5.Science and religion contradict
4.Who created God
3.You were raised that way
2.Religion is the source of the world’s problems
1.Jesus never existed
The number of those who claim to non-religious or atheist is ever increasing. We live in a time where anti-religious objections (specifically toward Christianity) have been frequently proposed. Naturally, not all objections have been sound ones. In this article, I will be going through some of these objections that I label the top 5 arguments atheists should stop using.
Number 5: "science and religion contradict"
This is a very common misconception I often hear made by skeptics and atheists when it comes scientific evidence. This is the issue that religion cannot be reconciled or be consistent with science. However, the contrary is true. Starting from my position as a Christian, this is not the case. Apologists such as John Lennox give a very well rounded and concise position concerning this falsehood. For example, the existence of a jet engine is explained by what? The parts that make it and the laws of internal combustion, or the engineer? It would be bizarre to suggest that both these explanations conflict with one another. Rather, they complement each other and give a coherent picture as to “why the jet engine.” Those who subscribe to a faith and believe in God, view him as the causal agent behind what makes up our physical world. Just as a programmer is the cause behind the code in a computer program. I also hear people say, "I don't believe in god, I believe in science", so are they suggesting because I'm a Christian I reject the theory of gravity? Or the laws of thermodynamics, and so on? This simply is not the case with religious belief.
Number 4: "Who created God?"
God's existence has always been in debate among theists and atheists, but this tends to be a common objection. This question is usually posed as a type of conversation stopper, rather than with sincerity. This just shows a lack in philosophical understanding of who God is. God, according to his properties, is not a created being, this question would assume that we are proposing created a God. God can be defined by the following: immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless, infinitely powerful, eternal, personal, unconditioned, and endowed with freedom of the will, or ontologically speaking, the highest conceivable being. With God outlined correctly, we no longer have any reason to assume God needs to be created, unless we want to be guilty of making a category error. Since God is a metaphysical being, God can also be viewed as an abstract concept just like abstract objects in philosophy. Mathematics, numbers, shapes, etc. exist entirely on their own with no external explanation but become very axiomatic like the laws of logic. Often, this is a response towards cosmological arguments. This fails due do to not properly understanding what the premises convey. Only things that begin to exist require causes, this follows logically that God would not need a cause due to his divine property of being eternal and timeless.
Number 3: "You were raised that way"
When skeptics try to undermine the validity of a person's testimony, this is usually the objection that is raised. While yes, many theists were born into environments where religion is practiced, this does not logically follow that anyone's sole belief in God is only grounded in the fact that they were introduced to it where they were born. This would make the objector guilty of the genetic fallacy. The logical form: The origin of the claim is presented. Therefore, the claim is true/false. Even if the sole reason for a belief in God was due to the brain washing of a specific person, this does not in any way disprove their belief. If God truly exists, then the brainwashed individual has arrived at the correct conclusion. Using myself as an example, I was raised into a religious home, but affirmed my faith through facts and evidence, even though I was born and raised to already believe it. Santa clause, the tooth fairy, and many other myths are usually abandoned at adolescence, but a belief in God holds true for millions at any age, giving us good reason to assume that theistic belief is much more than one’s origin.
Number 2: “Religion is the source of the world’s problems”
This position is usually taken by those who are anti-theists and see religious belief as hazardous. A claim that is typically stated is that all major wars were religiously motivated ones and the gruesome atrocities committed in humanity can be ascribed to religion. While yes, certain inhumane actions were rationalized by religious belief, it does not logically follow that inhumane actions can be traced to just that. I can easily look to the history of the 20th century and demonstrate the data. We have enough non-religious ideologies being pushed at the time leading to the death of millions. We have: Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, Chiang Kai-Shek, Vladimir Lenin, Hideki Tojo, Pol Pot, and on I can go. All together coming to a grand total of 122,064,000 lives lost. That’s almost 130 million lives lost by the hands of non-religious peoples. Professor R.J Rummel writes in his book "Death by Government" that, "Almost 170 million men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed or killed in any other of a myriad of ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners." In the light of this evidence, we can correctly conclude that religion cannot be the only responsible source for humanities atrocities and problems.
Number 1: “Jesus never existed”
The reason this is deemed as the worst argument on this list is because of its historically dishonest and scholarly inaccurate position. To claim Jesus of Nazareth never existed would be to deny historical consensus on the subject. It’s a scholarly debate whether Jesus rose from the dead, but to deny his existence is not scholarly. Josephus and Tacitus are often invoked on the matter writing about Jesus of Nazareth in their text. They were two ancient historians and scholars who affirmed the life of Jesus in their written accounts. Here is a link to the full discourse of listing sources: https://beliefmap.org/jesus-existed
Even non-believing New-Testament scholars such as Bart Ehrman attack this radical view that Jesus of Nazareth didn't exist. The bottom line is that only minority groups hold to this view of Jesus not existing and are seen by professional and academic circles as being dishonest in their work.
Tim runs Invoking Theism: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcXdCHoaSy0kNSv-KwjiSqQ