Sunday, 22 June 2008

Dying for a Lie?

One of the well known apologetic arguments is that because Xians were persecuted and died for their beliefs, this somehow proves that those beliefs were/are correct, and therefore Xianity is true. Allow me to be underwhelmed by this argument. If it were true that only true beliefs are worth dying for and people would only put their lives on the line for true beliefs, then I suggest that we all convert to just about every religion the world has ever seen. Throughout the ages people have been willing to kill and die for their religious beliefs. Muslims have died for their beliefs. Mormons have died for their beliefs. Jews have died for their beliefs. Hindus have died for their beliefs. Name a religion and you can find someone who has died for their belief in it. That early Xians did so is not at all surprising and not evidence that those beliefs are true.


Patrick Dunnevant said...

Let me be clear: I reject this argument, at least how it's commonly made. We only have reliable textual evidence for a few of the disciples dying for the faith, and for those we can make an argument. But the rest, we don't have anything! It's commonly stated that all the disciples died for the faith, but we have no idea what eight of them died from. So yeah, I agree that it's a bad argument.

But you're still misunderstanding it. The argument goes like this:

The disciples knew their religion was false, and yet they died for it anyway. But that doesn't make sense. Why would anyone die for something they know is false?

Mormons don't know their religion is false. Muslims don't know their religion is false either, just like Hindus or Jews don't as well. Thus, them dying for what they believed to actually be true is irrelevant to the argument, which is talking about things that people KNEW were false.

GCT said...

And why should these disciples be any different? Why would you assume that they would know it is false and other early followers of other religions wouldn't? It's as simple as that. It's still a bad argument.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of you can appreciate this George Carlin routine.

Steven Bently said...

Just saying someone died for their beliefs is all the proof some people need in order to believe.

Jesus died on the cross, ok that's all the proof I need to believe the Bible is true.

But Jesus, (if he ever existed, in which I highly doubt) thought he was sent by a god, but he was also a total fool, just like we have fools running this country, they are made out to be BIG WISE RULERS, but in turn they are all blatant fools.