Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
(CNN) – There are a lot of things I am sick of hearing after massacres such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Here are six of them:
1. “It was God’s will.”
There may or may not be a God, but if there is, I sure hope he (or she or it) does not go around raising up killers, plying them with semiautomatic weapons, goading them to target practice, encouraging them to plot mass killings and cheering them on as they shoot multiple bullets into screaming 6- and 7-year-old children. Much better to say there is no God or, as Abraham Lincoln did, “The Almighty has his own purposes,” than to flatter ourselves with knowing what those purposes are.
2. “Jesus called the children home.”
I don’t want to hear that Jesus needed 20 more kids in heaven on Friday – that Madeleine Hsu (age 6) or Daniel Barden (age 7) were slain because Jesus couldn't wait to see them join his heavenly choir. Even the most fervent Christians I know want to live out their lives on Earth before going “home” to “glory.” The Hebrew Bible patriarchs rightly wanted long lives. Moses lived to be 120. Abraham was 175 when he died. Madeleine and Daniel deserved more than 6 or 7 years.
3. “After death, there is the resurrection.”
In the Jewish tradition, it is offensive to bring up the afterlife while in the presence of death. Death is tragic, and deaths such as these are unspeakably so. So now is the time for grief, not for pat answers to piercing questions. “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” says the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, and now is not a time for laughing or dancing or talk of children raised from the dead.
4. “This was God’s judgment.”
After every hurricane or earthquake, someone steps up to a mic to say that “this was God’s judgment” on New Orleans for being too gay or the United States for being too secular. I’m not sure what judgment of God would provoke the killing of 27 innocent women and children, but I certainly don’t want to entertain any theorizing on the question right now. Let’s leave God’s judgment out of this one, OK? Especially if we want to continue to believe God's judgments are "true and righteous altogether" (Psalms 19:9).
5. “This happened because America is too secular.”
Unlike those of us who are shaking their heads trying to figure out what transpired in Newtown, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an evangelical icon, apparently has it all figured out. We don’t need fewer guns in the hands of killers, he said Friday on Fox News, we need more God in our public schools.
“Should we be so surprised that schools have become such a place of carnage? Because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability,” Huckabee said in an astonishing flight of theological and sociological fancy.
Just keep plying people like the killer with Glocks and Sig Sauers. As long as we force Jewish and Buddhist Americans to say Christian prayers, then the violence will magically go away. The logic here is convoluted to the point of absent, leaving me wondering whether what passes for "leadership" in America can sink any lower.
6. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
If ever there has been a more idiotic political slogan, I have yet to hear it. The logical fallacy here is imagining that people are killed either by people or by guns. Come again? Obviously, guns do not kill people on their own. But people do not shoot bullets into people without guns. At Sandy Hook and Aurora and Columbine, people with guns killed people. This is a fact. To pretend it away with slogans is illogical and revolting.
The question now is: Are those of us who have not yet been killed by guns going to allow these massacres to continue unimpeded? Are Americans that callous? Is life here so cheap? I have read the Second Amendment, and I find no mention there of any right to possess any gun more advanced than an 18th-century musket? Do I really have the right to bear a nuclear weapon? Or a rocket-propelled grenade? Then why in God’s name would any U.S. civilian have the right (or the need) to bear a .223-caliber assault rifle made by Bushmaster?
If you believe in a God who is all powerful and all good, then covering up for the Almighty at a time like this is in my view deeply unfaithful. Today is a day to shake your fist at heaven and demand answers, and then to shake it harder when no answers are forthcoming. To do anything else is in my view to diminish the idea of God, and to cheapen faith in the process.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.
Interesting. Good point #3. The Hebrews had no belief in immortality. Even Saint Paul thought only the saved were "resurrected", and in fact told his congregations they ALREADY had been raised in their present state before their deaths.
Then why in God’s name would any U.S. civilian have the right (or the need) to bear a .223-caliber assault rifle made by Bushmaster?
because our government has them.
Bushmaster is a good name for a gun that can be used in dense foilage.
Something with open sights and a short stock and barrel would be good for hunting wabbits or other animals.
But how sad that we even need to protect ourselves or hunt for food when there are over 7 billion people on the planet at the same time. We should be managing our biosphere better than this.
If you believe the "gubmint" is out to get you and you need the same gun's they have to defend yourself you need immediate psychiatric evaluation. The fact is that they do have gun's we WILL NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAVE you inbred morons!! You cannot legally buy missle launchers or nuclear materials or the majority of military weapons they have at their disposal, why do you think you'll be better equiped if you happen to still be clinging to your AR-15? The US isn't coming for your guns, the UN isn't coming for your guns, crazy fvckers with assault weapons are coming for your kids so get a fvcking clue.
"crazy fvckers with assault weapons are coming for your kids so get a fvcking clue."
Stop acting like this happens on a daily basis. Calling people crazy and inbred does nothing to promote your agenda, it only weakens it by making you look crazy.
"Stop acting like this happens on a daily basis." I'm sorry for feeling that 4 mass killings in four years is too often and I guess we shouldn't do anything about it until there is one every day... let's just ignore the fact that 30 people are killed by gun violence in the US EVERY FVCKING DAY!!! OVER 11,000 A YEAR!! If you cannot see that you are either blind, deaf, dumb or just plain stupid.
""Stop acting like this happens on a daily basis." I'm sorry for feeling that 4 mass killings in four years is too often and I guess we shouldn't do anything about it until there is one every day... let's just ignore the fact that 30 people are killed by gun violence in the US EVERY FVCKING DAY!!! OVER 11,000 A YEAR!! If you cannot see that you are either blind, deaf, dumb or just plain stupid."
And 12k people die every year from DUI. Another 1M get DUI every year with 1/3 (300,000+) being repeat offenders. using your logic, we should ban alcohol. Its funny that you get so defensive and jump down my throat when you don't even know my position on assault weapons or fire arms in general.
religion; a way to control the weak minded
DUI isn't a good analogy because we're not talking about people shooting others when they're drunk, are we? Why don't you dig up the stats on how many people intentionally run people over with their cars and get back to us?
"DUI isn't a good analogy because we're not talking about people shooting others when they're drunk, are we? Why don't you dig up the stats on how many people intentionally run people over with their cars and get back to us?"
DUI isnt a good analogy because you are a drinker? That's probably more on par.
We are talking about people being irresponsible, whether it is with alcohol or guns, lack of responsibility is the problem. Millions of people own guns and do not kill others. Millions also drink and do not commit DUI.
Using the argument that 11k people die from guns every year is not a good enough reason to ban weapons. If it is, then 12k people dying from DUI is just as good of an analogy.
oh and truth with the proper tactics all ones needs is an AK and some C4 to take on the military,... and i have those... but i guess you would rather be a slave....i"m actually a Californian and a progressive never the less,.. this is just the one thin i disagree with the other progressives on i come form a different point of view here because i am first in line for the conversions camps when they do start striping us of our rights away so i will not budge on any one of them, especially the one that is the safety net for the others.
but i guess you would rather sit in prison and say yeah i helped them take our guns away,.. didn't think it would led to them institution blasphemy laws. but want they did and them courts backed them doing so, we had no way to stop them.
to you criminals gets guns, the government get guns, the civilians get shot.
so lets all go back to be surfs when the knights come will only have pitchforks
But tom, if DUI is too detailed for you, maybe we should look at total deaths related to Alcohol. That number is way higher than 12k, yet alcohol is legal.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety
Year 1800 called, it wants its mindset back.
Thank you Sam. let me be the judge of how I want to arm myself and my family
To Benjamin Franklin: "Essential"
DWI vs GUN argument weak at best. It is like comparing snowshoeing injuries to shark attacks.... no parallel.
Paranoid much? As this author stated, the government also has war planes, nuclear weaponry, carpet bombs....should we consider having those a right granted by the 2nd amendment as well? Do you really, in your delusional mind, think that if the completely inprobable time came when Americans would "rise up" against the government, that the government couldn't take out all of us in about a week? We elect our representatives to do a job, like the results of the election or not, and to be so paranoid as to think you need these weapons because the govermnemt has them is plain crazy.
I have to say, this is the best Stephen Prothero "My Take" I've read yet.
Yes, he did well today. I have also been noticing that Prothero is now openly agnostic where before he was more of a fundie.
How long until he realizes the truth that there is no god at all or openly decides to speak as an atheist if that's where he's headed? Only time will tell.
Does owning a gun make you safer?
Fact: A person who owns a gun has nearly double the risk of being killed by a gun in their life time as a person who does not own a gun.
"persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home." 2004 Oxfordjounals.org
Anyone who thinks they are safer with a gun is either ignorant or lying. Most are just ignorant.
I use to have a neighbor whose house was actually broken into because so many knew that he owned lots of guns. Whoever it was just waited until they went on vacation, broke in, and carried away the two gun safes he kept them all in. Easy as pie.
I bet the odds are greater for being killed by a knife if you own a knife, or baseball bat, or...name it. It's true. You don't have much of a point, but it is true.
Tom: How did they break the anchor bolts? Or, did they take the foundation with it?. Or...maybe he didn't read the instructions.
You are without a doubt the most uninformed, ignorant, and foolish poster I have read on any issue on CNN. Do a ride along with a police officer, spend some time with a security team, in fact how about stepping out of Candyland and take a look at the real world.
I would argue that the quote by Lincoln “The Almighty has his own purposes,” is simply another way of saying that this is God's will. Truly this is just a rephrasing of the old "God works in mysterious ways."
So, basically it's the same as saying "S hit Happens", is that what you're saying?
Damn Tom that was funny!
“It was God’s will.” is spoken in all languages and all religions, don't take the things at face value, "it was God’s will or wishes" is just a courtesy statement for grieving family members with someone died at early age, or, when you can't find words to comfort them, nothing more, goon
but "This was God’s judgment.” is uttered by ONLY enemies.
If someone I knew were killed and someone told me it was god's will, that would be our last conversation.
Sara, I totally agree.
"Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death." Sorry.
Mohammad A Dar: Well, at least I know now that Pat Robertson is everyone's enemy. He is fond of that phrase.
The 2nd Amendment can be amended without sacrificing the basic right intended. As has been said, when written, the amendment was speaking of muskets and flintlocks- muzzleloaders that take more than a minute to kill something. The authors had no concept at all of the weapons of today, so like all laws they can and should be updated from time to time. ("rights" are merely laws enshrined as permissions granted by the state. They can and have been suspended without the world coming to an abrupt halt)
Only the most myopic, fundamentalist, hide-bund to tradition radicals could possibly believe otherwise.
Also, the 2nd Amendment does contain the words "well regulated".
Excellent point but you have to include "militia" or else be a cherry-picking something-or-other.
Yet a civilian militia as an adjunct to safeguard civilian rights is not out of place, either.
So let there be a 'well-regulated" civillian milita. No problem. They can keep the uniforms in the hall closet, thesidearm in the gunsafe, the ammunition in a lockbox, and the AR15 in the armory down at the militia hall. Works for me.
lunchbreaker: "well regulated" means trained and ready for action, not restricted by the guberment.
Yes, the 2nd amendment can be changed. It takes the president, 2/3 of the congress, 2/3 of the house and 2/3 of the states. So you better busy buddy if you want real change.
The National Guard is our 'well-regulated militia'... also consider that there is no Redneck Militia on Earth that could defeat a well-trained MODERN army... none whatsoever... so stop the arm-chair fantasy arguments about how a bunch of drunk texas doofuses are going to save us from our own gubmint some day. It is a naïve, ignorant joke.
lionlylamb, what is that supposed to mean?
Read and reread and keep rereading for just maybe in re and ever rereading it might come to your conscience a rationality to know.
So Dyslexic doG,
Would you rather watch televised reruns of movies and the like but not reread the words you find too hard to fathom on first reading?
Yeah, sure lionly, whatever.
someone else is using my name. Bugger off, whoever you are!
I'm no gun control advocate, but if at this moment you are more concerned with protected YOUR gun rights than how this tragedy has affected OTHERS, you are an insensitive ass who lacks any human empathy.
Either lacking human empathy or being paranoid of awkward societal systems being shaped in gun lobbyists' minds does make one wonder as to the nurturing of wanting guns instead of outlawing their existence in a world full of sarcastic generalists motifs ever surfacing upon the mainland of social aspirations commonwealths.
more drivel ramblings from the belief blog idiot LL.
Children die everyday in the some of the most depressed and challenged neighborhood in our country. But not a word is said. One could hear a pin drop. It makes one wonder why all the outrage all of a sudden.
God works through his Church. All humans are part of His Church to varying degrees of communion.
So, the question is not "How does God allow evil"? but rather "What have I done to prevent evil?"
I am doing my part Chick-a-dee.
Thanks. I work very hard to keep the lunatic Christians out of our schools and government.
How, AP, has that advanced peace, brotherhood, love and caring? Is that advancement your goal? If not, what is?
AB, not AP – Je regret.
"All humans are part of His Church to varying degrees of communion."
Sorry but I have not nor will i ever be a part of "His church"
I do not belong to the chuch of any god. Try to understand that simple yet perfect fact.
Chick, my goal is a world with less ignorance and superstition. A world where religious nuts don't mentally abuse children. A world where laws and school curriculums are based on facts. A USA that leads the world , rather than one that gets laughed at for its stupidity. I believe taking divisive mythologies out of the equation will foster peace and harmony.
Sorry to be the one to inform you. By virtue of the fact you exist, you already are. Of course, you do have free will. Your comment indicates that you've decided to exercise that will by ostracising yourself from the Church from the universal brotherhood of man. Your decision cuts you off, keeps you on the outside looking in. That's not a happy place. That sort of exclusion is what brings negative things (aka evil – if you will) into the human experience. The good news is that you don't have to stay there. You also have the free will to decide that you want to see the good around you, take part in it, increase it, and spread love. That's definitely a happier place and a happier way to live.
Which is the Truth? Either man made churches or God built churches are of God and godliness. Are not then our bodies the true churches built of and maintained by God and manly made churches are but replicas of mankind's dismissals of our bodies being the true churches?
How, AB? How exactly does focusing only on empirical data create more joy? How does pointing out differences in philosophies, rather than similarities, foster unity? How does removing the mystical make the world brighter?
"Sorry to be the one to inform you. By virtue of the fact you exist, you already are. Of course, you do have free will. Your comment indicates that you've decided to exercise that will by ostracising yourself from the Church from the universal brotherhood of man. Your decision cuts you off, keeps you on the outside looking in. That's not a happy place. That sort of exclusion is what brings negative things (aka evil – if you will) into the human experience. The good news is that you don't have to stay there. You also have the free will to decide that you want to see the good around you, take part in it, increase it, and spread love. That's definitely a happier place and a happier way to live."
Sorry to be the one to inform you but your statement is based around the premise that your god is the one true god, yet you have ZERO proof of that. So until you come up with proof, your statements are nothing but speculation.
The good news is you don't have to be so willfully ignorant and can accept that YOU DONT KNOW, YOU SPECULATE.
Good try at conversion though.
LL, It all is. They are all truths. Universal means all things to all people, in all places, for all time. Don't get hung up on the symantics.
" "What have I done to prevent evil?""
We try to educate the uniformed that their 2000 year old book has nothing to do with civil rights. We try to end the hatred and prejudice towards those who are born gay and women who want a choice. We fight to end the bullying and discrimination but sadly your church does not listen and hate continues to be preached from the pulpit.
And how does a theology that creates an use and them mentality promote unity? How does a theology that teaches anyone who doesn't believe exactly as you say they should then they will be tortured forever promote joy? How does saying "we can't know so don't question or you'll burn" make the world brighter?
"religion; a way": So what? In the grand scheme of things how does whether or not I believe, whether or not I have "proof", even whether or not I know the truth have anything to do with you being part of the human experience? Or, are you saying that you are NOT part of the human experience? Again, sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you don't have the option of deciding whether or not you are a human being. Your decision is whether or not you want to opt in to humanity.
LOL this "Or, are you saying that you are NOT part of the human experience? Again, sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you don't have the option of deciding whether or not you are a human being."
is not the same as what you said previously which was this ""All humans are part of His Church to varying degrees of communion."
I can be a part of the human experience as your put it without being "a part of his chruch". Ignorance must be bliss.
If I knew the responses would come like popcorn in a popper, I would have postponed this till evening. OK, 10 more minutes...and then I have to get going...
JWT, my last post is for you too. There's no opt out, unless you're going to tell us that you are really a talking horse that uses a keyboard. All human beings are in this together. If you don't want to be, then you exclude yourself and that's a shame because despite the fact there are far too many people best avoided, there are many, many who are good.
Robert, Hawaii: I don't know. I just don't know the answer that can be a one-size-fits-all fast fix. Man creates division between himself. The Church is divided and we've done it to ourselves. We, human beings, have a lousy track record of treating each other in a loving way and getting along. I refuse to believe that that is the way it always has to be. We can change that...one person at a time...one experience at a time. And it won't always work. And even the most well intentioned will screw it up and have to start all over. So, we'll have to get up, brush ourselves off and try again.
" I refuse to believe that that is the way it always has to be. We can change that...one person at a time...one experience at a time. And it won't always work. "
Since there are so many different Gods, the solution would be to take God out of the picture in order for us to get along, but your religion will not allow you to do that. The premise of your religion requires you to try and convert us which only leads to further division.
A very short story.... I was given a lesson plan for a class and had a couple of very enthusiastic helpers that wanted to lead the "getting to know you" portion of the plan which involved having each student from our "circle" introduce himself/herself and then do the next action item. My kids were jokers, and right away started answering back a la any of the Anonymous group meetings. As in "My name's Jane." "HI JANE!" the crowd echos. And I'm thinking how hokey this whole thing is... until it comes around to one of my helpers, who says "Wow, that kind of feels good" in response to the crowd greeting her. A few more people and we got to another student to went through the drill and finished up with "Yeah, that does feel good."
What's the point to this story? We never know how much an enthusiastic greeting, or a kind word is going to mean to someone at the moment it's given. It doesn't cost us anything and it fills the atmosphere with good, positive vibes. And that in turn leads to better things.
Are you fucking kidding me? Those things I listed are doctrines inherent in christianity. There is no debate on whether those things are part of it, and has nothing to do with "oh well THAT persons interpretation is the reason".
"What's the point to this story? We never know how much an enthusiastic greeting, or a kind word is going to mean to someone at the moment it's given. It doesn't cost us anything and it fills the atmosphere with good, positive vibes. And that in turn leads to better things."
Nice story but that was the beginning of the day, now what happened after they were with each other for a month did you still have good vibes going on?
Well chick you have to rethink your position then. I am a human who has no god and no connection to any god. A fact. You can believe otherwise if youw ant but then that woudl only be your fantasizing.
"Your comment indicates that you've decided to exercise that will by ostracising yourself from the Church from the universal brotherhood of man. "
You do realize that your religion only makes up 30% of the population so there is no "universal brotherhood of man" through your religion. What unites us is our need for food, clothing, fresh water and a warm place to sleep. The World Bank made an interesting point, that if we were to provide those basic needs to everyone we could end much of the violence in this world. Sadly the "universal brotherhood of man" that keeps this from happening is universal greed.
"The premise of your religion requires you to try and convert us which only leads to further division."
Robert, I don't have to try to convert you. You're already in. You may not know it. You may not even want it. But you're already accepted. You're already loved.
As a Catholic, I'm not told to go knock on doors or try to change anyone's mind. I am required to evangelize, letting people know the truth, by LIVING. (At times I'm pretty bad at it and other times plain old pi.ss poor at it.) What you do with that information is your decision.
" I am required to evangelize, letting people know the truth, by LIVING. (At times I'm pretty bad at it and other times plain old pi.ss poor at it.) What you do with that information is your decision."
You are trying to convert us now in your writing. The priests of your religion preach hate at their pulpits for those that don't believe as they do. If that is your concept or evangelizing, no thanks, I could never support a group that promotes hate and bigotry like yours does. Until you wake up to that fact, you will continue to be blind to the issues facing humanity.
Just when I thought I'd get up and take a shower...we have a new voice...
"You do realize that your religion only makes up 30% of the population so there is no "universal brotherhood of man" through your religion." Indulge me. We are all the same species, on the same earth, needing the same things and responding to the same emotions. We are universal regardless of whether or not one applies a religious label or which one you do. That's the universal Church. That's the truth. People have mucked up a very simple idea.
"The World Bank made an interesting point, that if we were to provide those basic needs to everyone we could end much of the violence in this world. Sadly the "universal brotherhood of man" that keeps this from happening is universal greed."
No kidding! The World Bank has got it! Gee, isn't that what each religion has tried to teach (some more effectively than others) and tried to implement (some screwing it up more than others)? Again, people have mucked up a very simple idea.
p.s. That's probably why Greed with the capital G is one of the seven deadlies.
You want the brotherhood of man? Become a humanist or admit you don't really want to be brothers with non-believers.
"Gee, isn't that what each religion has tried to teach (some more effectively than others) and tried to implement (some screwing it up more than others)? Again, people have mucked up a very simple idea."
That's why religions spend so much of their money on churches and hoarding their money instead of actually giving it where it needs to go. In my small town alone we have over 13 churches, while the homeless walk the streets looking for work, food and clothing. If your religion actually go it together they could sell all those buildings (except 1)and start setting a real example. When I look at your religion all I see is selfish people trying to convince us their loving but the real proof is a good hard look at our economy and our societies to know that you really are not.
Again, I think I'm getting closer to getting out of my seat...
Robert, AP, JWT, religion, Hawaii, Pete, and everyone else:
I am truly sorry that you have experienced hate. I'm even more sorry that it came from someone who one would think is supposed to "get it" and spread love instead. You are the better man if you can forgive the perp for his ignorance and for hurting you. That doesn't mean you have to continue to expose yourself to that person. But it does mean that if you let it go, you have that much less negative garbage following you around.
Well at least we all know how Chick-a-dee can continue thinking his condescending idiocy is worth anything. He just ignores the inherent divisive and hateful nature of his own religion, and continues to avoid actually addressing it. Disingenuous people are not worth talking to, so I'm done here.
Well now we know that Chick-a-dee is incapable of addressing doctrines inherent in his own religion if it's not comfortable.
Experiencing hate ? Where on earth did you get that from ? Or is it just because I do not believe, and never have, in your god ?
If so that's very silly.
JWT, it was a reach. If I was going to make a proxy apology, I didn't want to leave anyone out. Sometimes posts seem like they whisper of particular experiences...otherwise why would they be so emphatic? And if they were nice experiences they probably wouldn't prompt people to be so agitated.
Seriously, I've spent far more time here today than I could afford. A bientot.
Some words of wisdom from Robert Heinlein:
"The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
Does not the conscious conscience need berate and become one's soulfulness in spirited issuances sakes? Where does righteousness stand if not of ones conscious conscience and just where is such conscience abounded? Is it righteousness for the societal consciousness of sentient beings to avert the social constructs of layered consciences without hurting any individualists conscience awareness? Who are you really to be gaining of and in intellectual consciousness for ones libation conscience's molded essence? Where then is the world's conscience to be reckoned and found centrally located if not for the spirited souls of consciousness' consciences?
another drivel of ramblings from the belief blog idiot LL.
So your accepting as fact something from someone who wrote fiction for a living? O.k.
Lame, dude. Try again?
And while we're at it, cars don't kill people either, its people driving them. More people die in cars and trucks each year than by guns. You should only be allowed to have a musket and a bicycle, then everyone would be safer. No one really uses a car for anything you can't do with a bike and a basket.
Really people? There's no need to blame guns for this, or as.sault rifles. This kid wanted to go out with a bang, and he did, without guns he may have just used explosives. I'd rather these things not happen, but they do, whether they have a gun or not. Plus, we all see how well outlawing drugs has done, no one has those anymore.
Cars are intended for transport and a very small percent of their usage causes death; guns are produced solely with the purpose of causing injury or death. Apples and oranges.
I am in favor of apples.
You see my point though, its all in how its used. The guns you can buy are for self defense or hunting, not for killing random people. If you make them illegal, then the only people who will have them are those intending to use them for illegal purposes. I'd personally rather own a gun and never have to use it than need one and not be able to get it because its illegal.
I think we need better controls and regulations. I'm not a gun owner so I don't really know what makes sense. But locking them away. Not having guns loaded or if self-defence is a concern only loaded with a few bullets. Keep them away from unsupervised children. These seem common sense and easily applied.
There are laws for that, I live in nc, and here, if you have a gun and there is anyone in the house under the age of 18, it must be locked in some way that it cannot be fired. And that's a great law to have. Regulating it so you know who owns what gun, also great. But outlawing them so only criminals have them? Not so great.
Most people don't understand that the purpose of the second amendment is so you can defend yourself against your government if they overstep their bounds. Therefore, the people should have the right to own any weapon the government has. Now I would personally draw the line at some point, wouldn't want a neighbor owning a nuke, but to restrict it to a point where its impossible for the people to make a stand is a problem. That's when a tyrant takes over.
I don't see government overreach that could be addressed in any meaningful way by an armed citizenry as a big concern. So I would think better registration could be an answer. I don't think the NRA solution – everyone carry guns – is practical; imagine the chaos if everyone just started shooting at the Aurora cinema for example. The shooter always has the advantage – surprise. And the Aurora shooter had full body armor.
Yea, I don't see the government doing anything that would warrent the people going on the offensive/defensive. But that was the original idea behind amendment. And the NRA solution would currently be bad because the majority of people don't know how to safely use guns. If gun safety was taught in school, whether or not any of those children had ever been around a gun or will ever even own one, then I would be fine with 50% of people having a gun, as long as I know they've been trained on how to handle it.
But the idea of everyone having a gun isn't that if something like that happen then everyone can start shooting, it's that something like that is less likely to happen because everyone will start shooting, and if you're the original shooter, then everyone will be shooting at you. I don't care if I have a rifle with a high capacity magazine or not, I would think twice about going someone to shoot up a place if I knew that at least half the people or more in there were holding.
I prefer oranges, you'll never take them from me. From my cold dead fingers...........
People made god based on their thoughs and images : why do Jehovah, Allah, God are said to be the same yet can be used to kill people that not believe in the same ???
Things I don't want to hear:
1. We need to end the second amendment in order to stop crime.
2. It's the Republicans/Democrats; Christians/atheists fault
3. "I will do everything in my power" instead of "We are a nation of laws"
4. No one needs what I think they don't need
5. " Where was God?" when the day before you couldn't have cared less.
6. Films, music and video games don't impact our minds.
Ohhh are you trying to place some of the blame on films, music, and video games?
Only Bill can speak for himself, but I don't think that's the point he's trying to make. Of course films, music and video games effect our minds. Everything we experience effects our minds to some degree. If we populate our environment
with negative images we are likely to experience depression, anger, sadness, all the negative emotions. The question then becomes, why are we not building a society that recognises beauty, truth, love and fills the world with the emotions that come from them?
There is no established causal link between consumption of violent media, and violent acts.
Those three things are for entertainment purposes, and are subject to fads and trends just like everything else. I saw those movies, music, and I still play those games. They didn't cause me to be depressed because I knew their purpose, and my parents made sure I knew the difference between fantasy and reality.
The problem isn't with the things, it's with the complacency of those around the individual to ignore signs of other issues. It's with the parents in not getting their children the help they need.
"video games effect our minds"
That would be "affect".
"most of the time affect with an a is a verb and effect with an e is a noun. There are rare instances where the roles are switched", but this is not one of them, Chick-a-dee.
It doesn't matter. This is the internet and grammar, spelling, etc. are unavoidable. The intent came across, and that's what matters.
Yeah, I'd probably let it slide for anyone else other than this insufferable know-it-all.
the only thing to blame here is psychiatric drugs
Reports are now surfacing that show Adam Lanza was not on any medication. Huebert, there is also no study showing causation between gun ownership and mass murder and Hawaii the same logic applies. I own firearms and have never shot another person therefor, by your logic firearms are not related to murder, they are only there for my enjoyment.
Oh and teacher – neener neener
Your "refutation" falls completely flat because I specifically said that the purpose that movies, music, and video games are made is to entertain. What is the purpose of a gun? To kill something. There's no getting around that. Your presentation of "my logic" is so ridiculously flawed I'm wondering whether you even read everything other people say.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
– Epicurus [341–270 B.C.
This riddle has been refuted by theologians and philosophers alike. Still makes nice easily remembered diatribe though doesn't it?
how do you refute a simple statement that shows there is no God? Do you play word games with it and quote phrases from a bronze-age story book? Do you talk all around it and then proclaim "there, I have proved you wrong!"? Typical religious logic.
God creates the good, not evil. Evil is the absence of good. But He allows evil that a greater good can come about. In overcoming evil we are able to grow in virtue. Free will actually enables the good to increase. A God who makes possible the growth of the good deserves all the positive attributes we recognize in Him.
For more on Epicurius, log on to: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05500b.htm
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
You don't actually think that you can come up with an idea that hasn't already been thought and already refuted, do you?
"God creates the good, not evil."
If god created everything, then most certainly god created evil
And we noticed Bill,since you are neither, you have not even tried.
This passage says God most certainly did create evil.*
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
*With thanks to Primewonk for posting this in the first place.
"This passage says God most certainly did create evil.*
*With thanks to Primewonk for posting this in the first place."
Amazing that Christians don't even know what is in their holy book...
No, God made everything I like, and Satan is responsible for everything I don't like.
" A God who makes possible the growth of the good deserves all the positive attributes we recognize in Him."
Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.
For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.
Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.
It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.
Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.
Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.
The most concise refutation is that God exists outside of the human perspective of good and evil. That the very character of God is good and nothing else. That all things are made for Him and by Him and through Him for his glory and that it is our presumption to label anything either good or bad other than God Himself.
In other words God is good all the time or as the prophet Van Morrison has said "I'm in the here and now and I'm meditating. Still I'm suffering, but that's my problem."
Bill: That's actually not refuting anything. It's a philisophical counter, but it isn't based in fact. It's not like refuting "the water is cold" by touching it. It's nice that you have faith, but arguments based in that faith don't hold water with people who don't share it because they aren't basd on anything concrete. People can't actually be this stupid.
Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.
Human Evolution (1 of 2)
Other ridiculous things heard:
1. God isn’t responsible because of free will.
2. It is because of the fall and sin, not because of god.
3. God is supremely good, just, moral, etc…
God created this universe and life and gave them a "Natural Order/Laws of Nature!" He gave man the choice of what to do (Free Will!) Now, whatever man chooses to do is governed by that/those "Natural Order/Laws of Nature!"
When murder occurs, that's what man chooses to do and NOT God's Will nor intention! People confuse "God's Will/Intentions" with "God's Foreknowledge!" They are not the same! God does know before hand what man will choose to do but God does not condone murder nor does anyone in their right mind!
There is no evidence that your god exists. NONE.
If there is a god that allows things like this to happen then the POS is not worth worshiping. Yes, I'm calling your god a POS.
you're kidding right?
Ah, so we'll strike that "Omniscience" characteristic from your "God" description. Roger.
And strike that "knew you in the womb and before" deal too. Roger.
Vic, you obviously haven't thought about this enough.
Let's go to the moment of creation of humans. God has choices to make. How smart will man be? How tall, how short, what sort of personality.
1. God knows that if he creates Adam and makes him gullible, Adam will fail the test of the serpent.
2. God makes Adam guillible.
3. Adam fails the test of the serpent.
Who is at fault here. Is it Adam, who was designed incapable of fulfilling the test, or is it God, who made Adam to fail.
1. I know that when I create a table with three legs, it will fall over when pressure is applied.
2. I make the table with three legs.
3. The table falls over when I apply pressure.
Is it the tables fault? Or is it mine?
God bless their souls, victims of shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT!!!
How does the concept of free will jibe with that of an omniscient god?
Honey Badger Dont Care
There is no evidence that your god exists. NONE.
If there is a god that allows things like this to happen then the POS is not worth worshiping. Yes, I'm calling your god a POS.
Honey B, not cool dude, not cool!
I think the author believes a God of his imagination. If it doesnt make sense based on his logic or sense of right and wrong, then the God who apparently created him cannot be real.
Tragedies are tragedies, and they are painful. But what's the point of asking where God was if you will only accept answers that will suit your feelings.
Luke 13:3 may be something to read and think about when we are done grieving and done asking God why.
All Christians believe in a God of their imagination.
"But what's the point of asking where God was if you will only accept answers that will suit your feelings."
What's the point of asking who god is if you will only accept answers that suit your feelings?
"Today is a day to shake your fist at heaven and demand answers, and then to shake it harder when no answers are forthcoming. To do anything else is in my view to diminish the idea of God, and to cheapen faith in the process."
Given that god has never, ever answered back, it is also time to draw the obvious conclusion, that being that god does not exist.
No, God has never answered back. If there is a God, I can't fault him/her for not promptly responding. When good things happen humans are quick to claim the kudos...when bad things happen we rush to lay the blame squarely at the holy feet of a being we conjured for the sole purpose of not having to take the blame on our own shoulders!
Angela: When is the last time you heard a football player blame god for a fumble?
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.