I keep running into atheist arguments, many of which are arguments I’ve made in the past, that somehow no longer seem to shake my belief that there is a higher power in the universe and my recent conversion to the idea that that power is inherently good. I found this blog post (by a Christian apologist) on twelve good arguments atheists advance against Christianity, and thought I’d see if any of them gave me cause to waiver in my belief.
1. There’s so much suffering in the world
If God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly benevolent then he would eradicate evil and suffering but the world is full of it. Therefore he is either not all powerful, not all knowing, not benevolent or (most likely) does not actually exist.
2. Jesus can’t be the only way to God
There are many different religions in the world, all followed by many intelligent educated people. Isn’t it simply arrogant and narrow-minded to suggest that all of them apart from Christianity are wrong?
3. Christian faith is just psychological
Christians believe in Christ largely for psychological reasons: because it comforts them, because they were brought up that way or because they are afraid not to believe in case they go to Hell.
4. Miracles can’t happen
The world operates according to observable laws of nature meaning that miracles simply cannot occur. Regardless there is no evidence to suggest either that they do or that they ever did.
5. A good God wouldn’t send people to Hell
An allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent God has seemingly freely chosen to sentence most human beings to hell. Why? Should such a God (if he exists) be trusted?
6. The problem of those who have never heard
There are many people who have died without hearing the Christian gospel and many today have not heard and will never hear it. If Christianity is true God and people are damned without believing it God would surely have found a way for them to have heard.
7. The Bible is full of errors
Many events in the Bible, such as the creation narrative, the flood, much Old Testament history and the Gospel accounts are not backed up by science or archaeology and much of the history is not even internally consistent. They were also written long after the events they claim to describe are are in the main just ‘stories’.
8. Christianity may be true for you but it isn’t true for me
I can see that believing in Christianity ‘helps’ you, that it is ‘true for you’. But it is not ‘true for me’. Everybody should be free to choose his or her own belief.
9. The God of the Bible is a moral monster and restricts human freedom
God, particularly as depicted in the Old Testament, is a vengeful, genocidal, pestilential megalomaniac who does not act morally. Furthermore his restrictions on such things as sexual behaviour, abortion and euthanasia are undermining of human autonomy.
10. It is no longer necessary to invoke God as an explanation for anything
Now that we have the theories of evolution and big bang/multiverse theory there is no need for a designer to explain the origin and complexity of living things or the physical universe.
11. The church is full of hypocrites
Christianity has been responsible for a huge amount of killing and wars throughout history and the newspapers are full of supposed Christians who are paedophiles, liars, adulterers, murderers and abusers. If Christianity were true it would make people better.
12. Christians cherry-pick what they want out of the Bible
Christians do not consistently apply the Bible’s commands but pick and choose what they want. For example they forbid sex outside marriage but are happy to eat shellfish and wear polyester although these are forbidden in exactly the same books of the Bible. Furthermore Christians disagree profoundly amongst themselves about what is right and wrong.