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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. evan danton

    this from a man who works to support the interests of the Golden Calf? Scalia is the tool of evil. I don't worship his god.

    October 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  2. brutallyfrank

    maybe Scalia needs to remind himself that he is making decisions on behalf of ALL americans and plenty of them don't share his religious sentiments, and quite frankly don't care about religion... less religion and more legal opinion

    October 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Does this help?

      In my legal opinions, all I’ve said is that I don’t think the Constiitution requires the people to adopt one view or the other," Scalia said.

      October 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  3. NoSacredCow

    "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you reject all other gods, you will understand why I reject yours as well." Stephen F. Roberts

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich" Napoleon Bonaparte

    October 9, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Both true and great quotes. I just wish I could live to see the end of the vile ways of monothiesm.

      October 10, 2013 at 12:33 am |
      • charles mack

        You can live a eternity and not see that happen Mickey. History have shown that men have been saying for centuries. God is everlasting and there's only one way to him. Sorry to ruin your dreams.

        October 10, 2013 at 3:08 am |
        • dorianmattar

          I can't tell if you are with his comment or for the invisible and everlasting joke in the sky.

          October 10, 2013 at 3:12 am |
        • Dave Green

          Even if there was an everlasting God and even if there was only "one way to him," whatever that means, I find it mildly amusing the arrogance of people like you who think YOU have it all figured out! Hey, whatever floats your boat is fine by me, but don't be offended as I chuckle at your arrogance.

          October 10, 2013 at 3:22 am |
        • somethingstellar

          Lol history has also shown there are a great many paths to a great many gods. Many of whom also claim to be the only true one. Words are easy to write lol. History as also shown that none were more true than the one before, after, or along side it. And it has shown that once a "true" path is no longer supported by the masses, it becomes a mythology that enjoys pockets of cult like practice much later after its closure but otherwise becomes a series of intriguing museum exhibits offering a glimpse into human culture and life in a distant time.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:19 am |
        • Believer

          It is amazing how peole can beso stupid. Saying "whatever floats your boat' is assuming that we all can pick and choose truth/god of our prrfrence. Don't you khnow , you guillable people, that when you cross that divide between this eathly extistence and eternity, you'll face the REALITY that there is only one WAY, TRUTH and LIFE?!, and you've missed it because you fell for the Lie.

          October 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Who brain washed you? Where you in a mental hospital or a prison?

          I think both.

          October 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  4. Hoarding Souls

    I've always wondered if Satan got my soul what would he do with it exactly? Is it an ingredient? Do you need it to make cheese or soap? Does he play Barbies with us all like little action figures?

    And for anyone who has ever sacrificed a cat for Satan think about it, what in the world is he going to do with a dead cat?

    October 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      Humans that do such horrific things can't think at that level. Might as well ask them to count to ten, no, better to five, ten is beyond them.

      October 10, 2013 at 3:33 am |
      • A cow

        Someone sacrificed my cousin to Ronald Mac-you know who and nobody said a word.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  5. LOL

    "...I mean...HE wouldn't do anything like bugger around with Joe to prove a point..."

    October 9, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  6. Sweet Mae

    I have met very few christians who, imho, were going to make it to Heaven. Everyone had at least one spot in their life where it looked to me, like they had missed their god's criteria, and would end up burning in Hell for eternity. But that's just me.

    October 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • awesomeness

      Whose criteria are you using to judge? Only God can judge us.

      October 9, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • dorianmattar

        Judging by the fable of a&e he can't judge at all.

        Blaming everyone for a single mistake of a couple of fools?

        Wow

        October 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
      • sam stone

        there are plenty of christians here who say that it is not that we are not to judge, but not to judge unfairly

        some have also said that all christians speak for god, but when i ask them who speaks for god in the event that christians disagree, they run like scared little children

        it is only fitting,because they ARE scared little childrend

        October 12, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  7. Dex

    *GIANT FACE PALM*

    how utterly pathetic is this man, to hold such a high office in the country, and still belief in fairy tales?!
    I would be embarrased to be serving next to him.

    October 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Whew thanks for letting us know. I think you were about to be nominated. That was a close one!

      October 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  8. Robert Brown

    The fallen angel

    Revelations 12:
    7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

    8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

    9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    Job 1:6
    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

    Jesus speaking from Luke 10:18
    And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

    October 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Before Adam, God created other beings, some probably on earth but others in his own realm. These heavenly beings are sometimes called angels in the bible. One of them literally rebelled against God. God threw him and his fellow conspirators out of the heavenly realm and into or on the earth in the war. The impact possibly killed Gods original creations here. Hence evil is God’s enemy. God recreated here on the earth the fallen angel corrupted adams decendants then God used the flood to purify humans of the corruption. It happened again. Satan knew Jesus was coming he used the power he had to try all through history to prevent his birth. He tried to lure him away from God in the wilderness temptation. He thought he had finally won the war when he saw Jesus crucified.

      October 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Wow. Nice way to create a backstory for your delusion.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • counterww

          Your moniker is appropriate

          October 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • tallulah13

          No matter his name, he is accurate. The original poster is simply writing bible fan-fiction.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • EnjaySea

        An excellent interpretation of western mythology.

        October 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Middle-Eastern mythology.

          October 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • Luigi Stugatz

        Where do all these angels hang out with all the free time they must have? God created all these angels, one goes whacko becomes satin and god can't do anything about it? If he runs into John Gotti tell him the problem, promise him an upgrade to next hand of god and he'll fix that satin evil nonsense.

        October 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

        Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

        October 11, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  9. don

    TRUTH == you can not prove God by physical evidence !!
    TRUTH == No human can prove God to another human !!
    Only you can prove God to you.
    A good way to prove God to yourself === Ask God.
    Truth === After you die you will know the TRUTH.

    October 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Madtown

      Many people do ask God for evidence, and believe they find it. Interestingly, they follow a completely different religion than you do. Are they wrong?

      October 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • don

        Sorry - I left out - No religion can prove God !!
        Repeat - only you can prove God to you.
        Yes or No it is your decision.
        It is very easy to be bold when young and healthy,
        when lying on your death bed - it is another story.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          What evidence do you have for your deathbed assertion?

          October 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Akira

          That doesn't address Madtown's post at all.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • don

          to santa - I have been numerous times at the beds when different people were dying.
          Some believers (personal relationship with God), some not – no belief in God.
          Believers die in peace - non-believers do not die in peace ..
          Please check it out.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Yeah, that reminds me of the movie Logan Run. They all thought they were dying for a better place, but guess what? They where WRONG.

          What good is a FALSE story? Not good at all.

          We all die. PERIOD.

          October 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I have witnessed the same scenario

          October 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          That would be a contract under duress and it's illegal.

          Decisions are made with a COOL mind, not a STRESSED mind.

          That would only prove that the person was a coward.

          October 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      don
      Excellent summation of the delusion of the god hypothesis.

      October 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Answer

      ===quote===

      "Only you can prove God to you."

      ==end===

      You're an idiot. State it like this "Only you can deceive yourself." That is the truth.

      You freaks who want to believe are so afraid of your deaths that it practically spills out in every fiber of your being. Just grow the fuck up.

      October 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  10. Agnostickids

    Does anybody find it odd that most people came to America (in the good old, old days) to avoid Catholic persecution, and yet we NOW have 6 die-hard Catholics as our Supreme Justices?

    Huh.

    October 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Frank

      Yes, I do.

      October 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Was it Catholic or Church of England that the pilgrims ran from?

      October 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • OKfine

        BD. Got to love you Christians blaming each other because you belong to different sects. Of course the RCC could have been the only Christian church if they didn't become so corrupt that groups splintered off.

        October 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Just trying to keep the history straight, as Doc notes below, it wasn't primarily the Catholic Church that persecuted the various sects in England and the Netherlands. I'm sure you'd like to lump all Christian faiths into one bag but it doesn't really hold water to do so.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • OKfine

          You probably missed my point on purpose, the mother church would not have splintered apart if it hadn't become so corrupt in the first instance. I do defuni all Christians as deluded, buying into the scam, and am quite aware of the different sects, yours being one of the largest and most profitable to the Princes of the church.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • OKfine

          How des an attempt to type define come out defuni, satan probably.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          BD, please do not pretend that the RCC was not attempting and intending on widening its religious grip on the world at that time.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Then you are making the same mistake agnostic did. You leap from the fact that we have Catholic Supreme court justices back through the error that the pilgrims fled England because of the Catholic Church, straight to your simplistic view of the Reformation and never let up on attacking not only the Catholic Church but believers of all faiths. I give you points for consistency, if not integrity.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD and yet again you deny the ugly history of the RCC but have no problem pointing out the Church of England's ugly history and you are much, much more consistent than I am in defending the crimes of the RCC from its beginnings to the present day. Pot calling the kettle yet again BD.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Without denying any history, I think I can safely say that the pilgrims who came to America in the 17th century were not fleeing Catholic persecution.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • OKfine

          If that is what you want to rest your argument, I will agree, but you never seem to want to respond to the whole history of the RCC, criminal behaviour from the beginning to the present and yes all Christian religions are a scam, the evangelists are cutting into your business big time.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I prefer to stay on topic with the thread. If there is a thread on Catholics that appears, I'll respond there but not every article on Catholicism needs to degenerate into "you excommunicated Galileo and priests are pedophiles"

          October 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        From the Puritan perspective, neither sect were True Scotsmen and both were trying to suppress their Truth – but it was, of course, the C of E who had the most direct and immediate influence on them.

        October 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          The Puritans left England because their demands that the C of E be stricter and harsher and that the Church should control government were rejected. Yes, they may have been 'persecuted', but we should look to see why.

          The Puritans were quite a far step away from democracy, freedom and liberty for all.

          http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/english2/puritans_intro.html

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

        BD. About the corruption in the RCC little has changed, Sept 10,2013.
        Germany...Bishop Tebartz-van Eltz built a residence for himself in Limburg the building due to cost 5 million Euros has more than doubled before the building opened. The "luxury" bishop is accused of staging pompous church services at great cost and has been accused of lying under oath about his expenses. Also noted that the princes of the church are doing business as usual at the same time Pope Francis moved from the papal apartments into a simple hotel room on the Vatican grounds.
        Looks like there are more bad apples than you think BD, you will deny as usual but Frankie has a lot of work to get the idea of privilege out of the clergy.

        October 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          There are two aspects of your thought processes which I find saddening.

          The first is that you presume because there is error in the some clerics that the faith is a fraud. There has always been error in the priesthood and there likely will always be. That doesn't negate the overwhelming good that is within the priesthood specifically and the body of Christ more generally. You choose to focus on the bad and minimize the good for your own agenda.

          The second and larger problem I think you have is a lack of grace. Granted that human failing occur. Priest have committed horrendous acts. Bishops have conspired, Popes have waged war, some justly, some perhaps not so much. But the impetus behind your condemnation is the lack of grace. All men sin, all organizations have scoundrels, all nations have committed atrocities. As the Scripture says "If you are to question, oh Lord, who could answer?" The problem I have with your thinking and the reason I cannot accept atheism is that given there will be errors, how can we survive without grace? I never hear atheist talk about grace or mercy, only justice and they like justice according to their own standards.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • OKfine

          Bd. BS that the RCC has done more good. If the church had handed out condoms, birth control and allowed abortions in their missionary work, they would have reduced poverty more in Africa for example than handing out a basket of food along with a bible and a catechism. The Gates foundation is doing more to erase the scourge of AIDS than the RCC whose policies added to the spread of that disease. Mother Theresa was a sham, promoting suffering and building an empire with the donations she received. You will deny all this yet again and will ignore all the criminal or near criminal activity of your church, too blind too see.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Yeah, I think you've proven my point. Sorry for your hatred.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD, hate you, I wouldn't harm a hair on your deluded head. But it would be nice if you saw the corruption in your organization just once in a while look at the bad news . Do you defend what the Princes of the church do with the wealth of the church, a mere pittance goes out to the so called good works?

          October 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Can you post a source on how monies are spent within the Church?

          October 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Here's a link to Catholic Charities USA, the largest single Catholic charitable group. There is a tab which takes you to free copies of their form 990's for the last several years as well as a 2014 budget. This doesn't include individual Catholic works or contributions of groups like the Knights of Columbus or St Peter Claven or the St Vincent DePaul Society or separate parish works of charity, or hospitals and universities

          http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/

          October 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          I'm sure there are good things done by the church.

          That doesn't prove anything.

          The same money could be allocated via other means.

          Probably more effectively since you would eliminate the middle man.

          October 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      I think you need to do some reading about those Puritan pilgrims... and what they believed, and who they themselves persecuted. We should be so glad that wiser heads prevailed in establishing the laws of this country!

      "Their isolation in the New World, their introversion, the harshness and dangers of their new existence, their sense that they were a new Chosen People of God destined to found a New Jerusalem – a New City of God in the midst of the wilderness – insured that American Puritanism would remain more severe (and, frequently, more intellectually subtle and rigorous) than that which they had left behind. The American Puritan tended to interpret the Bible, which had supreme literary value because it was the perfect word of God, even more literally than did his British counterparts. Though many of the original American Puritans – many of whom were both preachers and authors – had attended English Universities, they tended to form religious oligarchies and sought to establish a purified church – which meant the frequently harsh imposition of religious uniformity upon an unwilling populace.

      It was to escape Puritan religious persecution that Roger Williams, a minister from Salem, established his colony in Rhode Island in 1636. The overt remnants of Puritanism did not die out in New England until well into the nineteenth century, and it echoes in American society today. In coming to the New World in the first place, Puritans altered the course of history, for better or for worse. There were approximately 4,000,000 English- speaking people in the entire world in 1603: less than four centuries later there are over seventy-five times that number." http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/puritan2.html

      "And the Puritans believed Quakers were heretics. In fact, anyone who was not an Anglican was a heretic, including Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Antinomians, Quakers, Ranters… in short, anyone who was not Anglican. When Quakers showed up in Boston in the 1650s, it’s no surprise they were persecuted. Puritan Congregationalism was the official—and only—religion of New England. Like every other state they knew of in Europe, the Puritans enforced a state religion that it was treason to oppose." http://thehistoricpresent.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/why-the-puritans-persecuted-quakers/

      October 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Alias

      You are looking at this in the wrong perspective.
      The church and the govermnet were the same thing in many parts of europe.

      October 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        The Catholic Church and the King of England were not cooperative agencies when the pilgrims fled. Get the right perspective and you wont' make a false conclusion.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Frank

      People came for many reasons for many years. The mix on the SC does seem odd, though.

      October 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        If you look at the social teaching of the Catholic faith, I think it strikes a good chord between the political left and the political right.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  11. Reason Over Religion

    Funny that Scaly's god is too weak to overcome his devil. He must have that lesser Catholic god, the one followed by especially stupid people.

    October 9, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Neptune

      Hey! Watch what you say about "scaly gods" bub! I'm right here reading, for crying out loud!

      October 9, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Neptune

      Holy mackerel I spoke too soon! Must not have had my coffee yet.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Of the mythical beings the common religions have come up with, we have the most in common with the Devil who, in turn, has much in common with God the Father. The Devil wanted to be like the most high God. So do we, wanting to know about good and evil and anything else the God might reserve for itself. The myths say that, like the Devil, we are liars and murderers from the beginning. All evil we come up with we pile at the Devil's feet. With no redeeming qualities of our own, we are redeemed by a Saviour. It is sad that the Devil won't be redeemed along with us.

    October 9, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Sargatanas

      Can I go too or is that going to be a humans only party?

      October 9, 2013 at 8:37 am |
      • Dionysus

        Sarg, chill god, come along I am bringing the wine.

        October 9, 2013 at 9:14 am |
        • Neptune

          Dionysus my old friend. How art thee?

          October 9, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Dionysus

          Neptune how is the fishing. Hung over as usual, hope you don't mind me inviting Sarga he is only a sword but a real neat one. What is it with all those star fish turning into mush in the Pacific?

          October 9, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      The devil can't be redeemed because he's necessary. Gotta have the villain to hake the hero look good. Storytelling 101.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • durundal

        Or take the greek classical approach where the hero is usually a trouble making @zz that gets people killed but every once in a while does something 'good' out of random chance

        October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • Oh great

        Now I've got the song "come on in out of the rain" by Wendy Moten stuck in my head. This is why nobody should ever read belief blog while drinking.

        October 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Laughing my ankles off

      Was that myth about a sword? Really? Bwa ha ha ha ha. x-D

      October 9, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • Laughing my ankles off

        Okay looked that one up, it was a myth before it was a sword

        October 9, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • WASP

      @tom: "With no redeeming qualities of our own, we are redeemed by a Saviour. "

      tom you have a serious issue with self loathing; seriously that is the most self hating statement i've heard in my life and trust me i've listenned to suisidal people quite a few times in my life.

      humans have more redeeming qualities than not.
      we have emotions and logic that we turn into some of the most amazing things ever seen on this world.
      music, literature,dance,stories, structures so tall that clouds cover the tops, vehicles capable of breaking gravity and circling our planet................and so much more.

      you what all these redeeming things show?

      we did it all with the need or want of ANY GODS.

      humans don't require fairytales alonger to be good, we don't need a devil to blame when we are bad; only children require a system of reward/punishment to be good people, not adults.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I'm sorry, WASP. You've myth-taken me.

        October 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  13. Lawrence of Arabia

    Topher,
    Let me get your opinion on this... I was thinking about this this morning before starting work:

    The Word of God says that God is Spirit (John 4:24), and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth… Atheists today demand that if they are to believe in God, they must be shown irrefutable proof of God’s existence; assumed in that statement of course is the belief that if anything can be known, it must be known through the application of objective science.

    Scientists want to reduce the entire universe to objective matter or processes, but since God is spirit, and spirit is supernatural, then by definition, the supernatural doesn’t lend itself to discovery by tools designed to work in a physical and natural realm.

    If we are saying then that the existence of God is subjective, can science prove the existence of other subjective ideas that are unanimously regarded as being true, such as the human consciousness? Evidence to its existence can be seen by observing processes in the brain, but can it really be proven, since the human “mind” is subjective?

    It is beyond question that human consciousness exists, even though we see it as a subjective reality, it is nonetheless real. Atheists have become stuck in the “left side” of their brain where objectivity, rationality, and logic reside, but they cannot deny the existence of the “right side” of their brain where subjectivity, feeling, and intuition reside… No scientific test can prove the existence of “feeling” or “intuition” within the human consciousness, but no one would deny that they exist.

    Likewise, just because a scientific test cannot prove the existence of God, evidences abound that God is nonetheless real. (See Romans 1:18-32)

    October 9, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      LOA, once again showing his complete lack of understanding of science and atheists.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I am? Then please enlighten me... As I said, I was looking for opinion. Science can prove that "intuition" exists? How?

        October 9, 2013 at 8:20 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          "Atheists today demand that if they are to believe in God, they must be shown irrefutable proof of God’s existence"
          Incorrect. If there were a god, he would know what evidence I would need. To say irrefutable proof is incorrect.

          "Scientists want to reduce the entire universe to objective matter or processes"
          Incorrect. Scientists want to find what is, and seperate it from what is not. They want to define what is. If it exists, science can assist in quantifying, identifying,
          defining things so that we can then share the knowledge among us to gain a better understanding.

          "can science prove the existence of other subjective ideas that are unanimously regarded as being true, such as the human consciousness?'
          Yes. If it exists, then we can define it with the assistance of science.

          "It is beyond question that human consciousness exists, even though we see it as a subjective reality"
          Incorrect. It is not subjective reality, it is reality. There are several fields of science that deal with it,
          though we do not know everything yet, and how would we know if we did?

          "Atheists have become stuck in the “left side” of their brain"
          Incorrect. I know many scientists who are among the most creative people I know. I for one, have a condition known as synesthesia,
          which is to say that several parts of the brain that normally do not interact, interact in unpredictable ways, like seeing numbers and music (in colors), or
          tasting sound. Parts of the brain crosstalk, and this results in "seeing" things that others do not, because the way the information
          is processed is different than others. What is seen is the same, it is just interpretted and processed differently.
          The sciences that deal with more abstract concepts, like intuition do not necessarily have "test" but yes, they can be quantified using scientific methods.

          One of your basic misunderstandings seems to be what science is. Science has no goal. It is a tool, nothing more. It gives us things that we can use to try to figure things out, and put into a common language so that the
          information can be shared, discussed, verifies, expanded etc. If we do not know something, we can use scientific methods to start to define it, that definiton is then used to
          communicate, teach and learn

          " evidences abound that God is nonetheless real"
          Flat out false.
          The complete and total LACK of evidence is what gives rise to the need for faith.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard,
          First, there is a God, and He has furnished proof to all men of His divinity by raising from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31) I'm sorry that this wasn't done in this decade so that you may question witnesses, or see it for yourself, but eye witness accounts do exist, and we can read them. Furthermore, a glimpse into the science of textual criticism will show you that the Bible is the most reliable of any ancient manuscript that we have.

          Science basically means "to know." Yes, there are tools within science that allows us to examine certain processes that occur in our brain, but not everything that occurs within a mind can be quantified...
          You say "IF" the consciousness exists... Are you saying that you have no consciousness? That you have no "mind" within your brain?

          You said that "consciousness is not subjective reality, it is reality." So which is it? Do we have a consciousness or don't we? If we do, how do we know? If we don't, how do we know? Can we do anything other than to describe what it can do, or identify a few chemicals that may or may not aid in the process of emotion? Like I said before, those chemicals can be put into a bowl but they don't equal an emotion. There's something else going on.

          And time would fail me to show you evidences for the existence of God. Suffice it to say, God answers the question of why there is something rather than nothing.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:00 am |
        • OKfine

          LofA
          And time would fail me to show you the evidences for the existence of god.
          How many times have we heard that, I have the evidences but for some reason the apologist has never produced that evidence. Just another song and dance around the delusion.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          "First, there is a God, and He has furnished proof to all men of His divinity by raising from the dead."
          Incorrect. That is a story from a book. There are many god stories, there is nothing to indicate any are real, the evidence suggests that all of the stories were created by men.
          We know the stories that your story came from.

          "Furthermore, a glimpse into the science of textual criticism will show you that the Bible is the most reliable of any ancient manuscript that we have. "
          That is not a science. It is a technique to correct errors in transcription. The bible is not reliable, since enough has been disproven that the whole of it is suspect.

          "You say "IF" the consciousness exists"
          Where did I say that? I said it does,

          "There's something else going on."
          Clearly. The enrgy that is life has not been defined. We know things are alive, but we do not really know what that means, no clear definition.
          We will continue to use science ( the tool) to try to figure it out. How information like instincts can be transferred chemically is one of the great mysteries.
          To leap to an unjustifiable conclusion that a god had anything to do with it is irresponsible, since we cannot confirm the god hypothesis.

          "God answers the question of why there is something rather than nothing."
          Belief, nothing more.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          OKFine,
          Evidence for the existence of God:
          Law of Causality
          Why there is something rather than nothing
          Prophecies (very specific ones) fulfilled
          eye witness testimonies

          And I have said this before, that I've got a list of a whole bunch of dead people whose scholarly credentials far outweigh any modern scholar whose books I would love to recommend to you who could shed more light on the subject than I ever could.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:25 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Well, gotta get back to work....
          Later!

          October 9, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • Billy

          What witnesses? Name some and what we know about them.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Provide examples of prophecies (very specific ones) fulfilled. Verified date prophesy made; specific event it foretold with date and place of event. And of course the event that matches the prophesy.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • WASP

          @ARABIA

          October 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • WASP

          @ARABIA: " evidences abound that God is nonetheless real"

          here is the evidence myself being an atheist would accept that your god was real, the same PHYSICAL PROOF elijah used to show 400 followers of BAAL that your god was real.

          1 KINGS VERSE 30-40
          30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Now come to me.” So they gathered around him, and Elijah rebuilt the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes, the number of Jacob’s sons. (The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel.) 32 Elijah used these stones to rebuild the altar in honor of the Lord. Then he dug a ditch around the altar that was big enough to hold about thirteen quarts of seed. 33 Elijah put the wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. 34 Then he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the meat and on the wood.” Then Elijah said, “Do it again,” and they did it again. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it the third time.-35 So the water ran off the altar and filled the ditch.
          -36 At the time for the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah went near the altar. “Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” he prayed. “Prove that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant. Show these people that you commanded me to do all these things.
          -37 Lord, answer my prayer so these people will know that you, Lord, are God and that you will change their minds.”
          -38 Then fire from the Lord came down and burned the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the ground around the altar. It also dried up the water in the ditch.
          -39 When all the people saw this, they fell down to the ground, crying, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!”
          -40 Then Elijah said, “Capture the prophets of Baal! Don’t let any of them run away!” The people captured all the prophets. Then Elijah led them down to the Kishon Valley, where he ki11ed them.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Michael Mathis

        I think LOA has the right view of scientists and atheists. I think you just have a more idealistic and utopian view of what you think scientists and atheist are.

        October 9, 2013 at 8:23 am |
        • tallulah13

          Your personal opinion is duly noted.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Doris

      LAR – 5th paragraph: "It is beyond question that human consciousness exists, even though we see it as a subjective reality ... it is nonetheless real. "

      I get the feeling that by "beyond question" and "real", you are trying to classify the existence of consciousness as an objective truth even though we can only honestly claim it subjectively. I see that because of our limitation to know things subjectively, we cannot claim any absolute truth whatsoever. However, I believe you would have a much more difficult time finding someone who doesn't feel consciousness exists versus someone who doesn't think the Abrahamic God exists.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:29 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        But is it not a mistake to limit reality only to the realm of what can be objectivity proven? Love is real, but it is not objectively proven.

        October 9, 2013 at 8:34 am |
        • Doris

          I wasn't trying to limit reality (what may be real regardless of our perception). I was simply saying we easily overstep our abilities with any claims assigning an objective (absolute) "truth" to anything.

          October 9, 2013 at 8:53 am |
        • Reason Over Religion

          Lawrence, it is sheer cowardice to claim that what is unknown is actually known, and then to believe in it. You are a coward.

          October 9, 2013 at 8:54 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doris,
          So we make a mistake in saying with "absolute" certainty that parallel lines never meet?

          Reason,
          So you don't believe that love exists? Or depression? Are they not real?

          October 9, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Love is real, but only as a collection of physiological phenomena. Nothing mystical about it. Objectively demonstrable.

          October 9, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Tom,
          I think that love is only objective when you see its effects. You can study what love can do, but not the emotion itself.
          For instance, can you study how intense one person's love is over another's objectively? No, because love may manifest itself differently through different people, but the intensity is only subjectively understood.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:00 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Seriously, LOA, there are pharmacological targets that could likely be exploited to put an end to even the most intense feelings of love. I'm not for that, but it is so.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:04 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Tom,
          And intuition? The consciousness itself? Personality?
          Can science explain how a "mind" can exist in a brain? At what point do we separate the physical existence of a brain from the non-physical mind? I realize this is probably a bit more philosophical than scientific, but that's kind of my point.

          Science canot explain that which is subjective. It can point out certain chemicals that may be involved in the process, but if those chemicals are dumped into a bowl, can we say that the bowl loves me?

          October 9, 2013 at 9:09 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          No, LOA, a bowl won't do. But it may be possible to create an algorithm that loves you (see below).

          October 9, 2013 at 9:12 am |
        • Doris

          Larry: "Doris, So we make a mistake in saying with "absolute" certainty that parallel lines never meet?"

          For that type of response to what I wrote, I think you're off base as soon as you say "we make a mistake" because that would indicate some negative absolute. But regarding the full question, you picked a postulate created and considered by man that is set up to try to demonstrate what an absolute truth might be like. I would think one would obviously have a difficult time actually demonstrating it to the point where someone else would not be able to find fault with it.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Tom,
          You may be able to create a formula that resembles love, but machines are not alive. They do simply what they are told to do. And what exactly is the consiousness that it can be so understood to the point that we can program it into a machine?

          Are humans not more than the sum of their parts? You can describe chemicals involved in us "feeling" emotions, but that's not emotions.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doris,
          OK, we'll try another absolute truth then...

          The universe exists.
          If the universe doesn't exist, then it is an illusion.
          If it's a false illusion, then it isn't an illusion.
          If it's a true illusion, then someone or something must exist in order to have the illusion.
          Therefore the universe exists.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          A computer, also, is more than the sum of its parts. We create things that run on them and make them something more. It is possible to create programs that create programs. It is most likely possible, and not at all desirable, to create programs that want things. Such is life.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • ?

          And yet Christians have stated that their love of Christ was so great that they would give up their lives for him, if you accept that degree of love, is that not objective evidence that love does exist?

          October 9, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Tom,
          Are you saying that it's possible to build a computer that has ambition? If we took that machine and placed it all by itself into the copy room, would it begin to complain that it never gets out to see other computers and feel the sunshine and fresh air? Would it want to better itself an eventually become a calculator?

          October 9, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          ?,
          That's like describing the wind by what it can do... we can describe its affects, but there is no measurement for ambition, love, intuition... These things exist, but they cannot be graphed.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • ?

          So you cannot make a graph big deal but even you should be able to discern degrees of love that people discern. I love pizza and beer, I love Breaking Bad, I love my wife, I love my children beyond anything else , I love my god to the point of death, unless you have a very closed mind you can see the difference and these examples are not on some scale, say from 1 to 100. 1 being a small degree of love 100 being love to die for.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:43 am |
        • Doris

          LOA: "The universe exists. If the universe doesn't exist, then it is an illusion. ... "

          I would say for objectivity versus subjectivity that to make that an absolute truth as you exemplified it to be purely objective, it still requires our subjective consensus on what it agreed for "universe", "exists" and "illusion". However, I would certainly agree, as is necessary for certain axioms, that based on my perception and awareness of consensus on the subject of the universe, I would come to the same conclusion and accept the notion agnostically as knowledge rather than claiming some pure truth.

          October 9, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doris,
          OK, let's get even more simple...
          Do you exist?
          *pinch*
          "OUCH!"
          Yes, you exist.

          Does that require subjectivity?
          Even if it did, you are agreeing that reality defined by what is subjective is still reality.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Doris

          LOA: "Do you exist? ... Does that require subjectivity? Even if it did, you are agreeing that reality defined by what is subjective is still reality."

          Yes, I think it does require subjectivity. And no, I am not "agreeing" nor "claiming". That's the difference. I accept certain things as knowledge, based on subjective evaluation, but I don't make absolute claims about anything – including those things I've accepted. So, I also accept that I may be wrong that I exist. Based on my perception and evaluation of interacting with others and other things, I comfortably assign it a "very likely" value, all the while also accepting my limitations in being able to claim any absolutes.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Some claim "cogito ergo sum", but I've always preferred "coitus ergo sum".

          October 9, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Kim

          This thread and others nearby conclusively show that Lawrence's reasoning abilities do not exist in any adequately capable form.

          But thanks for coming out, Lawrence. Sometimes it's fun to have a laughingstock – for a short time.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • ME II

          Sorry Doc, was that "coitus ergo [get] sum"?

          October 9, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Consciousness is not so mysterious when it's realized that the same mental tools we use to create models of reality that we can interact with also create models of of ourselves and models that include ourselves in reality. At any rate, there are projects in the works to create models of human brains in-silico. Perhaps the conscious mind will be modeled along the way. I wonder if it's wise to go down that path..

      October 9, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Once upon a time, God made His presence known by performing astounding feats the defied natural laws.
      These feats were sometimes experienced by entire villages, towns, kingdoms and once or twice, the entire planet.
      Then, for some reason, He stopped any such grandiose feats and downgraded to low-level miracles, seldom witnesses by any more than a handful of people – but most often by just one person who will have absolutely no tangible evidence.
      These days, God doesn't seem to affect the corporeal world in any way save for psychically communicating with His followers.
      Seems odd, doesn't it?

      "I don't know what stopped Jesus Christ from turning every other stone into bread
      And I don't remember hearing how Moses reacted when the innocent first born sons lay dead.
      Well, I guess God was a lot more demonstrative back when he flamboyantly parted the seas.
      Now everybody's praying, don't prey on me."
      – Brett Guerewitz

      October 9, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        There are (4) Purposes for miracles:
        1)To introduce a new era of revelation
        a)Time of Moses and Joshua (to introduce the Law)
        b)Time of Elijah and Elisha (voice of the prophets)
        c)Time of Jesus and the Apostles (~30-96 A.D. to bring the New Covenant)
        2)To authenticate the messengers of the revelation (Hebrews 2:3-4, Exodus 4:1-9 – Moses, 1 Kings 17:24 – Elijah, John 10:25 – Jesus, Acts 2:22 – Jesus, Acts 14:3 – Apostles) (See also: Tongues)
        3)To authenticate the revelation (Hebrews 2:3-4)
        4)To instruct the believing and the unbelieving that this is the Word of God (Exodus 6:6-7, Exodus 7:17, Exodus 8:19, 1 Kings 17:24, 1 Kings 18:36-39, John 20:30-31, Acts 5:12)

        Miracles can still happen today, but since we now have the Word of God to authenticate the message of anyone claiming to speak for God, they are no longer needed.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Don't forget the 5th reason – Punishment.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:25 am |
        • ?

          LofA
          Can you put your "miracles" on a graph please.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          I was speaking to miracles being the intrusion into the natural realm by the supernatural. I guess you might see hell that way.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          ?,
          Miracles are supernatural... How can you quantify that aside from mere observation? My whole point is that reality that is defined solely by subjectivity is still reality. In the time that the miracle occurred, the proof would be in the "once I was blind, but now I see."

          October 9, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • dorianmattar

          In one side you have supernatural claims written in ONE book.

          On the other you have all the scientific evidence telling you that there is NO way things things actually happened.

          How is it that you take the road least likelihood and claim that it is a fact?

          October 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          No Lawrence – I'm referring to all the smiting He used to do.
          LIke in 2 Sam.24:15, 1 when He sends a plague to kill couple of hundred thousand people because He didn't like David's census.
          Or when He turned Lot's wife into a condiment in Gen.19:26
          Or killing Onan for failing to impregnate his sister in law in Gen. 38:10
          Or the dude who was evil enough to pick up sticks on a Sunday in Num.15:32-36,
          Or sending bears to maul lippy kids in 2 Kg.2:23-24
          Or when He made Jehoram spill his guts (literally) in 2 Chr.21:14-19

          You know, that kind of grisly punishment here on Earth....

          October 9, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • WASP

          @ARABIA: however your say "miracle" it is still spelled FRAUD.

          "miracles" are simply explainible event with an extremely low percentage of probability of happening.
          example: buy falls into below freezing lake and drowns. he is pulled from the freezing water over three hours later. due to lack of the doctors fear he will have sever brain damage.
          however the boy recovers without an issue.
          OMG! IT'S A MIRACLE; GOD FAVORS THIS BOY!.
          WRONG!
          science easily explained to the excitible parents that due to the below freezing temperature of the water it slowed his body functions causing them to consume less oxygen. the extreme cold water also slowed his heart beat to the point of being considered dead, because they couldn't detect it after they pulled him from the water.
          basically the extreme cold water caused his body to copy the symptoms of what a bear goes through during hibernation, that is what saved the boy's life and his brain from being damaged.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          How convenient.

          From your point of view, ANYONE can make up ANYTHING and say the same thing.

          Just as a Muslim.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      "... the supernatural doesn’t lend itself to discovery by tools designed to work in a physical and natural realm. "

      Then how did you discover it?

      October 9, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Traffic

      Is a human person simply a material being? Is there nothing immaterial about us? I have a "will." I can move my body and objects if I choose to or if I choose not to. I have a reason and can think about great ideas. I can create music that has never existed before. Words convey meaning and I am moved by great speeches such as Martin Luther Jr.'s "I have a dream." If I analyze the chemical makeup of the paints and canvas used to create the Mona Lisa but have not seen it, have I understood it truly. If I know the light frequency of a color, but am blind, do I truly know the color? If I know the sound frequency of every note used in a symphony, but am deaf, have I truly captured what a symphony is? Science only measures material objects interacting with other material objects. Science is simply a method to obtain knowledge but will never answer all things. Science is only one form of knowledge. Logic, semantic, and systemic are other forms and methods to obtain knowledge.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • Traffic

        If I know the frequency of a color, but am blind, I simply know a partial truth.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:46 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Oo-rah.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • Traffic

          The scientific method is not the most fundamental form of knowledge. It presupposes other truths like metaphysics, apprehension and logic. The scientific method is built on the limitations of experiments. You cannot have an infinite number of experiments, therefore scientific knowledge can never cross the threshold of absolute knowledge. Also, check out the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, very interesting from a philosophical point of view. love science and think its great. But science will never be able to accurately measure the depth of that love.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Traffic,
          "scientific knowledge can never cross the threshold of absolute knowledge"
          -Maybe that's why some people get so upset over Christians speaking in absolute terms.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          That might be true if what the christians believed was knowledge. It is belief, not knowledge so your statement does not track.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard,
          You of all people should know that it is impossible to posit a negative absolute.
          The best that you can say is "I don't know if what you're saying is true, but I choose not to recognize it."

          October 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Loa
          If i believe in sasquatch, is that knowledge?

          October 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'll tell you what. You use objective, testable, quantifyable means to prove to me that the "will" and "intuition" and "personality" exist, and I'll answer your question. And I don't mean just observations of their effects, I mean the actual thing itself. Because in some things, the scientific method is just of no use.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          "scientific method is just of no use"
          I'm sure it seems that way to one who does not understand it, but think you do. That must be confusing for you.
          You still haven't figured it out, have you?
          We do not know everything, and likely never will. You keep demanding information on the spot. Good luck with that. We may not have the info, may never have it, but that does not mean we cannot apply scientific methods to explore. We create new sciences all of the time.
          That does not mean we need to replace I don't know with goddidit. That is irresponsible, since there is nothing to back the god hypothesis.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard,
          If you claim to not know everything, then how come the one thing that you claim to know everything on is that God doesn't exist?

          In fact, if you claim to not know everything, then there's no way that you can say that God doesn't exist. The best you can do is to say that you don't know that God exists.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          What is wrong with you? Can't you read. I specifically said we DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING.
          Try reading before you post.

          October 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard,
          If I can't read, then how can I post on this forum? And once again, you repeat that you "do not know," so are you now willing to say that you do not know that God exists? Or will you continue with the refrain that he doesn't?

          October 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          We can't prove your god doesn't exist at the same level as we cannot prove that ants live in the middle of the sun.

          What is your point and why should we bother?

          October 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          To clarify, I have MANY times said while I do not believe there are any gods, there are still many things we do not know. There may be a god or gods, but the current definitions of waht a god is, is very likely insufficient. Since there is no evidence whatsoever of any gods, it is left to the imagination as to what a god would be.
          There may be a god or many gods, we DO NOT KNOW. Therefore, since we do not KNOW belief in a god is by definition not KNOWledge. Get it?

          October 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          To clarify, I have MANY times said while I do not believe there are any gods, there are still many things we do not know.
          -Fair enough, that's all I was asking.

          There may be a god or gods, but the current definitions of waht a god is, is very likely insufficient.
          -Based on what? Your opinion, or reality? If there are things that you don't know, then the existence of God as being certain may well fall within the category of things you do not know.

          Since there is no evidence whatsoever of any gods, it is left to the imagination as to what a god would be.
          -Not true, evidences abound. Paul would say that it as simple as going out and plucking a blade of grass... But, to be more specific, if there are things that you do not know, then the evidences for God also may well fall into that category of things that you do not know.

          There may be a god or many gods, we DO NOT KNOW. Therefore, since we do not KNOW belief in a god is by definition not KNOWledge. Get it?
          -Not really. It's not knowledge that you possess. But that doesn't exclude others from having this knowledge. As you have said, it's just knowledge that you do not have.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          What you call evidence is a JOKE.

          Get it?

          October 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Ugh... This is making my head hurt.
          I'm not bickering any longer, I'm going for tea.
          You've admitted that you do not know, which doesn't exclude others from knowing... that's good enough for me.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  14. Satan

    Instead of a queen you shall have a dark lord! Beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Tempestuous as the sea and stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me and despair!

    ....(ahem).

    Well, it was worth a try. Now If you'll excuse me, I'll go diminish into the West and remain B.L.Z. Bub.

    October 9, 2013 at 7:15 am |
  15. It's a lie,here's proof

    New evidence that Christianity is completely made up and Jesus never existed. I know believers will deny any evidence but you cannot reason with indoctrination. It's obvious , it makes sense, so believers will reject it.

    *http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11201273.htm

    October 9, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Au Contraire !!

      (only for the new visitors to this blog)

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

       4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
      7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
      8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
      by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
      10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
      13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
      13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
      14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      15. D-iseases in the Bible:
      http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

      16. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.o-rg/

       17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      18. Writing the New Testament- e-xisting copies, o-ral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
      http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
      20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
      in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      22. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
      23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      October 9, 2013 at 7:23 am |
      • It's a lie,here's proof

        that's your response , a new testament historian who used to be a catholic priest and other biased sources? Is that the best you can do ? I would not call Crossman a historian as much as I would call him a history revisionist. I really do not care what you believe. I do not wish to change your belief. The fact remains , Christianity is completely made up. It was designed to control the masses and it worked so well then , they still use it today. A person named Jesus may have existed, but in no way was he a divine being. Probably more of a scapegoat. Maybe I should have phrased it different. A divine Jesus never existed. There I corrected my mistake. The important thing is , Christianity is losing it's hold of the people and is being proven false everyday. The only option of followers is to try and indoctrinate more children into the lies. Most sane people call that child abuse. How righteous of your kind!

        October 9, 2013 at 8:21 am |
        • Reality # 2

          (only for the new members of this blog)

          The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years – see the references previously posted)

          Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
          and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
          human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

          I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
          preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
          named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
          girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

          Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
          the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

          He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
          a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
          Jerusalem.

          Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
          many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a deity, a bodily resurrection
          and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
          Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
          grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
          and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
          called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

          Amen

          October 9, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Topher

      Biggest bit of foolishness I've seen in a while. And I don't believe even you atheists are going to fall for it. Read the article. It even says most scholars are going to reject it.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • OKfine

        Topher "the provoker"
        One of the few saved people on the face of the earth despite all his many sins, go figure and a sinless person like me goes to hell, where is the justice.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        You mean the bible? You're right, it's hard to think that anyone would believe such nonsense.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • ME II

        @Tpoher,
        Yes, what the linked article states seems unlikely to be accurate, but it may be interesting to see what he has and what others say about it.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • dorianmattar

        Where does it say that most scholars will reject it?

        October 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • sam stone

        Gopher, you remain a blowhard and a coward.

        You purport to speak for god. That accounts for the blowhard portion

        You want a blameless person to take the punishment you feel that you deserve. That acounts for the coward portion

        Any questions, D-bag?

        October 12, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  16. Proof that Jesus is 4 real and not a myth!!!

    Jesus is NOT like the ancient MYTHS !!!![youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50&w=640&h=360]

    October 9, 2013 at 6:13 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.