17 Thought-Provoking Questions Atheists Have for Religious People

Religion has been a part of human life for thousands of years, but not everyone believes in a higher power. Atheists and people who don’t believe in gods often have questions for those who do.

These questions can spark interesting talks and help people understand each other better. Whether you’re a believer, a non-believer, or somewhere in between, these questions might make you think about faith in new ways.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

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Many religions teach that God is all-powerful and good. Yet innocent people suffer every day. Atheists often wonder how believers explain this. They ask if God can’t stop bad things, is He not all-powerful? If He can but chooses not to, is He truly good? This question touches on the problem of evil and suffering in the world.

How do you choose which religion is right?

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There are many religions in the world, each claiming to be true. Atheists wonder how believers decide which one to follow. They ask if it’s primarily based on where and when you were born. They’re curious about what makes one religion more believable than others to a specific person.

Why doesn’t God provide clear proof of His existence?

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Atheists often ask why, if God exists, He doesn’t show Himself in a way that leaves no doubt. They wonder why faith is required instead of direct evidence. This question explores the idea of why a God who wants to be known would remain hidden from scientific proof.

How do you reconcile science with religious teachings?

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Some religious texts describe events that seem to contradict scientific findings. Atheists ask how believers deal with these conflicts. They’re curious about how faith and science can coexist in a believer’s mind, especially regarding things like evolution or the age of the Earth.

Why are there so many different interpretations of religious texts?

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Holy books often have passages that people interpret differently. Atheists wonder why God’s word isn’t clearer if it’s meant to guide people. They ask how believers decide which interpretation is correct when even experts disagree.

How do you explain the existence of other religions?

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If one religion is true, atheists wonder about the purpose of other faiths. They ask why a God would allow billions of people to believe in the “wrong” religion. This question touches on the idea of religious diversity and divine plans.

Why do some religious rules seem outdated or harmful?

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Some religious texts include rules that many people today see as unfair or even cruel. Atheists ask how believers decide which rules to follow and which to ignore. They wonder about the morality of following ancient laws in modern times.

How do you know your religious experiences are real?

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Many believers describe feeling God’s presence or hearing His voice. These people ask how they can be sure these experiences aren’t just in their minds. They’re curious about how believers distinguish between spiritual experiences and imagination or emotions.

Why does God allow children to suffer?

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This question is similar to the first but focuses specifically on the suffering of innocent children. Nonbelievers often find this particularly troubling. They ask how a loving God could permit things like childhood cancer or abuse.

How do you explain the similarities between religions?

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Many religions share similar stories and moral teachings. Nonbelievers wonder if this suggests that religions are human creations rather than divine revelations. They ask believers how they explain these common elements across different faiths.

Why do natural disasters happen if God is in control?

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Earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters cause immense suffering. Atheists ask how this fits with the idea of a loving, all-powerful God. They wonder why God would create a world with such destructive forces if He cared for His creation.

How do you reconcile the idea of free will with an all-knowing God?

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Many religions teach that God knows everything that will happen. Atheists ask how this can be true if humans have free will to make their own choices. They wonder if our actions are really free if God already knows what we’ll do.

Why does God seem to answer some prayers but not others?

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Believers often thank God for answering prayers, but many prayers seem to go unanswered. Atheists ask how believers explain this. They wonder about the criteria God might use to decide which prayers to answer and which to ignore.

Why do different religions have such different ideas about the afterlife?

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Concepts of heaven, hell, reincarnation, and other afterlife beliefs vary widely between religions. Atheists wonder how believers can be sure their religion’s version is correct and about the origins of these diverse afterlife ideas.

How do you explain the existence of other planets and possibly other life?

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As we learn more about the universe, some atheists wonder about Earth’s place in God’s plan. They ask believers how the possibility of life on other planets fits with religious teachings about humanity’s special relationship with God.

How do you explain the historical inaccuracies in some religious texts?

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Some events described in religious texts don’t match historical or archaeological evidence. Atheists ask how believers deal with these discrepancies. They wonder if this affects the credibility of other parts of religious teachings.

Why does God allow different interpretations of His word to cause conflict?

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Throughout history, religious disagreements have led to wars and persecution. Atheists ask why a loving God would allow His message to cause such harm. They wonder how believers reconcile the idea of a peaceful God with the reality of religious conflicts.

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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