Hemant Mehta’s 78 Questions for Christians

A few years back Hemant Mehta posted a video in which he asked Christians 78 questions. I am posting this video as I am traveling and hope that some of these questions can be wrestled with by some of the people who read here. 

“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”

Euripedes

“The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.

Socrates

I love Hehmant Mehta and read his blog quite a bit. I make the rounds on many atheist web sites routinely. Plus I also watch a lot of Hemant’s videos on YouTube. Today I want to feature a list of 78 questions that Hemant asks that I think deserve some reflection and some wrestling with. You can read the original blog post at The Friendly Atheist here. Questioning is good, and questioning is necessary. When in doubt I believe the response should be to question. Question, question and question. I hope you guys can discuss some of the questions below. Take care guys! 


Is Anne Frank burning in hell? How about Mahatma Gandhi? Is Fred Phelps in Heaven since he believed in the divinity of Jesus?

Should a killer who genuinely repents at the end of his life go to Heaven?

Should a kind-hearted atheist go to Hell for all eternity?

Do kind-hearted religious people who just aren’t Christian also deserve to burn?

Would you be happy in heaven if someone you loved was in Hell?

If your child were dying, and I hope that never happens, would just pray for them or would you take them to a doctor? And if you’d do both, which one do you think has more of an impact?

Whose prayers does God answer? And if it’s ultimately His Will, why bother praying?

If you have cancer, what would help you more: Certain drugs, or prayer?

If you had an amputated limb, would prayer ever bring it back?

If you have an exam coming up, what would contribute more to a higher score: Prayer or more studying?

If you prayed for me over YouTube right now, do you think I would know it?

What matters to God more: The quantity of people praying or the quality of their prayers? If quantity matters, shouldn’t the most popular team always win the Super Bowl? If quality matters, why do people you love sometimes die no matter what you do?

Is it possible that your prayers have no supernatural effect and only serve to make you feel better?

Would you ever admit it if that were true?

Is there anything in your life that makes you doubt God’s existence?

How would your life change if you had serious doubts about God’s existence?

Was Jesus white?

Why does God seem more likely to answer the prayers of a talented athlete than a starving child overseas?

Why does God Seem to hate Africa?

If a group of Africans swooped in to your community with the intention of converting you and your neighbors to their tribal faith, what would your reaction be?

Does God speak to you?

If God spoke to you and told you to kill someone, would you do it?

Is God always watching you? How about when you’re on the toilet?

How do you respond when someone who’s not a Christian tells you about their religious faith? Do you listen and consider what they have to say or do you just ignore them because they don’t believe what you believe?

What do you make of Muslims who think the Koran is the true holy book? Are they wrong? Have you read the Koran? Why do you dismiss them so easily?

Is homosexuality itself a sin?

Should gays and lesbians have the right to get married?

Why would God make people gay and then punish them for being gay?

If God’s already sending gay people to hell, why do you feel the need to persecute them here on Earth?

Why does God playing hide and seek with all of humanity?

Do you believe Jesus is coming back to Earth during your lifetime?

If you do, what do you say to the many generations of people who have been saying that for centuries?

Why is the story of Jesus’ birth and life so similar to that of mythological beings well before his time? (http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-ch…)

Is it possible that religion may have less to do with what’s true and more to do with the circumstances of where you were born?

 

5 thoughts on “Hemant Mehta’s 78 Questions for Christians

  1. With all due respect, these questions have been dealt with effectively by many Christian writers. What Hehmant Mehta is attempting to do is confuse uneducated Christians by impacting them with a shotgun load of questions, hoping to overpower their ability to answer with what appears to be a barrage of unanswerable questions.

    Unfortunately, the only reason his technique works is that most Christians in today’s pews have no interest in actually studying apologetics and tackling the hard questions as they are more interested in merely feeling good. Also, the answers are not found in soundbites. To understand the doctrine of hell, one must first start with understanding the honor-shame culture of the ancient Near East and that much of the present church’s understanding of hell comes more from Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost. That takes time and study, but in our Internet culture, as it has been said before, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

    Being well read in athiest literature, it would be interesting to see how Mr. Mehta would respond to my questions about atheism?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would hope that christians would actually stop to think about a few of these questions for themselves, rather than just looking up apologetics answers from somebody else. And in a lot of churches, when someone asks questions like this, a common response is to be told not to ask questions, that questioning is bad. Doubting is just not allowed. But what good is a belief that needs to be shielded from a good hard questioning?

      Yes it’s a barrage of questions, but I think that is to make the point that there are A LOT of questions that a believer needs to grapple with. This isn’t presented in a debate format, where each question needs to be rebutted individually, and going off into such a Gish Gallop would be unfair. This is clearly labeled as “78 questions” and perhaps a believer listening to them will find that a few of them resonate and warrant deeper consideration.

      Hemant’s been an atheist blogger for years, and has probably already addressed most of your questions about atheism many times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Appreciate your perspective Ubi. There is a lot of wisdom in what you are saying. Doubt can be healthy and good and questions are good to ask. That is what I appreciate in what Hemant Mehta is doing. Questions are good and they force self examination and one’s pursuit of truth. Thanks for your insight it is deeply appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The main difference about an Honor/Shame culture is that Shame requires an external party to know about the shameful act. To paraphrase Chesterton, “You need one for Guilt but at least two for Shame.”

      What this means is that in an Honor/Shame culture, “If nobody knows about my sin, I Am Not Shamed.” And it’s all too easy to attach “…And Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alan, thanks for your comment. I appreciate different points of view. Here is the problem I would suggest with modern evangelical Christian apologetics. I think parts of it is operating in a bubble. Christians think that they are responding but the answers that are provided at times comes up short. Then you have questionable apologetics such as Ken Hamm which is awful. I think a different approach to apologetics is one that is more willing to live and do life outside the evangelical Christian bubble. You have to go to the people and I think a key approach is being willing to listen. I have struggled with some of this Alan. I believe in heaven and hell however when I get angry emails from Christian pastors or have true believers of an Acts 29 church screaming profanities at me, much like Fellowship Memphis did to me, then I am baffled. THEN when I have atheists or secular humanists who are kind, loving and sincerely compassionate I am baffled. So when I see Hemant’s comment about kind atheists going to hell then I sometimes wonder. I think in the end when you and I get to heaven I think we’ll be amazed as to who is there and who is not. Does that make sense to you?

      Liked by 2 people

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