Mutually-contradictory apologetics

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Many claims are made about God and how he operates, about faith, and religion in general. Some of these apologetics are mutually contradictory.


Perhaps the most famous set of mutually contradictory claims about God is:

  • God is omniscient.
  • God is omnipotent.
  • God is omnibenevolent.
  • Evil exists.

See Problem of evil for further discussion.

  • "All you need to do to get into Heaven is to accept Jesus" (or some other set of criteria).
  • "No one knows how God decides who is saved."

The first claim is useful when trying to convert someone. The second is useful as an answer to questions like "if an evil person repented on their deathbed, would they get into Heaven?" But they are mutually-contradictory, since it is not possible to both know and not know what criteria God uses to judge people.

  • "God wants what is best for us."
  • "God's ways are mysterious, and he cannot be judged."

  • "God doesn't want to give convincing evidence of his existence, because that would take away our free will."
  • "Evidence for God is all around us, including miracles and the complexity of the universe."

  • "It is better to believe on faith alone than through evidence." (See Doubting Thomas.)
  • "This miraculous apparition proves that God is real."
  • "This Earth is the best possible Earth that God could create without violating Free Will."
  • "There is a better world beyond this called Heaven."

  • "Atheists have no basis for morality."
  • "Atheists can behave morally, but only because God has inscribed morality on everyone's heart."

  • "Christianity is the largest religion on earth."
  • "Catholics aren't true Christians."

See also argumentum ad populum and no true Scotsman fallacy. As of this writing, roughly half of all Christians are Catholics. If we were to count as Christians only the non-Catholics, Christianity would have fewer adherents than Islam.

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