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Five questions for Christians

Megan Fox
Megan Fox
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Recently, I have been in a dialog with Stephen Drain, the Philadelphia Christian Perspectives Examiner. Together we decided that we would ask each other five questions. I will answer his and he will answer mine. Of course I welcome all of my Christian friends and even those who are less than friendly to answer in the comments section.

Picking the five questions is a challenge in and of itself, however. There are so many questions that come to mind and so many different kinds of Christians that I want to refrain from only focusing on a particular type of Christian. I could always stick with the classic questions that Christians have been trying to answer through various verbal gymnastics for hundreds and even thousands of years. For example, I could ask about the Problem of Evil or the Euthyphro dilemma.

No, I those questions are too intellectual. Asking those questions gives too much respect to such a ridiculous belief system in my opinion. While it is always important to respect people, it is not a necessity to respect people’s ridiculous ideas. I have often said that the Christian belief system has more plot holes than a Michael Bay film and so I think I will ask questions that will reflect that. To me, Christianity makes even less sense than a belief system based on Transformers 2, except without Megan Fox.

Question One: What does God need a starship? This question was originally asked by Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Of course we don’t have starships yet, but Christians often claim that God works through people. Why? Why does God need you? Isn’t he God?

Question Two: Is God a vampire? Twilight is all the rage these days, God and Edward even share something in common, besides not actually existing, they both crave blood. God used to require the blood sacrifice of animals (mainly goats and lambs) but now, he seems to have developed a taste for human/god blood. All of Christianity is based on God’s need for blood as the atonement for sin. I wonder if Christians have really thought about why blood is needed to atone for sin at all. How does that work exactly?

Question Three: What exactly did Jesus sacrifice? This is maybe a little more serious then my last questions, but it seems to me that if Jesus knew he was God, knew that he could not die, and knew that he would live forever at the right hand of God (or maybe as the right hand of God), then what was his sacrifice exactly? A few hours of pain and then three days of death is hardly a sacrifice. If anything, Judas was the one who made the real sacrifice. Not only did he go to Hell to be tortured for all eternity but he also got stuck with the bad rap. Everybody hates that dude. So isn’t Judas the real savoir in the story?

Question Four: Why the elaborate scheme? If God wants me to go to Heaven, why can’t he just make it happen? Yeah, I know the whole story about how humans screwed up by eating the apple (Fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) and that this created some sort of rift, blah blah blah. Bottom line is that God’s elaborate scheme to set everything right is wholly unnecessary. If he’s God, he can just make it happen. He wouldn’t even have to think about it. Poof, done.

Question Five: Couldn’t God have changed the laws of physics, logic, and reason so that we could have freewill and love him freely without contradiction? Sorry, I knew this would come up so I had to preempt your last answer with this question. It seems that Christians tend to think as mortals. That’s not a problem since we all are mortals, but can’t we use our imagination and put ourselves in God’s shoes for a moment. If you were all powerful, couldn’t you just change the laws of logic and reason to avoid the contradiction regarding freewill and free love? I guess this just leaves us back to the last question of, Why the elaborate scheme? I’ll give you a moment to edit your answer on that one if you need to.

Well, there are plenty more questions where those came from, but I told Stephen we would just keep it to five this time. I’ll have answered his questions. Here are my answers. If any of my fellow atheists take up the challenge to answering his questions, please remember to respect the person, but feel free to criticize any ridiculous ideas.

Please check out the Atheism 101 series for frequently asked topics

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Comments

  • Ben Tousey 3 years ago

    My question would be, what does god have against nudity? He created us nekked, so why did we have to put on clothes after the fall. Are we only allowed to be naked when we can't tell that we're naked. And they were both married so what was the problem?

    I also have an assertion: God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and Christians have been avoiding knowledge ever since.

  • Profile picture of David McCaine
    David McCaine 3 years ago

    God has nothing against nudity; as you stated, in HIs perfect setup God created man/woman nude and they were not ashamed. Once the fall happened, shame..fear...and all the negatives entered into the psyche of mankind. God clothed them because Adam & Eve became ashamed of their own situation and tried even to hide from God. Regarding the 2nd point; they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Your intellect has nothing to do with being impacted by evil. Adam was highly intellegent; he was able to name thousands of species of animals in hours. None of the Christians I associate with fear any knowledge...some are scientists.

  • Ben Tousey 3 years ago

    So David,

    So if Adam was intelligent, then why did he eat from the tree? That’s not very smart, is it? Why did god create mankind in the first place? That’s even less intelligent. God said, immediately after he created man… “It is not good.” So god knew better and yet he did it anyway.

    You’re going to have to prove to me that Adam was intelligent. Based on what I’ve read about him, he wasn’t that bright.

    As to your statement, “None of the Christians I associate with fear any knowledge...some are scientists…” then why are they fighting evolution, why are they fighting science, why do they still believe in the creation story in the first place. If they embraced knowledge, they would know that the creation story is a myth, that god never created two people, and that sin is a myth since we’re an evolved species. You’re friends don’t embrace knowledge, they hold on to superstition.

  • Steve in SA 3 years ago

    David,
    If the story of Adam and Eve were true, God telling them not to eat from the tree of knowledge would have been like a mother putting a cookie jar in front of her children and telling them not to eat a cookie.

    Adam and eve wouldn't have had any special knowledge back then, as it's taken centuries for us to learn all of what we know today and they would have effectively been just created (or born in terms similar to how we know them). They would be effectively as children, not even knowing the difference between good and evil, right and wrong.

    Now if you were to put cookies in front of a child like that and tell them not to eat any, how long do you think it would take that child to eat the cookie?

    Then your god not only admonishes his "children", but punishes them and their children on down the line (none of which even have an idea what the cookie even tasted like in the first place) with "eternal torture" if they don't each apologize for the eating of the cookie.

    That's a hell of a parent!

  • Profile picture of Sault
    Sault 3 years ago

    @David... please cite your source that says Adam was able to "name thousands of species of animals in hours." All I found was Genesis 2:20, and it didn't say anything about time. If that's the basis upon which you claim Adam was intelligent, it should be noted that an intelligent person should easily grasp the concepts of good and evil without God having to tell him.

    It's also worth noting that in that recent Pew research study, the people who knew the least about the Bible were the Evangelicals, Protestants, etc, ie, the 'born again'. If they can't be bothered to learn about God's Word, what does that say about their drive to learn, or even their fear of knowledge?

    What does it say about the populations who knew the most about the Bible - atheists, Jews, and Mormons?

  • Profile picture of Christus Veritas
    Christus Veritas 3 years ago

    BTW Rosch,

    Can you take down the Megan Kelly picture, she's a bit of a hottie and she distracts me from witnessing to you.

    Now where was I?

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    ???? Who's Megan Kelly?

  • Profile picture of Christus Veritas
    Christus Veritas 3 years ago

    Wow, I think that's the Fox News chick... I meant Megan Fox... I've got issues.

  • eddie 3 years ago

    If god has our lives planned from the day we are born ,he also planned for us to screw up . So where is the fairness in justifying hell ?
    He made us ,Planned our lives and screw-up then condems us .
    I JUST DON`T GET IT ???

  • Profile picture of David McCaine
    David McCaine 3 years ago

    God allows your free will; you still have to decide to accept the gift of salvation...God doesn't force you. All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory; and since the wages of sin is death, somebody has to pay for your rebellion. We condemn ourselves; God provides a way to have your punishment cancelled through what Jesus accomplished on the cross. It up to you to accept or reject God's salvation. It's not God's fault that people reject His gift; God opens the door but it's up to yu to walk through.

  • Ben Tousey 3 years ago

    Sorry David, I haven’t sinned. There was no command for me not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. That had nothing to do with me. Second, as an evolved species, there’s no ruler out there for me to fall short of. I, like the rest of humanity, am figuring it out as I go. The best that I can do is learn my lessons and share that wisdom with those around me… particularly the younger generation so that they can (hopefully) avoid my mistakes. That’s the way evolution works.

  • Profile picture of Sault
    Sault 3 years ago

    Eddie has the right of it. What is the point of being made, if we're made to be failures? Why create a race of cripples, of broken beings? If we are doomed to eternal punishment if we do not accept God's offer of salvation, then why is that offer not made clear, ie, why aren't we presented with a clear choice? What about the billions who have never had a choice - what of them?

    How can it be said that I condemn myself, if I don't have a choice, either in regards to accepting salvation or in being born into a state of sin?

  • steve 3 years ago

    david,

    it is logically impossible for original sin to be true. it is a paradox that exempts humans from culpability. if god gave us the knowledge of good and evil and then told us not to do something, we could then choose good or evil. if we only exist without knowledge of good or evil, then we are exercising an uniformed will. god says "don't do x"...and if we do "x", how are we to be judged. we have no way to know the consequence of our actions. this is how temporary insanity pleas work; only, adam probably wasn't insane.

    listen, free-will is not in having options, it is about being aware of options from which a choice can be made. in genesis, it is clear that god is NOT the giver of free-will. satan is. he made us aware of good and evil, and so now, choices can be made.

    genesis is the creation of bronze-age minds. it is believed literally today, by minds just as brightly illuminated. this is clear!

  • Diane 3 years ago

    Staks- That was great! Though it was serious, you peppered it with your humor, knowledge and insight related to some great movies. Can't wait to hear his response!

  • Profile picture of Simon Glume
    Simon Glume 3 years ago

    what does it sound like when doves cry?

  • Profile picture of David McCaine
    David McCaine 3 years ago

    HAR!!! You'll have to ask Prince about that one.

  • nate629 3 years ago

    "Adam was highly intellegent; he was able to name thousands of species of animals in hours. None of the Christians I associate with fear any knowledge...some are scientists."

    holy wow batman.

    you wonder why i argue incessantly w/ you steve. do you see what kind of ridiculousness your position is forced into?

    it seems to me that staks took some cheap shots at christianity in general[although i don't blame him], but when he finished his sarcasm he actually asked fair questions.

    i'd really just start w/ why are there so many christianities, if the god of the bible is revealed clearly[and needs to be,to save us from eternal damnation]? something seems out of place here, and staks alluded to it, then passed. or how about my other favorite? why is religion able to be broken down geographically if any are true? and i know, it's called indoctrination...but i want your christian gold medal in floor routine [or parallel bars for that matter]response.

    and you david...you're quite amusing, i had to quote you. golden. your gymnastics are superior, if only you were in a competition of 1.

    as there are plenty of atheists on this thread to dismantle you, i'm going to focus my comments on steves questions. really christians, at least the atheists already answered steve. you have yet to address the questions here. is that because it's not in the bible? just ask, WWJD?

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    1. Why does God need you?

    God doesn't NEED us. God needs nothing. However, God created us to glorify Him.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    Why does God NEED glorification?

  • Steve in SA 3 years ago

    To expand on Staks' question, if God created the entirety of the universe (billions of stars in each of billions of galaxies) of which our part is so inconsequential as to be meaningless, why would a being of such immense power be concerned with what we thought of him?

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    God doesn't NEED glorofication. However, everything that was created was created to glorify him. Including us.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    Why? You really haven't answered the question. Why does God "want" to be glorified? Shouldn't a God have everything it wants? It wouldn't have a want that isn't satisfied.

  • Ben Tousey 3 years ago

    This is why I think god is really gay. He needs to be worshiped and adored constantly. I dated a guy like that. After a while it just got exhausting. "You're beautiful, you're wonderful, you're gorgeous... now please get dressed or we're gonna be late."

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    Again, God does not NEED or WANT anything. He didn't create us because he NEEDS or WANTS us to glorify Him. The fact that He is God is why creation glorifies Him.

  • Steve in SA 3 years ago

    So if your god doesn't need or want glorification, why say he will send us to be tortured for all eternity if we don't glorify him?

  • steve 3 years ago

    [scott w]
    God created us to glorify Him.
    ...
    The fact that He is God is why creation glorifies Him
    [/scott w]

    so which is it, scott? "god created us to glorify him". why? it is either out of need or want, no? equally enlightened, "...is why creation glorifies him". really? are the rocks really crying out? or, do people worship him; and, only some. so then, logically, i can only surmise that god is not god.

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    2. Is God a vampire? I wonder if Christians have really thought about why blood is needed to atone for sin at all. How does that work exactly?

    No, God is not a vampire. Vampires need to drink blood (the life essence) to survive. God does not drink blood nor need it to survive. God requires blood for the forgiveness of sins because it is the essence of life. Our sin is so grievous that only something as valuable as life itself is enough to pay for our sins. Before Christ, that meant killing an animal that was part of the family like a dog or cat is today. When Christ came to Earth and died for all, we no longer were required to make animal sacrifices. We just need to accept His sacrifice as our redemption.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    "God requires blood"

    Isn't he God? Why would a God require anything? Besides, you still didn't answer the question, How does it work tha blood atones for wrongdoing? When someone steals, does the court order that they cut themselves to pay for what they stole?

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    Blood is the payment. No, a court wouldn't order someone to cut themsleves buecaus that is not the payment in our society. However, Gods price for sin is blood.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    Yeah, but my question is why? You have not answered that question. You also said that God "requires" blood. But if he is God, he wouldn't require anything.

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    You are confusing "require". The require I'm talking about is not a need but a request fo, a demand, an obligation. He requires (insist upon) blood to pay for my sins. Not because he needs blood because that is what is demanded obligation of us to pay for it. Again, God requires (needs) nothing. But we need to use blood to pay for our sin.

  • Steve in SA 3 years ago

    So your god requires blood be shed annually for each sinner, for redress against our sins, but can accept the blood of his son (who is also him, and who can't really die) on a one time basis as payment in full for all future sinners. How does this really make sense?

  • steve 3 years ago

    [scott w]
    Our sin is so grievous...
    [/scott w]

    wait...so not having the ability to know the consequence of our actions (not having been created with the knowledge of good and evil) and then not doing what god said, this is grievous? this is what the bible demands, i'm afraid.

    so scott, do premies go to heaven or hell? seriously. i want to know, because mentally, they are as aware of good and evil as adam was. have a picture of an infant in your mind when you decide how to answer...then tell me if god is just.

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    3. What exactly did Jesus sacrifice?

    Christ sacrificed his blood and life (as a human). And if you think crucifixion was just "A few hours of pain" you really should study what actually happens during a crucifixion. Christ did that willingly.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    We can argue about the time table of crusifiction, but that doesn't really address the issue. What exactly did Jesus sacrifice? his human life is hardly a sacrifice since he knew he would spend eternity in heaven afterward. What would you rather have, finite life on Earth with all the problems of society or infinite life in heaven in bliss sitting at the right hand of God? Sacrificing the first for the second isn't much of a sacrifice, is it?

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    Again, you are confusing words. A sacrifice is not giving up something valuable for something LESS valuable or for NOTHING. A sacrifice is the surrendering of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having GREATER value. Think about the term in baseball. You sacrifice an out to allow a player on base to score a run. The valuable out is given up to gain something of greater value (a run). That's what Christ did. He sacrificed His life and blood to gain our forgiveness. Lastly, a sacrifice is basically an offering. You offer up something for something else. That's what Christ did.

  • Profile picture of Sault
    Sault 3 years ago

    Yes, crucifixion is horrible. We get that. So what? A few hours, a few days, of suffering would be nothing to an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient being. Many of us would choose to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our loved ones, our children, our beliefs even (ie, Christians being fed to the lions). Is the quality of the sacrifice only dependent upon the cruelty of the execution? What about the man who works his whole life in a dead-end job so his kids can have a better life than he did? Can you tell me that's any less of a sacrifice than a few days on a cross?

    To repeat myself from elsewhere in this thread, if Jesus was fully God, then the sacrifice meant nothing, for the reason I just gave. If Jesus was fully Man, then how could Jesus perform miracles, or claim any degree of divinity or authority, or indeed, how could the doctrine of the Trinity be true? Men die, but God cannot. Jesus therefore must have had some degree of God present within him - how much? How much God can be present in you and still make you a legitimate sacrifice?

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    To add to this comment I will also point out that many people suffer far worse than a few hours or days of torture on a crucifix. Many people suffer for year with cancer, AIDS, and many other diseases and if they are not Christian, they apparently also spend eternity being tortured in Hell. I think their sacrifices are much more impressive than that of Jesus.

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    4. Why the elaborate scheme? If God wants me to go to Heaven, why can’t he just make it happen?

    That's just it; Christ is not an elaborate plan. His plan is very simple. Most religions require people to do all sorts of things to be forgiven. After Christ, all we need to do is believe and accept the gift of salvation. Nothing elaborate at all.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    That all depends on your cpmparison. Sure you could argue that it is a simple scheme compared to other religions (although I don't think that is really true), but not compared to an all powerful God. Like I said, God wouldn't even need to think about it. Poof, done. Anything more would be elaborate and wholly unnecessary. Plus, you failed to include the fine print.

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    If God chose to just "Poof Done" that doesn't allow for our free will to accept it or reject it. Remember, he gave use free will so to just forgive us doesn't allos us to choose.

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    I covered this with question 5.

  • Profile picture of Scott W
    Scott W 3 years ago

    5. Couldn’t God have changed the laws of physics, logic, and reason so that we could have freewill and love him freely without contradiction? If you were all powerful, couldn’t you just change the laws of logic and reason to avoid the contradiction regarding freewill and free love?

    Yes, God could change anything He wants but that leaves out free will. God could have created a world where people had no choice to sin, but that would have made use just robots, pre-programmed to do nothing on our own. But God allowed us to choose to believe or not believe in Him. Would you want a robot girlfriend or wife that loved you only because you programmed her to love you or would you want a real girlfriend or wife to love you because she chose to love you on her own?

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    Here I don't think you understood the question. Couldn't God change the laws of phyisics, logic, and reason so that we could have free will and be forced to worship him? You talk about robotic love not really being love, but that only makes sense in a world where the two are contradictory. God could have made such a world. So why the eleborte scheme?

  • Profile picture of michelle benjamin
    michelle benjamin 3 years ago

    Staks, you just contridicted yourself in your own question? when you have free will then you aren't forced. maybe you should rephrase your question. that's like asking If you are small why are you big?

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    I think you misunderstood the question. You are thinking like a mortal and I can't blame you for that since you are a mortal. But you are alleging that God isn't a mortal and is all-powerful. This means that he could change the law of contradiction so that it wouldn't be a contradiction at all. You are limiting your deity to logic.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    If you're so smart, why can't you spell?

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    lol, intelligence has no correlation with spelling. Besides, that's what spell-check is for.

  • Richard Halasz 3 years ago

    Hey Staks
    I hear this ridicule the belief/respect the person statement more often than I care to say.
    Why should I respect the pope?
    Do you respect the pope?

  • Profile picture of Staks Rosch
    Staks Rosch 3 years ago

    Sometimes you are correct Richard, but in the interest of this dialog, being disrespectful to the other person is not helpful nor is it appropriate.

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