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October 7th, 2013
12:31 PM ET

Scalia says atheism 'favors the devil's desires'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - As the Supreme Court begins its new term Monday, the devil is not on the docket - but the Evil One apparently is on the mind of Justice Antonin Scalia.

New York magazine has published a fascinating new interview with Scalia in which the outspoken jurist tackled a number of topics. But none seemed to surprise Scalia's interviewer, Jennifer Senior, more than his views on Satan.

The interview was conducted on September 26, the 27th anniversary of Scalia's swearing-in as a justice on the high court. He is one of a record six Catholic justices on the Supreme Court.

After Scalia and Senior discussed heaven and hell (he believes in them; she doesn't), the justice said in a stage whisper, "I even believe in the devil."

"You do?" Senior replied.

"Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, come on, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that," Scalia said.

Senior asked Scalia if he's seen evidence of Satan's work recently.

"You know, it is curious," Scalia answered. "In the Gospels, the devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore. ... It’s because he’s smart."

MORE FROM CNN: How to argue about religion online

Scalia said the Devil has gotten "wilier" and convinced people that he and God don't exist. The justice added that he doesn't think that atheists are Satan's minions, but that disbelief in God "certainly favors the devil's desires."

Senior asked if it's "frightening" to believe in the devil, which seemed to annoy Scalia.

"You’re looking at me as though I’m weird," he answered. "My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil."

Scalia, whose son, Paul, is a Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia, also said Pope Francis is "absolutely" right about the church needing to concentrate more on mercy and outreach than on fighting the culture wars.

MORE FROM CNN: American Catholics agree with Pope Francis on ending culture wars

"But he hasn’t backed off the view of the church on those issues," Scalia said. "He’s just saying, 'Don’t spend all our time talking about that stuff. Talk about Jesus Christ and evangelize.' I think there’s no indication whatever that he’s changing doctrinally."

Finally, Scalia said he has not "softened" his views on homosexuality.

"I still think it’s Catholic teaching that it’s wrong. OK? But I don’t hate the people that engage in it. In my legal opinions, all I’ve said is that I don’t think the Constitution requires the people to adopt one view or the other," Scalia said.

MORE FROM CNN: Church and state, executive power on Supreme Court docket

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Courts • Culture wars • Devil • Pope Francis

soundoff (3,730 Responses)
  1. ro_orphan

    nice to know that one of the more inflential and civil rights pivot points in this country believes in the "boogerman" ... does he think there's monsters in the closet too?

    October 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Have you read his opinions on gays?

      October 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Scott Vines

      I propose an experiment for anyone who denies the existence of Satan. Call on him. Seek him with all of your heart. Ask him to manifest himself in your life. Earnestly seek him, and I promise you this – he WILL make himself known...but you won't like the results. Anyone who denies the existence of Satan is a sheltered fool – an ignorant dupe.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • John

        How will he manifest himself? Your idea is not original. Others have tried this. Nothing. Just like calls to your "gods" (3 of them). Prayer is the same thing.

        October 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • Observer

        Scott Vines,

        We'll take your word from experience.

        October 15, 2013 at 2:30 am |
  2. Walter Weinzinger

    Spot on, Scalia! Too bad most of us Americans are too cowardly to publicly take a stand which undoubtedly will draw ridicule and scorn. As our society continues its downward moral slide, good people can only expect the ignominy to increase.
    Pull your head out of the sand, Senior! Scalia can clearly see the truth you choose to ignore.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Word?

      Have you seen the devil to? Can he see god as well? Where is heaven located? Where is hell located? When is jesus coming back? When will the world end?

      Your head is in the sand sir. You've been indoctrinated by the baseless claims of a science fiction book written well over 2,000 years ago, based off of other religions. Christianity isn't even original. You should make it a goal to educate yourself before you leave this world.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • ajk68

        I have seen satanic possession several times. I am not scientifically illiterate – I have two degrees from MIT.

        The good news for you is that God is searching you out. Although for now you seem to have given up on Him, he has not given up on you.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          What evidence did you have that it was satanic.

          October 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Tom

          Love your response. I have also experienced interactions between heaven and earth multiple times in Europe, Africa, and the USA.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • Infidel-!

          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you want to be taken seriously and not ridiculed, best to cough of the evidence.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
        • James

          You absolutely have not seen satanic possession. It is not real. It is not based in any way shape or form on scientific fact. Anyone who you have seen "possessed", especially if it is at a "church" is merely doing it for attention because they want to feel like part of something that isn't real. The same thing goes for speaking in tongues, laughing uncontrollably, and crying hysterically while at church. It is done for attention, nothing more nothing less. There is no "holy spirit" that inhabits you when you accept jesus into your heart. That is just something to make you feel better about believing in something extremely primitive and stupid.

          October 8, 2013 at 7:46 am |
        • Trevor

          James- And you "know" this of people you've never met and cannot know what is inside their hearts and minds? Epitome of arroagance, ingnorance and self-centeredness...

          October 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      when you believe in the boogeyman, you should draw ridicule.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • Opposing view

        When you believe in ridicule you should draw the boogeyman.

        October 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  3. CP in FL

    Why is a religious fool that believes in the devil sitting on the Supreme Court? God and the devil are mythical beings created by man. There is zero evidence of any god. Religion is the oldest scam. The bible was written by primitive man that did not understand how the universe worked. Does he believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy also. We are doomed unless we get rid of these fools.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Mark

      Same reason we have a President that believes in Jesus. Who cares what they believe.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        who cares what the people who make laws for the entire country believe?
        one of the most ignorant statements i've seen on the blog.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Topher

          Would you rather have a guy who believes nothing created everything ... that a nothing can turn itself into something ... that an explosion creates order?

          October 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher, Misstating it doesn't dismiss it. Noone says that an explosion creates order. And ultimately you believe that your god came from nothing so if your god can do it why not a universe – at least there is evidence of a universe and a scientific explanation from the singularity.

          October 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • CP in FL

          Topher – Scientists are not sure what happened before the big bang but that is far better than just saying "god did it." It is obvious to anyone with a brain that the formation of the universe was a naturally occurring phenomenon. If you say that god created the universe then you must provide proof. There is evidence of the big bang. There is no evidence of any god. The burden of proof is on the believers since they are the ones making the extraordinary claim.

          October 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "Noone says that an explosion creates order."

          Big Bang says so.

          "And ultimately you believe that your god came from nothing so if your god can do it why not a universe – at least there is evidence of a universe and a scientific explanation from the singularity."

          1. God is eternal, He didn't "come from" anything.

          2. Why not a universe? Because it breaks the First Law of Thermodynamics. Nature cannot create itself.

          3. Where did the singularity come from?

          October 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Recovering Christian

          Spoiler alert: This conversation thread isn't going to convince anyone of anything, and everyone involved will walk away angry that the other side still disagrees with them.

          October 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Topher

          CP in FL

          "Scientists are not sure what happened before the big bang but that is far better than just saying "god did it.""

          Why?

          "It is obvious to anyone with a brain that the formation of the universe was a naturally occurring phenomenon."

          Except it breaks the laws of nature. And your "anyone with a brain" statement is a logical fallacy.

          "If you say that god created the universe then you must provide proof. There is evidence of the big bang. There is no evidence of any god."

          Another logical fallacy. I can use the same evidence — the universe — and come to the conclusion of God. As I stated above, nature can't create itself. First Law of Thermodynamics. You've got to provide your evidence around that since you are making THAT claim.

          "The burden of proof is on the believers since they are the ones making the extraordinary claim."

          So your claim that you don't know is better?

          October 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • get realist

          I love how Topher is trying to use science to disprove science.

          Hey T, the Big Bang theory takes into account the first law of thermodynamics by stating all mass and energy existed in a singularity. But you wouldn't know that because you have no interest in actually trying to understand science, nor do you seemingly have the intellectual capability to.

          October 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Topher

          get realist

          "I love how Topher is trying to use science to disprove science."

          How is the "singularity" science? Is it testable or repeatable? Second, where did the singularity come from?

          October 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • jp

          There is a theory that the Big Bang is actually a continuous flow of energy stemming from a super massive white hole at the center of the universe. What WE refer to as a Big Bang is really just the opposite end of a black hole. Everything spits out of the white hole and circles back around into the black hole in an endless cycle. To me, that seems to make the most sense. Scientists hypothesize that many such universes could theoretically exist side by side. Truly mind blowing stuff.

          October 8, 2013 at 2:55 am |
        • James

          Topher: Quite simply... Yes.

          October 8, 2013 at 7:47 am |
      • gladiatorgrl

        Obama stated he is a Christian because he believes in the TEACHINGS like doing unto others, etc... he NEVER said he believed in Jesus as the son of a God

        October 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • John

          I bet Obama is an Atheist. Agnostic, at least.

          October 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Observer

          Looks like some of the rightwingers who insisted Obama was a Muslim have changed their minds, which weren't logical to start with.

          October 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Very good point!

          October 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
      • Infidel-!

        Who cares what they believe? Are you serious ?!

        October 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
      • Becky

        Um, it's not Jesus BHO believes in.

        October 8, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • MC

      I guess you do know how it all works right? If I didn't know there is a GOD, I personally would find it much harder to believe that we just all appeared out of nowhere than GOD created us. All of science is based on therory but yet so many believe it, GOD performs miracles every day and so many are in disbelief, pretty amazing.

      October 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • Scott

        30,000 innocent children die horrific deaths each and every day from the pathogens, parasites and diseases your loving god designed, created and unleashed on the world fully aware of the horrific suffering his creations would cause. Are these the miracles you were referring to?

        October 8, 2013 at 4:55 am |
      • James

        Science: Disproving religions for thousands of years.

        October 8, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • WS

      I'm with Scalia, I like to error on the side of caution, can man alone do the evil that is often visited on the innocence of others, you decide.

      October 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Skater60

      I believe in God, but not in "religion"; "religion" meaning things invented to describe / explain / exploit belief in God. I really don't care whether others share my belief or not. I don't look to others for confirmation of my belief, but rely on my own experiences. And... hey! I could be wrong! That's what every person, including you, should be able to say, to wit: "Hey! I could be wrong."

      October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  4. That MAc Guy

    " Satan is a real person ! "

    Yeah, No S#*T sherlock, his name in human for mis George W. Bush! Even Hugo Chavez agrees!

    October 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

      W. wasn't evil, just stupid. Now Darth Cheney on the other hand ...

      October 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  5. Cristeros for Satan

    "You know, it is curious," Scalia answered. "In the Gospels, the devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore. ... It’s because he’s smart."
    .
    wow 😮

    October 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      he skips over the simple answer staring him in the face.

      let's see, do crazy magical events not happen because the devil is being tricksy or...
      because boogeyman satan doesn't exist?

      apply Occam's razor.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • Skater60

        We have to start further back in the reporting, such as, were there pigs and did they run off a cliff? Leaving demonic activity aside for the moment, did this event happen or is it fictional? If we consider the entire incident fictional then there's no point investigating any further, applying Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is often the best explanation.

        If we consider the incident to be an actual incident, then why did those pigs run off a cliff? Did they forget it was there (assuming they were on home ground)? Did something frighten them enough for them to stampede?

        October 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Merlin

      Yeah, and you just don't see valiant princes pull magical swords from stone anymore either. Merlin is tired and is resting in his tree.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  6. asfsag

    If he is so religious how on earth was he able to equate money as free speech and corporations as being people??? I don't know what kind of religion he believes in but it is definitely not Christianity.

    Corporations don't have a soul – so if you are implying that because the ceo has a soul then the company has a soul you are then giving that ceo the voice of 2 people not 1.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Recovering Christian

      You misunderstand the statement. Corporations are indeed people in the sense that there's no such thing as a corporation outside of the people who comprise it. When you say "the evil Such-and-such Incorporated" what you're actually saying is "the evil CEO and his evil Board of Directors and their evil stockholders."

      October 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        except they get the best of both worlds. they are people when it suits them, but they are companies when it doesn't. if they were people, they could be put in jail.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  7. johneturnerii

    Next thing you know he will be saying that snakes can talk and people can walk on water.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  8. Recovering Christian

    "Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history." False. You want to believe that there is one, fine. But don't speak for 'most of mankind' for 'all of history.' In fact, there are very few religions that have ever had a 'devil.' Many have some sort of trickster figure, but few recognize any kind of absolute evil. Hindus, Buddhists (#3 and #4 on the list of current world religions, respectively), the Greeks, the Romans, Native Americans, none of them have any kind of devil. Just to name a few.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • John

      There is no "devil" in the Old Testament (>50% of the X-tian bylaw).

      October 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • Observer

        God made a bet with Satan in the Old Testament and it cost Job almost everything he had in order for God to win his bet.

        October 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    if Satan does walk the earth, his name is Scalia.

    "It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil."
    +++ this guy believes in the boogeyman and he's on the highest court in the land. just in this blurb alone Scalia presents numerous logical fallacies. most of mankind has believed in the devil so that makes it real? lol. most of mankind at one time believed the earth was flat - did that make it so? intelligent people have believed in a fairy tale - and that makes it real? the world will be a better place when this t.urd is no longer on the supreme court.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Jake

      I love how he says, "It's in the gospel!" as if that's somehow make it sane to believe such a wild fantasy.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        exactly. it's like me going around saying, "Cats really do wear hats! It's in Dr. Seuss!"

        October 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • John

        "For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever." (Jeremiah 3:12)
        "Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever." (Jeremiah 17:4)

        "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid." (John 5:31)
        "Jesus answered: Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid." (John 8:14)

        "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18)
        "the whole world is under control of the evil one." (1 John 5:19)

        And Jesus said, "For judgement I am come into this world." (John 9:39)
        "I came not to judge the world" (John 12:47)
        "For God so loved the world" (John 3:16)
        “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

        "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
        "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 6:1)

        "Jacob said, 'I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'" (Genesis 32:30)
        "No man hath seen God at any time." (John 1:18)

        We should fear God (Matthew 10:28)
        We should love God (Matthew 22:37)
        There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18)

        October 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Excellent compilation.

          October 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  10. Adom

    Love you Scalia! Spot on and I am not Catholic.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, fairy tales are true!

      October 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • johneturnerii

        Our one true god is Cash! Kneel before the dollar!

        October 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Faithcomesinallcolors

    Satan is Alive and Well and is Thriving in these comments.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jake

      If you truly believe that, you're delusional. Seek help.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Scott

      You've got to marvel at the insidiousness of a god that creates a devil fully aware of what that devil will do. That is the stuff of pure evil! All hail the sadistic god!

      October 8, 2013 at 5:01 am |
      • Skater60

        Remember not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  12. johneturnerii

    Any judge or person that is in a position of legal authority should be removed if they believe in imaginary beings. This guy is crazy!

    October 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Joanne

      Scalia is certifiably insane.....should be removed immediately.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Thomas

        So by this rationale, anybody who subscribes to religion should be removed from political office? That is a VERY enlightened position. You do realize that the majority of the American populace subscribe to Christianity/Judaism/Islam/Theism in some form or fashion and ALL of those religions and worldviews involve belief in a higher power as well as an opposite force which creates evil in the world and no amount of bigotry on your part can change that

        October 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • John

          Too bad for us so far. They are all the trouble-makers in history.

          October 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  13. Terry

    Yeah. The world and especially The U.S. (or the majority anyways) are going to HELL in a 'Bobsled'. Unbelievers out number believers anymore. Look at the world and what's going on Senior, and you don't believe their is a Satan????

    October 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      but if i don't go to hell, i'll miss all my friends.

      plus i really want to talk to ghandi and john lennon.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • biobraine

      "Yeah. The world and especially The U.S. (or the majority anyways) are going to HELL in a 'Bobsled'. Unbelievers out number believers anymore. Look at the world and what's going on Senior, and you don't believe their is a Satan????"

      Or perhaps there is an alternate explanation such as "Logic and reason are displacing ancient explanations of the universe"

      October 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        alternate explanation...

        you may be on to something there.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • doobzz

      "Look at the world and what's going on Senior, and you don't believe their is a Satan????"

      Yes, it's terrible now. Things are so much worse than before.

      Things were a lot better when we didn't have CT scans, MRIs, vaccines, good pre and post natal care, and and approximately 100 infants out of every 1000 live births died before age 1 year. It's terrible that the maternal mortality rate declined almost 99% to less than 0.1 reported death per 1000 live births (7.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1997). http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4838a2.htm

      Having instant access to any information you desire is simply horrible. I just hate not having to look for a huge telephone book, look up a business, call them for directions and then hope that the person on the phone knows what they're talking about. I detest being able to find help when I need it via my computer and phone.

      Don't even get me started on how bad it is that I don't have to go to the bank, buy checks, then sit down and write out a check for every bill, put a stamp on it and mail it via snail mail every month.

      Yes, the world is so much worse now.

      October 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Skater60

      I'm thinking the world is a much better place now than it has ever been, due to the teachings and actions of Jesus of Nazareth and others. They caused a continuing revolution in human values. Needless to say, the revolution has not always traveled in a straight line, but everything works to the good. But then... what the hell do I know?

      October 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  14. 1984

    Right Doris, because it is so much more logical to believe everything just spontaneoulsy appeared like on an episode of Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie. Yes, the "magical poof" is so much more believable than God or a Creator. Now who is speaking about Fairy Tales?

    October 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bezalel

      Always cute when people take modern forms of entertainments like tv shows and try to apply them to spirituality.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Frank

      You have proven that you do not understand the nature of evolutionary theory at all. Nice try though.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Greg

        Actually, theories of the origin of life, which almost all evolutionists buy into, does state that life came from non-life (which is against all scientific observation by the way), thus something did come from nothing. And if you want to tie-in origin of Universe theory, aka Big Bang, which again most evolutionists embrace, you again have something coming from nothing, which again is against all known scientific observation. It is all based on faith, so don't belittle others for having a different faith than yours.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • biobraine

          In the early stages of the universe, life was unsupportable. Every atom in your body was created in a star. So yes, by extension it is logical that life would spring from non-life. By the way, theories are supported by a large amount of evidence. There isn't any evidence that any god created us. Maybe one or more did, but there is no scientific evidence to support the hypothesis.

          October 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Xavier

          You've just demonstrated that you don't understand evolution or the Big Bang theory. First, you confused evolution with abiogenesis. Evolution has nothing to do with life from non-life but rather how life forms evolve to other life forms over great periods of time. But let's take up abiogenesis, life from non-life. Non-life is actually something not nothing like you stated so your whole point is flawed. As for the Big Bang theory, that is also not something from nothing. Per the theory, there was a singularity (a densely packed combination of energy and matter) that began to rapidly expand.

          October 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Greg

          biobraine
          Actually, it is NOT logical that life would spring from non-life. It goes way beyond the law of probability for one thing. I don't think you appreciate the complexity of even a single cell, and the tremendous leap of logic it would take to assume that the information required to build any single cell could happen naturally, starting from "nothing." Nothing meaning zero information. Nada, zippo. There is plenty of evidence of a created world, universe, and life. Open your eyes and mind a little, and you will see it.

          Xavier
          I did not describe evolution at all (Reread my post), and I understand the theory of Darwinian Evolution, and completely. Why people actually believe is beyond my understanding however. Non-life is the absence of life, so in regards to life, and also in regards to the information that is required for any life to exist (after all, the information contains the directions for building any life form), yes, something (life) coming from nothing is a very apt description. I know the Big Bang theory as well, and I can provide multiple quotes from textbooks and scientists that DO describe it as "something coming from nothing." Otherwise, it has always existed, hasn't it. Maybe not in the form we know it, but in some form, even if the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

          October 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • biobraine

          Greg, while theories are still evolving, a complete single cell is not thought to be the first form of life. Look up and read about Abiogenesis. By the way, if it is obvious to you that something as complex as a single cell cannot spontaneously form, how do you think a being so complex as to be able to create our universe came into existence?

          October 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • biobraine

          "I did not describe evolution at all (Reread my post), and I understand the theory of Darwinian Evolution, and completely. Why people actually believe is beyond my understanding however."

          Nobody that has a complete understanding of evolution would wonder why it is an accepted theory in the scientific community. Xavier was I believe pointing out that evolution and cosmology are two distinct branches of science.

          October 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Greg

          No matter what you start with, proteins, amino acids, or single cells, you are not helping yourself in claiming any of it could have started on it's own. Again, you are going far outside the law of probability, and are abandoning science since this process has never, and will never be observed. And don't even think about using the Miller Experiment as proof. Why this failed experiment is still used in textbooks as an example of proof of abiogenises only reinforces the fact that there really isn't any evidence for it.

          Re: where God came from, I haven't the slightest idea, He doesn't say, except for the fact that He has always existed, which is impossible for our feeble minds to grasp. Either He did or the Universe did, or the Universe came from nothing. So you have your faith which offers you nothing, and I have my faith which offers a chance for redemption and everlasting life, and costs me nothing in return. I like mine better, thanks.

          October 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Greg

          The reason I wonder why anyone would believe it is because scientists are typically pretty sharp. However, they routinely ignore evidence that refutes evolution, and ignore the fact that much of the so-called evidence, such as vestigial traits has been dis proven for decades or even over a hundred years. Yet, we STILL see many of these antiquated and dis proven pieces of evidence still used today in textbooks and other media. I am not one to accept something just because a majority believe it, especially the scientific community. Let's see, how many things do they routinely get wrong? Lastly, many, many scientists have announced they have zero confidence in the theory. I guess they do not have an agenda to promote, and so they decided to actually act like real scientists, and allow the evidence to really speak for itself.

          October 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • biobraine

          "No matter what you start with, proteins, amino acids, or single cells, you are not helping yourself in claiming any of it could have started on it's own. Again, you are going far outside the law of probability, and are abandoning science since this process has never, and will never be observed."

          How is a hypothesis about the origin of life abandoning science? How can you know it will never be observed?

          "And don't even think about using the Miller Experiment as proof. Why this failed experiment is still used in textbooks as an example of proof of abiogenises only reinforces the fact that there really isn't any evidence for it."
          I'm not sure what you mean here. Nobody is saying there is irrefutable proof of abiogenesis. Scientists continue to research this possibility. That's the beauty of science. It can evolve as evidence presents itself.

          "Re: where God came from, I haven't the slightest idea, He doesn't say, except for the fact that He has always existed, which is impossible for our feeble minds to grasp."
          When and where did a god say that it always existed? If a creator could have always existed, why not the universe?

          "Either He did or the Universe did, or the Universe came from nothing. So you have your faith which offers you nothing, and I have my faith which offers a chance for redemption and everlasting life, and costs me nothing in return. I like mine better, thanks."
          To not believe in something requires no faith. Faith is necessary to believe in something without any evidence. I simply accept the universe as it is. If a god would make itself known to me tomorrow then I would believe there is a god. You believe that one's belief and faith will either bring you everlasting life in a paradise or eternal suffering. I couldn't adopt a view of my existence like that even if I wanted to. Not once in my life have I ever felt the presence of any god. I am happy and content with just this life. No eternity needed.

          October 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Greg

          "How is a hypothesis about the origin of life abandoning science? How can you know it will never be observed?"
          If a hypothesis breaks scientific law, I consider that abandoning science. It will never be observed because it would break known laws of science. This isn't hard to understand.

          "I'm not sure what you mean here. Nobody is saying there is irrefutable proof of abiogenesis. Scientists continue to research this possibility. That's the beauty of science. It can evolve as evidence presents itself."
          Actually some people do still claim that The Miller Experiment is proof of abiogenesis. Real science does evolve as evidence presents itself. Evolutionary science holds strong to that theory no matter what evidence flies in the face of it. It is because of a doctrine of needing an alternate explanation for the universe and the life in it, aside from a Judging God. It is not real science – because yes, real science does indeed change as a result of evidence.

          "When and where did a god say that it always existed? If a creator could have always existed, why not the universe?"
          The Christian God of the Bible (the only God) declares it in something we call The Bible. God created the universe, so it could not have always existed. Plus, there is plenty of scientific evidence that it has not always existed, namely because it is breaking down and losing energy.

          "To not believe in something requires no faith. Faith is necessary to believe in something without any evidence. I simply accept the universe as it is. If a god would make itself known to me tomorrow then I would believe there is a god. You believe that one's belief and faith will either bring you everlasting life in a paradise or eternal suffering. I couldn't adopt a view of my existence like that even if I wanted to. Not once in my life have I ever felt the presence of any god. I am happy and content with just this life. No eternity needed."
          I actually do not adhere to the eternal suffering idea, aka Hell. There will be eternal death and separation from God, and that is the opposite of being in the Kingdom of God. So you can't adopt a view that would reward you with eternal life in paradise? Yeah, that does kind of sound like a bummer. But hey, this finite life, with all of it's greed, envy, strife, murder, hatred, pain and suffering DOES sound just fine for you? Wow is that backwards. By the way, I would like to hear you say again, when you are on your death bed, that you are just fine with the life you have led up to that point, and are more than happy to die, with no hope of resurrection. I doubt it. Lastly, if you have never felt the presence of God in your life, maybe it is just quite possible, that you never invited Him in. You should try, at least once in your life. Open a Bible to the New Testament, and read a few chapters. The story is all about God's love for you, and how He was willing to allow His one and only son to die a horrible death, so that you could spend eternity with the creator of the Universe. Not a bad gig in my opinion.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • Maxwell's Demon

          Straw men don't really help your position.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • somethingstellar

          Who says it came from nothing? The multiverse theory, as unfinished as it is, makes more sense then God did it. So what? God clapped his hands or snapped his fingers and waited several million years for cells to evolve, go through a massive extinction event, and then evolve some more millions of years to the point they can worship him? The Bible doesn't make him out to be quite that patient.

          And I'm not sure where you got vestigial structures being disproven from because its evident in a wide variety of animals, and in us besides the wisdom teeth, the appendix and the tail bone (Coccyx). My goodness. You're one of those people who think fossils were put on Earth as a test of faith right?

          October 8, 2013 at 1:02 am |
        • poop

          xavier
          where did singualarity come from?

          October 8, 2013 at 7:36 am |
        • Greg

          Somethingstellar, you actually think the multiverse theory makes any sense? Why? There is absolutely no proof for it, and it resulted from a need to refute the Creationist point of a fine tuned universe pointing to a Creator. I suppose you also put faith in the Oort Cloud theory.

          Uh, no, God did not wait around while things evolved. The Bible is very clear that He created all kinds in the first week of creation. There was no Darwinian evolution, and plenty of scientific evidence supports that as well as a very young age of the Universe and Earth.

          I am glad you made my point with evidence of evolution that has been proven wrong still being used as evidence. You are obviously just regurgitating what you learned (incorrectly) in Biology class. My friend, it has been known for quite some time that the appendix is not vestigial. It helps to fight off disease from your body? Can you live without it? Absolutely! Can you live without both arms and legs? Absolutely! But that does not make them vestigial. Regarding the human tailbone, several very important muscles attach to the tail bone (Coccyx) which aid in our posture and our ability to poop! If you think it is vestigial, you should have yours removed and see how you do with that! As far as wisdom teeth go, it has become evident in the last few years, that the previously held mindset that these were vestigial is wrong, and most of the wisdom teeth extraction has been unnecessary, with some exceptions of course.

          Again, thanks for making my point.

          I don't think fossils were put on earth to test faith at all. I don't see how they even would test faith. They are actually great evidence for a world wide flood, which wiped out billions of animals in a very short time, by burying them all quickly in sediment. There is NO other explanation for the numbers of fossils we see. Why would that test any faith?

          But thanks for using the straw man argument to show it goes both ways. (you would have to see a previous comment to understand that)

          October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • John

          Where else would life come from? Before we were alive we were "nothing". And we will go back to that state one day. Also, what we are made of (at the chemical and molecular) level is "non-life". So we, living, are emerging out of non-life.

          October 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Greg, you read Darwin and didn't get it which proves the point, that it is over your head.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • dorianmattar

          Greg your understanding of NOTHING is NOT the scientific understanding of NOTHING.

          That's your first fall.

          and if you insist that life can not come from nothing, then where did your god come from? If you say he is the beginning, he clearly states in your little book that he is the Alpha, now that means that there WAS a beginning. Since there WAS a beginning, how did he know that he wanted to begin, before he was?

          How was he able to THINK before he EXISTED?

          The fact that we are hear, CLEARLY shows that something can come from NOTHING!

          Otherwise, we wouldn't be here!

          It's that simple.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • dorianmattar

          Greg why does it take a leap of logic to realize that simple things can lead to complex things naturally?

          Why does it take a leap of faith, when we known how amino-acids form to ALMOST create life. The fact that we haven't yet been able to create it, is besides the point. We are very close to doing so, and that makes it very clear that it is NOT a leap of faith.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:46 am |
        • dorianmattar

          biobraine, how do you know that we are going outside the laws of probability when thinking that life can come from nothing?

          How do you know how long it took and/or how many instances of this universe of multiverse exist or have existed?

          You canNOT have probabilities, without having the RIGHT NUMBERS!

          Your equation is FLAWED.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:49 am |
        • redzoa

          "I don't think fossils were put on earth to test faith at all. I don't see how they even would test faith. They are actually great evidence for a world wide flood, which wiped out billions of animals in a very short time, by burying them all quickly in sediment. There is NO other explanation for the numbers of fossils we see. Why would that test any faith?"

          The other explanation, you know, the one supported by empirical physical evidence from every relevant scientific discipline, is that the earth is very old, allowing plenty of time for the fossil record to acc-umulate. It should be noted that the premise of a literal genesis flood requires all the animals coexisting at the same time and the fossil record clearly shows a progressive order. A global flood predicts a mixing of forms, not a progressive order. The creationist models based in density and/or ecology attempting to account for this order fail because we can clearly see organisms of similar density which would have occupied similar niches within the same geographic areas separated by many, many layers of strata, e.g. chickens and chicken-sized dinosaurs. Another (laughable) creationist explanation is "differential escape" commonly applied to explain why humans are exclusively found far above the strata containing dinosaurs. The argument requires that every last human (the sick, the crippled, the very young/old) somehow all managed to reach higher ground or swim or float on debris long enough for every single last dinosaur (including those specifically adapted to aquatic life, e.g. plesiosaurs) to drown and be be buried beneath sediment. These and other creationist arguments make sense if you just don't think about it which is also apparently how one avoids the fossil record as a test of faith in a literal genesis account.

          Additionally, vestigial does not mean zero function, it means loss of an earlier function. But if you're really hung up on this, then consider the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the defunct gene for egg yolk production in our placental mammal genomes, or simply male nip-ples among many others. Not only do these argue for common descent, they simultaneously argue against any semblance of "intelligent design."

          October 12, 2013 at 1:11 am |
        • dorianmattar

          If he can't understand it after that, I don't know what will.

          Maybe cartoons of humans swimming faster than sharks?

          Noah's Flood? ahahahahahahahaha

          How low can they go...

          October 12, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      christians sure hate facts and logical reasoning.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Greg

        I for one love facts and logical reasoning, and that is why I completely see right through the charade of evolution. Zero proof, no logical sense to it (a child can easily see the absurdity), never been observed, defies multiple scientific laws. And you call Christians illogical? Please.

        October 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • G to the T

          Here's some logic – faulty premises yield faulty results. Your entire world view is based on the contents of a single book. Not even a single book. An anthology of books written by people across centuries of time and in different languages. Each was trying to tell say something about what he believed about god but you insist on treating it like a cohesive narrative. Your premise is flawed from the start.

          October 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Everything you mentioned was taught to you by someone who is NOT an expert in the field.

          Your point is keen of some farmer giving you medical advice that COMPLETELY contradicts what a famous doctor is telling you and you taking the advice of the farmer, because it makes you feel good.

          Evolution is OBSERVABLE, and it's a KNOWN FACT. It's not up to debate and it's not up to you and your ignorant friend.

          Everyone that tells you otherwise knows NOTHING about it and since you also know NOTHING about it, you believe what you want to believe instead of the bad news from the doctor.

          It's called DENIAL.

          October 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • John

          You failed right with "Zero proof". Actually the better word is evidence. There is lots of that for evolution. Look it up.

          October 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          I don't think they are capable of research.

          It's over their heads.

          Greg, you've heard all the evidence, right? But you just don't get it.

          So just be a good boy and admit it.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:37 am |
      • Do they?

        Bootyfunk. I've read your posts before. You have a friend who is a Christian. Why do you want to talk like that about him? Why don't you care about what the future and society holds for him and his family? Why don't you care what it holds for my next door neighbors?

        October 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      So how was god created? Did he poof out of nowhere? Do you realize how ridiculous you sounds when you say that the universe cant come from nowhere but god can?

      October 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Greg

        Do you know how ridiculous you sound when you day the universe either A) has always existed, or B) came from nothing, but then laugh at Christians who proclaim God always existed. A creator God is the ONLY explanation that makes complete sense for everything you see in the universe, and everything you see on earth. Choose to believe or not, but I don't see the point in ridiculing those who do.

        October 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Scott

          LOL god "always" existed! The superficiality of that absurd comment refutes anything else you'd add to the conversation. That's the problem with intellectual laziness – it is so easy to point out. You make a mockery of your faith by your undisciplined rhetoric.

          October 8, 2013 at 5:06 am |
      • Steve

        God refers to himself as "I Am." God just "is." Since he is the creator, we can infer that we can't have knowledge and understanding equal to him. He has no beginning. He's not bound by the parameters of time; he created "time" (rotation and revolution of the earth, for example). We humans abhor the thought of being accountable, so it's easiest to simply say God doesn't exist. Yet, the prime purpose of the bible is for us to learn that Jesus Christ paid for our sins as a gift of love to us.

        October 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • John

          Did god tell you this? Or did some man tell you this?

          October 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Like John said, an old dusty book written by ignorant peasants told you this. And what's funny, is that you believe it!

          October 12, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Greg

      "How is a hypothesis about the origin of life abandoning science? How can you know it will never be observed?"
      If a hypothesis breaks scientific law, I consider that abandoning science. It will never be observed because it would break known laws of science. This isn't hard to understand.

      "I'm not sure what you mean here. Nobody is saying there is irrefutable proof of abiogenesis. Scientists continue to research this possibility. That's the beauty of science. It can evolve as evidence presents itself."
      Actually some people do still claim that The Miller Experiment is proof of abiogenesis. Real science does evolve as evidence presents itself. Evolutionary science holds strong to that theory no matter what evidence flies in the face of it. It is because of a doctrine of needing an alternate explanation for the universe and the life in it, aside from a Judging God. It is not real science – because yes, real science does indeed change as a result of evidence.

      "When and where did a god say that it always existed? If a creator could have always existed, why not the universe?"
      The Christian God of the Bible (the only God) declares it in something we call The Bible. God created the universe, so it could not have always existed. Plus, there is plenty of scientific evidence that it has not always existed, namely because it is breaking down and losing energy.

      "To not believe in something requires no faith. Faith is necessary to believe in something without any evidence. I simply accept the universe as it is. If a god would make itself known to me tomorrow then I would believe there is a god. You believe that one's belief and faith will either bring you everlasting life in a paradise or eternal suffering. I couldn't adopt a view of my existence like that even if I wanted to. Not once in my life have I ever felt the presence of any god. I am happy and content with just this life. No eternity needed."
      I actually do not adhere to the eternal suffering idea, aka Hell. There will be eternal death and separation from God, and that is the opposite of being in the Kingdom of God. So you can't adopt a view that would reward you with eternal life in paradise? Yeah, that does kind of sound like a bummer. But hey, this finite life, with all of it's greed, envy, strife, murder, hatred, pain and suffering DOES sound just fine for you? Wow is that backwards. By the way, I would like to hear you say again, when you are on your death bed, that you are just fine with the life you have led up to that point, and are more than happy to die, with no hope of resurrection. I doubt it. Lastly, if you have never felt the presence of God in your life, maybe it is just quite possible, that you never invited Him in. You should try, at least once in your life. Open a Bible to the New Testament, and read a few chapters. The story is all about God's love for you, and how He was willing to allow His one and only son to die a horrible death, so that you could spend eternity with the creator of the Universe. Not a bad gig in my opinion.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  15. CC

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      THe greates trick man ever created was convincing gullible people like you he does exist.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Joanne

        Yupper...religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool............................

        October 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • CC

        It's just a quote from a movie. Trying to add a little humor.

        October 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Hexdragon

      Is that you Keyser?

      October 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • biobraine

      I thought that trick belonged to the unicorn so that he wouldn't be hunted for his horn.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • gladiatorgrl

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities."
      -Voltaire

      October 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  16. OMG

    Isn't it unbelievable that in 2013 we have 6 catholics that sit on our SC making judgements and decisions for everyone? Delusional people making decisions that affect our lives, based on their imaginary religious characters. We live in one sick, *ed up world, people. CATHOLICS, no less, a 2000yr old mob that is made up of kiddy-diddlers and corrupt men claiming to be messengers of God. Turns my stomach.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Permiter of Ignorance

      I'd rather it be Catholics than any other type of Christian because at least they believe in evolution, which puts them a tad closer to reality than some of their cousins.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Scott

        Catholics do not accept the true science of evolution. They create junk science called Theistic evolution. Evolution is random mutation and natural selection it is not god guided mutation and god guided selection. Man evolved but there was no intent behind it and a god wasn't throwing asteroids at our planet anhilating dinosaurs so mammals could get a foothold.

        October 8, 2013 at 5:11 am |
    • #3

      Did you know the other 3 are Jewish? OH MY GOD!!! CONSPIRACY!! CATHOLICS AND JEWS RULE THE WORLD!

      October 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  17. Agnes Nostic

    Satan, thy name is Scalia. But seriously, how did a dimwitted, unethical jerk like this ever make it to the Supreme Court? Just another sign that we are an empire in decline

    October 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Bezalel

      He got the job because he had a higher IQ than you and just about all the other average citizens out there.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        there are people with higher I.Q.s - if I.Q. is the litmus test, he still shouldn't be a judge.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Scalia is a justice because President Reagan put him there. It's all politics.

        October 11, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Permiter of Ignorance

      It's because as Americans, the majority of voters accept a low bar of performance.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Woody

      Scalia is anything but dimwitted. He graduated summa cu-m laude and class valedictorian at Georgetown and magna cu-m laude from Harvard law school. His problem, as so many other seemingly intelligent (and not so intelligent) people have, is not being able to throw off the childhood indoctrination yoke. It's certainly frightening that a person with goofy beliefs, such as his, sits in a position of such power that can effect so many.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • Scott

        Education does not equal intelligence

        October 8, 2013 at 5:14 am |
        • John

          Education+intelligence enlightenment. The yoke of childhood indoctrination is a heavy one.

          October 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Actually, studies show that the more educated you are, the higher your IQ will be.

          Even in older people, if a group who had the SAME IQ didn't continue to educate themselves showed a LOWER IQ than their counterparts with the SAME IQ but with a continual education.

          Taxi drivers of over 50 y/o (if I recall correctly) in Europe where tested as they learned new routes imposed by the government.

          Their brains showed a growth in size due to the difficulty of learning all the new routes by memory.

          Education = Higher IQ

          Reading the bible and the Quran over and over = Lower IQ or Retardation.. lol

          October 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • terry b

      Well said and very appropriate!!! Scalia is living proof that the devil, if he exists, is laughing in hell over the fact that one of his minions is on the most powerful court in the land.

      October 8, 2013 at 8:51 am |
      • John

        My "not equals" signs were removed –> education+intelligence "does not equal" enlightenment

        October 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
  18. palintwit

    Those of you who are old enough will remember 1969 and Woodstock, a 3 day gathering of some of the best musical talent of that generation. 2014 promises to bring us Baggerstock, a gathering of some of the biggest @ssholes of this generation. Ted Nugent will play the guitar and Sarah Palin will play skin flutes. Promoters are scouting the deep south at this very moment, looking for a trailer park big enough to hold the event.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Permiter of Ignorance

      Funny.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  19. RSH

    Scalia should know, all liberals consider him the devil. The rest of us just consider him a bitter old man who's Supreme Court opinions come off as half baked.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Dee

      You are half baked for thinking a genious like Scalia is half baked. You babbled old jerk.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Genius? Unlikely. Consistently right-wing not to his stated beliefs – all for states' rights except Bush v Gore; adheres to 200-year-old perceptions. That's not a genius.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • James

        he believes in fairy tales and those fairy tales influence his judicial decisions. He is not a genius, he is mentally retarded.

        October 8, 2013 at 7:58 am |
      • tallulah13

        I suppose he might be a genious (what does that even mean?) but he's no genius.

        October 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Who said he's a genius?

          I bet he's a good speaker, but so was Hitler.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:09 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.