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My Take: The Batman killings and the evil that we do
July 21st, 2012
08:46 AM ET

My Take: The Batman killings and the evil that we do

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Friday both President Obama and Mitt Romney used the word “evil” to describe the killings that took place early Friday morning at a showing of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado.

In perhaps his most theological speech to date, Romney referred to these Batman killings as “a few moments of evil."

“Such violence, such evil is senseless,” Obama said.

On September 13, 2001, on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush used similar language to denounce the “evildoers” who killed thousands of Americans with airplanes and jet fuel. And he continued to use that term throughout his presidency.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

My Boston University students are for the most part allergic to the language of “evil,” and I don’t think they are alone.

National polls tell us that roughly 7 out of every 10 Americans continue to believe in the devil and hell. But if you ask them if they themselves will go to hell, only 1 in 200 say yes.

Sin, it seems, is for other people.

In his 1995 book, “The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil,” literary scholar Andrew Delbanco mourned the loss in American culture of old-fashioned words such as “sin,” “Satan,” and “evil.”

Delbanco was criticizing liberals for trading in sturdy theology for flimsy moral relativism—for explaining acts such as today’s murders in terms of social depredations rather than sin and Satan.

But he was also seeking to reclaim the word “evil” from Christian conservatives who all too often (to paraphrase Matthew 7:3) see the sliver in others’ eyes but not the beam in their own.

To put it another way, Delbanco was mourning the demise of the longstanding Christian conviction—evident in thinkers from Augustine to Jonathan Edwards to Reinhold Niebuhr—that evil lurks not only in “them” but also in “us.”

Or, as historian Richard Wightman Fox puts it, “the fault lies in us, not in our stars, and certainly not in the witches, Southerners, immigrants, Jews, blacks, Communists, or other outsiders targeted for scorn—and identified with Satan—over the course of American history.”

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I think Reinhold Niebuhr was right when he said that the doctrine of original sin is one of the only empirically verifiable Christian dogmas, so I am happy to hear both Romney and Obama respond to this tragedy with a rhetoric of evil.

I would be happier, however, if either of them were able to look into their own lives, and more importantly into our common life as Americans, and see—and name—evil there too.

"The Dark Knight" isn't all good, and neither are we, or our social or governmental institutions.

Surely there was evil in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, this week. But every day hundreds die because of our actions or inaction at home and abroad.

There is "evil" in that too, and in each of us who allows it to happen.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Belief • Crime • Ethics • Mitt Romney • Obama • Polls • United States • Violence

soundoff (2,331 Responses)
  1. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!..........

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=360]

    Holy Hallucinations 35

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=360]

    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUliLKSJ4bQ&w=640&h=360]

    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420 from CheechAndChong

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

    http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

    Peace

    May 5, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  2. Online poker work outs and ways to gain knowledge of texas holdem instructor can. CardRunners stands out as the domain frontrunner in the internet poker training course. An individual's work outs local library owns well-nigh 9,500 cards videos, as well re

    I do not even know the way I ended up right here, but I assumed this publish was once great. I don't understand who you might be but certainly you are going to a famous blogger in the event you are not already. Cheers!

    October 10, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  3. Kindness

    Kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

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

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my 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. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    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 some 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 romans or 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 by faith above reason 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

    July 28, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  4. Observer

    GodFreeNow,

    Sorry it's taken a while to get back, but I wanted to read it all. I just finished a fairly long answer to you only to have it go down the toilet due to the automatic CNN censor. No bad words, but the censor didn't know better. It's late, so now you get the Reader's Digest version of my reply.

    It sounds like Sam Harris is agreeing with the old tenet in psychology that we are the product of our envirionment. I totally agree that we are the result of what has happened to us. I have no reason to think I am smarter than he is, but my opinion is that he may have underplayed the significance of randomness in life and it's impact. For example, my rewritten reply now may give you a different impression from the original because of the randomness of the time (late) and losing my original response. Your response may well be that I was "programmed" for many different responses based on the different random events happening.

    I found his "name a city" example to actually be a negative for him. If someone asked me in a week to name a city, I'd likely name a different one. If you were asked at different times for a set of random numbers, would you always pick the same ones?

    We are the total of our experiences. We agree on that. We just "disagree" on whether those experiences require a programmed response or whether we still have the capacity to weigh decisions. I vote for the latter.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:06 am |
  5. GodFreeNow

    @Chad, I don't know how any educated atheist would make the claim that "If you are a christian you don't believe in evolution" Since the big bang was 1st posited by a priest and the catholic church supports theistic evolution. It's sounds like your worry about a straw man is in fact... a straw man.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  6. Observer

    Chad,

    You really haven't thought this through at all.

    Why simple-mindedly assume that there are only 2 options: God or evolution? If we agreed that intelligent design is real, that does not IN ANY WAY prove the existence of God. The universe could have been created by a committee of zombies for all you know.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  7. child of midian

    what on earth is he rambling on about. Evil, Satan, Evil, Satan.... how about, absolute f**cking nut-job? Mass murder is not Evil, it's horrendous, horrible and beyond reproach but it's not evil. Evil, that's wall street, Bank of America, Enron, Mitt Romney, that's child molesters and the guy that locked his daughter in a basement for 30 years and fathered his own grandchildren, that's Evil. Satan? Satan is a myth, a lie, a story, a made-up monster to explain evil. The church wants him back, take him, he's yours. You're right, you invented him, you have him.

    Let's not belittle the pain, the horror, the suffering and death here with simplistic childish terms like "evil" and "Satan" but instead talk of adult things like insanity and mental illness. Things that are "real" in other words.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      To some of us, there is nothing more real than Satan who is the father of all lies, including the one that says he doesn't exist.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Bill
      Just because you create an argument that cannot be fought or won ( satan exists, if you deny it your are in league with him) doesn't make it any more real
      Men created satan and your god and the bible.
      If you say the tooth fairy doesn't exist, you must be in league with him too.
      Rediculous pretzel illogic.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  8. myweightinwords

    @fred,

    “with a need to be adored?”
    =>not sure where this comes from but it is not correct. God is goodness and out of this goodness flows the creation which is moving towards completion where the fullness of God is complete in all ways.

    The bible itself declares that YHWH desires adoration. He wants his people to tremble in awe of him, to worship him. He wants to be the first and last thing they think about every day. He wants gifts from them to prove their worthiness of his affection. In fact, without those gifts, he thinks you're trash.

    Were he a man, he'd be considered a narcissist.

    Out of goodness and love the heavens and earth were created. Out of goodness and love God is redeeming a people to be part of this eternal goodness and love. That is all it is a simple gift of love to anyone that wants it.

    True eternal goodness and love does not reject a person, certainly not one of your own creation, for a simple thing like disbelief. True eternal goodness and love does not torture, and certainly not for eternity...most certainly not for the minor error of telling a few lies or forgetting to put back the pen you borrowed from your coworker's desk.

    The only ancient worship rituals were mans symbolic way of expressing thanks for this goodness though they did not fully understand it.

    And yet, they are "god's word"...they are demanded in the bible. Codified and set down for all to follow. Even Jesus said that they must continue to be followed.

    Or are you agreeing with me that the old testament is the mythology of an ancient people, and not the actual truth?

    =>it has everything to do with a people that co-ntinue to reject God and will continue to degenerate based on the history of man (and the Bible for that matter). Even if there is no God we have evidence that when cultures decline morally they shortly end.

    Cultures die when they can no longer sustain themselves financially, or when the societal changes demand it. Morality remains fluid, adapting and moving forward as we learn and grow. Where morality does not adapt and grow, society stagnates and gets trapped in amoral deeds dressed in the disguise of morality. One need only look at the Middle East to see that.

    =>All your other comments on Christians ring true simply because Christians are people just as atheists are people with all our faults. Those that follow the clear guidelines of Christ would not have taken part in those atrocities.

    And yet, those who claim to follow the "clear" guidelines of Christ, and other religions as well, are often at the forefront of the rush to impose their amoral morals on the rest of us. At least that has been my observation.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  9. myweightinwords

    @fred,

    I agree it is not inborn which is why the Bible instructs the raising of children.

    Thank you, but I rather think that stoning disobedient children is a bit of overkill (if you'll pardon the pun) in the child rearing department. I'll take my instruction from a source that doesn't advocate killing kids for mouthing off.

    “How about starting with making it clear that he exists? ”
    =>I know of very few people that do not understand how unique we are in the known universe and a sense that there is something more beyond man. Even the scientific community does not argue the fine tuning required not only for our universe but our very existence.

    And still that doesn't do a thing to prove that YHWH is the one and only god creator of the universe. You're talking about a feeling and a desire to believe that we are not alone. Not the same thing at all.

    “Or that he isn't one of 25000 options?”
    =Hawking has a personal grudge against Christianity and in particular a personal God. At this point his option was to hang his hat on an unproven multiverse theory when faced with the latest reality of scientific discovery of Dark Energy.

    I'm sorry...to be absolutely honest, I don't give a hoot what Hawkins said or believes. It has no bearing on my question. One does not need a multiverse to have 25000 gods. One need only study human history.

    That is an option for those driven by a bias against God. This leaves us with 24,999 other possibilities. Everyone must put something in that unknown we know exists and proves to be greater and more powerful with every scientific discovery. If the atheist model were correct we would expect to find less evidence for “God” as technology increased yet the opposite has held true.

    I have seen none of this evidence you speak of. Now granted, I don't spend an inordinate amount of time reading science journals anymore, but I would think that if such evidence had been found it would have been big news.

    I should probably break here and mention that I'm not an atheist. I actually do believe that there is something out there that is...more. I just do not believe that that more is YHWH.

    “ Or that the very relativistic words of an ancient culture that has absolutely no resemblance to the one we live in actually applies to anything?”
    => truth is truth and does not change. The old symbolic picture language of the Old Scripture still reflects the core principles God put in place for mankind and with Christ we see them repeated. The arguments are typically over silly things not the foundational truths.

    So...you consider the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of entire villages to be a silly thing? You see incest as a silly thing? You see killing children for teasing a man as a silly thing? How can anyone take the words of a god who would do/command/condone such things as truth?

    “Or that he isn't an evil, sadistic terrorist”
    => the Bible gives it to you straight and does not cover up evil as Penn State may have done. God is holy and filled with goodness. Much of what you may consider evil and sadistic often is an expressive symbolic warning that holiness and goodness will not tolerate evil.

    And as such, holiness and goodness tarnishes itself and becomes the very evil it opposes .

    July 24, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  10. myweightinwords

    @fred...I brought this forward from yesterday's discussion on the previous page...

    “as Doc pointed out, Ja-pan. And yet, they have many of the same basic "moral" laws that we do. “
    =>That is why there are manmade “laws” and Divine laws. Divine laws are rooted in the awe of God and are foundational. Just as the Hebrews added 640 laws to the basic 2 laws so have others.

    That does not actually address the point. If, as you posit, all morality comes from the same source, namely your god, then a society that does not know your god should never develop similar morals to one who does. The fact that every society on the planet has laws against killing and stealing, and has derived punishments for breaking those laws refutes your claim. The fact that ancient societies before the bible was codified had these same laws also refute the claim.

    Regarding Ja-pan that culture embedded the moral laws stemming from the relationship between God and man into family and humble honorable elder. You can change the players but not the plan. Specifically as to Ja-pan Shinto survived and assimilated Buddhist doctrine. In short the core of Ja-pans morals came from oral traditions that were based on god myths. You cannot escape God at the foundation regardless of cultural change.

    Those gods are not your god, and the Ja.panese understanding of "god" is not your understanding of "god"...the mythology of a culture tells of it's foundations, where their morality is born. This is yet again proof that morality comes from humanity, not from god.

    “Were any human being to behave the way the Judeo/Christian god did”
    =>you drank the Kool Aid ! A non believer cannot divorce God as expressed by the ancient peoples from the culture and time of the very people who gave us the accounting of that God in the first place.

    They can not be divorced because that ancient culture created that god. Simple. Were the old testament god to have been a person, say a king, history would judge him as evil.

    On the Christian side of morality what fault do find in Christ? Even Pilate said to the Jewish Priests and leaders “I find no fault in him “

    Jesus, as he is depicted in the new testament, was a decent enough sort, I suppose. He taught a few things I can agree with.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  11. PrimeNumber

    I suggest an analysis of these killings using the following procedure:
    1)Formulate a question based upon an observation.
    2)Develop an hypothesis
    3) Make a prediction based upon that hypothesis
    4) Test that hypothesis to varify reliability of the prediction method.
    5) Analyze results.
    We religious folk have observed, hypothesized, predicted, and tested atheist behavior. Our conclusion? You'll blame religion. It's easier.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Who invited me?

      incorrect
      I have done no such thing, so your premise and conclusion are false...care to try again?

      July 24, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      @Who Invited
      I reverse the challenge. You atheists can explain lots of things using scientific method. But when it comes to the human person, you offer almost nothing. Like everyone else, you are too close to yourself for you to observe, and your methods are not relevant.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Prime
      You are the one who posed a faulty premise and conclusion.
      I never said that this idiot killed people because of faith.
      You cannot try to deflect this back to me because I neveer posed a premise.
      So....care to try again?

      July 24, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Pretty funny that Prime used the scientific method (or a process approximating it) to assess a group of humans but then later on says it can't be done.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Can you use that method on religion? If so, what are your results?

      July 24, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Sim34

      PrimeNumber
      A lot of us don't blame religion for this. If you read carefully, the line of argument is largely about how religion fails to correctly identify the nature of "evil." Religion's insistence that some supernatural agent is involved leads many to assume that, just because they made some declaration out loud to Jesus, or Allah, they are no longer contributing evil to the world, which is false. What believers often assume is "good" because it's part of their faith package often does cause others "evil", and I think that you know that, but are again assuming that because you believe God sanctions it you'll get a pass for doing it.

      As an atheist I know that every action I may take has the potential cause evil to others, while many believers act with the assumption that whatever they do that they think pleases God is OK, and certainly can't be evil.

      Certainly, you would agree that many horrendous acts have been committed by people who put aside their human compassion and did what they felt deep in their hearts was what God wanted. Thus, the actual argument is that doing what you feel God wants instead of what your conscience tells you often leads to evil being done onto others, see?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  12. One one

    It never fails to amaze me what kind of convoluted absurd explanations believers come up with to rationalize their fantasy belief system.

    Two recent examples illustrate this.

    In defense of god killing unborn fetuses in the great flood a believer said it was actually a good thing. Because the fetuses did not yet have sin so they get an express trip to heaven, no need to stand in the judgement line. Given that logic, believers should celebrate abortion.

    Another believer said, god allowed the Aurora killings to humble mankind and motivate us to beg for mercy. According to this logic, god said "I could stop this, but I will let a few people get murdered to remind everyone who is in charge".

    Is it any wonder that people are abandoning religious affiliation in droves ?

    July 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Contemporary faux Christians lead the world in turning people off from Christianity.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • just sayin

      When you see Christian minds for what they are...children... their logic makes sense.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      midwest rail

      Contemporary faux Christians lead the world in turning people off from Christianity.

      .

      Or as we call them Fundi's

      July 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • The Four Fluffy Kittens Ride Again . . . after a short nap and some crumpets and tea

      The thing I get a kick out of is that when their theology proves weird or impossible or contradictory, they all start acting like personal injury lawyers and argue the most tortured, twisted and very esoteric arguments imaginable to try to say that the obviously untrue is somehow actually true.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tomás, Tomás, the Bagpiper's Son

      @The Four Fluffy Kittens....

      Ok, you win the username award tonight.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Sim34

      just sayin
      They get it from this passage:

      The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

      18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

      2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

      Matthew 18:1-4

      So, yes, they are taught to stop thinking like adults and be as trusting as children in their acceptance of all of it on faith alone.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • HeavenSent

      One one, you need to truly read the Bible to understand Jesus and leave those nonsense sites that haven't a clue either, what He's all about. Noah's flood wasn't global, it was regional. The first flood that God used to destroy the world was the Katabole. You can read it in 2 Peter 3 as well as throughout the Bible as the foundation of the world ... if you have eyes to see His truth. As far as babies going back to the Lord, they were too pure to live in this evil world that is forsaking God.

      Abortion is murder and many folks have blood on their hands and need to repent to Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him if they can get closer to Him, and sin no more.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Sim34

      HS
      5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them. ” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:5-8

      How could even a series of regional floods wipe out the entire human race, as God supposedly wanted to do? Couldn't people just move out of the way of regional floods?

      I've also wondered if Noah supposedly invented the boat, otherwise wouldn't there be tradesmen, fishermen and others capable of surviving in their boats just like Noah? It would be rather ridiculous to argue that the Ark, basically the largest completely wooden boat ever and one that has been experimentally proven to be very unlikely not to crack up even in calm water, was invented before something like the canoe?

      Another question: Why would an all-knowing God regret something that he created? Why not just skip making people if he knew beforehand that he would later come to regret making them?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  13. b4bigbang

    b4bigbang

    GodFreeNow

    @b4bigbang, So your flavor of Christianity only accepts the 1/3 to 2/3 of the trinity and reject the other 1/3 that ordered the murder of women and children?
    You dont understand Christian doctrine. It was the pre-incarnate Christ that did everything, from creating the universe to the flood to Revelation and everything in between. Read Gospel of John ch 1.

    And speaking of the Jesus third, you agree that people should leave their families to follow him as he commanded,
    This is another area of misunderstanding. Jesus didnt say abandon them. Many missionaries leave home for awhile, as do Army soldiers.

    and that women should not speak in church and should not have hair that doesn't cover their ears?

    Dont remember any ear thing from scripture, but women should wear a hair scarf while prophesying. There's also a passage about hair being cut, but that was apparently a cultural thing in the situation Paul was writing about.

    As requested GFN. So i agree that hair was mentioned, i just didnt think the ears were mentioned, that's all.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Okay... I'll continue with my original reply...
      "You dont understand Christian doctrine. It was the pre-incarnate Christ that did everything, from creating the universe to the flood to Revelation and everything in between. Read Gospel of John ch 1."

      I would agree that I don't understand but it's not because it's hard to understand like quantum physics. It's because you cannot make sense of non-sense. Even christians admit they cannot understand how god is 3 and 1, how he is both eternal and capable of spawning incarnations of himself, which are supposedly him, having all of his qualifications but not being eternal while being eternal at the same time. The reason this is hard to understand is because you cannot make sense of nonsense, no matter how hard you try to explain it.

      For the women stuff... I encourage to read your bible I Cor 11:2
      "6 For if a woman will not be covered, then let her be shorn! But since it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For indeed a man ought not to cover his head, being the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 For this reason the woman should have authority on her head, because of the angels."

      He goes on:
      "14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God."

      So even though Paul ends with verse 16, theologians still claim he is stating that because of the argument I laid out, there should be no argument.... http://www.bible-researcher.com/headcoverings.html

      This argument would be supported by some of Paul's other dehumanizing statements toward women...
      1 Corinthians 14:34
      "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."

      So maybe this is the flavor of Christianity you prefer?

      So again, you say no mention of ears, but there is the reference of "covering"... what is she covering? There are also no mention of "legs" but can we assume the women he's referring to also have legs?

      July 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      GodFreeNow

      "You dont understand Christian doctrine. It was the pre-incarnate Christ that did everything, from creating the universe to the flood to Revelation and everything in between. Read Gospel of John ch 1."

      I would agree that I don't understand but it's not because it's hard to understand like quantum physics. It's because you cannot make sense of non-sense. Even christians admit they cannot understand how god is 3 and 1, how he is both eternal and capable of spawning incarnations of himself, which are supposedly him, having all of his qualifications but not being eternal while being eternal at the same time. The reason this is hard to understand is because you cannot make sense of nonsense, no matter how hard you try to explain it.

      For the women stuff... I encourage to read your bible I Cor 11:2
      "6 For if a woman will not be covered, then let her be shorn! But since it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For indeed a man ought not to cover his head, being the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 For this reason the woman should have authority on her head, because of the angels."

      He goes on:
      "14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God."

      So even though Paul ends with verse 16, theologians still claim he is stating that because of the argument I laid out, there should be no argument.... http://www.bible-researcher.com/headcoverings.html

      This argument would be supported by some of Paul's other dehumanizing statements toward women...
      1 Corinthians 14:34
      "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."

      So maybe this is the flavor of Christianity you prefer?

      More background for the new thread.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I'm at work, back in 15, please bear with me.....

      July 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      You will recall that the original argument you were posing what that the god of the old testament is not what christians follow.

      The point of those verses was to show you the NT version of your god and ask if that's the kind of god you feel good about.

      There's more I can add:
      Touching a woman - BAD, but if you have to do it, at least get married first.
      1 Corinthians 7:1-2
      1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
      2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

      What does your Christ have to say about old testament law?
      Matthew 5:17-18
      17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one ti.ttle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

      Another gem about a woman from Canaan who is refused help from Jesus. It's not until she compares herself to a dog getting crumbs from the master's table that he offers her as.sistance.
      Matthew 15:22-28
      22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a de.vil.

      23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

      24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

      25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

      26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.

      27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

      28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      "You will recall that the original argument you were posing what that the god of the old testament is not what christians follow."

      Be careful how you interpret my post. I said that the pre-incarnate Christ (the Word – AKA Jesus) is the God that did all the stuff from Genesis to Revelation.
      Christians are not under the OT law however. It has been fulfilled, as per the Scripture you pasted above.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      b4bigbang

      Be careful how you interpret my post. I said that the pre-incarnate Christ (the Word – AKA Jesus) is the God that did all the stuff from Genesis to Revelation.
      .
      And where do you think the idea of their God came from? The God who did those things was a Sumerian God that predates the creation of your OT by several thousands of years. Amazingly the tales in the OT can be found in theirs

      July 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      I am really surprised the Jews do not give the Sumerians proper credit???????????????

      July 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4big

      You could choose that interpretation, but you would have to ignore the part where jesus supposedly says "till heaven and earth pass", which it obviously hasn't done.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @just sayin: Sorry for the delay in posting but we're having a much busier day at work than usual.

      I dont buy into that Zeitgeist thing you're referring to. That happens to be a minority position among scholars.

      Besides, the Hebrews passed all the info re God down by word-of-mouth for generations before it was written down.
      In fact, even before there were Hebrews, God had his people passing the knowledge down. The Hebrews were called out of the rest of Mankind by God in order to scribe this knowledge, and also to bring forth the Savior.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @b4bigbang, are you just busy, or glossing over the bible verses I posted. My only intention is to get you to claim that christ as your god... just like you should probably claim the god of the old testament as you god. My question to you is, is that the kind of god you feel good about? These are my words... they're words from the bible.... So if I assume that your god is real, I personally cannot morally accept that he is just, good, loving or even right.

      Further, what makes him worthy of my love? That he made me? My parents created me too and if they abused me, should I also love them?

      At some point you have to make a moral choice. I'm not going to try to convince you that god is not real. However, I wish to appeal to your sense of morality. If god is real, and he is the god of the bible, our own human decency and moral code demands that we stand against such tyranny, misogyny and debauchery.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      GodFreeNow: My only intention is to get you to claim that christ as your god... just like you should probably claim the god of the old testament as you god.
      We've already agreed on that one – no need to belabor that.

      My question to you is, is that the kind of god you feel good about?
      I feel very good about the God of the Bible, both old and new testaments.

      These are my words... they're words from the bible.... So if I assume that your god is real, I personally cannot morally accept that he is just, good, loving or even right.

      This may seem off-topic, but what is your position on the death penalty? The reason i ask, is that religion aside, there are countries that practice the death penalty, and the same argument you're using against God is used against those who practice the death penalty. In fact, "immoral" is part and parcel of the left-wing argument regarding much of the right-wing agenda.

      So, I would say that that's probably not a very 'academic' [read: intellectual reserve] way of thinking about politics or religion.

      Further, what makes him worthy of my love? That he made me? My parents created me too and if they abused me, should I also love them?

      At some point you have to make a moral choice. I'm not going to try to convince you that god is not real. However, I wish to appeal to your sense of morality. If god is real, and he is the god of the bible, our own human decency and moral code demands that we stand against such tyranny, misogyny and debauchery.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      PS: I only mention the death penalty because it's an extreme hot-button issue, concerning life & death – like what God did in the Bible, so it relates here i think.

      The left gets really weird in my opinion, when they try to take the high moral ground concerning issues such as pay parity for women [a red herring], banning handguns, affirmative action based on people's se xual behavior, etc.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      PPS: I didnt answer if you're abused, should you love your abusers, God, parents or otherwise?
      Well, if you want to be like Jesus, the answer would be "yes", because he was abused more than any man, and he forgave them.

      Those are big shoes to fill however, and i confess that i dont measure up to his standard there, so i dont put down anyone else in that regard either.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @b4bigbang, The shoes are not as big to fill as one might think, once you stop being controlled by the lizard brain. Yes, I could (and do) love and forgive abusive parents... however, I will never find their actions acceptable. This is the difference between us perhaps.

      To answer your question about the death penalty, I feel pretty much the same way about that as I do religion. It's lazy, ignorant and feeds into the psychosis of the amygdala. I for one do not believe in free will. There is to date no scientific evidence to suggest that we have a free will and the evidence actually speaks to the contrary of that (I encourage you to research this because there's a lot out there). Of course part of me wants this man to die for his actions, but it's the most primitive part of me. I understand that his death will bring a feeling of satisfaction and a false sense of security to a lot of people. That's where mankind is in this particular stage in his evolution. It's an easy answer to a complex question/problem. Just like religion.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      GFN, you do realize dont you, that there is another very big reason for the death penalty in our modern society. That is, if a cold-blooded capital murderer is given a jail sentence, or even "life" in prison, he may be able to get out some day. There are plenty of cases where a murderer was realeased back into the free world, only to kill again.

      They dont even have to be released in order to kill. Charles Manson has allegedly been running a free-world gang from inside prison for years and it is also alleged that several people have been killed on his orders. It may not be true, but it wouldnt surprise me if it turns out to be.

      Mafia dons have been known to do this from prison as well.

      Also, the practice of releasing criminally insane people back into the free world, when they should be cared for in an insti tution for life. We had a guy here that was put in the mental hosp for stabbing people. The gave him meds, he got better, they pronounced him "cured" and released him with a prescription. He apparently quit taking the meds, because a short time later he hid in the bushes down from my apartment, and when a young woman came walking down the sidewalk, he lunged out at her and stabbed her to death. He's back in the hosp for now, but the future is anyone's guess.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, b4, guess under whose watch such people were allowed to be released into society?

      Ronnie Reagan. Look it up.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Observer

      GodFreeNow,

      Your comments concerning free will are fascinating. Please explain more. Do you feel that we are all pre-programmed? Are we all avatars in a cosmic video game?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      PS: I dont find abusive peoples' action acceptable, but there's an ocean of diff between humans and God.
      I have never been abused by God, nor do i know anyone who has.
      What i do know is that the Bible says that God is perfectly just, so there's that.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Yes, i agree that Reagan started that mess, and i hate it, especially since all administrations since his have continued the practice.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, right, so he's not REALLY at fault, since no one stopped the practice.

      What an apologist you are.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Tom tom, i'm not a Reagan-lover i assure you. I've always been an independent voter, not belonging to any party. In fact, I am currently in a labor union, a shop steward in my local and an Obama supporter.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      PS: The first time i ever voted, i voted for Carter [against Reagan] in 1980. Didn't do any good, as Carter lost.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, b4, it's admirable that you admit you voted for Obama, and surprising as well.

      The dumping of the mentally ill from care was darn near criminal as far as I'm concerned, and the legacy of that policy continues to be a plague today.

      It's a crying shame.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Thanks Tom Tom. My feeling is that Obama is a breath of fresh air in the White House. He really seems to be an honest sincere guy – something that's been missing in that office for quite a while....

      July 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      And i totally agree with you on the treatment of the mentally ill....

      July 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, what a nice surprise at the end of the day, b4.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Yes Tom, i agree, trolling is fun sometimes, but sharing info is cool too.

      I think GFN must've gone to be d (i think he or she is living in J apan

      July 24, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla! It's Melvin Sniffles!

      It's 2:20 pm in Japan. Not normally a go-to-sleep time.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @ Observer, b4bigbang... Sorry guys... Yes, in Ja.pan... but just working.

      Free will.. I won't claim to take credit for this. Sam Harris really opened my eyes to this one when he built on some things I encountered when reading Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene". It's all very nerdy stuff, but from the ground up we've been genetically programmed and Dawkin's jokes about how one day we may rise up to free ourselves from our robot overlords.

      Not having free will doesn't mean we don't have choice and that those choice do not carry consequences. It just means that a decision is made long before we become conscious of that decision. Sam Harris builds on this showing the science of MRIs and tests performed when a person recognizes they've made a choice versus the brain signaling that they've made a choice. Please watch the video if you have time. It brings up some really interesting points in relationship to it.

      I personally share Sam Harris' perspective on meditation and consciousness. While I do not believe we have free will, I do believe we can be very conscious of each decision. In doing so, we can alter our environment. Altering our environment will allow us to make decisions from a fresh perspective. It's like "free will lite". If this doesn't make sense after watching the video, I'd be happy to talk more about it. It's a new personal fascination.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g&w=640&h=360]

      July 24, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Yeah, I'm starting to think as an atheist I have lost my grip on reality. Or maybe its never really been there to begin with. I haven't taken my meds in awhile though. I'll get back on the lithium and see how I feel l!!

    July 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Reality

      I'd have to agree, my meds are a little off too. Christianity has appealed to me for some time now, I just can't seem to get over that whole "I'm a sinner" thing. I'd rather do what I want and not have anybody tell me I'm doing something wrong or shameful.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ah, the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you, secret admirer.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Sorry, what happened?? I was busy j***ing off to a youtube video of dawkins "pwning" a creationist....where are we??

      July 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Honestly, you're going to have to take it up a few IQ points if you're going to try and impersonate one of us and make it believable.

      For example, I do jack o.ff a lot to Dawkins spa.nking creationists, the greater source of pleasure for me is still my vast collection of Ja.panese po.rn. Nobody does it better. I recommend a dose to you while you continue your budding process of pu.berty.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Come on FreeGod, leave the condescension to me.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, extra points for "condescension." Too bad you're the object of it, darling.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, Haha... well, you know... I do go there. Sometimes.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm just impressed the troll actually looked it up and spelled it correctly.

      I'm easily amused.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Reality

      The Reality comments above are not from the original Reality.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Sim34

      Reality
      You should have said they were from an "alternate Reality"; that would have been cool! 🙂

      July 24, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Godfree

      Doesn't all the genital censoring annoy you?

      July 24, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Rational Libertarian, Like all things, there's an underground market that doesn't have it.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  15. GodFreeNow

    @ME II,
    Agree. Though I think instead of "tested" we would using the word, "verified". So my follow, follow-up would be, if something cannot be verified or observed, how would we know to look for it, or what it is we're looking for?

    July 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  16. Common Sense

    @ just sayin: There is no evidence for goblins or unicorns. Why should I believe in anything without evidence.

    There is evidence however of intelligent design.

    There is also evidence of Jesus, the resurrection, fulfilled prophecy etc. I have more historical fact and evidence of this than any atheist does of a big bang, evolution from a primordial ooze etc. The truth hurts, sorry.

    July 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, there is not evidence of any of those things. Why do you morons lie? It undermines your cause.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, and L? Not doing a very good job of disguising yourself. You're not very bright, are you?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      There's actually a lot of evidence to the contrary of an intelligent designer... you'll just ignore it.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      behold the Unicorn

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH962aIkbIk&w=640&h=360]

      next up the goblin also called the pigmy

      July 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course GodFreeNow. There's actually a lot of evidence to support an intelligent designer....but of course you've ignored it. I've weighed the evidence on both sides. ID has far more compelling evidence. Rationality and logic also seem to lean towards ID. Sorry, I've made my choice.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Clearly you've stolen @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son's name and are too much of a coward to post under your own name.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Hi GodFreeNow, I read your post re Paul's directive to women in the Church. So, as you pasted the Scripture, you can see there's no mention of ears, or hair over the ears or whathaveyou.

      I recall you said something about women being dehumanized, is that accurate?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, GFN, it's a little troll who has a grudge. Poor thing!

      July 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      b4bigbang, Maybe start a new post and we can continue but you do understand the word "shorn" is a reference to hair cutting, yes?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Sure GFN, it says "let her be shorn" correct?
      What's the problem?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @b4bigbang, Like I said, if you want to discuss it, start a new thread and include some of the previous comments. But you said there was not a mention of "hair."

      July 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Neil deGrasse Tyson has some greats comments about ID but I couldn't find the YouTube video where he comments that having sexual organs near waste disposal orifices is incredibly dumb – like putting a play ground beside a sewage treatment plant.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns, Yes, another common example of unintelligent design is the vas deferens. Maybe the designer was going through a Dali phase when he sketched that one up.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What did b4 think was being shorn? Do they shear skin? Toenails? Eyelashes?

      July 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious

      Should we tell Sam that the word "unicorn" in the Bible is a mistranslation that first started in the King James Bible of the 1600s, and that God was actually not asking Job to harness up a rhino that he would have to go over 2,000 miles south to find?

      July 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious, What was the accurate translation then?

      July 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious

      It's basically untranslatable. The animal is a "re'em", but nobody knows what a re'em was. The best guess is that it was some form of wild cattle like an aurochs. The concept of a horse-like unicorn came through European folk legend, and someone creating the King James Bible put apples and oranges together and got a Biblical unicorn.

      Interestingly, of the Biblical passages that mention the re'em/unicorn, none state that it only has one horn.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious, So not a unicorn, just some other mythical creature that has no name or reference in biology.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious

      They don't know it it existed or was simply mythical. But of course, even if it was, say, an ordinary cow, that does mean that since the Bibles mention cows, God therefore exists.

      The problem is not the details of the story.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Sim34

      Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious
      Do modern translations get rid of all the misunderstandings, or are we doomed never to be able to understand the Bible as it was intended to be, seeing as how far removed we are from that time and culture?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious

      I doubt that even a perfect translation would help that turkey.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Helping Dingbats Grasp The Remarkably Obvious

      You do know that there was no inn for there to be no room at for Joseph, Mary, and amazing superbaby Jesus – they didn't have inns back then. Travellers would ask to stay at people's houses under a code called xenia.

      And Jesus wasn't a carpenter. Not a good profession in a land that is a barren desert devoid of trees. The original word means, roughly, unskilled manual laborer. No wonder he went for the messiah gig.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Nii

      DINGBAT
      Israel has de climate that Greece n Italy have so r u saying there were no Greek or Roman carpenters. She had forests.
      2nd if u charge for staying at your house it is called a boarding house, isn't it. Isn't that an inn enough 4 u!
      Find somewhere to park ur ignorance.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Sim34

      Nii
      In the Greek translation Jesus is mentioned as the son of a τέκτονος , meaning "craftsman". He could have worked with wood, masonry, or both together. He could have also been a blacksmith, or something more artistic. It is one of those things we simply cannot assume, given what we know. Houses in that region had little wood in their construction (and, yes, because of the climate) so "carpenter" is not a good translation.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Nii

      SIM 34
      The craftsman who made the cross was he a carpenter or jeweller. Have u forgotten that the cities of Israel had more than just houses in them. And they did not live like Arab Bedouins! If u see mouse in a different age wud u say we used house mice for computing?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  17. BoldGeorge

    The problem with all the craziness and murder and killings and war is simple. The problem is simply SIN. Having said this (written rather), the solution, however, is not as simple but it is very very possible. The solution is Jesus Christ who came to earth to live, die and resurrect for this very reason, to save us from sin's annihilation.

    The main problem with sin is not the actual sin itself, but the blinding effect it has on sinners. Sin blinds you to the very core of your soul to the point that it does not let you see any solution to any problem. That is why it is said that one of the biggest blindfolds of sin is "pride". Pride is the thickest blindfold of all. With pride, you will never ever feel, believe nor think you are in need of redemption from sin's grasp, because you will believe you are not a sinner or that bad of a sinner. Most people think there are worse sinners out there than they are, so they feel they are not that bad after all.

    God's righteous standard does not discriminate any sin. They are all the same in depth, length and height. And we are ALL sinners. The moment our blindfold is removed through faith in Christ, we will realize this fact in a heartbeat. It's sort of a conundrum because though it simply takes faith in Jesus Christ to save us, to exercise it is difficult, especially when there's pride in the way.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Sin is a crime against god. What this person did was a crime against his fellow humans. The god of the bible is a pri.ck and has no problem with killing, (including children), slavery, r.a.pe, inc.est and a multi.tude of real crimes. I could not care less if the god of the bible is mad because he is an asshat..

      July 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ No truth

      I'm so sorry you feel that way and it's really upsetting to read your comment. But say and believe as you wish but you WILL one acknowledge Christ.

      Philippians 2:10
      "...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,"

      Romans 14:11
      It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

      July 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • JWT

      You are dreaming George there i no reason for anyone to acknowledge christ unless it something they want to do – which decision is solely theirs to make. There are no downsides to deciding not to.

      And some crime and atrocities are done because people are sick – it has nothing to do at all in any way with sin.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      BoldGeorge,

      Those bible passages could and would be written by any cult. Those are not written for the un-believers but for the belivers. Any teaching that equates the crime of r.a.p.e with other types of consentual s.e.x or thought crime is not a moral teaching. You have been led to believe it is a moral framework when it is anything but moral. I feel bad that you have been deluded into thinking the bible is moral.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • One one

      Well your "solution" of JC has been tried for 2000 years and failed. It's time to get out of the way and try another solution.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • One one

      "to exercise it is difficult, especially when there's pride in the way"

      No, it's difficult because there is no evidence to demonstrate you claims are real.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Jack Shown

      To say that murder and war is the result of sin is simply immature. In fact, it's immature thoughts like this that promote such violence. If James Holmes had been in a meaningful relationship (not with some religion), it's doubtful that he would have acted as he did.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Sim34

      BoldGeorge
      You might have a better argument if you said that the problem is self-centerness. When people overly let their own interests govern their actions other people tend to get hurt, and I include those who are mainly concerned with their "salvation" among them. Those people would judge anyone, deny civil rights and even lie about scientific findings just to better their chances at getting into heaven. In this, they are acting completely self-centered and hurting people in the process, something they justify because they were taught that those people were only "sinners" anyway, right?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Bagpiper's Son

    If nothing is ever scientifically tested, does it still exist?

    July 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Tom tom

      That is a very good point my friend. VERY GOOD! Honestly, I could not have come up with that thought. Though it is true we can understand how things operate because of modern science, if nothing were ever tested or experimented, would it be reasonable to disregard the existence of the untested subjects? Running tests and experimentation makes things a bit more palatable and believable, right? Tests and experiments don't make things more real, but it makes them easier to understand in regards to their functions and capabilities.

      The same it is with God. He gave us His Word and His message and he has transformed many lives throughout human history, and many have believed in Him and in His salvation, though not as many as He would love to

      .....but, it has not happened to you yet. So, does this make Him any less real?

      July 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not my post, BG. Don't get a woody.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I guess you are basing your question on the assumption that things must be scientifically tested in order to exist... which is pretty silly. Obviously things exist with or without the scientific method. The scientific method relies on verifiable evidence to create a picture of what we refer to as reality. This doesn't mean we have to understand everything in order to confirm it exists. We just need to be able to observe it on some level or to use maths to predict particular outcomes of it on another level.

      While @BoldGeorge is bragging about how he couldn't have come up with a better thought, philosophers have for thousands of years, so a little reading might have preempted that shock.

      As you continue your journey consider this, "god" is an easy answer. People have been using "god" to explain phenomena for thousands of years. However, 99% of the claims by way of the scientific method have been either refuted or explained using the natural order of physics. This is why atheists and scientists use extreme caution before jumping to any conclusions without verifiable evidence.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • ME II

      @Tom, Tom, the Bagpiper's Son,
      "If nothing is ever scientifically tested, does it still exist?"
      That's silly, of course, scientific testing does not define reality.
      However, a better question might be, "if something can't be scientifically tested, does it really exist?"
      Or, perhaps a follow up question, "If something can't be scientifically tested, does its existence even matter?"

      July 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @ME II,
      Agree. Though I think instead of "tested" we would using the word, "verified". So my follow, follow-up would be, if something cannot be verified or observed, how would we know to look for it, or what it is we're looking for?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Bagpiper's Son

      You guys are taking it all too seriously. It was just a take on the whole "If a tree falls...." statement.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "However, a better question might be, "if something can't be scientifically tested, does it really exist?"
      Or, perhaps a follow up question, "If something can't be scientifically tested, does its existence even matter?"

      @Chad "well, that's a fascinating question.
      how do you prove that I exist, scientifically?
      How do you prove that Abraham Lincoln existed, scientifically.

      Your "reality test" is remarkably limited, dont you think??

      July 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad, aside from content, your posts are incredibly annoying. Knock off the ===> and @ nonsense and just respond. If your post is in the slightest bit sensible, which with you is always doubtful, people will know to whom you're responding without the constant repeti tion.

      Really, your posts are interminable as is; the least you could do is edit them.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, have to agree about the repet.ition. The Abraham Lincoln statement has already been presented by you and responded to by about 10 other people one of them being me about 4 months ago.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Sim34

      There is that one list that Chad keeps posting whenever the topic turns to evolution. Despite the fact that many people have discredited it, he still keeps posting it. I've wondered what he hopes to accomplish with doing this?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good question. Does Chad think that repeti tion of a lie will make people believe it's true?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Sim34

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      That would be basic propaganda technique, something that creationists especially are known for. So, yeah, maybe.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Chad

      @Sim34 There is that one list that Chad keeps posting whenever the topic turns to evolution. Despite the fact that many people have discredited it, he still keeps posting it."

      @Chad "by all means, if that has been discredited please let me know where.."

      July 24, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Sim34

      Chad
      I'm thinking of a list of five points, I think, including a reference to Gould and Punctuated Equilibrium. Every time you bring this up people clearly explain to you why Punctuated Equilibrium does nothing to discredit evolution, but you still persist in trying to argue that it does. It's getting like the "Prayer Answered" guy, becoming just a troll post. See what I mean?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Chad

      @Sim34 "I'm thinking of a list of five points, I think, including a reference to Gould and Punctuated Equilibrium. Every time you bring this up people clearly explain to you why Punctuated Equilibrium does nothing to discredit evolution, but you still persist in trying to argue that it does. "

      @Chad "I disagree, here's why
      1. stasis and sudden appearance of new species fully formed is a fact. It isnt my opinion. It is precisely and completely the subject of the paper by Gould/Eldridge "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" (1972)"
      =>Do you agree/disagree with that statement?

      2.Lets look at some definitions:
      Evolutionis any change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations.
      Evolutionism is the atheistic worldview that says life developed without God and without purpose.
      Theistic Evolution, is the belief that evolution is how God created life
      =>do you disagree with any of these definitions?

      3. Within that framework, we can discuss the differences between the scientific data as it pertains to evolutionism vs theistic evolution.
      My contention is that when the scientific community recognized that phyletic gradualism is no longer tenable as a theory, rather that stasis and rapid change dominated the fossil record, the probability of stasis and rapid change as a purely naturalistic process would obviously have to be examined.
      I believe clearly that that examination results in clear and compelling support for theistic evolution.

      I have yet to meet an atheist that got beyond the strawman "Christians dont believe in evolution!!!".. are you going to be the first?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, 45% of Americans do not believe in evolution of any kind and believe the earth is less than 10k years old (most believing it is around 6k years old.) Do you doubt that most of those are christians?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow "45% of Americans do not believe in evolution of any kind and believe the earth is less than 10k years old (most believing it is around 6k years old.) Do you doubt that most of those are christians?"

      =>fair enough (yes, I would suspect most if not all of those were Christians), I wasnt completely precise in my wording, amended as follows:
      "I have yet to meet an atheist that got beyond the strawman "If you are a Christian, you dont believe in evolution!!!".. are you going to be the first?"

      July 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Are there any Christians who realize that not all atheists believe in evolution?

      July 24, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer "Are there any Christians who realize that not all atheists believe in evolution?"

      =>not all atheists believe in evolution?
      what other option is there? Even panspermia just says that the initial life forms arrived here.. it doesnt say that gorillas came fully formed from another planet for example..

      so, I would have to say no. I dont think that there is such a thing as an atheist that doesnt believe in evolution..?

      July 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Sorry... posted in the wrong place... @Chad, I don't know how any educated atheist would make the claim that "If you are a christian you don't believe in evolution" Since the big bang was 1st posited by a priest and the catholic church supports theistic evolution. It's sounds like your worry about a straw man is in fact... a straw man.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Observer, Curious if you had a chance to watch the video... if so, any insights or thoughts on the matter?

      July 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow "I don't know how any educated atheist would make the claim that "If you are a christian you don't believe in evolution" Since the big bang was 1st posited by a priest and the catholic church supports theistic evolution."

      =>rest assured, I will be quoting you from now on when I get that exact accusation
      😉
      thanks!

      July 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, You bet. I'm happy to call them on it too.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:01 am |
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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.