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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. Really-O?

    To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

    May 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • House of Gord

      Thank you for your opinion. Someone at sometime somewhere might care one day. At least your faith in this gives you hope.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • @chad

      Right back at ya HOG

      May 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • House of Gord

      Same at you, whatever you are.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Alias

      Why would you say 'no other reason is needed'?
      It is very bad science to discard part of the evidence.
      1) The bible is flawed,
      2) Christians generally do not follow their own faith adequately to be saved by their own god.
      3) Corruption within the churches strongly suggests that they are running a scam.
      4) Chad is a retard
      4) Bill Duncan cannot put forth a logical arguement for the existence of any god, or the selection of the christian god.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • snopes says

      Assertion by Really-O? is true.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Snopes says

      ...nothing on this subject.

      O's opinion on acceptance of something is only an opinion. His opinion.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      My argument for the existence of God? I'll defer to C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and G.K. Chesterton. When you are able to refute them, you might have my attention. Rather than argue his existence, I prefer to experience it. If it is the experience of God you seek, I recommend you exhaust all worldly attempts to find solace and grace then find yourself in a confessional, after which, I recommend the mass.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Snopes.com

      Claim: To date, there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim that the god of Israel exists. None. No other reason is needed for suspension of acceptance of the hypothesis.

      :mrgreen: TRUE

      May 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Snopes says

      That smiley faces are not evidence to the contrary.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  2. Reality

    "More than three in four of Americans say religion is losing its influence in the United States,...."

    And why is that? Let us count the ways, #10 (see also pp. 1, 9, 37, 46, 50, 53, 58, 64 and 66)

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

    May 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • House of Gord

      You are an idiot.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 11:20

      Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

      Amen.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Reality

      You might want to re-read the comments i.e. tis about 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis and how they concluded that to the best of knowledge, Abraham and Moses did not exist. So your debate is with them.

      "The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. It closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.[1]"

      May 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Thank God! It's about time people woke up!

    May 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Vic

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/29/poll-america-losing-its-religion/comment-page-51/#comment-2378819

      May 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I completely agree.

      The persistent use of variations on the theme of 'tard here applied to the religious or to anyone else is juvenile and unnecessary.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – my post here is completely out of context. I don't even know how that happened.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  4. Paul "Barry" Karn

    I need you in my life, Jesus. I can't live without you, Jesus.
    And I just want to feel you deep inside me, Jesus.

    Don't ever leave me, Jesus. I couldn't stand to see you go.
    My heart would simply snap, my Lord, if you walked on out that door.
    I promise I'll be good to you, and keep you warm at night.
    Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, why don't we just... shut off the lights.

    I love you, Jesus, I want you to walk with me.
    I'll take good care of you baby. Call you my baby, baby!
    You died for my sins, and you know that I would die for you, right?
    What's the matter, baby? You tremble at Jesus, baby! Your love, is my life!
    You'ld know when I talk too, there's a blackhole in my life! Ooooh!
    I want'a believe, it's alright, cause I get lonely in the night and it's up to you to save me, Jesus, baby!

    May 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That episode was just on again this past Wednesday... still hilarious.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  5. Two pher

    I'm ugly AND dumb...

    May 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    education and the internet are killing religion. knowledge and fact-checking are the dread enemies of the church.

    May 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  7. JRNY

    America isn't necessarily converting to Atheism so much as just leaving behind the church buildings that house people that have a lot of anger, bigotry and hatred. It's 2013 and humanity is tired of hearing about h*ll and how bad they are when living can be difficult enough. There was another article on here that mentioned that heaven isn't even taught in churches...of course not: Religion rules through fear. THAT is why America is losing it's religion.

    May 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Vic

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

      May 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Matthew 23

      Amen.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  8. CLAUDIA

    WE SHOULD NOT LEAVE GOD OUT, HE IS OUR CREATOR, DONT GET HIM OUT OF YOUR LIFE,NOTHING CAN GIVE YOU HAPPINESS AND PEACE, WE NEED HIS PROTECTION IN USA, WE NEED TO TAKE TIME W/CHILDREN, PARENT TO PRAY FOR OUR CONTRY. WE NEED IT ..

    May 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Which god are you reffering to and why would he prefer America over another country?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      Now that I left my Church I spend my Sunday mornings at the park with my daughter. I have never felt happier.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • JRNY

      WOW YOU SURE ARE SHOUTING LOUD!

      May 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Shouting it won't make it true. God has never been part of your country because there is no evidence that it exists (outside of your buybull). Children need to be raised to question things not just blindly accept them.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      thor could kick the cr@p out of yahweh.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Claudia – NO

      May 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • CLAUDIA

      THE BIBLE DOESN'T SAY TO TURN OF THE ALLCAPS KEY, SO I DON'T! ONLY ATHEISTS KNOW HOW TO TURN OFF THAT KEY! THAT'S WHY THEY ARE ALL GOING TO HELL!

      May 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      That's as plausible as anything else I hear from most religions, CLAUDIA.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      spend a lot of time on your knees, do you claudia?

      May 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  9. ME II

    [repost from p61 at time of posting]
    @Chad,
    "Does someone have to know that what they are doing is wrong, to be held accountable for doing it?
    actually, no, they dont"

    "Moral responsibility is the status of morally deserving praise, blame, reward, or punishment for an act or omission, in accordance with one's moral obligations. Deciding what if anything is morally obligatory is a principle concern of ethics.
    People who have moral responsibility for an action are called moral agents."

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_responsibility)

    "Moral agency is an individual's ability to make moral judgments based on some commonly held notion of right and wrong and to be held accountable for these actions.[1] A moral agent is 'a being who is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong.'[2]"
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_agents)

    Moral/ethical responsibility and accountability, I think, requires some knowledge of right and wrong in order to have the "ability to make moral judgments based on some commonly held notion of right and wrong", e.g. KOGAE.

    ======
    "It's quite a well established legal rule even now in our society: 'ignorance of the law is no excuse'"

    the Explanation section of that link:
    "The rationale of the doctrine is that if ignorance were an excuse, a person charged with criminal offenses or a subject of a civil lawsuit would merely claim that he or she is unaware of the law in question to avoid liability, even though the person really does know what the law in question is. Thus, the law imputes knowledge of all laws to all persons within the jurisdiction no matter how transiently. Even though it would be impossible, even for someone with substantial legal training, to be aware of every law in operation in every aspect of a state's activities, this is the price paid to ensure that willful blindness cannot become the basis of exculpation. Thus, it is well settled that persons engaged in any undertakings outside what is common for a normal person, such as running a nuclear power plant, will make themselves aware of the laws necessary to engage in that undertaking. If they do not, they cannot complain if they incur liability.
    The doctrine assumes that the law in question has been properly published and distributed, for example, by being printed in a government gazette, made available over the internet, or printed in volumes available for sale to the public at affordable prices."

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignorantia_juris_non_excusat)

    It's is no excuse if the law is adequately available. That obviously was not the case with Adam and Eve and the tree of KOGAE.

    May 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    Funny how the ancients knew that religion would lose it's grip on the mind of the masses. They knew a day would come when we would be 'worldly' and more aware of our surroudings. The age of the 'invisibles' will fade. We need each other in the end, no matter what. There will always be some type of religious view, but it must mature. Humans...... we are infants in the cosmos. But we will grow strong. If you ask me, "Are you a man of faith?" I will now respond, "yes." Because I have faith in us. Godspeed, everyone. Live well.

    May 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  11. billy

    Why does god need so much money? Why do the people collecting the money for god drive such nice cars and live
    in big and beautiful houses?

    May 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      Apparently God helps those who help themselves to your money...

      May 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      What does God need with a starship?

      May 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  12. Heretic

    Religion must be ridiculed!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QJO6zC3r5I&w=640&h=360]

    May 31, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  13. laurab68

    I'm sorry, but I will never believe in God. It makes no logical sense. I cannot believe in some invisible immortal being creating everything we see around us both in the sky and here on Earth. I also don't believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost or Santa Claus, but if they were written into the Bible and they were taught to be the truth by every Minister, Priest and Pastor for hundreds of years, you'd believe whole heartedly in them too.
    I believe in what I can see with my own eyes and my logical nature. I believe in the Big Bang, I believe in evolution, I believe in what I can see, touch, taste, smell and from what evidence exists to prove it. I don't believe in invisible omnipotant beings and fairy tales.

    May 31, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      God's invisible and undetectability are so pervasive as to render his existence irrelevant.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • billy

      Oh cmon, please leave the tooth fairy out of this he left me money when I was young for every tooth I left under my pillow.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  14. lol??

    It's obvious the A&A's expertise with fire will continue for a looooong time. They've already set up so many flammable strawmen that explode in their faces that they don't ever have to shave. Must be why they like those bearded wonders from the Frankfurt School.

    May 31, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • roflmo??

      try some real faith there lol??. Close your eyes and pray God keeps you safe as you walk across the nearest interstate.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • midwest rail

      And lol??/faith/GaveThemUp now accuses non-believers of constructing straw men. Hilariously hypocritical, coming from the king/queen of straw.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Yes, Blessed – very hypocritical of the lol?? dingbat. They've always had to just keep stockpiling straw since they've never known exactly how much they needed to outfit Solomon's stables.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Excuse me, 'yes, midwest', not 'yes, Blessed'.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • lol??

      Sorry, your votes won't count. They'll just burn, being a straw poll and all.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • EnjaySea

      If someone requires proof before they believe something to be true, it does not follow that they are also Marxists. You've invented that association, then complained about your invented association.

      That's the definition of a straw-man argument.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Karl Marx was the creator of the theory of materialism. Materialism represented a revolution in human thought, and a break from previous ways of understanding the underlying basis of change within various human societies. The theory shows what Marx called a "coherence" in human history, because each generation inherits the productive forces developed previously and in turn further develops them before passing them on to the next generation. Further that this coherence increasingly involves more of humanity the more the productive forces develop and expand to bind people together in production and exchange.

      This understanding counters the notion that human history is simply a series of events, either without any underlying cause or caused by supernatural beings or forces exerting their will on society.

      So it's not much of a stretch from Marx through materialism to atheism.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Marx's theoretical atheism is the consequence of three postulates: 1) metaphysical or dialectical materialism which considers matter as the supreme and unique cause of everything;

      2) historical materialism, according to which the economic factor is the principal and decisive factor, and the economic structure is the carrying structure of all the other structures that compose society;

      3) absolute humanism, which sets man at the summit of the cosmos: man is the supreme being.

      Not hard to see why communism is considered Godless

      May 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bill, From Wikipedia
      "During the 19th century, Karl Marx extended the concept of materialism to elaborate a materialist conception of history centered on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced, or destroyed by that activity"

      May 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      What crap. Somehow christards seem to think calling atheists Marxists is of some kind of detrimental significance. The irony is that most christards don't even know what Marxism is in the first place, but yet they try to use it to insult us. Hahaha...

      May 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • interesting...

      This is an interesting argument: "Why Marx was not an Atheist"

      http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/atheism.htm

      May 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Okay, Bill, you've presented a coherent argument which describes how Karl Marx arrived at atheism. I've arrived at it via a different path, but as you suggest, there are some similarities.

      The derogatory "bearded" comment from lol??, however doesn't come close to the reasoned argument you made. He's just equating atheists with "pinko commies", whereas you're carefully describing the foundations of humanism.

      My comment was directed at his hateful comment. And I maintain the privilege to call people on their hateful comments, while still agreeing with everything you said. Fair enough?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Bill, except that atheism was around long before Marxism. There have been atheists in Indian, Greek, African and other cultures stretching back thousands of years, only some of which were materialists and none of which were Marxists. I have Buddhist, Hindu and pagan friends and aquaintences all of whom are atheists and only a few of whom could be classed as materialists. I have other atheist friends who are materialists and others who have their own unlabeled views of reality. I even know a few old fashioned Marxist atheists...and a few who consider themselves Marxists yet believe in god (these are anovelty I met in the US south).

      It's a very simplistic cold war mentality that lumps Marxism and atheism together as a single idea.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • JMEF

      So Bill the coward returns without addressing the points made on page 66? Typical behaviour for Bill cut and run. Ignore this piece of crap.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • @chad

      @Bill
      If it's okay for you to label an entire group of people based on the actions of one person, or even a small group of people, then it's safe to say that all Catholics are child molesters. How many children have you defiled today Bill? Any big plans for the weekend?

      May 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't understand why it's important for people to call each other names during these discussions. If you have an argument that counters someone else's, then counter it.

      Insulting your opponent doesn't endear that person to your message.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • JMEF

      Enjay Sea
      If someone shows them self to be a coward day after day, Bill, or a liar day after day, Chad, I would consider it to be a public service to point that out.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      But JMEF, it's so easy to argue against someone who's making faulty arguments. I'm just saying, all it requires to counter weak arguments (or lies, or cheap shots, as you describe them), is simple, over-the-counter common sense.

      It's like shooting fish in a barrel. You don't have to yell at the fish while you're shooting them down. Just a simple pull of the trigger will do.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What I don't understand is the entiitlement you feel to demand that I keep up with a rolling blog and respond to every tangential remark you make. Your not really interested in the topics at hand but steer every debate back to some scandalous behavior of some priest in a country I don't even live in simply as an excuse to attack me for being a Catholic at the expense of disregarding my arguments. NJC is correct, when you leave the argument in favor of the personal attack, you eliminate any hope of understanding between the two sides.

      Sara, I didn't claim Mark invented atheism. I posted quotes that show his social theories are buttressed by atheism. Secondly, I don't lump all atheists into the communist camp but I think a case could be made that one cannot be a dedicated communist without reliance on the materialistic atheism at its root.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      It is, however, possible to be an atheist without embracing materialism, or communism.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Big plans? Yes. This weekend is my birthday. I plan on volunteering a the local hospital like I do every first weekend of the month along with the billion or so other Catholics who are not child molesters and then a nice motorcycle ride out to the country with some friends for a candlelight vigil supporting the community of West, Texas.

      What about you?

      May 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's possible to be an atheist and be anything, or nothing NJ. That's the hole card atheist have. Collectively they aren't "for" anything. You can't pin them down on anything except the one thing they all agree they are against. It's why atheism is a divisive creed and intrinsically a negative statement.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Any group that disagrees with another group, creates a division. All I'm doing is withholding belief in something for which no evidence has ever been presented. My disagreement with you isn't any more odious than your disagreement with me.

      A division isn't cause by one side, it's created by virtue of there being two sides.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Also, Bill, happy birthday.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thanks!

      May 31, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • lol??

      Burn baby, burn. While yer at it, burn yer bras.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • BTW, There Is No Santa Claus!!

      People keep saying about those of us who are Santa deniers "You can't pin them down on anything except the one thing they all agree they are against. It's why anti-Santas are a divisive creed and intrinsically a negative statement."

      I just didn't realize that adult Christians were such big babies that they can't stand to be told their beloved fat man in the red suit doesn't exist.

      Why don't we promote our own fat man, maybe in blue you ask? Why aren't we positively pushing our own holiday to b ast ardize into some corporate feeding frenzy each year? Merry Babe the Blue Ox day! Would that be a more positive message then just Santa doesn't exist? Why do we have to replace him with something else? Why did we need Santa again? Oh, thats right, to lie to kids to get them to behave... sounds an awful lot like another imaginary figure I've heard about...

      May 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  15. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    What is more interesting to me is that this survey says that 20% of Americans still see religion as increasing it's influence.

    My instinct here (and it is supported by the data, though the conclusion cannot be exactly derived) is that this splits largely on the affilliated / unaffilliated lines. 80% are affilliated, 20% are unafflilliated.

    So in the end, this survey measures very little. Those who are religious perceive a waning influence of religion. Those who are not religious, see an increasing influence of religion.

    Duh.

    May 31, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Saraswati

      What's interesting is hoe the numbers correlate with actual drops historically.

      If you look at the data it seems to me the religious and non (or less) religious answered similarly, with the less religious answering slightly higher on whether religion was losing influence:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/162803/americans-say-religion-losing-influence.aspx

      May 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  16. Topher

    "If you say, 'Well, OK, I don't believe in God. There's no evidence of God,' then you're missing the stars in the sky and you're missing the sunrises and sunsets and you're missing the fact that the bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together.”

    Stephen King

    May 31, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Daniel

      Steve is welcome to his opinion, but I don't think most atheists are "missing" those things at all, they just are not so lazy as to attribute every working aspect of this amazing universe to the "X" factor of God. They would rather continue the research and follow it wherever it may lead.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Durundal

      bahahaha, WHAT?!?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • JMEF

      Which god, Topher, Dionysus was one kick ass god that I wish was still around.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Vic

      "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?"

      "The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?"

      "If we do discover a complete theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people be able to take part in the discussion of why we and the universe exist."

      Stephen Hawking

      May 31, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • ME II

      Understanding how the stars, sunsets, and biology really work actually increases one's sense of awe and wonder.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Topher

      Daniel

      What if there's more to it than just "being lazy" and simply saying "God did it." What if there's reason to believe there had to be a Creator?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher

      JMEF

      So you believe in Dionysus?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • ME II

      "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," he writes. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

      "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." – Stephan Hawking (as quoted at http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/02/stephen-hawking-big-bang-creator)

      May 31, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      Just interested in how many creation myths have you read other than the bible one? There are many and the one closest to a scientific explanation is in the Hindu religious tomes.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Topher

      ME II

      So wait, Stephen Hawking believes nothing created everything (a scientific impossibility)? And he believes an effect can also be its own cause (another impossibility)?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Topher

      JMEF

      I've read a few, but its been awhile. What does that one say and why is it better?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • HotAirAce

      If I want to read fiction, especially a good supernatural horror story, I read King (and other fiction writers).

      If I want to understand the universe and science, I read Hawking, Dawkins, Krauss (and other scientists).

      I don't read fiction (such as The Babble) to understand science.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Daniel

      Anyone who has settled on an answer without all the facts is lazy. Period.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Topher

      As we just learned, Hawking believes everything came from nothing. Dawkins believes we come from space aliens. I'm glad these men have as much faith as I do.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, how many scientists, not from Liberty University or its ilk, claim that Darwin, Hawking, Dawkins, Krauss, etc. are completely wrong? How many credible scientists conclude their scholarly papers with "my god did it!"?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Topher

      Daniel

      I COMPLETELY agree.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Topher. Hawking, Krauss and others are demonstrating that it is scientifically plausible that something can come from nothing, thus scientifically possible. Counter intuitive yes, but intuition isn't all it's cracked up to be.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      Read the article, or better yet some of Hawking's books.

      Is "something from nothing" really a "scientific impossibility" ? What basis do you have for that?

      I think one approach is that virtual particles come into existence in paired opposites which doesn't change the total energy/matter level in the universe. Hypothetically, at a universal level this might explain the estimated total energy level of the universe being nearly zero, i.e. the Big Bang singularity was a virtual particle. (I'm sure I oversimplified this completely, just food for thought.)

      May 31, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Topher

      Secular Humanist from Ohio

      "Hawking, Krauss and others are demonstrating that it is scientifically plausible that something can come from nothing, thus scientifically possible. Counter intuitive yes, but intuition isn't all it's cracked up to be."

      How are they demonstrating this? If you have nothing, how can that turn into something? Where else is that demonstrated in nature?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Dawkins believes we come from space aliens"

      This is a gross misrepresentation. The video clip usually referenced for such claims was a response to a specific question, not a statement of what Dawkins thinks actually happened. This was a fake-u-mentary film by supporters of ID and thoroughly discredited at http://www.expelledexposed.com/

      May 31, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Is "something from nothing" really a "scientific impossibility" ? What basis do you have for that?"

      Isn't it? Can you ... or anyone, for that matter ... create for me a mere grain of sand without starting with something?

      And even the Big Band singularity (if you believe in that) was SOMETHING. It wasn't "nothing." Where did it come from?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      I think virtual particle creation and disappearance is evidenced by Caisemer effect experiments, but I may be mistaken.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • ME II

      should be
      "Casimir effect"

      May 31, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Dawkins did not say life on earth is because of space aliens. He agreed that it was possible because it is impossible to rule out every possible cause. Believers think they caught Dawkins in some fantastic trap but are too stupid to understand Dawkins gave the answer any responsible scientist would give, to the question asked. What do you think Dawkins' answer would be if asked "What is the probability space aliens populated life here?" I think it would be very similar to his estimation of the probability that some, as yet unproven, god created everything.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Can you ... or anyone, for that matter ... create for me a mere grain of sand without starting with something?"

      Lack of ability does not equate to impossibility.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Topher

      ME II

      Have you watched "Expelled"? Pretty sure it's on YouTube. I'm not a fan of the ID movement, but it's still worth watching. If not for what Dawkins says alone.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Topher, person can explain a process (perform science) without being able to reproduce that process. For example, many mechanics know how a combustible engine works but are not able to build an engine from "scratch."

      Just because science can explain how species evolve or how clouds of dust produce a star does not mean that it can recreate these events; however, it does provide us information by which we can generate similar conditions to evoke similar results. (See topomac generators that, in essence, made a tiny "star" inside an electromagnetic containment field).

      May 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @HotAirAce,
      " I think it would be very similar to his estimation of the probability that some, as yet unproven, god created everything."

      Actually, the aliens hypothesis is probably higher, but I'd guess that neither would be calculable.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, you really need to watch or read "A Universe from Nothing" by Krauss. I think you committed to reading it previously. If yes, did you? By your questions, I think not.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Lack of ability does not equate to impossibility."

      I agree, but if I were to make that same statement about God, I'd get torched here.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Should be "tokamak."

      May 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Aliens did it: 0.0000... very large number of zeroes ...1
      God did it: 0.0000... larger very large number of zeroes ...1

      I must believe aliens did it!

      May 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Topher

      Cpt. Obvious

      "(A) person can explain a process (perform science) without being able to reproduce that process"

      But then it doesn't meet the definition of testable and repeatable?

      "For example, many mechanics know how a combustible engine works but are not able to build an engine from "scratch." "

      Exactly right. You can't make something from nothing.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Your quote is echoing the illogical supposition: "God created everything. We can see everything. Therefore God exists."

      I remain unconvinced.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Have you watched "Expelled"? Pretty sure it's on YouTube. I'm not a fan of the ID movement, but it's still worth watching. If not for what Dawkins says alone."

      Yes, I have and it is rightfully called a sham and propaganda.
      Dawkins' comment was a response to a specific question and to misrepresent it as his belief is a blatant falsehood.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      You could google the subject your self. But briefly, there was no heaven, earth or space in between, Ohm began filling the emptiness with energy. Brahama then sets to work creating life much like the Judea myth. Interesting that the myth states that the universe is one of many having three parts, the heavenly planets, the lower planets and the earthly realm. Of course they are all manmade BS stories, but the Christian one is too insane for a rational person to believe.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Topher

      JMEF

      How is that more scientifically plausible?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, *you* would get torched because you do not fully understand the statement and would misuse it to support the existence of your unproven god.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Are you seriously this stupid, Topher

      The scientific tests are most certainly repeatable. Just because we can't make the universe or a star doesn't mean we can't perform measurements and get consistent results on our experiments.

      I wasn't talking about a mechanic making an engine from "nothing" doofus, I was talking about a mechanic having the ability to whittle an engine block and pistons from blocks of steel and aluminum. No wonder you still believe the origin of the universe was sky wizards using magic spells; you can't grasp obvious meanings of simple sentences.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Topher
      "You can't make something from nothing."

      That appears to be what happened at the Big Bang. Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean that a god did it (or even your god did it). If you believe that everything must have a creator then what created your creator? If you believe a god can be eternal then why can't a universe be eternal? No need for a middleman. No proof of a middleman.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      Something from nothing, multiple universes. Did you miss the bit where I stated that all the manmade stories are all BS? You beliefs are just a little more demented than most.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Topher

      In Santa we trust

      "That appears to be what happened at the Big Bang."

      That's one of many reasons I don't believe the Big Bang. Of course there's some who say it wasn't "nothing" ... that there was a singularity, but then that's not nothing, but then you have to explain where that came from.

      "Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean that a god did it (or even your god did it)"

      I'd say God did everything, but would also say the Big Bang theory and the Bible aren't compatable.

      " If you believe that everything must have a creator then what created your creator?"

      Science has shown that time and space had a beginning. To create these things, you must have something outside of time. So that "person" has to be timeless. If you're timeless, did you have a beginning? No. And that is exactly what the Bible says about God.

      "If you believe a god can be eternal then why can't a universe be eternal?"

      Science has shown the universe isn't eternal.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Topher asks some good questions. How is it possible from something to come from nothing? Where is the evidence? I'm not sure that her or she wants to do the work required to find out the answers and maybe it's easier to say god did it. Maybe the alternative is too incomprehensible and counter intuitive?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "How is it possible from something to come from nothing? "

      Maybe the answer lies in what we think of as nothing. Empty space is not really empty you know...

      May 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Topher

      JMEF

      "Did you miss the bit where I stated that all the manmade stories are all BS?"

      I didn't miss it. I agree with it.

      "You beliefs are just a little more demented than most."

      Again, why? That story you quoted wasn't much different in its basics. Why is mine "more demented"?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      Because you believe the earth was created some 6,000 years ago, correct? That goes against known history the fossil record and most Christians now agree with evolution. You want to be blissfully ignorant, well that is up to you but please do not try to spread your ignorance.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Madtown

      Maybe the alternative is too incomprehensible and counter intuitive?
      -------–
      Science has brought us closer to an understandig of the "how". As to the "why"? Maybe we'll never know. Humans are naturally curious, but maybe some things are unknowable. Doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to look, ask, and wonder, but we may never know.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Topher

      JMEF

      "Because you believe the earth was created some 6,000 years ago, correct?"

      Yes.

      "That goes against known history the fossil record and most Christians now agree with evolution."

      Millions of years goes against a lot of science, so "known history" is thrown out. The fossil record can also be used to support a young earth ... it just depends on your presuppositions on how you interpret the data. And I don't care if many Christians agree with evolution. The Bible and evolution can't both be true. Somebody's wrong. And I don't think it's God.

      "You want to be blissfully ignorant, well that is up to you but please do not try to spread your ignorance."

      Ah, so basically, you can spread your beliefs but I can't. Sure. And what about this seems "blissful" to you?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      which god are you talking about, gopher?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Madtown

      I apologise. I was not saying we should not stop asking, even if we might not be able to find the answers. We should never stop asking. I was wondering why Topher opts for the god hypothesis.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      You believe Noah's Ark happened but cannot explain how societies around the earth were prospering at the same time 8 people hopped of the ark. Deny all you want but three breeding pairs of humans could not possibly expand to almost 7 billion in 4500 years. Reason and logic are not your strong suit, but willful ignorance should not be spread, stop, Topher.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Topher

      Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Are you asking why I believe in God or just in the Creation aspect of it?

      May 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Madtown

      Secular Humanist from Ohio
      I apologise. I was not saying we should not stop asking,
      ---–
      No worries friend, I was agreeing with you! I thought your post helped make the little point I was trying to make, I didn't mean to come off critical of what you wrote.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      But Topher you have no proof of your god. You're making presumptions about the attributes of what you believe to be your creator, you can have no knowledge pre-Big Bang. If you proof that the Big Bang did not happen please post.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Is all science false or just some, or none? And which is true? All science uses the same principles so be careful.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Both.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      The oldest living tree thus far found (measured by ring count) was a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine which was 4,862 years old. That means the tree was around 400 years older than Noah's oldest son Ja.pheth when the flood happened.
      In California there is a colony of Palmer's Oak trees called Jurupa Oak that has been alive 13,000 years through clonal reproduction.
      Professor Frank Vasek confirmed the age of a Creosote bush in the Mojave Desert known as "King Clone" using two different methods. His project counted rings and measured the distance of annual growth, and then used radiocarbon dating on chunks of wood found in the center of the ring. Both dating methods yielded an age of 11,700 years.
      That makes the plant more than 7000 years older than Noah's flood.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Topher

      In Santa we trust

      "But Topher you have no proof of your god"

      Very true.

      "You're making presumptions about the attributes of what you believe to be your creator, you can have no knowledge pre-Big Bang"

      I have presuppositions that God is real, true. But what I do have is scientific evidence that points to the God of the Bible being the case. I think it answers all the important questions and I have faith. But to be fair, you don't have "knowledge pre-Big Bang" either. In fact, you're willing to take it on faith the Big Bang happened. Yep, you have evidence for it, too. But you can't prove it, either.

      "If you proof that the Big Bang did not happen please post."

      I can't prove it. I can show you where it and the Bible don't match up, but I'm assuming you don't care about that.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Vic

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-105/#comment-2337061

      May 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "But what I do have is scientific evidence that points to the God of the Bible being the case.", Topher, you have made this claim before and been challenged to provide said scientific evidence, and have never delivered same, but one more time, please lay out this scientific evidence.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @HotAirAce –

      Topher is correct; we do have "evidence that points to the God of the Bible being the case." The problem is that none of the evidence is empirical and none of it is good.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Saraswati

      We have evidence that aliens are regularly kidnapping humans and probing them. Having good evidence is the issue. What many religious folk lack is the objectivity to discern good evidence from bad, and no amount of discussion is going to provide them that objectivity.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Colin

      I started to look at Tropher's claims of the bible making scientifically accuarte predictions. I chose one randomly, his claim that the bible evidenced a knowledge that light moved whereas "science" at the time was of the view that light was stationary. The quote he cites to is Job 38:19-20. You can evaluate the accuarcy of his claim from the text of it below.

      19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
      20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

      As you can see, it says nothing of the sort.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher didn't say he has "evidence" – he said he has "scientific evidence".

      But in any event, I strongly suspect you are correct about the quality of his so-called evidence.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      I don't believe you when you say it was "random" as you and another person chose that same verse "at random" to criticize. But I answered this the other day and I'll answer it again now.

      First, you need to read the entire passage to understand what's being talked about. And when you come to verse 19 ...
      "Where is the way to the dwelling of light," ... it is saying there IS NO DWELLING of light, because it is moving. It is exactly as the chart I posted claims.

      Light moves (What the Bible says) — Light was fixed in place (What science said then) — Light moves (What science says now)

      May 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Colin

      To be fair, I then took another of his claims:

      Innumerable stars (Jeremiah 33:22) — Only 1,100 stars —Innumerable stars.

      I have no idea where “only 1,100 stars” comes from, as approximately 6,000 stars are visible to the naked eye and were when the Book of Jeremiah was written.

      The actual verse in JEremiah says “22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.”

      I think it is fair to say that this verse gives zero indication of any astronomical knowledge above and beyond that of the times. Indeed sand and stars were common Arabic and Persian poetic and literary references at the time to indicate a large number.

      More fundamentally, I am not aware that cosmologists think that the number of stars in the Universe is infinite. In fact, I suspect that is not possible.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Colin

      Topher, I do not get that from the entire passage at all. But, even if it were accurate, that would mean the source of the light was moving. It has noting to do with photons, the electromagnetic spectrum or 186,000 miles per second. Had it said any of that, then you might have a point.

      I will continue to go through your claims one by one. I am about a third of the way through, but so far, quite frankly, only a person with a deep desire to arrive at a forgone conclusion could possibly extrapolate the claims from these verses that you are.

      And bear in mind Topher, this is the same text that claims the entire Universe was created in seven days less than 10,000 years ago.

      PS: I didn't cherrypick your most vulnerable claims, for the simple reason that they are all low hanging fruit – so far.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Colin

      One more, then I have to go.

      The earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22) — The earth was a flat disk —The earth is a sphere.

      The actual verse is:

      “ It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”

      It is from the second oldest part of the book of Isaiah. It was not written by the prophet Isaiah and is often called “Deutero-Isaiah” as a nod to its dubious authenticity. In fact, it was written during the 6th-century BCE, about 100-200 years after the original author of the Book of Isaiah died.

      As any fifth grade student knows, a circle is very different to a sphere. There is nothing in Deutero-Isaiah that suggests its author knew the Earth was a sphere. Further, the same author, a few verses later, refers to “the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” Neither circles nor spheres have “ends” such that it is ludicrous to think that the author was speaking geometrically or knew the Earth was a sphere.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Salmon Chanted Eaves Ning

      ""Where is the way to the dwelling of light," ... it is saying there IS NO DWELLING of light, because it is moving. It is exactly as the chart I posted claims."

      Where is Topher dwelling? I'm saying that there IS NO DWELLING for Topher! Duh!

      May 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      I can understand why you don't like this one. It's not easy to understand it. You have to know something about the languages the books were originally written in. In this case, the original word is interchangeable for circle and sphere. The Hebrew word “חוּג“ (or "chuwg") should be transliterated to either circle or sphere.

      " It was not written by the prophet Isaiah and is often called “Deutero-Isaiah” as a nod to its dubious authenticity."

      Pure ridiculousness. It's amazing how many books are supposedly not written by the authors the Bible claims according to those who hate it.

      "In fact, it was written during the 6th-century BCE, about 100-200 years after the original author of the Book of Isaiah died."

      Isaiah lived from 739-686 BC.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      The Hebrew word for orb/ball is "dur".
      "Chug" means a flat circle, like a coin.

      The Bible also entirely misses the concept of orbital rotation given that is states that the Earth is immovable and inert.
      "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."
      – Psalm 104:5
      "The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved."
      Psalm 93:1
      "Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Psalm 96:10
      "The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises." Ecclesiastes 1:5

      May 31, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Joey

      Sorry Topher, but you are just plain wrong about Isiah. Wikipedia has the following to say:

      Tradition ascribes authorship of the book to Isaiah son of Amoz, but now scholars widely agree that the book is the work of three different authors – few scholars deny this view, and those that do, do so for theological reasons.[2] The first, termed Proto-Isaiah (chapters 1–39), contains the words of the 8th-century BCE prophet with 7th-century BCE expansions; the second, Deutero-Isaiah (chapters 40–55), is the work of a 6th-century BCE author writing near the end of the Babylonian captivity; and the third, the poetic Trito-Isaiah (chapters 56–66), was composed in Jerusalem shortly after the return from exile, probably by multiple authors.[1][3][4][5]:pp. 558–562

      May 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Colin

      Topher, your dates or names are mixed up. Duetero-Isaiah was written about 100-200 years after the original. If the Isaiah you refer to lived at that time, then he was not the author of the original. Simple math.

      So, if it could mean sphere or circle, it could just as well mean circle, right? Secondly, I see you ignored the "four corners" point.

      I will finish going through your list. It would be fascinatng to think there was something there, but if what I have seen so far is any indication, my hopes are not high.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      " "Chug" means a flat circle, like a coin."

      It can mean that, yes. But it can also be used for sphere.

      As for the quotes, I don't see your point. The Bible says it can't be moved and it can't.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Topher

      Joey

      Really? Wikipedia? I'm glad to know that that's now a viable source on these boards. Does Wikipedia also say who these "scholars" are?

      May 31, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Colin

      Tropher, do you deny that the verse you cite is from Duetero-Isaiah or do you deny the existence of Deutero-Isaiah?

      May 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Colin

      Het Topher, I started to look at your next claim

      "Free float of earth in space (Job 26:7) — Earth sat on a large animal —Free float of earth in space." I need your help. Where in science was it postulated that the Earth sat on a large animal. I am vaugely aware of a Hindu religious claim about turtles and elephants, but, well, we all know the wroth of religious claims.....

      May 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      The word appears only one other time in the Bible, in Proverbs 8:27 where it is definitely referring to a circle.
      Since there is an exact and precise Hebrew word for orb/ball/sphere, why would the Bible's authors use the more ambiguous term in Isaiah?

      May 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Joey

      Topher here is a list of the sources used:

      Barker, Margaret (2003). "Isaiah". In James D. G. Dunn and John William Rogerson. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802837110.
      Broyles, Craig C. and Evans, Craig A., ed. (1997). Writing and reading the scroll of Isaiah: Studies of an interpretative tradition. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 70,1. Leiden, New York, Kŏln: Brill. ISBN 90-04-10936-6.
      Childs, Brevard S. (2000). Isaiah. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664221430.
      Stromberg, Jake (2011). An Introduction to the Study of Isaiah. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 9780567363305.

      Proto-Isaiah (Isaiah 1–39)

      Sweeney, Marvin A (1996). Isaiah 1–39: with an introduction to prophetic literature. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802841001.
      Blenkinsopp, Joseph (2000). Isaiah 1-39: A new translation with introduction and commentary. Anchor Bible 19. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-49716-4.

      Deutero-Isaiah (Isaiah 40–55)

      Goldingay, John (2005). The message of Isaiah 40–55: a literary-theological commentary. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 9780567030382.
      Blenkinsopp, Joseph (2002). Isaiah 40–55: A new translation with introduction and commentary. Anchor Bible 19A. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-49717-2.
      Whybray, R.N (1983). The Second Isaiah. T&T Clarke. ISBN 9780567084248.

      Trito-Isaiah (Isaiah 56–66)

      Blenkinsopp, Joseph (2003). Isaiah 56–66: A new translation with introduction and commentary. Anchor Bible 19B. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-50174-9.
      Smith, Paul Allan (1995). Rhetoric and redaction in Trito-Isaiah: the structure, growth, and authorship of Isaiah 56–66. Leiden and New York: Brill. ISBN 90-04-10306-6.

      General works

      Brettler, Marc Zvi (2005). How to read the Bible. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. ISBN 978-0-8276-0775-0.

      Brueggemann, Walter (2003). An introduction to the Old Testament: the canon and Christian imagination. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox. ISBN 978-0-664-22412-7.

      Cohn-Sherbok, Dan (1996). The Hebrew Bible. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-304-33702-1.

      Le Sor, William Sanford et al., ed. (1996). Old Testament survey: the message, form, and background of the Old Testament (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3788-3.

      Lemche, Niels Peter (2008). The Old Testament between theology and history: a critical survey. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-23245-0.

      Levin, Christoph (2005). The Old testament: a brief introduction. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11394-7.

      McKenzie, Steven L.; Graham, M.P. (1998). The Hebrew Bible today: an introduction to critical issues. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-25652-X.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      What is the evidence anyone other than Isaiah wrote the whole thing? Don't get me wrong, there are places in the Bible that there was more than one author to a book. But where are you getting that this is the case in Isaiah?

      "Topher, your dates or names are mixed up"

      My dates come from the Bible.

      "Duetero-Isaiah was written about 100-200 years after the original. If the Isaiah you refer to lived at that time, then he was not the author of the original. Simple math."

      Fine. Why do you believe this? What is the evidence?

      "So, if it could mean sphere or circle, it could just as well mean circle, right? Secondly, I see you ignored the "four corners" point."

      Could ... but that wouldn't make sense. Also, "four corners"?

      "I will finish going through your list. It would be fascinatng to think there was something there, but if what I have seen so far is any indication, my hopes are not high."

      I'm glad you'll continue to look into it. The point was that science now agrees with what the Bible was saying all along when at one time it disagreed and thought it was right. We could have saved a lot of time if we'd just listened to God in the first place.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Joey

      ^ a b May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977.
      ^ Stromberg, J., An Introduction to the Study of Isaiah (Continuum International Publishing, 2011), p. 2.
      ^ Williamson (1994), pp. 1–3]
      ^ Lemche (2008), p.96
      ^ a b Kugel, James L. (2008). "chapter 30: The Book of Isaiah(s)". How To Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now. New York, NY: Free Press. pp. 538–568. ISBN 978-0-7432-3587-7.
      ^ a b c d Goldingay, John, Isaiah. New International Biblical Commentary Old Testament Series. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2001 ISBN 0-85364-734-8.
      ^ Sweeney, Marvin A., Isaiah 1–4 and the post-exilic understanding of the Isaianic tradition, Beiheft zur Zeitscrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 171. Berlin & New York: de Gruyter, 1988 ISBN 0-89925-404-7.
      ^ For an example of the Jewish tradition concerning the composition of Isaiah in antiquity, see Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews XI, ch.1 . Josephus says that the statements about Cyrus the Great were indeed prophecies by Isaiah, but were themselves motivation for Cyrus to bring them to fulfillment as self-fulfilling prophecies. Further, Josephus says, Cyrus used the prophecies to justify and glorify his actions as divine will. For an example of the Christian tradition in antiquity, see Eusebius as reported in Hollerich, Michael J., Eusebius of Caesarea's Commentary on Isaiah: Christian exegesis in the age of Constantine (Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 138-142. Hollerich also writes on Josephus' account.
      ^ Creelman, Harlan (1917). An Introduction to the Old Testament. The Macmillan company. p. 172.
      ^ Eng, Milton, "What's in a Name? Cyrus and the Dating of Deutero-Isaiah" in Kaltner & Stulman (eds.), Inspired Speech: Prophecy in the Ancient Near East (T&T Clark International, 2004), pp. 216-224.
      ^ [1] Whybray, Roger Norman, The second Isaiah, Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1983 ISBN 0-567-08424-8, pp. 11–12.
      ^ Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1982). The international standard Bible encyclopedia. pp. 895–895. ISBN 978-0-8028-3782-0.
      ^ a b Mercer dictionary of the Bible
      ^ a b c Boadt, Lawrence (1984). Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. ISBN 978-0-8091-2631-6.
      ^ a b "Introduction to the Book of Isaiah". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
      ^ a b c Blenkinsopp, Joseph, A history of prophecy in Israel, Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, revised edition,1996 ISBN 0-664-25639-2
      ^ Petersen, David L., "The prophetic literature: an introduction" (Westminster John Knox, 2002) p.48
      ^ Baker, pp. 490–491
      ^ pages 432–433, Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-537840-5. Chapter 26.
      ^ But to the contrary, "a growing consensus that this designation is misleading and should be abandoned", page 346 in Joseph Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 1–39: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, volume 19, The Anchor Bible, New York: Doubleday, 2000, ISBN 0-385-49716-4.
      ^ a b c Barker, Margaret, "Isaiah", pages 489–542 in Dunn, James D. G., and Rogerson, John William (eds) Eerdmans commentary on the Bible, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3711-5.
      ^ "Servant Songs." On the other hand, Jews interpret it as the nation of Israel. Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
      ^ Michael D. Coogan, "A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament" page 334–335, Oxford University Press, 2009.
      ^ Gnuse, Robert (1997). No other gods : emergent monotheism in Israel. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press. p. 87. ISBN 9781850756576.
      ^ Michael D. Coogan, "A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament" pages 335–336, Oxford University Press, 2009.
      ^ Michael D. Coogan, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament (New York: Oxford, 2009), 333
      ^ a b Soggin, J. Alberto, Introduction to the Old Testament: from its origins to the closing of the Alexandrian canon. Old Testament Library. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 3rd edition, 1989 ISBN 0-664-21331-6. Translation of the 4th edition of Introduzione all'Antico Testamento
      ^ New Testament Citations of the Old Testament by Crossway
      ^ Sweeney 1996, p. 161.
      ^ Ehrman, Bart (2010). "Three. A Mass of Variant Views". Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them). HarperCollins e-books. p. 74. ISBN 9780061173943.
      ^ Brueggemann p.174

      May 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      The other verses are there to show some other things we now know to be fact that the Bible got wrong.
      "The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises." Ecclesiastes 1:5
      That passage is effectively saying that the Earth remains still and inert and the Sun moves around it.
      Such passages were used to bolster Geocentrism for centuries and anybody who postulated otherwise could expect a visit from their friendly neighborhood inquisitor.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      "Tropher, do you deny that the verse you cite is from Duetero-Isaiah or do you deny the existence of Deutero-Isaiah?"

      This is the first time I've ever heard the term "Duetero-Isaiah", and from what you've said, I've no reason to believe it. And considering the continual lies that are spread about the Bible, I'm going to need to see some evidence ... like a copy of Isaiah before the extra section existed.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      " The other verses are there to show some other things we now know to be fact that the Bible got wrong."

      The Bible isn't wrong.

      That passage is effectively saying that the Earth remains still and inert and the Sun moves around it."

      It's a figure of speech. When you wake up and the radio station is giving the local farm report, does he say "The Earth rose at 6:55 this morning"? No. He says the sun rose. It's just how we talk.

      "Such passages were used to bolster Geocentrism for centuries and anybody who postulated otherwise could expect a visit from their friendly neighborhood inquisitor."

      Misuse or misinterpretation of the Bible by corruptable man is not evidence the Bible is wrong. If anything, if evidence for the Bible because that's exactly what the Bible says we are and what we do.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Joey

      Topher thinks the bible is the literal word of god, except for the parts that are obviously wrong, those are just a metaphor, or a "figure of speech". That way the bible is never wrong.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Colin

      Topher, I had time to do another.

      Creation made of invisible elements (Hebrews 11:3) —Science ignorant on the subject —Creation made of invisible elements (atoms)

      This verse Topher cites is very early in the Book of Hebrews, where the author is talking about faith. The actual wording is:

      “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
      2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
      3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
      4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

      Once again, I am at a total loss as to how any person can extrapolate a reference to atoms from that verse. It seems to clearly be referring to faith. But, once again, and more fundamentally, atoms, generally, are visible – or else we could not see the World around us. They are just too small to be seen with the naked eye.

      As to “science” being ignorant on the issue, this is not so. The Greek philosophers Democritus and Leucippus both posited the existence of atoms. They both did so about 500 years before the Book of Hebrews was written. So, for that matter, did Empedocles.

      “With the work of Leucippus and Democritus ancient Greek philosophy reaches its zenith when the initial question of Thales after the true nature of matter culminated 180 years later in the subtle concept of atoms, which bears an amazing resemblance to the twentieth century's view of chemistry. For this reason, Leucippus and Democritus have undoubtedly deserved the first price for the best guess in antiquity, as far as natural science is concerned.”

      See http://www.thebigview.com/greeks/democritus.html

      May 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Madtown

      Misuse or misinterpretation of the Bible by corruptable man is not evidence the Bible is wrong
      -----
      Yet, corruptable men got it right, made it "perfect", when they wrote it?

      May 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Topher

      Madtown

      "Yet, corruptable men got it right, made it "perfect", when they wrote it?"

      Well, those who wrote it were guided by God. So yes, it was infallible. But we see some of the corruption sneaking in later with misspellings and copy errors.

      Keep looking into those verses, guys. If you come at it with an open mind, God will reveal the truth to you. For now, though, I'm off to work. Have a great day, everyone. And God bless.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  17. Jesus Christard

    God hates floodplains and tornado alley and the Gulf of Mexico and areas near volcanoes and shorelines and and and and and

    May 31, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Pete

      God obviously hates poor people because more times than not it is poor people who are killed in natural disasters.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Daniel

      "God obviously hates poor people because more times than not it is poor people who are killed in natural disasters."

      No no, quite the opposite. God just loves the rich people and gave them more money to live in safer homes in better neighborhoods away from the disaster prone areas...

      May 31, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "God obviously hates poor people because more times than not it is poor people who are killed in natural disasters."

      But most of the verfiable miricles happen in 3rd word countries, so he loves those people more.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Verifiable miracles? Are there any? As in, verified by non-cultists?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      HotAirAce,

      Miracle of the Sun.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ohhh the miracle has to be verified by a non-believer?

      Than no, but a whole lot of believers saw it!!!!

      May 31, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Sorry, I thought you were talking about religious miracles. I guess I need to look up the definition for miricles. . .

      May 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  18. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Hooray!

    May 31, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • lol??

      Giddy??

      May 31, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    Good morning all ...

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    May 31, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • lol??

      We're supposed to read all that??

      May 31, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Pete

      lol, nobody expects you to be able to understand all the big words in that post anyway. As for the rest of us it only takes about 30 seconds.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Hank

      don't worry, lol?? is one of my best kissers.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • WASP

      XD that makes such hilarious sense.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • EnjaySea

      I accidentally agree with lol??. (It had to happen eventually.)

      I read the entire post one of the last 5 times you posted it. And although it's funny, and very true, it's in dire need of some serious editing to bring it down to a more efficient length.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Good morning, Really-O?

    As you can see, Chad is writhing and wriggling in anticipation of doing battle with his God's detractors. His reading comprehension is unusually impaired, perhaps for lack of caffeine.

    May 31, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Heretic

      There is no battle. A zombie cannot compel the uninfected with words, to eat brains.

      May 31, 2013 at 10:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.