home
RSS
Is the Internet killing religion?
A new study suggests that the Internet may play a role in the demise of organized religion.
April 9th, 2014
12:17 PM ET

Is the Internet killing religion?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) We can blame the Internet for plenty: the proliferation of porn, our obsession with cat videos, the alleged rise of teen trends like - brace yourself - eyeball licking.

But is it also a culprit in helping us lose our religion? A new study suggests it might be.

Allen Downey, a computer scientist at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, set out to understand the national uptick in those who claim no religious affiliation. These are the “nones,” which the Pew Research Center considers the fastest-growing “religious” group in America.

Since 1985, Downey says, the number of first-year college students who say they're religiously unaffiliated has grown from 8% to 25%, according to the CIRP Freshman Survey.

And, he adds, stats from the General Social Survey, which has been tracking American opinions and social change since 1972, show unaffiliated Americans in the general population ballooned from 8% to 18% between 1990 and 2010.

These trends jibe with what the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project reported in 2012. It said one in five American adults, and a third of those under 30, are unaffiliated.

Downey says he stepped into the ongoing debate about the rise of the "nones" not because he has a vested interest one way or the other, but because the topic fascinates him. He says it’s good fodder for study and appeals to students who are learning to crunch real data.

In his paper “Religious affiliation, education and Internet use,” which published in March on arXiv – an electronic collection of scientific papers – Downey analyzed data from GSS and discovered a correlation between increased Internet use and religious disaffiliation.

Internet use among adults was essentially at zero in 1990; 20 years later, it jumped to 80%, he said. In that same two-decade period, we saw a 25 million-person spike in those who are religiously unaffiliated.

People who use the Internet a few hours a week, GSS numbers showed Downey, were less likely to have a religious affiliation by about 2%. Those online more than seven hours a week were even more likely – an additional 3% more likely – to disaffiliate, he said.

Now, Downey is the first to point out that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.

But he was able to control for other factors including education, religious upbringing, rural/urban environments and income, to find a link that allowed him to “conclude, tentatively, that Internet use causes disaffiliation,” he said.

“But a reasonable person could disagree.”

The Internet, he posited, opens up new ways of thinking to those living in homogeneous environments. It also allows those with doubts to find like-minded individuals around the world.

He believes decreases in religious upbringing have had the largest effect, accounting for 25% of reduced affiliation; college education covers about 5% and Internet use may account for another 20%.

That leaves 50% which he attributes to “generational replacement,” meaning those born more recently are less likely to be religiously affiliated – though he doesn’t attempt to explain why that is.

The Pew Research Center has offered its own theories.

One explanation Pew gives is that our nation is experiencing political backlash – "that young adults, in particular, have turned away from organized religion because they perceive it as deeply entangled with conservative politics and do not want to have any association with it."

More specifically, Pew explains, this brand of religion and politics is out of step with young adult views on same-sex rights and abortion.

Postponement of marriage and parenthood, broader social disengagement and general secularization of society may also play a part, according to Pew.

But to be religiously unaffiliated doesn’t require a lack of faith or spirituality, researchers say.

Yes, the "nones" group includes those who might call themselves atheists or agnostics. But it also accounts for many – 46 million people – who don't belong to a particular group but are, in some way, religious or spiritual, according to Pew.

This is all part of the changing face of society and faith, and where the Internet fits in is just part of a complicated puzzle.

The evolving landscape includes plenty of people who go online in search of spiritual and religious sustenance, said Cheryl Casey, who delved into the issue for her 2006 dissertation.

Casey, now a professor of media, society and ethics at Champlain College in Vermont, wrote about the “revirtualization of religious ritual in cyberspace” and the morphing relationship between technology and religion.

That Downey would find a correlation, that the Internet is increasing disaffiliation, makes perfect sense to her.

"The institutional control over the conversation is lifted, so it's not just a matter of more churches to choose from but more ways to have that conversation and more people to have that conversation with," she said Wednesday.

People move away from formal affiliation and toward what she calls "grass-roots religious exploration," where "the nature of the medium allows for those conversations to grow organically."

Innovations have long played a part in influencing religion, she said, and will continue to.

Something she wrote back in 2006 said it best.

“When a new technology, such as the printing press or the Internet, unleashes massive cultural change, the challenge to religion is immense. Cultural developments change how God, or the ultimate, is thought of and spoken about,” she wrote.

“The dynamics of this transformation, however, await continued investigation.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Internet • Technology

soundoff (1,632 Responses)
  1. primatica

    That Cupp girl just posted a video on how conservative atheists are somehow "better" then the rest. I like it how she video blogs but doesn't let the rest of us respond. She said that she is embraced by conservatives even though she is a non follower. I can see the since conservative men like to hug women a lot in order to cop a feel. Her assertion that the GOP is a home to atheists is asinine at best.

    July 30, 2014 at 12:50 am |
    • trajklogik

      Yeah, I watched the video too and thought it funny how she made it only about conservatives vs liberals, as if those are the only two political views in this country. How about Libertarians, which I am, and also an atheist. Conservatives are NOT welcoming to atheists because they present this "war on religion" to drive their base to the polls, and insist on declaring this country a Christian nation and fight for prayer and Bible verses in schools. The atheists who are big-govt. liberals are really just swapping one big brother for another. They are misguided atheists who like to have their freedom to believe what they want but when it comes to economic freedoms, they want a big brother to manage it. Conservatives are pro big-govt. on social issues, wanting to tell everyone how to live their lives and want govt to define marriage which is a private decision between two people and not something the govt should be involved in defining. Libertarianism is the only true political belief system that is for limiting govt. in all areas, both economically and socially, and is the one that matches the atheist viewpoint better than the others. But how typical of CNN and FOX News to divide us into two camps – Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat. Wake up American and stop allowing the media to divide us and label us. Conservatives and Liberals have held the reins of power in this country and nothing is getting done. It's time for a real change: Libertarianism

      July 30, 2014 at 7:52 am |
  2. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the GOSPEL (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John);
    it will change the World forever!

    http://www.19covenant19.com
    BIBLICAL EXCELLENT MIRACLES -3-

    July 27, 2014 at 6:28 am |
    • enderspeakerforthedead

      The bible has changed the world to the extent it can and now, as it is becoming more and more redundant, is thankfully obsolete. Same with the Koran.

      July 27, 2014 at 6:47 am |
    • Science Works

      Testing – magic ?

      July 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Breaking the commandments again!!
      Stealing advertising space!

      July 30, 2014 at 5:04 am |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Great Miracles were simply fairy tales! This fact becomes more and more obvious with every new scientific discovery and each new archeological find!
      The truth will set you free!

      August 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
  3. observer

    truthfollower01,

    How about answering the question for a CHANGE?

    On stupidity, the ancient Greeks did not believe in God and should have run around killing everyone since the had "no morals"..

    So are they FAMOUS in history for being a wild, uncivilized group of people just running around killing each other or were they famous for their deep thinkers, mathematicians, scientists, education system?

    Still waiting. Look up the answer if you are CLUELESS.

    July 15, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
  4. drtodp

    I think the internet is allowing people to understand religion for what it really is, a means to control people, a means to make money, a means to incite war, and most of all, a lie to take people away from the real truth.

    July 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • southerncelt

      Like most things it depends on how you use it without breaking the First Commandment, assumiing of course, you accept them. What the Internet has done is give a voice to those that have no religion. Not a good thing IMHO, but who am I to judge?

      July 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
      • thubert

        Why is giving a voice to those with no religion a bad thing? Doesn't everyone have the right to their own opinion, and to discuss their opinions freely?

        July 23, 2014 at 9:35 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Of course it's not a good thing in your opinion, you'd rather suppress people! Such a hateful, small-minded world people like you reside in. An ATHEIST invented the machine you are using, so you should skip the hypocrisy and maybe get back to your cave!

        July 30, 2014 at 5:07 am |
      • fascinatedspectator

        Since YOU brought up the first commandment, which really covers the first THREE commandments,
        have you ever wondered WHY a truly "enlightened" and "all-knowing" being would be at all concerned about being duly "worshiped" and "adored" by us lowly and ignorant humans???
        In other words, WHY would an omniscient and all-powerful being be so VAIN when vanity is supposed to be a sin? mmm?
        The first THREE commandments are about nothing but god's VANITY! Doesn't that seem a bit odd?
        That sounds MUCH MORE like the selfish desires of a HUMAN, doesn't it? mmm?

        August 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
  5. cfanlonc

    Per another poster – – religion is just another side effect of Ignorance. Folks\, friggin' goat herders wrote the buybull which has been reinterpreted like thousands of times. Where in that fairy text does god show up? Nil.

    June 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • cfanlonc

      Show me god and then I too, will bow to its Excellency!

      June 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
    • jorums54103

      Mark Twain once said, "It's not the things in the Bible I don't understand that bother me, it's the things I DO understand."

      July 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • djponpheonix

        I have a video that I have used many a times that I have found to be the most down to earth and straight forward interpretation to an answer for this specific blog topic.

        Definantly a very well made argument on this receding Religious ideology.

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HooeZrC76s0&w=640&h=390]

        July 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
  6. jonasmcgreggor

    Access to information is religion's worst enemy.

    June 25, 2014 at 5:50 am |
  7. mickmastergeneral

    Yes, the internet is very damaging to religion. Atheistic viewpoints, shut out of the media for thousands of years, suddenly have an outlet with the internet. I was fifty years old before I found out that the Bible contained tales of unspeakable atrocities committed by the Old Testament God, numerous self-contradictions, and a story of a talking donkey. Religion is an ancient, stuffy, darkened room, and the internet is cracking windows open.

    June 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • lionslake

      I personally had the opposite experience–I grew up agnostic, but took a Great Books of Western Civilization course at my (public) university. That was my first exposure to classics like the Bible, Plato's Republic, and St. Augustine's Confessions. All of those works ended up swaying me first towards spirituality, then eventually to religion.

      July 6, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • pokernicus

        Did you happen to take any science classes too? Like...anthropology maybe?

        July 10, 2014 at 8:51 am |
    • southerncelt

      You don't have to use it. It is not a requirement after all. Maybe you should use better resources for information.

      July 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
  8. Science Works

    test5

    June 22, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  9. Science Works

    test111

    June 22, 2014 at 9:48 am |
  10. spockmonster

    It is true that the more people are educated, the less they are religious. Religion is a side-effect if ignorance.

    June 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
    • drtodp

      I always say, the more I learn, the more I realize I do not know. I do know that God as written in the bible cannot be true because it would know everything which means that it would also not allow these religious fanatics from harming others. I believe there are advanced beings in the Universe and they leave us alone because we would probably try to kill them due to so many ignorant humans on this planet. I also believe that the more knowledge a person has in the sciences and mathematics, the less violent they are. This would suggest that beings much more advanced would be peaceful and may think of us as children in our level of brainpower.

      July 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • southerncelt

        Sola Scriptura has always been a Protestant idea. The Bible did not even exist until St. Jerome translated it for the common folks.That discounts the first 400 years of the Church. Holy Tradition covers the first 400 years before the Apostles letters to specific regions could be translated into something everyone else could read. Either you have Faith or you don't.

        July 14, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
    • southerncelt

      Is that why most Priests and Ministers get a Doctorate in Theology? I have two degrees, neither of whch has affected my faith. Perhaps you never had any.

      July 14, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
    • sharphawkeye

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

      For Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

      July 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
  11. hoss3138

    Of course the internet is the cause. It provides facts and information whereas religion has always attempted to stifle these.

    June 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  12. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the BIBLE.
    It will change the World forever!

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    BIBLICAL EXCELLENT MIRACLES 1 & 2

    June 16, 2014 at 6:30 am |
    • tahitiandancer

      O.K. Now all we need to know is who wrote the bible.

      June 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
  13. tavuka2

    all religions offer the same basic set of rules..They also offer rewards and punishments for not believing in their gods and its dogma.
    Truth does not require rewards or punishment to believed.. lies do.

    Therefore to me all religions are lies.. because they require rewards and punishments to those who do not believe in them.

    June 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
  14. tavuka2

    If people would take the time and learn the evolution of religions and the myths they came from very few people would be religious.
    That god everyone is talking about not believing originated from the early Egyptian and Sumerians myths.
    Religions are like snow balls.. they started out as a collection of myths and gather and loose ideas as the travel though human cultures..
    They are just stories. that people are programmed into.. and stick in their minds..
    most people have very little knowledge of the evolution of myths.. they assume their religion is the one and only, when it is really a collection of thousands of other myths all stuck together.
    Visit the web site Caesar's Messiah and learn how the christian myth was created from the Jewish one and why.

    June 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • fascinatedspectator

      I strongly agree! I personally believe that the recent increase in people with no religious affiliation has been largely due to a huge increase in the amount of factual, historic information that is now available online for people to search and absorb ! It is not the Internet itself, but the availability of factual information that previously only existed in reference books and academic libraries that is changing people beliefs today!
      The truth will set you free! Freedom from Dogma, freedom from myth and the freedom to visualize, ponder and imagine a better world through proper education and scientifically verifiable facts and truth! !

      June 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    2014 Pew Study: nearly a third of all millennials – Americans between the ages of 18-33 – are religiously unaffiliated, a dramatic and ongoing change from previous generations.

    In the information age, religious people are finding it impossible to keep their children in their cult's bubble of lies. With access to facts, children are seeing the foolishness of religion and joining the world of reality. Christianity is dying out, and it's going to happen a lot quicker than anyone expects. A couple more generations and the christian sky fairy will be in a category with Thor and Zeus as a quaint primitive supersti.tion.

    June 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • demfromsc

      dog, I hope so!!

      June 9, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • tavuka2

      a good start on learning myth creation is to visit the web site Caesar's Messiah.

      June 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Stop trolling! Posting the link to the website numerous times over is idiotic at best!

        June 11, 2014 at 5:13 am |
        • brit1066

          That's funny it's the first time I have seen it.

          August 7, 2014 at 1:21 am |
  16. jknbt

    hello Zilla, Hot, and Skytag–

    I put up a story of a couple of miracles in my family on page 10....well try this one on for size (fresh manna!)

    My niece had gotten progressively worse with muscle & nerve problems all over her body, especially in her legs....
    She went to several doctors, specialists, experts, etc, and the diagnosis was consistent and scary: ALS "lou gherig's disease', same affliction that Steven Hawking is suffering with. She had to wear a leg brace and hip/waist brace to barely walk....& she has gotten worse since diagnosis & was going to resign from her job today. This is bad bad bad with three minors in the house and her husband has a road job (out of town 3 weeks each month)....

    Her good friend that has a healing gift came to visit. She said she was strongly led to pray for my niece's healing. So they prayed. AND MY NIECE GOT HER HEALING. She stood up, took off her brace, started dancing around the room, and is healed. THANK YOU JESUS. And she is at her job today. GOOD JOB, GOD.

    If you atheists and skeptics don't know, ALS is a fatal disease. There is no effective treatment for it. People decline & die. That is the prognosis, unless Jesus heals you.

    Her brace is no longer a brace. It has become a TROPHY to the faith & faithfulness and goodness of God and Christ Jesus. So to all of you who say healings don't happen, you need to get your unbelieving arms around the fact that the gifts are for today, God still heals, and

    JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY TODAY AND FOREVER (HEB 13:8)

    June 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      go and peddle your lies somewhere else.

      June 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • southerncelt

        The general requirement for Sainthood is two miracles. Praying for your conversion woud be step 1.

        July 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I suspect it was either a misdiagnosis or she went into some sort of remission. ALS is fatal, but it is not always quick. It killed my father fairly quickly (despite the prayers of loved ones) but Stephen Hawking has survived for almost half a century.

      Prayer works with about the same frequency as coincidence.

      June 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • fascinatedspectator

      "JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY TODAY AND FOREVER"

      Yes he was a MYTH before and is still a MYTH today!

      Praise Dog!

      June 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • gumbythecat

      See the christian, lying to "prove" his religion.

      June 24, 2014 at 5:50 am |
    • outtatrue610

      Try this one on for size jknbt...

      God cured your niece of some mystery illness that could have been "consistent" with a million things other than your suggested ALS diagnosis, yet he let 10yr old Ryan Kennedy die from brain cancer despite prayers from faithful all over the world. GOOD JOB GOD!

      Belief that your invisible sky god cares about you (as an individual) or yours (your niece), or that he answers your prayers, is the ultimate display of narcissism and shows a genuine lack of caring for those in need in the world around you. With so many innocent children dying on a daily basis, to suggest that your God intervenes on behalf of the faithful is disgusting. I am sure some of the 25,000 kids under the age of 9 that will die today have faith and pray. But where is your God? And what about those poor kids whose parents might pray to Allah instead? Are those kids supposed to suffer and die because their parents are praying to the wrong God?

      Like somebody said above, statistics show that bad and good things happen with the same frequency to those who are faithful as they do to those who aren't. That's the facts ma'am (or sir). You can keep ignoring them if you want. However, that doesn't make them any less true. That's the cool thing about facts. They don't suddenly become false just because someone chooses to believe in something else... like bronze age fairytales. Can't say the same for religion.

      June 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
    • brit1066

      Crap.

      August 7, 2014 at 1:34 am |
  17. Cybershaman

    A note to the blog administrators: I find it odd that people who are in opposition to jknbt and awanderingscott's comments get banned when their comments are no more inflammatory than those two.

    May 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • otoh2

      Banned? Who has been banned?

      May 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • Cybershaman

        Awaiting moderation... Grrr... I don't know if when I hit Post this will immediately go up. There have been others that have been blocked. But it seems the are always on the humanist side... Well... Here goes nuthin......

        May 29, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • otoh2

          Cybershaman,

          You have probably run afoul of the automatic word filter:

          Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN Belief Blog/WordPress automatic filter:
          Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
          You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
          -
          ar-se.....as in ar-senic, coa.rse, etc.
          Ch-ardonnay
          co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
          co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
          crac-ker…
          cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
          ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
          ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
          ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
          ho-oters…as in sho-oters
          ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
          inf-orms us…
          hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
          jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
          ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
          koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
          ni-gra…as in deni-grate
          nip-ple
          o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
          pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
          p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
          p-orn… as in p-ornography
          pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
          que-er
          ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
          se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
          sl-ut
          sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
          sn-atch
          sp-ank
          sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
          sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
          strip-per
          ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
          tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
          va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
          who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
          wt-f....also!!!!!!!
          x-xx…
          There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

          There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
    • jknbt

      I get kicked off too, every now an then....I had to reboot my pc to clear some bit that somehow got set....

      offered in hopes of renewed lively discussion–

      also cnn is ridiculous about the banned words....just break them up with spaces or periods if you have to use one of them....

      happy blogging!

      June 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • jojofruch

      From what I've seen, offensive messages usually contain lots of vulgarity and putdowns of the poster. If that's all the rebuttal reply can come up with, they deserve to be banned.

      June 9, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Funny how a vast majority of those comments come from your ilk and how very wrong you are. They really don't block many messages unless it is a continuous hate spree, such as thefinisher, however there is a word filter and those naughty words you find so offensive (you poor child) are included.
        You have a persecution complex...very immature! I wonder if your imaginary friend would appreciate the fact that you don't follow his Golden Rule.

        June 9, 2014 at 11:18 am |
      • drtodp

        I do not like all the negativity and name calling on these blogs by such ignorant people. We should be able to discuss things in an educated and LOGICAL manner without calling someone names. Just because your belief may be knocked down, don't get angry, try to prove your comment with some FACTS or some convincing logic.

        July 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
  18. obarryon

    "Is the Internet killing religion?" One can only hope so. It has been my observation that generally, the more educated and informed a person is, the less likely s/he is to profess a belief in a god. There are always outliers like Francis Collins who inexplicably is not only a believer but a Catholic, of all things, yet the spread of information usually creates doubts in "received knowledge" which is a specialty of religion.
    There is an often repeated idea that there is a war between religion and science. That is only partly true – the real war is between religion and rationality.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • cgiles2014

      It might possibly be that people are just leaving the denominational churches which have nothing to offer except their own organizations understanding which in most cases will be servitude limited with no substance.
      Their has been a dramatic rise in what is referred to as Hebrew Roots faith, as well as what is referred to as Messianic, and most of these people have come out of the dying Protestant children of Catholicism, where the truth in the scriptures has been taken away from or added too over the hundreds of years for the churches on agendas.

      May 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14, NKJV .. – nope, it's alive and well

      May 28, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Doris

        Of course no one knows who authored Matthew. The internet is helping people discover this about the Gospels.

        May 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • tavuka2

          Visit the web site Caesar's Messiah and you will learn who invented the christian myth and why.

          June 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • brit1066

          The catholic church wrote it.

          August 7, 2014 at 1:37 am |
      • otoh2

        scot,

        " And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

        The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many." - Matthew 27

        Nope. Not one single other person from the day reported that happening - not even the other gospel storytellers.

        May 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • tavuka2

          visit the Caesar's Messiah web site for some very interesting discoveries about the christian myth

          June 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
      • tallulah131

        It's cute that scotty refers to a 2000 year old book instead of actual data. His belief is secure, because he is terrified of challenging it.

        May 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. – John 6:47, NKJV

      This is one of the clearest and briefest statements in all the Word of God concerning the way of salvation. The Lord Jesus stated in words that could hardly be misunderstood, that whoever believes in Him has everlasting life. Notice He introduced these momentous words with His emphatic “most assuredly.” This is one of many verses in the NT that teaches that salvation is not by works, not by law-keeping, not by church membership, not by obeying the Golden Rule, but simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

      May 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
      • hotairace

        Allegedly. Allegedly! There's no actual evidence for anything the desert dweller called jesus is alleged to have said.

        May 28, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • tavuka2

          visit the web site Caesar's Messiah to learn the greatest discovery about the christian myth.

          June 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • hotairace

          Sounds like a waste of time. How about a summary.

          June 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          tav is a troll...has posted the same link too many times not to be

          June 11, 2014 at 5:17 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        "It's true. I am the Chosen One, only I can destroy him, but in order to do so, I need to know what Tom Riddle asked you all those years ago in your office, and I need to know what you told him. Be brave, sir. Be brave like my mother."
        – [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]

        This is one of the clearest and briefest statements in all the Harry Potter books proving that Harry was the chosen one! Harry stated in words that could hardly be misunderstood, that whoever believes in Him knows he will rid the world of the evil voldemort. Notice He introduced these momentous words with “It's true.” This is proof!

        May 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • Bob

        farlostscot, your whole Jesus story, the foundation of your crazy beliefs, is complete nonsense. How is it that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

        May 31, 2014 at 10:51 am |
      • sam stone

        i think you ought to test that, scottie?

        do you have tall buildings where you live?

        what better way of showing your faith in jeebus than a step off the 10th floor?

        June 1, 2014 at 11:47 am |
  19. delius1967

    The percentage of non-believers is much higher than any report or survey will show. Actions speak louder than words, and if you really, really, all the deep down to the core of your being, believed in God and heaven and hell and all that nonsense, you would behave very differently than you do.

    The main difference between religious people and atheists is that the former are just more willing to lie to themselves.

    May 27, 2014 at 2:50 am |
    • jknbt

      practice what you preach, delius....what percentage of your income is going to help the poor and homeless? what good works do you do? or do you spend all your money on yourself? how much time do you invest helping anyone but your family and yourself?

      when you point a finger at someone, you would do well to remember that the other three fingers on that hand are pointing back to you.

      May 27, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • lilithlore

        Atheists are known to be very generous with both their time and money. What's great about it, is their money actually goes to help people and not into clergy's pockets.

        May 27, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          you can't prove this.

          May 28, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • igaftr

          well scot, I guess if you don't actuelly look up information, then you can't prove it, but look at the two top philathropists...Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. They give more money than ANY other single individual...both atheists.

          Proven.

          May 28, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • hotairace

          DumbAzzScot, since when was proof important to you? After all, you believe a ton of crap for which there is absolutely no actual evidence, never mind proof. Inconsistency is a symptom of mental problems. Please seek help, from a mental health clinic staffed by professionals.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          they both give but a tiny fraction of their enormous wealth, nothing to crow about.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • hotairace

          What did some alleged but never proven god allegedly say about judging others?

          May 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          not a judgment dumazz.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          hot air and igaftr, aren't you both supposed to be down at the welfare office at this time?

          May 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Doris

          Snotty – aren't you supposed to be on your knees, servicing your Lord.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • hotairace

          DumbAzzScot, you really need to work on your Kreskin act. You haven't made a correct guess yet. Retired, own our home, very little debt, steady income from pensions and investments.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingtot: Laziness seems to be your favorite thing in this world...sad really. However, it doesn't take a tremendous amount of effort to use google and locate numerous articles pointing to stats regarding Atheistic/Secular/Humanist Societies....in fact I'd be willing to guess that some of these are ones you would never have thought of.
          http://thaumaturgical.com/a-big-list-of-atheist-charities/
          Now that google search using the words "charities run by atheists" turned up over 200 000 hits.
          So you might want to re-think what you said.
          Set that all aside though, in a country where the majority is Christian how do you not see it as making perfect sense that the vast amount of charitable donations would be coming from them? It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of it though...the difference between us and you when it comes to charity is that we're not playing on emotions at horrible times by offering people false hope like your ilk does. The books our 'groups' hand out are educational and fun; unlike you bible that sells false hope.
          The holier than thou attitude you portray on here benefits us...no normal person would wish to be around someone as blatantly ignorant as you and some of your ilk.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          scot
          I have not now nor have I or will ever need a welfare office, why would you suggest such a thing?...Oh yeah, you were again proven wrong so , like a child, need to lash out. I pity you.

          Look at Paul Allen ( microsoft co-founder, and Segrey Brin (Google co-founder), both atheists, both in top 5 philanthropists for 2012.
          You claim it is a tiny fraction ( which is still far more than you donate) but that is wrong. Here is your chance to show you know how to look up actual information, so you can stop pulling info from your kiester.
          What percentage of their wealth did Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the other atheists I mentioned actually give away...you will find it is not a tiny afraction as you indicate...so what are the actual figures scot?

          I myself prefer to donate time...around 100 hours a year....What do you give scot?

          May 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The World's Biggest Givers

          Bill Gates – $28 Billion donated – irreligious
          George Soros – $8 Billion – Atheist
          Gordon Moore – $7 Billion – Deist
          George Kaiser – $4 Billion – Jewish
          Carlos Slim Helu – $4 Billion – Christian
          Eli Broad – $2.6 Billion – Jewish
          Azim Premji – $2.1 billion – Muslim
          James Stowers – $2 Billion – agnostic
          Micheal Dell – $1.2 billion – Jewish

          Only 1 Christian out of the bunch!

          May 28, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • jknbt

          hey Doc, you are playing a game called "Fun with Statistics"....how about republishing your list showing the giving of all of these super-rich people ON A PERCENTAGE BASIS??? Jesus had more respect for the poor widow who gave 100% (even though it was just a few coins) than the rich of the day who gave their ONE PERCENT.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @jknbt

          to be exact, in your bronze age story book, your book character Jesus had more respect for the poor widow who gave 100% (even though it was just a few coins) than the rich of the day who gave their ONE PERCENT.

          You have to be able to discern with a historical happening and a story from a book. No-one knows what jesus really said or did because everything in the bible was written 60 to 100 to 200 years after his death. So it's all made up.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • jojofruch

          Oh you mean like Bill Gates massive funding of the Common Core curriculum our kids are being poisoned with?

          June 9, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • sam stone

        not if you point with an open hand, jk

        June 1, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • tavuka2

        If people would not start reproducing before they can support their offspring there would be very very few poor. Most poor are poor because they have made bad choices in their life. Lack of education and making logical and positive choices in life lead people away from being poor. But more poor are not willing to make good sound choices .. They still want to be stupid.. so they are poor. And don't tell me they do not know how to make good choices... they do..they just refuse to make them. and the most often bad choices are ones that involve sez..

        June 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, only hypocrites deny they have sinned.

      May 28, 2014 at 11:53 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Sin lies only in harming others unnecessarily.
        All other "sin" is invented nonsense.

        May 28, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • awanderingscot

          by your silly logic it's ok to mutilate yourself. rubbish.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • hotairace

          DumbAzzScott is a write only poster. Well, at least it appears he never reads the drivel he writes.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Doris

          Leave it to snotty to think about self-mutilation. Do us all a favor, snotty, and go self-flagellate. Maybe it will dislodge that Bible that's stuck in you. And by the way your brain is not supposed to be down there.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • hotairace

          Speaking of self-flagellation, DumbAzzScot must have meant that self-mutilation is ok if The Babble says it's ok or it's part of some cult!'s rituals, allegedly demanded by some alleged but never proven god. More inconsistency, more signs of mental defect.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Doc appears the only one to have a semblance of intelligence, these other sycophants just blather.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Doris

          Seems to me you're the king of blather, snotty. The pigeons that crap all over St. Mark's have more reason and purpose than I see coming from your wee brain.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • igaftr

          doris, scot judging someone elses intelligence is like a blind man judging a sunset.

          May 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Harming yourself isn't sinful, just stupid.

          It is sometimes even considered holy.
          Some sects have interpreted "I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps when I have preached to others I myself should be castaway" (1 Cor 9:27) as a call to self-harm, aka mortification.
          In the Phillipines, flagellants march through the streets inflicting grievous bodily harm to themselves in order to get closer to Christ.
          The cilice, more commonly known as a hair shirt, has been used by Jews and Christians as a form of penance.
          As a guy who explored the body modification culture in my teens and early twenties, I've personally witnessed people suspend themselves from hooks that pierce their flesh as a means to achieve altered states of consciousness and "enlightenment".

          May 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • igaftr

        scot
        you forgot the ALLEGEDLY at the start of your claim. Since none of what you claim can be verified, it is quite possible that the entirety is incorrect. It may be there are no gods, and sin is an afront to "god" if no gods, then there is no sin.
        If there is no sin, I cannot sin...all not only possible, but quite likey.

        you should remove the certainty with which you post such statements to avoid the violataion of one of your commandments scot. In the future, try saying it is my opinion that all are sinners, or the bible says, or all allegedly are sinners, since you do not have the definitive.

        May 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • outtatrue610

        There isn't too much to the glory of God if he created us all sinners. He had the power to create us sin free. However, our "father" created us sick and then commanded us to heal ourselves. What kind of parent does that? And to nip certain responses in the bud: No, Adam and Eve weren't real; so, therefore, there is no original sin. And even if they were real, how could a just god punish generation after generation for the stupidity of 2 people? What if real life worked like that? Can you imagine your great grandson going to jail because you robbed a bank 80 years earlier? Please. If your god exists, he made us sinners on purpose. We had no choice in the matter. There is nothing glorious about that. In fact, it is morally reprehensible. He could have created us sin free (and still had free will... according to you and your christian brothers/sisters, he is god and capable of anything after all).

        June 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
  20. jknbt

    hey skytag....imagine how far away from you it would be if there was a frozen pig on the far side of the moon & in total darkness...that's how far you are from God.

    your comment about the jews and the Nazis proves your blindness. Those sad event happened, but God made the good out of it by founding the state of Israel. This fulfilled many prophecies in the O.T. This started the stopwatch ticking on the countdown to Jesus' return. You will have the proof you need then assuming you survive the Great Tribulation.

    May 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
    • archtopopotamus

      Don't wait up.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
    • skytag

      Yet more claims unsupported by any evidence. What a load of religious gibberish.

      "that's how far you are from God"

      How does one measure distance from something that doesn't exist?

      "your comment about the jews and the Nazis proves your blindness."

      Not in the real world of people who can still think for themselves.

      "Those sad event happened, but God made the good out of it by founding the state of Israel. This fulfilled many prophecies in the O.T."

      That's about the dumbest, most desperate rationalization I've ever heard. There is no reason to believe any supernatural power had a role in the creation of Israel. More important, the idea that an all powerful God who could recreate a universe of a trillion stars out of nothing had to ignore the prayers of millions of Jews and let six million of them be slaughtered to bring about the creation of Israel is just about the lamest thing I've ever heard.

      "This started the stopwatch ticking on the countdown to Jesus' return. You will have the proof you need then assuming you survive the Great Tribulation."

      Blah, blah, blah. Standard Christian gibberish no one has any rational reason to believe. You people always do this. You can't produce a shred of objective evidence to support anything you believe so you claim people will have proof one day. Some day. Really. It's gonna happen. You'll see. You just wait. Snooze alert.

      May 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
      • jknbt

        skytag...you believe in neutrinos, but you have never seen one. Millions are streaming through your body this very second. How do you know they exist? because someone told you, and you are taking it on faith. you have never directly experienced one or consciously interacted with one.

        at a quantum level, you are not sitting on your chair. you are floating on a layer of photons coming up off your chair. you and the chair are exchanging photons. at a quantum level, your chair is just a cloud of energy. the particles that make up your chair are just standing waves of energy. nevertheless, you take it on faith that the chair will hold you up.

        so you are a person of faith after all. think about it.

        May 27, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • awanderingscot

          yes jknbt. atheists believe in neutrinos but only because neutrinos don't require any accountability. as soon as one acknowledges a creator there is accountability, and they are running away from accountability.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • hotairace

          Neutrinos can be and have been measured. Their characteristics have been predicted and verified – repeatedly. Any scientist with the interest, skill, equipment, time and money can replicate the claims of others scientists to show that they are correct or not. None of the foregoing applies to your alleged but never proven gods. Faith: pretending to know things you do not. Peter Boghossian.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Hey scotty? I don't think you understand the first thing about accountability. Accountability is not letting someone be tortured to death in your place, for your actions. Christianity is a cult created around the idea that you don't have to be accountable. Christianity is a cult that allows you to pretend that you'll take care of your debts in an invented afterlife. Christianity is the ultimate cult of irresponsibility.

          I am always accountable for my own actions. Always. In this lifetime. No gods necessary.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • jojofruch

          Good one. Atheists tell believers we are believing in fairytales etc., and, yet, they are taking "ON FAITH" the words of scientists. How do they know what these 'experts' say is true. Not one of them can prove the information they are believing is real.

          June 9, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • outtatrue610

          Hey jojofruch.... you kind of missed the point of science. The whole point is that you can reproduce what the "experts" claim is true. If the scientific community can't reproduce it, there is a problem. So, yeah, you're kind of wrong about us atheists taking it on "faith". Science: It works. Give it a try sometimes. If you personally don't want to take the word of an "expert" in the scientific field, go try the experiments yourself. You can prove the information you are believing. However, folks in your camp keep moving the goal posts so, until you are honest about the evidence and how it is interpreted, perhaps you won't ever be able to prove the science that people like me believe.

          June 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Advertisement
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.