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Why Do Christians Bring up The Same Tired Arguments Refuted Long Ago?


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Initial post: Dec 1, 2011 7:28:50 PM PST
Lao Tzu says:
Christians get so excited when they read "The Case for Christ" or "Mere Christianity" and think they have the slam dunk argument to beat the infidels. Not only have these arguments been thoroughly refuted, it was done LONG AGO. The Christians need to become more aware of these arguments that have been made. The reason they are not, is because they always read books "in the fold" never from someone outside the faith, so they are helpless in the face of those arguments. I want to list the standard Christian arguments and answer them briefly. I'd like some help in either Christians supporting the arguments, or atheists adding to the list of made and refuted arguments. Please name the argument at the top. Here goes:

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 7:36:24 PM PST
Lao Tzu says:
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

Have not yet heard an acceptable answer for the problem of evil. Every day, innocent babies die from childbirth, natural disasters, birth defects, etc. These babies have not had the time to even commit a sin, they are blameless in the world, yet they die by the thousands.

If you think that events are natural and semi-random, that fully explains the issue. If you posit there is a god that loves you, you have alot of explaining to do. Epicurus said it pretty well hundreds of years before Jesus even appeared:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 7:52:33 PM PST
Lao Tzu says:
PASCALS WAGER

1) If God exists, and you follow his commandments, you go to heaven.
2) If God does not exist and you follow his commandments you lose nothing.
3) Therefore, the safe bet is to believe in God.

There are numerous ways to refute this argument, but I will offer what I think are a few of the more important ones.

First, to act because of the potential of punishment or reward is not to engage in moral reasoning. A bribe or a threat are not good reasons to be good. There are far better ones, like wanting to live in a fair society and realizing that to have others treat you well, you increase the probability when you treat them well.

Second, we can question premise 2. If I devote my resources to gaining an afterlife that does not exist, I necessarily remove resources from life sustaining activities.

Third, just because there either is or is not a God, does not mean the chance is 50/50. Either there is an invisible leprechaun named Ralph sitting on my shoulder influencing me to write this post, or there is not. Should I "play it safe" and brush at my shoulder 30 or 40 times a day to make sure I am not influenced?

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 7:58:55 PM PST
Lao Tzu, you call babies dying and natural disasters "evil". According to the Bible, disbelieving in the Son of God who died for you is the worst evil of all. If you are blind and have not been given the spiritual eyes to see Jesus, it would be better for you to stay quiet than to continuously insult the One who has the power to throw your soul into hell. Until God allows you to believe in him, the Bible says it is impossible for you to believe in him. I notice God has not given you the right to salvation through faith. It might be because you're so full of bitterness and hate against Him that he does not consider you worthy. I think rather than get on a blog and argue with a bunch of strangers over Jesus, you should actually read the Bible and ask God to show himself to you. You won't get to Jesus through Amazon - only through the Spirit and a humble desire to know God. God knows you're curious, but He says, "Unless you come like a little child, you will by no means enter the kingdom of God." If you can't be humble before an Almighty God, then you don't deserve to know him, see him, or understand him. God doesn't have to play games with sinful, evil men who reject him. He just doesn't!

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 8:11:28 PM PST
Lao Tzu says:
ATHEISM IS A RELIGION

This is one of the more bizarre claims made by Christians. First, if Atheism is bad, and Atheism is a religion, then does that not reflect poorly on religion? In other words, Christians, do you really want to win this argument?

They say that it takes "faith" to think there is no God, much like it takes faith to believe in God. This is because Christians don't take the time to define faith properly. Faith is the belief in something in the absence of evidence. To the degree there is evidence, faith is not required. For example, I don't have "faith" the sun will come up tomorrow. I have observed the sun come up thousands of times, so probabalistically, faith is not required.

Most every atheist, when pressed will not say "there is no God", but rather, "it is very very very very very unlikely there is a God". The odds of there being a God, for these people, is about equal to the chance the sun will not rise tomorrow.

Another way an atheist might state it is: "There is no evidence for a God, therefore it is best to proceed like there is no God." This is similar to proceeding as if there are no invisible pink unicorns... there is not a lot required once you draw that conclusion.

It is important for secular people to know why it is SO important for Christians to label atheism as a religion. They want to reduce the idea of the existence of God to mere opinion, like whether chocolate cake is "better" than vanilla. They want to be able to say "your opinion is as good as mine".

This would be true if this were a completely subjective universe, if we each lived in our own reality bubble. However, Christians don't want to be in such a world. They want God to be TRUTH, and they want to say this truth is the same for us as for them. They are using a relativistic argument to make an absolute claim. It refutes itself.

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 8:21:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2011 8:59:59 AM PST
Lao Tzu says:
THE UNIVERSE IS MYSTERIOUS, GOD IS MYSTERIOUS, THEREFORE GOD EXISTS

This is the familiar god of the gaps argument. Here are a few things NO ONE, not even Christians can explain:

1) How the universe began, or if it began
2) How life started on earth.
3) How human consciousness is produced.

Atheists, secure people that they are, are happy to answer these with I DON'T KNOW. Not knowing how something works is not good evidence for there being miracles at work. I see Christians ridicule the hypotheses that attempt to answer questions in these areas. They must have laughed the same way at Galileo when he said the earth went around the sun. So Christians, don't use the mysterious nature of what we don't know as an argument for God. I think the odds are good that we will produce life from nonlife in the laboratory sometime within the next hundred years. We don't have these answers... YET, but we will, and it will not come from a preacher.

Edit to this post:

I have to mention, because it is on the same topic, that Christians make a fetish of ignorance. They positively see it as a virtue that "God is a mystery" and "we will never know all the answers until we get to heaven." They say it with glassy eyes, and a gleaming smile. Do some of you Christians see this attitude as twisted? This for me is an effective tactic used by preachers to tell you to STOP THINKING. You know that annoying kid that asks too many questions in class? These people are particularly vexing to preachers, who have no answers for them. What better way to shut down rational inquiry than to say it is God's doing, and who are we to judge or understand that? You can actually be made to feel bad in Christianity for asking the wrong kinds of questions.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 9:38:44 PM PST
Lao Tzu: The shoe is on the other foot. The "New Atheists'" books have long since been refuted, but skeptics keep buying them, and often buying into them, through "Ignorance, Ma'am, sheer ignorance," to quote Dr. Johnson.

Who "refuted" Mere Christianity? I've read dozens of atheist attacks on Christianity, probably more than you have. I've sometimes pondered the idea of writing one myself, just to show the atheists how its done.

If by "refute" all you mean is what you do to Pascal in your third post, then your standards for refutation are way,. way too low to count. Apparently you haven't read Pascal much, because your response is to a cartoon version of him.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 9:43:01 PM PST
"Christians don't take the time to define faith properly. Faith is the belief in something in the absense of evidence."

Baloney. You didn't take time to find out what Christians MEAN by faith. If its a claim by Christians you're critiquing, and they use the word "faith," it's your job to find out how WE define faith when we make the claim.

I have done this. See my anthology, "Faith and Reason," at christthetao.com. (If your name is Lao Zi, you should look for the Tao.) It refute this silly error about what faith is.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 9:44:40 PM PST
Who makes this ridiculous argument?

"The universe is mysterious, God is mysterious, therefore God exists?"

No wonder you find CHristian arguments absurd -- you make them up as you go along.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:03:04 PM PST
G. Howard says:
The God of the Bible exists so nobody actually dies as athiests see death, but their plane of existance is just altered.
Second the Bible teaches there is no such thing as an innocent person as we're all born into sin. The blood of Jesus would cover any such person that didn't have the mental faculties to reject salvation as you are doing.
God is good but more than that he's holy more than just good as opposed to bad or evil. If God is just and good and we're born evil and we prove it by our actions we deserve to be punished. We've sinned against him we sinned against each other and we've sinned against nature. We run into a problem here with a good and just God so evil must be dealt with.
God does love us and has offered a solution to our problem of the evil we're infected with. He became a man and bore the evil of the world upon the cross. It pleased the Lord to crush his Son, putting upon him the penalty we deserve.
So the answers to anyone that doesn't know the Gospel.
1.God hates evil, and has lovingly offered us a pardon from it. Those not willing to give up their evil will be dealt with accordingly. This must make sense to you because you see evil as a problem also. So not only is he omnipotent but good and just.
2. He is able and was willing and has showed his love by enduring all of our evil himself for oursakes.So that would make him extremely benevolant.
3. He is both able and willing and patient. In his solution he has showed that his mercy and grace have allowed us evil creatures time for repentance from our evil. He offers you a choice do you love evil? Will you allow him to fix you also? God is able willing and has fixed the problem that's what the Gospel is all about.

Epicurus sounds like he would have accepted the Gospel because of the dilema he saw in evil. Thank God he's benevolant. If he destroyed all evil with out being graceful he could have started with any of us at anytime.

Here's the questions you need to answer. Are you evil? Can you see your evil? Have you sinned against God that has given you life and offered you a solution to your problem? Do you hate him? Do you love sin? Will you continue to reject his salvation?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:11:29 PM PST
G. Howard says:
1. We all have sinned and fallen short of the mark.
2. Morality for the sake of morality gets you no where, you still lose your soul.
3.The safe bet is to repent and believe the Gospel.

Pascal didn't understand the Gospel nobody is good enough. God is not going to be our debtor, he owes us nothing but has offered us everything. He alone makes us good.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:23:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 10:23:36 PM PST
G. Howard writes " We all have sinned and fallen short of the mark."

Speak for yourself.

G. Howard writes "Morality for the sake of morality gets you no where, you still lose your soul."

Where is the soul? I don't ever remember seeing that or studying that in any of my anatomy or physiology classes in college.

G. Howard writes "The safe bet is to repent and believe the Gospel."

A hedger. Believe in which gospel? You have to be kidding us right?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:25:14 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 22, 2012 7:02:51 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:33:52 PM PST
G. Howard says:
re·li·gion   /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Since most athiest agree the big bang theory is the cause for our universe. You argue that you know the sun will rise tomorrow becuase it rises everyday. The universe doesn't recreate itself everyday so the cause of the universe cannot be the universe itself. You believe in nothing. No knowable cause at this present time so nothing is what believe caused the natural world we know. Nothing is your cause for everything, nothing is what your cause is according to the definition it fits the definition of a religion. Therefore Atheism could be considered a religion.Nobody is claiming you worship a deity, just you have system of non-belief in a deity which could be considered a religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:35:57 PM PST
G. Howard says:
The Gospel of Jesus

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:41:14 PM PST
G. Howard says:
Your soul is contained inside the flesh you wear.
You have most defineately broke Gods commandments.
What do your thoughts look like? Have you ever seen them? Your soul is made of the immaterial same as your thoughts.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 4:34:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2011 4:38:10 AM PST
Bubba says:
What is your source for saying that "most athiest agree the big bang theory is the cause for our universe"? Atheists don't believe that a supernatural being or act was the cause for our universe, that does not mean that most atheists agree that the big bang theory is what caused the start of the universe.

I don't really care what caused the start of the universe; I have read about and more or less understand the big bang theory; it sounds reasonable to me, but I do not have an opinion about it being factual. I would not agree that the big bang theory is what caused the start of the universe.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 5:01:08 AM PST
The evidence indicates that the universe was in a very hot, dense state some 13.7 billion years ago, and which point it underwent a rapid expansion.

We do not know what happened before that point.

G. Howard is willfully ignorant of science, and determined to stay that way. There is no point in trying to have a discussion with him, aside from as an example to others of what a willfully ignorant person looks like when they try to talk about these matters.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 7:48:44 AM PST
Here is the honest reason why I think there is a God. I can't believe a life bearing universe is a chance occurrence. It's kind of a gut feeling but it seems there is some sort of intent behind it all. The universe is synthesizing life and it is pretty wondrous. Is it chance or God? Are there any other choices because I don't accept chance.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 9:47:15 AM PST
G. Howard writes "Your soul is contained inside the flesh you wear."

Is the soul contained in the outer thin portion known as the epidermis or is it the skin's inner thicker portion of the dermis? How about the epithelial cells or the keratin of the top layer of the epidermal cells?

G. Howard writes "What do your thoughts look like? Have you ever seen them? Your soul is made of the immaterial same as your thoughts."

The problem with your logic is that we know we have thoughts. That can be observed and measured. The concept of a soul is a construct created in the minds of Christians. The soul can not be observed or measured because it does not exist. It only exists in the mind as a belief.

Here is a brief lesson in neurology for you.

In the body there are neurons which are specially designed to conduct information. They are the basic units of a long chain of communication cells. The neurons are composed of dendrites which are the receiving area where information from other neurons are accepted. The soma is the transition area to which incoming information is collected and combined. When sufficient levels of activation occur in the soma, a nerve impulse travels to the axon. Axons are the conducting area of the neuron. At the end of the axon is an array of terminal knobs which lie in close proximity to the dendrites of other neurons. When an impulse arrives, there is a release of neurotransmitters which are chemicals that travel across the synapse between the two neurons which then stimulates or inhibits the activity of the next neuron.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 11:53:22 AM PST
G. Howard says:
SC says:The problem with your logic is that we know we have thoughts. That can be observed and measured. The concept of a soul is a construct created in the minds of Christians. The soul can not be observed or measured because it does not exist. It only exists in the mind as a belief.

Thats golden we can observe thoughts, how does that travel from my mind to yours in a conversation then? Do your chemicals jump from my neurons to yours? why doesn't this process make our brains get weighed down with new chemicals? How much do my thoughts weigh? By what material means do they get there? Immaterial means not made of anything, "we know we have thoughts" classic.

You know we have thoughts, just like your conscience lets you know you have a soul. You can deny it to your blue in the face but you know it to be true.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 12:01:07 PM PST
BV says:
LT - "Not only have these arguments been thoroughly refuted, it was done LONG AGO."

Sure, people attempt to refute them all the time (with the same tired arguments), but are never successful, except in their own minds.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 12:02:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2011 12:04:41 PM PST
G. Howard says:
You guys are the best! If there is no sin and right or wrong then why argue with anyone? I'm just a bunch of misfiring chemicals and all my thoughts are right because thats what my chemicals have produced. Who are you to tell my chemicals that they're malfunctioning. That would be mean, wait no it wouldn't because there is no absolute moral guidlines. It couldn't be majority rules because that would be chemical discrimination. If indeed to discriminate would be wrong depends on whose chemicals we ask I guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 12:03:41 PM PST
BV says:
LT - "If God exists, and you follow his commandments, you go to heaven."

This is not even Christianity! That comes from somewhere else, so you are correct in cutting that one down. Your ticket to heaven is a gift from Jesus - you can't earn it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 12:06:55 PM PST
BV says:
SM - "Speak for yourself."

All people are human.

Oops, I have to speak for myself. OK, I am human.

BTW, human = sinner
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