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Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate
Pope Francis greets the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of his weekly audience April 10 at the Vatican.
May 23rd, 2013
03:59 PM ET

Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) -– American atheists welcomed Pope Francis’ comments that God redeems nonbelievers, saying that the new pontiff's historic outreach is helping to topple longstanding barriers.

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone,” the pope told worshipers at morning Mass on Wednesday. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”

Francis continued, “We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said that although he has been skeptical of Francis' outreach to the nonreligious, he welcomed Wednesday’s comments.

“I gather from this statement that his view of the world's religious and philosophical diversity is expanding,” Speckhardt said. “While humanists have been saying for years that one can be good without a god, hearing this from the leader of the Catholic Church is quite heartening."

He continued, “If other religious leaders join him, it could do much to reduce the automatic distrust and discrimination that atheists, humanists, and other nontheists so regularly face. “

Francis’ comments received a great deal of attention on social media, with a number of people asking whether the Catholic leader believes that atheists and agnostics go to heaven, too.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an “explanatory note on the meaning to ‘salvation.'"

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her.”

At the same time, Rosica writes, “every man or woman, whatever their situation, can be saved. Even non-Christians can respond to this saving action of the Spirit. No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin.”

Rosica also said that Francis had “no intention of provoking a theological debate on the nature of salvation,” during his homily on Wednesday.

Although the pope's comments about salvation surprised some, bishops and experts in Catholicism say Francis was expressing a core tenet of the faith.

"Francis was clear that whatever graces are offered to atheists (such that they may be saved) are from Christ," the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a conservative Catholic priest, wrote on his blog.

"He was clear that salvation is only through Christ’s Sacrifice.  In other words, he is not suggesting – and I think some are taking it this way – that you can be saved, get to heaven, without Christ."

Chad Pecknold, an assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, agreed with Zuhlsdorf, pointing out that the pope’s comments came on the Feast of Saint Rita, the Catholic patron saint of impossible things.

“The remarks about atheists show that there is even a saint for atheists,” Pecknold said. “Including all of humanity, on this day especially, remarks like that are almost called for.”

“To stress that the gospel redeems all people, including atheists, is the teaching of the church,” he added. “This is an objective fact that the church believes.”

Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, said Francis' comments reflect “the interfaith and inter-community work many of us nontheists are dedicated to.”

That said, Epstein hopes that lay Catholics are listening.

“I hope Catholics, and all people hearing the pope's statement, will recognize that his words about atheists need to symbolize much more than just a curiosity or an exception to the rule,” Epstein said. “If someone thinks there are only a few atheists out there doing good just like Catholics do, that's a major misunderstanding that can lead to prejudice and discrimination.”

The pope’s comments come a few months after he told worshipers that Catholics should be close to all men and women, including those who don’t belong to any religious tradition.

"In this we feel the closeness also of those men and women who, while not belonging to any religious tradition, feel, however the need to search for the truth, the goodness and the beauty of God, and who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation,” Francis said shortly after his election as pope in March.

Even atheists like David Silverman, president of American Atheists, who has had an antagonistic relationship with the Catholic church, welcomed the pope’s remarks.

“While the concept of Jesus dying for atheists is wrong on many levels (especially given that Jesus himself promised hell for blasphemers), I can appreciate the pope's `good faith' effort to include atheists in the moral discussion,” Silverman said.

“Atheists on the whole want no part in Catholicism, of course, but we are all interested in basic human rights.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,731 Responses)
  1. mama k

    Recently we learned from another CNN BB article of a child dying when their parents, members of a Christian sect in Philadelphia, as part of their faith, refused medical care.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Some believe Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is the only option for certain people, or for people in certain positions. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create more extreme divisions as time goes by, constantly subjecting others in its crossfire.

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

    (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    May 25, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Science

      Hello mama k...............like cap'y ass wipe always says below....................But the sh-it does NOT work prayer that IS !

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things,

      May 25, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse | Reply

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/prosecutor-parents-refusal-to-seek-medical-attention-led-to-infants-death/#comments

      May 25, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • faith

      so?

      May 25, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Science

      About 17,300 results (0.36 seconds) ..........google

      298,000 results Any time ................Bing...........for this article interesting.

      Numbers.

      peace

      May 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Science

      You know faith you are stuck in a big pile GREEN SLIME with NO horn-y red devil to save your ass.

      May 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  2. Same as it ever was

    In reply to the above statement in the article: " The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her." The pope and his hierarchical slaves are ever ready to persecute you. Especially true Bible believing christians who don't believe Roman Catholic false doctrines which are many. Welcome to the "New Inquisition", eh?

    May 25, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Science

      'Girl Rising': How to help? Give, share and rise up

      By Betsy Anderson, CNN

      updated 1:13 PM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/30/world/iyw-girl-rising/index.html

      May 25, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |

      May 25, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  3. SDCinNS

    "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." Heb 11:6.

    Not the first time the catholic church has contradicted Scripture – and I'm sure it won't be the last.

    May 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • .

      being catholic has nothing to do with knowing Christ

      May 25, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Science

      Hey SDCinNS

      http://www.ted.com/talks...............works better than the red horn-y devil aye?

      May 25, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Science

      Hey SDCinNSH

      oops

      #http://www.ted.com/talks

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Science

      Hey SDCinNS.............the bear does sh-it BIG time in the woods, along the trout stream.

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  4. mama k

    Sam Harris on Christianity. Harris is an American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist. He holds a PhD in in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSdGr4K4qLg&w=640&h=390]

    May 25, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • as always

      some need utube to do their thinking for them

      May 25, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Science

      Agree ...............mama k............. everybody do a simple search for Prof. Higgs............the church hate that .

      A box does not work well for thinking.............more can come out of the box........http://www.ted.com/talks

      Peace

      Hey faith/chad... and sally too........Thanks have a great life.

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/

      http://www.caterpillar.com/Foundation

      http://www.autismspeaks.org/

      http://www.hlntv.com/clusters/salute-troops

      https://www.zotero.org/colleengreene/items/5XRFKX8N

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/comment-page-44/#comment-2369235

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/23/the-money-man-behind-atheisms-activism/comment-page-77/#comment-2369249

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/21/who-hears-prayersforoklahoma/?replytocom=2369279#respond

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/19/proofs-of-heaven-popular-but-not-with-the-church/?replytocom=2366421#respond

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/has-the-oklahoma-atheist-been-saved/comment-page-2/#comment-2369325

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      May 25, 2013 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |

      May 25, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |

      Hey doogie you too !

      Hey Chad,faith the peach and all creationists what color JELL- O you stuck IN. ? Star Dusts (chondrites) and water !

      Scientists Offer First Definitive Proof of Bacteria-Feeding Behavior in Green Algae

      May 23, 2013 — A team of researchers has captured images of green alga consuming bacteria, offering a glimpse at how early organisms dating back more than 1 billion years may have acquired free-living photosynthetic cells. This acquisition is thought to have been a critical first step in the evolution of photosynthetic algae and land plants, which, in turn, contributed to the increase in oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere and ocean and provided one of the conditions necessary for animal evolution.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143741.htm

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lafL_mmv3EA&w=640&h=390]

      Game over .................god(s) did NOT create US !

      NO red horn-y devil either........ NEVER has been one.!

      The DINOSAUR ?...............Chomp Chomp !...Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the

      HELL out of the way.....................Stem Cell research !

      Allosaurus Fed More Like a Falcon Than a Crocodile: Engineering, Anatomy Work Reveals Differences in Dinosaur Feeding Styles

      May 21, 2013 — The mighty T. rex may have thrashed its massive head from side to side to dismember prey, but a new study shows that its smaller cousin Allosaurus was a more dexterous hunter and tugged at prey more like a modern-day falcon.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152638.htm

      PLUS

      Better than Comedy GOLD................it is THE PEARLY GATES !.............what a JOKE !

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/comment-page-18/#respond

      May 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • SDCinNS

      What does a Sam Harris video have to do with this article?

      May 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • .

      nothing but many atheist wanna bees use utube to do all their thinking for themselves

      May 25, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Science

      oops ........hate needs an .........s

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • SDCinNS

      Are you likely to get a very accurate discussion of biology – by someone who doesn't believe in biology? Probably not. Harris's views on spiritual matters are the same. If you wanna see Harris debate a theist (and get destroyed!) watch this video. After Harris got destroyed in this debate, Richard Dawkins refused to debate William Lane Craig – he chickened out.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwhgPjPCpL8&w=640&h=390]

      May 25, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Science

      'Girl Rising': How to help? Give, share and rise up

      By Betsy Anderson, CNN

      updated 1:13 PM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/30/world/iyw-girl-rising/index.html

      May 25, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  5. .

    there is no goodness good enough for anyone to earn their way into heaven heaven is never earned

    May 25, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • The real Tom

      Must be a real issue for someone like you, you twit. There's not an ounce of goodness or honesty in you. That's why you love your belief that you'll go to heaven no matter what a fvcking jackwagon you are on earth, and no matter how much you lie and hate.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • faith

      The real Tom
      Must be a real issue for someone like you, you twit. There's not an ounce of goodness or honesty in you. That's why you love your belief that you'll go to heaven no matter what a fvcking jackwagon you are on earth, and no matter how much you lie and hate.

      poor baby

      May 25, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  6. .

    atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries some think Christians in times past responsible for atrocities let us set the record straight being catholic does not make one a Christian even being a pope does not always imply a relationship with Christ the popes of inquisition and crusades were more atheist than Christian many call themselves Christian yet have no knowledge of Christ

    May 25, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • The real Tom

      Writing the same sh!t under a different screen name doesn't make it smell like roses. You're lying. You lie about everything. You lie about your god and the bible. You lie about history. You're a liar.

      May 25, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • nope

      @theunreal tim
      nope

      May 25, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • as always

      Truth upsets the lost

      May 25, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • mama k

      That's BS, plain and simple.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • as always

      why don't you post a video since you are incapable of original independent thot ma

      May 25, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • mama k

      @as always and ".": Atheism means only one thing, one doesn't believe in a god or gods, nothing more. Ideologies of any stripe taken to extremes get people killed. That you mix concepts like atheism and twisted ideologies of dictators of past failed regimes just highlights your stupidity on the matter.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • The real Tom

      Idiots like you two make atheism look wonderful. mama k is correct.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • faith

      "The real Tom
      Writing the same sh!t under a different screen name doesn't make it smell like roses. You're lying. You lie about everything. You lie about your god and the bible. You lie about history. You're a liar."

      how's work, dodo?

      May 25, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  7. The New Testament

    Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he died for the sins of those that believe him and repent of their sins. Read the bible, hurry! Believe the truth. Believe God.

    May 25, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  8. anuradha

    No need to worry about what Pope said, he did not said anything to go on arguing or against anybody, for the fact his message is very clear we all are God's children. But you have to make sure you beleave only one God up there who sent his only child to save the world, save you and me, thats the core meaning. Must no forget Jesus himself forgave the sinners, and told them do not sin any more.... So its your wish.

    May 25, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • The real Tom

      "the God up there."

      Up where, exactly?

      May 25, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Science

      to anuradha

      To a simple search for Prof. Higgs........the church hates that !

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • faith

      "The real Tom
      "the God up there."

      Up where, exactly?"

      46th and 8th ave

      May 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  9. mama k

    Bill Moyers interviews Daniel Dennett, an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, science & biology. He is a professor of philosophy at Tufts University.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeQXmYVamA&w=640&h=390]
    Dennett: "[not all, but for many, the dangerous thing about religion is that] it gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking."

    May 25, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Science

      AGREE ..........mama k

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Science

      Updated :to mama k

      Agree ...............mama k

      A box does not work well for thinking.

      Peace

      Hey faith/chad... and sally too........Thanks have a great life.

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/

      http://www.caterpillar.com/Foundation

      http://www.autismspeaks.org/

      http://www.hlntv.com/clusters/salute-troops

      https://www.zotero.org/colleengreene/items/5XRFKX8N

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/comment-page-44/#comment-2369235

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/23/the-money-man-behind-atheisms-activism/comment-page-77/#comment-2369249

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/21/who-hears-prayersforoklahoma/?replytocom=2369279#respond

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/19/proofs-of-heaven-popular-but-not-with-the-church/?replytocom=2366421#respond

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |

      May 25, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |

      May 25, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  10. hvchronic

    Rogue Pope Francis has certainly been giving the Devil a good thrashing of late. Seems to me he's got his popely finger firmly on the dying pulse of a planet expiring from all the nefariousness. He may abhor capitalism but he's certainly good for business if you're selling tunes about resisting evil. Here's a new hit song he's helped launch:

    http://biffthuringer.bandcamp.com/track/devils-cry

    May 25, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Science

      to hvchronic

      Hey faith... and sally too........Thanks have a great life.

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/

      http://www.caterpillar.com/Foundation

      http://www.autismspeaks.org/

      https://www.zotero.org/colleengreene/items/5XRFKX8N

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/comment-page-44/#comment-2369235

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/23/the-money-man-behind-atheisms-activism/comment-page-77/#comment-2369249

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/prosecutor-parents-refusal-to-seek-medical-attention-led-to-infants-death/#comments

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    May 25, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  12. faith

    i tried proving god don't exist. 1 day, it hit me like a tons bricks. since there ain't no evidence for god, what the hey, i believe

    May 25, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • Science

      https://www.zotero.org/colleengreene/items/5XRFKX8N

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  13. Fleye

    You mean there is a hell? And Atheist believe this also? WOW. Sounds kinda contradictory to me.

    May 25, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Macha

      You're not big on irony are you.

      May 25, 2013 at 6:55 am |
  14. faith

    personally, as a former agnostic, i don't hate all the hypocrites in their faith. joe, sally and susie stole everything from everyone and kept it all. but harry, gary and ashley only stole from religious fanatics which i supported.

    May 25, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith the peachy one you know !

      Game over .................god(s) did NOT create US !

      NO red horn-y devil either........ NEVER has been one.!

      The DINOSAUR ?...............Chomp Chomp !...Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the

      HELL out of the way.....................Stem Cell research !

      Allosaurus Fed More Like a Falcon Than a Crocodile: Engineering, Anatomy Work Reveals Differences in Dinosaur Feeding Styles

      May 21, 2013 — The mighty T. rex may have thrashed its massive head from side to side to dismember prey, but a new study shows that its smaller cousin Allosaurus was a more dexterous hunter and tugged at prey more like a modern-day falcon.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152638.htm

      PLUS

      Better than Comedy GOLD................it is THE PEARLY GATES !.............what a JOKE !

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/comment-page-18/#respond

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • faith

      Macha
      I'm a very puzzled Atheist.

      no kidding.

      first honest statement made by these nazi god hating fascists

      May 25, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith...........Thanks have a great life.

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • Macha

      faith
      first honest statement made by these nazi god hating fascists

      Name calling. Ad Hominen. And wrong. The classic trinity of fail.

      May 25, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  15. Macha

    I'm a very puzzled Atheist.

    The previous chap (Ratzinger) reckoned I was the same as the Nazis and was destined for Hell. The new chap now says I'm an OK guy, provided I don't do naughty things and I might even go to Heaven. I thought they were both infallible, so there's an immediate logical dilemma for me.

    Now the Vatican spokeserson says that a) I won't get to Heaven if I don't embrace the RCC, but on the other hand b) I might If I'm really, really good.

    What's going on? If I can get to Heaven without "accepting Jesus", then what's the point of Jesus? That all sounds a tad heretical to me. Or if I'm a good boy and I pop off without "accepting Jesus" (which I won't, because the whole notion is plainly daft), then am I still going to Hell?

    Perhaps someone could explain all this to me in non-obfuscatory language?

    May 25, 2013 at 6:13 am |
    • faith

      lol

      May 25, 2013 at 6:24 am |
    • faith

      i would, but i use obfusicatory language

      May 25, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • JFrankA

      It's easy to understand. It's like planting Thursdays in a liquid balloon field of blue threes. See? 🙂

      May 25, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Poltergiest

      Pope hasn't been considered infallible for hundreds of years now.

      What it means is the RCC will stop claiming you're going to hell for simply not being Christian. Logically speaking if there is an afterlife, and rules to get in, its up to God who ultimately gets in.

      May 25, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  16. David Camilleri

    Some people become atheists due to a bad experience of a 'vengeful' God or a God who is not present in a human tragedy. Some people become atheists due to conviction and 'belief' in scientific explanations of our Universe so God does not fit in. As a Catholic I embrace all atheists because they are our brothers and sisters as part of the human family. The natural law of good and evil is imprinted in every human whether one is a believer or not. Atheists have a good chance to be in heaven but to believe in Jesus and His Church is almost guaranteed. I love you all Atheists and Gnostics.

    May 25, 2013 at 5:34 am |
    • M

      and I would say as an atheist I embrace all because they are our brothers and sisters as part of the human family. For those who are misled to inhumanity by religion I truly "forgive them for they know not what they do," but am bound to open their eyes to the pain and suffering they cause to others, and themselves.

      May 25, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "Some people become atheists due to a bad experience of a 'vengeful' God or a God who is not present in a human tragedy."

      Where do Christians come up with this stuff? Do you seriously think this makes any sense whatsoever? So you think a believer, someone who accepts that God is real and that we all possess a soul which goes on to survive after our death would behave tis way? So they suffer some sort of tragedy and decide they don't agree with the outcome. They put the blame on God for this and willfully turn against him. Really? I mean it's not like they don't understand the consequences of picking a fight with God. A fight they can't possibly win. They would choose eternal suffering and torture over going to heaven? Really? That's like getting a traffic ticket and feeling so unjustly treated that it makes more sense to go on a serial murder killing spree than pay the fine.
      I know many atheists and not one of them turned from religion because of grief or feeling of being let down by God. In every case it was because the incredible claims of religion fail critical examination.

      May 25, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • aldewacs

      @AtheistSteve: your explanation relies too much on logic. It will not be acceptable to the "faithful" because they are used to hyperbole and double talk. Please try again and weave some magic into it – you'll have a better chance of getting through thick skulls.

      Religions cannot accept that anybody would just examine their claims and reject them. They MUST believe that everybody believed at one point, and the devil tricked them into wandering off the path. Mental gymnastics aimed at self preservation.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  17. Science

    Hey Chad,faith the peach and all creationists what color JELL- O you stuck IN. ? Star Dusts (chondrites) and water !

    Scientists Offer First Definitive Proof of Bacteria-Feeding Behavior in Green Algae

    May 23, 2013 — A team of researchers has captured images of green alga consuming bacteria, offering a glimpse at how early organisms dating back more than 1 billion years may have acquired free-living photosynthetic cells. This acquisition is thought to have been a critical first step in the evolution of photosynthetic algae and land plants, which, in turn, contributed to the increase in oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere and ocean and provided one of the conditions necessary for animal evolution.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143741.htm

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lafL_mmv3EA&w=640&h=390]

    May 25, 2013 at 5:29 am |
    • o

      It took God forming the earth as he did, for us to be here
      Examples of what it would be like without him are all around us
      God's mercy and love is is what you are studying, science

      May 25, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • Science

      Hey little o BULLSH-IT !

      May 25, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • Science

      Oops forgot...............NO red horn-y devil either........ NEVER has been one.!

      Peace

      May 25, 2013 at 6:02 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Examples of what it would be like without him are all around us"

      So god doesn't exist is what this translates to. No god needed for this world and the chirstian god is not compatible with science at all.

      May 25, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • o

      Write from Venus or Mars after you build the log cabin by the stream

      May 25, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • The real Tom

      So, is that what your butt looks like, an o?

      There is no evidence that a god created this or any other universe.

      May 25, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  18. GOOD NEWS

    Our new and eternal life will begin in a parallel Universe,

    the moment we die here.

    Heaven is absolutely real.

    Here is the Ultimate Evidence:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    May 25, 2013 at 5:28 am |
  19. Spokk

    Let's turn it the other way around to make it true:

    I have great news for you, belivers! Not only us nonbelivers, who understand and appreciate the fact that our lifes are ridiculously short and insignificant on cosmic scale so we have to make the best out of it, will die and end our conscious existence in the moment our brains cease to function. Also you will be privileged to die exactly the same way, no matter what you did and didn't in your life!

    May 25, 2013 at 4:49 am |
  20. John Wang-Fitzpatrick

    One can spend a lifetime in pursuit of God through or outside the various religions and the good scientific atheists will agree that it is impossible to prove the non-existence of God anyway...it's a crazy thing to try to do. Should there be a God, and I highly doubt the existence of a personal God who is always in our hearts and minds, even though it would be kind of nice if one existed, for life is sometimes very lonely, albeit just a loving God who never interferes etc...but if one does exist then I would expect such a being to be rather bright and open-minded.

    May 25, 2013 at 4:48 am |
    • John Wang-Fitzpatrick

      Yes, bright and open minded and generally happy with the work done, thus a bit like me.

      May 25, 2013 at 4:49 am |
    • required

      God is the most incredible being ever, over all history. Every characteristic you can think of, he can and does exceed it. What they said in the bible is not all there is to him. I will toss my coin onto the table, one of many that agrees God is who he said he is. But when you try to conceptualize him, trying to make him into yourself so you can understand him, it's like saying a tear on your face, is the same as an ocean, no it isn't, not even close... and that tear to begin with, it wasn't you either.

      May 25, 2013 at 8:51 am |
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About this blog

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.