Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sadducees & Atheists questions

While doing some sermon prep I stumbled upon a site called Ethical Atheist. On one part of this site there are lists of questions different atheists have posted to God. This is how they preface the list of questions:
God, if you truly exist, we have a few (dozen) questions for you. Why don't you answer them for us? P.S. Any of your followers are welcome to answer these too. This is just the start of questions we have and there are obviously some we neglected in this version. So, all atheists, please submit your questions to be added to the list. And... "God", you're omniscient, so you know how to contact us, but for your followers and the atheists... Go here... CONTACT US. And, without further ado, here are the questions (in no particular order of significance).

I looked through many of these questions and they are some good ones and some off the wall ones. Here is a quick list of some of the ones I found interesting because they are sincere but also stupid and absurd:

  1. Why don't you show yourself? You supposedly made us and want us to believe in you, right? Why the big mystery? You're also omnipresent, right? Why don't you show yourself to all of us at once and have a personal discussion with us? You can pick the date and time, we'll all stop what we are doing, I'm sure.
  2. Did you really make Eve from one of Adam's ribs? Why didn't you make her from dust just like Adam? And, why do men and women have the same number of ribs if you stole one from Adam to make Eve?
  3. Why are their so many conflicting religions? Did you make man so screwed up that he cannot hear the 'true' word of God... yours? Every religion that exists today and every one that has existed throughout history has professed that THEIRS is the only true religion. Did you come to Earth as Zeus once? Did you make all these religions because you thought certain societies could only understand certain concepts? What about the Jews? The Muslims? The Baptists? The New Adventists? The Mormons, Hindus, Incas, Mayans, Protestants, Apaches, Buddhists, Methodists, Gideons, Greeks, Quakers? The Catholics (American, European, South American, etc.)? Were you just looking for some diversity or is it just a childish game to see who will follow the 'right' religion? Which is the 'right' religion? I'm sure many denominations would REALLY like to know that they're worshipping the 'wrong' God, don't you?
  4. Why is there war? How does it agree with "Thou Shalt Not Kill"? Why are there so many wars in Your Name?
  5. I've heard a lot of 'theories' on the whole fossil thing and evolution. Did you just put all this evidence here to confuse us? If so, why?
  6. Do you know how to use email? Surely you do, right? Why haven't you written us yet with all the answers? Would your email be big_guy@god.com? Or, would it be ".org"? I guess it would be ".com" because you aren't a non-profit institution, right?
  7. Why do you make us like things that aren't 'good' for us? Why alcohol, cigarettes and drugs? Why cheeseburgers and fries? Is it that 'free-will' thing again?
  8. Are you ever going to answer our questions? Are you listening?
  9. Why do many of your followers refuse medical treatment? What part of your 'Grand Plan' does this fulfill to have your followers die horrible, early deaths?
  10. I was watching a football game today and two of your ardent believers were fighting over a pig-skin ovoid called a football and one of them caught it and then said he gave thanks to you for doing it. What I want to know, god, is why aren't there enough footballs for all your believers? How do you decide which one deserves to catch the ball and why did the other guy fail in his attempt to stop him? Isn't he a good enough (pick your own word here god, since only you know which one is the right one) = Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Krishna, Shinto, Buddhist, Bahai, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist.... sigh .... the list is too long god so why don't you just fill in the blanks _______. If this is all about "goodness" then why do so many stupid and evil people like OJ Simpson do well with the football and yet make such lousy people? Why did you let him succeed in football when you knew he would become a murderer and an adulterer. You knew he would break so many of your commandments (at least we think they're your commandments. That's what that guy Moses said they were but who really knows)? And yet he was allowed to live a wonderful life and have fame, money and acclaim? The rest of us decent human beings think that really sucks god, so why do you do it? Hell, even Atheists catch footballs from time to time. Why do you allow that?

I found these interesting because they are a lot like the question the Sadducees ask Jesus in this week's gospel text. They don't believe in the resurrection yet they want to ask a detailed question about it. Similar many of the questions on this site do the same thing. They ask God, whom they don't exist, to answer questions. Thus no answer may confirm their non-belief.

I also find a lot of the same language used in these questions. Why God did you let.... These refer that God allows somethings to happen. I also think many of the questioners think this traps God in a corner and they feel intellectually superior because of it. Yet if we look at how Jesus answer the Sadducees questions, and the other similar ones, he answers them with parables and more questions. To those who ask sincere and soul felt questions, Jesus' answer is himself.

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