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How many times have you been in a discussion where some atheist (or “agnostic”) attacks and mocks religion or Christianity in particular? Unfortunately mocking anything religious is in fashion today and such cases are the norm rather than exceptions.

This article aims to answer some of the most common arguments against religion (and Christianity more specifically) in such context. The analytical answer to those arguments requires of course a more in-depth reading of Harmonia Philosophica.

But first thing’s first…

“Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!”

Usually the atheist will start his attack with a raging ranting of multiple “arguments” dealing with multiple and non-coherent topics. This is a direct result of the confusion that exists in his brain, which cannot distinguish between the different dimensions of the topic “religion” and “Christianity”. It is important to emphasize the existence of those dimensions. Religion has a theological dimension, a philosophical one, a historical (everything happens in the context of a specific era), a social (it is important to know the society in the context of which various events took place, events which we easily characterize as mistakes of religion ignoring the effects of society as a whole on them), even a political one (which many times becomes a subject of exploitation by authorities). A discussion for each and every one of these dimensions takes time. So keep calm. And always have a good mood and discuss in good faith. (something which is rare)
In such a case simply ask him “Do you really believe that the world was created by pure chance out of nothing?” while vaguely smiling…

“Religion/ Christianity is just a stupidity to control the masses”

A very general and vague comment. It puts a lot of unrelated things in the same bucket (common tactic of an atheist during an anti-religious rant) based on a general leveling logic that does not fit into a subject as deep and diverse as religion. Difficult to answer, as it would be difficult to answer a shallow comment such as “Science is a stupidity.” Religion has many dimensions: philosophical (especially Christianity), theological, secular. Usually atheists refer to the latter, in addition to confusing the cosmic (secular) dimension of the church to how the secular power itself (politicians, political groups, etc.) use the church (as they are using science today) for its purposes. If I use the Internet to control you, will you say that “The Internet is a stupid thing to control the masses”? Heisenberg, who had stated that “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you”, would surely be laughing with such people. Apostle Paul, who sacrificed the good life he had to become a persecuted man and eventually die for his faith, would be really amazed by the shallowness of some people seeing “stupidity” in things that are so deep (philosophically and theologically) that they inspire people to give their own life for this superior something that we all feel in our life. (except for the atheists, of course, who constantly see matter and… matter everywhere) In a world full of spirit, it is really funny that the people who think they are just sacks of blood and bones try to teach us the truth. Why would the “truth” have any meaning if we are only matter (something like “complicated stones”) as atheists claim? And what does it matter who controls who in a world where there is only inanimate matter? What does it mean to talk about evil or about stupidity and intelligence in such an inanimate world? Do the stones deal with such things? In such shallow arguments, the only possible answer is silence and sorrow. The one who said it does not have the skills or, more importantly, the will to learn more than the childish “Religion is bad and is to be blamed for everything” that he has already learnt. And yes, usually such views are accompanied by a pinch of communism and a dose of liberty in the personal preferences of life…

TED, atheists, censorship…

“The Old Testament is a fairy tale to scare children”

Old Testament (OT) books are the most common object of ridicule for anti-Christians. This is because they have difficulty understanding their meaning and even if they do, they cannot agree to their (admittedly dark) message. At a time when everyone believes “I am free to do whatever I want,” learning that there are consequences for your actions is the last thing you want to hear. And this is what the Old Testament says: If you sin, there will be consequences. Yes, God loves you, but in the end you are responsible for whether you will go to Heaven or not. And you are responsible through your actions. No modern man who has made himself “god in the place of the dead God” is willing to receive any command from anyone else. And the difficult symbolism of the OT makes things even worse. The atheist will complain and be outraged every time a “good” person dies in a story of the OT, without understanding the meaning of natural death in the context of the Christian worldview (for Christianity there is no death as the atheist sees it), without seeing the symbolism behind the history (symbolisms that even with a simple search on Google can reveal – for example, no, God did not ask someone to sacrifice his son because of sadism), without understanding the context of the epoch in which the texts were written (e.g., the “eye for an eye” motto was a call for a more righteous punishment at a time when, if you were poor you could be sentenced to death even for the slightest misconduct), without wanting to read an ancient text in good faith and to open youself to try to learn something from it. And yes, usually such views are accompanied by “diametrically” polished views on how ancient Greek texts about Jupiter who had fun (made love) with every woman he found was profoundly “symbolic” …

Note: This inconsistency is the major problem in such views as the above. Surely, every point can have arguments and it is a matter of discussion to see which points are more valid than the others. However no matter what one believes, it is important that there is a consistency in all the views a person holds. (and this is something which can objectively be documented) If there is no consistency it is difficult to hold a discussion for any subject.

“Christianity is a Jewish religion that was imposed upon us to dissolve the supreme spirit of the ancient Greeks”

In simple words: No. Firstly, Christianity is not directly related to a particular nation (however much some want to believe the opposite). Secondly, the Greeks were the first (or the second, depending on how we read some details of the story) and certainly the most basic nation that embraced Christianity and made it world-wide. And this was not because Paul went to Athens and scared them off with his magic powers or threatened them with a big sword, but because the philosophy of the Greeks was so mature to accept the transition to a monotheistic religion with the characteristics of Christianity. If we accept the superiority of the Greeks of the time, let us also accept their choice of becoming Christians. And no, Christianity was not imposed with the “sword” as anti-Christians like it. The exact opposite. Christianity expanded with the blood of its martyrs. During the first centuries, Christians were widely and wildly persecuted. If you believe that the ancient Greeks who initially became Christians were not on their right mind, then you must prove it. Because it was the same Greeks, who were so advanced so as to culturally impose themselves on the Romans. (in general the tendency to tag entire sections of human history as a”dark” and “decay” according to what suits us, is very funny  and one of the best weapons of the atheists – for them the epoch during which the greatest philosopher of human history was killed deserves to be called the “Golden Age”) It is true that later on some Christians became from persecuted persecutors, but this must be seen in its true dimensions and context: the persecutions were based on politics to ensure the unity of an empire and were not based on the teachings of Christianity (Christ told us to turn the other cheek). These are basic details that anti-Christians conveniently forget. And yes, such arguments are accompanied by selective amnesia about the fact that the “enlightened” ancient Greece also had religious wars…

Phychiatrists without a… soul. Scientific dogmatism. Everywhere.

“Christians closed the Greek schools in Athens”

Nah. To say this is like claiming that the French revolutionaries had freed the prisoners in Bastille: both are sophisticated inaccurate and in essence wrong. The schools in Athens at the time they were closed were in decadence and had few pupils. What is more, new schools had opened in Constantinople and elsewhere. This was merely euthanasia, not death. (incidentally, Bastille only had… 7 detainees when the “big” release took place) And yes, usually such views are accompanied by an extremely selective “education” on history issues…

“If we said what we say now some years ago, they would burn us in the stake”

Seriously, get a grip man. Sure, only you and Giordano Bruno. The biggest fetish of every atheist / anti-Christian today is to imagine himself in the position of a persecuted intellectual for his “advanced” views. And yet he does not understand many things about what he claims. First, the church did not “burn people” in the Middle Ages. Executions at the stake (death by the fire) were decided by the political authorities of the time and were (no surprise there) made for political reasons, but also for reasons of common sense that related to the survival of the the state/ empire. (for example, the Holy Inquisition had condemned Cathars, the preaching of which – if left undisturbed – could lead to almost none of us being here today) Secondly, the extent of the phenomenon is much smaller than the anti-Christians want to believe. Contrary to the widespread (and erroneous) view that millions or hundreds of thousands of people died in the Middle Ages by the Holy Inquisition, the truth is that during the ~300 years of the existence of the institution, only about 5,000 died. (as opposed to the 200,000 people who died in a second without a trial in our “enlightened” time in Hiroshima) Last but not least: the anti-Christian who says that, does not understand that what he is doing today is not “revolution” against some power, but on the contrary, an act of submission to the imperatives of (current) authorities, which, after the Enlightenment, welcomes every attack on anything religious. Speaking today against religion (which has lost its power in society a long time ago) and speaking against God is something that is in line with what is in fashion today and according to the imperatives of the era we live in. Current atheists would be the most faithful (in the bad sense of blind faith) faith people back in the Middle Ages. Far from any “revolutionary” behavior that they want to believe that they have. And yes, usually such behavior and mistakes are accompanied by a good dose of ignorance about what happened in the notorious Galileo affair (see relevant articles I have posted from time to time for details on this)…

Hawking died. So what?

“Christians believe that a man can rise from the dead. Hahaha!”

Hahaha back at you. The answer to this is to reverse the question so as to highlight the ignorance of the modern man on the subject: Do you think someone can die? We all have to understand that materialism (which many people today believe) is a philosophical doctrine and not a proven point. To believe someone that people die, he must believe in multiple dogmas (materialism, notion of change, existence of time etc) which are all subjects of discussion in philosophy for thousands of years with no clear-cut conclusion. So no, you should not laugh to some people believing that someone rose from the dead after they saw Him. You should laugh with people believing that they are an inanimate set of lifeless matter when every day they see and feel things which dictate the exact opposite…

“How can you believe such stupid things! I am an agnostic!”

Sure. And I am an elephant with feathers. The most common (and low level) trick of atheists is to portray themselves as “agnostics”. And I say trick because they try to claim they are just agnostics in order to hide their obvious dogmatism in various matters, even though it is more than clear that they do “know” a lot of things despite the tag “agnostic” they like to put on themselves. If you laugh at religion, if you laugh at God, if you believe that everything in the cosmos just exist with no reason, if you believe nothing/ no one created the cosmos, then you surely know a lot of things and you are not an agnostic. A simple as that. For example the universe either existed for ever or it was created at some point by someone/ something. If you laugh with the latter option, then you certainly take a stance in favor of the former. You cannot at the same time claim you are an “agnostic”.