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Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls
Pope Francis addressed digital technology and social communications on Thursday.
January 23rd, 2014
10:40 AM ET

Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) Careerist clergy. The super rich. And now we can add another pelt to Pope Francis' collection: Internet trolls.

In statement released on Thursday, the Pope said the Internet and social media are making people across the world "increasingly interdependent."

"The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity," Francis said. "This is something truly good, a gift from God."

At the same time, though, all those tweets and texts and comment streams can cause people to "lose our bearings," said the 77-year-old pontiff.

"The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression," Francis said.

"The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful," he continued, "but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests."

There's a tinge of irony to the Pope's comments, considering that his own soaring popularity can be partially traced to the Internet and social media. According to a study released in November, Francis was the most talked about person online last year.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis won the Internet. Literally.

Whether consciously or not, the Pope has become an unlikely poster boy for how stories spread in the modern world.

Photos and videos of him washing the feet of Muslim inmates, embracing a severely disfigured man and giving his pal a lift on the Popemobile have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands sharing the images.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

"Goodness always tends to spread," Francis said in his apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel," a line that could have been uttered in the boardrooms of savvy online outlets like Upworthy and BuzzFeed.

But the Pope's theory of communication seems to derive from a more ancient source: his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

"Preach the Gospel all the time. Use words when necessary," the 13th century friar is often quoted as saying. (Some call the quote apocryphal.)

Rather than "bombarding people with religious messages," the Pope urged Catholics on Thursday to listen patiently and engage their interlocutors' doubts and questions.

"Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts," Francis said.

The Pope also warned against spending too much time online, saying  the "desire for digital connectivity" can sometimes isolate people from their friends, family and neighbors.

“It is not enough to be passers-by on the digital highways, simply 'connected'; connections need to grow into true encounters," he said.

"We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication."

Drawbacks aside, the Pope did not argue that people should reject social media, which he said can foster unity and "help us feel closer to each other."

Instead he argued that advances in bits and bytes shouldn't distract from the fact that digital communication is, at root, about people connecting with each other.

"What is it, then, that helps us, in the digital environment, to grow in humanity and mutual understanding?" the Pope asked.

"We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Internet • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,371 Responses)
  1. Doc Vestibule

    More deleted conversations!
    I gave a whole lesson about the history of agricultural technology and refrigeration in response to a dude who said that every scientific advance that matters (in the sense of feeding people) was an accident and therefore from God.

    I thought the topic of germination was germaine!

    Mr. CNN Moderator! Aside from posting that have had abuse reported, what criteria do you follow when deciding what conversations should be deleted?
    It often seems pretty arbitrary....

    January 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • Mmmmmmm

      I dislike this. It makes it very hard to follow conversations and impossible to revisit them!

      January 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • OTOH

        I agree.

        Please tend to this, CNN people.

        January 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • OTOH

        p.s. They need to fix the "Recent Comments" links too... it's quite laborious trying to track down new responses on these long pages. I often just leave and go somewhere else that's more user-friendly.

        January 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      I saw someone claim that after a certain number of people "report abuse", it is deleted. If true, I don't know if it would have to come from different IP addresses or what.

      January 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • Heads Up

        The cowardly "mad deleter" is very crafty.

        Again, copy and preserve any of your posts that you care about and that you have spent time, effort and thought composing. And keep bugging CNN to fix it. It's pitiful.

        January 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Honey Badger Don't Care

    The internet is where religions go to die. There is so much real information available and we know that knowledge is the enemy of religion.

    January 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      Truth is the largest enemy to religion. Religions still thrive only because we have yet to unravel all the truths of the universe.

      January 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    @??? : don't bring up Dino soft tissue; you've been thoroughly trounced on this issue so many times that you look stupid.

    Because I look at the empirical evidence instead of your claims?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/20/dinosaur-cells-discovery-t-rex-fossil_n_1988988.html

    Twenty years ago, paleontologist Mary Schweitzer made an astonishing discovery. Peering through a microscope at a slice of dinosaur bone, she spotted what looked for all the world like red blood cells. It seemed utterly impossible—organic remains were not supposed to survive the fossilization process—but test after test indicated that the spherical structures were indeed red blood cells from a 67-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Schweitzer and her collaborators detailed their findings in a paper released online October 16 in the journal Bone and in a talk given October 17 in Raleigh at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. “Here’s the data in support of a biofilm origin,” Schweitzer said in her presentation as she showed a blank slide. “We haven’t found any yet.

       <><

    January 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Pete

      Did you have a point?

      January 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        L4H's point seems to be "Dino soft tissue! It can't be that old, therefore Creationism! Put that in your evolutionist pipe and smoke it, Mr. Charles Darwood."

        You see, if one is a Biblical literalist it means that a single hole poked in the creationist argument causes the whole house of cards to collapse. If the argument is predicated on inerrancy, a single demonstrated error invalidates the entire shebang.
        What many Creationists fail to realize is that science doesn't work that way.
        Just becuase Piltdown Man was a fake, that doesn't mean that the entire fossil record is invalid.

        L4H has put forth some interesting postulates here, including biblical characters visiting the moon, the speed of light being variable, that ice cores can't be used to measure the passage of time becuase the antarctic light/dark cycle isn't consistent...

        January 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • Pete

          Jesus and Satan on the moon is one of my personal favorites.

          January 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Mmmmmmm

          I'm new to this game, Doc, but what is Live4Him actually arguing about? A quick G -search brought me this:

          http://news.discovery.com/animals/dinosaurs/mysteriously-intact-t-rex-tissue-finally-explained-131127.htm

          January 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • ME II

          @Mmmmmmm,
          Live4Him is essentially cherry-picking his paper's. One's that might support his position he likes, but one that don't, such as yours are discounted. There are papers that suggest statistical limits to DNA in certain environmental conditions, which may be true. However, Live4Him, fails to acknowledge that these studies 1) are not theoretical limits, i.e. an inherent absolute expiration date, but are statistical data on observed deterioration and 2) they may not have covered all conditions nor all tissues.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • Pete

          and what Me II said is the only way to maintain a literal view of the creation story in the bible.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • Science Works

      Or genesis 6:18-19- do not sit well with L4H ?

      January 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Science Works

        *does*

        January 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • ???

      No, because your empirical evidence was be debunked by her!
      You've been spanked. Just get over your bad self.

      January 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • OTOH

      Live4,

      For the umpteenth time:

      " Schweitzer’s research has been hijacked by “young earth” creationists, who insist that dinosaur soft tissue couldn’t possibly survive millions of years. They claim her discoveries support their belief, based on their interpretation of Genesis, that the earth is only a few thousand years old. Of course, it’s not unusual for a paleontologist to differ with creationists. But when creationists misrepresent Schweitzer’s data, she takes it personally: she describes herself as “a complete and total Christian.”

      "She’s horrified that some Christians accuse her of hiding the true meaning of her data. “They treat you really bad,” she says. “They twist your words and they manipulate your data.”

      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-na...

      January 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • Pete

      The reason that the soft tissue was able to be found after 67 million years appears to be resence of hemoglobin - the iron-containing molecule that transports oxygen in red blood cells, and wait they even tested the theory. The researchers tested their theory by taking blood vessels and cells from a modern ostrich bone and placing some in a solution of hemoglobin taken from red blood cells and others in water. The sample in water degraded in less than a week, while the sample placed in hemoglobin remained intact for at least two years.

      January 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • Some helpful answers for Twist-It4Him from the past

      –from a conversation with MEII on October 5, 2013-

      (MEII) "It looks to me like what Schweitzer claims to have found is soft tissue, not DNA. In addition, even the article you cited state that DNA is inherently unstable and actually needs repair in vivo in order to remain usable.
      In essence, you are citing articles that give estimates of the longevity of material that wasn't found, i.e. not applicable."

      –from a conversation with MEII on December 3, 2013–

      (MEII) "As for the soft tissue debate, as I’ve said before, you misunderstand the data, which is primarily talking about DNA, not soft tissue, and is often dealing with specific situations, not all situations. The potential longevity of all soft tissue is not a settled matter in science."

      –from a conversation with hawaiiguest on January 22, 2013-
      L4H: "Keep googling. It is very common. While Mary's research provided the 80% figure that I quoted, I haven't been able to find this since the initial publishing – so you may not be able to find it anymore. However, other scientists are doing their own research on their own specimens – which shows the ubiquitous nature of the issue."

      (HG)

      "1) Give me sites and statistics
      2) Very vague assertions of "some scientists" are doing research on some "specimens" don't really tell me anything."

      L4H: "After the movie Jurassic Park, scientists pointed out that the internal chemical bonds would breakdown – regardless of the preservation process – within 10,000 years in a temperate environment. Second, these are not "fragments", but whole cells and flexible tissue."

      (HG) "Any citations? As far as I've seen, they've seen the outlines of what used to be blood vessels, and all these things were not soft and pliable right out of the bone, they had to be treated first."

      L4H: "That's right! Carbon dating is limited to 50,000 years (which is why I mentioned the carbon dating issue in the first place), so Harvard obviously thinks that dinos lived less than 50,000 years ago."

      (HG) "How cute that you ignore the part where I pointed out the T-Rex specimen has undergone amino acid racemization and it has confirmed the age of the fossil to be around 65 million years as expected. You're talking about using only a single dating method that isn't viable, not to mention I have found absolutely no corroboration of Harvard wanting a specimen to use carbon dating like you claim."

      –from a conversation with RickK on February 4, 2013–

      L4H: "How does one falisify evolution?

      Evolution needs millions of years to take place. If organic material survived a million years, be it DNA, soft tissue, or even bone, then evolution would be falsified. Not for atheists!"

      (RickK) "FALSE. Small changes happen over a generation, large changes happen over large periods of time. A little evolution will happen when you have children. And, how the fossilization process may preserve soft tissue has precisely ZERO to do with evolution."

      –from a conversation with Rodents for Romney–

      (Rodents for Romney) "DNA mutation rates prove millions of years of Evolution. Too bad.
      Multiple dating methods, (dendritic dating, ice cores, all the DIFFERENT radiometric systems all AGREE0.
      The probability they ALL AGREE and produce the SAME wrong dates, is zero."

      January 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "In interviews, Schweitzer has commented that her discoveries have enriched rather than conflicted with her Christian faith. Schweitzer offers hypotheses for how the tissue could have survived so long. One is that the densely mineralized bone, combined with as-yet-undiscovered geological or environmental processes, protected the structures within"

      The scientist who did the study and found the soft tissue does not believe in a young earth, I wonder why?

      January 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
      • Science Works

        Maybe this is why
        .
        Large Landmasses Existed 2.7 Billion Years Ago

        Jan. 15, 2014 —

        http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115075414.htm

        January 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : Just becuase Piltdown Man was a fake, that doesn't mean that the entire fossil record is invalid.

      No, it doesn't. However, it does call into question any fossil evidence that has not directly been examined by one from an opposing viewpoint (i.e. following the scientific method). And since ALMOST all of them fail that criterion ... Waht's left?

      @Mmmmmmm : what is Live4Him actually arguing about? A quick G -search brought me this:

      According to your article: Schweitzer [has faith that] she has the answer: Iron. Likewise, the atheists lean heavily on faith, but call it 'science'.

      @ME II : Live4Him is essentially cherry-picking his paper's. One's that might support his position he likes

      I go to sources that are obviously liberal or appear to be unbaised. And you still complain! 🙂

      The facts are simple: Soft tissue (as well as DNA) should decay in less than 100,000 years under frozen conditions. However, in a temperate environment (in which these fossils were found), it is reduced to less than 10,000 years.

      @OTOH : She’s horrified that some Christians accuse her of hiding the true meaning of her data.

      So, in short, only evolutionary theories should be able to use the facts? Pretty dogmatic point of view.

      @Pete : The reason that the soft tissue was able to be found after 67 million years appears to be resence of hemoglobin

      And given that no scientific studies have been done to confirm that theory – it is just faith based beliefs passed off as science.

      January 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him,

        ME II : "Live4Him is essentially cherry-picking his paper's. One's that might support his position he likes"

        "I go to sources that are obviously liberal or appear to be unbaised. And you still complain! 🙂 "

        As I said, I'm "complaining" about you cherry-picking information 🙂 , whether liberal or conservative makes no difference.

        January 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
      • ME II

        "The facts are simple: Soft tissue (as well as DNA) should decay in less than 100,000 years under frozen conditions. However, in a temperate environment (in which these fossils were found), it is reduced to less than 10,000 years."

        This is incorrect as the article previously posted explains: http://news.discovery.com/animals/dinosaurs/mysteriously-intact-t-rex-tissue-finally-explained-131127.htm

        January 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him,
        "And given that no scientific studies have been done to confirm that theory – it is just faith based beliefs passed off as science."

        Haemoglobin (HB) increased tissue stability more than 200-fold, from approximately 3 days to more than two years at room temperature (25°C) in an ostrich blood vessel model developed to test post-mortem ‘tissue fixation’ by cross-linking or peroxidation.
        (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1775/20132741.abstract)

        January 24, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  4. Phil

    My great grand mother that used to be a RC, told me that the priest used to say: " my daughter, do what I say, but don't do what I do"....

    January 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  5. bostontola

    The internet is a "gift" to humanity. In a hundred years, it may be seen as a great equalizer. Like the printing press, making information available much more broadly than to just the privileged. All fields of knowledge will benefit. So why are we stuck in past millennia when it comes to our life rules?

    The bibles, Celsus' "De Medicina", Heron's "Mechanics and Optics", Euclid's "Elements", etc, were all written by great men thousands of years ago. When we have failures in medicine, we don't abandon modern medical books and go back to consult Celsus's book. When we have failures in engineering, we don't go back to consult Heron's book. Same for mathematics and science.

    We now have the US Consti.tution, Bill of rights, and US law. It is a far better way to run our society than any religious book including the bibles. Trusting the bible for answers to today's society is like getting medical treatment from Hippocrates.

    I mean no disrespect, the bible was a huge leap forward for mankind in it's time and represents one of histories great pieces of literature. It has some lasting philosophical value and literature value, just like ancient Greek plays, but as a modern moral, ethical, and legal standard, it doesn't hold up to our modern advancements.

    January 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Science Works

      According to Genesis 6:18-19 – we are ALL relatives of Ham the father of Ham the guy that owns the creation museum ?

      January 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • Heads Up

      Copy and preserve your posts, if you care about them - they are quite likely to be deleted by the "mad deleter".

      January 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
  6. Mr. Peaceful

    I am new to this blog and it seems both sides(Christians and atheists) have trolls. I have seen more trolling done by atheists though. That's not bashing all atheists but some atheists here are really aggressive or have some anger issues.

    January 24, 2014 at 11:35 am |

    • You seem to be jumping into the "bash atheists" fray quite well.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Mr. Peaceful

        Bashing? No. Observation. I see more hate posted by atheists than Christians. The atheists that post a lot(like everyday) usually post a lot of hate. I guess debating rationally here has resorted to name-calling and blaming events on people(like the Crusades).

        January 24, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • meifumado

          “Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”

          January 24, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • doobzz

          Like threatening people with eternal torture? You mean that kind of hate?

          January 24, 2014 at 11:53 am |

        • Calling the suppressed people in a brutal regime that is NK "brainwashed atheists" is kind and loving in your book?

          Oh, ok.

          January 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Topher

          doobzz

          "Like threatening people with eternal torture? You mean that kind of hate?"

          That's not hateful at all. That's warning you you're a blind man walking toward a cliff and to turn around. What would be hateful is having that knowledge and letting you continue on without saying anything.

          January 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • sam stone

          it may not be hateful, gopher, but it sure is delusional

          more empty proxy warnings and threats from christians

          believe what i believe or god is going to get you

          blah, blah, fvcking blah

          you bloviate all the time about how god is just

          then do everything you can to avoid this justice

          you remain a coward

          January 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Jake

          What do you consider hate? I don't see hateful atheists on here, but I see a lot of hateful believers. They hate seeing their fundamental beliefs thoroughly and regularly debunked. They accuse atheists of being bad people for not believing their myth.

          January 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Topher

          Jake

          "They hate seeing their fundamental beliefs thoroughly and regularly debunked."

          Beliefs like what? Nothing in the Bible has been debunked.

          "They accuse atheists of being bad people for not believing their myth."

          Atheists aren't bad people for not believing. But the point is we are ALL bad people, including Christians. We're all liars, thieves, blasphemers and adulterers. The Bible says there none that are good, "no, not one."

          January 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • sam stone

          There are good people, despite what the bible says, gopher.

          If you want to believe otherwise, knock yourself out

          January 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • ME II

          "But the point is we are ALL bad people, including Christians. We're all liars, thieves, blasphemers and adulterers. "

          Couching it in terms of 'we're all bad' doesn't change the fact that you're calling everyone names.

          January 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "Nothing in the Bible has been debunked."

          If taken literally, then yes, it has.

          January 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • G to the T

          Topher – "Beliefs like what? Nothing in the Bible has been debunked."

          Not to your satisfaction perhaps, but the majority of biblical scholars would disagree...

          January 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • joshtheapologist

          You are speculating on subjective opinions.
          http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2012/the-old-testament-has-been-archaeologically-verified/

          January 24, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "Couching it in terms of 'we're all bad' doesn't change the fact that you're calling everyone names."

          Is it still "calling people names" if they are indeed that? If you've lied, that makes you a liar, does it not? Or has our culture gotten that soft?

          "If taken literally, then yes, it has."

          Like what?

          G to the T

          "Not to your satisfaction perhaps, but the majority of biblical scholars would disagree..."

          This is just laughable, I'm sorry. Like who?

          January 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          gopher: you are a delusional liar. don't like it? have you gotten that soft?

          January 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Biblical literalism is pretty much limited to only a handful of American sects.
          The oldest and largest Christian denomination in the world accepts the true age of the universe, the facts of evolution and that the Bible itself is a morality tale largely comprised of allegory, metaphor and various apocrypha.
          It is full of "spiritual Truth", but not literal, factual, historical truth.

          Bats are not birds. There are seeds smaller than mustard seeds. There was never a global flood. Humans have never lived for 1,000 years. The entire human race is not descended from 3 breeding pairs 4,000 years ago. etc ad nauseum.
          The Bible (and especially the Old Testament) is no more meant to be taken literally than Beowulf, Gilgamesh or the Iliad.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Austin

          Sam, you and the other emotional leaders call people liars and you have no proof of delusion either, you hurl a vehement accusation with zero chance of backing it up with objective evidence.

          on the other hand, people with a testimony of the gifts from God, have a true testimony. you simply can not testify against such a testimony because you have zero basis to do so. your strong words are nothing more than assumption , a guess, and misplaced hope.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • Austin

          Doc
          "The oldest and largest Christian denomination in the world accepts the true age of the universe, the facts of evolution and that the Bible itself is a morality tale largely comprised of allegory, metaphor and various apocrypha.
          It is full of "spiritual Truth", but not literal, factual, historical truth."

          who are you talking about? you are straight up trolling ya poe.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • start here, Topher

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHJE7cetkB4&w=640&h=360]

          Bart Ehrman, holds a PhD (maga cum laude) and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently the the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has taught since 1988 after teaching at Rutgers University. He currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. He is author of several books and college text books.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "Biblical literalism is pretty much limited to only a handful of American sects."

          I agree there's only a handful.

          "The oldest and largest Christian denomination in the world accepts the true age of the universe, the facts of evolution and that the Bible itself is a morality tale largely comprised of allegory, metaphor and various apocrypha.
          It is full of "spiritual Truth", but not literal, factual, historical truth."

          If you mean Catholics, they are not a Christian denomination. The whole point of the Reformation was that the Catholics got too squishy and compromised on the Bible. So if that's your argument, it's not a good one.

          "Bats are not birds"

          I agree. The Bible doesn't say they are, either. The word "owph" means winged creature. So they are in the same category.

          "There are seeds smaller than mustard seeds."

          Not in that region.

          "There was never a global flood. Humans have never lived for 1,000 years. The entire human race is not descended from 3 breeding pairs 4,000 years ago. etc ad nauseum."

          Not one of those things have been proven wrong. Not one. You don't believe them in your worldview, I understand that. But you haven't proven them wrong.

          "The Bible (and especially the Old Testament) is no more meant to be taken literally than Beowulf, Gilgamesh or the Iliad."

          They absolutely are. You are creating a false dichotomy. The Bible is claimed to be true. Beowulf and Gilgamesh are not.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • sam stone

          Austin: You sure are a fine one to talk about backing up claims with objective evidence? Where is the objective evidence for your claims of prophetic visions?

          Come on, big mouth, James Randii is waiting

          Prove us wrong, if you have the courage

          January 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "Is it still 'calling people names' if they are indeed that?"

          four eyes, gi.mp, cr.ip, wh.ore, n-word, ba.stard... yes it can still be calling people names.

          In addition, labeling someone by one aspect of them is generally frowned upon. Everyone lies from time to time, I suspect, but calling everyone a liar is name-calling.

          "Like what?"

          Like the very first book, Genesis 1, if taken literally, among others. (I think we've been over this before.)

          January 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Topher

          Start here

          I'm quite familiar with Bart Ehrman. I don't think I'd call him a Bible scholar, but he is a well-known historian. Interesting to note that he's an agnostic but says from a historical point of view, we KNOW Christ lived.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • joshtheapologist

          They know He did, there are plenty of scholars who admit it.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Austin
          The Catholic Church statrted using that nomenclature in the 2nd Century. (oldest)
          There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. (largest)
          Father George Coyne of the Vatican Observatory has said:
          "The universe understood scientifically is an amazing challenge to both science and to religious faith. The scientific facts about the universe are very well established. First the universe is 13.7 billion years old. A billion is a one with nine zeroes behind it, so that’s a lot of years. Second, it contains 10,000 billion billion stars. That’s a one with 22 zeroes behind it."

          On the topic of evolution, Pope John Paul II said:
          " New findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—const.itutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."

          Who is a POE?

          January 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "In addition, labeling someone by one aspect of them is generally frowned upon."

          If I commit a single act of murder, am I not a murderer? If I (the 'r' word) just one woman, am I not one of those?

          "Everyone lies from time to time, I suspect, but calling everyone a liar is name-calling."

          Yes, everyone lies. We're all guilty of breaking that commandment. Once again, the Bible has it right. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it's the truth.

          "Like the very first book, Genesis 1, if taken literally, among others. (I think we've been over this before.)"

          Yes, we have. And this likely won't be the last time. Nothing in there has been proven false. And in fact, it makes a lot more sense than the secular worldview.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • Topher

          “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.” — Sir Arthur Keith (wrote the forward to the 100th anniversary edition of Origin of Species.)

          January 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • start here, Topher

          Yes, Bart Ehrman believes Jesus the man most likely existed. And, as with many of the Deist founders of our government, he discounts any of the supernatural events purported in the NT. Whether you think so or not, Topher, Mr. Ehrman is considered quite the NT scholar. His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and to textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled. He remained a liberal Christian for fifteen years but later became an agnostic after struggling with said discrepancies.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Catholics are Christians!
          Just becuase you don't like their tartan, that doesn't mean they aren't True Scotsmen.
          Martin Luther himself, the great Protestant Reformer, WASN'T A BIBLICAL LITERALIST.
          In fact, he poo pooed the book of Revelation as being a load of bunk!

          Poppy seeds are smaller than mustard seeds. They existed in that region.
          And besides, if the bible is literally true, the Truth wouldn't be regional, would it?

          Geo-chronology, ice core samples, dendrochronolgy, electron spin resonance dating, radioactive decay dating, and a whole host of other scientific dating methodologies and geological analysis have all disproven the global flood and young earth hypotheses.

          YOU and people of your peculiar sect claim that the Bible is innerrantly true.
          Given that the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh (which pre-dates the Bible, BTW) was preserved on enormous stone tablets for thousands of years – and that the Ancient King of Uruk was worshipped by the mesopotamian culture as a demi-god, I'd say that there were plenty of Babylonians who believed it to be literally true.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Free post-holiday nuts

          I love it when Topher brings his thoughts on evolution into whatever his current argument is. It really reveals what he is willing to accept to support his beliefs.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          What in the world is up with the Protestants who say Catholics aren't Christians?

          Catholics accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour – ergo, they are Christian.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "Catholics are Christians!"

          Nope.

          "Just becuase you don't like their tartan, that doesn't mean they aren't True Scotsmen."

          True Scotsman doesn't work here. If Christ is true then I think He gets to say who are in and who are out. The Catholics aren't in for MANY reasons.

          "Poppy seeds are smaller than mustard seeds. They existed in that region."

          Exactly which Bible verse are you taking issue with here?

          "And besides, if the bible is literally true, the Truth wouldn't be regional, would it?"

          Yes, truth is truth, not this mamby-pamby truth is relative ridiculousness. But I think you might be reading something extra into the text.

          "Geo-chronology, ice core samples, dendrochronolgy, electron spin resonance dating, radioactive decay dating, and a whole host of other scientific dating methodologies and geological analysis have all disproven the global flood and young earth hypotheses."

          Ah, dating systems. Only 10 percent of which point to an old earth and even those have MANY problems, for instance not being able to date to old-earth dates (Carbon), others require presuppositions that the universe is old and that evolution is true thus making them unreliable and then you've got radioactive dating which we know doesn't work with rocks we know the ages of, but we're supposed to trust that it does work when we don't know the ages. Takes a lot of faith, dude. And as far as the "ice core samples" ... did you know they were drilling into one of these and found a WWII plane? That's right, it doesn't take billions of years to get those results.

          "YOU and people of your peculiar sect claim that the Bible is innerrantly true."

          I would claim the original was, yes, though we see things like misspellings, copy errors and translation errors that were the results of man recreating them over the centuries. Good thing for us, though, that we know about them and they don't corrupt a single thing.

          "Given that the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh (which pre-dates the Bible, BTW) was preserved on enormous stone tablets for thousands of years – and that the Ancient King of Uruk was worshipped by the mesopotamian culture as a demi-god, I'd say that there were plenty of Babylonians who believed it to be literally true."

          Has no bearing on the truth of the Bible.

          January 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • Nope

          Topher, is that me?

          January 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "What in the world is up with the Protestants who say Catholics aren't Christians? Catholics accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour – ergo, they are Christian."

          Catholics are outside of orthodoxy. JWs and Mormons also have "Jesus" in their theology, but it's not the Biblical Jesus. So just because they have someone with the same name doesn't mean it's the same one. None of those 3 are denominations, they are their own religion. And because they are all outside of orthodoxy, they are not Christians.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          I suggest you look up "Radiometric Dating, Geologic Time, and The Age of the Earth: A Reply to "Scientific" Creationism" published by the U.S. Department of the Interior and "Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective" by Dr. Roger C. Wiens.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "If I commit a single act of murder, am I not a murderer? If I (the 'r' word) just one woman, am I not one of those?"

          Whether it is socially acceptable in some cases, is it not still name-calling? If you are deluded, then is it okay to call you delusional?

          "Yes, everyone lies. We're all guilty of breaking that commandment. Once again, the Bible has it right. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it's the truth."

          I'm not guilty of breaking any commandments. They simply don't apply. "I'm sorry you don't like it, but it's the truth."

          "Nothing in there has been proven false."

          While "proven false" is misleading, many things in Gen 1 have been disproven.

          "And in fact, it makes a lot more sense than the secular worldview."

          Not based on the evidence we have it doesn't.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          How was orthodoxy transmitted from the true Jesus all the way through two thousand years to you and the people you agree with, Topher?

          January 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,

          misquote-mining?

          Spurious Quotation[edit]

          “ Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable. ”

          This quote is often utilized in Creationist publications and websites in an attempt to demonstrate that Sir Arthur Keith, and thus by extension promoters of evolution in general, simply dismiss creationist viewpoints outright due to a presumed anti[]theistic bias.[8] However, in attempting to research this statement, one finds that it usually appears without primary source docu[]mentation.[9] In those instances where seemingly original docu[]mentation is provided, it is stated to be a Forward for a centennial edition or “100th edition” of Origin of Species.[10] However, several facts show that the attribution of these words to Arthur Keith is erroneous.
          Keith died in 1955, some four years before the 100th anniversary of Darwin’s work, so that he was clearly not available to write an introduction for the centennial edition (this was actually done by William Robin Thompson).[11] Furthermore, while Keith did write an introduction to earlier printings of Origin of Species, in use from 1928 to 1958, the words given above do not appear in that introduction.[12] Finally, the last “edition” of Origin of Species is the sixth edition published 1879.[13] It is for this reason that all later publications of Origin of Species are actually reprints of this or earlier editions so that there is simply no “100th edition” of Darwin’s work. In light of the fact that the docu[]mentation provided by Creationist publications is specious, one is still left with trying to explain the source of this citation. <b?It is enough to say, however, that since this “quote” lacks valid docu[]mentation, it should not be regarded as one that originates with Arthur Keith himself until it can be properly docu[]mented.[14]

          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Keith, not that wikipedia is a primary source)

          January 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "Ah, dating systems. Only 10 percent of which point to an old earth..."

          Citation please, because that sounds just flat wrong.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores.
          All of the different dating methods agree–they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time. Some Christians make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case. The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-Earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more). The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!
          Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth. Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating. Their results consistently agree with an old Earth. Over a thousand papers on radiometric dating were published in scientifically recognized journals in the last year, and hundreds of thousands of dates have been published in the last 50 years. All of these strongly favor an old Earth.
          Radioactive decay rates have been measured for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes. And it has been close to a hundred years since the uranium-238 decay rate was first determined.
          Both long-range and short-range dating methods have been successfully verified by dating lavas of historically known ages over a range of several thousand years.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "Whether it is socially acceptable in some cases, is it not still name-calling? If you are deluded, then is it okay to call you delusional?"

          Yes. But "delusional" would be a hard one to prove.

          "I'm not guilty of breaking any commandments. They simply don't apply."

          If you've told a lie, you've broken a commandment. Whether you believe in God or not doesn't matter. The fact is we have them and you've broken them. So they do apply.

          "While "proven false" is misleading, many things in Gen 1 have been disproven."

          Nope.

          "Not based on the evidence we have it doesn't."

          You and I have the same evidence. We just each have a different presupposition before looking at said evidence. Mine, that the Bible is true. Yours that it isn't.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores."

          We've already discussed why you can't trust ice cores. And as far as tree rings, it's been proven that trees can grow more than one ring a year.

          "All of the different dating methods agree–they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time. Some Christians make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case. The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-Earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more). The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!"

          The problems are, for instance, Carbon is often used as "evidence" for an old earth. But it can't date anything older than 40,000 years. Now that's certainly older than I believe the world is, the point is that it points to an earth MUCH younger than billions of years. Then there's the presupposition problems ... in that the system requires an old age to be true BEFORE it can give you the age. Then there's those pesky rocks we know are young due to them being formed in our lifetime (volcanoes). These can only be decades old, but are tested at hundreds of thousands. There have even been experiments where to samples were sent in for dating and the results are known to be wrong. Dating methods are untrustworthy at best. And if that's what you put your faith in ...

          "Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth."

          Yes, there are some. But there's just as many that point to a young earth.

          And the "hundreds of papers" thing is a cannard. Writing a paper doesn't make something true. There's been also a fair number of papers written on what points to a young earth.

          January 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Pete

          Topher can you provide a link to even one study that shows the Earth is young? Also do you care to address why you posted a made up quote?

          January 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "If you've told a lie, you've broken a commandment. Whether you believe in God or not doesn't matter. The fact is we have them and you've broken them. So they do apply."

          Just because they are written down they apply? What rubbish.

          "Nope."

          You are in denial, apparently.

          "Not based on the evidence we have it doesn't."

          "You and I have the same evidence. We just each have a different presupposition before looking at said evidence. Mine, that the Bible is true. Yours that it isn't."

          Incorrect. I don't "presuppose" that the Bible isn't true; the evidence leads me to that conclusion.

          --

          "And as far as tree rings, it's been proven that trees can grow more than one ring a year."

          That does not disprove dendrochronology.

          "...Carbon is often used as 'evidence' for an old earth. But it can't date anything older than 40,000 years. Now that's certainly older than I believe the world is, ..."

          This is equivocation. While radiocarbon dating certainly is evidence for the Earth being older than 10,000 years it is not used as evidence for the Earth being ~4 billion years old.

          "...the point is that it points to an earth MUCH younger than billions of years."

          You misunderstand radiocarbon dating. C-14 is continuously generated in the upper atmosphere, so it can not point to a young Earth; beyond 50k years it does not exist in useful amounts.

          "Then there's the presupposition problems ... in that the system requires an old age to be true BEFORE it can give you the age. "

          What does that even mean?

          "Then there's those pesky rocks we know are young due to them being formed in our lifetime (volcanoes). These can only be decades old, but are tested at hundreds of thousands. "

          Improper testing produces improper results. Often claims of this type are due to inclusion of old material within new rock or improper tests for the given environment.

          January 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • doobzz

          @Topher

          doobzz – "Like threatening people with eternal torture? You mean that kind of hate?"

          Topher – "That's not hateful at all. That's warning you you're a blind man walking toward a cliff and to turn around. What would be hateful is having that knowledge and letting you continue on without saying anything."

          So when someone snarls at me "Just wait, you'll see. You'll be screaming and burning and I'll be dancing with Jesus and laughing at you!" I'm supposed to take that as a loving warning? Because I've heard that many times from Christians.

          The whole idea of a god who tortures people eternally for what they do in the privacy of their bedroom and such is hateful.

          January 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
      • Pete

        Topher, your Arthur Keith quote is bunk:

        Keith died in 1955, some four years before the 100th anniversary of Darwin’s work, so that he was clearly not available to write an introduction for the centennial edition (this was actually done by William Robin Thompson).[11] Furthermore, while Keith did write an introduction to earlier printings of Origin of Species, in use from 1928 to 1958, the words given above do not appear in that introduction.[12]

        January 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • doobzz

      You mean aggressive like telling people who disagree with them that they are going to burn in hell for eternity?

      January 24, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • Mr. Peaceful

        And how rational do you respond to that? If you respond with anger and hatred, you aren't any different.

        January 24, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • doobzz

          Why don't you respond to my question? Instead, you're trying to divert attention to what you think my reaction might be to being told I am going to be tortured for eternity?

          January 24, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • meifumado

      The non-religious have had Christards ramming their beliefs down our throats for a long time.

      Turn the other cheek like a good Christian if facts confuse you.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • Mr. Peaceful

        Calling them "Christards" solves nothing. It only fuels the fire.

        January 24, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • Sungrazer

      I haven't see a single atheist troll in my experience here. I have seen some name calling, which is unfortunate. On the Christian side, I have seen one or two; if they are not trolls, they at least exhibit trollish behavior.

      Echoing doobzz, perhaps you are conflating aggressive/assertive with being a troll. Can you provide an example of the "hate" that you say you see?

      January 24, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Cal

      @Mr. P, You must have spent a lot of time putting together the statistical report on which side trolls more. I mean going through all those pages of comments keeping a detailed tally of the trolls and verifying that said troll is actually on the side you assumed. I would be very interested in reading your research.

      January 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Mr. P
      If you are that interested in this blog you will find that the majority of the Christians that post on this blog are creationists or elitists that believe their brand of Christianity is the only true one. It is very difficult to find a moderate Christian that thinks about the big tent of Christianity. You will find that each of these bloggers think that they are "special" and the others are outside those saved into the kingdom of god. To not ridicule their beliefs would be agreeing with their pitiful view of the world. They are all wretched sinners and demand that everyone else is also, mentally disturbed at least.

      January 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Science Works

    lngtrmthnkr and the worst lie perpetuated on humanity is the fig leaf or Aam and Eve.

    January 24, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • Science Works

      Oh no wrong place oh well.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:23 am |
  8. John Paul

    We all believe in fairies and ghosts and the invented religion in its many guises...all developed from the ancient Egyptian rites and rituals....this 'pope' is just on a BE NICE to everyone mission as they know that people are getting wise to the brainwashing rubbish the church has been dealing out for centuries...
    Does not matter which form of 'god' you choose to believe in they are all without exception INVENTED.

    John Paul 😀

    January 24, 2014 at 10:13 am |
  9. Colin

    Are any of the regular atheist posters here going to be in Salt Lake City for the annual American Atheists Convention?

    January 24, 2014 at 9:22 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are laws in SLC against selling beer with an alcohol content of more than 3%
      Here in Canada, that doesn't even qualify as "light" beer.
      Plus, you know... Mormons. So many Mormons in one place gives me "Children of the Corn" level willies....

      January 24, 2014 at 9:38 am |
      • James K

        You don't live here in Alberta, do you Doc?

        There's enough of them walking around in pairs, with heir little white shirts to make one think they're in an outdoor presentation of "The Book of Mormon".

        You do have a point, though: American beer really is bad.

        January 24, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Brother Maynard

          Ok .. I love my neighbors Canada - I cheered for them in the hockey gold medal game in Vancouver.
          But criticizing our beer it going too far
          🙂
          I think you are drinking the wrong American beer.
          Stay away from Bud and Miller products. Delve into our micro brews ... you'll love them.
          Come to the American Beer Fest in Denver. You'll love it. I think it is in late August / Sept.

          January 24, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • doobzz

          What US beers have you tried, James? There are others besides Miller Lite, just like Canada has beer other than Labatt's.

          January 24, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • doobzz

          Dang, too quick on the send button.

          I was going to say, come down to Southern California and I'll take you ton a tour of our craft breweries. I think you'll have fun.

          January 24, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • tallulah13

          You want to visit Beervana? Come to Portland.

          January 24, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Definitely some great craft brews. I'm a fan of IPAs, so look for Bell's Two Hearted, and if you're anywhere near Minnesota, the Surly Furious is worth the trip (and Minneapolis is a pretty cool place).

          January 24, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • sam stone

          doobzz: i used to be a big fan of sleeman's creme ale from guelph, ontario. can't find it around here anymore. besides, after seeing my best friend destroy himself with alcohol, i decided to use the herb for altering my consciousness

          January 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • RC

        Hey Doc-can we send Bieber back?

        January 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  10. Colin

    Internet is from God, hey? Just once I'd like God to beat science to the punch. Unfortunately, he always seems to lag just behind, taking credit for others' work. Now, if, in 1970, Pope Paul VI had said, "In the 1980s, God will invent the internet," they might have something.

    January 24, 2014 at 9:20 am |
  11. ninja

    That dude is high. He must be getting something off the internet to make him happy. Now, he need to get an xbox or Playstation. He would be like, this is Heaven!!!

    January 24, 2014 at 9:14 am |
  12. selfie notes

    "To (have a) dialogue means to believe that the 'other' has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective,"

    The pope has got a very good point, got to weigh this with what the scriptures say in Proverbs 26:4-5

    January 24, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • CommonSensed

      For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

      -Gandalf

      January 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Fan2C

      selfie,

      Ah, the book of Proverbs, attributed to King Solomon. He's the one who said not to spare the rod on your child... and whose own son, Rehoboam, grew up to say:

      " My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have sharp points.’”

      The little Reho went on to lose half of the kingdom...!

      January 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Fan2C

        *Then

        January 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  13. Phil

    The pope talking about trolls...lol. Do you think he is one of the CNN trolls??

    January 24, 2014 at 8:38 am |
    • doobzz

      No, he's not talking about trolls. That's just something the author projected onto the pope's remarks.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:15 am |
  14. Reality # 2

    Dear Francis, Part IV

    (Only for Francis and the other new members of this blog)

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    January 24, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • Derek

      What exactly do you mean by, 'Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented..'???

      January 24, 2014 at 8:37 am |
      • Derek

        If you are referring to the temptation of Jesus, here it is for your edification:

        Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" 11Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

        YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY, is a pertinent command that you should follow.

        January 24, 2014 at 8:52 am |
        • Madtown

          Command? Given by who, and where do I find it?

          January 24, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • Reality # 2

          All the referenced tinker bells are myths.

          January 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Matt 4: 10 as with all the pa-ssages of the NT has been rigorously a-nalyzed for historic authenticity. The result: Mark 4: 10 is historically nil. See added details in Professor Gerd Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 131-132 and http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb139.html

          Was this passage copied from the works of Buddha (died, 483 BCE)? See below for some parallels:

          "Marcus Borg [Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings] notes the following traditions about the Buddha that provide something of a parallel to this cluster:

          Then Mara the evil one drew near to him, and said: "Let the Exalted One exercise governance, let the Blessed One rule."
          "Now what, O evil one, do you have in view, that you speak this way to me?"

          "If the Exalted One were to wish the Himalayas, king of the mountains, to be gold, he might determine it to be so, and the mountains would become a mass of gold?'

          The Exalted One responded: "Were the mountains all of shimmering gold, it would still not be enough for one man's wants. He that has seen suffering - how should that man succu-mb to desires?"

          Then Mara the evil one thought: "The Exalted One knows me! The Blessed One knows me!" And sad and sorrowful he vanished then and there. (Samyutta Nikaya 4.2.10)

          During the six years that the Bodhisattva practiced austerities, the demon followed behind him step by step, seeking an opportunity to harm him. But he found no opportunity whatsoever and went away discouraged and discontent. (Lalitavistara Sutra 18)."

          January 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Ditto the above for Luke 4:8.

          January 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
  15. Science Works

    Way to funny local tv news just had 15 sec report on this NO MENTION of TROLLS – but the look on her face was priceless.

    January 24, 2014 at 8:23 am |
  16. portnay

    dm morduck believes she is a scholar. her self published books are proof.

    have you seen the stuff she writes?

    if you think austin is an idiot and sam bo stoned is a sic pervert, just read a sentence from one of her comic books

    January 24, 2014 at 7:24 am |
  17. Awabnavi

    A "gift" from God? It would have been nearer to the truth if he had said it was a gift from SATAN. The internet is promoting more sins and wickedness than ever so how could it be a gift from God?

    January 24, 2014 at 6:53 am |
    • G to the T

      Free Will only works if you have options available...

      January 24, 2014 at 7:27 am |
      • Saraswati

        test

        January 24, 2014 at 7:30 am |
        • Science Works

          Saraswati

          Taking a stab at the test – post button/box is missing ?

          Has to script error somewhere ?

          January 24, 2014 at 7:33 am |
        • I wonder

          Saraswati,

          My "Post" button has been MIA for several days. Someone else mentioned it too. Please let us know if you find out why.

          January 24, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Mine is also missing. It's invisible, but because it still works, I know it's there. 🙂

          January 24, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Science Works

          Has to be a script (code) problem unless the devil took mine too !

          January 24, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • sam stone

      Sin is a religious concept and not valid to those outside of the religion that defines it

      January 24, 2014 at 7:31 am |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Sam.I think if you hurt someone or kill someone or lie about someone or steal from someone it "s valid. inside or outside or religion it has validity.

        January 24, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • sam stone

          no doubt. there are bad acts, but to call them "sin" seems to be a stretch

          January 24, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • doobzz

          Humans found out that those things don't benefit the species as a whole and have laws against them with no deity required.

          Is the only thing keeping you from killing people the threat of punishment after you die?

          January 24, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      The Internet is tool. It is only as good or as bad as the people who use it.

      January 24, 2014 at 9:48 am |
    • doobzz

      It's not. It's a gift from science and has been one of the greatest achievements in recent human history.

      January 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
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About this blog

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