Are Christians Prewired to Believe the Bible?

Let’s start by agreeing the biggest variables in whether or not a person is a Christian, Muslim or Hindu is the religion of his/her parents and country of birth.  The easiest path is to follow the religion of birth, it’s harder to leave it.

I was reminded of this today when reading an “analysis” of the pagan faith done by a Christian.  The jist of this analysis is the pagan faith is one of gods that are imagined, gods of the mind.

The Christian faith, on the other hand, has a real genuine god. The “proof” of this was the human god, Jesus.

To make this leap, it is necessary to believe the Bible recorded either everything correctly, or, was mostly correct.

One must believe the super natural events, that the motives of the characters was what it was reported to have been and events were recorded accurately.  When one observes the standards for varifying all this is much lower for the Bible than for current events, it raises doubt about the objectivity.

For example, the primary evidence that Jesus was God came from Jesus himself.  We would not accept anyone’s claim today in the same way.

I’m reminded of the story during the past decade of “weapons of mass destruction.”  There was never varification of them to our general satisfaction.  Nevertheless, today people claim they existed or exist somewhere.

When people of one religion skewer another, they would be viewed in a better light if they would acknowledge the influence of their religious heritage.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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19 Responses to Are Christians Prewired to Believe the Bible?

  1. Matt Slocomb says:

    I often read your blog and while I disagree with you on most things, I find that you help to stimulate my thinking. For example, you state above that “the primary evidence that Jesus was God came from Jesus himself.” I disagree, although it is important to show that Jesus believed himself as God. For a start to stimulate your thinking, check out this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaRoT0mr5oI&feature=related

    I think William Lane Craig (the speaker in this clip) is generally the most formidable Christian apologist around today…so much so that Richard Dawkins refused to come and debate him this fall. There are a bunch of debates of Craig (e.g. versus Hitchens, others which are found on Youtube). If you find a good clip, I would hear it out. Thanks…

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Thanks, Matt, for your post 11:49. Richard Dawkins’ version of the invitation to debate is different. He dismisses Craig as not worthy. Everyone can make up their own minds.

      • Matt Slocomb says:

        Can you post an email, website post, or video where Dawkins specifically explains why Craig is not worthy in his view? I know when Hitchens debated Craig he stated that he was brilliant on a few times…one random quote… “I don’t think any of the evidence we heard from Dr. Craig, brilliantly marshalled as it was, was extraordinary enough to justify the extreme claims that are being made, backed by it.” From what I have seen of Hitchens, he wasn’t one to minch words or give time to someone who isn’t qualified. I know Dawkins liked, respected and cared about Hitchens deeply. I thought they would be like minded here.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Matt 12:48 re: Craig not worth of a debate with Dawkins.

          I’m sorry I don’t have time to seach for the Dawkins reply–I think it was on one of the atheist organizations’ sites. As I recall it was something like Craig takes as given facts certain developments. Dawkins wants to argue about evidence. So, Dawkins concludes for them to debate provides nothing helpful to an audience.

          • Matt Slocomb says:

            The British Humanist society actually tried to set up a debate between the two, but Dawkins wouldn’t do it. What I find ironic here is that even members of the atheist community point out what I have been getting at here: that Dawkins won’t debate Craig because he is afraid to in the sense that Craig is a formidable opponent and Dawkins doesn’t want to lose. In fact, Dr. Daniel Came, who is a professor at Oxford and an atheist, wrote a letter to Dawkins stating “The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.” If Dawkins believes that Craig assumes something in an argument that is factually false, I think the best thing to do would be to debate him to point it out. While I don’t think Dawkins is the best debator on the atheist side (the best I had heard was Hitchens in my opinion, sad that he died), he is probably the most well known, so seeing that debate would have been great for both sides. On a side note, who else in the atheist camp is good to listen to? I saw the Harris/Craig debate and the Dsousa/Hitchens debate, as well various others (e.g. Provine/Johnson from the early 90′s I believe). If you know of any other good ones I would be interested. Thanks…

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Matt 3:28 Here is a review at the American Atheists site that claims, as one would expect, that Craig lost a recent debate and has been unable to come up with an argument to counter a new argument called “the evil God” case. You might enjoy this review:

            http://atheists.org/blog/2011/11/16/debating-religion-the-evidential-problem-of-good-and-its-implications

          • entech says:

            I did catch an answer on question time at some conference (about 4 on the table, two on each side of whatever the subject was) when asked by someone in the audience he said that he didn’t debate creationists or professional debaters because he was far to busy with other things. Possibly a cop out but actually I don’t think Dawkins is a very good as a religious debater, brilliant on biology which is his subject. Even though I am strongly inclined to his skeptical viewpoint I did not find the God Delusion very convincing, even so more convincing than any apologetics I have read.

          • entech says:

            On the Debate with Stephen Law, I still think that the various theodicies are unanswerable without assuming things that cannot be known or plain evasions, free will and mysterious ways come to mind.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Matt 12:48 “Can you post an email, website…where Dawkins …explains why Craig is not..” worth enough to debate.

          I had read this explanation a long time ago but could not remember Dawkins’ specific argument. I found it again:

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/richard-dawkins-william-lane-craig

          • Matt Slocomb says:

            Thanks, this is what I was looking for…I couldn’t find a specific response from Dawkins. If you see a specific response from Dawkins to the points Craig made debating his book, let me know. I’m going to look for a response to this article…

  2. entech says:

    “The jest of this analysis is the pagan faith is one of gods that are imagined, gods of the mind.”

    This must be the funniest typo ever. I am presuming you meant gist (sometimes jist) which is a summary, coming from the french lie, and originally a legal term meaning to lie at the core of the matter.

    When you say jest it is hilarious, when viewed in context.

  3. opinionated says:

    My, you are really obsessed with Christians and religious faiths? For someone who doesn’t believe and even chastises those groups openly just why is it you can’t seem to talk about much else? Did you get thrown out of one previously and you can’t accept the rejection of it? Or did your advances get turned down by a religious man? Whatever the root cause of your possession you really do need therapy.

  4. Bob says:

    “you really do need therapy.” opinionated 7:48
    That’s one of my biggest fears, that coming out of the atheist closet will cause some supernturalist faithheads to declare me mentally ill, or crazy or hurt me in some other way, my job, or other way. Big parts of my so called Christian loving family members have already shunned me, and it hurts. If that is what Christianity is all about, shunning family member’s or other people who have a different way of thinking than them, I spit on religion. Not on the people brainwashed by it, the victims, but on the religion mind virus itself.

    And for those of you

  5. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Something I’ve observed . . . people who are fortunate enough to be born into a certain station in society often have this incredible belief in their entitlement. They are completely oblivious to the fact that it could have been so much different had they been born into the group of people they despise.

    I’m very glad God chose Ricky and I for a nice suburban life and lets other people suffer in poverty and despair. Clearly they deserve it. They must be lazy or something.

    I often wonder what the behavior of one of today’s fundies would be like had they been born Muslim or Hindu? Would they ‘know’ being a fundie is right and convert?

    I doubt it.

    • Bob says:

      But wouldn’t that be prejudice against rich people, many of whom were just clever, worked hard, and got lucky for their money?

      I think the fundamentalist religious spans all income levels, and their sense of religious entitlement with them. At least that’s what I’ve noticed.

      Often the wealthy, because they have the means, are the first to experiment with new health experiments, new tech stuff, and so on, and their trial and error advanced trickles down to us, the less wealthy.

      I don’t think all is as it seems most of the time.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Mac 2:38 “…today’s fundies would be like had they been born Muslim or Hindu? Would they ‘know’ being a fundie is right and convert? I doubt it.”

      Great question, Mac. I doubt it as well. Would some of them be the suicide bombers killing people of other faiths? I’ve never heard of an atheist or religious moderate being a suicide bomber, just religious fundamentalists. The Christian version of this is the abortion doctor murderers who gladly take the death penalty for “doing God’s good deeds”.

  6. Bob says:

    Christopher Hitchens often said there is no such thing as moderate religious. I think Sam Harris too. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Dawkins too thinks that.

    The reason is, is because the fundamentalists subscribe to their religious texts more deeply than the moderate, but the moderates admire the fundamentalists for being more pious than them, for following the letter of their text better than them. There’s a guilt associated with being a moderate, a guilt of not being a fundamentalist who followes the scripture more exactly.
    And “moderates” often look the other way when “fundamentalists” are just following the scripture better than them. The thinking is no less skewed though.
    “Moderates” at that moment just aren’t choosing to follow the scripture as closely, but who knows when and if they will?

  7. Wanna B Sure says:

    I thought I would give some joy to the non belief community. Original sin should be considered a reason to be hardwired NOT to believe in the Bible. So you see, original sin is a friend of atheism. Original sin should be heartily embraced by non-believers.

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