Ever heard someone say (or said yourself) "You just believe because …"

  • … you grew up in the church
  • … you need it as an emotional crutch
  • … you live in North America; if you lived in Iran you'd probably be Muslim

And on and on. Two brief comments on why the reasons listed above are invalid:

1) These arguments commit what's known as the genetic fallacy. They focus on the origin of a belief instead of its validity. Even if someone is only Christian because they need emotional support, that proves nothing about whether Christianity is true. A statement or belief system is either true or false, regardless of why certain people believe them. The argument can go the other way too: "You're only an atheist because you grew up in an atheist household" (or fill in your favorite emotional reason). As Greg Koukl says in his article: "Examining the motives (or historical influences) of one’s view may tell you interesting things about psychology or about history, but it can never tell you anything about the legitimacy of a view itself."

2) These arguments oversimplify the reasons why anyone believes anything (not just why Christians believe in Jesus). The story of why I am Christian is available online, and my reasons are not like those listed above.