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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. first

    I guess we're not the generation of the righteous if that's the case, all who claim a LOVE FOR LOVE knows the Lord is in the generation of the righteous. May the Lord bless the few that's chosen.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • vulpecula

      A love for love does not require a belief in a supernatural being that has no verifiable proof of existance. Thats like saying "if you don't believe in unicorns, how can you know love?". Do you see how rediclous it sounds now? Atheists are very capable of loving love. So love is not proof of such a being, it does not require such a belief in such a being and works very will without said being.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  2. Bob

    I believe in God, not religion.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      Which god?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bob

      How should I know, i'm only human. Something HAD to create everything. Religion is here to try and make sense of it all, and create problems.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Primewonk

      "Something HAD to create everything"

      So what created your version of a god?

      You also demonstrate ignorance about what cosmologists actually say.

      You also demonstrate ignorance about quantum theory and the Casimir effect.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prime, you could save time and just put a period after "ignorance".

      June 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • WOOF

      Bob,

      What do you know about this god? Does it WANT things?

      We exist on a natural plane, that we are still discovering much about. Natural cause and effect. Natural consequences.

      We're on Our Own Folks.

      Let's make the best of it... real-ly.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Bob

      I guess I was kind of vauge with the word "God". My definition of god is whatever created everything. If it is the higgs boson that gave matter mass, then that created everything. If that is every thing there is, then the higgs boson is god.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • The Dog Delusion

      I think Bob has a pretty good grasp of the basic philosophical principle of infinite regression of events and the absurdity of such. At some point you need to reach an uncaused cause.

      The fluctuations in energy levels of a quantum vacuum that the casimir effect demonstrates is hardly "nothing".

      June 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • vulpecula

      The only way to reach an uncaused cause is to reject your premise of cause. In other words, Your saying the uncaused cause needs no cause. If no cause is needed, then the uncaused cause isn't needed.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  3. vulpecula

    People of faith are willfully ignorant of the varifiable evidence for science, and the complete lack of varifiable evidence for the supernatural.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • The Dog Delusion

      it's a philosophical question, not a scientific one.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • vulpecula

      Whether something exists or not is not a philosophical question. Just saying something or believing in something doesn't make it true.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • JWT

      Believing in a philiosophical existance can make that creating true for the believer. It does not however make it true for anyone else.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @JTW
      "Believing in a philiosophical existance can make that creating true for the believer. It does not however make it true for anyone else."

      If it is only true for the believer, and only in their head, it's delusion. I don't care if everyone on earth bought into this supernatural mumbo jumbo. without varifiable evidence, it's not any more real than the sun is a god. Or that the earth is only 6000 years old when there are cities on this planet that are older than that. Or that ghosts or spirits are real. Or faith healers can heal. It's all a lot of bunk and doesn't stan up to real scrutiny.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • JWT

      I don't believe in any of it either. But to those that want to believe in god he is real – at least as real as matters. The only time it really matters is when they do things that harm other people – such as faith healing, or they get this absurd notion that because other people believe differently than them that those people are are of less worth to exist. There are of course atheists that believe this as well.

      Fortunately most people undertsand that the choices are personal and that their religion is personal and nothing in it applies to others.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  4. joe

    Anyone that believes that everything in our universe [or multiverse] is working harmoniously together, within the smallest margins that allows us to live, is just a happy accident, is not in touch with God, or reality. If you believe that everything works perfectly, as it must for our survival, and you believe that this happens without direction, or design, you are not capable of understanding the science you rely on.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Most things don't work 'perfectly' They function 'adequately' often enough for survival.

      If things worked perfectly, we would not live on a world that is hostile to our unaugmented survival, for over 90% of it's surface.

      If things worked perfectly, 1-3 in 10 known pregnancies would not spontaneously end in miscarriage.

      Life is far more fragile than you seem to grasp.

      You throw the uncounted dice often enough, excluding the snake eyes each time (in parlance, the ones prone to failure) and your chances improve, slightly.

      If things worked perfectly, 1-3 in 10 ac

      June 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      joe: how do you equate a creator with a "God"?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:44 am |
    • The Dog Delusion

      adequacy in itself is an miraculous accomplishment. the odds against the universe being anything but a massless utter wasteland is unimaginably large.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • jim

      Since when is everything working perfectly? The vast majority of species that have lived on this plan are extincted because they could not adapt...

      June 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      @ the Dog Delusion. who said "adequacy in itself is an miraculous accomplishment. the odds against the universe being anything but a massless utter wasteland is unimaginably large."

      And the universe is unimaginably large.

      Math is math. Not a 'miraculous accomplishment'. The odds are not impossible, just very very high. (it was a while ago, but I remember my Math degree.)

      June 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  5. joe

    Not that they would understand it or accept it, it is a fact that this is the most undereducated generation in america's history. They are practically psychosclerotic. They are just intelligent enough to have been taught what to feel, by the sociologists that are reshaping our country. The end is not near, [regarding intelligence, responsibility, free thought.] The end is here.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  6. Geo

    What I find truly pathetic is the outright hatred that I have seen posted here. Faith, by definition, means a firm belief in something for which there is no proof and complete trust. Why is it that when religious people express their belief and faith, the atheists come out with such vitriol, spewing epithets such is morons, cretins, idiots and the like. My belief is within myself, known to the Lord, and is unshakable in the taunts of the ignorant.
    The most amusing thing is that even though a lot of atheists point to science as a crutch for their firm conviction that a God does not exist, one of the greatest minds in history was convinced that there indeed was a greater power at work. "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" – Albert Einstein

    June 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Geo, Einstein did not believe in any sort of personal god, so you're being dishonest to appeal to his authority. Most top scientists are atheist, so what?

      As to the atheist position, it is founded on the most fundamental rules of logic: the person making the positive claim must provide proof; if that proof is not provided, the responsible position is disbelief. It's why you don't believe in unicorns or go around buying bridges from guys named Tony in a ratty t-shirt and three-year old Orioles cap.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • duckforcover

      Moby: Latest polls show 90% of scientists believe in a Supreme Being, Higher Power, or God if you like. Most of them just choose not to "Lord" it over others.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • joe

      Nicely said.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      Geo: Why is it that some people of faith cannot simply state their faith without including empty proxy threats of judgement toward non-believers?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • vulpecula

      People of faith are so willfully ignorant of the varifiable evidence for science, and the complete lack of varifiable evidence for the supernatural.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • WASP

      @vulpecula: they were taught not to question anything in the bible; where as science asks you to question everything. i tried the letting the "blind lead the blind" thing, but i got tired of them walking me into walls so i took off the blinders and saw the world for the first time.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • vulpecula

      "atheists come out with such vitriol"

      isn't that the pot calling the kettle black. And I suppose you never ever heard your religious leaders, or peers speak ill of nonbelievers? I'd say the vitriol towards nonbelivers has been going on much longer, and more than100 times more common than the nonbelivers. Nonbelievers are just starting to feel safe enough to voice their thooughts, and believers don't like that they have lost there monopoly. But your probably use to twisting the facts to fit your unquestionable beliefs.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • WWJD

      @duckfor dinner. Actually that is totally bogus. More like 98% do not believe

      June 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  7. locksmith

    I am way past debating the existance or non-existance of a sky fairy.
    It's done, and should have ended decades ago. There is no proof god exists, and the burnden of proof lies with the delusional.

    There is no god, get over it.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • joe

      You are here. Voltaire did not believe in a watch, without a watchmaker. Do you?

      June 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Joe – Is a watch a self-replicating organic organism?

      June 20, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  8. da_soji1

    It all comes down to lack of understanding.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Agree. The more the younger generations understand about the world around them, the more far-fetched the illusion of god becomes. Religion always preys on the gaps in understanding.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • niknak

      No, it comes down to people who cannot accept reality, and must make one up to be able to get thru the day.
      They have closed their minds to anything that might break with their imagined fantasy of their imaginary friend.
      Hell, space aliens could make contact with us, show us the last few details we don't yet understand about how the univers works and how life started, and these fundies would go right along still believing in their fantasy.
      And they are not content to keep it to themselves, but must push it on the rest of us.
      I guess when you believe that 2 plus 2 equals 5, then you either have to change when confronted with evidence to the contrary, or try to change everyone elses beleif to yours in order to make it "true."

      June 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @niknak

      Here's a scary though. what if aliens arrived with no concept of religion, bought into it and returned to there home world to spread the word, only to annihilate themself in religious wars.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • da_soji1

      We don't agree, fortunately.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @da_soji1
      You stated "It all comes down to lack of understanding." and then comment "I don't agree, fortunately" without saying what part of what he said that you don't agree with. Can you elaborate? I'm going to guess you didn't mean my post as it was not ment to be serious.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  9. God Believer

    Actually this is not a true Survey at all! A lot of people have turned to God, and have been baptized to become Christians in the US and all over the world. They are trying to find the truth and faith about the Almighty God. Our creator!!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • kenny

      sounds like you can't accept reality and truth even when it smacks you in the face... yup... exactly what i'd expect from ignant religgy meroons who can't fathom that they, along with every human that ever lived, will cease to exist for all time... scary i know, escpecially when you've been lied to and betrayed by the ones you most trust who told you if you were a good person and followed these silly rules you'd get to live forever in paradise... yeah that sounds about right... or does it??? really??? when you look at the world and universe, does that sound like something that could even remotely be true???? life ends and you won't even know it... deal with it

      June 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • niknak

      I guess you did not get the memo, god does not exist.
      You can keep fooling yourselff if you want, but there is nothing up "there" listening to you.
      It is cute when a child has an imaginary friend, but creepy when an adult has one.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • vulpecula

      It's a Pew Survey. our in denial.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • vulpecula

      It's a Pew Survey. your in denial.

      I wish CNN was uniform in either letting posts be edited, or not.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  10. True believer

    Veggie what, THE POINT YOU MAKE IS HALF TRUE BUT IM ENCOURAGED THAT YOU READ THE BIBLE, DO NOT TAKE ALL IT IS SAID AS BY PREACHERS AS TRUTH, SHARIA IS ISLAMIC RULE YOU DOLT AND IS NOT CHRIST WAY OR HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WITHOUT SIN HEAVE THE STONE 😉 PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE HOLY BOOK AND STOP WITH THE I TOUGHT I SAW A UFO.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "OR HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WITHOUT SIN HEAVE THE STONE "

      Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • niknak

      No, it is you and your ilk who believe you have seen a ufo. You believe in a fairy tale, just like the crazies who think they have seen an alien ship. No difference. Excpept the alien crowd don't come around and knock on my door trying to convert me.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Actuall, Sharia is Islam's 'moral code' similar in some ways to christianity (and judaism's) 10 commandments. But often a bit more ambiguous, and open to interpretation.

      You really need to do some research, and stop equating the laws of Islamic countries (those laws often more based on culture than religion) with Sharia. You'd have a better understanding of what you're talking about.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • jim

      Let's not also forget that in other parts of the bible stoning is the recommended course of action, so I can justify stoning someone to death using the same "Moral" reference...

      June 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  11. True believer

    AND I JUST SAW YOUR HAPPY LGBT MONTH STUFF IT REEKS AND THAT BOOK WE DISCUSSED IT CLEARLY SAYS IT IS AN ABOMINATION, BUT WAIT Brisofla LET ME MAKE IT YOUR LEVEL CLEAR, GOD SAYS MAN & WOMAN GOOD, MAN/MAN
    WOMAN/WOMAN/ BAD!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Your bible says it is good to stone adulterers, and to molest your daughter. Your god killed 40 children for laughing at a man. Take your 'good book' and shove it. There is no sharia law in USA.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Where does god condemn lesbianism in the bible? I'll concede if you can give me a chapter and verse.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • JWT

      It does not matter what you think your bible says about gays and lesbians.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • fintastic

      STOP YELLING!!!!....

      Is your cap lock stuck?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  12. True believer

    MY BAD BRISOFLA LET ME MAKE THIS PRE-SCHOOL CLEAR, "GOD GOOD DEVIL BAD" IS THAT CLEAR. THE LEVEL OF DOUBT IS RISING BECAUSE OUR X-BOX PS3 CELL SOCIETY IS NOT TUNED TO REALITY AND FAITH IS A CONCEPT THAT BY DEFINITION IS TO BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE! EQUATE THAT WITH A BOOK WRITTEN CENTURIES AGO AND THAT WHAT IS THERE KIND OF HAPPENS. I DONT KNOW BUT MYSELF AND MY HOUSE WILL SERVE GOD.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • veggiedude

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz2g09qmX8M&w=640&h=360]

      June 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • kenny

      i have faith that there is no god, i also know where the caps lock key is, and how religious people are the most ignant mormonic (yeah i spelled that correctly...hehe) ppl on the planet... just take a look at the theocracies in the middle east, south america and africa... yeah they are all religgynuts... livin in huts and tossin acid in girls faces when they reject them... the information age has evoked a knowledge of the world around us that humanity has never known and soon it will spell the end of religion... thank... humanity...

      June 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • joe

      As will I.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • fintastic

      True believer said "LET ME MAKE THIS PRE-SCHOOL CLEAR, "GOD GOOD DEVIL BAD" IS THAT CLEAR"

      Allow me to make it clear for you pre-school believer.....

      God = no such thing
      Devil = no such thing
      Heaven = no such place
      Hell = no such place

      June 20, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  13. BriSoFla

    Happy Gay Pride Month Everyone!

    See how relevant that is to the above article? It isn't obviously and so are 99% of the comments made on these boards. If you have nothing nice to say, close your browser, shut your computer down, go outside and have a nice day.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  14. True believer

    I HAVE BEEN READING THESE POST OF "ATHEIST" EXPECTING A FUTURE OF STAR TREK NO MONEY NEEDED SOCIETY, THAT IS A LAUGH, PEOPLE HAVE YOU LOOKED OUTSIDE LATELY, PUT DOWN THE CELL AND SIGNOFF THE FB TWITTER LIFESTYLE AND LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING THE MARK OF THE BEAST FORETOLD ON REVELATIONS IS NEXT YEAR GO TO THE PARK AFTER DARK AND SAY "LIVE LONG AND PROSPER" DONT THINK SO! AND ALL YOU HAVE IS JOKES?

    June 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • veggiedude

      The meek shall inherit the earth. The rest of us will be reaching for the stars.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      //I HAVE BEEN READING THESE POST OF "ATHEIST" EXPECTING A FUTURE OF STAR TREK NO MONEY NEEDED SOCIETY,//

      I think you need to re watch Trek. Given the Ferenghi, it's not a totally money less universe. Albeit, Roddenberry did hold all to not talking about money, for the most part. (I know to many media tie in writers. )

      //PEOPLE HAVE YOU LOOKED OUTSIDE LATELY, PUT DOWN THE CELL AND SIGNOFF THE FB TWITTER LIFESTYLE AND LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING THE MARK OF THE BEAST FORETOLD ON REVELATIONS IS NEXT YEAR GO TO THE PARK AFTER DARK AND SAY "LIVE LONG AND PROSPER" DONT THINK SO! //

      I go to the park well after dark most days, my golden retriever needs to be walked before sleep. And I live in NYC. I'm sorry that you live where you can't. Why don't you move to the big 'sinful' city?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      You need to learn some more reading comprehension. Your bible states – you won't know the time nor the hour'. So saying that it will be next year, you are showing arrogance and pride, and are contradicting your holy book with your belief.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Tue believer
      Have you not heard of Virgin Galactic? What about SpaceX's successful commercial space flight? And they are not the only ones.
      Ever heard of or credit cards? moneyless society doesn't mean there is not a cost. Even in Star Trek people had jobs.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  15. Recovering Republican

    Doubts of God are growing, because Evangelicals have replaced God with Tax Cuts and Hatred of everything not them. God is Love, try introducing Him any other way, and you kill the message. So many of us believers are not gone, just gone underground until the Christian Taliban fizzles out. When churches realize that the hate they promote is not the financial boom they envisioned, they will chill, and the love will return. Jesus avoided hanging out with the zealots for a reason. He chose the outcast and the losers. Now that is real love.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Daniel Hoffman

      Good job of defending the saner version of religion against mean-spirited Christians who are being manipulated by greedy liars and panderers out to make a lot of money.

      There are those of us who did read the Bible and came to very different conclusions. Many of us find it completely unreasonable to believe in God. We would not worry about your being incorrect except that there are a lot ofderanged people out there doing horrible things in the name of God and the more well adjusted faithful seem to give them cover.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Veritas

      It has NOTHING to do with politics and it has NOTHING to do with DOUBT about God. Most of the 'doubts' in this so-called survey are based on a lack of UNDERSTANDING about God – not in Him per se.

      Don't you think that the way the question is phrased colours the result of the "Survey" of COURSE it does. That way the 'surveyors' get to tailor the result! Pffft – a 6th Grader understands THAT.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  16. ted

    Atheism is a religion.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Gays Are A Disease

      Yeah, but try to get them to admit it.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • karl

      no it isnt but nice try. A religion is a following based upon faith. Atheism typically involves science which is fact

      June 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • csrb21

      yes, and not collecting stamps is a hobby 🙂

      June 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Atheism is a religion like peace is war. Double speak will get you nowhere.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • logic-and-reason

      Atheism is not a religion, it is a lack of belief in any religion and anything supernatural. Is the dis-belief in Santa Claus a religion?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • kenny

      just like you are an ignorant moron

      June 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      For the sake of flexibility, I will take the opposite perspective of my atheist friends and go with what you are saying. Their point is valid though. You are an a-leprachaunist for lack of a better word... Does this mean that is your religion? What about the other thousands of gods you don't believe in? Do you have a separate atheist religion for all of those?

      However, let me say that I am indeed in worship of the god of reason. If it makes you feel more comfortable to believe that and builds a bridge between us, then I'm happy to play this game with you. Let me tell you about my "god" then. He doesn't require servitude, faith, or exclusion. Doubt is welcomed and only strengthens the belief as more insight to reality is revealed by evidence and experimentation. Reason does not lie to me and make me false promises of existence beyond death to make me feel better about myself. It does not demand submission at the threat of punishment. Through this religion, I have found freedom, knowledge, wisdom, joy and love for my fellow man. I don't love because I'm told to, I love because it comes to me by way of being. In all of this vastness of the universe and all of the intricate workings that surround me, I am amazed by reality and I am humbled. Together, these experiences fill me with a sense of peace.

      Now, tell me... what can your god/religion give me that I don't already have? Further, what could mind give you, that you don't already have?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Bald is a hair color.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Atheism is certainly not a religion, just like not stamp collectors aren't an organization. But, let's give you the point: atheism is a religion. Now what?

      June 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  17. Gays Are A Disease

    You are damning people's souls atheists! This is not a game!!!! I'm fine with you sending your own soul to hell but when you drags others with you by fostering confusion then I'm not okay with that!!!! Don't force us to have to use drastic measures on you to protect people's souls!!!!

    June 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • karl

      your an idiot

      June 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Daniel Hoffman

      If you really had faith you would stop blaspheming God by thinking He can't handle people He doesn't like without your help. It's as if you think God's a damsel-in-distres who needs you as her knight in shining armor to come and rescue her. Do you really think God needs you even a little bit?

      June 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Stop trying to turn my country into a theocracy. If you fundiot cretins keep trying, you should expect a bloodbath that dwarfs the civil war.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • kenny

      ahhh the perfect xtian who is soooo scared of non believers he wants to kiiilllll them... but the truth is your fear of your end is soooo overwhelming you can't handle reality and cower behind your imaginary fairy tale beliefs of eternal life in paradise... i'd be scared and angry too if i was promised eternal life and later realized ill just cease too exist... talk about a ripofff... lol.. accept reality and deal with it... we all didn't exist for eons.. and will soon not exist for eons more... that's LIFE...

      June 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  18. Steve Heiser

    yea I am 25 and I believe.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • The Dude

      In Santa Claus? Why not? Just as believable as Jesus.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Grindstone50k

      25 and I left religion years ago. Mostly because when I joined the military and met so many people from different corners of the Earth who are not Christian but follow other religions, I wondered what makes Christianity so special over, for example, Hinduism? I don't care about anyone's private religion, I don't go out of my way to attack anyone, I just wish to be treated the same as I treat those who do have religion. Namely, to be left alone.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  19. Steve Heiser

    starting*

    June 19, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  20. Steve Heiser

    So you are just going to judge all Christians by the way some act is that how it is huh, I see how you do. Not very nice if you ask me. Also you all just make up your own analysis which is not even true by far so instead of just guessing why not really study the bible and actually get the facts for yourself and also accept God into your lives for crying out loud. I mean how hard is it? Well now that I think about it this may be something that none of you who dis – believe will ever be able to truly master gosh.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Steve Heiser

      And you know you say all young people in america now are start to disbelieve well how come I bvelieve than and im a young person. Huh, huh why not anwser that? So much for your survey. You think you know but you do not. Take your survey and ask your athiest friends.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Dope

      Dope

      June 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Dope

      You can't even read.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • .....

      You're not very bright, are you?

      June 19, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • miketofdal

      FACTS? You talk about the Bible and FACTS? To accept much of the bible requires the following: a complete suspension of disbelief and logic. Tie that to the fact that most stories in the old testament – including the great flood of Noah – originated in writings and teachings of Sumerian peoples, ca. 1500-2000 BCE...In other words, it's nothing more than the retelling of ancient stories passed down for millennia. I have no doubt that a great flood occurred. I do doubt that a loving God could even conceive – much less create – such. His followers? Yes. God? No.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Nope.

      I'm going to judge Chrisitans by how some believe (the fundiots) and how others (the supposed non-fundiots) ignore those self same fundiots and let them run amok without even attempting to deal with them.

      Clean up your own house. Either address the fundies, or toss them out. To many closer to main stream Christians are far to content to let the extremists run the show.

      And I've read the bible. 6 different translations. One in Latin. I've puzzled over parts of one in Greek as well.

      It may make you feel better, inside, to try and believe that atheists are just unlearned, that they haven't read scripture, that they are avoiding doing so. The facts are, there are many atheists who were once believers, and who have studied as you asked.

      I've found that it is more common that the Christian hasn't read their bible. Or rather, they've only read what a study guide has told them to read, or what a priest/minister has read aloud in church. Most of the more upsetting parts of scripture aren't talked about, aren't studied, and aren't read aloud.

      Pick up the book. Start reading from the be6inning. it's only a little over 700,000 words. Hey, the Twilight saga has alomost 600,000 words. the Lord of the Rings, about 560,000.
      The bible isn't all that long.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:54 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.