Young earth creationism and the demise of Christianity

I have a confession to all of my readers.

I am a sadomasochist, I like to inflict pain on myself.

Consequently, I watched one of the latest video of Ken Ham about the “seduction of our kids”.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJPESir_moI]

If I were to refute all fallacies in this single video, a whole library could not contain all books which would have to be written.

The Leitmotiv of Ken Ham’s was that “Secularists are here to capture your kids”.

He pointed out that 2/3 of all American college students lose their faith in God and showed us videos of deconversion where people have become atheists after having been confronted with the scientific evidence for evolution.

Ken Ham believes this is increasingly happening because there is not enough young earth creationism.

Tragically, quite the contrary is true. These young folks have given up their faith BECAUSE they have been indoctrinated by creationists who taught them that they ought to reject Evolution if they want to be Christians.

Now, I have two questions for my readers:

1) what is your favorite fallacy of Ken Ham?

2) do you believe that (as a species) young-earth creationism will die out and be competed out of existence?Importa

 

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40 responses to “”

  1. labreuer says :

    That picture is priceless.

    • lotharson says :

      Unfortunately this is not a parody. The folks of Answers in Genesis which created it were quite serious.

      I could not think of a better way to make Christianity look utterly ridiculous.

      Ken Ham is causing much more people to lose their faith than Dawkins and his underlings could ever achieve in their wildest dreams.

      • xon-xoff says :

        @ lotharson

        “Ken Ham is causing much more people to lose their faith…”

        perhaps, perhaps not.

        when i was about 7, there was no Internet as we know it today; neither were there any “New Atheists” nor any apologists around. there were theists aplenty. and, i did not believe. not sure if i lost my faith, since i don’t know if i had one to begin with. but, i recall that i followed my mother in her Catholicism until i was about 7.

        thus, i “lost my faith,” if you want to call it that, all by myself. there was no Ken Ham espousing YEC that lead me away from “faith.”–whatever faith means.

        perhaps i am singular in my story above, perhaps not.

        on my own, starting at the tender age of 7, i reasoned over the next few years that all this belief stuff was bollocks.

        some of us, lotharson, i dare say, reason our way to our own conclusions.

        now, you may see YEC, or some version of it thereof, as a thing that “make[s] Christianity look utterly ridiculous.” can i ask why this particular Christianity that holds YEC to be true makes Christianity look ridiculous?

        could another Christianity hold that your particular Christianity “make[s] Christianity look utterly ridiculous.”

        what if i see it that Christianity, in and of itself, is ridiculous, would i be ridiculous?

      • lotharson says :

        I certainly respect your right to think that way.

        But I would like to know on what grounds you believe Christianity (in general) to be ridiculous.

        During the course of European history, there have been great atheistic thinkers who have developed pretty challenging arguments.
        Ii goes without saying I don’t believe they violated they reason by rejecting the existence of God even though I think they were wrong.

        But according to my own experience, most resentful atheists in the Western World have rejected their faith on emotional grounds.
        The intellectual reasons they bring forward are very weak and only efficient against the fundamentalism they grew up with.

        I think that like religous beliefs, materialist and atheistic beliefs are strongly governed by emotions which try to rationalize themselves.

        Cheers.

      • xon-xoff says :

        @lotharson

        “But I would like to know on what grounds you believe Christianity (in general) to be ridiculous.”

        i did not say that it was ridiculous. i surmised, if i did think it to be ridiculous, would you consider me ridiculous. i’m trying to understand how you come to determine the ridiculousness of certain forms of christianities.

        again, i do not share your beliefs in your omni-god because i reasoned my way to that understanding. i have no idea what it is to possess omni* traits.

        so, can i ask again please:

        “now, you may see YEC, or some version of it thereof, as a thing that ‘make[s] Christianity look utterly ridiculous.’ can i ask why this particular Christianity that holds YEC to be true makes Christianity look ridiculous?

        could another Christianity hold that your particular Christianity ‘make[s] Christianity look utterly ridiculous.’

        what if i see it that Christianity, in and of itself, is ridiculous, would i be ridiculous?”

      • Scott Wallace says :

        Again, I’ll chime in here and say that my story is similar (at least in this respect) to xon-xoff’s: I also grew up without Ken Ham. I went to church with my grandmothers (Presbyterian and Baptist) but I don’t remember ever really believing. When I learned about the very strong geographical correlation with denomination, that made it pretty obvious that religion was a matter of culture and not independently arrived-at truth.

        Sure, Ken Ham probably does cause more people to turn away from Christianity than towards it. He’s now put himself on the fringe of the fringe: even Pat Robertson is rooting for Bill Nye in the upcoming debate. But there are lots of other reasons people lose faith.

  2. michaeleeast says :

    I agree that people like Ken ham are turning people away from Christianity.
    Combined with their vile prejudice against gay people this could see the death of the religion of Jesus.

  3. Andy Schueler says :

    1) what is your favorite fallacy of Ken Ham?

    If I could just pick one, than I would have a hard time choosing between his two favourite explanation for why virtually all scientists support evolution
    1. “Atheists just want to sin” – there are indeed more atheists among scientists than in the general public, they are still a minority though, meaning that most of the scientists that Ham accuses here are actually religious. Also, the idea that someone knows that the Christian God exists, but chooses to not believe in him is breathtakingly idiotic – as idiotic as claiming that someone could choose to stop believing that the police exists because he really wants to rob a bank – but I can´t really blame Ham for this part, he is merely parroting Paul (Romans 1) who came up with this idiocy.
    2. Quote: “Creationists and evolutionists, Christians and non-Christians all have the same evidence—the same facts. Think about it: we all have the same earth, the same fossil layers, the same animals and plants, the same stars—the facts are all the same.The difference is in the way we all interpret the facts. And why do we interpret facts differently? Because we start with different presuppositions.”
    => While there is a kernel of truth in that (background beliefs do matter when we interpret evidence), this is still essentially the same as a lawyer who defends someone accused of murder, and who dismisses mountains of evidence presented by the prosecution with “we have the SAME evidence, but we start with different presuppositions – my presuppositions are that my client must be innocent and that the victim was murdered by Santa”

    Tragically, quite the contrary is true. These young folks have given up their faith BECAUSE they have been indoctrinated by creationists who taught them that they ought to reject Evolution if they want to be Christians.

    I have seen non-believers who used to be Christians and who lost their belief for that reason – it seems to be rare, and according to the polls, there is no sign of young-earth creationism becoming any less popular (while the number of non-believers rises), so I strongly doubt that this is a prominent reason for Christians to reject the faith they grew up with. I rather think that the association of Christianity with socially conservative beliefs – particularly when it comes to reproductive and LGBT rights – is currently the main cause for Christians (especially young Christians) to start doubting their religious beliefs.

    • Crude says :

      I rather think that the association of Christianity with socially conservative beliefs – particularly when it comes to reproductive and LGBT rights – is currently the main cause for Christians (especially young Christians) to start doubting their religious beliefs.

      That seems to fit nicely with this:

      “Atheists just want to sin”

      • Andy Schueler says :

        That seems to fit nicely with this: “Atheists just want to sin”

        Superficially yes, but this applies to young people in general – not only young people that are gay or want to have an abortion. Actually being gay yourself is not required to morally condemn the stance of many churches on homosexuality, just like wanting to have an abortion yourself is not required to condemn the stance of many churches on reproductive freedom.

      • Crude says :

        Superficially yes, but this applies to young people in general – not only young people that are gay or want to have an abortion. Actually being gay yourself is not required to morally condemn the stance of many churches on homosexuality, just like wanting to have an abortion yourself is not required to condemn the stance of many churches on reproductive freedom.

        You say ‘reproductive freedom’, I say ‘killing babies’. Po-tay-toh, po-tah-toh, I suppose.

        1) Defenses of same-sex sexual behavior are not totally uncoupled from heterosexual acts, particularly sodomy – which covers oral and anal. If same-sex sexual acts are condemned, that automatically means that some sexual acts are immoral – which immediately has heterosexual repercussions.

        2) Abortion is a safety net, in principle a major problem for any heterosexuals having sex. You don’t need to desire an abortion to desire it be legal.

      • Andy Schueler says :

        You say ‘reproductive freedom’, I say ‘killing babies’. Po-tay-toh, po-tah-toh, I suppose.

        Well… more like “potato” – “potato sprout” I guess.

        1) Defenses of same-sex sexual behavior are not totally uncoupled from heterosexual acts, particularly sodomy – which covers oral and anal. If same-sex sexual acts are condemned, that automatically means that some sexual acts are immoral – which immediately has heterosexual repercussions.

        Who cares? It might well be that the only consistent position that comes with a condemnation of homosexual sex is one that also condemns any sexual activity that is not aimed at procreation – if that is the case, then virtually no one seems to give a damn about that though. And it´s not as if the churches run big campaigns against oral sex (which is too bad – it would be *so* awesome if they did that :-D ) – and even if they did, this would have little if any practical consequences. The mere condemnation of something by an authority doesn´t necessarily have any consequences for your everyday life, the catholic church condemns birth control, which doesn´t seem to bother Catholics at all given that there is no evidence that they are any less likely to actually use birth control compared to any other demographic group. If they would run big campaigns aimed at making birth control illegal, then this would be comparable to the situation with LGBT rights.

      • Crude says :

        Well… more like “potato” – “potato sprout” I guess.

        Yep, the infants killed can get pretty small.

        Who cares? It might well be that the only consistent position that comes with a condemnation of homosexual sex is one that also condemns any sexual activity that is not aimed at procreation – if that is the case, then virtually no one seems to give a damn about that though.

        ‘Any sexual activity that is not aimed at procreation’ isn’t the right dividing line here unless you’re talking natural law senses of the words. The point is that if it’s acknowledged that same-sex sexual acts are immoral, then it will be established that a sexual act can be consensual and private and still immoral – and that’s a beachhead that plenty of heterosexuals are spooked at.

        And ‘virtually no one seems to give a damn’? That’s a very, very recent view if so, and really just goes to highlight the issues more than anything.

        And it´s not as if the churches run big campaigns against oral sex

        It’s also not as if LGBT groups run big campaigns in favor of anal sex. In fact they bend over backwards to not mention sex whatsoever – it’s the last issue they really want to talk about.

        The mere condemnation of something by an authority doesn´t necessarily have any consequences for your everyday life

        It’s never been a ‘mere condemnation by an authority’ – these things are given with arguments and rationales, not all of them even explicitly Christian/theistic (see: natural law.) The point is that if the argument or condemnation is legitimate or possibly legitimate, it creates more problems right away for heterosexuals – even if only intellectually, at first.

        If they would run big campaigns aimed at making birth control illegal,

        What Church in the west is ‘running big campaigns aimed at making same-sex sexual behavior’ illegal? The only thing comparable is gay marriage, which is a different topic than with regards to sex.

    • lotharson says :

      I entirely agree that their conservative dogmas play a more important role than YEC in the process of deconversion.

      Actually they worship a god who is in many respects evil. This is why many people find themselves emotionally unable to keep adoring him.

      As for God’s existence, it is true we cannot choose our intellectual beliefs.
      But we can certainly choose how to respond to Him or what attitude we should have towards religion if we are intellectually uncertain.

      Paul was just a human and was mistaken in several ways.
      But he was right in that people do distort (all kind of) truths in unrighteousness and are very gifted in deluding themselves .

      We see that in the political world almost every hour.

  4. Andy Schueler says :

    Yep, the infants killed can get pretty small.

    No “infants” are killed, the word “infant” is typically reserved for babies that are at least a month old (and “newborn” is reserved for babies younger than that).
    You can call a fertilized egg a “baby” as often as you want, this is not an argument for why a fertilized egg should have any more rights than an unfertilized egg.

    ‘Any sexual activity that is not aimed at procreation’ isn’t the right dividing line here unless you’re talking natural law senses of the words.

    Erm… what?

    The point is that if it’s acknowledged that same-sex sexual acts are immoral, then it will be established that a sexual act can be consensual and private and still immoral – and that’s a beachhead that plenty of heterosexuals are spooked at.

    Really? Show me some heterosexuals that are spooked by this thought. Again, you might be absolutely right that this is the only intellectually consistent position that comes with condemning homosexual sex, but I really strongly doubt that more than a handful of people care. All these godawful organizations with “family” in their name talk all the time about how icky gay buttsecks is, and I have never ever heard any of those people (or any politician or radio host or whatever) saying anything about the immorality of blowjobs. It doesn´t seem to be on the radar of many people (you are actually the first one I´ve encountered so far who acknowledges the consequences for heterosexual couples that are entailed by a condemnation of homosexual acts).

    And ‘virtually no one seems to give a damn’? That’s a very, very recent view if so, and really just goes to highlight the issues more than anything.

    It´s a matter of perspective, the medieval point of view of condemning everything but the missionary position as immoral is also recent if you compare it to the cultures of ancient egypt, china and india, who seemed to have a much broader view of which sexual activities are morally acceptable.

    It’s never been a ‘mere condemnation by an authority’ – these things are given with arguments and rationales, not all of them even explicitly Christian/theistic (see: natural law.) The point is that if the argument or condemnation is legitimate or possibly legitimate, it creates more problems right away for heterosexuals – even if only intellectually, at first.

    Well, the overwhelming majority of Christians apparently have no problems whatsoever with these “intellectual problems”. Again, Catholics are statistically indistinguishable from any other demographic group when it comes to using birth control – no one seems to give a damn about these “intellectual problems” (again, I actually do think that your position is consistent if one accepts your premises, what I doubt is, that anyone actually cares).

    What Church in the west is ‘running big campaigns aimed at making same-sex sexual behavior’ illegal? The only thing comparable is gay marriage, which is a different topic than with regards to sex.

    Comparable in the respect that it does translate into real-life consequences. Not being able to marry the person you love is not something that you can just blend out – whether you can do that or not has an enormous influence on your life. Very much unlike a condemnation of birth control on the other hand – which doesn´t seem to have any consequences on the lives of Christians *at all*.

    • Crude says :

      No “infants” are killed, the word “infant” is typically reserved for babies that are at least a month old

      And southerners in America didn’t enslave people. They only enslaved partial people. 3/5 of one, I believe. I suppose the slavery estimates should be reduced downward in light of that.

      Baby-killing. I’ll stick with the truth, thanks.

      Erm… what?

      Not sure what you’re confused about.

      Really? Show me some heterosexuals that are spooked by this thought.

      The heterosexuals spooked at being judged for their sexual behavior? I’ve got everything from the women screaming ‘slut shaming!’ to the Game guys to the premarital sex people to the people enjoying their pornography and more.

      Not that I’m pure, by the by, but we’re talking about public motivations.

      All these godawful organizations with “family” in their name talk all the time about how icky gay buttsecks is,

      This is ridiculous and imagined. It’s a little like me talking about how LGBT organizations are just all too happy to run around praising the virtues of ass to mouth. It’s not happening – they avoid those details by and large.

      It´s a matter of perspective, the medieval point of view of condemning everything but the missionary position as immoral

      More nonsense. But so long as we’re playing with rhetoric, the idea that there’s nothing wrong with giving oral sex to anonymous people in the bathrooms of truck stops really is a pretty recent change of view.

      Well, the overwhelming majority of Christians apparently have no problems whatsoever with these “intellectual problems”. Again, Catholics are statistically indistinguishable from any other demographic group when it comes to using birth control

      Wrong.

      Yep, far and away most Catholic individuals either disagree with or just plain don’t understand the teaching about contraception, but ‘statistically indistinguishable’ ain’t true.

      Comparable in the respect that it does translate into real-life consequences. Not being able to marry the person you love is not something that you can just blend out – whether you can do that or not has an enormous influence on your life.

      Not really, unless you’re so emotionally frantic to the point that public acknowledgment of just who your go-to for sex is is of dire importance. And regardless – you were wrong. There’s no one ‘running big campaigns aimed at making same-sex behavior illegal’ in the west. And I oppose that, as do many others.

      Back to the point: LGBT interests are not uncoupled from heterosexual interests.

      • Andy Schueler says :

        Baby-killing. I’ll stick with the truth, thanks.

        What did you do recently to protect unfertilized human eggs? Nothing at all? Countless of those die on a daily basis, but I guess you don´t give a damn about little babies dying.

        Not sure what you’re confused about.

        No idea what a “natural law sense” of the words is supposed to be.

        The heterosexuals spooked at being judged for their sexual behavior? I’ve got everything from the women screaming ‘slut shaming!’ to the Game guys to the premarital sex people to the people enjoying their pornography and more.

        That´s not what I asked. Show me a dude who considers homosexual acts to be morally wrong, but likes to watch porn or has premarital sex, and who is “spooked” by the thought that his position on homosexuality would logically entail that his own behaviour is wrong as well.

        This is ridiculous and imagined.

        It took me two seconds to find this:

        and there´s plenty more where this comes from, I have yet to see one of these guys saying the same about blowjobs – are you aware of an example?

        Wrong.

        Yep, far and away most Catholic individuals either disagree with or just plain don’t understand the teaching about contraception, but ‘statistically indistinguishable’ ain’t true.

        No, not wrong. You didn´t quote a statistic about birth control *usage* but rather about the fraction of people who *condemn* birth control, and there you indeed have a measly 8 percentage points more for catholics. But merely condemning something is easy, if we look whether this condemnation actually translates into practice, we find this:
        “While Catholic and Evangelical women are slightly more
        likely than Mainline Protestants to be married, patterns
        of contraceptive use do not differ by religious affiliation
        among married women.”
        http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Religion-and-Contraceptive-Use.pdf (figure 3).

        Not really, unless you’re so emotionally frantic to the point that public acknowledgment of just who your go-to for sex is is of dire importance.

        I don´t personally know a single gay person who would give a flying fuck about whether you, or any other Catholic, acknowledges their marriage or not – they certainly do care about things like partner benefits, hospital visitation rights, inheritance issues and stuff like that.

        Back to the point: LGBT interests are not uncoupled from heterosexual interests.

        In theory maybe, not in practice.

      • lotharson says :

        I also hate this expression “reproductive rights”.

        An embryo is at the very least a potential human life, and intentionally destroying it should never be viewed as something good and desirable.

        I think that if the health of a woman is threatened, it is clearly the right thing to do, but it should not be celebrated.

        But if a woman gets aborted because a birth would hinder her career or she no longer loves her boyfriend, she commits a very serious sin.
        And I know quite a few secular women who agree with me on that.

        Nevertheless prohibiting abortion would change nothing since there would be a lot of illegal ones.

        Source: Lotharson the Taliban.

      • Andy Schueler says :

        An embryo is at the very least a potential human life

        So what? An unfertilized human egg is also a “potential human life” – does that mean that all of us should have unprotected sex as often as possible with as many different people as possible to maximize the number of transitions from “potential human life” to “actual human life”?

        and intentionally destroying it should never be viewed as something good and desirable.

        Who does see it as something good and desirable?

        But if a woman gets aborted because a birth would hinder her career or she no longer loves her boyfriend, she commits a very serious sin.

        Because…..?

      • Crude says :

        What did you do recently to protect unfertilized human eggs? Nothing at all? Countless of those die on a daily basis, but I guess you don´t give a damn about little babies dying.

        Nah, because an unfertilized egg is not a baby. Also? Typically, no one is intentionally slaughtering them. Big difference.

        That´s not what I asked. Show me a dude who considers homosexual acts to be morally wrong, but likes to watch porn or has premarital sex, and who is “spooked” by the thought that his position on homosexuality would logically entail that his own behaviour is wrong as well.

        Uh, what? The argument applies to men and women (Dudes? How sexist) who try to treat sex as a topic where you cannot have a wrong opinion or disordered view, period.

        and there´s plenty more where this comes from, I have yet to see one of these guys saying the same about blowjobs – are you aware of an example?

        Wonderful – you turned up something on youtube. Congratulations – someone deserves a cookie!

        The fact is it by and large goes unmentioned except in exceptional ‘Duck Dynasty’ style moments.

        No, not wrong. You didn´t quote a statistic about birth control *usage* but rather about the fraction of people who *condemn* birth control, and there you indeed have a measly 8 percentage points more for catholics. But merely condemning something is easy, if we look whether this condemnation actually translates into practice, we find

        We find that when you ask the question of ‘Have you ever used contraception at any point in your life?’ you get a very high figure, yep.

        By the way? Take a closer look at the statistics, particularly figure 3. They’re restricting their studies about who’s using contraception… to sexually active women.

        You should consider that perhaps this poll is a bit messed up.

        I don´t personally know a single gay person who would give a flying fuck about whether you, or any other Catholic, acknowledges their marriage or not

        Sure, it’s not as if they freak out and demand that people be fired from their jobs for merely regarding their sexual preferences as wrong.

        Face it. The LGBT groups – not gays, but those groups – are absolute faberge eggs who wilt in the face of any criticism or disapproval.

        In theory maybe, not in practice.

        In both.

      • Andy Schueler says :

        Nah, because an unfertilized egg is not a baby.

        And neither is a fertilized egg.

        Uh, what? The argument applies to men and women (Dudes? How sexist) who try to treat sex as a topic where you cannot have a wrong opinion or disordered view, period.

        Strawman. Show me anyone who treats sex as a topic where you “cannot have a wrong opinion or disordered view”.

        Wonderful – you turned up something on youtube. Congratulations – someone deserves a cookie!

        The fact is it by and large goes unmentioned except in exceptional ‘Duck Dynasty’ style moments.

        How many counterexamples are needed to disprove the qualifier “by and large”?

        We find that when you ask the question of ‘Have you ever used contraception at any point in your life?’ you get a very high figure, yep.

        Demonstrating that “condemning contraception” has little, if anything, to do with actually not using it. Actions speak louder than words.

        By the way? Take a closer look at the statistics, particularly figure 3. They’re restricting their studies about who’s using contraception… to sexually active women.

        So what?

        In both.

        Again, if your view is correct and a condemnation of same-sex sexual behaviour logically entails certain consequences for heterosexual people as well (whatever those consequences are), no one is stopping you from being a hypocrite and condemning gay sex while having premarital sex and watching porn all day long. There are only “practical consequences” if you choose them, you are not being actively discriminated against and there are thus no practical consequences that are being forced on you whatsoever, only those that you choose yourself.

  5. jesuswithoutbaggage says :

    If 2/3 of all American college students lose their faith in God, then perhaps Christians should not go to college. :-)

    Or, it may be that when young people begin to reason for themselves, and have access to wider information than they find in fundamentalism, they react against those untenable ‘truths’ they have been taught, such as creationism, angry God, hell, and legalism.

    Unfortunately, as they discard the baggage that has been attached to the message of Jesus, they discard Jesus and God as well.

  6. coetzeegisela says :

    Getting though yet intercontinentally/intercontextually, and reasonably? Sometimes this type of logos loiters mirthfully on the carnivalesque.

  7. galacticexplorer says :

    Ken Ham is pretty ridiculous (I used to idolize him, so it’s weird now being on the other side of things) but I don’t think very many young Christians lose their faith based on YEC alone. Sure, I don’t doubt that for some, questioning 6-day creation is the first step to questioning their faith in general, but in my experience, the reasons for leaving are much more often broader and deeper than that.

    My view is a bit skewed, undoubtedly, because I was raised deeply fundamentalist and not just in your average Christian denomination. But I’ve found that for myself and for many others, it was ethical problems that led to faith abandonment. Everyone’s story is different, but many of us were abused by Christianity in some form. For example, there’s the Patriarchal type of Christianity which views women as “separate but equal” (hah.) and relegates them to certain roles and demands submissiveness, outward modesty, and subservience that is not required of men. These sorts of Christians will crow on about how they are the ones that truly respect women, because they tell women what to do to be happy, while all those secularists want to just let women find their own happiness or something horrible like that, which will of course lead to all women becoming disgusting, useless whores. Others suffered from Christian homophobia or transphobia (this was me) when their families abused them and then outcast them. Even worse, the churches that they turned to for help treated them with disdain and as “others, viewing them with saccharine “love” in the form of “oh, let me help you fix yourself, you broken, disgusting, god-forsaken piece of shi*t. Jesus loves you.” Or maybe they were just abused by the territorial Christians who react to people who are doubting, questioning, or altering their views on certain doctrines by bad-mouthing them, socially ostracizing them, and treating them like satan-spawn. Or, if they’ve never experienced any of this abuse, I promise, they’ve seen or heard about someone who has.

    Now, none of this means that Christianity is, itself, bad. It just means that there’s plenty of bad apples in it, and there are bad apples in any group. This used to be my long-standing justification of Christianity. “It’s just made of humans and humans will mess up, even if Christianity is still truth.” But eventually I realized that a Christian standard of ethics is simply inadequate. Christian ethics lend themselves to these sorts of problems and don’t seem to do enough to protect against them. I have found that other ethics systems seem much better suited to creating healthy people with healthy morals. So, if other systems bear better fruits, why believe in this one? That was my experience anyway.

    There are tons of other reasons people leave. Some just feel that the odds of having the “right” religion don’t make sense. Some find the idea of hell so backwards that they choose to ditch Christianity altogether rather than believing in Christianity without hell. Some find the fallacies and contradictions in the Bible to be damning. Some find more peace and meaning in a different religion. Some just never found religion to be very compelling in the first place. And there’s plenty more reasons that I’m not getting to. I guess what I’m trying to say is, YEC plays a pretty minor role. However, I do think that YEC-obsession is symptomatic of some of the other things that DO drive young people away: that is doctrine-worship, narrow-mindedness, obsession with the “old days”, power-hungriness, isolationism, and mistrust of secular ideas/ethics. All of those things give Christianity a bad name.

    Heh… long comment. I hope it lends some insight.

    • lotharson says :

      Hello, thank you very much for the length of your comment!

      I agree that YEC is only one among several reasons which lead people to abandon Christianity, but I think it can play an important role in some cases.

      I am sorry about the bad experiences you made in your former fundamentalist Church.

      I believe that the Bible contains mistakes and contradictions so that no coherent ethic can be deduced from it.

      However I do believe you can derive such a morality from the central message of Jesus which is actually nothing more than a strong formulation of the principles we all intuitively know to be true and binding.

      I agree that being taught to believe in an evil god is one of the main reasons which push people to give up their faith.

      I am myself utterly disgusted by Conservative religious homophobia.

      You are warmly welcome to post other such interesting comments in the future :-)

      • galacticexplorer says :

        Thank you for your welcome, and I may indeed post again in the future. I respect those Christians that agree that a coherent morality cannot be drawn from the Bible, and thus that we must critically read and draw our own conclusions and morality from it as a guide. I see many other religious and secular ways of thinking that can also lead to similar good ethics, which is why I suppose I am agnostic now, with a bit of a Universalist bent. I like the idea of spirituality, I just am done trying to understand Truth.

      • michaeleeast says :

        All religions claim that they have the Truth.
        I take it with a grain of salt.
        There may be a Truth but it is up to us to discern it.
        I look at these doctrines critically.
        I don’t just accept them.
        But I don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater either.

      • galacticexplorer says :

        I’m not sure there was ever a baby in my bathwater… but that’s me. =P

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says :

      Galactic,

      I think this is a very good survey of reasons people leave Christianity. Well done!

      I agree with you that there is no legalistic moral code found in the Bible, but I do think the words and example of Jesus provide us with solid principles we can use to make ethical decisions in any situation.

      Those principles are based on a respect and supportive concern for other people. This concern guides our decisions, reduces hurt and exploitation in the world, and increases healing and reconciliation. If only more Christians would really embrace it.

      As broken people we find we fall short of the ideal of the principle of love, but we make a huge difference nonetheless if we attempt to follow it.

      • lotharson says :

        Galactic has apparently suffered a lot under fundamentalist hatred and bigotry :-(

      • xon-xoff says :

        @ lotharson

        “Galactic has apparently suffered a lot under fundamentalist hatred and bigotry.”

        by Jove you’ve got a raging boner for the fundamentalist crowd!

        what about all those kids, their families, friends, and communities that suffered at the hands of catholic priests?

        what about the Jewish, Gypsy, Huguenot, et al, pogroms over the last millenia?

        why are you so hung up on fundamentalism?

        as Galactic pointed out: “Everyone’s story is different, but many of us were abused by Christianity in some form.”

        i was not abused by Christianity. as i said, i reasoned my way out of the catholicism in which my mom, in good faith, inculcated me.

        mind you, the catholic way, if i can call it that, has made me into a decent homo sapiens–IMHO, that is. i was educated in catholic schools, and i have to admit that the rigour and discipline of the catholic way are praiseworthy. i suppose that’s because it hearkens all the way back to the Lyceum. but that’s all that i’ll take from the catholic way; the rest of it, the mysteries, the doctrine, the credo, the triune god–whatever that means–, the supernatural woo, and such, well, the church can keep those.

        reason, and the golden rule: that’s good enough for me.

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says :

        Lothar,

        I know; I was also raised in fundamentalism. And I suffered from it, but in relatively small ways compared to the many stories I have heard from others.

        This is probably because I got out of fundamentalism somewhat early in my life and also because fundamentalism has gotten much worse since I left it in the 1980s.

        There is no way I would minimize the abuses of fundamentalism, and my heart goes out to those who have been hurt and those who continue to be hurt by it.

      • galacticexplorer says :

        I do agree with you that many of the basic teachings of Jesus do serve well to guide a person towards good ethical decisions. I find similar sorts of basic teachings in other religious writings as well, along with secular writings, however, so I cannot see Jesus’ words as being particularly unusual, although I can appreciate them for the profound impact they have had on our world. I see him as an inspired and unusual man of his times, and certainly a figure I admire. I just don’t see him as the only one. Your thoughts?

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says :

        Galactic,

        I appreciate your perspective, but I think Jesus was more than an inspired man; I think he had a unique connection with the Father and was perhaps pre-existent. His resurrection causes me to sit up and take notice of what he says.

        On the other hand, I have great respect for thinkers of other religions–especially Gautama Buddha. Mahatma Gandhi is another.

      • galacticexplorer says :

        True, if I did believe that Jesus was resurrected, then I think I would sit up and take notice a bit more too! =P I just don’t see any particular reason to believe that, although I have no problem with someone that does. I just have no motivations to believe it.

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