Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – questions posed to an atheist

As I am wont to do, I was roaming about wordpress looking for silly claims about atheists by theists.  While chatting with his son about another blog post, I found this list of questions by a pastor that has his church not too far from where I grew up.    So I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Most of what he thinks are great questions are the same old ones you’ve seen me address before on this blog.   This is such a collection of them, I figured it could give folks a “one-stop shop” in seeing them.

These were addressed to another atheist and supposedly that atheist never returned to answer Bill’s questions.  So here we go!

1) Why should I put my trust in you and your philosophy for my future and eternal destiny? Jesus Christ has far more credibility than anyone else. His words have greater wisdom and hope than any other philosophy and what it ultimately offers.

I’m not asking you to trust me.  Trust has nothing to do with it.  You’ll die and be recycled in this universe.  It seems that the main reason you believe is that you are afraid of death, nothing more.  And the idea of do unto others has been around far longer than your particular religion, so we’ve already got that as a philosophy without your or any version of Christianity.  In that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese seems to have got the idea earlier than you, should we follow those religions?  You have nothing to back up your claim that JC is more credible than anyone else.  You can’t even show that this magical being exists. 

2) When I am dying, what hope will you offer me? 

Why do you need hope when you are dying?   Fear of death is likely the reason that humans invented gods and religions.   If you hope to get well, the cures and therapies invented/discovered by the sciences that show that evolutionary theory and the Big Bang Theory are true, might help.  Your religion makes promises but there is nothing that shows those promises are true.  No heaven, no hell, no Chistians able to heal as promised.  My hope when I’m dying will be that I did my best while alive helping others and enjoying myself.  

3) What great accomplishment(s) do you claim to have done (fulfilled prophecy, miracles, resurrection, other feats and accomplishments) so I can examine the

evidence to see if your belief system has merit? 

I don’t need to do miracles to point out that being compassionate, etc has merit.  It can stand on its own.   However, you do need to do some miracles, since your bible claims that any baptized person who has accepted JC as savior will be able to do what he did. 

4) Why is it so important to you that I (and others) do not believe in Jesus Christ?

Because religion causes people to harm others, mostly because religion tries to claim that some people are “better” than others.   Humans make up religion and their gods in their image, and they want to claim a magical being validates their actions, no matter how heinous they are.

 5) What positive effects will atheism have on my life and eternity?

 Not much.  You might stop wasting time and resources on something that doesn’t exist and cease being frightened of hell and the devil.  Atheism won’t have any negative effects either.   It’s just not believing in imaginary beings because there is no evidence for them.

 6) Why do the fossil records reveal fully-formed creatures, but no transitional forms? Where is the socalled“missing link”?

 There’s the willful ignorance I have come to expect from your type of Christian.  We have plenty of transitional forms (four of some of the most obvious here).   You should stop listening to creationists.  I know it’s hard to realize that your fellow Christians will lie to you.  Before attacking evolutionary theory and paleontology, you should actually know what you are attacking rather than some creationist strawman.  Here is a good place to learn about evolutionary theory.   

7) How can you reasonably explain the awesome complexity of the universe and our DNA without a Creator? And how can life originate from non-life? Everywhere you look, if you just open your eyes, the marvels of creation proclaim an Intelligent Designer.

Physical laws are all that are needed to explain the universe and our DNA.  No god needed for the physical laws may be just as “eternal” as your god.  We don’t known how life arose YET, so your question depends on no one ever finding out anything new.   We might never quite figure it out, but again that doesn’t mean that a god of any type was involved.   And why can’t it be another god or a group of gods to do the universe?  You want to claim that your god is the only one possible but you have no more evidence than any other religion. 

There’s also a problem with claiming that “creation” is evidence of a intelligent designer.  What benevolent god needs to create worms that infest people’s eyes?  I suspect you might try the “fallen world” excuse, but that makes claiming the universe “marvelous” a bit difficult if it is not what this god intended. 

8) How could this planet be so ideally suited to support life(correct distance from the sun, right mixture of nitrogen and oxygen in its atmosphere, proper temperature, tilt of the earth, rotation speed, and so on) by mere accident or chance? An IntelligentDesigner is a more plausible explanation.

So, is it more plausible to assume that Allah was the creator or say, Vishnu or Ra?   You see you only want your version of your god accepted.    As for your “perfect” planet, we are well evolved for it, but we can’t live on the vast majority of this planet.  You also try to make the “accident” claim; that fails since this universe is not some random place.  Things happen because of the physical laws.  We also don’t know how far the tilt of the earth, rotation speed, etc can vary and still have life.  It can evidently vary quite a bit since the orbit of the earth varies by 3 million miles.   We have a sun that can cause havoc on earth, we have asteroids that can come and hit the earth causing destruction.  Not a nice place.  

9) You were quick to point out the evil done in Jesus’name by wicked people (those who obviously ignoredor distorted His teaching and example)? Jesus warned about those who would use His name and pervert the truth (e.g. Matthew 7:22, 23; 24:5). So why should I reject Christianity when your comments confirm its accuracy? besides, what about the tremendous good that has been and is being done in His name by His true followers?

The bible makes claims about what “true followers” can do and no Christian shows these abilities.  So, we are left with you not being what you claim.  Each sect claims that only they are the “true followers”, and that everyone but them has “perverted the truth”.   If you think that someone speaking out against your religion is some prophecy fulfilled, that was done a very long time ago and still continues.  So there is a problem with your claim:  either this is not a prophecy, or it is and the rest of it never has come true for thousands of years.  That doesn’t work very well with your claims of when the “end times” will come

10) What about the atrocities perpetrated on humanity in the name of atheistic worldviews such as Communism?

Communism isn’t an “atheistic worldview”.  Jesus is a good example of a communist.  The idea was corrupted by Stalin, who was likely an atheist, and was definitely a megalomaniac.  Hitler was a Christian (read Mein Kampf) and did horrible things too, and was a megalomaniac.  Pol Pot was a megalomaniac.  Do you see what is similar about them?  Not what they believed in, but how crazy they were. 

 11) Most people who renounce their faith in Jesus Christ (as you profess to have done) do so because they are angry at God about something, disappointed a prayer was not answered and God did not give them what they requested, or they want to live a lifestyle contrary to His Word. Which of these are true in your case? If you ever really knew Him, I doubt you would ever reject Him. 

Wow, that’s quite a loaded question.  False claims, and then an attempt to force someone to answer the way you want them to in order to support your fantasy.  I’m an atheist for none of the above bits of nonsense.  I am an atheist because there is no evidence for any version of the Christian god or any gods.  You also try to “but no true Christian would ever cease being a Christian” nonsense e.g. the “no true scotsman” fallacy.  I can reject Jesus just like I rejected the belief in any thing that has no evidence for it: reptiloid aliens, Santa Claus, etc. 

12) What is the purpose of life if there is no Creator? Life without God is virtually meaningless and hopeless. The words of your letter clearly convey that emptiness.

One could ask you what purpose is there in your life because you don’t worship “x” god.  What purpose of life is there *with* your god?  Christians don’t agree, so it seems that there is no reason to believe you.  My purpose is created by me, no god needed.  You wish to hope that atheists are “empty” but happily we are not.  We are just like everyone else, getting meaning and purpose from our family, our friends, our work, etc.   

13) You want “skin on bones” proof for miracles. How about Israel? What nation or people have ever been removed from their country and lost their national identity and then returned as a nation?

Israel is no miracle.   There have been Jews in the eastern Med for a very long time, because they never left.   There was no “exodus”, these people were just the same tribes that they claimed that they exterminated.   There were at least two nations of those who identified with worshipping the Jewish god, and they spread out as people do.   Christians did a lovely job of hating and attacking them throughout history, and it culminated in WWII and the Holocaust.   A very poor idea was formed to create a state for Jews in an area that was already occupied by other people, and we have the constant warfare we know today.  Most modern Israelis aren’t religious and those who are the most religious are the most disruptive.  It’s also pathetic to watch Christians only caring about Israel because they need it to be destroyed for their sadistic fantasies to come true. 

14) What about the incredible accuracy of Bible prophecy? Have you considered the amazing fulfillment of messianic prophecies? How about end time prophecies (recorded 2,000 years ago) that seem as though they were taken from the headlines of today’s newspapers?

So you want me to believe that there hasn’t always been wars and rumors of wars earthquakes, disease, etc when you prate about how “accurate” the bible is?   Christians like you have been making the exact same claims for the last two thousand plus years and failing.  I got to hear such nonsense in 1999 from my brother’s mother-in-law who is an evangelical pastor.  She went to the lengths of buying a farm and putting bass in the swimming pool for the “tribulation” or whatever version she spews since Christians can’t agree on how that’s supposed to work out either.  Funny how she was completely wrong.   

15) What about the Bible’s amazing historical, scientific, and health insights? The Bible mentions historically verifiable facts, supported by thousands of archaeological discoveries. It also provides scientific data that has inspired countless scientists to make amazing discoveries, and its health and dietary information are endorsed by nutritionists and health practitioners worldwide.

How could such an ancient document contain such accurate and amazing information?

How?  It doesn’t and Christians like you depend on people believing your lies and being ignorant about reality.    Many bronze/iron age myths contain historical people and places.  That doesn’t make them true.  Athena and Poseidon contested in the city now called Athens to get it named after them.  Archaeology has shown that the bible is wrong: no exodus, no great palaces and temples, no battles of hundreds of thousands, no tower of babel, etc.  Contemporary literature completely missed the whole sky darkening, and the dead walking around.  Geology has shown that there was no magic flood, nor any earthquake during the supposed cruxifiction.  The bible claims that bird blood will cure leprosy, claims that menstrual blood has something dangerous about it, hailstones are stored in magical warehouses, claims that water could have covered mountains tens of thousands of feet high, etc. All completely wrong. Now just imagine if this god gave the germ theory of disease, how many people would not have died?   But it didn’t. Imagine if this god told people about anesthesia?  This god was as ignorant as the people who invented it.   The bible does not provide scientific data nor data of any kind except for the strange beliefs of a small group of people in the Palestine area.  I’ve read the bible and I know you are shoveling a lot of nonsense.  Humans have done the hard work. 

 16) Many miraculous occurrences have happened in my life that defy any reasonable explanation except that of supernatural intervention. They are recorded

in my Impossible records and documented by many eyewitnesses. How many do you want me to share before you admit they cannot be refuted as mere coincidence?

People of all faiths have claimed miracles just like you, Bill.  Why do you disbelieve them?  I suspect for the same reasons I do: no credible evidence.  But please do share your claims of miracles.   I will be happy to take a look and then compare them with your evidence.  I also would like to know what miracles you have done since the bible says that true Christians can.  How many cancer wards have you cleared out?  Amputated limbs that you restored? 

17) Have you read any books by former skeptics and atheists who initially set out to refute Christianity but the undeniable evidence they uncovered brought

them to faith in Jesus? Volumes have been written to share the overwhelming evidence to support the biblical claims of Jesus Christ. Countless books (many

by former skeptics) throughout history attest to the changed lives of those who came to know Jesus Christ in a personal and real way.

Countless books?  No, not even remotely that many, and why you feel you need to lie about that is not a mystery.  I have read a few, including Lee Strobel.   He claims to have been an atheist.  That may be true or not.  He also considers that since there are mentions of Christians in ancient texts, that means his religion is true.  Now, if this is to be accepted, then all gods are as real as your god if believers are to be considered “evidence”.   And changed lives also don’t mean that something is true.  The idiots who followed Heaven’s Gate or Jim Jones certainly had a change in their lives and they believed a lie.

18) I have met some of the most amazing scientists in the world today. Many of them are convinced of the credibility of the Genesis account of creation. They have told me it is bias, not facts, that prevent many evolutionary scientists from believing (or acknowledging their belief) in Intelligent Design. Do you deny the Genesis account because of evidence or bias? Be honest with yourself and do a fair and

unbiased investigation. Maybe God seems to hide and conceal Himself from His creation so that those who really want to know Him must search for Him with

all their hearts.

And notice that you can’t give one single name of these “most amazing scientists” that supposedly agree with you, Bill.   All you are trying to do is appeal to authority, and there is no authority to appeal to.  The lists of “scientists” on creationist sites are very funny to read.  There is no facts showing that the two conflicting stories in Genesis have any reality to them at all.   There is nothing to show that stars are just little lights in the sky like Genesis claims, nothing to show that the moon shines with its own light, nothing to show that modern animals magically showed up, and Christians themselves can’t even agree if Genesis is true or not or what parts might be true or how to interpret the whole mess.  We also have to wonder where the heck the other people came from when Cain went to cities, and just how much incest went on with Eve and the boys, when this god supposedly only made two people. Your creation myth is no better or worse than others, and has the same evidence for its being real: none.  And it’s no surprise that you want to claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with you simply has to be “biased” and “unfair”.   As for your god hiding itself, why?   Doesn’t it want every last lost sheep to be found?  The shepherd doesn’t hide from the sheep.  But its convenient to say that your god is hiding since it does nothing at all.

 

19) Our world is filled with tragedy, injustice, pain, and suffering. And at times we wonder, “How could a loving God allow this?” It is true my little brother’s body was broken, bruised, and battered by a speeding car. But God turned that tragedy into a tremendous triumph as He used it to bring myself and all of my family to salvation and make me into the man of God I am today. After almost 40 years of serving Him,

I can assure you that He is a faithful, loving, and merciful God who will one day restore this earth to a paradise, and wipe away all tears, pains, suffering, and

death from those who believe in Him. What is the end result of injustice, pain, suffering, and death from your evolutionary perspective?

Injustice, pain, suffering, death are from nature and often humans being idiots.  Now, if we want to go with your claim that your god is so wonderful and this world so marvelous, then it is responsible for all of the injustice, pain, suffering and death, because it evidently wanted things to be that way, or isn’t omnipotent and has to work with what it has.   Now, if this god couldn’t have “brought” you do it without causing pain, then it is either a sadist or impotent.   You claim that this god is “faithful loving and merciful”,  how does that work with children being mutilated with machetes, people dying from brain cancer,  people dying from starvation, etc?  Christians don’t suffer less than anyone else, so it seems your god is rather inept and lying when it comes to the promises of being cared for like the lilies and birds.  

20) I only have to have one genuine encounter with God to validate His existence. You have to cover the entire universe, not only in the physical dimension, but also the spiritual (since God is spirit) before you can honestly claim to prove His  nonexistence. When did you accomplish this feat?

Hmmm, so Bill, when did you search the multiverse to figure out that no other god but yours exists?  And how does it work that you can’t provide any evidence of this?  Christians like you don’t think through your questions very well.  Many theists have claimed genuine encounter with their gods.   Where is evidence that anyone has had one of these?  And why should anyone believe your claim with no evidence?  Now, since we know your god’s attributes from the bible, no one has to search the entire multiverse at all. It should be obvious right here, and surprise, it’s not.  You have to invent a new god to be hiding under a rock on Ceti Alpha V, and that isn’t the god you worship at all.   

21) What if you are right and I am wrong? I lose nothing and you gain virtually nothing. But what If I am right and you are wrong? I gain everything and you lose everything. What we see in His magnificent creation, although marred by the Fall, is not all we will get. He promised to restore this planet and universe to a “Garden of Eden” for which we have an eternity to enjoy.

Good ol’ Pascal’s Wager again with the usual thoughtlessness that many theists evince.  If your god doesn’t exist, then I lose nothing.  If your god doesn’t exist, then you’ve wasted time and resources that could have been used for helping people here and now.   If your god doesn’t exist and another one does, and it’s cranky, you’ve lost a lot.  You assume that only your god could or could not exist.  And if your god exists as you describe it in your own image, then I wouldn’t worship it anyway because it’s a horrible petty little thing.  Yep, I’d rather be in hell than worship such a nasty thing.  And that hell thing, funny how Christians don’t agree about that either.  As for returning the universe to something “marvelous”, hmmm, isn’t it marvelous now per your earlier claim?  

22) If the biblical accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are true, and you have rejected such a great salvation, what option does God have for you?

 Pascal’s wager again. And well, your god says that no one has a choice anyway to believe in it or not.  We’re damned because this god prevented people from accepting it.  That’s in Romans 9. 

23) I stake my eternal destiny on only One. Before Him and Him alone do I willingly bow my knee and surrender my life. What or who is god in your life? On what do you stake your life and eternal destiny? 

I don’t need a god of any kind in my life.  I know, I know, you’ll try to claim that I have to worship something because you think everyone has to be as needy as you.  Nope, don’t have to at all.  I stake my life on me, and my “eternal destiny”, well I don’t have one except as recycled elements until the universe ends or pops another big bang.   

24) When I compare what you and your philosophy have to offer, with the depth and riches of what Jesus Christ and His Word offer, there is no comparison. I

choose Jesus. There is so much more to share about the truth and reality of Jesus Christ and Scripture. But hopefully this is adequate to reveal my faith is not based upon fairy tales and mere speculation, but evidence I cannot deny. My faith may go beyond reason (because our Creator is unfathomable) but never against it. I hope you will truly ponder these questions and one day come to know the One who created you. Once you come to know Jesus Christ, you will never deny Him. I will close with the words of the apostle John who was one of Jesus’ disciples. The testimony of John’s life into old age, and his death, validated his claim that he truly was an eyewitness of the resurrection ––

John the apostle may not have existed, just like Jesus, and certainly didn’t write anything that we have.  The author of the Gospel of John contradicts the other gospels, so there is no reason to think that anyone was an eyewitness.  If a prosecuting attorney had four different stories on what happened, he wouldn’t believe any of them without evidence.  And all you have are stories, Bill.  There is plenty of comparison between the things that JC said and that were already said by other cultures and yes, your faith is based on myths and speculation just like every other religion.  You, like every other theist, claims that you have evidence you can’t deny, but won’t accept that same evidence from anyone else.  You want to claim you understand this god when convenient and that it is “unfathomable” when you want to pull the “mysterious ways” nonsense when your god is a nitwit. 

I was a Christian and then I realized it was nonsense and yep, plenty of people have done that so your claim of “never deny him” doesn’t work and all you have is, again, the “no true scotsman” argument like every other theist, all sure that no one can possibly disagree with you.  Your religion doesn’t answer “life’s questions” any more genuinely than any other religion that makes the same claims.   People still suffer, die, lose family, commit suicide, etc and these religions and gods do nothing at all.    

You try to claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is weak, biased, and foolish.  That’s a pity, but that’s all you have.  

You try to claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is weak, biased, and foolish.  That’s a pity, but that’s all you have.  All you did was accept a baseless claim by someone you trusted, and you liked the idea of having a best omnipotent being that agrees with you; faith in that is easy.   I did the same thing, and then when the claims of other believers and the bible failed, then I questioned.  

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15 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – questions posed to an atheist

  1. Well done, and with a lot more patience for this insulting set of loaded questions than I would have had.

    My only addition is my answer to #3 about what miracles we can show. My answer is “cellphones.”

  2. Nicely done. And to this point, Why do the fossil records reveal fully-formed creatures, but no transitional forms?, EVERY creature at EVERY moment is a transitional form. As you said, wilfull ignorance.

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