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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. Craig

    I LOVE THESE COMMENTS! So few ignorant/scared religious people here. Thank you, smart and brave people. Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only one around.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  2. God is not real

    Just sayin....

    June 13, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  3. Eat The Ism

    Hey, believe, don't believe, that's up to you. Whether you trust in an omnipotent figure or you trust that mankind procreates and dies, is really your choice. Just don't push it in my face and tell me that what I think is wrong. I respect everyone's choice as their own. At least respect my choice not to believe in stories written by man and let me live my life how I choose. I personally think religion is a form of control but while we are young and innocent, some of the basic religious teachings are designed to help us develop and learn a sense of right and wrong: Treat others like you want to be treated, don't murder and steal, etc. Beyond that, you're able to make a choice whether to continue on that path or take another road. Most of the religious masses would call that 'invoking free will'. Atheists would probably call it 'waking up'. Whatever. 7 billion people live on this rock and there are 7 billion different ways of viewing things, 7 billion different universes. Leave it at that. It would be nice if arguments, political agendas, and wars were no longer supported by differences in religious beliefs. Then maybe we could move beyond this dark, 5h!tty time in our history.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Rynomite

      "Then maybe we could move beyond this dark, 5h!tty time in our history."

      As opposed to all the darker, 5h!ttier times that came before?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Eat The Ism

      No. But they occurred for the same reason: religious differences. Bottom line, eliminate religious influence and watch how things improve.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Don't bash it till you've tried it.

      Almost everyone has gone through a moment of their lifetime, most likely in their childhood, where some form of religion was preached. Most of the time this gives a sense of comfort, whether an understanding of the world or a connection with community and belonging to something bigger than ones self. It's also easy. Taking the time to learn and gain a true understanding for the sciences (math, chemistry, physics, biology, physiology, etc) and how they all work perfectly in tandem is something exponentially more enlightening than any amount of faith in any god. In light of science, there is no need for a god. It is not a sad thing to not believe in anything; rather, life seems more beautiful knowing the complexities of everything that makes us and the world around us tick

      June 13, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • crackedskull44

      @Don't bash it till you've tried it.

      Ditto for you my man. Some of the greats were pretty religious, even Einstein beleived in a God(Spinozism)

      June 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Don't bash it till you've tried it.

      As were Darwin and Newton. Until very recently, just the idea that there might not be a god was unheard of and was viewed as foolish. These great minds were also breaking the surface of what now know and given the privilege of 100 years of research based off of their own work, who knows if their views would have changed. Most likely they wouldn't view the world now the way the did then.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  4. Dliodoir

    It's interesting how the article plays down the fact that the vast majority of Americans, including younger Americans, believe in God and identify with a particular faith group/denomination. One would thing from the tenor of the article and the comments that the statistics showed religion in decline when in fact that opposite is true. Also, the question simply asked whether a person ever doubted the existence of God NOT whether they were an atheist. Someone could doubt and then go on to be a committed believer. Many young people go through a doubting phase only to confirm the faith they were raised with as they get older. At the end of the day faith is still the dominant paradigm in the US and throughout the world. For the believer it matters not what the statistics say. A person either believes or they don't. If their belief is dependent on others holding the same belief or affirming their belief, then the faith was insincere to begin with. There was a beginning. Matter has not always existed. It is physical and was created.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • sybaris

      "religion in decline when in fact that opposite is true"

      Which religion? Evidence please.

      Also, religion is one of those pesky things where volume of support does not equate to it's truthfulness.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Dliodoir

      "volume of support does not equate to it's truthfulness." People who argue that religion isn't "true" miss the whole point of faith. It truly is apples and oranges. A believer has determined beyond doubt that their faith is "true" for reasons other than empirical evidence. Some people only believe things that are empirically provable. Others believe things through other forms of evidence. You may find their evidence flawed or impeachable or incomplete. . .but the believer has determined that it is sufficient to make the leap to the conclusion that God exists, etc. That is not dissimilar to the way we conclude, in the absence of complete proof, that the universe originated with a "big bang" or that we evolved from a particular type of proto-human. There is some evidence but not a complete set of evidence. We have a theory that is sufficiently supported so that we're comfortable deducing the conclusion from what we DO know. If as an atheist you claim that there is only ONE truth and that all who do not acknowledge it are wrong, then you are no different than the prosthelytizing believer. If you are satisfied with your truth, it shouldn't matter to you that anyone else affirms it. We don't all have to agree to be good people and to make a good society. They are not bad for believing and you are not bad for not believing. Humans do extraordinarily good things and they do extraordinarily bad things. Some of the good people are believers and some of the good people are non-believers. Some of the bad people are believers and some of the bad people are non-believers. It is petty insecurity and bigotry to not like someone just because they don't see the world in the exact same way that you do. Judge your neighbor by the content of their character and their good works, not by the degree that they are similar to you.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • WOW

      @Dliordoir: I like your comments.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • God is not real

      Wasn't it the church that also believed that the Earth was flat?

      That also was taken as the truth, based on faith (since there was no obvious evidence to suggest it)

      June 13, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • sybaris

      Here, I'll summarize your pontification, "I think of god therefore it exists"

      Christards have latched onto Descartes famous quote and modified it to prove the existence of their god but by doing so they resurrect all other gods.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Dliodoir

      "Wasn't it the church that also believed that the Earth was flat?" The Church? Do you suggest that only Christians had a flawed understanding of the natural world? Some civilizations understood the earth was a sphere (Greeks and Mayans) and others didn't (Western Europeans, Chinese, Indians). The Church also was the primary patron of arts and science during the later Middle Ages and Renaissance and sponosored many (all?) of the work that led to our modern understanding of the natural world. Yes, there was resistence to change. . .but that's a natural human instinct. If you suggest that had you been alive in Middle Ages Europe that you would have instantly figured out the true nature of earth and the solar system, you are delusional. You would have been a product of your time and you would have firmly believed what you had been taught. . .and you would have resisted challenges to that sincerely held belief. Over time as consensus emerged and the paradigm shifted, you would have opened up to the possibility that other explanations were more valid. It's a process. . .and one does not require the compromise of faith unless your faith was soley focused on the nature of the earth. The bottom line is that believers in the supernatural can come to a full and proper understanding of natural science. Many believers affirm evolution and quantum physics and all sorts of other empirical sciences. . .and they still believe. Again, you may find the two incompatible and that a choice must be made. If so, you are an absolutist. . .a fundamentalist. . .who insists that all others believe as you belive. Some people do not find science and faith incompatible. . .and some of them are very good people who do very good things. They do not have to believe as you do. That you find fault that they don't says more about you than it says about them.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Don't bash it till you've tried it.

      Welcome to the last 100 years where wavering ideas about "Faith" are no longer punishable by beatings, being stoned, burned, crucified, put into exile, torture and/or imprisonment. For thousands of years, having faith kept you from being fed to the wolves (assuming you live in a region where your beliefs are the same as everyone else). Next time you're in church, ask how many people there actually read a REAL science book, not Ranger Rick, and took the time to understand it. Most probably haven't, because it's a lot of work. Having faith only takes... well, faith.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Dliodoir

      "Christards have latched onto Descartes famous quote and modified it to prove the existence of their god" Again you miss the point. Believers don't need "proof." That's why it is called faith. I'm not pontificating, I'm explaining. I'm sorry if my explanation is insufficient or inelegant. There is no need for hostility. This is the marketplace of ideas. Our civilizations have acheived great things and faith has played a major role in all of them. That doesn't make it "true" but it suggests that faith can and does satisfy some basic human need. It suggests that faith can motivate people to do great things. Faith can also motivate people to do horrible things but that doesn't negate the faith. If it did then non-belief would be similarly discredited by the horrible acts of the French Revolution or the Soviet Union or Mao Tse Tung or any other non-believer who did bad things. It's a logical fallacy to say that if someone does something bad, his personal philosophy is bad. Do non-believers always uphold their highest ideals? Of course not, does that mean that non-belief is bad or wrong or not true? Of course not. It's about the person. As humans we choose some set of guiding principles to live by and to judge ourself and others by. Some choose to include a supernatural component to their guiding principles while other choose to root theirs only on what can be empirically proven. But neither choice is "Correct." Some who choose religion are good people who do good things. Some people who choose a secular philosophy are horrible people.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  5. Nii

    I believe u do know that spirituality is a natural part of life. Nature inspires spirituality and that is where the Bible takes up the story. There are books far older than the Bible which we still use today like Geometry by Pythagoras' for example! It isnt about age. If u truly understand thats it.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If nature is what inspires spirituality, that would mean that Wiccans and Shintoists are closer to "The Truth" than Christians.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • sam stone

      No, that is where the bible corrupts the story

      June 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Huebert

      You're right isn't about age, it's about what works. We still use geometry because a circle is still 360 degrees, and squares still have four sides. People are starting to realize that the bible doesn't work thus they are abandoning it. You'll notice that no one is advocating abandoning geometry.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • NoTheism

      You are absolutely correct, it is not about age, it is about the merit of the content of such books and whatnot.. The Pythagorean Theorem works, but that does not mean that everything else he thought is as valid. In the same way, the bibles may contain some truths, but that does not mean that they're entirely true. On top of that, I don't think that your spirituality claim is correct.. A better way of putting it is that humans always tend to try to explain and understand things; we come up with ideas to do so (gods, spirits, etc) because that's the best we can do at the time. We're past that.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  6. tolajn

    Christian churches pedal the notion that if you pray and seek God you will find him, and often times we don't like where God is found. Prosperity preaching has really posed a problem for the under 30 population. A tough economy means some hopes are shelved for a time or permanently and then one feels as though there is no point in praying if the requests go unanswered. There is so much mystery to God that we have sold a bill of goods to the western church and now the black and white interpretations of scripture have come home to roost. God is not black and white.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Edwardo

      Nope, not black or white. You can't be any color if you do not exist. I don't find the concept of god mysterious at all. It was an invention to cope with the unknown, the indifference life brings to us all, a tool for the rich and powerful. but god is an invention. He doesn't exist in reality.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  7. Barry G.

    Remember “there is nothing new under the sun”, as the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes reminds us.

    Also remember that God’s people have always doubted him, even as he delivered them from Egyptian bondage and led them through the Wilderness to the Promised Land.

    Even one of the Psalms begins with these words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    Even Jesus Christ, who we Christians believe is the son of God, said as he hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    But you can be assured that the faithful, like Jesus Christ, ultimately will put their trust in God, no matter how mysterious and inscrutable his ways are.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • NoTheism

      "3 billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines." Sarah Connor, Terminator 2.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Giving AIDS to babies and creating natural disasters that kill hundreds of thousands of people is neither mysterious nor inscrutable. It is the actions of a horrible c.unt.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Craboo

      He did put forward his faith and it killed him.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Horus

      @Barry – there's a difference between "mysterious and inscrutable" and violating scientific and historical evidence. For example, after decades of searching to prove the Exodus there has been zero evidence unearthed that there was ever a mass exodus of people from Egypt. There are zero contemporary writings to support the bulk of Biblical claims. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that disproves many Biblical claims.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • JellyBean@NoTheism

      Your Sarah Connor quote is the best!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Woody

      "Even Jesus Christ, who we Christians believe is the son of God, said as he hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Barry G.

      Every quote attributed to Jesus is hearsay. There are no verified written accounts authored by anyone who ever met him or heard him speak. But by chance that this quote is historical fact, it seems that Jesus himself, in his last moments, abandoned his belief that he was the son of god, or if indeed that god even existed.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • crackedskull44

      Well Woody, probably because evryone who met him is DEAD. Jewish/Islmic faith VERIFY he exists in there own records. Because you dont beleive doesnt mean he didnt.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  8. AGuest9

    Maybe we can ship off all of the fundamentalists with THE OTHER fundamentalists, you know, over in the Middle East.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If you took Jesus and Mo out of the equation, you've pretty much got the same religion.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yeah – Judaism!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  9. Croco3

    The older generations find as much comfort in prayers & worship as my generation find in materialism and celebrity culture;
    What we offer to ourselves or to others as proof of God's existence or the opposite, are equally baseless; believing that there's a creator, watching, listening to and guiding the cosmos, is as much a leap of faith as believing that the cosmos originated from a self-caused explosion. And it says nothing about God's existence, but everything about ourselves and our attempts to reconcile with the wonders and contradictions around us, the suspense that envelops the future and the need for purpose that we can't seem to shake off!
    Believe or disbelieve, just keep it to yourself, if you can!

    June 13, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • NoTheism

      so we shouldn't discuss about reasons we may or may not have to believe or otherwise?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Gaunt

      The theory that the cosmos started from a mass expansion (not explosion) is based strictly on the evidence, nothing more. That is more then zealots will ever be able to claim.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • crackedskull44

      Then the expansion ahd to have had a starting poitn based on subatmic particales which had to have been made from somewhere, the big bang might not ahve been an explosion...what if the big banfg was the creation followed by particles expanding creating the universe?? What is the origin of the mini-bang that created the particle that expanded?? theories keep being made of the big picture, but not what MADE the brush. What made the particle/Energy, sub particle, the nucleus?. It "Pop" into existence??

      June 13, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Nii

      MELISSA
      I don't know what u call death but I for one I am happy I know YHWH if u don't feel the same well then to each his own! I don't have your experirnces and u certainly don't have mine. I love u as myself!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Nii

      MELISSA
      There is a lot of proof for the possibility of a Big Bang at the beginning of the physical Universe. I am not disputing that Melissa! As a scientist myself I know there is more direct evidence for the existence of YHWH than for the Big Bang Theory!

      June 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nii

      PHEE PHI PHO PHUM! I smell a rat! How did we get to registered scientists who are 97% Atheist! Fake Militant Atheist statistics again. Most scientists in all fields are believers in one religion or another! Don't stress yourself. The one who proposed Relativity was a Deist Jew n Big Bang by a Priest

      June 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  10. Gaunt

    If there is an infallable omniscient god who knows every choice we are going to make before we make it, how can there be free will?

    If there is a perfect all loving god out there, why does he sentence good, honest decent people to an eternity in shrieking torture just for not believeing his version of him?

    If god gave up his only son for us, and jesus had to die to redeem the souls of men, doesnt that make Judas history's greatest hero?

    Why did god punish Adam and Eve for 'breaking the rules' when they had no knowledge of good and evil, and coundnt know breaking rules was wrong?

    If jesus is god, then why did he scream on the cross 'Oh God, why have thou forsaken me'? was he talking to himself?

    If god is pure good, why are all his interventions about slaughtering people, or burning cities, or genociding the world with a flood? Why doesnt the good god ever do anything good? Where was god's intervention when the holocaust was happeneing?

    June 13, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Name*Chedar

      It all boils down to the "talking snake " that cause all these miseries to which the gullible Christian think it happens. So blame it to the "talking snake" heh heh!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      There are answers to each of these question in the writings of a great many theologians. If you are truly interested I refer you to C.S. Lewis to start. David Miller's book "Blue like Jazz" is one of many modern books discussing doubt. Deeper theology is found in "God is Love" by pope Benedict. There are literally thousands so rather than pose questions as stumbling blocks, go learn what intelligent, logical and sincere people have to say.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Gaunt

      Actually, several of those questions have been dealt with by the great teologians as far back as aquinas, and they have never been able to answer them. Christianity is fundamentally filled with massive contradictions, the only difference is the theological thinks of the past aknowledged them, while the zealous herd of today just tries to pretend their they dont exist.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Gaunt

      Chedar: which is another massive contradiction in the theology. Point out the horrific evil of existence to a Christian and they will try and distract you by pretending its all about God's greatest gift, free will. Except by the definition of the story of genesis, God never gave man free will. The talking snake did. God was furious man achieved free will, and cast him out of Eden.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • devin wilson

      GOD is real and DOES exist. i know for a fact

      June 13, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Gaunt

      Debvin: No, you dont. Either that or you dont under stand what the word 'fact' means.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Jack

      A good but simple analogy is this.... Imagine driving down the freeway and you see a huge wreck on the opposite side of the barrier with tons of cars backed up behind it. You then drive further down the highway and see more cars going in that direction. You know that they will get stuck in the traffic jam, yet you can't say that your knowing that has any effect on their free will.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Gaunt

      jack: bad analogy. The existence of infallable foreknowledge cancels free will, period. All that remains is the perception of free will, which is not even close to the same.

      If I caome to three doors, and god infallably knows I will take door number three, then which door will I take? Is there ANY chance I could take door 1 or 2?

      Infallable omnicience cancels free will.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  11. WASP

    i enjoy how religious folks believe in aliens and magic without even knowing it. god is an E.T. aka an alien, jesus was a hybrid....human/alien. god created everything out of nothing....aka magic, they will assault people that are pagan or any other polytheistic belief as being devil worshippers for using rituals and casting spells.........however they don't see the parallel with spells and prayer.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Religion according to the History Channel.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • WASP

      nah just having fun with words. and E.T. is a creature not born on earth; thus god wasn't born on earth if he created it. jesus being a hybrid would be fact due to god impregnated a human female seeing god isn't human. the rest is just pointing out obvious things for fun. 🙂

      June 13, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  12. jonp

    I totally agree with some of the comments on here that blame the religious crazies for turning people off from religion. Faith is a very personal matter and a means for finding spiritual well being - that idea gets lost in all of the unnecessary dogma that Christians and Muslims try to cram down people's throats.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • NoTheism

      While I agree with most of what you said, I have a question: what is "spiritual well being"? I guess I'm having a problem with the word spiritual.. I don't know what it means.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No Theism. A simple response to a deep question. Think of spirit as breathe. The breathe of life. Spiritual well being then could be the inner conviction that the breathe of life which animates us is for our benefit and draws us to a higher status. We belong to something larger than the visible and our ultimate completion exists in communion with this great other.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • NoTheism

      @Bill Deacon, I don't know what you mean by 'breath of life'... I understand life as a biological process and I simply don't get what you're trying to say.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I saying that I am more than flesh and blood, I am also spirit and that my spirit dwells in place beyond the physical. The assurance of that within my psyche, I call faith. The hope in that, I call well being.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  13. xirume

    People have the right to believe in what they want to believe, logical or not. What they should not be allowed to do is force others to believe in the same thing, or harass, ridicule, exclude, discriminate against or even harm those who refuse to accept their doctrines.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Croco3

      Thank you!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Exactly.
      Those who are guided by their faith should keep said faith personal.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Blah

      Almost all of the mental patients are mental because they believe in something that normal people dont believe in.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      If you think people should keep their beliefs personal why are you sharing that on a blog?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill
      Not beliefs – FAITH.
      Belief can have a rational basis.
      By definition, faith is ardent belief despite a total lack of evidence.
      Prosthelytizing that which has no rational basis is not virtuous.
      If believing that the Ghost of Elvis guides you to help the poor – then go help the poor and the world will thank you for it – until you start forcing people to hear you preach the Word of Elvis in order to get fed.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Bill, it's called discussion, unlike following myths without critical thinking and conversation. If we right thinking atheists didn't speak up, the silly beliefs of myth believers would go unchallenged and continue to be accepted, despite their clear craziness. Believers have had a free pass for too many years – time to put them in the same bucket as astrologers.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hot air, I'm all for the discussion. It's xirume and Dr.V who would suppress belief or faith or thoughts that they deem unapproved. This is why I have confidence that many young people who doubt today will find faith. Because faith can stand the scrutiny.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  14. WOW

    CNN = Communist News Network. Shame on you CNN.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • NoTheism

      Did I miss something?

      June 13, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • jasoncdanforth

      I defy you to defend that assumption that communism = atheist...

      June 13, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • sam stone

      Gosh, WOW, you are an imbecile

      June 13, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • crackedskull44

      Lol made me laugh, I like it!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      There was a time when CNN was the most conservative national network. I feel old.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • jeff

      Communist News Network, ah, equal news for all!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • mack

      Yes, of course, quoting numbers from a the results of a study is terribly communist.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • asdf

      Jesus was a communist. Read Acts of the Apostles. They all lived on a giant commune and shared everything!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • george washington

      The poster "WOW" get paid $0.04 for each propaganda post on a non-right-wing site by the tea party corporate backers.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      Why would gathering together all the news and sharing it with everyone equally be a bad thing? That's what communism is, isn't it?

      Oh, you meant THAT kind of 'communism'. Pull your mind out of the 90's.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • WOW

      Don't be hating because I told the truth LOL

      June 13, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  15. Zach

    I think it takes more faith to believe in the foolish notion that this earth was created as the result of a big explosion in space. The ONLY reason (and they can deny it all they want) that atheists don't believe in God is because they can't stand the thought that there is a power out there greater than themselves. One day they will find out they were wrong.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • WOW

      @Zach: Amen!

      June 13, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Matt

      wow your dumb and uneducated!

      "I think it takes more faith to believe in the foolish notion that this earth was created as the result of a big explosion in space."

      NO. the big bang explains the rapid expansion of the universe you tool. what started the big bang in principle is till being worked on. And secondly it isn't faith you idiot – faith is inherently "without evidence". we have so much evidence for the big bang from red shift observations/ physics & background radition and astronomy/astro physics it is ridicolous! you don't need faith you monkey....

      June 13, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • sam stone

      Zach...how do you make the logical leap from a creator to a "God"?

      Also, your empty proxy threats are laughable. Get back on your knees like a good little slave

      June 13, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Gaunt

      hey can I make up absurd generalisations as well?

      here goes:

      The ONLY reason (and they can deny it all they want) that theists believes in God is because they are too cowardly to take responsibility for their own lives and actions, and need to believe in their version of their interpretation of a fairy tale to provide them some reason to get up in the morning and continue with their unhappy lives.

      gee, making up silly things about others with little basis in reality can be fun! Though zach, I admit you have more practice than me.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • jasoncdanforth

      I dub thee TROLL.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Zach' contains an instance of the ad hominem fallacy, and concludes with a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      June 13, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The ONLY reason (and they can deny it all they want) that people believe in God is because they are mentally unstable.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • crackedskull44

      No Matt, there is evidence POST big bang theory, the expansion being traced back to a BIG BANG possibility. There is no explanation of where the energy came from. It takes energy to make energy, you cant spontaneously create heat out of nothing. No elements existed, it was void space and you are telling me that random things just start happening? Im waitning for the rain of live elephants in this case. Or falling spontaneous falling rocks that pop up at the snap of fingers. Ill stick with God, TYVM.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Name*Chedar

      Sure. When the creationist find themselves in the middle of a great disaster where presumably their "deluded God" came and destroy them in the firm of natural disaster.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • crackedskull44

      Fallacy Spotting 101

      gratz, you understand how to post references albeit incorrect research. It is a philosophical theory, not a fallacy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager

      June 13, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • HU

      Your failure to understand science doesn't make the big bang a "foolish notion". I guess it isn't a "foolish notion" to believe man was created from dust, there was a talking snake, humans lived with dinosaurs, and so on.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Doug

      No Zach, the reason we don't believe in god is because we can't stand the fact that a creator would make a being as ignorant and assuming as you.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Atheist Meme Of the Day

      It couldn't be that we don't believe your god exists. It has to be what you think...but if you think it takes faith to believe in Science, or as you put it, more faith, then heck we win ! You say faith is a good thing, and if we have more of it, then we win !

      June 13, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • here's a question

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeVhkXW6BKY&w=640&h=360]

      Carl explains it better than any of you(or I) can....
      Explain where God came from, buddy.... I would love to here this

      June 13, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Michizzle

      Neil Degrasse Tyson, look him up. Careful though; you might become educated!

      June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • jim

      Explosion in space? Is that is truly the limit of your understanding of modern cosmological theroy? I assume you are referring to the4"big bang" theosy. That theory has largely been replaced in recent years by expansionist theory, which basically says the entire universe was extremely small billions of years ago -then certain conditions (which gets into very complex physics) came to exist which caused incredibly rapid expansion of the universe in a period of tiime of .00000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds. In this time frame it expanded from a thing the sze of a peanut to the size of the milky way galaxy. The expansion led to the primitive universe exhibiting the forces such a gravity, and the laws of physics we observe to come into being. It explains very many of the observations we make today, the big bang theory did not.
      Note it maked NO comments on where the primordial universe before expansion came from, or how long it existed before expansion. THere is no conflict whatsoever between scientific cosmology and religion. If you choose to believe god created the universe, fine. But dont start attacking science from the viewpoint of your own ignorance.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Name*Chedar

      Crackedskull44: the nothing is the " Dark Energy" and the "Dark Matter" that is what you are missing and it is clearly explained in many scientific journal. Go to smallest subatomic particles. Particles appear and disappear constantly. It is the creation of your own mind that think your are solid but yet you are empty. Go reasearch deeper and gain more knowledge before you embarrass yourself in trying to post here with little knowledge.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • mack

      If you get to say that god created the matter resulting from the big bang then I get to say that something had to create god. What was that? How about let's cancel these unknowable things out and then look at everything since then. Science wins that debate...there's not one thing that doesn't have a very plausible scientific explanation for it. God is unnecessary in explaining why we know what we know about everything.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Moiphy

      You are so wrong. People believe in god because they are weak and can't handle life on their own. So they use god as a shoulder to lean on. It started with idols then someone said let's consolidate. Then the owner of the place they used for worship wanted rent so the basket went around. Now they have the rent money plus. And their leader has his own country. Talk about your mega cathedrals.
      We were told to believe in god by our parents who never saw or heard him. The same way they heard from their parents who never saw or heard him either. A long and vicious line of insecure people. Or as in the case of the Knights of Columbus....After church we'll meet at the hall for a few beers and a card game.
      I quit. Taking the Harley out.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Zach

      I've been called so many names and put down so much since my posting that I can really see why atheism is appealing

      June 13, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • crackedskull44

      @ Name*Chedar

      Actually if the proper christians interpretted things correctly, they would accept things as they are. Life is set as a timer set to "bake", when the timer is is up then you are judged based on your actions. You can ask God for support, but he wont baby you. There was a time in the Old Testament when he did flood the Earth, destroyed towns when people didnt listen and people said " Let us live out life, learn from our own mistakes, etc etc.". So an agreement was made, he said fine do as you will, he can nudge you along but wants you to be yourself and build up a character, if you end up being a dbag throughout your whole life then thats a rode you choose. If you decide to not beleive in him, then thats a rode you choose, and if life taught you anything thats a consequence (positive or negative) that you live with. whether you beleive you will be judged based on your actions and go deeper into faith is a choice and yours alone. God is not going to take your car and drive it off a cliff if you decide to not belive or disobey everything he did otherwise this world would be void of murderes, rapists, pedos as we know it. There is a time and place for evrythign and arguing doesnt solve much over things, it is what it is.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      I suppose I'm more agnostic than atheist, but I'll play one on the Internet for today. Atheists believe in a lot of powers higher than them. Tornadoes, for one thing. I've never met an atheist (or even heard of one) that seriously thought he/she could go head-to-head with a tornado and win. Same goes for any natural disaster. How about gravity? Gravity is a power higher than mortal beings that works in ways we don't fully grasp–atheists have no problem with that one.

      The fly in your ointment is the assumption that "a higher power" = God-thing, and that God-thing = YOUR particular God, which has anthropomorphic traits ascribed to it that have nothing to do with "godness".

      June 13, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • God is not real

      @Zach

      If I used your logic, I have been put down my whole life for even questioning religion.

      Religion doesn't seem appealing either

      June 13, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • crackedskull44

      Well Jim, as wiith the Big Bang, it is a THEORY. Your THEORY is just one that has been thought upon a bit more using other THEORIES. Just as the big bang is beign discredited with your theory, it can be just as quickly discredited 20 yeras from now or even scratched. There is no answer, and I would rather live my life.

      @ Moiphy, that is your choice alone. I cant tell you what to do and noone really can. If people choose to beleive in the invisible, then who are you to say they cant. Ditto for the people pushing there faiths on you. If you want to beleive in soemthign seek it out yourself, if not well then dont. I can tell you though, there will be support if you are looking for answers regardless whether you go.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • crackedskull44

      @ NameChedar

      I am FULLY aware of Dark energy/Matter. But what is its origin, something had to have created particles. The Higgs Boson cant even be fully captured or studied or even know if it exists if its computers throwing false data out and here we are saying we have unraveled the mystery of life. we cant even put an exact count of the different types of species on this planet yet here we claim to have solved life. I see a contradiction here somewhere or a mightier than though ego somewhere.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Moiphy

      I feel the people who make the most sense are the Native Americans. No god just a creator. He has no name and no son named jesus. They don't ask for things only thank their creator for what they have. Don't force their belief on you, or the way they pay homage. No big cathedrals like in Utah. No Creflo Dollar or other phony pastor. No $50,000 sermons on Sunday morning TV telling you what god wants from you for a nominal fee. Something created this planet, solar system and universe. But, it wasn't god.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  16. tensai13

    In my line of work, belief in a "god" or "creator" is in each and every case, a red flag for mental aberration of some kind.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Bartender?

      June 13, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Everybody a bartender meets professionally, regardless of religious belief, has a mental aberration (hence the drinking).

      June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • tensai13

      @Deacon – Was that one of your "hard questions" ?

      June 13, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tensai, No, I was accused of not being light enough so I thought I'd try a little humor. Here's a hard question for you. The world is full of mentally unstable people. Some of them know they are unstable, others do not. You are the sole and only sane person on the planet. What is your course of action? How do you demonstrate that there is a better way to live? What if they persecute you, betray you and crucify you? What if after you are gone some of the crazies pervert your message while others deny you even existed, all the while perpetuating the insanity? What if you were a person that just wanted to taste what that lone, stable, sane, forgiving, humble man was really all about? What would you do then?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Anyone?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  17. Jesús fue un mando gobbler

    Jesus is Lard.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Bfstman

      Lard?? You mean fat??? Good grief! No wonder so few believe in him.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Jesús fue un mando gobbler @ Bfstman

      It's a bumper sticker.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Lard?? You mean fat??? Good grief! No wonder so few believe in him."

      I think the opposite is true... look at all the fat-asses in the U.S. There appear to be a great deal of jebus (lard) fans.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  18. Horus

    Thank you internet. Even though there's a lot of misinformation out there, the fact that greater numbers of people are begining to question the logic of following cultural constructs for the sake of tradition, rather than applying reason is precisely what needs to happen. The more folks take time to study historical and scientific facts, rather than blindly follow a single source written by men in a different time, the better able to reflect on religion you will be.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  19. Bill Deacon

    "There lives more faith in doubt than in half the creeds." I urge these young people to keep thinking, keep asking the hard questions (not the trick ones the truly hard ones). Don't accept the quasi-truth you are fed by believers or non-believers. Seek and ye shall find. Investigate, learn and apply. The truth is waiting within and without. God bless

    June 13, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • NoTheism

      You had me until the last part...

      June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's a prayer for your well being. How about best of luck instead?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  20. vivi e lascia vivere

    For as long as I can remember I have had doubts about "God", I've been told, "you have to believe in something/ have faith in something more than yourself." I don't think that I need to believe in some mystical being above the Earth to have faith. I suround myself with and have faith in the people who are good and who I can learn something from. I believe in Darwinism to "thin out the herd", There is no God and he doesn't have a plan, there's nature. I choose to not be controlled by a story passed down generations by the word of mouth before being written and then edited into the "novel" we have today.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Brock

      Thankyou! I feel the same.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Primewonk

      " a leap of faith as believing that the cosmos originated from a self-caused explosion."

      Except, of course, that this is most certainly NOT what science says.

      If you don't understand science, why would you post lies like this?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      People who don't understand faith have no problem posting about it.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:31 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.