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40 Questions to Ask Christians

Updated on April 15, 2016
Thomas Swan profile image

Dr. Thomas Swan studied cognition and culture at Queen's University Belfast. He specializes in the cognitive science of religion.

Burst their bubble by asking a difficult question.
Burst their bubble by asking a difficult question. | Source

Asking Difficult Questions

When atheists engage in debates with Christians, the two sides invariably exchange insults before becoming even more militant than they previously were. Neither party intends to strengthen the resolve of the other, although both sides usually manage to sooth their egos as part of the process.

Asking a difficult question can achieve better results because it taps into the Christian's desire to share the wisdom they perceive themselves to have. Any reflex for angry disagreement is quashed and replaced by an obligation to think their answer through. Ultimately, thought is what an atheist should be trying to elicit. By asking the right questions, one can determine the direction that such thought takes.

40 Questions for Christians

Regarding World Religion:

If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

If people from the five major religions are told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

Regarding Communication with God:

How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

Does God really speak to you?
Does God really speak to you? | Source

Regarding Morality:

When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

Do animals need `god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

If an organized religion requires a civilization in which to spread, how could this civilization exist without first having a moral code to make it civil?

Regarding the Characteristics of God:

An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen, right?

An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

If God is all-knowing, then why did he make humans, knowing that he’d eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

Why did a supposedly omnipotent God take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

The Bible is a source of many questions.
The Bible is a source of many questions. | Source

Regarding the Bible:

Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring or condemning many Earthly temptations?

Given that the story of Noah’s Ark was copied almost word-for-word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

Regarding Religious Conversion:

If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you, do you think that you’re currently better than them?

If religious people don’t respect their children’s right to pick their own religion, how can society expect religious people to respect anyone’s right to freedom of religion?

If missionaries from your religion should be sent to convert people in other countries, should missionaries from other religions be sent to your country for the same reason?

If children are likely to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, does this explain why religion has been taught to children for thousands of years?

When preachers and prophets claim to be special messengers of God, they often receive special benefits from their followers. Does this ever cause you to doubt their intentions?

Regarding Miracles:

When you declare a miracle, does this mean you understand everything that is possible in nature?

If a woman was cured of cancer by means unknown to us, and everyone declared it a miracle, would the chance of scientifically replicating this cure be more or less likely?

If humans declared fire to be a miracle thousands of years ago, would we still be huddling together in caves while we wait for God to throw another lightning bolt into the forest?

If God gave a man cancer, and the Devil cured him to subvert God’s plan, how would you know it wasn't a divine miracle? What if he was an unkind, atheist, homosexual?

I'm sorry ET, but you're going to burn in hell.
I'm sorry ET, but you're going to burn in hell. | Source

Regarding Hell:

Should an instruction to convert to your religion upon the threat of eternal torture in hell be met with anything other than hostility?

Can a mass murderer go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not?

Did the mass murdering Crusaders and Inquisitors make it into the Christian heaven?

How can we know what is right when we don’t know for sure who makes it into heaven and hell?

If aliens exist on several worlds that have never heard of your god, will they all be going to hell when they die?

The Promises of Religion:

If someone promised you eternal life, the protection of a loving super being, a feeling of moral righteousness, a purpose for living, answers to all the big questions, and a rule book for achieving the pinnacle of human potential, all in exchange for having faith in something that wasn't proven, would you be suspicious?

If someone promised to give you a billion dollars after ten years but only if you worshiped them until that time, would you believe them? If someone promised you eternal life upon death, but only if you spent your life worshiping a god, would you believe them?

Why does religion appeal more to poor, weak, vulnerable, young, ill, depressed, and ostracized people? Could religious promises be more of a temptation to these people?

© 2013 Thomas Swan

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    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 5 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      Good list, can answer them pretty well. Good to ask other Christians questions like this, because, well, you can both ponder them together.

      But,no matter how many questions we've got, God'll answer em in Heaven. :)

    • Katy Preen profile image

      Katy Preen 5 months ago from Manchester, UK

      These are all great questions, and I'd love to take part in a discussion of some of these. I don't necessarily think they will lead to any crises of conviction, but the way these questions are structured allows meaningful discussion. Too often, one side sets out to "disprove" the other (as you have noted), and the way the "questions" (i.e. loaded questions or lectures) are presented doesn't even allow, let alone encourage, a conversation.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 10 months ago

      Faith is and Individual Journey. A lot of so called believers fail to provide a true interpetation because you must be the one who does so. The true path of spiritual maturity is not revealed by where you arrived and where you will depart to. Its a practice based on the free will of the individual to decide what path they take. I understand that many people of faith somehow believe that you must believe what they believe. That there is only one path and the path is what they choose for you or one shoe fits everyone. The Mystery of God and the Bible is far greater then what most teach. Its to simple and all are blinded by our agendas on this planet and not the true purpose of why we our here. How much could one person spiritualy mature in less then a hundred years tells me we are infants when we begin and only children when we leave. The fact that we have choice in such a short life time tells me that very few people are expected to mature by much. Simply put I believe living in purgatory is part of being here. There is no way to force anyone to comply with a belief in God, only a belief in a secular society. The fact that you are asking quetions is the only requirement by those who believe. You have to decide for yourself and no one judges you. You judge yourself, not even God needs to. God will simply replay your life for you and tell you these were the rules. It could be that life is only believing there is a God and is only decided by good and evil. The Bible speaks most about good decisions verses bad decisions and Sin and being forgiven by your relationship with God. Most of your questions are a hodge podge of Religous beliefs and most are quetions to numerous religions on Earth. I doubt that God approved of the medenevil Church or even the crusades. God did not even approve of the Temple in his day. Every time people add their Earthly agendas to faith that is based on spiritual goals it has a tendency to become corrupted. Then again try to practice a faith on this planet. Read the Bible and after each verse ask yourself how does this effect me personally, How does it effect my home, How does it effect my family? If you read the 10 commandments and asked those quetions it makes pretty good sense to avoid doing those things. The last thing I leave you with is this quetion. Is there really a penalty for believing in God? Know one actually even needs to know. I can not think of one penalty other then those who tell you there is one. I fear people more then God every given day.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 13 months ago

      Jim I would like to reply to your comment with accurate knowledge. But you are mixing up names that tell me you have very little knowledge of the bible.

      That's OK if you want to know accurate info.

      But not ok if you are judging with none accurate information.

      Example it is Noah who gathered the animals on the Ark.

      Moses is the one GOD use to deliver his people Isreal from Eygpt or Pharoah.

      He was given the Ten commanents of tablets.

    • profile image

      Jim 13 months ago

      So if Mosses had somehow got two of every animal to some how come to his Ark while still having non believers around wouldn't it be weird for them to see all sorts of animals not from around there walking in from all directions heading for the Ark?Or for all the other people who must have seen them crossing countries.how did all the crawling insects get there?or all the species of snail,slug or tortoise .I could keep going but answer me this after the 40 days and nights and when eventually they were released from the Ark did they just start walking ,flying and crawling back to where ever they came from,and if so did the two Lions after they got back to Africa must have had to wait for all the pairs of Gazelle,Antelope,Giraffe and so on to procreate (mate have their gestation period raise their young until the numbers could once again sustain the predators needs).And the same scenario all over the rest of the Earth and of course after walking and swimming thousands of miles back to their homelands. And also all the cultures of the world must have descended from the Ark survivors every Chinese ,East Indian ,Inuit Inu etc and what did all the ocean creatures do with an endless supply of water to swim in while the Earth was flooded.Did the Eagles ,Hawks and all other birds of prey just fly around endlessly in search of food they couldn't eat even if they wanted to because they had to wait for them to multiply.The three toed sloths , kangaroos ,Jaguars Polar Bears and Penguins must have had a time getting home too.but I'm sure all this can be easily explained

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 14 months ago

      You are correct only our Heavenly Father has the position to judge humanity.

      People confuse a comment with judging. There is no one who can personally judge no one here even on HP from a website.

      But we can only state what has already been written from the Heavenly Father.

      Rather we fit those standards good or bad is between us and him.

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 14 months ago

      If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

      God is a God of the living not the dead. The first will be the last, and the last, first. Greater knowledge is disseminated on the last days compared to the early days which makes later interpretations more likely to be valid. However, nobody has the right to condemn anybody except our Savior and God Himself because they deserve it and they knew exactly what they have been working to redeem mankind unlike us who are merely waiting for grace and events to unfold.

      Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

      The Ten Commandments were not the only commandments of God in the old testament. The whole book of Leviticus is, and commandments on that book are so many. But God placed the 10 most important on two tablets and unfortunately, rape issue wasn't included. It might be the eleventh or twelfth, who knows. The thing is we knew that rape is also forbidden in the old testament. It was portrayed in detail on Genesis 34 when Dinah the daughter of Leah was defiled by Shechem the Son of Hamor the Hivite. Simeon and Levi, the brothers of Dinah, slew shechem, hamor and all the males of Hivite because it is not righteous for their sister to be dealt with as with an harlot. Clearly, rape is not allowed.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 14 months ago

      And that is the Creator of human life.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 14 months ago

      Thomas do you know the voice of your mom from other females. The voice of your Dad from other males ?

      I would say yes.

      And you know your parents or guardian in pacific ways , distinguished from any one else.

      The truth is people do not know the Heavenly Father.

      They have an idea of subject under the word god.

      No more then me saying the word man but not really knowing anything but just ideas and human opinion.

      They mis out on really knowing the treasure of our human creator.

      Why ?

      A few to mention is many fill restricted to live the way they want without a judgment of being condemned. Because they like what they do.

      Next they do not want to accept a higher authority of their actions of right and wrong.

      They express this by ignoring the subject.

      By saying there is no God . But they exist why not God?

      next they feel they have everthing in life they need ! Why reconize a higher Authority. The problem is they do not have everthing . Their life is not promised the next day along with the middle class and pooor.

      So realistically people are limit in spiritual matters based on the judgment they live by.

      But for others who realize a different meaning they are given more in understanding and knowledge and a real relationship.

      The problem here is that we create our own situation from the heart.

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 14 months ago

      Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

      This is not a question of who asks you to kill but, rather, a question of whether or not you are capable of killing. If God tells me to kill someone now, I would say why don't you kill him yourself? or Firstly, you have to give me the spirit of someone who is capable of murder, afterwards, killing comes easy. The point is you don't tell me!; Make me! Weren't you the creator? Create a murderer in me and I will kill everyone you like me to kill because if you can't, then do it yourself.

      If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

      If I tell Him to kill an atheist would He? If He can kill an atheist in front of me then I will kill an atheist in front of Him in the very same manner He did. It is very important to gain that degree of wisdom and understanding that enables you to know whether you are being tested only or not. Don't be a fool for a fool cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 14 months ago

      Thanks K&T :)

      How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

      Light is the medium through which God communicates to man. The Devil in turn uses darkness. If you could have the technological advancement to detect light or darkness entering through a persons mind or soul, if you could not, then God said a tree can be known by its fruits for a good tree bears good fruits and a bad tree bears bad fruits. The devil cannot possibly produce good people in the long run. Their intent are malicious, ensnaring and oftentimes harmful. The devil has a very deep hatred for mankind because they think we stole their rights to inherit the earth. Their objective is to blind us from the truth, make us turn away from God and work for them instead. This is probably the best tactical disposition the devil can come up, using us against our creator instead of simply killing us.

      The general rule is that God is not supposed to command us with actions that will endanger other people because he is highly altruistic. He do however commands actions that may endanger you or even kill you but only if your physical mission is already finished and you are already spiritually prepared for His heavenly service. It is important for you to know if you have already achieved that state of spirituality because if you think otherwise, then perhaps it is the devil talking with you and deceiving you. A wise person must know how wise he truly is.

      When God gives us trials we think are insane, He also makes us understand why, later on in our life. Trials are supposed to strengthen the bond between man and God and not break it. God's ways are past finding out. First he makes you experience, afterward he gives you the explanation, finally you grow in grace, wisdom and knowledge.

      If you're not gaining at all and feel life is empty, then probably it is the devil working in you or are not being acted upon yet. God's way is to achieve salvation through helping others achieve their salvation. He who seeks his life will lose it but he who loses his life for his names sake will

      find it. He is fond of favoring the weak, the humble, the lowly, the shepherd, the repentant sinners, over the boastful, the self righteous, the strong, the more gifted. I call it the survival of the weakest. The strong are supposed to protect the weak, the parents to protect their children. Let him who is the strongest among you become the slave just as the Son of Man did. He did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for the many. He is in search of people who are in total surrender and down on their knees because he wants our cup all emptied out before he could pour out his spirit into ours.

      The devil in turn is highly egoistic and egotistic. His central focus is the self. Using all the innate power and resources within you to achieve salvation. He who taps it most, rules, and climb atop the pyramid where there is only you and all others below you. It is the others fault if they did not work hard as much as you do or if they failed to strategize as effectively as you do. The way of the survival of the fittest. The way of wit, trickery and craftiness. The way of using others to achieve personal agenda. The devil is very sincere in this mantra and that he rewards anyone observing this but eliminates those who contradict. The scripture however warns us that this mantra is but a transient plan by the devil to lure us into his trap and ultimately eliminate us and replace us with a being that is non-redeemable by God. All because the devil wanted us out of the picture, just like before. The Devil is willing to be reunited with God but not while the Humans who stole the attention of God are around. He wanted everything to work according to his terms and he believe he can force God into this situation using the schemes he plotted.

      To whomever actions and belief your very own align to is most likely to tell who is communicating with you at that certain moment of your life.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 14 months ago

      As usual Jonny my freedom speech is the same as yours .It will not stop because you are offended.

      Why should you be .do you find yourself

      Part of this problem. If not then why be so negative about my comment.

      I will not change truth.

      But you are free not to accept it or listen to it.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 14 months ago from Tasmania

      As usual, K&T, you state all that as though it's fact. You don't allow any possibility that it's not fact, or that others are entitled to not accept it as fact. You talk about Satan, etc.; you presumption that others who don't have this "spiritual" connection with the god you believe in puts them in a position of danger and retribution; leaving no other possibilities that your own personal beliefs, as valid and true as they may be for yourself, are not valid as applied to others.

      If I can honour your belief, why can't you honour my dis-belief? Does my dis-belief endanger your belief? Is it that tenuous?

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 14 months ago

      You share some good thoughts here bdn9 !

      I simply believe God to some people is just no more then a subject. Like marriage you can hold the idea or thought of what you think it means

      and you can also decide if its something you want to be a part of ,or keep your freedom of singleness.

      But we know one can get married and still faithfully not be married.

      So the same with the Heavenly Father.

      It is about having a spiritual relationship

      With him based on your heart and appreciation for his love for you.

      Even though we are smoke screened by satans propaganda , we still should see that our Heavenly Father has provided still what is needed for our survival.

      The heavens are still intact and despite mans polluting the earth it still produces food. And recycles water.

      And gives us seasons even though man

      Continues to destroy the ozone.

      Causing global warming. The animals suffer too.

      But soon bad tentants will not be a problem to live on planet earth.

      It is written that he will bring to ruin those who ruin the earth.

      Sometime people may have an idea of the subject of what religion is thats all they know.But they are missing the relationship of the owner of planet earth

      They live here but thats all that they get from life is to live.

      Can we just say as a tentant in an Apartment or house I just live here

      I dont worry about the landlord because I do what I wish here even destroy the property.

      And a matter a fact I will say he does not exist .because it only matters that I exist. I will ignore him.

      Well one day the owner will come and inspect his property ! Will he feel you left it in good hands. Will he feel he has been respected for allowing a person to dewell on his property.

      The anwser is its his planet we never owned it.

      And he can do what he wishes.

      Good subject and I think its good to get us to think more on the topic.

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 14 months ago

      If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen, right?

      I know that my children will disobey me because they are not yet matured people but most of the time, I get surprised, angry and discipline them. If I don't, they will think that I am not sincere and that it's alright for them to repeat their wrong course of action.

      If you've won million dollars in lottery while watching the draw on TV then you will jump and shout out loud in happiness. And then after several days you go out to claim your prize still you are very happy although you have already known days earlier that you have won. weeks or months later still you are very happy because you can buy new house, cars and properties.

      Emotion is a feeling we cannot control, they come out naturally and spontaneously. It is very hard to fake it. Even artists need to think of unhappy events in their lives before they can start crying in front of the camera.

      When bad things happen we feel sad. When good things happen we feel happy. If the doctor told you in advance that your love one who have severe illness will die one month after, will you not cry when the actual date expires and witness him breathe his last on the account that you have already known a month before that he will die?

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 14 months ago

      When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

      The atheist did it out of love while the religious man out of faith. Now tell me which is greater, love or faith? it's time you read your bible and find the answers for yourself. People at times are lacking and not all of us can give you bulls eye answers every time. :)

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 14 months ago

      1. If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

      It is impossible to find 1 absolutely correct religion today because if it does exists, the devil would have already corrupted it. However, it is necessary for God to initially lay the foundation in parallel with the devils existence and consummate the construction only on the last days where the devil could not anymore counter attack. Thus, many prophecies point to the latter days describing final battle between Good and Evil.

      To claim that your religion is the right one could be forgiven you but to claim that others will go to hell because they are on a different religion is not for you to decide. That kind of thinking only adds up to your sins.

      2. If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

      Yes but you are missing something. It doesn't matter which religion you belong or whether or not you have religion at all for when God starts calling you, you cannot run nor hide. You can only obey. We've got testimonies of people who refused to obey God until He starts punishing them, increasingly, until you can bear the pain no longer and ultimately obey. There is no saying no to God.

      3. If people from the five major religions are told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

      If a stranger tells you something would you believe? Investigate for yourself. What can they do that you can't? or what can God possibly reveal to them that He will not reveal to you? But whom does a father favors most, a disobedient child? Seek and you shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you.

      4. How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

      I think we have the technology to distinguish between the two but does it really matter? If you do good deeds, it pays off. If you do bad deeds, it ensnares. If you do nothing at all then just wait till you die. Do good deeds and earn your reward, do bad deeds and repent, do nothing and be weary of it and seek the truth afterwards. We are humans, we do all sort of things but repent when you feel like doing it and when you do, mean it. God is not shorthanded, He can reach out to everyone, if you can only mean it, wholeheartedly.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 15 months ago

      I have to say you have very good questions and there is an answer for them all but I will just respond to the last because you left the good for last.

      "The Promises of Religion:

      If someone promised you eternal life, the protection of a loving super being, "

      Well actually based on my belief we all believe something. And usally we have some assurance to believe in it.

      I find it contradicting when people can believe in a job every week or a month no money exchanged until you complete your work hours, or to recieve a payment for service rendared. But you believe you will get paid . That's OK right.

      Why can humans also consider the same in respects of living life without an end on a paradise earth.

      It's a promise as well. Notice what is written

      2Pe 3:13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his (promise,) and in these righteousness is to dwell.

      2Pe 3:9 Jehovah is not slow concerning his (promise,) as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.

      Ps 37:29 The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it.

      Heb 6:18 in order that through two unchangeable things in which ( it is impossible for God to lie, )we who have fled to the refuge may have strong encouragement to take firm hold of the hope set before us.

      Tit 1:2 and is based on a hope of the everlasting life that God, who cannot lie, promised long ago;

      So we have his word of promise to keep living through out eternity.

      Life is precious and very rare that any human is born out of the many that will never be born.

      Why should we cut our miracle down to zero .

      We came to this planet allowed to exist! What name are we making for ourself to stay on it ?

      Do we think because he is quiet at this time he does not know you? Wrong .

      2Co 4:18 while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.

      That's it we can see who birthed us in the world , we can see the results of his works in the universe

      We can see the planet we live on

      But people vision stops here.

      There is more.

      Ro 1:20 For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.

      These things in outer space benifit us the moon , the sun , the rain , the seasons, they are timed to benifit humans.

      So the one responsible for our care is still caring .

      True the earth is in bad condition now but that is because he trusted humans to his planet.

      Not intervening just allowing man to prove what it would be like with out his interference.

      We now know it's all failed.

      Jer 10:23 I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.

      Soon the Sovereign Father will take his planet earth and clean it , restart a new earth and global Government. Man only then will live live appropriate in true happiness.

      So this is my faith millions accept the invitation to continue life in the future under King Jesus.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 17 months ago

      Johnnycomelately, I think it depends on the denomination. My freshman year I attended a small Presbyterian college in my hometown. They required 6 credit hours of religion, which I dreaded, so I took it all that year to get it out of the way. It was World Religion and turned out to be the most fascinating course I've ever taken. I learned about the basic beliefs and tenets of religions that my simple small-town mind had never heard of. It was the beginning of the end of my days in my church of religious dogma.

      At the same time, this little college emphasized math and sciences, and one of my fellow freshmen went on to a great career as a scientist with NASA. This little college now has over 2,000 students and is world-recognized. But I believe that you are basically correct and that this one is an exception. Most of these schools are just a tool to promote their dogmas and to keep their young from experiencing the world.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 17 months ago from Tasmania

      "MightyDuke" asked 2 months ago, "Atheists aren't actually looking for answers as much as they want to appear "scientifically" or "logically" superior to a person who holds religious beliefs."

      I suggest that many ardent Christians are not actually looking for questions! It's much easier not to ask them and to shun anyone who does. This is one of the major factors which caused me to shift from my religious position half a lifetime ago. When I asked awkward questions, people were deriding me for have little faith.

      "MightyDuke" went on to ask, "If Christianity, for example feared science and logic, why would they have founded so many prestigious universities?"

      Apart from the fact there are some very intelligent and smart people who also find a religion to be valuable in their lives, I can't see the mere fact of founding a university as being a justification of religious claims. The founding was most likely done in order to promote the religion, not science.

      Before this scientific focus of our modern era, science and logic were apparently seen as subordinate to belief and superstition. The latter held the world back enormously. Today, the continued promotion of belief and superstition is holding our modern world back as well. It continues to promote judgment, vilification, all manner of excuses for corruption, cruel treatment of those who are seen as unworthy or lower on the socioeconomic scale.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 17 months ago

      This is a great list that required some thinking on your part. I found some of you questions to be intriguing and some downright amusing. Being neither atheist nor conventional Christian,I just don't get all the fuss that both groups make over the whole deal. I grew up in the household with a Christian mother and an atheist father who never fought over religion, so I guess that is why. I've written about this, in case you're interested.

      I have a best friend who is so hard-headed Christian whom I know would give you some standard pat answers to some of the questions. One day another friend asked her that since the bible said we had to accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior in order to go to heaven, what happened to all the people who came before Christ and what happens to all the babies and children who are too young. She immediately spat out, "Well, they went to Hell!" I know she was angry with us, but this still shocked us both, because her church has a very good explanation as to why they didn't go to Hell, and her ignorance of it was appalling. Oh, well.

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      Gwyn909 18 months ago

      Diann: Absolutely agree with you.

      I have a very good friend who is a godbotherer of note. She said to me the other day: "God doesn't make mistakes."

      With such devout religion in her head I cannot argue with her so I leave her to her beliefs.

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      Dianne 18 months ago

      I think the main advantage of not being a religious person is that you use your mind at máximum capacity in order to solve your problems without wasting time in praying and waiting for an invisible forcé to do it for you. Another great advantage - especially for children- is that they don´t live with the fear of the hell and punishments if they make a mistake. And finally, it´s easier to become a good person if there is no-one putting pressure on you with ¨be good cause otherwise...¨. And I could go on...

    • Angele Parris profile image

      Angele Parris 18 months ago

      29. If a woman was cured of cancer by means unknown to us, and everyone declared it a miracle, would the chance of scientifically replicating this cure be more or less likely?

      I think Jesus raised several people from the dead. Not everyone who required raising from the dead in his day. He certainly could not save Himself on the cross. I would say more likely.

      30. If humans declared fire to be a miracle thousands of years ago, would we still be huddling together in caves while we wait for God to throw another lightning bolt into the forest?

      Hmm?

      31. If God gave a man cancer, and the Devil cured him to subvert God’s plan, how would you know it wasn't a divine miracle? What if he was an unkind, atheist, homosexual?

      If God gave a man cancer? If God gave a man cancer? I have been trying to decipher how God works. God takes many years before He punishes in large numbers, but He can still find ways to save those who He wants to save. God gave a lot of years of warnings before He sends punishment. I have included this You-tube video I found interesting.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-zi25GgVE

      Regarding Hell:

      32. Should an instruction to convert to your religion upon the threat of eternal torture in hell be met with anything other than hostility?

      The choice to buy a product is yours- the salesman is simply is trying his best to sell a product and receive a commission. Anyone who preached God’s message in bible met hostility. It comes with the territory.

      33. Can a mass murderer go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not?

      The thief on the cross went to heaven, so yes. Why you don’t you try selling something?

      34. Did the mass murdering Crusaders and Inquisitors make it into the Christian heaven?

      Just like the mass murdering of the flood or the Red Sea.

      35. How can we know what is right when we don’t know for sure who makes it into heaven and hell?

      We don’t, we take it on faith.

      36. If aliens exist on several worlds that have never heard of your god, will they all be going to hell when they die?

      Not likely, because they are accustomed to the customs of their world. However, if their world was discovered by man, would the aliens need their God to send a savior?

      The Promises of Religion:

      37. If someone promised you eternal life, the protection of a loving super being, a feeling of moral righteousness, a purpose for living, answers to all the big questions, and a rule book for achieving the pinnacle of human potential, all in exchange for having faith in something that wasn't proven, would you be suspicious?

      No. Those who are comfortable positions would definitely reject this message. It is those who are in slavery, who need healing, who need to know that there is a possibility that they can escape prison, that they can use their talents. If you are in leadership position, you would probably reject the promise, or you were called on the road to killing those who accept the promise.

      38. If someone promised to give you a billion dollars after ten years but only if you worshiped them until that time, would you believe them? If someone promised you eternal life upon death, but only if you spent your life worshiping a god, would you believe them?

      Try selling insurance.

      39. Why does religion appeal more to poor, weak, vulnerable, young, ill, depressed, and ostracized people? Could religious promises be more of a temptation to these people?

      The reason is because those who preach the message have the wrong interpretation. Again, I have to stress the book of Galatians, where the newly-converted Gentile Christians were pressured to be circumcised. Paul as a Jew was circumcised, so those who accepted his message had to do so on faith that they would get the things Paul promised.

      40. Missed one question, I do not know which one.

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      Angele Parris 18 months ago

      Regarding World Religion:

      1. If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

      Jesus came on a mission to accomplish a task given to Him by God. One of his tasks was to heal the sick. Other religious leaders were sent by their God’s to accomplish a mission. It does not make their religion wrong it just means that I prefer the salvation package presented by this God. It is similar to Republican and Democrat.

      2. If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

      Yes

      3. If people from the five major religions are told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

      Yes

      Regarding Communication with God:

      4. How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

      Marcus Garvey said, Whilst our God have no color, and since it is human to see God through one’s own perspective, we have only just begun to see God through our own perspective

      5. How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

      Listen to Marcus Garvey

      6. Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

      No. But then my daughter died so. Yes I would find it easier to kill someone if I believed God is acting in accordance with the church of Thyatira in Revelation.

      7. If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

      No, I believe that the atheist is already killing himself/herself by not believing in Jesus Christ.

      Regarding Morality:

      8. When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

      It depends on how one defines kind and charitable. I taught math in middle school, and I had to teach long division before short division.

      9. If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

      No. I probably would have denied the religion, or ask God to protect me like he did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

      10. If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

      No. They would just see as ignorance, and accepting the teaching of my day. I grew up in an Anglican church, and I have many Christian friends who no longer accept the teachings of the Anglican Church.

      11. Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

      I taught middle school, and the nurse told the teachers that the contraceptives are for the students not the teachers. When I attended high school, very few students got pregnant in their teenage years. The Ten Commandments were written for a people who were taken out of slavery, so maybe there is a punishment for rape in Egypt. God had to tell them that he was against some practices that were considered acceptable in Egypt.

      12. Do animals need `god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

      I think this a question Africans are trying to get answered for over five hundred years.

      13. If an organized religion requires a civilization in which to spread, how could this civilization exist without first having a moral code to make it civil?

      As Marcus Garvey said, one sees God through one’s own image. Therefore, we need organized religion to see God through God’s image.

      Regarding the Characteristics of God:

      14. An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

      Maybe He is not an all-knowing God. If He was He would have known that Adam and Eve, had broken the rule before Adam told Him, he hid because he was naked.

      15. If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen, right?

      I would like to ask the same question of humans. If you are atheists, why are you surprised or angered when you learn that Jesus Christ had no beauty about him?

      16. An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

      That is a very good question. Jesus commanded love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.

      17. If God is all-knowing, then why did he make humans, knowing that he’d eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

      I am going to attempt to answer this question. God gave the command to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Saturday is God’s day of rest. This is the reason He called Adam and Eve on Sunday. So He had to make someone who does not rest on Saturday, Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus was not familiar with the activities of hell or death. So He had to experience hell and death to know what it is like.

      18. Why did a supposedly omnipotent God take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

      When God created man, he said, Let us create man in our own image. This means other people were with Him. It could be more than one. God had to take creation step by step.

      19. Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

      Don’t know.

      Regarding the Bible:

      20. Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

      Because Mark 9 verse 1 states that some of the people living would not taste death till they see the Son of God coming with power. Christ has returned, therefore, we are under a new law.

      21. While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring or condemning many Earthly temptations?

      The same reason as twenty. We are under a new law.

      22. Given that the story of Noah’s Ark was copied almost word-for-word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

      This could be possible. There is tsunami in Japan and other Asian countries. I am sure each newspaper, will consider an act of their God.

      Regarding Religious Conversion:

      23. If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you, do you think that you’re currently better than them?

      Yes, because I have salvation.

      24. If religious people don’t respect their children’s right to pick their own religion, how can society expect religious people to respect anyone’s right to freedom of religion?

      Religious people do respect their children the right to pick their own religion. They just pray for them and hope that they see the light. The bible speaks of the prodigal son. I will arise and go to my father.

      25. If missionaries from your religion should be sent to convert people in other countries, should missionaries from other religions be sent to your country for the same reason?

      On the way to Damascus, Jesus Christ called Paul to preach to the Gentiles. Not all people accepted Paul’s message, but Paul had a duty to perform.

      26. If children are likely to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, does this explain why religion has been taught to children for thousands of years?

      I will put it to you another way. If children are likely to believe in Jesus Christ, does this explain why religion has been taught to children for thousands of years? Santa Claus (Christmas) and fairies (Halloween) have nothing to do with religion. When children become adults, they see as events to make children happy.

      27. When preachers and prophets claim to be special messengers of God, they often receive special benefits from their followers. Does this ever cause you to doubt their intentions?

      No.

      Regarding Miracles:

      28. When you declare a miracle, does this mean you understand everything that is possible in nature?

      No. When you receive this message I am typing in bedroom, does this mean I understand everything that is possible in nature?

      29. If a woman was cured of cancer by means unknown to us, and everyone declared it a miracle, would the chance of

    • profile image

      GT 19 months ago

      I don't want prove whether there is or there isn't a god. Just as much I don't want to prove whether there is a Santa Claus or a Harry Potter or James Bond or the fairy at the bottom of the garden. I don't care. If you want to believe in a god well and good BUT don't expect me to believe because you believe. The fact that I require empirical proof of the existence of something such as a black hole at the centre of the Milky Way does not mean I believe that there is one. The scientists, astronomers, physicists and cosmologists are close to proving the existence of such.

      String Theory is just that - theory. It has not been proved. BUT the Hubble telescope has photographed the oldest light source and the scientists have calculated that by the rate of decay that little light is 15 billion years old!!!!! Which means that this Universe is at least that old NOT 5000 years old as many religions believe it to be.

    • profile image

      MightyDuke 19 months ago

      The questions posed in this article are not intended for honest debate and consideration. They are simply presented in an effort to frustrate a person of faith who sincerely wishes to convey the reason for the hope that they have. It is a mockery. The Atheist asks these questions and then watches the "religious" person try to answer in earnest in what ends up looking like a dog chasing its own tail....because in reality, these

      Atheists aren't actually looking for answers as much as they want to appear "scientifically" or "logically" superior to a person who holds religious beliefs. There is no real desire to "know" because their questions are intended to be dismissive from the start. Why is it that Atheists believe they hold the higher ground? Who said that the religious must prove what they believe and the Atheist does not also bear the same burden of proof for the non-existence of God? Can they prove that beyond a doubt that there is no God? Hardly. If a pat on the back is to be given to the Atheists, it is this...that they have made "believers" believe we are the only ones with something to prove. Scientifically prove to me there is no God. If Christianity, for example feared science and logic, why would they have founded so many prestigious universities? Because they feared science and logic or because they embraced it? I believe that true science confirms the existence of God...there are 'natural laws' in place in the universe-I suppose that happened by "natural selection"? Atheism asks for too much faith for me. Just saying...

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      Ronan Coghlan 20 months ago

      I'll try to answer these questions, starting with 1-13

      1) It probably means man is religious by nature. The temporal lobes seem to provide a physical inclination towards religion.

      2}Possibly

      3)Depends on the circumstances.

      4) You can't. Any Christian will admit you can deceive yourself.

      5) Maybe you can't, but, if you can work out the outcome of the command, you'll recognize it doesn't come from a divine source.

      6) God, as the Lord of the Universes, has the right to terminate life. The answer would therefore be yes.

      7) See answer above, but God would not tell you take someone's life merely because he was an atheist. Honest atheists are not evil.

      8) More commendable.

      9) Basically, it was never regarded as heresy to condemn the practice of having Crusades or the Inquisition.

      10) Who knows?

      11) I think inflicting any kind of injury would be implicit in "Thou shalt not kill" including rape.

      12) No

      13) Does an organized religion need a civilization to spread? Has this ever been demonstrated?

      While I hope to answer some of the others when I've time, I would point out that the questioner seems to think all Christians think all non-Christians are evil and will go to Hell. This is simply not the case. The Catholic Church and other bodies would certainly not subscribe to such an ideology. It must be remembered that fundamentalist Protestantism, some of whose members believe this, forms only a small portion of the world's Christians.

    • profile image

      Joe 2 years ago

      As a Christ follower I really appreciate your perspective. These would be fun conversations. My mind is already racing with how I would engage in these questions. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and effort in putting this together. I really appreciate it.

    • Kat Preece profile image

      Kat Preece 2 years ago

      I also made a joke that goes like this. Well I portray it as a joke, but I honestly look back and think : "Could it possibly be true?"

      God says: "6 Billion years of evolution later, and I have finally created my favourite work of art. Humans!"

      Humans ask: "God how did you make us?"

      God speaks for days and days and days speaking about evolution, the big bang and so forth; on how he created his masterpiece the universe. But because the humans weren't necessarily bright back then, they started dozing off during God's insightful and scientific lecture.

      And then God said: "And it took me 6 billion years to make all this, and on the 7th billion year I decided to rest."

      And the men misheard him because they were so tired and thought he said: "And it took me 6 days to make the Earth, and on the 7th day I decided to rest."

      And the men incapable of comprehending God's amazing science behind his creation made a TL;DR version called "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth."

      Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

      My answer: I don't know. Maybe some people in a religion are hypocritical? But I like to look at the core values of a religion and try to follow it as best as I can, and if someone else or lots of people aren't following that religions core values, then that's a "discredit" to them disobeying the religion, and not a discredit to the religion. And yes it is possible for religious leaders to be hypocritical.

      But keep in mind religion has also donated to charity Does that not count for anything?

      While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring many Earthly temptations?

      There can't be good without evil. So I guess Jesus understood this. I don't know I'd want Jesus or God to explain this to me.

      If missionaries from your religion should be sent to convert people in other countries, should missionaries from other religions be sent to your country?

      My answer: Sure why not? If my faith is strong enough, why should I fear new information? As long as all the missionaries are respectful enough to take no for an answer. Coming around a third time I can forgive, because I'm pretty tolerant in most situations...but after the third if they still say no back off.

      If children are likely to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, does this explain why religion has been taught to children for thousands of years?

      My answer: No. I think there is a lot more to it than that.

      When preachers and prophets claim to be special messengers of God, they often receive special benefits from their followers. Does this ever cause you to doubt their intentions?

      My answer: All the time. Anyone can claim to be a Prophet of God, it doesn't mean that they are.

      If God gave a man cancer, and the Devil cured him to subvert God’s plan, how would you know it wasn't a divine miracle? What if he was an unkind, atheist, homosexual?

      My answer: I doubt the Devil would cure anyone even if it was to further his plan. He is incapable of "true kindness" And the Devil would have to be truly kind, because there is no guarantee the Atheist would successfully carry on his plans. In fact the Atheist might believe in God because they were saved. But God is capable of doing kind things for all people. Even those who don't believe

      Can a mass murderer go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not?

      I doubt it. Like I said God is just. So if people thinking they can get away with punishment just by being a part of a religion? No sorry won't work. God is just and kind. So I am sure he will punish and reward accordingly. I mean sure he will judge you on whether or not you obeyed his commandments. I don't think I've heard God say he punishes for "not believing". So it could be possible that God can still reward an Atheist who follows their commandments even by coincidence? I don't know could be wrong about that.

      How can we know what is right when we don’t know for sure who makes it into heaven and hell?

      The Bible and God. But some parts of the Bible can be wrong, and I could mistake God for another voice in my head. So science, common sense, and rational/logical thinking should probably go alongside it. But God said he gave us a sense of right and wrong.

      I will continue this post and answering the rest of the questions some other time.

    • Kat Preece profile image

      Kat Preece 2 years ago

      Disclaimer: I will avoid some questions not out of shame, but more out of the fact that I don't have information about the topic; so I can not answer it.

      Okay I will be honest I am a Christian who does not attend church often enough, and I've hardly read the scriptures; so in all honesty my answers to these 40 questions might be a bit different from what you would expect from a Christian. But I do believe in God. I also have an Atheist for a father, who I love very much, so I believe I am able to see on both sides of the issue. I am also very honest and open. To the point where Christians would look at me and say "Girl whose side are you on?"

      And because of my mild Aspergers Syndrome: I can't always detect if something is a legitimate question or an insult disguised as a question, so I assume everything is a legitimate question unless the responses make it obvious.

      Like one guy asked "How can you believe in God but not the flying spaghetti monster?"

      And my response was because "The flying spaghetti monster doesn't seem very powerful and loving. I mean you just said it was a monster. And the flying spaghetti monster didn't promise me eternal life."

      So I took the question very literally, and answered it openly and honestly...and it wasn't until I read the comments of my fellow Christians that I found out people got offended by the question. Although I have no idea why they'd be offended by such a question. Why not just take it literally and answer it honestly like I do?

      If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

      My answer: I'm not sure if my religion is the true one. All I know is that it's my "favourite" one and it resonates with me. For all I know God might come down here and be like "None of these are correct."

      If people from the five major religions are each told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

      My answer: To be honest I wouldn't say "believed", but I would say "Does it resonate with you?" The ten commandments resonate with me. And I do read on the scientific, archaeological, and historical proof of God. And there is some evidence out there....Sadly not as much as Atheists because there are Theists out there who still think Science goes against God. But I admire the Christian Apologist who fights back with logic, rationality, and science, archaeology, and history. But both sides have some really good points, so because both have good points; and both can't really prove who is right...I just decide on whether or not I enjoy it.

      How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

      My answer: I can't tell the difference to be very honest. I haven't heard God's voice in my head yet. I ask myself do I feel good about this voice in my head? Or is this voice in my head asking me to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable? Like rape a child. Then I would go seek psychological help. If this voice in my head asked me to volunteer and help make a difference to the world, I would assume that it's God and go ahead with it. So it really depends.

      How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

      My answer: Well I'm not sure I haven't heard the voice of God yet. But I heard that if you asked the Devil to admit Jesus died on the cross for us, and we can only be saved and gain eternal life through him, the devil will be unable to say it. But God will. But I haven't gotten to test that out if it works yet.

      When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

      My answer: Nope they both deserve a standing ovation and a round of applause. The same way everyone deserves to be punished in the eyes of the law regardless of your religious beliefs. If there is punishment then there must be a reward for both. And I'm pretty sure God has rewarded some people who weren't exactly religious to him? I'm not sure not really a bible reader, but I might of read something somewhere??

      If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

      My answer: To be honest I don't know much about these events. So I can't answer it.

      If God told you to kill an Atheist would you?

      My answer: First I would need unquestionable proof that this is God asking me to do it. See my answer to how can I tell the difference between God and a voice in my head? But I believe that God is loving, and he wouldn't ask me to kill an Atheist for no reason whatsoever. Maybe if this Atheist was a Hitler type person, destroying religion, then maybe God would ask me to kill him. Maybe? But I'd still need to check a thousand times just to make sure it's not a voice in my head.

      If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

      My answer: I'm not to sure. I don't have a crystal ball.

      Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

      My answer: It isn't in there? Hmm that's interesting...Oh well at the end of the day God is perfect but he didn't write the bible, it was written by imperfect men; so I can definitely understand that there might be some mistakes in there. I'm still not sure which parts are mistakes. So maybe it's kind of good that God gave us a sense of right and wrong in our hearts regardless of whether or not we believe in him.

      Do animals need `god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

      My answer: Well it doesn't seem like animals do need it. But I suppose we do, because we are a lot more intelligent than animals overall, and this intelligence might cause us to "create our own ideas, thoughts, and opinions" which might lead to war....oh wait oops my bad." But it's always good to have some rules to fall back on to keep things in harmony...but the problem is when we can't find a bunch of rules we can all agree on. Hopefully the rule harm no one becomes a rule we can all agree on some day.

      An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

      My answer: I don't know. God hasn't come to me with the answer yet, or I haven't read a good article explaining this. I'm sure in God's time he will tell me why.

      If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen.

      My answer: I guess it's like when I reread a sad book I know what is going to happen, but I still cry on the sad moments. So why not God?

      An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

      My answer: Hmm I'm not sure. But I truly believe God is all loving, and all wise, and just. So I think he has everyone's greater good in mind, but he will still give a fair punishment. So all of the Christians who say "you are going to hell because you don't believe." My response to them is "Please sit back down okay. You are not God, it's not your job to judge and assign peoples punishment. So could you please let God do his job, and not judge for him? He is perfectly capable of judging and deciding on the punishments for himself."

      Why did a supposedly omnipotent god take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

      I don't know. For all I know maybe God was discussing things with his angels, and doing other important Holy works while making the Earth at the same time. And maybe that's why it took longer than he wanted I guess. Or maybe he just felt like doing it in a relaxing manner, and thought "I wanna make it in 6 days; because I can."

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Thomas....This is very well-written, thought-provoking and you've received some really interesting comments.

      Me? I despise being questioned, especially personal questions or inquiries as to how I live my life and why....what I believe or do not believe. Thus, I have no reason nor desire to question others. I'm fairly laid back.."live & let live" kind of person.

      It's just one of those things, you do your thing, I do mine ....if we can be polite, respectful and open-minded, this is good. If not......just move on down the road. Have a good day!...Peace, Paula

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 2 years ago

      I have heard the skeptics. I have read scientific studies about the origin of the universe. None have swayed my views. I cannot tell you why good people die and the evil live. God did not make us all perfect. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the afterlife. That is my choice--a choice I made because of the free will I have to make those choices. If I am wrong, then dealing with adversity becomes more difficult. If I am right, there is a positive goal to seek. I choose to believe.

      Finally, the Bible is confusing because it was written by many authors. I do not believe the world was created in 7 periods of time, each lasting 24 hours. Some of the scriptures are designed to show us what did happen to our world and what could happen. Also, people chose what they want to believe but do not look at all the passages, just the ones that support their theory. God is real. His son died for our sins and when we leave this world, I expect to be in a better place. I believe and that is my choice, a choice I made because of the gift of free will allows me to make the choices that I think are right.

    • Philip Catlin profile image

      Philip A. Catlin 2 years ago from Michigan

      I was a Christian for the first thirty plus years of my life. I was very well versed in Christian apologetics long before I ever considered listening to what skeptics had to say. I was "raised" to be a Christian, as many young, impressionable children are. I, as I suspect most Christians are, was confidently nestled in my beliefs - my one sided beliefs. However, it took me less than three years of asking myself the tough questions and finding the courage to be intellectually honest with myself, before my "education" supplanted my upbringing and led me away from Christianity. Now I see that there is overwhelming evidence for the reality of the spirit, soul, mind (whatever we choose to label it) yet no one religion can claim to be the "one true religion." Neither view, Christian nor skeptic, can survive by quoting the Bible, since both parties could quote scripture in support of their worldview. I believe the ONLY way to speak reasonably or objectively about religious issues is to first consider and study the OPPOSING view point with as much rigor as we have studied our original view point. Only then, can anyone provide a well-rounded reply.

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      Larry Wall 2 years ago

      Asking a difficult question can achieve better results because it taps into the Christian's desire to share the wisdom, they perceive themselves to have. Any reflex for angry disagreement is quashed and replaced by an obligation to think their answer though. Ultimately, thought is what an atheist should be trying to elicit. By asking the right questions, one can determine the direction that such thought takes.

      Finally, all the list posted by others only proves that us mortals do not have all the answers. The answers we need, depend not on a time table, or the "scholarly" findings of one person over another. It all comes down to faith in our creator. If you believe God exists, the rest will fall into place, if you are willing to accept. My son was in a near-fatal car accident. The surgeon did not think he would survive. I have a wonderful Grandson. Prayer, led by the surgeon before the operation and his skill, given to him by God, saved his life and because my son lived, I have a wonderful grandson--a gift from God if you will.

      First, is it the atheist who determines the right question?

      Secondly, if each person is fully committed to his belief (religious or atheist) is there any point in having the conversation. I am a Christian, former Baptist, now a Catholic for the last 25 years. Such debates were common in my college days with atheists quoting authors I never heard of and looking at contradictions in the Bible (which do exist, unless you study the full context). Thus the question is, if your views are set in stone and the Christian is not going to give up his belief, why bother with the discussion. The Christian will pray for you, and you may someday change your views.

      When I was in college the big question was "could God tie a knot he could not untie and, how many angels can God put on the head of a pin. The angel question is pointless, because there would be no limitation and thus no final number. The first question about the knot is meaningless because it is a contradiction in terms (human terms). I respect your right regarding the view you hold. I do not agree. I cannot prove God exists, or that Jesus rose from the dead. I accept those concepts and other beliefs as a matter of faith and do not expect to find any proof. When I was a newspaper reporter and politicians made promises, I expected proof of fulfillment or admitting they had failed. I can expect that from Humans. With God, I just accept. I have questions, but I accept that those questions will become clear at the appropriate time.

      Have a good day.

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      God's child 2 years ago

      (You gave 39) Here are the answers:

      1. If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

      1. Yes. Romans 1 talks about people such as you and other religions (including atheists)- how you like to suppress all the truth in unrighteousness.

      2.If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

      2.No- it’s based on each person. Romans 14:12- EACH person will give an account to God for him/herself, not your parents (for you).

      3.If people from the five major religions are each told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

      3. Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity are the five major religions in the world (according to http://www.everystudent.com/features/connecting.ht... I think yes. The Christian God, Jesus, because He has proven Himself, but the reason you atheist cannot find proof, is because you don’t want proof, just like a thief doesn’t want to find the police

      4. How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

      4. Very interesting question, and I mostly agree with this. I don’t believe in Pentecostalism or any other religion (even branches of Christianity) that says God continues to speak. Why do I say I ‘mostly’ agree… I’m not going to put God in this small box, but God has said all that He is going to say, and He even warns if anyone adds any ‘revelation’ or anything to the Bible, he will be punished. Also, Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”

      5. How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

      5. Again, I believe that God has stopped speaking to us, until His Second Coming, so the only solution is that if there is a random voice in your head, you either need help from a hospital or a church.

      6. Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

      6.No, because murdering people is a sin, and if any angel or any so-called prophets told us that, the Bible said ‘let him be accursed’ -Galatians 1:9.

      7. If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

      7. Again, God cannot sin and cannot tempt, so He wouldn’t and can’t. So, no, because that is from the devil.

      8. When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

      8. Every person is equal in God’s sight- He shows no partiality. Romans 2:11, “For God shows no partiality.”

      9. If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

      9. I hardly know what the crusades is. And plus, this is a question that has no relevance- can the author of this give a reason that it has relevance?

      10.If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

      10. There is no condemnation for Christianity (true christianity at least). The true Christian holds the Bible holds the Bible and the Bible alone as the only holy book and sole authority of their life.

      11. Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

      11. Rape is in the Ten Commandments. I’m not going into details, but it is adultery.

      12. Do animals need `god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

      12. I believe God has given animals morality- if you can call it that. Since He created them, He also gave them a brain. So I think He gave them knowledge to a certain extent, like us humans. Babies (humans) don’t know what two plus two is, but they do have a conscious, to learn, so they remember it. Like after a baby touches a hot grill, it knows not to touch it again.

      13. If organized religion requires a civilization in which to spread, how could this civilization exist without first having a moral code to make us civil?

      13. I know all civilizations morals came from the Bible. It says 1 Thes 5:21-22, “but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” That’s what everyone does, right? That’s how we know testing God or questioning Him or His word is a bad mistake (from that verse). Through the Ten Commandments, we know murder is wrong, lying is wrong, etc.

      14. An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

      14. If you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit enters you and produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control. He will also give you a desire to worship God, because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

      15. If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen.

      15. I’ll give you an example- Adam and Eve. He knew, yet He questioned them. Why? I believe He was a loving God- to giving them a second chance by confessing their sin. But they didn’t.

      16. An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

      16. That is a question for only believers.

      17. If God is all knowing, then why did he make humans in the knowledge that he’d eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

      17. To bring glory to His name. Example: satan. Why did God create satan, knowing he would cause the downfall of mankind? Because He gets the glory (in the end, 1,000 years after Armageddon)

      18. Why did a supposedly omnipotent god take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

      18. I don’t know. That’s like me asking you: why are you wearing a green shirt (when you randomly picked it out). I don’t know. It’s His plan.

      19. Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

      19. Yes, God is necessary to ours and anything else’s existence.

      20. Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

      20. Jesus didn’t ask us to give our wealth away- He told that man to do so, to show that he wasn’t perfect, even after he supposedly kept the commandments.

      21. While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring many Earthly temptations?

      21. 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” Ephesians 4:28, “Let the thief no longer steal,” and how does he steal? He tempts us, and if we are tempted, he has stolen.

      22.Given that the story of Noah’s Ark was copied almost word for word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

      22. I don’t believe in tens of trillion of years (of the earth), but neither do I believe it to be 5,000 years old. I believe it to be 7,000 to less than 20,000 years old. So I believe the story of Noah’s ark story (which is true), to be closer towards creation, which debunks your theory of how it was created.

      23. If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you; do you think that you’re currently better than them?

      23. 1. We don’t convert atheists to be like us, we convert them, to (get saved. Then) be like Jesus’ perfect example. 2. I do not view myself as better than any atheist, but worse, when I view over all of the commandments I broke.

      24. If religious people don’t respect their children’s right to pick their own religion at a time when they're able to make that decision, how can society expect religious people

    • profile image

      God's child 2 years ago

      (You gave 39) Here are the answers:

      1. If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

      1. Yes. Romans 1 talks about people such as you and other religions (including atheists)- how you like to suppress all the truth in unrighteousness.

      2.If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

      2.No- it’s based on each person. Romans 14:12- EACH person will give an account to God for him/herself, not your parents (for you).

      3.If people from the five major religions are each told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

      3. Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity are the five major religions in the world (according to http://www.everystudent.com/features/connecting.ht... I think yes. The Christian God, Jesus, because He has proven Himself, but the reason you atheist cannot find proof, is because you don’t want proof, just like a thief doesn’t want to find the police

      4. How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

      4. Very interesting question, and I mostly agree with this. I don’t believe in Pentecostalism or any other religion (even branches of Christianity) that says God continues to speak. Why do I say I ‘mostly’ agree… I’m not going to put God in this small box, but God has said all that He is going to say, and He even warns if anyone adds any ‘revelation’ or anything to the Bible, he will be punished. Also, Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”

      5. How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

      5. Again, I believe that God has stopped speaking to us, until His Second Coming, so the only solution is that if there is a random voice in your head, you either need help from a hospital or a church.

      6. Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

      6.No, because murdering people is a sin, and if any angel or any so-called prophets told us that, the Bible said ‘let him be accursed’ -Galatians 1:9.

      7. If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

      7. Again, God cannot sin and cannot tempt, so He wouldn’t and can’t. So, no, because that is from the devil.

      8. When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

      8. Every person is equal in God’s sight- He shows no partiality. Romans 2:11, “For God shows no partiality.”

      9. If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

      9. I hardly know what the crusades is. And plus, this is a question that has no relevance- can the author of this give a reason that it has relevance?

      10.If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

      10. There is no condemnation for Christianity (true christianity at least). The true Christian holds the Bible holds the Bible and the Bible alone as the only holy book and sole authority of their life.

      11. Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

      11. Rape is in the Ten Commandments. I’m not going into details, but it is adultery.

      12. Do animals need `god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

      12. I believe God has given animals morality- if you can call it that. Since He created them, He also gave them a brain. So I think He gave them knowledge to a certain extent, like us humans. Babies (humans) don’t know what two plus two is, but they do have a conscious, to learn, so they remember it. Like after a baby touches a hot grill, it knows not to touch it again.

      13. If organized religion requires a civilization in which to spread, how could this civilization exist without first having a moral code to make us civil?

      13. I know all civilizations morals came from the Bible. It says 1 Thes 5:21-22, “but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” That’s what everyone does, right? That’s how we know testing God or questioning Him or His word is a bad mistake (from that verse). Through the Ten Commandments, we know murder is wrong, lying is wrong, etc.

      14. An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

      14. If you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit enters you and produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control. He will also give you a desire to worship God, because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

      15. If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen.

      15. I’ll give you an example- Adam and Eve. He knew, yet He questioned them. Why? I believe He was a loving God- to giving them a second chance by confessing their sin. But they didn’t.

      16. An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

      16. That is a question for only believers.

      17. If God is all knowing, then why did he make humans in the knowledge that he’d eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

      17. To bring glory to His name. Example: satan. Why did God create satan, knowing he would cause the downfall of mankind? Because He gets the glory (in the end, 1,000 years after Armageddon)

      18. Why did a supposedly omnipotent god take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

      18. I don’t know. That’s like me asking you: why are you wearing a green shirt (when you randomly picked it out). I don’t know. It’s His plan.

      19. Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

      19. Yes, God is necessary to ours and anything else’s existence.

      20. Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

      20. Jesus didn’t ask us to give our wealth away- He told that man to do so, to show that he wasn’t perfect, even after he supposedly kept the commandments.

      21. While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring many Earthly temptations?

      21. 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” Ephesians 4:28, “Let the thief no longer steal,” and how does he steal? He tempts us, and if we are tempted, he has stolen.

      22.Given that the story of Noah’s Ark was copied almost word for word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

      22. I don’t believe in tens of trillion of years (of the earth), but neither do I believe it to be 5,000 years old. I believe it to be 7,000 to less than 20,000 years old. So I believe the story of Noah’s ark story (which is true), to be closer towards creation, which debunks your theory of how it was created.

      23. If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you; do you think that you’re currently better than them?

      23. 1. We don’t convert atheists to be like us, we convert them, to (get saved. Then) be like Jesus’ perfect example. 2. I do not view myself as better than any atheist, but worse, when I view over all of the commandments I broke.

      24. If religious people don’t respect their children’s right to pick their own religion at a time when they're able to make that decision, how can society expect religious people

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 2 years ago

      Interpretation is a wonderful gift. Unfortunately, it is not always used in a proper manner.

    • Philip Catlin profile image

      Philip A. Catlin 2 years ago from Michigan

      Actually, I'm nearly ready to publish my debut book "Nothing Sacred" on precisely these topics. The book is very specific and nuanced. In the mean time, I am happy to correspond with you in detail if you would like. Every last syllable of Christian doctrine can be refuted in detail by studying Christian history, being intellectually honest, and be willing to accept religiously uncomfortable findings. I will gladly debate any specific religious topic with you. I have written three hubs that begin to address some of these issues in detail. You may find them interesting... I would be interested in hearing your response.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 2 years ago from Ohio, USA

      " I challenge anyone to provide a concrete, direct answer to any of Thomas' question."

      I challenge you to research the questions and refute the concrete, direct answers that you find. But you won't. It's easier to generalize.

    • Philip Catlin profile image

      Philip A. Catlin 2 years ago from Michigan

      Well said jonnycomelately.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      All the questions of this Hub employ logic as their base.

      Every apologist for religion must necessarily discard logic as inconvenient for the argument.

    • Philip Catlin profile image

      Philip A. Catlin 2 years ago from Michigan

      No religion can answer these questions honestly because they reveal the core failures of religion. I "know" this because the simple, piercing logic of these questions cannot be answered by the excuse making, pseudo-logic that religious apologists use. Many religious apologists have tried. Yet, logic cannot be answered by pseudo-logic and fairy tale. I challenge anyone to provide a concrete, direct answer to any of Thomas' question. Excuses for God's negligence, incompetence and brutal actions are not answers.

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      There are only 39 questions... about 43 actual individual though...

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 2 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "Excellent article Thomas! These are questions that Christians (or members of any other religion) simply cannot answer."

      And you know that... how?

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      What another interesting hub, Thomas. You've asked a lot of good questions when it deals with religion and atheism. Voted up!

    • Philip Catlin profile image

      Philip A. Catlin 2 years ago from Michigan

      Excellent article Thomas! These are questions that Christians (or members of any other religion) simply cannot answer.

    • profile image

      HXMD 2 years ago

      I like this list, especially the one about cancer, thanks man this should get the people at my school who are religious something to think about. :)

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      If any person, he or she, says "I am the way," meaning him or her self, above every other person on earth, then that person is far from "enlightened," and very much a self-appointed, conceited individual, seeking the adulation of his/her peers.

      If such a person as that "Jesus" was alive today, having tried to change attitude to personal responsibility, he would be horrified that you are adulating him 2000 years later. He would be deeply sad indeed!

    • profile image

      Terry Phillips 2 years ago

      Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and life and no man comes to the Father except through him." God loves us so much that he gives us the ability to choose. If we were forced to love God, is that love? Who wants to be forced.

    • profile image

      Suhrabjan 2 years ago

      Well, it is likely that they will be iteinvd to Sunday School or Church Groups with friends at some point, and I would let them go. When they are old enough to understand abstract concepts such as religion, then I would encourage them to tune in and pay attention to different programs about religion on television.You could also pay them to write reports on religous topics. Have them read summaries on Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity and have them write five things that are similar, and five things that are different, pay them $1 for each solid common or differing trait.The constructivist theory of education, which is preferred whenever and wherever possible, holds that children learn more through their own research and learning than through our teaching. If you faciliate the means and the motivation to study religion, they will at the right time. When and if they feel they need religion in their life, they will have the right tools at their disposal to make the best decision for them.They will also learn great cultural and critical thinking skills in the process of these simple research projects you assign.References : teacher

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I am just taking all of this in. Especially the comments here. I think there should be more than 10 commandments. Especially "Thus shall not rape!"

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting Ildiwelsh. Yes, there are many types of faith, and it's not just limited to religion. Some of these questions could be applied to other faiths. I think you cover the various modes of conversion very well.

      I also wonder why some books/gospels were chosen for the Bible and not others. It seems a very human process of selection. Perhaps God might have chosen other books?

      I agree that kindness is something we all need a bit more of. I think cultural evolution has shown that kindness and cooperation is the best way to ensure a successful society. I think religion can encourage kindness at times, but it can also harness hatred and discrimination at other times, especially when dealing with other groups with other religions.

    • profile image

      Ildiwelsh 2 years ago

      I believe it is healthy for humans to ask questions. This shows that we do want to find answers and by asking some very good questions hoping to find some truth that is hidden from all mankind.

      Firstly, someone to have faith in something other than themselves is not limited to just Christianity.

      Many religions in the world will have very similar way of thinking that they achieved finding the knowledge of the ultimate Universe and its Creator.

      In some religions it seems to be more than one! Not one person however belongs to a religion but they choose it as a conscience person or get indoctrinated into it while they are very young. The knowledge of others and their life experiences and how they conceived the world around them that is then handed down to their generations. They may have had a life experience that made them feel that they had to follow and listen to 'God' other than what their common sense dictated.

      Moses for example when God appeared front of him as a burning bush, he listened to that voice and followed the instructions. No one will know exactly what had happened between him and God although it is written down in the Bible, one would ask a questions why did they leave out other books from the bible which were equally interesting and could had been educational.

      Hell or Heaven, as I understood Hell is on Earth now with all the diseases and wars, and Heaven is everything that is above us.

      I think this is where it is important to realize just how easily we humans are influenced by what others do or say. It is our choice however to carry on either following in the footsteps of others or ourselves. One important thing if you behave humanly towards others and treat each other like your neighbours and love them and care for them as you do for yourself I don't think we can go wrong.

      Atheist or Christians or whatever religion you follow if you know what that little voice speaks inside of you when someone asks for help, that will determine whether you are truly a kind human being. That was the hidden message which came directly from Jesus Christ only too sadly often people even religious people forget because they are greedy, self-seeking and money hungry individuals. “Ask and you will be given, seek and you will find”

      Jesus Christ walked on Earth and paid a huge price for not only the Jewish people who believed in him but for all the others who were not Jewish. This what sets him apart form other human beings!

      He didn't just believe in a Super Being the God Almighty Creator of all and everything and the Universe itself but he lived it! We can all follow in his footsteps but how you do that is entirely your choice!

    • Thomas Swan profile image
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      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Gwyn. Much appreciated.

    • profile image

      Gwyn909 2 years ago

      Hi Thomas. I now link to this site directly.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
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      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting and sharing Gwyn909. I have removed the comments because they have links in, but I hope your matter was resolved satisfactorily.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
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      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you Christiananrkist for your answers, and to everyone else too.

      Gwyn909, I'm not sure what you're referring to. If you've received a notice that you're infringing the copyright of my article here, you only need to put a link to this article and I'll be ok with it. I allow it because these are questions, and naturally people will want to answer them in their own way, or share them with other atheists. Sometimes I send out copyright notices to people who I'm unable to contact with my request for a link because their blog is broken, or they don't respond to the request.

      If someone else is claiming they wrote these questions, please direct me to their page and I will investigate.

    • profile image

      christiananrkist 3 years ago

      1. If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don’t exist?

      yes. they can all be wrong, but they can all be right.

      2. If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

      they did, so no.

      3. If people from the five major religions are each told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

      its probably a good idea to determine what true and what isnt

      4.How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

      examine EVERYTHING and hold fast to that which is good?

      5. How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

      see answer to question 4

      6. Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

      there's a difference between killing and murder first of all. also i dont think killing would be easier because it was God's will. but that doesnt make it unnecessary.

      7. If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

      just for being an atheist? God wouldnt do that. see answer to questions 4-5

      8. Does God really speak to you? no

      9. When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behaviour more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

      the behaviour is the same. the intention is what makes it more or less commendable. 2nd most important command. love your neighbour as yourself. doing something out of the goodness of your heart is God's command

      10. If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

      i dont know

      11. If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

      i dont know

      12. Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why `do not rape’ is not part of the Ten Commandments?

      Deuteronomy 22:25-26 was written more than 2000 yeas ago. although not part of the 10 commandments, does not mean God condoned it.

      13. Do animals need `god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

      God has created everything for a purpose. some animals may operate purely on instinct and other may feel emotions similar to humans. possibly to operate the way God intended. pure speculation of course.

      14. If organized religion requires a civilization in which to spread, how could this civilization exist without first having a moral code to make us civil?

      what make a moral code civil?

      15. What is the relationship between religion and morality?

      nothing.

      16. an all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

      so people should just do nothing?

      17.If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen.

      dont things you know from the past anger you? God see's the future the same way

      18.An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

      they may still serve a purpose

      19.If God is all knowing, then why did he make humans in the knowledge that he’d eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

      why wouldnt he demonstrate such grace?

      20.Why did a supposedly omnipotent god take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

      he didnt require rest. he just rested.

      21. Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

      if it was, you could still continue asking that forever

      22.why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

      because people are giving there wealth to the church

      23.While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring many Earthly temptations?

      people hate censorship until they dont like something. atheists too.

      24.Given that the story of Noah’s Ark was copied almost word for word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

      word for word? source please?

      25.If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you; do you think that you’re currently better than them?

      God forbid they be like me. I want them to be like Jesus

      26.If religious people don’t respect their children’s right to pick their own religion at a time when they're able to make that decision, how can society expect religious people to respect anyone’s right to freedom of religion?

      respect or not, they cant stop it.

      27.If missionaries from your religion should be sent to convert people in other countries, should missionaries from other religions be sent to your country?

      why not?

      28.If children are likely to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, does this explain why religion has been taught to children for thousands of years?

      possibly. dont they then become adults?

      29.When preachers and prophets claim to be special messengers of God, they often receive special benefits from their followers. Does this ever cause you to doubt their intentions?

      definitely

      30.When you declare a miracle, does this mean you understand everything that is possible in nature?

      no.

      31.If a woman was cured of cancer by means unknown to us, and everyone declared it a miracle, would the chance of scientifically replicating this cure be more or less likely?

      if its unknown how would you scientifically replicate it?

      32.If humans declared fire to be a miracle thousands of years ago, would we still be huddling together in caves while we wait for God to fire another lightning bolt into the forest?

      who knows?

      33.If God gave a man cancer, and the Devil cured him to subvert God’s plan, how would you know it wasn't a divine miracle? What if he was an unkind, atheist, homosexual?

      the devil cant perform miracles

      34.Should an instruction to convert to your religion upon the threat of eternal torture in hell be met with anything other than hostility?

      could be met with questions, logic and reason instead.

      35.Can a mass murderer go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not?

      its not about accepting the religion. it about a relationship with God and accepting the gift of grace. in those terms, yes.

      36.Did the mass murdering Crusaders and Inquisitors make it into the Christian heaven?

      maybe some did maybe some didnt. who knows but God?

      37.How can we know what is right when we don’t know for sure who makes it into heaven and hell?

      evidence, reasoning, thinking.

      38.If aliens exist on several worlds that have never heard of your god, will they all be going to hell when they die?

      who knows what they do or dont know?

      39.Why Do People Convert to Religion?

      that is a question to each individual

      40. If someone promised you eternal life, the protection of a loving super being, a feeling of moral righteousness, a purpose for living, answers to all the big questions, and a rule book for achieving the pinnacle of human potential… and all in exchange for having faith in something that wasn't proven, would you be suspicious?

      sure. but it doesnt mean its wrong.

      41.If someone promised to give you a billion dollars after ten years, but only if you worshiped them until that time, would you believe them?

      if they proved they could and would, maybe. what is worship?

      42.If someone promised you eternal life upon death, but only if you spent your life worshiping a god, would you believe them?

      maybe. depends on evidence and reasoning.

      43.Why does religion appeal more to poor, weak, vulnerable, young, ill, depressed, and ostracized people? Could religious promises be more of a temptation to these people?

      another question to each individual

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Thomas Swan: we agree to disagree. We can disagree without becoming disagreeable. :)

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      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting nicomp. I suppose I do trust evolutionary biologists not to lie about their findings. In general though, most studies are replicated at least once (by different teams) before the finding is fully accepted. Statistical significance is typically reported in each research paper and is treated seriously. I don't really understand your comments about contradictions, but I can see we're not going to find any common ground here.

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      nicomp really 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Thomas Swan: your comments regarding statistically random events contradict your faith in the evolutionary biologists. Those folks observe a microscopic sample size that cannot by any standards be deemed statistically significant.

      "Animals are not programmed to behave morally by an external agent. A part of their evolved brains impels them to behave that way. So yes, for them it's far more than just behavior."

      Again you contradict yourself. First their actions are 'impelled behavior' then it's far more than behavior.

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      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      jonny, I agree with your concern, but wouldn't dream of entertaining it in this comment section because we'd be here all day! Generally, I would say that morality relies on altruism, empathy, cooperation, and a willingness to follow social rules. As previously noted, we find all of these in the animal kingdom, but to a lesser extent than in humans. I think this moral `scale' is unpalatable for those who want to think we're special, distinct, and chosen by God.

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      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      nicomp, I can only relate what evolutionary biologists and anthropologists have found via their observations.

      The car missing the baby carriage in your example is a statistically random event. If the car defied expectations and missed the baby carriage 90% or 100% of the time, it might be a valid definition of moral behavior. However, like the robot, we would say that the machine was `programmed by a moral person'. The machine itself is not moral. The person programming it is.

      Animals are not programmed to behave morally by an external agent. A part of their evolved brains impels them to behave that way. So yes, for them it's far more than just behavior.

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      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      I don't feel this subject can be adequately discussed unless we agree to a definition of "MORALITY." Are we to regard it as simply applying to character, goodness, reasonable attitude to the expectations of the community in which we live?

      Or is there some overlay that wish to attach, like "christian," or "cultural?"

      Is the opposite of "Moral" to be regarded as"sinful," for example?

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      There is rampant anthropomorphism, especially on this site, but there is no morality in the animal kingdom.

      A car careens down a hill: no driver and no brakes. It narrowly misses a baby carriage. Is the car moral?

      A robot is programmed to protect Bomb Squad technicians at the expense of itself. Is the robot moral or is it simply behaving in a manner that reflects our definition of such?

      Forest Gump may have been correct about "Stupid" but his bromide does not apply to morality. You cannot infer morality from behavior. It is not sufficient to say "Morality is as morality does."

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      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      @nicomp Yet it could well be argued that there is an IMmorality of humans towards other animals.

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      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Humans have a more sophisticated form of morality, but the precursors of human morality are present in the animal kingdom, especially among social animals. According to Michael Shermer, humans and other great apes share a number of moral traits, including "attachment and bonding, cooperation and mutual aid, sympathy and empathy, direct and indirect reciprocity, altruism and reciprocal altruism, conflict resolution and peacemaking, deception and deception detection, community concern and caring about what others think about you, and awareness of and response to the social rules of the group." Other social animals (such as lions) will also possess some of these traits, though fewer than the great apes.

      In other words, some form of morality is present in the animal kingdom. Humans may be at the end of the scale when it comes to moral behavior, but we are not the only animal on the scale.

      I think many people would prefer we were the only only animal on the scale. People want to feel special, distinct, and bestowed upon by a deity.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      There is no morality in the animal kingdom.

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      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you for the answers and feedback everyone. I have changed the question about lions. It now just says "animals". Lions aren't the best example of morality appearing in the animal kingdom.

      Travis, sorry for taking so long to reply. You can answer the questions in a hub/article of your own as long as you provide an active link and attribution back to this hub.

      This applies to everyone who would like to answer the questions in an article.

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      Travis Wakeman 3 years ago

      Hello, I am a Christian apologist and amateur theologian, I would be very interested in answering your questions in depth in a hub of my own (addressing each of your sections as such without directly copy-pasting your questions) I just wanted to drop a comment off to see what you think about that.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "Even asking polite questions elicit a hostile response from most believers."

      No.

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      Link10103 3 years ago

      Even asking polite questions elicit a hostile response from most believers. Ask a question with an example from the bible itself and suddenly you are a hypocrite for knowing about that example if you dont believe in God.

      Polite questions = hostile response and moral superiority

      Hostile talk = condescending response and moral superiority

      Incredibly difficult to talk to people like that, even when you outright state you do not have an issue with their beliefs.

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      Tirian 3 years ago

      Is anyone actively using these questions in conversation?

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      Yobani 3 years ago

      I'm a christian and all those answer not a difficult cause I would explain just up to y'all to hear the true

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      Stephan 3 years ago

      I think you need to rephrase this one:

      "religion has been taught in schools for thousands of years"

      Schools (for the masses) have really only been available for less than 200 years, as I understand it.

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      John 3 years ago

      To anyone who has spent considerable time sincerely trying to understand the perspective of a Holy, yet loving God, many of these questions lack veracity...sort of like Can God make a rock too big for Him to move?, which is not a valid or fair question - utter nonsense of a question. I have found over the years that the very people who think of themselves as open-minded atheists, are often secretly judgmental or openly harsh with Christians. I find a large majority of them tend to be former Catholics who have had a bad or hurtful experience in the Catholic church. That bad experience is somehow transferred onto that person's view of God. How biased is that?

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      wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

      "If someone promised to give you a billion dollars after ten years, but only if you worshiped them until that time, would you believe them? If someone promised to give you eternal life upon death, but only if you spent your life worshiping a god, would you believe them?"

      I like this question, I think you would have to be beyond naive to believe this! I would definitely require something more to assure me of their good faith in the deal!

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      Arramus64 3 years ago

      The problem with this post is that the writer assumes that the questions reflect commonly held beliefs among all Christians or that the questions adequately reflect a correct understanding of Christianity or the teachings of Christ himself. These questions better reflect the human tendency to use religion - like politics and economics, to manipulate and control other human beings. The fact that humans behave this way does not mean that Christianity is the problem or is actually flawed.

      The questions are are extremely shallow and are asked with their answer already in it. This is what we would call "gotcha questions." They are not intended to foster real discussion or debate but are rather designed to foster bigotry and misunderstanding. The nature of the questions demonstrate huge flaws both in logic and the understanding of Christianity.

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      Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Yes, John, and I have in the forums. Which only goes to reinforce my point.

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      Alan 4 years ago from Tasmania

      The hub simply asks a lot of logical questions, Chris. Can you list some logical, good sense answers?

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      Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN

      My one real problem with this article is that, in you words "Any reflex for angry disagreement is quashed and replaced by an obligation to think their answer through," i.e. the Christian is 'obligated to think through' but there is no quid pro quo. The atheist is not obligated, should they meet a Christian who can actually answer these questions in a thoughtful manner that still does not fit the atheist paradigm, to then acknowledge that maybe they need to think about these things a little more. At least that has been my experience to date, being that I as 'the Christan' am obligated to 'think through' my answers (which largely amounts to admitting that I must be wrong) while the atheist (ever presenting themselves as the voice of reason and logic) will almost always fall back (sooner or later) upon some reflex theory (be it brainwashing, super-ego, not wanting to think, or what have you) to simply dismiss the ideas they don't like. At least that has been my experience. Which means that in the end, we wind up where we began, with one or both sides simply digging in even deeper instead of wrestling with the idea that maybe, just maybe, they don't actually have all the answers.

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      Zachary 4 years ago from USA

      Awesome Hub, well worded, and very informational. I often find myself frustrated at how I can present demonstrable evidence clearly and logically to Christians, and it always results in the "shutting off" of brain functioning, and the debate is instantaneously converted into bible lingo. I have made a few notes thanks to your hub and look forward to implementing a calmer, more logical approach. Thanks

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Very interesting, tactful, well-designed questions. I am going to have to remember some of these for when someone proselytizes. Thanks, great job!

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      Kept private 4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Thomas Swan: Thank you for writing such an interesting and mind challenging article. Two questions I feel I can answer ( in my opinion of course) :)

      Why is do not rape in the ten commandments?

      It is there....it falls under love thy neighbor. You would not rape someone you love or care about.

      If God asked you to kill an athesist would you?

      Absoutely not. First of all God would never ask me to do such a thing (Satan would), secondly thy shall not kill, third we are all God's children weather we are Christians or not.

      Being a Christian does not make me better or more important then everyone else. Every soul is important :) We are all human first. The Lord loves us all.

      You do bring about some questions that don't have easy answers. Again thank you for writing this article that gets the wheels turning. Living on faith is hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

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      semitch 4 years ago

      d.william: thank you and just to know they make up me as well, but many needing proof were given the suggestion to read (for knowledge, and answers maybe?) I read to add to what I already have, and build on that. Just as trying to share my time with like minds can build upon my belief, to not convert but share ideas so possibly others can make up their own minds. The title of this hub was directed to Christians, so that is how I answered.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Thomas.......I simply want you to know that this hub is fabulous.....insightful, inspiring and intriguing.......The questions you pose are of serious importance, to anyone with an interest in whether to entertain blind faith, or embrace reality, or alternate choice.

      I have no desire to express my own thoughts-background-beliefs-spirtuality-search-and/or lifestyle, as we all have the right of choice, as well as the right to privacy.

      I am not concerned to any degree, for any reason at all, what "others" believe or do NOT believe.

      Whether I LOVE someone or not, has no bearing upon some ridiculously serious concern I must have, in terms of where or how they will spend eternity.

      Perhaps these all-loving preacher-teacher-"saviors-of-all"......can prove "Afterlife," beyond all shadow of doubt or question........FIRST. Then, we can worry about heaven, hell and Disney World.

      Again, Thomas, your questions inspire a Universe full of conscious thought........Thank you..............UP++++

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      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      semitch: Great comment and i just want to add that even though i am not a christian my beliefs are the same as yours, except for the 'need to read' any gospel to reinforce those beliefs. They are simply part of my inner make up.

      As i am sure is true of many people who do not belong to any organized religion, and atheists as well. It is a basic mindset of decency and common sense not necessarily associated with any one religion.

      Mankind needs to embrace the spirituality of humanity instead of simply repeating and promoting what we were taught by our respective 'religious' teachers.

      Common sense, decency, kindness, and empathy, etc.. are not originated, or solely emanated from religion, but from our very inner spiritual being.

    • semitch profile image

      semitch 4 years ago

      Being a Christian, your questions and your topic are as many people question. However, true Christians know they are not all perfect as no one here is; we strive to not ridicule others, we know that other religions can believe in our same God, we know the difference between a voice in our head, our conscious, God's hand and divine intervention meaning my God will not have me kill someone that is an atheist or has different beliefs than me. Temptation is not from God, right/wrong, light/dark, good vs evil do exist as we know.

      Reading the Bible is not something to fear as it is a wonderful history book filled with wonderful stories that can grab you (while other times one has to reread it to be enlightened but it will speak to you, if you allow the stories to). There are different versions of the Bible but finding one to read, or audio one to hear can allow the reader/listener to see if there is something there that is thought-provoking. Just as your words on paper are thought-provoking.

      We don't have to fear the unknown, but I know there is a God that guides me in my everyday life. I have witnessed the power of prayer. Does this make me better? Of course not. This is the path for me.

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      spandrel 4 years ago

      Beliefs eh? Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

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      Alan 4 years ago from Tasmania

      Folks, for me a great positive step forward in my thoughts is helped by a book I am reading now, "The Bonobo and the Atheist, In Search of Humanism among the Primates," by Frans de Waal.

      I continue to look for uplifting insights of life on this planet. Whereas years ago, in my christian-leaning times, the sense of mystery and wonder was always centered on what other christians had impressed upon me, now I am getting so much more in awe of how we all, every member of every species, have come about. And it's not constricted by dogma or belief.... just open to new learning all the time.

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      Billy Taylor 4 years ago from NY

      Wow. You have asked many questions that tear at the moral fiber of Christianity. I especially enjoyed the Global Religions question which makes you think about are all religions made up.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great hub. And i especially liked all the comments - they range from one extreme to another, as is expected, for questions and comments by independent minded people when it comes to whether to belong to any cult or not.

      The questions are all worthy of asking anyone with a strong belief system based on childhood brainwashing techniques. They invoke a sense of fear in those who believe that if they challenge their religious upbringings they will burn in hell forever.

      I will surely link this article to many of my articles about the societal damages done by abusive childhood indoctrinations into any organized religious 'business'.

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      womensrights 4 years ago

      That question about a mass murderer going to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor going to hell for not is interesting.Life can be somehow unfair.

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      Nicole Henley 4 years ago from San Leandro

      I think a lot of the questions are antagonistic and would likely start a fight with a Christian. While others are well thought out. But as a peacemaker myself, I wouldn't ask those questions to anyone I liked.

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      DTreth 4 years ago

      followthestray neither. It's written for the atheist who is conversing with a Christian about Christian beliefs. If they make any of the points that are premises to a question, you can then ask them that question to see how they respond.

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      Thomas Swan 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you all for the many thought-provoking comments and answers to the questions. A few small points:

      Mklow1, you are in good company. Einstein said: "You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth."

      followthestray, all of the questions should be relevant to Christians, but some can be applied to other religions too. The questions are not really designed for deists but I'm sure some are relevant. The title of the hub should explain all!

      Jen, the lion is just an example. Perhaps a less aggressive animal could have been chosen. The point is that nearly all animals display some form of "moral" behavior. Our morality may be the terrestrial pinnacle, but it is not a reason to believe we are distinct.

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      Samantha Harris 4 years ago from New York

      Now is this directed towards all people who believe in God or just those that follow organized religion? Because I believe in God, but I do not believe in religion.

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      Mklow1 4 years ago

      Great article that encourages spirited debate. The one thing I have learned about atheists in my last year and a half at Hubpages is that they stopped believing in God because either a) they found out they were homosexual or b) they came from a very religious background. Now, having said this, I know this is not all atheists, but only the hardliners you hear from. Typically the ones that lost their belief in God through thoughtful contemplation are not the ones that really discuss it or feel the need to harass those that do believe.

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      Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN

      I commend you for writing these in a thoughtful manner, rather than usual snarling way they are presented to me (not always, but often.) Many of the basic premises are fallacious, but I understand the thinking. Good hub!