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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. kindness

    For you.
    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 4:30 pm |
    • Madtown

      kindness
      Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late.
      -------
      What if I'm born to a part of the world where christianity isn't prevalent? If I've never heard of Jesus, I'd have no chance to accept him. Does this mean I can't be "saved" like you?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • 1word

      Madtown God said the scripture must be published all over the world before the end of the world. So no one can have an excuse.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • TC

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

      LOL – I see that you finally removed the word "typical" from this post, to make yourself looke a little less egotistical.

      Do you really think that endlessly posting long and somewhat incoherent spam will bring ANYONE to your point of view?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      god spam

      June 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Madtown, you seem to ask the same question over and over. But when someone gives you an answer, you
      gnore it. We went through this before.....Why do you do that?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @PRISM 1234, allow me... @1word, That is a really stupid argument and it's full of so many holes I can understand why someone wouldn't take the time to reply to it. The fact of the matter is, the bible, ISN'T published all over the world. I know christians like to think that it is, but there are many place where books are not even available. Have you ever read a National Geographic magazine? I think they have TV shows too if you don't enjoy reading.

      The other glaring hole in your argument is, there were people everywhere before we had our first moveable type printing press. Do those people get a "get out of jail free" card?

      Lastly, god never said anything about "publishing" because there was no such thing when the bible was written. Now I know you guys love making things up and believing in fantasies, but even you should be able to see the error here.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Madtown

      PRISM 1234
      Madtown, you seem to ask the same question over and over. But when someone gives you an answer, you
      gnore it. We went through this before.....Why do you do that?
      -------
      Seriously? Who's given an answer? No one. Not one of you empty-heads can give an answer to this most basic of questions that centers on ground-level logic.

      Why don't you give it a shot genius. If God created all humans equal, something your doctrine suggests, but not all humans will learn of christianity, then how could christianity possibly be the one "right and true" way? If it were the right way, wouldn't God allow all of his equal creations to be privy to it?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Madtown

      1word
      Madtown God said the scripture must be published all over the world before the end of the world. So no one can have an excuse
      --------
      Where and to whom did God "say" this? Was he interviewed? Can I YouTube it? No matter how completely you're drowning in your delusions, the fact will always be that there are humans in this world, equal in value to you, who will never hear of christianity. Think of a primitive African tribesman, or South American rain forest tribesman. These humans, equal in value to anyone else, have no clue who Jesus is, and never will. They are creations of God, and as such if God had only 1 way in mind to attain salvation, he'd provide it to all his creations, because all his creations are equal. How do you reconcile this logical problem? I'll guess you don't, because you don't think logically.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:25 am |
  2. 1word

    GOD is real, He died for your sins.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom

      Oh yeah? Prove it. Until you can do that it's all just make-believe nonsense.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Madtown

      Don't you mean Jesus died for our sins? Jeez, if you're going to troll, at least have the very basics in order.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • T. Lee

      Kindly point to the chapter and verse wherein "God died for your/our sins".

      It's not there.

      You are deceived by yet another doctrine of man and this one is the Doctrine of the Trinity which was unknown to early Christians before the Concil of Nicea during which the pagan emporor Constantine pronounced himself also a Bishop of the Church and mediated between Arius and Athanasius – and of course Athanasius won – no big surprise given that Constantine was a life-long worshipper of "The Unconquered Sun" until his deathbed.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • 1word

      Madtown, JESUS IS GOD! Jesus was the same Lord in the Old Testament.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • TC

      He also created them, since He created everything. Odd how that works.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

      So, you admit that God is dead?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @1word, So you're saying god committed suicide, since he sent himself to be killed which was his plan... then tried to talk himself out of it at the end, but decided to stick to his original plan. Sounds a bit mentally unstable and schizophrenic to me.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Ecclesiastes 7:17

      Hmm...looks like he said that Jesus is God. But you spin it anyway you want to. Who cares about being accurate.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • One one

      God is perfect, never makes a mistake.
      He tested mankind with a talking snake.
      Things didn’t work out like he originally planned.
      He decided to change his religious brand.
      He killed his son to “save” mankind.
      From the curse and wrath of his self centered mind.
      Now we have hell for those who doubt.
      To give fairy tale salesmen a lot more clout.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

      So, Let me get this straight, God created his son, Jesus, who was REALLY just himself ! ? So, when Jesus was dying on the cross and asked God, "Why hast thou forsaken me"? , he was merely talking to himself in a sort of schizophrenic way ?? ... What ???? Please explain.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • T. Lee

      @1Word – you too are misled by the Trinity Doctrine which was not in existence until birthed in the Fourth Century by a increasingly apostate "universal" church, its leaders, and Emperoro Constantine.

      The "LORD" of the Hebrew Scriptures is not the "Lord" of the Greek.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Madtown

      1word
      Madtown, JESUS IS GOD!
      -----–
      So, Jesus was not God's son? I've been told since I was a kid that God sent his son to die on the cross for my sins. Now you're telling me that was all wrong? Huh. Or........maybe it's just that you're a completely mindless fool.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • WASP

      @1word
      "GOD is real, He died for your sins.
      June 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm"

      1) i thought jesus died for our sins? not god........hmmmmmm and btw he died for YOUR sins, i don't sin.......ROFLMFAO.
      2) sounds like you're getting angry by putting such an emphasis on "god" in all caps; it's called Directive language function: language used for the purpose of causing (or preventing) overt action.
      a. The directive function is most commonly found in commands and requests.
      b. Directive language is not normally considered true or false (although various logics of commands have been developed).
      so you are being commandive, why? what did you hope to accomplish by being commandive?

      June 14, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  3. God is not real

    Are people still on here trying to argue that God exists?

    All I have heard is "have faith", which holds no ground in any argument whatsoever.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tom

      They desperately need to convince others that God exists because if they ever admitted that it doesn't, they'd be admitting that their whole life has been a sham. It's just a psychological defense mechanism for people too weak-minded to deal with the real world.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • TERRORBITE

      Only the SPIRITUALLY LOST would say and think like you. Get a BIBLE AND FIND A BIBLE STUDY CLASS before you think... let-a-lone open your mouth.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @TERRORBITE, Repeat... most atheists were once christians. I myself spent 13 years in a christian school and 18 years in a baptist church. We DO study your fervently as well as the quran and sometimes even other religious books. You need only look at the statistics of the prevalence of religion in America and apply a tiny bit of reason to conclude that most of us came from highly religious families and histories. ...End repeat.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • T. Lee

      @God Is Not Real: "All I have heard is "have faith", which holds no ground in any argument whatsoever".

      You find throughout the arguments in favor of evolution the same mantra regarding the quantum leaps between "findings" and speculative "next steps" – and of course – there is the additional complication of WHICH argument in favor of evolution to which you ascribe. It differes from THEORY to THEORY to THEORY to THEORY – or haven't you bothered to notice.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  4. andreweastgate

    "If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again." – Penn Jillette

    June 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not provable

      June 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

      I like that! A very true and astute observation! Since Science is the study of nature and physics, and nature and physics do not change, the same principals would eventually be re-discovered! But, because religion is imaginary, the exact same fiction could never be re-created! Beautiful...

      June 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Bill,

      Why would it matter to you whether something could be proven or not as you accept many beliefs sans proof?

      June 14, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  5. Reality

    Why the doubt grows in all age groups:

    Only for new members of this blog:

    AS THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family (As does BO and his family) had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Added references available upon request.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  6. zcpro

    All the atrocities that mankind has done throughout history it has used religion as an instrument for justification.
    RELIGION IS THE MOTHER OF ALL EVIL!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      June 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nii

      REALITY
      Glad u r now getting more mature!

      June 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Jokesterer

    If you even have to pose the question about the existence of God, there must be something lacking in the God department. If there is an invisible magician who supposedly cares about his creation, shouldn't it be so obvious to make such a question seem silly? You can say there is no proof that he does NOT exist, but it seems like a God with this much power would be leaving evidence all over the place. The universe is full of stuff but all that stuff appears to run by itself with no magic needed. Maybe the real miracle is that the entire universe can function without the aid of any miracles.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      I think that if there is a god, he's got a sadistic sense of humor. He'd probably be someone you'd want to have drinks with but not someone you'd necessarily want around your family. And certainly not someone you'd want creating your universe.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  8. Melissa

    Nii, please stop spreading ignorance. There is more proof for the big bang theory than your god. Get educated.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Nii

      MELISSA
      I'm an engineer n ur scientific education is???
      And u don't do so well at history either.
      The Crusades were basically the BYZANTINE EMPIRE VERSUS THE MOSLEMS. The Moslems seized their territory and they wanted it back so they asked for help from Western Europe! It wasn't a war of conversion

      June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Primewonk

      "I'm an engineer"

      Sadly, may engineers are fundiots. They seem to need the rigid structure. And sadly many engineers are ignorant about much of science.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Nii

      Hopefully you actually give an answer on this.
      I read your post that said "There is more proof of God than for the Big Bang Theory proposed by a faithful follower of His!
      "

      This statement in idiotic. For one, science does not deal with proofs, it deals with evidence and repeatable testing. What "proof" or evidence of god do you have?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Nii

      HAWAII
      Now a sensible question at last! The easiest thing to do to prove to yourself is to actually practise the teachings in the Bible to see if they do work. If they don't u r free to discard them! Unfortunately this is where most so called Atheists run for the hills. I tried it. I have my proof

      June 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • just sayin

      Nii

      HAWAII
      Now a sensible question at last! The easiest thing to do to prove to yourself is to actually practise the teachings in the Bible to see if they do work.
      ----
      And the quran works for Muslims and prayers are also answered by all Gods. Supersti tious perspective is not evidence.
      .
      The whole basis for belief in the Gods is subjective, assumption and wishful thinking. Faith is needed due to lack of credible evidence and the fact that the words of the Gods is always told by men.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      This is what just saying looks like while running from the challenge.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Melissa

      An engineer is NOT a physicist, biologist, geologist, or anything else that would prove anything you say. And guess what... I went to University for Biology. I also have college courses in history, archeology, anthropology, chemistry, and physics. If I go back (I'd love to, its just very expensive) I fully intend on studying archeology as my main. You?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Nii

      So you're proof is to try it? And the fact that I was raised christian and stayed as such until I was around 18 doesn't count I suppose? Your "proof" doesn't really prove anything, especially since using the same bible, multiple people will come to completely different beliefs and interpretations, resulting in literally thousands of denominations. Personal interpretation does not lead to truth, and personal revelation means nothing except to the person that had the revelation. A personal revelation therefore cannot be a proof, but can only be a personal justification.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      And once again, when an actual point is made, Nii runs away for an indeterminate amount of time for an unknown reason.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  9. SparkBunny

    Hey, i can speculate just as well as anybody else. Maybe the mayan's "end of the fifth age of man" is actually happening with the beginning of the Age of Reason. Who says it has to be a bad thing? Well, except for the preachers who make a living off of what people give them every sunday. And the 700 club, klansmen, terrorists, "faith healers" and what have you. To religious people, the destruction of religion is probably even more terrifying than the actual apocalypse.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  10. wonslung

    I don't believe that a god exists. It's pretty obvious that god gets smaller as our collective knowledge grows. I can understand wanting to find meaning and especially wanted to believe that human suffering and death are the result of some higher purpose but so far the evidence for anything supernatural falls flat. The more outlandish and extreme the claim, the more evidence it requires.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If there were evidence of a thing then it wouldn't be supernatural now then would it?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      I would suggest that, although the supernatural thing itself may be undetectable by natural means, its interactions with the natural world would be detectable and measurable. While there are yet many things that we do not understand, there is no phenomena yet that requires supernatural intervention, as far as I'm aware, anyway.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Well Bill,

      Than using your logic people are justified to believe absolutely anything at all.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  11. dude2010

    This is a perfect example of why society as a whole is going in the cra pper. Young people are losing faith and respect for everything and are slowly just killing and destroying without a care in the world.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Adam

      What does faith have to do with respect? What does disbelief in a supernatural agent have to do with destruction? There are no lines of causation in your post, only specious conflations and fear.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • dude2010

      It's pretty simple Adam. When people have faith and believe that they will have to answer for their actions they tend to try to be better people. Call it fear or what ever you would like but it is what it is.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Bad Religion

      I disagree, dude. I think people will be enlightened by casting aside blind faith and ignorance that comes along with it and people can feel empowered to do better in their own lives because they and they alone know they can achieve. you don't need faith to be productive, or moral, or achieve and strive in life.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      There is no coorelation between believing in a god and morality that equates to religious people causing less suffering of others.

      For instance, Catholic 'morality' is partly consisted of the idea it is wrong to use condoms even though it very likely could prevent suffering for yourself and others. I don't see where that makes them 'better people'.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Melissa

      When people have "faith" you get things like the Crusades, and book burning. Try again.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Trumpy

      And just HOW, exactly, is society "going in the crapper?"
      Crime rates are very low (near historic lows in many categories), education rates are up, technology is at an all time high, life spans are the longest they've ever been...the economy isn't doing great but a lot of that is due to bad laws made by politicians who, at the gubernatorial and congressional level, have around a 98% level of religious profession.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Nii

      CLAIMS
      Go n get ur money back. They ripped u off. That book isnt worth it. De Eastern Roman Empire which had most of de religious strife survived de West by a 1000yrs. De main reason 4 de religious strife was that they were educated. They r de Greeks I talked about since they prefered it to Latin!

      June 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Nii,

      You are an idiot, you type like and idiot, and you think like an idiot. When a gov't has to deal with the infighting of a church takes precedent Atilla the Hun there is a huge problem with "de" religious beliefs of "de" people. You fracking moron.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  12. WOW

    Ho Ho Ho it is the Atheist Clause I have come to spread unbelief and hatred toward GOD. Hear you all go, one piece of coal for you and another for you!

    June 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      So basically reality is harsh

      and fairy tales are pretty and more fun so you pick fairy tales not because it is true but because it is comforting.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bet

      You can't hate something that doesn't exist.

      June 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  13. Horus

    @Nii – ok, is this sarcasm also: "There is more proof of God than for the Big Bang Theory"

    I sure hope so. Otherwise I'd love to hear the brilliance behind that comment.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'd love to see that, too, but since it's Nii you're addressing, what you'll get is gibberish.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I thought that WAS what he was referring to as sarcasm, wasn't it?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  14. Jack

    Hello everyone. If you have some time, please visit my web site... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Hooligan

      no

      go spam somewhere else

      June 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Hooligan

    The reason more people are starting to lose faith is because we have more access to scientific data, we have the internet which not only spreads ideas but critiques them as well. We live in an era where people say something about "God" and there are countless people to respond "prove it".

    That hardly ever happened in the past because those who did not believe were convicted of heresy, or were punished to keep them silent. A world where people are allowed to question what is supposed religious doctrine, where one can legally and without prosecution ask questions about the holes and contradictions in the stories of scripture , in a society where they can take the Bible, or the Torah or the Koran and see the faiths for what they really are. A means to control and instil fear in to people on the flimsy hope that there MIGHT be something after.

    You don't need to be religious to be a good person.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Melissa

      Religion is bad.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • resilient

      Learning a little bit about science takes you away from God. Learning much more about science draws you nearer to him. Science complements God. It does not disprove him/her. It is just like a little 5 year old that starts thinking that he knows more than his parents because he has learned to walk and talk, but when he/she gets older and wiser he understands what they have always said and starts to agree with his parents.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Horus

      @resilient – with your arrogance you must not have grown out of that 5yr old state of thinking you know so much. Do elaborate on how science brings you nearer belief. Please include how you would explain the 97% of registered scientists who do not believe.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Horus, please don’t ask people like resilient to bring up science “facts”. All they will do is quote garbage from the Creation “Science” Inst.itute, Answers in Genesis, or idiots like William Lane Craig. They won’t do the hard work to actually understand science so all they can do is copy and paste another tards work.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Leo

      No Malissa, the blanket statment that religion is bad is not correct. The beliefs of the indivigual are correct for that person as long as they us it for their own good. But applying those beiefs into an organised system that says that theirs is the only correct way to think is the bad part.
      Just as wrapping your self up in a flag, calling it nationalize and saying that our way is the only corrct way is bad.
      The two greatest evils of humanity have always been organized religion and nationalize.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Mellisa is more right than you're giving her credit for. These religions are based off of old texts rife with contradiction or people who are just the other side of sane and people follow them blindly. This state of delusion MUST stop so that we as a species can progress. Until they all go away then we will stagnate as we have for the last 2000+ years.

      The Age of Reason is upon us, we just have to take hold of it.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • JD

      Imagine the technology we would have if we never experienced the dark ages!! kinda feels like we got cheated.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Melissa

      Leo, you are wrong. If you can't see that, that's your problem.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Nii

      HONEY
      The only sad part about your Age of Reason comment is that the 21st is sadly no better than the 20th in terms of Enlightenment! And the Age of Reason paassed by in the 18th century. I love u as myself.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Nii

      The Technology we wud have had if we didn't have the Dark Ages of Western Europe alone? lol
      I think u don't know much about history. Go back and learn how your pagan ancestors raided Western Europe into the Dark Ages and how the Greeks and Arabs helped them get back on track. Greeks were Xtians too

      June 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Nii,

      Why don't your read about how the Empire had to deal with whether Jesus was one nature or two nature and all the infighting that went on over other similar 'questions' and the civil unrest that came with it to the point settling those 'religious issues' where more important than dealing with the barbarians at the gate. Nice try.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  16. Jokesterer

    I just spoke to God and he said that your inability to persuade others that He exists angers Him and that you're at risk of eternal torment because of it.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Horus

      Wait just a d.amn minute there God. You are supposed to be "just" and "merciful".

      June 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Max Powers

      Did He also mention that He thinks it's totally cool how we use Him as an excuse to kill each other?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  17. colspan

    I believe I exist, and don't need more than that.
    The best argument against God is that he tolerates a broken and hypocritical faithful.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  18. Robert Brown

    Ye of little faith, doubt can ultimately be one of the biggest faith builders.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Well then my entry into heaven is pretty well a lock.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      That is when 'doubt' becomes 'delusion'.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Tom

      I'm glad the faithful have your kind of logic. Makes my job easy.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  19. resilient

    I believe God exists. I can see it in the structure of mathematics and in the environment. I won't elaborate about that now. The ideas in the bible are really metaphorical and are not literal. That is where a lot of people make mistakes. And much of the hidden aspects of the bible can only be understood when you read it in Hebrew. You must know the hidden codes within for a broader understanding. Many say that there is no concrete evidence that God exists. At the same time I say, there is no concrete evidence which proves God does not exist either.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Horus

      You see what you want to see; just as some people see images of Jesus in a frying pan. If there were "a" god, how can you lay claim? By all the same logic you would use to justify belief in "your" God, the same can be used to arrive at ANY god. Further, if there were a god then why would he/she/it submit hidden code as the only path to enlightenment to his/her/it's existence?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • resilient

      Horus. Part of intelligence is being able understand patterns in our environment. A cat sees the same physical world as a human, but does not comprehend it in the same way or same depth as a human. And God (which is both He and She) has encoded things so that only certain worthy people can understand.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Joe Cogan

      There's no concrete evidence proving that unicorns and leprechauns don't exist either.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Melissa

      resilient, what a load of utter garbage. You mean "closed minded and ignorant people afraid of, and unable to handle, the truth"

      June 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I had a very good friend that thought in a very similar way. He was able to detect the patterns and recognize what was really happening unlike the rest of us. Sadly, we eventually parted ways when he realized that I too had been replaced by an alien.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Hooligan

      It's always so fulfilling when someones says they KNOW god exists and have proof yet fail to provide it simply because the person in question does not feel like explaining it.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Nii

      Whatever! If it cud be applied to any deity at all why don't u start worshipping some! Its unhappy ones such as u who blame God all the time. There is more proof of God than for the Big Bang Theory proposed by a faithful follower of His!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • colspan

      resilient, you've talked to a lot of cats, have you?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Melissa

      Nii, you are doing a very good job of proving no one should listen to you because you can't bother to type like a normal person instead of a prepubescent teenager. Keep it up. You're only proving us right.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Umm, just WHO is blaming a god they do not believe in?

      June 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Horus

      @resilient – what an absurdly arrogant position. You don't seem to understand the history of religions if you think the "Bible" is anything more than recycled and revisioned material from generations prior. If you knew anything about human psych you'd know that we have a need for there to be order even when there is none – so we create it. Just like we created religions.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Horus

      Nii, why would I simply randomly throw a dart and choose to believe in some god simply because I can? That makes zero sense.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Max Powers

      You're funny. I like how the "worthy" ones can understand. Like the Emperor's clothes. Silly game, but a good one, played for thousands of years by liars.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Nii

      HORUS
      psst! that part was meant for sarcasm.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Horus

      Nii – missed that – my bad.....

      June 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Nii

      MELISSA
      Darling what is so important about me that u wud want to listen or read me? You can try to skip my posts. I will write anyway though as I like to hear what atheists have to say on religion!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Psss....Nii,

      What is really funny is... your sarcasm cannot be differentiated from your 'logic'.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • ME II

      "Many say that there is no concrete evidence that God exists. At the same time I say, there is no concrete evidence which proves God does not exist either."

      So, in essence, you aren't saying anything, right?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Madtown

      only certain worthy people can understand
      -----–
      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, there is literally no sitcom on tv nowadays that is any more funny than this comments section! Yes, of course, you are just so special, have so much more human-value than many other human beings on this planet. So much more worth than those "unfortunate" souls who happen to be born into a place in the world(not their choice) where they'd never hear of christianity. God holds you in such high regard that he gifts only you and your ilk with the "magic codes", and will allow you salvation. But of course!!!!! So pathetic, yet so funny at the same time!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Melissa

      Nii, you may be fine with saying things like "I'm Christian but I shouldn't have to pay for other peoples health care" but I'm not. I'm Atheist, and I care more about other people than you do. I don't skip your posts because I think ignorance needs to be combated NOT embraced.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Nii

      MELISSA
      Is it that Americans don't realise that Obama is a Xtian or what. If 80 something percent of u say they r Xtian where do the Democrats get their votes from? If u think I am a fundamentalist literalist Evangelical Christian American I'm not. I prefer spiritual Xtian. Come again....

      June 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Melissa

      lol. Christians say alot of things. Thats the point. Lying is not beyond them, not even to fellow Christians.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Trumpy

      Yeah, you have convincing evidence of god. Please, don't bother with that now. Last thing you want to do is spread convincing evidence...

      June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Nii

      MELISSA
      Truly speaking I am a Ghanaian in Ghana right now. I am nowhere near u. I prefer spiritual Xtian cos I value spirituality over religion. I practise the Anglican rite, believe in Messianic Jewish doctrine. However expressing charitable love is more imortant to me than either. Have a goodnite

      June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Melissa

      Nii, why does it matter where you live? I don't really care. I also don't care about the color of your skin, the language you speak (though it does show a lack of intelligence to use terminology like "u" "r", etc online instead of typing it out properly), or culture you come from (other than an anthropological and historical perspective) or any other ways people use to try to hate on each other.

      I judge based on the way you behave. I hate two things most in this world... promotion of ignorance in any form, and lying.

      I'm judging you because not only are you promoting ignorance, you are showing a willful lack of intelligence (and lack of respect to other posters) in the way you are typing, and you are lying if you think you have proof of any deity (you don't).

      I don't care what you believe. In fact, you can believe that a pink and purple polka dot unicorn lives in your garden, and that a monster lives under your bed for all I care. What I care about is that you expect others to live as though they believe it too.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Berk

      " I won't elaborate about that now. "
      Translation: I'm bluffing through my teeth! 🙂

      June 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Melissa

      Nii, btw, I'm not an American.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bet

      "And God (which is both He and She) has encoded things so that only certain worthy people can understand."

      Another way religion lies to people. Oh, you're one of the special ones. You're one of the exclusive few that god has chosen to understand his mysterious ways. Welcome to the club, you special, special person. Now open your wallet and give us all your money.

      June 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  20. Doc Vestibule

    After long and hard consideration of Pascal's Wager, I decided to put my money with J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.
    The Church of the Subgenius is the ONLY religion that offer eternal salvation or triple your money back – and all for only $30!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Nii

      DOC
      I am so happy for you but Church means more to Christians than life after death which contrary to popular thought is not eternal life. Eternal life is the living presence of God in a man's soul such that he lives as he was created to live and eventually if there is an after-life he'll enjoy it.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Melissa

      Nii, I'd rather die for eternity than bask in a gods glory forever. What a horrible nightmare it would be if what you say is true.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Nii,

      That is just speculation, many christians would disagree and use their own speculation and both of you would have equal foundation....none.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      But the FSM guarantees the most savory afterlife!!!!! For free!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ME II

      @MarkinFL and @Doc,

      And beer fountains!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      ME II,
      Beer fountains in heaven!!!! Hmmmm, nice. Though could prolly use them down below even more. 😉

      June 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Bob" guarantees that if you find yourself at the gates of Hell, he will personally come and give you $90.
      He then will sell you a book called "How to Live in Hell on $.05 a Day" for $89.95.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Horus

      @Doc – ok...I almost fell out of my chair laughing at the book deal ;-}

      June 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Melissa makes her choice.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Melissa

      Yep. And I know I have nothing to fear because I've already come as close to death as you can without it being permanent. How about you?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I respect your choice and the God I worship does as well. I can't say I've had a near death experience. I can say that the traumatic experiences I have had confirm my choice with as much authority as yours does.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Cq

      Nii
      If you died and found yourself before a truly merciful God who allowed everyone into heaven, regardless of belief, would you accept it?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:00 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.