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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. QS

    "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."

    This last paragraph should sum up all you need to know about this article, as well as religion in general – you will be hated, chastised and shunned by your family and peers if you happen to not believe what they do.

    How is it that more people don't see this very basic, fundamental aspect about religion? It claims to be about love, but is in reality about nothing more than conformity and obedience. Why else would people feel like they need a "safe" place to admit their non-belief?

    June 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      QS, the issue, I believe at hand is that as a society, we don't tend to tolerate people who we see as saying something fundamentally different than we believe. And this goes well beyond religion. Tell someone who is strongly for one political party that you think the other is right or, worse, tell them you think like some foreign government or organization thinks that is opposed to ours and you will find the rejection just as stiff. You are right though, our society historically has treated non-believers none too well which should be the last thing we should be doing (particularly believers as it goes against the scripture to which they profess). But, again, I would contend that that rejection has less to do with their faith than our ability as a society to tolerate differences, particularly significant differences, within our midst.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Time to repost ...

      Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      HeavenSent, you are definitely being called: I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Remember to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the uplifting.

      This time, though, remember to plug your nose and mouth when I pull the chain and your head goes down into the swirling waters, so the brown floaters don't get in like they did the last time you went down.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Joe

      Admiral, dang you. I almost spewed a drink through my nostrils I was laughing so hard at your post about HS. too funny.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  2. Zeke

    Thank God LOL!!!

    June 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  3. Rob- Texas

    Nice CNN-millennials are 10 years older and would be expected to question God. Its healthy. Most Christians question their faith especailly as they get older. If they had been taking this poll for 100 years, they would find every generation question God as they age.
    Of course CNN is trying to portry this as a new generation that doesn't believe in God, unlike previous generations. Pro Gay Marriage /Anti Christian that's CNN.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • WWJD

      How is this anti-christian? and btw there are other religions and it's not even anti-religion.
      I know people who believe in god and don't go to church; systemic abuse of children and continuous cover-up by the Catholic hierarchy being just one reason.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  4. Easter Bunny

    whateva

    June 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      You exist! I knew it!

      June 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  5. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    If people like Joel Osteen (to name just one) are typical "Christians," this news comes as no surprise.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Milton

      Jesus loves rich people the best, especially ones that like to donate their money to smarmy guys that say what you want to hear.

      -Joel Osteen

      June 13, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  6. SRO

    Great news. Continue forward, fellow humans.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  7. BobZemko

    I don't hate God, it's his fan club that I'm not too crazy about.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • ZEBO

      I pray God will protect me from his followers..!!!

      June 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  8. ALBERT HERTER

    Eienstein on the bible: 'Fairy tales."

    The believers think of the millions SAVED.

    I think of the millions destroyed, maimed, oppressed, tortured and murdered. ZILLIONS!!

    It's about power, money, subjecting women to second class and more.

    Priests preying on youngsters SAYS IT ALL......I hope the roman catholics wind up bankrupt......in money terms......THEY ARE ALREADY THERE IN TERMS OF HONOR, TRUTH, GOODNESS AND SUCH.......

    Anyone want to hit on you about religion tell them:

    I BELIEVE IN THE SHOW ME SCHOOL, NOT THE TELL ME SCHOOL......ROCK ON, AL HERTER IN NEW YORK

    June 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      again to repost ...

      Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe.

      Babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's ...

      June 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • JP0

      @Heaven Sent: What is loose, your bowels or your tongue?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a sure sign of the Bible thumpers that they're clueless as to the difference between 'loose' and 'lose'.

      You'd think anyone with an IQ of at least two digits could figure it out, wouldn't you? That tells you how bright the bangers are.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Gryphon

      @HeavenSent

      Thanks for confirming your particular brand of crazy...

      June 13, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  9. dina

    People need myths and fairy tales to explain things. Religion fits into that need.It helps to explain the un explainable even though it can't be explained. There is no reality to religion but it helps people get through what they need to get through.It's all about myth and how man created these myths for the people to follow, for structure, for control. As long as a person does not want every other person think they have to believe in their way, religion and god is fine for those who need it.But some, and that is many today want only their beliefs to be what is believed and have no tolerance of others beliefs.That is definately not acceptable.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      to another dummy handle ...

      Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe.

      Babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's ...

      June 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Joe

      HS, the bible is babble, to put it in polite terms. Best use for the Christian babble is as toilet paper.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  10. Tom Paine

    I am not even going to read the comment section here because I can just imagine all the "why believe in a fairy tale" comments that are surely coming in in droves from many of the people who tend to comment on everything on CNNs religions blog. Nevertheless, my observation is that current believers do not set a very high bar for their own children to come to church/synagogue/mosque. This leaves children with largely a child like imagery of God mixed in with an ever growing body of information as they grow. Sooner or later, their childlike image of God begins to get shaken. Look in the pews. Do you see lots of teens? That's not the teenagers fault. It is the parent's fault who often value sports, recreation, or even sleep over worship and only go to church when it is convenient for the entire family. So, why should we be shocked when these teens grow into adults who express doubts about God? Who wouldn't? It has nothing to do with the atheists in this country being more convincing. It often instead has to do with misplaced priorities.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Madtown

      Right, parents should double-down on their efforts toward indoctrination and psychological strong-arming. Pathetic. Maybe, just maybe, these young adults have grown and matured enough to actually think for themselves, free of the dogma for once?

      June 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • jerry148

      Well said.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      Maybe the reason they have a childlike idea of god is because the idea of god IS childlike. It's exactly like Santa Claus; he's watching you all the time from some place "up there" whether you're awake or asleep, keeping score of the good and bad things you do, he rewards those who bring him offerings and punishes those he deems "bad". Which is which here?

      June 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Zeke

      Somewhat ironic your name is "Tom Paine" becuase "THOMAS Paine" was a founding father, and his writings drastically influenced the American revlution. He also wrote "The Age of Reason" which completely refuted Faith and religious dogma (great book by the way)

      June 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      Thomas Paine was a Deist, not an atheist – FYI.

      The "Santa Claus" comment is not worth commenting on.

      As for "thinking for ourselves" would you apply the same standard to chemistry? To philosophy? To anything? Is the way you form an opinion is to be uneducated on such topic?

      June 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Russell Hammond, Hollywood

      Years ago, I made the huge mistake of sending my young (then) kids to Sunday school. I guess I figured they should have some religious training like I had. It was a Lutheran bible school and my two kids were separated from each other and put into their own age group where they were bullied and humiliated by the other children. Saying my kids were traumatized by this experience is an understatement. That was almost 20 years ago and the kids still bring it up now and again when the subject of "bad decisions" comes up. Can't say as i blame them. Oh well, I tried.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Zeke

      I never said he was an Atheist?! I admitted that I read his books where he clearly states that he is a Deist over and over again, yet you still suppose that I suggest he was an Atheist? Someone needs to work on their critical reading skills I think lol.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      Zeke you wrote that his writings completely refuted faith and religious dogma. Maybe the latter makes some form of sense (Deists do have dogma) but it does not with faith at all. Critical thinking is needed along with critical reading.

      Russell: I am sorry that happened. Houses of worship are not immune to the same problems we see in schools and on sports teams. It should be better mind you but it isn't. I just hope you didn't walk away feeling that the same thing would have happened in any house of worship.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Madtown

      Tom Paine
      As for "thinking for ourselves" would you apply the same standard to chemistry? To philosophy?
      ------–
      LOL!!!!!!! You people are endlessly entertaining. Well, the principles of chemistry for one have been formulated by much scientific based testing, experimentation, refutation, and refinement. Science continues to ask questions, seeks to find the holes through testing and review. "Thinking for yourself" in terms of religion, means you use your God-given brainpower to analyze what religion tells you, since there is no way to test the religion's hypotheses along scientific terms.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Russell Hammond, Hollywood

      @Tom – I wasn't willing to roll the dice a second time. Too much at stake.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Russell Hammond, Hollywood

      Sorry, I meant @Madtown.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Zeke

      I stipulated "Religious Dogma" which is much different from "Philisophical Dogma". The former requires faith (belief without reason), and the latter requires belief only through reason or rational inquiry. As you might guess, Deism holds Philisophical Dogma as supreme.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      @ Madtown: Yes, I am one of "you people." You don't base anything faith based on the same type of testing in chemistry. But you do put great trust in those teaching you and don't try to recreate every single thing you learn. There is much to be gained from listening to the thoughts from the great thinkers of our past, many of whom were people of faith. You can study it, think it through, dare I say practice that faith, and then decide for yourself. Or you can put your head in the sand, figure that you in your brief time on earth can figure better, and not read or listen at all to those who came before us. We are after all free. I have led a very happy life being one of "those people" and know many others too who tend to be happy (and well educated).

      Lloyd – would you have applied the same standard if your children had been bullied at school? Would you stop sending them to all schools? If you get food poisoning in a restaurant, do you stop going to all restaurants? I do not mean to minimize the bad conduct of the children at the house of worship your children attended but we often will apply standards to houses of worship (or to many things faith based) that we never would apply in other areas of our lives.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      @ Zeke – Deism is more than a philosophy. It is a religion. I am not a Deist and I surely suspect you are not either. But they believe (mostly believed these days) that God created the universe and it letting it run through its course now without intervention. But it is a faith based religion, not simply a philosophy. Plus, you seemed to think I wasn't reading your posts or was not thinking about what I was writing but I was and answered accordingly.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Madtown

      Tom, so much for you "not even reading the comments" here in this story, as you said in your initial post.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • Tom Paine

        Well Madtown, you are right, I read one beyond my own comment thread. I never said I wouldn't reply to anyone who commented on what I wrote. But I admit, I read one more. And I should have stuck to what I wrote...lol.

        June 13, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless babble ... garble only you that spew this babble believe.

      Babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's ...

      June 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
      • Tom Paine

        I suspect you are someone posing as a believer.

        June 13, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Steli S

      @ TomPain: "It has nothing to do with the atheists in this country being more convincing. It often instead has to do with misplaced priorities."

      I suspect it does. In the last years, it seems there is less and less room left for a religious person to decently carry a reasonably discussion about the relevance of organized religion. This if not only because pretty much there are no arguments left to reason someone into agreeing that the allegations in religious texts make much sense, but the arguments about why we should tolerate organized religion even if it’s based on ridiculous claims shattered.
      In the last years a few very good books have been published. For example, I am sure a scientifically minded person would enjoy Richard Dawkins' “The God Delusion,” a physicist would enjoy Victor J. Stenger's “God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion,” a biologist would probably enjoy Richard Dawkins' “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.” Regardless of the arguments it contains, Christopher Hitchens' “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” is much more enjoyable to read than say Bertrand Russell's “Why I Am Not a Christian.”
      And even if not that many people read books nowadays, the internet probably helps, as it is much easier now to find out different religious organization scandals, to share ideas and to watch debates.
      Atheists and agnostics realized that it’s actually OK to ridicule people who make ludicrous claims.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
      • Tom Paine

        Stei, I guarantee you that the reason why young people referenced in this article are questioning God has nothing to do with Dawkins and all the other neo-atheists that older atheists enjoy reading with such vigor. Most teenagers and twenty something would not recognize the names. And as for it being OK to ridicule people, regardless of their belief, I think you will find in time there is no real joy or profit from it.

        June 13, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  11. Martin

    You can believe in God and still believe that all religions are nonsense.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Zeke

      That my friend is essentially Desim which is what the majority of the most prolific founding fathers subsribed to.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Madtown

      Right on Martin. This is my feeling as well. I believe in God, do not believe in man-made religion.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Arjun

      Martin,
      I would not say nonsense. Just like pure rain water gets dirty after falling on earth, Pure teachings of every religion gets some fanaticism some mis-information some additional teaching added by people who are not really that pure. In addition to that some people use any religion for their selfish ends and so on...

      But just like we not stop drinking water because it is dirty. We have developed various ways to clean it and use.

      To know the truth of religion, if you keep your mind open the original teaching still available with a covering of interpretations from various people. Remove all these covers and read the original message of Jesus your self. You could find that there is everything good in the teachings of Jesus.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Zeke

      Arjun,

      There is ABSOLUTELY no empirical evidence suggesting that Jesus existed. In fact, there are many instances of his workings among other myths in the bible that were plagiarized to include dying on the cross, resurrection, born on the 25th day of December etc… All of these attributes can be found in other supposed gods from religions much older than the bible namely Egyptian mythology and Greek Mythology. Just incase you didn't know...

      June 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Arjun

      Zeke,
      I am not suggesting you had to accept everything as a fact. It is quite natural that myths gets attributed to famous people even now. What to speak of 2000 years back. When it comes to history it may be difficult to prove, Scientific proof means 100% certifiable. But that may be difficult. But it is most likely that Jesus existed.

      For that matter I am not a Christian too. I am a Hindu. But I believe truth is not confined to any religion. I also believe that no religion is 100% accurate. If you are sincerer, real truth can be seen your heart. You follow that. It makes a person much better person.

      I was an atheist a while back. And I believe atheists are also looking for truth. Otherwise what is the need for spending some time in reading all these stuff.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Zeke

      Well I agree with you on much of what you said especially that there is no 100% certainty in this world. It's hard to find anyone these days willing to admit that. Having any sense of morality is good which is what religion seems to evoke, but there is a a lot more that comes along with faith and religion that I have problems with.

      For now it seems humanity needs religion despite it leading us to the pinnacle owicked dimensions found in humans. I will continue to reconcile my issues with this obvious trade off for faith in religion. I would like to be a propoenent of religious tolerance but when people aren't willing to give that same tolerance back it becomes upsetting. I am a Deist by the way.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Arjun

      Zake,
      When religion is mixed with politics or When religion is made organised like a corporate, It easily get into exclusive mode and denies any other possibility of truth. Though corporate religion has the advantage of spreading fast, It also has the ability to spoil the true religion. People fight for one thing or the other. If there is no religion, You might even see more fights for natural resources. etc. So let's not see it like a religion that started a war. Instead see it as human nature that used even the message peace for making war. It is humans who spoil religion rather than religion spoiling humans.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Milton

      "They say god dwells inside all of us. I sure hope he likes enchiladas because that's what he's getting".

      -Jack Handy

      June 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Redbeard

      This is agnostic Deism in a nutshell. You believe there is a God, but there is nothing stating the actions, motives or anything else of said god. To misquote Marcus Aurelius: If God is just, then he will not punish good men who don't believe in him (paraphrasing).

      Religion taught me that God planned everything, that I deserved what came to me. I thought I was being punished, why would I be part of his plan? In the end I realized there was no proof to it- and my life was better off living if I treat it as the only one I had.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  12. Matthew Kilburn

    "Progress."

    It will only be "progress" when the atheists can provide some meaningful contribution to the questions of where we came from, why we're here, or what happens when we're gone.

    To be atheist is not to be informed or educated or intelligent, but to be content in ignorance of the most important questions humans can possibly ask.

    I see no more rightful claim to logic (less, in fact) by a group that believes all of creation was an uninformed, unintentional, coincidence than a group which supposes an intelligent higher power not subject to natural laws.

    But of course, we have a culture that tells people to reject anything that requires something other than instant, self-gratification and "fairness"...so it doesn't surprise me that 32% of millennials have experienced some bouts of skepticism.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Scientology answers those questions succinctly. Do you consider them to be well-informed and intelligent? Contributors to our societal well-being? Or do you use logic and conclude that the only truly intelligent Scientologists are the ones at the top of the money pyramid perpetrating the scam?

      Also, answering philosophical questions is not the sole province of religion.

      You need a bit wider world view.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • dnfromge

      Matthew – you'll find many, many highly educated, intelligent atheists – that is just your wishful thinking that they do not exist. Just as atheists will find highly educated, intelligent religious folks. And you'll find the just opposite in both groups. Don't generalize so much. Personally, I'm not all that concerned about "why I'm here" or "what happens after death" – I don't have fear about those topics as religious folks seem to (and that's a generalization as well). Live in peace, be kind to others, enjoy life and you will find life can be equally good and fulfilling for the religious and non-religious alike.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Milton

      Atheism can't answer why we are here, how'd we get here, or what happens to us when we are gone. The problem is religion can't answer those questions either, they just pretend that they can and then tell you to ignore the guy behind the green curtain because paying attention to him means that you've lost "faith". Faith of course is putatively a virtue when in fact, it just means that you're a sucker.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Redbeard

      Atheism does provide an answer to these questions:

      How did we get here? Adaptation over time. Humans and animals always experience adaptations to their environment. Given enough time, species will evolve into something slightly, and then entirely, different.

      Why are we here? This is an easy answer, but you won't like it: There is no reason why we are here. We became what we are now, and there is nothing guiding us but ourselves.

      What happens when we are gone: We are put into the ground in most traditions, our family members will weep for us. I already know what it is like to not exist- I have not existed for millions of years before I was born, and I will not exist after my death. This is why it is so important to live you life like there will be nothing left- because logically there will be nothing after.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  13. GIUK

    The God I don't believe in is a loving, forgiving God, who understands why I don't believe she exists.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hey, listen up ... didn't you know it's all been written ..."So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • JP0

      @HeavenSent: Your continuously repeated comments smell of spewn babble to me.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • CC

      @HS You do understand that they are ALL fairy tales meant to separate fools from their money and hand power off to someone else right?

      August 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  14. catholic engineer

    Any thinking religious person at some time or another doubts God's existence. People are urged to "think about God in these terms", terms and categories which are often inadequate. Science minded people think that everything can be explained in terms of external data brought in through the senses. People who have access to the interior part of their humanity are more likely to believe in God. The expression "I am not my body" applies in searching out God. Except atheists, of course. They are basically five senses attached to a processor.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Fossilhund

      You summed it up nicely in your remark about folks who have access to the interior part of their humanity are more likely to believe in God. For what it's worth I have a degree in Zoology but I also believe in God. For me science and religion complement one another; put them together and they form a Whole of sorts. A Whole what I haven't quite figured out yet, but puzzles such as this are part of the fun of being alive!

      June 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  15. dina

    What difference does it make for a concept that can't be proven?

    June 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Arjun

      Nothing happens except a greedy society which is all set to destroy earth. Since we have finished our job almost and nothing could be easily reversed now. So it does't matter any more.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus already wrote "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe. Satan looses as does his team of followers.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  16. kindness

    A personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

    June 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Patrick

      Leviticus 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

      Genesis 19:33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

      34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

      36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

      Deuteronomy 22:28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and r@pes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

      Genesis 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

      1 Timothy 2:11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

      1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

      34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

      Matthew 19: (Jesus Speaking) 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for $ ex ual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

      1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

      Numbers 31: (Moses Speaking) 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the LORD in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. 17 Now ki11 all the boys. And ki11 every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      2 Kings 6:27 The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

      She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

      FORGIVE ME CHRISTIANS IF I'VE TAKEN SOMETHING OUT OF CONTEXT. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE CORRECT CONTEXT AND HOPEFULLY, IF THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES YOUR EXPLANATION, YOU WILL DRAW SOME SOULS TOWARDS CHRIST. (THIS SHOULD CLEAR OUT THE FORUM)

      June 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Blanchjoe

      Dear Friend, "....evidence follows Faith..." is correct only when Faith can be moment-to-moment self-verified in actual personal and real "perception". Otherwise what most call Faith is, at best, just belief-wishful-hope that is created within Mind and unsustainable against both Real Life, and Death.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Rob Scneider, derp di derp.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • BobZemko

      You sound firmly brainwashed !!!

      June 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • STLBroker

      Patrick- Here are some other words from the Bible "seek and you shall find". Congratulations, you found what you were looking for, reasons to discount the Bible so that you can make your own set of rules and then you stopped there. You did take a lot of things out of context but I don't have the time to explain it all here. Other quotes I am not quite sure why you included them. I guess you are in favor of people divorcing for silly reasons. Anyway, you need to read the whole Bible, study the context of the verses, understand the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and then come back here and explain what issues you have with the other 99.9999% of the Bible.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Too all the phony non-believers on this site (LOL) as you spew your baloney ...Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless babble garble only you that spew this garbageola believe.

      Babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's ...

      June 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • God's Kingdom

      In the context of your scriptures that you quoted: you left out one important part: In heaven, they are Kingdoms in an hierarchical setting. Needless to say, there are High ranking Angels, there are low ranking Angels. There are King in Hierarchical order. In case you so quickly forgot; LORD OF LORDS, KING OF KINGS. Heck, there are even fallen Angels who disobey God, although probably not in Heaven. Your place in a particular Kingdom is strictly dependent on your conduct while alive on earth. Remember that CHOICE ("CHOOSE") thing. Yes, That is what determines whether you enter his Kingdom (or any of it). Or whether you are sent to Hell for eternal 'frying', eternal labor and gnashing of teeth.
      I wouldn't be YOU!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • 40 pounds of flax and the bark of a dog

      The "Dying God" is a solar/phallic myth. Hint: the sun "dies" each night and is "raised from the dead" each morning. There is an analog to this process in the physiology of the male. Duh.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  17. robertopp

    The article really says 68% of young people blindly believe in something they cannot see, and can never prove exists, but they were brainwashed by their parents to believe in nonsense. That 68% is a shockingly high number; and is likely to be much higher than most of the developed world (as well as rational fast-growth developing countries such as China)

    June 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Common Sense

      I wasn't taught to believe in God from my parents. God opened my eyes. It was through no effort of my own. Jesus changed me.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  18. Martin

    People tend to get more religious as they get older because they fear death and death starts to become less and less remote.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • gager

      That is silliness. All the atheist I know including me do not fear death. When you die you go to oblivion.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Common Sense

      How do you know that Gager?? Do you have an objective source for this knowledge??

      June 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Martin, (and your phony handle) tune in ... We can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

      All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this garbageola believe.

      All you do is babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's ...

      June 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • CC

      @Heavensent Are you stupid?Martin is on your side! Why do you keep posting you babble babble stuff? Same response for everything. You sir are a true Christian!

      August 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  19. Rob

    When God is brought into politics, people will question the existence of God. The separation of church and state is not just good for the state, it is also good for religion.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  20. STLBroker

    I consider myself a believer in God but can't honestly say that I NEVER doubt the existence of God. I would not believe anyone that makes that claim. I think doubting and asking questions is an important part in gaining a stronger faith in God.

    That said, "a fools says in his heart that there is no God". A person that makes a point to advertise it on a CNN message boards every time there is an article about God is whatever is more foolish than a fool. Doubts in one's own heart seems a lot more forgivable than trying to convince others that there is no God.

    Someone once said, that "nobody talks as much about God as those that claim not to believe in Him". Every time I read the comments following a faith related article on CNN, I realize just how true that is.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Madtown

      Skepticism is healthy. Humans are the most advanced form of life in this world, we have brains that have the capacity to investigate, analyze, and make decisions. Those who believe in a creator believe that these functions are God-given. Wouldn't it please God to know that we humans are using the cognitive functionality that we were given?

      June 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.