home
RSS
My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy
A woman prays in church. Many Christians say they can audibly hear the voice of God.
December 29th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

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

This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (7,766 Responses)
  1. That's just crazy talk

    Sorry, if you audibly here God, you are always crazy.

    December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Maybe people should turn off the radio and TV before falling asleep....

      December 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      If one audibly hears God, one is audibly hearing God, Here God is and here God was and there God ever will be!

      December 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ liony:
      Here a God
      There a God
      Everywhere a God God
      Old MacDonald had a pantheon
      E I E I O!

      December 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • dreamer96

      I like the way the Old Testament has many times when God argues with the people he has chosen to talk to...Noah debates with God...and God debates over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with Abraham......

      December 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  2. John Cram

    Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common.

    And ironically the exact same percentage of people are full of siht.

    December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Welcome to the group the John.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • dreamer96

      every wonder way some people have so much trouble passing through those metal detectors at the Air Port...their Guarding Angels keep hitting the sides with their wings....

      December 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Jesus fellated the Apostles

    Christianity: 2000 years of worshipping a god that is either unwilling or unable to prevent the slaughter of children, by the hands of man or natural disasters.

    December 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Let me guess, you're an Atheist, right?

      December 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  4. humansarelowlifeforms

    the punishment for offending the gods is death.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Larry

      Which one? It's a bit hard no to offend at least one even when trying. Make Zeus happy and Odin gets mad.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Larry

      I really like the Disney Movie Fantasia...Where Zeus is throwing thunderbolts is a good part...Great movie....

      December 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  5. dreamer96

    I knew a young mother that took her son to church one Sunday...after the sermon the Priest briefly thanked each of those that attended as they left the Church front door...the young mother was greeted and pulled aside and told by the Priest, in front of the others...to wear better cloths next time she came..it was and insult to God to come to Church in worn out cloths...The other member gave her a look of displeasure...The Young Mother and Son walk away...the Mother openly crying and never returned to that Church of God again....

    December 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  6. humansarelowlifeforms

    people who don't believe in God ask where is god when millions die and starve,,it's punishment by the gods. Satan laughs as millions die! how dare peon humans question and offend the gods.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • QuantumImmortality

      Give it a rest Mr. Trolly McTrollerton from Trollville..

      December 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  7. humansarelowlifeforms

    Jesus, son of god...or the Son God.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Or the sOn of gOd.
      Or the SOn of GOd.
      Perhaps the soN of goD?
      Hey – the SON OF GOD!!!!!!
      Wow – it DOES make a difference. Bless you, Mr. Uppercase!

      December 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Time to change your diaper Magical Underwear.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Moron: t-wat, t-wat, t-wat! You're a t-wat, t-wat, t-wat!

      December 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  8. humansarelowlifeforms

    humans are nothing but dust in the big schemes of the universe. created from the energy of the Sun. The Sun God is universal God. All cultures worship the Sun God.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  9. humansarelowlifeforms

    reality is humans are not only living beings in the universe. out of touch with reality is a form insanity. reality. God doesn't care if you die! cycle of life and death is the way of the universe. And punishment for offending the gods is death. Angel of death. The secular church may sell holy water and sell salvation, there is no salvation...only human sacrifice to appease the gods.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  10. Arvoasitis

    In the cases I'm aware of, such voices (whether from God, a deceased parent or relative, or even an unknown source) occurred at a time of extreme exhaustion or distress. The voice inevitably was calming and reassuring. As far as I'm aware, none of the people were diagnosed with a mental disorder (although some of them, perhaps, might well have been). I'm not personally aware of any cases where the voice(s) encouraged anyone to do evil and have nothing more to say about that aspect.
    And atheists, you don't always have to be abusive and obnoxious.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  11. charles gallagher

    Its always sad to see someone who studied psychology and didn't understand it. I suppose this author is rather like an astronomer who believes the moon is made of cheese. There's no harm in it but you lack any credibilty.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Nate

      Idiocy always has consequence.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      charles gallagher

      1.The inner cosmology of the atomized realms.
      Are these realms not the first realms conceived in the grand schemes of cosmology?

      2.The outer cosmology of the celestial realms.
      Did not this realm become conceived only after the inner cosmological realm was made nearing a completion?

      3.The cellular cosmology of the living realms.
      Did this living realm of cosmological matter come about by sheer coincidence or was there a cosmological order for the living realms of cellular cosmology to become an ever evolving realm ending upon these celestial shores as being mankind?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dan

      Yes, she's a fool, because YOU don't like the outcome of her study. Perhaps you are more like Pope Urban VIII than you care to admit..

      December 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  12. sqeptiq

    Just curious. Do believers in other religions than christianity and islam hear these voices from ...whomever or where ever?

    December 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  13. Caitlin

    I really can't believe that anyone allowed you to publish this article. It is pure garbage

    December 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Dan

      Oh, I see, ten years of observation count for nothing to you "scientists" if you do not care for the outcome. Then it's "garbage."

      December 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      yet you took the time to comment on it.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  14. PhilG.

    God does'nt tell people to go kill other people.

    Sorry,He just does'nt.

    No matter what is written in the Bible.

    You go killing people,it's ON YOU.

    Don't blame God.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Exactly.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Especially where it's written in the Bible that God commanded his followers to commit genocide! Nope – that wasn't God (even though the bible says it was god and the bible is the word of god). No, no – it was Rod – yeah, that's it – Rod in the bible commanded genocide. See – a typo! Rod – not God.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Judging by your Magical Underwear nick name, you're probably not older than 12.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • dreamer96

      And while Europe erupted in War, back in America many were saying This is not our war....If the USA had not entered WWII we would surely have been the victim of the more advanced German War Machine....

      December 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Oh, you nutty wacky Moron Atheist guy – what a scintillating response! Let me guess: PhD in linguistics, perchance? I stand in awe of your eloquence. Your skills as an orator clearly know no bounds.

      T-wat.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Calm down Magical Underwear, take 2 Midols and change diaper then go to bed.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Moron: T-wat, t-wat, t-wat! You're a t-wat, t-wat, t-wat.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  15. Chad

    The God of Israel speaks (communicates) in many different ways.

    By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick gra pes from tho rnbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7

    December 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • CJ

      Yes, its is mainly fruits who follow this delusional monotheistic menace to humanity.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • frank

      And that's where the term fruitcake came from.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @CJ, @Frank: what investigation have you done into Christianity that has led you to reject it?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Oh, crap! Chad used bold-faced type for emphasis. Well, I guess that seals it – god is real.

      Announcer: Hey, Chad – you've just proven the existence of God! What are you going to do next?
      Chad: I'm going to go to Creation Land!!!!!! Yaaaaayyyyy!!!!!!

      December 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Your fruit, Chad, is lying, which proves you are a liar. If being a christian makes people anything like you, then I would never consider your faith as something worthwhile and I think most people would agree with me. I happen to know some really great christian people, so I know it's just you that's a dovchebag cvnt, and it's not your faith that makes you that way.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • dreamer96

      So you are saying if anyone in your family tree did a bad thing...you should just go kill yourself....Whoa...Some nice Religion you got there...

      December 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      "By their fruit you will recognize them."

      That doesn't speak well for your god, Chard

      December 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick, @dreamer96, @sam stone: what investigation have you done into Christianity that has led you to reject it?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Chad

      Why do you assume I reject it....I am just amazed at how people have messed it up....

      December 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mike

      Chad, did you notice all the bad figs doing what they do best. Babbling hot air.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Nate

      Hey, hey! We're quoting magic words here!

      December 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      They don't having any Chad, those atheists have a shallow mind. Poor them.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Gandhi said it best...
      You Christians....I like your Christ...I do not like you Christians...You are so unlike your Christ....

      December 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, I have read the bible eight times, was a minister for nearly three decades, spent most of my life offering reasons for people to believe, wrote several published works on the bible's validity and the veracity of its claims. While researching for the one I would never publish, I came to the conclusion that the bible made much more sense as a book of myths than as any sort of "truth bearer" about the nature or existence of any god.

      I reject christianity because of the bible and what it claims; I reject the idea of god because no god believers have offered any reasoning worthy of belief; I reject christianity because it cannot answer the arguments against it and the bible.

      But let me guess, I didn't do it right?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Mahatma Gandhi was once approached by an atheist with the request to organize and promote an anti-God society. Gandhi replied, “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists.”

      December 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby
      Your lack of basic biblical understanding says something completely different.

      Respecting yours and my need for anonymity, would you be willing to email a list of the books you published to an email I will set up today? You have my assurance I would never reveal it to a soul.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      I never said "books" did I, and no, I am unwilling to work with you in any way because you are a liar and a cvnt. I have no interest in offering anything to you because you will simply find a way to dismiss it according to you apriori beliefs that you must be right and all others who disagree with you must be wrong. It's the way you view the world.

      I am satisfied with my investigation into the lies of Christianity, and that's enough for me. If YOU would like to change my mind, then YOU must provide me with reasonable arguments and evidences that overcome my objections and refutations. You offer nothing that a fantatical muslim could not offer which basically boils down to: "You can't convince me that my thoughts are wrong, so you're wrong and you're also wrong to not assume that I'm right since I believe so strongly." And that argument is so stupid as to be laughable-–and you are.

      You may convince me with sound argumentation and reliable evidence or not. Your choice. I have explained to you why I do not believe in your silly religious belief. You may do with that explanation what you wish. I should hope that you discard it for the same ridiculous reason that you always discard the reasoning of those who you do not agree with-–the simple fact that it does not agree with your conclusions.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Real Deal

      MoronAtheist:
      "Mahatma Gandhi was once approached by an atheist with the request to organize and promote an anti-God society. Gandhi replied, “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists.”

      1. That quote has never been verified as having been said by Gandhi.

      2. Atheists do not believe that a god or gods exist. Believers DO exist, however, and it is their desire to control things according to their fantasies and superst'itions that we take issue with.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby "I have explained to you why I do not believe in your silly religious belief"

      @Chad "no you havent.
      you gave a list of "the bible is stupid" re-written 5 different ways..

      that's not reason..

      December 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      And there we have it. You're such a liar, Chad. I know you by your fruits and I know your god (worthless) by your behavior as a supreme fvckwad. Why should I explain anything to you when you sh!t all over it and then hold it up on this board as if it was a diamond that magically appeared? FVCK you, you ridiculous little sh!t.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby,
      Look, all I'm asking for is a list of reasons that you abandoned belief in the God of Israel and Jesus Christ.

      pretty simple? Why is that so difficult? Why immediately resort to invective? Your reasons must be compelling for you to have abandoned salvation, right?

      December 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Stop responding to me you lying cvnt. I gave you my reasons and you're simply ignoring them and lying about them. I have no wish to debate a lying little fvckwad like you, but rather, I wish to see you advertise your behavior more and more and more under the banner of "christian." Please keep up the great work!

      December 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      chad: the story itself is of a vindictive, petty pr1ck. i choose not to believe in such a punk. apparently, you find some comfort in it. i suspect that you are a vindictive, petty pr1ck, too. you are damn sure a liar, just as your butt buddy topher

      December 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • TJ

      @Moby Schtick: I truly pity you. For all your book learning, you've learned nothing. Understood less. And have a wisdom that fits both of those.

      No one... and I do mean NO ONE can undo all that you now hold as true. It doesn't matter how wrong you are – you're stuck there, welded to your ignorance and lack of understanding.

      You see, I was like you before I learned all I have – about how wrong you are, and I was.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @TJ

      And I feel as strongly as you do but that you are the one who is deluded. Only I don't carry the certainty with a supposed extreme being on my side. I followed the evidence where it led me. Yes, it was scary for a while, and I was tempted to give up following reason and simply fall back on faith but I knew that was the coward's way out. I choose to follow the logic wherever it led. I did not choose any other god, but simply suspended my belief in god until one could be properly supported with logic and demonstrable evidence. People believe in the god that they are trained to believe in; logic has no such compulsion.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • TJ

      Chad... remember, atheists are like those tiny little insects in the deep woods who have never laid eyes on a human. Those insects believe they are the smartest, wisest living thing around. They cannot conceive of anything greater than themselves. They live in their little colony, never venturing out. They are atheists.

      The want a god they can understand.... a man like themselves. Because any god you can understand.is just a man, and nothing more.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick, @Sam Stone

      Can either of you calm down long enough to give a rational explanation of the evidence that you have found that lead you to rejecting the God of Israel?

      Your responses thus far say only that you are extraordinarily threatened by the question, and overreact in an extremely emotional way.

      can you not calmly articulate the reasons for your position?

      December 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @TJ

      Do you see how I have answered Chad precisely and exactly according to what he asked, but he is to busy lying and refusing to be civil about it to actually engage with the problem I pose for his ridiculous belief? I am thrilled, I must say, to see a christian who continually lies in order to disregard the stupidity of his christian faith. It's encouraging.

      December 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @moby, this is your list? I'm sure we can all agree it is just a series of conclusions, you havent yet provided any data backing any of them up.. right?

      @Moby:
      1. The bible's god is not tenable
      2. The bible makes a lot more sense for what it is (book of stories/myths) than what christians claim it is
      3. The physical evidence does not support the biblical claims nor any god concerned with human affairs.

      December 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Most well-thought out reasons are conclusions based on arguments, evidence, and reasoning. But please don't worry about them. I have no interest in explaining my reasoning to you. Continue to think that my reasons and my reasoning is foolish. I want you to stay exactly as you are, liar.

      December 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "Most well-thought out reasons are conclusions based on arguments, evidence, and reasoning. "
      @chad "well, what is the evidence, arguments, reasoning?
      All we've heard so far is the bible is stupid/mythology, God is not tenable, no physical evidence.

      that can't possibly be the full extent of your basis for rejecting the reality of the God of Israel and His Son Jesus. The first two are conclusions you havent provided any data in support of, and the third doesnt make sense when the fact that no historical detail in the bible has EVER been proved false is considered.

      You must have some reasons for drawing these conclusions, what are they?

      December 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Nope. You asked for my reasons and I supplied them. You don't get to move the goalposts, now. If you don't like my reasons, good. I'm glad. But I'm not jumping through any more hoops just because you don't like my honest replies. My reasoning process was sufficient for me to give up the stupid belief I held; I don't care if you see it my way or not-–in fact, I'd prefer if you don't.

      If you'd like to convince me, then I will read/listen to your arguments, but I'm done sharing any of my reasoning with you. So far, all you've convinced me of is that you're an atheist trying to make the average-joe-street-christian-apologist look like the ultimate liar and azzhole cvnt. Nice job at that.

      December 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Chad

      1. The bible's god is not tenable
      2. The bible makes a lot more sense for what it is (book of stories/myths) than what christians claim it is
      3. The physical evidence does not support the biblical claims nor any god concerned with human affairs.

      that's the entirety of it??

      you have nothing specifically to point to, just baseless conclusions? Frankly I"m astonished, atheists are always preening about their logic and rational thinking, yet when asked, they simply cant seem to muster an argument beyond "all that god stuff is nonsense".
      amazing.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, you're a liar.

      Reasons are conclusions. You didn't ask for four hundred pages of logical argumentation. You asked for my reasons. I gave them to you. Of course they're conclusions. I'm not interested in appeasing you. I did my research for almost three decades. I put my eternity on the line. I'm that confident. My reasons are clear. I don't care if you don't like them, and obviously you're going to give me some bullsh!t argument about how they don't meet your qualifications, but this isn't about your qualifications, is it? It's about MY standard of evidence and my conclusions. My reasons are what they are. I hope you continue to act as desp icable as you have so far and lie as much as you have so far. It's perfect.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Chad

      30 years of research and the most comprehensive, detailed, well-reasoned argument for rejecting Christianity you can give is just those three vague conclusions?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, Chad. I'm UNWILLING to provide you with any of my astounding reasoning that cost me decades of hard work, deep soul-searching, and unimaginably hard research work. I'm unwilling because you would do with it what you always do with what is given to you: Sh!t all over it and then complain that it doesn't look and smell right.

      to be continued...

      December 31, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      You're a cvnt, Chad, and worse, you're a liar. It took me YEARS to drop my faith, and I did it through the process of my largest work and most comprehensive study of the bible itself. YOU can doubt my reasoning and my effort and my logic practice all you want to, but it's my eternity that I wrestled with for months and months of sleepless nights and losses of close friends and family members. Do you honestly think that I give the slightest fvck about the evaluation of one disgusting internet liar like you?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Why don't you do some work, here, fvckwad?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Don't you think that I would LOVE to have a faith in a loving god who cares about me? Don't you think that for a die hard, tried-and-true, te st ed-and-refined-over-and-over minister of the gospel like me would love to have that reassuring warmth again?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Of course I would, but the logic doesn't lie, and I don't lie either. I had the courage to follow the reasoning where it led, and it led me to the reality that the christian belief is so much bullsh!t. So either get of your sc u mmy little azz and do the work of the claimant, and prove the validity of your belief system, or keep on lying and sh!ting all over everything as you do so well for the atheist position, fvckwad. I have a pretty good idea what you'll decide.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Chad

      I'm guess that you are a former baptist minister whose belief was built on the inerrancy of scripture. Probably a KJV only, perhaps even a former fan of Ruckman? At some point you had a personal crisis where you claimed by faith a promise of the bible and were bitterly disappointed and disillusioned with the result?

      Just a guess, but I'm betting I'm very close to the mark.

      Would you be willing to read a book that I recommend, if I'll read a book that you recommend?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      LOL, Chad, you're guess could not be further off the mark! No, Chad, I don't care about any book you would recommend because I despise you and your lying, dovchenozzle behavior. You're disgusting to me, and I want nothing to do with any book that has influenced your behavior.

      I have judged the bible and your god and found them stupid. I did decades of research and settled the issue for myself. I have no interest in settling any of your issues because I like the way you present yourself, your faith, and your god. Please do continue. I hope to see you post as much as possible.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  16. CJ

    No, not crazy. But delusional, solipsistic and juvenile.

    Stop 'seeing god' and go do some good for humanity.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Chad

      what investigation have you done into Christianity that has led you to reject it?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • CJ

      30 years of professional study of actual historical sources, dismay at the evil its propagated for the most part, loathing of its intolerance, shame at its connections to Wall. St, growing up Christian, archaeological evidence for a start...

      Much more than the high school level education of most christians...

      December 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Since the burden of proof is with the person making the claim, what arguments do you have for Christianity that make it worth anyone's consideration?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Dan

      Yes, do something good for humanity...lol...as if people of faith have never founded a school, or fed the poor, or....

      December 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Dan

      @Moby...Yes, the burden of proof is on teh one making the claim. Remember that the next time you claim there is no God.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      I have not seen a single Atheist or Atheists Group having put on feet some kind of associations or else to help supporting the poor and the needy ones.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Chad

      :@Cj "actual historical sources, archaeological evidence "
      @Chad "such as?
      the rest of your list was "mans religious institutions behaving horribly", which is hardly a reason to reject the God of Israel and Jesus Christ, the bible clearly states that mans mans religious institutions behave horribly

      December 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @dan

      I don't make the claim that there is no god, I simply disbelieve in any gods because the ones described to me by beleivers so far fail to pass the "reasonability test." When I say that "God does not exist" I say it with the same force that I say that unicorns don't exist. I'm not saying that it's impossible that unicorns don't exist somewhere in the universe, I'm saying it to save time and everybody knows what I mean.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby:
      Your argument assumes a-priori that the God of Israel does not exist, that is your starting position.

      Do you feel that assumption is justified?

      December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Yes, after careful study for most of my lifetime I have come to the conclusion that the god of the bible cannot exist. It was not my apriori conclusion before the investigation, it was the result of the investigation. Biblegod has been weighed in the balance of reason and been found wanting.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Chad – of COURSE it's justified that the default position is one of non-belief, until sufficient evidence is tendered to justify a change in that position. You appear to suffer from a staggering case of tunnel-vision. Using the logic you are implying in your question, it would be logical to have an initial default position that Thor, the God of Thunder exists. Or Zeus. Or Ra. Or Allah. Or any of the thousands of gods mentioned throughout history.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick
      What were the top 3 or 4 reasons you have for abandoning a belief in Jesus Christ?

      December 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @50 Foot Magical Underwear "of COURSE it's justified that the default position is one of non-belief,

      @Chad "of course? why?
      utterly irrational to state that any belief is wrong without first investigating it's claims. Right?

      that's crazy.. you are saying that a baseless belief is the foundation of atheism. right?

      December 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      1. The bible's god is not tenable
      2. The bible makes a lot more sense for what it is (book of stories/myths) than what christians claim it is
      3. The physical evidence does not support the biblical claims nor any god concerned with human affairs.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Chad, when you were born, were you born with a belief in Odin? A belief that Odin exists? A belief that Odin is a God? A belief that Odin is real?

      Were you born into a Christian family, and raised as a Christian?

      December 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Ignore my reply and never reply to me again. But rest assured, I am THRILLED that you act this way AND you're a christian. Keep up the great work for the atheist position.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby
      what reply? Seriously, please provide a link.

      I have to run now, will be back later.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Four posts up, you moron. I give you the three reasons you asked for. But seriously, never reply to me ever again.

      December 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "The bible's god is not tenable"
      @Chad "why? Dont you feel you have to provide a reason? what evidence do you have for drawing that conclusion?"

      @Moby "The bible makes a lot more sense for what it is (book of stories/myths) than what christians claim it is
      @Chad "why? what evidence do you have for drawing that conclusion?"

      @Moby "The physical evidence does not support the biblical claims nor any god concerned with human affairs."
      @Chad "such as what? No historical detail in the bible has ever been proven wrong? what evidence do you have for drawing that conclusion?"

      December 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I am very glad that Chad is so willing to lie for his god and his belief. It shows that it's the best he can do in defense of his god and his belief.

      December 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Chad

      bizarre.. where is the lie?

      December 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Inside you. It comes through in many forms in almost every post. But I have no interest in helping you locate them or explaining how your behavior is so disgusting. I would much rather you continue.

      December 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Chad

      could you provide an example of something that I said that you felt was lying?

      bear in mind,lying means making statements that I know are false. Stating for example that "the God of Israel" is not considered lying by any definition of the word.

      December 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Chad

      could you provide an example of something that I said that you felt was lying?

      bear in mind,lying means making statements that I know are false. Stating for example that "the God of Israel is real" is not considered lying by any definition of the word.

      December 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You lie almost nonstop, Chad, but the most recent was when you said that I had not given you reasons for my disbelief. I have several times before, I had today, and I have listed them carefully. You lied when you said I had not given you my reasons.

      That you want to dismiss my reasons for whatever reasons is irrelevant to the fact that I provided them. You're a liar. It's who you are down to your core. Deal with it.

      December 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "You lie almost nonstop, Chad, but the most recent was when you said that I had not given you reasons for my disbelief."

      @Chad "so let me be clear, when I say that a statement like "The bible's god is not tenable" is not a reason, I make that statement because it has no supporting data. It is just a conclusion, something that would come at the end of a list of reasons for why the bibles god is not tenable.

      that's what I'm looking for, the reasons. What convinced you that the bible's god is not tenable? Surely there has to be something?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, you're a liar.

      You didn't ask for "supporting data" and that data that I find completely supporting you would not find supporting because of your a priori biases towards your brainwashing. They're MY reasons and they're what you asked for.

      Reasons are conclusions. You didn't ask for four hundred pages of logical argumentation. You asked for my reasons. I gave them to you. Of course they're conclusions. I'm not interested in appeasing you. I did my research for almost three decades. I put my eternity on the line. I'm that confident. My reasons are clear. I don't care if you don't like them, and obviously you're going to give me some bullsh!t argument about how they don't meet your qualifications, but this isn't about your qualifications, is it? It's about MY standard of evidence and my conclusions. My reasons are what they are. I hope you continue to act as desp icable as you have so far and lie as much as you have so far. It's perfect.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "Reasons are conclusions"

      @Chad "not according to the dictionary they arent:
      reasons A cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.
      conclusionsThe end or finish of an event or process. The summing-up of an argument or text.

      you gave conclusions, not reasons.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, this is what I mean about you being a complete dovche fvckwad. Every cause is also an effect. A conclusion is a reason in the same way. When you say "The bible has never been proven wrong on a point of history" that's your conclusion which is based on thousands of separate statements of reason. (Incorrect, of course, but you get the point).

      It's disgusting cvnt behavior like that sort of bullsh!t that makes you someone I loathe and despise. And you know all this, so you're just being a fvckwad troll. Liar.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, you're such a disgusting fvckwad. Seriously, you make me sick to my stomach. You deserve your disgusting god.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, give me one reason that you believe anything, about the bible or anything, that is not also a conclusion. Moron.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Chad

      God has made Himself real in my life.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      That's a conclusion, azzhole. I'd say that I asked for a reason, and not a conclusion, but I'm honest enough to know that reasons are conclusions. You "win" in your own mind simply by making up your own definitions as you go to suit whatever need you have at the moment. FVCK you and your lies, you cretin. You disgust me.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "God has made Himself real in my life."

      What does that even mean?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Chad

      It means that God unequivocally demonstrated to me, that He is real.

      Now, the nature of how he did that is private, but I can say with 1000% confidence that the God of Israel is real because I have experienced it.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  17. Happy to Drink Milk

    An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/27/168144785/an-evolutionary-whodunit-how-did-humans-develop-lactose-tolerance

    December 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Oh lovely ocean

    The winds were ocean waves, thrashing against the trees limbs. The gales remained thereafter, only ceasing when the sun went down. Their waves clashed brilliantly with the water beneath, bringing foam and dying leaves to the shore."

    December 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  19. God

    How many people have spoken with God while you are conscious?
    None except Jesus and his Apostles

    December 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • dreamer96

      None??...what about Noah.....What about Joseph Smith the founder of the LDS Church?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • CJ

      Er? Eh? Huh? Wha what?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Naw, I was just kidding about that whole "magical plates" BS! I just wanted to score with my friends' wives and daughters! And it worked! Yum yum!

      December 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Mohammed and Joseph Smith, at least according to them.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  20. John

    Crazy is claiming to know what happened before the start of the universe, and much about it after. Even today they are still searching for clues about how the solar system formed. if they knew, they would not be taking samples of dirt on Mars, or trying to get the chemical make up of comets. You put your trust in nothing, I'll put my trust in God.

    December 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Very well said.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • dreamer96

      How was the Universe created.....God was cleaning up Heaven one day, and needed a place to dump the trash....so he created the Universe...

      December 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      @Dreamer

      Nope, the trashes were atheists.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Or a scientist's version ...one of the neighboring dimensions made contact with our empty space and some matter spilled over...

      December 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What blather. Scientists search for answers while you idiots just say "goddidit." It's easier, I guess, for people who don't like to think.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, it would be crazy to know what happened at or before the start of the universe, that's why scientists say that they don't know and continue looking at the evidence and the physics and math instead of following the example of you and other religitards and saying "Big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz!!!!"

      Yes, scientists and rational people do look for more and more clues to get a better and better understanding, knowing that they will never have all the answers and not willing to azzume some magical and invisible space wizard did it.

      Yes, you're "putting your trust" in "god" a being who cannot be seen nor detected in any measurable way, and no, the alternative is not to "believe" in "nothing" but to admit that we are still looking because we don't know and so are continuing to gather evidence as we are able.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • frank

      "the trashes were atheists"

      Does someone happen to have a Moron translator handy?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Tom Tom

      If the Church had total control we would still be teaching the Earth is the center of the Universe and the Sun travels around it..

      December 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Nate

      But will take still take the Tylenol when your heads hurts.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • MoronAtheist

      Oh i see To,Tom got out of bed, did mom made you breakfast today Tomtom. Come on, join the atheists mouthing contest.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      John,,

      Nothingness is a reality of the non-compassionate godless and they will someday be with their nothingness of relativity's forsakenness philosophies. The godless will find themselves roaming amid nothingness in needlessness sakes just because they simply refuse to allow in their hearts a simplistic belief upon there being One God who reigns supreme above all God's sons and daughters. May you who worships nothingness be found guiltless of any and all things in your life's escapades and in leading astray others who like you, are found that nothing rules over all things eternally made matters of physical attributes.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      @lionly Up your dose. It's not working.

      December 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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