Most Christians Don’t Believe in Jesus due to Evidence, But Due to their Emotions

Image result for image of evangelical young people singing praise songs

I believe that in the case of the overwhelming majority of Christians, their belief that a first century peasant is the creator, ruler of the universe, is based primarily on their warm, fuzzy, comforting feelings about this belief, intuition, perceptions, and subjective personal experiences. In reality, historical evidence plays a very small role in their belief. Appeals to weak historical claims are used as a front by apologists to provide respectability for this ancient superstition to the secular world. Most educated Christians don’t want to admit that their supernatural belief is primarily based on their emotions, yet the truth is—it is!

Christian apologist William Lane Craig once said, “The simplest of Christians (someone with no education whatsoever) can know that Jesus rose from the dead (and is therefore the Creator and Lord of the universe) simply by the testimony of the Holy Spirit in his heart.”

Christian apologetics is a ruse. The real issue is this: Are intense feelings, intuitions, perceptions, and subjective personal experiences reliable, sufficient evidence for universal truth claims? The answer to any unbiased person is: No.

A “cumulative case” for Christ? Yea, cumulative in this sense:

Emotions, intuitions, perceptions, subjective personal experiences: 90%
Empirical and/or historical evidence: 10%

That kind of “cumulative” belief regarding a universal truth claim, such as who or what is the creator of the universe, is silly and irrational. If a member of any other religion on the planet used this “cumulative case” for his god or gods, Christians would hand-wave away his or her argument without giving it any thought. Yet, Christians expect skeptics to engage in mind-numbing philosophical mind games in their desperate attempts to make a silly and irrational “cumulative case” for a two thousand year old superstition appear reasonable and rational.

Wake up Christians! This is cult thinking!  You are in a cult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of post.

40 thoughts on “Most Christians Don’t Believe in Jesus due to Evidence, But Due to their Emotions

  1. Agreed. Christians generally start with their beliefs, and apologetics is really just post-hoc rationalization process for what they already believe. I think this is part of the reason why apologetics is very rarely (if ever) successful at conversion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Studies done from 2007 through 2011 in 40 countries around the world, including the United States show that the rational choice to adhere to a religion is heavily self-centered, not theological, not necessarily empirical, or not even miraculous, but instead based on the question, what will the decision cost ME? Here is the source-link for the 2007 study:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w13689.pdf?new_window=1

    Due to typical WordPress Anti-Spamming features usually enabled, I’ll post the 2011 study in the next comment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Appreciate your honesty, but want to challenge the notion that the scholarship of the Church is a ruse. Look up Robert D. Wilson, for example. Do you know anyone who learned 44 languages? He not only did that, but learned every language used in Old Testament interpretation. His entire academic life was spent on one question: can we trust in the historicity and accuracy of OT scriptures?
    As to your assessment that Christians rely on emotion rather than evidence, I agree in part; like falling in love w/ a spouse one uses their heart, mind, and experiences more than a flow chart. (Maybe that works for computer programmers.)
    Speaking from my life experiences, I’ll say this: it may be hard for you to entertain how mocked, how unfairly criticized, how academically blocked all kinds of Christian thinking and scholarship is both legally and culturally blocked from even expression in American culture since the late 1980’s.

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      1. Yep, and they would be included and under the umbrella of “Church scholarship”. I think Gary is just being honest that he doesn’t respect the scholarship and minds of people like Thomas Aquinas, Kirkegaard, Solzhenitsyn, RD Wilson.

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          1. I guess we may need to define scholarship. I’m mostly thinking in broad terms: how many years of study, what universities, how many books written, how influential in human thinking, etc.
            What I don’t get is this; why does modern academia reject any notion of faith as worthy of study? Why did so many excellent students get pushed out of universities based on bias against their faith? As a historian, I don’t see the need for a fear of Jesus, or those who claim his worldview. IMO the most heinous destruction of human lives came, oddly, through societies that embraced humanism and rejected any notion of deity. Do we base our current curricula on humanism because of its success in the 20th century? I would say that based on the 20th century, Christian apologeticicists have alleviated more human suffering than their detractors. What do you think?

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            1. What I don’t get is this; why does modern academia reject any notion of faith as worthy of study?

              Because, to be blunt, ‘faith’ is the study of nothing.

              As a historian, I don’t see the need for a fear of Jesus, or those who claim his worldview.

              Jesus worldview was primarily focused on helping the poor the sick and can be best described as socialist.
              As far as I have been able to ascertain, the vast majority of Christians do not actively embrace this worldview and it is certainly not part of the evangelical credo which seems to be primarily a doctrine of developing subservient followers indoctrinated with ”blood guilt” as the Jewish term refers largely based on the nonsense of ”sin”.

              Christian apologeticicists have alleviated more human suffering than their detractors. What do you think?

              If you will excuse the unscholarly term – Utter bullshit, and I would challenge you to provide evidence for such a sweeping and rather obnoxious assertion.

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              1. The death toll of fascists, stalinists, maoists, Castro, Pol Pot is quite high, isn’t it? Let’s just say it’s 60,000,000 deaths. Why did these governments kill rather than debate their opponents?
                Conversely, why were millions of the poorest of the poor, the least of the least, fed, educated, housed, and loved by those who follow the simple maxims of Christ aka the Shema to Jews:
                “Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. AND
                “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”
                He also upped the ante with “Love your enemies and pray for them.”
                Is this an ideology of conquest like Marxism?

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                1. Christianity spread across the globe primarily through conquest.
                  Are you suggesting the only alternative to religion are the various forms of brutal regimes you have listed?
                  BTW, I note you left out secular humanism in a democratic society. Why was that?

                  Why did these governments kill rather than debate their opponents?

                  I’ll venture for similar reasons the religious have ( and still do in some respects) slaughtered their way across the globe.
                  Greed, control/power.

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                  1. I dis agree to all points except the last. My point is that our 21st century academic culture NEVER makes humanism or atheist-based worldview own their destructive impact on the 20th century. They only remember and celebrate the positive.

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              2. I agree to disagree that Jesus espoused what we would call socialism. Why? Jewish or Christian community is the result of choice. Marxism since 1849 is a revolution that forces collectivism: either through the slow path of the Fabian Socialists or the fast path of Trotskyites.

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                1. There have been and are socialist governments that are democratically elected and are not Marxist regimes.

                  Based on the biblical text , Jesus could never be described as capitalist, and his ideology was socialist.
                  I am going to presume you are aware of the texts/verses yes?
                  I can list them if you are in any doubt as to the ideology of the character Jesus of Nazareth.

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                    1. In a limited sense, the character Jesus of Nazareth did care about economic systems -.
                      Pay unto Caesar etc …
                      I say limited as he ( capitalizing this word is just silly) pronounced that the end of the world ( to use a vernacular term) was at hand.
                      Of course, he got this wrong, but maybe his somewhat socialist-leaning utterances were based on his erroneous belief regarding his false/failed prophecy?

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                2. Check your history books. When Christianity was made the state religion by the Romans, pagan temples and books were pillaged and destroyed. Leading pagan authorities were killed. Christianity drips with the blood of millions of innocent people, from the earliest of days of this religion through the conquest of pagan Europe, through the Crusades, through the Inquisition, through the numerous pogroms, through the complicity of Catholic and Protestant Churches in the Holocaust, down to the brutal discrimination and persecution of gays and lesbians in Christian strongholds in Africa, Asia, and the United States itself.

                  Your religion REEKS of immoral behavior. So let’s add it to your list above: Fascists, Stalinists, Maoists, Castro, Pol Pot, and a significant percentage of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. First of all term “humanism” and the term “atheist” are not interchangeable. Stalin may have been an atheist but he certainly was not a humanist, at least not a democratic, secular, humanist which is the form of humanism espoused by the overwhelming majority of atheists in the democratic, educated West today. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of people in (American) academia are Christian (and Jewish and Muslim). They may not be your particular flavor of Christian, but they self-identify as Christian. Most non-theists have no problem working with most educated Christian professionals. We only have a problem with fundamentalist/evangelical Christians who elevate their holy book as the highest authority in all spheres of life, including science and academia.

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                1. Unlike religious humanism, secular humanism eschews transcendentalism in any and all forms. Depending on the context, transcendentalism can mean outright mysticism, the “spiritual” (itself a term with many meanings), or simply a rush toward emotional closure disproportionate to the knowable data. However defined, transcendentalism is rejected by secular humanists in favor of a rigorous philosophical naturalism: “naturalists maintain that there is insufficient scientific evidence for spiritual interpretations of reality and the postulation of occult causes.”4

                  How about atheism? When people ask me whether I’m an atheist, I say, “Yes, but that’s just the beginning.” Unlike simple atheism, secular humanism affirms an ethical system that is: rooted in the world of experience; objective; and equally accessible to every human who cares to inquire into value issues.

                  I make this point cautiously, since religionists often falsely accuse atheists of having no values. Most atheists I know have strong value systems. In fact, some of my favorite atheists are secular humanists without knowing it. But atheism is only a position on the existence of God, not a comprehensive life stance. Nothing about atheism as such compels atheists to adopt any particular value system. British author Jeaneane Fowler noted that “while atheism is a ubiquitous characteristic of secular humanism, the most that can be said of an atheist is that he or she does not have belief in any kind of deity; the majority of atheists have no connection” with secular humanism.5

                  The same is true for agnostics (who doubt God’s existence on epistemological grounds) and freethinkers (who engage in systematic, rational criticism of religious doctrines). Like atheism, these stances are not morally self-sufficient. Freethinkers who call it unfair of God to condemn his creations to hell must reach outside of freethought to construct a concept of fairness. Secular humanism is unique among these life stances in that it contains within itself all the raw materials needed to construct inspiring value systems that are both realistic and humane.

                  Source: https://secularhumanism.org/what-is-secular-humanism/secular-humanism-defined/

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. @ PTH
                      You simply do not get it do you?
                      Once again ….
                      Atheism is simply the lack of belief in gods – your god and every other, and nothing else.
                      This lack of belief is based on the total lack of evidence for gods.

                      It is not a way of life, has no doctrines, no ”sacred” texts or books, no secret handshakes, funny walks or special hats, and it hs no worldview.

                      Furthermore, it can be reasonably asserted that, there are plenty of atheists who are utterly revolting people who have no values whatsoever.

                      Please tell me you finally and fully understand what atheism is?

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        1. Contraire.

          There are some NT scholars for whom I have a great deal of respect, Roman Catholic scholar Raymond Brown, for one. I have a problem when a scholar is also an apologist, as is the case with Mike Licona. I think it is very difficult to separate scholarship from evangelism if one is blatantly attempting to win souls in one’s writings. Look at the final chapter of Licona and Habermas’ books and you will often see an invitation to believe in the dead Jesus of Nazareth as one’s eternal Savior and Lord (master). That is not good scholarship.

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    1. It is my opinion that no belief system based on alleged supernatural powers and events should be taken seriously or granted respectability in our educated, technologically advanced, science-based, democratic society. If we grant respectability to one supernatural belief system, then we must grant respectability to ALL supernatural belief systems, including those which directly counter scientific facts—such as the belief that diseases are caused by evil spirits not viruses and bacteria. A society in which all supernatural beliefs are given respectability is a society descending into ignorance and chaos.

      The United States of America is a democratic country whose constitution specifically forbids the official recognition of legitimacy of one particular supernatural belief system (religion). I suggest we ALL continue the fight to keep it that way. Otherwise, someday, it may be someone else’s supernatural belief system (religion) that your children are forced to study in school.

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      1. I think we have a double protection in our constitution. Congress is not to make laws to establish or prohibit any religion. How then was Lemon vs. Zorach a constitutional law? The Supreme Court, which is not a legislative body, decided that only “secular non-ideology” was to be taught in public schools. Yet, secular non-ideology both established and prohibited the free expression of ANY faith in public school since 1971. How does this seems legitimate?

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        1. How would you feel if within the next five years so many Muslims (or Jews, or Hindus, or Bahai, or Mormons, etc.) move into your children’s school district so that they become the majority of voters. And this new majority of Muslim voters votes to include lessons from the Koran in the educational curriculum in the education of your children (or grand children). How would you feel then??

          Keep the State out of Religion and keep Religion out of the State (which includes our public schools)!

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