Thursday, May 22, 2014

Questions on How to Dismantle Christianity

This post is really just going to be a heap of questions that I had when I read a recent blog post by ElijiahT. The blog post in question can be found here.

First things first, this post is not meant to be considered criticism or any kind of debate. It's questions directed to ElijiahT and nothing else. From here on this post will be treated as if it is direct correspondence with him.

Hi Elijiah, how's things?

If at any point you feel I'm attacking or debating a point, sorry. That's my fault for not conveying my question effectively.

OK, now that we've got that out of the way, let's begin. In your post you listed out several of the reasons you were compelled to embrace Christianity. I'm sure the list is far from comprehensive, and that's probably good considering the number of questions this list generated for me.

Let's start at the top (how often do people really start at the bottom?).
"I believe the natural world has a cause, and that cause must have characteristics typically attributed to God."
Why? What is it about the natural world that makes you think it has a cause? Why must that cause have the attributes you think it does? Why couldn't it be completely different?
"I believe that a metaphysically necessary being is absolutely essential from all perspectives, and God is the only option that doesn’t come with insurmountable difficulties."
Not to be overly repetitious, but why? I don't see insurmountable difficulties with by own world view that aren't matched or exceeded by theistic world views. Can you please explain to me how a metaphysically necessary being is essential and why no other options are viable? What are the difficulties of a naturalistic world view that you find insurmountable?
"I believe the fine-tuning of the universe is inadequately explained by chance processes or necessity and points to a cosmic fine-tuner."
What do you consider "inadequate" about natural processes that necessitate a "fine-tuner", and how is it that the "fine-tuner" becomes exempt from requiring its own "fine-tuner", basically leading to an infinite complexity paradox.
"I believe that our inner moral convictions are best explained by the Christian perspective of being made in the image of God."
What about evolved social norms that every indication suggests predates Christianity makes it best explained by the Christian perspective? To me, "Christian" morality is nothing more than common sense necessitated by the evolution of civilization. How is it that morality derived from a being that will willingly torture his "children" for an infinite amount of time even good?
I believe the historical evidence is in favor of the actual resurrection of Christ, with no special treatment given to the Biblical texts during historical analysis.
This one really confuses me. What historical evidence is there that there was ever a resurrection at all? The Bible is merely a claim, not evidence, so I'm thoroughly confused here. There are some historians that are not sure the man Jesus ever lived at all, let alone that his fantastical resurrection story is true.
I believe the Bible has attributes that point to it being a book that is not merely a book by men, but a book that has been divinely inspired, in one way or another. I don’t think we have to assume inerrancy to come to that conclusion.
What attributes?  The Bible appears to be a fairly flawed story that has difficulty even staying on point. What about it makes you think that it was inspired by anything other than humanity?
If God does not exist, then belief in God is the result of evolution. That belief is pervasive throughout human history, believed by nearly everyone. This entails that evolution is responsible for extreme error in our belief forming systems. This is not a point against evolution, but a point against naturalism when taken together with evolution.
 Why? To me, attributing to malice what may just be natural is an evolutionary advantage (at least it was). Seeing an enemy or a friend (even if one doesn't exist) protects you in cases where there is an enemy you can't see. Assuming the bushes rustling because of the wind and not a tiger means that when it is a tiger, you get eaten. Assuming it's a tiger is an evolutionary advantage (even if you're wrong).
I believe naturalism entails a complete lack of free will. If we are nothing more than complex matter, it doesn’t seem possible that we can have free will. However, free will’s existence is obvious. Another point against a naturalistic perspective.
How does naturalism imply a lack of free will, and how is it more so than an all powerful deity controlling every aspect of your life? Even more than that, Christianity actually seems to call for the suspension of what semblance of free will you may have to serve your god infinitely, where there is no such eternal slavery required for an atheistic world view. How is willing eternal slavery better?