home
RSS
March 22nd, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Atheist rally billed as 'coming out' moment for nonbelievers

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A coalition of atheist and secular organizations are coming together on Saturday to hold what is being billed at the largest gathering of atheists in history.

David Silverman, chairman of the event committee and president of the American Atheists, said the rally is aimed at uniting atheist organizations and letting the religious know that there are nonbelievers among them.

“We need to stress to the theists that we are here,” Silverman said. “Atheism is growing in all 50 states. What people don’t seem to understand is all we demand at American Atheists is equality.”

Silverman initially told CNN that the rally would draw anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people to the National Mall, and the National Park Service has planned for 30,000 people. With thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, however, Silverman told CNN on Thursday that he expects somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

The cost of the event is around $300,000, Silverman said, but philanthropist Todd Stiefel, Founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, is supplying half the money.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The rally has been a catalyst for protests by the Westboro Baptist Church, a group well known for its picketing of funerals of American servicemen and servicewomen. Westboro Baptist has been granted a permit for the “grassy area between 14th and 15th” streets, according to Carol Johnson, a communications officer for the National Park Service.

Though a press release for the reason rally touts 17 groups planning to protest, only the Westboro Baptist Church has applied and obtained a permit. Johnson said rally organizers have notified the Park Service of other possible protest groups, but none of those have applied for a permit.

The rally's long list of speakers and presenters runs the gamut from intellectuals to celebrities to comedians. The event is headlined by Oxford professor and author Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins, who is widely regarded as the most respected figure in atheism, is lending his voice to this event because he says freedom for atheists is “constantly under threat from people who would like to turn this country into some sort of a theocracy.”

“The Reason Rally is part of an effort to combat the attack of the theocrats,” Dawkins told CNN. “There is in this country at the moment a great revival of atheism, and the number of atheists in the country is much larger than people realize.”

Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

At a press conference for the event, Silverman was adamant that the rally won't be the last. He didn't say whether it will be become an annual tradition, but he intends a higher profile for atheists in the future.

“The next step after the rally is all eyes on the election,” Silverman said. “We want to post hard questions to the candidates.”

Dawkins, too, related the rally to politics.

“The nonbelieving constituency has not been vocal enough, and it therefore has been politic for them to be ignored by their congressmen, by their senators,” Dawkins said.

Directing his comments at Congress, Dawkins said, “You have been neglecting them, overlooking them and riding roughshod over them as though they didn’t exist. Well, they do exist and they outnumber some of the other lobbies that you have been so assiduously sucking up to all these years.”

The America Atheists also are holding their annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Secular Coalition for America has scheduled its “Lobby Day for Reason” on Friday.

The weekend is part of a larger blitz by a coalition of atheists to “win” equality in American culture, Silverman said.

“We are the last group against whom it is politically correct to be bigoted,” he said. “That is something that needs to change and I am very confident that we will within 20 years.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (3,073 Responses)
  1. joey

    I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote "Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?")

    March 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Junior

    David Silverman hit it on the head. Atheists wants atheism to be mainstream. But what atheists need to realize is in order for that to happen, Atheism must be reflected in a positive manner. Gay marriage is becoming mainstream because of the message of love and equality. Atheists need a message of love and hope, instead of a mean message of putting down believers.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Henry

      So how did fundamentalist Christianity become mainstream then?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • SeinFeinnFun

      Another clueless wonder that has no understanding of the damage that religion does. Think about being mean the next time some religious nut job law maker tries to shove his/her fairy tale down everyone else's throat.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • CodyTeacher

      Very well put, fellas. People need to know what atheists and humanists believe IN, and the happy, whole, complete and loving lives they can lead.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • coastlinecascot

      Instead of spending 300,000 grand on a party. Use it for charity. Get more people to take your cause seriously. just my opinion

      March 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Michael

      How many Holy Wars has atheism started?

      March 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • jgthinker

      To coastlinecascot:
      It cost Spain over $144 million for the Pope's visit last August. As an Atheist, I see that as way too much money spent on the visit of a false idol. I don't think accusing Atheists of spending a little money represents a viable argument. Look how much we don't spend on "temples."

      March 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Junior

      What atheists don't realize is that they are following christianity and becoming more organized like organized religion. What a lot of atheists are doing right now, Especially those who were christians themselves, are using the message of Christianity and humanize it. Instead of believing in the Good of God and having hope in God, the humanized message is to believe in the good of mankind and having home in mankind. You can take an atheist out of the church, but you can't take the church out of an atheists.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  3. Dan

    The link to this story is labeled in a way that has nothing to do with the content of the story.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Patiat

      Indeed. It's wildly off target. How does such a thing even happen?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Merc

      I thought so too, but I think it may have something to do with the video at the top. I never watch CNN's videos online because they're impossibly slow to load (I seem to have no problems with speed elsewhere).

      March 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  4. joey

    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  5. Donna

    My husband is a career military officer. He's also a liberal atheist. He's said many times that people are fine with him being liberal, even under Bush, but that if they knew he was an atheist, it would be a career killer.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • jgthinker

      I would agree, the military academies are still pretty much a WASP environment.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • What Now

      I am sorry for your husband and understand the fear. But, do thank him for his service and tell him there are those who appreciate his work.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  6. What Now

    Although I believe everyone has the right to their views, I still believe that the physical, chemical, and biological sciences explain much of what we need to know with regards of our planet. There are many physical laws that exist to explain these issues. I am an evolutionist, as it is daily proven. I do not call this a work of god. I don't worship or have faith. I take facts as they come and recognize that with each bit of data and proof, our understanding becomes stronger and more complete. It is not enough for me to just believe in a magical being that somehow waved a wand and earth appeared with its' life forms. Daily, we discover new species. Daily, scientists are developing new life forms. Just because we don't have all the answers this very minute, does not mean that a god created the earth. I certainly would not want research to stop because we think a god controlled our lives.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • hurdlethedead

      The logic in your post is a good summary of the reason I chose to become an athiest. I believe that many religions, if not all, are holding humanity back, both scientfically and philosophically. We should exercise caution with new discoveries, of course, but we have to strive for more. We have to dream and trust in ourselves.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  7. asdf

    Two guys proselytizing on the street the other day stopped me to talk when I tried to hand them back their little card with some Gospel stuff on it. After a lengthy discussion about the history of different religions, I had boiled down their arguments thusly:

    "Christianity is correct because its been around so long. God is protecting our religion." – Oh really? Well if its longevity we're going for, then perhaps Judaism or an eastern religion is for me.

    "Christianity is correct because we have so many believers." – Oh really? tell me that one again in one hundred years when apparently Islam will be the "correct" religion.

    Then they said that Christianity will certainly be around for millenia to come, at which point I asked "wait, you think you're religion is special? In another 2000 years, people probably won't know who Jesus was, just like you don't know what the predominant god was 2000 years ago." They seemed really upset.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  8. Jack Olver

    Maybe an absence of faith but plenty of hope and love. You don't need religion to have hope and love.

    Spirit has to do with what's inside you. You don't need religion to have spirit.

    Dawkins' books still sell very well, he is a very well respected scientist and educator. He was the U of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 till 2008. Liberal, perhaps, but stooge? I think few of us would do well debating this brilliant man.

    Those who reject religion's irrationality have been abused for generations. In modern America we are not penalized in many ways but are utterly ignored by politicians. A movement to focus the voting power of the non religious is long overdue.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Patrick

      Spirit has to do with my internal organs? I don't understand.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  9. joey

    please pass the collection plate and know that your tax exempt contributions maintain our tax exempt status

    March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  10. coastlinecascot

    Not a believer either way myself. However with that said, I do believe real religous people do help the community with charity more than any other organization. Sorry athiest, I dont see to many athiest organizations going out of their way to help others like some religous groups do on a daily basis.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • haha

      Agreed.. I believe the main reason to push back against religions are to just get them out of our political system.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Concerned Atheist

      Organize Atheists? Kind of takes the fun out of being one. What you are not considering are the contributions made by Atheists as individuals. I contribute hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars every year.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • jgthinker

      I donate to individual causes and take out the religious middleman. The whole point of Atheism is a lack of a religion, therefore a lack of "religious" organization.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • asdf

      Atheists commit plenty of money and other resources to charity, just not through atheist organizations. The vast majority of atheists don't belong to any community of atheists.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • coastlinecascot

      Ill give you an example. I just had a church representative come pick up an old clothes dryer to donate. He drove 20 miles to pick it up to donate and install it into a home owned by a mentally challenged non church member. He does not get paid or reimbursed for gas. I thought that was pretty cool to see good people good organizations like this out there.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • DarkBronzePlant

      There are plenty of charities that aren't church-related. It's there that you'll generally find atheists donating and doing charity work.

      Or, are you saying that atheists should literally set up charities with the word "Atheist" in their name, for some kind of PR purpose?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • coastlinecascot

      Sorry guys I dont buy it. Sure not discounting your donations. I just see a community without churches. to me would be a community without a outlet for people that are need of help not with just financials with counselling and mental health issues.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • jgthinker

      Oh so you've never heard of these minor organizations?:
      Red Cross
      ASCPA
      The UN
      American Cancer Society
      Secular food banks
      I could go on, but I think you might get the point by now.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  11. Jim

    Having Dawkins as a mouthpiece for the atheists is a greatmove.

    Anyone with the reasoning ability above a 12 year-old can read "The God Delusion" and see that Richard should stick with biology and leave philosophy, reasoning and being an apologist to someone else. The man starts with faulty premises and then builds his house on the beach sand from there. Then he repeats old and known-to-be-false "evidence" that is 150 years old to "build his case."

    Richard may be a brilliant biologist but he has no understanding or skill in areas outside his own, very narrow specialty.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Patrick

      Can you back your statement up?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • haha

      His premises are not metaphysical so they are faulty? Metaphysics died along time ago.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • SeinFeinnFun

      Lol @ jim.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • CommonSense

      Right... because the whole concept of a god totally makes sense. I say, if you believe in the 'God' then why not Zeus or Ra or Shiva as well. Buy the whole basket of fruit.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  12. joey

    did sandusky get a permit ?

    March 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  13. MrBill

    Choosing to believe the impossible is like a voluntary psychosis. That is how I see religious faith. No matter now hard you try or how much you want to believe, faith just does not make the impossible happen. Faith is magical thinking at its purest. I wish, I wish, I wish... Oops – still in Kansas.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Jim

      You have started with the fallacy of the antecedent which is a basic rule breaker and nullifies your "logic." A supernatural force from outside of this universe is not impossible. In order to make the claim you have, you would need to have omniscience and since you clearly do not (bet you can't prove dark matter beyond all doubt let alone what lies outside the universe {since the universe is expanding then something is outside our universe by definition}], your attempt to label a supernatural being as impossible is by definition, empty bravado based on ignorance.

      Since neither side can confirm or deny the existence of the supernatural scientifically, your attempt to be reasonable has failed miserably.

      People such as yourself are unreasonable zealots that remind reasonable people of the old Baptist joke – "Our preacher may not always be right but he is NEVER in doubt!"

      March 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Kevin

      @ Jim:

      It's not impossible that there is a God, but there is no proof of one. So why would we consider the existence of a God any more likely than, say, the Tooth Fairy?

      Scientists don't claim to know everything. They investigate and try to learn.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Jim – If people posit that a god exists, the onus is on them to supply the evidence supporting this. However, if you then posit that your god has supernatural powers, then your god is no longer in the natural realm. Once you claim your god exists in the supernatural realm, it is no longer falsifiable. If it is not falsifiable, science doesn't give a crap about it. You might as well claim that giant invisibe fuzzy pink unicorns circle Uran.us.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  14. Patrish

    Good for them. I'm fed up with the so called religious, who want to shove it down other people throats. Being religious has nothing to do with love, faith or kindness. People who don't believe in GOD do acts of kindness because it's the right thing to do, not to impress people, or to 'buy' their way into a so called 'heaven'.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Mr P

      What defines good?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Patrick

      People do. I do.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Jim

      Patrick,

      Then all "good"means is nothing more than your own subjective opinion. And I have my own definition of good. So, there is nothing that is truly "good" by your defintiion, just own own personal opinions that mean nothing really.

      Now that each person has their own definition AND that there is no real standard of good, we can make anything "commendable, virtuous or right" as the dictionary states.

      Eugenics is good.
      Helping old ladies across the street is good.
      Hate is good (ask Westboro Baptist Church).
      Helping your kid with his or her homework is good.
      Molesting a kid is good (since I get to define what is good I could say it is and that is OK by your definition).
      Slavery was good in the USA until it was outlawed.

      Your critical thinking skills are sorely lacking my friend.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  15. Brent Wilson

    If atheists want equality, can we stop teaching atheism and secular humanism in our schools? We can't teach religion in schools but the principles of atheism and secular humanism are being taught regularly. Athiesm and secular humanism are just as much religions as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or any other religion. If someone were to create "the Church of Atheism" or "The Church of Secular Humanism" would that force all schools to severley limit their teaching?

    March 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • hurdlethedead

      Better yet, teach evolution AND creationism/intelligent design. Let the children decide for themselves, give them the widest picture possible and let them choose.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Patrick

      Please back up your statements with facts. No one in the history of this country has ever heard of atheism being taught in our schools.

      Secular Humanism is a term for people who are nice to each other regardless of their faith. You don't want that taught in schools?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Patrick

      You would have to included Scientology and Mormonism also, if you did that. Can't exclude anyone if you are going to allow unscientific notions into the schools.

      Ready for your kids to learn of Thetians and Xenu?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • SeinFeinnFun

      You have zero understanding of what you're talking about. None. Not to mention it sounds as if you have, effectively speaking, a 2nd grade science education.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • haha

      Science is not secular it is experimental evidence. If you draw the conclusions that they go against your mythology that is not science's problem but yours.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • SeinFeinnFun

      @hurdlethedead,
      You can't teach something that has no evidence and is just purely made up. Intelligent design is nothing more than religious creationism under a different name. I don't want my kid having to sit there in class while some religious fairy tale is being presented.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • haha

      Don't forget that we must also teach pastafarianism as well or I will be deeply offended. Your tiny mind does not realize that all religions are equal. sorry

      March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mike D

      Theists are so in love with that whole "atheism is a religion" talking point. The only problem is it's demonstrably not true.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • JPJ3016

      Schools don't teach atheism, they teach what accepted as scientific fact. Evolution is a FACT not a theory, if Adam and Eve were the same race and there is no evolution how did we end up with all the different races in the world?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • DarkBronzePlant

      hurdlethedead,

      Should we also teach children that PI is 3.14159265... and also that it's just 3, and let the children decide for themselves?
      Should we teach them that the earth revolves around the sun, and also that the sun revolves around the earth and let them decide?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  16. ladyfon

    FYI displaying religious symbols in public is not forcing a religion on you. Now if government passed a law that says that you must go to church or face jail then you would have a point.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Concerned Atheist

      What were Jesus' words on public prayer? Over the top public displays of your christian faith are against the words of your own Messiah.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • jgthinker

      Displaying religious symbols on private property does not offend me.
      Displaying religious symbols on "public" – government owned buildings does. The presence of a religious symbol in a public space represents a government acceptance of those symbols as representing the people. Posting the Ten Commandments represents an endorsement of Judea-Christian religions. By leaving out all the other religions, it suggests that Judea-Christian beliefs are:
      1. Accepted by the "State" as an official state endorsed religion.
      2. Superior in some way above all other religions.
      3. That the state recognizes religion over non-religion.
      Show me writing of the founding fathers that suggest they would have agreed to posting a cross on the top of the statehouse.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      I beg to differ: "In God we trust", "I pledge...one nation under God", and prayer in schools are a few examples of this kind of nonsense being imposed on us. Just take a moment to consider how many laws are being passed on religious grounds. If you don't believe that – then watch the GOP debate, which is nothing more than a bunch of evangelicals duking it out on who gets to impose their religious dogma on the rest of us. Christians have no idea how much they rudely spread the word and impose their set of beliefs into the public forum. Keep your religion in your homes and in your churches and out of public schools and politics.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Mott the Hoople

    Wow, Richard Dawkins' eyes look bloodshot. Does he subscribe to the same religion as Christopher Hitchens ("Alcohol is my God").

    March 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Right, because as we know there are no alcoholic xtians right?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • jj

      I love this!

      March 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  18. Gumby

    To all you Christians that are so convinced that your god and your religion is the only way:

    http://www.cosmicsnark.com/2012/03/and-yours-is-right-god-why-exactly.html

    Your religion is a dime a dozen.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Fufu

      Hey people, I've developed my spiritual theory based on this here comedy website. Aren't I smart?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Jim

      Your handle of Gumby speaks louder and lets us know why you posted something devoid of intelligence.

      Eddie was a much better Gumby – he knew to stick with comedy.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  19. Concerned Atheist

    Remember folks, God place dinosaur bones on this earth for the sole purpose of confusing Sarah Palin.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Patrish

      Oh, you gave me my laugh for the day,.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • forever1948

      That's funny stuff.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  20. Mark from Canada

    We all have the power of self-deception, even reasoned people. However, a belief in God is based on unreasoned conceptions and a feeling you get when you pretend to be praying or speaking to someone in your mind. The feelings are real, the explanatory cause (i.e., God) is made up. If you are a youngster and have doubts, please start to question your parents and your church. You have the freedom to speak openly about your doubts that stem from the innate intelligence and human capacity for reason. Congratulations, you are using the gift of reason that is a truly valuable human commodity.

    There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of a God resembling the stories of times past. There is only a preponderance of evidence that belief in such a thing is completely unnecessary, superfluous, and even dangerous on many accounts. As an Athiest I try to use rational thought to improve matters in my community, because I care deeply about the people around me instead of emphasising my love for a pretend being that drives a lot of people to war, violence, and perpetuation of ignorance about the reality that surrounds us. The world needs more rational thinkers. I've met a few Athiests that are complete nim-wits. Often times they will spew out lines that they attribute to Darwin. As a scholar of Darwin and an evolutionary biologist I can honestly say that far more people misunderstand evolutionary theory than those that do, even among Athiests and college students. Keep the inquiry alive, listen to others with a kind heart, and exercise your critical thinking skills regularly.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Patrish

      Pretty well stated. I've always thought..' now why would a almighty power care if we preyed to other gods? A jealous god? Jealously is a human emotion – a supreme being would be way beyond that!! So that tells me there were a lot of human fingers in the the writing of the bible pie...

      March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mr P

      You would like to have others think that the only ones who attend church are ignorant, non educated people. Brilliant free thinkers would never step foot in a church. Well I have friends who attend church with me that are Doctors, Professors, Engineers, Biologist, Attorneys; the list goes on and on. Just because we have different beliefs does not mean we are stupid. Good day and Good luck.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • troy

      If atheists are the most reasonable and the best thing for our world, why don't more of them step up to leadership roles instead of cajoling in the background?

      Just another group of people dying for attention. Christians are just as bad. I wouldn't want to be associated with either group thanks to their supporters.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • El Filosofo

      i love you Mark from Canada, =)

      March 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      Mr P...if you re-read my post you will not that I never stated that anyone with a belief in God was stupid. We are all capable of self-deception, which is a fundamental trait of the human mind. This does not mean, however, that we do not have the capacity to see beyond this deception using the tools of science and logic. I attend church as well with my child, because I love people and believe in sharing the community values with my child. I'm open to letting him see the evidence and decide for himself how he wants to live his life. I'm comfortable enough with my own beliefs and conceptions about the world around me not to fear alternative conceptions. I do not think that others are stupid, quite the contrary – I have a very good grasp on the biology of the human mind and comprehend clearly that we are a socially intelligent species. Stupid is something different, is is an act that leads to harm and it is usually something that we can socially identify with as being stupid. Your comment is a good example. You've implied that I've claimed that others with a belief in God are stupid, yet I never made that claim. It is stupid to suggest that I made such a claim when the evidence is right there before your eyes to look at and you obviously have the capacity to read and write – otherwise why would you be responding?

      March 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jim

      MArk,

      I agree with you on self-deception.

      Of course, you start out with the fallacy of the antecedent (assume something and then try to build from that fauly and erroneous position). My faith is far from being built on feelings as is the faith of most of those that I know.

      Your claim to omniscience (knowing why people have faith in a supernatural being) is pretty funny in the sense that you have demonstrated that you are at best, part of the group that is deceived by their own thoughts and feelings. Your falling into the trap of the "fallacy fo the antecedent" is instructive.

      Notice, I didn't claim that I know the reason for your deception but only utilized your own standards.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      Jim – I did not assume and build on a reason antecedent to that assumption. There is no fallacy in my reasoning. My reasoning is based on abductive, deductive, and inductive logic utilising evidence that has been published on quite extensively. There is no fallacy to the antecedent here and I have been well trained in the philosophical sciences to know full well how the rational though process works. I do not claim to omniscience, but instead of relying on my personal feelings on the matter turn to the psychological research showing evidence to support my claims. For example, brain neural imaging scans show that people can induce the same kind of brain activity by belief in God or by pretending to pray. There are many other forms of citable research that I have drawn upon and researched to base my conclusions on fact, evidence, and rational thinking. Your post is otherwise a ruse to make you sound intelligent by raising the "fallacy to the antecedent", but that is of your own poor design and cannot be attributed to my argument.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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