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November 9th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

Humanists launch huge 'godless' ad campaign

The new humanist campaign cites holy books

The Bible and the Quran contain "horrific material, and to say  you get your morality from there" is a problem, the head of the American Humanist Association said Tuesday as the group launches what it calls the  largest, most extensive advertising campaign ever by a godless organization.

The group is putting ads in newspapers across the country - and  advertising on NBC - in the $200,000 campaign, AHA head Roy Speckhardt told  CNN.

The point, he said, it to "challenge the fundamentalists" who "spout  their backward ideas," he said.

The target audience is people who may not realize they are humanists,  Speckhardt explained.

"We're targeting for criticism those who read the Bible literally, not those who pick and choose what they like," he said. "We're telling (people who  pick and choose), 'You're more like us.' Biblical literalists and Quranic  literalists are holding us back.

"We know that you can be good without God, but many folks in America don't know that," he said.

The campaign features violent or sexist quotes from holy books,  contrasted with more compassionate quotes from humanist thinkers, including  physicist Albert Einstein.

A screen grab from the new humanist campaign

"We're calling it like it is," Speckhardt said. "It's quite obvious that  the Bible contains horrific material - and the Quran - and to say you get  your morality from there" is problematic.

"We don't expect to convert people from the billboard signs," he said.

But, he said, "there are millions of people - approximately 34 million  people - who are unaffiliated" with a religion in the United States.

Only one in 20 Americans does not believe in God, according to the Pew  Forum on Religion & Public Life, and of that group, only a quarter call  themselves atheists. The rest say they are agnostic, "nothing in particular" or members of a faith.

More than half of all Americans pray every single day - as do more than  one in five Americans who say they're not affiliated with a religion, according to Pew's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.

Speckhardt knows the numbers.

"There has only been one member of Congress in the history of the United  States who has come out and said he doesn't believe in God," Speckhardt said, identifying the legislator as Rep. Pete Stark, D-California.

The Secular  Coalition for America said Stark responded in 2007 to an inquiry from that  group by saying he was a "nontheist."

"We feel those (unaffiliated) folks don't yet know they can admit that  they don't believe in God," Speckhardt said.

Marketing guru Allysen Stewart-Allen thinks the campaign has potential.

"They will certainly get people talking," she said.

"One of the things that the humanists need to articulate is what success  looks like for the campaign - if it's converts, I wouldn't think that is a realistic measure," said Stewart-Allen, the director of International Marketing  Partners.

"I would hope what they want is for people to talk about faith in the  widest sense, and I think they will achieve that," she said.

"If your objective is to shape the conversation, I think it can't hurt,"  she added.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Atheism • United States

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Randy Pausch notable quotes,
    This is amazing, he died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, but wrote a book ‘The last lecture” before then, one of the bestsellers in 2007. What a legacy to leave behind… 
    In a letter to his wife Jai and his children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe, he wrote this beautiful "guide to a better life" for his wife and children to follow.  May you be blessed by his insight. 
    POINTS ON HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE 

    Personality:
    1. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    2. Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment 
    3. Don't over do; keep your limits 
    4. Don't take yourself so seriously; no one else does 
    5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip 
    6. Dream more while you are awake 
    7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
    8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
    9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
    10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present 
    11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you 
    12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. 
    Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
    13. Smile and laugh more
    14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

    Community:
    15. Call your family often
    16. Each day give something good to others 
    17. Forgive everyone for everything 
    18. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6 
    19. Try to make at least three people smile each day 
    20. What other people think of you is none of your business 
    21. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.

    Life:
    22. Put GOD first in anything and everything that you think, say and do. 
    23. GOD heals everything 
    24. Do the right things 
    25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change 
    26. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up 
    27. The best is yet to come 
    28. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful 
    29. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it 
    30. If you know GOD you will always be happy. So, be happy. 

    While you practice all of the above, share this knowledge with the people you love, people you school with, 
    people you play with, people you work with and people you live with.
    Not only will it enrich YOUR life, but also that of those around you

    November 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  2. Muneef

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/12/our-take-your-relationship-style-determines-how-you-feel-toward-god/#comment-163217

    November 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      What those above call for other than negativity:
      – Doings of Sataned?
      – Doings of Cursed?
      – Doings of Strayed? 

      Why we go there when we can go to positivity:
      http://www.islamicsolutions.com/world-day-of-god-2010/

      November 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Mark from Middle River

    I have to agree, they are stepping a bit on to attacking another group. It is the same as those churches to have signs that say, "there is one God and his name is not Allah"

    Just the section about the Television ads. How is it not ok for the fundamentalist to pick and choose what they want to take from the Bible but to then have the same accuser turn around and pick and choose scriptures to contrast them with Albert Einstein peaceful quotes? I can see the klan doing something stupid like that. Have a commercial of prison scenes showing black males incarcinated and then showing the next schene as a white guy playing with his kids.

    or ... turn it around and show some drunk white guy in a wife-beater ten minutes after he beat his wife and then contrast it with images of Obama, Colin Powell and Clarence Thomas?

    November 12, 2010 at 4:45 am |
    • civilioutside

      The difference is that the fundamentalist claims that the Bible is the perfect and inerrant word of god. And if that is true, then "picking and choosing" which parts to believe is not an option. It would not be hypocritical, for example, for the Christian to respond to the question of stoning women to death as the penalty for adultery (or for being ra-ped without screaming loudly enough) with "you're right. I should have killed her. But I couldn't bring myself to do it, and so I sinned and I pray for god's forgiveness." But the response is almost always "He didn't really mean for us to do that," or "Jesus' death wiped out the need to follow those OT laws that I don't like." It's making excuses for why something their god explicitly commanded them to do is, in fact, wrong while still trying to cling to the notion that those writings are perfect and without error.

      November 12, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • NL

      Mark-
      Picking and choosing verses that contradict what fundamentalists say would be wrong if done in isolation, but responsible biblical critics do it to contrast and thus give a fuller picture of what the bible actually says. Adding to, instead of replacing one side completely for another. Shedding light on the parts that fundamentalists would rather keep hidden. Only a fool would say that the bible contains nothing good. All that we are arguing is that pointing only at the good parts gives the false impression that the entire bible is good.

      November 12, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  4. truth

    if you ask me this campaign is hate language

    November 12, 2010 at 12:54 am |
    • Simple

      If you ask me, all these things you've been saying are. Let these people do what your people do. Right or wrong. It's exactly the same idea: spread the message.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:01 am |
    • steve88

      the idea that you can give your life in peace with no for need imaginary friends and other improvable, unknowable (likely man-made) dogma is not meant to be hateful.
      =/

      live and let live, without fear-based myths. 🙂

      November 12, 2010 at 4:39 am |
    • steve88

      **live your life in peace

      November 12, 2010 at 5:07 am |
    • NL

      truth-
      I'll repeat this from something I posted in another tread. Just because I disagree with folks like you doesn't mean that I hate any of you for your beliefs. If I did then I really don't see why I would bother trying to reason with you all.

      Does a parent hate their child when they try to talk them out of a harmful behavior? Does a child hate their parent when they try to talk them into quitting smoking? Does a teacher hate the student they are trying to teach? Would you be hating someone you were trying to help? Well, I'm trying to help you get over your biases, misconceptions and some of your beliefs that are plainly false. You are supporting these ideas on religious grounds, and I'm arguing that those grounds are too antiquated and unsupported by reality to be reasonable.

      You may think that I must hate God for thinking this way. Personally I don't believe in God, so I can't say that I hate something that I don't think is real. You don't hate things you don't think are real, do you? No, that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?

      I make the effort to try reasoning you out of these beliefs because I honestly do believe that some of these beliefs are harmful. So, when I challenge folks like you I do this out of love for all people, and in the name of justice, fairness and truth. So, please, don't see this criticism as hatred, because all I'm trying to do is be helpful.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • truth

      and out of love i preach the gospel, because i would not want nayone to to go to hell, if you truly believed in jesus and hell wouldnt you preach the gospel, and if you truly dont believe whats your respose the big paragraph i posted about the impossibility of the universe without god, id like to see someone respond to that or say its unlogical

      November 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  5. truth

    jesus loves you. thats all, idont know why that makes yall so mad

    November 12, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • Simple

      If that was your only message, it wouldn't upset anyone. 🙂 However, a lot of what you have said can be offensive.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • NL

      If he's real and he loves me fine, but if he actually wants to torture me then I have issues with him.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:33 am |
    • truth

      no he doesnt want to torture you he died so you didnt have to take your own punishement, see before adam sinned god set up the punishement for sin was death, why cause god is life, if you sin you cannot be with god the only thing is death, he bible says that before we are saved our spirits are in death, jesus came and died so that we could be restored to god took our sins and paid the price for them so that we wouldnt be seperated ffrom god, hell was originally created for satan who tried to overthrow god, but now the bible says that anyone who rejects christ and doesnt except him will go to hell, why becuase your sins were pardoned by him he paid the price for him and the blood fo god was shed, the price fo rejecting that is hell, all you gotta do is follow him and all your sins are forgen, im not perfect thats why some of things i said and others said are offensive cause i ain perfect im never gonna be but atleast i can rest tonight knowing that tommorow if i died jesus paid my imperfections and that if i died i would go to heaven, and truly i also know that god has a plan and a purpose for my life as he does for every one who follows him, and truly im happier and have better life then any non believer i know cuase life is pointless if you arent living for gods purpose and specific plan for you

      November 12, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • NL

      Let's see, some guy says he loves you and then tells you that if you don't love him back he'll make you suffer horribly. Sounds like every guy's worst fear about being locked away in prison to me.

      Getting late. TTFN

      November 12, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • truth

      to continue that its not condeming cause every time i sin which i do i can go to god and say father i sinned forgive and he does, some christians do condem others that because theyre legalistic and judgmental and havent truly recieved the forgiveness themselves so they condem others, god isnt going to give you a excuse cause christians werent perfect, the truth is thruth, either let him pay for you ro dont, you have the free will to choose christ, thats how god made it he gave us free will me or no one else can take that form you but know this he didnt take away the consequences of our choice, he only paid the price through his son, so if you choose something else then his son you will have to pa the consequence for it, also 1 sin corrupts all the good deeds, so u cant earn your way to heaven either.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • truth

      your being irrational, so can u say u have never done anything wrong, no there for u have sinned, and the punsihment for that is death, thats what i said, and jesus died so that if you believe in him by faith you dont have to recieve the punishement for your sins, which is death stop twisting what im saying, and yes not accepting his sacrifice, means your sins go unpaid, therefor you go to hell, its tupid to not accept, ok so theres a 50/50 chance im right 50/50 your right, im im right ur gonna burn if ur right nothing is gonna happen to me and ill have enjoyed my life living for god cause its so awesome, my chances are better,

      November 12, 2010 at 12:52 am |
    • NL

      truth-
      Personally, I wouldn't put the odds anywhere even remotely near 50:50 that you're right, but for the sake of argument ...

      You seem to be gambling completely for your own self, but what of the people you would have harmed if you are wrong? Belief in God and the afterlife is the only reason why Christians believe in things that we atheists cannot. I'd be bothered with the idea that I'm choosing to believe in illogical things and stepping over people in order to possibly benefit myself after I die. Would it bother you that you are opposing people and slowing our progress for possibly no better reason than to help your chances?

      Now think of all the time, effort, worry and money you are spending all on this slim chance possibly paying out. If you honestly allow yourself to see that it may all be for nothing just think what you could be doing instead to better your life now, before you die?

      If you honestly think there is a chance that you could be wrong, then you already have less than perfect faith. So, would choosing to believe despite these real concerns actually be what God wants, or will he just see you as being self-serving and condemn you for that? Really, can you force yourself to believe something if you have reason not to?

      You see, Pascal's Wager fails on so many levels it's really useless as an argument for belief.

      November 12, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • truth

      see but the thing is i know that i know that i know that god is real, its no longer faith because he revealed himself, see if have seenwith my owns eyes people get out fo wheel chairs and walk iv heard the testominoies of people being healed, i seen people get healed, to continue if you put a gun to my head and said admit or confess jesus isnt real or soemthing i would shoot me now so i can see him, why cause i have expirenced the presence of god in my church, i have heard the voice of god as have more then half the people in my church, why because our church teaches that believers can hear the voice of god, we have a spirit before being born of again your spirit is separated from god and cannot hear his voice, but when your born again your spirit si united again with god and he can speak to your spirit and you can hear it, but u have to know he can and you have to listen, how did i hear from god, i was in the bible where they talked about how god has a plan and a purpose for our lives, i asked god saying i want to do whatever your plan is no matter whether it is cleaning the bathroom or anything and i heard this thunderous voice inside me that was different then my thoughts say "I have called you to the ministry." he has spoken many times since then and ever since then ive know he is real, many of the bigest minister in the nation have all heard the voice of god , in acts god spoke to paul and said arise kill and eat, there are many times where god spoke to them and if he is real why wouldnt he. plus iveseen the power of heal people, its still faith until i see him face to face, but its a fath that has no doubt, because he has revealed himself, why cause i was seeking him already believing he was real i sought him to have relationship and walk with god as the bible teaches we should and he revealed himself, after i already had faith, cause god requires you have faith and you seek it says seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you, and please to revert to being stupid and be like your crazy dude cuse jesus said blessed are you when they persucute you for my names sake.

      November 13, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  6. truth

    well it comes down to one thing i admit i sin, thats why i believe in jesus cause i i know i cant not sin, but mine are covered by christ, whats covering yours?

    November 12, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • Reality

      Did the simple preacher man really die for our sins? No!! The modern take:

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."- JD Crossan

      November 12, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • truth

      this si what i dont like about youou misquote the bible, jesus himself said he was the son of god, and he said he was laying down his life for us go read the end of the gospels, and in isaiah it says the promised messiah was wonded for our transgressions and that we are healed by his stripeds, so yes the old trestament does predict his death, and yes jesus di die for our sins he even claimed it if you want me to pull out the bible and quote it i will but please stop trying to say you know somehting about a book you dont understand ive read it over and over you havent

      November 12, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • truth

      not pnishement jesus didnt have to go to the cross, he chose to do it for us, but man sinned and he had to be redeemed, god loves us but he cant back down on his word he told adam the day he ate he would surely die, the price of sin is death, god cant break his word, the only to get us out is to take our place, jesus the bible says went to hell in those three days fully took our place, and the reason why god had to send his own son to do it is cause the blood of a man wasnt holy enough to bear the sins of the entire human race only one other man, but the blood fo the son of god the blood fo god himself is so great a sacrifice that god can ok at it and say its enough and it takes all our places and all our sins, and all he requires is that we believe by faith,

      November 12, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Truth
      The divinity of Christ did not become part of church canon until 300 years after his death.
      Nowhere in the bible does Jesus state that he is the son of God. The closest thing to an outright statement is when his disciples heard God's voice saying "This is my son, with whom I anm well pleased" after Christ died on the cross.
      But bear in mind that this secondary, hearsay evidence could be interpreted in other ways.
      We are all God's children, are we not?
      That's why is took hundreds of years for the clergy to declare Christ the DIVINE son of God by coming up with the Trinity as rationalization.

      November 12, 2010 at 9:21 am |
    • Mike, not me

      300? What do you do with st ignatius writings in 160 ad

      November 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  7. truth

    the final snwer to all this is that on the day of judgment all you aethist will say well i did not believe and i didnt know you were real, and jesus will say, theres no exuse the gospel was preached to you and you didnt recieve me, just because you dont believe doesnt mean hell isnt real and it doesnt mean you wont expirence judgement, you have no excuse and you will recieve the judgement of rejecting the son of god, eternity in hell, if you have any response to this pls respond to my previous post first.

    November 11, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • NL

      When you think about all the time ancient people wasted in worshipping idols and false gods do you ever stop to think that sometime in the future you will be thought of in exactly the same way?

      November 12, 2010 at 12:10 am |
    • truth

      do realize that if dont believe in jesus, when in your hell youll think you wasted your time posting that on my post and wish youd spent your time following him so you would be in hell

      November 12, 2010 at 12:14 am |
    • truth

      oops i meant wouldnt be

      November 12, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  8. Jessica

    As someone who was raised a christian and is now strongly against religion, I am just glad that those who are not religiously affiliated will have as much "publicity" as those who are. I'm tired of hearing about god in everything, seeing catholic commercials on tv, spotting religious bill-boards along the road, and finding religious pamphlets in my daughter's trick-or-treat bag. While I don't exactly know how the material will be relative to people, I appreciate the attempt to publicize the non-religious perspective.

    November 11, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  9. truth

    well scientist have been converting to christians because they can see that this world is impossible with out god, how can a world where perfect order exist becreated bya random collesion of atoms, te chance that al this would happen so that youcan sit at your computer ad type this is like .00000000000000000000000000001 thats the chance of this world existing without god, explain how without some one designing t your male anamoty fits perfectly with the female ananomity and feels good and reporduces our race, expalin how the earth is the perfect distant form the sun for all the life on it to live and exist, explain how all the stars and of the universe function under the law of gravity or how all the laws of physics came to be by random accidents like to small particulars coliding casing the big bang, in fact the chance that al this happened without god creating it and designing it is so small its impossible, and now this si th chaleneg can anyone here name anythign in the world that is truly random but yet creates perfect order, no such thing but yet you want to believe that this perfectly order world is random no such thing i it exist, to me it is impossibethe univese could exist with out god to make it and to believe such a thing is infidelity, in fact i beleive it is just and exuse so you dont have live by a set fo rules, when christianty aint even about rules its about forgiveness by christ cause we cant keep the rules, and the worst part is this anti christ organization takes scriptures out of context and protrays and interprets them wrong, in fact in the old testament it predicts that at the end of the age people will begin to blastpheme god and become godless, here you all blurting about a bunch crap when not a single one of you know what your talking about, the bible predicted you 3000 thousand years ago. so if someone can explain how a perfectly ordered world can be created by random accidents at a percententage smaller then a billionth fo a percent, then try, cause it takes more faith to believe that two molecules that we dont know where they came form some how collided in infintie space, which in infinite space they would have to be aimed at eachother to collide cause they is nothing to bounce off and be redirected at, and collided creating a perfectly ordered world will all sorts of laws and a perfectly spaced planet of perfect size to have the perfect type of life to sustain us, by random accident without god, impossible!! as only way thats possible is if god is behind it, and i get upset at the type of people form this organization cause they dont research anything ro correctly quote the bible they make rash invalid attacks at christianity and call us the ignoratn ones whens its what they believe is impossible according to the law of physics and order of the universe, so next time ur aving fun in private just think about how could that be possible by a random accident without god.

    November 11, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • NL

      So, basically, you are using the old 'improbability of the universe naturally occurring by itself' argument to which I will point out that you are actually adding another couple of dozen layers of improbability by insisting that God must have done it. God would have had to exist in some state that does not conform to the universe as we know it in order to create it, right? So, instead of one improbable universe you have to explain away two. Then you have to explain away just where God came from within this alternate 'universe', why and how God is so powerful to be able to create a universe, where did he get the materials to do this, and so on. After all that then you have to explain away theology. The odds of things happening your way are far and away more astronomical than the natural means theory.

      Your argument only seems to work if you force your brain not to wonder where God actually came from and how he supposedly created the universe. We use to just say "God did it" for everything. "Why is the sky blue?" "God did it! "Why are some people black?" God did it! "Why do things fall down?" God did it! and so on... Had we been content with those answers we really wouldn't know anything more about ourselves or the universe than our cave people ancestors, right?

      November 12, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • truth

      ok well the sky is blue because of the reflection of light of the ocean, and when god created the universe it created all the law of physics and everything, as to how did god come to exist, the bible says god is outside of time, has no begging or end my explanation to that is in highschool math you plant points on a graph he is like a that, one point that is outside of time bible also says that we humans dont know everything and we wont, i do know the bible says that when god spoke all his plains came to be in other words gods mejaestic power is displayed through his words, he planned it all out in his amazing mind, and the bible says that before he made it he even pklanned the number of hairs on your head, now all of it has evolved form his original plan but when spoke part of what he planned was created, it alos says that god himself created time thats why he has no begging and end because he is outside time, that is the hardest part for me to grasp the no begging part everything we know has a begging but at the same time something had to be first right you cant deny something had to first, if you wanna say the universe just is i wouldl find it easier to believe god just was, and as to what god is it says that he has three forms and that god the father is a spirit, jesus is fully man, fully god, the holy spirit is the spirit,

      November 13, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  10. fireybuddha

    i believe that most people. when truly pressed and if we could get actual truth from them, would say there is no god. there is no santa, easter bunny or tooth fairy either, daggone it.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • ragu

      i believe that most people. when truly pressed and if we could get actual truth from them, would say there is no george washington, since there is the exact same amount of scientific evidence that suggests he existed as there is that suggests God exists. food for thought.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Q

      ragu- That was perhaps the weakest response I've ever seen posted.

      November 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  11. Rory

    The days when belief in a god should be well and truly over.
    The Christian catch cry and insistence that faith trumps logic is insane.
    All it takes is a minuscule amount of logical thought to see religions in their true context. From that point on there is no need for daily, weekly, or group affirmation nor the need to constantly stand on a soapbox or pulpit and belittle non-believers. Religion may lay golden eggs for a few but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck!
    Dressing it up in the Emperor’s New Clothes doesn’t change that.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  12. clark

    I thought humanists were supposed to be "seekers of truth," basing their individual findings on factual evidence instead of faith. Is this not true? Are you guys reading your comments? Dang....you should just change the name from humanism to contentiousness, lol. As a "scientist" by profession, I can tell you that there is a GREAT deal of what could be considered "faith" in our scientific endeavors....particularly when referring to the cosmos and theoretical physics. I guess what I mean is by your own humanistic definition of "factual" you are making assumptions based on faith – at the end of the day, all science is based on the faith that the world around us acts in a way that our minds deem as "rational." This was exactly why Einstein was a deist. He wasn't a Christian, wasn't a theist....but a deist. There in an underlying moral fabric, an order, that all humans and nature follow. Thus, the "what's true for you is true" argument falls to pieces.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • NL

      Are you the kind of "scientist" who carves human footprints next to dinosaur footprints?

      November 12, 2010 at 12:16 am |
    • Peaceful Atheist

      What you say about there being elements of faith in scientific research is true as well as faith in day to day matters. For example, I have faith in my friends that they will be there for me in good times & bad. The difference between faith in science and in everyday things is that the first kind of faith is justified based on experience, mathematical probability or the coherence of theories being proposed, say in astrophysics. (Is there really dark matter?) Religious faith – at least the kind that depends on statements in ancient holy books – is replete with contradictions and requires people to believe what would be considered nonsense if it were proposed today. (People rising from the dead ... like Osiris, ascending into the heavens, like Dionysius). I really think that believers don't appreciate the magnitude of the leap of faith they make when they say things like Jesus rose from the dead or that God loves them.

      Anyways, yes secular people can be contentiousness at times. Having religion pushed in your face in public forums or forced onto your children in public schools can have that effect. There's a point where you have to say, Enough is enough.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  13. ericrad

    Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.
    – Albert Einstein

    November 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • ragu

      when God drops a nuke on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, come talk to me

      November 11, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  14. thorrsman

    Sounds like the tactics militant Evangelical Atheists have been using for quite some time: Quote passages out of the Bible without any context and pretend that modern Christians MUST believe and support those quotes in their everyday lives or they are "damned" by their God. Of course, for those with belief and knowledge, such a tactic only makes the Evengelical Atheist sound both ignorant and hate-filled.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  15. Dave Miller

    Peaceful Atheist: you're the rare exception to the rule...

    November 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • Peaceful Atheist

      Well, Dave – I haven't seen a rulebook for atheists – lol. But I do have secular friends who also breathe more freely without religious harangues and dire predictions of hellfire. All the atheists I know – and I admit I don't know all the atheists in the world – were raised in one religion or another. We didn't leave for no reason at all. We left to live a happier, saner life.

      November 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Faith

      Not so rare. Me too.

      November 13, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • Faith

      Oh, and my father and brother and children and my poor dead mother who never ever did anything to harm another living person. Who was so honest she would drive back across town to return an extra dollar she received in error from a cashier. Who lived by Jesus' teachings, without believing he was supernatural. Who is, apparently, burning in hell anyway.

      November 13, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  16. Peaceful Atheist

    All I can say is that my life is happier and infinitely more serene since I left – intellectually and emotionally – the dogmtism & intolerance of organized religion and the insanity of trying to communicate with an allegedly omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent being. I let it all go some twenty years ago & the joy of breathing freely is still wonderful.
    Good without god? Absolutely – we're only human & we live a short time. It only makes sense to help each other along the way.

    November 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • NL

      Peaceful Atheist

      Good post, and the same for me.

      I must be another exception to the rule, eh Dave Miller? I bet if we count up all the 'exceptions' you wouldn't have much of a 'rule' left.

      November 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • ragu

      say that to the millions of victims of your atheist buddies Stalin and Hitler.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
    • Jessica

      Wonderfully and beautifully put. I feel exactly the same way.

      November 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • truth

      gu i haven heard come back that good anywhere in forever

      November 11, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
    • Jessica

      Oh and Ragu, Hitler was a christian, not an athiest. Now, we could make him a poster child for christianity as you did for athiests, but most of us do not. We consider him an exception to your faith. Can you not do the same?

      November 11, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • NL

      ragu-
      "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."
      Adolf Hitler
      Mein Kampf

      November 11, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
    • NL

      ragu-
      On this of all days check your WWII history. Hitler and Stalin were enemies. How confident do you feel that we would have defeated Hitler without our ally Stalin taking all the heat on the eastern front?

      November 11, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  17. Dale_STL

    JESUS said:
    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
    Proverbs:
    Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

    November 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  18. Brenden

    It's only a matter of time before religion is seen as the destroyer that it is. It's time will come.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  19. Rosenmac

    Those who live like there is no God need to be absolutely, positively, unconditionally, categorically, conclusively, unambiguously, unquestionably sure they are right.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • GABRIEL

      True Rosenmac, and even if they did, they would still be wrong.

      See you later, Buddy.
      Love from G.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • NL

      GABRIEL-

      So, even if we were absolutely, without-a-question, 100% correct... we would still be wrong?!??

      I surely do think you have summed up just how logical the Christian case actually is. Thank You!

      November 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Those who believe that the Bible is truly God's absolute word need to be absolutely, positively, unconditionally, categorically, conclusively, unambiguously, unquestionably sure they are right....otherwise they are still wrong. 😛

      November 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      Hey Dudester...!!! How are ye...?

      Arrrrrggggghhhhhhh.... Goin' after the 'fundies' I see. 😯 Just because I can now..!!!!

      Peace me amigo..!!

      November 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • dutchblitz

      Those who say there is no chance God exists would have to claim would have to claim they know everything there is to know and have eliminated any chance of God's existence. Most would admit we don't come close to knowing that much.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • NL

      dutchblitz-
      Of course there is a chance that God could exist, but it is so remote a chance that it is totally not worth living your life in fear of it being true, or living your life as if it were so. Any of the other gods could equally be true, but I doubt that you lose any sleep over the likelihood that you will someday face judgment before Ra, right? As things stand now you probably have a better chance of getting eaten by a Great White shark while fly fishing in Montana, so relax and enjoy your life as if it's your only one, because you can't bank on it not being.

      November 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • truth

      actually it is you aethist that is illogical the possibility that this perfectly ordered world could be created by random accident collision fo atoms creating the big bang is like .0000000000000000001, while god is much more possible in fact im absolutely sure it is utterly impossible this perfect world with perfect laws of physics would have a perfectly placed earth with the right kind of plants to make it perfectly possible for us to live so u can sit at your computer and type, and so that your male anatomy perfect works with the female anatomy for good pleasure is all impossible to happen with a god to design it, hows that for logical, name one thing in the entire universe that is an example of a truly random accident that creates perfect order, there is none, aethism is just plain ingnorance, my logic is better then any of urs, yall cant explain how your and cells just manage to read dna and start doing, neither can scientist, they also cant explain how a cells came to exist, the theory is that certain particles came together in primordial ooze and formed a cell, but how did it start work and function without god to breather life into it, its impossible if i throw a bunch of rocks together do i get a rock creature no

      November 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  20. GABRIEL

    I have a great ad for Atheism. It goes like this:

    ********
    Do you like to lie, steal, murder, sleep with your neighbours wife and covet his stuff?
    Do you like to worship Mamon and beat up your old mother?

    If so, look no further! Atheism is the thing for you!

    Just spend your life in sin – and bring misery to everyone around you,
    and afterwards: you get to spend eternity in the Amazing Hell, for absolutely free!

    Come on! Be an Atheist!

    Renounce your God today, and you could go to Hell tomorrow!
    Be an Atheist!

    ********

    This is what Atheism is all about.
    This is all that is required of you in order to be an Atheist.
    And this is all Atheism has to offer. Good luck.

    But as for me and my house;
    We shall serve the Lord.
    Forever.

    And so should you.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
    • Know What

      Gabriel,

      Please state which "Lord" it is that you serve. I could make up some equally moronic ditties, but I wouldn't want to jump the gun and assume which one to parody - it could be the Christian one, or Allah, or Ra or Vishnu or ??? - ooooh, the possibilities!

      November 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • GABRIEL

      @know what:

      Make up what you will, KnowWhat.

      After all: "Making stuff up " / Lying, is an important part of Atheism. So is serving false Gods.
      You seem to have a talent for breaking the Covenant. I think you will make a fine Atheist.

      G.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      How about a similar ad for the bible?
      ***********************
      Do you enjoy adhering to dogma and practicing double-think?
      Looking for ridiculous, contradictory edicts that seek to censor your innermost thoughts?
      Are you looking to rationalize slavery and misogyny?
      How about forcing your views on others through violence, repression and good old fashioned condemnation?
      If so, then look no further! Christiantiy is the thing for you!
      Just spend your life supplicating yourself before pedophilic shamans – and bring misery to everyone around you!
      Renounce rationality today and you could go to heaven tomorrow! (not the good heaven with all the virgins etc. – that's a different religion)
      Be a Christian!
      ******************

      This is what Christianity is all about.
      This is all that is required of you in order to be a Christian.
      And this is all Christianity has to offer. Good luck.
      But as for me and my house;
      We shall be skeptical of ancient proverbs from books of questionable veracity and seek to find our own answers through rational queries and Markov's process.
      Forever.
      And so should you.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • truth

      doc the bible says that none of those things it does say that there will be people who claim to be christians and do such things in his name and that they are decieved, see people who do such things are not really following the bible just claiming, but yet his ad about aethist, theres nothing to say that there are not aethist that do such things, and christianity ain about comdemnation and laws its about one thing, jesus paid for oyur sins, although alot of christians think they have to condemn others, but they dont got it right, but that fact that they believe in jesus covers the sins that they commit by not really following the bible really says, but u cant deny you sin, so whats covering yours?

      November 12, 2010 at 12:10 am |
    • civilioutside

      I'm not certain whether Gabriel's ad is supposed to be an ironic commentary on spreading misconceptions about what other people believe, but just in case it's serious..."

      "Do you like to lie, steal, murder,"

      Nope. Not even a little bit. And I'm fairly certain most atheists would argue that joinig the club for the opportunity to do bad stuff is extremely poor reasoning, and bound to be disappointing because even other atheists don't put up with this sort of behavior.

      "sleep with your neighbours wife"

      Depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which being whether he's OK with it 😛

      "and covet his stuff?"

      Not really. Keeping up with the Joneses is a miserable way to live one's life.

      "Do you like to worship Mamon"

      Atheists, by definition, do not worship anyone. Are you, perhaps, confused about what the word means?

      "and beat up your old mother?"

      I love my mother very much. It would never occur to me to beat her up. I don't need an imaginary figure shaking his finger at me from beyond the grave to prevent me from doing so, either. And... see the comment on lie, steal, murder above.

      November 12, 2010 at 10:16 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.