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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. lionlylamb2013

    I believe in God, the Almighty Creator in all matters celestially created and all established evolutionary creations. You don't have to...

    I am thoroughly satisfied that Christ Jesus is this earthen world's King and Lord of all hosted relativisms made conceivable. You need not be satisfied.

    Be then of goodness and give good cheers to those in needs of being comforted. Don't steal nor cheat nor kill. These are my personified recommendations. Please follow them if one is able. If not able then duly consider the lawful consequences of one's actions...Social peace and lawful prosperities toward one and all...

    July 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      And where was this creator on 9/11? You can leave out the bible quotes, They didn't help on 9/11.

      July 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • mzh

        Ken:
        I wouldn't go and look for what happened in the past as nothing can be changed and that does not mean that i support it, Quran teaches you harm a single human as you are harming entire mankind and you save a soul as you are saving the entire mankind.

        We can go beyond that like civil war, war with British, ww-II, I, crusades and so on... thats not the point... there are knowledge not given to mankind and very few knowledge is given to mankind...

        the one who commits suicide and media names or highlights that is done by Muslim and this is wrong... someone did a wrong that does not mean the entire community will suffer and world wide... also if you go and investigate each and every one, i am sure you will find something else and it has nothing to do with the religion...

        I hope we will live with peace with different faiths and not to through mud to each others...

        July 19, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @Lion............................I have no problem with your beliefs. If you put your beliefs out there. Then you're putting them up for criticism.

      July 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • skytag

      Snooze alert. Why should I care about your delusions? Some people believe they've been abducted by aliens. I don't care about their delusions either.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  2. Han

    I guess that makes me a 1-5-6

    July 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Mark

    I'm no astrophysicist so when the experts say the Earth is 150 million km from the sun and that the speed of light is 299792.458 km/s, I take them at their word. They are witnesses to these truths. They seem sincere and have credentials. When the same scientists speak about God, they are no longer speaking as a scientist but as a philosopher, a theologian. The scientists have witnessed to what they know, and Jesus has witnessed to the things he knows to be true.

    July 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • bostontola

      Mark,
      When scientists speak about god, they are doing the same thing accountants, street cleaners, and lawyers are doing, giving their opinion.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Roger that

      'Jesus has witnessed to the things he knows to be true.'

      Of course Jesus was illiterate and no one wrote down anything he said while he was alive.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Agnostic about everything

      I have a friend who doesn't believe there was ever a man on the moon. Totally normal otherwise. I can't say I agree with him but when I listened to what he had to say it made sense. Ultimately it taught me something. It taught me that even science isn't without issues. I believe in molecules because someone told me they are there. But I haven't personally experienced them. I have less personal experience reasons to believe in Berrilium than I do to believe in the existence of God. However I really can't personally support the existence of either.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Are you sure he's normal otherwise? He sounds like a republican. They don't believe in science either. When it comes to god you have to have some belief because factually you cannot prove god exists. That is why it's called religious beliefs, NOT religious facts. When it comes to anything else, you can use facts to backup your as'sertions.

        July 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • silvawebdev

          > He sounds like a republican. They don't believe in science either.
          My big issue with religion came about as a political party of "Personal Freedom Loving" – Republicans stole 30million union loving Catholic votes over abortion.

          The same republicans/Religious people voted FOR Roe v. Wade in '72 as at the time they believed that if the government could tell a woman what to do with her body then it might be able to tell a Church what to do with it's "body". That soon changed as the conservatives realized that they could use religion to get millions of people who would normally vote for the middle class and the masses to vote (against themselves) Republican by appealing to them on Religious grounds.

          July 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • JimK57

      I have heard some scientists say we could be living in computer simulation. I thought that was interesting.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      My computer crashed.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      everyone who speaks about god speaks as a philosopher

      July 19, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Duane

      But we can verify the speed of light. You take Jesus' word based on indoctrination of your parents, and their parents. Don't forget that.

      July 19, 2013 at 5:25 am |
      • Mark

        I've never measured the speed of light. Some scientist did and told others. I learned about it in junior high school. Don't think my school teacher ever measured the speed of light. Actually, come to think of it everything I believe about science has been taught to me by people that probably never quantified or personally experimentally verified the information they were teaching. Not everyone can measure and experiment on everything. The point is, scientists witness to what they know, and I take them at their word when it comes to science. Speaking about the things of God is not in the realm of science. Of course as a person of faith I can simply say "this is the way God chose to design the universe."

        July 19, 2013 at 7:04 am |
  4. Randy

    Interesting, but wrong. As Garry Neale points out in his book "Necessary Delusions", there is only one type of atheist. Either you believe in God or you don't. But he does go on to discuss the stages of Atheism that most non-believers go through. Now he does discuss the 13 Types of Believers which is very enlightening.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • bostontola

      The variety of comments by atheists on this blog is in conflict with your statement. They don't all define atheism the same. What makes you or this author a "higher" authority?

      July 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Agnostickids

      Yeah Randy....saying that the author of a book is the absolute authority on a subject is like believing the bible was really written by the hand of god. Neither would hold up in a Federal court.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  5. Victoria

    I can relate to 5 & 6

    July 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  6. Reality

    Joining the forces of six groups in concluding there is no god:

    The Horrors and Deaths caused by the following diseases

    1. 300,000,000 approx.
    Smallpox

    2. 200,000,000 ?
    Measles

    3. 100,000,000 approx.
    Black Death

    4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
    Malaria

    5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
    Spanish Flu

    6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Plague of Justinian

    7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Tuberculosis

    8. 30,000,000[13]
    AIDS pandemic

    9. 12,000,000 ?
    Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

    10. 5,000,000
    Antonine Plague

    11. 4,000,000
    Asian Flu

    12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

    July 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • faith

      do u no how many times i got a flat tire? huh? DO U? ANSWER ME!!

      July 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Jesus The Christ

        Freak.

        July 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • faith

      do u no how much the lawsuit is 4? do u?

      July 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • faith

        do u no how many times i stubbed my toe? do u no what my breath smells like?

        July 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • .

        Did the belief blog editors get your crazy letter, faith?

        July 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • faith

      do u no how many times i spilled my milk? do u?

      July 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • Jiao

        Do you have a point? Do you?

        July 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  7. mzh

    Question to all:

    Is there different God (s)?

    Like ~
    Christian – Trinity (also different denominations have different deities, like Catholic believes Marry or Saints who is dead human besides trinity and many more), Christianity was pure monotheistic during the time of Jesus but after that they have come up with these deities.
    Hindu – Thousands of idols, (there is a temple is south India where there are thousands of idols around the temple which represent different deities)
    Buddhism – Buddha the big statue,
    Muslim – AL ILAH (Only Pure Monotheistic on the phase of earth)
    Jews – Yahweh, Arab Jews says ‘Rabbi Musa – Lord of Moses’ (they believe that they are the chosen one which totally wrong though for current days, they were chosen during the time of Moses to get out of the tyrant of egypt and also they used to believe that God has a son “Uzair”)
    Jain – believes they have different deities
    Sikh – they have different deities too, little bit mixing of both Hindu and Islam
    Zoroastrianism – whatever they do (Sun God may be, I m not sure)
    Persians – Fire worshippers
    Atheism – None, no deities but may be superpower
    And many more…

    Are there really these many Gods/Deities?

    Thank you all for all your postings…

    Every single human regardless of faith they believe that there is One Creator who created everything including Atheism who says Superpower…

    Now, the deities comes to the picture when one worships/submits himself/herself.

    For example in Christianity: Christians believe in Father and when they worship, they worship to Jesus and the Holy Spirit/Ghost/Saints (mostly dead ones)/Marry and based on the culture or traditions.

    In Hinduism: Hindus also believe that there is one on top of all these thousands and the divine is given to different deities…

    And others…

    Except Muslims: Muslims believes in The Creator and also they worship to the same meaning they submit themselves to the Same Creator. There is no middleman between a Muslim and The Lord Almighty. But others they have a middleman that they go and ask for favour which human can not give. And this is where is the different…

    I guess in the case of Atheist: There is no submission since there is No God.

    I would also like to share with you the message from Quran: The Quran has been sent down for entire the mankind and not only for Arabs or Muslim and it was sent from the same Source that Injeel to Jesus, Psalm to David and Torah to Moses was sent. And its up to individual whether to accept or reject… there is no compulsion… if there was any compulsion in Islam then prophet Muhammad will force his uncles who died as Non-Muslims to accept Islam… also one of the chapter (111) was revealed talks about his own uncle and this uncle did not accept Islam and so others…

    2:2 – This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah
    2:3 – Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,
    2:4 – And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].
    2:5 – Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.

    7:35 – O children of Adam, if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My verses, then whoever fears Allah and reforms – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
    20:14 – Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.
    4:1 – O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.

    3:19 – Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account.

    I understand that not everyone will accept this message the only Truth… but I hope those who use their thinking ability to accept the truth.

    Peace be upon all of you!!!

    July 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Didn't you troll this already?

      July 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • faith

        do u no y i'm mentally ill and have nothin to do all day but spam this dump? huh? do u? ANSWER ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWD DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        July 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • mzh

        Yes Sir...

        I had only questions that i wanted to see comments from others in my previous post...

        Here I am adding my own answer...

        Thanks for reading...

        July 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • faith

      Vespasian was waiting at Alexandria

      ves is one of my favs. he dated Hercules' sister until zeus returned from hurus. if it hadn't been for santa claus, bugs bunny would have been the 7th star in the house of Aquarius

      July 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • faith

        no, i'm not kidding. look it up!

        u can't prove christ is christ! lol, huh? can ya? i don't think so.

        July 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • faith

        AND, i no about the vase in the vatican left buy the romans of certain body parts. i have 3,500 references. 3,499 from my books i can't sell, and one from some dentist in bavaria! so, take that jebuss lover!

        no, i'm not kidding. look it up!

        u can't prove christ is christ! lol, huh? can ya? i don't think so.

        July 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Jiao

        You are aware that Vespasian was a Roman Emporor, right?

        July 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          He doesn't know what today is.

          July 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Hal

      mzh
      Wouldn't it be fair to say that there are as many gods as humans care to imagine?

      July 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • mzh

        One can say anything s/he wants...

        Let me give u an example: We have fed laws and it applies to every single citizens whether you like it or not... so when it comes to The Creator of the univers and mankind should also be One, and if it not ONE then there will 7 bills...

        July 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Elise

      You couldn't care less about any answers. You have maid up your mind about your faith, and any answers you get are unlikely to change your mind.

      But here is one tidbit to you: it's Mary, and neither she or the saints are "worshiped" as you say; they are not deities, any more than Mohammed is a deity.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • faith

      u think god is smart when i got a hangnail, huh, do ya?; ANSWER ME!

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

      i saw 23 xtians stand and watch as an atheist was robbed at gun point! they did NOTHING! how wise is jebuss now? ANSWER ME!!!! and i'll gladly become a big fan

      July 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • faith

      u no how many mosquitoes there is? huh, do u? ANSWER ME!!!!!

      how smart is GAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWD?

      i saw 23 xtians stand and watch as an atheist was robbed at gun point! they did NOTHING! how wise is jebuss now? ANSWER ME!!!! and i'll gladly become a big fan

      July 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • Tom Wilson

        is it true that faith is mentally unstable ? Huh !! is it !! Is it really true that faith is mentally unstable, Come on Answer me, Do it now so faith can rejoice !

        Weird people on here, really weird !!

        Have a good day

        July 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • silvawebdev

          You can't just say "Faith", as faith can be in or on anything. I have Faith in science – which generally is backed by facts. I find it interesting that people of religious faith are so sure of their own beliefs and conversely so unsure of all the other faithful. Also, they even group with "the faithful" even though they believe the others are misled, wrong, going to hell – it is strange to me.

          I like Dawkins statement "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."

          The is one constant in humanity and that is the ability of man to delude himself in to believing whatever he wants – and justify it to the exclusion of others. Not a bad thing as we are here because of it, it just means that as with physical aspects of our body – like the appendix, some social constructs we don't have a need for anymore need to be removed too.

          July 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • Tom Wilson

          The faith I was referring to is our very own member who goes by the user name of "Faith" The really silly person who acts like a spoiled child, reminds me of the fat little girl who is getting famous for being a brat. You don't need faith in science as it can be proven therefore faith is not needed.. Faith is the belief in something you can not prove.. Such as "I believe in God!", you can't believe in God with out Faith!

          July 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Yes, I would like to have my life micromanaged please. Preferably by fanatics that really know how to make life a living hell and even kill me if I step out of bounds too far. And please make sure my instructions come from the 7th century or before...those guys really knew their stuff!.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • mzh

        I would not judge the entire faith by looking into few wrong doers action with the banner of Islam...

        A man name Omar Abdul Khattaab who used to trust Mohammed more than anything and when Muhammad started delivering the message of Quran Omar became the worse enemy to Muhammad and one day he took a sword and head to the house of Muhammad with the intention of killing him (pbuh), then on the way he was informed about his sister and her husband accepted Islam, then he went to his sisters home and he was so rude to them, even he hurt his sister, then he found that they were reciting to a chapter name Ta Ha (chapter number 20) which starts talking about the story of Moses and Oneness of God Almighty... then he did not say anything and left his sister's home and head to the home of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with sword... then ppl saw him and was so anxious... then prophet Muhammad told others to let him come to him... then said i testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad and Jesus is the messengers of Allah... meaning accepted the truth...
        there are lots of examples like that... so i would always hope that the ppl who are in diff faith having deities in their way of worship, they will come one day to Islam... sooner or later and God knows best...

        Peace be upon you all...

        July 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          I would not judge the entire faith by looking into few wrong doers action with the banner of Islam...

          A few? I think we can go higher than a few.

          July 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  8. LarryC

    I don't concern myself with unproveable assertions. The existence of one or more gods is too big a question for humans to deal with. However, it has been well established that human consciousness depends on a functioning human brain. When the old squash rots, that's the end of the line. There is no such thing as an afterlife. Remove heaven/hell/reincarnation from religions and they have very little left.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  9. Ezekiel

    I should pick between the literally 1,000s of gods humans have created or go with the one my parents tried to force on me?
    I'll go with the super being overlord who had The Pedophile Mohammed as a prophet, like him I like the tight young stuff too. I guess that means I could be a priest though too. Hmmm, so many choices and they all lead to the young stuff. Oh boy, I mean girl, I mean boy.
    BOW!!!!!
    YIELD!!!!!!
    KNEEL!!!!!
    AND GIVE ME YOUR MONEY, ERR UMMM, I MEAN DONATIONS!!!

    July 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  10. Behold, the three types

    ❶ God believers

    ❷ god believers

    ❸ God disbelievers

    July 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      (sarcasm) genius (/sarcasm)

      July 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      You forgot #4 – The Justin Bieber Beliebers...

      July 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  11. Tom Tom

    At the end of my life, I would rather have people state that " He followed God's word faithfully and was kind to all he met." If my faith is wasted, as many of you are claiming, at least I have not harmed anyone, and helped those that I can. However, If I am right................... I do not condemn anyone for any of their beliefs. Please do not condemn mine just because you have the arena to do so.

    July 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      How often do we need to point out there you miss the 3rd option.....that there is a deity but he isn't the one you are worshiping so in just as much trouble as the rest of us?

      And I would be happy to have people say I was a good person. I have no requirement to have any religious acknowledgement.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      But what if one of the other religions is right, and you are wrong. My gosh, what are you to do?! Better get going on meeting all the demands of the other religions.....oh, but yours and many others say that THEIRS is the one true god, so how can you possible appease? Such a conundrum.....for fools to entertain.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • lol??

      Tom Tom sayz,
      "At the end of my life, I would rather have people state.................." Ye ol' menpleaser philosophy.

      You tryin' to lead people astray or just doin' what comes naturally??

      "Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;"

      July 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

        Is that what you're doing right now, the will of god from the heart?

        July 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • lol??

          Why do you care to know?? I don't care what you think.

          July 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Elise

          If being a d-bag ensures one gets to Heaven, lol?? has cornered the market.

          July 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Elise.......................LOL

          July 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Hal

      Tom Tom
      If you keep your religious beliefs out of your political decisions you might have a chance of not harming anyone with them.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  12. Dave

    This is thought provoking->
    ________________________________________

    The information in the article below is referenced in the book ‘Evidence That Demands a Verdict’. It deals with the statistical probabilities of past Bible prophecies, regarding the Messiah, being fulfilled in any one person throughout history. It’s thought provoking to me and maybe you’ll find it worth reading.

    THE CHRIST OF PROPHECY
    Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me – John 5:39.
    THE WORD “Scriptures” in this passage refers to the Old Testament. Christ is saying that in the Old Testament we will find the prophecies referring to Himself. It is therefore in these prophecies, and their fulfillment, that we may look if we wish to find evidence that Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, the saviour of mankind, and everything else which was prophesied of Him, and which He claimed to be.
    If we find these prophecies to be fulfilled in Christ, we will establish not only that Christ is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament, but that those prophecies were given by God Himself. For if they were not given by God, no man would have fulfilled any number of them, as will be evident later in this chapter.
    In order to evaluate our evidence we shall use the same principle of probability which was stated and used in the preceding chapter.
    In evaluating these prophecies, we shall have to answer this question regarding each prophecy: One man in how many men has fulfilled this prophecy? I realize that some will object to this question, saying that these prophecies were made with respect to Christ, and no other man has, or even can, fulfill them. This, of course, is true when you consider the mass of prophecies regarding Christ, but it is not true of all individual prophecies. It was prophesied, for example, that Christ would be born in Bethlehem; certainly other persons have been born in Bethlehem. It was prophesied that Christ would be crucified; other men have been crucified. I certainly am not trying to be sacrilegious in asking these questions; but I am trying to look at the evidence entirely unbiased, that I may the better give a clear argument.
    The Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Pasadena City College sponsored a class in Christian evidences. One section of the work of this class was to consider the evidence produced by the fulfilled prophecies referring to the first advent of Christ. The students were asked to be very conservative in their probability estimates. They discussed each prophecy at length, bringing out various conditions which might affect the probability of any man fulfilling it. After discussion, the students agreed unanimously on a definite estimate as being both reasonable and conservative. At the end of the evaluations the students expressed their feelings thus: If anyone were able to enter into the discussions and help in placing the estimates, as they had done, that person would certainly agree that the estimates were conservative. The estimates used in this chapter are a combination of the estimates given by this class on Christian evidences combined with estimates given me later by some twelve different classes of college students, representing more than 600 students. I have carefully weighed the estimates and have changed some to make them more conservative. If the reader does not agree with the estimates given, he may make his own estimates and then carry them through to their logical conclusions.
    We considered the following eight prophecies:
    1. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).
    This prophecy predicts that the Christ is to be born in Bethlehem. Since this is the first prophecy to be considered there are no previously set restrictions, so our question is: One man in how many, the world over, has been born in Bethlehem?
    The best estimate which we can make of this comes from the attempt to find out the average population of Bethlehem, from Micah down to the present time, and divide it by the average population of the earth during the same period. One member of the class was an assistant in the library so he was assigned to get this information. He reported at the next meeting that the best determination of the ratio that he could determine was one to 280,000. Since the probable population of the earth has averaged less than two billion, the population of Bethlehem has averaged less than 7,150. Our answer may be expressed in the form that one man in 7,150/2,000,000,000 or one man in 2.8 x 10 5 was born in Bethlehem.
    2. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me” (Mal. 3:1).
    Our question here is: Of the men who have been born in Bethlehem, one man in how many has had a forerunner to prepare his way? John the Baptist, of course, was the forerunner of Christ. But since there appears to be no material difference between the people born in Bethlehem and those born any other place in the world, the question can just as well be general: One man in how many, the world over, has had a forerunner to prepare his way?
    The students said that the prophecy apparently referred to a special messenger of God, whose one duty was to prepare the way for the work of Christ, so there is a further restriction added. The students finally agreed on one in 1,000 as being extremely conservative. Most of the members thought the estimate should be much larger. We will use the estimate as 1 in 103.
    3. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation: lowly, and riding upon … a colt the foal of an ass” (Zech. 9:9).
    Our question then is: One man in how many, who was born in Bethlehem and had a forerunner, did enter Jerusalem as a king riding on a colt the foal of an ass? This becomes so restrictive that we should consider an equivalent question: One man in how many, who has entered Jerusalem as a ruler,
    has entered riding on a colt the foal of an ass?
    The students said that this was a very hard thing to place an estimate on. They knew of no one but Christ who had so entered. The students thought that at least in more modern times any one entering Jerusalem as a king would use a more dignified means of transportation. They agreed to place an estimate of 1 in 10 4. We will use 1 in 10 2.
    4. “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends”(Zech. 13:6).
    Christ was betrayed by Judas, one of His disciples, causing Him to be put to death, wounds being made in His hands.
    There seems to be no relation between the fulfillment of this prophecy and those which we have previously considered. We may then ask the question: One man in how many, the world over, has been betrayed by a friend, and that betrayal has resulted in his being wounded in his hands?
    The students said that it was very rare to be betrayed by a friend, and still rarer for the betrayal to involve wounding in the hands. One in 1,000 was finally agreed upon, though most of the students would have preferred a larger number. So we will use the 1 in 10 3.
    5. “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver” (Zech. 11:12).
    The question here is very simple: Of the people who have been betrayed, one in how many has been betrayed for exactly thirty pieces of silver?
    The students thought this would be extremely rare and set their estimate as one in 10,000, or 1 in 10 4. We will use 1 in 10 3.
    6. “And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord” (Zech. 11:13).
    This is extremely specific. All thirty pieces of silver are not to be returned. They are to be cast down in the house of the Lord, and they are to go to the potter. You will recall that Judas in remorse tried to return the thirty pieces of silver, but the chief priest would not accept them. So Judas threw them down on the floor of the temple and went and hanged himself. The chief priest then took the money and bought a field of the potter to bury strangers in. Our question is: One man in how many, after receiving a bribe for the betrayal of a friend, had returned the money, had it refused, had thrown it on the floor in the house of the Lord, and then had it used to purchase a field from the potter?
    The students said they doubted if there has ever been another incident involving all of these items, but they agreed on an estimate of one in 100,000. They were very sure that this was conservative. So we use the estimate as 1 in 10 5.
    7. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:7).
    One man in how many, after fulfilling the above prophecies, when he is oppressed and afflicted and is on trial for his life, though innocent, will make no defense for himself?
    Again my students said they did not know that this had ever happened in any case other than Christ’s. At least it is extremely rare, so they placed their estimate as one in 10,000 or 1 in 10 4. We will use 1 in 10 3.
    8. “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet”(Ps. 22:16).
    The Jews are still looking for the coming of Christ; in fact, He might have come any time after these prophecies were written up to the present time, or even on into the future. So our question is: One man in how many, from the time of David on, has been crucified?
    After studying the methods of execution down through the ages and their frequency, the students agreed to estimate this probability at one in 10,000 or 1 in 10 4, which we will use.
    If these estimates are considered fair, one man in how many men, the world over, will fulfill all eight prophecies? This question can be answered by applying our principles of probability. In other words, by multiplying all of our estimates together, or 1 in 2.8 x 10 5 x 10 3 x 10 2 x 10 3 x 10 5 x 10 3 x 10 4. This gives 1 in 2.8 x 10 28, where 28 means that we have 28 ciphers following the 2.8. Let us simplify and reduce the number by calling it 1 in 10 28. Written out this number is 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
    This is the answer to the question: One man in how many men has fulfilled these eight prophecies? But we are really concerned with the answer to the question: What is the chance that any man might have lived from the day of these prophecies down to the present time and have fulfilled all of the eight prophecies? We can answer this question by dividing our 10 28 by the total number of people who have lived since the time of these prophecies. The best information available indicates the number to be about 88 billion or 8.8 x 10 10.
    To simplify the computation let us call the number 10 11. By dividing these two numbers we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 17.
    Editor’s note: It is probable that 88 billion or 8.8 x 10 10 assumes a growth rate for the earth’s population which is much too small – that most of the people who have ever lived are still alive today – suggesting that this number may be too large by a factor of ten. If so, this will affect the final result by the same factor of ten; ten times fewer total people who might have fulfilled these prophecies means only one tenth the chance that one of them might have done it by accident. Our number would become 10 18 instead of 10 17. The number used in this book is very conservative.
    Let us try to visualize this chance. If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all of the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 10 17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.
    Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 10 17 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ.
    This means that the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10 17 of being absolute.
    Sometimes we weigh our chances in the business world, and say if an investment has nine chances in ten of being profitable, and only one chance in ten of being a failure, it is safe enough for us to make the investment. Whoever heard of an investment that had only one chance in 10 17 of failure? The business world has no conception of such an investment. Yet we are offered this investment by God. By the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior we know, from only these eight prophecies which lack only 1 chance in 10 17 of being an absolute proof, that that investment will yield the wonderful dividend of eternal life with Christ. Can anyone be so unreasonable as to reject Jesus Christ and pin his hope of eternal life on such a slim chance as finding the right silver dollar among this great mass, covering the whole state of Texas two feet deep? It does not seem possible, yet every man who rejects Christ is doing just that.
More than three hundred prophecies from the Old Testament which deal with the first advent of Christ have been listed. Every one of them was completely fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Let us see what happens when we take more than eight prophecies.
    Suppose we add eight more prophecies to our list, and assume that their chance of fulfillment is the same as the eight just considered. The chance that one man would fulfill all sixteen is 1 x 10 28 x 10 17 or 1 in 10 45.
    Let us try to visualize this as we did before. Take this number of silver dollars. If you make these into a solid ball, you will have a great sphere with a center at the earth, and extending in all directions more than 30 times as far as from the earth to the sun. (If a train had started from the earth at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, and had traveled steadily toward the sun at the rate of sixty miles per hour, day and night, it would be about reaching its destination today. But remember that our ball of silver dollars extends thirty times that far in all directions.) If you can imagine the marking of one silver dollar, and then thoroughly stirring it into this great ball, and blindfolding a man and telling him to pick out one dollar, and expect it to be the marked one, you have somewhat of a picture of how absolutely the fulfillment of sixteen prophecies referring to Jesus Christ proves both that He is the Son of God and that our Bible is inspired. Certainly God directed the writing of His Word.
    In order to extend this consideration beyond all bounds of human comprehension, let us consider forty-eight prophecies, similar in their human chance of fulfillment to the eight which we originally considered, using a much more conservative number, 1 in 10 21. Applying the same principle of probability used so far, we find the chance that any one man fulfilled all forty-eight prophecies to be 1 in 10 157.
    This is really a large number and it represents an extremely small chance. Let us try to visualize it. The silver dollar, which we have been using, is entirely too large. We must select a smaller object. The electron is about as small an object as we know of. It is so small that it will take 2.5 x 10 15 of them laid side by side to make a line, single file, one inch long. If we were going to count the electrons in this line one inch long, and counted 250 each minute, and if we counted day and night, it would take us 19,000,000 years to count just the one-inch line of electrons. If we had a cubic inch of these electrons and we tried to count them, it would take us 1.2 x 10 38 years (2 x 10 28 times the 6 billion years back to the creation of the solar system).
    With this introduction, let us go back to our chance of 1 in 10 157. Let us suppose that we are taking this number of electrons, marking one, and thoroughly stirring it into the whole mass, then blindfolding a man and letting him try to find the right one. What chance has he of finding the right one? What kind of a pile will this number of electrons make? They make an inconceivably large volume.
    The distance from our system of stars, or galaxy, to the next nearest one is nearly 1,500,000 light-years; that is the distance that light will travel in 1,500,000 years going 186,000 miles each and every second. This distance is so great that if every man, woman and child in the United States, 200,000,000 of them, had a library of 65,000 volumes, and you collected every book in all of these libraries and them started on this journey of 1,500,000 light-years, and decided to place one letter from one of the books on each mile (e.g., if “the” was the first word in the first book you would put “t” on the first mile, “h” on the second mile, and “e” on the third mile; then leave a mile blank without a letter and start the next word in the same manner, etc.), before you complete your journey you will use up every letter in every book of every one of the libraries and have to call for more.
    Space, by some authorities, is supposed to extend in all directions to the distance, not of 1,500,000 light-years. but more than 4,000 times that far or 6,000,000,000 light-years. Let us make a solid ball of electrons, extending in all directions from the earth to the distance of six billion light-years. Have we used up our 10 157 electrons? No, we have made such a small hole in the mass that we cannot see it. We can make this solid ball of electrons, extending in all directions to the distance of six billion light-years 6 x 10 28 times.
    Suppose again that we had this great amount of electrons, 10 157 of them, and we were able to make 500 of these tremendous balls, six billion light-years in radius, each minute. If we worked day and night it would take us 10 10 times the 6 billion years back to creation to use up our supply of electrons. Now, one of these electrons was marked and thoroughly stirred into the whole mass; blindfold your man and ask him to find the marked electron.
    No man could in any way look over this mass of electrons, blindfolded or not blindfolded, and pick out any one electron, let alone the one that had been marked. (The electron, in fact, is so small that it cannot be seen with powerful microscope.)
    To the extent, then, that we know this blindfolded man cannot pick out the marked electron, we know that the Bible is inspired. This is not merely evidence. It is proof of the Bible’s inspiration by God–proof so definite that the universe is not large enough to hold the evidence. Some will say that our estimates of the probability of the fulfillment of these prophecies are too large and the numbers should be reduced. Ask a man to submit his own estimates, and if they are smaller than these we have used, we shall add a few more prophecies to be evaluated and this same number will be reestablished or perhaps exceeded.
    Our Bible students claim that there are more than three hundred prophecies dealing with Christ’s first advent. If this number is correct, and it no doubt is, you could set your estimates ridiculously low on the whole three hundred prophecies and still obtain tremendous evidence of inspiration.
    For example you may place all of your estimates at one in four. You may say that one man in four has been born in Bethlehem: that one of these children in four was taken to Egypt, to avoid slaughter; that one in four of these came back and made his home in Nazareth; that one in four of these was a carpenter; that one in four of these was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver; that one in four of these has been crucified on a cross; that one in four was then buried in a rich man’s tomb; yes, even that one in four rose from the dead on the third day; and so on for all of the three hundred prophecies and from them I will build a number much larger than the one we obtained from the forty-eight prophecies.
    Any man who rejects Christ as the Son of God is rejecting a fact proved perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world.

    Peter Stoner
    From the book “Science Speaks, Chapter 3
    Posted in Articles by Peter Stoner, Bible Prophecy Update |
    Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved!

    July 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A lot of the core prophecies "fulfilled" by Jesus are up for debate.
      For example: They say that Jesus being born of a virgin fulfills the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy.
      However, the Hebrew term in Isaiah “almah” which means a “young woman”. "Virgin" is a mistranslation.
      Christians assert that Jesus is from David's line, but tribal line cannot be passed on through adoption. Jesus cannot be "son of David" through Joseph. A tribal line also does not pass through the mother, and even if it did, Mary was not descended of David through Solomon.
      Furthermore, did Jesus manage to:
      1) Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Kind of hard to do since the Temple still stood during Christ's lifetime.
      2) Re-establish Jewish law as the only law?
      3) Save Israel? Lessee – just after His death (and Zombification)the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, Jerusalem was laid to waste, and the Jews went into exile to begin a 1900 year long night of persecution, — largely at the hands of Jesus' followers.
      4) Establish a world government run from Jerusalem?
      5) Return all the exiled Jews to Jerusalem?
      Don't forget that during that time, there were MANY claimaints to the Messiah role like Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Menahem ben Judah, Vespasian, Simon bar Kokhba, etc. ad nauseum.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • lol??

        False brethren mistranslate the Bible all the time. They must have copied the Jewish xlaters that inserted "almah" post crucifixtion, tryin' to hang onto their power. Not a big trick, but YOU bought it.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • G to the T

          Ah! So only the FALSE bretheren mistranslated the bible. Now I see why your handle is "LOL"...

          July 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Elise

          And yet your favorite translation is the KJV, which is the worst one of all. You pat excuse: "something was lost in translation".

          July 18, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      Wow. What utter nonsense trying to be manipulated into something of meaning.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      The chance that the story of christ was written to fulfill as many 'prophecies' as possible....1:1

      July 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Dave,m

      "whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved!'

      Yes. That's the sad part. While other religions stress the kind of life you've lived, the Bible stresses that the most important thing is just whether you believe in something that can't be proved and refuses to do so if real.

      Billions of "souls" were lost because they never were exposed to God, supposedly, but Hitler was welcome into heaven if he just confessed and believed in his last seconds.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • lol??

        You don't know about hitler, so what's your excuse gonna be??

        July 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Hal

      Why isn't there any doubt that these prophesies were fulfilled? They could write that Jesus fulfilled as many prophecies as they wanted after the fact, and they likely did. Besides, Jesus didn't even fulfill all the key prophecies of the messiah, like:
      Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
      Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
      Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)
      Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9)
      The messiah was/is supposed to be a human who will do these things within his lifetime. Jesus fails.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Agnostickids

      @ Dave. Get a grip. Copying and pasting a portion of a book is not impressive, nor does it further prove the existence of your god...especially since it ends with regrets towards those that STILL don't follow your mythology. Sigh.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • artviii

      Thanks Dave, biblical prophecy speaks of an all knowing God. If those in confusion or doubt about the existence of God they should spend time studying the numerous prophecies the Bible offers. it would confirm there is a God who is alive and interacting in the human community. But for those who say science is the reason that there is no God are turning evidence up side down. Plato in his laws make a splendid argument that the mechanism of the universe is direct evidence of the existence of a Creator, and intelligent designer and the Bible supports this in Psalms 19:1-2 says," The heavens declare the glory of God.The expanse shows his handiwork. Day after day they pour out speech,and night after night they display knowledge.There is no speech nor language,where their voice is not heard." This speech that is poured forth for all to hear is the science of the universe. This is way in the day of personal judgment before God all will be held accountable for their actions – the defense of Atheism will fail because the Heaven declares a God and God has declared His law.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Mark

      too long

      July 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • crackwalker

      TLDR

      July 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • James George

      Statistics in the service of b_____t!

      July 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  13. woodstockwoody

    Religion is merely a placeholder for things science has yet to reveal. Remember when people used to think gods lived in volcanoes?

    July 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Mike

      Guess we know you're an Anti-thiest. Thanks for clearing that up.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • toll

      no

      July 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • silvawebdev

      I am an athiest, but I believe religion has more to it than that – especially for those who don't have the ability to be rational, or children, not to be misled, but to learn to believe as "reality" is relative, and until your understanding of reality gives you the ability to make sense of the world you are better off with some framework that allows you to fit in and be a productive part of society. I wish we all could just "know", but really, that will never happen, and while you can say religion – the deity part – is crap, the underlying belief structure and rules are very important to a society.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  14. Bob

    Why is this still a story on CNN?

    July 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • bostontola

      Look at the number of responses. Do you think anyone is interested?

      July 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  15. brads2sense

    Its been awhile since I took statistics, but isnt 59 kind of a small sample size to be creating 6 catagories? Also, were respondents only in the Tenn./Chattanooga area? Would that be non-representative? And what was the tool they used for their data? Survey, interview, what?

    July 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • OTOH

      brad,

      If you click on that blue link ("a new study") it tells you more. 59 was the number of personal interviews, but there were over 1150 in the survey. (54% were from the South, though, so I don't know how really representative it is)

      July 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  16. Navy Man

    As a believer in G-d, it amazes how fast people are quick to say how can an all loving G-d condemn people and want to destroy nations? For those of you who do not believe in G-d (or at least the G-d I believe in – the Judea/Christian one), he is both a loving G-d and a Warrior G-d. Just like a father would be to his child. Belief comes from within. I am not a "religious" guy, just a relational guy. As a 26 year veteran, I can't prove to you (so that you will believe) that there is a G-d, "I" just know there is one. I know because because he was with me while I was deployed. Hard to explain, just go. And just my 2 cents

    July 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      I don't think that was really worth two cents to be honest. All you did was ramble a little and then ultimately say, "Eh, I just believe."

      July 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • devin

      And yet, I imagine there were many others who were deployed who also had the same feeling, but did not make it home. Point is, as christians we "know" not based on subjective emotion, but rather on the objective propositional truth we find in the word of God. " I am the Lord your God, there is none other" This is how we know.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • skytag

        "as christians we "know" not based on subjective emotion, but rather on the objective propositional truth we find in the word of God."

        Yet another idiotic post by devin confirming that religion makes people stupid. Everything you "know" is actually just a belief unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. Certainty is not knowledge. Much of what people claim they "know" is demonstrably false.

        July 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • devin

          My my, a little testy there? I find it curious you responded with such vehemence to a reply that was intended for a fellow christian and did not involve you at all. Perhaps I struck a nerve?

          July 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Just like a father would be to his child.'

      Any father that punished his child with eternal torture would have that kid taken away from them.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • brads2sense

      Several of my fellow jar-heads had the same feeling as you, but they did not come home. I did not feel a godly presence and I made it. What would that mean? I do not know..

      July 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • OTOH

        brad,

        Sending best regards and huge thanks to you too for enduring so much.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • OTOH

      Navy Man,
      " he is both a loving G-d and a Warrior G-d. Just like a father would be to his child."

      See, that's the great thing about a fantasy - it can be *anything* that you want it to be. We can tell a lot about a person by how his imaginary god behaves.

      Best regards to you - and thank you for your service.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Peter

      I think the father analogy is not a very good one. I don't know of any father that would throw their child out of the house the first time they made a mistake and place a curse on that child's blood line that affects all future generations.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • Peter

        Actually fathers like that probably do exist, but nowadays we call them child abusers.

        July 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • skytag

      It's hard to explain because there is no evidence to support it. It's what you believed then and now, and history makes it clear people can believe all kinds of nonsense that has no basis in fact.

      Last year a bunch of folks gave up their jobs and lives to travel around the country in motorhomes and warn people the world would end on May 21, 2012. People don't do that kind of stuff unless they are absolutely certain what they believe is true, yet what those people believed so deeply to be true was obviously not true. May 21, 2012 came and went just like every other day and the world kept spinning. Is it arrogance that causes people like you to be so sure what you believe is true even though it's well known people can be absolutely convinced of beliefs that are clearly false?

      July 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • skytag

      "I know because because he was with me while I was deployed."

      Which means absolutely nothing. Some say this and live, some say it and die, some say it and are crippled for life. It sounds very comforting, but we all know what you really wanted with you were people you could trust, a weapon you could trust, and an adequate supply of ammunition. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

      July 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  17. sly

    There is a little Red Man with horns holding a pitchfork and he lives in the Center of the Earth.

    Seriously. Little. Red. Holds some farm equipment. Has horns. Likes the Earth's mantle.

    And a big fat White Man living in the clouds who spends all day sewing tiny wings on tiny butterflies.

    Seriously!

    July 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sam

      Ok, but in that Tenacious D movie, he looked pretty big!

      July 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • devin

      Really not familiar with christian theology, huh?

      July 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • lol??

      Give a man a fish and he'll chew. Give a kid Red Man, he'll chew and throw up. Seriously.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  18. lol??

    Poor widdle Sodomite demobocrats.

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Tryin' to claim you are a persecuted minority is disingenuous.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • .

      The reason your crap keeps getting deleted is because you're a snivelling little bigot who somehow manages to lisp while typing. Bug off.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • lol??

        Where's yer LUV??

        July 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Observer

      lol??

      If you had a better education, you'd know that millions of Republicans engage in sodomy, too. Ooops!

      July 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • lol??

        Just more of the same. party/2.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:14 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.