There are many reasons why I’m an atheist, but one of the main reasons is that I don’t think that there is enough evidence to support any one religion over the others. All of the arguments used to support any one religion (eg miracles, prophecy, spiritual experiences etc) have either been debunked or can just easily be used to support a totally different religion.
For example, there is just as much evidence for the miracles of Jesus as there are for the miracles of Muhammad, and according to multiple studies in the efficacy of prayer, prayer has pretty much no effect, this means that a Christian’s prayer to Jesus will get “answered” as often as a Hindu’s prayer to Krishna and an atheist that doesn’t pray at all, all religions have prophecy that they claim has come true, and people from different religious backgrounds have similar “spiritual” experiences.
After considering all this, I want to know what makes you still believe that your religion is the right one. Give me all you got, I’ll try my best to respond to all the comments, if I can argue against you, I will but if I can’t I’ll concede.
I think the issue is not that the evidence doesn’t exist, but that it’s being intentionally buried beneath piles of skepticism and “logic”.
Claiming in a broad stroke that all arguments are not valid or sound or that they are ineffective lacks justification. Why not make a post about the conditions the true religion needs to fulfill, such as, but not limited to, no contradiction, preserved scripture and scripture that could not have been authored by a limited being?
Afterwards you could make a post for each big religion where you methodically looked at the evidence of each religion and if it coheres or contradicts with criteria to know if a religion is true or false.
Saying there is no evidence is just a claim, hardly convincing for the other side. But research, rational explanations using quotations and referring to the core elements of a belief system, that’s much more compelling.
If you assign to a religion as its most important attribute the description of a higher order of reality (God on a throne, angels, hell as a physical place) that is the actual realm of a non-physical soul, then at best you have multiple are “baby-step” attempts throughout history at encouraging people to perceive they are part of a vastly more complex set of relationship between themselves, Nature and something called a Creator.
The farther back in time (historically speaking) you go with these “reality models”, the less sense they make, especially since it is really obvious where people in those times overlaid the original scripture (such of what remains) with their own “idle fancies and vain imaginings”, to use a phrase commonly found in the writings of the more recent Baha’i Faith. Such attempts are not unexpected, but also not a convenience we can collectively afford in modern society.
If, on the other hand you look to religion as a source for moral guidance, then there are many common points of agreement (reality of the immortal soul, power of prayer, Golden Rule, care for the less fortunate among you, developing a virtuous character and using it in this life, etc). Still, there ae many different points of disagreement, such as the mode of prayer and worship, dietary and marriage laws, laws related to human slavery and social justice, the basis of ethical economics and political governance, etc.
The irony is that if certain social teachings nd imperatives did NOT change from time to time, then religion would most definitely be working against the progress of mankind and, given the social context in which each chapter of religion appeared, it would be easy to make the choice “which is the best religion for now?”. Yet, that does not mean that many religions (especially their epoch-specific social teachings) could not have all been valid – but they were just best suited for the time and local social circumstances in which they were revealed.
The question is not one so much of “validity” and “efficacy” for the needs of the day.
Nearly all the teachings of Christianity are in agreement with what atheists call “inherent, universal morality.” The ubiquity of this points to the moral conscience as being universal. There are exceptions, but relatively few.
You could take on a pluralist view and believe more religions are correct.
Buddhism is based on logic. Not the modern day buddhism, but real teachings of buddha
There is no evidence at all that any god existed or created us. You could find evidence of people creating gods or religions in all human history, but no the opposite.
Not at all true. For instance, some religions are objectively false. We know that the Earth is nearly 5 billion years old, so any religion that claims the Earth to be 6000 years old can’t be true. So while that doesn’t necessarily get us to a religion that *is* true, any religion that isn’t clearly false is infinitely *more* likely than those that are.
Here I’ll make the case that there is indeed a lot more evidence for Christianity than for other religions. To make the case against (say) Islam would require a separate comment post, so I’ll just make the positive case for belief in the bible here.
If the bible is the word of God, then Christianity has to be the true religion (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Then all the other religions have to be wrong. So what objective evidence is there for belief in the bible’s supernatural origin being rational? Let’s also consider this kind of logic: If the bible is reliable in what can be checked, it’s reasonable to believe in what it describes that can’t be checked. So if the bible describes the general culture of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaan, Greece, and Rome accurately, then what it reports about specific individuals and their actions that aren’t recorded elsewhere would be true also. This is necessary, but not sufficient evidence for the bible’s inspiration; sufficient proof comes from fulfilled prophecy, as explained further below.
For many decades, various liberal higher critics have maintained the Bible is largely a collection of Hebrew myths and legends, full of historical inaccuracies. But thanks to archeological discoveries and further historical research in more recent decades, we now know this liberal viewpoint is false. Let’s consider the following evidence:
The existence of King Sargon of the ancient empire of Assyria, mentioned in Isaiah 20:1, was dismissed by higher critics in the early 19th century. But then archeologists unearthed his palace at Khorsabad, along with many inscriptions about his rule. As the Israeli historian Moshe Pearlman wrote in Digging Up the Bible: “Suddenly, sceptics who had doubted the authenticity even of the historical parts of the Old Testament began to revise their views.”
The Assyrian King Sennacherib was assassinated by two of his sons (II Kings 19:36-37), according to the Old Testament. But various historians doubted the Bible’s account, citing the accounts by two ancient Babylonlans–King Nabonidus and the priest named Berossus—who said only one son was involved,. However, when a fragment of a prism of King Esarhaddon, the son of Sennacherib, was discovered, it confirmed the Bible’s version of the story. The historian Philip Biberfeld commented in his Universal Jewish History: “It (the Biblical account) was confirmed in all the minor details by the inscription of Esar-haddon and proved to be more accurate regarding this even than the Babylonian sources themselves. This is a fact of utmost importance for the evaluation of even contemporary sources not in accord with Biblical tradition.”
Similarly, the great 19th-century archeologist Sir William Ramsay was a total skeptic about the accuracy of the New Testament, particularly the Gospel of Luke. But as a result of his topographical study of, and archeological research in, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), he totally changed his mind. He commented after some 30 years of study: “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy . . . this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”
The New Testament also has much manuscript evidence in favor of its accuracy, for two reasons: 1) There are far more ancient manuscripts of it than for any other document of the pre-printing using movable type period (before c. 15th century A.D.) 2) Its manuscripts are much closer in date to the events described and its original writing than various ancient historical sources that have often been deemed more reliable. It was originally written between 40-100 A.D. Its earliest complete manuscripts date from the fourth century A.D., but a fragment of the Gospel of John goes back to 125 A.D. (There also have been reports of possible first-century fragments). Over 24,000 copies of portions of the New Testament exist. By contrast, consider how many fewer manuscripts and how much greater the time gap is between the original composition and earliest extant copy (which would allow more scribal errors to creep in) there are for the following famous ancient authors and/or works: Homer, Iliad, 643 copies, 500 years; Julius Caesar, 10 copies, 1,000 years; Plato, 7 copies, 1,200 years; Tacitus, 20 or fewer copies, 1,000 years; Thucycides, 8 copies, 1,300 years.
Unlike Hinduism and Buddhism, which are religions of mythology and metaphysical speculation, Christianity is a religion founded on historical fact. It’s time to start being more skeptical of the skeptics’ claims about the Bible (for they have often been proven to be wrong, as shown above), and to be more open-minded about Christianity’s being true. It is commonly said Christians who believe the Bible is the inspired word of God are engaging in blind faith, and can’t prove God did so. But is this true? By the fact the Bible’s prophets have repeatedly predicted the future successfully, we can know beyond reasonable doubt the Bible is not just merely reliable in its history, but is inspired by God. By contrast, compare the reliability of the Bible’s prophets to the supermarket tabloids’ psychics, who are almost always wrong even about events in the near future.
The prophet Daniel, who wrote during the period 605-536 b.c., predicted the destruction of the Persian empire by Greece. “While I was observing (in a prophetic vision), behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. And he came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. . . . So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. . . . The ram which you saw with two horns represented the kings of Media and Persia. And the shaggy goat represented the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king” (Daniel 8:5-7, 20-21). More than two hundred years after Daniel’s death, Alexander the Great’s invasion and conquest of Persia (334-330 b.c.) fulfilled this prophecy.
Likewise, Daniel foresaw the division of Alexander’s empire into four parts after his death. “Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. (The large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. And the broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power” (Dan. 8:8, 21-22). This was fulfilled, as Alexander’s empire was divided up among four of his generals: 1. Ptolemy (Soter), 2. Seleucus (Nicator), 3. Lysimachus, and 4. Cassander.
Arguments that Daniel was written in the second century b.c. after these events, thus making it only history in disguise, ignore how the style of its vocabulary, syntax, and morphology doesn’t fit the second century b.c. As the Old Testament scholar Gleason L. Archer comments (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 283): “Hence these chapters could not have been composed as late as the second century or the third century, but rather–based on purely philological grounds–they have to be dated in the fifth or late sixth century.” To insist otherwise is to be guilty of circular reasoning: An anti-theistic a priori (ahead of experience) bias rules out the possibility of God’s inspiring the Bible ahead of considering the facts, which then is assumed to “prove” that God didn’t inspire the Bible!
Here it’s helpful to read books on Christian apologetics, such as those making the case for belief in the Bible and for faith in God’s existence and goodness, such as those by C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Henry Morris, Duane Gish, J.P. Moreland, Francis Schaeffer, Phillip E. Johnson, R.C. Sproul, Norman Giesler, Gleason Archer, etc. Stephen Meyer’s book “The Return of the God Hypothesis” would be particularly important for the college-educated skeptics to read with an open mind. There are great reasons for having faith in the bible, such as its historical accuracy, fulfilled prophecies, and archeological discoveries. I would recommend looking up the books of Josh McDowell on this general subject, such as “More Than a Carpenter,” “The Resurrection Factor,” “He Walked Among Us,” and “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” C.S. Lewis’s “Miracles” could also be of help to read, since it deals with why we should believe historical reports of miracles in the case of the bible.
That’s not true at all.
The core tenants of Buddhism is that 1: to exist as a sentient being is to suffer. That is observably correct. 2: all suffering, including, ultimately, physical suffering, is the result of our minds attachments and delusions. That is also observable. 3: Suffering can be overcome if we end the attachment and delusions, that is also observable. 4: Buddhist practices provide the means of transcending suffering in this lifetime. This is also observable, here is why:
If the goal of a plane is to get from New York City to Seattle, and it claims that it will go to Seattle, would it not make sense to say “well, we’ve passed Chicago and Billings Montana, so I guess we are on the way to Seattle” ?
Buddhism claims to solve the issue of suffering. Hence we should look at Buddhist practices and find whether or not they do work to relieve suffering. According to peer-reviewed studies, that is the case.
So as we clearly see Buddhist practices reduce suffering, as they have claimed to do since the beginning of the religion. Hence it isn’t a stretch to say that it is possible to transcend suffering in this lifetime by practicing Buddhism and even if we don’t we can suffer a lot less by doing so, which is a fine objective in and of itself
My reasoning is almost the polar opposite of your question – if there was any good evidence for a particular religion, I’d have confidence to it.
Still looking, but most just rise to the levels of “interesting stories” for me personally.
The idea of faith in things unseen seems – except for very select occasions – a poor strategy for me.
Might be possible to rank religions by levels of evidence for their claims. Guess you would run into trouble defining what the claims were/are.
The eye witnessing of the resurrected Christ was the exclusive reason for the entire *foundation* of the Christian Faith. The same cannot be said of Muhammad.
Also, if you think the purpose of prayer is just to get God to do things for us, then you are mistaken.
A hypothetical science developed by aliens would call things very differently compared with our human science, categorize them differently, probably would discover more than us or less than us, store information differently and still would be science. Same with religion. If you look deeper into religions you see that the same mysteries are behind them. There’s no “100% correct” religion which renders all other religions 100% wrong. It’s a Christian mindset. All religions are half-truths and attempts to grasp the mysteries of existence just in a different way scientific method attempts to which in no way means one method is superior to another.
Atheist here, but I think there is evidence to absolutely disprove some religions, but others have claims where it’s not possible to disprove them.
So, I think you could support one over another.
But, I don’t really think there is sufficient evidence to support any. Just some you can absolutely disprove.
>There are many reasons why I’m an atheist, but one of the main reasons is that I don’t think that there is enough evidence to support any one religion over the others.
Why do you assume that you may only choose one religion? Why not choose whatever seems to be true to you?
The acceptance of religion does not come out of an evidentiary case. It comes out of the unconditional acceptance of a suggestion. From the very limited experience we have of the suggestibility of humans it is not great feat to have them believe in Santa Clause and then to reverse the the belief by creating the belief that he does not exist. In both cases this is done merely by suggestion. No child first believes because of the strong case or then stops believing because of a scholarly appraisal. We simply get told how to think, and that is how belief comes into the world.
Hume said something similar in “On Miracles.” The miracles of different religions cancel each other out.
You may want to elaborate on your argument just a tad. This post is bordering on a rule violation as it is. You need a thesis and argument.
All world religions come from the same Source and are equally valid! They are different chapter of the same book, written by the same Author (God).
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