A commenter calling himself Will left the following message:
Guys, just take a look around us…I challenge you to take an honest look at the evidence for evolution, an honest look at the evidence for a worldwide flood, the fulfilled prophecy of the old testament, just because there are many “religions” does not mean that Jesus is not the savior of the world…God does not want our religion, he wants our hearts!
I accept this challenge, although I already find it a little bit insulting. I have looked at the evidence for evolution, a global flood, and the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and have apparently come to the exact opposite set of conclusions the commenter has.
Evolution has been proved, to the extent that any scientific theory can be proved, well beyond any reasonable doubt. Read Jerry A. Coyne’s book “Why Evolution is True” for an outline. But, some of the evidence that supports evolution include: the fossil record, atavisms, the flaws in our body plan (vestigial organs like the appendix, causes of back-pain, blind spots, hiccups), the patterns we find in biodiversity with respect to geography, none of which are explained by young earth creationism.
A global flood is completely unsupported by any credible physical evidence. Since a global flood would presumably leave some traces behind, any story of a global flood is almost certainly false beyond a reasonable doubt.
As for the fulfilled prophecy, this would be strong evidence in favor of Christianity if the predictions were specific, falsifiable and otherwise inexplicable. Similarly, if praying to one God versus another God or Gods or not praying at all really did cause significantly better outcomes for patients recovering from heart surgery (beyond that which can be explained by placebo), this would be evidence for the power of prayer. That said, such studies have been done and they have found that prayers have no effect. Which I think illustrates the fundamental difference between free thinkers such as myself and believers, I accept facts like these and try to modify my beliefs accordingly. The religious hem and haw, engage in apologetics and generally just stick their head in the sand and drag their feet.
Will is correct though. The presence of other religions of the world does not imply Christianity is false. However, these religions make contradictory claims so they all can’t be true. Thus, the inescapable conclusion is that a good portion of the people on the planet must be deluded when it comes to their religious beliefs. The question is: what evidence do you have to show that you are not one of the deluded ones?
Some evidence that you might want to consider on answering the question to whether or not you are deluded is if you are rejecting the conclusions of people who clearly are more expert that yourself in demonstrable areas. Science has proven itself to be the objective leader in improving our understanding about the universe we inhabit. I, quite literally, owe my life to science. My father had an appendicitis in college which was long before he met my mother. In earlier generations, such an infection would have been fatal, but thanks to antibiotics and modern medicine he survived. This ignores all the countless ways science has improved quality of my life, from the food I eat, to the water I drink, to the books I read, to the computer I use, to the car I drive, etc. As such, I feel no luxury to pick and choose which parts of science I accept and those that I reject when such conclusions are based on the same method and doing so would be based on mere convenience. Similarly, I wouldn’t feel the luxury to pick and choose which parts of the Bible I would have to follow if I were to believe it was the inspired word of God and Jesus was his only son while simultaneously being God. So, tell me, do you save? Do you think about the future? Do you love your enemies? If I were to hit you, would you honestly turn the other cheek? Do you really think it is ethical to live your life by such teachings? Do you honestly aspire to?
For Will particularly, the IP address he sent this message from was the United States Air Force Academy. Do you honestly see no incompatibility to the teachings of the savior you proclaim to follow and your actions? If not, then please tell me, who would Jesus bomb?