Tough questions
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28-05-2014, 10:36 PM
Tough questions
A theist claims that I can't answer his tough questions. Any suggestions for tough questions I might ask him? So far I've come up with
  • How do you know the Bible is the word of God?
  • How do you know Jesus existed?
  • The riddle of Epicurus.
  • If the big bang never happened how do you explain the expanding universe?
  • Did God sanction the holocaust, the crusades, etc.
Any others?

I don't know everything, but I'm working on it.
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28-05-2014, 10:55 PM
RE: Tough questions
Evidence?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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28-05-2014, 11:26 PM
RE: Tough questions
There is much you can say. But I do not think you should leave the balls in his court. He'll find a way to answer your questions. When you then challenge him his pride will be part of his defence.

Look to the future. Read the Bible first.

Then watch some Hitchens debates.

Then confront your friend. If you knuckle down you can read the Bible quickly.It will annoy you, but it is your best sourse of info alongside science.

Good luck.

"I am an Australian and I have no manners!"
Lt Col Oswald Watt.
Royal Australian Flying Corps.
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28-05-2014, 11:35 PM
RE: Tough questions
(28-05-2014 10:36 PM)f stop Wrote:  A theist claims that I can't answer his tough questions. Any suggestions for tough questions I might ask him? So far I've come up with
  • How do you know the Bible is the word of God?
  • How do you know Jesus existed?
  • The riddle of Epicurus.
  • If the big bang never happened how do you explain the expanding universe?
  • Did God sanction the holocaust, the crusades, etc.
Any others?

Lemme save you some time. Here's your theist friend's replies:
  • Because the Bible says it is the word of God. Duh!
  • Because the Bible says so. Plus lots of witnesses. And 4 gospels. And I feel him in my heart. And I sometimes see him in toast.
  • Evil is our fault, not God's. He gave us free will and Adam and Eve screwed up so now the world has evil.
  • Actually, drop question 4. If I haven't misunderstood Krauss and Tyson too badly, the universe is expanding from other causes, not the big bang (because it's accelerating rather than decelerating as a simple bang would predict). Find a different question or science rather than religion might blow this one up - no pun intended.
  • Of course not. Evil men with free will chose to do those things. You wouldn't expect God to take away Hitler's free will, would you?

Checkmate, Atheist!

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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28-05-2014, 11:49 PM
RE: Tough questions
What about all the God ordered/God condoned rape and pillage in the old testament? Hardly examples of virtuous lives.

Why are all the laws and ordinances in the old testament qualified with 'and this shall be a law unto you for eternity' as in *forever*, and then suddenly everything gets modified in the new testament?

How's about the brutal laws for what to do with disobedient kids or women who're so silly as to get themselves raped? Google for the verses but it's pretty grim stuff. I've yet to meet a Christian who can explain those away, they just go red in the face and mumble stuff about how that was society at the time.

What about things like Jonah and the giant fish? There's a section of the movie Religulous which deals with this... basically how the fuck can any intelligent human swallow such bullshit without choking?

And what about all the stuff surrounding virgin birth? It just seems preposterous that one of the major signs that God's son has arrived shall be that no penis has been shoved up his mum's vagina.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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29-05-2014, 12:18 AM
RE: Tough questions
"Why on Earth does an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibonevolent being who wants me to believe in him need to send a random mortal dude to answer my questions?
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29-05-2014, 01:17 AM
RE: Tough questions
(29-05-2014 12:18 AM)CleverUsername Wrote:  "Why on Earth does an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibonevolent being who wants me to believe in him need to send a random mortal dude to answer my questions?

How is an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being limited? And if it isn't then it must be everything in the universe including us and therefore no particular thing, or nothing. A thing must have limits.
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29-05-2014, 06:08 AM
RE: Tough questions
(28-05-2014 10:36 PM)f stop Wrote:  A theist claims that I can't answer his tough questions. Any suggestions for tough questions I might ask him? So far I've come up with
  • How do you know the Bible is the word of God?
  • How do you know Jesus existed?
  • The riddle of Epicurus.
  • If the big bang never happened how do you explain the expanding universe?
  • Did God sanction the holocaust, the crusades, etc.
Any others?

I was going to offer up all the stock answers to your questions that theists have, but it looks like Aseptic Skeptic beat me to it. Sadly, you're not really going to stump them. Their belief system is one of nonfalsifiability and of ad hoc assertions to address any unpleasant side effects of their beliefs. They will shift the goal posts endlessly, or respond with platitudes so vague that they don't even count as platitudes anymore ("God works in mysterious ways", "who are you going to trust: the word of God or the word of man?", and "How can you question an infinite being?").

If you want to discuss religion with him, stick to a few key points, and don't budge on them:
  • As for evidence of any of his claims. If he can't provide it, don't accept his assertions. Also, the evidence doesn't count if you are required to assume God exists in the first place for it to be valid.
  • Let him know that not having an answer to certain questions (such as "what caused the big bang?") is perfectly valid, and is superior to making stuff up and assuming it's correct.
  • If he makes ridiculous nonfalsifiable assertions, make the exact same assertion, but replace "God" with whatever you want. Their arguments only work to them because they assume God exists, and they often don't see how simply not making that assumption causes it to fall apart.
  • Ask him how he knows his religion is correct. If he talks about how the disciples were willing to die for their beliefs, point out that we have no record of such outside of the Bible, and many Muslim extremists are willing to die for their beliefs, as was the entire cult at Jonestown. If he talks about the Bible's 100% accuracy rate on predicting prophesies, a 30-second Google search will show him how wrong he is.
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29-05-2014, 06:32 AM
RE: Tough questions
What are the tough questions you're being asked?

The daily beatings will continue until morality improves.
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29-05-2014, 06:44 AM
RE: Tough questions
(29-05-2014 06:32 AM)pablo628 Wrote:  What are the tough questions you're being asked?

Yeah, I was curious about that too, and forgot to ask at the end of my post.
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