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The annoying why question

By Unborn Again Christian ~

When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die — Lillian Smith

I have seen countless creationist-evolutionist debates and there are two questions that creationists always ask, and are conspicuously smug about:
  1. Why are we here? 
  2. What caused the big bang?
 I have seen creationists feeling really proud of themselves for asking these two questions. They go on to claim that these are the two questions that religion can answer; god caused the big bang (something out of nothing) and we are here to serve an eternal purpose and fulfill a divine plan that god has in store for us. It is relatively easy to tackle the second question especially with all the brilliant research in theoretical physics and cosmology spearheaded by Lawrence Krauss, among others. The discovery of M-theory revealed that in a multiverse, big bangs keep happening all the time and are not really special events. Science is constantly shedding light on more and more supernatural mysteries.

The first question on the other hand is one that tempts me to get into arguments with creationists. Richard Dawkins was asked this question on a tv show once. He destroyed the questioner by saying that just because we can frame grammatically correct sentences in the English language it does not mean that every question we ask makes sense. This is akin to asking a question like what is the colour of jealousy?. We are products of natural processes and that is why we question. I would like to go on to say that this is one of those cases where a why question and a how question have exactly equal answers. Why are we here- because of natural processes; how are we here- because of natural processes.

Although this response sounds really logical, provided one can think clearly without preconceptions, the creationists do not buy it. In a desperate attempt to prove that god and his plan for us are special, they hold on to the why we are here question and provide god’s perfect plan as the answer. What I realized is that the easiest way to deal with godbots is to turn the question right back at them. Why did god create us? Or more specifically, why did god need to create us? The omniscient, omnipresent, almighty god with whom nothing is impossible was perfectly fine in heaven. He was being ministered to by angels and everything was perfect. Why would he, knowing that things would get messed up later, want to create mankind? Was he bored? Was he lonely? If yes then that suddenly takes away the special characteristics attributed to him. And why would god need to create something that burps, defecates, perspires, masturbates, flatulates and blow its nose? If god wanted to be praised and worshipped in spirit and in truth, he would not have created mankind at all. He would have just sat there in heaven, chilling out.

Try this response the next time you get the annoying why question.

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