10 Questions That Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer

This video, from the web site “Why Doesn't God Heal Amputees?“, poses some provocative questions.  Or perhaps we should just be calling for a Truce on Religion?  (Oh, and I found an answer for Question #8 as a start.)

Comments 8

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Referring to the linked page about Dawkins …
    As smart as Richard Dawkins is, the same level of analysis can be applied to atheists. Saying that a world without religion would mean no 9/11 is about the same as saying a world without atheists would mean no Chernobyl. I'm in the agnostic camp myself, but I enjoy debating this with my teenage daughter who declared herself an atheist. I respect that it might make sense at that age.

    Posted 06 Aug 2008 at 12:11 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    ok i enjoy debating this subject with you jason. but this guy is passing himself off as educated, wich obviously he is not, not shcool educated or real life educated. everyone, christian or not with the possible exception of mormons know the bible as we know it today catholic or king james, was written by several human authors, and revised thousands of times untill we have the versions we have today. god doesnt heal amputees? well there are several who have had there fermoral arteries, for example, severd, and are still alive, despite the loss of their limbs. i know a young boy who has no legs from the knees down, and moves around on his stumps better than i do with full legs, its an amazing thing to see. God suposedly gave us free will so if some corupt government in a third world country is starving its own people where does the free will stop and the miracles begin? perhaps that so many survive is the miracle? or when people from across the world donate food and money. perhaps the real miracle is that we have evolved from a primative species to the level we have? and still people complain about there not being enough miracles? i have seen several things in my life that would lead me to beleive that there is something more to the universe than that wich we can comprehend. people who are scared and intimidated by religion are the ones i think are delusional, beleive or not, everything in moderation!

    Posted 08 Aug 2008 at 5:46 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Dawkins was actually the one who convinced me to make the leap from calling myself an agnostic to calling myself an atheist.
    I was always in the “You can't prove anything 100% in life – whether it's the existence of god or something that's close to 100% like who your parents are or where you were born – so that makes me agnostic.”
    In “The God Delusion”, he points out that if you're 99% sure of something, that's as close to absolute truth as you'll likely get and you should let that inform how you define yourself and your beliefs.
    An analogy might be made with TV news – many journalists feel that they have a duty to give equal weight to both sides of any issue. So for something like climate change, they'll have one (reputable) scientist who believes in global warming and one (usually not so reputable) scientist who doesn't even though the actual consensus among the vast majority of scientists is that global warming is real.
    I see what you're trying to say about 9/11 and Chernobyl but that's not a fair analogy either – one was largely based on religious intolerance whereas the other had nothing to do with believe or non-believe in a higher power (as far as I know.)
    If I had to speculate on what I might believe in in terms of a higher power if I had to believe *something* created us rather than natural processes, I'm probably closer to a Scientologist as anything – only in that I find the idea that if we, as humans, can advance to a level where we can explore space, modify organisms at the genetic level, etc., a sufficiently more advanced society could have visited Earth and “created” life.
    In some ways, I guess this then depends on what your definition of “God” is – was it Arthur C. Clarke who said that, from a sufficiently advanced civilization, technology would be indistinguishable from magic?
    Something like that anyhow…thanks for your comment!

    Posted 10 Aug 2008 at 7:04 am
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Hey Brad,
    Didn't know you were still checking in…
    Anyhow, I think it's funny that you attack this guy for being uneducated with a demonstrably false argument that “everyone Christian or not…know[s] the Bible…was written by several human authors.”
    The reality is that many people in this world *do* believe that the Bible is the Word of God on earth and don't realise that it is a work of fiction written by many different authors decades and centuries after the events described occurred (Kudos to you for knowing and admitting this.). They also don't realise that much of the Bible was written as allegory, not as documentary and that much of the Bible borrows heavily from pagan mythology.
    That is why the video's author begins his whole piece by saying that his target audience are college-educated people who have developed their critical thinking abilities.
    For the arguments this guy is making, you have to get past your gut, defensive reactions if you are a believer and honestly ask yourself, “could this be true? To know, I have to carefully consider the arguments, weigh the evidence, put aside the personal biases I may bring to the discussion. I can't even think of this as a two-sided debate – just a simple assessment of the facts before me.”
    You say that you've seen and felt things that make you think there must be something more. My belief is that this is simply the activity of your brain chemicals, no different than the same reactions that make you feel things like hunger, love and all the other powerful feelings and emotions that humans are capable of.
    To flip your final argument, I highly doubt that non-believers are “scared and intimidated” by religion. The reality is that believers are “scared and intimidated' of the implications if they give the questions raised in this video an honest appraisal.
    As we've discussed before, it's possibly the single scariest thing in a person's life to accept the reality that there is nothing after you die. No Heaven. No resurrection. Not even hell. Instead, you are a living being who has ceased to be alive. Period. Now that's scary!

    Posted 10 Aug 2008 at 7:27 am
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    there is nothing scary about ceasing to exist. thats the least scary thing possible, that means no mater what one does, when they quite breathing permanently, the slate is wiped clean. i can accept that there is a possibility that there is no god. that my time on earth is inconsequetial. that all in all im just a link in the food chain. a passing fart in the wind if you would. on the other hand i see things that contradict logic, science, and the natural course of events. being as there are no answers to these mysteries, one must wonder if there is a force at work that we cant measure? perhaps not an old jewish guy in a robe and beard that sits with flock of angles, but a force that we can not take samples of, at least not yet. something more to the world than my own personal needs and wants? not that god cant be manipulated, and used for “evil” purposes, but is there not at some level something that binds the universe together, that makes the rules, defines our existance? something un-unique, that is comon in all things? i went through a long phase of believing that there was no god, i also believed that a degree made people smart, and knowledgeable, but i think we all know people who for whatever reason have no degree, that are more intelligant and/or knowledgeable than some people with several dergrees. The guy based his whole premis on people with degrees being smarter than those without, then he based the large majority of his argument on his belife that educated people belived the bible to be the exact word of god, when as i said the majority of people who's faith is based on the bible know that it was written by normal men with flaws, and translated over and over, and full of metaphores. Yes almost all Christians know the bible is written by men, i mean come on, the chapters ,especially in the new testament, are named after the authers. Im not saying anyone has to believe, thats where faith comes in i guess. But how if you really want to debate a subject, can you start your argument on a premis that is not true. The only argument i have ever heard that comes close to making sense is that there cant be a god, because god cant be measured, yet people belive in dark matter, alien life, and other things that cant be proven or measured at this point, the atom, for a long time was thought to exist, yet could not be proven. Im not trying to win anyone over, but why does it matter so much to people if someone wants to have faith in a god or not? Why cant people be educated and religous? can you prove there is no god? no. can i prove there is? no! can you prove that grilled cheese is better than a blt? nope! so maybe you like cheese and i like bacon how does it really make a difference if the sandwiches are enjoyed in moderation? i can eat mine while you eat yours and we both are happy. I dont need to call you stupid because you like a different sandwich, i can just be happy eating my own. why cant this guy just have a sandwich let it go? I should have went with coke and pepsi then i could have ended this with something like lets all have a coke and a smile, or id like to buy the world a coke. ??

    Posted 10 Aug 2008 at 10:15 am
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    I suppose I should let this one go, but just for fun …
    It's funny you use the word “leap” with regard to atheism. It's usually used in reference to faith.
    You're 99% sure there no's God? Wow. It's pretty obvious to me that there's some kind of higher design that our little brains can't fathom. Maybe smarter aliens are responsible for life on earth, but then, where did they come from?
    Re: Chernobyl. The usual alternative to a religious view is a scientific one. 9/11 shows the dark side of religious thinking. Technological disasters show the dark side of scientific thinking, i.e., we think we can control nature, but it's always more complicated than we thought. A lesson there.

    Posted 10 Aug 2008 at 1:02 pm
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    I used “leap” on purpose as sort of a tongue-in-cheek thing. But in our society, where religious belief is somewhere between 70-90% of the population (depending on who's counting), it's definitely a leap for anyone to declare themselves an atheist.
    Although it was a failure of science, I guess I was trying to make the point that your analogy compared something accidental (Chernobyl) against something intentional (9/11).
    Not trying to put words in your mouth but a comparison of Hiroshima and 9/11 might be a better way to show how both science and religion are used for evil purposes.
    I don't know if I can put a number on how sure I am there's no god (whatever that is) but I'm a lot more confident there isn't a higher power, at least as traditionally portrayed by conventional religions, than I am that there is. More than 51%, less than 100% but closer to the latter.

    Posted 30 Aug 2008 at 6:21 am
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Lots to digest in your post so I'll focus just on the end part – why can't we all eat different sandwiches?
    I used to be in that camp – “everyone's entitled to their beliefs – live and let live” but I realised this is a cop-out – especially when I think that people who believe in god or a higher power or whatever are basically being wilfully ignorant and ignoring the hard evidence in front of them (which, once you get passed whatever issues you have about degree/no degree, educated/not educated are the core points that are being made in this video.)

    Posted 30 Aug 2008 at 6:27 am

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