Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Answers For an Atheist (Part VI)

Hey everyone, sorry it's been so long. My hope is that I'll be able to get into better regular blogging habits and have more regular updates here. Anyway, I continue answering Hemant "The Friendly Atheist"  Mehta's "78 Questions for Christians." The original post in my series can be found here and my most recent post here. I should add that a lot of the questions I'll be addressing in this post deal with the same basic issues as questions I've already addressed, so my answers will be reasonably short and accompanied with links to previous posts.

#18 What matters to God more: The quantity of people praying or the quality of their prayers?

The love and sincerity with which they pray; I assume that's what you mean by 'quality'.

#19 If quantity matters, shouldn't the most popular team always win the Super Bowl?

This question is not applicable, given my answer to the last question.

#20 If quality matters, why do people you love sometimes die no matter what you do?

I don't know. I really wish I did, but I don't. I go into this in more detail here. This raises the question of why bother praying if it all comes down to God's will, which I discuss here.

#21 Is it possible that your prayers have no supernatural effect and only serve to make you feel better?

I believe God has promised to hear and respond to our prayers and I believe He keeps His promises. However, even without that promise, I believe prayer would still be worth while, see the last link I gave for my reasons.

#22 Would you ever admit it if that were true?

If I was presented with good reasons.

#23 Is there anything in your life that makes you doubt God's existence?

Nothing that causes rational doubts.

#24 How would your life change if you had serious doubts about God's existence?

Since my religion is the essential guiding principle of my life, it would change in more ways than I could count.

#25 Was Jesus white?

No, and I really have no idea what the point of this question is.

#26 Why does God seem more likely to answer the prayers of a talented athlete than a starving child overseas?

I don't believe He does, although if you are asking why He allows the prayers of a starving child for food to go unanswered, see above.

#27 Why does God seem to hate Africa?

He doesn't, although if you are asking why He allows evils like extreme poverty to be so much more prevalent in Africa than Western Europe of North America, again, I don't know, but see my previously linked to comments on why I don't think I need to know.

#28 If a group of people came from (say) Africa to your community with the intent to convert you to their tribal faith, would you listen to them and take them seriously, or would you just dismiss them because they don't believe what you already believe?

If it was my practice to simply dismiss anyone who doesn't believe what I already believe then I never would have become Catholic. I shifted from atheism to a sort of liberal Protestantism and from there to Catholicism in response to dialoguing and listening to other people's beliefs and reasons for believing.

Ok, so that's a lot of questions covered in one post but as I said, a lot of it was repetitive. His next group of questions deal with some different issues so, Deo volente, the next post will be more detailed.


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