Thursday, August 1, 2013

Who are theists really trying to convince?

Since it's beginnings and according to the various texts that comprise the New Testament, Christianity is supposed to be based entirely on faith. In fact, even Jesus is said to have chastised the apostle Thomas for doubting his resurrection until he presented himself before him postmortem and fulfilled his requirement for proof. It wasn't till after he received the proof he requested of Jesus that he then recognized him as his Lord to which Jesus replied:

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

In fact, the requirement for faith without evidence is often emphasized throughout the New Testament quite often. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Despite these requirements of faith without evidence Christians seem to lose their minds every time an "archaeological" find is believed to be related to Christianity or is considered by believers to be a holy relic. 

The James Ossuary

On October 21,2002 the discovery of the James ossuary was presented to the world. It was considered by the Christians to be a significant find because if proven authentic it would serve as evidence of the existence of an historical Jesus Christ. Inscribed on the side of the box in Aramaic are the words: Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua (English translation: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"). There is no known direct physical evidence of the existence of an historical Jesus but theists for some reason feel the need to validate their myths. My question is the following: Who are they really trying to convince? 

The shroud of Turin

Everyone knows about the famous forgery the shroud of Turin. Many theists cling tenaciously to the belief that this was the actual burial cloth that Jesus body was wrapped in during his entombment! It is relics like these that many theists especially Catholics love to cling to as proofs that what they believe is true. There are enough nails of the so called cross of Christ the world over to build a house with! This is due for the most part that these so called holy relics are actually worth a lot of money and can be sold for a very high price. It has turned Christianity into a very lucrative enterprise and it is because of this that many people have gone out of their way to create very elaborate forgeries in hopes of landing a huge financial reward for their efforts. 

The blood of Jesus! 

Some churches are claiming to have samples of the blood of Jesus himself! The funny thing about this is that people actually believe it. Catholics seem more prone to believing in holy relics than any other Christian group on the planet. I think that the reason for this is because it has always been a part of their tradition to revere all things they deem to be holy. The church is known to preserve the bodies of people they deemed saints and in the earlier periods of their history they were even known to dismember bodies of saints and send the various body parts to different churches. Some claimed that these holy body parts were responsible for some very incredible miracles. 

My question is that if faith should be sufficient to sustain ones beliefs then why this interest in relics to supposedly validate your faith? 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Anyone who is interested in learning more about holy relics and the ridiculous claims surrounding them should read the following books which I highly recommend on the matter.

You can find these titles and more at also you may be given some other recommendations on the subject matter. 

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.


  1. "Who are they trying to convince?"

    Themselves, for the mostpart. Christians, like members of many other religious sects live in constant fear that there's no afterlife. They don't want to acknowledge that there's a chance that they may have wasted their entire lives living in fear and worshipping a purely imaginary sky fairy and/or his alleged son.

    1. I agree paul, as a theist I was always more afraid of going to hell. I was obsessed with trying to live up to the standards of Christ. Since I left the church I live my life day by day and enjoy it to the fullest. I take the good with the bad and I no longer have irrational fears based on myths and superstitions.

    2. I never feel afraid of going to hell. Although actually you have just made me think about it! I have always had the opinion that hell is seperation from God.

      I never try to live up to the standards of Jesus, its a hopeless task as far as I am concerned. However, I do feel good with my faith and I think I enjoy my life as much as the next person. My general fears stem from the amount of mad people in the world, like terrorists. I really don't feel that I have irrational fears and I guess that is why we are on different sides of the coin.

  2. Because they realize deep down that it's an irrational belief, they naturally want evidence. If they have none, they try their best to convince themselves that they do have sufficient evidence to carry on. This usually includes circular logic.

    Recently, there was a theologian who was making the case that we shouldn't ignore Zeus because so many people back in the day believed in him. It's just one example of circular, logical fallacies at work.

    1. Agreed, circular reasoning is a big part of apologetics. But as you stated they are trying to convince themselves. We don't need convincing because we have not yet come across credible evidence for their beliefs.

  3. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

    Is this not a conundrum, you should have faith yet you should also earnestly seek god. Its as if either way is good, but then Jesus went and messed it all up. Maybe Jesus was smarter than we give him credit for... well if he was actually a person that is.

  4. Evidence for one's faith takes away the faith and without faith they can't get into heaven. They shouldn't want evidence, but to be fair, the "evidence" you referenced is so still requires plenty of faith.

    1. I'm quite sure that the "faith" requirement was imposed by the early political priesthood precisely to overcome the obvious lack of evidence.