Monday, 5 December 2016

10 Reasons why I'm not a Christian

Internet Christians seem fond of the "list approach" to proselytizing.  This comes in various forms. Like "10 reasons Christianity is true" or "10 questions atheists can't answer".  So with that inspiration, here are 10 objections I have to the existence of the Bronze-age Deity Yaweh and his magic carpenter son.

1. The absence of evidence where there should be evidence

Depending on your flavour of Christianity, this particular deity is supposed to have created the Universe, formed the earth, begun life, created humanity from just two individuals, intervened frequently in the affairs of a Near Eastern Tribe, and made a personal appearance for approximately 33 years.  Many of these events should leave compelling evidence. Genetics should confirm we descended from just two individuals. Other civilizations should have noticed the extraordinary events described in the bible.  That evidence is just not present.
Genetics confirms that modern human species never originated from just 2 individuals


2. The Soap Test

There are no instructions on using soap.  Soap is a product that is easy to make.  It also has benefits for hygiene as well as reducing infections and limiting the spread of disease.  These effects on disease were not realised until the germ theory of disease was established.

Any deity that is supposed to be benevolent, all-knowing, and interceding to benefit a chosen tribe or people, would give instructions on its use.  Instructions on its use however are weirdly absent.  This neglect would have increased needless suffering (through illness and disease) as well as premature deaths. With no technological barrier to making soap, there is no valid reason to withhold instructions on its use. Given the vast number of people whose lives would have been improved by providing instructions, it's not a trivial issue.

3. The gospels are problematic

Not only are the gospels written well after the alleged events, they contradict each other in key details.  The nativity of Luke and Mark Matthew describe entirely different events.  Unlike Julius Caesar there are no writings of Jesus. No contemporaneous historian, of which there were several in this era, noticed any of the fantastic things described in the gospels.

One feels an omniscient (all-knowing) deity would know this would reduce the confidence non-believers would have in the Jesus-mission. Even Julius Caesar left stuff he wrote. And an all-powerful deity might have ensured the records of the Jesus-mission weren't so dependent on the contradictory, hearsay accounts we have.


4. Prayer doesn't work

Enough children have died in faith-healing cases to show that prayer only succeeds in mundane cases with a high likelihood of occurring anyway. There is no evidence at the population-level that Christians are healthier, live longer or recover from cancer more frequently.

5. How about those slaves then?

Right, Christianity has always been against slavery. Even in the first 1800 years when it wasn't.  And as the American Civil War showed, for many, not until the Federal Army reached Richmond.  The problem is that Jesus never said to abolish slavery. Neither did anyone else in the bible. Indeed, Exodus 21:20-21 said it was permissible to beat a slave so badly that they would die 2-3 days later.  The slave-owner wasn't punished in this case as the slave was his property. A chattel. Not a human being, but property.
Black Slaves (Wikipedia Commons)


This is a very simple test. Moral beings don't sanction this horrific behaviour.  Christianity perpetuated slavery. It's failed to reach a credible standard of morality that would corroborate a loving, moral supreme deity.

6. A peculiar dislike of poor black people

One appreciates that life on this planet is a little chaotic.  That means natural disasters happen.  I'm not quite sure how a loving deity allows people to die in natural disasters, as the freewill argument seems moot in these cases.  The deaths and suffering are not caused by human agency.

Tent City- Port au Prince (Wikipedia commons)

Nonetheless, the real point is how unjust these disasters are.  They impact the poorest and most vulnerable communities the most.  In 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti.  The death toll was somewhere between 100,000-300,000 people. The same year a 7.1 earthquake hit Christchurch in NZ.  One person died of a heart-attack, that might have been caused by it.  The effects are not equal.

If we're going to propose any kind of argument that humans have to put up with natural disasters, at the very least, these should not be so manifestly unjust.   Having a system that harms those communities least able to cope contradicts the alleged characters of the Christian deity.

7. Baby I call Hell

Like everything to do with the afterlife, Hell is difficult to pin down.  Is it a place of heinous torture as described by Dante and other evangelical pastors?  Or is is an eternal separation from this deity?  Given the wide-spread dogmatic belief that it is torture (and I've been threatened often enough with it), then it's irreconcilable with a just and loving deity.

 The infraction against this god is transitory in nature. All I have done is not believe it existed. That merits an infinite punishment- one that is unusually cruel, barbaric and inhumane.

Hell- Wikipedia Commons

Hell and a loving, just deity cannot both exist.

8. She blinded me with science

I appreciate that ancient people could not have had with their knowledge, the language of concepts to describe the world in scientific terms.  Nonetheless, it seems odd that many ideas about the world are simply and blatantly wrong.  The microscopic world, the scale of the universe, that earth is not its centre, that life originated billions of years ago and then evolved are in conflict with many religious dogmas.  It's not a good advertisement for these beliefs to be true.

9. It's a small world

It is inescapable that the events of the bible are restricted to a tiny part of the world.  Most of Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania are excluded.  For a universal deity, this is suspiciously parochial.  It is according to the Abrahamic religion capable of communicating in all kinds of ways.  There are burning bushes, talking donkeys, angels etc.  But only a small tribe of pastoralists are selected for this direct communication.  In particular, a tribe that whose accomplishments were so minor, they had little ability to communicate their god to others.  While civilisations around them developed maths, astronomy, engineering, democracy and philosophy, ancient Judea developed, well, penis modification.

Even within that context, only a small part of the population is considered worthy of this message.  This part being men, of course.  For a universal deity that considered all to be equal, this incredible favoritism does not make any sense.

10. Free Fallin'

The problem with an all-knowing (omniscient) god is well known.  It makes free-will a fantasy.  If a deity knows everything I'm going to do and say over my life-time, there's nothing I can do to change that.  If Abe's god knows I'm going to have sushi for lunch, then I cannot choose anything else.  That extrapolates to every other action I take, to very word I utter.  I cannot choose anything, choice is an always following a single course of action.  I can only say the lines I was given.  I can only play the role I was destined to play.

Life in this case, is meaningless.  If I am going to hell, then, nothing I do over my life will change that.  I can only undertake the actions this deity already knows I'll take.  All life is, is a brief moment where I can change nothing, followed by an eternity of hell.  There's no point to this life at all.  This god may as well put those destined to hell, straight there.  Because nothing will change that destiny.


13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I have been trying to explain this to my family, alas to no avail.

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  3. This is just plain silly. Laughable. Soap? Surely you can craft a stronger argument than that.

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    1. Why is it silly?
      Why wouldn't preventing needless suffering and death be of interest to a moral and loving creator-god?

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  4. You're assuming suffering and death are needless but everything and everyone you encounter in your life has a purpose, which is to fulfill your spiritual purpose. This life is but a speck of sand on the beach of heaven. 😜

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    1. No, I'm assuming that *some* suffering and death are needless. That is is either gratuitous or serves no purpose.

      You're also employing a logical fallacy (affirming the consequent). Neither spiritual aspects of life, nor heaven, have been established. They are embedded in the god-belief, not independent facts.

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  5. You've just inspired me to write a rebuttal to your ten points. 😜😎😊

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    1. And yet you're afraid to debate them here.

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  6. I enjoyed writing a rebuttal to your blog. Thank you Kaimatai. https://sjthomason.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/a-christian-rebuttal-to-kaimatai-an-atheist/

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