Agnosticism, Atheism, Christianity, Faith, God, social media

So Stupid

answering-religious-errorSaw this today on Facebook and my blood started to boil. First of all, it was “liked” by one of my family members — a person who won’t discuss our differences. It really ticks me off to see her “like” a statement about truth, when she won’t defend that same statement.

Secondly, the quote says that a preacher would rather offend thousands than to fail to preach the truth to even one individual. Sadly, preachers don’t realize that they’re doing both the entire time.

Finally, if you bother to check out Answering Religious Error, it’s like shifting into another dimension. Each post is wrangling over some trivial detail, seemingly oblivious to the deluge of information that makes their entire stance irrelevant. I say “seemingly” rather than “completely,” because apologists of this stripe often do know some of the information that contradicts their stance, but they try very hard to keep their followers from discovering it.

I’ve gotten some flak over the years for the name of my blog, but I view “finding truth” as something aspirational — I’m not claiming to have found it. But “Answering Religious Error” definitely comes across as arrogant, especially when they’re so demonstrably wrong.

257 thoughts on “So Stupid”

  1. I think that’s what bothers me about even the NICEST Christian and their contentions – their convictions are based on a lie. A complete falsehood. A myth.
    I understand your annoyance, Nate. They’d rather smile benignly and say, “I believe!”, than let one iota of doubt – or reason – cloud their perception.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While you, at least, are looking for truth; they are looking for error and, boy, have they found them. They have found so many errors that there are 40,000+ sects of Christianity, each having a disagreement with the others. You really, really, really having to be looking for “why I am right and you are wrong” to end up in that position, which is uncharitable and un-Christian, at least in the sense that Christians like to claim for themselves.

    Like

  3. And I think their lack of any doubt is just a stubbornness and a refusal to look beyond their current beliefs. So it’s not like their position is so strong, if it was there should be no reason to keep from stepping out and facing critics armed only with reason.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It may be better at times to not share the truth, than to offend.

    But if believing some truth could save someone from eternal torture, offending would be a virtue.

    BUT:
    (1) It is bizarre to think that holding a correct belief could make that difference.
    (2) It is bizarre to think that we hold a definable cache of beliefs.

    So, I don’t even need to discuss doctrines, of any religion, to show the bizarreness in all this believism. No?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Nate,

    There is one thing worse than those you disagree with saying silly things – and that is those who are supposed to be on the same side saying silly and embarrassing things! I didn’t bother to do more than glance at that site, but the weakness of much christian apologetics is a particular bane of mine. (Not that I’m all that good, but I do try!)

    But fortunately, things are changing. You may not see it yet, but I can see it from where I sit. For example, this quote from Richard Dahlstrom:

    “While Walter [a missionary in Ghana] is finding children who can’t go to school and providing them with a uniform and a daily hot meal, I’m arguing about whether the days in Genesis 1 are literal or figurative. While he’s meeting with the fetish priests, befriending them, and buying girls [kept in sex slavery] back one at a time, I’m debating whether or not people can still speak in tongues now that God’s done writing the Bible. While he’s overseeing water projects as a way of creating the foundation for health and education, I’m debating whether Isaiah had one, two or three authors……

    “After visiting Bangkok and getting sick to my stomach [observing sex trafficking] I slowly began spending less time arguing about inerrancy, eschatology and the temporality or permanence of spiritual gifts, and more time getting on with what God is doing: releasing captives, opening blind eyes, freeing the oppressed ….”

    This works for me in two ways. (1) Having been freed from myopic views of the Bible and God, I feel fine to accept science and history and only defend what is really important, and (2) while I spend time on the web as an “apologist”, I spend time in real life doing and supporting some of the things that Dahlstrom talks about.

    Your “friends” haven’t discovered this yet. Sadly, perhaps they never will.

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  6. “They have found so many errors that there are 40,000+ sects of Christianity, each having a disagreement with the others.”

    Hi Steve, I hope you don’t mind my picking you up on this. It is a common statement, and an ex-christian atheist internet friend asked me a few years back if I knew the facts. So I researched the matter at his request, and found that:

    (1) The 40,000 number does NOT refer to sects (or denominations or beliefs), but to organisations. Thus for example, the Lutheran Church in Norway would be a different organisation to the Lutheran Church in Sweden.

    (2) 75% of these organisations are independent churches in Africa. That’s 30,000!! Not different sects, just different independent organisations. To call them different denominations is like saying that a thousand different football clubs are all playing a different sport.

    (3) It is difficult to know how many different denominations there are, or different beliefs, and difficult to even define what constitutes different belief (does using a different version of the Bible constitute a different belief?) Wikipedia lists 40 major divisions within corporate christianity.

    As a christian, I think divisive arguments among christians is a scandal, so I wouldn’t want to minimise this issue, but the 40,000 denominations is an internet myth. Check out my summary at How many christian denominations worldwide?. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ““(Not that I’m all that good, but I do try!)” – That is SO true on both counts – I’ve always found you very trying.”

    🙂

    At least I’ve succeeded at something then! 😉

    Like

  8. We all know some really nice Christian people, but their belief system makes even the nice Christians say and do some really dumb, downright mean things. Today I saw in the news that Pope Frances today questioned the “Catholicity” of the mayor of Rome because the latter has pushed for the recognition of gay marriages (performed outside of Italy) by the city of Rome. So, trying to extend recognition to the loving relationships of fellow human beings makes the mayor of Rome a “bad guy”?

    For all of Francis’ nice words while here in the US last week, this one statement ruins my lofty opinion of him: He is a bigot. His bigotry is based upon an ancient book filled with the moral standards of Bronze Age goat-herders and with middle-eastern, nonsensical, down-right ridiculous superstitions.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. unkleE,

    It seems to me that tens, hundreds, or thousands of denominations still demonstrate the same lack of cohesion, thus lack of revelation.

    Still, I think we should get our facts straight, and I agree that the 40,000 number is overblown for that purpose, so thanks for pointing it out.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. unkleE,

    Thanks for the kind comment. Actually, I do feel better reading the quote you provided. While I’m not a fan of Christianity, I do appreciate those benevolent individuals whose faith motivates them to care for others. I have no complaint against Christians like that.

    And as I’ve said before, I also admire guys like you, Ryan, and Kent. You and I may disagree over some things, but we always manage to do so courteously, and I think we’d both acknowledge that we could always be wrong about our positions. What burns me up so much about many of the people from hard line denominations is the hypocrisy. I simply don’t understand maintaining that one’s position is the only right one, yet refusing to defend it.

    Oh well… at least it felt nice to vent. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Something that really bothered me when I still called myself a Christian was why there was so much internal disagreement in the Church about matters of doctrine. Some of the disagreements were in the view of some, critical to salvation. I pondered why would God leave this uncertainty in such critical areas. It caused me much angst.

    Some folk say it is a way of hiding the truth from those not filled with the Spirit. I could almost accept that, except we then find that those apparently filled with the Spirit can’t agree among themselves either.

    In the end I conclude that the best explanation is that it is another pointer to a book of human rather than divine origin.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hey Nate,

    I want to steal that graphic, because it says it all. Might as well read, “Christianity: we don’t care about your feelings or the truth.”

    How have things been going down there? I ask because I swung by Northside recently. If you ever go by Gardendale, you’ll see they have a new church erected. The thing’s gigantic, and it’s the third church of that size built since 2000 (if memory serves). I wish I had a picture of it to go along with the graphic; neglecting the poor in lieu of building a giant brick Protestant cathedral I think would illustrate everything succinctly.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s the arrogance required to acheive such unbending certainty that bothers me. But, I can also understand its source: if the Bible says, “He will guide you into all truth,” (John 16:13) then arrogant certainty of one’s understanding makes sense: it’s a demonstration of faith. Funny how that works. Or tragic. One of those…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Nate – this just in —

    Answering Religious Error
    September 30 at 12:44am

    We can deal with one at a time. But, we will not allow a troll to come in here and start throwing multiple sites at us as we can do the same. I will delete your sources and ask that you personally give your real name, and then begin with one so-called contradiction.

    I threw more at him than he could deny. He’s all yours.

    Suppose his daddy’s last name was Error?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. (1) Having been freed from myopic views of the Bible and God, I feel fine to accept science and history and only defend what is really important,

    But you are a Christian, so in reality you are not defending the truth, sad to say, but spurious nonsense.
    Do you think you will ever be able to stop being disingenuous and defend the truth, Unklee?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nate, who is this Answering Religious Error, have you any idea? He keeps wanting to know my real name, and since that would make no difference to him whatsoever, I can only assume he wants me to retaliate by insisting on HIS real name, which he can then modestly flaunt without appearing to be pretentious.

    Liked by 1 person

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