Yet another challenge for Atheists

I can’t say I’m too optimistic with this challenge.  A good many Atheists will make the unsubstantiated claim that Christianity has the same (in quantity and quality) evidence — or lack of evidence — as any other religion.  I would like that claim substantiated here in the comments below.

What I’d like to see is comparisons to the numbers of ancient holy writs i.e., dates written, proximities.  Comparisons of the authors of the holy writs i.e., when they reported the claims relative to the events, etc.

The more caricatured the responses only serve to show the dearth of actual knowledge of the religions you criticize so heavily.

Update: Just for clarification,  I’m asking for skeptics to show what they know about religion’s history. What do particular religions offer as to why you should believe they are true? For example, what proofs does Islam offer as to why it’s true? What proofs does Hinduism offer for why it’s true? What proofs does Christianity offer for why it’s true? Christian apologists, Muslim apologists, Jewish apologists, Hindu apologists, et. al. will all offer differing arguments as to why their respective religions are true.  What are those arguments, basically?

I’m not asking if what the religions say convinces you, or if what they say is true.  Put simply, do you know what it is they say?

Comments

  1. Christian says:

    You’re misunderstanding the claim that “Christianity has no more evidence for it than other religions.” The Bible is one of the most well attested ancient documents in history, there is no doubt. That doesn’t make it true, or evidence of the claims within. The works of Shakespeare have also been wonderfully preserved. Does that mean they are true? Even if it could be shown that the original texts of the Bible had been perfectly transmitted, that wouldn’t be evidence for the claims of the Bible. When comparing the Bible to the Qur’an, for example, there is no more evidence that the Bible is true than the Qur’an. Both make outlandish claims that are factually wrong, and both fail in every attempt to demonstrate or verify these claims. It’s arguably true that the magical claims of the bible have been transmitted more accurately than the magical claims of the Qur’an. So what? Both are equally farfetched and unverifiable. You can’t demonstrate your claims, and the Muslim can’t demonstrate his. That’s why there is no more evidence for Christianity than Islam, and the same is true for every other supernatural or religious claim.

    • Thanks, Christian for this. I’m aware of the distinction. But Christian apologists would present a different case for why Christianity is true than would Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Jewish, et.al. apologists.

      So what would be the apologists for the major religions offer as to why their religion is true? They don’t all appeal to textual purity.

  2. So, your challenge is for skeptics and atheists to invest the time to match the scriptural knowledge of apologists in every major world religion? I’ll decline the challenge. As an atheist, I don’t believe the burden of proof has been met to verify any theistic position, but I will judge each claim on its merits. A claim must be made however.

    The fact that umpteen different apologists for different religions could come together (probably from different areas on Earth, and probably having the same religion as their parents) and present intricate, (and what they believe to be) nuanced arguments for their world views should tell you something about the origin of these beliefs.

    All these claims are essentially the same and in many cases are plagiarisms of the others.

    This challenge is just a rehash of PZ’s Courtier’s Reply.

    It’s just not that complicated and I’m fully justified in holding my opinion in Christianity (and the rest) without needing the theological knowledge of WLC.

    • I hope, Stewart, that you dont think I’m asking THAT much. I would like to know if youre familiar with the basic arguments even a lay apologist give.

      Too often I run into atheists who haven’t a clue why adherents of religions are such outside their parents being members of the faith.

      This exercise would demonstrate that the atheist knows something about the religions he criticizes beyond the very basic common knowledge of any Jow blow off the street. This post is more or less aimed at the atheist who claims to jave done all kinds of investigating (more than what some atheist blog caricatures anyway).

  3. I’ll still have to decline. To maintain a non-belief, you need not be an expert in that which your belief lacks, you just need the ability to assess the evidence of those whom assert the belief.

    On a side note, the evidence suggests my name is ‘Stuart’, and yet you have interpreted the evidence differently. ;o)

  4. That depends what bits of the Bible you think are literal and what bits a metaphorical, etc. I only ask because it’s a bit different for everyone. Do you believe god created Adam and Eve, and that evolution doesn’t apply to humans?

    • I think humans are a special creation. Its not that evolution doesnt apply to just humans, I dont think it is capable of creating the biodiversity we see. I dont think it can bring us from single celled organisms to what we have. But clearly modification within genetic parameters is observable. Different races in humans and different breeds within others.

      Whether something is metaphorical, allegorical, apocalyptic, history, and narrative is determined by the passage itself. I dont think its responsible to say for example, ‘whenever the bible talks of xyz, its speaking metaphorically’. Just like reading anything.

  5. Then what are my chances of explaining what I assessed or dismissed unless you give me your particular annotated view of the Bible? I can only assess and dismiss the facts.

    However, I can certainly dismiss your worldview if a necessary part of it is to hold that the biodiversity on Earth is not caused by evolution by natural selection. The evidence is utterly overwhelming. Speciation has even been observed in the lab to add the cherry to the top of the Empire State size cake of evidence. Even the Pope (and WLC) has given this one up.

    • I dont think you need my take on anything to say “many christians will point to xyz, and to them this verifies their system is true”. Muslims say muhammad claims to have received revelation from the angel Gabriel and… Hindus believe that….

      I dont think the evidence is that overwhelming. I would say that fantastic extrapolations have been made from skeletal structures which look similar.

  6. If that is your summation of the evidence for evolution, I’d have to say that you haven’t assessed all the evidence yet. Darwin made predictions which have been proved correct through ever increasing complex technologies. Some religious institutions have given it up as not credible to refute. It is taught as fact in all universities with a biology department.

  7. And the fact that it is taught as fact by every biology department in every university in the world? Lots of mistaken academics?

    • Stuart, I think we can agree that it is the only thing permitted. Its jot that it happens to ne the only thing taught. Academics who challenge the idea are run out of the university system, denied tenure, and publicly mocked as young earthers whether they are or not. Theres no dissent permitted.

  8. I don’t agree. Academics who challenge the theory must do so on the basis of an alternative theory or, at least, contrary evidence to be put forward and peer reviewed. They do not, because they can’t, because there isn’t any such evidence. They are denied tenure, rightly, because they have nothing to teach which stands up to the rigour of scientific review and is actually useful to real world future biologists.

    John, we obviously won’t agree on this topic. It’s your board, the last word is yours.

  9. Dechha1981 says:

    Let me get this straight; you deny the existence of Muslim Creation Scientists and you’re too lazy to google it your damn self.

    Interestingly, the only difference between Muslim and Christian creation scientists is their strawmen. Not their own theories, not their methodology, not their logic, not their evidence, their strawmen.

    That and their understanding of Western history. According to the Muslim propaganda documentary “The Collapse of Atheism”, all the hippies died out. Even the thickest “how come there’s still monkeys” Christian knows damn well that an entire generation lived long enough to become grandparents.

    • Did you not read the whole post? It’s not that I don’t know the difference. I want to know if you do. More interestingly is there is a significant difference between religions ideas of origins. Just because they’re all supernatural doesn’t mean they’re the same.

  10. Dechha1981 says:

    So… You’re wondering if other religions, including Islam which is also an Abrahamic religion and even mentions Jesus, uses as much “evidence” as you do.
    Yes. Most of it is more or less the same, except slightly more mean spirited and often displays a baffling ignorance of Western culture.
    The Muslim propaganda documentary “the collapse of Atheism” literally holds us responsible for the Hippies AND the Nazis, and claimed that all the hippies died out.

    And do you know what the main difference between Christian and Muslim creation science is? It’s not their theories, it’s not their experiments, and it’s certainly not their methodology. No, the main difference is they have COMPLETELY different strawman of real science. For example, you guys have that stupid “6 concepts of Evolution” bullshit and “microevolution” hypocrisy. (Either DNA changes or it doesn’t. Pick one!) They, on the other hand, deny that we accept the Big Bang at all, and at least one guy argued against DNA altogether (I don’t think that’s what he meant too argue for but his argument against evolution was that once fibre leaves the cell the DNA has no control over it, therefore evolution shouldn’t work, so… Yeah, he was arguing against heredity altogether.

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