Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some kind of test...

I came across this "test" on this website. Some bible thumping site, Christian I think, but honestly I didn't look hard at it. I hope I pass! It wasn't very specific on the type of test it was, true/false, short answer, essay, etc, so I chose short answer. That cool god? K.

If you are an atheist, a materialist, a pantheist, or a naturalist, try to answer the following 11 questions:

1. "If all of life is meaningless, and ultimately absurd, why bother to march straight forward, why stand in the queue as though life as a whole makes sense?" —Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There

Is this a trick question? Life isn't meaningless or absurd. I enjoy myself daily. I love being with my wife and my beautiful kids. Life is a joy. Life makes perfect sense, especially in these times with our much greater understanding of the universe. Life without god certainly makes more sense than life with god. I'll answer your question with some questions. Why would god create a creature capable of sin, know for a fact that person was going to sin, and then condemn that person for the choices they made? Isn't that in fact making a choice on behalf of someone and then blaming them? Did god ask me if I wanted to be created and then judged for my sins? I thought that the reason for good and evil was so that we could have choice? Why have life at all? How about we just skip life, and get right to the punishments and rewards? God already knows what we are going to do, so lets get on with the real joy (heaven) and the real suffering (hell), not this only sort of joy and suffering here on earth.

2. If everyone completely passes out of existence when they die, what ultimate meaning has life? Even if a man's life is important because of his influence on others or by his effect on the course of history, of what ultimate significance is that if there is no immortality and all other lives, events, and even history itself is ultimately meaningless?

Again, why is it meaningless? Life is here to enjoy it. Paintings and music are "meaningless", but I still enjoy them. See answer number 1 as these questions are basically the same.

3. Suppose the universe had never existed. Apart form God, what ultimate difference would that make?

Another question that's basically the same as the first two, this one is just a silly hypothetical question. If it never existed then there wouldn't be anyone to worry about it. Since we are here worrying about it, it must exist. If it's only here for god, what difference does that make? Does he need his ego stroked? Are you saying that the universe was created to create a god?

4. In a universe without God or immortality, how is mankind ultimately different from a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs?

With or with out god, biologically, we aren't that different from mosquitoes or pigs. The difference is in our consciousness, and in that respect it is that we are self aware. We understand the concept of time. We understand that others have feelings very similar to our own. We can even write silly questions to put on the internet!

5. What viable basis exists for justice or law if man is nothing but a sophisticated, programmed machine?

Who says we are a sophisticated, programmed machine? We are sophisticated, and I suppose in a sense we are programmed to try and survive, but we are not programmed with right and wrong. The basics are eat, poop, hump, but anything beyond that is learned. Since not everyone learns the same, some will be evil, and some will be good. A form of justice/law must be there to mediate.

6. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?

This question is very much like the first few, but okay, I'll try again. If you are going to die and go to heaven why does anything on this earth matter? Why not everyone just stop eating and await the judgment? This question is silly. Life matters because pain doesn't feel good, and pleasure does.

7. Without absolute morals, what ultimate difference is there between Saddam Hussein and Billy Graham?

The difference is non absolute morals. It is immoral to take another's life, so Saddam is immoral in that sense, and Billy Graham is not (allegedly). Billy Graham is immoral for spreading untruths. If mother Teresa decided on her death bed that Jesus was a lie she would go to hell according to the bible. If Hitler on his death bed decided that everything he did was wrong and accepted Jesus, then according to the bible he would go to heaven.

8. If there is no immortality, why shouldn't all things be permitted?(Dostoyevsky)
Morality stems from the fact that no person on the earth is the only person on earth. Everything should be permitted except for things that inhibit/prohibit others from doing what they want to do. For example, murder, should not be allowed because it takes away other peoples happiness and choice of freedom.

If god is going to judge everyone's sins, then why would you ever stop anyone from doing anything they wanted? Why not let everyone do whatever they want. Tell them it's wrong to cover your own ass, and then let god figure it out. How can you tell if someone is evil, or if he is doing what god says to do? There are genocides in the bible that were done because god said to do it, and yet you judge Hitler as evil because he did genocide? What if he was doing gods work?

9. If morality is only a relative social construct, on what basis could or should anyone ever move to interfere with cultures that practice apartheid, female circumcision, cannibalism, or ethnic cleansing?

If people's rights are being taken then it is a duty to try and stop or change whatever is taking those rights

10. If there is no God, on what basis is there any meaning or hope for fairness, comfort, or better times?

I bought a toy for my daughter at the store. When I opened the box, the toy inside was broken. I took it back to the store. They gave me a new one in exchange for the broken one. That seems pretty fair to me.

I have a really nice couch at home. When I get home from work I'm usually very tired, and I like to sit on it. That is very comfortable.

Someday I hope that humanity will be free of the disease of religion. That would be better times for sure; no suicide bombings, no female circumcision, no ethnic cleansing.

11. Without a personal Creator-God, how are you anything other than the coincidental, purposeless miscarriage of nature, spinning round and round on a lonely planet in the blackness of space for just a little while before you and all memory of your futile, pointless, meaningless life finally blinks out forever in the endless darkness?

I guess what you are trying to say is that life is pointless. I guess in a way you could say it is, even if there is a god, but the difference between my pointless life and a christian's pointless life is that my "pointless" life isn't lived for a lie.

EDIT: I edited this, but only to make the quotes have blockquote formating. It was confusing to read earlier. When I post from work it loses all formatting.