Existence of Christianity

I would like to take a moment to comment (somewhat facetiously) on the claim that religious belief is not a “testable” hypothesis. Given the nature of the issues involved, I have always considered this a ridiculous way of avoiding the biggest and hardest questions that all of us are stuck with; however I believe critics of Christianity should realize that there are numerous ways in which Christianity could be proven false in the eyes of (most of) its adherents.

These items are examples of things that one could do to disprove Christianity, or at least seriously shake the convictions of most existing Christians. They are not recommendations. Please do not leave comments under this post chiding me for political incorrectness.

Dig up Jesus of Nazareth / Go Back in Time and Observe his Death

This is unlikely. However, it is possible. Solid evidence of Jesus’ permanent deadness would put an end to Christianity (although for whatever reason, nobody was possessed of the means of doing this when it first started out).

Destroy the Jewish People

Although it does not seem to cross people’s minds often, the existence of the Jewish people (whose genes actually do have remarkable contiguity extending back to some seemingly middle-eastern origin) is actually quite central to the existence of Christianity. If you were to destroy them, you would possibly destroy Christianity. Amazingly, and for reasons that I have never quite been able to understand, people keep trying to do this. In the last century alone, attempts at this have resulted in nothing less than the diaspora moving back into Palestine, resurrecting the Hebrew language, capturing Jerusalem, and cementing their identity as a nation state.

The casual observer should not underestimate the extent to which this has bolstered certain Christians’ convictions.

Nuke Jerusalem

While this would destroy the faith of a number of evangelicals, at least, who believe it is necessary for something to happen at this location, it would also destroy the Dome of the Rock, which would leave you with very serious problems on your hands.

Contact Aliens Having Alternative, or no, Religious Beliefs

There are a number of sophisticated theologians who would not be phased by this, but based on observations and discussions throughout my life, I can assure you that this would constitute an insurmountable obstacle for most people’s beliefs.

Eliminate the Christian Church

This is a trivial solution.

Create Sentient Robots or Artificially Evolve Modern-Day Chimpanzees into Rational Beings

While this is not guaranteed to have total effect, the confusion of these entities (and their attempts to cope with their own eventual demise) would probably get you most of the way there. Note that it is not sufficient to argue that these scenarios are possible, because unless they take place, they are counterfactual.

Destroy the Earth

This would, unfortunately, leave one without the satisfaction of being right.

Wait a Long Time

If human civilization continues stably for thousands of years hence without any End Times scenarios, and with a continual and widening gap between everyday human experience (as augmented by technology and intentional changes based on self-awareness of the root causes for human behaviour and natural inclinations) and the classical human experience recorded in the New Testament, Christianity in its present form will disappear.

Eliminate Poor People

Poor people are central to Christianity. It cannot exist without them.

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4 Responses to “Existence of Christianity”

  1. This is not a comment, but rather a question pertaining to some sections in this blog post. Have you read Ray Kurzweil?

  2. Yes, I have. He is intelligent, but he is also crazy, and he wants to live forever. His predictions are incorrect, and he will not.

  3. Haha awesome post.

    I feel that a couple of those would only ruin the present-day academic definition of Christianity. Like you said, there are some advanced theologians who could navigate their way around such events. But there are also other people who do not know very much about the religion to which they subscribe. Personally I don’t know much about the Dome of the Rock and I can’t think of any churchgoers I know that would stop going every Sunday if it was destroyed.

  4. Destroying the Dome of the Rock would not affect churchgoers, but it would create problems in general. A quick Wiki will explain why 🙂

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