Is Christianity Irrational?

June 11, 2010
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Perusing the articles submitted by many writers on Teen Ink, it seems religious people in general, and Christians in particular, are constantly ridiculed and labeled as “retarded”, “out of touch with reality” and “irrational”. However, these assertions seem more like a priori metaphysical naturalistic assumptions, rather than evidentially presented arguments.

First of all, why is anything that reaches into the metaphysical realm deemed “irrational”? If the “supernatural” (to use a post-Enlightenment term) really does exist, then it would not be irrational to believe in it. The naturalist making the assertion that theism is irrational seems to justify his assertion only with a metaphysical assumption of materialism.

Second, the naturalist also assumes that no one has rationally come to theism or Christianity. Of course, there are many who have come to Christianity with a methodology that the empiricist would frown upon, but this does not apply to all converts.

For example, I and many other Christian theists such as J.P. Moreland base our beliefs on evidence and rational argumentation. The validity of the evidence and arguments themselves is for another discussion at another time, but the fact that there are many Christian theists who do indeed base their beliefs on rationality runs contrary to many naturalists' claims.

The scientifically established finite nature of the universe, which had it's beginning at a certain point at the Big Bang, warrants a “First Cause”. The very articulate and fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe begs the question of teleology. The existence of objective moral values, duties and oughts points towards something from which said moral duties must emulate. The historical reliability of the textual and oral traditions of the New Testament documents, and the uniqueness of the resurrection of Jesus in such a socio-religious milieu that was so hostile to it, all strongly attest to the historical reality of the New Testament documents' accounts of Jesus and his resurrection. These are just some of the many things that warrant people like me to accept Christian theism.

Again, the validity of these arguments and evidences is irrelevant for now. It has been shown that many Christians have their beliefs warranted by rational thinking. They could be wrong, of course, but this at least shows that they ground their beliefs in evidence, which runs contrary to many naturalists' assumption that all Christian theists think “Faith picks up where reason leaves off”. I do not base my beliefs and convictions on “feelings in my heart”, but rather on well-examined evidence. I could be wrong about my beliefs, but they are still rational (for there is a distinct difference between being right and being rational).

There are many rational atheists as well. There all also some who are irrational, just like there are Christian theists. Hopefully all theists and atheists will base their beliefs and convictions on reason and rationality, and then they could rationally dialogue about their differences, instead of assuming the other is just “irrational”.

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logical said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm
well put, yet a good use of vocabulary does not equal rational thought. There are scientific explanations for certain biblical myths, as well as, more importantly, psychological and anthropological reasons for the very existence of religion. Why do you think religion existed in ancient societies? Because it was a logical belief? No, it was a unifying factor that lent rulers "descended from the gods" authority. Back when you could be killed for questioning authority, people learned to stop questi... (more »)
M.W.M. replied...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

As I said in the article, I was not assuming the validity of the examples of the arguments I was offering. I was merely saying that I do not hold my convictions in spit of, or with lack of, evidence, but rather I do indeed seek evidence, and use it to guide my convictions.


I could be horribly wrong, and the evidence could suck, but that's not the point. At least I'm not like "I don't need evidence, I just believe". I say: "Yes, I need evidence, and I won't believe otherwi... (more »)

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