Wednesday, May 4, 2011
An Atheist Catechism: Part One, The Questions Christians Ask
They want us to have a list of answers that would be parallel to their Catechism (Even if they're not Catholic, they have one of sorts). So I've decided to give them one.
Q: Where do you go when you die?
A: When you're dead you cease to exist, so you don't go anywhere.
Q: Aren't you worried that you might be wrong and you might go to hell?
A: Everyone could be wrong, including Christians. I don't find the Christian stories convincing, so no, I'm not worried about Hell.
Q: How can you be moral without God?
A: The same way that everyone else who isn't a Christian can be moral, and Christians too, for that matter. Society dictates morals, not holy books, or else Christians would be stoning children that have been raped and giving all their money to the poor.
A: You can't be angry at something you don't believe exists. That's like being angry at the Easter Bunny.
Q: You're really just angry at the abuses of the Church
A: The church's behavior has sometimes been atrocious (so much for belief instilling morality) but whether the church is naughty or nice has no bearing on whether a supernatural deity actually exists.
A: So has Greek mythology. So have other religions. So has opium. Artists will be inspired by whatever stories they find in the culture around them.
Q: How do you know the Bible isn't true?
A: There's very little evidence to validate it, and what little there is merely validates a few names and places, not the presence of a supernatural deity.
Q: Isn't it arrogant to presume you're right and all those Christians are wrong?
A: Not any more arrogant than Christians believing they are right and all the people in the other 2/3 of the world are wrong. And anyway, which is more arrogant? Not believing in something unverified, or believing oneself capable of sorting out the truth from the non-truth of thousands of untestable claims?
A: Atheism is defined as not believing in stories of deities. It's not defined by what is known. Some atheists are quite knowledgeable, which probably isn't a coincidence. Many of us know the Bible better than Christians, and we know more about science than evolution deniers. (Granted, that's not difficult to do)
Q: Science can't answer everything. What about love?
A: Actually, neurosciences have established quite a bit of knowledge about love. Like other emotions, love exists within the brain.
Q: Nothing can exist without a creator, so the fact that things exist proves there's a God.