Yes, Christians. Not Muslims or any other group, even though there have been other non-Christian theists
on the WWGHA forums.
What I did with this is that I briefly
compiled the most frequently seen 'arguments' made by Christians regarding the existence of their god on WWGHA aimed toward the atheists/agnostics/agnostic atheists/whoever else on the forums and briefly
I am hoping that this thread can serve as a small reference for newcomers on the forum, particularly Christians
, so they, if they hope to use these arguments, know the arguments have been made in the past and do not repeat much of the ill history with exasperated, regular posters here (many of who were once Christian) who have read, heard of and refuted these arguments hundreds of times.
In no particular order:#1 "Without God, there is no morality! We have morals, THUS God exists!"
This is one of the most common arguments made by Christians which is usually accompanied by the citing of the 10 Commandments (Thou shalt not kill, etc), verses from the Bible or quotes from famous people like C.S. Lewis or whatnot. The thought process of the argument goes something like this:- Humans can love, choose not to kill, be proper in their manner and set up laws. Morality could be innate.
- What is the ultimate standard for which these laws and seemingly innate feelings of morality measure up to?
- The ultimate standard must come from God who created humans!
Without even going into excruciating details on why this whole argument is wrong, only three examples will be given for the sake of preserving your time.1) The Christian God was not present in every part of the world, before AND after it "revealed" itself through Jesus or Moses or whoever else.
Yet the civilizations of India, Bhutan and Egypt or the nomadic groups of Mongolia and Alaska and so on had/have their own ethical codes, their own laws, their own sense of morality and so forth. They nor you do NOT necessarily need a god, much less the Christian one to set up a functioning society or group made up of moral humans or laws like so:
Yet sometimes, Christians may, in an attempt to defend their faith, declare that they will break laws or say certain actions are a-okay and not be moral anymore if a god and promise of heaven do not exist.
Morality varies from individual to individual, regardless of their religion.2) You are in a group of 200 people. Would you want to get killed by one of the other 199 people? You also gathered 100 coconuts for the winter over a course of 5 months, would you want all of these to get stolen?
If you said: No to both, congratulations. If you said yes, well, you're beyond masochism or just don't give a damn.
You don't want others to steal your stuff and you don't want to get killed. The rest of the group presumably feels the same and so make up rules such as "don't kill each other", "don't steal each others' shit" and so on to preserve its solidarity as a group and to keep order, otherwise things would get out of hand. Simple as that. No god or "ultimate standard" involved.3) Even with the Christian God, Christians have committed atrocities like any other group.
The Crusades, the case of the Magadalene Sisters, the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Europe, the genocide of Native Americans, enslaving Africans, destroying entire cultures and societies and so much more.
To many outside of Christianity, it would seem that having a god actually JUSTIFIES such cruel acts.
Undoubtedly, if you are a faithful Christian you too are aghast at the actions taken by your fellows. But there is also the chance that you might scoff at other Christians, brush off at least a dozen genocides and say:#2
This argument is brought up by a lot of Christians whenever atrocities committed by Christians, death threats by Christians toward atheists/non-believers
, or the latest dick move by the Westboro Baptist Church are brought to their attention. Many claim that those who do not "love their enemies", aren't charitable, murder others and so on in the name of God are NOT true Christians, just Christian in name only.
This argument falls victim to the "No True Scotsman" fallacy where basically you assert ridiculous or unsubstantiated claims in face of contradictory evidence so as to avoid getting your initial claim disproven. Like so:Richard: Apple Macs have NEVER crashed or presented a problem.
Head: Funny, my Mac overloaded last night.
Richard: Huh. Your Mac is obviously a fake from China. REAL Macs never have problems.
Extrapolate this onto the Christian-Atheist conversation:Christian: The Bible says all Christians who believe in God and pray will get their prayers answered!
Atheist: But I was a praying Christian for 34 years and never got help from God.
Christian: You mustn't have been a TRUE Christian then.
After you make the argument, you will then have to explain exactly WHAT a True Christian is. In the process and end though, you will face a range of problems including the few below:
- Dozens of denominations exist and have their own interpretations of heaven and how Christians should act. Which is right?
- How do you know? Where is your evidence?
- Why would an omniscient and omnipotent God not make things clear to idiotic humans?
- And so on.#3
It is evident that, although atheism and science in general are originally separate things, many, especially in America have come to associate atheists with science, particularly with the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory which are both incredibly misunderstood due to popular culture and the works of Bible-based groups.
Most of the 'serious' arguments concocted by Christians are not
arguing against the actual Theory of Evolution itself but in fact a misconception of the Theory of Evolution. In other words, most, if not all, of the theist arguments that claim evolution is false or unable to be proven are actually right because they are disproving their own
Theory of Evolution.
There are entire organizations devoted to removing evolution (the "atheist religion") from public schools in the United States or handing out pamphlets that are riddled with quotes such as:
"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. - Charles Darwin"
"Evolution does not explain how life began..etc. etc."Few points:
- Humans did NOT evolve from monkeys/chimpanzees or if you took South Park seriously, "retarded fish monkeys/frogs/squirrels":
The actual explanation:
- The Theory of Evolution is not a theory in that it's pure speculation, it is, in scientific terms: "an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena."
- The infamous "Darwin eye quote" that is pounced on by many Creationists and "anti-evolutionists" is taken out of context. After the above quote made by Darwin, he then says:
Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.
Basically he said: "I know it's ridiculous to say that monkeys have their own societies, after all they are stoopid!..BUT evidence shows that they indeed DO have their own societies and even...etc etc."- And yes, evolution DOES NOT explain how life began. That is abiogenesis. A subject that is often confused by many Christians with the Theory of Evolution. Evolution ONLY explains the PROCESS of how living organisms came to be in their present form and will possibly become later on ever since their common ancestors started out.
The actual Theory of Evolution
is very simple to understand and is verifiable through experiments or simple observations. If you DO have some Nobel prize winning evidence or incontrovertible proof proving evolution is false which in turn would make fools out of an overwhelming majority of scientists and intellectuals, then please feel free to share, we are more than willing to accept it#4
While we're close to the subject, many Christians who make their arguments for their god often point to the Big Bang Theory and laugh at how people could think "nothing exploded into something". Generally these ill-conceived arguments are met by explanations on what exactly the Big Bang Theory is
or by shrugs followed by "I don't know how the universe began."
You see, there are, for the most part, three ways to go about this.
1) Claim that a specific diety out of hundreds created the universe and attempt to prove it with an old book made by ignorant humans centuries prior.
2) Humbly just say "I don't know how it all began".
3) Wait, or if you're in the position, work or contribute to find out the answer.
For Option 2, Christians sometimes claim a victory for the existence of their god by argumentum e silentio (argument from silence), presuming that since humans have no satisfactory, concrete evidence concerning the beginning of life, then their "god did it".
Christians who often make the argument based on that atheists "believe" that the universe was "exploded" into existence and that such complexity in life can't possibly have come about without an "eternal" creator often forget that they themselves are claiming that a creator which was somehow not created by another creator and is not part of existence, created the universe thus creating existence.
Clearly, options 2 & 3 are better ways of going about this than Option 1.
But again, if you, a Christian, have actual evidence to bring to the table regarding all of this and in turn proves the existence of a creator that existed before existence, then feel free to bring it.#5
This is actually a common and silly question put forth by Christians, but speaking from personal experience, a lot of them are actually seriously asked simply because we've been raised our entire lives to just believe and take it at face value. Never to question.
This "argument" is most succinctly put down by the response:
"If (insert fictional character) doesn't exist, then who created the (insert book series/games)?"
Most of the time however, their backup "God inspired the Bible" is always present, which is also pretty far-fetched considering that the authors of the Bible had very little understanding of the actual world, its workings and pretty much fucking everything. Either God is the ultimate troll or it's simply a product of primitive human beings who knew jack-shit about a lot of things.
But you may say:#6
Christians often argue that the writers of the Bible knew that the Earth wasn't flat, that it accurately gives a timeline of Life itself, contains actual places and people who existed thus making it accurate, or contains an assload of stuff that fits their nilly willy.
Yet the supposedly inerrant Bible and other apocryphal writings are loaded with things that have long been disproven or are just simply too stupid to even be considered something that should be disproven like:
- A global deluge (the story of Noah's Ark) that never happened.
- The walls of Jericho falling down. The real Jericho did not have walls at the time around the supposed attack nor is there any archaeological evidence of the fall.
- Producing striped sheep by placing striped sticks in front of mating sheep.
- A virgin birth.
- Incestuous reproduction ultimately resulting in humanity (could explain a lot of the stupidity, but I digress).
- Pissing off an all powerful and all knowing god by building a phallic tower that represented Man's ego.
- A man living three days in a giant fish.
- The existence of Leviathan.
- Jesus facing down dragons complete with fire breathing, reptilian scales and wings.
- The enslavement of Jews in Egypt that never happened.
- Insects that have four feet.
- Rabbits that chew their cud.
- Talking snakes.
- The bat is mistaken for a bird.
- Snails melt?
- A motionless Earth.
- The moon does not give off its own source of light.
- All stars are not of the same age.
- The crossing of the Red Sea.
- Jesus did not feed hundreds of people and satisfy their hunger with a few loaves of bread and some fish.
- Instantaneous heart attack after touching a god's ark.
- A jealous god.
- Attaching a chopped off ear back on just by attaching it with nothing but your hands.
- And so much more.
Needless to say, the Bible is NOT a book of science nor is it "historically accurate".#7
When pressed for actual evidence that aren't there, some Christians resort to argumentum ad ignorantiam, in English: argument from ignorance, or in Christ-speak, "Just because you can't see God or his miracles doesn't mean he's not real!!".
Saying that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is a logical fallacy that contains a false dilemma and a convenient escape route from actual discussion that has no place in an actual argument.
It is like saying though we do not have evidence Cthulhu exists it does not mean the Great Water Being is not real and living in R'lyeh. It's stupid. Basically you can't prove it but you believe it to be true and so concluded your quest.
That wouldn't hold up in a research paper much less 8th grade science class. #8
Atheism is not a religion. Being an atheist simply means that you do not believe in any god. Not believing does not require religious faith, otherwise there'd be really no point in the 'a' in 'atheism'.
It's that simple. End of discussion.As others have pointed out, even if atheism was a religion, what are you trying to point out? Seriously.#9
Pascal's Wager. One of the most thoughtless 'arguments' ever made. You may recognize it as:
"Why won't you stubborn atheist bastards not believe in God? You have nothing to lose!"
"If God turns out to be real, then I win and you get to go to Hell! But if He's not real, then nothing happens for me, but you still lose!!!"
Pascal's Wager desperately hinges on the presumption that there is only ONE religion and ONE god.It is not so.
There are literally thousands of known religions out there in the world. And within each of those religions lie various sects, denominations and other factions that teach drastically different things and give their own interpretations on the afterlife, god and so on.
Now apply Pascal's Wager to this situation in reality.
Which one's the real path to "salvation"? Remember, you can't believe in all of them and also if you're wrong, you might end up in hell, just a different version of it!
Take your pick. A potential eternity of paradise or hell or the void awaits you.#10
When unable to back up their assertions, some Christians often drag the names of renowned intellectuals and scientists into the fray so they can gather them on their side and say, "SEE? (Insert name of genius) believes in God, you're incredibly stupid! This proves it! Or are you saying you're smarter than (insert name of genius)?"
Often times the two most notable names brought up by Christians are either Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton.
Putting aside the fact that Einstein believed in Spinoza's god, that is an impersonal one, there are also atheists, agnostics or non-Christians who have been notable for their achievements in academia, science, philosophy and other areas in human society.
Of course there can be incredibly smart people from the Christian side as well, but when Christians bring this up, they say matter-of-factedly that their God exists partly because one famous person believed in it. Abstractly, that is true, but I digress.
If one was to measure a god's existence simply by the merits of individuals who believed in it, then what's to keep Allah from existing and validating Islam over Christianity? After all, algebra, new styles of architecture, numerous inventions and other innovations came from the Islamic Golden Age. Does this signify that Allah exists?
Of course not.
In the United States, this "argument" goes especially with the Founding Fathers who are claimed by today's Christians to have wanted a "Christian nation". But in reality, most of the Founding Fathers weren't strongly Christian, were deists or actually wanted a secular nation.
In addition, most of the "credible sources" or famous scientists Christians, especially Creationists, cite in favor of advancing their argument on evolution, intelligent design or whatnot will, most of the time, be fake or simply untrue.
An example would be Derek Ager whose name and works have been cited by Creationists for the purpose of advancing their cause or whatever they call it. His response:
"For a century and a half the geological world has been dominated, one might even say brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell. Any suggestion of 'catastrophic' events has been rejected as old-fashioned, unscientific and even laughable. This is partly due to the extremism of some of Cuvier's followers, though not of Cuvier himself. #11
On that side too were the obviously untenable views of bible-oriented fanatics, obsessed with myths such as Noah's flood, and of classicists thinking of Nemesis. That is why I think it necessary to include the following 'disclaimer': in view of the misuse that my words have been put to in the past, I wish to say that nothing in this book should be taken out of context and thought in any way to support the views of the 'creationists' (who I refuse to call 'scientific')."
Casting aside the fact that Hitler was brought up as Christian and that a combination of Christian and occult elements were evident in Nazi Germany, Christians defame atheists as "evil" or "amoral" simply because there have been detested people who allegedly were or actually were atheists.
But once it gets to Christians who molest children, carry out genocides, abduct infants and so on, this argument is conveniently null and void.
Continuing, this argument is a direct reverse of #10. If Christians want to argue this way, they should consider that:
- Pope Benedict XII enslaved nuns, raped numerous women, sadistically murdered people, carried out ritual murders and so forth.
- The ironically named Pope Innocent III ordered the Crusades resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.
- Christians carried out the witch trials.
- Christians enslaved and put girls up for forced sexual prostitution.
- Christians carried out genocides.
- Andrew Jackson's actions led to the Trail of Tears.
- David Koresh, who was Christian, burned himself and girls he had basically raped and impregnated to death.
- Pat Robertson is a bastard who blames people for incurring God's wrath which results in catastrophes caused by nature.
- Michael Bray tried to bomb abortion clinics.
- And on and on and on.
Of course, there is a HUGE difference between a couple of atheists (Pol Pot & Mao Zedong) and these Christians. These atheists did NOT kill in the name of atheism, they killed in the name of their political ideologies. Christians killed in the names of their God, religion AND their own political ideologies. In many ways, they are worse than the supposedly "evil atheists".#12 GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYARS!!!
A typical Christian anecdote that proves the power of prayer or the transmission of thoughts to an all-powerful and all-knowing god usually goes something like this:
- Missing X
- Hopes To Find X
- Finds X
- Praises God
- Hopes for X
- (Optional) Prays for X
- Gets X
- Praise God
While God is helping you search for your car keys or helping your favorite football team win, he's completely ignoring:
Factor in what you just experienced may have simply been a coincidence, along with attempts to cover all of the suffering in the world as "God's plan that he changes every time he hears a prayer that goes against it", or preaching that every human (from infants to the elderly) deserves hell and this argument falls apart on its own.#13 God Is Omnipotent/Omniscient/Forgiving!
Some Christians will seek refuge in the Bible and simply state that their god is omnipotent, omniscient and above all, very forgiving; of course, all according to the Bible. The same Bible that says:
"Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against
the rock!" (Psalms 137:9)
"The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled
against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be
dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open." (Hosea 13:16)
"Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is
joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their
houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."]/b] (Isaiah 13:15,16)
"Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they
shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare
children." (Isaiah 13:18)
among other disgusting things. Some Christians will argue that this is all Old Testament stuff and that the New Testament should be focused on more. That's cherry-picking whatever you like and incorporating it into your life. NOT accepting God's ENTIRE word as many Christians vow they do.
Also consider the conflicting properties of omniscience and omnipotence, summed up neatly by Epicurus:
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"