Early on the blog, I wrote an article called “top 5 arguments atheists should stop using” to show why common atheist arguments don’t stand to reason. In this article, I will be helping my fellow Christians in demonstrating why certain arguments made from my side should no longer be invoked, because there are better arguments they can use. This is the top 5 arguments Christians should stop using.
5) Evolution is just a theory
4) The Bible says so
3) You don’t know God doesn’t exist
2) Just look around you
1) Just have faith
5) Often, I hear Christians say “well evolution is just a theory” in response evolutionary biology, usually invoked as an argument either against creationism or God’s existence. What this response means is that, since modern biological evolution is a theory, we don’t need to give any thought to it since its only a theory. The problem with this line of reasoning is its misunderstanding of what a theory is. Theories are not just unsupported ideas or speculations that scientists use to come to conclusions. A theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. Not simply “guesses”. Whether or not you embrace the theory of biological evolution, it is not a good response to just say “well its only a theory”. Gravity is also a theory and nobody disputes it.
4) Sometimes when a Christian is trying to convince someone of their position, they will just invoke the bible outright as an authority that they should accept. The line of thought here is “since the bible is true the skeptic should also believe it’s true and respect what it says about life”. But all this does is force your position onto someone who isn’t in the slightest convinced by it. The skeptic will rightly accuse the Christian of circular reasoning and dismiss what they say unless further support is given (usually). I too believe the Bible is true and everyone should accept what it says, but I don’t start with the conclusion that the Bible is true to prove that the Bible is true, that is just question begging. Other times, the Christian may not have any good arguments so they will just assume that believing the Bible is true will be enough for the other person to consider it. There are a multitude of good arguments out there that will establish the Bible as true, but this is not the way to go about it.
3) I think that the proposition “you don’t know that God doesn’t exist” is the most commonly used bad argument on this list. I will say, however, that this line of reasoning is not always wrong. I only want Christians to shy away from this as an early dismissal. For example, if a Christian is in a conversation with an Atheist and the Atheist claims that God doesn’t exist, the Christian should not dismiss the statement early on with “well you can’t prove that”. The failure here is that nothing productive follows from this statement and assumes that proof is deciding factor. The Atheist and Christian alike cannot with 100% certainty demonstrate the inexistence or existence of God the same way someone would prove something in mathematics. Furthermore, this is often a shutdown response when a Christian has no other support to back their affirmation. If the Atheist claims that God does not exist, simply ask what reasons they have for being certain of such a proposition and carry on the dialogue.
2) When I hear my fellow Christians passionately trying to prove that God exists to a skeptic, I often hear “well just look around you!” as apart of their evidence. I am glad that they see nature as a case for God’s existence, but this simply won’t cut it. I remember as a younger believer, I always disliked this argument because I knew full well that those who stand by evolution or don’t believe in God hardly see this as viable evidence for God’s existence. Botany and Biology can all be explained naturalistically which is what the prevailing theory of evolution outlines. Most skeptics aren’t ready to embrace a design hypothesis because of this. Fortunately, there’s a whole area of study called natural theology which makes conclusions about God’s existence on the basis of the natural phenomena.
1) This last argument on this list must be the worst argument the Christian can use. “Just have faith” is almost entirely invoked when the Christian has been backed into a corner or has no justification for their claims so they simply say, “well you should just have faith”. First, this is not the right way faith should be used. Faith should not be used in isolation, we should speak of faith as in faith in something. I have faith that my textbooks will contain correct information. Faith is trust or assurance of something, and in the case of God, its Hebrews 11:1: “ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”Furthermore, simply saying “you should just have faith that God exists” just sounds like a leap in the dark which is what skeptics continually accuse theists of. This does not represent Christianity in serious light and as Christians its our duty to provide a justification for why we believe in what we believe.