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November 19th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

In video, White House shooting suspect calls himself 'modern-day Jesus'

By Mariano Castillo and Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN) - Weeks before his arrest on a charge of attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama, an Idaho man taped a video pitch for Oprah Winfrey - expressing his contempt for government, offering secrets to solving global problems and proclaiming himself to be "the modern-day Jesus Christ."

The video, released Friday to CNN by Idaho State University, features a man dressed in all black, with brown hair, a beard and a crucifix hanging around his neck.

"My name is Oscar Ortega from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and I feel like I am the perfect candidate to get cast on your show because not only do I have a solution to make a huge impact on this world with small changes to our daily lives, I also have with me the answer to worldwide peace," he states.

The previous Friday, a witness in Washington described to investigators hearing about "eight sounds of popping noise" and seeing "puffs of air" from a car that was registered to Ortega. One bullet hit a window on the White House but was stopped by bulletproof glass, the Secret Service said, while another was found on the White House exterior.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Violence

soundoff (524 Responses)
  1. Awkward Situations

    Another clear piece of evidence showing the link between religion and mental illness.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • My New Name

      In all seriousness, some worse than others. This guy is a real case. Prison or funny farm? We shall see.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      I think this fellow has a real mental illness and I do feel a little bit of sympathy for him that he got caught up in religion to indulge his delusions. It's far too easy because of its supernatural element. I think he really does believe he is Jesus and was doing this act as a noble deed for humanity. I just wonder how he got THIS far without anyone noticing and getting him some help! Probably because of the religious nature of his delusions his family thought he was turning into a good person. If his delusions had to do with aliens and monsters they would have taken him to the hospital a lot sooner.

      I have never heard of an atheist with a mental illness doing stuff like this.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • New Name

      AS
      I agree. His friends saw him start becoming dangerous but what are ya gonna do. At least he was easy to find and clean up after.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      No. It show that less than .00001% of us are delusional enough to think they are God.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Observer

      RightTurnClyde

      "No. It show that less than .00001% of us are delusional enough to think they are God."

      Nope. We only hear about the ones crazy enough to make a big announcement.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Rick

      RTC: But there are many who are delusional enough to think they know what is in the mind of God

      November 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  2. New Name

    Chad

    The reason why only "trained theologians" can "interpret" a book written by God, and the reason why the Bible is actually, concretely incorrect in so many places (despite any interpretation) is because God is imaginary. If God were real, and if God had actually written a book, the book would be brilliant and inspiring. The book would say things that are actually true. Prayer would work as it is actually described by the Bible. People would be left in awe by what they read the Bible. That is what "being perfect" is all about.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • New Name

      Let me know if you have any questions. Always happy to help.

      November 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @ New Name "If God were real, and if God had actually written a book, the book would be brilliant and inspiring"
      =>It is :-)

      @ New Name: "The book would say things that are actually true"
      =>It does!

      @New Name: "Prayer would work as it is actually described by the Bible."
      =>It does,
      James 4: 1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

      @New Name: " People would be left in awe by what they read the Bible."
      =>They are :-)

      November 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      SOME people are. Even if they admire it as literature, MANY people don't believe it to be the word of a supreme being.

      Really, Chad, your ability to paint everything with a broad, crude brush is astounding.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "It is". That's your opinion, Chad. It's subjective. It's not fact.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  3. New Name

    Chad

    If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.

    In the same way, the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary.

    In other words, each religious person on earth today arbitrarily rejects thousands of gods as imaginary, many of which he/she has never even heard of, and arbitrarily chooses to "believe" in one of them.

    The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:

    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    November 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Your arguments are suspiciously logical and make a lot of sense....

      A witch! A witch!!! Burn him at the stake!!

      November 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • My New Name

      Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit....

      November 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @New Name "If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today"
      =>Yes, like you, I have rejected those so called gods.

      @New Name "It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books."
      =>My rejection of those gods is based on this logic:
      The God of Abraham is real
      He says there is no other god
      I believe Him

      by definition, if the God of Abraham is real, the others are not.

      @New Name "You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in."
      =>my family was agnostic.

      @New Name "the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary."
      =>their failure to understand the truth doesnt say anything about my (fortunate) recognition of the truth.

      @New Name "The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.""
      =>I believe in only the God of Abraham. There is only one God. You were correct in your rejection of all the gods except one.

      Here's the problem with your logic, the fact that there are many imaginary gods doesnt say anything at all about there being one real one. There are many false theories about the origin of the universe for example. The fact that many of them are incorrect doesnt mean they are ALL incorrect. That is precisely what science is about, discerning, investigating the truth. Teasing out what is real from what isnt. That is just simply good analytical thinking.

      Stephen F. Roberts is reasoning very poorly with that statement.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Chad, You'd have a point if you gave a non-arbitrary reason for believing in the Christian god as opposed to the others.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It doesn't matter if you was raised in an agnostic family if the society you were raised in was predominantly christian. Secondary sources can be just as influential as primary.

      My immediate family was pretty agnostic, but I grew up in a small, very christian town, with aunts and cousins who were quite religious. By default, I thought I was christian, but when I grew up, I realized that it was just a habit and my belief was nothing more than cultural indoctrination. On the other hand, one of my sisters was confirmed as a catholic while in high school. All her friends were catholic and she found refuge from our rather tumultuous childhood with them. I think she desperately wishes to believe, but she questions more than a 'good' christian should.

      I suspect that children believe because they are taught to believe, and adults believe because it makes them happy to think that they aren't really responsible for their own lives. It's comforting to know that you don't have to be the adult all the time, and that all the sad and difficult things in life will go away in heaven.

      I can't find comfort in a lie, even a pretty one. Christianity makes promises, but delivers no proof, and I am far too old to believe in fairy tales.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @ John Richardson "Chad, You'd have a point if you gave a non-arbitrary reason for believing in the Christian god as opposed to the others."

      1. The scientifically required necessity of an uncaused cause at the origin of the universe. The universe is expanding in all directions and cooling. Going backwards there was a point in time when the universe had infinite heat and density. Prior to this singularity there was nothing. Not “something”, nothing. Matter and time were created at that point of rapid expansion. By definition whatever caused this expansion could not have itself had a prior cause (the infinite regression problem). Whatever caused it must have always existed. That is what physicists call the “uncaused cause”

      2. The phenomenal preciseness of the “big bang” expansion which was required to allow stars/planets to form. The fact that space and time were created at that cosmic singularity. (And God said, "Let there be light"). It didn’t just randomly explode, rather it expanded in such a precise manner that an infinitesimal change would have rendered a universe where matter was so spread out no formation of stars could have possibly occurred.

      3. The fact that the universe obeys laws and that science by definition relies on that which it can not explain: "Science starts from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God". – Leonard Mlodinow Co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of A Briefer History of Time.

      4. The fossil record which shows millions of years of stable species, then an explosion of necessarily mutations, all occurring at the precise necessary time required for complex organisms to develop, and ALL escaping fossilization
      “the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      5. The historical evidence of Jesus Christ “Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who was regarded as a teacher and healer in Judaea,[18] that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and that he was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[19] Critical Biblical scholars and historians have offered competing descriptions of Jesus as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.” –Wikipedia

      6. The historical fact that’s:
      Jesus was buried in a tomb
      After 3 days the tomb was found to be empty
      Hundreds of people believed they witnessed the resurrected Jesus and were willing to go to their death saying that

      7. The demonstrated historical accuracy of the biblical narrative in all accounts, the Gospel of Luke alone has hundreds of verified historical accuracies.

      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
      2. Evil exists.
      3. Therefore, objective moral values exist. (Some things are evil!)
      4. Therefore, God exists.

      and no, saying "none of that is real" is not a valid refutation :-)

      November 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not valid? Why not? It's not real.

      November 21, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  4. New Name

    Chad

    Simply take a moment to think about the following statement:

    "Hello, my name is Jesus. I love you deeply. I have loved you since you were conceived in the womb and I will love you for all eternity. I died for you on the cross because I love you so much. I long to have a loving personal relationship with you. I will answer all of your prayers through my love. But if you do not get down on your knees and worship me, and if you do not EAT MY BODY and DRINK MY BLOOD, then I WILL INCINERATE YOU WITH UNIMAGINABLY TORTUOUS PAIN IN THE FIRES OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY.

    Yes, this is the central message of Christianity. See John 6:53-54 and Mark 16:16.

    Think about this message. We have a being who, according to the Standard Model of God, embodies love. Yet, if you do not get down on your knees and worship him, you will be physically tortured for all eternity. What sort of love is that?

    The utter silliness and contradiction of Jesus' core message should make it obvious to you: God is imaginary.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @ New Name ""Hello, my name is Jesus. I love you deeply. I have loved you since you were conceived in the womb and I will love you for all eternity. I died for you on the cross because I love you so much. I long to have a loving personal relationship with you. I will answer all of your prayers through my love. But if you do not get down on your knees and worship me, and if you do not EAT MY BODY and DRINK MY BLOOD, then I WILL INCINERATE YOU WITH UNIMAGINABLY TORTUOUS PAIN IN THE FIRES OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY."

      => that's not what Jesus said, what you have presented is known as a "strawman fallacy"

      what He said is:
      - Hello, my name is Jesus.
      - I love you deeply.
      - I have loved you since you were conceived in the womb and I will love you for all eternity.
      - I died for you on the cross because I love you so much.
      - I long to have a loving personal relationship with you.
      - I will answer all your prayers that you ask in My Name
      - If you do not recognize that you are currently estranged from Me and the Father, and accept that I paid the price for your sin on the cross (symbolically "eating my body, drinking my blood"), you will be permanently estranged from Me.
      - When you die, you will see that I am real, and that you are permanently estranged from Me. This situation will be in place forever, and you will be aware of it forever. How do you think you will feel in this situation?

      November 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So now Jesus is a psychotherapist?

      November 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  5. theoldadam

    Definitely a modern day...nut.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  6. How to calm the barking dogs

    November 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Or you could just get a Thunder Shirt.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Dog owner

      Look the old dog above can see, ..its had to bark to the post.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  7. Charge Nurse Betty

    Oh wait. If I am Jesus, why would I have to write to Oprah and ask anything ? Why wouldn't I just show up, as my resurrected self, and be welcomed ?

    November 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Moar Meds Pls

      Is that you, Jesus? Can I have some meds naow?

      November 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Doktor Fook

      I'm prescribing Fukitol.

      November 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Odd Todd

      Oprah would probably have a heart attack and die on the spot. Since there is no god, we don't get to see great stuff like that.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      He probably hasn't learned how to use his super powers yet.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Venti Grande

      It's all a big secret. Jesus makes sure that neither he nor god do anything.
      Then when nothing happens, that becomes proof that he is almost here!
      Then the "Jesus" within makes each of us a Jesus!
      If you own a gun then that's like a holy bonus. The power of death in your hand!
      Wheeee.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  8. Wicked Witch of the West

    Oh, wait, that was just a fart. Let me try again...oops! I think I sharted something that looks like Chad.
    FLY MY UGLY SHARTS! FLY!

    November 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • DocDivDeVoe

      Have a glass of water. Here. It'll fix you right up.

      November 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  9. true christians are stupid

    lol, jesus failed at his attempt to forefill all the prophecies just as this loser failed to complete his act of hate! LOL

    November 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Answer

      You must not mean "hate" .. the christians call that "love" and "peace" . We wouldn't want to deny them their "truth" in defending their actions.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • JohnR

      FULfill

      November 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Giggity

      Maybe if he fulfills what is foretold then he is forefiling it?

      November 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • I_get _it

      Mrs. Malaprop would be proud :)

      November 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Mrs. Malaprop

      I think someone needs to backfill the forefill.

      November 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Good one, Mrs Malaprop!

      November 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    This fellow should not be so easily dismissed. Remember, people thought Jesus was a fake. They said, He would not be back in the 1st century as He promised. They said, "His living and dying and being reanimated was just a myth. They said, "Hercules is more real than the Jesus character.

    I'm just sayin', we shouldn't be so quick to judge. It has only been 2000 years. Jesus may just be taking the scenic route back to earth. Or, He could be dead as last years Christmas tree. Or, He could have been totally made up and no more real than Superman. I like that last one best.

    Let's not judge so quickly! This fellow shot at the White House. The Jesus myth had Him wrecking the temple.

    Cheers!

    November 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • My New Name

      I believe Oscar already got a "Good Book" deal.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Giggity

      So this guy came in clouds of smoke from his gun. Somebody forgot to tell him he needs a gigantic sky-prison to fall squarely on Jerusalem too. His prison cell isn't going to be nearly big enough to fulfill prophecy or to hold his huge ego.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      If only he had waited a bit longer and started a cult first. Then he could have had his followers do his divine dirty work for him.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Reality

    Just like the original:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself."

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" (e.g. O. Ortega) are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    November 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • My New Name

      We could test that 'ol ressurection theory on Oscar the Jesus....

      November 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • My New Name

      When I say "we" naturally I mean Rick Perry.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • IcePac

      Why of course we knew that "we" meant Rick Perry. Everyone knows that.

      November 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  12. Answer

    I wonder if this freak is "Herbert Juarez"?

    Haven't seen his stunning attempts at glorious hate in a long while. Coincidence? :)

    November 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • My New Name

      A STUNNING coincidence. Good call.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Answer

      If this freak really turned out to be "Herbert" on this area of CNN's blog then CNN deserves the full rights to "capturing" the first glimpses of a lunatic within it's database.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Giggity

      herbert is under 18, so this can't be him. Sorry.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Dellbert

      Yes, otherwise it WOULD be him. Good point.

      November 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You haven't seen him? He's been posting under my handle repeatedly.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Snorlax

      I think he must be busy elsewhere. Maybe they took his computer away for some reason....

      November 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, he's "busy" with his mother's underpants.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Jubala

      Is somebody projecting here? I got a message there was somebody projecting and looking real dumb. Oh, there you are.
      Boy, you gonna get ra.ped.

      November 20, 2011 at 5:28 am |
    • God

      So what do you think about my latest supernova? Pretty great, huh?
      Oh, wait, it'll take a few thousand years before you can see it.
      Nevermind.

      November 20, 2011 at 5:56 am |
  13. Morning Snark

    I see Chad is losing every argument again. Badly. He must be a modern-day Jesus himself. 40 years after Chad dies, everyone will be free to make up whatever they want about him.
    Since he is so simple-minded, anything would probably be an improvement when describing this modern "mess-iah".
    Maybe the stories will tell of how he single-handedly dominated every conversation with god-like precision and holy facts.
    But we know the truth here and now. Kind of like the people in Jesus' hometown who knew him for a fraud so he went a-travelin'...

    November 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • My New Name

      LOL!

      November 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad's a moron, all right. But I disagree with you on the rest of your point. Forty years from now, no one will even remember him or care what he thought. No one even cares now, for Pete's sake.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Snorlax

      Hanging's too good for Chad.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Har, Snor.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  14. tallulah13

    Give a boy a gun and a god and suddenly he's Jesus.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • My New Name

      The Gospel of Oscar

      "My name is Oscar Ortega from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and I feel like I am the perfect candidate to get cast on your show because not only do I have a solution to make a huge impact on this world with small changes to our daily lives, I also have with me the answer to worldwide peace,"

      "I have never felt so sure about something in my whole life. I'm willing to defend these words with my heart, my soul, flesh and bones," Ortega says. "Please do not take me as a joke or as a deception. I have never felt so sure that I was sent here from God to lead the world to Zion."

      "It's not just a coincidence that I look like Jesus. I am the modern-day Jesus Christ that you all have been waiting for"

      November 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • My New Name

      Who knows? Maybe Jesus was actually all greasy and inarticulate like that! But everyone else was just as dumb so he seemed smart. Can I get an Amen?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • My New Name

      Did Jesus have to use notes, and if so were the as seemingly difficult to read as Oscar's?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Answer

      The insane rantings of a believer!

      What they all have in common are self proclamation, self righteousness and their fervent belief that they hold the authority or calling from their divine being. It's always funny that they resort to violence as a method to bring about their supposed worldwide peace. All too common traits ..

      November 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Giggity

      Shoot'em-up Jesus from west of the Pecos! Pow! Pow!

      November 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Professor HInkleboffam of the College of Zombie Knowledge (CZK)

      Give a gun the idea that it can be used by a zombie and you can never trust that gun again. It becomes a zombie-gun.

      November 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Odd Todd

      Give a boy a gun and a god and you have a terrorist.
      Holy war needs weapons. Supply weapons to religious nuts = Holy War.
      Where's the NRA? Why aren't they defending Jesus' 2nd Amendment rights to shoot at the White House?

      November 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Owning a gun if you have a mental illness is illegal yet they sell them all the time without question to people who believe in zombies and can communicate via a telepathic link to a divine imperial dictator... oh the irony.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @My New Name

      Well, I'm sold. I think we should quiet the naysayers. Let's crucify you and you can come back in 3 days. Make them all look silly.

      Being helpful

      November 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  15. My New Name

    I think he just mispronounced his name. He meant "hey-zues" not Gee-Zus.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Goldberg

      He also forgot to mow my lawn. Jesus, what an idiot!

      November 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  16. My New Name

    “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

    November 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chad

      My apologies for interrupting your cherry picking...

      21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

      22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

      25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • My New Name

      @chad
      Again, thank you for making my point. The Bible is FULL of inconsistencies like the ones you are pointing. Hence, it is an unreliable resources and it is Christians who do the Cherry Picking. I don't believe a word of the Bible personally. It is an ancient test, written by primitive men and is utterly without merit or relevance.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • My New Name

      Sorry for the typo-s.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @My new name "The Bible is FULL of inconsistencies "

      what inconsistencies? Examples please? I provided the full context to demonstrate that its consistence..

      November 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • My New Name

      Here are 700. Enjoy.

      http://www.cs.umd.edu/~mvz/bible/bible-inconsistencies.pdf

      November 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      God is satisfied with his works
      Gen 1:31
      God is dissatisfied with his works.
      Gen 6:6

      2. God dwells in chosen temples
      2 Chron 7:12,16
      God dwells not in temples
      Acts 7:48

      3. God dwells in light
      Tim 6:16
      God dwells in darkness

      1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2
      4. God is seen and heard
      Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
      Ex 24:9-11
      God is invisible and cannot be heard
      John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16

      5. God is tired and rests
      Ex 31:17
      God is never tired and never rests
      Is 40:28

      6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things
      Prov 15:3/ Ps 139:7-10/ Job 34:22,21
      God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all
      things
      Gen 11:5/ Gen 18:20,21/ Gen 3:8

      7. God knows the hearts of men
      Acts 1:24/ Ps 139:2,3
      God tries men to find out what is in their heart
      Deut 13:3/ Deut 8:2/ Gen 22:12

      8. God is all powerful
      Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
      God is not all powerful
      Judg 1:19

      9. God is unchangeable
      James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
      God is changeable
      Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
      Ex 33:1,3,17,14

      10. God is just and impartial
      Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
      God is unjust and partial
      Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12

      11. God is the author of evil
      Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
      God is not the author of evil
      1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13

      12. God gives freely to those who ask
      James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
      God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
      them
      John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17

      13. God is to be found by those who seek him
      Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
      God is not to be found by those who seek him
      Prov 1:28

      14. God is warlike
      Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
      God is peaceful
      Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33

      15. God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious
      Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19
      God is kind, merciful, and good
      James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/
      1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8

      16. God's anger is fierce and endures long
      Num 32:13/ Num 25:4/ Jer 17:4
      God's anger is slow and endures but for a minute
      Ps 103:8/ Ps 30:5

      17. God commands, approves of, and delights in burnt offerings,
      sacrifices ,and holy days
      Ex 29:36/ Lev 23:27/ Ex 29:18/ Lev 1:9
      God disapproves of and has no pleasure in burnt offerings,
      sacrifices, and holy days.
      Jer 7:22/ Jer 6:20/ Ps 50:13,4/ Is 1:13,11,12

      18. God accepts human sacrifices
      2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
      God forbids human sacrifice
      Deut 12:30,31

      19. God tempts men
      Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13
      God tempts no man
      James 1:13

      20. God cannot lie
      Heb 6:18
      God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits t deceive
      2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9
      21. Because of man's wickedness God destroys him
      Gen 6:5,7
      Because of man's wickedness God will not destroy him
      Gen 8:21

      If that's not enough, there are more at : http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/j...tions.html

      Cheers!

      November 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Chad, if you and I can interpret your bible differently (and we do), then your "god"'s message is flawed.

      For that matter, how come your "omnipotent" sky fairy needs a publication, a horrid one such as the bible at that, to get its message out? Your god can't even create its own website.

      Done your daily lamb sacrifice and burning for your nasty fairy god yet, like your bible commands?

      Chad, just get over your sick, absurd Christian supersti-tions already.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Chad, submit to a qualified psychiatrist already. Your god delusion issue is extensive.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Maybe a doctor can fill in Chad's lack of knowledge on the difference between RU486 and the morning-after pill while he/she's at at it.

      There are so many deficiencies in Chad's education...

      November 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Bob "Chad, if you and I can interpret your bible differently (and we do), then your "god"'s message is flawed."
      =>well, that's an obvious logical fallacy if I ever say one :=)
      The fact that you dont recognize something as truthful says nothing about it's inherent truthfulness one way or the other.

      @Bob: "For that matter, how come your "omnipotent" sky fairy needs a publication, a horrid one such as the bible at that, to get its message out? Your god can't even create its own website."
      => That how He decided to do it. Not agreeing with His methodology says nothing one way or the other about Him being real. Another logical fallacy.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Charge Nurse Betty God "is satisfied with his works Gen 1:31 God is dissatisfied with his works. Gen 6:6"

      =>just to look at the first one on the list as an example

      Genesis 3:1 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. "
      =>What He had created at the beginning (before sin entered the world) was good.

      Genesis 6: 5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
      =>following the wrong choice by man, sin entered the world and with it corruption, which made God regret that He had made man.

      It was good, it was then corrupted, then God regretted it.
      What is so difficult to understand? How is that inconsistent?

      Your assertion is just cherry picking and subtly changing text (satisfied–>dissatisfied instead of good–>regretted) to create an inaccurate perception. The text doesnt support your assertion.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 38,000 – World Christian Encyclopedia (2001)).

      Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.

      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      The bible says:

      1 Corinthians 14:33 – KJV
      33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives. If this is so, then Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches.

      Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction? Is the will of god, subjective?

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      November 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @David Johnson "If people have interpreted the bible differently, the bible cant be seen as inerrant [paraphrase mine]"

      Two points in response:
      1) It is a common logical fallacy to claim that some failing of a Christian somehow reflects on the truth of Gods existence or Word.
      2) At the base, all Christian denominations hold this as true:
      1 Corinthians 15:1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

      November 21, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      You said: "It is a common logical fallacy to claim that some failing of a Christian somehow reflects on the truth of Gods existence or Word.

      This has nothing to do with Christian failing. It has to do with an almighty god producing a bible that should be interpreted the same by every human. This is obviously not true, since there are 34,000 different denominations of Christianity in the world...Over 1000 different denominations in North America alone.

      You have arrived at what you believe, the same way that the others have. You read, contemplated, prayed and fasted. And now you believe you have arrived at the truth. Because the bible is ambiguous, your truth is not the truth of all the other "believers".

      This is also true of the worshiper of other gods. Right? Or do you have proof, your god is the one true god?

      You have appeared to miss a quote I gave in my post to you:

      They [The different denominations] teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics. All these topics are crucial to the Christian Religion.

      The bible, apparently was given to man by god, to give man information about their god and to teach how this god wants man to live, that they might be moral.

      Consider, how important it is that humans understand what is written in this book. Consider, how this book fails to do what it was intended to do. What would be the purpose of creating a bible, that didn't do what was intended? How would this be

      Because of this misunderstanding in the interpretation of this book, we have differences of opinion on god's wants on issues such as;
      Abortion, gay rights, death penalty and euthanasia and
      even human $exuality.

      A book that was not ambiguous, would not have these differences of interpretation. A book that a god thought important enough to write was not written clearly, without misunderstanding.

      Your quoting from 1 Corinthians proves nothing, since even this is not interpreted the same by every denomination.

      Your best defense would be to say: "But all the Christian denominations believe in Jesus. LOL

      Certainly the bible is not inerrant. Certainly it could not have been written by a perfect god. It was written by men who created the god.

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Jesus was a myth, composed of sun gods "living" before and during the 1st century.

      Preach what you want, but you have no proof that any of what you say is true. It is just your opinion. Opinions are like anuses. Everyone has one.

      Cheers!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @David Johnson “This has nothing to do with Christian failing. It has to do with an almighty god producing a bible that should be interpreted the same by every human”
      =>Your argument is self refuting; it predicates the truth of His Word on consistent interpretation by flawed humans. The truth of something exists independent of recognition of it by everyone. True is just true.

      @David Johnson "They “[The different denominations] teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics. All these topics are crucial to the Christian Religion.”

      =>All groups agree that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died and was resurrected, and that salvation (life after death) is only possible due to his atoning work on the cross. There is agreement on the nature of Jesus, God, Heaven and the atonement.

      Differing opinions on the second coming, hell, rapture, tongues etc do not bear on salvation. I’m not trying to minimize the divisions in the different churches, but I am saying that all churches agree on the central points.

      And again, the fact that fallen humans have failed to come together as a body is a criticism of us, not Him.

      @David Johnson: “The bible, apparently was given to man by god, to give man information about their god and to teach how this god wants man to live, that they might be moral.”

      =>100% incorrect. The bible was given by God to man NOT to teach us how to live, rather to teach us of our need for Jesus. You will never understand Christianity until you understand that. It always amazes me how atheists with zero understanding of the bible would seek to confidently discount cherry picked pieces.. You never actually thought to yourself, "gee, perhaps I should get familiar with that which I am criticizing"

      @David Johnson “Your quoting from 1 Corinthians proves nothing, since even this is not interpreted the same by every denomination.”
      => 100% not true, if you feel otherwise back it up with some data.

      @David Johnson “Jesus was a myth, composed of sun gods "living" before and during the 1st century. “

      rubbish “Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who was regarded as a teacher and healer in Judaea,[18] that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and that he was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[19] Critical Biblical scholars and historians have offered competing descriptions of Jesus as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement” – Wikipedia

      November 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  17. My New Name

    “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)

    November 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Chad

      Jesus Christ is not and never was primarily an advocate for social change. Jesus Christ's primary purpose was two fold,
      1) show us our need for Him
      2) meet that need (the atoning sacrifice).

      November 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • My New Name

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

      November 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • My New Name

      @Chad
      You are the authority Chad. You know what Jesus said and what his intentions were. Impressive since he never wrote a single word down and he was a Jewish Rabbi and it was others decades later who capitalized on his name and wrote whatever the fuk they felt like writing about. You are really smart.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @My New Name "You are the authority Chad. You know what Jesus said and what his intentions were. Impressive since he never wrote a single word down and he was a Jewish Rabbi and it was others decades later who capitalized on his name and wrote whatever the fuk they felt like writing about. You are really smart."

      To make that kind of statement, you must know what Jesus actually said, and are therefor able to compare it with what is written in the bible (a few decades later while people who were actually with him were still alive and could challenge the accuracy). So, where are you getting your source material for what Jesus "truly" said?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • My New Name

      I am not. I don't know what Jesus truly said. That was kind of my point. And I am guessing if you had to recall something that somebody said to you 40 years ago with any amount of real detail, you could not. I can't. Additionally, studies (you can look it up for yourself if you are uneducated) show that memory in VERY unreliable. Hence, nobody know what Jesus said.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • I wonder

      Chad,

      There is as much of a chance that what Mohammad wrote in the Quran was supernaturally inspired as there is that what Jesus said (or what 1st century evangelists *said* that he said) was supernaturally inspired, or for that matter that *anything* in the OT was supernaturally "breathed". Do you believe in the Quran? I think that your answer would be "No", or you would be a Muslim.

      When you understand why you dismiss other religious beliefs, perhaps you will understand why people dismiss yours.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @I wonder "When you understand why you dismiss other religious beliefs, perhaps you will understand why people dismiss "yours.

      Ah, but mine is real. That's the difference.
      I'm sure several people believe they are the president of the US, and I'm sure others believe they are in fact POTUS. All but one are nuts. If you believe in the one that is truly the president, the fact that others believe in the crazy one doesnt make mine less real.

      The God of Abraham is real, the fact that there are other gods that arent doesnt impact His reality.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • My New Name

      Chad
      Are you suggesting that your God is more "real" than the Jewish God or the Islamic God? You all believe in the same God doofus. You all believe in the same prophets (with two noteable exceptions of which I am sure a man of your intellect is aware).

      November 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Answer

      @Chad

      In which of the following situations would you STILL adamantly profess to the "real existence" of your god? While denying the "real existence" of any other god?

      Situation one:

      Standing physically before a muslim? Talking politely with a muslim that is.

      Situation two:

      Discussing your supposed "real god" with a scientologist. Same polite atmosphere.

      Situation three:

      Same as situation one, except that you are both armed with weapons.

      and finally the last:

      Same as situation one and three, with a scientologist.

      Of course there is no need to play out the situation with us atheists we already know the level of your intolerance.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Answer

      I am hopeful that regardless of the circu mstances, I would never deny Jesus Christ.
      As to intolerance, ANY position by definition is intolerant (unless you dont have a position).

      If you are with me and the scientologists, are you denying the existence of ANY god? LOL, how is that not intolerant?

      An agnostic might make a case that they arent intolerant, but an atheist could NEVER make that case.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Giggity

      Sounds like Chad is trying to troll atheists. Give it up, Chad. You just don't have what it takes. Better "pray" for help. ha ha.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Bob

      Chad, so how come your sky fairy had to do the scapegoat jesus-on-a-stick thing anyway? Why not do all the saving and forgiving without all that rubbish, and why not do something original instead of stealing the scapegoat gig from earlier supersti-tions?

      The answer is that your god is a man-made fiction, nothing more.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      The problem is, Chad, that EVERYONE thinks that, that they alone have the real truth. You have provided absolutely no reason for anyone to believe that you are any different from all the other nuts.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad never provides a reason for anything. He'll just ask you what you meant by your statement and then proceed to run away from the discussion or go on pontificating as if he missed your post.

      He's a dolt.

      November 20, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Chad

      1. The scientifically required necessity of an uncaused cause at the origin of the universe. The universe is expanding in all directions and cooling. Going backwards there was a point in time when the universe had infinite heat and density. Prior to this singularity there was nothing. Not “something”, nothing. Matter and time were created at that point of rapid expansion. By definition whatever caused this expansion could not have itself had a prior cause (the infinite regression problem). Whatever caused it must have always existed. That is what physicists call the “uncaused cause”

      2. The phenomenal preciseness of the “big bang” expansion which was required to allow stars/planets to form. The fact that space and time were created at that cosmic singularity. (And God said, "Let there be light"). It didn’t just randomly explode, rather it expanded in such a precise manner that an infinitesimal change would have rendered a universe where matter was so spread out no formation of stars could have possibly occurred.

      3. The fact that the universe obeys laws and that science by definition relies on that which it can not explain: "Science starts from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God". – Leonard Mlodinow Co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of A Briefer History of Time.

      4. The fossil record which shows millions of years of stable species, then an explosion of necessarily mutations, all occurring at the precise necessary time required for complex organisms to develop, and ALL escaping fossilization
      “the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      5. The historical evidence of Jesus Christ “Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who was regarded as a teacher and healer in Judaea,[18] that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and that he was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[19] Critical Biblical scholars and historians have offered competing descriptions of Jesus as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.” –Wikipedia

      6. The historical fact that’s:
      Jesus was buried in a tomb
      After 3 days the tomb was found to be empty
      Hundreds of people believed they witnessed the resurrected Jesus and were willing to go to their death saying that

      7. The demonstrated historical accuracy of the biblical narrative in all accounts, the Gospel of Luke alone has hundreds of verified historical accuracies.

      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
      2. Evil exists.
      3. Therefore, objective moral values exist. (Some things are evil!)
      4. Therefore, God exists.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Utter nonsense. The agreement among people that certain behaviors are wrong and repugnant doesn't prove the existence of god anymore than does their agreement that grass grows.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There's no supporting evidence that proves Jesus was buried in a tomb or that 3 days later the tomb was found empty.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son "Utter nonsense. The agreement among people that certain behaviors are wrong and repugnant doesn't prove the existence of god anymore than does their agreement that grass grows."

      =>we can watch the physical process of grass growing, we can NOT observe or otherwise explain why there is universal agreement on morality.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son "There's no supporting evidence that proves Jesus was buried in a tomb or that 3 days later the tomb was found empty."

      The quickest affirmation that there was is this:
      - within decades of Jesus death, there were written doc uments claiming that Jesus had been killed, buried, the tomb was found to be empty after 3 days and hundreds reported witnessing a resurrected Jesus.
      - The above claim was the ENTIRE BASIS FOR THE NEW "cult" at that time referred to as "The Way", a messianic Jewish group that believed the promised Messiah had come.
      - Jewish leaders strongly sought to discredit this heretical movement, the quickest thing to do would have been to point to a tomb that contained the supposedly resurrected Jesus.
      - The second best thing to do would have been to point out that Jesus was never buried in the first place, therefor was never resurrected.

      The resurrection is and has ALWAYS been the BASIS of Christianity, with out it EVERYTHING is a lie. All that would have been necessary at the time to kill this little cult would have been to easily show that either Jesus was never buried, or that he was still in the tomb.
      Remember, this was decades after Jesus died, many people were still alive that personally witnessed those events.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Chad, You have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't understand science even a little. Don't you ever stop to wonder why evangelical Christians are only a tiny minority of scientists? The evidence does NOT point their way. Otherwise, scientists would be jumping on board in droves.

      We have also long since established that you, like most Christians, are totally confused on the point of what the arguments for an uncaused cause, if they are valid at all, point towards. They don't point towards a personal god, let alone specifically Jehovah.

      Finally, the only "evidence" of the resurrection is in the very mythical story that claims it. Hey, Cu Chulainn defeated a thousand other men at an ancient Irish game presumably related to hurley. It really happened and the PROOF that it happened is that those 1000 men witnessed it, right? Oh, you're not buying? Well, neither are we.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • A Question

      Richardson-Are you a scientist? How many of you atheists on this blog are scientists?

      November 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Chad, Yes, without the resurrection, Christianity is a lie. And indeed, that is exactly what it is. Now, you say it would have been easy to "refute" the resurrection during the first century. OK, Hitler's body was never found. Neo-Nazi Hans here say he was resurrected and ascended to Asgard. Prove Hans wrong.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @John RIchardson "We have also long since established that you, like most Christians, are totally confused on the point of what the arguments for an uncaused cause, if they are valid at all, point towards. They don't point towards a personal god, let alone specifically Jehovah."

      =>ANY theory regarding the origin of the universe that doenst have at it's root an uncaused cause, faces the infinite regression problem. That isnt me talking, that's science, as you must agree with.

      If you choose to believe that the uncaused cause is NOT the God of Abraham, that's your choice. It seems illogical..

      Finally, the only "evidence" of the resurrection is in the very mythical story that claims it. Hey, Cu Chulainn defeated a thousand other men at an ancient Irish game presumably related to hurley. It really happened and the PROOF that it happened is that those 1000 men witnessed it, right? Oh, you're not buying? Well, neither are we."

      November 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Chad

      John Richardson "Finally, the only "evidence" of the resurrection is in the very mythical story that claims it. Hey, Cu Chulainn defeated a thousand other men at an ancient Irish game presumably related to hurley. It really happened and the PROOF that it happened is that those 1000 men witnessed it, right? Oh, you're not buying? Well, neither are we.""

      =>ah, but your missing the crux of the argument arent you. was there any group making the claim that Chulainn defeated a thousand other men and another group at the time ACTIVELY attempting to disprove it?

      November 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I'm not strictly speaking an atheist. I describe myself as an agnostically tinged neo-animist. Although I have published research in two fields (linguistics, mostly syntactic theory and pragmatics, and marketing), I am not now and have never thought of myself as a professional scientist and certainly not within the "natural sciences". Of the non-beleivers who post here, the only one that I know of with an extensive background in the natural sciences is a guy who goes by Bucky Ball. But lots of us have considerable lay interest in the sciences, especially biology and cosmology. When I was doing linguistic research, I was considered unusually well read in the field. When I had to move a bunch of stuff that included all my recent reading in my own field as well as stuff in evolutionary biology (which was relevant to my linguistic research as well as an independent interest), I was stunned to see how much more biology than linguistics I had been reading.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @ John Richardson "OK, Hitler's body was never found. Neo-Nazi Hans here say he was resurrected and ascended to Asgard. Prove Hans wrong."

      =>Hans isnt claiming that Hitlers body BURIED, it was destroyed. Jesus WAS buried, thats a key difference. The claim by the followers was that He was buried, then resurrected, a claim that can be easily refuted.

      The claims of Jesus followers are refutable, the claims by Hans are not.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • John Richardson

      No, Chad, the logical leap is to assume that abstract arguments for an uncaused cause have anything to do with any god conceived by man long before these modern arguments were developed. And that's why people like the Deists who uphold these arguments for an uncaused cause simultaneously disavow personal gods like Jehovah. You are simply making an invalid assumption that since you call Jehovah god and people who posit an intelligent uncaused cause call THAT agent god that you must be talking about the same thing. It's no more "logical" to identify the uncaused cause with Jehovah than it is to identify it with Brahma or Ahura Mazda or Zues or Odin or the Goddess of paleolithic times.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • John Richardson

      No, Chad, the logical leap is to assume that abstract arguments for an uncaused cause have anything to do with any god conceived by man long before these modern arguments were developed. And that's why people like the Deists who uphold these arguments for an uncaused cause simultaneously disavow personal gods like Jehovah. You are simply making an invalid assumption that since you call Jehovah god and people who posit an intelligent uncaused cause call THAT agent god that you must be talking about the same thing. It's no more "logical" to identify the uncaused cause with Jehovah than it is to identify it with Brahma or Ahura Mazda or Zeus or Odin or the Goddess of paleolithic times.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @John Richardson "No, Chad, the logical leap is to assume that abstract arguments for an uncaused cause have anything to do with any god conceived by man long before these modern arguments were developed. "

      =>As I have said many times before, it is sufficient for me to have demonstrated that an atheist acknowledges the necessity of an uncaused cause and chooses NOT to investigate the verifiable claims that the uncaused cause is indeed a personal God, the God of Abraham.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ok, i am only posting on the story of the whole jesus on the third day thing... the story of this comes to one source – the gospel of mary, which predates mosy other gospels... in it she claims to have been outside the tomb on the third day weeping, he comes out and says do not weep, she reaches out to touch him and he touches her forhead with his thumb and says do not touch me for i have not yet risen. kinda implies that he is a ghost and can't be touched – the gospel is as old as nicodemus and judus and thomas...some point shortly after, there is a massive following of mary's version of the story – check in southern spain,the story starts with the ash wendsday thumb thing, then off to egypt to have a baby – sarah – the daughter of jesus – the story ends with mary arriving in spain with a daughter named sarah...there is evidence to suggest this is more then just a story, but this from the whole jesus story is in my opinion the most easily believed due to its very human nature – even in pauls letters his expresses hatred towards mary as a who-re even thou no such evidence has been found to suggest that execpt by paul...in judus he says that she was closest to jesus besides himself....

      November 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • John Richardson

      What difference does it make who said what about Cu Chulainn? I don't doubt that there were more and less credulous people in bygone times, ie those who took mythological hero tales as proof of the superhuman status of these culture heroes versus those who felt the stories were tall tales about historical figures versus those who felt it was all fabrication. The point simply is that if there is any historical basis for the figure of Cu Chulainn, as there may very well be, we can safely say that this bit about defeating 1000 men in a game of "sticks" is just story and the fact that the only "evidence" for this event comes from a mythological cycle full of crazy things happening that just don't happen in our own experience tends to CONFIRM the notion that this is nothing BUT a tall tale. The fact that the stories of the resurrection come from the bible is perfectly analogous. The source of the wild claim of the resurrection tends to make it all the LESS credible.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Chad

      Ah, but that's the whole point isnt it.. :-)

      The fact that there was no one actively making a claim about Cu Chalain within decades of the events in question, and another group actively attempting to disprove that claim means that ALL we have is our current hindsight.

      With respect to the claims of Jesus resurrection, we have a great deal more. We have our knowledge of the events at that time and the credibility that lends to the claims being made.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Chad, Most atheists and agnostics of course do NOT acknowledge the NECESSITY of an uncaused cause. Agnostics generally and atheists occasionally acknowledge the POSSIBILITY. But given the abstractness of the arguments in favor of such a being and the narrowly restricted realm of action such a being is arguably required for, many explicitly deny that such a being has anything to do with ancient mythical beings like Jehovah and no one is in a position to blithely assume that any uncaused cause MUST be Jehovah.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • John Richardson

      No, Chad, that is NOT the whole point at all. By the time that the Irish mythological tales were written down, Ireland was already a Catholic nation. So we just don't have any written record of any debates between "fundamentalist" literalists among those who considered Cu Chulainn the Irish national hero versus those who felt even back when this belief system held sway that there was a lot of literary license in those tales. We do know from cultures with earlier and very extensive written records, eg the Greeks, that some people were quite credulous, but quite a bit of the more learned quite skeptical about that pantheon of gods.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @John Richardson Chad, Most atheists and agnostics of course do NOT acknowledge the NECESSITY of an uncaused cause. Agnostics generally and atheists occasionally acknowledge the POSSIBILITY. "
      =>if you dont acknowledge the necessity, you are living with the problem of an infinite regression.

      @John Richardson "and no one is in a position to blithely assume that any uncaused cause MUST be Jehovah."
      => for the millionth and one times, I'm happy demonstrating that atheists either live with an infinite regression, or the acknowledge and uncaused cause, and are willing to not delve into understanding that that uncaused cause is.

      it takes vastly more faith to be an atheist :-)

      November 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • John Richardson

      There is no virtue in spouting the same naive nonsense a million times. Quite the contrary, Chad. The arguments for an uncaused cause are profoundly iffy. The arguments that this uncaused cause is a conscious, intelligent being iffier still. The assumption that it is specifically the god of the bible is just that, a blithe assumption witlessly made by people who TRULY refuse to examine what the true nature of this uncaused cause might be and just fill in this massive patch of ignorance with the culturally dominant myth of whatever land they live in.

      The "infinite regress" you cite is not obviously a worse thing to posit than some complex, conscious, intelligent being whose existence is declared by fiat to be inexplicable and who existed for eternity before deciding for some reason to putter around with this universe for somewhere between 6000 and around 14 billion years. Infinite futures are hard to grasp. Infinite pasts are all but unfathomable regardless of whether you posit an uncaused cause to demarcate the point beyond which no one can even attempt to explain anything. For you are still stuck with a being that has no beginning, which is a notion all but impossible to understand, And if we are content to not understand THAT, why not be content to say that we can trace our universe's history way back to some initial conditions, but can't explain why those initial conditions were what they were?

      November 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @hippypoet The gospel of Mary is no more credible a source than any of the other writings. But the notion that Jesus's post-crucifixion appearances were ALL ghostly has been made before. As I noted in the discussion of some other article a while back, most eye witness accounts of ghosts note that the supposed ghost looked like a living person. It's only after the apparition disappears inexplicably or the person figures out that the person seen had already been dead that the witness declares the apparition a ghost.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Chad

      :-)
      John: state what you believe regarding the origin of the universe WITHOUT resorting to the logical fallacy of stating that since all other explanations involve such-and-such, yours must be true.

      In other words, state your position in a positive sense, without resorting to attempting to create a position by pointing out the "obvious" problems with others.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More idiocy. There IS NO "universal agreement" on morality, Chad. Why would you imagine that there being one would be proof of God's existence? If it were "universal", then atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and head-hunters who don't believe in your God would agree with your ideas of morality. They don't.

      Your argument fails, as it always does.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not one thing you have stated proves that Jesus actually rose from the dead or that there is a God. It simply doesn't. It doesn't matter a whit if you have some book stating that hundreds or thousands of people swore something happened-it isn't proof. Nor is the book itself.

      What is wrong with your brain?

      November 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      My view of the origin of the universe? I, like you, don't actually have a worthwhile opinion about it. A little humility is in order here.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @John Richardson "My view of the origin of the universe? I, like you, don't actually have a worthwhile opinion about it. A little humility is in order here."

      I knew you wouldnt do it. :-)

      November 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Chad

      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
      2. Evil exists.
      3. Therefore, objective moral values exist. (Some things are evil!)
      4. Therefore, God exists.

      If one attempts to argue that there is no universal morality, then you are arguing that evil doesnt exist.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove that it does.

      November 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove that objective moral values exist, Chad. Prove that evil exists. Then explain how the existence of either of those prove God exists.

      November 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son "Prove that objective moral values exist, Chad. Prove that evil exists. Then explain how the existence of either of those prove God exists"

      1a I think that the fact that there is an essentially universally held agreement on right and wrong demonstrates the presence of objective moral values.
      1b. Also note that if one believes there are NOT objective moral values then there are only opinions on behavior, one can't use the terms "right", "wrong", "evil".

      2. that's pretty straightforward:
      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
      2. Objective moral values and duties do exist (evil exists)
      3. Therefor God exists

      November 21, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      Assumptions:
      (1) Jesus died in about 30 C.E.
      (2) Hearsay is not acceptable evidence.

      Hearsay – hear•say/ˈhi(ə)rˌsā/
      Noun: Information received from other people that cannot be adequately substantiated; rumor.
      The report of another person's words by a witness, usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law.
      Synonyms: rumor – report – gossip – whisper – scuttlebutt – crap (mine)

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      Mark was the first gospel (Markan Priority). Luke and Mathew copied from Mark and from a doc_ument called "Q". 90% of Mathew's gospel, is copied from Mark. Why would an eyewitness need to copy from Mark? Not just the same narratives, but the exact same words?

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay? Can you say "the dead tell no tales"?

      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean.

      Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE – 65 CE) A.K.A. Seneca the Younger. A contemporary of Jesus wrote extensively on many subjects and people. But he didn't write a word about a Jesus.

      Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher. Plinius wrote "Naturalis Historia", an encyclopedia into which he collected much of the knowledge of his time. There is no mention of a Jesus.

      The area in and surrounding Jerusalem served, in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people. The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected with the high priests. And nothing about the Jesus. Nada! Not even something chiseled on a wall or carved into a tree like: "Jesus Loves Mary Magdalene".

      John 21:25 King James Version (KJV)
      25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

      Golly Gee! You would think a fellow this "gifted" , would have at least been mentioned by one of these historians.
      There is a line in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar that says:"The rocks themselves would start to sing".

      Hmm...

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

      Mark 3:7- 8 King James Version (KJV)
      7But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great mult_itude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,
      8And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great mult_itude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

      Yet, not one of these adoring fans, bothered to draw a picture, chisel a bust, or even write down a description. Even Mohammad has a description. Virtually all important people do. And god, being god, could have preserved it.

      Huge groups of people following a man who had performed miracles...yet no historian of the time, commented on it.
      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture, as some have claimed.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish. The future stories and miracles needed time to grow and spread.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Twenty-five years was most of the average person's lifespan in the 1st Century.

      No television, No electric lights. People mostly sat around and told stories... Ever played "telephone"? A story is started at the beginning of a group. Each person passes the story along to the next person. The person at the end retells the story and it is compared to the original. Often the ending story is totally different from the original.

      Also, when you have a superhero, it is beyond belief that this hero's deeds would not get better in the telling.

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).
      Paul never actually met Jesus. His knowledge and faith was the result of hearsay and an epileptic "vision".
      "In more recent times, this opinion has found support from the fact that sight impediment-including temporary blindness lasting from several hours to several days-has been observed as being a symptom or result of an epileptic seizure and has been mentioned in many case reports."
      Source: http://www.epilepsiemuseum.de/alt/paulusen.html

      The Christian Right has embraced Paul as the moral lawgiver. Paul's First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians, is often quoted by the Republicans. You never hear them quote Jesus' advice to the rich. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:

      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31
      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32
      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus' "miracles".

      This is just an obvious embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction possibly constructed to make it appear that some Old Testament "prediction" was fulfilled. Like:

      "I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." – Isaiah 50:6

      Here is another:
      1 Corinthian 15:14-17 – Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection.

      1 Corinthians 15:4 "4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"

      Matthew 12:40 – Jesus said, that he would be buried three days and three nights as Jonah was in the whale three days and three nights.

      Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning is only 2 days at the most. Or, if you count Friday and Sunday as entire days, then you could get 3 days and 2 nights. This is a gimme though. The Mary's went to the grave at sunrise and it was empty.
      Obviously, the believers spin this like a pinwheel. I have seen explanations like: Jesus was actually crucified on Wednesday or maybe Thursday; The prophesy actually means 12 hour days, and not 24 hour days; The partial days are counted as full days. This one is true, but still doesn't add up.

      At any rate, the crucifixion day and number of days and nights Jesus spent in the grave, is disputed.

      It looks very much like, that Jesus was not in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. The prophecy was not fulfilled.

      1 Corinthian 15:14-17 – Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection. Hmm...
      And what of this?:
      Jesus had healed a woman on the Sabbath!:

      Luke 13 31:33 KJV
      31The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

      32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

      33Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

      NOTE that Jesus is saying, it is impossible for a prophet (Himself) to be killed outside of Jerusalem.

      Yet, Jesus WAS killed outside Jerusalem!

      Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. OOoopsie!

      And there is this:
      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

      Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ crucifixion and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      An interesting note, which should not be ignored:
      "The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Sources Wikipedia (John T. Ramsey & A. Lewis Licht, The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games, Atlanta 1997, p. 99–107

      Hmmm...

      If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true? In a book that is a mix of fiction and "fact", how do you know which is which? Especially, since all of the bible seems very unlikely and does not fit with the reality we see around us.?

      Then there is the "testimony" of Jesus himself, who explicitly stated that some of his disciples would not die until Jesus inst_ituted the Kingdom, and that his generation would not pass away until all his prophecies of the end of the world had been fulfilled:

      [Jesus Speaking]
      Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      I know, spin, spin, spin. But the truth is, the authors of the Gospels wrote that Jesus would be back in the 1st Century.

      Jesus could not be wrong and be god. Gossip and deceit, could.

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.

      Having gone to the trouble of impregnating a human and being born god incarnate and dying for mankind's sins, why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans and Greeks.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (67%) than who are (33%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      I would expect better performance from an almighty god.? We expect better than that, for an approval rating for our politicians.

      You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. – Carl Sagan

      Cheers!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

      2. Evil exists.

      3. Therefore, objective moral values exist. (Some things are evil!)

      4. Therefore, God exists.

      If one attempts to argue that there is no universal morality, then you are arguing that evil doesnt exist.

      Hmm... Does god command these objective morals because they are good? Or, are the objective morals good because god commands them?

      Curious in Arizona

      November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      First Cause and Complexity, even if they were true (they aren't), would not prove the Christian god was the first cause or the designer. Could well have been Allah. Or Any of a thousand gods.

      Even the ancient, now forgotten gods could have been responsible. They, as is true of the Christian god, could now all be dead.

      Your arguments suck.

      Cheers!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad says: 2. that's pretty straightforward:
      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
      2. Objective moral values and duties do exist (evil exists)
      3. Therefor God exists

      You are making ridiculous assumptions that are not based on fact at all, Chad, and have explained nothing about how you conclude that if there are objective moral values that means God exists. How ridiculous! Why would that mean God exists?

      I know you won't bother to answer, because you have already dodged this question repeatedly.

      Really lame, Chardo.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @ David Johnson "First Cause and Complexity, even if they were true (they aren't), "
      =>if you believe they aren't true, you are willing to live with the necessity of an infinite regression. That's not me talking, that's science.

      @ David Johnson "First Cause would not prove the Christian god was the first cause or the designer. Could well have been Allah. Or Any of a thousand gods."

      =>that is true, and I am happy to get atheists to the point where they realize the dilemma they are in:
      - belief in no "uncaused cause" and have an infinite regression
      - believe in "uncaused cause" , but dont think about the ascertaining who or what that uncaused cause actually is, and whether or not that uncaused cause has attempted to get in touch with us in some way shape or form.
      - dont think about it, just go on the CNN belief blog and try to mock Christians

      as for your other voluminous stuff, if you could boil it down to 2 or 3 objections I would be happy to speak to them.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You'd be happy to address issues? Ahahhahhhhahhhahhhaaaaaaaaahahhhahhaha.

      Sure you would.

      Liar.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  18. My New Name

    Is that grease or product in his hair. yuk.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  19. My New Name?

    Hippy Poet?? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    November 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • hippyatheist

      lol

      November 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Alan

      There is a hippypoet?

      November 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • New Name

      Alan I don't know if your are kidding or not, but HippyPoet is the best. I am just breaking balls. I love HP

      November 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  20. mud

    "For many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." -Matthew 24:5

    November 19, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • My New Name

      Broncos 17 : Jets 13

      November 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > "For many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." -Matthew 24:5

      Ezekiel 32:7:
      "When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give it's light."

      Now that we've established the bible is wrong about something, can we stop quoting it as an absolute source of authority? Thanks.

      And by the way, Jesus was nutty as all hell. This guy being also crazy fits in nicely.

      November 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • My New Name

      “This is what the Lord Almighty says... ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (1 Samuel 15:3)

      November 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @The Bobinator "Now that we've established the bible is wrong about something"

      With some context such that what is being said can be understood..

      Ezekiel 32 1 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month on the first day, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:

      “‘You are like a lion among the nations;
      you are like a monster in the seas
      thrashing about in your streams,
      churning the water with your feet
      and muddying the streams.

      3 “‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

      “‘With a great throng of people
      I will cast my net over you,
      and they will haul you up in my net.
      4 I will throw you on the land
      and hurl you on the open field.
      I will let all the birds of the sky settle on you
      and all the animals of the wild gorge themselves on you.
      5 I will spread your flesh on the mountains
      and fill the valleys with your remains.
      6 I will drench the land with your flowing blood
      all the way to the mountains,
      and the ravines will be filled with your flesh.
      7 When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens
      and darken their stars;
      I will cover the sun with a cloud,
      and the moon will not give its light.
      8 All the shining lights in the heavens
      I will darken over you;
      I will bring darkness over your land,
      declares the Sovereign LORD.
      I will trouble the hearts of many peoples
      when I bring about your destruction among the nations,
      among[a] lands you have not known.
      10 I will cause many peoples to be appalled at you,
      and their kings will shudder with horror because of you
      when I brandish my sword before them.
      On the day of your downfall
      each of them will tremble
      every moment for his life.

      Ezekiel 32:7 foretells the downfall of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt..

      You apparently believe Egypt is still the power that it was?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @ My New Name "“This is what the Lord Almighty says... ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (1 Samuel 15:3)

      smart to remember that God doesnt mess around, take advantage of His kindness being ever mindful of His sternness.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • My New Name

      @Chad
      I am ever mindful that God does not exist and if he did he would be the biggest A-ss hole in the Universe.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @My New Name "I am ever mindful that God does not exist and if he did he would be the biggest A-ss hole in the Universe."

      Then why are you so angry at Him?

      Are you equally angry at Hannibal Lecter and the Wicked Witch of the West?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • My New Name

      @Chad
      How can one be angry at something that does not exist? Logic much Chad? And not the fictional characters you mentioned fall under the same category. Thank you for making my point. Bless your heart.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Wicked Witch of the West

      Is somebody mad at me again?
      FOOLS!
      I AM RELEASING THE FLYING MONKEYS OUT OF MY BUTT RIGHT NOW!
      FLY MY PRETTIES! FLY!

      November 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @My New Name "How can one be angry at something that does not exist? Logic much Chad? And not the fictional characters you mentioned fall under the same category. Thank you for making my point. Bless your heart."

      =>How is it possible for you to get angry at what you believe to be a fictional character?
      It doesnt make sense, if you dont feel He is real, then why are you angry at Him?

      November 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Whip of Satan

      Methinks Chad is either extremely obtuse or he really believes atheists hate his non-existent god.
      Just laughable how this has gotten stuck in his thick head. Ha ha ha ha ha!

      November 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • i wonder

      Chad: "It doesnt make sense, if you dont feel He is real, then why are you angry at Him?"

      Are you pretending to be obtuse... or are you really that dense?

      It is the same outrage, horror and disgust that you might feel about the earlier-referenced, fictional, Hannibal Lector.

      It is saying, "IF your fictional "God" is depicted in various stories to have done thus and such nasty actions, then that CHARACTER would be considered to be outrageous, horrifying and disgusting."

      November 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • My New Name

      Chad, see my previous answer to the the same stupid question you asked earlier. My answer has not changed. Were you dropped on your head as a baby? Seriously, were you?

      November 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      I'm guessing that Chad probably isn't all too fond of Allah even though he doesn't believe that god exists.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ I wonder: Chad's really that dense. He makes black holes look vacuous.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Snorlax

      Don't get me started on black holes. Seriously. Don't go there.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, come on. You know you want to.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Awkward Situations I'm guessing that Chad probably isn't all too fond of Allah even though he doesn't believe that god exists."

      I dont care one way or the other about allah.. allah isnt real, the notion isnt threatening to me. I dont go on allah forums and berate people that believe in allah, why would I waste my time? If they want to believe in something that isnt real, fine by me, go right ahead, why should I care? I know allah isnt real, there isnt some sneaking suspi cion in the back of my mind that he might be real.

      If people that believe in allah are trying to change our govt to follow sharia law, I will oppose that effort at the polls and in other forums where I could logically show their side as incorrect and mine correct. The last thing I would do is consider "you're stupid" as some kind of valid data based assertion that made my point in some way shape or form. If I ever got to the point that I started using that tactic, I would know for sure that I had run out of data to present and I would seriously consider my position, after all, if that was the only argument I had, how real is my position?

      November 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "data" do you have that makes your point in any form?

      By the way, Chad, did you finally figure that Plan B (the morning after pill), and RU486 are not the same?

      November 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      Allah is as real as all the other gods, past and present. As real, as the Christian god.

      Actually, since it is the believers that are positing a god, it would be their burden to supply evidence that god does indeed exist.

      No one can prove a negative. I can't prove that god does not exist. I also can't prove Santa Claus does not exist. But in life, we decide what is real and not real, based on what we see in the world around us.

      In the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary.

      I think we can rule out god, in the same way we rule out any other mythological creature. I can't prove vampires or werewolves or fairies don't exist. But, I bet you would agree, that they are not real. They just don't fit in with the reality we see all around us.
      Skepticism is the adult response to anything, for which there is no evidence. Only children under the age of 6, should suspend their critical thinking and believe in magic.

      I bet you don't believe in Zeus, or Isis, or Allah, or Krishna. Right? They just don't seem "real". There just isn't any evidence... Except the universe must have a creator. Something can't come from nothing... Oh well.

      So, we can look for attributes of the Christian god, that should provide evidence that He exists. Sort of like measuring the direction and force of the wind...

      If positive evidence is found, we should conclude that god probably exists.

      If positive evidence is not found, then we should conclude that the Christian God, beyond a reasonable doubt, does not exist. Just like Santa. Just like fairies. Just like vampires. Just like the other gods you reject?

      One of the most compelling reasons for rejecting a god, is the fact that there are so many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.). Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
      Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps the one true god does not exist.

      Christians claim their god is Omnipotent ( all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all good).
      1). If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.
      The bible says He does:

      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2.) If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3.) If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 67% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      In the same vein as the above, notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 38,000 – World Christian Encyclopedia (2001)).
      Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.

      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?
      The bible says:

      1 Corinthians 14:33 – KJV
      33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives. If this is so, then Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches.

      Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction? Is the will of god, subjective?

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Another reason to reject the idea of a god, is because there appears to be no need for one. Each hour of each day, science fills another gap in man's knowledge, that god once filled. So far, science has found no need for a god. The claim, that God Did It, has always been wrong in the past. On this issue, I think the future will look a lot like the past.

      Belief without a reason or evidence, is called "delusional".

      Christians often quote:

      John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      If the Christian god so loves the world, why does he allow / cause so much suffering? Disease, famine, floods, earthquakes etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum. ?

      I can explain the existence of these horrors as being due to natural causes and evolution, but my explanation fails when I include an all loving Creator in the equation. I keep getting a "Can't divide by zero" error.

      Christians say their god is omnibenevolent (all good); omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient ( all knowing)

      1. If the Christian god is all knowing, He would be AWARE of all the suffering on earth.
      2. If the Christian god is all good, He would WANT to rid the world of suffering / evil.
      3. If the Christian god is all powerful, He would be ABLE to rid the world of suffering / evil.
      4. Yet, evil persists.

      Therefore, The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      The Christian god is said to be omniscient and omnipotent. But these attributes are not compatible.
      If the Christian god is all knowing, if the future can be known, then even god would be bound by events in the future. Everything would be predetermined.

      1. If the Christian god, knows what will happen in the future, and does something else...then, He is not all knowing.
      2. If the Christian god knows the future and cannot change it, then He is not all powerful.
      3. The attributes attributed to the Christian god conflict with one another.

      The Christian god with these attributes cannot exist. No being can have these attributes at the same time.

      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.

      How could an all loving god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.

      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. Instead, there are natural causes for earthquakes and floods and other disasters.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is a based on a false premise.

      "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?" 1 Corinthians15:45

      If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible.

      If we evolved, there is no soul –> no afterlife –> no need of a heaven or hell.

      LOL, which is why the Creationists fight so hard against evolution. And why many Evangelicals are reinterpreting Genesis to encompass an old earth.
      Let's see... "And there was evening and there was morning, one day." – Umm... That's millions of years to you and me!

      The Christian god is no more likely to exist than unicorns, satyrs, fiery serpents, or talking snakes, or Allah, or Zeus or Santa. And you don't believe in any of those, Right?

      Cheers!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      @David Johnson: I'm really glad that I came back to read the comments on this article! Your posts are excellent and educational and they were really interesting to read.

      Many religious people like to point out that we don't know everything there is to know about the universe, i.e. the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy. Science is perfectly comfortable with saying "I DON'T KNOW!" Religion likes to step in and say, "Ahh ha! You don't know! So it must be that god exists since we can't explain it!". This is a weak-minded argument if I ever heard of one. We are still trying to understand how we exist and why we have the conscious ability to reflect on why we exist.

      I imagine an arena in which occupies the explanations of our natural world through science and through religion. The known portion for which we have explanations is represented by science and the yet unknown portion is represented by religion. In the past, religion dominated the arena. But when science started to take over, the boundaries represented by religion slowly had to be pushed back onto itself. What will happen when we eventually find out all the mysteries of our universe?

      By the way, just because the Big Bang is the beginning of our universe as we know it, it doesn't mean that other universes do not exist or that this universe began as another universe died.. there are plenty of theories for the origins of this universe and science will hopefully be able to find the answers someday. It's exciting to imagine the things that we can not yet comprehend but this curiosity of the unknown only inspires the idea of a god in the religious minded – their logic defaults them to a creator whereas in the scientific-minded person it inspires us to find out what is going on without resorting to supernatural explanations for which not one piece of evidence has ever existed.

      November 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Chad

      Awkward Situations “Religion likes to step in and say, "Ahh ha! You don't know! So it must be that god exists since we can't explain it!". This is a weak-minded argument if I ever heard of one.”
      =>actually that is not at all true, science stops at a certain point and can not ever, by DEFINIITON, explain “everything”. Here’s what Leonard Mlodinow Co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of A Briefer History of Time has to say on the matter
      “Leonard maintains that "while science often casts doubt on spiritual beliefs and doctrines insofar as they make representations about the physical world, science does not - and cannot - conclude that God is an illusion. Leonard suggests that the universe operates according to laws of physics while acknowledging that science does not address why the laws exist or how they arise."

      So, it’s demonstrably false to say that religion attempts to take credit for that which has yet to be understood. People that put “all their trust” in science actually make a MUCH large willfull suspension of disbelief (exactly what you accuse “religious people of”) by willfully and blatantly ignore what people like Leonard Mlodinow at least have the intellectual honesty to admit he is ignoring..”I sometimes wonder why the laws of our universe exist” – Leonard Mlodinow.
      Science is in reality, the efforts of man to understand the mechanism by which God does what He does. How much faith does it take an atheist to just say “I have no idea why the laws of the universe exist, science is based on the fact that they DO, and by definition can never explain them, but that’s ok… I”ll just ignore that..

      @Awkward Situations “By the way, just because the Big Bang is the beginning of our universe as we know it, it doesn't mean that other universes do not exist or that this universe began as another universe died.. there are plenty of theories for the origins of this universe and science will hopefully be able to find the answers someday.”
      =>Any attempt to explain the origin of our universe by pointing to a previous cause of some kind ultimately faces the problem of the infinite regression, what caused that, what caused that, and so on for ever.
      There must be a first cause, an uncaused cause. Matter doesn’t spring from nothing, which with a first uncaused cause, that’s what you’re stuck believing in.
      How much faith does it take for an atheist to be comfortable with a notion of our universe that relies on matter being created from nothing?

      November 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Chad

      Just grabbing one part of Davids post...

      @David: "Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story."
      =>utter nonsense :-)
      Darwins notion of gradual mutation adding up to complexity has been DISCARDED by the scientific community.
      “the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      "Punctuated Equilibrium" posits that nothing happens for millions of years, then in one grand paroxysm of precisely necessary mutations, done in such a short time that it ALWAYS escapes fossilization, a new species comes into existence.
      every single time.. every single species, MILLIONS of species, comes into being this way. That's what the scientific community believes, because that's what the fossil record shows.
      of course, that's exactly what the Genesis accounts says :-)

      @david "If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye."
      =>Gods creation was not like that, what God created contained none of that.. there were no carnivores. When sin entered the world it radically changed everything including the nature of the creation itself.
      so, we have only us to blame for the mosquito.. unfortunately.

      @David "How could an all loving god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?"
      =>as above, He didnt..

      @David "Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery."
      =>oh man, you havent done much reading on evolution :-)
      The big problem with evolution is the fossil record.

      "Another interesting fact was that stasis had been paleontology’s “dirty little secret” for decades (Eldredge and Gould 1972; Gould and Eldredge 1977), and in practice most paleontologists knew it was omnipresent, yet they were often loathe to admit it for fear of challenging biologists"

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      November 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      @Chad:

      "...science does not – and cannot – conclude that God is an illusion." Yes, that is right because it is not in the realm of science to prove something that does not exist. If evidence for the existence of god were ever to be provided, science would thoroughly investigate it with its tools in order to come to a conclusion. It is not the job of science to prove a negative and so it makes no conclusions. That quote has more to do with the definition of science and its limitations. How does the limitations of science prove the existence of god anyway? It goes back to what I was saying about how “Religion likes to step in and say, "Ahh ha! You don't know! So it must be that god exists since we can't explain it!".

      I too wonder why the laws of nature exist and why we have the conscious ability to reflect upon our own existence. I suspect that mankind has been contemplating this very exact notion since our species came into existence and we will continue to do so throughout the centuries; it's one of the joys of being human. But for religion to step in and claim it has all the answers and all we need is "faith" is contemptable especially when it has absolutely zero evidence for what it claims to be the "truth" – all the while imposing a fascist like dictatorship over the mind. Meer dead apes controlling other apes through religion. Don't be so gullible.

      You said: "Science is in reality, the efforts of man to understand the mechanism by which God does what He does." You know this because?.. This is purely your own opinion based on the theistic personal god of the bible. Some of the arguments you have been making throughout the comments seem to actually be in favor for a deistic god but you go back and forth.

      I don't know how the universe or matter was created, but you obviously do. "Ahh ha!", right?

      November 22, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Chad

      @Awkward Situations "...science does not – and cannot – conclude that God is an illusion." Yes, that is right because it is not in the realm of science to prove something that does not exist. If evidence for the existence of god were ever to be provided, science would thoroughly investigate it with its tools in order to come to a conclusion. "

      =>with all due respect you are completely misunderstanding what Leonard Mlodinow is saying.
      - Science starts from rules, from laws that exist
      - Science always starts from rules, that's what science is
      - as such, science can NEVER explain WHY the rules exist in the first place. It can explain why a particular rule(law) exists, but to do so it needs the existence of other law(s).
      - as such, science BY DEFINITION can never explain why laws exist. That is Mlodinow's point. That is why he said that "science can never disprove God", it has nothing to do with the impossibility of proving a negative.

      His entire point was that since science can never answer the question "why does the universe obey laws", there is always going to be that (by definition impossible to answer) question. Since that question will always exist, that is why he is saying that science can NEVER disprove God.

      It has nothing to do with proving a negative.

      November 22, 2011 at 7:59 am |
    • Chad

      @Awkward situations

      re-reading your post, it occurred to me that you have basically encapsulated the entirety of the atheistic viewpoint:

      "I too wonder why the laws of nature exist and why we have the conscious ability to reflect upon our own existence."
      =>at least with some folks, there is a realization that there is that which can not be explained (it's not a question of not being able to explain it yet, but by definition, never). So your mind approaches the fact that God is present.

      "But for religion to step in and claim it has all the answers and all we need is "faith" is contemptible"
      =>what faith is required to acknowledge that laws of the universe exist? None
      What we are really seeing here is the inflection point.. where your mind having first made some room for God, now looks at the insti tutions of religion and recoils.

      " especially when it has absolutely zero evidence for what it claims to be the "truth" – all the while imposing a fascist like dictatorship over the mind. Meer dead apes controlling other apes through religion. Don't be so gullible."
      =>and the final recoil, justified by two things a) this oft repeated nonsense of zero evidence, and b)noting the failures of religious insti tutions.

      What you are doing is refusing the existence of God due to the actions of man (religion). Your issue is with man, not with God.
      I would encourage you to investigate the God of Abraham by critically analyzing the bible, and stay away from religion.

      November 22, 2011 at 8:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.