I wrote this questionnaire with the intention of getting Christians to think about and possibly re-evaluate their beliefs, although I am also interested to learn more about what different Christians actually do believe.
I have provided space underneath each question for you to put your answers - please try to be concise and answer the questions yourself rather than linking to other sites.
You can view a small selection of the answers I have received here. Please read these first as I will only add your answers to the page if you have written something that has not already been written several times before. Please also make sure you actually answer the questions I have asked!
1. There are thousands of different religions in the world, and in the vast majority of cases people follow the dominant faith of the culture they were born into. Is it not arrogant and self-centred to think that your faith is the "true" one and all the others are false?
2. What is the point of prayer? Surely your god knows what you are going to pray for beforehand - and has already decided on his course of action. Is it not absurd to think that you can persuade god to change his mind?
3. Why does god insist that you worship him? Is he insecure - or an egomaniac?
4. Matthew 1:16 "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus."
Luke 3:23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli."
The bible is full of contradictions (for a large list see here) - explain how, even with just the small and fairly insignificant contradiction above, the bible can be the infallible word of god.
5. Thomas Paine: "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."
Please explain why the bible is referred to as the "good book".
6. Thomas Paine was referring to the old testament in the above quote. Please explain why the god of the old testament (an angry, vengeful god, worthy of scorn not worship) - is so different from the god talked about in the new testament.
Q7 (regarding creation)
a. "In the beginning God created the heaven and earth" ... what was god doing before "the beginning", and where did he reside?
b. Explain how god made light, then separated light from darkness, BEFORE he had created the sun, moon and stars.
c. Explain why "he made the stars also" - countless billions of them - at the end of the forth day, when it had taken him all of the previous time to work on just one small planet.
d. "And God set them [the stars] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth". We know that the stars are not set in anything, and they are rather more than just light-givers (particularly as most cannot even been seen from earth). Why is god so ignorant about his own creation?
8. Thomas Paine: "When I am told that a woman called Mary said that she was with child without any co-habitation with a man, and that her betrothed husband Joseph said that an angel told him so [in a dream!] I have a right to believe them or not; such a circumstance requires a much stronger evidence than their bare word for it; but we have not even this - for neither Joseph nor Mary wrote any such matter themselves; it is only reported by others they said so - it is hearsay upon hearsay, and I do not choose to rest my belief upon such evidence."
Please explain why you believe that Mary was a virgin mother.
9. Please also explain why you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and why the accounts in the bible of this event conflict.
10. Jesus apparently died for us, facing god's wrath in our place. Why did he have to do this? Why couldn't god forgive us anyway? Why does god - a perfect being - have negative, human-based emotions like anger and wrath? Is not the whole concept absurd?
11. Please attempt to justify eternal damnation. Surely even the most evil people who ever lived (Hitler, Stalin etc.) don't deserve to be horrifically punished for eternity (and I don't think many Christians have really thought about what eternity really is).
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