it must have been a ark of an enormous size to house every kind of animal, bird and reptile, which are spread all over the earth. Did Noah travel all the way to the north pole to collect 2 polar bears, etc. Forty days of rain would not be enough to give the depth of water for the ark of this size to float. So let it be, I would rather believe in aliens and UFO’s, because just maybe ET might pay me a visit. Hope he drinks Coke.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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