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25 questions

Posted by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM
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(from another group)

  1. The question “Why is there something rather than nothing” presupposes “nothing” as being the normal state of affairs. Why believe that? Why can’t we flip the question on its head? In other words, why can’t it be the case that the normal state of affairs is for things to actually exist and nothingness itself would be weird? (HT: Thy Kingdom Come (Undone))
  2. Given that the universe has a finite age, why did the universe begin with time rather than in time?
  3. Why is so much of our universe intelligible without any appeal to supernatural agency? Why does the history of science contains numerous examples of naturalistic explanations replacing supernatural ones and no examples of supernatural explanations replacing naturalistic ones?
  4. Why is the physical universe so unimaginably large?
  5. If you believe that visual beauty is evidence of God, why isn’t the universe saturated with auditory, tactile, or other non-visual types of sensory beauty?
  6. If you believe the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life, why isn’t our universe teeming with life, including life much more impressive than human life?
  7. Why would God use biological evolution as a method for creation? Do you have any answer that is independent of the scientific evidence for evolution?
  8. Why would God desire to create embodied moral agents, as opposed to unembodied minds (such as souls, spirits, or ghosts)? Why is the human mind dependent on the physical brain?
  9. Did Australopithecus have a soul? What about homo habilis? Homo erectus? Neanderthals? Why or why not? (HT: Keith Parsons)
  10. How do souls interact with physical matter? Do you have any answer that is not tantamount to “I don’t know?” (HT: Keith Parsons)
  11. If you believe humans have free will, why would humans have free will if God exists? Why are we able to exercise free will in some situations but not others?
  12. Why are pain and pleasure so connected to the biological goals of survival and reproduction, but morally random? Is there some greater good that logically requires (or logically requires risking) that suffering be used to motivate animals to pursue the biological goal of self-preservation? Does some moral end make it desierable for suffering to continue even when it serves no biological purpose? For example, why do sentient beings, including animals which are not moral agents, experience pain or pleasure that we do not know to be biologically useful?
  13. Why do only a fraction of living things, including the majority of sentient beings, thrive? In other words, why do very few living things have an adequate supply of food and water, are able to reproduce, avoid predators, and remain healthy? Why would God create a world in which all sentient beings savagely compete with one another for survival? Why do an even smaller fraction of organisms thrive for most of their lives? Why do almost no organisms thrive for all of their lives?
  14. Why is there social evil, i.e., instances of pain or suffering that results from the game-theoretic interactions of many individuals?
  15. Why does God allow horrific suffering (and relatively little glorious pleasure)?
  16. Why does horrific suffering often destroy a person, at least psychologically, and prevent them from growing morally, spiritually, and intellectually?
  17. Why is there nonculpable (reasonable) nonbelief in God? Why are there former believers, i.e., people who, from the perspective of theism, were on the right path when they lost belief? Why are there so many people who gave their lives to God only to discover there is no God? Why are there lifelong seekers? Why are there converts to nontheistic religions and especially nonresistant believers who arrive as a result of honest inquiry at nontheistic experiences and beliefs? Why are there isolated nontheists, i.e., people who have never so much as had the idea of God?
  18. Why do some believers feel there is evidence for God’s existence on which they may rely, but in which God is not felt as directly present to her experience, and may indeed feel absent?
  19. Why are there such striking geographic differences in the incidence of theistic belief? Why does
    theistic belief vary dramatically with cultural and national boundaries? For example, why does a population of millions of non-theists persist in Thailand but not in Saudi Arabia? And why has the global incidence of theistic belief varied dramatically over time, i.e., during the existence of the human species?
  20. Why do only some people have religious experiences? In particular, why is it that most of the people who do have religious experiences almost always have a prior belief in God or extensive exposure to a theistic religion?
  21. For those people who do have religious experiences, why do they pursue a variety of radically different religious paths, none of which bears abundantly more moral fruit than all of the others?
  22. Why do so many people report not experiencing God’s comforting presence in the face of tragedies?
  23. Why does the the relatively new discipline of cognitive science of religion support the claim that we have a Hyperactive Agency Detection Device (HADD), which causes human beings to naturally form beliefs about invisible agents? Considering HADD’s poor track record of producing true beliefs about invisible agents in general, why should we trust it when it produces a belief about one invisible agent, the God of theism?
  24. Why does God allow such confusion or disagreement among people, including theists, about what is morally good or bad and morally right or wrong?
  25. Why should we believe that, of the innumerable deities worshipped by human beings over the ages, yours is the one that really exists? Why believe in Yahweh rather than Zeus, Odin, Marduk, Ishtar, Osiris, Quetzalcoatl, Madame Pele, Ahura-Mazda, etc., etc., etc.? (HT: Keith Parsons)
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM
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by Group Owner on Feb. 1, 2013 at 6:05 PM
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(and answer to them from a Mom in that group, with her permission)

5&6 - our knowlege of the universe is limited, as is our ability to explore it so how do we know it isn't?

7 - He didn't use evolution at all.  scripture says He created everything in 7 days.  thats 24 hour days, not billions of years.  some have tried to make the THEORY of evolution (emphasis on theory as there is no hard proof for MACRO evolution only MICRO evolution AKA adaptation) fit in with creation but thats not what scripture says.  scripture says the Lord formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed HIS life into him and then woman was formed from man's rib (note that they were to be partners, nothing in Genesis says that from the begining woman was to be less than man)

8 - we aren't as we were originally meant to be.  we can only guess at what the human body was able to do before Adam and Eve sinned.  we currently only use 10% of our brains, maybe they used 100% and maybe that meant they were dependent on a physical brain.  just as our knowledge of the universe is limited, so is our knowledge of the begining of time.

9 - these so called "missing links" aren't really so. see

11 - we have free will because God does not want robots for children.  do you want your child to freely say "I love you and I want to do this for you" or to do it because they have no choice?

12 - there is pain with childbirth because Eve sinned.  if she had not sinned there would be no pain

13-16 because there is sin in the world.  it was never intended to be like this.  if there was no sin, these things wouldn't exist.  why doesn't God stop it?  because of free will.  if He took away our free will He'd be a dictator, He'd be no better than a rapist.  He will act when the time is right and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  the only reason He's waiting is to give as many people time to come to know Him as possible.

17 - this has many reason.  in some cases they never truly gave their heart to God, never experienced His presence so the faith never took root, in others it took root but there was no growth so it kind of withered away because they had no one alongside to help them grow.  some simply fall away.  something happens and they sort of shut down, they start building a wall and God won't go where He's not wanted.  they may have truly believed but decided to shut him out.

19 - "Rom_1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"  this verse is saying that even without contact with another human being, a person can look at the things God has made and from that come to know Him.  God gives EVERYONE ample chance to know Him.  not one person dies without an opportunity no matter how remote their location.

20 - not everyone does.  I'm a believer and I never had a "religious experience" and you will find plenty who have had one without a prior belief in God or extensive exposure.  this statement is faulty, likely based on very limited exposure.

21 - God leads everyone on different paths.  each person is unique so why should the path they follow the exactly the same?

22 - in some (not all) cases its because they don't truly know Him.  in others they simply aren't seeking Him.  in others the pain is simply so great it overwhelms everything else because they aren't open to feeling anything else.

23 - don't trust it, trust only scripture and not man's words

24 - this goes back to free will.

25 - there is much evidence that has come up to support the bible.  secular mentions of Joseph (OT) in archelogial finds. the writings of Josepheus, a secular writer, that support scripture. there are even things in scripture that science has confirmed that didn't used to be the scientific truth.  bible says the earth is round when science used to say it was flat (IS. 40:22), bible says light moves when science used to say it was fixed in place (job 38:19-20), scripture says air has weight when science used to say it was weightless (job 28:25), scripture says blood is the source of life and health when science used to bleed people to try and make them well (leveticus 17:11), scripture even says hands should be washed in running water when dealing with disease long before it was common practice (lev. 15:13).  there are others but this is long enough already.  so the reason we should believe is because scripture has always been right, not just about science but about its what its said will happen (sme of it just hasn't happened yet).  science has not always been right, it changes with discoveries and what other religions have said will happen hasn't always happened.

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