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50 Questions For Atheists

When it comes to religious discussions, have you noticed that it is the atheists who are usually asking the questions? Most often Christians are on the defensive and don’t even think to ask hard, piercing questions that would challenge the very basis of what an atheist believes.

There is a perception out there today that it is atheists and skeptics who have the intellectual high ground when it comes to matters of faith, logic, reason and science. Christians are commonly portrayed in the media as basing their beliefs on “blind faith” without having any evidence to back them up.

The reality, as many of you already know, is the complete opposite of that.

But still many skeptics and atheists run around as if they are the “enlightened ones” and all the Christians are a bunch of uneducated, illiterate idiots.

Well, the next time you run into such a skeptic, take a few questions from the following list and see how that person handles them…

——

  1. How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
  2. How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?
  3. Since absolutely no Bible prophecy has ever failed (and there are hundreds), how can one realistically remain unconvinced that the Bible is of divine origin?
  4. How do you explain David’s graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death by crucifixion (Psalm 22) 1000 years before Christ lived?
  5. How do you explain that the prophet Daniel prophesied the exact YEAR when the Christ would be presented as Messiah and also prophesied that the temple would be destroyed afterwards over 500 years in advance (Daniel 9:24-27)?
  6. How could any mere human pinpoint the precise birth town of the Messiah seven full centuries before the fact, as did the prophet Micah?
  7. How do you account for the odds (1 in 10 to the 157th power) that even just 48 (of 300) Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ?
  8. How was it possible for the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to have predicted the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14) 700 years before it occurred?
  9. How can anyone doubt the reliability of Scripture considering the number and the proximity to the originals of its many copied manuscripts?
  10. In what sense was Jesus a “good man” if He was lying in His claim to be God?
  11. If the Bible is not true, why is it so universally regarded as “the Good Book”?
  12. Did you know that the Bible has been the number one bestseller almost every single year since the 1436 invention of the Gutenberg printing press?
  13. If God does not exist, then from where comes humanity’s universal moral sense?
  14. If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what motivates you to care and to live honorably in the world?
  15. Can you explain how personality could have ever evolved from the impersonal, or how order could have ever resulted from chaos?
  16. If Jesus’ resurrection was faked, why would twelve intelligent men (Jesus’ disciples) have been willing to face death for what they knew to be a lie?
  17. How do you explain the fact that a single, relatively uneducated and virtually untraveled man, dead at age 33, radically changed lives and society to this day?
  18. Why have so many of history’s greatest thinkers been believers?
  19. Have you ever wondered why thousands of intelligent scientists, living and dead, have been men and women of great faith?
  20. If time never had a beginning, but rather goes backwards infinitely or has gone through an infinite number of cycles, then how is it possible that we are here today?
  21. How can something as small as a brain understand extremely complicated aspects of the universe, even though it is (supposedly) just a bunch of chemical reactions and electrical signals? But at the same time, this brain can’t create another brain like itself, so how can nature, that has no brain, create a brain?
  22. Everyone knows Mount Rushmore was the result of intelligent design. Do you think the human body is the result of intelligent design?
  23. When you look at a lot of creatures such as zebras, turtles, butterflies, bees, lady bugs, leopards, etc., you will notice amazing color patterns designed into them. Who came up with those? Does nature have a “taste” in colors, and does it know which colors go together nicely?
  24. How do you account for the origin of life considering the irreducible complexity of its essential components?
  25. How can the Second Law of Thermodynamics be reconciled with progressive, naturalistic evolutionary theory?
  26. How do you reconcile the existence of human intelligence with naturalism and the Law of Entropy?
  27. How come there are some things on our planet seem that they are especially designed for us? For example, the 2 most comfortable colors are blue and green , which happen to be the color of the sky and most of the nature around us. Who chose those colors to be there , before earth even existed?
  28. Why does the Bible alone, of all of the world’s holy books, contain such detailed prophecies of future events?
  29. Is it absolutely true that “truth is not absolute” or only relatively true that “all things are relative?”
  30. Is it possible that your unbelief in God is actually an unwillingness to submit to Him?
  31. Does your present worldview provide you with an adequate sense of meaning and purpose?
  32. How do you explain the radically changed lives of so many Christian believers down through history?
  33. Are you aware that every alleged Bible contradiction has been answered in an intelligible and credible manner?
  34. What do you say about the hundreds of scholarly books that carefully document the veracity and reliability of the Bible?
  35. Why and how has the Bible survived and even flourished in spite of centuries of worldwide attempts to destroy and ban its message?
  36. Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only religion whose leader is said to have risen from the dead?
  37. How do you explain the empty tomb of Jesus in light of all the evidence that has now proven essentially irrefutable for twenty centuries?
  38. If Jesus did not actually die and rise from the dead, how could He (in His condition) have circumvented all of the security measures in place at His tomb?
  39. If the authorities stole Jesus’ body, why? Why would they have perpetrated the very scenario that they most wanted to prevent?
  40. If Jesus merely resuscitated in the tomb, how did He deal with the Roman guard posted just outside its entrance?
  41. How can one realistically discount the testimony of over 500 witnesses to a living Jesus following His crucifixion (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)?
  42. If all of Jesus’ claims to be God were the result of His own self-delusion, why didn’t He show evidence of lunacy in any other areas of His life?
  43. Is your unbelief in a perfect God possibly the result of a bad experience with an imperfect church or a misunderstanding of the facts, and therefore an unfair rejection of God Himself?
  44. How did 35-40 men, spanning 1500 years and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible?
  45. Because life origins are not observable, verifiable, or falsifiable, how does the theory of “evolution” amount to anything more than just another faith system?
  46. What do you make of all the anthropological studies indicating that even the most remote tribes show some sort of theological awareness?
  47. If every effect has a cause, then what or who caused the universe?
  48. How do you explain the thousands of people who have experienced heaven or hell and have come back to tell us about it?
  49. How do you explain the countless people who have received miracles from God?
  50. Is there any evidence that would satisfy you and persuade you to become a believer, or are you just going to believe what you WANT to believe?

 

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  • Rick Basson

    AMEN!!

  • Beavis

    I’m a Christian – one who is pretty traditional and orthodox…but I have no problem with Evolution. I don’t see how it challenges a mote of anyone’s faith. It does not contradict anything. So why all the questions on Evolution?

  • Alex G

    There is a perception out there today that it is atheists and skeptics who have the intellectual high ground when it comes to matters of faith, logic, reason and science.

    That’s because Christians answer things like “if you don’t believe in God, you will go to hell and demons will pour lakes of acid into your eyes for eternity” … especially when educating children about “God” …

    In that optic, I would add that atheists also have the high on moral grounds. Undeniably, most religions are based on fear.

  • Alex G

    “But still many skeptics and atheists run around as if they are the “enlightened ones” and all the Christians are a bunch of uneducated, illiterate idiots.”

    Again, atheists are not the ones claiming they have been chosen by “God” and that those that do not believe will perish in hell and suffer eternity.

    Also, there is not a huge historical record of atheists burning people alive, conducting crusades, and other such horrors.

    Why must Christians insist in celebrating a dogmatic doctrine with a history of crimes against humanity?

  • Alex G

    Sorry, I had not read the questions. Typical brainwashed believer crap.

  • Seb G

    -How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?-

    Why does it need to have been designed? Are the grains of sand on the beach placed there one by one? Yet there they are. It looks like it was designed to accommodate life only because we’re there to witness it. A slightly different spin or distance from the sun and no one would be there to witness “the design”.

    -How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?-

    The same accounts are listed in other books that have survived the ages. Some might even say that official records refute some that are mentioned in the bible.

    -Since absolutely no Bible prophecy has ever failed (and there are hundreds), how can one realistically remain unconvinced that the Bible is of divine origin?-

    I let your last question go, but this one, I would have loved for you to at least attempt to link to your sources.

    -How do you explain David’s graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death by crucifixion (Psalm 22) 1000 years before Christ lived?-

    Have you ever read Nostradamus?

    -How do you explain that the prophet Daniel prophesied the exact YEAR when the Christ would be presented as Messiah and also prophesied that the temple would be destroyed afterwards over 500 years in advance (Daniel 9:24-27)?-

    See my answer above. Not accounting the fact that the bible was re-written, translated, output in different versions, there’s no telling when it was actually written.

    -How could any mere human pinpoint the precise birth town of the Messiah seven full centuries before the fact, as did the prophet Micah?-

    again, same as above…

    -How do you account for the odds (1 in 10 to the 157th power) that even just 48 (of 300) Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ?-

    Because they were meant to. Jesus Christ never existed as stated in the bible. He is a mere vehicle to aid oral recounting of archaic science and astronomy.

    -How was it possible for the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to have predicted the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14) 700 years before it occurred?-

    If you manage to keep someone’s interest by quoting from the same book over and over again, you’re pretty good. If I had only one book of science that you refute already, would quoting things out of it really drive my point with you?

    -How can anyone doubt the reliability of Scripture considering the number and the proximity to the originals of its many copied manuscripts?-

    Uhmmm… this only vindicate my point about the high level of possibility for errors with those that were copying it over and over again. Let alone the number of revisions that were commissioned by both royalty and religious figure heads.

    -In what sense was Jesus a “good man” if He was lying in His claim to be God?-

    Then I guess he wasn’t a good man.

    -If the Bible is not true, why is it so universally regarded as “the Good Book”?-

    I’m sure there’s a Chinese dictionary that’s used by the majority of this Earth’s population, is it regarded as “the Only Dictionary”?

    -Did you know that the Bible has been the number one bestseller almost every single year since the 1436 invention of the Gutenberg printing press?-

    I have one that’s propping up my piano, it was just the right size, I tried many other books, but this one just fit perfectly. I guess God intended it that way. How many bibles are bought only so that they can be left in night tables in every hotel room?

    -If God does not exist, then from where comes humanity’s universal moral sense?-

    This is at best laughable. You’re saying human being are getting their morals from God? Was that the New Testament God, or Old Testament God?

    -If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what motivates you to care and to live honorably in the world?-

    Many reasons. All of which have nothing to do with a super-being.

    -Can you explain how personality could have ever evolved from the impersonal, or how order could have ever resulted from chaos?-

    Who says there’s order?

    -If Jesus’ resurrection was faked, why would twelve intelligent men (Jesus’ disciples) have been willing to face death for what they knew to be a lie?-

    It wasn’t faked, it wasn’t real. It called mythos. Storing information, science, concept in such a manner that erudites are able to decipher it and continue to rule over the flock.

    -How do you explain the fact that a single, relatively uneducated and virtually untraveled man, dead at age 33, radically changed lives and society to this day?-

    The same way I explain the fact that a single, relatively simple law of gravity achieved even more. The issue with your questions is that they are all about the same thing. If I didn’t believe apples existed and you kept asking me how I can explain that an apple can be red, green or yellow, you would get the same type of answers every time.

    -Why have so many of history’s greatest thinkers been believers?-

    Because they valued their lives.

    -Have you ever wondered why thousands of intelligent scientists, living and dead, have been men and women of great faith?-

    No, I have never wondered about that. Science is just as big of leap of faith than what you’re selling.

    -If time never had a beginning, but rather goes backwards infinitely or has gone through an infinite number of cycles, then how is it possible that we are here today?-

    Your question needs a lot of revising. Time goes backwards infinitely? Cycles? I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at.

    -How can something as small as a brain understand extremely complicated aspects of the universe, even though it is (supposedly) just a bunch of chemical reactions and electrical signals? But at the same time, this brain can’t create another brain like itself, so how can nature, that has no brain, create a brain?-

    Nature has no assault rifles, what’s your point? We can’t recreate brains? Maybe because religion has stopped science from going forward in areas that are deemed “left only to God”.

    -Everyone knows Mount Rushmore was the result of intelligent design. Do you think the human body is the result of intelligent design?-

    No.

    -When you look at a lot of creatures such as zebras, turtles, butterflies, bees, lady bugs, leopards, etc., you will notice amazing color patterns designed into them. Who came up with those? Does nature have a “taste” in colors, and does it know which colors go together nicely?-

    Who says I like the colors on a Zebra? You might find things that are nice and go together, you might even have all your friends that agree, doesn’t make it true.

    -How do you account for the origin of life considering the irreducible complexity of its essential components?-

    The same way I account for the complexity that goes into the air mix I breathe, the enzymes in my body, and the wifi signal on my laptop: if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same, and we wouldn’t be here arguing about the existence of a God.

    -How can the Second Law of Thermodynamics be reconciled with progressive, naturalistic evolutionary theory?-

    The same way we eventually reconcile the fact that the Earth wasn’t flat.

    -How do you reconcile the existence of human intelligence with naturalism and the Law of Entropy?-

    The same way I reconcile the fact that if I take the bus from my home, that after a while I will end up at the terminus and I won’t be able to go further.

    -How come there are some things on our planet seem that they are especially designed for us? For example, the 2 most comfortable colors are blue and green , which happen to be the color of the sky and most of the nature around us. Who chose those colors to be there , before earth even existed?-

    The colors were there before we thought of them being “comfortable”. If we were living in lava, it too, would be comfortable. Also, these colors were not there before Earth existed. You cite laws of Thermodynamics, Entropy and Naturalism, yet you seem to want to intentionally misguide people with this question. Reminds me of how priests would use lunar eclipses are messages of God, again to maintain a grip on the flock.

    -Why does the Bible alone, of all of the world’s holy books, contain such detailed prophecies of future events?-

    Maybe you should read other books, expand your literary horizons a bit more. You’d see that many sci-fi writers have accomplish the same thing.

    -Is it absolutely true that “truth is not absolute” or only relatively true that “all things are relative?”-

    Ask Schroedinger’s cat, maybe it will know, then again, maybe not.

    -Is it possible that your unbelief in God is actually an unwillingness to submit to Him?-

    Maybe it is your fear of death that motivates you in grasping at hopes of an afterlife?

    -Does your present worldview provide you with an adequate sense of meaning and purpose?-

    Yes, and I very wary of the narrowness of yours.

    -How do you explain the radically changed lives of so many Christian believers down through history?-

    It was never a subject that sparked my thirst for knowledge. Tell me why I should spend more time with Christian Believers lives more than Buddhists or Krishnas?

    -Are you aware that every alleged Bible contradiction has been answered in an intelligible and credible manner?-

    No, maybe we should revise was intelligible and credible manner means for both of us.

    -What do you say about the hundreds of scholarly books that carefully document the veracity and reliability of the Bible?-

    Hey, everyone has to earn a living right? Have you ever visited the occult section of your local library?

    -Why and how has the Bible survived and even flourished in spite of centuries of worldwide attempts to destroy and ban its message?-

    History will always be written by the victors.

    -Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only religion whose leader is said to have risen from the dead?-

    Did you know that Jean Grey is the only X-Men do have done the same? How can you even think that this is supposed to make me even ponder for one second of joining the team with the only leader that came back from the dead. Also, Lazarus beat him to it.

    -How do you explain the empty tomb of Jesus in light of all the evidence that has now proven essentially irrefutable for twenty centuries?-

    A link to some sort of proof would be interesting.

    -If Jesus did not actually die and rise from the dead, how could He (in His condition) have circumvented all of the security measures in place at His tomb?-

    Again, you are arguing your story with pieces of the same story. How could the T1000, so close to molten steal still retain his shape, in his present condition, and manage to fight off the T180?

    -If the authorities stole Jesus’ body, why? Why would they have perpetrated the very scenario that they most wanted to prevent?-

    If the Muslim really crashed planes in the world trade buildings, why? Who would they have perpetrated the very scenario that would cause them to withstand years of war, bombing, killing, and massacres?

    -If Jesus merely resuscitated in the tomb, how did He deal with the Roman guard posted just outside its entrance?-

    He did have a posse of 11 (Judas having hung himself), maybe they had a hand in it? Of course, they would tell anyone about it in the bible, it would be like incriminating themselves.

    -How can one realistically discount the testimony of over 500 witnesses to a living Jesus following His crucifixion (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)?-

    How can you discount the other millions that didn’t?

    -If all of Jesus’ claims to be God were the result of His own self-delusion, why didn’t He show evidence of lunacy in any other areas of His life?-

    You mean like the fit he threw in front of the palace? Hanging about prostitutes, believing he turned water into wine? The belief that he was able to cure the blind? Or that time he tried to walk on water?

    -Is your unbelief in a perfect God possibly the result of a bad experience with an imperfect church or a misunderstanding of the facts, and therefore an unfair rejection of God Himself?-

    No, but I like your choice of words. Try to step out of your box for a minute and look at your question the way someone would look at it if he thought you were crazy. To save you the confusion, here it is: “Is your belief in a perfect God possibly the result of a good experience with an imperfect church or a misunderstanding of the facts, and therefore an unfair belief of God Himself?”

    -How did 35-40 men, spanning 1500 years and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible?-

    They didn’t… there are many omissions, different interpretations and conclusions to all of them.

    -Because life origins are not observable, verifiable, or falsifiable, how does the theory of “evolution” amount to anything more than just another faith system?-

    So what you’re saying is that it’s ok to have a faith system, as long as it’s yours? I mentioned earlier that science has the same problems as religion. Science even pre-dates religion and has also killed its fair share of unbelievers. What help science is that it offers better explanations, entices the intellect more and more often than religion, offers tangible proof about the majority of what it puts forward.

    -What do you make of all the anthropological studies indicating that even the most remote tribes show some sort of theological awareness?-

    I say that it’s natural and that there’s nothing mysterious about it. When something strange happened, they either feared it or worshiped it. How is this supposed to make me believe in a God? Should I start worshiping the Sun and the Moon like the Pagans did?

    -If every effect has a cause, then what or who caused the universe?-

    No idea. If God caused it, what caused God? Remember that every effect has a cause.

    -How do you explain the thousands of people who have experienced heaven or hell and have come back to tell us about it?-

    Name and phone numbers, I would certainly like to speak with them. Are they of your Christian denomination or do you have a wide array of religious and non-religious witnesses?

    -How do you explain the countless people who have received miracles from God?-

    Again, please, name and phone numbers I’m dying to speak to someone that actually received a miracle from God. Again, Are they of your Christian denomination or do you have a wide array of religious and non-religious witnesses?

    -Is there any evidence that would satisfy you and persuade you to become a believer, or are you just going to believe what you WANT to believe?-

    Call me Thomas, but I will never dispute the existence of God ever again if he appeared to me and told me he existed. So far, seems you’re the one that desperately WANTS to believe.

  • John L

    Seb G beat me to the punch… I couldn’t have said it any better myself…

  • Stan S

    Well spoken Seb.

    “How do you explain the thousands of people who have experienced heaven or hell and have come back to tell us about it?”

    The same way I explain thousands of people reporting UFO sightings and paranormal encounters, attention starved and/or delusional.

  • @ Stan S…

    Agreed. “Deluded”.

  • These “questions for Atheists” are silly and largely illogical. Most of the questions are, in fact, nonsensical unless one has already blindly accepted that everything taught in Sunday School is historically perfect and cannot be questioned. One issue is about alleged “fulfilled prophecy” where there is no actual evidence supporting claims that any of the prophecies were fulfilled, and while ignoring that fictional stories created with knowledge of prophecy would obviously be carefully worded to create the illusion of fulfilled prophecy. And then there is the silliness that anything we lack the knowledge to fully understand is to be automatically assumed to be “god did it”. Most Atheists have sufficient scientific and historical knowledge to answer each one of the above questions and show the logical failings of the questioner, and this knowledge is why they are Atheists in the first place.

  • There is a book which answers many of the questions asked, and quite satisfactorily. It is called: “Dissecting a Bible: A Critical Analysis of the Holy Scriptures”. Yes…I wrote it.

  • Elizabeth Rose

    So many Christian believers are under the impression that the story of Jesus (labelled the “greatest story ever told”) is somehow original. From that misconception comes the emphasis on the “validity” of the bible and bible prophecies.

    However, very FEW of the beliefs surrounding the divinity of Jesus Christ have their origin in that time. Type the word “Mithras” in Google and read about the Persian god of the sun — a belief that began some 600 years BEFORE Christ and continued to have a following well into 100 AD.

    OR read Bible scholar Tim Callahan’s many books and articles to understand how cultures create their god-myths by borrowing and co-opting earlier stories via oral tradition.

    It is patently clear that both Christian and Jewish concepts of a Savior come from earlier beliefs (of Mithras, of Osiris, and others!)

    For example, Mithras, as the sun god of ancient Persia, shared the following smilarities with Jesus:

    from: http://near-death.com/experiences/origen048.html

    “Identical Life Experiences

    (1) Mithras was born on December 25th as an offspring of the Sun. Next to the gods Ormuzd and Ahrimanes, Mithra held the highest rank among the gods of ancient Persia. He was represented as a beautiful youth and a Mediator. Reverend J. W. Lake states: “Mithras is spiritual light contending with spiritual darkness, and through his labors the kingdom of darkness shall be lit with heaven’s own light; the Eternal will receive all things back into his favor, the world will be redeemed to God. The impure are to be purified, and the evil made good, through the mediation of Mithras, the reconciler of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Mithras is the Good, his name is Love. In relation to the Eternal he is the source of grace, in relation to man he is the life-giver and mediator” (Plato, Philo, and Paul, p. 15).

    (2) He was considered a great traveling teacher and masters. He had twelve companions as Jesus had twelve disciples. Mithras also performed miracles.

    (3) Mithra was called “the good shepherd,” “the way, the truth and the light,” “redeemer,” “savior,” “Messiah.” He was identified with both the lion and the lamb.

    (4) The International Encyclopedia states: “Mithras seems to have owed his prominence to the belief that he was the source of life, and could also redeem the souls of the dead into the better world … The ceremonies included a sort of baptism to remove sins, anointing, and a sacred meal of bread and water, while a consecrated wine, believed to possess wonderful power, played a prominent part.”

    (5) Chambers Encyclopedia says: “The most important of his many festivals was his birthday, celebrated on the 25th of December, the day subsequently fixed — against all evidence — as the birthday of Christ. The worship of Mithras early found its way into Rome, and the mysteries of Mithras, which fell in the spring equinox, were famous even among the many Roman festivals. The ceremonies observed in the initiation to these mysteries — symbolical of the struggle between Ahriman and Ormuzd (the Good and the Evil) — were of the most extraordinary and to a certain degree even dangerous character. Baptism and the partaking of a mystical liquid, consisting of flour and water, to be drunk with the utterance of sacred formulas, were among the inauguration acts.”

    (6) Prof. Franz Cumont, of the University of Ghent, writes as follows concerning the religion of Mithra and the religion of Christ: “The sectaries of the Persian god, like the Christians’, purified themselves by baptism, received by a species of confirmation the power necessary to combat the spirit of evil; and expected from a Lord’s supper salvation of body and soul. Like the latter, they also held Sunday sacred, and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December…. They both preached a categorical system of ethics, regarded asceticism as meritorious and counted among their principal virtues abstinence and continence, renunciation and self-control. Their conceptions of the world and of the destiny of man were similar. They both admitted the existence of a Heaven inhabited by beatified ones, situated in the upper regions, and of a Hell, peopled by demons, situated in the bowels of the Earth. They both placed a flood at the beginning of history; they both assigned as the source of their condition, a primitive revelation; they both, finally, believed in the immortality of the soul, in a last judgment, and in a resurrection of the dead, consequent upon a final conflagration of the universe” (The Mysteries of Mithras, pp. 190, 191).

    (7) Reverend Charles Biggs stated: “The disciples of Mithra formed an organized church, with a developed hierarchy. They possessed the ideas of Mediation, Atonement, and a Savior, who is human and yet divine, and not only the idea, but a doctrine of the future life. They had a Eucharist, and a Baptism, and other curious analogies might be pointed out between their system and the church of Christ (The Christian Platonists, p. 240).

    (8) In the catacombs at Rome was preserved a relic of the old Mithraic worship. It was a picture of the infant Mithra seated in the lap of his virgin mother, while on their knees before him were Persian Magi adoring him and offering gifts.

    (9) He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. His resurrection was celebrated every year.

    (10) McClintock and Strong wrote: “In modern times Christian writers have been induced to look favorably upon the assertion that some of our ecclesiastical usages (e.g., the institution of the Christmas festival) originated in the cultus of Mithraism. Some writers who refuse to accept the Christian religion as of supernatural origin, have even gone so far as to institute a close comparison with the founder of Christianity; and Dupuis and others, going even beyond this, have not hesitated to pronounce the Gospel simply a branch of Mithraism” (Art. “Mithra”).

    (11) Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter, at which time he was resurrected. His sacred day was Sunday, “the Lord’s Day.” The Mithra religion had a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper.”

    (12) The Christian Father Manes, founder of the heretical sect known as Manicheans, believed that Christ and Mithra were one. His teaching, according to Mosheim, was as follows: “Christ is that glorious intelligence which the Persians called Mithras … His residence is in the sun” (Ecclesiastical History, 3rd century, Part 2, ch. 5).

    “I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths.” – Mithraic saying

    “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.” – Jesus, (Rev. 22:16)

    The religion of Mithra preceded Christianity by roughly six hundred years. Mithraic worship at one time covered a large portion of the ancient world. It flourished as late as the second century. The Messianic idea (borrowed upon heavily
    by Jews and Christians) originated in ancient Persia.”

    Elizabeth

  • I have answered these questions and placed them on my own blog at:

    http://www.shayalon.com

    There were certainly a lot of questions…

    I agree with Van Curen, the author of these questions does not dig very deeply. Atheists, by definition, do not believe in the myths of religion and therefore are not going to take the bible at face value. These questions come from someone who cannot see past their belief and make any attempt to understand how an atheist might think. They’re so rooted to the presumed flawlessness of the bible that they don’t need to verify it. But the real reason that they don’t verify it, is because if they find one little flaw in their book, which they’ve been told is inerrant, it will bring down their whole house of cards. What then? Madness? Despair? No, only peace and a life lived honestly.

  • Askelon

    First of all, I am strong believer.
    However, I have a problem with so many Christians reusing arguments with holes. It doesn’t strengthen their stand.

    >How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the >universe if there is no God?
    Think about it, the ones that don’t work don’t last. Our order could be/is simply the result of several “attempts”, if you will, at a working system.

    >How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of >Biblical stories, places, and people?
    All archaeological documentation of history in general is difficult to use as hard proof for other scientific areas of study.

    >Since absolutely no Bible prophecy has ever failed (and there are >hundreds), how can one realistically remain unconvinced that the >Bible is of divine origin?
    Not every Bible prophecy has come to pass, though, so you can’t prove that the ones that are not yet fulfilled will be fulfilled.

    >In what sense was Jesus a “good man” if He was lying in His claim >to be God?
    This argument is starting to fall out as many are not even claiming that Jesus was good anymore.

    >If the Bible is not true, why is it so universally regarded as “the >Good Book”?
    I don’t think truth based on popularity is reasonable grounds.

    >Did you know that the Bible has been the number one bestseller >almost every single year since the 1436 invention of the Gutenberg >printing press?
    Again, popularity is not good grounds for truth.

    >If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what >motivates you to care and to live honorably in the world?
    Not truly random

    >Can you explain how personality could have ever evolved from the >impersonal, or how order could have ever resulted from chaos?
    In infinite time, order arises from chaos.

    >If time never had a beginning, but rather goes backwards infinitely >or has gone through an infinite number of cycles, then how is it >possible that we are here today?
    Argument against infinity is not a good idea: if God never had a beginning, then how is it possible that he is here today?

    >When you look at a lot of creatures such as zebras, turtles, >butterflies, bees, lady bugs, leopards, etc., you will notice >amazing color patterns designed into them. Who came up with those? >Does nature have a “taste” in colors, and does it know which colors >go together nicely?
    There are environmental reasons for color patterns. Our tastes are actually based on environmental effects, too.

    >How can the Second Law of Thermodynamics be reconciled with >progressive, naturalistic evolutionary theory?
    Evolution actually has nothing to do with thermodynamics really, for many reasons.

    >How come there are some things on our planet seem that they are >especially designed for us? For example, the 2 most comfortable >colors are blue and green , which happen to be the color of the sky >and most of the nature around us. Who chose those colors to be >there , before earth even existed?
    Why does water fit perfectly in a mud puddle? The hole must have been perfectly designed for the water. (This is the equivalent of the above argument.)

    >Why does the Bible alone, of all of the world’s holy books, contain >such detailed prophecies of future events?
    Kalki…Ragnarok…surely you don’t think the Bible is the only record of detailed prophecies of future events?

    >Does your present worldview provide you with an adequate sense of >meaning and purpose?
    Some would say yes, some would say there is no meaning or purpose but they are fine with that. Because the answer to this is so subjective, it is not a good argument.

    >Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only >religion whose leader is said to have risen from the dead?
    Not true: Osiris (as there was a cult surrounding him he could in a sense be described as the leader of a religion) at least can fit this.

    >What do you make of all the anthropological studies indicating that >even the most remote tribes show some sort of theological awareness?
    There is scientific evidence that environmental conditions brought about the psychological need of deities.

    >If every effect has a cause, then what or who caused the universe?
    Not the greatest argument, since it could also be used against the existence of God.

    >How do you explain the thousands of people who have experienced >heaven or hell and have come back to tell us about it?
    Do you believe all these experiences are genuine? If not, then how do you prove which ones are?

    >Is there any evidence that would satisfy you and persuade you to >become a believer, or are you just going to believe what you WANT >to believe?
    I just thought I’d comment that this last question is your best one. Though it is subjective, it brings to light a relevant issue–are we all willing to be persuaded of the side that bears more weight or are we simply going to hold tight to our current way of thinking?

  • Ray

    Having eyes to see, you see not…. and having ears to hear, you hear not… and you do not understand, because your hearts are hard 😀 Have a good day ladies and gentlemen.

  • Jim Franklin

    I looked up Mithras as noted by previous posts. I thought this would help prove my new belief. The original religion is all about sun worship and predates Christianity. The problem with the references are that all the references that claim Mithras rites predate Christianity and Christianity stole them from Mithras are from after the death of Christ. There are Roman references to the religion and the rites, but no references before. Therefore, there is no telling which came first. I want real proof, not more made up crap.

  • Kala

    Trying to convince an atheist that God does exists, would be as complicated as trying to convince a christian that God does not exist. If a person doesn’t believe in God, I don’t think that any human being can convince him/her that there is. I believe that only God can do so.
    As a christian, I consider the following pertaining to non-believers:JOHN 10:14-18
    “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

    • Lulu012

      “Trying to convince an atheist that God does exists, would be as complicated as trying to convince a christian that God does not exist. If a person doesn’t believe in God, I don’t think that any human being can convince him/her that there is. I believe that only God can do so. ”

      exactly.

    • hooksie

      I agree in principle, i.e. if someone holds a set of ‘beliefs’ which are not backed by empirical evidence then it is difficult, if not impossible to refute them.
      I, however, was brought up as a Catholic and was indoctrinated into the church to the level of confirmation. I then went to a secular school where I was taught history and science unfettered by religious doctrine and I found the 2 to be incongruous. The more I looked the more I found that the bible provided nonsensical arguments and that those arguments, when questioned, were met with “you have to trust and believe in God’s word”. Yet if you question a scientist you can not only get the hypothesis, experimental and physical evidence but if any of it is flawed and you point that out and can prove it then your new theory is taken in place on the old one and in lieu of a better one.
      Quoting from a book written in English, translated from Hebrew and based on texts written hundreds of years after the supposed fact is not evidence.

  • Matt

    These questions make no sense at all. This could be a case study for errors in logical argument.

    Most of the questions make the fundamental assumption that God exists – so they don’t even have any merit unless you can convince me he/she/it does first! You can, can’t you?

  • Alex Fenwick

    How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
    I don’t believe there is any evidence of design at all. That’s a belief shared by people who don’t have sufficient understanding of mathematics to comprehend how simple rules create complex results.

    How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?
    What archaeological evidence, exactly? And how does any of it support biblical stories? And how does finding evidence that places, stories and people mentioned in the bible may have existed provide any proof of the existence of god?

    Since absolutely no Bible prophecy has ever failed (and there are hundreds), how can one realistically remain unconvinced that the Bible is of divine origin?
    I’m not aware that any biblical prophecies have ever been correct, except in hindsight, as is the case with any other future telling or prophecy.

    How do you explain David’s graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death by crucifixion (Psalm 22) 1000 years before Christ lived?
    How can you possibly interpret psalm 22 as a graphic portrayal of a specific person’s death? The only familiar bit there, from my memory of the four gospels, is casting lots for the garments, and funnily enough the gospels were written and translated by people who had read psalm 22. If a sensible person read psalm 22 they might realistically think it was about someone being killed either with a sword or by wild animals, but certainly not by crucifixion.

    Symbolic language is very interesting. In order to describe something powerfully, it is common to use descriptions or references from widely known sources. It would make sense for the gospel writers to refer to the well known OT stories and prophecies in describing many things, including Jesus’ death.

    How do you explain that the prophet Daniel prophesied the exact YEAR when the Christ would be presented as Messiah and also prophesied that the temple would be destroyed afterwards over 500 years in advance (Daniel 9:24-27)?
    Are you reading the same bible I’m reading? Daniel 9:24-27 talks about WEEKS not YEARS.

    How could any mere human pinpoint the precise birth town of the Messiah seven full centuries before the fact, as did the prophet Micah?
    Given how clear and accurate your previous biblical references are, I doubt very much that the bible contains any predictions, except maybe described after the fact, indicating anything of the sort.

    How do you account for the odds (1 in 10 to the 157th power) that even just 48 (of 300) Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ?
    You haven’t even bothered to give us ONE Old Testament prophecy that can reliably be said to have been fulfilled anywhere, any time. How about you list them, one by one, and we’ll see whether they measure up?

    How was it possible for the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to have predicted the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14) 700 years before it occurred?
    Very easily, given the length of time between Jesus’ birth and the recording of stories that his mother was a virgin. I’m not saying they lied, exactly, but it would make their story a lot more interesting if it could be fitted into the OT stories as well.

    How can anyone doubt the reliability of Scripture considering the number and the proximity to the originals of its many copied manuscripts?
    Errrr… shouldn’t that be, how can anyone consider the biblical documents to be any more accurate in a modern sense than any other ancient documents, given the number of times they were copied, translated, argued about, etc.; and it’s very important to understand the different points of view of the writers to modern readers. For example, a medieval chronicler would hear stories about the king, and interpret and record those stories that fitted with his own agenda. If a chronicler whose monastery was funded by the king heard two stories, one saying the king was good and one saying the king was bad, he would write down his own version of the ‘good’ story, because his livelihood depended on the king’s favour. He would not have had our modern ideas of ‘objective’ or ‘fact’ to get in his way either – he wrote for different reasons to ours.

    In what sense was Jesus a “good man” if He was lying in His claim to be God?
    You’re the one who says Jesus was a “good man”, not me. And you’re getting a bit narrow there – Jesus may have believed he was the son of the Yahweh. Or he may have been lying. He may or may not have been a good man, according to his own principles or according to ours. Was William the Conqueror a good man? Did he believe he was a good man? How do you know?

    If the Bible is not true, why is it so universally regarded as “the Good Book”?
    The christian bible is by no means universally regarded as ‘the Good Book’. It is believed by a large but unspecified number of Christians as ‘the Good Book’. A great many Christians don’t believe that the bible is ‘literally true’. As far as I am aware, the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Taoists and Zoroastrians of the world are all just as firm in their belief that their own religion is the correct one as any Christians. Why is it your religion which is correct, not theirs?

    Did you know that the Bible has been the number one bestseller almost every single year since the 1436 invention of the Gutenberg printing press?
    So what? If Gutenberg, his printing press and the necessary conditions (increasing literacy, desire for one’s own personal interpretation of the bible, ease of commercial transactions over a wide area) had occured in India, the Bhagavad Gita would have been the number one bestseller every year. That’s just geography.

    If God does not exist, then from where comes humanity’s universal moral sense?
    From the human mind, the same as all religions do! Human morals can mostly be traced back to a sense that the best method for humans, as a species, to survive, is for us to assist and care for each other. We are a species reliant on each other for our lives. We are far from the only animals to have similar drives – many animals care for members of their own family or living groups. As human societies have progressed, we have developed from wanting to protect our immediate family group, to our village or tribe, to our region, our nation, and now we are developing a sense that the whole world is our ‘family group’. I ask instead, if God exists as Christians claim, why do groups of humans so far removed from Christianity have a moral sense? Would you prefer to tell me either that Australian Aborigines have no moral sense, or that god gave them a moral sense but failed to reveal ‘himself’ to them? Either answer is pretty nonsensical.

    If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what motivates you to care and to live honorably in the world?
    An honourable life is a fairly modern construct, I think. As I explained above, the survival of our species depends on the majority of humans in a group being reliant on and caring for each other. If you take ‘survival of the species’ as the central motivation, a lot of our moral ideas make a great deal of sense.
    Can you explain how personality could have ever evolved from the impersonal, or how order could have ever resulted from chaos?
    I rather think that chaos results from order, doesn’t it? Didn’t you study maths or physics at school? No, I can’t explain how personalities have evolved, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a rational, non-supernatural explanation. The primary logical fallacy that religious people make, in my opinion, is to assume that anything they don’t understand has no rational explanation. It’s much more reasonable to assume that we do not yet know everything.

    If Jesus’ resurrection was faked, why would twelve intelligent men (Jesus’ disciples) have been willing to face death for what they knew to be a lie?
    All we have is a collection of stories that as far as we know were first recorded a generation after the events they describe, and have been translated, argued over and adapted for two thousand years since. How do you explain the inaccuracies of Herodotus, or Bede, or Marco Polo? How did so many Europeans believe for so long that Prester John ruled a kingdom of Christians in the midst of Africa?

    How do you explain the fact that a single, relatively uneducated and virtually untraveled man, dead at age 33, radically changed lives and society to this day?
    Did Jesus change the world, or did his followers who wrote down the stories? Or the early Christians like Paul who preached so widely? Or Constantine, who chose that cult of the many to bring to the public eye? According to your view of history, either a great many individuals of no particular merit have changed the world, and continue to do so – or no individual has that great an effect.

    Why have so many of history’s greatest thinkers been believers?
    Because of the society they lived in. When there were no better answers, religion was what you had to explain the world. And let’s face it – religion is nice. It’s comforting. You can blame a lot on it. You can feel safe when Mummy isn’t there to hold your hand. So many great thinkers have been Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, etc etc etc. Is that so remarkable?
    Have you ever wondered why thousands of intelligent scientists, living and dead, have been men and women of great faith?
    Have you ever wondered why so many intelligent scientists have been men and women of no faith? Same reasons as other people become religious or nonreligious, I suppose. Have you ever wondered how many people throughout history have conformed to religion because they didn’t want to stand out or considered mad/evil/whatever?

    If time never had a beginning, but rather goes backwards infinitely or has gone through an infinite number of cycles, then how is it possible that we are here today?
    I’m not a physicist, so I don’t know if time had a beginning or not. Neither do you.

    How can something as small as a brain understand extremely complicated aspects of the universe, even though it is (supposedly) just a bunch of chemical reactions and electrical signals? But at the same time, this brain can’t create another brain like itself, so how can nature, that has no brain, create a brain?
    This brain has not yet created another brain by itself. That is not the same thing as can’t. As for nature creating brains, while I think you’re not smart enough to comprehend the randomness of brains evolving and seem to need to anthropomorphise ‘nature’, right now I’m typing with one hand while nursing the baby that ‘nature’, by means of amazing natural processes, created with a brain.

    Everyone knows Mount Rushmore was the result of intelligent design. Do you think the human body is the result of intelligent design?
    Is it? You do like to make assumptions. I can’t see anything intelligent about Mount Rushmore. And what does that have to do with humans? Intelligent Design is one of the stupidest ideas modern fundamentalists have come up with.

    When you look at a lot of creatures such as zebras, turtles, butterflies, bees, lady bugs, leopards, etc., you will notice amazing color patterns designed into them. Who came up with those? Does nature have a “taste” in colors, and does it know which colors go together nicely? Once again you fail at logic. You have assumed first that certain colours ‘go nicely’ together as though that is a universal constant. I assure you if you look at high fashion through the last few centuries you’ll see that is not so! Second, why would it not be more likely that our tastes are formed by what we find in nature, rather than nature forming creatures based on our tastes?

    How do you account for the origin of life considering the irreducible complexity of its essential components?
    I’m not a scientist, however, scientists do not consider life nor its components to be irreducibly complex. If you don’t understand how a computer works, it looks like magic. If you do understand the computer, you laugh at the people who think it’s magic.

    How can the Second Law of Thermodynamics be reconciled with progressive, naturalistic evolutionary theory?
    You’re making that mistake about chaos and order again. Go and draw a simple fractal pattern – simple rule, complex result.

    How do you reconcile the existence of human intelligence with naturalism and the Law of Entropy?
    See above.

    How come there are some things on our planet seem that they are especially designed for us? For example, the 2 most comfortable colors are blue and green , which happen to be the color of the sky and most of the nature around us. Who chose those colors to be there , before earth even existed?
    Possibly the most annoying thing about religion is its egocentricism. As I said above, isn’t it more likely that we’ve evolved to find blue and green the most comfortable colours? Maybe we’ve evolved to fit the world we’re in, rather than the world being fitted around us. It’s hard, but try and think about the universe as something that doesn’t care about you one tiny little bit.

    Why does the Bible alone, of all of the world’s holy books, contain such detailed prophecies of future events?
    Does it? According to who? How many of the world’s holy books have you read?

    Is it absolutely true that “truth is not absolute” or only relatively true that “all things are relative?”
    How on earth does that have anything to do with whether any gods exist? Truth is a human idea, and is therefore only applicable to humans.

    Is it possible that your unbelief in God is actually an unwillingness to submit to Him?
    No. I used to be very envious of people who had that sense of community, and who could take comfort through hard times and dark nights in their beliefs. But I stopped believing in gods just as I stopped believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and that my Dad can fix anything. It’s a much scarier world now, but at least I’m not lying to myself.
    Does your present worldview provide you with an adequate sense of meaning and purpose?
    Why do you assume that the world is there to give you meaning and purpose? Or that meaning and purpose are things that one should aspire to? I’ve never been particularly purposeful and the only lives that have meaning are fictional ones written to have meaning.

    How do you explain the radically changed lives of so many Christian believers down through history?
    Same goes for believers of other religions, as well as all other kinds of spiritual enlightenment. And then of course there’s non-spiritual ‘revelations’. My realisation that I didn’t believe in god was very similar to many people’s conversion stories. It changed my life because suddenly I became reliant on myself and stopped believing the universe revolved around me.

    Are you aware that every alleged Bible contradiction has been answered in an intelligible and credible manner?
    I’ve never encountered any intelligible or credible justifications for Christianity. Most, such as this list of questions, tend more to the incoherent and ill informed. If there was any real evidence for any religion, it wouldn’t be a matter of doubt, would it? If it was true, there would be no need for belief or faith, any more than we need to believe in the kitchen table. (Unless you’re having a good solid episode of existential doubt, which I think is healthy now and then. Once you’ve got to cogito ergo sum it’s quite fun to doubt the chair you’re sitting on).
    What do you say about the hundreds of scholarly books that carefully document the veracity and reliability of the Bible?
    That they are not very scholarly, not very reliable, and only veracious to those who don’t need convincing. As above, if we had real evidence, it wouldn’t be a religion.

    Why and how has the Bible survived and even flourished in spite of centuries of worldwide attempts to destroy and ban its message?
    For most of the last two thousand years, there have been sufficient places in Europe and around the world where questioning, destroying or banning the bible was a heinous crime. Of course it survived! If I lived in a pre-modern Christian society I’d keep quiet and eat the wafer, I’m not interested in being ostracised, tortured or executed!

    Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only religion whose leader is said to have risen from the dead?
    No it isn’t. Lots of ancient religions tell of similar stories. And the hindus believe everyone gets reincarnated, so it’s nothing special to them!

    How do you explain the empty tomb of Jesus in light of all the evidence that has now proven essentially irrefutable for twenty centuries?
    Nobody’s got any evidence that there ever was a tomb, never mind an empty one. And what’s so remarkable about an empty tomb? People have been removing bodies from tombs for a long, long time.

    If Jesus did not actually die and rise from the dead, how could He (in His condition) have circumvented all of the security measures in place at His tomb?
    All you’ve got is a story, written down long after these events are supposed to have taken place, by people whose idea of ‘truth’ was somewhat different to ours. Why do expect me to take this question seriously?

    If the authorities stole Jesus’ body, why? Why would they have perpetrated the very scenario that they most wanted to prevent?
    Do you believe that Atlantis existed? Because the evidence for that is just as sound as the evidence for this.

    If Jesus merely resuscitated in the tomb, how did He deal with the Roman guard posted just outside its entrance?
    Do I need to repeat myself? It’s a story. It wasn’t written by Conan Doyle, so I don’t see why I should treat it as a detective story.

    How can one realistically discount the testimony of over 500 witnesses to a living Jesus following His crucifixion (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)?
    I do not accept any part of the bible, including this one, to be a reliable history of the life, death or resurrection of Jesus. We have nothing to say that those five hundred witnesses were anything more than invention, or at best exaggeration. Ask rather, why would I accept such dubious ‘evidence’.

    If all of Jesus’ claims to be God were the result of His own self-delusion, why didn’t He show evidence of lunacy in any other areas of His life?
    Look at the lives of many self-proclaimed prophets, are they all insane in other areas of their lives? Consider also that in the context of the society in which Jesus lived, mental illness as we understand it didn’t exist. These are people who quite happily wrote and recorded as story about devils possessing a herd of pigs! I don’t think your modern understanding applies to them, any more than their ancient understanding applies to you.

    Is your unbelief in a perfect God possibly the result of a bad experience with an imperfect church or a misunderstanding of the facts, and therefore an unfair rejection of God Himself?
    No, I had an excellent experience of church growing up. I held my childhood priest in great respect and affection and I count him, and the nun who ran our school, as great positive influences in my life. I have read and questioned for many years the religious texts of the world, discussing them with believers in those faiths, as well as other atheists. I am not rejecting any god, I simply do not believe in anything supernatural. It seems to be difficult for religious people to comprehend, but it is that simple.

    How did 35-40 men, spanning 1500 years and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible?
    I’ve read the bible. It’s one of the least unified and coherent religious texts in the world. It reads just like a collection of writings by many people written over a long period of time. It amazes me anyone could consider it unified.

    Because life origins are not observable, verifiable, or falsifiable, how does the theory of “evolution” amount to anything more than just another faith system?
    Evolution is an hypothesis that is subject to the tests of the scientific method, and thus far meets those tests. We can see many examples, observable and verifiable or falsifiable, in the world of evolution at work, from small scale things like breeding particular traits in animals or crops, to archaeological records, to the discovery of mechanisms in nature that show possible steps in the evolution of particular things, like eyes.

    What do you make of all the anthropological studies indicating that even the most remote tribes show some sort of theological awareness?
    In a scary world, what can be more natural to try and find answers and comfort? Without the technology and understanding we have today to observe and explain the world, how do you make sense of it? Supernatural answers seem pretty obvious to me. Besides, surely a tendency to create a theological world in even the remotest tribe serves more to undermine belief in your particular god than to enhance it. If your particular god was any truer or realer than the others, surely that particular god would be universal?
    If every effect has a cause, then what or who caused the universe?
    You’ve made three assumptions there. First, that every effect has a cause, and second, that the universe is an effect with a cause. Third, that some external agency caused the effect.

    How do you explain the thousands of people who have experienced heaven or hell and have come back to tell us about it?
    News to me that anyone’s been to heaven or hell and come back to tell us about it! Doesn’t that rather cheapen the ‘miracle’ of Jesus’ resurrection? I’m aware that plenty of people have experiences when close to death that they interpret variously as spiritual experiences of some kind, if they are religious people, I’m yet to find anything to say they’ve been anywhere other than their own mind.

    How do you explain the countless people who have received miracles from God?
    Have you ever wondered why the street you’re looking for always seems to be close to the edge of the map on the street directory? Is it some kind of spooky supernatural occurance? No, it’s because mathematically there’s a lot more ‘edge’ than ‘middle’ on the map, so the chance is greater that the street will be near the edge than in the middle. Same kind of reasoning applies to most miracles – if you don’t understand the reason for something, you consider it an amazing ‘miracle’, coincidence, etc. Once you understand something, the miracle becomes merely the remarkable.
    Is there any evidence that would satisfy you and persuade you to become a believer, or are you just going to believe what you WANT to believe?
    Of course, if I was presented with evidence that any particular religion is true, I would believe. It would need to be proper evidence though – not the shoddy stuff that fundie Christians consider to be evidence. The bible is not evidence. Someone’s personal story of how they found god is not evidence. Something that you do not understand and therefore choose to apply fairy stories to is not evidence.

    • Respect to this poster, who took so much time to reply.

      To the original writer, you will do this poster the honour of actually reading the replies to your questions, yes?

    • A Christian Concerned

      Been going back and forth on actually saying something. I agree that most (if not all) of these questions are not questions for an atheist. There are questions out there, questions that have moved atheist from atheism to agnosticism and even belief in a specific deity. I will not list them off as they are more involved than a simple response or even a lengthy one can properly address. Most of them have to deal with origins and the “loosening” of evidence we accept the closer we get to the origins of the world. Some theories are not even based on even 1 verifiable, empirical point but rather are created, seemingly out of thin air, in order to fit with other theories. The Big Bang, Information Theory, Entropy all lead back to what we can observe in the world around us, something does not come from nothing. It is incorrect to dismiss some of histories greatest minds in regards to their empirical conclusions on this point simply because they did not have tele or micro-scopes. They saw bones in the ground, they saw movement in the heavens, they saw cycles of life and they came to the conclusion that there must be a source, a place of beginning.

      I agree with most of your answers as you wrote them from your perspective. I will say that your response to Jesus’ birthplace not being prophesied in the Bible, I can understand your hesitancy considering the way the author presented the material but in fact there its a reference to a leader of supernatural nature being born or at least from the town of Bethlehem. Where the author made a mistake was working from the authority of the Scriptures which you do not accept. What needs to be pointed out is that the entirety of the Old Testament was completed and unchanged before Jesus was on the earth. This is verifiable through the evidence provided to us by the Septuagint which was completed by 100 bc and commissioned not by a believer but a Greek king Ptolemy II. So then all the prophecies (and by that I mean those that are clearly referring forward to a unique individual with a supernatural nature) are clearly set as having been written at least 100 years before Jesus. (I will state that most were at least 200 years but the dating of individual books can be difficult.)
      Does this mean you have to believe them? No, you are free to view them as you want. Many believe that this man Jesus was cultivated to fit these prophecies, or that the readings are open to interpretation or even that the evidence that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies is circumstantial. But as I see it, it would have been incredibly difficult to manufacture someone to fit this well documented person so perfectly and even if you look at each prophecy as circumstantial, a mountain of circumstantial evidence transforms into real evidence.
      I wish you well in your life and am sorry that you have to deal with people like this author insulting you. Do not think so badly of all of us.

    • TJ

      Thank you for being one of those people to actually provide answers instead of saying how stupid this post is, or “only an idiot would come up with this”, or something. To me, those are the incompetent ones. Although I am a Christian and generally disagree with some of your viewpoints (although they’re challenging), I commend you for being a reasonable person and I respect your viewpoints.

      Sadly, I have to say that most Christians are the most uneducated and closed minded people out there. For example, the one I hate the most: “If evolution were real and we evolved from monkeys, then why, when you go to the zoo, do you not see the monkeys changing into humans?” See, people that don’t get their facts straight. Most Christians want to argue such things as evolution, homosexuality, cosmology, etc. but they have little knowledge of the mechanics and theory behind such things. You have to be rational when debating such topics, and sadly most Christians aren’t prepared or well studied for such debates.

      However, that doesn’t mean that all Christians are close minded and uneducated. Just about anywhere you go, you’ll find Christians who hold positions in Academia and Science. I’m a senior in college double majoring in math and electrical engineering for instance. I understand some of the complex math from differential equations to abstract algebra that is involved in many areas of physics. Does that stop me from believing what I believe?? No! A wise philosopher once said “Question everything.”. To not question my religion and relationship with God is to be ignorant. That is where I look to discern things for myself both logically and spiritually. But I believe those who don’t question and observe such topics as the definition of science, the limits of science, the validity of the paranormal/ spiritual, and the reliability of scientific methodology to name a few, are just as ignorant as the one who doesn’t question their religion. I know an Atheist who points to the scripture where Jesus says to come to him as a little child to prove that Christianity wants you to be close minded and not question. However, he misses the fact that children are naturally curious and they do ask a lot of questions, seeking understanding and learning. But, Christians aren’t the only ones who are closed minded and ignorant. I’ve seen a lot of atheist and non-religious people who are just as closed minded, and it seems the only argument you can get out of them is “You’re just a %#@& retard” or “I freaking hate you Christians because you’re so stupid”. I hate getting in a debate with someone who gets angry because you disagree with them, and they start yelling and cussing you. I’ve learned just to steer clear of those situations.

      Anyway, going back to the questioning everything deal.. We can come up with explanations and proofs and disproofs all day, but that doesn’t make them true for either side of this debate. I’m sure you’ve seen the proof that all women are evil before, or perhaps a proof that 2 = 1. Methodologically, these are valid proofs.. but we know that only ‘most’ women are evil (joke), and we certainly know that 2 is not equal to 1. This is not to dispute the reliability of mathematics, but to illustrate that despite the answers we provide, it doesn’t make them true just because they’re logical in nature. We can come up with many different rational answers to the questions above, however it may turn out that none of them are true in the end and we missed one little detail along the way. I could also provide a proof for God. Conversely, I could say something on the lines of this;

      (1) God is love.
      (2) Love is blind.
      (3) Stevie Wonder is blind.
      (4) Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.
      (5) Therefore, God exists.

      Although this comical example, similar to the proof that all women are evil, provides a direct proof of the existence of God, it doesn’t necessarily make it true. Methodologically, the proof is perfectly legit, assuming that your premises are true. But in all essence, this doesn’t necessarily make this proof true.

      Anyway, thank you for being rational and giving actual answers. This world needs more people like that!

  • Moochie

    Why are you still blathering on about fiction that was written over 2000 years ago? Can’t find anything more contemporary? You have no evidence for god/s and it is unlikely you ever will have. But just in case you come up with something compelling, call me, and then we’ll have something to discuss. Until then, leave me and mine alone. Life’s too short to waste on this sort of nonsense.

  • Hmmm…. Moochie. I am thinking that if it were true now then it must have been true 2000 years ago too; and the reverse would follow as well. Thing is, you may just be wrong in the last part of your paragraph. It could be that life is too long NOT to spend on questions like these.

  • Shelbie

    “If the Bible is not true, why is it so universally regarded as “the Good Book”?”

    Answer: A lie is a lie, even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth, even if no one believes it.
    I dont know who said that, but it’s very true.

    “How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?”

    Response: How do you account for fossils? And where is all this proof and why have i neve heard of it?

    “How do you explain David’s graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death by crucifixion (Psalm 22) 1000 years before Christ lived?

    How do you explain that the prophet Daniel prophesied the exact YEAR when the Christ would be presented as Messiah and also prophesied that the temple would be destroyed afterwards over 500 years in advance (Daniel 9:24-27)?

    How could any mere human pinpoint the precise birth town of the Messiah seven full centuries before the fact, as did the prophet Micah?

    How do you account for the odds (1 in 10 to the 157th power) that even just 48 (of 300) Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ?

    How was it possible for the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to have predicted the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14) 700 years before it occurred?”

    Response to all those questions: Okay, All the information and sources for these happenings is found only in the Bible. Correct? Well, if an atheist does not believe the Bible, then you are making absolutely no sense.

    “If God does not exist, then from where comes humanity’s universal moral sense?”

    Response: Alright, The only thing standing between you and complete immorality is God? So without fear of god you would be out raping and killing everyone? Wow, that’s pretty bad.

    “Have you ever wondered why thousands of intelligent scientists, living and dead, have been men and women of great faith?”

    Response:
    * Thomas Jefferson
    * James Madison
    * John Adams
    * Mark Twain
    * Albert Einstein
    * Thomas Edison

    Yep. All atheist/agnostic.

    Alright. Theres more. But I think i proved my point.

    • Albanism

      “How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?”

      Response: How do you account for fossils? And where is all this proof and why have i neve heard of it?

      Response to Response: One interesting example that I have learned is that in a small island in Rome a few hundred years BCE, there was a gigantic volcanic eruption, resulting in a massive tsunami. (I deeply apologize for lack of specific details. My history textbook is not nearby. I do assure you, however vague, that what I say is historically or scientifically verified) Anyway, one of the results of a tsunami is the receding of water and then a huge and deadly refilling. This tsunami occurred the time that the Israelites were leaving to Canaan. (There may have been a mistranslation or record of which body they crossed and then crashed into the people chasing them.) It’s a bit of a stretch using mere probability, but the Israelites could have crossed and then the tsunami took out the Egyptians who chased after them.

      In addition, most historians agree that many parts of the Torah and remaining parts of the Bible are valid historical texts

      • chris

        Tsunami Idea is interesting except that the Bible says: (Exodus 14:21-29) 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night andmade the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic,25 clogging[b] their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”

        26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw[c] the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

  • Tsad Jatko

    This is for Beavis: you need to change your name to Butthead after your comment Beavis March 19th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I’m a Christian – one who is pretty traditional and orthodox…but I have no problem with Evolution. I don’t see how it challenges a mote of anyone’s faith. It does not contradict anything. So why all the questions on Evolution?

    You obviously are very uninformed about scripture and christian beliefs, if you thing evolution does not contradict anything concerning one’s christian faith…or you are totally ignorant of the basic tenants of evolution…or probably both…and if you are too lazy to research what you comment about before commenting then you will be destined to be a butthead…so I dub thee Butthead!

  • Jasmine

    Hey atheists! If you don’t believe in God what are you doing here? Why would you witness for atheism here? No one converted to/out of anything cause they lost an arguement. Also, why else would you waste your time here. And have you ever looked for God so you can say he’s non-existant? Researching religions is not looking for him. Also if we are just evolving humans why do we love or hate or whatever and why does evil/bad yada yada exist if we are nothing but flesh and blood????

  • Well that is another way of thinking about things. It is great to have ones thoughts shaken up now and again so that you can re-examine your own personal bias and habits in thinking. I might not really agree with everything, but I value your individual insight.

  • Bernard M.

    You guys don’t believe in God because you simply cannot UNDERSTAND what we UNDERSTAND.

    You guys don’t believe in God because you simply cannot SEE what we SEE.

    You guys don’t believe in God because you simply cannot FEEL what we FEEL.

    You guys don’t believe in God because you simply cannot HEAR what we HEAR.

    and YOU are here because your’e curious why are you not like us

    You probably call us BLIND compared in your ways,
    But we call you BLIND too compared in our ways.

    God advocates LOVE ,MERCY, and HOPE.

    but YOU cannot simply accept HIM because you love your’e EVIL desires more than RIGHTEOUSNESS.

  • Steve P .

    ” When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

    That is from the book of Proverbs …

    Notice how atheists are always so very long winded . Again , the bible is spot on all those years ago : )

  • A. Theist

    Wow, really. The best you can do is criticize those who gave well thought out and sincere answers to the questions asked? How about some well thought out and insightful counter points. I don’t have any doubt that most atheists would become believers if presented with credible, verifiable, reproducible evidence of the existence of god. It is the lack of this type of evidence that keeps god in the same category as leprechauns with me. I would like to believe in leprechauns and I cannot prove that they do not exist, I just can’t bring myself to take that leap of faith and believe Uncle Liam’s stories.

    Aren’t believers obliged to witness? So instead of quoting scripture to denigrate the atheist who responded (it is not working by the way) maybe you should take the opportunity to follow your calling. Now is your chance, let us hear it.

  • Devcoch

    The saddest thing in both cases is each side must be so judgmental. Christians: you are supposed to reserve the judging for god. And atheists: you should know the fact that people need something to believe in is an almost primal instinct devolved through years of evolution and trying to explain why and how we got here.

  • Jo

    A letter to an atheist and a Christian alike,
    Trying to present a logical argument for a religious cause can have many of its own failings. As a Christian I will admit it now: I cannot try to win a spiritual argument with human tools. My logic, my reasoning, my persuasion or insults in the end will get me no closer to changing your heart. Knowing this, I will simply have to pray and trust God should I desire others to come to the Lord.
    Now, someone on the feed suggested that Christians ought to stop attacking atheists for what they believe and witness like we were first called to do. They are right. We’ve lost sight of what’s important. Forgive us, we are only human.
    Reading this feed has been frustrating. But I am called to love even when I don’t like someone and an angry vent won’t do any good. To be realistic I doubt anything can be truly resolved over an internet comment feed. o I will try to add something different and do as an atheist suggested: witness.

    When I was young, I started planning my own funeral. Life is short and death is a destination we all hurtle towards. When I was first introduced to existentialism I was plunged into a mindset of despair. Nothing I do, nothing I accomplish, all I become, will, with time, surmount to nothing. In all likelihood my legacy will disappear within 2 generations. My great-grandchildren will have no recollection to what I was like as a person just like I know nothing of the kind of man my own great grandfather was. Now some legacies don’t disappear for a couple centuries, but eventually those too will be forgotten. Comb carefully through the history textbooks and whole civilizations have risen and fallen, leaving only a few ruins behind. What about civilizations that didn’t leave ruins? And so for a while everything seemed useless. Why bother? Why care? Nothing I ever did for myself would matter. Survival was a selfish act. Helping others- why? Someday they too will die and so will their legacy. No one will remember so it won’t matter.
    Now we can go on and on about how maybe I can add to humanity’s scientific knowledge and thus leave my legacy that way, but I wanted to be cared for as a person, not a smart name. And what I came to really understand was that life is a long and lonely journey inside my own mind. Something like YOLO isn’t going to cut this kind of thing.
    In the end, I came to understand that the meaning of life is not within the boundaries of the world. If I base my value off of man I am doomed to be forgotten. So instead I decided it is best to strive to live my life not for my own feeling of value. Right now I’m trying to give my life up for the only eternal thing I can find. And it’s hard, but at the same time freeing. There is no fear in death. The future is still scary but I have hope. There is purpose. I have a companion who knows my heart and my mind when no one else can comprehend. I am loved unconditionally and saved from my own flaws. Most importantly, with God in charge I don’t feel like I have only one shot at life that I better not screw up on. There is a plan and I trust it.
    I’m no good at arguing evolution. Or Biblical history. But I find the words written in the Bible to still be true to me today. I can’t answer all of your questions. But I can tell you why I believe and hope that maybe in my story you may have something to consider. God bless.

    • Aidan

      Reading your journey towards faith was like reading one of my old journal entries, I’m here for the same reason. I am thankful that you were able to communicate this while mirroring that love that motivates us to follow in the first place.

    • Jo; your spiritual journey and it summation is a perfect application of 1 Peter 3:15 which says “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

  • Thank you for this, keep up the work towards the high calling in Jesus.

  • Educated One

    I started to compose a lengthy reply highlighting the utter stupidity and irrelevancy of most of these questions, but I couldn’t finish because every question I began to address left me breathless from laughing so hard. ^_^ And to the guy questioning the atheists reading this thread: try not to forget that many atheists are in fact atheist because they have chosen to objectively research major world religions, and as a result have come to realize that its transience in terms of the larger picture (i.e. the Universe) is completely laughable.

  • Brian Zimmerman

    these questions are down right silly, but i will answer the last one.
    “is there any evidence that would satisfy you and persuade you to become a believer, or are you just going to believe what you WANT to believe?”
    ….uummm… really? OK, yes there is definitely evidence that would make me believe, but since it is a huge claim i would need a lot of evidence, such as a christian priest praying over an amputee and his limb growing back, now this wouldnt prove divinity or christianity, but its a nice start, and it seems simple too in relation to miracles. Infact my belief structure is based on evidence so any good amount of evidence on the subject that can’t be debunked would be nice, lol
    but seriously, Don’t you think this question is just as good a question for Christians? do you just believe what you want to believe? is there any actual evidence to believe the things you do? Any evidence that will persuade you to change your faith?

  • Trace

    Yay intolerance! That goes for both sides! 😀

  • Anonymous

    Question #4…not just before Christ lived but before crucifixion was even a form of execution

  • some

    there is no such thing as an atheist, and until i see hard scientific evidence i will not believe that such a creature exists

  • Maxaira

    From the comments below it is quite obvious that all the evidence in the world will persuade no one “to become a Christian”. Web sites like this [and this is from a Reformed Baptist pastor of over thirty years] miss the point entirely. Stats convince no one. Salvation is not something that you convince someone to become; salvation is all of grace, even the faith that one believes with. Try Ephesians 2:8,9.

  • Mike

    To even be a believer is a gift from God.
    Believers have had their eyes opened, among other things and in no way can take any credit for their position as a child of God. For an atheist to dispute, deny or even be antagonistic to the Gospel message is to be their natural response. The one thing that separates a believer from an atheist is God’s grace. Pray for those you may question. It’s one thing to be blind but it’s certainly another to not know it.

  • ethos

    atheists… yawn. 1 question, do you have a soul… if so where did it come from and where will it go. boring and

    badly proposed arguments here.

  • Atheists have a belief, but they are trying to deny it it, because “belief” sounds too close to God… Read the shocking article here: http://www.facefinal.com/2014/04/believe-it-or-not-atheists-have-belief.html

  • Dami Alao

    All these Atheists commenting if this was an argument about whether the tooth fairy was real or not im pretty sure you wouldnt waste such time commenting. If some one wants to believe in the tooth fairy why not let them? Go out and find meaning in your life o wait their is none.

  • Volly Man

    If you really want this line of questions to be addressed – please post them here:
    http://www.rationalresponders.com/
    At this site you will find many atheist who will give your questions a fair review and a lively discussion.