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Control Freaks

I broke off from my fiance almost a year ago because I realized he was a very angry and controlling person, demanding I do everything his way. He’s moved on to someone else but why do I find myself praying that God will bring us back together? It doesn’t make any sense. — D.L.

A: I see a pattern here. The god of the bible is also very angry and controlling and demands that you do everything it’s way. I would advise you to seek therapy and try very hard to break your dependence on control freaks. Start with your ex-fiance and your imaginary god.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

Bavin Stach has started his own blog to continue to offer rational answers to questions posed to Billy Graham. Check out his blog, Irreligious Perspective. He just started it last week and there are currently 2 entries.

I’ve tried several times to answer more of these questions in a rational manner, but I can’t bring myself to do it anymore. I feel like I keep repeating myself. Therefore, I will be taking an indefinite (and maybe permanent) break from this blog. If anyone else wants to continue this idea by creating your own blog and posting answers, you can add your URL in a comment. The most recent questions to Billy Graham can be found at http://www.billygraham.org.

Attack

Q: I just saw a movie that was a clever attack on the Christian faith (in my opinion). Although it was only a story, it claimed Jesus was just another man and there isn’t any reason to believe He was the Son of God. Why would someone want to tear down people’s faith? — J.W.

A: The Christian faith is easily attacked because it is an obvious fiction that a huge number of people believe to be true. Jesus (if he ever existed at all) was a normal person and not any kind of god. In his book Godless, Dan Barker had this to say about faith:

    “If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are admitting that the assertion can’t be taken on its own merits. If something is true, we don’t invoke faith. Instead, we use reason to prove it. Faith is intellectual bankruptcy.”

Having faith in something that is unreasonable and cannot be proven is dangerous for the individual believer and our society at large. Faith in non-existent gods has caused war, oppression, rape, and tyranny. We’d all be much better off if the people of the world were to reject faith and embrace reason and compassion.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

Slowing Down

Over the last 6 months, I’ve answered 134 of these questions. Both the questions and Billy Graham’s answers are as ridiculous as ever, but the questions and my answers are starting to get too repetitious. Therefore, I will be decreasing the frequency of my postings to about 2 per week. This way I can hopefully focus on issues that I haven’t addressed before. I will continue to ping the Atheist Blogroll when I put up a new post.

Thanks for reading!
- Jeff

Rational Uncle

Q: My uncle just laughs when I say something about the Bible, because he says it’s full of errors and contradictions. How can I answer him? It’s hard to talk to him about religion because he doesn’t feel any need for God. — K.F.

A: Before answering your uncle you should read the parts of the bible he is talking about. There are lists here, here, here, and here. You will then see that your uncle is correct. The bible is full of contradictions and errors. As I wrote just last Friday, Christians must choose which parts to follow and which parts to ignore. I think that if you must make this decision, the validity of all of the bible is highly suspect. How could you know which parts are important and which are not? The most logical explanation of the errors and contradictions in the bible is that it was written by many different people over a long period of time, and had nothing to do with any gods.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

Singularity II

Q:Do you think computers will take over the world some day? I admit I don’t understand them very much (although I’m learning to use e-mail, which is pretty good for someone in her late 70s!). But they seem to have taken over so much of our lives that I worry about this. — Mrs. M.B

A: I answered a very similar question last December.

Q: Do you think computers might take over the world some day? I like to read science fiction stories where they do this, and computers are so powerful today that I wonder if it might actually happen. — L.F.

    A: I have always been fascinated by this idea. When I was young, one of my favorite movies was Colossus: The Forbin Project in which the titular computer gained control of all of the world’s nuclear weapons and set about to rule the world. More recently, much science fiction has been written about a technologocal singularity which is usually related to the development of self-improving machine intelligences. The idea is that these machines would continue to make themselves more intelligent, and that pre-singularity humans (us, now) would not be able to predict or comprehend what life in the post-singularity would be like. I’ve particularly enjoyed stories by Vernor Vinge and Charles Stross on this theme. There are even some that think a technological singularity is likely to occur within the next century. While I find these stories and novels immensely entertaining, I don’t know enough about computing or machine intelligence to know if these estimates are realistic. In the meantime, I will continue to seek out good science fiction and enjoy myself.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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