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The spiritual but not religious likely to face mental health issues, drug use, study says
January 9th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

The spiritual but not religious likely to face mental health issues, drug use, study says

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Can being spiritual but not religious lead to mental health issues? The answer is yes, according to a recent study.

The study, published in the January edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry, says spiritual but not religious people, as opposed to people who are religious, agnostic or atheist, were more likely to develop a "mental disorder," "be dependent on drugs" and "have abnormal eating attitudes,” like bulimia and anorexia.

“People who have spiritual beliefs outside of the context of any organized religion are more likely to suffer from these maladies,” said Michael King, a professor at University College London and the head researcher on the project.

Thirty percent of respondents who identified as spiritual said they had used drugs, a number that was nearly twice as much as the 16% of religious respondents who said they had used drugs, according to the study. Among the spiritual respondents, 5% said they were dependent on drugs, while 2% of religious respondents identified as dependent.

On mental health issues, the study said spiritual but not religious people were more likely to suffer from “any neurotic disorder,” “mixed anxiety/depressive disorders” or “depression” than their religious counterparts. Overall, 19% of spiritual respondents said they suffered from a neurotic disorder, while 15% of religious respondents responded the same way.

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The practice of being spiritual but not religious is difficult to define and has a number of gray areas. The phrase is generally used to describe people who do not attend church, atheists who believe in some sort of higher power, free thinkers and the unaffiliated. It is also used for people who blend different faiths.

In short, King writes, “People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerable to mental disorder.”

King, who said he has received a substantial amount of hate mail over the study, defended his findings, “If you take drug dependency, they are about 77% more likely than religious respondents, 24% more likely to having a generalized anxiety disorder. These are quite obvious differences.”

Opinion: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out

The study was conducted with the government of the United Kingdom, which asked the questions as part of a larger psychiatric study.

With a sample of 7,403 British people, the study found that nearly 19% of England’s population is spiritual but not religious. That number is higher in the United States, where, according to a 2002 Gallup Poll, in a sample of 729 adults, 33% of Americans identified themselves as "spiritual but not religious.”

Past academic studies in the United States have come to similar conclusions, said Tanya Luhrmann, a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor at Stanford University. Most academic research about religion and well-being, said Luhrmann, has found that religion is good for you.

According to Luhrmann, organized religion provides three outlets that benefit churchgoers' well being: social support, attachment to a loving God and the organized practice of prayer.

“When you become spiritual but not religious, you are losing the first two points and most spiritual but not religious people aren’t participating in the third,” Luhrmann said. “It is not just a generic belief in God that works; it is specific practices that work.”

People who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious push back against the notion that they have no community to fall back on or impetus to help the poor. In an interview with CNN in June 2010, BJ Gallagher, a Huffington Post blogger who writes about spirituality, compared spiritual but not religious people to people who complete 12-step programs to beat addiction.

“Twelve-step people have a brilliant spiritual community that avoids all the pitfalls of organized religion,” said Gallagher, author of “The Best Way Out is Always Through.” “Each recovering addict has a 'God of our own understanding,' and there are no priests or intermediaries between you and your God. It's a spiritual community that works.”

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

Heather Cariou, a New York-based author, identifies as spiritual instead of religious. She told CNN last year that she adopted a spirituality that blends Buddhism, Judaism and other beliefs.

"I don't need to define myself to any community by putting myself in a box labeled Baptist or Catholic or Muslim," she said. "When I die, I believe all my accounting will be done to God, and that when I enter the eternal realm, I will not walk though a door with a label on it."

Younger people identify as spiritual but not religious more frequently than their older counterparts. In a 2009 survey by the research firm LifeWay Christian Resources, 72% of millennials (18- to 29-year-olds) said they are "more spiritual than religious."

The phrase is now so commonplace that it has spawned its own acronym ("I'm SBNR") and website: SBNR.org.

Traditionally the words "religious" and "spiritual" were closely linked, but over time the latter word began to describe an experience disconnected from the traditional confines of religion, particularly organized religion.

A widely discussed survey of adult Americans by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released in October found that the religiously unaffiliated both believe in God and define themselves as spiritual but not religious.

Sixty-eight percent of the religiously unaffiliated believe in God and 58% say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the Earth, in a spiritual way. Additionally, the study found 37% classify themselves as "spiritual" but not "religious" and 21% say they pray every day.

As expected, the practice of being spiritual but not religious has been roundly criticized by those who participate in organized religion. Jesuit priest James Martin told CNN in June that the phrase, "I’m spiritual but not religious," can boil down to egotism.

"Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness," said Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York. "If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?"

– CNN’s John Blake and Richard Greene contributed to this report

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Spirituality • United States

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soundoff (1,269 Responses)
  1. blake

    The druggies have co-opted the use of the term "spiritual". Real followers of Jesus are "spiritual" not "religious". They are not druggies. The thing that makes them spiritual is that their lives are surrendered to the Spirit of God that lives within them.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Bob

      "The thing that makes them spiritual is that their lives are surrendered to the Spirit of God that lives within them."

      So since so many Americans are over weight, greedy, self centered and intolerant your Spirit of God must be an azzhole.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • sam stone

      "Real followers of Jesus....are not druggies"

      Sure they are. They have a different drug

      They be trippin' on jeebus

      January 9, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Hmmm..... Guess you're not old enough to remember when we "old hippies" were called Jesus Freaks.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  2. Live4Him

    @Logic led me to atheism

    What logic and what facts was this logic based upon?

    January 9, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • JC

      How logical is it too believe in an all powerful God who controls everything, sees everything, and is interested in you, when there's no evidence whatsoever of that?

      January 9, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      Not sure about others, but I've seen no evidence of God or gods.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Live4Him

      I've already posted the facts / logic that supports my position. Please read the post.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Science

      Science

      Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven' – Under God – The ...
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...god/.../stephen-hawking.../AF6...
      by Elizabeth Tenety – in 624 Google+ circles – More by Elizabeth Tenety
      May 16, 2011 – There is no heaven... that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking told the Guardian.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • BlueSox

      Today, I believe in God. And I believe he cares about me and you.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • BlueSox

      Stephen Hawking – great scientific mind. But I'm not going to turn to him for advice on spirituality. I don't agree with his dim viewpoint.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Science- Funny how Stephen Hawking says that no creator was need for the big bang just gravity. So if there was no universe why did gravity exist? No planets or solar systems to create a gravitational pull. Kind of odd, don't you think?
      Seems kind of funny to me, when science discovers things about the universe that support the biblical tradition, allot of effort is made to make sure science doesn't appear to validate the Bible.

      We think we are so smart, yet even our smartest people are ignorant. Steven cannot tell us how the ancient made Machu Pichu or the pyramids, if they had technology we never expected them to have then. The biggest curse of the human race is that we have a difficult time passing on information from one generation to the next. Yet for over 2000 years people have thought it important enough to pass on the knowledge of God. Unlike passing a phrase around the room, very little of the information has changed.
      In a million years our books, cds, tumbdrives, etc. will not exist. Unless there are museums that survive from current time until then with temperature controlled environments and no wars to destroy them. How will people of that time see us? Maybe it’s time we took ourselves down a notch or two, you think?

      January 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Pete

      " Yet for over 2000 years people have thought it important enough to pass on the knowledge of God. Unlike passing a phrase around the room, very little of the information has changed."

      Only 30% of people on this planet believe in your type of religion. There are other religions that are older and still around so then they must be just as true based on your poor logic. Oops....you're worshiping the wrong god.

      January 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  3. chuckie

    This conclusion comes from a survey, not a scientific experiment. As such, there is no control group and identification, factoring and control of variables. The fact that the "spiritual" and unaffiliated come from a younger group likely has a significant impact on the results. The problems cited are more often found among younger groups than older ones.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  4. JFH

    It is funny that the study also included atheist and agnostic people, but the reporter doesn't mention their comparison to the religious OR the spiritual. Hmmmm...

    January 9, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Choir Loft

      Typical CNN journalistic obfuscation. Must have had nothing else to do that day.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Kenja

      Also, notice in the 6th paragraph, "atheists who believe in some sort of higher power" to lump them in with the spiritual. lol

      January 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  5. Sbul

    Since, many 12 step program do not "push religion" but do call themselves "spiritual but not religious" any survey that asks if drugs/alcohol has been used is going to be higher in this group which skews the results of the survey. THese SBNR people may not be using anymore but when asked if they have they will reply "yes".

    January 9, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  6. JH

    What does the study say about pedophiles and child molesters in Religious people vs Spiritual people? Just curious. This article is stupid, biased and a waste of time.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Huh?

      Yet you took the time to read it and the time to reply.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • J.C.

      And reply intelligently, imo.
      I found the article and the study opened the door to a lot of questions.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • JH

      You mad bro? Seriously though, think about it. Pedophilia and child molestation is a mental health issue. Did they ask all of the priests if they ever touched a juvenile inappropriately? Skewed evidence. I'd rather be spiritual and roll up a spliff any day.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  7. Sbul

    I'm spiritual but not religious but believe in community, giving back, helping the poor, etc.. Surveys can show correlation but not causation.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  8. coffegirl

    My problem with this Study begins with the fact that it was done on the other side of the Pond, and each demographic will have different results. I realize the study says the statistics of non believers is higher in the U.S., that does not mean the U.S. would have a higher number of mental illnesses, especially since we have no mental health facilities to prove it. Then, 30% of Spiritualists were using drugs? What is defined as using a drug at some point, is Alcohol included in this or only illegal drugs, what about perscription drugs, is that included? Not to mention, that means 60% Did not use drugs. Additionally their results say 5% are currently dependent on drugs...Wow, I wish this was the National statistic for all people. I would be so happy if as a WHOLE only 5% were dependent on drugs...And IMO, Alcohol is also a drug. What a useless article. Nothing more than a way to irritate one another.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • myweightinwords

      There is certainly a need to define the terms better. Caffeine is, essentially a drug, and one I am pretty dependent on. Does their label include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol? What about those drugs that might be considered a sacrament (peyote, certain mushrooms) or a part of a spiritual practice?

      How does the study consider those?

      January 9, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  9. Robert J

    What is suprising is most twelve step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous define themselves as a spiritual non-religious program in readings prior to the meetings. Religion and past negative expieriences with people in the church often cause the addict to shy away from God. So they find their own concept of a loving God outside thge scriptures, the higher power, to bring them back to sanity. I am both religious and attend church regularly and study the Bible. There are only a few versus covering wine and many about redemption from sin, but nothing that helps me stay clean. My Higher Power, the fellowship of NA, and the literature, helps me stay clean and sober after 20+ years of drug and alcohol use that nearly killed me. I don't think his study included the millions of people using this method right now. More statistical BS from a scientist with a bone to pick.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  10. Awake

    This article makes me laugh and so sad at the same time. Wake up humanity! Religion has the ego not true spiritualism. Man made religion separates, judges, lies, hides secrets, causes wars, and so on and so on. True Spiritualism....the core of real science and religion....does not have ego but holds the truths that religions have hidden from us for years by telling tales and tearing humanity apart so that we don't know the truth of what we are truly as spiritual beings and our potential...all in the name of greed by those who long to control. But a new day is coming...Peace, Love & Light.
    For the true science that is hidden in religion by a crock of myths fed to us for mind control...check out Santos Bonacci and his work and watch these:

    January 9, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Awake

      Ok so they won't allow the links posted, sorry...but they do exist guaranteed! lol Check out the movies

      2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning OFFICIAL FILM (Brave Archer Films) can be seen on Youtube

      THRIVE: What On earth Will It Take? OFFICIAL FILM can be seen on Youtube

      January 9, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Awake

      Ok so they won't allow the links posted, sorry...but they do exist guaranteed! lol Check out the movies

      2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning OFFICIAL FILM (Brave Archer Films) can be seen on you tube

      THRIVE: What On earth Will It Take? OFFICIAL FILM can be seen on You tube

      January 9, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • chuckie

      Regardless of how the sermon starts, it usually ends with a plea for money; the most guilt dumped on parishoners is for not giving enough. What lies at the base of the controversy between the churched and the non-churched? Money for jobs and buildings.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  11. myweightinwords

    "Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness," said Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York. "If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?"

    Because it's a good and right thing to do? One shouldn't need a religious community making demands on you to do good deeds. If you do, it says far more about you than it does about the rest of us.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      It still ends in dreadlocks.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Funny, the two people I know in my life who have dreadlocks are both Christian and very involved in their church.

        Oh wait, I take it back, there's a third. She's an elder care advocate and a leader in the Pagan community.

        I don't think any of them would fall into the spiritual but not religious category....more of the spiritual and religious, for some value of religious.

        January 9, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  12. AllisonWonderland

    I'd venture to guess that the spiritual people completing this self report study were just more honest than the religious people completing it.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • chuckie

      Amen, my sister or brother.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  13. Southern Humanist

    Could this just be an indication of the type of person who is conflicted and can't reconcile their logical rational brain (i.e., religion is man-made) with their irrational brain (there must be some grand agent)?

    January 9, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Logic led me to atheism

      Exactly. Religious people are deluded. To click it down a notch and claim SBNR is to admit your venturing into atheistic territory and a lot of people can't handle that...the whole "pascal's wager" thing. It's half delusional half atheism...the perfect setting for confusion and mental issues.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  14. Laughing Skeptic

    My non-scientific prejudices would lead to say 'duh' about spiritual people and drugs. And about drugs and mental disorders and that these relationships commute. However, you can tell that a religious person wrote the study results as they failed misserably to identify alternative explanations for the study results such as the very fundamental concept of "respondent bias" when evaluating surveys. For instances, people who identify as religious are by definition self-deluded, so their abilitiy to recognize in themselves whether they are dependent on drugs or have a neurotic disorder is diminished. If you had asked Rush Limbaugh back in the day if he was dependent on drugs he would have honestly answered 'no', despite his obvious behavior to the contrary, because he was not inclined to believe this about himself.

    January 9, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  15. Patty

    The reason that the percentages of drug use and mental health issues are high in spirituality is simple. AA. AA is a "spiritual program" and most members consider themselves spiritual as opposed to religious. Obviously all the members of AA have had drug and/or alcohol dependency in their life. And more than half of all chemically dependent have some sort of mental health issue. Spiritual or religious, try to lead a decent life and be kind to others thats what i say.

    January 9, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  16. QuantumKev

    After reading this article as well as the previous CNN article, 'I'm spiritual, not religious a cop out" mentioned here, one has to wonder if CNN doesn't have some sort of agenda...? Seems to me they are going really hard against people who fail to align themselves with a particular religion. In the spirit of balanced reporting, I would like to see a survey/study that answers the question, "How many people, throughout history, have been killed as a result of religious ideology compared to the numbers killed as a result of spiritual ideology?"

    Seems to me that in the Middle East (past, present, and likely future), medieval Europe, South America, pre-1500, etc, thousands – millions – of lives might have been spared if people had not been influenced by religious beliefs. Just sayin'.

    January 9, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  17. ROCKWOOD

    I do very much believe in God and I suppose I believe in the Trinity. But I have yet to find any organized religion that I fit into. Many are so judgmental against almost everything. My drug using days have long since been over and I don't drink alcohol. I can say that I have an unusual amount of anxiety though. My depression I feel is fairly normal. I typically operate on an even keel.

    So I don't know as that I agree with the article. I like what was said about not entering into the next journey with a label on me.

    January 9, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • End Religion

      anxiety is the reason for religion. The existential facts of our existence don't immediately lend themselves to warm and fuzzy feelings. Hence the security blanket of religion and its unfounded promises of an afterlife.

      Accept the reality of the nature of our existence. There are no "secrets" to life. Try to surround yourself with people you feel are "good." Let them know you love them. Treat others with a little more respect than they deserve. If you get a chance, try to improve the human condition for all of us (give to charity, for the rights of the downtrodden, make people smile, etc.)

      January 9, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • chuckie

      And why do you believe in the Trinity? This belief would restrict the religions that you could "fit into," i.e., you would be limited to Trinitarian Christianity. You are far along the road to leaving the spiritual and joining the religious. You imply that you probably believe in the Trinity for no good reason, which is common among the members of a religion, i.e., they are religious for no good reason other than habit or tradition. It is hard to let go of beliefs inculcated into the not yet fully formed mind of a child.

      January 9, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  18. Live4Him

    Well, It isn't surprising that most atheists on these forums enter the discussions to mock and stroke their ego. Well, here are the premises that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

    Is God Necessary?
    a) Given the need for a supernatural action to create matter, energy and time,
    b) Given the need for a supernatural action to create life,
    Therefore, this implies some God is necessary, but not necessariuly the Biblical God.

    Which God Did It?
    a) Given the Biblical account that begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
    b) Given no other religions (other than the Abrahamic branches) begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
    Therefore, this implies that only the Abrahamic religions are worthy of consideration.

    Did the Judism God Do It?
    a) Given accurate transmission of the Jewish Bible,
    b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37) in the Jewish Bible
    Therefore, the God of the Jews is a viable answer contender.

    Did the Islamic God Do It?
    a) Given inaccurate transmission of the Koran Bible,
    b) Given the factual inaccuracies (i.e. members of the Trinity)
    c) Given the lack of specific prophecies in the Koran
    Therefore, the God of the Muslims is not a viable contender.

    Did the Christian God Do It?
    a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
    b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
    Therefore, the God of the Christian is a viable answer contender. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is the better answer.

    January 9, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Smithsonian

      " Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible "

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      January 9, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Jokesterer

      My parents told me Bible stories when I was 2 years old therefore they must be true.

      January 9, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Smithsonian : It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy.

      Correct. Accurate transmission only proves the words haven't changed in the 2000 years of transmission. Which is why I addressed the prophecy issue. Prophecy demonstrates omniscience.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Live4Him You left out an option for "Is god necessary". You should have C. god is not necessary, and the universe can, and did come from nothing.

      Google quantum fluctuation, it's a scientific explanation that is a little more recent than 2000 year old sheepherder stories.

      If you don't believe something can come from nothing (though nothing isn't really nothing) then you are stuck with answering the question of what created god?

      January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • sam stone

      To stroke their ego??? Aren't the Christians the ones claiming that the creator of the universe desires nothing more than a personal relationship with THEM?

      January 9, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Pete

      "Prophecy demonstrates omniscience."

      Then the Mayans and Nostradamus are omniscience by your poor logic.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : Aren't the Christians the ones claiming that the creator of the universe desires nothing more than a personal relationship with THEM?

      Correction: The 'creator of the universe desires nothing more than a personal relationship with' EVERYONE. That includes you, me and everyone else on this forum. This eliminates any inflation of the ego.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Pete : 'Then the Mayans and Nostradamus are omniscience by your poor logic.'

      Strawman. My criteria was SPECIFIC prophecy, not GENERIC prophecy.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Huh?

      "This eliminates any inflation of the ego."

      L4H since you post so much on this blog and under so many different handles you reek of ego.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Pete

      "My criteria was SPECIFIC prophecy, not GENERIC prophecy."

      There was nothing generic about their prophecies.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Science

      Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven' – Under God – The ...
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...god/.../stephen-hawking.../AF6...
      by Elizabeth Tenety – in 624 Google+ circles – More by Elizabeth Tenety
      May 16, 2011 – There is no heaven... that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking told the Guardian.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Is God Necessary?
      a) Given the need for a supernatural action to create matter, energy and time,
      b) Given the need for a supernatural action to create life,
      Therefore, this implies some God is necessary, but not necessariuly the Biblical God."

      You have given any basis for your "givens", a or b.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • ME II

      should be "...have not given..."

      January 9, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Pete

      Then please list a specific prophecy that has been fulfilled.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • sam stone

      live4him: no it doesn't.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Live4Him You want a list of failed prophecies, here you go. Happy reading.

      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/proph/long.html

      January 9, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • chuckie

      You have not supplied any evidence that a spiritual being is required for creation. You also have not supplied evidence that the universe was created and has not always existed. What you are engaging in is circular reasoning, i.e., you cite your conclusion as a premise to prove your argument (one of the premises of your argument is that a supernatural power is required for creation, ergo, let's call it God). You have committed the fallacy of "begging the question, i.e., your premise directly entails your conclusion. Don't feel bad; you are in good company. The arguments made by Thomas Aquinas (e.g. his ontological proof) that the Catholic Church still uses in its catechism to prove God's existence all suffer from this error in reasoning. Actually our small pea brains are not capable of comprehending things such as eternity and time being created out of eternity and such things. After banding about such arguments for millennia logicians have come to the conclusion that such arguments are fruitless and they now occupy themselves with studying language. The long and short of it is that many men much more wise and leaned as you have failed to put the cap or end speculation about God’s existence or non-existence, etc.

      January 9, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • chuckie

      Live4him, of course you have a 2,000 year old original edition of scripture to compare to today's copies, which would be necessary for your claim that scripture has not been changed or altered.

      Also your claim that God wants a personal relationship with everyone does not jibe with the traditional Calvinistic belief in pre-destination which separates the elect from the lost or damned. What about God limiting to, what is it, 150,000 that will be saved at the end of time? The God of the Jewish and Christian scriptures is not egalitarian, i.e., he separates the good from the bad. Yes, not all Christians are Calvinists, but if the scriptural truths are compelling and self-evident, why is there disagreement over such a fundamental issue of your faith as to whether God grants His Grace to whomever he wishes (freely given), with no consideration of the actions or behavior of the saved, or if salvation can be gained by good works and pious behavior and because of free will can accept or reject God's gift?

      January 9, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • sam stone

      "Therefore, this implies some God is necessary"

      No, it doesn't. It, at best, implies that some creator is necessary. The faithful make the logical leap that this means that the creator is a "God"

      January 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Correction: The 'creator of the universe desires nothing more than a personal relationship with' EVERYONE"

      Hogwash. An omniscient god would know that some people will not accept jesus as a savior, but allowed them to be born anyway. Why, if not to torture them?

      If "god" desired to have a personal relationship with everyone, he could do it without having them accept his son as a savior

      January 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. Not exactly true, we just have a hard time getting an agreement on what the archeology shows. If you mean we have not found the Ark. True. If you mean there is no evidence of a global flood, not true. However, archeologists to not agree on the findings.

      January 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. Not exactly true, we just have a hard time getting an agreement on what the archeology shows."

      Why don't you go down to the world's largest research center and try selling you theory. I am sure they haven't thought of that one yet. LMAO!

      January 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      chuckie – The books in the dead sea scrolls were almost exactly the same as the current Bible. There are books that were found that are not part of the current Bible. The ones that are, had very little change over almost 2000 years. That in itself for mankind to achieve is monumental in itself. Try passing a phrase around a circle of people and watch it change in a min.

      January 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Pete

      "The ones that are, had very little change over almost 2000 years"

      Doesn't mean it's true, just means they copied it well.

      January 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  19. Mohammad A Dar

    study says, 95 percent of Alzheimer's patients suffer from "spiritual but not religious" syndromes

    January 9, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • chuckie

      Yeah, and this signifies what?

      January 9, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  20. six1forecords

    Reblogged this on six1forecords and commented:
    This is something to check out...

    January 9, 2013 at 9:49 am |
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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.