What is so Bad about Christianity?

 

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Home Page - Index
 
Authorities Assessed
Old Testament
New Testament
Apostolic Traditions
Church Fathers
Emperors
General Church Councils
Popes
Conclusions
 
Early Christian History
What Jesus Believed
Who Founded Christianity?
Creation of Doctrine
Origin of Ideas & Practices
The Concept of Orthodoxy
Origin of the Priesthood
 
Maintaining Deceptions
Suppress Facts
Selecting Sources
Fabricating Records
Retrospective Prophesy
Ambiguous Authorities
Ignore Injunctions
Invent, Amend and Discard
Manipulate Language
 
Case Studies
Re-branding a Sky-God
Making One God out of Many
How Mary keeps her Virginity
Fabricating the Nativity Story
Managing Inconvenient Texts
 
Christianity & Science
Traditional Battlegrounds
Modern Battlegrounds
 
Rational Explanations
Religion in General
Christianity in Particular
Divine Human Beings
Ease of Creating Religions
 
Arguments for and Against
Popular Arguments
Philosophical Arguments
Moral Arguments
Supernatural Arguments
  • Miracles
  • Revelation
  • Faith
  • Practical Arguments
     
    Record of Christianity
    Social Issues
  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Capital Punishment
  • Penal Reform
  • Physical Abuse
  • Treatment of Women
  • Contraception
  • Abortion
  • Divorce
  • Family Values
  • Children
  • Romanies
  • The Physically Ill
  • The Mentally Ill
  • The Poor
  • Animals
  • Ecology
  • Persecution
  • Persecutions of Christians
  • Persecution by Christians
  • "Heathens"
  • Witches
  • Heretics
  • Schismatics
  • Cathars
  • Jews
  • Inquisition Victims
  • Philosophers
  • Freethinkers
  • Blasphemers
  • Apostates
  • Humanists
  • Pantheists
  • Unitarians
  • Deists
  • Atheists
  • Church & State
  • Symbiosis
  • Meddling in Governance
  • Interference in Politics
  • Abuse of Power
  • Church Law and Justice
  • Exemption from the Law
  • Unofficial Exemption
  • Financial Privileges
  • Control Over Education
  • Human Rights
  • Freedom of Belief
  • Religious Toleration
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of Enjoyment
  • Attitudes to Sex
  • Celibacy
  • Sex Within Marriage
  • Sex Outside Marriage
  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Homosexuality
  • Transvestism
  • Prostitution
  • Pederasty
  • Bestiality
  • Sadomasochism
  • Necrophilia
  • Consequences
  • Science & Medicine

  • Ancient Times
  • Dark and Middle Ages
  • Sixteenth Century
  • Seventeenth Century
  • Eighteenth Century
  • Nineteenth Century
  • 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Medical Records Compared
  • Violence & Warfare
  • Crusades
  • God's Wars
  • Churches' Wars
  • Christian Atrocities
  • Cultural Vandalism
  • The Classical World
  • Europe
  • The Wider Modern World
  • Possible Explanations
    Summing up
     
    Marketing Religion
    Marketing Christianity
     
    Continuing Damage
    Religious Discrimination
    Christian Discrimination
    Moral Dangers
    Abuse of Power
     
    A Final Summing Up
     
     
     
    Bibliography
     
     
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    Religious Quotations
     
    Christianity & Human Rights
     
    Christian Prooftexts
     
     
     
     

     

     

    Many Christians and non-Christians remain largely unaware of the history of Christianity. This website lays out the facts as clearly as possible. Popular and topical areas are:

     

     

    For more detail and other topics see below:

     

    An Assessment of Christian Authorities.

    How do we know what Christianity teaches? Thousands of Christian Churches teach different things, and all Churches over two hundred years old have changed their teachings during the last two centuries. One reason for disagreement is that different Churches select different sources of authority. Among these sources are various writings, notably the Old Testament and the New Testament. Another source of authority is "traditions" especially "Apostolic Traditions" supposedly passed down from the earliest years of Christianity. Other sources include notable early Christian men - the so-called Church Fathers.

    Over the centuries Christian Churches have also accorded supposedly infallible authority to various men. For many centuries the Roman (ie Byzantine) Emperors were held to be infallible - a fact that is now heavily downplayed. Churches also taught that Councils of the whole Church, so called General Church Councils, were also infallible. More recently the Roman Catholic Church has claimed that Popes are also infallible. Each of these authorities is assessed, and the assessments summarised in Conclusions.

     

    Early Christian History.

    Christians and others often assume that Jesus believed himself to be divine, one of the three persons of a divine Trinity. There is in fact no evidence at all for this, so a good follow up question is that of what Jesus believed himself to be according to the earliest available documents and in the light of what is known about Palestine two thousand years ago. Another is that if Jesus did not found the Christian religion, then who did found Christianity? And how was doctrine created? And where did Christian ideas and practices come from?

    Related to these questions is the concept of Orthodoxy. Given the contradictory and otherwise unsatisfactory nature of the various Christian Authorities how can anyone know what constitutes the "correct" form of Christianity among the thousand of past and present denominations? One particularly thorny issue is the idea of a Christian priesthood, so the origin of the Priesthood is investigated in some detail.

     

    Case Studies

    Reviewing the development of Christian doctrines, ideas and practices reveals a number of techniques that have been employed to enable Christianity to develop in the directions that its leaders have wanted to follow. These case studies show how these techniques have been employed to re-brand an Old Testament Sky-God as a more acceptable Jewish and Christian God, to present the many gods identified in the Old Testament as a single God, to maintain, that Mary, the mother of Jesus, kept her Virginity before, during and after the birth of Jesus in the face of every possible sort of contradictory evidence. Further case studies show how the familiar Nativity Story was concocted from a number of unrelated Old Testament passages and how inconvenient texts have been managed to make them acceptable.

     

    Christianity & Science

    According to many Christian apologists there cannot be any conflict between Christianity and science, since they deal with different types of knowledge. They occupy different domains which do not overlap and so they cannot ever come into conflict. This view is open to challenge by reviewing traditional battlegrounds, including Early Christian Attitudes to Science, and then specifically Cosmology, Mathematics and Physics, Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Medicine, Philology, Philosophy. In these the battles are now fought and have been decided. There are also a number of modern battlegrounds including Evolution and Genetics, Creation Science, and Origins of Life, some of which have important consequences

     

    Rational Explanations

    One explanation for Christianity is that it is the One True religion. But this is not the only possible explanation for the existence of Christianity. There are a number of non-theological explanations for the existence of religion in general and for Christianity in particular. Of particular significance is a universal human tendency to assign divinity to ordinary human beings and a remarkable human proclivity to believe in even the most unlikely religions, including unlikely Christian sects.

     

    Arguments for and Against Christianity

    A number of arguments have been advanced in support of Christianity, for example purporting to prove the existence of God. These have been divided into five categories. Popular Arguments are arguments that are commonly put forward by believers. Philosophical Arguments are more sophisticated reasoned arguments that have engaged philosophers in the past. Moral Arguments boil down to variations on a theme that Christians have a demonstrably superior moral code in comparison to non-Christians. Arguments from Miracles, Revelation & Faith rely upon evidence of the supernatural (Miracles such as Stigmata, and miracles worked by relics, saints, healers and other miracle workers, and visionary prophets); Revealed knowledge is knowledge supposedly provided by supernatural agency; and Faith, it is claimed, provides its own proof of the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Finally some practical Practical Arguments are presented, assessing Christian claims against what would reasonably be expected of a true religion.

     

    The Record of Christianity

    In line with the Moral Argument already mentioned, if Christianity was the one true religion, or was divinely inspired, then Christians should be able to demonstrate a superior morality and a superior moral record. Thus Christians would have a better record on Social Issues (such as Slavery, Racism, Capital Punishment, Penal Reform, Physical Abuse, Treatment of Women, Contraception, Abortion, Divorce, Family Values, Children, Romanies, The Physically Ill, The Mentally Ill, The Poor, Animals, and the Environment). Christians would have endured Persecutions of Christians without carrying out Persecutions themselves. Again, Christians would have a good influence on the governance of Christian States (for example creating a constructive Symbiosis between Church & State, not Meddling in National Governments, and exercising a positive influence in politics). Christians would have exercised a sensitive and positive influence over all aspects of Sex, would have promoted research into Science & Medicine, would have a record of opposing Violence & Warfare, and no record of Cultural Vandalism. As Christianity does not always live up to expectations, some Possible Explanations are considered and the evidence Summed up.

     

    Continuing Influence

    Although the power of the Christian Church is much reduced in the modern world, it still exercises influence. All countries in the world Discriminate in favour of at least one religion. Many discriminate in favour of Christianity. In particular the Churches still affect modern morality and exercise considerable residual power.

     

     

     

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