These types of lists come out every now and again. Every time one does, the author seems to think that they’ve created the list to stump all atheists. The problem is all the questions are pretty much the same, and they are all really easy to answer. This list comes from todaychristian.net.
1) How did you become an atheist? This is a long story. I was raised in a christian family. I went to church every sunday until I was 8. Around the time that my family stopped going to church regularly, I learned about evolution and the big bang for the first time. My parents, who didn’t believe in either theory, never tried to discourage me from researching science, so I kept looking into both. Until then I had been told that the universe couldn’t exist without god. I’d never been told anything about evolution. At first, I assumed that both the big bang and evolution were started by god, but I accepted the science because I assumed the scientists knew what they were talking about. That led me to become quite deistic in my beliefs about god.
As the years wore on I simply became less religious. My parents weren’t surrounding me with religion every sunday, so I had no reason to hang onto my religious beliefs. I was also learning more about science, which allowed my beliefs to become more naturalistic.
When I was 15, I heard the word atheist for the first time, and I was given it’s definition. At first I was disgusted. How could anybody not believe in god? But then I thought about it and realized that I don’t believe in god. I wasn’t quite ready to accept my atheism though.
When I was 18 one of my friends told me he was an atheist. He told myself and another friend in such a manner that it came across as “please don’t hate me.” Then my other friend said he was also an atheist. That was the first time that I called myself an atheist out loud. Since then I have openly identified as an atheist.
2) What happens when we die? Our bodies decompose.
3) What if your wrong? And there is a Heaven? And there is a HELL! Then I’m wrong.
4) Without God, where do you get your morality from? Why do you think you need a god? How immoral are you if you need a god just to treat people well? I get my morality through my capacity to empathize and reason.
Empathy works like this: I have stuff. I like my stuff. I don’t want anybody to take my stuff. You also have stuff, therefore I can assume that you also like your stuff. If I like my stuff, and you like your stuff, then you probably also don’t want me to take your stuff.
Reason works like this: I live in a community. There are people around me, and I depend on those people to live comfortably. Living with people requires a certain level of trust. I have to trust them not to take my things, and they have to trust me to not take theirs. If I take their things, then what is to stop them from taking my things? Life is so much better when I don’t betray the trust of others.
5) If there is no God, can we do what we want? Are we free to murder and rape? While good deeds are unrewarded? That depends. Do you value your freedom? Do you live someplace where rape and murder aren’t illegal? If you answered no to the first question or yes to the second, then I guess you can. Otherwise, no. Why do you need a reward to be good? Why can’t you just be good because it’s the right thing to do?
6) If there is no god, how does your life have meaning? It has meaning because I have a personality. I have hopes and dreams. I can think. It has meaning because I have given it meaning.
7) Where did the universe come from? I’m not a physicist, but they say that the universe may have always existed. The universe that we know most likely began in an event widely known as the big bang. But there are books in the library. And resources on the internet. If you want to know, you can always do a little research.
8) What about miracles? What all the people who claim to have a connection with Jesus? What about those who claim to have seen saints or angels? No so called miracle has ever been proven to be a miracle. Most can be easily explained using reason and evidence. If you can show me a miracle that can’t be explained naturally, then maybe I’ll believe you.
What about the children who claim they’ve seen Santa Clause? Or the people who claim that voices told them to burn things down? Should I believe them because they have said these things? Shouldn’t I demand evidence before I accept their claims?
9) What’s your view of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris? Sometimes they say, or said, interesting things, sometimes they say dumb things. Either way, I don’t particularly care for any of them.
10) If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion? Not every society has had a religion historically. Most do, but they don’t all have religions. But, assuming they do, if there was only one god, and that is the god of the bible, why are there so many religions with so many different gods? Why isn’t there just the one god worshiped by all?