As the title says..."what's your favourite question to ask a theist"?
You may have many favourites...I would like to hear from you guys about yours.
I have a personal favourite which I often use when they start spouting their spew that GOD wrote the bible at the beginning of time, he created everything....
"OK. If GOD wrote the BIBLE at the beginning of time like you say...some 14.5 BILLION, that's BILLION years ago, What language was it written in?"
Most theists I know don't even know what language JESUS spoke. It's sad really.
Another of my favourites is this one...
"Why did it take GOD 10 BILLION years to make the planet EARTH and then a further 4.5 BILLION years to make MAN?"
There's always a spewy reply of some sort or another which usually gets my goat and the theist is appalled at my outburst of laughter.
So come on you guys....let 'em have it....share your ammo with us.
Paul, why do none of the other planets in our solar system have an environment like earth? Why are there billions of planets in the cosmos that cannot sustain life? Why are there thousands of planets in our cosmos that can sustain our sort of life? What will you think if you find out there IS life on some of those planets?
I highly doubt that you would reconsider your views if we discovered alien life. I mean we already know that biblical creation mythology is bogus - especially the idea that man is some sort of especially unique creation. We know there was no flood, we know there was no mass exodus of slaves from Egypt, etc, etc, etc.
Do you view all that mythology as just, well, mythology, not to be taken literally. If so, at what point do you start to consider the stories in the bible to be fact, and why did you choose that point?
What order is there in the universe? I look at the firmament and do not observe that it's arranged in some sort of matrix. Much of it looks like it was cast up in the air and photographed. Other parts of it look like dust spilled on a dark floor. Sure, crystals show some sort of order, but few crystals are absolutely perfectly formed.
The Earth is in the so-called Goldilocks Zone by accident and only temporarily. We are lucky because of our moon as well, but that is a transient accident. The moon is falling toward the Earth slowly while we are doomed by that alone, though we'll actually be gone long before then.
This is all just happenstance. The explanation of God is unnecessary since the laws of physics are quite adequate to explain it all.
See, the problem with religion is that it "explains everything." People with weak minds who tire of seeking the truth and are frustrated with the existence of the unknown love religion. It puts their critical mind to sleep and makes them intellectually complacent. Hence Marx's epithet: "Religion is the opiate of the peope."
You, brother are stoned!
@Unseen - RE: "The moon is falling toward the Earth slowly"
Under normal circumstances, when we are both on the same side of an issue, I don't question your statements, but it is better that I do it, than your debate opponent - the moon is actually moving away from the Earth at the rate of 1/4 inch per year - in time, we will lose the moon to its own orbit around the sun, and who knows, one day it and Earth could collide if their orbits should intersect.
RE: "Donkeys literally talking is ridiculous!" - I DO hope you're not trying to tell me that Shrek isn't real! SAY it isn't so --
RE: "The moon moving the tides in and out cleaning up the world." - Bill OReilly would very quickly agree that, "You can't explain that --"
RE: "The fact that the Earth is at a tilt...." had nothing to do with your god; it occurred when Earth was slammed by a planet about the size of Mars, which knocked enough debris off this planet to later congeal and form the moon. Granted, the 23 1/2 degree tilt is responsible for Earth's seasons, but I have no reason to believe that life on this planet couldn't have successfully adapted to a planet without seasons - Californians seem to be doing OK, barring all the whacky-weed --
I've never asked it, but if I were to...
Why was God able to create an entire planet out of nothing, yet needed dirt and a rib to create Adam and Eve?
Well, Adam was created out of dirt:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).
Eve was created from the rib* of Adam (it's not clear it was an actual rib, see * below), so Eve is "taken out of Man." and "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
What this really is, is the birth of patriarchal misogyny.
Of course, we know now that it must have involved exogenous and endogenous amino acids, clay-lined geothermal vents (where naturally formed phospholipids spontaneously form semi-porous lipid bilayer vesicles), alternating periods of freezing and thawing, simple peptide chains that prove beneficial to the fatty-acid vesicle structures, self-replicating organic molecules evolving into RNA, and then eventually forming a DNA base, ever more complex life evolves from simple single-celled Prokaryota, one fails to fully digest another and forms the Eukaryota, a bacterial infection fails and becomes captured as mitochondria, these unleash a powerhouse of energy available to the new cells, some cells that clumped together find advantages, this eventually allows them to form specializations and grow even more complex, the simplest plants and animals form, diversify, and proliferate until eventually we have the ancient primates which continue to evolve and eventually there is a human-like population roaming around probably Africa, they evolve and spread and encounter the similar neanderthals, make babies which eventually become the Europeans and voilà, here we are!
* The wiki page on Eve touches on the 'rib' issue a bit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve
Dark Star - some interesting information has recently come to light, interesting and a bit perplexing as well. Neanderthal DNA has been sequenced, and all Neanderthal fossils (of which I'm aware) were found in Europe. Yet there is only a very, very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA found in modern Europeans, suggesting that in Europe, they and European Homo Sapiens didn't interbreed that much. HOWEVER, when you get to Asia, where evidence of Neanderthals is rarely, if ever, found, Asians, Native Americans (who descended from Asians) and Sumatrans possess a significantly higher percentage of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA than do Europeans. If you want a source on that, I can find it for you.
As Dana Carvey might say, "Well, isn't that special --?"
Ok, my knee jerk reaction is to think that Neanderthals fled Europe when modern humans arrived, and remained nomadic as they pushed east, unable to find uninhabited lands for the taking. That would mean greatly reduced evidence of them being in any one place. Perhaps their DNA was required to cross the Bering Straight.
I can't say - I found the article here:
ooh good one.
reminds me of: "if the universe couldn't have existed forever, and 'needed' something to have created it, why can God exist forever and not 'need' his own creator?"
Where in The Bible does it deny that God has hands or breath?