Christians that have commented on our Blog seem to ask the stupidest questions.
Recent ones come to mind:
Why do I value the pain of a child over an earthworm’s pain?
Why do I think rape and murder are wrong?
Why do I condemn Hitler?
Upon what basis do I condemn Hitler?
Why do I judge whether or not a miracle has occurred in the past largely based upon my own personal experiences of never having experienced a miracle in my life?
How can I say that ancient people were wildly superstitious to the core (with some notable exceptions) compared to our own day?
Why do I trust the results of modern science when future science may one day totally undercut what today’s science tells us?
I know these questions aren’t really stupid from their perspective. But they do seem stupid from mine. I’ve been answering them here for a while.
So rather than attempt to answer them here, instead, think with me for a minute.
Let’s say you were no longer fearful of doubting your faith. That is, you wanted to pursue many alternatives and hypotheses in your quest to know how we got here on earth when we did, and you didn’t fear God if you did this. Unlike how you now approach your faith, you wanted to truly investigate religious beliefs and you no longer feared that God would harm you for doing do. Can you do this? It might be a stretch for you, but try investigating your faith like you were investigating a crime scene where you spin many theories, unattached to any single one of them as much as possible, lest you miss a clue.
Anyway, let’s say you did this and you concluded none of the religious beliefs have much in the way of evidence. Many of them make mutually exclusive claims. But the adherents have sufficient reasons (at least to themselves) for why the others are all wrong. And you notice that many adherents are merely defending the beliefs of the culture in which they were born too. So you conclude they are all wrong.
You furthermore are confused between the two (western) options of One) believing that an eternally existing triune omnipotent, omniscience and omnipresent God has always existed (who, in the Calvinist way of thinking also decreed all of the human suffering we now experience to further glorify himself—is this selfishness, or what?) and Two) believing this universe just popped into existence out of nothing. You have no experience of something that has always existed, and you have no experience of something popping into existence out of nothing.
Let’s further say you finally conclude that if God exists he’s either impotent to help us (since there is no evidence he does anything to avert the many tragedies we experience everyday), or that he’s uncaring. So you say to yourself, there is no difference between a distant God and one that doesn’t exist, so you become an atheist.
I know this might be a stretch for many Christians to ponder, but try anyway. Let’s say you followed the same thinking pattern as every one of us at DC. Okay? Really consider this possibility. This is you.
Now, go answer your own stupid questions. ;-) But in doing so, remember this: just because you changed your mind about God doesn't mean anything else has changed in your life, except that you no longer go to church and your church friends may have mixed reactions to you. You will still have a mother who needs you. You still love your dog. You still must work for a living. You still like having a good reputation, and you don't want to spend the rest of your life in jail, or experince pain and suffering for bad choices you may be tempted to make, nor is suicide a reasonable alternative since people in this life are still counting on you, and you have the instinct to live. You still defend your friends, whom you still need, and you think causing others pain is wrong. You just look back and see no evidence of miracles in your Christian life, and that's all you have to judge your beliefs by, whether or not science changes in the future, too, which is wishing upon something that doesn't exist yet. All you have is the present to judge the past and the future by.
I could go on from here and describe how freeing this new perspective is in that there is not much room for guilt (especially since I no longer have any religious duties--tithing, evangelizing, prayer, Bible study, church attendance and duties--and I no longer need to feel guilty for what I think about either--just what I may do), even though I'm still the same good person I was, but that's for another time. Just answer your own questions, next time. Step in our shoes and then see them for what they are to us.