Saturday, March 11, 2006

From An Ex-Christian: A Case Against Christianity

Here are an ex-Christian’s top objections to Christianity:

The Resurrection is scientifically impossible. When Jesus died on the cross, he suffered brain death. Brain death is defined as, "Irreversible brain damage and loss of brain function, as evidenced by cessation of breathing and other vital reflexes, unresponsiveness to stimuli, absence of muscle activity and a flat electroencephalogram for a specific length of time." The key word in all that is "irreversible." Jesus could not have risen from the dead after dozens of hours, because Jesus could not have recovered from brain death. Certainly, no alleged witnesses attested to a brain-dead zombie roaming the streets.

Indeed, dead people suffer from a number of negative symptoms. According to MSN Encarta, “Although brain cells may survive for no more than 5 minutes after somatic death, those of the heart can survive for about 15 minutes and those of the kidney for about 30 minutes.” Jesus was dead for roughly 62 hours. Again, in that state, Jesus certainly would not be in any condition to roam. One of my major objections to Christianity, then, is that The Resurrection story is scientifically impossible. Brain death, by definition, is irreversible; thus, upon suffering it, Jesus could not recover.

At this point, many Christians will cite “miracles” to explain The Resurrection. That’s inappropriate. One may not substantiate Unsubstantiated Assertion A by appealing to Unsubstantiated Phenomenon B. In other words, one may not cite something that’s doubtful in order to explain something that’s doubtful. My classic analogy is this: One may not cite “Unicorn Jockeys” in order to prove the legitimacy of “Unicorns.” To use one thing to substantiate another thing, a person first must demonstrate that one of the two entities is indeed legitimate. Certainly, The Resurrection is doubtful. Certainly, the concept of a “miracle” is doubtful. Thus, one may not be used to substantiate the other.

Another top objection of mine relates to Genesis, and the Bible’s overall take on the “creation” of the universe, Earth and human life. The scientific consensus is that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, give or take 200 million years. The age of the Earth is estimated to be 4.55 billion years. This immediately contradicts with Genesis, which asserts, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” More than 9 billion years separate them. However, Genesis does not get any better.

Genesis’ creation account lists 10 major events in the following order. (1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon, and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts and mammals; (10) man. That’s completely wrong.

“The real order is: (1) a beginning; (2) light; (3) sun and stars; (4) primitive earth, moon, and atmosphere; (5) dry land; (6) sea creatures; (7) some land plants; (8) land creatures and more plants and sea creatures; (9) flying creatures (insects) and more plants and land and sea creatures; (10) mammals, and more land and sea animals, insects, and plants; (11) the first birds, (12) fruiting plants (which is what Genesis talks about) and more land, sea, and flying creatures; (13) man and more of the various animals and plants.
Source: Here

Interpreting the word “day” to mean “one billion years,” for instance, does not help at all. The timeline in Genesis is fundamentally incorrect.

With respect to evolution, the Bible’s account of “special creation” is entirely incompatible with science. Universal Common Descent is accepted by about 95% of scientists overall, and more than 99% of scientists who actually work in fields relevant to life origins, such as biology.

“Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in "creation-science" or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent.”
Source: Here

Truly, there is no debate raging in the scientific community. The debate has ended, just as the debate has ended about whether the universe is geocentric or heliocentric. However, based upon a recent survey that demonstrated some 20% of adult Americans believe in the geocentric universe model, we can conclude that a fictitious debate about settled scientific issues indeed does rage on among those not educated in the relevant fields.

Acceptance of evolution does not necessarily go along with rejection of the Christian religion. However, acceptance of evolution, as well as acceptance of other settled science, does necessarily require rejection of Genesis. Genesis and science are wholly incompatible, from Genesis’ substantially incorrect natural timeline to Genesis’ omission of Universal Common Descent to explain the appearance of humans.

Recognizing the utter scientific impossibility of The Resurrection, however, does seem necessarily to include rejection of the Christian religion. If one accepts science, one rejects The Resurrection. If one rejects The Resurrection, how can one possibly accept Christianity? If any leap of faith among Christians absolutely is required, it surely is the tremendous leap of faith that Jesus rose from the dead after 62 hours as a corpse. However, that's a leap of faith one who accepts science may not take.

Some will cite Yahweh and say, “With God, all is possible.” In response, I shall reply, “What about Zeus?” Faith in one, lacking hard evidence, equals faith in the other, lacking hard evidence.

26 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

How was life created in the first place? It's only ever happened once in the entire multi-billion year history of the planet.

All the scientific explanations for life's creation must be "doubtful" also, as it's occurance is so rare as to make it virtually impossible.

Yet, here we are.

7:26 AM EST  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

I think you are appealing to a "God of the Gaps" argument. Where there is a gap in science, you invoke God. It's been done commonly throughout history. However, it's always proven false. In historical times, God was cited to explain rain, sickness, dementia, the wind, etc. Then science closed the "gap," and God was forced to reside elsewhere. Abiogenesis is still a bit of a gap in science. However, if history teaches any lesson, it should be to never invoke God. That's never an answer to anything.

Also, the deity responsible for life on earth could be ANY deity, including Zeus or Buddha or Allah or one of the Native American spirits. There is NO evidence on which to conclude that Yahweh created life, instead of, say, Zeus.

7:17 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Simon: "We don't know" is NOT the same statement as "Must have been God."

5:17 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I understand what the commentator is trying to say, Zeus or Buddha couldn't be the creator Gods, since the religions that worship or honor them don't claim that these beings created the universe or even existed before it. Zeus came from a race of divine beings called the Titans, who existed before him and his compatriots, the Olympians.

9:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Will Penley said...

FUCK. YOU.

1:29 AM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Well, I'll give you this...

Your comment was interesting enough to make me check out your blog.

2:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your case against Christianity?
or is it your case against God?

and that Genesis source of yours, isnt that from a JW watchtower bible or something, maybe its similar to the Christian Bible but then if you want to prove Christianity as unvalid then use the Christian Bible as a reference so that you may counter them. This is not to be taken lightly. Why do you think people kill off each other nowdays? isnt it for what they believe?

11:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with you. However, I myself, have always been a firm anti-Christian believer.

I have Native American heritage, and feel that Christians are selfish and cowardly. They tried to savagely beat individuality out of my people.

A great number of evil people could not come from a good religion. Christianity is wrong.

And Christians continue their march of despair. Stomping out each individual soul, one by one...

Don't let ANY Christian cheat you out of your own existence using fear and cowardice as a weapon and a shield.

I'm glad my ancestors scalped a few thousand of you bastards.

5:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I call Cristianity an outdated cult.

Time to give it up people.

Once you die, you're dead. The end.

No 72 virgins for Muslims.
No God for Christians.

It's all fairy tales and government lies to trick you.

5:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Gabriel said...

Anonymous said...
I call Cristianity an outdated cult.
Time to give it up people.
Once you die, you're dead. The end.
vvvv
you should consider the concept of duality
it may seem fantastical at first, but someone who obviously believes so strongly in something should consider the opposing argument as well

i think, ex:christian, you make a great point on the ressurection. this argument likely rejects christianity today (through the bible) as well as the 'existence' of christ.

however, as strong as they may be, likelyhoods are not 'proof.' one may believe in the 'non-existence' of god, however withought solid proof, making him or her no different from the average religious person.

even the rejection of genesis does not completely reject christianity, as more "unicorn jockeys" (nice example :D) could be cited to defend the scriptures. also, may i point out that there are plenty of "contextual" arguments that support the creation of the universe as derived from the bible.

simply, i must say you have no solid 'proof'. neither do the christians, but that makes you no better and worse. just the fact that your arguments are specifically pivoted against christianity does not make them more substantial, objectively.

i am an aethiest, simply because there is no proof in god, and more proof in not god. but if anybody has solid proof, against christianity to begin, let me know?
:D

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger dorkalicious said...

i actually very much enjoyed reading this
though your views have been published elsewhere, with more view points.

you should hang out with richard dawkins, or brian flemming.


the bible contradicts itself often, if an all perfect omnipitent god wrote it, isn't that impossible?

*confusion*

plus i am just sick of ignorant christians yelling at me, and telling me all about the burning in hell i'll be doing... i'm not yelling at you for being an idiot am i?

"i reject the holy spirit!"

3:33 AM EST  
Blogger SuburbX.co.za said...

You're missing the essense of God, the meaning, you're just like the bible punching christians, you're taking it all as fact. The fact that you've read so much about something you claim not to believe in, is also funny-ironic :)

The fact is 2000 years ago, hallucinogenic drugs were part of the culture. Everybody smoked weed, it's likely that Mary who said she saw Jesus rise would have been heavily sedated by something, some herb or even wine ? She'd just seen the love of her life, tortured and killed, very traumatic, do you think she'd be functional without some sort of mood altering, reality altering kind of drug ?

The fact is I wouldn't trust the details so much, or get caught up in the "he said, she said" argument.

God is Love, even atheists believe in love, I know because you listen to the same music I do, and ultimately what all humans want is love.

God is.
God is Love.
Love is all there is (not my words, thanks John Lennon ;)

The essense you want to look for is the experience you feel when you give to someone who needs something, when you curl up with a loved one just before you go to sleep, when you see an amazing natural sight like sunset.

That's where you'll find something, call it what you will, just find it as often as you can, and watch how God will create another universe, a New World, just for you.

6:18 AM EDT  
Blogger rodderbus said...

This blog actually strengthened my faith in christianity, believe it or not. i've been struggling with my belief in God but i always end up going back. on behalf of christians everywhere, i'm sorry to those of you who have felt personally offended by poorly-worded comments/arguments against your religious views. most of us, including me, really have no skill in the art of evangelism, and ignorance, however much, unfortunately resides in everyone. it's quite sad. please just keep an open mind--christianity is more than just spreading God's word and running to God for help. i wish you guys could have known my grandmother, who just recently passed away--she had faith like a mountain and knew God better than i've ever. i'm jealous! she's finally with Jesus in heaven and was always so sure of her path on earth.

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Nick, The Man said...

I am an x-christian, however, i do believe that something must have created the universe because something cannot come from nothing.

When Africa was colonized, it was odd that the ten commandments went against all traditional african indigenous beliefs. Christians also make it seem that all non christians do not ake it to heaven. there were modern humans some 20,000 years before christ. they knew nothing of "jesus," do they all go to hell. the ancient greeks, romans, scottish, vikings?" No thats rediculous. no one should be sent to a torture center after death because they wish to believe in many gods or spirits. christanity was used as a government tool to destroy individuality. Why would a perfect god create imperfect people. why is the bible centered only on earth. The knowledge in the text is completely childish annd out to date to science.

It HAs Almost Been Proven that there are millions of galaxies. If in just one of those galaxies, there is outside intelligent life, they obviously wont believe in christanity, therefore making it crazy.

you're all tricked. snap out of it. contradict yourself goddam it.

11:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Alexia Jean said...

None of these arguments have shaken me from my belief in God, which isn't based on blind faith or on a purely emotional experience.

What do you do with the historical accuracy of the Bible?

Did you know that the secular histories (Caesar's Gallic Wars, Livy's History of Rome, Tacitus's Annals for example) which we don't question all have a time gap of 1000 years between their dates written and our earliest copies? And the number of ancient copies does not exceed 20 for any given history.

Compare that to the Bible. The books of the New Testament had a time gap of less than 100 years while 5366 Greek copies were written with such accuracy that the only errors were spelling and nothing that altered the meaning.

This does not prove Christianity but if you conduct a bibliographical test for reliability, you will see that those figures are incredible and unique to the Bible.

Did you know that the Hebrew scriptures contain 26 names of foreign kings whose names have been found on contemporary documents with kings? The names of most of these kings being found on their own monuments or documents from the time in which they reigned, being spelled in the same manner as the Hebrew scriptures.

If the scriptures are historically accurate, aren't they worth delving into?

Also if those scriptures are so accurate, what do you do with the prophecies Jesus fulfilled?

Over thousands of years, the Old Testament was compiled, and parts contain prophecies about the Messiah. Then Jesus comes and fulfills parts of those prophecies that are even out of His control - where he would be born, where he would live later, his family line, that he would betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, that that price would buy potter's field, that the soldiers would gamble for his clothes, that he would be crucified with thieves, and even more.

The historicity of Jesus isn't to be debated. Even atheists agree that Jesus existed.

And these non-debated facts about Jesus' life - the probability of just eight of those prophecies being fulfilled is 10 to the 17th power.

Before you make a decision, I urge you to research more. Read the Bible for yourself with a genuine search for truth. See if it truly contradicts itself.
Another good reference if you're skeptical about the dependability of how the scriptures were written and preserved, and how they line up with other historical documents is the book "Evidence for Christianity" by Josh McDowell. This guy set out specifically to prove Christianity wrong and through his research found the opposite. It's a fatty full of facts that are bound to challenge you.

6:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Christian said...

So you are essentially arguing that an omnipotent god should be bound by rules that He created. That is akin to saying if I built a bike with wheels that had a 2 inch radius I could not replace them (the wheels) with 3 inch ones. We all know that given the right tools, and the right knowledge I could easily do so.

Should an omnipotent god be bound the rules of science observed by man. If he created the universe can he not change it by will.

Here's another example: Gravity. If I drop a pencil it will fall and strike the ground, right? Well if I drop a pencil and me friend Joe Bob comes and catches than it didn't strike the ground. Does that mean Joe Bob broke the law of gravity? most definitely not. He merely intervened he stopped the pencil from striking the ground.

If you truly where a christian, than you will know (or remember thinking) that God is omnipotent. So to him nothing is impossible. What's to say Jesus/God/The Holy Spirit didn't create a new brain for themselves?

God is not bound by the petty laws of man, nor the laws that he himself created. He is not bound by time or space.

3:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Nicolas said...

Jesus performed miracles, and so him coming back to life was also a miracle, impossible from a scientific point of view, but through God all things are possible.

I truly hope you once again decide to walk with God.

Your brother.

5:58 PM EDT  
Blogger sorbydan said...

I'm currently a Christian who is confused and is slowly (I think) moving away from the religion. The main reason being the contradictory timeline with Earth's history--the only thing not refuted by any of the Christians in this thread...give me a reason for them not lining up and I'll reconsider

7:40 AM EDT  
Blogger 15ma said...

so yeah, if anyone is still reading these and wants the historical and scientific evidences not only for a creator but for the judeo-christian God then lets talk.

10:13 PM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Two things:

1. I don't think you'll find very many people who browse this site interested in such alleged evidences because they, I believe, would suspect very strongly, much as I do, that they would be weak, misleading, false or sophism-flecked arguments.

2. Why would you comment on, like, the very oldest post on this blog, when there are posts that are only a month or two old? If anybody still regularly reads this, I doubt they would read a post from nearly six years ago.

2:02 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Atheist "God of the gaps" argument is complete poppycock.

Just because I may come to understand how a car works, even down to the smallest detail does not mean that there was not a designer and creator/inventor behind it.

It just points out how even the self proclaimed supposed "geniuses of Logic and rationality" cant see their own illogical thinking.

11:47 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

alexa, if you actually did some actual historical reading and stop reading foolish junk written by brain dead apologists... you would find out how COMPLETELY wrong you and your information are.

Christians have blinders on when it comes to the actual facts of history and even the bible.


That there is a God or source of some kind imo is almost certain.. that is has anything at all to do with the Jewish or christian faith is so unlikely based on actual evidence and analysis as to make it impossible.

11:56 PM EST  
Blogger markt1611 said...

Every single person on this planet chooses to believe in something or someone by faith. Very little of evolution is actual REAL science. Science is testable, demonstrable fact based on a hypothesis, not a fact declared to be so by stringing together random bits of disconnected information observed. As to the thought that Jesus couldn't have risen from the dead because it's not scientifically possible, I say "He wouldn't be a very big God if He can't work outside of time, space, etc. and defy laws of physics. But the evolutionist has the exact same amount of faith in his god of evolution when he spouts off about punctuated equilibrium, or aliens using Earth as a seed planet. So, you're allowed to use the theory that because there's no proof, that proves it, but I can't say that God is strong enough to reinstate life into a human body that he designed in the first place? Surely you see we are both approaching this thing from a basis of faith. I have way more evidence of a world-wide flood than you have of billions of years of torrential rains, erosion, progression from single-celled to complex-celled life, etc. You have to take the time to do the research WITH AN OPEN MIND, not with some personal vendetta against some clergy, etc. who abused you into thinking that Christianity is a hoax. At the end of it all, if Christianity is a hoax and my body does nothing but rot in the grave, what have I lost out on? A one-night stand? Getting stoned to forget my failed marriage? A hangover to forget my STD's? In 5,000 years I will know that answer, but if I'm wrong, it won't matter; if you're wrong, you have a big problem.

11:36 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

markt1611,

Clearly, you are woefully, egregiously misinformed -- or, perhaps, under-informed -- about Darwinian evolution, which means it's probably not worthwhile even to get into the substance of the evidence for the theory because you, seemingly, do not have a proper scientific foundation to judge its merits or confront the legitimate challenges with which evolutionary biologists grapple each day in their attempts to refine the theory and further develop it. I don't mean to be dismissive or rude, but when you say you have "way more evidence of a world-wide flood," you betray your lack of science education.

There is a reason that no Nobel Laureates in the relevant disciplines of science are creationists. It's because creationism is pseudoscience...pure bunk, gussied up to feign scientific legitimacy.

Your final comment is nothing more than a haphazard statement of Pascal's Wager. You falsely assume either your god exists (presumably the Christian god) or no gods exist. There are, however, a virtually unlimited number of gods that could conceivably exist. Have you considered the possibility that Hinduism is actually true, and both you and I are wrong? What about Islam actually being true?

7:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Joan said...

Thank you Alexia Jean. Very good response. I confess I had to chuckle at this bloggers writeup about the resurrection. Took me back many years to a time that I
thought I was a Christian (if you asked me I would have said I was), but I had given up
believing in anything remotely like miracles.
I had written a report on John A.T.
Robinson's book, "Honest to God", for a
required New Testament class at Wake
Forest University, completely agreeing with
him. Several things kept rattling around in
my head, though. I knew quite a few who
professed to be Christians, who, although
their behavior was like mine (good, moral),
seemed serenely confident about the truth
of Christianity. There was some
indefineable "something" about them. I had
this idea that if I could just get back to the
point where I was before I began to doubt
everything I would have that "something"
too. But, of course you can't just will
yourself to believe what you don't believe.
Fast forward several years. I was bogged
down with "cosmic loneliness", and a sense
that life was pointless. There were things I
didn't like about myself-thoughts,
attitudes,habits-that no amount of
counseling was dislodging. After many long
talks with a Christian friend and some
delving into the Bible, it became clear that
the Bible described me pretty well. Hebrews 4:12,13 was so very true then, and still is. Still, when it came to making a decision about our conversations, I kept thinking, " can I really trust these people?", "are they pulling
my leg", "am I being gullible"? And, of
course I was still hung up on the
resurrection. Kept going over Romans
10:9 "if you... believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead." I was stuck. I
didn't even believe it in my head, how was I supposed to believe it in my heart? I finally just gave up and, I guess it was a prayer,
said," well I guess it COULD have
happened! It was as if a fog lifted off me.
The day went by uneventfully, and before I
went to sleep I said " if that wasn't
enough, please let me know." When I woke
up in the morning it was as if a choir was
singing in my head. "There is more joy in
heaven over one sinner who repents , than
over 99 who have no need of repentance,"
popped into my head. I smiled because I
knew I was over the first hump. As I saw
myself change in positive ways that I had
been unable to do on my own, and saw
others do the same, it gradually became
possible to believe in miracles. It took years
to make that transition. It was not
overnight. So I know from experience that
there is no such thing as an ex-Christian. I
was a wanna be, not the real thing. It's a bit
like being pregnant. There is no such thing
as being sorta pregnant . Either you are or
you aren't.

1:00 PM EST  
Blogger Joan said...

I was once told by an official in the National Science Teacher's Association that no one could teach any of the sciences if they did not believe in Evolution (his version of by chance, of course). My husband and I did just fine teaching chemistry without any reference to it, and I did just fine teaching physics witout any reference to it either. Certainly one would have to wear blinders to deny that all living things undergo some changes through mutations, some good, some neutral and many bad. But the statistical improbability of amino acids, proteins, DNA and then all the structures arising by pure chance, even over billions of yesrs is staggering. I know how hard it can be to make even relatively simple chemica
l reactions go with proper equipment and
controlled conditions. It takes a real leap of
faith to believe all creation happened by
chance. I can wait to find out the details.
I used to try to force Genesis to agree with what I "knew" from science. Finally decided that Genesis was never meant to be a scientific treatise, but it's purpose was to say who and why we were created, not how. And frankly, I think that is more important on a daiily basis to most of us.

1:28 PM EST  

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