Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Five Refutations of Christianity

Five Refutations of Christianity
By Alraune

Christianity has been a cancerous growth in my family's side from day one. It has taken me many many years to realize this. I was just about to realize it, but then I had given up (out of fear) and headed back towards Christianity when I finally saw the light.

My brother, a minister and die-hard Christian, who was struck by a vehicle and incurred some brain damage, went from feeding and preaching to the poor to trying to kill me with a butcher knife (due to the brain dmaage changing his personality). I now know without any doubt in my mind that the Christian "change" and baptism of the Spirit is nothing more than a state of mind.

That moment, combined with many thoughts and problems I have with the Christian faith have led me to believe that Christianity is a false religion.

Christianity, in my opinion, is an evil curse, created by black magicians in order to subdue whole peoples: "cursed is He who hangs on a tree". The very acceptance of it requires the acceptance that one is under the power of a curse (the Fall of Man), and so I recommend people stay as far away from it as possible.

What follows are five points of a fifty-point refutation I will be providing over the course of time. Unlike many atheists and agnostics my refutations will not be tackling the problems of Christianity from an outsider's perspective, but rather from an insider's perspective, where I will be specifically showing how core Christian theological doctrines, more specifically the doctrines of Calvinism, are in gross error and are indefensible by any honest human being.

All Scriptural references are to be understood in their proper context in their original languages. Where various translations are noted the name of the translation is given.

The Problem of Support by Fallacy and Unfalsifiability

By examining the Christian faith one would think that someone had a book open before them listing all of the possible fallacies of logic one could commit, in which they intentionally tried to fit them all into the support and defense of Christianity. Christianity uses the fallacy of division and composition in order to defend its doctrines. It takes a bunch of separate documents written by some forty authors over a period spanning more than a millennium, then calls them a whole, and claims that what the whole states is what all the parts intended based purely upon insufficient data, in that it presupposes that God inspired the texts and meant for them to be taken together, and then uses those texts to support the idea of inspiration.
Christianity uses the fallacy of argumentum ad hominum by labeling those who disagree with the claimed truths of it as possessed, influenced, or blinded by the Enemy. It uses genetic fallacy by claiming that unbelievers are unable to understand due to their total depravity or fallen nature. Christianity uses appeals to force and prestige such as "God blinds people to the truth." It is guilty of petitio principii, or circular reason, in that it claims that the Bible is the truth of God because the Bible says it is the truth of God; that Jesus is God because the Bible says so, and the Bible is authoritative because Jesus says so; or the Bible is true because the Church said so, and the Church has authority because the Bible says so.
Furthermore, Christianity presupposes its own inability to be non contradictory, or in other words, if anything contradicts the Bible, then either the Bible is correct and the contrary evidence is wrong, or one or the other is misunderstood, but never considers that the Bible itself and/or the Christian faith could be and is what is contrary to the evidence (learned theologists know this is a key view to hold).
Finally, even if one were to suppose that Jesus rose from the dead, it does not then follow that just because the Bible says He endorsed the Scriptures, that He actually did endorse the Scriptures as the word of God, especially the New Testament Scriptures which were undeniably written after His supposed lifetime, and which serve as the only record that He ever might have endorsed the New or Old Testament Scriptures in the first place.

The Problem of Free Will and Predestination

Free will is a prerequisite of self-awareness, for you are not truly self-aware unless you self-determine it. There is no self-awareness until self-determination is acquired, because you, yourself, must make the determination that you are aware.
Free will cannot exist alongside any sort of predestination. In order to be free to exercise one's own will one must have the ability to be self-determined, and freedom of self-determination requires at least a sort of semi-causation; that is, if one is forced to act, or rather compelled toward self-determination, then one must be both fully capable of choosing to act in any random number of ways within the realm of possibility, and be capable of choosing to not act at all. Such things may well be possible in a realm containing causality (a topic too large to discuss here), but it would be an impossibility along side predestination (Eph. 1:11) because predestiny automatically implies limited ability in self-determination to such an extent that one could not have chosen to act or not act in any other way other than the way in which they acted or did not act, meaning that any choice they thought they had was merely an illusion.
The main thrust of the argument here is not that of causality and free will, or whether or not free will does indeed exist (I believe it does), but as to the implications predestination undeniably has for the Christian faith. If an individual is not free to choose to act in any way other than the way in which they are going to act, then they really have made no choice in the matter at all, and they are predestined for eternal life or eternal damnation based upon judgment for actions which were entirely outside the realm of their actual control. Such a situation would make man something akin to an action figure, and God something akin to a child who caused one action figure to assault another, after which, punishment was exacted on the first action figure for the evil the child projected upon him.
Free agency, would be reduced to a form even less than that of a rat in a cage who is free to do whatever she wishes, but who is going to be killed the following day regardless of what choices she makes. Such a situation is unjust enough and in itself implies the act of either God showing favoritism or drawing lots for His favorite rat to be spared. Under either situation described, justice and judgment would be a mere illusion that was really a matter of choosing based upon one's own preferences or random selection, and not based upon any element concerning the object of judgment
I, for one, refuse to allow God to be reduced to the status of a mad scientist or a play-acting child, and I most certainly refuse to rebel against the common sense which tells each and every one of us that free will is as real as we are. To reject free will is to reject one's very self-identity, for your identity becomes wholly what it was predetermined to be, and not what you made it. No amount of mental gymnastics disguised as reason or desire for the hope and necessity found in faith is capable of convincing me that I must reject the self-determination of conscious beings.

The Problem of Unconditional Election

The doctrine of unconditional election (Jn. 15:16) creates a number of problems in my mind, the greatest of which would probably have to be the obvious partiality (ie. favoritism) of God, for if such divine selection is done based upon not what man has done or not done, believed or not believed, and God is not showing favoritism, then the selection process is nothing more than the luck of the draw, or the casting of lots.
One of the problems with the obvious favoritism of unconditional election is that it is a direct contradiction of the supposed impartiality of God (2 Ch. 19:7; Ro. 2:11). If God selects you for eternal life or eternal damnation without basing it upon anything on your part, such as who you are, what you did, or at least what you intended to do, then not only does it follow that God is not fair (which I am not claiming I have a right to say He should be), but also that we could not believe in God unto salvation even if we truly wished too, meaning God is not deserving of worship from all (who would worship a God who rejected them, but a mad and obsessed man?), and both believers and unbelievers were forced into the destiny of eternal life or eternal damnation in the first place (having no freedom to choose concerning the matter), rending the reasons for faith and morality outside of subjective human experience or social pressures to actually be moot points.
Unconditional election (and damnation) means that I could not have believed in the saving power of Jesus Christ unto salvation even if I had wanted to. It means I have no choice in the matter whatsoever, and those who believed and loved me will eternally be separated from me based upon the whim of God and nothing that either of us actually did, or even intended to do had anything to do with either of our fates. Either God simply favored them and some strangers among them over meto which they may decide on their own if that is acceptable for their God to do to all of usor God simply randomly selected them out of the luck (or unluck depending on how you look at it) of the draw.
If God were not supposed to be omnipotent, I would be able to draw an analogy that my human nature could understand (which is all that God or man could expect of me), in that I could reckon God to be that of a fisherman who happened upon a sinking passenger ship, and who was able only to save those whom He happened to pluck from the water at random. However, I know that the Christian God is supposed to be omnipotent (Job 42:2; Mt. 19:26; Lk. 1:37), so there is no excuse for this supposedly just God's refusal to save all of mankind, and His failure to at least spare the women and the children before some pot-bellied shepherd is a good indication that most of the men and women who He would condemn are more worthy of honor and respect than He.

The Problem of the Doctrine of creatio ex nihilo

If God is infinite and eternal, then it follows that God is all there ever was, all that ever is, and all that will ever be. If God is all that ever was, then there was nothing by which for Him to create any thing from, and it is a logical impossibility for any thing to come from Nothing whether God created it or anyone else. If God is all that ever is, then nothing could possible exist besides God. Furthermore, if something could come from Nothing, then there is absolutely no good reason to suppose God must be eternal, for God, the universe, or even a slug could have suddenly appeared out of nothingness.
If God is that which is infinite and eternal, then we can reasonably assume that Nothing must be that which is the absence of God, which would be impossible, since one cannot fashion something without coming into contact with it in some manner or another, never mind God's attributes of infinity and omnipresence. Even if we allowed for God to mysteriously create something from out of Nothing (abandoning all Reason which we used to support the conclusions concerning God and His existence in the first place), we would still be compelled to conclude that Nothing was actually created out of something, which was the Mind of God (the point of causal contact) – the something which formed the nothing into something, or imagined it. Therefore, it becomes necessary for us to conclude that either God is not infinite and omnipresent or God is incapable of creating something from Nothing. Put quite succinctly, if zero is the value of Nothing (or the absence of value) and one is the value of God (or value), then 1 + 0 = 1, not 2 or any other value.
This leaves us with only three other possibilities if we are to assume that God must at least be eternal: either that which is, is God in whole, and the act of creation is merely an act of transformation (pantheism or atheism); that which is, is God in parts, or creatio ex deo; or something which was not God existed besides God – creatio ex materia.
No matter how we approach the subject, if approached with reason, we must conclude that the traditional monotheistic concept of God in conjunction with the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is an irrefutably irrational view. To simply declare that "we do not know how it is possible," in this instance, specifically when the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo as the means of creation used by an infinite eternal monotheistic God flies in the face of the law of non-contradiction, or principium contradictionis, is to deny reason itself and negate the validity of honest theology (to say the least).

The Problem of Contradictions in the Bible Texts

The premise of contradictions in the Bible is that if the Scriptures contain any contradictions, then they are false, which implies imperfection or lying, which would mean that the Scriptures could not be inspired by a perfect and good God. A single contradiction or blatant mistake would be good and compelling reason to conclude that the standing Canon is not trustworthy as it is, and that the book in which the contradiction or mistake was discovered is wholly suspect of having not been inspired by a perfect and good God. Furthermore, it would mean the same for any other supposedly inspired author who dared to endorse the alleged uninspired author or book.
Many accusations have been made that the Bible contains contradictions or blatant mistakes. Of course, the various ways in which these contradictions are worked around are either that we are not dealing with the autographs (originals); the unexplained is not necessarily unexplainable; the interpretation is fallible not the revelation; the passage is out of context; the passage is difficult and should be interpreted in light of other, more clear passages; the passage is obscure and so it should be viewed in favor of the entire Scriptures and not in opposition to them; the Bible, although inspired, contains human characteristics so it will have human expressions and exaggerations; the truth in the Bible is in what it reveals, not what it records; the Bible uses common non-technical language; both rounded and exact numbers are perfectly alright; generalizations and general truths are perfectly acceptable; and the Bible is a progressive revelation, so what God reveals later supersedes what He previously revealed.
I deem many of the ways in which known contradictions are escaped to be nothing more than parlor tricks. For example, if it is acceptable for there to be errors because we are not dealing with the autographs, then it would also seem acceptable to reject anything which is not the autograph but rather is a mere copy, as not being fully inspired, meaning that the entire Bible, as we have it, cannot be considered to be fully inspired. If the Bible, as we have it, is not the fully inspired word of God, then there is no reason to trust it as a faithful representation of the fully inspired word of God. The implication of this is, of course, that we cannot trust the Bible, as we have it, as being or even containing the full and accurate communication of God to man concerning Himself or anything else.
While I will admit that supposed contradictions in numbers seems rather trivial, and that most of the apparent contradictions are along the lines of such trivialities, so that they might not qualify as disqualifying characteristics to many less anal-retentive individuals, I do believe there are enough blatant errors and contradictions which exist in the Scriptures we possess to disqualify them as inspired by a perfect and good God.
One of the most undeniably blatant errors found in the Scriptures is that in which Matthew incorrectly attributes the prophetic utterance of Zechariah to that of Jeremiah.

"Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." -Mt. 27:9-10 (KJV)
How could anyone be expected to believe that a perfect God would forget which one of His prophets he used to communicate a prophecy directly related to the conspiracy concerning the death of His own Son? This blatant error is usually circumvented by pointing to some obscure passages in Jeremiah (Jer. 18:1-6; 19:1-11; 32:8-9) and claiming it in conjunction with the prophecy which is actually in Zechariah (Ze. 11:12). The problem with this excuseand that is what it isis that Matthew only quotes from Zechariah and quotes nothing which can be directly attributed to Jeremiah, whom Matthew directly attributes the prophecy to.
The explanations given which try to excuse this error, which I have heard, are four: 1) the Syriac does not give a name and 'Jeremiah' was a later addition, 2) Jeremiah wrote the final chapters of Zechariah, 3) the prophecy was spoken by Jeremiah, but written down by Zechariah, or 4) Jeremiah is the first book of the prophets and Matthew was referring to the entire collection of the Prophets (a solution offered by Lightfoot and based upon remarks in the Talmud).
There are several problems with these excuses, not the least of which is wondering when we shall admit that all of the excuses for the contradictions found in the accepted texts of the Bible, when tallied, might be considered to point to an obvious lie. These excuses can be dismissed because we know that Zechariah was likely written after Jeremiah, meaning that it is unlikely that Jeremiah wrote the final chapters of Zechariah, or that they could have been one and the same person. Furthermore, we know that Jeremiah is not the first book in the collection of Prophets, but rather Isaiah is and was (Sirach lists Isaiah before Jeremiah), not to mention there is no other example of such a usage. We also have no reason to suppose that Matthew would have known that Jeremiah spoke the words and Zechariah only wrote them down, or that a good God would intentionally try to confuse us by having Jeremiah speak them, Zechariah write them down, and Matthew attribute the words to Jeremiah.
We are then left with one other excuse for this blatant contradiction by the author of the Gospel of Matthew, which is the idea that the name 'Jeremiah' was a later addition, however, according to St. Augustine, Bruce Metzger and most scholars, the reading 'Jeremiah' is firmly established; therefore, this excuse also fails to adequately explain an obvious error.
Many other errors and contradictory statements can be found throughout the Scriptures, but for now we shall be content to list but three other of the more obvious contradictions found throughout the Scriptures:

The contradiction of Christ – Jesus made contradictory statements in the Gospel of John (John 5:31-37, 8:17-18), which remain contrary to one another when taken in the context in which they were intended. In chapter eight, Jesus plainly bears witness to Himself and intends Himself as one of the two necessary witnesses to collaborate a true testimony, which He states in chapter five to be an indication of false testimony, while implying that God the Father is a man (John 8:17 – a theological nightmare), and ignoring the fact that He and the Father are one (John 1:1-3), thereby bearing dual testimony of Himself by proxy.

"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." -John 5:31-37 (KJV)

"It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also." -John 8:17-19 (KJV)
The contradiction that God cannot be tempted with evil – God cannot be tempted with evil (Ja. 1:13-15), yet in the Gospel of Matthew we read that Jesus, who is God, was tempted by Satan (Mt. 4:1-11), who is most definitely an evil entity as are all demonic forces, or devils. So if we are to take James to mean that God cannot be approached by evil with a tempting thought, then it becomes clear that this is indeed false, and a contradiction, but if we are to presume that what James is indicating is that it is impossible for God to fall into evil, then we can conclude that there is no way in which Jesus, who is God, could suffer temptation in the same manner man suffers temptation, which would contradict Hebrews (He. 2:16-18, 4:15), because it would have been an impossibility for Jesus to actually choose to fall into evil, unlike it is for men (barring the difficulties concerning free will and predestination). Either we must conclude that there is a contradiction in that God can be tempted with evil, or we must jettison the theological position that Jesus is God.

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." -Ja. 1:13-15 (KJV)

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." -Mt. 4:1-11 (KJV)

"For verily he [Jesus] took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." -He. 2:16-18 (KJV)

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." -He. 4:15 (KJV)
The contradiction that God tempts no man – God created all things (Re. 4:11), God made man (Ge. 1:27) and if God made all things (1 Co. 8:6, 11:12), then God must have also made evil (Ge. 2:9). Man is evil (Ge. 8:21; Mark 7:20-23), he is totally depraved (Ro. 3:10-12), and he only desires to do evil continually (Ge. 6:5), yet he tempts God (Mt. 22:18; 1 Co. 10:9) in contradiction to James (Ja. 1:13), and is tempted by God through his own desires (1 Co. 10:13), which God must have made if God made all things (Ac. 17:24-28), thereby contradicting James (Ja. 1:13) once again, which claims that God tempts no man. If God made man and God made all things (including evil and temptation), then God tempts man by proxy regardless of how many theological hoops you jump through, as God is the author of all things (Pr. 26:10; Eph. 1:11, 3:9).

God cannot tempt with evil, nor does He tempt man: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." -Ja. 1:13-15 (KJV)

God created all things: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." -Re. 4:11 (KJV)

God created man: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." -Ge. 1:27 (KJV)

Again, God made all things: "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." -1 Co. 8:6 (KJV)

If God made all things, then it stands to reason that God must have also created evil: "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. -Ge. 2:9 (KJV)

Man is evil: "And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." -Mark 7:20-23 (KJV)

Man is totally depraved: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." -Ro. 3:10-12 (KJV)

Man only desires to do evil continually: "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." -Ge. 6:5 (KJV)

Man, who is evil, and who only desires to do evil, tempts God: "But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?" -Mt. 22:18 (KJV)

But God cannot be tempted with evil: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:" -Ja. 1:13 (KJV)

God made all things, and having made all things He would have had to also have made man's desires, especially since man, who is evil, lives in, moves in, and has his being in God: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." -Ac. 17:24-28 (KJV)

Man, who is evil, is tempted through his own human desires, which were made by God: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." -1 Co. 10:13 (KJV)

God cannot tempt man, yet He does so by proxy, having made man, his desires, and being that in which man moves, and lives, and has his very being: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:" -Ja. 1:13 (KJV)

Again, God made all things: "The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors." -Pr. 26:10 (KJV)

Therefore, God is the author of man's sin, his sin nature, and his evil desires: "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:" -Eph. 1:11 (KJV)

Many contradictions can be found throughout the Bible texts (numerous books have been written about it), and what I have presented is by no means an exhaustive list. The ones presented here have been just a few of the contradictions that I deem to be the most serious and perilous condemnations which clearly indicate the Scriptures cannot be inspired by a perfect and good God, and that the Christian faith must be a very great lie. I intentionally chose these contradictions because they are areas where theological disagreements arise among Christians, proving that no one can agree on how to resolve these blatant contradictions which are commonly referred to as "difficulties" for no other reason other than the fact that these various factions refuse to accept the obvious – that they are defending a lie!

Final Note

I encourage all non Christians to read the various systematic theologies and core theological doctrines of the Christian faith, understand them, and read the various problems and contradictions found in them. I encourage Christians to do the same and to learn how ridiculous the hoops one must jump through to maintain these doctrines become. I further encourage Christians to investigate where the core Christian doctrines come from and how we got them. If told the Bible, ask who gave the Bible authority, if told the Church, ask who gave the Church authority, if told God, then ask what evidence we have the authority comes from God. You will realize very quickly that the authority for each thing is circular and therefore a lie! Test me. Try me. Prove my last statement incorrect.

If the authority for the Bible comes from Jesus, the only evidence of that is the Bible, so that evidence fails because the support is circular. Jesus cannot support the Bible because the Bible says Jesus supports the Bible; otherwise I could claim to be King of the World because I have a document that says I support it, and it claims I am King of the World – it don't work that way. Even if Jesus did rise from the grave and is God, it does not follow that because the Bible claims He endorsed it, He really did endorse it.

If authority for the Bible comes from the Church, the Church cannot claim it has authority because the Bible says so – that is the same problem.

You might think such evidence is good enough, but I don't believe anyone who believes that has really thought through the implications of accepting such logic, nor are they willing to apply it in other places.