Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Debunking Christianity: Reality Check: What Must Be the Case if Christianity is True? Part 2

16) That while the results of science are assured when it comes to chemistry, physics, meteorology, mechanics, forensic science, medical science, rocket science, computer science, and so forth, when it comes to evolutionary science that shows all present life forms have common ancestors, or when science tells us that dead bodies do not arise from the grave because total cell necrosis is irreversible, the results of science are wrong because the Bible says otherwise.
Just because we don't know how to reverse total cell necrosis does not mean the creator of all cells doesn't know how to. Not all scientists agrees that the evidence shows that all present life forms have a common ancestor.

17) That although there is no rational explanation for why Jesus had to die on the cross to atone for our sins, his death atoned for our sins.
The Bible clearly explains that. Okay one more time: If the wages of sin is death, someone has to die to pay for it. This is the system that God says because sin is that horrible. It offends the very nature of God Our sin is what separates us from God. Sin requires a perfect sinless sacrifice. Neither you nor I can pay that. So God paid it. Isaac's near sacrifice,Passover, the blood sacrifices were all pictures of what God ultimately did for us through Christ. Do you want to be judge for your own sins knowing that you must be found guilty. Or do you want to be justified because Jesus took the punishment for you and freed you from the penalty you deserve. Jesus loves you that much.

18) That although historical reconstructions of the past are are notoriously difficult because they depend on the poor evidence of history, and even though historians must assess that evidence by assuming a natural explanation for it, and even though historical evidence can never establish how to view that evidence, the Christian faith can be established historically anyway. My argument is that when it comes to miraculous claims, yesterday’s evidence no longer can hold water for me, for in order to see it as evidence, I must already believe in the framework that allows me to see it as evidence. In other words, in order to see yesterday’s evidence as evidence for me, I must already believe the Christian framework that allows me to see yesterday’s evidence as evidence for Christianity.
That is circular reasoning. You don't have to assume that Christianity is true to come to that conclusion from the evidence we have.

19) That although there is no cogent theodicy that can explain why there is such ubiquitous and massive human and animal suffering if a perfectly good omnipotent God exists, God is perfectly good and omnipotent anyway.

The Bible gives the perfect theodicy. Free will does not answer that one and the Bible does not support it. The Bible says that God does everything he want how He want to do it and when He wants to do it. This means that even those things that we think of as evil are acting according to God's ultimate plan and when we see the final product we will know that God was right and ultimate good real be seen.

9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:9-12

20) That while scientific tests on petitionary prayers have produced at best negligible results and at worst completely falsified them, God answers these kinds of prayers anyway.
This objection amazes me because people seem to think that an answered prayer automatically means "yes". It's like those who think like this never thought that God can answer a prayer with :"No"

13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. - 1 John 5:13-15

21) That even though Christianity shows evidence that it is nothing but a cultural by-product of human invention there is a divine mind behind it anyway.
Another assertion made without proof.

22) That Jesus is the Son of God even though the textual evidence in the New Testament conclusively shows that the founder of the Jesus cult was a failed apocalyptic prophet who prophesied that the eschaton would take place in his generation, which would involve a total cosmic catastrophe after which God inaugurates a literal kingdom on earth with the "Son of Man" reigning from Jerusalem over the nations.
Where did Jesus say that he would return in his generation? I think that you Loftus is misunderstanding Matthew 24. You can can read more

THE APOLOGETIC FRONT: Addressing a response to my Matthew 24 Challenge

23) That although there can be no moral justification for the sufferings of animals in this created world, a perfectly good God created this world anyway. We don't even see God's care for the lower animals in his supposed revealed word, which is described in Psalm 119 as his "perfect will." Think otherwise? Then read what I wrote here.
The Bible says otherwise:

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb]">[b]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:25-34

And what about:

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thati]">[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. - Romans 8:18-27

24) That although the only method we have for determining the truth in factual matters is methodological naturalism, which assumes a natural explanation for any phenomena, and although this method is the hallmark of the sciences, the phenomena of the Bible can be exempted from this method as applied through Biblical Criticism, and believed anyway.
Rationally, is it true that methodological naturalism is the only way to determine factual truth? Lots of people disagree with that. Loftus should prove this premise before basing an argument for testing Christianity.

25) That although God's supposed revelation in the canonical Bible is indistinguishable from the musings of an ancient, barbaric, superstitious people, the Bible is the word of God. As SilverBullet recently said: “...the lord doesn't work in mysterious ways, but in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence. It seems to me that there is nothing in the Christian scriptures, no sentence, paragraph, or idea, that couldn't be anything more than the product of the humans alive at the time that the apparently divinely inspired scriptures and ideas were "revealed". Sure, its possible for a god to reveal himself in an inspired book, and throughout history, in ways that are indistinguishable from the work of human minds and human minds alone. But how probable does that seem to you?”

This is a baseless assumption: "there is nothing in the Christian scriptures, no sentence, paragraph, or idea, that couldn't be anything more than the product of the humans alive at the time that the apparently divinely inspired scriptures and ideas were 'revealed'." Where is the proof? Not everyone believes that statement is true. I think Romans 6:23 is not something at all that anyone would come up with on their own. or how about:

14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy
and take my life in my hands?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
for no godless man would dare come before him! - Job 13:14-16

26) That although it's claimed God got the attention of Abraham, Moses, the Pharaoh, Gideon, Mary, Joseph, and Saul (who became Paul) and that he knows how to get the attention of anyone and everyone, there is no objective evidence he's trying to get the attention of the billions of people who don't believe. In fact, Christians are much more concerned than God is that non-believers are converted. Just compare the lengths to which Christians will go in order to convert non-believers, with a God who has the means to convert everyone and yet does nothing to help them do this. If you say God is helping to convert non-believers then tell us how to objectively know God is actually doing this.
Simple: By the witnesses and proclamation to the work God does in the lives of the believers.

14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Romans 10-14-15
I got saved because I heard the word of God. Same as everyone else.

27) Christianity is a faith that must dismiss the tragedy of death. It does not matter who dies, or how many, or what the circumstances are when people die. It could be the death of a mother whose baby depends upon her for milk. It could be a pandemic like cholera that decimated parts of the world in 1918, or the more than 23,000 children who die every single day from starvation. These deaths could be by suffocation, drowning, a drive-by shooting, or being burned to death. It doesn't matter. God is good. Death doesn't matter. People die all of the time. In order to justify God's goodness Christianity minimizes the value of human life. It is a pro-death faith, plain and simple.
That is hilarious. Atheism undermines the value of human life. If a person has no purpose how does that not minimize human value? Christians don't minimize death just because with Christ we know there is nothing to fear. The sting is gone.

28) That God's punishments are good, right, and just, even though it means sinners are thrust into a surprisingly dangerous world, and in death will be blindsided by an eternal punishment in hell, which is "Christianity's most damnable doctrine." In this world how do you think human beings first learned that venomous creatures like certain kinds of spiders, snakes, ants or scorpions could kill us? People/children had to die, lots of them. How do you think human beings first learned that polluted water or lead poisoning could kill us? Again, people/children had to die, lots of them. It was inevitable since God never told us what to avoid in order to stay alive. We had to learn these kinds of things firsthand. The same thing can be said for hell. People do not know their choices will send them to an eternal punishment in hell. For if we knew this, and if it was possible not to sin at all, we wouldn't sin. Do you doubt this? Then consider that if you knew with certainty that by crossing a line drawn in the sand you would get beaten to a pulp by a biker gang, you would not do it!
But, Loftus, you do know that transgressing God's law will lead you to hell, yet you do. We all do. The Bible tells us there is a remedy. We have no excuse. We have been warned. We should know better. Natural dangers are different. And knowledge has been passed down. In certain circumstances I doubt that many people died. Just how many people do you think died before people realized you should not stand under a tree when it falls? I doubt many. And whether you believe Adam and Eve are factual or not we all have to agree that we are all descendant from a single woman from a single geographic location. Given that all of her descendants would have been taught to avoid certain animals and situations and to be cautious.

29) When believers like Christians or Muslims contend their faiths are based on reason, one may simply object that this can’t be so because their god in fact doesn’t allow it. Using reason to arrive at any other belief than the correct one will earn you an eternity in hell. Thus, reason is an evil to be avoided....Blind, unquestioning, and unexamined belief is what the theist’s retributive god truly desires, not a belief grounded in reason. And yet they maintain Christianity is reasonable.
I'm not going to speak for Muslims but it's a flat out lie that God does not allow us to use reason. Reason can't lead you to an other world view.

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. a]">[a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
18 "Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land; - Isaiah 1:17-19

If you take God up on His offer, you have no other conclusion that God is right and we are wrong.

30) The Christian thinks there is an objective absolute morality that stems from their perfectly good God, which is both eternal and unchangeable. But the morality we find in the Bible is something quite different than what they claim. Morality has evolved. What we find in the Bible is not something we would expect from a perfectly good God, but Christians believe there is a perfectly good God anyway. So Christians must choose, either 1) hold to a philosopher's god divorced from the historical realities of the Bible, or 2) continue to worship a moral monster.

This one is really a crappy argument. How do you know what good is? I'm not saying that atheists can't do good things or understand good. I'm asking where did it come from? Loftus asserts morality has evolved but he should prove that this assertion is true. The God of the Bible is not immoral or evil. By what standard is Loftus judging God's moral character? He does not say. What does Loftus expect from a perfect God? Where did his standard come from? Why does he think his opinion, or anyone's opinion, should even matter to God?

This is an interesting list intended to make Christians question their faith. Personally, it makes me question John Loftus' understanding of scripture and history.

Debunking Christianity: Reality Check: What Must Be the Case if Christianity is True?
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