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April 9th, 2013
11:20 AM ET

Elaborate hoax: No, Joel Osteen has not renounced his faith

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Joel Osteen, the popular megachurch pastor from Houston, is the target of an Internet hoax that falsely reported the Christian leader was leaving his church and renouncing his faith.

On a website designed to mimic Osteen’s official website, the pranksters posted “A special message from Pastor Joel.” The post describes the Bible as “a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times” and announces that Osteen plans to leave his Lakewood Church.

Osteen and church staff  labeled the website a fraud and said the idea that he was leaving the faith was a "false rumor."

According to the website's registration, Lucas Skass with BMG Enterprises LLC, who lists his residence in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, purchased the domain name on April 1 of this year – April Fools Day.

Calls to the number listed for Skass, as well as people associated with BMG Enterprises LLC, have gone unanswered.

"I am leaving the Christian faith," says a big banner near the top of the page.

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In addition to the announcement, the website posted a fake screenshot of CNN.com that included a falsified headline about Osteen’s supposed decision. The pranksters also launched an associated Twitter account that has since been suspended.

The website http://www.joelostenministries.com/ spells Osteen’s name wrong and comes with an elaborate disclaimer.

“This site is the property of Pastor Joel Osten and Joel Osten Ministries. It bears no relation to ‘Joel Osteen’ or ‘Lakewood Church,’" the disclaimer reads. “Any implication or relation to 'Joel Osteen' and the 'Lakewood Church' is purely coincidental. 'Joel Osteen' is not in any way involved or related to this site and references to 'Joel Osteen' are, again, entirely coincidental.”

In an interview with ABC News, Osteen dismissed the prank.

“You know, I’m really not angry. I don’t feel like a victim,” Osteen said. “I feel too blessed, that life is too short to let things like this get you down.”

He continued: “You can’t stop everything from happening, but you can choose to say, ‘God, it’s in your hands.’ I’m going to move forward. I’m going stay full of joy and I’m going to enjoy this day.”

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

Though Osteen dismissed the hoax, many on Twitter fell for it and were shocked by the announcement.

When one person on Twitter asked Osteen directly whether he was leaving the church, someone managing Osteen’s Twitter account responded by knocking down the false report.

Osteen has led the 45,000-person church since 1999, after his father, the founder of Lakewood Church, stepped down. He is one of the most recognizable faces in American Christianity and his ministry says Osteen’s sermons reach some 10 million people a week in over 100 countries.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Pastors

soundoff (1,629 Responses)
  1. john

    His faith that people will continue to give him obscene amounts of money remains unshaken and steadfast.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Spakole

      Amen Brother John!

      April 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • CarolNC

      100% correct!

      April 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • DonnieJ

      The Devil is out to get Pastor Osteen, but God will continue to guide and guard his path.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  2. Sandy

    Why would any man denounce something that made him 53 million dollars a year and his wife 35 million dollars a year.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  3. SoCalMatt661

    Well, I guess I'm just gonna have to start praying harder to the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!

    April 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  4. mark

    Hence a Creator that put the 15 laws in perfect harmony. It isn't random. It had a thinker.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @mark

      You talk like a dog. Bark bark bark, make noise but having nothing of substance to say. Do you have real questions or are you just atheist baiting?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • sam

      I swear, this is Austin, but with desert delusions instead of wacky dreams about dead cats.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • mark

      No this was a wayward reply from down below;}

      April 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I'm not just referring to this specific posts, I'm referring most of your posts which seem to disregard anything an atheists say and instead cling so tightly to your belief that you think the answers given to you aren't answers at all.

      I stand by what I said, you are a dog barking at the wind to hear himself bark.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • mark

      Oh my gosh you are so clever chuckles.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  5. Bible Clown©

    To the guy who wanted us to become experts on the Bible so we would believe it, please go read the Quran cover to cover and see if you can resist becoming a Muslim. If you do become a Muslim, read Lord of the Rings until you turn back, then stop reading and never read again.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  6. dejahathoris

    Why is this a story? Who cares what wealth-grabbing huckster believes in?

    April 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  7. Science

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species ethics will beat it up maybe ?

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    "Bringing back a hominid raises the question, 'Is it a person?' If we bring back a mammoth or pigeon, there's a very good existing ethical and legal framework for how to treat research animals. We don't have very good ethical considerations of creating and keeping a person in a lab," said Sherkow. "That's a far cry from the type of de-extinction programs going on now, but it highlights the slippery slope problem that ethicists are famous for considering."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    April 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  8. lol??

    Da wurld and earth is one giant test tube for da pwogwessives.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • clarity

      So, lol??, you mention God as a "truinity". What flavor? Care to add something to the discussion, or are you content trying to sound cute?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • lol??

      The reflections of the triunity is all around you in the creation. What don't you see? Or do, name me one.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Akira

      "Da wurld and earth is one giant test tube for da pwogwessives."

      The world and Earth is one giant test-tube for the progressives.

      Is this what you were trying to say? Because you should have outgrown your lisp and baby-talk a long time ago.

      Seek a qualified therapist.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  9. Bible Clown©

    If he's not leaving his church, he ought to . He could start a ferret ranch.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • lol??

      c'mon clown, if ya wanna play, ya gotta pay.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  10. Mike

    How the could anyone have fallen for this in the first place? Are people really THAT gullible now days?

    April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      People are always hopeful that someone will convert to their views of life and the world.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • sam

      @Mark – so, his christian followers fell for it hoping it would convert people to their views?

      Sure, if this guy left the game, maybe 3 or 4 people would take the whole thing more seriously...

      April 10, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      More seriously is debatable because there will always be ones saying who is not serious enough for the Faith or the Cause.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Oscar Pitchfork

      Yes, Mike they are! I'm 61 years old and have watched, with open mouth, the dumbing-down of America. The majority of people are complete technological idiots, and their understanding of science and technology is limited to the movies they watch, since actual knowledge comes at the expense of wasting time learning, and we ALL know how uncool THAT is. My pet peeves lately are the movie 2012, which I liked, but the whole premise for the plot was that neutrinos, an elementary partical, starts to behave absolutely opposite to normal (and heats thing up instead of doing nothing) and Revolution, where, magically passing a conductor thru a magnetic field no longer makes an electric current flow, and dissimilar metals in an acid fails to do the same. If I try hard (and I don't) I can hear tomorrowes leaders saying "Hey-it could happen!".

      April 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • sam

      Mark, try and make some sense. I know you can do it if you try very hard.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • CarolNC

      Yes, all of Palin followers are!

      April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Ok Sam, I will try to slow it down for you. When a person declares that some one or ones are not taking things "seriously" that is debatable because what is serious to one is not going far enough for another. So your post was meaningless because it was based on your own personal view of the serious nature of individuals faith.

      As I always said, yall on the extremes always sound the same in the end.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • sam

      Mark, that's all you got out of my post? What is wrong with you? Are you having a stroke?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  11. GodFreeNow

    This guy seems more primed for a gay affair than a renouncement of faith.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • lol??

      not a normal metro se*xual with rights??

      April 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Even you have rights, lol??.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • CNN NEWS FLASH

      Tebow and Osteen are coming out

      April 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  12. derp

    " Is this what has so many on the extremes of Christianity and Atheism so scared?"

    I have absolutely no fear of a slick suit wearing texas bible schuckster.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Derp,that is the trap of those on the extremes. I was able to watch a few of his sermons and he is so much different than other pastors. So much different that we hear those on the extremes of Christiany speak out against him. We then hear the speech of those rabid Atheist and the patterns are locked with the 700club Christians, in their dislike of this guy.

      The trap is a complete circle, in that those on extreme ends eventually echo each other.

      I live in the North East and I would disagree. So much so that if we look at the jersey that Osteen is wearing we will see that it is of the Washington Nationals. So, he appears to be very well known beyond the Bible Belt.

      >>>”Barack Obama is the most recognized man on earth. He will continue to be the most recognized man on earth for a generation.”

      Fans always say that. There are folks who said that about Thacher as being the first woman leader of a major country, but there are folks who today say , who is she. I would challenge that there are soccer players that more folks know. More folks probably know Mandela more than him.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • derp

      "Fans always say that"

      I'm not a fan. And he is unquestionably the most recognized person in the world today. Time magazine, USA today, even fox news will tell you that. I was in Europe for his first inauguration. The continent stopped to watch it. I was actually in an airport and watched literally hundreds of people crying tears of joy. I am trying to take you seriously, but with each post you become more and more absurd. Osteen is wearing a Nats jersey because he is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Nats game. Milli Vanilli got to throw out a first pitch too.

      "There are folks who said that about Thacher as being the first woman leader of a major country, but there are folks who today say , who is she"

      You are kidding right? Maybe you just missed the fact that every news agency in the modern world just covered her passing. Are you somehow suggesting that Osteen will have been more influential than Margaret Thatcher? Do you live a christian cave?

      "I would challenge that there are soccer players that more folks know"

      Completely ludicrous. The two most famous footballers on earth are are Ronaldo and Messi. 85% of America could not pick them out of a crowd. 90% of china doesn't even know who they are. Neither is anywhere as recognizable or influential as Obama. Not even close. I work globally. I have never been anywhere outside of the US and not been quizzed about our president. Ask the person standing next to you if they know who Leo Messi is. Then tell me a football player is more well known than Obama.

      "More folks probably know Mandela more than him"

      That one is close. It may actually be true for a certain age group. You think Osteen will have as much of an influence on the world as Mandela?

      No, he won't. And Obama is the world's Mandela for my children's generation.

      Osteen is nothing more than a smiley well dressed millionaire selling a slightly friendlier pack of BS. Comparing his influence to that of the first black president in US history is so incredibly stupid that I don't even have a fair comparison for it.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Hi Derp,

      >>>”I'm not a fan. And he is unquestionably the most recognized person in the world today. Time magazine, USA today, even fox news will tell you that.”

      Wow, what do those have in common? American, American, and yes American. I would challenge, that the Queen of England, Mandela, and even before last year I would give it to Osama Bin Laden. Obama is famous and as a African American I am happy of the counter to gangster image of the American Black male but there are more well known people.

      >>>”Milli Vanilli got to throw out a first pitch too.” ...and for their time they were also touring world wide.

      >>>”Are you somehow suggesting that Osteen will have been more influential than Margaret Thatcher? Do you live a Christian cave?”

      I state that Thatcher was the first woman president which is the same as Obama being the first African American. Since Thatcher's time she has become less and less known around the planet. The same I fear will happen to Obama. Especially since she ruled for 11 years and Obama will only be in office for 8 years.

      There are sports stars who are long dead or not actively competing that are and will be known for a lot longer than all politicians except one. … and he had to kill a lot of Jews to gain that ti'tle.

      >>>”The two most famous footballers on earth are are Ronaldo and Messi. 85% of America could not pick them out of a crowd.”

      But if you said … Pele and Beckham... Then your argument would crash. And they are both still alive, with one competing. Saying Messi, is like saying that Kobe Bryant or Lebron James and forgetting that Jordan never existed.

      If I throw in Tiger Woods, and take all of the sports heros that we both have mentioned.... Obama, is far down on the list and dropping faster and faster.

      >>>”And Obama is the world's Mandela for my children's generation.”

      Then you are … excuse me being incredibly wrong. Mandela helped to raise his people and nation out of Aparthied. Obama does drone strikes on entire familes to get one person.

      The Mandela of this generation is the Muslim girl who survived getting shot by the Taliban for wanting to get girls educated in her country. Name one time Obama's life has been on the line in the same way that Mandela and that Girl has?

      >>>”Osteen is nothing more than a smiley well dressed millionaire”

      Tax records, Obama has over 40 million in savings and holdings.

      Please, you are comparing one millionaire with another who is playing golf on the tax payers dime.

      Just show me one time that Obama and Mandela have anything in common except for the pigment of their skin.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • the real Tom

      What's your big issue with Obama playing golf, Piddles? Did you object to Reagan relaxing by riding horses and cutting up brush? Did it bother you when Bush took time off?

      What kind of moron thinks the leader of a nation should never have any "down time?" Oh, that's right-the Piddler, who couldn't even stay away from this blog for Lent! The guy who comes here to bloviate when he ought to be doing his school work and finishing that degree he's been working on for 20 years.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • derp

      With all of you mildly coherent babbling you fail to consider two things.

      We are not comparing how famous everyone else is, we are comparing Obama to Osteen.

      We are not just considering recognition, we are also considering influence. At one time Michael Jordan was the most recognized person in the world. He also had absolutely no influence on world events whatsoever.

      he US is the most prosperous, and the most powerful, and the most influential country in world history.

      Asserting that slick dressed Texas preacher is somehow more influential, and will somehow remain more influential than the leader of the free world and the first ever minority leader of most influential and powerful nation in history is mind bogglingly stupid that I don't even feel the need to debate about out any more.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • derp

      "Please, you are comparing one millionaire with another who is playing golf on the tax payers dime"

      No, I am comparing one of countless television preachers I can scroll through on a Sunday morning with the leader of the free world and the first minority president in US history.

      You seem like a reasonably intelligent guy. At some point you just have to say "yeah, your right, Obama probably has just a tad more global recognition and influence than a guy who is just one of countless of Sunday morning millionaire megachurch preachers.

      Does the name Ted Haggard ring a bell?

      Oh, and while I am no particular fan of Obama's, he works more hours in week than you do in three. If he wants to play golf from time to time, I'm good with it. In case you didn't know, President of the United States of America is not a nine to five job.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  13. lol??

    Houston has everything under control. We decided. Prepare to martyr Relinquish control.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  14. mark

    Hawaii congratulations on again not being able to answer the questions and then attacking out of frustration. Not unlike the rest of the minions.

    April 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Your questions are irrelevant. The lack of an answer doesn't make you right by default, however much you want it to work like that.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • clarity

      We won't congratulate you this time on finding the reply, button marky.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • mark

      Thanks Clarity...now that's funny! :) Suddenly I like you!

      April 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii no i shows there is a possible flaw in what non believers want to espouse.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Really? And exactly what is it you think that all non-believers in your concept of Christianity want to espouse? Especially when in the post, you respond with irrelevant questions of "how does science explain this thing" to a post talking about the fact that science follows the evidence, unlike religion.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Tell me, can you actually respond to the actual points instead of going off in a different direction every time?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      stay focused and don't slip into the "your not answering the question mode"
      oh, congratulations on not using obscenities so far.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Well mark hasn't had the months of dishonest stupidity that you have.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      there you go with the false direction accusation.
      Drum roll please ..............................................let the obscenities begin.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      I have a short list of threads that you've been dishonest on. Would you like them? Then again, you never think you're dishonest and think that responding to a question with "bible bible bible god god god" is an actual answer.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Done already? Did you run like the coward you are this soon?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      You first need to understand the word dishonest before you publish your book on reasons for God that overwhelm unreasonable minds

      April 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Your question got answered over and over, and the answer was "science doesn't promise to answer every question." It's not a religion. Pretending science is religion is a thing religious people do. You want answers to every question, neatly tied up? Either Christianity or Islam can do that for you. Science is obviously too hard for you, and you would just try to worship it anyway. Stick to religion.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      So not addressing the points of a post, going on irrelevant tangents, and continually reasserting your position instead of giving evidence that your position is right is honest to you?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chance

      @HG
      now I see you always employ this strategy – refuse to answer questions and say by not answering doesn't make you right. The best is to put down someones theory but yet never stand up for your own theory or for that matter give us your theory and then say it doesn't make you right. Classic HG.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chance

      What does my position matter when it comes to the validity of someone else asserting that they are right?

      April 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Chance

      What's the difference? by default your asserting your right by saying the other person is wrong. Yet you have no position your defending, all you do is say the other person is wrong. So if the other person is wrong then your saying your right, but give no theory. Are you right just because? You aren't a neutral but you try to debate from that angle and you can't play both sides that's a coward. Right or wrong people have a position, if your oppose a position give your alternative that makes for a good debate. To say your wrong, prove it and then reject the position with no alternative is not a constructive debate, it's cowardly.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chance

      I'm confused here, are you saying that Hawaii MUST say that because he does not believe that god is real that it had to have been the big bang? Hawaii, like any good pragmatist, is aware of the limits and knows we can and can not say with certainty. I don't have to 100% back a theory to know that the "god theory" is most likely incorrect.

      It's not cowardly to admit ignorance.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Chance

      I agree to plea ignorance is not cowardly but to say someone is wrong and not defend the alternative is cowardly. Surely you must have a framework of a theory. You must have some form of a idea or position where God is removed from the equation. I know eventually you get to a point of faith, where you just believe things happened. The difference is in where the faith lies. That's the Vulnerability of the arguments proposed and to not defend your Vulnerability is cowardly.

      April 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • clarity

      No, Chance. Since mark disingenuously attacked from a fresh post (even if unintentional), then he should have at least referenced his supposed original unanswered questions, even if only after prompted by hawaii again at 4:02 and 4:03. Did he ever do so? Just more dishonest duck and cover tactics.

      April 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chance

      When on a jury, and you vote not guilty, are you necessarily asserting that the person is innocent, or that there has not been enough evidence to say he's guilty? You may think he's innocent, but the onus is on proving guilt.
      Tell me, what questions did I refuse to answer, where did I say that mark was wrong. Looking back on the post, mark brought up something irrelevant, and I called him on it.
      Are you really serious with this Chance? Are you trolling, or will you actually be presenting examples to back up all your claims about me?
      Also, tell me how saying "you haven't given evidence to make me believe this thing" is the same thing as asserting the opposite? That's not how logic and reason works.

      April 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chance

      @clarity I'm not defending Mark, I'm just saying if you want to attack someones ideas but yet don't give your alternative to debate it's a wast of time.

      @hg the jury analogy is really irrelevant bc I'm talking about a simple chat debate between people. Both view points get to areas where no one knows definitively the answer but surely we have a hypothesis of what could have happened. I'm not saying you don't answer every question I'm saying you attack a view point but never reveal how you view things beyond the known. You go to the ignorance card a lot but never give a theory. It's OK not to know but surely you must have theory or do you just believe with blind faith?

      April 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chance

      Why is it that when challenging another persons assertions, I must necessarily present my view? It's completely irrelevant. It has no bearing, and merely gives those I challenge another avenue to try and derail a conversation instead of actually dealing with the actual issue.

      April 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  15. HFM

    He is a charlatan scamming money from social security recipients and trailer park dwellers...he offers nothing but circular logic while holding his greedy paw out for more moolah....nothing matters to him nor any other TV huckster (evangelist or whatever label they give themselves nowadays) except the cash....

    April 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So he is the same as Obama, Boehner, Reid and Pelosi.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • annier

      He's a charlatan, living like a rock star while bleeding poor ignorant people out of money they can't afford.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  16. HFM

    who gives a U-No-What about this greedy clown?

    April 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Seems that his following is massive so it is like asking about Obama and asking who cares what that guy thinks.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • drep

      "Seems that his following is massive so it is like asking about Obama and asking who cares what that guy thinks"

      Except that Obama is the leader of the most powerful and influential nation in the world and Osteen is just money grubbing myth schucktser.

      Do you really not see the difference between the POTUS and a Texas shill preacher?

      April 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bobpitt

      Why would you give up a cash cow?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Obama has had his power for 4 years and pray for his health for 4 more. After that his power and influence shrinks greatly. Already he is not just like the two that came before him. Half the country loves him and the other half hates him.

      Osteen, will be still making impacts way after Obama turns into Carter.

      The wild thing is that Osteen's message is not like other Christian leaders. Is this what has so many on the extremes of Christianity and Atheism so scared?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • .

      *when one is faced with a question he cannot answer, the topic is automatically turned to Obama, by default.

      Want to know another Texas shill whose BS you swallowed without complaint, Mark from Middle River? Bush. Gulp. He thanks you. It's good for your skin.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • derp

      "Osteen, will be still making impacts way after Obama turns into Carter"

      Ronald Reagan, JFK, Roosevelt are still influencing political philosophy and discourse long after Osteen would be entirely forgotten.

      Seriously, you cannot be stupid enough to believe that Osteen is somehow more influential that the first African descendent politician to ever lead a first world nation, let alone the most recognized, powerful and influential nation on earth.

      I don't live in the poverty belt. I live in the Northeast. I would bet that 7 out of 10 people I know don't even know who Joel Osteen is. I would venture to bet that only a fraction of the US population, and just about nobody outside America has ever heard of the shill preacher.

      Barack Obama is the most recognized man on earth. He will continue to be the most recognized man on earth for a generation. If you are too stupid to see the difference, then someone should take away you internet privileges.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • the real Tom

      *clapping for derp*

      April 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mark FMR

      "Already he is not just like the two that came before him. Half the country loves him and the other half hates him.

      I'd say more than half the country hated having George W. Bush as president. He had Karl Rove to thank for mobilizing the religious right in 2000 and 2004. Too bad that play doesn't work any more.

      Even Karl Rove has moved on – away from the religious right and away from the Tea Party. I may not like his politics, but Karl Rove is a man who knows how to win elections.

      More than half the people who voted in 2000 didn't want George W. Bush as president in the first place.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  17. james hotz

    Joel love to shake off these negative lables.

    April 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  18. thunderbolt

    AAAHHHHH.....I love science, don't you? We all know it has never gotten it wrong. don't we? So there is no truth in the bible? I will just bring in to the conversation, the Ten Commandments, and the warnings and problems associated with not living by them. Such as stealing, lying, murder, adultery, etc. stc. So you see no truth in the bible's teachings?The reason can only be because you never read it to begin with. I see the teachings in the bible play out everyday, both good and bad. I see people fall in such traps, as these describe in the bible. Greed,lust, pride, deceit, and lies. I also see the benefits of such teachings as well. Someone who was terminally ill, made well again, having doctors scratching their heads. I've seen people who were down in life be picked up, dusted off, and set on a new path. I've seen lives turned around, and I've seen things that man or science can't explain. Be honest for once. You just didn't like what it made you feel about yourself and where you find yourself along life's way. The fact is the bible is a living bible. What I mean is its teachings are true now, as they were back then.All the warnings and teachings of Jesus still hold true today, whether you like them or not. Don't take my word for it scholar, look around, open your eyes, and watch it play out in everyday life, in family, friends, and people you associate with. These truths are not secret, but if you haven't read the bible,or studied the bible, You don't even know what to look for. If you don't look in earnest, you will continue to walk thru life with blinders on, falling into every snare laid before you, and still not have a clue to the reason why...............Only a fool does the same thing over, and over and expect the result to be different than it was the last million times you tried it. You want to talk fairy tales we can talk about ObamaCare if you would rather....................

    April 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @thunderbolt

      You going to go off killing all the people the bible says you should then?

      April 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Terry

      "I will just bring in to the conversation, the Ten Commandments, and the warnings and problems associated with not living by them. Such as stealing, lying, murder, adultery, etc. stc. So you see no truth in the bible's teachings?"

      You would have a point if the bible was the first or the only source of those moral laws. Sadly it is neither so your argument is just a bunch of dog waste.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Larry

      thunderbolt
      The difference is, when science gets it wrong, it doesn't clutch to the old idea just because it's popular, unlike religion. With science, old, outdated ideas are thrown out when the evidence proves them wrong, again unlike religion. If religion ran technology we'd all still be using the Abacus and we'd still be too afraid to sail over the horizon. Religion is against discovery. It wants people to be content only with what's familiar, and is bigoted against what's different. It want's you kept under it's strict control. Religion is against freedom.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • mark

      Hey Larry....how does science explain there is something instead of nothing? And with the beauty of the math and its effect on the universe and its preciseness how was there not a mathematician in charge. Physical laws have constants which are givens. Gravity and the like. If those constants were just 1/10th off we wouldn't be here. A supernatural mind is in charge.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      ahhh... the rant of a christard... a shining beacon of human evolutionary retardedness that always manages to brighten my afternoon

      April 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Something from Nothing, a 1971 bootleg recording by Pink Floyd

      April 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • mark

      Well enjoy them now for your afternoons are numbered!!

      Jesus disciple!

      April 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • mark

      Ahh the answer of a finite mind with limited references. But a blip!

      April 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Mark
      You are falling prey to the standard religionist conceit that the universe is balanced as it is just so we can exist. After all, we are the predilect objects of Creation! The Creator is anthropocentric and anthropomorphic – it says so right here in the Bible!

      To a naturalist, life is adapted to its environment, not the other way around.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Congratulations on being the 1 millionth Christian to propose that an argument from ignorance proves your god.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      The amount of afternoons I have left are random and arbitrary... just like yours... however, i'm not a little p*ssy about it like you...

      April 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • mark

      Doc you take to much credit, as most non believers do. Show me nature creating itself!

      April 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • thunderbolt

      This kind of remarks show me you know absolutely nothing about the bible, or its contents. First, the bible is written by books that are over 2000 years old. What book have you read thats older? Second, when Jesus died on the cross, even the name of time changed. The laws put forth for man changed as well. Look in the bible for a page that says new testament (start there)for understanding what changed and how. All will not gain the same understanding because of many different reasons.And if your not careful you will take things out of context without understanding what is being said about the same period from the other books. In other words if you pick up the bible and turn to a page and read a verse. and think you got it......think again and see what the other books of the bible say about the same event or knowledge.Most bibles even have reference of the scripture in the other books. I don't want you to take my word for it. Check it out yourself. And show me where in the new testament where it tells me to wipe everyone else out. Here again, if your going to quote scripture, at least try to understand what its saying first . And try to gain an understanding of the differences from the old and new testament. Maybe I haven't EVOLVED enough yet. But lets be honest here. Evolving is just an effort to cover the fact that you have no principals in which you stand on when trying to make a decision..Most misrepresented words in the english dictionary are compromise, and evolve........

      April 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Perhaps your evolution has been compromised.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • clarity

      So mark, who wrote the gospels?

      April 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • mark

      Evil....my life is infinite, yours is over soon!

      April 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • mark

      Mathew Mark Luke and John. My heroes!

      April 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh gee, I suppose that was supposed to be some kind of answer. Lucky me.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @thunderbolt

      So you say that there's a new law in the new testament, but the ten commandments, which are in the old testament, still apply. Congratulations, you are promoting the same cherry pick mentality of every Christian apologist in history.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "mark", but those answers to "clarity"'s question are unfounded.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      ".I love science, don't you? We all know it has never gotten it wrong. don't we?" Let me guess; you sent this email from either a computer or a smartphone, right? Was that smartphone made with science? Here, I'll help you out: science is a method of investigation, not a religion that competes with yours for followers. The scientific method wasn't sent down by a supernatural being who claimed it contained the answers to EVERY question in both the physical world and in the minds of men. It's a way to test facts, and if testing facts alarms you and gives you panic attacks, look away while we do it. There are things we will likely never understand, because we aren't big enough to test them or slow enough to witness them, but that's part of the fun. The universe is a huge riddle, and I bet the Higgs DOES have a super-symmetrical match; we'll be chasing that next because I want a flying car.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • thunderbolt

      All these comments but none of them have a educated knowledge of the bible. None have seen its work in life. You don't even understand the difference in the old and new testament..........geeez.. Whats funny also is the conclusions some of you reach without even knowing anything about the book you try so hard to disprove. I guess with your mindset, that makes it easier on you. Somebody please tell me I need to evolve, or compromise my views......lol I need an out, so I want have to live by gods words to make it to heaven..........Thats the in thing, isn't it?

      April 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @thunderwuss awesome.. the bible is true because it says so argument. I have determined that you are just another religious ass clown, the bible to far up your rectum to think clearly. Brace for unspecified mocking...

      April 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "First, the bible is written by books that are over 2000 years old. " I always suspected that books wrote the Bible. Thank you for this revealed knowledge, which I will use to start my own church.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Thunderbolt
      The Epic of Gilgamesh is older than the New Testament.
      Archaeologists have unearthed the ancient city of Uruk and its great wall, as outlined in the story.
      I guess that means Gilgamesh was truly a demi-god who ruled for 125 years and visited the underworld.

      And not every calendar changed. There are still many different calendars in use throughout the world.
      Just because the Roman Empire and its descendents have remained the dominant cultures in what we dub the western world doesn't mean that it is the ONLY culture.

      @Mark
      I take too much credit? Credit for what?
      As for "nature creating itself", the answer to the question of abiogenesis is still up for grabs.
      However, "magic" is a highly unlikely explanation.

      So do you believe that human beings are the predilect objects of Creation and that God fashioned the entire universe and it's ever expanding complexities simply to allow US to exist?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • drep

      In can't be the only one who thinks it's hilarious that the bibletards go to a doctor when they get sick.

      Surely god and the bible have all the answers.

      Why look to science when you get sick?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • mark

      There is more evidence than I wish to type here, since i can't even hit the reply button correctly. Still no answer however to why there is something instead of nothing. Let's admit you really don't know.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • clarity

      Well, OK then, Mr. thunderbolt, since mark's replies were poor guesses, maybe you can shed some light on the matter. Who wrote the gospels? You know those all-important testaments to miracles and what Jesus and the Apostles said and did.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @mark "Evil....my life is infinite, yours is over soon!" hahahahaha... that's fricking hilarious you religious vermin

      April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • mark

      Doc..why wouldn't God do that? Think outside the box of a finite mind. If feel you are trapped in your own intellect. Don't fall prey to that deceit.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " over 2000 years old. What book have you read thats older?" How about the GILGAMESH epic? It contains the real story of the Great Flood and the man who really built the Ark. And since it is older than the Bible, it must be truer than the Bible. Give it up, kid. You can't prove the Bible is true by using the Bible any more than you can prove it with Harry Potter.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      No one has claimed to know why there is something instead of nothing except for the religious folks.
      So yes we don't know, so fucking what? The question is completely irrelevant, and is merely just another attempt to use an argument from ignorance to prove your god.

      @thunderbolt

      So you are incapable of actually responding to people's points directly. Pathetic. You make claims, and when questioned, continue to reassert in an indirect and cowardly manner. How sad it must be to be a coward of your caliber.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • clarity

      What I think you need to take a closer look at, mark, is where did the ideas come from that have lead you to your current beliefs. You need to look at them more carefully than you did in the past.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • mark

      Evil.. smart comeback...I trust vermin is what you will be snacking on if you don't already. Depart from me.

      Jesus disciple!

      April 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • mark

      Clarity...I was an atheist! you seem reasonable. Quick story. I was walking in the Sinai desert with six other people. It was night we were cold and tired and lost. I prayed we'd find shelter, within a few miles we came across a random building. Guess how many cots with blankets were in this building in the middle of nowhere, yes 7. God's honest truth we wept. I have had multiple moments like that since becoming a believer.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • mark

      Clarity...I was an atheist! you seem reasonable. Quick story. I was walking in the Sinai desert with six other people. It was night we were cold and tired and lost. I prayed we'd find shelter, within a few miles we came across a random building. Guess how many cots with blankets were in this building in the middle of nowhere, yes 7. God's honest truth we wept. I have had multiple moments like that since becoming a believer in Jesus truths.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      I doubt that many people would believe that story just based on you saying it on a forum. You got other eyewitness statements, travel receipts that shows you were actually there, and things like that? Can we go to that same hut right now? I mean really. Did you think that just posting that would actually accomplish something?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • mark

      Clarity...did it again;) what a knucklehead I am.....sometimes!

      April 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " why there is something instead of nothing. Let's admit you really don't know" Of course we don't, you incredible turkey. You keep insisting on this false equivalency as if science were another religion trying to steal your choirboys. It is quite possible that every mystery in the universe has a scientific explanation, but we aren't likely to be able to dive into the sun or travel outside our galaxy so we'll never know a lot of it. Science didn't start when an angel revealed it to someone, and it's no more a religion than algebra or mapmaking. No one ever promised science would make everything better and tuck you in at night.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • clarity

      So mark, are you saying that if someone hits the Powerball, then that is proof of Jesus?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii...yeah I kept my receipt from the random building with nobody in it. I wouldn't lie about that.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Have you opened your mind to other Creation stories?
      There have been hundreds of them, you know.
      And since the question of "something from nothing" has no definitive answer, as religionists are so fond of pointing out, each and every creation myth is just as (in)credible as any other.

      According to Ja.panese Shinto Mythology, at the beginning of time, the heavens and the earths were mixed together in a great cloud. Slowly, the clearer, lighter parts of the cloud rose up and became heaven. The heavier parts of the cloud descended and became an ocean of muddy water. Between the heavens and the earth, a pale green sprout began to grow. It grew swiftly and was extremely strong. When the plant’s flower burst open, the First God emerged.

      There is a Chinese creation myth that says the ancestors of mankind were the fleas and lice on the body of the God Pan Gu.
      In the beginning, Pan Gu escaped from the great universal egg by cracking it open with a broadaxe. The light part of the yolk floated up and became the heavens while the cold, hard part stayed below to form earth with Pan Gu standing between them like a pillar to keep the separated. When He died, His breath became the wind and clouds, His voice thunder, His eyes the sun and the moon, his beard and hair turned to the stars in the sky, His blood the water. His veins became roads and his muscles fertile land.

      Can you prove that these are wrong?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • mark

      Not necessarily. This was my experience. If somebody didn't buy a powerball ticket, and prayed that somehow they would find the money to take care of a cancer ridden mother, and they found a ticket randomly and won, I might consider that as being a miracle.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • mark

      Doc..being a Pepperdine Graduate I took religions of the world, so yes I am aware of the precepts. My faith lies in the risen CHRIST. The rest will take care of itself.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I was walking in the Sinai desert with six other people. It was night we were cold and tired and lost. I prayed"

      This was when you were an atheist, right? So you were out praying in the Sinai desert, atheistically of course? And when there was a shelter on the Bible Story Hiking Trail, you called it a miracle? Hey, I totally believe it. Except for the part about you being an atheist, and praying, and being in the Sinai, and it being night, and you being cold and tired, you know what? I don't believe a word of it. I also think you and thunderbolt are the same guy,

      April 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • mark

      No bible clown which is certainly an appropriate name...I was a believer at the time. It wasn't a hiking trail, don't try and change truth to fut your needs. Oh wait that is what you do!

      April 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • lol??

      holy catfish, thunder, I haven't read you or the comments but you sure know how to stir up bees.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Are you being intentionally dishonest? You can say anything you want, but saying "I wouldn't lie about that" is yet another claim for which you have no evidence. For all we know, you're an orthodox Lutheran who takes Martin Luther seriously when he said that lying for jesus is a good and righteous thing.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • mark

      :} That's what the truth does!! Not unlike Jesus in the temple!

      April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      And by the way, when I was talking about a receipt, I was talking about a receipt for a plane ticket to actually get to the middle east, or anything that would actually support your fantastical story besides "I wouldn't lie".

      April 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii it's easy to say liar liar pants on fire, but sort of Juvenile and not very smart.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii..I have video! Would that suffice. I flew to Paris, sorry no stub left. Then I biked to Egypt. Yes I have proof. Do you believe me now?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      You know, you're showing with each post that you are not interested in actually giving any reasoned argument or debate. I was hoping you'd be more than just another religious zealot who hates being challenged on any blind assertions you make.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "I was a believer at the time." So you were lying about being an atheist? Why did you tell that story about being converted in the Sinai, and why are you calling ME a liar when you just got caught in two big whoppers? You went to the Holy Land because you find it reassuring when landmarks in the Bible exist in reality(HINT: this is also true in Harry Potter). While you were there, you were amazed to find a shelter, and you still think God put it there for your convenience? And this is all to explain why you believe so fervently(there was a shelter with cots in it once)? Good lord. Do you have a bunker full of guns, too?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • fred

      Doc Vestibule
      Can you prove that these are wrong?
      =>yes, Shinto Mythology gets it wrong. God came out of the creation. It is common understanding that if there is a supernatural power that created space and time that power must exist outside of our space and time. The Bible gets it right with God as an eternal constant outside of our space and time with the beginning of our space and time as a sudden event (big bang) with causation.
      Ditto for God PanGu who is of the creation i.e. made from existing matter and energy.
      =>now this simply proves (as it does with all other manmade gods) all other holy books did not get the beginning right as the Bible did. I guess you could argue just because Moses got lucky and had the order right does not mean there is a God. That would agree with your accidental origin of life ideas if Moses just had an opps moment that turned out correct. Then again it is mathematically impossible for life to exist by accident without evoking unproven theories of multiverse etc.

      "The Epic of Gilgamesh is older than the New Testament"
      =>Correct, however we do not know the age of the oral traditions before Moses put the words of God into written form.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Saying you have proof, and actually providing that proof are two completely different things.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Larry

      thunderbolt
      I've personally read Homer, Virgil and Confucius, amongst others, that are older than most parts of the Bible. They contain more actual wisdom than much of the Bible too.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      LOl so Shinto mythology is wrong because you're right? That's more pathetic than usual.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • mark

      Boy CLown you misinterpret all things. Enough said. Hawaii did you want me to prove my story right here. Really. And Clown guess what I Hate guns! I loved my cousin who died of aids. I love like Jesus did when I am at my best.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • mark

      Larry did you read Mere Christianity and or Evidence That demands a Verdict?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      If you want people to just accept your claims, then you're in the wrong place. If you aren't comfortable providing something to support your claim, then don't make, or don't expect anyone to actually believe you. Did you actually think that you saying something was enough for people and you wouldn't be questioned?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Larry

      mark
      I think that others have addressed the whole "come from nothing" thing, but how does religion explain how God could exist without a universe to exist in? Or, how God could do something creative without time in which to do it, or reason even? Or how God could be eternal at all?

      We have no good reason to believe in the supernatural. The fact that natural laws are finely set means nothing at all. There very well may be only one way that they could naturally go, or maybe the universe "tried" to expand countless times before chancing on the right combination. We just don't know for sure, yet, but I'd rather admit that I don't know than pick some creation story just because it's popular and claim that it's the correct answer.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "fred". "hawaiiguest" is, in fact, correct. You are more pathetic than usual.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • lol??

      You people are nutzo. God is a triunity. Forget the dialectic. Try Boolean algebra. End of the age=knowledge? Get with it.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • clarity

      What flavor or "triunity", nutball?

      April 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii the proof argument is exhausting and non consequential, but it does indicate that your are a serial sceptic, and consequently a non believer. Larry the supernatural element of the beginning can go on into infinitum. Physical laws can't think about themselves. Natural laws and behavior can't think about themselves, therefore it is a leap that they made change to become viable.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • .

      Yet again, we have unarmed idiots in a battle of wits. mark, fred, thunder...go home, you're like sad puppies in the rain.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • lol??

      You people are like IBM when Billy talked to em. Too bad Billy didn't mind killin' after he slew the giant. He became accustomed to it, with his parents bein' pharisees.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • mark

      Hey Blip is " . " your profile on the timeline of life. Typical trapped in the intellectual corner claws out response.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      SO you back away from even needing to back up assertions, and then somehow conclude that being a skeptic in all areas is bad? Wow, that's more crazy than the usual crazy on here.

      And by the way, you have also now shown that you are incapable of even talking about evolution without trying to inject your god in the beginning.
      This is getting really sad, why don't you just take a break, get some of that crazy dishonesty out of your system.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • .

      mark, your poe is beginning to show

      April 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii try and be smart and talk about the beginning of evolution without a creator, that's what started this dialogue.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • mark

      Honestly Hawaii you are very good at typing words without saying anything.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Oh you mean the post where you were using an argument from ignorance about what science can't tell us, then saying that things that tend to be constants in the universe prove your god? The same post that when I called you on the fallacy, you started a new thread and didn't respond to me there either when I wouldn't just drop the fact that you were using fallacies?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      So you have no answers, and will continue to avoid actually addressing points. Got it.
      You are no longer worth trying to get to speak honestly, because you don't want to. You'd rather make assertions, and avoid backing anything you say up.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • mark

      Wow you just proved my point. You are a bore with nothing to say except wasted accusations with no basis in reality, and backed by very little intellect. Nothing wrong with scepticism as long as it tempered by actual research and thought.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Yes, keep avoiding addressing the fallacies and unjustified assertions you've made here. I'm sure that makes you right in your mind.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      “LOl so Shinto mythology is wrong because you're right?”

      =>Shintoism is better described as a manifestation of a path to understanding God or gods. This is more like Christ is a manifestation of the way or path that leads to God. The Shinto creation myth is God and gods dipping spears and having babies to form the paradise of Japan.
      You attempt to apply your scientific knowledge about creation against the Bible and have a difficult time to catch God in your trap. I note you do not bother to apply science to the Shinto myth because you know how foolish such an endeavor would be.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Thank you for yet another example of you being unable to actually address a post and going off on irrelevant tangents to avoid it. I think I'll add this thread to my list.
      Please, continue with your same stupidity.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • mark

      Fred Hawaii is full of insults and scepticism, but lacks substance. No point in pursuing anything intellectual.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Is skepticism a bad thing to you? Or is it only bad when people apply skepticism to your blind assertions?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Larry

      mark
      Why do physical or natural laws have to "think"? Do you believe that gravity thinks about which way to attract something? "Behavior", or what? Why would these laws need to consciously do anything to create themselves? Does the rain think about making a puddle? I really don't get what point you're trying to make here.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • mark

      Larry you make a good point. The difference is rain can't choose to make a puddle over there because this one was not good enough. Gravity can't pull harder to hold things down better. The design was put in motion to create life by a creator who can change where it rains.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Larry

      mark
      Why is there something instead of nothing? Well, there is something, but we may never know why there is. That's an honest answer. Now tell me why you need to have an answer to this question, even if it's the wrong answer? Do you get some psychological pleasure in claiming to know what is not really known?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Larry

      mark
      Why a "design" in how rain works? Rain falls and gravity collects in in the lowest places. When rain defies natural laws, and starts collecting on the mountaintops instead of the river valleys, then point to God, OK?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • clarity

      Yeah – I don't understand the rain example. Maybe mark is speaking to fine tuning, somehow?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • mark

      Larry I don't have to that answer. I do have it as a result of my faith in Jesus whom has influenced me to do things i never thought I would. The rain example was to address the idea that if evolution wasn't working that laws might change to make it work. That doesn't seem to consistent with nature. As nature can't create itself.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • mark

      I guess the question has to do with non believers dogging Christians for a fantasy Creator but don't have their own answer which leaves an opening in my finite mind for a God. Mine is a personal journey with God at the center, and it wasn't that way before so I have contrast.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Clairity

      What mark is (pathetically) theorizing is not that gravity has a mind of its own, but rather god decided to create the laws and then every so often decides to make it rain, but in just such a way that if he chooses to have a puddle some where, he'll drop rain drops in a precise, thought out process to create that puddle. Or to put it another way, god creates laws, god painstakingly follows laws in order to hide his true nature and still create without being caught.

      It's the way many apologests like to see the world. They would rather live in the world where the puddle was a planned event before the first drop of rain rather than a by product of the rain event itself.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • fred

      clarity
      Larry

      I am not aware of any mathematician that will accept the possibility of existence based on known requirements for life. Even Stephen Hawking agrees with the mathematical impossibility of life given what we know. In his defense he ran off with M theory and others towards quantum flux to speculate multiverse could add an infinite number of universes possibilities. Now given an infinite number of possible other possibilities life is possible but still not mathematically probable.
      You have more faith than I do because your own data argues against you. I wonder what why you are afraid of the possibility of God……………………or worse a personal God.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @mark

      Not having an answer is neither an admittance of failure nor a reason to stick your completely unfounded guess (god) as the default until it can be proven otherwise.

      Atheists like myself answer truthfully about certain questions because they're either a) philisophical in nature and can't be answered by science or b) outside the realm of our current ability to answer using scientific method. Neither a nor b is admitting failure, just simply realized ignorance.

      The man who believes he has all the answers is the most ignorant man of all.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • clarity

      Thanks, Chuckles. I guess my response to this would simply be the same as it would be for someone arguing that Fine Tuning is a sign of deity creator. that is, why can't we just think we are not the center of the universe and that we are simply the result of things winding up in the delicate, peculiar way that it did in this part of the universe?

      April 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      I suppose it's good for all of us to know that you will never change. You will continue to not answer anything, and continue to misrepresent anything to support your unfounded crap.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • mark

      Chuckles not true I don't believe God is sitting up there making puddles. I believe that he put the laws in motion and things work. We have a tendency to get in the way. It's simple smart. Thanks for calling my explanation pathetic though. I believe because I have faith. I really don't need all the answers about planet earth, it is simply a blip on my eternal timeline. I enjoy and welcome the spiritual, and don't avoid the physical world. I simply respect intelligent design.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii go away you have nothing to contribute.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Clarity

      I agree. I find it funny that people like mark, fred, chad, etc... will look at the universe and claim fine tuning because if it were off by even a little we wouldn't be here, or probabilities of life are so high it takes more faith to believe in that. If there's one thing that Jurrassic Park taught me is that life will always find a way. The universe seems perfectly finely tuned for life because we don't know if life could survive in any other way. We theorize that our very specific sort of life would not be able to, but we have no idea what "life" actually is considering the size and magnatude of the universe, life could be anything and in any environment. The probabilities are what cracks me up the most though. The probability of life occuring after the fact is exactly 100%, the fact that any apologist tries to argue differently shows they're grasping at straws.

      You can say that when you flip a coin there's a 50-50 chance it will land on heads. But saying there is a 50-50 chance that the coin I flipped 5 minutes ago landing on heads makes no logical sense (a.k.a. perfect logic to the sad christian apologist)

      April 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Intelligent Design has nothing to back it. It makes assertions with no testability, and provides no evidence.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      I suppose you would think that considering that I call you on fallacies, which you have yet to address. Why are you so afraid to address certain points mark?

      April 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @mark

      I call it like I see it. You have faith because you believe it's a good thing to believe without questioning. We believe you have eternal life because your faith tells you so, but you have 0 evidence of such a thing. No where in the bible does it say that god created the universe as a machine, then created man to be the machines termites, that's just you retroactivly looking at history and making humans the bad guys because of your christian guilt. God has already proven loads of times in the bible that he does not need to follow laws and if he wants, say a puddle to appear, he doesn't need to fire up the old rain machine to create one. You would rather muddle around in ignorance though and listen to yourself bark.

      Woof woof!

      April 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Your people went to great pain in order to bring forward their revelations as to how and why God makes and moves puddles. This is because Gods chosen can only learn the truth about why God allows puddles to form in apparent randomness to the detriment of the chosen. Rain that only falls on the wicked would violate the laws of nature. God is not subject to the laws of nature as God created the laws. Those in the Kingdom of God or the will of God are likewise not subject to the laws of nature.
      When puddles spoil your people’s parade it was their fault not God’s fault or natures fault. All things are covered by God and Gods purpose for creation. The atheist can only count on accidents, nature and the death of meaningless organic matter all of which is contrary to hope in a Promised Land.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • clarity

      Yes, Chuckles that makes perfect sense to me. I think for the argument of fine tuning, what the apologists grab from what theorists say is often only a part of the picture; just enough from some of their words to make "here" and "life here" fit.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • mark

      Wow Chuckles it appears you area all knowing and omnipotent as you choose to be. You appear to be cliche when comes to atheist. I have no Christian guilt, that's the beauty in a faith truly lived. I am forgiven for what I do by a creator who loves me because I believe in his son. I don't make the eschalogical error of putting God in a box with my finite mind, but atheist do. Guess what some atheist are child molesters but all atheist aren't. Don't be such a Christian racist.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Unless you are God you could not flip a coin 5 minutes ago. This is the problem with atheists. Atheists are so trapped in the sequencing of time they cannot step outside past, present or future all wrapped up in a tight fist of known scientific laws. There can be nothing before or after the sequencing because science cannot account for it. Intuitively you are very much aware that there is more than the sequencing of time to our existence yet you are blocked from the obvious or you own innate awareness.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • clarity

      goodness, mark, somehow I thought you were more of a thinker. don't try to put any incense up here – you'll wind up toasting your monitor.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Why is it you never actually present any evidence? Why do you insist on answering any question with the same assertions over and over?

      April 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • clarity

      There is still much mystery to innate awareness, fred, but you have chosen to let mythology define it for you rather than admitting we still have much to learn about it.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Kilto

      God is infinite...which simply means God exists outside of and is not limited by time or space. I also think Atheism is an oxymoron.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • clarity

      So Kilto, what kind of proof do you have of this infinite God.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • clarity

      You know what I always say, Kilto, why leave the planet before resolving the issues of the convenient holes in Christianity first.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Science

      Hey FREDIE please share if and when you go to church Thanks

      Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

      Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
      bears his name as the “God particle.”

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

      April 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Kilto

      Clarity Why don't you look it up for yourself? Your a big boy or girl now! You can do it.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • mark

      Clarity you said it right I love incense. Also your clarity on how much there is to learn is not outside the Christian mind set. I see God as Deus Obsucura, one I have the right to get to know and a path of knowledge I wish to take. My God reveals himself in so many ways during the course of a week, and subsequently a lifetime, until full day when I meet him. My life is full because His promises are real and true and tangible. Please don't keep throwing out the prove thing we have already shown you cant' prove your own theories. Hawaii add something intelligent once.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • fred

      “The universe seems perfectly finely tuned for life because we don't know if life could survive in any other way”
      =>The universe is finely tuned for the salvation of souls into everlasting life with the creator.
      1 We are uniquely positioned in the present to see all the way back to the beginning and a future that expands in infinite directions. The Bible reveals that outside of the beginning is eternal presence and outside of the current moment the future holds eternal presence. Every knee shall bow (cannot escape) before this reality that even the atheist should is well aware of. We can argue about God but the reality of existence is clear.
      2 The soul is being prepared for eternity incorporating all that is presented during life. Your proof Chuckles is that you wrestle with God as did Jacob and will give in or give out by the end of the struggle.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Perhaps when you actually demonstrate that you're willing to engage in discussion rather than asserting your position over and over. I'm always willing to actually engage in discussion, but you've shown throughout the thread that you don't care about discussion, and you just want to assert your position and not actually address any questions or challenges.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And fred's MO remains intact. Do not address anything, and continue to assert positions without evidence.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Kilto

      LOL...please, don't make me laugh anymore. Engage in discussion? What for? None of you Atheist trolls bother to answer any of the millions of questions we have posted on here. You flip flop everything we say.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • fred

      Above post on fine tuning was directed at Chuckles reply.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii your the one who wanted proof on a blog I was in the Sinai desert, enough said. Shhhh!!

      April 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      Did you really think that a claim like that would go completely unchallenged? Especially when you then go on to claim that your god made a shelter magically appear, and that that was evidence that your god was real? Did you actually expect that people should just accept that story as true without question?

      @Kilto

      Post a question then. You can complain all you want, like you did yesterday, but until you actually pose a question, or linking to threads that would support your claim, you're not addressing anything real.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • clarity

      Actually, fred, I think you missed an important point of Chuckles reply to me about fine tuning. and that is, from the theist perspective, you are limiting the possibilities by assuming life is only one way the way we see it in our tiny place among the cosmos. Something that we might discover later could expand our current definition of life and make this fine tuning seem much more randomly caused than the way it appears to us now (since our vision into the cosmos is currently so limited).

      April 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Kilto

      @Hawaiiguest

      What do you mean by (you don't believe in God)?

      What reasons do you have to think that (there is no God)?

      April 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii no I expected you to come over and look at the video then call the other 6 people and ask them then fly to Cairo and take a camel to the Sinai, all while typing nonsense. Kilto no need for a question Hawaii does't answer anything.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Stealing, murder, lying etc. are frowned upon in most cultures. It has some good stuff and some bad stuff. What we find odd is that you think it so uniquely special. I, like most non Christians I know have read the bible. Perhaps it is you who needs to study other belief systems more thoroughly to put the bible in a realistic context?

      April 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • mark

      Clarity you are closer to God than you think. Considering an alternative universe without "proof" is very Spiritual of you. Are you existential? Most atheist are Franklesque which is inconsisitent with alternative universe posturing.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kilto

      "What do you mean by (you don't believe in God)?"
      Since you are using the capital G, I will assume you're talking about the Christian god.
      What I mean is that I have found the claim that the Christian god to be without sufficient evidence to believe he exists.

      "What reasons do you have to think that (there is no God)?"
      The characteristics given within the bible are logically inconsistent, and mutually exclusive in some places. I also find the bible to not be reliable in terms of what I would expect from something that is billed as "inspired by a perfect being".

      Also keep in mind that a different answer would be given depending on any specific god proposed, or questions about the possibility of A god.

      @mark

      I answered Kilto because he actually asked a question, rather than dodge it. He seems to actually want to know what I think, and actually engage in some kind of discussion, unlike you.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • mark

      I follow the teachings of Jesus. He stressed peace and love not hate not murder not lying. He is my example, and I will see his face someday.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • mark

      Hawaii you haven't said a thing that has been worth debating since it is so basic and without interpretation. clarity and Larry actually sound smart and worthy of discussion.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @mark

      "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
      For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
      And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
      He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
      Matthew 10: 34-37

      April 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      "my people" whatever that means. More drivel about jewish people as if your christian mind gives even a modicu.m of insight into jewish ways or thinking. For the record, I grew up jewish but I'm an atheist. I feel as much affinity for the israelites as I do for my ancestors of 500 years ago.

      @mark

      "Wow Chuckles it appears you area all knowing and omnipotent as you choose to be. You appear to be cliche when comes to atheist. I have no Christian guilt, that's the beauty in a faith truly lived. I am forgiven for what I do by a creator who loves me because I believe in his son. I don't make the eschalogical error of putting God in a box with my finite mind, but atheist do. Guess what some atheist are child molesters but all atheist aren't. Don't be such a Christian racist."
      – So where do I begin. Lets see I tell you that I am comfortable in the fact that I can say " I don't know" and you some how translate that into me saying I'm all knowing? How does that even make sense? Secondly, if you believe you needed to be saved in the first place, that's guilt enough, that fact that you need to be "forgiven" says it all. As for your "god in a box" tosh, I love how christians always like to move the goal posts with that one. Whatever a non believer says about god, even if we lift it straight from the bible itself, that's just us not understanding it. Funny stuff.

      Also, Christian racist? what does that even mean? That I'm intolerant only towards white christians? If you wanted to remark about my (somehow) intolerance towards christians, you say "anti-christian", as racism implies that I am discriminating you because of the color of your skin..... We wouldn't want you to get the classic case of a christian persecution complex now would we?.... Oops, too late I guess.

      Woof! Woof!!

      April 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • fred

      Science
      Well said, God is not of substance or matter that can be measured by scientific method which includes particles and the weak force that disrupts unity. There can be no God particle.
      Broken symmetry in subatomic physics is a better description of mankind and what we have done to Gods original Garden of Eden.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • clarity

      I find some merit in existentialism, but I wouldn't tag myself with that term. I have often said on here that I seem to fit in the broad agnostic-atheist category rather than one who claims to know there are no gods.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • clarity

      and before there was a rash of name-stealing going on, you may have seen posts by me as mama k, mark.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kilto

      Does that answer your questions, or do you need clarification on something?

      April 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • mark

      Chuckles I see you apparently grew up with classic Jewish guilt, therefore the leap that that is why I chose Christ comes naturally. Your right I meant to say racist toward Christians. As for all knowing you leapt to classify me and my personal traits because you must know me. I know you don't need to be forgiven because you actually can't do anything wrong because your moral law has no basis or beginning. You can make it up as you go. Yes i sin, but I do my best not to. I admit I am fallible. But I am forgiven, and you are what you want to be.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • mark

      Clarity...actually nobody can claim there are no gods. Take that back, they can claim it but can't actually prove it. I saw in your posts some hope;} Praying for you!

      April 10, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mark,

      why do you think @clarity needs praying for?

      April 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • clarity

      At times on here mark, I have argued that very point as much as against the likelihood of the Abrahamic God.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • clarity

      I could use an unbaptizing, but I suppose I should just follow the advice that I try to give to the Lionly Lamb and have a few prunes before bedtime – you know, don't hold that stuff in.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • mark

      Gop...We all need prayer. Look around!

      April 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mark

      "Chuckles I see you apparently grew up with classic Jewish guilt, therefore the leap that that is why I chose Christ comes naturally. Your right I meant to say racist toward Christians. As for all knowing you leapt to classify me and my personal traits because you must know me. I know you don't need to be forgiven because you actually can't do anything wrong because your moral law has no basis or beginning. You can make it up as you go. Yes i sin, but I do my best not to. I admit I am fallible. But I am forgiven, and you are what you want to be."

      – Classic jewish guilt? We're pretty good at doling it out, but it's the christians who decided to steal that (among pretty much everything else about judaism) and change it to make themselves feel guilty instead of others.

      As to "classifying" you in anyway. This is what can drive a sane man to the loony bin. First I did no such thing, but secondly (and more importantly) taking on the mantle of "christian" means that a) you believe in god and jesus and b) that the only way to be forgiven and achieve salvation is by believing you are a sinner and need forgiveness from said deity which it'll gladly do if you acknowledge it exists. That is in no way misclassifying you, or being racist or even being anti-christian. The fact that I find that to be patently ridiculous is opinion and if I were to say "all christians are morons" that could be construed as anti-christian, however I find the idea of both a & b appallingly stupid but never made any comments about christians themselves being stupid. It's these subtleties that are clearly beyond you that make me believe that you specifically are a little slow (you and fred would get along swimmingly I presume).

      As for "my own moral laws" bit. Typical Christian response to believe that before christianity there never existed morality and in countries like Ja.pan, or Sweden or really any place that isn't classically christian somehow must be a pit of despair because they don't have morality. You really have to ask yourself mark, if christians supposedly have this morality, are aware of what is good and evil and still sin egregiously to the point where there is no discernible difference between a christian country and a non christian country, then why do you think we have different morality on an individual level?

      My guess, your racist against atheists! (wink)!

      April 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • mark

      Chuckles...is not before Christianity it is before God. He gave the moral law from the beginning of man and women. We just failed as we always do to live up to his standard, and then Christ came and said ok you fallen you have a second chance. Repent. I love atheist they are so fun to argue with. Every Christian needs one for perspective.;}

      April 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • lol??

      dirtballs arguing existence. must be well fed. SWEET!

      April 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Larry

      fred
      Where does Hawking discuss the probability of life beginning here on Earth? Aliens elsewhere, yes, but I've never heard of him commenting on life here.

      April 11, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Larry

      mark
      "Nature" goes all the way back to the Big Bang, and it appears that it could have come about all by itself, without some "outside" agent to spark it. Once you introduce any outside agent you have to find a testable explanation for where that agent came from, where it was and so forth. If you can't then what you're proposing is just wild speculation, on the same par as any other creation story. Nobody can "prove" that the universe didn't begin on the back of some giant turtle either, right?

      April 11, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Larry

      mark
      You say that your life is a journey with God in the center. So, you have a conclusion (God) that leads you to select evidence that supports that result, right? Science works the opposite way. It looks at all the evidence in an unbiased way and lets it lead to the conclusion. Personally, I find that to be a much more likely way of discovering the truth.

      April 11, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • fred

      Larry
      "A Brief History of Time", Stephen Hawking :

      "The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers (i.e. the constants of physics) seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life". "For example," Hawking writes, "if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers (for the constants) that would allow for development of any form of intelligent life. Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty."

      April 11, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Science

      Wow fred ..............reality is fun you should try IT

      April 11, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • Larry

      fred
      Hawking also said in that book The intelligent beings in these regions should therefore not be surprised if they observe that their locality in the universe satisfies the conditions that are necessary for their existence. It is a bit like a rich person living in a wealthy neighborhood not seeing any poverty. p. 124

      and

      The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary also has profound implications for the role of God in the affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started - it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator? p. 140-1

      later, he commented that

      What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. in Der Spiegel, 1989

      It's not a long book; you should read all of it before quote-mining.

      April 11, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Paul

      I flipped a coin 5 minutes ago, and according to fred that makes me god. I can't wait to see what he thinks I am when he finds out I flipped a coin 2 days ago as well.

      April 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • fred

      Paul
      Those are historic accountings of your coin flipping skills. You cannot and have not escaped the time line you know and all evolved hominids have known. When I say cannot escape I mean that you cannot think outside the box of time that moves in sequence from past present and future. You cannot flip a coin 21 times 3 days ago or imagine how to go back in time 3 days to accomplish that task. That is why it is nonsense for CHUCKLES to use the probability of a coin toss that never happened in order to justify the improbability of existence given fine tuning of our physical world not to mention the formation of base properties of organic matter.
      We cannot escape the mathematics of the impossibility of our accidental existence. Scientists and Bible do not offer poof of their explanation for how is it than that we exist.

      April 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Once again, what dataset and calculations did you use to justify your assertion that naturalistic origins are impossible?
      You've proposed this before, and have always ignored when challenged on it.
      Not that I actually expect you to answer, that would have to include you being honest about something.

      April 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Paul

      Well fred I don't believe that the universe is fine tuned for life. Instead, I believe that life has been fine tuned by the universe through evolution.

      April 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      First, it's entirely possible for me to think about things happening in a different sequence of events, that time may not be linear and that it could be cylindrical instead. My brain is able to process and understand that information, however we have yet to see a spaceship land in the middle of the dark ages, or for me to experience the future before it becomes the present. For us, time moves linearly, but by all means, continue to try and break out of that, tell me how it goes when you travel backwards or forwards in time.

      Secondly, If you want that event to have happened in the past become real, look. I'll flip a coin now...... ok done, it was heads. By the time you read this, that event will have happened in the past. Before the event took place, the odds of it landing on heads was 50-50, now looking back on the outcome, the odds of the coin flip landing on heads is 1. It's happened. Trying to calculate the odds of an event after the fact and then using the improbability as a way to prove the event didn't occur is silly.

      You also keep focusing on the fact that the universe seems to be fine tuned to us, when it's way more probable and likely that we're finely tuned to the universe. That's it. The universe is the way it is, life began and adapted to the environment surrounding it. Why is that so tough to understand? Is it hard for you to accept that we might just be a cosmic "accident" in the sense that we came into existance without a distinct plan from a third, sentient party?

      April 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      "Is it hard for you to accept that we might just be a cosmic "accident" in the sense that we came into existance without a distinct plan from a third, sentient party"
      =>Yes, it is hard to accept the wonder of what is visible as an accident. This is probably rooted in that same sense that keeps me from just sitting around doing as little as possible because at a gut level there always was something that needed to be done or advanced, a call if you will. That call is common in 98% of the world population and accommodated for by religion and all sorts of beliefs that address the question of "is this it?".
      =>Odds are not 50/50 and I would even buy a trillion to 1 odds as not impossible. I cannot buy odds of 10 to the power of 123 which could explain why those in the field of mathematics believe in God at a significantly higher rate than the soft sciences.
      =>scientifically there is no proof only speculation attempting to explain existence in view of the impossibility of an accidental intelligent life form. We have reasons to believe in God or reasons to believe in no God. By faith we receive assurance that the oral traditions of the Hebrew carried down through the generations of a purpose onto God is the reason. Gods plan as presented seems reasonable and logical. The reasons for God are many.
      The reasons for no God necessary also appears to require some form of faith I am not aware of. It is faith none the less.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Seems like fred is ignoring me today as well. Chuckles, could you repost the questions I asked fred? I want to see if he's just afraid to answer them, or if he is just ignoring me because I constantly call him on his irrelevant tangent bullshit.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • fred

      Paul
      You cannot extrapolate various biological theories of evolution into a world view that explains why our universe is fine tuned, as that is not scientific.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Paul

      I didn't claim that the universe was fine tuned. I said that the universe exists the way it does, and that life evolved to fit the universe. I say again, I see no reason to think that the universe is fine tuned. If the universe existed in some other way I believe that life very well may have evolved to survive those conditions.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design (New York: Random House, 2010), p. 159-161:

      "a change of as little as 0.5 percent in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4 percent in the electric force, would destroy either nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it. Change those rules of our universe just a bit, and the conditions for our existence disappear!"

      This is why he concludes,

      "The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned, and very little in physical law can be altered without destroying the possibility of the development of life as we know it. Were it not for a series of startling coincidences in the precise details of physical law, it seems, humans and similar life-forms would never have come into being."

      Now, the odds get even worse when you consider other factors necessary for the evolution of intelligent life and the base particles involved.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • fred

      Paul
      Your belief is based on pure speculation that life would accidently form to fit a given universe. Odds are against it as there are 753 distinct markers necessary to form intelligent life. One begins with Carbon 13 a specific building block. There is not enough time since the earth became acceptable for the formation of life in order for random chance to account for life. This is why random chance is not a viable option in evolution. There are acceptable explanations that avoid random chance but they are not proven just possible explanations. Random or accidental mutation is not a possibility.

      At least you skipped over the cosmological constant estimated to be finely tuned to 1 in 10^120 (that's a 1 with 120 zeros behind it!) and simply accepted that impossible accident.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Two problems with your post:

      1) It doesn't answer my question. At all, so it's really just another irrelevant tangent.
      2) It states, in your own post, "very little in physical law can be altered without destroying the possibility of the development of life as we know it.". now, actually pay attention to what you're posting. Life as we know it. So how did you conclude that life as we know it is the only life possible?

      April 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Why do you constantly throw out the numbers of probability without actually justifying the calculations, or giving the datasets that were used to calculate those odds?

      April 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      It's hard for you to accept something as a cosmic accident, that doesn't make it any less of an accident. What I think you are trying to say, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that the world is so beautiful, the universe is so finely tuned, etc... that you use your surroundings as evidence, making the same mistake again of believing humans we're planned before the universe and that beauty is an objective and not subjective thing. In order for you to actually gain knowledge fred, the first thing you need to do is understanding that your thinking is critically flawed.

      "=>Odds are not 50/50 and I would even buy a trillion to 1 odds as not impossible. I cannot buy odds of 10 to the power of 123 which could explain why those in the field of mathematics believe in God at a significantly higher rate than the soft sciences."
      – Again, you're pointing at probabilities after the fact, which at this point hold no relevance. Furthermore we can say that the universe has billions and billions of galaxies, each containing billions and billions of stars. We know that star systems can easily have more planets than our own. In our solar system alone we have at least 5-6 planetoids that could host life. We also have found That water is abundant in the SolSystem is well. From our parameters of what life needs, there's ample amounts of everything that life could and probably has occured on millions or billions of planets similar to ours. So not only do your probablities not matter, but the 1 in 10^123 is wrong. Furthermore, how can you even begin to figure out the probabilitiy of god? What metric are you using?

      Fred, change your critically flawwed thinking, recognize that it's possible to live in a world that is subjectively ery beautiful not designed for beauty, but that through random nature became beautiful.

      I personally find there's more beauty in the coincidental and randomness than anything else.

      April 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Paul

      Let me put it this way, until a god shows it's face I will continue to believe that no god had anything to do with anything.

      April 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • fred

      Paul
      Now that is a position I can support since science has firmly established that scientific method cannot account for causation of our only known universe and further cannot account for the origin of life.

      Further, it is biblical that you cannot see God unless God reveals himself in a manner that you can accept. That is a blessing by the way because you are not held accountable for what you could not have known.

      April 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "....you are not held accountable for what you could not have known. " You DO know that a sizable percentage of Christians disagree with you, right ?

      April 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And with what should be no surprise, fred still is unable to justify the numbers he's using.

      April 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • fred

      midwest rail
      Jesus said to whom much is given much is expected. We know for sure hell is the destiny for those eternal souls that prefer evil such as Satan and his demons. The rest of us Jesus says we will be surprised who we see and don't see in heaven. If you believe the Bible you must believe the whole of God not the parts you like. God is eternal infinite mercy and infinite justice. Mercy and justice operate in unity with complete perfection. The Hebrews had thousands of years of revelations of God and covered just about every angel as to how shall we live given the purpose for our existence is the glory of God.

      April 12, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      "Why do you constantly throw out the numbers of probability without actually justifying the calculations, or giving the datasets that were used to calculate those odds"
      =>I have given these to you twice before. There is no argument in the scientific community as to the fine tuning of the universe. If you want to argue it please jump on a science blog.
      Where the discussion heads is alternative reasons explaining away the improbability of intelligent life given the universe does exist. Perhaps someday we will discover error in the cosmological constant.
      In the meantime all evidence points to an unknown in your camp and your unknown in our camp (believers). That unknown was not revealed by science (nor can it be) but by faith in the eyes of believers.

      April 12, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Don't lie. You have given no justification or datapoints for the numbers you're throwing out.
      Why do you feel the need to lie for your god?

      April 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I have no need to lie for God. Simply because you reject the Bible because it reflects Gods plan does not translate into a lie. We believe it to be the truth and you claim to have no belief. If I lie then you lie because your belief (yes you have one) is not founded on any scientific fact whatsoever and it is scientific fact you hang your Philosophical Naturalism upon. I do not hang my belief on scientific fact. Science to date only points to the necessity of the supernatural (no not God just an unknown based on our natural laws).

      As to the data points you demand I suspect you want me to again go over the basics of gauge transformations in linearized theory. Exactly what good would that do? Your argument is with the conclusion not the math,gravitational Lorenz gauge, the Einstein field equation or general relativity. Now, you can find the cosmological constant in the field equation and that alone is sufficient to prove fine tuning exists. No one doubts the existence of fine tuning except perhaps you who also doubts Jesus the son of Mary and Joseph walked this earth.

      April 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Yay for another rambling, irrelevant post completely avoiding defending your assertions, or addressing any points.
      Please, continue to show your pathetic inability to be honest fred. It only hurts your own cause.

      April 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I see the problem. You believe something came from nothing without any evidence whatsoever and this frustrates you. I have told you many times that I am not aware of any scientific evidence that proves God created the heavens and the earth. You are the dishonest one by attempting to claim science has some how proven that our being rather than our non being was caused by natural laws. I am amazed you fail to see the nonsense in that foundation of your belief

      April 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Keep following your script.
      Reassert, divert, irrelevant tangents, tell others what they believe.
      Mix those up, then eventually run like a coward.
      You're so incredibly predictable fred it's pathetic.
      Like I said, keep being a dishonest little shit, it only shows the damage your religion has done to your mind.

      April 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      Just in case I fail to fully understand your belief tell me, why does anything exist?

      April 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  19. Reality

    Again from 1000 CE:

    "Death's debt is then and there
    Paid down by dying men;
    But it is a promise bare
    That they shall rise again."

    Al-Ma'arri

    Added details available upon request.

    April 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  20. Mike in NJ

    Is he like his church's Pope? Is he some sort of idol that these people are worshipping? Hilarious!

    April 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • mark

      No he is a pastor spreading good news, and feeding the poor! What did you do today?

      April 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • drep

      "No he is a pastor spreading good news"

      Unless you are g a y.

      Then he is a pastor spreading hate and discrimination.

      "What did you do today?"

      I did not spread any hate or discrimination.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      He is the founder and ruler of his church, and is considered a saint anointed by Christ Himself because he is very rich. So yes, he is the Pope of his religion.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:07 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.