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My Take: What all those Jesus jokes tell us
The authors note that Jesus jokes have become popular just since the 1970s.
November 10th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: What all those Jesus jokes tell us

Editor’s note: Edward J. Blum is a historian of race and religion at San Diego State University. Paul Harvey is a history professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and runs the blog Religion in AmericanHistory. They co-authored “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America.”

By Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, Special to CNN

Did you ever hear the one about Jesus being Mexican? Well, he was bilingual; he was constantly harassed by the government; and his first name was Jesus.

Or, perhaps Jesus was Irish? He loved a good story; he never kept a steady job; and his last request was for a drink.

Or maybe it’s possible that Jesus was Californian? He never cut his hair; he was always walking around barefoot; and he started a new religion.

You may not have heard these Jesus jokes, but you’ve heard others. They represent a comedic trend that has animated the United States since the 1970s. More and more comedy gimmicks hit on Jesus, his ethnicity and his relationship to politics. Laughing with (and at) the Lord is now fodder for major motion pictures, barroom comedy tours, graphic novels, t-shirts and bumper stickers.

How is it that a figure sacred to so many Americans has become the punch line of so many jokes? And why is it acceptable to poke fun at Jesus when other sacred figures are deemed off limits or there is hell to pay for mocking them?

The explanations are as numerous as the laughs.

Immigration shifts from the 1960s changed the ethnic and religious faces of the country so no tradition dominates today. The Christian right made such a moral spectacle of itself that it practically begged to be mocked. The emergence of “spiritual, but not religious” sensibilities left many Americans willing to denounce or laugh about traditional faith. The public rise of agnosticism, atheism, and secularism led to aggressive mockery as a form of persuasion.

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If we pause to consider why we’re laughing, we find that the comic bits delve into some of our thorniest and unresolved problems. The jokes reveal much more about us than they do Jesus. They speak to how our society has changed, how it hasn’t, and what we’re obsessed with.

The first public jokes about Jesus were heard in the 1970s. There had been religious jokes before this, but none about Jesus had become widely popular because organized Christianity held such authority. As the economic recession and problems of urban decay collided with civil rights exhaustion and new immigration, however, some Jesus jokes emerged.

Archie Bunker on “All in the Family” was the white racist and misogynist you loved to hate and hated to love. On one occasion, his son-in-law challenged Bunker’s rampant anti-Semitism with the claim, "Jesus was Jewish." Archie shot back immediately: "Only on his mother's side."

The “All in the Family” spin off “Good Times” featured a black family that lives in an inner-city housing project, probably Chicago's infamous Cabrini Green. On the show's second episode, the oldest son J. J. astounded everyone by painting Jesus as black. The younger son loves it, and says he learned all about Christ’s blackness from the local Nation of Islam.

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As the family debates whether this black Jesus should be hung on the wall in place of their white Jesus, they “miraculously” receive $140 from the Internal Revenue Service. Feeling blessed, the family placed the painting on its living room wall, and the elated J. J. shouted his tagline, "Dyno-mite!”

From the 1980s to the present, the number of prominent Jesus jokes has multiplied like loaves and fishes:

• In “Talladega Nights,” Ricky Bobby and his family debated which Jesus to pray to (“baby Jesus in golden fleece diapers,” “grown-up Jesus,” “ninja Jesus”). Their overall hope is that Jesus will help them continue their extravagant lifestyle.

• “South Park” featured Jesus as a weak-kneed host of a local talk show who boxes the devil.

• “Family Guy” had Jesus perform magic tricks that wowed his ancient audience.

• “The Colbert Report” placed a gun in Christ’s hand and had him defend conservatives against the liberal “War on Easter.”

• “Saturday Night Live” let Jesus chastise Tim Tebow for using the Lord’s name in vain and ended the bit by declaring that the Mormons have it right.

One unforgettable scene in the rather forgettable recent film “21 Jump Street” may explain why Jesus has become such a joke.

Before Jonah Hill’s character returns to high school as an undercover cop, he prays to a small, crucified “Korean Jesus.” Down on his knees, he says: “Hey Korean Jesus, I don’t know if you only cater to Korean Christians or if you even exist, no offense. I’m just really freaked out about going back to high school. It was just so f***ing hard the first time. … I just really don’t want to f*** this up. Sorry for swearing so much. The end? I don’t really know how to end the prayer.”

The hilarity of the moment only makes sense in our time. Hill's character is unchurched and agnostic, but wants spiritual power to guide him. We can laugh at how agnosticism and being “spiritual, but not religious,” leave him uncertain of what to say, how to say it, and even how to end.

We can also laugh at how ethnic factors color his approach. By wondering if Korean Jesus cares only about Korean problems, Hill pokes fun at the issue which was made a media spectacle in 2008, when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright could be heard preaching that “Jesus was a poor black man” as part of his support for Barack Obama. What good is a God who only cares for those who look like him?

The Jesus jokes not only reveal how tangled our religious, racial, economic and political positions have become, but also how many outlets there are for the jokes. In these tense times, when presidential hopefuls point fingers at one another and families unfriend one another over political and cultural differences, laughing may be one way to talk about the problems without killing one another.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Entertainment • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (5,750 Responses)
  1. funny

    what do Jesus jokes tell about us? I think the answer is in the article. What/who is referenced for all these Jesus jokes? All in the Family, Good Times, South Park, Family Guy, etc. as if those characters/actors came up with the jokes themselves. No, it is a handful of Godless Hollywood script writers who have succeeded in preaching their anti-religious bigotry to most of the nation. Some people have been so indoctrinated by the mocking of religion that they think Jesus is make-believe (as some comments here attest to), the same way anti-semites have been indoctrinated to believe the holocaust didn't happen. Be wary of how others have influenced your opinions, and seek the Truth.

    November 18, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • sam stone

      wow. i see the vaunted Christian Persecution Complex is still in full lbore. what makes you think these writers are "godless"? because they do not see god the same as you do? can you be any more arrogant?

      November 18, 2012 at 4:50 am |
    • sam stone

      only if it is YOUR truth right Funny?

      November 18, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • reg31322

      very good point funny. I agree with you 100%

      November 18, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • sam stone

      "Be wary of how others have influenced your opinions,"

      Like preachers?

      November 18, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • marsilius

      There's a huge amount of evidence that the Holocaust did happen. There is no genuinely solid evidence that Jesus existed, although he might have (devoid of the ridiculous legends about him).

      November 18, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • G8r

      When we fail to be able to laugh at ourselves is when we begin to think that we have ascended to "The Right Hand of God", not that we would EVER put ourselves above "God, the Father" of course.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    4 Verses of Scripture to Keep in One's Mind

    Mathew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God!"

    Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

    John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world!"

    1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

    If one does "literally believe" the above four verses of KJVB scripture you will then slowly begin to understand the Truth in God's Word!

    November 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      I do not believe in the bible, I do not think that Jesus was real or that he was a blonde haired, white man with blue eyes, who wore fancy robes and walked about with a posse. I find no evidence that the Christian religion is any more real than any of the other thousands of religions that have been,

      November 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      If the kingdom of god is inside me, which antiviral should I take to kill it?

      November 18, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • funny

      to collegeadmissionguru: the "objective proof" that Jesus is real and really who he said he was has been delivered: in the form of Jesus' resurrection. He appeared to over 500 witnesses, it is recorded history at a specific time and specific place, not legend; then he left the earth, somehow, I don't know, I wasn't there, neither were you. So the only "proof" we have to go on is the testimony of the witnesses who saw him. Those people had nothing to gain, and everything to lose (and many did in fact lose their lives – those original eye-witnesses) by promoting such a story, yet they gave their lives rather than deny what they saw. Now, knowing human nature, people don’t go to that extreme to get others to believe a concocted story, maybe one crazy person might, but not hundreds. I believe them, because they gave their lives, and also because of the Spirit which Jesus imparted to them and me, which you don't understand, but you could if you really want to seek the truth. Now, you may say that if Jesus was God then it was foolish of him to have risen and then disappeared so that you and I would have to rely on the testimony of witnesses, but that is the way it happened, and perhaps he had a reason; maybe to distinguish between the humble and the prideful.

      November 18, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • Balderdash

      funny,
      "He appeared to over 500 witnesses, it is recorded history at a specific time and specific place"

      The ONLY place that is "recorded" is in a writing by Paul of Tarsus. I guess Paul thought that 500 was a lot of people - he should have heard about the 900+ who died with/for Jim Jones in Guyana... or the thousands of Muslim suicide bombers and others over the centuries who have died for mistaken beliefs.

      November 18, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • tallulah13

      Where is this non-biblical, unbiased and contemporary record of the 500 witnesses? You can't use the bible as evidence that the bible is true. Reality doesn't work like that.

      November 18, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  3. Sandy

    Why do Christian priests wear robes?

    November 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • End Religion

      to hide the children

      November 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  4. Sandy

    Why do Christians wear turtlenecks?

    November 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Sandy

    What did Jesus say to the evangelical?

    Who cares?

    November 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  6. Sandy

    What did the evangelical say to the con man?

    "How do we cut these metal bars and escape cell block 9?"

    November 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  7. Todd

    SImran

    Now on the one hand you argue that since the jump from non-primate to primate cannot be observed, we cannot accept it as fact.
    Now in the same breath, you also make a statement that the laws of the universe are evidence that God exists!!! How??? You yourself are making a huge assumption, with nothing to support your claim and yet you accuse others of drawing conclusions that fossils are evidence of evolution!

    They are evidence that God exists in this way – they are immaterial and universal laws. To have an immaterial and universal law there must be something that is immaterial and universal that they come from. They cannot come from the material universe, abstract principles cannot come from that which is material in nature. God is immaterial and universal. He is the being through which all has been made. Therefore, God is the source of the laws of logic, and any abstract law that exists.

    One thing I should make clear is that I am assuming the existence of God. But I am not the only one with assumptions. All people operate from basic unquestioned assumptions. There are two basic views or world views with assumptions – 1) Matter is eternal and that is all there is. Nothing outside of the physical world exists. There are no immaterial aspects to the world. 2) There is an eternal being, this being is God who is eternal and the creator of all things visible and invisible. If one of these is true, the other is not, indeed cannot be true.

    I never said that things cannot be known apart from observation and study – that is the empiricist world view, which is self-defeating.

    Mama K,

    What I meant by asking about the same standards if I was unclear was this – the scientist has just as much a reason to make his conclusions based on the funding they receive. I don't think that is the only motivation for either group, but it certainly can be, but not necessarily so.

    November 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • T-Max73

      @saraswati- Except that Jews are NOT a race anymore than Muslim is a race or Christians are a race. Being Jewish is a cultural and ethnic distinction. Becoming a Jew is something anyone (black, white, Asian) can do by simply converting. Please recognize the difference between a religion, a cultural ethnicity, and a race. Peace.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • mama k

      This reply has been copied to its proper place as a reply to DavidvsGoliath's post at November 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm.

      See there for further replies.

      November 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Simran

      So Todd, basically, you are putting forth the cosmological argument – saying that there are universal and immaterial laws. Second you state that either of 2 possibilities is correct – that matter is eternal or that there is an eternal being. This is yet another way of same thing that God caused the Universe to happen. Now, we are stating that God is an eternal, abstract, immaterial being, who is the source of all laws. Now he then, cannot be a part of the Universe – he is outside the Universe.
      At this point, we can keep going around in circles, bcoz one will argue that Universe and its laws need a cause, and we accept that this cause is God, who/ what caused God? If you state that the enti.ty of God was its own cause (called special pleading), I can argue – why can’t the ent.ities which const.itute the universe be their own cause? Why shouldn't the Universe or the Big Bang (the most basic, earliest thing we actually know something about) itself be considered the first, necessary cause? Since we cannot begin to comprehend the notion of necessity, we have no reason to as.sume it can belong to God's but not to universes, or even 'bangs.'
      On the surface of it, it may appear simple to say God is the source of it all – the universe and its rules. But unless we can explain why He created the universe, and why He is necessary (something the ontological argument singularly fails to do in its concentration on the psychological), God helps explain nothing.

      November 18, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Simran

      An objection against the theist implication of the proposition is that even if one accepts the argument as a proof of a First Cause, it does not identify that First Cause with God. The argument does not go on to ascribe to the First Cause some of the basic attributes commonly associated with, for instance, a theistic God, such as immanence or omnibenevolence. Rather, it simply argues that a First Cause (e.g. the Big Bang, God, or an unarticulated First Cause) must exist.

      Furthermore, even if one chooses to accept God as the First Cause, there is an argument that God's continued interaction with the Universe is not required. This is the foundation for beliefs such as deism that accept that a god created the Universe, but then ceased to have any further interaction with it, and even pandeism, which proposes that the creator of the universe actually became the universe, and so ceased to exist as a separate and conscious ent.ity.

      Like I said before, the Rigvedas seem to have the most logical stand which is very close to that of science.

      November 18, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Simran

      Also you state that the empiricist's world view is self defeating. Now, I am assuming here that you believe that rationalism is the better way, that this world view is better. Or may be – philosophical view.

      But then, what is rationale to me is unrationale to you and vice versa. Rationalism is the view "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive". The person who is born in a Bible reading family has been conditioned from birth to believe that God created the earth (with exceptions) and someone born is a Buddhist family has a different belief.

      Also, the philosophical views of different individuals will differ. So whose is the right one? May be everyone is right – maybe it right for you to believe that God exists, and right for me to believe that there is no evidence for God.

      So, how is the rationalistic and philosophical view not self-defeating??? At least the empiricist's view is subject to reverification and revalidation and also can be refuted in light of new evidence. But how will you refute what is rationale or philosophically correct for me?

      The question for me is – should creationism be taught as science? I say NO. There is no evidence. Teach if you will in your church, or temple or mosque or wherever.

      November 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  8. tallulah13

    Oh, come on. If you're trying to scare me into believing, could you at least use a font that doesn't make me laugh? Honestly... flaming letters? It's like the typographic equivalent of a mullet. The god of the fundies is a tacky b@stard.

    November 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      sorry. I could have sworn I hit the reply button. I guess I was laughing too hard at the "flaming pits of hell" video that was posted earlier.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  9. jojo

    the same people who control Hollywood are the ones who rejoice in insulting Jesus. But God forbid somebody talk about a Jew, then you are a Nazi. I can't wait to see these people get what is coming to them.

    November 17, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Leif

      People like Mel Gibson? He insulted Jesus.

      November 17, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • sam stone

      make you feel good that the evil are finally going to get their comeuppance?

      jojo: your god is a vindictive, petty pri!ck, and so are you.

      get back on your knees, b1tch

      November 17, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • sam stone

      here's a thought, jojo: go meet jesus yourself. do you have a sidearm, or a tall building where you live? come on, b1tch, jesus is waiting.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • FutureTell

      Rest assured, jojo, they will get what is coming to them, and not one shall escape...

      Deuteronomy 32:41 – (God speaking) If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • sam stone

      Future Tell has no more authority than anyone as to what will happen after death (if anything) than anyone else

      Quoting an Iron Age comic book does not mean anything to those who do not accept the authority of the comic book.

      Apparently, Future Tell and Jojo are practically wetting themselves at the though of the bad people being punished.

      Vindictive petty pr!cks find comfort a vindictive, petty pr!ck god.

      It comforts them.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • sam stone

      lastly, jojo and future tell: f you and your empty proxy threats. Get back on your knees and beg

      November 17, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      First of all, people who tell Jesus jokes are mostly Christian. But comparing criticisms of Christianity to talking about "a Jew" is a bad comparison. In the first case, Christians are never discussed as a race. Race is an incident of birth, and religion a choice. When people insult Jews it is normally an insult against a racial group, not against the religion. That is what is not acceptable. Like any other belief system, however, Judaism should itself be open to criticism, and I think you'll find that it is a belief system that very much criticizes itself.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • End Religion

      Jesus wants his 2 dollars or he'll beat you up!

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdF_Vo4B6Ms&w=640&h=390]

      November 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you for that, End Religion. Too funny.

      November 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  10. End Religion

    "unimpeachable"

    About the 5th time today I've heard this from people who cannot prove their point. They throw out "unimpeachable" then quickly plug fingers into their ears and hum. There's not a much clearer sign your argument is lost.

    November 17, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  11. Bob

    DvsG, take a look at these loving chestnuts, or many others like them in your horrid bible, from both OT and NT:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    November 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  12. Bob

    Since the fundie nuts are spamming us with cheesy videos, here is the best video ever about religion. A true classic.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo&w=640&h=390]

    November 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • == o ==

      Thanks, Bob – good for a Friday night!

      November 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Stan

      Yep. Wonderful to watch this morning too. Carlin was awesome.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  13. DavidvsGoliath

    Most atheists have no clue about what lies ahead for them when they die. They laugh and make jokes and say terrible things, but they honesty haven't a clue. If you're interested in knowing what lies ahead, then take a look at the following video which someone created. The video is not perfectly accurate according to scripture, but it's close enough to at least give you a general idea of how it's going to be. The only thing I'd like to add is to say, the real Judgment Day is going to be a lot more terrifying and fearful than what you see here. So for those of you who are atheists, be not deceived, this is what lies ahead for you if you stay the course and don't get saved. And no amount of cursing and swearing, debating and arguing, or saying you don't believe in the bible, or in God, or in hell, or in Judgment Day, is going to save from the coming event. Judgment Day is coming for you whether you believe in it or not…

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTXR2WZlNmw&w=640&h=390]

    This second video is my favorite. As the video plays, the voiceover you're hearing is being read directly from the 20th Chapter of Revelations in the bible, word for word. Thus, what is being said is perfectly accurate…

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ystoIF6hXd0&w=640&h=390]

    November 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Still using your fear based conversion tactics I see. Sorry, but your mafia boss concept of god still has no evidence of existing.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Most atheists have no clue about what lies ahead for them when they die."

      Uhhhh... you've been there and back? Why didn't you get any real video when you were there instead of the imaginary animation videos you posted of imaginary places and imaginary beings from your fiction book of imaginings?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • DvsG

      End Religion… And maybe you should try reading that part again where I stated "And no amount of…saying you don't believe in the bible, or in God, or in hell, or in Judgment Day, is going to save from the coming event. Judgment Day is coming for you whether you believe in it or not…"

      November 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      DvsG, then you should be able to show evidence that what you claim is true. Can you produce a single witness who has personally been consigned to hell?

      Can you even provide one who's been admitted to heaven?

      If not, go blow. Your claims aren't provable and aren't worth the space they occupy.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • DvsG

      Hawaiiguest… All I'm doing is speaking the truth. If you're fearful, then it is the scriptures and your own condemnation that is making you fearful, not me. I welcome the arrival of Judgment Day. Because I know I have nothing to worry about…

      Revelation 2:18 – But the FEARFUL and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers…and all liars, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • DvsG

      Tom Tom... The same thing I said to End Religion applies to you as well...

      November 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And I repeat for you, since you are hard of understanding plain English: produce proof or shut up. If you can't show any evidence, your claims are absurd. Either present proof in the form of a being who's been consigned to hell or one who's been admitted to heaven, or you're a liar.

      The bible doesn't count as 'evidence' of anything, other than that men wrote stories and idiots like you fell for them.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Since you insist on quoting the Christian book of horrors AKA the bible, let's have a look at that bigotry-filled book of hate in more detail. Therein, we find fine guidance and threats from the nasty Christian sky fairy like this stuff:

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Please, stop referencing that Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, as a guide to, well, anything.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      November 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Charles Horn

      These videos are idiotic...AND I'm a Catholic Christian.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • DvsG

      Tom Tom… You want evidence? Jesus Christ is all the evidence I need. He's all the evidence anyone needs. So for you to have an argument you're going to have to show proof that what Jesus Christ said is untrue. So where is it? Where's your proof of that fact? Where's your proof that Jesus was lying? Either put up or shut up…

      Just what I thought. You don't have any. All you have is just your own personal arrogant opinion, which doesn't mean a thing…

      November 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • DvsG

      Bob… And just how does your misguided and false interpretation of the scriptures stop you from going to hell or the lake? Answer: It won't. But your words against those scriptures and every evil word you say will certainly send you there in the express lane and make you look more foolish when those same statements are played back before the universe on Judgment Day…

      November 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • OTOH

      DvsG,
      " Where's your proof that Jesus was lying? "

      No, son, you have been informed umpty-ump times that it is YOU who have the burden of proof since YOU are making the claim that those words attributed to 'Jesus' are true.

      1. What is your proof that Buddha was lying with his elaborate scenario of the afterlife and the mystical other-world?
      What is your proof that Mohammad was lying?, or Joseph Smith? or any of the other fantasy purveyors over the ages?

      2. You have no proof for what this 'Jesus' actually said. You only have what some 1st & 2nd century Middle Eastern guys *said* that he said.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • DvsG

      OTOH… I have stated Jesus Christ is all the proof you need. He is the highest authority in existence and his word is unimpeachable. You can either accept that fact or not. It is not my problem if his word is not good enough for you or is not proof you are willing to accept. God does not owe you proof you are willing to accept. He only owes you proof. And he has done that when he sent his only begotten son to earth to die on the cross. So you can either accept that proof and believe in his son and believe in his words, or you can continue on to hell and be damned like a billion other fools who are already there. You will not be missed. And the sad truth is, you're probably going there anyway…

      Mark 16:16 – He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

      So belief is your only option. You can either believe in the words of Jesus or continue on to hell. Beyond that, I will not debate nonsense with you….

      November 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      "All I'm doing is speaking the truth"

      No, again with the religious redefinition of words. How dishonest and typically hypocritical of you. You are speaking your belief. A truth is a fact you can prove. You cannot prove anything you've posted.

      ***
      "Jesus Christ is all the evidence I need. He's all the evidence anyone needs. So for you to have an argument you're going to have to show proof that what Jesus Christ said is untrue. So where is it? Where's your proof of that fact? Where's your proof that Jesus was lying?"

      Even high school students understand the basics of discussions during a debate. The negative of any argument cannot be proven. I can assert that a pink polka-dotted elephant farted the universe into existence and you can't disprove it.

      The burden of proof is on your assertion, one, that Jesus the son of God even existed (which no one in the world has yet proven conclusively), and that two, every word of what Jesus is purported to have said in the bible is a fact.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • End Religion

      The existence of Jesus, son of God, is not an unimpeachable fact. Of course we choose not to accept it as a fact until it has been proven as such. Quick, get your fingers back into your ears and start humming. Your argument has floundered on the rock of reason.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Leif

      That is because atheists are honest. Those who think they know what happens after they die are fooling themselves.
      I am an atheist. I don't know what will happen. I hope that I will continue in some form. I don't know that I will, and neither do you.

      November 17, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • DvsG

      End Religion, OTOH… I will not continue to go around in circles with you fools while you continue to deny the truth, continue to evade the question based on your own twisted understanding of things, and continue to say or do anything in an attempt to avoid having to provide even an ounce of proof yourself simply because you know you don't have any. You speak of high-schoolers, that's funny, because if either of you had even half the brains of most high-schoolers we wouldn't even be having this conversation. You have asked me for proof, and I have provided you with proof, proof that is recognized not just the world over but also in heaven. And proof just doesn't get any greater than that. Therefore you have no argument and you know it…

      Jesus Christ is the proof God sent to earth of his existence. And God does not owe you proof you will accept. He only owes you proof. And he has done that when he sent his only begotten son. Therefore, if you refuse to accept his son, and refuse to accept the words of his son, then you will be damned and will end up in the lake. The thing about unbelievers is they will disbelieve anything they don't want to believe, simply because they don't want to believe it, even if it is true. Therefore, it is not my job to force you to accept the truth, it is only my job to tell you the truth. And I have done that. You can either accept that truth or reject it. But your rejection of it, does not make it untrue. It only makes you an unbeliever. And all unbelievers shall end up in the lake….

      All you atheists have the same twisted mindset and feel that denying the truth will somehow protect you from the truth. But you are deceived and it will not. Judgment Day is coming for you fools whether you believe in it or not. The Plan of Salvation which the eternal God set up is not based upon proof, it is based upon your ability to believe. Jesus said "He that believeth shall be saved. And he that believeth not, shall be damned." And all atheists are unbelievers. Therefore, all atheists are damned. It means, every one of you are on your way to hell. And all the twisted logic in the universe is not going to save you…

      Mark 16:16 – He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

      November 17, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • sam stone

      davidvsgoliath: let me break this down for you. no one (including you) can fear retalliation from a being in which they do not believe. you have no authority to speak of heaven or hell. so, basically, go f yourself

      November 17, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • DvsG

      Leif… What you are is a liar and an unbeliever. And both kinds of people shall be cast into the lake…

      For God has already provided you with proof and with someone who is able to tell you what happens after you die. His name is Jesus Christ. And his words are in the bible. And in his words, he clearly spells out exactly what will happen to you after you die. He tells you what your options are. So for you to say you do not know what happens after you die, then you are lying, and are only fooling yourself, because you are well aware of what Christ has said. But what you are really saying is you have rejected Christ's words, and have chosen not to believe them, and you want to continue on with your head buried in the sand as if you didn't know. Well, so be it, if that is what you want to do. But it won't save you. For your rejection of Christ is merely indicating you are an unbeliever. And to pretend you don't know about what Christ said makes you a liar. And all liars and unbelievers shall be cast into the lake…

      Revelation 2:18 – But the fearful and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers…and all LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • sam stone

      if you must threaten people to get them to believe, then your point is lost. back on your knees, punk

      November 17, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "And his words are in the bible."

      He never wrote a single word. The words in the bible were written by others, long after Jesus was dead. There is no proof at all that they are accurate.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • End Religion

      @DG: "...while you continue to deny the truth"

      The truth is what I'm espousing. You are stating your beliefs as a truth, which they may or may not be. All we need is the proof.

      ***
      "if either of you had even half the brains of most high-schoolers we wouldn't even be having this conversation"

      We're having the conversation because intelligence demands reason. You don't want this conversation because religion is about blind acceptance of dogma without question or reason.

      ***
      "You have asked me for proof, and I have provided you with proof, proof that is recognized not just the world over but also in heaven."

      You are redefining "proof". Proof is not a collection of people's beliefs. Proof is not found in imaginary places.

      ***
      And proof just doesn't get any greater than that. Therefore you have no argument and you know it…"

      To the contrary, you have provided zero proof and so proof can get greater than what you've provided: another lie from a supposed "good religious person". Thanks for helping show the world the fraud of religion, and helping us gain more atheists. My argument goes unchallenged.

      ***
      "Jesus Christ is the proof God sent to earth of his existence."

      Jesus, son of god, did not exist. There is no proof of the existence of anyone ever being on the planet who could perform supernatural feats. The bible is a fictional collection of myths handed down from religions pre-dating yours. There were no contemporary eyewitnesses, and even if there had been, we understand eyewitness testimony is unreliable.

      ***
      "And God does not owe you proof you will accept. He only owes you proof. And he has done that when he sent his only begotten son. Therefore, if you refuse to accept his son, and refuse to accept the words of his son, then you will be damned and will end up in the lake."

      God owes us proof? Is that in the bible? Or is that more of your made up rules?

      And god didn't "send his only begotten son" – he supposedly r@ped a 12 year old child, which you and your ilk somehow find an admirable quality. Not only that but he apparently had more sons you are omitting.

      Adam, which was the son of God. Luke 3:38
      The sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. Job 1:6

      Which lake will I end up in? Where is it exactly? Do you have GPS coordinates for it? Why does a "loving" god condemn souls to a concentration camp?

      ***
      "it is only my job to tell you the truth"

      You mean you feel it is your responsibility to share your beliefs? Unless you're a priest... do you get paid to spread the word? Maybe you feel heaven is compensation, so you call it a job. Does god have dental?

      ***
      "You can either accept that truth or reject it."

      I do not accept your beliefs unless you can show me they are factual. You haven't yet. Keep trying.

      ***
      "Jesus said "He that believeth shall be saved. And he that believeth not, shall be damned."

      We already covered the fact that jesus did not exist and that the bible is a book of lies. You may wish to switch to some other source to base any argument on.

      ***
      "And all atheists are unbelievers. Therefore, all atheists are damned."

      To jump to your "therefore damned" you need to have proven that unbelievers are damned, which you have not. Keep trying.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  14. jonat

    CNN calls their Christian and Jew bashing page "Belief Blog"... so obvious what it's really for

    November 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      Except last month it was a Mormon bashing blog. And it seems often a continual atheist bashing blog. Sometimes it's a Scientology bashing blog. Getting the picture? It is what it purports to be: a blog about religion.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Observer

      ... unless you were a Republican in the last elections.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" is the degenerate.

      This troll is not a christian. . .

      November 17, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      November 17, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  16. DavidvsGoliath

    Atheists judge everything according to their own small minds and twisted logic, according to their own sense of reasoning and the way they feel things are supposed to be. And they fail to realize that the logic of God and the logic of man never has been the same and was diametrically opposed from the beginning. The eternal God does not view things the same way we do, nor should he, because he sits too high and is able to see all things. In fact, if God's wisdom and knowledge and his great understanding of things was as limited and as paltry as man's is, then the universe itself nor man would never have been created. He wouldn't have known where to start. And even unto this day, despite all of man's knowledge, man cannot create life. He can destroy life (and he loves to do it) but he cannot create it…

    Can an ant crawling on the ground having to navigate its way around a blade of grass ever truly know or understand how big the ocean is? Or the size of the earth and whether it is flat or round? And that's not even dealing with the heavens or the universe. No, it cannot. To an ant, it might assume that the water's edge of a lake is the edge of the world, or that the water it sees goes on forever. Thus, for an ant, it is wholly impossible for it to know certain things because it can't see that far. And just because it can't see that far, that doesn't mean the things it can't see doesn't exist. And atheists are just like that ant. They are fools. They arrogantly assume that the things they cannot see simply doesn't exist. They even tell others they don't exist. But where did they get that from? And who told them that? What proof do they have such things don't exist? If you challenge then on it, they'll only say "you can't prove a negative." So typical of an atheist. They don't even have enough brains or common sense to simply say "I don't know."...

    In the same like manner, even unto this day, man has no clue how large the universe is. They may speculate about its size, but beyond speculation they haven't a clue. In contrast, the eternal God knows all things, things inside and outside of this universe. For all we know, our entire universe may be contained in a small bottle sitting on his corner table. The eternal God knows all things concerning us because he created us. While most men haven't a clue about what's up in heaven, the eternal God knows there are multiple heavens. While most men are so ignorant they don't even realize they have a soul, the eternal God not only sees our soul, but he even knows the thoughts of our hearts, our intents, and deepest secrets. He knows what we're going to do before we do it and what we're going to think before we think it. That is how high up he sits and there is nothing unknown to him. Men love to compare themselves to God (that was Lucifer's problem) yet they have no idea just how small and paltry and insignificant we are. If ants were intelligent, would not the greatest ant mind be insignificant compared to the intelligence of man? Then what makes you think the world's greatest scientific mind is not insignificant compared to the intelligence of God? (the same God who created the universe, by the way). If you don't know that, then you're a fool….

    Lastly and to illustrate how ignorant some people are, even those people who hate God must still depend on God for their existence. If God were to merely pull back his strength or to remove the air he created for them to breath, they would fall down and die and cease to exist. Man cannot even sustain his own existence without God. Yet he's got the nerve and the arrogance to say 'there is no God". What fools thou art. And even that fool who has made such a statement, he is too ignorant to even know that with every breath he takes, he is actually breathing God. For God's is a spirit and his presence is everywhere. He's even in the air we breathe and there is no place he is not. So with every breath you take, you're actually breathing God…

    November 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove that the only reason anyone lives is god. Go ahead.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You really are desperate, aren't you? Atheists say "I don't know" all the time. I don't know how the universe began. I don't know what started the big bang. Not knowing does not equal "goddidit."

      November 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • OTOH

      DavidvsGoliath,
      "They don't even have enough brains or common sense to simply say "I don't know."

      Well, that's *precisely* what they do say. Sans *knowing*, they do not make up being(s) to explain the (as yet) unexplained.

      You are the one who sounds like the ant. Lacking verified information, y'all have created ant fantasies... fANTasies!

      November 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • fred

      TomTom
      God has the capacity not only to create the unknown but cover the eyes of those that would be harmed by knowing. Since you reject God because you cannot see that which requires faith you are not held accountable on the same level as one who has seen God then rejects God. So count as a blessing the blinders God has provided out of the love that is God.
      May God continue to bless you in all that you do.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Freddy, why don't YOU step up to the plate and do what this lame-azz won't? Post proof. Or admit you don't have any.

      Your blessings don't mean a thing to me; I appreciate people who are honest and giving, not hypocrites like you.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Graystone

      Fred… Most people are blinded not because of God but because of Lucifer. That's why the scripture says the following…

      2 Corinthians 4:4 – In whom the god of this world (Lucifer) has blinded the minds of them which believe not . . .

      Secondly, the proof of God's existence is all around us. A person don't even need faith to know that, only a little common sense. For example, Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and he was a real person who walked upon this earth. He was not a myth. Real-world historical records bear witness that he was here. And because no son can exist without a father, if Jesus existed, then so also does his father in heaven exist. It cannot be otherwise. That is just plain and simple logic. It doesn't even require faith to believe that. Only a little common sense. So what does that say about atheists?…

      November 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • fred

      Graystone
      You may right. I was agnostic before my sudden conversion experience. The Bible was foolish children stories to me yet I always sensed there was more to life than what I was experiencing. That sense may have been what you are speaking about. I also know some very kind and intelligent atheists with a stoic mindset that they reject what I find true. There are no words that will turn them, perhaps because they do not sense there is anything more than what we currently experience.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Graystone

      Fred… People like you can be saved if you continue pressing toward God. So please continue to do so and don't let anyone stop you for any reason. I will pray for you that the Lord will lead you to the right place to be saved…

      You are also right that some people will not be saved. People think Jesus came to earth to save the whole world. He did not. He died for the whole world (to give them a chance to be saved) but he already knew the whole world would not be saved. All you can do is to save the sheep, those people in the world who are seeking God and are worthy to be saved. All the rest are going to hell and there is nothing you can do about it….

      November 16, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      @greystoke: "Common sense" is the prejudices one gains by age 12. It gets one only so far. You say proof of god is all around and yet there is not one shred of actual proof of god's existence. Clearly you do not understand what the word "proof" means. As with many religious people you've substituted "belief" as your definition for "proof" and "truth". Your cognitive dissonance is an amazing thing to behold.

      Hell only scares those who believe in it. Your fear mongering only appeals to you and does nothing for us.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • chopped liver

      Graystone,

      "he already knew the whole world would not be saved."

      He knew (before they were born) that billions would not be saved... and 'created' them anyway? Well, isn't that SPECIAL!

      November 17, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Todd

      What "proof/evidence" does one need or take? How is "proof" or "evidence" defined? If you have a definition of either of these or both, please provide it. If your definition of "proof/evidence" precludes man, creation, order, etc... then no one can provide you with what you would accept as "proof" or "evidence".

      If you ask someone for proof of God's (and not generic god) existence, you should provide what you would accept as evidence or proof, or at least a definition of evidence and proof. If you say it would take a miracle before your very eyes, I would say that even a miracle would not be enough.

      So, what is "acceptable evidence"?

      November 17, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • sam stone

      "Your fear mongering only appeals to you and does nothing for us."

      Not true. It amuses us and reinforces the idea that those making those fear based appeals are simply morons

      November 17, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are absolutely correct: there IS no proof OR evidence that a god exists. So believers should knock off stating their beliefs as if they were based on facts when they are not.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Saraswati

      @graystone, Your logical problem lies in your reliance on "Common sense" – a word that means nothing and is pulled out whenever people don't have a leg to stand on.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Real-world historical records bear witness that he was here. And because no son can exist without a father, if Jesus existed, then so also does his father in heaven exist."

      By that reasoning, gray, everyone's father is god. Just because he existed, it does not follow that Jesus was the son of god or divine at all. Again, you are stating beliefs as if they were facts; they are not. You believe these things to be true; it doesn't mean they are.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • DvsG

      Saraswati… You're right. I do rely on people having at least a smidgen of "common sense" in order to interpret the things I've said. But if they don't have any common sense, they won't understand a thing I've said…

      Chopped Liver… The "before they were born" part, and "[before they were created, but] created them anyway" part is something you added. I did not say that. So stop putting words in my mouth. So typical of atheists. When the truth doesn't fit, change it into a lie…

      Romans 1:25 – Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (Lucifer) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Secondly, the proof of God's existence is all around us. A person don't even need faith to know that, only a little common sense."

      There is no proof of the existence of a god "all around us," you doofus. We now know a great deal about how species evolved and how the universe began. That we do not yet know everything is no reason to assume some giant sky-fairy must have done it. THAT is what should be "common sense."

      November 17, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Todd

      Tom,

      It appears you are an empiricist, is this correct? If so, how can you prove through empirical observation that the only way to come to know things is through empirical observation? That statement is self refuting. If you hold to the idea that there are laws of logic, those laws are not material in nature and cannot be proven through empirical observation.

      How does one have laws, immaterial set rules, when all that there is is the material world? Can you explain how the immaterial laws of logic exist in a purely materialistic universe?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Todd

      Tom,

      I ask again – is there anything you would accept as proof or evidence of the existence of God? Or, do you hold to the idea that there are no proofs or evidence for the existence of God, therefore you cannot prove the existence of God?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dear Toddy, don't even bother. You do not have proof or evidence that this world was "created" by some supernatural being. If you did, you'd produce it here and now.

      Why do people like you have to lie? Why do you demean your own beliefs by pretending that they're facts? Why do you not simply tell the truth: that you have faith and belief and that for you, facts and proof are not necessary? Instead, you continue to lie, obfuscate, avoid and twist words.

      If someone doesn't believe in your version of a god, why would you imagine that lying will convince that person?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I thought my post was clear. If you don't understand it, I don't know what to tell you. There is no proof or evidence that a god exists. You believe in one; you have faith. You don't have facts. That's fine; you have every right to believe as you do. What you don't have are facts. Stop pretending you do. It's demeaning to your religious beliefs.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you have proof, Todd/DvG/Gray, then it would be incontrovertible and obvious. It would be universally accepted as fact.

      You don't have that. Why try to make others think you do?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Todd

      Tom,

      My question is simple – what would you accept as evidence or proof? It appears that your answer would be "that which is accepted universally." If this is the case, then all people everywhere accept as fact that this world is all that there is. You and I both know that is not true, so you would need to come up with a definition of what you mean by "universally accepted."

      I would point to man – the fact that we are here is evidence that God is. I would point to the sun and moon and stars as evidence. But you reject this outright using a circular argument.

      It appears you do not have an answer for the question of where you get laws from a purely materialist universe. So, you accept on faith that it is consistent to have abstract laws in a universe where only the material exists.

      Now then, if you want to have a conversation I am all up for one, otherwise it would seem that all you want to do is call people names which does no one any good.

      Are you willing to answer my questions at all? If not, say so and we can be done. Thanks!

      November 17, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not interested in your questions, honey. I am simply not going to tolerate somebody who thinks a circular argument const itutes proof and that his way of thinking is correct and all others are wrong. I am fed up with azzholes like you who arrogantly insist that you alone know the truth, that your beliefs are the only ones that are valid, that all who don't see things as you do will burn in a lake of fire, that the bible is the law, that your interpretation of it is infallible, and whose sanctimonious, self-righteous clap-trap is the end-all and be-all of the universe. It isn't. Yours is NOT the only path or the only truth.

      There are indeed truths that all recognize as fact. Your god isn't one of them.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "You and I both know that is not true." So now you can read others' minds, too? You have no idea what I "know."

      November 17, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Todd

      Tom,

      One last thing – its not about facts, its about the interpretation of the facts. For example – fact: there is a fossil in the yard. The interpretation of the fact: this was a being that evolved, or this is a being that was created.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Huebert

      Todd

      Then what do you make of this fact? Evolution is an ongoing process that has been recreated in a laboratory setting.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree, Toddy. It's NOT about facts. You don't have any. Which is exactly what I said. You believe. You have faith. Why lie about it and pretend you 'know' something when you do not?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Todd

      Tom,

      There you go calling names and making claims about what I have said that are untrue. Have a good day.

      Huebert,

      Then what do you make of this fact? Evolution is an ongoing process that has been recreated in a laboratory setting.

      1) Evolution as in seeing changes within a certain type or one type changing into a completely new type? (A dog becoming a non-dog, a cat a non-cat, a fly a non-fly, etc?)

      2) Evolution re-created in a laboratory – this is a far cry from an unsupervised mechanism or non-determined or un-intelligent process.

      "In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next."- Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974

      Is evolution unguided? If so the guided experiments refute by themselves, the idea that evolution is unguided. If guided, by whom or by what? Now, that said, I do not have a background in scientific study, but that does not mean I should not be able to ask questions about how these things go about – right?

      What I can do is look at laws of logic and seek to determine through these laws (which are abstract, without any physical properties and I believe to be universal and self-evident) what does and does not make sense or, where there are leaps in logic. The laboratory process of evolution seems to fly in the face of what is the accepted thought in science as unguided.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • mama k

      "Atheists judge everything according to their own small minds and twisted logic"

      Well I'm glad the poster outed their ignorance at the beginning of that large post so I wouldn't have to bother reading any further.

      We know nothing about the attributes of anything prior to some of the things we know about our current universe. Therefore, we don't know if laws of physics, etc. would have been the same. Therefore, we can't actually say what kind of external agent, if any, would have been necessary for us to wind up with the universe that we have, along with its laws.

      And because things are so unknown prior to our universe, and because ancient man was afraid of his own shadow, so to speak, it is much more likely that the magic that has resulted in religions today, is a result of man having created gods in his own image – to explain away things he didn't understand. In fact, we do still see remnants today that men did create many different kinds of gods in their own image. This includes the god of israel, because that god is just a rehashing of previous gods told through folklore.

      The Bible for centuries has been an assertion, initiated by ancient man, to lend credibility to religion and as assertion to lend credibility to magic of man's folklore experiences – interfacing with a higher being. Regardless if some of the characters in the Bible were real, none of the writings to date asserting such divine experiences have made a good case proving such experiences. And since the newer stories are based on very obvious folklore of the older stories that were changed and translated over time, passed by word of mouth, it is much more reasonable to assume that there was some political motivation behind the need to try to validate the newer stories via magic including "witnesses" written into them.

      So I would answer Todd's last question by saying that I can't speak for the rest of modern society, but credible proof would certainly have to be something greater than what has been given so far. It's not enough to trust that the person standing next to you said they had a vision (that you did not have) – we know more now about the capabilities of the mind – what it can at time perceive that may not be reality. It's not enough to take seriously writings based on other writings, based on word of mouth stories handed down from other writings and word-of-mouth stories from millennia ago when man didn't understand a lot of things and was afraid of them. Anything better than those two types of evidence would probably be better. But so far, the Bible, although convincing via organized religious indoctrination, has never provided anything but the latter aforementioned "evidence". It has never proved any of its "magical" assertions.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Smithsonian

      "Then what do you make of this fact?"

      The bible is not fact. The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Damocles

      @todd

      I'm not really sure what you are going for. Yes, we can jump start certain natural processes, such as making artificial diamonds, but that doesn't mean that the natural progression is guided in any way shape or form.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Damocles

      @todd

      About your fossil fact.... yes, you can interpret the fossil any way you like, but you have to back up your interpretation at some point. Say you and your kid find a fossil in the backyard, now you can invent some fantastic tale of it being a dragon thigh bone to see the sparkle of wonder in your kid's eye, but if you take it to the scientific community with the same tale, they are going to want you to back up your claim in some fashion.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Me

      @Todd, the lab experiments being talked about were not guided in the sense you make them to be. Unicellular yeast becoming multicellular was not an intention of the scientist carrying out the experiment. They were just growing the yeast. They were not guiding it to multicellularity by making changes in their nuclear material, if that is what you think about such evidence. That the organisms changed from unicellular forms to multicellular forms was their observation.

      And if you analyze the development of human body itself, cells often become dysregulated and cancers happen. Do you know that we sometimes find thyroid tissue tumors in ovaries (imagine, there is no relation bw the two, they are far away) and the thyroid gland itself is perfectly normal, no cancer there! Yeah, the same cells differentiate during the process of development into different organ systems, and in cancer, they sometimes dedifferentiate. How do you fit creationism here? Must be a really imperfect creator, to say the least!

      November 17, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Todd, I call you what you are. Your claims are not based on facts; they are based on your belief. You don't like being called on it. Tough.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I would point to man – the fact that we are here is evidence that God is."

      In what way is that "evidence"? Can you show without using the Bible that man exists because of God? Go ahead and do so, Todd.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Damocles

      Can I point to cancer as proof that your deity is a hateful little thing?

      November 17, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Huebert

      Todd

      1) Dogs and cats are entirely to complex to have been able to speciate within all of human history, much less a human lifetime. One species of bacteria, over a period of about 25 years evolved into a different species of bacteria.

      2) The expirment simply created a situation that encouraged the development of a new trait. They then observed the bacteria's progression over tens of thousands of generations. Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about the study, if you want more detailed information simply read Wikipedia's citations.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

      Evolution is a product of natural selection. The natural selector is environmental pressures. This is why animals in tropical climates tend to have shorter hair, and animals in arctic climates tend to have longer hair. In the case of the experiment the environment was manipulated, but in the natural world environments change due to things like continental drift, or volcanic eruptions. Humans can artificially select traits, see dog breeding, and if we continued to do this for a few hundred thousand generations we would create a new species.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Todd

      Damocles,

      I'm not really sure what you are going for. Yes, we can jump start certain natural processes, such as making artificial diamonds, but that doesn't mean that the natural progression is guided in any way shape or form.

      What I am saying is this – it is being stated that evolution is unguided and does not include intelligence. When in fact, much thought is being put into how it is not intelligent. And, showing that there is much guidance in the experiments to prove the "un-guidance" of it. This seems incongruous to me. People are thinking about how there is no thought behind it.

      Also, what makes the empiricist view authoritative? And how can that be proven? What makes that better than rationalism?
      As far as the whole fossil thing, you are right, they would want some sort of evidence to the claim being made. So my first question is what evidence will be or will not be accepted and based on what?

      Here is something else and it may be just some wrong thinking on my part, but, I am not sure about you but I do not have the time, money and energy to put into looking into the same things that those who have backgrounds in biology and other disciplines in science that do. Nor do I have the funds. But I do have reasoning and laws of logic to determine the validity of one claim or another.

      So, claim 1) life has evolved from non-living organisms to living organisms. I do not see how life can come from non-life in any way shape or form no matter how much time (which ultimately is nothing, at least nothing physical) and chance (which is also nothing). Claim 2) all that there is is matter – the physical world. If this is the case then there are no laws that can be used to determine what is right (the concept of right being abstract and without physical properties) and what is wrong (same thing) in the way of thinking. All that there can be logically is my neurons working in different ways than another's. No right or wrong just different. Among other claims but I will leave these two for now.

      Mama K,

      As far as evidence from writings – If we determine that all writings from antiquity are judged the same way, I think the evidence supports very clearly that the Bible is reliable. First, of all writings of antiquity there are none that can compete with the veracity of the Bible. Example – Plato and Aristotle are works that are taken to be written either by those men or about those men who actually existed and they do not have any original writings, nor any copies of those writings until about 1000 to 1400 years after those two were said to exist. Not to mention there are few copies (a total about 20 maybe a few more if I remember correctly). The bible has much more and more that were written closer to the time they came from. Not to mention the "new" evidence found by Dr Peter Williams showing how it makes sense that those writing the NT were written by eye witnesses.

      If you have sources I can look at that are different I am willing to look. Thanks!

      November 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • SImran

      What does the oldest religious scripture say about origin of the universe?

      The Rig Veda questions the origin of the cosmos in:

      Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed? And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows? Who can declare it? Hence was it born, and whence came this creation? The devas were born later than this world's creation, so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it. He who surveys it in the highest heavens, he alone knows-or perhaps does not know. (Rig Veda 10. 129)

      November 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • SImran

      Science writers Carl Sagan and Fritjof Capra have pointed out similarities between the latest scientific understanding of the age of the universe, and the Hindu concept of a "day and night of Brahma", which is much closer to the current known age of the universe than other creation myths. The days and nights of Brahma posit a view of the universe that is divinely created, and is not strictly evolutionary, but an ongoing cycle of birth, death, and rebirth of the universe. According to Sagan:

      The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long, longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang.[8]

      Capra, in his popular book The Tao of Physics, wrote that:

      This idea of a periodically expanding and contracting universe, which involves a scale of time and space of vast proportions, has arisen not only in modern cosmology, but also in ancient Indian mythology. Experiencing the universe as an organic and rhythmically moving cosmos, the Hindus were able to develop evolutionary cosmologies which come very close to our modern scientific models.[9]

      November 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • SImran

      British geneticist and evolutionary biologist, J B S Haldane, observed that the Dasavataras (ten principal avatars of Lord Vishnu) are a true sequential depiction of the great unfolding of evolution.[10] The avatars of Vishnu show an uncanny similarity to the biological theory of evolution of life on earth.[11]

      1. Matsya. First avatar is a fish, one which is creature living in water. If we compare it with biological evolution on different Geological Time Scale first developed life was also in the form of fish which originated during Cambrian period.

      2. Kurma Second avatar was in the form of Tortoise (reptiles). In geology also first reptiles comes as second important evolution which originated in Mississippian period just after Amphibians.

      3. Varaha Third avatar was in the form of Boar. Evolution of the amphibian to the land animal.

      4. Narasimha The Man-Lion (Nara= man, simha=lion) was the fourth avatar. But in geology no such evidences are mentioned. It may have been related with Ape Man The term may sometimes refer to extinct early human ancestors, such as the undiscovered missing link between apes and humans.

      5. Vamana Fifth Avatar is the dwarf man. It may be related with the first man originated during Pliocene. It may be related with Neanderthals. Neanderthals were generally only 12 to 14 cm (4½–5½ in) shorter than modern humans, contrary to a common view of them as "very short" or "just over 5 feet".

      6. Parashurama, The man with an axe was the sixth avatar. It has the similarities with the first modern man originated during the Quaternary period or the man of Iron Age.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Damocles

      @todd

      I can understand your conundrum, but does it really matter in your daily life?

      The concept of good and evil is abstract, what is good for one is bad for another. Laws try to codify right and wrong for the good of the masses. Stealing is generally considered wrong and I would agree that I don't want someone to steal from me, but if a person is truly desperate, then I can see that act being right in that person's eyes.

      Evolution is/can be haphazard, meaning that some changes that occur are not beneficial.

      I would wager that people would want some kind of proof that dragons existed. You can't expect me to take you at your word that dragons existed anymore than you could expect me to take you at your word that you will send me a million dollars in exchange for my email address.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Todd

      Huebert,

      1) When has anyone observed a primate or anything related to a primate become a non-primate? If it is based on observation and study, when has this or something like this been observed and studied? Name one type of being that has become something other than it was and when was this observed in time and space?

      2) I briefly read the wiki link, so I may have missed – when did the E.Coli become something else?

      Tom,

      Calling me an "azzhole" proves nothing. As far as using man as evidence – we are living beings, life can only come from life. Intelligence can only come from intelligence. We are using reasoning and laws of thought. In the use of these things, we show that there is reason behind the thought processes. This is evidence, which I believe, points to the existence of God. Any other explanation that I have heard fails.

      You reject this, not because it doesn't make sense but because you reject outright "God cannot exist, therefore there is no evidence you can give that will show that he exists." That is using circular reasoning, which is a rule of thought that is universal – it applies to all people everywhere.

      Laws of logic are evidence that God exists. Without a transcendental, eternal and absolute being – there can be no laws.

      You have not provided an answer to my questions about laws, and I do not think any answer will come forth, nor can you nor do you have any basis to answer them from.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "They don't even have enough brains or common sense to simply say "I don't know."

      I say it all the time. It is the most honest answer one can give. At least we admit it!! See Theists can't be honest b/c most use that book called the bible to tell them how humanity began (yet there is no evidence outside of the bible for that, nor does it make any damn sense); to tell them how the earth came to (yet once again there is no evidence supporting that outside of the bible); how in that book it tells them that homosexuality is wrong (yet we have vast amounts of evidence that says otherwise)...there are plenty of things that Theists believe they have the answer's to, seldom will you ever hear a Theist say "I don't know"...they'll always refer to the bible for the answer.
      I'm more than satisfied to admit to not having all the answers...it makes for a far more interesting life.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • SImran

      Todd,
      My above statements from the Vedas were meant for you, since you showed desire to learn more about other writings. Now, this explanation about origin of cosmos is clearly more rationale and logical than you Biblical myths of a personalized God.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Damocles

      @todd

      Universal laws (and let me say that until we know the universe, we can not know what is universal) are no more an argument for a deity than they are for a holy eggplant. Just because you have reached a conclusion does not mean that a) it's the right one and b) you should stop looking.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • SImran

      Todd – "When has anyone observed a primate or anything related to a primate become a non-primate?"
      So, you think that such changes happen overnight or in 1 year or 10 years or maybe 100 years??? Imagine the time frame in billions of years and you will get the answer as to why it has not bee observed.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Calling me an "azzhole" proves nothing."

      You've already shown what you are; my calling you on it is only an acknowledgement.

      "As far as using man as evidence – we are living beings, life can only come from life."

      There is no proof that that is so. The fact that we don't yet know how life came into existence does not mean "goddidit."

      "Intelligence can only come from intelligence. We are using reasoning and laws of thought. In the use of these things, we show that there is reason behind the thought processes. This is evidence, which I believe, points to the existence of God. Any other explanation that I have heard fails."

      Your explanation fails. You are stating as fact something that you do not know to be factual.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • mama k

      Todd: "Not to mention the "new" evidence found by Dr Peter Williams showing how it makes sense that those writing the NT were written by eye witnesses. "

      Dr Peter (P.J.) Williams is the Warden of Tyndale House which is a part of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship. Well it should be obvious that Mr. Williams' livelihood may very well depend on making others "see the light" so to speak. Regardless, I doubt he nor you do have any evidence at all. The dead give-away is when you said "how it makes sense". When a Christian starts talking like that, more often than not, they are headed in the direction of circular validation – where, even though something may seem to make sense, they are still trying to prove something only by references to that something. Dig?

      November 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Laws of logic are evidence that God exists. Without a transcendental, eternal and absolute being – there can be no laws."

      Of course there can. Logic doesn't require the existence of an invisible being.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "you reject outright "God cannot exist, therefore there is no evidence you can give that will show that he exists.""

      Now who's putting words in others' mouths? Point to a single instance in which I said "god cannot exist." I said I see no evidence.

      Retract your statement as an untruth.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Todd

      Damocles,

      Yes (it matters in life), if something can be right for you, and the complete opposite is right for me, we live in the absurd. That would mean a contradiction can be true, and ultimately anything we say is meaningless. And this conversation in any context is useless. For you to tell me that my thought processes are wrong, is well, wrong.

      As far as universal laws being an evidence of an absolute, eternal and personal being – you cannot have any universal laws apart from a being that is universal. It is an impossibility. How can there be any laws apart from an eternal, transcendent, personal, absolute being?

      SImran,

      When I ask about the observation of such a thing it is based out of the thought that if it is not observed, and studied it cannot be known (the empiricist/scientific view). And therefore, based on that, cannot be known in any meaningful way. It can be deduced – although I would say it is a jump, but not known and therefore cannot be a "fact."

      November 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      " if something can be right for you, and the complete opposite is right for me, we live in the absurd"

      No, we live in reality. We decide what is lawful based on the common good of the majority of the community in question.

      That doesn't require any supernatural being. We have discovered over many generations that behaviors have consequences here and now and that our survival as a group is best served by having laws that limit some behaviors and encourage others.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Todd

      Tom,

      To state something fails, does not demonstrate, nor have you offered anything other than a – I said this is so therefore it is. I have provided reasons – you just don't like them.

      Mama K,

      It is true what you say of Peter Williams that he is president of Tyndale, but do you use the same standard for people looking to fund their "scientific inquiries"?

      November 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Regarding Todd's discussions with both Damocles and Tom, one thing is evident. In refuting some of these other opinions, Todd makes the mistake of making too many unproven assumptions. To that, I will repeat one of the paragraphs from my large post above, but will add just a bit:

      We know nothing about the attributes of anything prior to some of the things we know about our current universe. Therefore, we don't know if laws of physics, etc. would have been the same. Therefore, we can't actually say what kind of external agent, if any, would have been necessary for us to wind up with the universe that we have, along with its laws.

      And even if there was an external agent before the current universe, we presently don't know anything about its attributes (that has been credibly proven or associated with this mostly-likely man-made god of israel), such as intelligence, affecting capability from before universe into universe, singularity, that it might have only been before, but turned off like a gas flame being turned off once we moved into the present universe, etc, etc. Each person on the planet could probably come up with many different scenarios for what a "higher being" could have been like before and/or during this universe. Someone could probably even suggest a good case that before this universe, and external agent is too much of an assumption. The thing is, we just don't know. And any attempts thus far by many religions fall into a category that has, as its basis, folklore where man dreamed up gods in his own image.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • SImran

      @Todd,
      Laws of logic are evidence that God exists!
      Exaclty how do you come to this conclusion?

      As I said, from the perspective of a religious text that is far older than the Bible, the Rig Veda concludes that no one knows if there was or wasnot a creator. And science also doesnot state that God doesnot exist. But science has given some definitive answers about evolution, about how old the Universe could be, and a lot of those answers have led to astonishing breakthroughs in medical and other fields.

      Simply stating that God exists bcoz there are laws – how is that an argument? Yes, if you state that God is dark energy, maybe I would agree. But even there, we will end up debating – why worship dark energy? And we call it dark energy as long as someone doesn't figure out what it is and then, one day that gap would also be bridged. Maybe, maybe not. And that is why I am impressed by what Vedas and the more recent Guru Granth Sahib has to state about origin of universe. But talking of a creator personalized GOD???

      November 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Damocles

      @todd

      I'd think we both agree that killing is wrong, yet we have the right to defend our lives with lethality if the need arises. Is this a contradiction?

      Again, we can't know what laws truly govern the universe until we know the universe. They will be defined and redefined as we learn more. The laws we have today may not be the ones we have tomorrow.

      I think you, as other believers do, make a mistake when you use words like 'eternal' or 'everything'. A being such as this would place no value of one thing over another. Everything would matter which ultimately means nothing matters. The deity of the bible murdered the world, even allowing for the awesome leeway that its apologists grant, I hardly think its 'morality' or 'laws' are useful to us.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Todd says:

      To state something fails, does not demonstrate, nor have you offered anything other than a – I said this is so therefore it is. I have provided reasons – you just don't like them.

      No, you haven't provided "reasons". You have simply said that "it must be so. It cannot be otherwise."

      November 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • SImran

      @Todd,
      Now on the one hand you argue that since the jump from non-primate to primate cannot be observed, we cannot accept it as fact.
      Now in the same breath, you also make a statement that the laws of the universe are evidence that God exists!!! How??? You yourself are making a huge assumption, with nothing to support your claim and yet you accuse others of drawing conclusions that fossils are evidence of evolution!

      November 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I notice Todd has failed to retract his statement about my words. He claims that I have stated that there cannot be a god. I did nothing of the sort and his post to that effect is a lie.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • mama k

      Todd: It is true what you say of Peter Williams that he is president of Tyndale, but do you use the same standard for people looking to fund their "scientific inquiries"? Yes, I try to look up any reference given, Todd. One thing you'll notice from my posts on this subject is that I don't even need to argue the evolution case. To me, it's like looking at a spam folder and not differentiating between less or more reputable brands of insurance. It's still spam.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • SImran

      @Tom,
      Or maybe Todd has gone searching within himself as to how he came to conclude that God exists in the first place!

      November 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • mama k

      Sorry – in my last post – my answer to Todd's question begins with "Yes, I try . . ."

      November 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • chopped liver

      DvsG,
      "The "before they were born" part, and "[before they were created, but] created them anyway" part is something you added. I did not say that. So stop putting words in my mouth"

      1. I was speaking to Graystone, not you.
      2. You, however, did say:

      "The eternal God knows all things concerning us because he created us. While most men haven't a clue about what's up in heaven, the eternal God knows there are multiple heavens. While most men are so ignorant they don't even realize they have a soul, the eternal God not only sees our soul, but he even knows the thoughts of our hearts, our intents, and deepest secrets. He knows what we're going to do before we do it and what we're going to think before we think it."

      The "knew you before you were born (knitted in the womb)" comes from your silly book, so don't accuse non-believers of being unaware of its stuff.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I have no idea if a god exists or not. Until someone actually provides irrefutable evidence that one (or more) does exist, I find no reason to believe in one. It's rather like sasquatch, elves or vampires.

      Even if there was a being with power over creation, there is no reason to believe that any specific culture has the monopoly on knowing the will of that being. Every human culture created a god or pantheon that directly reflected their own societal values. If there was a universal god who wished to be known, why would it be constrained by geography, as all the gods of humanity have been? The spread of christianity, for instance, can be directly correlated to human migration and exploration. Why do you suppose that is?

      No one cult has ever developed two unrelated belief centers independently. Humans are ALWAYS required to spread the word of god(s). This suggests that a) gods are weak and need human as.sistance or b) gods don't exist.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • mama k

      OK- looks like I just need to copy my big post over the the article "A new challenge for Andy Stanley" where Chad is again up to his old tricks.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      @todd: "So, what is "acceptable evidence"?"

      A repeatable and peer-reviewed test based on the scientific method performed by accredited scientists and accepted by the majority of the scientific body. Get started.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      @sam: ""Your fear mongering only appeals to you and does nothing for us."
      Not true. It amuses us and reinforces the idea that those making those fear based appeals are simply morons"

      Fair enough. I was wrong.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      @todd: "how can you prove through empirical observation that the only way to come to know things is through empirical observation?"

      Empirical observation is how we derive proof in our shared reality. You may not feel you share that reality. In fact it is a convenient excuse for the religious to claim they do not share all of our reality, since their "truth" is known to them without fact (the bible being their reality).

      However, what's really happening here is not a change of reality. This is the point where delusion sets in. Reality hasn't changed. One can claim the bible is "truth" but when one gets a toothache one does not simply pray it away. That person, still enmeshed in our shared reality, understands he needs to see a dentist so we can use science to solve the toothache properly. And those extreme individuals who do not go to an emergency room when an arm gets chopped off, they may take the time to call someone (if they haven't led out yet) on their cell phone, which also doesn't work via prayer.

      This is why religion is a delusion. One can claim it as reality but it simply is not, never has been, could not possibly be a reality.

      ***
      "If you hold to the idea that there are laws of logic"

      "laws of logic" are just guidelines to having a conversation based on our shared reality. There's nothing material about them.

      ***
      "How does one have laws, immaterial set rules, when all that there is is the material world? Can you explain how the immaterial laws of logic exist in a purely materialistic universe?"

      Because in order to share concepts as conversation we may need to have an immaterial (conceptual) point of reference in our minds. We use immaterial guidelines to communicate. We can talk about apples without having an apple in our hand. We can talk about unicorns without them existing.

      November 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Todd

      End Religion,

      You stated, "Empirical observation is how we derive proof in our shared reality." I understand this is a way to relate to one another, it does not answer the question however, of how can you know this empirically? The statement, you can only know things through your senses – cannot be verified through senses, so how is this known? It turns empiricism on it's head.

      Also, "You may not feel you share that reality. In fact it is a convenient excuse for the religious to claim they do not share all of our reality, since their "truth" is known to them without fact (the bible being their reality)." I never said we do not share reality, my question goes to how someone knows anything at all! If empirically, then verify that statement empirically (not possible).

      However, what's really happening here is not a change of reality. This is the point where delusion sets in. Reality hasn't changed. One can claim the bible is "truth" but when one gets a toothache one does not simply pray it away. That person, still enmeshed in our shared reality, understands he needs to see a dentist so we can use science to solve the toothache properly. And those extreme individuals who do not go to an emergency room when an arm gets chopped off, they may take the time to call someone (if they haven't led out yet) on their cell phone, which also doesn't work via prayer.

      This is why religion is a delusion. One can claim it as reality but it simply is not, never has been, could not possibly be a reality.

      The truth of the Bible and going to the dentist do not correlate. Also, just because you have not experienced something does not mean someone else cannot or has not.

      ***
      "If you hold to the idea that there are laws of logic"

      "laws of logic" are just guidelines to having a conversation based on our shared reality. There's nothing material about them.

      I was the one pointing out the laws – all laws or principles are immaterial in nature. In a purely materialistic world or universe, laws or principles cannot exist. That is the point. How does one explain from a materialistic worldview the existence of the abstract. To say they are conventions in a shared reality does not explain how one gets them in a world where the material is all there is.
      ***
      "How does one have laws, immaterial set rules, when all that there is is the material world? Can you explain how the immaterial laws of logic exist in a purely materialistic universe?"

      Because in order to share concepts as conversation we may need to have an immaterial (conceptual) point of reference in our minds. We use immaterial guidelines to communicate. We can talk about apples without having an apple in our hand. We can talk about unicorns without them existing.

      To talk of concepts, laws, or precepts, or "immaterial guidelines" if you are coming from a physical or materialistic world view is to borrow from a world-view (one which you say is impossible). Just saying they exist, which they do, does not explain how they exist. Whence comes the laws? Are they simply the conventions of man? If so, you have no right in any way to say my way of thinking is wrong. Thoughts and ideas and concepts simply are. To make a value judgement in a world where only the material exists is to make a leap into that which is absurd. "Immaterial guidelines" make no sense in a world where the immaterial cannot exist.

      November 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm still waiting for you to figure out the concept of truthfulness, Todd. When you lie about others, it doesn't say much for your religious tenets, does it?

      November 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • mama k

      (copied to here for Todd, who replied out of place)

      Todd

      SImran

      Now on the one hand you argue that since the jump from non-primate to primate cannot be observed, we cannot accept it as fact.
      Now in the same breath, you also make a statement that the laws of the universe are evidence that God exists!!! How??? You yourself are making a huge assumption, with nothing to support your claim and yet you accuse others of drawing conclusions that fossils are evidence of evolution!

      They are evidence that God exists in this way – they are immaterial and universal laws. To have an immaterial and universal law there must be something that is immaterial and universal that they come from. They cannot come from the material universe, abstract principles cannot come from that which is material in nature. God is immaterial and universal. He is the being through which all has been made. Therefore, God is the source of the laws of logic, and any abstract law that exists.

      One thing I should make clear is that I am assuming the existence of God. But I am not the only one with assumptions. All people operate from basic unquestioned assumptions. There are two basic views or world views with assumptions – 1) Matter is eternal and that is all there is. Nothing outside of the physical world exists. There are no immaterial aspects to the world. 2) There is an eternal being, this being is God who is eternal and the creator of all things visible and invisible. If one of these is true, the other is not, indeed cannot be true.

      I never said that things cannot be known apart from observation and study – that is the empiricist world view, which is self-defeating.

      Mama K,

      What I meant by asking about the same standards if I was unclear was this – the scientist has just as much a reason to make his conclusions based on the funding they receive. I don't think that is the only motivation for either group, but it certainly can be, but not necessarily so.

      November 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      @todd: "You stated, "Empirical observation is how we derive proof in our shared reality." I understand this is a way to relate to one another, it does not answer the question however, of how can you know this empirically? The statement, you can only know things through your senses – cannot be verified through senses, so how is this known? It turns empiricism on it's head."

      It turns empiricism on its head from your perspective. From mine it's just gibberish. You are asking a philosophical question: how can we prove reality is real? I am neither interested nor intellectually equipped to have a meaningful philosophical debate. But maybe this guy has an answer for you:
      http://www.scifiwright.com/2010/06/the-experiment-that-proves-empiricism/

      I don't have an answer to your mental exercise except to say that I believe mankind have established through repeatable testing what our reality is, and anyone can test an individual aspect of it. As for testing the tests, I don't feel it's worth debating. It is our reality, whether we can test it or not.

      It is my belief those who cannot accept reality for what it is, those who cannot accept the answer to "why are we here, what's the purpose" being "there is no purpose," are the same people who then devise some reason as a safety blanket for soothing the harshness of the answer. For many, that thumb sucking is god.

      ***
      "How does one explain from a materialistic worldview the existence of the abstract. To say they are conventions in a shared reality does not explain how one gets them in a world where the material is all there is.

      You are obviously interested in debating philosophy. I am not. If you can't immediately understand that humans understand and employ abstract ideas to facilitate communication, nothing I'm going to say will help you there.

      ***
      "To talk of concepts, laws, or precepts, or "immaterial guidelines" if you are coming from a physical or materialistic world view is to borrow from a world-view (one which you say is impossible). Just saying they exist, which they do, does not explain how they exist. Whence comes the laws? Are they simply the conventions of man? If so, you have no right in any way to say my way of thinking is wrong. Thoughts and ideas and concepts simply are. To make a value judgement in a world where only the material exists is to make a leap into that which is absurd. "Immaterial guidelines" make no sense in a world where the immaterial cannot exist."

      You want me to explain to you how concepts can exist as thought? You want to know where concepts come from? Are you positing that anything we can imagine actually exists as more than thought?

      November 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • mama k

      tullulah has some very good points in the reply at: November 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm, just above here.

      I see that Todd has not yet brought to light any "new" evidence that he started to mention regarding "how it makes sense that those writing the NT were written by eye witnesses. " I think most people think the stories make sense unto themselves, but I think the topic here is whether or not there is any proof of the "magic", the interfaces with higher beings told in the Bible. I suspect, that Todd has not addressed that because he knows he cannot supply any credible proof to the magic in the Bible.

      In Todd's resonse to Simran (that I had copied down from top of page), Todd writes:

      "One thing I should make clear is that I am assuming the existence of God. But I am not the only one with assumptions. All people operate from basic unquestioned assumptions. There are two basic views or world views with assumptions – 1) Matter is eternal and that is all there is. Nothing outside of the physical world exists. There are no immaterial aspects to the world. 2) There is an eternal being, this being is God who is eternal and the creator of all things visible and invisible. If one of these is true, the other is not, indeed cannot be true."

      One Todd's problems is again, too many assumptions – no – those are not the only world views. That's ridiculous to argue anything based on as assumption that everyone fits into one of these categories. And it's extra ridiculous to assume the the god of israel is the only option for #2. Maybe that is why Todd has avoided the part of my first reply to this where I wrote:

      We know nothing about the attributes of anything prior to some of the things we know about our current universe. Therefore, we don't know if laws of physics, etc. would have been the same. Therefore, we can't actually say what kind of external agent, if any, would have been necessary for us to wind up with the universe that we have, along with its laws.

      because he probably realizes that I can come up with many more possibilities that don't fit into his worldview assumptions.

      November 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Todd

      Mama K,

      I stated that there are 2 basic world views. There is either eternal matter or eternal being any world view will fit under one of these two. From there we can go on. And i believe I could demonstrate how world views fit under one of these two.

      As far as the evidence I mentioned – When you take a look at written record as far as the Bible is concerned the evidence of upwards of 5000 extant manuscripts in full or in part, is what we have for the New Testament alone. As far as how we can determine eye witness accounts 2 things I will mention though there are more. 1) Names in the NT would be what you would expect them to be in Palestine at the time they were written around 50-100CE. If you were to write something factual about what went on in France just about 100 years ago, would you be able to get names correctly? The NT fills that alone. 2) Details in geography and even time of year. In NT when the writers wrote about the feeding of the five thousand have the details right for the time of year it would have taken place – grace, trees etc. If you want more detail I would suggest you look at his video on youtube where he goes over it.

      As far as other evidence and answers I will get to those later.

      You see, I can point out reasonable evidence of the veracity of the Bible, but there will always be an argument against it. It does not require full proof argumentation – but that which is reasonable. Just like any other writing of antiquity would.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Veritas

      Todd, You'd expect place names and seasonal characteristics to be correct. It's the stories of creation, miracles, Noah, Jonah, Moses, etc. that have no evidence to support them.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • mama k

      Again, I would urge readers to look at tullulah's last reply because it comes at all of this from a different angle than specific issues that others have been arguing – and I've not seen a reply to it.

      And yes, Veritas – that was what I was after (" creation, miracles, Noah, Jonah, Moses, etc.", but also interface with higher being in any part of the Bible) and so we still haven't progressed any further on this point.

      And I'm still not buying your idea that there are only these two worldviews that you mention, Todd.

      Also, Todd, you say about the Bible: "It does not require full proof argumentation – but that which is reasonable. Just like any other writing of antiquity would."

      It should require full proof Todd, for something that's been used to wage wars; for something that continues to be used to disenfranchise segments of the population; for something that continues to divide people – even just amongst believers.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  17. Meh

    Ever hear the one that Buddy Hackett told us about in 1980 about the 2 f@gs screwing the dead alligator on the bus?

    November 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      i am sure it was a killer

      November 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  18. Ranger X

    To this I can only contribute the website datejesus.com. This site used to be the actual jesus.com for many amusing years until some church bought him out (at a steep price too). Highly recommend.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  19. niknak

    Just opened up a bottle of Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.
    It is the bombdiggitty, if you like stouts.

    One thing I will believe in is those monks who invented brewing and strong beers.
    Godamn you monks rock!!!!

    November 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Athy

      Agreed. Truly one of the world's greatest beers.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      Never tried that one. I have a soft and gooey spot in my heart for Corsendonk Monk's Brown Ale. A Guinness draught is an old favorite (the can comes close but the bottle is awful).

      November 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Athy

      It's not widely available. You may have to order it directly from the North Coast Brewery in Fort Bragg, CA, if you live in a state that allows it.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      just fired up a bowl of white widow

      November 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • derp

      You can buy Old Rasputin in just about any decent beer distributor here in NJ.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here's to the Church giving us beer. And if I may be permitted to mine a quote "Beer is proof that God loves us." – Ben Franklin

      November 16, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • ME II

      Hail Ninkasi !
      "It is you who pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat; it is like the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Ninkasi, it is you who pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat; it is like the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates."
      (http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.4.23.1&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc&lineid=t4231.p1#t4231.p1)

      November 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I have 1 bottle left of Dogfish Head 120 that's been cellaring for 7 years. Plan on opening it on Thanksgiving.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Leif

      I second your sentiment...it's a great beer. But, beer was invented thousands of years before Christian brewers came along. The ancient Mesopotamians brewed beer, as did the ancient Egyptians, more than 5000 years ago.

      November 17, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • sam stone

      people were consuming cannabis back then, too

      November 17, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I think we can thank their god (or not) for the good plant he gave us..their imaginary friend wants us all buzzed.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  20. lionlylamb

    My Words for Truth

    What was first made can never again become that which was made first for only in varying differential constructs can another thing be made to be outdone against that which was firstly made. The pillars of one's DNA, the spirals of all celestial life forms and formations is where God's Sons and their given wives are taken in as residents there abouts.

    The Kingdoms of God lay where the inner structures of celestial Life do share in the abundancies of Living Fractals in Cosmological Paradigms. As mankinds' hunting for the codifying of Life's laws of cellularized confinements continues onwards, we will ever become non-complacent in our societal grandeurs for wants sakes never to be outdone by those who tend to be in simplifications' adjuring. May we be merciful upon those who deservidely aspire to be merciful toward others.

    A scattering is upon us in these trying days and Age. Leave your wantings behind and never take wind of one's longings for the weightiness of one's longings will smite even the most influential. Carry away nothing and leave. Head to the places inside one's being and do not keep ajar your door for many will want to enter in and should not. Your loving this Life is for the world to have and you should not heed the rumors from others as to just what is truly right. It is therefore best for mankind to simmer in their juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'assaying' one's diffuse detriments, the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does Life end and living begin?

    Who before this day's Age is found worthy of Goodly praises? Who after us will find peace set before them? Who in today;s timeline is this "son of man" that many should fear him for his worthiness stance? Who above can see the below? Who that is below can see what be above? From the very smallest crevice to the most high chasms, the Sea of Nothingness is the Holy Spirit. May the elemental Gods find favor in this found son of man that he may not be afflicted with this world's power but rather he should carry upon him the angst from his manhood till his natural death.

    What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and after a spell do walk on and are parted.Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.

    Is God to be made a mockery by those who tend to instill anti-leveraged pragmatisms? Are we to believe in the godless and the ungodly who care little about the piecemeal subjectives' ordinates?

    Jesus, was the very first of many immeasurable 'elemental beings' and was in the Beginning an elemental king of all the elemental Gods. Jesus, in His cunning, did thru Chaos' manueverings, established the gravimetrical waves for the elementals to gather in broods thusly was formed the beginnings of celestial nebulas.

    As time did force the nebulas to progressively surround the gravimetric oscillations where from did come about galactic formations of the elementals' soundness. As systems of photonic elementals, the infinitesimal finite elemental Gods did shower the solarized systems with their embodied beings. And in the Now, we are but made from the photonic elementals' stillnesses, the stardusts of the Ages.

    My "Physicist" knows very well the quantum physicalities of natured atomic stimulations. I call this "Physicist" God. He has strewn His Sea of Nothingness with 'photogenitisms' or the stillness of the photons creating all manner of the first materials needed to become thru timeliness all the elementals' members of our declared Periodic Table of Materialized Photogenitis.

    Sciences are but the dreams dreamt and are atheists' treasure troves of good books they hardly ever do read, for many atheists aren't too bright yet they stand by these scientists without one iota of deniability to question science books that even the commoner seldom reads nor truly understands. Who among us knows about the 'Self-Similar Cosmological Paradigm'? Who among us truly understands that energy equals mass times light squared and its' true potential? What is the point in adoring scientific reasoning when one's IQ level can be counted on ten fingers?

    I feel a compelling want to tell you about some verses in Gospel scripture. Is it not written to above all things to seek firstly the "Kingdom of God". This said, have you ascribed to doing so? Where does one look to or towards in order to find that which we are told to seek as scripture does declare one to do?

    Mathew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God."

    I've searched the Gospel writings and have found a single verse telling all who have found it as to the true and literal location of God's Kingdomly Domains!

    Luk 17:21 "The kingdom of God is inside you."

    I take Luke 17:21 quite literally and so should all who believe in One God and His One Son of perhaps oodles upon oodles of otherly Sons and Daughters too numerous to really expound upon! Christ is special because he was born to take upon his being the sins of those who were and then were also and of times yet to come! God's Kingdoms being inside us and within our ownliness bodies can also be associated with another verse of scripture ,,,,

    ,
    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    The just above verse does tell much more than just glimpsing over it could proclude! Our being labourers with God may well seem to give us all an equal footing with God and his aspirations for our betterment's sakes! His being our husbandry may well regard God as having a firm footing in our conceptions of childbirthing beyond mere genetic understandings!

    But in the aboveness verse, the very understanding that we or our bodies are God's buildings may well inspire one to disavow such a claim due one's foresightedness sakes and lacking of rationalisms' of credible resources. Yet, as I see things, we, our bodies are not only God established and God created buildings for the benefits of the Godly who reside inside of us, but are for our benefits for learning and understanding the precepts of "Fractal Cosmologies"!

    We have seen that which our bodies are made up of and they are of cellularized structures not "unlike" nebula structures in outer space places! These celestial nebula structures are yet a work-in-progress and our body-like buildings are a progress in the works!

    These words are revelations of my Faith as to my Godly understandings regarding the Kingdom Domains of God, his Sons and his Daughters and all forms and mannerisms of Life-ever-lasting principles and principalities of ever living progressives!

    Written by God's Oldest Dreamer

    November 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Athy

      Who could read that babble without becoming an atheist.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • agnosticator

      Better put down that crack pipe, son.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:08 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.