|Joan of Arc died hearing Gods voice – must be true|
I always hear the argument that Christianity must be true because people have died to spread the message of Christianity.
This is an absurd line of reasoning on several different levels.
First off, people have given up their lives for causes that aren’t true. If you can think of a religion, you can find past members of that religion who have given up their lives to further the cause of that religion.
Does that make every religion true?
If your answer was ‘no’, then you should be asking yourself ‘what makes my religion exempt from that line of reasoning?’.
For example, the Heaven’s Gate cult chopped their penis’s off before committing suicide:
Did Jesus recommend self-castration? Some of the 39 Heaven’s Gate members who began committing suicide a fortnight ago seem to have thought so.
Autopsies have revealed that eight of the 18 male suicides, including the cult leader, had indeed been castrated.
On the Internet, the cult cited the 12th verse of the 19th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus is quoted as saying: “There are eunuchs who are born so from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who are made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him accept it who can.”
All those people died because of crazy superstition – does that make their message true? They committed suicide so that their souls could be taken to a spaceship behind comet Hale-Bop. Does that prove that extraterrestrials exist?
Or how about the Muslims who strap bombs to themselves to attain a reward in heaven? Does that make Islam true?
How about Jews who have died because of their religious beliefs? Does that make Judaism true? If so, Christians, then Jesus is just a fairy tale, because the Jewish people are still waiting for their Messiah.
As you can see, this line of argument is absurd. Many, many people have died for a belief that was complete horse shit. That in no way makes their belief true. It merely means they believed in superstitious nonsense.
During the time of Jesus, there were cults everywhere. Many of the members of those cults were killed because of their religious beliefs. Many of them claimed to be the Messiah. Does that make their claim as true as that of Jesus?
You could also extend this to a political comparison – millions of Germans died fighting for the Nazi cause. Does that make Nazism a good ideology or belief?
Or how about if someone jumps off a cliff because they believe they can fly. Does that make it true that human beings can fly unaided by technology?
People die all the time because of erroneous beliefs. They die for causes they believe in, which may or may not be true. The fact that they were willing to die for their cause, whether political or religious, does not make their belief true.