Thursday, January 9, 2014

Skeptics don't think Christians think

I have just now come to the realization that, even though there are fantastic arguments in favor of the Christian worldview and of the truth of the bible, many skeptics still think that Christian apologists are charlatans.  That is, these skeptics think that our reasons for belief are grasping at straws, and that our belief comes first, and this faith blinds us to the mistakes we are making in our arguments.  Or worse, that we know our arguments are bad, but we keep advancing them in hopes to keep the faith alive.

This really hit home with me when I considered several bad arguments against Christianity from the starting assumption that all arguments in favor of Christianity were wrong.  (That is, Christians have zero reason for their belief).  Check these out (and these are just a few):

"You just believe because your parents told you to -- therefore, God doesn't exist."  

This is a terrible argument!  But if you start with the assumption that Christianity has no arguments in its favor, then you see why this is compelling.

"You just believe because you were born in Western society.  If you were born anywhere else, you would have adopted the prevalent religion of that location.  Therefore, all religions are false."

This argument is so empty it's hilarious.  First, even if it were true, it doesn't invalidate Christianity.  And second, it's self-refuting: you could apply this argument to atheism (like I do here in "Objection 1").  So why is it so convincing to so many people?  It's because there is the underlying assumption that religions (especially Christianity) have no basis for their belief!  So you can't apply it to atheism, because that has a basis for its belief (so the assumption goes).

Religions are a mind-virus (a meme).  They spread because of societal and cultural pressures.  Therefore, God doesn't exist.

Again, this argument doesn't hold water unless you're already assuming there are no reasons for belief in God.  And again, this argument can be turned against atheism...but the person putting forth the argument doesn't realize that because they don't realize their implicit (and incorrect) assumption: that atheism has evidence for it but religion does not.