The Christian Test
Welcome to The Christian Test.
The magical "theory" of creation
Six thousand years ago, or billions of years ago (they can never agree on that), a magical being appeared out of nothing and made that nothing into the planets and stars. This magical being popped all the animal species we know out of nothing. Then it made human beings out of mud.
Of course this "theory" is an insult to your intellect, because you would never accept "magical beings" popping things from nothing as an explanation. Things come about because of cause and effect- natural law. We know this because we create things, like Coca-Cola cans, by using what we know about the nature of materials. To believe that everything came about by chance, accident, or some magical being, is to move into fairy tales.
The coconut- the Christian's nightmare
Note that the coconut:
- Is not shaped for the human hand.
- Has a rough, harsh texture.
- Has no outward indicator of inward content.
- Has no easy way to remove its shell: you must exert a lot of force.
- Is not shaped for the human mouth- rather the contrary, its insides curve away from it.
The coconut does not manifest any signs of design. While it may be delicious, that white part is not designed for food. It is called "endosperm", which means that it serves as nutrition for new coconut plants.
Bananas are sometimes used as examples of well-designed fruits. Actually, that is half-correct. The banana was designed- by humans. We are the ones that made bananas the delicious fruits they are today. Wild bananas are stubby little things full of seeds (see image to the right).
The person who thinks the coconut was designed perfectly for human use is:
___ A. Intelligent
___ B. A fool
___ C. Has an ulterior motive for denying the obvious
Did you know that the human eye uses six muscles that weight more than one pound, just to move around? We also have an "inverted retina", because its nerves and blood vessels pass in front of it instead of behind. This does not cause major problems, but only makes sense if our eye evolves from prior smaller ancestors (chordates), for which accuracy in vision was not as important. Other species, like squids and octopi, have retinas wired "right-side up". If an engineer designed a human eye like we have, he would be laughed out of class.
The probability that a magical being created every single species on Earth with all these genetic defects, in a pattern consistent with the fossil record, is too absurd to contemplate. The only possible cause of life is a process of evolution. Even Christians admit that "nothing can come from nothing" and that their belief is just a fairy tale:
"I would rather believe in fairy tales than in [evolution]... God cannot be explained away by such naive thoughts."
--Sir Ernst B. Chain, Nobel Laureate and Christian
Christians would rather believe in fairy tales than admit the obvious truth! Who is the naive one? The most prominent theologian alive, William Lane Craig, readily admits that it is the Resurrection that blinds Christians to the absurdity of their religion:
"[If] Jesus did not rise - then Christianity is a fairy tale in which no rational person should believe."
(from Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan)
"On both counts, therefore, as a religion of events and as a religion of dogma, Christianity is fantasy, the work of the imagination."
--John Courtney Murray, Jesuit theologian
"Without the return of Jesus, Christianity is a fairy tale without a happy ending, an equation with no solution, a philosophy rooted firmly in fantasy."
(Adventist Today, Jan/Feb 2001, "The Heart of True Adventism")
Do you really want your whole outlook in life to gamble on a single historical fact which finds zero support outside of the Bible? You would be a fool if you took a single book at its word on such an important issue.
"Ignorance, no matter how sanctified with pious words, how buttressed by scripture quotations, is finally still ignorance."
-- John Shelby Sprong, Anglican Reverend
Fact is, even if you are a Christian, you don't need to stay ignorant:
"I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use."
A. Do you know of any building that popped from nothing?
B. Do you know of any painting that popped from nothing?
C. Do you know of any car that popped from nothing?
If you answered "YES" for any of the above, give details:
Consider all the "bad design" in the world. Were tornadoes designed? Were viruses designed? Were baby deformities designed? Were droughts designed? If they were designed, then they were designed by a monster. Or are they simply the product of cause and effect?
A. From the atom to the universe, is there order?
B. Did it happen by accident?
C. Were tornadoes, viruses, deformities and droughts designed by a monster?
D. Or, must there be simple cause and effect?
E. What is the probability of all the complexity in the universe popping out of nothing exactly like it is today? ______________________
If you answered "YES" to B or C above, give details:
The declaration "The Christian God exists" implies that all other gods do not exist. That is an absolute statement.
A. Do you believe in Vishnu?
B. Do you believe in Zeus?
C. Do you believe in Mithra?
D. Have you ever examined the doctrines of these gods?
If not, how can you make such a decision?
If I tell you that, for example, I refuse to eat meat because it makes animals suffer, and then you see me eating a hot dog, you would be justified to call me a hypocrite.
The same thing is true for Christians. To say that God exists is to be an atheist towards all other gods. So it is an inconsistent and hypocrite position. You claim faith in one god but not in the others, even though they all require faith. You should either believe in all gods or in none of them.
A. How many people does it take to build a tall building?
B. When an object is bigger, does it usually take more or less people to build it?
C. Have you ever seen something non-material pop anything out of thin air?
Look at the circle. It represents all the sects of Christianity. According to Religioustolerence.org, there are more than 1200 in the United States alone, and more than 30000 in the world- and they all disagree. Who's right? Are you? Even if you're "just a Christian", most people disagree with you on something important. At best you can only be in agreement with the Christians in the white portion. Are all the others wrong? Why? They use the same book that you do.
If you are reasonable, you will have to say, "I don't really know if the god I believe in exists, and I don't really know if I have the right kind of Christianity." In other words, you don't know if God exists, and you are what is commonly known as an "agnostic." You are like a man who looks at a building and doesn't know whether it was popped from nothing by a magical being, or built by humans.
The man who sees a building and believes that it was popped from nothing by a magical being is:
___ A. Intelligent
___ B. A fool
___ C. Has an ulterior motive for denying the obvious
Perhaps you have questions that hold you back from deconverting. All your questions about morality, the universe, truth, hope, can be adequately answered.
Know that you already trust in natural law, not faith, for everything you do. Do you have a television? If your television stopped working, you wouldn't simply assume that it's working and that they're broadcasting a black screen. You would change the channel or try to fix it. A person with faith believes even when evidence to the contrary is presented. That's unreasonable.
You accept that the television works by invisible signals, which transmit through the air because of the laws of physics. You can see their effects when you turn on your television. You know that we need big transmitters for these signals to reach you, and that your television needs a receiver for you to see what they mean. It's not magic.
Reality is like that. You can't just expect everything to fall in your lap. You need a receiver (your reasoning) to decode the signals (facts of reality). So approach reality the same way you approached your first television set. Turn it on and find something in it that you enjoy. Just leaving it off and pretending that you're getting something from the signals doesn't really do anything. Turn your brain on. If you like it, then keep doing it. If you don't, then find your own way in life.
Or do you have an ulterior motive? Could it be that you hang on to God because you don't want to be responsible for your own actions? Many people stay Christian simply because it gives them a way to quiet their guilt. All they have to do is believe in Jesus and they are "saved"- even mass murderers. If Christianity is false and you are wasting your time, energy and convictions, then you owe it to yourself to check it out. Here is how to do that.
Be honest with yourself and answer the following questions:
|A. Is there suffering and death in the world?||___ YES ___ NO|
|B. Does it make sense that anyone would design it?||___ YES ___ NO|
|C. Do little babies deserve to die?||___ YES ___ NO|
|D. Is good and evil just someone's say so?||___ YES ___ NO|
|E. Is genocide good?||___ YES ___ NO|
|F. Is it just to torture people?||___ YES ___ NO|
|G. Is it just to condemn people for the crime of their parents?||___ YES ___ NO|
|H. Is blind belief an honest way to live?||___ YES ___ NO|
If you answered NO on B to H above, then you have proven to yourself that Christianity is false. If you answered some YES, then reconsider what you're saying. Take some time to think about it. This is about the rest of your life.
"The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action."
-- Albert Einstein
Christianity is an intellect-free zone, where everything is permitted, genocide is holy, evil is good, donkeys and snakes talk, and people rocket into the sky. If truth, and even reality itself, depends on what God says, then everything is subjective, and there is no point in knowing anything. Nothing we do has any importance. Even worse, there would be no natural law at all, as God can just change anything it wants. No one thinks like that!
I don't want you to convert to any religion, or even to become an atheist. I want you to think for yourself first. Is what you're been forced to believe all your life the absolute truth, or is it just someone's opinion? If you're a reasonable person, you must answer "it's just an opinion" at this point. Where you go from there is your freedom and your responsibility. But it is YOUR freedom and YOUR responsibility, no one else's.
"My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity."
-- Bertrand Russell