Questions for God (with Answers!) April 3, 2008

Questions for God (with Answers!)

Here’s a long list of questions for God… along with answers that God’s followers have offered for them.

(Thanks to Emily for the link!)

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Viggo the Carpathian

    OK, this may not be very friendly but I got as far as number 6 and had to quit because the ignorance and stupidity was hip deep. There are no words for the depth and breadth of Juan’s almost encyclopedic ignorance, but the dude that answered number six, WTF? There should be limits to how far you are willing to rationalize. Rearranging entire geological eras should be beyond the pale…

  • Danielle

    My only question is… these people REALLY believe their own nonsense? Like REALLY REALLY????
    Or does a part of them know that they are full of it?
    WOW And I agree with Viggo….number 6 is just unbearable

  • Karen

    My only question is… these people REALLY believe their own nonsense? Like REALLY REALLY????

    Oh yeah. They really, really do. No question about it.

    What strikes me is that at heart, all the answers to logical people’s silly little questions boil down to one thing: Magic. God did it, he can do miracles, and so any rational objections or inquiries hold no water with believers. They just seem trivial when they believe in a god who can do magic.

  • Sarah H.

    It reminds me of a Simpsons episode where Lucy Lawless guest stars and when fans ask about inconsistencies in Xena, Warrior princess, she just says, “A wizard did it.”

    Whenever you point out inconsistencies in the Bible or in Christian teachings, you’ll more likely than not hear the answer “God works in mysterious ways” or some variation on it. This is simply the Christian version of “a wizard did it.”

  • vegatee


    OK, this may not be very friendly but I got as far as number 6 and had to quit because the ignorance and stupidity was hip deep. There are no words for the depth and breadth of Juan’s almost encyclopedic ignorance, but the dude that answered number six, WTF? There should be limits to how far you are willing to rationalize. Rearranging entire geological eras should be beyond the pale…

    That pretty much sums up what I was going to say.

  • Now I’m fully in support of the idea of having these questions answered, but I think Ethical Atheist has made a mockery of the entire thing. Yes, some of the answers are a bit silly and irrational, but so are a lot of the questions.

    I’m thinking about devising a new list where questions are approved by a community (to get rid of the idiotic ones), and would love people’s support in this:

    If you want an example of a stupid question: “Why do men and women have the same number of ribs if you stole one from Adam to make Eve?” Any person with a basic biology understanding can tell you the simple answer to that one…it’s the same reason why people who lose their hand don’t have one-handed children.

  • Richard Wade

    Have you ever been asked a question and some nincompoop steps in and answers it for you with some idiotic nincompoopery before you have a chance to answer the question with an intelligent, thoughtful answer? It’s infuriating.

    These questions were addressed to God, but some nincompoop is always stepping in to answer for him, re-confirming that he can’t answer for himself. They really can’t stand the silence that always follows a question directed to God. No, they have to quickly answer for him to distract us from his embarrassing absence and silence. He either can’t be bothered with our perfectly reasonable and respectful questions, he doesn’t know the answers or he’s just not there.

    The Guy in the Sky is the most impotent god ever conceived by man. He’s all knowing and all powerful but has to have nincompoops do all his talking for him, sweet-hearted folks do all his helpfulness for him and fruitcakes do all his dirtywork for him, such as killing anyone who opposes the local High Holy Nincompoop or even the Nincompope.

  • Kathryn

    Just too many grammatical mistakes. You don’t think you could have found some answers from people who actually speak English? Doesn’t really seem fair…

  • Jonas

    As for question three, my friend (also an atheist) told me of an explanation which he read online. According to his random source, all male mammals, with a few exceptions, have a bone located near/on/in their penis. One of the few exceptions to this bone is the humans. The Hebrew language did not have a word for this bone, and so they used the same word that, when translated, meant “rib.” Thus God took Adam’s “rib” (aka Penis Bone) out to make Eve. I cannot attest to this claim, as my friend found it on “some forum” on the internet. Even if it is false, it is still funny.

  • julie marie

    I read those questions and some of the answers, and felt sad. Not too many years ago, similar questions made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say, except “I’ve been taught…” I was irritated and angry that for all the time I’d studied and prayed and earnestly sought answers my responses to fair questions sounded silly even to me.

    Its a hard thing, being confronted with the inadequacies in your belief system. And that is all to easy to forget.

  • I’m not particularly interested in some clueless self appointed spokesperson’s deluded guesses about what God thinks (and now that I’ve finished talking about George Bush, I’m not interested in the same thing for the answers to questions directed to god).

    Why don’t they just shut up and let god answer?

  • Richard Wade

    Why don’t they just shut up and let god answer?

    Exactly. Let’s get lots of churchy folks up on top of a mountain somewhere, have them sign an agreement that they’ll keep their traps shut for an agreed amount of time, and then use a military public address system called “Giant Voice” which is so frikkin’ loud it can be heard for many miles, point it at the sky and ask some of these simple questions, maybe starting with


    Then we wait. Silently. For whatever we agreed on, five minutes? Ten? An hour? Two thousand years? The churchy folk won’t be able to keep their agreement to keep quiet for even five minutes. No, they won’t be able to not fill in the void with their own voices. The silence, which shouts out the reality louder than any megaphone ever could, is too scary for them.

    Ah, but then there will be the smart aleky one with the contrived blissful smile on his face, claiming that he “heard God’s voice in his heart.” Uh huh. What the rest of us hear is only his voice, breaking his agreement and saying the same claptrap we have heard before, always implying that he is somehow more special than those of us who have to listen to him relay the message. It’s always from human beings moving their mouths up and down.

  • Claire

    I’m curious, Adrian – what kind of difference do you think that more intelligent questions will make? I’ve seen questions asked intelligently, and answers from scholars (better written but just as unsatisfying), and it still just always comes back down to “god knows best, but don’t expect him to explain it”.

    Or, in other words, it’s just effing ineffable, or possibly, yes, a wizard did it.

    Actually, that link made me cringe, but not for the usual reason. These people are so clueless, so incapable of putting together two coherent thoughts, that it’s not pitiful in the modern derogatory sense, but instead in the old sense of evoking genuine pity, like pictures of refugee camps.

    Maybe apologetics should come with a warning label “for professional use only, do not try this at home”.

  • Clare,

    I don’t doubt that the answer to these more intelligent questions will be the same. My point was by asking stupid questions and joking around, we are proving nothing. In fact, we are making a mockery of the entire project. Have you noticed the amount of questions left unanswered? Many of them could be answered in a theist way (I used to be one so I can think of a few), but they are left unanswered. Is this because theists don’t know the answer or because they have been insulted by the ignorance and childishness displayed by the authors of the questions? I believe it is the latter.

  • Viggo the Carpathian

    I agree that this is all childish. There is a constant focus on this and other atheist sites (no offence to anyone) on the fallacy of religion. I think that this is well understood so why beat a dead horse? The simple fact is that atheism is, if you look at the word, an absence of something. An atheist can be any sort of person with any sort of interests, but to take the title atheist is to define oneself by the absence of faith. It is almost a self-insulting nod to the opposing viewpoint. This tends to lead to the behavior you see as childish. It is unintentional. I do not take the title atheist because I am uncomfortable with the word itself.
    I think that there should be less snarkyness (which is admittedly fun) and more promotion by word and deed of all that is good in humanity and let the world see it being done by secular people and organizations. Most religion is a parody of itself anyway. I think we should let them expose themselves; good satire not withstanding.

  • Emily

    I don’t think people are really getting the point. I don’t think the writer of the questions was asking a total of completely serious questions. Lighten up… enjoy the sarcasm of his questions to God.

  • Claire

    Emily, people are getting the point, they just aren’t liking the point.

    Two major schools of thought among atheists about how to interact with religious people:

    A) be unfailing polite to them so they see that we aren’t always angry and thereby encourage dialogue and gain a measure of acceptance, or else

    B) be vocal and don’t worry about offending, and eventually they will get used to hearing us and we will gain a measure of acceptance, much like the gay community did.

    People who belong to the first group ususally object to questions/sarcasm like this.

    Personally, I’m in the second group, it keeps my blood pressure lower 🙂

  • Sam

    You missed the point. Your blood pressure may be low, but are intelligent people “insulted by the ignorance and childishness displayed” by you? Or do you not care if your behavior is a “self-insulting nod to the opposing viewpoint”?

  • Chris

    I am not here to try to “bring you to the light” or convert the heathen, but I would simply like to pose this logical senario to the atheists.

    Assume that there is no God, as Atheists suppose. If I, as a non-Atheist, believe that God exists, then when I die, my body returns to the Earth and nothing else happens. No harm, no foul. I am not out anything for my belief, and neither is the Atheist.

    However, if you assume that God exists, let’s examine what happens. I believe God exists, and when I die eternal salvation awaits me. But, the Atheist, who denies His existance, eternal torment and damnation awaits. Simply because the atheist chose not to believe.

    It is as simple as that. It is logical to believe in God.

    God created mankind because He wanted willing followers. He already has beings that follow him innately: the angels. He gave Adam and Eve free will. They chose, with Satans persuading, to disobey God’s rules. Much like children disobey their parents, mankind was punished for this Original Sin. We were expelled from paradise and made to suffer. Our lives are spent in punishment. But, like a child that had spent two weeks in his room, grounded, We, if we follow God’s rules, will be let out of our room, and permitted to join our family in paradise.

    That is how I look at it. Whether you choose to open your eyes or not makes not difference to me. None of your negativity and bitterness will sway how I believe. Can someone answer me this? Why are atheists, by and large, so negative and angry? Feel free to email me with your answers.

    May God bless us all.

  • Dee

    Your claim that it is logical to believe in God rests on several assumptions, namely that heaven exists, that belief in God is necessary and sufficient to get into heaven, that hell exists, and that all those to do not believe in God go to hell. If the situation were different, or for instance if:
    – God exists but there is no heaven,
    – Atheists can get into heaven by doing good things,
    – Where you go after you die is already determined for you by God and nothing you do can change that,
    – More than one God exists, and you have to believe in the right one or else you go to hell,
    Then there is no logical reason to believe in any particular God. These are just a small selection of the huge number of possibilities for the after-life, each of which are equally probable, given that there is no evidence for any of them. Since I have no way of knowing what will happen to me after I die, I don’t worry about it! Instead, I focus on living my life in the best way that I can.

    Why are atheists, by and large, so negative and angry?

    I could ask why are Christians, by and large, so ignorant and defensive, but I would be guilty of making the same assumptions about people that you are making. I don’t actually think that all or even most Christians are ignorant and I hope that you don’t think that most Atheists are angry. In fact, what about the Friendly Atheist who writes this blog?

    One reason why an Atheist might be angry or negative is because they’ve got something to be angry about. For instance, when a presidential candidate claims that the Constitution needs to be changed to conform to the bible, I get angry because I could potentially have a president who does not respect the first amendment. And I will argue with anyone who claims our country is a Christian nation and I am less of an American because I do not share that particular religion.

    Feel free to email me as well, if you want to respond. My email is dejadee at gmail dot com.

  • Jacob Dink

    I don’t really like this project. It’s creating straw men out of intelligent believers with (almost sufficient) answers to these questions, who don’t waste their time on line.

    Actually, I bet Thomas Aquinas has a good deal of answers to some of these questions.

  • Claire

    Chris, what you are talking about is called Pascal’s wager, and it’s old as the hills, and it’s just not valid. Dee has already pointed out a few reasons why not, but there are tons more, and here’s one: you say if god doesn’t exist, then it’s a draw, no harm, no foul. That’s not true. If there is no god, then the christian has lived his whole life, the only life he will ever have, with a false belief system and a bad set of rules, and that’s a loss. The atheist, on the other hand, has lived his one and only life on his own terms and to the fullest, because he knows it’s all there will ever be, and that’s a win.

    Whether you choose to open your eyes or not makes not difference to me

    I could, and often do, say that same thing about you and your fellow theists. My eyes are open.

    Why are atheists, by and large, so negative and angry? Feel free to email me with your answers.

    Leaving aside your stereotypes, you didn’t give an email address, makes it just a little hard. I don’t need one anyway, because the best answer I have ever seen is here, on the internet already. She lists more reasons that you will probably have time to read, and they are all good reasons.

  • Claire

    Jacob Dink said,

    Actually, I bet Thomas Aquinas has a good deal of answers to some of these questions.

    That was my other objection: as serious questions, these have already been asked and answered any number of times. Whenever they get posed, though, amateur apologists jump right in with discarded ideas like Pascal’s wager for the umpteenth time, like it was some shiny new and irrefutable idea. It just gets old… I would love to see an actual new idea from some theist someday, but I am seriously not holding my breath.

  • Richard Wade

    From my point of view, whether the questions are intelligent or stupid is beside the point. Whether the answers are intelligent or stupid is also beside the point. These questions are directed to God, but he isn’t answering the questions, people are. The level of intelligence or expertise of the people stepping in to answer on God’s behalf and the originality of their unsolicited opinions do not change the fact that God is not answering, people are.

    All we learn from people is about their own agendas, biases, limitations, strengths, hopes and fears. We learn about people, but we don’t learn about God. I’ll be interested when he can speak for himself.

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