What is the single most important question you pose to believers to get them to think?

Below is a collection of twitter responses to the question: “What is the single most important question you pose to believers to get them to think?”   The idea here is to spread around some great thinking, so we might all be more effective in our interactions.  There’s quite a variety, from many insightful freethinkers and even some popular favorites.  Hope it helps!   (Alternately, here’s an off sight link to 50 tough questions for theists… http://upli.st/l/Hard-Questions-For-Theists  Here is another: 40 questions for Christians. )   

    Please keep in mind that many responses are situational, or refer to the beginning of thought provoking conversations and are not stand alone challenges, but rather open the door to thinking.

  1. “@ascotsmanabroad: My favorite is ‘taking into account there is equal evidence for each of the claimed gods,why do you disbelieve any of them?‘”
  2. @CaptnAtheist: Why do YOU need a god to be happy?
  3. “@auldshaman: It’s so situational that I’m having difficulty choosing one. Probably just, “What proof do you offer that your god exists?“”
  4. “@Nick_OvO: Usually, “If you say the universe, or anything else, can’t come from nowhere, why can your god?” Then they run in circles.
  5. “@lyonsnyc: What makes you [the believer] believe that you have an ethereal entity in you that you call a “soul”? What is your evidence?”
  6. “@Erasmus_san: god if omnipotent, why powerless? If omnipresent, why absent? If benevolent, why suffering? If sciences are correct, why deceitful?
  7. “@WondieBee: Why do you need a god to have morals?
  8. “@BiebFresh2Death:  I like to propose a scenerio. If you or a loved one became very very ill, would you rather have millions of people all over the world praying for you or would you rather have a few atheist doctors and nurses at you side prescribing you modern medicine designed by some atheist scientists? I realize you would probably like to have both, but if you could only choose 1, which would you choose?
  9. “@dyrbert: I prefer a Socratic series of questions. There isn’t a silver bullet question that doesn’t get people to defensive to think.
  10. “@MrJesusNoHere: if ur doctor told u that u have cancer without examining u or performing any tests,will you believe him n just accept his word?
  11. “@mattrohrbacher: Why is the thought of no God or creator so scary?
  12. “@michael27777: There is just as much evidence for the existence of Bigfoot as there is for ur God. Why do you believe in one & not the other?”
  13. “@DohMartel: when one insist that we atheist prove there is no god, I ask them to: “Prove that you haven’t killed or raped anyone“.”
  14. “@c_morgon: Which god?”
  15. “@mxoom: I ask them to think about the stars, the speed of light, and how many years it took for that light to reach us. #freeatheism
  16. “@dheidman: I ask them how they can believe the Bible is the literal word of God when we know its been heavily edited”
  17. “@DerekDtmangus:  How are you so sure of something no living person could possibly know?(heaven,hell,afterlife…)
  18. “@Kevcon66: If God ‘always was’ and the Universe is 6k yrs old (or even 14 billion) what the fuck was he waiting for!”
  19. “@adamhaztweetz: Can you really empathize with nonbelievers? Do you personally/comprehensively understand our perspective or do you presume to?
  20. “@netcarper: How much prayer would it take to make an amputees limb grow back?”
  21. “@DennySmith45: When I am asked by them if I believe in God, I ask them, “Which one?””
  22. “@SamyHiddles: Books of gods proof as much as comic books, what is the real proof that god exists?”
  23. “@MyOpenMind101: I ask them what do they believe in and why (define #god) . Many are not sure of either the what or why. #atheism
  24. “@txtravlr:  Which god are you going to defend?”
  25. “@PumaBare: I’ve started asking about the all-knowing, all-seeing, it makes his judgements redundant.
  26. “@bunysrule: I ask: “Without using “faith” or “the bible” as answers, please show PROOF of your gods existence.”
  27. “@Harryfatback: @FreeAtheism what would it take for you to stop believing?
  28. “@HaleyMHooligan: point out how selfish their logic is. It does make YOU feel better; someone who suffers is in a better place. EGO = #Religion
  29. “@RestroomWarrior:  Why is Jesus so similar to Mithra, Horus, Krishna and all the other gods man created before yours?”
  30. “@ElRazur:  My question are along the lines of ‘Why do you believe what you believe’ and then build up from there to get them to think.”
  31. “@DeepSouthAthy: R you willing 2 die, right here, right now, for your faith w/o at least examining why those of other faiths are just as sure?
  32. “@Damn_Street: @FreeAtheism Why would an omniscient, omnipotent, merciful god create people just to eternally damn them for not worshipping him?”
  33. “@shelahclark: if god is real, omnipotent and all knowing then why does he allow crimes committed in his name, why are they not struck down?
  34. “@AnnellW61: why does god allow innocent people to suffer while the evil roam free?”
  35. “@coach_nam23: If god knew beforehand, being omniscient, what man would do (disobey etc) before creation, why go ahead & create him?
  36. “@coach_nam23: and also if god is all knowing and omnipotent, why does he need us to pray & tell him what to do? Lack of motivation? #Atheism”
  37. “@rubiskit: If you have such trouble with the idea of “something from nothing”, how do you explain the origin of god?
  38. “@UnicornOnMoon: why would I want to go to heaven?
  39. “@rubiskit: If everything that happens is preordained as a part of “god’s plan”, why pray?
  40. “@MWAtheist:  If your faith is correct ,please explain how Cain and Able populated the earth
  41. “@RussellTpot: @FreeAtheism Why are there so many religions? It’s a fact that billions of people can be convinced of something that isn’t true. #atheism
  42. “@TheAwakenedCog:  If God didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat the fruit, then why did he put the tree of knowledge right at their easy reach?
  43. “@suckedelic:  if god has a master plan, why do we have a free will, &what does praying do besides ask for something if his mind is made up?
  44. “@sinan_810: @FreeAtheism Why the excess of violence from the disagreements of faiths?
  45. “@FThinkF: @FreeAtheism I always liked “So you really believe that man walked with dinosaurs?“”
  46. “@PhyllisCopeland: My favorite is: How could Adam & Eve hide in the garden? Wouldn’t omniscient God *know* where they were??”
  47. “@DonnaMatryx: why did he expect them (Adam/Eve in Eden) to understand it was wrong when he didn’t impart knowledge of right and wrong?
  48. “@TX200hc: Why does your all powerful all seeing god need you a mere mortal to tell me he/she exists?”
  49. “@stevep44: I ask why they believe what they do.
  50. “@FreeAtheism: How do you know you aren’t being totally deceived & manipulated by a powerful, evil being? http://freethinkersimpact.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/the-puppet-predicament-variation/
  51. “@TeriInk: why would an omniscient, loving God allow a person that he knows will end up tortured for all eternity to even be born at all?
  52. “@TheAtheistSpark: I’d point out to them just how shaky their belief is. There are, what? 3000+ claimed gods? How can they be 100% sure that they’ve got the right one? And if they don’t, is it worth wasting their life devoted to it for?
  53. “@BarRebecca: for me it is: you were there? hallelujah
  54. “@GodFreeWorld: I don’t have a clear one & I doubt they often do. In my mind, it is “why do you believe in something that is unfalsifiable?”.”
  55. “@mrkbhmstcsm: Why are children born disabled?
  56. “@KevHegarty:  “Why do you identify as _________ (insert specific religion/sect of religion)?” Usually starts a good convo.”
  57. “@UnicornDiety: Why did they choose their particular religion, and what would they have done if born around the world?
  58. @ICanBeWrong: What makes you so sure your religion is right and all other religions that have ever been followed have been wrong?
  59. “@socialistkev: How about,”What did your kids think before you told them about your #God?”
  60. “@hijodeganas: if god is truly omnipotent why didn’t he create a world with free will AND without suffering?”
  61. “@buffsblg: how would your everyday life be different if you didn’t believe?
  62. “@UncouthAtheist: you believe your #god is all loving? Then why does he allow millions of kids to be abused and starve to death?”
  63. “@burpthekitten: “How is there free will in heaven, but no one can sin?”- and “If it’s possible for God to create that set-up in Heaven, WHY NOT ON EARTH?”
  64. “@AtheistBlobfish: why is the ‘perfect word of god’ so open to interpretation.
  65. “@J_indetroit: (Why is there) no correlation between suffering & justice, belief & goodness, belief & suffering. No pattern of justice”?
  66. “@NopeNotThisTime: Why would an all-loving god create a place like hell?
  67. “@OldRifleman: I like to ask how they arrived at the conclusion that the universe was created or designed.No answers yet.
  68. “@mikecannytalk: i’ve asked with no reply, why would god commit adultery in order to have an illegitimate son & why was Mary not stoned to death?” …god breaks his own 7th commandment & Deut23:2 “No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the Lord.
  69. “@notcreative388: MT“@FreeAtheism:What’s the most important question you pose to believers to get them to think? #Atheism #Atheist” Why do you believe that?
  70. “@Raineboughs: Is that possible in one question? Ok. “If god made us, then who made god”?! I’m still waiting for an answer.”
  71. “@AbhilashGM: Why did you choose that religion? Just the idea that belief could be a CHOICE causes people to pause and think.
  72. “@BibleReloaded: @FreeAtheism Great Question. I ask: If the person you loved most in life goes to Hell, is it still Heaven when you get there?” … It creates a TON of cognitive dissonance and you can see them trying to reconcile it. It’s very interesting, and not abrasive”
  73. “@questions_faith: ok…I know it sounds odd but I love the answers I get “How could Lucifer sin, if sin wasnt already present, when he chose to…. sin?”.”
  74. “@baristaman: If Adam & Eve had no prior knowledge of right and wrong how could they know that eating from the Tree of Knowledge was wrong?”
  75. “@MamaAtheist: What would it take for you not to believe? …And questioning faith. What would you do for god? Would you kill all your friends for god?”… Like that to question the delusion of faith.
  76. “@GSpellchecker: @FreeAtheism “How is your description of God distinguishable from non-existent?” I usually ask that when ‘timeless, uncaused etc’ is used.
  77. “@baristaman: If Jesus was God, how could he have “died” on the cross? Also: How is it a sacrifice if he knew he’d be resurrected in 3 days?”
  78. “@think1staboutit: Quickest and simplest has been “How do you know?” and continue to ask. It all eventually boils down to ‘faith'”
  79. “@MrOzAtheist: @FreeAtheism Why are you not a [other religion]? So for a Christian, asking why they’re not Hindu or Muslim etc.
  80. “@CordieMendoza: Why is your God the one true God?”
  81. “@AtheistMel: @FreeAtheism I usually ask them how free will can exist if an all-knowing being created me and knows my ultimate fate.”… But TBH, that goes over a lot of their heads, so my fall back is, why did god create satan if he knew he would cause us to sin?
  82. “@kitsonde:  I always think this says it all. http://t.co/nA1gMxON8P
  83. “@BlaspheMissy: I point out all the rape, torture, slavery & murder and ask if those things are ok. That is, if they even knew :/
  84. “@VoloDiscere: How do you know (what they’re claiming to know)?”
  85. “@adrianbriggs: @FreeAtheism If you’d been born into a different religion do you really think you’d be an adherent of your present religion?
  86. “@francosoup: 1) Explain how god gives you free will, but threatens you with eternal hell fire when you freely choose not to worship him. 2) How can you rationalise the existence of an omnipotent god that can alleviate suffering like paediatric cancer, but doesn’t?
  87. “@Im_Atheist: If God asks you to “Take your son, your only son, whom you love” and “sacrifice him”. Would you? So far no one has said yes.
  88. “@_lungfish: What got me when I was a Xian was the question “is the traditional history of Christianity presented by the church verifiable?”
  89. “@JWRunnells: In re: original sin I ask why forbid eating from the tree when that’s what we needed to defeat the snake.
  90. “@secularbloke: @FreeAtheism Does the concept of an omnipotent, benevolent deity match the way we see the reality in our world today?
  91. “@mokumz: if their is a god, isn’t the bible a little amateur ?”
  92. “@Yankeefan1972: If humans HAD to be created (ID), then who/what created god? #logic”
  93. “@askegg: @FreeAtheism Good question. Perhaps pointing out the Bible is not evidence, it’s the claim.
  94. “@perth_atheist: Hmm. Perhaps it’s: Why are you xian/Muslim/etc?
  95. “@Logic_Rocks: I would ask, “Are you aware that you are believing hearsay, unconditionally. None of these myths have any verification.
  96. “@StacySkipper: Ask them if they look at their watch during church. If they can’t tolerate an hour of god….how will they endure eternity.
  97. “@DrewJPS: ‘How can you justify worshiping a maniac that killed millions of pregnant women?’
  98. “@AtheistPatrick:  I often ask: How do you know which bits of the Bible/Koran are literal, and which are metaphor? #Atheist”
  99. “@nolarobert: Have you thought about the concept of eternity. That gives them pause while I get into the implications of infinity.
  100. “@DeanMI: did the devil author the bible?  Could be; he\she is a trickster – Lucifer’s power matches…”the one”! Prove this is not so.
  101. “@HowardHopkinson : My question would be: Please fully explain why you believe in your deity?”
  102. “@Curt_Ames: Depends on the religion. For Christians: What were Jesus’s last words?”
  103. “GammaAtheist: if you believe that Adam & Eve and Noah populated the Earth then you condone incest behavior”
  104. “@junkfoodking01: there’s only one life, why not learn all you can about what’s truly around u?
  105. “@pjwally: mine: how can you condone a murderer/rapist getting to heaven (deathbed penitence) while an atheist fond of goodwill condemned?
  106. “@FaS_Skeptic: How do we distinguish between a good god that allows evil, and an evil god who allows some good?”
  107. “@TheMostAthy: “How do you know that?” In reference to any claim they make about their deity.”
  108. “@jayportlandia: Do you recognize that you believe what you believe because that’s what mommy and daddy raised you to believe?
  109. “@Grim_Atheist: If your god instructed you to kill someone as a test of faith, would you do it?”
  110. “@Djdenning23: What did god do that made Lucifer go whoa I don’t agree with that!!??

*My Thanks to everyone who participated!  I am open to suggestions and more submissions of course.

10 thoughts on “What is the single most important question you pose to believers to get them to think?

  1. I say: As a former Christian, I really didn’t have a difficult time dealing with the idea of eternity. And many things I didn’t understand, I would chalk up to the idea that I am only human with a limited understanding. However, the one concept that never let go of my logic and wrestled me into honesty was the fact that God had no beginning but has always been. How can you ask someone to accept such an absurd idea with a straight face?

  2. Not thinking is a problem that afflicts human nature, not just religious people.

    So your first premise that religion retards thinking is false.

    Some of the greatest minds in human history were Christians, Muslims and Jews, for example.

    Plato, the ancient Greek mastermind who was hardly religious, wrote about an old man in, “The Republic,” who felt guilty about his youthful transgressions and was spending the rest of his life making up for it by acting justly toward both men and gods.

    Socrates, Plato’s mentor, spent his life wandering around Athens trying to get people to think.

    His reward was a death sentence.

    This post demonstrates the very thing in atheists that it criticizes in religious people:

    Namely a lack of deeper thinking.

    This post also betrays a lack of education in the classical education and a profound bigotry toward religious people.

    Recommended highly for the atheist and all men are the words of Jesus, Son of God:

    Look at your own faults and realize how messed up you are before you go around judging others so harshly.

    • Amen brother! You’re on the money here. I’m having a hard time getting through the questions, though, since someone forgot to clean up the typos. I’m not naming any names, though.

    • Let me rewrite that!! Lol. Why does god send sinners to hell to be punished?

      Surely the devil would be rather pleased with us!

  3. Mine is, Why do theists often dismiss someone’s atheism by saying “you must have had some traumatic experience”, yet when someone embraces RELIGION as a result of a trauma, you don’t question the authenticity of THAT experience?

  4. That makes absolutely no sense. Are missionaries insecure? Teachers?

    I am not seeing the logic here.

    When millions of people who follow a dogmatic myth affect others in horrible and unnecessary ways, it behooves us to say something.

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