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October 9th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Survey: One in five Americans has no religion

Editor's note: CNN recently won four first-place reporting awards from the Religion Newswriters Association. Read more about the awards here.

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all, according to a Pew survey showing that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.

The number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The survey found that the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans.

Thirty-three million Americans now have no religious affiliation, with 13 million in that group identifying as either atheist or agnostic, according to the new survey.

Pew found that those who are religiously unaffiliated are strikingly less religious than the public at large. They attend church infrequently, if at all, are largely not seeking out religion and say that the lack of it in their lives is of little importance.

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And yet Pew found that 68% of the religiously unaffiliated say they believe in God, while 37% describe themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious.” One in five said that they even pray every day.

John Green, a senior research adviser at Pew, breaks the religiously unaffiliated into three groups. First, he says, are those who were raised totally outside organized religion.

Survey: Protestants no longer majority in U.S.

Second are groups of people who were unhappy with their religions and left.

The third group, Green says, comprises Americans who were never really engaged with religion in the first place, even though they were raised in religious households.

“In the past, we would describe those people as nominally affiliated. They might say, 'I am Catholic; I am a Baptist,' but they never went" to services, Green says of this last group. “Now, they feel a lot more comfortable just saying, ‘You know, I am really nothing.’ ”

According to the poll, 88% of religiously unaffiliated people are not looking for religion.

“There is much less of a stigma attached" to not being religious, Green said. “Part of what is fueling this growth is that a lot of people who were never very religious now feel comfortable saying that they don't have an affiliation.”

Demographically, the growth among the religiously unaffiliated has been most notable among people who are 18 to 29 years old.

According to the poll, 34% of “younger millennials” - those born between 1990 and 1994 - are religiously unaffiliated. Among “older millennials,” born between 1981 and 1989, 30% are religiously unaffiliated: 4 percentage points higher than in 2007.

Poll respondents 18-29 were also more likely to identify as atheist or agnostic. Nearly 42% religious unaffiliated people from that age group identified as atheist or agnostic, a number far greater than the number who identified as Christian (18%) of Catholic (18%).

Green says that these numbers are “part of a broader change in American society.”

“The unaffiliated have become a more distinct group,” he said.

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

Pew's numbers were met with elation among atheist and secular leaders. Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, said that the growth of the unaffiliated should translate into greater political representation for secular interests.

“We would love to see the political leaders lead on this issue, but we are perfectly content with them following these demographic trends, following the voters,” Galef said.

“As more of the voters are unaffiliated and identifying as atheist and agnostics, I think the politicians will follow that for votes.

“We won’t be dismissed or ignored anymore,” Galef said.

The Pew survey suggested that the Democratic Party would do well to recognize the growth of the unaffiliated, since 63% of them identify with or lean toward that political group. Only 26% of the unaffiliated do the same with the Republican Party.

"In the near future, if not this year, the unaffiliated voters will be as important as the traditionally religious are to the Republican Party collation,” Green predicted.

Green points to the 2008 exit polls as evidence for that prediction. That year, Republican presidential nominee John McCain beat President Barack Obama by 47 points among white evangelical voters, while Obama had a 52-point margin of victory over McCain among the religiously unaffiliated.

According to exit polls, the proportion of religiously unaffiliated Americans who supported the Democratic presidential candidate grew 14 points from 2000 to 2008.

In announcing the survey’s findings at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Bethesda, Maryland, Green said the growing political power of the unaffiliated within the Democratic Party could become similar to the power the Religious Right acquired in the GOP in the 1980s.

“Given the growing numbers of the unaffiliated, there is the potential that that could be harnessed,” he said.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Faith Now • Politics • Polls

soundoff (7,763 Responses)
  1. CNN reader

    For in the last days, people will turn away from God and be lovers of themselves than lovers of God. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For He came not to condemn the world but to save the world. Behold he stand at the door and knock, if any man opens the door and let him in, he will come in and sup with him. For all man will be held accountable at the judgement seat. Lastly, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. For every knee shall bow and tongue confess, that JESUS CHRIST is LORD.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • snowboarder

      if i had a nickel for every time someone erroneously invoked the "end of days" over the past 2000 years i would be an incredibly wealthy man.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • MarkinFL

      OK

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Jim

      "For He came not to condemn the world but to save the world."
      And yet, he will supposedly return not only to send most people to hell, but to destroy the world as we know it in the process. You have a very rosy spin on such a disaster.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • John the Guy

      You sound a lot like Harold Camping. Give us a new date, we are all waiting,

      October 10, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  2. Maverick

    Again, since it is logically impossible to prove an absolute negative, you atheists, your statement that there is no God is also impossible to prove. You atheists are in the same boat as the thesis. Therefore it requires faith to believe that there is no God.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – it is an indisputable fact that man has created innumerable gods. all gods, unless they can be proven are simply the creation of the imagination of man.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Al

      it requires faith to believe that there is no God.

      How much time do you spend not believing in Santa? Because you know it requires faith to not believe in Santa.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Mike D

      THe problem, Maverick, is we can't disprove any faith. We can't even take Pascal's Wager because for all we truly know the Hindus or the Wiccans are right. Personally, if there is a god, I tend to think that such a being would be so far beyond current human comprehension that we would have no choice but to place our own cultural stamps on it...to "personalize" god, as it were. When you take a long, critical look at the diversity of human belief, it is abundantly clear that we have been doing exactly that, whether or not god actually exists.

      Yes, Christians too. Your personal conviction of your rightness is no more proof than a Muslim's or a Buddhist's personal conviction. If you folks really want to convince the world of the truth of your faith, you've got a very long row to hoe.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • MarkinFL

      That is some definition of faith. Basically faith equals not believing in every little supersti.tion and fairy tale that comes down the pike. Bigfoot, alien anal probes, astrology, Easter Bunny, immaculate conception, honest politicians.....

      I must be a true man of faith as I now proclaim myself! A veritable tower of faith unlike the world has ever known. That's me....

      Cool.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Horus

      I've not met an atheist that claims they can prove there is no god. Even Dawkins rates himself .01% shy of "certain" that there is no god. "faith" by definition is believing in something without reason. You misunderstand the typical atheist (in my opinion). I don't claim there is or isn't a god/gods ( I don't really care). There is a difference between claiming something exists, and claiming you have no proof of that existance. That's what the typical atheist position is (if you make a claim than support it with reason and evidence) There is much evidence that, for example, "prayer" does not work.....yet people continue to believe it does in the face of overwhelming evidence it does not.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Todalwave

      Actually no, the proof rests in those that make the assertion. For example, when I say there is a colony of pink rabbits on the moon, that statement can not be taken as truth, and I would hope you would challenge me to prove it.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It takes faith to reject faith?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Jim

      And, according to your own argument, it's also impossible to disprove any of the thousands of other gods, reincarnation, astrology, wicca magic, the Jedi Force, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and thousands of other alternatives to your God so why should we automatically turn to your beliefs?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • mama kindless

      Exactly, Jim. It's not provable either way. But I know rehashed, rehashed folklore when we see it, so for me, the Abrahamic god or any other that has been suggested to date is no longer worth consideration.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Nat Q

      I do not claim that there is no god. I claim that I REJECT YOUR CLAIM that there is until such time as empirical evidence can be presented to support it. It takes ZERO "faith" to reject an unsupported claim.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  3. NorthVanCan

    How can "none " be a religion ? Lets face it, Not being religious is going really well for me.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  4. jimbojoe

    Most christians wouldn't be christians if their parents hadn't dragged them to church. It's sheeple syndrome when people are proud of not thinking for themselves.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • snowboarder

      jim – it is almost universally true that the religion an individual "chooses" is simply a result of the time and location of their life and no real choice at all.

      it is no coincidence that 99% of ran is islamic and 85% of america christian.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      It's mob mentality.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • JustMe

      I was a catholic until the age of reason. Now, I'm an atheist. I figured out Santa was fake on my own when I was a kid, I'm still wondering why my parents haven't figured out the sky daddy in the sky isn't real either.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Bob

      I left the Catholic church for 20 years until I realized they actually had it right and that God and the devil are terrifyingly real once you pull back the covers on this very superficial earthly plane of existence. So don't worry about leaving, I've replaced you with my 5 kids, who are all strong Catholics and will be for life.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • fintastic

      @bob The "devil" ? really Bob?.... The devil made me do it??........ wow..

      October 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Bob,

      You had better make more than 5 to plug the holes in the sinking ship. As a percentage of the adult population in the US (and world), RCC membership is shrinking over the last 1-2 decades.

      October 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  5. Doc Vestibule

    Neighbors, no one loves you like he loves you,
    And no one cares like he cares.
    Neighbors, let us join today in the holy love of God and money,
    Because neighbors, no one loves you like He loves you.
    And what better way to show your love than to dig deep into your pockets.
    Dig real deep, until it hurts. Alleviate your guilt,
    Free yourself once again, because he gave to you, brothers and sisters.
    Please give a 10, 25, or 50 dollar tax-deductible donation,
    And I assure you your modest pledge will be used to censor TV and radio,
    Ban questionable books, and contribute to many other Godly services.
    No longer will young Christian Americans hedonistically indulge
    In masochistic submission to rhythmic music, for with your monetary support,
    There is no end to what we can achieve in this country.
    The voice of God is government. In God we trust, sinners repent!
    – Dr. Greg Graffin (Bad Religion)

    October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • John the Guy

      Hey Doc
      Jerry Lee Lewis was kicked out of school (SW Baptist Insti*tute) for playing the Devils music. Years later he was asked by a friend if he was still playing the Devils music? His response...
      "Yes I am. But you know it is strange the same music they kicked me out of school for is the same kind of music they play in churches today. The difference is I know I'm playing for the Devil, they don,t."
      Not relevant but intresting.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  6. Michael

    Thanks to Democrats.
    Thanks to Public Schools.
    Thanks to war on Religion.
    Thanks to Hollywood.
    Thanks to Liberal Scientists
    Thanks to Liberal Theologians
    Thanks to Broken families
    Thanks to Women's rights & feminism
    Thanks to the Media

    October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Mike D

      The real thanks goes to Christianity, pal. You guys are your own worst enemies. It seems like your faith grows more out of touch with each passing year, and why not? It's based on the Bronze Age mythologies of subliterate sheepherders. If you met the writers of the Bible they'd be smelly, swarthy little men you wouldn't allow into your home.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • snowboarder

      thanks to so many for breaking the chain of indoctrination

      October 10, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Thanks to Democrats being in power for th elast four years, international opinion of the US has improved drastically.
      Thanks to Public Schools, every child can get an education.
      Thanks to war on Religion, Christians have a specious, imaginary reason to feel persecuted.
      Thanks to Hollywood, we know that most Christians spend more money on entertainment than charity.
      Thanks to Liberal Scientists we have effective medicines and treatments for otherwise deadly maladies.
      Thanks to Liberal Theologians the world is beginning to recognize that there are plenty of good people who have a worldview different than our own.
      Thanks to Broken families we see that the most religious States are also the most hypocritical when it comes to marriage vows.
      Thanks to Women's rights & feminism we are moving steadily towards a culture in which all are equal.
      Thanks to the Media we can see the suffering religious strife has wraught all throughout the world.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Bruce

      You're welcome.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  7. Gaunt

    If you zealots are sick, do you do to your nearest doctor, who has studied experimental and observational science using the exact same scientific method which has proven evolution to be true, or do you pray for god to heal you?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Danny

      @Gaunt – they hedge their bets & do both. Apparently even those who are sure of their faith aren't entirely sure of their faith.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  8. really??

    Beam me up, Scotty. There is no intelligent life here.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • emanuelmullen

      your statement remind me of the old riddle rearding which came first, the chicken or the egg. How foolish. If you don't know the answer, it's neither.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Mike D

      From an evolutionary standpoint, the egg most likely came first. Something that was not quite a chicken (but very very close) laid an egg, and the bird that hatched was a chicken.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  9. Gaunt

    Hey Christians.

    Jesus was the Son of God, right? But according to the principle of the Trinity (and to avoid polytheism) he also WAS God himself. Separate yet the same: also a ghost, who is also separate but still the same god. Makes no sense at all, and is fundamentally silly, but whatever.

    So why did Jesus proclaim on the Cross "Dear God, why have you forsaken me?" Was he talking to himself?

    (PS: I'll admit, this is a trick question. There actually is a reason he says this in the Bible, but the vast majority of Christians are far to ignorant of their own basic theology to know it)

    October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Any religionist who worships a trinity and still considers themselves monotheistic is capable of rationalizing anything.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • emanuelmullen

      when the blind try to lead the blind they ALL and up in a ditch. lead the way !

      October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • One one

      Also, according to the bible god has angels working for him, then there is satan who has demons working for him. In reality, Christianity has all sorts of supernatural "gods". But, like any organization, there is one top man. But with Christianity, it's not clear who that is. The "father" ?, the "son" ?, and what tf is the Holy Ghost ?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • JA

      What is truly silly , Guant, is you "know" so much, but yet believe so little.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Gaunt

      JA, I know a great deal, clearly more than you since you didnt even try to answer the question.

      As for believe: I dont think the tooth fairy is real. neither do you.
      I dont believe unicorns are real. neither do you.
      I dont believe santa Claus is real. neither do you.
      I dont believe Ra, head of the Egyptian pantheon is real, neither do you.
      I dont believe jesus is real. Thats one fairy tale you have not abandoned yet.

      I believe in reality. You believe in laughable children's stories. I win.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Al

      what tf is the Holy Ghost ?

      Like Casper only not as friendly. Casper is the friendliest ghost.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  10. Katherine

    Good! More people are becoming comfortable with their own beliefs, instead of trying to be something they're not for society's comfort. Maybe soon we will all accept each other, or at least come closer to that, instead of arguing over the internet on news articles. I, personally, haven't gone to church in years, though I still identify as a believer. I know some athiests, however, and they're actually some of the more logical and trustworthy people I've met. God bless you all.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  11. Maverick

    I make a challenge to anyone: give definitive proof there is no God and I will allow you to stab me in the heart. I have already given definitive proof of His existence, so here's a chance for someone to stand on the other podium and prove their point.

    My proof: science, in all its advancements and discoveries, has yet to create life from absolutely nothing. Science has sent humans to the moon, cured diseases and mapped the human genome, yet has not been able to create life spontaneously. Science has even been able to resurrect the VERY recently deceased but has not been able to actually create life from a void.

    Any takers?

    Thought not.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Gaunt

      I swear, its like you are going out of your way to show how stupid you are.

      Firstly, of course one cannot disprove god. One logically cannot prove an absolute negative. I cannot disprove god in the same way you cannot disprove the tooth fairy.

      Secondly, so your proof is that science has not managed to accomplish something YET. How is that proof of anything? There are a lot of things science cannot accomplish YET, but then, science has never claimed or promised to be able to accomplish everything immediately. So your 'proof; is laughably stupid.

      Even if science never manages to create life from scratch in the lab (and, by the way, they are very, very close), that STILL doesnt prove or even provide a shred of evidence for your fairy tale sky santa.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You know nobody will stab you in the heart because it is by definition impossible to prove a negative statement.
      Tell you what – you can sell my child into slavery if you can definitively prove, beyond any doubt, that there are fairies.
      Prove to us all that Gilgamesh wasn't a demi-god.
      Better yet – end all strife between Muslims and Christians by giving undeniable, irrefutable proof that Mohammah was not God's prophet....

      October 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – what a load of malarky. can you imagine less than 200 years ago someone standing out on the street saying, "man has never flown therefore it is not possible." what a maroon.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • snowboarder

      doc – that last sentence is a good one.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Ryan

      Maverick – Your lack of evidence is not evidence itself. Remember, the burden of proof is on the one who is making the assertion (ie. there is a magical sky god), not those who reject its premise.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Jim

      Maverick
      Prove that none of the other gods exist and maybe I'll consider worshipping the God you say is the only one.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Maverick

      Thank you all for proving my point for me.

      And Gaunt, I could lose everything from the neck up and I'd STILL be smarter than you.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Primewonk

      As you have been told now (several times), you cannot "prove" a negative. It's the same as me telling you to prove there are no giant invisible fuzzy pink unicorns circling Uranus.

      By the way, in science, we don't prove things, we explain things. Proofs are for maths, ethanol, and yeast doughs.

      As for life – you do understand, don't you, that we are working on it. We have created self replicating self sustaining RNA already.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – you are such a moron you don't even have the capability to realize when you have been schooled. sad.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Gaunt

      (laughter)

      Judging by the inherent stupidity of your posts and assertions so far kid, I'd venture a guess that you already have lost everything from the neck up. Either that or you are a 14-year old who imagines himself to be more than just a mewling adolescent.

      And if you are so much cleverer than me, then why did you totally abandon your argument in the face of factual, logical counters proving you wrong?

      I swear, its always the same with you loser internet trolls. make up some silly claim, have it be annihilated, abandon it like a coward and claim brilliance you have singularily failed to demonstrate. I crap things with better rational thought processes than you, kid.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Mark

      Show me proof that there isn't an invisible elephant in the room right now and I'll stab myself in the heart. Really, I have to proof that there isn't an invisible magic man in the sky, otherwise there must be???

      October 10, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Maverick

      If you cannot prove an absolute negative, then why do you atheists insists that there is no God?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – because there is no evidence of his existence and the books used to support the existence of your particular god are absurd.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – one fact is indisputable, with the myriad of deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history, man is very adept at inventing god.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Maverick

      Snowboarder,

      So no evidence means it doesn't exist? But if you say there is no God, you can't say it's impossible to prove absolute negative because you just did. The argument you used against theism is itself an argument against atheists. You atheists basically contradicted yourselves.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mav: Your proof is not proof!! That doesn't lead to a god, it only leads to more questions that need answering.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Gaunt

      Stupider and stupider. Seriously maverick, how old are you?

      One logically cannot disprove an absolute negative, period. So no, I cannot absolutely disprove your god, just as I cannot absolutely disprove the Loch Ness Monster.

      Just the same way you absolutely cannot disprove the Norse pantheon, with Odin as allfather. So if the Norse pantheon has the same burden of unmeetable proof as your version of your god, then why do you disregard one as myth and blindly swallow the other?

      proof is a word home-schooled internet trolls like you use a lot, when in fact almost nothing short of logic and math can be 'proven'. Things can be 'evidenced'.

      There is plenty of evidence against your interpretation of your version of your god. There is no evidence for it. None.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • emanuelmullen

      Only a fool would say there is" No God " All human beings originally made in the image and likeness of God intuitively know that there is a God and search for Him instinctively.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Your god must be hiding behind the invisible elephant.....

      October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • One one

      Please explain how inability to create life in a test tube proves that god exists, and which god it is.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – your logic is very poor. the claim i make is that man invents gods. that is a verifiable fact. therefore all gods, especially those with such ridiculous premises as the christian god, are no different than the myriad of other gods invented by man until proven otherwise.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Maverick

      snow –

      The question is whether or not God exists. If man can invent god, then it would not be God by simple definition of what God is. Of course, man can invent fairy tales and imaginary beings... but the question is is there really God.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mav: Since you claim to be so enlightened. tell us all about your imaginary friend without using the buybull...describe it in detail-who created it? what it looks like? Why is it so hard for you to admit that you simply don't know or are you that arrogant that you must have all the answers??? What facts outside of your buybull do you have to support your claims??

      October 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Gaunt

      Maverick, perhaps this is best explained through another question.

      If a scientist manages to combine base inorganic chemicals in a primeval environment and create basic life in the lab, does that then PROVE your god does not exist? Will you abandon your religion on that day?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Maverick

      snow, Gaunt,

      You guys don't understand the logical reasoning behind why you can't prove absolute negative. It is NOT based on evidence. No matter how much evidence you come up with, by logic, you can never prove an absolute negative because in order to prove an absolute negative, it requires absolute knowledge, which we don't have.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – is there really a god? there is no evidence that there are any gods? man invents gods.

      look at it this way. all gods had their beginnings as only locally significant. they supposedly appeard to an individual or small group who purportedly represented them. there has never been a globally significant god, though gods are supposedly imnipotent and omniscient.

      mysterious ways or BS. i vote for BS.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – can't prove an absolute negative? but why would we need to? i am not trying to prove something does not exist. i am waiting for a logical reason to believe that it does exist.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • One one

      @maverick, do you have definitive proof that a thousand gods do not exist ?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Maverick

      Snow,

      Then you should say "i don't know" you shouldn't be making statements such as "all gods are invented by men" as if you know

      October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – all gods are invented by man unless otherwise proven.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Maverick

      @One one

      You want proof that God exists? Why don't you ask an ant if it believes in the existence of man? Can ants come up with a proof to disproof or proof the existence of human being? If you can tell me how ants can understand the existence of human being, then i will tell you how you can understand the existence of God

      October 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Maverick-

      Ants, as everyone should know, are very religious, but divided in their understanding of God. They are all in sects.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • snowboarder

      mav – you are displaying your ignorance. ants do not have cognitive ability. ants do not invent gods either.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • snowboarder

      tom – witty

      October 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Maverick

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      Good one, very funny :) on that note, take care everyone

      October 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • mama kindless

      "Maverick" wrote, in regards to his proof of God's existence (I assume the Abrahamic god): "My proof: science, in all its advancements and discoveries, has yet to create life from absolutely nothing. Science has sent humans to the moon, cured diseases and mapped the human genome, yet has not been able to create life spontaneously. Science has even been able to resurrect the VERY recently deceased but has not been able to actually create life from a void. "

      I guess I can understand why thinking like this, someone may be religious and have faith. But to put this out there as a proof of something, anything – is ridiculous. I'm sure the poster knows how silly they look, because I recognize the style and they've been slammed to the floor before for writing things like this and calling it proof. I don't think a proof can be made the other way, either. But, when I say that, I'm speaking strictly about a possible affecting form, not the god of Abraham, and not necessarily in the present tense, and not necessarily a higher intelligence. So only on those grounds do I maintain that such a form cannot be proven false.

      Many of us don't put any validity into rehashed religion to support anything in the same way that you wouldn't believe most of the things that wind up in your spam folder. Circular validation of conflicting, poorly organized, rehashed, rehashed, rehashed, fable and lobbying efforts get no one anywhere.

      But aside from all that, this is not a proof. My grandchild could write something much more convincing than this and she is a believer. My goodness.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Bruce

      Sorry, your "proof" is no proof at all. Go visit Wikipedia learn something about logic, conditionals, contrapositives, etc. The fact that something has not happened (life not being created in a lab) says nothing at all about how it did actually happen in nature. Nothing. For your proof to be valid, you need a string of conditional statements (If A, then B) that lead LOGICALLY to your final conclusion that god did it. You aren't even close.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Nat Q

      No, you have NOT provided "definitive proof of his existence," merely more anecdote, supposition, wishful thinking, selective perception, and personal incredulity.

      Provide one single shred of empirical evidence that your particular god exists and I'll convert on the spot. I'll wait...

      October 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Rancher

      I sincerely hope you don't actually think what you posted const.itutes "proof" of any kind. Especially not for a divine god being.

      Besides the fact that "man is limited, therefore a god must exist" simply **is not logical in any way whatsoever,** the fact we haven't done something **yet** does not mean that it is not actually doable. On July 19, 1969 we'd never landed on the moon before, either. Yet that doesn't mean that the feat was impossible, especially considering that on July 20, 1969, we did.

      I really, really hope you don't think that what you presented counts as, what did you call it, definitive proof?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  12. Jim

    Blame the religious Right for this rising number of non-Religious. Their backwards, bigoted ways have driven most of these people away from religion.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • crabby appleton

      Praying for you

      October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Jim

      If you're one of the Religious Right crabby then I know that your prayer is actually a condescending insult, so you can keep it.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • snowboarder

      crabby – so you are doing nothing?

      whenever the toilet overflows i say a little prayer, but i always bring the plunger anyway.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  13. Maverick

    The difference between athiests and believers is believers invite you to join them while athiests jump up and down and scream with impunity that there is no God. Believers hold their hands out in friendship while athiests wave their fists in impotent fury.

    And Christians know the truth, while athiests think you stupid and uneducated for believing.

    And now you know.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The real difference is theists say believe as we do or suffer an eternity in hell for not doing so, Atheists say give equal rights to all who do not harm society or their fellow man. Theists say they have all the answers in one book and thus have no reason to look further, Atheists say they have answers and many books to refer and will continue to search for answers. Theists say take away a woman's right to do as she wishes with her own body, beat your children (spare the rod, spoil the child), deny equal rights to gays/lesbians; Atheists say it is a woman's body-the decision on what she does with it is her's alone, beating children is immoral, denying equal rights to anyone regardless of sexual orinetation is immoral.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Jim

      WE know that you don't know anything, that's all. What you're failing to mention is all the protesting and anger that religious folks sometimes show. Ask atheists why they sometimes get angry and you'll probably hear that it's in reaction to things that the fundamentalists do.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • ThinkRationally

      Maverick, please look up what a straw man argument is. Your post is a gross generalization.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Gaunt

      yes, believers have always invited everyone to join them. But then, thats the problem. because if you refuse to join them, believers traditionally kill you or torture you to death. Thats been the way for centuries. Now things are a little better, as modern, secular humanist morals have taken over the first world.

      Now the believers rarely kill you for not believeing, they just threaten you with endless shrieking torture if you dont believe them. progress, I suppose.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • tony winston

      Actually , we atheist try to keep our "faith" a secret lest we lose half our business

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • N and N

      If you really think the issue is that black and white, that what you said is honestly true, then I pity you and your ability to perceive reality.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • One one

      Believers preach that their god sends non-believers to burn in hell for not believing as they do.

      Atheists don't .

      October 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  14. Truth

    I'm very happy to be living in an age where people in America are FINALLY, finally coming to their senses on two major issues, and in my opinion two of the biggest problems in America:
    1: People are realizing that religion is complete BS, no one needs to believe in some magical, imaginary man in the sky, and
    2: It was a horrible, horrible idea to keep blacks here after we were done with them, when we ended slavery. We should have either shipped the useless, worthless animals back, and/or killed them mercilessly.

    Not to say that these problems will vanish tomorrow, of course they won't. But, at least most Americans are now opening their eyes to the reality of it all, and the process will begin soon. America will simply be a much better place without phony religions, or blacks. I might actually start having faith in my own country again, for once. It's been making me sick to my stomach for decades now.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Scott603

      I believe in an America that's smart enough to realize you made up a phony troll argument #2, in order to engender hatred and therefore make people want to disbelieve your argument #1.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • rasko41

      Strawboy.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • j791

      What has caused this change in belief amongst young people? Simply, the Internet and the knowledge gained. For 2,000 years everyone read the bible and listened to whatever the preacher/pastor/priest told them. Now, you can go online and actually read about the people who wrote the books in the Bible, which books the Catholic church threw out, why Christians wore masks on Halloween etc... You can also read about the Sumarian civilization which came 4,000 years before Christ and has almost identical stories about adam and eve, great flood etc... As more and more people understand the origins of relation more and more will step away. That does not mean they will not believe in God or a God, just that they won't necessiarly believe a bood written 2,000 years ago by man will guide their life. Personally, if you don't believe in the Bible then according to the Bible, word of God, you're going to hell as good deeds alone are not enough you must believe. Therefore, since the majority of the world is not Chrisitan, the majority regardless of how good or bad they are is going to hell. Why a peaceful, all-knowing, loving God would send the majority of people to hell is beyond me but then again "His ways are not our ways" as Christians say. Keep up the goofy reasonings, it's only a matter of time before people start agreeing with arguably the smartest man to ever live, Albert Einstein, in that religion though well intended is nothing more than a collection of childish traditions as no human group is different or better than another.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Jim

      Troll alert!!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Guest

      Truth, I hope one of your children marries a black man/woman. Since you see the need to call people of a different race than yours – animals. In this day and age? I wonder what you have done with your life, and compare yourself to some of the most achieved black people in this country.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Truth

      My son would never practice bestiality with a chimp, so no, no interracial relationships for him; he's far too intelligent for that.
      Besides, the most accomplished blacks pale in comparison to any average human being, so why even bring that up? You know better than that, I would hope.
      Blacks are animals. There is no way to argue otherwise, to do so is pure foolishness. Do you really think that, despite their shortcomings in ALL factors of life, their atrocious behavior, their complete lack of abstract/critical thinking and complete lack of any sense of morality whatsoever, that they are "just like us"? They couldn't be much more DIFFERENT from us if they tried.
      Calling me a troll, other various simpleton names doesn't change the fact that what I say is the truth, and none of you can truthfully, logically deny any of it. I am just sorry that the government and the media have successfully brainwashed you into thinking that we can ever live in harmony with defunct farm equipment.
      You know why we used to beat them senseless daily, in front of all of them rest of them? Because that is the only real way to properly train an animal: fear of pain. They don't learn from anything else, they're far too primitive.
      But go ahead America, enjoy your n!&&ers. See how well they've done for you so far, and at only 13% of the population? Just imagine, later on, when there are much more of them running around, uncaged! We'll all see how you like your precious pet n!&&ers then, won't we? :)

      October 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • emanuelmullen

      It is unfortunate that a forum like this is used to spew such hated toward others, but it awake up call to those who think a man can turn this nation around. When man is full of self-preservation,which is america #1 problem he tends to point fingers at others. while you pointing a finger at others, there is a thumb pointing back at you. Your are the problem with this county !

      October 10, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • fintastic

      @truth come one now, no one's going to believe that crap you posted... .Scott is correct.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • fintastic

      Don't feed the troll

      and a pathetic one at that.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  15. 2357

    Civilization has never in history been so far removed from direct contact with nature and society, yet presume to know so much about the world. The universe and world view asserted by moderns is one with which we are remotely engaged through media, yet the exploitative control we exercise over policy and resources is of an unprecedented magnitude(thanks be to technology). It is in every way a picture of very large systems in the hands of a very ignorant populace. Catastrophic loss of control is inevitable and a matter of time. The Electro-mechanical Baal is ravenous, and it will devour us all, even our souls

    October 10, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a load of crap. Do you ever think before you type?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Mama

      Really, I always wondered how thar worked. So you can give up on JC as your saviour I presume, what with your soul being destroyted and all. Wecome to the fastest growing non-religious group in the USA.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Ken

      If anything, social media has made people less ignorant of other people's desires and dreams than any other time in our history. That's why the dividing force of religion has been abandoned by so many lately. The veil of ignorance is lifting.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @2357
      Is a beaver dam natural?
      The beaver is artificially manipulating its environment for its own purposes.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  16. GO_GOP

    Anyways I got to leave, I run a business which employs 2000 people and I like starting early. Don't waste my time on the net in the morning. And yes there IS A GOD. Believe it or burn in hell. And yes our candidate Romney will win in November and crush Obama. Goodbye.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • midwest rail

      Trolling should never be this boring.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Gaunt

      "Dont waste my time on the net in the morning" – GO_GOP.

      Poor little idiot doesnt realise CNN timestamps all posts. His first post this morning was at 02:33am and he has posted consistently ever since. This last post, claiming he 'doesnt waste time on the net' was at 06:56 am, meaning he has been posting here, continuously, for four and a half hours until now.

      Poor lonely little adolescent. You have to pity him.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Scott603

      Do you really want to believe in a God that is so unloving of humanity that he's going to subject a billion people to eternal hell for not believing in him, regardless of whether or not they are good people?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • rasko41

      At least hell has a pool table and better company.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • snowboarder

      gop – hell is an imaginary place with which to frighten the children. nothing more.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Wraith

      You've lied about your 4 degrees (or was it 3? ;) ). You've lied about, "studies," that prove the existence of your god. Time to put up or shut up, GO GOP. What business do you supposedly own that employs so many people? Answer this, or lose even more credibility (which, sitting at 0, would put you at a negative).

      October 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  17. GO_GOP

    Most medical courses in USA now have a sub specialty called "faith healing". This science cures patients with incurable diseases by installing faith in their minds. This is now a hot topic among leading doctors. If only atheist would understand and accept (sigh)..

    October 10, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "Although it is known that a small percentage of people with cancer experience remissions of their disease that cannot be explained, available scientific evidence does not support claims that faith healing can actually cure physical ailments."
      -American Cancer Society.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Gaunt

      Every major University in the United States posts their course list and requirements online.

      Please link to a SINGLE medical program which offers a 'faith healing' course.. I DARE you.

      You wont of course, you will scurry away like a coward without answering, or post an irrelevant, off-tiopic insult to cover your total humiliationg.

      How predictable. How boring.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      GO_POOP, you're lying. Why do fundies have to lie if their beliefs are "so powerful"?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • SharonP MD

      GO_GOP
      Witch Doctoring 101? Is that what my interns learned in med school these days?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      My father is a retired infantry medic and former Commandant of the Canadian Forces Medical Services School.
      He signed up for a course in "reiki", or energy healing, at the local college a while back for spits and giggles.
      Turns out that manipulating someone's aura won't stop someone's cancer from mastasticizing, or stop the flow of blood from an open wound.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      " installing faith in their minds" I'm intrigued by this modular belief system. Are the modules hot-swappable?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  18. GO_GOP

    Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Paul Dirac, Enrico Fermi all converted to Christianity in their death beds. But arrogant atheists just won't listen. I laugh at atheists.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      LOL you have citations for that or are you just going to call people arrogant without backing up your statement?

      October 10, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • Gaunt

      And so, with his previous lies totally discredited, the whimpering coard GOGOP abandons them in shame, and moves on to posting new, even less plausible lies.

      When these are destroyed, he will abandon THEM like a dickless coward, and move on again. he's not Christian, he's not even had his balls drop yet. he's a little lonely kid who is desperate for attention.

      Ignore him, he's just so boring.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • sam stone

      troll

      October 10, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • rasko41

      You laugh because your feelings are hurt.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Ed

      Looking over your comments, and I believe I speak for most of us, we pity you.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Wraith

      Come now, Gaunt, it's not right to assume he has no dick. Though I feel it'd be a safe assumption to say he wouldn't have one of someone kicked his mom in the chin. ;)

      October 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  19. magnus

    1 our of every 5 americans is a smart, logical, loving person. the other 4 out of 5 americans are hateful brainwashed losers who enjoy bashing other religions and creeds.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • sid

      Agreed magnus. Most can't just be content and let others live.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  20. Gaunt

    The most respected Peer reviewed scientifi journal in North America conducted a Poll of all of the scientists in the national Academy of Sciences, regarding belief in god and religion. here is the poll, and the results.

    Only SEVEN (7%) of American scientists believed in god. SEVEN percent. The rest (93%) were athiest or agnostic.

    Here is the actualy study, published in NATURE magazine, 394, No. 6691, p. 313 (1998) Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

    stephenjaygould. org/ctrl/news/file002. html

    Dont let the absurdist trolling of lonely adolescents distract you from the facts.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • GO_GOP

      Readers: Please do NOT visit the above link. It is virus infested and will harm your computer.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think you're the one who's virus-infested, GO_POOP.

      Better go, dear, the school bus is waiting for you.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Gaunt

      (laughter)

      Nice try kid. No, it doesnt contain a virus. It contains proof you are a liar.

      How humiliating for you.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      What Go-Goop is actually trying to say is, "I don't agree with it cause my giant book of fairy tales says it can't be and if my mommy find the link to that page on her computer she'll beat me."

      October 10, 2012 at 8:01 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.