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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. everettereb

    Why is CNN all over this?
    What this guy did has already been done many times.
    There are books already out there full of philosophies and poetry.
    So why doesn't CNN report on those.
    Oh wait I guess it's because he calls it a bible.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • WOBH

      No probably because the humanist and athiest movement are starting to find a unified voice. Being tired of religious perspectives being forced on everyone in society we are starting to express our own viewpoint and we expect equal consideration. CNN probably recognizes that many of us would be interested in this. If you read the number of positive comments that have been posted you might get a clue as to why CNN considers this news-worthy.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Peter McLenon

      He paid CNN as part of his book promotion. He wants his book to be a bestseller. I wouldn't read a book written by a philosophers, even if given to me as a gift. Philosophy is for the birds.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  2. Naomi

    TO DENY THAT SOMETHING EXISTS, YOU MUST FIRST ESTABLISH THAT THING'S PRESENCE IN REALITY (BE IT PAST OR PRESENT).

    THEREFORE- YOU CANNOT DENY GOD EXISTS, BECAUSE IN DOING SO, YOU ARE SAYING- "THERE IS THING/SPIRIT, BUT IT DOES NOT IN FACT EXIST." IT'S A STUPID AND CIRCULAR ARGUMENT, AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE ATHEIST ARE JUST TOO AFRAID TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR PLACE IN THE WORLD AND THE OUTCOMES OF THEIR ACTIONS. WHY ELSE WOULD SOMEONE PUT SO MUCH TIME INTO ARGUING ABOUT SOMETHING THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF?

    April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Seymour B.

      You win the award for most nonsensical reasoning.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ahhhhhh

      That's the most contradictory claim I've ever heard. And the ensuing argument made is just ridiculous.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • WOBH

      That's very shaky reasoning. Unicorns don't exist and never have existed so I can deny their existence in both the past and the present. Hobbits exist only in the imagination of Tolkien and his readers yet, having read Tolkien, I can say that Hobbits don't exist in reality and never have existed.

      I can say the same for a supernatural god.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  3. David

    For all Christians out there – May the Lord Bless You And Give You Eternal Life. For all those atheists – Have a nice day.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      May ZaraNaraPara bless you and kiss you and give you an eternal hickey.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  4. UncleChicken

    What is up with the the atheist obsession with coming up with a humanistic code of morality, or seeking to justify one type of behavior over another? It just goes to show that most atheists aren't comfortable living with the implications of their own beliefs. The concern for morality and right and wrong only makes sense in a theistic framework. Isn't being able to do what you want the upshot of rejecting God? Nietzsche would wipe the floor with this generation of pansy atheist. I understand atheists *have* an understanding of morality. I just keep wondering why they think they need one?

    PS – if you are a Christian, but don't have anything more to add to the discussion beyond, "Just believe!!!! I'm praying that you'll leave your brain at the door and come to think like me!!!!" – please, stop. Just stop. You aren't doing yourself or God any favours.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      And we know god needs all the favors he can get, being non-existent and all.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • WOBH

      Whay do I need a theist perspective to justify my moral code? How does faith in a supernatural god enhance my ability to be kind to others and help my community?

      April 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  5. Chris

    @Sybaris: There's no attempt to discredit evolution. Evolution is an observation. The theory of evolution is a compelling explanation of this observation. Neither explains the origins of life any better than the religious fundamentalist's "God did it" angle.

    Read. Understand. Don't believe everything you see on TV.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  6. Me

    Could be an interesting read

    April 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  7. Chaotacracy

    @CalgarySandy Hm, I don't even recall saying that I wasn't interested in religious beliefs. I don't think Gene mentioned anything about it, either. What a bizarre assumption...

    I guess they don't have to twist anyone's arm with enough of you folks around. It's a rather ingenious contrivance, and effortless to-boot...

    April 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  8. oskosh

    Great! It has been overdew. Now some one should work on Quran so that some reason for conflict/exploitation could be eliminated from our beutiful world.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      A lot of the Koran is based on the same background and same set of myths as the early books in the Old Testament.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  9. David

    Pointy hat, intellectual stupidity. "The wise shall be made foolish".

    April 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Whereas you already are foolish.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  10. dd

    What a maroon....

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

      What a brownish-red?!? ("moroon")

      April 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Dave

      Hahaha......how ironic. You are dum 😀 (<-yes, that was meant to be ironic).

      April 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  11. hurf durf

    What's funny is that Newton was a staunch believer in God

    April 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Dave

      Not that funny. Didn't > 99.9% of Europe believe in God before we figured out the universe was expanding, that we all evolved from another species, that there was once dinosaurs, that the earth experiences and ice age every ~10,000 years......

      April 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • LOL Wat R Facts

      Sure, maybe youre mainstream history books say that. But my edgy, hipster friendly holy book says that Newton actually believed in science. And the Good Book is based on science. Science told me so. It all makes sense, really. You just gotta have the scientific method in your heart, and science will save you from your lack of scientific thinking.

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

      He was also an alchemist and wrote prophecies based on numbers in the Bible. Even if he were not a Christian, he had to say he was in that period of our history.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  12. Lars

    Pretty much anyone who gives in and posts in this forum is doing a disservice to whatever religious affiliation or non-affiliation they follow. Christians (like me) shouldn't be influenced by stories like this because we believe their is only one who will judge in the end. At the same time, the athiests that post here continue to prove their intolerance with religion as they mock and degrade those of us who wish to follow. Can't it be said that both sides have a moral obligation to let others worship or not worship as they like without degrading the other? The athiests that post here are just as hurtful as the Christians that preach hatred....It's all really sad if you ask me.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • ccaze

      and yet you must post yourslef – how ironic. I love it.

      Atheists have as much right to talk about these creation myths as any Christian. If you don't want to read about what people think about your crazy christian stories than stay off the news.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • David

      CCaze still lives in his parent's basement.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • goliath

      David still breast feeds.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      I am an atheist and I am one of the few writing compassionately and intelligently on the subject of religion. There are always more obnoxious and ignorant people in general society. It is not limited to atheists and fundamentalist Christians. Nasty is nasty.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • ammofreak

      I really do not care if one believes in religion. Just stay out of political offices, schools, medical research centers and any other place that is responsible to society as a whole. Believing in some deity is a private conviction, ie, I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT!!!!! Nor do I ever want to hear the rationale "because it says so in the bible" again in my life. If I ever feel the need to listen to ramblings, I will go to the local mental hospital. Thank you for your time, I remain....a canuck speaking from his igloo

      April 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  13. Peter McLenon

    What we have here is an atheist who wants to become rich by publishing crap. I didn't read the book because I know that all atheists are hungry for recognition and for proving to the world that they are smarter than 5 billion (or more) creationists. At least Richard Dawkins is a scientist and is excused for being an atheist, but this man is a philosopher, and to me, philosophy is for the birds.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Alex

      like

      April 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Yeah, there are a lot of books that you didn't read.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Seymour B.

      Whose version of creation are you talking about? So many to choose from . . .

      April 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Ahhhhhh

      I would say the same thing about King James. Power more than money, but not much different motive.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Dave

      Exactly! Who needs philosophers when we have scientists. Philosophy is almost as pointless as religion. Duh?!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • jaysunstar

      Without a healthy philosophy, people tend to use science to do evil things. Where do you get your values from?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Which philosophy course in University lead you to feel this way?

      Even Genesis has two creation stories, based on older books.

      Atheists are not trying to prove they are smart. Clearly, there are some real and nasty nim rods on here spitting on religion and the religious. There are some wonderful Christian philosophers and it is a shame you do not read them so you can sound educated. The use of logic and known facts are not an attempt to seem smart. It is how educated people come to the truth. It is how they talk to each other. It is a sinful shame that so few American public schools teach critical reasoning skills and how to recognize and avoid subjectivity. It is easy folks. Read everything on both sides of the issue you are interested in. Weed out the ones that are clearly biased even if it is biased in favor of your beliefs. Toss this around in conversation with others to hone your skills.

      Think for yourself as a free person rather than a toady of the bigots in all areas of our society.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Even Genesis has two creation stories, based on older books"

      Actually, not older books but perhaps it would be better to say older histories. The Kingdom of Judah and Israel had their own histories and just because they had them does not mean that the essence of the history is false.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  14. anarchohindu

    so he starts off the Humanist Bible with the story of Isaac Newton and the apple... but is there any mention of Newton's wacked-out Christian beliefs?

    April 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • ChrisHF

      Why would there be? The book isn't about religion, so why would it contain someone's Christian views?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  15. Alex

    This is fantastic!!! I think this is going to be a great read! But that's all it's going to be, sorry buddy, but the Bible is the most revered book in human history and it will remain so. This is going to be a great collection that will perhaps enlighten some, bore others, and most will completely ignore the fact that it was ever published and it will end up on the shelf of dead-beat books that never quite made it, and yet they were someone's life work... kind of sad actually. But hey, everyone should actually read it, probably some good, uh, poetry in there. Cheers!

    April 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • jaysunstar

      You are so right Alex. In order for this man's book to become as popular as the Bible, many countries would have to go around forcing other countries to convert to his ideologies with a sword to the throat. Christians fantasize that God somehow made the bible popular in order to spread his message to every corner on earth. That is indeed a very poetic thought. But it's pure crap.

      The only reason Christianity is STILL not considered a cult is because it was embraced by the Holy Roman empire so they could go around killing millions of people all in the name of Jesus.

      That book is popular because of the conquering and suffering of millions of people over the 2000 years.

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

      Which bible? There are 5950 active translations of the bible in print today with over 100,000 known versions published all different. These differences range from entire chapters and phrases missing, or translated differently to entire sections being added! The bible is the most popular because it is the most disputed even among it's own followers. I will take the bible's teaching with a grain of salt. Change any reference to god to "Flying spaghetti monster" and you'll realize what a ridiculous story the bible tells no matter what version you read.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Alex

      Right, the Crusades. Are we still talking about that?
      And you're right so many translations, so many deviations, so many many many different flaws and yet, in the end the general message of grace and forgiveness rings true, billions of people follow the teachings of one man who didn't even have to write his own book! And with so many of you excellent smart people trying to dispute it, it continues to grow more applicable, or "popular" as you put it.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Sam

    Does anyone find it the least bit ironic that Isaac Newton, who opens this humanist bible, was a Christian?

    April 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ahhhhhh

      Not particularly. He was born nearly 300 years ago, indoctrinated into his beliefs. Yet, his inquisitive nature and intellect brought us to where we are today, to which we secular people are grateful for.

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

      Not really. Didn't > 99.9% of Europe believe in jesus before we figured out the universe was expanding, that we all evolved from another species, that there was once dinosaurs, that the earth experiences and ice age every ~10,000 years......

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

      There is no irony in that. Christians, like most other religions, forced their beliefs on people. If you didn't believe you were bannished from wherever you lived, or more than likely (probably 100% likely) KILLED.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • LOL Wat R Facts

      Like that matters to these people. Those who so strongly support a doctrine of facts and information, are just as quick to toss them aside for political expediency as the people they so apparently loathe.

      *sigh* Revisionist history. And so the cycle of changing the past to fit our view of the present, continues. Science bless it.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • WOBH

      Not so much, considering Grayling drew on many thinkers' writings. Even though he has taken the ideas of people from many religious and non-religious backgrounds, the one common thread between them all is that they are all human.... what better way would there be to creat a Humanist Bible?

      Besides, you have to consider the historical context in which Newton was Christian. In the 1700s in England one could not get any prominent position unless one was Christian. It wasn't that much before Newton that "heritics" were executed. He certainly could not have risen to the position he had at Oxford if he were not openly Christian. Perhaps in a more permissive society he would have been athiest.

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

      I know, that's the first thing I thought when I saw that. So, Newton was brilliant, because he recognized gravity, but then he must also be an idiot, according to the author, because he believes God made gravity. Can't have it both ways, Grayling.

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

      I love how you all can know that, obviously, Newton wasn't REALLY a Christian...no logical thinking person could be. So he must have been forced into it due to, what apparently EVERYBODY seems to know, that you HAD to say you were a Christian if you didn't want to be ostracized, killed, etc., or he was simply a mindless, indoctrinated person. Please. You are just trying to cram Newton into your little box. Newton didn't just SAY he was a Christian. He wrote many papers about the Bible. He was really a student of theology. So enough with your "He would have been killed if he was an athiest" type of nonsense. Try actually studying a topic before denouncing it as false. Isn't that a scientific sort of thing to do?

      April 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Good old Newt. He was also an alchemist and studied the numbers in the Bible obsessively in order to created prophecy. Everyone was a Christian then and if not they would lie and say they were. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were not Christians. They were Deists and included the Separation of Church and State because they knew full well what radical Christians would do. And they have done it to some extent. They even turned those who created a secular nation into Christians after they died. I thought only Mormons could do this, but....

      April 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  17. Portia

    U atheists are hilarious. U make all these points that u think are so profound, and all the while u have no idea how ignorant u sound. The reason why u're funny is because u don't even know that u are supposed to exist. Atheists were meant to exist; u are supposed to defy, question, and blaspheme God! Even more, hypocrites are supposed to exist as well as true Christians. Each one of us has a place in this world. The HOLY BIBLE says so. The reason why u see so many hypocrites and non-believers is the majority of the world's population isn't supposed to get into heaven. It isn't that God doesn't want you there; He already knows that u won't believe. Living a Christian life isn't EASY. Therefore, believing in God isn't EASY to do. God doesn't want us to take the easy road. He wants us to step out on faith which is not EASY. I know that makes no sense to the atheists, but u couldn't understand a true Christian's beliefs unless u know their experiences, and we don't have time to blog about all the reasons that we believe in God. When the impossible becomes possible, never think that mere man is responsible.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • ccaze

      pot. kettle. black.

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

      says the person who can't spell the word "you"

      April 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Big~Smelly~Tuna

      You glazed over reborn christians are so hilarious. What I like about you is the ease with which you can be parted from your money. I buy junk, albeit religious junk, from China, for fifty cents and sell it at church fairs for ten dollars.
      Little plastic jesus for the dashboard!
      hahahahaha

      April 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Who is to say that Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, or Zaramama aren't true gods?
      If you're a Bible adherent, how do you know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      Expecting people to choose The One True Religion by faith alone seems a sloppy way to run a universe, especially when the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal damnation.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Robert

      Read the "word" of god. If that is not a bunch of crap, I don't know what is. Walk on water, Wine out of water, raised the dead. Sorry, that is all a fantasy.

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

      Crap

      April 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • cleareye1

      u idiot!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Ahhhhhh

      U are so cute the way u speak, u silly little ignorant girl.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Dave

      Wow......what a profound argument for the existence of God......

      April 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Seymour B.

      Which heaven? There are so many to choose from, I want to know which heaven you imagine you will ascend to.

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

      Wow, how incredibly unintelligent. If Atheists are supposed to exist, that means that God already had plans to condemn some people to hell while others such as yourself are 'chosen' to be Christian. And somehow it is destiny yet at the same time, free will. Do you see the utter stupidity in this kind of logic? If God is All loving, why would he create people to have free will so he can punish non-believers for ALL eternity?

      It's like locking a 5 year old in his bedroom for the rest of his life for failing to understand a concept that a child is not ready to understand. We only live to be about 80 years old. That is nothing compared to eternity. Do you think God would punish a human for ALL eternity for the stupid decisions he made in a his short pathetic life? And what about those non believers who die at 16 years old in a drinking and driving accident? Do they deserve eternity in hell? It seems 16 years is not enough time for someone to get their act together to start worshipping the lord.

      What nonsense you spew.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Colin

      Really? Do you even realize that most of us were raised religious and got out of it for any myriad of reasons? You have it hard? Get real... christians are the majority here in the States and as such enjoy an easy life full of themselves and telling other people how to live their lives. Your crediting a deity for making the "impossible" possible it more evidence of your stinking thinking and unwillingness to step outside your little shell called religion. Whereas you have no idea what it's like to question and see truth, most atheists have been in your shoes and DO know what it's like. Think before you speak next time.

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

      And you arrive at your conclusions through exactly the same means as humanists do - through human reason. You think non-believers are funny? You put all of your faith in a book written, re-written, edited, and then interpreted for you by mortal men. As a "spiritual humanist" (albeit one who in unfond of labels) I trust that the creative force in the universe (you would call this "God") is working exactly the way it should. On the other hand, I profoundly mistrust the motives of mortal men who claim to speak for God, having seen dozens of examples of their self-serving lies and deceptions just in my own lifetime. You, however, accept that hundreds of people you never knew, whose reliability, integrity and motives you cannot begin to know, are infalliably speaking for God. Humanists don't put that much faith in other humans without proof. Which suggest to me that some of my fellow humans are simply predisposed, perhaps genetically, to believe whatever makes them feel good, however rational or irrational it may be.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Portia

      @ Jude
      Are YOU serious?! That's probably the most intelligent thing YOU could come up with.

      @ the others
      It matters not what YOU think. I feel sorry for YOU.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • steve

      Right on Doc Vestibule!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • mysguidednlv

      ... and yet it is soooo tough to be richeous, right? I mean, if I slip a little and thengo to church, pray and repent, then I am now a good person again. There are many selfless people who are about community and walk a much more profound and enlightened path than 99% of the christians out there, but because the don't pray to a god stated ba a fellow man, then they are not worthy of whatever beautiful after-life is there for the true beliars??? And you wonder why so many people are intollerant of the christian faith...

      April 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Doc says, "Who is to say.."

      For my life...I am.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Lycidas
      You are correct, sir.
      Moral relativism is a truism! Everyone gets to choose their path as not a single one is more or less "true" or "divine" than the other.
      One could haul out Pascal's Wager for any of those deities.
      If you believe in Ereshkigal, then you have everything to gain – but if you deny Him, the consequences are dire!

      April 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      I would prefer some to think my ideas, based on years of University, years of being forced to go to a Baptist Church (read the Bible every year and studied it in depth), and years of constant learning, are silly than to have people laugh at my inability to write properly. But then, the worst of the Christians has no use for learning. They are afraid of what they might find or that they will go to heII. Fear is what drives Fundamentalists.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  18. Evy

    I"m going to say it again...please please please...are any of you "religious" people out there capable of dropping your "religious" pretenses? Is it too much to ask to drop that phony crap you call "gods word". All intelligent and logical persons have come to the realization that the bible is in deed written by MAN!!!!!

    God and religion are two very SEPARATE things!!!

    April 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Alex

      What would we do without your knowledge? Hurts to even think about it...

      April 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Ray

      Evy,

      Are you capable of dropping your "I'm better, more intelligent, and more logical than you" pretenses long enough to see that you are incapable of making a point anyone is willing to listen to (or in this case read and understand) as you do it in an insulting manner? Just becuase you do not believe in the same things as others is not a justified reason to be insulting and belittling. See, that's the difference between me and my beliefs, and you and your beliefs. I think, by right of free will, that you are free to believe or not believe as you wish. I think no less of you on that alone. But when you use your beliefs as a conduit to attack others, no matter how subtle you are with it, that's when I feel a need to tell you that you are wrong. Your actions, in trying to FORCE your beliefs on others are, in and of themselves, illogical. Insulting others because of their beliefs, in and of itself, is a show of a lack of intelligence rather than a sign of. An intelligent person would have a non confrontational discussion on the issue.

      Besides, an intellignt person would know: Attacking one solely on their belifs is what causes conflict and, in some cases in history, war.

      So how about you do the intelligent thing, be a true humanist, and try showing a little understanding, rather than insult and berate? After all, that's what all intelligent and logical adults would do.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Evy

      Alex – you can save your sarcasm...All you need to focus on is how to get out of that religious hole you're in.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • really...

      Evy, The bible was indeed written by man THROUGH GOD!!!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Nurse Lisa

      and you venting that other people (Christians, etc) should drop their "phony crap" but treat your beliefs or lack thereof nicely and without misrepresentation may seem like the natural order to you but you're asking for the same respect you are not willing to give.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Evy

      Ray,

      I am "touched" that you would take the time to "school" me on your ideas about my bellittling others through what i'm posting on this forum. If you feel i am attacking others..you are damned straight! This religious pretense has gone on in humanity long enough and quite honestly I am truly free to express how i feel about that...even if it comes off in a condescending manner. It is purposefully done that way because this is TRULY the only way to get others attention...(you certainly responded didn't you?). I am NOT a pacifist (Ghandi, Mother Theresa, etc.,) so if i'm coming off as "aggressivel" it is merely a mechanism to try and drive the point across for those who are too blind to see the actual truth!!!! Clearly, i touched a nerve in you! Otherwise you wouldn't have bothered to respond. And what a diatribe you posted indeed!!!! You could have curtailed your response but clearly i must have somehow incensed you.....my job here is definitely done!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Steen

      If the Bible is such phony nonsense, why do people try so hard to discredit it? If it is false and you don't believe in it, what harm is it doing to you? Why put so much energy in something that you believe is false? I'm just curious....sounds like you atheists are trying to disprove God to yourselves more than you are to others....Sad....

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

      @ Steen – if you had bothered to carefully read my post (or pay any real attention to it) you would see that i in no way say that i'm an atheist. I am saying i'm not religious and i have little or no respect for people that use a religious mask as a sort of shield from all evil (most of the time to mask their own shady souls). I do believe in a higher being ( i will not personify this being and call it a he or a she) but i will say that i do believe that a higher form of life/energy is responsible for our existence here. Somehow, throughout the course of history, religion has become this bigger than life control system that people really need to re-examine. We dont' need religion to be happy. Religion is made up completely. I challenge it because i don't like people using religion in society to try and dictate what is wrong or right. I know not to kill or steal or disrespect my parents...religion did NOT teach me that. I am a rational person and many other people are too but they're too caught up in this religious muck and mire!!!!!!!!!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Ray

      Incensed? Don't flatter yourself, darlin. Mildly amusing however, I would have to say yes. But, much like the religious fanatic who tries to convert others to their way of thinking, you will fail to convert others to yours. Agresiveness never ever wins in such discourse.

      Unless. Perhaps you feed on the attention it grants you? If that's the case, by all means, enjoy. But if your goal is to get people to listen, and remember, and hope to sway them in that way. Well, you'll inevitably fail. I for one won't remember you come th eevening, let alone tomorrow.

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

      @ Ray – oh my sweet naive Ray...clearly i struck a bigger chord than i originally thought!!!!!...I mean a second reply? I'm glad that my comments have touched even if it's just one person...and contrary to your statement, I am not here to try and convince or turn anyone. I just want people to stop and think for themselves and put the bible down for a few days and give church a break. It isn't going to harm anybody. In fact, i have a co-worker who is as "religious" as they get and i actually laid it all out for her after a few conversations and she FINALLY gave in and admitted that she's had doubts all her life but she was too afraid to admit to herself. See Ray the issue is that people are too afraid to give up religion because they feel they will have nothing left to hang their hopes on. This is a clear indication of not finding meaning for your life. Religion is a mechanism of control, NOT some spiritual healing program. Alas, too many people are brainwashed...but i am HAPPY that i am above that naive and backwards thinking.....

      April 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Alex

      @ Evy. Can you please help me get out of my religious hole? But I would like to bring all my stuff: total salvation, redemption, freedom from religious law, and I would still like to leave all my baggage behind. And if I'm not supposed to talk to Jesus in the mornings, where can I direct any concerns I have about work? marriage? Who do I tell about my "impossible" dreams? I mean, reincarnation would be nice since that means that I technically never die, but what about all the things I want out of life? What about the way that I was created and the desires of my heart? Are those not natural? The things that I "believe", are those wrong? The fact that I'm so dumb I could be a Christian, does that hurt your life?

      April 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Evy

      @ Really – okay sweetie...why don't you humor me...what do you mean by written "THROUGH GOD"...did God come down in some magic cloud and dictate his thoughts, believes? Or, did Jesus have something to do with this? The truth there is no PROOF whatsoever that the bible has a real LINKAGE to god or any higher power whatsoever! I tell you what, if you are willing to make a valid, intelligent, and powerful point on just how the bible was written "through god" i will actually go to a church and post the pic on FB and i will send you the link...deal??? LOL LOL LOL

      April 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Evy

      @ Alex
      Your Christian believes do not hurt my life at all. It is hurting YOURS!! The fact that you DESPERATELY cling on to your prayers, and "conversations with god" proves that your are either delusional, or can't share these very hopes, dreams, fears, desires, whatever, with another living being...or perhaps a shrink?! Why don't you put this to the test, don't engage in any of the religious customs for 1 week and see what happens. Do you think that your happiness and very existence is really tied to your belief system? Really?? Is your existence that shallow? I promise you Alex...there is more to life than this...there is more out there than this....

      April 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Evy
      God inspires people wiht Truth through a variety of mediums.
      Incediary foliage, supernatural translating stones, fantastic verbalizing fauna, divine countenances on food stuffs.
      Oh sure, He may have been a lot less subtle back when He flamboyantly parted the seas, but a barely literate backwoodsman seeing Jesus in his velveeta is enough proof for me.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Alex

      @ Evy. Why are you so convinced it's hurting me? Your first post on here is hateful, you're obviously the one hurting. Prior to Christ finding me, I was a drug addict who was on the verge of taking his own life, it's the classic story of a Christian convert. However, my true relationship with God didn't start until much later, when Christianity also became boring, like so many other things. That's when I started soul searching. But what's hurting me isn't important. What's interesting to me is that even though my beliefs don't hurt anyone, you are very upset by the things that I believe in. Honestly, your belief in the miracle of reincarnation does not hurt me in the least. Why are you so upset with my beliefs then? Do you think that what you believe is less of a fantasy than what I believe? And if I chose to believe in the Easter Bunny instead, would you consider that more or less offensive than my belief in Christ? Or perhaps my belief in the Easter Bunny would be intriguing but not hurtful? Perhaps I should choose a more fashionable avenue, like Scientology? If my beliefs fit your fantasy a little better, would you be less offended? I think everyone gets the point.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Evy

      @ Doc Vestibule....."LOL @ Flamboyantly parted the seas"...that is one of my favorite fables ever!!!!!

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

      Let's see your credentials Evy!

      Where did you get your degrees in Theology, Global Religious Studies, Secular History, Classics, Classical Languages, History of the Church, Biblical Exegesis, Linguistics... ? These are the disciplines that are necessary to actual understanding of what has gone on with reference to Christianity. Obviously no one is likely to have a degree in every one. So you do a degree and a minor, then graduate work. By that time you should be competent to know what works in each of these fields has been done with little subjectivity. You will need, likely, to read both sides of many arguments until you come to a balanced and critical analysis. Then you will have the right to some arrogance except by then you will know that you can never know everything about anything. At the moment, you seem to think that your opinion grants you the same thing as an actual education.

      As for me. The reason I know what is necessary is because I did get a deep and wide education and I know that I will never know every last word on every subject. I am an atheist and I am a supporter of spiritual paths that are not bigoted. Any one who tells me religion is bunk that should be removed is a person with no empathy, just like a psychopath. Any one who tells me that their path is the only path is a bigot. Both are ignorant of what it means to be human and what it takes to cope with being human.

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

      @ Alex...I do not mean to sound hateful as you put it...that is truly the furthest from my true intention. My only point on this forum today is to put out there that people don't need religion to be saved. You are a classic example!! You went through hardship in your life and i suppose that religion has guided you BUT i'm saying you had the power in your own mind all along and are a STRONG enough person to survive on your own without this religious CRUTCH. Is it possible that it SCARES you to think that you can do without religion...???

      And by the way...on a lighter note...truly folks have really latched on to my idea about reincarnation...when you sit and think about it...it is truly a logical reasoning. It isn't a "belief" and i can't say it's a "fact" because i have no proof but it makes SENSE....think about it...new life is born every day...do you really think that new souls are generated for each new person or living thing comes along. There has to be some recycling...LOL....

      April 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Evy

      @ Calgary Sandy – Ironically you dare ask for my credentials but won't even specify your degree or alma mater??? I proudly admit i do not have any degree in theology or anything having to do with a religious background. I have BA and an MBA in Human Resources (so my background really has nothing to do with my belief system). In order to achieve a "balanced" belief system, i do not NEED years of theology or the like in order to understand the universe around me. I am not pretending to be some kind of genius who has an explanation for everything unexplained on this planet. I do believe there are MANY things humans are NOT capable of understanding. My whole agenda is to drive across the point that humanity does NOT need religion to thrive and survive. It is merely a crutch and platform that too many people feverishly CLING on to.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Alex

      @ Evy. So if I believe that I need to be saved, then why do you feel it's your duty to let me know I do not need God to be saved? I never said I need religion to be saved. Furthermore, why do you think religion immediately has to do with saving? What about people who believe in religious teaching that doesn't have it's core in "saving" anyone or anything? Most religious beliefs are centered in having "balance" rather than being saved. If I feel like I don't need balance, but that I require saving, and I just happen to believe that Jesus is the only way for me to be saved, does that automatically trigger you to try and save me from being saved by my Jesus? I'm still not understand the point of what your original post was. On one had, it seemed like you consider yourself better and smarter than Christians, and that you have it all figured out while we're a bunch of sheep who believe in fairy tales. I can agree with you that you don't have to believe what I believe, but during this whole correspondence, was there a time when I said to you that I need to save you from your belief in reincarnation, that it's hurting you? How could you possibly know what is hurting me, and how can you possibly know how my life should be and what I need? And then you started talking about souls, and "recycling", and this all sounds very new age and I would have to visit a local coffee shop and find some shaggy bum to get more information on that for you...

      April 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Peter McLenon

      No body said it was written by God. "In deed" you are naive.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Peter McLenon

      What you are saying is mouth diarrhea. There is a cure for it: just zip your mouth and it will flow in the opposite direction towards your fkn muffler.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  19. David Johnson

    WoW, at last! A bible that isn't B.S.

    I'm glad I was alive to see it.

    Cheers!

    April 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Robert

      Yesssssssssssssssssss!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Alex

      oh man! I've been reading a Bible that's totally BS??? What translation do you use, mine's a NASB, supposed to be a word-for-word. What to do now that I know it's all BS? How do I become smart like you so I can really tell the difference? All of us are doomed...

      April 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Dave

      Hahaha.......well put 😉

      April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • David

      How old are you? Wow.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Seymour B.

      Word for word? Really? Because so many meanings have changed over the past 10 years, it's hard to imagine anything being the same after 6000 years, most of which were never even written until 1700 years ago. And choosing to ignore certain passages while interpreting wild meanings into others isn't helping your case any.

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

      NASB is not word for word. That would be an impossibility.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Alex

      Finally, we have someone that narrowed it down to 1700 y/o manuscripts, and all of us have been debating, digging, translating, and all for what? We should have just waited until you showed up and said the Final Word. Thank you, all-knowing. Bah! Keep talking. Cheers!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Alex

      @ CW. My bad, I meant to say literal, and you're absolutely right, word-for-word was probably lost in the very beginning since it was mainly "told" rather than "read" to others from the first.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  20. cnj5954

    Okay, so you say in order to prove what you believe you and I must die first.To that I say no thanks.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Evy

      You want to know what's ironic about this???. All religious and non religious people will wind up in the same exact place after death...since after all..heaven and hell do not exist. We simply reincarnate into other lives!!! I believe that those that lived religious existences are given another chance at logical reasoning and perhaps can better understand the world the second time around!!!!!

      April 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • everettereb

      Evy
      Reincarnation is also a religious belief.
      So in fact you are religious as you say that you believe in reincarnation.
      Look up Hinduism

      April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Evy

      @ everettereb – I am not religious. Just because i happen to believe in reincarnation doesn't mean that i'm religious. Religion is a set of beliefs, customs, and practices that i want no part of. As a rational person, i view reincarnation as a natural order of the life cycle here on earth........

      April 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Alex

      @Evy. You don't "view" anything, you believe, which is great. Keep the faith...

      April 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • really...

      Evy,
      Were you a snail in your past life?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • everettereb

      It's idiotic to believe in reincarnation and say that you are not religious.
      There is nothing natural reincarnation, it is just a belief like any other religion and there is no more proof of it than any other belief .
      If one is to believe that religions are wrong then the only thing that can come after death is you body returning to dust and nothing else.
      Christian believe in a life after death and that is the same thing that you are suggesting.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Evy- Yeah...I am sorry hun but you have a belief. Unless you think it can be defined by scientific means. If you could then it would be a scientific fact, but from what it sounds like, you have a belief.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ Evy who said "All religious and non religious people will wind up in the same exact place after death...since after all..heaven and hell do not exist"

      Oh, Evy, you are so wrong!

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

      So, the irrational will get a chance to be "rational" again. Gibberish.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • ammofreak

      Actually reincarnation has a somewhat practical explanation if you consider the following premises: 1) the Big Bang Theory is basically correct; 2) time is infinite; and, 3) the law of probability. Given these premises, then some time in the future, all particles, or thingys (haha), comprising our reality today will come together again thus creating April 24, 2011 over & over & over &........(a canuck speaking from his igloo)

      April 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.