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.

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Yes, one miss applied 'fact' can ruin a whole day. Did this only once replacing the fluid in the transmission of an old volkswagan, ;p(

Hey James Cox - I have a '73 VW camper - message me about where to find parts for a restoration!

Dear Arch:

Sadly I don't have much in way of repairs, sorry. My little fiasco happen about 1986, but I have a long memory to prevent a repeat, hopefully..;p)

If he ever existed, considering the region from which he allegedly originated, he would have spoken Aramaic.

Why do 90%+ of all religious people have the same religion as their parents? Does this not show that choice of a religious sect is an accident of birth rather than the result of some philosophical argument?

That has nothing to do regarding if it is true or not. Your parents and school taught you math also. So is it a myth? How one learns has nothing to do with the thing that is learned and i snot a factor regarding its truth. 

@Dave Stallworth

The difference between Math and Religion is that algebra, trigonometry, and calculus are the same whether you learn them in North America, Europe, the Middle East, or China.  They are the same whether or not your parents understand them or have ever studied them.  The laws of these mathematics can be worked out with conclusive proofs.

Religion, on the other hand, is composed of unfalsifiable claims that contradict each other from one religion to the next.

If the human species went extinct tomorrow, and in a hundred million years insects evolved an intelligent species, the insects would rediscover all the laws of the mathematics in exactly the same form as we have done.  If they developed religions, there would be no resemblance to the religions of today.  C'est tout.

"..a hundred million years insects evolved an intelligent species, the insects would rediscover all the laws of the mathematics in exactly the same form as we have done.."

Sadly, we cannot really know this to be true. We might not be there to test this assertion.

I understand your desire to think this, but we do not know if all, most, or none of the mathematics operations, that we take for granted, will also be discovered by very different creatures from humans. It is possible that the standard operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division could be refound/discovered, but we do not know if the cognition of other creatures will arive at our same place.

This is an interesting assertion though, I wonder if anyone has writen any papers considering this?    

I guess my point, James, was that they wouldn't evolve their maths and discover different ratios for the sides of a right-angled triangle, or different results for the limits of a tangent to a curve.

Ok. Is the idea of a 'right triangle' a necessary outcome for any/all rational minds, humans or 'other'?

This is similar to a problem in philosophy and mathematics that I seemed to trip over once. The prof. was mentioning that the operation, '1+1=2' will be always true, no matter who determines the truth of it. I suggested that in vectors, '1+1= 0 to 2', of which he popoed as an unnecessary side bar/fact. Would another mind process such operations through insights from vectors, or simple algebra?

Another point, which might be only minor interesting. There was an interesting question on a calculus quiz once: 'Given a picture of five points on a graph, determine the most likely underlying function'. From my already extensive math background, I could determine that it was a third order function, but also I knew that I could put an infinite number of functions through that set of points. I wrote in 'a third order function, but knew that the '..most likely ..' could indicate a bad answer, very disconcerting. 

A far cry from determining that the creator of the cosmos has a split personality - part that hates, part that wants to save us from the part that hates, and part that speaks through random people - and has come to the conclusion that a ritualistic temporary execution of the part that wants to save will appease the part that hates.

Bravo, Heather. If someone insists that Creationism be taught in Biology class, can we insist that your description above be taught in Sunday School? 

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