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The money man behind atheism’s activism
Todd Stiefel, a wealthy businessman, is responsible for bank rolling many atheism activism projects.
March 23rd, 2013
10:00 PM ET

The money man behind atheism’s activism

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Todd Stiefel is far from a household name, and the odds he gets recognized on a street corner, even in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, are small.

For Stiefel, a slim, scruffy ex-Catholic, his public persona is his wallet and activism. Through the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, the 38-year-old has made an indelible impact on the nation’s fastest-growing “religious” group: the nonbelievers. Most of the highest-profile atheists campaigns –- flashy billboards in high-traffic areas, news-making efforts to get atheists to come out of the closet, and boisterous rallies - are funded by his fortune.

Stiefel isn’t shy about his far-reaching goals.

“What I am trying to accomplish is multifold, he told CNN. “I consider myself working on the next civil equality movement, just like women’s rights, LGBT rights and African-American Civil Rights. We are still in the early stages of eliminating discrimination against atheists and humanists. That is something I really want to accomplish.”

So far, Stiefel has pumped $3.5 million into those aspirations, and his money benefits a number of atheist organizations, from the Clergy Project, a group that helps atheist and doubting clergy out of the closet, to American Atheists, arguably the most in-your-face atheist group in the country.

Stiefel sees his work as far more than just money. For him, this is just the beginning.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

From Catholic school to atheist millionaire

Stiefel was born in Albany, New York, in 1974 to Catholic parents. He was raised in a Catholic household, confirmed in the church, attended Sunday school, went to a Catholic high school.

“I was a cross-wearing, praying, religious-retreat Catholic,” Stiefel said. “You could say there were points that I felt the spirit.”

But his faith, he said, fluctuated during high school. “I was always a skeptic,” he said, “and I always asked a lot of questions.”

At 18, Stiefel attended Duke University to pursue a degree in psychology. To fill an elective, he took an Old Testament history class at the Duke University Divinity School. It was there, he said, that his final “ebb” away from belief took hold.

In the class, Stiefel said he saw a flawed logic in the Old Testament. In particular, he said, he began to see much of the Old Testament as unoriginal stories that had been told in many pagan traditions.

“'Wait a second, is what I believe in really the truth or is it really the accumulation of myths bundled in a package?’” Stiefel remembers asking himself. “That was the end of my faith right there.”

After graduating from Duke, Stiefel went into the family business: Stiefel Laboratories, a company that develops products to combat skin diseases. For 12 years, Stiefel worked with his family and turned the business into a major player in their specialized market.

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In 2009, with Stiefel in an executive position, the Stiefel family opted to sell the company to GlaxoSmithKline. The price tag: $2.9 billion, according to media reports at the time.

“I only got a very small piece of that, for the record,” Stiefel said with a laugh. “I did, however, find myself in a unique and fortunate position where I was able to do whatever I wanted to do.”

And like many who have the luxury of doing exactly what they want, Stiefel began thinking about what he was truly passionate about. After kicking around the idea of starting another business, the answer became clear to the young millionaire: advocating for atheism.

“I wanted to try to help the world,” he said. “I wanted to give back and this seemed like the most productive way to help humanity.”

‘Just doing my part’

Stiefel put $2 million in to begin his foundation. In his first year, according to tax documents, the nonprofit disbursed $700,000 to groups like the Secular Coalition for America, the American Humanist Association and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In 2010 and 2011, the giving continued with the foundation distributing around $750,000 to different atheist and humanist causes. In 2011, he also pumped another $500,000 into his foundation.

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“I am just doing my part within my means,” he said. “Different people have different means. I am doing what I can do, just like the rest of the people in the movement are.”

But recipients of the money, such as David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, see his impact as much greater than just a one-off activist.

“Todd is an example of what major contributions can accomplish for atheism,” he said. “From a donation stand point, he is really leading the movement to a different level.”

Walking the line

One of Stiefel’s major concerted contributions in the last three years was the Reason Rally, an event held on the National Mall in Washington, which was billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement. The goal of the event was to show to religious Americans that atheism was a powerful minority in American life.

Stiefel speaks onstage at the Reason Rally.

The rally drew a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” and thousands of attendees, despite rainy weather.

In his speech to the crowd, Stiefel talked about what he sees as the most important problem facing atheism: “Discrimination comes from ignorance, and in this case it is ignorance about our beliefs,” he said. “We are told freethinkers believe in nothing, but that’s a misunderstanding. We believe in a lot of things; we don’t all believe the same things.”

Stiefel put $250,000 toward the rally, a contribution that Silverman, the organizer, said was critical.

“He brought the Reason Rally to a brand new level,” Silverman said. Without that money, “we would have had far fewer people and a far smaller event.”

Silverman and the Reason Rally advocated for a specific brand of atheism. Silverman, who regularly calls his group the “Marines of the Freethought Movement,” is not shy in making it clear that he views his goal in calling out religion and elevating atheism.

Stiefel says he doesn't necessarily endorse those tactics wholly, but he does see their validity.

“I try to walk a line,” he said. “I see religious criticism as valuable, and groups like American Atheists are good at that. I do think we have to have a dialogue about who has the right ideas and part of that is pointing out the flaws in religious ideas.”

Stiefel continued: “I also see inter-belief work, though. I do find a lot of value in inter-belief work and I do see a lot of value in general charity work.”

Evidence of that is his work on cancer fundraising.

In 2012, Stiefel approached the Foundation Beyond Belief with an idea of creating networks of nonbelievers around the country to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Stiefel tapped into his atheist network and began organizing different event.

In total, the atheist groups raised $430,000 in 2012, including a $215,000 donation from Stiefel and his wife, Diana.

“Across the country there are 150 local groups of atheists and freethinkers raising money for charity,” Stiefel said proudly.

The key, however, was bridging the gap between atheist and religious communities in the name of charity.

“We welcomed Christians, as well,” he said. “Some of our biggest fundraisers were Christians.”

For 2013, the goal is to raise $500,000.

Expanding the community

With money and resolve comes great influence for Stiefel. He has the ear of many atheist leaders, meaning he can dictate the movement’s focus.

Stiefel said he wants to see the atheism movement expand its footprint.

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“What I would really like to see is expanding out communities to people who may not just be atheists or agnostics and into people who are religiously skeptical and may still have some religious beliefs,” he said. “Nobody is a perfect skeptic and I would like to see more people like that in our community.”

For Stiefel, this is a personal priority. He says his wife, whom he describes as a skeptical Christian, is someone who would fall within an expanded atheist movement.

“My message is not only of anti-theism,” Stiefel said. “I don’t choose to attack religion itself. I see religion as something that provides both good and ill to the world.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (7,617 Responses)
  1. Hodor

    this Todd fellow is like the Koch brothers but with a functioning brain.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  2. Live4Him

    Here are the premises that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

    Natural origins or Supernatural origins?
    a) Matter, energy and time exists. Where did they come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
    b) Life exists. Where did life come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
    Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary to create matter, energy and time, along with life itself.

    Which supernatural event or being answer the above?
    a) Multiple religions address the creation of life.
    b) The Biblical account (which includes all the Abrahamic religions) begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
    c) No other religion begins with the creation of matter, energy and time
    Therefore, only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the foundational issues on creation.

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

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

    Did the Christian God Do It?
    a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
    b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
    Therefore, the God of the Christians is a viable contender for this Creator. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is the most plausible answer to how we got here.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lie4him
      Here you go again with this flawed argument again. Do you know what logic is.

      It is not saying we do not know so there must be a god...that is not a strawman either...that is what the first couple lines say.

      Religion is for people who can't handle reality.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • sam

      This again? Are you trying to snare some n00bs, or what? It gets dumber every time I see it.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Number 11 on the list of irritatingly stupid arguments made by religionists:

      11. The ‘reductionem ad creationis’ argument, no matter what the topic of the day, let’s talk origins or evolution … again and again!
      eg: “science doesn’t explain what happened before the big bang, so God is real, ergo he created everything 6,000 years ago” – Opponents of abiogenesis belong here too.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Madtown

      only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the foundational issues on creation
      ------
      They don't "answer" anything. They provide what is essentially a set of OPINIONS. Notions about a possible way things came about.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him has morphed into Chad; and they say they don't believe in evolution!

      March 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Madtown : They don't "answer" anything. They provide what is essentially a set of OPINIONS.

      So, how WERE matter, energy and time created? Genesis 1:1-4 begins with their creation. Naturalists are still trying to describe where they originated.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Kee

      Nicely put, Live.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      The god of the gaps argument is a weak one and Biblical translation is suspect . The conclusion that the Christian God exists does not follow.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Here are the fallacies that I base my delusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus."

      ***fixed***

      March 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      What's funniest is that she really is ignorant enough to believe this is an exhaustive list of possibilities.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary to create matter, energy and time, along with life itself."

      Again, your logic is invalid. A lack of a known "naturalistic" explanation does not imply a non-naturalistic one.

      (This has been pointed out to you many times.)

      March 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, Read up on the big bang. Any gaps in our knowledge does not mean "a god did it" or that it was your god.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lie4him
      where were they originated?

      Why do you keep asking the same idiotic questions over and over.
      Religions claim to know the answers.
      Science tries to find the answers.
      The answer to your question AGAIN is we do not know, but we are trying to find out, which is far better than the religious answer of, someone made up a story , made up a god, and said he did it.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @The Non Believer : The god of the gaps argument is a weak one

      The 'fantastic leap of faith' to a natural cause is even weaker.

      @The Non Believer : Biblical translation is suspect

      Care to elucidate your response?

      @The Non Believer : The conclusion that the Christian God exists does not follow.

      Why not?

      March 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You keep beating this horse. I think it's legs have fallen off completely now (if they were ever there to begin with).

      Your very opening premise is invalid. None of the rest stands. We don't know does not equal God.

      We don't know implies "yet". We don't know "yet"...and yes, we may never know. Still doesn't equal god.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      kee
      don't hurt yourself patting your other self (lie4him) on the back

      March 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : A lack of a known "naturalistic" explanation does not imply a non-naturalistic one.

      Granted. However, what's the likelihood of a naturalistic explanation? It approaches zero percent chance. It's like chance of winning the grand prize in the lottery. And I like my odds better than that! 🙂

      March 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      Are you still promoting this fallacious list? Amazing.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      "However, what's the likelihood of a naturalistic explanation?"
      We don't know, and you don't either. You cannot calculate probability based on a single data point. You've refused to actually acknowledge and answer this point before, so I wonder if you will now? Either that or you'll just continue to ignore me like you did before.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @myweightinwords : Your very opening premise is invalid.

      So you claim. What alternative solution would you suggest?

      March 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Madtown

      So, how WERE matter, energy and time created? Genesis 1:1-4 begins with their creation.
      ------
      I don't know! That's the point, no one does. Again, Genesis is a human-crafted notion about creation. Besides, you ask HOW all this was created. Genesis doesn't attempt to answer even that, it just asserts that it WAS created. The actual "how"......again, no one knows.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, You, Chad, and fred (if indeed you are separate people) post this so frequently that you must have seen the answer hundreds of times

      "The 'fantastic leap of faith' to a natural cause is even weaker."
      It is not a leap of faith. We have scientific evidence for much and where we have gaps there are plausible theories. None of which points to a god supporting the superstitions of ancient peoples.

      "Biblical translation is suspect. Care to elucidate your response?"
      The bible as we know it was translated many times through several languages and copied by hand, so inadvertant errors inevitably creep in. Also there were conscious changes to conform to the ideology of the day. If there were not different versions why would you need (several) standard bibles?

      "The conclusion that the Christian God exists does not follow. Why not?"
      Because you just listed your opinion and interpretation which prove nothing.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Granted."

      Okay, so please stop making that claim. Thank you.

      "However, what's the likelihood of a naturalistic explanation? It approaches zero percent chance."

      We don't know the likelihood. In order to calculate probabilities of various outcome, one must know the range of possibilities which are not known in this instance. i.e. drawing a 2 of clubs from a standard deck is 1 out of 52, but using only half the deck, what are the odds? (hint: you don't even know if the 2 of clubs is in the half you are using.)

      March 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And it looks like Live will continue to ignore every glaring hole in his fallacious list. Congrats Live, you have shown yourself to be completely dishonest.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      It is intellectually lazy to say that there are only 2 possibilities to explain existance. There may be more. Excluding a naturalistic explaintion to incredulity and improbablilty does not mean it is impossible. I've read that the translation for Jesus being born of a virgin could also mean that the word for virgin can be translated as young woman. Just because we don't know what caused life doesn't mean it must be a supernatural reason. Translations of the Bible, whether accurate or innacurate, do not prove the existance of the Christian God, or is this a because the Bible said so argument?

      March 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @myweightinwords : Your very opening premise is invalid.

      So you claim. What alternative solution would you suggest?

      What part of "we don't know" don't you understand?

      Genesis, along with every other creation story from every culture on the planet, tells a story in terms that that culture's people could understand to explain how life began. None of them are actual knowledge. They are story. Myth. They are comforting (not in all cases, but in general) ways of making peace with the fact that we don't know.

      Not knowing does not make any of those creation stories true.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Live4Him : However, what's the likelihood of a naturalistic explanation?
      @hawaiiguest : We don't know, and you don't either. You cannot calculate probability based on a single data point.

      It's not a single data point. There have been many different naturalist theories that have fallen through after examination. Some of these include:

      1) Static universe
      2) Original Big Bang
      3) Inflationary Big Bang
      4) String Theory
      5) M-Theory

      I'll acknowledge that the latter theories are still being tested, but there has been no coalescence behind any of the theories.

      @hawaiiguest : Either that or you'll just continue to ignore me like you did before.

      I only ignore you when your posts become primarily ad hominems. And these types of posts are pointless to address.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Madtown

      Given the factual inaccuracies (i.e. members of the Trinity)
      ----–
      The Trinity is a notion created by man. Other notions may indeed go against it, but they could hardly be considered "factually inaccurate" when the notion of the Trinity has no factual accuracy to begin with.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      An ad hominem fallacy is an attempt to discredit an argument by merely pointing to perceived or real faults in the person themselves. I always respond to the argument itself. While I may use insulting language at times, I in no way say your argument is invalid because of those things, so your ad hominem claim is false.

      "It's not a single data point. There have been many different naturalist theories that have fallen through after examination."
      You don't understand what a data point is. A proposed explanation is not a data point, an event itself is the data point. To properly and validly calculate probability of naturalistic and supernatural beginnings to matter and energy, then you would need to study multiple universes or possible universes. You have not done so, and neither has anyone else. You cannot calculate probability based on the proposed explanations.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Science

      L$H I am on the list................................................................................ fun stuff gravity !

      Hey ............................. garvity wins splat goes a fairy in the sky.

      Curtains Down for the Black Hole Firewall Paradox: Making Gravity Safe for Einstein Again

      Mar. 6, 2013 — Research by scientists at the University of York has revealed new insights into the life and death of black holes. Their findings dispel the so-called firewall paradox which shocked the physics community when it was announced in 2012 since its predictions about large black holes contradicted Einstein's crowning achievement – the theory of general relativity. Those results suggested that anyone falling into a black hole would be burned up as they crossed its edge – the so-called event horizon.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306084151.htm

      Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

      and the make up of the Supreme Court

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/19/do-6-catholics-3-jews-9-protestants/

      March 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • The Trinity

      God has revealed himself in 3 ways to the faithful.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Madtown : [So, how WERE matter, energy and time created? Genesis 1:1-4 begins with their creation.] I don't know! That's the point, no one does. Again, Genesis is a human-crafted notion about creation.

      If you don't know, then you cannot dispute the Genesis account.

      @ME II : Okay, so please stop making that claim. Thank you.

      Just because there is a very slim chance that a naturalist explanation is possible, doesn't mean that it is probable. I prefer to focus on the probable rather than the "possible, but highly improbable" solutions.

      @ME II : [what's the likelihood of a naturalistic explanation?] We don't know the likelihood.

      Then why discuss it?

      @ME II : In order to calculate probabilities of various outcome, one must know the range of possibilities which are not known in this instance.

      We know for a fact that there isn't a current naturalist theory that withstands scrutiny. Likewise, we know that the Genesis account gives a valid explanation of the three basic elements of this universe. So, why reject this alternative?

      @hawaiiguest : Congrats Live, you have shown yourself to be completely dishonest.

      See, it doesn't take you long to fall victim to the inane personal attacks. You assume that since my time is limited, that I'm ignoring you. Another misguided assumption.

      BTW – I'm heading out for now.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Madtown : [So, how WERE matter, energy and time created? Genesis 1:1-4 begins with their creation.] I don't know! That's the point, no one does. Again, Genesis is a human-crafted notion about creation.

      If you don't know, then you cannot dispute the Genesis account.

      @ME II : Okay, so please stop making that claim. Thank you.

      Just because there is a very slim chance that a naturalist explanation is possible, doesn't mean that it is probable. I prefer to focus on the probable rather than the "possible, but highly improbable" solutions.

      @ME II : [what's the likelihood of a naturalistic explanation?] We don't know the likelihood.

      Then why discuss it?

      @ME II : In order to calculate probabilities of various outcome, one must know the range of possibilities which are not known in this instance.

      We know for a fact that there isn't a current naturalist theory that withstands scrutiny. Likewise, we know that the Genesis account gives a valid explanation of the three basic elements of this universe. So, why reject this alternative?

      @hawaiiguest : Congrats Live, you have shown yourself to be completely dishonest.

      See, it doesn't take you long to fall victim to the inane personal attacks. You assume that since my time is limited, that I'm ignoring you. This is another of your misguided assumptions.

      BTW – I'm heading out for now.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Damocles

      Many, if not all, creation stories pretty much begin with 'there was nothing and then there was something.' Unless you have really delved deeply into other religions, and I mean as deeply as you claim others must delve into your belief before they can understand, then any and all creation stories must be considered serious contenders in a belief of a supernatural cause for everything.

      Time has always been an issue for me. I don't think it 'exists' so much as it is just a way that we humans deal with what goes on around us.

      Let's look at your natural vs supernatural origin in a different light. If we still believed that diseases were caused by demons or evil spirits (supernatural), would you be ok going to a doctor who prescribed smoking the house to chase away the spirits or red hot irons to the soles of your feet to chase out the demons? I'm much more ok with scientists who discovered that diseases have a natural cause and can make drugs to combat the cause.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      Regardless of the probabilities, which you don't know, your logic is invalid. What other reason do you need, other that it is wrong, in order to stop making a claim?

      "Then why discuss it?"

      Because you are making claims based on it.

      "We know for a fact that there isn't a current naturalist theory that withstands scrutiny."

      Some of the current hypotheses have not been disproven. While that doesn't mean they are true, it doesn't mean they are false either.

      "Likewise, we know that the Genesis account gives a valid explanation of the three basic elements of this universe. So, why reject this alternative?"

      I disagree, it does not. There is no evidence that positively supports the Genesis version and a lot of evidence to contradict it, if taken literally. (If taken metaphorically/figuratively, that's a different story.)

      March 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Madtown

      If you don't know, then you cannot dispute the Genesis account.
      -----
      LOL!!! I'm the one saying "I don't know". You're the one saying you've got it all figured out, because a human-authored book that you read says so. You don't "know" either.

      March 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • History Channel's "The Bible" Parts 3 & 4 - In Under 11 Minutes!

      Fun for creationist to view !

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTRn28iZD_g&w=640&h=360]

      March 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • My Name is Legion

      L4H
      You have skimmed through the Christian apologetics web sites but do not understand that it is I the demon of Hades, the great Lucifer that have planted the stories. I was caught before 1900 years ago or so when the apologists of the time were clever enough to notice that I had planted the early myths that the god of Israel and that fake jesus were based on earlier myths. I don't mind it is always a struggle between me, evil, and bullsh-it of all the gods, keeps me busy.

      March 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Live4Him wants people to believe that a non-natural explanation is MORE plausable than a non-natural explanation for existence EVEN THOUGH a non-natural explanation has never, not once, EVER been the explanation for anything. So when you say the possibility that a natural explanation approaches zero, the possibility of a non-natural explanation would still have to be even closer to zero....because that is exactly how many times a non-natural explanation has been observed......ZERO.

      March 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Science

      For Live 4 Him sort of looks like a snake............................ does it not ?

      Strange Spaghetti-Shaped Creature Is Missing Link: Discovery Pushes Fossil Record Back 200 Million Years

      Mar. 13, 2013 — Canada's 505 million year-old Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park, have yielded yet another major scientific discovery - this time with the unearthing of a strange spaghetti-shaped creature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313142526.htm

      March 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • PaulB

      Live4Him
      Boy, do you ever draw a lot of direct conclusions without any logical basis for doing so. Why would you consider the transmission of the Qur'an less accurate than the transmission of the Bible? b) You say that there is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for the issue of where the universe and life came from, but there isn't any supporting evidence for a supernatural cause either. You say that no other religion begins with the creation of matter, energy and time, but other religions have the universe being born from a cosmic egg, and the Qur'an clearly states that the universe expanded. If you want to claim that Genesis is tops then you have to admit that other stories have details that are even closer to the truth. So, your whole post is nothing but bold claims with little substance.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  3. Evelyn

    Jonas 17: Many are those with not the Spirit within them. The Lord is a beacon only for those with the eyes to see and the hearts to accept.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Jesus freaks...out in the streets, handing tickets out for god

      Elton 19:71

      March 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • sam

      i.e. only the right people can know the secret handshake.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      god said to abraham "kill me a son"
      abe said "man you must be putting me on"
      god said "no"
      abe said "what?"
      god said "you can do what you want abe, but the next time you see me coming you're better run"
      abe said "where'd you want this killin' done?"
      god said "out on highway 61" – Zimmy 65:2:7

      March 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      "don't be so hard on them....they are the simple folk, the common clay of the american west.....you know, morons" blazing saddles

      March 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Evelyn

      Actually, I just made that up. Jonas?? Really?? But thanks for coming out.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Evelyn

      See, anyone can write a bible. So saith the Evelyn.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Ted

      Jonas? Wasn't he the guy who talked to whales but got swallowed then spat out by a snake while treading water lightly with Sarah on a mountain?

      March 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  4. inthepersonofchrist

    Todd says he "isn't anti-theistic" and doesn't want to attack religion, but that is what he has done. He is anti-Semitic. He has determined for himself that the Jews and Isrealites were "story-tellers". That they have lied when saying that these books were their history. Actually, the pagan myths came from what the Greeks heard from the Isrealites and their prophecies. The pagans distorted the Jewish prophecies and created their own mythological stories. Todd has his history backwards. The Isrealites came before the Greeks and pagans. The pagans stole from the Judea history. Have I made myself clear? Read the early Church Fathers. They will tell you exactly what Judea stories the Greeks stole to make their myths.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, you have made yourself clear.

      You are either
      a) an idiot, or
      b) ignorant of bronze age history

      If the answer is (b) go do some reading on the history of human civilzation in the fertile cresent and the myths they created. That's where Abraham was from. He brought his myths with him.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So you take what the early church fathers, the ones trying to legitimize their religion as much as possible, the ones saying that all the similarities are products of the devil, and just take their word rather than actual archaeological evidence and anthropological study? Your "facts" are off, demonstrably so.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • ME II

      "Actually, the pagan myths came from what the Greeks heard from the Isrealites and their prophecies. "

      What is your basis for this?

      March 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      This would only be anti-Semitic if he were to claim story telling was both bad and particulat to the Jewish people. This is a universal behavior variably bad or good depending on context and it is not always "lying" but often just an extension of imagination as explanation.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • All Religion is Myth

      And you stole it from the Zarathustrians who stole it from the Cardassians who had common ground with the Romulans and Grog the Caveman and on and on and it morphed into something else many times along the way. Put forward your evidence or shove your stories into the fiction pile already, where they belong.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • sam

      Oh look; someone is wrong on the internet.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  5. biggles

    there is nothing
    there is no one
    who compares

    March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sinead O'Connor

      Nothing compares....to you.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • biggles

      If you only knew

      March 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  6. Semmal

    This post really summed it up well, thank you Colin in Raleigh..

    I, too, am an atheist who lives in Raleigh. You’ll find that most (ex-Christian) atheists don’t believe for one or more of the following reasons:

    The concept of an immortal being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-powerful being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-knowing being makes no sense to us.

    Throwing the three together into one being cubes its already dispositive implausibility.

    We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe. The idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies,

    EACH with 100, 000,000,000 starts and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send

    his son to Earth to talk to a nomadic group of Jews about sheep and goats in Greco-Roman Palestine (while ignoring the rest of the 200 million people then alive) makes no

    sense to us. We can’t help but ask ourselves, “did God make the Jews or did the Jews make God?”

    The answers usually proffered for what we see as basic logical flaws in Christianity – “you have been blinded by your lack of faith” “God moves in mysterious ways” “God is

    outside the Universe” or “our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God” are never satisfying to us. We see a retreat to mysticism as the first refuge of the

    cornered fool.

    The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, the Judeo-

    Christian god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a

    question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20.

    We’re crazy aren’t we?

    We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.

    We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that

    “got it right”. Likewise, we know how all faiths evolve, morph and change over time and do not think we were lucky enough to have been born in the one generation that “got it

    right.”

    We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story

    (Revelations) and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the pre

    Dark Ages Mediterranean.

    Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away,” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven

    with Jesus, having your own Mormon planet etc. as nothing more than childish stories for the more näive, timid minds among us.

    We do not see morality as predicated upon a belief in the supernatural. We accept that one can be moral without believing in the supernatural and that doing so is no guaranty

    that one will conform to the norms of society that people call “morality”.

    “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is not a convincing argument to us, or even a relevant point, because an inability to disprove something is a far cry from it being true.

    We cannot prove that the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu do not exist either, nor Santa Claus for that matter, but that is hardly a reason to believe in them. It is not even

    evidence for their existence. It is impossible to prove a negative in this context.

    When one looks at the various Christian beliefs that were once firmly believed – Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, people living to be 700 or 900 years old, the Red Sea splitting,

    water turning into wine, a talking snake, a man living in a whale’s belly, people rising from the dead, Jesus driving demons out of people and into pigs – but which are now

    acknowledged by most thinking people to be mere mythology, it is pretty hard to give a lot of credibility to what’s left.

    It is hard not to consider Christianity as based on circular reasoning. Most Christians believe in God because the Bible says so, then turn around and say they believe the

    Bible because it is the word of God. To draw an analogy, “I believe Mao Zedong was a great man because The Little Red Book says so, and the reason I believe The Little Red

    Book is that it was written by Mao Zedong, who was a great man.” Do you even have the slightest idea of how your Bible was compiled over the centuries or who decided what to

    include and what to exclude and on what grounds? Can you even name one of hundred plus authors who contributed to it? One of the many people who decided what got in and what

    didn’t?

    To be bluntly honest, the more one comes to understand mother nature, the less reason there is to believe in a god and the more one understands human nature, the more one sees

    why so many of us still do.

    So, before any Christian next proudly proclaims that you know the secrets to life, death, the origins of life on Earth and the origins of the Universe, simply because your

    parents or priest taught you some comforting stories from Greco-Roman Palestine as a child, you might like to reflect upon the overwhelming enormity of the claims you are

    about to make and the complete paucity of evidence that underwrites those claims.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      If it 'summed' anything up, it would be shorter.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • inthepersonofchrist

      The Greeks came up with alot of their Greek Gods by copying the Jewish, Old Covenant prophecies.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @inthepersonofX

      ummmm, no. They really didn't.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • sam

      "The Greeks came up with alot of their Greek Gods by copying the Jewish, Old Covenant prophecies."

      What?? Is that just wishful thinking?

      March 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  7. biggles

    you know you are under investigation

    March 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • biggles

      nog doesn't exist

      March 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • biggles

      jesus is god

      March 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • biggles

      dickerson believes knows and is not embarrassed

      March 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  8. biggles

    nothing to fear, dorothy, or is there?

    March 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • biggles

      why lie?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @biggles,

      you appear to be talking to yourself.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • .

      Sounds like bethany, bringing up dorothy, whoever the heck that is.

      March 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • End Religion

      of course its bethany...

      March 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  9. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    With reader fatigue from all-pope, all the time coverage here, every time the belief blog runs one of the usual hot button topics (atheism, marriage equality, evolution) the post rate increases exponentially.

    Here we see almost 5600 posts in about 51 hours. Not a record certainly, but a sustained rate of almost two posts a minute is not shabby over a weekend.

    March 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • My Name is Legion

      GOPer, not
      Ah, using about twenty handles, I have posted about 2000 of those posts while at the same time watching 12 hours of March Madness and Tiger win Arnies tourney again. Back to work, just two posts today, sigh.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  10. biggles

    again?

    March 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  11. nate313

    @ chad

    have you read or heard of the enuma elish or epic of gilgamesh?

    both stories pre date the existence of Israel, Judah and any evidence of israelite culture by well over a thousand years.

    the enuma elish, the babylonian creation story is genesis chapter 1. it is written on 7 tablets. it describes the creation of the world in the same order as genesis and it makes reference to 'the firmament' and the waters above and below.

    the epic of gilgamesh, also written well before the archaeological evidence of Israelite culture is the story of Noah.

    religions have always done that....they borrow....they modify....they adapt. to suit the geopolitical needs of the times. no better example than judaism and christianity

    March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  12. nate313

    @ chad

    have you read or heard of the enuma elish or epic of gilgamesh?

    both stories pre date the existence of Israel, Judah and any evidence of israelite culture by well over a thousand years.

    the enuma elish, the babylonian creation story is genesis chapter 1. it is written on 7 tablets. it describes the creation of the world in the same order as genesis and it makes reference to 'the firmament' and the waters above and below.

    the epic of gilgamesh, also written well before the archaeological evidence of Israelite culture is the story of Noah.

    you cant argue that these stories were written before.....the ancient stone tablets they were written on still exist....

    religions have always done that....they borrow....they modify....they adapt. to suit the geopolitical needs of the times. no better example than judaism and christianity

    March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Pete

      I'll save you the trouble; Chad will just insist that the Jews had this story orally for much longer, that these guys were just the first to write down these tales, and they did it casting themselves as the heros. He'll insist that it simply couldn't be the other way round, with the Jews learning the stories in Babylon and casting themselves into the role of hero, and he will also insist that he doesn't need to provide any proof of this, that the Bible is proof enough.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @nate,

      I agree with Pete's assessment. People have pointed out the Epic Of Gilgamesh to Chad before.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Chad

      – one would certainly expect to see a flood incorporated in ancient stories, as a flood did indeed occur.
      – similarities between Genesis and Gilgamesh end at the flood..

      March 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • End Religion

      Some similarities Chad "overlooked":
      • God (or several gods in the Gilgamesh account) decided to destroy humankind because of its wickedness and sinfulness (Genesis 6:5-7).
      • A righteous man (Genesis 6:9) was directed to build an ark to save a limited and selected group of people and all species of animals (Noah received his orders directly from Jehovah God, Utnapishtim from a dream).
      • Both arks were huge, although their shapes differed. Noah’s was rectangular; Utnapishtim’s was square.
      • Both arks had a single door and at least one window.
      • A great rain covered the land and mountains with water, although some water emerged from beneath the earth in the biblical account (Genesis 7:11).
      • Biblical flooding was 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:12) while the Gilgamesh flood was much shorter (six days and nights).
      • Birds were released to find land (a raven and three doves in the biblical account (Genesis 8:6-12); a dove, swallow, and raven in the other).
      • After the rains ceased, both arks came to rest on a mountain, Noah’s on Ararat (Genesis 8:4); Utnapishtim’s on Nisir. These mountains are about 300 miles apart.
      • Sacrifices were offered after the flood (Genesis 8:20).
      • God was (or gods were) pleased by this (Genesis 8:21), and Noah and Utnapishtim received blessings. Noah’s was to populate the earth and have dominion over all animals (Genesis 9:1-3); Utnapishtim’s was eternal life.
      • God (or the many gods) promised not to destroy humankind again (Genesis 8:21-22).

      http://www.gotquestions.org/Gilgamesh-flood.html

      March 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Chad

      God vs gods..

      like I said, the similarities end at the flood account, and it certainly is to be expected to that that real event reflected in ancient stories from other cultures..

      right?

      March 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      A global flood didn't happen in the first place. The similarities show that cultures will incorporate myth from other cultures for their myths.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  13. Salero21

    He was raised catholic or as an Idolater. Which confirms again something I said last year in this blog. Many and probably most atheists are in reality idolaters put to shame and ashamed by their unresponsive Idols.

    March 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Prove your god is the real one, otherwise your claims are bunk.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Pete

      I think you'd have a better chance of arguing that evangelicals' love of the Bible makes them idol worshipers.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Salero21,

      hate much?

      Go back to the 17th century where your thinking belongs.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Answer

      Christian filth comes out easy in their posts.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Yes, you caught me. Ive been praying to Kelly Clarkson every night to come by and supprise me with an improptu concert. Alas, she never beckons the call!

      This is why people dont take you seriously.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  14. nate313

    i wish there wasnt so much extremism on both sides of this debate...

    religion is totally man made.....but i still believe in a creation event that was inspired by something.... some power started all this.

    March 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      you beleive that, even though you dont have any evidence of it? That sounds pretty extreme to me.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      i agree that religion (and heaven, hell and "god") are man made. Whether there was a creator, i do not know. Nor do I feel it is relevant

      March 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Pete

      and what's wrong with that "power" just being the natural laws that brought the Big Bang about? Ask any physicist struggling to articulate what must have happened and they'll tell you that it must have been both mysterious and tremendously awesome.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  15. Rev. Dr. Blamo Seekie

    Everything has the beginning and ending. There is one person who direct our existing and that person is "GOD".

    March 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      said the man profiting from the idea of 'god.'

      March 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Google translator

      Translation: "All that complicated sciencey stuff really confuses me, so I like to imagine a super invisobuddy that does everything. Simple thoughts for simple minds."

      March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      So god has a begining and ending? If not, you may want to rephrase that drivel.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Pete

      God would have to be counted in the category of "everything", however. It makes no sense to claim that God magically must have always existed without providing any proof of this while also insisting that the universe could not have expanded on its own because we haven't found the definitive proof of that yet.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • fintastic

      "god" is an excuse for ignorance.

      April 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  16. Salero21

    The digestive system causes evolution, therefore this type of "evolution" is an intrinsical part of Creation. That's why atheists are so stupid!

    March 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Answer

      You have diarrhea. Sounds bad. But congratulations.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • nate313

      you cannot be serious....do you have any idea how many brilliant, world changing people have been athiests, deists or agnostics?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Salero21

      nate,

      Are you ignorant or you just play one?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Naate made you look stupid and thats your rebuttal?

      This is why people dont take you seriously.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • fintastic

      @slarehole........... try some imodium AD.

      April 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  17. nate313

    t makes sense that after the Jews exile in Babylon they would attach and modify their beliefs, using the earlier Babylonian stories as a template....its very clever on their part. At a time when Judaism should have been extinguished, the Jews, after being freed Cyrus the Great, left Babylon with their religion and their faith stronger than before.
    Also, bear in mind King Josiah's reforms to the hebrew bible not to mention the convenient "discovery" of one of the lost books of Moses during his reign, ie Deuteronomy (which most scholars agree was not written in the time of 'Moses'....provided Moses even existed....no evidence he or any of the Patriachs ever existed....except David)
    when you start to look at the evidence and history of judaism and christianity it becomes quite clear that these religions are not what they claim to be. have faith god, but be careful of what image you have of 'him'. have you ever thought that maybe god isnt a thing or something or someone we should be seeking? i dont believe god something to be praised or feared. i believe god is a feeling. what if god is our own psychology? our connection with other people. our connection to the world around us. the natural laws and processes of the universe and nature.....he IS NOT what Judaism, Christianity and Islam teaches....he is not a he.....and anyone who believes what the New Testament says is practicing wishful thiking at best....i

    March 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Yes, but how are we supposed to discrimiate others with our own predjudices with critical thinking like that? How am I going to justify being a jerk?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @nate "makes sense that after the Jews exile in Babylon they would attach and modify their beliefs, using the earlier Babylonian stories as a template....its very clever on their part."

      =>the thing that kills the "religion as myth" argument, is when you attempt to figure out when the bible was written.
      The atheist would have you believe that the biblical narrative has changed over time and become what it currently is.

      however, that simply is not true. There is zero evidence of any later adaptation..

      March 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Answer

      Heya Rachel.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Peregrine

      A myth that hasn't changed in ten thousand years is still a myth. Changes, contradictions and inconsistencies are mere kindling of the fire of it's destruction.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • ME II

      "There is zero evidence of any later adaptation.."

      Other than, of course, the whole New Testament thing.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Other than, of course, the whole New Testament thing."

      =>?
      there is zero evidence that any of the new testament has been adapted/changed over the course of the past 2000 years.

      March 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "there is zero evidence that any of the new testament has been adapted/changed over the course of the past 2000 years."

      Actually, I was implying that the entire NT is an adaptation to the OT, since it was added after the fact, but I'm sure you don't see it that way, however, since you brought it up:

      Why does John 7:53 NIV parenthetically state "The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. " (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%207:53-8:11&version=NIV)
      And Mark 16 NIV parenthetically state, "The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20." (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mk.%2016:9-20&version=NIV)

      March 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Actually, I was implying that the entire NT is an adaptation to the OT, since it was added after the fact"
      @Chad "A. Jesus was born after the OT was written, this therefor necessarily places the NT after the OT
      B. There is a definite relationship between OT and NT, as it is said: "the OT is in the NT revealed, and the NT is in the OT concealed". It sounds like even you as an atheist utterly unfamiliar with the bible were able to pick up on that 🙂

      ====
      @ME II "Why does John 7:53 NIV parenthetically state "
      @Chad "A. You cut a key piece of info out of your cut and paste from the NIV (I'm sure it was ENTIRELY be accident as that would cause your frequent accusations of disengenuousness against me rather hollow..)

      [The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.]

      B. http://www.tektonics.org/af/adulterypericope.html

      for both sides of the argument:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_the_woman_taken_in_adultery

      March 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      reply misposted on pg 65.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • fintastic

      "It sounds like even you as an atheist utterly unfamiliar with the bible were able to pick up on that"

      I am certainly familiar enough with the bible to know that it's nothing more than mythology.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  18. ReligionIsBS

    "It takes *faith* to believe in Shakespeare, Darwin, Da Vinci, Mozart..."

    Nope, we have complete records that show they actually existed. You make yourself look worse with every post. Keep it up, thats why religion is dying, because people like you show their ignorance!

    March 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Answer

      The main argument – always will be – is that the qualifier for all the humanity in a person is to attribute it MORE towards their god.

      "There is more trust from my delusional god than from man."

      "There is more love from my delusional god than from man."

      You name an attribute and the corresponding emotion/subject/status can be given unto their god.

      That is the ultimate fact.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Answer

      A broken man of religion has nothing left in this life to cling to except his one final outcry – god.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  19. ReligionIsBS

    TC, that last question goes for you too. Do you just want to beleive because you are scared nobodys going to remember you? You sound like a coward.

    March 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  20. jbw

    Sad, sad, sad....truly delusional at this late stage of life (38)

    March 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      he is delusional for not agreeing with your delusion?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Doobs

      Sad, sad, sad....truly delusional at this late stage of life (38)

      Being 38 years old is in the late stage of life? LOL!

      Get a few more years of experience under your belt and you'll see how naive your remark is.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.