Examples of absurdities, fallacies and debate troubles with
Let us give some examples of usual Christian fallacies (among many;
by the way, no fallacy at all should be tolerable from the part of
an ideology that claims to represent the divine infallible truth
above human mistakes):
The "No True Scotsman" fallacy
Let us recall this fallacy:
Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman,
sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an
article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish
is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing."
The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald
again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose
brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost
gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion
but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, "No
true Scotsman would do such a thing."
This fallacy is used by Christians in different ways:
So, what is a true Christian, finally ? The truth is that,
Christians themselves don't have any clue what may really be the
difference between a true and a false Christian. One of them confidently
answered "A Christian is someone who believes the Bible" - that was a Young
Earth creationist (also proudly claiming that there is no way to have any idea
how distant from us are galaxies - he even refused to suggest any interval of possibilities).
Often, as an act of
"humility" they would say "only God knows" who is so, while they
would not take the risk to judge anybody in this way by themselves.
Nevertheless they have a strong faith in the idea that this
undefinable difference must be something essential, so that, in
front of any circumstance that would not oblige them to politely
abstain from such a judgement, this gives them an easy automatic
method to blindly dismiss (explain away) without any further
examination, so many observations that they otherwise could not
- When claiming that no true
Christian can become atheist
- With the dialectic confusion between Christianity and virtue,
so that when facing report of bad actions done by Christians,
they are dismissed as "no true Christians".
- Claiming that all evidence supports Christian doctrine, and
taking this dogma as a redefinition of the concept of
"evidence", dismissing any contrary evidence as "mere theory".
- during the Galileo trial, heliocentrism was dismissed by the
church as a mere theory that cannot compete with God's word;
evidence for evolution is dismissed by many US Christians.
- Whenever I try to mention to a Christian or a Muslim that
recent archeological research completely refuted the story of
Exodus and the existence of Moses, some immediately react by
dismissing these many years of archeological research by
professional teams fully recognized in the field, as "mere
theory" and/or an act of hatred and self-delusion by atheists
trying to persecute God, without even caring to check anything
about it. Except some Christians who, instead, dismiss
altogether any claim of relevance of the Hebrew bible and its
historical claims as a part of the Christian doctrine, loudly
claiming that the whole Jewish tradition and any question of
historical reality of biblical stories before Jesus, are
totally irrelevant and never had anything to do with the core
of the Christian faith.
- Whenever such an evidence cannot be denied anymore, then the
previous Christians who were refuted, are finally dismissed as
"no true Christians" having made "human errors", by the new
generation accepting the evidence; the refuted biblical claims
(such as the story of Genesis) are reinterpreted
"metaphorically" (even if, without its direct interpretation,
the nature of where, when and how Genesis should still be
considered as true, remains mysterious, undefinable, lost in
unfalsifiability). (The Catholic Church now accepts evolution,
after they did not officially condemn it anyway). Problem: with
this continuous redefinition of what the Bible "really meant"
out of what science will finally discover, it turns out that the
wisest way to understand what "the Bible really means" is by
spitting over it, rather than by carefully reading and piously
- Usually when trying to introduce to Christians my observations
of how wrong Christianity is, and before they ever took any care
to listen to anything about my life, thoughts and observations,
they immediately dismiss my conclusions as surely an abusive
extrapolation from an unfortunate experience with the "wrong
Christians"; this assumes they would themselves be much better,
disregarding whatever could be the details about this. Problems:
- By this way and all other aspects and "arguments" in the
replies from these Christians blindly accusing me of such a
blind extrapolation, it is obvious they are themselves full of
the disgusting blindness, misjudgement and intellectual
dishonesty that repels me in Christianity; thus, they are
clearly wrong Christians themselves;
- As these terrible deviations from God's ways can be seen
from a representative sample of over 99% of all Christians of
the world, who are as devout and sincere in their dedication
for God as could be, this means that whoever does all one's
best to come to God, has over 99% risks of following a false
Christianity too. Conclusion: the Christian's own views
rigorously imply that their own path to God's way and/or to
heaven (giving one's life to God and trusting the Bible), is
no more reliable than a lottery ticket can be for getting
- As reported
there (and as I witnessed myself) : moderate Christians, such as those
in Europe, sometimes aghast when viewing their right-wing
counterparts in the US, immediately declare them "not true
- On the other hand, a Christian
came to safely resolve a series of questions by answers
including this one : « if you
actually hear “Christians” saying that the Creation account of
man and woman etc. is allegorical, then I would seriously
question whether or not they are truly Christian. You’re
correct, there are no biblical passages that would support the
claim that it is an allegory».
"Did you receive Jesus in your heart ?"
This is the next fallacy used to justify the one above, asked by
Christians in reply to former Christians trying to explain their
testimony of discovery of the falsity of the Christian faith they
Indeed this tricky "question" has the dialectic power of killing the
chance of meaningful dialogue, by making it unpractical for
deconverts to express their viewpoint, forcing the discussion into a
Indeed, the answer "yes" would by itself imply that Jesus exists and
can be received in one's life, and thus that Christianity would be
in fact true true; the answer "no" would produce the impression that
the person is not sincere and/or not qualified to make an informed
opinion on the subject.
Of course, this "proof by dichotomy" is fallacious, as it ignores a
third option: that nobody ever received a real Jesus in their life
because Jesus does not even exist. Of course, the trick that makes
this third option apparently hard to put forward, is the existence
of all these thousands of people witnessing to have Jesus in their
life. So how to explain these testimonies if Jesus does not exist ?
This requires to consider all those "witnesses" of Jesus in their
lives, as highly delusional. Such a position might seem awkward,
bold and somehow quite insulting towards these testimonies, their
sincerity and other "qualities".
However, if considered more closely, there is no oddness in this
position at all.
First because the Christian doctrine is itself even more deeply and
unfairly insulting towards even more people (all those of another
opinion, sometimes including other branches of Christianity, by its
way of considering them sinners, revolted against God and deserving
eternal hell (okay, not all Christians think that way, I know...
especially today's Catholics, away from the violent intolerance
often practiced by their Catholic church before modern times).
Second, because of the overwhelming independent evidence of the
highly delusional state of mind of most of these Jesus friends,
either in their denial of the scientific evidence on the age of the
Earth, or in many other aspects of how they think and argue.
There is another problem, from the ambiguity of the phrase "receive
Jesus in your life": who is supposed to be the actor of this
decision, and responsible for its accomplishment ? Is that the
person, or is that Jesus ? This ambiguity is again a source of
fallacy by unfalsifiability. In a way, any disbeliever can always
trivially be judged guilty of not having received Jesus, merely
based on the observation of this disbelief, no matter the
experience. Either by saying that he was not serious trying enough
(no matter how dramatically devout his tries were). Or, if he tried
really much, by saying that this was a mistake because he relied on
his own efforts towards God instead of letting him come. Anyway,
there has never been and will never be any clear method to follow
with the insurance that it will bring God in one's life (and it is
quite easy for Christians to produce all the best excuses for this
fact). But this contradicts the other claim, that Jesus generously
opens the way to heaven to anybody under condition of faith (or
whatever you call the condition), and that this condition (whatever
it is) is itself open to be followed and satisfied by anybody
Thus, Christianity wastes large parts of the lives of many people
who tried to "receive Jesus" but did not "succeed", were deprived of
the promised fulfillment, and then are again hurt (feeling guilty)
by the false but unanswerable accusations made by Christians. Thus
the victim-blaming machiavellian process, which turn the state of
victim of a terrible disappointment and waste of dedication produced
by the lies of Christianity, into an a guilt.
there are also former Christians who lived the full experience of
"receiving Jesus in their life" before discovering that this was
mere delusion. (This series of videos also addresses other
are other interesting cases.
So, what is this "relationship with Jesus", finally ? It is nothing
but the relationship with the belief that the "belief in Jesus" is
synonymous with "relationship with Jesus", despite the lack of
evidence to support this claim.
Well, eventually, together with the real or inflated presence of
some other "signs" such as a more or less mystical "feeling of
presence", the observation of some strange coincidences and
narrow-minded "help from destiny", some healing...
The arguments by absurdity - how the mere fact of being wrong
suffices to confirm to them that they are right
There is a sort of upside-down argument used by some Christians,
that is, if a belief is absurd, then it must be true.
Namely, it is the claim that nobody can believe in Jesus by one's
own force, unless God gave him the grace to (because the Bible says
So: if you happen to start believing something just blindly and
stupidly for no clear reason, then you can take this as a sign of
divine infallibility. What is that ?
The logic goes as follows:
Another usual argument by absurdity ("I am wrong, therefore I am
right") goes through the reference to the supreme value of humility:
telling nonsense leads to be continuously humiliated by contrary
evidence, and humiliation is a virtue, therefore telling nonsense is
a sign of virtue and must be praised; while the rational person that
cared to perfectly discern the truth and avoid making any mistake is
displaying his ego and "want of being right", and thus is a horrible
- I claim that 2+2=5, or that @#$%^&.
- There is no rational explanation to 1.
- What has no rational explanation is a miracle, a mystery of
God beyond human intelligence.
- If anyone finds it foolish, well, this just confirms what God
revealed to us in 1
Corinthians 1: this is the expectable impression towards
- Thus 1. proves that the spirit of God revealed itself to me.
- Whoever disagrees, show that the spirit of God did not reveal
itself to him as he revealed itself to me.
- He thus does not know God and is not qualified to judge the
value of a divine revelation such as 1.
Indeed, I have the experience that every time Christians tried to
defend the plausibility and defensibility of their views, it turns
out to prove the exact opposite of what they think it proves.
Indeed, it is always so amazing: what the hell could succeed to
delude them enough to make them mistake this devastatingly blind and
stupid shit they are saying, for a defensible argument ? Or at
least, say, for a respectable reply (as they so often refuse to
enter arguments and debate, under the excuse that arguments and
debates are irrelevant and cannot properly express and defend their
view, as if their conviction was ever based on anything else than
In front of devastating blindness and stupidity, I am logically
forced to react and notice how stupid this is. But my reaction
usually reinforces their conviction and their refusal to take me
seriously. They mistake my reaction as an impulsive one (one based
on feeling and emotions, disregarding that they themselves call for
a faith based on feelings and emotion), ignoring that it is in fact
based on years of experience and very careful examination behind me,
where I already had so many opportunities to reliably check the
worthiness of what they are saying now.
And they say : please come back to the discussion when you have
calmed down. But the truth is that I am basically and naturally an
extremeley calm, careful and shy person; Christians have already so
deeply abused my natural willingness to trust, my shyness and my
patience by teaching me their nonsense which I devotedly listened to
and tried to believe and to follow for so many years, much more than
they can imagine. But too much nonsense is too much nonsense, and I
am not responsible for the devastating blindness and stupidity of
the replies they are making. If they want me to "calm down" and stop
these reactions of noticing how devastatingly blind and indefensible
their position is, it's up to them to stop getting on my nerves by
the pride of their foolishness, to come to reason: to stop defensing
the indefensible, to stop fucking up all possible chances of mutual
understanding by their unfair psychological pressure, their
unanswerable fallacies, their way of spoiling the debate by stupid
replies (like it takes half a second for a baby to splash and make
something dirty requiring hours of work to clean it up), their many
unfalsifiability tricks and their insulting judgements towards the
idiot sinner that has nothing to do with me but that their God
revealed to them I was. Otherwise they are expecting me to pretend
something (the respectability of their position) which I clearly
know to be false, which is not something I can humanly do.
Does this confirm 1 Corinthians 1, that divine wisdom seems foolish
to human reason ? Well, the truth is that, while Christians do admit
from experience the fact that their position often seems foolish to
non-believers, they have no clue themselves why it is so, as they
perceive their own position as quite reasonable, and, I would even
say, very dull, very boring, very standard, and very normal, so that
they cannot see what makes others disagree with them and perceive
the Christian doctrine as so foolish (they assume it should be some
sort of foolishness or aggressivity or human error, but they have no
clue of the effective explanation). Only some (informed or clever or
with some sorts of common sense...) non-Christians, are aware of a
number of aspects of what is wrong with Christianity, and how
foolish it is. Thus, it is the non-Christian understanding, that is
more revealing, goes beyond the Christian one, and encompasses more
The "God is sovereign" and "infinitely above human thoughts"
It is the argument that says: it does not matter how odd the
religious teachings may turn to seem, either in themselves or as
compared to experience, anyway God knows why things are so, he cares
for everything and we have no authority to contradict him, so we
must trust the teaching anyway.
It does not matter how much the experience contradicts the Christian
claim that God and the Biblical doctrine are holy and do anything
for perfection. It suffices to say that complains its falsity is
using his own human thinking abilities and expected God to do one's
human will and obey one's thoughts, while
God's wisdom and purposes are infinitely above all this.
The point is that, Christians have no clue, first of how serious,
wise and justified were the disappointed expectations of
non-Christians and former Christians: anyway it suffices to put
forward the claim that the really wise, divine standards on the
ultimate purposes, criteria of observations and expectations from
God, are infinitely harder than whatever was done. But, in fact,
while they put an infinite burden on the standard of wisdom
(infinitely above whatever was tried whatever it may have been) of
what they require their contradictors to have for daring to
criticize the Bible or what God did for them, they allow for
themselves very low standards of wisdom when it comes to see God's
goodness and praise Him for something.
In fact, as explained above (in the section "More evidence against
theism") ALL the millions of motives for praising God perpetually
put forward by Christian, as evidences of His intervention and His
infinite goodness and wisdom above human thought, have always been extremely selfish,
short-sighted, narrow-minded, contradictory, sometimes pointless
(such as winning a sport competition), often just sectarian (the
success to convert many people to "save their souls"), and even
sometimes completely irresponsible (such as putting more people on
Earth to worsen the devastating overpopulation) - and the world is
still going wrong in many ways despite these numerous interventions
(done for purposes far better than our own, probably), as if there
could be no way for an infinitely wise God above human thoughts, to
do the good more efficiently - while science could.
The faith syllogism
We can describe faith by the following syllogism:
Whatever God says is true
God says X
Therefore X is true
Now consider another syllogism:
Any application of a syllogism is a
Faith is the application of a syllogism
Therefore faith is a rational act
Interestingly, Christians are usually fond of applying the former
syllogism, but not the latter. Why ? Maybe because faith would be an
irrational syllogism ?
Indeed, there seems to be a consensus among both believers and
non-believers, that faith is not a rational act. There must be some
reason why. If it is not fully rational to accept the conclusion "X
is true" of this syllogism, it should be because at least one of
both premises is not sure. But which one ?
For disbelievers, the situation is clear: usually, they reject the
conclusion by disagreeing with the premise "God says X". For
example, Christians disagree with a claim in the Koran by
considering it to not be God's word; and atheists and most other
non-Christians disbelieve the Bible by considering it to be of
fallible human origin, not from God.
However, Christians have another viewpoint on faith and doubt. For
them, disbelief is evil because it is an act of distrust against
God; and each of the internal struggles they may face, is focused on
the heroism of trusting God against all evidence. But in order for
the trust to someone to be at stakes when dealing with some
question, it must be a priori well-established that this person is
indeed the author of the considered claim. All the stakes of the
exercise of faith, in Christian's eyes, is about trusting God. They
can't figure out any other possible way of disagreeing with the
Bible, than by calling God a liar, which seems not morally
But in this way, they just have the wrong analysis of the opposite
view. Indeed, disbelievers don't distrust God at all, they just
consider the Bible to not be God's word - and there should be
nothing wrong in doing so, in lack of any evidence why the Bible
should be considered as God's word. This way, disbelief in any
sacred book, is never any real distrust against God.
Otherwise, anyone can write any book and claim this is God's word,
and anyone who disagrees should be condemned as an ennemy of God, no
matter the evidence, because God's view is above all human view so
that no human can be qualified to argue against God's view.
This is a particular instance of a more general type of fallacy that
consists in drawing the attention on the wrong parts of a reasoning:
when a conclusion depends on several premises and deductions, there
may be several ways in which it might be wrong, depending on which
premise or deduction is at fault. A misleading feeling of
reliability can be produced by focusing on some parts of the
reasoning, giving the impression that these parts are right and the
conclusion must thus be accepted, while in fact the biggest errors
are in other overlooked parts of the reasoning, so that the
conclusion is false while the points of focus would be in themselves
Moreover (as I once read in some web site I forgot), we might even
argue against the reliability of the premise "whatever God says is
true". Indeed, if God's ways are not our ways, who are we, mere
humans, to require God to only say the truth ? If God would consider
it right to lie to us, after all, He is sovereign and more qualified
than us to judge if it's right to do so. Our request that He should
only tell us the truth, is a mere human desire, no more justified
than so many other human requests that were as or more justified,
but for which, whenever they don't happened to be satisfied, are
automatically accused by the Christian propaganda to have been mere
"impure human wishes" and God's ways are above our ways and cannot
be questioned based on human wishes (no matter the absence of any
clue how the dissatisfaction of the request might be of any good).
Moreover, ifever some Christian would like to come and pretend that
"of course" saying the truth is a moral necessity and that a
benevolent and competent God must necessarily always tell us the
truth, I'd like to ask: are you serious ? Maybe you are, but I'd be
quite interested to see some more serious care for the truth in this
Indeed, while the care for the truth officially seems agreed on in
words by a large majority, the unofficial reality practiced by the
same majority is often quite different. Look here
and then come back and try to pretend again that "of course" you
consider it an absolute moral duty to regularly say the truth (with
no more that obvious and dramatic cases of exceptions). Okay, maybe
you will. But then you'll have a lot of work ahead until you
convince the rest of Christians about it.
of American adults tell public opinion pollsters that they
attend religious services weekly. However, when nose counters
actually try to verify this number, they find that about half of
Americans lie about church attendance. Only about 20% actually
go. Canadian statistics are similar: about 20% say they go; 10%
17% of American adults say that they tithe -- i.e. they give 10 to 13% of their
income to their church. Only 3% actually do.
Problem: if it is right for God to tell us the dirty truth of all
the bad things He thinks of us (that we are horrible sinners
deserving hell..) even unsupported by any evidence that we would be
as bad as that, why is it always considered so wrong from our part
to tell the dirty truth about many evils that can be found in the
ways of this "God" so described, when this can be supported by
overwhelming evidence ?
Not to mention the underlying anthropocentric hubris in the
expectation that the divine truth would be expressible in human
language, and easily enough understandable and acceptable by large
All this, of course, under the assumption that there would exist a
decently wise God able to send us a message, which we refuted
The incompleteness theorem
Another way how Christians and other spiritual people can be experts
at deceiving themselves, is by putting forward this "argument" from
modern science: Gödel's incompleteness theorem, which would be
telling that "reason has limits" (I once read this, though the
expression must have been slightly different as I can't find the
page back this way).
As this "argument" is claimed and believed by many people, I'll give
here a detailed reply (based on my familiarity with the foundations
of maths), completing what I already explained about this in Part II
(section "Examples of false reasonings").
In the eyes of many, a claim such as "The incompleteness theorem
says that reason has limits" may sound like a reasonable claim and a
well-established fact. However, it is definitely not so in the eyes
of anyone really familiar with the foundations of mathematics.
First, because the phrase "reason has limits" does not have any a
priori well-defined meaning. Second, because whatever interpretation
of this phrase is NOT what the incompleteness theorem says.
All it says, is that in any fixed formal system for mathematics,
there is a claim that says "this claim is unprovable" (in the same
system), and this claim is finally proven equivalent to "this formal
system is consistent" (has no contradiction), making its consistence
equivalent to the unprovability of this consistence inside the same
theory. So, working inside some system somehow assumes that it is
consistent (otherwise we would be doing nonsense) but this
assumption cannot be included as an explicit "known" claim inside
the system; if we do, we are switching to another system. But indeed
this switch to the next system is what is naturally operated by
reason during this study of the incompleteness theorem itself.
Thus, the "formally undecidable" claim that the incompleteness
theorem considered, is being decided by reason (provided that we
stay among formal systems which are rationally justifiable as a
correct representation of some mathematical world with the true set
of natural numbers). Thus the example provided, is indeed an example
undecided by the formal system but it is not an example of what
reason could not decide.
Admittedly, this systematic existence of examples of truths not
formally provable, does strongly suggest that there should also
exist other examples of mathematical claims that reason cannot
decide by any means (though Gödel himself thought otherwise). But
these are not the same examples, so that any claim that "the
incompleteness theorem says" some truths are not accessible by
reason, is technically false.
Moreover, the existence of mathematical claims that reason cannot
decide, does not mean that "reason has limits" in the sense that
religious nuts usually make use of this phrase. This way they mean
that reason leads nowhere and we should stop using it and instead
follow irrational ways to decide the truth on issues where we did
not even try to use reason yet.
Such an all too common anti-rationalist position is definitely not
supported, either by the incompleteness theorem, nor by the
admission of the existence of rationally undecidable mathematical
Instead, the situation in mathematics is that an infinite (but a
priori unknown) list of rationally decidable claims, coexists with
the infinite list of other claims (rationally undecidable). The
undecidable claims do not prevent us from resolving more and more
decidable ones as we keep working. Thus, in fact and as the
experience of scientific discoveries has proven in many ways, reason
can proceed its search for truth and keep greatly succeeding at it
further and further without limits, as well in mathematics as in
Finally, this "argument" against reason, has nothing to really do
with mathematics, but is a mere excuse fully produced by the
ignorance or stupidity of "spiritual people" to falsely "justify"
their ignorance and stupidity, their decision to proudly ignore and
despise the knowledge of more intelligent people that may have
already provided closed evidence against their articles of faith.
While, what is the incompleteness theorem, in fact ? It is a very
fascinating work of though, that can be very interesting for people
to exerciser their thinking abilities, make wonderful discoveries
with it and play with paradoxes. What do religious people usually
make of it ? They keep ignoring it, interpret it as something very
dull and normal, an apology of mental laziness, an excuse to stop
exercising one's thought. The exact opposite of what it really is.
Now, is there a more correct way to use the incompleteness theorem
in the religious debate ?
Yes, there is.
A reformulation of the theorem is : "If a formal system claims to be
itself consistent, then it is inconsistent".
But we do face a formal system that claims to be itself consistent.
Even if it may not be explicit in the Biblical axioms, we can find
many Christians who, merely based on them, come to have a strong
faith they forcefully put forward, that from their biblical
viewpoint, it is absolutely sure that the Biblical doctrine is
compatible with reason, with no contradiction, and that nobody can
ever refute it.
So, the incompleteness theorem says, since the biblical doctrine
leads to the claim that it is itself consistent, this leads to the
consequence that it is inconsistent.
Okay, while less incorrect than the previous case, this new use of
the incompleteness is still not really correct, because... the
Biblical doctrine is not exactly a formal system with which the
proof of the incompleteness can proceed.
However, we are not far from it, as (experience showed me that) this
doctrine is much more formal (more automated and less imaginative)
than the proper use of reason anyway (despite its claim to the
(I forgot the reference of an argument in some web site, that
Christianity behaves as a moving target when in front of scientists,
apologists define their religion by rational arguments for the
existence of some pointless abstract God as first cause in order to
avoid criticism; then in their community they define it by much
about Islam - but the situation with Christianity is usually
"The Muslim experts are very good
in debating by giving us the moving targets to hit and hence
confusing the debaters. By not sticking to the point and by
constantly shifting the poles and the surface beneath the
challenger’s feet and on top of that adding the covertly or
overtly aggressive behaviors, they do not reason with the
challenger but leaves him confused, dumb folded and repelled. It
is a psychological theory of covert aggressive behavior – the
behavior demonstrated by the non-reasoning and fixed thinking
There is no consistency in the Christian viewpoint. While claiming
to be the fixed and absolute truth, the effective contents of this
truth is continuously redefined (while staying blind to the fact
that it is redefined) so as to adapt to the piece of evidence and
the debater in front of them.
In front of the ones (during sermons and when preaching to naive
people), religious people are absolutists: they claim they have the
absolute unshakable truth that nobody can refute.
But as soon a someone dares to come with a serious, strong opposite
conviction and evidence against their views, they suddenly become
absolute relativists, crying for tolerance towards the diversity of
personal views and feelings, blindly but strongly denying any
possible ability for any human (except themselves) to have any
reliable evidence about any religious issue whatsoever.
Regularly I received requests of debates from Christians who, at the
beginning of the discussion, claimed to have the indefectible light
of God with them infinitely above my views, and the absolutely
strongest evidence against my views; and at the end of the
discussion, picture themselves as the kings of humility, with the
moral superiority of admitting their lack of any clue of what might
be the right replies to my arguments (where their conception of the
"right reply" has somehow finally more to do with how powerfully it
can delude me into being personally impressed or touched by God's
grace, than with whether it would have anything to do with the
truth); instead, they put forward their unshakable faith in the
existence of better Christian apologists, either with a deeper
guidance from God's spirit in managing conversations and making
favorable impressions, or stronger rational abilities, that should
be able to refute whatever arguments I might have - or just that I
must not being serious by not having read those apologetic books, no
matter whether the reference is specified or not. But this is usual.
It is the unquestionable dogma of religious people that they have
the exclusivity of access to the Absolute Truth, and that the rest
of the world outside their own faith, is ultimately the world of
absolute relativism made up of vain arbitrary opinions with no
legitimate right to claim to discover any reliable truth whenever it
contradicts dogmas. Eventually relying on the postmodernist gross
misinterpretation of Popper's scientificity criterion as if it was
saying that there is no reliable truth in science (while on the
contrary it explains why and how science is the one way to
trustworthy, reliable truths : that it is because science
methodically adapts its claims to reality rather that holds them
get angry when believers say at the beginning of an argument
that their belief is based on reason and evidence, and at the
end of the argument say things like, "It just seems that way to
me," or, "I feel it in my heart"... as if that were a clincher.
I mean, couldn't they have said that at the beginning of the
argument, and not wasted my fucking time? My time is valuable
and increasingly limited, and I have better things to do with it
than debating with people who pretend to care about evidence and
reason but ultimately don't."
Another example is the usual way in which Christians pretend to have
evidences of the historical reality of Jesus, put that claim in the
titles of books and articles, but when we read the contents we see
that they have no evidence whatsoever, but they are merely reviewing
their favorite historical details, those which are pleasant for them
because they do not show any obvious contradiction (in their eyes)
between Jesus'life and historical data. But in fact this does not
prove anything, and ignores contrary evidence that can be obtained
by other considerations. Anyway there is no surprise of some
appearance of consistency with history at first sight, because of
course, the Gospels were precisely designed for this.
Other aspects of continuous redefinitions of Christianity's absolute
truths : regular announcements of the end of the world; witch
hunting, crusades and censorship finally no more part of
Christianity; promises of God's blessings continuously turned into
preaches of acceptance of the burden we are in as "God is testing
our faith"; the division of Christianity into countless variations
each claiming to be the one true version and dismissing any evidence
against Christianity as reaching the wrong target (without any
serious consideration of how different it is); we previously
mentioned about geocentrism and creationism.
Despite refutations on these points as well as so many absurd claims
on individual cases (that heretics or deconverts rejected God or are
possessed by daemons and should be burnt...), Christians keep
holding the Bible and their Bible-based faith as the only possible
source of truth on other issues.
Distorting and playing with facts
Some Christians today would dismiss the above idea that the Jesus
story with all its miracles could be mere invention (no matter that
it is just a little extrapolation from a view of a very
knowledgeable Christian, mentioned above), as crazy and insulting
towards the honesty of the first Christians. However, what's the
problem to suspect the first Christians of having done this way
essentially the same thing that some of today's Christians are very
proud of doing in the name of the spiritual highs of symbolism ?
Indeed, in a forum discussion (in French) about my remarks on the
physical plausibility of some given stories of miracles, I observed
Christians and other very spiritual people dismiss this question as
unspiritual, insisting that God can't be found by this sort of
physical analysis, and that to find meaning in life we should rather
take great care to feed our relationship with for God by focusing on
the highly symbolic value of stories and what Jesus meant beyond
Then I replied the following:
The object of my analysis was not to
discuss whether the tales of (some famous tale writer) may have
some moral or educative value, and even less whether today's
scientific knowledge can add or subtract anything to this value
The questions was to seek hints about a question, not about
feelings on the sense of life, poetry and morality, but on a
matter of lowly factual, material truth: is the story of Jesus
anything more than a nice fairy tale to make us dream, we simple
humans, but something really of the kind that it claims to be: the
witness of a real fact, both historical and theological, a real
incarnation on Earth of a divine entity that came to fulfill a
unique, crucial and solemn mission in the universe, including:
exclusive teachings revealed by the true God, the Creator of the
Universe (just that!!! the whole Universe with its billions light
years wide, its billions years old and who knows how long a
future), and a redeemer sacrifice that would change forever the
eternal fate of billions of souls !!!
What are we trying to discuss, then ? Dreams or reality ??
When reading some, it looks like they explicitly put the values of
dream above all care for reality. That they call us to seek God in
dreams, considering He can be found there and only there. They
seem to consider that in a story of an incarnated God, it no more
matters whether this incarnation is factual or invented, as it
would seem, according to them, that we can as well (and even
better) "meet God" by telling ourselves a nice tale that tells
about a completely imaginary incarnated God, rather than to seek
whether such an adventure could really, factually happen. In such
conditions, the move of believing in the reality of such a story
by caring to forget the possibly totally virtual character of its
origins, is perceived as a spiritually positive value that helps
people to meet God. By the force of caring for spiritual and
symbolic values as much more essential than lowly factual
concerns, claims on the latter end up to be completely blurred and
shifting, until finally no more reliable trace remains of any
possible initial facts.
The aim of my study is not to seek for which can be the most
melodious poem in my ears with a better power to "bring me closer
to God". My goal is to seek the truth, and even if somehow ideally
we might expect that "God is truth" (ifever He could be reached
somehow), I consider that practices of factual distortions, even
arguably useful as a help to "meet God", cannot be a sane basis
for discerning any divine truth.
All this, because life is not a dream but a reality, and, with the
misfortune of being more serious, rigorous and deeply seeking than
the average people in my quest for God and truth, I dare to have
the horribly elitist will to care whether the information that
comes to me (and to other serious people like me) about a claimed
cosmic and solemn event where the Creator of the Universe would
have come, acted and given us some revelations, information that
claims to tell about a divine, absolute, revealed truth infinitely
above human thoughts and errors... really is more reliable than
the mere fruit of a collective fancy of a stupid humanity, that
can only be moved by overly childish, naive and inconsistent
fancies that would fit them and have the best power to delude them
into the feeling of being "with God".
But, ifever the gospel writers had just invented a story of Jesus
with all its miracles to better share what they saw as the most
highly spiritual message, considering how in the past, the idea of
a factual reality of this story has heavily served the
geopolitical victory of Christianism that smashed on its way any
other religion or culture by force of massacres of heretics, this
is a serious phenomenon that it would be irresponsible to take
lightly: a phenomenon that powerfully managed to mislead us about
what is the absolute Truth of God and His wisdom infinitely above
our human thoughts.
So, I don't care how spiritual is my study. My goal was to come
back to the facts and which hypothesis can have been closest to
the lowly factual reality. Could the Jesus miracles be real.
"I don't force you to believe"
Whenever they are facing strong contradiction, Christian preachers
put forward the claim that they are anyway not intending to "force"
anyone to believe, as if such an attitude gave them some moral
superiority over anybody else.
Their view in this point can be described by the equations:
Rational evidence = force = brutality
No evidence = no force = kindness
(respect of freedom) = moral superiority (humility)
A similar fallacy (or another aspect of the same one), is the claim
that "Everyone is free to join my religion" because "God loves all
people, without exclusion". No force inwards, no force outwards.
This pictures any movement of conversion or deconversion as a matter
of choice, of taste. But if all opinions are a matter of choice and
taste, then there is no such a thing as a reliable truth or
evidence, or is there ?
At first sight, the above identifications might seem to go through.
However, if we consider things more closely, it turns out that
things are rather the other way round.
Indeed, who on Earth really desires (needs) to be mistaken ?
Seriously, if you go and make a poll on the question: "On essential
issues such as what is there after death, is there a true religion
and which one, and what actions are right or wrong, would you prefer
to know the truth or to be mistaken ?", people would answer that
they prefer to know the truth, wouldn't they ? Isn't it normal to
complete the concept of freedom into a concept of "genuine freedom"
defined as "informed freedom" ? If the freedom of choosing what to
buy, normally requires the correct information on what the
merchandise is worth, how could a "freedom of belief" properly mean
anything without the correct information on whether the belief is
true or false ?
Thus, ifever there can be a reliable way to know the truth, which
option is more respectful of people's freedom: to let them know
about it, or to hide it from them ? Why do people usually assume
that the respect of people's freedom and needs consists in letting
whatever religious doctrine spread and recruit followers without
contradiction ? Yeah, still an instance of the "Our Opinion on an
Issue Is Based on How It's Worded" trouble mentioned above.
But, whenever a reliable evidence could be found of what is the
truth on some issue, the most liberal attitude should be to publish
this evidence so as to give people the opportunity to know the
truth, and free them from the risk of being mistaken (ifever they
are interested in evidences), shouldn't it ?
Well, such would be my opinion in theory. However, I must admit when
I see some online debates, I feel sometimes amazed to see how some
people behave all as if they did want to stay mistaken. It need not
have anything to do with religion, for example in a discussion about
modern physics, some made claims which they qualify as a very
expression of a "critical mind" and high "epistemology", but that
are a mere position of misunderstanding. But they would keep to
their foolish position, no matter the ridicule and refutations they
are facing, which they will reject as some sort of "dogmatism"
(having no problem to call "dogmatic" or mock in other ways, the
statement of some consensual meaning or character of the theories of
modern physics, even outside the measurement problem in quantum
physics, just because it does not fit their current
Now, there is a misunderstanding about the use of the scarecrow word
"force". If there is a reliable evidence for something, we might say
people are forced to agree. However, is that really "force" ? No,
However, there is a subtle difference that needs to be made between
genuine and flawed arguments, between logic and mental manipulation.
Sometimes, it may happen that an argument seems reliable while its
conclusion is false, and it can be very hard to guess where the
error might be. Indeed it's a problem. But then it should be
possible for some more clever person, or who has another experience,
to point out where the error is. The explanation may take work to
explain and understand, but ultimately, if only enough work and
intelligence is dedicated, it should be possible to find out who is
right, or maybe that there is no decisive evidence yet.
So this can be a difficult problem, however it would hardly make any
sense to just reduce the opposition as an opposition between "force"
and "openness". It is much more subtle than this. Ultimately, the consequences are that the truth
probably freeds people while error probably harms them, but you
can't properly discern the right way that leads to the right
destination, by a caricatural description of how "forceful" or
"open" each side of a debate may feel.
Indeed, the problem of the distinction between proper logic and
flawed arguments, has its own laws that hardly have anything to do
with how "forceful" or "open" a position may feel, especially in the
eyes of those who don't yet have a lot of knowledge and experience
of how proper logic works, what the risks of mistakes can look like
and how they can be avoided.
Indeed, whenever someone discovered some very clear and reliable
evidences for something, then he reaches certainty on the issue, so
that his behavior may be seen as "forceful" and "dogmatic" by other
people who have no clue yet about these evidences. Is "2+2=4" a
dogma ? In the eyes of those who cannot count, it may sound so.
Then, is the question of openness in debates. In order for an open
meaningful debate to possibly happen, precise arguments must be
provided by each side. Without any candidate of reliable evidence on
either side, what the hell could the debate be about ? "I don't know
anything but I want to talk about it and explain how good it is to
think like me and why you need to do so"?
If no argument can be made clear and reliable, how the hell could
any convergence happen on whether or not some pseudo-argument is
valid ? Wouldn't each person's view remain a matter of taste on
whether they like to see it so ? Wouldn't the debate be doomed to
remain vain and sterile ? Why the f**k would any reasonable person
waste one's time in such ways ?
Well, I understand that it on some issues, is not always possible to
find absolute evidence (for example, for the consistency of ZF set
theory there is "good philosophical evidence" that is not formal
proof). However, it is a duty to try to develop the most reliable
evidence we can, in order to make debates meaningful.
Finally, the true identifications are:
|= chance of meaningful
debate, mutual understanding and reliable discovery of the
= intellectual honesty = source of freedom
||= impossibilty of meaningful
= sticking conversation to waste of time and personal
attacks (for lack of anything else to say)
= doom to stay in illusion and error
Then, apart from the fact that the slogan of "letting people free to
believe what they like" is a stupid nonsense, what collateral
damages can it produce ?
- It provides an arbitrary feeling of moral superiority over
"others" behaviors, "those who would want to force their belief
upon you", so that "hey listen to me I'm better than those who
would behave that way", as if there ever existed anybody that
tried to use "force" to try converting people
- In front of someone who claims to know contrary evidence, this
slogan is used to kill the debate and prevent it from happening:
if all belief is a matter of taste, personality and arbitrary
choice, and is not the effect of any necessity of facts and
reliable evidence, why should we waste any time arguing about
evidence ? There is nothing to understand about why others think
differently: it's just their arbitrary choice. In these
conditions, there is no room for trying to really understand
each other anymore (what could happen, what piece of evidence,
could lead someone to deconvert or not convert). So, believers
of false doctrines with flawed or absent arguments, can use this
slogan to cowardly flee any debate with serious contradictors,
but meanwhile they would keep looking for naive people that may
listen to their doctrine for lack of any clue of what's wrong
with it; they may claim then that this doctrine is God's
ultimate and undeniable truth, no matter that there may be
indeed people who did find reliable evidence that this doctrine
is false. But, someone who keeps teaching something to whoever
may listen while systematically keeping a blind eye on contrary
evidence that others may have, is just a damn liar, or is he ?
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