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.
@Milos - RE: "Who came back to tell you?" - Don't you KNOW he's gonna say, "Jesus"? Doesn't take much to see THAT coming --
I like simply to ask what justification they can provide for their beliefs. I tend to avoid questions that put people into an extreme defensive modes, though as many people have demonstrated here, the inconsistency and illogic of religion provides plenty of opportunities to frame questions that presuppose the ridiculousness of the answer. The justifications question, while it doesn't lead to many particularly laughable one-liners, is often more revealing in the long run. People feel comfortable enough answering it that they usually draw themselves out in a way I wouldn't otherwise know how to do; as it is, I usually end up asking some innocuous question or other that lets them know I'm not accepting their BS at face value, and they clam up instantly. For example, I asked a friend, after he'd explained that his beliefs made him feel comfortable in a way that no other beliefs did, what bearing this had on the veracity of those beliefs, and that conversation was over faster than I would have thought possible.
The interesting thing is that most people seem to be talking themselves through it as they go, not ever having questioned their belief too much. The very process of talking leads them down one of several logical paths, and it's interesting to see which category of believer they land themselves in. Where I live, in an area predominated by Mormons, it's easy enough for most people to stick to what they believe are the facts, telling me about the foundation of the church and it's history as re-imagined by its early 20th century leaders, as if I've never heard it before, and as if it weren't all transparently bunk. People of a minority religion, or even those mormons who have spent time in more diverse areas, often revert to the 'I feel it in my soul', 'it gives me peace' etc. forms of justification, indicating they've faced some level of criticism of the 'it's all BS' variety and not known how to respond to it on a factual level. Even better are the responses of the smartest, best-educated of believers, who often stoop immeadiately to abstract, social and (sometimes) quasi-marxist justifications: 'it gives people something to live for', 'it helps us stick together as a caring society', 'it promotes family values and morality', 'it establishes a set of rules and incentives' etc. How these differ from the more cynically-worded quotation from Marx, 'Religion is the opiate of the masses', is beyond me. It fascinates me that these upstanding, well-educated people to whom others in the religious community look as an example of the virtue of faith have such transparently shallow and unscrupulous reasoning for their beliefs, reasoning which often seems to implicitly admit the faultiness of the beliefs themselves.
I realize that my rambling run-ons are not the type of invective, sharp-witted humour you were probably looking for in this question, but I gurantee that if you start asking people this question you'll gain a whole new respect for the deep irony and black humour of religious belief.
not at all sir.
In fact quite the opposite. That's a very good post you make. A perfect contribution to the thread.
My intention was not to create a god humour thread. However it has manifested to quite as much.
I was literally looking for SERIOUS input. Which as funny as it all reads...it is effectively so.
RE: "Everyone is selfish."
I agree, just look at the first paraphrased three of the ten commandments:
Talk about selfish!
RE: "We cannot follow God's laws (I challenge any of you to try it for a week)."
You were absolutely RIGHT! I don't know how I ever doubted you! I tried following god's laws for a week, and it changed my life FOREVER!
Last Saturday, I told the kids, no cartoons until they cleaned their rooms - naturally, they cursed me, so I killed them!
Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9 - "...he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."
Last Sunday, my inconsiderate next-door neighbor started mowing his lawn at seven in the morning, just when I was recovering from a hangover from celebrating killing my kids, so I killed him!
Exodus 31:12-15 - "...keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die;...."
Last Monday, I took a date to a carnival that had come into town (the kids used to love the rides so much, I almost wished I hadn't killed them). When I discovered that one of the acts was a fortune-teller, I killed her!
Leviticus 20:27 - "A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death."
Last Tuesday, I discovered that the two guys in the apartment above me, that I thought were just roommates, were actually gay, so I killed them!
Leviticus 20:13 - ""If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."
Wednesday night, I went to church, just to be on the safe side, but I overheard a conversation between the preacher's daughter and one of her teen-age girlfriends, that she was doing the captain of the high school football team, so I drug her out into the parking lot, doused her with gasoline, lit a match and, giggling, ran like hell!
Leviticus 21:9 - "A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death."
Yesterday (Thursday), I discovered that a quiet, unobtrusive, little, old Oriental lady down the street worshiped Buddha, so I calmly strolled down the block and killed her!
Deuteronomy 17:2-5 - "Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death."
(Well, to be honest, our town really doesn't have any gates, just a toll booth before you get on the highway, so I just pounded her head again and again with a rock, until she quit breathing - I hope god doesn't get mad at me for changing the rules just a little --)
Which brings us to today - I had noticed that for some time now, the guy who cleans our apartment swimming pool never comes until after the guy upstairs goes to work, then he knocks on the door, and the guy's wife lets him in. Now I had previously decided that that was none of my business, but armed with my new religious awareness, I dutifully went upstairs and stabbed them both!
Leviticus 20:10 - "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death."
As I said, living a week by god's laws has REALLY changed my life - I've just been arrested for multiple counts of murder - I don't suppose there's anything you can do to get me out of this?
Speaking for myself, I have better things to do. I really need to rearrange my sock drawer.
I'll pass - I have a life to live.
@Paul - RE: "You seem to know many bible verses, but you don't know much about the bible."
Actually Paul, while I can't say for certain that I know more about the Bible than you do, I can certainly say that I know more about SOME parts of the Bible than you appear to. You seem, from what I've observed, to base your opinions on the opinions of others, whose professional job it is to put as much positive spin of the gross discrepancies of the Bible as possible.
These are fond of saying things like, "Oh sure, I know it SAYS that, but that's really not what it means - it means (and here is added whatever it takes to turn a negative into a positive)."
I suggest you REALLY open your mind and read the Bible as a literal work, because I've no doubt that that's the way it was intended by those who originally wrote it. Read those 3000-year old words with the mind of a 21st Century man, armed with Newtonian and Einsteinian physics, and if your mind is TRULY open, you'll find yourself muttering, "WTF?!" over and over again.
Knowing that the definition of a day, involves the rotation of the earth before the sun, read how the sun wasn't created until the fourth day, then ask how the first, second and third "days" could have been days. Read how Abe sent his servant with ten camels, to bring back a 19-year old bride for 60-year old Ike, in +/-1800 BCE, and then discover through research that camels weren't domesticated until about 700 BCE.
I'm sure you can find an "expert" out there, willing to testify that Honest Abe, who pimped out his 65-year old wife for fear of his life (like anyone would kill him for her), was somehow "God's favorite," and because of this, was ahead of his time and domesticated camels 1000 years before everyone else. SOMEone out there has got a spin on it somewhere, all you have to do is find it, read it, and say to yourself, "So, I was right all along - the Bible truly is the word of god --" (Hint - it's called confirmation bias!)
RE: "We don't need those laws anymore because God has given us the holy spirit who gives us the ability to do good."
Matthew 4:17-18 --
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
"For verily I say unto you, Til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
So according to the words of your own savior, all of those jots and tittles are still in full effect --
All of those laws are good, because God is good.
You swallowed that like a japanese porn actress. I'd ask you to explain how they are good, but I know you don't have any explanation other than "they're good by default because gawd is good."
If god said
"If any of you sneeze: rape your mothers and children bloody then sacrifice them on a big dick shaped rock by burning them, then slap your own asshole until you shit our of your mouth, boil that shit on the fire and pour it into your nose."
you'd still say that law is good because god is good. Well bless you.
You really think these "laws" are good? They tell us to kill people. One of the ten commandments is Thou shalt not kill. Just which of these laws is the operative one?
@Ron Humphrey - I didn't say they were good, he challenged us to live according to the Bible for a week, and using the Bible's own laws, I hypothetically, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, did!
RE: "our town really doesn't have any gates" - in fact, that's what Steve Jobs said he liked about heaven, when we chatted last week - no Windows, no Gates!
I do hope this is not an admission of guilt?