Thursday, September 28, 2006

Questionnaire for Christians

(Originally from: http://gssq.entori.net/writings/religion/questionnaire.htm)

Seminal questions to ask Christians across the spectrum, and not just fundies:

 

1) Do you believe that the bible is literally true?

If so, how do you explain its internal contradictions (2 creation accounts in Genesis, 2 genealogies of Jesus - one cannot be of Joseph since he wasn't the father, Jesus' parents not knowing why he stayed in Jerusalem's temple when he was 12 [Luke 2: 42-50]) and historical inaccuracies (no evidence of the flood, no town of Nazareth in the 1st century BC, no record of Herod's slaughter of the infants)?

If not - how do you know which parts are false, which parts must be 'interpreted' and which parts must be taken in 'context'? Can 'context' ever justify acts of misogyny, evil and genocide (Timothy, the Flood, Joshua & Numbers)? If some parts are false, how do you know others aren't as well?

Who's to say that your particular 'interpretation' is correct; with sufficient 'interpretation' anyone can make the Bible say anything they like? If you interpret it according to your god-given religious and ethical sense and instincts, doesn't the fact that everyone has different instincts and senses mean that it is everything to all people? In which case it loses meaning and significance.


2) Do you think all non-Christians/those not of your specific denomination go to hell? If so, how is it just or fair to condemn billions of innocents to hell for all eternity just because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time? What if you were wrong and, when you died, you went to the Islamic hell? What would you say to Allah?


3) Do you believe that your god is the ultimate arbiter of morality, yet is supremely good? If so, didn't he merely define himself as good, making a mockery of the concepts of morality and goodness? If one defines morality, wouldn't he be amoral rather than supremely good? If it is impossible for your god to not be good, how does the concept of 'good' have any meaning?

To wit: If your god commanded you to kill, rape, pillage and commit genocide (cf the Midanites), would he still be considered good? How would you know that you were under a good god? And if your god were incapable of doing anything evil, would he not have lost his omnipotence?


4) Do you think your mythology unique? If so, why are so many elements shared with previous religions? (Salvation: Mystery pagan religions - Osiris, Eleusinian mysteries, Alleged virgin births of god-men: Romulus, Augustus, Dionysus, Perseus, Baptism: Mithraic mysteries, ablutions, Miracles: Asclepius raising the dead, Resurrection: Dionysius, Osiris)

If you lived in China, could you "invent" chopsticks?


5) Have you ever communicated with, or felt your god or his presence? If so, how would you distinguish your experiences from similar mystical experiences in other religions, people on an acid trip, those who believe they've been abducted by aliens or those who hear voices in their heads claiming to be gods telling them to kill other people?

Deanna Laney, a Texan mother, thought God told her to kill her children, like Abraham and Isaac. The court did not accept her argument. Would you?


6) How does your faith in your religion differ from that of others in theirs? If it is the same, who's to say which religions are correct?

Put another way, if Hermes, the divine Messenger of the Gods, appeared to you with his winged sandals, broad-brimmed hat and Caduceus and told you that you had been chosen to rescue a princess (or prince, if you like) in distress, what would your reaction be?

Would you expect someone from another religion to have a different reaction if the Angel Gabriel appeared to him?


7) If Christianity is such a good religion, why has so much evil been done in its name; why has it failed to rein in all this evil? If the evil was done only by evil or confused people in Christianity's name - despite their faith, wouldn't the same logic apply for the good it has supposedly encouraged?

5 Comments:

Anonymous drun said...

hello agooga,
any answer to the questions you have posted would not really have any validity in convincing or justifying itself because after all when it is a matter of subjective opinion, EVERYTHING is justifiable on subjective terms. This includes yours and the opinion of the faith in question. Nothing really fruitful can come out of these discussions especially when justifications are demanded. Then accusations of fallacy of logic and arguments fly because the engagement is made on biased confrontational grounds. There's no fruitful exchange but just a matter of who wins by getting the last say.

When you bring Christianity or any belief or faith in to the realm of opinions, there can only be at most, a conclusion of a matter of your or my opinion. There can be no real room for justifications or proof because each justification made by each side has its line of thought derived from a logic based on its own respective set of beliefs.
So when you try to force a certain faith to fit into the perameters of what you consider valid in your judgments and they dont fit, how is it fair to accuse or ask for justification from that faith ? Because in the first place, when that faith started out, it does not seek (nor ist here any reason) to accomodate or make itself sensible to its hearers based on their parameters of what is acceptable. It presents itself simply as it is with its own convictions. So, whatever else that is built upon that faith must be and can only be understood from a position of an acceptance of that faith first or else it would just be a matter of opinion.

i.e. to say you can voice your opinion of the faith but you cannot demand justifications of that faith within the parameters of what you deem sensible and reasonable. they would not be valid.

just like you would resist what you deem to be fallacy in that faith, that faith would also do the same (resist) to your system of beliefs. That being the case, the most you can say is a neutral statement that, this so and so faith has these convictions (no matter how foolish u deem it to be) based on its system of logic and you yourself have these set of beliefs based on this set of convictions (means, to have an opinion that cannot amount to demand for justification of that faith from that faith.)

Apart from that, it would just amount to provocation from a biased unneutral ground.

Monday, October 16, 2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

I believe that the earth is flat.

Monday, October 16, 2006 7:46:00 PM  
Anonymous drun said...

That is precisely the point that you're making abt faith which is not valid.
You assume the Christian faith to be that of 'it is so because i believe it to be so'. but that is blind faith. Judging the faith to be like that, you would reason and question aspects of that faith with that assumption that it is a blind faith.

Maybe the reasons you would think as such, would be because of 'it is so because i believe it to be so' believers. if the christian faith was to be that type of faith which is totally nonsensical, delusional self-conjured reality, wouldn't it be a waste of time to demand justification from obvious nonsense?

if pigs dont fly, obviously to demand justification from a flying pig believer would be jus to provoke him to defend what you've judged to be nonsense. but in any case, what would be the purpose of such a provocation? Definitely its not a quest for truth because you have decided what is the truth you would believe. Unless you are concerned for the flying pig believer's welfare that his belief is detrimental to his well being and you want to save him from a life threatening delusion?

And you definitely cannot say you believe the world is flat and genuinely mean it cos you dont. because in this context, it's just an attempt to elicit a demand for justification through provocation, trying to make the reader (me in this case) assume your same position.

if a person genuinely believes the world is flat when the world is actually round, and if he was really wanting to know the truth, he wouldn't be asking for justifications to prove his opinion. he would be seeking every evidence against his opinion to test and expose it. so that after being exposed he finnaly sees whether his opinion is fundamentally true or not.

So, basically at the heart of your questions, there is no real interest or desire in wanting to know what's at the heart of the christian faith. it's not as if that if every question was answered reasonably (even if it is according to your parameters of what is acceptable), you would be ready to accept it. You would be still be asking more questions to justify your rejection of it.

so, you've assumed a position of rejection of the Christian faith and demanding justifications for it. That's not seeking for truth. That's called stirring an argument.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

If a person genuinely believed that the world was flat or round, he would not be daily seeking every evidence against his opinion to test and expose it.

To relentlessly question every day what you have already found out for yourself is not intellectual honesty, but a waste of time.

The reason why there is no real interest or desire in wanting to know what's at the heart of the christian faith is the same reason why I've no real interest or desire in wanting to know what's at the heart of Scientology - I have already reviewed the evidence for myself and made my decision. I do not have to make it anew each day.

Do Christians question their faith daily? I think not. They have already decided for themselves that it is true. So your criticism, at the very very very least, would apply to both sides.

They assume a position of acceptance of the Christian faith and demanding justifications for it. That's not seeking for truth. That's called stirring an argument. Or evangelism.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 2:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son at age nine still had a hole in his palate after 6 cleft surgeries. He went down to be prayed for in a pentecostal revival.
His palate closed in abour a week. Our family
doctor asked when he had had another surgery. No longer did food like ice cream
trickle out his nose, and he quit having ear
aches. He is 50 years old now, and he can never question whether there is a God.



His dad was injured in football in jr. hi. He
began having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. He was prayed for a lot of times woth no results until a medical doctor, who had been healed of heart trouble, prayed for him. That was 38 years ago--I know because I was pregnant with our daughter who is 38.
He never had any more seizures, and immedistely went off meds.
I was raised in a liberal church and was told that the age of miracles was over. I know better now.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 8:51:00 AM  

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