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Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion
December 20th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The Christmas season is revealing a growing rift among American atheists when it comes to the question of how to deal with religion.

Some atheist activists are trying to seize the holidays as a time to build bridges with faith groups, while other active unbelievers increasingly see Christmas as a central front in the war on religious faith. With the dramatic growth of the nonreligious in the last few decades, more atheist leaders are emerging as spokespeople for atheism, but the Christmas rift speaks to growing disagreement over how atheists should treat religion.

On the religion-bashing side, there’s David Silverman, president of the group American Atheists, which raised one of its provocative trademark billboards in New York’s Times Square last week. “Keep the MERRY!” it says. “Dump the MYTH!”
The sign features a picture of a jolly Santa Clause and another of Jesus dying on the cross – a not-so-subtle attack on Christianity.

“Christianity stole Christmas in the first place and they don’t own the season, they don’t own the Christmas season,” Silverman said, pointing to pagan winter solstice celebrations that predated Jesus Christ. “When they say keep Christ in Christmas, they are actually saying put Christ back in Christmas.”

The New York billboard, which will be up until early January and is costing the group at least $25,000, is the latest in a long line of provocative American Atheists signs, which attacked then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s religion during this year’s presidential campaign.

It’s not the only way Silverman is using Christmas to attack Christianity. In a recent TV interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, he said the American Atheist office be open on Christmas Day and called for an end to Christmas as a federal holiday.

O’Reilly, in turn, called Silverman a fascist.

Despite Silverman’s knack for making headlines, however, other prominent atheists are putting a softer face on the movement, including during Christmastime.

“I just think the whole war on Christmas story is bizarre” said Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, who has emerged as another spokesman for the burgeoning atheist movement. “I think that any atheist or humanist that is participating in that story needs to find better things to do with their time.”

From his point of view, atheism and religion can happily coexist, including at the holidays.

At the chaplaincy, Epstein has reached out to local religious groups, packaging holiday meals and breaking bread with believers to discuss their similarities and differences.

Sponsored by the Humanist Community at Harvard, evangelical Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Zoroastrians, along with a number of atheists, were among those represented at a recent meal packaging event for hungry kids in the Boston area. Around 250 people participated and over $10,000 was raised – including donations from local Lutheran and Methodist churches.
Epstein calls this sort of inter-religious dialogue “healthy.”

“We as a community need to be about the positive and we have so much positive to offer,” he said. “I think that we really can provide a positive alternative to religious holidays that are not meaningful because of their religious content.”
Silverman, for his part, is more than comfortable being negative when it comes to religion.

“We should look at the results - people are listening to us because we are shouting,” he said. “They don’t hear you unless you shout. … Sometimes you have to put political correctness aside. We need to get louder. I believe we are seeing the fruits of that volume.”

As proof, American Atheists points to the way their donations skyrocket after every billboard campaign. “We get donations and memberships because we are taking the stand that we do,” said Silverman, who would not give specific numbers on fundraising. “The donations are flowing in right now. People are loving it specifically because of the billboard.”

Epstein would rather see more emphasis on volunteerism, though he acknowledges that some atheists are drawn to Silverman’s vocal model. Both men said they appeal to different parts of the atheist movement.

“We are GOP and Dem, man and women, black and white – the only thing that holds us together is atheism,” Silverman said. “A movement like ours needs all sides. It needs people who are working to be conciliatory and it needs people who are willing to raise their voices.”

Religious “nones” – a combination of atheists, agnostics and the religiously unaffiliated, have been growing their ranks in recent years. According to a Pew Research study released this year, the fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all as one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.

The survey found that the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans. According to the poll, 34% of “younger millennials” - those born between 1990 and 1994 - are religiously unaffiliated.

Though not monolithic, younger atheists, according to Jesse Galef, communications director of the Secular Student Alliance, are more prone to celebrate a secular version of Christmas than to ignore the holiday.

“I am very much in favor of celebrating the secular Christmas,” Galef said. “It is a celebration of the spirit of giving and I think religious divisiveness goes against that effort.”

Other atheists celebrate Festivus, a December 23 holiday meant for atheists looking to celebrate during the winter without participating in a Christian holiday. The holiday, which entered into popular culture through the television show “Seinfeld” in 1997, has gained popularity in recent years.

At the Secular Student Alliance office in Columbus, Ohio, the staff will play Secret Sagan, a nod to the famed scientist, instead of Secret Santa. And instead of Christmas decorations, they put up a Winter Solstice Tree with ornaments from the movie “When the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“We celebrate the holiday season, just not the religious holiday,” Galef said.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christmas

soundoff (4,367 Responses)
  1. czamdesigner

    Real atheists do celebrate Christmas and plenty other holidays and are into sharing. They don't care on way or another about singing carols and spreading the word of joy. The only thing atheists ask is not to be forced into any set religion or beliefs. They don't believe in a god or gods or even in demons to devils. They believe in right and wrong. True atheists will tell you the simple facts that more people have been killed in the name of god or gods throughout history. Knowing all this does this make me an atheist, no but I know plenty and all are pretty good people.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  2. NorCalMojo

    It's ugly and meanspirited to mock other peoples holidays or beliefs. Most atheists enjoy the Christmas spirit and join in. It's a vocal few with hearts two sizes too small that make an issue out of it. The bitter fundamentalist wing of atheism have become as bad as the puritans they hate.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ NorCal: Are you suggesting that there is NO belief that is deserving of being mocked, no matter how extreme?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Ted

      True. But it seems to me the atheists ought to butt out of the Christians business. I can't say that I've ever heard a Christian going around bad-mouthing or telling atheists that they have a false or lying religion. Whats wrong with you people (atheists) that you have to make so many dispariging remarks and comments about the way Christians live and who they worship? What do you care, you've got your beliefs, we've got ours and that's the end of that.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      Not during the time of year that society has established to celebrate goodwill, charity hope, and peace on earth,

      You can mock them again in January.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • apostate

      Really? You've never heard of Christians constantly harassing other believers and atheists that they will burn in the imaginary place of eternal torment unless they embrace Christianity? I find that very hard to believe.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      You didn't answer my question. I asked if there could be ANY belief worthyof mocking.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ted, no disparaging remarks about atheists? Really? How many links would you like blaming us for the school shootings and hurricanes in the main steam media and LEADERS in our gov't?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Pete

      Ted, are you deaf, blind, and unable to read? That is about the only way you could go through life without hearing or seeing a Christian bad-mouth and Atheist.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  3. mutual respect

    Atheist- can I get a straight answer here? no dodging? Tom Tom, I know you don't know. I am curious if anyone else does.

    How do you account for your own existence? What caused the universe to come into existence?

    December 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The Universe itself may be uncaused. I think life is yet another means of dissipating information.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      The intellectually honest answer: I don't know.

      The intellectually dishonest answer: Because I don't know, I'm going to attribute the creation of the universe to "god".

      December 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There are not always answers to every question. I find the answer "I don't know" more comforting than people (theists, specifically religious leaders) claiming answers that there is no way they could know.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • mutual respect

      Whatever caused the universe, existed before the universe. Since the universe had a beginning in time, and since matter and energy do not spontaneously change and arrange themselves into something new, then the best explanation for the cause of the universe is an action that was a decision.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • czamdesigner

      Do you believe the earth is only 10,000 years old as the church states? Or do you believe the Earth is older to being 4.5 billion years old. How do you account the periods of times for the dinosaurs?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • kenny

      atheists are a reaction to theists... everyone is AGNOSTIC... no one knows. NO ONE... anyone that claims to is taking a leap of faith... period... yet the problems arise when people take that leap TOO seriously.. they fly planes into buildings, start wars etc to FORCE everyone to acknowledge their leap of faith as TRUE when we all know ... that .. .WE DON'T KNOW... so stop trying to pretend you or anyone else knows... let everyone take their leap, don't impose it on others and we can all make THIS LIFE better for everyone...

      December 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • apostate

      Agnosticism addresses knowledge claims, Atheism/Theism address BELIEF.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      mutual respect, you are a creature of Chad.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • mutual respect

      Tom Tom- not sure who Chad is. I posted here for the first time this week. I am shocked that atheists seem to not have much an argument beyond the surface. Atheism 101 must be an easy course (of course, as is Christianity 101)...

      December 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mutual respect,

      your logic has a number of fallacies, the first being that you know the universe had a beginning. Go back and read my first response to you about people claiming to know things that they cannot know.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • apostate

      The magic man in the sky is not an answer.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I would rather have no argument than one full of logical fallacies.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Cracky

      My own existence is due to being born to human parents. It's a biological process, I hear.

      As to the universe, do you mean just this particular continuum, or what?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • mutual respect

      Are you smart guys back-peddaling to a Christian? say it ain't so...

      Cheese- I do agree we can't know it all. Like, you can't know there isn't a God... In order for you to state there is no proof for God's existence, you would have to know all alleged proofs that exist in order to then state that there is no proof for God's existence. But, since you cannot know all things, you can’t logically state there is no proof for God's existence

      December 21, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Emitr

      It's telling that the existence of the universe is not in question.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • mutual respect

      Emitr- that was my original question, yet an atheist won't sincerely attempt to answer it outside of 'I don't know'... which I will accept as a best answer for this question... from an atheist.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Emitr

      mutual respect, for the sake of argument, if we accept the premise that the universe had a cause, what good reason do I have to believe that you know what the cause was?

      December 21, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I don't claim "no god exists" and the time to believe a claim is when it can be demonstrated to a high degree.

      I will argue that the god of Abraham is so fallaciously absurd and contradictory that i=he is almost certain NOT to exist.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  4. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:-->>>>

    A 21st century summary:

    Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

    As per most contemporary NT scholars, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

    http:// http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing/talking from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

    "Mark's gospel, the most historical of the four gospels, does not even mention the event.

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 269-272, "The historical yield of the Lukan infancy narrative with respect to the birth of Jesus is virtually nil.

    Matt 1:18-25: , pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

    "Lüdemann [pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

    Professor Bruce Chilton

    "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

    Professor John Dominic Crossan

    "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

    "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

    I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

    "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:

    Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
    Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
    Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
    Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

    And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    "And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva"

    – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

    Conclusion: Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  5. brainiac3397

    Fascists aren't actually atheists last I checked.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Amy

    Atheists DO realize that Santa is based on Saint Nicholas? A saint that is revered by Christians? Sounds like the atheists still want some presents. But as I said to my teenager who thinks they "might" be agnostic, "Well honey, that's a real bummer because we will miss you while the rest of the family exchanges presents in celebration of Jesus's birth". Atheists don't need to celebrate any Christian holidays.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • sybaris

      Right, Atheists don't need a myth or other excuse to be nice and thoughtful to each other.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You idiot. The preoccupation of thumpers with Christmas being a religious holiday is recent. In the 19th century, Christmas was a time of celebration that had nothing to do with religious belief. It was pretty much entirely a secular celebration. It's only you nut-jobs who think the only reason to give gifts is because of your nonsensical notion that it has something to do with the wise men. Not so.

      It would really be of great benefit to you, Amy, to get some education. You obviously have little.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Without the phony Santa Claus, few Christian children would give a rip about Christmas. Take away Santa and presents and then tell me how big Christmas would be?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It speaks volumes about a Christian mother like Amy, that she'd respond to her kid, who's searching for answers, by threatening to withhold love and the expression of it through gifts because the child is questioning her beliefs.

      What a "great" Christian parent.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • apostate

      St. Nicholas has a demon buddy named Krampus. How come Christians leave him out?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Carolyn

      These atheists are going to find out just how real God is one day when they stand before Almightly God and He squashes them like bugs. They need to comprehend just how long eternity is, because that's how long they are going to be burning in the lake of fire. Into infinity, forever and ever and ever and ever......non-ending. Seems hard to fathom, doesn't it?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hard to fathom? You mean why the Creator of the Universe would take the time to squash us like bugs and cast us into its hell for all eternity?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • kenny

      nice try, you xtians stole xmas... religion is for fools and delusional morons .... do you ever get scared when you think about dying and wondering what will happen when deep down you KNOW what will happen. Nothing. you just go to sleep forever. YOU know it ... I know it ..... and everyone else knows it... the harder you try and deny it... the crazier you become and wanna fly planes into buildings... religion is by definition crazy.. so you all CHOOSE to be crazy ... so sad... we could turn this world into heaven on earth and eventually achieve immortality for all... if it weren't for you fools...

      December 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Name

      Jesus was born in Spring, yo. Not 12/25.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Carolyn: yes, it does seem hard to fathom. Let me ask you this: what if there is a god, but that god cherishes rational thought above all else, and this god has created "religion" as a way of filtering out the "believers" who refuse to use their brains. What is god sends these believers to hell forever, and sends the rational doubters to heaven?

      Then where are you?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      And what is this "hell" anyway? Why would a God that is perfectly good create a place that is evil that it must coexist with for all eternity?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • apostate

      We're not scared of your imaginary friend and imaginary place of eternal torment. Seems hard to fathom why you continue to believe in ridiculous nonsense.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Emitr

      Yeah, like Jesus invented gift giving.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Smite You

      Amy,

      You will miss more than that when your teenager leaves you behind one of these days. You sound like Carrie's mama.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  7. Rocket

    So athiest like to say Christians believe in an imaginary friend. But yet they believe in Santa clause, the Easter bunny–really. God will always make himself known, no matter how foolish and in denial the athiest are

    December 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Who ties your shoes for you in the morning?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Observer

      Rocket,

      Are you serious or just pretening to be that ignorant?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Observer

      "pretending" not "pretening"

      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • J. Squirrel

      The Christians just keep getting funnier and funnier.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dude, lay off the sterno.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Rocket, you cannot come to the Father but through the Easter Bunny.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Some assembly required

      God is revealed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Maybe the word I'm looking for is "exposed", or maybe "unmasked".

      December 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • albie

      I believe in Christ just as much as I believe in the Easter bunny – that is correct – I also believe that your religion is a major cause of harm

      December 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Emitr

      God is not imaginary, but the only place he exists is in your head.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  8. MashaSobaka

    “Christianity stole Christmas in the first place and they don’t own the season, they don’t own the Christmas season,” Silverman said, pointing to pagan winter solstice celebrations that predated Jesus Christ. “When they say keep Christ in Christmas, they are actually saying put Christ back in Christmas.”

    I'm sorry. I'm not Christian. I'm not religious. But this person is just overwhelmingly moronic. You're not against religion. You're against Christianity. Grow a spine and start working on real problems, you snot-nosed, greedy-for-mommy's-attention little child.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Yo dog!

      I'm not a fan of the guy, but everything you quoted is absolutely true. Christmas WAS a usurpation of various pagan solstice celebrations. Your tree and the presents and the driniking and the parties are all from pagans. Christianity put it on near the solstice to trump the other holidays.

      What was moronic?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  9. George

    This is why thiere is a moral lapse in America. The minority rules instead of the majority, America no longer is moral and no longer is allowed to publicly control the insane such as the murderer in Newtown. You cannot convince me that this murderer did not portray evidence of suicidal actions that was not acted upon. No FW. Atheist's are behind the rift in America's moral decline starting with no longer allowng prayer's in school. What happened on 12/14/12 is not a "Assault Weopon" issue but a moral and Mental health issue that needs to be addressed at the NATIONAL level.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Observer

      There is no way we can identify and incarcerate all people with mental problems or the possibility of "snapping".

      Get real. Fantasyland is only at Disney properties.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      George cracks me up. I imagine him as a fat old caterpillar, waving his antennae about as he shouts.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • sasss31

      Is that why the number of mass killings were higher in 1929 when religion was being shoved down society's throat? The fact is that we now have a media. And scientific studies and research journal articles have demonstrated that the higher religious a society is, the more crime and violence within those societies. The more secular societies are in contrast, the lower the rate of violence and other societal factors such as abortions and unwanted pregnancies. This is the difference between living with reason and living with irrationality. You impose absolutes instead of instilling reason and rationality upon the youth. For example in Europe there is a much lower pregnancy and abortion rates. Why? Because they are educated on the best ways to protect themselves and to keep safe. There is no taboo of the false moral narratives that many of us still unfortunately instill on our youth.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Damn Straight! You are 100% right – we need the morals of the Bible as the basis of our law!

      . . . . .
      So, just so that we're clear, murder, ra-pe, genocide, human sacrifice, and slavery are okie-dokie, right? Because the Bible commands and condones all of these, right/? And since the Bible says so, it has to be true and correct, right?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • George

      Topm Tom the Pipers son is an A- and kind of on the low end of the scale. I laugh at this type of person and wonder if this is the same type of personality that commited the offense on 12/14/12.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • sybaris

      George: "Atheist's are behind the rift in America's moral decline starting with no longer allowng prayer's in school"

      Well George, having clergy in church didn't/doesn't keep the kids from being molested...................in church.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor George. He tries SO hard to have a point.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I just love it when Christards like George have to lie to try to make their cases.

      Prayers have never been prohibited in school, Georgie Porgie, Pudding Brain.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • albie

      Your argument holds no water – are you going to blame global warming on people who don't believe in your myth as well - uneducated religious folks are responsible for an untold number of hateful crimes

      December 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  10. Demian

    It's funny how they used Santa Claus (aka St. Nicholas) as an anti-religious statement, yet his creation is faith-based.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      It seems that many of the so-called "atheists" these days are just anti-Christian bigots, not actual atheists. They're giving all the real atheists in the world a very bad name.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hey, Masha – do you believe in and pray to Zeus?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • apostate

      Don't forget St. Nicks demon friend Krampus.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • albie

      masha, I became an atheist because i am anti-christian – I have witnessed all the hate, waste and negativity that Christianity has spewed (especially in recent years) and I have been compelled into action against them

      December 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  11. Ann

    Why would he want to take Christmas away as a federal holiday? He may not be religious but doesn't he like days off? I am not Jewish but if I got Yom Kippur as a paid holiday, I would not be complaining.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  12. achepotle

    Our Athiest Group is very divided on how to confront Christians. Some of us on the War on Xmas committee thing billboards are the way to go. Others (mostly Neil) say that interpretive dance is the only way to get through to them.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  13. Jeff

    People need to stop this, and have respect for others, I Believe in Allah, That's my own belief. Non-religious people Have no right to try to get me to change my own belief, who the bleep are you to tell me i am wrong, I do not press my beliefs on others. Sure I do not celebrate Christmas but i have friends that do and yes they are catholic, and quess what we get along and i think non-religious people need to learn from that get along with others, stop this religious bashing and actually learn to enjoy your life.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Get a life

      Are you totally unaware of what happens to people in the various Allahstans if they say they are not Muslim? You haven't been noticing? Really

      December 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • the AnViL

      muslims are 100% as delusional as xians.

      there's no gods.

      tolerance of religious idiocy has to end... and it is.

      also – i enjoy my life – i and many many countless others would enjoy theirs more if we didn't have to deal with delusional monotheists who feel morally superior to the rest of humanity – and dwell on division, hate, bigotry and ignorance – consistently attempting to secularize their twisted theological morality onto the rest of the world.

      islam is a cancer – and it needs to be utterly destroyed in its present form.

      who am i to tell you that you're wrong?? – does anyone have to have any authority in order to posit the TRUTH!?!?!?!

      i'm not telling you what to believe – i'm informing you that you are a delusional dimwit because you believe in ancient bronze-aged mythology. you, personally – may not seek to undermine the rights, liberty and equality in others – but your sick delusional messed up idiotic religion does. and that's a flat fact.

      evolve, jeff. you're holding up humanity.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Intelligent Human Being

      Jeff, you are wrong.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Tax Damned Churches NOW

      1. Stop telling me what I can read, watch, say and do in the bedroom
      2. treat your women as equals
      3. stop corrupting our hooah politicians
      and
      4. start paying property taxes and fire/EMT assessments on your lavish country club houses of worship instead of foisting that horrendous infrastructure burden off onto individual American homeolwners

      and you will drop from my fakir radar.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Jeff

      "Get a life
      Are you totally unaware of what happens to people in the various Allahstans if they say they are not Muslim? You haven't been noticing? Really"

      Umm, First off you must have never traveled outside the Americas, because you have no clue what you are talking about, second off, you live in america where freedom of religion, so you think as an american have not seen the rest of the world, so i say this what you hear on the news reguarding if they are not muslim is wrong, there are many christians in the arbic side of the world that get along with muslims and no harm is done by non militias muslims. I travel to other countries and seen first hand. so here is a tip, actually travel to countries outside america before making blind statements like that

      December 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  14. snowboarder

    we celebrate a secular christmas.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Tax Damned Churches NOW

      no such thing... switch to Festivus

      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  15. Lauren

    The only difference I see between atheists and muslims is that atheists aren't strapping bombs to their chests. Both however are a pain in the a**. Do you atheists lose sleep at night knowing that people believe in something that you don't?

    December 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only when the believers attempt to codify their beliefs into law.

      Otherwise, I couldn't give a crap what they believe.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Akira

      What a pain in the ass post.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Observer

      Lauren,

      You might want to actually read the Bible sometime. Radical Muslims are practicing MANY of the commands from God when he set up the rules originally.

      Ooops.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Ruggles of Red Gap

      Actually, the entertainment value we get from Christians is just wonderful. You guys are just absolutely hilarious! And laughter is good for us. Christians are truly a bottomless well of the funniest ideas! There is no idea too impossible or absurd for them to not believe.

      So we sleep well after a long day of laughter.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Athy

      Lauren, the only sleep I lose is due to laughing at your silly beliefs.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • achepotle

      Not me...I lose sleep over what could have been between me and Neil.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Tax Damned Churches NOW

      false

      December 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Jeff

      Lauren,
      First off, not all Muslims are evil, just as much to say that not everyone in the entire world is evil, and second people with your type of thinking are usually the ones that commit hate crimes, you must be scared of muslims to a degree, but you know what try to respect others, i mean is this really worth the hate comments? if you think so, then you must have a sad life ahead of you.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • the AnViL

      yeah jeff – and not all national socialists in germany during the 30's and 40's were evil, either.

      islam is a sick cancer – far more repugnant than xianity – and 100x times more dangerous to the inhabitants of planet earth.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • the AnViL

      jeff – ignorantly shat: "people with your type of thinking are usually the ones that commit hate crimes"

      ACTUALLY – muslims – with islamic thinking – are faaaaaaarrrrr more likely to commit hate crimes.

      LOL statistics are funny – no??? LOL

      you need think before you let your ignorant retarded fingers dance across the keyboard, princess.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  16. simplulo

    There are at least two divides among atheists: militant vs. passive, and Secular Humanist vs. Objectivist. In connection with the first divide, I'm surprised that this article didn't mention the so-called New Atheists or Four Horsemen.

    Me, when I was about 10 I told a younger kid there was no Santa Claus, and he went home crying to his mother, who gave me a scolding. Since then I don't spoil people's fantasies unless I have something to replace them with.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Akira

      I was 4 when I figured out there was no Santa.
      My Mom had me keep that secret for a few years until my older sister figured it out.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Twinkly Seymour, Santa's special elf for when he prefers naughty to nice.

      I have had that experience too. If you tell the truth about Santa, you will have very angry people in your face, people who know it is a lie, people who one day will have to fess up and tell the truth.

      I get the feeling that God started as a Santa figure, and one day that reaction somehow caused the last people to know they made it up to stop saying they did, and God became real. Indeed, if Santa did not do something tangible like leave presents, if he just had been the called the spirit of christmas and not the chimney UPS man, he probably would have become deified also.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Akira

      Chimney UPS man, LOL!

      December 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @simplulo "Since then I don't spoil people's fantasies unless I have something to replace them with."
      =>upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Common sense and logic?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Chad

      Chad
      @simplulo "Since then I don't spoil people's fantasies unless I have something to replace them with."
      @chad "upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?"

      @Athy "Common sense and logic?"
      @Chad "such as.. what?
      what is your logical argument?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Sniffles

      Chad: on what do you base your disbelief in Zeus?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Logic and common sense like whether serpents talk, unicorns exist, the ratio pi is equal to 3.0, errors, contradictions, and nonsense like the Noah'a ark story for starters.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Basis of Disbelief

      A complete and total lack of evidence for the existence of any god anywhere, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the expanses of the known universe.

      The only thing religious people can provide is their scripture. The Old Testament is filled with such obvious impossibilities like Jonah three days in a fish, and Noah's ark, which is physically impossible in many ways, and they bizarre and cruel behavior of the supposed god,and laws that are just freakish and obviously the thinking of ancient peasants, not an advanced being.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Sniffles "Chad: on what do you base your disbelief in Zeus?"
      @Chad "There is only one God, and the God of Israel is the real one. The God of Israel and Zeus are mutually exclusive beliefs.

      upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?

      ========
      @Observer "Logic and common sense like whether serpents talk, unicorns exist, the ratio pi is equal to 3.0, errors, contradictions, and nonsense like the Noah'a ark story for starters."
      @Chad "the bible says there are talking snakes? Where?
      Unicorns? where?
      The bible says that pi is equal to 3.0? where?
      What makes you think that Noah ark isnt real?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you know your god is real, Chard? Have you seen him, physically? Or are you basing your assessment on the Babble?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Chad

      You dont believe in the God of Israel because you arent sure why I do?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not what I asked. Can you read?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,
      – I Kings 7:23 “And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely
      round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circ-umference.”

      WOW! So a SIX HUNDRED YEAR old man built a ship big enough to hold tens of thousands (or millions) of animals and food for all of them for maybe a year.

      Are you for real?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Artie

      Noah's Ark: 100 feet longer than wooden vessels can be: wood isn't strong enough, even with an internal steel structure. All efforts to make boats over 350' from wood failed miserably.

      3,000,000 species fit the description of animals God uses for inclusion on the boat. That's 6,000,000 animals, in a boat of 1,500,000 cubic feet.. That's 1/4 cubit foot per animal, with all it's provisions. And that is 1,000,000 animals per human to be cared for. For 6 1/2 months. Not to mention the logistics of getting them all home, and what their food is, and how aborigines and africans and asians came descended out of 6 people and got to all teh world.

      Simply impossible, and just stupidly so.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer – I Kings 7:23 “And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely
      round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circ-umference.”
      @Chad "so, you base your disbelief on the fact that ~3500 years ago the measurement used in construction was the length of an arm between elbow and fingertip which is imprecise by todays standards?

      ======
      @Observer "WOW! So a SIX HUNDRED YEAR old man built a ship big enough to hold tens of thousands (or millions) of animals and food for all of them for maybe a year"
      @Chad "when was the Flood?
      What makes you think that people at that time didnt live that long?
      where in the bible does it say that millions of animals were loaded on the ark?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Some assembly required

      Are you a Bible worshiper, Chad?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      The Bible says there were 2 to 7 of EVERY animal. There are MILLIONS of different animals.

      Do you read any science books or just get all you know from a 2,000 year old book? Unreal.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Every time Chard posts, his IQ drops by 10 points. He's at -50 now.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Chad "so, you base your disbelief on the fact that ~3500 years ago the measurement used in construction was the length of an arm between elbow and fingertip which is imprecise by todays standards?"

      Are you REALLY this incredibly CLUELESS about mathematics too? WOW!. The length of the unit used for measurement is TOTALLY IRRELEVENT. The diameter will go into the circ-umference PI times. Are you serious?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Artie "Noah's Ark: 100 feet longer than wooden vessels can be: wood isn't strong enough, even with an internal steel structure. All efforts to make boats over 350' from wood failed miserably."
      @Chad "well, unfortunately no one told Johan Huibers, who built one. :-)
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/noahs-ark-replica-johan-huibers-netherlands_n_1717778.html

      ====
      @Artie "3,000,000 species fit the description of animals God uses for inclusion on the boat. That's 6,000,000 animals"
      @Chad "the bible says that 6 million animals were on the ark?? where?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer " The length of the unit used for measurement is TOTALLY IRRELEVENT. The diameter will go into the circ-vmference PI times. Are you serious?"
      @Chad "as I said, you base your disbelief in the God of Israel on the fact that the measurements of the diameter and circvmference were imprecise based on today's standards?

      really?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer "The Bible says there were 2 to 7 of EVERY animal."
      @Chad "it does?? where?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Some assembly required "Are you a Bible worshiper, Chad?"

      => your disbelief in the God of Israel is based on wondering if I "worship the bible"?

      p.s. how does one "worship the bible"?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Some assembly required

      How does one worship the Bible, Chad? It's a good start to believe that it is entirely true and devote yourself to it as its representative. And then to go on to claim that it describes God in sufficient detail that you know who and what God is based on what's in it.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Has Chad found in his bible (it's an NIV) evidence that God knows him? Is there a dialog? Does God tell Chad that he is a special creation billions of years in the making, and that it loves him?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Artie

      Chad, read your own articles. That is built around a steel frame, and it's always empty. Put 6,000,000 animals and their provisions in it, and let's see what happens!

      Genesis description of the animals to be included: "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of the fowl after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive."

      3,000,000 species fit that description. 6,000,000 animals.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @Artie "read your own articles. That is built around a steel frame"
      @Chad "for economical reasons, it could be built of wood entirely, it would take up much more interior space though.

      @Artie "Genesis description of the animals to be included: "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of the fowl after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, 3,000,000 species fit that description. 6,000,000 animals."
      @Chad "ah, now I understand what you did.
      You took a bible verse that says "of every kind", interpreted that to mean that "one of every single species" (although the division of animals into species wouldnt be invented for thousands of years) then used that number to prove that it couldnt be done.

      I think that is what's known as a "strawman"
      The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and subst.tutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      still trying to be the rat terrier of the belief blogs and clamp your jaws around the ankles of the heathen non-believers until they kick you?

      Same old "upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?" again.

      How many times have you posted essentially that question in this thread alone?

      Which makes me wonder: "Do you genuinely seek to understand, are you merely a troll, or perhaps in your own words 'you doth protest too much'?

      I leave you with the British Humanist Association with their Atheist Bus campaign – who really do a MUCH better job of this than David Silverman.

      "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life".

      December 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Chad

      sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that for so many atheists, the question of "upon what do you base your disbelief" is extremely uncomfortable, and produces a quite astounding array of irrational responses.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Belief is what requires reasons, not disbelief. Disbelief is a compulsion to a belief without sufficient reasons for it. Easy.

      Yes, Chad is a troll who always seeks to subvert reasoning and manipulate falsehoods towards his desired end rather than use the tool of reasoning for legitimate investigation. (Regardless of the fact that he is doing this FOR the atheistic viewpoint and not the biblical perspective as he claims).

      December 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Chad

      Belief is what requires reasons, not disbelief. Disbelief is a compulsion to a belief without sufficient reasons for it. – – Moby Schtick

      =>THANK YOU!
      I couldnt possibly, in a million years, have captured the irrationality of the atheist disbelief better.

      outstanding, thanks

      December 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Actually, Chad, it's a brilliantly precise answer that is so accurate that you use it yourself on those things that you do not believe. But I never expect you to grasp what is brilliantly precise, so.....

      December 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      When there are insufficient reasons, Chad, for say, the belief in unicorns, you disbelieve in unicorns. Where there are insufficient reasons for a belief, a sensible person, naturally, easily disbelieves.

      (On the off chance that your exclamation of joy was based on your inability to read).

      December 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Chad

      I LOVE it
      I am forever in your debt.

      Belief is what requires reasons, not disbelief. Disbelief is a compulsion to a belief without sufficient reasons for it. – – Moby Schtick

      it's fantastic,
      – disbelief doesnt require reason: that explains exactly why atheists havent been able to supply any!
      – Disbelief is a compulsion to a belief: fantastic! your disbelief is a reason less compulsion. EXACTLY what I have always said, namely that atheists start out with disbelief (the compulsion), then go looking for support for it.
      Atheists try and claim, time after time, that their disbelief is the result of a rational thought process, but you acknowledge the truth, it is a irrational compulsion with no sufficient reason.

      December 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You're being a dishonest fucktard again. Then again, you probably will never admit it. Anything to try and drum up "evidence" for your idiocy right?

      December 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, I expect simple logic to go over your head, but I don't expect you to be so stupid as to need professional help brushing your teeth.

      If there are no reasons to believe a thing, then it makes sense to disbelieve it. Do you have any good reasons to believe in Parkupasintal? I'm guessing you don't have a belief in Parkupasintal? I'm guessing that you disbelieve because you don't have any reasons to believe in Parku?

      You fvcking moron azzhole.

      December 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      since only yesterday I answered you as honestly and forthrightly as possible, your question can hardly make me feel uncomfortable.

      Unless you want to listen to genuine answers, which does not appear to be the case repet!tion, of your question results merely in tedium, not discomfiture.

      December 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  17. Akira

    Look, I don't particularly care what one believes; I don't foist my views on others, and I expect the same respect in return.
    As for the "War On Christmas", the ones who are really declaring that war are not atheists, particularly, (with the exception of Silverman, of course, and even he has his reasons) but the immensely popular Fox News, who has made this their central theme for three years running.
    Fox does more to fan the flames of hate than any atheists ever could.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tax Damned Churches NOW

      true.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  18. lionlylamb

    Are not a nation's societies judged by its fruits of labored materialism? Is then world socialism to be judged by its fruits of labored nationalistic civilities being bred toward global needs of communal welfare issues?

    December 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Everyone on the Belief Blog

      lionlylamb, huh???

      December 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • lionylamb

      My decades of severe alcohol abuse might have bent my brane a bit.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Dippy

      Alcohol could only improve your "brane," lion.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  19. sasss31

    I am not about building bridges with faith groups; but I am for being smart and rational. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Christmas. It is an American holiday and anyone with a rudimentary education and rationality (even educated religious people) know that Christmas was adopted to appease the Pagans and that Christmas is not the birth of Jesus. More importantly, Christmas has become a secular holiday (Santa, Rudolph, and the Christmas tree are not religious symbols). We need to be smart and keep religion out of the public square (hence making sure that Nativity scenes are not placed on public property). We need to be smart and not irrational. I am an atheist and I proudly celebrate for what is a secular Christmas for the majority of Americans.

    December 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Fill them pockets of capitalists ever so full of the peasantries easily given away monies to satisfy a pagan holiday!

      December 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @sasss31 "I am for being smart and rational"
      =>so perhaps you can answer the question.. upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Everyone on the Belief Blog

      lionlylamb, w t f?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Athy

      Common sense and logic.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @simplulo "Since then I don't spoil people's fantasies unless I have something to replace them with."
      @chad "upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?"

      @Athy "Common sense and logic?"
      @Chad "such as.. what?
      what is your logical argument?

      December 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • sasss31

      "upon what do you base your disbelief in the God of Israel?"

      Science and reason. And being Iranian-American, I have a perspective of the true nature of religious tyranny and oppression. But first and foremost science and reason and a lack of evidence for the irrational belief in a celestial dictator. And no, your fairy stories and fairy books don't count.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      Christmas is an American holiday? Are you freaking kidding me with this?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @sasss31 Science and reason."
      @chad "such as... what?"

      =====
      @sasss31 " And being Iranian-American, I have a perspective of the true nature of religious tyranny and oppression"
      @Chad "you dont believe in the God of Israel because of the manner that radical Islamists rule Iran??

      ======
      @sasss31 "But first and foremost science and reason and a lack of evidence for the irrational belief in a celestial dictator. @chad "such as what science and reason? Do you have anything specifically?
      What evidence would you expect to see since the God of Israel is real?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • sasss31

      @MashaSobaka: My bad. It is celebrated elsewhere in the world. But no where else is it such a part of society as it is in America. It is a quintessentially American tradition.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • actorforchrist

      Christmas is an "American" holiday? I suppose "reason and logic" don't equate to "education." Try reading something other than Dawkins or Hitchens for a change.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Some assembly required

      The God of Israel. He has a name, sort of, but conveniently few other properties.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • sasss31

      @Chad: That's the point. There is not a single shred of evidence for religious beliefs of any stripe. Really, it is no surprise that the vast majority of biologists and physicists (people who know a bit about how life and the universe operate) are non-believers. But again, we are all free to hold our beliefs. This is the essence of a free society. We must simply be on guard to maintain the separation of church and state. We must instill science and reason upon our youth instead of ignorance. Otherwise a society will remain in stagnation.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @sasss31 "That's the point. There is not a single shred of evidence for religious beliefs of any stripe.
      @Chad "I thought you said you had "science and reason" reasons?
      what are they?

      @sasss31 "Really, it is no surprise that the vast majority of biologists and physicists (people who know a bit about how life and the universe operate) are non-believers"
      @Chad "you base your disbelief in the God of Israel on a headcount of believing scientists?"

      December 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @Some assembly required "The God of Israel. He has a name, sort of, but conveniently few other properties."
      =>What properties are you expecting?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • sasss31

      @Chad: Nothing in the universe or the world needs supernatural explanations. The beauty and power of science have provided us many answers; and continue to provide us more answers each day.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Chad

      @sasss31 "Nothing in the universe or the world needs supernatural explanations"
      @Chad "actually, that is 100% wrong.

      – We know the universe had a beginning.
      – We know that it is meta-physically impossible for something to come from nothing.
      – Therefor, we know our universe must have had an external causal agent (that doesnt mean that external causal agent must be the God of Israel, but there must be an external causal agent)
      – Since that external causal agent is external to our universe, it is super-natural be definition.

      It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning
      - Alexander Vilenkin (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

      December 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad

      We do NOT know if our universe had a beginning, we only know that it began to inflate and in that inflation "started" its own time and timeline.

      There doesn't seem to be such a thing as "nothing" anywhere, and "nothingness" as you intend it does not seem to exist. To use the word "nothing" seriously, as you intend the word, is the same as somebody else using the word "unicorn" as an actual animal that explains something else. If we can't find any examples of "nothing," why discuss it as if it is any sort of problem to be overcome?

      We don't know whether our universe had a causal agent, or needed one, or not, or if that causal agent must be "external" or not, or anything like that. You merely azzume that because it fits the hypothesis you want to be true.

      Something that is outside of our universe is not necessarily supernatural, you stupid git, it simply means its outside of our universe.

      Your problem, Chad, is that you are unwilling to be honest and say simply, "We don't know," because you prefer the retarded as fvck answer of "Big invisible sky wizard with magic spellz!"

      It's all a matter of your preference for a stupid lie over simple honesty about what you/we don't know.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "We do NOT know if our universe had a beginning, we only know that it began to inflate and in that inflation "started" its own time and timeline."

      @Chad "I guess you missed that part about that having been proved... you might consider doing some reading.

      It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning
      – Alexander Vilenkin (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

      ====
      @Moby "Something that is outside of our universe is not necessarily supernatural, you stupid git, it simply means its outside of our universe."
      @Chad "ah..
      sorry,
      that's the definition of the word. right?

      natural: being in accordance with or determined by nature, having or const.tuting a cla.sification based on features existing in nature

      super-natural: of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena;

      If it doesnt exist in our universe, it's super-natural.

      December 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chaddikins

      You ran off and we never got to finish our conversation and now I find you here haras.sing these other kind people with your drivel. That's not very sporting.

      Here's where all your arguments completely fall apart my slippery friend, you state with complete conviction and knowledge that A) The universe had to have a beginning. and that B) Since something can not come from nothing, in this pre-big bang era there had to be an external agent to have caused this. (You conveniently leave out where this external agent came from and as we know you make the huge leaps with your other 4 or 5 points on why this external agent is the god of abraham). In short, you apparently know more than the most knowledgable by being equipped with wikipedia and pre-big bang knowledge that I'm sure any cosmologist would love to have. Since we don't know conditions before the big bang, we can neither say there was technically a beginning, because time might not have existed, there might not have been "nothing" because the term nothing is misleading and we can't truly understand the concept of the word and we can't know for sure whether these conditions needed an external agent or not.

      December 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  20. Roger

    Rift? Divide? Why would anyone even THINK that all atheists have the same ideas about Christmas and how to "deal" with it. Atheism is not a religion. It is not a group or organization with a set of basic principles. It is just each individual person who has no belief in God. And that's all. The very idea that they would all have a common way of dealing with theistic celebrations is just absurd!

    December 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • actorforchrist

      David Silverman, Richard Dawkins, and Bart Ehrman might disagree with you. They certainly want to rally you into their own "religion."

      December 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Athy

      !nemA

      December 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.