Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death; and they were not finding any. For many were giving false testimony against Him, and yet their testimony was not consistent.

- Mark 14:55-56 NASB


Unbelief wouldn't be nearly as unbelievable if unbelievers could get their unbelief straight.

Read enough anti-Christian literature and you'll hear some mutually exclusive arguments and contradictory claims, sometimes by the same person in the same article.

Read on to see what I mean...

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How to improve the argument for unbelief.


"Hatred of mind, of pride, courage, freedom,...hatred of the sense, of the joy of the senses, of joy in general is Christian."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it."

- George Bernard Shaw


There are two characteristics within the typical writings of atheists and agnostics that always flag a believer's attention. Such weaknesses within the position of unbelief tend to draw avoidable fire during discussions with believers and distract from the core issue of the gospel. If nonbelievers would correct these, it might improve the dialogue between the two sides.

1. The first weakness in the position of unbelief is its inability to provide a consistent and coherent alternative to the biblical worldview.

On one hand, nonbelievers can claim the defense attorney analogy and say that discovering the correct analysis of "life, the universe, and everything" is simply not their job. Many do, some effectively, but end up being predisposed to any or all beliefs, even contradictory ones, as long as the beliefs do not involve God. For some, just arousing the possibility of doubt about God's existence is sufficient to reject belief.

Doubt, however, can also exist about secular alternatives to the biblical worldview. For example, there are doubts even among nonbelievers as to the exact answer to the question of humanity's origin. When pressed on the subject of a preferred theory, a nonbeliever might:

A. Support evolution along the lines that Charles Darwin suggested (Darwinism), and doubt modern variations of that theory, or...

B. Endorse the revisions to Darwinism suggested by genetics (neo-Darwinism), and doubt Darwin's initial assessment, or...

C. Prefer the modifications Gould and Eldridge suggested (punctuated equilibria), and doubt classic Darwinism, or...

D. Adopt a theory along the lines Crick and Orgel suggested (directed panspermia), and doubt all previous theories, or...

E. Go with Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's modifications to that, and doubt Crick's directed panspermia, etc., etc.

The point is that nonbelievers cannot reject propositions about God solely because "those can be doubted", and yet accept propositions of atheism when each of those can be doubted as well. Mere doubt is insufficient grounds to reject any position.

Furthermore, an unbeliever dedicated to winning an argument with a believer is likely to internally favor any or all of these theories over the possibility that God was involved in any uncomfortably direct fashion. But to either embrace or favor contradictory theories only so long as they are atheistic is being neither logical nor true to scientific method; and it is only on logic and scientific method so many atheists claim to stand when they say there is no God. This is philosophically inconsistent, and is not a tenable position from which an unbeliever should expect to win either converts or arguments.

2. The second weakness in the position of unbelief is that proponents cannot seem to get their accusations straight against believers.
The quotes at the top of this page by two nonbelievers are an example: is Christianity supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing?

Inconsistency in accusations makes it difficult for believers to know exactly what nonbelievers really object to, and to what exactly they should respond. It also makes nonbelievers appear confused or dishonest in their reasoning. Here, from various sources, are examples of the conflicting accusations or contradictory pairings I'm talking about:

Advice to unbelievers: Be sure to get your story straight about what you believe and to what you object. You have the right to be heard, but also the obligation to be honest and consistent.



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See also:

What is truth?

God, evidence, and atheists