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My Take: This is where God was in Aurora
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial across the street from the movie theater where last week’s mass shooting happened.
July 28th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

Editor’s note: Rob Brendle is the founding pastor of Denver United Church, a former associate pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and the author of "In the Meantime: The Practice of Proactive Waiting."

By Rob Brendle, Special to CNN

I held her hand as she died.

Her family had come to a church where I was pastoring that morning, a routine Sunday. A thousand things would never have crossed their minds as they drove through Colorado Springs toward New Life Church’s enormous concrete worship center - including the prospect of being assaulted in their minivan by a young man with a high-powered rifle.

Later that day, we were all at a local hospital. The girl whose hand I held, Rachel, had already lost a sister at the scene. Her father was down the hall in critical condition and her mother was coming undone in the waiting room, but she didn’t know any of it. Rachel lay unconscious for a couple of hours more in the ICU.

And then she died. Her family had come to church together that morning, and by nightfall they were shattered.

That was almost five years ago.

The movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado shook me and the rest of the nation. Reading about the young and unsuspecting victims took me back to the dying girl in the ICU who had come to my church that day in 2007, in a an incident that left the two girls dead and injured several others. Back to the Columbine massacre a decade earlier that horrified the world and traumatized Colorado. And back to the aching questions that accompanied those previous incidents: Why did this happen? Where was God in all of it? How could a loving God allow this?

Where was God in Aurora? 7 responses

We pastors face the unenviable task of being asked to answer for God. Most people ask the big questions in times of irresolution, times when satisfying answers are scarce.

Let’s be clear: there are no easy answers to the deepest questions of suffering. Libraries overflow with the volumes that have been written to address these questions. Centuries of philosophers, pundits and preachers have reflected on the existence of evil, the meaning of pain and the role of God in suffering.

I won’t begin to recount all of their ruminations here. But here’s what I think.

God is the author of life and the originator of good. He distinguished humankind from among his creation with faculties like reason, emotion, dexterity and choice. Scripture teaches that God made people in his image. Set apart from all the rest of his creatures, we were endowed with the capacity to know our Creator and ennobled with the ability to choose him. So singularly did God love humans that he gave us this ultimate gift.

Aurora survivor to alleged shooter: ‘I forgive you’

The capacity to choose God and goodness came with the commensurate ability to choose evil. Is it loving to force his creation to follow his order, or to teach it and leave the creature to choose? It would seem that God came to the same conclusion that America’s founders did many millennia later: compulsory virtue is no virtue at all.

But Scripture also teaches that God is totally in control. He is all-powerful and all-knowing and he is willing and able to intervene in human events. So there is a gap between human choice and divine foreknowledge, a gap that transcends understanding and that helps define God in my mind.

The debate over this theological tension has persisted for centuries, and I don’t aim to settle it here. Let me suggest simply that God, in his sovereignty, has chosen to make our decisions meaningful. Consequently, much of what happens on earth neither conforms to nor results from his preference. There are at least four influences on human events: God’s will, to be sure; but also the will of Satan, our adversary; peoples’ choices, for better or for worse; and natural law (gravity, collision, combustion, and the like).

It is difficult to know which force causes the circumstances that devastate us. But it is enough to know that God need not be responsible for them.

The man who made the Aurora crosses

Much of the internal gridlock around tragedy is because suffering is foreign to us. This foreignness is peculiarly Western and modern. Most of the world, for most of the world’s history, has known tragedy and trauma in abundance.

You don’t get nearly the same consternation in Burundi or Burma, because suffering is normal to them. God and hard times coexist intuitively there. For us, though, God has become Anesthetist-in-Chief. To believe in him is to be excused from bad things. He is our panacea for the woes of life.

The God of the Bible promises no exemption from suffering. In fact, he all but promises suffering. He does not suggest that his followers won’t go through fire, but rather that we won’t burn up. Mostly he promises to be there with us, to comfort and encourage us and renew our strength. God grieves with us, and he grows us into good people in the process.

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

Where was God in Aurora? He was on the lawn in front of the Civic Building as thousands gathered in solidarity, hope, and love at a packed prayer vigil last Sunday. He was in University Hospital as neurosurgeons groped for synonyms for miraculous.

He was in the outpouring of compassion at a victim’s funeral and in the passionate call for unity from a resolute councilwoman and at the bedside vigil of a wounded victim’s church community. Redemption has only begun in Aurora, and already God is everywhere. Their will be beauty once this story is written that overshadows and transcends the ashes.

Jesus started his ministry by declaring, “I am the light of the world,” and ended it with “you are the light of the world.”

What God our cities will see is what we show them. From the beginning, light has shone in the darkness - he ordered it that way. And the deeper the darkness, the brighter the light will appear. Where is God in Aurora? He is shining brightly from the hearts of his people.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rob Brendle.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • God • Opinion

soundoff (4,566 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Has anyone else noticed that I'm the only one here who can even identify a coherent and plausible thought (much less two or more strung together).

    July 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I haven't read one plausible thought here all day. It's been clogged with nonsense and incredulous lying.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      I suspect this isn't really Tom Tom. We need to invent a "movable" type of code ID, to identify ourselves, as CNN refuses to register users.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As usual, bucky, you are on top of things.

      This site is so lame.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • tazanastazio

      You got stuck on the difference between "to" and "too," I don't really have the time to value the importance of spelling while blogging in a hurry to the point of editing constantly like you do. Also it is the internet, and sometimes some letters don't make it through. Good for you that you pay attention to the little details, while omitting the important stuff. But hey, let me guess, you disagree and having nothing to support your argument for the non-existence of GOD, since you cannot answer simply how is it that you exist if there was not a starting point, but an absolute nothing, you act like a bully in a school yard picking the boogers out of your nose.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • tazanastazio

      Give it a rest, because even a bully in a school yard would know that out of nothing nothing happens, but of course it would take the nerd to conceive what the bully would not get even perhaps at a ripe old age, that what was always before the something which lead to the "thing" on the bully's hand was the Infinite and that what's on the bully's hand can be infinitely divided, or that between the bully's pinky and thumb exists an infinity in itself, as is between the number 1 and another number 1 ( one unit and another unit ), which make 2, or that the bully's hand will at one infinitely minute point in time disolve into the INFINITE, give it a rest Tom, Tom with the spelling, since you cannot comprehend what lays between the fine letters, let alone conceive the truth, and distill knowledge from the ore your inadequate imagination fails to mine.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @tazanastazio

      That's all you have taz, imagination, nothing more.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Funny. "I don't really have the time to defend my ignorance and/or carelessness, but I'm gonna act all outraged anyhow, because I'm a lame azzhole who has no life."

      Yeah, we can see that, you lame-azz.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      This taz person needs to read Kraus' "A Universe from Nothing". Then he'she needs to figure out that the universe is not intuitive. Then come back, and make a rational argument. "Thank you ver' much", (channeling Elvis).

      July 30, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  2. tazanastazio

    Atheists do not loose a chance to futily attempt to make a point against God's existence, since they cannot answer the fundamental question: HOW DID THE INFINITE COME OUT OF NOTHING AND NOWHERE? GOD IS THE INFINITE AHEISTS, THE INFINITE ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE AND MATTER. EXISTENCES AND OBJECTS FORM FROM THE INFINITE AND DISOLVE BACK TO THE INFINITE. THE INFINITE ENCOMPASSES ALL EXISTENCES AND EVERY CONCEPT AND IS INFINITE FROM EVERY PERSPECTIVE. THAT IS WHY IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN, IS AND WILL BE. All existences, exist to serve a purpose within the Infinite, according to their ability and level of responsibility. Because they are part of the Infinite and because the Infinite is not a limited mechanical existence, all existences have free will.Existences to exist must have self-interest ( to want to continue to exist). Because of their self interest and limited existence they want to make the best out of their existence and sometimes become "selfish" ( do what they please and violate the rights of other existences) They want to separate themselves from the Infinite. Hence negativity ( negative effect on the existence of other's , "evil" ) is formed ( good or evil – emerging properties of free will ). Life is a learning experience and a test. According to how well existences do, they either achieve a higher or lower level of existence, or disperse within the Infinite ( are being recycled to particles which form the stars, the planets, objects etc. or are complete dispersed within the Infinite ( they die ) ) . "Good" existences ( those which follow the directions of the Infinite and do their duty according to their level of responsibility, and "Evil" existences ( those who rebel, separate themselves from God), contrast each other, constantly within the Infinite.

    Where was the Infinite/God during the Aurora incident? God is within every infinite minute particle of everything. Where were the security guards, after the door opened, and why did not an alarm alerted any guards to arrive at the open door with THEIR guns drown? If the "evil" existences managed to win this round, because the theater enterprise was cutting corners and for whatever other reason, such as that maybe the perpetrator was on psychedelic medication by who knows what age and for what reason, and was playing video games with center theme to shoot, slice and k!!i-ll, WHY IS THAT GOD'S FAULT, AND HOW DOES IT PROVE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT THERE IS A CONSTANT BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD, SENSIBLE, LOGICAL, ORDERLY AGAINST EVIL, INSANE, REBELIOUS, DISORDERLY, HOW DOES THE AURORA INCIDENT PROVE THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST, SINCE OUT OF NOTHING NOTHING HAPPENS, AND NOTHING CAN BE DISTROYED INTO OR FROM NOTHING?

    WHY DID NOT GOD INTERVENE THE WAY WE HUMANS WANTED GOD TO INTERVENE? BECAUSE THE INFINITE/GOD IN GOD'S INFINITE WISDOM, DECIDED NOT TO DO SO. HOW COULD WE WITH OUR FINITE MINDS UNDERSTAND ANYTHING OUTSIDE OUR REALM, SPECTRUM OF UNDERSTANDING ANYWAY?

    July 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Please prove there is a god.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • OTOH

      taz,
      "HOW COULD WE WITH OUR FINITE MINDS UNDERSTAND ANYTHING OUTSIDE OUR REALM, SPECTRUM OF UNDERSTANDING ANYWAY?"

      And yet you wrote probably 500 words right there about how you DO UNDERSTAND!?

      July 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • tazanastazio

      If there is anything to learn from this experience, is what would have happened if an organized plot was to take place through out the movie theaters and malls of the US. That is why it is the police that should have the better guns, not the psychotic and the thugs. That is why in every movie theater there shall be established a well functioning alarm system, with cameras outside the door, and sound which immidiately would alert, an adequate number of well trained, armed and background checked security guards to arrive ready to apprehend the perpotrator and provide for the safety for all the innocent individuals who spent their money to have a good time not to get shot at ( enterprises cut corners and then we complain about security and unemployment , charge what you charge for the concession if you have to without serving the soda and the pop- corn, I rather stay lean, healthy, intact and alive). AS IT STANDS, I AM NOT GOING TO WATCH THE BATMAN MOVIE NO MATTER THE REVIEWS. WHO KNOWS HOW MANY JOKERS ARE OUT THERE.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @taz

      Tell me you are a figment of my imagination, please?

      July 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Monumental fail.
      The inability to explain something, does not give anyone the right to cook up an explanation, just because your brain wants one. "Infinite" is a construct of the human brain. It is also a temporally dependent concept. If your god exists in an "infinity", who made the infinity.
      "We don't know everything, (yet)" is the only honest statement.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Tazanastazio..do you even know what you were trying to say. anyway you still no closer to proving Thor.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • tazanastazio

      @ VOICE OF REASON : OUT OF NOTHING NOTHING HAPPENS, INTO NOTHING SOMETHING CANNOT BE DESTROYED, THEREFORE THERE MUST ALWAYS HAVE BEEN SOMETHING BEFORE AND AFTER, OUT OF WHICH EVERY FORM OF ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE AND MATTER WOULD FORM AND TO WHICH EVERY INTELLIGENCE ENERGY AND MATTER WOULD DISOLVE ( PARTICLES FORM EVERYTHING FORM THE INFINITE AND EVERYTHING DISOLVES INTO PARTICLES WITHIN THE INFINITE ). THE INFINITE ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE AND MATTER FROM WHICH EVERY LIMITED EXISTENCE IS FORMED IS GOD. FOR THE CHRISTIANS CHRIST IS THE INFINITE'S MANIFESTATION IN OUR SECTOR OF THE INFINITE OR THE HIGHEST REPRESENTING FORCE OF OUR GALAXY, UNIVERSE, SECTOR WITHIN THE INFINITE. FOR OTHERS THE INFINITE IS THE YIN AND YOUNG (TAOSISM), OTHER GROUPS BELIEVE IN OTHER MESSENGERS PROPHETS, BUT CHRISTIANS CAN CLAIM THAT THE VARIOUS WRITINGS OF THE BIBLE DEPICTED PROPHESIES WHICH WERE ALL FULFILLED LATER BY CHRIST (THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN BY DIFFERENT PEOPLE LIVING AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND DESCRIBING WHAT THEY COULD COMPREHEND WITH THEIR FINITE UNDERSTANDING FROM WHAT THE INFINITE GOD REVEALED TO THEM, THAT IS WHY THE MESSAGE AND TRUTH ABOUT GOD'S EXISTENCE AND THE PURPOSE OF THE HUMAN EXISTENCE, IS UNDERSTOOD ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, ACCORDING TO THE LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE AGE IN WHICH HE OR SHE LIVED – WE CANNOT EXPECT FOR THE INFINITE TO EXPLAIN QUANTUM MECHANICS TO PEOPLE WHO COULD BARELY COUNT ON THEIR FINGERS FOR EXAMPLE ). THE INFINITE GOD IS ONE INFINITY ( AND TRULY AT SOME POINT YOU HAVE AN INFINITE MACROCOSM/EVERYTHING AND AN INFINITE MICROCOSM/NOTHING BECAUSE WE CAN ONLY OBSERVE, MEASURE AND UNDERSTAND WHAT OUR FINITE COGNITIVE ABILITIES ALLOW US TO).

      July 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • LinCA

      @tazanastazio

      http://theoatmeal.com/pl/minor_differences/capslock

      July 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Too long and boring; too hard to read in caps.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @taz

      I really tried to read your post but I got really dizzy pretty quickly and had to stop. Can you simply your thought in two sentences?

      July 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Thanks for just refuting your god. If the infinite was always there, then your god was not it's creator. Good job.
      And knock off the all caps. It's rude. Internet courtesy says all caps is shouting. Do you actually think shouting makes you correct ? It's like people who say "fact" after what they say. Like it makes it true. Fact. :evil:

      July 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • tazanastazio

      CORRECTION:INFINITELY MINUTE PARTICLES FORM EVERYTHING FROM THE INFINITE AND EVERYTHING DISOLVES INTO PARTICLES WITHIN THE INFINITE.

      @PUCKY BALL WRITTEN BACKWARDS:

      GOD <> THE INFINITE, AND THE INFINITE <> GOD, THE INFINITE ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE, MATTER FROM WHICH EVERY EXISTENCE EVOLVES (froms) AND TO WHICH EVERY EXISTENCE "DISOLVES" ("disolves / de-forms" for lack of better terms).

      July 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yaah, that was DEEP, man.

      About as deep as a mud puddle.

      And just as significant.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • tazanastazio

      @PUCKY BALL WRITTEN BACKWARDS:

      GOD I S THE INFINITE, AND THE INFINITE I S GOD, THE INFINITE ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE, MATTER FROM WHICH EVERY EXISTENCE EVOLVES (froms) AND TO WHICH EVERY EXISTENCE "DISOLVES" ("disolves / de-forms" for lack of better terms).

      No rudeness intented, simply the lower case available as per CNN would be to small for some to read.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "TOO" small, you idiotic dolt.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Sorry. Fail again. "infinite" is just an endless amount of time. You still haven't answered the question ... who created the "infinity".
      Obviously you have never taken even one Physics course. Einstein proved space and time are related. If there is infinite time, there is infinite. And nothing is true, just because you say it is. Prove it.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      sorry, infinite time, means there is also infinite space.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @taz

      I just googled your name. Weirdo Alert!

      July 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      taz,
      And the moon is made of green cheese, cuz I say so.
      I Google'd it too.
      Cool book. I love old Latin sh1t. I can read it, but I can't speak it very well. I'm learning "Wookiespeak" this Summer.
      Latin is so beautiful...so many vowels make it great for music.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bucky, you are right. Those pure Latin vowels make for a gorgeous choral sound.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  3. No Truth, Just Claims

    "even if the body of new knowledge proactivly gives reason as to why it can't be proven scientifically."

    b4bigbang,

    Saying something is knowledge is saying it is knowable, how can you claim something is "knowable" if it cannot be proven. And using "scientifically proven" is redundant. Give an example of something that can be "proven" but can't be "scientifically proven".

    July 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I'm surrounded by morons. Realist bullsh!tters can't get it up any better than HS or b4. Come on, when do your student loans start paying off? No one can touch me.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Awww, how sweet!

      July 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I really need to puke.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • pntkl

      If you're surrounded by morons, be careful, it could have negatively impacted your genetic donors, before they could conceive. Then, you'd be the kettle calling the pot black, inasmuch that you yourself might be moronic, that is genetically inferior. In all your fun and games, you've triggered numerous red flags used to identify narcissistic psychopaths.

      Although probably not immediately a cause for you to be concerned; if you ever plan on be a successful undesirable, it might be a good idea to lay low for a while. It's not like you'll get very far in your plans for world domination with a ghost that is always two steps ahead. Whatever your plans are, we'll go ahead and agree with you–you're awesome.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Pinkie, you have nothing to say and you say it only moderately well. Go home. Study. Try again.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • pntkl

      If your aim is to defame by battering people with words, you might as well be performing a drive-by; you're missing targets.
      Arguing with someone for the sheer pleasure of eliciting an emotive response is trying to take control where one does not need it, by effect it is likewise out of control.
      My consciousness was, is, and will always be formed out of that which does span countless eternity: that for which exists before the moment of what is, the Paradoxical Other, the great I AM. As I AM a servant of God, so the hand of God am I. The only things I find deserving of study, here, are the myriad acrid reactions to justly served opinions.
      In terra caecorum monoculus rex.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  5. Confused face

    @eric

    So then you are a deist. That is at least a debatable proposition. The theism, particularly the Judeo-Christian theism, is an absurd man-made creation which in some instances flies in the face of tested verifiable facts.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  6. nottolate

    Can one unbeliever explain to me why God should intervene when only a few even belong to him? Why don't the unbelievers query Satan whom they belong to as to why he didn't intervene on their behalf? Maybe because it is his influence that these things occur in the first place?

    July 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. No one can explain anything to you, because you're completely idiotic.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I'll try to answer as an unbeliever. God does not exist, so he never intervenes, nor should he, since he doesn't exist to intervene.

      The argument about why a good god would allow evil is an argument that you might look into, but it only deals with a good god, not an indifferent or evil god.

      Did that help?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Confused face

      gee. I thought your benevolent sky-fairy loved all of us? Maybe, if he let me know he was there instead of pulling sneaky tricks like appearing on toast, I would go to him.

      Instead, he sends delusional kooks like you to be the messenger? No thanks. I"ll take my chances which are better than even by the way.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      OR, there's option three...where I belong to NOONE and Satan and God are just supersti.tious tales like the Greek and Norse gods , or the Mayan and Incan deities.

      I set my course in life, not anyone or anything else. And when this life is over, it's over. I will return to the basic elements that form all of the universe...Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. I will live on by combining with other elements to form something new, but my consciousness...my dreams, my thoughts, my feelings...will be gone forever. And that's perfectly okay. It means I need to make the most out of this life...this time.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Moby Schtick

      "I'll try to answer as an unbeliever. God does not exist, so he never intervenes, nor should he, since he doesn't exist to intervene. The argument about why a good god would allow evil is an argument that you might look into"

      That doesn't really answer my question but i'll try and provide some answers to your post. God does intervene, but he does so when the event would have an impact on his divine providence. For instance, what if there is a person in that theater that God plans on saving at some later date? He would intervene to make sure that person survives. He also intervenes to control how much damage that person might receive if any at all. Otherwise why intervene? Satan is describe as the god of this world and that is enough to tell you the whole world is evil by God's righteous standard. So that's why you have evil in the world today. But God has always had a plan for dealing with it in his time and that plan is spelled out in the bible.Only a relative few has he adopted for himself amongst the evil. He's not indifferent, he's just not deviating from the plan.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      nottoobright claims that god exists.

      Then you should be able to prove so, nottydotty.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Confused face

      "No thanks. I"ll take my chances which are better than even by the way."

      Which means you have no chance at all. Don't you know that you've already been condemned? You're sitting on death row even as you type. The only thing that remains is for sentence to be carried out.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      please stop calling him a fairy you insult the fairies by associating him with the god that try to kill Cernunnos and Danu

      July 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Jen

      So your saying god allowed a six year old to be gunned down because she didn't believe in him enough. You are saying that god wanted her to die. That's a wonderful god you believe in......

      July 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Jen

      Sorry I mean 'you're'

      July 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Which means you have no chance at all. Don't you know that you've already been condemned? You're sitting on death row even as you type. The only thing that remains is for sentence to be carried out.

      all lies

      what better way o get people to worship you then say your already f4ck3d if you follow me ill save you,.. hahaha i cant believe you bought the lies of that God

      July 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Jen

      "So your saying god allowed a six year old to be gunned down because she didn't believe in him enough."

      While it is possible for a 6 yr old to be an authentic believer, it is doubtful in this case. If the 6 yr old was not a believer, than she was not God's anyway. Does that mean the 6 yr old goes to hell? I would think not by virtue of her age but God was under no obligation to allow the 6 yr old to enter heaven. So lets say the likely scenario is God bestow grace on the child and she did enter into heaven. Isn't the six year old far better off than had she remained in this cesspool? The child then has gained through this tragedy.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      nottoosentient: You're a moron. I hope your six-year-old kid gets gunned down. Maybe you'll get a clue.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Sam Yaza

      all lies what better way o get people to worship you then say your already f4ck3d if you follow me ill save you,.. hahaha i cant believe you bought the lies of that God.

      Am I an evangelist? I assure you I have no such gift. Have I called any to Christ? If so show us. I am merely giving you the facts. Do with them what you will. Afterall, I am not the one already condemned you are.. What is to me if you all perish?

      July 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What utter gibberish.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Oj

      Not really. The six year old is now dead and without conscience, and since there is no magical afterlife, she got screwed out of a life full of experiences.

      If there was someone in the theater that god wanted to 'puppet play' with later, then maybe that person should be been intervened before the movie started, since 'god' knew it was all coming anyways. Maybe like the day before. Intervening at the last minute doesn't seem very 'all-knowing/powerful'.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      nottolate,

      We can tell so much about a person by how his fantasy god behaves – a god who could be and do anything imaginable – and you have it act like this, notto? Firm evidence that you are a pr!ck (and so's your god).

      July 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • nottolate

      @A Frayed Knot

      We can tell so much about a person by how his fantasy god behaves – a god who could be and do anything imaginable – and you have it act like this, notto?

      Perhaps you think to highly of yourself as the human. You think you're important in God's eyes but you're really not. How would a rebel and an enemy be important enough that he should intervene and save him? Just look at these posts and. blame yourselves. You will if you are smart anyway.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      not a brain surgeon, are you EVER going to figure out the difference between "to" and "too", you fvckin' idiot?

      Signed,

      Just wondering

      July 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here's the thing, notmorethanadolt: No one cares what you believe, you idiot. You're an illiterate dolt. You aren't capable of interpreting "Dick and Jane", much less the Bible.

      Furthermore, you sh!t=for=brains azzhole, no one is required to live by your beliefs. This isn't a theocracy and your imaginary sky-daddy isn't in charge.

      Get a clue, dimwit.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      nottolate,
      "You think you're important in God's eyes but you're really not."

      Listen bub, I am not the one saying that I am one of the few SPECIAL pet rats of a hot-shot fantasy super-being.

      You do not have even one verified fact on your side. Not one.

      (and you still don't get the difference between "to" and "too", even after being instructed about the real deal – you are a boob).

      July 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      nottolate..im afraid it is for you by the sound of it.. what a jaded, anti human view of life you have. I hope this shooting has shaken the cobwebs off of the brains of the devout, and at least made them question why they believe in an uncaring alien. No doubt the sludge of religion will coalesce around them again and they will find some excuse to have ` god" support the suffering

      July 29, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *Laughing hysterically."

      Really, nottoobright, do you think you're so special that anyone takes your say-so as truth?

      Get real, dumb azz.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Tom, Tom,

      Heheheh on the "to"-"too"! I was typing while you posted (and was called away), so didn't see it until I finished.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Frayed, doesn't it crack you up? These "deep thinkers" who can't master 8th-grade grammar and syntax?

      Really, what a bunch of sh!t-wits.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  7. sofiahope

    I think this is beautiful.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  8. Eddie

    you can call to him in your hour of need, as many victims did that night! he will never be there, because he never was! God was created to keep order because back then we were unintelligent barbarians killing everything in sight! Even Einstein proclaimed there is no such thing! Keep believing the lie! If you are a decent God fearing individual, then you are with the program! Brainwashed...

    July 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Chad

      If God does not exist, then how does evolution explain the belief that He does?

      Now, before you start with "It puts our minds at ease"
      remember, if God doesnt exist, pretending He does is delusion, what competitive edge is there in being delusional? How is natural selection going to favor a denial of reality?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Good question Chad. Easily answered.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg&w=640&h=390]

      July 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The human mind is a code breaker/puzzle solver; therefore it sees the universe as a puzzle to be solved. Ergo, god beliefs.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • nojinx

      A Chad,

      That is easy. We believe whatever it is we need to believe to get us through the day. Suppressing fact or logic is no impediment to enforcing one's paradigm.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Chad

      How does embracing a delusion provide a benefit?

      And, if it does, why dont we do more of it?

      observing that the brain is complex doesnt in any way shape or form demonstrate how random mutations and natural selection alone got it to that point. The video over and over hammers on how complex the brain is, and how it looks for outlets for expression, but fails utterly at describing any mechanism over which it would have developed by purely random mutations and natural selection have gotten to the current state (in just 70k years BTW). He simply spends the entire time describing the complexity, but never even attempts to demonstrate how it got that way.

      Example: "the heart is so amazing, wow.. how perfectly designed it is.. millions of pumps, so efficient.. See how amazing purely random mutations and natural selection is?"
      well, wait a minute.. yes I agree that the heart is designed and amazing.. but precisely where did you demonstrate how it got that way with purely random mutations and natural selection? He just assumes it's true and proceeds from there.

      It's hilarious how the guy in the video repeatedly uses the term "designed", I mean really, really funny.

      Even an atheist is inadvertently forced to acknowledge a designer when attempting to describe the human body ;-)

      July 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Chad

      When confronted with an ambiguous situation, you can make make two correct inferences and two incorrect inferences.
      If the situation is not threatening, and you interpret it as non-threatening, that is correct.
      If the situation is threatening, and you interpret it as threatening, that is correct.
      If the situation is threatening, and you interpret it as non-threatening, that is incorrect, a false negative, you are dead because you were delusional.
      If the situation is not threatening, and you interpret it as threatening, that is incorrect, you are just being paranoid.

      Now, since being paranoid is better than being dead, random mutation and natural selection should favor paranoia over delusion.

      How exactly does a person believe in atheism again? Seems like you have to willfully ignore so much...

      July 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      As usual, Chad, you don't know any Genetics. Where exactly did you study Genetics ? When people say evolution "designed" something, it's a figure of speech. One of the many problems religiionists have, is they don't knowwhat a "figure of speech is".

      July 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PREACH IT, buckyball!

      July 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Chad. god is just your teddy bear you have been unable to give up since childhood... thats all. You know that god is not there to save you at all, hence you still use part of your brain to protect yourself. You would not jump off of a 400 ft cliff to prove god exists because you know you would die, god would not appear to slow your desent and a splat is all that would happen. Your believe in god proves nothing to the rest of us.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @llɐq ʎʞɔnq "As usual, Chad, you don't know any Genetics. Where exactly did you study Genetics ? When people say evolution "designed" something, it's a figure of speech. One of the many problems religiionists have, is they don't knowwhat a "figure of speech is"."

      =>In the atheist view there are only two agents of change in a populations gene pool, random mutation and natural selection.
      You are trying to say that a good figure of speech for purely random gene mutations is "designed"
      really?

      really?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Chad

      @EvolvedDNA "god is just your teddy bear you have been unable to give up since childhood... thats all. "
      @Chad "wasnt a Christian unitl 30 yrs old, raised in atheist household..

      do you have data to offer, or just inaccurate insults?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad, you don't know a thing about genetics and you haven't answered the question about when and where you studied so we can all avoid attending such a substandard school.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  9. nottolate

    @No Truth, Just Claims

    "taking responsiblity for ones actions."

    Ok and how is God responsible when he wasn't the shooter?

    July 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      After reading the posts on this page, I'm fairly certain that No Truth wasn't talking about god being responsible for the shooting. But I don't know. For me, I would say that you can't give god credit for butterflies and rainbows and not hold him responsible for AIDS and Ebola. Because that would be stupid.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How is god responsible? If the god you believe in is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, how is he NOT responsible, you friggin' dolt?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      I don't think god is responsible because I don't believe in god. If the concept of the christian god were true then he would be responsible either through his action or inaction.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  10. Mudman

    I prayed for a blow-job from the priest today and, well, my prayers were answered so I guess it works.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Sannie

    is this thing working?

    July 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Lol...are you talking about prayers, or the website?

      July 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Sannie

      You said, "is this thing working?"
      Are you having trouble getting your posts to show?

      CNN uses WordPress blogs for their opinion pieces, and they use automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. If your post doesn't show up, it most likely had a forbidden word in it.

      On the Belief Blog, repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
            arse             as in Arsenal
            bastard
            bitch
            cock           as in cockatiel
            coon           as in cocoon
            cum             as in circumstance
            cunt
            douche
            effing
            fag
            ftw
            fuck
            homo         as in homosexual
            hooters
            horny
            hump
            jackass
            jap
            jism
            kinky
            kooch
            nipple
            orgy
            pis
            porn
            poo           as in spooked
            prick
            queer
            rape         as in grape
            sex           as in homosexual
            shit
            slut
            smut
            snatch
            spic         as in despicable
            tit               as in constitution or title
            twat
            vag           as in vague
            whore
            wonderful us
            wtf

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      July 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • eric

      Yep just had my post end up in the void...

      July 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • eric

      And now there is 2 of them...

      July 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • LinCA

      @eric

      Shit happens

      July 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      b4, when you're in over your head, you'd best examine your arguments.

      Good luck, honey-bunch. You'll need it.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  12. steama

    God FAILED in Aurora mainly because the whole idea of god is make-believe. This best explains god's utter incompetence in doing something useful the Aurora shooting incident.

    July 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • sowily.com

      Reading some of these mean responses I realize how easy it is to hate atheists. Can't you guys just meet people where they are at? You don't have to have no compassion just because you aren't a christian. In this case, we as atheists know we are pretty much on point, but are we the end all and be all on every topic? Isn't there something out there that we don't know or understand? That's how it is for theists. They come up a little short on reality, so give 'em a break. Don't gloat. It's ugly. Try to explain things to people where they are. If that means they worship spaghetti balls, get 'em a plate of spaghetti. Who sees reason when they are angry? And what christian is going to be anything but angry and hurt reading these silly posts from atheists. You're supposed to be smarter, not meaner.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • nottolate

      steama

      God FAILED in Aurora mainly because the whole idea of god is make-believe.

      How so? Have you considered that maybe you and they do not even belong to him?

      July 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Confused face

      Explain things to the believers? The ones who think that a Bronze-age text written by nomads has all the answers? A great quotation from Leo Tolstoy comes to mind:

      “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-
      witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the
      simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if
      he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of
      doubt, what is laid before him.”

      July 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • pntkl

      Yeah, because, any proper god should do and say what they're told to by the Least Significant Bits. I can understand when people expect extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims; that's often referred to as the Russel's teapot analogy. What doesn't make sense is to expect you're smarter, more informed, or somehow that much more advanced than someone that holds differing opinions. One might as well tell people to do as they say, not as they do.

      It has been said a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. If that is indeed the case, an Atheist that desires a realized superiority, rather than the oh-so-common illusory superiority, should consider their own shortcomings as a human. It makes no sense to consider oneself reasonable, yet lack any validity for their logic to that effect. Therein lies the issue of an argument based on the absence of evidence–as imperfect observers, people are like King Midas, in reverse. All the gold they touch turns to lead. Since I'm not real, but rather a figment of your collective imaginations, the pronoun used in the prior sentence is correctly used.

      Someone with a strong conviction, having integrity in their stated belief, find no pains from any opposing claims. When you are not attached to the defense of your position is when you're truly affirmatively rooted by it. As it's said, the truth needs no defense–it speaks for itself.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Sowily,

      Disagreeing with a concept of god is not mean.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @confused face: “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-
      witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the
      simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if
      he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of
      doubt, what is laid before him.” – Tolstoy

      Neat quote. It can apply equally to you guys.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "you guys" - the lexicon of the teen-aged dimwit.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      pnykl,

      Truth does not ask to be believed. It asks to be tested. Scientists do not join hands every Saturday and Sunday and sing, “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down! Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Mudman

      b4bogbang:

      Actually, it does not work equally well. The atheist, if any proof were provided, would accept that they were wrong and that god exists. That is how the scientific method operates. Finding answers to the unknown or falsifiable hypotheses.

      Believers in the other hand claim to already know. The answer is always "god.". Whether the act or action makes sense, it is always "god" and no other answer is tolerated.

      That is how it works. It does not work the other way around.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thank you, Mudman. Too bad b4 is immune to reason.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Eric

      How did GOD fail? Yes there was a horrific event. Yes there was a sensless loss of life. How is this GODs failure? From the facts we have thus far a man made a decision, we have free will. Reall where was GOD what about the survivors I thank GOD for them. Or the ones that sacrificed themselves for their loved ones. Where was GOD when an IED goes off in Iraq, He still is there. Death is a part of life, we cant stop it, it is only a matter of when and how. Yes it is aweful to loose a loved one I have more then once. But I thank GOD for the time I did have with them. For those treasured memories.

      On the reality topic Im not sure what you mean. Yes there are many different beliefs within the church reguarding creation. And odds are not one is correct includeing my thoughts on it. But the same can be said for the other side. Most of the parrioted studdies are very flawed, to be honest out of the ones I looked into they were flawed I have not yet researched all of them. I find it funny the use of twisted statistics in a discussion. All groups of people are guilty of this, however on a group of people that pride themselve on their intelect I expect better. To really look into the "facts" they are saying. Not just Beleiving what someone told them. Hmmm funny sounds alot like faith to believe with all the facts...

      July 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Eric

      How did GOD fail? Yes there was a horrific event. Yes there was a sensless loss of life. How is this GODs failure? From the facts we have thus far a man made a decision, we have free will. Reall where was GOD what about the survivors I thank GOD for them. Or the ones that sacrificed themselves for their loved ones. Where was GOD when an IED goes off in Iraq, He still is there. Death is a part of life, we cant stop it, it is only a matter of when and how. Yes it is aweful to loose a loved one I have more then once. But I thank GOD for the time I did have with them. For those treasured memories.

      On the reality topic Im not sure what you mean. Yes there are many different beliefs within the church reguarding creation. And odds are not one is correct includeing my thoughts on it. But the same can be said for the other side. Most of the parrioted studdies are very flawed, to be honest out of the ones I looked into they were flawed I have not yet researched all of them. I find it funny the use of twisted statistics in a discussion. All groups of people are guilty of this, however on a group of people that pride themselve on their intelect I expect better. To really look into the "facts" they are saying. Not just Beleiving what someone told them. Hmmm funny sounds alot like faith to believe withoutall the facts...

      July 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      You just demonstrated that Tolstoy's saying works for you as well as others when you without hesitation appealed directly to the scientific method.
      This is common among the modern atheists posting here.
      While it's true that atheism isn't a belief, rather an absence of belief in gods or supernatural, the fact is that it appears that the bulk of today's atheists became atheists because they've completely bought into the belief system that was formerly called scientific-materialism [now called scientific-naturalism or some such].

      When a philosophy or religion comes around, the scientific-materialist rejects it because they believe that they should reject all knowledge that can't be scientifically proven – even if the body of new knowledge proactivly gives reason as to why it can't be proven scientifically.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Confused face

      Wow. A lot of irrelevant double-talk there.

      Let's use another example. I tell you I believe I can fly. I have no evidence of this and it is up to you to prove I can't. Do you think my position is a strong one? Would you believe me?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • eric

      @Mudman I am a believer and no I do not default to it always GOD. Just thatabsolute statement is riddiculus. I do not like that answer myself. Yes when you go all the to the source it is GOD. However I will say GOD created the universe, set up all the laws of of all the sciences. Everything within the universe operates according to divine creation which we can observe, study, contemplate. We learn more gather more knowlage but it is all still inside the box of the observable universe we live in. The real quest is whats outside the box, that we will never be able to see.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Since you think my statement is irrelevant, I assume you're attempting to re-direct me to answering questions of your own making, leaving aside my comment.
      I will say that since my comment seemed irrelevant to you then, therefore you're either not a scientific-materialist, or you are, but you disagree on my point that you reject all religion/philosophy because they [by definition, btw] cannot be proven scientifically.

      Which one applies to you? Do you reject all philosophy/religion simply because they cannot be proven scientifically?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • pntkl

      No Truth, Just Claims,

      You'd be hard pressed to find that many people that would tell you what goes up doesn't come down. It's not something you'll likely find in a place of worship. Explicitly stating why someone that believes in a supreme higher power sings praise isn't necessary; it's implied, once understanding of the tenants for such a belief is grasped. To say that makes them insecure, however, isn't that bad of an argument. I'll agree with you there, to the extent that doing so is in vain, if a group holds one doctrine, yet lacks adherence thereof–by effect, they hold a false doctrine. Yet, on the other hand, those with integrity therein, that is to say faithful–by effect, to say they're insecure is a misnomer.

      To use an argument of ignorance, then say it is one's security that dictates which wagon a person rolls around in, is to possess illusory superiority. I agree with the idea that such illusion stems from one's desire for social acceptance. In any such case, to say that all those so opposed to Atheism are just motivated in their opposition, because of fears and/or insecurity, that is humorous to me, considering that people are hardly what I would consider sufficiently qualified to ascertain much as absolute. Cogito ergo sum.

      "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."

      - T.J.W.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @b4

      The scientific method proves its usefulness trillions of times every day and billions of times just in the interchange between you, your computer, and this forum. Most atheists would change their mind to align with YOUR viewpoint about god's existence if that PROVEN method showed your belief to be reasonable. What kind of stupid argument is it to cast aspersions onto the scientific method because YOU can't put up any demonstrable proof for the philosophy that you claim is more than mere philosophy?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder if b4 went out on a date this weekend. Did you, b4? Or did you sit a home, alone and wondering why you have no one in your life?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      noun
      1.
      a damaging or derogatory remark or criticism; slander: casting aspersions on a campaign rival.

      2.
      the act of slandering; vilification; defamation; calumniation; derogation.

      I cast aspersion on the scientific method? Where? Show me. I love science. Clarke, Asimov, all the old-school guys. Love string theory too. I merely stated that many atheists are so because of their being scientific-materialists. I allege that it is a belief-system, and your reaction helps to support my position.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @b4

      It's a proven belief system that holds its adherents to a high standard. You MUST change to new incoming data that causes cognitive dissonance. The scientific method is based on measurable data, not stories and feelings. It's why christians use a bic lighter for their cigarette instead of praying down fire from heaven.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ah, so b4, you sat home all weekend without a date? Poor you.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Confused face

      And, b4, your point is? What does this have to with the lack of any evidence for the theistic position? I mean, you are an atheist as far as Thor, Krishna and Ra are concerned, correct?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      To be fair, I think that b4 has really come a long way in the past few months, here. If memory serves, he used to claim that atheism was a belief/religion, just like his philosophy is. He has learned otherwise. Give him a chance, I say. Religious belief is the toughest drug to quit.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Confused face

      and why when they are sick or hurt they go to the hospital and not church.

      Well, except for the Christian Scientists but they are the rodeo clowns of Christianity.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You think b4 has "come a long way"? I guess that depends on your definition of "long".

      I think he's an infant.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      The scientific method works great for those things that can be detected and measured. It is totally unsuited however, to those things that cannot be detected or measured. This is where philosophy and religion come in.

      Thank you for admitting that scientific-materialism is indeed a belief system.

      Btw, philosophy comes in handy as a way to logically prove that there are limits to the scientific-method [I'm not saying limits to our knowledge in this case, but limits to how broadly we can apply the scientific method - it has built-in limitations in and of itself].

      July 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      pntkl,

      So basically, no one can "know" anything for certain and therefore believing that something as unknowable as a god exists and then also claiming that you know which god exists is just as reasonable as "believing' in gravity. That is an absurd argument if that is what you are saying. I don't claim to know if god exists or not, just as I can't say for certain wither aliens or bigfoot exists, it is not an unreasonble position to say "I don't know". It is however unreasonable to claim you know god exists or even that you just believe god exists. This is why "faith" is used in place of evidence. Faith is just pretending to know something you don't know. Thiests like to argue believing in religion is the same as having confidence in science, its not, not even close. Science has been and can be wrong about a lot of things, but self correction is built into the method. Not so with religion, you can claim anything you want and it is just as valid as any other unproven belief, which is what makes religion, any religion, unreliable for ascertaining what is true.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      b4, I'm glad there's something that takes up where reality leaves off. And I'm glad it keeps you happy.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "even if the body of new knowledge proactivly gives reason as to why it can't be proven scientifically."

      b4bigbang,

      Saying something is knowledge is saying it is knowable, how can you claim something is "knowable" if it cannot be proven. And using "scientifically proven" is redundant. Give an example of something that can be "proven" but can't be "scientifically proven"..

      July 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • pntkl

      No Truth, Just Claims,

      I wasn't implying that there was anything wrong with being Agnostic or Atheist. My explicit point is that it is foolish to consider oneself better than another; simply from opinion. Certainly there are those that can run faster, last longer under water, etc., more so that others. Just as cognitive ability differs from person to person. The one thing that makes all mankind equal is faith.

      So, by that, compounded with problems such as Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty, the observer's effect, and the like–the modern day human lacks sufficient qualification to ascertain a good part of their knowledge as being absolute. Just because we use a symbol set and procedure to 'simplify' difficult problems, it in no way has to be as we dictate it, nor does it make it the easiest, most efficient, indisputable, and unmatched way of surmising an answer.

      Some of the posters here, having explicitly stated as much, find themselves to be the cream of the crop, since they disagree that there can be proof of a negative. Although it may be okay to disagree based on a lack of evidence; it doesn't mean they've attained absolution of ignorance. Even religious people of today aren't beholden to the exact same beliefs and value systems today as they were yesteryear; even when you can find similes, you won't find facsimiles.

      Altogether, it doesn't hurt us to differ in opinion. It only hurts when words are used as a whip, to figuratively break each others' bones. To quote an adaptation by Theodore Gottlieb, "To the maggots in the cheese, the cheese is the universe. To the worms in the corpse, the corpse is the cosmos. Creatures of twilight and illusion, we drift and drift to our unknown end. That is why I feel the best thing is not to be born. But who is as lucky as that? To whom does it happen? Not to one among millions and millions of people."

      - T.J.W.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      No need to furnish an example. If you say that it's redundant, then I simply remove the word "scientifically" – I have no problem with that.

      Re knowing, or knowledge in general, I use the word in the context of comprehending/understanding something or someone. I know that Christianity is a belief-system and I understand it well enough to navigate it.

      The fact that your use of the word "know" is apparently limited to what can be proven is another indicator that you too possibly adhere to scientific-materialism as a belief-system.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, b4, did you get any this weekend, or was it the same old, same old? You know: no s3x except with yourself.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "My explicit point is that it is foolish to consider oneself better than another; simply from opinion."

      pntkl,

      I don't think I am better, I do think it is better to withold believing something is true when there is not sufficient evidence to think it is. You see theists are making 2 claims. First that there is a god, and second that they know which god, and because of that they think they are better to such an extent that they should be able to dictate their religious morals on others. On the scale of arrogance I think this far exceeds any atheistic claim of "no god". You also have to understand while I, and many atheists, agree that there could be a god. But when it comes to the christian god, that particular god is by definition absurd to the point of being almost certian to be complete fiction. When atheists on here say there "is no god" they are usually refering to the concepts of god as proposed by men, not to a 'deistic' god. I certainly can't speak for all but that has been my experience.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      I know that Christianity is a belief-system and I understand it well enough to navigate it.

      b4bigbang,

      I understand christianity enough to navigate it too. I understand it enough to know it is an absurd belief system. It contradicts itself constantly. If it was a coherant belief system there would be at least one belief that unified all "christians" but there is not. So what christians do is use the "no true scotsman" fallacy to say those other christians are not really christians. Since there is no way to establish what a "true christian" is, any one who calls themself a christian is one, and therefore it is meaningless.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      So you're saying that if Christianity was a coherent belief-system all the Christians would agree?

      I can use an anology to refute that.

      If you subsitiute navigating "Americanism" or the "American way" or "patriotism" in the place of Christianity, you'd get a number of wide ranging and contradictory answers to your specific questions, depending upon which American you're asking. Was he/she a Democrat? Republican? Tenth generation WASP? Male? Femmale? A recently naturalized Pakistani?

      Your position re the faith contrdicting itself is wholly dependent upon peoples' interpretation of the Scriptures.
      Indeed, even science has disagreements regarding long-standing knowledge, eg, I just read about Dandelions today, and found that there's disagreement among botanist as to whether there are many hundreds of species or merely approx 60.

      And no, I do not believe that the Bible contains errors in its teaching. Presentation errors? Definitely. But it doesn't contradict itself in its teaching.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Conclusion: b4 didn't get any this weekend.

      I weep for him.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Corr: analogy, not anology. Please forgive my typos.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      If it [ie, Christianity] was a coherant belief system there would be at least one belief that unified all "christians" but there is not.

      That statement also is incorrect. Google the "Apostle's Creed". It's pretty much all the essentials a person needs to believe in order to be a Christian. It boils down all the essential parts of Christian profession, taken from Scripture, so that new Christians can know the essentials.
      So there's one belief, or even better, several items of belief rolled into one unified creed.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      b4, dear, it's 'coherent', not "coherant', dumbfck.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      If you subsitiute navigating "Americanism" or the "American way" or "patriotism" in the place of Christianity,

      b4bigbang,

      No, this is a non-sequitor. "Americanism" and the rest are not belief systems. If you are going to say christianity is a belief system there should be a belief that unifies all 'christians'. For instance you like to use scientific-materialism (which I have no problem identifying as), it has the scientific method as its unifying axiom. Christianity is all over the place. Saying the bible is true and the issues with opposing views is one of "presentation" is just a fancy way of using the "no true scotsman fallacy". Not all christians even agree that the bible is completely true.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "It's pretty much all the essentials a person needs to believe in order to be a Christian."

      Not even close,

      Not all current christians agree with the apostles creed, not to mention there are multiple versions of it. The whole point of the apostles creed was an attempt to unify the competing christian beliefs which it was not successful in doing.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • b4bigbang

      No Truth, Just Claims

      If you subsitiute navigating "Americanism" or the "American way" or "patriotism" in the place of Christianity,

      b4bigbang,

      No, this is a non-sequitor. "Americanism" and the rest are not belief systems.

      It may not be a belief-system to you, but to many it is. Indeed, belief in a political system has been the central core life-guiding/defining belief of several major historical figures.

      If you are going to say christianity is a belief system there should be a belief that unifies all 'christians'. For instance you like to use scientific-materialism (which I have no problem identifying as), it has the scientific method as its unifying axiom. Christianity is all over the place. Saying the bible is true and the issues with opposing views is one of "presentation" is just a fancy way of using the "no true scotsman fallacy".
      I disagree. I can think of only 3 Chritian creeds used today, and of those 3, only 2 are widely recited in churches in my experience. The interesting thing is that all 3 creeds agree on the essentials.

      Not all christians even agree that the bible is completely true.

      This is a general statement. Give examples.

      No Truth, Just Claims

      "It's pretty much all the essentials a person needs to believe in order to be a Christian."

      Not even close,

      Not all current christians agree with the apostles creed, not to mention there are multiple versions of it.

      Could you give me a reference showing that the Apostle's creed has variant versions? Or are you mixing up the fact that there are 2 other creeds? Btw, all the essentials are in all 3 creeds, if memory serves me (been awhile since i looked them up).

      The whole point of the apostles creed was an attempt to unify the competing christian beliefs which it was not successful in doing.

      It had great effect upon the ones who wanted to abide by it. Does our legal code have its followers and its outlaws? Of course!

      July 30, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @b4: it's "non sequitur" ya dolt.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Not all christians even agree that the bible is completely true.

      This is a general statement. Give examples.

      Some christians think Jesus was more of a demi-god, not equal to god. Or that he was not actually god, they just like and follow his philosophy. Some think that he was not born god but became god later when he was baptised. Some think the old testament was mythology and not to be taken literally. Mormans have all kinds of differing opinions and call themselves "christian". You can claim that some or all of these people are not really christians but that is a fallacy. The list is endless. Name any single christian belief and there is a person who identifies as christian that disagrees.

      The point is how is something determined to be true in the christian world view, it is all speculation and opinion. While I agree that the essentials of the apostles creed are the same there are christian churchs that do not use it. You can define a christian as one who adheres to the apostles creed but by what authority is that true? How do christians 'test' the truth of what is believed? If you want to argue that religion is no better than politics at coming to truth I will certianly agree. We know for certian the scientific method is the single best way to determining truth, it not perfect, but it has far exceeded religion, philosophy or politics. Science is specifically set up to allow what it holds as being true today, proven false tomorrow. Religion is specifically set up to stop its "beliefs" from being proven wrong.

      July 30, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  13. DandyDillweed

    Perhaps the reason why you guys are groping for answers is that there is none.
    God exists as much as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.. Apparently you have had your eyes shut.
    Wake up!
    The world can be a cruel place. Mother nature is not kind. It is the nature of things to kill and be killed from time to time – look around you. Some people lose grip of their civility and do bad things that have no explanation. It is as simple as that.
    Looking for explanations as to why make believe sky fairies don't intervene is simply religious people trying to explain something that doesn't make sense in the first place. God wasn't in Aurora, because he doesn't exist.

    July 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • pntkl

      Why not she, if you're going to give God a gender reference, yet dispute the reality thereof. In that context, it seems more appropriate to objectify the conceptualization of a supreme deity for which differing groups declare as female, male, or gender neutral.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  14. A Little Common Sense

    What is a god without accountability, but a a fairy tale?

    July 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • nottolate

      @A Little Common Sense

      "What is a god without accountability"

      Explain accountability?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I could more easily explain quantum physics to a toddler.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      notolate,

      taking responsiblity for ones actions.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • nottolate

      @No Truth, Just Claims

      "taking responsiblity for ones actions."

      Ok and so how is God responsible when he wasn't the shooter?

      July 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Was the shooter omnipotent? Omniscient? Omnipresent?

      Is God omnipotent? Omniscient? Omnipresent?

      Figure it out, moron.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  15. dougsautersmustache

    As a christian, I beat off to the bible every day.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • TheTruth

      well atheist beat off to animals. so go figure.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Tom. Tom, the Piper's Son

      I used to act out scenes from the Bible. Sometimes my husband would sell me for 30 pieces of silver to a rabbi or a priest.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Glad you are my slave, troll. Post some more. It is a compliment!

      July 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • DandyDillweed

      So then you "beat" me to it.. ;-)

      July 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ;

    July 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Two percent of America is gay. Two percent are atheist. Explains it all. The evil ones are against the truth. Need a bar of soap. lol

      July 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • J-Pap

      Get your facts straight.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      As long as prayer doesn't change anything in our public schools, government, laws, judiciary, and workplace. In that case, I hope the prayer does good things for you.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • BK

      There has never been any correlation shown between prayer and anything else. The hard fact is that it doesn't matter if you pray or not; it's random who gets the good or the bad.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5QqEmBi8iw&w=640&h=390]

      July 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!^ .

      July 30, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  17. Mom5

    Wow! is all I can say! Extremely well put!

    July 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  18. Aden

    Where was god when I broke my nail this morning?

    July 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  19. Sampson Simpson

    Where was the Easter Bunny at the time of the shooting? Surely he could have thwarted this disaster.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  20. Kathleen Frank

    My beaver is extremely hairy. It's like a jungle down there.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom. Tom, the Piper's Son

      I guess that excites me Kathleen. At least as much as anything can.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • BK

      Thank you for that vital information. This article would have made no sense to me without your valuable input!

      July 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Eddie

      i have a razor.....stop over!

      July 29, 2012 at 9:35 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.