Saturday, October 23, 2004

Nine Objections To Christianity

David Wayne at JollyBlogger invites his readers to submit their ten most frequently encountered objections to Christianity. It's an interesting challenge. I can only come up with nine off the top of my head, so if Viewpoint readers, Christians or non-Christians, want to weigh in on this topic feel free to do so via our Feedback Forum.

Here are the nine objections which I've encountered most frequently from non-Christians and which they tend to feel most strongly about. They are also, incidentally, perhaps among the most challenging for a Christian apologist:

1)The difficulty of reconciling suffering with an all powerful, benevolent deity is perhaps the most formidable impediment to belief in God and hence in accepting Christian faith.

2) Christianity, by restricting eternal life only to Christians, is incompatible with a God who allegedly loves all people, and is offensive to those whose deceased loved ones may have been very pious and moral but not Christian. Moreover, it is a belief that few Christians even hold themselves.

3) Christianity is based upon the authority of the New Testament which is historically questionable.

4) Christianity is contingent upon miracles, or at least one miracle, the Resurrection, but belief in miracles is philosophically problematic.

5) Similar to #1, the doctrine of eternal punishment is incompatible with any notion of a just God. Eternal punishment for one's sin, no matter how egregious, is by definition disproportionate to the offense and is therefore unjust.

6) Christians try to impose their morality on others and that, many say, is offensive.

7) Many Reformed Christians hold to a view of predestination that is impossible to reconcile with the notion of human accountability and also with the concept of a just and benevolent God.

8) The Christian creation story is scientifically unsound and the doctrine of original sin is literally incredible.

9) Christianity derives from ancient pagan myths of dying saviors and virgin births. The similarities between these myths and Christianity make it unlikely that Christianity is independent of them.

It might be worthwhile to attempt to tackle some of these objections, if a humble layman might have the impertinence to undertake such a daunting task, in future posts. In fact, Viewpoint has already addressed some of them in past essays. Objection #1, for instance, is discussed here and here, and objection #3 is considered here. If anyone else wishes to take a shot at some of these, either pro or con, please feel welcome.

What the World Needs Now...

More peace, love, and humanistic sentiments from the leftists at The Guardian:

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?

Let's all sing together: "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. Not just for some, but for everyone...." Even the depraved souls in the editorial offices of The Guardian.

Dems Behaving Badly

Here's video of Lawrence O'Donnell's meltdown on MSNBC's Scarborough Country with Pat Buchanan filling in. Note: If you click on this link you will witness a man lose his sanity right before your eyes. O'Donnell is transmogrified from a calm, reasonable, articulate journalist into a raging, abusive lunatic. It's fun to watch.

If you do visit the site you might think, at first, that you're watching an advertisement for Prozac; or, you might think it's a role-play in a Rhetoric 101 class on how to win a debate when you have no case; or, you might conclude that you're simply watching a liberal just doing what comes naturally. Perhaps it's all of these.

Speaking of Dems behaving badly, the Democratic strategy for election day is crystallizing in the early voting in Florida and in Arizona the thuggery proceeds apace.

A Kerry supporter of our acquaintance, left with nothing much to say when confronted with these reports, rejoined that she's sure that Republicans are employing the same sorts of ugly, fascistic tactics. While we're prepared to entertain that as a logical possibility, of course, we felt the need to point out to her that the only way one can be "sure" of that is to cite examples of it happening. Perhaps it is the case that, somewhere, to some degree, some Republican is acting somewhat like a Democrat, but she couldn't point to an example, and we haven't come across any yet. Perhaps our readers are aware of some.

In any event, Lawrence O'Donnell should be fired after this pathetic performance.