If anything, the opposite is true.
Well, that's not to say I don't have any bias against Christianity at all. But in truth, the bias that affects me the most on a daily basis is a bias in favor of Christianity, especially the evangelical Protestantism that I grew up with. Believers may scoff at this, of course, but they should hear me out. It's true that I'm highly critical of Christianity, but it's also the case that I've spent over a year of my life carefully studying it, always open to the possibility that I've overlooked some powerful evidence of its veracity. So here's the real question:
At this point, why should Christianity even be worthy of my consideration?My true bias is that I've shown Christianity extensive favoritism, continuing to seriously investigate it long after I would have given up on any other religion. I haven't even bothered to look closely at Jainism, Hinduism, Bahá'í or Zoroastrianism. I've essentially concluded that they're false without giving them so much as a glance. But that's just the beginning: by one estimate, there are approximately 10,000 distinct religions in the world, including 150 with at least a million followers. Why is it that I haven't examined them one by one? Why haven't I studied Ayyavazhi, Druze, Konkokyo, Quimbanda, or Thelema? For that matter, why haven't I studied extinct religions such as ancient Norse mythology? It's because I have no reason to believe they're true... but the same could be said for Christianity. I'm using a double standard, one that works out massively in Christianity's favor.
|Norse gods have the additional advantage|
of looking really damn cool.
So where does my pro-Christian bias originate? Now, it's true that one of my motivations for studying Christianity is so that I know what to say when I finally reveal my unbelief to my family. Another reason that understanding Christianity is important is due to its pervasiveness in American politics and culture. But there's one more reason. After 20 years of exposure to Christian teachings, I'm so accustomed to the gospel story and the various doctrines that I grant them more credibility than they deserve. Even though intellectually I understand that the concepts of the Trinity and Jesus' atonement are bizarre and even incoherent, the subconscious, emotional parts of me don't particularly care. And the doctrine of hell has seared into my mind a fear of being wrong that defies my easy dismissal of Pascal's Wager.
The very fact that I spend so much time analyzing Christianity demonstrates my bias in its favor. If I was being completely impartial, I would have stopped taking it seriously as soon as I adopted a stance of skepticism toward extraordinary claims. But time and again unwarranted doubts about my conclusions creep back in, forcing me to check just once more to make sure I was right. It's frustrating, but at least by identifying this bias, I've taken the first step towards counteracting it.