I wrote an article on Monday about objections to Christianity. As a part of that article, I went onto an atheist website called ExChristian.net (well, some there would say that they’re not atheists, but all of them were non-believers), and engaged the community for several days. It was, to say the least, an eye-opening experience.
As I went onto this website, I knew that I would be an outsider. I was cordial at all times in my comments, and was engaging. I also did not engage in name-calling of any kind, and tried to contribute to the discussion, as they requested on their website. Here is the worldview that I encountered on ExChristian.net:
Christians are idiots. A surprising amount of the comments directed at me were ugly and stinging. There was one commenter that apologized for some of the others, saying,
What you and many Christians classify as just angry atheists can be explained if you want to listen. How would you feel if you embraced a religion whole heartedly and practiced it for decades only to find later that this religion was a false religion. Wouldn’t you be a little angry that you wasted so much of your precious time? Wouldn’t you be angry if you found out that the doctrine and theology that you believed for so loing [sic] was not true? I think you would.
And that is why you see so many on this site reacting with some anger to your statements which they are aware of and know to be not true. We are not angry people unless we are provoked. And Christians which come to this site trying to reconvert us provokes us.
Atheists are morally superior to Christians. Most of the atheists that I encountered did not believe that there is objective morality. Several of them conceded that their morality came from within them, and some said that the government (or morality by majority) was better than a religious-based morality. There were many that thought that an evolved ability to reason is what has led to a refined moral sense in humanity. They said an atheist can lead a moral life just as a Christian can, and can be more moral, even.
God is evil. Many of the people that I encountered on ExChristian.net left Christianity because they believe that God is immoral or evil, based upon how they read the Bible. One commenter said, “the bible is inherently flawed and cannot be logically defended. How can a just, perfect god break his own commandments? How can a just, merciful, loving god callously kill millions of babies and children (the flood, the passover, etc)? How can a loving, just, merciful, god order his followers to kill and condone rape and slavery? It is irreconcilable.” This is a topic that I intend to cover in a post that will be coming soon.
The Bible is a bunch of bunk. A common theme in the comments on Ex-Christian is that the Bible is untrustworthy. Visitors made comments about the Bible like:
- The Bible was written by Neanderthals.
- The Bible wasn’t written until 300 years after Christ’s death, so it cannot be reliable.
- The Bible isn’t the oldest book ever written, so it can’t possibly chronicle the beginning of the world, or be more reliable than older books.
- The Bible was created from the tribal myths prevalent at the time of its writing.
- The Bible was written by human beings, not by God.
Anyone who would question non-belief is not wanted. There are many religions in the world, and most religions are happy to accept objective criticism or debate, but the religion of non-religion is one that rejects any arguments that oppose them. I found many used-to-be-Christians claimed that they had agonized over their leaving Christianity, but for many, they no longer wanted to talk about the issue. It appears that the ExChristian site was only for people who wanted to affirm people in their unbelief. At the end of my experience, one commenter said this:
Bob’s characterization of the role of the Holy Spirit is completely at odds with what the RCC and Eastern Orthodox churches have long taught. It is a very alarming that Bob apparently believes the Holy Spirit guides him whilst allowing doctrinal error to flourish in churches that collectively have had billions of members since their beginnings some 2,000 years ago. Talk about Bob being a special guy!!!
Methinks it is time for WebMDave to send this one packing.
There were many other commenters on the site that had no qualms about personal attacks and bad logic. I tried to answer one of their questions about the Holy Spirit, and was ridiculed for, well, you see the comment above. Notice the condescension at others’ beliefs, and even for logic itself?
(UPDATE: I need to make an update here. Not ALL of the people on ExChristian.net were disjointed in their arguments. There were a few who asked good questions in a rational way. There was one commenter, Truth Seeker, who was especially helpful and asked some very insightful questions which leads me to…)
As a result of my experience, I learned a lot about who they are as people, and a little bit about what they believe, but their arguments seemed a little bit disjointed at best. So, I will be introducing a new series on this blog called “Cross Examination: Is Debunking Christianity Possible?” in the next few weeks as a study of the perceived problems with Christianity. I wanted to call the series “52 Weeks to Disproving Christianity,” and make it a year-long series, but I don’t know if I want to commit to only 52 weeks. In this new series, I will delve into the questions about Christianity that both drive people from the church (as on ExChristian.net), and those questions that keep people from ever entering the church in the first place.
Questions: Is there something that’s always bothered you about Christianity? About the Bible? About Christian history? Let me know, and I’ll make it a part of the series. You can leave your comments and suggestions by clicking here.