From time to time, I will run across questions from religious folks to atheists. Most of them contain many of the same questions, but seeing as how this is my first time posting any of these, they might be all new to you. Seeing as how I’m an atheist, I decided to try answering some of these. These questions come from Cornerstone Church Kingston in the United Kingdom.
Question 1. How do you know there is no God?
Short answer. I don’t. OK, I’ll give a longer answer. My first question, if I was asked this point-blank without knowledge of my interlocuter, would be, “What do you mean by god?” since many people have their own ideas about god, so I would have to find which faith tradition he/she belongs to.
Since I can tell from the website that this is an evangelical Christian church, I feel safe in assuming that they mean the God of the Bible. First of all, as an atheist, I do not assert that there is no God. I don’t believe in God or gods, it’s really that simple. However, I feel rather confident saying that I know the God of the Bible does not exist simply because he is an amalgam of contradictions. As I am slowly making my way through the Old Testament, I am wondering where this idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, and all-loving God comes from. It certainly isn’t this book (I am familiar enough with the rest of the Bible to make this assertion).
Question 2. Where did everything come from?
I’m an electronics technician, not a cosmologist or astrophysicist. Apparently, as an atheist, I am required to know the origins of the universe, the galaxy, the solar system, the planet, the continents, life, species, and everything else. In my day to day life I give very little thought to origins of anything except a) my paycheck, and b) my next meal. This is usually posed as a gotcha question because science doesn’t have all the answers, so it must be the God of the Bible who poofed everything into existence. My answer to this question is, “I don’t know.” And that is a perfectly suitable answer.
Question 3. Why are there human beings?
See my above answer.
Question 4. What is the point of life?
This question is asking about the purpose or meaning of life. I believe that we assign our own meaning to our life and that meaning can change several times. At one time, my purpose was to learn as much as I could about electronics and start a career in that field. These days, I think my girlfriend and her pets give me a pretty good purpose to my life.
Note: I am skipping some of these because I’m not really interested in answering them.
Question 7. Why are you scared of death?
I once heard somebody respond to this question, “It’s not being dead that scares me, it’s the getting dead part.” I like that answer. I believe that death is the end of the line. Once we’re dead, that’s all folks. That makes this life, the one I’m living right now, so much more valuable. I wrote about Heaven and Hell a couple weeks ago, but I believe that if I’m a good person in this life, people will remember me for that and that’s how I want to be remembered.
Question 42: What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything?