Questions for a Christian

I saw one of the groups I’m in has a post that goes like:

I’m a Christian. Ask me anything.

I won’t do it. Not on there. But I do have questions so I can maybe list some of them here… I’ll try putting them as a bulleted list rather than a numbered list and some may lead to others. Also I’m tired, so maybe I’ll publish this incomplete and add to it later.

  • How do you decide what Bible verses are literal and what is allegorical?
  • Are all things that were impossible and that obviously didn’t happen allegory, or do some have magical explanations?
  • What about a man swallowed by a giant fish, water to wine, resurrection of the dead, and other impossible things?
  • A separate but similar question… the worldwide flood. Do you believe in it? Do you believe in a smaller, localized flood instead?
  • If you do believe in a literal worldwide flood, where did all the water go? If you don’t, and it is somehow still literal (but wrong in scale?) how can you trust anything in the Bible?
  • On the other hand if you don’t believe the deluge was literal or worldwide, but allegory, what is the meaning of the parable?
  • Why do god’s punishments/curses look like nothing more than people assigning reason to random natural events?
  • Do you believe in Biblical curses?
  • Whether or not you believe in Biblical curses, do you believe in current events being punishments by an angry god?
  • Do you believe that being homosexual is wrong? If so, do you have specific Bible verses you use to justify your homophobia? Are you confident you understand them correctly or does that really matter?
  • Do you believe in a literal Satan?
  • Did you know that Satan was originally neither evil nor an agent in opposition to god, but that this evil Satan is more a product of recent changes to the belief system? Does knowing this change anything?
  • Do you thank god for good things?
  • Do you thank god for bad things, such as murder, disease, death, rape, starvation? If not, why not?
  • Are you one of those people who comes up with fanciful ‘scientifical’ explanations that somehow explain that Biblical events really did happen? If so, why not just go with Occam’s Razor and admit the shit is so crazy because it’s pure myth?
  • Are you one of those people who claims that your religious belief is the result of a “search for answers”? It isn’t, and neither is it a result of thinking. It’s the opposite – a result of not searching, not thinking, of accepting dogma.
  • Believer, why do you believe?

I think that’s the gist of it. The last question was the one that stumped me at 16 years old – it was enough for me to embrace my doubt and admit that I could no longer believe. The other questions have come to me later, through the years. But the point is singular and carries through all of them… I could no longer jump through those hoops, do the required mental gymnastics to justify belief. It all crumbled then and the years have confirmed I was correct to reject it. I am a far better person without such belief.

2 thoughts on “Questions for a Christian

  1. Incisive questions, all – I can’t imagine a response from a “believer” that would make any sense to any of them, but that’s “belief” for you.
    I read in Laurent Testot’s brilliant book “Catacylsysms: An Environmental History of humantiy” that altars were found in the ruins of Catalhuyuk, a Neolithic city 9,000 years ago. Religious belief is a remnant from those pre-scientific, pre-Enlightenment, pre-literate days.
    More humans than ever before are consigning these superstitions to the dustbin of history, but a majority of our species are still confined to these fearful, irrational leftover customs of humanity’s earliest days. You are certainly doing more than your fair share of challenging the cognitive errors of these myths.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, if nothing else, reading the questions should immediately trigger cognitive dissonance for a believer.

      For me at 16, after already spending a couple of years thinking about my doubts and then brushing them aside, being forced to confront them meant almost instant disbelief – and instant relief too. I’ve learned not to be naive and expect the same of others, but I can always try.

      Liked by 1 person

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