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February 7th, 2013
11:17 PM ET

What happened to God in America?

CNN's Carol Costello reports on the growing number of Americans who don't believe in God.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Atheism • United States

soundoff (770 Responses)
  1. James

    The Bible declares that in the last days (which we are living in now) there is going to be a great falling away from the faith. There will be an increase of unbelievers, people who deny God and the existence of God. They will be lovers of themselves and not of God, lovers of money, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, without self-control, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. We are seeing these things happen every day. Back in the days of Noah, only 8 people (out of all the people on the earth at that time) were delivered from the flood waters. Also, when Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed only 3 people were delivered from the destruction. Jesus said that only a few people would really believe Him until the end, so its apropos that people are losing faith in God these days. This is supposed to happen. It's not that God doesn't want people to believe in Him, but he's given people a choice to believe or not to believe. The choice is yours. You'll just have to deal with the consequences of your decision.

    February 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • OhNO

      Another Christian saying the sky is falling.....the sky is falling....RUN!

      February 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Terry

      James: Pascal's Wager. Just google it. You've made the wrong bet; Odin's gonna get you and ream your behind real good, little boy.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Huh?

      "They will be lovers of themselves and not of God, lovers of money, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, without self-control, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."

      It's a shame that Christians have been brainwashed into believing that if you don't believe like they do then all these negative things will happen and apply to you. It's simply not true. Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Huh?- nothing like dredging up old copy/paste eh?
      Dec 14, 2012 Nov 22, 2012 Dec 18, 2012 May 3, 2011 Jan 6, 2013

      February 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Wow

      Uncouth most poster copy and paste including the scriptures. What's hysterical is you took the time to look it up, what a waste.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • .

      UnCouthSwain = Lycidas = Thinker23 = EndBeginnings

      February 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      James they have been saying that for 2000 years now. It is hard to accept that The King is dead.....like Elvis...your savior is quite dead. Quite comical when reading your post James....2000 years and counting lol

      February 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Wow- You see...there is this amazing thing called Google. Now follow me on this, it may be a little technical for you. You take one line of obvious copy/paste that the poster probably doesn't understand and put into the search engine...and WOW, you see the dates. Pretty neat huh?
      *rolls eyes*

      @. "UnCouthSwain = Lycidas = Thinker23 = EndBeginnings"

      Not quite...I have used the Lycidas name before but not the others.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • John Herling

      Yadda yadda yadda

      February 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • John Herling

      I wouldn't want to belong to a religion that has to terrorize people into joining it.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Using high school level science, explain to us how 4 breeding pair of humans, with 5 members sharing much of the same genetic material, can provide enough genetic diversity for the population to continue.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      John Herling- "I wouldn't want to belong to a religion that has to terrorize people into joining it."

      Me neither.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      "blah, blah, blah....end of days......yadda, yadda, fvcking yadda......god's gonna get you"

      james.....fvck you and your EMPTY PROXY THREATS

      February 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • John

      Huh?, that is the most ridiculous discussion I've read in a long time. It'd be like saying cars evolved and gasoline is the special chemical that gives it life and understanding for it's "brain" to think clearly about driving. Grow up. God exists. A lot of us know it, you have yet to figure it out. Get a bible and start reading.

      February 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The bible? What do you think that will do? Doesn't it occur to you, John, that many of the posters here are quite familiar with the bible already. That's one of the reasons they don't believe.

      You don't "know" anything. You simply believe something.

      February 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • niknak

      I am soo scared......
      If your god, whom you claim is all powerful and all that bull, sat idly by during the holocost, slavery, 9/11 and Sandy Hoook, without stopping any of that, then it does not deserve to be worshipped.
      Respect has to be earned, and so far, your god has not earned any of my respect.
      So if god is true, and this is how is behaves, then I would rather be in hell then in heaven with you, James.
      There is my choice.

      February 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      All reasoning informs the logical faith that any possible god of this universe would not be the moron of any of the major religions. Perhaps we can imagine a god that fits with the evidence, but it is not any of those people are describing to me and telling me I need to act a certain way about.

      February 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • DVD Bach

      "They will be lovers of themselves and not of God, lovers of money, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, without self-control, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. "
      What's your evidence that these claims are more true of atheists than religious people?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Buel Stewart

      James is absolutely right in this assessment. All prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled except for a handful that remains, and those deal with the last days of man's self destruction and being saved by the God who made us.

      April 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  2. isolate

    All that's happened is that Americans' puzzling over-dependence on the supernatural is fading and we're becoming more like the rest of the West. The only nations that have church attendance at the same level as America (43%) or higher are Ireland, Malta and Poland. Even Italy, encompassing the Vatican, has a church attendance rate of only 31%. In our parent country, Great Britain, the rate is 12%, the European normal. (All stats from Wikipedia or NationMaster.)

    America has been an anomaly among advanced nations with regard to religion. The explanation usually comes down to education. Mississippi, the most religious state, has the lowest level of educational attainment; Vermont, tied with New Hampshire for least religious state, has the highest. The more you learn, the less necessary a religion becomes, apparently. Once the chain of religious conformity is broken, and the children of non-believers raise non-believing children of their own, it's very difficult to revive or instill religious feelings because they're unnecessary in today's world. Such people look for explanations for things and events– they're not likely to ascribe them to a deity or deities.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • John

      It's a good thing that God didn't know about the requirement to have a degree to create the universe, else none of us would be here.

      February 9, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  3. Uncouth Swain

    I wish the incorrect notion that education is the opposite of religion would disappear. There is no evidence that more education leads to a less faith filled life.
    There are many examples of a religious based culture providing a lot to the sciences. One just has to know their history.

    Sure, education might change the way a person views a peticular belief but that doesn't mean it eliminates faith. Being of a faith does not make one ignorant

    February 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • isolate

      I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but the connection between religion and educational attainment is as solid as a physical law. Spend some time on the Pew Center for Religion in Public Life website (religions (dot) pewforum (dot) org for a very detailed look at the relationships between religion and many factors in American life, including educational attainment and degree of religiosity. Mississippi, the most religious state, has the lowest level of educational attainment; Vermont, the least religious, has the highest.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @isolate- no bubble to be busted

      As anyone who can look at history will see...such empires like the Islamic Empire during the Middle Ages kept science alive and improved upon it. Chemistry, mathematics..etc all improved in a very religious society.
      You'll forgive me when I call into question Pew's views on casuality.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • End Religion

      Neil deGrasse Tyson on how religious zealotry restricts education, particularly refuting Swain's garbage above:

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7rR8stuQfk&w=640&h=390]

      February 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @End Religion- so you don't think that sciences improved during the Islamic Empire of the Middle Ages? So much for History 101.

      I'll give you points for a creative appeal to authority. What background does Neil deGrasse Tyson have in theology or how faith works within man? Sure he is a very intelligent man when it comes to astrophysics..but so what?

      February 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      @ Swain Did you even watch the video?

      February 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @TANK!!!!- an odd question to ask.

      He is obviously biased, admitting to be agnostic, makes jokes about Republicans and still isn't a theologist. Nothing he says changes the fact that religious cultures have fostered scientific growth.

      Was there an actual point you wanted to make about something said in that video?

      February 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Well, Tyson can give us specific quotes from one of the most prominent of Muslim scholars denouncing mathematics and lists of astronomical discoveries made before radical religion became entrenched in Islamic culture, while you present ambiguous statements like "history" and "facts" and attacks on his credibility, not his arguments.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ummmm

      Hey isolate want to be Uncouth is too dumb to even get a job at the pew forum. LOL!

      February 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @TANK!!!!- "Well, Tyson can give us specific quotes from one of the most prominent of Muslim scholars denouncing mathematics..."

      I have no doubt that he could. He could probably also cite such figures like the Mathmaticians Thabit ibn Qurra and al-Khwarizmi too if he wanted.

      I did not attack anything about what he is an expert in. I merely pointed out that he is not a theologian and is agnostic.
      I am critical of a person's response merely being that of plastering up a video of some famous guy. That is an appeal to authority Tank.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • John

      A lot of the problem is that atheists are either blind, deaf or dumb and can't understand God. That or they don't like what he said and wants them to do.

      February 9, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  4. the AnViL

    yes – as education levels increase, religious idiocy decreases. good stuff.

    what happened to god in america?

    people read the bible.. they made note of the long list of inconsistencies, inaccuracies and contradictions within it.
    they could not help but notice the long list of failed biblical prophecies...

    what happened to your gods??? they never existed – and people are increasingly becoming wise to the fact.

    there is hope.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "there is hope"

      Of all the stupid ways to end your tirade on religion.
      *shakes head*

      February 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • VanHagar

      You say: "people read the bible.. they made note of the long list of inconsistencies, inaccuracies and contradictions " That's because (at best) they gave a cursory read, didn't study and assumed it to be the case. There are no inconsistencies in the Bible.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

      VanHagar: " There are no inconsistencies in the Bible." Oh that's rich. One needs only look at the article regarding the Lutheran minister and the replies to know that's hogwash.

      Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3:

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      John Adams, POTUS #2:

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

      James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Over 40,000 denominations of insanity- thank you for your appeal to authority. We were very concerned what some white guys from the 1700's were thinking.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • David

      inconsistency from old testament: which came first, man or plant? The two creation stories disagree.
      inconsistency from new testament: who went to Jesus' tomb? The four gospels disagree.

      the bigger question: how are people able to be convinced of something that requires basic logic to see is incorrect (that the Bible is literally true) – the same way that an individual be convinced that 2+2 does not equal 4.

      Brainwashing, conditioning, endoctrination, whatever you want to call it, has been shown to be incredibly effective to get someone to believe virtually anything.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      But what of those whose faith does not require the Bible to be literally true?

      February 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      The bible is either the inerrant word of a god, or it is open to interpretation. If open to interpretation then any interpretation is as good or bad as another, and therefore cannot be the basis of any spiritual "Truth". If Christians had any honesty about them, they would commit to the life of a literal bible. Otherwise they're just practicing a farce of cherry-picked, appropriate for the moment, feel-good, reinterpreted, smiley-face platitudes.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @End Religion- What is faith for? The individual or the masses?
      Every person looks at faith, hope, belief through their own eyes and experiences.
      Yes, you have your opinion on the matter but it is no more valid than anyone else's opinion on faith.

      Personally, I feel faith/religion falls on the individual. But of course I feel that way on other things like patriotism, love, respect and honor as well. A person should learn all they can about their faith. Learn all they can about the world around them. Understand they will never learn it all and try to figure out existence on their own terms....never being sheep to religion or science.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Ginny

      No wayyyy hoseyyyy, Couthy. Religion demands that you be sheep. The Xtian babble even says so explicitly. With science, you are supposed to question everything. I'll take science over tales of a dead dude up on sticks any day.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Ginny...I call BS. You say: Religion demands that you be sheep. The Xtian babble even says so explicitly. Prove it. Give us the verse. My guess is this is just more "I've read it, so I know more than you" mumbo jumbo. You haven't studied it. Give us the verse.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Andy Ginny, while your trying to find the verse that doesn't exist within the context you say it exists, why don't you look up Acts 17:11 to see what a believer's rights as to asking questions are.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Ginny- "Religion demands that you be sheep."

      Nope...cannot agree with that.

      "The Xtian babble even says so explicitly."

      Not entirely certain you got that correct.

      "With science, you are supposed to question everything."

      Yep, and you can question religion as well. No reason not to. I recommend you reading up on Joshua Heschel...he has unique view about religion, science and faith you might find interesting.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @David...if you think there are inconsistencies in those events, spell them out. Please tell us though that you've read them for context. Tell us that you've acquired an understanding of how scholars interpret written text based upon oral history and that you've applied that as well. Tell us that you also first looked closely to make sure your understanding of sequencing is correct. (Of course, since atheists are smarter than Christians, you've probably already done this.)

      February 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Watch out for those early Xtian apologists. They were busy as bees making excuses. Like the one saying that the reason the gospel stories look so much like copies of earlier pagan stories was that Satan had made a pre-emptive strike – planning in advance false occurrences.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @¿¿lol–o.k. you win. Hands down the lamest post of the day.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      actually, I'm just echoing what early Xtian apologists claimed.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Lol-then I'll take your word for it. If there are early Christian apologists who were making that argument, they could have come up with something quite better–like just studying the scriptures (not just reading–studying) and realize they didn't have to rely on nonprovable arguments. So, to you LOL, my apologies.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Like the one saying that the reason the gospel stories look so much like copies of earlier pagan stories"

      That's especially funny since no one has proven anyone borrowed from those pagan stories.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      True man things have not been proven either way. I do wonder though how long it takes a fundamentalist Xtian to look at items in their spam folder before they decide it's safe to assume they are spam.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      *many* things

      February 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  5. Clyde

    God is still in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      So is Santa Claus

      February 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Yep – no problem with that – it's just time to recognize that everyone is allowed their own beliefs, and stop trying to push religion where it doesn't belong – into our gov't, laws, and schools.

      Our founding fathers tried to found a secular nation (which does not mean atheist – it means it's totally neutral, not involved in the religion question at all), and that's what we should have for our gov't. That gives everyone the freedom to go with their own beliefs.

      No more discrimination against atheists in politics, adoption, divorce, no more pushing religion on kids in schools.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Adam

      ...well yeah, until their hearts stop and their minds are obliterated upon the death of their brains. At least this is what appears to happen. Perhaps not. Just don't lie to your self and your children about what you know about the universe.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Your Church

      WHen you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Adam

    If you count–along with the 20% non-religious–the vast percentage of people who don't really believe what they say they believe, and those whose religiosity is merely a casual affectation, I might even say that "we're" in the majority. Perhaps not, but the world is undeniably shifting.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Most of the people in the 20% "nones" still believe in God or a universal spirit – they just don't belong to an organized religion.

      The sum of people who are willing to self-identify as atheists and agnostics is around 7%.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Fact

      "The sum of people who are willing to self-identify as atheists and agnostics is around 7%."

      Those are the same 7% who think it moronic to knock on wood. The other 93% are either unwilling to take the risk that there aren't any demons in the wood listening in on our conversations, or it's too ingrained and has just become a tradition.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      " The other 93% are either unwilling to take the risk that there aren't any demons in the wood listening in on our conversations, or it's too ingrained and has just become a tradition."

      I think it's safe to say that *many* of that 93% don't really believe in God. They're just not willing to admit it – either publically, or to themselves. As to how many, who can say? It's unknowable.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      It is a pernicious fad. Once the percentage gets high enough I believe a much larger majority will shift with the same fad mindset they use when tinkering on MySpace (old fad), Facebook (current possibly waning fad), or any other fad. Once their isn't as much social stigma of "being an atheist" then religion in the U.S. will drop dramatically, likely eventually settling near the 12% average of European nations. My guess is the U.S. average might end up higher than 12% however as we seem to have quite a case of fundamentalism seeded here originally at Plymouth.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Once their isn't as" it made my skin crawl to see I used the wrong "there"... *shiver*

      February 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  7. ArthurP

    He was here at the beginning but left after you all rebelled against his chosen scribes, the English Royal Court, of the only true bible the King James Version.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      You mean that version of him that showed up about two thousand years ago?
      Guess all of those people living on earth before that time really were not worth showing up for.
      One guy in hell to another guy: what are you in for?
      The other guy: I checked in and out before the owner made himself known.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Fact

      The King James Version (KJV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible by the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.

      So apparently, God "inspires" the hebrew scriptures first through Moses then through Judges and Kings and prophets keeps adding to the bible for centuries because apparently God had to keep refining his word. Then apparently the old stuff was outdated so he sent his son to "fulfill" the old scriptures but then the son doesn't write anything to replace it, then nearly half a century later other people start writing about the son and claim that as the updated word of God in the form of hundreds of letters to the different congregations, mainly from the new "leader" of the Church Paul, who again changed the tenor of the message. Then over three centuries later Rome collected together a bunch of male leaders of the Christian churches and many who had converted after Constantine had his visions and won a battle and gave credit to the God of the Christians for the victory. This new group sorted through hundreds of letters and decided which ones they liked and wanted to add to the bible canon and effectively picked which letters were divinely inspired and which ones weren't. Strangely enough most of the letters written that included the tales of strong Christian women were left out. Then after keeping the new bible out of the people hands claiming it was to important for any peasant to read or hold, they effectively usurped the mediator position between the people and God and started raking in the cash that position offers, for on one hand, what shows your faith more than giving of your money, and on the other hand, whats God going to do with all this coin? Better just keep it...

      And so it went for another 1300 years until the Church of England broke away from the RCC and King James commisioned the bible to be translated into olde English. It's still just a collage of of dozens and dozens of different authors works all pieced together by people in power with an agenda.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • John

      Fact, the King James AV bible is fine, like all translatons it has minor issues. For example, in Matthew 2:19, the word translated to "dead" actually means "to finish", and EVERY version english bible got it wrong, translating the word to "dead", in the KJB:

      Mat 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

      That Herod in the verse is Herord Archelaus, his rule finished in 6AD when he was bannished to Gaul, but he didn't die until years later. The translators at the time assumed he was dead, so in the translated english, the verse has been saying the wrong thing all these years. The source text is fine against the historical account. It's something people need to pay attention to when reading the text, the source is fine... the translation may have an issue.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  8. not a moment too soon....

    What is happening? people are starting to look at the world around them and use simple reasoning. It is an embarrassment that it has taken us this long. Now the snakeoil salesmen will have to move to the next 'do as little as possible' profession...probably politics.

    February 8, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • John

      Saying "evolution did it" is not very convincing. God said he did it, and I believe him.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:12 am |
  9. rabidatheist

    One word answer......EDUCATION.

    February 8, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  10. alias

    Do you devout Christians believe that if you had been bormn into a Muslim household you would very probably be worshipping Alah?
    If you had been born to atheist parents you would very likely be thinking about religion and probalby not accept the bible?

    Most of you are only Christians because you were told to believe from a very young age and you find comfort in those beliefs?

    February 8, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Ron

      If you were raised by atheist parents then you were likely brought up to be a freethinker who values critical thinking, and applies it to all that they believe. Holy scriptures won't get very far with those kids, but the social organization of religions can be very attractive, and that's how they get their hooks into people. Concerts, socials, clubs (like the Boy Scouts), all work to draw people in. In some places the only social activities available are all church-oriented.

      Choose to remain Unaffiliated, attend a small traditional church, remain with your parent's religion, or declare yourself a nonbeliever, and you might as well get use to being an outcast. This is how they attract intelligent converts: not with the logic of what they believe, but with people's need not to be isolated. It's the same dynamic we all experienced in High School: follow the popular crowd unthinkingly, or be their bullied victims. It is truly sad that most of the American population has not outgrown this juvenile mentality.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Fredericka

      Alias, If you were born into an atheist household, then you very probably are not an atheist, because they have one of the worst retention rates going, around 30% I believe. Don't assume your children are going to be willing to accept your bankrupt way of thinking, simply because they're a captive audience.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Fredericka

      A religious person talking about "captive audiences" and "bankrupted thinking" is hilarious! They need to invent an irony meter, it would be off the chart right about now.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/07/14/why-arent-atheist-parents-raising-atheist-children/
      It seems likely there's a social aspect to this, with some identifying as religion since it is socially acceptable. As usual I would also assume the atheists are being the most honest.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  11. The Mockingjay

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865572464/Convert-endures-trial-shares-happiness-through-social-media.html

    February 8, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  12. Rocket

    Nothing's happened to God!. More like what's happened to Carol Costello and all these Athiest that obviously have nothing better to do than hang out on this site and bash Christians.

    February 8, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • alias

      Which god are you assuming exists?

      February 8, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Ron

      As opposed to the millions of Christians who have nothing better to do on Sunday mornings than to deny reality? You lot share more with the fanboys who go to ComicCon. You'd rather live in a fantasy world than the real one.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • laststonecarver

      Rocket,
      Guess what, this site is about Belief. All the responders believe.
      Atheists believe that God/gods don't exist.
      Religious believe in God/gods, and believe everyone else should also, to the point of theocracy.
      And there is from ancient times, even til present times. theocratic states.
      It is all fun and games, when your religion is in charge, but when it is not, like the article implies, what then?
      How did your theocracy treat the non-theists, and how will they treat you?
      It was some good times past, when you could just burn the pagans, on a stake, in the name of God.
      They weren't even necessarily pagans, you may just have wanted their wives and daughters.
      It is written in your Book about that, right?
      So let the good times roll, right?

      February 8, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      I call out Islam and other religions as well.
      What more appropriate place to 'hang out' on the topic of belief than a public forum blog on belief.

      And don't get me wrong, I understand how some people find religion a good choice for them. And I would defend to the death your right to have your beliefs and share them with others.
      At the same time I'm not going to be silent on the topic while others speak, and the one's I tend to focus on or those that say or imply that their belief makes sense to them and so it should make sense to others.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      We're getting a bit less scared of saying what we believe. There's still bigotry, still discrimination, and you still can and do lose your job or your kids (yes, seriously) for letting people know you're an atheist, but at least here we can speak without fear, and hope that speaking up reduces the discrimination.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • laststonecarver

      Susan,
      This is the age of Aquarius, the Water Carrier –
      The constellation that rises at the same time as the sun, out of all the decans.
      Pisces was the constellation at the time that was the person called Jesus. Remember the magic fish sign. The fish, the one that lives in water (thought).
      Thoughts are like water, say some of those, who have wisdom.
      The Water Carrier then displays a new aspect, as the thought carrier, The Mind.
      Maybe this age will allow thinking, and you don't even have to be a Zoroastrian or Christian.
      You can just be a Thinker.
      You can box it up, or you may want to think out of the box.
      Walk like an Egyptian – think 'Tem-Kheper-Ra', the Nothingness, through Imagination, to Understanding.

      February 12, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  13. Irrational Exuberance

    What happened? The same thing that happened to Odin in Norway.

    They stopped believing in fairy tales.

    February 8, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Ron

      Actually, the Norse simply replaced the fairy tale of Odin with another fairy tale, that of Jesus. Not without considerable ... persuasion from the Christian missionaries, and the kings who realized the political advantage of unifying and being able to control their people using the new faith. The same everywhere Christianity has spread, really. It's a whole different thing entirely to wake up one day and realize that all gods are fairy tales. It's a little scary at first, but incredibly awesome and fulfilling once the reality becomes clear.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  14. Impeach

    The devil too

    February 8, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  15. Poltergeist

    So was there supposed to be an article here or something?

    February 8, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  16. Lawrence

    The Bible, is fiction, because, overall, its authors meant it as presentation, not as science, or even as history, which is a form of science with its own scientific rules of evidence. Sometimes they accepted the truth of the stories they used, but sometimes, they did not — Job and Esther describe personalities who never lived, and the authors knew it. Some of it reports historical fact, of course: there was a King David, as there was a Babylonian invasion. There was also a prophet named Isaiah, but his prophecies were included in the Bible to give us lessons of morality not of history. The same is true of Genesis through Deuteronomy, Kings, Judges and all the other books, some of whose characters really lived and some of whom didn’t. It doesn’t matter. Fiction can be chock-full of characters who really lived, with a story line of things they really did – and still be fiction.

    “Fiction,” says Eagleton, “is a question of how texts behave and of how we treat them.” The question is what we are invited to do with the biblical text.

    Until relatively recently (the invention of printing) The Bible was read and studied, usually out loud, for the moral lessons within it. But then came printing, along with reading as a personal pastime and fiction as what people liked best to read. Fiction was falsely viewed as private entertainment about nothing substantive, hardly the moral equivalent of history, philosophy and science, which were public truths.

    The Bible now seemed fictitious because it wasn’t “true” in the way that history, philosophy and science are. Supporters of the Bible bristled at this claim because fiction was considered paltry, hardly what you would stake your life on. The Bible is history, these defenders insisted, fact not fiction.

    But that judgment misses the point. Even if every bit of the Bible were literally true, it would still be fiction because of the reason it was compiled, the reason we insist on reading it, and its presentational nature as a world unto itself with its own unique lessons to impart. If you want to know such things as the point of existence, the meaning of life, and the ways humankind has gone right and wrong, you cannot do a whole lot better than start with fiction: the fiction that is the Bible.

    February 8, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Chad

      amazing how incorrect the conclusions are that a person draws when they have never done an investigation into the bible or it's historicity..

      you are infected with that curious atheist assurance that what you believe is true, even though you never actually bothered to do any investigation at all.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • S.S.D.D

      "you are infected with that curious atheist assurance that what you believe is true, even though you never actually bothered to do any investigation at all."

      You just made an ass out of u and me.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      While you may disagree with this person's view on the matter, your assessment that they "have never done an investigation into the bible or it's historicity" or they "never actually bothered to do any investigation at all" seems inaccurate.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Science

      And the pope kicked out the angels

      February 8, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • NClaw441

      Even in fiction (I don't happen to believe the Bible is fiction, for the record) there is truth. In fact, in great fiction there are always great truths. A simple example is Tom Sawyer and the story about whitewashing the fence. No such thing as Tom Sawyer, and no painting of the fence ever "historically" took place. Yet great truths emerge.

      Jesus told many parables, none of which were fact-based, but all of which were "true" in the sense of the lessons they taught. Does the Bible contain any fictionalize accounts that are presented to teach us greater truths about God? I wasn't around for Noah's ark, so I'll just wait for the appropriate time to get my answer to that and many other questions.

      But on the greater question about whether God exists, whether He loves us, and whether and how we should demonstrate our love for Him, the Bible is true in its instruction, admittedly, and happily, according to my faith. Others may not believe, but I believe, and I thank God for His grace in giving me that faith.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Tommy

      Me II, you just don't get it. Anybody who doesn't believe exactly what Chad does hasn't read or studied the bible, or at least that is what he tells himself so that he can sleep at night.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Science

      And the courts have ruled on Genisis, in the US go figure

      February 8, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Smithsonian

      "amazing how incorrect the conclusions are that a person draws when they have never done an investigation into the bible or it's historicity"

      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.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Really?

      "Even in fiction (I don't happen to believe the Bible is fiction, for the record) there is truth"

      The fact that archaeological evidence confirms that Jehu was an actual historical character confirms only that he was an actual historical character. It does not confirm the historical accuracy of everything that the Bible attributed to him. Did a "son of the prophets" go to Ramoth-gilead and anoint Jehu king of Israel while the reigning king was home in Jezreel recovering from battle wounds (2 Kings 9:1-10)? Did Jehu then ride to Jezreel in a chariot and massacre the Israelite royal family and usurp the throne (2 Kings 9:16 ff)? We simply cannot determine this from an Assyrian inscription that claimed Jehu paid tribute to Shalmaneser, so in the absence of disinterested, nonbiblical records that attest to these events, it is hardly accurate to say that archaeology has proven the historicity of what the Bible recorded about Jehu. Likewise, extrabiblical references to Nebuchadnezzar may confirm his historical existence, but they do not corroborate the accuracy of such biblical claims as his dream that Daniel interpreted (Dan. 2) or his seven-year period of insanity (Dan. 4:4-37). To so argue is to read entirely too much into the archaeological records.

      The Moabite Stone, for example, corroborates the biblical claim that there was a king of Moab named Mesha, but the inscription on the stone gives a different account of the war between Moab and the Israelites recorded in 2 Kings 3. Mesha's inscription on the stone claimed overwhelming victory, but the biblical account claims that the Israelites routed the Moabite forces and withdrew only after they saw Mesha sacrifice his eldest son as a burnt offering on the wall of the city the Moabites had retreated to (2 Kings 3:26-27). So the Moabite Stone, rather than corroborating the accuracy of the biblical record, gives reason to suspect that both accounts are biased. Mesha's inscription gave an account favorable to the Moabites, and the biblical account was slanted to favor the Israelites. The actual truth about the battle will probably never be known.

      A notable example would be the account of Joshua's conquest and destruction of the Canaanite city of Ai. According to Joshua 8, Israelite forces attacked Ai, burned it, "utterly destroyed all the inhabitants," and made it a "heap forever" (vs:26-28). Extensive archaeological work at the site of Ai, however, has revealed that the city was destroyed and burned around 2400 B. C., which would have been over a thousand years before the time of Joshua. Joseph Callaway, a conservative Southern Baptist and professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spent nine years excavating the ruins of ancient Ai and afterwards reported that what he found there contradicted the biblical record.

      The evidence from Ai was mainly negative. There was a great walled city there beginning about 3000 B. C., more than 1,800 years before Israel's emergence in Canaan. But this city was destroyed about 2400 B. C., after which the site was abandoned.

      Despite extensive excavation, no evidence of a Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 B. C.) Canaanite city was found. In short, there was no Canaanite city here for Joshua to conquer (Biblical Archaeology Review, "Joseph A. Callaway: 1920-1988," November/December 1988, p. 24, emphasis added).

      This same article quoted what Callaway had earlier said when announcing the results of his nine-year excavation of Ai.

      Archaeology has wiped out the historical credibility of the conquest of Ai as reported in Joshua 7-8. The Joint Expedition to Ai worked nine seasons between 1964 and 1976... only to eliminate the historical underpinning of the Ai account in the Bible (Ibid., p. 24).

      Archaeological silence is another problem that biblical inerrantists don't like to talk about. According to the Bible, the Israelite tribes were united into one nation that had a glorious history during the reigns of king David and his son Solomon, yet the archaeological record is completely silent about these two kings except for two disputed inscriptions that some think are references to "the house of David." This is strange indeed considering that references to Hebrew kings of much less biblical importance (Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Zedekiah, etc.) have been found in extrabiblical records. This archaeological silence doesn't prove that David and Solomon did not exist, but it certainly gives all but biblical inerrantists pause to wonder.

      Another case in point is the biblical record of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and their subsequent 40-year wandering in the Sinai wilderness. According to census figures in the book of Numbers, the Israelite population would have been between 2.5 to 3 million people, all of whom died in the wilderness for their disobedience, yet extensive archaeological work by Israeli archaeologist Eliezer Oren over a period of 10 years "failed to provide a single shred of evidence that the biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt ever happened"

      February 8, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Over 30,000 denominations of insanity

      Some claim the unquestionable truth to the bible's historicity. They also love to generalize about how much others don't understand about the bible. Unfortunately for Christians, not all the writing that is on the wall looks so good for them. For instance, early Christian apologists couldn't come up with any better excuse for the gospel stories appearing like older stories other than to say the only the newer stories were true and Satan had set up the older ones in advance to throw people off.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Ron

      Chad
      Is it more fair to say that the Bible is about as true as any of the ancient myths, as far as we can prove? There is plenty of archeological evidence to prove that Troy and maybe even Atlantis were real, for example, so what argument would you give to people who choose to believe that the Greek gods and goddesses were real?

      February 8, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Ron

      Chad
      An atheist accepts that what we believe is most likely true because it best matches the available evidence. Most of us have studied the bible and concluded that it isn't the authority that the faithful proclaim it to be, so I include that with this evidence. We are not close-minded in this position. If evidence should be presented that adequately supports the notion that the bible is infallible then we would have no other rational choice, but to accept this conclusion.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • not a moment too soon....

      @ Really?

      Good post. Sadly it will be ignored by those that need to read and comprehend it the most.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      "amazing how incorrect the conclusions are that a person draws when they have never done an investigation into the bible or it's historicity.."
      I have made attempts at doing so. Also of Islam. And a little on others. I also question science, because while there is good science there is also a lot of false science (only looking for evidence that supports a pre-determined answer).

      Example: religious people tend to be happier than most atheist. It is shown true in a number of studies.
      But it also has been shown that binge drinking students tend to be happier than those that don't binge drink.
      So, those are things some of us which were otherwise, but once we learn to look at the details of things and accept that information, that is when we go from wishing (praying) and believing (religion or non-religion) and continue the process of learning and growing.
      Learning is not reaching a conclusion and stopping, it is about continuing to understand all of the aspects of things. Even Einstein who's theories predicted black holes thought that surely nature would now allow such a thing, turns out the evidence and his theories were correct and his hope/belief needed to change on that point.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • The Truth

      @Chad – " you never actually bothered to do any investigation at all."

      What investigation into Lawrence have you done Chad to come to this conclusion?

      I believe that you do not even know him let alone be able to speak for him telling him what study he has or hasn't done.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  17. truth be told

    All so called atheists are liars. Knowing this simple Truth puts all their foolishness in proper perspective. They think they are fooling normal people, they aren't, the only ones they are fooling are themselves.

    February 8, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Pete

      "All so called atheists are liars"

      More lies from the xtians – 190!

      February 8, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Liars for Jesus

      February 8, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • NClaw441

      Truth, if you are trying to spread the Gospel, as Christians believe, you are failing when you attack those who do not (yet) believe.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Ben

      Troll.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • truth be told

      I am not trying to spread the gospel to the reprobates. They, the so called atheists have already rejected the gospel, not realizing that it is they themselves who are rejected. As the Sodomites and Canaanites after years of sin and perversion they are no longer available to be received. Nothing remains for them but the final judgment. This the so called atheist has chosen for themselves, they are unwanted and useless to this world and the next. My comments to the so called atheist is to inform them that they are only fooling themselves and also I comment that the innocent may be protected from atheism.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      It is not what one religion alone says that makes me an atheist, it is that all of the religions in the world now and throughout history in how they disagree makes me an atheist.
      See atheist means not believing in magical beings. A person that believes just one religion/belief and has decided to be an atheist in relation to those other religions/beliefs. They are in a way 99% atheist when taken as a whole. Some of us have just gone that last 1%.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tbt,

      still claiming that Mao killed 800 million people (more than one in four alive on the planet in 1960) like you did yesterday?

      February 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @BATC,

      have you read "Liars for Jesus"?

      February 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • ¤Virgo¤

      Truth be told, you are a so-called Christian.

      Matthew 7 (NIV)

      7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

      Clearly your heart is full of hate. Repent.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  18. Reality

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on all religion and its gods in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    February 8, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • NClaw441

      Your lack of belief does not render anything untrue...

      February 8, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Reality

      As requested:

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con-–>>>

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • sam stone

      "Your lack of belief does not render anything untrue..."

      Nor does your belief render anything true

      February 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Good

      grief

      stop

      before

      Reailty

      puts

      more

      dredged

      up

      copy/paste

      on

      here!

      February 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • .

      Good

      Grief

      Uncouth

      has

      become

      the

      belief

      blog

      monitor.

      NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

      People are allowed to post anything they want. Tough sh<it!

      February 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Obviously you don't know much about how Reality posts but please, don't let that stop your ramblings.

      Btw, your username is perfect for your whiny att itude.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing
    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 8, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  20. Science

    Education and facts . DNA showed up

    February 8, 2013 at 6:03 am |
    • laststonecarver

      Is the 'God' particle in DNA?
      And if you spin 2 xtians around real, real fast, and then they crash into each other, would it be easier to find the God particle?

      February 8, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • Science

      Science

      This is what the wedge strategy is trying to discredit, evolution.

      News Release Jan 30 2013

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Going forward, Seelig plans to create enzymes with useful applications while he continues to explore the underlying basic science of enzyme structure and function, aiming to learn more about the origin of enzymes and how proteins evolve.

      "Enzymes have always fascinated me," he says. "It’s rewarding to do work that has practical applications yet provides the opportunity to better understand how life on earth evolved."

      http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_429344.html

      Science Facts

      Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans on this thread

      updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
      Jan. 29 2013

      Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50620121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      Peace

      February 8, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • lol??

      Science, you're wanted on page 1.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • John

      Science claimed that evolution "picks" the most optimum arrangements to propagate the species. So for humans, it's best to have a man and woman so there are lots of kids and they grow up strong to do it all over again. But then evolution lost it's mind when it came to bees with a queen and killing all the females so there aren't as many bees, and if the queen dies, the entire hive dies. And of course, there's the spider that eats it's male partner after, also not great for making more species if reproduction didn't take, again against evolution's "laws". And sharks eating sharks, and exploding termites... all "great" for propagating a species.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bob

      Way to not understand evolution John. For comparison, the Christian book of horrors, tall tales, and superstitious nonsense AKA the bible gets much of science and reality far wrong. Here are a few examples, from thousands:

      The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In Genesis, the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. The order of events known from science is just the opposite. 1:1-2:3

      God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5

      God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day) working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls heaven, is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters. 1:6-8

      Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11

      God lets "the earth bring forth" the plants, rather than creating them directly. Maybe Genesis is not so anti-evolution after all. 1:11

      In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used "for signs". This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read "the signs" in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth. 1:14

      God makes two lights: "the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night." But the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? 1:16

      "He made the stars also." God spends a day making light (before making the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes the trillions of stars. 1:16

      "And God set them [the stars] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth." 1:17

      In verse 11, God "let the earth bring forth" the plants. Now he has the earth "bring forth" the animals as well. So maybe the creationists have it all wrong. Maybe God created livings things through the process of evolution. 1:24

      God gave humans dominion over every other living thing on earth. 1:26

      God commands us to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over ... every living thing that moveth upon the earth." 1:28

      "I have given you every herb ... and every tree ... for meat."
      Since many plants have evolved poisons to protect against animals that would like to eat them, God's advice is more than a little reckless. Would you tell your children to go out in the garden and eat whatever plants they encounter? Of course not. But then, you are much nicer and smarter than God. 1:29

      All animals were originally herbivores. Tapeworms, vampire bats, mosquitoes, and barracudas – all were strict vegetarians, as they were created by God. 1:30

      "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." He purposefully designed a system that ensures the suffering and death of all his creatures, parasite and host, predator and prey. 1:31

      In Genesis 1 the entire creation takes 6 days, but the universe is 13.7 billion years old, with new stars constantly being formed. 1:31

      Humans were not created instantaneously from dust and breath, but evolved over millions of years from simpler life forms. 2:7

      God fashions a woman out of one of Adam's ribs.
      Because of this story, it was commonly believed (and sometimes it is still said today) that males have one less rib than females. When Vesalius showed in 1543 that the number of ribs was the same in males and females, it created a storm of controversy. 2:19

      God curses the serpent. From now on the serpent will crawl on his belly and eat dust. One wonders how he got around before – by hopping on his tail, perhaps? But snakes don't eat dust, do they? 3:14

      Because Adam listened to Eve, God cursed the ground and causes thorns and thistles to grow. Before this, according to the (false) Genesis story, plants had no natural defenses. The rose had no thorn, cacti were spineless, holly leaves were smooth, and the nettle had no sting. Foxgloves, oleander, and milkweeds were all perfectly safe to eat. 3:17-18

      Go here for more:
      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/science/long.html

      February 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • John

      I have to hand it to God, he's got creativity that does NOT quit... exploding termites... you can't make this stuff up... he can though... and evolutionists have to explain it. Get busy guys, there's gotta be a reason for going ballistic like that...

      Honestly people, you can't imagine the stuff he does, you'd have to go through it, and pay attention like never before.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Reality Bites

      John, maybe your god will help you to grow some balls and actually post something of substance. Doubt it, though.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • John

      It takes 2 incredible balls to talk about clothing the sun. Their claim was that they were color blind at the time, so they didn't see it. Now they see it. And to the day... to the day... God knew it... thousands of years ago. If I could hand God credit for EVERYTHING in existance, right now, I would do it. You have no idea, and you'd have to live through it, to understand it.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      @john

      Oh yes, exploding termites. Well, obviously, there's a deity if we have exploding termites. Nevermind silly, dumb questions like why a deity would need any type of termite, let alone exploding ones. Thos types of questions just get in the way and you go lalalalala mysterious ways.

      February 9, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Biologists have already explained why exploding termites benefit said termites but if you cover your eyes and ears, and go "la la la la..." you are not likely to read and learn.

      February 9, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      John, thanks for putting your elementary understanding of biology on display. Where did you get that spiel? From your pastor?

      February 9, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • John

      HAA, biologists proclaiming "evolution did it" is not a great proof of anything. Termites exploding does not propagate any species, other than to make a mess that does nothing for that species. Meanwhile, God has said what evolution never said, and he has proven himself to me so many times in both what he said, and did, that his claims in the accounts have become obvious, as obvious as my hand existing. When the prophets and apostles relayed what happened, they were telling the truth, and to them it was just stuff that happened that day, that also included the most incredible being in existance: God.

      February 9, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      John, I hope you stick around. You are an amusing example.

      February 9, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • HotAirAce

      See http://www.nature.com/news/termites-explode-to-defend-their-colonies-1.11074. The sacrifice of elder termites helps protect the younger termites. Evolution explains why this is a net good thing. If you don't like this evolutionary based explanation, please explain why a god would create such an insect. What was "he" trying to achieve with this creation?

      February 9, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • John

      HAA, the evolution god changes rules at will, and saying "evolution did it" does not convince me it does anything. The claim made was that passing on the genes was what it was all about. If the young are threatened, evolution was claimed to make more of them to pass on the genes, or make them bigger, better.... not exploding and killing themselves off without passing on genes. This "feed forwards" concept applied by biologists is a claim that "evolution" is a god that plans things out, in essense making the claim that the god of evolution is smart and can plan... but it isn't a god at all... evolution does nothing. God is the creator of all of it.

      February 9, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • HotAirAce

      John, you really need to take your religious blinders off and take a course on evolution with an open mind. Evolution does not plan anything – it explains how species evolve and why some succeed (continue to exist) and others fail (become extinct).

      Again, if you don't like an evolution based explanation for a species and its characteristics, explain why your god would create the species you do not understand. Instead of simply saying "evolution sucks," give us a more complete "god did it" alternative.

      February 9, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • John

      HAA, a species that kills itself without passing on genes, is exactly the opposite of what evolution claims. It is "feeding forward" a pre-planned concept that doesn't produce offspring of it's own. That is DESIGN from God, not an accident from the "nothing" god of evolution.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:24 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.