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June 12th, 2012
04:49 PM ET

Pew survey: Doubt of God growing quickly among millennials

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The percentage of Americans 30 and younger who harbor some doubts about God’s existence appears to be growing quickly, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. While most young Americans, 68%, told Pew they never doubt God’s existence, that’s a 15-point drop in just five years.

In 2007, 83% of American millennials said they never doubted God’s existence.

More young people are expressing doubts about God now than at any time since Pew started asking the question a decade ago. Thirty-one percent disagreed with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God,” double the number who disagreed with it in 2007.

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When asked about doubts of God, no other generation showed a change of more than 2% in the past five years.

The survey found that the percentage of millennials who identify with a religion is remaining constant, while most other generations have seen religious identification increase in the past 10 years.

The findings about millennials and religion were part of a 168-page report that Pew released June 4 but were largely overlooked.

“Notably, people younger than 30 are substantially less likely than older people to say prayer is an important part of their lives,” the report said.

“Research on generational patterns shows that this is not merely a lifecycle effect,” it continued. “The Millennial generation is far less religious than were other preceding generations when they were the same age years ago.”

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The findings are part of Pew’s 2012 American Values Survey, which touches on issues including political partisanship, gay marriage and abortion.

Despite the findings on millennials, the survey shows that the United States continues to be a highly religious nation, with most Americans identifying with a particular faith.

Seventy-six percent of all respondents said prayer is an important part of their lives and agreed that “we all will be called before god at the Judgment Day to answer for our sins.” About 80% said they have never doubted the existence of God.

The report points to a growing divide between the youngest and oldest Americans on belief, religion and social issues.

According to Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, the growth in “doubting” youths has led to a surge in secular student groups.

“For a lot of millennial atheists, they are expecting to find a group, they are coming to campus, and if they don’t find one, they are starting one,” Galef said. “This is completely different than what other generations grew up with.”

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The Secular Student Alliance has affiliates on 357 American campuses, Galef said, up from 81 such affiliates in 2007.

Galef says the Internet has created a place for young people to discuss religious doubts.

“It enables anybody to have open discussions without fearing if their parents would find out or what their communities would say,” he said. "The more safe places we create for young people to discuss their doubts, the more they can inspire questions in others."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Polls

soundoff (4,013 Responses)
  1. hellojello

    Religion is great, it gives the instigators control over people. In Papua New Guinea the men give their "milk" to the young boys to make them attain "manhood", all in the name of religion (60,000 years old, by the way). Anybody ready for some "milk" in the name of Christianity?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      No way, Jello. Gimme a nice Cabernet instead.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Rick James

      Wow, that's weird as hell.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  2. 1word

    Doubting God exist doesn't mean he doesn't exist. It just shows people stupidity. How can a world be created so perfectly to sustain life and there isn't another planet in our solar system that has intelligent life. God said LETS MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AND OUR LIKENESS. This world was created for doubt, that's what FAITH is all about to believe in something you cannot see. Just because you can't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist. You can't see LOVE, HATE, OXYGEN, but we all know these things exist.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Rick James

      I've heard an argument like that before......and it was hilarious.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z-OLG0KyR4&w=640&h=360]

      June 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • hellojello

      You are mixing apples and canon balls.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "You can't see LOVE, HATE, OXYGEN, but we all know these things exist."

      And all these things can be demonstrated, your god cannot.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Drew

      Why did he say in "our image?" Isn't there only one of him?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • 1word

      Just Claims, No Truth

      Actually, you're wrong God the Holy Ghost can be demonstrated, have you ever been in Baptist Church? Have you ever seen someone so over whelmed by the Holy Spirit until it causes them to bust into tears of Joy? How about people speaking in tongue? This isn't a show that people put on.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • 1word

      Drew
      You ever heard about the Trinity? THE FATHER SON AND HOLY GHOST. They all came from the same SOURCE. Think about Water, if you freeze it, it becomes ICE if you boil it, it beomes Steam. FATHER IS THE WATER, ICE IS THE SON WHO WAS TURNED FLESH, AND THE HOLY GHOST IS THE STEAM.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Oh Really

      You need to learn more about both biology, and geology. Sit aside the Bible and pick up science book. Close to 90% of the Earth's surface is not accommodating to human beings in terms of anything being close to perfect. Earth wasn't created to be perfect for man. Human's have evolved (primarily through technological development) to survive on *parts* of Earth.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • 1word

      Oh Really
      LOL, are you serious? GOD CREATED Science for the people who think their wise to be fooled by Science.

      Proverbs 1:5
      A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

      June 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Reasongal.

      Believing god exists does not mean he exists – see how that works?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • 1word

      Reasongal. This is exactly what happens when you give your life to Christ.

      Ezekiel 36:26-29

      King James Version (KJV)

      26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

      27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

      28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

      29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Herby Sagues

      Claiming God exist doesn't make it exist either. Now, which is closer to stupidity?
      Believing in something for no reason at all (other than believing) or using rational thought to decide that you only believe in what you have evidence for? There are almost infinite possible realities, some without a god, some with some sort of god. Some people choose to believe in one of those infinite possibilities and never question it, just because it is written in an old book. Others choose to use evidence to decide which one is more likely. Call stupid whichever you want, but that doesn't change which one is it.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  3. hellojello

    Deity is a very ancient, primitive concept. There's evidence that Neanderthal believed in God about 200,000 years ago. Some people just don't evolve.

    All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher. – Lucretius (94 BC – 49 BC)

    June 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  4. Bch9889

    How can you NEVER question something you can't know for sure?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • sybaris

      Well then is it more likely that there's a purple or a blue unicorn in my closet?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • JM

      Man's search for meaning...

      ...and truth

      June 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  5. rochdoc

    Same people who had doubts about God also was found to have significant doubts about who their father was. The reasearch group did their poll on a select group of CNN belief bloggers!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Rick James

      Rochdoc, that was an incredibly ignorant statement.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Philip Hades

      So that's your takeaway from the Bible? If someone disagrees with you insult them?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Oh Really

      It's quite sad how often, and quickly, people who want to defend their god resort to personal attacks.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  6. shep

    the decline of Christianity in America is readily apparent with the rise of a cult member in the GOP. Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and Mormons are not christians. Do some research into the Mormon church. You will be astonished by what they believe in.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Rick James

      Mormons are Christians, just to let you know. And I have my issues with Mitt Romney, but what he believes is his own business. Besides, mainstream Christianity is pretty freakish as well.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      You mean that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe in God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost? That the Bible is the word of God? That each of us should live a life as close to Christ-like as possible? Yeah, sounds freaky alright.

      I'm neither Mormon nor Christian, but am constantly amused by the antics of both. "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is a precept in which you believe, right?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • rafael

      I'm astonished by what Christians believe in.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    for any and all believers of any god(s) who may or may not exist:

    we atheists need not prove the lack of existence of something that has no impact on our daily lives, however those that believe based purely on the idea of somethings existence is a bit disconcerting! Proof is the burden of those that believe. The real fact is that those who believe use the lack of proof to show how non believers can't show any proof of its non existence....circular agurments can be fun but i prefer ones that go places. Belief in god or any god type is nothing less then equal to that of children believing in santa – be good or else! Maybe that is what your believers problem is! – poor parental figures as children so you joined a cult who WHORships a make believe father ( who killed his son, btw)....not a very intelligent choice – but i guess i'd make pi$s poor choices too if i was taught to never lie all the while being lie too...that is gods way – don't lie but i can – double standard i believe is what its called! 🙂 go preach love while hating on more then half the human species!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  8. Supersam

    My friend asked his priest"Did man create God out of fear of unknown phenomena or God created man".

    Son,if you have no faith,no explanation will ever satisfy you,if you have faith,you wouldn't ask this kind of stupid question,answered the priest.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      And, as Father Tom used to tell us boys, "Just hum quietly to yourself, son. This will be over soon." Fine group of role models you're touting there.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      In other words "we cannot provide evidence and therefore we require you to have faith that what we say is true"

      Faith is a wh.ore....pay up!

      June 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  9. dankity d

    Whew! Good thing God has sent a New Message into the world to remind us of what we're doing here! And just in time for the tricky part of facing life as it truly exists beyond our borders... http://www.newmessage.org

    June 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  10. Daniel in Denver

    I think what we're seeing is that it's becoming more and more 'OK' to not believe. It was never that way for my generation. I hope more parents will start teaching their children HOW to think, rather than WHAT to think.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      What I think is how I think and many people themselves know just what to think and how to think. Ya think?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • JM

      It doesn't help anyone to just be taught something, to not understand and then to regurgitate it w/o understanding.

      However, it also isn't helpful if one is learning something that isn't the truth.

      If God exists, that has consequences and is, in fact, the most important truth.

      Unfortunately, there have been so many hypocritical Christians that many people just assume Christianity (and Jesus) are hypocritical and aren't generally aware that Jesus was most critical of the self-righteous religious hypocrites.

      "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?"

      “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C.S. Lewis

      June 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      Wow, going to have to think about that for a while. Beauty response, eh?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • RevDana

      So, just curious, if the son or daughter of an atheist were to come to their parent and say, "Mom (or Dad), I've thought things through in my heart, and I think I'm going to follow X faith." – Would that be acceptable to your way of thinking? If you can honestly answer "Yes", then I agree with your comment.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Rick James

      Rev, if my child said to me, "I want to be a Christian.", then it would be fine as long that he or she is a good person and makes the world better. Besides, I would be glad that I didn't force my child into something.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      RevDana, of course it would. I'm not sure I would pigeonhole myself into the 'athiest' slot, but that's probably the closest one. Yes, I have three sons and gladly support all of them in their choice of what they choose to belive, or what they choose to disbelive.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      I also believe I've forgotten how to spell sometimes! Sorry.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      I think so or I thought so maybe in thoughts I think,,, 🙂

      June 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • RevDana

      @ Rick James – thank you Rick – sounds like we both want pretty much the same thing. Whether a child grows to become a part of any faith community should be their choice – based on freely shared and respected information and respect for their own inner search for truth and fulfillment. Daniel in Denver, would you agree?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      Absolutely, Rev.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • RevDana

      @ Rick and Daniel & any others who responded to my question – my last post said that a child's choice to become part of any faith community should be their choice. I meant to also add that it they decide to be part of no faith community that is their choice too – my hope is that all of them however, could arrive at some degree of tolerance fror one another's choices and practice mutual respect for one another's beliefs. I'm sorry to have to go, I'm called to duty I'm afraid – thank you for an interesting bit of discussion, however. Peace to you all.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  11. WhatMatterstoMe

    As a someone below the age of thirty, I think that the problem revolves around the use of the Bible. There is so much media out there that requires you believe the Bible word for word, or you use the Bible via Science to rule out God's existence. If you say "well I don't believe in God because Science contradicts the Bible," I think that is short sighted. Then you are just using the same logic that those that believe every word of the Bible use to justify his existence. Take the Bible out of the argument. I don't use the Bible to justify my belief in God, nor the Torah or the Koran for that matter. I believe in God because of the magnificence of the world that we live. The beauty of the Sunrise, the sunsets, a rainstorm, the beautiful parts of the best relationships that we have with each other and the world around us. Don't push your beliefs on others and seek the best in everyone....that is where you will find God....not a book....nor a preacher or imam or Rabbi.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Which god, there's a whole lot of them. Why don't you believe in all the ones that aren't yours?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • WhatMatterstoMe

      Good question yeahalright. I do bleieve in other Gods so long as they represent the decency and kindness that we all have the ability to perceive. You can call it/he/she whatever you like. I was raised in the Judeo/Christian faith. But I don't believe that what I call "God" is necessarily the right answer. That is up to you. I'm not of the belief that it is "my" God.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Get Real

      WhatMatterstoMe,

      You're getting there. Good for you.

      I am absolutely awed by the magnificence of nature and existence, deeply appreciate the beauty and wonders and abhor and grieve over the tragedies and disasters. I just don't believe that supernatural beings created them nor control them.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  12. mandarax

    "About 80% said they have never doubted the existence of God."

    What that says to me is that 80% of people have never actually thought about it. I have a friend who is a colleague of a scientist who put forth a pretty controversial interpretation. He asked him how sure he was of this interpretation, and he replied "Oh, 100% – no doubts." And my friend pointed out, then I don't buy it – you haven't even thought about it objectively.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • karojen

      I think you could be reading the statement too literally. I do not see that it says, "You continue to doubt the presence of God after considering your belief system", but that is basically it. I think everyone has at one time or another tried to picture other scenarios and reject them one at a time and discover that their belief in God is strong, right and true.

      I think it is a fad for the 20 somethings to be atheists and also to hate their parents. Of course, without God and His love, there is no love or consideration for any values is there?

      "You can swear there ain't no heaven, but you pray there ain't no hell".

      June 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • mandarax

      Well, if you're right it means that they are not able to understand the question.

      And yes, of course there are values without God. Take a look around the world – there are values where there are different gods and where there are no gods. Your statement strikes me as sadly myopic. There's a whole big world out there that's not obsessed with Jesus and they do just fine.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Reasongal.

      The possibility that they had not thought about whether they believed occurred to me as well. I was raised Catholic, and I knew we were supposed to believe and I guess I did, not knowing what to expect from it. As I went on, I realized I got nothin' from believing – praying or not, at Mass or not, I felt no presence, love, nada. Just felt like real life going on. So when I really started searching and 30 years went by, I realized I had no faith, and that there was no evidence for god, and further, that life went on for me and everyone else as if there was no god. It was random, and random was okay. I felt very free and excited about continuing to learn, especially about the sciences, and I live the best life I can to be the best person possible. I am happy and moral, and free from guilt (over not feeling or hearing a god, or thinking the "wrong" things, etc.) I wouldn't want to worship a deity who condemns me for thoughtcrimes.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  13. American Public

    When you have a true supernatural experience like I did all your doubts about God will disappear. He is real, He is watching over us, and I really feel sorry for the doubters and atheists. You guys are missing out on something so amazing, so wonderful, words can't even describe it. On another note, the rise in doubters is another check in the prophecy fulfillment column. We are in the end times, folks. Get yourself right with Jesus or suffer the consequences. Laugh and make fun, I'll pray for you anyway.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      people have been predicting end times since the beginning times, so there's no reason to think your assertion that we are living in the end times holds any merit. Also, personal experience would only apply to the person having the experience, and there's no way for it to apply to anyone else. Best thing for you to do, if you think that your god answers prayers, then pray for all the nonbelievers and people of the thousands of other religions to have your experience. Until then, I will continue to use reason and logic to determine the merits of any claims.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Rick James

      Wow, American, your post was a trip. You speak of how everything is wonderful, then switch to how God is going to end it all because people think. Truly bizarre.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Supernatural

      aka

      didn't happen.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • JE

      The Bible is true. It amazes me how it reflects everything in life.

      I have had a very real supernatural experience myself. Unbelievable really. And beautiful.

      God is good.

      16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @JE

      Spouting off verses from a book that is only authoritative to those who accept it as such is useless to people like me (who find it not authoritative).

      June 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Madtown

      Get yourself right with Jesus or suffer the consequences
      -----
      What consequences? And, how do I possibly "get myself right with Jesus", if I happened to be born into a primitive African tribe, and I've just never heard of Jesus? Am I not a human being, equal in life-value to you, or are you just that special?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Madtown

      They get around that with the doctrine of original sin, and a sinnful nature, then they can say that all people have the same value (nothing).

      June 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Steli S.

      @ JE: "The Bible is true. It amazes me how it reflects everything in life."

      You're right. Christian teachings are wonderful. Go implement them. For example:
      “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible."
      "If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death."

      June 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  14. Bch9889

    80% of respondents say they never doubt the existence of God?!? Are you kidding me? Even Mother Teresa questioned his existence on a regular basis. Mother Teresa! Even when I was a believer, I questioned his existence several times. You have to be completely close-minded to NEVER question it. 80%? Wow. That tells you everything you need to know about the mind process of that type of belief. You have to be completely delusional.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Reasongal.

      I think the 80% was from 2007 – now it's 68% who say it now. So over a third doubt god in this latest poll.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  15. Harry

    Now the big question: are they moving towards debauchery or common sense?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Philip Hades

      I seriously hope they're moving towards common sense debauchery! (that's how I spent my college years)

      June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  16. wisdom4u2

    Most id iots confuse ‘Religion’ with ‘Spirituality’, such FOOLS!!!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Hello

      Spiritual people don't want to get up on Sundays. JK. I believe people can be Christian or religious without religion. Some people need religion to keep their faith going and I won't knock them for that.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Helloooo? W T H ... are you talking about?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Andy

      Most other idiots confuse spirituality for something that actually exists!

      June 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Get Real

      What is "Spirituality" exactly?

      Does it involve supernatural beings? Spirits?... Pixies, elfs, gnomes, leprechauns and demons?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Get real:

      Goblins, actually. They are the light and the way.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      3 words ...FOOLS, FOOLS & FOOLS!!!!!

      June 12, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  17. TT

    Can't say I believe in a god, but overall, isn't it better if everyone thinks they're being watched? At least some people behave better. Religion is the cause of many bad things, but you have to give it its due. Stalin and Hitler were atheists. Have you ever talked with a recent Russian immigrant and thought "I couldn't trust this person as far as I could throw him". Atheists may be smarter, but there's something to be said for a blind, stupid, belief that you should be good, even if it gives you nothing.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • DarthWoo

      I'd say it's far worse if the fear of being watched is the sole motivating factor for good behavior.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Damo

      We can be better than that. We can be a people that are good to one another because it is the right thing to do and because helping one another benefits humanity as a whole, not because we fear punishment.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      Yeah, gotta think that if you need a person or a book to tell you to be a good person, maybe there's something wrong.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Exactly. They love to throw out "without god there's no morality"

      Um, if you're only acting morally because you know somebody's watching, it's self-serving and as phony as your god.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Reasongal.

      One more time...Hitler was a Catholic, and he believed he was doing god's work. the SS officers had "God is for Us" on their belt buckles.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Steli S.

      I think atheists who do bad deeds don’t do it BECAUSE they are atheists, but often time religious people do bad things in the name of their beliefs.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  18. Aristocles

    If the people who allegedly are MOST inclined to doubt God report over 2/3 absolute confidence in him, this is a very good thing. The survey didn't ask if they did not believe, just if they had "doubt." I don't believe anything in the real world could change the percentage of even this fringe question so much in 5 years, but in the world of surveys and statistics, you can get any result if you ask just the right questions and torture the numbers hard enough.

    That they have to ask such an odd question causes me to doubt the statistic. If you want statistics that show the opposite, I'm sure there are churches and religiously-affiliated polls that will show increases in faith.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Hello

      Well put. I suspect there wasn't much science or reason behind their studies. Just needed to get another anti-religious article out there.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  19. Robt

    If their is no god why do atheist turn to god before they die

    June 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Damo

      That people fear death is your proof?

      What a small cowardly thing you believe in.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Earthling

      They don't.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • rafael

      If you are saying that belief in god is based on a fear of death, atheists wouldn't disagree with you.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • yeahalright

      They do?

      Some do, I'm sure. Because while dying of some horrible illness or accident (that god could've prevented if he existed) is the perfect time to make a reasonable decision.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • BRod

      Name all the atheists who did that, please. You made that claim – surely you can provide a list of names to back your claim up?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  20. Hello

    Newton & Galileo were Christians. Einstein was more agnostic but he didn't he rule out the possiblity. Sure you can find some atheist quote by Einstein but you can also find quotes by him remarking about ow there must be a creator. Einstein was a true scientist and thus didn't rule out the idea of God. I am a Christian but I respect him more for that. Dawkins is just a little angry man.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Portland tony

      The irony here, was among famous people, Jesus wasn't a Christian, he was a jew

      June 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Hello

      I don't understand how that is ironic. Intelligent Christians understand Jesus was the jewish messiah. Christian means followers of the anointed one.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Damo

      And how many of the great Greek geniuses believed in Zeus? Were they right? They must have been, they were smart men!

      Either that or some misconceptions are harder for humanity to abandon than others, especially if you are raised in a society with doubt is not tolerated.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Aristocles

      He was a Christian if he believed in his own divinity, which he did. He was born and raised Jewish, but he was condemned as a blasphemer by the leaders of the Jewish community and sent to die at the hands of the Romans, who ruled Israel at the time.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • JM

      There was no Christianity before Jesus (the Christ)...?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • rafael

      Lots of colorful people through history have believed in their own divinity. We typically refer to them as deluded.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Madtown

      Galileo may have been "christian" for the simple fact that it was the only way to get any of his work noticed. The church at that time was such a powerful dogmatic force, that he had to play along to some degree in order to not be completed dismissed.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
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About this blog

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