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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 • Evangelical • God • My Take

soundoff (7,761 Responses)
  1. Bob

    LUKE 2:22-25 "MARY'S PURIFICATION," Verses 22 & 23 present two events-the purification of Mary and the presentation of the baby Jesus to the Lord. The presentation is the more important of the two. Luke tells us when this happened, it was at the time of Mary's purification, forty days after that exciting night in Bethlehem. Luke emphasizes the piety of Jesus' parents in obeying and honoring God by observing the requirements of the Jewish Law. The Law of Moses demanded the purification of new mothers (Leviticus 12:1-12). The dedication of Jesus was in fulfillment of Exodus 13:1 which is referred to by Luke in Verse 23. The dedication was not a redemptive act which cleansed from sin but an act of setting someone aside for a special purpose. This was also to remind the Jews of how God spared their first born in Egypt when He delivered them from slavery. Luke does not mention the responsibility of paying five shekels to the local priest. Obviously Luke's main point is not Mary's purification or the payment of redemption money but the dedication of the child Jesus at the Temple. In this dedication Jesus was being given over to God's service. Mary alludes to this in the "Magnificat." Because of the miraculous happening that took place before and after Jesus' birth both Joseph and Mary recognized Jesus as the Messiah and dedicated Him to His Father's service. Verse 25 tells us of a life-time dream realized. Simeon was one of the Jews who waited patiently in prayer until God would come and comfort His people Israel. God had promised him through the Holy Spirit that his life would not end before he had seen God's own Anointed King. In the baby Jesus he recognized that King. Now he was ready to die in peace. His words have become the "Nunc Dimittis," one of the great and precious hymns of the Church.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • the AnViL

      bob -read carefully:

      the text in the bible will NEVER be evidence of the veracity of anything in the bible.

      copying and pasting bits and pieces from the bible won't convince anyone of anything – other than the fact that you've copied and pasted bits from the bible.

      does that make sense to you? do you understand what i'm explaining to you?

      January 3, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Bob

      Anvil unfortunately for you as you didn't read what I posted it is the story and information on the Birth of Jesus and what Mary had to do at the time. It is also the hopes of people on a redeemer which was Jesus the feelings and understanding of Mary and Joseph on what was happening to them in the birth of their child. What a awesome time in the birth of Jesus God was working in all situations and redeeming His people but those such as yourself had no idea of the beauty,love and plans that were afoot.So to everyone today if you are upset or have problems reach out to God and just as all things seemed no different Gods plan was afoot in as in the birth of Jesus. Every day things look the same then suddenly it changes in the blink of a eye. Thank you Lord that this is revealed to us your children.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Primewonk

      Bob gets off fantasizing about young virgin girls being ràped. What a sick putz!

      January 3, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • dale

      i have recently realized that arguing about the Bibles' legitimacy to the opposed is meaningless. many atheists have their minds made up. it's pointless. Although if people are genuinely open to the idea, mature discussions of course are great.
      don't get me wrong, defending the faith is great and all, but.....

      2 timothy 2:23-24 – Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,

      of course to an atheist, this means nothing. it's a great thing to join in discussions, because all that does is make me sharper with scripture, but the verse above is a great reminder to be careful.

      Romans 8 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

      This is what separates me from an atheist. To better understand each other, this verse says it pretty clear.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Eric G

      @Dale: You may be correct. While I will not attempt to speak for all atheists, what separates you from me is that I recognize that your post contains claims of fact that no verifiable evidence supports. You willingly choose to accept these claims as fact without verifiable supporting evidence and willingly choose to deny verified evidence that does not support your world view.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  2. Bob

    January 3, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  3. 2357

    God ordains all life and all death at a cosmic scale. He also defines righteousness and evil. Our life is but a tongue-tip taste of goodness. He alone can offer more, the thing itself. We are to fear, trust and worship him for his sovereignty. We are in no position to judge, I assure you.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • End Religion

      There is no such god.

      Morality: Using empathy as a guide for human interaction. AKA, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "put yourself in my shoes". It has nothing inherently to do with the bible.

      Karen Wynn of Yale has a study showing even babies have an idea of wrong versus right. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers has done research to show that the brain of those who see others receiving pain themselves have similar neurological responses. There is a curve to empathy; some feel it more than others. But it certainly doesn't come from a hateful book about imaginary people.

      Frans de Waal shows that even monkeys employ "morality"...

      January 3, 2013 at 5:06 am |
    • 2357

      Empathy is a spiritual activity. It emanates living creation from the Father of all spirits. He even pities Lucifer, the lost one, as Solomon did Absalom. Resistance is condemning. Obedience would lead to faith.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:16 am |
    • sam stone

      judgement is a bad joke. your god is a impotent little pr1ck, and his followers sniveling sycophants.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:42 am |
    • End Religion

      "Empathy is a spiritual activity."

      It's simply lie after lie with you nutters, isn't it? And all the while you preach against sin. Amazing.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • the AnViL

      it's both funny and sad when you show someone that their beliefs are unfounded... or even better – provide them with evidence that their beliefs are erroneous -and they ignore the evidence and keep bleating their ignorance.

      empathy, sympathy and altruism are definitely displayed prominently in the animal kingdom. morality has nothing at all to do with religion – least of all xianity.

      the only religious animals are humans.

      see the period on the end of that last sentence??? that means – nothing follows... it's not even up for debate.

      2357 – your position has been dispelled utterly and entirely.

      you should be ashamed to be so ignorant on a national public forum.

      January 3, 2013 at 7:16 am |
  4. Ruth Feldman

    It is really rather a vain exercise for people who have had no spiritual experience to enter into a discussion about it; they think they sound wise but they haven't a clue.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Really Ruth, 35 years of christianity equals zero experience? You are the one talking out of your ass. If you would listen you would find out most atheists were believers.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • tallulah13

      Ruth, when you can prove that your god exists we'll take your "spiritual experiences" seriously.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • little timmy

      Is a clue like Daddy goes to the fortune teller?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • End Religion

      Religion is vanity. You feel self-important because you think you belong to a special club. You show excessive pride for this, which BTW, is a sin. I hope you've packed your flame-retardant swimwear for the afterlife you believe in.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:11 am |
    • sam stone

      i have had spiritual experiences, but they were accompanied by a handful of magic mushrooms. do you feel yours is superior to mine?

      January 3, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • Bet

      It is really rather a vain exercise to assume you know anything about the spiritual experiences of others. It's also arrogant, condescending and douchey.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  5. Bob

    Back to topic of this blog
    From the beginning God wanted to talk to us He wants to walk us through our daily walk and help us. We have so much more than they had in the Old Testament. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, can you imagine what that must have been like? Humans ruined it for themselves by sin or separation from God. In Jesus God gave us the ability to hear from Him again but the Bible says we have to search with all our might. Sometimes I wonder if its more about us going beyond the flesh and that's why it takes so much because I know that in my life and others God was always there, saved or not. We may not have recognized who it was until we got saved but once saved it became clear that what the Bible says that we couldn't even know God unless He first called us becomes apparent. My only regret in coming to the Lord was that I didn't do it sooner, I didn't know He was that good and loving and had already accepted me and made the way for me to be His. He was calling me from childhood and fear kept me away. To all who are on the wall thinking they are not good enough to start this great journey and want to wait to clean up first, I say come just as you are. He already knows all there is to know and is calling you, don't let the lies that you have to clean up first or you have to do it by yourself first allow you to stop experiencing one of the greatest life changing experiences there is. We are the sheep He is the Shepard He helps us in every way, He cleans us up, He makes the daily provision for what ever it is we need. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He will also remove any addiction and bondage or situation that you need help with. WE are not alone we don't have to do it by ourselves and He loves us with a everlasting love, HE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
    Rom 10:10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
    Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
    Rom 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
    Rom 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."

    January 3, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • sam stone

      ironic that you wish to spend eternity with a being from whom you have to be "saved"

      January 3, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bob,

      I will take the fact that you did not respond to the proof of your religion being rooted in fear, just like the Muslims, as admission that I was right and you were wrong.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm afraid your assertions are correct, "Blessed are the Cheesemakers". You are right and "Bob" is wrong.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Thank you hal,

      Yes, I'd like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • hal 9001

      January 3, 2013 at 2:30 am |
    • End Religion

      Boob, I'd bet there are some amputees disappointed in your god for not growing back their limbs.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:14 am |
  6. Sam Yaza

    "Actually a Muslim would not say the same thing. God to Muslims is to be feared that's the problem with atheists they don't have Knowledge of different religions and what they believe."

    the the problem with you Bob you don't have knowledge of other religions

    et to Christians et to

    January 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  7. JohnRambo

    You should fear the Daedra! God is just a silly fairy tale but the Daedra.....they are REAL and they're coming!
    May Talos help us all!

    January 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ohh Night Mother the Blood Flower, the Lady Death the bride of Sithis

      cast out this defiler who seeks to make our plans known....

      January 3, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  8. pothead

    My tummy talks to me after I burn one

    January 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      mine yells at me after i burn two

      January 3, 2013 at 1:06 am |
  9. Joel

    God can speak to us in many ways. The most common way is often through the Bible that He has given us. Men called by God, moved by the Spirit of God to write the Words of God. Do you want to hear from God? Read your Bible. Are you reading your Bible? If not, why not? Jesus/Yeshua told us in the Gospel of John that we must be born again. Jn 3:3 This is how our relationship with God begins. We need to receive Yeshua/Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the One who died for our sins so that we could have peace with God the Father, and everlasting life. Recieve Him now if you have not already done so, then beging reading your Bible. I can assure you, you will hear from God. God bless

    January 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      A Muslim would say the same thing and yet neither you or them can provide validation that either claim the truth. Or a Scientologist. Or a Mormon, ect, ect, ect.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually a Muslim would not say the same thing. God to Muslims is to be feared that's the problem with atheists they don't have Knowledge of different religions and what they believe.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Here is some more of god's perfect and holy word straight from the bible

      And Moses said unto them “Have ye saved all the women alive?... Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him, but all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” Num 31:1-2, 9-11, 14-18

      January 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, Bob, many atheists do have knowledge of many religions. That's why they're atheists.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You don't seem to have knowledge of even your own religion Bob.

      Psalms
      2:11 Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

      15:1-4 Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, ... who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord,

      19:9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.

      22:23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

      25:12-14 Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

      31:19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.

      33:8-9 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

      33:18-19 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

      34:7-11 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

      36:1-2 An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.

      40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

      52:5-7 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will sna.tch you up and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, "Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!"

      55:18-19 He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned forever, will hear them and afflict them – men who never change their ways and have no fear of God.

      60:4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow.

      61:5 For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

      65:8 Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.

      76:7-8 You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet -

      76:11-12 Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.

      85:9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

      86:11Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

      89:7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.

      90:11 Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

      96:4-5 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

      103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

      103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

      103:17-18 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

      111:5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

      111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

      112:1-2 Praise the Lord. [b] Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

      115:11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord– he is their help and shield.

      115:13 he will bless those who fear the Lord– small and great alike.

      119:120 My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.

      128:1-4 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.

      130:3-4 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

      145:19-20 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

      147:11 the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Warren

      Before you start to randomly pick up passages from the Bible, what have you done to study about the background of the historical account recorded in Numbers 31?
      What do you know about the midianites? What did the midianites do to invoke the wrath upon themselves? If you only take care to study the Bible you would be babbling with ignorance. Next time read the Bible and study it in context. quoting random scriptures is of no use to your soul.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Warren,

      I think you need to explain why small children should be ever be punished because of the any wrongdoing of the group that they were born into. It makes no difference what the context was. Are you saying if your god told you to kill all the small children of a particular race you would do it and it would be justified? Wow.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheese, this may help answer the question you have about "God is love" and "it is good to fear the Lord",
      "fear" as it is used with respect to God

      Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off - Romans 11

      Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. - Philippians 2


      fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety, revered

      January 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • JohnRambo

      @Chad

      fear means fear, not respect.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      It has nothing to do with respect, your god is like a mob boss who requires complete obediance or he will send you 'swimming with the fishes." What you respect is the power to throw you into hell.....what could one be more fearfull of than that. Your god is all about fear....and I would never respect that...nether should you.

      Luke

      12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Warren

      Cheesy, Understand you are a very compassionate individual and that your heart goes out to the young children. Am sure you are in the forefront helping the less fortunate children around the globe that have no drinking water, work long hours a day, sometimes are s e x slaves, have no place to live and have no hope and a future because they were born into this condition.
      Once you have proved you are one of those humanitarian individuals that do a lot to alleviate the suffering of young children around the world please let me know, I promise to address the other question.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Chad

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fear

      : to have a reverential awe of
      : to be afraid of : expect with alarm

      January 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • dale

      haha chad, check and mate :)

      January 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Warren

      Interesting that people who blame God hardly do anything to help the less fortunate, it is the missionaries and people of faith who have sacrificed their life to the betterment of the poor as a service to God.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • NatL

      Chad
      My dictionary states it as "a mixed feeling of dread and reverence", kinda like how many people regard a top predator like the Great White Shark.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Chad

      It's an appropriate response to the ruler of the Universe.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • ----------Lori________

      Hi Bob, glad to see you persevere here–

      Blessed so your theme is fear???

      January 2, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Warren

      Your not so subtle ad hominem response to Blessed are the Cheeseburger's question is a bitch move.

      Why don't you answer the question he asked? Why the cowardly deflection?

      January 2, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Dont forget for an instant, God desires not that we should perish, but that we would have eternal life..

      Fear perishing, love eternal life.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Bet

      Hahaha! I mean Cheesemakers, not Cheeseburgers.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Warren

      There is no deflection on my part. As we write there are young children around the globe that have died due to starvation/poverty/cold weather/abuse etc. You seem to have this false sense of concern about the midianites , the historical account of which is more than 3000 years ago.

      WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HELP A CHILD IN NEED NOW?
      We are all accountable for our fellow human beings in need, go out and help a child in need today!

      January 2, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • JohnRambo

      @Chad

      Money is the ruler of the Universe. Say hello to reality.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Bet

      Again, Warren, you try to dodge the question by bringing up irrelevant asides.

      Why won't you answer the question?

      January 3, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • sam stone

      "God to Muslims is to be feared "

      Right, never heard a Christian say they fear god....

      "that's the problem with atheists they don't have Knowledge of different religions and what they believe."
      They have as much knowledge different religions and what they believe as do Christians.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Simran

      @ Warren,
      Why not ask your Lord this question of why He created so much suffering for poor innocent children around the globe? And then of course, you will dodge this question as well!!!

      January 3, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Warren

      Know this, one day we will be held accountable to our maker for our lives on planet earth, at that time the question is definetly not going to be about the midianites. It will be about what we did for our fellow human beings. Quit blaming God, take responsiblity and make the life of another human being better. After you have done this adequately and if you still have time(only if you have time) there are adequate resources on the web that talks to the wrath incurred by the midianites.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Warren,

      He is the bottom line. It makes no difference what I do or don't do, you are just deflecting the point that your "loving" god orders the slaughter of children. You are like the supporter of a dictator who when he is criticized for killing his own citzens you then say I can't critcize unless I help help all the citizens first. You are an idiot. I don't want your answer because it is obvious you have no moral forti.tude.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Simran

      WARREN and GOD:

      Warren: Oh God, why did you tell us to fear you and then tell us that you love us? Why did you tell the medianites to kill all those poor children? And now, how do I answer these questions?

      God: Warren, don't be stupid! I am what I look like in the Bible, a sadist egomaniacal, patriarch! Deal with it. And I sent Chad to answer for u! Can't u see?

      Warren: Ok God, but then why are so many children suffering today?

      God: Oh come on! Didn't u just read my answer above!!!

      January 3, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Warren,

      When your god orders the killing of children he IS to blame. Me taking responsibility would not change anything. I am not the one that worships a genocidal monster. It must rather suck having to justify genocide, and I truly feel sorry for you because you really think if you don't defend your immoral god he will burn you forever for turning your back on him. I am glad I no longer live under the fear of your religion.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Warren

      Cheesy-Your false pretensions at showing compassion is not lost on me. If only you had channeled the countless hours you spent on this blog arguing in vain and instead channelled it toward humanitarian causes it would have seved you better.

      The truth is we are all answerable to God whether you like it or not. How you spent your time is your responsiblity, the midianites will not be coming to your rescue when you face your maker one day.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Bet

      @ Warren

      You're still dodging the question like a little punk. You won't answer it because you can't defend your violent, vindictive god's words and actions.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Warren,

      I find it interesting how you christians keep claiming you worship a loving god...and if we don't believe you your god is going to burn us. LOL.

      Ummm, and criticizing me for spend time on this blog....by responding to me ON this blog only makes you a hypocrit.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And I don't know why you think I am showing compassion for those your god already ordered killed, I think the question is why do you justify the immorality of that god?

      January 3, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • End Religion

      Know this, Warren is a complete and utter moron who enjoys his superiority complex achieved via religion. He has no special knowledge of what happens after death and so is lying when he asserts as fact that one day we will be held accountable to our maker for our lives on planet earth. He simply cannot converse as a normal human about the midianites and must retreat cowardly into his shell.

      If, as he posits, after death we will be held accountable for how we treated our fellow human beings, he doesn't realize that scaring the bejesus out of people with fairy tales of vengeance wouldn't be viewed as a positive. While he claims to advocate taking responsibility for one's self, he practices religion which is the opposite of taking responsibility for one's actions, by being able to chalk one's transgressions up to imaginary creatures who absolve the mistakes without ever actually suffering the consequences of those actions.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:28 am |
    • sam stone

      "Know this, one day we will be held accountable to our maker for our lives on planet earth"

      Know this....bloviating proxy threats (or "warnings" for the pious set) to those who do not accept the validity of your source is only so convincing.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • HarryJ

      Chad
      What if we actually would prefer to just die than to serve as some kind of fuel for a being that requires worship?

      January 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  10. Bob

    You atheists are a stiff necked people with hardened hearts towards God. All the knowledge you have leads no where yet you look for life in other mens teachings thinking they are going to bring life to your dead bones. There is one that imparts life there is one that offers life but until you come the way He says to come then don't expect to receive anything. You who are afraid to try this for fear of maybe it might be true fail to find out if indeed God is real. You devise games in your minds to have God jump through hoops like a dog at your beckoning. You set of dead bones who will you call when you are in trouble who will you call when you need help? Man will spit on you but God will never disappoint.
    Pro 1:27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
    Pro 1:28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
    Pro 1:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
    Pro 1:30 "They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof.
    Pro 1:31 "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices.
    Pro 1:32 "For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
    Pro 1:33 "But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil."

    January 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Bob", but "God", "LORD" and "He" are all elements of mythology, therefore there is no hoop jumping to considered regarding such a mythological entity. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Bob

      To you my assertions mean nothing but my testimony of the things He has done for me mean a lot to many people. I have seen many saved and lives changed and have been able to bless many so your words mean nothing. You are as irrelevant as the leaf that falls to the ground, Some day you will remember my words lets hope it wont be to late.

      January 2, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Bob

      Hal you need to get out of that small dark room and experience life

      January 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      Bobby Ricky: You are stuck on the book of Proverbs. Try reading other books and NOT just the bible.

      January 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Life of 3.14

      What books would recommend Angel Moronic?

      January 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      @3.14: Like some Larry Flynt publications so that Bobby Ricky can accomplish God's command of 'Go Forth and Create' ;-)

      January 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That is because you god is an asshat.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • God hates the handicapped too

      “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles
      - Leviticus 21:17-20

      January 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • fame monitor

      Bob your 15 minutes are up buddy

      January 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Pretzel logic. The bible is true because the bible says so. Do you have any evidence for those statements?

      January 2, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • HarryJ

      "You devise games in your minds to have God jump through hoops like a dog at your beckoning."
      Why did this make me think of Prosperity Gospel and the entire Rapture thing?

      January 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      I am crushed to find god hates the handicapped as well as so many others. I guess I should give up golf and bowling.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:32 am |
  11. For crying out loud!

    I have no doubt in my mind that there are some nutters out there who are legitimately delusional.

    But not every theist is hearing voices. For some of us it is an existential opinion. It is philosophy for some.
    I say "God exists" , my opponent says, "God does not exist". For a few minutes we exchange on the definition of "existence."

    What ever side you select....and there would be no debate without selecting a side...if you disagree with your debate oponent over philosophy it does NOT make you a superior human.

    January 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Fedup Delivery

      It's not a philosophy question you nutbar! It's a SCIENCE question and theism loses every time. Every damn time.

      January 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • For crying out loud!

      It's not a philosophy question you nutbar!]

      ^^^^(Personal attack, not needed but minor and overlooked)

      It's a SCIENCE question and theism loses every time. Every damn time.

      ^^^^^Hence why theism is a more challenging position. More importantly religion is not science, science is not religion and neither the two shall meet. Any debate regarding the existance of God is always going to be philosphy. Why people keep trying to combine or compare the two is insanity.

      Trying to scientifically rationalize God is like trying to add up lines of poetry. Poetry is not math, religion is not science.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @For crying out loud!

      "religion is not science"

      I think a lot of theists would disagree with you. For many all that is religion still must fit a set of natural laws, for almost all religion is believed to conform to the laws of logic. Religion, for most, is closer to science and math than to poetry.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • For crying out loud!

      Religion, for most, is closer to science and math than to poetry.

      ^^^ Well, then I suppose that is the root of the argument. I know many diests many of them Christian and I can assure you not one thinks that the bible is a science book. Not one hears voices.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:55 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I am hearing too many voices in my head right now !!! I AM GOING CRAZY !!!

    January 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  13. ----------Lori________

    Hello Bet, and the AnVil–had to go to work earlier

    The actual Biblical scripture states–"and the Sea gave up the dead which were in it." Revelations 20:13

    Revelations 16:19
    Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
    And the great city became three parts, and the cities of the nations fell and Babylon The Great was remembered before God, to give it the cup of the wine of his passion and of his wrath.

    The US military is building a three-mile concrete wall in the centre of Baghdad along the most murderous faultline between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
    Although Baghdad is full of barriers and checkpoints, particularly round the Green Zone where the US and British are based along with the Iraq government, this is the first time a wall has been built along sectarian lines.

    January 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Bet

      Oh please. What a load of crap. Babylon is a generic term for "a bad place". Most Middle Eastern cities qualify, as does San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo, and Amsterdam. The rest is just Mad Libs with the disease, shooting, insurrection or terrorist attack of your choice.

      Even a carnival fortune teller can do that.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Wasn't Berlin divided into four zones? Did I miss the end-times?

      January 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Purely sectarian. Ever heard of Belfast? West Bank?

      January 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • ----------Lori________

      No Babylon IS Baghdad it is historical Bet– it doesn't mean Bad Place
      From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the cultures of modern Western societies.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Bet

      No, it's not. The city of Babylon no longer exists. Baghdad is in a different location. There has been some restoration over the years, but that was suspended after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

      In many languages, Babylon has come to be a generic term for a city with diverse cultures. In xtianity, it is invoked as the Whore of Babylon, or Babylon the Great (full name, "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth"). It's an allegory for evil in Revelation. Hence, a "bad place", although as an allegory, it could also be a person, or pretty much anything you want it to be.

      Like I said, Mad Libs for the End Times.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • ----------Lori________

      Berlin wasn't spoke about in the Bible at the end of times–but Babylon was

      January 3, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • ----------Lori________

      But in Biblical times Babylon was an ancient city it rests 40 miles from Baghdad center but the palaces of Saddam were from the infamous days of Biblical times

      you can see ancient ruins of King Nebuchadnezzar's palace in Iraq.

      From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the cultures of modern Western societies.
      http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org

      January 3, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Bet

      How do you know the bible doesn't mean Berlin when it says Babylon?

      January 3, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • ----------Lori________

      Because Babylon was the city they lived near,

      The city of King Nebuchadnezzar's palace in Iraq. If you do an actual check online you will find the ruins of this palace are in Iraq, found by Archeologists.

      http://architecture.about.com/od/themiddleeast/ig/Iraq-Photos/Nebuchandezzar-s-Palace.htm These people all lived in a small region in the middle east and rarely traveled outside the area. Mother Mary's uncle however was a trader and he did travel to other parts of Europe HIs name was Joseph of Arimathea he is the one who gave the tomb for Jesus' burial.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Bet

      Lori, I know that Babylon was an ancient city. It is not, however, Baghdad. It is in a different location entirely.

      Saddam's palace was commissioned by King Faisal II in the 1950s. It is called the Republican Palace, and it is in Baghdad, not Babylon.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Bet

      Lori, there is no evidence outside of the bible, that Joseph of Arimathea ever existed. He has quite a number of legends surrounding him, however, including that he was the keeper of the Holy Grail.

      There isn't even any evidence outside that bible that Arimathea existed.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • End Religion

      I love how Lori says straight away that Babylon is 40 miles from Baghdad but yet Baghdad *is* Babylon. just glosses right over the lie as if it makes perfect sense. Again, Lori, you know lying is a Top 10 Sin?

      January 3, 2013 at 5:40 am |
    • Bet

      @ End Religion

      They are actually almost 60 miles apart, but why let facts get in the way of your end times delusions?

      I don't think that Lori is intentionally lying. I think she's probably a nice person who is just repeating what she hears from the pulpit. I don't think she's ever been bold enough to google simple things like "Did Joseph of Arimathea exist?" to verify what her pastor says. Her biggest offenses are being gullible and incurious.

      But then, questioning religious authorities is not exactly encouraged. And there's no excuse for persisting in your ignorance when learning the truth is just a few keystrokes away.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • ----------Lori________

      Bet-you are splicing hairs and I never heard any of this from a pastor. I have done religious research for over 20 years.

      Baghdad eclipsed Ctesiphon, the capital of the Persian Empire, which was located some 30 km (19 mi) to the southeast. Today, all that remains of Ctesiphon is the shrine town of Salman Pak, just to the south of Greater Baghdad. Ctesiphon itself had replaced and absorbed Seleucia, the first capital of the Seleucid Empire. Seleucia had earlier replaced the city of Babylon.

      And yes I am a nice person–I do have my days though!!!!

      January 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Bet

      Lori,

      Cutting and pasting from Wikipedia does not qualify as "religious research".

      Babylon and Baghdad are not the same city. Ctesiphon and Baghdad are not the same city. Seleucia and Baghdad are not the same city. They are all in different locations.

      Each of these ancient cities were important in their time, and fell into obscurity (were "eclipsed") when new rulers came into power and changed their centers of government. It happens all the time, all over the world.

      In the USA, our capital cities have included Philadellphia, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, York, Pennsylvania, Princeton, New Jersey and New York, New York, before a permanent federal capital was commissioned and built in Washington, DC.

      Philadelphia didn't "become" Washington, DC. Baltimore didn't "become" Washington, DC. Babylon didn't "become" Baghdad.

      And somebody pouring a cement wall in a city in Iraq doesn't mean that Jeebus is coming back.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  14. Really

    Chad
    Of course the god of Isreal exists in a delusional mind, can you take comfort from that, I hope so.
    In a mind that uses reason and logic, the god of Isreal is just another man made myth, probably one of the least believable of man created gods.
    Take whatever pleasure in you find in your delusion, really, enjoy. No more bible quotes, please, they are BS.
    Theogony verse
    Dionysus said onto them, "Go to the cellar and bring forth several amphoras of fine wine so that we can party on dudes" Now that I can get my head around.

    January 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  15. End Religion

    If you need to feel special about yourself, don't lie about hearing god. Just watch "History of the World in Two Hours" on History channel about you'll feel wonderful about being human, no god required.

    January 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  16. OOO

    OK,
    I get your point. People are not crazy if they interpret their own conscience as the voice of god. BUT... This doesn't change the fact that those voices are NOT god. And what about the person who knows this (like many of the evangelicals) yet they still pretend it is coming from god? Do they fit into the same "sane" chategories as those who truely believe?

    January 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • NatL

      About as "sane" as any parent who has told their kids about the Tooth Fairy and Santa.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • OOO

      That analogy is no good. These parents don't pretend to believe the tooth fairy even though they know it can't exist.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bob

      Its not the person its God

      January 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • End Religion

      Boob, your god does not exist.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bob

      End so you say but all the people that have seen miracles and had questions answered would say something totally different not to mention most of the population of the US would also agree with me which puts your opinion in the true minority. You may want to rethink the fact that there is a God and be on the winning side of things for now and when you die.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • JWT

      I've heard voices in my head ooo but it never ever occurred to me that they were from anywhere else than somewhere in my mind. They certainly were not from a non-existant god.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Bet

      not to mention most of the population of the US would also agree with me which puts your opinion in the true minority

      At one time, most of the population of the US supported slavery. With time, education and reason, people came to realize that owning another human being is wrong.

      The same thing is happening now with religion. Your god, Boob, is doomed to the dustbin of history, just like any other mythology.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Athy

      Apparently Bob thinks truth is determined by popular vote.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bob

      So bet slavery was abolished in less than 100 years the Bible is going strong after 2000 years.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Fedup Delivery

      Then any religion older than Judaism is more true than Judaism – according to your brain-damaged brand of logic.
      Or that because your religion isn't a majority in this world, your religion is less true.
      You might as well say that only bibles printed on gen-u-wine rice paper are truly holy.
      You are an idiot.

      January 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Bet

      So bet slavery was abolished in less than 100 years the Bible is going strong after 2000 years

      Seriously? If that's your logic, you're backing the wrong god. Buddhism and Hinduism, among many others, are far older religions.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
  17. Bob

    God wants to be a part of peoples lives and have a relationship with them, without a 2 way communication this would not be possible. it is the norm to hear the Lord, Jesus died for the removal of sins so we could have this communication with Him. Why let atheists tell anyone any different they are only here to badger they have no idea of the truth.

    January 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      By what authority do you claim to know what god wants?

      January 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Sam what a stupid question

      January 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @sam

      The superiority complex of the heavily religious makes them think they have some kind of authority.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Why is that a stupid question? If I claimed I was talking to a pink unicorn that controlled the world, wouldn't you think that incredible because I had no way to prove it to you? What's the difference between my supernatural creature and yours?

      January 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bet

      Why don't you answer it then, Boob? Enlighten us.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • the AnViL

      it's uncanny how religion can take an uneducated, highly ignorant person – and elevate them to the position of "wise sage".

      there's no hard work involved in religion... heck – you don't even really need to be able to read in order to achieve religions highest accolades.

      those of you who believe in imaginary men in the sky are the true force of darkness on this planet...

      our only illumination is science.

      sadly – science is beyond the ability of these types – as it requires actual hard work.

      there's no math in religion... making its highest levels reachable by even the lowliest of intellects.

      zing!

      January 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • the AnViL

      In Santa we trust – i believe in your pink unicorn!!! shut up and take my money!!!!

      let us pray to the pink unicorn!!

      January 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Bet

      it is the norm to hear the Lord

      Hearing voices is not "the norm", Boob. Most people who start hearing voices are smart enough to make an appointment with their doctor.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Truth can be demonstrated, the claims you make cannot.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bob likes unquestioned answers.....

      January 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • The Truth

      Bob thinks he can speak for a supposedly eternal being that was never born but has always existed and created the entire universe and anyone who doesn't believe him is stupid...

      Bob is like the flea on a dog who believes he knows what his dog's owners boss want's to buy his wife for their anniversary because he has read the rings on the dog hairs...

      January 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: i will take that as an admission that you are just blah, blah, fvcking blah-ing

      January 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob won't answer....he is a bloviating punk, every bit as much as chard or gopher.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sue

      Hermione: It's a bit strange, isn't it?
      Harry: Strange?
      Hermione: You hear this voice, a voice only you can hear, and then Mrs. Norris turns up petrified? It's just... strange.
      Harry: Do you think I should have told them? Dumbledore and the others, I mean.
      Ron: Are you mad?
      Hermione: No, Harry. Even in the wizarding world, hearing voices isn't a good sign.
      Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

      January 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually
      bet why don't you answer the question with all your knowledge?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob....the initial question is still on the table. what makes you think you have authority to speak for god? can you provide a rational response, or are you just a troll?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Sam by what authority do you claim the sky is blue?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: answer the question

      January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bob

      As soon as you answer mine

      January 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      fair enough. the answer to your question is that i did not claim the sky was blue, so your question invalid to begin with.

      now, answer my question

      January 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bet

      Sam didn't ask me the question. He asked you.

      I'm not pretending to know what god wants. I know god doesn't exist. You, however, made claims about his desire for a relationship as well as that hearing voices is normal for a christian.

      Sam challenged you. Answer him, don't try to toss the question to me like a little punk bitch.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bob

      So bet you are just a liar as posted on the previous page your extensive education and qualifications are all a lie

      January 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: are you going to answer the question, or are you going to just blah blah fvcking blah?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      C'mon Bob, we're all waiting with bated breath.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bet

      No, Bob.

      I know what the bible says, in detail. That doesn't mean I believe the stories. I'm also educated in Greek mythology, but I don't believe in their gods either.

      You made the claim that you know what god wants. Sam challenged you. It has nothing to do with me. Trying to deflect the attention off your failure to answer his question by calling me names is a punk ass move.

      Either nut up or shut up.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      I really don't want to see Bob's wrinkly nuts... Here's hoping he chooses to shut up and not nut up.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Uncouth Swain – no gods exist – and that's a flat fact – unless you can provide substantiated valid evidence of gods...you've nothing useful to add.

      cha cha cha

      January 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bob

      By Charismatic authority or revelation of the Holy Spirit just as all believers should be able to know. It is this that is at the base of being a Christian. If you don't have this personal relationship with Him then are you really a Christian? Again hearing from God the same thing the article talks about. He is a friend a Father,a brother, Savior , healer, just as God said of Moses that He is my friend and I talk to him face to face so we should all aspire to have this relationship with Him. If we as Christians and Gods Ambassadors don't know our master then we either don't love Him or are not truly a christian. I depend on Him for my life dont you think that I would want to know God?

      January 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      10-30% (the range in various studies) isn't quite the norm, but neither is it likely to be insanity anymore than feeling hot flashes during menopause or hearing the ring of tinnitus is insanity. Attributing the voices to god is just a matter of opinion based on pre-existing beliefs.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Bob", but "God", "Holy Spirit", and "Savior" are all elements of mythology, therefore all of your assertions to date have been unfounded or falsehoods. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Bob

      Hal to you mythology that is what you seek you don't seek to have a relationship with the God of the universe you don't ask the questions about life that science cannot answer. You are happy with a narrow world with no depth and no life that is not what I want I have been there and I can without a doubt tell you God is awesome,loving, caring, I cant tell you how much He has done for me so you who doesn't know want me to turn my back on someone who has been faithful to me? I don't think so you would do well to find out before you speak in supposed absolutes.

      January 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Jer 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
      Jer 29:12 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
      Jer 29:13 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

      January 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Fedup Delivery

      Folks, I think we should just let Bob quietly slobber all over himself. He's too far gone.

      January 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bob,

      the point is, there is not any difference in you quoting the Bible as if it gives provides the authority you claim and a Muslim quoting the Quaran for their supposed authority....or any other religious person quoting their holy book. You would not accept a Muslim claiming to know what god thinks so why should anyone accept your claim?

      January 2, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Cheese maker actually that's a good point that is why the gifts of the Spirit still operate today through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Also God still touches people that is something that no other religion has. Just as in Jesus's day when he performed miracles we as Christians are supposed be close enough to God to be able to have the gifts of the Spirit flow through us. Christianity is not a dead religion with a dead savior.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Bet

      Many religions make use of altered states of consciousness during which "wisdom" is imparted, people speak in "unknown tongues", shake, quake, contort or just sit still and enjoy a feeling of peace. Some religions induce it with repetitive chanting, some use music, dance and song, some use fiery rhetoric, some use drugs. Christianity is not unique in this regard.

      If you enjoy the feeling you get from it, fine and dandy. We all need to blow off some steam at times. If speaking in tongues does it for you, go for it. But it's not a god doing it to you or through you, it's just you.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      "charismatic authority"?

      so, you have authority to preach the mind of god because you think you do?

      January 3, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • HarryJ

      Chad
      Ancient Israel was real, albeit the evidence suggests that the writers of the Hebrew scripture were very prone to hyperbole, but so was ancient Greece, Egypt, India, China, Meso-America, and a bunch of other civilizations that also had histories detailing the involvement of their gods in their history. Other characters in myth also rose from the dead. Any rational person cannot distinguish that Israel is a case exceptional to other world myths.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  18. sortakinda

    Don't you just love how some people can believe in Stephen Hawking or Christopher Hitchens, whom they've never met, and take a true beyond a doubt that quarks, black holes, force fields and the like exist, also sight unseen, and those same people criticize others for belief in an invisible God whom they have never met?

    January 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Chad

      For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.

      — Paul Davies, A Brief History of the Multiverse

      January 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Here is the difference.

      The scientific information and evidence can be verified by anyone, the religious information can't. Notice there is not 33,000 different versions of science.

      Name one thing religion has ever proven true (using religion) and verified it....one.

      It is insipid statements like the one you made here that will drive reasonable people away from religion.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • the AnViL

      I have met Dr.Hawking – and I attended one of Christopher Hitchens lectures in ny back in 2010. while Christopher Hitchens is dead – Dr.Hawking is alive and well... for the most part. Evidence of Christopher Hitchens having lived is plentiful – the same with Dr.Hawking.

      unlike imaginary men in the sky – we do have strong irrefutable proof and evidence of black holes and quarks. it is most probably beyond your capacity to understand the actual underpinnings of astrophysics or quantum physics... so it's best you stick with religion... as it requires no actual hard work or thinking.... there's no math.. so you're safe.

      in conclusion...

      your assertions are retarded and bereft of anything intelligent.

      please – i implore you – for the good of humanity – if you haven't already – don't reproduce.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bet

      What a stupid argument.

      Stephen Hawking exists, Christopher Hitchens existed, we have visual evidence of them. Black holes, quarks and other celestial phenomena are measurable and verifiable by scientific means.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • NClaw441

      AnVil, you SAY you have met Dr. Hawking (if that is his real name). But why should anyone believe you? Are you even there? Can you prove your own existence? Anyone can play this nihilistic game. At bottom, every element of our lives requires faith at some level. Each of us must establish our own comfort zone of what is real. We call those whose comfort zone is too far "out there" mentally ill. Most of the rest of us live with (what appear to be) normal conventions of belief.

      Religious faith (and really all kinds of faith, e.g., faith in government, faith in the goodness of man) has been around for too long and adopted by too many people whom most consider intelligent to be rejected out of hand. True, there may be no God (my own faith says there is), but enough reasonable people who live pretty run of the mill lives profess belief for it to be considered a mental illness.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chad

      Additionally, all of your requests are couched in terms so as to exclude from consideration any act by the God of Israel.

      when you say things like "e scientific information and evidence can be verified by anyone, the religious information can't.
      you are making several mistakes:
      1. you are indicting the supernatural because it can not be measured in a naturalistic manner. Which makes no sense, it's like rejecting a horse's existence because we cant measure it's miles per gallon.
      2. you are ignoring the fact that historical events associated with Judeo/Christian claims CAN be verified.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad,

      Wrong buddy.... there is a reason why gods are mythical beings.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • sortakinda

      Anything scientific can be proven by anyone? What a joke. It is obvious that people believe in many things on faith. Would you stand in the rain if you didn't believe that a bus was due to arrive shortly? I like the comment about Stephen Hawking. I am starting to believe that he is simply a voice on the Simpsons. THAT GUY got married how amny times? Sorry, but I can't beleive THAT. And I would take Aquinas and Aristotle on my softball team before I'd pick Hawkings and HItchens. You may not like it or want it to be so, but GOD EXISTS-to say He has a size or a limited intellect is to misapprehend just who YOU are and who HE IS.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      unless you have evidence proving that the God of Israel is NOT real, you must be open the evidence demonstrating that He is.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Sue

      People don't believe in Stephen Hawking, or Christopher Hitchens. They believe what they say, because what they say is common sense and verifiable.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      You keep telling yourself that. As for the bus...it is physical and when questioned we can always produce one. Gods are mythical beings who require "special" men to speak with their authority.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sortakinda

      CHEESEMAKER

      If you ever met 33,000 scientists, I guarantee that you will have 66,000 versions of science, as they will recognize anything that they believe IS could equally belive is NOT. Stick with cutting the cheese. You're no scientist.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad

      @Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      unless you have evidence proving that the God of Israel is NOT real, you must be open the evidence demonstrating that He is.
      ..
      Are you open to fairies and unicorns existing?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Sue

      I don't see Christianity as mental illness, but I do see it and all other superst_itious beliefs as a product of our stone age minds, the same minds that are easily fooled by optical illusions and prone to mass hysteria.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Sorry Chad the burden is on you as it is to the person who beleives in fairies or the person in the mental ward claiming "their friend is real and talks to them". I will consider your God when he/she/it comes down here in front of everyody. However, your god suffers what the other gods suffer....they cant read, write or talk on their behalf. Sounds kind of puny to me. Until the day your god can put together a couple of words, they will remain in the land of fairies and insane people. Yes you are insane in my eyes for believing in magical beings.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Sue, agreed. But what I think we need to accept is that our minds are likely to stay in about this condition for the foreseeable future, and that even the most "rational" of us is still mostly stone age.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I suspect there will be a day when Christianity will become quite boring and the followers will be less and less...then we wioll publish a new book of mythology adding yet another dead religion. Of course given how superst it ious man is...a new religion will pop up. We humans are quite sad and in a mental trap slave to our own ancient fears.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • the AnViL

      silly childish nihilistic games notwithstanding... there is direct evidence that you and i exist. you and i may need to take it on some level of faith that we're both not communicating with bots capable of passing a turing test... but our existence is easily substantiated and i won't argue that matter further.

      - gaming isn't the issue.

      my own direct experiences aside.. there is evidence of stephen hawking.... there is evidence that christopher hitchens existed... and if the only evidence we use to verify these statements are the many many videos we have of them.. that's still more evidence than exists for your imaginary man in the sky.

      there is evidence of black holes. there is evidence of quarks... and all of it is verifiable – provided someone has the temerity to approach all the requisite learning that precedes the understanding of astrophysics and quantum mechanics.

      and just because some prevailing thought has been around for a long time -that doesn't give it any validity.

      for a very long time it was believed that the earth was the center of our solar system. the prevailing thought on the matter wasn't questioned very much... and anyone who did was scorned. the evidence of heliocentrism was there the whole time – but not very many people were intelligent enough to work out the mechanics of it. so... just because everyone believed the sun revolved round the earth didn't make it true.

      as for mental illness... how would you define delusional thinking?

      if someone believes in something that doesn't exist – so much so that they place their faith in it.. where does that sit on the scale of bonky for you??

      also...

      sir isaac newton – who invented the calculus and wrote the first useful texts on optics believed in an imaginary man in the sky and spent a lot of time working on alchemy...

      so it goes to show that yes – some very intelligent people held delusional ideas in their heads. does it detract from the usefulness of the products they provided humanity with?? of course not.

      that isn't to say that every john q public out there is enlightened enough to create a form of calculation to express the physical underpinnings of our very material world... many will just have to take science on faith.

      does that mean humanity has to live entirely on faith because of a prevailing ideology??? nope – it just means that culturally – we're stunted.

      in order to move ahead and evolve... humanity must abandon the mythologies of ancient cultures... and embrace education over ignorance.

      the first step is recognizing that ignorance.

      do you????

      January 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      your logic is an example of fallacious "Begging the Question"

      Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true

      this is due to your starting with the a-priori assumption that the God of Israel does not exist.

      Your logic is:
      1. There are no gods
      2. Christianity claims the existence of a God
      3. Therefor Christianity is false.

      as you can see, your premise assumes the conclusion.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • sortakinda

      Religion as a product of our stone age minds? The same minds that look for Gurus who believe what they believe, or would like to believe. If anyone thinks he/she can comprehend WTH Hawking has on his mind, have a conversation with him. Another guaranty: He'll tell you that you don't know what you're talking about. And if you rely on Hichens for your atheism, you are believing in him, aren't you?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • NatL

      Chad
      No, we apply that to all gods. Isn't Christianity, however, couched in terms so as to exclude from consideration any act by the gods of Greece, or anywhere else? By what reasonable argument does it do this, or are you conceding that Christian faith is anything but reason-driven?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • the AnViL

      chadtard – pay close attention:

      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.

      it's always amusing to watch the delusional enemies of reason attempt to shift the onus of evidence... i wait patiently for it.. i love to point out arguments from ignorance...

      thank you for giving me another opportunity to set the record straight, dummy.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • NatL

      Chad
      The actual logic is:
      1. Since 99.99% of all gods ever worshipped are now considered myth, gods are generally considered mythical.
      2. Christianity claims the existence of a real God
      3. Therefor it's up to Christianity to provide proof that their God is the exception to the general rule.

      See how that works?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad

      @Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      your logic is an example of fallacious "Begging the Question"

      Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true

      this is due to your starting with the a-priori assumption that the God of Israel does not exist.

      Your logic is:
      1. There are no gods
      2. Christianity claims the existence of a God
      3. Therefor Christianity is false.

      as you can see, your premise assumes the conclusion.
      -
      So by your logic you are open to fairies existing and every other mythical creature and being. Its not that I dont think gods do not exist, I see no reason to accept yours and I am not burdened by your fears. There is difference between Agnostic and Atheists.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      NatL

      Chad
      The actual logic is:
      1. Since 99.99% of all gods ever worshipped are now considered myth, gods are generally considered mythical.
      2. Christianity claims the existence of a real God
      3. Therefor it's up to Christianity to provide proof that their God is the exception to the general rule.

      See how that works?
      -
      He does but sidesteps that small part.

      In order to side step he has to be open to all mythical creatures and beings because after all we cannot prove they do not exist lol. Come on Chad, do you talk to fairies? How are your magic goblins?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      the AnViL

      chadtard – pay close attention:

      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.

      it's always amusing to watch the delusional enemies of reason attempt to shift the onus of evidence... i wait patiently for it.. i love to point out arguments from ignorance...

      thank you for giving me another opportunity to set the record straight, dummy.
      -
      Chad really doesnt realize how foolish and unsound he presents hismelf. It is like trying to talk to a retard...I mean christard.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Chad

      from
      http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismquestions/a/strong_weak.htm

      note the bold section below. if you claim that God does not exist, your are making a claim for which you need to provide support. This is just basic logic.
      enjoy!!

      Atheism is commonly divided into two types: strong atheism and weak atheism. Although only two categories, this distinction manages to reflect the broad diversity which exists among atheists when it comes to their positions on the existence of gods.


      Weak atheism, also sometimes referred to as implicit atheism, is simply another name for the broadest and most general conception of atheism: the absence of belief in any gods. A weak atheist is someone who lacks theism and who does not happen to believe in the existence of any gods — no more, no less. This is also sometimes called agnostic atheism because most people who self-consciously lack belief in gods tend to do so for agnostic reasons.

      Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all. Strong atheism is sometimes called “gnostic atheism” because people who take this position often incorporate knowledge claims into it — that is to say, they claim to know in some fashion that certain gods or indeed all gods do not or cannot exist.

      Because knowledge claims are involved, strong atheism carries an initial burden of proof which does not exist for weak atheism. Any time a person asserts that some god or any gods do not or cannot exist, they obligate themselves to support their claims. This narrower conception of atheism is often thought by many (erroneously) to represent the entirety of atheism itself.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • the AnViL

      chadtard – yes – i know all about austin cline and his skewed warped sense of logic.

      you can't change the fact that the onus of evidence lies wholly and entirely on the shoulders of those who as.sert: "gods exist".

      you should try more reputable sources for learning2logic, son.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chad

      We all start out at some point in our lives from the position of absence of belief due to absence of information. Clearly there is no burden of proof on individuals in this “position” (really a non-position). They are, as it were, simply waiting for input. It would be irrational for such people to claim to believe one way or the other. However, while you start out in life by justifiably saying, “the burden of proof is on you Mr. Positive Atheist and Ms. Theist,” as soon as attempts are made to meet that burden, the ball is right back in your court. You will need to assess the arguments and then assess the probabilities that the claim is true or false. Importantly, as the last of the earlier examples demonstrates, absence of belief may be the result of just such a reassessment: it may indicate not the default starting position of ignorance, but a reasoned, defensible conclusion that the odds of the claim’s being true is around 50% (not a view that I happen to share, by the way). In this special case, one is making a positive claim that the arguments and evidence support even odds.
      – source http://www.freethoughtdebater.org/2012/03/03/atheism-agnosticism-and-burden-of-proof/

      A strong atheist is not merely "without theism," but asserts that God does not exist. Note that many dictionaries define "atheist" similar to what I am defining as a strong atheist. Weak atheists generally feel that most dictionary definitions are unsatisfactory. Strong atheism is a strong claim. I can see how a theist would contend that strong atheism would require complete knowledge of everything to be able to defend. However, strong atheists counter that the very definition of God, if it includes omnipotence and omniscience, cannot exist–just like a round square cannot exist. Strong atheists contend that the very concepts of omnipotence and omniscience are fundamentally impossible to exist. Though I find some strong atheistic arguments along these lines to have merit, I am not sufficiently convinced to classify myself as a strong atheist. Therefore, I consider myself a weak atheist. I also believe most atheists are weak atheists, according to the terms described here.


      Another common issue that arises in my e-mails is the issue of "burden of proof." Theists often say that atheists are making a claim just as much as theists and therefore share burden of proof. Atheists on the other hand, (particularly weak atheists,) assert the burden of proof is on the theists to prove their claim as it is the theists who are making the assertion of the existence of a God or gods. It would be fair to say that strong atheism entails a burden of proof. I think most strong atheists would concede that, but claim that they meet the burden of proof with their arguments as to the alleged impossibility of omnipotence and omniscience. As I said, I find that some of those arguments seem to have some merit, but I don't find them conclusive and therefore am a weak atheist. But, back to the issue of "burden of proof," I agree with most weak atheists that the burden of proof lies with the theist who makes the claim of the existence of God or Gods.

      – source http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/atheism-agnosticism–pascals-wager.html

      January 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad,

      There is a difference. I simply see no reason to believe your God which first came on the scene around 1400 to 800 B.C. is a real God. In fact it was pretty much a copied God from an older mythical God. Hey who knows a God or Gods could simply be aliens. A God or Gods could be many different things. Until sucha god or Gods sets foot on Earth for the whole world to see....I will simply live my life. I think you are having a hard time understanding what I am saying.
      .
      I noticed you havent answered the question.....with your logic are you open to fairies existing?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Chad, nice cut and paste, now if only someone here claimed to be a "strong atheist" as oppossed to just atheist. Even so, one burden of proof does not cancel out another. Failure of someone to prove a universal negative does not remove the burden of proof of your claim.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad, regardless the burden is on the one making the claim....cut and paste whatever you want...that doesnt change it. So Chad.....you open to fairies existing?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.
      .
      Holy crap so is god! Prove they do not exist.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad offers nothing new and is becoming quite boring. Same circular bs...when faced with the mirror of his own logic..he ignores.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Chad

      - I do not claim that fairies, or unicorns, or whatever do not exist. I dont believe they exist, but I dont make a claim that they dont exist. If you believe that they do exist, I will not claim the default position is that they dont.

      - if you make a claim that the God of Israel does not exist, you have a burden of proof.
      - if I make a claim that God does exist (which I do), then I have a burden of proof
      - failure on your case to meet your burden of proof does not satisfy my burden of proof.
      - failure on my case to meet my burden of proof does not satisfy your burden of proof

      very, very straightforward.

      so, are you making the claim that the God of Israel doesnt exist? Yes or no?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • the AnViL

      again:

      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.

      cha cha cha

      January 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • the AnViL

      again again again :

      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.

      cha cha cha

      January 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @ANvil,
      sorry, no. see above.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad,

      "I dont believe they exist, but I dont make a claim that they dont exist."
      .
      Chad you just made the claim. lol as for your God of a few tribes, I have seen no credible evidence to show that he/she/it does. If you believe a mythical being exists, present your evidence. Burden is on you buddy. Considering your pasts post you have about 0 credibility...but hey keep playing the circular game. lol

      January 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Chad

      "I dont believe they exist"
      is different than
      "they dont exist."

      the latter makes a knowledge claim that the former does not.

      get it? please do a little reading!! man..

      January 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Chad

      so, Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT and ANvil

      are you making a claim that the God of Israel does not exist? Yes or no?

      why are you so afraid of answering the question?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      The necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays the claim.
      .
      So Chad, we have found no evidence to your claim of the God of Israel exists.....we await your credible evidence. In the name of brevity lets just narrow it down. Self serving writings of men is not considered credible. As sumptions are not considered credible. Of course we would accept your god speaking on their behalf or direct credible/verifiable evvidence from your god. We await this awsome credible evidence you have.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Heck, the faithful have been waiting on the atheists to prove that the concept of God was created by man. But so far, no scientific info on who did it, why, where or how. Just a bunch of opinions with no facts.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I already answered you Chad????????????? I havent seen a reason to believe...such as I have not seen a reason to believe that fairies exist. Of course if a fairy lands on my nose and says hi then I might have a reason to believe in fairies. What reason should we have??? Show us some credible evidence that your god exists outside the imagination of men/women. I guess you could say your god does exist...on a neurological level...so perhaps I am corrected....all god exist to a certain point...on a neurological level. Thank you Chad you just made me a believer.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • the AnViL

      chadtard – there are no gods.

      no elohim – no zeus – no allah – no shiva – no ganesh...

      no flying spaghetti monsters.

      and – for the record- i don't give a fat chinese baby girls a ss about weak atheism or strong atheism...

      to me – personally – weak atheists are agnostics... and i don't think there's anything more repugnant than a fence sitter.

      i can only be labeled as an anti-theist...

      i have seen so many supposed atheists haggle over the silliest semantics – and while at times it is amusing – mostly it's just tedious mental mastvrbation.

      you believe you've got a good handle on things – and that you're capable of jousting this one out... but your position is untenable.

      those of you who believe in imaginary men in the sky – are delusional. flat fact.

      zing!

      January 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • the AnViL

      10 the statement “gods exist” is a positive claim.

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

      goto 10

      January 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Really

      Trying to make any kind of sense from Chad is futile.
      His only conclusion is the god of Isreal is real, no arguement will change his position.
      Why does he come onto this blog day after day to try and convert others with his convoluted reasoning is a mystery, he must be obsessed with his delusion. If you enjoy playing his devious game, understand, it is just a game for Chad.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      When some christard in person asks me if I believe in their god, I simply respond why should I? Of course they go full tard and start quoting Harry Potter ...I mean the babble. Which I simply respond your faith is in your fellow man. You live your life in fear of the unknown because of these men. Have a nice life...good luck. So Chad, I say the same to you. Faith in your fellow man and as sumptions is what drives your life...more power to you..enjoy it.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chad

      10 the statement “gods exist” is a positive claim.

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

      === sorry , no again :-)

      see above and the definition of "negative claim". You are simply suffering from a lack of formal understanding of what you are talking about.

      Negative claim: A claim that excludes one class from the other; and E- or O-claim. Negative claims in standard form either begin with a "no" or contain a "not.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Really

      Trying to make any kind of sense from Chad is futile.
      His only conclusion is the god of Isreal is real, no arguement will change his position.
      Why does he come onto this blog day after day to try and convert others with his convoluted reasoning is a mystery, he must be obsessed with his delusion. If you enjoy playing his devious game, understand, it is just a game for Chad.
      .
      If he is a true christian then he is not leading by example and not a true light because his intention is not to win people over for his dead christ. His heart is hardened clearly and not christian. HOWEVER I lean more he is just an atheist troll and I just enjoy the bs back and forth

      January 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

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

      When one says that "gods do not exist", the positive claim of "Man created the gods" is also made silently.

      But as I have said, no one has shown us that God (we'll go with the Judeo-Christian angle) was created by man.

      I say that atheists can no more show that God was created by man than Christians can prove their is a God.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • the AnViL

      gods exist.... only between the ears of the stupid, delusional, gullible, ignorant people who believe that they do.

      no gods exist. gods do not exist.... no hay dioses existen... ingen guder findes... не боговете съществуват... gibt es keine Götter

      神々 が存在しません

      January 2, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Uncouth Swain – gods are entirely and completely the fabrication of the minds of men.

      that they do not exist is all the evidence you need of the truth of that statement.

      those who claim gods exist are still saddled with the onus of evidence... and that won't ever change – no matter how you juggle the words in any language.
      ~

      January 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Uncouth Swain

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

      When one says that "gods do not exist", the positive claim of "Man created the gods" is also made silently.

      But as I have said, no one has shown us that God (we'll go with the Judeo-Christian angle) was created by man.

      I say that atheists can no more show that God was created by man than Christians can prove their is a God.
      .
      Of course we can prove that men created the god of Israel....man wrote about it aprox 1400 to 800 B.C.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Man wrote about faires, santa, dragons and magical wizards....shall we as sume beyond the physical writings that they actually exist or shall we just let them remain in the realm of imagination? If you wish to go beyond the imagination of men, provide your evidence.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      As fun as it is to argue who has the burden of proof, it doesn't change reality. God's existance or lack there of is not dependant on who has the burden of proof. If your primary concern is convincing other's of your position, repositioning the burden of proof is sure to bring disapointment.

      But since we are in Rome, what's the difference between saying "My God is the only God" and "All other Gods do not exist"?

      January 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      lunchbreaker

      As fun as it is to argue who has the burden of proof, it doesn't change reality. God's existance or lack there of is not dependant on who has the burden of proof. If your primary concern is convincing other's of your position, repositioning the burden of proof is sure to bring disapointment.

      But since we are in Rome, what's the difference between saying "My God is the only God" and "All other Gods do not exist"?
      ------
      While in Rome we get bored...we cant feed the christards to the lions anymore...so we come on the "belief" blog. When you see people like Chad...come on it is just fun and easy. he is like a retard who thinks he is smart.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @the AnViL- "gods are entirely and completely the fabrication of the minds of men."

      That is a valid opinion. But it is not a fact.

      "that they do not exist"

      That is another valid opinion. But still not a fact.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Chad

      >>But since we are in Rome, what's the difference between saying "My God is the only God" and "All other Gods do not exist"?

      =>I would say that they are have the same burden of proof.
      Claim 1. If I make a claim that the God of Israel is real(and I do make that claim), I must provide evidence to that effect.
      Claim 2. if I make a claim that no other gods are real (and I do make that claim), I must provide evidence to that effect.

      My evidence for #1 is:
      1. origin of the universe
      2. fine tuning of the universe
      3. origin of life on earth
      4. fossil record
      5. resurrection of Jesus Christ

      My evidence for claim #2 is that the God of Israel has said there are no other gods, He is the only real one.

      This is not circular reasoning because while the evidence for claim #2 relies on the evidence for claim #1, the evidence for claim #1 does not rely on the evidence for claim #2.

      I really dont know why you guys have such a hard time with this formal logic..

      January 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Ciafomi-FACT- "Of course we can prove that men created the god of Israel....man wrote about it aprox 1400 to 800 B.C."

      Umm, no. Men writing about God is not the same as Man creating the concept of God. For you, you would have to tell us (within scientific means) who created the concept, where, why and how. Evidence would also be needed but I doubt you will find any that would fit the criteria recognized by a historian.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Uncouth Swain – no gods exist – and that's a flat fact – unless you can provide substantiated valid evidence of gods...you've nothing useful to add.

      cha cha cha

      January 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @the AnViL "no gods exist – and that's a flat fact "

      =>so what is your evidence for that claim?

      note the definition below, and that it requires evidence :-):

      Definition of FACT:
      -the quality of being actual : actuality
      -something that has actual existence
      -an actual occurrence
      -piece of information presented as having objective reality

      January 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • the AnViL

      chadtard ignorantly posits the following:

      My evidence for #1 ( Claim 1. If I make a claim that the God of Israel is real(and I do make that claim), I must provide evidence to that effect.) is:
      1. origin of the universe – baseless va gue claim... unsubstantiated
      2. fine tuning of the universe – ridiculous baseless claim – predicate on delusional opinion and ignorance. unsubstantiated
      3. origin of life on earth – baseless va gue claim – unsubstantiated.
      4. fossil record – baseless va gue claim – unsubstantiated
      5. resurrection of Jesus Christ – hearsay – unsubstantiated.

      you've no evidence.

      were it that simple – this stupid argument would have been settled ages ago.

      you should literally be ashamed to be so stupid.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Chad

      actuality: a question of fact hinges on evidence

      January 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Fedup Delivery

      ...and evidence is NOT something Chad has to back up ANYTHING in his religion. And that's a fact, Jack.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Bet

      Hey Chewed,

      You forgot #6 – Tide goes in, tide goes out.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Chad

      1. origin of the universe:
      -1a our universe had a beginning
      --–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

      - 2a anything that begins has a cause
      - 2b our universe began
      - 2c the beginning of our universe must have had an causal entity external to our current time/space.

      2. 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

      3. origin of life on earth (see refutations of RNA world hypothesis)

      4. fossil record (see Gould Punctuated Equilibrium)

      5. resurrection of Jesus Christ (see "The Resurrection of the Son of God" N.T. Wright)

      January 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • the AnViL

      fact: a piece of information presented as having objective reality

      January 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Bet

      Oh, look, Chewed is trying to science!

      January 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Really-O?

      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.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Really-O?, There's also ultimately no evidence that you'll exist in 10 seconds (the problem of induction).

      I don't much care what people believe regarding the existence of a god, but by sharing in the modern world and it's scientific achievements you're signing on to assumptions that limit what you can believe about this god. So go ahead and believe if it makes you feel better, but to swallow it whole without regard for conflict is to introduce dangerously conflicting ideas.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Chad

      Your opinion that there has been no compelling evidence submitted to demonstrate the existence of the God of Israel is certainly sufficient to bolster your lack of belief in the God of Israel.
      however
      That is NOT sufficient to demonstrate that the God of Israel does not exist. For that claim to be met, you would have to provide evidence backing the statement up.

      Note that your failure to be convinced by the evidence FOR the existence of God is not sufficient evidence to make a case that God doe NOT exist.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "Note that your failure to be convinced by the evidence FOR the existence of God is not sufficient evidence to make a case that God doe NOT exist."

      Yep, I agree with you and I do not believe in god. I do think there is evidence against several things in the bible (and for others) and against some characteristics attributed by some Christians to god. But against the existence of any god? Don't have it, and possibly never will.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      the AnViL0- "no gods exist – and that's a flat fact"

      No, that is a statement devoid of any facts.

      "unless you can provide substantiated valid evidence of gods...you've nothing useful to add."

      Except to show that you cannot prove what you believe...that man created the concept of God.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I agree with Chad's post January 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm – while there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists, there is also no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel does not exist. Those facts, however, do not give both positions (positive belief in the existence of the god of Israel and skepticism of that particular deity) rational equity.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Uncouth Swain, you are SOOO much better at this than me :-)

      right to the point, whack.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Saraswati, but there is a high probability that we will be here in 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 hours, whatever based upon the evidence of life expectancy gathered by insurance companies et al. There is very low probability (zero in my opinion) that the god of the bible or any religion exists. Since the Big Bang there is no evidence of a god. Plenty of evidence of people living to an old age.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "Note that your failure to be convinced by the evidence FOR the existence of God is not sufficient evidence to make a case that God doe NOT exist."

      Yep, I agree with you and I do not believe in god. I do think there is evidence against several things in the bible (and for others) and against some characteristics attributed by some Christians to god. But against the existence of any god? Don't have it, and possibly never will.
      .
      Only the god or gods can prove they exist. Until then they will remain with fairies and unicorns...not sweating it. Until then the absence of stands as evidence.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad

      @Uncouth Swain, you are SOOO much better at this than me

      right to the point, whack.
      ,
      Please get off your knees.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Guess Ciafomi- FACT didn't have anything interesting to add.

      January 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Uncouth Swain – yeah... when you and chad get done fellating each other... take some time to gather yourself and check this out...

      this seems to be a major stumbling block for a few people – including yourself... so i'm going to go over it for you once more – just to be a dick.. and because i can... because to me – it's funny to smash people in the face with this:

      the onus of evidence lies entirely and wholly on the shoulders of those making the positive claim that "gods exist".

      argumentum ad ignorantiam (prove that gods do not exist) is now – and has always been – an unsuccessful method of shifting the onus of evidence.

      it won't work today – it didn't work yesterday... or any other day... including tomorrow.

      reference russells teapot for an example of an argument from ignorance.

      no one would make the negative claim that gods do not exist, unless someone did not first posit gods exist.

      read it – re-read it... allow it to permeate the dense matter of your cranium and let it sink in...

      deal with it.

      good luck – and thanks for playing.

      cha cha chaaaaaaaaaa

      January 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • NatL

      Chad
      "My evidence for claim #2 is that the God of Israel has said there are no other gods, He is the only real one."

      How does God know this? I know, he thinks that he's omniscient, but how could he really know that he is?

      January 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      @Uncouth

      Okay, here are a few chunks of evidence of the non-existence of anything supernatural at all: The space-time continuum itself, with all the laws of physics and how there is no magic and nothing to indicate anything more than essentially random events at any time even down to the quantum level.

      This is useful evidence that directly points to the fact that there is nothing supernatural that is affecting anything in this continuum that could ever be construed to mean that what we see was "created" by "design".

      And let me point out that we live at the macro level. If you think some tiny god is hiding behind a quark, then let me point out the fact that there is nothing supernatural to be found throughout all of humanity's scientific knowledge.

      Quantum indeterminacy is not a supernatural event and does not cause anything magic to occur in any way that could be called intelligently manipulated. Quantum events are fuzzy due to the expansion of space-time itself.

      At our macro level, any claim of intelligent purpose to purely physical events can be tested. At no time throughout human history has any supernatural event been claimed that could not be accounted for by brain malfunction or bias or hallucination or whatnot.

      Without any indication whatsoever of any sort of "intelligent order" at the macro level down to the quantum level, there is left no place for your god to fit.

      Also, there are things like the conservation of energy law, which completely locks out any possibility of anything supernatural all by its lonesome.
      With nothing being added to or removed from an energy equation, there is nothing else that can be inserted into it, as would something supernatural would do by definition.

      This is a closed continuum filled with essentially random events at all levels. There are no gods, not even one.
      All of science gives us all the evidence. Religion has ZERO evidence.

      The evidence is very clear:

      There is nothing magic or supernatural in this continuum...and that includes anything we could label a "deity" or "god" of any sort in a credible manner.

      We have not just a tiny bit, we have the whole of known scientific knowledge and some of us know how to use logic to arrive at a logical conclusion. (Not you, of course. You couldn't find your ass with both hands in terms of figuring out what all this real evidence means.)

      Go ahead and bloviate away, Uncouth Swain. Your knees jerk a lot, you know. You should see a doctor about that.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "If you ever met 33,000 scientists, I guarantee that you will have 66,000 versions of science"

      Sotakinda,

      That is even more stupid than your original post.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rational Humanist "there is no magic and nothing to indicate anything more than essentially random events at any time even down to the quantum level."
      @Chad "how do you demonstrate the truth of that claim?
      Hint: you can't"

      =======
      @Rational Humanist " let me point out the fact that there is nothing supernatural to be found throughout all of humanity's scientific knowledge."
      @Chad "1. Scientific knowledge concerns itself only with the natural, not the super-natural
      2. how are you going demonstrate the truth of the claim that "there is nothing supernatural to be found"?
      Hint: you can't"

      =======
      @Rational Humanist "Quantum indeterminacy is not a supernatural event and does not cause anything magic to occur in any way that could be called intelligently manipulated. Quantum events are fuzzy due to the expansion of space-time itself."
      @Chad "yes.. so..?"

      =======
      @Rational Humanist "At our macro level, any claim of intelligent purpose to purely physical events can be tested"
      @Chad "true, for example the fantastically low entropy state of the early universe is completely consistent with the theistic claim of creation"

      =======
      @Rational Humanist " At no time throughout human history has any supernatural event been claimed that could not be accounted for by brain malfunction or bias or hallucination or whatnot."
      @Chad "1. how could you EVER hope to prove that statement to be correct (hint: you cant)
      2. How do you account for the sudden belief on the part of those people listed in the bible (persecutors, non-believers, skeptics and believers) that they had met a physically resurrected Jesus.

      =======
      @Rational Humanist "Without any indication whatsoever of any sort of "intelligent order" at the macro level down to the quantum level, there is left no place for your god to fit."
      @Chad "intelligent order: fine tuning of the universe"

      =======
      @Rational Humanist "Also, there are things like the conservation of energy law, which completely locks out any possibility of anything supernatural all by its lonesome."
      @Chad "perhaps you could explain that, because it's a nonsense statement :-)
      Actually, the fact that energy can neither be created or destroyed is definitive proof of creation,
      - energy exists
      - energy can not be created
      - the universe had a beginning, at which point all of the energy that existed in the universe came into being.
      - ex-nihilo creation is the only option.

      =======
      @Rational Humanist "The evidence is very clear:"
      @Chad "what evidence? you mentioned several things you cant hope to prove and one that demonstrates theism.."

      =======
      @Rational Humanist "There is nothing magic or supernatural in this continuum...and that includes anything we could label a "deity" or "god" of any sort in a credible manner."
      @Chad "another statement.. need to back something up with some evidence!

      January 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @In Santa we trust, the problem is much deeper than that. I reference again the problem of induction – you cannot have evidence for it and it is the basis of your claims for probability.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Chad

      - energy exists
      - energy can not be created by naturalistic processes
      - the universe had a beginning, at which point all of the energy that existed in the universe came into being.
      - ex-nihilo creation(super-natural) is the only option (a natural origin is impossible, since energy can not be created naturalistically. )

      January 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • little timmy

      Um – I think energy can come from nature. Like when someone farts.

      January 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • HarryJ

      Chad
      If energy cannot be created, or destroyed, then it was always there, right? Time began unfolding, along with all the other dimensions, after the big bang so there never was any "before". Science may never be able to answer this question, but that is no reason to just assign an answer based on popular speculation. What's wrong with simply admitting that we don't know, and may never find out?

      January 3, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Theologians have often welcomed any evidence for the beginning of the universe, regarding it as evidence for the existence of God … So what do we make of a proof that the beginning is unavoidable? Is it a proof of the existence of God? This view would be far too simplistic. Anyone who attempts to understand the origin of the universe should be prepared to address its logical paradoxes. In this regard, the theorem that I proved with my colleagues does not give much of an advantage to the theologian over the scientist.

      -Vilenkin, in his 2006 book Many Worlds in One

      January 3, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Chad

      @HarryJ "If energy cannot be created, or destroyed, then it was always there, right? Time began unfolding, along with all the other dimensions, after the big bang so there never was any "before". "

      @Chad "energy can not be created or destroyed naturalistically, by natural process
      That proves the universe could not have "created itself".

      We know the universe had a beginning and that all matter/energy did not exist prior.

      therefor, a supernatural creation of energy is the only option left.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Eric G

      @Chad: "We know the universe had a beginning and that all matter/energy did not exist prior. Therefor, a supernatural creation of energy is the only option left."

      First, we don't know that matter/energy did not exist prior.

      Second, you will need to provide an example of something "supernatural" for reference and verification.

      or....
      You can admit that you don't know how it happened and claiming that your god must have done it is childlike.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Chad

      @Chad: "We know the universe had a beginning and that all matter/energy did not exist prior. Therefor, a supernatural creation of energy is the only option left."

      @Eric G "First, we don't know that matter/energy did not exist prior."

      @Chad "actually, we do know that. That is what the BGV theorum says, namely that our universe had a beginning and that "prior" to that beginning, nothing that exists now, existed. That means energy/matter/space/time had a beginning. Before that did not exist, then it did. That is what a beginning is.
      It did not exist, then it did. that point is the beginning.

      beginning : The point in time or space at which something starts.

      =========
      @Eric G "Second, you will need to provide an example of something "supernatural" for reference and verification."
      @Chad "see: the God of Israel"

      January 3, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Chad, since you believe in God, It would appear that you believe in "things" that do not consist of space, time or matter. This is something we have in common. If at some point there was no space, time or matter, then all we can speculate is that some "thing" not consisting of what we are familiar with caused the space, time and matter we observe today to come into existance. You just assume that some "thing" else has to be your God.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • HarryJ

      Chad
      I'm not sure that the statement "We know the universe had a beginning and that all matter/energy did not exist prior" is accurate. The universe as we now know it had a beginning, and so far the Big Bang model is the best one we have of how our universe began, but we just don't know what enough about the state of things were prior to that event, if "prior" is even the proper word. Whatever state things were in at that point could very well be described as beyond the nature of the unfolded universe we experience. If you want to call that "supernatural" then go ahead, but why you just assume that some magical being had to be involved is just illogical.

      If you want to open the floor to such speculation then there are hundreds of other creation deities from the world's many, many creation stories who could equally be responsible, or we can poll everyone on the planet to come up with their own imaginative ideas. Why not? It's just wild speculation, after all. Everyone can have their own opinion, but none would be any closer to matching the evidence than the best scientific theories.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @lunchbreaker "You just assume that some "thing" else has to be your God."
      @chad "I would say this is not merely an assumption, rather:
      1. we have the reality of the nation of Israel, it's history
      2. we have the bible, which we can examine for its accuracy as a historical source of information.
      3. within that bible, is a claim that the God of Israel is real, and in that bible He claims to be the creator of the universe
      4. we have the life/death of Jesus Christ, and the evidence of His resurrection.

      The rational person certainly is justified in believing that the God of Israel is real, and Jesus Christ is His Son.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: "therefor, a supernatural creation of energy is the only option left."

      Wow – there you go limiting the options again, Chad. Even if we say that creation was from something beyond what we now know as nature, there is no evidence of such a "thing" or "things" to know we would also put it into the category we now call "supernatural". You're just making too grand a leap, Chad.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • mama k

      And regarding all your mumbo jumbo about the Bible and God, Chad, archaeological writings and other evidence gives us reason to suspect some of the characters in ancient times were real, but as others have pointed out to you time and again, there is no empirical evidence to date to support the existence of the God of Israel.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      It would be awesome to watch Chad (assisted by his genius buddy Topher?) in a debate with Dawkins, Hawking, and Krauss. . .

      January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k, you simply misunderstand the definition of "supernatural".
      Anything "beyond what we now know as nature" IS supernatural, that is the definition.

      Multi-verses are super-natural.

      su·per·nat·u·ral
      /ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/
      Adjective (of a manifestation or event) Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
      Noun Manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      You're really just playing word games, but then again, that's all you do. By your definition, electrons and photons were supernatural during the time that they were unproven theories because they could not be naturally explained until the hypotheses and measuring techniques were brought to bear that proved their existence in the natural world. That's a bit silly, don't you think? Electrons were part of nature before we could prove their existence in nature by nature.

      As to the multiverse theory, yes, it's just one theory of many, BUT mathematics prove that the theory is sound, and mathematics is proven science. Mathematics does not prove the biblegod theory sound, nor is there any discipline (such as mathematics) that proves biblegod theory is sound. So while the multiverse hypothesis is just one hypothesis, it is still much more sound than the biblegod hypothesis.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "no empirical evidence to date to support the existence of the God of Israel."

      @chad "you have no empirical evidence that I exist.
      We have no empirical evidence that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander the Great, etc, etc, etc, etc, exist.

      and yet, they did exist (and I do).

      so.. are you using the right tool to determine existence? Yours seems pretty flawed due to the large numbers of false negatives."

      January 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @moby "As to the multiverse theory, yes, it's just one theory of many, BUT mathematics prove that the theory is sound"

      =>how? Where?
      You are the only person that thinks that is true :-)
      Multi-verses are entirely unscientific by definition.

      multiverse theories are non-scientific
      For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.

      — Paul Davies, A Brief History of the Multiverse

      January 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: "@mama k, you simply misunderstand the definition of "supernatural".
      Anything "beyond what we now know as nature" IS supernatural, that is the definition."

      You just proved my point again, Chad, that is – you make too many assumptions and therefore make too many leaps.
      I said "what we now know as" to indicate that, since we know NOTHING from before the beginnings of the universe, it is presumptuous to attach ANY adjective to it as you have tried to do with "supernatural". You continue to limit possibilities.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • mama k

      And chad, if you want to continue to believe that you cannot accept your own existence without accepting the existence of the God of Israel, then I'll just leave you with that delusion. For many rational people, it is quite obvious that there simply is not enough reasonable evidence of ANY kind to support the "magic" elements of Christianity (nor the OT magic or any other magic claimed to date by manmade religions).

      January 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k,
      1. there are only two possibilities: natural and supernatural. By definition that is the entirety of live options.
      It's like saying "a color is either red, or not red". There simply is no third option as those two are defined.

      2. since the universe had a beginning, and it didnt create itself, it's creation is not natural. Therefor it MUST be supernatural.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • mama k

      ( man made )

      January 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      You haven't proved that "supernatural" is an option, you've only stated it. How silly of you.

      Yes, mathematics demonstrates that the multiverse theory is possible. How silly of you to not know that.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k,
      I'll take your response to mean that you agree "empirical evidence" is a poor requirement for establishing the existence of persons.
      If you disagree, please respond with your empirical test for George and Abe.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [@mama k,
      1. there are only two possibilities: natural and supernatural. By definition that is the entirety of live options.
      It's like saying "a color is either red, or not red". There simply is no third option as those two are defined.

      2. since the universe had a beginning, and it didnt create itself, it's creation is not natural. Therefor it MUST be supernatural.
      ]

      I think something beyond what we now know as natural is most likely. However, we just don't know. We also think we know about all natural things, and we obviously don't know everything that scientists might want to associate with "nature", so we can't make blanket claims about either one with regard to creation. We simply don't know.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @moby: "Yes, mathematics demonstrates that the multiverse theory is possible. How silly of you to not know that."

      =>really? where?

      January 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Here, I'll try to simplify things for your stupid little mind:

      1. FAITH is required to state that our universe "began" at all because science cannot detect that beginning.
      1b. However, that theory is plausible according to current mathematics.

      2. FAITH is required to state that our universe is one of many in a multiverse and that our universe possibly budded off from another one.
      2b. However, that theory is plausible according to current mathematics.

      3. FAITH is required to state that our universe was "created" by some intelligent mind
      3b. However possible, there is no current, reliable method of measurement to weigh in on the issue one way or another. When there is no reliable method to measure a possibility, the default stance is unbelief/disbelief, not, let me jump to conclusions based on what I'd like to be true.

      Your reasoning is fvcked because you don't understand the difference between possible, plausible, and demonstrated fact. As long as you keep jumbling them all up so that all the ideas stack up in favor of your pet beliefs, you'll keep on deluding yourself and damaging your own reputation and arguments. By all means, keep it up.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      You seem really good at doing research for quotes from scientists that APPEAR to support your ideas. Why don't you pretend that the multiverse theory supports your ideas, and go do research on the math that supports it. It won't satisfy you, because you've decided a priori that the theory is wrong because you believe a priori that your god theory is correct, but you'll feel as if you're doing something important, and it just might demonstrate something else to you---but that's my little secret.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Chad

      The core of your emp erical evidence of your god of israel is based on faith in man and as s umption. If there was credible undisputed evidence ....you wouldnt need faith. Your wondering monkey ar se scratching children of "Adam and Eve" most likely came in contact with stories of gods etc and put their own spin on it. I guess your god was silent for thousands of years prior to Adam and Eve when the prev advanced societies were going on?.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k,
      I'll take your response to mean that you agree "empirical evidence" is a poor requirement for establishing the existence of persons.
      If you disagree, please respond with your empirical test for George and Abe. ]

      Ah, Chad, the one who not only makes leaps for himself, but attempts to do it with whoever he is addressing.
      (trying to put words in one's mouth to fit his argument)
      Wrong question, Chad.
      My statement above, Chad, was regarding:

      ""magic" elements of Christianity[/other religions]".
      you know, miracles and resurrection and such.

      It is reasonable to require empirical evidence for things that are only claimed that not only no one has ever shown proof for, but also which are beyond the "norm" mankind's recorded existence. Of course you can challenge "norm", but it will just make you look more like a fool.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I don't think many on here see Chad as credible. He is good at cut and pasting but understands very little of what he talks about. He simply makes leaps and as sumptions. He ahs no supporting evidence that hsi god of isreal is real to begin with, nor established that his god of israel is the only god.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @moby: "Yes, mathematics demonstrates that the multiverse theory is possible. How silly of you to not know that."
      @moby: "go do research on the math that supports it. "

      =>ah, I get it, you had no idea, you were just speculating.

      ========
      @moby: "FAITH is required to state that our universe "began" at all "
      @Chad "no it isnt.. see BGV theory, dont know why you are so stubbornly resistant to acknowledging this when the rest of the scientific world already has."

      @Moby: " FAITH is required to state that our universe is one of many in a multiverse and that our universe possibly budded off from another one.
      @Chad "I agree"

      @moby"FAITH is required to state that our universe was "created" by some intelligent mind"
      @Chad "I would say a better description would be that we have reasonable evidence demonstrating the God is the required supernatural entity.

      @moby "When there is no reliable method to measure a possibility, the default stance is unbelief/disbelief"
      @chad "that is fallacious logic, as you are assuming a-prior that God does not exist.
      Unless you are prepared to prove that God does not exist, He remains in the pool of live options.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I ignore Chad for a week, and he still can't come up with anything resembling evidence.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "It is reasonable to require empirical evidence for things that are only claimed that not only no one has ever shown proof for, but also which are beyond the "norm" mankind's recorded existence."

      =>really?
      if you cant provide empirical evidence that Lincoln was assinated, how is someone supposed to provide empirical evidence for other ancient events?

      your requirement of "empirical evidence" cant be used to prove any historical event.

      right?

      January 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k "It is reasonable to require empirical evidence for things that are only claimed that not only no one has ever shown proof for, but also which are beyond the "norm" mankind's recorded existence."

      =>really?
      if you cant provide empirical evidence that Lincoln was assinated, how is someone supposed to provide empirical evidence for other ancient events?

      your requirement of "empirical evidence" cant be used to prove any historical event.

      right? ]

      Well that's just it. You can choose not to believe that Lincoln was assassinated, but aside from non-empirical evidence, we have reason to think that it is reasonable – i.e., people have been assassinated throughout history. And for many non-supernatural events in history, we can also observe similar incidents in real time in the here and now (that give us reason to suspect past accounts are reasonable even if they cannot presently be proven. It is for the non-reasonable claims, the claims of things that have rarely occurred that, without empirical evidence, they remain just that – non-reasonable, and highly unlikely (even though we most likely cannot prove them impossible).

      January 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @the AnViL- Ignoring your h o m o e r o t i c projecting...

      you do not claim that God was created by a man?

      "(prove that gods do not exist) is now – and has always been – an unsuccessful method of shifting the onus of evidence."

      I never once asked you to prove that God does not exist. You do know how to read right? I asked you to prove that the concept of God was created by a man. Thus far, you have failed.

      Is this where I laugh at you?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Rational Humanist- a little slow are we? I never once asked anyone to prove the negative. Talk with Anvil about that.

      "(Not you, of course. You couldn't find your ass with both hands in terms of figuring out what all this real evidence means.)"

      Ah..got to love ad hominems from those wanting to stroke their egos.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      So Chad, during the course of evolution, at what point did we transition from soulless primates to humans with a soul. At some point a creature with no soul must have given birth to a creature with a soul. Any idea how we find out when that happened?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Lori

      @Rational Humanist

      You said, "So let me just toss this out there: It appears that you think there is some sort of supernatural force that exists or may exist without any reason to even entertain the notion and you cling to this possibility of a supernatural enti ty despite being one of the more intelligent people to come here. "
      No. I don't suffer from those delusions. I don't "cling to", but simply don't exclude the possibility.

      You said, "Okay so far?"
      No. No. No. You still don't get it. No matter how much evidence you produce, or how unlikely it is that any gods exist, you can't prove it with 100% certainty. Even if you were able to exclude their existence within our universe, you can't conclusively exclude the possibility of them outside of it.

      All your evidence would lead a reasonable, rational person to not believe any gods exist, but it doesn't exclude the possibility. It may exclude the possibility of a god like the christians, or muslims, worship, but not a generic, not-involved supernatural being. Your evidence makes a case for weak atheism, but not strong atheism as you seem to suggest.

      You seem unable to reconcile atheism and agnosticism. The two are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to be both.
      Gnosticism is about knowledge about gods, or the lack thereof (agnosticism).
      Theism is about belief in gods, or the lack thereof (atheism).

      Now do yourself a favor and read this post again. Repeat until you get that I don't hold infantile beliefs in any gods, but that I remain open to new evidence that might show there is one, however unlikely that is to emerge.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • The Truth

      @sad, er chad – "if you cant provide empirical evidence that Lincoln was assinated, how is someone supposed to provide empirical evidence for other ancient events?" There is evidence he was assasinated, from original playbills from the theatre, letters from Mary Todd Lincoln, contemporary newspaper articles and accounts given by those in the theatre who witnessed the crime, all recorded within days of the actual events.

      Now let's take your Jesus and his miracles. Not a single piece of contemporary evidence has ever been found. That would be like me now claiming Dan Cooper (DB Cooper) was really the Lindburgh baby all grown up and they survived the plane jump and lived off the cash for decades before telling me then dying without giving any actual hard evidence of their story but I will write it all down and you will just have to believe me because there is no other evidence for my second hand tale...and if I write down the story decades after the event, so then a hundred years from now someone might read the story and say "Well that guy a hundred years ago believed it, I guess it's true!!"...

      January 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k,
      ok, so we're agreed that historical events/persons cant be measure empirically, I'm not sure what this whole "can choose not to believe that Lincoln was assassinated" is, other than a dodge on your part to come up with a way to empirically prove he was assassinated.

      It sounds like now you are discarding all supernatural events from the realm of possibility a-priori.

      =====
      @mama k "It is for the non-reasonable claims, the claims of things that have rarely occurred that, without empirical evidence"
      @chad "1. weird that you have re-introduced this "empirical" requirement again? Do you just like the sound of the word or something? Remember, there is no way to empirically prove historical events/persons.
      2. What exactly makes the claim that the God of Israel is real, unreasonable?

      January 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Perhaps the Universe of space and time has a cause that can be, at least on this side of time-like time, conscious, when it wants to confine itself that way, in the same way that Chad is conscious. Suppose also that it can be aware of and care deeply about all of us as individuals and influence our lives to bring us eternal happiness. That Chad would recognize it as God. Imagine that it just never chooses to do any of that.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @The Truth "There is evidence he was assasinated, from original playbills from the theatre, letters from Mary Todd Lincoln, contemporary newspaper articles and accounts given by those in the theatre who witnessed the crime, all recorded within days of the actual events."
      @Chad "if you want to count that type of evidence as "empirical evidence", then we have ample empirical evidence that Jesus lived, was crucified, the tomb in which He lay was found empty by a group of women followers, and that many people reported witnessing a resurrected Jesus.

      January 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k,
      ok, so we're agreed that historical events/persons cant be measure empirically, I'm not sure what this whole "can choose not to believe that Lincoln was assassinated" is, other than a dodge on your part to come up with a way to empirically prove he was assassinated.

      It sounds like now you are discarding all supernatural events from the realm of possibility a-priori.

      =====
      @mama k "It is for the non-reasonable claims, the claims of things that have rarely occurred that, without empirical evidence"
      @chad "1. weird that you have re-introduced this "empirical" requirement again? Do you just like the sound of the word or something? Remember, there is no way to empirically prove historical events/persons.
      2. What exactly makes the claim that the God of Israel is real, unreasonable? ]

      There is no dodge, Chad. It is simply your inability to keep track either from being familiar with your frequent responders or from the obvious hints in replies as to whether the responder is more agnostic or more hard-line atheist. (Or an attempt at deception on your part to evade by ignoring such obvious hints.) So let's look back at one of these statements from your last reply: "It sounds like now you are discarding all supernatural events from the realm of possibility"
      You should know by now that I don't discard anything as completely impossible. That should have been evident to you from all my responses to this thread. I do discard things in favor of other notions for being too unlikely or too unsubstantiated. And among the other notions is one that I know you hate, but it's "we don't know". So again, you make a leap by assuming that I discard things claiming them to be an impossibility.

      Now, regarding this Chad: "@chad "1. weird that you have re-introduced this "empirical" requirement again? [..] Remember, there is no way to empirically prove historical events/persons." You know what, Chad, that's not my fault. If things can't be proven empirically and seem likely, they will be see as likely. If they can't be proven empirically and seem unlikely, they will be seen as unlikely. So, to support your notion of the God of Israel, you might want to start by showing where some current scholars, scientists, etc. unrelated to faith organizations make claims for the magic in the Bible and support their claims. You know, put forth someone else's evidence to support your claim. But the five points you have repeated before don't cut it for me, Chad. (I think this also answers your final question.)

      January 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Lori

      No matter how much evidence you produce, or how unlikely it is that any gods exist, you can't prove it with 100% certainty.

      No one has asked for 100% certainty that god exists. Just one tiny piece of peer-reviewed, validated scientific evidence will do. No one has ever been able to provide even that. Instead we hear about beautiful sunsets, angels and devils, unsubstantiated "miracles", and an old book of magic and myth.

      Even if you were able to exclude their existence within our universe, you can't conclusively exclude the possibility of them outside of it.

      This is true, we don't know what, if anything, lies beyond our universe. Again, provide any piece of peer-reviewed, validated scientific evidence that something exists outside our universe and you'll have believers.

      All your evidence would lead a reasonable, rational person to not believe any gods exist, but it doesn't exclude the possibility.

      This is true, and yet for some reason, a lot of people still do believe in god, despite having no evidence that a god exists. Again, provide peer-reviewed, validated scientific evidence. I'm open to belief if you can do that.

      It may exclude the possibility of a god like the christians, or muslims, worship, but not a generic, not-involved supernatural being.

      Again, true. And again, provide peer-reviewed, validated scientific evidence. Just one tiny shred and I'm in!

      Your evidence makes a case for weak atheism, but not strong atheism as you seem to suggest.

      I have no idea what "weak atheism" or "strong atheism" is. If scientific evidence for god was found, I'd believe. Until then, you're whistling Dixie.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chad

      good to know that we no longer have to debate the existence of "empirical evidence" for historical persons/events.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Lori

      I've met some dense believers on this blog, but you seem to be one of the rare examples of a non-believer that has a hard time grasping simple concepts. Maybe you should do yourself a favor and quit while you're behind.

      It looks like you (unsurprisingly) failed to take my advice. You replied before you understood my post.

      You said, "Sorry, but I DID prove it 100%"
      Bullsh it. You didn't prove jack-sh it.

      You said, "so you just need to put on your big-boy pants and admit that as far as physics is concerned, you are woefully ignorant and don't mind covering your ears and going "la-la-la" when faced with real scientific analysis that would push any other reasonable person into admitting it."
      I sure hope you don't make your living in physics.

      The simple fact that our knowledge is limited to our own universe means that you can't prove with 100% certainty that there are no gods outside of it.

      But even within our own universe, the fact that we've yet to find any indication of any supernatural doesn't prove they can't exist. You seem to keep falling into the same trap where you take the fact that there is no evidence to mean you have evidence of non-existence.

      You said, "You have a clear cognitive bias, bub."
      You seem to have a really difficult time reading for comprehension, don't you? You seem to still be under the mistaken impression that I am trying to hold on to some last ditch effort to claim that "you can't prove my god doesn't exist", and that I can therefor cling to my delusion. You seem to fail to understand that I don't believe there are any gods.

      I'm an atheist. I'm not "a closet ID freak". I don't believe there are any gods, and I certainly don't subscribe to the infantile god stories of believers. Furthermore, I'm entirely indifferent to the existence of gods. I couldn't care less whether there are any, as there is no indication they affect our reality.

      You said, "Time to learn how to grow as a thinking individual or be prepared for more scorn from realists like me who understand physics."
      I understand that for someone of your obviously limited capabilities, the following may be too much to ask, but I'll ask anyway. Do you understand how a mirror works? If so, please use one.

      January 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Candle

      Chad, you ignorant sl.ut, we have Lincoln's BODY...we have autospy reports, we have witness accounts contemporary to when Licoln lived...are you really that dim????

      January 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Candle

      Unfortunately, he really is that dim.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • HarryJ

      Bet
      The ironic thing is that solidly faithful Christians, like we assume Lori to be, are strong atheists when it concerns every other god but their one. Did they ever have to "prove" that no other gods exist? Of course not. They just found no reason to believe that they were anything other than mythical creations, which is how many atheists see their God. They just cannot understand how anyone can see through him in the same way.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Chad

      The big difference is that believers in the God of Israel have a reason for denying the existence of the other "gods", namely that belief in the God of Israel is mutually exclusive with a belief in others (God claims to be the only real "god").

      athests really have no basis for denying the reality of ANY god, the oft cited "well, they dont exist until you prove they do" is as fallacious as stating "God exists until you prove He doesnt".

      so, the difference between denying the existence of all but one God, and denying the existence of all gods, is massive.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  19. My Voice

    As I was reading down through these posts a voice in my head said, "They're all stupid for they only believe in their selves.".

    January 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Bet

      Did the voice in your head also suggest some remedial English classes?

      January 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  20. ----------Lori________

    Also Bet==train accidents are much much much less frequent than car accidents!

    January 2, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Bet

      Fer cryin' out loud, learn how to use the reply button, please!

      That may be true, but your prediction didn't specify a place and had a 24 hour window. My cat predicted the exact place and time. My cat is a better prophet than you or your bible dudes.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      She knows how.....

      January 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • The Truth

      January 2, 2013 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply

      See? Way over here ---------l Reply

      Thats an activatable button that allows you to "reply" or "respond" to someone in the current thread instead of starting another new thread...

      January 2, 2013 at 2:33 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.