Some questions for atheists (part 1 of 7)
|April 22, 2011||Posted by Joseph Keysor under Blog|
Atheists are having a lot of fun mocking Christianity these days. One of their favorite tactics is to present themselves as rational, decent people who are sincerely baffled by the irrationalities of the Christian religion. Below are some of their questions:
~ What relevance does a bronze age book have for today?
~ If God is all-merciful and all-forgiving, why doesn’t he just forgive people instead of punishing them in hell forever?
~ Why did God only give us his main revelation of himself many centuries ago in Roman Palestine, instead of in different places and at different times, so more people could know about him?
~ Why should people be punished for the sin of Adam and Eve, when they themselves aren’t guilty of anything – or at least not of anything meriting hell?
~ Why does God demand we believe in him without giving us more evidence?
~ Why is there so much killing in the Old Testament? How is this reconcilable with the claim that God is love? How is it reconcilable with ordinary human ethics?
~ Why should we believe God wrote the bible – because the bible itself says so?
~ Why doesn’t God heal amputees?
~ Wouldn’t an eternity praising and worshipping God be tedious?
~ Isn’t the creation account in Genesis totally contrary to science?
Perhaps I’ll try to respond to these and other questions sometime, but for the present, as a believer in the literal truth of the Bible, I thought I would like to raise some questions for atheists, should any happen to come across my humble blog.
1. What about theistic evolutionists (which I am not) who say “Darwinism is a scientific fact. We have the fossils, we see it at work in the world around us, we know it’s true – but evolution works as it does because God started the process and God is guiding it to some specific end”? What empirical evidence do you have to prove they are wrong? Saying “That seems wasteful and inefficient or cruel for God” is not scientific evidence. There is no scientific evidence to refute theistic evolutionism – only philosophical bias.
2. Why is a Europe that is much more secular than America also much more subject to growing Islamic influence? In attacking Christianity, are people weakening a barrier to Islam?
3. If someone says (as I once heard) that “Elvis Presley gave us the finest music the world has ever known,” can you refute this scientifically and empirically? This leads to the related questions: “What exactly are the limits of the scientific method? Are there not many important aspects of life that cannot be dissected or placed in a test tube or under a microscope? And, if there are aspects of reality that lie beyond the reach of science, wouldn’t those who saw science as the only path to knowledge be incapable of seeing such aspects?”
4. What scientific, laboratory-based, empirical evidence is there for the argument that human life ceases at physical death, that there is no existence beyond the grave? Please note, that assertions based on a philosophical assumption of materialism are not evidence.
5. Why did Richard Dawkins write The God Delusion? Was it because of a conscious decision of will and intellect by a free-thinking moral agent, or was it because his selfish genes told him to, on the assumption that it would increase their chances of survival?
6. Were Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt vicious, cruel, despotic, mass murdering bullies? Helpful hint – be careful with your answer here. If you say “Yes,” you will come across in the eyes of many as being incapable of moral judgments. If you say “No,” then you admit that massive destruction and devastation may on some occasions be necessary and just. And, do people have more rights and power than God?
7. Scientists have created many ingenious methods of mass destruction and killing, and in the service of any master, including Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the Pentagon. Does this mean that science really does have no moral base, and readily lends itself to good or evil with little or no concern for people or for the implications of its discoveries?
8. Why is it that if theists kill people, that proves the badness of theism, but if atheists kill people, that does not prove the badness of atheism? Connoisseurs of tap-dancing, juggling, and magic tricks might like to study answers to this question.
9. How did love arise in an impersonal universe composed only of matter and energy? Scientific answers based on empirical evidence only please, no windy quotations from Daniel Dennett that consist of nothing but free-floating speculation.
10. It is often said that belief in God is the result of wishful thinking. Is it possible that atheism is the result of wishful thinking on the part of people who hate the idea of being held accountable to a higher power for all they have said, thought, or done? Who do not want to relinquish their independence? Whose love of earthly pleasures make them reluctant to think of anything else? Whose desire to avoid the unknown limits their speculative horizons?
11. If there were a supreme Being behind the universe, isn’t it reasonable to suppose that he would do many things beyond our comprehension? To put it another way, might not making our likes and dislikes, our judgments, our minds the moral center of the universe be a mistake?
12. Did David Hume on the one hand undermine scientific law by denying the reality of causation, and then say miracles were impossible because they violated scientific law? I am open to correction if I misunderstand something here.
13. Why are atheists more concerned about a small number of deaths 3500 years ago, than they are about a much greater number of deaths in our own modern times? Is it because they really do not care about human life at all?