Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Absurdity’ Category

Q: One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to read some of the Bible every day. But like most of my resolutions, I’ve failed to keep it. I found some of it interesting, but I didn’t really understand most of it, so I stopped. Was I doing something wrong? — A.J.L.

A: I can’t blame you for stopping. The bible is a horrible book. It’s horribly boring, horribly cruel1, horribly inconsistent2, horribly wrong3, horribly misogynistic4, horribly absurd5, and has horrible credibility6. Many people have said that the best argument against the existence of the Christian god is the bible itself, and I tend to agree.

1 The bible describes its god as a murderer of millions (including infants!)
2 There are two different creation stories in Genesis. More examples here.
3 The sun revolves around the Earth? More examples here.
4 Men can divorce their wives, but women cannot divorce their husbands. More examples here.
5 A donkey sees an angel, recognizes it as such, and then speaks in human language (presumably Hebrew) to his master. Taken from here.
6 The bible is incredible (i.e., too improbable to be believed).

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Read Full Post »

Q: Does the Bible say that some day God will take our old bodies and remake them so they’ll never grow old? I don’t understand how this is possible, since our bodies disintegrate after we die and hardly anything is left. — K.F.

A: Billy Graham claims that the Christian bible indeed says this, and without looking it up myself, I would trust him to be correct. However, you should not trust anything in that bible. The bible states the following:

  • Hares are ruminants (Leviticus 11:6)

  • Bats are birds (Leviticus 11:13,19)
  • The sun revolves around the Earth (Ecclesiastes 1:5)
  • The Earth does not move (1st Chronicles 16:30)
  • There is a “firmament” that separates the waters of Earth form some other waters (Genesis 1:6-7)
  • The sun, moon, and stars are fixed in this firmament (Genesis 1:17)

As these statements are certainly wrong, how can any of the bible be trusted? The Christian bible is also full of inconsistencies and logical errors. It advocates cruelty and oppression of others. This book should not be trusted, believed, followed, or revered. It has no credibility.

I am glad that you are asking this type of question. If you continue to question the absurdity, inconsistency, and cruelty of the bible, you are likely to conclude that it is nothing more than a human fabrication (and not a good one, either).

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Read Full Post »

Q: I really do believe in Jesus, but sometimes I wonder if it’s all too good to be true. What I mean is, how can God possibly love us and forgive us when we treat Him so badly? If I were God, I don’t think I’d bother with the human race, let alone let us into heaven. — G.R.

A: There is very little (if any) truth in the bible. It is both too good and too horrible to be true. It’s too good to be true because it says that people who perform horrible acts throughout their lives can repent on their death bed and go to paradise when they die. It’s too horrible to be true because it says that its all-powerful god not only allows evil to exist, but perpetrates mass murder and genocide. It’s also too absurd, too bigoted, too misogynistic, and too contradictory to be the true word of a loving god. If I were you, I don’t think I’d bother with any gods. If you consider belief in a supernatural deity and think for yourself, you are likely to reject any such beliefs as irrational.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Read Full Post »

Earthquake

Q: How do you explain something like the earthquake in Haiti? We’ve really been saddened by what’s happened there, and we just don’t understand why God lets things like this happen. Do you have any answers?
— D.K.

A: The different tectonic plates that make up Earth’s crust are in constant relative motion. Often this motion is impeded due to irregular features at the boundary (fault) between adjacent plates, and the plates deform over time. This deformation creates a large amount of stored energy. Periodically this strain energy is released rapidly, leading to the formation of seismic waves. When these waves reach the surface, they cause the ground to move side to side or up and down, and can result in catastrophic changes to the topology of the surface, severe damage to human constructions, and significant injury and loss of human life. This phenomenon is called an earthquake. Certain areas of Earth’s surface lie close to faults and are prone to frequent and/or major earthquakes. See Wikipedia for more information.

The recent disastrous earthquake of 12 January 2010 was due to slippage of the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault. While this earthquake was sudden and had devastating consequences of human life, it was not completely surprising given Haiti’s proximity to this fault and history of major earthquakes.

I have heard many people attribute this earthquake to the work of a supernatural deity but this notion is ridiculous. If it were caused by a god, then it is a god that kills people cruelly and indiscriminately. Haiti’s capital (Port-au-Prince, the site of the earthquake) has a birthrate of approximately 130 babies per day. That means that when the earthquake struck, 130 day-old babies, and 3,900 month-old babies were subjected to its effects. Since the death toll amounted to about 10% of the population of Port-au-Prince metro area, it is reasonable to expect a significant fraction of these vulnerable babies were killed. An additional significant fraction were also maimed and/or orphaned. If someone believes that a benevolent god let this happen or caused it to happen, their belief system is completely irrational and their god is cruel and crude. The most reasonable explanation is that there are no gods that intervene in our universe (for good or ill).

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Read Full Post »

The Future

Q: Does the devil know the future, and can he influence it the way God can? Sometimes it almost seems like he knows what we’re going to do, and goes ahead of us to make our lives difficult. — Q.H.

A: I’m really gettting fed up with these recent questions seeking detailed information about non-existent, fictional people/entities. The god and devil you refer to do not exist. Please stop trying to praise/blame them for things that happen to you. Only you, other people, and chance have any effect on your life. Once you realize this, you may be able to better predict what pitfalls you may encounter in the future and take steps to mitigate their impact on you rlife.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Read Full Post »

Praying Correctly

Q: How do I know if I’m praying according to God’s will? I know God won’t answer me if my prayers aren’t in line with His will, but how do I know if I’m asking for something He isn’t willing to do? — M.McD.

A: This question brings up a contradiction that has always puzzled me. The following are tenets commonly espoused by Christians:

  1. “God has a plan.” God works in mysterious ways.” These are usually uttered in response to questions of the type, “Why do good things happen to bad people?”.
  2. “Please pray for such-and-such to happen” The such-and-such could be a safe journey, the recovery of loved one from a sickness, the return of a lost dog, etc.

However, these two concepts are contradictory. If all things happen according to some god’s plan, then it would be irrational to think that this god would change its plan because of someone’s prayer. Conversely, if a god made changes to the physical world based on a prayer, then it would be deviating from its master plan. Both of the above statements cannot be true, but a vast majority of Christians ferverently believe they are. This is just one of many examples that expose the irrationality of Christian beliefs. The obvious way to reconcile this contradiction is to reject belief in the Christian god.

To answer the question: The god you pray to does not exist, and your prayers are futile. You can stop wasting your time praying and worrying if you are doing it right.

This topic reminds me of the following graphic.
Prayer

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Read Full Post »

Filthy? Rich

Q: Is it wrong in God’s eyes to be rich? I’ve heard that Jesus had some harsh things to say about rich people, but does that mean you can’t go to heaven if you’re rich? I’m not a wealthy person, but do I have to give away everything I have in order to be saved? — K.W.

A: This is what the New Testament has to say on the topic.

Luke 14:33

    In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple

Matthew 19:21

    Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Luke 6:30

    Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back

However, I would venture to say that the vast majority of Christians (especially here in the U.S.) do not follow these instructions. The same point can be made with other instructions in the New Testament ( e.g., do not take oaths [Matthew 5:34], do not defend yourself in court [Matthew 5:40], love your enemies [Luke 6:27]). Living according to these instructions is near impossible in the 21st century, and virtually no Christians do so. This video gives some nice examples of this. These examples are all from the New Testament but there are many more examples from the Old Testament ( e.g., stoning rape victims, killing children who are disrespectful of their parents, not eating shellfish).

Modern Christians pick which parts of their bible to follow and which to ignore. They decide that some parts (that they do not like) are not to be trusted. As Christians, on whose authority do they do this? How do they make these decisions? I would argue that for someone who believes the bible was divinely inspired by a god, ignoring parts of the bible invalidates the authority of the entire bible. If these people thought about this rationally, they would likely come to the same conclusion. There are many other reasons to not place credibility in the bible. Once you accept this, you will not have to worry about giving away all of your possessions or whether you’ll be going to heaven. You won’t. No one will. It doesn’t exist. We can’t know for sure if some type of afterlife exists, but it seems unlikely. We can be fairly confident, though, that Christianity and it’s heaven are false.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »