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.
Sounds like the behavior of someone without a strong father figure.
I always wondered if we had 8 fingers, would our go-to everyday number system be digital or octal?
Also, what kind of number system would a dolphin have?
Would intelligent blind cave creatures invent geometry?
We think the world is so much about 'US', why? Maybe we don't 'recognise' other intelligent life, because it is very unlike us?
As my family has grown to include two puppies, it has become clear that the puppies, are not totally unlike, but definitly not the same as us. But it is clear that they have their own intelligence, problem solving skills, feeling of loneliness, fear, happiness, consideration, and maybe love.
@Heather - RE: "the insects would rediscover all the laws of the mathematics in exactly the same form as we have done."
Well, maybe not using Arabic numerals, but your point is well taken.
"Why are you so certain your God is the only true God?"
This was one of the first questions I asked myself when I started doubting my Christian beliefs. I wondered what evidence I had that proved my god to be any more or less valid than the god of Islam, or the Hindu Gods. When I pose this question, I get two reactions. The most common reaction is, of course, the assertion that they "just know". There's rarely any questioning beyond that. They never consider that they may believe what they believe simply as a matter of where they were born and what their parents taught them.
How? How did he do it, any of the things you say he does? You accept that the universe operates upon rules, so then how does he do it if everything can be traced along these rules? And no, "magic" is not an acceptable answer.
Well, where did the rules come from if you do not believe in God? If there is a God, he could certainly suspend the laws or mess with them. Lets say you put $2 on the dresser one night and $2 more the next night. In the morning you only find $3. Immediately you would suspect that someone has taken a dollar. Someone has messed with the total. But are the laws of math violated? No.
Dale, even if you DO believe in a god, where do the rules come from? The come from those that write the holy books, of course. Why should an elite few liars and or crazies who claim to hear the voice of a god write the rules for humanity?
Where did the rules come from? That's a rigged question presupposing a limited set of answers like, "Atheists: Threat or Menace?" Your question precludes an ongoing super reality that not only generates universes (a multiverse) but the particular laws governing each.
Since you seem rather unversed in things, I assume you've never heard of Occam's Razor. This is the principle that the most economical, simplest theory is generally the best.
Let's assume there are two theories: 1) there is a reality in which universes are created and 2) there is a reality in which universes are created, and God created it. Which one is simpler and more economical? Plainly, it's #1.
The problem with posing God as the creator starts with the fact that it's not a scientific explanation based on evidence and rational theorizing, whereas the God theory can be dated to a time when superstition held sway, not rationality. It's also notable that taking Christianity in particular, it has geographical roots. It's a religion from the Middle East. Just one of several religions from there, whereas in a fairly similar time frame (in geological terms, LOL) religions were cropping up in Egypt; Mesopotamia; the Indus Valley; Western Europe among the Celts, Vikings, and others; the Americas; etc.
Look at it that way and Christianity is just one religion among many.
Nothing makes Christianity special in any way.
There's nothing unique about co-opting local beliefs in the interest of expansion. Read the purest Buddhism out of the mouth of Gautama and then behold what happened as it expanded throughout India, into Nepal and Tibet, then China and Japan. Tibetan Buddhism may be the most extremely removed form of Buddhism from the original. The religion of Gautama had no god. Tibetans have a multiplicity of gods. Strangely, as far removed as Zen is from Gautama's religion, like his original Buddhism there is no god in Zen.