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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. Jim

    “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.”

    oh please...... now go to the back of the bus where you belong.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • scoobypoo

      Jim,
      go back to the north pole where you can hang out with santa claus and your other imaginary beings

      March 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Jim

      Santa Clause?
      Oh so you know him then?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Pat F

      Really – what a snore!

      March 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Mark White

      Why do I belong at the back of the bus?

      March 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  2. budshot

    I'm an atheist but even if I were close enough to attend, I doubt I would. It's not important to me, as an atheist.

    My guess is that people who attend church weekly, or whenever their faith states they should attend, are true believers but the one who go to services haphazardly have a bit of atheism in them as well. Just a guess but it seems to me you're all-in religiously or you're not.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • scoobypoo

      So if you were black in the 50's and 60's you wouldn't have bothered with civil rights marches either, eh?

      It's important for all non-believers to come together and confront the religious idiocy that directly affects our lives.
      Not saying you're required to join in, but to say this is "not important" I think does a disservice to all non-theists.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Fred

      That's like saying you're not a Yankees fan unless you see every minute of every game they play, which is ridiculous.. Please think through your statements before you make them.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  3. TooClose2DC

    On March 24, 2012, an atheist group will be holding their Rally for Reason (www.reasonrally.org). If you're an atheist feel free to attend. I would like as many as possible believers in a higher power to also show up wearing a yellow arm band (for peace) on the National Mall. I am sure that those of us who believe can flood the mall in a sea of yellow. That weekend will also be the peak of the cherry blossoms. If you r going to that & believe tie a yellow armband on. Please repost this so that it reaches as many believers as possible.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  4. Erik

    Religion is a waste of time.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Mennoknight

      Including the religion of Atheism!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • budshot

      The statement 'atheism is a religion' is an oxymoron.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Jim

      hey budshot,
      denial is not just a river in egypt.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Eric

      "Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby."

      March 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  5. Brother Maynard

    The article sez
    "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."

    Although they [Dawkins and the organizer of the convention] don't explicitly say the are forming an "Atheist Lobby" it is somewhat implied there. To be honest the LAST thing I want is an organized Atheist Lobby. I'm afaid that it would turn into the many Religious Lobbies that exists already. Why would I want to become something I hate? I would prefer it to be more organic in nature.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • jon

      there are plenty of Athiest lobbies like peoplefortheAmericanway,org, MoveOn.org, etc. they just are not expicit about supporting secular humanism... which btw if you look up the definition is a religion too,,, just one with man and selfishness as its focus.

      Remember the Priest Richard Dawkins pointed out in the vid he was an Atheist and Secularist.

      April 11, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  6. Rainer Braendlein

    St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 18-23:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (atheists), 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image (the mammon or God of capitalism and materialism) made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Beside the creation God gave us a second revelation of his divine love: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    If for you the creation isn't enough evidence of God's love for you and the mankind, then regard the gospel: God gave his Son for you. This is the clear proof for his love. If you believe that and get baptized (infant baptism is valid, just refer to it) you return into the confident community of the loving God.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • WASP

      @rainer: ok i'll bite. without using scripture prove god did anything. can't be done because nothing outside of that book backs up even the idea of god. so without scripture god doesn't exist so your whole philisophy crumbles.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Primewonk

      Thank you for posting your random meaningless bible verses. In the spirit of fairness, here are some random verses from the Primewonk Bible. I happen to think that my verses make a lot more sense than yours –

      ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Post May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. God Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

      PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Post, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Believer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

      Einstein 16:24 Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

      Gould 1:15-16 Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

      Bohr 2:11 Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.

      Szilard 88:16 I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

      Sagan 22:1 For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

      Feynman 110:55 …it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are - if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

      Hawking 41:61 A machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System-and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.

      Hippocrates 14:5 Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.

      Galileo 12:16 It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved

      Carlyle 2:2 It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

      Fermi 1:1 The weak nuclear force does not change over time.

      Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

      C. P. Snow 5:3 Innocence about Science is the worst crime today.

      Paul Valéry 3:6 One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall.

      A.C. Doyle 14:8 It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

      Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @WASP

      If you see a simple car, you immediately know that it was assembled by workers and designed by engineers.

      If you would claim any car emerged just by evolution, people would send you to nuthouse.

      Nearly nobody sends you to nuthouse, if you claim creation emerged by evolution, whereby the works of creation are much more ingenious, than a simple car.

      Isn't that a discrepancy?

      Don't float with the current, but just use your reason.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • scoobypoo

      Rainer, your response to WASP is the classic, illogical theist statement that because the universe is so complex there must have been a creator.
      The problem with that is the creator must inherently be even more complex than the creation, and so the creator must also have been created, and the creator-creator must have been created, ad infinitum.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • TooClose2DC

      @WASP While Ranier can't prove the existence of God, no atheist has ever been able to disprove the existence of God.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Chazbo

      Have you considered medication for your delusions or does your tautalogical reasoning reject even the simplest versions of reality.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Morbus

      You know, atheists are silly and self-important, but this kind of thing really does not help. Quoting scripture at people who don't consider it to have any authority just isn't persuasive.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Al

      Rainer Braendlein
      When you can show us the herds of Chevys breeding the new 2013 models then your argument will begin to be applicable. Machines do not manufacture themselves, but living things mate, swap genes, and create new combinations with every generation. Anyone who falls for an argument like yours is a fool, pure and simple.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Invaid

      Sorry, but a car is an inorganic object. Argument invalid. NEXT!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • J.C.

      Ranier, you car analogy is intellectually bankrupt, as is creationism. The problem is people get stuff like that hammered into their heads at an early age and they desperately cling to it because it is simple and is appealing. What is easier, trying to make sense of a complex system like evolution or believing some powerful, psychotic being made you?
      Whatever. You'll never change anyone's mind, just as we won't change yours.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • BRC

      @Rainer,
      Your comparison is ill founded. YEs, for somehting to be BUILT, there must be an initiating and completing act by a knowledgeble party. BUT, for something to be GROWN, natural occurance is more than capable of running the show without any outside influence. Unlike people building cars or a beaver constructing a dam, the growth of plants, the gestation of animals (and people), the spread of microbes, all happen without outside influence or intelligent intervention, prof that no actor is required.

      What's more, everyone likes to point out how "complex" life is as proof of an intelligent creator. This is strange claim, as INTELLIGENT designs are not complex, they are very very simple. IF an all powerful, all knowing, infalable being capable of snapping the universe into existence had "designed" life, we wouldn't need or have vestigial organs or overly complex/obscure biological processes. The sign of good engineering is function through simplicity. I can't prove that a godlike being didn't kick start the universe, but if they had any hand in controlling after the initial push I can prove they are a crappy engineer.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Gaunt

      Quote: "While Ranier can't prove the existence of God, no atheist has ever been able to disprove the existence of God."

      Actually, providing evidence against god, at least the god as defined by Christianity, is easy.

      Juvenile leukemia. A horrific, agionising disease that causes indescribable suffering and pain only in children.
      There is actually a LOT of evidence against the concept of an all-good, all powerful god. Such a being is in fact a logical impossibility. Theists dont LIKE the evidence, so they ignore it, or use meaningless escape clauses (eg: 'you cant understand god') to avoid this evidence.

      Proof? No. Evidence? Plenty.

      Could someone please tell me where that fitrs in 'god's plan'?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      OMG!

      The verses of the Bible, which I quoted, state that it is possible to know of God's existence without any scripture. Yet alone the creation would be enough revelation to believe in God, the Lord, the eternal God, who has made heaven and earth (this is his eternal name).

      The Scripture merely reports of God's second revelation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • TooClose2DC

      @Gaunt You are basing you argument that God doesn't exists because a disease does? Well, using that logic, God does exists because of marijuana and other herbal plants that have proven to have medicinal properties.

      Once again, atehists CANNOT disprove the existence of God. It is impossible. The same way believers CANNOT prove the existence of God as it is also impossible. Believers have faith that God exists. Do atheists hope that God does not exist?

      BTW, no religion can prove they are the correct religion either. We, as humans, do not know. We will have to wait until the end of our time to find out. No person knows God's plan. Why we have pain and suffering while at the same time have happiness and beauty is beyond our comprehension.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • BRC

      @TooClose2DC,
      Noone can prove the existence/lack of existence of gods, but it is frequently pretty easy to prove religions wrong.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • justme

      mr.primework, i enjoyed your list tho you really should have eliminated sagan, it just ruined your credit. try again since all you quote are just humans who love to spout off their profound thoughts that they would not be able to do without the love of their creator.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Rainer Braendlein
      Scriptures were written before science could effectively explain nature. It would have been right to call someone a "fool" back then if they didn't believe in some god, or gods, because they didn't have the scientific explanation to offer up instead. Today, it's a completely different ball game and it's not foolish at all to see no reason to believe that gods are real.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Real Deal

      TooClose2DC
      " While Ranier can't prove the existence of God, no atheist has ever been able to disprove the existence of God."

      When something cannot be proven one way or the other, the fall-back / default position is NOT that it IS true.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  7. Michelle

    Religion = Man made explanation of things we can't understand, no different than Greek Mythology.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Jim

      sounds like atheism

      March 23, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • TooClose2DC

      Religion doesn't prove or disprove God.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  8. Primewonk

    @ just sayin – bin Laden and the French dude were Muslims. Muslims worship the same god you do. It's like saying you hate your cousins, because you think their grandfather is evil. And they hate you because they think your grandfather is evil. It's the same freaking grandfather.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Jim

      No, they don't. Mohammed is NOT mentioned in the Bible. They worship the god of Mohammed

      March 23, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • just sayin

      The god of Islam is not the God of the Bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert
      Nor is Christ mentioned in the Old Testament.
      Muslims worship the same God, and Muhhamad is His prophet.
      Your religion just made it's prophet divine, which seems rather absurd and egotistical.

      But any religion that can worship a trinity and still consider itself monotheistic can rationalize anything.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • just sayin

      The Old Testament is filled with references to Christ, which is the Greek form of Messiah.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Primewonk

      Your god, Yahweh, and Allah are the same guy. That is why they are termed the Abrahamic faiths.

      It's like stating you hate your cousins because you think their grandfather is evil. And they hate you because they think your grandfaather is evil. It's the same freaking grandfather!

      March 23, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Jim

      DV-NO they don't.

      Muslims worship the god of Mohammad.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      god of Mohammad is not the God of the Bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • BRC

      Okay, try this, someone explain WHY the "God" of the Koran (Allah) is not the "God" of the New Testament (God) and Torah (Yahweh), despite the fact that it expressly says it is.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • J.W

      It was impossible for Muhamed to be in the Bible because he lived long after the Bible was written. By this logic, no one on earth today worships the Christian God, because none of us are in the Bible. We worship the same God, it is just the role of Jesus that we differ on.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • just sayin

      @Brc
      No one who is following a false god like mohammed is going to tell his followers that it is an idol. Islam lays claim to being the "real" faith when in fact it is not and mohammed installed himself as prophet which in fact he was not. The "god" of Islam is an idolatrous fake.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      Ishmael most likely worshipped the God of Abraham, millenia later came along Mohammad who pointed to his own god.

      That god is NOT the God of the Bible.

      JW-you could be a muslim that beleives Mohammad was a prophet. He is not in the Bible and there are NO prophecies about him being one. Nope you don't worship the God of the Bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • BRC

      @just sayin,
      Mohammad never claims to be a god, he claims to be a prophit of "god", the god of Abraham, who in his language is called Allah. Islam doesn't worship Mohammad, it holds ihim in reverence. IT does claim to be correct (as all religions do), and if you don't believe it, then don't, but that doesn't change the fact that they worship what you believe to be YOUR "God".

      What's more, according to the Torah, all Christians are breaking the ten commandments, by worshipping another god before Yahweh. To Judaism, Jesus is not God. In Christianity he is "the Christ" and is simultaneously the Son of "God" while also being "God" (because that makes any sense at all), so they don't have a problem, but Judaism doesn't see it that way, to there rules you worship a false god. BUT, you don't here them claiming that you don't worship the same "God", because your religion says it does. What other people say about a religion's beliefs doesn't matter, since none of it can be proved, it can all be taken at face value. If the religion says it worships the same god, it does, you don't have to like it; but you also can't disprove it.

      No one who is following a false god like mohammed is going to tell his followers that it is an idol. Islam lays claim to being the "real" faith when in fact it is not and mohammed installed himself as prophet which in fact he was not. The "god" of Islam is an idolatrous fake.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • J.W

      Well I am not a Muslim. But Jews, Muslims, and Christians all worship the same God. It does not matter if Muhammed is in the Bible or not. Muhammed may have been what we call a false prophet, but there are other like him that speak in the name of God as well, like Harold Camping or David Koresh or Fred Phelps.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      guys
      The God of Christianity isn't the God of the Jews. The God of the Jews never had an actual "son", or a part called the Holy Spirit, and Muslims don't think he has those parts either. Jews and Muslims could be worshipping the exact same God, with only a difference in opinion as to Muhammad's role in things, but there is a fundamental difference in structure between the Christian God and their God that makes it impossible for them all to be worshipping the same being.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      JW-I don't think you understand the Bible or the God of the Bible well.As I said earlier Ismael must have most likely worshipped the God of Abraham but NOT his descendants as millenia later Mohammad came along and pointed to a god that was basically rejecting the God of the Bible, self proclaimed prophet of whom interestingly enough NOTHING was ever mentioned in the Bible.

      There are many prophets in the Bible very clearly mentioned by name like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and none of them every mentions Mohammed.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Jim

      ohyeah-If muslims worship the God of Abraham why do they call the Jews and others infidels?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • J.W

      Well I think God still could have been the same. Just because Jesus came along I do not think the God was different. I think that maybe the beliefs about God might have somewhat evolved, such as from a more vengeful God to a more loving God, but I don't think it was a different God altogether.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      JW-That is why you are not a Christian. You need to understand that Christians fundamentally believe that Jesus came to fulfill a divine destiny for mankind and that is for the salvation of all mankind.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • BRC

      @Phillips Phillips,
      Those prophets you mention in the Old Testament were all written about AFTER they (supposedly) lived and died. Putting them in the Torah was easy, of course it wouldn't account for someone who hadn't been born yet.

      And think about it, if "God" was elbows deep in teh world's working for a few thousand years, and they kept adding material and adding material, shouldn't there have been more signs in the last 2000 years, and shouldnt' it be due for another update (like, let's say the prophet Mohammad that came along a few hundred years later?). I don't believe in any of it, but if it WERE true, wouldn't that make sense?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      just sayin
      The Old Testament is filled with references to messiahs, because there were a few, including Cyrus the great, king of Persia. The future king of Israel, descended from the house of David, is a later concept. That messiah will rule a utopia of world peace and, if Jesus is supposed to be that guy, he certainly hasn't earned the t.itle yet.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Jim
      "Infidel" actually refers to any person who doesn't believe in any religion, or your particular religion. Any Muslim calling Jews and Christian infidels is describing their following a religion other than Islam. When they call atheists that they are referring to the first definition, so "infidel" can refer to any non-Muslim if one is rude enough to use the word.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      @BRC-By your logic there are many prophets that came along with Mohammad/Joseph Smith etc, who are clearly not mentioned in the Bible. If they were such powerful messengers of God surely there would have been some mention of their arrival ahead of time. But clearly there is none. Muslims worship the god of Mohammed NOT the God of the Bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Philip Phillips
      To say that Jesus is mentioned in the Old Testament is purely a matter of creative interpretation, right?

      March 23, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • BRC

      @Phillip Phillips,
      I haven't finished the OT yet, but I'm pretty far along, maybe I've just missed it. Can you give me an example of a time that the a FUTURE prophet is identified by name? How many times are prophets identified in advance at all (hint, none of the three you listed were mentioned before they were supposedly born). I can only think of one I've seen so far. "God" fortold of a man who would be born of a virgin to help free the Jews from their Syrian oppressors, can you remember his name (another hint, it wasn't Jesus). Yes that's right, Jesus was not the only person born of a virgin in the Bible.

      Yes, according to my interpretation of teh scripture's pattern, there should have been prophets after Jesus (and Mohammad). But religous records of them are dicey inconclusive and vary wildly from faith to faith. That doesn't say much for divine authority, but it says plenty for human interpretation.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Jim

      ohyeah-Is that why they are unable to make peace with the Jews over Israel. If they believed that the muslim god is the same as jewish God they should be able to honor the covenant that was made to Moses right?

      March 23, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      @BRC-read the book of Revelation which is the conclusion and consumation of the Bible as God's revelation to man.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • J.W

      Do not tell me I am not a Christian just because you do not know what you are talking about Phillip. Muhamed lived long after the Bible was compiled. That is why nothing is written of him there. There are many similarities between the Koran and the Bible. Please explain how you think the God of the Koran rejects the God of the Bible, since you want to judge me and say I am not a Christian.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • BRC

      @Phillip Phillips,
      That's NT, not OT, so not the point. Beyond that, revalations is absurd. Here one of MANY falicies. Revalations claims that at teh end all of the lights in teh sky will come crashing down to the land (don't remember the exact wording). But, in any case, it calims that all the stars in the sky will hit Earth... that feels unlikely. 1) IT would involve destroying the entire universe, 2) It would make our end time predictable. All astronomers have to do is wait until the see ALL of the stars moving towards Earth (which would take a minimum of 4 years for even the first star to arrive if it was moving at teh speed of light). So there you go, I will read revalations eventually, but I don't see myself putting any stock in it.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Jim
      Religious tension undoubtedly plays a big role, but there are racial differences too. Its Arabs vs Western-cultured Jews, but there are plenty of other considerations as well. If it were simple then they wouldn't be in such a mess, right?

      Also, there's just something about thinking that you've got a new and improved way of doing things that makes some folks feel superior. The first car owners felt this way towards those who kept their horse and buggy, the first computer users felt this way about those who stuck with their typewriters, the Christians felt this way towards the Jews and it seems that the Muslims felt this way towards both.

      It's the same for fundamentalists, which is a new sect, and it hasn't escaped me that many of us atheists are showing the same level of arrogance. Too bad, but maybe in a short while we'll all calm down and settle into coexisting with everyone else.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Philip Phillips
      Who gets to draw the line where God's revelation ends? The council who canonized the Bible? These were just guys, like anybody else, right? Who's to say that revelation didn't extend into the many other gospels and other books that could have been included in the Bible? Revelation just made it in as it is. Many of the Church Fathers didn't want to include it. Who has a right to say that God didn't actually reveal himself to Muhammad, or Joseph Smith, or that he isn't revealing new stuff in the works of modern-day authors?

      March 23, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Philip Phillips

      @BRC-The Bible is made up of both OT and NT and Revelation is the conclusion and consumation of God's word revealed to mankind. There is no mention of Joseph Smith or Mohammed in the Bible. These people claim to have a word from god which has no scriptural foundation whatsoever.It is very clear that the god of Mohammed is NOT the one true God of the Bible.

      JW-You are not a Christian unless you accept the plan of salvation as offered by Jesus Christ for the redemption of sins and acknowledge him as your Lord and Saviour and accept the divinity of Christ.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • memyself

      @PhilipsPhillips So there is one group of people in the world who have historically interpreted a certain old book (could be Euclid's Elements, but we both know it's not...) in a certain way. Another large group of people come along with another book and claim that their book is more "true", but that the first book is still good, and is the foundation for their book. It's just that the people who, from their view, misinterpret this first book are cultists worshiping a false god. Then a *third* group of people come along with yet another book and claim that their book supercedes the first two. But, again, the first two are still good, and are the foundation of their book It's just that the people, who, from thier view, misinterpret the first book are cultists worshipping a false god.

      Wow. Just wow.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • J.W

      When did I say I did not accept Jesus as my savior?

      March 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Jim

      ohyeah-Dream on! as long as Muslims continue to follow Mohammed peace is nothing but a mirage.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • jon

      why not try to be respectful to others even if you disagree?

      April 11, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  9. Ykcyc

    @ all are the participants in natural selection.
    “The intensity of one’s convictions is not a proof of their validity”.
    As we think, so shall we be. Ultimately, we suffer not for what we believe, but by what we believe.
    It is ironic, when some (their ego) consider themselves to be educated, smart and intelligent, but at the same time, believe that the Universe that gave birth to them, is actually be “dumb”… All they did is join another “religion” and are no better than the people they like to point your finger at. If they were honest, they would be able to admit that they really don’t know. The fact is that nobody knows, we only think that we do. Whether a religious person or an atheist, a closed mind is still a prison and it makes no difference if the walls are a different color or height. The prisoner within is still the one responsible for being there, whether completely unaware or simply refusing to take the responsibility for their own state of being.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  10. Primewonk

    Bo wrote, " By just the very fact that there are those who do not believe in a creative god they must believe in evolution, but with that belief comes the problem that at some point there must have been “nothing” and then that “nothing” became something without any cause. This is the very reason when as a teenager I rejected evolution."

    You rejected evolution because you chose to be ignorant about science as well as your own religion. You, for some bizarre reason confound cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution.

    Plus if you want examples of something coming from nothing – look at the Casmir effect. But what science is saying is that 13.7 billion years ago, the initial singularity began expamding. When that happened – in the Planck epoch – gravity calved off from the other 3 forces. This meant time – as we know it – began. Science is telling you that as of know, we don't have the math or science to understand what was "before time".

    You also fail to understand that you, and the other fundiots, are in a small minority. There are 2 billion Christians on earth. 1.8 billion (90%) of them belong to sects whose position is that there is NO PROBLEM with a faith in your god and an understanding that evolution is a fact. It is only amongst the fundiots that we see this issue. Unfortunately, the majority of you fundiots live in the US.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • MK

      "You rejected evolution because you chose to be ignorant about science as well as your own religion." – I didn't know rejecting evolution makes you ignorant. Well then I prefer to be ignorant of evolution when I find it meaningless in my life. Also FYI you are also making a huge assumption about some people who actually ENJOY science and STUDIED evolution but find it meaningless. You live your life and I live mine, all right?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • memyself

      @MK That is like saying you studied algebra and found it meaningless; like you studied chemistry and found it meaningless. Grow up. You didn't study evolution. You are still a teenager.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  11. Prayer is not healthy for children and other thinking beings

    Evolution changes things.
    Gradually.
    Powerful.
    Proven.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • just sayin

      Evolution = unproven theory
      Hidden
      Elusive
      Fraudulent
      Foolish
      Asinine
      Loony
      Unscientific
      Moronic
      Pure bunk

      March 23, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • momoya

      @ Just sayin'

      Why does god provide so much evidence for evolution if it's wrong?. Why does god give you and all other humans the genes for gills and other body parts that are "switched off" so that you don't grow them?.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Primewonk

      just sayin wrote, "Evolution = unproven theory"

      This simple statement show the depths of your profound ignorance of science in general, and biology in particular.

      Once again, in science we don't prove things, we explain things. Proofs are for maths and ethanol. In science, a theory is as high as it gets. Theories never get promoted to fact or law. Theories exist to explain sets of facts and laws. The theory of evolution is the single most confirmed theory in all of science.

      You have been told this numerous times. Yet for some bizarre reason, you refuse to comprehend this. Perhaps this is a result of the Dunning-Kruger effect you suffer from?

      March 23, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • just sayin

      Science doesn't prove things, like the "law" of gravity? Who is the moron here? Laws are proven science.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Shaggy

      Gravity is just a theory as well. Do you not believe in that either?

      You could drop something today and it could fall upwards, but there is overwhelming statistical evidence that suggests otherwise.

      But you could explain it away as "intelligent falling", where every dropped item is dragged to ground by God, because it's not like he has anything better to do in his omnipotence and omniscience.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • goose

      To be correct, a theory is the next step of a hypothesis. A hypothesis is generated to try to explain a proposed phenomenon. Testing is done to valididate a hypothesis and as preliminary testing valididates the hypothesis, a theory is born. Once a theory has been generated, the next step of the scientific process is to continue to prove that theory through further rigourous series of tests to produce facts that support or reject that theory. If at any time the facts do not support the theory or hypothesis, they must be rethought or changed. If the theory stands throughout the testing process as holding up to all the facts known, then it is deemed a law. For example, the Law of Gravity is a scientifically proven theory. This is known as the Scientific Process. There seems to be quite a bit of defensive comments, most of which just show ignorance. The real issue behind this is that true Christians believe that there is no other way to know God except through his Son. This is a hugely unpopular stand in a world that preaches tolerance on all levels. And while a true follower of Christ should respect, love, and serve all people because they are created in the image of God and have worth regardless of their race, creed, or religion, that does not mean that they will forfeit the truth or strive to share it with others. It is obvious that atheists believe quite passionately that there is no God and are willing to fight for their right to ascribe to this belief. Are Christians to be denied the same right to hold passionately to what they believe as well? I am sorry that you have obviously never come across a true Christian who actually strives to submit and serve God. Contrary to popular belief, going to Church on Sunday's does not make you a Christian and unfortunately, a majority of "Christians" in this country today are merely church goers who do not submit to God and strive to live a Christ-like life. Am I for atheist equality? Absolutely. Do I agree with their beliefs? Obviously not, nor will I. But don't claim that i am ignorant or intolerant because I believe in absolute truth.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Real Deal

      Shaggy,
      "But you could explain it away as "intelligent falling", where every dropped item is dragged to ground by God, because it's not like he has anything better to do in his omnipotence and omniscience."

      Love it!

      While they are at it they could give Gravity some human emotions, like, Gravity loves you when it permits you to walk across the room without falling, and Gravity is angry and is punishing you when you fall-down-go-boom.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  12. Reality

    A money-making scheme by the Silvermans?? Probably since internet media networking is doing the same job at no cost and no trip to Washington and $1000 front row seats required.

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    And then augmented by the following:

    Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Mormonism:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    March 23, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  13. Deco

    No body will come because they don't believe it is really going to happen or they will think it is someone else's party and are not invited.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Deco

      Nobody

      March 23, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      You're an idiot!!

      March 23, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Deco

      It was funny though, you got to admit that.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  14. Was William Lane Craig invited?

    March 23, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Chad

      :-)

      If WLC shows up, that will guarantee Dawkins wont come

      March 23, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  15. WASP

    i have a question for theists. you don't see any problem in your book with the fact that jesus was born a mas-siah, then you don't see him again until he is 30? i would think if a child was born to save man-kind from sin, his full life from cradle to grave would have been docu-mented. weird huh?
    to other atheists, about time we start kicking and letting the world know religion had it's time, now it's our turn at bat. well mayan prediction of the "end of the world" was mistranslated, it reads "a great change" we are that change.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Chad

      @WASP "i have a question for theists. you don't see any problem in your book with the fact that jesus was born a mas-siah, ten you don't see him again until he is 30? i would think if a child was born to save man-kind from sin, his full life from cradle to grave would have been docu-mented. weird huh?"

      =>Luke has some details

      "And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
      " 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
      49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
      51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke 2

      secondly and more importantly is that the Gospels spend time recording that which God wants us to be aware of; our sinfulness and Christ's sacrifice. Lengthy details of Jesus childhood wouldnt further that purpose.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Reality

      Luke 2: 41-52 has been analyzed by contemporary NT scholars. Many have concluded that it is not historic as it is a single attestation, not found in any other part of scripture. See also http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=433_Jesus_at_Twelve and Professor Gerd Ludemann' conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 275.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Chad

      Reality "Luke 2: 41-52 has been analyzed by contemporary NT scholars. Many have concluded that it is not historic as it is a single attestation, not found in any other part of scripture. See also http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=433_Jesus_at_Twelve and Professor Gerd Ludemann' conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 275."

      =>Utter nonsense of course, but please dont take my word for it, listen to Gerd Ludemann debate that position with Craig and make up your own mind. What do you have to loose?
      http://www.philvaz.com/CraigLudemannResurrectionDebate.mp3

      March 23, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      It is my understanding that there were texts that described the childhood of Jesus, but that they were culled by theologians over time because they were too obviously crazy and fabricated (and imagine what that must mean, considering the stuff that was not excluded!). Apparently there were stories of Jesus abusing his powers, turning people into sparrows, basically acting like a misbehaving child magician. So, despite the fact that these stories have basically the same pedigree as the other books of the bible, they were kept at a distance from the story the priests wanted to perpetuate.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Jim

      Hey Wasp,
      "Reading for Dummies" buy it, read it. It helps you read word for word instead of skipping over the boring parts that contain truth. Also its got pop up pictures and little coloring areas. I think you might enjoy it.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Magic

      "The second century Roman philosopher Celus is quoted in the writings of the early Christian apologist Origen as saying that Jesus learned the arts of magic on Egypt, and then returned to his own country with these acquired skills."

      –http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/RelSci/Magician.html

      March 23, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  16. just sayin

    President George H W Bush said that an atheist is not a patriot and should not be a citizen of the United States. We are one nation under God.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Brad

      George H. W. Bush was never an authority on what it means to be a patriot.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • WASP

      @just sayin': ole georgie had his daddy who was a governor at the time place him in the national guard so he wouldn't be sent to vietnam, then when he became president some of the first people he sent to iraq and afganistan were the national guard. so yeah he was a great guy........for a fracking hypocrite.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • just sayin

      WW 2 fighter pilot, public servant, congressman, President, humanitarian, father of exceptional children and well educated. That would make George H W Bush not only a patriot but an authority on just what a patriot is and more importantly what a patriot isn't. You who would call him into question, what does your resume look like?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Mirosal

      If someone enters the poltical arena and gets into office, it is not only our right to question them, it is our duty. The children of G.H.W. Bush are indeed "exceptional". By the way, isn't that the politcally correct term for students who ride the SHORT yellow bus to school? Yep, I'm pretty sure his kids rode that one every day.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Primewonk

      This serves to show that he had no clue as to what the const.itution says.

      By supporting his statement is serves to show that you as well, have no clue as to what the const.tution says.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • just sayin

      This country owes way more to the Bush family than to some ne'er do well atheist slacker who has lived a life on the public dime safely out of harms way.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Mirosal

      I put myself in harm's way for 21 years for my country. You never had the balls to put on a uniform. Until you do, your views are just like prayer... moot, useless, and a waste of valuable production time.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • just sayin

      You wasted 21 years on the public dime safely out of harms way ?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Mirosal

      It wasn't a waste at all. It's called the ARMED forces for a reason. But, you're too much of a chicken-sh!t to know that. I doubt you could pass grade school gym class, let alone boot camp. Anyone in the sevice earns every penny they make.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • WASP

      @mirosal: 8 years here; would have been a lifer if not for getting injured and honorably discharged. thank you for leading the way, before i had the chance to stand and defend as well. (salutes)

      March 23, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • just sayin

      The navy is the refuge of pirates, cowards and scoundrels, no danger in today's world wrapped in a battleship gray. Free ride, 3 square and ripping off the taxpayer.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Observer

      just odd-

      In the Navy you can't throw down your weapon and go over the hill like your ancestors did.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "I will never apologize for America. I don't care what the facts are..."
      George HW Bush

      March 23, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • WASP

      @"just sayin' you're an idiot": well what more needs to be said. each of the armed forces serve time on the ground in combat zones. army ,navy ,airforce and marines all serve tours of duty in the hot zones. so before you open that garbage trap of yours' know what you are talking about. oh and i did 8 years in the army as a 13 bravo.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • captain america

      You have less to say about it than anyone here, you canadian moron. Undermine your own country you are less than dog sh it to US. There's your sign

      March 23, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      To Wasp and mirasol: Never mind the idiots. Thank you so much for your service.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  17. Colin

    Sorry, the list is 10 ways you know you are an atheist.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • just sayin

      Did you include that an atheist demonstrates more hate than the Ku Klux Klan?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      You do know that the KKK is a "christian" organization, right? Look at their prejudices. You want prejudice, read your moldy book. Atheists do not condemn othes for their religion, or their lifestyles. But you buy-bull thum'pers and qu'ran spouting zealots are quick to condemn, blame and even kill just because someone is different than you.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • WASP

      @mirosal: well said.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • just sayin

      The KKK was actually founded as a confederate veterans of the civil war group, not as a Christian organization. The reference was to the atti tude of hate being the same. Check your history, revisionism is not acceptable. If you don't know what you are talking about mirosal leave it alone. Mensa my ass.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Mirosal

      The LOSERS of the war started it, correct. And if you hold those LOSERS in high esteem, you're a loser as well. They couldn't win against a real, organized army, so they decided to go after those who really couldn't fight back. Yeah, real winners aren't they? They are still losers, even today.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • just sayin

      My point exactly, so are atheists.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Ugh

      Mirosal is correct. Atheism is simply the rejection of anyone's claim that there is a god. That's it. You can be an atheist who is intolerant of other people, but atheism itself does not call for it. Unlike Christianity...

      March 23, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Well stated, Ugh. Just Sayin, to pretend that the KKK didn't have a heavy Christian foundation and support is just ludicrous, but then of course you guys specialize in believing ludicrous things.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  18. Colin

    Reposting my list and thanking Asimov, Adams, Sagan and Dawkins for making me this way (and a tip of the hat to Silverman and Steifler):

    1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer. This usually involved being smart and working hard at school and college so as to get a good, accurate view of the natural Universe and overcoming significant social pressure to conform. In short, you had the guts to ask the hard questions and the brains to spot the weak answers. The more you came to understand Mother Nature, the less reason there was to believe in a god and the more you came to understand human nature, the more you understood why billions of us still do.

    2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent you reject Christian morality, it is where it is mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, your basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – you just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over your head in order to act in a manner that you consider moral.

    3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers. This is because you took the time to read it yourself and did not rely on the primary-color simple stories you learned in Sunday school. You have also probably done some research into the historical Jesus and have a good handle on where he REALLY fit in to the broader picture of the Middle East at the time. Needless to say, his miracles and other magic powers soon started to look pretty unlikely.

    4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer. You likely have a basic working knowledge of physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology and cosmology and a good idea of the history of life on this planet. This acc.umulated knowledge puts you in a position to judge the claims of the Bible in a critical light and they are almost always found wanting. To the theist, this makes you “elitist” and ‘arrogant”.

    5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.

    6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends and colleagues and unlikely to fall for claims of industry and wind-bag politicians concerning the impact of man’s activities on the environment. You could no more bury your head and pretend environmental problems don't exist or act in an environmentally irresponsible manner because “god will keep us safe” than you could jump off a ship, believing King Neptune will keep you safe.

    7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism. This highlights what you despise about religion, as you would not wish a bad sunburn on another, simply because they have a different religious view to you. You have never heard of an evolutionary biologist strapping a bomb to himself and running into a church yelling “Darwin-u akbar, Darwin-u akbar”.

    8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist. This makes you less fearful of them and enables you to see parallels. You realize that, if you were born in India, you would have been brought up with a totally different religion. You realize that every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. They cannot all exist and you see the error all faiths make of thinking only theirs exist(s). This “rising above” the regional nature of all religions was probably instrumental in your achieving atheism.

    9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.

    10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does. You know that the whole final judgment story, where you may be sent to hell if you fail, is Dark Ages nonsense meant to keep the Church’s authority. You also know that you were dead for 13,700,000,000 years before you were born. It is impossible for you to fear death, for the simple reason that you know the capacity to regret or fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies. You will not even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to you as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. You feel a lot more secure, and indeed a deep comfort, in this knowledge, than you would in trying to yoke yourself to some quasi-hope from Bronze Age Palestine that every part of your intellect tells you is untenable.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • just sayin

      For bull sh it tinged with hate read above list.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      Where's the hate in this list? All I see are facts, which praise critical thinking.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • just sayin

      Anything an atheist lies to another one will swear to.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Robert Brown

      “1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer.”
      See the parable of the sower Matthew 13.

      “2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity.”
      Isaiah 55:8
      For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. What someone without the Holy Spirit thinks is moral and what someone with the Holy Spirit thinks is moral are totally different. Sin is sin. People try to justify a lot of things with human reasoning.

      “3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers.”
      You only know the Bible through the use of human understanding. The Bible defies logic and reason of the natural man. The Bible is the written word of God. God is a spirit. The Bible has to be read and studied, spiritually, to understand.

      “ 4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer.”
      There are both believers and nonbelievers in all fields of study.

      “ 5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.”
      Psalm 10:4
      The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God:

      “6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends…”
      There are Christian environmentalists also.

      “7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism.”
      Matthew 22: 39 “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

      “8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist.”
      There are many religions but only one God.

      “9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.”
      This statement applies to this Christian also. The difference is that I believe God created it.

      “10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does.”
      1Corinthians 15:
      54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
      55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
      56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
      57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  19. Joanne

    why is this in the "belief" section? that would be like putting people who DONT collect stamps in the stamp collecting section. I am however, glad to see some unity in the atheist community. Strenght in numbers. Time to bring some reason to this stupidly religious world.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Al

      Atheists don't "know" that there isn't a God any more than believers know that there is one, so it all boils down to belief, one way or the other.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 23, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      prayer is a placebo

      March 23, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is a wonderful place bo !

      March 23, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Mirosal

      and just WHAT place would that be??

      March 23, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • just sayin

      The Kingdom of God.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Ugh

      Prayer is a way for people to make themselves think they are accomplishing something without actually doing anything. "Two hands in action are more effective than a million hands in prayer"

      March 23, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      A good man prays
      A great man acts on prayer
      Prayer changes things

      March 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Ugh

      Prayer is useless. Even if there is a god. If you pray for something and it's not according to gods will, it won't be answered. If it is according to his will, then it will be answered regardless of prayer. Even operating under the ignorant assumption that a god exists and can hear prayers, it is still absolutely useless. But keep praying while the rest of us actually accomplish things in life.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Ugh

      Here, I fixed that for you:

      Prayer changes nothing,
      An ignorant man prays,
      A crazy man acts on prayer,
      Prayer changes nothing.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Mirosal

      Bin Laden and his followers acted on prayer. So did that French terrorist. Tell me ... in the 200,000 years our species has been on this planet, why is it that in that 200,000 years, not ONE shred of evidence has been found to show there is a 'god' of ANY type?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • just sayin

      Bin laden, French terrorist ? Neither of which would even know God, not to mention you have no personal knowledge that either prayed to the idols they support. Prayer is talking with God, if you are not talking with God there is no real prayer.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Some people that talk to God actually do get direct answers.
      In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
      Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9 and 6 years and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
      Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
      Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
      God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
      Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
      Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
      Lashaun Harris threw her 3 kids into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Primewonk

      just sayin wrote, "Bin laden, French terrorist ? Neither of which would even know God,"

      Except, of course, tht this is a lie. They were both Muslims. Muslims, Christians, and Jews all worship the same god.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Graham Gronhoff

      Prayer changes nothing, if you don't believe me then why don't you start praying every night for all the "wrong" religions to see the error of their ways and convert to christianity? Put a deadline to make it happen say 5 years from now and see what happens. Answer = Nothing! Atheism will still be on the rise and the various religions of the world will still be right where they are.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • DrBri

      Nothing fails like prayer.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.