Argument against Christianity

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Pika, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    I think that this verse captures the essence of Christianity. The only way to be saved is through Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins (or original sin). Without this belief, even if one believes in God, he is not a Christian.

    This argument is a reductio ad absurdum. I will show that by presupposing that Christianity and its central message is true, and the God that Christianity describes exists, we obtain an inconsistent set of propositions, a contradiction: therefore our presupposition is false, and Christianity is false and its God does not exist.

    Let's presuppose that Christianity is true. Therefore:

    [1] It is necessary that one believes in Jesus Christ as God and his message in order to be saved.

    [1.1] If one does not believe in Jesus Christ as God and in his message won't be saved and will suffer eternal tornment. (from [1])

    Before Jesus Christ was born, him and his message did not exist (Jesus has a human part, and that was necessary for his sacrifice and message to be realized). It was impossible for the people that lived before Jesus Christ to be aware of Jesus Christ and his message. Therefore:

    [2] It was impossible for any human that lived before Jesus Christ to believe in Jesus Christ as God and his message.

    [2.1] All the people that lived before Jesus Christ did not believe in Jesus Christ as God and in his message. (from [2])

    [2.2] All the people who lived before Jesus Christ were not saved and suffer eternal tornment. (from [2.1] and [1.1])

    The next premise follows from the definition or concept of the Christian God:

    [3] God is perfectly omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent and the creator of the world. (the God described by Christianity in the Bible)

    [3.1] God wants only good for his creatures and is capable of actualizing it. (from [3])

    He had foreknowledge (perfect omniscience) that the people who will live before the coming of Jesus Christ and the actualization of his message, will suffer eternal tornment and won't be saved. And knowing all this, he wanted to create the world. Therefore:

    [4] God wanted to create the world knowing that all the people that lived before Jesus Christ will suffer eternal tornment. (from omniscience above, omnipotence and [1.1])

    [4.1] God wanted that the situation when all the people that lived before Jesus Christ suffer eternal tornment to be actualized and actualized it. (from [4])

    [4.2] God does not want only good for its creatures and is able to actualize it. (from [4.1])

    Contradiction with [3.1.].

    Therefore our presupposition is false: Christianity is not true.

    The argument is formally valid. So one can attack its conclusion by attacking the premises:

    Attacking premise [1] If one considers premise [1] to be false, this means that it is possible to be saved if one does not believe in Jesus Christ as God and in his message. It means that there are other ways of being saved, and one does not have to believe in Jesus to be saved. Clearly this contradicts the christian doctrine and ends up the defence of Christianity by denying Christianity. Self refuting.

    Attacking premise [2] This one is true in virtue of the fact that Jesus did not exist as a man before he was born and no one was aware of his message because it did not exist before Jesus preached it.

    Attacking premise [3] This is pretty much agreed about God of Christianity. He is perfect. The Bible pictures him as all powerfull, all knowing and all good. One has to attack the Bible in order to defend Christianity, and Christianity rests on the Bible. Self refuting.

    Attacking premise [4] From omniscience God knows in advance these facts. He created the world (from Creator). He wanted the world to be actualized knowing all that (denying this would turn God either into an unconscious creator or an ignorant - both contradict his properties).

    So, the premises are true and the form is valid (reductio). Christianity is false.


    If you say that

    [1] It is {NOW} necessary that one believes in Jesus Christ...

    this is the same as:

    [1'] It was not always necessary that one believed in Jesus Christ ...

    Or, to state it in another way, christianity was not always (at all times) true. Or that the "christian truth" is time dependant. There was a time before Christ when you could be saved without believing in Jesus. And that situation changed.

    And because most Jews found that unacceptable, they didn't start to believe in Jesus. That is, they could be saved when sticking to their laws (or believing in god, doing good works etc. without believing in Jesus) before Christ arrived. And now they are unsaved, even if they do the same now that their anchestors did to be saved. The rules have been changed by an unchanging god.

    Or you can believe that even today Jews could be saved - that is, it was never necessary to believe in Jesus to be saved. Not before Jesus, not after him. But you cannot believe that an unchanging god changed the rules for salvation at some time in the past.

    Now you are left with two contradictions:

    [1] An unchanging god changed the rules.
    [2] Christianity was true for all times, but it was not true before Jesus appeared on earth.

    And even after Jesus appeared on earth, there were people who couldn't believe in him, because they didn't know a thing about him. Either, they are unsaved because of circumstances that they are not responsible for. Or, they can be saved by doing good works, living a good live etc. In this case, what you are saying is:

    [3] It is not necessary for all people to believe in Jesus to be saved.

    Otherwise, you're left with yet another contradiction:

    [4] It is necessary to believe in Jesus even if it is impossible to know anything about Jesus.
    [5] God is just.
    [6] God's justice means, that you're saved if you believe something that is impossible to believe.

    And this leads to:

    [3] It is not necessary for all people to believe in Jesus to be saved.
    [7] If christianity is true, it is necessary for all people to believe in Jesus to be saved.

    This contradiction can only be solved if you conclude:

    [8] Christianity cannot be true.



    Christianity (believing in Jesus is necessary to be saved) was not true at all times and is not true for all people.


    [1] It is necessary for all people to believe in Jesus to be saved.
    [2] It is not necessary for all people to believe in Jesus to be saved.


    Jesus is not at all times and for all people the way and the truth and somebody could come to his father even without him. But that is not what Jesus said, quite the opposite. So, in saying that Jesus is the truth and the way and nobody could come to his father without him, Jesus didnd't tell the truth! The "nobody" in that sentence is false and misleading.

    Copyright by PIKA
  2. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Could you paraphrase for those of us with time constraints? This looks kind of like a rant to me.
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    The first part of the Christian bible contradicts the second part ... if Jesus is the only way to heaven, then what about everyone who lived before Jesus?
  4. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    That's too logical. It always comes down to that leap of faith.
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    I guess they went to heaven, and then when they made up the idea of jesus and hell, they evicted everyone already there :rolleyes:
  6. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Ah...but I thought that was the point of Jesus? Wasn't everyone else who came before also saved? Ah's been a while. I've been trying my best to forget. ;)
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Convenient, that. There's a nonsensical answer for everything.
  8. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Oooh look, my (self) deleted post just got grandfathered in too! I think it's a sign from god that it should stay. Thanks dear. You are my personal saviour.
  9. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Why can't you believe that an unchanging god changed the rules for salvation at some time in the past?

    Doesn't seem like a crazy notion to me. In fact, it seems like the opposite. The definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.
  10. No1451 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Ottawa, ON
    Christianity may be absurd but arguing against it is just as absurd. You cannot EVER have a logical argument when one party falls back on faith, it's a personal thing that cannot be debated.

    I say, let them believe whatever they want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone(or their freedoms which it sometimes does).
  11. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    I see your point, but many (myself included) consider organized religion to be highly damaging to humanity's progress. It has spawned hatred and violence. It has jailed geniuses, muted masters of the pen, and executed those who contradicted their own diabolical beliefs.

    I believe the world will be better off with no religion at all. If, by debate, discourse and discussion, I can make one person see the world for what it's all been worth it.

    Most religious people believe in one god, and don't believe in dozens of others. It's just one more small step to come out of the shell and see the world, ourselves, and our universe for what they are.
  12. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    The copyright is kind of funny. I assure you that you are not the first person to think of this.

    At the core you have articulated an elaborate version of the problem of evil, and I assure you, apologists have spent centuries coming up with ways to deflect arguments exactly like this.

    As far as the salvation of the pre-Christian righteous, I direct your attention towards a lesser-known myth called the Harrowing of Hell. You didn't think Jesus was just kicking back and napping for those three days, did you? No sir. He was on a high-octane pulse-pounding rescue mission.

    As for the rest, among modern Christians who have fully nerfed what was once a very scary and ill-tempered God character, you're going to come up with most opposition in your turn from "God wants only good and can accomplish it" and your assumption there is no reason he would not restrain himself from doing so.

    A common idea many Christians seem to hold but often aren't able to articulate well runs something like, "the unfettered free will of humans generally is a greater good in the eyes of God than the individual evils that they may bring upon themselves by the exercise of free will."

    In the gap between what you think God ought to do and what God actually chooses to do lies the breakdown in your deductive validity.

    At least from their point of view. At a deeper level they still have the problem that their god, if he exists as they describe him, is utterly insane, a premise that would actually clear up quite a lot of their longstanding theological conundrums if only they could be persuaded to accept it.
  13. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Because said god is supposed to have worked it all out right at the beginning. No? Changing the rules would mean he made a *gasp* mistake! And that just will not do.

    Unless of course creation is akin to a giant IKEA flatpack assembly and god went: "Whoops! Wrong screw into wrong hole… Hummm let's just hammer it into shape."

    It was the priests and other wacko "representatives of god" who changed the "rules".
  14. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    You won't shift someone's faith with a 'logical' deconstruction of a facet of religion. Theologians and philosophers have been making crazy arguments for the existence of God for thousands of years none of which are convincing, even for a Christian. That hasn't lessened faith. I'm not religious or even spiritual, but this type of argumentation is pointless.
  15. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Virtuous Pagan's

    Much like how Catholics derived the idea of purgatory, this sort of limbo state. In regards to religion and it's interpretations there are many things we can speculate.

    Followed by... Perhaps the idea of pergatury or the limbo Dante speaks of.

    If you want to interprit it literally, so to speak. Jesus~God~Holy Spirit/Trinity blah blah blah.

    Jesus proclaiming he is God.

    Yes yes I know wikipedia isn't always a great source but this was the easiest most readily available description of Virtuous Paganism.

    Why argue?

    Consider this:
    1 = Detailed investigation into Christianity is needed As Soon As Possible!
    2 = Detailed investigation into Christianity is needed reasonably soon!
    3 = I won’t dismiss Christianity, but there isn’t sufficient reason to
    investigate it now.
    4 = Christianity isn’t relevant to me. Maybe I’ll go to a restaurant tonight.

    There are different approaches to assessing the probability associated with the truth of

    ...Consider an event E1. Now consider that the probability of E1 actually happening is P1.
    We can write an equation for the probability of E1 as:

    P(E1) = P1

    Now consider that there are a several independent events E1 through En, with
    corresponding probabilities of P1 through Pn. We can write an equation for the probability
    of all these events occurring simultaneously as:

    P(E1…En) = (P1 * P2 * P3 * …P4)

    As long as the events are independent, you derive the probability that they occur
    simultaneously by multiplying the probabilities of each event.7 For a simple case,
    consider several events that each have the same probability Pe. The probability that all of
    those events occurring simultaneously is:

    P = Pe^n, where n is the number of events

    Source: Link Although the source is linked from a place I'd assume is rather bias, I still give the math calculations some weight. I remember first hearing about the discussion of probability and the cost/reward factor of Christianity and leading a virtuous lifestyle back in the late 90's early 00's.

    The source goes further on to show old testement prophecies and where they were fulfilled in the new testement.

    Interesting views, imo.
  16. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Lol, he is not.

    Durante degli Alighieri (May/June c.1265 – September 14, 1321) "their great worth alone/ was not enough, for they did not know Baptism,/ which is the gateway to the faith you follow,/ and if they came before the birth of Christ,/ they did not worship God the way one should" In regards to virtuous pagans... he then speculates/writes about Trajan of Rome and Ripheus of Troy and how they were allowed into heaven.


    A paper discussing the Divine Comedy in regards to Virtuous Paganism

  17. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I'm with you so far, but some of your logic is based on slightly flawed statements.

    It is necessary that one believes in Jesus Christ as the son of God and that he was sent by God to die for our sins, and to accept that sacrifice, in order to be saved.

    More or less, yes, this is true. This was before the Christians split from the Jews, which is why we have an Old Testament and a New Testament. In other words, the rules changed after the game was started, so to speak.

    This isn't quite true; the prophets foretold that God would send a savior to wash away our sins.

    Yes, but again - this was before Christianity split from Judaism; it was not expected that the Jews would believe in Jesus Christ, who had not yet come.

    Here's where it gets dicey - in a mind where someone expects and demands that everything be black-and-white, it appears that you'll end up with a "this religion is correct and all others are incorrect" sort of mindset. There may be many religious folks who fall into this mindset; I'm not one of them. My religion isn't any better or more correct than anyone else's.

    Please. This part is starting to sound silly. You can only believe this if you believe in the "you are either with me or against me" philosophy, and I don't know how many people other than yourself do.

    This may or may not be true; again, it depends on whether you have an all-or-nothing mentality about it.

    Like I said, not all Christians see things as black-and-white as you like to portray it. But I do hope you feel better having gotten things off your chest.
  19. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    The entire arguement is flawed by the fact that you assume that Jesus did not exist before He came to earth in human form. From John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” Jesus was there in the beginning before any humans were created.

    This leads to your statement:
    This is completely incorrect. Abraham was before Jesus and he believed in the Word of God. It is later showed in Luke that Lazarus the beggar was carried to Abraham's side when he died and that the Rich man was in Hell. This means that Abraham was saved not because he personally knew Jesus or heard the message of Jesus sacrifice, but because he responded to the Word of God.

    The entire old testament tells the story of Christ. From Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac to the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers to the Levitivcal code of cleansing. Christ is the central theme throughout it all.

    I see your point, but many (myself included) consider the rejection of Jesus to be highly damaging to humanity's progress. It has spawned hatred and violence. It has jailed geniuses, muted masters of the pen, and executed those who contradicted their own diabolical beliefs.

    I believe the world will be better off with more people accepting Jesus. If, by debate, discourse and discussion, I can make one person see the world for what it's all been worth it.
  20. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    You're blaming the victim. So much violence has been carried out against those who choose to not believe in jesus, and now it's our fault for not believing in him?

    The world would be better off if everyone believed the same thing. But that's never going to happen, so don't try to kill others who don't believe the same thing you do...and that applies to all religions.
  21. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Couldn't agree more. I mean Thomas Jefferson admittedly had thought Jesus to be a solid foundation of morales as to how people should live there lies, please correct me if I'm wrong.
  22. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Too bad those who claim to live by the teachings of Jesus don't actually live by the teachings of Jesus.

    I think by not hating someone because of their religion or sexual preference or whatever, and by wanting to help others, I'm doing a better job of living according to Jesus's teachings than any "christian" I know...and I'm Atheist.
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    This is essentially the rebuttal. The converse is this-- would those of you who do not believe want to live in a world where you had no will to not believe in God?

    Of course, He must be insane, right? Never mind the fact that history contains plenty of intellectuals who found no problem with the doctrines. Perhaps they were so willing to accept things on faith they deluded themselves into believing logic and reason existed where there was none?

    If we believe that faith is the final end answer, we can't expect apologetics to solve the problem. In essence, they're only an articulation of the underlying beliefs we have, and as such, can only have full effect if one buys into the ideas. They merely reduce apprehension based on human logic and reason by showing faith has reasonable logical consequences.

    This fallacy again? How does the failure of believers detract whatsoever from the articles of faith themselves? Any Christian should be able to readily admit to you that they still sin. We all sin, that's why we need God's grace in the forgiveness of those sins.
  24. techfreak85 macrumors 68040


    Jan 13, 2008
    Jesus came to save everyone that has lived and sinned.
    "The wages of sin is death". We die, because we sin. Before the fall man (weather literally in the garden of eaden by eating the fruit, or figuratively where we have chosen to stray away from God), there was no sickness, no death.

    Jesus did not sin, yet he died. That death of someone innocent pays the price of death for those who have sinned.

    Believing In God does not contradict Jesus or vice verca.

    Where did everything come from? Did the Universe just magically come into existence?

    I just found this.:p
  25. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I am not blaming the vicitm and I am not making excuses for those crimes done in the name of religion.

    I am stating that hatred and violence are not done by those people who are following Jesus. Anyone who cliams to be a Christian and is spawning hatred and violence is a hypocrit. Looking back at some of the worst crimes against humanity I do not see Jesus followers leading the way. The holocaust, Mao Zedong's regime, Stalin's regime, numerous wars, even the Inquisition. None of those events were led by people following Jesus. Even in the inquisition or the crusades, the people involved were not following the example of Jesus, but instead rejecting His guidance and trying to do things their own way.

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