Tough Questions About Christianity

My take on Christianity and logic

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Tough Questions About Christianity by Mind Map: Tough Questions About Christianity

1. Tough Questions About the Bible

1.1. Is the bible really true?

1.1.1. Is it historically accurate?

1.1.1.1. Sometimes

1.1.1.1.1. Often existence of key figures and events are unsupported by secular texts or archaeological evidence, so if anything their existence or occurance is simply unknown at best. This is not to say it is all falls, many historical events of the Old Testament are corroborated by secular douments.

1.1.1.1.2. Some parts of the bible are factually accurate, its contents have been corroborated by archaelogical findings

1.1.2. Are the prophecies accurate?

1.1.2.1. Sometimes

1.1.2.1.1. Yes

1.1.2.1.2. No

1.1.3. Is it scientifically accurate?

1.1.3.1. No

1.1.3.1.1. Noah's Flood

1.1.3.1.2. Biblically Literal Creation myth

1.1.4. Is it consistent throughout?

1.1.4.1. Yes and No

1.1.4.1.1. Huge difference between New & Old Testament

1.1.4.1.2. General message is same throughout

2. Tough Questions About Evil

2.1. How could a good God allow suffering?

2.1.1. Higher Purpose

2.1.1.1. His ways are beyond understanding

2.1.1.1.1. We have some semblance of a universal standard of evil vs good. This could mean that a creator gave it to us when he first created humanity.

2.1.1.2. Growth of virtues

2.1.1.2.1. In order for there to be good, there must be something to compare it to, ie how could courage exist without the opportunity to face evil? Good would be indistinguishable without some sort of comparison (evil).

2.1.1.3. Free will

2.1.1.3.1. God did not want to create robots, he wanted us to choose to follow him

2.1.2. He is not good

2.1.2.1. Endorses genocide, allows for rape

2.1.2.1.1. Genocide and rape of Midianites - While God does not outright condone the taking of young girls by the Israelites, he does not say anything to indicate he does not approve. In the Old Testament, it is usually obvious when God does not approve (wandering in desert for 40 years, destruction of cities, all of humanity but Noah's family, killing of thousands for worshiping an idol, etc). Even if he does not condone the rape, God did explicitly tell Moses to kill the Midianites.

2.1.2.1.2. Othe examples of genocide - God tells the Israelites to completely destroy the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

2.1.2.2. Gives people ability to lie to get ahead

2.1.2.3. Allows a prophet to have bears maul children in his name for making fun of his baldness

2.1.2.3.1. Given that the bible is accurate, we can trust that these events took place. The bible is contradictory here. God cannot be a good God and go against his own moral code that he gave us through Moses and still be good. It is not a matter of "higher purpose", he flat out has broken his own commandments

2.1.2.4. He deceives people

2.1.2.5. Allows innocent children who have never consciously sinned to be raped, tortured, and killed.

2.1.2.5.1. Rebuttal - But God works everything out for good and God gives us free will

2.1.2.6. Endorses racism, homophobia, sexism, and religious bigotry, child sacrifice, death for someone elses mistakes while the actual perpetrator has nothing happen to them

2.1.2.6.1. God is racist - He favors the Israelites over all of the other people in the world, while the Israelites did nothing to earn this.

2.1.2.6.2. All homosexuals, even celibate ones, cannot go to heaven, they will go to hell

2.1.2.6.3. Women are placed in a subortinate position

2.1.2.6.4. God orders people killed for worshiping a golden calf

2.1.2.6.5. King David believes that God tells him to take a census of all who fought in a war, but it is the devil. After this is done, David realizes he has been deceived. God gives him three options, David chooses the pestilence which results in the death of 70,000 of his own people. David gets off scot free.

2.1.2.6.6. God either condones or allows child sacrifice. It is tough to tell in this passage, although given God's track record for making sure everyone knows when the disobey in the slightest, one could assume he wasn't all too displeased with this.

3. Tough Questions About God

3.1. Who made God?

3.1.1. God has been in existence the whole time

3.1.1.1. But that doesn't make sense?

3.1.1.1.1. True, but should we trust scripure or logic?

3.2. How can you understand the Trinity?

3.2.1. It is a triune god with 3 distinct personalites

3.2.1.1. But some say this doesn't make logical sense? How is that any different from polytheism?

3.2.1.1.1. True, but should we believe logic or scripture?

3.3. Why would a loving God send people to Hell?

3.3.1. He doesn't, people choose it

3.3.1.1. Sin is separation from God, he doesn't choose to send them to hell, people choose hell

3.3.1.1.1. God set up the world so that he cannot be around sin. Thus when people choose to sin, they separate themselves from God. Once again, although this does not make any logical sense, it is in the bible, so we must accept it.

3.3.2. He doesn't, there is no hell as discribed in the bible

3.3.2.1. The existence of a biblical model of hell is not possible in light of the (supposed) character of God. God is said throughout the bible to be a loving and just God. However, hell and heaven as explained by the bible is unjust. God thus excludes people from heaven (thus sending them to hell) who do not believe Jesus died for their sins, even those who have not heard the world of God. This means God would have created an unjust model of justice and is therefore unjust.

3.3.3. God sends people to Hell

3.3.3.1. It is through His choice that they must be sent to a terrible place. He created the concept of non belief and finite sin resulting in an eternity in hell, infinite punishment. He could have chosen to never create such a place or to keep forgiving people.

3.3.3.2. People are predestined to hell if one takes the bible literally. God knows the end from the beginning and he forms us in our mother's womb. If he directly created us, and knows the future, he has created us to make sinful choices when presented with the opportunity. He knows exactly what choices we will face and creates how we will react when he gave us our personality. Thus he predestined Adam to sin and consequently humanity to hell. He gave Adam the personality to sin when faced with the choice. Today, he creates one group of people with the tendency to not choose God, and another set with the tendency to choose god. Individuals cannot deviate from this path otherwise God would not be all knowing. Predestination.

3.4. Does God exist?

3.4.1. Not the one portrayed in the bible

3.4.1.1. God is claimed to be omniscient and omnipotent, without these attributes, he is no longer God. The concept of free will is also central to the bible

3.4.1.1.1. Our free will and God's omiscience cannot exist together. We do not have free will if God creates us with all of our actions already predetermined. God is not omniscient if he does know all of our future actions. To know all of our actions, our actions must be predetermined. If they are not, they cannot be known. We would be like a computer program, once the program is set in motion, the program cannot change itself. If we could, then God would not be all knowing. We may think we have free will, but we do not. We would be acting based on our programming: when faced with a set of circumstances, God has created us to choose a certain way

3.4.1.2. Can God create a rock too heavy for him to lift?

3.4.1.2.1. Of course not. Although it may not be entirely correct, a good way to say this is He cannot do anything that is logically impossible.

4. Tough Questions About Christ

4.1. Are the prophecies about Christ really true?

4.1.1. Some may be

4.1.1.1. Some are unverifiable, could be said to have been fulfilled by other people such as Julius Caesar, who was purportedly miraculously conceived in the temple of Apollo. Also could be completely fabricated.

4.1.1.1.1. Virgin birth

4.1.1.2. Some could be said to have come true

4.1.1.2.1. From the line of David

4.1.1.3. Many are rather vauge, are givens, could be fulfilled by chance, or could be said of any of any religious leader in many other religions

4.1.1.3.1. He would look human

4.1.1.3.2. Pierced for our transgressions, nearly every form of killing someone involves piercing them, and religious leaders are frequently killed

4.1.1.3.3. Rejected by man

4.1.1.4. Some likely were never fulfilled

4.1.1.4.1. Out of Bethlehem

4.1.1.5. Regardless, the Gospels were written to fulfill prophecies, as seen in Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman.

4.2. Did miracles really happen?

4.2.1. If bible is accurate, then yes, but it is not

4.2.1.1. Bible quotes skeptics, specific witnesses; however, these cannot be verified in any other text by the time the documents become well known to the public. It is generally accepted that Christianity remained fairly underground for some time and by that time all the supposed eyewitnesses would be dead.

4.2.1.1.1. I can make up a story about a flying man who delivers presents on a sleigh, give specific times, dates, details, and witnesses, but that doesn't make it true. It is still a fabrication. While this does nothing to show that the bible is not accurate, it does show that the supposed reasons for its legitimacy are invalid when those reasons cannot be verified.

4.2.2. Miracles not mentioned in secular texts

4.2.2.1. Jesus mentioned, many blatant forgeries about divinity and miracles

4.3. Is the account of his execution and resurrection accurate?

4.3.1. Hard to tell, although the biblical account is unreliable given the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Gospels

4.3.1.1. It is often said that it is unlikely people would have died for a lie. This is true, unless they believed the lie. Take the disciples for example. Jesus told them that they would all be kings. If they believed it, it is not difficult to see why they would die for the lie.

4.3.1.2. It is possible that the early Christians could have believed in not a literal resurrection but him being taken up to heaven and given a new body. This would be far more probable. This, in light of the fact that Jesus taught that judgment was coming soon, would account for the rapid expansion of Christianity.

4.3.1.3. There are tremendous inconsistencies within in the Gospels. For example, in Mark, Jesus eats the Passover meal and is executed the following morning. In John, he does not eat this meal and is crucified the day before, sometime in the afternoon. The reason for this fabrication becomes apparent when we examine the rest of the Gospel of John. He is the only one to declare Jesus to be "the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world". He want to make Jesus the Passover Lamb, hence him been sacrificed in the afternoon during the Day of Preparation.

4.3.1.3.1. The problems do not end there. There was no such census as mentioned in Luke under Cesar Augustus' reign, and the census itself is an impossibility. Go back to the birthplace of your ancestor 1000 years ago?

4.3.1.3.2. Resurrection appears unlikely and contrived, as read horizontally and chronologically they get more and more spectacular, indicative of fabrication. Other parts are simply more contradictory than what would be expected of a trustworthy eyewitness account.

4.3.1.3.3. If the other Gospels are correct about Jesus being born in Herod's reign, Luke cannot also be correct. Quirinius, who was governor of Syria at the time according to Luke, did not become governor until 10 years after Herod died.

4.3.1.3.4. The genealogies in Matthew and Luke are completely different.

4.3.1.3.5. The gospels are in disagreement in nearly every other aspect of Jesus' life and death.