Author Topic: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)  (Read 7283 times)

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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
You are wrong, Beskargam. Immaculate conception is the sinless birth of Mary, not the "virgin birth" of her son. I was a catholic too, so that's that!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception

 

Offline Beskargam

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
o.0 Doesn't sound right...It's possible I've forgotten, I've honestly not thought about any of what I learned in a long time haha. Checked elsewhere besides wikipedia, I concede you are right. whoops

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Tangent: doesn't the hypothetical "rare asexual reproduction" scenario basically just produce a clone? So it couldn't be male.

There was a paper published on this subject several years ago.  Without getting into the nuts and bolts of the genetics, it is theoretically possible that if Mary had an X-Y translocation on her inactivated X chromosome, there is a remote possibility that she could have conceived a male child without sexual intercourse or a male DNA contribution.

However, the chances of that occurring in a human female are basically so remote as to be non-existent, and it would actually pose a theological problem as it would demonstrate that Mary herself was genetically flawed and not at all created "in God's image," supposing of course that "God's image" is, by the usual strict interpretation, a heterosexual person with an intact complement of 46 intact chromosomes in all the right order and configuration.

As for InsaneBaron's bit about condoms and the Catholic Church, I believe other responders have addressed it more than adequately at this juncture.  On the subject of HIV, however, transmission can occur even within monogamous couples if one partner is infected by other means.  Is it really the Church's place to suggest a couple should not have intercourse when married, or, more controversially, that one partner should be subjected to the consequences of a life-altering virus on the basis of religious doctrine?

Like I said before - a lot of deaths and oppression can be laid at the feet of organized religions.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 10:48:56 pm by MP-Ryan »
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Offline Flak

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Umm, what is this?

At least it is right about two things, Renaissance come up because the church screw up, and the same goes with post modernism.

I know for sure Muslims acknowledged that Jesus was born from virgin birth. I am not sure about Catholic view, but as Protestant, we still see Mary as a human.

The concept of "Image of God" or Imago Dei basically goes much deeper than that. It is not limited to only in biological sense. Even people born with disabilities or have genetic flaws are still considered to have Image of God in them like anyone else. It is part of what make us human and without it, we are just another animal.

X-Y chromosome? That is an interesting explanation. I wish there is a time machine so some doctors can examine that for us. Perhaps they can make some great findings. We are not supposed to be anti-science do we. When another truth comes to light, we have to learn.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
On the subject of HIV, however, transmission can occur even within monogamous couples if one partner is infected by other means.  Is it really the Church's place to suggest a couple should not have intercourse when married, or, more controversially, that one partner should be subjected to the consequences of a life-altering virus on the basis of religious doctrine?

Actually to be fair to the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict actually came out and said that the use of condoms in such a case is permissible. Although the way he initially said it could be taken another way.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
On the subject of HIV, however, transmission can occur even within monogamous couples if one partner is infected by other means.  Is it really the Church's place to suggest a couple should not have intercourse when married, or, more controversially, that one partner should be subjected to the consequences of a life-altering virus on the basis of religious doctrine?

Actually to be fair to the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict actually came out and said that the use of condoms in such a case is permissible. Although the way he initially said it could be taken another way.

The second source appears to be the more complete analysis, and contradict the first one, and discusses the same statements by the Pope as far as I can see (both were published on the same day).

So... it doesn't appear at all clear.  Regardless, the generalized point that I was stating earlier - not that religion is responsible for all wars, but rather is responsible for many deaths and significant oppression - has a number of examples, of which the HIV issue is only one (and it is an example in modern Catholicism).
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
The first one includes details of a later, clarifying statement which the second one does not. Leading me to believe that the writer of the second piece wasn't aware of that statement at the time it was written.

That said, it is still a very murky subject which the Catholic Church should come out and clarify once and for all.


In the end, I posted not to say your main point was wrong (I happen to agree with it) but because I don't think it's in anyone's interests to incorrectly state what has been said by the Pope. Which is why I posted both arguments.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
In the end, I posted not to say your main point was wrong (I happen to agree with it) but because I don't think it's in anyone's interests to incorrectly state what has been said by the Pope. Which is why I posted both arguments.

Fair enough.  It appears no one knows exactly what Emperor Popetine meant, anyway =)  Perhaps the new fellow will offer some clarity.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Discounting the actual effects of religions on societies throughout history (which I believe should be looked at as a product of the times anyway and no strictly "positive" or "negative influences), I think there are far better arguments against Christianity - and other related religions - that stem from the theology and doctrines of Christianity itself.

Two most important ones are:

1. The contradictory or inconsistent definitions of theological terminology such as "god" or "heaven" which really make it impossible to even properly discuss things because you can always just pick the definition used by the particular theologian/imam/part of scripture you happen to prefer to others,

and

2. The moral depravity of the doctrine of salvation and the divine legislation that made its way to the scriptures of modern Abrahamic religions.


In other words, if Christian (or Islamic or Judaic) theology were actually true I would want nothing to do with that God, because I disagree with many of his policies.


So in addition to my atheism, which mainly stems from my materialistic world view, I have serious issues with the theological facts of Christianity and other related religions.


I also argue that the good things done by churches are not necessarily attributable to the religion the church represents.

In other words, why is that when religious organizations do good things they are seen as examples of positive influence of said religion, but if non-religious organizations do the same things (with less strings attached!) it's rarely seen as an example of positive influence of non-religion but rather as the thing it is: They are an example of an organization of people doing things that benefit itself along with the society.


Any person or organization - religiously affiliated or not - has the potential for good deeds as much as potential for bad. Christian organizations doing good things is not any kind of argument for Christianity itself being "a power for good".
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Offline Goober5000

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
2. The moral depravity of the doctrine of salvation and the divine legislation that made its way to the scriptures of modern Abrahamic religions.

Eh?  What exactly is depraved about it, and by what standard are you judging it to be depraved?

 

Offline Bobboau

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
the idea that humans are irredeemably horrible requiring a literal miracle to cleanse the taint of their own sin.

...would be my guess as to what he was talking about.


Though if I was going to take a quick drive by attack at the moral authority of an absolute moral authority it would be something along the lines of the Euthyphro's dilemma.

to which I imagine a person such as your self would respond to by appealing to the idea of said's authority's nature.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Eh?  What exactly is depraved about it, and by what standard are you judging it to be depraved?


I'm judging it by my own standard of what I deem good and right, just like everyone else does.

And where do I start with? I suppose my main argument is what Bobboau said, that humans are supposedly tainted so badly by our nature or our ancestors' actions (depending on interpretation) that it's impossible for us to get to heaven, and that the best solution God could come up with was to incarnate as a sinless human, go through the experience of dying, leave instructions to 11 guys to spread the word that NOW the only path to salvation / heaven is through believing that Jesus/God died for our sins so that we could get to Heaven, or have everlasting life, or however it's expressed.

This is a highly dubious plan from an all-knowing, all-powerful creator being. Basically, it turns out that his creation turned out so flawed that we didn't fulfill his standards for good company in heaven, so he applied this scheme to... I dunno, filter in the people who go along with this plan, and exclude those who don't believe in it? And this selection process is based on faith alone? Wouldn't it be simpler to just change the heaven - which he created - so that it's easier for the things he created to get in? Why did God need to experience the pain of physically tortured to death as a human, in order to create this backport?

Not only that, but I find the idea of human sacrifice distasteful in general - if I'm such a bad person that I don't deserve to wear that uniform, the idea that someone dying an agonizing death makes me able to skip the judgement process makes me highly uncomfortable. If the premise of humans being faulty beyond salvation were true, then why exactly does Jesus' death change things at all?


Then there's the afterlife itself. Described as "Heaven", an eternal life of blissful happiness, it is actually one of the most disturbing mental images that I can imagine - second only to the doctrine of Hell, which comes first.

The obvious fault in the concept of Heaven is that due to the faith-based (or arbitrary, who knows) selection process, no one gets to heaven even in a best case scenario.

Let's consider a person of faith. He believes in just the right religion, and after his death, he is rewarded by being accepted into Heaven, to do whatever heaven beings do.

But this person has a family, people close to him, people whom he loves and misses while in heaven.

Some of these people are not accepted to go to heaven. In some variants, they just fade into nonexistence after death, forgotten and eternally dead. In the more seriously flawed variants, they are sent to Hell to suffer for all eternity.

Needless to say, when the person who got to heaven realizes that some of his close ones didn't make it, this would cause some level of mental anguish and sadness.

But since Heaven is a place with no suffering, he cannot feel sad about his family members who he will never again see. Either his thinking will be altered so that he does not miss them, does not feel bad for them not getting to heaven, or his memory is altered so that he doesn't even remember they ever existed.

In either case, the person in Heaven is no longer the actual person who lived and loved the people who didn't get to go to Heaven.


And, of course, the doctrine of Hell (which thankfully is not central to most directions of Christianity despite popular belief) makes all this even worse, because now lack of faith is not only something that makes you miss on a reward (which is ethically problematic in itself), but instead it is a crime that will be punished.

In fact, non-believers are sentenced to receive infinite punishment for a finite crime, which is about as morally wrong as things can be.

Not only that, but faith is something that a person either has, or doesn't have. It's not a matter of choice either, so it's not a question of free will. The logical conclusion is that God has sentenced non-believers to death/hell/non-heaven and there is nothing non-believers can do about it, which again doesn't seem very ethically sustainable but whatever.



And yes - there is indeed the dilemma mentioned by Bobboay. Personally, I believe God's commands can't make an action ethical. It would be exactly the same as war criminals saying that they only obeyed orders. We don't accept that as a valid excuse from soldiers, and neither should we consider God's commands inherently moral - at least, I can't do that, but maybe I value human life and human mind more than God.

By the way, while thankfully most sects of Christianity do not try to apply some of the more insane commandments of God, they pretty much have to engage in tremendous amounts of intellectual dishonesty to justify ignoring the majority of the completely repugnant commandments written in their Holy Book, while still trying to maintain that the few socially, legally and ethically somewhat acceptable commandments are proof of how wise and loving this God is and how it is so much better to follow the moral guidance given by this religion than to try and decide on your own what's good and right.


And, perhaps the most personally offensive assertion that most religions do is that morality comes from God and that humans cannot behave in a moral way without (conscious or unconscious) guidance from God.

An evolution of this form is that when a person (believer OR non-believer) behaves in a moral way, it is always proof of God's influence, but when they behave in perceived immoral way, it's not seen as God's influence...
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Offline Bobboau

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Either his thinking will be altered so that he does not miss them, does not feel bad for them not getting to heaven, or his memory is altered so that he doesn't even remember they ever existed.

You missed the BEST option, that the only people deemed morally acceptable to enter heaven are those who would be delighted to see their former loved ones burning in hell for all eternity after receiving the righteous judgement they deserved from the all knowing always right heavenly father. That god's chosen morally superior are the ones who could turn their backs on a dime on those who they loved the most.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
I find the story of Job to be the best "In a nutshell" example of why I can't personally follow the God of the Bible. I wouldn't follow anyone who would step aside and allow an innocent man to be tortured and have his children killed in order to win a bet.

If that's divine morality, I'd rather have human morality.
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Offline Goober5000

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
I find the story of Job to be the best "In a nutshell" example of why I can't personally follow the God of the Bible. I wouldn't follow anyone who would step aside and allow an innocent man to be tortured and have his children killed in order to win a bet.

Have you read the end of the Book of Job?  And not just the very end, the chapter or two leading up to it?  Job has spent the entire book demanding an answer from God, demanding a reason for his suffering, and yet when God finally shows up, Job is utterly speechless.  He [Job] deems his own questions irrelevant.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Pity he didn't think to ask for his dead kids to be resurrected then.
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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
God did not allow Job to be tormented simply to win a bet. It was to prove a very, very important point: That a human being, at least one of us, could continue to stay loyal to God, no matter what happened to him.
 
Job didn't stay faithful because he knew he'd get a fat reward in the end, he didn't do it because it'd be an insult to Satan, and he didn't do it because he was too blind to realize what was happening. He knew that God was not the one causing the bad things that were happening, so he stayed loyal, proving that a sinful, imperfect human could do what the first perfect man could not.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
Except that God allowed everything that happened to Job to happen to him simply because he wanted to prove that point. Except that God is the one who brought Job to Satan's attention in the first place. Except that God could have stopped Satan at any point but only went as far as to set the rules of their little wager.

But anyway, if you really want to argue the issue, go refute HT's points as they are much less vulnerable to this sort of argument. You can reply to my points but quite frankly I'd rather see you answer HT's.
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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
2. The moral depravity of the doctrine of salvation and the divine legislation that made its way to the scriptures of modern Abrahamic religions.

Eh?  What exactly is depraved about it, and by what standard are you judging it to be depraved?

Well there's **** like the Calvinist perspective on salvation where God arbitrarily decides that some people will be saved and the rest will be eternally damned, that's quite depraved.
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Offline Bobboau

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
also Jephthah.
I don't think I need to explain myself with that one at all.
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