Are you smarter than a 13th Grader? Muslim + Catholic editions

Siara is a young woman who is taking college courses on top of her routine semesters as a 17 year old Junior in high school. She wrote to me to help her with her Comparative World Religions course. Her assignment was to ask three different people from three different world views a series of questions.

I gave her my atheist answers a few days ago. I asked her if she’d please provide the other two sets of answers, and she obliged. I’m kind of frightened that grown men think these things are facts. Their dogmatic concepts are just as weird as the other fairy tale world views… Hopefully this class will function like John Loftus’ “Outsider Test for Faith” for the more attentive pupils.

Muslim edition

1. Does God exist and what is God like?

Yes. I believe God exists, in my religion we call him Allah. He is not seen, but we believe he is there. Allah is peace, love, etc. just like the God of Christianity. The world Muslim means peace.

2. What’s wrong with the world and what is the solution to the problems of this world?

People don’t believe. Whatever they’re doing is for their personal thinking. The solution is they should start believing and not being stubborn and understand what’s wrong or hurting others.

3. How can a person become right with God?

Following what the messenger said. Devoted prayer. Doing the right things in this life according to the Koran.

4. What happens to a person at death?

It is quite simple. If you do right and good deeds while here on earth, you will go to heaven. If you do wrong and bad deeds, you will go to hell.

Allah is not seen, but this guys says it’s legit. Naked emperor? No. Apparently I’m just being stubborn.

I’m not sure if my readers remember, but Islamic martyrdom is accompanied by eternal boners, according to Islamic scholars (ancient and modern). They get 72 white virgins, and every time the male exits the woman’s vagina, her hymen grows back. Then he breaks it again, and again, and again.

Catholic edition

*Catholic edition below the fold*

1. Does God exist and what is God like?

As a Catholic, of course God exists, God, for us, is a merciful and forgiving God who has acted like a parent to everyone.

2. What’s wrong with the world and what is the solution to the problems of the world?

The Catholic Church teaches that the problems of the world originated from Adam and Eve’s first sin in the garden, which has caused us to stray from the path of God, but not so far away that God doesn’t care for us anymore. The Church also says that all of us are born with original sin, and must not only accept Christ, but also work to do good, and many people don’t work to do good, and that is what causes hatred and our human problems.

3. How can a person become right with God?

Besides going to Church every Sunday and all Holy Days of Obligation like Easter, Christmas, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Pentecost, and other days, we as Catholics aren’t forced, but strongly pushed to go to Confession at least twice a year, before Easter and before Christmas. Confession, just elaborating on the subject, is where a person goes and tells the priest about the sins they have committed, the priest in turn gives advice on how to do better, and then absolves us of our sins. We as Catholics believe that we are actually forgiven of our sins, but not by the priest, but by the Holy Spirit who works through the priest.

4. What happens to a person at death?

When person dies, we as Catholics believe that they could go to three places: Hell and Heaven as all Christians believe, and then Purgatory, a more controversial topic between Christians. Purgatory, unlike many peoples thoughts of it, is a place that does indeed consist of pain, but also of hope because those that get there know that its only a temporary place of “living.”

Oh wait, now I’m confused. I thought I had to follow the prophet Mohammed, and worship Allah – and do good to get to heaven. Now I have to accept Jesus Christ and worship God – and do good to get to heaven.

When the Muslim says “reject all the other gods” – you should. Then when the Catholic says “reject all the other gods” you should. Hooray, now you’re an atheist! We should have had this talk years ago.

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  • eric


    I’m curious as to your own atheist answers. Though I can probably guess at 1, 3, and 4 (No, N/A, and their sentience/personality just goes away.)

  • eric

    Oops, didn’t see the link. Thanks!

  • IslandBrewer

    That’s not the Catholic version!

    The Catholic version should be something like this:

    1. Does God exist and what is God like?

    Of course He does! How impertinent of you to ask. He is like a stern scowling teacher, standing over you 24/7, watching everything you do, every second. Do you really want him to watch you masterbate? Then stop it right now!

    2. What’s wrong with the world and what’s the solution to the problem with the world?

    The problems with the world have two origins:

    (1) Someone else. Someone, possibly mythical, is at fault for everything, but you have to deal with it.

    (2) (Particularly for Catholics) It’s ALL YOUR FAULT! Economic crisis? Your fault. People starving? Your fault, again.

    The solution is to realize that it’s all your fault, and feel bad. Feel really really guilty about. Flagellate yourself (but not if you like that sort of thing).

    3. How can a person become right with God?

    You can’t. You should feel bad about that. Especially because everything’s your fault. (See “solution” under number 2).

    4. What happens to a person after death?

    Hell. Just hell, hell, hell, and more hell. You’re probably not going to get into heaven, but there’s still a slim chance, provided you do EXACTLY as I tell you to!

  • Colin

    “Muslim” is an Arabic word meaning “one who submits to God”. Nothing to do with peace.

    You would think that a devotee of a particular religion would know a bit more about it.

  • Colin @4

    “You would think that a devotee of a particular religion would know a bit more about it.”

    No I wouldn’t. The more devoted someone is to a religion, the less they know about it.

  • Justin Griffith

    LOL’d at IslandBrewer’s Catholic version.

  • Erp

    Peace and Submission in Arabic are cognates (the root is slm [Arabic/Hebrew roots are just consonants and vowels are used to indicate different meanings]) so Muslim is one who submits and salaam is peace. Hebrew has the same root, hence shalom (Hebrew for peace).