Riker's Mailbox

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Greetings all!

I humbly apologize for my absence over the past month; I do a lot of my blogging at work* and a recent promotion is keeping me in the field much more frequently than before. I'll try to sneak a few in there from time to time while I can, but mostly I have to learn to blog on my own time... which is gonna be tough because I'm addicted to Halo 3.

I'm going to attempt to create a sub-series of posts highlighting questions aimed at Christians. Obviously these will be rhetorical questions constructed to poke at the flaws and contradictions that come with religious belief. I'm not doing this to make fun of the religious, I'm doing it to prompt them to take a harder look at what they really think is going on in their faith. I think the ultimate goal of these queries is that they apply a prybar to the religious framework one might find himself boxed within.

If you're a person of faith, I think you should be asking yourself the tough questions anyway, even if it's to strengthen your faith. I cannot change your conclusions, but I respect how you came to them, even if our conclusions are polar opposites of one another.

While I have every intention to release a series of these questions, I have no idea how frequently the requisite ideas will pop into my head; it might be another year before you see the next one of these. Without further delay, I now present the first of many questions for Christians, in my half-heartedly named sub-series, 'Questions for Christians':

Questions for Christians

1a. Why isn't there a bible for today? When's the last time any of you had direct contact with a goat or a patch of desert in the middle east or a slave, or had to perform a wave offering? Why didn't God say "Come back to the top of my favorite mountain and get the new edition every 100th Christmas**"?

1b. If there's a reason explaining why not, then it only raises the question, "Why is so much of the bible irrelevant in today's world? If he only got one chance to write the user's manual for all*** humanity, why did it ever stop being the most amazing knowledge-filled piece of literature ever created? Why did we have to invent math and science on our own... shouldn't all of that information have been readily available in the bible? Why did he fail so miserably to create a timeless and definitive guide to living? Didn't he know we were going to be tinkering with stem cells and arguing over digital copyright law and ABOLISHING SLAVERY?

1c. Why did God stop talking to us? If he loves us as much as he loved his Abrahamic tribes 3000 years ago, why did he leave it up to them to deliver the Good Word to future generations? It's a several millenia-long game of telephone that started in an age when communication was, to put it politely, 'paralyzingly stifled'. How well does the telephone game work with one sentence within a single kindergarten class today? And God wanted us to do it with tens of thousands of passages and CHANGING LANGUAGES EVERY COUPLE CENTURIES?

1d. Why do we think God stopped talking to us? People all over the world today claim that God speaks to them, and we pay them no attention. Why, when we're so much closer to the actual source of the claims, are we so quick to dismiss them, when we take the same claims so seriously when they were made by primitive people who would interpret anything they didn't understand as a supernatural message?

I want to know what answers the faithful would come up with. And again, this isn't a snotty challenge to them, it's honest curiosity. I think whether you're a religious person or not, questions like these should be very important to you.

* - Don't judge. You're reading this at work. I have proof.
** - "The New FS&H Yellow Pages with more complete listings and up-to-date information"
*** - present and future