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Poll: America losing its religion
The Reason Rally, sponsored by secular organizations, draws a crowd to Washington.
May 29th, 2013
03:06 PM ET

Poll: America losing its religion

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – More than three in four of Americans say religion is losing its influence in the United States, according to a new survey, the highest such percentage in more than 40 years. A nearly identical percentage says that trend bodes ill for the country.

"It may be happening, but Americans don't like it," Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief, said of religion's waning influence. "It is clear that a lot of Americans don't think this is a good state of affairs."

According to the Gallup survey released Wednesday, 77% of Americans say religion is losing its influence. Since 1957, when the question was first asked, Americans' perception of religion's power has never been lower.

According to the poll, 75% of Americans said the country would be better off if it were more religious.

The poll doesn't reflect Americans' personal religiosity, such as church attendance, but rather how large events and trends shape shared views, Newport explained.

For example, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and the rise of the counterculture fed the perception that religion was on the wane during the late 1960s, he said.

Views of a secularizing America peaked in 1969 and 1970, when 75% of Americans said faith was losing its clout in society. A similar view dominated from 1991-94 and from 2007 to the present.

Americans saw religion increasing its influence in 1957, in 1962 and at a few points during the Reagan presidency in 1980. This number also spiked to its highest point ever - 71% - after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The pollster didn't speculate on the contemporary factors that led to the current views on faith's influence.

Still, the poll numbers are dramatically influenced by church attendance, according to Gallup. More than 90% of people who attend church weekly responded that a more religious America would be positive, compared with 58% of Americans who attended church "less often."

The Gallup poll was conducted via telephone from May 2 to May 7. A total of 1,535 people were sampled for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • United States

soundoff (6,389 Responses)
  1. .

    I'm an atheist and i'm also an hypocrite just like my fellow atheists.

    May 30, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • .

      Oh look at this poor troll, facts hurt don't they.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • I Am God

      Is this Toothless Atheist? What a coward.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • .

      So you posted this because you were proven wrong.

      Hitler Was an Atheist Who Killed Millions in the Name of Atheism, Secularism:

      A popular image of the Nazis is that they were fundamentally anti-Christian while devout Christians were anti-Nazi. The truth is that German Christians supported the Nazis because they believed that Adolf Hitler was a gift to the German people from God. Hitler frequently referenced God and Christianity both in public and private. The Nazi Party Program explicitly endorsed and promoted Christianity in the party platform. Millions of Christians in Germany not only enthusiastically supported and endorsed Hitler and the Nazis, but did so on the basis of common Christian beliefs and attitudes.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • eric cassel

      this is bull what are you doing asking kids and muslims about America

      May 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  2. mudpuddlebunny

    http://mudpuddlebunny.wordpress.com/

    May 30, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  3. Don't call me, I'll call you

    "The Gallup poll was conducted via telephone" These polls would have more validity if they conducted them via text message-I mean, is the demographic that still uses the phone really representative of the whole?

    May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      What?!? That's an odd criticism. Are you claiming that more of one viewpoint is likely to text versus talk? Weird.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you want to reach me telephonically, you have only to turn the crank on the side of your phone in the proper order. Two longs and a short is my code.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • AntEater50000

      No it isn't. If you're doing phone only surveys, you need to correct them for the sampling bias. Gallup should already know that they're getting older, more conservative results from the get go. The numbers might be fudged a bit to account for this sampling error, but it doesn't really solve the problem of the original sample over sampling older, more conservative households, and it creates the problem of Gallup fiddling with their numbers to try and correct their own sampling errors.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  4. Tahir

    America is losing everything.Country where you have to buy Justice cannot succeed.

    May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why not?
      Plenty of religions make a mint selling salvation.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  5. ToothlessAtheists

    Everyone Should See This

    http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/atheist_crimes.htm

    May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • .

      "http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/atheist_crimes.htm"

      A common criticism which atheists raise against religion is how violent religion and religious believers have been in the past. People have slaughtered each other in large numbers either because of differences in religious beliefs or because of other differences which are further justified and intensified through religious rhetoric. Either way, religion has a lot of blood on its hands. Can the same be said for atheists and atheism? Haven't atheists killed more people in the name of atheism than religious theists have killed in the name of their religion? No, because atheism isn't a philosophy or ideology.

      How Many Have Been Killed by Communists in the Name of Atheism & Secularism?:

      None, probably. How can that be? After all, millions and millions of people died in Russia and China under communist governments — and those governments were both secular and atheistic. So weren't all of those people killed because of atheism — even in the name of atheism and secularism? No, that conclusion does not follow. Atheism itself isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a tall person is being killed in the name of tallness.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • I Am God

      Get lost foolish troll. What is with you trolls posting bigoted and biased data?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • JRNY

      Sad little toothless. So sad and lonely.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • .

      Hitler Was an Atheist Who Killed Millions in the Name of Atheism, Secularism:

      A popular image of the Nazis is that they were fundamentally anti-Christian while devout Christians were anti-Nazi. The truth is that German Christians supported the Nazis because they believed that Adolf Hitler was a gift to the German people from God. Hitler frequently referenced God and Christianity both in public and private. The Nazi Party Program explicitly endorsed and promoted Christianity in the party platform. Millions of Christians in Germany not only enthusiastically supported and endorsed Hitler and the Nazis, but did so on the basis of common Christian beliefs and attitudes.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • ToothlessAtheists

      Go ahead atheists hypocrites hurry up and vote this comment to Report Abuse as you are always trying to hide the truth. Typical to the usual hypocrisy from atheists.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Everyone should read this: http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

      May 30, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • I Am God

      Toothless Atheist we don't hide from history like you are obviously doing.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • LOL!

      "Go ahead atheists hypocrites hurry up and vote this comment to Report Abuse as you are always trying to hide the truth. Typical to the usual hypocrisy from atheists."

      The hypocrite is you since you are not posting real facts because that is a bogus website. You're probably trying to delete it since facts are being posted below your comment proving you wrong.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  6. scotty501

    I will have nothing to do with a faith that is connected to politics. It makes me sick.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lol??

      Obamacare to the rescue! Feast with the Beast!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • JRNY

      @ lol...so because of Obamacare, you can finally get insurance. Yay! I know how grateful you are to our President. Thank you for letting us know!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  7. Martin

    If you don't believe atheists are becoming the Jehovah's Witnesses of the Left, explain why every discussion about the Moore tornado became a magnet for atheist anti-religion posts.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • UhOh

      So lying for your God huh Martin? So every website, every news article atheists have been their posting. NOT!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • UhOh

      "have been their posting"

      been there posting.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • sam stone

      what has that got to do with right or left?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • JRNY

      I don't know martin, it's a phenomenon that is unexplainable! Darn!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • LOL!

      "what has that got to do with right or left?"

      I don't think Martin can tell the difference between his right or left. LOL!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      People like Martin make me glad I'm an atheist.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • I Am God

      I recall a lot of religious folks (you probably one of them) blaming Atheists and everyone that died in the incident because of being unbelievers.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • AntEater50000

      Martin,

      Atheists still face a certain level of persecution and social discrimination (i.e., people asking how you can be moral without a god). So, they need some level of publicity to show that smart, successful, compassionate and upstanding individuals are also atheists, especially when you have trolls like Toothless in these comments going on and on about Hitler.

      Jehovah's witnesses on the other hand invade your door step or living room, mark your house for return visits, try to drag you into their church, and distribute pamphlets full of lies. They also advocate repressive positions on child rearing and marital relations which could do quite a bit of harm to people if implemented. Even the most preachy Atheists don't do this sort of stuff.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  8. Martin

    Atheists are becoming the Jehovah's Witnesses of the Left.

    Way too certain that everybody needs to hear their views on religion.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • JRNY

      LOL!!! Martin, you're totally the pot calling the kettle black...

      May 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You've had atheists showing up on your doorstep asking to come in and discuss the "truth" of atheism? Because to me it seems like with CNN, YOU have to read a t I tle, click a link or two, read the article, find the comment box, type a reply, click the post button, and another step or two I've missed. Did some atheist force you to do all that? Do you understand the function of the "9-1-1" response?.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • UhOh

      Martin is spamming the board how cute. See comments below.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • ME II

      @Martin,
      Sorry, but atheists don't have nearly a century of failed prophecies to work with.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Martin

      But I will leave here after this post and move on. You'll be discussing religion all over the Internet. Guaranteed.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • ToothlessAtheists

      @Martin

      I totally agree with you.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • meifumado

      Do atheists go door to door pushing their views?
      And not all atheists are liberal.Atheist come from all walks of life right , left and middle.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  9. stevemanthei

    There are only a few truths between Religious and Atheistic people:
    1. Most people don't understand their own religion and depend on other people to know it for them and most Atheists don't fully understand the religions they choose not to follow. Society chooses to believe the stereotypes of both Atheists and Christians.

    2. Most Christians don't live Christian lives. A good example would be the ones on this post saying non-loving and hateful statements. So that high percentage of Christians think they have it figured out but they clearly don't.

    3. Atheists have figured out that they don't believe in any God or higher being which created life and want to believe that they are in control of their own fates and that life's purpose is no more than what we see in front of us. But they also haven't really figured out anything else beyond that.

    4. Neither Atheist nor Christian can prove the other wrong. They can debate but I as a Christian I cannot prove an Atheist wrong nor can they really prove me wrong. What I can do I show love towards them and all people and hope that they ask me why I am how I am. Then peaceful conversation can happen. Not forceful ones.

    5. Finally, either Atheists are right or Christians are right (other religions could be included in this as well which means we could both be wrong) but we can't both be right. If they are right, then as a Christian that follows true Christian morals I have wasted time that I would have been wasted elsewhere but in that time I found spiritual happiness, loved, became a good person from good morals, and in the end I will never know the difference because there is no life afterwards to reflect or suffer the consequences on. So it really doesn't matter but I was at least a good person. If Christians are right then our actions on earth will be judged and there will be consequences for them after death. I as a Christian, with Gods grace, will hopefully go to heaven and live in bliss for the good life I lived under Gods will. Those that reject Christ/God after being presented with this "truth" would (and I don't mean this to be harsh but if this is truth then this would be true) go to hell and suffer for all time.

    We all have the ability to make choices and we can weigh those out ourselves. I'm a well educated person that has good reason and logic as to why I choose to believe in Christianity (if you want to talk about why I would be more than happy but I'm not trying to convince anyone to be Christian right now). I was at one time a Lutheran then converted to Atheism and am now Catholic. I searched out and spent much time researching both sides and found truth in God. That is all any of us can do and we will either be right or wrong but living good loving lives is a choice we can make either way.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You've got mountains of misconceptions in there. Are you willing to discuss your claims (of which many are erroneous) or are you just a "post-and-run" commenter?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • LinCA

      @stevemanthei

      You said, "I'm a well educated person that has good reason and logic as to why I choose to believe in Christianity (if you want to talk about why I would be more than happy but I'm not trying to convince anyone to be Christian right now)."
      I'd love to know why.

      You said, "I was at one time a Lutheran then converted to Atheism and am now Catholic."
      Isn't that like believing the Easter Bunny lays colored eggs, then not believing the Easter Bunny exists, and then believing the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • snowboarder

      ah yes, the threat of hell. fear is the greatest tool of christianity.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Interesting. I was just this moment contemplating a version of Pascal's wager that I think resonates with your post. If there is a God, and I am philosophically honest, I have an obligation to Him. We may define that duty in the sense of living a good life. If there is no God, what duty do I then have? A moralist would say "You have the same duty as a Christian. To love your neighbor."

      May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, if there is a god, you have no idea if he wants honor or anything else from you. Some version of god might exist and it's not even aware of you and couldn't care less what you do about anything at all, including belief of its existence.

      Pascal's wager is stupid when the god in question is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • hippypoet

      to claim a duty is to claim a job and then there is a tyrannical job creator who only creates to hold power...be a good person by doing what is considered correct to do in whatever respected country you find yourself in. IF god was god then no law against god could be broken nor would there be any laws of man as all laws would come from god – as morals would be from god...they are not. Before this god existed in the historical time line – people still did good and bad. In atheistic societies, there have been good people and bad people. Logically speaking then, morals have nothing to do with belief in any god, the idea that they come from one special one is merely laughable!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      1) Agreed. Many religionists are de facto members of their sects due to how they were raised. As for the atheist perspective, becuase there are countless religions it is nigh impossible to fully understand the mythological minutiae of each and every one.

      2) Most people don't live Christian lives, period. Faith in miracles, virgin births, resurrections and other supernatural chicanery is not necessary to live a life of compassion, charity and humility.

      3) Only the first part of this staetment is accurate. "Atheists have figured out that they don't believe in any God" – and STOP. The prefix 'A' = lack of. 'Theism' = belief in god. A + Theism = lack of belief in gods. Atheism is a negative statement that says only what one does NOT believe. It implies no behaviours, morals, world views or other characteristics whatsoever.

      4) Agreed.

      5) This is Pascal's Wager. Should I try to ensure that I die gloriously in battle so that I can get to Valhalla? If I'm wrong, I've lost nothing, but if I'm right, eternal bliss awaits!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • derp

      "We may define that duty in the sense of living a good life. If there is no God, what duty do I then have? A moralist would say "You have the same duty as a Christian. To love your neighbor."

      Stop the presses.

      Bill Deacon and I agree.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Well you always have the "your stupid" card Cpt. Can't really argue with that can we?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill Deacon
      The problem with that take on Pascal's Wager is that it doesn't take into account the myriad things religionists believe are needed to please God. Not everyone feels that their sole duty as a Christian is to love their neighbour. Pro-lifers who blow up abortion clinics believe they're doing their Christian Duty too....

      May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "If there is a God, and I am philosophically honest, I have an obligation to Him. We may define that duty in the sense of living a good life."

      I don't see how you arrive at this. If a god exists, that does not by itself imply anything other than 'a god exists'. Anything beyond that is speculation if no basis is provided.

      "If there is no God, what duty do I then have? A moralist would say 'You have the same duty as a Christian. To love your neighbor.'

      Again, how do you arrive at this? Some philosophies might say that, but not all and therefore not all philosophically based morals would agree.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think it's consistent Christian theory that since God created us out of love that we belong to him and owe him our worship. Under the scenario that God exists, I can't see anyway around the lower order being not owing a debt to the higher order.

      It is possible that, given no God, man has no duty to a moral life, however one chooses to describe that (I chose love your neighbor). However, if the lack of God eliminates a moral imperative, how cam atheists say that God is not required for moral objectivism?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill Deacon
      Personally, I believe in moral relativism.
      Religion, like people, has evolved based on the laws of Darwinian evolution in that different environments have brought about different religions.
      Effective cooperation is a learned skill and the successful religions recognize this.
      instinctively do that which is least painful. Children do that which is least painful to themselves. Maturity comes when we are able to put aside our own immediate comfort and do that which is least painful for the group. Were it not for our ability to reason this out and cooperate, our species would not survive.
      But it takes a mighty big stick to beat the selfishness out of us! Historically, it has been a God sized stick capable to inflicting unimaginable devastation in this life and the hereafter.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill Deacon
      A good example of the realities of moral relativism is cannibalism.
      Our culture has a very strong cannibalism taboo, but it cannot be "human nature" to feel repulsed by it as virtually every branch of the human species has praticed it at some point in their development.
      The Aztecs believed in transubstantiation. They consumed their human sacrifices in the belief that the dead literally became a part of the God to whom they were given.
      Binerwurs in India ate the sick amongst them to please Kali.
      The Karankawa, an indigenous Texan tribe, ritualistically consumed their enemies to gain their strength.
      The Wari, The Kuru, Fore, Caribs, Fijians, Popayans, Serengipeans, are all fairly modern examples (within the last 500 years).
      Indeed, Christians from the 1st Crusade consumed the fallen Arabs at Maarat.
      Just be thankful that the modern form is limited to wafers and wine!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      "It is possible that, given no God, man has no duty to a moral life"

      You seem to mistake having no "duty" to God for not having a duty to humanity. I would suggest that any moral God would appreciate his creatures being good of their own will than only behaving because they owe him. If you reject the duty we have to one another and replace it with a duty to God, and then your supposed "God" says to kill his enemies (always through a human surrogate) you are actually using the idea of God to be immoral and break the duty you have to your fellow humans.

      The fact is that morality exists in spite of your invented God, not because of.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "I think it's consistent Christian theory that since God created us out of love that we belong to him and owe him our worship."

      That is the Christian "doctrine" perhaps, I'm not sure, but I don't think it's been established that there is an obligation to a supposed creator inherent in the created?

      "Under the scenario that God exists, I can't see anyway around the lower order being not owing a debt to the higher order."

      I think that depends on the system of ethics used. Does a child owe its parent, simply by being born? Some would say, yes, some, no. I think. Did we ask to be created? Did God (supposedly) create us in order that we owe Him?

      "However, if the lack of God eliminates a moral imperative, how cam atheists say that God is not required for moral objectivism?"

      First, just to clarify, Atheism does not speak to morals.
      Second, some atheists of certain philosophical persuasions, might say that objective morals don't exist.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • meifumado

      While you do seem to be intelligent you are off on a few points.
      #1 you say atheists don't really know the religions they choose not to follow, you could not be more wrong with that statement.
      #2 you are on point here ,most Christians do not act very Christ like.
      #3You say atheists have no vision or view for the future, you are wrong again.
      #4While nether can prove the other wrong as of yet there are things to consider, For thousands of years there has been thousands of religions all saying they are they one to believe in, but in all this time there has never been one tiny shred of evidence of anything supernatural.
      #5 your god is a very mean person to damn good people to hell for never hearing of him, why would you follow such evil?
      And last you say you "converted" to atheism? Atheism is not a religion , you do not "convert" to it. You embrace reality.
      The fact that you have gone from one belief to disbelief and back again says something about your mental stability.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Doc, you seem to be making the same argument from the opposite side of the glass that people use to oppose things like gaay marriage. If morality is variable, allowing for gaay marriage, why then is it not variable to the extent we could allow, choose and extreme but still on the continuum of variability, bestiality? If cannibalism has a moral grounding in some cultures then why not move towards the legalization of pedophilia? Are you certain you are willing to live under a completely relative society with no point of moral reference other than what we all agree on?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II you've digressed into questioning the doctrine. I'm asking you to accept the doctrine for this case as is. Once we enter the realm of belief, we may dispute the creeds but we cannot dispute them as an a priori disqualification of them.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,

      I don't think moral relativism means no ethical system what-so-ever. There can be an agreed upon system of ethics to which most participants adhere. This is often called civilization, I think.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • stevemanthei

      I am more than happy to support my claims. I would love to know what you think I am misconceiving and I will explain myself.

      I am not a type and run type person but I do work and I'm squeezing this in between projects so sorry if my replies aren't super quick and if there are errors gramatical and speling-mis 🙂

      I am Christian because science can not disprove God and it never will. This was something that at one point I thought science could do. I believe in cause and effect and that if you follow the line all the way to first cause of all effects that even Lawrence Krauss' "nothing energy" that started the creation of the universe is in fact "something". I believe that we reason and that while we have evolved and have seen things evolve around us we are the only creatures that can reason feelings and emotions beyond instinctual survival. I am mostly speaking of Love. Love is felt universally between all humans and we all know it when we feel it. It is not something we see but it is there. Where did love come from? Christianity teaches that God is love and that love is a grace/gift that he gave us. This could get very theological and I could write a dissertation on this but I'm trying to keep it short. Claims of hunter gatherer societies and evolving to survive explains very little as to why we all seek out and desire purposeful lives, choice and love. Through learning God and the theology behind God I did. I cannot teach everything in a post but I encourage you to fully learn. There are tons of tools that are free and Catechism has answers for all questions regarding the Church.

      As for the Easter Bunny Statement. Youth/forced participation and no ambition to learn –> Science to explain purpose –> realizing it couldn't –> Personal choice of searching for truth. We develop and learn as we go and if we constantly pursue truth the journey will take you other places and deeper understanding. So no and FYI the Easter bunny is a symbol of the Pagan holiday not the Christian Easter of the rising of Christ. This would be the not fully understanding part I was talking about and the Stereotypes that are easy to make fun at.

      I am not threatening anyone with hell but if you read what I wrote, it is only a truth of Christianity if Christianity is right. If you don't believe that and you are right then you have nothing to worry about. There is no threat but only possibilities.

      Pascal's wager is very interesting and goes much deeper than that but yes I agree Bill Deacon. I encourage those refuting it to look into it further. It is a very interesting theory. And Cap.Obvious God taught us his will through acts that can be found in the bible.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      Bill Deacon, I know you are smart enough to see that bestiality and pedophilia have nothing to do with agreed upon morality but have everything to do with agreed upon consent. You cannot sign a binding contract for a business before you are 18. Animals have no ability to consent. This is not a slippery slope issue. If you believe it is then you are a moron and do not understand the issue.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill Deacon
      Morality is not a convenant with God – it is a convenent between humans to allow us to coexist.
      Morality as such has no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals.
      Blame, guilt, responsibility etc. are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else.
      Christ's message of peace, charity, modesty, and forgiveness is relaying the traits most important to develop when living in a society.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon<
      "I'm asking you to accept the doctrine for this case as is."

      Why, I thought your claim was based on logic. I doubt that I'd accept your "doctrine", even if I knew what it was, but regardless it would not necessarily be logical.
      You say that given that a god exists that implies certain things, based on what?

      "Once we enter the realm of belief, we may dispute the creeds but we cannot dispute them as an a priori disqualification of them."

      I didn't think I was. I was asking for the logic in your assumptions, regardless of creed.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      @stevemanthei – "Science to explain purpose"

      If you believe the universe cannot exist without purpose, then please explain your God existing without purpose. Or, if you believe he does have a purpose, please explain who gave him that purpose. If you claim he gave himself his purpose, then what would prevent us from doing the same?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II. I'm with you. There can be a system of ethics on which most agree and adhere to. For 2 billion of us it is the Catholic catechism. Will you join us or are you making up your own system?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Me II you're doing what Steve has claimed people do. You appear not to know enough about basic universal Christian theology to even allow it in a discussion as a description of itself.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      5 billion non-Catholics Bill, let's not make it seem like you are in the majority here. I've studied many religions but none have as long a history of evil and violence mixed with peace and charity than do the Catholics. They are the very last religion I would join with if forced at the point of a sword, which of course is how they got to 2 billion converts. You don't think Mexico and South America just chose to convert en masse do you?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • fintastic

      @steve....... "..I am Christian because science can not disprove God and it never will. .."

      That's an immediate fail Steve.................. how do you prove a negative?... can science disprove leprechauns? ...

      May 30, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon
      " For 2 billion of us it is the Catholic catechism. Will you join us or are you making up your own system?"

      Along with the other ~5 billion, no. thank you.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • stevemanthei

      I believe in Unicorns because science can not disprove them and it never will.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • stevemanthei

      I believe in Santa because science can not disprove him and it never will.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "You appear not to know enough about basic universal Christian theology to even allow it in a discussion as a description of itself."

      I disagree. What I am doing is not accepting the presumptions associated with that theology without evidence or reason. You say that a god's existence implies an obligation to Him. Your doctrine may assume that, but the logic is not apparent, I don't think.

      If I accept your doctrine, then I'm guessing that I would accept your conclusion, provided your logic, after the doctrinal assumptions, is correct.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @stevemanthei

      I appreciate your candor and openness. This discussion board makes it hard to continue a conversation, but I am going to try my best. It would really be better carry this discussion out by private email or something, so perhaps we'll work something out, later.

      I appreciate your reasoning, and you may be surprised to know that up until six years ago (or so) my replies would have been very similar to yours, today. I appreciate your reasoning because it looks so much like mine did less than a decade ago. However, my replies of the past and yours today show an EXTREME misunderstanding and lack of reasoning.

      Let's start small, with your first argument. Here it is, again:

      1. "I am Christian because science can not disprove God and it never will."

      My response:

      1a. That is a horrible argument. Would it be reasonable for a Muslim to say that he was a muslim because science cannot disprove god? Of course not. Just because something cannot be disproved (the tooth fairy) does not mean that a particular type of that thing not disproved must exist. Just because science can't disprove the tooth fairy does not mean that she has purple wings.

      1b. How could science possibly disprove god? There's nothing for science to measure to say anything at all about god. God is invisible and undetectable by any verifiable methods, so there's nothing science can say at all about god. The invisible and undetectable space ship I keep in my garage exists, but because science can't measure it, science can't make any statements at all about it. I just have to have faith that the invisible and undetectable space ship exists.

      1c. If I want other people to believe that I have an invisible and undetectable space ship in my garage, should they have to disprove it or should I have to prove it? Are you justified in disbelief of my invisible and undetectable space ship until I can demonstrate its existence, or should you believe it exists unless you or someone can disprove it? How would you (or anyone else) go about proving that my invisible and undetectable space ship does not exist?

      1d How do you know that science will never disprove god? That's quite a claim, don't you agree?

      .
      .
      2."This was something that at one point I thought science could do"

      2a Why? Science DESCRIBES processes it can detect and measure. Why would you think science could detect that something definitely isn't there? How can anyone say that something isn't there if it isn't?
      .
      .
      3 I believe in cause and effect and that if you follow the line all the way to first cause of all effects that even Lawrence Krauss' "nothing energy" that started the creation of the universe is in fact "something".

      3a. Cause and effect are not so clearly defined at the smallest scales from which all energy and matter derive. But, even if we accept that cause and effect always occur, then that only implies that SOMETHING caused the universe, not any particular type of thing or "god."

      3b You use cause and effect to get to a "god" but then you stop. Why? Why do you clam that all things need a cause except for god? Why do you stop where it's convenient for your belief? If you're just saying that your god doesn't need a cause without any tangible proof, then why not just say that the singularity that began the universe needs no cause?

      May 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Bill

      Pascal's Wager is demonstrably stupid. And yes, I personally have demonstrated that you are stupid. I'll let you know when you say something clever, if I'm responding. Don't worry.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • stevemanthei

      Alright I'm done with this post. I was trying to have civil conversation and it is becoming hateful. Beyond Reason and ridiculousness because you will not take the time to understand but rather bash for the sake of bashing. No it is not a fail and maybe someday when you all realize that maybe there is more beyond what you can see or fathom and use reason beyond the sorry bashing of santa clause and easter bunnies to attack views you will be able to connect and understand people. Atheists could be right. I could be wrong. My reason is something that you will never want to hear because you are only ready to bash. I'm sorry for that so I will no longer waste my time trying.

      @Happy Atheist I do not pretend to comprehend Gods purpose because if I could I would be God. Maybe the Mormons are right and we are becoming the God's of our own universes. God gave us free will so you can create your own purpose and you can certainly try to be a God I'm not going to stop you.

      @fintastic you are write the words that I used are simple and not detailed. Science cannot prove purpose. You all have a sense of purpose and science can not explain that. Purpose and Love and understanding it is what makes us unique so underneath the broad terrible explanation my reason goes much deeper. I am Christian because I believe in Christ. And I believe that I have a purpose. If there isn't something to have purpose for then what is the point having purpose at all?

      @Cpt. Obvious
      I appreciate your openness too and I am always looking for someone to prove me wrong and open my eyes and I am going to truly look into the response you gave me to find truth. I wish that we could swap emails but in light that malicious intent from others could occur I think that might not be a good idea. Thanks for thoughtful and full responses Best of Luck to you in all your endeavors!

      May 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      stevem, is there any way we might continue our discussion?? I could set up a quick gmail account for you to reach me at?

      You're intelligent, and I see a lot of me-ten-years-ago in your thoughtful replies. I'd like to see your point of view and share mine with you? I would really appreciate a reply in the affirmative. ( I agree with you that the responses to you were not appropriate).

      Thanks, stevem. Let me know.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • stevemanthei

      @Cpt. Obvious

      I would be more than happy to continue on a different platform if you want to set something up. I have a lunch meeting for work at noon but I will keep this up to see if you post something.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Cool. I'll set it up and post again in a minute.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • fintastic

      @steve................"Purpose and Love and understanding".............. yes, and NONE of that requires belief in an imaginary being.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Okay, I set up the account with gmail. It's cpt.obveeus@gmail.com

      You might just copy and paste your first reply to me and we can start there.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • LinCA

      @stevemanthei

      You said, "I am Christian because science can not disprove God and it never will."
      The same is true for the Easter Bunny, yet I doubt you believe it is real.

      You said, "This was something that at one point I thought science could do."
      Your premise is wrong. Disproving gods is not in the realm of science. Gods are not part of scientific theories.

      You said, "I believe in cause and effect and that if you follow the line all the way to first cause of all effects that even Lawrence Krauss' "nothing energy" that started the creation of the universe is in fact "something"."
      Your intellectual limitation is no evidence for a creator, let alone the cristian one. Claiming "goddidit" does nothing to resolve the paradox that you claim is your basis for belief. It leaves the question of where this god came from, or who or what designed it.

      You said, "I believe that we reason and that while we have evolved and have seen things evolve around us we are the only creatures that can reason feelings and emotions beyond instinctual survival."
      What makes you think we are the only creatures that are capable of reason? Even here on Earth that is questionable at best.

      You said, "I am mostly speaking of Love. Love is felt universally between all humans and we all know it when we feel it. It is not something we see but it is there. Where did love come from?"
      It's a chemical reaction in the brain that aids survival of the species.

      You said, "Christianity teaches that God is love and that love is a grace/gift that he gave us. This could get very theological and I could write a dissertation on this but I'm trying to keep it short."
      Feel free to make it as long as you want. This page has the remarkable capability of expanding to fit the content. You'll still have to get around the issue of your god being not likely to be real.

      You said, "Claims of hunter gatherer societies and evolving to survive explains very little as to why we all seek out and desire purposeful lives, choice and love."
      Alone, man is a defenseless animal. We have no claws or sharp teeth. We are also pretty slow but nice and meaty. Humans are ideal prey for meat eaters. In groups and intellectual abilities lies strength and species survival. Gods, mythology and religion are artifacts of the intellectual abilities of early humans. The "desire to live purposeful lives" is simply an artifact of religion.

      You said, "Through learning God and the theology behind God I did. I cannot teach everything in a post but I encourage you to fully learn. There are tons of tools that are free and Catechism has answers for all questions regarding the Church."
      Been there, done that, made me an atheist.

      There are far more reasonable explanation for gods than those peddled by religions. Gods are simple man's attempt to explain things not yet understood. The less educated a civilization is, the more gods they need. The more phenomena are explained, the fewer gods are required. As our access to information and education increases, the number of gods will asymptote to zero.

      You said, "As for the Easter Bunny Statement. Youth/forced participation and no ambition to learn –> Science to explain purpose –> realizing it couldn't –> Personal choice of searching for truth."
      Yet you accept a god for which there is equal evidence.

      You said, "We develop and learn as we go and if we constantly pursue truth the journey will take you other places and deeper understanding."
      You claim to be "pursuing truth", yet you gloss over the fact that you are basing all of it on an unsubstantiated assumption.

      You said, "So no and FYI the Easter bunny is a symbol of the Pagan holiday not the Christian Easter of the rising of Christ."
      What the origin of the Easter Bunny is, is irrelevant. I'm fully aware that it has nothing to do with your cult. The point is that it is generally accepted as a non-existing creature, even by people who readily accept the existence of another creature for which there is equal evidence.

      You said, "This would be the not fully understanding part I was talking about and the Stereotypes that are easy to make fun at."
      The misunderstanding appears to be yours. The belief in gods is equally ridiculous as a belief in the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth fairy.

      You said, "I am not threatening anyone with hell but if you read what I wrote, it is only a truth of Christianity if Christianity is right. If you don't believe that and you are right then you have nothing to worry about. There is no threat but only possibilities."
      The issue is that of the difference between possibility and probability. While there is a possibility there is a god like yours, and therefor a possibility there is a hell as you seem to believe, the probability is ridiculously small.

      You said, "Pascal's wager is very interesting and goes much deeper than that but yes I agree Bill Deacon. I encourage those refuting it to look into it further. It is a very interesting theory."
      I've looked into it. Maybe you should, too.

      Pascal's Wager:
      In effect, Pascal's wager states that while we can't know with absolute certainty whether the christian god exists, a rational evaluation should lead to a belief. If having to choose between believing (in the christian god), or not believing, the reward for being correct, and the price for being wrong, tips the balance in favor of believing.

      It says, if you believe and are correct, you will gain heaven, while the price for being wrong is nothing. On the other hand, if you don't believe, it says you will gain nothing for being right, yet lose everything if you are wrong. So, belief results in a win/neutral, and non-belief in a neutral/lose position, tipping the balance clearly in favor of the "belief" position.

      Why Pascal's Wager is a fallacy:
      a) Pascal's Wager assumes that there are only two options.
      b) Pascal's Wager assumes the christian god doesn't care whether someone actually believes, or simply goes through the motions.
      c) Pascal's Wager discounts the price paid for belief before death.
      d) Pascal's Wager vastly overestimates the odds for the reward and the risk of punishment.
      e) Pascal's Wager assumes that someone can will him or herself to believe.

      Positing only two options is ridiculous. There are, of course, thousands of possibilities when it comes to gods. Based on the evidence available for these gods, it is not reasonable to assume one is more likely than any of the others. To increase the odds of a positive outcome of this wager, the believer would have to believe in, and worship, every possible god. Including the ones that haven't been invented yet. Aside from the drain on the available time, it presents the problem that quite a few of these gods are pretty selfish. They frown upon believers believing in other gods. In some religions that is enough to not be eligible for the reward (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      Also, just going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      The price paid for the belief position isn't nothing. It involves going through the rituals, day after day, week after week. It may have severe side effects on physical and mental health. Sex life suffers, too.

      In estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation of risk versus reward is in order.

      Risk is (simplistically) the chance that a negative event occurs, multiplied by the cost of that event. As an example, being hit by a meteorite carries a very high cost (probably death), but since the odds are extremely low, the risk associated with it is low. Similarly, the chance of getting rained on is pretty high, but the cost is very low, representing also a low risk. On the other hand the cost and chances of, and therefore the risk associated with, a traffic accident are high.

      The choice whether to mitigate a risk depends on, among other things, the severity of the risk, the cost of the mitigation and the tolerance of that risk. In the above examples, the cost to mitigate each risk are; exorbitant, low and high, respectively. Methods to reduce or eliminate the risk of meteorite impacts are cost prohibitive and far exceed the risk. An umbrella and a check of the weather forecast effectively mitigate the risk of getting rained on, and is easily worth the cost. Car crashes, and their after-effects are mitigated to various degrees by expensive technology (from street surface technology to driver training, airbags and traction control). People bear those costs to their financial ability and tolerance for the risk.

      A similar reasoning applies to reward. The choice whether to pursue a reward is guided by the perception value of the reward, the perception of the odds of gaining the reward and the cost to pursue it.

      In the belief versus non-belief question, believers tend to irrationally overestimate both the reward for belief, and the risk associated with non-belief.

      If someone doesn't already believe there is a god, a threat of this non-existing gods judgment is very unlikely to yield any results.

      May 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    Every age of mankind has known its fair share of atheistic perspectives – but has there ever been a movement for them, not against them? I can't think of one. For once cnn actually presents new worthy material. Bravo!

    Now, with every movement there are those that are bandwagon followers. Perhaps they love groups or whatever – who cares...they are the ones who you won't see in the next picture of these folks in 2 months – but they do serve a purpose. While this movement is in full swing I say we write some laws that hold true to the most sacred notion this country was founded upon – SECULAR foundations. I for one propose a law barring religion and religious beliefs from office. Take a page from Roger Williams and make the country as he made his state – separate! Using Roger Williams and the Treaty of Tripoli as grounds and reasoning for the creation and presentation of the proposed law. Let it not effect the states on their levels of government but rather only effect the federal government and how they govern the states thereby leaving intact the original premise this nation was found on, each state having the ability and right to be able to government itself. Granted, the states now a days relay too much on federal funding, money is an evil for another conversation.

    For more on societal evils and corruptions to mankind and our impact on the planet – come visit me at https://www.facebook.com/PoeticAtheism

    May 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  11. Martin

    More anti-religion propaganda from CNN.

    Atheists are becoming the Jehovah's Witnesses of the Left.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • sam stone

      what makes you think that athiests are leftists?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • fintastic

      When was the last time an atheist knocked on your door?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • meifumado

      The left?

      All atheists are different, not all are liberal when it comes to politics.

      Also as far as I know atheists dont go door to door pushing their views on others.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You've had atheists showing up on your doorstep asking to come in and discuss the "truth" of atheism? Because to me it seems like with CNN, YOU have to read a t I tle, click a link or two, read the article, find the comment box, type a reply, click the post button, and another step or two I've missed. Did some atheist force you to do all that? Do you understand the function of the "9-1-1" response?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Martin

      When was the last time atheist trolls spammed a discussion thread?
      Or maybe I should ask when was the last time atheists did not spam a discussion thread.
      No matter what the subject.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • lol??

      Somebody knocked on yer door? Poor thing. Deluged with internet advertisements from the atheistic Madison Avenue, tryin' to stir up coveting??

      May 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Brad

      Martin can't read. How is it antireligion propaganda to report that 75 percent of Americans want the US to be more religious? Also I'll point out that the policies of the most popular economic conservatives mirror the teachings of atheist Anne Rand.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Martin

      Strange gimmick - "they don't knock on your door."
      No. But they turn every thread into a discussion on religion no matter what the original subject.
      Even the Moore tornado became a platform for religion bashing.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • sam stone

      "But they turn every thread into a discussion on religion no matter what the original subject."

      Really? In a Belief Blog? The nerve of them...

      May 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • sam stone

      Martin: And theists made the Moore tragedy a forum to blame folks not accepting (their version of) god

      May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • derp

      "No. But they turn every thread into a discussion on religion no matter what the original subject"

      Really? They turn topics posted on the "Belief Blog" into a discussion on religion?

      How dare they?

      My scrotum is smarter than you.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  12. Joseph

    you've got it backwards.Religion lost Americans

    May 30, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  13. lol??

    Observer sayz,

    "If Christians ACTUALLY cared about sin, they'd be picking on their own adulterers instead of gays since there are FAR FAR MORE Christian adulterers. It's all pick-and-choose HYPOCRISY."

    The Beast has usurped God in the marriage business and rewards adultery. Look at Charlie Sheen and Tom Cruise. Ripe for the pickin's. Don't forget Anna Nicole Smith.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  14. Bill Deacon

    Is the guy with the "Impeach God" sign an atheist or an agnostic?

    May 30, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • JRNY

      Probably Agnostic because we still believe there's something out there, and yes, I'd say "Impeach God" as well. The current one has been in office way too long and he's been doing a bad job for ages. Besides, we hardly ever see him...for how many thousands of years now?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • illusive

      They are not mutually exclusive
      Theism and Atheism have to do with belief
      Gnosticism and agnosticism have to do with knowledge
      Most atheists are both AKA "Agnostic Atheist"..meaning "I don't believe god(s) exists, but I can't know for sure"

      May 30, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So your problem is that, given that God might exist, he doesn't answer to you?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, could you explain your reasoning? I read the thread, and there's no way you could get that from any of the replies. ARe you aware of how stupid you sound so much of the time?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • JRNY

      Bill, is English your second language? "He doesn't answer to you?" First of all, I'd like to recall that poll done last year that showed how intelligent people were less likely to follow a religion.
      People don't need a god to answer them...I don't. But I also don't need a silly book to define who I am and who I should be, when it was written (by men, not a god) over a thousand years ago. Does that make sense to you at all?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Cpt. Obvious : there's no way you could get that from any of the replies.

      Let me break it down for you:

      "The current one has been in office (i.e. given that God might exist)".

      "we hardly ever see him (i.e. he doesn't answer to you)".

      May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think I understand English. If I had an employee who had been in office too long, was doing a bad job by my estimation and hadn't been heard from in a while, I would think he was answerable to me before I could terminate him. Do you understand the difference between a creator and a creation?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • JRNY

      @ live4her....I'm agnostic, not atheist, but since I tried to explain it to you before, we believe in a power, just not a god that needs to be worshipped. Trying your best to trip me up...you silly little rascal you.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Let's see how this logic works

      Agnostic human: There may be a power (let it be called God)
      If God exist, he is by definition a higher order being than me
      I judge evidence of power management by this power from my perspective
      I presume to dismiss this higher order power some people call God
      I elevate myself to his superior

      Agnostic ant: Perhaps there are humans
      Some ants I know get squashed
      Humans must be bad
      The humans must go so all ants can be free
      Ants are greater than humans

      May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • ME II

      Either, it's satire!
      And not meant to be semantically analyzed.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      LIve4Him

      Observation does not equal responsibility, dipsh!t.

      'Hardly see it" means: It is invisible and undetectable. We have no idea if it exists because there's nothing to verify existence; there's nothing to measure.

      "answerable to me" means: Must do as I say and perform to my approval. An employee is "answerable" to his boss.

      The two phrases say express COMPLETELY different meanings, but this is the point. You christards are so quick to twist meanings of phrases in your book and by your leaders so that they "match" and really aren't opposite ideas that you do it in daily practice and start sc re wing up your logic in real life. Chrisitnatiy has brain damaged you and Bill, and the two of you just proved that, together. Nice job!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Agnostic does not mean "there may be a God", technically it means "we/i don't know if there is a god".

      Ants, if capable of reason (doubtful), have reason and evidence of the existence of humans. (I've been bitten often enough anyway) and therefore are not agnostic because they would know.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, you'd have to make sense before you can claim there's any "logic" involved. Try making your writing clear, and then we'll work on logical constructions versus illogical constructions. Anybody can just whack the keyboard with the backs of their hands like you do.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      To call yourself Cpt Obvious you seem extremely obtuse.

      If the guy with the sign is atheist he's an idiot. You can't impeach a being that doesn't exist

      If he's an agnostic he's still an idiot. He provides the possibility of an all powerful the master of the universe but then presumes to indiict him.

      And you wonder why we think you folks aren't as smart as you say you are.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II I know the definitions but here is what JRNY said : "we still believe there's something out there"

      May 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Yep, that's about your typical reply, Bill, when you realize you can't answer my questions without exposing your error or hypocrisy. I'll be looking forward to the next go 'round with you.

      I'd say your poor reasoning and twisted perspectives are reprentative of the average Christian.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • AntEater50000

      He's clearly being facetious.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • ME II

      @JRNY,
      " we still believe there's something out there,"

      That would not be agnostic, I don't think.

      @Bill Deacon,
      "If the guy with the sign is atheist he's an idiot. You can't impeach a being that doesn't exist"

      He is being satirical, ironic. By claiming a piratical approach to a imaginary problem he is focusing people's attention on the absurdity of the situation.

      It's funny, what else do you need.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Cpt. I think I explained my reasoning and I think the fact the one or two agnostics get it validates that. Sorry you don't. Perhaps your comprehension is drowned out by your invective.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, I'm sorry that you're too stupid to realize that observation and responsibility are two different things. Another poster discussed how something was not observable, and your reply ONLY discussed responsibility. Again, sorry.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  15. Veronica

    Thank god!!

    May 30, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • fintastic

      Thank Darwin!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • illusive

      Thank Science!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • derp

      Thank Me!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  16. Martin

    Once again CNN tries to distort religion statistics. The question was simply about the influence of religion in America. But they spin it into anti-religion propaganda.
    They've done this before. They took Pew Research's 16% "unaffiliated" statistic and tried to attach them to atheism even though the 16% were people not atheists or agnostics but not affiliated with a particular religion.
    Anti-religion people can be very deceitful. A kind of mirror image of fundies.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • JRNY

      Martin, why are you reading CNN if you are so against the articles they post? Why do you need to defend religion? To go so far as to say that people are anti-religion is silly. Maybe the world is changing and outgrowing the need for a deity. Pretty simple really.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  17. Ken

    Another CNN lie. God rules

    May 30, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      god is a myth

      May 30, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Veronica

      God may rule YOU, bud, but not ME. And I'm a better person for it.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • fintastic

      You're right! Zeus rules!

      May 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  18. Vic

    Folks, this is an opinion poll as opposed to actual reading!

    Also, the t i t l e is misleading at best! It is exaggerated! The opinion poll is about Religion losing its influence in America as opposed to America losing its religion!

    At any rate, the vast majority of Americans still BELIEVE in God!

    Here is what I really believe is happening:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/16/end-times-for-doomsday-linked-radio-network/comment-page-1/#comment-2343757

    May 30, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Wilson

      This poll is irrelevant!!!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      Wow, I actually agree with you.

      A better ti.tle might have been "Poll: America thinks it's losing its religion"

      May 30, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • derp

      "the vast majority of Americans still BELIEVE in God!"

      And the vast majority of Americans are also pretty stupid.

      What is your point?

      The vast majority of Egyptians believed in Ra.

      Were they right?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      But the numbers of believers are declining in record numbers. And xtians are declining the fastest. This is good news for Americans and the human race in general.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • JRNY

      @ ME II....in the corner...here I am...losing my religion. Oh well.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • ME II

      p.s. However I do not agree with the linked comment.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • ME II

      @JRNY,
      Just agreeing that this was an "opinion" poll, nothing else.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • JRNY

      @ ME II no worries, I wasn't attacking you, just reminded me of that song when you said, "losing religion."

      May 30, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Science

      Hey Vic............check it out the blood sample .

      http://billpringle.com/home/news.html

      May 30, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Len

      Vic
      How would you ever get an actual reading? Ask on a census? Fat chance of getting an honest answer when the guy asking you the questions at your door goes to church with you. How do you admit that you don't actually believe?

      Ask people in churches to raise their hands if they really do believe in God? I got news for you, up until a few years ago I would have been on a pew raising my hand along with everyone else simply because I was afraid what would happen if I didn't. Chances are most churches have plenty of people like I was, and some people you think are believing Christians don't actually believe at all.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • sam stone

      people are tired of religious fvcks trying to legislate their silliness

      May 30, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Vic

      @Len "....."

      I agree! I have been saying forever that such surveys CAN NOT really capture the actual demographics of personal convictions, especially, in the Academia and the Scientific Community; therefore, they are rendered inaccurate! A lot of people refrain from publicly disclosing their personal convictions, either way, given their social setting!

      Therefore, IMHO, the only true reflection left is Stats of Voting on Issues!

      May 30, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • .

      Vic = Chad

      May 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Vic

      I respect everyone; everyone is their own person! I am my own Vic.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Len

      Vic
      What do you think those Stats are telling you? States are legalizing same se x marriage at a rapid rate, for example. Doesn't that indicate that people are actually not voting according to fundamentalist Christian belief?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Vic

      @Len "....."

      Absolutely! That's what the Voting on Issues Stats are saying! I believe the fundamentalist stand needs reformation, and I believe that's already happening:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/16/end-times-for-doomsday-linked-radio-network/comment-page-1/#comment-2343757

      May 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Vic

      @Len "....."

      Absolutely! That's what the Voting on Issues Stats are saying! I believe the fundamentalist stand needs reformation, and I believe that's already happening:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/16/end-times-for-doomsday-linked-radio-network/comment-page-1/#comment-2343757

      However, I have a different view on the same-s e x marriage issue! I believe it is a Natural Issue rather than Religious! I don't have a problem with Civil Unions!

      May 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Len

      Vic
      Nope! It's a religious belief that marriage is somehow a religious inst.itution, and that religious authority has the say as to who can marry when we all know that civil law presides over that. The same civil law that we all democratically have a say in and which applies to us all, not just Christians.

      May 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  19. mama k

    Bill Moyers recently interviewed Daniel Dennett, an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, science & biology. He is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. Watch the video at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeQXmYVamA

    Dennett says that not for all, but for many, the dangerous thing about religion is that "it gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking."

    Do yourself a favor and watch all of Dr. Dennett's lectures available on youtube. They are excellent.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  20. Fundies Gone Wild! They are panicking!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM&w=640&h=360]
    = = =

    May 30, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Science

      Rugrats from Alia Shawkat

      May 30, 2013 at 10:11 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.