What if Someone Believes in God for Bad Reasons?

Do you believe in God? Why do you believe in God? Do you know anybody that would answer that question using a less than ideal answer? Perhaps something like, "My parents were Christians." Or maybe, "Everyone I know is Christian."

If you or somebody you know is a Christian for one of those kinds of reasons, you (or they) don't have a very good reason to be a Christian. There are lots of people all around the world, but particularly in United States, who are Christians for those kinds of reasons. In other words, lots of people are Christians for really bad reasons.  An important question to ask when this is the case is, "So what?"

Now, please understand before we get further into this, I am not advocating an anti-intellectual Christianity. In fact, I'm going to advocate precisely the opposite. The problem as I see it, is that people often will use the fact that Christians have poor reasons for believing as evidence against the existence of God. This typically leads to things like the Genetic Fallacy.

The Genetic Fallacy is an informal logical fallacy. One commits this fallacy by attempting to refute a belief by identifying the origin of the belief. For example, if someone argues that the only reason a person believes in God is because they were raised in a Christian home, this is the Genetic Fallacy. While the believer may not have any better reason for their belief than the fact that they grew up that way, that bears no weight whatsoever on whether or not the claims of Christianity are true or false.

If someone has very poor or weak reasons for holding to their faith, it is illogical that they should abandon their faith. Rather, they should work to find whether or not there are good reasons to adhere to such faith. Whatever the case, bad reasons for believing something does not mean that thing is not true. It just means your belief may not be yet justified. It certainly does not mean that the belief is false.

There are many who would argue that there simply are no good reasons to believe in God. Their arguments should not be summarily dismissed, but neither should they just be accepted uncritically. In the same way that one should properly vet their faith, one should properly vet arguments contrary to their faith. For some, the arguments against deity of any sort seem compelling. However, I have noticed some glaring inconsistencies with various aspects of those peoples' belief/behavior systems.

The purpose of this article is not to go into detail on those concepts. However, this is merely being put out there so that if someone is questioning whether or not they have valid reasons for believing in Christ, the proper response is not to cast aside their belief entirely, but to get some good reasons if they are able to do so. In my studying and research, there are plenty of good reasons to believe in the Christian God and I have yet to find particularly compelling arguments against such a God.

Do the research. Ask questions. If you get responses about how you should "just have faith" and "stop asking so many questions..." then go ask someone else. Find resources online (I've listed a few below). Read books. Learn. You were created and designed to have an intellect. God wouldn't have given that to you if you weren't supposed to use it.

For more resources:

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