Ridiculous Arguments for Christianity I've Heard
The Bible Is Old
I'm not exactly sure where the apologist was going with this argument, maybe it had something to do with the common Christian's ideals about the veracity and authenticity of the Bible reflected in its purity and unchanging meaning from ancient scroll to present day language–but that aside, the meat of the argument was this: Christianity is true because of the age of the Bible.
If I have to break this down for my reader, then I extend my apologies. Suffice it to say, the age of something holds no bearing of its truthfulness, or even suggestion of factuality. I was quick to point out that there are far older religious texts–the Hindu Rigveda and the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh–which this apologist certainly to didn't ascribe to. Additionally, just because the Bible has survived revision (debatable), does not also contribute to whether it is true or not.
Our Entire Human History is Centered Around Christ's Birth
Another half-baked argument consisting of many swirling ideas, but no rhyme or reason. It was essentially this:
Jesus Christ was born in AD 1, and human history, events and all, have been accounted in accordance with his life and death. Therefore, Jesus Christ existed, and Christianity is true.
I had trouble wrapping my mind around this one at first. What was suggested by this argument? That prior to Jesus, humans were just counting down? Or that after Jesus was born, everyone in the world adopted this system of dating?
There is, as before, numerous issues with this divulgence. Scholars (amidst biblical and secular) disagree on the exact year Jesus was supposedly born, ranging anywhere from 4 BC to AD 12. The accounting by Luke (the only one giving enough detail to place Christ's birth) is shady at best, as no historic record can be found of a governor Quirinius during Herod's lifetime (Quirinius took governance in 6 CE and Herod died in 3 BCE).
The entire dating schematic drawing on Christ's name (Latin: Anno Domino, "in the year of our lord"; BC, before Christ) is a retroactive fitting by monks in the middle of the 6th century, and not adopted much until the 800s.
There is also problems using a dating metric as a means of authority, as our Gregorian Calendar is pagan based, the months named after Romans gods and goddesses (and emperors), and the days of the week named after Norse gods. Also, none of these systems of measurement are by any means universal; e.g. there are Islamic and Jewish calendars.
Jesus Resurrected from the Dead
I've written other posts on this specific topic, which suffers from three glaring errors in argumentation to seriously convince:
- Resurrection of the dead
- Commonness of resurrection
- Resurrection proving divinity
To summarize the argument again and run down these points:
Accepting Jesus' as having actually existed as a historic figure, one must prove Jesus actually resurrected.
- In modern times and understanding, resurrection as the Bible claims, is impossible. We've never witnessed it, proved it, studied it, or considered it possible. That begs the question, "why is the Biblical account not under the same scrutiny?"
Suppose point one is true. Suppose resurrection is possible. Inherent in this argument is the idea resurrection carries with it some miraculous power: a power over death, if you will.
- Nevertheless, by the Biblical accounts, resurrection was not so uncommon, with many examples that do not seem ostentatious: the resurrection of Jarius' daughter, Lazarus, the man thrown across Elisha's corpse, the many dead who arose during Christ's crucifixion. None of these examples are necessarily touted as that that person having power over death.
Suppose point two is true. Suppose their is some miracle power inherent in resurrection. This does not prove the divinity of Christ.
- The divinity of Christ cannot be proven from miraculous power (we've seen other people do this, e.g. Elijah, Elisha, Peter)
- Jesus' resurrection does not prove he was born of a virgin, or that his father was God.
Evolution Isn't True Because X
I fell prey to this as a Christian. The argument goes like this:
Evolution can't explain why ____. It's only a theory. It must be false.
Therefore, Christianity is true.
Ideas stand and fall on their own merit independent of even their counterparts. A good example where two competing ideas are not mutually exclusive, and the falsity of one does not impact the other is perhaps:
Should I buy a Mac or a PC?
At face value, this seems like an exclusive choice–buyer purchases either a PC or a Mac. But there are multiple options here. He could purchase neither, purchase one or the other, or both. Additionally, his decision making process for buying a PC could have a different approach and reasoning for why he would or would not buy it. Any decision for buying the PC may or may not influence his decision for the Mac.
Analogous to this, is Creationism and Evolution. As a Christian, I thought these were really the only two possibilities and a negation of one meant the acceptance of the other. This is called a false dichotomy, where a specific number of choices are presented when there is at least one additional option.
Back to the argument–the reason it makes no sense and is ridiculous is because a Christian sees a flaw in Evolution, they jump to the conclusion it must be false and Creation is true. This is illogical. If Evolution were to be disproved tomorrow, it would not make Creation true.
The Universe Must Have Had a Cause
Something doesn't come from nothing. The universe is something.
Therefore, the universe had a cause, and this cause is God.
This is a dumbed down version of the Kalam cosmological argument, and it suffers from the same absurdities as its big brother.
- We don't know everything comes from something. See physicists explanation of quantum physics.
- Also, we don't know what nothing is. Nothing from a physicist's viewpoint is very different from the philosophical viewpoint and perhaps even the theological viewpoint.
- The universe may not be everything. In too many conversations, I've heard the Christian use "universe" to mean everything and not understand that scientists use "cosmos" to encompass everything.
- Not everyone (scientists, etc.) believes the cosmos had a beginning. Our universe certainly suggests that it had a beginning, but that does not mean all matter (the cosmos) had a beginning.
There are additional idiocies with jumping to the conclusion that a universe having a cause must mean it was God, and a personal Judaic God at that.