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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. Austin

    skytag
    "so I can have faith that others probably were too"

    Sure you can. You can have faith in anything you choose. But what this statement tells me is that you choose to interpret events and evidence of your beliefs, even when you have no evidence they are.

    Discounting for the moment the fact I believe there can be other explanations for your dreams, even if your explanation for them is the correct one, why don't more people experience what you experience? Eighty percent of the world's population isn't even Christian and the vast majority of Christians don't experience what you describe. Why has God chosen to bless you with this evidence but not the vast majority of other people? Does he not care if they believe in him or not and only thpecial people like you matter?

    If God is real why doesn't he offer at least some evidence of his existence to give non-believers a reason to at least wonder if he might exist? Apparently you have to already believe in him to get any verification of his existence, which makes no sense, because then why would anyone believe in him in the first place?

    I think you're a bona fide brainwashed nut case who is so taken in by all this you choose to interpret ordinary events and coincidences as evidence of what you want to believe. This would be consistent with your statement above. "Probably" says you are just deciding to believe it.

    July 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Austin

      sky tag, it is difficult now wondering what I am supposed to do, look for, or pay attention to. i don't want to become obsessed, or pushy or expecting God to keep doing what did happen . if you read the ot, people saw God and then still rejected His will for their life.

      This is why God does not go around doing miracles. because we are so depraved that 1, we are naturally offended by Him, then we expect Him to do something we put God to the test, He hates this. and then even when He does do it, we reject Him.

      If you desire God, and this relationship, then you simply must go after it. This is not your agenda, this is your responsibility.

      Do you want it. Do you dispise God? Do you truly hate His word and reject His spirit. do you reject the resurrected messiah and simply say "oh i don't believe that" ?

      you have to seek God desperately and He will give you faith. and you are desperate. you are all together incapable of overcoming your depravity. You have to reach out to Him with everything.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
      • midwest rail

        "...bona fide brainwashed nut case..."
        Yep.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • Elise

        You are not going to get far in you proselytizing (if that is what you call it) until you know what depravity is. Hint: it's not what everyday, ordinary citizens are doing. You sound like a zealot who things everyone is having sex with farm animals while selling their mothers on the corner. Get a grip.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • skytag

        "if you read the ot, people saw God and then still rejected His will for their life."

        If I read the Old Testament (and for the record I've read the entire Bible, and many parts multiple times as I was a practicing Christian for four decades) I will read the writings of human beings in which they describe many events, but there is no evidence whatsoever any of those events actually took place.

        Look, if I were going to create a religion from scratch and make up a bunch of fairytales around it I would be sure to tell people they will be ridiculed for believing it, that many won't believe it because of their own shortcomings, and so on so those who do believe it have something they can fall back on when the inevitable ridicule comes and many reject what they claim.

        Last year there was a group of Christians who went around the country in motorhomes proclaiming the world would end on May 21, 2012. I'm sure they "saw" signs others rejected and for sure they were ridiculed. Obviously they had complete faith in what they were claiming, for surely someone wouldn't give up his job and life to travel around the country in a motorhome warning people about the end of the world unless he really, really believed it. Well guess what? For all their faith and all the ridicule they endured, they were obviously wrong.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
      • skytag

        "This is why God does not go around doing miracles. because we are so depraved that 1, we are naturally offended by Him, then we expect Him to do something we put God to the test, He hates this. and then even when He does do it, we reject Him."

        Christians are masters at rationalizing, and that's all you're doing here. If what you claim is true, why did God ever perform any miracle at any time in history? Why perform miracles for people who wouldn't accept them 2000 or 3000 years ago but not for people today? Did he not realize then that people would reject them? Oh wait, he's all-knowing, so that can't be the answer.

        If God created us and we are his children, why would he offend us? Did he make us "wrong?" Apparently I'm supposed to believe God created man in Adam and Eve, and that he has given every person born sense a soul, yet the human race your perfect, all-knowing God created was such a failure that at one point we wiped out all but eight of them and started over from scratch. Now it seems that the second attempt was such a failure he's given up doing miracles.

        This is the nonsense you expect me to accept as an excuse for why there are no miracles?

        July 17, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • Tom Wilson

          How do you know that God does not like being tested? Did he go to the Subway with you and tell you this over coffee? I thought God liked to be tested, because he then proves who he is, and that cuts away any doubts about him forever. And if you and he had coffee at the Subway, How was he looking? He is pretty old you know!

          July 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • skytag

        "This is why God does not go around doing miracles. because we are so depraved that 1, we are naturally offended by Him, then we expect Him to do something we put God to the test, He hates this. and then even when He does do it, we reject Him."

        Christians are masters at rationalizing, and that's all you're doing here. If what you claim is true, why did God ever perform any miracle at any time in history? Why perform miracles for people who wouldn't accept them 2000 or 3000 years ago but not for people today? Did he not realize then that people would reject them? Oh wait, he's all-knowing, so that can't be the answer.

        If God created us and we are his children, why would he offend us? Did he make us "wrong?" Apparently I'm supposed to believe God created man in Adam and Eve, and that he has given every person born sense a soul, yet the human race your perfect, all-knowing God created was such a failure that at one point we wiped out all but eight of them and started over from scratch. Now it seems that the second attempt was such a failure he's given up doing miracles.

        This is the nonsense you expect me to accept as an excuse for why there are no miracles?

        Austin, just so you know, miracles are not the only evidence we could have for God's existence. It would be evidence for his existence if all religions had some elements in common. That would strongly suggest they were all based on this God that is real. Yet we know this is not the case. When one views the world's thousands of religions it quickly becomes clear there is nothing they all have in common. They don't even agree on whether there is one God (monotheistic religions such as Christianity) or multiple gods (polytheistic religions such as the Norse, Egyptian, Native American Indian and Greek gods).

        Even within Christianity there is very little consistency of belief. Some wholeheartedly reject gays, while others marry gays and accept them into their clergy. The Amish and the Catholics have little in common. Catholics believe members of the clergy shouldn't marry. Some churches believe in handling snakes and speaking in tongues. Some are big on ritual and some aren't.

        I'm sure you can rationalize this as well, but that's all you'll be doing: rationalizing. A religion is like a conspiracy theory. You start out with a basic set of beliefs based on no evidence. When aspects of it are question you posit yet more theories, also based on no evidence. The process continues until the web of theories is complete enough to satisfy you that all major objectives are addressed somewhere in it, but there is no evidence for any of it.

        July 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • skytag

        "If you desire God, and this relationship, then you simply must go after it. This is not your agenda, this is your responsibility."

        Only if I first have some reason to believe any of it is real. I do not "desire" God. Either he exists or he doesn't. If he did exist I'd want to know all I could about him live my life accordingly, but without any reason to believe such a God exists I see no rational reason to "go after" anything dependent on his existence. From where I sit the only reason anyone has to believe God might exist is the word of people like you. But if that's all I can expect to go on initially, whose word should I trust? Yours? A Mormon's? A Jew's? A Muslim's? A Shinto's? A Buddhist's? Perhaps I should visit a remote tribe in the Amazon and believe what some tribe there believes about God.

        See, the problem is that as soon as you want to believe in a god that inevitably biases your thinking. You don't just look for evidence, you interpret ordinary events as evidence. This is how Christians tend to think: 29 kids die in a school bus crash and one survives unharmed. The typical Christian conveniently ignores the deaths of 29 innocent children and claim it was a miracle the one survived. Or a gunman goes into a theater and shoots 12 people. The typical Christian conveniently ignores the deaths of 12 people and claims it's a miracle more weren't killed. Sorry, but my idea of a miracle would be the gunman's gun jamming before he could kill anyone.

        July 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
      • skytag

        "Do you want it."

        I want the truth, even if it isn't as comforting as your God narrative.

        "Do you dispise God?"

        It would be irrational to despise something I have no reason to believe exists.

        "Do you truly hate His word and reject His spirit. do you reject the resurrected messiah and simply say "oh i don't believe that" ?"

        I don't believe in God, the resurrection, Santa Claus, vampires, leprechauns, or the Tooth Fairy, and all for the exact same reason: I see no evidence to suggest any of them are real.

        July 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
        • Austin

          why did he do a miracl at any time in history?

          because He interveined with mankind. and what He did, He does not have to do again. look we can sit here and debate, but what I can personally garuntee you , is that if you sincerely want Him to reveal absolute spiritual truth to you, that you seek out the Holy Spirit, who is a part of the savior. because Jesus is risen. I promise you that what I am telling you is accurate, and you have to forget what I am telling you , and lean entirely towards the Holy Spirit. Start asking for the faith that I am describing to you, a faith that came by the power of a supernatural God. you never have to go to church, you never have to give a dollar. all you need is a want to know the truth and demand it from God. to do that, you have talk to HIm. He can hear your mind, so don't try to get smart.

          July 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
        • Edward

          Austin, you are using circular logic to prove your point. Just because you say it, doesn't mean it is true.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • skytag

        "you have to seek God desperately and He will give you faith. and you are desperate. you are all together incapable of overcoming your depravity. You have to reach out to Him with everything."

        It is a well known trait of human beings that if we want to believe something badly enough we'll find a way to believe it's true. It's a trait essential to religion, but we also see in other areas, such as politics. If you want to believe Obama wasn't born in Hawaii you'll reject all the evidence and logic saying he was and buy all the birther arguments. If you want to believe Bush orchestrated the attacks on 9/11 you'll reject on the logic discounting that notion and buy all the truther arguments. Human beings have an enormous capacity to convince themselves that what they want to believe is true.

        As soon as you want to believe in God it becomes almost inevitable you'll be able to convince yourself he exists, and if you want to believe it "desperately" it pretty much guarantees you will.

        July 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
        • Austin

          you have shown me a lot of respect, for going through what i wrote and replying piece by piece. It is an honor to see that from a stranger. with that, I have not really done justice to the dream and answers thing of really explaining in detail, how this really all tied together and step by step, how God proved His presence in a sovereign way. it is difficult to do typing it out. if I could explain it vocally it would help.

          I apprecaite your time and mental approach,and I aggree with you about the mental blur that occurs with a wanting mind.

          and I describe it the opposite way, that the heart is deceitful. That mans heart deceives him. Sky tag, i am less interested in proving or explaining my expience, and i have all confidence, knowing what I experienced, that if you would read through the word again, or simply meditate on John CH 17 , and pray to God for HIs voice in your life, that you will indeed have your faith confirmed by the living God.

          And i want this for you more than i want anything for myself. God bless you. hope to catch up with you around here soon.

          Have a good night bud.

          July 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  2. Jon Matthew

    God makes himself known to those who seek him and desire to know him. God is very real and works his miracles with his children to show his love for his creation. I feel sorry for those people who have not experienced the awesome love of the Lord God.

    I love God and thank the Lord for every good he has done for my family, friends and coworkers.

    Pax

    July 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • There. Are. No. Gods!

      All you are saying is if you believe in something strongly enough, whether it exists or not in reality, it will exist in your mind and therefore MUST exist. The same could be said for anything like unicorns, Santa, elves, the Tooth Fairy, what ever. Without proof your argument for god or jesus is just nonsense, and you know it.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • Athy

        TANG, you said it better than I ever could. I can add nothing. Kudos.

        July 17, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  3. Phil Cole

    Was there any effort to fetermine who any of those intervirewed consider their atheist role models? In which of these categories would you assign the famous atheists of history?

    July 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Elise

      Why would that be pertinent?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
  4. Austin

    The reason God allows atheism to persuade people into handing their soul over to death and evil, and the absence of God, is because instead of killing us when Adam sinned, He is patient and His kingdom is bearing fruit.

    and YOU are being called, you are justified by the blood of Christ. And there is nothing else that will bring you back into fellowship as God is Holy.

    July 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Pete

      "His kingdom is bearing fruit. "

      That is a lie. Christianity has stayed static at about 30% of the population since it was founded. There are far more people on this planet that don't believe in your version of god.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Speaking of Adam, God so badly misjudged how man would turn out that the very first human baby killed the second human baby.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
      • Major Tom

        Not surprising given who grandpa was. Talk about a dysfunctional family.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • John B.

      1.5 billion muslims disagree with you because they KNOW Allah is God, not Christ. Now what?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • Austin

      its time to admit that the temptation was an attack, with the intent to destroy.

      and that is what you see on earth. human destruction. he is going take his pleasure in death out on you . and it will get worse. the fact is that you see murder and you know and i mean KNOW, that evil is alive. the sin that leads to death is powerful.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
      • Elise

        You think atheists seek the destruction of humans? Are you on drugs?

        July 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The omniscient god who couldn't foresee that the male would need a female? Who couldn't foresee the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge? What was its plan before that – Stepford sheepherder?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
      • Austin

        God has feeling and emotions. He has given His word perfectly. quit mocking Him.

        do you understand love? there is nothing stupid about the process and description He gives.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • lol??

        Naughty Santa, What are ya some kinda pedophile??

        1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

        Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

        July 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Not sure how you came to that conclusion from my post. There is a grave danger in judging other people by your own standards and conduct – it's almost guaranteed that you'll underestimate them.

          July 18, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      So your god hates some of his "children" so much that he makes them doubt his existence while at the same time withholding the evidence that might convince them, just so that he can send the to hell where they will suffer for eternity.

      Your god is an evil prick, and I don't worships evil pricks.

      July 17, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      "death and evil"? where do you get this stuff pen-day-ho?

      July 18, 2013 at 6:16 am |
  5. michael

    Anti-Theists think their view is "superior" to theists? REALLY? Religious people don't think their belief is superior. Such BS. Trying to paint them in a bad light. Biased BS.

    July 17, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Observer

      michael

      "Anti-Theists think their view is "superior" to theists? REALLY? Religious people don't think their belief is superior."

      You're joking right? Religious people say if you don't believe them, you will go to hell.

      Get serious.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • Saraswati

        I believe michael had a typo in his post and may have meant the opposite of what you think.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        He is quoting (sort of) the article:

        “The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

        July 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
      • Tom Wilson

        I am still trying to locate hell, can anyone here help, which way is it from Texas? How large is it? What is it's population? How long has it been there? Thanks in advance for the information!

        July 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Hell? Go to Texas and look in any direction. You will find it.

          Yes, even in Austin (particularly in the statehouse.)

          July 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • Athy

          Actually Hell is an unincorporated town in Livingston County, Michigan,

          July 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • devin

      What? I'm a theist and I absolutely " think my belief is superior", which is why I hold it.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

        What? I'm an atheist and I don't think my view is superior. I KNOW my view is superior.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • devin

          I would certainly hope you feel that way about your world view, I would think less of you if you didn't.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        You have no evidence of a god so how did you determine that your belief is superior to the other beliefs?

        July 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
        • devin

          As a short disclaimer, take note that I did not say " I was superior" for holding this view. Just to clarify.

          If by "evidence" you mean something that can be observed, quantified and proven beyond doubt, I would agree. Our definitions of evidence are divergent.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  6. rafael

    This "research" describes a range of personality traits in people, not just atheists, so the conclusion that "nonbelief is an ontologically diverse community” seems as valuable as concluding that people are ontologically diverse. "We're pretty sure we've spotted all six in our comments section." Yah, that's because people write those comments.

    And FYI, Dan Merina, atheists don't "disbelieve in God." That's like saying that you disbelieve in unicorns and tooth fairies, or that Christians disbelieve in Thor.

    July 17, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  7. Vic

    @Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor "..."

    Thank you for taking in field questions. Here is my question:

    Silver and Coleman derived these six categories of atheists at a first stab and anticipate twenty six more over the next thirty years. Is there a projection of what those future categories may be and what is driving them?.

    July 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  8. Brian

    Regarding your "agnostic" portion of your post.

    Your phrasing is a bit off. An agnostic is someone who believes that we can't ultimately know whether there is some sort of higher power. A gnostic, in contrast, is someone who believes we can know the existence of god. It doesn't ultimately answer whether you believe in a god or not.

    You can be an agnostic atheist or a gnostic atheist, or you can be an agnostic theist or a gnostic theist. An agnostic atheist is someone who doesn't believe in the existence of a deity, and we can't know whether or not a deity exists. Similarly, an agnostic theist is someone who believes in a deity, or deities, and that we can't know for certain whether a deity exists or not. Same thing for gnostic atheist/theist, but they believe that we can know for certain.

    So saying your an agnostic tells us nothing about your belief in a deity, other than you don't believe it's possible to know.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Who are you responding to?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • Brian

        CNN itself. They are wrong on their definition of an agnostic.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        They didn't define "agnostic".

        The researchers made up a bunch of labels. "Seeker Agnostic" happens to include the word agnostic. It does not mean that all "agnostics" (whatever that is exactly)* belong in that category.

        * It seems like everyone has a different definition of that word. (I agree with yours by the way.)

        July 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  9. Austin

    tony
    Without collection plates, all religions would die a death – without an after-life

    if you go to mybridgeradio.com and look at the Bryan with Vota "Love Found Me " campaign, you can give money to his album to go to saving Nepali girls from being trafficed into s.ex slavery on the border, the money goes to a border station to save young girls who are being tricked and sold at the border.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Austin, is that me?

      July 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Austin

      Bryan with vota, a musician, is using his album and 100% of the album income goes to Nepal for a border station.

      they have 15,000 and the need 30 to start one border patrol. its been on going for a month allready, the fundraiser.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
      • Topher

        Austin, is that me??

        July 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  10. Tom Wilson

    Sorry, does not compute.. Bet your like a Liberal virus LOL!

    July 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Robert 2014

      You probably meant "you're", stupid. Now learn to use the Reply button, if you even have the mental capacity to.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
      • Tom Wilson

        Proven, Thanks!

        July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Elise

      Have you caught the Rush-Fox-Jones virus? It would seem so. There is no cure for the brain rot that follows.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
  11. ThereIsNoGod

    As I was reading the different types i kept saying "that's me" after every single one of them. I guess the 7th type is all of the above.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  12. Tom Wilson

    There is a bad virus out there called the Liberal Virus. It attack's the soft tissue of the brain and sucks out all Common Sense. Stay as far away from it as possible.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Robert 2014

      Most liberals are actually much smarter and mentally more healthy than you are. Which isn't saying much.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
      • Tom Wilson

        You have no idea what my mental health is.. Nor do I know what your mental health is other than you appear to be under the control of the Liberal Virus.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • Robert 2014

          False. Your posts actually demonstrate your mental disabilities and issues.

          July 17, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • Tom Wilson

          Please describe my disabilities and issues so the rest of the bloggers will know. Thank you in advance!

          July 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • Austin

          keeping on the blog subject we could debate weather God is liberal, or conservative or both. and obviously he does not entertain two dismal parties who argue and get nothing done.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I'd say Jesus is pretty much a liberal.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Observer

      There is a virus called the Republican virus. It causes people to lose track of reality and become world-class hypocrites.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • David Johnston

      It amazes me that anyone from UTC (I am an alum) could publish this article and still have a job. The English professor I had in 1973 was fire for letting us read a book called the Cosmos Reader. Do you still have a job?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The best indicator of a soft brain is a person, left write or center, who believes they have conveyed meaningful information with the words "common sense".

      July 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Dippy

      C'mon, Tom. It's "attacks," not "attack's." Go back to the fifth grade. And try to stay awake this time..

      July 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  13. Josef Stalin

    Don't forget, #7)The Pseudo-Intellectual atheist

    You got religious men like Damadian (inventor of the MRI) and then you have pseudo-intellectuals like Richard Dawkins.

    Here he is stumbling and bumbling to lowly Ben Stein
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=390]

    July 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Guest

      That was edited. Look for Dawkins remark on the setup.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • JJ

      Dawkins should have known better than to give this frothing at the mouth dishonest Christian fanatical creationist material that he knew would be doctored.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Who did Ben Stein write speeches for again?

      Oh, that's right, Richard M. Nixon.

      A long careeer in the spin cycle.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ben Stein is apparently so arrogant that he thinks the ten commandments don't apply to him. At least the one about bearing false witness, because Stein is lying through his teeth here. If you watch the whole interview it's obvious. Those of you who think that a lie proves anything are simply complicit in that lie. If your god is real, you will burn in hell with all the people you condemn.

      July 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  14. tony

    Without collection plates, all religions would die a death – without an after-life

    July 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Austin

      that is rediculous. You have no idea the kind of money that rich people put into that plate to see the outreach.

      at my church last year which seats maybe 300 people, 667 people came to faith in one year. OK we have things called connection groups for new people, and this church is all about praising God, singing to the Lord, and reaching out. MIssions is THE WAY of the Lord.

      I personally work my tail off, and my biggest goal is to give to my church. because the spirit of God is reaching out and He found me. Thank you Jesus.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • Dippy

        Austin, it's "ridiculous," not "rediculous." Other than that, your comment is golden bullshit.

        July 18, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • fallen angel

          hey Dippy correct this f–k y-o

          July 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • ThereIsNoGod

      Truer words were never spoken.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Austin

      yes religion will die without an afterlife, but God will never die or the truth or everlasting life.

      did God part the water with money? did He show me He was there with money?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  15. Cathy

    I don't care what you believe in but when your child dies, you lose you job and you mother sleeps with your husband, you better have some kind of rock to lean on.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Austin

      ouch.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Joseph

      With that luck you'd best look up.'cause that rocks gonna fall on ya'

      July 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Austin

      Psalm 18:2 ►

      The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      Use the one holding the trailer up.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
      • Wow

        At what point did it seem like a good idea to you or Major Tom to delight in someone else's tragedy?

        July 18, 2013 at 5:58 am |
    • Major Tom

      Which trailer park do you live in?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  16. tony

    You see mild virus's evolving to became the causes of mass epidemics too?

    July 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Dippy

      Viruses, not virus's.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • fallen angel

        Dippy here see if you can correct this spelling GET F_CKED

        July 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  17. Austin

    Austin
    Austin
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Austin
    @ Mass D
    "By the way, there are many people who keep dream journals, but only psychopaths try to decipher them as divine inspiration."

    i am going through this again...
    all of the dreams I had, that I discern were visioins, were because I was having dreams that were LEADING what my reality and awake life was about to actually present to me. Did I know when i wrote them down, or expect, for these dreams to be doing such a thing? there were a few where I knew that I could expect something. and they did hit .

    two nights in a row, and a little space between the third dream,

    #1I dreamt about the tile patio , a huge and beautiful rock tile with wide grout and a beautiful pattern and color, ater i had entered a stone arch entrance. There was an arm reaching into a whole, a whole chizzeled out of the ground. and the arm pulled out a leather bag full of gems. wrote these down in the middle or the night half asleep. The next day....I kept reading my bible.......

    Jeremiah 43:8-13
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 “Take some large stones in your [a]hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh’s [c]palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of [d]some of the J.ews; 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.

    #2 the next night I dreamed that i was being attacked by a motorcycle gang and that the leader of the gang had a huge animal horn, att.atched to his seat. he could not even sit on his bike. he was trying to run me over. they were a rebel gang.
    the next day, i had finished reading Jeremiah and gotten into Lament.ations

    ◄ Lament.ations 2:3 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.
    ◄ Lament.ations 2:17 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.

    I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH AND THE STONES, AND I HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF LAMENTA.TIONS. i COULD NOT HAVE TOLD YOU WHAT ONE MAIN POINT WAS OTHER THAN I KNEW JEREMIAH WAS A PROPHET.

    #3 a few days later I had a dream that there was a huge pile of feathers underneath a bed. that day, I was reading in the book of daniel, ◄ Daniel 4:33 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

    the kid who i had the dream about, got into trouble that day, which i had suspected the feather was a sign that he would be humiliated. he had his work pass suspended which was a major blow.

    #4 dreamed I was poisoned by mercury in alcohol. the next dream, didnt have a single dream for two weeks, this next dream I had just let two snakes out of a cage. one was a viper, the other was a rattler. but I had not thought even thought the word viper for a long time. when i woke up, i said to the kid next to me................."something is going to happen today, this one is a sign" i knew the snakes were a sign..

    two hours later i went down to bible study, the leader, on the second passage, said turn to proverbs 23:32

    29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has blo.odshot eyes?
    30 Those who linger over wine,
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
    31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it goes down smoothly!
    32 In the end it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.

    #5 Dreamed i was in a wh.ore house and I flooded it because i turned on a water spitot upstairs and just let it go and left it on. I had been praying about lust. I didnt catch this dream, until a few week later i did a study on water. I had no clue about this dream. i seemed like a random joke. but i got kicked out for letting the water run and flood.

    15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.

    # 6 dreamed i was touring a house and went out back and there was an ABOVE ground pool with an flush deck and a privacy fence right around the deck.

    two days later the kid sleeping next to me pulled out a piece of paper , sheldon clay was his name, and he showed me his blue print he drew, of a new house, with an above ground swimming pool , with a flush deck around the pool, and a privacy fence on the deck.

    #7 this kid on night threw a roll a tp and racked me. I was furious and said to myself, I wonder if he has the light in his eye. and then i rebuked my judgment of his spiritual condition. THE NEXT MORNING he woke up and came up to me and said, "i had a dream last night that i was going around to see who had a special light in their eye to see if they were possessed or not"
    this kid was not a bible verse type of guy.

    #8 had a dream that the kid who was ripping on me lost his money
    a month later i over heard him talking about how he lost his money, and i said watch this, and pulled out the dream i had that he had lost it.

    #9 the cat dream. I had a cat at my house, that night i dreamed that a demonic voice sang to me which inverted my body and then presented the same cat, covered in blood.

    I woke up and the cat was dead in the highway, 550 feet from my house.

    #10 I had a dream i was inside the st. louis arch and I was in there with my cousin, and she was pointing at a glass case , with a bust of someone. she said "look, its thomas Jefferson" and the place was very nice. very expensive and ritzy.

    I had no idea what the st. louis arch was about. but what i had been doing, was getting heavily into the rumors about masons, and this dream just came to me. and when I googled this and I started trembling . this is called "a word of knowledge" which is a type of spiritual gift.

    There have been numerous other ones that I believe were spiritual words of knowledge that i wont get in to .

    None of this stuff, is me trying to fit things together. everything i dreamed, and then experienced in real life as i have stated. Some of these, are totally obvious. others, I have complete faith that they were also spiritual revelations, because I know %100 that some were, so I can have faith that others probably were too. and 8 of the first ten there, all happened in jail.

    This is organized, and relevant information that is a dream, relating to reality that i was about to live.

    That is spiritual revelation.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Austin

      God's spirit is a prophetic master because He knows all. He can show you .

      John 15:26-27
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Work of the Holy Spirit

      26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
      • skytag

        I accept that you are well trained in the practice of regurgitating Christian sound bites, brainwashed to believe that saying something with enough conviction makes it true, and that quoting the Bible proves something.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Tom Wilson

      I want some of what ever it is that your smoking or sniffing LOL!

      July 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Athy

      Yeah, me too, Tom. Have you seen a doctor about this, Austin?

      July 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Topher

      Austin, is that me?

      July 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • skytag

      "so I can have faith that others probably were too"

      Sure you can. You can have faith in anything you choose. But what this statement tells me is that you choose to interpret events and evidence of your beliefs, even when you have no evidence they are.

      Discounting for the moment the fact I believe there can be other explanations for your dreams, even if your explanation for them is the correct one, why don't more people experience what you experience? Eighty percent of the world's population isn't even Christian and the vast majority of Christians don't experience what you describe. Why has God chosen to bless you with this evidence but not the vast majority of other people? Does he not care if they believe in him or not and only thpecial people like you matter?

      If God is real why doesn't he offer at least some evidence of his existence to give non-believers a reason to at least wonder if he might exist? Apparently you have to already believe in him to get any verification of his existence, which makes no sense, because then why would anyone believe in him in the first place?

      I think you're a bona fide brainwashed nut case who is so taken in by all this you choose to interpret ordinary events and coincidences as evidence of what you want to believe. This would be consistent with your statement above. "Probably" says you are just deciding to believe it.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  18. tony

    So you believe your "good" god slaughtered 250,000 in the recent tsunamis?

    July 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Joseph

      Naw, that was the devil.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • J. Wangsness

        But those who died did nothing wrong except be in the wrong place.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
  19. tony

    Ask a believer who parted the red sea, then ask again who caused the recent tsunamis, which drowned 250,00 innocent humans.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Snowdog

      Yeah, that was God. He caused the Tsunami that killed 250,000 people. Give me a break. Bad things happen in this world.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • tony

        But god was the one who was bale to control the parting of the red sea. So he was the one who did the tsunami evil to the people

        July 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
      • weather war

        HAARP technologies.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        You claim that your omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent god has the power to create the universe and all in it – moon at the right distance, sun at the right distance, etc. yet it is only responsible for the good in the world but not the bad, and despite all its superpowers cannot prevent bad beyond the probabilities of pure chance. Delusional.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
      • skytag

        Bad things happen and good things happen. There is no evidence that any of them are influenced by a supernatural being. Your fellow believer Austin said earlier that "God is in control." If that's true, and I've heard Christians say that many times, doesn't that mean he's in control of tsunamis?

        July 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • devin

      Yep, God did/allowed both. That deal with the boat and old man, when pretty much the entire human population at the time was destroyed, that was Him too. Do I understand why a loving God would allow His creation to undergo these things, nope. I wish the world was all lollipops, pretty flowers and sunshine, but it's not. Any thinking christian must come to the point where they accept the reality that on a certain level, their faith is irrational. And by irrational, I mean doesn't make sense to human reasoning. I have and do.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  20. Snowdog

    I do not understand people that say God does not exist. To say that something comes from nothing is outrageous. The moon has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The sun has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The planets have to be aligned just like they are or we would not exist. The earth has to turn exactly as it does or we would not exist. The oxygen level has to be exactly as it is or we would not exist. To say that this all happens by chance does not make sense. There has to be a creator. Look at a watch. A watch just does not come into existence without a creator. It has to be designed to work. The same goes with life. God does exist. You have to be blind not to see that. The Bible does say that the path to death is wide and the path to eternal life is narrow. That is true based on what I see in this world.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Joan@yahoo.com

      Snowdog, your post is utterly stupid and your core premise is obviously false. Look, just google "anthropic principle". Basically, an observer from within the circumstances is of course going to experience some subset of them. Get a friggin brain already.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • stevejobs@verydeadnow.com

        Like that's your real e-mail address joan

        July 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • Snowdog

        Thanks for that nice comment Joan. When I die I will be in paradise with God. I pray that one day you will believe as well. God Bless.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • Robert 2014

        When you die, you'll be dead, SnowDog, and the average IQ of the world will rise.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • Snowdog

          Many atheists once believed like you Robert and then did the research themselves and became Christian. Hopefully one day you will see the light as well.

          July 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • Robert 2014

          Far more atheists were Christians once, but unlike you, they did their research and were smart enough to realize that your religion is a complete and utter fraud, and mainly fiction. Thus they discarded it.

          Grow some balls and do your homework before you post more lies like what you just said. You are both a liar and a coward.

          July 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
      • Robert 2014

        You pray for us, Snowdog, and we'll think for you, since you seem unable to reason.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Snowdog

          Robert, why cant you speak without throwing out nasty comments. I am not doing that to you. I think it is highly intelligent to believe in God. Most of the population of the world believes in God. Atheists represent a very small part of the population. 95% are wrong and 5% are right?????

          July 17, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • Robert 2014

          Again, look up "ad populum fallacy", stupid. You just committed it bigtime.

          July 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • ThereIsNoGod

          Snowdog,
          Atheists are actually closer to 22-25% and rising. Some of the Scandinavian countries are actually getting pretty close (this decade) to abolishing religion. Look it up. Also most people in the world are NOT highly intelligent. The fastest way to become an atheist is to read the bible and use common sense. You don't have to go far at all; the book of Genesis will do.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • lionlylamb2013

          A 2005 survey published in Encyclopedia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about 11.9% of the world's population, and atheists about 2.3%.

          Using these figures that would mean about 161,000,000 people in the world are Atheists, while about 833,000,000 are non-religious.

          http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_atheists_are_there_in_the_world

          July 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
        • Tom Wilson

          What percentage of world population is active in this blog?

          July 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • lionlylamb2013

        What a jokester Joan...

        Calling your blamefully shambles of uncompromising worded connotations is theatre at its worst! Do the world a favor and skip off!

        July 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • Robert 2014

        Snowdog, try responding to what Joan@ said. I bet you can't provide a cogent counter-argument.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • Robert 2014

        ll2013, like I said to your other name, try responding to what joan@ said re the anthropic principle. I'd also bet that you can't. And furthermore, I bet that you can't present a single cogent argument for your beliefs in your disgusting Christian superstitions.

        Now go back and burn a pig before your god roasts you instead.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
        • lionlylamb2013

          Fascist Robbie my young lad,

          Your exuberant verbalized behaviorisms are riddled with dissentions made to be as a flogger wailing away upon the backsides of others who remain ever faithful to God and His Kingly Son the Christ Jesus! Repent of and from your bickering wants to disassociate others from their worldly trials and depart from God and gods' sustaining grace! Thus say I our God's advocate and sustainer of the written Word! For where would anyone be without one's needs

          July 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
        • lionlylamb2013

          Fascist Robbie my young lad,

          Your exuberant verbalized behaviorisms are riddled with dissentions made to be as a flogger wailing away upon the backsides of others who remain ever faithful to God and His Kingly Son the Christ Jesus! Repent of and from your bickering wants to disassociate others from their worldly trials and depart from God and gods' sustaining grace! Thus say I our God's advocate and sustainer of the written Word! For where would anyone be without one's needs for written spiritual comforts?

          July 17, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • Paul

          ""his ego will likely not let him absorb it. POMPOSITY is more important to him than actually imparting any wisdom he might have to others.""

          Yup, Observer was correct in their evaluation of your comments once again.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • lionlylamb2013

          "Look pa! Another dog wants to play! His nametag says he's called Paul! Gosh he's such a cute Chihuahua! His tag makes no mention of and owner. Can I keep this dog too pa? I will do twice as much work around the house to keep dot and Paul pa! Please pa, have mercy on Paul and do allow me to take care of him! Paul is a few years older than dot is. I know it's a burden upon your wallet pa but I will sell newspapers using my bicycle to make monies for the dogs' food. Please pa! If Paul is not housebroken I will abide with your will to be done if Paul cannot learn to poop and pee outside the house and if it will be that Paul cannot be housebroken then you have the rights to put him down.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
        • Paul

          ""his ego will likely not let him absorb it. POMPOSITY is more important to him than actually imparting any wisdom he might have to others.""

          Yup, Observer was correct in their evaluation of your comments once again, because you're the one that needs to be house broken.

          July 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • lionlylamb2013

        Joan of audaciousness...

        You are as someone seeking but are a staunch rejecter of God's issuances in His people's wordage uses. For, "In the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word was with God"!

        So Joan, I am telling you to become ever versed in all Godly words written and even spoken. That does not mean reading the Gospels forever but one needs to practice and understand all the words of the King's English.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" – Douglas Adams

      July 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • rafael

        Increases my appreciation of Douglas Adams.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. – Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt)

        July 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom Wilson

      A clock is not a living substance, It can not evolve. Living substances can and do evolve.. Evolving is required when the stress is to hard for the living being. So changes must be made and will be made. Eyes are not required for some very very deep ocean creatures so they have none. As the creatures moved toward the surface and there was light, eyes began to form, this may have taken millions of years, but it happens.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • lionlylamb2013

        Tomahawk Wilson...

        "A liar and a despot finds hiding places to be upon a shadowy shelter but the true words of one's faithfulness to God will ever be like a poison to those who willfully want to betray God's words of light"!

        July 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • rafael

        Except that you have it backward. Sightlessness has evolved from sighted ancestors many times independently, in caves and in other poorly lit habitats like the deep sea. Well-supported phylogenies establish that polarity.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Robert

      Snowdog, how dem biblical mustard seeds doin for ya? Moron.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hi there snowdog,

      I do wholeheartedly agree with every bit of your worded phraseology! Keep it up and do write more here! I am in dire need of another Godly believer wanting to make verbal warfare with antagonizing members of God's opposing forces here!

      July 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • Robert 2014

        ll2013, you and SnowDog with your idiotic posts are probably hurting your side more than helping it. Keep up the pathetic work, you stupid tool

        July 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • devin

          x1

          July 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Paul

          As we've tried to tell lionlylamb ""his ego will likely not let him absorb it. POMPOSITY is more important to him than actually imparting any wisdom he might have to others.""

          Yup, Observer was correct in their evaluation of your comments.

          July 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • Snowdog

        I hear ya. All the Atheists on this blog can do is throw out nasty comments and say how stupid believers are. It shows just how unhappy they are. I feel sorry for them, I really do.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Robert 2014

          Nah, I'm very happy, but I am laughing hard at how stupid you are.

          July 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • Athy

          Keep posting, Snowdog. You're a great promoter for atheism. And a great laugh to boot.

          July 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Snowdog

      "I do not understand people that say God does not exist. To say that something comes from nothing is outrageous.'

      Yep. So God came from nothing and then created everything from nothing, right?

      July 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
      • rafael

        Apparently god gets a pass on the needing to come from something requirement. They call him the "uncaused Cause" and think they've solved their false problem. Simple enough to call whatever he was supposed to have first created the uncaused cause and god is taken out of the picture.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • ThereIsNoGod

        Logic is not something believers have a need for.
        They find it impossible to believe in the big bang so therefore a magician must have created everything thru magic.
        I admit I am also skeptical about the big bang but I don't jump to conclusions and assume it must have been a magician that created all.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      all those variables you mention also apply to the vast majority of life on this planet....our difference from the rest of the animal kingdom in mental capacity is a unique ability – much like a giraffe's long neck etc.

      Think we are special do you? I assure you humanity..even if we manage to turn the corner and somehow counter our gross mismanagement of this world, will still be a negligible flash in the pan within our own solar system. Our greatest achievement will likely be the .00000000000000000000000015% (gross underestimation) chance a species on another world will encounter one of our probes several billion years from now and it will tell THEM of the possibility of sentient species originating elsewhere.

      We are unique...yes...but whose to say another even sharper branch of primate didn't lose out somewhere along the way because of a missed chemical connection here or inopportune change in temperature there?

      July 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Confused

      Something coming from nothing is "ridiculous"? Then where did god come from? With every answer, there are more questions... Fortunately, the answers are popping up right here in a CNN forum!

      July 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • Snowdog

        God always existed.

        July 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
        • ThereIsNoGod

          Oh because you say so?

          July 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      And yet it was chance over billions of years. If everything needs a creator – what created your god?

      July 17, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
      • equality

        What if the creator, God, is so beyond our intelligence and comprehension that He always existed? We as humans are clueless if we think or believe we are the highest form of intelligence period.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • Douglas

          We would be even more foolish and clueless to believe the crazy Christian storyline about "god", since theirs is so obviously false.

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

      Your logic is sound. Those who are afraid to realize there might be a higher form of life beyond that of us humans ( We are in serious trouble if we humans are the highest power of intelligence) are hiding their heads in sand.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • ThereIsNoGod

        Nobody is saying that we humans are the highest beings in the universe.
        But by your same logic we are in trouble if there is a God and the best creation he can make is HUMANS.

        July 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
      • crackwalker

        Of course there could easily be a higher form of life than humans. Are you saying the God is a higher form of life?

        Why would be worship that? Should ants worship cats? Should worms worship eagles?

        July 18, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • ThereIsNoGod

      Snowdog,
      Do you realize that there a billions of planets and solar systems where the right conditions for life do not exist. Either the planet is too big, its star too big or too small, or too close, or it doesn't rotate properly, or there is no oxygen, etc...Just look at Mars. If "god" made all that...dam that's a lot of trial and error isn't it?
      I don't pretend to know where everything came from or came to be. I don't know if there was a big bang or what, but I do know this.....THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MAGIC!
      Any suficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic; but it won't be magic. It is ununderstood science. To believe in an all powerful, all knowing super being is to believe in magic. If god is an extremely advanced ET with super advanced technology, he may seem like a god but he won't be one.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • skytag

      "I do not understand people that say God does not exist. To say that something comes from nothing is outrageous"

      More proof religion makes people stupid. How is it any more outrageous to believe something could appear to come from nothing than it is to say there is a being who has always existed (to avoid dealing with the question, "Where did God come from?") could magically create that same something from that same nothing?

      July 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Brian

      "I do not understand people that say God does not exist. To say that something comes from nothing is outrageous. The moon has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The sun has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The planets have to be aligned just like they are or we would not exist. The earth has to turn exactly as it does or we would not exist. The oxygen level has to be exactly as it is or we would not exist. To say that this all happens by chance does not make sense. There has to be a creator. Look at a watch. A watch just does not come into existence without a creator. It has to be designed to work. The same goes with life. God does exist. You have to be blind not to see that. The Bible does say that the path to death is wide and the path to eternal life is narrow. That is true based on what I see in this world."

      What you are describing is the fine-tuning argument. It's probably the only good argument you theists have in your belt. However, we do know that there could possibly be other ways for life to arise. After all, life has arose in some of the most extreme locations on earth. Another question you are also bring up is the matter of is the universe fine-tuned to us, or are we fine tuned to our environments (and I tend to agree with the later). There are a variety of conditions where life can spring up. Note when I say life, I mean down to the smallest microbe. It could just be by random chance that life evolved around carbon on earth (no it's not oxygen that's absolutely central to life on earth, it's carbon). Life could have easily arose to be based around Si.
      Now we do know how the moon was formed. The moon didn't just appear out of know where. In fact, very early on, we had no moon. It wasn't until a collision with an extremely large object (most likely a rogue dwarf planet) that ejected enough material into space to formed through the process of accretion into the moon. And the moon is actually moving away from us at about a foot per year.
      And our orbit around the sun ISN'T constant. We don't orbit in a circle. We orbit in an ellipse. And the position of our ellipse around the sun is constantly changing in about a 100 million year cycle. Coincidentally, this could affect when we have ice ages or not.
      But we are ultimately what we are today because of the stars. Nobody is kidding when they say you are literally star dust. We also have observed complex chemistry taking place in space. There is water in space. Vast clouds of ethanol. There could even be large protein clouds in space.
      And oxygen levels do not HAVE to be exactly as it is. True the current chemical balance of air is a great balance for now, but it hasn't always been the way it is now. The chemical composition of air (yes air is not 100% oxygen) was vastly different 100 million years before now, just as it will be vastly different 100 million year after today. In other words, life forms around its environment, not the other way around. And some environments are just plain inhospitable to life, while others are in prime locations.
      Only a fool who can't accept the fact that we don't know everything, or that you are here because of random chance would believe in a deity today. God/religion is a crutch in Today's world, used to fight ignorance with more ignorance. It's used to provide comfort for those who just can't accept the fact that it's just random chance.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • skytag

      "The moon has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The sun has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist."

      True, but it's not evidence of a God. Out of billions of stars and probably billions of planets it only makes sense that a few of those planets would exist in solar systems where the conditions are conducive to allowing life to develop. If life could develop spontaneously then it is only logical that it would develop on one of those statistically rare planets.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      ' The moon has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The sun has to be exactly where it is or we would not exist. The planets have to be aligned just like they are or we would not exist. The earth has to turn exactly as it does or we would not exist. The oxygen level has to be exactly as it is or we would not exist. To say that this all happens by chance does not make sense'

      You logic is flawed. Those conditions determined how we ended up.
      We exist in this form because of those conditions, they don't exist like that because of us. If something was different then every likelihood that we would be different, or maybe not exist at all. And if we were in a different form then that version of you would be saying 'see how these conditions are perfect for us to survive' as well, and be as equally wrong.

      July 18, 2013 at 12:58 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.