November 9th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

Humanists launch huge 'godless' ad campaign

The new humanist campaign cites holy books

The Bible and the Quran contain "horrific material, and to say  you get your morality from there" is a problem, the head of the American Humanist Association said Tuesday as the group launches what it calls the  largest, most extensive advertising campaign ever by a godless organization.

The group is putting ads in newspapers across the country - and  advertising on NBC - in the $200,000 campaign, AHA head Roy Speckhardt told  CNN.

The point, he said, it to "challenge the fundamentalists" who "spout  their backward ideas," he said.

The target audience is people who may not realize they are humanists,  Speckhardt explained.

"We're targeting for criticism those who read the Bible literally, not those who pick and choose what they like," he said. "We're telling (people who  pick and choose), 'You're more like us.' Biblical literalists and Quranic  literalists are holding us back.

"We know that you can be good without God, but many folks in America don't know that," he said.

The campaign features violent or sexist quotes from holy books,  contrasted with more compassionate quotes from humanist thinkers, including  physicist Albert Einstein.

A screen grab from the new humanist campaign

"We're calling it like it is," Speckhardt said. "It's quite obvious that  the Bible contains horrific material - and the Quran - and to say you get  your morality from there" is problematic.

"We don't expect to convert people from the billboard signs," he said.

But, he said, "there are millions of people - approximately 34 million  people - who are unaffiliated" with a religion in the United States.

Only one in 20 Americans does not believe in God, according to the Pew  Forum on Religion & Public Life, and of that group, only a quarter call  themselves atheists. The rest say they are agnostic, "nothing in particular" or members of a faith.

More than half of all Americans pray every single day - as do more than  one in five Americans who say they're not affiliated with a religion, according to Pew's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.

Speckhardt knows the numbers.

"There has only been one member of Congress in the history of the United  States who has come out and said he doesn't believe in God," Speckhardt said, identifying the legislator as Rep. Pete Stark, D-California.

The Secular  Coalition for America said Stark responded in 2007 to an inquiry from that  group by saying he was a "nontheist."

"We feel those (unaffiliated) folks don't yet know they can admit that  they don't believe in God," Speckhardt said.

Marketing guru Allysen Stewart-Allen thinks the campaign has potential.

"They will certainly get people talking," she said.

"One of the things that the humanists need to articulate is what success  looks like for the campaign - if it's converts, I wouldn't think that is a realistic measure," said Stewart-Allen, the director of International Marketing  Partners.

"I would hope what they want is for people to talk about faith in the  widest sense, and I think they will achieve that," she said.

"If your objective is to shape the conversation, I think it can't hurt,"  she added.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Atheism • United States

soundoff (346 Responses)

    I do not get it.

    If you are so keen on going to Hell, why not just saw off your arms and legs, and eat nails for breakfast, to get a head start? Why wait until you are dead, to get in on all the suffering?

    Why bother with an Ad-campaign to drag others with you?
    Aparently these Atheist must be nothing but sadists, who will not suffer alone, so they try to drag everyone else with them into the Pit.

    Who do you trust? Someone who wants you to go Heaven when you die, or someone who wants you to go to Hell? Because there are no other options I am afraid, and Atheism will pretty much guarantee you VIP access to Hell. Backstage and all!

    Because If Heaven don`t want you, Hell will.

    And you do not have to be Einstein to figure that out.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Know What


      You are correct - you don't get it.

      First of all, you need to prove that there *is* a heaven and a hell (actually that is second, after you have proved that there is a "God", and have definitively proved exactly what he/she/it wants/needs/demands). Holding on to the superst!tious beliefs and fantasies of primitive people is not proof. That you "just know" is not proof.

      Humanism is not ascribed to only by (capital 'A') Atheists. There are also agnostics, who believe that we don't know if there is a "God"; and there are theists, who believe that there is a higher power, but don't believe religion's claims that he/she/it interacts with us or directs our paths in an afterlife; and there are people with no label to their beliefs, who believe that we are on our own here on Earth to make it as good a place as we can.

      Humanists are not out to outlaw your personal beliefs, however... only to have you examine them for veracity and not to impose them (with threats/warnings of eternal damnation) on everyone.

      Even Einstein didn't purport to know it all.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
    • Muneef

      @ GABRIEL.

      I salute you here for your words which are exactly correct and there are verses of the Holy Quran speaks of that how they will be accusing each other on the Judgment date when they are questioned.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  2. Robert Mitchell

    100 million people killed in the last century by atheistic communists and they a "problem" with Christianity? LOL funny.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • NL

      I'm an atheist but I wouldn't want to live under a communist regime any more than I would a fascist. So, please don't lump all of us with communists, and I won't lump all Christians with the Nazis, OK.

      I think the true problem with these kinds of states is their elevation of an elite, their dehumanizing of large section of their population, and their need to label parts of their society as the enemy within. Let's hope that never happens here again, or have we forgotten what happened to the non-christian indians?

      If you want to talk numbers killed, and today seems an apt day to consider this, think of all the Christians involved in both world wars. Why doesn't this count for you? Take a long look at how many people have been killed in Christ's name throughout the ages and tell me that believing in God and Jesus makes you more peaceful as a people.


      November 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries
      1 63 million Second World War 20C
      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C
      40 million Genghis Khan 13C
      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C
      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C
      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C
      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C
      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C
      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C
      11 15 million First World War 20C
      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C
      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C
      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C
      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C
      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C
      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      November 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Reality

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


    November 11, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  4. civilioutside

    "You don't have a clue why you're here, who gave you life and a conscience, or where your going."

    Good job! You're starting to see. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together. And, by the way, I submit that you don't know those things either.

    Your understanding will be complete when you are able to repeat your sentence that I quoted with the words "We" and "us" substi-tuted for "you" in the appropriate places, and add the phrase "... and that's OK." to the end.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  5. Joel3

    Ok, so you humanist guys are you own source? Your own idea? You don't have a clue why you're here, who gave you life and a conscience, or where your going. You have spent more time seeking ways to doubt God rather than seeking God. That is where you went wrong. You want proof? SEEK GOD. That's the only way. Otherwise you will continue to make azzez out of yourself, especially in the hereafter. What a joke. Do you people have low self esteem or any self worth at all? Is that why you're on this suicide mission? Nothing else to do but mock God, your creator, wow this is gonna hurt...you not me.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:32 am |
    • NL

      All that we know about religion comes from human sources, right? Every book, scripture, song, creed, and sculpture are all the work of human hands and the human mind. That makes us even. What makes you believe that your ideas are any better than mine?

      I have lots of self-esteem, but I don't place myself so far above all other life on this planet by thinking my species is 'special' and master over all else. All life on this planet has the same purpose, to live. Sorry if life as we know it isn't enough to satisfy you.

      November 11, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  6. LRRP

    God doesn't believe in athiests.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:21 am |
    • Reality

      And where did OT, NT, and Koranic scri-bes get their go-dly ideas? From the Hit-ti-tes, Bab-ylo-nians, Buddhists, Greeks, Mac-ed-onians and the Romans!!!!

      "Stories circulated to the effect that Alex-ander of Ma-ced-onia was not only the son of Phi-li-p II, but also of the god Zeus-Am-mon (Pl-uta-rch, Pa-ra-llel Lives, "Al-ex-ander" 2.1-3.2); Pl-ato was the son of Ari-ston and the god Ap-ollo (Dio-genes La-erti-us, Lives of Em-inent Phi-loso-phers 3.1-2), and Aug-us-tus was the son of O-cta-vius as well as the god Apo-llo (Su-e-toni-us, Lives o f the Cae-sars 2.4.1-7). The extraor-dinary character of these eli-tes re-pu-tedly stemmed from both their divine o-rigins and their ki-ngroups. Their kin-groups provided one form of leg-itim-ation-polit-ical right to the throne and/or social status (thus the importance of Joseph in Matthew's gen-ealogy). Their divine pro-cre-ation provided another: their honor was divinely a-scribed, and their greatness as leaders derived from divine pa-terni-ty."

      K.C. Han-son and D. E. Oa-kman, Pa-le-stine in the Time of Jesus, For-tress Press

      November 11, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  7. FatWhiteMan

    Like we need more Godless commies.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:42 am |

      If nothing else my friend, that comment alone will get you into Heaven.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  8. Muneef

    [9:112] (The believers whose lives Allah has purchased are) those who repent to Allah (from polytheism and hypocrisy, etc.), who worship Him, who praise Him, who fast (or go out in Allah's Cause), who bow down (in prayer), who prostrate themselves (in prayer), who enjoin (people) for Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all what Islam has ordained) and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden), and who observe the limits set by Allah (do all that Allah has ordained and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden). And give glad tidings to the believers.

    Allah then explained who they were, saying: ((Triumphant) are those who turn repentant (to Allah)) those who repent of sins, (those who serve (Him)) the obedient, (those who praise (Him)) the thankful, (those who fast, these who bow down, those who fall prostrate (in worship)) in the five daily prayers, (those who enjoin the right) the confession of Allah's divine Oneness and goodness (and who forbid the wrong) disbelief and all that which is not known in the Sacred Law or the Prophetic Practice (and those who keep the limits (ordained) of Allah) those who observe the obligations of Allah (And give glad tidings to believers) that they shall have Paradise!.

    November 11, 2010 at 5:18 am |
    • Reality

      From Sir Salman Rushdie's book "Satanic Verses", p. 376, paperback issue – for those 1 billion Muslims to read as they are forbidden to purchase or read said book:

      Mahound = Mohammed
      Gibreel = Gabriel

      "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

      Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

      It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

      Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

      He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

      And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

      This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so
      how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

      November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  9. lovepeacestartwithin

    I find it funny that those who don't believe that there is a God have posted comments in the Belief Blog. If you don't believe in God, why are you in the belief blog? Why not just pass it up? Hmmm....something or someONE tugging at your soul? I am a christian. I do believe. I scan this blog every now and then (when I am bored with nothing else to do) just to check things out and I find the same non-believers/god-haters spouting their "I hate God" comments or "God doesn't exist" comments. If you truly hate God, or don't believe that there is a God and feel the need to trash God, why do you come here? Start your own NON-belief blog. I think it really stinks that you have to come here to trash talk MY GOD. I don't trash talk your wife/ husband and/or kids. Maybe if you did believe (which I think there is something somewhere inside of your little soul of yours that does believe cause you wouldn't be here otherwise) you wouldn't be so hateful or your life wouldn't be so empty that you need to find a void filler by spending your precious time in this blog. I wonder how many of you say nasty mean things because you are angry and bitter because you believed God to be your magic genie and didn't get what you wanted? I wonder how many of you actually think for yourself or just have mob mentality?

    November 11, 2010 at 1:29 am |
    • Q

      Given a previous reply was lost to "awaiting moderation", I'll be brief. Your faith in magic is not immune from criticism and does not consti-tute a virtue unto itself. Just because you're incapable of fathoming people who simply don't believe in magic does not mean they don't actually exist. Your last sentence is truly the height of ironic projection.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:26 am |
    • Frogist

      @lovepeacestartswithin: To answer your question, this is a public forum for discussion about belief and that logically incorporates those who believe and those who do not.
      How odd it must be for for you, a believer allegedly in love and peace, to post with such confrontation and judgemental words, only to be responded to from a non-believer with less vitriol and arrogant assupmtions?

      November 11, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  10. Faith

    P.S. Even if I don't end up in jail, it does make me feel like I don't belong. Isn't there room here for someone like me? I hope so.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  11. Faith

    I enjoyed this conversation immensely! Thank you all for a mostly civil and articulate discussion! I am not a scholar as many of you obviously are. My personal belief system comes from faith. I believe that I am here as a lucky accident of molecular collisions, and when I die, our molecules will go on to collide again and make something else. Since I've never seen a molecule, or watched them connect and form complex matter, I guess that's faith, but its the paradigm that makes sense to me. There is really no logic any theist can use to change my mind. I don't really care if others share my beliefs or not, and I have no need to convince anyone of the truth of my particular revelation. In return, I ask others to respect me as a human being who lives a very moral life just because that is also part of my belief system. I also ask them to give me room to live my life in peace and quit yelling at me. I like it here in the U.S.A, pay my taxes and help others, so, I also would ask them not to state this is a Christian nation. When I hear that, I worry that someone might make me leave or put me in jail someday. That scares me. These are pretty simple requests, I think.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Faith: Yes, there is room for someone like you. As a matter of fact, I think most people are like you. They want no part of the characterisation of this country as something exclusionary or welcoming only to a few. There are those of us who hear the "Christian nation" rhetoric and know that it's a step towards denying people who do not fit the mold. But what the christian supremacists forget is that no matter how much discord they create they cannot possibly make everyone conform. We are varied and have always been. And will always be. So no matter how much they try to make this country theirs alone, they can't because of the simple fact that we are still here.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  12. Gil T

    You are being true to playing the oneupmanship card. You know quite well even a fingerprint can be corrupted beyond reliability. My point was not that invisible or visible may or may not be better or even equal in their respective value in any given homicide investigation. My point, or question, I hoped to convey, and it would seem I failed, was how is it visible and invisible evidence is weighed in a court of law, but outside the courtroom we thumb our nose at it?

    You have, to understate it, a rather peculiar way of referring to the perpetrator of a homicide, a murderer. What makes it peculiar is that its a tip-toeing around the matter of rendering judgment on the accused which could result in his execution. Yes, discernment (or as you say, "judge") is the first step in a matter such as a homicide trial. Then follows the decision to judge. It is followed by the action, either acquittal or conviction. You wonder if I am looking for "emotional response", "innocents murdered", "a tragedy", but given your overall response to my comment I think you understood my point quite well.

    November 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • NL

      I'm confused, what kind of invisible evidence have you ever seen in a court? Everything is physical, or oral testimony right? What are you referring to?

      And as to your second point I am again lost as to what you getting at. Sorry!

      November 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  13. Muneef

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    When there come the succour of Allah and victory. (1) and thou finds the mankind entering the religion of Allah in crowds. (2) then hallow the praise of thy Lord, and ask forgiveness of Allah. Verily He is ever Relenting. (3)

    November 10, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Muneef


      November 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      By the time (1) verily man is in loss. (2) But not those who believe and work righteous deeds, and enjoin upon each other the truth and enjoin upon each other steadfastness. (3)

      November 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  14. Enoch

    Europe is in danger of falling to Islam. There is an urgent and serious need for a new Biblical Reformation and for a fresh Spiritual Revival. Only Christianity – true Biblical Christianity – can defeat radical Islam. Secular Humanism and Hedonism are no match for Islamic Jihad.

    By rejecting Christianity, Europe is committing spiritual suicide. By embracing secular Humanism and welcoming Islamic immigration, Europe is committing cultural and economic suicide. By intermarrying with Muslims and building mosques and madressas throughout the continent Europe is betraying future generations to bondage. The decline of Christianity in Europe is catastrophic.

    History is repeating itself. Like in the 15 th and 16 th Centuries, Europe is experiencing a renaissance of paganism and facing an aggressive Islamic expansionism that threatens Faith and freedom.

    Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat its failures. Guilt manipulation and Revisionism has neutralized Europe.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Enoch: So what's your final solution then?

      November 11, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  15. Qaton

    I will not respond again.

    Frankly, most of the jawing in this type of format is idiocy filled with mockery, lies, half-truths and ignorant garbage.

    It is just too time consuming to get into spiritual discussions in a blog format. I would need to spend hours untangling your ignorance. I pray that God would send His Spirit to show you the truth. Otherwise there is hell to pay.

    November 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      You obviously need hours in which to wipe up the drool that covers your chin. Come on back when you're ready to "untangle" simple words, Qaton. Ask one of the nurses if you can have some extra meds. Maybe we'll get lucky and you'll OD.

      November 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Qaton: "Frankly, most of the jawing in this type of format is idiocy filled with mockery, lies, half-truths and ignorant garbage." Well I couldn't have said it better myself! That is exactly what your spouting diatribes were. Glad you came to see the error of your ways.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  16. Qaton

    More bad reasoning from you God-haters. "a complete immoral life can still get you into heaven? What kind of moral system is that?"

    You people have to be kidding. I am sure that you all sit around and pat each other on the back thinking you are making sense. Your ignorance is astounding.

    Christianity does not teach that "a complete immoral life can still get you into heaven." That is absurd and ignorant. One sin will condemn anyone to an eternal damnation. Man with his corrupt nature can only sin. So every man, in their natural state, is fully immoral.

    The only difference is that Jesus Christ paid for the sins of His people, out of His love for them. He suffered their punishment at the hands of God the Father. He was the propitiation.

    When God choose to regenerate a man, early or late in life, or after a murder, is God's business and God answers to no creature of His. You will answer to Him, and your blasphemous mouths will be stopped.

    I pray for all those who will read this.

    November 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  17. Qaton

    The problem with Eric G's thinking is that he only sees God as someone like a created weak little man like himself and all mankind. The questions are posed from a blind ignorance of the nature, the splendor, the majesty, the glory, and the holiness of the one true eternal creator God. Your pop psychoanalysis of the mind of an eternal, omniscient God would be funny were it not so very sad and even blasphemous.

    I can guarantee that you would give proper reverence to some 6' 8" 350 lb. hulk of a man who was angry at you for denting his car with yours. As that man stands over you in a fury ready to pound you to pulp at the slightest provocation, I guarantee that would be treading very lightly in his presence and seeking appeasement.

    Now the anger and the fury of the God I willing worship, at the God-hating rebels who proudly spout their foolishness will be unimaginably more horrific. Based upon Eric's reasoning I believe that would make him a lying hypocrite.

    And, bad news for you Eric G. "EVERY knee will bow." Yes you too will be so totally overwhelmed at the revelation of the true God at the judgment day, that you will bow.

    Believe or do not. But turning away from this innate truth is to your peril. Eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire. That is the end of you God-haters.

    My prayers are for all who will read this.

    November 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Qaton: Thank you for proving my point. I challenged your beliefs and you responded by demeaning me, threating me and calling me names. The only "innate truth" is that your arguments are childlike and lack logic. Please provide verifiable evidence to support your beliefs or stay in the shallow end of the pool while the adults talk.

      November 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I admit I'd be scared of a big guy standing in front of me ready to pound me if I don't do what he says. I might even actually do what he says.

      I am not scared of a really small man telling me there's an invisible, inaudible, intangible man standing behind me who will pound me at some undefined point in the future if I don't do what that small man tells me to do right now. No matter how angry or insulting said small man might be. Guess who the small angry man is in this scenario.

      God-haters is a silly term to apply to atheists, by the way. We have no more cause to hate god than we have to hate Frodo Baggins or Lord Voldemort.

      November 10, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  18. Eric G.

    @NL: What concerns me most about Christianity is the perception of their god. Why would you worship a being that demands your worship? Why would you follow a being that threatens you? Why would you form your actions based on the unproven repercussions of this being? If these actions are based on the belief in a jealous being with low self esteem who threatens you, can any of these actions be considered moral or ethical?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • NL

      Are you talking about God, or the leader of North Korea?

      You forgot to add that God does all these things, but claims to do it out of 'love.'

      Christianity is not about morals. If it were then the measure of a person would be their good deeds, but many Christians don't think so. They believe that worship of God alone gains salvation so, according to this system, the worse murderer in the world may still end up in heaven if he manages to accept Jesus with his dying breath. So, a complete immoral life can still get you into heaven? What kind of moral system is that?

      November 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • truth

      its one of mercy and grace everyone has sinned, the murr and the liar, and jesus died for them all and god has forgiven them all if they belive and recieve it. the blood of the son of god is greater then mur and the biblea moral system its a gospel and a covenant that says we cant meet gods standard but jesus did, so everyone can be forgiven of anything if they recieve it form jesus od doesnt say just cause u murdered your excluded to god sin is sin, the only difference is the level of boundary you break ad the consequence in this life, a liar gets a small consequence a murder will in this reap judgement, but to after this life god sees as we a sinned, jesus paid it all and he forgives everyone who believes in jesus for an they did

      November 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  19. somedude

    Nothing new really. The Romans had this, The Greeks had this, Darwin came up with natural selection. Just another view that bashes religion or Christianity. Again nothing new at all.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • NL

      Have you ever considered that the reason why so many people throughout the ages have taken issue with Christian beliefs is because they have some genuine concerns? Just asking.

      November 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Here's something new: You will die. Guaranteed to be a new thing for you personally. Your soul shakes at the thought of death.
      God is going to kill you for things you never did and have no control over. Bad news for you. Sorry.

      November 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @somedude:I think I missed something... how does natural selection bash religion? There's a lack of logic somewhere in that statement...

      November 10, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • NL

      The Romans actually called the Christians athiests because of their refusal to also worship the 'official' gods. Christians are actually about 99.999% athiest, so we have a lot more in common than you may believe.

      November 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  20. Florence

    'We're calling it like it is," Speckhardt said. "It's quite obvious that the Bible contains horrific material – and the Quran – and to say you get your morality from there" is problematic.

    -What's problematic about it? I can't speak for the Quran. But nowhere in the Bible are people commanded to do horrific things.

    '"We're targeting for criticism those who read the Bible literally, not those who pick and choose what they like," he said. "We're telling (people who pick and choose), 'You're more like us.' Biblical literalists and Quranic literalists are holding us back.'

    --Sorry to disapoint you. But I am not like you at all. I do my research and I know what I am talking about before I open my mouth. Just because there are records of violence and attrocities in the Bible. Does not mean we are ordered act on it. This is one of the reasons I love being and remain a Christian. I am yet to hear anything from an atheist/agnostic that does not sound like tripe or strawmaning,

    November 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • MadPanda

      Why don’t you have faith in Islam? Hinduism? Judaism? Greek mythology? In other words, what is different about Christianity?

      NO CIRCULAR ARGUMENTS please. I am willing to bet that you are a Christian because you were born and indoctrinated like the rest. Can you prove me wrong?

      November 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      When argunig for the ultimate authority you must use a circular argument. Non believrs to.

      What do you think the ultimate authority is rationalism? Explain it with out using a rational argument.

      Empiricism? Explain without appealing to sensory or experience?

      Marxism and so on.

      November 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Megatron

      Florence said: What's problematic about it? I can't speak for the Quran. But nowhere in the Bible are people commanded to do horrific things.


      gasp, pant, wheeze.


      November 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • Megatron

      @Mike You asked "What do you think the ultimate authority is rationalism?"

      Who says there needs to be an ultimate authority? Why can't we make decisions for ourselves based on the world the majority want to live in?

      November 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practised? If they had had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair?

      Same question if we allow you to make "decisions for ourselves" then we can not call your decision fair or unfair if there is no standard to appeal to.

      Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football.

      November 10, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • NL

      "What's problematic about it? I can't speak for the Quran. But nowhere in the Bible are people commanded to do horrific things."

      Ask the Amorites that question! Can't find any to ask? Read your bible to find out why.

      November 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Megatron

      @Mike The fact that there are societies that think stoning of women is acceptable totally blows your unifying moral code idea out of the water.

      November 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • MadPanda

      Right and wrong are defined by society (though there are grey areas). Our ability to understand what is right and wrong was provided by evolution because it would offer an advantage. No high authority or circular argument needed. Why does there have to be a set of unchanging rules? The "rules" that define right and wrong are different all over our globe. More so when you look back, way back, in time.

      Just curious, the Bonobo monkeys have a set of understood morals within their "societies". Did Jesus die for their sins too? Or can some highly evolved social animals simply have morals? I know which answer makes more sense and it doesn’t involve a magical philosopher named Jesus.

      November 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Mega (and Mad),
      Your arguements prove the fact that there is a ultimate Right.

      Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practised? If they had had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair?

      using the stoning example or (The "rules" that define right and wrong are different all over our globe. ) how can you be appauled... to what standard do you use to condem their actions? How can you blame them if there is no right or wrong? Just because, most all of us don't follow the right does not mean it does not exist. Just as some people are color-blind or have no ear for a tune.

      You are confusing acceptance for morality.

      November 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • MadPanda

      I reject that there has to be an ultimate right from what was said.

      We could have still blamed the Nazis for not adhering to our definition of what was right. Though I believe it was also their definition at the time. Hitler simply challenged it.

      We blame the stonings for not adhering to our definition of right.

      Our current definition of what is right does, however, have a lot to do with Christianity. That is just the way history played out.-A history in which our societal definition of right and wrong was shaped by Christianity and the bible. Christianity and the bible were shaped by previous ideas. This definition is logically sound, most but not all, of the time.

      If desired, we can logically derive the idea of "that which is better for the greatest number" is right. This does not always agree with the definitions of right provided by Christianity. This is just a simple variation in our understanding of what is right and wrong. Most societies do not use this idea for defining. In a world of only Muslim extremists, stoning would be considered right by everyone. Though, anyone outside of this world, using the logical definition of right, would disagree. It would be possible for one to make an argument as to why stoning one person or committing a holocaust would be for the greater good. In theory, if it was successful, I would have no problem with this (IN THEORY PEOPLE). It is all relative. But then again, I have come to accept my limited role and scope in this universe. It is a humbling and liberating experience.-and would be more so, if others didn’t seek to control me with their unjustified beliefs.

      Oh, what do you think about those bonobos?

      November 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • Megatron

      @Mike Nice dodging the question. You assert that there is a moral code. I have provided you an example where the actions of a society are at odds with another society. Your answer "Deep down they know it's wrong." What a weak and thoughtless statement.

      Secondly you state that without a divine law giver, humans cannot determine good from evil. This is incorrect. You see humans can categorize good and evil acts based on certain key components. For example, if someone benefits from your action and you recieve no profit, that's generally a good action. Conversely, if you harm someone else with profit to yourself that's generally an evil action.

      We do not need a God to make these observations based on our empathy. You merely state that we do. Which leaves your argument somewhere in the "unproven" and "asinine" categories.

      November 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • civiloutside

      It's too funny! Mike, not me has just used your abhorrence at the idea of carrying out an act that his god specifically commands as an argument that you have instilled in you an objective sense of right and wrong... of which that same god is the source.

      November 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      How did I dodge your question? Would you like to restate it?
      To call it a weak statement, itself is weak.
      “For example, if someone benefits from your action and you recieve no profit, that's generally a good action. Conversely, if you harm someone else with profit to yourself that's generally an evil action.”
      This is the classic example of exactly why the moral law is exactly not what you claim.
      A man occupying the corner seat in the train because he got there first, and a
      man who slipped into it while my back was turned and removed my bag, are both equally
      inconvenient [profit for themselves]. But I blame the second man and do not blame the first.
      [Second] I am not angry—except perhaps for a moment before I come to my senses—with a man who trips me
      up by accident; I am angry with a man who tries to trip me up even if he does not succeed [does not profit]. Yet the first
      has hurt me and the second has not. Sometimes the behaviour which I call bad is not inconvenient to
      me at all, but the very opposite.

      Civiloutside if you really understood the comment you would not have credited to me but to the source.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:58 am |
    • civilioutside

      The only thing I credited you for was a hilariously self-contradicting argument. But I see, now, that I could have misinterpreted your comment. Since your wording is ambiguous, I suppose it could be interpreted to mean that you do, in fact, support stoning women to death as an appropriate punishment for getting ra-ped and believe people are wrong to be appalled by it. In which case the argument is no longer self-contradictory.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:51 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.