Why do Christians need an answer for everything?

So. Jerry handed me a book on Christianity and Science that was written by some college professor he’s friends with.

I didn’t get past the 20th page because the book was going on about things like “free will, animal suffering and offering Christian theories on why animal’s suffer, and then Christian morals.” I couldn’t keep reading it because the author was making so many claims involving God loves this, God loves that, God blah blah blah. It was bullshit and I handed it back to him.

Jerry is like, “don’t you want to know why these things happen?” and I’m like NO! I don’t need to know why animals and children suffer. I know why! Why do religious idiots like the Taliban go around torturing and killing little girls? It is what it is.

I don’t know why Christians just have to hamfist religion in with science. I don’t know why they have to credit everything to their deity. It’s annoying to hear “Oh, God created it. He created everything”

And if you say you don’t believe. Here comes a creation debate. “If there is no God. How did everything get here.”

and I’m like " I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Were you there when the planet started existing?"

and they’re like “I don’t know isn’t good enough” or “Atheism is a cop out” remark.

and just because I don’t have all of the answers. We’re just going to go off of what some crazy book says?
I never said I had all of the answers. What’s with the know it all insults anyway?

The other common response I get is “Yes, you do believe in god. Why do you hate him?”

@MrDawn It appears you are allowing yourself to be drawn into a shitstorm of different arguments.

I won’t tell you what to do, but this is what I would do. I would address just one argument at a time. And I would demand valid reasons and proof in every counter-argument they offer. I would attempt to control the argument by asking the hard questions.

And every time they referenced the bible I would point out it’s history, that a collection of stories by unknown authors was collected and edited by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

The bible is the claim, it is not the proof.

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Just so.

Simpler still. Begin by demanding the interlocutor provide empirical evidence for the existence of his god(s)

Apologists will almost invariably try move the burden of proof, to make you justify your position. You need justify exactly nothing if you have made no claims. To simply assert “I don’t believe in god(s)” is not a claim, so you have no burden of proof. Nor do you have an obligation to explain jack shit.

It is the interlocutor who has made the claim(s). Up to him to justify his claim, not to you to show he is wrong and why.

Caveat: to say " I know there is no god" or “I believe there are no gods” are affirmative claims and attract the burden of proof. That god exists is the most important claim. Until that is shown to be true with empirical evidence, every other claim/ argument posited by an apologist is a distraction and irrelevant.


It reminds me of the cartoon with a dead body surrounded by grieving relatives and a pensive witch doctor with his hands on his hips looking dejectedly at the corpse.

The caption reads “Well, there’s still so much we don’t know you see.”

It never fails to make me laugh, just like theists trying to sneak their superstitious wares under the umbrellas of science.

It hasn’t been 2 weeks since Drich was telling anyone who would listen that scientific evidence wasn’t possible for his deity. So this is great news, when will the book be peer reviewed? :laughing:

I’ve never heard of the First Council of Nicaea. Are those the fanatics that put the Bible together?


That was when the present canon was ratified. The list was largely the work of one man, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria.

The Council was convened by the emperor Constantine (who was never a Christian as far as I can tell) in ce 325. The reason for the council was political, nothing to with spirituality. The goal was to make that particular christian sect the church (out of dozens of sects) and to restore church power to Rome, away from Constantinople. Anyway, that’s my take.

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This is huge historical evidence that proves to ME that Christianity really is a fraudulent religion. If I strongly didn’t believe in it before. Then this further cements my Atheism.

Thank you guys. This means a lot.

Fraudulent as an organisation? Who knows. I certainly can’t read the minds of others. However, imo christianity became corrupt as soon as it installed a hierarchy, with an absolute autocrat at its head…

The Church became ineffably corrupt when the emperor Theodosius made that particular sect of “The Way” the state religion of the Roman empire latter in the fourth century… That gave them the power to murder all dissidents or suspected dissidents with the approval and encouragement of the emperor. That mayhem continued until well into the sixteenth century.

Hard to prove fraud because you have to prove intent, which can be very hard to do. Much easier to prove corruption because that can be proved through a miscreant’s actions. EG the Child sex scandals and the church cover up both indicate corruption at a systemic level, imo.

If you want really juicy corruption, have look at the Borgia and Medici Popes for a couple of hundred years.


They don’t need an answer for everything …what they want is to get science supporters to say “I don’t know” … then they can run the …“that’s not good enough” schtick …

They are trying to represent themselves as coming from a position of certainty … they cannot accept that “I don’t know” is a perfectly good response to any question …if it is that the questioned does not know the answer … in their world “I don’t know” is not good enough because they deal in certainties (quite incorrectly) but that is what they’re trying to present as their position .

Witness their tortured contortions trying to square their self inflicted circle of dogma…
when asked questions that they cannot answer…

Questions like “WHY?” when they say “that it’s not good enough to say I don’t know” …
or why is “Atheism a cop out” when we are not the ones repeatedly fabricating texts & testaments.

You don’t need to have all the answers … what you need are some of the questions…

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@MrDawn The point is that there were verbal stories that were passed on for who-knows-how-many generations before being put to paper. And anyone familiar with the telephone game or how stories grow and morph into tales of fantasy, no one can assert what really happened. Outside of the bible, there are no contemporaneous accounts of jesus.

Those tales now transcribed to paper were assembled by the Council, with the express purpose of not revealing the truth, but putting into place an assembly of stories that matched their agenda. Stories may have been omitted, some edited, it was flat-out revisionism.

Here’s a tidbit. The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are a cornerstone of the jesus story. Those names are attributed to the four disciples. But they did not author those gospels. The authors are unknown, and those four gospels contain many contradictions and conflicts in the jesus story.

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Yair. Try explaining that to the average Christian, not just fundies. I was raised Catholic and always believed the four named disciples actually wrote the Gospels.

I’m assuming Saul is meant to have actually written written the epistles (letters) attributed to him. Excluding the known forgeries.

It strikes me as a bit odd that Christians of the day believed the hallucinations of an erstwhile persecutor as gospel (so to speak). What made him so special?

Richard Carrier argues the historicity of Paul is likely precisely because he was so ordinary.

That a single person did write the 6 unchallenged epistles is beyond reasonable doubt. Let us not forget what “historicity” is., it is NOT “history” Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history instead of being a historical myth, legend, (see wikipedia)

Paul unlike the apostles or Jesus was a person, he wrote letters. They were (badly) preserved, mixed up and regurgitated. But they show all the hallmarks for being from a single person writing in the mid 1srt century.

Were they from the Saul/Paul figure? we do not know. Were the later gospels based on their hallucinatory accounts mixed with other stories and religions? Absolutely, in my opinion.

He was so influential that people were still forging letters in his name 300 years and more later.

Paul (whatever) was literate, a visionary, a persuasive writer and would have been a powerful figure in the newly emerging cult world of the various “christian” communities.

It must be remembered that in the Roman Middle East and, indeed, in Rome itself, the Jewish religion had a special place. They even had special laws that exempted them from the usual annual sacrifice and taxes ( see Pliny the Younger for evidence of the confusion that caused).

Synagogues were often packed by the curious to hear the history of this strange people who claimed to be have the most powerful God anointing them and, remember Judaism claimed to have the ONLY god in captivity (albeit invisible) behind the curtain of the temple. Curious in itself to a polytheistic society. Also Judaism had the scrolls of Torah in each and every synagogue, all of which allegedly predated the entire Roman and Greek civilisations. Yes they were a curiosity and had special treatment from the early 1st century until their assumption of power at the beginning of the 5th century.

That that proved attractive to a chancer like Paul? I consider it very likely, the one stumbling block? To be “christian” one first had to be a jew (or become a jew) and that process involved ritual bodily mutilation. Again a process that horrified many of the Graeco Roman world who had been brought up on the Platonic versions of the perfection of the human form.

Whoever “paul” was, he defied the Temple at Jerusalem and insisted that gentiles could be “saved” without the assumption of “Jewry” and all that entailed…for men at least.

Paul was not “ordinary” (As Carrier maintains) he was an extraordinary cult leader who bullied and harangued a young cult into future greatness…and no doubt earned a fair few cisterces on his own account whilst doing so.

In short a cunt, but an inspirational cunt all the same. I don’t doubt his existence whoever he was, I doubt his “visions” and his contradictory messages, his motives and his results.

Which goes back to a very fundamental question: Did you read the entire bible? Or just listen to the sky pilot in the pupit deliver his weekly interpretation as you nodded your head?

Personally, I feel into the latter category until much later in life when I was at the tipping point of becoming an atheist.

It would be insane to believe this were even possible. Though this never stops theists from insisting they do, and inserting their chosen deity into any and all gaps they can find, using argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.


Thanks again for a thoughtful and erudite post. I learned, as I usually do with your posts.

I have a biography of Paul called “Paul: The Mind of The Apostle” by A N Wilson, an historian I like. I’ve been reading this book for about 6 years now, having read as much as100 pages. I must make the effort to read it. I think I’ll have to start at the beginning again because I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve read. I’m not sure I remember where I put it----(ten minutes later) Nah, can’t find it. Found a couple of others books I’d mislaid; a terrific biography of Caligula and A history of The first crusade. Paul will turn up. Pretty sure I haven’t given him away or loaned him to anyone. I may have to clean out my wardrobe.

That is a really good book. I won’t bore you with a reading list as I am sure half the fun you and I experience is finding the meadow of historical flowers and sucking, like a butterfly, from the ones that appeal most.

I find Paul/Saul as repellant as he is necessary to the foundation of the Christianity we know and revile today. Reading ‘his’ epistles it can be clearly be seen that he had a rapacious desire to control this embryo religion that had already spread to all corners of the Empire. He wanted to expand its base (and so his earnings from “donations”) and to do so he was happy to cast aside his own jewishness and adherence to the law.

But was he? He remained a devout jew, he only introduced the gentiles to the jesus figure. A perfect Man and perfect Jew who obeyed the Law.
His quarrel was with the Second Temple headed by James. By not ensuring the gentiles followed the Law (including circumcision) he condemned them to life outside the Garden of Eden when the next world came to pass. In some traditions they would be slaves to the chosen ones who were devout Jews.

Was this the paranoid objective of this compelling and complex character? Certainly he did not foresee the hijacking of his epistles by the gospel writers or the dilution of his message by the Greaco Roman divine traditions of the time. (Virgin birth, magical events, reincarnation) .

I can only speculate, but the more I read this charlatans messages to his adherents the more I can see his appalling (but all too familiar to us nowadays) strategy of milking the audience for their worth.

It is interesting to compare the early traditions of the Thomasinian Church in India, founded without the Pauline influence and speculate just what that Church would be like today if it hadn’t been infected by the Portuguese brand of Catholicism in the 15th Century.

That is my current study.

Fascinating stuff.

Don’t know anything much about the Thomasine church founded in India. Is there decent evidence to show it was actually founded by the apostle Thomas the skeptic, ‘doubting’ Thomas (?) He who is also called the twin. I have no idea to whom he was meant to have been a twin.

I was under the impression that mainstream scholars think the Thomas element in India is myth.

Yeah, no doubt Thomasine christianity would have ben very different without the dogmatic and quite horrid medieval Spanish Catholicism.

The Christianity with which we are familiar is called “Paulism” by some scholars. It is my understanding that Paul de-jewified “our” Christianity, by removing the ritual commandments. Perhaps the most important was removing the requirement for circumcision. That meant gentiles were able to join. Adult circumcision was a life threatening procedure at that time and extremely painful

It’s my understanding that in the early days, the new faith, often called “The Way” was especially attractive to the marginalised, specifically women and slaves. Of course, this new religion promised them an afterlife far better than the one they had.

A couple of things bother me about Paulist christianity:

Jesus is recorded as saying : Matthew 5: 17-18 “17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

It’s my position everything was most certainly not accomplished. In the early days of Christianity, a basic teaching was that Jesus would return. He said so himself : Matthew 16:28" . [S]ome of you standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

I think it can be argued that Jesus did not come into his kingdom because he did not return as he promised. Early followers seem to have believed that Jesus’ return ,and with him the New Age of world peace, were imminent. When Jesu didn’t turn up, christianity became just another failed millenarian movement. The early church fathers changed Jesus’ expected return to some vague future time and quietly dropped it.

During my Catholic upbringing, ‘the second coming’ was only ever mentioned in passing and was never taught in any detail.


My next confusion probably has something to do with the contradictions found within the bible. IE Jesus said:

Matthew 10:5 " These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:"

It tends to be constantly over looked (imo) that Jesus as described in the bible was a devout Jew and rabbi. The sect he founded was above all, Jewish.
yet Paul seems to have ignored Jesus’ crucial admonitions and effectively invented his own religion. But I’m an ignorant man, I’m sure I’ve misunderstood.


Oh, I found A N Wilson’s “Paul; the mind Of the Apostle”. It was hiding underneath a National Geo. Only bought that book because I enjoyed his " The Victorians" so much.

If you’re interested in the history of that time ,with the Roman influence, I recommend ; " Caligula: The Corruption Of Power" by Anthony .A. Barrett. He points out that most of what we think we know about the emperor Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus comes from Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars’, which he considers scurrilous . However, Barrett is no revisionist , he does not rehabilitate Caligula, but tries to be a bit more objective. Having only read this one book on the topic, I’m not really able to reach an informed conclusion.

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Do you mean me or them?

At the Catholic school I attended, we were actively discouraged from reading the bible, “lest you become confused” ( I kid you not) So naturally, I read the entire thing at the first opportunity. I was 16 and began to question a lot I had not questioned before.

For the first 1400 years at least, most people learned about their faith from the local priest, who was often almost as ignorant as they. In most of the world, literacy was rare and copies of the bible perhaps even rarer, and only in Latin.

Before the renaissance it was quite common for even monarchs and the aristocracy to be illiterate.

The widespread reading of the bible came only after Gutenberg’s printing press, the printing of the bible in the vernacular and most of all, the protestant reformation. For the first time, christians were actively encouraged to actually read their bible. The catholic church was most displeased; such changes corroded its power. .

Not you. I was pointing my finger at the “average” christian who dutifully goes to church each Sunday.

My family and myself fell into that category. We went to church each Sunday, had some bible story books around the house, assumed that there was a god. Yet I do not remember seeing a bible sitting around the house, or my parents ever holding one.