Here’s a challenge I was just asked to respond to:
When did you choose your heterosexuality?
Though it’s a short question, this is actually a more complicated challenge because there are numerous hidden assumptions in this question. What questions would you ask to help your friend clarify his position and get to the bottom of what he is really claiming? What do you think that rock bottom claim is that you should head for? How would you respond to that claim? What other aspects of this issue might come up while you’re both working through this objection?
We look forward to hearing your thoughts! Check back here on Thursday to hear Alan’s response.
From the atheist's perspective, it seems too coincidental that religions just happen to dominate certain geographic locations and culture….
[I]t is hard not to dismiss a religious person's claim that their religion is the truth when it certainly seems, from my point of view, that that same person would be pushing another religion had they been born in a different part of the world….
[I]t is not unreasonable for us to conclude that religions are products of culture and geography, not products of "truth" and "falsehood."
How would you respond to this one? Tell us what you think, and then check back on Thursday to hear Brett’s answer.
This week’s challenge is taken from a question Alan received:
If you take away same-sex marriage, you’ll take away stability from children of same-sex couples. So not only will you be discriminating against people wanting to marry, but you’ll also be hurting the next generation!
What do you think about this one? Does same-sex marriage bolster the institution of the family and protect children? If not, why not? Respond to this challenge in the comments below, then Alan will post his response on Thursday.
Raphael Lataster, the author of There Was No Jesus, There Is No God has an article on The Washington Post’s website arguing that Jesus didn’t really exist. Here’s an excerpt from the article that I think makes a few mistakes in reasoning:
Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved….
The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify. Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.
Where do you think Lataster goes wrong with his argument against trusting the Christian writers of the Gospels? (It might help to make a list of all his claims in this passage, explicit and implicit.) How would you challenge his challenge? Tell us what you think in the comments below, then Brett will respond to this challenge on Thursday.