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My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'
August 4th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'

Editor’s note: Timothy Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and author of The New York Times best-selling book "The Reason for God." His book for church leaders, "Center Church," will be published in September.

By Timothy Keller, Special to CNN

(CNN)–When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question “Why me?” was a natural one.

Later, when I survived but others with the same kind of cancer died, I also had to ask, “Why me?”

Suffering and death seem random, senseless.

The recent Aurora, Colorado, shootings — in which some people were spared and others lost — is the latest, vivid example of this, but there are plenty of others every day: from casualties in the Syria uprising to victims of accidents on American roads. Tsunamis, tornadoes, household accidents - the list is long.

As a minister, I’ve spent countless hours with suffering people crying: “Why did God let this happen?” In general I hear four answers to this question. Each is wrong, or at least inadequate.

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

The first answer is “I guess this proves there is no God.” The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you abandon belief in God.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said that if there was no higher divine law, there would be no way to tell if any particular human law was unjust. Likewise, if there is no God, then why do we have a sense of outrage and horror when suffering and tragedy occur? The strong eat the weak, there is no meaning, so why not?

Friedrich Nietzsche exemplified that idea. When the atheist Nietzsche heard that a natural disaster had destroyed Java in 1883, he wrote a friend: “Two-hundred-thousand wiped out at a stroke—how magnificent!”

Because there is no God, Nietzsche said, all value judgments are arbitrary. All definitions of justice are just the results of your culture or temperament.

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

As different as they were, King and Nietzsche agreed on this point. If there is no God or higher divine law then violence is perfectly natural.

So abandoning belief in God doesn’t help with the problem of suffering at all.

The second response to suffering is: “While there is a God, he’s not completely in control of everything. He couldn’t stop this.”

But that kind of God doesn’t really fit our definition of “God.” So that thinking hardly helps us with reconciling God and suffering.

The third answer to the worst kind of suffering – seemingly senseless death – is: “God saves some people and lets others die because he favors and rewards good people.”

But the Bible forcefully rejects the idea that people who suffer more are worse people than those who are spared suffering.

This was the self-righteous premise of Job’s friends in that great Old Testament book. They sat around Job, who was experiencing one sorrow after another, and said “The reason this is happening to you and not us is because we are living right and you are not.”

At the end of the book, God expresses his fury at Job’s ”miserable comforters.” The world is too fallen and deeply broken to fall into neat patterns of good people having good lives and bad people having bad lives.

The fourth answer to suffering in the face of an all-powerful God is that God knows what he’s doing, so be quiet and trust him.

This is partly right, but inadequate. It is inadequate because it is cold and because the Bible gives us more with which to face the terrors of life.

God did not create a world with death and evil in it. It is the result of humankind turning away from him. We were put into this world to live wholly for him, and when instead we began to live for ourselves everything in our created reality began to fall apart, physically, socially and spiritually. Everything became subject to decay.

But God did not abandon us. Only Christianity of all the world’s major religions teaches that God came to Earth in Jesus Christ and became subject to suffering and death himself, dying on the cross to take the punishment our sins deserved, so that someday he can return to Earth to end all suffering without ending us.

Do you see what this means? We don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why it is so random, but now at least we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be.

It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he doesn’t care. He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he was willing to plunge into the greatest depths of suffering himself.

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Someone might say, “But that’s only half an answer to the question ‘Why?'” Yes, but it is the half that we need. If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains.

What we truly need is what little children need. They can’t understand most of what their parents allow and disallow for them. They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted. We need to know the same thing about God.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Timothy Keller.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (3,664 Responses)
  1. My Name is Boffer Bierce

    The Death of God has been met with sadness by some. It kindles in me the spirit of opportunity. God and the associated baggage of his “moral order” were impediments to progress. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sphere of commerce. Some years ago, I developed a most useful medicine. Taken internally it is a cure for disorders of all kinds and acts as a general tonic. Applied topically, it is a remedy for gout and psoriasis and posses an SPF of 15. The precise recipe is, of course, a trade secret and is protected under US Patent. While God lived, the oppressive machinery of society stood in the way of the production and release of my curative to a needy world. The Death of God, I hope, will occasion its availability on the free market.

    I speak of Oil of Man.

    Oil of Man really is one of the most useful medicines ever discovered. Its production has been somewhat limited by the natural reticence of society to make sacrifices for the afflicted. During research and development for Oil of Man, I was, in fact, forced to requisition donations of certain vital ingredients for my vats. The destruction of the logically inconsistent but simple moral system of the theists will, I hope increase availability of the necessary raw material. A godless society is perfect for the production of Oil of Man. The attempts of the Godless to construct a logically consistent system of ethics sans theos are a failure and are easily discarded by the pragmatic and enterprising among us. Some free thinking rural physicians in my area have been utilizing my tonic for years now-sending patients to me (the only dispensing pharmacy) with a prescription they are pleased to designate as __OL. Hom__.

    Thank heavens for the progress of free thought. The elimination of society’s detritus (unwanted children, the elderly, the poor, opposing political parties, etc.) and their incorporation into Oil of Man will be of great general weal to mankind as it hurtles into a future free of outmoded concepts like good and evil.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Wow, Snake Oil salesman, too bad....I though you were all gone and now you are back to scaming people.

      August 9, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  2. Nitwit

    To me this article seems to exemplify the things so-called "non-believers" feast on. I think the author was onto something when he said "We don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why it is so random...."

    He's right. We don't. But then he goes on to default to what we're taught to believe about God instead of asking and answering any hard questions. He does it again by acknowledging the "half" of the question we "we need" to know but evading the other "half" that could lead to a discussion that may divulge something the believer is not prepared to accept. It's very interesting to me that he completely dismissed the second option he talks about,

    “While there is a God, he’s not completely in control of everything. He couldn’t stop this.”

    But that kind of God doesn’t really fit our definition of “God.” So that thinking hardly helps us with reconciling God and suffering.

    To me avoiding exploration of that idea completely avoids the real purpose of the article in the first place. It's not a question that can easily be answered with what we believe so let's not go digging up ideas that may lead to questions that we're not prepared or willing to answer.

    Also, how can God be the creator of all things, but not evil? If it is the result of humans turning away from Him, didn't He create the punishment for that, if that is indeed it's root? If not, then where did it come from?

    August 9, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Critical thinking is poisonous to religion. So, as with this essay, the purveyors of religion must do their best to anticipate the dangerous questions and provide some canned answers to ward off too much consideration, and to steer thinking down a safe path – you know, that circular one that always leads back to "because God is great, don't ask questions."

      August 9, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  3. GodFreeNow

    @Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    "You come onto a Christian blog with a picture of a huge cross demanding Christians to shut up?"

    On the contrary. I actually encourage christians to continue to speak. If they hid in the shadows, we would not have the opportunity to point out the glaring flaws in logic.

    In my opinion, the greatest literature available to inspire atheism is the bible and the greatest evangelists, christians.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      We say the same about the intolerance that we have found in some members of the Atheist community. The one great thing that thei Blog has shown is that there are radicals and militants on the Atheist side of the aisle as well. We have also found that there are Atheist who do not echo the calls of the Westburo Baptist church. With great pride we have witnessed Atheist and Christians learning that the true danger that all of us face are the intolerant ones on the extremes of both sides.

      Basically, it is folks like you and HeavenSent which we have forced from the shadows whispering in society's ears to hate... to be intolerant. We hear your words and see that they are words of groups like the 700 club and Bin Laden. I do not even think you see and understand your own words mimicing so many on the extremes. I guess to you it is just fighting the good fight. They hate you so you hate them and the process you hate everyone on the other side as well.

      Let go brother. As a Athiest once said on this Blog .. There is a big differance between saying that you do not believe in a God and that another is wrong for choosing to believe in a God.

      Find another way....for the sake of all of us in the middle that have found a way to get along.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      No doubt you have evidence of my using hate speech?

      I do understand that there are extremes on both sides. However, one side relies on evidence and reasoning for its perspective and motivation. The other relies on faith and emotions. I have no doubt in my mind which will win out in the end because we have a long history to show us the results in advance. Every so called act of god, has been shown to be natural events that fall within the parameters of the laws of physics. Illness were once curses, stars were once gods.... The god meme is seeking refuge in the most obscure reaches of the "unknown" universe. It's not hard to see the trend. We are entering an age of reasoning whether mythologists want to believe it or not. From this perspective, I think hate and ridicule from atheists are pretty pointless and only prolong the inevitable.

      I for one and excited to welcome any seekers of truth with open arms and and loving heart. We've all been conned before. There should be no shame in coming to terms with it. When we've evolved beyond the religion con, we'll have to start dealing with the "culture" con. Our work is only just beginning.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”HYowever, one side relies on evidence”

      You have evidence in the non-existance of God. I am interested, please set it forth. 🙂

      >>>”Every so called act of God, has been shown to be natural events that fall within the parameters of the laws of physics.”

      So, when we hear scientist state again and again that there are things that they can not explain, we see history of things that can not be explain … In all of this, you can explain, what others have said they can not?

      >>>”I for one and excited to welcome any seekers of truth with open arms and and loving heart. “

      The problem you will have is the one that so many have had in history, in that your open arms is to only to those that think like you. Where as there is a group of people and it is growing that have evolved past ….sorry to say but you. These are the ones that find that co-existence and tolerance are a more worthy goal to obtain. While, ones such as you proclaim open arms it is half hearted because it is only open to half of the debate. It is Louis Farrakhan saying that he is open to anyone that wishes to view Whites as evil.

      Find another way …. The evolution of this society is to turn our backs on the con of words such as yours. We can afford you or the Pat Robertsons or the Rev Terry Jones of this world. At the extremes you all will be, at the extremes you all will be isolated, and God willing at the extremes..all of you will vanish.

      Your kind, … your “work” is not beginning. We see signs throughout history that your kind of intolerance, has always been with us. Its been there in so many places but now we see yall for who you are. Sorry kid, but the future belongs to tolerance and co-existence.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Mark from Middle River, You act as though you know me so well. Could it be you are taking your assumptions about me on faith?

      Allow me to show you the difference between faith-based assumptions and reality-base truths:

      Assumption – "The problem you will have is the one that so many have had in history, in that your open arms is to only to those that think like you."
      Reality – Though it may come as a shock to your carefully crafted narrative, most atheists are surrounded by family and other loved ones who are deeply religious. To believe that we would exclude these people from our lives because they don't think like us is silly at best.

      The other part of this assumption hints at something we must make right in order for it to be truth. This is a common mentality that I experience in religious people. It almost borders on paranoia and suggests an immature game of picking sides and winning a fight. We are atheists not because we will not accept anything that does not come with sufficient evidence. I use the word "accept" carefully and intentionally here because there is no force on our part to make it true. Something is either true or false. If the evidence presented itself tomorrow that the laws of physics were wrong because we weren't considering all of the evidence, we would accept that and then THAT would be truth. If you insisted that gravity were not a real thing, what good would it do me to be angry at you or argue that it is true and force you to accept it? Reality speaks for itself ultimately. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to help educate our fellow man when they are under the veil of incorrect assumptions about the workings of the universe. We don't know everything true, but we know enough to keep people busy learning what we do know.

      You use the word "co-exist". I hope you see that co-existing is not just "everybody getting along". It's about learning and deciding what is good and bad for society. We decide we don't just "get along" with r@pists and murders. We advance the species by teaching that colds and flu come from bacteria and viruses, not demons. This had to be taught and people had to give up supersti.tions in light of evidence.

      Assumption – "Your kind, … your “work” is not beginning. We see signs throughout history that your kind of intolerance, has always been with us. Its been there in so many places but now we see yall for who you are."

      Reality – History is almost entirely made up religious stories and mythologies. The very concept of religion is based on an "us vs them" mentality. Where are the atheist wars and ethnic cleansing to convert people to atheism?

      I'll stop here because I don't want you to feel like I'm picking on you, but at some point I hope you will look deeper into the ideological perspective you have to see what lies beneath it all. When you let go of fear and programming, you have IS and IS NOT. This is quite simple and where you like the concept or not, the entire physical world is built upon this principle. No one owns truth. I don't own it, religious people don't own it. It either is, or it is not.

      August 9, 2012 at 4:14 am |
  4. Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

    When you encounter someone who professes to be an Atheist, take the most personally advantageous action: eat him. Atheists are high in protein and a good source of B vitamins and amino acids. They tend to be greasy, so otherwise watch your intake of fats and cholesterol. Shield your activities in this matter from the attention of the authorities until Atheists are recognized as game animals by the state. Remember, you have nothing to fear except law enforcement as long as you have braised, roasted or broiled the Atheist to an internal temperature of at least 180 degrees.

    They are also good in casseroles and fricassees.

    Some within our movement have brought to my attention that since only a small percentage of the US population identifies as Atheist, a domestic shortage will soon ensue. The problem of the necessary importation of foreign stock is a real one, and though logistically challenging, should be met with by the harvest of readily available European animals. Atheists are common in Europe since the great conflagrations of WW II and the Cold War. The horrors perpetrated by Nietzschean inspired Fascism are not easily forgotten. And the long and draining Cold War–necessary defense against the wholly Atheistic social and economic philosophy of Marx and the realized atrocities of Stalin, et al.–has left Europe moribund and stagnate. The irony that so many Europeans have responded to the historical horrors of Atheistic philosophy by embracing Atheism themselves is delicious. I suggest we take advantage of it: literally.

    Make no mistake. I am an Atheist myself. But I will never reveal this to the world. It serves my interests to call myself a Believer.

    Do not bore me with notions of how I should obey my "inner moral sense". My moral sense is nothing more than a genetic imprint, a primitive survival advantage I have outgrown–much as I have outgrown the need for God. I can discard them both easily. They are worthless to me. After all, God Is Dead and the only good is what is good for me. I am the Superman. I am Beyond Good and Evil.

    August 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Colin

      I am yet to see any causal connection between Bronze Age mythology and morality. However, I do have a question.

      The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:

      (a) Children’s fairytales;

      (b) Medieval mythology;

      (c) New age pseudo science; or

      (d) Christianity

      August 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

      All of the above. Are you available for dinner?

      August 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • GotMiracle

      May I congratulate you for your witty proposal. Although sadly unable to partake of a diet forbidden to me, except in extremis, I would like to exchange recipes with you. Should the occasion ever arise I feel that it would be essential to do true justice to the noble atheist who would sustain my mortal life! Do you recommend oil, rosemary, & garlic as in a lamb or au jus. I have found that slow roasting over charcoal renders the fat quite well with lamb ; )

      August 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • The Fez

      LOL

      August 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

      Thank you for your inquiry. Atheist cooks up quite well when substi.tuted for lamb in most recipes. I do not recommend preparing Atheist au jus, due to their tendency for corpulence. Since most of them are quite young and generally the products of a somewhat privileged background, they rarely need to be marinated or otherwise tenderized. I have been told, however, that the rarely encountered Atheist of greatly advanced age can be one of the toughest of meats, rendered fit for eating only by stewing or by incorporation into sausage.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Jethro

      granny always cooked up Athests like 'possums...par boiled and served ova a bedd of rice

      August 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • GotMiracle

      It has been my experience that the toughest of meats can be successfully tenderized. I feel my method would do honor to even the sensibilities of the vegetarians & vegans in the atheist community since it involves the use of liberal amounts of papaya as a predigestive aid for the toughest amongst them. Aged meat can be the most flavorful they say. At least that is what my spouse of 30 years tells me!
      Ah well; I have an early wake up tomorrow, so reluctantly I must leave this fascinating subject. I really must thank you. Our conversation has opened up new possibilities hitherto undreamed of for that 60 quart pot I have just obtained to render tallow for historical chandlery. Quite illuminating indeed. A good night to you, may your dreams be as interesting as mine shall be 😉

      August 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      WARNING: Ingesting atheists may lead to uncontrolled bouts of reasoning and higher states of consciousness. Other symptoms may include: Honesty, accepting reality, not jumping to irrational conclusions, appreciation of life, scientific discovery and uncontrollable benevolence. Use only as directed. Consult a scientist to see if atheists are right for you.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

      @got miracle: Ah, a candlelight dinner at sea...you kindle the romantic in me, sir.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  5. sure

    Hey im a DJ in california let me know if you need a DJ i offer other things too

    August 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Roger T.

    I think there are atheists and then there are ATHESITS. Some are well adjusted, happy people who genuinely just have a "lack of belief". They have no reason at all to pound the pulpit–Carl Sagan, for instance ( although he actually called himself an Agnostic). Then there are the EVANGELIST ATHEISTS who, like the religious fundamentalists, have an agenda to convert mankind to a state of disbelief. I think there is a distinction between "lack of faith" and active disbelief, if only on the psychological level. Opps. We may not be able to talk about psychological concepts because they may not exist for the Atheist. He can easily deny their existence.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Roger,

      It all depends on the god. I could care less about the followers of Odin, Zues or any other god that has next to no effect on my life. I was a christian and I have to deal with christians in politics, socially, well in every facet of my life. They knock on my door. Put up signs telling me I and others are going to burn AND that we deserve to. They actively try and take away personal rights according to THEIR beliefs. We can't tell certain christians what we believe for fear of losing jobs, business contacts, being ostrasized by family members and friends. Not to mention all the lies and dishonesty I was told by religious leaders.

      Now lets list all the ways I affect believers. I post on an internet blog. So basically christians should be allowed to preach and shout what they believe all over the country, but we are supposed to shut up and respect YOUR beliefs. If you don't feel like a hypocrite....you should.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • ME II

      "Opps. We may not be able to talk about psychological concepts because they may not exist for the Atheist. He can easily deny their existence."
      I'm not sure why that would be a problem. I think most Atheists would happily agree that belief in God is just a psychological state without any basis in reality.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "active disbelief"? Maybe that is what I am experiencing now?
      What the heck does that mean????????

      BTW, yes it is a tiny number of atheists that care whether or not any individual is or is not a believer. However, most of us care if those believers try to influence our lives based upon those beliefs.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Roger T.

      @notruth: not everyone who has any sort of "belief" goes around trying to impose their beliefs on others. You guys are being too reactionary. It is like someone going around after 9/11 and shooting Muslims because 9/11 proves that all Muslims are bad. It is really the same state of mind. If you want to preach like the right wing wackos–you have that right for sure. But it still makes you a preacher. You could also just work to protect your rights politically–keeping prayer out of school, keeping abortion an available option, etc. You don't have to join them to beat them.

      @MEII: That is OK for me too, actually. Psychological states have validity for the subject, whether they can be objectively proven or not.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "not everyone who has any sort of "belief" goes around trying to impose their beliefs on others."

      You are right, but beliefs inform ones actions, and many people believe that those who are not christian are evil and should be shunned. If you identify as christian and do not agree with those BUT do not oppose them either, you imply your consent. I have no problem being labeled an evangelizer of critical thinking. I want people to know it is ok to question religious authority and be an atheist. Why do you not have a problem with christians who evangelize but you do with atheists?

      And comparing posting on a belief blog or expressing an opposition to a belief and shooting people is a huge fallacy. Really? You are comparing violent acts to expression? That is pretty low.

      I don't think all christians are bad, there are many many wonderful people. But even of the good ones, including members of my family, if I so much as told them I am no longer a christian and did not say why or offend their beliefs they would reject me on that basis alone. Chistians for the most part are not bad, but their beliefs can be toxic.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Roger T.

      Just a quick reply because lunch is about to end. I do have a problem with Christians who try to impose their beliefs upon me. When they knock on my door, I tell them to go away. I vote against their political attempts at control, etc. I don't let them color my outlook on life, though, and I don't make the mistake of believeing that most "people who believe" are nutjob fundamentalists. The 9/11 comparison was simply one of a state of mind...being angry with believers in general is a many degees away from killing people, obviously. but they are similar states of mind. As far as "Christians" are concerned...there are a lot of bad ones for sure. There are a lot of good ones, too. Then there are folks like Ghandi, who, as Bill Maher said, "was so fu.king Christian he was Hindu".

      August 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I guess I'm one of those atheists who exemplify your "active disbelief" category. But it's not for the reason that you suggest.

      I don't speak out about the illogical dogma of deism because I want people to lose their faith. I speak out because the believers in the US are working tirelessly to impose their beliefs on me, and convert this secular nation into what they are fond of referring to as a "Christian Nation".

      I speak out, in order to point out the flaws in their dogma, in the hope that others will join me in resisting this dangerous agenda.

      August 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @EnjaySea

      Well said.

      Peace...

      August 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Roger,

      When I identified as a christian I felt the same way about those who evangelize, so I do understand where you are coming from. But you could have used many analogies to say atheists are painting christians whith a broad brush, but you choose to make it as exteme as possible and compare it to shooting people. I don't think you probably consciously meant it that way but put yourself in our shoes where Pat Robertson and his ilk have blamed the shootings of the last 2 weeks on atheists. Christians in general kept quiet, I didn't hear any of them come out and say that is BS. Then you compare expressing opposition to christianity as the same as shooting people. You should easily see why we get angry at those OPINIONS of us.

      Also, I can't speak for all atheists just as you can't for all christians but from my experience we are not anrgy at christians, we are angry at what christianity teaches and what some christians believe. I truly think christian dogma is immoral. That does not mean I think christians themselves are necessarily immoral as many have rationalized out much of the immorality and ignore other parts.

      August 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”I don't think you probably consciously meant it that way but put yourself in our shoes where Pat Robertson and his ilk have blamed the shootings of the last 2 weeks on atheists. Christians in general kept quiet, I didn't hear any of them come out and say that is BS.”

      Hi Claims

      Maybe it is because ones like Pat Robertson are so far out of the public spectrum that it was not reported. In many instances Atheist have pointed to this preacher or this pastor and either have tried to link all of us to them or expect all of us to address everything he said. Imagine as White person, some Grand Wizard gave a hate speech... would you as a White person be expected to comment on each and every speech he makes? Between FoxNews and the CNN Belief blog...who loves to find even the smallest negative Christian comment and make it a huge article, I did not hear or the story.

      >>>”Then you compare expressing opposition to Christianity as the same as shooting people. You should easily see why we get angry at those OPINIONS of us.”

      So...welcome to the club dear friend. There will always be ones on both sides that will take the worst and try to tie it to the groups that stand in opposition to their views. Between the Aurura movie shootings and the Sikh temple shootings do you not think that each political camps ..Oba and Rom .. would love to tie the others campaign to these acts? In the year or so I have been here, I have read radical Atheist wish to tie my Christianity to acts of other Christians. They skip over ones like Martin Luther King and compare all Christians to ones like Hitler. Do we get angry... yes but, that is the nature of debates and dialogue most often on this Blog.

      And also by saying something makes you angry on a Blog like this is like throwing blood into shark infested waters. The goal of trolls is to get you “angry”.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Maybe it is because ones like Pat Robertson are so far out of the public spectrum that it was not reported."

      Mark,

      Having your own national TV station and daily TV show is out of the national spectrum. And he was far from alone in the christian community expressing this sentiment.

      I realize people all get lumped in together on both sides. That was not my point with Roger. I expect Robertson and his wackos to act that way but Roger was making an unnecessary straw man argument that compared shooting people to expressing speech, it was dishonest though in his case I don't think intentional.

      August 9, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  7. 2357

    Real atheists don't debate, they merely do bold acts to overturn faith.

    Real theists don't debate, they merely do bold acts to overturn unbelief.

    You are what you do, ultimately. Let's stop talking and get back to doing.

    August 8, 2012 at 5:24 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      False, there is no reason it can't be both.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • MarkinFL

      An atheist is simply someone that does not have reason to believe any gods exist. There really are no other defining characteristics. Most atheists probably do not give a fig what you believe as long as you do not try to influence their lives with your personal beliefs.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Roger T.

      Then why are so many of them trolling the belief blog of CNN?

      August 8, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • MarkinFL

      It is a place to engage some of those that want to control other people's lives based upon their personal supersti.tious beliefs. Also many of the articles are quite interesting to us since they are about issues we care about.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Same reason the christians are here....to spread the good news.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • ME II

      @2357,
      How exactly would acts overturn faith or unbelief?

      August 8, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • MarkinFL

      You're not supposed to ask questions. Just take it on faith that it makes some kind of sense.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      MarkinFL wrote: "Most atheists probably do not give a fig what you believe as long as you do not try to influence their lives with your personal beliefs."

      Usually true. But when a non-atheist commits some kind of civil crime and then only runs to their religion to confess and be absolved of that crime in the eyes of their god, and if it is left hidden there, then, regardless of their religion, they are still a criminal, albeit a hidden one. And because their religion hides their crime, they may be walking around with certain rights that, if their crimes were known, would normally be taken away by civil law. This should be an affront to both atheists and the general population. Obviously, Catholicism comes to mind as a recent example of this covered so much in the news, but Christianity in general has served up plenty of similar problems since its inception.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • 2357

      @ME II
      Acts of senseless kindness and self sacrifice tend to inspire faith, love and hope.
      Acts of senseless death and destruction breed unbelief, hatred and despair.

      You choose your actions by the results that you desire. It's ultimately about being right or wrong about facts or ideas, but rather which of these results pleases you more in life.

      August 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  8. 2357

    "War broke out in heaven", and heavenly issues are are always above earthly issues. God cares more about his name than any thing in the universe, including humanity. The primary purpose of Creation and Crucifixion is to display the glory of God. Secondary purpose of Creation and Crucifixion is to try, condemn and punish Satan and his demons in a manner that displays the glory of God before angels and men, permanently.

    The trial process will have taken perhaps ten thousand years, but evidently a sinless eternity is well worth the wait.

    "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

    "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    Where do you stand today?

    August 8, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      So your god knew in advance who would be punished for eternity and allowed them to be born, that is completely immoral. The god you decribed more closely resembles the god of the bible, he is an egotistical monster that would not deserve worship even if he did exist.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • MarkinFL

      What an ego maniac. I pity your god.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • tallulah13

      I was standing, waiting for the train to work. And then I stood again, waiting for coffee. I sat at a computer for most of the day, but walked around quite a bit. Then I stood again, waiting for the train home. And while I was doing all this standing, your god was still nowhere to be found.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • 2357

      The description "egomaniac" would be altogether fitting if this were one of us. But he is Creator God who resides outside of time, space, matter and energy. He is Spirit. He is the origin of all ideas. All that is true return to him, and all that is untrue attempts to flee, but in vain. When material existence perishes, you find yourself face to face with his white-hot blazing presence. This is because in the spirit realm all things are measured in absolute relativity to the person of God.

      He has already moved on to the next creation, where all things are made new without the corrupting influence of pride, unbelief and lies. Will you consider his patient and most gracious invitation?

      "I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." – Jesus

      August 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  9. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 8, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • SPAM TROLL

      Please!!! Read my blog!

      August 8, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  10. Colin

    Actually Atheist Ricaard Dawkins etc., you’ll find that most (ex-Christian) atheists don’t believe for one or more of the following reasons:

    The concept of an immortal being makes no sense to us. The laws of thermodynamics kind of argue against it.

    The concept of an all-powerful being makes no sense to us. The laws of physics kind of argue against it.

    The concept of an all-knowing being makes no sense to us. The laws of computing kind of argue against it.

    We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe and the idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies, EACH with 100, 000,000,000 starts and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send his son to talk about sheep and goats in Iron Age Palestine makes no sense to us.

    The answers usually proffered for what we see as basic logical flaws in Christianity – “you have been blinded by your lack of faith” “God moves in mysterious ways” “God is outside the Universe” or “our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God” are never satisfying to us. We see a retreat to mysticism as the first refuge of the cornered fool.

    Your favorite argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

    We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.

    We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that “got it right”.

    We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story (Revelations) and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the time and region.

    Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven with Jesus, having your own Mormon planet etc. as nothing more than childish stories for the more naive, timid minds among us.

    We do not see morality as predicated upon a belief in the supernatural. We accept that one can be moral without believing in the supernatural and that doing so is no guaranty that one will conform to the norms of society that people call “morality”.

    “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is not a convincing argument to us, as in inability to disprove something is a far cry from it being true. We cannot prove that the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu do not exist either, nor Santa Claus for that matter, but that is hardly a reason to believe in them. It is almost always impossible to prove a negative in this sense.

    When one looks at the various Christian beliefs that were once firmly believed – Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, people living to be 700 or 900 years old, the Red Sea splitting, water turning into wine, talking snakes, a man living in a whale’s belly, people rising from the dead, Jesus driving demons out of people and into pigs – but which are now acknowledged by most thinking people to be mere mythology, it is pretty hard to give a lot of credibility to what’s left.

    It is hard not to consider Christianity as based on circular reasoning. Most Christians believe in God because the Bible says so, then turn around and say they believe the Bible because it is the word of God. To draw an analogy, “I believe Obama is a great man because his biography says so, and the reason I believe his biography is that it is about Obama, who is a great man.”

    In short, the more one comes to understand mother nature, the less reason there is to believe in a god and the more one understands human nature, the more one sees why so many of us still do.

    So, the next time you proudly proclaim that you know the secrets to life, death, the origins of life on Earth and the origins of the Universe, because your parents or priest taught you some comforting stories from late Bronze Age Palestine as a ten year-old, you might like to consider where your beliefs fit into the bigger picture.

    August 8, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      You really are amazing...a long winded, self absorbed, pompous, control freak...I am going to retire and go bone my beautiful wife. See ya', loser.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Re: "bone my beautiful wife" – how nice. If that's how you characterize whatever it is you do with your wife, I suspect she is a blow up doll.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Reason122

      @Colin

      For whatever it is worth, your reasoning seems solid to me.

      Have wondered though why you have not touched on just how irrational the "original sin" story is. I.e:

      In the original sin story: 'the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" was off limits to both Adam and Eve.' God must have considered seeking knowledge of good and evil a sin. God apparently wanted mankind to remain ignorant.

      And it was certainly not rational for God to hold Adam and Eve accountable for making a "good" decision (to obey God) when they did not have any understanding of the concept of good and evil.

      Finally, why would a benevolent God punish anyone for seeking knowledge? Doesn't make sense. So the only possible conclusion is that the "original sin" story is not true. It is made up. It is fiction.

      August 8, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Shiloh

      Trust in the character of a relationship and ensuing obedience to what has been clear is above you is not based on being a "good" decision.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Reason122

      @Shiloh

      In the original sin story the only choices God gave Adam and Eve (and mankind) was to remain ignorant or be punished.

      Ignorance just doesn't appeal to me.

      August 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Shiloh

      He didn't ask them to be ignorant – he asked them to obey, which would have required them to trust Him. They bore a consequence which is not the same as a punishment necessarily. In designing the human brain I don't think He was interested in people being ignorant.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Reason122

      @Shiloh

      The whole original sin story is an illogical myth. A story that requires Adam and Eve to give up acquiring knowledge as basic as an understanding of good and evil to prove loyalty just doesn't make sense and is solid evidence that it is just a made up story.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Nope!

      Of course it doesn't make any sense to your natural mind. That's why you're never complete......without your spirit being alive, you can not function as a 'whole' human being. Because you're not!

      August 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Reason122

      @Nope!

      Flying planes into buildings does not make any sense to my natural mind either. So I will continue to choose logic over blind faith.

      Remember your understanding of the god myth is based entirely on what other humans have told you or wrote down. And don't forget that the only basis for arguing that scripture is god inspired is that some human(s) say it is.

      August 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • GotMiracle

      Man's laws once postulated that the world was flat & that firing a cannon during disease epidemics would disperse the miasma(fog) that caused people to fall ill. We as humans understand our world imperfectly & know less about the cosmos. To refuse to ask questions is hiding from answers. Human do not KNOW so many things, but you operate from a position that you KNOW God does not exist.
      A miracle by definition is not explained away by either science or chance. I have experience with one of the "ask & you will receive" type of miracles. I will place it before you, so you can examine it.
      After multiple surgeries & treatments I was left with permanently fused bones that limited my body from functioning properly. I was being treated by oncologists, & a primary care who is a board certified internist & infectious disease specialist. I had workups done by radiologists & certified surgical specialists. At least 3 sets of X-Rays at different facilities, an MRI, bone density, several bone scans, & a bone biopsy were all performed. My primary, a specialist, & a second opinion involving specialists with multiple disciplines confirmed 3 times that the fusion was irreparable. There were no therapies that would cause any improvement in it.
      Having exhausted medical solutions, I was very unhappy. I sought help in emotionally accepting my permanent disability from my church. My pastor recommended that I ask God for aid before simply resigning myself to the situation. It worked. Not only was my full function restored, my next set of X-Rays were normal. The time between my prayer & the cure was only 2 hours. My pastor asked me not to inform his bishop because he felt he had not done anything notable, God had done it.
      So, that is what happened. Last Saturday I ran in a 5K. I had to slow my pace to accommodate my child whose legs are fully as long as mine, & who is 40 years younger than I.
      I am not attempting to convert you, I just would like you to think about the possibility that some things we cannot quantify exist. Like Shakespeare said "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". I am still unsure myself whether humans have it right in how to interface with the infinite, but that's OK. To be alive is to be uncertain of every minute. I know I do not have all the answers. I just have the questions, lots of them 😉

      August 9, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Nope!

      Yeah, that's what you've told yourself to believe. You would just love if we all would be dumb a$$es, but since you know we're not, and you also know that there is much more to our testimony then you wont to admit, so you have to knock us down, inserting your own puny opinion.... But that's fine! He who laughs last laughs the best. Not that we, believers will laugh at you when you scream going down to hell, but God said HE is the one who will laugh who chose to be His enemies. Is he cruel for this? No, I don't think so!
      You've got to stop imagining God of Christianity as being a sucker! You'll find out different, you can bet your life on it!

      August 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Nope!

      The post above was meant for dude who loves calling hismelf "reason" LOL!

      August 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  11. Colin

    Going to sleep, but just wanted to leave you with one of my favorite parodies that SO captures the simplistic inanity of the childlike religious mind:

    This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first:

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts
    out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    John: "We have faith. It is good to have faith in Hank.'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    August 8, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Colin, a quote from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail": "run away!, run away!"

      Explain to me again how sheeps bladders can be utilized to prevent earthquakes...

      You are one BOMBASTIC individual

      August 8, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Shiloh

      As you clearly support – misinformation is not a basis of valid consideration – you clearly have very limited knowledge about the subject. Blessings, hope you slept well.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • fintastic

      ............... excellent analogy.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  12. exlonghorn

    Is it any coincidence that places like Afghanistan...which scored nearly dead last in education according to the United Nations...also are huge religion-drivers?

    Look up "Importance of religion by country". Then look up "Education index UN HDR 2008.svg" There's a laughably high correlation between lack of education and importance of religion.

    Perhaps that is something for you theists to consider. Even Issac Newton...the greatest scientific mind in history...gave up when trying to describe and predict the exact motion of the planets in our solar system. Instead, he stated that it must be God's work.

    ""The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. […] But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. […] This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being"

    Interestingly, years later... using the very calculus Newton invented, there came a perfect model for describing and predicting the motion of the planets. Hmmm...not God's work after all. Newton simply had not done all the calculations to see if his intuition was right. The same was true for the orderly motion of the planets. Newton had no concept of how solar systems could form on their own or what the planetary motions would be like in naturally forming systems. Astronomy simply had not developed to this point. In the decades after Newton, astronomers discovered that solar systems form naturally from large clouds of rotating matter. Therefore, a large, slowly rotating cloud collapses under its own gravity, and it tends to flatten into something like a pancake. Saturn's rings are an interesting example where the cloud is still present. The material collects into big clumps in the plane of the pancake. After the process is completed, a collection of clumps all travelling in the same direction and in the same plane exists — just like our solar system.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Hey, why don't you address the argument at hand instead of moving on to another one?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      What exactly IS the argument at hand? And...more importantly...what's your evidence to support YOUR side of it?

      August 8, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ben Stein's Gotcha guy

      Umm... because you don't listen anyway.

      In any case anyone can post a new discussion point any time they like – after all, you did.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      That's cool, man I am really not trying to hijack you guys' church meeting or anything...

      August 8, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Come on buddy...answer my questions

      What exactly IS the argument at hand? And...more importantly...what's your evidence to support YOUR side of it?

      Only a completely weak individual would hang out here and throw BS around without explaining a view of their own.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Shiloh

      Ex longhorn – you shouldn't talk about yourself that way, it doesn't help.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Shiloh, you must be new to the party. I've very clearly stated my point of view. I am of the opinion that God doesn't exist. I don't know this for certain, but all the available evidence leads me towards this conclusion. I typically leave it at that. I don't debate people who respectfully practice their faith, illogical as it may be. I don't understand it, but I also don't feel I have any right to what people believe. However, I have one major point of contention, and that's with those theists who believe they have a mission to convert people to their religion..."spread the word" if you will. Christians and Muslims are famous for this. You're either one of them, or you're wrong. These theists say I should consider the afterlife, I should accept Christ or Muhammed into my life or face eternal damnation, etc. Again, this is annoying but I can deal with it most of the time. The ones that really get me going are the ones who take their religion and either try to restrict others rights, or who try to inject their religion into public schools, workplaces, government, laws, politics, etc. THAT is when you're going to pick a fight with me. Those are the people I want to talk with here. So there's my position.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  13. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Chad,

    your (invented) defintion: Disbelief: inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real:

    From the OED:

    disbelief, n
    The action or an act of disbelieving; mental rejection of a statement or assertion; positive unbelief

    I mentally reject the assertion of God.

    It really isn't a complicated concept – you just try to make it so as you weave your pointless little webs of words to try to trap people and score points. It doesn't change anything.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – posted in the wrong spot – should be on p37.

      Now reposted – sorry!

      August 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  14. Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

    Colin: When does abiogenesis become logically NECESSARY in the infinite regression of the Cosmos?

    August 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Shiloh, are you just frantically trying to be right about something...anything... or what? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we are familiar with what Google is, and it's pretty clear that we've been referring to it as a search engine. Co congrats...you've adequately described Google...good for you. Here's your obligatory pat on your head.

      I now repeat my earlier request...Shiloh, please provide me with an example where I questioned someone's source material without good cause.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Shiloh, are you just frantically trying to be right about something...anything... or what? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we are familiar with what Google is, and it's pretty clear that we've been referring to it as a search engine. So congrats...you've adequately described Google...good for you. Here's your obligatory pat on your head.

      I now repeat my earlier request...Shiloh, please provide me with an example where I questioned someone's source material without good cause.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  15. exlonghorn

    Good grief are you theists seriously this lazy? YES, IT HAS SELF-REPLICATED! Sheesh. Learn to use Google. You might be surprised at what you can learn. Look up "First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell"

    August 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Oh now I know what you are talking about...that was not the creation of life, sythetic or otherwise, you are talking about the artificial DNA experiment....weak, weak. That was a far cry from the creation of an indepent self replicating ,molecule...nice try though.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, weak, weak, but six days and a talking snake (or its latest incantation, "intellient design") is so intellectually robust and powerful.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Well reasoned, Colin, well said. There is a lot of Mythology in the Bible and most people accept that. What does it prove except that there is a lot of Mythology in the Bible?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Colin

      So where does the mythology stop and reality start and how do you tell? Don't avoid the quaestion, please answer it.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Howe would I know? I never even claimed I believe in the Bible except as a grouping of historio/mythological stories. But guess what...that does not preclude my belief in some sort of "god". By the way, I do believe that all "myth" has a certain validity for humans...I am a big Joseph Campbell fan.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      My gosh you are dense. Here's another one for you...

      Look up "Miller–Urey experiment"

      PLEASE try to crack open a DIFFERENT book once in a while. Scientists have uncovered WAY more than you seem to comprehend. So, we can design life forms and make them real, we can demonstrate creating the 20 amino acids needed for building all the needed proteins of life with little more than water, ammonia, methane, and hydrogen...all readily abundant in early earth history, we can deeply describe evolution and provide mountains of evidence to support it, and the best you can come up with is "weak"? Do you have any idea how truly stupid this makes theists appear?

      August 8, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Amino acids formed in "mars jars" are about 100 million light years away from the necessary level of complexity of even the simplest conceivable form of "life", bright boy.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Colin

      Yes, it is a light year awya. Just like the Wright Brothers were a light year away from the Space Shuttle. Just like "I don't know" is a light year away from a god, just like Bronze Age mythology is a light year away from Copernicus, not to mention Hubble.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      That's it: you guys are the spearhead of evolution...nobly going where no man has gone before...i love science and have a background in it...but that does not turn me in to a preacher of the church of Atheism...Colin you said on another post that you "cannot believe in god". That is not just absence of belief. It is a lot more.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Colin

      I don't recall saying that. Give me evidence and I will consider it. It is called an open mind. Try it sometime, you may be surprised.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Clearly this guy has zero chemistry or biology background, colin. It's like discussing Fourier transforms with a stick. Let's see...basic elements beget amino acids...amino acids beget proteins and DNA....they in turn beget celled organisms...and so on (and yes, I really oversimplified this)

      GET IT? I wish I had some crayons for you.

      check out what theists used to believe BEFORE they were proven wrong...
      answersingenesis.org/articles/cfl/the-origin-of-life

      August 8, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Shiloh

      Why is it that you reference Google as a valid source of information – yet when others post info from Google searches things become invalid? Sounds a little like a double standard.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Shiloh, you DO realize that Google is simply a search engine, right? When I'm knocking what others are posting, I'm knocking the actual information source, not the way they found it. There's a huge difference.

      Ugh, you guys are slow.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Shiloh

      Correct – duh!! My job requires me to do research everyday – I'm very familiar with Google, thank you for your concern : ). It just seems like if someone posts something from Google that you don't agree with then conveniently the sources are in question – interesting.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Shiloh, please provide me with an example where I questioned someone's source material without good cause. I've made 14 posts on this page, and only ONE points to a piece of source information that I questioned.

      I questioned the Dawkins video interview due to it's dated nature (5 years old), and the fact that Dawkins himself has repeatedly disputed the editing and nature of that interview. What's wrong with me pointing that out?

      August 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad, even you can't be this stupid. Google isn't a 'source', you dim bulb. It finds sources, some of which are valid, and many of which are pure tripe. Obviously, you can't or won't engage your brain in attempting to sort the wheat from the chaff.

      August 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Shiloh

      Google however, is a very large resource and isn't ONLY a search engine. Its comprised of google maps, google trends, Webmaster tools, AdSense, Analytics, Gmail, Reader, image labeler. Google, in its whole, is a very large collection of different web pages, google is not ONLY a search engine, therefor Google is a website.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Shiloh, are you just frantically trying to be right about something...anything... or what? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we are familiar with what Google is, and it's pretty clear that we've been referring to it as a search engine. So congrats...you've adequately described Google...good for you. Here's your obligatory pat on your head.

      I now repeat my earlier request...Shiloh, please provide me with an example where I questioned someone's source material without good cause.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  16. exlonghorn

    @Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

    This interview is over 5 years old. Since then, In May 2010, a team of scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create "synthetic life". They used computers and basic amino acids to sew together a functional DNA strand and then "booted it" to life. The single-celled organism Mycoplasma laboratorium contains four "watermarks" written into its DNA to identify it as synthetic and to help trace its descendants.

    So, basically he not only postulated how life began, he actually went out and DID it by creating an entirely new organism. What has your dusty old bible accomplished lately besides threatening people, creating fear, and generating some kind of fuzzy sense of illusory well-being?

    August 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Has your "sythentic organism" self replicated?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @"Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Anyone who actually watched the video could easily hear that Dawkins never once said that "Intelligent Design" was plausible for the very beginnings of life. He said that maybe a a species that EVOLVED THROUGH DARWINIAN MEANS created life and seeded the planets with it. You are only proving that you, Ben Stein, and any other christian who holds this up as a "Gotcha" moment is simply lying.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Colin

      To repeat, science requires facts to support it. Christianity requires nothing but a warm fuzzy feeling.

      The theory most scientists currently favor for the origins of life is called “abiogenesis,” the gradual emergence of life on Earth from non-living matter. To understand why it is thought that life arose on Earth from non-living matter, one has to understand some basic biochemistry. This is where you “God did it” have such a problem. You have to actually understand some very basic science, you can’t just rely on what you were taught at Sunday school as an eight year-old.

      All life is comprised of complex arrangements of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, all orchestrated by DNA and/or RNA. DNA/RNA and proteins are by far the most important components of a living organism, carrying out virtually every function in a cell. Fats and carbohydrates are generally simpler molecules and play critical, but subordinate roles in cells.

      DNA and RNA are made of five nucleotides – adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine and uracil. They act as the cell’s “mission control,” orchestrating the cell’s activities. Proteins are made of 20 amino acids. They are the workhorse of the cell – the nails, wood, steel beams and machinery that make the cell run. It is the order of amino acids in a protein that determine its shape and, therefore what it does. This order and shape of proteins is itself dictated by the DNA through RNA.

      So, in short, life is made up of complex arrangements of:

      The five nucleotides – adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine and uracil – arranged into DNA and/or RNA
      The twenty amino acids – that form all proteins, including enzymes and the other 100,000 or so proteins in a complex organism’s body.
      Carbohydrates – literally “water-carbon,” which include sugars and starches. These are much simpler elements than proteins or DNA/RNA and act as an energy source.
      Fats – also called lipids, these are important in constructing cell membranes.

      The simplest cells are prokaryotic cells. They exist today principally as bacteria. Stromatolites and other fossils from all over the planet suggest that, for the first billion years of life on earth, all life was simple, prokaryotic life. These cells consisted of a fatty cell membrane, like a balloon skin, with DNA/RNA, proteins, fats and carbohydrates on the inside. They had no nucleus. Cells with nuclei, called eukaryotic cells (which make up virtually all multi-cellular organisms) are much larger and more complex that prokaryotic cells and likely resulted from the early combining of prokaryotic cells.

      So, can a simple prokaryotic cell come into existence without the intervention of God, Allah, Shiva, Vishnu, Yahweh or any other divine/magic being?

      Beginning in the 1950s, scientists started trying to mimic the conditions on the early Earth to see whether some kind of “life-fairy” was necessary to get things started. In the most famous experiment of this era, the Miller-Urey experiment of 1952, Stanley Miller demonstrated that heating and running an electric spark through an atmosphere of water vapor, ammonia, methane and hydrogen for a few weeks resulted in these very simple molecules self-assembling into all 20 of the amino acids upon which life on Earth is based. This is a startling result. All 20 building blocks of proteins, which comprise over 99% of the cell’s functional structures, self-assembling without a magic wand from God, Shiva, Vishnu, Allah etc!

      The experiment was groundbreaking because it suggested that, under the perfectly natural conditions of early Earth, the building blocks of life can and will self-assemble. Indeed, it now seems that major volcanic eruptions 4 billion years ago would have created an even more diverse atmosphere than Miller used, including carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). When these were added to the mix in subsequent experiments, they have resulted in the creation of all 5 nucleotides, all 20 amino acids and basic fatty membranes and various carbohydrates. That is to say, with no magic/divine intervention, all life’s building blocks WILL self-assemble.

      But nails, wood, wiring and bricks a house do not make. Even the simplest life requires these building blocks to be arranged in very, very complex ways. In various experiments with various conditions, scientists have been able to create a wide range of cell-like structures of increasing complexity on the road toward a simple self-replicating organism. These creations are called protobionts or coacervates and if you “you tube” or google these terms, you will see many examples.

      This is till a far cry from a cell, but the important thing is that the experiments uniformly demonstrate that organic molecules have a natural tendency to clump together in increasingly complex ways under early Earth-like conditions. They are not being pushed into doing something “against their will”.

      Where it gets really suggestive is that scientists have been able to isolate what they believe to be some of the most primitive genes of Earth, by comparing the DNA of two organisms whose last common ancestor lived soon after the formation of the Earth. For such genes to be common to both such organisms, they must be very, very old. When these ancient genes produce amino acids, they are rich in the amino acids most common in the Miller-Urey and similar experiments! This suggests that these experiments do indeed reflect early Earth conditions and that life itself did arise under such conditions.

      The other important factor is that these impressive results have been achieved in laboratories over small periods of time. Imagine the whole Earth as the “Petri dish” and hundreds of millions of years as the timescale. Simple life gradually emerging from such a “soup” does not seem at all incredible, certainly not incredible enough that we in the USA have to give up and call the remaining gap in knowledge “God,” while our Indian colleagues do the same and attribute it all to the Lord Shiva.

      Scientist are also approaching it from the other side too, gradually stripping away at prokaryotic cells to see how stripped down they have to become for life to “stop,” while others continue to build up from coacervates and protobionts. The gap is narrowing as our knowledge continues its inexorable march.

      The Christian sky-fairy is being pinched out! There’s not a lot of room left for him now. The pincers of science are closing in from both sides, squeezing out the phantom of religion and ignorance. Soon, the two sides of the pincer will meet and this unnecessary holdover will have to flutter off and find another dark corner to settle in, where the penetrating light of science and knowledge has not yet shone. Fortunately, the weak, forgiving mind of the believer will always be there for him, acting as an eternal refuge from enlightenment and advancement.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      There goes Colin trying to drown out the voice of dissent with one of his long winded reprints...you really should go for a job on Fox News, Colin....you fit right in with Hannity and O'Rielly.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      At t13..of course he did not. I never said he did...see my posts below for an explanation of the problem he created for himself.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Good grief are you theists seriously this lazy? YES, IT HAS SELF-REPLICATED! Sheesh. Learn to use Google. You might be surprised at what you can learn. Look up "First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell"

      August 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Baloney with a capital B. Artifical DNA strands are not an independent, self replicating molecule, not by a long shot.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Hmmmm....bunches of peer-reviewed, scientifically validated, accurately described and predicted evidence from decades of brilliant development versus your opinion. And you really need to read AND UNDERSTAND what they did, and how it fits into the context of life creation.

      Look up "Jack Szostak How did life begin on Earth?"

      Gee, which one is more valid? I'm pretty sure his Nobel Prize beats you. Not much of a contest.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      I understand exactly what they did...very cool...long, long, long, long, long way from an independent, self-replicating molecule. But everyone on the planet EXCEPT you...even COLIN...see his post above...already knows that.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • exlonghorn

      So you're just like every other Bronze Age person...all you can do is point out what we don't know, shrug your shoulders, and say it must be a deity or something, right?

      Perhaps you'd like to clearly state YOUR belief? I asked once. I will ask again.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  17. Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=360]

    August 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Ah, that's a good one!!!

      They ultimately get tangled up in their own web!

      August 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Colin

      Do you not get it? He specifically said that the designer would himself have to have come about by some evolutionary process, even in this highly speculative theosy of panspermia. He did not say, "Come to think of it, a Bronze Age sky-god invented by ignorant Palestinian goat herders did it."

      August 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      It really is beautiful on several levels.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      And so THIS is what you rest your case upon? An edited statement in a hostile interview? THAT is your proof of your omnipotent God????

      Okay, I hope you know how pathetic that appears. For complete lack of any real evidence, you turn to this? Wow. Maybe you should debate my 12-yr-old instead.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      What he said was that intelligent design was an "intriguing possibility" and might leave an imprint, a "signature" on the molecular level. It does not matter who he posits as the designer, aliens or gods...it makes intelligent design a completley valid subject of scientific inquiry.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Colin

      I love how the bible-cuddlers are so desperate for some kind of affirmation of their superst.ition that hey will cling to the words of Dawkins, desperately trying to find a scintilla of support.

      Atheists don't bother doing that with the Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury, or any other religious figure. Why do you think that is?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The best arguments christians can offer are edited, out-of-context statements. It really doesn't say much about the strength of there case.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Can you not look at the video and see Dawkins' mouth move?...Stein did nothing but ask questions...Dawkins just messed up and admitted that intelligent design is possible...it does not matter if the designers are aliens or gods,,,,you can go back forever and ever, from planet to planet postulating intelligent designers. When does one became a god? Dawkins does nothing except say the designer can not be "god". But if the universe is an infinite regression of cosmic bubbles that regresses for eternity...when does an alien become a god and who is Richard Dawkins to say what "god" really is? maybe god is an infinite regression of aliens

      August 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      Since panspermia is admitted as a viable possibility, when exactly does spontenous generation as postulated by modern science become necessary?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Why is this such an 'ah ha'? I don't get it.

      Literally anything is possible. Could in the infinite of all possibilities, some kind of 'designer' exist for life on earth. Sure why not?

      There's no evidence for this and atheists just don't believe in God.

      You theists keep mistaking atheists for people who believe that God does not exist. Let me say it again, atheists don't believe in God. Please make an effort to understand the distinction.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Colin

      If by "spontaneous generation" you mean abiogenisis, it is not "necessary," it is a viable theory. A little more viable than the theory that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

      Fvck, ev en as I type it, it is like somethingout of "Harry Potter".

      August 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      See posts above and rewatch the clip if necessary.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There is a fundamental flaw in the concept of intelligent design. It pertains to the very nature of design.

      Take for example, airplanes. Compare and contrast the first airplanes to those of today. The fundamental principles are the same, but you would never mistake one for the other.

      Early designs crashed, or didn't work very well and the designers investigated why they crashed and made changes so that their next design didn't fail the same way. Incremental changes in materials and powerplants were made. The process of design is the process of evolution.

      If God == the intelligent designer, then as a designer, design evolution was his process of creation. This is how 'design' works. Lots of theists are very content with this definition. The flim flam that is creationism dressed up as 'intelligent design' is just evolution after all.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      We Christians have no need to argue, we are here to preach the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord. We know that the Word of God will not return to Him void, but it will accomplish what He has purposed: in some a humble spirit of repentance unto salvation, and in the others who oppose themselves, it will bring to light the true ident'ity who they really are. Jesus said that He came to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. And this is evident in evolving drama of present day condition of mankind so clearly..... But just like God's Word says, it is also happening.... the righteous do understand but the proud, rebellious, and self-wiled, which God calls wicked, have no understanding and will keep on sliding down their road to perdi'tion. We are living times when the line between the two opposites is beginning to be so clearly defined, because God will make sure to sift afn bring out who is who! ....But our faith and hope is not in ourselves but fixing our eyes on Christ, we we will be able to endure to the end, knowing that He is the author and finisher of our faith, to whom be glory and honor forever!

      August 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      When does it become NECESSARY in the infinitely regressing Cosmos?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  18. Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=360]

    August 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  19. Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

    http[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=360]://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BoncJBrrdQ8

    The high priest of Atheism places his foot squarely in his own mouth. Sara Palin or Dan Quayle could hardly do better.

    August 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Time Saver

      Been there done that:
      (and to save a lot of folks the chore of typing again...)

      ---------------------
      John

      Spare us the expelled clip, that film well-known to have used deceptive interview tactics and editing.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse

      -------------------------–

      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      At the 1:48 mark I make the statement that "it could not just have sprung into existence spontaneously"...I am refering to supra-intelligent extra-terrestrial life in response to the interviewers questions about intelligent design...!!!
      August 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |

      -------------------------–
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      There is no way editing can make me say what I did. I just slipped up and said it. By the way, if life can not just "spring up spontaneously"...how can the cosmos???
      August 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |

      ----------------------------–
      Colin

      Yes, the idea of supra-intelligent extra-terrestrial life springing into existence, or always existing, is completely absurd. Which is why I cannot believe in God.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |

      ------------------------------
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      The "deceptive interviewing tactics" were asking me questions I could not answer. The interviewer could actually have really destroyed me had he taken my statements in another direction... to that of the problem of causation.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |

      -----------------------–
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      How can the cosmos spring up spontaneously, Colin?
      August 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      Cq

      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment
      If he slipped up when he said it it doesn't necessarily mean that he meant what he said, correct? Lots of people misspeak publicly. Best to argue against what he has published in his books.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      What he said was not a "slip of the tongue", dude. You know it and I know it. It was a Freudian slip.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |

      ----------------------------
      Colin

      I have no idea. Nor do you. We have some interesting theories, for example, an infinite cycle of big bangs and big crunches, the universe being one of an infinite number of universes in a multiverse, quantum fluctuations with an overall energy value of zero, etc. But, they are just theories.

      But, saying a god must have done it because we don’t have an answer is nonsense. It answers nothing. It is not even an explanation. It's a retreat to mysticism because the question is hard. All we have done is put a halo on a question mark and cowered away from the challenge.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |

      ------------------------
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      I love the "infinite bubbles" part...the universe is clearly either infinite and thus, logically absurd, or erupts spontaneously and is thus, is logicall absurd...that is why I believe in "god"...but my concept of god is very broad...
      August 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |

      ------------------------–
      Colin

      So, you don't like any existing theory, fine, reject them. Look, if you want to beilieve in the Juseo-Christian or any other god, fine, but don't kid yourself that your cosmology is any more sophhisticated than you clinging to the particular Bronze Age Palestinian myth you were taught as a kid.

      You also lose credibility when you try and misquote one of the best known atheists in the World.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |

      -------------------------
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      I did not misquote him and Ben Stein did not "entrap" him. That fact is that "scientific" cosmology is, ultimately, nothing more than a really big pile of elephants and tortises...but keep piling them up ad infinitum beneath your supercilious feet.
      August 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |\

      -------------------------–
      Richard Dawkins in a weak moment

      Awfully quiet now...gotta go..ciao, boys...you gotta love Stein's quiet confidence compared to the petulance of Dawkins...almost like a father talking to a child who has outgrown his britches.
      August 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |

      -------------------------
      just wondering

      @ weak moment,

      Would you care to tell us what the Answer to the Beginning of Everything is? Do not forget to include verified evidence for its factualness.
      August 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |

      --------------------------
      just wondering

      @weak moment,
      "you gotta love Stein's quiet confidence.."

      Ben Stein's persona of being laconic, droll and self-assured is just his way – he does it when discussing everything from mail delivery to the economy. He exudes it even when he is mistaken.
      August 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |

      ----------------------------
      PG13

      Dawkins is open to the idea of a designer. But, as he says, the designer must have sprung into existence just like the universe we think did. He is talking about the nonsense of believers who say, "God always existed."

      We know Dawkins' position on this issue. If Ben got him to distort his sentence and seem to say something we all know Dawkins doesn't believe in then Ben is being deceptive.

      Ben's deceptive tactics are a reflection of the unethical tactics adopted by the group he is defending; all in the name of morality and protecting it.
      August 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |

      ------------------------
      GodFreeNow

      @weak moment, I wonder... A) Are you suggesting that Dawkins ACTUALLY believes the universe has a designer and his statements to the contrary are all just a mass fabrication to hide what he really believes? or B) Dawkins mispoke and is therefore wrong about everything he's said in the past and future to the contrary? or C) other?
      August 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |

      -----------------------------
      Cq

      Richard Dawkins ...
      I remember back in the 80's watching Jerry Falwall mistakenly say that the Devil was "good". Was that a "slip" too?
      August 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |

      --------------------------
      Stewart Franks

      i think stein just used the Socratic Method to get dawkins to make some statements he would rather have back. He has a bias against gods that have never been proven, but is cool with aleins who have also never been proven as being intelligent designers. He falls back to they "probably" evolved by some darwinian process. it seems to me that this process of intelligent design by aliens could well regress back to eternity. The big thing is that he is saying the first "self-replicating molecule" could have been intelligently designed by something...now we know that all life on earth comes from a single common ancestor...Dawkins is saying that this could have been designed by an alien intelligence...at what point in the regression does the alien intelligence become a "god"? what he really believes in is the dogmatic assertion that chance and possibility coupled with the universal laws of nature are god. he believes in god, too...his god is just dreaming and creating the universe and life on the fly...
      August 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |

      --------------------------
      Cq

      Stewart Franks
      He's cool with aliens only because they would also be the product of evolution on their own worlds. They are as likely as us creating lifeforms that could survive on Pluto, or Mercury with us being "aliens" to those worlds. It's not at all far-fetched, isn't it?
      August 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |

      --------------------------–
      Stewart Franks

      why would they necessarily be the products of evolution on their own worlds.? they might have been intelligently designed by other aliens, etc., etc., the big thing is that dawkins says there is nothing that mitigates against the possibility of intelligent design, all he does is state that it could not have been the intelligence of any "god"...as if he is qualified to define what "god" can possibly be.
      August 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |

      -----------------------
      Tora, Tora, Texas

      Well, the worse thing from the perspective of Dawkins is that he explicitly says that not only is intelligent design a possibility, but that it is an "intriguing possibility" and might even have left a signature on the molecular level of life. Regardless of the proposed designer, this makes the possibility of intelligent design worthy of study scientifically. This was not cajoled out of him by Stein at all. Dawkins just let his guard down for a moment and became really open minded and free thinking. It is not necessary to construe out of this that Dawkins is suddenly a "believer". He said what he said. I would think a biologist with the reputation of Dawkins would want to explore every "intriguing possibility" in his sphere of research...but I guess not, otherwise he would be supporting at least some research into the possibility of intelligent design. Just Sayin'
      August 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      --------------------–
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/01/where-was-god-in-aurora-comments-show-internet-as-church-for-atheists/

      August 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @"Atheist Richard Dawkins in a moment of "Gotcha Journalism"

      You mis-spelled Sara(h). Also, did you actually pay attention? Dawkins said that there was a chance that a earlier species EVOLVED BY DARWINIAN MEANS and might have created a life form. This is not proof that "Intelligent Design" is plausible. It appears that the only thing "Gotcha" about this is how you proved yourself to be a fool.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Nope!

      Yeah, keep putting your faith in Dawkins, Hitchens and Sagans of this world.... Blind leading the blind.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  20. Voice of Truth

    Truth over reason. Every time. The heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it?

    August 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Reason over lie. Every time. The heart is a major organ of the human body, we all know it.

      August 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      My heart pumps blood. It is neither deceitful nor is it wicked. It is a muscle.

      Everyone knows the seat of emotion is the liver. (Or at least the Romans did.)

      August 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Voice of Truth
      Amen!

      "Voice of reason"
      Maybe your heart is just what you said.... dead, soulless... Maybe your soul has fled from you!.....

      August 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      The heart is wicked? The heart is a pump. The mind ascribes wickedness to the heart because some people apparently would prefer to "feel" than to think.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:32 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.