A response to "10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer"

The whywontgodhealamputees.com/ website is promoting a video titled "10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer".

The video is clearly intended to be quite a clever attack on christianity. However, the admittedly clever start quickly degrades into a cavalcade of fallacious argumentation based on false premises, and outright insults.

About morality

Before I dig into the video itself, allow me to write a bit about what is morally "right" and "wrong".

All these attacks on christianity always fall into the same argument: They assume that there's some kind of "universal moral code" which states what is right and wrong, and which every sane person agrees with.

There's no such a thing as a "universal moral code". What is morally "wrong" in your opinion might not be in someone else's opinion. This even in extreme cases.

For example, the United States has capital punishment. In their moral code it's justifiable to kill certain people for certain crimes. Many other countries abolish capital punishment. Who is morally "right" here? Are they right, or are you right?

In many countries abortion is legal, while in others it's illegal. Who is right here? Is your moral code correct and theirs incorrect? Why?

Some countries have an age of consent of 14 years (Canada), while there are other countries where the age of consent is 21 years (Bahrain). Who is morally right here? Them or you?

Let me repeat: There's no such a thing as a "universal moral code".

Now, just humor me for a moment and allow me to pose a completely hypothetical situation. You don't have to agree with it, but just go with me for a moment:

Let's assume, hypothetically, that God does exist and that he is enormously wiser than we are. Let's compare this to a situation where there's a wise father and a small child:

The child would want to eat ice cream whenever he wants. However, his father denies him the ice cream. The child just can't understand why his father is denying the ice cream. In his world ice cream is good, no ice cream is bad. He may feel that not getting ice cream is an injustice.

The knowledge and wisdom of the child is very limited, and thus he just can't understand why. His father knows better than him why he shouldn't be eating all the ice cream he wants. Even if he tries to explain the child the reason, the child may be too small to truely understand it.

If the child disobeys his father and eats ice cream furtively and gets caught, his father may punish him for that. Not only was eating the ice cream bad, but not obeying his father was also bad. The child may feel that the punishment was unjust and cruel.

Two things may happen: The child starts obeying his father, and when he grows up he ends up understanding the reasons why his father behaved like he did, and he may end up grateful to him. Alternatively, he may start disobeying him, grow obese, suffer a heart attack and then regret that he didn't obey his father, who was much wiser than him.

Now, still completely hypothetically (please still humor me), wouldn't it be at least remotely conceivable that if God did indeed exist and was enormously wiser than us, he knew something we don't, and that his reasons for doing things might be something we don't understand yet because we are unable to see the whole picture?

Moreover, wouldn't it be even remotely possible that God, with his enormous wisdom, has a better morality code than we do, even though we don't yet understand why?

Wouldn't it be possible that when we say "father, I want ice cream, please give me ice cream" and then he answers "no", then even though we may feel that to be an injustice and a bad thing, there just might be a larger picture involved, and that there may be a good reason for the denial?

I'm not saying you should accept this. I'm just asking a hypothetical question.

About fallacious arguments

Yet before I go to the video itself, let me explain a few fallacies.

A straw man is a technique where you intentionally oversimplify something in order to make it look completely ridiculous. A couple of examples:

The theory of evolution states that fish can jump to dry land and grow feet and lungs and start walking around. That's just ridiculous.

It also states that a species, such as a dog, can suddenly convert into a completely different species, such as a cat. That's just ridiculous.

These are straw man arguments: They oversimplify the matter in question to the point where they become ridiculous and just false.

Petitio principii, or in common parlance, begging the question, is when a statement or question is made from false premises. The statement or question itself is thus invalid because the premise is false. Two examples:

Why don't we see any fish growing legs and lungs?

Why don't we see any dogs converting into cats?

These two questions are based on the false premises set up in the previous two examples. Thus the questions themselves are invalid and irrelevant.

False dilemma is when in a situation only two options are given (and the assumption is made that either one of those options must be the truth) even though alternative options may exist (and both of the original options may be false). Examples:

Either fish can grow legs and lungs, or the theory of evolution is false.

Either dogs can convert into cats, or the theory of evolution is false.

These present just two options as if they were the only possible ones, and one of them must be the truth. They disregard the possibility that there may be a third option: That the theory of evolution actually doesn't claim that fish can grow legs or that dogs can convert into cats.

When straw men and false dilemmas are combined like this, almost any conclusion can be drawn. For example:

Let's assume for a moment that the theory of evolution is false and consider the questions above:

Question: Why don't we see any fish growing legs and lungs? Answer: Because the theory of evolution is false and fish don't behave like it says.

Question: Why don't we see any dogs converting into cats? Answer: Because the theory of evolution is false and dogs don't behave like it says.

Suddenly it all makes sense and is logical.

This kind of deduction is based on false premises, oversimplication and plain distortion. Thus the deduction is completely irrelevant and invalid.

"10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer"

The video starts quite cleverly: Flatter the viewer. Boost his ego by implying that he is educated, intelligent, smart, logical and whatnot. Imply that if he really is intelligent and educated he shouldn't have any problems in answering the presented questions. Who would admit being uneducated and stupid?

This introduction is rather mischievous. Its intention is to flatter the viewer, make him feel good about himself, in order to ensnare him into the surprising straw man traps that follow.

I have to admit that's a pretty clever introduction. I bet a lot of thinking work went into writing that script.

After all this flattering, the video finally gets to the point:

As a Christian, you believe in the power of prayer.

According to a recent poll 3 out of 4 doctors believe that God is performing medical miracles on earth right now.

Most Christians believe that God is curing cancers, healing diseases, reversing the effects of poisons and so on.

Immediately from the beginning, the entire video starts from very shaky grounds, setting up a petitio principii. In other words, it sets up the premise "christians believe that God cures anyone who prays for it".

While some christians believe that, that doesn't automatically mean that christianity, as a religion, teaches that, or that (assuming God indeed exists) it's true.

The premise is false. Not all christians believe that God cures everybody who just asks for it. Even the Bible itself has several examples of people praying for their diseases and not getting cured. There are even some extreme views held by some christians that God does not cure anybody at all.

Question #1: Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

I have to admit the question is quite clever. The problem is that it's based on a false premise (that is, that christianity teaches that God heals everybody).

In the end, this question can be reduced to the primal question: Why does God allow "bad" things to happen?

And this sinks into the question of what is "right" and what is "wrong". We may think that not curing people may be "wrong", but who says we are right? Is our view of the "universal moral code" correct, or is there some bigger picture we are not seeing? Are we asking for ice cream and being denied?

The continuation to that question in the video is irrelevant because the premise is false.

In order to handle it, notice that you have to create some kind of rationalization.


So you invent your excuse, whatever it is, and then you stop thinking about it because it is uncomfortable.

Now, these simple sentences describe perfectly the major problem in all these "clever" attacks against christianity.

You have already decided what the "correct" answer to your question is, and you have already decided that any answer, and that means any answer (in your own words "whatever it is"), which deviates from your own is a "rationalization" and thus incorrect. You will not even consider any alternatives besides your own preconception.

So the question is: Why are you asking a question when you clearly don't want to hear any answer? You have already decided your own answer and dismiss all possible alternative answers as "rationalizations" and "excuses". You are not interested in answers.

In internet parlance this is called trolling.

As a Christian, you believe that God cares about you and answers your prayers.

Again we have a shaky premise. You make an assumption of what the viewer believes and doesn't believe.

Also you are making the assumption that "caring about someone" and "answering someones prayers" is the same thing as giving him everything he asks for. The father may care about his child, but he still may deny him the ice cream.

Question #2: Why are there so many starving people in our world?

You already asked this question. "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" And on equally shaky premises.

Why would God be worried about you getting a raise, while at the same time ignoring prayers of these desperate, innocent little children?

Now here's a perfect example of a straw man. Simplify things to the point where they become ridiculous. And even this simplification starts from very shaky premises ("God is worried about you getting a raise, while neglecting starving children"). This question is completely equivalent to the already mentioned:

Why don't we see any fish growing legs and lungs?

The premises are false, the question is a complete straw man. The whole thing is a petitio principii.

The cleverness of these "questions" is rapidly degrading as the video progresses.

Why would a loving god do this?

Do what? Give you a raise while neglecting the starving children? The question is asked as a direct followup to a blatant straw man, and thus is completely irrelevant.

If you wanted to ask "why does God allow children to starve", independently of your previous straw man, then it, once again, falls into the same primal question: Why does God allow bad things to happen? Thus it's the same question you already asked.

More straw men follow this question, and are completely irrelevant.

Question #3: Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?

Innocent of what? You are now talking about this "universal moral code" of yours, which doesn't exist. Why is your moral code correct and someone else's moral code wrong? Does the US have the wrong moral code because they have capital punishment? This question could be asked:

"Why does the United States demand the death of so many innocent people in its criminal law?"

You proceed to talk about "murdering" people, like if it was the right for anybody to kill someone committing a crime. This is a complete straw man.

You are talking about criminal law here. Even if the criminal law of the United States has capital punishment, that doesn't mean people can go and kill anybody who commits such a crime. Criminal law is imposed by the government and its judiciary system.

It's no different in the Bible: The law you are referring to is criminal law, and could only be imposed by the government and its judiciary system. There are concrete examples: For instance, the man who broke the Sabbath was brought in front of the governing officials for judgement. Why would they do this if the Bible so clearly states that he should just be "murdered"? Isn't it clearly stated there that anybody who breaks the Sabbath must die?

Because it's criminal law, and criminal law can only be imposed by the judiciary system. There was as much "murder" as there is currently in the United States (regardless of whether you agree with capital punishment in the US or not).

You intentionally use sentences in the form "God demands that we kill everyone who", as if anyone would be entitled to kill someone for a crime. That's just false. Just because the US law has capital punishment doesn't mean that anyone can go and kill someone else.

Now, you may disagree for the reasons of capital punishment, but this, once again, falls into what is morally "right" and "wrong". Again, is your view of "universal moral code" correct, or is someone else's? Why are you right and others wrong?

It doesn't make sense, does it? Why would a loving God want us to murder our fellow human beings over such trivial matters?

"Why don't we see any fish growing legs and lungs?"

This is just a blatant straw man.

Question #4: Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?

Again a straw man. Have you ever heard of similes and metaphors?

"How do I know what is a metaphor and what is literal?" This is a different (and in itself theologically interesting) question, but rather irrelevant in this context.

Question #5: Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible.

And yet again a straw man.

You, like most of the other people attacking christianity, like so much to equate the "slavery" mentioned in the Bible with the slavery that happened, for example, in the United States in the past. Just because the same word, "slave", is used, doesn't automatically mean the situations were comparable.

In the United States slaves had less rights than animals, and were complete property of their masters. If, for example, the master wanted to beat, rape or kill his slaves, he could just do that with impunity. Slaves usually lived in their own quarters, often in conditions worse than dogs. Slaves had next to no protection from law.

"Slaves" in the Old Testament were in a rather different situation. They were protected by law, and if their master abused them, the master would get a punishment. "Slaves" usually lived in the same house as their master, in the same conditions, and they could buy their own freedom if they wanted to. Moreover, the law demanded that slaves be freed each seven years.

Regardless of this many of these "slaves" decided not to leave their masters because they were so well-treated. Their conditions were much closer to modern servants than to slaves.

But of course all who want to attack christianity will ignore all this, distort the Bible, equate "slavery" in the Bible to slavery in the US, and dismiss any alternative explanation as "rationalization" and "nonsense".

Question #6: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Now you are starting to repeat yourself. You have already asked this question. Twice.

I thought I was supposed to answer ten questions.

Question #7: Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave behind any evidence?

Petitio principii. Starting from a questionable premise and formulate a question from that. How do you know that they didn't leave behind any evidence?

And what kind of evidence do you want? Do you want water which was converted into wine about 2000 years ago? A person who was healed? What?

Question #8: How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?

These "questions" have already degreaded so much that it's starting to be just plain ridiculous.

False assumption: Jesus appears to people. Thus irrelevant question. A straw man.

Question #9: Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?

I can't believe how fast these "questions" are degrading in quality.

What do you not understand about symbolism? Do you have some kind of difficulty in understanding metaphors? I can't even understand what is the "wrong" that this question is trying to imply.

This doesn't even need any so-called "rationalization" to answer. The question is just ridiculous. It's like asking an American "why do you put your hand over your heart when the national anthem is playing?" Hello? Symbolism?

A complete straw man follows the question and is completely irrelevant.

Question #10: Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians?

The worst to the last, I see. What does this question even have to do with christianity?

Christians are human beings like any other. There's no "magical power" given to christians which would make them less prone to divorce. People are people, and when they don't get along, they don't get along. Sure, christians should get along, but they are still just people.

I still don't even understand how this question is related to the subject.

In the end, it's also a question of "why does God allow bad things to happen?" So, in fact, this is basically just the same question which you have asked three times already.

God is all-powerful, so if God has put two people together that should seal the deal, right?

Petitio principii. You assume that:

There's nothing in the Bible or in christianity in general which would claim neither of those to be true. On the contrary, the Bible itself gives advice and commands on what to do in case of divorce. Why would the Bible give instructions about divorce if it claimed that no christian could ever divorce?

Thus your premise is false, you are begging the question and your conclusion is irrelevant.

Your first question was rather clever. The cleverness of these "questions" degraded rapidly, and these last questions have been simply and plain stupid and irrelevant. Couldn't you come up with anything better?

We have looked at 10 fascinating questions.

Actually there were only 7 questions, because 4 of the questions were the same. The only "fascinating" thing about these 7 questions is the amount of fallacious argumentation put into them. They were all based on false premises and straw man argumentation. The last two questions were just plain ridiculous and irrelevant.

In order to believe in God, you have had to create all sorts of strange rationalizations and excuses,

Incorrect. In order to "believe" in your straw men, strange rationalizations would be needed. However, your straw men are just false.

That's the whole problem with straw man arguments: When you start from false premises and oversimplify to the point of ridicule, no rational conclusion can be drawn. That's simply because the premises are false.

Now, let me show you something remarkable.

What if you instead assume that God is imaginary?

The only thing "remarkable" here is that by building false dilemmas from false premises and straw men, you can come up with almost any conclusion.

What follows can be categorized into two:

This is exactly the same thing I did at the beginning of this page:

Let's assume for a moment that the theory of evolution is false and consider the questions above:

Question: Why don't we see any fish growing legs and lungs? Answer: Because the theory of evolution is false and fish don't behave like it says.

Question: Why don't we see any dogs converting into cats? Answer: Because the theory of evolution is false and dogs don't behave like it says.

Suddenly it all makes sense and is logical.

The cavalcade of fallacious arguments don't end here.

Our world only makes sense when we understand that God is imaginary.

False dilemma. It's like saying "animal biology only makes sense when we understand that the theory of Evolution is false".

This is how intelligent, rational people know that God is imaginary.

No, this is how intelligent, rational people know what fallacious argments are. Clearly you don't belong to them.

You have to willfully discard rationality, and accept hundreds of bizarre rationalizations to believe in your "god".

You have to willfully discard rationality, and accept hundreds of bizarre fallacious arguments to believe that your "questions" make any sense and are relevant.

Moreover, you have to willfully discard rationality in order to troll like this, by presenting "questions" you don't even want to hear any answers to, because you have already decided what the correct "answers" are, and anything else is just "nonsense".

After this the video sinks to outright insults. What started as a bunch of flattering has now been converted into insults, calling these same people "delusional".

It's time for you to begin thinking like a rational human being, rather than clinging to imaginary friends and childhood fantasies.

It's time for you to actually make rational arguments which are not straw men and which are not based on false premises and assumptions.

It never ceases to amuse me how these people blame christians for distorting and ignoring scientific facts, while they at the same time distort and ignore facts of christianity.

To get my point accross, and even at the risk of sounding repetitive, let me present just one more thing:

1 question every intelligent scientist must answer:

Why don't we see any fish growing legs and lungs?

Does the question make any sense? No. My point exactly.

Of course this whole article has been in vain. As I pointed out earlier, the people who made the video have already decided what the "correct" answer to their "questions" is, are not even willing to hear nor consider any alternatives, and anything else than their interpretation must automatically be a "rationalization", an "excuse" and "nonsense".

So trying to answer these "questions" is impossible: No matter what you answer, it will always be dismissed as an "excuse".

And this is the behavior of "rational" and "intelligent" atheists.