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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. ty

    But what, then, am I? A thinking thing, it has been said. But what is a thinking thing? It is a thing that doubts, understands, conceives, affirms, denies, wills, refuses; that imagines also, and perceives

    -Rene Descartes

    June 13, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • *facepalm*

      We're also fantastic pattern-seeking beings. Our ability to see patterns is what has put us apart as a species. A thinking thing that can recognize patterns can reason and experiment and thus develop technology (fire, the wheel, etc.).

      The problem with being so good at seeking patterns is that we often see patterns where there are none. However, we are built to trust in the patterns that we see. This, then, is why people 'perceive', say, aliens. It's why, for quite some time, people believed and reported seeing mermaids.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • CW

      People want to try to make sense of the world around them, which is why they invented religion to provide them peace of mind. Problem is, we now have science which solidly does that in spades. Religion, welcome to reality! Enjoy it while it lasts, which isn't very long. In a century from now, it'll be gone the way of Santa Claus.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • A A Milne

      "“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

      –Winnie-the-Pooh

      June 13, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  2. God's Kingdom

    God is your CREATOR, HE HAS AUTHORITY OVER YOU, Believers and Unbelievers alike. You are His! And he loves you enough to let you screw up.... makes bad choices and good choices. Kind of like your Father and Mother whom you disobeyed. They still loved you, in spite of your flaws and ignorance.
    Make no mistake; God will still be GOD with or without you. So,.... CHOOSE.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • *facepalm*

      My mother and father never tortured me. And if I was being tortured, and they could stop it, they would have. My parents are far more deserving of worship than your god, and I'd be the first to admit that my parents were very flawed.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I choose to tell you to fuck off with your silly myths!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • God's Kingdom

      Facepalm:
      At the very least, you have complied with one of the 10 COMMANDMENT. "HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER...."

      June 13, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • *facepalm*

      It would be nice if your god could follow his own rules, especially the whole 'thou shall not kill' thing.

      Maybe there was an asterisk that was lost in translation. Maybe it really said 'thou shall not kill, unless one uses the killing of infants as an extortion tactic.'

      June 13, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Varlund

      Actual authority requires proof of that authority or else the authority has no basis in fact.
      Your god is imaginary. Imaginary beings have no authority because they are not real.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Answer

      The main thing about religious people is that they can't handle being rejected. I love rejecting their silliness.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • God's Kingdom

      Remember what I said in the beginning: The decision to "CHOOSE" is in your hands. He laid down "HIS COMMANDMENTS". But He loves us enough in spite of our flaws to let us make choices: good or bad. So the killing part: That's your choice to kill. God did not put that on you. It is however written in your life that you MAY kill, depending on how wise your choice is. So,..... CHOOSE

      June 13, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Answer

      So you choose to be stupid... we get it.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • God's Kingdom

      No... my friends, this is not religious. THIS IS REAL!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • Answer

      No you delusional twit.. you aren't a friend. You're just too stupid.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • CW

      An invisible fantasy being will also be an invisible fantasy being with or without you too. It could be anything you decide to write into that book that will be a religious text in 2000 years. Oh wait, too bad they beat you to it. Doh!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Answer

      Remember everybody – a friend does not encourage you to be stupid.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • ScienceSoma

      I choose truth based on evidence over comfort based on familial tradition or subjective emotional experiences. Prove anything in your post objectively and with consideration of all the world's religious claims and I will believe. Just one piece of real evidence and I will humble myself to the being you emphatically claim exists. Wanting it to be so does not make it so, and repeating it or writing it does not change the groundless nature of your claim.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • sam stone

      Which one? There are thousands of gods man has worshipped. Much of it due to where your feet stand on the rock? How incredibly arrogant to think that YOURS is the objectively correct one

      June 13, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • sam stone

      Varlund: I agree.

      "Don't look behind the curtain!" – The Wizard of Oz

      June 13, 2012 at 3:50 am |
  3. 13monkees

    Yaaayyyy!!! Maybe one day we can get rid of religion all together.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i'm with you, brother! buh-bye, religion!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Rick James

      Religion is weakening in the face of more education, but stupid people still have great numbers.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  4. God's Kingdom

    Think about it!..... As you grow older, you knees heads south into the ground, and your head follows southward. Whereas, when you were born, you came looking into the Heavens in hope of redemption. For some people, confession comes in their breath: And its goes like this; "Oh Lord!". For other, it comes 'whenever later'.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      godbot says turn off your brain.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • CW

      But hey, don't let us stop you. Talk to yourself all you want if it makes you feel better about yourself.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • sam stone

      When you are born, you do not look to the "heavens" for redemption. Belief is taught. Can't you come up with a better argument than that?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:53 am |
  5. BubbaCo

    I guess there really is some hope for this stupid country.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • CW

      No, we still have too many religious nuts. That's why the average national education level is still 6th grade English and 5th grade math.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:54 am |
  6. God's Kingdom

    Yeah..... Watch out CNN! God's Kingdom is at Hand!!! This is nothing but satan at work, and he is a liar! It troubles me to think that CNN would allow its sites to be used to attack GOD and Christianity. You see, one of the core principles of Christianity is that We do not and will not force anyone to belief. We just know that at the end of the day, "EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS". HE IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS. THE LIGHT that lights YOUR PATH; WITHOUT HIM YOU ARE DOOMED FOR ETERNITY. So, you see we have that much confidence in our FAITH.
    You see, GOD IS SO MUCH GOD, that He loves you enough to let choose; And when you are done choosing; and whatever path you choose; at the end of the day, "EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Rick James

      "EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW"

      So much for "free will"...

      June 13, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • *facepalm*

      I guess you don't believe in freedom of speech, huh? Why is your god such a sadistic, egotistical, narcissistic, spoiled brat? And why do you want to worship such a being?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • God's Kingdom

      Think about it!..... As you grow older, you knees heads south into the ground, and your head follows southwest. Whereas, when you were born, you came looking into the Heavens in hope of redemption. For some people, confession comes in their breath: And its goes like this; "Oh Lord!". For other, it comes 'whenever later'.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Rick James

      When I was born...I didn't know what heaven was. And LOL at thinking anything you have said is proof.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • 13monkees

      This one can't be for real.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • sam stone

      Apparently, some people just like being slaves.

      Now, get back on your knees and open your mouth, Jesus is coming

      June 13, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  7. RBSG

    God hates facts.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • *facepalm*

      He at least hates intelligence. See: the garden of eden, babylon, and quotes about believing like a child (Santa Claus, anyone?)

      June 13, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • 13monkees

      Christians and Muslims hate them more. Mainly because they actually exist.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Praiz Jeebus

      I'd be angry and hate facts too if they resulted in my nonexistence. Good thing I'm not an anthropomorphic illusion. Whew!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • CW

      If they could, they would be "praying" the facts out of existence. I say let them try. Provides some amusing entertainment.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:55 am |
  8. GLE

    ...and I don't care what you say, the screen name is funny....chill out !!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  9. GLE

    ...and I don't care what you say, "Bootyfunk" is funny....stop trippin.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You think it's funny? So what?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  10. GLE

    Tom, sweetheart, I don't have to prove anything to anybody. The same way NOTHING I say will ever convince you, NOTHING you say will ever convince me. I stand firm by what I believe and I respect your right to do the same, my love. That's the great thing about this country, Do you boo! :-p

    June 13, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You do? Then why are you responding?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  11. GLE

    I'm sorry, but I can't get over the name "Bootyfunk" lololololololololololol!!! 🙂

    June 13, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can't 'get over' some silly screen name but you can believe in an invisible sky fairy?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  12. GLE

    WOW ALL this dialogue over a God that you claim "doesn't" exist. Hmmmmm????

    June 13, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow, you're posting here about a god you can't prove exists?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Spiffy

      You forgot the really long "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm"

      June 13, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Silent Claw

      Yes. It's an attempt to cure stupidity. According to the content of the article, it's working.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • HotAirAce

      The reason there is so much "dialogue" is that believers are slow learners. It shouldn't take much time to see the truth in "Given the complete lack of evidence for any god or supernatural being after thousands of years of searching, the probability that there are any gods is virtually zaero. In any other subject area, such a claim would have been dismissed much, much earlier. To say 'There are no gods, not even just one.' is merely shorthand for "the probability that there ..." and not much of an exaggeration or falsehood."

      June 13, 2012 at 2:23 am |
  13. Silent Claw

    Well, it's about time people started accepting reality. Thankfully. my parents never lied and said the easter bunny or tooth fairy were real. There is no such thing as god either. It's fantastic to know that there won't be some evil being on the other side of death ready to punish me for going to work and supporting my family. You know, all that evil sin I take part in on a daily basis. Wait, can you go to hell for driving your car 2 miles over the speed limit? If so, I am SCREWED.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Keksi

      I think being stupid by choice is a sin.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 am |
  14. All a ha

    If god created the world then who created god? After all, if the world had a creator then clearly something even more complex like god must have a creator as well. Okay, I confess, it was me. Look, I just created the myth of god as a joke. Sorry, but I didn’t think anyone would be dumb enough to believe it. I should have known though considering that children believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy that some adults would be too daft to figure out the biggest myth of all time. Sorry to have underestimated your stupidity. Anyway, now you all know so you can go back to your lives and the real world now.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Yehus is Jesus is LoRd

      How dare you question the christian god. Question the other gods all you want for they are clearly fake, but the christian one is real because I've had dreams at night and Jesus came with me with his long flowing hair. He told me very clearly...

      WE MUST FOLLOW THE BIBLE OR WE WILL GO TO HELL!!!

      And everytime I read the bible I find something new. Like tonight I read:
      Hosea 13:16 “they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child [pregnant women] shall be ripped up.”
      Numbers 31:17-18 "Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

      I didn't know that killing children, ripping open pregnant women, and raping virgins was moral and good, but it turns out it is. The bible says so. Amen.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • CW

      He exists because someone wrote about him in a book. Just like Harry Potter actually exists too. Isn't my imagination just brilliant? Next!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • sam stone

      Which interpretation of the bible must we follow?

      And, if there are so many interpretations, how did a perfect god put forth such a convoluted word that there are thousands (if not millions) of different interpretations?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:01 am |
  15. Bootyfunk

    buh-bye religion! don't let the door hit you in the @ss on the way out!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  16. JohnnyC

    Keep it up CNN, keep it up. Maybe you will even convince yourselves that there is no God. Of course the millennials don't believe - they live in the false reality you continue to create for them. Be not deceived: the Holy Spirit is active in these days and God will not be mocked...the world is being divided into the Sheep and the Goats. Not surprisingly, the Goats are more prevalent. Those who work at CNN and it's ilk will be thrown into the fire for their relentless attack on God. Can you please rename this ridiculous "branded news" section of your website? Instead of "The Belief Blog" how about the "Intentionally Fomenting Disbelief Blog in the name of Satan." Veritas.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Spiffy

      Uh-oh the crazy guy is talking about his invisible friend that no one has ever seen, but he has read about in a 2000 year old book.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blah, blah, blah.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      what would it take to convince YOU there is no god?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • JohnnyC

      To my detractors: "But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14 God bless you and may the scales fall from your eyes.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Sadly, even with your death, you will find no justification for your blind faith.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Spiffy

      Yeah, I'll quote the book they don't believe in at them. That will convince them!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Using the bible to prove your belief in the bible is just.......well....it is stupid as fk

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • All a ha

      Poor little Johnny,

      As you are so quick to prove, religions are pathetic jokes that prey on the stupid and ignorant among us. Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree... yeah, makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, Islam is just as stupid. How many times do Christian and Muslim 'leaders' need to be found guilty of ripping people off, molesting children, and/or encouraging ignorance and aggression for the stupid sheep that follow them to smarten up? Religions have always been for censorship so let's ban them and do the world a big favour.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Silent Claw

      Cry about you you little turd. That's right, cower in fear over a myth.

      Jesus christ. Why are christians so goddamn stupid?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Hm. Seem to have struck a nerve with Satan's minions. Evening daemons. You guys all work for the NSA? Night, night all. Viva Cristo Rey!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Silent Claw

      Fuck off Johnboy. Don't forget to perform your moronic christian ritual of cramming pages of bible verses up your ass before bedtime.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Spiffy

      Oh no he called us Satin worshipers! Well he sure proved his point. I always say if you can't use logic to win an argument always stick to ad hominem attacks.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • JohnnyC

      It's hardly an argument. It is a harangue against the Truth by people who sound a little defensive about...something they don't believe in. Interesting. You say, "Show me and I'll believe." God says, "Believe, and I will show you."

      June 13, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • rudyardK

      Show me the GodFax

      June 13, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Actually, your god says: 'believe and I will show you. Don't believe and I'll torture you.'

      But by all means, feel free to consider your god loving. I'm sure parents who abuse their children consider themselves 'loving' too

      June 13, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • DeFace

      This is a Pew Research Study..... you must be doing the dope.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Varlund

      Your god doesn't say anything. Your god does not exist.
      That is you pretending to be your god and say your god's words but your god is imaginary.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • CW

      Just write a book creating your own religion, and state that it's real because the book you wrote yourself says so. 2000 years from now, you'll have your own religion, and your followers will claim the book is fact because it's old, and everyone else who mocks them don't have "faith."

      June 13, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  17. HM8432

    Of course the Millennials doubt God; they have been raised on a souless technology-driven junk culture that has none of the traditional mores, values or standards that made this country great. Their idea of a 'hero' is people like Steve Jobs or their favorite entertainer. Older generations of Americans, the 'Greatest' being the best example, went to church, had fairly stable family lives, knew right from wrong, and thought critically while remaining respectful of their elders. This country has turned away from God in favor of worship of self and the superficial; religious non-conformity embraced by atheism didn't work for the Soviets, and it certainly will fail in this country too. God has blessed America too much to have a generation brainwashed by the secular humanists running our public schools to just throw it all away!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • JohnnyC

      !!!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Spiffy

      Yes isn't it interesting that the group who uses the world's hugest collection of information ever, have become atheists. It almost seems like through knowledge they have come to doubt something that has never had any proof of existing in the first place. They must be communists!

      Also just because one generation doesn't share another's values doesn't make the other a bad generation. If we really wanted to follow the values this country was founded on then we would have slavery, and women would have no rights.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Critical thinking delusionists is an oxymoron.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • preacherman

      "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
      frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
      words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
      respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
      [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint"

      (Hesiod, 8th century BC).

      June 13, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • *facepalm*

      So, Americans that grew up steeped in racism and Jim crow laws – Americans that wanted to prevent women's rights – that should be our example?!? And really, isn't Steve Jobs the embodiment of the american dream?

      It's amazing how people tend to only remember the good parts.

      Not that you're rant isn't surprising. All generations tends to think those that follow them are in a downward immoral spiral. People several decades ago were saying how the younger generation was going to hell in a handbasket because Elvis danced "provocatively".

      Get over yourself.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Silent Claw

      Yes HM8432. And here you are, commenting on CNN's website using a computer.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Ok, I'll revise:
      'you need the holy spirit to know the truth. All of those other denominations don't know the truth and thus have not received the holy spirit. I have received the holy spirit. I am special, thus I know the truth." You've got a serious case of megalomania going on here.

      And I really love your 'proof'. Four books of unknown authors who didn't witness the original events and were recorded decades after said events happened. I'm guessing you never played a game of telephone. And Josephus? He was born around the time jesus died. The only proof josephus gives you is that people are his time followed someone they called jesus. "Proof" Bwahahaha.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • CW

      @preacherman That's because their "elders" were feeling uncomfortable as new scientific discoveries proved their outdated knowledge incorrect. Fact is, you should accept reality that future generations may be more intelligent than you, with better technology, and more scientific discoveries that could upend what we currently know.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  18. Was Lost

    After observing this blog for several months I am coming to the conclusion that it should be called Un-Belief. Do any of the writers here actually know Jesus Christ as their Savior? Get right with The Truth ASAP. Read Jeremiah you stiff necked, worshipers of false idols. Don't think you have false idols? Tell me, my spiritual friend, what do you love the most in this world... and I will show you your God. Jesus saves!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Good on you "Was Lost." We know the truth, don't we? The propaganda on this site is so thick you could cut it with a knife. It's not the "liberal" media, it is the Luciferian media. Beware, as we are sheep among wolves.

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

      See my post to Lilies. You're another dolt who thinks you have some understanding of others' lives. You barely understand how to tie shoelaces.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • *facepalm*

      How is it not the absolute height of arrogance and self-centeredness to claim to know the 'truth' when the vast majority of people on this earth don't believe as you do?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Tom, thou dost protest too much.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      You cannot know that which does not exist. You are delusional.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • JohnnyC

      *facepalm*, the Truth has been revealed and it is equally available to all. Of myself I am nothing.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • JohnnyC

      JimmyJoe, outstanding logic. Have you considered this syllogism lately: God is love/Love is blind/Ray Charles is blind/Therefore Ray Charles is God. Sounds like your kind of reasoning. Ponder that for a decade or two and get back to me.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Varlund

      JohnyC, yeah you are nothing worth listening to. Why are you even here?
      Why don't you go to a religious website where you can all pat each other on the back for being stupid?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Good idea Varlund. It's quite clear that CNN's "BELIEF BLOG" has nothing whatsoever to do with Religion! Instead it's for...well, people like you. May God have mercy on your soul.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      JohnnyC, as my four fathers used to tell me, "you just can't fix stupid".

      I think they must have been referring to people like yourself.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Silent Claw

      Have proof that jesus actually existed?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • *facepalm*

      "The Truth has been revealed. And even though there are 40,000 different flavors of this 'truth', I know the right one. Everyone else is deluded."

      But yeah, you're all humble. Guess what? You're not fooling anyone.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Quite a bit of proof actually, Silent Claw. Jewish historians like Josephus, secular historians and Holy Scripture itself, as well as the living legacy of the Apostles (Thomas in India, for example) suggest there was a real Jesus who revealed God's Truth. Don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Jimmy Joe Jim Bob, did you really have "four fathers" or "forefathers"? Methinks it possible you really had four fathers somehow, and they each gave you one name, which is how you ended up with four names. In any event, I quite agree with all four of your fathers that "you can't fix stupid." They were quite right. They would've been better off just naming you Sue.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • JohnnyC

      *facepalm* - 40,000 flavors of truth? I think you're overstating the case a bit. But in any event, faith requires grace and grace comes from God through the Holy Spirit. I am not the Holy Spirit. May it enlighten your heart soon. G'night.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • madmaninthemiddle

      Jimmy Joe- you had four fathers? Your mom got around, didn't she?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • *facepalm*

      *facepalm*
      Ok, I'll revise:
      'you need the holy spirit to know the truth. All of those other denominations don't know the truth and thus have not received the holy spirit. I have received the holy spirit. I am special, thus I know the truth." You've got a serious case of megalomania going on here.

      And I really love your 'proof'. Four books of unknown authors who didn't witness the original events and were recorded decades after said events happened. I'm guessing you never played a game of telephone. And Josephus? He was born around the time jesus died. The only proof josephus gives you is that people are his time followed someone they called jesus. "Proof" Bwahahaha.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Varlund

      Yes, they just love us here at the Belief Blog.
      That's why you should go if you can't handle atheists who mock your lies that can be proven to be lies.

      Your lies have been revealed to the world here for all to see.
      If you don't like being shown to be a liar, then feel free to go elsewhere.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • CW

      If a book could claim itself to be fact, and then defend itself by saying it was written in the book, then we should write books on every subject matter and claim them to be fact. Then everyone MUST believe! Oh wait...

      June 13, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • CW

      When your "truth" is quoted out of a book someone wrote, it's certainly an "inspired" work. Just like how I was "inspired" to pen my brilliant idea for my novel.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • JohnnyC

      Congratulations! You may all remain in darkness with your consciences untroubled! If you wish to declare victory, you may. Enjoy it while it lasts.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Varlund

      Your imaginary god is worthless. Your words about your imaginary god are lies.

      When lies are all religious people have to work with, it is very easy to win every argument and is so commonplace that there is no reason to crow. You come here and say a lie, we point it out. It's just that easy.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  19. Lilies of the valley

    Atheists does not believed in Satan, thats OK, because, Satan does not care if they believe in him or not. What Satan wants is to destroy them all , including those who don't believed and don't have any relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The time will come very soon. I am looking forward for Jesus to come in the clouds! What I got to lose if I believed in Christ? Nothing, but I will gain something? That is "ETERNAL LIFE!!!" A REMINDER WITH "JESUS YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, BUT WITH SATAN YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL DEATH!" PICK YOUR CHOOSE!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You know, when I read posts like yours, I'm completely comfortable with being an atheist. Why would I want to believe in something that people like you espouse? You're barely literate, you obviously can't reason, and there's no evidence that your beliefs are founded on anything but nonsense.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • *facepalm*

      What have you got to lose if you believe in jesus? WEll, let's see. If you believe out of some sort of gamble, then you'd better hope that god rewards hedging your bets. Regardless of which denomination of xtianity you belong to, you'd better know hope the right way to believe isn't one of the other denominations who believe only they will get to heaven. You'd better also be right that god isn't actually Allah or Vishnu or Zeus.

      Basically, you have a really tiny chance of getting this right. Good luck.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Mesos

      Nothing to lose ... unless both you and the atheists are wrong and the Muslims are right =)

      June 13, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • CW

      The only difference in which religion, or lack thereof, that you join is based on your education level and which country you were raised in. If you actually take a step back and look, none of the religions actually have more evidence than the other. They all demand you take them on "faith."

      June 13, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • ScienceSoma

      @ Lilies – I will not even bother with the full explanation. Pascal's Wager – look it up and why it fails as an argument.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:57 am |
  20. Truth and Legend

    Thousands of years ago mankind didn't have the term 'Universe' in their vocabulary. They called it GOD – All that was, all that is, and all that will be. The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. GOD was EVERYTHING to them, something much greater than themselves. It had a life of it's own and it started long before mankind ever came into being.

    But there were many who claimed to know GOD, and who convinced the people around them that they spoke for GOD. Over time GOD began to take the shape of a 'person' on high. Someone to be feared and worshiped.

    And many used this knowledge of GOD as a tool to help them gain power over others, much like what takes place in our political climate today.

    As time advanced the people who truly studied GOD slowly began to branch off from these false interpretations of what GOD was, and science was inevitably born. GOD was silently renamed to 'The Universe', and scientists gradually separated themselves from the dogma that had been increasingly used as a tool to control people through fear and ignorance.

    There were many who grasped these basic understandings, and Jesus was one of them. But he had to speak in parables so that the sheep would be able to grasp its meaning, and one day understand it's implications. For example, Jesus is quoted as saying "I am in the Father, and the Father is in me". In present day terminology it would be translated "I am in the Universe, and the Universe is in me". We are, after all, star dust, are we not?. And we certainly exist within the universe, don't we?

    Modern day 'denominations' could be compared to clicks. Some people turn to violent gangs, some join clubs, and others turn to churches and other religious organizations. Everyone is simply looking for a place to fit in while they learn to express and explore themselves.

    But in the end we are all humans, the people of the earth. An extension of all that is. One might say that we exist as the many various personalities of GOD, the Universe. You may believe that your parents gave birth to you, but if you trace our lineage back far enough you will find that the Universe gave birth to us all, making it our Father. Or Mother for that matter.

    Not one of us is any more or less special than the next person. But we live in such a compet.itive and combative world, where everyone is hell bent on trying to one-up the next person, that we are blinded to such a basic and simple understanding.

    The Bible, like a good sci-fi novel, is composed of many Truth's wrapped up in various myths and legends. This was done to add flare. That is why it is said that, through studying the book, "The Truth shall set you free". Once a person can discern these essential truths, the legends become quite visible and eventually fade away as irrelevant to the grand scheme of things.

    I love you all equally my brothers and sisters. And for those who are about to troll me, I have already forgiven you..

    June 13, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Varlund

      If you didn't sound so much like a pompous ignorant idiot, I could almost agree with you.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      "Not one of us is any more or less special than the next person."

      You had me until you wrote this.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Truth and Legend

      Why's that Jimmy? The Christian believes they are more special because of their religion. The Muslim because of theirs. The Buddhist, the Jewish, the Athiest...

      In our essence we are all created equal. Innocent little babies. But as we make our life decisions, helping or hindering one another, people develop their own set of 'beliefs' on who is and is not special to them.

      To you your wife/son/daughter might be the most special person(s) in the world, but to someone else they might very well be just another person. From an unbiased viewpoint we are all equal children of the universe. I think we all know this subconsciously, as we continue to strive for freedom and equality in places like America.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • CW

      If you keep repeating fairy tales to yourself like that, even you'll start believing them. Psychology 101.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Truth and Legend

      Funny you should say that CW, because isn't that what Prayer really is(At least in my opinion)? You repeatedly ask for something, perhaps in differing forms, until the thought/request is firmly rooted in your mind? And once rooted you eventually start making choices that lead you closer and closer towards attaining that goal?

      Politicians do the same when they repeat the same message over and over. In a lot of cases it eventually it sticks as a subliminal message, and people tend to make their choices based on what's floating around in their mind, subconsciously or not. They may have been tricked into believing something without even realizing it.

      The same could be said for Advertising/Marketing, religious preaching, etc.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • CW

      Science supplies evidence. And you're being quite disingenuous claiming that I believe the crap politicians, marketers, and religious nuts blow out of both ends of the anatomy. As for your "prayer," if closing your eyes, clasping your hands, and talking to yourself makes you feel better about yourself, go right ahead. No one's stopping you.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • Truth and Legend

      I agree 100%. Science supplies evidence, and helps us find the Truth.

      Based on your response I take it you feel I am attacking you. I assure you that I am not. As I previously stated, "In a lot of cases it eventually sticks...". You are indicating you that are not one of those cases. I do not dispute that, and my statement was not intended as an insult to anyone's beliefs. Some people have experienced enough in life to read between the lines, while others have not, but may eventually given enough time.

      Perhaps I wasn't clear in what I feel Prayer is. I will try to clarify my meaning. Einstein, the great scientist, worked with what he called 'The Thought experiement'. He spent many hours focusing, or meditating, his thoughts on a particular topic, and other related thoughts would eventually come to him, helping him to better understand and work through a particular problem. Another person might focus their thoughts on wanting a new car, and through the process of contemplation, they may figure out a way to make it happen.

      Prayer, thinking, contemplation, meditating, in my opinion they are one in the same. Just like a car is a vehicle and an automobile. They have different labels, but same underlying meaning.

      My opinion is only that. My opinion. I am only sharing for those who might relate..

      June 13, 2012 at 3:25 am |
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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.