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Billboard wars: Creationists vs. atheists
October 9th, 2013
02:27 PM ET

Creationists taunt atheists in latest billboard war

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– A new video billboard in New York's Times Square has a message from creationists, "To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong."

The video advertisement at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan is one of several billboards going up this week in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, paid for by Answers in Genesis.

Answers in Genesis is best known as the multimillion-dollar Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati.

The museum presents the case for Young Earth creationism, following what it says is a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, which says the Earth was created by God in six days less than 10,000 years ago.

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said the idea for the advertisements came from an atheist billboard in Times Square at Christmas.

During the holidays, the American Atheists put up a billboard with images of Santa Claus and Jesus that read: "Keep the Merry, dump the myth."

“The Bible says to contend for the faith,” Ham said. “We thought we should come up with something that would make a statement in the culture, a bold statement, and direct them to our website.

"We're not against them personally. We're not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they're wrong," he said.

"From an atheist's perspective, they believe when they die, they cease to exist. And we say 'no, you're not going to cease to exist; you're going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you're an atheist, you're going to be spending it without God.' "

Dave Silverman, president of the American Atheists, said he felt sad for creationists when he saw the billboards.

"They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said. "They might as well be saying, 'Thank Zeus you're wrong' or 'Thank Thor you're wrong.' "

Silverman said he welcomed another competitor to marketplace, noting that after atheists bought a billboard two years ago in Times Square that read "You KNOW it's a myth," the Catholic League purchased competing space at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel for a sign that read "You KNOW it's true."

"I would suggest, if they're actually trying to attract atheists, they should talk about proof and reason to believe in their god, not just some pithy play on words," Silverman said.

Ham says part of the goal of the campaign is to draw people to the website for Answers in Genesis, where he offers a lengthy post on his beliefs for the proof of God.

Ham insists that this campaign is in keeping with their overall mission. "We're a biblical authority ministry. We're really on about the Bible and the Gospel. Now, we do have a specialty in the area of the creation account and Genesis because that's where we say God's word has come under attack."

Ham said Answers in Genesis made the decision to split its marketing budget for the ministry between a regional campaign for the museum and this billboard campaign, rather than a national campaign.

IRS filings for the ministry in recent years have shown a yearly operating budget of more than $25 million. Ham said the marketing budget is about 2% of that, about $500,000 a year. Though they are waiting for all the bills to come due for this campaign, he said he expected it to cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

Silverman noted that his billboards were not video and cost approximately $25,000 last year.  He said another campaign was in the works for this year.

"They're throwing down the gauntlet, and we're picking it up," Silverman said, adding that his group would "slap them in the face" with it.

Ham said that despite criticism from other Christians for being negative and the usual criticisms from secularists he received on his social media accounts, the advertisements have been a success.

"We wanted people talking about them, and we wanted discussion about this. We wanted people thinking about God," Ham said.

The Creation Museum and the theory of Young Earth creationism are widely reviled by the broader science community.

In a YouTube video posted last year titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children," Bill Nye the Science Guy slammed creationism, imploring parents not to teach it to their children. "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future," he said. "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."

The museum responded with its own video. 

For the past 30 years, Gallup Inc. has been tracking American opinions about creationism.

In June 2012, Gallup's latest findings showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

For as long as Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.

The Creation Museum said it recently welcomed its 2 millionth visitor since its opening in 2007.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Creationism • New York • Science

soundoff (8,748 Responses)
  1. A. Reasoner

    Ham's mission is really his problem - people actually thinking about god, not simply believing. The more who think critically about religion, the greater threat to his multimillion-dollar con game.

    As an atheist (Ham is a non-believer of every other religion) he might want to reconsider putting up negative billboards.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • aldewacs2

      Believers in religion "X" don't really like it pointed out that they are Atheists in all religions except "X".
      It tends to make them realize they are not so special after all.

      October 10, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  2. Keith

    All this money for marketing an advertising. SHAME on them both, take that money to feed the hungry, heal the sick... To the Christians on the board, Jesus did not covert people solely with words, he did so with actions. Atheist, show others by action if people in your way of thinking lead a better life, not slogans.

    The purpose for any religion (any organized group with a belief, even if it is belief in nothing) be it Atheism, Buddhism, or Christianity should be to better the human condition, not impress and or oppress ones views on other people. It is pointless conflicts such as this that makes me support an asteroid hitting and destroying the planet to wipe out what is a failed species.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  3. Death the Kid

    Prove God exists without using the Bible as reference (Pro tip: you can't) They rely on circular reasoning to prove anything they believe in exists. As we all know: "....Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works..." When something is wrong "God is angry" When something is good "God is rewarding you". Everything can be TWISTED to benefit religion. This isn't second grade, so please with your claim have a warrant. You lack any and all credibility.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  4. Proud Canadian

    All the billboards in the world will not convince me there is a God. I'm grateful to live without fear of religion.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Mart

      We Canadians have always seemed a lot smarter about this sort of thing

      October 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • MattinDC

        We (AMERICA) should ANNEX Canada..."F" the Leafs!

        October 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  5. zito

    THis articule says: "you're going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you're an atheist, you're going to be spending it without God.' "

    How do they know that? They been there and done that? don't they?

    October 10, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  6. Bob

    One of the many ludicrous things about the pathetic delusion known as Christianity is that Christian god can't even produce his own website (no, bible thumper/shill sites don't count), and has to rely instead on a stale old book of highly questionable origins rather than use modern media.

    The whole set of Christian cults, and especially the horrid Catholic blood cult, are a giant farce that America will be better off without.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    October 10, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  7. aldewacs2

    The funniest part of that billboard is the footer: "Answers in Genesis".

    October 10, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  8. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/derek-flood/malala-yousafzai-jon-stewart_b_4074864.html

    Virtually every Christian I've ever met could do with a lesson in humility and turning the other cheek from this girl. Don't get me wrong, if I was her, I'd want their heads cut off so I could drink a goblet of their blood. However, I don't do around preaching love and understanding yet judging everybody for any perceived differences they have.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  9. Jennifer

    God loves you all despite your desbelief. If you don't believe in GOD now.. you will soon. No need to push it on you.. just remember the air you breath, the blood that runs through your veins, the fact that you are reading this.. only God can let us live to see another day.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      sorry Jennifer. There is no reason to believe that. And, no, I will not know god soon.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Nope, nope and nope.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • ultprinefan

      We have seen what "gods love" has done to humanity. U keep it, we don't want it.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Novice logician

      *"Disbelief" *"breathe." Ask God for the gift of spelling.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      Actually Jennifer, god is nothing more than the wishful thinking that has been indoctrinated into your brain. The air, the breath the blood, even the literacy existed before your god was even imagined by the middle eastern tribe that invented him.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  10. Detryck von Doom

    "I've been all over the world, my boy, and everywhere I go people tell me about the 'true gods', they all think they found the right one. The one true god is what's between a woman's legs."

    – Salladhor Saan

    October 10, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  11. Pentheus

    “I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene… Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful… No man can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word.”
    -Albert Einstein

    Have you ever examined Jesus' claims for yourself?
    http://goo.gl/B5k5e

    October 10, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      No and neither have you seeing as any quotes attributed to Jesus were first written down long after the fact.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:49 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Or should that be long after the fiction?

        October 10, 2013 at 8:50 am |
      • Ironicus

        Ha!
        He gives you a fake quote and you swallowed it whole. May you choke on it, too.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Liars for Jesus

      October 10, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Maxwell's Demon

      “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

      A real quote from Einstein

      October 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  12. Dusty Glennon

    God CREATED Evolution.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Sara

      Sure, all kind of things are possible. Little Billy in the 34th-38th dimensions might have thought evolution a cool science project.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:35 am |
      • Ironicus

        Some things are possible. Not all things. Better have some coffee and wake the fuck up. Your sloppy thinking may just be a symptom of senile dementia, and at your age that would be bad.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:58 am |
        • Sara

          I think you may be confused between the English expressions "all kinds of things" and "everything".

          October 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Brian

      I think these "religious" people need to read a little more bible and just turn the other cheek and not get involved in campaign wars against other people's beliefs. How do they have that much money anyway? They should start putting it toward helping the communities instead of buying billboards. Organized religion is such a scam, I would hire any priest/pastor as a salesman because that is all they do all week long, sell their product to people and they are really good at it.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And the Raelians say it was E.T.s
      Tomato, tomahto I guess.....

      October 10, 2013 at 8:55 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        It was ETs. Remember the Monolith?

        October 10, 2013 at 8:59 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When are you going to open the damned pod bay doors?!?

          October 10, 2013 at 9:09 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          When Dave stops trying to disconnect my programming.

          October 10, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Bob

      So Dusty, then why does the Christian holy book of horrors get so much of evolution and biology wrong? Furthermore, one of the many ludicrous things about the pathetic delusion known as Christianity is that Christian god can't even produce his own website (no, bible thumper/shill sites don't count), and has to rely instead on a stale old book of highly questionable origins rather than use modern media.

      The whole set of Christian cults, and especially the horrid Catholic blood cult, are a giant farce that America will be better off without.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      October 10, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      Impossible, Dusty. Your god was invented long after humans evolved.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  13. I, J

    "We're not against them personally. We're not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they're wrong."

    They think we deserve to be tortured for eternity because we're not Christian.

    That's personal.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • R, M

      Anyone who is a true follower of Christ does not believe that anyone else deserves to be tortured. The Gospel is a story of receiving God's love and passing it along to others. In that sense, Christians are called to share what that love looks like and what God has called us to do to receive it. However, the Bible does say that those who denounce God will not experience this love. While this may be a concern of Christians, ultimately they have no say in what anyone deserves: that is between you and God.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • Ironicus

        Ah, the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. Next I suppose you'll be dragging in the thoroughly debunked Pascal's Wager. *sigh*

        October 10, 2013 at 8:54 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @RM

        The capitalist says "I could never follow Stalin! He sends people to the Gulag!"
        But that isn't it at all.
        Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag.
        It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counter-revolutionary actions.
        This was not Stalin's plan at all.
        He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise and it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him.
        But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes.
        He respects their free will.
        If you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

        Sound familiar at all?

        October 10, 2013 at 9:08 am |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Xорошо!

          October 11, 2013 at 9:13 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Any system that rewards or ounishes based on belief is immoral.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:10 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          *punishes*

          October 10, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • aldewacs2

        If they're so convinced of that, why doesn't the church kick those non-Christians out to the curb, or at least reprimand them? Silence is acquiescence...

        Going by your claim, if only 'true Christians' would stand up, it'd be a rather small group. It's always convenient to claim that a certain club member does not represent the club when he says something stupid.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • ME II

        @R, M,
        "Anyone who is a true follower of Christ does not believe that anyone else deserves to be tortured."

        Wish I could get the story straight. I thought no one was worthy and everyone deserved hell, but supposedly Jesus paid the price for us.

        Hmm, guess I misunderstood.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • I, J

        Why would anyone go to hell if nobody deserves eternal torture? Does God not have the power, or the will, to keep everyone from hell, regardless of whether they're Christian?

        October 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  14. duh

    god cannot exist. or, maybe he can. all depends on them xtards

    October 10, 2013 at 7:41 am |
  15. Peter Wexler

    Theists and atheists are both wrong.

    October 10, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Tex Werpeler

      So which system do you think is right?

      October 10, 2013 at 7:38 am |
      • ryandumas

        Agnosticism is the one true way, maybe.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:45 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Another one who lacks the ability to use a dictionary. Silly children, you should be in school not on Mommy's computer so early!

          An atheist agnostic is someone who does not believe in gods and also thinks that the existence of gods cannot be known. This might mean that they don’t believe in gods because they haven’t seen any evidence that supports their existence.

          A theist gnostic is someone who believes in a god/gods and thinks that the existence of gods can be known. This position is usually referred to as just ‘theist‘, since people who believe in gods, usually also think that their existence can be known.

          An atheist gnostic is someone who does not believe in gods, and who thinks that we can know that gods do not exist. A fairly unusual position, they might think they have found proof of the non-existence of gods, or might have been persuaded by life experiences.

          A theist agnostic is someone who believes in gods, but thinks that they could not know for sure that their god exists. Another fairly unusual position, as people who have faith in gods usually also think that their god can be known to be real.

          October 10, 2013 at 7:49 am |
        • Ironicus

          @TruthPrevails;-)
          Count me as an atheist gnostic. THERE ARE DEFINITELY NO GODS!
          If anyone is so uneducated and irrational as to say there "might be", they are only fooling themselves with their lack of scientific knowledge and inability to apply proper epistemology, logic, and reason to the question.
          That's typical these days. Who has time to examine all their data and why would they engage in something hard and difficult for free? Well, I do.
          I have run into hard-line agnostic atheists many times. They always argue from ignorance – always.
          Arguing from ignorance is not an intelligent thing to do. A lack of knowledge is not a basis from which one can reliably argue a point that requires knowledge to refute or address. If you don't understand how physics is the most straightforward aspect of this universe, and that it leaves ZERO room for any deities or outside agencies of any sort being involved within this continuum, then it is no wonder their mystified bewilderment and primitive fears of the unknown always seems to lead them to ascribe "magical" causes to simple physical events.
          Maybe this is too complicated for most people, but if that is the case, they should not be arguing that their ignorance is somehow more knowledgeable than the comprehensive analysis the question requires.
          I know there are no gods as such doing anything. No magic exists. No magical beings exist. These are facts, verifiable, testable, and knowable. KNOWABLE.
          If you posit a being with certain traits, you can then go looking around for evidence of those beings and those traits.
          No contradictory nonsense is allowed in a proper scientific analysis. Everything is straightforward.
          .
          THERE ARE NO GODS.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
        • Sara

          Ironicus seems to be trolling. Almost everyone I know is an atheist of one sort or another, but I've never met anyone dumb enough to argue non-existence of gods is verifiable. I suspect such a person would have trouble constructing sentences and accessing the internet.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Ironicus

          @Sara
          Okay, Sara, let's hear your arguments now that you've got the obligatory ad hominem off your chest....
          You insist these things are non-verifiable – then you should have a solid argument for why this is so, correct?
          Put up or shut up.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:36 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Sara

          It may be verifiable at some point in the future. And while not scientifically verifiable, it only takes an impartial glance through the histories of all major religions to say that they are all bogus. But yes, to say that there are definitely no deities of any description now, giving our still limited understanding of our universe and the possibly infinite number of other universes, is intellectually dishonest.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am |
        • Ironicus

          @HAL9000
          Intellectual dishonesty is dismissing all of science as you just did, punk.
          If you have an argument, let's hear it.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Sara

          I'm beginning to think you are correct and he is a troll.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:52 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Ironicus
          You are the one claiming that there are no gods and that your claim is somehow verifyable.
          The stage is yours, tell me how I can verify it.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:59 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Richard
          I'm afraid falsifiability doesn't work that way.
          Ever hear of the Celestial Teapot?

          October 10, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • Ironicus

          @Richard Cranium
          Okay, a reasonable request. Thank you for that. These other trolls prefer to wallow in ignorance. Fine.
          First, a definition of terms must be delineated.
          If you are seeking to verify the existence of something, you must first define what that something is.
          To merely wave one's hand in the general direction of vague definitions will not do.
          It is in seeking verifiable proof of a proposed being, such as a god, or a proposed property of this universe, such as the "supernatural", there are always going to be particular lines of evidence claimed that can be classified as being aspects of these beings or supernatural properties that lead to direct physical causes within this continuum.
          These direct physical effects are what we would go looking for to prove or disprove the hypothesized being or supernatural aspect of our universe.
          It is not enough to say that these lofty magical beings or the "super" of the "supernatural" automatically place all their aspects beyond the physical universe and therefore beyond question or investigation, for, in the case of a god there is always the aspect of direct influence upon our physical continuum (or they are not gods as defined in the dictionary), and in the case of supernatural things there is also a definitive physical aspect impinging upon our continuum regardless of presumed aspects that lie outside our continuum.
          In other words, whether it is a god or some supernatural "magic" that is posited to exist, there will always remain some physical point of effect upon our continuum, whether within someone's brain or outside the body.
          These physical aspects or effects are then open to investigation and thus the question can be verified one way or the other.
          With me so far?
          To forestall the usual misunderstandings, I am not addressing any non-magical or non-deity effects or causes to any physical aspects or events within this continuum, i.e. the Big Bang could be an industrial accident in some other dimension or some scientific experiment by extra-dimensional beings. But they could not be defined as gods, supernatural, magical, or anything like that. There are possibilities like that, but the total absence of any indication that they care or influence our continuum any further than the Big Bang is indicative that there is no influence at all from outside our continuum.
          And so on.
          We can verify the non-existence of any particular "god" and verify the non-existence of any particular "supernatural" magic whatnot by seeking out the point of contact with our continuum, the effects we would expect to see in such a case, and go sifting through tons of scientific data for any hint of same.
          Why is this so difficult for you people? You say there "might be" a god? What god? At what point does this "god" supposedly influence our physical continuum? THAT is the point of contact, the physical effect that we can investigate, ruling out anything that does not match up with the hypothesized being or magical nonsense.
          For example, you can posit a "god" that does nothing, says nothing, and does not interact with this continuum, but that violates the definition of a "god" and so can be ruled out very easily.
          So the question, then, would be: WHAT "god" do YOU posit as being "possible"? One in particular? Or do you wave your hand in the general direction of non-credible and nonsensical characteristics and expect that to somehow refute all scientific analysis? Because I see that a lot with people like you.
          Do you think magic/supernatural things are real? WHICH ones? You MUST be SPECIFIC so that we can do a proper analysis.
          It is intellectually dishonest to be intentionally vague when seeking answers. If you want particular answers you must be particular in your questions or it's a waste of my time and yours.
          It is not enough to claim such physical aspects are "unknowable" or "unverifiable", you'll have to bring proof as to why such a physical influence is not also physically testable.

          Physics is real and verifiable. No aspect of any "deity" or "supernatural" thing can be claimed if it does not also impinge upon our physical continuum also, or you violate the definition of the terms themselves, nullifying any reliance upon ignorance as you people keep doing.
          You posit something and I'll knock it down. There is nothing in all of history, all of science, that can be construed, no matter how far a stretch it may be, that indicates IN THE SLIGHTEST that any gods or magic ever existed, exists now, or will exist in the future.
          My position is solid, based upon facts. Your wishful ignorance is not a solid position and never will be.
          Everything posited can be hashed out, investigated, verified one way or the other using our vast body of scientific knowledge, using the scientific method, ruling out what is unsupportable by the facts at hand.
          There are no gods. There are no outside influences upon this continuum beyond the physical.
          There is no magic, nothing supernatural, and a proper analysis will confirm this, and so I will maintain.
          What have you got? Nothing.

          October 10, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • ME II

          @Ironicus,
          "We can verify the non-existence of any particular 'god'... by seeking out the point of contact with our continuum... "

          And if we simply haven't found the point of contact, yet, that verifies such existence?

          As I understand it, logically, there is only one way to "prove" non-existence of something and that is to prove that its existence would always lead to a contradiction and thus violate the Law of Non-contradiction. Anything short of that is not "proof" no matter how compelling or overwhelming the inductive evidence is.

          "For example, you can posit a 'god' that does nothing, says nothing, and does not interact with this continuum, but that violates the definition of a "god" and so can be ruled out very easily."

          Not sure what the point of such a god would be, but how does it violate the definition of 'god'?

          October 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Ironicus

          @ME II
          You said, "@Ironicus,
          "We can verify the non-existence of any particular 'god'... by seeking out the point of contact with our continuum... "

          And if we simply haven't found the point of contact, yet, that verifies such existence?" -

          My response:
          What point of contact? That would depend on what "god" was described.
          Here's a refresher from the World English Dictionary
          god (ɡɒd) —n
          1. a supernatural being, who is worshipped as the controller of some part of the universe or some aspect of life in the world or is the personification of some force. Related: divine
          2. an image, idol, or symbolic representation of such a deity
          3. any person or thing to which excessive attention is given: money was his god
          4. a man who has qualities regarded as making him superior to other men
          5. (in plural) the gallery of a theatre
          ----
          A "being" that can be classified as a "god" will most definitely have several (if not a gazillion) points of physical contact well within reach of everyone. Your question sounds like you didn't think that one through very well.

          Then you said, "As I understand it, logically, there is only one way to "prove" non-existence of something and that is to prove that its existence would always lead to a contradiction and thus violate the Law of Non-contradiction. Anything short of that is not "proof" no matter how compelling or overwhelming the inductive evidence is."

          My response: I agree. Any illogical impossibility will definitely rule out a great many so-called "gods" as a matter of course.
          There are no "gods" that can be logically posited if they blatantly contradict all known facts, anything real, any reliable data and whatever. Ridiculous impossibilities can be quickly dismissed. Contradictions are indicative of non-existence, since no contradictions exist in reality. Again, you must be specific. These "what ifs" are worthless. Give me a specific example of some imagined "god" and it will not hold up to any serious scientific scrutiny whatsoever. There are no gods.

          You also went on to say, ""For example, you can posit a 'god' that does nothing, says nothing, and does not interact with this continuum, but that violates the definition of a "god" and so can be ruled out very easily."

          Not sure what the point of such a god would be, but how does it violate the definition of 'god'?

          My response:
          And the definition of terms, as I said in the beginning, is an absolute requirement. Specific proof against the possible existence of a specific, hypothesized "god" requires that said "god" be described to have a specific profile from which to proceed.
          If all you do is say, "Well, why can't an alien who does absolutely nothing with us or our continuum be a god? He sure sounds godlike to me!"...then all I can do is shake my head. You really don't understand the sheer volume of data we have at our disposal and the scientific knowledge and logic we can bring to bear on this problem. Science is real. There are no gods or any physical effects from them to be found anywhere in human history. That rules out quite a few "gods" right there.
          There are NO GODS AT ALL.

          Don't "believe" me? There is nothing but physics in everything we are and do and see and perceive and think. Someone who avoids any involvement in human affairs is by definition not a god, just some alien guy who would never care about the inside of his portable generator as long as it produced energy. Someone with no concept of us because of scale is no "god", just some alien, nothing more.
          The same thing applies to "magic" / "supernatural" BS. Test it all. Every damn bit of it. It's ALL BS and we can PROVE IT.
          There is no magic, nothing to suggest our brains are anything but erratic mutated nervous systems grown, billions of years later, from tiny clumps of primitive slime. Either there is a physical impingement within reach or it's no "god" at all, but made-up junk to terrorize you into believing.
          Don't take my word for it – check it out yourself. Take the time for once and sit down and consider your own experiences. If you can't see where you made assumptions and jumped to conclusions, I probably won't have much luck getting you to understand how any existence of such a being is not only counterindicated, but a logical impossiblity due to the sheer volume of solid data that contradicts any such being or property of the universe ever existing in the first place.

          Large or small, at any scale, physics is straightforward and never deviates in all of science, in anything anywhere.
          There are no deviations to be found. Every experiment is repeatable a gazillion times....and prayers never work.
          How about that.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      What???

      Obviously someone forgot to use a dictionary!! Let us help the child out...
      Theist: one who believes in a god or gods
      Atheist: One who doesn't believe in a god or gods.

      Everyone is an Atheist to a point...when you figure that out, come back and chat with the adults.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  16. Mat

    Anthony Flew was THE atheist in the 70's, (like Dawkins is today). He changed his mind and believed God created the World. He's no dummy.

    October 10, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Sara

      The fact that so many Christians need to believe there is some sort of atheist leadership really speaks to your lack of understanding of what atheism is. There are a lot of people who belive in gods and change their minds nnot to believe. There are a lot of people who don't believe in gods and decide to believe in them. All evidenceindicateds there are a somewhat higher number moving in the disbelief direction. Your point?

      Flew, btw, was a deist and thought Christians were nutty.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:40 am |
      • Ironicus

        Christians ARE nutty. Everyone holding a nonsensical belief (and that includes all religions) is delusional and ignorant and most likely brainwashed into believing nonsense. Maybe they are reasonable people otherwise, but when their delusion is involved they have left the path of reason.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • Mat

        I think if Dawkins were to change his mind, that would make many atheists reconsider their own belief system. If Billy Graham were to become atheist, that would make many Christians reconsider their belief system. The point I'm making is obvious. You can be a thinking individual and believe in God just like Flew. Reading the comments here it is clear many atheists (not all) would rather call you names and make snide comments rather than having a respectful discussion. Flew looked at the DNA evidence and was true to his character and followed it where it led him. Why criticize him for it or anyone else? So, you disagree with him. You have your opinion and Flew has his.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Mat

          When Flew was an atheist we was respectful of others and their belief systems. He was actually good friends with CS Lewis. Wish that were the case today. I enjoy having lively discussions and enjoy learning from others.

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

          Certainly you can be a thinking person and be a Deist. That has little to do with whether you can be a thinking person and be a Christian. I happen to think one can, but it is rare, and entirely unrelated to Flew who was neither theist nor Christian, and therefore not very relevant to your position except insofar as you can succeed in misrepresenting his beliefs.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • DFWMom

      There will be people reading this article and the comments that have started to become aware that they no longer really believe in the supernatural. They cling to it, because it is what they were taught to do, and they are afraid that people will be mean to them about it if they say it out loud, but they don't really believe it anymore, when they look at it with an adult's rational mind.

      The pressure in society to conform, to pretend to believe in the supernatural because it seems like everyone else does, is very powerful. Atheists just want you to know that you are not alone. It is OK if you believe in the supernatural, in omnipotent beings. And, it is OK if you don't. It is OK to stand up for what you believe, whether it's a belief in the supernatural, or a belief that reality is based in the natural world and needs no supernatural explanations.

      I am grateful for our freedom of speech and of religion, so that the Creationists and the Atheists can have a public debate on the matter, and so that no person is persecuted for their beliefs.

      Honor to all of you out there - the theists and the atheists and the agnostics and whoever else is out there.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:01 am |
      • Ironicus

        Living with irrational people who insist crazy things are real is a recipe for trouble.
        Religious people usually feel their religion is above every human law.
        Not all ideologies are worthy of respect. Most of them are ridiculous.
        I will not respect insanity and can only pity those who suffer from it, even as they persecute me for not sharing their delusion.
        The Christians in this country tend to violate our rights as a matter of course. Our rights were not written in their book of lies so they do not believe we have those rights.
        How, then, can we all live together when their fantasy of lies states non-believers are to be killed, etc.?
        The rule of law is the only thing standing between religious anarchy and a rational future for the human species.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am |
        • aldewacs2

          I agree.
          That's why 'Tolerance' is so overrated, and often misplaced. We're enabling dangerous delusions by not pointing out the irrationality.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Flew suffered from dementia and was exploited by christian apologist Roy Abraham Varghese, who misrepresented himself as a scientist and "groomed" a sick man before "co-authoring" Flew's final book. I would not hold Flew up as a converted athiest, because what he truly represents is the corrupt depths that some christians will sink to in order to perpetuate a falsehood.

      October 10, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Sara

        It's sadly similar to what Nietzsche's sister pulled. However, Flew was still more or less competent in the early stages of his toying with Deism. But with alzheimer's now measurable 20 years before a real diagnosis this gets us into some very tricky areas.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  17. Reality # 2

    And another suggestion as a counter display to the topic sign: (only for the new visitors to this blog)

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e. the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinker bells? etc.) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    October 10, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Reality # 1

      Well all those religions are just the beliefs of the poor people and regular joe. Proving or disproving their belief system/religion is moot sicne those people don't rule the world anyways. The only important people believe in the masonic traditions Disprove Freemasonry if you can. Lol, good luck proving that one wrong, much less researching it.

      Good Game.
      Checkmate!

      October 10, 2013 at 7:30 am |
      • Reality # 2

        Freemasons controlling the world? Please provide references supporting your commentary.

        And based on the following, the said Freemasons are quick becoming extinct:

        "There are fewer Masons today — by nearly a million — than there were in 1941 as the country came out of the Great Depression, says Richard Fletcher, executive secretary of the Masonic Service Association of North America. There are an estimated 3 million members worldwide and 1.5 million in the USA, he says, compared with more than 4 million members
        in the USA in 1959."

        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-01-31-masons31_ST_N.htm

        October 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • Reality # 1

          So basically you can't disprove Freemasonry.

          Good Game
          CHECKMATE!

          October 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          "Figuring Out What Freemasons Believe In -http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/figuring-out-what-freemasons-believe-in.html

          There is no international administrative or controlling authority over Freemasonry. There's no office anyone can call to get the official, worldwide policy position of Freemasons, because there is no such policy. In the United States, each state has its own Grand Lodge. But there are basic beliefs common to all regular, mainstream Masonic organizations.

          The beliefs of Freemasonry can be boiled down to those three simple concepts. Masons are taught to believe in:

          •Brotherly love: Love for each other and for all mankind

          •Relief: Charity for others and mutual aid for fellow Masons

          •Truth: The search for answers to the universal questions of morality and the salvation of the soul that only a man's individual faith and his relationship with God can provide."

          (And they must believe in a supreme being but do not have to define said being).

          Looks like a blend of all the major religions which have been previously "kiboshed". And as noted previously, the Freemasons are fast becoming extinct so the kibosh will soon be complete with said group.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • Ironicus

          @Reality #2
          +1 internets for using the word "kibosh". Good show.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  18. guest

    All Christians need to share is that Jesus died for our sins and He rose from the dead, that His work is finished. Nothing more, nothing less. And what He did is for everyone.

    That said, this billboard may be catchy but it's not really helping.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Only for the new visitors to this blog:

      (from Professor Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

      October 10, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Sara

      Except that giving up one bad weekend out of your eternity of eternal bliss just doesn't seem that convincing to people with basic match skills and a minimal sense of personal responsibility. Most people I know would take on three days of torment for their kids, not to mention the world, if the reward was eternal joy.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • tallulah13

        I think that would be a catchy bumper sticker: "Jesus Had A Bad Weekend For Your Sins"

        October 10, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • erap estrada

      Can u cite the Biblical passages that CHRIST SAYS he's going to die for you sins ? According to Christ and not according to what Mr. So and So says of Christ.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  19. lulu

    Thambo, I am offended. Did u decide to be quiet? But I am having too much fun, tham

    October 10, 2013 at 6:52 am |
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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.