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 Where is God in Japan?
March 20th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Finding faith amid disaster

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Around the world, people are still struggling to come to terms with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which have left more than 8,000 dead, thousands more missing and hundreds of thousand others homeless. The threat of a nuclear crisis only adds to the uncertainty.

In times like these, many people find comfort in their faith. But disasters can also challenge long-held beliefs. The CNN Belief Blog asked some prominent voices with different views on religion how they make sense of such suffering, where they see inspiration amid destruction and how they respond to people who wonder, “How could God let this happen?”

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

Whenever a disaster like this occurs, I go back to the Bible, to the First Book of Kings. Elijah, in despair over the situation in Israel, runs to the desert, back to Mt. Sinai to find the God of the Revelation to Moses.

"And lo, the Lord God passed by. There was a mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. There was an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake."

To me, that is the key: the Lord was not in the earthquake.

Natural disasters are acts of nature, not acts of God. God cares about the well-being of good people; Nature is blind, an equal-opportunity destroyer.

Where is God in Japan today? In the courage of people to carry on their lives after the tragedy. In the resilience of those whose lives have been destroyed, families swept away, homes lost, but they resolve to rebuild their lives. In the goodness and generosity of people all over the world to reach out and help strangers who live far from them, to contribute aid, to pray for them.

How can people do such things if God were not at work in them to lend a counterweight to a natural disaster?

The Rev. Tesshu Shaku, chief priest of Nyoraiji Temple, a Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land sect of Buddhism) temple in Ikeda City, Japan

Buddhism is called a religion with no god. So we don’t think God caused this, according to the Buddhist way of thinking. We think of the law of cause and effect, searching for a cause. It is the same approach as science. The cause of this earthquake is the friction between the North American plate and the Pacific plate.

The Japanese are more focused on relationships as opposed to faith, feeling the pain of others. I have witnessed this at the time of the Hanshin Awaji earthquake. [In 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake on the island of Awaji killed about 6,500 people.] There were many people who came to the affected area to help and volunteer.

There is a word, “earthquake children,” for people whose perspectives were affected by the disaster. They became very active in community service or became Buddhist monks. So people will be more spiritual, feeling the pains and joys of others.

The Rev. James Martin, Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine and author of “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything”

For the believer, there is no satisfactory answer for why we suffer. Each person has to come to grips with that. It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful.

The Christian believes that God became human and that God underwent all the things we do. Jesus on the cross cried, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?” Christians do not have an impersonal God, but a God who understands what it means to suffer. People can relate more easily to a God who understands them.

Where is God? God is right there with the people who are grieving and sorrowful. In my own life, when I have felt great sorrow I have trusted that God is with me in this and that I’m not facing my struggles alone.

Oftentimes people become more religious in times of sorrow. They find that they are able to meet God in new ways. Why? Because when our defenses are down and we’re more vulnerable, God can break into our lives more easily. It’s not that God is closer, it’s that we’re more open.

Dr. Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances

These sort of natural disasters become the collective responsibility of all mankind to mobilize our compassion and resources to ease the pain of the people who have suffered.

This disaster is not the result of any sins of these people; we need to be clear that there is no belief that these victims “deserved” it for any of their actions. Rather, Muslims see these kinds of tragedies as a test from God. Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need.

These kinds of calamities should push us in positive ways. They should strengthen our faith in God and in his goodness. We attribute the things we don’t understand to his limitless wisdom and comfort ourselves that he is with us and he loves us, so there must be some meaning in what has happened, even if it is beyond our comprehension here at this time.

We are trained by our faith that every suffering, whether big or small, brings us closer to God’s mercy and forgiveness, to the extent that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, if you are walking and feel a thorn pierce your foot, you should know that even this little bit of pain brings you divine blessing and God’s forgiveness. These times of suffering give us an opportunity to demonstrate patience and faith, and therefore, become closer to God.

Every natural phenomenon challenges us as God’s trustees on this Earth, showing us that we should continue to study and explore ways of safeguarding humankind and all creatures from being subjected to this kind of devastation. It is the collective duty of all humankind to put resources in this and advance our understanding of how to respond to these disasters in a scientific way.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, writer and activist who founded the Unified Buddhist Church in France, and Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile

As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that we ourselves, in some part or manner, also have died.

The pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of humankind. And the human species and the planet Earth are one body. What happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body.

An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them.

Sam Harris, author of books including “The End of Faith,” and co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, dedicated to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion.

Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, “this might be all part of God’s plan,” or “there are no accidents in life,” or “everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves” - these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.

The Rev. Franklin Graham,  president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization

I don’t believe God does want this to happen. I don’t think it was ever God’s intention.

We know that there are going to be storms in life. No matter what happens we need to keep our faith and trust in almighty God.  And I want the people of Japan to know that God hasn’t forgotten them,  that God does care for them and that he loves them.

We care and God cares, and we’re standing by them.

CNN's Carol Costello contributed to this report

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • God • Japan

soundoff (1,886 Responses)
  1. Kaleb

    I'd like to point out there isn't a single black religious leader in the slideshow above. Come on CNN diversify it.

    March 20, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • yllus228

      there's an Indian, Asian, Woman and a white-but because there's not a black, it's not diversified? So black = diversification?
      everything's not black & white.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Rep300

      Like the insane lunatic "Reverend" Al Sharpton? What is he a reverend of? What does that even mean? Who Fing cares. They are all retards, so who cares if they are black or white...Harris has probably already destroyed them in a debate anyways.

      March 21, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • awdam

      thats cause they came from monkeys

      March 21, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  2. GOD is real

    GOD IS real. you will ALL have your proof when you die or are raptured soon. You Cant escape.

    March 20, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • albert

      The word Rapture is not even in the Bible. You can not debate the Truth of the Bible with lies.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      The phrase "religious people are nincompoops" is not in the Bible either, but it's the real Truth of the Bible.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • duke

      you have no proof of God's existence either. You use faith, which is believing in something without empirical evidence. Just drink the koolaid already!

      March 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Be Your Own God

      You really like wishing bad things on people. I think having people have bad things happen to them makes you feel good. You're strange. But that's what I think of you the people who are attracted to the Abarhamic faiths. You're strange.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • mike yavar

      When did you run into him?

      March 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      The word rapture was created from a Greek word used that means "catching away".

      Also, do a some research on Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There's your proof God exists. I'm not talking about false Benny Hinn stuff. There are seriously some bright individuals on YouTube that will give you explainations.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All the Jeremiah 5:4 come out in droves on this belief blog. Dry bones, wells without water, spiritually walking dead among us.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bradley

      The devil can quote scripture it's time for you to show you actually understand what you are quoting.

      When we share our thoughts and ideas we are sharpening each other. We bring our own perspectives to the discussion. We are looking at the same scripture through these different perspective. It's why when you only quote scripture and don't share your thoughts that you become stagnate in your study of God's word. We all need to read his word but we need to share our thoughts to make sure we understand the complete truth.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • top secret

      tru dat

      March 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Servant of G*d

      Rejoice brothers and sisters in Lrd Jesus Christ our Holy Divine Brother and Savior, He is All Mighty aint he BOYS I love you all including my starbrothers because my Lord is Allmighty, Living here on earth is becoming tooooo smalllll, I smell thy rapture soon OHHHH my AmENNNNNNNNNNNNN I love you verrrrrrrrrrrry much. I just can t wait!!! i believe plus you have manifested too me for me not to believe. thanks your son : eleazar you know who i am and i know you are watching.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • Jimbo

      Using the same old tactics that have been around for 2000 years or more, scaring people into believing. It only works on the small minded who fear the unknown.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • William Demuth

      God is a lie, and a poorly constructed one at that.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • I don't have the answers

      God is Real – thanks for your comment. But if you truly are trying to reach people to share the love of Jesus then this is NOT the right way. In today's world sadly the church, and christians are who push people away from God the most, that sucks!! It should be the complete opposite!! We need to share God's love with our actions. Churches should be a safe place for hurting people.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  3. GoDog

    Where is God? Nowhere.

    Random planet, random life, random events, random life.. repeat.

    March 20, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • DirkD

      Ramen! Brother Ramen!

      March 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Says, those that have no eyes to see, nor ears to hear always complaining.

      So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

      Genesis 1:27

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • cocopuf2

      There is NO such thing as true randomness. We use computers to come up with pseudo-random numbers but this is a far cry from being random.
      Just like "infinity". Infinity ONLY exists in the classroom and your imagination ... in reality, if it started then it will end (period)
      We know that we had a beginning ... so, there will be an end. Even you ! Our lives are tragically short too on this Earth ... and for a reason. You need to find out why?

      March 21, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  4. Israel

    Learn what I teach you , my son, and never forget what I tell you to do. Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. Yes, beg for knowledge; plead for insight. Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. If you do, you will know what it means to fear the LORD and you will succeed in learning about GOD. It is the LORD who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding. HE provides help and protecion for those who are righteous and honest. HE protects those who treat others fairly, and guards those who are devoted to HIM. Proverbs Chapter 2.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • Tracy

      I always have to laugh at those that add NOTHING to the conversation except bible verse. It just shows your lack of ability to think for YOURSELF.

      And jesus christ people, quit going out of your way to capitalize Him, He, His.....we get it....he is all powerful and has commanded us to use capitalization when using him as a pronoun.....lol

      March 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Be Your Own God

      The god you worship is vain and says acts really aren't valued but fulfillling his empty vainity is really what he wants. You don't get to heaven by being good.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

      Genesis 1:27

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Bradley

      The devil can quote scripture too.

      Prov 11:14
      14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
      But in the multi~tude of counselors there is safety

      Prov 27:17
      7 As iron sharpens iron,
      so one man sharpens another.

      When we share our thoughts and ideas we are sharpening each other. We bring our own perspectives to the discussion. We are looking at the same scripture through these different perspective. It's why when you only quote scripture and don't share your thoughts that you become stagnate in your study of God's word. We all need to read his word but we need to share our thoughts to make sure we understand the complete truth.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  5. Far28

    This is all one big accident anyway. We are all just floating in space passing time.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • GoDog

      Yep!!!

      March 20, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  6. Randall

    I heard he is in Hilton Head, SC at his condo.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  7. Mar58

    ..and Man created God in his own image out of confusion and dread!!

    March 20, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • cocopuf2

      Believe it or not, you are the confused one. lol

      March 21, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  8. stephen

    "Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God." - James Tour, NANOSCIENTIST

    March 20, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  9. Schmit

    'There is no such thing as an all knowing/all seeing God.. I can say this because I am all knowing and all seeing.'

    When we are full of ourselves, we end up being blinded to the things we say... and instead of analyzing/examining ourselves.. the very thing that is the challenge is the very thing that hinders our eyes from seeing. The information is right there for all to view and to be examined.. but instead of analyzing, we'd much rather protect our pride from being uncovered. Pride protects pride from detection... otherwise it wouldn't be very prideful...

    What would happen if the wall of pride was penetrated? The person would have to admit.. "I'm wrong." and that is not possible from a prideful person. They would much rather play the wizard of oz game.. "Don't look behind the curtain, there is nothing there." Dodge-n-weave tactics. Hide-n-seek. "Look over there.. Look over here! But don't look behind the curtain." It's real sad sometimes... to watch someone point fingers, blame, justify, make excuses, etc... continuing to dodge-n-weave. It's a weird game the prideful play..

    "But what about you! You're just being all judgmental." Ya, ok.... distraction. K, I'm being judgmental.. you're right. I confess it. Now that this "redirection topic/ploy" has ended via my confession and admittance, let's go back to the topic I'm discussing... because the truth still remains no matter what new distractions/paths people try to take the conversation down. Hide all ya want... make up new conversations/topics... point fingers at my words and nit pick every single sentence to find error... that's fine. But at the end of the day, the initiating statements remain undiscussed, hidden.. and they are still there lingering in truth.. Avoidance and games of hide-n-seek doesn't make it vanish.... it's just a ploy by the ego to remain undetected and hidden...

    It's just sad that people can't see this stuff... even though it is right there for them to evaluate and take a look at it. The facts are right there beating up against their brains and emotions... But hey, we're taught to be STRONG! and weakness is baaaaad. So just stay hidden in the little shell... build up your walls... move the focus off of it... do whatever games you gotta do to remain hidden... and when all is said and done with, the truth remains. A simple peek at this would reveal it to you.. but you'd much rather slam people and stay in the self centered world. "Good luck"... rub your rabbits foot. Maybe that will help. Or, another pill.. dr.'s visit... or maybe another toy to glorify the self? Maybe another bf/gf? Another addiction?

    Ya, it's like that....

    March 20, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Penzidean

      You seem to know a lot of about PRIDE Schmit you have a lot in common with Lucifer.

      'There is no such thing as an all knowing/all seeing God.. I can say this because I am all knowing and all seeing.'

      LMMFAO so you consider yourself above GOD. Have we ever met before? Your words seem very familiar. Or is it your name? My mistake that was a Schmidt, very similar. That d eludes yours. Smith is the main variation of the name I believe, the most common last name in the WORLD. Well if you are the Schmidt or Schmit, who ever you want to call yourself at the time GOD BLESS.

      P.S. Here is a small tip. You might want to loose the PRIDE and start placing yourself below GOD. Gods not a huge fan of that. 😉

      March 21, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Penzidean

      Sorry if you were quoting someone from a previous comment my deepest apologizes. It just sounded a bit like you were arguing with yourself. No matter the case GOD BLESS AMEN.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • awdam

      Whereas if not for monkey sperm,you would not exist!!

      March 21, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  10. AGeek

    Compare the two Buddhist and one Shinto perspectives against the others (Shaku and Hanh have excellent focus, I have no idea why Tinsley sidetracked into kami for the little space she was allotted as kami are merely tangent to the discussion). Those three can immediately be seen as simple, straightforward, and simply common sense. The Abrahamic religions seek to assign or resolve blame for the tragedy, with is utterly inane and utterly laughable on the face of it. Please, if you're a believer in one of these faiths and vocally stumping for your cause, please don't wonder why people laugh at you or get really annoyed by your tripe shoveling.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  11. Jon

    There is no God. Religious belief is simply a coping mechanism invented by people to deal with things they don't understand or to exert social and psychological control over populations.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • Sinner

      I would agree with your assessment if you referred to say, Greek mythology, but Judeo-Christian religion is much more than a God up in the sky who gets angry and throws down lightning bolts, or whatever.
      Christianity, especially is based on the assumption that God is loving and through His Son, He has given us a choice to be moral and loving toward each other; to strive to be better and much more than just a selfish shallow life.

      Now,... WE FAIL... A LOT.
      Its freakin hard. But it is a choice we have.
      Anyway... Faith is more than "I'm scared and I need an answer to feel better".

      March 20, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Mr. Commonsense

      @ Sinner, So you need to be told to be moral by a god? How did humans live for thousands of years before the judeo/christian myth was invented?

      March 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What do you call these scriptures today?

      Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Surely, you don't take Genesis 2:7 seriously? Do you?

      Psalm 8:8: ". . . whatsoever passeth through the PATHS OF THE SEAS." How did David (the writer of Psalms) know, over 2,000 years ago, there were "paths in the seas"? David probably never even saw an ocean!

      Ecclesiastes 1:7: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the water cycle of condensation and evaporation in 1000 B.C.?

      Job 38:19: "Where is THE WAY where light dwelleth?" How come Job didn't say where is THE PLACE where light dwelleth? Because light is always moving. How did Job know something in 1500 B.C. ?

      Ecclesiastes 1:6: "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again ACCORDING TO HIS CIRCUITS." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the wind traveled within circuits? How did he know with their so-called limited knowledge thousands of years ago?

      Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. What Moses wrote in 1490 B.C. written thousands of years ago, by men with such limited knowledge?

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Justin Miyundees

      To deal with death humans go through five stages"

      Denial (what is the afterlife but denial?)
      Anger (when belief is on the chopping block, this is very often the reaction)
      Bargaining (the apologists are here – they're no longer true believers – Boogieman & the Tooth Fairy were good examples)
      Depression (many atheists encounter this but it's short lived- How'd you feel when you just got told there's no Santa?)
      Acceptance. (It's ok. Enjoy life while you have it. Live, learn and love.)

      March 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @HeavenSent What a pathetic list! The dust in the ground one: What, god made a mud mannequin and blew air into the nostrils and it came alive? THIS is an example of science in the bible???? Bwahahaha. The wind one isn't even accurate, but all it means is that people observed that the wind blew in different, sometimes opposite directions. The river/sea one is simply an observation that rivers keep flowing. It says nothing about how they do. Of course, rivers don't always flow forever, contrary to this verse. But yeah, the ancients new their world well enough to understand that rivers are replenished by rain. The origin of rain itself, however, was not well understood and is notably absent in this verse, The blood one is also inaccurate and was based on seeing people bleed to death, like the babies slaughtered at god's behest in the conquest of Canaan, for instance. In short, you have not only not proven your point, you've proven the opposite.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  12. john

    No reason to bring god into this situation.
    There is no time to wonder about imaginary friends when there are practical things to do.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • DirkD

      You speak the truth my friend.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Patricia

      well said

      March 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  13. Sinner

    and once again, in the end, we have no definative answers. Only agendas.
    For the athiest, the question "Where is God in this" has no meaning. For the atheist, there is no God. What is present is yet another opportunity to smirk, laugh, insult and belittle.
    We get it. We get it. You are sure there is no God and we believers are all fools.

    For the believer, there is a choice to either find compassion for the victims and assist in any way possible. Or we believers can find self-righteousness and callousness, as Sam Harris points out (and Pat Robertson at times has exhibited). The latter, in my opinion, being evil disguised as "faith".
    Mr. Harris also chooses to see only the bad side of humanity regarding religion and faith. YES, without a doubt many a "religious person" thoughout history has exhibited the characteristics he describes, but has no atheist ever shared in them too??
    He fails to acknowledge the long history of compassion and love by may a person who chooses to believe in God.
    In the end, we can disagree and have no definative answer until Jesus comes again, or the aliens land and set us straight.
    But let us be compassionate and loving, regardless.

    ... Yeah, like THAT is going to happen.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • John Richardson

      Sinner writes "We get it. We get it. You are sure there is no God and we believers are all fools" Hallelujah! The scales have fallen. The light has been lit!

      March 20, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • Irisrose

      @ Sinner

      "For the believer, there is a choice to either find compassion for the victims and assist in any way possible."

      And for the atheist, no god is required to be compassionate and helpful.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • duke

      There could be a God, sure. Yet, there is no compelling evidence that supports the claims made by religious texts...No angels visiting earth, no levitation, people aren't turning to pillars of salt, people aren't parting seas, etc, etc. So why should I go out on a limb and believe in something without solid evidence? Why is it so unreasonable for me to question claims that rely solely on faith?

      March 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Justin Miyundees

      The problem is, call it an agenda if you like, that fear of death has led people to create belief in "the afterlife" with NO evidence whatsoever.

      As religious people strive towards this afterlife, this world is belittled and our children will suffer famines and disease. The environment that we leave behind is secondary to the fairy tale of a castle in the sky. It would be childish if it didn't have such grave implications. We can even permit the atrocities of political and industrial agendas go unchecked because we have been promised a better world.

      So, yeah – you may have hit the nail on the head. Fools believe without solid proof. The only proof I've seen from anyone faithful here is anecdotal – chapter and verse. Well, believe the Koran then if you're willing to accept such flimsy piffle as proof.

      "We are two very good tailors and after many years of research we have invented an extraordinary method to weave a cloth so light and fine that it looks invisible. As a matter of fact it is invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to appreciate its quality."

      March 20, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  14. dmc

    Evolved DNA, do you really think your DNA evolved. How ignorant is that... obviously you don't understand the complexity of DNA. Would you drive an evolved car, or fly in an evolved plane, or use an evolved computer, or use an evolved parachute, or an evolved ipad.. no, you buy the best technology, why?? because it has an intelligent design, and you love it.. you want the best design, you shop for it, you are proud of it, too bad your DNA has no intelligent design, so it isn't working yet as it isn't evolved to perfection yet, so that means your brain and othe functions are there, so you should stop making absolute statements, as your body and brain are fully developed yet... Make sense? Not really, God designed you, so stop knocking him, He is much bigger and greater than you.... oh, but then that would mean you would have to acknowledge him and listen to his word and not be so self centred... okay, back to evolution again...

    March 20, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • Andy

      DMC
      When it is cold in your house, do you:
      A: Prey to God to make it warmer?
      B: Go to the thermostat and turn up the heat?
      C: Put on something warmer to wear?

      If you answered B or C, yay, you have evolved from a Neanderthal because you can adapt to your environment.

      If you answered A, please invite me over and show me how God answers your prayers.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Irisrose

      @ dmc

      Hm. Oh, dear. One shouldn't make absolute statements unless it's: "God designed you." Is that the way it goes?

      March 20, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      DMC.. So who designed the designer .. and so on... ID is not real, it is a creation of those who do not fully understand what evolution is.. You are made star dust like it or not.. if you want to find out why, then look at the many books on the subject... even the Catholic Church the pope himself.. have accepted evolution..

      March 20, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Mohareb

      Actually, engineers are increasingly using evolutionary algorythms to generate increasingly complex devices. In situations where the parameters are beyond human capacity to comprehend, such as sophisticated antennea designs currently in use on NASA satellites, the solutions are evolved using computer simulations of evolution. You may say it's "just a theory", but when engineers start using it because it's the only thing that works, it's time to wake up and face reality. Electromagnetism also "is just a theory", but here you are using electronics to post messages on the internet.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Andy, time to conduct further research. Neanderthals were the remains of Apes.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, here we go again. Wasting billions of tax payers dollars to prove they have big egos to keep their research at theory levels. Christians tell them this for free.

      Billions versus free.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Sunshine

      "Billions versus free." Wow are you naive or what. Religion makes billions upon billions of dollars preaching to people. That just shows you are one of those Christians that doesn't have a clue.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Heavensent.. "Neanderthals are the remains of monkeys" unbelievable.. I hope you managed to get some education at school or that was waste. Although maybe you are right about something.. there is a hell, and us atheists are in it right now... with the Christians who didn't make it either. Not as warm as you thought I expect..

      March 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Heavensent.. sorry i see you said apes not monkeys.. my mistake..this new format causes many errors in trying to attach to the correct comment, and at times I also forget the actual wording of the comment I am commenting on.. again my apologies..

      March 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Servant of G*d

      humans are light beings, when one is connected with faith, he shall feel thy warmth, although one must seek God like gold, he always manifests because he is married unto us, one must seek then he shall find, although without faith nothing shall happen its mans responsiblity to see thy light, there is nothing wrong with having love in your heart uncondiontally although because of earth eniquities love sometimes can get you killed but, humas are mini gods when they die with Jesus Christ in thier heart. God is LOVE, satan is hate I hate satan with all of my gutssss and glorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry

      March 21, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • rooio3

      @dmc

      Do you really think you were molded like play dough out of the ground in one day- to form veins, blood, brain, eyes, bone, muscle, skin to start speaking, thinking, with unknown knowledge to start cultivating the garden, naming animals, etc, all in a short time space of a few days.....like magic? How ignorant is that. Obviously you don't understand the complexity of logic. To think that such a "creation" story would seem more plausible is...lunacy. You might as well believe fairy tales for that matter.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  15. dmc

    Folks, stop bringing God down to your level or realm of comprehension. Those commenting on the Bible obviously haven't read it (eath is flat, sun revolved around the earth...), you don't know God, so stop commenting, our earth is a small speck in what appers to be an infinite planet system, and an earthquake is a small adjustment in the overall universe, yet upon man it has such huge impacts felt the world over. It is absolutely mind boggling that these comments about God are coming from people who in scheme of creation are so small and have no idea of who God is, or have read his word or understand it. The smarter we get the more we realize we don't know... The bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...

    March 20, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • mk

      God created mankind with a free will. Yet, with your words of hypocrisy and your obvious ignorance and lack of
      compassion for the fears of others who do not have your faith nor mine, you cast the first stone.

      It is therefore against God to take away the free will and free thought of others... you must first show compassion to others even if you believe they are wrong or misguided. Jesus did this. He came among humanity to save sinners not the righteous. Has he saved you my friend in Christ? or are you just kidding yourself and need more time? God is omnipotent and all knowing but my understanding of that as follower of Christ, and believer in Christ is simple.. We cannot force others to believe or have faith or follow commandments, except by example... and by showing our own faults. Are you saying you have none?

      Compassion for and tolerance for others with all of their faults and disagreeable characteristics and for those who suffer for reasons we truly cannot understand even when we are the sufferers, is all that matters. The rest is just faith.... so let's hope good things and do good things for people who suffer anywhere.

      I have friends who are good people; better than many so-called religious people like myself and sometimes I respect them more for their ' Christ-like acts of kindness. I do not try to convert them... I just enjoy their humanity and appreciate them for who they are. That for me is the true Christian spirit. Not self-righteous judgement and stone throwing.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • rachel

      Yawn.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Marcus Jay

      Amen dmc.

      @mk, you totally missed dmc's simple point. What he's telling you is that we as humans tend to bring god down to our level because most of us choose not to seek God Almighty for who is. And what you've created is your own little god of your warped imagination which is called an idol. I challenge and encourage to ACTUALLY OPEN AND READ THE BIBLE! I dare you. And I say this with great compassion and concern for your own eternal well-beinig.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Roobios

      The creation story in genesis was based off the creation myth of the Sumerians who predated the Israelites about 1-2,000yrs. We have the archeological tablets as proof. The same thing with the flood story. Noah mimics the Sumerian's flood myth. We know those stories are not based on reality. Commenting on "god's creation" is nothing more than ancient mythology. Archeology confirmed that. So you are saying empty words.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  16. mk

    What is God? There is no God where suffering prevails.
    The religious hypocrites enslave rational, thinking humanity with a burden of
    proof when there is none. There is only individual faith, and that is not
    debatable. What bothers me most are the religious, and so-called faithful
    who without having been tried in their faith by disaster or loss , go on and on
    about the Bible stories of faith as if that is the answer from God about God
    and his role in the suffering of others less fortunate. This is a horrible way to show compassion to people. We must
    show compassion not preach like morons about something some of us have
    not experienced. Put aside your Bible and your religious mumbo-jumbo and be human
    and feel for others instead of preaching annoying condescending BS.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • lenoirlady

      First: Stop blaming God with these Tectonic Plates shifting! What's up with that? We the people of Planet Earth have; bombed, cut, gouged, bombed again and again with traditional and atomic bombs until we have altered the stability of the core of the planet. It's all coming back to bite us in the ass and yes, it's going to get worse. We, WE have altered the axis on which this ball is balanced.
      STOP blaming anyone but our greedy war lords and muck-rakers for inflicting these scars on the Earth.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • John Richardson

      Lenoirlady – There were earthquakes long before there were bombs. You are doing more than a little myth making yourself.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • Sudesh

      @lenoirlady Did god create the earth....so he fuc* up creating the earth ...he should fix it....Stupid god

      March 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • MG

      I saw your remark and thought that you sounded like you were open minded, and thats the only reason why i'm writing this comment about what you said. I thought it interesting that in all of these explanations of where God is in this time, only one person quoted a scripture and even then, they misapplied it. IF there is a God, then wouldn't it be wise to look at his book for why these things are happening, or why people suffer? Here's some things FROM THE BIBLE to think about:
      In Gen 3 Satan accused God of lying to Adam and Eve, said that God was withholding something great from them. Through this, and as shown in Job 2:4 Satan states that people will do whatever is best for themselves, and they are not truly interested in serving God. As you can imagine, if say a student were to say to a teacher that he doesnt know what he's doing and that he can do it better, what would the teacher say? He could kick the kid out, and the other kids would think the teacher just got stomped by this kid, or the teacher can allow the kid to come up and show that he is better. Obviously the teacher know he isn't but this will prove to everyone that the kid is a chump. Same deal, God is currently allowing Satan to rule the world. You may say."Thats ridiculous!" Look around. Things are awful, people are crazy, and the economy is horrible, wars everywhere, if God were controlling the world right now, wouldn't things be better? Look at 1 John 5:19, then what Jesus himself said at John 14:30, and John 12:31. So Satan is ruling, and you know why, so you know why bad things are happening, but if there's a God, when will he do something about it? Revelation 12:12 says it will be a short time. What is short to God? Who knows. However, he gave signs of when those final days would be. See if any of it sounds familiar....2 Timothy 3:1-7, 2 Timothy 4:3-5 talks about how majority of people will be towards this information, and 2 Peter 3:3, 4 says word for word what people say now. In Matthew 24:21, Matthew 24:3-13 Jesus is telling his true followers what they will see and what to do. After this time Rev 21:1-3 will take place. Hope it helped.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Sunshine

      "Things are awful, people are crazy, and the economy is horrible, wars everywhere." Ummm....it's called history repeating itself over and over again, because people can't learn from their mistakes. Instead of preaching doom and gloom why don't all the Christians focus on the real issue at hand, loving each other for who we are. People are crazy but if you could be honest with yourself you would realize religion is at the root of all evil because people can't follow the simple principle of loving your neighbor like you love yourself, help each other out. If every human being had a clean running water, food on the table, safety where they live, then this would be heaven on earth. LOL! Oh, and before you start tearing me apart, there have been studies showing when the basic needs of human beings are met, violence subsides. Now, we just need this Jesus fellow to come back to start making more bread.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • mikeaceshado

      I am with you MK. Why these rich religious guys give some of the money they stole from the suckers to help those who are hurt and suffering? Their turn will come right here on earth before they kick the bucket!!

      March 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • top secret

      WHO ASKED U BUTT HOLE U HAV NO LIFE...... SO GET ONE!!!!!!!11years old just told u to believe in god or youll go to helllllll.im warnin u

      March 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Marcus Jay

      Uh huh.

      The fact I've encourage you to ACTUALLY READ THE BIBLE and SEEK GOD shows my compassion for you sir. Putting aside The Bible is simply putting aside God – which will not get you into Heaven. People that aren't compassionate will tell you to go to hell and that you're worth nothing and burn burn burn. Not me. Instead, I'm inviting you to seek God, turn away from your sins and live for Christ and I mean that out of compassion and sincere concern for your eternal well-beinig. God is love, but he's also a righteous and just Judge. I'm not trying to condemn you mk; just inviting you and EVERYsinner on this board to read The Bible and live for God because He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of all men.

      God bless and have mercy on you.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Roobios

      @Marcus

      You must not have actually STUDIED the bible, let alone read it. Nor it's history. Telling people to read the bible is redundant. Reading the bible is one of the main reason people become atheist. A study found that atheist know more about christianity than christians. Why, because they research. They don't gull-ably swallow everything fed to them. When they do that, they find the cracks and holes that christians seem to willfully ignore or avoid.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  17. Atheism is the only truth

    Why did human beings create gods and religions? causal determinism.

    Once upon a time, it was necessary to have a god to be able to answer all the mysteries in the world. Science has eroded this need by discovering explanations for much of what humanity did not know at the time of Jesus. The scientific method was not even known at that time. Of course, one would expect anyone, who has devoted their life to religion, to find reasons to believe in supernatural beings but they simply no longer fit. So, rationalizing is required to make them fit. And the emphasis is on faith because faith is the only way it does fit. But faith is nothing more that the ability to fool yourself into believing in the unbelievable. But much like children eventually understand that they were fooled by their parents into believing in Santa Clause, humanity is slowly growing out of the childlike phase of believing in supernatural beings. Imagine what it would be like not to have terrorism based on which religion you do or don't believe in. Imagine what it would be like if we did the humane and just things we should do, not because some big brother in the sky is looking over our shoulder but because it's simply the right thing to do. That is where the myriad versions of the golden rule come from – humans doing the right things because it's how they want themselves to be treated. This is why the number of atheists has been growing at a steady rate, and eventually there will not be a need for religion, because man will evolve.

    There is no god, all gods and all religions were created by man, there is no proof god exists and there never will be, amen.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • mk

      In fact, there was scientific and rational thinking in the time of Jesus Christ. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians,
      Asians, Arabic cultures and others did practice science long before Jesus' time. Jesus used science to demonstrate
      many ideas but he did not call it science; he called it miracles, so that less enlightened ordinary people could find
      meaning in things they could not and would not understand.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • mk

      I like your thinking; it is honest and I agree there is no absolute truth about what some of us call God or afterlife. But it makes life easier for some who cannot rationalize like you or who do not have the eduction and experience to make such rationalizations. As a scientist, I have seen things that I cannot explain, by science tools available, yet I have a faith that those things are there for a purpose. Since you are a declared Atheist, you must have faith in Atheism. Why? I cannot say why for you but I defend your right to such thoughts in so far as they do not interfere with my free will. If you are compassionate person, then I respect you even more and admire and appreciate your thinking.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Gedwards

      "There is no god, all gods and all religions were created by man, there is no proof god exists and there never will be, amen."

      Your final statement completely negates your entire thesis as mere rationalization - which you accuse those who believe of doing.

      Since one cannot prove a negative (in this case, prove that God does not exist), your conclusion is invalid no matter how much faith you place on it. I think you referred to this in another context: "faith is nothing more that the ability to fool yourself into believing in the unbelievable."

      March 20, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • Sean

      I believe in God, and i have physical proof for it. So who's right? You are me? You truly trust your mental capacity to have reached this conclusion. Like i reached mine.

      You really are an unhappy person. This discussion of God, and your logic has been written and heard a billion times already. You are not adding anything new to this age old discussion. Let people believe in God, monkey, eggs, crap. Leave them alone.

      WHY does it bother you that people believe in something? Are we going to see an atheist alQaida soon harassing people to become atheist?

      I have experienced the existence of God many times, in many situations that you will fail to understand. One of is disillusioned. If you are right, that we all die and become dust, then you didn't loose anything, and I didn't loose anything. But if I was right, you will have lost everything.

      You're in a tough spot, If I were you, I would sit down and think real hard to the real reasons why you don't want to believe in God. Don't let the behavior of other religious morons ruin religion for you. They will loose anyways by the criteria they believe in.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Irisrose

      @Sean

      "I believe in God, and i have physical proof for it. "

      This claim intrigues me. If you have physical proof? Well, this is what atheists look for! What is it so that it can be confirmed and scientifically tested? Because you know, it just might only be a personnal experience and unverifiable.

      "You really are an unhappy person."

      Christians make this tired old claim all the time. How do you know who is happy or unhappy based on your religious views?

      "This discussion of God, and your logic has been written and heard a billion times already. You are not adding anything new to this age old discussion. Let people believe in God, monkey, eggs, crap. Leave them alone."

      And what are you and believers adding to this age old discussion? There is no logic or reason in 'faith'.

      "WHY does it bother you that people believe in something? Are we going to see an atheist alQaida soon harassing people to become atheist?"

      As an atheist myself, it isn't that I'm bothered by other's beliefs, it's that they seem to believe their beliefs ought to be part of our government. Atheist don't go from door to door trying to convert anyone to 'reason'. You want to talk about harrassment? I don't like believers asking me if I've been saved nor do I care if they pray for me or if they think I'm going to go to hell for not believing. I only want them to keep it in their homes and their churches. Why is this a problem?

      "I have experienced the existence of God many times, in many situations that you will fail to understand."

      So, you say. And when people don't agree with you they fail to understand?

      "One of is disillusioned. If you are right, that we all die and become dust, then you didn't loose anything, and I didn't loose anything. But if I was right, you will have lost everything."

      Ah, yes, Pascal's wager being trotted out yet again! Got anything new?

      "You're in a tough spot, If I were you, I would sit down and think real hard to the real reasons why you don't want to believe in God. Don't let the behavior of other religious morons ruin religion for you. They will loose anyways by the criteria they believe in."

      Would you please sit down and make a list why you don't what to believe in Odin? To an atheist there is no evidence to believe in ANY god, not just your's. Can you attempt to understand that simple concept?

      March 20, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • SANJOSEMIKE

      Sean, a believer says that "atheists are not happy people." But he has never met me. I have been an atheist for over 40 years. I am quite happy. I don't pay toward churches, and therefore was better able to support my own retirement. And yet I DO give to many charities. I don't believe in any afterlife. There is nothing after you are dead. So? I live every day as best I can and treat my family with love and respect. Sean, can YOU do better? Who are YOU to judge me?

      March 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • shofar

      To Irisrose:

      If She has proof to God's existence, why don't you ask her to present if? instead you bash it and dismiss it not even know it which it is.
      You attack her because she has something that you don't have and you don;t believe she has, so she must be wrong. Are you 5 years old?
      Pascal wager is solid. It hasn't being disproof because you must die to verify it. Pascal has being challenge in a mathematical sense, because he tried to use math in his philosophy. The challenge came after his death, so he couldn't reply.
      Pascal should be studied by atheist more carefully. Many arguments never contemplate the idea of A GOD. The most closed argument atheist have is when the argue: what if the God you pray is not the right one and at the end you are wrong", or in other words what if the muslim are right and the Christians are not.
      Even if that is the case, that doesn't disprove the existence of God.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Irisrose

      @ shofar

      “If She has proof to God's existence, why don't you ask her to present if? “

      In your zeal to make accusations maybe you missed this: What is it so that it can be confirmed and scientifically tested?

      You sound hysterical. Pascal’s wager is a hedge bet, but I thank you for your garbled take on it. It boils down to believing “just in case.”

      “Many arguments never contemplate the idea of A GOD”

      Of course they do. How else is one to formulate their argument about a god without taking the idea of a god into consideration?

      “Even if that is the case, that doesn't disprove the existence of God.”

      True enough. Neither is there ANY proof one does exist. I’ll ask you too, what evidence have you got?

      March 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, and I suppose the following scriptures aren't true:

      Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Surely, you don't take Genesis 2:7 seriously? Do you?

      Psalm 8:8: ". . . whatsoever passeth through the PATHS OF THE SEAS." How did David (the writer of Psalms) know, over 2,000 years ago, there were "paths in the seas"? David probably never even saw an ocean!

      Ecclesiastes 1:7: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the water cycle of condensation and evaporation in 1000 B.C.?

      Job 38:19: "Where is THE WAY where light dwelleth?" How come Job didn't say where is THE PLACE where light dwelleth? Because light is always moving. How did Job know something in 1500 B.C. ?

      Ecclesiastes 1:6: "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again ACCORDING TO HIS CIRCUITS." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the wind traveled within circuits? How did he know with their so-called limited knowledge thousands of years ago?

      Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. What Moses wrote in 1490 B.C. written thousands of years ago, by men with such limited knowledge?

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • mikeaceshado

      Very well put. I became an atheist at age 16. I am now 66. Hope the rest of the religious suckers wake up.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Magic

      HeavenSent,

      That goofy litany of yours (well, claimed to be yours?) has been refuted, debunked and thoroughly demolished over and over again on here and elsewhere. Begone with it.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Marcus Jay

      You stating there's "no god" already proves you actually do believe in God. You know God exists, you just choose not to accept Him as God. You're just exercising what God gave you – a free will – to accept or reject Him. I dare you to pick up The Bible and start reading it. Go ahead.....read it.

      God have mercy on you.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Magic

      Marcus Jay

      "You stating there's "no god" already proves you actually do believe in God."

      So, you stating that there are "no Leprechauns" proves that you actually do believe in Leprechauns.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • top secret

      SHUT UP AND GET A LIFE. GOD IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO IF YOU NEED MORE INFO....GO TO SHOUTLIFE.COM/KIDSFOR CHRIST. AND.....WHO DO YOU THINK MADE THE EARTH HAV THE PERFECT AMOUNT OR AIR SO WE CN LIVE ON IT.

      YOU RE SOOOOOOO CONFUSED SO SHUT UPPPPP AAAAND THINK BOUT WUT YOU ARE SAYIN HOMIE. IM 11 AND U BETTER SLEEP WITH YOUR EYES OPENN......REMEMBER....U DNT NO ME.. I CUD BE ANYWHERE. HHH.....JK. MEA ND GOD LUVS U ONE DAY YOU WILL SEE GOD! OR THE DEVIL HOPEFULLY U WILL RECIEV E CHRIST BEFORE ITS TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • kiljoy616

      mk
      I like your thinking; it is honest and I agree there is no absolute truth about what some of us call God or afterlife. But it makes life easier for some who cannot rationalize like you or who do not have the eduction and experience to make such rationalizations.

      I have to disagree for the most part it does not make people happier at all. What it does is cause long term stress of a hell and what if my love ones did not go to heaven. Religion steals the life out of believers but like any drug it feels good when your drowning in it but bad if you just take a walk in the real world. Religion is dangerous and people take it as though its a no big deal or does no harm.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • chris

      Here is one for the Atheist.Albert Einstein the Most Smartest man to walk the face of the Earth (besides Jesus Christ) Said him self of any smart person on this earth only know's about 3% of the total knowledge of the universe so for the Atheist where do you stand on that percentage let's give you the benefit of the dout let's say you know only 2% percent of the total knowledge of the universe then 2% of 100% you say there is no God,then that leave's this then there is a 98% chance That God Exist that you don't know about. So in term you cannot say there is no God Because you don't know because you don't Have total knowledge of the whole universe you cannot argue with that well you can but it will not get you anywhere C.S.Lewis was a former Atheist but he found in his heart that God Does exist andGod said noone is with out Any excuse So I pray In the Name of Jesus Christ that he sends his Holy Spirit on you (all Atheist) to help you understand He is Alive and Well > Christians are the only people that go to Muslim infested country's to help Spread the Gospel Of Jesus Christ as God has asked us to do so you have to ask your selves why we would put our selves in harms way Because God is with US and there are millions of muslim's coming to know Jesus Christ and what he has done for us on the Cross John3:16and if you still want to be an atheist that's ok God Tell's us to love you and our enemies so God Bless you in the name of Jesus Christ

      March 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • samuel Ravelo

      The Bible already predicted that this sad tragedy and many more will happen. You can't be mad at the Bible and God for warning you for thousands of year before it happened.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • rooio3

      @samuel Ravelo

      Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians. Another source of apocalyptic thought was primitive mythological and cosmological traditions. The apocalyptic writer despairs of the present and directs his hopes to the future, to a new world standing in essential opposition to the present. This becomes a dualistic principle, which, though it can largely be accounted for by the interaction of certain inner tendencies and outward sorrowful experience on the part of Judaism, may ultimately be derived from Mazdean influences. The non-fulfillment of prophecies served to popularize the methods of apocalyptic in comparison with the non-fulfillment of the advent of the Messianic kingdom. Determinism thus became a leading characteristic of Jewish apocalyptic, and its conception of history became mechanical. Christianity cultivated this form of literature and made it the vehicle of its own ideas.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Jake

      @Heaven Sent I am just going to show just one flaw in your logic. Paths of the seas was written in the bible because observations on tides were recorded by Aristotle and Strabo. That is far earlier than what you are trying to prove. What false preachers are you listening too. I am not even going to bother showing how falsehood of the rest of your post.

      March 21, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Girevik79

      Actually, there was a scientific method. It was developed by Aristotle and much of the scientific model of today is based off of his foundation.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  18. I Ching

    Religious people are ironically at a disadvantage to knowing who actually believes. It can be faked and there is no way to prove different.....because "faith" requires NO PROOF!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!

    March 20, 2011 at 4:19 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth

      This is amazing and so incredibly true. Isn't it convenient that "faith" excuses any proof existing? haha! I approve this message.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:50 am |
    • lenoirlady

      To the point! Amen!

      March 20, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Sean

      In Islam, you need proof before Faith. Faith comes after the mind has conviction.
      Go grab the Quran, read it, cover to cover, and prove it wrong. But you won't. You THINK you know. If you are truly smart and "enlightened" like all atheist would like to believe, then you should welcome any possibility to learn something new, to make you better and stronger. So use your scientific method. Put criteria on the Quran, on what it should be able to do if it was indeed the word of God.

      Try it. It will only benefit you in either ways:

      finding its true, OR it will make you smarter about Muslims and will further confirm your atheist beliefs. In simple words, read it, if you don't like it, throw it away, if you do, then go with it with strength.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Marcus Jay

      But God knows who is "fake" or not. And yes we as humans may fake each other out, but GOD KNOWS ALL!!! And are you so willing to take the chance of dying tomorrow, which isn't promised to you, not having to accepted Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior, and then waking up in Hell and realizing that God REALLY DOES EXIST??!! Think about it. I encourage you to read Romans 10:9-10 (Chapter 10 verses 9 and 10).

      March 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Al

      Reality is a friend of mine, god is not...

      March 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Of course you can be fake, anyone can, even the so-called Christians and religious people. BUT what you fail to realize, God will not be mocked. He knows the heart and mind of every man/woman/child. You can not tell God that you had faith and believed in Him while all this time, you were just a fake. He shall say, depart from Me, I knew you NOT.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • chris

      Read Mathew cht. 24 verses 3-14 these scriptures were written over 2000 years ago.Just in the Old testiment it self predicted the birth of Jesus Christ God's word is truth over human error

      March 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • IbelieveInTruth1

      There are many acts of faith and people who witness miricles every day. And it is because of thier faith or lack of faith that God chooses for them to be witnesses of these miricles. Ask Soldiers who were in Battle or ask a Doctor or Nurse who will tell you that there is simply no Scientific explaination for patients who should be dead, miraculously live. As an American, don't knock those who believe simply because you choose to not believe in God.

      Trust me, it isn't anyone here on this blog that will pass judjment on you when you die. I love being an American because you have the right to choose how you believe. Ironicly, God is also a big fan of Democrocy because he also gives us free will to choose to accept his calling and believe in him or not. You decide my fellow American, and remember as you get a Snack or Drink tomorrow, don't forget to read the Quater before you drop it in the Vending Machine. God is calling you to have faith In God we Trust!

      March 21, 2011 at 3:19 am |
  19. Frederica

    I think religious leaders should stop comforting people with empty words. Our planet is polluted beyond hope and mankind must stop exploiting the planet and each other. Who no one calls for national repentance which is the most needed fact-telling? Revelation 9:20,21.

    March 20, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • jimtanker

      That bible quote of yours makes no sence at all. That refers to things that happen after the rapture has already started. Not that any of those things are actually going to happen anyways. I enjoy reading your fiction though.

      March 20, 2011 at 3:48 am |
    • Frederica

      Jim, no, it's about the staunch unwillingness of mankind to admit their guilt before the Creator God. People need to be told about the sin problems as they really are; the watered down cotton candy won't solve the basic problem.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:44 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Frederica.. what we need to do is slaughter more goats, and burn more incense..nailing one guy to a post appears to not have cut it. I think, however, that even that drastic action may not work.. I suspect that the tectonic plates are angry and need to be appeased....

      March 20, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Frederica

      EvolvedDNA, stop worshipping nature. The nature hates you. No appeasement possible. And definitely no human sacrifice works. It wants you out permanently, of course. Only the Creator God loves you and is willing to forgive you once you give up your willful stupidity.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:41 am |
    • Revelations20:12

      You tell it. Never stop posting bible scripters and warning!

      My time as a watchwoman is almost up. Get Jesus now. Judgement is coming to the States.

      "One Nation Against God"

      March 20, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Frederica.. Your religion is an evolution of the old heathen /pagan cults of long ago.. they worshiped nature.. you are nothing more than a modern pagan.. You worship nature...you call it god.. I do not worship nature..it does not need it ...it just is.. the world will be here long after we all disappear and our evolved ancestors roam the earth. You live in a death cult, have been told so many times you are not worthy ,and are a sinner, and so being so negative is a natural for you.. I am so sorry you see nothing noble in human beings, but want an alien to look after you..

      March 20, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      EvolvedDNA, of course you are only seeing the carnal aspect of the plate tectonics that God created. Frederica is trying to explain there is a reason these folks insist on living in the Ring of Fire and are horrified when the plates keep shifting. Same reason why you complain about scriptures and the children were eaten by the bear. The ring of fire is the bear and children that play with the bear are eaten.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Sunshine

      The ring of fire actually has a benefit of uniting the world to better understand it's impact on us. The problem with you analogy is on the other side you have hurricanes that impact the other continents. Oh and there are Christians in all these places and it has nothing to do with the "bear." Do you even have a clue what you are talking about or are you so consumed with your personal demon of fear you can't see your nose is growing longer and longer.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • allfaith

      Start right now, and act. Take your first step in the right direction. Stop criticizing everyone else and take control of your own life.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • Jake

      "stop criticizing everyone else and take control of your own life." That is a catch 22 LOL! You are criticizing others too, so please take your own advice!

      March 21, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • awdam

      I totally agree! They should take up arms and kill as many as they can as quick as they can!

      March 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  20. Ernest

    Stress is what opens up the mind to suggestion. Brainwashing techniques revolve around stress because the human brain reacts to stress in certain ways.

    In a disaster, the stress levels are very great, and victims will grasp at literally anything in order to cope.

    "Finding faith" in a massively stressful situation is nothing more than a trick played upon one's mind. A person can fool themselves, and even brainwash themselves given the right circumstances.

    "Faith" is a mental aberration so prevalent that anyone not having a religious "faith" is in a very small minority on this planet.
    A world covered with mentally ill people who are just trying to cope and live their lives one day at a time is not the most stable of situations. Add natural catastrophes and the psychological aftermath can distort societies and cultures for decades, centuries, millenia...all thanks to the human body and the typical reactions of the brain to stress.

    This is why war is so reprehensible. When you attack other human beings with violence and death, you are introducing massive psychological trauma into that culture and that group of people.

    Wouldn't it be more merciful to simply wipe them out instead of making "basket cases" out of all the survivors?
    Not if we can help them in a thera-peutic manner to cope, to overcome the trauma, the stress, and the other types of damage done to each individual.

    But religion only allows relief under certain circu-mstances. A belief system only works in certain ways.

    It all comes down to our reactions to stress and why we react in the ways that we do.
    The "finding faith" part of it is nothing more than a "red herring". A wild goose chase that sometimes helps people to cope without trying other ways to help them cope. Delusions are not reliable from a real-world perspective and should be avoided if possible. Each individual is different, yet we have common reactions because we are all human beings.

    I would like to see more rational approaches to helping people cope with trauma and other types of stress than religious ones.

    March 20, 2011 at 3:16 am |
    • stephen

      Ernest, I think you're experiencing trauma yourself

      March 20, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • UncleM

      Stephen – I think you're experiencing religious delusion

      March 20, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • shofar

      Your post is so absurd. Sadly you really believe in this pile of nonsense. Were did you found that "Faith" is a mental aberration? Haven't you though that if only a small minority doesn't have any type of faith, maybe those are the ones with issues? Hey, it is a little bit arrogant to say: I'm not wrong, but the rest of planet is!
      Lack of Faith can be also be treated as a symptom of mental illness, you know. Haven't you thought is a remarkable coincidence that patients that suffers from depression, alcoholism, drug addiction etc have "Lack of Faith" and Remarkable the only cure to may of those problems have been the reconnection with some form of belief.
      Think about it. Perhaps you need to seek help.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      Well said Ernest. Why is it that so many people blindly accept archaic old myths and fairytales? It's really pathetic how many people are gullable enough to swallow that nonsense.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Why is it that so many people think that people become Christians only because they "blindly accept archaic old myths and fairytales?" You do not know why I am a Christian.

      March 21, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • allfaith

      Faith is not a goal or an objective, it's more like a state of mind. Having faith in one's own ability to continue can come in pretty handy in a situation like this one.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Belief_Matrices

      For the sake of the future of mankind, I truly hope that we can all one day come to the understanding that morality is defined not by any one religious text, but by the infinite intricacies of the individual human heart. People have been walking this earth for millions of years, but only during the most recent years have we begun to scratch the surface of understanding what makes us behave the way we do. Prior to that understanding, we relied on philosophical texts such as the bible and the quran to give us a sense of direction in the absence of wisdom. And, unfortunately, our inability to interpret the underlying meaning of those texts and the subsequent reliance on literal interpretation is what has brought us so much violence and intolerance throughout human history. The human brain does not fully develop its capacity to reason and to act without impulsiveness until the early to mid 20s. During that period of development, religion serves as a temporary structure for a person's consciousness while that person learns to grasp life on his/her own. What unfortunately happens all too often is that that individual becomes accustomed to viewing events through the narrow lens of religious context and thus never truly outgrows that structured consciousness. The result is the inhibited development of emotional maturity as wits take a backseat to "beliefs."

      March 21, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • Prove it

      @shofar:
      "Were did you found that "Faith" is a mental aberration? Haven't you though that if only a small minority doesn't have any type of faith, maybe those are the ones with issues? Hey, it is a little bit arrogant to say: I'm not wrong, but the rest of planet is!"

      Think about what you just said. So you divide everyone into 2 groups: Those WITH "faith" and those WITHOUT "faith" ... You do realize that even within the category of those WITH "faith" that all of the world's thousands of religions disagree. And they can't all be right about everything.

      But I'm sure you just happened to get lucky enough that YOUR religion is the one that happens to be right about everything... Wow, what are the chances!?!? 🙂

      March 21, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • awdam

      I dont think the monkey sperm worked in your case.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
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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.