Apologetic Survey Encounters

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Andrew Worley
Dr. Anderson
PHIL2703
3/27/17

Apologetic Survey Encounters

The first person I was able to survey was a guy from Blackwell, Oklahoma, named
Michael. Michael is a nineteen year old freshman at Northern Oklahoma College, who was
shopping at Wal-Mart when my friend Jonathan and I met him. He is majoring in preengineering,
and plans to continue engineering at Oklahoma State University after graduating
at NOC. When I approached him, he seemed fairly talkative at first, but was hesitant to answer
some of the questions I had for him. The first question was simply if he believed in God, to
which he responded with a simple, “Yes”. Then I asked him why, and he thought about a
second before answering, “I grew up in church, and that’s always what I have kind of believed
in. I don’t question it, it’s just something I raised to believe in.” I continued and asked him if he
believe if all religions were true, and his response was, “I believe in God, and if other people
want to believe whatever they believe it doesn’t bother me.” I restated the question,
emphasizing whether he believed if those other religions were “true”, and he said, “Probably
not, but like people can believe what they want.” Then I asked if he believed the Bible to be
true, to which he said, “Yes.” Then I asked why he trusted the Bible, and he never really gave
me a clear answer, but basically he said that he believes that God made the Bible and so he
doesn’t think it is wrong. However, he also said that he thinks that since it was written by
humans that it might also not be one hundred percent true. I then asked him whether or not he



thinks he will go to heaven, and he quickly said, “Yes.”, but he shrugged when he said it. I was
not convinced that he knew anything for certain, but his response seemed like he was saying,
“Yeah, I think so, why wouldn’t I?” So then I asked him his reasoning why he thinks he will go to
heaven, to which he said, “I think everyone probably will go to heaven as long as they aren’t a
terrible person. I think I’m a pretty good person, so I think I would probably go to heaven.” I
then asked him if he believed in Christianity, to which I could of guess his response of, “Yeah,
I’m a Christian.” I asked him what exactly his religious beliefs were, and he said, “I believe in
Jesus, that he died to let us all to go to heaven, and like I go to church and stuff, and I believe all
of that.” Then I asked him what led him to be a Christian, and once again he said, “I grew up in
church, and so like it’s just what I believe in. None of Michael’s answers seemed thought out
very well, and it felt like most of his answers were just an excuse to try to shorten or try to end
the survey as quickly as possible. From what he said, it was pretty clear he had grown up a in a
church, although I have no idea what denomination. Overall, he seemed fairly nice, but did not
really know why or give reasons to what he believes.



The second person I surveyed was a guy from Tonkawa, Oklahoma as well. His name
was Logan, and is also a student at NOC, who working at Wal-Mart and was talking with
Michael when I saw him. I had recognized Logan from one of the concurrent classes I took at
NOC in high school, but he did not seem to remember who I was. Logan is a twenty year old
sophomore at NOC, who is majoring in something that has do to with business. Logan seemed a
bit more open than Michael, who left as soon as I thanked him for answering my questions, but
also seemed a bit more defensive in his responses at times. Through my interaction with Logan,
it was clear to see that he fit the description of a skeptic. The first question I asked was if he
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believed in God, to which he quickly responded, “I don’t believe that there is a god, no.” Then I
asked him why he didn’t believe in God, and he responded, “I don’t believe that there is any
evidence for a god, so I just believe in one.” Then I asked him how he believed the universe and
life came to be, to which he said, “I believe the universe was formed by the Big Bang, and that
like life and all that came from random atoms and stuff coming together, and that evolved into
like humans and stuff.” I then asked him why he believes that, and his response was, “Because
there is scientific evidence for it, and it doesn’t make any sense to think that a god created the
universe.” However, the way he said these responses made me question whether or not he
actually believed it himself. I would guess that this is just a response he had heard from
someone else and was simply just repeating, but there is no way I could know that as a fact. He
did not seem hesitant to answer though and seemed open to defend his belief more, but I went
ahead and continued asking questions. The next question I changed a little bit, and I asked him
if he thought that any religions were true. His response was, “No. I don’t think that any of them
are real. I think they are all just made up so that people feel better about themselves.” Then I
asked him if he believed the Bible to be true, to which he said, “No, I don’t, and I don’t see why
anyone would base their life off a stupid book, it just seems stupid to me.” He added the last
part without anyone asking, which makes me question why he felt so strongly against the Bible.
It seemed so unprecedented that it kind of caught me off guard. So, to his response, I asked him
the reasons why he did not trust the Bible and why he felt thought it was a stupid book. He got
some what defensive, probably because he did not have a good answer, and responded, “A
book that tells you what to do and not to do is stupid, why would anyone want that?” I decided
to move on because I did not want to get into an argument with him. Instead of asking him if he
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thinks he will go to heaven, I decided to ask him what he thinks happens when he dies. His
response was interesting, “I just stop living, and that’s it.” So instead of asking him why he
believes that, I decided to ask him what he thinks is the purpose of life. He stood there looking
confused for a good thirty seconds before he answered and told me, “I don’t know. I guess to
have fun and just do whatever.” His response kind of stunned me, and I did not know exactly
how to react in the situation. I felt troubled for this guy, who was my age and who had no idea
what real life was. I did not know whether to move on and ask him another question, or talk to
him about the reality of heaven and hell. It seemed like he wanted to know what the answer to
my question was, but I decided once again to just move on with the survey. It was just hard to
ignore the fact that this guy had never really considered that the meaning of his life was. Then I
went on to ask him if Christianity was true and if heaven and hell were real, would he believe in
it. Once again, his response was kind of shocking. He simply said, “No.” I then briefly clarified
exactly what all Christianity entailed to make sure he knew, and then asked again. Once again
he replied, “No.” Then I asked why, why he was opposed to the idea of Christianity, and he said
plainly, “I don’t want to give up my life for that, I’m happy doing what I’m doing, why would I
want to change that?” Logan’s answers seemed more thought out than Michael’s, probably
because Logan more engaged than him. Regardless, Logan’s responses were very skeptical of
any sort of God and religion. It almost seemed that the reason he did not want to believe in a
god was because that would mean he would have to change the way he was living his life. He
said he was happy living the life he was, and so, to him, to change that would potentially mean
that his happiness would go away. Like Michael, Logan seemed like a nice guy, but really did not
have good reasons and evidence to believe what he believes.
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The last person I was able to survey was a girl by the name of Payton, who I met in the
downstairs of the Geiger Center at Oklahoma Baptist University. Payton is a twenty year old
sophomore nursing major at OBU. When I approached her about the survey, she welcomed me
to take a seat with her at her table. She was very polite and open throughout the whole survey,
and she gave pretty well thought out responses to the questions that I asked. The first question
that I asked was the same as the other two surveys, which was simply do you believe in God.
Her response was, “Yes.”, and then she went on to explain why without me even asking. I let
her continue without asking the next question, which was why she believed in God. She
continued, “And I believe that because I don’t think that there is any other explanation for how
the world came to be. I don’t think everything could just come from nothing, that’s just not
possible. I believe what the Bible says about the creation and who the creator is.” Since she
answered my next question, I just moved on next and asked if she believed that all religions are
true. Her response was plainly, “No.”, and then she paused before I asked why. She took her
time and answered, “I only believe Christianity to be true. All other religions don’t seem to hold
up to the test, but with Christianity there isn’t any inconsistency’s and stuff like that to make
me doubt it.” Then I asked if she believed that she would go to heaven, to which she replied,
“Yes.” I then asked why she believed that, and she responded, “Because I have placed my faith
in Jesus Christ.” Base off that answer it is easy to tell she is a believer in Christ, which made my
last two questions somewhat unnecessary, but I asked them anyways. I asked her if she
believed the Bible to be true, and to no surprise she answered, “Yes.” I then asked her why, and
she gave me a pretty well thought out response. She said, “Because it’s the word of God, and
like it doesn’t have any errors in it since God basically wrote it. Also, it’s like historically accurate
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and stuff like that, which just helps prove that it’s true. And like so many people have been
changed by it that you can’t just say it’s just some made up book.” My last question was if
Christianity was true, would you believe it, and obviously she would have said yes, so I decided
to just ask her what led her to believe what she believes. She responded, “Well, I grew up in
church so there’s that. And like just my own experience with God through like reading my Bible
and stuff has led me to believe what I believe.” Payton was very open to talk about her beliefs
and faith, at least far more open than Michael and Logan. She knew what she believed, and
gave pretty good reasons for her beliefs. She was very welcoming, and it was pretty obvious to
tell that she loved Christ from just talking to her.

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