No, please don’t send me e-mail claiming I’ve identified agnosticism as a religion. I don’t mean it like that, this is another post from the same individual who asked questions of atheists earlier in the week and I’m addressing questions, both asked of agnostics, and those asked of a couple of non-Christian religious groups. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
This time out, I’m taking on questions designed for agnostics, Muslims and Hindus. No, I’m not a Muslim or Hindu but I think it’s important to point out how Christians don’t understand the absurdity of their own questions and how they can, and should be turned around and sent back to them. The level of irrationality and illogic in these ideas is astronomical. The original list can be found here if you want to take a look.
So, here’s my take on even more questions.
Questions for Agnostics
1. Of the two possible kinds of agnostic, which kind are you: 1) Strong agnostic who says we can’t know anything for sure? or 2) Weak agnostic who says we don’t know anything for sure (but we could if we had enough evidence)?
Now since I’m not an agnostic in the sense that he’s using it and I think that most agnostics, and clearly the majority of Christians, have no idea what agnosticism is, I’m just going to comment on some of these concepts. Agnosticism is not some mid-ground between atheism and theism, it is a completely different question. Atheism/theism addresses the subject of belief. Agnosticism/gnosticism addresses the subject of knowledge. One can be an agnostic atheist, one can be a gnostic theist, in fact, everyone, including the person who wrote these questions, is both because everyone is both. You are either an agnostic or a gnostic. You can’t be both, you can’t be neither. You are either an atheist or a theist. You cannot be both, you cannot be neither. The unfortunate fact is that a lot of people with no religious beliefs, people who are, like it or not, atheists, are uncomfortable using the label so they’ve invented this softball middle ground where they can hide from the social stigma they think comes from adopting the word “atheist”. Too bad. If you actively believe in any god, you are a theist. If you do not actively believe in any god, even if you say you don’t know or don’t care, you are an atheist. That’s how it works. Now personally, I’d fit into the “weak agnostic” category, using the questioner’s definition. I think we can know anything, assuming we have the evidence to do so. There is nothing that is inherently beyond the capability of humanity. We might not know now. We might not know tomorrow. The idea that we simply can’t ever know no matter what we do seems defeatist.
2. If you are the strong kind, then how do you know for sure that you can’t know anything for sure?
I don’t believe that, therefore I’m not going to answer, except to ask those who think that gods and the supernatural are entirely beyond our ability to ever discover, how they justify their beliefs.
3. If you are the weak kind of agnostic, then is it not possible that we could know for sure that God exists (if we had enough evidence)?
Yup, we could. Let me know when we actually do and I’ll believe it and not before.
4. Do you agree that an open-minded person should be willing to look at all the evidence? If so, then are you willing to look at the evidence for God’s existence?
Indeed, what makes the questioner think for one second that I (or any other agnostic) hasn’t done so? Far too many Christians are self-assured that anyone who hasn’t become a Christian simply hasn’t looked at the evidence. What if they have and haven’t been convinced? Certainly, I’ve looked at the evidence that is claimed by Christians, and it’s honestly some pretty piss-poor evidence from what I’ve seen, and not only have I not been convinced that God is real, but I have been convinced that the majority of Christians are clueless and delusional. A lot of you people ought to be ashamed to believed based on what you accept as evidence.
Questions for Muslims
1. Do you pray five times a day? If you have not done the minimum requirement for a Muslim, how can you be sure you are going to get to heaven?
Well, no. I don’t. However, can’t we turn this around and ask if this Christian has done everything that the Bible commands, every single day? How many witches has he murdered? How many disobedient children has he stoned? Does he eat shellfish or wear mixed fabrics? All of those things are in the Bible, yet the overwhelming majority of Christians ignore them. So, how can they be sure they are going to heaven? Inquiring minds want to know.
2. How can Jesus be considered a great prophet when the Gospels say many times that Jesus accepted worship as God (Matthew 8:2; 14:33; 28:9; Luke 24:52; John 9:38; 20:28-29)?
Again, not being a Muslim, I don’t have to answer it that way. Jesus wasn’t a prophet, there’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed in the first place, at least not the character as described in the Bible. Jesus, if he existed at all, was likely an itinerant Jewish rabbi that wandered around the Middle East preaching a message. He was far from alone, there were messiahs on every street corner in Jerusalem at the time, Jesus just hit the big time, having had the mantle of godhood draped over him posthumously. That’s what the actual, objective, demonstrable evidence suggests and all the faith in the world doesn’t change it.
3. If our Bible today is corrupted, then how do we know what parts are corrupted?
A better question for the Christians is how do you know your Bible isn’t corrupted, or better yet, how you know that it isn’t wholly made up? I think both the Bible, the Torah, the Qu’ran, the Vedas, indeed every religious book out there, is a load of horse shit, mythical writing by ignorant peasants who lacked the ability to test claims and consider the things that they saw, or more likely heard about third or fourth hand, logically and critically. Unless these books can be validated by independent sources, and they can’t, there’s no reason to take any of them seriously.
4. How can the Bible be corrupted when Muhammad told people to read it (Sura 5:68; 10:94) and we have manuscripts showing that the Bible of Muhammad’s day was substantially the same as the one we have today?
What Muhammad said and did not say is rather questionable since Muhammad never wrote down a thing in his life, he was illiterate. He supposedly taught his followers and after he was dead, when he couldn’t re-read his scriptures and “sign off” on them, his followers inscribed all of his teachings and that’s where we get the Qu’ran. How accurate it is, we simply don’t know. It could have been completely off.
5. How can you believe the Qur’an when it states that “none can change His word” (Sura 6:115; see also 6:34; 10:64), yet it also says that the Bible is God s previous revelation (Sura 2:136; 4:163)? Yet you believe that Jesus never claimed to be God but merely claimed to be a prophet, and somehow the Bible got corrupted because it teaches that Jesus claimed to be God.
The Bible says nobody can change a single word too. It’s funny how easy it is for future generations to come along and conveniently read the books of the previously generation. Christians do it today, they pick and choose what parts of the Bible they want to take seriously and then wave their hands around and justify why their decisions are valid.
6. If killing is wrong for religious reasons, then why does the Quran prescribe the killing of unbelievers (Sura 9:5,29; 47:4)?
The same reason the Bible does it?
7. How can heaven be described as a place full of wine and women when this is the kind of life Allah forbids here (Sura 78:32)?
Hey, at least the Muslim version of heaven is better than the eternity of ass-kissing God that the Bible describes. Good thing we have no reason to think that either of them are real.
8. Why do Muslims believe Muhammad is superior to Jesus when even the Quran affirms that Jesus was sinless (Sura 3:45-46; 19:19-21), born of a virgin (Sura 3:47), called the Messiah (Sura 3:45), performed miracles such as raising the dead (Sara 5:110), and bodily ascended into heaven (Sara 4:158), and Muhammad did none of these things?
I don’t think either of them are particularly good role-models. Jesus spent a majority of his life walking around the countryside with a bunch of male followers who loved him and Muhammad was a pedophile. Come up with some better role-models, will you?
9. If many Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the eternal Word of God and yet different from God, then why can’t Jesus be the eternal Son of God and yet different from God?
Because religious belief is bullshit.
10. If Allah can do whatever He pleases, then why could He not allow His prophet Jesus to die on the cross and raise Him to life again?
If God can do whatever he pleases, why would he feel the need to throw Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for doing something that God must have already foreseen? And then why would God have to flood the world, killing virtually everyone, because they acted exactly like God must have known he would have? God is a dick. So is Allah.
Questions for Hindus
1. Can you explain why some Hindus believe there is one reality beyond good and evil, and yet they live as though they believe evil is real?
Seriously dude, there are more than 36,000 distinct sects of Christianity and you’re wondering how some Hindus can believe one thing and others can believe a different thing? Pot. Kettle. Black.
2. If reincarnation is a result of deeds in a previous life, then how did the first reincarnation begin?
It wasn’t a reincarnation? By the very definition of the word, you can only be reincarnated if you have been incarnated in the first place. Look up the prefix “re-“.
3. If those suffering in this life are being punished for deeds in a previous life, then why show any compassion to help the downtrodden and needy? Are we not just tinkering with their karma and delaying their punishment to a further life?
Because part of the schtick for being reincarnated into a higher form calls for treating others around you, especially the less fortunate, better? It’s not about lower forms of life being punished, it’s about you getting ahead.
4. If evil is not real, then how did the illusion begin? Why is it so universal? And why does it seem so real?
Evil is a human perception. It’s true in Hinduism, just as it is in Christianity. There is no actual evil anywhere.
5. If we must undergo a changing process of enlightenment to discover we are one with the Absolute, then how can we be the Absolute since it is unchanging and never underwent such a process?
There is no reason to believe in the Absolute, just like there’s no reason to believe in God. These questions are really moot since the assertions that underlie them are empty. What our Christian here doesn’t recognize is that his own religious assumptions have no more basis in reality than the assumptions by the Hindu or the Buddhist or any other religious group.
I wish that once, just once, theists would turn the questions back on themselves or look at it from a different perspective because it’s painfully clear that none of them do. They believe what they believe, it’s beyond reproach, even though the very existence of these questions should tell them that something is wrong with their beliefs. They assume, without evidence, that what they believe is absolutely true, then tell other religions who have the exact same assumptions that they are wrong.
What the hell is wrong with these people?