Being an open and unapologetic Christian often brings mockery and hostility. I’ve seen a lot of it, especially in my line of work in academia and the sciences. I remember a colleague of mine told me “you’re a very intelligent man, how can you believe in such obvious falsehoods. It’s not reasonable.” I’ve heard all of the arguments. They all have one common thread, they propose to base their belief if logic and reason and have a tendency to mock the believer for their supposed lack of logic and reason.
One particular argument has always amused me. A gentlemen who shall remain nameless on an occasion proposed to me the following scenario. He said “Christians are dumb because they believe in an afterlife. There is no evidence whatsoever that there is anything beyond this life. You believe in an afterlife based on faith. Faith is not reasonable. The fact that there is no evidence should be enough for you to conclude there is no God.”
If we break down this argument is fails in almost every regard. His essential position is that Christians believe in something based on faith. What he doesn’t realize is that his argument is based on faith as well. How? He claims that there is nothing beyond this mortal existence. How does he know that? Has he somehow made it past our mortal existence to see what’s beyond? Has interviewed people who have passed on? The real problem with this argument is that he assumes the opposite conclusion by the same means as the believer. The only difference is the believer is honest enough to admit that his impulse to believe is faith.
Furthermore, he assumes in his argument that lack of evidence is somehow proof. If this were true I could accuse anyone of anything no matter how absurd and claim that because they have no evidence to contradict it, the accusation must be true. This is not logic. If he is to claim there is no afterlife he must present proof that is that case. He cannot in fact do that.
Lastly, he falsely concludes that because there is no evidence of an afterlife that God does not exist. This is a logical fallacy called a non-sequitur(it does not follow). Simply put, one cannot conclude that because there is no afterlife that there is no God. These two ideas don’t follow. God is not dependent on an afterlife for His existence. Therefore, the conclusion is not justified by the premise.
Watch out for bad arguments. They are abundant and if you are not careful you could be persuaded to believe them.