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Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
January 10th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.

“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a report on LifeWay’s site. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”

The phone survey was conducted in May 2011, sampling ministers from randomly selected Protestant churches. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, LifeWay said.

A 2010 Gallup poll found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, versus 54% who said humans developed over millions of years.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Evangelical • Science

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soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. Bumper

    Here’s the crux of the argument. Evolution is a false scientific theory because it fails at the sub microscopic level. Some of you have made a good point in stating that Darwin’s theory of evolution was not intended to explain the universe, but “living systems”. Fair enough, let’s use a bird as an example since Darwin seemed to like these animals. It is true that over many millions of years, birds have macro evolved, and, at wholesale, this point seems to agree somewhat with Darwin’s incomplete idea. I’m not really arguing this particular point and will leave it to the Biologists for debate. However, it is both theoretically and literally possible to decompose a bird into fundamental elements (fundamental particles and computational rules, etc... ) These fundamental elements and rules were in place within many fractions of a second of the Big Bang event and were (for practical extents and purposes) “fully formed” at the point (on time scales much shorter than any Hebrew definition of “Day”) of energetic explosion. Therefore, a fully formed complex adaptive system can revert back to its fully formed fundamental components. This essentially means that Darwin’s theory has failed within its own defined context. If the universe were designed such that the processes only proceeded in the direction of the fully formed complexity (no decompositions with elements permanently glued together), his theory would have been mostly complete with discoveries in the physical sciences, but it is not, and evolution is indeed false due to this fact. Further, simply stating that the theory was not intended for the universe is not a back door out of the argument because birds are “living systems” and not universes.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Q

      I understand you're trying to turn this into some particle physics, quantum mechanics, whatever, but the fact remains that Darwin was explaining extant and extinct biodiversity, he was not trying to develop a unified theory of everything. Regarding the origins of the universe and your apparent "fine-tuning" argument, who knows, it's a wash as it could be the product of divine spark or simply the inevitable product of some purely natural process (maybe the two are one in the same)...

      January 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I'm not entirely certain what you are trying to say, but I think your logic may be incorrect where you speak of, "it is both theoretically and literally possible to decompose a bird into fundamental elements (fundamental particles and computational rules, etc... )" It may be possible to break down an organism, a bird, but evolution will not act, or be in effect, on those "fundamental elements."
      A living bird is a "living system," but a dead, or decomposed, one is not.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Mike

      Long winded, and deeply flawed.

      I'd say "nice try" but it really isn't.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • momoya

      Bumper, you keep mixing so many incorrect ideas that you're not even presenting an argument at all, much less a sensible one. This has been brought to your attention over and over and yet you keep doing it. Why? Is the bible wrong simply because it implies that Pi is equal to 3?

      January 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " Evolution is a false scientific theory because it fails at the sub microscopic level. "

      This is what, the 40th time you've posted this? Each time you are asked to supply the citations to peer-reviewed scientific research that supports it. And as of now, each time you have refused to do so. Why? Give me the citation to the article that falsified evolution.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      I think that Bummer is just clowning around now. I must admit, it was funny. There was a comedian I remember form years ago called "Professor Irwin ?Something?" who could have used this nonsense.

      January 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  2. momoya

    Getting hold of God

    I have left a comment on your blog, and I hope you contact me through my email address that I provided there. Peace.

    January 20, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  3. Bumper

    Kayla:

    It is highly unlikely that humans were created "fully formed" at the point of creation on the sixth or seventh day of creation. This idea has never really been supported by science or the Biblical text. Science points to the complex adaptive unfolding that I've described in my blog postings. This includes both fast and slow changes that have occurred over time with evolutions and de-evolutions at the sub micro level, but mostly evolution in macro. The English version of the bible mentions "days" in describing creation. This has always been a point of contention between atheists and all manner of opposing positions. Both Atheists and fundamentals seem to think that a 24 hr period is literally what the text is saying independent of whether or not they believe it to be true. I prefer to look at the dual meaning of the word as it is applied throughout the Bible. In some cases, it did literally refer to a sun up/down scenario. In other places (such as "The day of the Lord"), it refers to an indefinite period of time or an epoch. If the author literally meant to refer to a 24hr period, perhaps he or she was wrong. If the author is wrong, what does that mean to you and your faith? Do you totally discredit God over this trivial mistake? In my opinion, however, I believe the author was referring to an indefinite period of time. Perhaps even more important than the time periods, the ancient writers often employed numerology to convey a message. Has anyone ever even stopped to consider if these folks could count or perform basic addition or subtraction? I don't think so, and numerology was used in conveying important meanings. Numbers like 3, 7, 10, 12 and 40 have very important Biblical numerological significance. The author was likely conveying literal meaning to his audience that has simply been lost over time. Another example of numerology is in the book of Revelations. An entire religious denomination has been falsely created based on the fact that they believe only 144,000 persons are going to Heaven, it's called Jeohvah Witness. I'm not going into detail here, but if you look this up, you'll discover a very logical and reasonable explanation for what the Revelation author meant based on numerology and it does not imply or limit 144,000 persons going to heaven. Here Biblicall numerology makes sense and it is not just a back door way of using symbolism to fill in the gaps of understanding.

    January 20, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Bumper

      Adjustment : The ancient authors conveyed literal meaning that was understood in literal terms by the ancient audience too, but perhaps the meaning has been lost over time.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • momoya

      @Bumper

      Numerology makes for a fascinating study in the bible. I was into it fairly heavily for a few years. The 1000 year day thing in Genesis is one of the smaller problems with the bibles credibility; if you rationalize it away, there's still several thousand other problems with the text. There's one major flaw with the bible that cannot be overcome, regardless of interpretation, and underneath that primary malfunction there are many, many more.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " de-evolutions"

      No such thing. That would imply a direction for evolution. And there isn't one.

      If you want to claim that a daay is not a day – You're right, the word yom can be interpreted as being anywhere from a literal day, to an unspecified era or epoch. However, in Genesis it is used in tthis manner – And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Every other time it is used in this manner, it is interpreted as a 24 hour day. If you want to claim that a "day" was millions of years – what is the reference point? Day and year are concepts based on our positional relationship with the sun. Yet your god didn't bother creating the sun until day 4. Which is then a nonsensical concept. Your god also claimed that he created vegetation on land on day 3. Yet, again, there was no existing photon source to drive photosynthesis. So how did vegetation exist on land for millions of years with no sun?

      January 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bumper

      Primewonk, if you read the posting, I've considered the unlikely possibility that the author meant 24hr literal period. My important point there was that the ancients used numerology to convey literal meaning to an ancient audience that literally interpreted the speaker and conjecture that the meaning has been lost over time. 7 days has a numerological meaning.

      January 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Primewonk

      So when the bible says the bible is "god-breathed", and thus incapable of being wrong, what the fundiots are really saying is that yes the bible is wrong but we have to spin it so that it means something different.

      Right. Got it.

      January 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Bumper

      Define "God Breathed".

      January 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  4. momoya

    @Getting ahold of God

    If you were making a joke, it wasn't clear. I have shown you no hostility whatsoever, and I have used no ad hominem. Don't lie. If you make self-refuting comments, I am going to point out their fallacy. Don't be so touchy.

    I am only attacking the IDEA of an inconsistent and vile god most presented on this site by god believers. I think I am fair in doing that. If the theological arguments are all worked out to your satisfaction then that's all there is to it. I honestly consider any theological arguments put before me, and had you presented those completed arguments, I would have responded to them. It was your choice to keep your motives in the dark.

    You claim that "All of the God Is Not Great-style arguments begin with false premises about God. These are really theological matters, and the theology of hell, free will, evil, salvation, etc. were all worked out long ago. It's just that atheists don't want to hear the answers." When you make this claim you show your ignorance and bigotry. If the "answers" were valid and reliable, they'd be agreed upon by anyone who values reason. If they're just more of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" agreements among believers, with no way to prove their accuracy, then they're not really answers, they're just a particular style of "X" that a number of people have agreed upon to fill in the blank.

    You say that these arguments against god begin with false premises. If I am working with false premises, then tell me what they are and why they are false. If you're going to be cryptic then don't expect relevant response.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Getting Hold of God

      So you tell me I don't think things through, that I lie, and that I'm an ignorant bigot, but you're not resorting to ad hominem attacks? This position confuses me. I don't think any of those things about you, for what it's worth.

      Some of the false premises I've read today:
      God sends people to hell
      God doesn't tell us the rules.
      God only lets people into heaven who practice a certain kind of religion

      These are all straw-man arguments.

      The main reasons I don't present detailed theological arguments are that I have a regular job that doesn't give me the time to do that in this forum. I do make an effort to articulate those, when I have time, in my own blog, gettingholdofgod.wordpress.com. I hope you find time to read some of those posts. Honestly, though, if I spent hours explaining specific theological positions, what good would it do, here? This place is like open mike night at a comedy club in a really bad part of town.

      I wish the elements of faith were irrefutable - who doesn't? - but they aren't. Still, I don't sneer at the people who disagree. Peace.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Getting Hold of God, God ordered the murder of women and children. True or false? Revelation 20:15 "15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. " True or false?

      January 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • HellBent

      "God doesn't tell us the rules."

      How is this is a false premise? If god was clear on the rules, there probably wouldn't be many different versions of the bible and thousands of different denominations and untold amounts of different interpretations as to what the rules are.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • momoya

      @ Getting hold of God

      I apologize for anything I said that may have hurt your feelings. We don't have a lot of time and space, and we need to cut through the malarky as quickly and efficiently as possible. I think highly enough of you to feel that you understand I'm not being personal, but speaking directly to the ideas themselves.

      You call the following list "false premises," and for you, perhaps they are. One of the issues with Christianity is that anybody with any mixtures of belief can call himself a christian while disagreeing with nearly everything another christian believes. The positions you list might be "strawman arguments" for people who believe like you do, but they're right on track for the majority of those who, like you, say that they are bible-believing christians.

      >God sends people to hell
      >God doesn't tell us the rules.
      >God only lets people into heaven who practice a certain kind of religion

      1. It doesn't matter if god sends people to hell or not. He has the power to keep people from hell or simply destroy it. That he allows it at all is the problem.
      2. Nobody agrees on what the rules are. You've got sects who don't wear jewelry and their women cover their hair. You've got sects who say that god has saved everyone already. You've got sects who say that only a few thousand will make it to heaven. If you guys can't agree on what the rules are, and there's no definitive method to determine which sect has which parts right or wrong, then the rules are unclear. Not only that, but many of the precepts contradict each other. In one OT verse god claims to have never even considered such torment as condemnation unto fire; in another, he says that the dead are gone and know nothing. Other verses warn against everlasting torment in fire. The god of the bible says too much and so even the believers have no way to finally agree on anything.
      3. Again, your view is not the standard christian view. Most christians argue that unless you gain a particular sort of spiritual insight and "abide in the vine/him" you'll go to the burny place.

      I would greatly enjoy a deeper discussion with you. I will check out your website and maybe we can continue dialogue in a more appropriate format than on CNN's comment board. You shouldn't worry about setting up a lengthy theological position. You should simply compress the idea into a few sentences and see if it passes or fails the common sense test–if it's sensical and no immediate counter argument comes to mind–the topic can be expanded.

      There's a time and a place for faith and religion, I think, but it doesn't involve a belief in any particular god. I think you'd be surprised at what I have faith in, and where I think religion can serve a valuable purpose. I don't sneer at people, but I do make over-exaggerated funny faces to make people laugh; it's not really voluntary, though, and sometimes it gets me in trouble... Peace to you, GhoG

      January 20, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Getting Hold of God

      Good post, which gives me a few things to chew on. I'll respond offline. Peace.

      January 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  5. HawaiiGuest

    I have a question for all young earth people.

    If we were created formed as we are now, and if God is indeed infallible, then why is it that humans have organs and parts of the body that do nothing? (i.e. Tonsils, the appendix, hell scientists don't even really know what our sinus cavities are for)
    Why is it that some people do not even grow wisdom teeth? Science and evolution can account for these things. What is the reason from a biblical standpoint?

    January 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Heaven's streets are paved with wisdom teeth and the plumbing there relies heavily on the appendix.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  6. Cool Blue

    January 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LOL. Yeah, your bright enough to know how to mock someone else. Monkey see, monkey do. Hahaha. BTW, your stupid god or creater still doesn't exist, but now we know your an ass clown.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Avacado

      Stage1 seems to be a good fit for most here....

      January 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Freud

      evil twin fits stage 3, how predictable!

      January 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Prior

      "It is the will of the Ori, that we should spread Origin to all those blessed by their creation"

      "Hallowed are the children of the Ori."

      January 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • momoya

      Strawman much? It's Christians who run away from honest debate and who refuse to use stay on point or back up their assertions.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • mandarax

      Stage 1 probably is indeed how educated people sound to fundies. To someone with a limited vocabulary, it all just sounds like a bunch of big words strung together in a nonsensical way.

      And I'll just go ahead and be that guy: a "tripolar" model suggests multi-dimensional variation, whereas the three stages they presented are clearly linear. Welcome to Stage 1, enjoy your stay.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Primewonk

      So let me get this straight – Fundamentalists who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science, use technology developed by the science they deny, to mock those who don't choose to be ignorant about science. Did I get that right?

      January 20, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  7. Kayla

    Humans beings were created fully formed approximately 6 thousand years ago, just like it says in Genesis and we coexisted with Dinosaurs. God used Adams rib to make Eve. Evolution is wrong because God just made everything look really old, but it didn't evolve. The earth is not millions of years old, but a few several thousand years. Nothing is evolving.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • LOL!

      LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

      January 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Prior

      "Truth is elusive to those who refuse to see with both eyes."

      "Hallowed are the Ori."

      January 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Aren't you a shining beacon of Christian intelligence.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      If you're serious, then all I can say is LLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!!!!
      If you're not serious, all i can say is LLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      The handle says it all.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Wait a minute

      God made everything look really old? So he's purposely trying to trick us? Not a very nice god that you have.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Primewonk

      The only way to make a 6000 year old rock appear to be 3 billion years old is to alter the weak nuclear force by several orders of magnitude.

      Can you explain to the board what the result of changing the weak nuclear force that much would be?

      January 20, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Suzanne

      God did not make Eve from Adam's rib. He make Eve from Adam's baculum. Go look that fancy word up yourself. Humans are one of the few mammals who don't have a baculum. The ancient texts that refer to Eve being made from Adam's rib used a word that that also had another meaning – a baculum.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  8. Prior

    "Fear not the Ori, fear the darkness that would conceal the knowledge of the universe. Believe in the truth of all things, and you too may find the path to enlightenment."

    "Hallowed are the Ori"

    January 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  9. fred

    Imposter fred, you change your handle now. I was here year before you were.

    Evolution is obviously true. Bible has so obviously many errors and not even agreement within it. Now advances in healthcare rely on what is found from evolution science. If we rely so same on bible for curing disease and for control virus, you already be dead. So maybe you stick to bible for all healthcare next, no modern medical science, and soon I will not be bothered by your imposting.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • fred

      I was not aware of any positive medical contribution from evolution as it is simply a theory about origin. As to the Bible if we followed it we would have saved many lives and unnecessary suffering from $exually transmitted disease. That sounds like one big medical contribution. Oh, how about washing your hands, not eating shell fish in the wrong season, pork, lowering your stress level. Oops Luke was a doctor and the women with bleeding went to every doctor in town…………………guess Christians should see a doctor

      January 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Tony

      "As to the Bible if we followed it we would have saved many lives and unnecessary suffering from $exually transmitted disease."

      Yeah, that's why most churches are against using a condom and our birth rates would be huge if it wasn't for them. Oh, that's right science invented the condom not the bible. LOL

      January 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Get Real

      fred (whichever)
      "I was not aware of any positive medical contribution from evolution as it is simply a theory about origin."

      You are not aware of antibiotic and antiviral medicines which must be constantly changed and updated because the bacteria and viruses mutate (i.e. EVOLVE) to become resistant to the effects of those drugs? Really?

      Contrast this to the Bible's cure for leprosy: Kill a dove, then dip a live dove in its blood, and let it fly around for a while. Oh yeah, that's after the priests have done a bunch of magic wanderings and blessings and incantations exactly 7 times.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Beth

      Get Real just destroyed the statements of the creationist fred by presenting facts.

      Doubt if fred will get it though. He's pretty stupid.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • fred

      Get Real
      That does it, now I will need to kill a bull tonight take its blood put it on the head of a Goat and send it out of town. Thanks a lot, I was really getting attached to the goat. We named it Scape.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  10. Bumper

    To momoya and colin:

    I have to admit, I got in a good belly laugh after reading both of your comments. You make some good points, but they just don't represent reality. If this were a fairly tale land where everyone could create their own designer Gods, then perhaps, you would have had a point. In particular, for you momoya, I appreciate your honesty, but you admitted to being hedonistic. Well, that's a bridge too far for me. I don't really have much left to say other than this must represent your core inner being, or heart. You have an un-pure heart and only Jesus can change your heart. The only way to God and Heaven is through Christ. Enough said. I found a funny story about Atheists:

    FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY
    In Florida , an atheist created a case against Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.
    The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by t...he lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"
    The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays..."
    The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."
    The lawyer said, " Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."
    The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fool’s Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day.
    Court is adjourned..."
    You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!

    By the way, momoya, you are female. That's sad that you don't date. At minimum, I thought a hedonist would spend most of their day on pursuits of unfocused indulgences. This hedonist thing really eats away at your credibility. sorry.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • J.W

      I wish my state considered april fools day a holiday. That would be cool to have an extra day from work.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Ugh, that's not even a good joke. I always like this one:

      Jesus is hanging on the cross and he calls out, "John! John!" John starts running up the hill only to have an arm cut off by a Roman centurion, and he tumbles back down.

      Jesus continues, "John, come here! I have something important to tell you!"

      John again makes his way up the hill, only to have his other arm severed. He tumbles back to the foot of Golgotha. This happens for a third and fourth time with John losing a leg at each attempt.

      Jesus, getting closer to death cries out, "JOHN! Please! I have to tell you something important!"

      The centurion, taking pity on poor John, carries his limbless torso to the top of the hill and holds him up to Jesus.

      Jesus says, "I can see your house from here!"

      January 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • momoya

      You may think whatever you like concerning me or my gender, regardless of how vehemently my family might disagree.

      As to hedonism, you're the king. You are the one banking on an eternal life of pleasure and splendor with your vile hell-creating dictator. When you're in heaven enjoying its pleasures for all eternity, will you ever once ask your god to dispense with hell? Will you ever once ask your god to swap a few hours with someone in his eternal torture chamber? Yes, I seek some small-but-fair amount of pleasure and comfort when it seems appropriate to do so, yet most of time I serve others and hope they have more pleasure and comfort because of my genuine joy in time spent with them.

      If you had a leg to stand on, and could in any way demonstrate the validity of your god, you'd have done it by now. You have no method by which to show your god is any more real than Allah or Ra or the Tooth Fairy. From the evolution of your posts, I can tell that you are becoming afraid to consider this concept, and are now backing away from any logical investigation of your own belief that cannot be distinguished from delusion.

      I notice you have taken my advice and you have chosen to give up logical argumentation in favor of simply spouting your unprovable personal beliefs as if they were fact. I think you made the right choice.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Anecdotal nonsense which also never happened. http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/atheist.asp

      January 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  11. momoya

    @Getting hold of god

    I don't quarrel with the percentage of free-will we might or might not have, I'm pointing out that there's no reason to assume that it's an all or nothing binary. Free-will is a philosophical concept and thus, it makes no logical sense to start basing real-world conclusions on some binary aspect it mary or may not have. For all we know about it, free-will may act as both a particle and a wave and has ebbing and surging flows through our experiences in time. Since we don't really know anything about it, why pretend to and base other arguments on it?

    I have no desire to "eliminate free will" (whatever that means) as you assume. The important question is whether or not god has free will, but that's another debate.

    You say that I seem to share your "predilection for give God advice" as was your wont when you were an atheist. What?!?!? When you were an atheist you tended to give god advice?! Do you realize how bizarre that statement is? I don't have a predilection for giving god advice because I don't have predilections for giving imaginary beings advice. I don't care about giving advice to Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the God of the bible–because they don't exist.

    You go on to say that you finally concluded that it was a "tad pretentious to think [God] need[ed] my advice rather than the other way around." Again, what?!? You figured you shouldn't be giving advice to a being you didn't believe in?!? No wonder things didn't make sense to you... You were walking around believing a being didn't exist, yet you were giving it advice. I can see how "things started making more sense" once you decided to believe in somebody you were giving advice to and assuming he wasn't doing as good a job as you would. You sure were one weird atheist.

    The important thing here is whether or not your god had/had free will, and if he did/does, why he chooses to do such vile actions as building and sustaining hell. Since nobody can prove that god or hell exists, why not just assume that we have free will while alive, and with that free will create, to the best of your ability, peace, love, and joy. You wouldn't torture people for simply disagreeing with you. You wouldn't create an eternal hell, either. Just assume you have free will and make the decisions that seem to cause the most joy. Don't be like your imaginary god.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      We're talking about human free will. Whether God has free will is beside the point (the point being, whether he exists). No sane atheist puts God in the same category as the tooth fairy, or we'd have the CNN Tooth Fairy blog. God is obviously a very important person to atheists, or they wouldn't spend so much time arguing about him.
      Be that as it may, I absolutely agree that we have an obligation to live our lives a certain way, to the best of our ability. Peace

      January 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • momoya

      @Getting ahold of God,

      Free will is a philosophical concept, what matters if we are speaking of gods or humans? Did Thor throw his hammer when he wanted to or was it always at the command of a higher power? The concept of "power" doesn't change if we are talking about aliens, god, or people, does it?

      Yes, sane atheists put the god of the bible in the same category as the Tooth Fairy in regards to their imaginary nature. As an atheist, you argued with god, something no thinking atheist would do, so I don't think you're fit to judge how atheists think.

      CNN has a site for the discussion of the imaginary character "Biblegod" because most of CNN's clients are god believers. Were the Tooth Fairy believed by 90% of the CNN viewers there would be a site for her and not Yahweh, and that's who we'd be debating instead. The same goes for Odin or Santa or whatever imaginary character is asserted that can't be proved. It's not the particular god that is important to atheists, its the particular god that people are believing in without proof. With all due respect, you don't seem to think things through very well.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Getting Hold of God

      But I am courteous to one and all! And I know how to lighten up a little, which is what I was doing, obviously, in making the comment about arguing with God. I don't know why it makes you so hostile, and makes you resort to these ad hominem attacks against me, whom you don't know from Adam (sorry, bad choice of words). We're not enemies. We are comrades in the search for truth, even though we belong to different forces. Think of it as a coalition army. That's a joke.

      But I do say in all seriousness that I don't believe in the god you're attacking. I believe in some other guy. All of the God Is Not Great-style arguments begin with false premises about God. These are really theological matters, and the theology of hell, free will, evil, salvation, etc. were all worked out long ago. It's just that atheists don't want to hear the answers. Peace.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  12. Prior

    "Those who seek the path to enlightenment must not be led astray."

    "Blessed are the Ori."

    January 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  13. Bull

    These pastors sound every bit as stupid and ignorant as the Muslim mullahs who says God orders you to kill those who don't adhere to Islam. Relgion sucks, will be the death of us all.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  14. Evolution is a religion!

    To all evolution worshippers:

    We congregate at CNN belief blog 24*7, come join us as we worship almighty Chimp and the prophet Charles Darwin.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Observer

      There is nothing scientific about your religion. Get over yourselves!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • mandarax

      That's ridiculous. That comment only demonstrates an ignorance of both religion and science.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • proud peacoke

      @Observer-don't say that .We have fossil evidence. It is in that bag they found this week.
      happy! happy! joy! joy!

      January 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Prior

      "Enemies of the Ori show no mercy in their attempts to draw believers away from the path."

      January 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • momoya

      Classic christian response that shows more than intended. The believer knows that if it is just one religion against another, it's just "he said, she said," and there's no deciding authority or peer review process to worry with.

      If evolution is a religion its worshipers are the most heretical ever considered. Updating Darwin's ideas and refining them, correcting his mistakes and admitting where his methods or analysis were flawed. If only the other religions would learn a thing or two from the "evolution religion."

      January 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Prior

      It is the will of the Ori, that we should spread Origin to all those blessed by their creation

      January 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Leon

      What does the fossil evidence actually show? it shows species existed eons ago, like kind produced after its own kind. This is proof of creation and not evolution.
      One creature does not and cannot evolve into another creature.That is a sad myth.
      Everybody has one life to live and one choice to serve God. It is ultimately a choice that a person makes for themselves as to what they believe in either to believe in Creator God or in a theory.

      God can never be challenged by man and his theories

      January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Prior

      @Leon – "And those who are prideful and refuse to bow down shall be laid low and made unto dust."

      "Hallowed are the Ori."

      January 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Prior

      "Fear not the Ori, fear the darkness that would conceal the knowledge of the universe. Believe in the truth of all things, and you too may find the path to enlightenment."

      "Hallowed are the Ori"

      January 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Leon wrote, " like kind produced after its own kind. "

      So, what's a "kind"?

      Why do people who choose to be ignorant about science come onto message boards and demonstrate that ignorance? Seriously, it's like you guys are proud to be stupid.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Prime-once you've laid an egg come back and squeak.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Leon, Ignorance is not something to be proud of. You should feel a certain level of shame and hope to improve yourself. That's what being human is all about. If you only spent as much time educating yourself as you do indulging in your fantasies, you'd be able to contribute to an intellectual conversation in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, your intellectual laziness and regurgitated fallacies only succeed in making you a spectacle to be ridiculed.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • .

      why do fools like ashrakay suffer themselves??? poor litlle chimp has no clue what evolution is about
      It is the 21st century and these apes still have not evolved ;).

      January 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sam Dawkins

      yo akshray..monkey see monkey do eh?

      January 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Observer – I can't lay an egg. I'm a placental mammal. I'm also male.

      So, why didn't you answer the question? What is a "kind"?

      January 20, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Observer

      Prime...-As a h.omo sapien you married another h.omo sapien(hopefully) so what kind did you r.eproduce? another h.omo sapien, right?

      January 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  15. Primewonk

    Getting hold of God wrote, "I think you're a little confused on the theology of hell. Anyone can choose salvation, but God doesn't force them."

    Is your god omnipotent and omniscient? (If not, then he isn't much of a god, is he) So, since your god is omnipotent and omniscient, he must – by definition – know if I am going to hell or heaven.Let's assume your god knows I am going to hell. How can I surprise god and show up in heaven? I can't. Otherwise god would have known that.

    Your god creates billions of people, knowing that he will send them to hell to be tortured for all eternity.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Colin

      Indeed Primework. Upon the slightest reflection, it gets really silly.

      Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by the "all-loving" god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

      About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell the "all-merciful" god set up and maintains.

      But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

      No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of the “infinitely benevolent” god. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, hell I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is refuse to believe in [the Christian] god and it will impose a penalty on me an infinite times worse than the death penalty.

      Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to your god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. The "all-caring" god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for ever.

      It is also odd that the all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager than breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.

      that's the problem with using the same sky-fairy as both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly

      January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      I answer these points elsewhere in a different thread. I agree with you that the god you're describing doesn't exist. I'm talking about someone else. Peace.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • fred

      WRONG
      Hell is reserved for Satan and his demons and that is all. If Colin has reason for concern I can understand it. The rest of us are probably ok as Jesus will render perfect judgment. According to Jesus, not Colin, judgment will be based on what you did with what you were given by God. Now, take a close look at Jesus then be thankful he is mercy and love that gave his own life that you may live.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tony

      "According to Jesus, not Colin, judgment will be based on what you did with what you were given by God. "

      WRONG if you don't believe in Jesus Christ no matter what your good deeds are you will go to hell.

      I am the way, the truth, and the life; NO MAN cometh unto the Father, BUT BY ME.” (John 14:6)

      January 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @fred, and Getting hold of god, So are you both disagreeing with what the bible says? Because what Primewonk and Colin have said is an accurate depiction of the god of the bible. And, if you're saying that god doesn't exist, where are you getting the idea of god from if not the bible?

      January 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • fred

      Tony
      "But my me" relates to Jesus being the perfect and final Judge and Jesus further took all the sins of the world upon himself in a final atonement then Jesus said it is finished. God is much bigger than we give him credit for He has it all figured out. If you were called to believe in Christ then answer the call.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • fred

      ashraky
      Not sure where you are coming from. The Bible does not say all non christians are going to hell. The Bible actually makes it clear the gate is narrow that leads to life. It is clear that Hell is reserved for Satan and his demons. The rest is very involved but in short the Bible says we are held accountable based on what we did with what we were given.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @fred, Surely you're familiar with the parable in Luke 16:19-31. This is a story of a man, not demon in hell.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  16. mandarax

    This discussion gives me renewed respect for ancient peoples 10-20 thousand years ago. It must have been really really inconvenient going through life knowing you don't exist yet, and even more difficult domesticating all those wild animals and plants when species cannot change. Man, they had it hard.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  17. Bumper

    momoya:

    (1) This one is easy. I asked your gender because you were flirting with me and I thought you wanted to go out.
    (2) God didn't create Hell.
    (3) I'm not stating my opinion, I'm quoting from God's world revealed to man or the Bible
    (4) We don't get to pick and choose the God that we want. It's easy to make a statement like," I don't want to worship at God that wants to be glorified, how arrogant". However, we exist to Glorify God. That's why he created us.
    (5) Evolution is false. It does not work at the sub micro level and violates the third LAW of thermodynamics. You didn't see it in the literature because 1000's of Biologists would lose their jobs. They don't want to admit it.
    (6) My calculation for creative elements is based on logic, math and hard sciences. It is non theist and factual. The linkage between the creative element and creator is theistic and based on Bible teachings.
    (7) God wants us to love Him and love each other. This is the primary commandment. However, there are sobering realities for the non-believers. If you truly love your neighbor, you won't tell that they are going to Heaven if they don't acknowledge God. The sobering reality is life after death, and the existence of Heaven and Hades.
    (8) If you don't have faith in God and His ability to perform miracles in your life, it won't happen. The sign of Jonah refers to the resurrection of Christ and has nothing to do with Kama Sutra, geesh. Christ rose from the grave after spending three days in an earth tomb. This is a cryptic analogy to the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale from the Old Testament. The resurrection is the sign to all of humanity. Don't miss this point.
    (9) As an atheist, what keeps you from being completely hedonistic?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Colin

      Dear Bumper

      God here.

      First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

      Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the Centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

      Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

      Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who withheld all evidence of my existence in the first place.

      Fifth, I would not care who you do or how you “do it”. I really wouldn’t. This would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Oh, the egos.

      Sixth, I would have smited all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

      Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

      Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

      Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

      Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

      Move on – get over me. I did.

      God

      January 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Federico Kereki

      The THIRD law of thermodynamics? That has absolutely nothing to do with evolution; I think you meatn the SECOND law, and in that case you would just be wrong, for evolution isn't inconsistent with that law...

      January 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " Evolution is false. It does not work at the sub micro level and violates the third LAW of thermodynamics. You didn't see it in the literature because 1000's of Biologists would lose their jobs. They don't want to admit it."

      Again, you claim evolution is false, yet refuse to supply citations to peer-reviewed science that supports your contention.

      By the way, the scientist(s) who do publish the falsification to ToE will have their ticket punched to Stockholm. They will be guaranteed the Nobel Prize. Fame and fortune will be theirs.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • momoya

      (1) No, I never flirted with you; I said you seemed like a nice chap to hang around with. I don't date, but I would never date someone who thought hell was a decent idea. My gender is my own business.
      (2) It doesn't matter who created hell, if god allows it, and does not destroy it, he's either not powerful enough, or he likes the idea. Why should he allow hell's existence?
      (3) It's your judgment that the word of god is accurate. We hold muslim terrorists responsible for their evil actions even though they use your same argument (that it's not their idea but the idea of their god). If you agree with it, you have to own it.
      (4) We don't exist to glorify god. (You see how easy it is just to say stuff?)
      (5) Evolution is correct. It is proven thousands of times every day by ongoing experiments and studies. Conspiracies can't hold when there's that many people involved, no matter your bias or theirs. Many, many mistakes have been made in science and in biology, and because of the rigorous peer review process, and because scientists love to overturn wrong ideas and thus make a name for themselves, the scientists are the ones who correct past mistakes. You should do some research on how many times and for what reasons science has corrected past errors and will continue to do so. Science self-corrects and continually seeks to better define its own principles. Science loves to be proven wrong because it means a new breakthrough.
      (6) Your calculations don't mean anything because your arguments are so non-sequitur and silly. If you knew what you were talking about, you'd talk like it. You don't know whereof you speak, and it shows every time you try to overreach your intellect.
      (7) Just stating what you believe as fact does not make it so. You don't let people from other religions pull this stunt on you, yet you think it's a great tactic when you do it? Your logic is screwy.
      (8) Yes, I know what the "sign of the prophet Jonah" is supposed to mean. If jesus really resurrected then he should evidence it in some way. Does Jesus love "Doubting Thomas" more than us nonbelievers? Why? Why does god not evidence jesus resurrection, but instead insist that we believe a fairy tale from 2000 years ago that is indistinguishable from other fairy tales–power-wise, I mean.
      (9) As an atheist, I use my brain. I consider how I want to be treated, and I consider how other people have lived and the consequences of those actions. I have found that when I attempt to evoke joy in those I care for, I feel joy myself. If I had more cash and power I'd be more hedonistic, for sure, but I would also know from past experience that it would only be enjoyable if that hedonism was shared among loved ones. I don't have a problem with hedonism itself, but balance does a human good, so I don't see the point in pursuing it to the degree that the term sometimes implies.

      Bumper, stop trying to graze from both sides of the fence. Pick a tactic. If you are going to insist on being taken seriously, then make cogent arguments with a hierarchy of premises; if you don't care about being taken seriously, then just shout out your beliefs regardless of what sense they may or may not make. it's your mix and swirl of these two opposite strategies that weakens any message you hope to convey.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Anatomically Bombed

      "(2) God didn't create Hell."

      Um, I hate to be the one to ask the obvious, but if God didn't, then who did? And if something else apart from your God created your imaginarium of hell, what created it? Or are there two beings that have always existed? And a follow up question, does having such a tiny brain and small world view cause actual pain to yourself or only to others who try and communicate with you?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • rick

      God didn't create hell? I thouht you thumpers claimed that god created everything

      January 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • rick

      "We don't get to pick and choose the God that we want"

      I do

      January 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • rick

      "However, we exist to Glorify God. That's why he created us."

      Sounds like an egotistical monster.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Eric

      God did create hell (read your damn book)...
      Matthew 25:41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels

      As for what keeps me (as an Atheist) from being 'hedonistic' is it really only the bible which keeps you from raping and killing? I know many people who have gone from believing to not believing without killing or raping anyone – do you worry that you could not make this transistion? Perhaps you should keep believing in the magic man in the sky then.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      It's a principle of Biblical exegesis that text without context is pretext. You're hanging everything on the word "prepared," I think, and assuming it means that God has created a place for evildoers. The created universe owes its existence to God, so you could say that God created hell in same way you could say God created my house. It's true in a general sense, but the specific location owes something to the intervention of another agent. Hell is like that. But god doesn't "send" people there, sneering and gloating, the way you seem to think. Evildoers who persist to the end in doing evil are sending themselves on a trajectory that ends up there. They might not see this in our life here on earth, but they're on the way.

      Let me make some important distinctions. An atheist who disbelieves, in good conscience, but respects the beliefs of others and avoids sneering and gloating, is in a very different position spiritually than one who crows and insults. Heaven is crowded with former atheists, for all I know. And I don't think anyone on earth knows who's going to which place. But I do know that a person consumed with pride and self-aggrandizement is in more danger from that condition than from his or her cosmological views. Peace.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Bumper, I'll take #9, Assuming that I'm not a hedonist, what keeps me from becoming one is a morality that supersedes that of god and the bible. God commanded the murder of women and children... I'd never do something so abhorrent. Solomon "the wisest man" in the bible and favored by god built a temple to Moloch who was known for the sacrifice of burning infants alive. I've never asked a man to kill his child just to test his faith. I wouldn't wipe out my world with a flood because I didn't like what they were doing. If you're getting your morals from the bible, then you should probably be locked away.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Getting hold of God, Being ridiculous opens you to ridicule. People that believe in god deserve the same kind of treatment that believe in faeries. It's funny and it's silly. If one day we find that faeries actually exist, feel free to laugh and insult us if we refuse to accept it.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      I will never ridicule or insult you. It's against my religion.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  18. Kenrick Benjamin

    PureFury- There is no what If, I ask you a number of Questions and you have answered them. As you stated Dirt + breath + 6 days = Man.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      6 Non-literal days as you mention.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Beth

      By a non-literal and non-existent god.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Now did you change my believe, NO.

      January 20, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      PureFury- I said to myself, let you be, but the God in me said No. So here we GO Theistic Evolution is God Evolution there is no natural selection, their is God selection everything is in relation to God, even the Mutation.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      PureFury- Let me elobrate, you see if everything was created simultaneously their would be no need for God evolution, but because it took 6 days, in which God started with the creatures of the seas which god cause to come to be(Create) and a gradually process of change and development (Evolution) led to the creatures of the Air and then land.

      January 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  19. james hotz

    The only thing these free loading pastors want is money in the collection basket and they'll tell you any lies you want to hear.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  20. momoya

    Getting hold of god: On your free-will escape clause.

    Free-will cannot be held up as a binary either/or option; it could exist in degrees or at certain times or what have you. It's cruel enough that your god created hell as an option at all. When you go to someone's house they don't offer you cake or death, because that would be stupid. Your god gives stupid options in a coded language that's easily deniable. If your god was decent, he would make his word as plain as mathematics or gravity. He'd still be a jerk for creating hell as an option at all, but at least the warnings would be somewhat understood by all.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      I think I see your point. There is a distinction between having SOME free will and having NO free will, and that's a binary choice, but you quarrel with the amount of free will we have. I think you want to eliminate free will where it really matters, namely, in the freedom to choose good or evil. But this is the whole point of creation. If I am free to choose soup or salad, but not free to choose good or evil, then I don't have the free will that makes life meaningful.
      When I was an atheist, I had the same predilection for giving God advice and thinking I could have done a better job than him. At some point it occurred to me that, if God exists, it's a tad pretentious to think he needs my advice, rather than the other way around. That's when things started making sense. peace

      January 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • momoya

      @Getting hold of god

      I don't quarrel with the percentage of free-will we might or might not have, I'm pointing out that there's no reason to assume that it's an all or nothing binary. Free-will is a philosophical concept and thus, it makes no logical sense to start basing real-world conclusions on some binary aspect it mary or may not have. For all we know about it, free-will may act as both a particle and a wave and has ebbing and surging flows through our experiences in time. Since we don't really know anything about it, why pretend to and base other arguments on it?

      I have no desire to "eliminate free will" (whatever that means) as you assume. The important question is whether or not god has free will, but that's another debate.

      You say that I seem to share your "predilection for give God advice" as was your wont when you were an atheist. What?!?!? When you were an atheist you tended to give god advice?! Do you realize how bizarre that statement is? I don't have a predilection for giving god advice because I don't have predilections for giving imaginary beings advice. I don't care about giving advice to Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the God of the bible–because they don't exist.

      You go on to say that you finally concluded that it was a "tad pretentious to think [God] need[ed] my advice rather than the other way around." Again, what?!? You figured you shouldn't be giving advice to a being you didn't believe in?!? No wonder things didn't make sense to you... You were walking around believing a being didn't exist, yet you were giving it advice. I can see how "things started making more sense" once you decided to believe in somebody you were giving advice to and assuming he wasn't doing as good a job as you would. You sure were one weird atheist.

      The important thing here is whether or not your god had/had free will, and if he did/does, why he chooses to do such vile actions as building and sustaining hell. Since nobody can prove that god or hell exists, why not just assume that we have free will while alive, and with that free will create, to the best of your ability, peace, love, and joy. You wouldn't torture people for simply disagreeing with you. You wouldn't create an eternal hell, either. Just assume you have free will and make the decisions that seem to cause the most joy. Don't be like your imaginary god.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.