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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. Rev. Keith R. Wright

    As a Deist, with faith in reason and science, I endorse this book.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Rick

    People on here are claiming that many historic scientists were religious. Of course they had to claim they were religious. Same with the philosophers. Nobody would listen to them if they claimed to be atheist. There's also a good chance they would have been banished or killed. Because that is what religious filth has done to non-believers.I guarantee you that all of them would have been atheist today.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Atheism requires no faith. I dont have faith that a god does or does not exist. All gods claimed to have existence have been disproved beyond a reasonable doubt. I believe what I do based on facts. There is no evidence that a particular god exists. Until there is, it makes no sense to believe in one. I have 'faith' in reason, if you want to call it that, because its been proven to work. So there it is. No 'faith' in things unknown.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  4. asrael

    So mimicking Godly things is somehow not a good thing to do unless you're a certified member of the club?

    April 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  5. God

    Busted.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  6. ColdestWinter

    I don't understand this argument. You can't prove something is true but those don't believe it are foolish? That makes no sense. It makes even less since that Christianity would be the battleground for this fight. Christianity isn't even the oldest religion nor are the stories of its historical figures unique. Krishna and Horus have almost identical origin stories and Hinduism is significantly older than Christianity. Christianity was the scientology of its day

    April 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  7. Dorothy

    So, funny how so many people call Christianity a "religon". Christianity is about a relationship with God, His Son and His Holy Spirit. The Bible is not just a "book". Even more funny, is so many of the prophecies in the Bible have come true and many more are happening now. There is a scripture in the Bible, that says, there will come a time when men will say Evil is Good and Good is Evil, Wrong is Right and Right is Wrong". It also says, there some people who would whether believe a Lie than the Truth. Saints of God Stand on the Word of God, because Christ is soon to come and the world is being prepped for the AntiChrist. Remember, Watch and Pray.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • rafael

      You call descriptions of human nature a prophecy? Hoo boy.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • The Coded Atheist

      You know what's REALLY facepalmingly funny, Dorothy? How certain Christians deny the fact that they practice a man-made religion, yet their bible states in no uncertain terms that "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).

      Now Dorothy, assuming that you hold in the highest regards the bible, of which its "truth" is a matter of faith (the assumption of truth despite any sustainable evidence and even in spite of contradicting information), wouldn't you say that no one who truly wishes to be faithful to "the word of God" could fail to acknowledge the words found in James? Moreover, let's also not forget that Jesus was apparently a Jew who ritually observed the religion of his people. Foe example, he supposedly made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for major festivals (Luke 2:41-42; John 2:13; 5:1; 7:2-10; 10:22-23) and celebrated the Passover Seder (Luke 22:7-15), a ritual meal complete with written prayers and hymns. Not only that but he observed the commandments contained in the Law of Moses too. (Galatians 4:4)

      Incidentally, you needn't turn to the words in an outdated book of bronze-age myths to understand the obvious. That is, no bible is ever needed to come to the realization that "there will come a time when men will say 'Evil is Good and Good is Evil, Wrong is Right and Right is Wrong'" – or something to that effect. Gosh, you don't even need to be any sort of a genius to understand that there are some people who would rather believe in a lie than in the truth. I mean, just look at the amount of sheeple throughout history who place faith in the greatest fraud perpetrated against mankind – Christianity.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  8. Charms

    Here is a valuable learning point for Muslims. Rewriting the Bible is more offending than burning one, but Christians do not go around severing people's heads because someone burnt or rewrote the Bible. Say what you want but that is the truth.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Al

      Your point (might) make some sense if anyone were talking about changing the bible. Outright competing with it is not changing it.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  9. D. Little

    If atheists are so good then where are their organizations and individuals out in the world caring for the needy? Could they? Certainly. Do they? No. Everywhere I look I see religious organizations reaching out to the homeless, children, the old and the sick. The is a biker organization that feeds the homeless in my hometown. It was started by Christians, but yet everyone including atheists are invited to help out every week. How many of the atheists are out there in the cold on a winter's morning feeding the toothless men who have no home. One. One atheist among 30 Christians. You want to be scientific, put that in your data box.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • OhReally

      Where? The two largest philanthropists ever are athists... As for organizations, there are hundreds. Here is a short list of secular charities for a start
      Kiva.org
      The Union of Concerned Scientists
      American Civil Liberties Union
      United Nations Children's Fund
      Doctors without Borders
      Amnesty International

      In addition, what percent of what you give to the church goes to helping others... ill answer that... about 5%

      April 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Al

      Plenty of atheists volunteer (I just worked a Juvenile Diabetes fund raiser and one of my friends served dinner at a food shelter). Your premise is flawed. Atheist people are charitable too. Charity comes from evolution (and is a Maslow principle). It has nothing to do with religion. If it was a religious urging, countries that are not religious (like Switzerland) would not be charitable and yet they are.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • D. Little

      In my town the churches open up and let the homeless inside the church. I live in on of the largest metropolitian statisical areas in the country. The churches feed the homeless. The religious turn out to work together to bulid homes for Habitat for Humanity. I have helped to build the houses myself. Hmmm..... personal observation, most of them are Christians....I looked in the paper for ways to volunteer in my town. Very little in the paper sponsored by non religious organizations. However, at every turn there was another opportunity to help being sponsored by churches or started by Christians. One of the churches is growing food for the homeless on their grounds. I don't see any atheist sponsored events....

      April 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • ben

      Dear Do Little. Do more research. there are TONS of secular charities, and proportionally, they do far more than their religious counterparts. Does the name Bill Gates sound familiar to you? yeah, hee is the top individual contributor to charities in the world. He has several of his own to help the less fortunate. They are ALL secular, non-religious, and atheistic.

      Educate yourself before flapping your gums please.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  10. Scott A

    RightCoast

    And CNN goes trolling for Christians...
    ======================

    It's okay RightCoast...the media usually goes trolling for liberals and freethinkers. In a world of tea-parties and other hate groups getting positive attention by news services, I guess CNN is wanting the far-right to finally get something to be upset about. No need for the right to worry, they still have a lot of bad things going on in the world to keep them happy. One person's book shouldn't cause that much trouble unless the right feels books shouldn't teach people to think for themselves....oh wait...

    April 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  11. NJP

    How Can you all think this is a genius idea??? Its an encyclopedia re-written!!!!

    April 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • rafael

      All books are just words, why do we need a new one?

      April 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • ben

      Stupid books, they are just words arranged to express ideas!
      We already have words arranged into ideas, who needs any more?!

      LOL

      April 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  12. DoubleD

    I find no hope in faith. Yet, faithfully, I cling to hope in humanity. For all things, so many find holy-hope, faith, and love-can lead humanity to a better future, if positive values, such as acceptance, empathy, and understanding are instilled in the youth, whose minds offer humanities only hope for solidarity. DoubleD Chapter 1, verse 1.
    Archaic, dogmatic religions have continually increased the divide amoung all societies of the solar rock known as Earth. When will Jesus come? To my knowledge its been 2000 years, yet still so many wait, clinging to prophecies which have long since gone unfulfilled. Quoting passages, written and re-written by men (not women) thousands of years ago, which if taken literally would mean the deaths of so many of the faithful that heaven would be a lonely place. And what of the atrocities (the Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, Slavery, Trail of Tears, etc.) of their faith over the last two millenia? No acknowledgement, but rather a brushing off, as though performed by individuals ignorant to the Bible's true teachings, rather than blinded by it. It is laughable to continually read quotes of God's love, continually being written by religious folk, all-the-while diliberately ignoring words such as merciful, jealous, angry, etc. Traits they themselves find negative if held by the average human being, so I guess the good lord passed on his personality traits to all his children.
    Oh, and for those of you who may think slavery and the trail of tears where not religious atrocities. Remember they were performed by our forefathers, good christian men, who your conservative politicians continually acknowledge in their political rhetoric and jargon. Long live Honest Abe, FDR, Theo, and the presidents that truly cared about this nation, not the perpetuation of greed and religious conservatism.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • pithymcgee

      Many of our founding fathers and other important figures from America's formative years were actually theistic, unitarian, or atheistic. Certainly we had our fair share of "good Christian men." However, there was certainly a considerable population that did not identify as Christian. Many of these men were just as responsible for the atrocities you mentioned.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  13. NJP

    So this guy basically wrote his own version of Encyclopedia Britannica?.....2 Tim: 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,,,

    April 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • rafael

      No, I suggest reading the story again.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • The Coded Atheist

      Apparently NJP is under the false impression that the Bible is original.

      April 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  14. Scott A

    Well hey, if the atheist's book doesn't allow people to easily translate it to a book advocating hate or greed (like many throughout history...and in today's world....have done with "The Book"), then it can't be all bad. A lot of people claim to know the Bible, claim to go to church, and claim to be messengers of God...yet they do very evil things. If the Book told them to do that or if they think it told them to do that, then there's a serious problem with either that religion or whomever is translating the Bible. I'm not going to be so close-minded to say all religious people are bad because I know many of them aren't. And if you aren't a bad person, you can't be offended because you know this has nothing to do with you. However, if you use the Bible to hate gays (even what you call "the sin" because you read it in a book), then you're allowing the book to tell you to be a hateful and bad person. It doesn't matter what you claim the Bible says, the Bible was written by idealogues and zealots who put their own beliefs in the wording. It could have easily been written by intellectuals who cared about other people, but it wasn't (at least half the Book wasn't). I'm not an atheist...though many intolerant people would say I am because I don't consider myself Christian. I don't consider myself religious at all. I just don't believe in a hateful God. I don't know what God I believe in, but its not the One that puts people on the Earth to do bad things and who claim to be children of God. I'll wait until somebody thinks up a better, more morally acceptable version. And remember folks, just because your religion tells you how to think does NOT mean you can tell other people they're wrong about their beliefs. I never said anyone was wrong, I just said a lot of people use the Bible to excuse their bad "behavior".

    April 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  15. nick2

    Amazing how many 'believers' deny the same to others.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • The Coded Atheist

      Agreed! It's also amazing how dense believers can be in general.

      April 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  16. RightCoast

    And CNN goes trolling for Christians...

    April 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  17. Ryan

    THIS is so beautiful. Cant wait to get it and let my kids read this instead of the bible. Oh my! :]]]]

    April 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Jen

      Me too! Actually at my kids' school there are more atheists than Christians so they will probably read it before I do.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  18. bu

    Faith = Motivation to delude the public and yourself

    April 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  19. bu

    Religion is a disease of the Mind! Be part of the cure, not the problem!

    Help cure the religion disease!

    April 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • John Faile

      Do you think Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Sadam Hussein or Akmadinijad would be better people if they bought off on this goodness philosophie. Wake up people, you really are blind.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • ben

      yes john, I do.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • The Coded Atheist

      John Faile said: "Do you think Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Sadam Hussein or Akmadinijad would be better people if they bought off on this goodness philosophie. Wake up people, you really are blind."

      Considering the fact that the aforementioned regimes more resemble(d) organized religions than anything else, most definitely.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  20. Unlightened One

    This book is a great idea. Not that I'm an atheist – I'm not. Most atheists I know are great, moral people. I used to be one. However, I made a realization – atheists require as much faith as theists. Does a God exist? We simply cannot prove or disprove this, despite what anyone claims they 'know.' So, when someone says that they believe that God does not exist, they are placing faith in this belief. Since an atheist cannot disprove the existence of God, they must have faith.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • ben

      I dont think you understand what faith means. It requires no more faith to lack a belief in god, than it does to lack a belief in the lockness monster. One does not need faith to lack a belief in something that there is no evidence for. If your 'faith' argument is the reason you are no longer an atheist...well then, you're simply not a very intelligent person.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • OhReally

      I respectfully do not agree with your faith claim. The burdon of proof is on those making the claim for an invisible friend. Most atheists do not claim anything, they simply are not buying what the theists are selling. Does it take as much faith to not believe in the tooth fairy as to believe?

      April 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      It takes no "faith" to say that I refuse to believe in something for which there is no evidence. Anyone who categorically denies the existence of a god is equally arrogant with those who adamantly assert the existence of a god. It requires no arrogance to point out the lack of evidence for God just as one would point out the lack of evidence for leprechauns.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • TS

      No, he has a point; there is a burden of proof implied on both sides. "There definitely is a God!"–really? Prove it! "There definitely is not a God!"–really? Prove it! Both are absolutes and require a conviction of belief not based on truth, as there is no evidence to support either statement.

      Note that this is only taking into account "absolute" atheism, which is an absolute belief that there is no God, afterlife, etc. More 'agnostic' flavored atheism – that is "I don't know what the truth is" – doesn't require any faith at all and is firmly grounded in fact (or the lack thereof).

      April 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • pithymcgee

      Ben, I think you missed the point. The argument posited is that we cannot be certain of anything, and to commit to atheism is to commit to an idea that is, ultimately, not provable based the information at hand today. Frankly, a naturalistic origin is almost as unfathomable as religious mythology. Realizing that a steadfast commitment to the notion that there is no creative force at the very least intimates the thinker's ability to recognize a lack of absolute proof. That does not an idiot make, my friend.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • ben

      you're right pithymcgee, we cannot be sure of anything. That means there is equal chance of the tooth fairy existing as her not right? No, of course not, to claim that would be absurd, wouldn't it? The FACT is, we use evidence to substantiate claims, and there is no evidence of your god. If you dont understand how the burden of proof falls on those making positive claims (such as 'god exists) then you simply dont understand what the burden of proof is. Also, a huge LOL at your claim that 'naturalistic origins' are as far fetched as religious ones. You must be entirely unaware of what the word 'evidence' means to believe that. I pray that logic opens your heart.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • ben

      TS, please do a basic search on the meaning of 'burden of proof' as clearly you have no idea what it means. The 'burden' of proof falls on the one making a positive assertion, such as 'god exists'. No proof is required for one to say "there is no evidence of that!"

      You, makig the claim, must provide evidence, period. 'atheism' means (in latin) a – WITHOUT theism – BELIEF. By definition atheism is not a positive assertation, but a refutation of one.

      Prove to me that there are NOT invisible dragons living in my garage. you cannot, can you? It would be impossible to do so.

      Hope you are now educated on what you are talking about.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Rabia Diluvio

      Put simply, Atheism is not the same as agnosticism, which is sort of a default position.

      An atheist has a belief in the nonexistence of God. This is an inherently unverifiable belief and therefore faith-based in nature. To claim otherwise is intellectually dishonest at best.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • rafael

      @Ben: well expressed. The number of things for which we have no evidence, and therefore no basis for belief, is infinite–we don't need to provide proof that each of them does not exist. Besides, it is impossible to prove a negative.

      @TS: you are misusing the term agnostic, which is not a weak form of atheism but rather a different philosophical position that we *cannot know* whether a supernatural being exists.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • ben

      *sigh* man the religious sure are dense aren't they? Rabia Diluvio, I've been through this 5 times in the past few minutes pay attention. Atheism, literally means a LACK of belief. A lack of belief is not a belief. Do you believe in the tooth fairy, because you lack a belief in her? No, that would be totally stupid, wouldn't it? Dang, make an obvious connection! Also, look up the definition of agnosticism, you'll find it has NOTHING to do with belief. So sad that so many are so uneducated here. Sad sad sad. 😦

      April 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Bannister

      Oh Really – you wrote: "The burdon of proof is on those making the claim for an invisible friend."

      I agree with you 100%. However, there are two ways of looking at this: A religious person believes in eternal life. It could be said that many atheist do not. On this particular point – to which party does the burden of proof belong?

      Answer: The atheist. For the atheist (and all living beings) have never experienced anything BUT life. I cannot remember existence before birth. Nor can you. Nor can anyone return from the "dead" to explain if one continues to "live."

      Thus, the burden of proof rests on the atheist who claims there is no life after death. For "life" or "existence" is all we know. No living person has ever experienced "non-life" or "non-existence" therefore "non-existence" is the "invisible friend" that atheists claim exists – but which yet cannot seen or proven. It is LIFE that is see-able, knowable and provable. To believe in a state of "non-life" is to believe in something we've never seen and cannot prove. Thus, on this particular point, the atheist fails the burden of proof.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • johnny b goode

      evolution and god are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
      iif there is no creator, where did life come from? nothing?
      has that been proven? ("not yet" sounds a lot like "no")
      maybe aliens? where has that been proven?
      and who equates god with the tooth fairy? (besides an atheist)

      April 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • rafael

      @Bannister: looks like you've made a logical argument against your own position. Well done.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • ben

      wow Bannister, that is the single dumbest post on the entire page! wow! You my friend, are a winner! In case you didn't notice, I'm mocking you. Your argument is so stupid, I'm literally laughing right now. Here's a hint, on how stupid your conclusion is: find ONE respectable philosopher or theologin (you know, the guys who do this professionally) who has EVER said anything related to the trash you are spewing. You cannot, because no philosopher or theologin is as dumb as you.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • rafael

      @Johnny: I suspect that anyone who doesn't believe in your particular god equates your god with the tooth fairy. Remember that you are merely atheist toward one less god than I am.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • The Fallacy of Cynicism

      I find it amusing that posts are being countered tete-a-tete with arguments from unsound logic.

      #1: The statement that we cannot be sure of anything implies that there is only one thing we can be sure of; nothing. The problem with this should be obvious, but I'll clarify. It would be impossible to imply in one sentence an absolutist statement (cannot be sure of anything) by using an absolutist statement, because the statements own premise of our inability to be sure of something defeats itself. How can you be sure that you are not sure of anything?

      #2: @Ben: Your burden of proof argument is lacking because you are using a negative proof fallacy. You are stating that because a person cannot present empirical evidence of a satisfying nature to you (which is judged how, exactly) that their argument is totally invalidated. Physicists could never show you dark matter, due to its very nature, and yet it is assumed to exist, not because of its ability to be measured but the inability to measure it. Correlation does not imply causation.

      #3: I think there is a severe misunderstanding of what the word "faith" means, and the implications it carries. Faith, or fidere, means to trust, typically in the authority of an educated expert making a statement that requires a certain level of belief in that persons statements, regardless of proof. Scientists, philosophers and theologians have made statements for thousands of years that we have had to take on faith because they were incredibly intelligent and skilled at what they did. This intimation that "faith" is solely a religious concept is false.

      #4: Atheism means "without God", not "without belief"... and it is from the greek root atheos, not latin.

      #5: I would contend that the ad hominem attacks do nothing to support your arguments, either.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • ben

      The Fallacy of Cynicism, it's very funny you mention faulty logic, as your grasp of logic is infantile at best. Lets review shall we? I'm not sure what a "negative proof " proof is, because in logic, one cannot prove a negative. Your statement is hence both absurd, and redundant. Furthermore, 'my standards' have nothing to do with anything. it is not me who came up with the concept of burden of proof, or who decides what standards of evidence should be used to discern fact from fiction. Currently we use a little something called 'the scientific method' to substantiate claims. Have you heard the term before, I hope so, though you seem totally ignorant of how it works. Personal standards have nothing to do with it. In regard to your dark matter claim, you might want to actually get off your butt and do some research on it. You know, see the EVIDENCE and REASONS for why it is hypothesized? That might be a nice start. The very fact that you are equating it with believe in invisible being in the sky, shows clearly how uneducated you are.

      Also your use of ""Correlation does not imply causation" is completely out of context, and it appears your education comes directly from websites moderated by teenagers.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • ben

      oh, and cynic?

      atheist (plural atheists)

      1. One who lacks belief in the existence of God, god, Gods or gods.
      [edit] Etymology

      From French athéiste (athée + -iste) < Latin atheos < Ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos, “godless, without god”) < ἀ- (a-, “without”) + θεός (theos, “god”)..

      You have no idea what you are talking about, please stop embarrassing yourself

      April 12, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • The Coded Atheist

      johnny b goode said: "if there is no creator, where did life come from? nothing?"

      Your comment assume that there was a beginning to existence. The atheist cannot prove that there wasn't a beginning, but the burden of proof doesn't rest with the atheist. The believer who asserts that there was a creator is responsible for providing the proof. Being that none of us can prove that there was or wasn't a beginning, the only reasonable position in regards to belief in a prime creator is atheism. The better question would also be: Why is there something instead of nothing?

      April 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • The Coded Atheist

      There's a word that describes pseudo intellectuals like the person who goes by the name of 'The Fallacy of Cynicism.

      Sophist [sof-ist]
      -noun

      a person who reasons adroitly and speciously rather than soundly.

      April 12, 2011 at 4:09 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.