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My Take: CNN readers' 7 answers to 'Where was God in Aurora?'
A man pauses at a memorial of crosses near the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the scene of last week's mass shooting.
July 26th, 2012
02:49 PM ET

My Take: CNN readers' 7 answers to 'Where was God in Aurora?'

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

Over the last few days, CNN’s Belief Blog has received more than 10,000 responses to its question, “Where was God in Aurora?”

The underlying concern here has vexed theologians for centuries: How can evil happen in a world that is lorded over by a good and all-powerful God? As CNN's readers struggled to make sense of God's presence (or absence) in the Aurora, Colorado, massacre, I counted seven different answers to this question:

1. There is no God.

Self-professed atheists may make up only 2% of the U.S. population, but they are extraordinarily active online, and on CNN's Belief Blog. A commenter who identified as Jason spoke for them when he wrote, “Where was God? He was where he has always been. Nowhere because God does not exist.” Bob Dobbs agreed: “God is imaginary. The question is moot.”

Many in this camp also quoted the ancient Greek philosopher (and skeptic) Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

2. Don’t blame God, blame Satan.

Many theists on the site described the world as a battleground between God, who is working for good, and Satan, who is working for evil. “As long as Satan is loose to promote evil, bad things will happen to good people,” wrote kat.

3. Don’t blame God, blame us.

Probably the most common response from Christian commenters was that evil is a result of free will. Do we really want to be “puppets” or “robots"? Of course not. So God has given us the will to choose either evil or good.

Watch: Survivor of massacre says he forgives gunman

Believer summed up this position well:

"It's been said that the only thing we can truly give God is our will because its the only thing we possess that is uniquely ours. Everything else was given to us by him, and is, in effect, not ours to give in the first place. As such, and despite his omnipotence, he cannot intervene. . . .  He only possesses power where power can be possessed - and controlling our actions is not within that realm."

Here Deborah also chimed in: “This act of violence was not God's will. I get so tried of people blaming God for evil acts. Humans of their own free will do evil things.”

4. God was behind the massacre, and it was just.

Some believers saw God’s righteous hand in the Aurora massacre, inflicting a just punishment on a wayward nation now run by secular liberals rather than conservative Christians.

Lenny wrote:

"We as a country have been telling God to go away. We told him to get off our currency, get out of our schools, get out of our Pledge of Allegiance, take your Ten Commandments out of our courthouses, get those Bibles out of hotels and no graduation ceremonies in our churches. How can we expect God to give us his blessing and his protection if we demand that he leave us alone?"

Read: The man who made Aurora’s iconic crosses

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, took a similar tack in an appearance on the Heritage Foundation's "Istook Live" radio show, laying the blame at the feet of a nation that has turned away from its God:

"You know, when people say, where was God in all of this? Well, you know, . . . we’ve threatened high school graduation participants that if they use God’s name that they’re going to be jailed, we had a principal of a school, and a superintendent or a coach down in Florida that were threatened with jail because they said the blessing at a voluntary off campus dinner. I mean, that kind of stuff… where is God? Where, where? What have we done with God? We told him that we don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present."

5. God was present at the massacre but with the victims, not the perpetrator

One classic claim in the Abrahamic tradition of Jews, Christians and Muslims is that God is with those who suffer - the poor and the oppressed. Some commenters saw God’s miraculous hand in the midst of this suffering, not causing it to happen but bringing it to an end.  “This may sound crazy,” wrote Diana, “but I believe God had a hand in that the gun jammed so that more people weren’t killed.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The most common claim in this category came from peacemaker, who wrote, “God is and was with the victims and s/he is weeping.” In a more explicitly Christian vein, Lauren wrote: “He was there in the theater, pierced by bullets with the victims. He was scarred by the shrapnel. His eyes were scorched with gas and then burned with tears as He mourned alongside the broken.”

6. Which God?

Some commenters interrogated the question itself, arguing that the knots it twists us into are rooted in what commenter Ego_Death called “a false idea of what God is.” After all, the problem of evil in a world ruled by a sovereign and good God only presents itself if you posit one personal God who is both good and all-powerful.

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Referring to "our idea of a human-like personal God" as "an ancient myth," Northstar56 wrote:

"But just because this kind of God does not appear to exist, does not mean that God, in fact, does not exist. I think many have developed a more mature and realistic perspective . . . in which God exists as a pure fundamental consciousness or state from which all of existence arises. This God does not control anything, but rather continues to perpetually emanate as reality . . . God was present in all of the victims, and everyone else. God was present in the killer as well. The tragedy is that the killer's awareness was so distorted and twisted that he could not see or be aware of the intrinsic priceless value of every person he gunned down."

Evoking something more akin to the “watchmaker” God of the deists, who makes the world and its laws and then refuses to intervene in its operation, Norm wrote: “God is not involved in our everyday mundane activities. How arrogant of man to think he’s the center of the universe and has God’s constant attention and every action is ‘God’s will.’”

Taking a different tack, "varun" invoked the teachings of the beloved Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita:

"Only the followers of Semitic religions have problem with understanding this - because they do not believe in rebirth and karma. As soon as you introduce these two concepts into (the) picture along with the eternal indestructible soul (something Semitic religions do believe in), everything makes sense. Read Bhagavad-Gita and everything would be as clear as daylight."

7. Who knows? It’s a mystery

Agnosticism is a rare virtue in the United States nowadays, but there were a few commenters who admitted to something less than the absolute certainty exhibited by atheists and evangelicals alike. "The answer," wrote Terry, "is we don't know where he was." Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom saw this "God works in mysterious ways" move as “ultimate cop-out/rationalization,” but I am not so sure.

In September 1862, in the midst of a much greater American tragedy, Abraham Lincoln wrote a private “Meditation on the Divine Will” in which he struggled to make sense of what God was doing in the Civil War. He later reworked those reflections into his second inaugural address, one of the greatest speeches in American history.

Surveying the corpse-ridden landscape of North and South, Lincoln observed, “Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.” Clearly there was little good in slavery, he reasoned, yet equally clearly God was not giving a swift and sure victory to the Union. So what was God up to? In the end, Lincoln had to admit he did not know. Or, as he put it, “The Almighty has His own purposes.”

I suppose this is in a sense a “cop-out,” but it is a humble one, uninfected by the absolute certainties (either pro- or anti-God) that have shed more blood on earth than agnosticism ever will. It is also a classic example of answering a question with a question: What is God doing with this war? Who knows?

“Josephpusateri” also answered our question with a question. His comment was in my view the best of the hundreds I read, so I will end with it here:

"Oh, the blindness of such a question... as if only theodicy was a relevant question in white, American suburbs. Where is God in Afghanistan? Where is God in Gaza? Where is God in Syria? . . . Where is God, indeed."

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Culture wars • Devil • Ethics • God • Violence

soundoff (4,074 Responses)
  1. TOMG

    ONE CAN SAW ALOTS OF HUMAN WASTE AND SO DOES SAWING THE HUMAN URINE ARE ALL OVER THIS KARMA HELL AND HEAVENLY WORLD , AMEN

    July 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  2. nottolate

    @Smurfette

    Yes... How old are you? Because most six-year-olds can see the flaw in your 'logic'...

    Logic? Logic has nothing to do with it. Don't know why at this late date y'all don't know these things.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Logic? Logic has nothing to do with it. Don't know why at this late date y'all don't know these things."

      You know who says that?? Person with no logic...

      Now, are you just a troll? Or are you trying to prove Godwin's Law??

      July 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Oops

      Glutton for punishment I see

      You still have really poor logic

      July 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Old enough to know a bit of grammar

      July 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Atheist=Thinker,

      "You know who says that?? Person with no logic..."

      The problem is you folks don't know God. You don't know his word or how he thinks. You don't know your standing in his eyes even though he has told you. You think it is logical he should save you when in fact at one time he destroyed everybody in the world except for Noah and his family. How is it logical he should save you then? Just look at you own screen name. Atheist...for real? Why should he step in and save you since you declare boldly you're atheist anyway? See, you don't belong to him.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "The problem is you folks don't know God. You don't know his word or how he thinks"

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,
      because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

      - Susan B. Anthony 1896

      July 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • nottolate

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,
      because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

      There's a guy who didn't know God either. It is written,

      1When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters,a I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.b 2For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 6Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of Godc—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined
      what God has prepared for those who love him.” 10Bute it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.f 14But people who aren’t spiritualg can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  3. Jackie

    I thought everyone wanted God out of their lives these days. That seems to be the way of the world; not my world. I think the pessimists and atheists are awful people. They make the most rude and disrespectful comments about God and people who believe in him. It's fine to have your own beliefs but don't spew your vulgarity on others. Everyones beliefs should be respected. All I can say is enjoy your life now because there is a very hot place awaiting you. Have a nice day

    July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Bullsh!t! Everyone's beliefs should be respected???? NO, NO, NO (sorry for the upper case, but that mindless drivel drives me nuts!) Everyone's RIGHT to believe should be respected – yes. Everyone's right to express their beliefs should be respected – yes. But the CONTENT of everyone's beliefs should be respected? Absolutely not! Here's one – my God tells me, in my holy book, that I should cut off the head of every 14th person that I meet, unless it's Monday, in which case it's the 16th person who gets it. That is what my God tells me. That is what my holy book tells me. Now, should THAT belief be respected?????

      July 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Rick James

      By "hot place" do you mean "sauna"? Because I could really use one.

      And not everyone wants "God" out of our lives. This country is still highly religious, which is sad. As an atheist, I don't really care what you worship. Just don't use it to influence public policy.

      How are we rude, again? We don't burn your kind at the stake for disagreement.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      You act like bad things only just happened recently. "Back in the good ol' days" bad things happened too. things like wars, earthquakes, poverty, disease etc. etc. If find it funny people pray after terrible things happen. Why? Nothing changes. Bad things continue to happen. That is why atheists don't accept ANY religion.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Jackie,

      "They make the most rude and disrespectful comments about God and people who believe in him."

      Yeah they do. I think the proper response is to just ignore that type and leave them at the mercy of their own flesh. An unenviable position to be in. Its uncalled for an says much about their upbringing.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  4. john

    Where was God? Apparently at Chick-fil-A

    July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • In Reason I Trust

      LOL

      July 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  5. john

    Great article. Lots of thought provoking content. Appreciated.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  6. kevin

    If someone ask is there a god, I say no. If someone ask if there are the have and have nots, I say yes.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  7. TOMG

    LIFE FORM FROM THE BEGINING TO THE ENDING ARE ALL THE SAME THINGS AND KEEP ON REPEATING ITSELF AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN ISN"T IT THAT LIFE FORM ARE BORING IN THE FIRST PLACE , AMEN .

    July 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  8. ghostmule

    Well, theres really only one answer. He was standing the mile long popcorn line when he heard the gun shots. Unfortunately, he got angry that the small popcorn was 35 dollars and waited till everything cooled down.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Smurfette

      I think He was grumpy because Bane was such a crappy antagonist

      July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      I'm glad someone finally figured it out... Now we can focus on fun things, like the presidential election.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  9. TOMG

    CAN ONE SAW THE HEARING VOICES WITH ONE NAKE EYES , AMEN .

    July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  10. Ken Margo

    Why do people pray? Is it for this life or the after life? If you're praying for this life, obviously it's not working because nothing has changed, bad things continue to happen! On the other hand if you are praying for the after life, then what people do in this life doesn't matter because it's when you're dead that counts. Right.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  11. TOMG

    CAN ONE SAW THE AIR PARTICAL WITH ONE NAKE EYES , AMEN .

    July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Someone should frame this. God's precious little agrammatical moron speaks.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Rick James

      No, but we can prove it exist, clown.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      The best thing about your "comment" is that it shows how utterly mindless followers of theist comic books, like the bible and the quran, are.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • TOMG

      YEAH WE CAN PROVE UNTIL WHEN THIS LAST COUPLES YEARS AGO ? , AMEN
      WITH THE HELP OF WHAT ? THE MAN MADE MACHINE , AMEN .

      July 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • TOMG

      I JUST TOOK MY MED. DOG , WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT , AMEN LOL.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  12. idrinkcoffeeandtea

    Shameful! The belief in God, especially the whacko Religious Right version of God, is an abysmal failure of logic and common sense. It's embarrassing to think of grown adults in the Modern world praying to the invisible sky god(s) and basing life on some nonsense "scriptures" created in and relevant to the Bronze Age mentality. It's the 21st Century, people.

    If your God is real (be it the Hindu God, the Muslim God, the Christian God, etc), your God has had thousands of years to display some of his omnipotence and love to humans. Have you looked around the world? It is a mess, mainly due to the ignorance that religious belief perpetuates, like with regards to the policy of not promoting birth control, but even actively spewing rhetoric against the use of birth control. In Africa, hunger, disease, poverty, and famine result from the "teachings" of the Catholic Church. What a mess we are in! Your God is not very helpful. If anything, your God is incompetent and should cede power to someone who can get things done, for he sure cannot. God is incompetent and needs to be fired and walked out the door immediately. Anybody have a small empty box for God to empty his desk and move his holy butt on outta here?

    Pull your head out of the magic books (those so called sacred religious texts) and put your face into some geology, or biology, or ecology, or something real and helpful to humanity. The beliefs and practices of the major religions devolve human thought and achievement.

    The 20% of the Global population who do not have access to clean water and indoor plumbing want to know why God hates them so much. They want to know why God is providing clean water and plumbing for 80% of the world, but not the 20%. They want to know why your God is okay with the children in these dismal places growing up and living their entire lives in filth, disease, sickness, and death everywhere. God did make the Universe, right? Can he just snap his fingers once more, and drop down some toilets, plumbing, and clean water? If that is excessive for the Old Guy, perhaps he can just send some water filters to clean the filthy water that many children drink because it is the only thing available!

    July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Gedwards

      So you think God must make Earth another Heaven, where everything is just peachy? Kind of defeats the purpose of a Heave, don't you think?

      And why do you not believe in Entropy or the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? If you DO believe in those, how do you explain free will and conscience?

      July 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  13. Gedwards

    What about #8, which should have been the most obvious within Christianity?

    The focus is not on maximizing one's mortal life or making the families and friends of those of who dies happy, but to attain eternal life with God. A shortened life on Earth is minuscule in importance or concern when compared to to eternity with God.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  14. LetUsReason

    For the real answer, see this 8th option:

    http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/permits.htm

    July 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      More mindless fairy tales... Do Christians have anything else???

      July 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Smurfette

      No! HERE'S the REAL answer: Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

      July 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  15. TOMG

    SUN , MOON , STAR , MOTHER KARMA PLANET EARTH ARE ALL HAVING CONNECTION TO ONE ANOTHER FOR BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF YEARS ALREADY , BUT THE HUMAN WASTE AND THE HUMAN URINE STILL NEVER GONNER LEARNING FROM THE BEGINING OF TIMING TO THE ENDING NEAR OF SPEED OF LIGHT TIMING NOW DAILY , AMEN .

    July 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  16. johnfrichardson

    Prothero the Dull strikes out again. If god was anywhere, he confirmed once again his absolute irrelevance to human affairs. Either there is no god, or whatever god there is has nothing to do with the god people want to believe in. There is no other rational conclusion.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  17. Atheist = Ignorant

    @ Rational Libertarian:

    You said, "There are no limits to what science can prove"

    Really???? Can science prove math and logic?

    Can science prove statements of value?

    Can science prove itself?

    Can science prove any moral value or moral value system?

    Can science prove any metaphysical truths?

    Answer to all of these ??? NO. Sorry there is a limit. Finally science cannot really PROVE anything. Science merely gives us a reason to believe something is true based on observation, but never ultimately any proof or truth of anything. Sorry, try again....You need to read a book on the philosophy of science or on philosophy in general.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Really???? Can science prove math and logic?"

      LOL.. Yes, it can. Most of us learned about mathematical proofs in 8th grade algebra class... Scientific proofs are accomplished in much the same way... Did you drop out or did you just decide not to pay attention??

      July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Hilarious!!

      No, metaphysical "truths" can't be proved by any method. The first problem is how to determine whether or not there are any "metaphysical truths" at all.

      When you can prove that "metaphysical truths" exist, then we can start discussing how we might go about proving them.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • mark

      arguing with a creationist is like playing chess with a pigeon, poops all over board, knocks the pieces down and flies back to his flock claiming victory.........................................the bible is a good story, thats all

      July 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Atheist = Ignorant

      Atheist = Thinker: Really? So even though Science presupposes math and logic, science can still prove math and logic?????

      You do realize you are arguing in a circle right??

      Science presupposes math and logic to come to reasonable conclusions about observable phenomena. Science CANNOT prove math and logic. Its a self defeating, circular argument. Get a clue. I thought you were a thinker?

      July 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      A believer getting angry at an atheist for having circular reasoning....

      Now I've seen everything

      July 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ignorant,

      You say "Can science prove metaphysical truths?"

      Too funny. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no microphone to record it, does it make a sound?
      Your attempts at 'logic' are most amusing.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Oh sweet jay-sus he's a fvcking moron.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      You need to read a book, any book, besides your fantasy comic book. It's quite obvious that are impervious to logic.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Does Unknown by any other name smell as stupid?

      July 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Atheist = Ignorant

      @ Moby: Do you even know the definition of a metaphysical truth? I'll give you an example....There are minds that exist other than my own. This cannot be scientifically proven. Science cannot prove anything outside of the immediate human sensory experience.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Science CANNOT prove math and logic"

      LOL... Ironically, you're PROVING your own ignorance... Most of us learned about proofs as 12-year-olds... You obviously don't have a mentality equal or greater than a 12-year-old.. I feel sorry for you...

      July 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Atheist = Ignorant

      You know its a funny thing when an atheist is confronted with something they cannot comprehend. Usually the immediate response is to ignore any opportunity for a rebuttal, then to say something about needing to read a book, or say "he's a fvcking moron. Its sad when people who claim to be "free thinkers" tend to be everything but.....

      July 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ignorant,

      The 'science cannot prove metaphysical truths' comment was hilarious.

      This one is either just pure ignorance or desparation: "Science cannot prove anything outside of the immediate human sensory experience."

      Immediate human sensory experience? It's really not even worth responding to, but I can't help myself.

      I guess we should just stop with all those x-ray and infared and UV telescopes we put on deep space exploratory vehicles. I don't know about you but I can't see outside the visible spectrum and I can't reach out and pick up Mars dirt like a Martian rover can.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Atheist = Ignorant

      @Atheist = thinker: Boy you're still not getting it are you. YOU CANNOT PROVE THAT WHICH YOU PRESUPPOSE ALREADY. Mathematical proofs are not the same as a scientific claim. You USE mathematical proofs to do produce scientific claims. To describe how gravity acts upon celestial bodies, you use a mathematical proof. Please describe how then you would mathematically prove the mathematical proof ? YOU CAN'T BECAUSE YOU PRESUPPOSE MATHEMATICS TO DESCRIBE THE PROPERTIES OF GRAVITY.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "You know its a funny thing when an atheist is confronted with something they cannot comprehend. Usually the immediate response is to ignore any opportunity for a rebuttal, then to say something about needing to read a book,"

      LOL again... The only thing I can't comprehend is your ignorance... You think science and math are nothing but big guessing games?? Now THAT'S ignorant... All you're proving is that you have no understanding of what math and science really are... And your implication that reading books is a negative thing just reinforces my point...

      July 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Rick James

      Ignorant is getting beaten like a punching bag in this thread. I need more popcorn.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ignorant

      you really seem to be struggling with the scientific method.

      1. Hypothesis
      2. Prediction
      3. Experiment
      4. Analysis
      5. Peer review
      6 Acceptance that the hypothesis is 'proven'

      You are using a computer and not banging rocks together. How did the computer get here? And on the eighth day God looked down and magicked semiconductors and binary arithmetic? No, the answer is science.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Atheist = Ignorant

      GOP: Can science prove that light is constant?? No. For example The theory of relativity hinges on the assumption that the speed of light is constant between two points (ex. A & B). However, that cannot possibly ever be concretely proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is only a rational belief, but cannot be scientifically proven. Its plain to see that no one on this board really understands philosophy or the philosophy of science. Its really sad however when people claim to, and masquerade around making themselves out to be educated in this area.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Atheist = Ignorant

      No actually I dont "struggle" with the idea of the scientific method. You seem to be struggling with the idea of circular reasoning. Please explain how the scientific method PROVES math. Please explain how the scientific method PROVES logic. I'll wait for your brilliant (and circular) reasoning.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I never said the scientific method proves mathematics.

      Mathematics is based on axioms. They are evident truths that are more meaningful than any philosophical 'truth".

      1 + 0 = 1.
      1 + 1 = 2. and so on. These axioms are evidently true. All higher mathematics follows through rigorous logic from the axioms.

      I am not confused about circular reasoning, and I agree that science is a branch of philosopy.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I am not the one making idiotic claims like "Science cannot prove anything outside of the immediate human sensory experience" or making nonsensical challenges like "Can science prove any metaphysical truths?"

      You know metaphysical philosophy is not measurable in the physical world. It is purely conceptual. No one but a fool would even try to address this argument – which is of course your purpose – to trap someone in some kind of poinit-scoring game.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  18. TOMG

    REMEMBERING MIND DOES OVER COME ALL MATTER , BECAUSE NO GUT NO GLORY , HAVE GUT HAVE TRAGIC ALSO , AMEN .

    July 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      How many beers does it take before you can write so incoherently ... and in all caps – nice touch!

      July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  19. Never Change

    A good number of modern atheists I've met are some of the least rational, least intellectual people I've ever met. Their atheism isn't a "logical conclusion" based on "serious thought and reflection," it's frequently a childish grudge based on rationalizing away gods and religions because their parents forced them to participate in church services and they were bored. 15 pages and not a single well-thought-out argument from any self-labeled atheist, pretty much just "derp, religion is stupid and we so smart" and yeah, I've actually seen the "derp." Atheists? Nah... Bored trolls...

    July 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      How many have you met?

      July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Straw man

      July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Really? I don't think you're reading very many atheist posts, then. Or perhaps you're biased. An unbiased, reasonable reader would conclude the opposite.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • sybaris

      what's a "modern" atheist?

      July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Never Change

      @Moby – Read them all, they're pretty much all "gods and religion are stupid and illogical" or "you're stupid."
      @smurf – Tin Man
      @john – Dozens. I've got several good friends who claim to be atheists (although after talking with them I'd say all but one of them are really agnostic atheists), but not from this new generation.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Never Research

      No, they aren't all as you say. You're either not reading or you're being biased in your analysis.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @ Never Research

      Oh, and most atheists are also agnostic. Atheism claims not to believe in god and agnosticism claims not to know about god. I claim to not believe and I claim to not know, so I'm an agnostic atheist.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  20. nottolate

    Get this loud and clear: Y'all don't even belong to God so why should he have come to your aid? All but a few of you belong to Satan. Them are the facts. Any questions?

    July 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Rick James

      "Them are the facts"? Hilarious. Where did you get those facts?

      July 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      "Them are the facts. Any questions?"

      Yes... How old are you? Because most six-year-olds can see the flaw in your 'logic'...

      July 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Smurfette

      And i bet you dun did grad-e-ate 6th grade, 'long side a Jethro Bodine!

      July 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Rick James

      "Them are the facts"? Hilarious. Where did you get those facts?"

      Right out of the bible. Read it some time.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good grief, nottoobright. You wonder why people make fun of you on here.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Rick James

      "Right out of the bible. Read it some time."

      1. I have read it, and it's depressing.
      2. Facts out of the Bible? That's circular logic.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • nottolate

      Depressing to those who don't belong to him perhaps. But not to them that do belong to him.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Smurfette,

      "And i bet you dun did grad-e-ate 6th grade, 'long side a Jethro Bodine!"

      That will get you ignored and nothing else.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
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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.