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Famous atheists and their beliefs
July 15th, 2013
02:50 PM ET

Behold, the six types of atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – How many ways are there to disbelieve in God?

At least six, according to a new study.

Two researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that atheists and agnostics run the range from vocally anti-religious activists to nonbelievers who still observe some religious traditions.

“The main observation is that nonbelief is an ontologically diverse community,” write doctoral student Christopher Silver and undergraduate student Thomas Coleman.

“These categories are a first stab at this," Silver told the website Raw Story. "In 30 years, we may be looking at a typology of 32 types.”

Silver and Coleman derived their six types of nonbelievers from 59 interviews. We're pretty sure we've spotted all six in our comments section.

1) Intellectual atheist/agnostic

This type of nonbeliever seeks information and intellectual stimulation about atheism.

They like debating and arguing, particularly on popular Internet sites.

(Ahem.)

They're also well-versed in books and articles about religion and atheism, and prone to citing those works frequently.

2) Activist

These kinds of atheists and agnostics are not content with just disbelieving in God; they want to tell others why they reject religion and why society would be better off if we all did likewise.

They tend to be vocal about political causes like gay rights, feminism, the environment and the care of animals.

3) Seeker-agnostic

This group is made up of people who are unsure about the existence of a God but keep an open mind and recognize the limits of human knowledge and experience.

Silver and Coleman describe this group as people who regularly question their own beliefs and “do not hold a firm ideological position.”

That doesn't mean this group is confused, the researchers say. They just embrace uncertainty.

4) Anti-theist

This group regularly speaks out against religion and religious beliefs, usually by positioning themselves as “diametrically opposed to religious ideology,” Silver and Coleman wrote.

“Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental,” the researchers wrote. “The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

Anti-theists are outspoken, devoted and – at times – confrontational about their disbelief. They believe that "obvious fallacies in religion and belief should be aggressively addressed in some form or another.”

5) Non-theist

The smallest group among the six are the non-theists, people who do not involve themselves with either religion or anti-religion.

In many cases, this comes across as apathy or disinterest.

“A Non-Theist simply does not concern him or herself with religion,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “Religion plays no role or issue in one’s consciousness or worldview; nor does a Non- Theist have concern for the atheist or agnostic movement.”

They continue: “They simply do not believe, and in the same right, their absence of faith means the absence of anything religion in any form from their mental space.”

6) Ritual atheist

They don't believe in God, they don’t associate with religion, and they tend to believe there is no afterlife, but the sixth type of nonbeliever still finds useful the teachings of some religious traditions.

“They see these as more or less philosophical teachings of how to live life and achieve happiness than a path to transcendental liberation,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “For example, these individuals may participate in specific rituals, ceremonies, musical opportunities, meditation, yoga classes, or holiday traditions.”

For many of these nonbelievers, their adherence to ritual may stem from family traditions. For others, its a personal connection to, or respect for, the "profound symbolism" inherent within religious rituals, beliefs and ceremonies, according the researchers.

The authors of this study have graciously agreed to field questions from our commenters. If you're interested, please post your question below or tweet it to us at @CNNBelief. 

We'll take the best questions to the authors and the Q&A will be posted in a follow-up article. 

Please try to keep your questions related to the study itself.

Thanks,
Daniel Burke

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Holidays • Lost faith • Nones • Spirituality • Trends • United States

soundoff (9,518 Responses)
  1. Petrograd

    I personally wonder why an editor would say that, then not only not block the offender but not remove the offensive language either.

    Not that I am a fan of what you said and did, and you for that matter, but It's interesting that someone feels the need to display their authority, then doing nothing. It's like a cop telling a bank robber "you're under arrest" then walking away to the donut shop.

    July 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Youtube - The Origin of Religion

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50&w=640&h=390]

      October 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    agnosticism is just cowardly atheism

    July 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Lemon Curry?

      Maybe they are just too bored by the whole subject to care and have better things to do.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No. That would be like saying a single man is just a g@y person that's in the closet. Gnosticism deals with knowledge of the "spiritual." Theism deals with belief. Just because a woman is married doesn't mean she's also a mother.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Matt

      I completely disagree. It's merely an acceptance that we know little about the universe. I honestly think that it's just as bold to claim that there is with 100% certainty no god, than to proclaim that with 100% there is a god. It takes courage to admit that you do not know something.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Matt, you're not paying attention. Knowledge and belief are two different things. You don't believe in Santa, so you're an "atheist" when it comes to Santa, so to speak. You don't KNOW that Santa doesn't exist, but because you suspect that he does not, you do not believe in his existence. It's the same with an atheist. The atheist doesn't believe in god, but he doesn't KNOW that god does not exist for sure. Thus, agnostic atheism.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • Brimstone

          Actually, I'm pretty sure that it's a well known fact that there is no fat, white man living at the north pole with an army of present-making elves and contingent of flying reindeer who help him deliver presents to children all over the world over the course of one night.

          July 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          As most people do. But you don't know it. Knowledge is different from belief. Theism and atheism don't deal with knowledge. They deal with belief.

          July 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Brimstone

          I don't completely disagree with you, I just think you chose a poor example to compare it to. We KNOW that Santa doesn't exist.

          July 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • I believe in God!

          That is why Christianity is called a faith and a belief. You must believe in God and have faith. If you don't have faith and believe you go to Hell.

          July 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • Chuckie

          Next you will be denying the existence of the Keebler elves.

          July 16, 2013 at 7:57 am |
        • Chuckie

          Yes, the salvation game only works if you don't have knowledge of God. Salvation comes to those that have faith in that which is unseen. Now, if you know God from first hand experience and you deny Him, as did Satan, you are certainly damned. So what does this make me? Am I a 3 or or 6 as I don't really believe in this mumbo jumbo, Well, for now at least.

          July 16, 2013 at 8:04 am |
        • Peter

          Brimstone you can't see Santa at the North Pole unless you truly believe in him. Just have faith.

          July 16, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Alias

      It is frequently a transition stage.
      When you realize the christians have it wrong, but haven't quite reached the truth yet.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • thulsa

        yes, quite sure the one godders have it wrong.

        July 16, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • wordclock

      No they are the most rational atheists because they don't claim to know something that nobody could possibly ever know. Atheists think they know the answer. Religious people think they know the answer. Agnostic know they don't know the answer. The agnostic is open to new information while atheists than religious people already have their minds made up and probably won't ever change their mind no matter what.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Sigh. Not even close.

        Gnosticism deals with knowledge.
        Theism deals with belief.
        Two different things.

        Atheists don't BELIEVE, but few claim to have any knowledge that there is no god because that would require such great knowledge, and most people don't claim to know everything possible that you would have to know in order to make that claim. Just because you don't believe in Santa doesn't mean that you know for certain that he does not exist.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • Feekoningin

        I think what's frustrating Capt. Obvious and some other atheists is that many people who describe themselves as agnostics don't believe, so looking at the root word theist, which connotes belief, they are really atheists because even if they acknowledge not knowing, they profess a lack of belief. In essence, you can't be a gnostic and atheist at the same time, but you can be agnostic and atheist at the same time in that you might neither know nor believe. Most of us just wrap that up in the word "atheist." I get what people mean because there was a time I described myself as agnostic - and I still think I and everyone else in the world actually is because no one has proof. So it actually goes without saying that we're all agnostic, whether or not we believe. So the true measure of where we are on the belief continuum is whether we are believers or nonbelievers. If someone doesn't believe, then they simply need to say they're atheist.

        July 16, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • sophie

          that is the entire point, for example there is symmetrical and then a-symmetrical is not symmetrical.. atheism works the same way, a 'theist' is a believer in religion so an 'a-theist' does not believe in religion

          July 17, 2013 at 3:12 am |
        • Fullerene

          You CAN be a gnostic atheist - a person who claims to know that there are no god(s). He's absolutely certain of it.

          January 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
      • Oregon Jeff

        "No they are the most rational atheists because they don't claim to know something that nobody could possibly ever know."

        No, you're mistaken about what atheism is. Atheism isn't a statement of belief. It's a rejection of the statement of belief. It's not a counter-statement.

        "Atheists think they know the answer."

        Most I know don't think they know the answer. I myself am made up of types 1, 2, and 4, and I don't *know* the answer. However, given everything that we know, I'm pretty confident that there's no gods, certainly none of the monotheistic ones, and pretty confident no gods are necessary to explain anything. So, even if somehow a god or gods were to exist, their existence would be pretty pointless and likely pretty pathetic, too. Notice I didn't say "there are no gods".

        "Religious people think they know the answer."

        I'm sure if you ask most, they'll tell you they *know* the answer.

        "Agnostic know they don't know the answer."

        No, that's not quite an accurate description of agnosticism. I think you're confused about what theism/atheism and gnosticism/agnosticism are.

        Theism/atheism deal with belief. Gnosticism/agnosticism deal with knowledge. These can be represented by a grid with x/y coordinates. Theism/atheism is on the x axis with theism on the left and atheism on the right. Gnosticism/agnosticism is on the y axis with gnosticism at the top and agnosticism at the bottom. Everyone falls on to the grid somewhere into one of the four quadrants.

        Gnostic
        |
        |
        |
        Theism ------------ Atheism
        |
        |
        |
        Agnostic

        Most "true believers" fall into the top left - gnostic theism. They think it's possible to have knowledge of god(s) and they believe in god(s). You may meet a few agnostic theists, but those are rare because most religious systems require faith of existence which is falsely billed as "knowledge" (gnosticism).

        Most atheists (even those that eschew the label for the inappropriate label of "agnostic") fall in the bottom right - agnostic atheists. There are some that are more firm in their position and they fall somewhere in the top right - gnostic atheist. If you're familiar with Richard Dawkins scale, you'll recognize that the lower end of the scale is below the line in the agnostic range and the upper end of the scale is above the line in the gnostic range.

        "The agnostic is open to new information while atheists than religious people already have their minds made up and probably won't ever change their mind no matter what."

        No, atheists don't have their mind made up. Like I already explained, atheism is the rejection of a claim, not a counter-claim regarding god(s).

        July 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Oregon Jeff

          The message formatting messed up my example. Let's see if this works better:

          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Gnostic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          Theism ========+======== Atheism
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Agnostic _ _ _ _ _ _ _

          July 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Careful Thinker

          Oregon Jeff, your well-written and insightful description of the two dimensions – theist/atheist and gnostic/agnostic – is a jewel of clarity. Thanks for contributing this. I suspect you helped some of the readers and other contributors reach a better understanding of the issue.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • crackwalker

          The University of Chattanooga should get in touch with you. There's definitely a need for your skills as an academic advisor.

          July 18, 2013 at 8:54 am |
      • LeeAnna

        I don't think it's true that atheists claim to know, they just don't believe, there is a difference. I hold true that which I know and can see or can measure. Without proof I simply don't believe, and since religion and god require belief rather than knowledge then they are not real to me. Now if a man floated down on a cloud of light, showed me proof that the stories of the bible were historical fact, then I would have knowledge and would change my mind about the existence of god. Until then he is only real in belief, not knowledge, and therefore not real to me. However I am fully capable of changing my mind if presented with hard evidence.

        July 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • cm

      you use kinder verbiage – cowardly....I would say lazy – maybe it's both.

      July 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Cosmic_joker

      Its the most honest, is what it is.

      July 16, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • wcardiac

      I'm an agnostic because it's based on an intellectually honest acknowledgment that I don't know for certain there is no god. I'm reasonably certain there isn't a god that has been described by any religion out there because all of them present paradoxical problems. So functionally I'm an atheist to all gods so far. I don't consider the acknowledgment of the unknown to be a lack of courage.

      July 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • icowrich

      An Schrödinger's knows the cat is in the box, but is too cowardly to say?

      May 25, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  3. nerdy_christian_13

    Good grief. Atheism and agnosticism are distinct from each other. In addition to the ones listed above, I would add apatheism and ignosticism.

    July 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Oregon Jeff

      Yes, I would agree on those additional types. However, I suspect they'd be fringe types. In the 59 interviews that were done, likely they didn't encounter even one. That should be an indication of rare they likely are.

      July 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  4. Nathan

    Why?

    July 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  5. G to the T

    It seems like they aren't taking into account agnosticism vs. atheism in the list. I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe there is a god, but don't claim to know. I also study religion because it's one of the most impactful aspects of human cultured in history. But all that being said – if proof (empirical/logical/etc) could be found for some kind of god, I would certainly have to re-evaluate what I believe. I guess I would fall under "intellectual" by their standard...

    July 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • G to the T

      let me ammend that – they do mention agnosticism but it only seems in passing and they don't differentiate that well.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think you're right. You're an agnostic/atheist. Most believers are agnostic/ theists. They don't "know" either in the sense that you mean "to know" as in the way we know how electricity works. You don't identify as a seeker but, if you did, I would tell you that intellectual "knowledge" will never provide the information you seek. That's why people often diverge from that imposed standard and reflect on their faith. Exercising of the faith yields revelation to them which can then be called wisdom, as opposed to knowledge. This is the eternal conundrum for intellectual agnostics. They cannot emerge from the intellectual to a great enough degree to comprehend the mystery of faith. That's not an insult, just an observation.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @Bill,

        " They cannot emerge from the intellectual to a great enough degree to comprehend the mystery of faith."

        Or having comprehended and then rejected the mystery of faith, recognize that it cannot be disproven and still disbelieve.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • G to the T

        I understand your POV Bill, but I would have to disagree with you on this. Wisdom is knowing the proper application for knowledge and I do not believe that faith (whatever definition you decide it means to you) is a consistent or feasible method. You use your beliefs in christianity (your "faith" by some definitions) to give you guidelines for how to apply knowledge (what you call wisdom). I do the same thing, but I don not rely on the christian philosophical tradition alone – I find that the variety of human belief to be too rich to limit my thinking to just one paradigm. Wisdom is knowing what you don't know. Faith (IMOHO) assumes a certainty that I can't ascribe to and still feel honest with myself.

        July 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, you are correct about agnostic atheism. The problem with "faith" is that it can be used by anyone for any belief and it does nothing to determine which "faith" is more correctly "placed." Thus, it only helps someone to feel better about what they already believe with no proof. But it is a handy tool.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  6. Nathan

    Woooo! We're #1, baby!

    July 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  7. Alias

    The whole premise of this article is stupid.
    They are describibg different personality types, and somehow acting like a common non-belief somehow matters.

    Maybe tomorrow they can write an article on the 6 different types of blond women!

    July 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • G to the T

      #1 – Dumb
      #2 – Sassy!
      #3 – Bottle
      #4 – errr.... Dumb?

      July 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • Alias

        I forgot to mention how much more interesting the pictures could be too!

        July 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hard to find someone more interesting to look at than Keira Knightly, though that is not her best picture.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      Well, it apparently matters enough for you to have read the article and added your two cents to the conversation.

      July 16, 2013 at 12:53 am |
  8. realbuckyball

    They forgot one.
    Igtheism.
    No one can come up with a coherent definition for what the word "god" actually means in 2013, therefore many of the people who might previously be called "atheists" are actually "Igtheists.
    I am an Apathetic Igtheist. I could care less about the arguments for or against it.
    When and if they can come up with a rational definition, maybe I'll look at it.

    July 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Lemon Curry?

      What is the difference? How is "not theist" different than "without a god?" Just curious.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      I don't know.
      They are both positions with respect to a word devoid of meaningful linguistic content.
      Apathetic Igtheism dismisses the subject as meaningless, and worthless.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      bucky can answer but I'd say a non-theist is rejecting a definition of "god" that has been presented and bucky is saying that there has not been definition even presented

      July 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Dippy

      Could care less, or couldn't care less? Which is it? You have me confused.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        couldn't care less ..
        sorry

        July 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Both responses are acceptable by most English nerd-types and that sort of thing. One version is literal and the other is verbal irony / "sarcasm."

        I prefer the literal: "I couldn't care less."

        July 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • jdk1.0

          I'm a pedant and I resent your labeling me as accepting "that sort of thing." "I could care less" is ignorant use of the language and is no different than mixing up "i.e." with "e.g.", or saying something like "for all intensive purposes."

          Please consult with "nerd-types" before making such allegations.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      I think you fit into the non-theists.

      July 16, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Regretfully

      Many people do come up with definitions of what their god is like and what the word means. The problem is that it can very from person to person so you could have many different definitions of a god. Having different definitions of something, however, is not the same as not being able to define something. I think Igtheism is a game of semantics and is disingenuous in that it feigns confusion and a lack of understaning even when meaning is coherently and clearly communicated.

      July 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  9. BIG SHIZ

    We all know atheists, you're better than everyone else. Hahaha

    July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Is a child better than his counterpart because he no longer believes in Santa and the other child still does? Who can claim to decipher better or worse? All I can say is I don't believe in any of the Gods that have been presented so far based on the evidence submitted along with their proposals. Am I better for not believing a mythical fantasy? Well, that is up to debate. I like my life more now that I gave up my belief in the supernatural but can only judge when it comes to my own feelings which are of course prejudiced towards believing I made the right choice.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • BIG SHIZ

        The point is it doesn't matter if you believe in god or not Where all equal. Only a devolved fool would think there better for belief or lack there of it.

        July 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Dippy

          We're, not where.
          They're, not there.
          Ask your god to make you smarter.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Dippy

          Dick, not dik.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • So affective

          Always fun to see a proud intellectual get caught up in petty things that feed their narcissism but ruin the chances of connecting with other people and conveying the message they hoped to send. #GetAGripDip!

          July 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • NC

          LOL – Love your post Dippy:)

          July 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • Lemon Curry?

        Let's look at it this way: Is a person who worships the god Bonzo worse off that those who don't? What if the Bonzoians give up sizable amounts of money that they could deploy more effectively? What if the Bonzoians spend a lot of time in worship that they could have been spending on family, friends and creative endeavors? What is being a Bonzoian meant being in conflict with the rival worshipers of Chim-Chim, god of speed racing, and wars and oppression resulted? What if they applied Bonzo's rules to society, which hindered medical advances they considered blasphemy to Bonzo?

        July 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • JimK57

          Then I think there might be a problem. But what if ones religious beliefs do none of these things?

          July 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Lemon Curry?

          What religion does none of those things?

          July 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • JimK57

          Mine, I am agnostic-thiest. I believe in a creator, an afterlife and there is no such thing as hell.

          July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Lemon Curry is a member of a religion called Beggars of the Question

          July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Lemon Curry?

          Okay. But I think you are in the extreme minority in having a religion that does not impose it's beliefs on others in a limiting way.

          July 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          "Begging the Question" is similar to the "Complex question" or "Fallacy of Many Questions:" a question that, in order to be valid, requires the truth of another question that has not been established. For example, "Which color dress is Mary wearing—blue or red?" may be fallacious because it restricts the possible responses to a blue or red dress.

          July 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Lemon Curry?

          Bill, it might help to know what Begging The Question is before you spout off. The one thing it is not is asking relevant questions. Indeed, it is rarely done in question form, and of course nowhere did I state a premise that includes the claim that the conclusion is true, which of course is the definition of Begging The Question.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • G to the T

          I think Jim it would depend on what structure you built your belief on. You say you believe there's an afterlife but not hell. Hell is a christian belief and doesn't exist in the majority of world religions. If you want to say you're a religion of one, I guess that's fine too but it doesn't help anyone trying to get a handle on what it is you acutally do believe (besides these few, very minor points you've already brought up).

          July 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You state "What if they give up sizable amounts of money that could be deployed (you mean employed or disbursed)" You make the assumption that the initial purpose is less efficient than your alternate. That fits the definition of begging the question. It's like saying "Is Mary's dress red or is blue better?"

          July 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Lemon Curry?

          That's not Begging The Question, and as a Catholic, you have indeed spent lots of money buying fancy clothes and meals and buildings for old white guys in Italy. It's only a fallacy if it leads to an untrue conclusion.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well, at least you've admitted your conclusion is embedded in your question. Your problem at that point becomes that you use a limited data set to draw your faulty conclusion. Just because certain conditions exist, doesn't mean that your premise is complete. That would be like saying the United States can't have the world's greatest military because look how much money we spend decorating our courtrooms and all those black robes. As a second point, even if you were correct and all the money is spent on fancy robes and what not, you are making a value judgement which you are not qualified to make. Pretty sure that meets the standard for begging the question also. All of this is just in your first question. You actually make the same mistakes over and over.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • typical

          This is typical atheistic propoganda. Athiests generally think they are superior and are unwilling to admit the fact that this decision, i.e. belief/non-belief, is something that cannot be imposed on anyone. It is internal and individual. Yet when you tell an athiest that you personally are a theist.....they usually immediately tell you how much smarter they are, by saying theism is "stupid". Must be really frustrating to be "so smart" and yet be so unable to shake true faith, knowledge and wisdom of a true relationship with our Creator.

          July 27, 2013 at 7:12 am |
      • Nathan

        How old are the two children we're talking about?

        July 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          They are both in their 50's... but since they still believe in invisible creatures I refer to them as children... but not better or worse than adults, just different.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      shiz, You were the one saying atheists were better; it speaks volumes about you.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • abaddon

      you appear angry shiz, why don't you go pray or something.

      July 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • tesmith47

      iI did not want to sound boastful, but now that You have mentioned it , well, YES!!!!!

      June 11, 2014 at 1:44 am |
  10. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    When did the 'reply' button appear on every post?

    July 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lemon Curry?

      A couple days ago, about the same time one of the editors decided he was going to actively post and say Thou Shalt Not.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Akira

      Yesterday, Notta. In the afrernoon.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Akira

        *afternoon, before Dippy gets me.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Dippy

          You were too quick for me, Akira.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Thanks, it caught me by surprise today.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  11. Reality

    And combining the six, we have the following result thereby putting an end to all religion blogs--–

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    July 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You are so silly. All you've done is to show off ignorace as facts.
      End all religious blogs?? You haven't even put an end to this one blog.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • JimK57

      My guess is that Intellectual atheists/agnostics dislike this type of athiest the most.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • Dippy

        Atheist, not athiest.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • kooj

          No...athiest is just fine, it is not a proper noun.

          July 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Adam

          +1

          July 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
      "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

      For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

      July 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Reality

      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."

      July 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians including Christian bloggers from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • Lycidas

        It'll be nice to see if the new and more strict moderators will do something about mass plasterings of non-topic non-sense like these.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Athy

          Let's hope so.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • God wears panties

          Does he really think people read his splatter? lol keep scrolling....to the bottom

          July 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • cm

          I concur. Looks like "Reality" has no life.

          July 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
      • LeeAnna

        Well if it makes you feel any better, if you felt bad at all... Which I kind of doubt. I read all of it, and I enjoyed it as well. Perhaps one can only enjoy what one is capable of understanding. I have no shame in knowing I am better than a few others, I make better choices, I am kinder and more considerate, and I am generally smarter. I am of course not the smartest, kindest, etc but I certainly far exceed some, for this I make no apologies.

        July 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      Gabrie-el, Rapa-el, Micha-el, ..... see a pattern ?
      They are all sub-deity/messengers of the El god from Babylonia.
      Syncretism at it's best.
      Isra-el .....

      July 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Reality

      For the reading-challenged:

      Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, pope, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired

      July 16, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • FajitaBob

      Stupidest post ever. And that comes from a guy who says "stupidest." reality is arguing that if you cannot prove something either way, his viewpoint wins.

      July 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • FajitaBob

      It appears "realirt" is mainly trying to convince himself.

      July 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • js

      "reality ain't always the truth."

      July 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  12. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    And now for the next article: The 41,000 types of Christians...

    July 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      beautiful! :-)

      July 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Alan Foster

      "Man is the only animal that has the true religion: all of 'em."
      -Mark Twain-

      July 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      Is that all? I thought hat was just the different types of Catholics.

      July 16, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • pfr1nk

      I think you are short. I would say there is as many types of christian as there are christians. They all seem to pick and choose what they want.

      /And god always hates the same people they do.

      July 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    What about 7

    7. Atheist in Hiding
    These kinds of Atheists know there is no God but continue to go to church and function inside a religious group because they fear being ostracized by their family and friends if they let their true beliefs be known.

    July 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      aka Closet Atheist

      July 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I think that group falls under #6 (except that they do go to church when others, like their family members are looking e.g. when granny is visiting!).

      July 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Heck, I thought that would be called an intellectual coward.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Peter

        You should live in the South sometime where telling people you don't go to church is the quickest way to be shunned by the entire community. Every time I meet a new person one of the first three questions they ask is "Where do you go to church?"

        July 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Nathan

          Yep. My stock answer for "what religion are you?" is "Oh, I was raised Southern Baptist." Then they assume I still am and that tends to be the end of it. So far it's been a pretty consistent out for those conversations.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • Lycidas

        @Peter- By some definitions, I live in the South.
        I even proclaim that I've never been baptized and don't care really what people think of it. Mostly the Baptists seemed a bit stunned by this but that's on them.

        July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Learningluddite

      That is me. And I would get fired too!

      July 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      You are so right. This is actually a pretty serious oversight.

      July 16, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Bill

      get a set

      July 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Karen

      I used to be a 7 (the type you suggest) but now I'm a 5. I don't care to look into religion or hit others over the head with my opinion about religion. I just live my life as a good person. However, I also don't allow others to hit me over the head with their religious beliefs. I think we should all be allowed to believe or not.

      July 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  14. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    What I fascinates me here is the human compulsion to put everything in its own little pigeon hole with its own little index card – even in such grey areas as belief and non-belief.

    It certainly didn't start with Carl Linnaeus but he's a great example.

    July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Ernest T Bass

      Exactly...This very much reminds me of record companies / music media corporations that insist on forcing music into types and catagories.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Jonathan

        Hey! That system is a way for me to discriminate between music I like and that I don't like. If something falls into the 'Rap' category, I know from experience that it generally has foul language, derogatory speach towards women and glorifies a lifestyle that has no relevence to my own choice of lifestyle. There are occasions where the system doesn't exactly fit a particular song and there will always be exceptions to the rule.

        If you are an atheist and don't fall into one of these categories 100%, you should be glad for it. Label doesn't exactly stick to you. The same thing goes for the vast majority of people. Very few people can be easily labeled and pigeoned into holes.

        July 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Irony Bob

      My pet peeve is the personality "experts" who have it down to four.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Nathan

      Did y0ou just pigeonhole Carl Linnaeus while talking about how bad it is to pigeonhole people?

      July 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        ;) Indeed I did, however unintentionally. Perhaps he is an exemplar of the process.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Anonymous

      I like you broski

      July 17, 2013 at 2:59 am |
  15. Irony Bob

    Where are we apatheists?

    July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Number five Bob. Did you read the article?

      July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  16. Irony Bob

    Why do atheists post on a Belief Blog?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!

    July 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      This blog is a belief blog and NOT a faith blog. That explains why Atheist post here.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Peter

      They post here so that you can ask stupid questions.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      now we're laughing at you Bob ... bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

      July 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Irony Bob

      I guess putting the word "irony" in my name wasn't enough to clue people in to the fact I was being ironical.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        "Ironical" ????

        July 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Irony Bob

          Ironical(adjective): pertaining to, of the nature of, exhibiting, or characterized by irony or mockery.

          July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Irony Bob

          Okay, I'll spell it out: I was making fun of the religious people who say that again and again here, even when the story is about atheism.

          July 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        So you're not like iron?

        July 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • K

      Because I BELIEVE! In NOT "believing".

      July 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • typical

      TYPE 8 – the Evangelical Athiest. There are many of them, they are usually 1,2,4,8 combos. hahahaha.

      July 27, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    4/1

    July 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  18. Lycidas

    I think it is safe to say that the majority of atheists on here probably belong to the Intellectual atheist/agnostic or Activist groups.
    Though I would guess that most atheists in the general public probably leans toward Seeker-agnostic.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Based on what data?

      July 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      What you posted makes sense. I'm more Seeker-agnostic.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Madtown

      I'm closer to a combination of #3 and "deism". I tend to believe there's "something" out there, God or whatever label is assigned. But, I don't believe it's something we can know too much about, or ever know conclusively. I also think organized religions do not have the answers they say they do. No one knows for sure, in my opinion.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • JimK57

      It depends. There are quite a few anti-thiets on here. I would consider anyone who insults or talks down to others as a anti-thiest.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • jazzguitarman

        While there are many anti-theist atheists at this site, there are also a lot of Christians that fit your description. E.g. saying someone cannot be moral if they are secular is an insult.

        July 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • JimK57

          I agree and being a believer myself I cannot take them serious. I wish they would realize how bad they make themselves look.

          July 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Jonathan

          To clarify, as many people butcher a sound argument when they try to repeat it, the whole reasoning behind 'secular people can not be moral' is misrepresented. The correct argument is that secular people have no rational reason to explain their morality, aside from influences from outside moral structures. Morality stems from a sense of an ultimate authority on what is right and what is not right.

          In other words, secular people believe in no absolutes and thus have no foundation for what is 'moral' except for what is universally agreed upon by majorities. The majorities, however, tend to be highly religious in one form or another.

          July 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Jonathan

          "Morality stems from a sense of an ultimate authority on what is right and what is not right.

          Nonsense. Morality is a societal consensus – relative and fluid and meaningful in the context of its society.

          July 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • Jonathan

          Kindly reread my post and pay particular attention to my second paragraph where I very nearly said the same thing you did. I am very aware that the majority of secular people believe morality is a societal construct, apt to change based on current thought at the time. All you did was effective restate my position, in your own words.

          It is a courtesy to fully read, and take the time to digest, someone else's opinion before you start shooting from the hip at perceived inaccuracies. Assuming the other person is an intelligent creature and did not arrive to their current beliefs without thought and contemplation, is how one needs to approach a disagreement.

          July 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Jonathan,

          so you agree with the majority of Americans that gay marriage is perfectly acceptable and should be legalized in all states?

          July 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
        • Jonathan

          Not sure where that particular topic fits into our current conversation. Unless you have a compelling reason to ask for this information, I choose not to answer. I will say that I am not a secular person and do not believe morality is mutable and fluid.

          I do have concerns about the claim that the 'majority' of Americans think that gay marriage is acceptable. Simply based on the way people have voted (which is a better indication on real belief than a survey) they find something unacceptable about it. The younger generation has been subjected to more targetted 'education' regarding the issue and tends to be more pro-gay that the older generations.

          If the question was an attempt to label me with a certain belief system and then discount my opinions as biased, it is best to ask outright rather than pick apart my words in a reply for an 'ahah!' moment. A simple 'I believe that your belief system is clouding your judgement as to the true definition of morality' would open a whole new set of dialogue that we can explore in a deep and meaningful way to see who is ultimately correct, or at the very least, who has the least shaky logical foundation.

          July 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Johnathan,

          morality is fluid. I will give you a concrete incontestable example.

          Slavery is not OK anymore.

          Once upon a time it was considerered moral – even in the Jewish tradition.

          July 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Jonathan

          The topic of slavery is a great example of changing views on morality. You argue that morality has changed. I would argue that slavery has always been immoral, regardless of how people viewed it in the past. Calling the example incontestable is inaccurate. It serves to support both of our opinions.

          Singling out the the Jews/Israelites actually serves to harm your argument more than mine. In fact, it actually supports mine. While slavery was practiced the world over in the last few thousands years (and even continues to this day in certain areas of the world, even illegally in the united states), the practice of the Jews/Israelites was substancially different. They did not view the 'slaves' as property. It was more of an indentured servitude, very similar to early America when they brought over the immigrants. If given a choice, I would opt to be a slave in the Israeli culture, rather than elsewhere in the world.

          Jews/Israelites had laws that governed the treatment of their slaves/servant (essentially the same thing). There were reprecussions if there was mistreatment. There was limitations on how long one could be a servant. You could go far enough to claim that the servants were granted specific rights under Jewish/Iraelie laws. They could own property, inherit their master's land's, marry and be given in marriage. I won't argue that there were most likely bad people in the bunch and no society is perfect, nor will ever be perfect.

          Slavery is wrong, always has been wrong and will always be wrong. Just because a society agrees certain things are acceptable does not make them so. It just makes them all wrong. If morality was fluid and mutable, can you imagine what would happen if an entire society decided that certain kinds of humans did not deserve to live because of the resources that were spent on them? I sure can. Its happening all over the world. Abortion, eugenics, forced sterilizations, opt-out organ donation and other things are placing a worth on human life.

          July 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Jonathan

          Just wanted to add an interesting quote that I found inspiring. Possibly relevant to the conversation. "If you called a tail a 'leg', how many legs does a dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." – Abraham Lincoln

          July 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @JimK57,

      that's your view. The doctoral students' definition is:

      “Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or inst>/b>itution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental. The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

      July 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Dippy

        .

        July 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Dippy
          July 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Fixed:

      “Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental. The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

      as opposed to talking down to theists.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV- "Based on what data?"

      None...it was an opinion. I didn't say there was any data did I?
      But from going on these blogs long enough, most of the atheists on here seem to be part of groups 1 or 2.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Almost by definition, the behavior here is 'type 1', but that does not mean they behave the same way personally and professionally.

        I've never read a book on atheism by an atheist author. This is part of the definition.

        July 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        These are labels for the sake of labels.

        People can exhibit characteristics of all of them.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • noly972

          I see what they did as a sort of color palette. They tried to define the basic colors that we then blend into millions of shades.

          July 15, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • Lycidas

        Of course they can. I'm just going with the generalist feel of it all.
        Good grief, there would simply be no way to peg so many various type of people with 6 basic and absolute groups.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Agreed.

        July 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  19. God wears panties

    Little bit of each one

    July 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • God wears panties

      And flipping some words, these apply to any group or religion.

      July 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      More nonsense labels.

      I personally behave with some aspects of all six of these labels – the least being number two and more particularly four.

      Anonymous internet behavior versus day to day behavior in one's personal and professional life can be very different measured against these labels.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  20. Lycidas

    CNN knows how to bring in the commentors. This should get interesting fast.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Madtown

      Yes. How many different variations of this story have we seen the last few months? How many different ways can they write about the same subject? They are trolling for web hits, to please their advertisers no doubt.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Yes, CNN is in the infotainment business.

        July 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Madtown
      they have these things in America called "businesses". They would not exist if they didn't make "money". So they do things or make things to make "money". CNN is a "business".

      July 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Madtown

      CNN is a "business".
      ----
      Yes, thank you. Not at all offended with CNN taking steps to make money. It is interesting they do it under the guise of "journalism".

      July 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • G to the T

        Then I guess you shoud watch PBS and listen to NPR because all the rest are definitely businesses first, news agencies second...

        July 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Madtown

          No way!!! I suppose next you'll tell me water is wet.

          July 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.