In November, I responded to “10” (turned out to be 12) questions that a Christian supposedly posed to atheists. Today, I ran across another list. In case the Christians in my life have similar questions in mind but are unwilling to ask them, I post my answers here:
• What exactly do you mean by ‘I am an atheist’?
Unlike “Christian”, “atheist” has a straightforward definition (see screenshot at upper right) which doesn’t depend on a person’s personal interpretation. “Atheist” simply means someone who doesn’t believe in any gods.
• What is atheism by definition?
Oops. See my answer to the first question.
• Can you simplify the definition of atheism so anyone would understand?
It can’t get much simpler than “not believing in any gods”.
• What compelled you to become an atheist?
The question is wrong, at least for me. Nothing “compelled” me to become an atheist. It’s just that around the age of 42, I suddenly realized that I was an atheist. Perhaps the biggest factors in my shift from fundamentalist Christianity to atheism were the following realizations: (1) If the God of the Bible is real, then he’s a homicidal monster and should not be worshiped; (2) The Bible is historically and scientifically inaccurate, as well as self-contradictory; and (3) There has never been any evidence of the existence of any gods, nor any logical argument that indicates any god exists.
(I wrote lengthy web pages detailing the process of my “deconversion”.)
• Do you know about the Biblical God?
(I’ve previously written about my extensive Christian background, including multiple readings of the entire Bible and 3.5 years at a Bible college.)
• What do you know of the Biblical God?
Everything the Bible claims about it.
• Can you explain evolution to me?
Yes, I probably can. But you’d be better off going to a biology class or reading any of the excellent books written by scientists on the subject.
• Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
Asked and answered.
• Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
That’s not a question, is it? It’s an imperative sentence.
Regardless, “missing link” was an “argument” against evolution that was taught to me and other Christians when we were children, in the hopes that we would just take the preacher’s word for it and never study science. It turns out that this isn’t a scientific term at all, but simply a reflection of a pre-evolutionary view of the world.
• How did life start?
I’ll let an evolutionary biologist answer this one:
In other words, we don’t know for certain. That’s one huge difference between the claims of science and religion. Science attempts to know more and rigorously tests its own knowledge. Religion makes a claim and then attempts to fend off any questions.
• How do we have DNA?
I inherited my DNA from my parents. I assume you did too.
• If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do atheists protest against religion so much?
First, be careful making generalizations that lump an entire group together based on the actions of a few. You wouldn’t want me to ask “Why do Christians belong to the KKK?” would you? (Because most Christians aren’t in the KKK, just like most atheists aren’t protesting anything.)
Second, nowhere in my definition of atheism did I say what I believe; only what I don’t believe. There is an obvious difference, and this question intentionally ignores the difference.
Third, I did notice the word switch at the end, where you substituted “religion” for “God”. Religion is clearly real.
• What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
Oops again. Who said anything about having “proof” there is no “Biblical God?”
(And I’ll repeat my earlier statement: if the God of the Bible really does exist, then such a cruel monster should be opposed at every turn.)
Do you start to see how these questions are nonsensical? Half of them could have been answered by Googling definitions of words. Most of the rest don’t need to be asked because they don’t make any sense.