The irrationality of believing in the Christian god

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Lawrence Andrade's picture


"The only barrier to scientific inquiry into the supernatural; is that supernatural claims seem to not be repeatable. I wonder why that is?
The agreed upon methodology for scientific inquiry is to study the natural physical world. But universities have more than the sciences studies. There are the humanities and social sciences as well.
They have their appropriate agreed upon methodologies and each their many peer reviewed journals. But - I would think - only the physical sciences yield repeatable and predictable results. These other areas are subject to thought and study by those the are interested in them. But they are not science.
Because not science they are open to more freedom of thought, perhaps. But its up to each to arrive at what seems true, right, noble and beautiful.
The knowledge gained in other areas enrich our collective understanding and lives. Theology is one of those areas and contemplation of what might or might not exist - does the supernatural exist or only the physical ? - is one of those areas.
I would imagine that the people on this board value freedom of thought. But we have freedom of thought in Western societies because - I think in large part - because some people - a good many at the founding of America - where Christians of various stripes.
I could broaden that and say they where theists or super naturalists. But there were these groups that held different theologies.
I used to read Supreme Court decisions dealing with religious freedom.

There was a flag salute in schools case that at first was given wrongly - then revisited and decided in the right way. the first was wrong because it increased violence against people and then rightly because it left them in peace. that is an example of how we might be able to judge between right and wrong opinion.

One of the justices said something that is dear to my heart;

It goes something like this - I might have it exactly right - but this is close enough and I could track down the exact quote if you need it:
"If there is one fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official - high or petty - shall determine what shall be orthodox in matters of opinion"
So I think we should all be grateful for the fact that there are these areas that we all find very important to us - to think about and discuss - but fir which there are no repeatable and predictable results - because if there were we would all be living under dictatorships.
If you were to go to N. Korea today do you think you would find a lot of controversy in matters of opinion? I don't.

LogicFTW's picture
Even humanities and social

Even humanities and social sciences are testable, repeatable, the subject can be tested, inquired, data collected, circumstances like environment show their role, and even the study of the human brain and evolutionary traits go hand in hand with these other sciences.

God as you said, deals strictly with the metaphysical. As you said it can not be tested. It has no effect on our lives here in the physical world, and we only have stories to tell us a particular god and all his metaphysical stuff is real. (Metaphysical supporting metaphysical!)
Stories full of contradictions, inaccuracies, wild unverifiable claims.

Many theist facing this tide of data, reasoning, logic have increasingly turned to the very edges of scientific discovery and human reasoning/understanding to find space for their god AKA "the god of the gaps." Thus born out of this, is arguments like the causal/cosmological/bigbang/creation argument. Or the idea that morality is god created etc.

Supernatural by its very definition cannot exist in the physical, as soon as it is physical it is no longer supernatural! I personally believe since the supernatural has no effect on us, it is quite silly to believe in it, plan around it, etc.

I strongly believe in the freedom of thought.
I do not think N. Korea has a whole lot of publicly discussed controversy in matters of opinion. What are you trying to say here?

Lawrence Andrade's picture


Please also read my response tp Truitt below.

You wrote:

"Supernatural by its very definition cannot exist in the physical, as soon as it is physical it is no longer supernatural! I personally believe since the supernatural has no effect on us, it is quite silly to believe in it, plan around it, etc.
I strongly believe in the freedom of thought.
I do not think N. Korea has a whole lot of publicly discussed controversy in matters of opinion. What are you trying to say here?'

On the freedom of thought thing I was thinking about Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance" a document hat the US Supreme Court uses as an interpretive tool in deciding Establishment Clause cases.

It contains 16 arguments if I remember - the first - I am summarizing here - but we leave the mind free out of respect for the Creator.

If once you prove there is no God this would quickly go out the window and all you would be left with would be the kind of conformity we both assume exists in N. Korea

Excerpt from argument 1:
" 1. Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." [Virginia Declaration of Rights, art. 16] The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the General Authority;.."

LogicFTW's picture
So, if I understand you

So, if I understand you correctly, The US supreme court uses Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance" document. (I am not familiar with it but I will take your word for it.) "As an interpretive tool in deciding Establishment Clause cases.

You mean the part of the 1st amendment instruction that the US Congress: The Anti-Establishment Clause?

The Anti-Establishment Clause is a limitation placed upon the United States Congress preventing it from passing legislation respecting an establishment of religion.

And then you argue, that this document is so core to supreme court and freedom in the US that: "without god being real," the document falls apart, the supreme court falls apart on the issue of the first amendment, and the first amendment falls apart leading us to a state of little to no rights of speech and religious preference like: "the kind of conformity we both assume exist in North Korea" ??

Woah there. That is a lot of big leaps. There is plenty of other countries that do not rely on Memorial and Remonstrance and "god being real" that manage to not fall into a state like North Korea.

Why can it not be as simple as: Hey let's create rights for everyone, that does not impede on other people's rights as best as we can? Why does a god have to get into this?

Religion through many years of practice has managed to place god on this metaphysical platform, that makes it impossible to disprove. On the same level that it is impossible to disprove the metaphysical flying spaghetti monster, or anything else I make up that exist only in the metaphysical. Reason will tell you that a non falsifiable argument is not an argument at all.

We can, and do disprove the bible. Both factually, and logically. We could spend hours going through just the first page of the old (or the new,) testament pointing out all the logic flaws, inconsistencies, contradictions and scientific, real world evidence against what just the first page says.

We can and do disprove prayer having any real effect here in the physical world.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Larry A.,

Larry A.,

While you wrote a couple paragraphs in response to my tiny post; you neglected to address what I said; that for some reason the supernatural does not seem to be repeatable, and that this is the reason science can not investigate it. Do you agree that it isn't repeatable? If not could you give us an example of something supernatural that is repeatable? If you agree; could you explain to us how science should investigate something that is not repeatable?

To make it a little more concrete: let's say that Bob claims he can cause a plate to levitate by only using his mind/praying/whatever. Sue and Jack say they've seen him do it. But every time you get Bob into the lab, he fails to levitate the plate. Please tell us exactly how physics/science should investigate Bob's claim?

Truett's picture
Larry A, I've outlined the

Larry A, I've outlined the factual history of the Permian Extinction and have referred to the mistakes in the bible, such as the origin of earth and natural phenomena like diseases and earthquakes. You've said that the facts don't matter, that there are deeper truths that god wants us to know. So I have a few questions:

1. Do you think there are objective facts about reality?
2. If, as I contend, it is an objective fact that the bible is factually incorrect, does that concern you?
3. If I am correct and there is no god and nothing supernatural, what would that mean for your life and your world view? If god actually existed, I would be mistaken and would have to modify my positions to deal with reality. If no god exists, would you modify your positions to deal with reality? Think through what a godless world would mean to you, your life and world view and tell us how you would see the world. And what would be better and worse.

(Please be ultra brief in your remarks. I'll answer your questions directly and ask you to answer mine directly. Perhaps we can make progress by plainly stating exactly what each of us believes. And let's not insert quotes from others or attachments. Let's discuss exactly what each of us believes about reality.)

Lawrence Andrade's picture


Hi, You wrote:

Q1. Do you think there are objective facts about reality?

A1 Yes

Q2. If, as I contend, it is an objective fact that the bible is factually incorrect, does that concern you?
A2 You would have to show me that the NT documents - the Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters are disqualified from being good sources for historical investigation into the Life of Christ and the Resurrection.

By beliefs are predicated on the fact that Christ rose again in history. I believe that we can know that by the ordinary ways historians judge facts and make historical probability judgements. By belief is that God did in fact step into history in the Person of Christ - so the only way to actually discern whether the supernatural exists or not is to investigate - by ordinary historical means - if Christ did
rise bodily again.

Q3. If I am correct and there is no god and nothing supernatural, what would that mean for your life and your world view? If god actually existed, I would be mistaken and would have to modify my positions to deal with reality. If no god exists, would you modify your positions to deal with reality? Think through what a godless world would mean to you, your life and world view and tell us how you would see the world. And what would be better and worse.

A3 see my answer to LogicForTW posted above. I believe Western values come from the fact that our religious heritage tells us G-D is good and the Christ event tells us that He places incredible value on individual human life . Lose that and all you have is a conformist society and the state - totalitarianism.

But to do this we would need a new thread. " Is The Resurrection an Historical Fact" because that discussion would run on for a while - but I assumed this site would not welcome that kind of a debate. Want to do it?

Larry A.

LogicFTW's picture
Do you believe historians

Do you believe historians always get it right trying to judge facts and making historical probability judgements?

Ofcourse not. Historians get it wrong all the time on all kinds of things. Most historians worth their salt will say it is an imperfect method.

We all know the common phrase: "history is written by the victors."

There are plenty of historians that say, based on the facts available to them and the probability judgements that Jesus Christ did not rise bodily again. In fact a vast majority of them say jesus christ did not rise from the grave throughout the last 2017 years of history.

What you really need to say is: some minority of historians say, historically, their investigation yielded the results that Christ did rise bodily again.

Also let's look at historians. They rely heavily on written works to fill in the large gaps left that archaeologist find for actual evidence. Archaeologist were able to confirm historical writings of the roman empire, rome did indeed exist, (duh, it still does.) and there is strong archaeological evidence that crucifications did indeed occur. There is also archaeological evidence of different conflicting religions at the time. That is about it, in terms of archaeological fact in relation to Jesus, the rest is very circumstantial. Then we got the history books. There is a lot of very old books (percentage wise) that talk about the events of Jesus Christ, that is to be expected, the clergy of various religions had a virtual monopoly on writing and storing old books back then, just as they did on education, reading and writing. It would be really weird if these clergies did not spend a lot of time writing what they believe is real and important to them.

That there is the whole of: "real" evidence on Jesus Christ. Rome existed, crucifications very likely did occur, and there was lots of competing religion at the time, with the fall of the roman gods and the rise of the christian god. (The frequency of roman temples and god statues declined, and the frequency of christian god and crosses etc increased.) And lots of books were written about it. Pretty weak argument in my humble opinion.

Now the evidence against...Pretty much all of science, all of what we can actually test, sense with our senses and common rationality and logic argues AGAINST God and Jesus Christ. Especially the books that try to go into detail about it. Don't feel bad, it is the same situation for every other major religion.

My made up, purely metaphysical, without a book, or history, LogicForTW's "flying spaghetti monster god" has a little bit less "evidence for it" but, all the same metaphysical evidence for it as your god has, and none of the tremendous amount of evidence against it that the Christian god has or any other major established religion with books and religious leaders and clergy etc etc etc.

Lawrence Andrade's picture


I don't know how many true scholars are on one side or the other. I don't care if I end up on the minority side. What I care about is seeing credible evidence from respected sources and the quality of the arguments. Please see my previous post.

the way to present that is in a new thread and as slowly as need be so we can think about it.

The following comes from "Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance" - for me a favorite and much respected document -
and one I take seriously.

".. Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered."

I reserve the right to go with the evidence as I judge the evidence to be - but if I should become convinced by contrary evidence I will adjust my thinking and life to suit. I assume all of us here feel that way. We should all feel that way and none of us should change our views lightly.

Agreed? I think we all do and all feel just as strongly about it. People can reframe the excerpt it to make it fit their worldview


CyberLN's picture
Oh, Larry. You used the 'w'

Oh, Larry. You used the 'w' word (worldview). I hope you don't think atheism is a worldview.

Lawrence Andrade's picture


Yes - I don't understand it to be pergorative in any way - In my understanding we all have world view - theistic, atheistic - we all have basic assumptions. What we think is possible or not possible will depend on those basic assumptions. Why is it considered a 'w" word? Its commonly used by philosophers when dealing with the theories of knowledge. I would think its entirely neutral.


CyberLN's picture
Atheism is not a worldview.

Atheism is not a worldview. It describes someone's stance on one item only. Atheism is WAY too narrow to be considered a worldview.

Lawrence Andrade's picture


I'll try to keep that in mind we do the discussion Truitt and I are conversing about.
This board is a different environment than anything I an use to. Lots to learn.
But I think we can agree that are the most basic level of out thinking we hold different - unproven- assumptions.
By those we accept , reject or weight evidences and arguments to finally form judgements.
Even science works that way.


LogicFTW's picture
In my mind it comes down to

In my mind it comes down to faith versus evidence in the real world that we can interact with.

Most religions even talk about taking that "leap of faith."

If you look, the evidence against god, (any god,) is simply overwhelming compared to the evidence for god. I operate in a show me the evidence world, and it has worked out very well for me.

Lawrence Andrade's picture
The next message posted after

The next message posted after this one is by 21stCenturyIcon... :

I will reply to that one and that might serve to reply to this one as well.

Hope that's Ok


Lawrence Andrade's picture


One page 1 you wrote:

Larry A,
YOUR QUOTE: "The short answer is I don't believe the opening chapters of Genesis should be taken as matter of fact science."
Larry, where in the hell do you get the authority to usurp your brutal serial killer Yahweh god of the Christian faith regarding the book of Genesis???!
“EVERY word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.“ (Proverbs 30:5) Key word: EVERY WORD, which includes the book of Genesis! Get it? Tell us, whats the latest spin upon you being able to slap your Bronze and Iron Age god right in the face by not accepting the book of Genesis as fact?
YOUR QUOTE: "What I do believe about those chapters is that they give me theological truth - that there is only One God."
This statement from a pseudo-christian like you is always comical and entertaining! Here, let me briefly laugh at your expense …. LOLOLOLOL, there, I feel better.
The pseudo-christian's brutal Yahweh god even admits there were other gods in the misleading ten commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus. 20:3). Take note, Allah, Yahweh, and Jesus/Yahweh have their own writings, respectfully, the Quran, Talmud/Torah, and the Judeo-Christian Bible, which said writings ALL contradict each other. Hardly a one god concept. Comprende? Maybe just a little bit? Yes?
YOUR QUOTE: "But we form our opinions by some means - either through personal experience or through reading something or through someone's influence , discussion ect. and so the way we arrive or support our opinions seems to fall under the term philosophy."
The above words by you is the crux of your problem. Your perceived "Opinions" take precedent over the godly inspired words of your brutal serial killer Yahweh god! How dare you usurp your primitive Yahweh god in this respect? Are you portending to know more than your primitive god's word in the Judeo-Christian bible?!
The rest of your rhetoric is in the same manner that I've posted herein, therefore not worthy of any further discussion to save you from further embarrassmentt. You can thank me later.
I am sorry, but your ungodly modus operandi is in complete violation of the following godly inspired passage, to wit: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)
I am sure that your pagan Yahweh god is holding the hottest place in hell for you upon your demise, as you continually discard his entire bible as you deceivingly rewrite it and cherry pick his inspired word.  BLASPHEME!

I have Christians who seem to agree with you. the Bible is an ancient text. The dating of these books is in dispute. I go with about 1800 BCE. But I was reading some today who goes with 600 BCE for Genesis.

I use Bible Commentaries and sometimes scholarly articles - written by conservative Christian pastors and theologians - but they are thoughtful articles and books.

I try to understand the historical context as best as I can and think about the theology that is being conveyed. I recognize that
modern systematic science - science since Newton and Bacon was encouraged by the Genesis passages. That , for me, modern science is something that Yahweh has encouraged - that He encourages inquiry into His creation and meditation upon it. So for me, He encourages free inquiry. This is a part of my faith.

I read these passages reverently and to gain understanding. But I also recognize that I am a modern person and that there is an interplay between science and theology. Science has to inform my reading of Scripture. Scripture does not inform science - not the what exists and how does it all work questions. But it does inform my "why should it all be" questions.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work - well yeah. But this is how I have learned and its been a satisfying thing for me. Very satisfying. I would not trade it for the world. For me all truth is God's truth - Yahweh reveals Himself in the natural world ( natural revelation ) and in the Bible ( special revelation )

So I think Yahweh has spoken to us about science in ancient times in baby talk - giving us that amount of truth we could understand then - but we are maturing a little and should understand His Word in ways that are in keeping with our growth.

But I always want to honor Him in my thinking. So I pray about this as well. Frankly , I have gotten some of these ideas while in church during praise singing.


Nyarlathotep's picture
Larry A. - the Bible is an

Larry A. - the Bible is an ancient text. The dating of these books is in dispute. I go with about 1800 BCE

Uh Larry, that makes you a lunatic.

Lawrence Andrade's picture
Sorry to all but thinking

Sorry to all but thinking about all this make me want to praise: In poetic form from the JPSTanakh

Psalm 19
1 For the leader. A psalm of David.
2 The heavens declare the glory of God,
the sky proclaims His handiwork.
3 Day to day makes utterance,
night to night speaks out.
4 There is no utterance,
there are no words,
whose sound goes unheard.
5 Their voice carries throughout the earth,
their words to the end of the world.
He placed in them a tent for the sun,
6 who is like a groom coming forth from the chamber,
like a hero, eager to run his course.
7 His rising- place is at one end of heaven,
and his circuit reaches the other;
nothing escapes his heat.
8 The teaching of the LORD is perfect,
renewing life;
the decrees of the LORD are enduring,
making the simple wise;
9 The precepts of the LORD are just,
rejoicing the heart;
the instruction of the LORD is lucid,
making the eyes light up.
10 The fear of the LORD is pure,
abiding forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true,
righteous altogether,
11 more desirable than gold,
than much fine gold;
sweeter than honey,

Lawrence Andrade's picture
21 Century

21 Century


You wrote: "For your homework tonight, and without question, the Bronze and Iron Age god you worship is greedy, jealous, selfish, self-centered, petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capricious, and malevolent!"

I worship Yahweh in Jesus - same person Who to me is a God of faithfulness and love. That is the self revelation of God in history.

Going way back to when Yahweh for appeared to Moses and used that Name he began that revelation.

Exo 3:14  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 
From Bible Knowledge Commentary-

"In Moses’ second objection he felt the Israelites would challenge his assertion that God had sent him to deliver them. God told Moses to tell them, I am who I am (’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh, Exo_3:14; cf. “I will be,” ’ehyeh, Exo_3:12) and I AM (’ehyeh) has sent me to you (Exo_3:14). This One said He would be with His people in their time of trouble and need. ’Ehyeh is probably a wordplay on Yahweh (Lord) in Exo_3:15. Thus, the name Yahweh, related to the verb “to be,” probably speaks of God’s self-existence, but it means more than that. It usually speaks of His relationship to His people. For example, as Lord, He redeemed them (Exo_6:6), was faithful to them (Exo_34:5-7), and made a covenant with them (Gen_15:18).
The word also (Exo_3:15) points to a second reply to Moses’ second objection (the first reply is in Exo_3:14). The always-present God had demonstrated His character in the past to the fathers (patriarchs; cf. Exo_3:6, Exo_3:16; Exo_4:5) and that willingness to look over His people tenderly is an abiding attribute. He is to be remembered by that name forever. Perhaps Moses knew of God as the distant Sovereign but not as the immanent God who cares for and loves His chosen ones. Both of Moses’ objections (Exo_3:11, Exo_3:13) were answered with lessons on the nature and character of God (Exo_3:12, Exo_3:14-15)."

Christians are always exhorted to love others in practical ways - to feed the hungry and cloth the needy. provide medical help and education. These are facts and provide a better description - certainly - of the God I worship than the notion of Him you present.

Jas 2:8  If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 

In addition, I think we have to ask why Christian belief caught on in the Roman Empire the way it did. The idea that a lowly crucified carpenter was actually the One Eternal God would have been a hard sell to Jews and Greeks alike. yet there was something in the message of a crucified and Risen Lord that did in fact catch on. And if caught on during an era where people could be put to death for believing and publicly asserting claims the state disapproved of.

If Yahweh was as you say - and the claim is that Jesus is Yahweh in human form - then how do you account for the spread of this message?


Nyarlathotep's picture
Larry A. - If Yahweh was as

Larry A. - If Yahweh was as you say - and the claim is that Jesus is Yahweh in human form - then how do you account for the spread of this message?

You seem to be implying that false beliefs don't propagate; which would mean false religions don't propagate. Which seems rather odd for someone who thinks they have the true religion in a world full of false ones.

Lawrence Andrade's picture


You wrote:
"You seem to be implying that false beliefs don't propagate; which would mean false religions don't propagate. Which seems rather odd for someone who thinks they have the true religion in a world full of false ones."

But in the case of Christ, unless it was true it would be especially difficult to propagate. There is an old saying about success breeding success. People gravitate toward the successful. They want to do what made another successful - you might say they worship success and all of its trappings. But in the Roman world crucifixion was reserved for slaves and political rebels. The whole point of making people suffer that was to make a public spectacle of them - to make of them the most humiliating kind of spectacle possible. To the Jews someone hanging on a tree was a sure sign of being cursed by God. Romans were awed by power.
How do you explain the appeal of saying the crucified one - of equating him with the Old Testament God of the plagues?
Also, how do you make logical sense of this equation?

Can you tell me how you would reconcile these facts and the logic so you could propagate it? If not where would the attraction be?

Deu_21:23  his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

The Reign of the Lord's Anointed
Psa 2:1  Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 
Psa 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 
Psa 2:3  “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” 
Psa 2:4  He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 
Psa 2:5  Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 
Psa 2:6  “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 
Psa 2:7  I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 
Psa 2:8  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 

The Messiah was supposed to be a kingly figure who would free the Jews from the Romans and establish his own eternal rule. You have to get believing monotheistic Jews to believe this crucified person is Yahweh in human form. Good luck!


Nyarlathotep's picture
Larry A. - But in the case of

Larry A. - But in the case of Christ, unless it was true it would be especially difficult to propagate.

Uhhh what? As I already pointed out; (from both the atheist's and Christian's point of view) the world if full of false religious beliefs. Clearly false religious beliefs do prosper; so the success of a religious belief can't be used to determine its authenticity. Unless of course you want to engage in special pleading; which is a common tactic with the theists who come to this site.

algebe's picture
@Larry A: "unless it was true

@Larry A: "unless it was true it would be especially difficult to propagate."

Lots of false doctines and crazy ideas have been propagated throughout history. Communism brought misery to millions in Russia and China and continues to oppress the people of North Korea, despite being based on the falsehood that people can be regimented like ants and bees. Islam, Hindu, Mormonism, and Amway are other very successful bad ideas. And don't forget all the crazy religions that flourished before Christianity was even thought of.

It doesn't take truth to spread a cult. It takes effective propaganda and political clout. The Christian church wrote the book on that. Did you know that the very word originated in the Catholic church? It comes from Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for Propagating the Faith), which was established in 17th century.

If you're arguing that Christianity must be true because it has so many followers, you'd better go and run with the lemmings. Christianity has a history of dishonest propaganda (e.g., threats of hellfire), combined with fake magic ("healing" with relics, weeping statues, etc.), political power, and terror (e.g., burning people who disagree).

Lawrence Andrade's picture


"It takes effective propaganda and political clout."

But for the first 300 years Christianity had no political support - it endured waves of localized , sometimes widespread and
and sporadic persecution.

I will try to avoid special pleading. Further I will acknowledge that accounting - giving an account of or explaining the problem of evil is a difficult - difficult - thing to do. With the success of modern science and technology , the times favor
disbelief. If anyone applies logical syllogisms to the problem , the logic alone favors disbelief.

But there is more to the complicated issues than logic - logic alone does not suffice to give us science. The Middle age philosophers tried to understand the world through logic alone - it didn't work. people had to roll up their sleeves and test what their thinking through experiment and observation.

So with theology - logic matters a great deal of course but so does theological and biblical framework.

BTW to be consistent - I acknowledge this is a difficult problem for me - If God exists how to account for evil? But I think atheists have their own similar problem. If NO god exists, where does good come from?

Honest people should try to look at both sides of these issues not just the side that favors their own views.


Nyarlathotep's picture
Right, which is why it was

Right, which is why it was minority cult until it got state support. If it had flourished on its own you would cite that as evidence of its authenticity; just like you cite its failure to flourish as evidence for its authenticity. This should be ringing the skeptic alarms in your head. You know what we call people who's skeptic alarms don't work with regard to religious claims? Theists.

Lawrence Andrade's picture
Ok , please see post above

Ok , please see post above your last. But it was a substantial and growing movement from the first to Constantine's time.

Substantial enough that he could not ignore it , it would seem.

Got to go for now.

Have a great weekend.


Nyarlathotep's picture
Larry A. - But it was a

Larry A. - But it was a substantial and growing movement from the first to Constantine's time.

Get this through your head:
If the success of a religion is evidence of its validity; then Islam and Hinduism must also be valid.

Lawrence Andrade's picture


"If the success of a religion is evidence of its validity; then Islam and Hinduism must also be valid."

Christianity differs from all others in that it is the only one that puts its head on the chopping block of history and invites people to take a swing at it. The claims are historical claims for which there are - it is claimed - truthful witnesses.

That is that real world people touched, heard, ate with and conversed with Jesus after he was crucified , had died and was buried. Like all historical events there were relatively few people that experienced this - Paul mentions several people and then 500 at one time.

None really fully believed until after the resurrection and some did not believe at all until after. James the Lord's brother and Paul are two examples of that. James then became a prominent leader of the church in Jerusalem and Paul , of course a missionary.

It was claimed by the Jewish leaders that the body had been stolen - even though for political reasons the tomb was sealed and guarded - but the same leaders did not charge the apostles with the theft of the body later when they had them in their custody.

The point being no other religion makes these kinds of claims for their god or gods - do you know of any ?

Co 15:1  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 

1Co 15:2  and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 
1Co 15:3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 
1Co 15:4  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 
1Co 15:5  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 
1Co 15:6  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 
1Co 15:7  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 

Source for below is
The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments by C. H. Dodd
C.H. Dodd is recognized as one of the great New Testament scholars of the twentieth century. Dr. Dodd was for many years Professor of New Testament at Cambridge University. This book of three lectures was published by Harper and Row, 1964

"The date, therefore, at which Paul received the fundamentals of the Gospel cannot well be later than some seven years after the death of Jesus Christ. It may be earlier, and, indeed, we must assume some knowledge of the tenets of Christianity in Paul even before his conversion. Thus Paul’s preaching represents a special stream of Christian tradition which was derived from the main stream at a point very near to its source. No doubt his own idiosyncrasy counted for much in his presentation of the Gospel, but anyone who should maintain that the primitive Christian Gospel was fundamentally different from that which we have found in Paul must bear the burden of proof."

So these claims go back to the time of the resurrection itself - as we can see from the first recorded sermon about it given in Acts. Peter's Sermon at Pentecost
Act 2:14  But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 


LogicFTW's picture
You do realize that, it is

You do realize that, it is not the people that ate with Christ you are believing, or the "500," You never met those people, you never met people that met those people, they all been dead for nearly 2000 years. You believe a book that tells you that. Christianity is not special in its claims of historical "truth," the writers and leaders of this cult want you to believe that.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Larry A. - Christianity

Larry A. - Christianity differs from all others...

Larry A. - I will try to avoid special pleading.

You need to try harder.


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