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What If Every Christian Disappears?

Earlier this week, I got an e-mail from a Christian asking me if I would believe in fundamentalist Christianity if every Christian on Earth suddenly disappeared. The reasoning being that they were “obviously” all raptured up to Heaven, so that must be evidence that it is all true, right?

I responded with a one word answer of, “No.” First, even if the obviously ridiculous “rapture” story popularized by the Left Behind series were true, not every Christian would be raptured away. Only those “True Christians” who take the Bible as fundamentally true and as literally as the law would allow would be magically whisked away to Heaven bodily.

But I digress, if these fundamentalists suddenly disappeared, my first thought would not be, “oh, I guess they were all right and I missed the trip to magic happy-land.” It would probably be closer to, “I knew fundamentalist Christianity was a suicide cult.” I would look for the most naturalistic explanation that would fit with the observations and facts. In this case, mass suicide would make much more sense than magic happy-land.

But let’s say that after analyzing the data, it was clear that it was not suicide and was in fact some unexplained mystery. I would still consider alien abduction before raptured to Heaven. But let’s rule that one out and say that it all the evidence some how indicated the raptured to Heaven conclusion (how I don’t know). Would I believe?

I guess I would believe, but I still wouldn’t follow. The God in which these fundamentalist Christians worship is immoral and no magic sign would convince me to worship such a being. If such a deity wants me to worship him, he has already proven that he is not worthy. The desire for worship is vain and unbecoming a just deity.

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  • http://godlessons.com Godlessons

    I’m not sure I would be so strong in my skepticism at that point. Sure I would look for a natural explanation first, but if a huge number of these nuts just disappeared all at once without a trace, especially if they left things as if they weren’t leaving, I think I might start thinking twice.

  • JASJS

    You say that God is immoral. How do you know what is moral or what is not – Where do you get your standard of morality? What is ‘just’?

  • Kirk

    My first thought would be (quoting Harris and Dennett) “Now we have a material basis for the Science of Yeshua”. The barrier to understanding the world is still contempt prior to investigation dude.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    JASJS, Please see my article on Moral Grounding.

  • http://thebrunettesblog.wordpress.com Ginny

    Fun question! I would also look hard for a more naturalistic explanation, but I think by the time we got to “maybe an alien abduction?” as a plausible theory, I would have to take into account the peculiar selection of abductees.

    Although that brings up an interesting point: how sure would we be that it was all True Christians and only True Christians that had been taken? Even fundie Christians agree that you can’t know someone’s heart, and even if their theory were true surely there would be a number of “Really? he got raptured/left behind?” cases. Accordingly, how much do you want to bet that any mass abduction which included a large group of believers would be interpreted as The Rapture by some, with all the discrepancies explained as, “We can never know someone’s heart”?

    Of course it’s all moot, since it’s never going to happen.

  • JASJS

    We read your article Staks. We really considered what you said. However, your article still did not explain where a standard of morality (the understanding that there are things such as rape and murder are always wrong) actually comes from. So can I ask you another question? If the God of the Bible was real, could He reveal things to us in such a way that we could know them for certain?

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    JASJS, Then I suggest you read more carefully, because I did talk about where moral standards come from. But, I should probably write a part 2 to this article and include some some of the more recent philosophical and scientific ideas.

    If the God of the Bible was real, could He reveal things to us in such a way that we could know them for certain? Yes! In fact, I would argue that if the God of the Bible were real, we would know moral truths with absolute certainty. The fact that we do struggle with understanding what is moral and what isn’t, is strong evidence against the existence of the God of the Bible. I will also add that the God of the Bible often acts immorally by both his own standards and ours.

  • JenniferT

    If it was just True Christians™ who they were taken up bodily, then I would have to favour the “rapture” explanation, since I would find it more plausible than imagining that spacefaring aliens could have such poor taste in abductees.

  • JASJS

    The reason why people struggle with what is moral and what isn’t moral is because they are trying to go against what God clearly states is moral or not. So how do you know what God does is immoral? You are using logic to argue with me….where does logic come from? This may appear as circular reasoning; however, you have to eventually come back to the foundation of how you can think of anything.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    JASJS, Are you fucking kidding me? Now I know you haven’t read my article on Moral Grounding.

    Here is another article I wrote on that crappy Presupposition Theology crap you just talked about.

  • Jen Cort

    You either believe in God with unchanging morals and credit God for the basis of all morals with his unchanging character OR you get your morals from the past (which changes daily) and the past got their morals from nothing. So really there is no point in even having morals at all, because there is no basis or law for those morals.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Yeah okay, except that obviously Christian morality isn’t grounded!!!

  • Jen Cort

    …so you agree that it is pointless for you to have morals?

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Um, NO! Did you read the article?

  • http://www.socialinjustices.net david

    My first thought would be, finally we have a chance to live in peace. Surely though somebody else would come up with some mythological crap that would strengthen their true right to be the dictators of moral superiority, because not all narcissists are Christian, just all Christians are narcissists.

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