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Americans reveal their 3 favorite sins
Eve couldn't stay away from the apple, but a new survey reveals that most Americans struggle with three other temptations.
February 8th, 2013
10:25 AM ET

Americans reveal their 3 favorite sins

By John Blake, CNN

 “Lead me not into temptation. I can find it all by myself.”

That line, taken from the country music song “Lead Me Not,” evokes smiles because it underscores a truth: The struggle against temptation is universal.

A new survey, however, gets specific about the type of temptations most Americans battle against, and shows that men and women seem to wrestle with different vices.

“Temptations and America’s Favorite Sins,” a survey conducted by the Barna Group, a Christian research firm, concludes that the moral struggles that vex most Americans aren’t the salacious acts that drive the plotlines of reality television shows. Most Americans are too worn down or distracted to get snared by those vices, the survey concludes.

The top three sins seducing most Americans: procrastination, overeating and spending too much time on media.

“You would think it would be sex, drugs and rock and roll,” said Todd Hunter, pastor and author of “Our Favorite Sins,” whose book was consulted in conjunction with the survey.

The survey said that 60% of Americans admitted that they’re tempted to worry too much or procrastinate; 55% said they’re tempted to overeat, and 41% said they’re tempted by sloth, or laziness.

The sex, drugs and rock and roll-like vices fell dead last in the temptation categories: 11% of Americans said they were tempted by drug abuse; 9% were tempted by sexually inappropriate contact.

Even young people put sex and drugs way down on their list, according to the survey, which broke down temptations by gender and age. It  found that 21% of millennials (born between 1984 and 2002) considered sexually inappropriate behavior their chief temptation. It was the lowest percentage attributed to any vice by millennials. Their top two temptations were worrying too much and procrastination.

The battleground for temptation has also shifted – it’s gone digital, according to David Kinnman, president of Barna Group, which based its survey on 1,021 online interviews with a representative sample of white, African-American and Latinos.

“Temptation has gone virtual, ’’ Kinnman said. “Nearly half of Americans admit to being tempted to use too much media and one in nine admits to expressing their anger digitally.”

Temptation also seems to affect men and women differently – more women said they’re tempted by gossip and overeating, and only 8% of women admitted to being tempted by online pornography versus 28% of  men.

Many Americans who admit to being tempted aren’t putting up a big fight. The study said that 59% of Americans admit that they don’t do anything to avoid temptation and half can’t explain why they give into temptation.

Many Americans still can’t explain what sin is, Hunter said. Worrying, for example, is not considered one of the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth). Yet survey respondents listed it as one of their top temptations.

“There’s no agreement on what sin is,” Hunter said. “It’s one of the aspects of the world we live in. It’s becoming more relativistic. It’s hard to talk about sin when everyone disagrees about what it is.”

Hunter knows a little bit about temptation. One of his is chocolate. He once shot up to 330 pounds because he overate. He said all temptations start with a desire for something good: tasty food, rest, intimacy. They become “disordered” when they enslave people and spread pain through their lives.

“Disordered desires imprison us,” he wrote in “Our Favorite Sins.” “In the end they give us nothing – not one lasting shred of goodness, freedom, joy, or love.”

Hunter’s advice for staying clear of temptation: fasting, praying and staying out of places and relationships that lead you toward temptation.

For those who aren’t religious, Hunter recommends thinking about sports. He cites the practice habits of superstars like NBA legend Michael Jordan. They practice progress, repeating athletic exercises every day until their body complies.

Little victories lead to big things, Hunter said. In his book, he quoted the legendary college basketball coach John Wooden:

“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. So don’t look for the quick, big improvement. Seek the small improvements one day at a time – that’s the only way progress happens – and when that kind of progress happens, it lasts.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Faith • Internet • Media • News media • Sex • Trends

soundoff (1,295 Responses)
  1. Seth

    Apparently rock and roll is now a sin? I'm damned for certain for listening to/playing thrash metal I guess.
    The legalism of the church makes it out of synch with the merciful Savior it's supposed to follow. That's why so many Christians I know who actually read the bible themselves leave the church, which has been abused over and over by corrupted power seekers hiding behind religion and playing on peoples insecurities about their salvation, just to feel that they control how a group of people (pretend to) live their lives.

    February 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  2. Benjamin Zhao

    Play in the role as Jesus Christ now? I love this change, especially after realizating Christ love money these days. Don't forget, this Serpant will go follow Christ. We are the same. Prove me you are different so I shall respect you highly, no kidding.

    February 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  3. Russ

    did this author seriously just give Michael Jordan as a model for overcoming addictive behaviors?

    February 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • The Truth

      Yea, I wondered about that too.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  4. Russ

    sin literally means "to fall short of the standard" or "miss the mark" (Greek: hamartia) in the Bible.
    seems to me the entire discussion (as usual on the belief blog) centers on who defines 'the standard.'

    February 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  5. truth be told

    Sin is a deadly business. the wages of sin is death. Sin will destroy a person and bring down a country. The three deadliest sins in America are ho mose xuality, atheism and tolerance that accepts evil for good.

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

      Uh oh – someone's done woke up Carrie's grandma.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • sam

      Whew! Thank goodness sin is a concept and not actually real, then. Close call!

      February 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • truth be told

      Sin is not an idea sin is an act of disobedience, a crime against God man and nature. What a sad pathetic wasted existence these so called self deceived atheists lead.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "Sin is not an idea sin is an act of disobedience, a crime against God man and nature."

      That's why Christians are consuming all of the natural resources on the planet, driving animals into extinction. They must have not got that memo. LOL! TBT your one disgusting excuse of a human being.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • truth be told

      Were you trying to say you are as in you're rather than your. You just have to be a rocket scientist don't you.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  6. Chad

    Whatever became of the Pink Power Ranger?

    February 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • sam

      The worst fanfic of all time was written about her, and she is in hiding.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Akira

      The original one, Kimberly?

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

      @Chad I can help you stop thinking about the Pink Power Ranger.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  7. alias

    Let me post this again : John Blake is an idiot.
    The 'Seven Deadly Sins' are not in the bible. Some monk made them up to try to change the behavior of the masses.
    These are not sins!

    February 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • snowboarder

      it is all a rather mediocre work of fiction.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  8. Truth

    That is sad

    February 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  9. Chad

    The top three sins seducing most Americans: procrastination, overeating and spending too much time on media.

    I confused
    atheists dont believe in sin, morals.
    in the atheist viewpoint, humans are merely the result of random natural processes. No different than a rock in terms of meaning, worth, good, bad..

    Morality is a discussion of right and wrong.
    atheists dont believe an objective standard of right and wrong, everyone defines it for themselves.

    atheists dont believe in free will. Without free will, how is it reasonable to define right and wrong?

    February 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Yes, obviously you ARE confused.

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

      society has always defined morality and it has evolved continually. that is a simple fact.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad the disingenuous,

      as usual, you deliberately mistate the atheists' position.

      "atheists dont believe an objective standard of right and wrong, everyone defines it for themselves."

      This is incorrect. Morality is a societal consenus of right and wrong. Yes, it is relative, but no *one* gets to choose it for themselves.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Where did you jump to the conclusion that atheists don't believe in free will? Wouldn't it be the opposite of christianity that believes in free will but opposes it in order to supplicate themselves to god?

      Furthermore, why wouldn't atheists believe in morals? Those are relative to the culture in which you live in.

      Honestly, think about if you went back in time and lived, as you would now in say, the holy roman empire, or some other really christian place I'm sure you would still be appalled at the level or moral ambiguity, violance and issues that went on back then that we've solved for the better in our present.

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

      Yep. Sounds like a classic case of confusion to me. You should probably consult a book.

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

      atheists dont believe in God
      atheists believe that humans are the result of particles randomly colliding, first creating life, then an ever increasing complexity.
      as such, the process (being entirely governed by natural laws) is entirely deterministic.

      Seen another way, when the universe first began expansion, the future behavior of all particles, was set in motion, and being governed by natural processes, was entirely deterministic.

      The particles that comprise your brain and drive its electrical signals, are behaving in purely deterministic manner.

      therefor, there is no such thing as free will. Your thought process are merely deterministic particle interactions.

      This is a view that I just recently got acquainted with, via @saraswati. I had never thought of human consciousness in that manner, but as he claims, on the atheist view, there is simply no other way to view consciousness.

      so, since behavior is deterministic, there is no such thing as free will, and moral judgement are entirely unjustified. You might as well think it reasonable to throw a rock in jail for being gray. Since the rock had no choice in the matter, it isnt reasonable to do so.

      atheism and free will are mutually exclusive notions.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Chad

      here's a much more organized statement of what I said..

      There are three reasons why atheists argue that atheism logically eliminates the possibility of human free will:
      1. Atheism denies that human beings have souls.
      2. Atheism understands human beings as mere physical objects, which are thoroughly subject to deterministic laws of nature.
      3. Human beings lack the ability to change previous states of the universe or the laws of nature, and these two components are sufficient, by themselves, to determine the future states of the universe.

      Therefore, the inevitable conclusion is:

      4. If atheism is true, the perception of free will is an illusion.

      Therefore, we are forced to choose between the following two statements: a) There is no god. b) I have free will.

      These are competing, mutually exclusive claims. If (a) is true, then (b) is false. And if (b) is true, then (a) is false. But it is not logically possible for both to be true.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm |

    • We are sufficiently complex that we seem to have freewill. Critical behaviour at every turn.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • ChardWatch2, Electric Bugaloo

      There goes Chad pigeon-holing conclusions from incredibly ridiculous assumptions. Wow.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Chad

      "We are sufficiently complex that we seem to have freewill"

      it's the "seem" part that exposes the fallaciousness of the argument.

      atheists believe that free will is an illusion created by the complexity of the organism.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Um.... Saraswati does not speak for all atheists the same way that you don't speak for all christians. I disagree with you post mostly because morality is determined by a collective culture at large, not a singular human who may or may not have free will. The morals that we created is an evolutionary device desgined to keep our society from in-fighting and anarchy. Our higher brain function keeps us from partaking in our baser instincts so there are morals, they just aren't governed by an outside being that we only know about through a book. As for "free-will" I've see saraswati (I think it was saraswati at any rate) explain how we have no free will and every action is a product of chemical reactions. I think the idea of free-will warps when you understand there's no such thing as a "soul" and we're all governed by brain chemicals that are released subconciously, but we still have the idea of will power (not eating a chocolate brownie, going to the gym, etc...) and there are still choices we make in life that I believe come from a different part of the brain rather than simple chemical mixture that we have no control over. Then again I'm not a neuroscientist so I don't claim to be an expert.

      I still think that free will does exist though and its a rediculous as.sertion that you keep making that "all atheists are this" or "all atheists are that" but get all huffy when an atheists use the term christian to apply to everyone. Make up your mind bro.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm |

    • Fallacy? Please elaborate.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      Helpful hint: @saraswati is a woman.

      We are sentient and make life altering decisions for ourselves. How is that not 'free will'. Arguably dogs do the same thing when they run away or come when called.

      The theological alternative to free will is some kind of celestial determinism (aka fate). Do you somehow think that atheists believe they are impelled by destiny?

      February 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad exposing more of his prejudice, and simply minded pigeonholing and labeling.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad, in this perevious discussion where I mentioned that I do not believe in free will

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/15/ireport-why-i-raise-my-children-without-god/comment-page-3/

      you argued that "...many, if not most, atheists believe in free will..." and I agreed with that. What has caused you to change your mind?

      February 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      atheists do not believe in morals? gosh, chard, considering all the stupid stuff you have said, this sets a record. atheists do not have to have their morality dictated to them, unlike snivelling sycophants like you.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati -

      Do you actually fully accept the philosophical construct of determinism?

      February 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad, you do, btw, represent my position fairly accurately. It's just not one that most US atheists share (in other countries the numbers will be quite different). I don't have a figure, but I would estimate in the US at least 60% or so believe in libertarian free will, though usually after exposure to the arguments surrounding the idea they are fairly easily willing to abandon it. You don't see this in most Christians because it is more difficult to abandon. Few psychologists believe in that idea of free will, and you can readily find articles discussing the topic.

      There's nothing in atheism that excludes free will, because atheism doesn't inherently endorse any scientific theory. It's just that atheists have a freedom to take or reject the idea that most Christians (Calvinists aside) do not.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and I just noticed I wrote "simple minded" instead of "simpleminded" in a previous post. Rather makes me a target for some mockery.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Really-O,

      "Do you actually fully accept the philosophical construct of determinism?"

      The easiest answer is "yes". I have some other thoughts when you get into particular physics issues but they have no bearing on the moral or decision making issues involved. So all practical day to day purposes I am a determinist both philosophically and in personal perspective. I mention the personal perspective issue because many people will say "Sure, you can be theoretically determinist, but to act you have to emotionally believe in free will!" But that is not the case, as I and many others can attest.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      an omniscient god and free will are mutually exclusive, chard

      February 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @GOP et al.

      Confirming for the record I'm female.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Yosemite Pam

      Chad you are a total moron. That was straw man after straw man after straw man. You misrepresent and misrepresent, and no matter how often people clarify it for you, you turn right arouond and lie again.

      Christians are some of the least honest people I have ever met.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      I'm confused about your determinism. You clearly don't believe in "fate" but are you saying that you are governed only through chemical processes? How can your body make a decision without first getting all the information to make those decisions from outside stimuli and if you believe your body is making decisions regardless of your consent, who's the "you " in that sentence?

      February 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati -

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Certainly determinism in the philosophy of physics is nearly irrefutable. In neuroscience, current evidence strongly suggests that the root of our thoughts is clearly not under our control (Sam Harris has recently written some interesting and provocative articles on this subject). I do have to wonder, however, as our mind is the product of our brain and our brain can be structurally modified by what we think, if perhaps we do have some indirect influence over the origin of our thoughts (or, perhaps, at least our future thoughts).

      I'm very interested in your perspective.

      Cheers.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati,
      I think that most atheists DO believe in free will, however that belief is utterly irrational based on the foundations of atheism (naturalism, determinism).

      I should have phrased my root post as such: "atheism doesnt believe in free will"

      Free will and determinism are utterly incompatible notions.
      With out free will, "morality" is an illusion, it is irrational to punish a rock for being a rock. It may be convenient for the society, but it is manifestly unfair. Of course, "unfair" isnt a term that can really be used either if you are an atheist. On the atheist view, "we" are merely running out the logical progression of particle collisions. It is the ultimate impersonal environment. I need to develop that more, but if you think about it, the undeniable existence of moral outrage refutes determinism utterly.

      The vast majority of atheists are about a 1/2 inch thick. they dont examine ANY of the foundations of their belief system, or any other belief system. They embrace mutually exclusive ideas on a regular basis, only because they have only one criteria for believing a notion to be true or false, namely "Can it be used to mock Christians"

      February 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Why do you keep believing that atheism is a "belief" system and that it has tenants, doctrine, etc.... Just because you say so doesn't make it so, ya dig?

      February 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I don't understand why Chad feels it necessary to conflate not believing in any gods with a panoply of unrelated positions.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "The vast majority of atheists are about a 1/2 inch thick. they dont examine ANY of the foundations of their belief system, or any other belief system."

      More of Chad's prejudice.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I have my fingers crossed that Chad will abandon this thread and Saraswati and Chuckles will stick around so we can have a meaningful discussion about determinism.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

      wow – Chad could feed all the livestock in solomon's stables (how many were there?) with all the straw he's stockpiling.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really-O

      Still here! I agree, personally I find it strange to say there is no such thing as "free will", then again I can see the point being made. If we're purely instinctual creatures only reacting to outside stimuli on a subconscious level, then the free will is just an illusion. Similarly, christianity operates under the assumption that god knows everything, knows your entire lifes plan laid out in one giant book so christians also have the illusion of free will even though every action was determined, according to them, before they were even a twinkle in their mothers eye.

      So the real question here is what exactly IS free will? Is free will according to christian theology the ability to do something that god did not foresee (lets ignore the implications of that for now) and is free will according to Saraswati's theory an action taken that defies the chemicals in your brain or do both religius and irreligious theories make free will an impossibility?

      February 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles, I don't really believe that the pronouns "you" or "I" are as meaningful as we would like to believe.

      @Reall-o,

      Agreed, studies actually indicate decisions are often reached before we are aware of it.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      I'm still a little confused though (and this has been something I've been thinking about for a while but to no avail) but there has to be a driver somewhere in our brains that allow us higher brain functions and self-awareness right? So is that "driver" for lack of a better term just a rampant, out of control adaptive trait that occured and the by-product of being self-aware is the knowledge that I'm techinically trapped within my own body as an observer unable to really have final say on how my vehicle operates or at the very least I have suggestive powers or is there something we're missing in neuroscience where there is such thing as free will and the "driver" is in charge of which chemicals to be released?

      Clearly I'm out of my depth talking about neuroscience and I think I'm dipping more into philosophy than actual hard science, but I'm just trying to understand in idiot terms what no free will actually means.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles -

      Nice post. I agree that the Christian concepts of an omniscient deity and free will are contradictory. What I find most interesting is both the rational and empirical investigation of "free will" at the neurological level; i.e. as chemical and electrical interactions are responsible for thought, and thought precedes action, are we simply automatons? While determinism would indicate the answer is an emphatic "yes", I'm not convinced there is not more at play here. Most importantly, the flow from thought-to-action is bi-directional with innumerable opportunities for feedback that modifies the direction of the flow leading to different outcomes.

      It also seems to me that there are some subtle, yet meaningful, distinctions between determinism and fatalism that usually go unexamined.

      Thoughts?

      February 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles -

      I highly recommend recent articles on free will by Sam Harris (samharris.org). Though provoking.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really-O

      I thought the same thing, it can't just be a one way path where the brain is fed stimuli and spouts out a response, there's higher functions going on within the brain to determine action before reaction happens from outside stimuli so does that not count as free will?

      I guess I'm getting tripped up on what "free will" actually means in the context that it doesn't exist. Is going against your own body free will or is free will simply the idea that you attempt to lable the event where you purposefully do an action to avoid or create a future event?

      Arg! This is frustrating!

      February 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really O

      Will do, I love Sam Harris, he's always really interesting.

      Gotta run though, the work day is just about finished and now I get to look forward to the joyous inevitability of traffic jams for an hour.

      Lets continue this though at a later date.

      Saraswati, you're also invited.

      Chad can suck a di.ck

      February 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles -

      Yes, it can drive you to drink if you let it (not that there's anything wrong with good drink). I will state at this point I am unconvinced that the type of determinism physicists accept applies fully to sentient organisms. I do, however, accept that it is pretty clear that the origins of our thoughts are not under our control. e.g. -

      "Think of an animal."
      "Kangaroo"
      "Why did you think of a Kangaroo?"
      "I have no idea"

      February 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles
      Saraswati seems much more convinced regarding determinism applying to sentient organisms then either you or I. I hope she'll weigh-in on the subject.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Sorry to be so slow tonight...I've got a few things going.

      I don't have a full good set of answers on consciousness, but feel better knowing no one else out there seems to either. :)

      I don't see the brain/consciousness relationship as having a driver. Consciousness as I see it is more of a parallel (or aspect to use an old Spinozan term). The "bi-directional" view Really-O mentions is similar, but its more that it's and integration than directional.

      I have no problem seeing consciousness as entirely represented by physical parallels acting under the usual physical laws. That doesn't mean I think that's all there is too it – I'm not a strict eliminativist, and don't know that even the Churchlands are anymore, but I haven't been keeping up on that argument.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard is becoming a bore.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • fred

      My conversion experience is a testimony to the affect of free will. When I accepted Christ the Holy Spirit completely transformed my thoughts and mind. That transformation changed my actions. The imparting of the Holy Spirit was instant like a light switch went off. I had to pray and ask Jesus to save me and Jesus did. That was a free will decision.
      All the subtle changes that followed were now ruled by a new Spirit. Atheists have a spirit that rules them in the paths of materialism and naturalism. The Bible refers to blinders on the godless which limits free will. Those in Christ do not have blinders but a new life a life that is eternal and thus looks past present stimuli to eternal rewards and presence. I find that represents greater freedom because I can look out and see the entire landscape. To deny eternal possibilities is self limiting and restricts free will.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "So the real question here is what exactly IS free will? Is free will according to christian theology the ability to do something that god did not foresee "

      @Chad "LOL

      you really should think about just remaining in the shallow end..

      Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors. Factors of historical concern have included metaphysical constraints, physical constraints, social constraints, and mental constraints

      The ENTIRE basis of Christian thought is that free will exists. EVERY CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL DOCTRINE is explicitly based on the notion of free will.
      cant be argued
      simply
      can
      not
      that's what the Christian viewpoint is.

      Now, you can try and argue, as @saraswati does, that if free will does NOT exist, then Christianity has been disproved.
      That is a good argument to try and make, as Christianity does in fact rely on free will.

      Now, on to the second nonsensical portion of your statement "that God did not foresee"
      again, you display a complete lack of understanding of Christian doctrine..
      again.. and again, and again...

      According to the bible, God knows everything that we will all do, through the exercise of our free will.
      God knows the end from the beginning.

      you can try and argue that's impossible, however you cant possibly argue that that isnt Christian doctrine.

      so, in summary, how you presume to criticize a belief system that you demonstrate time and time and time and time again, that you have no familiarity with, escapes me..

      1/2 inch thick..

      February 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Chad

      and, according to the definition, if you believe in naturalism/determinism, you can not possibly embrace the notion of free will.
      mutually exclusive.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm |

    • "According to the bible, God knows everything that we will all do, through the exercise of our free will. God knows the end from the beginning."

      That believers believe that isn't surprising. Atheists believe that makes your view of the world pointless.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes, the Lord knows I will act as if I have freewill.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      What's up with Chad's false dichotomy – Christianity or Naturalism? Also, why does he continue to conflate naturalism and determinism. Oh well, it's Chad.
      "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

      February 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As I've said before, Chard's lack of imagination and originality run stunningly deep.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

      Chad is still trying to prove his point by making the arguments for whomever might argue with him FOR THEM. Of course then it is only going to lead to HIS conclusion. Why is he lumping naturalism and determinism together as if everyone would subscribe to both or none? I didn't check was Saraswati said, but even if Saraswati said "that if free will does NOT exist, then Christianity has been disproved", that does not mean that Saraswati may have OTHER POSSIBLY COMBINATIONS in mind that Chad is leaving out.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      really-o said: "I'm not convinced there is not more at play here. Most importantly, the flow from thought-to-action is bi-directional with innumerable opportunities for feedback that modifies the direction of the flow leading to different outcomes. "

      This is where I am now on the topic. It was very interesting to learn about the neuroscience on "free will" but I wonder how clear it is or what other factors may be involved. I can clearly see our choices are made "before they're known to us" because of the chemical chain of events. I'm just not sure if that tiny fraction of a second of processing could be called predestination. It could also be that while I watched the Sam Harris video a couple times, I probably am too ignorant on the topic to contribute anything meaningful.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @End,

      I wouldn't call it predestination, but I would call it determinism. One is about the end only. With predestination or "fate" what you do makes no difference in the end. With determinism what you do ("choose" to do) is determined, but still, in a sense, makes a difference. The choice is a determined but integral part of the overal web of reality.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Chad

      it is simply irrational for a person to be an atheist, and to believe in free will.

      by the atheist naturalistic view, every thing is deterministic

      Naturalism commonly refers to the viewpoint that laws of nature (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe.[1] Adherents of naturalism (naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the universe is a product of these laws

      Naturalism is deterministic..

      There are three reasons why atheists argue that atheism logically eliminates the possibility of human free will:
      1. Atheism denies that human beings have souls.
      2. Atheism understands human beings as mere physical objects, which are thoroughly subject to deterministic laws of nature.
      3. Human beings lack the ability to change previous states of the universe or the laws of nature, and these two components are sufficient, by themselves, to determine the future states of the universe.

      Therefore, the inevitable conclusion is:

      4. If atheism is true, the perception of free will is an illusion.

      Therefore, we are forced to choose between the following two statements: a) There is no god. b) I have free will.

      These are competing, mutually exclusive claims. If (a) is true, then (b) is false. And if (b) is true, then (a) is false. But it is not logically possible for both to be true.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Free will is a religious, perhaps christian unique, concept. Until the existence of some god and the divine jesus myth is proven, it is pointless to discuss concepts such as free will. To do so beforehand is nothing more than hacking over some fine point of the rules for the world's oldest fantasy role paying game, with huge emphasis on fantasy and game.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  10. truth be turd

    All so called turtles 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 and their eggs.

    February 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  11. the AnViL

    the fact that there are no gods – and that they are all imaginary men in the sky means there is no sin.

    it doesn't exist.

    rest easy, ye deluded ones of faith.

    February 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  12. deadlyserious

    Since when are "worrying" and "procrastination" considered sins? Reaching a little, aren't we, Christianity?

    February 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  13. Robert

    #1.. NO apple in Genesis!! So before people start jumping all over the Bible.. read what it says! All you experts on how not useful or flawed the Bible is need to actually read it. It says, "the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"... NO apple people!!! Just shows you ignorance!!!

    February 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you say that as if someone should actually take it seriously instead of treating it as the imaginings of ancient supersti tious men.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      So THAT'S the crazy part. Not the talking snake, not the worldwide flood, not the talking bush, not the talking donkey, not some Palestinian hippie walking on water. Oh no. The TYPE of fruit that the mythical first couple ate......now THAT'S important.

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

      Hey, that bush didn't just talk, it was also flaming!

      February 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      I have gone through all 3 current pages, and have seen no claims to any reference to an apple in the garden being the fruit in the bible. Jeez have some control. Read:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_(symbolism)

      Gives some nice insight on the symbolic history of apples.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ sam – I knew a woman once who had a flaming bush

      February 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • alias

      sam
      "Hey, that bush didn't just talk, it was also flaming!"

      If it was Fabulous too, it may have been gay.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  14. Rock0f@ges

    The price of salvation is faith. So LITTLE faith in the world. People would rather believe in NOTHING. satan has so many of you fooled. It doesn't take much to fool you. A little doubt here.... a little temptation there. And you are in his evil snare. So many of you don't even put up any resistance at all. The world is doomed. There is plenty of room in Heaven for all of us, but if you don't want to join me, that is your decision. The gift of FREEWILL was given to us. I would urge you all to use it wisely, but I realize I would just be casting pearls among swine.

    February 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • JWT

      Satan – he used to play for the Boson Bruins/

      February 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • deadlyserious

      If you think this is "casting pearls before swine," why do you post the same tripe on every article on this site?

      February 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • sam

      Oh no!! SATAN!!

      February 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • snowboarder

      satan is an imaginary boogey man with which to frighten the children. nothing more.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      The christian definition of free will: love our god, or roast in hell for eternity!

      February 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "A little doubt here"

      So DOUBT is wrong now? Jeebus. How have you not been killed by your stupidity yet?

      February 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • sam

      Instead of roasting, though, could I be lightly sauteed, maybe with garlic? I think that would go better.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Santa has us fooled? Crafty old fuk, he is, I tells ya!

      How old are you, Rock? Seriously. And why, out of all of the tens of thousands of religious sects in the world is yours correct? What amazing powers of insight and perception do you have to let you know that you are correct and everyone else is wrong? Or was it that the Creator of the Universe chose l'il old you to talk to?

      February 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Satan, the other Christian god.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • breathe deep

      hahahaha you think you are going to heaven? oh my friend, you are bound for the eternal fire pit with the rest of us.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  15. Harvey Rabbit

    Religion: because it is fun to use your imagination!

    February 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  16. Zingo

    It's a sin to have a pet sloth?

    Isn't gluttony and greed and pride the American Way?

    February 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • sam

      It's not a sin to have one, but the sloth itself is sinful for being slothful. Keep a spray bottle of holy water nearby.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • KS Em

      Hmm. I don't know about a sin, but I know it's a CRIME to keep a pet sloth. Very endangered. But they are so cute. Plus there are several entire species that are endemic only to 3-toed sloth fur.

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

      Plus sloths only come down once a week to go potty. Ew.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  17. Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    Sin only applies to delusional people

    February 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  18. Akira

    Philip Douglas December:
    Chuckles IP city is Detroit, and yours (surprise surprise) is STILL Colorado Springs.
    Going to hell, you are.

    February 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • December

      If you have a registered name, like "Akira" and start posting personal information about people, is that a violation?

      Even though it is not true about me, you are posting another person's name and information. I would feel threatened by this if it was true.

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

      "If you have a registered name, like “Akira” and start posting personal information about people, is that a violation?"

      This information doesn't violate any TOS, and is easily available legally on the net. Also, this site doesn't require registration to post, a fact you know about, since you change your handle frequently.

      "Even though it is not true about me, you are posting another person’s name and information. I would feel threatened by this if it was true."

      It is true, your name is in the interwebs, there isn't any threatening behavior going on, and I invite you to tell me where anything I have done is illegal. It isn't.
      You are uncomfortable because I know who you are, I know when you lie, and I call you, and your other handles, out on it.
      You've been caught.
      Deny deny deny is the hallmark of the liar. You've proven my point admirably.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Akira

      Not to mention that this information was freely posted by you on the CNN blog 'This Just In' many times since 2011, so it is hardly privileged information.
      As you yourself once said, nobody is really anonymous on the 'Net.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • December

      You don't know my IP address.
      :)

      February 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • December

      And I'm not Phillip Douglas. :)

      February 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • alias

      @December
      if you find it threatening, then maybe you shouldn't post things you are unwilling to admit to.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • December

      And I don't live in Colorado. :)

      February 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • December

      And I posted evidence and you ignored it. :)

      hahaha.

      You are either making a mistake or being dishonest. :)

      February 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • December

      "Okay, I'm going to call you on this issue this time. You obviously don't understand the internet / networking. However, I DO understand it as I've got a computer background. There is only two ways that you can have my IP address. These are:

      1) You work for CNN (or at least the religion blogs server area). However this is very dubious. IF you did, you wouldn't have just my IP, but my email address too. And if you DID have that, you would not be calling me Mary. Second, CNN would be violating my privacy – which it has vowed not to do. So you don't work for CNN (even as a subcontractor).

      2) You know my home computer, as well as all the other computers that I use. Again, if you DID have that, you would not be calling me Mary.

      So, while I don't like doing so, I'm going to call you a liar on this issue."

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

      You do live in Colorado Springs. :)
      You are a liar. :)
      All you did was post one of Mary's, (Live4Him) posts to me, (who is, btw, at home today and posting from her Niagra Falls IP) who is, as everyone on TJI knows, is your little 'Internet Friend'. :)
      I am not mistaken. :)
      I am not being dishonest. :)
      You are a known liar, and this has been proven to you again and again. :)

      Deny, deny, liar, deny, liar. :)
      I expose the people I know who lie about themselves. :)
      Stop lying about yourself. :)

      Tbt has it wrong; SOME Christians are liars. :)
      You are one of them. :)

      February 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, and Philip? Are you posting from the parking lot of that office building, or are you in the lobby? :)

      February 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • December

      I'm not lying about this. I really don't know why you keep claiming I am doug or phillip. And live in Colorado.

      Like I showed you earlier I am in KC.

      I just posted this to you, from KC.

      http://members.boardhost.com/zebramania/msg/1360364165.html

      Look up the ip address.

      So did you make a mistake?

      Or are you lying about the claim you can look up ip addresses?

      February 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • frank

      Can we just settle on a new name for December/Douglas and be done with it already?

      I vote for ScentedTissue

      February 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • December

      "December

      >> Susan

      Yes I agree.

      I do volunteer with secular and religious charities.

      In my secular charity, I find atheists, Christians and people from other faiths all wanting to make the same kind of difference. Our beliefs don't really come up, we focus on our work at hand.

      Here is what the church in my town did and is doing in Africa

      http://www.jacobswellchurch.org/outreach/global-missions/"

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/01/quarterbacks-next-play-going-long-with-the-bible/comment-page-1/#comments

      *****I posted this on Feb. 1

      Akira and End Religion usually bolt after I point this out.

      2 or 3 days later they started badgering me, out of nowhere.

      CLEARLY SHOWS I'M IN KC.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • December

      Ok, that felt good.

      And I know she will claim I'm lying, but I really am in KC. I work in TV and that ip address belongs my work.

      I have never posted at her before, except when she leaves me cryptic messages.. I know nothing about this Doug.

      I shouldn't feed a troll like her, but just proving that she is lying about the ip addresses is great.

      Bye bye silly girl.

      Good luck on your search for Phillip Douglas.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      Obviously I have no way of knowing if December is Doug or not, but I am entertained by the temper tantrums which began after using the name Doug and the avoidance of answering one simple question. So, Doug, I'm curious, can you tell us your views on gay sex?

      February 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  19. Monkey

    My biggest sin is... oh wait, I don't believe in that silly little book. I just believe in having good values and morals and not living my life by taking snippets from a hypocritical fairy tale.

    February 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  20. Leftcoastrocky

    procrastination, overeating and spending too much time on media. - that is me!

    February 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • derp

      I'm big on farting in elevators.

      That's a sin isn't it?

      February 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • frank

      @derp

      it kind of is when it was two cab drivers that just finished having se x

      February 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.