home
RSS
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. 7

    Atheist = Random Existence
    Believer = Purposed Existence
    Question Does you heart keep u alive or does the energy that makes the heart pump?
    Question2 Where does that energy come from?
    If you can answer those question you will be one step further away from the atheist agenda. To me there are far more dangers of non-believe than believe. If there is no God with is the point of morality because then we are just beast with no higher purpose. Than little voice inside of you... listen to it and make the right decision

    July 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Question2 Where does that energy come from?

      Ummm, food and oxygen?

      You are familiar with metabolism right?

      July 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • lionlylamb2013

        GOPer,,

        What then is the exchange rate ratio between one's flesh and bones upon the foods and drinks consumed? Does one eat to fulfill a psychiatric need or psychological necessity? Is an emotional fixation to be fulfilled or is it a physical need? Where then within the atomized kingdom domains does such food issues become translucently apparent in the sciences of civilization?

        July 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Huh?

      " If there is no God with is the point of morality because then we are just beast with no higher purpose. Than little voice inside of you... listen to it and make the right decision"

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our
      species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bill

      The energy to make your heart pump comes from the energy that is released as the body breaks down the oxygen and nutrients you take in. Does that make me an atheist? No. Does it make me devoutly religious? No. Society organizes itself based on several philosophical rules, mainly to treat each other as we would want to be treated. These philosophies are based on religious teaching, but it doesn't mean that God exists, or doesn't exist. It's simply the justification for how we choose to live our lives.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      " If there is no God with is the point of morality

      Grammatical niceties aside, morality helps us function as a society so that we can have enjoyable productive lives.

      It seems like a good idea to me.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • JimK57

      Morality is a human idea and can be influenced by many things including enviroment.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • meifumado

      Did someone skip a few classes in school?

      July 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • 7

        Make sure you do skip the most important one

        July 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Nope.
      Imposed "purpose" with an imaginary fairy-tale outcome is no "purpose".
      Atheist have as much "meaning" in their lives as believers.
      Just more projected nonsense by a believer who NEEDS his/her belief system, or he/she will have to think for themself.
      There is not a shred of evidence that atheists are more immoral than believers.
      Morality does not come from gods.
      You need an Anthropology course, and an Evolutionary Biology course.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  2. lionlylamb2013

    Why is it atheists deem it needful to antagonize others whose Word does bind them? Those verbally inebriated atheists seek their own kinds and they parlor their verbalized séances toward vile witnessing and add not one inch to their consummate statures.

    Their broached senilities are lavished with the most vile of propaganda these atheists of high self-acclaims do so do. They would rather die and become as nothingness then bow to a grand Creator of all material matters and even of His Word which many still do harken towards. The bitter fruits of lamenting wisdoms will forever linger upon religious values and in repentances of the solitary souls can justice rightly prevail! God is the author of Life and Grand Wizard of all languages enflamed and so given to all civilizations. Our globe is God's chessboard and all Life is God's pieces to be so moved or taken from the game.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • MY PANTS HURT

      God does not exist. Your rambling, incoherent diatribe is dismissed.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • lionlylamb2013

        The existence of a Godly Creator has become the séances of the witnessing varieties whose beneficiaries are the Godly chosen likes. For one such as your stature to embolden yourself in thoughts of godly deniability shows much regards as to your un-mounted stamina which by the ways are a fulcrums follies. Stay the way in which you conjure your mindset to find illuminating for free will and freely spirited is God's law and He will no more break this vow for all freedom lovers' sakes. We are found free to be imaginative within all our semantic values that freely is found pleasing to one's spirited soul...

        July 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Edward

          Please stop plagiarizing.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • Athy

      Your rambling, incoherent diatribe is left unread.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • Even if Cluckles the Boneless Chicken had bones,he still would ignore LaLa

        Me either. Even if you get through the flaccid ridiculous childish egotistical writing style, the content is just idiotic, so why bother?

        July 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      It took me months of trying to comprehend your inane babble to even figure out you are a christian. I believe that I called you a pompous ass long before I had any comprehension of your beliefs.

      July 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chris

      Wow if you change atheist with theist and it still hold true. Neither side is any different then the other in how they go about talking about what they believe. Both sides have their loud mouths just as much as their side sitters.

      July 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  3. markinator

    Is it truly necessary to have as many as 6 different descriptors for a state of mind that rejects the supernatural tenets of organized religion? It seems to me that religion once again gets the automatic free pass into the realm of reason, where it cannot possibly belong. Are there 6 different names for someone who doesn't believe in Santa Claus? You've got your non-Santas, and the agnosticlaus......

    July 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      great word "agnosticlaus"

      July 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  4. Howard

    Psalm 53:1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Howard,

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        They seem pretty wily for a bunch of iron age sheepherders don't they 'fraid?

        July 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Elise

          Not really, but they still hold power over the sheep. Do yoou know the difference between "frayed" and "'fraid"?

          July 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Yes, I also know the difference between a sheep and a goat.

          July 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  5. Akira

    Uh, where does the thousand years of peace come in??

    July 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Vic

      After the rapture and the seven-year tribulation.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Akira

        Knock it of with the html. My reply was to the guy that claimed that Jesus is coming back soon because of the war in Syria. It got posted twice.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  6. CosmicC

    We're just like theists. We can be classified. However, I think it really breaks down into the same three camps as theists:
    1) Live and let live – I don't believe in god, but I'm okay with it if you do. As long as you keep your beliefs to yourself, I'll do the same.
    2) Evangelists – I'm right, you're wrong. I'm going to change you (at least atheists don't resort to burning non believers at the stake).
    3) Self-rightgeous – I don't care about the idiots who believe in god, it's the other atheists who have it wrong that I'm trying to fix.

    I try to stay in camp # 1.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • devin

      I can live with that.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  7. Proud Canadian

    Non-theist

    July 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  8. Dustin

    As an Atheist, I find myself falling in at least 3 of these categories. It is almost insulting to read these articles, where we are categorized like an item. I do not categorize people of faith, and expect the same respect. I am not a shoe, type of angus beef, or medicine; and I do not expect to be placed on a shelf as such.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Athy

      So we can categorize you in the group that doesn't like to be categorized.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Yeah, but one of the authors was is a doctoral student. How else is he to write a dissertation?

      July 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Someone said it's like trying to herd cats...

      July 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • lol??

      With the race's fascination with tattoos serial numbers must be getting close again. This time they won't get the wrong Israel like they did the first time around. Socies can learn.

      July 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  9. Dave

    This is the second article cnn has done on atheism in the last couple months. The last one was called something like '22 famous atheists' and now we have this article. As someone already mentioned, some people believe in a higher power per se but not just a God or one which meets the traditional definition thrown out by religions for the last 2000 years. This article is written by someone who thinks all atheists are wrong and is really just an exercise in the author trying to make himself seem smarter than people who don't agree with his own beliefs.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Jim

    For the theists (invariably Christians) who have insisted in praying for us atheists, I will send an email to Santa Claus (cc Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy) and ask that they bring you some reason.
    You're welcome.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • hikohadon

      This will invariably make them mad, but funny nonetheless. I don't think they realize that's how we equate the concept of Sky People.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • devin

        Mad? Not at all. Understand it for the childish silliness that it is? Of course.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • JimK57

        As a beliver it does not bother me at all. If was an athiest I would be upset because it does not fit the image we wish to project of being critical thinkers.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        I've never understood how a group of people who demand such total logic in order to accept God, allow themselves such broad room for illogical thought.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  11. BobJones

    6 kinds of atheists
    1. holding no belief in a God or Gods.
    2. holding no belief in a God or Gods.
    3. holding no belief in a God or Gods.
    4. holding no belief in a God or Gods.
    5. holding no belief in a God or Gods.
    6. holding no belief in a God or Gods.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Athy

      I'm a number 4, with a little of number 2.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Salero21

      That's because atheism is total stupidity. Therefore there's only one type of atheist and one type of atheism.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        And belief in the 40th son of El Elyon, from the Babylonian family of gods, who was chosen the Hebrew war god, (Yahweh), is NOT stupidity ?

        July 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Athy

        Wow, that was truly a profound comment, Salero. How do you manage to come up with such gems? You're a true intellect for sure. You must have several doctorate degrees.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Salero21

        You will not be laughing when the hom.os give you all butt flu.

        July 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  12. sm5574

    There's a lot of overlap in these types, but I don't see what the difference is between Activist and Anti-theist.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      At first glance they are very similar. There is a subtle distinction.

      The anti-theist is focused on the dangers of religion. They would like to see the end of religion.

      The activist is focused on promoting atheism as alternative.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  13. Srisiva

    What about Spiritual atheist – one who believes in God but not in any form preached by beliefs or religion?

    July 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      If you believe in a god then you're not an atheist.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Uhh, then you are not an atheist.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Madtown

      I think you're covered under #3.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • M

      Those would be the theists... just theists. People who do not identify themselves with any particular religion, they just believe in the existence of a God and that's all.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  14. Thinker

    non-theist....the only true way to be.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • devin

      Non theist... the only true way to be wrong. There, fixed it for you 🙂

      July 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  15. Skeptic Al

    I am incapable of having a religious experience.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • lol??

      Is that written in stone??

      July 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Not yet apparently

        July 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • CosmicC

      We were at a friends house for dinner Saturday night. He made a chocolate pate for dessert. I don't believe in god, but I certainly transcended this plane when I ate it.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  16. Enter Atheist Hunter

    Sad for the ones who have passed without knowledge of truth. Pray for the ones who still live and have a chance to find the light of truth, Jesus Christ!

    July 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Melissa

      What truth is that exactly? That a 2000 year old book written by sheepherders who thought the earth was flat holds the answers to all existence?

      July 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • 7

        Seems odd that these sheepherders survived so long since they were so ignorant... the sheepherders live today. Maybe they know something that the world needs

        July 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Athy

          Some people may need religion to help control their behavior, but some don't.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Melissa

          Even amoeba can figure out that they need to eat. Even children and animals can figure out they need shelter. But there is no way an amoeba is going to have the answers to the universe. Sorry.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Nope. The only reason we even know about the sheepherder's cult is because Constantine decided to unify his empire, just like the Persians and Egyptians by using religion. He picked the Christian cult to do that. (The sheepherders are dead BTW. If yu have some proof they are still alive let's see it. ) Humans are mortal beings. Religionists simply cannot accept that fact, so ALL the hundreds of thousands of religious cults cook up fairy stories to deny human mortality.

          July 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • CosmicC

      J & K found the light of Zartha. It didn't seem to make them happy.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Why should you even care enough about atheists to hunt them down? Clean up your own house before speculating on another's.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Madtown

      You're probably a troll, but I'll play along for now. You can't have "knowledge of truth" if you've never heard of the details by which you define "truth". Christianity is not a universally shared concept, there are many people who've never heard of it.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Danimal

      What I find very sad is willful ignorance.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Akira

        What I find sad is willful intolerance.

        July 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • OTOH

      Enter Atheist Hunter,

      Neither you, nor anyone else, knows what happens after death (if anything). I don't know where you get the verified evidence that any "judgment" occurs at that moment, or ever.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Enter Atheist Hunter

        Glad you admit that you don't know and could be wrong.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Enter Atheist Hunter

      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....Isaiah 40:22

      July 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        The earth is not a circle, it's a sphere. Nobody sits on it. Grasshoppers are a terrible analogue to humans. Lemme guess, you believe that an big invisible sky wizard chanted magic spells to make the universe?

        July 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Enter Atheist Hunter

          You've known me long enough to know that I believe is Jehovah God! Not wizards and warlocks.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • OTOH

        Enter,

        Let's see now... at what alti-tude do humans look to be the size of grasshoppers? Maybe at 1,000 ft. or so - just like it would be if one looked down from one of the many hills in the Middle East, which is what "Isaiah", or whoever wrote that, could have easily done. The ancient Hebrews wrote that stuff from simple observation, and a generous dollop of fantasy.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Athy

          And a smidgeon of poetry to help sell it.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • OTOH

          And a huge measure of "Drama Queenism".

          July 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • CosmicC

          Isaiah is fairly well written and, if you set aside belief in god, contains one of the most important aspirational statements of the bible: Isaiah 2:4 and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • hikohadon

      Yawn.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Enter Atheist Hunter

      OTOH....the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and have accurately predicted the future without error up until the very moment....Damascus will be come in ruinous heap. Never in the history of man has Damascus (Syria) became a ruinous heap until now, just as predicted for the last days......

      July 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

        You would think this infallible god of your would have know that bats aren't birds, or that hares don't chew their cud, when he wrote his infallible bible thingie. Isn't he the one who created bats and hares? Look up Leviticus

        July 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • hikohadon

        Is Gozer the Gozerian coming as well?

        July 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Akira

        Uh, where does the thousand years of peace come in??

        July 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • OTOH

        Enter,

        Infallible? How about:

        – The Earth is flat – Proverbs 8:27- Isaiah 40:22- and others
        – Bats are birds – Leviticus 11:13, & 19
        – Pi is 3 – 1 Kings 7:23
        – Unfaithful wives' thighs rot – Numbers 5
        – Striped goats are bred by having the mating pair stare at striped objects – Genesis 30:35
        – Hares chew their cud – Leviticus 11:5 & 6
        – Plants survived without sunlight – Genesis 1
        – Hail and snow are kept in 'storehouses' in the sky – Job 38:22
        – Resurrected dead people ran through the streets of Jerusalem – Matthew 27:52

        July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Maani

          I checked a few the Scriptural sources you provide. Proverbs 8:27 says nothing about the earth being flat, and Isaiah 40:22 refers to the earth as a "circle," which could also mean globe. 1 Kings 7 is about Solomon building a house and does not address Pi in any way. As for Leviticus 11:5-6, and the question of hares chewing cud, you are wrong. Look up cecotrophe. It is the "reingestion method of rabbits, and, according to Wiki, "This type of reingestion to obtain more nutrients is similar to the chewing of cud in cattle."

          Nice try, though.

          July 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  17. Casandra

    Religions come in many forms. Some have blind faith in an Imaginary friend in the sky. Others have blind faith in their political party.

    Sin is simply a construct by those who wish to control the masses. If you enjoy being manipulated and controlled by all means join a Religion.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Some people need to be manipulated and controled, whether the enjoy it or not.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • Casandra

        True

        July 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • JimK57

        If they are not harming anyone else, I am fine with that.

        July 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Casandra

          The only real problem I have with religions is that they attempt to influence politics forcing their morals on others.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • JimK57

          You do realize there are athiests who are pro-life and against gay marriage right?

          July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • guest

      joining a movement against religion is also manipulating and controlling

      July 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Casandra

        I am not part of a movement. I am simply pointing out people are being manipulated.

        I am not telling you what to do.
        I am not asking for money.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • hikohadon

        I can only speak for myself, but I came to my own conclusions without the help of a "movement". There aren't giant gathering halls where Atheists go each week to reaffirm each other's Atheism. Atheists don't knock on your door and hand you literature.

        July 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Athy

          And we don't get on our knees once a week and babble to some invisible "non-god". And we don't read 2000-year-old stories to help us feel good.

          July 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  18. treblemaker

    Atheists–you may think you free your mind with your non-belief, but in return for that "freedom" you shackle your soul.

    I find it very interesting that CNN shows people of great accomplishment as a promo piece for the virtues of atheism. That's fine; they have their riches now-but you can't take it with you.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Doobs

      What is this "soul" that you speak of?

      July 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tim

      There's no proof people have souls.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Melissa

      lol. There is no soul. Shackle it from what? Not devoting my love to something that doesn't exist? Sounds good to me.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Casandra

      The Soul and SIn are imaginary constructs used to control you. Soul is a construct that makes you feel you have an afterlife and preys on your fear of death. Sin are just the laws that are attempted to control you by damaging your "soul".

      If there is no religion, there is no god, there is no soul, there is no sin, and the church can not control you.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • hikohadon

      Uh.... OK.

      I think the Atheists are down with the idea you can't take it with you.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Funny you should state it that way. Of all people, we atheist know best that you can't take it with you because there's no place to go.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • jj

      You're wasting the only chance you get to exist.

      July 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      What is the soul? If you fall and hit your head hard enough to do cause damage to your brain, who you are – everything about you can change in an instant......

      Think of the tens of thousands that died being burned at the stake ..to do what was it purify their souls?

      if there is an alternate form of you that is immortal – then why is its fate tied to a physical body that is over in a flash comparatively. Bronze age thinking at its finest...

      July 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • IndySocial

      The "Soul" is religions gift to people to use death anxiety as a means to control the mind that I am certain I have in some fashion. "I think, therefore I am."

      I think it goes something like this:

      We have a soul. This soul is eternal. The fate of our eternal soul depends upon our behaviors in this life. Therefore, Behave yourself...

      To answer Mr. Merica's original question from the article, I am 1,2, and 4. If, this particular study is actually accurate. I am a bit of a skeptic also.

      July 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  19. Alex

    I'm a "seeker-agnostic" according to this scale. Although I think that our limited understanding of the world/universe prevents me from taking a stand one way or the other–I get vocal and annoyed when some Bible thumper starts yelling about "the truth" and trying to impose their views on others.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  20. CosmicC

    This is a fairly skimpy article. I'm sure the study was much more detailed. Still, I clearly fall in more than one category.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111
Advertisement
About this blog

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