Christians often get upset with me and other atheist writers when we talk about the beliefs that a large number of Christians actually believe. They claim that we are merely making a strawman argument, that our criticisms don’t represent their beliefs, and that we don’t give True Christianity the proper thinking that it deserves.
When someone like me writes an article or a blog post about Christianity or religion in general, we generally write to a wide audience which may or may not represent ever single Christian. If we wrote an article to address one view of Christianity, then some other Christian would criticize us because we didn’t talk about the “True” view of Christianity. That’s really the problem here. Every Christian claims to have the “Truth” and their “Truth” is radically different from some other Christian’s “Truth.” Furthermore, none of them can back up their “Truth” with any actual evidence.
The fact is that Christianity is a broad term. There are many people with radically different beliefs who claim to be Christian. Believe it or not, I have even met people who don’t believe in a god and still call themselves Christians. There are Christians who are politically liberal and focus on the parts of the Bible dealing with poverty issues and there are Christians who are politically conservative and focus on the parts of the Bible dealing with pretty much everything else. There are Christians who view the Bible as largely metaphorical except for the parts they like and the whole God thing, Jesus returning from the dead thing, and a few other supernatural aspects. And there are Christians who view the Bible as largely literal except for the parts that even they can’t stomach like physical stonings, the restrictions of working on the Sabbath, dietary laws, treating women as property (although some might come pretty close), and various other rules.
Of course if you ask a Christian why they focus on the aspects they focus on, they will have an answer for you regardless of what aspects they focus on. They all claim to have the “Truth” in regard to God’s perfect word, but at the end of the day it’s all bullshit and there is no evidence to support any of it regardless of the views said Christian supports.
This is why I don’t give Christianity the “proper thinking” so many Christians mistakenly believe that I should. Those beliefs don’t deserve “proper thinking” or any thinking at all. They are flat out ridiculous. Even those Christians who reject the belief in a literal deity in favor of the teachings of a man named Jesus ignore the ridiculous beliefs attributed to Jesus.
Should we have a philosophical conversation about whether or not Santa actually flies around the world, going down every chimney, on a single night? Well, it isn’t strictly 24 hours because of the time zones, and his magic Santa dust allows him to squeeze down the chimneys despite his large size, he has elves help him to create toys and… lol. Yes, Christian beliefs are that silly to those not in the religious bubble of bullshit. Christians should seriously consider how their beliefs sound to those who never heard them before. Imagine you are a rational human being with no religious beliefs and someone told you that some dude named Jesus died 2000 years ago and then came back to life three days later. Would you believe that on faith alone or would you demand evidence? Would you reason that 2000-years-ago people didn’t understand anything about medical science and that stories might get exaggerated over time or would you just conclude that this ridiculous tale must be Truth on faith alone?
The reality is that the story of Christianity even in its most basic form is ridiculous. From Jesus to God, the whole thing is silly and deserves zero intellectual scrutiny. The fact that rational people are actually willing to entertain intellectual discussions on the topic is a credit to us. We’re the nice atheists for not just laughing in your face and calling it a day. And when we do laugh in your face and call it a day, it is what your beliefs actually deserve. Most of the time however, we do a little bit of both. We laugh at your beliefs because they are silly and ridiculous and then we engage in intellectual discussions about the truth-value of those beliefs.
That’s super generous of us. Your beliefs don’t deserve to be intellectually discussed at all. The way I see it, if you express ridiculously silly beliefs in public, then you should suffer the obvious consequences. Sam Harris talked about the immediate price that someone pays when they walk into a job interview or a first date and discuss their sincerely held belief that Elvis is still alive:
Even Christians laugh at Tom Cruise when he talks about Scientology. In fact, Scientology is a great example of how there are certain beliefs that simply don’t deserve intellectual discourse. Should we have serious debates about how far away Xenu’s planet is? Or how many Theatans reside on the average human body? Why don’t Christians give these questions proper philosophical thinking? Instead those who express such beliefs and raise such questions pay the price of ill-concealed laughter… as they should!