On Global Religion

  • If a hundred different religions have to be wrong for yours to be right, does this show that people from all over the world like to invent gods that don't exist?

  • If your parents had belonged to a different religion, do you think you would belong to that religion too?

  • If people from the five major religions are each told conflicting information by their respective gods, should any of them be believed?

  • What is the relationship between religion and morality? How does psychology explain the Bible?

Communication with God

  • How can you tell the voice of God from a voice in your head?

  • How can you tell the voice of God from the voice of the Devil?

  • Would you find it easier to kill someone if you believed God supported you in the act?

  • If God told you to kill an atheist, would you?

Morality

  • When an atheist is kind and charitable out of the kindness of his heart, is his behavior more or less commendable than a religious man who does it because God instructed him to?

  • If you are against the Crusades and the Inquisition, would you have been burned alive as a heretic during those events?

  • If your interpretation of a holy book causes you to condemn your ancestors for having a different interpretation, will your descendants condemn you in the same way?

  • Rape wasn't always a crime in the Middle East two thousand years ago. Is that why 'do not rape' is not part of the Ten Commandments?

  • Do lions need 'god-given' morality to understand how to care for their young, co-operate within a pack, or feel anguish at the loss of a companion? Why do we?

  • If organized religion requires a civilization in which to spread, how could this civilization exist without first having a moral code to make us civil?

The Characteristics of God

  • An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

  • If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen.

  • An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

  • If God is all knowing, then why did he make humans in the knowledge that he'd eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

  • Why did a supposedly omnipotent god take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

  • Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

The Bible

  • Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

  • While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn't censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring many Earthly temptations?

  • Given that the story of Noah's Ark was copied almost word for word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

Religious Conversion

  • If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you; do you think that you're currently better than them?

  • If religious people don't respect their children's right to pick their own religion at a time when they're able to make that decision, how can society expect religious people to respect anyone's right to freedom of religion?

  • If missionaries from your religion should be sent to convert people in other countries, should missionaries from other religions be sent to your country?

  • If children are likely to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, does this explain why religion has been taught in schools for thousands of years?

  • When preachers and prophets claim to be special messengers of God, they often receive special benefits from their followers. Does this ever cause you to doubt their intentions?

Miracles

  • When you declare a miracle, does this mean you understand everything that is possible in nature?

  • If a woman was cured of cancer by means unknown to us, and everyone declared it a miracle, would the chance of scientifically replicating this cure be more or less likely?

  • If humans declared fire to be a miracle thousands of years ago, would we still be huddling together in caves while we wait for God to fire another lightning bolt into the forest?

  • If God gave a man cancer, and the Devil cured him to subvert God's plan, how would you know it wasn't a divine miracle? What if he was an unkind, atheist, homosexual?

Hell

  • Should an instruction to convert to your religion upon the threat of eternal torture in hell be met with anything other than hostility?

  • Can a mass murderer go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not?

  • Did the mass murdering Crusaders and Inquisitors make it into the Christian heaven?

  • How can we know what is right when we don't know for sure who makes it into heaven and hell?

  • If aliens exist on several worlds that have never heard of your god, will they all be going to hell when they die?

The Promises of Religion

  • If someone promised you eternal life, the protection of a loving super being, a feeling of moral righteousness, a purpose for living, answers to all the big questions, and a rule book for achieving the pinnacle of human potential... and all in exchange for having faith in something that wasn't proven, would you be suspicious?

  • If someone promised to give you a billion dollars after ten years, but only if you worshiped them until that time, would you believe them? If someone promised to give you eternal life upon death, but only if you spent your life worshiping a god, would you believe them?

  • Why does religion appeal more to poor, weak, vulnerable, young, ill, depressed, and ostracized people? Could religious promises be more of a temptation to these people?

Questions To Ask Yourself

Charles Templeton

  • Is it not likely that had you been born in Cairo you would be a Muslim and, as 840 million people do, would believe that there is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet?

  • If you have been born in Calcutta, would you not in all probability be a Hindu and, as 650 million do, accept the Vedas and the Upanishads as sacred sciptures and hope sometime in the future to dwell in Nirvana?

  • Is it not probable that, had you been born in Jerusalem, you would be a Jew and, as some 13 million people do, believe that Yahweh is God and that the Torah is God's Word?

  • Is it not likely that had you been born in Bejing, China, you would be one of the millions who accept the teachings of the Buddha or Confucius or Lao-Tse and strive to follow their teachings and example?

  • Is it not likely that you, the reader are a Christian because your parents were before you?

  • If there is a loving God, why does he permit - much less create - earthquakes, droughts, floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters which kill thousands of innocent men, women and children every year?

  • How can a loving, omnipotent God permit - much less create encephalitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer, leprosy, Alzheimer's, and other incurable illnesses to afflict millions of men, women and children, most of whom are decent people?

  • How could a loving Heavenly Father create an endless Hell and, over the centuries, consign millions of people to it because they do not or cannot or will not accept certain religious beliefs? And, having done so, how could he torment them forever?

  • Why are there literally hundreds of Christian denominations and independent congregations, all of them basing their beliefs on the Bible, and most of them convinced that all the others are, in some ways wrong?

  • If all Christians worship the same God, why can they not put aside their theological differences and co-operate actively with each other?

  • If God is a loving Father, why does he so seldom answer his needy children's prayers?

  • How can one believe the biblical account of the creation of the world in six days when every eminent physicist agrees that all living species have evolved over billions of years from primitive beginnings?

  • Is it possible for an intelligent man or woman to believe that God fashioned the first human male from a handful of dust and the first woman from one of the man's ribs?

  • Is it possible to believe that the Creator of the universe would personally impregnate a Palestinian virgin in order to facilitate getting his Son into the world as a man?

  • The Bible says that the Lord thy God is a jealous God. But if you are the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omniactive, eternal, and the creator of all that exists, of whom could you possibly be jealous?

  • Why in a world filled with suffering and starvation, do Christians spend millions on cathedrals and sanctuaries and relatively little on aid to the poor and the needy?

  • Why does the omnipotent God, knowing that there are tens of thousands of men, women and children starving to death in a parched land, simply let them waste away and die when all that is needed is rain?

  • Why would the father of all mankind have a chosen people and favor them over the other nations of the earth?

  • Why would a God who is no respector of persons prohibit adultery and then bless, honour, and allow to prosper a king who had seven hundred wives and three hundred comcubines?

  • Why is the largest Christian church controlled entirely by men, with no woman - no matter how pious or gifted - permitted to become a priest, a monsignor, an archbishop, a cardinal, or pope?

  • Jesus's last words to his followers were Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. And, lo, I am with you always. But despite this and to this date - some two thousand years later - billions of men, women and children have never so much heard the Christisan Gospel? Why?

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