Monday, December 22, 2008

Questions for God

Here at The Forum, we believe that the more we seek to understand different perspectives, the better we will be.

That's why before every Forum we convene task groups composed of diverse members of our community to help us develop a thoughtful discussion outline for the Forum moderator. Since Forums are live and unscripted with no speeches or prepared remarks, we do not share these discussion outlines with panelists - just the moderator. Even so, Forums are always unpredictable due to dynamics between panelists, the skill of the moderator, and questions posed by the audience.

At our first task group meeting for our upcoming Forum, God: Big Questions...Bigger Questions, featuring Rabbi Harold Kushner, Rev. Peter Gomes, and Christopher Hitchens, we talked a lot about the questions many people have about religion, faith, and God, such as:
  • What does it mean to be "spiritual" versus being "religious"? What's the difference?
  • Who/what is God? How do you define God?
  • How do we use God to make meaning? What difference does it make whether or not God exists, and how, if at all, does it affect how we live our everyday lives?
Now we'd like to hear from you!

What questions would you like to hear in a discussion about God? What topics or concepts do you think would make for a fascinating Forum with our panelists? Let us know! We welcome your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

was god a male or female?

Anonymous said...

Why do we constantly have to give god a human form and therefore a gender? God is not human God created humans.

Anonymous said...

How do you see the importance of religion in the American culture evolving?

Arne said...

Which book did you really write? There are so many. Which dress code is correct? Who are your chosen people and who can be massacred? Why did you make people superstitious? Why did you make the place where offspring are born right next to the place where waste is eliminated?

Anonymous said...

Why no women on your panel? Our voices and views bring balance to the conversation...

Arne said...

There are no women on the panel because most religions are invented by men. Are there any prominent female atheist or antitheist authors or researchers?

I'd like to see the author of this website on the panel: Greg has put to rest any doubts that Jesus Christ is just another Pagan man-god myth.

Anonymous said...

How can you hypothesize or conclude anything about God who is greater than the sum of all creation?

Anonymous said...

If there is no God, what is there to be hopeful about?

Wayne said...

What would it take to convince you that there was no God, or that your religion was false and another religion was true?

What is the purpose of God's existence?

Do you think the world would be a better place if everyone converted to your faith?

For most of human history, people believed in many different Gods. Why were monotheistic religions successful in replacing polytheistic religions?

Anonymous said...

How can humans intellectually embrace and defend the notion of a
God who is 14 billion years old (the age of the universe) and whose
"attention span" can be directed at human beings in one speck of space that covers billions of light-years of space?

And also...

Given the history of religious wars, oppression and violence would
our panelists say organized religion (the human institutions reflecting theological interpretation and construction) has been more of a benefit or a
detriment to human well being on our planet?


Anonymous said...

CAn you create something so big that even you cannot lift it?
God is nothing.

Arne said...

"If there is no God, what is there to be hopeful about?"

This is so sad. Is life so miserable that many hope for some sort of paradise in the afterlife? Sometimes I wonder why Christians don't all kill themselves to be with their savior. Suicide is a sin, but all will be forgiven by Him. How strong is your faith if you aren't sure you'll be forgiven or if a paradise awaits the faithful? Most versions of heaven that I've read about sound like hell to me.

I am hopeful that reason will one day overcome superstition. I am hopeful that my children might outlive me and lead happy lives. I expect oblivion upon my death. This does not bother me a bit. It gives me comfort.

I think there is a "God" factor in existence, but it is not an angry old man living in the clouds. That's a human invention to justify systems of authority and oppression.

Heaven or hell exists right here, right now.