A Few Things Atheists Should Know About Christians

Mark from Proud Atheists has compiled a handy list of things that atheists should know about Christians. I thought I’d take a peek at the list. It is an interesting way to peer into the mind of the average atheist, to see what he thinks of the average Christian. I bet that he completely misunderstands us, as per usual. Let’s see if I’m right.

First, Mark says this:

Christians will “cherry pick” from the Bible to justify their beliefs, likes and dislikes. It’s a very handy tool to use when confronted with opposing views. It seems that they have a loophole for any of their unsavory actions. Mainstream Christians will gladly recite verses from the writings of their self-proclaimed disciple, Paul that had never met Christ, but doubt the writings of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith.

We’ve heard this charge before. It isn’t cherry-picking. Jesus’ death on the cross freed us from the tyranny of the Mosaic Law, so we are no longer bound to the strictures of it.

But it is still important to understand what it says, since the Law is God speaking to his people. The Law points to a God-centered view of an ideal society, so we would do well to heed what it says.

Mark makes an important error. Most atheists think that if someone says, “I’m a Christian!” that’s all the proof you need. If I try to say that there are Christians falsely-so-called, they cry “No True Scotsman fallacy!” and usually declare victory.

For the No True Scotsman fallacy to apply, it would have to be an ad hoc exclusion, with no reasonable critique of the person’s so-called Christianity. A person could write a ten volume encyclopedia set on why Fred Phelps is no Christian, yet in practice, atheists won’t allow me to claim that the hate monger isn’t a true Christian no matter how many theological and ethical errors I show him to be committing. As for Joseph Smith, much ink has been spilled over why his theologies are not Christian.

I have a feeling that Mark won’t realize how ridiculous this claim actually is, so I’ll move on.

Next, Mark says:

Many Christians claim to hold a higher moral ground than other religions and certainly higher than atheists. The problem is that the actions of these sanctimonious people does not reflect their their self-proclaimed higher morals. It seems that every time you read the news, you read about a tax fraud committed by a pastor, pedophile clergy, marital infidelity or some other voluntary illegal act.

Christians aren’t perfect, they are forgiven. That’s what the famous bumper sticker says, anyway. Holding to a higher moral ground doesn’t imply that you are any better at acting ethically, however.

It simply doesn’t follow that bad behavior on the part of Christians is evidence against the veracity of their beliefs. I would love to see a paper written that actually tries to prove that point.

Many of your conservative type Christians love to cry, especially in church. They love to strum the old heart strings of someone by crying about their God and their savior’s death. This tactic is used to make another person feel a sense of guilt for not sharing the same belief or delusion. I’ve noticed that Christian music is another tool used to make one feel obligated to join in. If you resist, then it is excused as, “The devil is talking to him” or something similar.

What? No comment. Self-evident nonsense.

Most Christians cannot accept the fact that you are happy without adhering to their brand of religion. Many will attempt to spin a scenario to make you look less satisfied than them to make a point.

In the movie Pocahontas, Pocohantas told John Smith that the natives’ houses were fine. Smith replied, “You think that, only because you don’t know any better.” Truly, the content atheist is content because he really doesn’t know any better.

Christians will tell you that there is only one way to Heaven. If this were true, then why are there so many denominations and sects? Which one is right? Which would Jesus pick?

Red herring alert! Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and all of the mainstream denominations I’m aware of teach this. There are numerous other points on which they disagree.

Evolution is a scientific fact, according to Richard Dawkins. If that is true, then there is only one explanation for evolution and all of the scientists agree on it, as well as on each and every point about evolution. Wait, they don’t? Then, by Mark’s own standard, evolution isn’t true. Ooops–can’t have it both ways, my friend!

Many Christians will claim that it was the intention of the founding fathers of the United States that this nation be Christian. However, there are no words like God, Christian, Bible or Jesus mentioned in our Constitution.

I don’t believe that this was founded as a Christian nation per se, but we were definitely founded on the principles of theism. The Creator is referenced in the Declaration of Independence as the source of our inalienable rights, and the government exists to protect those rights endowed to us by God.

Christians ridicule us. They may not do so in a public setting, but in a private setting we are viewed as “evil”. They hate the idea that we are not shackled to an “Iron Age” and mythological belief system.

Good thing you atheists take the high road and never ridicule us. Oh, wait a minute, you actually ridiculed us in that very paragraph. So much for the high road, I guess.

Many mainstream Christians will snicker at the rituals of Judaism, Islam and even other branches of Christianity like Mormon, the Amish and Jehovah’s Witness without even realizing that they worship the same “God”.

We worship the same God? What? That deserves an essay all by itself. Mark likes to criticize religion, but I really have to wonder how much of it he’s actually studied.

Christians automatically assume that we atheists have an explanation for the origin of the universe because we don’t adhere to the creations mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Most atheists are not scientists, but most scientists are atheists.

I don’t think that an explanation for the origin of the universe without an intelligence to fine tune it and guide its development is asking for too much. If you don’t believe in God, then why do we exist as opposed to not existing? We are contingent beings, but to what are we contingent? If we weren’t created as described in Genesis, then how did we get here at all? If you can’t answer that, then you really haven’t thought through your worldview.

If you’re like Vjack, you ignore this question because you claim it is completely irrelevant. But it isn’t, and it will always be there, awaiting an answer. Ultimately, how you answer that question for yourself will have a profound effect on how you live your life.

In the U.S., anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic, and anti-homosexual groups are almost always Christian-based, not secular.

Your point being? As I mentioned above, bad behavior on the part of Christians doesn’t prove that God is imaginary.

So, in other words, Mark is getting it wrong, wrong, wrong! Will he take correction? Well, Vjack is really good at that, as we’ve seen. So I’m thinking no. But Mark isn’t Vjack, so I’ll keep an open mind.

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on March 22, 2010, in Apologetics, Heresy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Well, I have to say that I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here. The actions of a couple Christians doesn’t condemn the whole group and I sometimes argue on the website about this with people on there myself. But I don’t agree with the part where you say that atheists have to explain the origin of the universe since they don’t believe in God. I mean, imagine you enter a house and hear a noise in it, and your say “that’s a mouse”. Your companion doesn’t think it sounds like a mouse (it sounds like a roaring airplane TO HIM), so he says “I don’t think so”. Should you answer “then what is it? Give an explanation, you can’t say you don’t know, you have refuted my claim so you have to provide an alternative one!”. Your friend doesn’t think there’s an airplane in the house, but he’s pretty sure a mouse can’t possibly be making all that racket.

    An agnostic like myself would say “who knows?, maybe a mouse can make all that racket by some means”. An atheist will say that it’s utterly impossible and permanently form his opinion on the matter. But, often, neither have an explanation for the “noise they hear”.

  2. You know, just because I don’t have an explanation for something, doesn’t mean I have to accept the Christian one.

    That said re: “something from nothing”, for that to occur you need a point in time in which nothing existed…we have no evidence of such a time occuring.

    • Well, scientists think before the Big Bang there was nothing. But I never thought of that, that maybe there was always something out there. Of course, scientists can’t prove it, physicists just use the pattern already going on where our universe is expanding, so it must have been a point at some point in time and other things. They don’t even think time existed before the Big Bang. But I completely agree, we cannot accept the Christian explanation, in no way rationally supported, simply because we have no explanation ourselves.

      • Well if time didn’t exist before the big bang then “before the big bang” doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s like “north of the north pole”.

        Also the big bang wasn’t something exploding into nothingness, it was everything (including all the empty space) rapidly expanding.

        But yeah, while we can currently only speculate on questions like “why did the big bang happen”, that doesn’t mean we have to accept a religious explanation. Maybe there’s a perfectly natural one we’re just a long way from figuring out.

  3. You’re perfectly right Stoo, “before the Big Bang” is an oxymoron, héhé.

  4. Christianity, Judiasm, and Islam all worship the same God thats is thwe Abrahamic God. Get your facts straight , then distort them in any way you please.

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