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April 11th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Leading atheist publishes secular Bible

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

The question arose early in British academic A.C. Grayling’s career: What if those ancient compilers who’d made Bibles, the collected religious texts that were translated, edited, arranged and published en masse, had focused instead on assembling the non-religious teachings of civilization’s greatest thinkers?

What if the book that billions have turned to for ethical guidance wasn’t tied to commandments from God or any one particular tradition but instead included the writings of Aristotle, the reflections of Confucius, the poetry of Baudelaire? What would that book look like, and what would it mean?

Decades after he started asking such questions, what Grayling calls “a lifetime’s work” has hit bookshelves. “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” subtitled “A Secular Bible” in the United Kingdom, was published this month. Grayling crafted it by using more than a thousand texts representing several hundred authors, collections and traditions.

The Bible would have been “a very different book and may have produced a very different history for mankind,” had it drawn on the work of philosophers and writers as opposed to prophets and apostles, says Grayling, a philosopher and professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, who is an atheist.

“Humanist ethics didn’t claim to be derived from a deity," he says. "(They) tended to start from a sympathetic understanding of human nature and accept that there’s a responsibility that each individual has to work out the values they live by and especially to recognize that the best of our good lives revolve around having good relationships with people.” 

Humanists rely on human reason as an alternative to religion or belief in God in attempting to find meaning and purpose in life.

Determined to make his material accessible, Grayling arranged his nearly 600-page "Good Book" much like the Bible, with double columns, chapters (the first is even called Genesis) and short verses. And much like the best-selling King James Bible, which is celebrating its 400th year, his book is written in a type of English that transcends time.

Like the Bible, "The Good Book," opens with a garden scene. But instead of Adam and Eve, Grayling's Genesis invokes Isaac Newton, the British scientist who pioneered the study of gravity.

"It was from the fall of fruit from such a tree that new inspiration came for inquiry into the nature of things," reads a verse from "The Good Book's" first chapter.

"When Newton sat in his garden, and saw what no one had seen before: that an apple draws the earth to itself, and the earth the apple," the verse continues, "Through a mutual force of nature that holds all things, from the planets to the stars, in unifying embrace."

The book's final chapter features a secular humanist version of the Ten Commandments: "Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."

Grayling, reached Friday at a New York hotel just as he began his U.S. book tour, has been dubbed by some a “velvet atheist” or an “acceptable face of atheism,” he says, in contrast to more stridently anti-religious writers like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, both of whom he counts as friends.

In other contexts, Grayling - who will soon take over as president of the British Humanist Association - admits he’s written critically about religion. But not in "The Good Book."

“It’s not part of a quarrel,” he says of his latest work. “It’s a modest offering… another contribution to the conversation that mankind must have with itself,” and one he says he wrote for everyone, Bible lovers included.

Given where society is today, inviting that conversation is all the more important, he says.

More than 16% of Americans say they are unaffiliated religiously, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Even so, Grayling says the hunger for a spiritual connection continues. That yearning, he argues , can be satisfied for many by taking a walk in the country, curling up with a beautiful book of poetry or even in falling in love.

“In all different ways, we can celebrate the good in the world,” he says.

While many intellectual traditions – religious and otherwise – teach that there’s “one right way to live,” Grayling says he hopes “The Good Book” will encourage people to “go beyond your teachers, your text” to understand that “we have to respect and relate to one another.”

Early sales indicate that people are open to what this new "Bible" teaches. On Monday, Grayling’s book was number 41 on Amazon’s UK bestseller list and number 1 in the philosophy and spirituality categories.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Bible • Books • Culture & Science • Ethics

soundoff (3,021 Responses)
  1. Big Red

    If you don't believe in God, why mimic Godly things?

    April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • justice3688

      love this

      April 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Because the spiritually walking dead, dry bones, wells without water also don't have imaginations and need to incorporate what others have written to prove they can copy and paste to sell a book to make a buck.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Stephen

      Who's mimicing who ?

      April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • pleasedotell

      @ Big Red: Nice!!!!!!

      April 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • TheThinker

      imitation, flattery

      April 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Luke

      I am sure you can call the Bible a mimic of earlier works of literature. I think the term bible is used as to convey a meaning of how the book is organized and what its content is about. Like the guitar bible, or the gardening bible..... It is not meant to be a literal "bible". I am sure you understood that and were just at a loss for a better comment. You know you don't have to say something if all you have to say is stupid.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Brian

      The Bible was written by man.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • SoS

      How would you define "Godly"?

      If you mean by what most people can agree on as universally good, like not stealing and killing or trying to live a moral life, then I will have to answer your question with a question.

      Why is it that you are so arrogant as to believe your religion of choice has a monopoly on morality?

      April 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Greg

      Why not mimic godly things? What's your point?

      April 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • salvatore

      To show people how easy it is to write a book and call it Holy, for one thing.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • beelzebubba

      There's money in it. Lots of money. Expect Glenn Beck to publish his version of the bible next. He already has a cult following. I guess his version will claim the white race is supreme, the man upstairs is cool with slavery and SUV's were invented by god to drain the oil out of the middle east as fast as possible so god won't have to breath black smoke from burning oil when he burns down the middle east. Oh, and Glenn will give us the exact date of Armageddon. As soon as Glenn stops wandering in the wilderness in his white robes.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Carlos Marin

      Because they are not Godly, but human...

      April 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  2. David M

    The Bible is God's word. The Humanist bible is Grayling's word. Two different books. Two different messages. I'll stick to God's.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Todd

      The Bible is NOT God's word. Did God write the Bible??? NO It was written MEN, who had their own prejudices and beliefs. God had no part whatsoever in writing the Bible. IF God didn't write the Bible, which is known with 100% certainty, how could it possibly be God's word???

      April 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Todd, if you've ever read the Bible, you certainly don't write as if you do. Also, you never go back and read what is posted after you've posted to any article. I've written you many times. Holy men chosen by God scribed the Bible. God is the author. You'd understand this truth if you ever stop being lazy, read the Bible, comprehend what is written, the watch as the true sciences discover the truth in what is written. True science and the Bible are in harmony with each other.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • krashundburn

      """The Bible is God's word."""

      I have a basic problem with this "god's word" belief. If your god had a message to deliver to mankind and was omniscient, why did he provide an "inspired" book that is so confusing and oblique that no two men on this planet can ever agree on its meaning? You'd think he'd have made this book CRYSTAL CLEAR for us imperfect god-made humans to understand.

      Now, you know that a lot of authors get better once they've published a book or two, so maybe the Qur'an is really the book that god wanted to write once he got a better publisher?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Observer

      @HeavenSent
      "True science and the Bible are in harmony with each other."

      TRUE science knows that snakes do not have the mental capacity to understand language and do not have the vocal capacity to speak a language.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Stephen

      Which edited version of God's word to you like best ?

      April 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      @HeavenSent
      "God is the author."

      Satan is the author... He tricked men into writing the Bible to guarantee man eternal conflict on earth. Satan knew that other religions would exist that those religions would eternally strive against one another. And the more men fought and hated, the more souls he would take. Prove me wrong. Spoiler Alert – You can't. Actual answer is "men" wrote it. You simply BELIEVE that god wrote it and that is enough for you.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • shootmyownfood

      Don't you mean Constantine's word? Byzantine/Roman emporer who decided which books the bible should contain. Some are still in existence as apocrypha, but not included in the "official" bible. One of the rejected books was that written by Mary Magdalene. However, old Constantine didn't think much of women, and if records are correct, even removed some portions of the "books" he selected to create the bible to show women in a poorer light. A little research is all it takes to realize that man had a large hand in the creation of the Christian bible as it is today, and with records that indicate not all of the contents were selected with the direction of some undefined omnipotent power.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Brian

      Your logic: I believe the Bible is written by God because the Bible tells me it was written by God. See a problem there? No, of course you don't.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Taylor

      I don't see any problem with what David M wrote. I too believe (and enjoy) the Bible knowing that it is God's word (technically written by men). What everyone is missing is I have 'faith' it is God's word. You can say how absurd that is all day long, it won't change what I know to be true. I don't need anymore proof than what I have seen in my life.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Dan

      Your imaginary "god" didn't write anything.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • meemee

      You "God's Word" believers ought to do some reading up on the Bible's origins. Read "Misquoting Jesus" or another book by theologian Bart Erhman, but first read the Christian history sections from Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Then look in the mirror and try to tell yourself that this is "God's Word."

      April 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Haggy999

      Christians such as myself say that God only inspired the Bible, but that's worng. God himself wrote the
      Bible. I've seen the original thing and believe me, it's defintaly God's handwriting.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Greg

      Humans wrote the bible actually, not god. When you find words that you can prove came from a god(s), let us know. You may even get your picture in the paper.

      April 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      @Todd
      The Bible is NOT God's word. Did God write the Bible???

      @Mike in SC
      Satan is the author..
      ------------
      Gentlemen, it appears the atheistic unity has a crack in it! Yo both are wrong,. Todd you are the closest to the truth but it is only a slight truth.

      Humans scribed the Bible, meaning they put quill to paper. Yet the words, thoughts and meaning was from God! just like a secretary taking dictation! They are still the bosses words! Now if you have solid proof that I am wrong, feel free to let me know!

      April 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Robert

      wow god is omnipotent, yet he needs humans to scribe these books. It's either God is completely lazy or he is not there. If he could create a tablet with the Ten Commandments, then he could certainly create the bible.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • max

      i have it on the utmost authority that the bible is the word of god... the bible says so!

      thats pretty close to it. nobody was around 2000 years ago that is still alive. nobody can verify the handwriting or typeface as being "inspired". the foundation of the faith is a belief based on the word of god, which is written in the bible.

      now thats ironic...

      April 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • asrael

      It seems that Steve's viewpoint is definitely the correct one. How does one know this? Because Steve says so.
      I just spoke with God, and She says Steve doesn't have a clue. Now prove that conversation didn't really take place...

      April 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Liesmith

      "Gentlemen, it appears the atheistic unity has a crack in it! Yo both are wrong,. Todd you are the closest to the truth but it is only a slight truth. "

      There's no such thing as atheist unity. Atheism isn't a religion, or a specific set of dogmatic principles. It's simply a lack of belief in a god. Do you believe in Loki? If not, would you consider yourself an "alokiest"? Would you think it rational for me to lump you in with every single other human on Earth who also disbelieves in Loki?

      Atheists lack belief in every single diety that you do...plus one.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  3. HA!!!

    I cannot help but laugh. It seems that Atheist have spent their life condemming the bible.....and then they turn around and write one. Ain't that cozy. 🙂

    April 11, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Tracy

      They wrote their own about something completely different. Why don't you be the bigger person if you feel all Atheist's are hypocrits?

      April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Todd

      Atheists dont condemn the Bible, they condemn the riciulous crap that religious nuts do in furtherance of their interpretation of the Bible. They condemn the asinine positon that God wrote the Bible, when in fact we know with 100% certainty the Bible was written by MEN, not the Bible itself.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • HA!!!

      I do apologize. I did generalize and that was wrong. And Todd, I think common sense tells us all that God did not physically "write the bible" however, it's contents are to be his word. And I also know that once man gets his hands on it, it will be changed to satisfy a personal agenda. After hundreds of years, I'm sure that has happened on more than one occasion.

      I do freak people out when I tell them I believe in a God, but I don't believe a lot of whats in the bible. Again, I apologize for my stereotype. Peace to you all. 🙂

      April 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God's truth stands for eternity. Man's way is not God's way. Man will come and go. God is the Alpha and Omega. I Am what I Am, not what man wants Him to be.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Griffin

      Kind of like Eminem, HeavenSent?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Stephen

      It got your attention – negative publicity at its best.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Dan

      It's not a "bible" in the sense that you are thinking, moron.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Chris

      HA!,

      The difference between the atheist "bible" is that we know who wrote it. We aren't forced to believe that some dude just was given divine intervention and the power of god wrote the book through him. Also, do you REALLY believe that David and Goliath faced off and the whole slig shot BS? or is that just a convenient way for someone to teach a lesson to people? Seems to me that many of the bible's teachings are just made up examples that are supposed to teach you this or that. At least this guy says he wrote it and used ACTUAL history in his book. Just relax and know that you're wasting every sunday in church. haha

      April 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  4. Tracy

    I actually think this is pretty cool. To have all of the views of top philosophers and scientists over the past millenia and then some published in ONE book...that is very modern of this author.

    I would definitely purchase this, even if I were a believer in the King James bible, because it's nice to understand differing views...after all, we do not know which group of people are actually "right". Be more open minded...in the end it doesn't matter what others think of your beliefs anyway. It just matters that you lived your life according to your own mindset, and THAT IS OKAY! :o)

    April 11, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • DAVID R. ADAMS

      TRACY: READ "THE MYTH OF FREE WILL" BY CRIS EVATT. YOU'LL COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT NONE OF US IS ABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS ON OUR OWN. CAN'T BE DONE! DRA

      April 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  5. tankrothchild

    A man writes a book about humans embracing the great minds of our past and the idea of being good to one another?

    BURN HIM, HE'S A WITCH!

    Religion is a hindrance on mankind's greatness.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • HeavenSent

      tankrothchild, and your posting proved what? That fools exist!

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Stephen

      HeavenSent, who is the fool ; the one who weighs right and wrong based on real compassion or one who does so just because he/she has been told to do so by the Bible ?

      April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @tankrothchild- Without religion there would be nothing great about humanity. The Irish Christians kept the knowledge of the ancients alive. The Muslims kept the greek knowledge alive and added much to it. Being religious does not hinder the growth of knowledge.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      "Being religious does not hinder the growth of knowledge."

      Stem cells. Cough. Cough.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You might want to get something for that cough, especially since stem cell science is obsolete. It seems to be that it is the non-religious that are holding onto their blessed stem cells from fetuses like an idol. One can get stem cells from other means other than fetuses.

      Also, morality had a lot to play out in that debate and not just morality based on Judeo-Christian belief.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Rae

      @ tankrothchildI know it was a hindrance on mine. I was never more lonely or afraid when I was trying desperately to be Christian. The minute I gave it up, is the minute I found lasting peace and joy.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Mike in SC
      "Being religious does not hinder the growth of knowledge."
      Stem cells. Cough. Cough.
      -------–
      Adult stem cells? Cough. Cough.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • salvatore

      Well there's plenty of evidence for evolution by natural selection but every religious person I know sort of stuck their fingers in their ears during biology and anthropology in high school. And geology. And archaeology. And astronomy.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @salvatore- Thank you for expressing your generalized prejudice. Guess you had your ears stopped up during minority and ethnic studies, not to mention ethics.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  6. Chris

    I'm not an atheist but I think this is a lovely idea.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  7. Hauns Snyder

    The Holy BIble is the most destructive and hate filled book ever written. It's followers are fanatical and lack the ability to think on their own. To compile a book of free thinkers whether they are believers or not shows he and other atheists are accepting, a quality most believers lack. This story has been up for twenty minutes and everyone is attacking him. Shows that "gods" followers need to learn the definition of love before accepting gods love.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Todd

      Hauns-

      While I agree with what you are saying about the Bible, its amazing how the religious nuts fail to admit the Bible was written by MEN with their own prejudices, and not a single word of the Bible was written by God, I dont thinks its true everyone on here is attacking this author. I for one am not. I've never understood why people feel the need to judge what others believe. What you believe works for you, and waht others believe works for them adn it should be left at that. after all, no one on this planet, and I mean NO ONE, knows for sure what is "correct" to believe in. It's simply impossible and ridulous to claim otherwise (this is general statement, not directed at you or in response to you post)

      April 11, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Chris

      I'm not a Christian but I don't think it's fair (or appropriate) to label all Christians as "fanatical" and hate-filled. Many are, yes. Many do use the words of the Bible to defend a hateful agenda, yes. But many do not. There are Mother Teresa's all over the world. And there are loving people with sincere and admirable devotion to the deeper messages of the Bible.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • HA!!!

      I bet5 ya a Buffalo Nickel that your definition of love is different from mine.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • JPopNC

      Todd.....although not sure I fully qualify as a "religious nut", I totally admit the Bible was written by MEN with their own prejudices, and not a single word of the Bible was written by God.

      I don't think any true Christian would say the Bible was written by God. I mean, the Books of the New Testament are named after the authors (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John...). However I do fully believe the Bible was INSPIRED by God and written by men who were devout followers of God and therefore reflected God's intentions as they were meant to.

      As for the Bible reflecting the author's prejudices...couldn't agree more, they most certainly were reflected and that's why there "appears" to be discrepencies in the New Testament, because based on their individual backgrounds the authors tended to notice things differently. Take how many women were present at the empty tomb. One author states two, the other states one. The fact is they are both right. At that time women were not considered equals so one author only noted the woman who reported the empty tomb while the other was more "personal" and noted the other woman as being present.

      But in the end, petty nuances aside, the Bible is inerrant and is the true, inspired Word of God.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hauns Snyder, you're just another one that proves you don't know how to read the Bible. Your perception gets in the way. If you believe the truth in the Bible to be hateful, then hateful is all you will see. As far as buying this guy's book. Go ahead, he wrote it to make money off of fools like you.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      I agree with HeavenSent on one thing. If there is one truism worth believing in it's that faith is self-fulfilling. In other words, if you believe something to be true, you will discover it to be true. If you believe the bible to be hatefull, you will discover it to be hateful. If you believe the bible to be true, you will discover it to be true.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • NuclearDude

      @heavensent
      To say that the book was written for fools like you and then to end with "amen:" You are a shiny example why people tend to dispise religion.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Jim L.

      @JPopNC

      You began your reply with "I totally admit the Bible was written by MEN with their own prejudices, and not a single word of the Bible was written by God." You continuted with " As for the Bible reflecting the author's prejudices...couldn't agree more, they most certainly were reflected..." You concluded with: "But in the end, petty nuances aside, the Bible is inerrant and is the true, inspired Word of God." Your entire essay is a nonsequitur. These men were committed theists attempting to grasp the meaning of life, and what happens to you when it ends. Perhaps Jesus had divinity, it seems as though he may have, but I can assure the disciples (and their followers that largely wrote their accounts) had as much divinity as you or I – and that is practically, and sadly very little to none. Ultimately their writings reflect the rudimentary science, and arch conservative nature of their times. If any of my writings are read 2,000 years from now, the verdict would be the same without a doubt.

      As far as different "perspectives" accounting for the for the Bible's inconsistencies – you should really begin to rethink that. Over the course of 6 years of intensive religious and theological academics I catalouged a list that includes scores of them. Nearly all of them are just blantant errors that can't be explained away as differences of world view. For an exercise, that you would probably enjoy I think, try a side-by-side-by-side break down of the 'cursing of the fig tree' in the synoptics. When you do so be very specific with timelines and details. It's rife with mismatching, countervailing accounts! This is just but one example of what I'm speaking.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Thomas Buckingham

      This is an unfounded opinionated negative generalization of Christians and the bible. Congratulations on being a great example of irony. Perhaps now is the time to admit to yourself that you do not truly have an understanding of the bible, and likely have never met a true follower of Jesus Christ.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  8. Todd

    "Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."

    If there is a God, which I fully acknowledge is possible despite there not being one shred of evidence proving his existance (im agnostic), these are the values which are important and will be rewarded upon death. It doesnt matter if you are gay, if you have had an abortion, or made other mistakes which most all humans make, that the religious freaks denounce as condeming a person to hell. IF you are a good person, and treat others as such, whatever God there is will embrace you.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • JPopNC

      Hey Todd,

      Although I fully agree it doesn't matter if you are gay, or if you've had an abortion, or if you've made other mistakes...because we are indeed all human and can't make it one day without making an error somewhere.

      Did want to comment on your statement "IF you are a good person, and treat others as such, whatever God there is will embrace you" though. You've heard the old saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"?

      In Ephesians 2 it states:

      8 For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

      9 Not because of works, lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

      All this means is that God has provided a free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ and no work is required. If you truly and sincerely believe in Christ, that He is the Son of God who died for our sins (yours and mine), then and only then will God embrace you after death. Good works is a by-product of that salvation, but deeds done then "should" be done for unselfish reasons.

      Consider it this way, God is 100% pure and as you correctly mentioned, we're all broken in some way. We may tell a lie here and there, had angry thoughts, etc. So when we die and stand before God, there isn't a bargaining session where we can discount certain sins for times when we've done good things. If that was the case, I'd definitely come out on the losing end of all that because God only sees the sin in our lives and works do not discount that. Thankfully though, Jesus took on our sins and is there to represent us...if we allow him to. Once we do recognize Christ as Lord, we are called to turn away from our sinful natures and serve others as Christ did for us.

      I'd suggest finding a good Bible study on the Book of James. It's a very short book, but it is very deep and quite interesting and will help you see Christianity from a different perspective and it talks alot about works and the love of God.

      God bless you!

      April 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Jdh

      Ah Todd. I feel quite like you do – that I see no real evidence for God, but I'm not opposed to the idea of one. And I also feel that if there is a god, they would only really care about people being GOOD. I love how Jpop responds to your thoughtful comment with bible verses and tells you that it doesn't matter if you're good or not, only that you embrace jesus christ, because the book says so. Sigh. Keep on keeping on Todd, I think you're right on track...

      April 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Todd, you as well as other non-believers don't get it. God loves all of us. You and others like you on the other hand, HATE God. That is why there will be no eternity for any of you. God only obliges everyone of what they want. You don't love and abide in His truth and question Him along with mock Him for not knowing how to read the letter (the Bible) He wrote to all of us. You chose to be blotted out and not dwell with Him for eternity. Have fun in this life because the Bible tells you who God is and what He wants for us and what He wants from us. If you don't love and follow Jesus (truth) you love and follow satan (lies). Two choices with your free will.

      Chose wisely, your soul depends on it.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Someone

      @HeavenSent,
      "You and others like you on the other hand, HATE God."

      Do you HATE Leprechauns?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      HeavenSent. How can someone hate something that they have doubts even exists? That would be like me being fearful of an alien invasion. I can even entertain the possibility that aliens might exist, but I doubt they are anything to worry about. Maybe what you are perceiving is the dislike some people have to the unjustified smug certainty of the faithful.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • kso

      @JPopNC, Only Christian's believe humans are inherently broken. Nice belief. a great start to a positive mental well being!
      Oh, that's right, that's why half of you can't sort reality, moral teachings, and fiction to spend your lives in fear of imaginary beings like Satan. Great Work!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • NuclearDude

      @heavensent
      I do/can not hate what does not exist. Also, Thank you so much for being so self righteous, because you are for sure going to be sitting next to the easter bunny, the tooth fairy, the great pumpkin, oh and god.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Tom

      @nuclear dude, please look up self righteous and then explain how he was being that!

      April 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Rae

      @Heavensent, last time I checked, YOUR faith says that you don't get to decide who goes to heaven or hell or gets rewarded or punished. So, unless you are God, Jesus, or The Holy Spirit trolling on CNN comment sections, you are simply being hypocritical to your own faith. See, this is why people are turning away from Christianity, so many people can't seem to keep its basic tenants, and those same people tend to be super vocal about clearly breaking the rules.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Neville

      As I see things, there is some truth to what your saying, but you have forgotten the most important thing which we all need and that is forgiveness. this is what Jesus offers everyone.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Drew

      I'm not a Christian, but I don't understand how one could NOT see humans as broken!

      April 12, 2011 at 3:38 am |
  9. Andy

    Your need to proselytize your viewpoint makes you very much like those whom you decry. . . .

    April 11, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Fred Evil

      To some extent, yes, but we atheists can back it with truth, repeatable tests, and fact.

      Go and find any of that in the xtian bible....I'll wait.....but I won't hold my breath.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  10. Dystopiax

    I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the atheist Koran.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Griffin

      This is the secular Koran. The Koran, using the same analogy, could be considered the Islamic Bible. They serve the same roles in each respective culture.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Roccadaboat

      Thank you Dystopiax!
      Now here is a thinker – you get it.
      Christians will always be picked on because they are peacful.
      You shall know them by their fruits.
      Islam will never be put down like this, because he is a reglion of terror, and depravity of women- people fear it.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Rae

      @ Roccadaboat, you gotta be kidding me!!! Ummm Crusades anyone? How about The Inquisition? Oh wait, how about the dude that just shot a doctor in church? Or the Christians that were yelling racist slurs at Muslim women and children as they went into a fundraiser for women who had suffered violence? Or any Christian that is for the death penalty, which is A LOT of them. Your statement is incorrect. Christians are in fact NOT always peaceful. I mean, let's be real now.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • salvatore

      When I was in Fiji, I had this tour guide tell me the story of how the missionaries came to Fiji, tried to convert everyone, and killed off the indigenous tribal leaders who resisted. She told me how grateful she was that her heathen ancestors were slaughtered en masse so that the descendents could be Christians.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  11. Michae l J.

    What exactly is a "top atheist"?

    April 11, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Most likely a bigger fool than the rest.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      What's "godly" about the Christian book of nasty fairy tails and bloody horror?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      What "nasty fairy tails and bloody horror" are you talking about?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • kso

      How bout the fairy tale of jonah?
      What about the bohemoth? (mammoth fossils)
      what about the leviathan? (dino fossils)
      any other questions? Let's talk prophecies next!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @kso- What about Jonah? The redemption of Niniveh is bad in what way?

      Behemoth...mammoth bones? Where the heck did you get that? Go research your hebrew.

      "leviathan? (dino fossils)" Again..go research your hebrew.

      Prophecies...sure...let's discuss them. So far you haven't really said anything at all of consequence.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Dan Durea

      A top atheist is an atheist who believes that he has more proofs than other atheists in connection with the non-existence of God. He is a man of "intellect" who has a big mouth, who is very aggressive, and who rejects any argument presented to him. He is stubborn as a mule and talks from his "S" most of the time. Ordinary atheists may listen to your argument, but the top atheist scraps it before it reaches his ears. When he gets hot-tempered, he will call you names. In short, he is the lowest form of life on earth. Never argue with him; he might kill you.

      April 11, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • beelzebubba

      That's hilarious, but relax. A strong, widely admired, central leader who should not be questioned (Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell) is a significant indicator of a cult, but since atheism invites questioning, it will never become one.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @beelzebubba- I say question all of them. Guess I'm not part of a cult either.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Justin

    I think it kind of beautiful that his first entry is of Sir Isaac Newton, a scientist. And believer in logic, and reason.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Justin, Sir Issac Newton believed in God.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jake

      I'm embarrassed to live in a world where "religion" even exists. Think for yourselves already.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Jake- And what if someone decides to believes in God? Would you respect that decision?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Justin, Sir Issac Newton believed in God.

      He also believed in Alchemy. Doesn't mean that he was right.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • conrad

      Dear Jake:
      Did you teach yourself to think? Or are you just believing what the scientists tell you? Think for yourself! What does that REALLY mean?

      April 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  13. Brainy Yak

    Most atheists don't need this kind of stuff. I have about a dozen philosophy books from college that read about the same. Maybe not in a nice, neat format, but most of us are used to picking out our info. If he thinks this is gonna lure more people into giving up religion, he's probably not right.

    I don't really like militant atheists any more than I like hard core religious folks. Leave it alone. People will believe what they want.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Alverant

      What is a "militant Atheist"? Militant muslims kill people. Militant christians kill people. Militant Atheists ... write books.

      Seems like a bit of a slanted scale to me.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • ck1721

      Agreed. I think it's great to share our beliefs with others, but in respectful way. Most atheists will never fall into any religion, and vice versa. Rather than try to compromise our beliefs, just agree to disagree.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Unless you are starting your own new religion, there's not too much point in trying to convert people to your point of view.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • kso

      actually, people believe what they're taught. Bible is god's word and all that... now we have a billion people who kneel before a carpenter who has not one building or artifact to his name evident in history.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "people believe what they're taught. "

      And what what were you taught sheep?

      April 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • sharky

      @Alverant–

      "Militant atheists write books."

      Ok tell that to PolPot, General Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Kim Jung Ill, Mussolini, Milosevic.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  14. Jon

    Another enlightened human. Religion has done more harm to humanity than cancer and I'm very glad to see that rational people are starting to wake up to the realities of the universe.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • JPopNC

      with atheism being the most harmful 'ism' out there.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Alverant

      JPopNC, prove it.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Jman

      "Religion has done more harm to humanity than cancer and I'm very glad to see that rational people are starting to wake up to the realities of the universe."

      Wrong. Religion hasn't. Man has. The interpretation of religion is up to the person interperting the said religion. One day we all will have the answer we are looking for. The "proof" that you all need but it will be too late for these people. People make jokes about religion, but serisouly, get right. Look around you, just flip on the news, the world is being setup for something huge. NWO, the AC is alive and well waiting for the global collapse. Once this happens it is game on.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • RelRuins

      "Amen"

      April 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      Alveran, ignore JPopNC he is a hatefilled god-lover (oxymoron?), filled with hate for free-thinking Athiests who in his own clouded mind are and will be responsible for all of the evils of the world. He is punching at shadows.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Jon- My Dad died of cancer, I do believe it did more harm to him than the Bible or religion ever did.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • mb2010a

      God created cancer, too. What's up with that?

      April 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Scott

      JMan- The only thing believers have to do to become dangerous is read their holy book and actually believe it.
      When a Jihadist blows himself up for paradise, is that due to a man or a religion? Why aren't Buddhists or atheists blowing themselves up?

      April 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Culture Bearer

      God made cancer, and he "lets" people die of it every day. God has the power to end suffering, yet through the ages he's allowed innocent children to starve, communities to be wiped out by floods, and so on. And on top of it, you'd better be good or he'll throw you in hell for an eternity of suffering. What's all that about? Doesn't sound like a very nice god to me. If the leader of a middle eastern country did all that, we'd be bombing the heck out of him. Why? Because it's bad and evil to treat people like that. But if this is the god you want to worship, go ahead.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • sharky

      LOL I love it when people say religion is the most harmful thing to happen to humanity. It makes me laugh so much as if religion is a living breathing thing. Religion is a concept developed by man. MAN is the most destructive thing to the planet. Religion is not a factor. As long as man exists destruction will always happen.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Culture Bearer- My guess is that you do not know much about God.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

      Amen.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  15. Lex

    @Guy Wolff – I think it's a nice reminder that it's OK to respect and share the views of those who may think differently than yourself. 🙂

    April 11, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  16. Angelo

    The dawn of the new era of "The Stooges" boink!

    April 11, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, they tried to think, but nothing worked. Woo woo. Moe Curly, 3 stooges.

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  17. listenclose

    While I normally do not agree with athiesm or the preaching that man is the real god. I can easily appreciate a new collected works of histories greatest philosophers, scientists, and poets. His book is not going to change the mind of any true believers. As well as it doesn't come across as this being the intent. This book may be worth reading after downloading it off the internet for free or a second hand shelf at goodwill.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Jdh

      Very well said. I think a collection of thoughts from all the great philosophers is beneficial for everyone. You don't have to be an atheist to get something out of a teaching by Socrates, just as how you don't have to be Christian to get something out of a teaching of Jesus.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      "This book may be worth reading after downloading it off the internet for free..." Does your god tell you that stealing is OK? Because, let's not beat around the bush, that's what you are proposing here.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • asrael

      One senses a definite whiff of smug here ...

      April 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  18. Marthalynne Webb

    Read! Read Joseph Campbell for instance. Good DVD "Sukhavarti." Good book – "The Inner Reaches of Outer Space."

    How did myth, legend and metaphor become transformed into fact? – That event from a couple or three (or more) thousand years ago, sealed our fate. We are exhorted to practice the science of the Bronze Age and prehistory (dinosaurs with saddles) and send our children to "Christian schools" who churn out youthful scientists with 0 imagination and an largely inadequate grasp of the protocols of scientific research. We need an intelligent Bible. This guy has a good idea.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • JPopNC

      This has to be the most ridiculous comment ever made. Christianity has nothing against science...God created it! Some of the greatest scientists were/are Christian, such as the aforementioned Sir Isaac Newton. In reading these posts it has become increasingly obvious atheism is the most closed minded religion of all.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • bam

      it is kind of hard to not have "CHRISTIAN" scientists due to it was the dominant DIE OR FOLLOW religion.
      However if it is quite EASY to find scientists under THREAT of excommunication and death if they tried to publish or speak about ANYTHING that would prove the supreme christian religion to be bogus in anyway... AKA the existence of a solar system when The Pope had declared the earth is the center.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • CaleinLanett

      We have it already in the form of the internet. This guy is just making a buck off those gullible Christians, er.... I mean Atheists.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • conrad

      I think we'd all do well to understand that it is people, not religion that seek to oppress.

      I'm not specifically 'religious', but atheism seems silly and confused to me. I understand simply not believing because you don't find any convincing evidence for 'the divine' in your life, but what is the point of the atheist argument against religion? You could abolish all religion and people will still find ways to control and establish power. In fact, they'll use the same method of appealing to a higher authority, but in this case it will be science, or economics, or perhaps the oppressive 'majority'.

      I think the more astute effort would be to awaken people to the truths of human nature and find ways to take responsibility for the aspects and consequences of our dark side –

      You can't get rid of religion/spirituality any more than you can get rid of poetry or love. It's a part of the very fabric of being human. Pull it up by its roots as you like, but eventually someone will have another 'religious' experience (because it is within, not taught) and it will return in some form.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • krashundburn

      """This has to be the most ridiculous comment ever made."""

      You're not to be outdone, are you?

      """Christianity has nothing against science...God created it!"""

      Now, THAT's ridiculous. Well done, sir!

      April 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Dave J

      Conrad, sounds statements are not allowed on this page. I am Christian and agree with you. Religion would be the esiest way to gain power, but it would merely be something else if it weren't here.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Roccadaboat

      I think the place you are thinking of is called school...?
      Teaching the spirit and growing the soul is something the school can teach in a secular way.
      To know your creator , feel his presense etc, is something that is not taught – it comes from an inner hungry. A thirst you quench by going to church, reading bible etc.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Rae

      @ Conrad, here's the confusion that most religious people suffer under. I am atheist, which does not mean that I want to destroy any one else's religion. It simply means that I do not believe in God or Gods, whatever. For that I am told I lack moral fiber, am self-serving, am confused, am part of the source of all problems in the world, and am preventing Christ from returning and taking up his flock. I am sorry if there have been atheists who have made you feel bad because of your belief system. All I have to say is, me too brother, me too.

      April 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Mike

      That's where you've got it all wrong Jpop, athiesm isn't a religion.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • HeavenSent

      (6) For to be carnally minded {is} death; but to be spiritually minded {is} life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind {is} enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

      Romans 8:6-8

      (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

      Galatians 6:8

      Amen.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  19. james

    If he wants it to be accessible why not make it free?

    April 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Observer

      Same for the Bible. There's no need for all these Christian Bible stores.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • mif991

      The Bible is already free...and you can also buy them.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • ignoranceisbliss

      propaganda is always given away free to control the sheep i.e. the bible

      April 11, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • HeavenSent

      ignoranceisblissm, speaking of bliss. You haven't figured out that the bones they found were of apes (LOL).

      Amen.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @ignoranceisbliss- Interesting, and how much do your words on here cost? Gasp, they are free and must not be much better that what you call propaganda.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • salvatore

      Because that's communism.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  20. Guy Wolff

    I think it kind of ironic that his first entry is of Sir Isaac Newton, a professing Christian. And believer in God's Word, the Holy Bible.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • No

      Why is that ironic?

      April 11, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Kyle

      How do you know the bible is Gods Word? The jews wrote most of it and THEY don't think it is gods word. Most of the new testament writings were done 20-30 years after jesus died, and were compiled 300 years after that. Your belief is unfounded and ridiculous.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Shinzakura

      Also ironic that Confucius plays into it, as Confucianism has since become a religion.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • indydave

      It's not really that odd at all. Lot of scientists – especially the very early ones, when science was much less well-established and methodical than today – started out religious. This does not necessarily mean they accepted every supernatural claim of their particular religion – only that the scientific claims they made were based on empirical research, hard evidence, and solid, consistent logic. Apparently, Newton's religion spurred him to do good scientific work. Can all religious followers claim the same, especially when their religion spurs them to outright reject empirical evidence of so many things? The controversy isn't due to Newton's having been religious – it's due to the narrowness of knowledge of the ones who think that really matters.
      Charles Darwin himself was a Lutheran minister – but to hear creationists talk today, he must have been some hard-core anti-religious atheist. Again, this "controversial" aspect of Darwin's religion is due to the narrow and fearful reactionary stance of those who oppose his fact-based, scientifically sound findings.
      This new book,... – tentatively, at least until I read it, I expect it to be excellent.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • John Sharp

      It isn't ironic silly man. Everyone during his time frame was either a Christian or put to death or tortured for heresy.

      What is ironic is you pointed to one of the darkest periods of the Christian faith as proof of a person's religious beliefs.
      We are so lucky to live in a intellectually developed period in which we can point to the fallacy of those that are simple minded.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Uniquitous

      @Kyle, pretty sure your response does not relate to the original post. the irony is that the "atheist book" cites a Christian believer for its basis. And yes, that is ironic.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • beth

      Indydave,

      Darwin was an Anglican. But I'll agree with everything else. Well put.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • bob

      Newton was also an alchemist which at the time was illegal. A belief in a deity doesn't prevent anyone from exploring their world to better understand how it functions.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • David

      Then, Christianity is devolving. Many Fundamentalists today would believe that angels guide the apple to the ground at a controlled speed. The same ones believe that airplanes get their lift and speed from angels flying beneath their wings. At least Newton was a "thinking" Christian.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Flynn

      Might I suggest that you skip this book and pick up a copy of the dictionary instead; then look up irony.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • James

      @No You must be slow.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Matt

      You think it is ironic because 1: you don't know what the word ironic means. or 2: You didn't read the first paragraph of the article.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Matt

      @Ubiquitous

      It is not ironic. There is no 'atheist book' here. Its a secular and humanist bible.

      I'll just assume you don't confuse secularism with atheism

      April 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      bob beat me to it, but he also believed in Alchemy, which came from Egyptian mysticism. He thought you could turn lead into gold, and that there were angels in the sky, and all kind of things. His Laws, however, were provable and reproducible.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • QS

      Psalm 23 – an Atheist's version:

      I need no shepherd for I think and reason...and I am not a sheep,
      I shall want only what serves humanity best;
      I lie down in green pastures because I choose to, not because anything makes me.
      I swim in still waters, I need not be led beside them;
      If a soul exists it is mine and is for me to restore how I see fit.
      Paths of righteousness will never fail to lead a person astray…
      especially for His name’s sake.

      I will walk through many valleys, it’s called life;
      the shadow of death follows one and all, no matter where we walk.
      I fear evil;
      evil is created by man, which is to be feared far more than any of the countless versions of god;
      your rod and your staff do not comfort me as they are herding tools...and I am not a sheep.

      It is arrogant to think goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, for I am human and we make mistakes.
      I shall not dwell in any house that believes me to be nothing more than an animal which must be told where to go and when.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Kyle-"The jews wrote most of it and THEY don't think it is gods word."

      Are we trying to justify a thought with group-think? Does it matter if "most" don't believe it?

      If "most" ppl did not believe the world was round, would that make it so?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      @Lycidas

      @Kyle-"The jews wrote most of it and THEY don't think it is gods word."
      Are we trying to justify a thought with group-think? Does it matter if "most" don't believe it?
      If "most" ppl did not believe the world was round, would that make it so?

      If there was no way to prove that the world was round and most people believed the world was flat, that wouldn't make it true, but it would give a certain level of "truthiness". It's funny you mention groupthink since the minority Agnostic & Atheist populations in the US are constantly assaulted with the "truthiness" of this "existence of god" mythology.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      i am sorry but you religious people are ridiculous. this book has very little to do with actual religion. its the underlining philosophies that he is trying to get across. he is just saying that this book is a composition of people that based their teaching on logic and reason, unlike the bible which was told from a voice in their heads.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Dan

      Guy, they were still pretty brain-washed back then. Religion will die out eventually when people start paying attention in science class.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "It's funny you mention groupthink since the minority Agnostic & Atheist populations in the US are constantly assaulted with the "truthiness" of this "existence of god" mythology."

      Never believed in groupthink under any circu*mstance. It didn't make me a Christian and I see no point in using it against minority groups.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Dan-"they were still pretty brain-washed back then."

      That's a pretty closed minded view on your fellow humans.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Not my chair-"unlike the bible which was told from a voice in their heads."

      Got any facts to back up your claim? Or is this a belief? 😉

      April 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Meg

      @kyle – Belief that is how we know it is the inspired word of God. And to quote C.S. Lewis "We have nothing if not belief..."

      April 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • conrad

      To: QS
      Re: Psalm 23 – an Atheist's version:

      I dare you ... go all the way with your 'faith in yourself'. Go all the way inside yourself completely, totally surrender any preconceived idea you've had about who you might be and where you might come from and experience the deepest truth of who you are – no bible, no religion, no human doctrine. See for yourself with your own true eyes. Really do that, then come back and tell me there is no God ...

      Don't be afraid.

      You say "It is arrogant to think goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, for I am human and we make mistakes." – But goodness and mercy are the very things which allow us to be at peace with our mistakes – even if it is goodness with and mercy for ourselves.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Newton was a believer just as almost 100% of society claimed they were in those days, often because to be otherwise was to bring the church down on you. But he also engaged in activities and research (such as alchemy) that he knew the church would be most unhappy about so he kept these activities and writings secret from the church. I suggest that if you knowingly do things that your cult would disapprove of and keep secrets from them, you are not a committed member.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Bullfeathers

      To Kyle, ridicule is the last resort of a weak mind and argument.

      April 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • md2205

      The Jews do think the Five Books of Moses is G-d's word. The best way to realize it is to learn it directly from the Hebrew, because the popularized English translations are incorrect and impossible to understand. There is a book called "The Bible Unauthorized" by A. J. Moose. It is found in Jewish bookstores. Read it and you will see that it is G-d's word because you will finally understand it (and find it very relevant). By the way, for an animal to be kosher it has to have two signs. There are four animals written in the Five Books of Moses and it states that only these four have only one of these signs. There are no other animals in the world that have one sign. How could Moses have known that there are only these four animals in the whole world that show one sign? He could not have known this information. This is one easy clue that shows that G-d told Moses what to write for the Five Books of Moses. There are so many more. Please understand that most Jews in the past few generations have not been taught what the Five Books of Moses are all about. That is why you might think they don't believe it is G-d's word. But those who have learned it do believe so and know it. It is important for everyone to understand this and try to find out for themselves. Chabad is all over the world and can connect you to classes and books and all kinds of resources for this purpose.

      April 12, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • bones1918

      not only Issaic Newton, but Aristotle believed in intelligent design. he held that logic eventually points to an "umnoved mover" i.e., some kind of god or diety. Darwin was a professing Christian as well.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Mike

      I don't think it's ironic, I think it's indicative that the author is open minded to thinkers that may have had different beliefs. The controversy over it also illustrates the believers ignorance to ideas that don't fit into their religious beliefs. It's a narrow narrow way of seeing the world, "our way is the light, your way is wrong, so you're a bad person for being wrong." That's how I feel when I hear someone spouting scripture. I don't care if you believe something different, so why do you care that I believe something different? IndyDave said it best.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Carolyn

      I concur. Let him bow to his fellow atheists and use their quotes to write his book. However, his bible would end up the size of a phamphlet.

      April 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Carolyn

      and Conrad – you rock! The answer of the God question resides inside oneself. Connect or disconnect the choice is yours.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • mgw

      That was my first thought also. Here's a quote from wiki
      "Newton was also highly religious. He was an unorthodox Christian, and during his lifetime actually wrote more on Biblical hermeneutics and occult studies than on science and mathematics, the subjects he is mainly associated wit

      April 13, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Dee

      I think it's great that people can see Sir Isaac Newton had faith. Why is this news to most? – because public schools refuse to teach the truth. They're too busy defending the ever-increasing fallible theory of evolution. Definitely ironic! lol

      May 9, 2011 at 6:59 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.