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.
Dave, show the plenty of evidence for Jesus. I would be so interested in looking at them.
Yeah, you know: all the "evidence" not in The Bible.
Although it would seem most likely that there is an historical Jesus behind all the New Testament mythology, the evidence is strongly against his so called miracles being anything like those described in scripture.
If thousands of people were flocking to see his works of wonder, we would expect some contemporary recording of such events but unrelated parties - such as the Romans. The trouble is, not a word was written at the time, neither by Jesus and his devotees nor by those outside the cult.
If Jesus actually was the creator of the cosmos, he might have mentioned that the planet was a sphere, and much older than recorded in the old testament. He might have actually jotted down a few words, at least, to ensure that we got his instructions straight. I, for one, would expect that he would have set most of the old testament mythology straight - but the trouble was that his Bronze Age, superstitious human mind had been indoctrinated to that malarkey and he knew no better because there was nothing particularly remarkable about him - not in the magnitude of divinity at least.
It would have to be more than just proving there was some guy. It would have to include independent evidence of the miracles. Surely if he actually did that bread and fish thing, someone from the astonished throng would have written about it or told someone who wrote about it.
As everyone on this board must surely know by now, far be it from me to disagree with you, but RE: "if he actually did that bread and fish thing, someone from the astonished throng would have written about it or told someone who wrote about it." - considering that by far the majority of that crowd were likely illiterate, hot and hungry, if someone came by with a basket of home-fried catfish and pita bread, saying, "Help yourself," I can't imagine anyone assuming anything else other than the event was catered, much less writing home about it --
How are you? I am fine.
A guy came along today with a basket of free food, and I ate some, and it was good.
See you soon.
PS, say hi to Dad and Uncle Fred (do you think he'll ever leave? Uncle Fred I mean, not Dad, although sometimes I wish --ha, ha)
Even if he actually made "miracles" happen it doesn't prove that he is god/son of god etc.
Just makes him a guy that could do some pretty cool stuff. I don't think that these things happened though. I think people up stuff and those stories caught on.
I think archaeopteryx makes a good point too. I would add though that I've seen plenty of desperate, ignorant people agree on something that never happened.
RE: "I would add though that I've seen plenty of desperate, ignorant people agree on something that never happened."
I think, Jared, that you've pretty much described the entire Judeo/Christian/Islamic religion --
LOL! I meant in recent times but yes I can't just soft ball it in there.
@Dale - RE: "how about Jesus? Plenty of evidence about him."
Evidence? Let's talk about evidence. The OT tells us (and no, I'm not going to give you chapter and verse, as I have something FAR more important to do than look it up, like a mid-afternoon nap) that if two men come to court, telling the same story, it must be assumed to be true (apparently they never heard of collusion), so let's give your side the benefit of the doubt and stipulate the premise is true.
From all appearances, it would seem that twice that number testified to the existence of Jesus, so if we adhere to that ancient premise, we have twice as many witnesses as we need, so we should be DOUBLY sure that their stories are true, right?
Granted, they're all dead, so they can't be cross examined, but again, let me give your side the benefit of the doubt and stipulate that they all believed that if they lied in their testimony, they were all going straight to hell, which causes their testimony to fall into the category, loosely, of dying declarations, and I will therefore stipulate that those men didn't lie. I'm bending so far backward to accommodate your fantasy, I'm about to do a backflip!
HowEVER - let's take a look at the "authors" of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and see what we have. First, we must realize that most of the names in the New Testament, which was originally written entirely in Greek (the "English" of the time), were the Greek translations of their Israeli names - "Jesus," for example, was never Jesus, but Yeshua, so we will call him that.
"Matthew" was the Greek translation for Levi, and there was a Levi, a tax collector, who according to the NT was actually there.
"Mark," on the other hand, is not an disciple of Yeshua, and is not mentioned anywhere as having been there and consequently must be deleted from the witness list.
Luke was, according to the NT, a Syrian physician, a follower of Paul, not one of the disciples, but wasn't there during the time Yeshua was alleged to have lived, and must also be stricken from the witness list.
But hey, buck up - you still have two who tell the same story, don't you? After all, that's what OT scripture requires --
Actually, no, you don't. The first three "Gospels" are known to biblical scholars as the "Synoptic Gospels," and for an excellent reason - all three look alike, but more on this later. The point of mentioning it now, is to provide background for you to understand that "Matthew" and "John" don't tell the same story! I'm not going to take my time to point out all of the differences, but here's one for you to chew on, the classic, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men!" story, where Yeshua was strolling along the coast of the sea of Gallilee and happened to notice Peter and his brother Andrew unloading one boat, while James and his brother John, both the sons of Zebedee, the fisherman, unloaded another, when Yeshua uttered his famous invitation.
"John," on the other hand, would have been one of the sons of Zebedee, the only one of the four actually invited, yet he tells us it didn't happen that way at all - he says in his "Gospel," that he and his brother James were disciples of John, the Baptist, which indicates that they already had the "follower" instinct and no steady jobs as fishermen as "Matthew," "Mark" and "Luke" implied. "John" said that Yeshua came strolling along the banks of the Jordan River, that "John" waded across, chatted with him a bit, then accepted his invitation to spend the night somewhere - the next day, he came back for his brother, James.
So now we have no two credible witnesses who agree. But as the Ginzu Knife guy is fond of saying, "But wait, there's MORE!"
The first of the four "Gospels," the Gospel of Mark, was not written until after 70 AD - if your saviour had just been crucified and rose from the dead, would you REALLY wait 35 years to write about it? Any idea how many books on Kennedy were written in the first year after his death?
The writers of the other "Gospels" didn't write their accounts until well after that. And the REAL kicker was that all four books were written anonymously, and it was nearly a hundred years later, that it was arbitrarily decided, by a committee, that they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. "Matthew" copied "Mark's" work, in many places verbatim, which is even MORE proof that he wasn't there, or he would have had his personal experiences, and have no reason to copy from anyone else's paper. "Mark" got his information, that he didn't concoct that is, from an unknown author biblical scholars have come to call "Q." "Luke got his from both "Mark" and "Q," while John appears to have written his relatively independently,l ikely based on stories that were in existence at the time.
Your cross (and by that, I mean cross examination --), Counselor, but word of caution, if you're just going to feed me links to spin doctors, don't waste our time --
@ archaeopteryx *crickets chirping*... I don't expect you'll get a responce to your points here.
I've come to expect that Wes --
Theists come to this site because they believe they can swoop in and convert us, or at the very least, dumbfound us with all of the profound logic they've gathered from all of the spin-doctors that religious organizations have employed to spin the biblical fables enough to keep their collection plates full, and then they find that we haven't been reading the works of the spin-doctors, most of us are well-versed, not only in the Bible itself, but in the actual history surrounding it, and are more than aware of all of its weaknesses.
And that's why most of our really profound responses draw only silence, because we're into territory that their spin-doctors didn't cover, and they haven't relied on their own minds for so long, they're at a loss when the time arises that they need them.
Even the very strongest of these I've met so far - and most intelligent and most courteous too, I might add - admitted he didn't have the answers to a couple of questions I'd asked him, and promised he would return in a day or two with answers. That was four months ago.