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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.

Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

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.”

Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew

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.”

Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout

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. WOW

    I posted this earlier and wanted bring it to the top of the list:

    Why should God prove anything to someone who does not desire the him? You must first seek him. He gave you free will for you to choose. He sent his disciples out only to show the way but it is only up to you if you wish to have the faith in him. God's signs and events are for the faithful to strengthen their faith. In the case of Saul, God came to him asking him a question not to prove anything to Saul but from that experience Saul then had faith in God.

    As for disciples of this day we are only to witness to others and if others do not turn to God then that is their choice. You may call it spreading hate or fear but it is simply spreading the gospil as we are instructed from God to do. We are also blessed everytime someone ridicules, mocks or any other negative action taken toward someone witnessing in the name of the Lord.

    I nor any other Christain have to prove anything to anyone we are only to witness to the world. We cannot be hurt in any way for our Kingdom of Glory is only a breath away.

    Thank you Jesus!

    AMEN.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then go on your merry way and stop attempting to force others to follow your beliefs by imposing them through law.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Why should we desire him? I've read the Bible, he's quite the ego maniacal sh!thead. Makes Stalin look lie a Sunday school teacher.
      Also, why should we not equally desire any of the other thousand gods of man? I see nothing attractive about yours or most of the rest of them. Certainly do not see anything to make me believe one exists in the first place. I may as well desire to follow the Easter Bunny.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • veggiedude

      I was half way through my 12 years of catholic school when I decided I was atheist. That was 38 years ago. Then about 2-3 years later I decided eating animals was wrong. I come to these beliefs after a deep examination. No body and no book told me to be what I am. I only hope more people across the world will question their cultural heritage and only take the best from it, leave the junk behind.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • WOW

      @Tom: I am not making you do or believe anything.
      @Mark: It appears you have all ready made your choice so why the hostility?

      June 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • ME II

      "In the case of Saul, God came to him asking him a question not to prove anything to Saul but from that experience Saul then had faith in God."
      If God is omniscient, then He knew the answer already, hence the only reason to ask was to provide Saul with the experience. The Apostle's didn't need any faith, at least according to the the stories, they had evidence.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure. You aren't trying to take away anyone Const intutional rights to make her own medical decisions. You're not opposed to allowing same-s3x partners to marry.

      Right.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • WOW

      @Veggie: You seem to change your mind from time to time. Its called choice.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Madtown

      You must first seek him.
      ----–
      When people from other cultures throughout the world seek God, they do come to find him in their own way. Their ways of religion are different than yours, though, even though they've made the honest effort to "seek God". So, you still think your was is the 1 and only right way? Or, are other world religions equally relevant to yours, because the adherants to those faiths have sought God?

      June 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't seem to be terribly fond of letting people MAKE their own choices, WOW.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • WhatNow

      WOW, you are right. You do not have to prove anything to anyone. I respect your right to believe as you wish. I only ask that you keep your personal beliefs out of government and public education.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "Why should God prove anything to someone who does not desire the him?"

      This is logically unsound, why would someone go hunting for dragons if they don't believe dragons exist.

      This goes back to the idea that you have to believe first and then you get revelation. Name one other part of life that this view is a wise way to come to truth.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Wow,

      Do you 'choose' to believe in gravity? Information is provided and one decides whether the information is reliable or not. You have decided that a 2000 year old book full of fogeries, additions, immorality is all the proof you need and we think it is bunk.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bible just a theory

      Why should the great and mighty FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER prove anything to someone who does not desire to know hiis holiness FSM? You must first seek the glorious aroma of his presence! His magnificence FSM gave you free spaghetti for you to choose. He sent his noodles out only to show the way but it is only up to you if you wish to have the faith in him. The signs and portents made by his holiness Flying Spaghetti Monster are for the faithful to strengthen their faith.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bob

      WOW, why should we seek a god, vs. e.g. seeking truth? The latter seems like the fair way to go since it does not start from a biased viewpoint.

      Furthermore, it is plainly obvious that the god described by the Christian bible does not exist. (That would be a good thing, since as many others here have already noted, Christian god would have to be a very mean individual for all the murdering he is said to have done, and all the suffering he has caused. )

      So, if you have some other god to present than the awful Christian one, please elaborate.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  2. 1234LISA1234

    HOW MANY GODS ARE THERE?
    MOST PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE WORD 'GOD' REALY MEANS. FOR SOMEONE LITETERATE, WHO KNOWS THAT READING IS ABOUT UNDERSTANDING AND CONVERSATION IS ABOUT COMMUNICATING INTELLIGENTLY THE IGNORENCE OF THE MEANING OF THE WORD 'GOD' IS INEXUSABLE.
    mOST PEOPLE HAVE HEURD THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AT LEAST ONCE BUT HAVE NOT THOUGHT WHAT THEY MEAN.
    rEAD THE FIRST COMMANDMENT AND THINK WHAT IT REALY MEANS, EVEN THE CHRISTIEN AND MOSLEM VERSIONSSTILL CARRY SOME OF THE ORIGINAL MEANNG. ONE QUESTION IWILL ASK HERE. HOW MANY GODS ARE THERE?.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • JWT

      None.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "MOST PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE WORD 'GOD' REALY MEANS. FOR SOMEONE LITETERATE"

      Ahahhhahhahhahhaaaa!

      June 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Well, yes, literacy WOULD be a good start. You might want to work on that one.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      depends on who you ask, lisa

      June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  3. kindness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Trancsend the temporal world.

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

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

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

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

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

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

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

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

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

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

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

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

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

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

    June 13, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • *facepalm*

      That entire post is egotistical and self-centered for it assumes that you know the truth. Why would then expect that any response would not be an egotistical response. Holy double-standard batman.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Madtown

      kindness
      Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late.
      -------
      What if I'm born into a part of the world where christianity isn't prevalent, and I just never even hear about Jesus or the bible? What if I'm a human being with equal life-value to you, but I've been born into a primitive African tribe that will never be exposed to the teachings of christianity? Am I saved like you? Or, does God just consider you to be much more special than me?

      June 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • MK

      "You never know how soon is too late."

      Don't you see. If one does not believe in an afterlife, especially the nasty one your "god" came up with, there would be no "too late". Why would an "all-loving" god create such fear??

      June 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • snowboarder

      eventually it will be determined that the predisposition for "spiritual" feeling is just another of the many traits which make up an individual personality, probably not significantly diffierent than the feeling which causes a person to be attracted to a member of their own gender.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • SimonPure

      Dear Kindness,

      You said, "Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour."

      How do you know that atheists don't experience this as our natural state. Perhaps you came to see what we already know?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Tom

      If you happen to find peace in your beliefs...that's great. Believe whatever you want. That's the beauty of a free country. The problem arises when you take an article of your faith, which is entirely dependent on your own personal point-of-view, and trying to legislate it for the rest of us.

      Your way isn't the only way. There are no absolutes.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  4. AtheismIsCrap

    From the article:

    "Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

    Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew

    Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew"

    And there's more

    "Atheists take down Toledo Crosses
    Atheists protest against religious signs in public transport
    Atheists fly an aerial billboard that says "God less America"

    And they worked overtime 24/7 evangelizing Godlessness using the internet and have been trying hard to maximize every issues especially regarding LGBT/same-s.ex marriage to lure them to join their lonely, miserable and pathetic cause by flattery and fake symphaty.

    YET.........

    Atheists still make between 1.5 and 4% of US population and 1-2% of the world's.

    Bottom line is...MAH NAME!

    June 13, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • *facepalm*

      We're all atheists, some of us just believe in one fewer god.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Thinker

      Considering that in the 1950s McCarthy effectivly made being an athiest = to being communist (aka equivalent to punching kittens), and that escaping early childhood teachings is rather difficult, 4% is not that bad in 60 years. And that 4% is only of those that responded, or that openly realise they are athiests.

      I didn't realise it untill I was being baptized (happens around 12-14 in the church I grew up in). Even though I made the realisation when he asked if I truly believed in god and Jesus, I still said yes because I didn't want to hurt my family.

      Overcoming the pressure to conform and openly admit you do not believe what those around you do is difficult to do, even on an annonymous survey.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "Atheists take down Toledo Crosses
      Atheists protest against religious signs in public transport
      Atheists fly an aerial billboard that says "God less America"

      And if you would like to support these wonderful freedom lovers go to http://www.ffrf.org

      June 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • RawaR

      @Just Claims

      I won't, they/you can all rot in hell.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  5. Evangelical

    These numbers are actually quite good. 68% have no doubt in God. I'll bet a large percentage of the doubters still believe in God. This is good.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Over two-thirds of our population lack the ability to think critically. Is it any wonder that our country is lagging far beyond in science and technology education?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Evangelical

      Remind me again what Einstein said about science without God.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • MarkinFL

      The good news is that it is an historic low.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Remind us again what evidence you have for your god.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Evangelical – Einstein considered the universe to be god. He was, in anything, something of a deist. He found your concept of a god completely absurd.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Primewonk

      "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” – Al Einstein

      June 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • DarkBronzePlant

      Actually, I'd bet a large percentage of the "non-doubters" actually do have doubt; they just fear saying it out loud.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • WOW

      Most Christian believers will not even visit CNN because of it only prints negative articles concerning Christianity. Again CNN does not show the other side as CNN does not put out ANY negative articles on the Islamic faith because CNN knows better. So why shouldn't this comment section be over ran with non Christains? I for one find it amusing that the non Christians posting here on CNN feel they have a corner market on the world when they are simply tunning into CNN only because it caters to their needs.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Whine on, WOW. If you don't like the coverage, leave.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Trumpy

      Nice spin, but just 5 years ago 83% of the same group said they never had any doubt. A mere 5 years later and 15% more have doubts than ever before...that's NOT a positive trend for religion no matter how you spin it.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • WhatNow

      Wow....There is a perfect "news" site for you called fox. They only present one point of view. So if your looking for people who only agree with you, then that is the place for you.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  6. Mary

    I for one DO BELIEVE IN GOD! Each to their own, however, so many NON believes, show the believers the proof that God does NOT exist. Have a Blessed day!

    June 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • LinCA

      @Mary

      You said, "I for one DO BELIEVE IN GOD! Each to their own, however, so many NON believes, show the believers the proof that God does NOT exist. Have a Blessed day!"

      You are free to believe whatever nonsense you want. But just because you choose to believe it, doesn't mean it is any less nonsensical.

      There is equal evidence for all gods as there is for the Tooth Fairy. Do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy? There is more evidence for Loch Ness Monster than there is for any god. Do you believe there is something lurking beneath the surface at Loch Ness?

      Without any support in evidence for any god, it is unreasonable to assume that they exist. It isn't up to the non-believers to prove you wrong, it is up to the believers to open their eyes and mind, if they so choose.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • *facepalm*

      One cannot prove a non-falsifiable statement of which the claim that there is no god is one.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Unleash Reason

      It is the responsibility of an individual making a claim to provide proof. Claiming something exists requires proof to be believed. You do not have to provide evidence against something that does not exist.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Thinker

      Mary, it is impossible to prove a negative. No matter how hard you try you cannot prove that something will not happen nor that something does not exist, so demanding proof of non-existance is useless. In any case, the burden of proof is always on those that claim a positive, so prove away! (or not, I really do not mind that you believe.)

      June 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • JWT

      There is nothing wrong with believing in god. At least so long as you are not trying to insist that other people follow your personal set of religious rules or deny them their civil rights becuase of your personal religious rules. Have agreat time, for some people religion and//.or faith are awesome.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      Mary: Really? You want us to prove a negative? Prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Baal, or Krishna, or Maat do not exist. You really must work on your logic

      June 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  7. ObammySucks

    Hope & Change STRIKES AGAIN!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Ned

      If President Obama brought us closer to the truth that God is a myth, I view that as just another accomplishment by our President.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Primewonk

      Awww, another ignorant, fundamentalist, idiot, lying sack of shît, talibangelical tea bagger, who is still pîssed that the smart, well educated, *gasp*black*gasp* man won the election.

      Perhaps your time would be better spent commenting over on the KKK board?

      June 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  8. Nick Furry

    I dont want to "convince" anyone. If I stronged armed you into taking my position it wouldnt be pure anyway. You are right about that Christians should learn not to use fear to strong arm people into what they believe.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  9. dee gee

    So if God provided evidence to his disciples and others in the mideast 1000s of years ago, which means they did not have to believe by faith alone because evidence was provided by God to prove his diety. Agnostics and secular humanists just desire similar or equal evidence (a verifiable miracle would suffice) evidence exhibited for us and thus far it hasn't been given but we are willing to change our beliefs if this evidence is presented by God. As it stands, God is punishing anyone that doesn't accept him into their heart without presenting equal evidence to us as he did his disciples and others of that time. Seems many of you xtrians missed this point.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • WOW

      @dee gee:

      "So if God provided evidence to his disciples and others in the mideast 1000s of years ago, which means they did not have to believe by faith alone because evidence was provided by God to prove his diety. Agnostics and secular humanists just desire similar or equal evidence (a verifiable miracle would suffice) evidence exhibited for us and thus far it hasn't been given but we are willing to change our beliefs if this evidence is presented by God. As it stands, God is punishing anyone that doesn't accept him into their heart without presenting equal evidence to us as he did his disciples and others of that time. Seems many of you xtrians missed this point."

      You are incorrect in your statement. Why should God prove anything to someone who does not desire the him? You must first seek him. He gave you free will for you to choose. He sent his disciples out only to show the way but it is only up to you if you wish to have the faith in him. Dee Gee, what you are speaking about were signs and events for the faithful to strengthen their faith. In the case of Saul, God came to him asking him a question not to prove anything to Saul but from that experience Saul then had faith in God.

      As for disciples of this day we are only to witness to others and if others do not turn to God then that is their choice. You may call it spreading hate or fear but it is simply spreading the gospil as we are instructed from God to do. We are also blessed everytime someone ridicules, mocks or any other negative action taken toward someone witnessing in the name of the Lord.

      I nor any other Christain have to prove anything to anyone we are only to witness to the world. We cannot be hurt in any way for our Kingdom of Glory is only a breath away.

      Thank you Jesus!

      AMEN.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      That argument has always irked me. This god gives direct evidence to mostly ignorant, supersti.tious people that already pretty much believe in old thing anyway. But now that people have all sorts of tools of rational thought and much higher levels of education, suddenly we're supposed to take it on faith based on the the rewritten translated words of a bunch nomads that pre-date sanitation by more than a dozen centuries.
      Give me a break.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Madtown

      WOW
      You are incorrect in your statement. Why should God prove anything to someone who does not desire the him? You must first seek him
      ----–
      What you apparently fail to grasp, is that people in other cultures througout the world DO seek God. And, each culture develops their own ideas of religion throughout that process. Your mistake is thinking that as other people "seek God", they will come to see things the same way that you do. Your way is not the "right" way, it's just your way.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Trumpy

      @Wow: "Why should God prove anything to someone who does not desire the him? You must first seek him."

      Because he's done it before. Why should a bunch of superst.itious nobodies get concrete evidence and when I ask for the same courtesy I'm told "no such luck, it's all faith for you or else eternal punishment."

      Also, I DID seek god. For near on 30 years I was a Christian. He never answered. So the seek him first path didn't work at all. Now I'm on the empirical evidence one.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  10. WOW

    I wish to believe in only what I can touch. Guess there is no moon LOL.. What a doubting Thomas bunch... lol

    June 13, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • snowboarder

      what a truly moronic analogy.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • JellyBean@snowboarder

      LMAO! Took the words right out of my mouth.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Trumpy

      I've known hundreds, maybe thousands of atheists and not one, NOT ONE, has EVER held the belief that they only accept things they can touch.

      May I ask where you got that idea from and why you are spreading it?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      He is making an absurd analogy in order to make himself feel better, like children do.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Bet

      Laughable.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Ned

      This is the kind of thing that makes sense to the religious.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Jack

      "I wish to believe in only what I can touch. Guess there is no moon"

      Human beings have touched the moon. What an idiot.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Thinker

      Nope! Only their shoes and gloves have touched the moon! Therfore the moon might not be real!

      and moon rocks brought back don't count. They aren't on the moon so they can't be the moon.

      Yay literalism! (and colossal boredom)

      June 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • morethanwhatmeetstheeyes

      @WOW..bad choice of analogy to a good point. "Logical thinkers" still only have 5 senses, 5 LIMITED senses. If one wants to talk about God, or any "gods" they must first realize that they are still only a human. Even with no "proof" the nature of physics on how this life is constructed simply doesn't allow for one to believe human logic is ultimately superior. Yes to our habitat and the species below us, but what about beyond? Science doesn't allow intelligence to just stop at the human brain. Yes, on Earth because it is an isolated environment, but just admit what we know beyond that is miniscule. As a man peeking out his window or having been to the edge of his fence with binoculars, there is just so much more to see. What is see anyway? Using organic tools called eyes which intake information in a select range of frequency or wave length. So in essence, to one that accepts that we are not the end all be all in intelligence, is it then like asking, "Can you compress that into human eye format? I just cant compute." Miracles happen every day, you just have to seek. Why would God go where He is uninvited? Just because we don't live in the time of Jesus doesn't mean we don't live in the time of Jesus. Meaning, just because we don't live amongst His flesh, doesn't mean we don't live amongst the spirit. God didn't stop being God when the flesh died and the book was written. You must seek something to reveal it's treasure. If one is not close to the heart of God how can they possibly understand how He works, and point out when and when not He is present? Please, have questions, LOTS of them, but don't just stop and squat. If that was the point, tomorrow would be pointless. Seek your answers from people who are walking the walk, not just talking the talk of the Lord. There is far too much confusion as it is.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Thinker

      So you are saying that because of our limited senses we can only see miracles if we believe in god? Well I guess that might be true in the sense that you would be more likely to believe something you see is a miracle because you believe that miracles are possible. Or are you saying that because our senses are limited we cannot see miracles because we are not equiped to see them? We can build machines that help us precieve things that our senses normally cannot, so in that case one day we might be able to build a machine that allows the detection of miracles. Untill then, there is no evidence to support miracles happening, thus miracles cannot be used to prove a deity.

      And while it is probable that there are things more intelligent than us (big universe after all) that does not equate to it being probable that there is an omnipresent omnipotent being that supervises all life on earth. And that loves you so much it will torture you for eternity if you don't worship it in the right way.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  11. Evangelical

    People wonder why there is cancer and other horrible afflictions in the world. One reason is because of the hatred of God on display here.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Trumpy

      So because a non-believer doesn't believe in god, a firm believer gets horrible cancer and suffers a prolonged death?

      Do you even see any more how perverse and demented your worldview has become?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • LinCA

      @Evangelical

      You said, "One reason is because of the hatred of God on display here."
      It's kinda hard to hate something that doesn't exist. It isn't the non-existing god that is hated, it's the atrocities committed in its name.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • MK

      How can you hate something that doesn't exist?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Evangelical

      @LinCA

      Then why is there so much hatred of even the concept of God on here?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Adam

      Are you sure it isn't because you tied your shoes this morning? How can you REALLY know? But more importantly, how can you reason that it is better to PRETEND to know, then say with honesty, that it is beyond your power to know.

      You are a liar. And as such you betray yourself as evil, and an enemy of this project we call civilization. Be gone.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • *facepalm*

      I don't hate god. But the next time I see the easter bunny, we're going to have words.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • MK

      Maybe cancer exists because people believe that a god will cure it, but then he doesn't.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Evangelical – stop trying to tell others what to do in their bedroom, stop taking away people's rights because they believe differently than you do, stop trying to make up special rules for yourself, stop trying to inject your beliefs into the school system, and start paying taxes. Then we won't have an issue. If you choose to be ignorant, that's fine with me. Just don't push your ignorance, intolerance, and hatred on others that are different than you.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • snowboarder

      i don't know whether to laugh or cry that there are actually people in the world that think like you.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Evangelical

      @Trumpy

      Yes, because God punishes people as a group just as he punished the entire state of Israel when she turned away. God will punish us as long as we turn our back on him.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Eva confuses hatred of its posts with hatred of God.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for Pete's sake, Eva. What kind of capricious monster do you worship?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Trumpy

      "Yes, because God punishes people as a group just as he punished the entire state of Israel when she turned away. "

      HA! And this is a being I should bow down to and hold worthy of respect and worship? A being who punishes those who do not commit sins for the sins of those that do? I don't think so. Sounds like a petulant child angry he can't get his way. Even if such a creature were real, I would not bow before it if this is how it has chosen to rule.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • LinCA

      @Evangelical

      You said, "Then why is there so much hatred of even the concept of God on here?"
      Can you refer me to a post that expresses hatred for your god?

      Please keep in mind that saying that it is moronically stupid to believe gods exist (or a phrase of similar meaning) is a reflection on the believer, not his or her imaginary friend.

      Please also keep in mind that pointing out how horribly unjust and downright evil most gods are said to be, isn't hatred for them. It merely shows that the fables about them aren't about just or perfect beings.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Evangelical – why is your god so insecure? Your god acts less like the being that created the entire cosmos and more like a bored, angry teenager playing The Sims.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • JellyBean@Evangelical

      Interesting how believers confuse intellectual inquiry with hatred.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Jen

      I suppose that is the reason for floods, tornados, etc, too. Notice how those occur mainly in the bible belt in the US. God must really hate those people (but I can't really blame him 🙂

      June 13, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      So he gives cancer to children because he is mad at me.

      Once again your god is a pr.ick.

      You are not helping your cause.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Devil made me do it

      Your god is a cvnt.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Primewonk

      It's even worse Trumpy. Because we don't believe in a magical, invisible, skydaddy, he purposefully kills millions and millions of folks in Africa, who have never heard of him, with AIDS and Malaria.

      Hell, if I did believe in him, I'd have to deny him just because he's such an ignorant, psychotic, schizophrenic, evil, putz.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Ned

      So God is at fault for cancer!

      June 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "Yes, because God punishes people as a group"

      Another immoral action by your god, why would your worship such a sh!thead?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Evangelical

      @LinCA

      What hatred of God? For starters, take a look at all the blasphemy on display here.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I don't wonder why people get cancer and I certainly don't accept your reasoning. Anyone with half a functioning brain cell comprehends that cancer is your own body working against you (so-to-speak). New born children don't believe in your god, so by you analogy they should all have cancer or some other horrific life threatening disease. You're such a good example of a loving christian...NOT!!

      June 13, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How can one commit blasphemy against something that doesn't exist?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • LinCA

      @Evangelical

      You said, "What hatred of God? For starters, take a look at all the blasphemy on display here"
      How fucking dense can you get? Denying the existence of imaginary friends isn't hate.

      You are free to believe whatever bullshit you want, but that doesn't mean your god is real. Now, if your god was real (which, of course, it isn't), it would be one major asshole. But just because your god, as depicted, is an asshole, doesn't mean I hate it. I simply reject it's existence as completely improbable.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Tom

      HAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHA!!! (gasping for breath) HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA! You bible-bangers are the funniest thing ever.

      You think Cancer exists because people don't believe in God? I guess that means that if you ever get cancer you are a heretic then, right? Why not just go all-out and pray/wish to some magical pixies or leprechauns? It's all the same supernatural BS.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • JWT

      With the downgrading of the "comments" of the evangenical one one can only conclude that he is a troll. No other explanation is relotely possible.

      Sorry evan but while I believe in everyones right to believe in their god of choice, or none, your are totally out to lunch.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • DarkBronzePlant

      Another, more plausible reason might be that no god exists.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • WASP

      @evangical: if you don't like how we speak on here about "your god" and how his followers act..........then why are you on here? i think you enjoy getting on here and getting angry at us hell-bound atheists, lmfao. if you say your here trying to "save our souls" good luck, your just spouting bull that we ain't buying. fear doesn't make us conform to any dogma otherwise most of america would have converted to islam due to the attacks. we think for ourselves, search for answers that are real and fight against ignorance that destroys instead of builds.................and our numbers are growing.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Trumpy

      @Evangelical: "Then why is there so much hatred of even the concept of God on here?"

      Because that concept is used to abuse, restrict, and even remove the rights, lives, liberty, and property of others with astounding regularity

      I can't even legally buy a car on a Sunday where I live because a bunch of theists got together and decided that MY doing so violated THEIR notion of the Sabbath. A product that is fully legal to purchase any other day or time of the week, restricted one day on what are ostensibly wholly religious grounds. And that's just a small example. My own state Const.itution says that I am legally unfit to hold public office if I will not admit a belief in a higher power. From marriage to blue laws to abortion to a host of other issues, "god" is used as the PRIMARY excuse to restrict the lives and liberties of others in an expressly secular society. And you wonder why some people are sick of it? Really?

      June 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Evangelical: Once again, you have shown that your god is a petty, vindictive punk. I do not doubt at all that this is the reason you find comfort in him. Back on your knees, slaveboy

      June 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • morethanwhatmeetstheeyes

      @trumpy – It means we live in a place where horrible things happen. No, God is not picking who gets what cancer, its what happens because cancer eats living bodies. If God ruled Earth (currently), there would be no reason for Heaven. A firm believer gets cancer, they should understand that there is more to it than their flesh dying. A firm believer gets cancer, they should already realize that time is running out and they have (spiritual) work to do and subsequently draw closer to the Lord. A firm believer gets cancer, they should understand that their faith tells them they are that much closer to going home.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  12. Jokesterer

    Maybe we need a God to justify our hatred of others. It's not me that hates, it's God that tells me to hate.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Evangelical

      Really? I have never seen such hatred as that coming from the atheists.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Evangelical – I'm sorry, but when was the latest time an atheist burned anyone at the stake for thinking differently? And when has any atheist blown up buildings in the name of atheism. Or gone on a shooting rampage because others didn't share their lack of belief? When have atheists flown planes into buildings? Guess I missed all of that.

      Get over yourself.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Madtown

      Evangelical
      Really? I have never seen such hatred
      -----
      Well, you could re-read the Old Testament if you want to see some more.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Adam

      @Evangelical Google "9/11 attacks" and learn something about the world and this, the only life we are sure of.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Primewonk

      For some bizarre reason, Evangelical thinks that supporting the constîtution means that we hate idiots like him.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Evangelical,

      You blame CANCER and everything bad in the world on people who don't agree with your theology, how could one possibly hate more than that?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • sam stone

      Evangelical: I do not see atheists attempting to deny believers their civil rights. But, I sure see believers doing that toward people they disagree with.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  13. snowboarder

    it is comforting to see that the stranglehold of religious indoctrination is loosening and young people are feeling free to question religious dogma. if only we could spread such enlightenment to the middle east.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  14. Atheist Meme Of the Day

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atheist-Meme-of-the-Day/190864071001365

    June 13, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  15. Evangelical

    God will prove it. And a lot of people are going to be in a world of pain.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Jim

      So you have no proof of your God's existence.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, blow it out your ear, Eva. You have no idea what will happen to anyone. Just knock off the silly threats. They don't work.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Madtown

      Evangelical
      And a lot of people are going to be in a world of pain.
      ------
      But, not you. You're special, right?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Trumpy

      So...threats. Is that all Christianity has left to get by on? Believe or suffer?

      Sad.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Bet

      Evangelina loves to inform everyone that they are going to hell. It helps him feel better about himself. Eva, just come out already. It's okay.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      God is love, but he will burn you in a pit for all eternity for almost no reason at all.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • snowboarder

      you say that as if there were only one god.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Do you often use threats and extortion to make your point? Just like your god – insecure, narcissistic, and sadistic.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Evangelical

      Only a fool would say that God is love and only love.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Trumpy

      @Honey Badger:
      What is love if not infinite punishment for finite crimes?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Adam

      Or... you've wasted the project of your life upon lying to yourself and your children about what you know about the Universe.

      I welcome God to prove himself to me. And should this happen, then I will have a reason to believe, and I will have no choice but to believe. Until then I refuse to pretend, as you have, to know things that I do not know. For this is a species of evil.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Evangelical: Only a fool says god is real. You forgot to take the anti-psychotic meds again, didn't you? Silly girl...get back to your padded room before the nice men in the white coats find you've escaped.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Madtown

      Evangelical
      Only a fool would say that God is...
      -----
      Way wrong, again. Only the fool thinks he can know details of God.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • JWT

      If i had the choice to follow a moral existance then burn in the non-existant hell or to follow evalgelical's version of love and life – I;d rather be a moral person,

      June 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      Evangelical: Your god is an impotent little punk.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      Evangelical: If you are so sure you will be with god in heaven forever, what are you doing here? Don't you have tall buildings where you live? A sidearm? A fast moving vehicle?

      June 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  16. Shammalammadingdong

    Here's a fun reading activity. It's a passage from the bible where Moses encounters the burning bush:

    'Then Moses heard a voice call him: "Moses, Moses!" "Here I am," Moses replied, with his shepherd's staff in his hand. Don't come any closer," the voice continued...I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." It really was God When Moses heard the voice, he fell to his knees. He was afraid to look at the bush, which he knew was God. Then the Lord [Bush] said, "I have seen how cruel the Egyptians have been to you and the other Hebrews, who are my chosen people. The time has come for me to rescue you from the Egyptians.'

    Let me get something straight. So, this Moses character is in the middle of the desert, most likely suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration after being chased there by the Egyptians. He sees/has a hallucination of a bush on fire, which he has a full blown conversation with after believing this flaming bush is god. This bush also tells him that the jews are the chosen people.

    If this is an accurate account of the events that transpired, it seems to me that the falsity that the jews are the "chosen people" is based on the word of a bush, that may or may not have been on fire or even real. The whole christian religion which resulted is based on this as well; the word of a flaming bush (or rather the word of a man who had a heat and dehydration induced hallucination in the middle of the desert and lived to tell about it.)

    What would you do if you were walking down the street and saw a man having a conversation with a bush? Would you think he was nuts? A schizophrenic perhaps? Chances are this person would be sent to the nuthouse. And yet there are millions of people who base their beliefs off of fantastical stories just like this, across all religions. It's amazing how easy it is to convince people of something, especially if people around them also believe.

    Take for example the viral photo of "Snowball the Giant Cat." An image of an enormous cat (approximately the size of a large dog) being held in the arms of a bearded man began circulating around the internet in early 2000. The picture attracted attention because it didn't seem possible for a cat to be that large, but the chance that the cat was real couldn't be ruled out either. The photo attracted so much attention that it was eventually featured on television shows such as NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and ABC's Good Morning America. Religion is like gossip. The more people you tell, the more it get's construed, and the more fantastical it gets. If so many people know, it must be true. Right? In the end, what good does it do?

    The idea of gods, heaven, hell, and 72 virgins are some of the biggest hoaxes perpetuated upon mankind. The amount of damage caused by religious beliefs astounds me. Granted, there is a lot of good being done in the "name of god"; humanitarian work, charity, and the perpetuation of hope and strength among those who lack it. Shouldn't we all be promoting these things regardless of whether you believe in a god or not? Do you need a book or a preacher to tell you what to do and how to treat others, or ponder the ever popular bumper sticker slogan, "what would jesus do?"

    I'm happy to see that current generations are starting to think for themselves and form their own options on the subject.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Bible just a theory

      There is a species of shrub in the Middle East that exudes a sap which, if formed in the right lens shape purely by chance, can actually set itself on fire. This well-known phenomenon is a perfectly natural one, but was co-opted in the story to make it sound miraculous.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  17. Bible just a theory

    HUMANS, with their great creativity, have invented THOUSANDS OF GODS. Therefore, if you don't believe in the current one, then you only have a TINY CHANCE of being wrong. I shall ask the CAT GOD lying on my sofa what he thinks about this question. The answer will probably make about as much sense as anything Pat Robertson has said.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Madtown

      Be careful, you don't want to be cast into the litter box for eternity.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Devil made me do it

      So much win

      June 13, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  18. No Religion

    Good. Maybe in a few years politics will be run on common sense and not bigotry and fear. Good-bye to the days of using an imaginary man in the sky to justify hate 🙂

    June 13, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Evangelical

      What about the hatred and bigotry displayed by atheists towards Christians?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "bigotry", Eva? How are you being deprived of any rights?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Careful, evangelical, your persecution complex is showing.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • MarkinFL

      We don't hate the Christian, we hate the attempt to control our lives with their arcane rules. They made a lifestyle choice and they are free to follow it. Just do not try to require me to live like them.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Weights&Measures

      garyjohnson2012.com
      Your day has come my friend.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  19. Shadowflash1522

    Did they ever publish the age range of the young Americans in the study? I know they said "Millenials", but has any agreement developed as to what that means?

    June 13, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • No Religion

      It says in the article....30 and younger

      June 13, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      Ooops, my bad. 😛

      Distracted reader is distracted.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  20. God is not real

    What is more shocking to me is that many of my peers have "no doubt in a God"

    Sad, quite sad.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Evangelical

      God is real whether you believe in him or not.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Jim

      Evangelical since you make that claim, prove it.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Cq

      Evangelical
      So you believe, but you can't prove it, can you?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Shammalammadingdong

      @ Evangelical

      That's what I tell my daughter about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Boogie Man, and the Great Pumpkin.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • ME II

      Santa Claus is real whether you believe in him or not. The fact that he doesn't deliver presents is just proof that we are all sinners and on the "naughty" list.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Santa Claus = Saint Nikolaos of Myra, who was present at the Council of Nicea where they decided what bits of the bible would be canonized.
      One of the myths about him is that in the middle of the night, he tossed bags of gold through the window of poor man so that he might have a proper dowry for his daughters.
      Hence Santa Claus brings presents after the kids are asleep...

      June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Weights&Measures

      "the good thing about science is that is true whether or not you believe in it." – Neil deGrasse Tyson

      June 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
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About this blog

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