RE: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer
I thought I would take a crack at this. I won’t embed the YouTube video because I hate YouTube in blogs, but I will link the video in case you don’t hate them as much as I do. I will also transcribe the questions as they come.
Before I even begin, let me just say this, since everyone of course will ask. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, although far from strictly – I went to church regularly only for a brief period when I was too young to care or for it to have any impact. The last time I attended church was the day of my Catholic confirmation. I will say neither that I am a Christian nor that I am not, since I don’t have the answers. But I thought I would take a crack at this since this is an example of someone trying to disprove the Christian God, and I’m playing devil’s advocate.
1. How can (doctors) believe in medical miracles, and how can most Christians believe in the healing power of prayer when it is obvious that God does not answer the prayers of the amputee? Since I’m smarter than the guy in this video I’ll generalize one step further: why does God answer some medical prayers (which conveniently are also known to be curable through some science like pencilin) but doesn’t answer medical prayers that are known to be untreatable by modern science (such as limb regrowth)?
This “GIIVideo” guy answers this already. He says, “You have to make some kind of rationalization on God’s behalf such as that God has a special plan for amputees.” He points this out as if there’s something wrong with that argument, but then doesn’t say what it is that’s wrong with it. Requiring that God, if he is answering medical prayers, would be required to answer all of them equally is making the exact same kind of rationalization that someone who says that God specifically chooses not to heal amputees is. The position he’s trying to take here is really this. Assuming that you believe in a generous and merciful God who answers prayers, don’t you think it’s cruel that he doesn’t answer the prayers of amputees? In other words, if it were you, wouldn’t you heal them? A lot of people would say yes, and he’s trying to get you to use your own jugment about whether someone should be healed and agree that God makes the same judgment. Since He clearly does not, medical miracles in their entirety must be a fiction. That line of reasoning simply doesn’t hold up.
2. Why would God be worried about you getting a raise while at the same time ignoring the prayers of these desperate, innocent little children? It doesn’t make sense, does it? Why would a loving god do this?
This question itself is making some pretty wild assumptions. The first assumption here is that God is ignoring the prayers of these desperate little children. In order for that to be true you’d have to assume that the children are in fact making prayers. One of the cornerstones of the Christian church has been to convert Godless people to Christianity. Why? So that they can be saved through Christ’s sacrifice, right? A more cynical answer is to put more money in the Vatican’s coffers, which is a fair point by any unbiased historical analysis of the church. But if you’re going to claim that God ignores prayers of starving children you have to be more specific and say that God is ignoring the prayers only of the children who are in fact praying to a Christian God, right?
You also have to make a second assumption. That assumption is that God does care about your raise. I think this director conjured these questions after watching one of those hysterical TV evangelist programs where they claim that if you give them $500 you’ll plant a seed of faith that will yeild lots of money. The dipshits who watch and believe these programs are often the group demonized as the “religions right” in America. Anyone who would believe that praying for a raise is actually heeded by God isn’t part of the “educated, rational” audience listed a prerequisite for this video. This doesn’t prove his point, by the way, this just invalidates his assumption. This says nothing of the fact that Jesus, in the Sermon of the Mount (one of the few bible passages I’m familiar with) says explicitly not to desire to amass a fortune on earth, and in so doing, you instead amass a fortune in heaven. If I were a true Christian, I wouldn’t be after a raise. I’d be after a spiritual raise which can only be done by living a Christian life, which would involve me instead giving what money I had to the starving children in Africa.
The last assumption you have to make in order to field this question is that God’s solution to the prayers of starving African children would be to dump Mana upon them from the heavens (or otherwise feed them). How do you know that God’s heeding of that prayer isn’t instead a quick death and eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven?
Again, the director claims that in order to answer this question you have to say that God works in mysterious ways but again offers absolutely no reason why this statement isn’t true. God does work in mysterious ways. I think the director is trying to lead us down a path here of assuming that a loving, caring God means a God who answers all prayers, eliminates any and all hardships upon demand, and doesn’t let any mean, nasty, bad thing happen to anyone ever. I am not a Christian scholar but I do remember that such a place existed: it was called Eden, and things were going fine until the original sinner (EVE) ate the apple. As a result, we don’t live in Eden anymore, and bad shit occasionally happens, even to innocent people.
Let’s move on.
3. Why does the Bible have verses in it like: “God demands that we kill homosexuals. God demands that any girls who aren’t virgins when they are married be killed. Etc. Etc.” Every verse he lists is Old Testament.
Because the Bible is as much a cultural record as it is a religious one? Not to mention that it’s all the Old Testament, and one of the biggest aspsects of the Christian faith is the idea that God sent his only son down to Earth to absolve us of our original sin, and once done, the rules have changed a little (i.e., New Testament?)
Besides, in case you hadn’t noticed, Christians generally believe that you have to be Christian to be on God’s good side, and things like being homosexual or having sex before marriage puts you on God’s bad side. If you’re on God’s bad side, what does he care? Oh and by the way, the sabbath day from that passage is Saturday and the sabbath of Christianity is Sunday! OH NO, better throw out the whole religion right? Come on.
Just because you work on the wrong day of the week, you die? That’s insane!
Insane according to you, perhaps. Personally, I could be convinced that anyone who tries to merge into the right-hand only lane leading from Darnestown Rd. to Wootton Parkway after the Shady Grove intersection should be killed. But then again, I have strong fascist tendencies.
4. Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
Ah yes, the classic question. This single question is the easiest one to use on dumbass college students to make them throw away their religion entirely because it’s so easy. The director gives a few examples:
God did not create the world in 6 days 6,000 years ago.
This is the standard one. Most Christians do not believe in a 100% literal translation of the bible (just like every single democrat does not believe in a 100% literal translation of the U.S. Constitution). They like to use this in a sweeping generalization such as if this isn’t true, then none of it’s true. But one simple fact remains: you weren’t around 6,000 years ago to see it. I wasn’t there 6,000 years ago to see it. And most importantly the people who wrote the bible weren’t there 6,000 years ago to see it. “But the author of the bible is God!” No. The bible is the word of God, delivered through agents of God, but it was not written by his hand. (was it? My theology is hazy). Either way, this one has been beaten to death so many times that it’s time to move on.
There was never a world wide flood that covered Mt. Everest.
Really? Virtually every culture on the planet has a flood legend. Maybe not covered Mt. Everest (which was only discovered in the last few hundred years as being the tallest mountain, which is probably what they say in the bible, which at the time probably meant a different mountain since the “world” to the biblical authors really meant mesopotamia). The story had to come from somewhere. Even if it never happened, so what? Again, I don’t have a problem with the bible authors, or even God himself, making up a few stories here and there to illustrate a point.
Jonah didn’t live insdie a fish’s stomach for 3 days. Why not? In the 19th century a fisherman on a whaler was swallowed by a great blue and stayed in its stomach for hours and hours and hours and lived to tell the tale (the whale finally vomitted him up at the surface). This is a historically documented event. It is possible. But again, even if it didn’t literally happen, so what?
God did not create Adam from a handful of dust.
God can do whatever he wants. If He created the universe, then He sure as shit can create a human being out of dust, air, or cow shit if the whim suits Him. I’ll never understand what part about this belief is so hard for agnostics/atheists to understand, but they use it constantly to try to disprove things like Genesis and evolution. The very definition of God is a being who sits above nature and is not subject to it. Therefore, any natural “law” was both created by Him and is breakable by Him.
Let’s move on.
5. Why is God big on slavery?
This one is slightly tougher since the New Testament does have some slavery references here and there, but you have to remember that our lack of slavery is as much of a cultural parameter as the biblical authors’ proponence of slavery was. Read some of John Calhoun’s writings about slavery. Southerners did (and many still do) believe that slavery was the Christian way and was not immoral. However, God, to my knowledge, posted only 10 hard and fast commandments and slavery was not mentioned as required nor prohibited, so it sounds like he didn’t really have an opinion, right?
6. Why do bad things happen to good people?
Again, this dufus makes the claim that it makes no sense but he himself can’t justify it, because yet again, he claims that we have to make a rationalization that God is okay with this while at the same time he’s making the claim that he isn’t. Neither is more valid than the other. I don’t believe that God’s purpose in the universe as our creator was to make our lives devoid of bad things, even if we’re “good.” What does me being a good person, or a good Christian, have to do with the probability that myself, or someone I love, will end up getting cancer and dying? Does God exist to prevent all suffering? No, quite obviously he does not, or there would be none. What’s so hard to understand about that?
7. Why haven’t Jesus’s miracles left any evidence?
“Again, you’ve created an excuse to rationalize it.” Really? What’s your excuse in rationalizing that they never happened? Because there’s no physical evidence? Of what exactly? His resurrection? That is Christ’s greatest miracle. I’d ask you what possible physical evidence this could have left behind. If a corpse is dead for 3 days, rises from the dead, and ascends to heaven (directly), that pretty much means that his body is just plain gone. Wouldn’t that kind of mean there would be no evidence? The only and best evidence we have is the fact that people say it happened in the bible. We have just as much evidence that this happened as we do of any other historical fact that is illustrated only through writing. But somehow, Christ’s resurrection is somewhat less valid when the only evidence is in writing than something more mundane simply because we’ve never seen or heard of anyone else rising from the dead. But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Christ was uniquely the son of God, so he can be raised and no one else ever can. QED?
8. How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?
The only way you can even believe that Jesus doesn’t appear to people is to patently refuse to accept the fact that when someone says, “I felt Jesus enter my heart” they are actually telling the truth and there is some validity to the claim. The people who believe that Jesus doesn’t appear to people will simply never be convinced until it happens to them, and with that close-minded attitude, it never will.
Jesus doesn’t appear as a shimmering ghostly image of a bearded white man in a toga. It comes from within. I haven’t personally experienced someone I would identify as Jesus appearing to me, but I have had moments where I swear that something else is at work inside of me.
I think people who even ask this question are so close-minded (despite the fact that if you ask them, they’ll claim to be very open-minded because they approve of same-sex marriage) that they will never, ever experience this. I pity them. There’s a lot more to life than what you can see with your eyes or touch with your hands.
9. Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
If you do a little reading about this particular thing, some of the apostles don’t even mention this phrasing when they recount the last supper. not to mention the fact that this was, according to Scripture, symbolic then and it’s symbolic now. I think this is obsessing over a pretty trivial detail. Next.
10. Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians.
This is where this guy really tips his hand and shows what a dipshit he is. The problem here is that this bozo hasn’t done enough reading. God gave people free will. “If God blesses the marriage that should seal the deal right?” No. The quote he quotes is: “What I have put together, let no man put asunder.” That doesn’t mean no man can, it means no man should, at least, that’s how I see it. There’s nothing conviluted about the fact that man has free will and by divorcing he is merely disobeying God, not proving that God’s cosmic power is too weak to keep two people legally married.
You will also note that legal marriage does not equal spirital marriage. In order to be married a second time under God you need to have the marriage anulled which is not the same thing as divorced, and is generally much harder to obtain.
What a dumbass.