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Answers to Some Atheist Questions


Over on the Atheist Experience blog, a viewer asked some questions and although there is a thread over there for answering them, I thought I’d take a shot here.  These questions seem to come from an atheist, although I don’t think he ever self-identifies as one, that’s just the sense I get.  It could also be a sincere liberal theist questioning their own beliefs.  In either case, I never let an opportunity to answer questions go unresponded to, so let’s get started.

1. Someone I know told me that the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us, not only because there is a new covenant, but also because God made those laws for a specific purpose, for example, selling off your daughter to her Rapist only applied to the people at the time. What should I say to that?

This is an attempt by some modern Christians to get around all of those horrible, awful things in the Old Testament while still pretending that the parts they like have weight.  They all still pay attention to the Ten Commandments, they just pretend they can ignore the parts about slavery and stoning unruly children and murdering witches.  However, the Bible doesn’t support such an interpretation.  In Matthew 5:18, Jesus says: “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  Since earth has not disappeared (can’t say anything about heaven since we have no reason to think it ever existed), then the whole of the Old Testament must remain in force.

2. He says evolution is discredited by the amount of genetic mutations that are negative instead of positive. I replied with the mutation that allows some people to drink milk is positive because it helped people back when food was scarce and also how most mutations don’t do anything, they’re neutral. Was that a good reply and how is his argument true or false?

These are people who have no clue what evolution actually is or how it operates.  No matter how many times it’s explained to them, they continue to be misinformed because their faith is more important than the facts.  There are many similar point mutations that we can point to, where a small number of people were able to do a certain thing that gave them a survival advantage and thus, they reproduced in greater numbers until the ability is widespread in the human population.  We can als point to this in many animal species.  In fact, that’s why we end up with superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to vaccines and treatments, because a certain percentage have a mutation that is positive (from their “perspective”) in that it allows them to survive and thrive where other bacteria are killed.

3. People claim the bible is scientific but the story of Noah’s ark is in there? What other stories show that the bible is as scientific as Harry Potter.

Any story in the Bible that relies on magic and miracle is, as you say, as scientific as Harry Potter.  That includes the creation story, the aforementioned flood, the Egyptian plagues, the virgin birth, all of the miracles of Jesus and the resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven.  In short, all of the things that make Christianity a religion.

4. How do I explain to those who don’t understand about how “information” cannot exceed the speed of light and how DNA isn’t a written set of instruction that the way most would think of it?

It all depends on what you mean by “information”.  Not knowing that, I can’t respond to that part of the question.  As for DNA, while it isn’t the kind of information that a lot of theists think it is, it really is a “programming language” of sorts, if you manipulate the gene sequences in different ways, you get different outputs.  That isn’t what they mean though and it is a wholly naturally-derived “programming language” that had no initial programmer.  Trying to convince theists of that is nigh impossible though because their goal isn’t to get to the truth, it’s to maintain their faith.

5. Why is Theistic Evolution wrong or unreasonable? I may have gotten the name wrong but a friend of mine says theistic evolution is evolution but with divine intervention behind it all.

I don’t know about wrong or unreasonable, it’s just unnecessary.  There is no reason to think that any gods exist. Theistic evolution requires a god to direct it, in the absence of gods, or reasons to think gods are real, then you’re just left with evolution by itself.  We can prove evolution happened and continues to happen.  We cannot prove there are any gods that might have directed it.  Occam’s Razor states that the simplest explanation is most likely the right one.  That would be evolution without the unsupported god part.

6. My friend crashed in a plane recently and he was unscathed. Now all the uber christian kids at my school keep saying Jesus saved him, but for me I ask why he didn’t prevent the crash in the first place. Then they say Jesus doesn’t check planes before they take off. I know this is a subject that hits the emotions, but how do I convince the crash wasn’t divine but instead was a lucky crash?

You probably can’t because, as I said before, these people don’t care about the truth, they care about their emotional comfort. They want to feel good about the things they believe, no matter how unsupported or silly those things are in reality.  These kinds of claims are not at all uncommon yet they are quite absurd.  You get people who say “I was in a crash and I was the only survivor!  Praise Jesus!”  Well apparently Jesus didn’t give a damn about any of the other people who were killed in the crash, did he?  It’s all about you.  When you bring up the obvious problems with these claims, just like your friend, they find some way to rationalize around it.  As I said, they don’t care about reality, they just want to feel good.

7. Would finding how life forms can arise from inanimate organisms not just disprove but destroy any religious claims to creation? Also what would you think the response to new extraterrestrial life being discovered? Hement Mehta believes this would be a huge blow to organized religion.

Well, finding how they actually do arise certainly would. Just proposing a hypothesis, not so much.  Of course, evolution is the best supported scientific theory we have but creationists don’t care because, not to sound like a broken record, they’re not interested in the facts.  There are always going to be a certain number of theists who, no matter what is discovered, they’re going to cling to their irrational faith.  Just look at Ken Ham, who at the Ham/Nye debate, said that there was absolutely nothing that could ever cause him to reject his faith.  No amount of fact, no amount of evidence, nothing at all could ever make him doubt the existence of God.  That’s what we call fanaticism.

8. Many creationists claim that the odds of humanity coming to be is so improbable. I was thinking before I slept the other day about a new idea(which probably was thought of already because it’s simple). I call it the argument from hindsight. Is this a thing(argument from hindsight)? Is easy to say it must be hard to get to where we are now, but that because we’re looking back. How many Martians are saying this? None because there isn’t anyone to look back at what needs to occur for life.

That’s because they’re playing a numbers game, one that has been wholly discredited over the years but they still cling to it. It is blatantly dishonest, but… faith.  I do agree with the argument from hindsight, I like the name, I might have to use it sometime. We can make all kinds of arguments using it.  If we calculate the odds of any individual being here today, each person having to had the exact ancestors breeding with the exact ancestors, having the exact sperm meeting with the exact egg over hundreds or thousands of generations, the chances that any of us could possibly exist today is astronomical, yet here we all are.  Creationists like to pretend that humanity was predestined, like we were always supposed to exist, yet there’s nothing further from the truth. We are the result of the process, not the goal.  If something had happened differently, there might be intelligent slime mold sitting around on a wholly different earth, marvelling at how wonderful it is that their life form was predestined by their gods.  It’s all quite silly.

So there you go, some more answers, aimed this time more at an atheist audience than a religious one.  The whole thing really is bizarre and quite sad that so many people are so unwilling to care about reality because reality is uncomfortable and gets in the way of their religious fantasies.  You can’t reason with a lot of these people, it isn’t even worth it to try, but at least you can be aware that they exist and as G.I. Joe says, knowing is half the battle.

The Christian Questions Never End

QuestionsI’ve answered tons of questions from Christians in the past, today I was out looking for any questions from other religious groups, such as Muslims, but came up empty, at least so far.  I did, however, come across this list of questions that I wanted to take on, plus he asked a couple of other questions to agnostics and Muslims that I will handle in another post.

Considering the never-ending list of questions that Christians want to ask atheists, I was expecting an equally unending list from other religious groups.  If anyone knows of a Muslim list or any other non-Christian list, could you please point me in the right direction?  Christians claim that we never address Islam, I’m trying, I just haven’t found anyone asking any questions that I can address!

And so, on with the show.

1. Are you absolutely sure there is no God? If not, then is it not possible that there is a God? And if it is possible that God exists, then can you think of any reason that would keep you from wanting to look at the evidence?

No, I am not absolutely certain there is no God any more than I am absolutely certain there are no unicorns. Absolute certainty is not a factor in skepticism.  Skeptics do not accept anything to any degree of absolute certainty.  We look at the available evidence and make the most rational call based on what we see right now.  If that evidence changes tomorrow, we will look at the new evidence and evaluate it rationally and we may change our minds.  What makes you think that we haven’t looked at the evidence for God?  In fact, most rational atheists are far more knowledgeable with regard to the supposed evidence for gods, both Christian and other gods, than the overwhelming majority of theists are.  In fact, we’ve not only looked at the evidence, we understand what the evidence actually means, where it came from and why it isn’t actually evidence for the factual existence of any god.  Theists can’t say that, they just believe it blindly.  And here’s a counter question for you, that I know no theist will ever answer:  Are you absolutely certain that there is a God and how do you know?  Not believe.  Not have faith.  How do you know.

2. Would you agree that intelligently designed things call for an intelligent designer of them? If so, then would you agree that evidence for intelligent design in the universe would be evidence for a designer of the universe?

By definition, something that is intelligently designed must have an intelligent designer, but there’s no evidence that the universe is intelligently designed so this question is no more than begging the question.  Show that the universe actually is intelligently designed, don’t just assert it.  This comes straight from the argument from ignorance.

3. Would you agree that nothing cannot produce something? If so, then if the universe did not exist but then came to exist, wouldn’t this be evidence of a cause beyond the universe?

Define “nothing”.  Most theists don’t understand the concepts involved in their apologetics.  For science, there is no such thing as “nothing”, in the sense that it is a complete absence of all matter, energy, etc.  Theists would have to show that such a claim has any application in reality. Further, this is just an assertion that the universe came into being from absolutely nothing, yet we have no way of showing this to be the case. It’s not only possible, but likely, that something outside of the universe was responsible for the universe springing into existence and that our universe is but one in a virtually infinite number of universes.  We’re not special.  Theists need to get that through their heads.  Ego trips are not impressive.

4. Would you agree with me that just because we cannot see something with our eyes—such as our mind, gravity, magnetism, the wind—that does not mean it doesn’t exist?

There are lots of things that we can’t see with our eyes, yet we know exists.  However, we can detect them in other ways.  Those things that we cannot detect by any objective means, we have no reason to think they exist.  However, I will head off this objection at the pass and point out how rational thinking works.  There was a time, not that long ago, that we had no clue that atoms existed.  We couldn’t see them, we couldn’t measure them, we couldn’t detect them in any way.  Still, they existed, our knowledge of them has no bearing on their actuality.  Some theists say that just because we can’t prove God exists, that doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist.  I will agree with this wholeheartedly.  However, because we can find no reason to believe that God exists, there is no reason to believe that God exists, any more than people should have believed in atoms before they had evidence for them.  The lack of belief in something is not a belief in the non-existence of that thing.  It is rejecting unsupported claims until they are, in fact, supported.  If you want rational people to believe in your gods, pony up the evidence.  We won’t believe it until you do.

5. Would you also agree that just because we cannot see God with our eyes does not necessarily mean He doesn’t exist?

Looks like I jumped the gun, I answered this in #4.

6. In the light of the big bang evidence for the origin of the universe, is it more reasonable to believe that no one created something out of nothing or someone created something out of nothing?

This goes back to #4 as well.  We know for an absolute fact that the Big Bang happened, there is so much evidence that supports it that it would be absurd to claim otherwise.  We have no idea what caused the Big Bang, therefore we cannot simply attribute causes because someone is uncomfortable saying they don’t know.  That’s really the important point here, your discomfort in not having an answer does not give you license to simply make something up that’s emotionally comforting.  The options aren’t  between something came from nothing or something came from God, that’s a false dichotomy.  The only option we have right now is that we don’t know and we will have to keep looking.

7. Would you agree that something presently exists? If something presently exists, and something cannot come from nothing, then would you also agree that something must have always existed?

How many times can the same question be restated?  This has been answered.  Move on.

8. If it takes an intelligent being to produce an encyclopedia, then would it not also take an intelligent being to produce the equivalent of 1000 sets of an encyclopedia full of information in the first one-celled animal? (Even atheists such as Richard Dawkins acknowledges that “amoebas have as much information in their DNA as 1000Encyclopaedia Britannicas.” Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: WW. Norton and Co., 1996), 116.)

And again.  Move on.

9. If an effect cannot be greater than its cause (since you can’t give what you do not have to give), then does it not make more sense that mind produced matter than that matter produced mind, as atheists say?

And again.  Besides, you’re just making a personal value call here that somehow mind, which is an emergent property of the physical brain, is more valuable than the matter from which it emerged.  Who determines value? Back it up with evidence.

10. Is there anything wrong anywhere? If so, how can we know unless there is a moral law?

There is no such thing as moral law, morality comes from people, more specifically, from human society.  We determine what is right and wrong subjectively.  Some people are not comfortable with this simple fact, they want morality simplified such that there is no debate between people of varying opinions who is correct and who is incorrect in their moral assessments.  Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

11. If every law needs a lawgiver, does it not make sense to say a moral law needs a Moral Lawgiver?

There is no moral law.  Move on.

12. Would you agree that if it took intelligence to make a model universe in a science lab, then it took super-intelligence to make the real universe?

Nope.  We know what human-created things look like and we have multiple examples of what an intelligently designed model would look like.  We have no examples of an intelligently designed universe to compare against what we see when we look around us.  You *WANT* intelligent design, you have yet to demonstrate intelligent design.

13. Would you agree that it takes a cause to make a small glass ball found in the woods? And would you agree that making the ball larger does not eliminate the need for a cause? If so, then doesn’t the biggest ball of all (the whole universe) need a cause?

Restatement of #12.  Move on.

14. If there is a cause beyond the whole finite (limited) universe, would not this cause have to be beyond the finite, namely, non-finite or infinite?

Let us know when you actually demonstrate that there is a cause of any sort.  In fact, I wouldn’t argue this at all. There are some people who believe, rightly or wrongly, I use this only as an example, that every black hole in the universe is the spawning point of a new universe.  Somewhere beyond the event horizon, according to some, there is a new universe which came into existence solely because a super  massive star imploded.  So, is that cause beyond the finite?  No, it is not.  Again, let us know when you actually can show us what created this, or any, universe.

15. In the light of the anthropic principle (that the universe was fine-tuned for the emergence of life from its very inception), wouldn’t it make sense to say there was an intelligent being who preplanned human life?

The anthropic principle is inherently flawed, it’s wishful thinking, not objective observation.  The universe is not fine-tuned for the emergence of life, life is fine-tuned for the existence of the universe.  Creationists are like a puddle who seems self-assured that the hole it inhabits is perfectly made for it, therefore the puddle must have been pre-planned.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  The universe exists.  Life on our planet evolved to fit the conditions on our planet.  If the conditions were different, life would have arisen differently, if at all.  If life did not arise, no one would be here arguing that the planet is so perfectly tuned for it’s existence.

I am always surprised that these sets of questions contain so many re-statements of the same idea over and over and over again.  Maybe they can’t think of any other questions, maybe they never re-read their articles before they post them, maybe they’re just copying from a variety of sources with the same questions, but when something is asked once, it really does not need to be asked again.  Please try to do better, Christians.

Can’t Forget Those Offensive Questions, Can We?

DouchebagI’ve spent the last couple of Mondays looking at various and sundry theist questions from the web and for the most part, the questions have been generally friendly, if a little misguided.  This time, I find a series of questions that are anything but friendly, anything but honest and really betray a hatred and absurdity that I think a lot of atheists have come to expect from some theists.  Not one to run from a challenge, here is my take on these 10 rude questions asked to atheists.  Because the theist did their list counting down, I’m going to flip the whole thing around, just to be contrary.

#1 – Who do you hate more, Jews or Muslims?

Isn’t that a question you should be asking yourself?  After all, most Christians are supremely convinced that both the Jews and the Muslims are headed to eternal torture in a lake of fire because they don’t believe in the same God you do.  There isn’t a single atheist out there who thinks that.  In fact, you can point to all kinds of religious pogroms, such as the Nazi Holocaust, which was perpetrated by Christians against other religious groups in the name of their own religious beliefs.  You cannot point to a single case where atheists, as a function of their atheism, did the same.

#2 – Why are you an anti-science fanatic who strongly opposes free and open criticism, scrutiny, and questioning?

Have you been looking in the mirror?  Atheists, and I can only generalize here, tend to be very pro-science and extremely rational, open and honest people who value scrutiny and criticism of all positions and points of view. In fact, that’s why most atheists reject religious claims because they just don’t bear up under any form of rational scrutiny.

#3 – Why do you discourage belief without evidence, intuition, and originality?

Because belief without evidence is inherently irrational.  I know that’s not how you intended me to answer the question but that’s how you wrote it.  As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference between the irrational belief in a god and the irrational belief in Bigfoot.  Actually, belief in Bigfoot is probably more rational because at least they claim to have footprints.  Where are God’s demonstrable “footprints”?

#4 – Why do you value high IQ as being worth more than contributions?

I don’t value IQ over contributions.  IQ is an artificial measurement of the potential for knowledge, it doesn’t actually address what someone might do with that knowledge.  Just because you have a high IQ doesn’t make you a decent person, a rational person or anything else, it’s all about the ability to do those things, not the actuality of doing them.  That said though, people with a higher IQ do have the ability to do more things that benefit the world, whereas the stupid and foolish really don’t achieve much.

#5 – Why have you intentionally remained silent in opposition to racism but not silent in opposition to Intelligent Design, Creationism, and many other things?

jesus_troll_faceWhere do you get that idea?  I’ve been openly opposed to all of the things you list above and many more. Something tells me you’ve been wearing your Christian blinders far too much.  Of course, looking at your entire website makes me think that you’ve got something loose upstairs, you’re just randomly ranting at atheists and demonstrating, without question, that you have no clue what you’re talking about.  And you accuse atheists of trolling?

#6 – Why do you consider any criticism of atheists, atheistic arguments, or atheistic beliefs as “trolling” but not consider condemning, ridiculing, or making fun of religion as “trolling”?

I don’t, although a lot of it really is.  Trolling is any attempt to get a response by posting something foolish, stupid or untrue.  That’s what a lot of so-called Christian apologists do online.  They do not know what they are talking about, they just make absurd claims, backed up by nothing but their own blind faith, and when reality is explained to them, they refuse to change their views or perspective.  So ask yourself, why are you such a dick?

#7 – Do you have any independent mind of your own or ability to question what other atheists say or think?

Not only do I, I have on many, many occasions and over many, many years, done exactly that.  I challenge and question everyone regardless of their religious, social or political views.  It tends to piss people off but that’s life. I am an equal-opportunity critic as everyone else ought to be.  Too bad I see theists doing exactly what you criticize atheists for every single day.

#8 – What’s the reason that you continue to use racist atheists as viable sources, celebrate racist atheist biologists and racist/atheist countries?

You’d have to point out where I have ever done any of that, or where any of those people even exist.  Why do you continue to use racist theists as viable sources, celebrate racist theist preachers and racist/theist countries? It works both ways.  After all, we can point to tons of Christian sources who are or were demonstrably racist, in fact, the entire slave industry in the United States was based on Christians claiming that blacks were less than human and trying to accuse them of being the descendants of Cain.  Of course, you won’t acknowledge that and neither will most Christians, they find some way to get around the demonstrable truth.

#9 – Are you only capable of mimicking and copying arguments you heard from Dawkins and other atheists?

Hell, I hardly pay any attention to Dawkins, I might read his books as they come out but I’ve voiced plenty of disagreement over things that Dawkins, Harris, Dennett and Hitchens have said, heck, I’ve posted a couple of book reviews here that were certainly quite negative.  I don’t know about you, but I’m entirely anti-hero worship, I value what someone says over who they are and so it doesn’t really matter if it’s Dawkins or not, it matters what actually comes out of his mouth.

#10 – Do you take pleasure in telling lies or are you just so gullible that you believe any anti-religious lie you hear?

Actually no, I check out each and every claim on it’s own merits and the ones that don’t make the grade do get criticized.  Maybe the religious ought to stop making so many irrational, illogical and utterly absurd claims?  I’m really sorry that you need to invent these ridiculous claims, maybe it’s the only thing that gets you through the day, I have no idea.  However, this entire series of questions comes off exactly as though you were trolling, saying things that you had to know were false, just to get a reaction.  The only thing that’s happened is that you made yourself look like a fool.  If that’s the best you can do, then so be it, you’re exposed to the world for all to see.

The only reason I took on these questions is to demonstrate to rational atheists just how irrational and ridiculous some Christians can be.  I looked through more of this guy’s site and it’s all the same nonsense.  I doubt he’ll see this post, he seems to have given up the ghost back in 2011, but I thought it was important to show just how crazy some people can be.  If you want to see more people being just as crazy, go look at #atheism or #atheist on Twitter, these people are everywhere.

Next week, more questions.  See you then.

Questions, Answers and Beliefs

Get Answers ButtonThere’s one thing I keep seeing out of the theist community, something that pops up in virtually every discussion, particularly when theists are trying to claim that faith is somehow rational.  I’ve seen theists make statements that faith must be rational because it manages to provide answers to questions that science simply cannot answer.

This is ridiculous.  The reality, whether they choose to accept it or not, is that science looks for actual answers that demonstrably explain a given phenomenon or observation.  Science does not simply propose an idea, invented out of whole cloth, because they are personally uncomfortable not having a ready solution to their problem.

Just because you want an answer to your question doesn’t mean you’re entitled to have one, or that you can just make one up that appeals to you.  Holding up an imaginary answer to a real question is pointless.  We also need to remember that “answering a question” is pointless if the question is just about someone’s opinion.  “Oh look, my religion can answer my question about what my favorite flavor of ice cream is, therefore my religion is superior!” is not a valid statement.

When I was growing up, I remember that for the longest time, people said that science couldn’t explain how bumblebees could fly.  They were considered so un-aerodynamic, their weight-to-lift ratio was so wrong that they shouldn’t be able to fly, yet they can.  Science understands very well how they can fly, but let’s assume for the moment that it didn’t.  Would it then be rational to think that bumblebees fly because they use tiny anti-gravity generators provided to them by magical pixies?  Is that a credible answer to a question that we’re going to pretend otherwise has no answer?  Of course not.

Perhaps nowhere is this more clear than when theists will demand they know that God is real because they had some experience and can’t come up with a better explanation than “God did it!”  This is the classical “argument from ignorance” and is far too widespread among theists, I run into it virtually every day.  They claim that they know, for a fact, that God is real because some event or some experience happened and that proves God.  No, all it proves is their own irrationality and inability to examine a situation critically.

It’s shameful how many people seem utterly incapable of looking at their beliefs step-by-step, proceeding only from the evidence and not from their emotional desires.  I’m sure we’ve all heard something like this from theists, but I went and grabbed a random claim online.

I prayed to Him to please tell me what was going on with someone. I was so stressed out. In my dream that night He came and told me all about what the guy was going through and I had no prior knowledge of and said that I needed to be his friend first. Within a week a mutual friend told me the exact same things that the guy was going through!

Now most of us would take a look at something like that and immediately say “you’re an idiot”.  It makes so many absurdly unsupported assertions that I find it hard to keep a straight face.  First, this individual is hoping to use God as a means for spying on someone, that tells us already what kind of a mindset they have.  Secondly, how do they determine, rationally, that God did any of the things that are claimed?  Did they likewise pray to all the other gods man has invented on different nights to see if they got similar results?  Or did they pray to God again on a different night about a different person and have the same experience?  It would seem that such an idea would eliminate the need for political or industrial spying, just pray to God to know the secrets of your enemies, take a nap and you’ll magically know it all when you wake up!  God is the ultimate voyeur!  Not only is this a perfect example of  the “argument from ignorance”, where you take an experience without a known explanation and arbitrarily assign an emotionally-comforting explanation to it, it’s also a fine illustration of “confirmation bias”.  In fact, in this case, the two fallacies play together to form the conclusion.  The individual has no reason to suspect the answer that they give, but they pick an answer which they were already biased toward.

This is especially for theists, but can be useful for anyone.  If you want to be at all rational, you have got to look at events in your life critically.  Ask yourself how you get from point A to point B.  Faith is not an adequate answer.  After all, if you have an experience and attribute God, why can’t someone else have the exact same experience and attribute Zeus?  In fact, I remember cases I’ve heard about where people were involved in a disaster and survived and each attributed a different “cause” to their salvation.  How do you determine which is actually so?  Or do you assume that each person’s individual god saved his follower and no other?  Just because you’d like to believe that God saved your life, just because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, that doesn’t mean it’s so and if you can find no objective evidence that points to God being factually involved, the best explanation you can actually come up with is “I don’t know”.

I’m willing to bet “I don’t know” is much more common than you’d like to think.  Religion doesn’t answer questions, it demands ad hoc explanations in place of rational evaluations.  You can fill in anything you like, from gods and ghosts to your dog, without corroborating evidence, you’re just pulling your “answer” out of your ass.

And that stinks.

The Atheist Challenge

A theist asked 10 questions of atheists, here are my answers.  I saw this over on Atheist Revolution and I like most of his answers, so he gets the credit!

As anyone who has read this blog for long, I have answered many of this type of questionnaire in the past and they vary in quality dramatically.  Some are very inventive, requiring careful thought and long, detailed answers.

Then there’s this one, that is… not.

Now I’m not trying to be insulting, certainly I haven’t read much more of the blog in question to find out if this is the general quality of what’s written there.  The author could have simply found these questions in a children’s storybook somewhere and posted them verbatim.  I don’t know and certainly I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but seriously, these are questions that demonstrate not only a total lack of understanding of the subject matter, but a complete disinterest as well.  Many of these questions shouldn’t have to be asked and even if interested in an academic sense, they are phrased in such a tiresome fashion as to make them almost painful to answer.  That, in addition to the random capitalization, etc. starts to make me question the whole exercise.

That said though, I get the feeling that this wasn’t a post just to fill space, but the poster has a real interest in what atheists have to say and that’s always a good thing.  I’m also getting the impression, based on some of the other posts I’ve seen listed in the sidebar, that the author is having a crisis of faith.  That’s a very good thing, although certainly won’t be viewed as such by most theists.  It is the first step in shedding the bondage of religion.  It just requires two things, actually caring that what you believe is factually true and being confident enough to go test what you believe against factual reality.  Most theists never reach that point.  I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that this theist can.

So here are my answers.

 1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality?  Then what will define morality?

I get my morality from the same place you do, but you don’t get yours from where you think you do.  All human beings get their moral views from the society and culture in which they live.  It doesn’t get handed down from on high by some deity, clearly just looking at the way morals change over time, even within a particular religious community, should be enough to prove that’s not true.  After all, the overwhelming support for things like slavery and against things like women’s and civil rights were religious.  We also find that the groups that tend to lag behind the social moral curve are the religious since, as a little research will show, the groups that are still pro-racism, anti-woman and anti-civil rights tend to be the religious.  They are coming along though, slowly but surely, dragged kicking and screaming by society into the 21st century.  In all reality, I’d say religion tends to hinder morality, not help it.

2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life;  So not everything meaningless since there is no God?  So what will the purpose of living?  Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

You make the same mistake here.  You don’t get a meaning to life from a god, you get it from the same place everyone else does,  yourself.  An imaginary friend can’t give your life meaning, can’t give you purpose and certainly can’t think for you.  Many theists blindly attribute ideas to a god but there’s no evidence whatsoever that they actually come from there.

3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism?  If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest.  Would you support this?  Why or Why Not?

Evolution applies only to biological systems, not to social ones.  The most fit species to survive in a particular ecological niche will survive.  This doesn’t apply to social settings and anyone who told you otherwise was lying to you.  That’s not surprising because religion doesn’t have a vested interest in the truth.  They gain by keeping you ignorant and afraid.  They keep you coming back to them for answers and they discourage you from going out to look for opposing views on your own.

4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

Humans and apes share a common ancestry, humans did not come from apes.  This betrays a distinct ignorance of evolution, which I suppose is hardly surprising.  There are also a wealth of transitional fossils that support it, your ignorance in this area is proof that you know nothing about what you speak, you’re just parroting creationist nonsense.

In fact, this seems like a good time to address it, a lot of these questions are just parroting religious ideas that anyone who has spent 10 second thinking about it ought to have seen through.  Take the first question about morality.  If you look at prison populations, you find that Christianity is represented there at a much higher rate than they are in the outside world, while atheists are represented in the prison population far lower by percentage than they are in the outside world.  So who has the best morality again?  Then with this question, it’s clear the author doesn’t have the slightest idea what evolution says, yet they have no problem asking the question?  It comes back to Christian fear.  You have no idea what you’re talking about with regard to these topics, you just “know” they can’t be true because they disagree with what you already believe.  It’s about as absurd as someone telling you “The Bible says Jesus turns into a door, explain that!”  It’s an idiotic question, based on an almost complete ignorance of the source material, ripped out of context from John 10:7.  You shouldn’t have to answer it because it’s a dumb question to begin with.  Just like what you’ve asked here.

5. Do you believe in Human Nature?  It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

Do I believe in human nature?  You’d have to explain what you mean.  I do entirely disagree that it is human nature to believe in a god, that’s a by-product of what actually happens.  The human brain is hard-wired to seek out the answers to questions.  We have evolved to be problem-solving creatures.  In the past, when the answers have been beyond the ability of the human brain to find, man has simply invented “place-holder” answers.  One of those answers was “God”.  Today, most of the questions that we’ve applied “God” to have been answered rationally.  We should have outgrown the “God” answer by now, but many people cling to it because it’s tradition.  It’s passed down from one generation to the next and frankly, most people don’t bother to think about the “God” answer, they just accept it blindly.

6. Can Nothing come from Something?  Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

I’m sure you mean “can something come from nothing” and I’m further certain you’re talking about the Big Bang, which certainly isn’t “something from nothing”.  That’s basic cosmology.  In fact, the only case of “something from nothing” I’m aware of is the Biblical creation story.  So, why does your own belief violate the First Law of Thermodynamics?

7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing.  Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

None of which are atheist societies because such a thing doesn’t exist.  Atheism is a lack of belief in a god, nothing more.  Those may be non-theistic societies, but they didn’t fail because of atheism, but because of their political actions.  There are many nations today which are secular which are doing just fine.  In fact, Norway just separated itself from it’s national religion, on it’s way to being a wholly secular nation, and it’s doing much better financially than the U.S. is.  In fact, if you look at the most irreligious nations, you find that they are much better socially than the most religious nations.  Certainly they’re not out killing people for believing in the wrong imaginary friend in the sky.

8. If you were to die, and you were before God.  And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you,  What would be your reaction or thoughts?  What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

That’s about as ridiculous as asking you if you were to die and stand before Krishna or Enki, what would you do?  Oh wait, you don’t believe those things exist, any more than I believe your God exists.  If I was standing before your God, I wouldn’t make excuses or beg or anything of the sort.  God should have known what kind of evidence it would take for me to believe and God withheld that evidence. That makes God a dick.  Sorry, I have more self-respect than to prostrate myself before an obnoxious God so I can spend eternity with his mindless sycophants.  So, if in that situation, I’d tell God he was an ass and happily go to hell.  Of course, I’m no more worried about that than you are about being judged by Zeus.

9. What would convince you atheism is wrong?  And that Christianity is Right?

Objective, demonstrable, verifiable evidence for the factual existence of God and nothing else.  Got any?

See, that’s really a silly question, what would it take to convince you that Christianity is wrong and another religion is right?  I’m willing to bet that you didn’t provide the same answer that I did.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that your answer was “nothing”.  There is nothing that  could ever convince you that Christianity is wrong, or that any other religion is right.  You’re not open to examining your faith, you’re holding it blindly.  Certainly correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t help think that I’m right.

One of us is actually concerned if what we believe is factually true and one of us is not.  Which one is the better, more rational position?

10. Why are you an Atheist?  Why do you NOT believe in God?  Why do you reject God?  (You can be as detailed as you want.)

I don’t believe in God for the same reason I don’t believe in unicorns.  There is no evidence for either.  Originally, I was going to say “I don’t believe in God for the same reason you don’t believe in Vishnu”, until I realized that you’ve never given a second’s thought to the existence of Vishnu or any other deity.  You reject them out of blind faith, not because you’ve fairly evaluated the evidence, examined the claims and decided that there was no good reason to think they were true.

I’m an atheist  because there is no reason to be anything else.

See, there just isn’t a whole lot there.  This certainly isn’t a credible way to open a detailed dialog with atheists and, although I think the author wants to know the answers, it doesn’t show that a lot of thought or research has gone into the questions themselves beforehand.  So why did I bother?  Because this might be a gateway to a better, more critical understanding.  Asking simplistic questions may lead to more complex questions and asking others what they think can lead to asking the same kinds of questions of oneself.  Instead of asking atheists “why don’t you believe in God?”, it might also lead to them asking themselves “why do I believe in God?”

Of course, most theists are terrified to ask those kinds of questions and just about every church forbids it, but ask yourself, if these beliefs are really true, what harm can come from an honest examination of them?  Ask that to the many, many, many atheists who used to be Christians, who weren’t afraid and who realized that Christianity is a load of nonsense when evaluated fairly and openly.

So what is more important?  Your comforting faith or the truth?