Saturday, January 7, 2012

113 of Piet's Questions

Piet from Rotterdam sent me a link to a quiver of questions he wrote for the Christian believer. They are good questions, and therefore make a good addition to the “How can you believe in Christianity?” literature. It has been pointed out to me many times that my voice is too quiet on this topic; some have suggested that anti-religiousness is the hallmark of a true atheist, and therefore my writing is not truly atheistic. Piet provides an easy way to protect myself from the atheist thought police who would prosecute me for all-too-simply not believing in god(s).

Writing the reasons for not believing is an important –almost necessary- exercise for any Adult Onset Atheist. Once an awkward theistic god is abandoned one’s thoughts turn to amazing and fulfilling ideals. The body follows, and one’s life becomes transformed into a gritty purpose-driven sting of incredibly unlikely phenomena. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that one left religiosity in the dust because it couldn’t keep up with the pace of maturity.

When we begin to remember childhood with the blinding shine of a fondness only decades can buff out of an otherwise difficult time the religion of our childhood basks in some of that shine. Perhaps we remember family members who cut us off because of our de-conversion, and long for their more interested position in our lives once more. Perhaps the ritual and church friends begin to feel like other childhood friends and games. Somehow living as an atheist makes childhood religion look better simply because we are better.

That’s where writing like Piet’s questions come in handy. It is too easy to be an atheist simply by not abandoning theistic delusions. It may even be the best way to be an atheist, but the world, and for type 2 atheists our lives, is full of theistic content. Some anti-theistic content appears necessary from time-to-time.


Piet from Rotterdam's 113 questions (he has more at the original site here):

This is an English translation of part of the questions. The original version can be viewed here. Suggestions for improvement or bashing in general please send to Piet

1. Where does your god come from?

2. What is your god made of?

3. What gender is your god? The Bible speaks of a male.

4. Why did your god need to make the earth?

5. What is the purpose of millions of galaxies?

6. Why didn't this omnipotent god create the universe in a single stroke with a clear vision in mind?

7. How can an all-knowing god be disappointed in his creation?

8. Why does your god need people to spread his word, why does he not do this himself?

9. How can a loving god allow that there is a hell for those who do not believe in him?

10. If a person is fully capable of saving another but doesn’t do so, we disapprove of it. We call such a person wicked and unethical, and this person can even be punishable in some cases. Why don’t we condemn a god who, according to many believers, is able to save people out of misery every single day but doesn’t do so?

11. What evil did plants and animals do that died in the Great Flood? Why is there no separation between primary and secondary suffering?

12. Why is your god mercilessly indifferent as to how nature works? It’s eat or be eaten.

13. What happened to those people who weren’t familiar with the Bible before it was written?

14. With 10% to 20% of women having miscarriages, is your god the greatest abortionist?

15. Leprosy was not an unknown condition in the time of the Bible. There were even rituals performed by priests to cure the disease. In Leviticus 13-14 it is clearly proscribed what the priests need to do. The ritual requires two clean birds of which one is to be killed, and the other dipped in its blood together with some cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop. The living bird is then set free and the sick person sprinkled with the bloody mixture once daily for seven days. After a further seven days of isolation, washing and bathing, and shaving and cutting hair, the patient must take a lamb to the priest who will slaughter it for a trespass offering. The priest will daub some of the blood on the patient’s right earlobe, right thumb and right big toe.

“And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering: And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD.”

What does Yahweh achieve with bird blood and blood on right thumbs and toes? Wouldn’t it have been easier to give a description of an effective cure instead of these primitive voodoo rituals?

16. Why does your god let Lot and his daughters live so that they can commit incest later? And what father would give his daughters to a sex-mad mob?

17. Why was Jesus not recognised by the Jews as their promised Messiah?

18. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, forty two children are dismembered by two she-bears because they mocked Elisha for being bald. Were they some kind of super bears?

19. Why did your god interfere many times in human affairs in the Bible but did nothing during the Holocaust?

20. When you speak of an all-good god, how does this square with the god in Isaiah 45:7 who says that he creates evil?

21. The Bible is often pointed to as a source of morality. Why are war and slavery not forbidden?

22. Can the bloodthirsty and vengeful god of the Old Testament be reconciled with the loving god that is preached about? A god who lets the children of wicked people be exterminated. Or who commits genocide (Midianites).

Child sacrifices were in fact quite popular. Isaac, the only son of Abraham had to be offered. What trauma does a child suffer? And many know the upsetting story of Jephthah. He promised Yahweh that he would offer the first person he met if the battle ended in his favour. The first one he met after the war was his only child, his young daughter. More child sacrifices can be found in Genesis 42:37; Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:34; 2 Chronicles 17:31, 28:3, 23:10 and 20; Jeremiah 8:30-31; Psalms 106:37-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21; Leviticus 20:2.

23. If the Bible is the word of god, why does it contain so many internal contradictions?

24. If there are so many religions the followers of which are completely convinced of their accuracy, how do you know so surely that your religion is the true one?

25. If Adam and Eve only had three sons, where do we come from?

26. Is a religion that says faith is more important than using one’s reasoning abilities reliable?

27. Why is the number of atheists in prisons proportionally much smaller than you would expect based on demographics?

28. When you ask an atheist if he will provide proof against the existence of the Bible’s god, will you then provide proof against Zeus, Odin, Ra, etc.?

29. Do we have to turn away from our families to be good Christians (Luke 14:26)? Isn’t this a recurring theme in many sects?

30. There are countless myths about people born of a virgin who do special things. Why is the myth about Jesus true but the rest not?

31. Is Christian belief founded on fear?

32. How reliable are the four gospels?

33. How is it possible to be happy in a heaven while your non-believing friends and family members must suffer forever in hell?

34. Why doesn’t everyone have the same opportunity to receive the gospels? Millions of people are born in places where one seldom or never hears of Jesus? And what happened with people who died before Jesus came?

35. How can a benevolent god punish people just because they don’t believe in him?

36. Why did Jesus curse a fig tree for bearing fruit outside the harvesting season?

37. Why did Jesus behave violently at one occasion? Why didn’t he turn the other cheek? Does this agree with his earlier declarations?

38. Why does your god use deceitful spirits and live among them (1 Chronicles 22:19; 2 Chronicles 18:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:11)?

39. Why do venomous fangs, sharp claws, viruses, toxoplasma and all parasites and pathogenic bacteria exist?

40. Why does Jesus announce to the spectators (Matthew 16:28) that many of them will see him return? Why does he not keep his promise?

41. Why doesn’t the god of the Old Testament just create a new earth?

42. Who were the mythical giants of Genesis 6 who were also known as Nephilim? What became of them?

43. How loving is a god who commands the impaling of children and the raping of captured women?

44. Aren't a talking donkey, a flying axe and a motionless sun examples that should convince us of the Bible’s truth?

45. Matthew 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him [Jesus] up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;” As most people know, the world is round. To be able to see the kingdoms in, for example, South America, something more than a high mountain is needed. Must we give the lord a bad mark for geography?

46. Where did all the water for the Great Flood come from? And how did Noah assemble all those millions of animals? How did Noah get all their food together and how did he prevent them eating each other until they got back on land?

47. When there are 1,500 creation myths, why should the story of one nomadic tribe from the Middle East be true?

48. Is there proof available that a god exists outside the ideas and conceptions people have in their heads?

49. Why is there nothing about Herod's infanticide to be found in history books?

50. There were dozens of scribes in Jesus’ lifetime in the area he inhabited. Why did no one write anything down?

51. Jesus could read and write but an autobiography is lacking. Did he not have the time for this?

52. Where was Jesus between the ages of 18 and 30?

53. In which year was Jesus born? There are disparate versions that indicate a difference of more than ten years.

54. What is the use of letting billions of people suffer who are all forced to participate in a game of good and evil?

55. Why do Christians not kill any women in accordance with Deuteronomy 22:21 when they enter marriage as anything but virgins, but they oppose homosexual marriage?

More passages from which the believer has strayed: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22)

Sex during menstruation: “And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.” (Leviticus 20:18)

56. Why are there two creation stories in Genesis that are contradictory?

57. Why would an infinite, almighty, etc. god demand worship from a being he himself created? This being, angel or human, is infinitely insignificant compared to god himself. Would any person wish to be worshipped by a bacterium? Would any person be offended if a bacterium doesn’t believe in him/her? And the difference between a person and a bacterium is indeed huge, but finite. The difference between god and a person is infinite.

58. How can one conduct a census under the reign of Quirinius when there is no citizenship? What is the use of returning to the place your ancestors came from, in a land that is permanently in a state of war? Is this Christmas story indeed credible?

59. In Matthew it is written that Jesus did not come to bring peace but a sword; in Luke it says that all those who reach for the sword will die by it. Where do these conflicting statements by Jesus come from?

60. Were the writers of the gospels creationists or evolutionists?

61. Why isn’t it a problem for some Christians to label accounts that don’t please them, for example Jonah in the whale, as metaphors? And on what basis does one draw the distinction?

62. How is it possible that a god who sees all asks Adam where he is (Genesis 3:9)? Also in this text: “And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know” (Genesis 18:20-21) indicates that the biblical god Yahweh needs first take a look to see what is going on.

63. And how unlikely is it that in one city, 50 righteous infants or children cannot be found who couldn’t be condemned for sodomy?

64. A god that created billions of galaxies approaches Sarah to eat a pancake. Is this realistic or plain superstition?

65. The Gilgamesh epic is the oldest source describing a Great Flood. Why are the Hebrews not being accused of plagiary?

66. Why are many Christians unaware of the influences of Celtic and Germanic rituals and customs on their faith? The feasts and festivals are Celtic, and sainthood Germanic.

67. The Old Testament describes countless despicable things that the Jews did. Why are these laws no longer upheld as Jesus made it clear that he doesn’t repeal them but respects them (Matthew 5:17-19 and Luke 16:19)?

68. Tens of millions of people have fallen victim to other persons/groups who used texts from the Bible for this purpose. Is Christianity a peaceful movement?

69. Archaeologists have attempted to reconstruct biblical stories. After thorough investigation, it appears that many incidents never occurred, for example the exodus. Does this alter Christianity’s starting point?

70. The witnesses who described Jesus many decades later lived in a cultural climate where superstition featured prominently. Could this have influenced how they interpreted the traditions?

71. “God created man in his image and likeness.” Our bodies show countless non-functional vestiges that are characteristic of an animal background. Piloerectile muscles (arrectores pilorum), vomeronasal organ, apocrine glands, appendix, etc. From these it has become clear that it is a widely-branching pedigree consisting of countless hominid forms. Was the resemblance ape-like?

72. What is the meaning of a blessing given to a marriage when the divorce rate among Christians is higher than among atheists? (Source: VS)

73. What is the use of “Thou shalt not kill” if Christians depart en masse for war zones?

74. In many communities “Keep the Sabbath” is proclaimed every Sunday. Isn’t it a bit presumptuous not to say a word to indicate the intended audience?

75. Why can you get good results with a faith healer when suffering from asthma, eczema and MS (where psychological influences can affect the condition) but is it pointless to go there with an amputated limb?

76. It becomes ever more clear that religious feelings have a physiological basis and that it is easy to arouse “supernatural experiences”. Why search outside people’s heads when these phenomena can be explained this way?

77. Why does religion claim a moral high ground? This while faith has thwarted people and restricted their freedoms for centuries. Ever since the Enlightenment the position for many groups has improved significantly.

78. What would be the problem if one were to change NDEs (near-death experiences) to just-still-living experiences? And if all arguments that point to a natural cause of these occurrences become preferred?

79. How was Moses able to describe his own death?

80. At several locations during archaeological excavations, inscriptions have been found that link Yahweh with a female counterpart Asherah. Why is this not seriously looked into, and the story remains limited to one-sided monotheism?

81. In biology you see social structures built around a basic ethic of fairness. In several cases, you even find assisting of the weaker and sacrifice. Do the roots of our human morality not lie here?

82. Religious movements are always at the forefront concerning matters of life and death (immortality) even as there is no concrete proof of the latter. Can they then be considered reliable discussion partners?

83. In Psalm 82:1, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” Who were these gods and what was their role during the meeting?

84. Why did your god put people on earth and send wicked angels there too? He surely knew that this would be a mistake and that people would be influenced by Satan. You simply don’t put children into a pit of snakes.

85. Equality principles, for example between men and women, are put under pressure by various religions. Are religious scriptures not a source of discrimination? When a woman bears a child and it is a boy, she is unclean for seven days. If the child is a girl, the mother is unclean for fourteen days (Leviticus 12:2-5). The value of a man and a woman translated into money (silver shekels) is different. For example, between the 20th and 60th year, the ratio was 50 to 30 (Leviticus 27:3-4). Making a vow to Yahweh: If a woman is married then it is the husband’s prerogative to divorce her (Numbers 30:9-13). The link provides further examples.

86. He tells his followers that his work on earth is done and he is ascending to heaven. When he said it, he was lifted up before their eyes and taken in by a cloud so that they no longer saw him. Is heaven above us or did Jesus leave in a UFO?

87. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uneasy tension that arises when absorbing facts or concepts that are at odds with one’s own beliefs or opinions, or at behaviour that is contrary to one’s convictions. This feeling of discomfort leads one to reconsider one or more opinions or attitudes unconsciously to bring them more in line with each other, to make them compatible. Usually, others notice such a change in opinion or attitude sooner than the person himself does. Does this apply to the steadfastness of a religious belief? Even when there are sufficient arguments to prove the opposite?

88. In several passages, Jesus says people must give away their property and live in poverty. Why don’t Christians do so? Does religion then become a question of suffering deprivations, and is this asking too much?

89. Is it desirable to raise children religiously? And to do so seven days a week for many years? What is the difference from the indoctrination the communists considered for bending people to the ideas of the Party?

90. Does it benefit society when children are pressed into all kinds of separate schools? Each denomination can establish its own schools where children are isolated and only hear what their particular church considers to be important.

91. Where in the Bible is hell mentioned? In Judaism the “Gehinnom” (Hebrew: גהנום, Greek: Gehenna, γέεννα) is recognised. The name is derived from the Valley of Hinnom, which together with another valley surrounds the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a precursor to Olam Ha-Ba (the world to come, cf. heaven) where one stays only temporarily (a maximum of 12 months) and where one’s soul is cleansed of sin. This involves a spiritual purification: The devil and physical pain and suffering also don’t occur in Judaism (Wikipedia). Evangelicals also speak only of Gehenna and thus refer only to the Jewish concept, not hell.

92. Why is there so much reverence for church forefathers when they were anti-Semitic (Luther) or callous murderers (Calvin)? You regularly hear that they were filled with the “Holy Spirit”. Did the “Holy Spirit” break free of god?

93. In Matthew 27:51-53, the corpses of saints rose from their graves. These living zombies were seen by many. Decades later, not a single eyewitness took the trouble to give this due consideration. Where did the zombies go? Did they die a second time?

94. Lazarus was raised from the dead after a few days, an extraordinary event to which only one writer (John) gives any attention. Was this a conscious choice of the remaining writers or did they know nothing about it?

95. Is attempting to reconcile the trinity with the Bible into a dogma a futile excercise? Where are the relevant passages saying that there are three in one, a father, a son and a holy ghost (for Catholics, are there more still)? Can one still rightly speak of monotheism?

For the marathon runners, here are a few more. Originally, 95 questions/propositions were put forward to correspond with the 95 propositions against evolution or to correspond with those of Luther. The number has symbolic relevance and facilitates searching. It represents a starting point for the target audience.

96. Wandering a little through the bible shows it to consist of traditions handed down from the Bronze Age. In proportion to the earth’s entire history, it’s a mere lick of paint at the top of the Eiffel Tower. An atheist looks at the whole picture from a distance and assesses the questions easily with certainty: For him/her it’s no more than gross superstition. These answers smoothly point towards mythology. Why are believers so hotly intent to beat matters straight with a crooked stick?

97. Research has shown that prayer has no effect at all on patients. It may even have a negative effect as a by-product. Would it not therefore be wise to abandon prayer?

98. Hebrews 6:4-6 states: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance;” Why do believers make such an effort to convince ex-believers when this passage makes it clear that it is pointless?

99. He was the channel between heaven and earth, between god and man. Descended from heaven, at his birth shepherds revered him and brought him fruit and firstlings of their herds. Later he ascended to heaven and the sun god set him upon a throne, his omnipotence having become divided. It was believed that someday he would return to raise the dead and to lead the world. This person was already known in Egypt three centuries BCE. This culture later spread rapidly to parts of Africa and Western Europe. We have this to thank for Christmas and Sundays. The cult also branched off into the Roman Empire, and was familiar with seven sacraments, including baptism, confirmation and communion. On Sunday the priest spoke holy words about bread and water. They believed in the soul’s immortality and the resurrection of flesh. Eventually this movement was prohibited by the Catholic emperors. There are notable parallels also with Asclepius, Heracles and Dionysus, and the aforesaid is the story of Mithras, not Jesus. Christians often insist on the independence of their stories, but where does this tale come from and why would an existing cult take over elements from an emerging religion, one that was even persecuted in its early stages? Is it not more likely that Christians simply borrowed stories that they knew already, including those where they only needed to change a name?

100. The greatest sinner or criminal can plead for mercy and forgiveness at the last moment and make it into heaven, for example the murderer on the cross. Thus Adolf Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot could get inside with the right timing. Yet the atheist who works hard his whole life for the benefit of others has no chance. Is your god a bit hypocritical and more absorbed in himself than with altruistic charity that doesn’t rest on faith?

101. The claim that Genesis must be seen as a metaphor still sounds far-fetched. Many Christians agree that evolution cannot be denied. Even the Catholic Church has confirmed it. This natural process where common descent plays a key role has meanwhile been proven. Even if the weight of evidence doesn’t convince some, there still remains an insurmountable problem. If the story of Adam and Eve is only symbolic, what then is left of Original Sin?

102. In Q. 37 an example of Jesus showing contradictory ideas concerning violence is given. Here follow three more examples whose reliability you should rate on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is unreliable and 10 is very reliable. Intermediate ratings can of course also be assigned.

Example 1: Jesus calls for swords when the time has come for his arrest, and at the moment he meets his captors he is suddenly fundamentally opposed to violence. A confrontation occurs and Peter hacks off Malchus’ ear, which Jesus heals before being taken captive. Peter runs after the abductors and soon begins a leisurely discussion about the capture. Imagine that you shoot a firearm during the arrest of a friend. How likely is it that as an assailant you’ll just be let off by pleading with the arresting officers? It is also strange that those who resisted Jesus’ arrest went free.

Example 2: Jesus makes a whip of rope and storms the temple courtyard. The guards do nothing. He beats all the merchants on the run and doesn’t allow anyone to escape the courtyard. The next day, Jesus still wanders casually around there. A comparison can be made with a similar one-man action done at Amsterdam’s Albert Cuyp market. How far will you get with a whip, probably against city police, guards and hundreds of merchants? And would you succeed in keeping it occupied until the next day? This doesn’t just concern the ideological question of a centuries-old tradition where it was necessary for people to come from far to obtain offerings.

Example 3: According to the gospels, Jesus was well known in Jerusalem, daily preaching there in public. Suddenly he is so unfamiliar that it is necessary for Judas to identify him (with a kiss) from among his followers. It would be the same as if Pim Fortuin puts up a poster in Rotterdam to ensure that an innocent person is arrested.

103. We must look at Paul’s Christological view, specifically why, as a genuine reformer, Jesus didn’t tackle any concrete practicalities. He didn’t repeat any pronouncements that Buddha had made so often to the point of monotony, and thus we have only a single declaration of “Stop the slavery.” There is nothing about women being equal to men with a few female disciples as living examples. Suppose the described person had said, “The people must choose their own leaders who must serve the people,” thereby presenting the basis of democracy. No nonsensical assertions about you having to give everything to the poor, which is impractical and just creates more poverty. Or just a little business sense such as each year you give 5% of your belongings to people who are less fortunate.

104. Do you find the above picture pleasing?

105. This question comes from a Jehovah’s Witnesses booklet in which it is proposed that the wise men who came from the east were astrologers (Matthew 2:1-2). This practice is forcefully condemned in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Their question is (without answer): “Would God have led people who practise things He condemns to the newborn Jesus?”

106. Is eternal damnation not fairly callous with regard to humans who spend just a short while here on earth, and whose lives consist mostly of avoiding all the pitfalls that would undermine their faith?

107. Here are a few YEC questions (Young Earth Creationists, variously Great Flood supporters).

A. Fossils are usually found in well-sorted geological strata with more primitive sorts found lower down, and thus not as jumbled-up hotchpotch. How do creationists explain this?

B. How do you explain salt deposits between different layers?

C. As an aside, what was actually found recently as a result of research at the Black Sea?

D. Much is frequently said about a great flood(Great Flood Theory). Growth rings of some trees go back as far as 10,000 years but show no evidence of such a flood. Why not?

E. Deposition layers of snowfall (varves) go back some 50,000 years but here too you do not encounter this catastrophe. Why not?

F. In ancient cultures (e.g. Egypt) there is no trace of a deluge. The pyramids have never been submerged. Why is evidence lacking here?

G. Why do some varieties of whale have a pelvis and vestiges of hind legs? Young ones are born covered in hair and sometimes you see whiskers.

H. What is the purpose of piloerectile muscles (arrectores pilorum), vomeronasal organs and the apocrine glands around the anus?

I. Why don’t we see any isotopes occurring naturally on earth with a half-life below 16 million years?
Isotope | Half-life | Found naturally on earth
Vanadium-50 | 6,000,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Neodymium-144 | 2,400,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Hafnium-174 | 2,000,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Platinum-192 | 1,000,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Indium-115 | 600,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Gadolinium-152 | 110,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Tellurium-123 | 12,000,000,000,000 years | Yes
Platinum-190 | 690,000,000,000 years | Yes
Lanthanum-138 | 112,000,000,000 years | Yes
Samarium-147 | 106,000,000,000 years | Yes
Rubidium-87 | 48,800,000,000 years | Yes
Rhenium-187 | 43,000,000,000 years | Yes
Lutetium-176 | 35,000,000,000 years | Yes
Thorium-232 | 14,000,000,000 years | Yes
Uranium-238 | 4,470,000,000 years | Yes
Potassium-40 | 1,250,000,000 years | Yes
Uranium-235 | 704,000,000 years | Yes
Samarium-146 | 103,000,000 years | Yes
Curium-247 | 16,000,000 years | No
Lead-205 | 15,000,000 years | No
Hafnium-182 | 9,000,000 years | No
Palladium-107 | 7,000,000 years | No
Caesium-135 | 3,000,000 years | No
Technetium-97 | 3,000,000 years | No
Gadolinium-150 | 2,000,000 years | No
Zirconium-93 | 2,000,000 years | No
Technetium-98 | 2,000,000 years | No
Dysprosium-154 | 1,000,000 years | No

108. Why do creationists remain so contrary? At Talk.Origins, the replies to the 95 propositions against evolution were readily available. They can be read here. Is it a case of unbounded naïveté or foolishness?

109. Satan is often portrayed in Christian circles as a sly fox. Meanwhile, he has got enough time to read Revelation and sees billions of people entering his hell, the majority of the world’s population. What permits this crafty guy to capture such enormous numbers before the final battle? After some hard training, it would be child’s play to eliminate all those softies from heaven for good. Thus, is the outcome already determined?

110. There are many cranks here who believe in heaven and hell. From this belief they set upon their opponents with arguments that are supposed to convince these critics that they would be better off becoming believers. But let’s look more closely at just one aspect of those imaginary places, namely the temperature: Which one is hotter?

111. Joshua 23:1-14: After exterminating many races, a joyful report was received, forbidding mixed relations with the survivors. One’s own people always first. Such nationalism was in its full glory under Joshua’s leadership. What do you think of those politics? Do they agree with the apartheid regime as shown in South Africa?

112. Why do creationists try so hard to disprove evolution when the creationist theory cannot be explained scientifically on any of its points? Doesn’t this fall under the category of measuring with two different yardsticks, which is therefore intellectually dishonest?

113. Forty years to cross a piece of desert? The overland distance between Cairo and Jerusalem is 424 kilometres. In a car this takes five hours, an hour in a plane, and as a hiker doing an average distance of eight kilometres a day, it would take 53 days. It took the Israelites 40 years, i.e. over 14,600 days to walk that stretch, and thus the distance they covered each day was a few tens of metres. Did they walk in circles?

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