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An Invitation to Reason

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

This is written primarily for the benefit of the curious Christian who has landed on this site wondering what it’s all about. This site exists for the support of those who have left, or are considering leaving, the Christian faith.

The bulk of those posting articles and commenting on them are atheists or agnostics. Wait! Don’t let that word “atheist” scare you. An atheist is one who doesn’t believe in any gods; nothing more and nothing less. I have known many atheists and agnostics and can assure you that very few eat babies. In fact, the vast majority has been found (in polls and psychological research) to be moral and ethical beings, and nearly all of them truly care about the welfare of others. In fact, this site exists to help them help others.

I want to suggest to you that the signs that Christianity is based on false premises are all around you, and that the bible is overflowing with those signs. However, you have been taught to fear taking a closer look. According to the bible, Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell." (Matthew 10:28) You have been warned to avoid doubt, and to fear those who would question your beliefs.

You have been carefully trained to trust Jesus as a small child trusts his parents, without question. As Jesus says in Matthew 18:3, "I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Those who have trained you in the doctrine of Christianity want you to be willfully ignorant. To be willfully ignorant is to trust authority without doubt, without question, to be intentionally ignorant of other views on a matter. If you are unaware of other views, then you won’t be changing your mind, will you?

Most of the frequent visitors to this site have been willfully ignorant in their time. It’s what we were all taught, after all. But then, doubts percolated into their consciousness; thoughts which just couldn’t be held down any longer. Questions like, “why do such awful things happen to innocent children?” Or, “Why doesn’t prayer work the way Jesus said it would?” And, as they thought about these questions, others came to mind, and some went on reading journeys seeking answers. They may have started out with just a few simple questions, or doubts, but once they started looking around, and paying better attention to what they were reading in the bible, they found there were hundreds of very good reasons to doubt the standard Christian doctrine.

Let me just mention a few, to arouse your curiosity:
  1. If the bible is the true “word of god,” then why is it full of imaginary, mythical creatures like giants, dragons, satyrs, and unicorns?
  2. Why are there such outrageous, literally incredible stories in the bible, like Jonah and the whale, the Tower of Babel, and Eve and the talking snake? If we read any of these stories in any other book, we would instantly judge them to be myths.
  3. Why are there so many miracles in the bible, but no evidence anywhere that we can check today? And why do we never see any provable miracles today?
  4. Why did god just watch and never intervene in the Holocaust? Did those 6 million Jews deserve to be tortured and die because their parents were Jews? Wasn’t Jesus a Jew?
  5. Why are there so many scientific falsehoods in the bible, like a flat earth, 4-legged birds, and predictions of whole huge stars falling to the earth?
  6. Why have people worshiped so many thousands of gods down through history? Doesn’t this pretty much prove that we humans make gods, not the other way round.
  7. Why do people very rarely change from the religion they learned from their parents (including 1.2 billion Muslims and 800 million Hindus)? Aren’t they all taught not to question their inherited religion?
  8. Isn’t it strange that ALL the gods in history have been invisible? Isn’t that pretty convenient? Why is god so careful about staying hidden? Can we reliably tell the difference between invisible and non-existent?
  9. We would judge immoral any man who demanded a human sacrifice and made threats of eternal torture. Should we really expect less from a god?

Those who have trained you in the doctrine of Christianity want you to be willfully ignorant. On this last point, as EChamberlainMD pointed out on this site recently, the message of the bible is that what one needs to be saved from is God himself, because it is he who will send us to hell to be tortured and tormented forever. Does it seem wise to run into the arms of the one who is threatening you, to escape his threats?

Have you noticed that good school teachers always stress asking questions, using doubt to encourage discovery of how the world really works? Why doesn’t your pastor, or priest, or the bible do this? Doesn’t this prove they are dealing in indoctrination and not true education? One attends Sunday school and Catechism classes to learn doctrine, and this is “indoctrination,” by definition. And why do the preachers want desperately to get children when they’re young? Could it be that the Christian story is not nearly as plausible to mature adults with some experience of the modern world?

Did you know that no historian writing in the time of Jesus, or for several decades thereafter, ever mentions him? Now think about this:

“According to the New Testament gospels, Jesus' fame spread far and wide throughout his lifetime. He was known throughout Israel and beyond (Matthew 4:25), renowned not only as a teacher and wise man, but also as a prophet and miraculous healer (Matthew 14:5, Luke 5:15, John 6:2). Great multitudes of people followed him everywhere he went (Luke 12:1). He converted many Jews, enough to draw the anger of the Jerusalem temple elders (John 12:11). He attracted the attention of some of the most prominent leaders of his day, both Roman and Jewish (Matthew 14:1, Luke 19:47). And when he was crucified, portentous and dramatic miracles occurred on a massive scale: a great earthquake (Matthew 27:51), a worldwide three-hour darkness (Luke 23:44), and the bodies of the saints arising from their tombs and walking the streets of Jerusalem, showing themselves to many people (Matthew 27:52-53).” [from]

If those things were true, could every single historian of the day have failed to notice every single one of them? Is this possible? Why is there no solid evidence of ANYTHING in that paragraph being true? Why is it all in the bible and NOWHERE ELSE?

So, as I said, the signs that Christianity is based on false premises are all around you, but you have been taught to fear taking a closer look. But, can you just ignore all that you have just read? All of it?

Is it possible that the bible and your pastor have been telling you fibs? As you well know, the “god experts” often tell people that they mustn’t expect to understand the “mystery of god,“ that they should just take a “leap of faith.” But the ONLY people who try to cast doubt on the value of reason as a means of understanding the world are religious leaders. What are they hiding? Shouldn’t you be suspicious?