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The prayerful pugilist
Manny Pacquiao delivers a blow to an opponent.
February 17th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

The prayerful pugilist

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

Manny Pacquiao punches people in the face for a living.

He is pound for pound the greatest boxer in the world. An eight-time world champion, the 147-pound Filipino fighter has obliterated his way through weight classes on his way to becoming a national hero in the Philippines and an international superstar.

The southpaw has crushing punching power, and his team has worked hard to develop a right as devastating as his left. But Pacquiao is packing a secret weapon when he walks into the ring - a deep abiding faith.

"The most important thing is to believe in God," Pacquiao said during a recent train trip to Washington, D.C. With his wife by his side and his team taking up the entire private train car, Pacquiao spoke to CNN about his faith, politics and his upcoming fight.

He was heading to Washington to meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Last fall, Reid was down in the polls in a tough re-election fight, so he called in Pacquiao for a last-minute rally. On Tuesday in Washington, Reid said it was Pacquiao who helped put his campaign over the top.  (Watch CNN's Carol Costello's report on the trip here.)

Pacquiao is cagey but diplomatic when talking politics but lights up when asked about his faith. It is a big part of his life as a boxer.

When the 32-year-old Catholic bounded into the ring before his latest pay-per-view match, a silver rosary bounced on his chest as he hopped in place getting ready for the fight. He looked skyward and crossed himself.

It's a familiar scene to those closest to him. "He crosses himself before each round," longtime Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said. "After every workout we end it with a prayer. He's very dedicated to his faith."

Pacquiao, left, receives communion during a Thanksgiving Mass at the Quiapo Church in Manila, Philippines, on November 20, 2010.

His publicist Fred Sternburg said while they are on the road Pacquiao always tries to duck quietly into Catholic churches for Mass. Sternburg said the quiet part doesn't always happen. One Sunday afternoon during a trip to San Francisco in 2009, Pacquiao tried to sneak into Mass on the way to the airport. He told the driver to pull over. Sternburg said he waited in the car and when he looked up a crowd of fans was chasing Pacquiao out of the church seeking autographs.

Pacquiao prays during a church service in Manila.

"Pacquiao lived on the streets in Manila in a paper shack and fought his way up on the streets. His story is a Cinderella story," said Bob Arum, his promoter at Top Rank.

And his story in the ring is one for the history books. His trainer thinks he may not just be the best pound-for-pound fighter today but the best pound-for-pound fighter ever.

"Eight world titles will never be duplicated. That makes him the best," Roach said. "That achievement will never be touched again, the caliber of fighters he's fighting, and his competition is great. And he's defeated all of them."

Pacquiao celebrates after defending his title.

Pacquiao is much shyer about his talents than his trainer. "I don't want to say I'm the best boxer in the world. I would say I'm a boxer who can fight a good fight against any fighter in the world. All my talent it all comes from God," he said.

Those talents have propelled him to be the face of boxing, not only in the U.S. but also around the world, according to Arum.

"His story has resonated because he's been able to fight his way out and become the person he is, and instead of turning his back on all that growing up, he embraces that," Arum said.

Pacquiao has taken home millions upon millions for his bouts. By some estimates, he has amassed more than $70 million from his boxing alone. That amount does not include his other business ventures or endorsements.

"(Pacquiao) gives so much money to charity and is such a caring person. And he does so many good works, most of which is not publicized so you don't even know about it," Arum said.

For Arum, that charity is a tangible example of Pacquiao's faith. "He's constantly calling me on the advances, on the upfront of his purse and so forth, because he spending the money on good things."

For Pacquaio it is clear he believes his success comes from God. "Everything that I have done, that is possible in my mind, He has made possible."

Arum and Roach both say Pacquiao's faith in God is as helpful to him in the ring as his lighting-fast fists and quick feet. Arum said Pacquiao sees himself as part of God's plan, laid out in front of him so nearly nothing bothers him.

"When he lost to (Erik) Morales he said he knew it was God's decision," Roach said. "He accepts it well." That was the last fight Pacquiao lost, in 2005. He went on to beat him two more times after that.

And that ability to move on quickly has paid big dividends.

As he looks ahead to his May 7 fight in Las Vegas against Sugar Shane Mosley, the expected boxing bravado and trash talk is noticeably absent from Pacquiao.

"I'm not going to say I'm going to win yet because the fight isn't done yet. I just need to train hard and believe in God," he said.

CNN's Carol Costello and Jeremy Harlan contributed to this report

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Celebrity • Charity • Christianity • Mass • Sports

soundoff (506 Responses)
  1. vince86

    Why is this man of God avoiding the random olympic-style-blood-testing that Floyd Mayweather requested? I guess he wants us to have "faith" in his sudden power and stamina boosts in his last few fights. Maybe God instructed him to take performance-enhancing drugs.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • LOL

      he agreed to the testing after the margarito fight. it was mayweather who ignored the repeated calls to get this fight together.

      pac will fight when may quits dicking him.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • vince86

      He didn't agree to "random" testing during the second negotiations. He wanted a 7-day cutoff before the fight. And don't forget how he ran from negotiations for a Mayweather fight last March because he wanted testing to stop nearly a month before the fight. If Floyd flipped out over a drug test like Manny has, he'd be hated like Barry Bonds.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  2. Doesn't matter

    Bob.

    > As an agnostic myself, I find your snide, self-serving comment to be abhorrent.

    I'm an agnostic atheist myself. Just because someone does great things for the community doesn't mean that they don't have a problem mentally.

    I mean think about it. The only reason for believing in God is faith. When you look at faith, it's clearly evident that faith has led many people over the course of time to the wrong God (if one exists). The only conclusion that an intelligent and sane person can come to is that faith is unreliable for determining the nature of God.

    People who do believe in one thing over all the others, (without actually researching them) are indulging in self delusion, which is in fact an aspect and gateway to many other conditions.

    The statement is off the cuff and extreme, but there is a kernel of truth to it.

    Had to respond to this, Bob in the above statement where I've placed the parenthesis you state that people who do believe in one thing over all others, without actually researching them...blah blah blah... How do you know if the boxer in question has researched other things or not. I am so sick and tired of people coming into chat rooms and deceiving people with their quasi-sceintific sounding analysis of faith, by simply dismissing it as illusion. Have you Bob ever researched or sought information about faith in order to balance your obvious disdain for it or are you just spouting someone else's garbage that you read and are now parroting back out into the world?

    February 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Bob.

      > Had to respond to this, Bob

      Fantastic!

      > in the above statement where I've placed the parenthesis you state that people who do believe in one thing over all others, without actually researching them...blah blah blah... How do you know if the boxer in question has researched other things or not.

      Read my post in context. I was referring to the fact that it's easily proven that faith is unreliable, and if you're using faith to believe that you are ignoring that fact. Ergo, they're ignoring that aspect.

      > I am so sick and tired of people coming into chat rooms and deceiving people with their quasi-sceintific sounding analysis of faith, by simply dismissing it as illusion.

      How is faith different then illusion then?

      > Have you Bob ever researched or sought information about faith in order to balance your obvious disdain for it or are you just spouting someone else's garbage that you read and are now parroting back out into the world?

      I have researched faith. If we assume that one religion "got it right" when they profess to be the turth, then all others by default are wrong. Given that there are thousands of religions, that means faith has a terrible track record of figuring out what God is. That's a logical analysis of faith. And fairly airtight I'd imagine.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • sammy

      It is true that there are thousands of other religions but just as people are fallable so are religions. We should each make it a point to grow in our faith and question the things we do. The Catholics have their statues even though the bible says "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" I find it interesting that most atheists are very smart and intellectual. But wasn't that the flaw which caused Satan (aka Lucifer) his downfall in heaven. He was made higher than all the angels. Every created being was made to serve God. But smart people don't want to listen to anybody let alone God. They feel they don't anybody's help because they are smart enough to do it better. But God wants us to be humble and depend on him.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Godless

      Sammy: "But God wants us to be humble and depend on him."

      Wow, that's one arrogant deity you've got there...

      February 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Bob.

      > We should each make it a point to grow in our faith and question the things we do.

      You have missed the point completely. It's not about growing in faith. It's still a flawed way to learn about God.

      Given that faith has led people to the wrong conclusions, how can you reason that "more faith" will fix things?

      A GPS system in a car routinely gives out wrong directions to a location. Is the correct response to "use the GPS more" to figure out where you're going?

      February 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      @ Bob

      >Read my post in context. I was referring to the fact that it's easily proven that faith is unreliable,...

      I'd like an explanation as to how one would "easily" prove that faith is unreliable.

      >How is faith different then illusion then?

      Faith has evidence. Illusion does not.

      >I have researched faith. If we assume that one religion "got it right" when they profess to be the turth, then all others by default are wrong. Given that there are thousands of religions, that means faith has a terrible track record of figuring out what God is. That's a logical analysis of faith. And fairly airtight I'd imagine.

      Faith does not have anything to do with "man's" ability or inability to interpret God whether it be Muslim or Christian or Buddhist. Faith is something that everyone uses every day, but most people don't like to use that word as it has become linked to God so therefore is now a "dirty" word. Let me ask you this: when you board an airplane is it not faith in the pilot's training and ability that allows you to relax while flying several thousand feet in the air? Some would call this trust, but trust does not apply unless you know the pilot in question personally, otherwise how could you trust someone you never met? This is called faith. As for exclusivity of each individual faith, Jesus says in the Bible that many, yes many, not a few or some but many will follow the wide and easy way that leads to destruction, which is why He tells us to follow the narrow path that leads to righteousness. Alot of people these days speak about tolerance and call Christianity bigotted because of it's intolerance. The Bible and God are intolerant, OF SIN! When you have absolutes there is such as a thing as right and wrong. While I agree some people come across poorly when conveying this fact, I maintain that sometimes there is no other way to pretty up the Truth. It sometimes is true what they say,"The Truth hurts".

      February 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Faith has evidence? Faith is belief without evidence. I have yet to see any measurable evidence of a god or godlike "power".

      Flying in a plane does not require the kind of faith that religious belief requires. Flying is a physically measurable and definable activity. Simple physics. We also have an incredible track record of safety and we also know that WE MIGHT DIE. We do not have absolute faith in flying or any other human endeavor. Walking out the door in the morning or staying home can kill you. Flying a commercial jet happens to be one the safest activities ever devised due to the incredible amount of effort that is applied to safety.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      @Markin

      >Faith has evidence? Faith is belief without evidence. I have yet to see any measurable evidence of a god or godlike "power".

      You say "you" have seen nothing when I said that faith has evidence and illusion has none, I didn't say the evidence would appeal to you specifically I only said it existed; what you do with said evidence is your personal choice. If you are unwilling to accept God, then any evidence presented to you would also be unacceptable to you. Having read some of you other posts I can only assume you are here to make comments to inflame and incite anger in people. I wasn't going to respond to your post, but I decided that I would take a few minutes to respond to your post despite your inflammatory style.

      Now on to your next statement:

      >Flying in a plane does not require the kind of faith that religious belief requires. Flying is a physically measurable and definable activity. Simple physics. We also have an incredible track record of safety and we also know that WE MIGHT DIE. We do not have absolute faith in flying or any other human endeavor. Walking out the door in the morning or staying home can kill you. Flying a commercial jet happens to be one the safest activities ever devised due to the incredible amount of effort that is applied to safety.

      I didn't say anything about the level or measure of faith required to board an airplane I simply said it required faith. Also I think you missed the point I was trying to make by a country mile...
      Yes air travel is safe, this wasn't a point I was striving to make; the point was that faith is exercised daily, but people are reluctant to call it that.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bob.

      > I'd like an explanation as to how one would "easily" prove that faith is unreliable.

      I thought I gave you one. I'll try again. There have been thousands of religions that have existed since man has been on this planet. Thousands. You believe in 1. Even if we assume that your religion is correct, which can't be shown to be the case, that means the error rate for faith is 1 out of thousands. How is it not unreliable?

      > Faith has evidence. Illusion does not.

      Really? That's rather surprising. Can you give me an example? Remember, evidence is something you can show to someone else. Personal experience isn't evidence and is also provided by illusion.

      > Let me ask you this: when you board an airplane is it not faith in the pilot's training and ability that allows you to relax while flying several thousand feet in the air?

      No, it is not. It is probability. You see, most people base their conclusions based on what they know about the world. In the case of pilots, I know that they have to pass many tests, have to spend many years as a co-pilot, learning from an experienced one and have spent many years actually flying the model of plane that I'm on. Can they make a mistake? Absolutely. Can they be incompetient? Yep. But the odds are low enough that I don't worry about it. Just like how I don't worry about getting hit by a bolt of lighting or having a pane of glass fall on me or how I don't worry about becoming a robbery victim.

      > This is called faith.

      No, it's not. It's assessing the real world risks based on our knowledge of the world.

      > As for exclusivity of each individual faith, Jesus says in the Bible that many, yes many, not a few or some but many will follow the wide and easy way that leads to destruction, which is why He tells us to follow the narrow path that leads to righteousness. Alot of people these days speak about tolerance and call Christianity bigotted because of it's intolerance. The Bible and God are intolerant, OF SIN!

      Then why did God create it?

      > When you have absolutes there is such as a thing as right and wrong. While I agree some people come across poorly when conveying this fact, I maintain that sometimes there is no other way to pretty up the Truth. It sometimes is true what they say,"The Truth hurts".

      Yes, the truth does hurt. The truth is that you believe in a book where a God impregnates a woman with his son so that he can sacrifice him to himself so that sin may be removed, even though he's all powerful and can do away with it without a needlessly complex plan. We're talking about a God who when people disobey him, he punishes them. When they obey, he's apt to continue punishing them for the fun of it.

      A book where God and Satan make a bet to torture a man and cause him pain to see what he'll do. Despite God knowing the outcome and Satan knowing that God knows. Stories of how the earth is only 6,000 years old and that all the animals of every species from all over the earth boarded a ship for 40 days and then magically returned to their native homelands, with of course water that dissolved the bodies of the drowned animals so that no fossil evidence could be seen.

      February 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bob.

      Rant continued:

      A text where God creates a man and a woman to do what he knows they will do, giving them a test he knows that they will fail by his own design, and then punishes them and every one of their spawn for the rest of eternity.

      Lessons from a man who dies and rises again, causing holy men to rise from their grave, in what I can only describe as a scene much like a Michael Jackson video 2000 years later.

      Warnings of the end of times where four men on horseback will somehow bring across the end of the world. I mean, God simply couldn't just end it could he? He has to be grandeous and have a little flare. "Apocolapse will be FAAAABULLOUSS!"

      A God with an IQ of 8,000,000 who's preferred choice in communicating with mortals is via burning bush.

      An epic journey of a man who somehow survives in the stomach of a giant fish!

      A woman who is turned into a pillar of salt just because she dared to look back at a burning city. My question is how could you not look back? Also, why not pepper? That would have been mildly more useful given salt is in plentiful supply in those days.

      But most importanty, the fact that despite God being the creator of the universe, showing absolute ignorance of all the physcal laws it must have created. Isn't it funny that God has the same knowledge as the people of the time?

      The truth is that your book is written by primitive men. Either God has a personality akin to DC Comic's Joker villian or he's an inconsistent, idiotic and poorly designed character invented by men.

      That's the truth. And the truth hurts.

      February 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Yes air travel is safe, this wasn't a point I was striving to make; the point was that faith is exercised daily, but people are reluctant to call it that.

      It's not faith. It's analysis of what we know reality to be and the odds that go with it.

      Do you have faith that when you drop something it'll fall to the floor. How do you know gravity just didn't stop happening. Under your "logic" everything requires faith. And that is silly.

      February 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Godless

      @ Bob. That rant was.....perfect.... I couldn't have said it better myself. You should publish that.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      >Really? That's rather surprising. Can you give me an example? Remember, evidence is something you can show to someone else. Personal experience isn't evidence and is also provided by illusion.

      I could give you hundreds, but I'm sure you would disregard them as you clearly have already made up your mind what you believe.

      >No, it is not. It is probability. You see, most people base their conclusions based on what they know about the world. In the case of pilots, I know that they have to pass many tests, have to spend many years as a co-pilot, learning from an experienced one and have spent many years actually flying the model of plane that I'm on. Can they make a mistake? Absolutely. Can they be incompetient? Yep. But the odds are low enough that I don't worry about it. Just like how I don't worry about getting hit by a bolt of lighting or having a pane of glass fall on me or how I don't worry about becoming a robbery victim.

      This is simply semantics, you can call it probability if it helps you sleep at night, but your "faith" is that there is no God, and whether you aknowledge it or not it is indeed "faith" because you don't know for sure.

      >Then why did God create it?

      He didn't create sin, Lucifer did, with all the apparent knowledge you have about the Bible I'm surprised you aren't aware of this. I suppose you'll argue that God created Satan so by proxy he created sin right? Laughable and a very weak argument akin to saying that you created the poor behaviour of a child that was born of you.

      As for the rest of your rant, all you've really displayed is a ridiculous amount of disdain for something you clearly don't understand, further proving my initial point: the word "faith" REALLY makes people uncomfortable. All I can say Bob is that in all the reading or listening you did in finding out about all these Bible stories it's really sad that you entirely missed the point. I'd be interested in a continuing dialogue with you although I imagine it would be fruitless as you seem very determined to deny the wisdom of God, There is one quote I wanted to include that I think applies here from Proverbs,"The fool has said in his heart, there is no God." I'm not calling you a fool, I'm just telling you what the Bible says about people who share your "faith".

      February 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Tom C

      "Then why did God create (sin)?"

      He didn't. He allowed it. Sin isn't something in itself, rather the absence of perfection. Kind of like darkness. Darkness is only the absence of light, not an element of it's own.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Godless

      "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God."

      I love it when people break this one out. How perfectly convenient that the writers of the bible, who want you to conform to their way of thinking, would include lines that say "You're a fool if you don't conform." Very convenient...

      February 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      To all the non-believers who mock His truth without knowing what He is and what He teaches.

      Grade of F for all of you.

      Time to learn His wisdom and stop slacking.

      February 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Tom C

      "How perfectly convenient that the writers of the bible, who want you to conform to their way of thinking, would include lines that say "You're a fool if you don't conform."

      Can you show me where that quote came from in the bible? Or are those your words?

      I can show you where the bible says "Do not confrom to the ways of the world..." Romans 12:2

      Please site your sources for validity.

      February 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Bob

      > Can you show me where that quote came from in the bible? Or are those your words? I can show you where the bible says "Do not confrom to the ways of the world..." Romans 12:2 Please site your sources for validity.

      It's a self serving statement. To demonstrate, I'm going to quote the simpsons for hilarity and effect.

      Homer: Umm ... I guess I'll take that one.
      Salesman: Well, do you need a paperweight? 'Cause if you buy that machine, that's all you're going to have, an expensive paperweight.
      Homer: Well, a paperweight would be nice, but what I really need is a computer. How about that one?
      Salesman: That technology is three months old. Only suckers buy out-of-date machines. You're not a sucker, are you sir?
      Homer: Heavens no!
      Salesman: Oh good, because if you were, I'd have to ask you to leave the store.

      You don't believe in God? You're not a fool are you? OH HEAVENS NO!

      Did I dumb it down enough for you Tom?

      February 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Doesn't matter

      Dude! Bob just blew you away. Smile and acknowledge it. God must be ashamed of you. Jesus must be weeping. Mary must have rent her dress.

      You came to a gun fight with a pea shooter. Your arguments were trash.

      Cheers!

      February 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Godless

      <<>>

      You are right, Tom C, that was not intended to be a quote from the bible, I put the quotes around those words for emphasis only. But my point remains the same – it would be the same as if I wanted everyone to believe what I'm writing here right now, and proclaiming "You will have people that do not believe what I write – those people are fools." Just because I wrote it doesn't make it so, just like the bible.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Godless

      Part of my post didn't show for some reason – the <> was supposed to contained copied text for context. I was writing in response to Tom C at 4:16 pm.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • Tom C

      "Did I dumb it down enough for you Tom?"

      Oh, I love the Simpsons. Not that it's anything but satire, but it's quite comical. I'm not sure anyone believes in Homer being a divine being, but I'm glad you can have fun with these posts.

      I'll smarten it up for you:

      2 Corinthians 4:2-4

      2"...we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

      Of course you don't believe that, but perhaps the gospel is hidden or "veiled" from you.

      You can not in good conscience say that you know everything. If you do, every decent argument you have made just flew out the window. You have to admit that it's at least possible that you don't understand the gospel because you have never been called by the Holy Spirit into a relationship with God. This you cannot deny.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Tom C

      Godless –

      "You will have people that do not believe what I write – those people are fools." Just because I wrote it doesn't make it so, just like the bible."

      To end this discussion, you are right. We will both find out one day who the "fool" is. I am comfortable with being wrong. I trust that you are, too.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • civiloutside

      Tom, it appears to be your contention now that your all-loving god who really doesn't want to torture us for all of eternity is hiding from us (or allowing to be hidden from us, which for an all-powerful being amounts to the same thing) the meaning of the only message that would prevent it? I suppose you see no contradiction in that?

      February 18, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Godless

      Tom C: "To end this discussion, you are right. We will both find out one day who the "fool" is. I am comfortable with being wrong. I trust that you are, too."

      Correct. If I were concerned, I'd be in a church right now. Or a mosque. Or a temple.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Godless

      "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

      Wait, this is confusing to me. Was my mind blinded BEFORE I became a non-believer, or after? If it was before, that hardly seems fair – I should be given the chance to "see the light" like everyone else, without veils. If it was after I became a non-believer, that seems counterproductive to recruiting. Shouldn't I be ever MORE likely to "see the light" so that I am then convinced to become a believer? Sounds like god needs to take a marketing class.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Tom C

      Godless

      "I should be given the chance to "see the light" like everyone else, without veils."

      You have that chance right now. I don't see your point. Just because you choose not to accept the invitation, that doesn't mean you weren't invited.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Tom C

      Civil-

      "Tom, it appears to be your contention now that your all-loving god who really doesn't want to torture us for all of eternity is hiding from us (or allowing to be hidden from us, which for an all-powerful being amounts to the same thing) the meaning of the only message that would prevent it? I suppose you see no contradiction in that?"

      I'm not sure I understand this. Can you reword? Are you saying that He's hiding the meaning of the only message that would prevent Himself from being known? What message are you referring to? Please clarify.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Godless

      Tom, that doesn't answer my question – was I veiled before or after being a non-believer? If it was before, is everyone veiled at birth? If it was after, that seems to go against the idea that Christians want everyone to join them.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Tom C

      Godless –

      "Tom, that doesn't answer my question – was I veiled before or after being a non-believer? If it was before, is everyone veiled at birth? If it was after, that seems to go against the idea that Christians want everyone to join them."

      This question doesn't make sense if I can presume you've always been a non-believer. There was no before or after. Now, to answer your question, everyone is born unrighteous... that is to say that the only way to Heaven (according to scripture, which I don't need to site because I'm sure you're aware of the verses) through Jesus Christ. There appears to be a stipulation to this where those who are unable to make that decision (be it babies, mentally handicapped, etc) are taken to Heaven. You can read this in the story of David where he has an infant son die. 2 Samuel 12:23 says "I will go to him, but he will not return to me..." Meaning that David will see his son in Heaven.

      Furthermore, to understand what that verse means, you'll have to realize that the 'god of this age' isn't capitalized. This means that it's not God veiling the eyes of the unbelievers, but 'god of this age' which could be pride, money, greed, anger, disbelief, etc... whatever it is you are worshiping more than God Himself.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Bob.

      > You can not in good conscience say that you know everything. If you do, every decent argument you have made just flew out the window.

      Only if you're not swift enough to understand that everything we think is in degress of certainty related to our own individual knowledge. The only thing absolute is logic. Because if it wasn't absolute, it wouldn't be logical.

      > You have to admit that it's at least possible that you don't understand the gospel because you have never been called by the Holy Spirit into a relationship with God. This you cannot deny.

      It is possible that I have not been touched as you say and that the gospel is incomprehensible to me. It's also possible that the holy spirit is a construction of your own mind based on your preconcieved ideas to remove your fear of death.

      I'm thinking it's the latter, because there is no shortage of people claiming to have been "visited by the divine" in their own religion, some of which are in direct conflict with yours (that is to say, yours and theirs cannot be right at the same time). Which means one of you is imagining it and the other is valid, or you're both imagining it.

      But what's interesting is that you feel we have a choice. Again I point you to the concept that an all knowing God who designed us A) knows the future, which necessitates knowing the past, and B) created us with faults and made us capable of sin and C) sets us in a situation where he knows what choice we'll make based on how he designed our brain.

      Isn't it odd that God would punish something that is working exactly as he intended?

      February 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom C

      Bob-

      "It is possible that I have not been touched as you say and that the gospel is incomprehensible to me. It's also possible that the holy spirit is a construction of your own mind based on your preconcieved ideas to remove your fear of death."

      Agreed and Agreed (for the most part). I have no fear of death. Why should I?

      The beauty of this is we'll both know for sure one day. We both have strong convictions in our beliefs, and we'll both continue to stand up for those beliefs. We'll both go on and live our lives accordingly, and we'll both have no regrets for doing so.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom C

      Bob –

      "Isn't it odd that God would punish something that is working exactly as he intended?"

      This is a serious question:

      Do you understand the role of Jesus and how it correlates to sin?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bob.

      > I could give you hundreds, but I'm sure you would disregard them as you clearly have already made up your mind what you believe.

      Give me your strongest piece of evidence and let's look at it. I've asked for it three times I think.

      > This is simply semantics, you can call it probability if it helps you sleep at night, but your "faith" is that there is no God, and whether you aknowledge it or not it is indeed "faith" because you don't know for sure.

      Not it's not. I mean, did you understand what I wrote? I thought I wrote it simple enough that a child could understand. Do I worry about getting shot in a church at 3:00pm on a Sunday? No. Is that because I have faith that I won't get shot? No. I happen to know that shootings normally occur at night to people who have a personal beef and not in public areas.

      That's what we call weighted decision based on evidence at hand. It's not faith. Do you grasp the concept yet?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Do you understand the role of Jesus and how it correlates to sin?

      Do I have to? I mean really? Jesus' claimed role has nothing to do with the argument. We're talking about God.

      And last time I checked, God was omnipotent and omniscient. That means all powerful and all knowing. And he creates the universe and the rules that bind it.

      God created the concept of sin. He didn't have to. God could have made all humans incapable of sin. Yet he did.

      Therefore, sin is part of God's plan. He knows what sin has occured and what sin will occur and God accepts it occuring, because he doesn't stop it.

      Logic tears religion to pieces. Don't be afraid to think.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Tom C

      > Do you understand the role of Jesus and how it correlates to sin?

      "Do I have to? I mean really? Jesus' claimed role has nothing to do with the argument. We're talking about God."

      Really? What bible did you read where they aren't one in the same?

      And last time I checked, God was omnipotent and omniscient. That means all powerful and all knowing. And he creates the universe and the rules that bind it.

      The government creates the rules for you. Does that mean you don't break them?

      God created the concept of sin. He didn't have to. God could have made all humans incapable of sin. Yet he did.

      "Therefore, sin is part of God's plan. He knows what sin has occured and what sin will occur and God accepts it occuring, because he doesn't stop it."

      The forgiveness of sin is a part of God's plan. He created man sinless, with the option to choose. But, I'll play your game... Why does God HAVE to stop sin?

      Logic tears religion to pieces. Don't be afraid to think."

      Logic also says the bumblebee can't fly. Logic also says that water should condense when frozen (like everything else) not expand. Logic is not proof.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Tom C

      "Logic tears religion to pieces. Don't be afraid to think."

      Furthermore, like we previously discussed, I don't have 'religion' ... I have a relationship. Does logic tear relationships to pieces?

      February 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Tom C

      Bob –

      "Give me your strongest piece of evidence and let's look at it. I've asked for it three times I think."

      This is hardly a strong piece, but I've never heard an atheist's rebuttal to it, so I would like to hear yours.

      World Population Growth:

      You can use any chart of your choosing. There are plenty online. My question is, why did we only start procreating within the last 5-10 thousand years? Since humans have been around for x millions of years, wouldn't it be logical (to use your term) for the exponential growth rate to have occured much sooner in history?

      February 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  3. Curious fan

    I'm a pacman fan but very curious on how he can have affairs with many women but claim to be religious

    February 17, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • rickmeister

      He had an affair with one woman.

      February 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  4. FRAGOFRAGO

    I guess he never got to "turn the other cheek" or "blessed are the peacemakers." Must've never made it out of the Old Testament. A true "Catholic."

    February 17, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  5. Big Red

    @Bob & @David Johnson,

    If you're right and there is no God, then when I die, there will be nothingness and I will have lived out a life of service and love for others because of my belief in Him. But if you're wrong, and God is real, what will your end be?

    February 17, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Oh dear, Pascal's wager again. The single weakest argument for faith ever devised.

      OK, I'll bite. Which god?

      February 17, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Godless

      So basically, you're being a big p*ssy and trying to CYA, just in case. What a way to live.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Bob.

      What if your faith angers a rival God while my indifference doesn't upset it?

      Where does that factor into your question. Seems like you haven't considered all the possibilities.

      PS: It's called pascal's wager and it's silly. You can look up the logical reasons why online!

      February 17, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Good one Big Red. Too bad the spiritually walking dead today do not have eyes to see what you posted, no ears to hear His truth.

      Oh, well. That's what they get for refusing to learn, comprehend and apply His wisdom to their lives.

      Amen.

      February 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Bob

      > Good one Big Red. Too bad the spiritually walking dead today do not have eyes to see what you posted, no ears to hear His truth.

      Good one Big Red. Too bad they can actually think and critically analyse to see the flaws of your argument.

      Fixed it for you.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  6. jj

    Prayer does not make Manny to win but of his ability! God has no favoritism between his creatures...He just say may the best man win!

    February 17, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  7. MARK

    To All non-believers,,,,,,Brothers & Sisters,,,,,I'll pray for you Souls,,,,I'll pray for you! Even in you non-believers in Jesus Christ our Lord,,,,,like then as is today,,,,,we still love you and pray you to turn your ways, for it is written that whoever confesses his sins before the Lord and beieves that Jesus Christ paid for your sins in full, that he resurrected after 3 days, that you will find everlasting life in God we Trust,,,Amen!!!! Love Mark!

    February 17, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Godless

      Why do you have to "believe" that happened? Why can't god just prove it and end all doubt? Why should someone who doesn't BELIEVE it have to suffer damnation for all eternity, even if that person is an otherwise good person?

      February 17, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Godless

      Your god seems awfully needy for an omnipotent being...

      February 17, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • MarkinFL

      If you've read the bible, you'll note that the god in there has all of the worst human weaknesses. Just a reflection of humanity.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "The most preposterous notion that Ho.mo sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history."

      February 17, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • HeavenSent

      You all get a big fat F for still not comprehending His truth.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Bob

      > You all still get a big fat F...

      Another intelligent comment from the f'in-ator.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  8. Child of God

    Yes, Bob. You are right God created the heart of man. But you decide to do good or evil. He gave you this choice. Have you ever thought about that? You can decide today. Choose wisely.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Bob.

      > Yes, Bob. You are right God created the heart of man.

      Fantastic. We're making headway.

      > But you decide to do good or evil. He gave you this choice. Have you ever thought about that? You can decide today. Choose wisely.

      No, we don't choose. I'll show you how.

      1) God according to the bible is omnipotent. This means God is all powerful.
      2) Given 1, God is omniscient. Because if he wasn't omniscient, he wouldn't be omnipotent.
      3) God creates the universe, earth and the minds and heart of mankind.
      4) The future is based on the past.
      5) Given 2 and 3, God knows how each human will or will not act based on his specific design.
      6) Given 4, you will act according to God's design.
      7) Given 2 and 4, your actions are already predetermined.
      8) Given 6 and 7, your actions are dictated by God's plan.
      9) Given 8, you are unable to deviate from what God has dictated.
      10) Given 9, you have no free will.

      That's why the bible doesn't allow for free will.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Bob.

      The sunglassed dude is actaually number 8. Apparently 8 and ) makes 8)

      February 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom C

      Bob – It's a nice story line, but the bible does specify free will – even by the angels.

      Jude 6:

      6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

      Notice, the angels abandoned their proper dwelling. They weren't forced out.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Tom, gotta say that attacking a logical argument with a simple assertion isn't gonna carry much weight with Bob here. He's contending that the Bible is wrong on the characterization of free will, and presented a logical argument for that. You responded by simply posting an assertion from te same book he's already claiming is wrong. That's not going to cut it – you'll have to actually deconstruct the logic to show how Biblical free will can actually exist.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Tom C

      Civil –

      Bob said the bible doesn't allow free will. I showed him a verse in the bible that allows free will. Just because he says the bible is wrong does not mean he can ignore certain passages. He can believe the bible is false all he wants, but he can't disregard what's written on its pages. If I say "Bob is wrong; He never wrote 'That's why the bible doesn't allow for free will.", you can easily scroll up and see where it is written, then show me where to find it. All I was doing was providing him with a verse to show that free will is in the bible. He may not believe it, but he can't say it's not in there.

      February 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Bob said the bible doesn't allow free will.

      I said the bible doesn't allow FOR free will. I didnt' say that the bible prohibits free will, I was saying that it's concepts preclude it.

      This is what we call a conflict. Either one passage is right or either God is not all powerful and all knowing.

      Take your pick.

      February 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Tom C

      I don't see how these two are mutually exclusive. You're saying that either the bible is right and God isn't sovereign, or the bible is wrong and God is sovereign, but there is no way for the bible to be true and God to be sovereign, correct?

      February 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes Bob, and by you staying away from learning His wisdom that tests you, provides you parables, shows results for logic, truth, understanding and so much more. You still get an F for your grade.

      Time to stop slacking and learn His truth.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bob

      >Yes Bob, and by you staying away from learning His wisdom that tests you, provides you parables, shows results for logic, truth, understanding and so much more. You still get an F for your grade.

      You mean the time when Jesus was being anointed with expensive oils and the people at the dinner said "Jesus, you could feed many people if you sold that in the market". To which Jesus replied "I say this, you will always have the poor, you will only have me for a short time."

      When the people continued to protest, Jesus told them a parable that had nothing to do with the situation and the matter died.

      What a kind and merciful person that is a trully giving person. Except when it comes to expensive luxuries.

      Is this the wisdom you wish me to learn? That when I'm in the wrong I should try to distract people with nonsense? Isn't that your job?

      February 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom C

      "You mean the time when Jesus was being anointed with expensive oils and the people at the dinner said "Jesus, you could feed many people if you sold that in the market". To which Jesus replied "I say this, you will always have the poor, you will only have me for a short time."

      When the people continued to protest, Jesus told them a parable that had nothing to do with the situation and the matter died.

      What a kind and merciful person that is a trully giving person. Except when it comes to expensive luxuries.

      Is this the wisdom you wish me to learn? That when I'm in the wrong I should try to distract people with nonsense? Isn't that your job?"

      Wow! talk about taking scripture completely out of context. Yet, I'm not surprised. The point Jesus was making is that this woman showed her trust in Him by letting go of her luxuries and trusting His mission. Like I've said before, the bible has multiple misinterpretations.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Tom C,
      Actually the verse is foreshadowing Jesus' upcoming death when His body would be anointed with oils in preparation for His death and burial.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Tom C

      CatholicMom –

      You are right, the verse is forshadowing His death. It also illustrates her desire to follow Christ through her faith in His teachings, many of which involve giving up what they hold onto dearly in order to follow Christ more closely. Take Lent, for example.

      February 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bob.

      > "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

      What a moral teaching. If you're going to die, it's more important that you have a good smelling corpse instead of feeding the poor.

      Sorry, you can't spin this Christians. Jesus favoured having an expensive gesture offered to him instead of feeding the poor. I think that's what we call SELFISH.

      February 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    Isn't boxing a rather un-christian sport?
    I don't recall Jesus teaching his disciples to pummel others into unconsciousness.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • rickmeister

      Don't blame God. Blame the Brits!

      February 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  10. boxingfan4

    why does he keep fighting left overs of floyd mayweather...people wake up this guy is a fraud...mosley just lost his last 2 fights badly....and now pacquiao is making a big deal out of fighting him...cmon!

    February 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Maybe he prays for easy opponents?

      February 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • LOL

      because mayweather is too scared to step in the ring.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • rickmeister

      .... because Pacquiao has no choice considering that this oward Mayweather kept ducking him.

      February 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  11. AK

    Bob: "This guy isn't the only boxer who prays. And he's not the only one who does it earnestly. Yet many boxers don't make it. I think those facts pretty much eliminate the "Prayer helps me" angle."

    Lots of boxers also train, lift weights, and drink protein shakes and don't make it. By your logic, I suppose those things aren't helpful to becoming a successful boxer? You and DJ are doing a great job of trumpeting the athiest horn and criticizing Christians for never challenging their own belief system, though I'd be willing to bet you've never challenged your own atheism.. I've read "On the Origin of Species," "The God Delusion," and "The Greatest Show on Earth" and was underwhelmed. Have you ever tried reading "Letters From a Skeptic," "The Case for Christ," or "Mere Christianity?"

    February 17, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Bob.

      > Lots of boxers also train, lift weights, and drink protein shakes and don't make it. By your logic, I suppose those things aren't helpful to becoming a successful boxer?

      Wow, that's fail. Explain to me how a supernatural event and a natural event are comparable.

      > You and DJ are doing a great job of trumpeting the athiest horn and criticizing Christians for never challenging their own belief system,

      Atheism isn't a belief. That's your mistake there.

      > Though I'd be willing to bet you've never challenged your own atheism..

      I have actually.

      > I've read "On the Origin of Species," "The God Delusion," and "The Greatest Show on Earth" and was underwhelmed.

      And despite reading these, you still assert atheism is a belief. Odd. You'd figure that if you had read these you'd understand the concept that atheism is only the lack of belief in God. I don't say a God doesn't exist, I say there's no logical reason to consider one existing.

      > Have you ever tried reading "Letters From a Skeptic," "The Case for Christ," or "Mere Christianity?"

      I've read Mere Christianity. Most if not all of the arguments start with an unfounded premise. You can prove anything with an unfounded premise. 😀

      I've read alot of Lee Strobel, Chopra and others. Hell, even Hitchen's brother's book which name escapes me. Each have had little to no effect and make poor arguments for belief.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Tom C

      "You can prove anything with an unfounded premise. "

      Like, say, evolution?

      February 17, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Bob.

      > Like, say, evolution?

      What is the unfounded premise in evolution?

      February 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tom C

      The unfounded premise is that evolution can be tested. How can we tell that we really came from apes. Please don't use the Chromosome 2a 2b fusion theory. This has never been tested. Furthermore, why is it that evolutionists look at the similarities of the chromosomal patterns, but completely ignore the differences? Also, chromosomally, we share a great percentage of our core structure with rats, cats, and marsupials. Why don't they get any of the glory? Why limit it to apes? Another thing; chimps (whom evolutionists feel we most closely resemble) have more in common with gorillas than they do humans, genetically speaking, yet nobody thinks gorillas came from chimps. Why?

      Finally, after all the 'proof' that evolutionary scientists have discovered turned out to be false, don't you think it's possible they are wrong about this. Lucy, Tiktaalik, and of course the coelecanth which expired 80 million years ago (yet still swims today) are great examples of science with an agenda.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Bob.

      > The unfounded premise is that evolution can be tested.

      Evolution can be tested. Happens all the time. It's actually been tested in the lab and observed in nature. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      > Please don't use the Chromosome 2a 2b fusion theory. This has never been tested.

      Umm, if it's never been tested, how do we know about it's existence? You're funny. I like you.

      > Furthermore, why is it that evolutionists look at the similarities of the chromosomal patterns, but completely ignore the differences?

      Umm, because DNA does different things? I mean really, is this a serious question?

      > Also, chromosomally, we share a great percentage of our core structure with rats, cats, and marsupials. Why don't they get any of the glory? Why limit it to apes?

      Wow, just wow. You have no foundation in any sort of science class do you? I'm not your grade 10 science teacher and I don't feel like wasting my time trying to teach you stuff you should already know and probably will ignore anyways.

      But I'll still answer your question. The reason is because chromosomes do different things. Some have value as indicators of lineage, some do not. I cannot get any more specific because you don't have the knowledge to know what the crap I'm talking about.

      > Another thing; chimps (whom evolutionists feel we most closely resemble) have more in common with gorillas than they do humans, genetically speaking, yet nobody thinks gorillas came from chimps. Why?

      Because of what the DNA shows. You're obviously ignorant of the subject. I would suggest that if the subject is of this much concern to you, that you pick up a book and spend the time to become informed on it.

      To me, you're throwing up nonsense. It'd be like me saying "Jesus isn't real because he liked to rollerblade. And rollerblades weren't invented back in 0 AD." What would your response be. Would it be "Wow, that's a good point" or would you say "It doesn't say that anywhere, you've clearly not read the material to have a clue what you're talking about."

      You've clearly not researched the subject and don't have a clue what you're talking about. As demonstrated by your statement/questions.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I seriously think I need to write up a short primer on what evolutionary theory actually says, given the vast number of times I see people "debunking" it with nonsense.

      For example... People don't really believe we come from chimps. They think that we and chimps (and the great apes you're going on about) come from a common ancestor.

      And just how does the existence of a population of coelecanths when people thought they were extinct somehow disprove evolution? It doesn't.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ak. You can join Bob, by still not knowing His wisdom.

      Both get a big F for your grades.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bob

      > Both get a big F for your grades.

      Thanks heaven. Your opinion on what is and isn't intellecually sound means a lot to me.

      I encourage you to keep on doing it. Any reasonable person seeing these threads will see me tearing your arguments apart and all that's left is a childish "you get an f, herp derp" message. You make it too easy.

      PS: Church membership is dropping in the US and EU. Care to weigh in on why that is?

      February 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  12. Child of God

    "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." Rm 3:23
    This is the answer for an angry creature like you and me.
    Jesus justifies us if we accept that.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Bob.

      Given that God created us, God has failed to make us able to uphold his standard.

      God is responsible for us if he created us. We sin, God is responsible for sin.

      Logic for the win.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Bob, you still have a Grade of F. Time to stop slacking and learn His wisdom.

      I'll give you a hint. You and you alone are responsible for how you think, what you believe, and your actions..

      He tests you and you are constantly failing all by yourself.

      Amen.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bob

      > Bob, you still have a Grade of F. Time to stop slacking and learn His wisdom.

      Fine, prove me wrong. I challenge you. If his truth is the truth, it doesn't need to hide. It doesn't need to run away from challenges.

      Bet you can't. And that means I win. Like always with your type.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • lee

      @Bob and David: I can really see that you are very intelligent and sharp men. And I don't think I have the wits and the intelligence to match up with you guys. But before you will be overwhelmed by your intelligence haven't you consider the possibility that your intelligence is only a mere cup of water compared to God's ocean of intelligence? Therefore, you cannot fathom his ways because you don't have what it takes just like I don't have what it takes to debate with guys? If you think that this is a possibility wouldn't it be more sensible to talk about him with more respect and reverence?

      In my humble opinion, the proof of the existence of God and his goodness is in the life of a person who truly understands God's teaching and follows it with all his might. A godly person has two major characteristics: (1) He loves God with all his heart, mind and soul (2) He loves other as much as himself/herself. These two is the greatest commandments of God as stated by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40. In fact, the prime example of a godly man is Jesus himself. If you study his life then you understand what I mean. As a Christian, my lifelong goal is to be like Jesus - obedient to the will of God, gentle at heart, kind and loving to others, service-oriented and humble. Right now, I still a lot work to do.

      In closing, I cannot engage in an intellectual debate with you because I am not as intelligent as you are. I can clearly see that. But if you are really as intelligent as I think both of you are, wouldn't you agree that it's possible that God's thinking and wisdom is just way out of your league for you to comprehend it? Is the possibility really that remote or impossible? My point is, simply because you can't understand His ways makes it smart for you to mock him...If to you God's design is subs-standard isn't it wiser to ask - "Why God design it this way?" - instead of saying - "God does not exist! If he exist he is really a poor designer because his design failed to meet 'my' expectation." Which do you think is the more intellectual approach?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Bob.

      @Lee

      God would have to realize the only way that we can view his thoughts and ideas is through our own frame of reference. That is to say, our own knowledge and view of reality.

      I think you mistake criticism for God with criticism for ideas. Ideas are not meant to be revered and respected. They're meant to be investigated and tested. Things are not true because of who says them, they're true because they're valid.

      So, when we discuss things like "design in the human body" we are criticising the claim, not a being that hasn't been shown to exist. When the argument falls to "are we designed or not", we can't know God's will, so we have to stop and think about what we're seeing. If then see obvious flaws, that brings the design concept into question.

      Ideas are not holy. That's the take home message.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Maybe

      lee,

      "..it's possible that God's thinking and wisdom is just way out of your league for you to comprehend it?"

      You are quite intelligent enough to think this through.

      Yes, it is *possible*; but even if that were to be the case, why do you (as in you all) make things up about something you can't possibly comprehend - for example, giving it properties and attributes pulled out of the air, such as love, wrath, demands for worship and promises of damnation for making certain errors, errors which vary from century to century and from person to person?

      February 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  13. GSA

    I've been praying for so long that a match between Manny and Mayweahter would come to fruition so that Manny could show the world what a punk Mayweather is but this match-up seems highly unlikely, prayer unanswered!

    February 17, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • LOL

      it won't happen. at least not until they're both eligible for AARP.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  14. Tree

    I never understood the idea of praying for someone before you cause them physical damage, willingly cause them physical damage. The two just seem so juxtapose to one anoather. This is nothing against Manny, I believe he is a good person with a good hear and means well, but at the same time I still don't understand the whole process. I pray that you will be all right as I potentailly cause you brain damage.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  15. sammy

    As an SDA i cant condone punching people in the head. Its probably hard for his opponent to have a relationship with God if he has a lot of brain damage. But for all you unbelievers i would like you to consider how you would have created this universe? I bet most of you can't even paint a decent picture. Would you have the same imagination to create all the wonderful creatures and systems of this world? Even the harmony at which most species coexist. Could you do a better job? So Adam and Eve messed up and allowed SIN into the world and people are selfish and greedy. We can still see a lot of beautiful and spectacular sights.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Bob.

      > As an SDA i cant condone punching people in the head. Its probably hard for his opponent to have a relationship with God if he has a lot of brain damage.

      Not really, I'm sure that a few punches to the head will help him with a relationship with God. Visions, stars, blurryness, mistaking people for who they're not, etc. 😀

      > But for all you unbelievers i would like you to consider how you would have created this universe? I

      Ok, considering.

      > I bet most of you can't even paint a decent picture. Would you have the same imagination to create all the wonderful creatures and systems of this world? Even the harmony at which most species coexist. Could you do a better job?

      Oh, most certainly not. I couldn't comprehend of the level of complexity of the universe because there's things that even the smartest people in the world don't know. I could dedicate my life to one aspect of a subject and still not "know all there is to know".

      However, this doesn't mean that there needs to be a creator. Complexity doesn't mean planning.

      > So Adam and Eve messed up and allowed SIN into the world and people are selfish and greedy. We can still see a lot of beautiful and spectacular sights.

      Let me see if I understand this correctly. You're blaming Adam and Eve. That doesn't make sense.

      God creates Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden and everything in it. He creates Adam and Eve to be gullible and stupid (in comparison to God) and places a tree and serpent knowing that they will fail his test.

      Isn't that retarded? Why would God test them for something he knew that would happen? Furthermore, how could he blame them for failing his test given that he's the one that made them imperfect.

      Let's say you're repairing a hole in your drywall. You cut a crude piece, roughly put it into the hole and then poorly plaster it. When you look at it, you know it's not going to hold. You test it later by pressing on it. It falls out and makes a mess.

      Do you blame the drywall? And by comparison, do you blame all other drywall to come?

      God blames us for his own failings, that being creating a being that can uphold his commands. He then punishes us with that sin.

      The story is stupid and doesn't make any sense.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Tom C

      "Let's say you're repairing a hole in your drywall. You cut a crude piece, roughly put it into the hole and then poorly plaster it. When you look at it, you know it's not going to hold. You test it later by pressing on it. It falls out and makes a mess.

      Do you blame the drywall? And by comparison, do you blame all other drywall to come?"

      This isn't even the same comparison – The drywall has no thoughts, actions, or representation of it's own. The drywall would have to choose to press itself and cause the mess. By this analogy, you are stating that God 'pressed' Adam and Eve into failing, which is theologically incorrect. I understand the point you are trying to make, but this is apples to oranges.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • civiloutside

      Technically, the "drywall" that was Adam and Eve didn't "press itself." It was pressed by "the serpent." Which begs the question of whether the serpent was acting as god's instrument to test them, or whether animals had free will in addition to the ability to talk back then (though regardless, an omniscient god would have known what the serpent would do and what the results would be). One might argue that if the interpretation that sin and disobedience to god did not exist before Adam and Eve made their fateful choice, but that does kind if force the acknowledgment that the serpent must have been "acting on orders." I know there's also the popular theory that the serpent was Satan, though there is no actual evidence in the story itself for this view. It reads more like a parable explaining why snakes have no legs.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Bob.

      > This isn't even the same comparison – The drywall has no thoughts, actions, or representation of it's own.

      That's right. If you believe in the bible, neither does Adam or Eve. All thoughts and actions are prescribed by God. They are an extention of him, not theirs.

      > The drywall would have to choose to press itself and cause the mess. By this analogy, you are stating that God 'pressed' Adam and Eve into failing, which is theologically incorrect.

      Theologically correct? ROFL. Can you prove something to me theologically that isn't open to subjective analysis?

      > I understand the point you are trying to make, but this is apples to oranges.

      It's not. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, we're not actually thinking for ourselves. We're following a predetermined program. Just like a computer. Which is devoid of thought.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Technically, the "drywall" that was Adam and Eve didn't "press itself." It was pressed by "the serpent."

      No, it was pressed by God. Adam, Eve, the serpent and the tree had no choice and could take no actions that wasn't prescribed by God.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @sammy

      You said: "But for all you unbelievers i would like you to consider how you would have created this universe? I bet most of you can't even paint a decent picture. Would you have the same imagination to create all the wonderful creatures and systems of this world? Even the harmony at which most species coexist. Could you do a better job? "

      I'm afraid you are begging the question. Your argument assumes the universe is designed in order to prove that it is the work of a designer. The argument also suppresses evidence. For all the wonderful creatures and systems of this world, there are horrible things: tape worms, ticks and fleas, mosquitoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, disease, birth defects, famine ad nauseum.

      Once the Big Bang occurred, only gravity and inertia would be necessary to create the Universe. No god required.

      Evolution explains the diversity of organisms on the planet. No god required.

      The good and the bad can be explained by natural causes. It only becomes complicated when you insist an all good and perfect god is responsible.

      When we study the retina at the back of the eye, we can see that the cell layers are backwards. Light has to travel thru seven layers of cells before reaching the light sensing cells. Then the signals go back thru these layers to the nerves on the inside surface. In addition, the blood vessels are on the inside surface and further block the light. A truly intelligent designer could have done better than the human eye. Actually, evolution did a better job with the eyes of birds (which have no blood vessels in the retina) and the octopus and squid (which have the light sensing cells on the surface).
      In fact, vision is so useful for survival that eyes have evolved independently at least twenty separate times, with at least a dozen different designs.

      Humans and other animals have many more examples of sub-optimal or bad design. Here are a few:

      One of the worst designs in mammals is the nerve for the larynx, called the recurrent laryngeal nerve. It is much longer than it needs to be — going from the brain into the chest, around the aorta, and back up to the larynx. In humans it's about three feet too long, but in giraffes it's about fifteen feet longer than needed.

      The human baby's skull is too big, such that many women painfully die in childbirth if they don't get modern medicine

      Wikipedia: Recurrent laryngeal nerve
      Evidence of evolutionThe extreme detour of this nerve in giraffes (fifteen feet farther than the direct route of a designer) is cited as evidence of evolution as opposed to intelligent design. [1]
      [edit] References1.^ Dawkins, Richard (2009). "11. History written all over us". The greatest show on Earth. New York: Free Press. pp. 360–362. ISBN 9781416594789. http://books.google.com/books?id=U8AFxmc76rcC. Retrieved November 21, 2009.

      The human body contains obvious design defects easily explained by evolution but embarrassing for advocators of an intelligent designer.

      You asked: "Could you do a better job?"

      Let's look at the evidence:

      (1) Our pelvis slopes forward for knuckle dragging like all the great apes. Only by an extremely sharp bend of our spine can we stand erect: an evolutionary artifact or a design weakness obvious to any first-year engineering student?

      (2) Our mouths have too many teeth: either the result of an evolutionarily flattened mammalian muzzle or a design plan that couldn't count accurately above twenty?

      (3) Our facial bones are squashed by an expanded brain case to produce a sinus drainage system that would embarrass the local plumber: evolution or just plain stupid design?
      Copyright 2005 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved.

      So, it is the believer's choice. Either evolution, or stupid design from an underachieving god.

      Cheers!

      So Adam and Eve messed up and allowed SIN into the world and people are selfish and greedy.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Bob, I was kinda trying to back your point by connecting the dots between the serpent and god's will. Guess I did a poor job of explaining.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Bob, I was kinda trying to back your point by connecting the dots between the serpent and god's will. Guess I did a poor job of explaining.

      No, it was fine. But subtle. The point is that we're all a part of God if God created us. And we're unable to do anything that he has not prescribed.

      The process of thinking and making a decision is an illusion if you believe in the biblical God. If everything is prescribed, you're thinking on the same level as a computer. Ie, none. 😀

      February 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That's because Bob, you get a grade of F. Time to start studying so you ACE His wisdom.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Bob

      > That's because Bob, you get a grade of F. Time to start studying so you ACE His wisdom.

      Is that all you got? How about engaging me in intellectual discussion? Surely with his wisdom, which is divinely inspired, you can answer the toughest questions I got.

      The problem is that you don't have divine wisdom. What you have is your own mind and your own wishes to go to a magical fairy land with gumdrop bridges and lollipop lanes, where no one is ever unhappy. And for all eternity you romp and play in a bed of marshmellow flowers.

      The bible is wrong on many things and should be looked upon with skepticism. That's the real wisdom. You wouldn't believe a telemarketer if he said "God sent me to sign you up for this miracle of a deal" would you? Perhaps you should consider the bible as a telemarketer.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • derp

      "Even the harmony at which most species coexist"

      Most species eat each other. You know, that whole biology thing. Nevermind, I realize that it is probably too sciency for you faithful types.

      February 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  16. ok cool

    and this is news because...... I pray everytime I use the toilet why don't I make news..

    February 17, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • MarkinFL

      While you may be very good at using the toilet, you have not proven yourself the best in front of thousands of people.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Kabaroski

      You may "pray all the time and use the toilet," but unless you can last several rounds in the ring with fists connecting to your face, no one wants to see you on the news.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • why

      hey, what do you pray about? Not making sounds or smell? LOL

      February 17, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Well all usually comes out well enough in the end anyway.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  17. Reality

    And to conclude with the following prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    February 17, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Tom C

      Just an observation; but if you happen to believe in God you are small minded, have no voice of reason, and listen to ancient fairy tales. On the other hand, if you do not belive in God you are the only intelligent, rational group of people alive. Seems a bit arrogant to me.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Bob.

      Just an observation; but if you happen to believe in God you are small minded, have no voice of reason, and listen to ancient fairy tales. On the other hand, if you do not belive in God you are the only intelligent, rational group of people alive. Seems a bit arrogant to me.

      Ok, well, do you accept faith as a reasonable method for determing the nature of God? If you say yes, how do you explain the thousands of religions that got it wrong?

      You can be a person of reason and religious. You just avoid applying reason to your beliefs. Conciously or unconciously.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Tom C

      Oh, I don't see myself as religious. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Religion has nothing to do with that.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, you still get a grade of CLUELESS.

      Unfortunately, as you were.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  18. h

    well I always knew the religious must have SOME sort of brain damage, this fits my hypothesis

    February 17, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • SensibleAmerican

      @h You know, someone always has to butt in with some unnecessary, negative comment on everything. Pacquiao came from literally nothing to becoming one of the most prolific athletes in recent history, gives back to his community, and ran for office in his hometown because he has a deep dedication to serving that community. But you completely overlook his positive actions & aspects in favor of taking a cliched cheap shot at his faith. As an agnostic myself, I find your snide, self-serving comment to be abhorrent.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • David

      Your ignorance is overwhelming. I pray you come to Christ. Sensible American, even though you dont believe, thank you for your comment.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Bob.

      > As an agnostic myself, I find your snide, self-serving comment to be abhorrent.

      I'm an agnostic atheist myself. Just because someone does great things for the community doesn't mean that they don't have a problem mentally.

      I mean think about it. The only reason for believing in God is faith. When you look at faith, it's clearly evident that faith has led many people over the course of time to the wrong God (if one exists). The only conclusion that an intelligent and sane person can come to is that faith is unreliable for determining the nature of God.

      People who do believe in one thing over all the others, without actually researching them are indulging in self delusion, which is in fact an aspect and gateway to many other conditions.

      The statement is off the cuff and extreme, but there is a kernel of truth to it.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • J

      I'm with you h. Religion is a crutch for those with weak minds.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Godless

      I agree with J. Sorry thumpers, if you step back and look at it logically, you'd come to the same conclusion.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Ron G.

      Seems to me, that you're the one with brain damage.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • SensibleAmerican

      @Bob Well put response. The point I'd like to make, though, is that religion as a theory is not determinative of a mental issue either. There are a lot of things that contribute to a faith-based belief. For example, in Pacquiao's case, Catholicism is extremely influential in the Philippine culture. Relegating it to some sort of psychological disorder is, frankly, an insult to the majority of the Philippine people (regardless of the historical context of colonialism). I may not personally subscribe to an organized faith, but it clearly doesn't affect Pacquiao's capacity to be a decent human being outside the ring. If anything, it appears his faith is encouraging to his altruism, so I say good for him. Why berate & mock someone for their beliefs if it isn't affecting their capacity at human decency?

      And to @J and @Godless, if you truly look at it logically, the idea of faith is not all that unreasonable. Before any empirical data is gathered, all science remains theory. It is the faith that the theory is correct that drives people to keep pushing until the data is gathered to prove a theory. Yes, it is highly unlikely that a God or even the concept of God can be proven or disproven the same way. Yes, religion has been used to justify many horrible things in human history. But it has also contributed positive aspects to society, pushing practice of charity and personal sacrifice in certain cases. Answer me this: the tone in which you present your view, in what way is it any less self-righteous than the religious views that you discount as mental illness or pure stupidity?

      February 17, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • jake

      I believe in God. I do not feel the need to defend myself or my intelligence, or put down athiests or agnostics as they somehow always feel compelled to do religions. Of course many religions that do the same to do the athiest/agnostic/other religions, which is their own choice. Westboro Baptist Church is probably led by the devil himself.

      I do not feel that think others are below me. I do acknowledge there are many people who contribute more and are far more intelligent than I will ever be, religious or athiest/agnostic. What does weak minded mean anyway? How do you define success in life? By how much money you make? By how quickly you can do calculus? By how much you contribute to stem cell research or developing the cure for cancer? What if you're a talented and technically advanced musician? I would say there are people of all backgrounds, religious or not, who can do all of the above.

      I live my life as my own. I take the stance that I could care less whether you are a fellow believer or non-believer of any religion. If you're helping the world, the let's join hands.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Godless

      Wow, so asking people to look at something logically is now self-righteous?

      February 17, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Bob.

      > For example, in Pacquiao's case, Catholicism is extremely influential in the Philippine culture. Relegating it to some sort of psychological disorder is, frankly, an insult to the majority of the Philippine people (regardless of the historical context of colonialism). I may not personally subscribe to an organized faith, but it clearly doesn't affect Pacquiao's capacity to be a decent human being outside the ring.

      Just because you have a mental condition doesn't mean you're not a good, kindhearted person. Someone with Aspergers can be nice and kind. They still aren't thinking clearly.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Some people just refuse to learn His wisdom because they have no eyes to see, ears to hear His Truth.

      Time to get studying and stop the slacking.

      February 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Bob

      > Some people just refuse to learn His wisdom because they have no eyes to see, ears to hear His Truth.

      Some people are not gullible enough to learn his message because they use reason to discern what is nonsense or not.

      Fixed it for you.

      February 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • rickmeister

      May I say that having faith is a good thing. If we do not have some sort of faith on a higher being we would be committing atrocities at each, raping mothers and daughters., etc., etc. Faith tells us what's right and what's wrong. If praying is meant to secure one's standing with that higher being so be it. If Mr. Pacquiao feels believing and praying to god before he fights helps him defeat his opponents then so be it. He is quite successful about it.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    " I am the church of my own mind"

    Thomas Paine, " The Age of Reason"

    February 17, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • come on man

      so what happens to truth

      February 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  20. brownnose

    God Bless the Philippines. My fellow Filipinos let's pray for it like Pacquiao do. Let's us all pray that all the questionable wealth of some of our leaders that don't really belong to them and were actually illegaly acquired it be returned to where it really belongs and be used to feed/provide shelter to the poor people of the Philippines.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Beto

      I wonder who would win the fight if both contenders were devout catholics and both prayed hard before a fight. Their god would have a hard time! LOL

      February 17, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Gladiatorsports

      @ BETO

      that was a stupid remark.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:18 am |
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About this blog

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.