Religion 101 Final Exam
by Terrence Kaye
1 Which of the following is the most compelling evidence for the existence of an intelligent and loving designer of the Universe?
A A Caribbean sunset
B The screams of a baby seal as it is torn apart by a shark
C The first time your perfect new baby smiles at you
D The speed of the Ebola virus converting a child's organs to liquid
2 A deeply devout Catholic couple has just returned from their 50th anniversary celebration, when suddenly the husband falls to the ground, clutching his chest. What is the most productive action for the wife to take?
A Call 911
B Put him in the car and race to the hospital herself
C Administer CPR
D Fall on her knees and pray to the Lord to spare his life
3 You are a product tester and frequently bring your work home. Yesterday, while dressed in a flame-resistant suit (up to 3,000°) and carrying the latest model fire extinguisher, you discover your neighbor's house is on fire. As the flames quickly spread, you stand and watch your neighbor's new baby burn to death. Which of the following best describes your behavior?
4 One day while jogging in the park, you see a maniac with a butcher knife about to attack a 6-year-old girl. Which would be the most morally proper action to take?
A Grab the nearest rock and beat off the attacker
B Call the police on your cell phone
C Yell "POLICE!" and run toward the attacker in a threatening manner
D Calmly walk away, because God works in mysterious ways, and what appears "evil" to our finite human mind, may in fact be part of a master plan in God's infinite mind, so it's best not to interfere
5 You are the incarnated Son of the all-powerful and all-loving Creator of the universe. What would be a good way to demonstrate your compassion and power?
A Cure cancer forever
B Cause all the earth's deserts to bloom with food crops
C Unite the world with a common language and an end to poverty
D Conjure up a jug of wine and follow it up by walking on water
6 Since we can never "know" whether or not a God exists — it is fundamentally a matter of "faith" — it's best to be a believer since you have nothing to lose, but everything to lose if your disbelief is incorrect. Keeping in mind that the fate of your soul depends on the right choice, in which God should you place your belief? For extra credit, include a brief essay justifying your choice, along with the reasons why you reject the other 3.
D The Holy Trinity (assumes you were born after 400 CE, when the Trinity was invented)
7 You are the creator of the Universe. Your chosen people are a tribe of nomadic herdsmen, presently in bondage on one of the millions of your planets. Their ruler is being quite obstinate. Keeping in mind that you possess not only infinite power but also infinite love, your best course of action would be to:
A Cause the ruler to drop dead of a heart attack
B Cause the ruler to fall off a cliff
C Visit the ruler in a dream and persuade him to let your people go
D Slaughter a great number of innocent babies who had nothing to do with the ruler's policies
8 You are a Starfleet Federation explorer in the process of cataloging 2 newly discovered planets. The majority of the inhabitants of each planet believe in a deity, but they are 2 different deities. Deity "X" is said to be not only allpowerful, all-loving, and all-knowing, but the designer of a marvelously complex and ordered world. Deity "Y" is said to be indifferent, absent, unconcerned with the affairs of his planet, and some even say evil. Which god rules over which planet?
Has apparently achieved a state of advanced benign equilibrium in which there are no viruses or diseases, and only a very small number of natural disasters, which, when they do strike, always eliminate only the sinful and evil. The inhabitants, both plant and animal, have learned to maintain their existence through photosynthesis, and thus do not have to kill and eat each other in order to survive. There are no "birth defects”; every inhabitant
comes into existence perfectly formed and equipped for a long and
Deity X _____
Deity Y _____
Adorned with many examples of beauty and order, it is also constantly beset by hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes, lightning bolts, viruses, disfiguring diseases, parasites, leeches, flies, cropdestroying pests and many other phenomena which afflict both the innocent and the evil. Every life form on the planet can only sustain its existence through the destruction and consumption of other life forms. Some of the inhabitants are born with a crippling condition called a "birth defect", which condemns them to living extremely limited, short, or painful lives.
Deity X _____
Deity Y _____
9 What is the number of children born without arms or legs that have been miraculously restored by a visit to the shrine at Lourdes, France?
A Too many to count
B Over 1,000
C Several dozen
D Zero, but only because their faith was not strong enough
10 As we all know, there is only one true religion. What is the one true religion in each of the following circumstances?
A You are born in Karnak in 3000 BCE
B You are born in Mumbai in 300 BCE
C You are born in Baghdad in 900 CE
D You are born in Mexico City in 1956 CE
11 Although you are new at golf, you have just hit a beautiful 200-yard drive and your ball has landed on a blade of grass near the cup at Hole 3. The green contains 10,000,000 blades of grass. The odds of your ball landing on that blade of grass are 10,000,000 to 1 against, too improbable to have happened by mere chance. What's the explanation?
A The wind guided it
B Your muscles guided it
C There is no need for an explanation
D You consciously designed your shot to land on that particular blade
12 Which of the following is most likely to be true, and why?
A Romulus was the son of God, born to a mortal human virgin
B Dionysus turned water into wine
C Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from the dead
D Jesus Christ was the son of God, born to a mortal virgin, turned water
into wine, and raised a man from the dead
13 Conceding that torture is permissible under certain conditions, which of the following would be the best justification?
A Your prisoner is the only one who knows the date and time of an
assassination attempt on the pope
B Your prisoner is the only one who knows where a nuclear device has been planted in Washington DC
C Your prisoner is the only one who knows where a vial of nerve gas has
been placed in the London water supply system
D Your prisoner has announced that the Earth revolves around the Sun
14 We know that Christianity is true because the Gospel writers — who, besides being eyewitnesses, were inspired by God (who can make no error) — recorded the founding events. For example, on the 1st Easter morning, the visitors to the tomb were greeted by which of the following:
A A young man (Mark 16:5)
B No, no, it was no man, it was an angel (Matthew 28:2-5)
C You're both wrong, it was 2 men (Luke 24:4)
D Damn it, there was nobody there (John 20:1-2)
15 According to inerrant scripture, Jesus prayed alone in the garden while the 3 disciples who accompanied him had fallen asleep. How did the gospel writer know the words of that prayer?
A Jesus left them written down under a rock
B They were recorded on a primitive taping device
C The gospel writer was psychic
D The 3 disciples were later hypnotized and asked to recall the prayer
16 According to at least one sainted church father, one of the pleasures of the saved will be to behold the agony of the damned. What would be the best time of day in heaven for a mother to behold the agony of her only son?
A Early in the morning, before it gets too crowded
B Midday, when she can compare notes and share the celebration with other mothers
C Late at night, when she can enjoy the flames in starker contrast
17 In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we always look to the Bible as a guide. In this example, your teenage son has returned home from the prom intoxicated. The Bible's instruction is:
A Sit him down for a heart-to-heart talk
B Enroll him in AA
C Take away his driving privilege for a month
D Smash his head in with rocks
18 In this example, your son-in-law, returned from his honeymoon, has just told you he suspects your daughter was not a virgin on their wedding night. Wishing to abide by God's holy rules as laid out in the Bible, you should:
A Ask him if he was a virgin before you do anything
B Advise him to forgive her
C Talk to your daughter
D Go find those rocks
19 You are eating lunch at a crowded fast-food restaurant, occupied mostly by children, when suddenly a gunman bursts in, screams "Do not question or test me!", and sprays the room with bullets. 10 people are killed instantly, and many more are grievously wounded, but somehow you escape unharmed. His ammunition expended, the gunman collapses to the floor.
What should you do?
A Call the police and wait for them to arrive
B Call the police and leave
C Risk death by asking the gunman why he did it, even though he told you not to
D Fall on your knees and give thanks and praise to the gunman for sparing your life
20 Why did God show his backside to Moses, as described in Exodus 33:23?
A He invented everything, and this was simply the first mooning
B He was really ticked off when Moses dropped the tablets
C He was piqued, having just discovered his almighty powers were useless against chariots of iron (Judges 1:19)
D Moses was too serious and needed to lighten up a little
21 Jesus was God, and God knows all things, including all the medical knowledge that will ever be known. Why did Jesus blame demons for the case of epilepsy he cured?
A He was suffering from a temporary case of "brain freeze"
B The Aramaic word for "demon" is the same as the word for "cranial malfunction"
C Neurology was not his specialty
D In 1st Century Palestine, demons really did cause epilepsy. This
affliction only began to be caused by electrochemical brain activity after about 1850 CE
22 This morning's paper carries a story about a suburban father who became so enraged with his disobedient children that he carried them both to the backyard pool and drowned them, along with their puppy, their kitten, and their hamster. How should this father be treated?
A He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law
B He should be banished from the town
C He should be lynched to save the taxpayers' money
D The townspeople should gather together to sing hymns of praise to him
23 This morning I started my day by insulting my mother in public, then punched out my father, my brother, and my sister. Then I gathered up all my clothes, sold them to a 2nd-hand store, and with the proceeds bought a used Uzi and 50 rounds of ammunition. Next, I went down to the animal shelter and injected all the dogs with a drug that caused them to go insane and dive into the nearby canal, where they all drowned. By this time I was hungry, so I went over to my neighbor's apple orchard and burned it down, because I wanted an orange and there weren't any. On the way home, I stopped at the local steel mill to discuss my philosophy of life with some of the guys. They laughed at me and said to stow it, so I tossed them all into the blast furnace. That night I discovered my son looking at a copy of
Playboy. Concerned for his future welfare, I cut off his right hand. What historical character did my activities today most resemble?
A Genghis Khan
B Charles Manson
C Adolf Hitler
D Jesus Christ
24 Down through the ages, who has been most responsible for the medical discoveries that have relieved untold amounts of suffering and pain, and extended the length of that most sacred of creations, human life?
A Medical doctors
B Research biologists
D The Catholic Church
25 A great sadness has come into your life, which you feel you cannot bear. A friend informs you of a free counseling service which has never failed to aid and comfort many others. You call the counselor; the phone rings and rings with no answer; you finally hang up. What is the most likely explanation?
A The counselor is sitting by the phone but not answering in order to test your faith in him
B The counselor always stands ready to hear your pleas for help, but sometimes the answer is "no"
C The counselor will not answer because he wants you to profit by the spiritual strength that only comes through suffering
D The counselor is not home
While it is true that there have been and still are many different gods and many different religions, they are really just the various names by which various cultures approach the same God. Explain how and why each of the following is the same God:
• Quetzalcoatl, who wants you to skin a young virgin alive, then put on the skin and dance;
• Shiva, who wants you to pray over his penis;
• Allah, who wants you to fly airliners into buildings;
• Catholic God; who speaks directly through the Pope;
• Baptist God, who most definitely does not;
• Jesus, who wants you to castrate yourself to ensure arrival in heaven
• Jehovah, who any day now, is going to kill everyone on the earth except for his Witnesses
Monday, March 3, 2008
Religion 101 Final Exam