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.
While it is tempting to make over arching generalizations, especially when it comes to 'certainty', the search for complete knowledge most times gives complexity and exceptions.
I might add that certainty is a state of mind. It doesn't lend credence what one is certain about. Anyone who's ever been absolutely sure about something they thought they remembered and later had it shown to them that their memory was wrong should understand this.
2. Yes, Adam and Eve's kids had babies with each other. They had much grater genetic diversity then we do, so no deformities.
How can a brother and sister have much greater genetic diversity? Or is it just a lame excuse to justify a biblical example of incest.
3. God is light.
I think you've mistaken the sun for a living being. Explain how god is light. If he is light, then why do we need the sun at all? And how are we made in "His image" if he is light?
4. Come on. Our experience tells us that good things are good.
A lot of people will tell you that their experience doing crack tells them that crack is good. But I bet you would disagree.
5. And I disagree
What do you disagree with exactly? We are extremely easy to kill, we have extra organs we do not need, our eyes work upside down and backwards, our infants are horrible at survival, and so on. Many other animals are much better than us at many things. How can we, the perfect beings, made in his image, not have better sight than hawks, or better hearing than bats? Or be more death proof than a cockroach.
" The end result seems to be nebulous religious beliefs that are more personal than institutional."
In Boyer's "Religion Explained" this is one of the points that he reiterates. Most religious people are not concerned about the details and cohesiveness of their belief system. They use their theistic belief as a tool for comfort and solace. The hope that their god will help them in time of trouble and adversity and the real zinger, grant them eternal life in some new altered state. It is actually too much work for most of our religious minded brethren to delve into the specifics of why and how they believe what they do. "Keep it simple stupid" is a phrase that certainly applies.
And the word "nebulous" is definitely a great characterization of their actual understanding.
Rather than a question, I have a statement: ID/Creationism is blasphemous.
Setting aside all 'technical' issues associated with this belief – which boils down to rejecting a natural evolutionary process – a religious person should have severe spiritual problems with this concept, because if the Creator really did fiddle around so as to, every now and again, 'push' Its creations into a desired direction, that'd sort of deprive It of Its status as being really supreme or all-mighty. Because that's what It is, right? All mighty, all knowing, all loving, all everything...
Thus, by saying that It molds nature 'on the fly', as it were, creationists are committing blasphemy on a level that should shake the very foundations of their religion. This is the type of blasphemy that wants you to believe that It has not created a perfect Universe right from the start and that things have to be tweaked every so often – sounds a bit like a divine patch Tuesday.
sounds a bit like a divine patch Tuesday.
I thought you were talking about some sort of farming patch terminology I wasn't aware of.....then I got it, and lol'd.
Towers - you may not be aware of it, but Isaac Newton, through his calculations (which were incorrect), determined that the motions of the planets were sufficiently erratic, that over time, the entire solar system would be thrown out of whack (to use a technical, scientific term). Being extremely religious himself, Newton concluded that comets and meteors were actually angels, sent by god periodically, to nudge the planets back into proper alignment.
Why is the scale of human suffering that exists on our planet allowed to continue if a being exists that has the power and, more importantly, the willingness to remove it?
I could think of no credible reason to worship a being so indifferent and malevolent to the plight of so many.
So I have plenty of time then? Interesting.
I think I was 'mostly' catholic for about 4 years, doubtful for 10, mostly humanist for 10, and mostly atheist for 20. For most of my childhood till about 10, I was just lead around by adults, trusting their judgement, but watching them and noticing a growing nuttyness. My doubts came mostly from watching nutty people trying to make a go of it. Only later did I start reading to try and figure out 'why' I was seeing nuttyness. I think most people are so caught up in the culture of 'nuttyness', that they are blind to it. Why I could see it is unclear.
Paul says so much about 'God', but it is doubtful that he has any idea of 'God's thoughts'. I can contrive all kinds of stories about flying horses, UFO's, etc, but I KNOW I am making shit up! Why can't Paul? Maybe from the subculture that Paul comes from, they all pretend to know 'God's thoughts', because they have learned how to construct a sentence with the words and then use them, as if, they refer to an existent object. I don't want to interfer with the creative process of language, but it might be nice to have, IMHO, honesty. It might not even be fair to Paul to suggest that 'God' is not an existent thing, since much of our conversation here seems to about that one issue of 'existence/being' and the limits to that knowing.
So much of the language Paul uses seems emthy to me. Is this because I can see through the pretense of it? After 57 years of life experience, some ugly, some deeply wonderous and awh inspiring, religious language just seems like bombast.
'God loves us..', thats nice!
'All deserve death.', what ever.
I have teased death several times already, what is one more threat? Ok Death, there is the waiting room, find a book to read, and we'll we right with you!
RE: "All deserve death." - Why?
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life"
Apparently God didn't pass high school English. Shouldn't it be "For the wage of sin is death..." or "For the wages of sin are death..."?
Romans? From Paul, the guy who hijacked the christian religion? Give me a break!
If he loves us, why let us suffer?
If you have a child, would you let it suffer and do nothing to help? Then command it to worship you because just the fact that you let it live is enough to prove that you love it?
Come on, man!
And the right question is, what god lets us live at all, and gives us a choice? Which of the 2700+ gods is it? And please explain why that one not the others.