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Arguments against Christianity

Yoni
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1/22/2009 9:29:09 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Ooh, toughy. I'm gonna have to say "what is 'all of them hold more water than any argument for Christianity'" Alex.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
I-am-a-panda
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1/22/2009 10:11:30 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/22/2009 9:04:03 AM, DefenderOfFaith wrote:
What are the Best Arguments against Christianity?

That it is pretty corrupt and rapes your children
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gotatheismdotcom
Posts: 2
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1/22/2009 10:14:57 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
In what way

Do you mean against Christianity because of what it causes people to do?

Or against Christianity on logical and evidentiary grounds?

If you are looking for EVIDENCE against Christianity, you need look no further than the bible. My web site has a number of articles that might be of interest: http://www.gotatheism.com...

As far as why I personally am against religion (not just Christianity):

•Wars: Religious wars abound. Religious beliefs divide people, and cause them to do absolutely unthinkable things to one another to try and further their own beliefs. Look at Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Afghanistan, just to name a few. It is true that there is also often an underlying cause or factor, such as a dispute over a piece of land. But adding religious dogma into the mix, more often than not, removes the possibility of any reasonable solution. That is because religious people often believe unreasonable things, behave in unreasonable ways, and cannot be reasoned with.

•Wasted time, money, and effort: Think of all the money wasted in the name of religion. Think of all the huge, ornate, expensive buildings that have been built in the name of worshiping a deity. Modern churches in the U.S. are often more like community centers, complete with auditoriums, sports facilities, etc. Is all this really required to worship a god? All the money that gets sent in to televangelists so that they can build their "ministries" (and their mansions). All the time people spend in churches praying to fictional characters. Imagine if all the money and effort that was spent on these activities could be channeled into some other effort, such as getting food to the poor, building houses for homeless, researching cures for diseases like cancer, creating sustainable energy sources, etc.

•Anti-science, Anti-Knowledge: Many religions are very much against advances in science and knowledge. In fact, the very notion that anything can be attributed to the idea "God did it" immediately short-circuits all further inquiry. But "God did it" doesn't provide us with any real knowledge, no real answers. It doesn't show us how to do something, or help us learn new information. Many religionists are against advances in sciences in fields like evolutionary biology and medical research, and continually fight against these things. This is to ALL of our detriment.

•Guilt: How many people go through their lives worrying about whether they have sinned in trivial ways? Because they masturbate too much? Or because they lusted after another individual? People spend so much time feeling guilty about thoughts, emotions, and even actions that are completely normal and just part of being human. How much better would the world be if people could let go of unnecessary guilt and channel that energy into something more productive?

•Bad Decisions: Any time that any decision is made based on false information, there is a very good chance that it will be a bad decision. (We have a similar theory in computer science: "garbage in, garbage out".) People make too many decisions based on what they think their higher power would want them to do. Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they don't. If people could learn to base choices on things like reality, facts, and information, their percentage of correct decisions would increase dramatically.
I-am-a-panda
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1/22/2009 10:26:58 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Whoa! Slow down there cowboy!

At 1/22/2009 10:14:57 AM, gotatheismdotcom wrote:
In what way

Do you mean against Christianity because of what it causes people to do?

Or against Christianity on logical and evidentiary grounds?

If you are looking for EVIDENCE against Christianity, you need look no further than the bible. My web site has a number of articles that might be of interest: http://www.gotatheism.com...

As far as why I personally am against religion (not just Christianity):

•Wars: Religious wars abound. Religious beliefs divide people, and cause them to do absolutely unthinkable things to one another to try and further their own beliefs. Look at Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Afghanistan, just to name a few. It is true that there is also often an underlying cause or factor, such as a dispute over a piece of land. But adding religious dogma into the mix, more often than not, removes the possibility of any reasonable solution. That is because religious people often believe unreasonable things, behave in unreasonable ways, and cannot be reasoned with.

India and Pakistan are not influenced by Christianity. it is Islam vs Hinduism. . This is about Christianity! Religion is often a cause flaunted but the reality is money or land.

•Wasted time, money, and effort: Think of all the money wasted in the name of religion. Think of all the huge, ornate, expensive buildings that have been built in the name of worshiping a deity. Modern churches in the U.S. are often more like community centers, complete with auditoriums, sports facilities, etc. Is all this really required to worship a god? All the money that gets sent in to televangelists so that they can build their "ministries" (and their mansions). All the time people spend in churches praying to fictional characters. Imagine if all the money and effort that was spent on these activities could be channeled into some other effort, such as getting food to the poor, building houses for homeless, researching cures for diseases like cancer, creating sustainable energy sources, etc.

Well, it was really a waste of cash helping all those homeless people and giving people some vague hope.......

•Anti-science, Anti-Knowledge: Many religions are very much against advances in science and knowledge. In fact, the very notion that anything can be attributed to the idea "God did it" immediately short-circuits all further inquiry. But "God did it" doesn't provide us with any real knowledge, no real answers. It doesn't show us how to do something, or help us learn new information. Many religionists are against advances in sciences in fields like evolutionary biology and medical research, and continually fight against these things. This is to ALL of our detriment.

Religion focuses on Why, Science on How. Anyway, evolution is not a stable theory. Creationism, as long as it's not in it's fundamentalist form, is a theory as strong as evolution.

•Guilt: How many people go through their lives worrying about whether they have sinned in trivial ways? Because they masturbate too much? Or because they lusted after another individual? People spend so much time feeling guilty about thoughts, emotions, and even actions that are completely normal and just part of being human. How much better would the world be if people could let go of unnecessary guilt and channel that energy into something more productive?

These were originally a moral code back yonders ago when there were little or no laws. They were good for their time. While they're now a bit extreme, you can't dismiss them.

•Bad Decisions: Any time that any decision is made based on false information, there is a very good chance that it will be a bad decision. (We have a similar theory in computer science: "garbage in, garbage out".) People make too many decisions based on what they think their higher power would want them to do. Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they don't. If people could learn to base choices on things like reality, facts, and information, their percentage of correct decisions would increase dramatically.

If people have a moral code to follow rather than a gut instinct, they are likely to make better decisions, in their view. You are trying to dismiss religion as a lie, but it is not a lie. There are some valid points. When we look past the politics, we get a moral ground that should be kept. You must remember Christianity is quite broad. There are fundamentalist versions like orthodox Christians in Eastern Europe, and also Anglicans who aren't as strict.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/22/2009 4:17:11 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The Bible's a pretty good argument against it :)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
I-am-a-panda
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1/22/2009 11:57:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/22/2009 4:17:11 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The Bible's a pretty good argument against it :)

The Bible vs The Preacher is sometimes the best arguments. They both often teach 2 different things, and that can argue against Christianity.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
beem0r
Posts: 1,155
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1/31/2009 11:10:27 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
WHAT'S THE BEST ARGUMENT AGAINST HOBGOBLINS [someone I know believes in them, and for some reason, I think I have to argue against them].
YonRoku
Posts: 23
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1/31/2009 4:57:52 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 11:10:27 AM, beem0r wrote:
WHAT'S THE BEST ARGUMENT AGAINST HOBGOBLINS [someone I know believes in them, and for some reason, I think I have to argue against them].

I argue that hobgoblins are more realistic.
We write our names in the sand, and then the waves roll in and wash them away. I wrote my name, but I can find it no longer; my ashes blow like dust around the invisible labyrinth.

---Pet In (the) Box---
Chestertonian
Posts: 84
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1/31/2009 6:02:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
You know what the sad thing about this thread is? It's that there are legitimate arguments against Christianity, and none of them are found here. I really don't think Christian's need to be told that the Bible can be hard to understands.

Et memores, si metrum non habet, non est poema.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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1/31/2009 6:05:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 6:02:54 PM, Chestertonian wrote:
You know what the sad thing about this thread is? It's that there are legitimate arguments against Christianity, and none of them are found here. I really don't think Christian's need to be told that the Bible can be hard to understands.

It's because many of us know most of the argument against Christianity and don't bother to list it. I'll list some:

1. Argument from Non belief
2. Argument from Evil

The first might be more obscure, but the second one should no doubt be common.
beem0r
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1/31/2009 6:25:10 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The best argument against Christianity is that there aren't any valid reasons to believe it. I don't bother arguing against it in general, I simply argue against the purported reasons Christians give for their belief.

Some examples:

Christian: "The bible had scientific information that no one could have known at the time, therefore it's true"
Me: Point out the selective interpreting, point out that many other 'holy' books and even just normal fiction works share this feature, point out that when you have so many vague statements, some of them are bound to be capable of being interpreted as true, etc.

Christian: Pascal's wager is a good reason to believe.
Me: One cannot decide to believe something based on the possible outcomes if it is true. If I think Christianity is 1% likely to be true, I believe it is false by definition, whether or not it would be more useful for me to believe it or not. Also point out that God might not want people to believe in him if he does exist, nullifying even the usefulness argument.

Christian: Just look how wonderfully designed everything is, [the christian] God must have done it.
Me: Point out the numerous flaws in nature, the fact that life adapts to its environment, the fact that the laws of nature are sufficient to explain life [no supernatural force is needed], etc. Also point out the possibility that there may be many universes, which would make things look 'designed.' Also anthropic principlle, etc.
Also, design does not indicate Christianity, even if it DID indicate a god [which it doesn't].

etc.

And then, when people argue needlessly about things I've already addressed to them, I just walk away, because I don't need to waste my life addressing whatever wild conjectures anyone wants to present me with. Just like I wouldn't bother wasting very much time arguing against hobgoblin theorists.
TheSkeptic
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1/31/2009 7:00:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
1. Argument from Non belief

What?

Ehh..look it up.

2. Argument from Evil

We have free will.

Doesn't account natural disasters. And you haven't fulfilled your burden of why God would rather want us to have free will instead free will with moral perfection, no free will, etc.
DiablosChaosBroker
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1/31/2009 7:20:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 7:00:29 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
1. Argument from Non belief

What?

Ehh..look it up.

2. Argument from Evil

We have free will.

Doesn't account natural disasters. And you haven't fulfilled your burden of why God would rather want us to have free will instead free will with moral perfection, no free will, etc.

Define moral perfection. No free will means we can't control our lives which means we're mindless robots unless you can say that's love. Does your parents control every action you do? Do you want your parents to control you? Natural disasters are necessary given the laws of nature.
TheSkeptic
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1/31/2009 7:31:16 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Define moral perfection.

Moral perfection in God's definition obviously.

No free will means we can't control our lives which means we're mindless robots unless you can say that's love.

Having no free will doesn't make you a "mindless robot" for several reasons:
1. By mindless you probably mean brainless, since there is no mind to start out with.
2. The term "mindless" coupled with "robot" both give the bad connotation of some 1970 robot movie of a simplistic android, or R2-D2. Just because we don't have free will doesn't mean we won't behave in complex ways. Would you say animals have free will? I doubt it. The only difference humans have between other animals is higher intelligence (and opposite thumbs for most).

Does your parents control every action you do? Do you want your parents to control you?

Bad analogy for several reasons:
1. My parents aren't an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient GOD.
2. Humans not having free will doesn't necessarily mean God has to "control" our every action.

Natural disasters are necessary given the laws of nature.

And if God made these laws of nature, then he could have constructed it so that there WOULDN'T be any natural disasters, unless he likes watching people die.
DiablosChaosBroker
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1/31/2009 8:02:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 7:31:16 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:


Having no free will doesn't make you a "mindless robot" for several reasons:
1. By mindless you probably mean brainless, since there is no mind to start out with.
2. The term "mindless" coupled with "robot" both give the bad connotation of some 1970 robot movie of a simplistic android, or R2-D2. Just because we don't have free will doesn't mean we won't behave in complex ways. Would you say animals have free will? I doubt it. The only difference humans have between other animals is higher intelligence (and opposite thumbs for most).

Free will: people have choices and control over their own choices. Without free will, individuals can NOT be held morally accountable for their actions.

Ever played the Sims 2? There's a free will mode and control mode, isn't there? Either you can let the Sims take over their lives, or you can take complete control over their lives.

Does your parents control every action you do? Do you want your parents to control you?

Bad analogy for several reasons:
1. My parents aren't an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient GOD.
2. Humans not having free will doesn't necessarily mean God has to "control" our every action.

Without free will, people cannot do what ever they want and are more restricted to their options. For example, free will implies that you can either go to church or not attend. You aren't forced into anything.

Although your parents don't have the same attributes as God, they still let you have free will. Do you want parents forcing you to go to Church all the time, or would you rather stop attending?

Only mankind has the ability to discern right from wrong and to make moral judgments. It is this ability that makes human beings responsible for their actions.

If humans don't have free will, they wouldn't be as smart. So if God eliminated free will, we shouldn't be as smart to judge right from wrong and have moral judgments.

Natural disasters are necessary given the laws of nature.

And if God made these laws of nature, then he could have constructed it so that there WOULDN'T be any natural disasters, unless he likes watching people die.

Which would be a completely different universe which have completely different natural laws.
TheSkeptic
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1/31/2009 8:19:18 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Free will: people have choices and control over their own choices. Without free will, individuals can NOT be held morally accountable for their actions.

And exactly how does this relate?

Ever played the Sims 2? There's a free will mode and control mode, isn't there? Either you can let the Sims take over their lives, or you can take complete control over their lives.

1. If you base how "people would act without free will" on a video game, then that is quite amazing. People already don't have free will, but that doesn't mean we will act simplistically. We are just more intelligent.

Without free will, people cannot do what ever they want and are more restricted to their options. For example, free will implies that you can either go to church or not attend. You aren't forced into anything.

Not having free will doesn't mean you are reduced to a bare minimum of options. And having no free will doesn't mean someone or something is "forcing" you - what a naive way to think of that. There are many reasons why someone doesn't or does go to church - religious reasons, family reasons, friends, etc. etc. And those even boiler down into more things such like psychological and sociological conditioning. The human brain is one big melting pot.

Although your parents don't have the same attributes as God, they still let you have free will. Do you want parents forcing you to go to Church all the time, or would you rather stop attending?

Not having free will doesn't mean you are being explicitly controlled. As I've mentioned, psychological conditioning, genetics, etc. play a bigger role in your life most of the time than your parents verbally telling you to do something.

Only mankind has the ability to discern right from wrong and to make moral judgments. It is this ability that makes human beings responsible for their actions.

IF we have free will. Just because free will gives us moral responsibility doesn't mean we have it.

If humans don't have free will, they wouldn't be as smart. So if God eliminated free will, we shouldn't be as smart to judge right from wrong and have moral judgments.

And you haven't shown me why God would prefer us to be "morally smarter" than morally perfect aka no sin in the world aka no death or suffering of his "dearly loved children".

Which would be a completely different universe which have completely different natural laws.

Uh...this is GOD we are talking about. He can do ANYTHING. And so what if the universe is completely different? He's God right? He can do ANYTHING.
askbob
Posts: 7,254
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1/31/2009 8:55:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
So I'm jumping in a bit late, do give sum this up for me in a way that does not resemble a /b/tards response.
Me -Phil left the site in my charge. I have a recorded phone conversation to prove it.
kohai -If you're the owner, then do something useful like ip block him and get us away from juggle and on a dofferent host!
Me -haha you apparently don't know my history
Kohai - Maybe not, but that doesn't matter! You shoukd still listen to your community and quit being a tyrrant!
Me - i was being completely sarcastic
Kohai - then u misrepresented yourself by impersonating the owner—a violation of the tos
Chestertonian
Posts: 84
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1/31/2009 11:18:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 6:25:10 PM, beem0r wrote:
The best argument against Christianity is that there aren't any valid reasons to believe it. I don't bother arguing against it in general, I simply argue against the purported reasons Christians give for their belief.

Some examples:

Christian: "The bible had scientific information that no one could have known at the time, therefore it's true"

Christian: Pascal's wager is a good reason to believe.

Christian: Just look how wonderfully designed everything is, [the christian] God must have done it.

Again, the fact that Aquinas's Fivefold Proof is not included does not inspire confidence. I agree that the arguments you listed are not valid proofs, but you haven't even covered the best arguments.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."
DiablosChaosBroker
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2/1/2009 10:10:19 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 8:19:18 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:

IF we have free will. Just because free will gives us moral responsibility doesn't mean we have it.

So we're not longer responsible for our actions, eh? Does that mean I'm allowed to go into school with a gun and shoot someone at random without the fear of retribution from the police or the authorities.

If humans don't have free will, they wouldn't be as smart. So if God eliminated free will, we shouldn't be as smart to judge right from wrong and have moral judgments.

And you haven't shown me why God would prefer us to be "morally smarter" than morally perfect aka no sin in the world aka no death or suffering of his "dearly loved children".

We were morally perfect. Heard of Adam and Eve? The fall of mankind strikes suffering in the world.

Which would be a completely different universe which have completely different natural laws.

Uh...this is GOD we are talking about. He can do ANYTHING. And so what if the universe is completely different? He's God right? He can do ANYTHING.

Of course he can. This is the Christian God we taking about, are we not? Yes, God could have eliminated all evil in the design of His universe. However, such a universe would have been unable to accomplish the main purpose for which God created the universe in the first place - to allow free will choice by human beings. God has designed the laws of the universe so that human beings are unable to exhibit unlimited amounts of evil. However, it is not possible to design a universe in which the exercise of evil is completely eliminated, since evil begins in the minds of human beings. To restrict the minds of human beings is to turn them into robots. Since we're human beings, we have free will because we're smart enough to tell the difference from good and evil. If I killed your parents, would you get extremely angry at me. Of course you would unless you didn't love them.

Free will is what we have in our minds. If we were to not have free will under God, we wouldn't be able to function with the intelligence of human beings or we would be turned into robots if we kept that intelligence but had no free will.

Of course, an evil-free universe does exist for those who want it and choose it in this universe. It's called heaven. We suffer - yes, but to say we don't have free will destroys the concept of us being able to judge right or wrong.

Okay, can God just prevent people from making evil choices, thereby eliminating evil, while allowing "free will?" On the surface, this idea seems like a simple, logical solution God could have used in the design of the universe.

No, it is not possible to design a universe in which the exercise of evil is completely eliminated, since evil begins in the minds of human beings. What if God prevented all your choices of evil? That would require us to have less intelligence or turn us into robots. Yes, our choices are influenced by genetic and other psychological and sociological plus environmental factors. That still doesn't put most of us not being responsible for our actions. What are jails for? What about the justice system? Why am I not allowed to kill anyone? It's because we're morally responsible for our actions.
beem0r
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2/1/2009 10:35:32 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 1/31/2009 11:18:39 PM, Chestertonian wrote:
At 1/31/2009 6:25:10 PM, beem0r wrote:
The best argument against Christianity is that there aren't any valid reasons to believe it. I don't bother arguing against it in general, I simply argue against the purported reasons Christians give for their belief.

Some examples:

Christian: "The bible had scientific information that no one could have known at the time, therefore it's true"

Christian: Pascal's wager is a good reason to believe.

Christian: Just look how wonderfully designed everything is, [the christian] God must have done it.

Again, the fact that Aquinas's Fivefold Proof is not included does not inspire confidence. I agree that the arguments you listed are not valid proofs, but you haven't even covered the best arguments.
Because replying to this five-fold proof in a post on a forum before anyone even brought it up would be a very reasonable thing to do. I mean, it's not like I have actual stuff to do other than this. Oh wait.
But if you want to present said argument in an organized way, I'll probably go ahead and respond to it. Until then.
Ragnar_Rahl
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2/1/2009 4:19:44 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
No, it is not possible to design a universe in which the exercise of evil is completely eliminated, since evil begins in the minds of human beings.

That's some of the worst logic I've ever seen! If you can design a universe, clearly you can take the easy way out and NOT DESIGN HUMAN BEINGS?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
DiablosChaosBroker
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2/1/2009 4:31:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 2/1/2009 4:19:44 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No, it is not possible to design a universe in which the exercise of evil is completely eliminated, since evil begins in the minds of human beings.

That's some of the worst logic I've ever seen! If you can design a universe, clearly you can take the easy way out and NOT DESIGN HUMAN BEINGS?

Yeah, but God wanted human beings to live. If you can design a computer, clearly you can take the easy way out and NOT DESIGN COMPUTER PROGRAMS?