God Doesn’t Exist: Believers are Products of their Environment

What fraction of Muslims were not raised in a Muslim environment?  What fraction of Christians were not raised in a Christian environment?  What does it say about the validity of religious claims that people typically take on the religion of their culture?

When someone gets a religious vision, why does it have elements from that person’s religion and not some other religion?  Why do Hindus not get visions of Mary or Jesus or Christian angels, and why do Christians not get visions of Hindu gods?

To avoid the charge of special pleading, Christians must argue that they were just extraordinarily lucky to have been born in a place and time in which the correct religion happened to be available.

Religion is like language.  I speak English because I was raised in America.  I didn’t evaluate all the languages of the world before I picked the best one; it was just part of my environment.

Any Christian will tell you that babies born to Muslim parents are almost exclusively Muslim for no more profound reason than that they were raised in a Muslim environment.  Why should it be any different for babies born to Christian parents?

Christians aren’t Christian because Christianity is true, but because they were born into a Christian environment.  Christianity is a cultural trait, not a reflection of the truth.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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9 thoughts on “God Doesn’t Exist: Believers are Products of their Environment

  1. Cue the fundietard: “Ha! Your statement isn’t true! I know so many people who became Christians who weren’t raised Christian! They were raised Catholic! Checkmate!”

  2. Kind of mirrors what you were saying about being culturally Jewish and still secular. It is still the same “product of your environment” case. With the theism side, one either chooses delusion or not and still maintains a sociocultural identity.

    This pushes me into a sidecar tangent. I cannot help but bring up the thought about challenging cultural identity as well. I think it is constantly evolving an never should be defined as static. We will continue to change and those who are afraid of that change most likely are afraid to lose what they have built or fell in love with in a philosophical sense.

    Certainly some of the idiosyncrasies we do daily are unimportant and better practices replace them as we progress. Questioning the identity rather than the theology gets you into the same hot water of heated reaction/debate as religion though. If you are not part of the “in-crowd” you are automatically on the other team. I can see the correlation of the “self” fitting into both scenarios with equal fervor. It could equally be said about race as well.

    Questioning culture is saying to those who follow it that they are unfounded just the same as questioning a religion to the theist. In a universe where humanity seeks to have a purpose that is a tough pill to swallow for some and pushes people out of their cozy comfort zone.

    Back to the original posts premise though… It would be interesting to see the numbers on how each religion (specifically) focus more on increasing their membership culturally rather than indoctrination. Who wants to make http://www.culturallyreligiousconversionrates.com/ (and maybe list atheism in there too)?

    Good stuff. You got me thinking.

  3. Catholicism is considered by many as Christianity as is Protestanism. The author makes a compelling argument. Too premature for ‘Checkmate’. Challenge him… I am a Christian (protestant) btw.

    • Not sure I agree with your first statement “Catholicism is considered by many as Christianity” as I was once considering myself as Catholic. While I was Catholic I thought of other Christians that did horrible things like bomb abortion clinics and such as wackos and that they had tainted the Christianity name, giving it a negative stigmatism. I would have rather called myself Catholic rather than Christian for those reasons but I am just one opinion of many.

      There is no attempt at a checkmate here (to me) for disproving God. It is more of an attempt to show the roots and foundations culturally. How we are taught what to believe. I think it is a good point. If anyone takes a moment to think how they are who they have become as an adult they can trace it to many influences.

      Culture is an obvious major influence.

  4. Pingback: God Doesn’t Exist: Historians Reject the Bible Story | Galileo Unchained

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