Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The False Claims of the “How Do We Know that Christians Are Delusional?” Video

There is a video on YouTube called "How Do We Know that Christians Are Delusional?” put out by a group of secular humanists that claims to show that Christians are delusional by first showing the competing claims of Mormonism and Islam. The argument is that all three religions are in their own “delusional bubbles” and that the only way to become rational and not harm society with their “delusional” beliefs is to burst the bubble by rejecting their faith. My objections are as follows:

• This video assumes that God does not exist which an unproven belief. The Kalam Cosmological argument, the Leibnizian Cosmological argument, Plantinga’s Ontological argument, moral argument and fine tuning arguments show that God probably exists.

• This video is packed with loaded language such as delusional, dangerous and fairy tale. This emotional language is trying to emotionally sway the viewer.

• The video wrongly assumes that if one religion is wrong then all religions are false. As I have written here religions can be viewed as different hypotheses that can be tested. This is a fallacy known as denying the antecedent which can be written as If A then B, Not A, thus Not B. Just because some religions may be false does not mean that all religions are false.

• At 5:40 the video begins describing several Biblical events such as the immaculate conception of Jesus and Jesus’ miracles as “magical” with the assumption that miracles are impossible. As I wrote here if God exists then miracles are very likely because God created the natural laws and can suspend them whenever He wishes.

• At 7:20 the video claims that if people are freed religious delusional bubbles then they’ll see that all religious people are delusional. How do they account for atheist/agnostic people like C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, and I becoming Christians?

• At 7:42 there are two false assumptions; that prayer has been proven false and prayer is harmful for society. As I wrote here, prayer could only be proven false if you assume that God is an omnipotent cosmic genie that must do everything we demand. This is a clear misunderstanding of God’s role in our lives. God answers all prayers with a yes, no or later. Prayer could only be harmful if it as not rationally applied such as a person who is seriously ill who prays but does not consult a doctor. If people pray first and then go to see a doctor or take other initiative then prayer is a good thing. People should think of prayer as including God in their actions and decisions.

• At 8:00 the video absurdly says that Christian faith devalues life and causes countries to send soldiers to war because it is believed that they’ll go to heaven if they die. The Christian faith teaches that we are all made in the image of God and that life is precious. Wars are fought for power and control of resources which has nothing to do with belief in heaven. On the other hand, naturalism says that we are here by chance and merely animals whose existence will end shortly. If the earth, the universe and the human race is doomed, as science teaches, then why does life matter at all?

• At 8:18 the video says that belief in the return of Jesus and the destruction of the earth skews our thinking about our species and slows scientific progress. Calling the return of Jesus “dangerous mythology” is a biased opinion. Both science and Christianity say that the earth as we know it is doomed, so trying to save it is delusional. Science says that there are many ways the earth could be destroyed, but ultimately, when the sun turns into a red giant, the earth will be baked--there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Christianity teaches that the earth will be renewed and transformed when Jesus returns. This does not mean that, in the mean time, all Christians think that we should live for today and abuse the earth. Several Christians, like me, believe that we should steward the earth and protect it because it is God’s gift to us. We also don’t know when Jesus will come back so we need to ensure that the earth will be livable for years to come. Also, faith does not impede science, as the two can coexist. I believe that science is our window into how God does works in the physical world. I can think of several scientists who are Christians.

• This video fails to mention the positive teachings of Christ. If everyone followed the teachings of Christ and loved their neighbor as themselves then the world would be a better place.


  1. "God answers all prayers with a yes, no or later."

    Can you offer one (1) single personal experience you have had in which you know for a fact (not believe, but know) that what you asked for, in prayer, was immediately and positively a "yes" answer by your God?

    Can you offer one (1) single personal experience you have had in which the only rational explanation for it is a supernatural intervention by your God as a result of your prayer?

    Keep in mind that I was, for 25 years, a bible believing Christian, who had prayed often over those many years and I could not then, nor can I now, point to one (1) single positive experience of answered prayer.

  2. The confirmation bias does make it difficult to tell with certainty whether or not God actually answers our prayers. As you probably know, the confirmation bias is a tendency to accept evidence that supports someone’s hypothesis or beliefs whether or not that evidence is true. Say you pray for a particular job and you end up getting that job. You won’t know if God gave you the job because you asked for it or if it was just chance that you got the job. You also don’t know if God had planned, before you were even conceived, that you would get that job and so you would get that job regardless of whether you prayed for it or not.

    By supernatural intervention, I take it to mean a suspension of the natural laws that God established. I guess I can’t think of a particular instance where God had to necessarily suspend natural laws to answer my prayers. I have a friend who had a serious medical condition, as a child, that threatened to take his life. His church prayed for him and he got better and is alive and well today. Was this a suspension of natural laws? Perhaps, but again the confirmation bias could be tricking my friend and his church into believing that God miraculously healed my friend. We just can’t say for sure.

    However, the confirmation bias cuts both ways. You, as an ex-Christian, say that prayer is nothing more than just talking to ourselves. So, to prove to me that prayer is false, you ask God to give you the ability to fly like Superman. God doesn’t answer this prayer so you say, “Ah-ha! See God and prayer are false because he didn’t answer my prayer.” How do you know that you aren’t being fooled by the confirmation bias? For all you know God may have had a perfectly good reason to not grant your prayer—perhaps he knew that you would have flown into a building. All this proves is that a cosmic genie god that must obey all our commands does not exist. This does not prove that a good, omniscient and omnipotent God doesn’t exist or that prayer is false.

  3. Very well then. But you claimed that - "God answers all prayers with a yes, no or later.", but you don't KNOW that. You only BELIEVE that, because you know very well that "...confirmation bias cuts both ways."

    The problem is Keith, from my (and yours) past experiences, God answering "yes" always looks exactly like coincidence, good luck, or human intervention. His "yes" answer always looks like that.

    His "no" answer always, ALWAYS looks just like he didn't hear or he doesn't exist...because he never actually says, verbally, NO!

    As for the "later" answer, well that's not really worth debating.

    So, how can you claim, why would you claim that "God answers all prayers..." when you don't actually KNOW that?

  4. To be able to tell for sure how God answered a particular prayer we would need to know the mind of God which is not possible. This means we would have to take it on faith whether or not a particular prayer has really been granted. This does not mean that prayer has been proven false or that prayer is harmful as the video alleges.

  5. Hahah keep wasting your lives you crazy christians... you only get one, no afterlife, just this one pass. This one life you guys are wasting away praying to magical invisible sky daddy. HAhahahaa

  6. Anonymous @ April 12:

    For you to know your insulting and immature claims about Christianity with absolute certainty, you would have to be omnipotent (as in, to be like God yourself) - which you're not.