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June 4th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Study: How Satanists see death

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - You probably won't hear "Amazing Grace" at a Satanist's funeral, but you just might hear "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. A researcher from Concordia University recently published a journal article with some rare access to high level Satanists exploring what they think about death and dying.

Members in the Church of Satan are traced back to Anton LeVey who in 1966 founded the church in San Fransisco. He is also the author of the canon of sorts for the group, The Satanic Bible first published in 1969. Today, the church is based in New York and membership numbers are hard to come by.

One of the main tenets of the faith is atheism. Not just a disbelief in God but also in the devil or Satan. Satanists believe God is an invention of man and instead deify themselves.

According to the official website of the Church of Satan: "We Satanists are thus our own 'Gods,' and as beneficent 'deities' we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm."

Cimminnee Holt, the author of the journal article explains further:

"Members of the Church of Satan, that is Satanists, assert that they are a life-affirming religion, yet reject the notion of an external mystical dimension and a spiritual afterlife (yet retain a particular understanding of a “worldly” afterlife), while also actively engaging in ritual practices infused with death imagery."

Holt writes that even though the Church of Satan does not believe in a physical afterlife (neither heaven nor hell), their doctrine speaks to a practitioner living on in this world through the life they led.

"By building on their own charismatic display of autonomy and exhibiting mastery in their respective fields, individuals increase the likelihood of more people remembering them after death. Satanists are, literally, creating their own afterlife in the memories of those they have
affected."

After a long back and forth between Holt and two high level clergy in the Church of Satan, the two Satanists agreed to speak as official representatives of the church.

The Satanists gave the researcher unique insights into how they saw death and their own funerals. Holt writes:

Warlock JPL states that a secular ceremony containing no religious elements would be acceptable, but outward signs of his religious affiliation are unnecessary. He would like to be remembered fondly by loved ones and for his life to be celebrated. Similarly, Reverend JR agrees that those whom he knew and loved should attend his funereal. The funerary details are to be decided by family. However, as a “strictly endogamous man”, the Reverend maintains that his funeral would “naturally” be “Satanic in nature if not in strict ritual.”

(snip)

"The memory of the Reverend JR’s father is an example of Satanic afterlife; it was the father’s life that is important, not his death, and the imprint of that life on his loved ones creates a posthumous legacy. The Reverend informs me that his father requested Frank Sinatra’s 'My Way' to play at his funeral. Reverend JR expresses that he felt his father had lived up to the sentiment of the song, a sentiment the Reverend shares in his own life (pers. comm. Oct. 26, 2007)."

The communications between Holt and the Satanists stretched over four years. Holt said she deliberately left out identifying details, like occupation and geographic location, about the two Satanists. The wall of privacy seems to have helped the Satanists to open up about their thoughts on death.

Holt's article appeared in The Journal of Religion and Culture, which is produced by graduate students from the Department of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Death • Satanism

soundoff (1,068 Responses)
  1. Raul

    Ignoring the comments of all those who should be ignored in a forward-thinking society and focusing instead solely on this article, this is a very well-written piece on a very well-composed study. Thanks to both Marrapodi & Holt.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  2. John10:10

    Jesus is alive. Why we know and you don'y is a mystery, but we do know. He is the best that life can offer.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:55 am |
    • Me

      Happiness is the best that life can offer.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @John1. You said:"He is the best that life can offer.

      You should try chocolate ice cream.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  3. Glenda

    @ LinCa.-In Jesus name I pray you will find the truth before it is too late. I pray God has mercy on your soul. You have no idea what the meaning is of what you are saying.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • LinCA

      @Glenda. Don't worry about me. I know exactly what the words that I say mean. I have a pretty decent comprehension of the English language and a firm grasp on reality.

      Peace.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  4. Glenda

    I am not forced, brainwashed, stupid nor naive to believe in Jesus. From personal experiences a lone and others experiences do I believe and know.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • anon

      The same as a schizophrenic, drug addled, or delusional person would know. I have had mystical experiences, went out of my head in a stream of white light into a huge ball of white light, with no memory but complete ecst.asy while in the ball, and then returning to my body and then realizing I was back in my room again. The experience was better than dr.ugs or s.ex and words can describe the e csta.tic feeling I went through but I do not attribute to God or gods. I know that science has a biological explanation for what happened and I have replicated the experience a few times. I accomplished this utilizing ecs.tatic shamanistic techniques similar to those utilized by the Lakota Soiux indians and do not attribute such experiences to God like most religious people would.your beliefs are based on faith or in other words believing something without any logical evidence. Fortunately are legal system is not faith based, well except for eyewitness testimoney which haas been proven to be error prone. Until now you were ign.orant but since the truth has now been revealed to continue such error based thinking would make you willfully st.upid, delusional or mental.ly ill.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:35 am |
    • John10:10

      Perhaps you are not chosen, either?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:53 am |
    • sumday

      @anon- you are deceived if you think there is any difference bt you and a person of faith. You describe a mystical experience, yet cannot explain it. You say science can explain it, but as of today science cannot explain it! Science cannot explain a lot of things- like consciousness or how thought works, and in almost all area's what was believed to be impossible decades ago is now shown to be true and possible, so saying there are not other dimension were being live makes you sound like and old scientist saying the earth can't possible have a molten core. Furthermore a person of faith can't prove his experience nor can you (or science!) explain/prove your experience yet you still believe it is/was real (just like a drug experience, or mental person), so I fail to see where you differ at all from a drug experience, person of faith, or just a crazy person for you ALL have this in common- none of you can prove or explain your experience or faith, but you all believe it to be real and have your own explanations for it (even if you can't prove that explanation).

      June 6, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  5. Scott

    I always wondered what someone who believes in Satan got from worshipping him. Athiesm as a religion makes more sense. I do wonder upon what foundation; beyond peaceful coesistence; athiests justify adhering to morals, though. Personally, I find many athiests to be more "holier than thou" than the religious. If no God, then what is any morality; bans on stealing, raping, murder, etc.; besides human fantasy?

    June 6, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • tallulah13

      Have you never heard of treating others as you would be treated? It's the most fundamental morality, and you don't need a supernatural enforcer. If you need a threat of hell or promise of heaven to be a good person, then you are not actually a good person.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • anon

      I would classify any Satanist that believes there is a deity named Satan and wordships that deity is most likely mentally ill or a iverted xtrian. Modern Satanists such as those in the Church of Satan do not worship or believe in a God, gods, or a Satan. Why is that so hard to comprehend? Also as tallulah13 points not believing in God or any deity does not mean they have no personal morals or ethics... that is simply faulty reasoning and terribly ignorant. Why don't you explain why your God is so petty and vain, that he can't have any gods held before him and punishes people for his personailty flaws? Hell, the bible contradicts itself, doesn't take into considerations modern society has brought to the forefront and then wants his followers to follow like sheep (mindless animals sheep are) and wants them to believe. In him with no evidence whatsover... it is this faith based thiinking that has given rise to cults, false prophets, supposedly God condoned war and death... sounds like a tyranical dictator to me.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • anon

      I don't believe there is a God and I know that I may be wrong, which is why I am a agnostic and not an atheist. To believe in atheism is to believe in dogma that you infallably know you are right just like christians believe they are right. I am open minded and fair and have my own morals by watching how others behaved and deciding what works best for me and humanity in the long run. With no relgion to shape such in me, it takes quite a bit of contemplation to actually sit down and write out what those moarals are and I have found it a worthwhile pursuit esp when I have to recall what and why ihas shaped me to believe in such morals. I am fallable unlike the pope who thinks of himself otherwise, I am not so arrogant as atheists and christians and other dogmatist s and God himself to think I know everything and because of this I am open to all evidence that is contrary to my beleifs and if confronted with solid evidence am willing to reevaluate and change my beliefs accordingly.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:50 am |
  6. FairGarden

    Jesus defeated Satan. Those who trust in Jesus alone receive God's mercy and salvation.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Glenda

      Amen to that.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Joe

      I'm still waiting for evidence that God exists.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • DaLe

      @Joe
      Re arguments for the existence of God:
      eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existence_of_God#Arguments_for_the_existence_of_God
      ie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument

      Of course, there are many other things that could be pointed out, such as the 5 human senses being very limited in the meaning of perceiving less than what is there. The 5 senses can't even really perceive movement of air, unless it is accompanied by particles (dust), sound, smell, moving objects, perceived by skin, or caused.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Joe

      "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existence_of_God#Arguments_for_the_existence_of_God"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existence_of_God#Arguments_against_the_existence_of_God.

      "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument#Criticisms_and_objections"

      The Ontological argument is flawed at best. Just because we can think of something, that means it exists? Sorry, nothing works that way.

      "Of course, there are many other things that could be pointed out, such as the 5 human senses being very limited in the meaning of perceiving less than what is there. The 5 senses can't even really perceive movement of air, unless it is accompanied by particles (dust), sound, smell, moving objects, perceived by skin, or caused."

      Except for that whole fact of knowing that the air exists because we have repeatable tests which can provide tangible results that tells us the air is there.

      So once again, no. Try again.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Joe- I don't think you actually want to be proven God exists. I think you are too closed minded and are not even able to believe at this point in your life. True?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • ok

      "I think you are too closed minded and are not even able to believe at this point in your life. True?"

      Or are you too closed minded to not want to recognize that your god doesn't exist. True?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @ok- I have yet to be shown why I shouldn't believe in God. You have yet to provide a good argument.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • ok

      "You have yet to provide a good argument."

      Right back at ya!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @ok- I never implied I was trying to now did I? Try and pay attention, it will save you a lot of time looking stupid.

      But again, you are making a common mistake in assuming that ppl of faith do not question aspects of their own faith. That is quite a silly idea you have there.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Joe

      False. Just because I ask questions and can't take something at face value doesn't mean I don't want it to exist. It means I want answers, more than just "Trust me."

      Further more, I can use that argument against you. There's a mountain of evidence against the bible, including but not limited to:

      1). No mention in any text outside of the bible that Jesus existed or that he did any of the miracles he is said to have done.
      2). All of the "facts" that the bible supposedly had written in it that we know now can be easily attributed to simply observation, and thus is further proof that there was no super natural force driving its writers.
      3). Painfully obvious fallacies and contradictions (i.e. god created the light on the first day, but didn't create the sun until the 5th?)
      4). Numerous examples of stories which were taken from earlier civilizations, like the Egyptians (i.e. go read about Horus, as well as the Egyptian 25 commandments)

      I could go on, but I won't. Much like your view of me, I see you and people of your die hard faith as being too stupid ignorant to question what you were indoctrinated with in your youth, or what scare tactics and false logic you fell victim to.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Joe-
      "Just because I ask questions and can't take something at face value doesn't mean I don't want it to exist. It means I want answers, more than just "Trust me.""

      Good...in no way do I support anyone just believing in something from a "trust me" standpoint.

      "1). No mention in any text outside of the bible that Jesus existed or that he did any of the miracles he is said to have done."
      Actually there are other texts. And would you dismiss four historical texts outright for no good reason? You have to admit, at least from the historcial standpoint..there is not reason to deny that Jesus was a historical figure. As for the miracles, that is a matter of faith. Even you know that not everything within the historical record can be proven beyond a doubt.

      "2). All of the "facts" that the bible supposedly had written in it that we know now can be easily attributed to simply observation, and thus is further proof that there was no super natural force driving its writers."

      No, not all. The changing of one's life because of divine revelation (Moses. David, Job, Paul) cannot be explained away with science. You can't prove what changed their lives now can you? I know, you have theories that cannot be tested.
      Now if you mean facts that have more to do with history. I recommend picking up the Biblical Archaeolgical Review. Quite a good bit of science in there supporting events that the Bible records.

      "3). Painfully obvious fallacies and contradictions (i.e. god created the light on the first day, but didn't create the sun until the 5th?)"

      Hmm, I shouldn't have to tell you that the sun did not begin the concept of light right? But beyond that you are making assumptions that everyone is a literalist.

      "4). Numerous examples of stories which were taken from earlier civilizations, like the Egyptians (i.e. go read about Horus, as well as the Egyptian 25 commandments)"

      This is a unproven theory. For you to be correct, you would require evidence that the writers actually took information from other sources. You however, have none. And just because something seems to be similar, it does not mean they are related. Compare the Auk with the penguin if you like. Just because they are similar, you do not think they are related right?

      "I could go on, but I won't. Much like your view of me, I see you and people of your die hard faith as being too stupid ignorant to question what you were indoctrinated with in your youth, or what scare tactics and false logic you fell victim to."

      Again, if you are here to actually learn...my apologizes. Your behavior would seem to point to a different motive for your posts. As for my faith...I was not indoctrinated in my youth. My parents were non-religious, pure atheist in my mom's case. But thank you for making your own assumptions.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      P.S.
      Coreection:
      And THIS IS the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and * MEN * (meaning mankind) LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THEN LIGHT, because their deeds were evil.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Joe

      "Good...in no way do I support anyone just believing in something from a "trust me" standpoint."

      The entire bible is based on "trust me."

      "Actually there are other texts. And would you dismiss four historical texts outright for no good reason? You have to admit, at least from the historcial standpoint..there is not reason to deny that Jesus was a historical figure. As for the miracles, that is a matter of faith. Even you know that not everything within the historical record can be proven beyond a doubt."

      By the four other historical texts, what are you referring to? I really hope you aren't talking about the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, because then you are doing what every other religious person out there has done, and that is use your religious book to prove that your religious book is true.

      "No, not all. The changing of one's life because of divine revelation (Moses. David, Job, Paul) cannot be explained away with science. You can't prove what changed their lives now can you? I know, you have theories that cannot be tested.
      Now if you mean facts that have more to do with history. I recommend picking up the Biblical Archaeolgical Review. Quite a good bit of science in there supporting events that the Bible records."

      I'll take both of your points before rephrasing what I meant, because clearly you didn't follow.
      1). You act like the only people who have made drastic changes to their life have done so because they found your Christian god. Moreover, it actually can be explained away by science and reason. Find someone who has hit rock bottom, and offer them false hope of the mistakes they are living with to be forgiven. It doesn't matter who has forgiven them (Cthulhu, the Flying Spaghetti Moster, Batman), as long as they are fully convinced they don't have to live with past mistakes, they can drastically alter their own life. That sudden change of heart is a change in the chemistry of your brain. It doesn't matter who you are changing for, what matters is you can believe in it so hard that you are changing how you brain works and how your body feels. It's called a placebo effect.
      2). My point had nothing to do with the historical evidence that the bible happened (of which, there is none). Additionally, the source you are accrediting with proof doesn't look to be a non-biased source. When something is being scientifically proven, it isn't just proven from a source with something to gain; it's looked at from completely independent points of view.

      And now, my point: many people quote religious books as containing knowledge that was discovered hundreds of years later, like ocean and wind currents and the shape of the earth. All of those "facts" can be drawn to through simple observation.

      "Hmm, I shouldn't have to tell you that the sun did not begin the concept of light right? But beyond that you are making assumptions that everyone is a literalist."

      A few hundred years ago, the church had a steadfast belief that the bible was to be taken literally. When scientists were making observations that the Earth revolved around the Sun, the church fought against it, saying the bible should be taken literally. Fast forward to today: apparently, those aspects of the bible clearly weren't meant to be taken literally (someone should make sure all churches are on the same page with that line of thinking). So, basically what I'm saying is when we didn't know any better, the bible was to be taken literally. Once we have evidence otherwise, then we aren't supposed to take things literally.

      "This is a unproven theory. For you to be correct, you would require evidence that the writers actually took information from other sources. You however, have none. And just because something seems to be similar, it does not mean they are related. Compare the Auk with the penguin if you like. Just because they are similar, you do not think they are related right?"

      Horus: Born on December 25th, was killed by the Egyptian leaders, rose from the dead 3 days later.
      Appolonius of Tyana – Almost literally the same story as Jesus (healing the sick, rising the dead, crucified for his beliefs, returned from the dead and ascended into heaven), only about a century earlier.
      Plus all the Pagan holidays that the Christians stole in order to be more compet.i.t.ive with the prominent religion of the time. But you're right, clearly these are all coincidences.

      "Again, if you are here to actually learn...my apologizes. Your behavior would seem to point to a different motive for your posts. As for my faith...I was not indoctrinated in my youth. My parents were non-religious, pure atheist in my mom's case. But thank you for making your own assumptions."

      Touche.

      June 7, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Lycidas

      "The entire bible is based on "trust me.""

      In what way?

      June 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "By the four other historical texts, what are you referring to? I really hope you aren't talking about the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, because then you are doing what every other religious person out there has done, and that is use your religious book to prove that your religious book is true."

      Why are you really hoping it's not? Let's say you are studying evolution...you do cite the book that you are studying right?
      And you are wrong. I am not saying that because of those books that the faith is beyond study and questioning. Like most ppl against the faith you fail to grasp that the books themselves are evidence of the person Jesus existed. But it's easier for you to dismiss them outright.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Lycidas

      1). You act like the only people who have made drastic changes to their life have done so because they found your Christian god."

      No I didn't. I am me*rely citing that a change oc*curred with those ppl because of their belief. Of course others have found other ways to change their lives. But how does that change my point?

      "Moreover, it actually can be explained away by science and reason. Find someone who has hit rock bottom, and offer them false hope of the mistakes they are living with to be forgiven."

      Or in this case, true hope. Also, your guesswork doesn't equal fact you know.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "2). My point had nothing to do with the historical evidence that the bible happened (of which, there is none)."

      Really? Amman Citadel Inscription- Co*nfiriming the Amo*nnoites in the Old Testament.
      Multiple Bu*llae.
      Hezekiah's tunnel
      Merneptah Stele
      Mesha stele
      Just a few archaeolgical finds that seem to cor*respond with the Biblical texts.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "A few hundred years ago, the church had a steadfast belief that the bible was to be taken literally."

      You are sort of wrong here. Yes, the organized church might have held that kind of belief. But the Jews never did. Not to mention that many Christians questioned the Bible back in the day as well. The rise of science did not really start the whole questioning of the Bible.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Vee

      Lycidas,

      Just keep us posted about when they find Moses' tablets, which can somehow be tested for "God's" fingerprints, or the remains of that talking burning bush, or the saltified remains of Lot's wife, or *anything* to verify the supernatural fantasy stories in the Bible.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Horus: Born on December 25th, was killed by the Egyptian leaders, rose from the dead 3 days later."

      Let's see, he was killed but by a scorpion. Can't find anything from an edu site that says he rose three days later. Maybe you can give us a citation. And I think you are confusing your timeframe of such. Early Christianity did not have Jesus's birth at Dec 25th so the whole Horus connection doesn't quite work now does it? By most accounts, the early church put Christmas on the 25th to compete with Mithraism. And there is no evidence that any Christian really thought that Dec 25th was really Jesus's birth.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Just keep us posted"

      Why?

      I always find it odd that when those against Christianity says nothing can confirm the Bible are proven incorrect, they can't just accept it. They have to go further and ask for more proof. I am sorry that there are points of the Bible that can be confirmed. Learn to accept it.
      As for the points you mentioned, I can no more prove them than you can the first time you got laid. But I bet you expect everyone to believe that don't you?

      June 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Artist

      Vee

      Lycidas,

      Just keep us posted about when they find Moses' tablets, which can somehow be tested for "God's" fingerprints, or the remains of that talking burning bush, or the saltified remains of Lot's wife, or *anything* to verify the supernatural fantasy stories in the Bible.
      ---------------–
      Let us not forget about the Ark...it has magical powers to slay armies.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Appolonius of Tyana – .....only about a century earlier."

      Check your research. Most of the research comes from texts dating from around 190AD-220AD. In comparisson to the Gospel of Matt that was written before 100AD....you might be better off saying that it was the writers of Appolonius that was borrowing from Jesus's story.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      "Just keep us posted"

      Why?

      I always find it odd that when those against Christianity says nothing can confirm the Bible are proven incorrect, they can't just accept it. They have to go further and ask for more proof. I am sorry that there are points of the Bible that can be confirmed. Learn to accept it.
      As for the points you mentioned, I can no more prove them than you can the first time you got laid. But I bet you expect everyone to believe that don't you?
      --–
      It seems the common factor is we cannot prove the ramblings of men. The bible mentions Rome, therefore the bible must be true. There are references to geographical locations, I don't think people dispute that. It is the fairytales in the bible that is disputed. Fairytales in any religious/mythical text.
      .

      June 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "It seems the common factor is we cannot prove the ramblings of men. The bible mentions Rome, therefore the bible must be true. There are references to geographical locations, I don't think people dispute that. It is the fairytales in the bible that is disputed. Fairytales in any religious/mythical text."

      Then it sounds like the ppl that are saying the Bible is false are idiots because they can't make their point clear.
      And plz...your example about Rome would be like a person saying that Darwin was right because he mentioned animals we can see today. Faulty argument.

      My point is that the Bible is a historical book. In that, much of it can be verified through science oriented archaeology. No, not all of it, never made the claim it could be. Just like the "missing links" that science assures everyone is out there, there will always be certain aspcets of the Bible that cannot be proven.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Vee

      Lycidas,
      "I can no more prove them than you can the first time you got laid. But I bet you expect everyone to believe that don't you?"

      If I were to propound that this experience of mine had an influence on the fate of all of humankind, I would damned well have to provide verified evidence. If I can't, there is no basis to believe it.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @V- Lol, it would be an odd world indeed if all of humanity did rely on that action wouldn't it?

      But my overall point in all of this is that the Biblical texts should not be dismissed outright as if they do not count for anything. I think that would be a silly thing to do. I am not saying that just because the texts exist that every aspect mentioned inside of them is 100% accurate, but those texts should count as evidence just like any other item that should be researched.

      June 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Joe

      Kind of funny that this whole thing spurred out of me wanting evidence that god actually exists, but I'll reply to your points. And I'll even keep them in the same post to make responding easier (because I ❤ you so much).

      1). In what way is the bible based on "trust me?" How about "Trust me, there is a god and herein lays his inspired words of how he wants you to live."

      2). Evolution isn't a book that people study, it's a scientific fact that can be observed in the natural world. So that argument is flawed. Still, my original points remain: You cannot use the bible to verify that the bible actually happened, and there is no book outside of the bible which makes and mention of him at all. Kind of odd considering all the good he did.

      3). How about there are no mention of Moses or the Jews being enslaved in any other doc.ument? Or that the Jews wandered the desert for 40 years without leaving a shred of evidence?

      5). "Early Christianity did not have Jesus's birth at Dec 25th so the whole Horus connection doesn't quite work now does it? By most accounts, the early church put Christmas on the 25th to compete with Mithraism. And there is no evidence that any Christian really thought that Dec 25th was really Jesus's birth." If he wasn't born on December 25th, then why is Christmas celebrated then? If the bible doesn't say anything about him being born on that day, why do 99% of Christians today say so, as.suming they read their bible of course. Thanks for proving my point that Christianity just stole the holidays of Paganism in order to compete with it. That was real kind of you.

      4). "Yes, the organized church might have held that kind of belief." Again, thanks for proving my point (that the Church was against science claiming the Earth revolved around the sun, until it was scientifically proven, then suddenly it was OK). Rinse and repeat over a few hundred years and suddenly it's not so easy to see god, thanks to science.

      Now, I go back to my original question: Show me evidence that god exists.

      June 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Joe

      Oh crap, missed one. Sorry.

      Right, the TEXTS date from 170-274 CE, but his actual existence is placed at the same time as Jesus.

      June 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "1). In what way is the bible based on "trust me?" How about "Trust me, there is a god and herein lays his inspired words of how he wants you to live.""

      ~Nah, as far as my faith...it does not rely on anyone saying "trust me". I've done research, study, compared my beliefs with other beliefs and science. Maybe there are some that go down the "trust me" route, but that's no different than the average atheist that believes in evolution. There are many that believe teachers and scientists when they say "trust me".

      "2). Evolution isn't a book that people study, it's a scientific fact that can be observed in the natural world. So that argument is flawed. Still, my original points remain: You cannot use the bible to verify that the bible actually happened, and there is no book outside of the bible which makes and mention of him at all. Kind of odd considering all the good he did."

      ~Evolution is a concept written about. I don't personally know of anyone that has indepenently came up with evolution without a book to first study off of. And again, I never said that the Bible is true because of the Bible. If I might ask, do you believe Socrates existed? It can be argued that he had a profound effect upon western thinking but besides Plato...what of him? He never wrote anything down.
      Also, considering that Jesus seemed to spend time with those that were not the higher social class, is it really that surprising that ppl weren't writing down everything about him? Again, there were books written about him. Just because those books were put into a collection does not make them a singular source.

      "3). How about there are no mention of Moses or the Jews being enslaved in any other doc.ument? Or that the Jews wandered the desert for 40 years without leaving a shred of evidence?"

      ~And? Does that mean he did not exist? While I do not believe that the "Exodus" happened exactly the way the Bible says...it is a fact that tribes and large groups regularily travelled between Egypt and Mesopotamia throughout the centuries. Even in Genesis this occurred.
      I am curious, are you willing to chuck out all of the Bible because you don't have more info or that it could be wrong? I hope you don't take that approach with science.

      "5). "Early Christianity did not have Jesus's birth at Dec 25th so the whole Horus connection doesn't quite work now does it? By most accounts, the early church put Christmas on the 25th to compete with Mithraism. And there is no evidence that any Christian really thought that Dec 25th was really Jesus's birth." If he wasn't born on December 25th, then why is Christmas celebrated then? If the bible doesn't say anything about him being born on that day, why do 99% of Christians today say so, as.suming they read their bible of course. Thanks for proving my point that Christianity just stole the holidays of Paganism in order to compete with it. That was real kind of you."

      ~Why do they celebrate it the 25th? Because of tradition. And because he was born at sometime, that day is as good as any other. There was nothing considered spiritual about the specific day of Jesus's birth.

      And what's with the celebration? You don't think the actions of the Church centuries after Jesus somehow makes Jesus less real do you? That would be silly.

      "4). "Yes, the organized church might have held that kind of belief." Again, thanks for proving my point (that the Church was against science claiming the Earth revolved around the sun, until it was scientifically proven, then suddenly it was OK). Rinse and repeat over a few hundred years and suddenly it's not so easy to see god, thanks to science."

      ~Your point was that ORGANIZED Church did those things? Again, the errors of the church hardly hurts the faith unless one's faith is in the Chruch. I would recommend that you might want to read the Divine Comedy. Very religious and with science. Might help you put away the notion that Christians cannot be well verse in science.

      "Show me evidence that god exists."

      ~What proof would you accept? And are you able to accept evidence?

      June 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Right, the TEXTS date from 170-274 CE, but his actual existence is placed at the same time as Jesus."

      And that existence is provided by what? Those texts? You are still stuck with the possiblity that they borrowed from the Christian tradition instead of the other way around.

      June 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • DaLe

      Your post was like "Show me the evidence" and I was like "just read something which was about something else but connected to that on wiki".

      – "Just because we can think of something, that means it exists?" –

      In your mind certainly. Does the Easter Bunny exist? Apparently, no one ever really seen the Easter Bunny, yet here we are talking about the Easter Bunny.
      The Ontological argument isn't directly about that anyways, part of the argument is a "being greater than which cannot be conceived". Whatever you conceive as greatest being ever, the being the argument is about is greater than that, or at least that great in the meaning of that great being sub-part of the greatest being.

      – "Except for that whole fact of knowing that the air exists because we have repeatable tests which can provide tangible results that tells us the air is there." –

      Movement of, respectivly in, air was what I posted about.

      June 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

      I'm going to answer everything you said about Evolution in one go.

      This is the most absurd thing I have ever read. Clearly, you know nothing of evolution, which is further backed by your second point. Furthermore, show me any teacher or scientist that says something and says "trust me." Any of them that do are likely saying it because you asked about something so complex that only a research scientist with a PhD and 20 years field experience truly understands, or because they are making an educated guess from one point of known information (with evidence) to another point (again, with evidence). But that is a far cry from "It was written in this book, therefor I believe it." It is a concept that is independently observed in the natural world. I see you said "personally" so maybe that's just your loop whole for saying you know know anyone in the field. Fair enough, but every book and research study published about evolution is an independent study on the topic. Honestly, I would suggest not trying to debunk evolution. You clearly have no understanding of it or the research which when into it, and it just discredits your opinion.

      "And again, I never said that the Bible is true because of the Bible."
      Yes you did; when you used the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as your evidence that the bible is true.

      "If I might ask, do you believe Socrates existed? It can be argued that he had a profound effect upon western thinking but besides Plato...what of him? He never wrote anything down."

      Yes, but when he is mentioned in texts and documents outside of Plato's writings (who was a student of Socrates), it's kind of hard to deny his existence.

      "Also, considering that Jesus seemed to spend time with those that were not the higher social class, is it really that surprising that ppl weren't writing down everything about him? Again, there were books written about him. Just because those books were put into a collection does not make them a singular source."

      Yes, it kind of does. If he did all of those miracles he's been attributed to, why is there no mention of him ANYWHERE ELSE. I have a hard time imagining that just because he hung out with the poor that the rich wouldn't have been shocked by his healing of the sick and curing the blind.

      "And? Does that mean he did not exist?"

      Yeah, kinda.

      "While I do not believe that the "Exodus" happened exactly the way the Bible says...it is a fact that tribes and large groups regularily travelled between Egypt and Mesopotamia throughout the centuries. Even in Genesis this occurred."

      And they left behind archeological evidence. The story of the Jews wandering the desert for 40 years seems hard to grasp when in 40 years they didn't leave behind a shred of evidence that they were there.

      "I am curious, are you willing to chuck out all of the Bible because you don't have more info or that it could be wrong? I hope you don't take that approach with science."

      The whole point of this stupid debate we're having is because there's no more info on the bible from the time period it was written in. But you're right, I should just abandon all logic when looking at the bible. If I approach it with a scientific mind, I'll never believe it.

      "Why do they celebrate it the 25th? Because of tradition. And because he was born at sometime, that day is as good as any other. There was nothing considered spiritual about the specific day of Jesus's birth."

      Again, if they had picked a random day, that argument works. But they stole it from the Pagans, as well as Easter. It's hard to take those dates seriously when they were only selected to try to steal the spotlight from those heathen Pagans. And the tradition argument is weak; it means that it doesn't matter if something is right or wrong, it's tradition so it should be observed anyway.

      And what's with the celebration? You don't think the actions of the Church centuries after Jesus somehow makes Jesus less real do you? That would be silly.

      Yeah, it would be silly to think that the group of people who are supposed to be the closest to the teachings of Jesus should be held accountable for their actions.

      "Your point was that ORGANIZED Church did those things? Again, the errors of the church hardly hurts the faith unless one's faith is in the Chruch."

      See the point above.

      "I would recommend that you might want to read the Divine Comedy. Very religious and with science. Might help you put away the notion that Christians cannot be well verse in science."

      Every time a Christian uses science to back up the bible, it ends up being refuted by other people who have a stronger understanding.

      "What proof would you accept? And are you able to accept evidence?"

      I'm willing to accept any super natural event from the bible that can both be A). Proven to have happened in real life and B). Cannot be proved by science.

      June 8, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Lycidas

      3)"Also, considering that Jesus seemed to spend time with those that were not the higher social class, is it really that surprising that ppl weren't writing down everything about him? Again, there were books written about him. Just because those books were put into a collection does not make them a singular source."
      Yes, it kind of does. If he did all of those miracles he's been attributed to, why is there no mention of him ANYWHERE ELSE. I have a hard time imagining that just because he hung out with the poor that the rich wouldn't have been shocked by his healing of the sick and curing the blind.

      Doesn't mean they would write it down. How many authors from 4BC-30AD have your read from that lived in the Galilee region?

      4)"And? Does that mean he did not exist?"
      Yeah, kinda.

      No kinda. Wow, that was an easy rebuttal.

      5)"While I do not believe that the "Exodus" happened exactly the way the Bible says...it is a fact that tribes and large groups regularily travelled between Egypt and Mesopotamia throughout the centuries. Even in Genesis this occurred."
      And they left behind archeological evidence. The story of the Jews wandering the desert for 40 years seems hard to grasp when in 40 years they didn't leave behind a shred of evidence that they were there.

      You need to do a little more research. There is plenty of evidence of wandering groups going to and from Egypt in the ancient days. But if you are looking for a glyth that says in neon "Exodus" you probably are not going to find it.

      6)"I am curious, are you willing to chuck out all of the Bible because you don't have more info or that it could be wrong? I hope you don't take that approach with science."
      The whole point of this stupid debate we're having is because there's no more info on the bible from the time period it was written in. But you're right, I should just abandon all logic when looking at the bible. If I approach it with a scientific mind, I'll never believe it.

      No offense but you are very ignorant about the history of the time frame involved. Plz do some research into the archaeology revolving around that time. There is plenty of outside evidence of many of the ppl in the Bible existed. You are not approaching anything scientifically if you just keep ignoring that.

      7)"Why do they celebrate it the 25th? Because of tradition. And because he was born at sometime, that day is as good as any other. There was nothing considered spiritual about the specific day of Jesus's birth."
      Again, if they had picked a random day, that argument works. But they stole it from the Pagans, as well as Easter. It's hard to take those dates seriously when they were only selected to try to steal the spotlight from those heathen Pagans. And the tradition argument is weak; it means that it doesn't matter if something is right or wrong, it's tradition so it should be observed anyway.

      I think you are confused with what they took? They didn't exactly took anything now did they. They put there day of worship against another. The purpose of that worship is independent of the other religion. Putting it next to theirs does not take away from thw worship.

      8)And what's with the celebration? You don't think the actions of the Church centuries after Jesus somehow makes Jesus less real do you? That would be silly.
      Yeah, it would be silly to think that the group of people who are supposed to be the closest to the teachings of Jesus should be held accountable for their actions.

      You misunderstand. The actions of those centuries later does not take away from the faith. No more than a bad scientist takes away from the overall study.

      9)"I would recommend that you might want to read the Divine Comedy. Very religious and with science. Might help you put away the notion that Christians cannot be well verse in science."
      Every time a Christian uses science to back up the bible, it ends up being refuted by other people who have a stronger understanding.

      Again...you are not understanding. Read the Divine Comedy before commenting. You will seem more intelligent if you do.

      10)"What proof would you accept? And are you able to accept evidence?"
      I'm willing to accept any super natural event from the bible that can both be A). Proven to have happened in real life and B). Cannot be proved by science.

      Fair enough. Though how can one prove it to you?

      June 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @La-
      1)"And again, I never said that the Bible is true because of the Bible."
      Yes you did; when you used the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as your evi*dence that the bible is true.

      ~No, again another person has it wrong. Those four indiv*idual books have a history that can be stu*died. Why do you have this absolutism about the Bible. No where did I say that all the Bible is true because there is a Bible. No matter how many times you might imply that I did..I didn't.
      Can you plz give me a good reason why those four books cannot be used as evidence of the historical Jesus?

      June 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Lycidas

      2)"If I might ask, do you believe Socrates existed? It can be argued that he had a profound effect upon western thinking but besides Plato...what of him? He never wrote anything down."
      Yes, but when he is mentioned in texts and doc*uments outside of Plato's writings (who was a student of Socrates), it's kind of hard to deny his exi*stence.

      The same can be said about Jesus. Many ppl wrote about him shortly after his life. Just as Socr*ates. Again, can you give a good re*ason to deny the hist*orcial Jesus?

      June 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Curious

      “There is plenty of outside evidence of many of the ppl in the Bible existed. You are not approaching anything scientifically if you just keep ignoring that.”

      Give an example of just a few and the resources that backs up this statement.

      June 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Doubt

      Something to consider in this argument. President John F. Kennedy was as-sas-sinated in Dallas, and the entire event was captured on video tape. There were hundreds of eyewitnesses to that event. The tapes were watched over and over again. Yet, in the midst of such a deep eyewitness account, people still argue to this day about what they saw and what actually happened. Some argue that the video clearly indicates that there was a lone as-sas-sin. Others argue that the video images clearly prove that there was more than one shooter and therefore must have been a conspiracy.

      People will argue that the historical evidence is clear about Jesus’ place in the chronology of time. Others have argued that he is nothing more than an elaborate conspiracy on the part of the first believers. There is evidence that some docu-ments were edited which is why this debate can never have a true final answer.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Curious- eh, cheating a little but I'm in a hurry:
      htt p://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/List_of_artifacts_significant_to_the_Bible

      June 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Joe

      Alright, this whole thing is getting incredibly off track. Rather than answer all the points you brought up, I'm just going to stick to the one which is the only one on the train of thought from my initial question.

      I asked for proof that god exists, you said what proof would you like, I said evidence that anything super natural in the bible happened that can both be proven to exist and can't be answered by science, to which you responded:

      "Fair enough. Though how can one prove it to you?"

      Show me evidence that Jesus made a blind person see, along with evidence that the person existed and that they actually were blind. I'll even throw you a bone: I won't even ask for what level of blindness the person was (there are a lot of definitions of blind).

      June 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Show me evidence that Jesus made a blind person see, along with evidence that the person existed and that they actually were blind."

      You don't even think there is enough evidence to show that Jesus existed historically, yet you want a unnamed person in the Bible proven? You do realize you are asking something historically unviable.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Joe

      "You don't even think there is enough evidence to show that Jesus existed historically, yet you want a unnamed person in the Bible proven?"

      I said that there isn't a shred of evidence that Moses existed or that the Jews were enslaved by the Egyptians, not Jesus.

      "You do realize you are asking something historically unviable."

      Over the past few days, you have adamantly argued that the bible is true by saying there's mountains of evidence behind it. Yet now, when I ask for proof that he did something which all of his flock say he's done, now all of a sudden I'm asking for something historically "unviable?" (Or did you mean not viable? Or possibly unavailable?) I truly hope you see the hypocrisy in this.

      My point remains: Show me the evidence he's made a blind person see, cured someone who had leprosy, or anything else he's attribute with.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Joe- "Over the past few days, you have adamantly argued that the bible is true by saying there's mountains of evidence behind it."

      Well that is a lie, or false by just being confused. I never said that or even implied. What I did say is that there is evidence that certain aspects of the Bible are historically true. I even said that not all of the Bible is historically true.
      I have also implied to dismiss the four Gospels in the manner that you seem to be doing is foolish. No I am not saying that because the gospels exist everything within them is 100% accurate. Never said that in any way. But the fact that they do exist does point to the fact that Jesus existed in history.

      "Yet now, when I ask for proof that he did something which all of his flock say he's done, now all of a sudden I'm asking for something historically "unviable?" (Or did you mean not viable? Or possibly unavailable?) I truly hope you see the hypocrisy in this."

      There is no hypocrisy in stating a scientific fact. If we use the methods you want to use to prove something happened in history....then a lot of what we consider fact disappears.

      Beyond the gospels, I have no other info on the man you are wanting to know about. You do realize that does not prove or disprove anything right?

      June 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Joe

      That answers my original question (or rather, what I was originally asking about): There is no proof that God exists. It really boils down to the meaning of the word "faith."

      Thank you for discussing this with me; I really do appreciate your calm demeanor. It's nice to finally meet a religious person who doesn't resort to ad hominem attacks at the first sign of a disagreement.

      June 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  7. FairGarden

    Those who do not worship the one true God end up worshipping Satan.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • LinCA

      There are no gods. There are no angels, fallen or otherwise.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • FairGarden

      @LinCA, only on your dreams. Facts are different from your own imaginations or wishful thinking. You are another hateful denier of reality. The divine judgment awaits every fallen angel and every unrepentant human.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Please show proof that god and satan exist, Fair Garden. In all the history of humanity, there hasn't been a single shred of verifiable evidence of any higher power or demonic ent ity.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "Those who do not worship the one true God end up worshipping Satan."

      We were created to worship God, our Creator, to know Him, and to love Him with total devotion of our hearts. and lives, in thankfulness. Those who refuse, and in pride of their hearts choose their own way, are already in satans grip, because they are partaking of his nature, by asserting their own will, just like he did, when he said "I WILL exalt myself, I will be like the Most High..:"
      Therefore there is no other destination for their soul to go to, after their body releases their soul, but to him, whom they served and whose will they did in their lives.... Those who think they don't serve satan, saying they don't even believe he exists, are already deceived, because when they believe his lies, they are already in his grip!
      But every human being ever born, is given by God a conscience on which God imprinted the ability for them to discern good from evil, and right from wrong ... and through te voice of this conscience God woos the person to Himself. But it is when someone, because of pride and the love of sin that's in his heart, silences his own conscience, that's when he becomes a bond servant of satan, even if he is not believing that he exists....
      People just don't understand that to us, human beings, there is much more then what meets the eye.
      You can not separate a physical man from the spiritual man, we are both, and we're stuck with this reality, acknowledge it or not!
      Those who have denied their own souls by rejecting the voices of their consciences are only half of persons, because they are spiritually dead. So it's no wonder that when someone speaks to them of things of spiritual nature, they are totally void of understanding.

      But only Jesus Christ can restore life to a person who has become that way, because by His sacrifice on the Cross He has made the away of restoration and became the Redeemer of the fallen human race . To all those who come to God by faith in Him, seeking Him with a humble and contr-ite heart, He will give to them a new life, making all things new, and casting their sins as if they never sinned. And He will give them His grace, so that by the power of His resur-ection and the Holy Spirit whom He sends to live in their hearts, they will be able to live godly lives, looking unto Jesus who is the author and the finisher of their faith, knowing that what He has begun in their lives, He will also accomplish, by the power of His Name, and His Spirit in them....

      That's what God offers! But what does satan offer?
      The evidence of what he offers, we see it all around us. But the worst part is , what comes afterwards for those who are in his grip now! No human soul was ever meant o enter that place of the dam-ned where satan is leading those who have swallowed his lies! But sadly, as the Scriptures declare, many are on the path that will take them there, even as many on this blog are!

      June 5, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • LoneZero

      PRISM 1234

      Wow so an all knowing, powerful, loving, and forgiving God created us knowing we would question and choose different paths in life then for not choosing exactly what he already planned for us, he sends us to an eternal punishment?

      If "We were created to worship God, our Creator, to know Him, and to love Him with total devotion of our hearts" Then how exacitly do we have free will? Our path is already predetermined by God to love and devote ourselves to him unconditionally. Our only choice is to follow that path or burn forever, is that something an all loving and forgiving God does?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      "Our only choice is to follow that path or burn forever, is that something an all loving and forgiving God does?":
      No, dear! This you do to yourself! God provided The Way, but you choose! Else he would have created mindless, will-less puppets! Isn't this the pride even of our American democracy... :"choice"...? So, what problem is there in your understanding?
      But the work satan does is to twist in the human mind every intent of God and to attack and discredit the character of God. He knows that if he can do this, he can separate mankind from the only hope mankind has...

      June 6, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • LinCA

      @FairGarden. You said:"Facts are different from your own imaginations or wishful thinking. You are another hateful denier of reality. The divine judgment awaits every fallen angel and every unrepentant human.".

      Provide your evidence for your "facts". There are no facts without evidence. Provide evidence for your god, or he doesn't exist. It's time to put up or shut up.

      Btw. No hate here and no denial of reality. On the contrary, unless there is verifiable evidence in the real world, there is no reason to believe it exists.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Glenda

      True. They say there is no God or satan, but call themselves satanists. Can they explain why if they don't believe. It is because they are whorshiping satan.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Info

      @PRISM 1234

      ""Our only choice is to follow that path or burn forever, is that something an all loving and forgiving God does?":
      No, dear! This you do to yourself! God provided The Way, but you choose! Else he would have created mindless, will-less puppets! Isn't this the pride even of our American democracy... :"choice"...? So, what problem is there in your understanding?"

      it's your flawed logic that I don't understand. You've turned acceptance and consequence into free will and choice. You choose to accept God or use "free will" and face the consequences. This is an impossible choice that we don't choose ourselves. God has already predetermined our path and choice we either accept it or face the consequences.

      "God provided The Way" "We were created to worship God, our Creator, to know Him, and to love Him with total devotion of our hearts"

      There is no choice there is no free will. According to you, we must accept him as the one true God, becoming mindless, will-less puppets to God to love and worship him unconditionally, the moment we think for ourselves and use "free will" to choose otherwise we face the consequence of eternal damnation. How is this a choice? How does this make God merciful, loving, and forgiving?

      God is omniscient, he knows everything that will or ever has happen. He knows the choices, ideas, beliefs, everything about you before you ever had the chance to acknowledge it, yet he still creates you knowing your choice is already predetermined you will born just to suffer eternal damnation, so why create you just for you to suffer? How is this loving? How is this merciful?

      This is not something a omnibenevolent God would do, get it? According to you, our path is already determined by God, God knows our choice yet allows it happen anyway, how does this make him omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient?

      The same goes for Satan, Satan knows already that God is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient, He cannot defeat this God so why would he try? God himself already knows that Satan is already defeated before Satan ever tried it.

      Also why would God "reward" Satan with his own realm after his "attempt" to overthrow God? God is omniscient he would already know that Satan would try to "twist in the human mind every intent of God and to attack and discredit the character of God" so why risk Satan doing that to his children? To give Satan the chance to do this? If he truly loves us then he would protect us from such a creation as Satan and banish him never to be heard from again Yet Satan has a realm where he does exactly this turning Gods children away from him according to you. If God knew this would happen why allow it?

      No logic what so ever

      June 6, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ info
      Why do you people pretend that you don't understand this thing about your choice and consequences?
      Here it is in very simple and plain language, go out and see how it works.....

      Get on a highway, entering it the wrong way, going in opposite direction.... in the night.... without any lights on...... SEE THE OUTCOME of what happens! You broke the law What happens to you is the consequence!

      Is the law bad?
      No, but you broke it, going contrary o to it. You chose to do it, therefore you bear the consequences!
      All life;'s principles are working that way!
      Any objections?
      What's not clear about that?
      But I will answer it for you why you pretend you don't understand.... It is because of rebellion that's in you heart, and the love of sin that's in it, that the love of truth is not found in you. That is the REAL reason for which you do not ":understand" .
      No mean spirited words here..... just the plain , un-coated truth!
      Good morning to you!

      June 6, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • civiloutside

      Your analogy, Prism, is awful. You're confusing a law that exists to protect people from a consequence (traffic laws that protect against accidents) with a consequence that exists only to enforce a law (he-ll being a punishment for not obeying a god). He-ll is the *fine* for driving the wrong way, not the consequence (and in scope it's more similar to torturing someone to death for walking the wrong way on a sidewalk than fining someone $500 for driving the wrong way on a freeway).

      June 6, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Lycidas

      @civiloutside- Hell isn't about correction, it's about the elimination. The elimination of God from one's life where there is no grace anymore. God is love, but there is also divine wrath. If there is to be justice in our existence, there cannot be an indifferent view on evil. It must be dealt with.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • LuAnn

      "the elimination of God from one's life where there is no grace anymore."

      That's why there is hell on earth now. LOL!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Info

      @PRISM 1234

      more flawed logic you keep ignoring the fact that God is omniscient (All knowing and you said yourself he was) therefor he knows your choice already and the consequences for that choice is already outlined waiting for you, the path is set, it is already predetermined yet your still allowed to be created and be sent to damnation anyway (do you get that? you are condemned before you are born yet you are born anyway to be condemned, God already knows people won't accept him or they will make a choice that is considered "sin" he is omniscient he knows already), this is not something an Omnibenevolent (All good) God does, God knows already what you'll do, what choice you'll make, and what happens after you die, if he doesn't then he is not omniscient, understand? You don't have a choice, you don't have free will, you only have acceptance (he is the one true God) or consequence (not believing which leads to eternal torment) This line of thinking was used during the crusades, a line was drawn in the sand " accept our God cross this line and be saved or die where you stand and go to hell" the ones that refused acceptance and held on to their faith of their own free will were murdered where they stood, acceptance or consequence, they never had a choice they didn't have free will.

      This is what turns people off from Christianity it's just not realistic, who would want to worship a God who would toss us away to hell from a choice that he already knew we would make before we were ever existed? There are 38,000 denominations and 2.1. billion members of Christianity. Not every christian believes this like you do, They have their own idea of what God really wants depending on the denominations. God is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a better way to reach us so we don't misinterpreted his wants for us? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same? Where 38,000 different denominations become 1. What your idea of his wants and another denominations idea of his wants are both equally valid yet both are unproven, God is silent and ambiguous and it's left to us to determined what his wants are. which led you to the acceptance or consequence method of understanding God.

      Your analogy, Prism, is awful, civiloutside summed it up better then i could of and it ignores the fact that God is omniscient.

      You have to remember much of the bible was borrowed from previous religions, Christianity was not the first religion, 7 of the 10 commandments were borrowed from the Egyptian book of the dead, the golden rule was borrowed from Socrates.

      Many religions have a nasty place were sent too if we don't accept that "We were created to worship (Enter a God's name) , our Creator, to know Him, and to love Him with total devotion of our hearts" The consequence is the same, eternal damnation for not believing. Those God's are as equally as real as yours.

      There are 1000's of Gods many predate yours, you only have faith that this particular god is real. The same reason you dismiss the existence of those other gods is the same reason i dismiss yours, the only difference is i believe in one less then you do.

      No mean spirited words to you either, sorry if it came out that way, just telling the truth about your logic
      Good morning to you too!

      June 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @info and civiloutside

      I want to suggest to you to read things written here, and examine them...

      ' For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
      For God DID NOT send His Son into the world to condemn the world, BUT that the world through Him might be saved.

      He who believes in Him IS NOT condemned; but he who DOES NOT believe is condemmed ALREADY, BECAUSE he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      And THIS IS the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and ME LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THEN LIGHT, because their deeds were evil.

      For everyone who is practicing evil HATES THE LIGHT, and does not come to the light, LEST HIS DEEDS SHOULD BE EXPOSED.
      But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

      See what's your opinion of analogy of things written above, and let me know! Your answer will determine a lot!

      June 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      P.S. (posted for second time, because CNN blogs are a mess!)
      Correction:

      And THIS IS the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and * MEN * (meaning – mankind) LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THEN LIGHT, because their deeds were evil.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Artist

      LinCA

      There are no gods. There are no angels, fallen or otherwise
      --–
      Well that bites, I thought I sold my soul to The Devil. I guess I was scammed.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Artist

      Fairgarden, satan seems like a much nicer god to worship. IT si god who appears to be evil and full of ego.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Artist. Sorry buddy, but you've been had..... No devils around to buy your soul...

      June 8, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Info

      sorry i couldn't find the page sorry for such a late reply!

      @PRISM 1234

      okaay prism you keep forgetting that God is omniscient he knows your choice already. Your going in circles and contradicting yourself, your first and last post have a big one.

      God knows who will accept Jesus before Jesus ever came down to earth and was crucified, it was already predetermined. Remember God knows everything that's ever been, was, or will be, he knows who will accept jesus and who won't before the person does.

      You didn't bring up why we are created anyway when God knows we won't accept him as the one true God, we are created to be condemned, this not something an all good god does.

      also only 30% of the world is christian (and the last few years that % is dropping) the other 70% believe in something else, Isn't that odd?

      will an all loving and forgiving god send 70% of the worlds people to hell? According to you yes because we either accept or go to hell. God created everyone even that 70% that doesn't believe he did, if God is real and the one true God he would of been able to provide more evidence and facts that proves it, everyone would know his wants for us without ambiguity, other religions would ceast to exist and agonstics and athiest would believe but that isn't the case. There is just as much proof that your God is real as any other god in our world, that 70% proves that

      God is silent and ambiguous and it's left to us to determined what his wants are. Everything you brought up was your perception but they are not facts it's just the way you see it. the 38,000 different denominations of the same religion as you who believe in the same God as you won't all even agree with that you figure out Gods wants right.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • FairGarden

      I see and talk to God daily. You un-believers will never understand.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  8. Walter Weinzinger

    Boy, will they be surprised!!

    June 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Yes, they will be surprised!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  9. anon

    First off I doubt that the author of this piece actually spoke with actual members of the Church of Satan. I have met and spoke wiith the leaders of the CoS since only magistras are officials spokespersons for the CoS and neither of these alleged memebers identify with this position and therefore the CoS would not approve their perceptions to be those of the CoS.

    Memebers of the CoS do not believe in God or gods or SaTan or the Devils, in their case Satan is utilized metaphorically. They are a govt sanctioned church which a belief in God or gods or Satan is not necessary much like Buddihism.

    Most people that identify as Satanists are loners that do not belong to any organization or church and often are mentally challenged. The CoS do not beleieve these people to be REAL Satanists. I will say that those I have met are some of the most honest, honorable and very talented in some facet but these have been primarily magistras and priests and not the rank and file. Most of the rank and file CoS members often are followers and not leaders and are the chief financial resource of the church much like xtrian churchs.

    I am not a Satanist but I can understand many of their platforms as they appear to be much more logically thought out than christians. If I was going to label myself I would call myself a Agnosticas I don't believe there is enough info and or evidence to say God or gods exist, so it appears to be a form of faith to believe in atheism, which I have heard some intereting lectures by the Buddhist Alan Watss where he outlines how this is so and how dogmatic atheists can be.

    After being raised in a evangelical church where the pastor was convicted of molesting his daughter and males of the churchs board of directors, this was just the final straw as I had been questiong the christian churchs actual ethics, beliefs and the hollow nature of faith. I tend to understand and place my beleiefs with Stephen Hawkings and Richard Dawkins, two very high IQ intelligent people than the often questionably educated priests and pastors in the world as they have been able to put forth the most logical ideas of what death and religion entail, but I keep an open mind in case evidence to the contrary is presented then I will evaluate my beliefs and change them if a better evidence presents itself. Belief is a tool... a means to an end, not a ends to a mean.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • anon

      Please excuse the typos I made, such as "Agnosticas" should be "Agnostic." I typed this response on my phones miniature keypad and my large fingers and this particular blog s/w doesn't appear to have a preview feature to check for errors and change them asily.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • rob

      Why do they call themselvels satanistist ; if they don't believe in God or the devil? wouldn't the church of atheitiest's be a better name?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • AnonToo

      Anon,

      You don't have to be a Magister or Magistra to be a spokesperson or media representative for the CoS. Anyone who is a Member of the Priesthood or has been granted Agent status may speak on behalf of the Church. If the CoS put Ms. Holt in touch with these people, they would not have done so unless they were authorized to speak for the organization.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • anon

      I doubt Peter Gilmore would give the opportunity to another member to speak for the CoS. His ego needs the boost and it would also give the limlight to his CoS. If the Blanche Barton (LaVey's widow) who created a competing org of the same name is still warrring with the original CoS members who held claim to running the CoS after LaVeyMs death, it is possible these two who spoke for this paper were part of BartonMs CoS. Every occult group whether pagans , satanist, magicians, ect always eems to come to olitical rivalries and schisms. I know this well having run the North and South Americans sections of an occult org for a couple years. You are correct that Priest would be Included in those that could speak but Gilmore and his mate Namadria I don't see abdicating the responsibilty for putting out such public info regarding theb CoS, having observed their behavior for a couple decades it is not characteristic of them. Calling themselves Satanists is good press and keeps a ever revolving door open for new members who have to fork over a couple hundred dollar fee to join. One thing the Satanists have right that the xtrians messed up is they have no need or belief that they have to evangelize or legislate their morality. Xtrians are so pushy and dogmatic about it and quite often are hypocritical and just pick and choose what they want to believe. Just look at the posts here and all the bible passage quoted... most of us that do not subscribe to xtrian beleifs are sick of seeing or hearing about it and I have found often they are often more knowledgeable than their xtrian counterparts.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Magister David Harris

      Just to correct an untruth spoken by "anon":

      Upon his death in 1997, Anton LaVey placed Magistra Barton in charge of the Church of Satan. She did not start another organization under the same name. She later transferred control of the organization to Peter Gilmore, who runs the Church of Satan to this day.

      Please speak accurately when speaking of the history of the Church of Satan. To not do so just makes you look like a silly goose.

      David Harris
      Magister – Church of Satan

      June 6, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • anon

      Heh, Blanche's CoS speaks...or is this story true??? odd that LaVey had appointed Gilmore and Namadria to run the CoS prior to his death but changed his mind upon his death bed. This would be like the president of the USA dieing and then his wife declaring she was now president. Blanche was only something in the CoS because she married and spit out a kid for him and not much else. LaVey had already chosen his successor to the CoS prior to his death... blanch's move was a typical baffle them with b. S. Tactic and nothing less, there is nothing she has done to make her capable or knowledgeable enough for her to justify a decision LaVey had already made. That or LaVey lost his mind in the end.. which I find less probable than my assertion. Perhaps you may be correct but odd this never came up by various satanists all over the internet. And since Gilmore and namadria were already running the CoS prior to LaVeys death did he give it to blanche just prior to his death just for her to hand the reigns back to gilmore and namadria? And since Laveans love disinfo, just look at Laveys life for proof of this or ask his daughter who quit to join a rival orgs upper hierarchy and then screwed them as well. Do pass go and collect another $200 from another recruit. LaVey was a carny with a bio of many questionable assertions.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  10. pastafarian

    If there was only one person believing that an invisible all seeing deity who dictates all–and that person was the only one with that belief, they would be considered insane. If millions of people believe it, it's referred to as religion. If you're under the impression that the earth is only around 6,000 years old then your: (1 uneducated, (2 conveniently oblivious, (3 scared of death and have adapted some weird personal reward system that's different than every other Christian but some how gets lumped in with the majority so you can throw the weight of (majority) around when it's placed under scrutiny, and (4 you're probably retarded.

    June 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Mk2

      You do realize that nowhere in the bible does it say that the earth is 6000 Years old right? It's just a few fringe idiots who believe that yet I see it quoted everywhere to explain how stupid Christians are .

      June 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • pastafarian

      Not going to touch the invisible dictating deity stuff eh? Well how about burning talking bushes, living inside of whales, and as far as age of the earth is concerned you fit the definition of a convenient Christian perfectly. When you start thinning them out the majority of Christians don't even agree with each other and considering how the faith has been adapted to fit into society today it's barely comparable to what it used to be.

      June 6, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Lycidas

      1)"about burning talking bushes"
      The bush was not talking.

      2)"living inside of whales"
      No one lived inside a whale

      "When you start thinning them out the majority of Christians don't even agree with each other and considering how the faith has been adapted to fit into society today it's barely comparable to what it used to be."

      I am sorry, do you think group-think makes stuff more right? You are critical of a large number believing in something in the above comments...but now seem to get onto a group of ppl that don't agree fully. Are you daft?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Cathy

      1)"about burning talking bushes"
      The bush was not talking.

      – 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
      And Moses said, “Here I am.”

      2)"living inside of whales"
      No one lived inside a whale

      -It was a big fish. "Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

      June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Cathy- Thank you...at least some ppl on here an get their scripture right.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Karen

      It still does mean the bush was talking and a person survived living in a big fish both are pure nonsense.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "It still does mean the bush was talking and a person survived living in a big fish both are pure nonsense."

      No, the bush was not talking. Can you not even read scripture properly?

      As for the fish, who knows. There are stanger things in this world than we can fathom. That's the fun of trying to understand. Besides, if you think the cornerstone of the book of Jonah was about the fish...then you undertsand very little.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Karen

      "Besides, if you think the cornerstone of the book of Jonah was about the fish...then you undertsand very little."

      Jumping to as_sumptions shows you like making an as-s out of yourself. LOL!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Oh oh...seems I hit someone's thin skin a bit too hard. I am sorry.

      And if you will note, instead of actually showing that I was incorrect about you and your knowledge about Jonah by saying what it was about...you try a simple insult tactic. Very sloppy, I expected better.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Karen

      Thanks for proving my point about you being an as-s! LOL!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You are welcome to your opinion Erin. As with your favorite word, everyone has one 😉

      June 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Karen

      "You are welcome to your opinion Erin."

      ???Are you drinking? WT_F? Now we definitely know you're crazy.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I am sorry, you type of witless drivel reminded me of someone else on here. I see that you are unique in your own witless drivel.

      Btw, do you know the importance of the Jonah story? You seem to imply you know something about the book.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Karen

      "Btw, do you know the importance of the Jonah story? "

      I think you would be better asking yourself that question since you are the one with the big ego of self righteousness. LOL!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Csre to show how I have portrayed myself as self-righteous? Be careful though, because any example you come up with and I am sure you would be guilty of it too 😉

      June 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Karen

      Whoosh....feel the breeze....LOL!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Helen

      Karen – Thanks for the laugh! LMAO! Typical christians...clueless!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Karen...Helen *throws the corn seed down for the typical hens*

      😉

      June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Lycidas

      But seriously to all the female usernames by the same person....why proclaim you know something (as in Jonah) and yet you don't know anything really beyond a fish?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Karen

      "But seriously to all the female usernames by the same person.."

      Again what are you talking about? Helen got it – I was being sarcastic while at the same time answering your stupid question! Now how about you set the wine glass down and think about it.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Karen- I understood your attempt hun but it really didn't give the right answer now did it? So you can put your little attempts at humor aside and actually answer the question or try and fail at being cute. It's your choice.

      Cheers!

      June 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Peter

      Lycidas I would say you didn't, lighten up.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You are welcome to your opinion Peter..or whomever you are.

      Funny how certain usernames have similarities. Most do not use straight forward names but yet, I seem to have attracted four ppl with very straight forward names. What are the odds.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  11. mini09

    2 contradictions withing this, lets call it, "beleif": I would like someone to answer for me
    1. If they do not beleive in satan, then why are they called the Church of Satan?
    2. If they dont beleive in religion, then arent they contradicting their own beleifs by simply identifying themselves with it? Because to me, it sounds like it has every quality of a religion...or religious sect...

    June 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • mini09

      oops nm reread a paragraph, they dont beleive in God...i guess they still believe in religion...scratch #2 but keep the first one.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • MIke

      You would have to read their bible and come to your own conclusion, but my take (and yes, I read it): In Christianity, Satan is often seen as the source of man's desires, lusts, etc. The Church of Satan does not view these things as evil or unnatural, quite the opposite. They believe in freedom to pursue your desires, as long as you're not infringing on others right to pursue their own. As such, the Satan of Christian mythology embodies some of the aspects that they are promoting.

      Plus it is more attention-grabbing and self-promoting that just being a slightly different type of humanists.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  12. matty vetter

    What a really poorly written article. Disgusting.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Margarette

      you got that one right Matty!!!! I don't get it at all.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  13. Muneef

    If God sent a religion, how would people who do not know of the religion believe in it? What means did God put in the human beings by which they can decide right from wrong? Surely the religion was not revealed to the whole of humanity at once. It must have started from one point. How would others know of it and more so accept it and believe in it? What is that one faculty that is shared by all human beings by which a message can be analyzed and determined to be right?

    The answer is quite simple; it is the human mind and the faculty of reasoning. It is the mind that helps us judge things and decides between right and wrong in every matter of our lives. The word of God, if it is to be transferred to other people who are foreign to it, must conform to the faculty of reasoning that God put in all of us. This is why in Islam faith in God is not the outcome of dogmas and doctrine but rather the product of reasoning and deep scrutiny of revelation.
    http://rashidaanurse.blogspot.com/2011_02_25_archive.html

    June 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      The Teachings of Islam

      http://www.islamic.org.uk/I4WM/teaching.htm

      June 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      "Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!" (2/201)

      "Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience and make us victorious over the disbelieving people." (2/250)

      "Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people." (2/286)

      "Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower." (3/8)

      "Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire." (3/16) 

      "O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation." (3/38)

      "Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger; so write us down among those who bear witness." (3/53)

      "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions (in keeping our duties to You), establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk." (3/147)

      "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. *Our Lord! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him, and never will the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers) find any helpers. *Our Lord! Verily, we have heard the call of one (Muhammad p.b.u.h.) calling to Faith: 'Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed. *Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness along with Al-Abraar (those who are obedient to Allah and follow strictly His Orders). *Our Lord! Grant us what You promised unto us through Your Messengers and disgrace us not on the Day of Resurrection, for You never break (Your) Promise." (3/191-194)

      "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers." (7/23)

      "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong doers)." (7/47)

      "Our Lord! pour out on us patience, and cause us to die as Muslims." (7/126)

      "Allah is sufficient for me. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne." (9/129)     

      "Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the folk who are Zaalimoon. And save us by Your Mercy from the disbelieving folk." (10/85-86)

      "O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers." (11/47)   

      "O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salaat (Iqaamat-as-Salaat), and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation." (14/40)

      "Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established." (14/41)

      "My Lord! Let my entry (to the city of Al-Madinah) be good, and likewise my exit (from the city of Makkah) be good. And grant me from You an authority to help me (or a firm sign or a proof)." (17/80)

      "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!" (18/10) 

      "O my Lord! Open for me my chest. * And ease my task for me. * And make loose the knot from my tongue, that they understand my speech." (20/25-28)

      "My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (20/114)

      "None has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) are You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers." (21/87)

      "O My Lord! Leave me not single (childless), though You are the Best of the inheritors." (21/89) 

      "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they may attend (or come near) me." (23/97-98)

      "Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (23/109)

      "My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!" (23/118)

      http://www.islamicfinder.org/supplication.php

      June 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      http://tinyurl.com/62tcamt

      June 6, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  14. Aneriz

    I thought this article was about actual instructions on preferences for burial, like preparation and orientation of the body and such. I found it fascinating that CNN would look into such rituals. Instead they reported a bunch of lies. Go figure.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Joe

      Why do you say it's a lie? Seems pretty straight forward to me

      June 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  15. The Selfish Gene ...Simmons

    "One of the main tenets of the faith is atheism. Not just a disbelief in God but also in the devil or Satan."

    Well, I've always believed that Christians or any religious people who believe in God ALSO MUST BELIEVE Satan. Thus, religious people are therefore Satanists to an extent because to believe in God and Jesus and all that, you also must believe in that Satan Angel.

    Think about it. You DO believe in the devil AND hell. That hell exists, thus, you, the religious person all into the Bible also believe in Satanistic things and concepts. You're a devil believer. In fact, sometimes you blame the devil for your transgressions!

    But that quote above bothers me. Because its aligning people who simply DO NOT believe in either God AND OR Satan with these wacko's.

    Satanists have to believe in GOD too, so they are "religious".

    But atheists, I really dislike that label – atheist, don't believe in either. So, to align "atheists" along with Satanists is a HUGE disservice and frankly, an insult.

    June 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      Hear hear.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Maty

      Who are you to say what anyone HAS to believe? Your either/or mentality is really intellectually boring, and typical of an arrogant atheist.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Misunderstanding

      Um, I think you completely misunderstand what Christians mean when they say they "believe in God." To be a Christian does not simply mean that you believe that Jesus existed, or that God exists, or that there is an afterlife. What it means is that you put your trust in Jesus Christ, believing that he died for your sins, and that you, like him, will one day be raised from the dead and be given a new body for a new life before God into eternity. It's the difference between knowing that something exists and putting your entire trust in something. It's kind of like a bank (which is called a trust). You put all your money into a bank account, because you 'trust' that it will keep your money safe. That's a lot like 'trusting' in God.

      Of course Christians believe that Satan exists, and that demons exist, etc. This does make them Satanists – it just means that they believe Satan exists. To "believe in" Satan would mean trusting in Satan to care for one's present and ensure their future. Christians do not believe that.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Glenda

      Jesus was tempted by satan and won. He warns in the bible about satan. Satan is real, we just don't worship him. Satan was cast out of heaven. Satan has control on earth now to try and get as many souls as he can. Jesus is giving us a choice to either serve him or satan. We are all being tested in our faith of Jesus. Please choose wisely.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  16. Ed Squair

    Cannon? Cannon, CNN? Were satanists planning on storming an 18th century fort?

    June 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Stickler

      Take away an 'n' from cannon, then grab a dictionary.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  17. SunlitMoon

    They never answered the question. They just said the life lived before was more important and skipped over that pesky "death part". So what *do* Satanists believe about death? And why call it "Satanists" if you don't believe in Satan? Maybe they don't even know?

    June 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • MIke

      If your are truly curious, read their bible and come to your own conclusions.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  18. holycow

    I'm intregued by the name 'Satanism' for a group of people who do not believe in Satan or God. does this mean that the values they hold – the supremacy of the human and the only afterlife being how one is remembered – represent the opposite of God?

    June 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Anon

      actualy, this is just one form of satanism, and, umong the satanic comunity, is the most hated and disliked, they call themselves "satanists" simply as a joke, and to spite christianaty "and theistic satanists" so, if you want to do resurch on satanism, put the word, "theistic" before it

      June 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • MIke

      Theistic Satanists are looney tunes. A bearded guy that causes people to do evil things and looking to steal souls makes for a good movie, not something to base your life around.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  19. elizabeth

    Geez, these Satanists give us normal atheists a bad name..

    June 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • The Selfish Gene ...Simmons

      If you let them associate them with you. I don't know exactly whats going on in this article, but I think its trying to associate atheists with Satanists and thats just completely, utterly wrong. Its literally "demonizing" non-believers and thats just wrong ...and stupid.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Maty

      Just clarify, it was the representatives of the Church of Satan were quoted as saying they were atheists. Neither the author of the article nor the researcher whose report it was culled from decided that these were atheists. You have not been wronged by CNN. Get over yourself.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Maty..as an atheist I see no evidence, or any reason, for god to exist..other atheists have the same understanding.. beyond that what else they want to believe, or understand to be correct, is their business. Some may have come to the conclusion that there is "satan". I cannot see why personally. I find it hard to reason why an atheist would think that such a being exists, and I would argue that they are also deluded. As we are not a club in the sense that religions are then we are free to draw conclusions on anything.. Religions tend to want the adherents to conform to set of beliefs that define that religion and they are far more reaching into other areas of life.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Anaximanchild

      I don't think the author was intentionally slandering all atheists. Although, given the frequency that others DO intentionally slander atheists, it's not a huge stretch to see it that way.

      So (these) Satanists are atheists, so what? Pedophile Catholic priests are theists*. That's not a slander against ALL theists.

      *Actually, there's a lot of recent research that shows many clergy members are non-believers, but don't tell anyone because it would completely uproot their life to do so.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • anon

      Y.ud-nt noh, if one is not christian or they are agnostic or atheists does not prevent them from having morals or ethics. Your reasoning is completely illlogical.

      Elisabeth thinks Satanists give atheists a bad name. Which is laughable since atheists have faith that their opinion/perspective is the one true way. This is dogmatism plain and simple. There is no way to know the truth until you are dead, which if I am going to label myself, I would choose agnostic, which is not knowing one way or another if there is a God since it is impossible to know the absolute truth. Thus I operate in the world according to my own morals which seem to be higher than most c hristians I have met and if ba God ever reveals himself to me that cannot be explained by science than I will reevaluate my beliefs and change them accordingly.

      How does anyone know that their religion is the one true way? It can't be done which is why so many religions and cults exist.

      Here is a paradox for you all, which I am sure will fly over the heads of most: "Nothing is True – Everything is permitted"

      June 6, 2011 at 5:22 am |
    • Dustin

      @anon

      Dude...you have no idea what you're talking about with atheists. There's nothing about atheists that suggest that they think their specific opinion or perspective is the "one true way". There is nothing dogmatic or faith-based about atheism.

      The only thing that atheists necessarily have in common is lack of believe in a god or gods.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  20. davej

    Satanism sounds really dumb. Christianity is dumb enough.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • camille

      Jesus loves you.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Yud-Nt Noh

      Christianity brings happiness, who does not want to have their deepest questions answered? Questions like; Who are why? Why are we here? or Where do we come from? Christianity also brings us to a knowledge of how Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, because we need to be free from sin to live with God again. So Christianity is great, it helps people. Some may think it is dumb because of what some of the people or churches that practice Christianity do.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Anaximanchild

      @Yud-Nt Noh – "Providing answers" is not a virtue. A magic 8-ball provides answers too. What matters is having some legitimate reason to believe that those answers are correct that can make a difference. Arbitrary faith is useless. It is believing in things that are true that is helpful. In fact, if your arbitrary faith gives you false confidence enough that you stop the search for truth, then it's worse than useless, it's dangerous.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Camile, to say "Jesus loves you" to someone like "davej" is not something to say to fit his comment... Christians often don't understand this sort of thing...What you said to davej , it does not mean anything to him!
      We speak of love of God to those who are weary of wallowing in mud holes of this world, not to those who love being in them! They need different message!

      June 6, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Glenda

      @Dave-can you prove there is nothing to believe in. What basis do you have for your belief. What feeling, knowledge, seeing and faith can you justify your belief. Ones that believe in Jesus have all this.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Yud-Nt Noh

      @Anaximanchild and everyone, It is also dangerous to not have faith, to no have a believe system and to not have values. True Christians have values, morals and virtue. Christianity neither teaches violence nor hatred. Yes I understand why some people dislike Christianity or even organized religion. I also understand that without a God then I view life as something that is not that significant. How can we deny a God when we can see the grand organization of this world and this universe. Having studied anatomy, physiology, chemistry, etc. I can see the impossible assumption that God does not exist and that we were not created but we just happened. Having studied the complexity of the body, and how it was perfectly made is a wonder that scientists only guess at and will still be guessing for years to come. The scientific community is still grasping at straws at knowing how matter was organized, or how it is formed. True Christians KNOW the answer. It was created by a supreme being, one who has all knowledge. Yes maybe we can convince ourselves that everything was coincidence, but we know deep down that it is not.
      Having this knowledge brings us to the purpose of this life. God created this world for a reason, He created us for a reason too. He created us because spiritually speaking, we are His children. It is our goal-all of yours included- to live with Him again. This is where Christianity plays its role.
      In order to live with God again we need to be sinless, free of sin. All of us sin, and we cannot get rid of our sins alone. That is why God, our Heavenly Father, sent His son Jesus Christ to atone or take upon himself our sins. That is when Jesus came down to this earth to suffer and die for us. Hours before and during His death he satisfied the demands of justice for our sake to take upon us, our sins. Those who believe in Him are Christians. We are not all perfect, we are far from perfect. God cannot help us unless we come to Him whole heartedly (And yes I realize that there are many 'bad' people who call themselves Christians. Our Father in Heaven will not force us to do good continually, but he is always willing to accept us for who we are.
      I know that there is no rational explanation for believing in God, I can't show or explain with physical evidence that He or Jesus Christ exists. Neither can any other person that claims to say that they have the answers. All I do know is that if God is real- which He is- then I know that I am here on this earth for a purpose. I know that after I die I can live with Him, and if I live the way I should I can live with my family again too, forever. I cannot imagine how life would seem not knowing that there is a purpose for it.
      Yes there are many bad Christians, there are also many good Christians. The purpose for Christianity is to bring us of a knowledge of that purpose, of why we are here. It is also given to us to let us know what we need to do to live with God again, because it is not a free ride for anyone. I am not living on blind faith, but on a faith based on answers received. If we ask God to let us know of His existence than he will give it to us. He cannot talk to us directly but he will communicate to us the knowledge of His existence, we will recognize it when we see, or Feel it.
      Legally a court needs, what 2 witnesses to prove something true, well we have had many more than 2 witnesses proving the existence of God. We have a had many prophets and regular people testify of His existence. He has not left us alone here on earth. He has sent His prophets to lead and guide us, and to teach us values, principles and morals that will help us in thsi life. That is the reason for Christianity. That is the reason for life
      Say what you say about me or other Christians, but you cannot prove that there isn't a God. You cannot prove that Jesus was not His son. You cannot prove that you aren't His son either. So again Christianity is not dumb; but living life without values, morals or purpose is.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • Dustin

      @Yud-Nt Noh

      Dude...reading all that only tells me that you haven't studied any of the things you claim to have studied. You sound amazingly ignorant. Know biologist will tell you that the human body is "perfectly made" nor does the scientific community "guess at" anything. You sound like someone who gets their information from an asinine creationist website.

      It is people like you that will destroy this country. Probably by hindering the advancement of science and ruining the chances of a decent education for future generations with your religious nonsense. I'm sorry you feel like the thoughts and teachings of bronze age goat herders are worth anything.

      Witness testimony is terrible, terrible evidence and any value it has in the court system is irrelevant to determining the state of reality. It only shows a distinct weakness in our court system. Try playing the 2nd grade game "Telephone." Line up 20 or so people. Whisper something in the first person's ear, let them pass it on from person to person, and then ask the last person what you told the first. You'll likely get a considerably different response.

      You don't even seem to understand the basic concept of burden of proof. You say we can't prove there is no God? What nonsense. You can't prove there isn't a giant invisible Toad sitting outside my apartment and you can't prove your aren't his "son" or that his friend Frog died for your sins so you could go to Valhalla.

      There is no evidence to support your beliefs, as such we don't believe them.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Dustin

      Typo: My "know" in the first paragraph is meant to be "No".

      No biologist will tell you that the human body is perfectly made. No credible scientist will tell you that human bodies are perfectly made, that the universe is perfectly designed to support life, and so on.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Prism1234..Incorrect.. what we would like is proof of your as-sertions.. instead we get plat-itudes and statements that are meaningless, as you have pointed out to Camile. You have to as-sume, as part of your believe system that those who do not "believe" or reject your god is living a pointless, immoral life. We do not "wallow in mud holes" as you would like to think..we have very full and exciting lives.. we see the true beauty of this world, the way evolution has and is working, the way you and I are a product of the universe itself and actually do owe our life to a sun that died eons ago...with the iron in your blood. Sorry we are far from depressed, hapless beings ...we are very positive.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Muneef

      Yud-Nt Noh.

      I found your words to be very right in every aspect from an Islamic point of view....life created with out a reason or with out punishment and reward is not a life that one would want to live... It looks to me my Cartoonic to say we came by chance for no reason and would not be resurrected and judged....!? Who ever says other than that must be living on pot and drugs...

      June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Anaximanchild

      @Yud-Nt Noh – Thank you. You made my point precisely.

      June 7, 2011 at 12:48 am |
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About this blog

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