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January 21st, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn't offend

Ricky Gervais tells CNN's Piers Morgan why he's an atheist, and why his jokes about God shouldn't offend believers.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • TV

soundoff (486 Responses)
  1. God

    Actually, I really like Ricky. Cheers.

    January 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Ben

      So you won't send him to he-ll? Yay!

      January 22, 2011 at 5:56 am |
  2. Muneef

    Well no one enjoys jokes about Holy things such as God,Prophets&Messengers of God nor on Angels or Holy Books...
    These things are a limit to us Muslims not to joke with at all although some do but not openly in public...by saying such things could become unfavorable results with Sharia law or by extremes taking it into their hands to make you pay for it with your life... But honestly do not enjoy that out of respect and fear from God rather than fear from Sharia or extremists.
    I believe that enjoying saying or listening to such things would only turn every thing against you even nature you would find to do...

    January 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • airwx

      Muneef..

      Peace be with you
      I understand your faith enough to know how revered you Holy Book is to you. As a Christian Minister I do something you would go freaky over.... When people stop reading the Bible, I take the biggest one I can, throw it on the floor and jump up on it. (Please don't faint) in front of them in church. It is to prove a point, that i am standing on the promises of God....literally. Our beliefs mean nothing if we cannot forgive them for something like a joke.

      January 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Muneef

      airwx.
      We may ignore hearing their tales but as to forgiveness is only granted by God and not even by man of God...!?

      January 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      airwx.

      You have Handled and Treated your Holy Book with di-sresp-ect and told as well that your anc-est-ors who became out of the total Sons of Irael,those did by many means di-sresp-ected and mi-sha-ndled their Holy Books and that what made it become today far from being complete or explainable vision of religion considered as a Heavenly religion ?! And only that has caused many of yours to become agnostic or atheists into disbelief of God Existence ?! Not only by followers but as well in to Men of God sinning by the most hated by God (ad-ult-ery ho-mog-ene-ous or opposite) Flesh to flesh with other than your legitimate or with out any leg-itim-acy..

      Now as to the latest Holy Book that came in the pure Arabic language and which maintained the purity of the Arabic language which came as inspirations to one man and not just to any man if you read the biography of his father and how many heads of camels were sla-ugh-ter-ed for God sake to cure him and keep him alive before marriage and then comes the biography of the Son who changed the face of earth with by the miracle of the Holy Truth The Quran which was the Forqan which means Purified and segregated between false and the truth as to what is said and done, when what should have been said and done as should have been in the ealiar Holy Scriptures.
      As to the latest miracle it came on an Abrahamic believer of God when became to him where was memorized first and written later by who can write and read and that how it was spread and transported to area by trade and pilgrimage seasons by who can and can't read. This Holy Book is written on it To be Touched accept by those in ablutions.. And on these basis respected and honored by True Muslims. Although admit that i have only through this net to become to know that the Explainations and  Translations made by man has just made it become to have the same faith of the earlier Holy Books but in a different ways it will continue to divid endlessly , because man became to follow the man of God or of Satan blindly with out knowldge or personal opinion or freedom of rejection, here man has if not worshipped those ,he would make of them as partners to God !?
      All three or more Religions all struck by a virus called endless Greed of Man driven by a Promised Evil that would only have power on those far from herds that look upon their Lord in Heavens and on Earth those who become the victims of Evil and vic-tim-ize others empowering faiths to stray Evil. Only who were as good ones and in good deeds will end in paradise basis their goodwill and intentions towards God towards God's Creations, all will be taken into account where you become an open book and where all unjust you made or made to you as humans or non humans will be questioned and repaid for you or against you.
      Peace to you and thanks for asking..

      January 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      ‘You said, ‘…as should have been in the ealiar Holy Scriptures’.

      Are you talking about the Holy Bible? The Holy Bible is not lacking and to say so is to say that ‘God left something ‘out’ accidently and so it had to come forth later. No, God is true and complete in His Word to us. He does not make mistakes…only man is capable of doing that. To think that God made a mistake and so had to send another person to ‘fix’ things up for the world is wrong thinking.

      Jesus Christ promised the Paraclete to His Church who would bring us into the fullness of Truth as we could bear it and this is the only way we are to receive it.

      You are right in saying throwing the Bible down and stepping on it is wrong. To show that ‘you stand on the promises of God’ one should hold the Word above ALL else.

      January 23, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Muneef

      Dear CatholicMom.

      The Holy Scriptures came in lots;
      First was the Torah to Moses PBUH.
      Second was the Zabour which came to King David PBUH.
      Thired was the Angeel which came down to Jesus PBUH.
      Fourth was the Quran which came down to Muhammed SAW.

      It was not because God forgot or was not Complete but that time people were not ready and had to come in lots towards perfection...but during such time Explainations and Translations has played a major rule in straying from the path of righteous. Hope I was clear that no intentions were made to underestimate God perfection...!

      January 23, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,
      Jesus used the Old Testament while he walked the earth. After Jesus Christ's crucifixion and ascension into Heaven, His Church compiled the Bible….which consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament; the New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. The Paraclete brings fullness of Truth to His Church as we can bear it, as Jesus Christ promised.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,
      No where does the Church or the Bible tells us that further Holy Scripture will come to us as in 'lots'.

      January 24, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  3. G

    I thought he provided a very good point that one does not need religion to be a good person, but I don't think he really answered the question he was asked that was why his joke wasn't supposed to be offensive. He implied many people are stupid in the way he said his joke. Does that mean its not funny, no (not my humor personally, but some really like it). I wish he would have answered the original question of why his joke wasn't mean spiritied instead of just saying what he wanted.

    January 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path. (213).

    One Nation, One God Religion but mankind has divided it to many and each claims to be the righteous among all. Seems they will be more and more divided to no end until the day Kindom of God is established on Earth....
    Divided in to many faiths,the divided in to branches of each faith,then divided as sub branches for each branches of a major faith...
    http://focusonjerusalem.com/majorbranchesofislam.html

    January 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      An example of one major faith and how it is divided among it's followers... And could be only one or more of those sub branches are making all the trouble in the world towards which seems all Muslims have to suffer...?!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_schools_and_branches

      January 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Don

      Is there some reason you have some compulsion to spew your nonsense all over this blog?

      January 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      Result of which was decided to be discussed openly.
      Baroness Warsi: "Anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry is quite openly discussed"
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12235237

      January 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      You said, ‘Seems they will be more and more divided to no end until the day Kindom of God is established on Earth....

      The Church that Jesus Christ founded is His Kingdom on earth….so that God’s will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. There, where the Holy Sacraments are present…there, where we renew our faith daily…there, where grace upon grace is bestowed upon God’s children for the journey we all are on…this is what has been given us out of Love….His Church, the House of God, the Catholic Church, the pillar and foundation of Truth.

      January 24, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  5. im_nice

    (posted again after editing to correct the tenses ...)

    heh..so an atheist is saying that "he believes in being good to people because he wants to..'

    And (some) christians on the forum are saying that "he will burn in hell for eternity"

    ..and the former is supposed to be punished by God ? V Strange!

    January 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • airwx

      Please do not judge all christians by the actions of some. It is not a christian's place to judge someone, regardless of the reason. At the same time it is imperitive that atheists realize that rule cuts both ways....Even if you don't accept the source, choose to forgive.

      January 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  6. im_nice

    heh..so an atheist is saying that "he believes in being good to people because I want to..'

    And (some) christians on the forum are saying that "he will burn in hell for eternity"

    ..and the former is supposed to be punished by God ? V Strange! 🙂

    January 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  7. Matt

    Ricky really hasn't thought it through. He sounds like me when I was 14.

    January 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  8. Galacdavis

    I agree! This is why! http://galacdavis.tumblr.com/post/2862710962/hostme

    January 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    C.W. –

    As a Christian I do worry when folks come right out and declare with an apparent glee to throw around the term that another is "going to ...."

    Yes, we can say we will be saddened but in some ways I think that is not being totally truthful. In some ways I think Judgment day might mess a lot of the faithful up because of how angry and upset they will be when someone or some group that they did not think was going to receive God's grace of an eternal afterlife receives it. You talk of how we think the atheist might not make it, imagine how shocked some of us might be when we are in Heaven's orientation and sitting to the left of us is a Muslim and to the right is a Jew, or even a Sheik. I hear more fighting within the faiths that on let alone all Christians not totally lockstep in our beliefs but just between other folks of faith.

    I say this because recently I hear Muslims saying it about us Non-Muslims and I have, throughout my life, heard one denomination saying it about another. I can't wait until the ones from the Protestants and Catholics from Ireland get to judgement day. The thing is that we as the faithful need to be very careful because going around saying this person or that person is going to burn. Sure to be sitting here there is some temple, mosque or church that is saying the same thing to me. This is why I just worry about my path to God. Just as a simple traveler on a road. If you want to walk my path then ok, if you do not I can not waste too much time hoot and hollering about your or anyone's choice.

    Truthfully I do not want anyone to burn, I want them to find their way to God. Reality, claims he is a agnostic. If he believes there is something there then cool, I can't waste that much of my time on it.

    But try this. I have spoken with a few agnostics and some say they feel something is out there but they can not or will not define that. What if that is enough... C.W. could you handle it at Judgment day if Reality made it to Heaven?

    January 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • airwx

      When I signed on as a christian, it included a simple 11th, Love thy neighbor. There were no "if's" in that commandment. That meant everybody. I was also commanded to not judge antone; it isn't my job. I minister to all, without prejudice. From what I hear in your words you have similar thoughts.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • CW

      @ Mark from middle river,

      I like your post....make no mistake about it...no one..not me or anyone knows who is going to heaven or he-l-l but I do know this....you can't get to heaven unless you do believe John 3:16.

      Further I would say that all the people you address...a muslim....and the like...I don't know everything but In the Bible it does give imagery of what our walk with God has to be....and what your saying that it is possible for lukewarm christian to get to heaven?...and would I be okay with that?...that isn't my decision anyway but....I say that unless our Bible's are way wrong....I don't see how that could occur.

      Keep drawing closer to him....I encourage all to do the same.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  10. airwx

    As a christian, I find the arguements on both sides to be lacking. To quote scripture to an atheist shows a lack of understanding. These are not dumb people. From the atheist side, I find the arguements as full of circular logic as I've ever seen. Consider this concept. Atheists disbeleive the bible because it contains data they can neither prove nor disprove. They cause dissonounce to a christian's thinking because, frankly, nothing in the bible is supposed to be logical, while logic is the foundation of atheist thinking. There are several schools of thought concerning the "evolution" of human thinking and how, as we get "smarter", we think we need a "g od" less than our ancestors. I submit for your consideration that Steven Hawkings, as smart as he is, even after saying he can make something from nothing, has to admit that he would need pre-existing gravity to create a big-bang. Something will always have to pre-exist. And we still haven't figured out gravity. Choose what you will, but I'll take faith in knowing over not knowing anyday.

    January 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @airwx

      In one sense you are correct.

      However, when you said...

      ... "Choose what you will, but I'll take faith in knowing over not knowing anyday."

      Since you have already discussed circular logic and other reasons... then it seems that there truly is 'no way' to in fact, *actually know.* yes, ...?

      When you used the word 'faith'... and then tried to claim it as if you *know* as in... it is somehow a true 'fact' in 'absolute reality' you have just destroyed your own argument.

      Faith, is a belief in something without evidence, yes...? A belief is just that... a belief, it is certainly not = to absolute fact.

      Attempting to claim 'beliefs as facts=to your 'knowing' is not a very solid argument, yes...? Not to mention intellectually dishonest, and a misuse of logic.

      Don't get me wrong here... I am an agnostic, which means... you very well 'may' be right in your beliefs. But, we can't say beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are in fact accurate in your beliefs.

      Peace...

      January 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Peace to All

      I said "I" take faith in knowing...I do not claim to have all the answers. I am not claiming anything as a fact to anyone but myself; because you have not had my experiences you would not have my perceptions of life. Intellectually dishonest, no. I present this as a discussion to invoke the thoughts of others. If you knew me better, then you would know that I preach that faith isn't supposed to be logical to our human brain. If you live by logic, then I can understand your position much better. I choose to live outside the bounds of logic.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • sealchan

      @Peace2All

      Since faith seems itself to be circular, I say the only reason then we need faith is because it has performed some useful work in our lives. That is what one's testimony should explain. Of course, an atheist will say that they can rather believe that there is some scientific, rational explanation. To that the believer needs only reply, "Oh, really? I did not know that." It doesn't change the truth value of one's faith one bit.

      The biggest problem for me is when one uses faith to give up the idea that one needs to learn more (about some topic, about some person, etc). Faith uses to actively prevent learning is the sin of wilful ignorance. At least I think that is a Buddhist sin!

      January 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • airwx

      @Sealchan...agreed

      Buddhist sin or not, it is stupid to stop learning.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Maybe

      airwx,

      "I choose to live outside the bounds of logic."

      Then you must believe that everything and anything is possible. You would not limit yourself to Christianity.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • airwx

      I do not exclude any possibility. I act on what I have experienced. Logic excludes anything that it doesn'y understand.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @airwx

      My apologies, as possibly I may have misunderstood you when you said:

      ..."I'll take faith in knowing over not knowing anyday"

      I now ask, what specifically and exactly do 'you know' by your 'faith'...? Because, nowhere did I suggest that you were claiming..."to have all the answers."

      You also said: "I am not claiming anything as a fact to anyone but myself;"

      And, again, what specifically and exactly are you 'claiming as (fact) to no one else but...'yourself'...? Given the already stated 'belief' system that you are a Christian, then that would frame the context within which you were making those statements.

      -airwx, my point being is that I am not suggesting that you be constrained by logic nor have your beliefs.

      However... my point, yet again is... You seem to be making claims that are in the realm of ..."faith" as if... they are "absolute facts" regardless if you are attempting to make them to yourself.

      Using yourself, no matter what your personal perceptions, are just that... perceptions by which you make 'interpretations' concerning your perceptions. That is subjective experience that you encode and give meaning to..... but it is not objective fact.

      Peace...

      January 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @sealchan

      I have no problem with your 'faith,' as obviously it provides value for you...whatever that may be.

      I was just making a point that we shouldn't confuse the concept of 'faith' or 'belief' with *facts* They are totally different concepts, especially when it comes into the arena of a God, or Satan, or 'you must believe in Jesus' or... after you die, God will send you to Hell, kind of thing.

      So, I am happy that whatever 'faith' that you choose to follow adds some value to your life.

      And, yes... I also agree about learning and faith. Sometimes some people can become very closed minded once they have decided that 'they know' the truth about God, etc... Then, the learning process stops.

      I am an insatiable learner... and have tremendous awe of life and the universe.

      Peace...

      January 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  11. Cate

    I don't see how you can think athiest's have a choice in believing or not. It's just the way we are, our brains do not see the logic and are incapable of accepting what we believe to be nonsense people tell themselves to feel better. You say I can choose, but really I'd just be choosing to pretend and what good is that?

    January 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  12. Cate

    Wow CW, your reply for me is completely useless. Why do you think telling athiests to go look at the bible for your argument's evidence is a good response? I believe in logical arguments, I discourage people from referencing fictional books to try to make a point.

    January 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  13. Staceyann Dolenti

    fyi ~ most English people are atheist.

    January 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Anglican

      Not so. Last census revealed 70 percent Brits still call themselves Christian, though only 10 percent go to Church.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • NL

      Anglican-
      Of the odd 80% of Americans who call themselves Christian what percent do you think actually go to church? Point is, these non-church goers have basically stopped taking their Christianity seriously, and don't practice it very much. That makes them essentially 'non-religious', somewhere in between active Christians and atheists, right?

      January 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  14. Perry

    Hopefully athiests, and anyone else that doubts the existence os God or which faith is the true faith will understand someday. Everyone has a free will and a choice to make. Nobody can force a person to accept Jesus to be saved, it has to come from the heart. Christians that go around pointing fingers saying you are going to hell etc, don't stand for Christianity to begin with. God is love. But with that love, We Christians (yes I am one) comes a emotional responsibility to present the gospel (meaning good news) to the people of the world. Judging is NOT our duty, but God's. We are called to live a sinless life and be an example to others. Unfortunately, not all Christians do this. Ricky has his views on things (which doesn't mean he is right) and he has the freedom to do so. Christians have the right to preach the gospel in love and leave it to the person to accept or reject Christ. Christians cannot play Holy Spirit. As a Christian we know that the choice is made here on earthj and if someone rejects Jesus, then there is no hope after they die. I have people in my family that are gay and they still know I love them and I pray for them. I don't ever tell them they are going to hell. That wont get them to accept Jesus at all but get mad at Him and me as well. The choice is yours..take care everyone!

    January 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "I have people in my family that are gay and they still know I love them and I pray for them. I don't ever tell them they are going to hell. That wont get them to accept Jesus at all but get mad at Him and me as well."

      I love the casual assumption of: gay = not Christian and going to hell.

      January 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      I don't get it, are you saying that it is okay to be gay and be in church with your gay spouse and Jesus will be cool with it?

      January 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • sealchan

      If we are called upon to lead a sinless life then, having achieved such a goal, would we need Jesus?

      Can someone who accepts how God has made them be considered to have automatically rejected Jesus or God for having done so?

      And those people in your family who know that you "still love them", do they also "still love you"? Do you know if that is how they feel about you?

      January 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Bob

      > Everyone has a free will and a choice to make

      If you believe in the bible you cannot believe in free will. It's impossible. Perhaps you should think about what the bible says about God.

      When Jesus said to Peter "You will deny me three times before the rooster crows". Peter was unable to choose differently.

      January 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Anglican

      Bob.. That was a prediction, not an instruction (Jesus and peter). Christians are sinners, a result of free will. You make no sense.

      January 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Bob

      Your comment is based on a common misconception of g od. His knowing what will happen is not based on him requiring it to happen, but is known to g od because time does not relate to anyone but us. He is at the beginning of our time, here now, at the end of time, and everywhere in between simultaniously. Once you remove the human imposed limits on g od, things become much easier to grasp.

      January 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • sealchan

      If a Christian says that everyone has a right to choose and has free will and that God has given them this and then says that if you do not choose something you will suffer for eternity, then they do not understand what they say.

      There are three types of people: those who have seen Heck and so have turned to God for their salvation, those who have seen Heck and have turned to themselves for their salvation and those who have not seen Heck at all. The first two have made a choice, but the third has not. For the third type of person, Heck is inevitable.

      January 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Bob

      You seem to be locked on to Calvinist theology....there are others.

      January 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Sealchan

      You left out one other catagory..those who have had a personal expeience with g od

      January 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • sealchan

      @airwx

      Actually the first two types I would say have had a personal experience of God. I am a type 2 believer.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Maybe

      airwx,

      "Once you remove the human imposed limits on g od, things become much easier to grasp."

      So, once you remove reason and logic - and reality itself - anything is possible? You can say *anything* that you can imagine... from invisible blue unicorns to leprechauns to dancing fairies are true then.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Don

      airwx, you fail to recall that christians believe that god created everything as well as knows everything. Put those two together and there's no free will.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Maybe

      Sorry, got called away and missed your reply. What I am saying is that I do not discount the reality of our feeble human minds not having all the answers. Logic to early man said the sun revolved around the earth. Logic today is different. Until logic has all the answers, I can't ignore the fact that I don't.

      January 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Don

      Logic did not say that the sun revolved around the earth, airwx. Logic is a tool for identifying correct and incorrect reasoning.

      And that you don't have all the answers doesn't mean you don't have any answers.

      January 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • airwx

      It was very logical for early man to believe the sun revolved around the earth based on the reasoning of the time. Today we seek answers to such questions as why the outer regions of our universe are apparently violating our neat little laws of physics and moving away from the center of the universe faster than the speed of light and are accelerating for no known reason. Therefore I posit an hypothesis...the acceleration is caused by our universe being on the event horizon of the mother of all black holes. Is that logical?

      January 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Don

      No airwx, it was based on faulty premises. As to your posit: it's simply unsupported.

      January 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Maybe,
      "...invisible blue unicorns..."
      It's invisible pink unicorns, http://www.invisiblepinkunicorn.com. Invisible blue unicorns would just be silly.

      Ramen

      January 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  15. Peace2All

    Quite frankly, I enjoyed the interview with Ricky, and... I don't find anything wrong nor disrespectful in ...'anything' he said.

    He does good for the sake of doing good and it is the right thing to do. No religion mandate from a deity required.

    And one of the main differences I see, is that he is 'not' trying to impose nor proselytize his atheistic views on everyone else.

    He just doesn't care what others believe, nor is he putting people down for them.

    In contrast to the religious zealots who seem to not only proselytize, but attempt to impose their beliefs on everyone–in Government, Legal System, School Systems, Science, etc... THAT is a big difference.

    Personally, I enjoyed the interview and Ricky's philosophy.

    And...I'm not sure what the big issue is being made by the believers on this topic...?

    Peace...

    January 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  16. Meg

    I am a Christian, but I don't hate atheists for not believing, nor do I hate those who believe in other religions or tell them they're wrong. I can respect others' opinons, no matter how varied they are from mine.
    Also, to say one should believe in God "just in case" is not being a Christian. I don't know where you're getting this idea from, but I certainly hope you don't think you will actually go to heaven believing that.

    January 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Meg

      In essence, what I, and others called -Rob on is something from Philosophy called "Pascal's Wager." From the philosopher Blaise Pascal. It is often used by Christians as a 'reason' to believe...'just in case' as I stated in my posting above. When in actuality, there could be a multi-tude of many different scenarios that could happen...'IF' .... there should be a life after death, which of course does include the Christian -judegement/hell/heaven scenario.

      I'm not a Christian, nor a believer in that respect, but just seems to me like a 'silly' reason to believe in something, 'just in case' on the threat of posthumous eternal damnation.

      Peace...

      January 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  17. beachgirl

    Reality,

    My apologies. In making that statement I meant to convey that those embellishments and/or myths are supposed to be the examples by which the followers are to govern themselves. Thus, by doing the opposite, they are not living up to the Christ they claim to worship. Does that make sense?

    January 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  18. bwydeman

    It's not his fought that he doesint believe in God . I'm not shock of the jokes he makes against God. When Jesus was on this earth he was rejected, spat upon, laughed at, ridiculed and so much more. The bible says For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Jesus died for the nonbelievers and the proud so they can to, have a chance to repent and be changed by Jesus. God says that he winks at ignorance and he also says in Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. God is always showing his grace and mercy to us to show people to believe there is a God he doesin't show any favoritism to any of his children he loves them all. We all fallen short of his glory and God wants to restore us back to him, to be ready for His kingdom to come to whomever believes. We are living in the last days were people are scoffers of the bible. Instead of judging him pray for him that God will show him that he is God, a merciful God. God bless to the atheist and everybody else If you want to know your loving Saviour give him a chance check out this website called http://www.amazingfacts.org or check out this study for encouragement http://www.amazingfacts.org/FreeStuff/BibleStudies/StudyGuides/tabid/105/ctl/ViewMedia/mid/453/IID/2-1/LNG/en/SC/R/Default.aspx?7=Is-There-Anything-Left-You-Can-Trust?

    January 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Maybe

      And to be even more fully informed, one must also check out EvilBible (dot) com

      January 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  19. Rob

    It is better to live like God exists and find out He doesn't, then to live like He doesn't exist and find out He does...
    Atheists are extreme gamblers with their very souls as the wager.

    January 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rob

      Pascal's wager' has been trotted out way too many times by the believers. In essence, it is 'believing....just in case.'

      There could be countless scenarios, should there be a 'life after death' other than the narrowly defined Christian version...i.e.. hell for unbelievers, etc...

      Not too great a way to think and live, in my opinion of course.

      Peace...

      January 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Luke

      Your argument assumes the existance of a soul.

      January 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Rob

      Sorry, just simplifying..it doesn't really matter what us prideful humans think. God is, was and will always be.
      Rationalizing Him away with lofty thoughts, excuses and such doesn't matter either.
      Just saying, one way or another, we will find out the truth. It will either be joyful, or not.
      Some of us can simply look into our children's eyes and know God exists. Some have to reach a point of desparation and figure out, "Whoa, I'm not in charge." Others, no matter what, will hold onto the assumption that the world revolves around them, worshiping the creations (i.e. self, money, power, whatever) and not The Creator.
      Good luck...

      January 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Rob: Why do I have to "worship" anything? And why does someone have to be "in charge" of everything. I'm confused.

      January 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Nonimus

      It's pretty easy for an Atheist to wager something that s/he doesn't think exists anyway. If you don't believe me I'll bet you my $3 bill that I'm right.

      January 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For $30, The Church of the Subgenius offers eternal salvation or triple your money back! That seems like a good gamble...

      January 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • ijreilly

      That's an extremely silly point. You don't think an omnipotent being would know you were just playing the odds as to opposed to ACTUALLY believing it?

      January 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Luke

      Rob – What original thoughts! I'm convinced.

      January 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Don

      Praise "Bob"! Let there be SLACK!

      January 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Rob, there a couple fundamental assumptions I'm your characterization of atheists that ate so entirely wrong that they cannot help but distort your judgment.

      First: that we believe that we're in charge. We don't. The first thing to understand about atheists is that we fundamentally believe that there is nobody in charge of the universe.

      Second: that we worship anything. We don't. That's pretty much what being an atheist means.

      You seem to be so wrapped up in a theistic worldview – which requires a being to be in ultimate control and posits objects of worship – that you don't seem capable of even imagining that people can hold worldviews that include neither of those things.

      January 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Rob

      Like I said...good luck!

      January 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  20. beachgirl

    CW,

    All the answers for you may in the Bible.

    However, many of us realize that the Bible is a compilation of the writings of mortal men. (None of which were actually around in Jesus' time, mind you). The Emperor Constantine, in 315 AD gathered a group of mortal men with the aim of creating the Christian canon in order to unify the Eastern and Western parts of the Roman Empire. The writings that were included were selected, again, by mortal men. MANY other writings were specifically EXcluded. Where is the divinity in that?

    Besides, you can use different verses of the Bible to back up almost any point of view, can you not?

    Additionally, people that purport to be such good Christians but then spew such hate really need to examine the life of Jesus. Ask yourself, "what would Jesus do?" Is this not the man that lived with lepers, clothed the naked, fed the poor, etc? None of these actions seem to filled with hate and damnation.

    Education is a wonderful thing...LIVE AND LET LIVE!

    January 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I'm pretty sure "CW" isn't a real person, but a caricature. At least, his/her posts read that way.

      January 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Reality

      ":Is this not the man that lived with lepers, clothed the naked, fed the poor, etc?" Based on contemporary and thorough reviews of all the scriptures, no it was not since most of the things attributed to the illiterate, simple, preacher man were embellishments or myths.

      January 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Sorry but Jesus himself quoted from Isaiah, while teaching in the temple!

      January 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Your are correct in the sense that there was not a completed book! That happened much later but the Old Testament was taught during the time of Jesus!

      January 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • beachgirl

      Steve the real one...I realize about the Old Testament as Jesus lived his life as a Jewish man...I was referring to the New Testament...thanks!

      January 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      My bad! You are correct though the NT (Still inspired by God) was compiled after written after Jesus!

      January 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Jesus "teaching in the Temple" passages get a "thumbs down" from many contemporary NT experts:

      e.g. Mark 11: 27-33

      From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus, 2000 After Years:

      "The historical value of the pericope is as a whole nil. The section in its entirety goes back to Mark."c

      January 22, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Reality
      Jesus "teaching in the Temple" passages get a "thumbs down" from many contemporary NT experts:
      --------–
      I'd by lying if I told you I was surprised your sources disagreed. Reality, you are getting too predictable, my friend!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Anglican

      Steve. The Real One. Reality quotes finding, and commentaries of finding of the Jesus Seminars. These are theories and proposals, but not facts. I wish Reality would read Wright.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Reality

      Bishop NT Wright is an Anglican bishop so his conclusions are predictable. Please note his books are referenced by most contemporary biblical scholars.

      To wit: A typical list of references:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."

      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html

      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm

      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database

      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html

      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.

      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.

      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      January 24, 2011 at 12:36 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.