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October 24th, 2010
03:51 PM ET

Satanists' event in Oklahoma draws Christian protest

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/10/23/pkg.satanist.event.koco%5D

CNN affiliate KOCO reports on a Christian protest outside a Satanist group's event in downtown Oklahoma City (backstory here) :

In downtown Oklahoma City, Satanists held a Ritual in public at the Civic Center.

The ritual began at 8 p.m. Thursday and drew plenty of controversy.

Before making it inside where the Satanists were practicing their religion, prayers were heard outside by groups opposing the ritual.

Chiquita Carbajal said she is against the ritual.

“No place for Satan in Oklahoma,” she said.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Oklahoma • Satanism • United States

soundoff (622 Responses)
  1. question

    Do the "Satanists" actually refer to themselves as "Satanists," or is this just what they are being called by the people from OK.? I have experiance with Christians who refer to ANY religion that is based on what they would normally refer to as "Paganism" as "Satanists." Are they really worshiping Satan, or are they Wickas or Druids or something similar?" Also, the Christians that this article is talking about appear to be practicing religiou intolerance.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Jon

      Which is exactly what you are doing as well...Think about that and get self righteous again...then look in the mirror.

      October 25, 2010 at 8:35 am |
    • toxictown

      Yeah, this is some pretty sloppy reporting. CNN doesn't identify the group having the ritual and you are right, the christian protesters could be painting anyone with alternate views as "satanists".

      October 25, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  2. dalis

    Exactly how much power do Christians believe Satanists, or Satan for that matter, have? Aren't protests like these just going to lend credence or legitimacy (and publicity) to Satanism?

    October 24, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @dalis

      Are you kidding? Neither of them have any credibility. They're like Tea Party activists. A joke. They get coverage for the laughs.

      October 25, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  3. Peace2All

    @chase

    Why is it that 'almost' all fundamentalists aren't recognizing that you are merely stating 'beliefs' which are not and do not = facts.

    And, saying that just because one doesn't 'believe' that their is a god, or an afterlife, that somehow means that they are going to have 'eternal damnation' or 'eternal darkness,' is just ludicrous....!!!

    I can 'tolerate' it when you say it as something you 'believe' and recognize it as such.

    It's those of you that take the bible/qur'an as absolute fact, and you don't know the (difference) from 'beliefs' and 'facts' ....

    You guys are the one's that we need to be concerned about, on a variety of different levels.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ALL

      Sorry... Double posted by accident.. This was meant for @chase's posting above..

      October 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  4. Andrew

    Look here, the Christians have just as much right to protest just as the Satanists practicing their ritual. I don't agree with it, personally, but I can't do anything about it. That be said, I really don't like it when other people say that another person's religion is wrong. It's not wrong it's just different. I really wish the media would stop broadcasting these non-issues because if they didn't draw attention to it, nobody would care.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • riverrunner

      why would you say this? something is essentially wrong until proven true. can we agree that flying spaghetti monsterism is wrong? why not satanism and even peoples cherished chrisitianity.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
    • Jesus

      I don't exist.

      October 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  5. truth

    god is above the rest. Its not good that thier is satanists having events in public areas are you kidding me.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • Rotten Johnnie

      Your espousal of a childish religion, coupled with atrocious spelling and grammar are so very telling.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Jesus

      which god? zeus? thor?

      why is your god better than everyone else's?

      It's called freedom of religion. If you don't want satanists to be allowed to practice their religion you are unamerican and should move to iran.

      October 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • maddawg

      lol...your god may be above all the rest to you....

      but your mind is well below the ability to grasp even the most simple, basic concepts in life.

      i've seen retarded monkey's in zoo's that have more ability to comprehend reality than you do!

      your brain is gone.....now do us all a favor and put the rest of you out of your misery!

      October 25, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  6. Jez

    I think its hilarious that anyone believes in Satan! Ridiculous!

    October 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • jake

      No more ridiculous than believing in the Christian god.

      October 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • lovely

      you will when you die.

      October 25, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  7. CRAY

    Everyone in the "World" has the freewill to choose the God they wish to worship. Satan is mentioned in the bible as a God and so people can worship him. Jesus is also mentioned as a God yet he said Satan is the ruler of the “World” and that his kingdom is not here on earth but in heaven until there is appointed time when this kingdom brings change to the "World" which is mentioned in the Lords Prayer.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • Magic

      What is the big whoop with 'worship'? The illusion of ecstasy which people experience with it is just that - illusion (and delusion).

      October 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Ryan

      Which passage in the Bible mentions Satan (by name) exactly?

      October 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  8. Reality

    And then there is Sir Salman Rushdie who almost got as-sas-sinated by Islamic go-on squads for publishing the "Satanic Verses"!!!

    There is no "mean like Muslim mean" as found in the Worst Book Ever Written i.e. the koran's call to kill all infidels and stone and/or beat all disobedient wives or women in general who do not meet the standards of one, lu-natic, long-dead Arab and his nigh-tm-are "angel"/jinni!!!

    October 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • TheMovieFan

      Your posting has nothing to do with this article.

      October 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Reality
      Did you forget your meds or something? That is a messed-up post. I am disappoint. -_-

      October 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • Reality

      The topic is about Satanists. Look around the globe and Muslims fill the bill much more so than the nutty devil worshipers in the USA.

      October 24, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Reality
      Then why don't you just say so instead of giving us a meandering diatribe like that?
      As to your point, you would use the nonsense of one religion to point at another religion's suitability for labeling them "satanic"?
      Dude. (shakes head)

      October 25, 2010 at 12:46 am |
    • Reality

      Dude,

      "Meandering"? Not so, simply pointing out the real Satanists in today's world. Reading any front page news accomplishes the same in this easy correlation of Muslims = the followers of Satan / Mahound i.e. Sir Rushdie's name for Mohammed in his book Satanic Verses.

      October 25, 2010 at 8:04 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Reality

      Ah.

      October 25, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  9. Bob B

    Satanism, Those ideas that pick up where ethics and reason leave off, the idea that revenge is beneficial is the big one.
    When we have a serious lie detecting legal system, then satanism fades off as a non religion; when law is respecting important
    persons, then we need satanism in every nursery school, school and college. Satanism needs you the liar. "Christism" needs you the sincere person, (satanism hates and hunts and defames and crucify s the sincere young person and starts a new religion. A new kind of revenge. Polygraph can save us from "them" just needs some volunteers with honesty.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Raider

      What kind of drugs were you on when you wrote this? Just curious.

      October 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • Melissa

      Wow, are you smoking something?

      October 25, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  10. scion101

    As long as these satanists aren't shoving their religious beliefs into people's lives then leave them be. These christians though, its a different story. If someone doesn't share your beliefs then threatening them with said beliefs wont work.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  11. Believewhatyouwantbut I dontbelieveyouhavefaith

    What it all comes down to is Idiot A doesn't like Idiot B. Idiot A pratices a more known and accepted "religion" where as Idiot B pratices a lesser known and/or misunderstood religion. Both Idiot A and Idiot B are trying to make statements through their choice of worship but I would bet my testicles that both Idiot A and B have doubts about what they claim as their "religion"
    I have no problem with my neighbor to the north being a Satanist or Necronomocon, and my neighbor to the south being a Jehova's Witness or a Roman Caothlic but what I do have a problem with is when they try to press their beliefs on myself.

    Stop saying "I have faith" and start saying "I have questions" and maybe you'll find your IQ goes up a few points.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • aUtheistIC

      Atheist like you don't BELIEVE that there's a supreme being above ruling the whole world. Thus, Atheism (like Christianism and Satinism) is also a BELIEF, (on NOTHING NOTHING perhaps, but still a belief). So, quit the name calling coz when there's A and B you may never know that you're ALL OF THE ABOVE.

      October 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • kjcube

      @aUtheistIC Socrates Kind Of said something similar (at least to what I think your getting at, albeit less angrily)

      [Socrates] Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the cave.

      October 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • BR

      Another ignoramus whp thinks they know the achilles heel of atheism. By definition, it is lack of belief. But in any case, it is religions who make a claim of certainty. Not most atheists. The point is, I have just as much evidence for invisible pink unicorns as any religious person has for their god. I think I'll set up a public ritual.

      October 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • kjcube

      @BR anyone who states anything as a fact and not a mere opinion needs to provide justification for it to be given any legitimate weight. For example you said that most atheists do not make a claim of certainty. This is presented as a fact. If it is indeed a fact then you must support it. You also state that you have as much evidence for invisible pink unicorns as religious people have for God. This doesn't even tell us anything. How much evidence do religious people have for God's existence? If there is enough does that mean you have proof that pink unicorns exist? Even if you mean to say that there is no evidence for God then this is flawed logic. There are eyewitnesses who say they have seen (talked to, etc...) God. Even though this evidence is very flimsy it exists. You however would not be able to use the not-p negation of this evidence because a lack of understanding, knowledge, witnessing of God does not disprove His existence. This is an appeal to ignorance fallacy. It is like if a person were to conclude that since they don't know what coffee smells like then coffee doesn't have a smell. There are many many valid arguments on both sides for the existence of God. There is in fact proof for his existence as well as proof for his non-existence. If you think that proof truly "proves" anything beyond any doubt then you are mistaken. Look up epistemology.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • riverrunner

      @aUth you could not be more wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNDZb0KtJDk

      October 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Dave

      @kjcube Thank you for the well-reasoned argument. At least someone is putting thought into his/her posts.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Andrew

      kjcube,
      The default logical position is skepticism. Generally, "evidence" const-tutes empirical, of which there is no difference between unicorns or god. If there was, it's the responsibility of the individual claiming evidence exists to provide evidence. The burden of proof is NOT on the individual claiming "no evidence exists". Why? Because it's impossible to provide evidence of "no evidence", whereas evidence to invalidate the claim requires only a single robust instance.

      Now, the argument the skeptics will take is that "your anecdotes do not qualify as evidence, as they're better explained by natural phenomenon, and the fact that people from all different religions claim so many different things, some of which are incredibly mutually exclusive, that personal revelation hardly const-tutes any grounds for evidence".

      There are a lot of different types of atheist, but the one generally comprising the "skeptic movement", the PZ Myers of the world, and myself included, are more or less "agnostic atheist", in the sense that we admit the possibility of there being a god, but lack belief. You say there's evidence for god, but you failed to mention what kinds... there is no empirical evidence (and I struggle to see how empirical evidence can be provided, but that's another topic entirely) for any deity, and to those of us who care about science (physics major here) empirical evidence is paramount. In lieu of it, belief isn't warranted, and skepticism is the default position.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • kjcube

      @Andrew

      While I will give you generally that empirical evidence exists that doesn't mean that it is the only legitimate evidence out there. If this were the case then all philosophy and logic classes would be completely invalid. An example of this can be found in Book X of Plato's Republic (probably others but that's the only one I've read in depth). Even though none of his premises are empirical in nature they are logically sound. "Evidence" in general simply needs to be beholden to logic in order to work. As for your statement that why you should provide support for the statement "no evidence exists", it is because when you state that as a fact, it is now independent of the original "God's existence" fact. If their is truly no evidence, then for me (or anyone) to accept it, that must be shown. I wrote a comment before that I think sums up what I mean better. I think it was about Aesthetics. Come to think of it were you the same Andrew there?

      -True but science (good science anyway), I think most people would agree, is based on logic (evidence that is connected to form an understanding of the best approximation of the truth given what we have/know). If you can approach things that would normally be considered outside the realm of science, like art for instance, in the same logical way, then the “fact” that beauty is only a matter of opinion, should be able to have the same logical geometric proof-like argument supporting that "fact". If you can do that, then it is more than just an opinion. The conclusion could still be wrong, but it would have more weight than an opinion. Kant and other philosophers have done that. To dismiss their arguments out of hand without at least providing a logical reason why is wrong. Like dismissing gravity (which has been changed a couple of times) without give any real compelling reasons why. I hear people argue about things like the existence of God all the time but I rarely hear anything more compelling than "I'm right your wrong deal with it." They can't both be right so someone has to be wrong and there has to be a reason why. Even more interesting would be if someone could give an argument that clearly explains why they could, in fact, both be wrong or both right. Just because there are differences in people's conclusions doesn't mean that something is subjective. Some people still think the world is flat but that doesn't make it so. Appealing to one's ignorance isn't a good argument either. Just because someone doesn't know I exist, doesn't mean that I don't. If some wants to assert something as a fact of reality then they should have a compelling argument for why. If I'm wrong about something I claim, whether it’s about beauty or morality or whatever, then I would want to know why. Paraphrasing Aristotle, I value what is true over what I want to be true or perceive to be true. That's sort of what I meant before when I mentioned "where's your argument."

      Anyway the point I meant before when talking about evidence in general is that while you might be able to come to the correct answer you can never be 100% sure.

      October 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • kjcube

      @Andrew

      Sorry I meant that "while evidence is generally of the empirical kind"

      October 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • Dan001

      @kjcube

      Well said

      October 24, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • vindictivepuppy

      @AutheistIC : when my daughter was very little she had an imaginary friend who was a turtle who talked to her, I of course didnt believe there was a turtle there talking to her. Does that mean I am "religious" since I BELIEVE that there was no turtle talking to my little daughter and playing house with her? Am I of the There Is No Turtle Here religion? What if millions of people believed in her turtle? Would that be different or the same?

      October 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Andrew

      I hate the auto-censor so very much.

      To be fair, I did mention that one of my heroes is Feynman, who didn't exactly have very kind words for philosophers. Which makes sense, philosophy cannot be independently verified, for example there's no way to show solipsism is wrong, but it's still a useless philosophical position. Philosophy to me has always seemed the stuff of things that could be true, though no way to truly verify if they are true. Feynman had a good response to the nature of philosophy versus pragmatism with the hungry philosopher, youtube(dot)com/watch?v=X8aWBcPVPMo

      Also, notice, I never stated "god doesn't exist" as a fact, I can't do that, nor can I state as a fact that "unicorns don't exist", I said, rather specifically, that accepting the negative is the default. And yeah I was the one who had the conversation about aesthetics with you, and I took a semi-devil's advocate approach because I mostly adhere to a fairly pragmatic approach concerning the nature of beauty.

      It isn't possible to present a lack of empirical evidence, any more than it is possible to present a lack of hot dogs. "I have no hot dogs" "prove that you have no hot dogs" "the lack of hot dogs is my proof, if I had hot dogs, I would no longer have a lack of hot dogs".

      Art is inherently subjective, in the sense that we have created our own rules for beauty as a species, and are arguing over internal consistency. Yes, the different philosophers offer different perspectives regarding it, but it still comes down to inherent internal consistency. Science doesn't work that way, science must be consistent not only with its own definitions, but with actual observations.

      There was no mandate that Van Gogh's art became "art", to the society of his time, it wasn't, to our society, it is. There was no real test that you could do to determine "it is art", but as far as science goes, we could have rules established, and they must be internally consistent, but if you look at outside phenomenon, if the rules science has set up makes a prediction about the phenomenon, and we don't observe the prediction, it's a clear cut "the current science needs amending".

      Artwork has no such an-log. Internal consistency is the realm of philosophy, it is the realm of artwork, it is the realm of subjectivity where there is no outside test, science is not like that, empiricism isn't like that. And when approaching questions of reality, such as "does this ent-ty exist", then you need a methodology that can deal with answering questions in such a robust manner. Empiricism is really the only venue you can go, otherwise it is just as possible to come to philosophic grounds for the non-existence of god as it is for the existence, neither of which has robust checks on them.

      Does that mean that conclusions drawn by empirical evidence are inherently right? No, I would never pretend that said conclusions are entirely accurate... but if you believe empiricism to be no more substantial than conclusions brought about by philosophy, you are very likely not going to be able to eat your steak.

      October 24, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
    • kjcube

      @vindictivepuppy

      First off not all beliefs are religious. I think the far more important of his points, however, was "So, quit the name calling coz when there's A and B you may never know that you're ALL OF THE ABOVE." That is why I sort of linked his idea to the Socrates quote I posted. What Socrates is saying is something along the lines of this "The quote is a metaphor in which the the light represents reality as it is and not as it is perceived to be. Socrates is saying that the "mind's eye" (i.e.mental perception), just like real eyes, are categorized as weak in two ways. The first is when you leave a dark area (like a cave) after staying there for a long time your eyes are "blinded by the light" (understanding of reality as it is). The second is when, after staying in a brightly lit area (understanding), you enter a very dark area (ignorance) and cannot see anything (think ignorantly). In both situations people are prone to laughing at your ignorance. One however is a perceived ignorance and the other is not. If it is the ignorant laughing at the enlightened then they are just down right stupid and are actually insulting themselves. Only the enlightened have the "right" to laugh at the ignorant. The question is how can you be sure of your "enlightenment". Which quite simply is why you should refrain from mocking if there is any possibility that you are the one in ignorance." Although it is unlikely, in my opinion, (which you'll note from my previous posts I don't highly value) Your daughter may in fact have been talking to an invisible turtle (again I think it is very unlikely) and she may have a greater grasp on reality than you. Until (and Unless) you can give your daughter's story a proper critique in support or in refutation then you should at least refrain from passing judgment on it.

      October 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • aUtheistIC

      @vindictivepuppy..there's nowhere I have said that BELIEF is RELIGION and BELIEVING necessarily mean that you are RELIGIOUS. If that's your BELIEF on what I've said, I would like you to know that it's NOT.

      And basing your arguments, I could safely presume that you would prefer science rather than religion, then there's also one thing that I BELIVE in, I BELIEVE in scientific findings that any mental illness such as; authism, retardation, including hacullination is GENETIC in nature. I firmly BELIEVE that, what your daughter experiencing now, is in the genes that you've had passed on her. But that BELIEVE doesn't make me RELIGIOUS.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:24 am |
    • East 4th st Kid

      I have no faith and although I would like to believe their is a living God that cares I dont believe there is. I am though married to a christian woman who found her God and her Faith shortly after we married 51 years ago. I respect her belief and her desire to seek out others to also come to know the promice of an everlasting life of peace and happiness. Nothing I know offers such a promice or possibility. If I did believe as she does I would be proud to go with her in her effort to bring the news to those like you and me. But that is not the case. I am proud she wants to give witness for her God. I have read the bible and it gives good advice about the way to live, love thy neighbor, do unto others as you would have them do unto you , I guess if one lived by its principles there could be less regrets all around. I would have a hard time forgiving my enimies or turning the other cheek.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:38 am |
    • aUtheistIC

      @kjcube...I just could hardly understand how quick and easy for some people to resort on mocking and name calling when they find that other's opinion doesn't share with theirs. And others to claim that they didn't claim certainty while their notions states otherwise.
      Anywayz..thanks for expounding and elaborating things more deeply for me, I just wish that I'm well-versed and articulate as you.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:39 am |
    • kjcube

      @Andrew
      In response to your assertion that “It isn't possible to present a lack of empirical evidence, any more than it is possible to present a lack of hot dogs. "I have no hot dogs" "prove that you have no hot dogs" "the lack of hot dogs is my proof, if I had hot dogs, I would no longer have a lack of hot dogs".” I would say that while it may be true that you cannot prove that there is no empirical evidence it is possible to prove that its impossible. You said “it is the realm of subjectivity where there is no outside test, science is not like that, empiricism isn't like that.” I think the problem with that is that it assumes that perception of the world is accurate. Perception is the way in which the world is viewed. To “see” the world I use my eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and touch receptors (as well as logical thought in some ways). For our understanding of the world to be accurate, we have to say that our perception is perfect in its presentation of reality to us. If this is not the case then any absolute or definitive understanding of the world is flawed and must be thrown out because our only connection to it essentially “broken.” Unless Perception can be proven to be a perfect presentation of reality as it is then we can only come as close as humanly possible to the truth but we can never reach it. In that sense science and empiricism is subjective relative to reality (because whether or not it is right it simply a “lucky guess” rather than true understanding) but objective relative to human understanding. The last thing that I have issue with in your statement is when you said “but if you believe empiricism to be no more substantial than conclusions brought about by philosophy, you are very likely not going to be able to eat your steak.” Empiricism is the linking together of numerical experimental data to form some sort of conclusion. The data has to be fit together in some way otherwise it will simply be nonsense. The way it fits together is through logic. By looking at the data, you use logic to come to a conclusion that would be impossible with just data alone (i.e. no thought). If the logic is what is used to come to the conclusion then the data is only secondarily related to an understanding of the truth. If this is true then in situations that lack an empirical nature, Like art, a conclusion should be able to be obtained using logic alone. For example in a logics class we can conclude That if p then q, p therefore q. No empirical outside data was necessary to come to this conclusion because we were not trying to find an empirical answer to the problem. Empiricism was unnecessary to find a conclusion so we didn’t use any empirical evidence. Philosophy asks and answers questions where empirical evidence isn’t necessary or useful so it doesn’t use them. That doesn’t make its conclusions any less valid than the conclusion of q.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • Melissa

      aUtheistIC, the only people that think atheism is a belief are religious fundamentalists. Knock it off.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • kjcube

      @Melissa

      Did you even read the discussion here? We already went over this. You have not addressed the problems that I pointed out with vindictivepppy's similar response to aUtheistIC's original comment. How is atheism not a belief? Isn't it a belief in the non-existence of God? If not what is it? Even if you claim that it is the "knowledge that God doesn't exist" then how do you propose to answer the questions about this brought up in the discussion? I'm perfectly willing to listen to what you have to say, but only if you are willing to say something that is different from the statements already made or in response to the criticisms of those previous statements.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Melissa

      novembereign, a little something called proof. Look it up.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • Nonimus

      kjcube,
      I think statements like "no evidence for God" are generally shorthand for saying "[I am not aware of any] evidence for God," and as such is not an independent claim. Generally, it is not necessary to prove, as the example was presented, that I "have no hot dogs," unless someone makes a claim otherwise.

      "Unless Perception can be proven to be a perfect presentation of reality as it is then we can only come as close as humanly possible to the truth but we can never reach it." This assumes that absence of proof is proof of absence [of perfection]. Couldn't our perception be perfect without the requisite proof?

      However, your point, if I understand it, about logical (deductive) versus empirical (inductive) evidence is valid, in that deductive evidence is not inherently invalid because there is no observations.

      That being said I am not aware of any logical evidence that God exists.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • kjcube

      @Melissa

      Since you put the name novembereign before your remark I am going to assume CNN has F-ed up again. If this isn't the case and you were replying to me my answer is this. I do in fact know what proof is. You, however, have neither presented any proof nor have you answered the questions asked.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • Nonimus

      p.s.
      "I am not aware of any logical evidence that God exists." I think is the basis of the agnostic atheist position and is not a claim of belief in absence of God, but is an absence of belief in God.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • kjcube

      @Nonimus
      What I was responding to was Andrew’s assertion that “no evidence exists.” He said it is impossible to prove that there isn’t any evidence. My claim was that while it may be true that he cannot give any proof for a lack of evidence, if we are to agree to this then it must at the very least possible to prove the fact that it is impossible to do so. You are right to assume that it isn’t necessary to prove or disprove anything that isn’t being claimed. I disagree however that the claim must be made from an outside source (if I understand you correctly). If someone says, as a fact, that they do not have any hot dogs then they must at the very least be willing to provide “proof” that it is indeed a fact. If they know beforehand that such a claim cannot be verified then they should, for the purpose of clarity, say “I think that I do not have any hot dogs, but I am uncertain.” This is probably more along the lines of what they mean anyway. The reason for this is because fact is justified true belief not simply true belief (it’s a little more complicated than this, but is mostly the case, see the Gettier problem). To be fact it must be justified and true (as close to true as is humanly possible, for practical purposes). This is why I took issue with Andrew’s claim that Empirical evidence held more weight than any other forms of evidence. The only requirement to make evidence valuable is if it logically follows. If the evidence always leads to the same conclusion (assuming that nothing true is left out or ignored) then it doesn’t matter whether the evidence is empirical or not because then only reason that a conclusion is reached is because of logic not because of the evidence itself. In fact it is only considered evidence if it is being used to support a conclusion which hinges on a logical argument. In response to your concern regarding perception, where you said “This assumes that absence of proof is proof of absence [of perfection]. Couldn't our perception be perfect without the requisite proof?” I wasn’t saying that an absence of proof for the perfection of perception implied that perfection wasn’t perfect. What I meant was that unless we can prove the perfection of our perception we cannot assume that it is. It very well could be, however, it could just as well be flawed. If our understanding of reality relies on an assumption of truth (about the nature of our perception) and doesn’t have any premise for that conclusion then we don’t really have an understanding of reality. We only have an understanding of reality that has a 50-50 chance of accuracy (assuming everything else holds) because it relies on a “guess” of whether or not perception is perfect or not perfect. As for your claims of no logical evidence regarding the existence of God I would direct you to some of C.S. Lewis’ works in apologetics (that’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head), While you might disagree with his arguments and conclusion he has given logical evidence in support of God’s existence (especially in regards to the Christian understanding of God). That’s not to say his conclusion is necessarily right but it is a far cry from simple opinion or belief. In order to brush them aside they need to be given the same scrutiny as any scientific work. That is worthy of respect in itself even if He’s wrong (in my opinion:) ).

      October 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • kjcube

      @Nonimus

      *"perception wasn't perfect"
      *"That is worthy of respect in itself (in my opinion 🙂 ) even if he’s wrong."
      *"That’s the only example I can think of off the top of my head"
      *"then the only reason that a conclusion is reached"

      sorry about that.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      kjcube,

      "My claim was that while it may be true that he cannot give any proof for a lack of evidence, if we are to agree to this then it must at the very least possible to prove the fact that it is impossible to do so."
      I don't think this logically follows. I wouldn't think one needs to prove (or prove that it is possible to prove) that something is impossible in order to show that it is not true. If something is impossible then it is not true, I agree, but for something to be not true does not require it to be impossible.

      "What I meant was that unless we can prove the perfection of our perception we cannot assume that it is."
      I disagree. First, we don't need perfect perception nor proof thereof, to gain knowledge. We need it to be reasonbly accurate and consistant (and perhaps verifiable, too). One argument for this is if we have a known imperfection in our perception we can compensate for it, e.g. microscopes, telescopes, etc.
      Second, we have evidence, though not "proof," that it is reasonably accurate and consistant. Most people (non-color blind) agree on the color green and it is consistently perceived when an objectively determined wavelength of light is presented. (i.e. our perceptions are not random, completely subjective, or arbitrary.)
      This does leave the possiblity that what we think we know really isn't true, or "we don’t really have an understanding of reality", but without the proven contradiction of this fact, it is unproven.

      "As for your claims of no logical evidence regarding the existence of God..."
      Due to this very discussion I was trying to be precise and don't believe that I made such a claim.

      "...I would direct you to some of C.S. Lewis"
      Not that this is an actual argument, or that my response does it justice either, but if Lewis' main argument is based on morality (universal or absolute) then I would say that God is neither necessary nor sufficient for the morality we experience. And some so-called Neo-atheists have presented arguments against Lewis' arguments, Dawkins being a prominent one.

      All that being said, I still do not think that an agnostic atheist position has any burden of proof, due to it being a position of 'I do not believe there is ...' as opposed to 'I believe there is NO ...' The first is a statement of non-acceptance of a claim, the second is acutally making a claim.

      October 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • kjcube

      @Nonimus
      Sorry it took so long to respond. Not sure if you’re still paying attention to the article’s comments but here it is anyway. In response to your first statement, I agree with you (sort of). The way I said it was unclear. What I mean is simply this, if it is impossible to do something, like giving proof of having no evidence (or hot dogs), then there should be a reason (or reasons) why. If it is impossible, for instance, to boil water at room temperature (assuming 1 atm. of pressure) it is because there are good logical reasons for this (in this case the laws of physics). If we say something is impossible it is because we have reason to believe that this is true. We have, in our heads, a logical argument for why this is the case (whether it’s a valid argument or not is a different matter).

      October 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • kjcube

      @Nonimus
      As for your concerns regarding perception, I disagree. You said that “First, we don’t need perfect perception nor proof thereof, to gain knowledge. We need it to be reasonably accurate and consistent.” The problem with that is this. If perception is how we view reality and we are striving for knowledge that is rooted in reality as it is, then to be sure we need our presentation of reality (perception) to be perfect. If we don’t know that our perception is perfect (in its presentation of reality), then we can’t be sure that anything we perceive with our senses is true to reality. We could be 100% correct; we could be only a little bit wrong, but mostly right, or we could be 100% flat out wrong. We just can’t be sure unless we can prove its perfection. To make an assumption that perception is an accurate portrayal of reality (whether its 100% accurate or only 1% accurate) has the potential of leading people to delusion. You also said that it just “needs to be reasonably accurate and consistent”, but to what? If you mean to say to reality then first you need to know what reality is. In order to do that you need a perfect presentation of reality as it is. You mention using tools like microscopes or telescopes to correct imperfections in our perception, but how exactly can they do that? If they exist in the reality presented to us by our perception, then they cannot correct imperfections in our perception because we cannot assume what they show us is true to actual reality. All they can do is modify and perhaps give us a greater understanding of reality as it is presented to us by our perception. If we cannot prove that our perception of reality is accurate, then we cannot say that a greater understanding of reality is achieved because we have not proven that our perceived reality is the same as reality as it truly is. Finally, you mentioned that people consistently agree on the color green and use this as a premise for concluding that things, like color, are not subjective or arbitrary and therefore must be rooted in reality. This is a problem, though, because all it really proves is that perception is consistent. It doesn’t prove that the color green actually exists in reality and not simply our perception of reality.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • kjcube

      @Nonimus
      The last part of your post I agree with. I did not mean that I thought that agnostic atheists were making a claim about God’s existence or that you claimed there wasn’t any evidence for the existence of God. It is what I said and so I apologize for not being clear. I was speaking more about logic, God, and perception in general rather than any specific ideology/belief/position. Sorry about that, I have a bad habit of switching in between speaking generally and specifically without any clarification.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  12. huxley

    You can't have freedom of religion and not have freedom of religion for all. The entire principle of freedom of religion is that the State can't pick and choose which are acceptible.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • Tom

      I don't think there was a lack of freedom of religion. Someone exercise their right to practice religion and assemble, another group practices their right to speak freely and assemble. The thing that has me scratching my head is... why was a religious event being held at a civic center?

      October 25, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • Dubhly

      Hmm, going to lay odds the satanist rented the place for the night...thats how thats done normally. Most civic centers are not government owned, so no violation. Also as long is the rent is handled neutrally without denying anyone the ability to rent it is also not in violation. Soooo even if city government owned it. Either way as long as it didnt get out of hand with violence it is what freedom of speech and religion is about. Specially since satanism is a chistian offshot anyway, two sides of the coin speaking out.
      OO and before some people try to correct me, the church of satan ( anton levays church) is an offshoot. They have changed quite a few things, but even those of you who have tried to give it a differant light on here failed to realize you do it by comparing the two and pointing out that they are oppositional. Note, Im pagan, and i have studied the differance ( although admitantly not in the last 20 years).

      October 25, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  13. eric

    you gotta admit that satan has the better music

    October 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Pete

      Plus, the attendees are hotter....

      October 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Norwegian

      Epic comment! 😀

      October 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  14. Jackob

    Doesn't perverting Judeo-Christian doctrine just make you a perverse Judeo-Christian? What are they getting at?

    October 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  15. Sam

    Great completely one-sided coverage CNN

    October 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      How on earth is this one sided? It's basically a stub giving the general outline of the facts.

      October 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Jamal_Ranal

      CNN didn't have tickets 🙂

      October 25, 2010 at 9:39 am |
    • Kate

      More to the truth, it was almost no coverage at all. I'm not sure what the point was other than to post a hysterical headline.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  16. vel

    one would think, that if this God exists, that God would be doing something about this activity by his arch-enemy. but nothing happens. We have impotent believers who would be just as protesty at any event that demonstrated that their religion wasn't the one and only "REAL" one. Talk about whiny children who want to claim that their very own invisible friend is the "bestest" one. Grow up and join reality. Santa doesn't exist and neither do your magic friends.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Mike

      OK so if God killed all the Satanists or whatever and put an end to their practices there would be nothing for the Christians to do. Without an enemy how can you have a victory?

      October 24, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • Terry

      Would you believe in God if God did do something? Jesus had been approached before by people to perform miracles. I don't recall the line word for word, but he said something like "must I perform a miracle for you to believe?" Nothing has changed from the days of the old testament and days of Jesus. Don't forget that God works in mysterious ways. If you ever stopped and prayed for a few days, months, or years, you'll realize that God works at the right moment, never too late or never too early, just right. That's the problem I see here in this world, many people say us Christians are intolerant, but I can really say the same for non-believers ten-fold. Sometimes why don't people stop and pick-up the bible and read it. If you claim its trash or refuse to read it, then arguing and criticizing us is waste of our time now don't you think?

      October 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • Dave

      Vel, you assume that God actually cares...

      October 24, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • Rich

      I have read the Bible. Lots of it IS trash. Im supposed to believe that God has some sort of personality disorder and has a glitch from the Old to the New Testament? This is the same bible that shows us the just man as the one who offers his two daughters to a crowd of people and says...take my daughters, do with them what you will, but leave these two strangers alone. LOL, REALLY?? That is a father you want to emulate?? Why dont you go read the Koran? Then read Richard Dawkes. Read a LOT of science.

      October 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Terry
      You assume so many things without knowledge or proof about other people is it any wonder that you speak the way you do?

      I roll my eyes at you "mysterious ways" and other "catch-all" phrases meant to delude and mislead the unwary. The Bible is full of them and has been proven to be contradictory in general, in detail, in concept, and in doctrine.
      Your Bible fails the smell-test big-time. But try again if you like. We've got lots of evidence and you don't. 😛

      October 24, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
    • Dana

      Terry, a lot of people have had an unhappy life in the yoke of Christianity and only found happiness years later once they broke free (my mother and wife being two examples). Imagine how you would probably feel if your father talked you down and verbally abused you every hour of your life and made you feel like garbage. Once you were free of him, would you not only feel liberation, but also resentment?

      So that's why a lot of those whom have overcome their faith feel a need to retaliate. And to address your other points, I don't see any problems with the position of "seeing is believing." There are scores of religions in the world, each one just as dedicated and harboring just as much certainty as Christianity. They all claim to be the true religion, so by what standard should you choose a belief system if they all seem to have merit on "spiritual grounds?" Well, you believe what the evidence most likely suggests.

      As for the Bible, I've certainly read it... and the Koran, and the Torah. They all have snippets of wisdom, but it seems that most of "power" of holy books come from the "perception" that they are powerful. I was raised a secular humanist, but encouraged to read the Bible. To me, It was a tedious read.

      October 25, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • Greg

      Sum Dude,

      Now you are assuming things without knowledge and proof. I won't try to convince you about anything but I will set you right on the facts of the Bible. Being the most studied and sharply critized book, it has been reviewed and analyzed millions of times. The minor inaccuracies in the Bible show inconsistency from points of view, which would be common from different peoples' backgrounds, upbringing, and cultures...

      So your statement that "The Bible is full of them and has been proven to be contradictory in general, in detail, in concept, and in doctrine." is false.

      And this just doesn't come from Christians. While you may diagree with the content, almost* all scholars and historians will agree that the Bible is one of the most consistent and historically accurate texts ever.

      I say almost because there are always a few who will let their personal beliefs sway their "scientific" findings.

      October 25, 2010 at 9:30 am |
    • Greg

      And I will go ahead and mock my spelling. I really should proofread things before I post them...critized??? wow.

      October 25, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • Greg

      @ Sum Dude,

      Well I am sorry I hurt your feelings. I didn't feel that I made any assumptions about your knowledge or how in depth you have studied the Bible.

      It isn't to complicated and while you may feel the Bible is useless, I don't. But that's fine.

      Again I am sorry, but those aren't lies, they are the facts.

      I like to think of myself as a fairly nice and level headed guy. If you had specific information and/or facts that you would like to share I would be open to listening. I don't claim to be smarter or more knowledgeable than anyone else here.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Greg and @Sum Dude,

      Do either of you have evidence to back up your claims of what "most" scholars think?

      October 25, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • celticfaerie

      @Sum Dude: Woah, so now your just resorting to name calling? I'm not saying I agree with either one of you, but it seems like Greg was just trying to stir up some friendly debate.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Greg

      @ Sum Dude,

      I'm going to let this one go, because it is obviously bothering you so badly. But what your spouting is essentially nonsense. You want to have an online shouting match instead of a easy conversation, that alone is funny. But then you accuse me of being pompus and talking down to people, you insinuate I am insulting. Wow. There is no substance to your comments, or replys. You just get mad when people call you out on misinformation. That's pretty amazing. But I think the best thing is that if you weren't hiding behind anonymity, you wouldn't have the pair to say the things you are saying right now. Have fun being a spiteful, ignorant person that pretends to know what they really have no idea about.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • Will

      All I see is hate driven speech over here. No facts backing up anything, just a bunch of vulgar language. I'm disturbed at how defensive people can get over something so trivial. The downfall of society is going to be the lack of love towards your fellow man, much like what is being put on display here. We don't all have to agree, but for goodness sake, you are not going to get your point across by spouting out your emotionally raw reactions.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @whoever

      Then the solution is simple. Don't assume things about me and don't act like a know-it-all.
      As for this personal and acrimonious "discussion", we may as well drop it. I don't like veiled insinuations and you don't like honest anger.
      Not the greatest combination in the world. You got off on the wrong foot with me and I found revulsion too near at hand.
      Sorry I cannot speak with you as you would like.
      I will avoid "Greg" and ask for the same consideration.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • Greg

      Done. That is until the next time you start speaking half-truths or complete lies like earlier. I can handle anger and honesty all day long. It's just that "You can't handle the truth!". 😉

      October 25, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Sum Dude

      I find that offensive, as would many others.
      If you can't leave me alone without insulting me first like a little kid, fine.
      But stay the hell away from me. I hate liars with a passion.

      October 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • claybigsby

      @TERRY: "That's the problem I see here in this world, many people say us Christians are intolerant, but I can really say the same for non-believers ten-fold."

      I guess you have never been on foxnation. everyone on there is a christian and 95% of them are intolerant biggots that give people like you a bad name. Thats why people are intolerant of christians

      October 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • claybigsby

      @Greg: "The minor inaccuracies in the Bible show inconsistency from points of view, which would be common from different peoples' backgrounds, upbringing, and cultures..."

      Not if all of the 30+ different writers were inspired by the same god. If god was the inspiration, there would be no inaccuracies.

      October 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • Kate

      @Greg
      "And this just doesn't come from Christians. While you may diagree with the content, almost* all scholars and historians will agree that the Bible is one of the most consistent and historically accurate texts ever."

      Uh, you have that backwards.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  17. Guy Montag

    This is like the debate between Edward and Jacob fans from Twilight.

    Extremely stupid, utterly irrelevant, and based around fantasy.

    Meanwhile, heard outside the Satanist rituals gathering: "My imaginary friend can beat up yours!"

    October 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  18. TheRationale

    They're basically fighting to see who has the better imaginary friend. What fools.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • Magic

      TheRationale,

      Bingo!

      October 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      I’ve always thought of it as arguing over whose poo smells the sweetest. Guess what? It’s all poo.

      October 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • riverrunner

      agreed! I can't believe so many grown people believe in imaginary beings.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • SubzeroBPT

      well put

      October 25, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • Nice

      Well put

      October 25, 2010 at 12:32 am |
    • lefthandpath

      Satanists don't have "an imaginary friend".

      October 25, 2010 at 4:46 am |
    • svi

      Organized Satanists (i.e. Church of Satan members) don't literally worship or believe in Satan.

      They simply view him as a symbol of natural human desires that Christianity would have us repress. It's like the two types of Buddhism – where Christians are for total abstinence (from pleasures in general), Satanists are more on the fat-laughing-Buddha indulge-yourself side. But many do not believe in anything supernatural.

      October 25, 2010 at 4:55 am |
    • Mike, not me

      fyi different mike. Should really come up with a better name? Is xxyyzz taken?

      October 25, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  19. Wobbles

    Both sides are a joke but living in Oklahoma myself I can attest to it being how I'd picture the 5th Ring of Hell so maybe they were just confused by the locals.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  20. Sum Dude

    Ha, what a joke on both sides. What a noisy mess. What did the protesters think they were accomplishing? And what did the "Satan worshipers" think THEY were accomplishing? Just a bunch of people getting all worked up and wasting their time and money. Kind of like Republicans. lol

    October 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Scott

      Ummm... kind of like Republicrats. Both parties are adept at wasting money. To think the Democrats are somehow exempt is folly.

      October 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Scott
      Yet no other party seems to get as worked up over nonsense as Republicans.... 😀

      October 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • LP

      Now Scott, there's no need for logic and reason here. These people need to play the Us vs. Them game to keep themselves busy. Just let them.

      October 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • trollinoncnn

      satanists DO NOT worship the devil. research stuff before you talk about it

      October 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @LP
      If you were to look a little harder, you'd see that I did not disagree with the "wasting money" part of Scott's post.
      A little "Us vs Them" eh? LOL You are a hypocrite like so many others. It is the easiest accusation to make in this blog. LOL

      October 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • Chandra

      if muslims have th right, so should the satanist.. same kind of religon. both worship satan!

      November 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Pierce

      You know, Satanist don't show up to the protesters' churches and act like idiots on the front steps. These people obviously don't believe in freedom of religion, a crucial right of all Americans. They expect everything to run their way and get upset when others exercise their freedom. What useless people these are!

      January 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Pierce

      You know, Satanists don't show up to the protesters' churches and act like idiots on the front steps. These people obviously don't believe in freedom of religion, a crucial right of all Americans. They expect everything to run their way and get upset when others exercise their freedom. What useless people these are!

      January 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.