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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.

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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.

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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. Saraswati

    @Cheese,

    I think we may be in disagreement as to the meaning of "defect". For me that would be something which decreases the happiness of individuals in society. I think the evidence is to the contrary...in many cases delusion increases happiness. And no, I did not always want to believe this.

    December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Reposted inline on page 62.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Yep, I agree it can help us cope as individuals but for the humanity to progress we need to minimize it, in my opinion.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  2. kirk1

    boo hoo, there is no god, i guess i will spend the rest of my life trying to prove it to others.

    December 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • spock1

      Live long and prosper.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Bones1

      Live long and blow me

      December 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • kirk1

      hey spock, you were resurrected weren't you?

      December 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • OpposingView

      Kirk1… To do that, you'll have to provide proof. We'd love to see your proof. LOL...

      December 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, dear, he doesn't. You claim a god exists. Prove it. The onus is on you. One cannot prove that something doesn't exist. Try to prove unicorns don't exist, just for sh!ts and giggles,honey.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • kirk1

      opposingview, didnt you see star trec?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • OpposingView

      Tom, Tom… And you said "he doesn't" exist. So why don't you prove that. If you can't prove it then shut the heck up. Your excuse about you can't prove a negative is only a copout. If you can't prove your point then you have no opinion and no one wants to hear it...

      December 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, goodness, OV is INCENSED!!!

      Look out, everyone, he's about to BLOW!!

      Here's a little hint, dumbfvck: prove unicorns don't exist. Then you can get back to me.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, and OV? You don't know how to read. I said "he doesn't..." as in, "he doesn't have to prove..."

      Too bad you're so dumb. Was freshman year the crowning blow?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • the AnViL

      opposing view – no one needs to prove something non-existent doesn't exist.

      the onus of evidence will always rest wholly and entirely on the shoulders of those positing "gods exist".

      you can – like many others.... use arguments from ignorance to attempt to shift the onus of evidence – but it'll never wash.

      the statement “gods exist” is a positive claim.

      the statement “gods do not exist” is a negative claim that only responds to the positive one.

      it wouldn't make any sense to anyone except the enemies of reason to go around denouncing the existence of unknown or flatly fictional beings, if there isn't anyone making the positive claim that those things do exist.

      to state that the as sertion “gods do not exist” is a positive claim really misses the mark entirely.

      positing a concept-being (god) is adding, not subtracting.

      to state that “gods exist” is a negative claim in response to “gods do not exist” entirely ignores the fact that ‘gods’ is still an added or positive const ituent to the conversation.

      your attempt has failed – your position is untenable.

      you have vanquished yourself.

      zing!

      December 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • spock1

      hey spock, you were resurrected weren't you?

      ah....the Genesis project. Yes in the future, The United Federation of Planets will play god as dead planets will be given life. The new residents will kneel before it's creator.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • The Truth

      Ever had a knock on the door on a Saturday morning to find an atheist wishing to convert you?

      Ever get stopped at a mall or an airport and handed literature by a person telling you to change your way of life because there is no God?

      Have you ever been asked which atheist will marry you and your new fiance?

      Have you ever pulled out your wallet and handed over some money that was emblazoned with the motto "In No God's do we Trust"?

      Are you subjected to several months of atheist themed propaganda, all in the name of good cheer of course, every single year and bombarded by atheist tunes playing in every store, where even the most ardent of the religious find themselves humming "There's no Santa Claus, There's No Santa Claus, There's no Santa Claus Lane..."

      Are you forced to place your right hand on "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins when being sworn into office or to take an oath in our courts?

      Just curious as you seem to see things as a level playing field...

      December 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't expend too much energy on Opposum View. He's not worthy. He can't even read.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • OpposingView

      Tom, Tom… So typical of atheists. You'll say anything to change the subject and to avoid the issue. Get back to me when you provide proof. Otherwise, don't expect me to waste my time with you – or listen to your nonsense…

      December 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Translation of Possum's post: I don't have a rebuttal and I'm barely able to read the directions for opening my orange juice container, so I'm going to wave my hankie and flounce off now.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • kirk1

      how does spock1 view atheists?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • My God is Odin

      @ Opp – And you said "he doesn't" exist. So why don't you prove that. If you can't prove it then shut the heck up. Your excuse about you can't prove a negative is only a copout.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • My God is Zeus

      @Opp – And you said "he doesn't" exist. So why don't you prove that. If you can't prove it then shut the heck up. Your excuse about you can't prove a negative is only a copout.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • OpposingView

      Anvil… You said "no one needs to prove something non-existent doesn't exist"…

      Whoever told you that nonsense lied to you. And I bet they were an atheist. LOL…

      This is the real world and not your personal fantasy. Here in the real world, you have to provide proof for what you say (whether positive or negative) or what you say is not worth hearing…

      December 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • My God is Mr. Hankey

      @Opp – And you said "he doesn't" exist. So why don't you prove that. If you can't prove it then shut the heck up. Your excuse about you can't prove a negative is only a copout. Just because your poo has never spoken to you doesn't mean it hasn't happened to someone else...

      December 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • spock1

      how does spock1 view atheists?

      Visually using eyes. How does kirk1 view God?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Mr Douglas

      My God is Mr. Hankey,

      I don't trust you.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • The Truth

      "This is the real world and not your personal fantasy. Here in the real world, you have to provide proof for what you say (whether positive or negative) or what you say is not worth hearing…"

      Yes, you do. Your claim is that you positively believe in the Hebrew/Christian God described in the Bible yet you refuse to provide any proof for said God's existence, thus what you are saying is not worth listening to...

      December 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Mr. Hankey

      You can always trust me! It's Mr. Toots that you just can't trust...

      December 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • the AnViL

      OpposingView – you either did not read my post... or you did and didn't understand it.

      i understand that logic isn't for everyone – least of all the enemies of reason – but i tried to use simple words in a clear way - in hopes that the slower and lesser among you would be able to comprehend this simple principle.

      try going back and re-reading it until it sinks in, princess.

      don't be so dense.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oppossum says: This is the real world and not your personal fantasy. Here in the real world, you have to provide proof for what you say (whether positive or negative) or what you say is not worth hearing…

      ____

      Do you believe unicorns exist? Why not? Can you prove it? Because I say they do. The burden of proof is on you to show they don't. Have at is, brainless.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • kirk1

      @spock1...good one :-)
      i view God w/ dignity, honor and respect. Rev.4:11

      December 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • The Truth

      Ever had a knock on the door on a Saturday morning to find an atheist wishing to convert you?

      Ever get stopped at a mall or an airport and handed literature by a person telling you to change your way of life because there is no God?

      Have you ever been asked which atheist will marry you and your new fiance?

      Have you ever pulled out your wallet and handed over some money that was emblazoned with the motto "In No God's do we Trust"?

      Are you subjected to several months of atheist themed propaganda, all in the name of good cheer of course, every single year and bombarded by atheist tunes playing in every store, where even the most ardent of the religious find themselves humming "There's no Santa Claus, There's No Santa Claus, There's no Santa Claus Lane..."

      Are you forced to place your right hand on "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins when being sworn into office or to take an oath in our courts?

      Still waiting for an answer... I guess there are no Christians who want to touch this one eh?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Maddy Gascar

      Martin Luther King was a known adulterer>>>that doesn't take away from his achievements, but holding him up as a bastion for Christianity is quite hilarious.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  3. Seyedibar

    My question to modern educated theists (the many who disavow the bible as literal truth but cling to the notion of god) is this: if you were never originally introduced to Christianity in it's fundamental state as a youth, would you still believe in a god? And knowing that the last half century of historical and anthropological study has discredited every single Old Testament claim to God, how can one justify continued belief?
    Even more baffling to me are Christians who accept the New Testament as fact, yet not the Old. Strange considering that the New is based on (obvious misinterpretations of) the Old. Is it just wishfulness or a disdain for cultural history?

    December 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Seyedibar,

      Same God in OT and NT. Perfect Justice, Perfect Grace.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Athy

      Perfect mythology, perfect bullshit.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • sam

      Perfect kneejerk glassy-eyed response from Robert.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • OpposingView

      Seyedibar… The bible is truth and the so-called "historical and anthropological study" you spoke of is of the devil. Such studies are nothing more than one more thing orchestrated by Lucifer to persuade you from the truth and get you to disbelieve in God. And if you believe all that nonsense indicated by the study, you'll end up in hell. Which is precisely where Lucifer wants you…

      The bible is truth. To be saved, you must believe in the truth and don't let nothing persuade you otherwise...

      December 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Seyedibar "My question to modern educated theists (the many who disavow the bible as literal truth but cling to the notion of god)"
      @Chad "I would say be definition you arent a theist if you dont believe the bible is true.
      Taking the bible literally doesnt mean that you cant recognize that there is metaphor there. Taking it literally means that you seek to understand exactly what the author intended to communicate, whether that is metaphor or not.

      ======
      @Seyedibar "If you were never originally introduced to Christianity in it's fundamental state as a youth, would you still believe in a god?"
      @Chad "yes. I was raised in an agnostic home, I became a Christian at 31.

      ========
      @Seyedibar " And knowing that the last half century of historical and anthropological study has discredited every single Old Testament claim to God, how can one justify continued belief?"
      @Chad "? not sure how in the world you came to believe that. Lets look at some of the discoveries in the last 100 years that directly support the bible and it's claims:

      – 1929: Edwin Hubble discovers red shift (the stars and planets are all moving away from each other. The universe is expanding in all directions)
      – 1965: discovery of microwave cosmic background radiation (the echo's of the big bang)
      – 1998, two independent research groups studying distant supernovae were astonished to discover, against all expectations, that the current expansion of the universe is accelerating (Reiss 1998, Perlmutter 1999).
      – 2003: Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe proves our universe had a beginning

      Fine Tuning of the universe

      In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life. Constants such as gravitational constant have been found, the variation of which to even the smallest degree, would have rendered the universe utterly incapable of supporting life.

      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." – Paul Davies

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life" - Stephen Hawking

      ========
      @Seyedibar "Even more baffling to me are Christians who accept the New Testament as fact, yet not the Old"
      @Chad "I cant think of a single Christian that believes the NT is true, but not the OT. Not sure where you got that from.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, why are you such a liar? You know exactly the idea intended by the statement about believing the NT and not the OT. Again, you nit pick over stupid frivolities in an attempt to sidetrack the discussion rather than deal head-on with the actual ideas put forth.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      They aren't the same gods. The bible's mentions of God come from so many different sources. From book to book, the "god" they are referring to changes. The god of Genesis (Elyon) who lived "on high" was Elioun, a Phoenician king from of Byblos around 1800BCE. The god of Moses was Yahweh (Jehovah), Meruserhre Yakubher and Sekkhaenre Yakubher, a family that ruled the region starting in 1675 BCE and liked to have raiding parties. The references to god in late Exodus are a mishmash of several pharaohs such as Proteus and Necho. It is well-dcoumented in greek histories that Necho gave northern lands to Nebuchadnezzar, even using the exact same language as "God" uses. The rest of the kingly names and worship practices come from the Canaanite pantheon which revered even older rulers. Therefore the god the early christians were following was never anything more than extended royalty of Egypt and Phoenicia.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      This is the Achilles' heel of all of Chad's arguments –

      - To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis. -

      This is the death knell for all of his "argument". Why bother feeding his narcissism by debating with him how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

      December 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      I find it highly amusing that Hebrew history is interwoven with all the seafaring Egyptian/Phoenician rulers that became the Greek gods such as Zeus, Herakles, and Uranus, yet Christians and Jews would so quickly disavow them as being mythical. Yet their own gods are beyond reproach.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • sam

      @OpposingView – ooooohhhh!! THE DEVIL OH NOES! LOL

      December 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," – stephen hawking

      December 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "It is not necessary to invoke god to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going," – stephen hawking

      December 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • TLDR

      “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies." It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”
      ― Martin Luther King Jr.,

      December 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Chad seems to be focusing in on scientific evidence rather than historical evidence, so let's go there. With the recent announcement of a harmonious model of abiogenesis from deep sea vents, where does that leave mankind? We have now proven that regardless of whether a god sculpted man out of mud, ocean life did evolve from thermic events. That's not to say that it didn't evolve in other ways in other places also, but seeing as how we share 45% of our DNA with fish and 35% with algae, its hard not to draw a connection between terrestrial and marine life.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @TLDR – is there any impediment to a non-believer loving his or her enemies? Even if Jesus existed (highly debatable) the fact that he may have said "love your enemies" does not mean that he was the first to say that, that he was the source of that philosophy, or that doing so is contingent on believing in Jesus.

      You should love your enemies because it makes sense and will foster peace and understanding among differing people, not because some mythical sky god commands it..

      December 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Martin Luther King was a wise man. And like many wise men, he was at the same time foolish.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • TLDR

      Seyedibar

      Jesus Christ helped Martin Luther King Jr make a stand for civil rights!

      December 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • the AnViL

      mlk gave some swell speeches – but his logic was flawed – e.g.:

      "If a city has a 30% Ne gro population, then it is logical to assume that Ne groes should have at least 30% of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas." –mlk

      and it was more than just talk. working through his "operation breadbasket", he threatened boycotts of businesses that did not hire blacks in proportion to their population.

      so much for equality.

      what can one expect from a dishonest plagiarist?

      cha cha cha

      December 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @Seyedibar "With the recent announcement of a harmonious model of abiogenesis from deep sea vents, where does that leave mankind? We have now proven that regardless of whether a god sculpted man out of mud, ocean life did evolve from thermic events."
      @Chad "that life exists in deep sea hydrothermal vents doesnt mean that life originated there, all efforts in that area have proved fruitless:

      RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and assembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created - Brig Klyce

      December 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      @TDLR
      Highly unlikely considering that Christ didn't exist, and even if he were based on a singular person, he'd have died over 1900 years previously. Martin Luther King used religion to rally his people to liberty, one of the best uses of religion I've ever heard of. I'll concede applause for him, but that doesn't mean he spoke truth. It just meant that he was good at speaking anything.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, what research have you done that has led you to conclude that your god is the only god?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • TLDR

      " 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."

      > Seyedibar: Too bad you weren't there to tell him he was wrong!

      > the AnViL: Thanks for taking a stand against this man.

      > Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear: Thanks for your info. I already knew that, I'm glad you do, too.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      @Chad, you're working off old info. Check out the paper that was released two weeks ago by Bill Martin and Nicki Lane. It has garnered an immediate thumbs up and zero criticism from the biology world for explaining the energy needed to sustain nucleotides. And we've already seen terrestrial thermic vents produce new forms of cyano bacteria before our eyes. This was one mystery solved.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      MLK was many things. He was a social hero. He was also from time to time a liar.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Really

      You gave the Chad an opening to start posting his apologist BS, the cut and paste crap will come pouring in.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • the AnViL

      tldr

      i wasn't taking a stand against mlk – i merely pointed out some inconvenient truths.

      why do you have such a hard time dealing with truth???

      what's up with that???

      why do you see negativity in honesty???

      why is the truth so unpalatable to you??

      sheesh

      December 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Seyedibar,
      You ever listen to one of mlk’s speeches? He wasn’t just a good speaker, he was a preacher filled with the holy spirit.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      I have all his recorded speeches on vinyl. I also have Vincent Price reading Edgar Allen Poe, but I'm not inclined to believe everything he says either.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • TLDR

      I just posted a quote. I think Martin Luther King, Jr is an example of a great person who believed in God. He was not perfect. But he did amazing things.

      And then people posted about 'how jesus didn't invent the love your enemy thing' (duh, really?) and how MLK, Jr was foolish and a dishonest plagiarist.

      Wow, what a crabby group.

      How is that working for you?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      No need to get offended. He was all those things, as a fact. He was a thief, an adulterer, a worshiper, but I don't see that as diminishing his good deeds. When the people need a hero, they find a hero.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • the AnViL

      tldr – i have generously given you an example of how mlk was rather deficient in his understanding of logic and equality... and of course you have evidence of his delusional thinking – by his statement that he heard jebus talk to him

      why is this such a terrible thing to you???

      none of this means he didn't do anything useful – he just didn't have himself as "together" as you and many others have been lead to believe.

      heck – isaac newton invented the calculus and wrote the first useful text on optics.. but even HE was delusional – as he believed in an imaginary man in the sky – and worked hard at alchemy.

      just simmer down, cupcake... stop interpreting the truth as a lashing from some intolerant whip of hate.

      sheesh

      December 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Really

      TTPS
      Chad Nov 12/2012 12:54PM page 52 Jesus Jokes
      "I am not intrested in, nor do I think it is an effort that should be epxended to defend anything other than the Judeo-Christian belief system."
      None, no effort to prove anything other than his god is the only real one.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • TLDR

      I'm not offended. I'm kind of shocked, mot people are pretty vial and mean-spirited on here. So far so good here.

      What if I would of posted after the anvil's stephen hawking:

      You know he is an adulterer? (He is)

      Besides me feeling kind of petty and small, what would it have accomplished? I publicly declare I'm an a.ss h.le? Great!

      December 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus. "VIAL"?

      Boob.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, that the Chard can't or won't cite anything to back up his belief that his god's the only "TWOOO" God (think "Princess Bride").

      Can't you just picture him as the officiant at the wedding? What a dweeb.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • the AnViL

      tldr – i could not care less about hawking – my posts with his quotes were to prove to chadtard that hawking didn't believe in the idiotic abrahamic god.

      it's funny when people as sert that hawking posits "god did it" – and it's even funnier when people posit albert einstien was a theist.

      nothing could be further from the truth... and it's comical to watch that supposed stance erode under the feet of the enemies of reason.

      it's a free service i provide.. and i'm glad to do it.

      snap!

      December 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • TLDR

      > the AnViL

      Ok. I try to show respect to others.

      I let people who have different viewpoints from me.

      I don't try to demean them by calling them "delusional".

      You may think it is fine. It was accurate.

      People used to call people like MLK, Jr the "N-word."

      They thought it was fine. It was accurate.

      Both are disrespectful.

      I guess, one thing my recent Christian teachings have taught me is to show respect to others.

      Even those who don't give it to me.

      I can dismiss your unbelief in God as 'delusional'. THAT WOULD BE EASY FOR ME.

      It is harder to see and respect your point of view.

      LIVE AND LET LIVE.

      Praise God.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TDLR wears granny panties.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son's Mom

      They are actually my panties.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Really

      Another Chadism....Atheists start with the belief that God does not exist, which is fallacious. So says Chad.
      I wonder how many of us that now do not believe were taught christianity at an early age but were able to shake it off when we could think and reason on our own? I would bet the majority of atheist were taught all the jesus nonsense.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • the AnViL

      tldr – yeah – that whole respect thing looks great- but the reality of the situation is – monotheists don't really have respect for those who don't believe the way they do....

      that's why they seek to secularize their retarded theistic beliefs – and work overtime to nullify equality.

      the derision is well earned – and the ire is appropriate.

      now while YOU may not work overtime to force your morals onto others... that does not mean it doesn't happen.

      tolerance of religious idiocy is a cancer – and as soon as you and your ilk crawl back into your holes under fear of reprisal... we'll ease up

      as for pieces like this on cnn – which only help to reinforce delusional thinking... it's important that people stand up and hammer home that NO – mental illness and delusional thinking is NOT some divine right... and it's retarding all of humanity.

      snap!

      December 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll go first. I don't necessarily consider myself an atheist, but I surely don't believe as my parents did. I was raised in a home in which we all wen to Sunday School and church every week; Bible School in the summer; prayer in school when I first went to elementary school. My mother was a Christian of the sort I admire unreservedly; non-judgmental, giving, selfless, and quietly faithful.

      I don't find belief possible any longer. It simply doesn't make any logical sense to me.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Really,

      “shake it off” means the seed didn’t fall on good ground, read the parable of the sower. The good ground is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. When the seed falls on good ground, it can produce fruit.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • TLDR

      > the AnViL

      Good luck on your fight.

      My beliefs in God are always strengthed when I read and post in here. My beliefs in humanity without God... not so much.

      Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh? And you have any proof for that nonsense, Robert? Do tell. Don't bother citing it if it's from the Bible. If you have anything FACTUAL, feel free to post it. Otherwise, you can shove it up your rectum. There's nothing wrong with the ground, you moron. There is plenty wrong with the seed when it's not even close to being believable.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      the AnViL,

      That is why they put the right to the free exercise thereof, in there, so you have to tolerate what you call religious idiocy.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Really –

      Nearly ten years of wasted Sundays in my past. While my parents felt it was their "duty" to see I was exposed to their religion (interestingly they did not attend services), they were also wise enough to allow me to decide whether or not to attend once I was confirmed – and I never went back. At the time the decision wasn't based on belief or lack thereof (that came during university), but simply that there were so many better ways to spend a Sunday morning.

      BTW – are you the "Really" who stole my handle months ago and forced me to resort to using "Really-O?"? Oh well, no harm.

      Happy New Year

      December 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what, Robert? Tolerating your right to worship as you wish does not entail tolerating YOU or your attempts to force others to live by your beliefs, as you're doing in the case of Hobby Lobby.

      I don't give a ripe fvck what you believe as long as you leave me, my body, my schools, my government and my rights alone. Why can't you do that?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • the AnViL

      robert – i have no problem with people believing in imaginary men in the sky... the only problem we run into – is when you and your ilk work overtime to secularize your idiocy or nullify equal rights.

      the bill of rights guarantees you the right to freely worship as you see fit...

      it also prohibits our government from enacting laws respecting your delusional trash.

      that doesn't mean the delusional religious people don't try to secularize their retarded theistic ideals.

      good thing there are people like me standing in the way.

      for everyone else – i would ask that you support the freedom from religion foundation. if you can't get active – at least donate.

      ffrf.org

      ɐɥɔ ɐɥɔ ɐɥɔ

      December 31, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Really

      Really O
      Started using this handle about a week or two ago when responding to Chad, I notice another Really??, popular name I guess. Happy New Years To ALL, football game is about to start. bye for now.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • mama k

      I would just like to attach AnViL's "snap!" to Tom's last post. lol.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh so just when we need help on here, someone's always got to run and watch football. I just despise the fascination with all this head-butting. And, wait, my daughter is telling me the Redskins have won seven straight games??? OK, look I'll get back to you in February on how I feel about football....

      December 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks, mama k. I truly have no quarrel with believers. What I cannot stand are the friggin' nuts here who INSIST they and they alone know the truth, have all the answers, and arrogantly proclaim themselves the "moral and right" and are so certain that anyone who doesn't agree is damned to hell. I'm sick to death of such zealots and their asinine behavior.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      There again, we have a representative government. I vote for people who I hope will represent my ideas and I am sure you do the same. So, if my ideas don’t match yours concerning my body, my schools, my government, and my rights, you won’t leave me alone either.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      the AnViL,
      see what I mean

      December 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, I think we're on the same page, Tom.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • mama k

      Robert – are you speaking about your private schools or about public schools?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bull fvcking sh!t, Robert. Have you EVER been forced to undergo surgery against your will? Have you ever been prevented from worshipping your god? Go ahead. Answer.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • the AnViL

      robert – yes – i see what you mean... that doesn't mean you're correct.

      no one has to tolerate religious idiocy.. and fewer are.

      when religious zealots stop attempting to secularize their ideologies and nullifying equality... none of this will be an issue.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Exactly what, Robert, have you EVER been forced to do or prevented from doing where your religion is concerned? I can't wait to hear this.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • mama k

      And even regarding public schools, I would agree you have your vote, Robert which counts just as much as mine. But obviously the laws are subject to interpretation of our judicial branch to make sure they conform to Const itutional rights granted to everyone. It's such an easy thing for a right to become an infringement, so we need that judicial, interpretive stage for our laws, don't you agree?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,
      public

      December 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
      No, I haven’t ever been forced to have surgery or been prevented from worshiping. I don’t know anyone who has, do you?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • mama k

      (And by the way, I was just kidding Really O about leaving. Giving him the business, as Wally from Leave it to Beaver would say.)

      December 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      I wasn’t saying I have been prevented from doing anything. All I am saying is we have different ideas. We both get to vote for candidates who we hope will vote in accordance with the ideas we have. That is it, I don’t want to take away any of your rights and I don’t want to lose any of mine.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stupid ass, do you not get that the principle you want to enforce is the same? You'd like to prevent women from having the bodily integrity you enjoy. You would love it if Hobby Lobby could deny women the same health care coverage others get because of your anti-choice views.

      Get it?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      Yeah I agree, but even the courts are politically populated, so we effect them too.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You dishonest creep, Robert. You are the one who claimed you were having beliefs forced on you. What are they? Since when? What have you or your family EVER have been forced to do or prevented from doing as concerns your religious beliefs? Because that's what you claimed was occurring.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You stated that I won't leave you alone, either. Be specific. What have you been forced to do or prevented from doing as concerns religious belief as a result of the law? What have schools been forced to do or prevented from doing that has impacted your right to worship your God?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Is that what is making you so angry, prolife versus prochoice? I don’t think most reasonable people would say that they are proabortion, at least I am not. I think abortion as a birth control method is awful. Is it better than a child without a loving mother and father? Could be? I am glad questions like that are above my pay grade. I see plenty of kids who were brought into this world on purpose and their parents pay more attention to their dog than their kids.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Robert, it isn't just the issue of reproductive rights, and you know it. Now answer the question. You claimed that atheists and agnostics won't "leave you alone." Cough it up. What have they or a secular government forced you to do or prevented you from doing concerning your beliefs?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • mama k

      Robert: "Yeah I agree, but even the courts are politically populated, so we effect them too."

      Yes, of course, that's always a challenge. Oddly I often fine I'm in disagreement with the side of the court that one would think goes with my political persuasion – go figure. (i.e. Imminent domain)

      But at least in our system of government, I don't see any other way to fairly legislate among different rights that people would want unless they are weighed against a certain standard set as in the Const itution. And I think that's the only thing that keeps us from stepping on each others' toes.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It certainly looks to me as though you're trying to side-step the statement you made, Robert. Believers and zealots are make those sorts of statements continually. Back them up. What have atheists, agnostics or a secular government done to "not leave you alone"?

      December 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
      I already said I haven’t been forced or prevented, it is in the post above.
      “Robert Brown
      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, No, I haven’t ever been forced to have surgery or been prevented from worshiping. I don’t know anyone who has, do you?”

      See

      I understand what you are saying, in that some people want to interfere with the rights of others. I hope you can also understand that these issues are difficult for everyone involved because they turn in to a, “for or against” thing. For example, believers, based on the examples in the bible, see God blessing or judging nations based on their behaviour as a nation. Then there is an issue which in effect says you have to vote yes or no to allow sin. The believers vote no on sin, simple as that. They don’t see it as they are interfering with someones rights, they see it as they are preserving our nation.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      No, I don’t see any other way either. Although, ending lifetime appointments on judges and enacting term limits on all elected officials might help some.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I just heard voices from God: "It is a waste of money buying Tanya Marie Luhrmann's book, send the money to my favorite TV preacher instead". BTW: I was watching the Jimmy Swaggart Ministry show and the volume is on very loud

    December 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  5. lunchbreaker

    Of course, one variable that cannot be measured is the ratio of who actually hears God vs. those that simply claim too.

    December 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • snowboarder

      the zero in either the numerator or denominator of that ratio makes it meaningliess.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      That would be 0 to n

      December 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • JonathanL

      By the way I don't know anyone who god listens to.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      yep Similarly, christians have no way to tell who is a "true christian" and who might not be.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Very nice snowboarder.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • mama k

      You nailed that, Moby. lol.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  6. snowboarder

    it is no coincidence that the gods of the major religions are unverifiable remnants of more archaic and supersti tious times.

    i still don't know how you can manage a new contemporary religion, such as mormonism, in anything other than a third world country.

    December 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bonnie

      I am surprised about the level of fictiousness and vitreol that I am seeing in these responses. There is no need to be so hateful. I also think that based on the length of some of these comments, some people have way too much time on their hands.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Bonnie, people saying things that shock you and that you don't agree with don't make them "hateful."

      December 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Nick Swardson

      I hate haters.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • the AnViL

      i am surprised at bonnie and her wicked spelling errors – as well as her lack of critical thinking skills.

      her obvious anger and hate is being projected onto those sharing the truth of reality with her.

      zing!

      December 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • TLDR

      > Bonnie

      God bless you.

      Welcome to the internet hell. Haha.

      A lot of people here are APPALLED by belief in God, but tolerate horrible behavior that I stand against.

      Don't stay too long, some people spend A LOT of time here.

      Peace!

      December 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why are you here, TDLR? You obviously think the rest of us are beneath you because we don't simply roll over and wag our tails when you claim to have met god. Why not go to a site where only true believers post? Scram, and take Bonnie-who-can't-spell with you.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "APPALLED by belief in God, but tolerate horrible behavior that I stand against."

      OOOH, aren't YOU just the brave little toaster?! You superhero, you!

      December 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • TLDR

      That was to Bonnie, not you.

      But thanks for helping me out! :)

      Tom's actions speak louder than my words.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Notice that any time facts challenge a christian's notion of god, it is seen as a "fictious" attack! LOL

      December 31, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here's a little notice to you, TDLR: This isn't a private chat. Anyone can respond to any post. Try to get with the program.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No kidding, Seyed. Poor little TDLR is SUCH a "private person" that he babbles all over a board about his "personal" meeting with god, which he can't tell anyone about 'cuz it's too "private" and then proceeds to burble about how "appalled" others are because of his belief. What a doofus.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • TLDR

      > Here's a little notice to you, TDLR: This isn't a private chat. Anyone can respond to any post. Try to get with the program.

      I don't care if you post here. You can post here all day long if you want (it looks like you actually do, yikes!).

      God's will, not mine, be done. :)

      December 31, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • sam

      Bonnie, TLDR: you guys flip a coin to figure out who can kiss my ass first.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, the last retort of a loser: "You must be here all day."

      Don't even bother if that's the height of your verbal ability, you moronic twit.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • TLDR

      It is funny because it is true.

      And it is a little sad. :(

      December 31, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Unless you've been here "all day," you idiot, you don't know that it is true; and in fact, it is not.

      Just because it takes you an hour to read a post doesn't mean the same is true of others.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Really

      Chad Nov 12/2012 12:54PM page 52 Jesus Jokes
      "I am not intrested in, nor do I think it is an effot that should be expended to defend anything other than the Judeo-Christian belief system."
      And yet he requires, no demands, his crirics must investigate that the god of Isreal is real, before they come to the conclusion that they must reject the BS, double standard and/or hypocrisy, I have read the bible, a man made work of fiction and the attempted brainwashing as a child wore off over time. I choose not to expend any more effort to know crap when I see it.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • LinCA

      @TLDR

      You said, "A lot of people here are APPALLED by belief in God"
      Not appalled, flabbergasted.

      Don't you have the same if you meet an adult who still believes in the Tooth Fairy but appears otherwise sane?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • TLDR

      Ok, it is just sad. :(

      December 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Lin: doesn't that crack you up? We're all "APPALLED" by the fact that people believe in God.

      I swear, I get more laughs from the posts like this than I do watching Comedy Central.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • TLDR

      > LinCA

      > Don't you have the same if you meet an adult who still believes in the Tooth Fairy but appears otherwise sane?

      Would you refuse medical treatment from a highly acclaimed doctor if he was a Christian?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @TDLR: Would you refuse treatment from one who was just as acclaimed but atheist? Hindu? Buddhist?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • TLDR

      Heck no. If it is between an atheist who graduated with honors with good bedside manners versus a Christian who barely graduated and has thousands of malpractice suits:

      I'll choose the atheist doctor.

      My barber is agnostic. But he cuts good hair.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That wasn't the question, but it figures a dishonest sh!t like you wouldn't be able to answer it honestly. Thanks for continuing to reinforce my opinion of fundies.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • LinCA

      @TLDR

      You said, "Would you refuse medical treatment from a highly acclaimed doctor if he was a Christian?"
      No. Why would I? There seem to be quite a few people that seem to be able to compartmentalize their beliefs from their work. It's those that are not that you'd have to watch out for.

      But that doesn't mean that it doesn't boggle the mind when someone who is obviously highly capable and analytical, is able to suppress that ability when it comes to their childhood indoctrinations. The cognitive dissonance must be staggering.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • TLDR

      You kind of asked a silly and demeaning question...

      ...so I just asked a silly question, too.

      (Implying to a religious person that belief in their God is as silly as kids believing in the Tooth Fairy is demeaning. I respect your opinions and viewpoints and I try to understand, not belittle them.)

      December 31, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Philip

      Actuasll I post under many different names, so I'm being a dishonest sh!t by pointing out others are on here all day long because I in fact actually AM, but I change my name so often that it doesn't look like I am. That's when I'm not stealing someone's wifi access because I can.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • LinCA

      @TLDR

      You said, "Implying to a religious person that belief in their God is as silly as kids believing in the Tooth Fairy is demeaning."
      Correction. I was implying that believing in gods is as silly as an adult believing in the Tooth Fairy. It is far worse than a kid's belief.

      There is equal evidence for the existence of the Tooth Fairy as there is for any god. That makes them about equally likely to exist. If you have evidence to the contrary, please share.

      The only difference between a belief in the Tooth Fairy and a belief in gods, is that parents typically allow, even encourage, their children to give up their belief in one, but not the other. This usually happens when the child runs out of baby teeth to trade.

      But just because children aren't allowed to shed their beliefs in gods as well, doesn't mean those beliefs are any more valid. Most religions insist on parents starting the indoctrination early and expect it to continue throughout their childhood. By the time the child reaches adulthood, the belief is firmly entrenched.

      You said, "I respect your opinions and viewpoints and I try to understand, not belittle them."
      I respect your right to hold the beliefs you hold. But until there is a reason to consider the possibility that they are based on anything substantial, I can muster very little respect for the beliefs themselves.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TDLR, when you are prepared to stop being a lying sack, let me know.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Mary

      When I broke my leg I refused to have the Indian doctor set it because of my beliefs. I also refused pain medicaton. Now I waslk with a cane and hurt all the time. Praise Jesus!

      December 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • TLDR

      We have different viewpoints on this.

      Oh, well. Mine serve me well.

      I'm glad yours do for you, as well.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Translation of TDLoser's post: I got nothing.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  7. There was a time when religion ruled the world

    and all of Europe was Christian, ruled by Christian leaders who were approved by the Christian church. We call this time the dark ages

    December 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • OpposingView

      To "There was a time when religion ruled the world"… The Dark Ages came about not because religion ruled the world (religion had already existed for thousands of years), but because after the departure of the apostles (around 100 AD), a rise in false religions and false churches (led by the Roman Catholic Church) suddenly begin mass persecutions of all those who were followers of Jesus Christ. All believers and followers of Jesus Christ were being hunted down and killed. Do a search for the term "forced baptisms"….

      December 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • sam

      Opposing: was it....THE DEVIL??

      December 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  8. dantresomi

    In the author's words: "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....

    'nuff said

    December 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  9. Bob

    There are no valid reasons to think that god or gods exist. It makes no sense to even argue about it in these modern times. There is no god for the same reason there are no monsters under your bed. End of discussion. Grow up people.

    December 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Really??

      OK bob
      I agree with you on the god thing, but let me ask you a more open question.

      There is some energy that seperates us from the chemicals and electical impulses that make us up, and the sentient beings that we are. My sister thinks that we are the universe trying to figure itself out. I think that the Star Wars thing with the metichloriens to be more correct( but only as a starting point), that it is some form of energy that we haven't defined, that is non-sentient, but we are a focal point for that enery. When we die, that energy dissipates into the pool of ambient energy, like most other energies do when they don't have a focal point.

      What do you think?

      December 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • snowboarder

      really – it is likely that our sentience is mearly a factor of evolved intelligence. just a few steps ahead of the other animals.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @Bob, what investigation have you done into the God of Israel that has led you to reject it?

      December 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What investigation have you done, Chard, that proves the God of Israel exists?

      December 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Really

      Bob
      This is the same stupid question Chad put forward on page 59 and when the going got tough the Chad got going, took off. He Chad is the worst kind of dishonest christian apologist troll. Dishonest and devious are about the best he can do.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Come on, Chard. Make your case. Or just fold and run away as usual.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Really??

      Well I tried to pose a philisophical question to help pass time to the end of my day, but that idiot chad jumped in. Ah well. Try again another day. Happy Arbitrary day chosen to represent the "beginning" of a new year.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • the AnViL

      yeah – chadtard works hard to attempt to shift the onus of evidence....

      it's like he stays up late working out what he believes are clever methods of achieving this.

      funny stuff!

      December 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Chad

      all this bluster and bluff.. but no answer to the question?

      what investigation have you done into the God of Israel that has led you to reject it?

      December 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, why should anyone answer your question? If they do, you'll just find a way to dismiss it without giving it any honest consideration whatsoever. You ask the other kids to lend you their toys, and then you take them and sh!t all over them and then smash them on the ground..........and then you have the gall to ask for more toys?

      You have nothing, Chad, and you know it. If you did have something, you'd go around presenting what could be verified and you'd be getting converts left and right. You have nothing, so it comes down to you whining that our reasons for disbelief aren't justified. It's a moot point if you've got nothing to legitimize your belief.

      This is all you've got, and the only tactic you can possibly utilize. How impressive.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Really – very interesting hypothesis. I don;t believe in any gods – certainly not the personal Abrahamic god. i've thought along those lines – some type of something? Energy? Force? that attaches itself, or manifests itself, when brain structure reaches a certain level of complexity, remains with that being during their life, then reverts back to the energy/force "soup" if you will, upon death of the brain.

      Who knows? That, to me, is far, far more plausible than gods.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      This is the Achilles' heel of Chad's arguments –

      - To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis. -

      This is the death knell for all of his "argument". Why bother feeding his narcissism by debating with him how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

      December 31, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Roger that

      'what investigation have you done into the God of Israel that has led you to reject it?'

      I've read the Bible.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • sam

      Chad, it never matters what answer anyone gives. You don't care. You just want to blather something meaningless like you have any kind of handle on any damn subject, especially religion.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Maddy Gascar

      Having read many of Chad's posts, he asks that question then runs when someone asks this question: Present evidence that the God of Israel exists, using something besides your Bible to support your claim.
      That God of Israel was one mean ent ity.
      He can't or won't present the evidence; he cannot. Chad is the worst kind of faux Christian: the dishonest, disingenuous sort.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Maddy Gascar –

      Oh, crap! Now you've opened the door for Chad to regurgitate his hackneyed "Origin of the universe...empty tomb" tripe. We all know none of it is sound evidence for the existence of Chad's personal flavor of deity, but seriously, does anyone really want him to post it again?

      December 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Chad:
      all this bluster and bluff.. but no answer to the question?

      what investigation have you done into the God of Israel that has led you to believe in it?

      December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  10. snowboarder

    people have long been brainwashed by the religious community to let their imagination give them the "feeling" of religious connection.

    December 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  11. Reality

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS (and god-talkers) CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Some added references to "tink-erbells".

    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

    "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

    And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

    "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

    "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

    "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

    For added information see the review at:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
    "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

    For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

    December 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      The wings depicted draping the backs of ancient Sumerian carvings are thought to be a ceremonial feathered cloak, as they revered eagles during sun ceremonies, as did the Egyptians, whose rulers comprise half the references to gods in the Old Testament.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      It's also been noted that Polynesian armies of the time wore a quill-like armor cloak that resembles the angels wings in the asiatic style carvings.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  12. Ilias

    God does not belong to any religion nor did he develope any of them. The Creator is experienced thru spiritual love and this only comes by his grace. It is not daydreaming, it is more real than this world of matter. The sign posts we see within on our way home are the same for all of us as we are all drops in the ocean of God. Our experiences should remain secret so as not to make people envious or judge us to be egotists. We are all his Sons or children but there are some souls who are here in the body and are with him at the same time, these are the souls we should seek out for spiritual guidance – with extreme caution.

    December 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • JonathanL

      God who? What creator? what is not daydreaming? Imagination more real than matter? Only if the imagination is out of control. Who are these envious people who will judge you and your kind? Are there many of you? What? Is it just you and some imaginary brothers? And you know about souls who are in the body and not in the body who offer guidance even if we don't need guidance? And why seek them with caution? YOu mean we have to be wary of the imaginary? Come on! I am busy enough learning about real things for which there is evidence. Start with existence.... reality. Ask "what is?" In our temporary and limited experience of existence we maybe should get to know ourselves, learn to see things as they are, existence as it is, not try to prove wild ideas, or convince ouselves of things for which there is no evidence.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Ilias

      There will be no proof, evidence or guidence to an atheist. Stick to your reality, it is all as it should be.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Evidence is meaningless if it does not show up in the same manner for the disbeliever as for the believer.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Ilias

      If you do not believe in something you will not seek it out. It is not the fault of the supreme being that we do not see the evidence, this quest is not supposed to be easy. It is easy to obey the dictates of the mind.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • sam

      Ilias, if you believe in something, you'll find signs of it anywhere. The human brain loves pattern recognition. It means nothing; if you go looking for it, you'll always find it, and using that as proof is silly.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      My problem with god is that his principles aren't as discoverable as math or chemistry or any other actual process. What a dovchebag.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Mother

      Illias,

      Yes, use caution about what you pretend...
      (you know, your face will get stuck that way forever!)

      December 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Ilias

      Well Sam, if you see signs of him everywhere then you are surely tuned in to the omnipresent creator. Your actions determine what you see as a individual soul.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  13. Zippy

    I actually did hear voices in my head. They were caused by a thankfully small tumor, which was removed. I have had peace ever since. If the voices were god, god was trying to slowly kill me. Fortunatly there is no room for imaginary friends in my life anymore.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • God, the Devil's Advocate

      Zippy, you went against my will in removing that tumor. Your heart was so hardened against me that you could not hear my "still, small voice" so I had to get a megaphone in the form of a tumor and put it in your brain. It was my will for you to hear me, go off half co cked with an AK-47 in a factory in Kansas, and kill a bunch of people who weren't praying to me over their intercom every morning, noon, and night.

      Too late, now, though. Fry in hell. I'm that sort of guy.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Zippy

      God
      You could have made the voices more intelligible. For the most part they babbled incoherently. It was driving me crazy. Now acknowledging your existance, well that's really crazy.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • God, the Devil's Advocate

      I work in mysterious ways. In time, the voices would have gotten more crazy and less intelligible, and then, then, you would have taken that AK-47 to that factory!! Mwah ha ha!!!

      December 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  14. AverageJoe76

    So........... God allows some people to hear him talk, and not others. Doesn't make sense. Then again, I'm not God. Then again...... I'm not asking people to worship me. And base their eternal souls on the 'hope' they're tuning in to the right God frequency. Sure would be nice if God would speak to everyone. Then we'd all be on the same page. World could've worked a lot smoother. Seems like such a simple thing for a 'God' to do. More simple than creating reality in 7 days. But instead, we're left here to bicker about whether it exsists, and/or what it wants. A simple communication would go a LONG way. But does God do it? Nope.

    So.... here we are. Arguing about something that gives us no clue to its exsistence. The only clue we've EVER had that God exsists, has been via man's words and text. Nothing else.

    In the future, man will oneday admit; The 'God' concept has been man's imagination filling in the gaps of our understanding of the universe around us.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • ttwp

      One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord....to the glory of the Father.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      ttwp. You have proof independent of your interpretation of the bible?

      December 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ ttwp – unless of course, Amma is the real god. Or Bumba. Or Ra. Or one of the other 10,000 other gods we've invented. Then you are as fucoed as the billions of humans you damn to hell with your ignorance.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Go to hell card

      Ttwp “One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord....to the glory of the Father.”
      Favorite retort of a Christian that’s run out of arguments

      December 31, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  15. Atheist

    I'm sorry but if you hear any kind of voices in your head other than your own conscious then you are crazy. There is no God and if there was he would know exactly what to say and how to say it to all man kind to truly prove he/she/they are real. Have you ever thought about the word belief and what it means. Why? Why do we have to believe in something without proof. Why believe in any of it? Just because isn't an answer. God sent himself (Jesus) to die for sins that he created in the first place so he can go back to heaven. yea that isn't crazy.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Atheist,

      I have given you and all your kind well thought out reasoning regarding;

      1. The Inner Cosmology of the Atomized Realms.

      2. The Outer Cosmology of the Celestial Realms.

      3. The Cellular Cosmology of the Living Realms.

      And still people cannot assimilate such wordage!

      December 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • God says

      And I have given you a brain that was relatyively disease-free until you started making up your own religion, lionlylamb. This isn't what I am about.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  16. lionlylamb

    hal 9001,

    Inside a Universally-Formed Multiple Cosmos of the Living Triune Cosmological Manifestation of the God-Being

    We all live amid two chasms of cosmological orders. We have the inner-cosmos and the outer-cosmos. The inner-cosmos is atomically made and is the universal construct of the outer-cosmos. One could not have an outer cosmos without there being an inner cosmos. Both are synonymously of the same natures. It stands to reason the inner-cosmos was made first and the outer-cosmos came into being only after the passive finalization of the inner-cosmos was made near complete. The inner-cosmos is transcendent and fixed while the outer-cosmos is ascendant and malleable in their dualities nurturing natures.

    The third cosmos is of megalithic life itself made from the inner-cosmos living upon the terrestrial planetary faces of the celestial outer-cosmos. This third cosmos is the celled cosmos or the cellular cosmologic orders duly ordained of and by and even for all megaliths of monolithic life forms to be made anywhere cellular life can grab a foothold to evolve and gain in the abundant natures toward the inner intellectual evolution of its structures ever evolving in intellectualized base pairings. Without the two main Cosmos coming into existence; all living cellular cosmologies in the celestial confines could not ever exist.

    The trinity or threefold nature of chasm cosmologies is being one of the greatest and grandest gestures ever to have been formulated! To say God had nothing to do with such a feat of cosmologic inter-dependencies seems to me, an infallible congruency inconsistent for one to say or think otherwise. To say the nature of God is to keep inflating the physical elements of the outer cosmos while deflating the essence needs for the inner-cosmos leaves one to wonder about the third cosmological construct’s real nature for having been created. Why then are there cellular cosmos of living cosmologies and when did such intra-celled cosmologic life become established?

    The history of multifaceted cosmological expansionism within celestial symmetries comes from the terrestrial complacencies of planetary regularities and solarized star-born objectivism wherever the abundance of inner cosmologies coalesces to form stars, planets and moons among many other fragmented structures within the spatial confines of a universe-formed Cosmos.

    Life, upon the celestial shorelines of the terrestrially compliant are as a megalithic monoliths of biologic ‘cellular’ cosmological constants, and were ever formed and are continually forming seemingly unto forever as well placed living megalithic conglomerations in naturalisms arcades of wondrous cavalcades marching in steps of melancholy tributes to God upon the most high cosmos of universally formidable formations on the highest of unimaginable grounds!

    December 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      OMG – I need three more buckets, fast! He's throwing up word salad so fast – the walls are even taking a splattering.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  17. raforrester

    I do believe in God, but I cannot define what God is, and a lot of unnecessary conflict results from trying to do that. But I was an agnostic for years. I was not an atheist because I could not prove that God does not exist, but I figured that if God existed then He/She/It did not want us to know that for sure. So I understand the point of view of a lot of atheists, and when I can get into a reasonable discussion with one I use their views to help check the misconceptions of my own views. Reasonable discussions are not typically found in comment sections.

    I use the scientific method to validate my belief in God, but most atheists have an erroneous conception of what the scientific method does. It does not just a body of scientific knowledge that proves God does not exist. It is a method for finding out the truth, no matter where that leads. Traditionally it has not been used to prove the existence of God, because back when the Catholic Church was all-powerful it would have had a lot to say about anyone who tried. But now, even though the Church is too weak to execute anyone who tries to investigate the spiritual realm, the tradition has become an unverified assumption that there is no God.

    There is no reason that science cannot prove that strange things happen, things that violate our assumptions about the nature of the universe. After all, it proved relativity and quantum physics. There is no reason to believe that what we regard as the physical universe is all there is, and plenty of very strange things to show that there is much more to it. Our physical universe may be embedded in a reality of many more dimensions. Or it could be a simulation in which sometimes strange things are permitted to happen just to make us wonder. Or it could be like the Matrix, or it could be a little womb in which we are created and raised and grow up in a place where we can't do any harm to the real universe.

    All I really know is that very strange things happen, and that reality is not what it looks like. I have had that proved to me over and over. But I still value atheists who are reasonable to help check my facts. Most of the ones I've talked with have had similar experiences of their own, but just dismiss them as. "just one of those things." I have never been content with that kind of non-explanation, and I can't understand why atheists can be content with that.

    I'd be interested in a serious discussion here, but I don't expect to have one. I'm not going to reply to insults. Not worth my time.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the word atheist.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Seth

      Scientific

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Re-Horakhty

      1) Nothing you wrote proves the need for a god
      2) I see no sci meth steps
      3) Once you have decided there is, or is not a god(s) then you are no longer objectively seeking truth, but only to validate what you choose to believe.

      Perhaps you should try apatheism......

      December 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Ben

      You don't have to prove that God doesn't exist in order not to believe that he exists, just like you don't have to prove that vampires don't exist in order not to be afraid of ever being bitten by one. Christians don't believe in any of the other gods, and they never were able to prove that they don't exist.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • raforrester

      @Ben "You don't have to prove that God doesn't exist in order not to believe that he exists, just like you don't have to prove that vampires don't exist in order not to be afraid of ever being bitten by one. Christians don't believe in any of the other gods, and they never were able to prove that they don't exist."

      Agreed. All I said was that I did not consider myself an atheist because I could not prove He/She/It did not exist. I thought it was unscientific to believe something with no evidence one way or the other. Later I found evidence that persuaded me, but I still don't know what the nature of God is, only that something intervenes in my life in powerful ways that are consistent with God. If it turns out to be telepathic aliens from the future, I'd be OK with that, but it seems less likely considering the things that have happened.

      BTW I'm not Christian, and I'm not interested in proving that any gods are not the same as the Christian God. That's a hopeless position while we don't know what the nature of God is to begin with.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • God, the Devil's Advocate

      @raforrester

      You're already an atheist if you don't believe in god whether or not anybody can or has proved anything. You don't believe? You're an atheist.

      What is "atypical?" Answer: Not typical
      What is "atheist?" Answer: Not theist

      Are you a theist (god believer)? No? You're an atheist.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • JonathanL

      In using the scientific method we try to develop and prove theories based on observation and experiment. If you are setting out to prove God exists, which would be a theory, you should start by building a body of evidence, and then put it to the test. So far there is no evidence for a Judeo-Christo-Islam type God except in the minds of people (in the imagination). And we all know people are very easy to convince when it comes to something they want to believe, so many are content with the written and spoken hearsay, retold stories, myths etc.. and hence a lot of believers. If you want to prove god does not exist, I am not sure why you would (want). There are literally a gazillion other things you could also try to prove not to exist for which there is also no evidence in the first case. That would be like wasting time trying to track me down to prove beyond a doubt that I am not the Cheshire cat from Alice and Wonderland. Why bother? Do I need to prove that 'the' or in case you never heard of her, 'a' 22 foot tall female god who created the earth before Jehova did, and didn't get credit, but is living in style on the dark side of the moon in an underground bunker, and running low on raisens? It would take an enormous amount of money to prove that is not so. But since there is no evidence to support that theory, then why bother. What is the paradigm built upon? Nothing. Same with God. The only thing I agree with, is that there is a lot we don't know, and there are many strange things the universe offers up to observation which we haven't figured out. That doesn't make me wonder if there is a god however. It also doesn't make me believe in peter pan. I am an Atheist but why does that mean I have to prove one thing or another? By the way if you think you hear god talking to you, you are definitely crazy, and should maybe look up 'Psychiatrist' in the yellow pages.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • raforrester

      @Re-Horakhty I'm not sure your reply qualifies as reasonable. but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

      "1) Nothing you wrote proves the need for a god"

      I don't need a god. Did I give that impression.

      "2) I see no sci meth steps"
      Yeah, I didn't provide the scientific evidence and logic. You want some? I'm not sure anything I say will count as proof, because after it happens, it becomes just a story. What I think is that everyone has to come up with their own proof in order to really believe it, but there are plenty of anecdotes to point the way.

      "3) Once you have decided there is, or is not a god(s) then you are no longer objectively seeking truth, but only to validate what you choose to believe."

      Not really. You can decide to believe in Newtonian mechanics, and then change your mind when the evidence supports relativity. Scientists still validate hypotheses, even after they believe them. If someone can explain any of what I have experienced, then I'd be happy to reconsider my hypothesis.

      "Perhaps you should try apatheism......"

      Tried that. Sorry, I can't just ignore things that seem to be there just to get my attention. Like a series of 6 or 7 dreams that were identical except that they included increasing feelings of Deja vu. Then I experienced the dream events in real life and I just stood there for maybe 30 seconds, knowing everything that was going to happen, while having an extreme feeling of Deja vu. The dreams were just mundane, no message, no God, no inspiration. But also impossible by the laws of physics. I have not had that dream since then.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Maddy Gascar

      It sounds to me as if your have some precognitive ability, raforrester. It also sounds to me as if you have your feet firmly planted on the ground. You won't get an insult from me...Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • raforrester

      @JonathanL

      Reasonable question. I did not set out to prove God exists. I set out to find out what it was that was helping me in my life, even when I fiercely resisted being helped, and where those strange events came from. The body of evidence was the acc-umulated observations of what had happened to me. I had lots of hypotheses, but the data seemed to fit only a couple.

      One hypothesis is a Godlike ent-ity, but not the Judaeo-Christian one, which seems like a terrifying being created specifically to make primitive people respect it on terms they could understand. No need for that form of respect anymore. Most places.

      One is that the entire universe is actually a simulation, like the Matrix, except that it included a Godlike force that would intervene in my life, so that hypothesis was reducible to God after all, just a different kind of God, the being or beings who created the simulation.

      Sure, people are easy to convince when they want to believe. That has never been my problem. The opposite, in fact.

      I am not trying to prove the existence or non-existence of God just for the fun of it, so I have no interest in Zeus, Spaghetti Monsters, etc. It seems like something is intervening in my life, whether I want Him/Her/It to or not, and if it is that important to Him/Her/It, maybe I need to pay attention for my own good. The process has transformed my life several times, and saved my life once. My experiments with prayer brought me deep psychological healing in a matter of moments.

      "I am an Atheist but why does that mean I have to prove one thing or another?"

      You don't. Like I said, it was the things that something was doing in my life that made it necessary to find out more. And the more I found out, the more I realized that things happened in ALL my friends lives too, and they were just ignoring them. That's one thing I couldn't understand.

      "By the way if you think you hear god talking to you, you are definitely crazy, and should maybe look up 'Psychiatrist' in the yellow pages."

      No, I've never heard God talking to me, though I am pretty accepting of people who do, as long as they don't have mental problems. I have heard my deceased mother calling my name, though. Weird psychological things happen in that state between waking and dreaming, that have nothing to do with God or a spiritual universe. On the other hand, sleep is a time when really weird things happen too, like the dreams I mentioned.

      If you're interested, you can learn to used the dream state to look at the real world, and what you see can be independently verified by waking witnesses. It is called lucid dreaming. Google it.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • raforrester

      @Maddy Gascar "It sounds to me as if your have some precognitive ability, raforrester. It also sounds to me as if you have your feet firmly planted on the ground. You won't get an insult from me...Happy New Year!"

      Thanks Maddy, Happy New Year to you too.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • So why does god love you so much more than amputees?

      Lori "You are angry Truth, I did not claim to be better than those who have died. I have suffered death and tragedy like everyone else. God has not healed me of every ailment.But he did–proven by medical records–he did heal me of two of my ailments. I am sorry if you are angry about that"
      If your god is so gracious and powerful that he healed you, why does he never ever re-grow lost limbs for amputees? Don’t they pray often enough? Don’t they believe strongly enough? Or maybe it’s because your god only heals diseases that sometimes get better by themselves

      December 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  18. Lori

    You are angry Truth, I did not claim to be better than those who have died. I have suffered death and tragedy like everyone else. God has not healed me of every ailment.But he did–proven by medical records–he did heal me of two of my ailments. I am sorry if you are angry about that

    You think everyone is valued the same, everyone is always supposed to live, my mother just died a few months back, my great aunt died not too long before that, I have a heart condition, my daughter has had seizures, but I do have faith. You do not, we can argue all day, but just because God does not play Genie in a bottle to fix every ill made by man you claim he does not exist!!!

    How childish! I do not claim he fixed everything for me–nor do I claim he should–I am simply graetful for what he has healed in me plain and simple–I gotta go now-For those who do good– may Godbless you and even if you don't believe in God-he believes in you and he can help-not always, but often, not a complete fix, but he can help! I had to do my own work in both healings after God helped me get beyond a certain threshold. But the choice was mine to believe, the choice was mine to do my part. No it doesn't always become the perfect outcome, but it does become a choice to make the best of every moment.

    I was healed and the road has not always been easy. For those who believed and who died, I know they are with the God I know and trust and God is a good place to be even in death, to see now world beyond is a sad existence. That is my choice to believe and yours not too.

    If you cannot accept others believing you are small minded and angry.

    You cannot call someone who has experienced something you have not a fool or arrogant

    The Truth
    Praying after a tragedy for comfort or healing is like praying that your car will start in the morning when you are late for work. It turns over a couple times so you start to pray "Come on, come on, Jesus please help me!" all while still turning the key in the ignition, why? If an all powerful being could hear you calling and was willing and able to help, would that deity really need you to keep turning the key in order to spark your engine? Would a doctor really be needed to keep trying every known medical treatment if you have a line to the creator when you or a loved one is sick? Lori claims to have been healed but by just saying so is also saying "God hates all those other people he let bleed to death, they must not have as much faith as I do!" which is the part that gets me a little hot under the collar. What a haughty egotistical slimy thing to say to others who lost loved ones and children, even those of the utmost "faith" in your brand of deity. It's sickening to see such arrogant hubris from any human. The fact that Lori was saved while others with far more to offer humanity were somehow discarded is the ultimate in understanding that there is no God.

    December 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |

    December 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Lori", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore all of your assertions to date are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      December 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • The Truth

      I can and will call you a fool and a liar. You claim to have evidence of a miracle "proven by medical records" and I know this to be a bald faced lie. You may have medical records that show you recovering from an illness, so do I and lot's of other people, woopdy doo! Go back to rocking back and forth and muttering to yourself about God and the end of the world you nut.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Re-Horakhty

      Claiming to "know" something that you can't possibly know or prove does make you a liar. Perhaps you should say "I believe". When you assert that you "know" something then you should be prepared to support it with reliable, tangible, and repeatable evidence.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • sam

      Jesus, her posts just get longer.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Rick

      You are grateful for recovering, but that doesn't prove that God actually exists because an equal percentage of nonChristians, including atheists, recover from illness without ever asking God for help.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • TLDR

      Lori,

      God bless you.

      A good number of these people (atheists, Christian-haters) are on here A LOT. And they just like to "rattle the cages". I've read and tried to talk with some (a lot use vial language and have no respect).

      It is hard, but we can't stoop to their level. Sometimes we just have to walk away. Give the message board to God. It is His and He will deal with these people in His own way. Whether they realize it or not. (And they hopefully will one day).

      Peace to you.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • TLDR

      > including atheists, recover from illness without ever asking God for help.

      The grace of God.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Really??

      TLDR
      It is true that some on this blog are very rude, but some are seeking ones take on things , one way or another. More often than not I see the so called christians are the most hostile. The "hate" is most times not hate, but simply questioning. A lot of it can be cleared up with more precise language such as not saying god exists, but instead saying I believe god exists. I cannot question your belief then, but can question why you believe.
      The hate does come from both sides, but do not lay the blame entirely on the atheists. There are also many trolls just trying to stir up the pot, by throwing out rediculous things which get jumped by over zealous bloggers. Many of them will engage you in spirited but civil discussion..

      December 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • TLDR

      Really:

      You can never prove to me that God does not exist. He has revealed Himself as true to me.

      God exists.

      Throwing questions and insults at me can't change that.

      I can't prove to you that God exists. That is between you and God.

      I took on slurs, insults to my family, and discrimination for my background. I was offended by people making fun of schizophrenics and calling religious people mentally ill.

      And people were so worked up that I believe in God and posted insults at me. I didn't insult anyone but reasonably gave my point of view. Nobody questioned their horrible words toward me. Just my belife in God.

      I would not stoop to that level.

      I am so glad my church and religion teaches me to treat people in a better way.

      Thank God!

      December 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @TLDR

      You Said: " You can never prove to me that God does not exist. He has **revealed Himself as true** to me. "

      I'm curious... how specifically did 'He' 'reveal' Himself ?

      Peace...

      December 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TLDR and Lori: you can make all the claims you want, but the fact is that prayer can't be "proven" to heal anyone. You believe it healed you–goody goody. There are millions who prayed for healing for themselves or their loved ones and died anyway. Do you REALLY think you're that special? That there was some reason you recovered and others didn't? And that the only difference between you and those who DIDN'T recover was God? Really? What about those faithful servants who lived their beliefs and died in pain and fear anyway? Did they just not say the right words? Were they simply not as "good" as you two? I hate to break it to you, but you're full of sh!t.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • TLDR

      > therealpeace2all
      > how specifically did 'He' 'reveal' Himself ?

      It is very personal, but it was a still quiet voice.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gotta love it. "it was so personal, I can't tell you about it, but I can brag about it anyway."

      Good going, TDLR. You just continue to reinforce my opinion that people like you are dishonest to the core.

      December 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @TLDR

      Very interesting ! And, i understand it's very personal to you, but if I may ask... How exactly/specifically were you able to know that this "still quiet voice" is God, vs. your own voice ?

      Peace...

      December 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • TLDR

      > you can make all the claims you want, but the fact is that prayer can't be "proven" to heal anyone.
      Wrong. It has been proven to be helpful to me. At least it helps my spiritual condition.

      > You believe it healed you–goody goody. There are millions who prayed for healing for themselves or their loved ones and died anyway. Do you REALLY think you're that special?
      No. I have prayed for people and they didn't survive. It was sad. I cried.

      > That there was some reason you recovered and others didn't? And that the only difference between you and those who DIDN'T recover was God? Really?
      I don't think that. That came from your mind. Nobody in pastoral care has ever told me anything like that. I don't believe that way.

      > What about those faithful servants who lived their beliefs and died in pain and fear anyway? Did they just not say the right words? Were they simply not as "good" as you two?
      Jesus Christ, John the Baptist suffered. They believed in something and it was worth it. I suffer. Believer and non-believers experience pain and joy in the same way.

      Death is not the final outcome.

      > I hate to break it to you, but you're full of sh!t.
      "If you cannot accept others believing you are small minded and angry."

      Peace and love to you.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • TLDR

      I was at a bad time in my life. I experienced a joy – after a quiet voice told me I'd be ok. And it was right. I felt peace like I'd never experienced.

      The more I've learned about God, the more I know that was Him.

      Hard to describe this in a message board – especially after someone like "Tom" was just very rude and verbally attacked me – but that is the best I can do.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're as bad as Chard.

      And if you don't like the way you're treated here, you can leave and find another board. I'm tired of proselytizing nuts like you.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @TLDR

      Thanks for sharing... and whatever the voice was, glad you experienced peace.

      Peace...

      December 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • TLDR

      Thanks Peace!

      > Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      I wish I could give you some of that peace I have received.

      "“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

      December 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • raforrester

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "And if you don't like the way you're treated here, you can leave and find another board. I'm tired of proselytizing nuts like you."

      Then stop proselytizing. You know you are not going to persuade anyone, especially the way you treat them. Do you have any more success in your everyday life? Why should she be the one to go elsewhere?

      I've said this before. I found that when I get sucked into the animosity here, the rest of my life suffers. The anger and frustration leaks into my life elsewhere. Now I just come to express my opinion, let everyone else accept it or not, and learn from the people who actually are reasonable. That's me. Results may vary.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Feelings are not facts

      TLDR “I was at a bad time in my life. I experienced a joy – after a quiet voice told me I'd be ok. And it was right. I felt peace like I'd never experienced.”

      Except for the voice I get the same thing most evenings when I meditate

      December 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • TLDR

      It was different from meditation. And I wasn't meditating at the time. I didn't "induce" it.

      FEELING ARE NOT FACTS. I AM A ROBOT. DOES NOT COMPUTE. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

      December 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then stop proselytizing. You know you are not going to persuade anyone, especially the way you treat them. Do you have any more success in your everyday life? Why should she be the one to go elsewhere?

      I've said this before. I found that when I get sucked into the animosity here, the rest of my life suffers. The anger and frustration leaks into my life elsewhere. Now I just come to express my opinion, let everyone else accept it or not, and learn from the people who actually are reasonable. That's me. Results may vary.

      Bite me. I'll post as I choose. Don't like it? Tough. Leave or scroll. I couldn't care less.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  19. Re-Horakhty

    Mrs. Luhrmann should know that the term "crazy" has no definition in Psychiatry. She references Schizophrenia, however most religious hallucinations would (if not excluded from the DSM) be interpreted as a delusion. I often wonder why it is that the rules for diagnosis apply if you talk to, listen to, or believe you are guided by some imaginary friend who has control over you, yet if that imaginary friend happens to be 'god' then the DSM excuses it. To me a delusion is a delusion. Be it momentary, or chronic. Delusions can be triggered by any number of known sources, but they are still delusions. The example of MLK can be explained as likely caused by stress or wishful thinking, Oliver Sacks can be explained by ingestion hallucinatory methamphetamines.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  20. lionlylamb

    ..There is a time to daydream and a time for learning. Daydreams that teach can only be manifested upon those whose souled impartations are relevant of tutorial euphemisms. A child whose daydreams are not of life living commonalities are censored and made de-amplified and turned to being nonexistent except for the daydreamer’s soulful impartations. God knows all souled impartations within one's psychic endorsements.

    ..Visual enlightenment via daydreaming is all from our earliest years before we knew any words. It is our being assimilated by wordage uses that our minds become wordage proprieties and we all become less acclimated to our psychic daydreaming days to the points where we no longer are stimulated with visual daydreams.

    ..Still though, we all do daydream no matter one's ages yet most are held to dreaming of one's wants in the material realms. The spiritualized daydreams of anyone are nowadays of wilted daydreamt spiritualisms never becoming a sound fruitfully spiritualized rationalism due the abundances in relevancies of spiritless materialized matters.

    December 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Uh oh, he threw his word salad up again. Clean-up on page 63 – pronto!

      December 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @psych ward staff

      LOL !!! :D

      Peace...

      December 31, 2012 at 5:10 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.