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 Belief Blog Editor

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

soundoff (3,730 Responses)
  1. Jon


    October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Is that Kermit THE Frog?

      October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Anonymous

      This is a good movie right here. I am watching it, not done yet, but so far it is very good. I think even if you are a christian, atheist, or whatever, if you genuinely want to learn what the real mythologies say, and not the bullcrap that zeitgeist spews, this is very informative and accurate in regards to mythology / ancient religious culture.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  2. Jesus

    Jesus is NOT a MYTH!!!![youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50&w=640&h=390]

    October 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jesus is a myth.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Blurry

        Myth? Probably not. My guess is that he was as real as you or me. Son of God? Hmm, well this is the way I look at it...What else are you going to tell your new husband and community when you get pregnant by someone NOT your husband in a time when you would get stoned to DEATH for finding yourself pregnant by someone who is NOT your husband.....She gets to live AND get some pretty cool baby shower gifts to boot.

        October 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Anonymous

      LOL! I hope you realize that this is what the occult believes and the parallels it draws are not even true to the mythologies. The best example being the false narrative of Horus as Horus is never ressurected in egyptian mythology, never has disciples, and his mother Isis was certainly no virgin. Also the zeitgeist creator even noted that his book references for his religious views all come from the well known occult/satanic writers of the late 1800s and early 1900s such as Alice Bailey and H P Blavatsky. It is certainly no secret that zeitgeist was put out as an occultist propaganda piece, and perhaps their most successful one in decieving people at that.

      Props for the classic conspiracy though!

      October 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Sometimes, if you want someone to at least consider something that is different, you have to put a sign out front that says, "free money inside!" There are some interesting claims made, but I would look to an historian, who did not have skin in the game, for a refutation.

        October 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Anonymous

          Well you're in luck my friend! A few posts above this one Commentator Jon has graciously provided us with a movie which includes refutations of zeitgeist by christian, atheist, and secular scholars. It also gives the true biblical narratives, the true mythological narratives as the ancient pagans knew them, and of course does a great job exposing zeitgeist as a fraud.

          Then again you could have just looked at Zeitgeist Addendum's list of book refernces and realized that they are all famous (or infamous) occult/satanist writers and come to that conclusion faster. But hey, I guess a movie is much more exciting to watch.

          October 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Actually, I knew that before posting. The point is, someone will never consider something different or new if the only surround themselves with are people and things that tell them what they already know. "Free money inside!" gets someone out of that comfortable surrounding.

        October 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • GC

      Highly intellegent people are surprised that highly intellegent people don't believe in a intellegent higher power. If you belive there could be life on another planet, why not a lifeform that is more intellegent that created us? If you are an intellectual, please consider, even if to just understand the other point of view reading either Signature in the Cell or Darwin's Doubt by Stephen Meyers or any book by Physicist Gerald Schroeder, or the Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its scientific pretences by David Berlinksi

      October 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Gosh, I'll field that one. We have no evidence of God. But we do have evidence of life on this earth. We do have evidence of billions of planets in just our galaxy (statistical), therefore it's reasonable to believe that there may be life on other planets, but most likely primitive, just as our current existence is but a mere fraction of the primitive life that has inhabited this planet.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        " If you are an intellectual, please consider" Sorry fella, but generally part of being an "intellectual" involves not being easily-fooled or manipulated. I know these books seem convincing to YOU, but . . .

        October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • GC

          I have a Ph.D. from Yale in Cell Bio, a MS from University California San Fransisco and I'm published in numerous scienfic journals. I higly respect those books and their authors, but obviously you dismiss me has some religious crack pot. Open your mind read, some compelling articles.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Instead of asking us to open our minds, how about you giving us the thought process by which you reach a conclusion that seems to be COMPLETELY without merit.

          What do you base your belief in?

          Is it fear (i.e. fear of death, fear of hell, etc.), guilt, evidence, ignorance or just because you want to?

          Additionally, how do you reconcile Biology with the bible?

          Please enlighten us.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        In that case, you should do more study of Raelian theology.
        They beleive that an ancient alien race seeded the universe with the building blocks of life.
        They are basically the only allies that Creationists have in the battle to have "alternative theories" to evolution taught in schools.
        Naturalism, Creationism or Raelianism – Teach the Controversy!

        October 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • gamerfromjump

        "If you belive (sic) there could be life on another planet, why not a lifeform that is more intellegent (sic) that created us?"

        Even if it were the case (ignoring the infinite regress problem), it does not justify the sorts of acts committed in his name, nor does his mere existence make him the boss of a free person. It's no coincidence that terms for god are slopping over with royalist and slave/master terminology, because, in all honesty, the mindset of the believer is that of a slave who is not only happy with enslavement, but can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be, imagines that to be the natural state. Pardon me if I don't want to toss hundreds of years of Enlightenment philosophy and the decline of divine right conceptions out the window.

        October 9, 2013 at 5:12 am |
  3. Bob Marshal

    I find religion fascinating. I believe religion is a meme and to some extent an extended phenotype in a similar way that a dam building is an extended phenotype to a beaver. We could never have transitioned from animal to human without it. We are weak compared to the rest of the animal kingdom. We are slow and without natural weapons. We could never have survived as a species without collective groups and compassion. This compassion and need for collective governance turned into religion. Do we need this still today? I think that a percentage of educated and intelligent people can get by without it but for the masses over all I think we do still need it. It is like Conrad wrote in “Heart of Darkness” as well as many of the stories we get from war after war. If you remove the societal restraints religion provides, humans tend to revert back to the dispassionate self-centered animal. Religion is fading in our society and Me First is beginning to be the rule.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Anonymous

      A very good comment. Also props for the Heart of Darkness reference. A good book indeed!

      "The horror! The horror!" - Kurtz.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Au Contraire!!

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

      Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • Bob Marshal

        Yes, maybe. But you have to admit it is fun to take a pro-religion stance using evolution as an argument. Irritates everybody.

        October 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Nogods

    Scalia's delusional beliefs are evidence that smart people can believe in stupid things.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  5. Colin

    So, the net out is that one of the highest regarded judicial minds in the USA believes in late Bronze Age Jewish mythology.

    Wow, just wow!

    October 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • GC

      There is a list of over 700 scientists that say that Darwinian evolution couldn't have possibly happened. "The Case for a Creator"

      October 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • ME II

        But how many of them are named Steve?


        October 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          No, God doesn't speak to me audibly.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • ME II

          @Robert Brown,
          Assuming this is related to an earlier question and page, then my point stands, He's free to speak to me directly.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • danewrony

          Get out ME II troll this isn't Scalia's hell.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • ME II

          Apparently, I've attracted a following.
          I'm flattered, but no thanks...

          October 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • danewrony

          You've got nothing to say. Your just masturbating through your keyboard.

          October 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • danewrony

          ME II, my, "your masturbating through your keyboard," comment is for you, to dream on. Poser.

          October 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Colin

        Well GC, clearly late Bronze Age Jewish mythology is true then.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Strobel is misleading about his experts' qualifications. While spending paragraphs touting each of his interviewees' "doctorate-level" educations, he fails to point out that most of them do not have doctorates in the fields dealing with the issues on which they were interviewed. Rather, most of them have doctorates in philosophy or theology, and perhaps undergraduate degrees in a related science.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        And how many of these scientists (note: Citing a reference would be helpful) are biologists?
        According to Dr. Greg Graffin's PHD thesis , 83.89% of the world's prominent biologists from 22 countries are irreligious; 87.92% reject life after death; and 77.85% affirm philosophical naturalism as their world-view. Only 1.3% of the participants have a traditionally theistic world-view; an additional 3.3% blend theism with naturalism, resulting in the lowest frequency of theistic belief ever reported among a group of scientists, 4.6%.

        Just as I wouldn't consult a biologist about quantum physics, I wouldn't go to a specialist in a field other than biology for an opinion about the development of life.

        October 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  6. danewrony

    Scalia's father was the NY state head of the FASCIST PARTY during Mussolini's lifetime! What does that tell you? Glenn Beck, another GOP party screecher, says MUSLIMS are Satan worshippers and that Islam is the Devil. Sadly, this TERRIBLE person, Scalia, will be on a court that decides whether or not an individual can contribute UNLIMITED MONEY to campaigns. Just like he voted that a CORPORATION can have unlimited contributions, CITIZENS UNITED, he will again vote that an individual can do the same. Who says that money can corrupt politics? Not the son of the former HEAD of the FASCIST PARTY in NY STATE, Antonin Scalia. Which types of people are possibly the Devil? He has a MIRROR RIGHT? I was thinking more along the lines of Dick Cheney or the Koch brothers. Benjamin Netanyahu?

    October 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Too many fallacies, to little time.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • Responding to the Pride

        ...too little time.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • danewrony

          Lightweight. ME II is a LIGHTWEIGHT ii-GET IT. ME II apparently doesn't.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • ME II

          "Lightweight. ME II is a LIGHTWEIGHT ii-GET IT. ME II apparently doesn't."

          Assuming this was meant for the post below, you are aware that name-calling is just another form of an Ad Hominem fallacy, right?

          October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • danewrony

        What fallacy? Check Scalia's father's life history. I watched Glenn Beck, OUT OF TOTAL DISMAY, do an hour about the Bible's devil worshippers and the signs of WHO THEY ARE. You don't want me, lightweight.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • ME II

          Ad Hominem, guilt by association, Godwin's law, etc,. etc., etc.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Dane...do you even know what a fallacy is?

          October 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Who else believes in Satan? Obama, Biden, 50+% of Congress and 67 % of the general population.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • danewrony

        They are dopes for that too, but they don't attach a political persuasion to it. This moron condemns all who don't believe, to an afterlife in HELL. Nice to tell an Asian child that, "guess what little boy, in America there are people who believe that if you don't believe what they do, you go to a place where, when you die you are FOREVER TORMENTED and TORTURED." Sounds to me like the son of a fascist.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • Observer

        Reality #2,

        Good. Now please tell the tens of millions of mostly rightwingers that they are idiots for thinking that President Obama is a Muslim.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  7. Colin

    "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."

    Unfortunately, the Supreme Court jurist chose a bad piece of scripture to cite to support his Bronze Age superst.ition. The "legion" of demons that Jesus exorcised from the crazy man and sent into the 2,000 pigs that then herd into the sea, is actually an allegorical reference to the Roman legion then occupying Jerusalem. After the Romans had put down the uprising that resulted in the destruction of the Temple, they left a legion of 2,000 men to occupy the city and the symbol of this legion was the pig. This is one of the literary devices that enables biblical scholars to date-stamp MArk to circa 73 CE.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • I wonder

      Interesting info, Colin. Thanks.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Conservative bible scholars place it at 63, but what is 10 years give or take?

        October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Colin

          Well, the problem with a pre 73 date is the references to the destruction of the Temple. Dating Mark to pre 73 AD would be like dating an article that refers to tthe destruction of the World Trade Centre to before September 11, 2001.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Scalia is right!

      The greatest lie satan told you was that he doesn't exist, he also told you God doesn't exist.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • Observer

        Wrong. A lot of people decided that God doesn't exist because they read the Bible.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Anonymous

        Lol that's not the greatest lie Satan ever told. That's not even in the Bible, that's just new age propaganda.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • GC

      Colin, that is the more ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Please post how many scholars agree with that crazy comment. Just cause you write it doesn't make it true.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
      • A Frayed Knot


        Read here:


        The Legion's symbol was a boar (pig).

        October 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • GC

          Read the link, but don't know any literature (religious or non-religious) scholar that that would agree with this story and say that Jesus was trying to tell some cryptic story about the Roman Legions.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot


          Some men by the names of Mark and Matthew (or whatever their names really were) wrote that story... perhaps one even taking it from the other. Jesus never wrote a single word. I know of no verified report of the day of 2,000 pigs jumping off of a cliff anywhere... and even if some variation of Mad Cow Disease overtook a herd somewhere, sometime, attributing it to spiritual demons is primitive, unknowledgeable fantasy meanderings.

          I don't know who you consider a "scholar", but here's one view for starters:


          October 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot


          Looks like I grabbed the wrong link there, sorry.

          Try this one (with a slightly different take on it, but also non-supernatural) :


          October 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The Romans used pigs in battle all the time! Haven't you ever heard the idiom "war pig"?
        The Siege of Megara in 266 BC was won by the Romans after they sent a herd of flaming pigs into the offending army's horde of elephants.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • Austin

        GC means generally clueless

        October 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • GC

          Austin – rude, but funny. If you are as smart as you are cleaver, and even if it is to confirm how clueless I am, despite my Ph.D. from Yale, I challenge you to consider reading at least one book from Stephen Meyers, "Darwin's Doubt" or "Signature of the Cell" best, GC (God Confident)

          October 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Wait, are you saying that you believe that evolution is not a fact?


          October 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Is Mark 5: 1-20 (two possessed men, demons and pigs) even historical? Based on the studies of many contemporary NT scholars, it is not. For example, see Professor Ludemann's an-alysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 34-35 "The historic value of the narrative is nil......". Also, see http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb228.html.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • GC

        Sorry I have a hard to take that blog entry serious, compared to the volumes of literature experts. Maybe just consider over the weekend brew yourself your favorite cup of coffee and sit down and read the entire book of Matthew.

        October 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Only for the those interested in a religious update:

          1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

          “New Torah For Modern Minds

          Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

          2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

          The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


          For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

          Current RCC problems:

          Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

          2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

          Current problems:
          Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

          3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

          This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

          And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

          Current crises:

          The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

          4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

          The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

          Current problems:

          The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

          5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

          "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

          Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

          Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

          Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

          October 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  8. bostontola

    It continues to surprise me how highly intelligent, analytical minded people deeply believe in god and all the trappings that go with it. I work with a brilliant engineer that has solved the toughest problems that stymied many others. I have a lot of respect for this person. One day we were shooting the sh t after work and the discussion went to religion. This person is Mormon. After explaining it's tenets, I was bewildered. I still fully respect this person, and I'm amazed how the same brain that solves tough problems in the real world believes fantasy is part of that real world.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • WASP

      compartmentalization: the logic centers of his mind are kept seperate from the religious centers of his mind.
      it's like their being two of that person inside the same body.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • danewrony

      Agreed. My good friend is a smart nurse whose husband is a doctor and brother is a renowned surgeon. But politics, I wonder how she became so stupid. Look at the NEUROSURGEON the GOP trotted out for about 2 weeks, HE WAS BLACK, until he started making STUPID PUBLIC COMMENTS he was celebrated. I haven't heard from him lately. But his skin was so useful.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • GC

      Highly intellegent people are surprised that highly intellegent people like yourself don't believe in a intellegent higher power. If you belive there could be life on another planet, why not a lifeform that is more intellegent that you and may have even created you? If you are indeed an intellectual, you must be an avid reader, even if to just understand the other point of view consider reading either Signature in the Cell or Darwin's Doubt by Stephen Meyers or any book by Physicist Gerald Schroeder, or the Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its scientific pretences by David Berlinksi

      October 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Ha

        "intellegent" ? Aaaaaahahahahahahahaha!

        October 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • *

          Yes, and he made that error not once, not twice, but three times... and proceeded to post it again a few minutes later!

          October 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • GC

          That is a funny typo I have to admit.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        " If you are indeed an intellectual, you must be an avid reader, " I am indeed, and writer, and I also have excellent critical thinking skills( I can correctly spell 'intelligent,' for example). But I don't bother to read religious tracts. Sorry.

        October 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • GC

          If it is some religious BS track, what's the harm in reading it? Read so you can dismiss it, point by point. But maybe you are afraid it might make you question your dogma? Some of the greatest scientist today believe, Franics Collins is probably the most notible, but I too am a scienist, have a Ph.D. from Yale, and it was the more I learned about the complexity of the human body that made me embrace the notion of a creator.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    Heaven is a place in Hell; a place where Angels and Demons dwell. The bell rings, the Devil Swings and on God’s throne he begins to dwell.
    Looking through space and time, the duality of the immortals shine.
    The singing begins and the song is one of the infinite. Universes are sung, galaxies too; Star and planet, us.
    But we can hear the singing not;
    For we are here on this planet caught.
    The webs we weave; tears to deceive.
    Rob of us of our own immortal lot.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  10. IthinkImBetter

    Yes.... God/Jesus anything "good" Is the part of us who truly are good people at heart regardless of our crimes.

    The devil/satan anything "bad" is our Ego.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  11. Apple Bush

    A man once achieved notoriety when he plastered the walls, ceiling and floor of an entire home with memorabilia from his life. The most sacred of all life’s moments were represented. Birth, marriage, death.

    When he sold the house a few weeks later, he was asked why.

    The man said, “Because I want to see how the new owners will choose to decorate the house.” He snapped a photograph of the house and walked away.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    The worst thing the devil ever did to humanity was to encourage us to seek knowledge and understanding so that we might better ourselves.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  13. Doris

    Filmed at the Royal Geographical Society on 22nd May 2013.

    Daniel Dennett is one of the world's most original and provocative thinkers. A philosopher and cognitive scientist, he is a cognitive scientist and professor at Tufts University. On May 22nd he came to Intelligence Squared to share the insights he has acquired over his 40-year career into the nature of how we think, decide and act. Dennett revealed his favourite thinking tools, or 'intuition pumps', that he and others have developed for addressing life's most fundamental questions. As well as taking a fresh look at familiar moves - Occam's Razor, reductio ad absurdum - he discussed new cognitive solutions designed for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, consciousness and free will.

    By acquiring these tools and learning to use them wisely, we can all aspire to better understand the world around us and our place in it. (youtube published on May 29, 2013)


    October 8, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Does he have a red suit and reindeer?

      October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Would it help you "believe" if he did?

        October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • tallulah13

        No silly. Santa is a myth. Just like god.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  14. Ahab the Arab

    it's time for Scalia to step down..

    October 8, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  15. morovia

    Of course he's a real person...looks like Sarah Palin and talks like the Westboro Baptists.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  16. Ralph_in_FL

    As an anti-religious person, I have to thank Justice Scalia for sending me my daily trainload of ammunition.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Drew

      Curious about that comment. Scalia is a brilliant scholar and defended his views perfectly.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        His argument consists of "historical consensus = fact".
        If that were the case, we'd still think the Sun revolves around Earth and that bloodletting cures most ailments.

        October 8, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  17. WillyTheShake

    Whack job!

    October 8, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  18. Ricky Nelson

    So you mean to tell me that your god created the boundless universe and put billions and billions of stars with trillions of planets circling them..right?

    And of these trillions of planets, lets pretend that they were all grains of sand.. and there is enough "sand" to fill up Dallas Cowboy stadium..right?

    And god decided that after creating all the stars and planets he should to be worshiped...right?

    So instead of putting billions of people on billions of planets to worship him he would just put two people on 1 planet and just call that adequate ... right?

    And these two people, whom he created, were suppose to live by his rules and worship him without ever making a mistake least they be punished for all eternity.. right?

    So as far as eternity goes..a lifetime is but a micro-nano fraction of time...right?

    And if you make a mistake during that micro-nano fraction of time you will spend the rest of forever in someplace that god didn't create..? Wait,what? I thought god created everything and everything that happens is according to his plan...is that not right?

    So if bad things happen to you it is it because god planned it that way or is it because he made it happen? Or is it because he could have stopped it but chose to let things happen to teach us a lesson? Or is it a combination of both?

    Anyway... So, god spoke to the early people and let them know the rules and had them put it all in a book, is that right?

    And that first book was ok for a number of year but then god figured that he had made some mistakes and needed to make some adjustments to the rules... right?

    And in the 2000 years since then he's kind of been incommunicado.....

    So how come he stopped talking to people and making public appearances?

    I haven't seen or heard of any credible sightings...

    Pardon me for asking... but my kids are pretty smart and they want and deserve an answer that is better than "god works in mysterious ways"

    They will not be satisfied with canned answers to difficult questions. They have out grown the Easter bunny and Santa Clause and will not be sold on anything super-natural without credible evidence.

    I, as their father, owe them some kind of proof if I want them to trust me and I have nothing except a book that was written when the world was flat and people had no understanding of the world around them.

    A book full of factual errors, contradictions, misogyny, bigotry, murder, prejudice, slavery, inequality and just plan nonsense.

    This is the year 2013 and grown, educated people are still babbling about how great their imaginary friend is and how we should all live by their beliefs or suffer in an imaginary place.. GROWN people in political and judicial offices!!

    It baffles a thinking, reasoning persons mind.

    I can only hope that the generation coming up today is smarter in that respect than the generation before.

    I mean, how hard would it be for god to wake up one day and tell everybody, either on CNN or telepathically, "I am here, worship me"?

    He would only have to do it once and everyone on the planet would be in church every Sunday for eternity.

    But instead, half the planet is believing in the wrong god because the story that got handed to them was different than the story that got handed down to the other half. The billion Chinese people who haven't taken Christ as their savior are all screwed or is it the other way around?.... The lost tribes in Africa, who have never even heard of Jesus are also screwed through no fault of their own.

    So, why hasn't he done that? Why have 2000 years gone by with generation after generation of people allowed to question his logic and not getting any rebuttal? The standard church answer for that question isn't washing with todays generation

    None if it makes any sense and therefore is being rejected out of hand by the new generation. They have grown up in the age of the internet where they can research what they have been told in church...

    They can see through the smoke and mirrors and make decisions backed on logic and reason.

    They understand that they can be good caring people because it is the right thing to do and not because they fear punishment from a make believe omnipotent being. They understand that they must make this life as good as can be because it is the only one they get and it doesn't last long.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Madtown

      "The bible is literal."

      – Topher, from the other day

      October 8, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • kkelleu

      As one who does struggle with faith issues, even with Masters in Theology thanks to Harvard, your diatribe appears to me to come from one who looks at concerete facts or theories...you've never had an EXPERIENCE with the holy..however that may manifest to you...it is easy to take extrapolations from Scriptures or interpretation of particular personal redactions...that's why there are so many factions of religious groups. I've asked myself several of same questions you put forth; however, I cannot deny my personal experiences with God...don't understand how it all works but its somehow real.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Madtown

        Will you describe those experiences please?

        October 8, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • WASP

        @kk: " I cannot deny my personal experiences with God...don't understand how it all works but its somehow real."

        i have an obvious question on your godly experiences; seeing the devil also exsists according to your faith, how do you know it wasn't the devil acting in the guise of "god" to fool you?
        can you be 100% certain that what you experienced was god? remember lucifer is the great deciever. :)

        October 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        "personal experiences with God" Generally this means you thought about something a lot and then wondered WWJD and suddenly felt all happy inside and full of peace and joy. Completely subjective experiences are pretty much equal to hallucinations and dreams as proof. Get God to tell you how to make a stable trans-uranic element next time, or give you tomorrow's lottery numbers or a cure for cancer, and you might be convincing. Fortunately there is a Bible Workaround for that; if God actually did ANYTHING for you, it would be proof of His existence, and your faith would be gone, replaced by knowledge. Without faith, you burn, so God is off the hook and never has to show up and deliver.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • mk

        KK: Many people also feel that the feeling of giving birth is a "miracle". To me, it was the single most "magical" experience I've ever had and I was overcome with emotion. And many people continue to look at their children as they grow and see the beauty. But there are those that don't get any satisfaction or have any feeling about birthing a baby or raising a child. It means nothing to them, there is no emotion or magic about it. Wouldn't this imply that something like this is an individual experience? Something that you deem a "spiritual experience" can mean something totally different to someone else, and it has nothing to do with religion but the response of the individual.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • mk

      Very well said and well-thought out, Ricky.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Raul

      Ricky Nelso,

      I loved your questions! these are the kind of questions that are honest, insightfull and also respectful...i am a Catholic and agree with you that logic and sylogisms alone wont' answer all these deep questions...i struggle with why God wanted it this way...only revealing Himself in misterious and hidden ways! what i belive, though, is that at the end of the day, those who were honest and coherent, meaning living a way of life aligned with honest answers to these questions, will find themselves enjoying eternity... the Hitlers of the world, the ones that abuse of power, those that inflict pain and suffering and hurt the dignity of other humans beings...will rightly find eternity sorounded by what the same.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  19. Deist

    Mr. Scalia (calling a Justice is totally inappropriate), for the best view of the "real person Satan" look into the nearest mirror.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Joan Wheeler

      How did a fruitcake like Scalia ever get on the Court? Reagan must have been in the early stages of Alzheimer's when he appointed this outlandish individual to the land's highest court. Scalia proves over and over again to be a embarrassment to the United States. Those religious fanatic Tea-Baggers must love him. Yikes! Get me outta here.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  20. The Perimeter of Ignorance

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, explains how God disappeared as an explanation for things humans did not understand about the universe, as the "perimeter of ignorance" receded. The greatest minds dared increasingly brave to question the world around them, but sometimes cowardly copped out along the way when they faced problems -similar to the modern Intelligent Design movement that advocates a "god of the gaps"- until someone else took over and furthered scientific progress. (youtube published on Mar 2, 2013)


    October 8, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Skater60

      Somebody once said: "We should not hide God in the dark corners of Science." I think God is, as Monty Python says, "And now for something completely different!!"

      October 8, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • How the story of Jesus differs from the ancient myths

        Ok, I could go for that, but then that would mean you would have evidence of what God is, so that you could claim God is completely different....could we see that evidence?

        October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
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About this blog

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