home
RSS
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. Peace2All

    @Brandy bucktook

    Hi Brandy...

    You Said: "He said he believes in being good to other people. Yet on the other hand jokes about GOD."

    In my view, being 'good' to others, really has no real relationship to making a joke about God. He is a 'comedian', yes...? To comedians, usually 'no one' is off limits, including the Almighty. And my guess, is that God can take it... heck, He/She/It may have helped invent humor. There are Christian comedians, who make fun of 'God' too, as well as the 'godless' atheists.

    Point being... you are acting as if somehow 1)being good to others...and...2) joking about God, have some relevant connection. Maybe they do...? I am curious to hear your views.

    You Said: "If I'm only good to my friends and rude to people who are not my friends, am I then not good to other people? I'm tired of athiest's saying all you have to do is be good to your neighbor and you are a good person. I think you are really living below your pontential to really love people. To really make a sacrifice in your life to get to know a stranger and provide a service to a stranger."

    Maybe i missed something, but I'm not sure where 'rudeness' came into play here. Was it in the article or interview...? But, certainly being 'rude' in general, would not be very culturally p.c. As for Ricky's atheism, I don't believe that he is trying to 'offend' by having his views.

    As for atheists/agnostics, seems like your sentence is assuming that is what all atheists think or believe...? There are many tireless atheists/agnostics who give lovingly of their time, money and generosity of heart.

    And, they do it without belief in God. Not saying that they are better or worse. But, they can and do give just as much as believers. They are just not as organized nor will you find out that 'atheists of america' donated such and such. At least not yet anyway. Maybe there is/are groups out there that post their donations...?

    You Said: "I'm sure he has made sacrifices in his life, only the sacrifices were a selfish purpose to promote himself. He sounds like an extremely ungrateful individual. I feel bad for him."

    Many, many people find Ricky Gervais extremely funny. The gift of humor and making someone laugh, especially on the world platform that he has, is I believe, truly a gift. One that he seems to utilize to make the world a bit 'brighter' with more smiles.

    And... not sure how you think he 'sounds like he is extremely ungrateful'...?

    Anyways, just some thoughts.

    Peace...

    January 24, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Peace2All

      *Sorry... double post.

      Peace...

      January 24, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      It's late – tough on the ol' concentration. Congrats on all the lovely compliments.

      January 24, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Let Us Prey

      Yes... agreed, it is getting late and hard on the ol' concentration.

      -Thank You for your compliment.

      Hope that you are well...?

      Peace...

      January 24, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      Well enough, thx.

      It seems you've come a long way since last Fall.

      January 24, 2011 at 2:22 am |
  2. Brandy bucktook

    He said he believes in being good to other people. Yet on the other hand jokes about GOD. What is being good to other people mean? If I'm only good to my friends and rude to people who are not my friends, am I then not good to other people? I'm tired of athiest's saying all you have to do is be good to your neighbor and you are a good person. I think you are really living below your pontential to really love people. To really make a sacrifice in your life to get to know a stranger and provide a service to a stranger. I'm sure he has made sacrifices in his life, only the sacrifices were a selfish purpose to promote himself. He sounds like an extremely ungrateful individual. I feel bad for him.

    January 24, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      Please back up your assumptions with real references.I googled Ricky Gervais and it took me about 30 seconds to find a listing of charities he supports. Here is a link for you:

      http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/105-ricky-gervais

      Please make the effort to learn about people before you judge them.

      January 24, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Brandy bucktook

      Hi Brandy...

      You Said: "He said he believes in being good to other people. Yet on the other hand jokes about GOD."

      In my view, being 'good' to others, really has no real relationship to making a joke about God. He is a 'comedian', yes...? To comedians, usually 'no one' is off limits, including the Almighty. And my guess, is that God can take it... heck, He/She/It may have helped invent humor. There are Christian comedians, who make fun of 'God' too, as well as the 'godless' atheists.

      Point being... you are acting as if somehow 1)being good to others...and...2) joking about God, have some relevant connection. Maybe they do...? I am curious to hear your views.

      You Said: "If I'm only good to my friends and rude to people who are not my friends, am I then not good to other people? I'm tired of athiest's saying all you have to do is be good to your neighbor and you are a good person. I think you are really living below your pontential to really love people. To really make a sacrifice in your life to get to know a stranger and provide a service to a stranger."

      Maybe i missed something, but I'm not sure where 'rudeness' came into play here. Was it in the article or interview...? But, certainly being 'rude' in general, would not be very culturally p.c. As for Ricky's atheism, I don't believe that he is trying to 'offend' by having his views.

      As for atheists/agnostics, seems like your sentence is assuming that is what all atheists think or believe...? There are many tireless atheists/agnostics who give lovingly of their time, money and generosity of heart.

      And, they do it without belief in God. Not saying that they are better or worse. But, they can and do give just as much as believers. They are just not as organized nor will you find out that 'atheists of america' donated such and such. At least not yet anyway. Maybe there is/are groups out there that post their donations...?

      You Said: "I'm sure he has made sacrifices in his life, only the sacrifices were a selfish purpose to promote himself. He sounds like an extremely ungrateful individual. I feel bad for him."

      Many, many people find Ricky Gervais extremely funny. The gift of humor and making someone laugh, especially on the world platform that he has, is I believe, truly a gift. One that he seems to utilize to make the world a bit 'brighter' with more smiles.

      And... not sure how you think he 'sounds like he is extremely ungrateful'...?

      Anyways, just some thoughts.

      Peace...

      January 24, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    Maybe I can help somebody with this statement:

    My mistake coming on this blog was to think I had to or even could convince all the non-believers that I was right and they were wrong. They are non-believers who do the same but I cannot speak for them. Jesus NEVER forced Himself on anyone and we as believers don't have that right! All I want to do now is to in my 2 cents every now and then and see where we go from there! I will share my faith but not in a forceful manner! I apologize for past, forceful posts and will move on from here!

    January 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • me

      well put. and from the other side of the fence i don't think its the place of us (atheists) to try and convert or ridicule those who are believers in any god. i don't think thats the road to being a good person. i feel the same as ricky. i just try and be a good person because it is how people should be treated.

      January 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      I appreciate that, me!

      January 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Reality

      "Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? " T. Peters

      January 24, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Reality, ask all you please. Understand that if Christ did not rise from the dead our faith (as David Johnson would say ...is worthless) but since Christians like me believe He did rise, our fiath is not worthless. Jesus appeared before over 500 witnesses after his death. According to Jewish law facts are established out of the mouths of 2 or 3 witnesses. The requirement for fact has been established! That is more than good enough for me! I appreciate your questions although, I cannot answer them all and provide the proof you desire! I will also say the those enclyopedias you cut and paste cross my eyes! Have a little mercy, Reality! Just a little!

      January 24, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Something

      Steve,

      "Jesus appeared before over 500 witnesses after his death." Odd that Paul did not name nor interview them. How about this one from the 1970s: "More doctors prefer Camels (cigarettes)"?

      The most important, profound, earth-shaking occurrence since the beginning of time, and we get this for proof... inspired by a "God" who would know that it would not be enough?

      January 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Something

      Steve,

      "Jesus appeared before over 500 witnesses after his death." Odd that Paul did not name nor interview them. How about this one from the 1970s: "More doctors prefer Camels (cigarettes)"?
      , and we get this for proof... inspired by a "God" who would know that it would not be enough?
      -------------
      Something, I am so happy that you too recognize that the fact Jesus arose from the dead as "The most important, profound, earth-shaking occurrence since the beginning of time". In addition, nowhere did I say he ONLY appeared to the 500! Doctors prefer camels? Cool! What end would they light first? Wouldn't the hump get in the way, though? just askin'!

      January 24, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Something

      Steve,
      "Something, I am so happy that you too recognize that the fact Jesus arose from the dead as "The most important, profound, earth-shaking occurrence since the beginning of time"

      Okay, if you are that obtuse... make it : This event, ballyhooed as the most important, earth-shaking, etc...

      January 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Something

      Steve,
      "Something, I am so happy that you too recognize that the fact Jesus arose from the dead as "The most important, profound, earth-shaking occurrence since the beginning of time" Okay, if you are that obtuse... make it : This event, ballyhooed as the most important, earth-shaking, etc...
      -------–
      Obtuse, oblong, translucent, transparent! Ok! At least you didn't call me a name, or did you? lol

      January 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Muneef

     "There is a fine line between genius and insanity"

    All through history of mankind but if we will be starting by Noah when was calling upon his people as a reminder and a warner as to become into belief and repent,stop the wrong doings..those with vast interest either called him a madman or a bewitched man,they have laughed at him and only the poorest of them believed in him and followed.
    Again they laughed at him when he warned that earth would drown in waters upon the eruption of the volcano and warned that waters would be coming from all over, from unerground,over ground and pouring from the skies and that there would be no salvation for the disbelievers from drowning and that only who had  believed and had faith in the messenger would see salvation provided that they worked hard with him for it to save their lives after having saved their souls in believing the man of God the prophet and Messenger.
    Basis their  belief they had planted the right trees.served it,trained it,harvested it and made the gaint ark to carry believers and followers with all their foods,waters,animal feed and fodder. 
    He was inspired to take from each pair of animals (male and female) to take Two pairs of each pair (Domesticated animals and Wild animals) which could have been used as tools,transport or as defense ?! 
    Any way when the promised Date and Hour came after few signs for those some to be ready on the Ark for when water came pouring heavily were the Ark and Waters exceeded the highest peaks of mountains on the whole of earth as nothing was supposed to remain alive other than those saved by the Ark.. It was the day when all sweet,bore and salty waters driven by heavy winds has united forces against mankind and all creatures on earth??

    The Question here is who to blame God, prophets,messengers,
    or to blame those wrong doers for their acts that are attracting adverse reactions that they could have been saved from by repentance and work hard towards salvation ones self,followers,believers.
    The needs as meant by the example of planting ,serving,training and number of years taken between when it was inspired and when it finally took place for real. The number of years we are told Noah out lived were above 900years ?!

    We as a modern mankind do not have that much of time to live by...but at least we have the technology,tools,equipments that earlier mankind had not, the earlier man had nothing other than hugely built bodies, longer time of living and some help by heavy wild animals to serve.!? 

    But what are those trees which we need to work hard for planting,serving,training in order we can build out of the Ark of salvation from another promised days and hours that had to come before the final Day and Hour would take place that time of which is not known to any other than God.

    There are good trees and bad trees, when only good and solid generous trees are wanted for such task.... 
    Messenger told even if you were told being the final day and hour for earth and you had a plant or palm tree in hands, you are not to hesitate from planting it.!

    Now could those present religions be considered as the good right trees for building the Ark of salvation? Or maybe we should say they are the right trees but need to be serviced and trained to give the required shapes for building the Ark of salvation for those who want to be saved and work hard towards being saved and not by worship prayers only but by both hard work and worship prayers just to get the physical and spiritual strength for their patience and diligence.!?

    Sure many would laugh as did ones before them and prophets and messengers were warned not to listen to their disbelief or try to compromise the pure belief.?!
    What is required to be done to get those trees of faiths allow us to make an Ark out of them to be able to save those who believe and want to save and be saved??

    Earth is our Space Ark floating in this universe, while faiths are our trees which we should make an Ark out of for our salvation on Earth!

    Ark inside Ark and only God knows how many Arks inside Arks in this universe of the Seen and the Unseen, each lives in an orbit floating !? 

    http://www.helium.com/items/230747-the-creative-fine-line-between-genius-and-insanity

    January 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • me

      Anglican
      as far as i can tell i have done no spewing of arrogance and negativity. i was just simply pointing out that you argument could be passed either way. i have no negativity at all towards christians, or any other religious peoples for that matter. but it does seem that the christians in here have plenty of negativity for me. besides if there were no atheists in the supposed belief blog then what fun would it be. infact i would imagine there wouldn't really be any posts, unless you guys jsut wanted to simply post that you believe. oh and by the way i do have a belief, i just believe god does not exist. so can i stay and talk in the belief blog then? or is it only for believers of god? oh and which god?? is there a onlybelieversinchristiangod blog??

      January 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • me

      sorry... not sure how that ended up down here too.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Wow... Time to check the expiration date on the Doritos.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      You said, ‘….as nothing was supposed to remain alive other than those saved by the Ark…..

      The Ark was a boat built by Noah to save his family and animals from the Great Flood….which symbolizes God’s judgment on sin and His promise of provision for His people and of salvation; the Ark in the Old Testament story is a ‘type’ of the Ark of the New Testament, the Catholic Church. Noah the carpenter, built an ark of redemption. Jesus Christ the carpenter, built a Church of redemption.

      The Ark is also symbolic of where 8 were saved though water, as also Baptism, all are potentially saved through water. 1Pet 3:20-21.

      ['Type' is: A Biblical person, thing, action, event, ceremony, structure, furniture, color, or number, that prefigures an 'ant!type' of the same in the New Testament. The ‘ant!type’ is always greater than the ‘type’.]

      Hebrews 11:7, "By faith Noah, having been warned concerning things not seen as yet, prepared with pious fear an ark in which to save his household. Having thus condemned the world, he was made heir of the justice which is through faith."

      2Peter 2:5, "And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly."
      The Old Testament has a ‘type’ here…Noe, the preacher of justice….who is that in the New Testament? The Apostle Peter.

      Have you noticed other boat stories mentioned in Scripture where those in the boat are saved?

      Simon Peter had a barque:
      As Christ taught from the boat of Saint Peter, so does the Catholic Church teach the Gospel to the whole world
      from the nave of the successor of Saint Peter.

      Isaiah 54:8-17
      11…. O poor little one, tossed with the tempest,
      17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper: and every tongue that resisteth thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord, and their justice with me, saith the Lord."

      Luke 5:1-7….3… And going into one of the ships that was Simon's,

      Acts 27:13-43…31… Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers: Except these stay in the ship, you cannot be saved. Saint Paul's ship was also caught in a tempest at sea and yet all 276 who were aboard the ship were saved.

      Matthew 8:23-27….23…and when he entered into the boat, his disciples followed him: …24…And behold a great tempest arose in the sea,…26… And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?

      Part of the interior of Catholic Churches is called the 'Nave'. It is the place of worship in the Church. The word 'Nave' comes from the Latin word 'Navi' which means 'ship'. From the Latin word 'Naves' we get the plural word 'ships'.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      CatholicMom.
      Sorry to see you got the micro version better read this;

      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/nuh.htm

      January 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      Your story narrates that Allah COMMANDED of Noah…build the ship and DO NOT address Allah on behalf of those who did wrong [the disbelievers], the ones who are to drown. So Noah builds the ship, knowing full well that all disbelievers will drown but goes against the COMMAND of Allah and addresses Allah on behalf of his disbelieving son after being told not to do so!

      You have turned Noah into a non-believer otherwise he would have not addressed Allah and gone against ALLAH’S COMMAND. What little faith you give Noah. His son, according to your story, drowns anyway.

      Your story conflicts with the Noah story in the Bible which is the Word of God, the Truth.

      January 25, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Muneef

      CatolicMom.
      Not sure what you say or your debate is,therefore not sure if I need to paste the all the exact verses here with out annoying others and feel if I gave you the sura and verse number you would not bother to look,for that I will only paste a small sura in his name;

      Nooh sura 71:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Lo! We sent Noah unto his people (saying): Warn thy people ere the painful doom come unto them. (1) He said: O my people! Lo! I am a plain warner unto you (2) (Bidding you): Serve Allah and keep your duty unto Him and obey me, (3) That He may forgive you somewhat of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Lo! the term of Allah, when it cometh, cannot be delayed, if ye but knew. (4) He said: My Lord! Lo! I have called unto my people night and day (5) But all my calling doth but add to their repugnance; (6) And lo! whenever I call unto them that Thou mayst pardon them they thrust their fingers in their ears and cover themselves with their garments and persist (in their refusal) and magnify themselves in pride. (7) And lo! I have called unto them aloud, (8) And lo! I have made public proclamation unto them, and I have appealed to them in private. (9) And I have said: Seek pardon of your Lord. Lo! He was ever Forgiving. (10) He will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain, (11) And will help you with wealth and sons, and will assign unto you Gardens and will assign unto you rivers. (12) What aileth you that ye hope not toward Allah for dignity (13) When He created you by (divers) stages? (14) See ye not how Allah hath created seven heavens in harmony, (15) And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp? (16) And Allah hath caused you to grow as a growth from the earth, (17) And afterward He maketh you return thereto, and He will bring you forth again, a (new) forthbringing. (18) And Allah hath made the earth a wide expanse for you (19) That ye may thread the valley-ways thereof. (20) Noah said: My Lord! Lo! they have disobeyed me and followed one whose wealth and children increase him in naught save ruin; (21) And they have plotted a mighty plot, (22) And they have said: Forsake not your gods. Forsake not Wadd, nor Suwa', nor Yaghuth and Ya'uq and Nasr. (23) And they have led many astray, and Thou increasest the wrong-doers in naught save error. (24) Because of their sins they were drowned, then made to enter a Fire. And they found they had no helpers in place of Allah. (25) And Noah said: My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers in the land. (26) If Thou shouldst leave them, they will mislead Thy slaves and will beget none save lewd ingrates. (27) My Lord! Forgive me and my parents and him who entereth my house believing, and believing men and believing women, and increase not the wrong-doers in aught save ruin. (28).

      January 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  5. me

    first. the argument over more crimes being committed by Theists vs. Atheists i find a null point. sure one can say that the shooter in arizona did or didn't believe in god but one can never really know what, in anything he believes in. if you want to simple go by what they say then how about all those jews hitler murdered claiming to be doing the 'work of god'. my point here is that one cannot pin the horrific crimes of crazed or misled people to either theistic or atheistic beliefs. there would have to be, and surely is, way more involved in that then simply belief of not, furthermore, what about the members of the Westboro Baptist Church? sure they have not killed anyone but there not exactly on my list of people that i would think are good. are they going to be rewarded in heaven for terrorizing families of the fallen that they have absolutely not connection with whatsoever? maybe they don't matter but they are claiming belief in the same god. the very "1 out of 1000" everyone else here is talking about.

    second, i am an atheist. i don't believe in god. i have plenty of friends who do. i've even gone to church with them. the point is they know i don't believe and i know they do and we get along just fine. i don't see why other christian believers can not just be that (christian) and leave others to believe or not believe in what they choose. i don't believe in god.... meaning if there is a heaven i will not go. i'm fine with that. why can you christians just believe that there is a heaven, and that you will go, and leave the rest of us alone. do you really think that by screaming your he-llfire and brimstone passages you will force all the non believers to suddenly convert? I spend my time volunteering and teaching history and tying to help out and maybe make a difference in some starving families life. maybe if all the christians took the time they spend condemning the atheists and put that energy toward a materially beneficial cause, like volunteering at the local soup kitchen and helping send supplies to war torn regions around the world then you could really make an evident difference somewhere. i'm not saying you should not try and talk to your non-believer friends about religion. i'm simply saying that if i were you i wouldn't waste the energy needed to get all bent out of shape because someone does not believe the same as me. i could be mistaken but i think islam is the largest religion so if you think your going to convert everybody its going to be a long uphill battle. just be a christian and let atheists be atheists and we can all be good people unlike those a*sses over at westboro. i know one thing, i would be very unhappy with those guys if i was a christian, there kinda of making a mockery of it in a way.

    January 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      "do you really think that by screaming your he-llfire and brimstone passages you will force all the non believers to suddenly convert"

      As a Person on the other side I have to question do you believe all the screaming, insults and bullying come from just the faithful side of the argument?

      Or can we see more folks on all sides trying to convert those who believe differently with ridicule for some and threats of eternal.... For others?

      January 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • me

      you know... i agree. i am sure that there are atheists that try and convert others, as well as christians, muslims, buddhists, and so on. i personally don't know any atheists that do this, but who knows maybe they just don't talk to me about it. either way my comment would still stand for them as well. believe what you want and i will believe what i want and we shall find something else to do with our energy besides trying to convert everyone to what we want them to believe.

      January 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  6. Mark From Middle River

    Danny – I call you to take notice of the exchange between Neonix and Eric. Both disagreed and argued their points with much civility. Then Don came in and I guess that much respectful exchange was too much for him. Like a troll out he came and did his best to insult and ridicule Neonix into a flame war. Then when challenged the same one that cried that he was not acting " spiteful" ended with name calling.

    It is the enemy of rational and mutual respectful dialouge will always be folks such as Don. They exist on all sides of these discussions and about 80% of the exchanges on the belief blog. What is great is that every so often decent exchanges do happen and it does give hope.

    Eric and Neonix, while I stand more with Neonix I did enjoy reading both of guys post today.

    Don, let this African American "bubba" tell you to take your troll self away. Mature folks are trying to speak.

    January 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Thank you Mark. I think we need our own TV show from this blog. Instead of "REPUBLICANS VS. DEMOCRATS" and "CONSERVATIVES VS. LIBERALS" all the time, we could have reasonable conversation from both sides about current events. That way, we could eliminate the trolls from both camps. I hope the moderator pa-sses this up the ladder to programming. If not, maybe we can get Olberman's time slot on MSNBC?

      January 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Don

      Go away Mark: adults are trying to have a conversation. We don't need trolling children such as yourself.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Eric – Naah. Much respec though. I'm just a guy who spent most of my early years pretty much shouting and screaming that my way or my view was the only view and such. At
      the end of the day I just discovered that folks can hold opposing views and beliefs and not try to detroy on another.

      It all came down to a simple bumper sticker that said coexist. I figured a decade of trying it one way maybe the bigger challenge and victory is not making an enemy submit but to challenge myself not to want to take a club or baseball bat to their heads when they do not.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  7. Danny

    How many times do I have to see this inane argument over the existence of god?
    It's a silly waste of time! The problem is how each group views foundation groups' arguments.
    The rationalists marshall arguments based on objective verifiable evidence.
    The believers marshall arguments based on their "holy books".
    The rationalists will NEVER allow ancient texts to supplant objective evidence.
    The believers will NEVER allow evidence to interfere with subjective beliefs.

    So in the end... it's just two groups screaming at each other and neither side makes any progress.
    On a personal note, I'd like to beg the believers to stop quoting scripture!!! Don't you understand that to a non-believer it's about as valid as quoting from Aesop's Fables?

    January 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Eric G.

      I agree with your post to a point. Unfortunately, beliefs shape actions. As you said, "The believers will NEVER allow evidence to interfere with subjective beliefs". This would all be fun and games if belief was benign. Believers hiding behind their religion to justify hatred, predjudice and violence can no longer be tolerated.

      January 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Anglican

      If there is no god, why waste your time responding. It is almost as if you are very uncomfortable being a rationalist. Do you live every aspect of your life purely in a factual realm.

      January 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Anglican

      Eric G. That just false. What percentage of soup lines and shelters in your town are run by the faithful verses concerned and loving atheist. Do you do anything in the name of your unbelief for your fellow man, or do you hide behind something.

      January 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric B,

      Danny ALSO said The rationalists will NEVER allow ancient texts to supplant objective evidence!

      you said: You said: Believers hiding behind their religion to justify hatred, predjudice and violence can no longer be tolerated

      I say; I submit to you THAT statement can very well apply to SOME atheists! I have read your posts and seen the name calling! Fair is fair, right?
      .

      January 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @stevetherealone: Hello! Nice to hear from you again. Hope you are having a nice weekend and it is warmer where you are than it is here.

      I am sorry, and a little disappointed if you feel that my defeating you in a debate is in some way degrading. However, I cannot accept responsiblity for the abscence of logic and reason in your posts. Once again, I challenge you to prepare a more intelligent debate and I would be honored to grant you another shot at the t-itle.

      I hope you have a wonderful evening!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • me

      @angelican
      i could say the same to you... "If there is A god, why waste your time responding. It is almost as if you are very uncomfortable being a" Christian. do you live every aspect of your (any christian not pointed at you specifically) life religiously?? your job? music you listen to? tv you watch? some might be able to say "why yes" but the truth is most could not.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      What's up Eric G? Good to here from you too!

      Your humility has blossomed , my friend! I am not admitting any defeat! I have discovered the keys to Atheism! Reasoning and Logic. Both based upon the human mind and intellect! Faith supersedes human intellect , reasoning, and logic. If reason and logic are the keys to atheism and are both limited by the human mind, then is it logical to make the case that atheism is also limited? Have a great evening as well Eric G! Another shot at the ti-tle? I appreciate that. Of course I will have to confer with my agent! . This moderation is getting insane. WE ARE ALL ADULTS HERE CNN!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @anglican: I don't find it in good taste to trumpet my charitable efforts in public. Bad form.

      I did notice that you did not address my concerns about some believers using their faith to justify bigotry, hatred and other horrific acts. I agree that many horrific acts throuout human history (all 100,000+ years of it) have been done by non-believers. I can't name a single instance where a non-believing perpetrator of these acts has hid behind his "non-belief" to justify it. Can you please provide some references for me to look into?

      January 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Anglican

      me. It is a belief blog. I believe. All theist on this blog do is spew negativity and arrogance. Go hang out on a nice atheist blog and talk about love of fellow man.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @stevetherealone: Have your people call my people. Let's make this happen! I am working on a deal with HBO for the broadcast rights!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Anglican

      Eric G. I have no problems trumpeting my work in the name of Christ. I take no credit, I give it. Also, I am an Christian, and to my knowledge, I have never harmed anyone. Bad has been done by all of humanity, believer or not.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric,

      Are you kidding me? Who in this economy has people? My agent is the guy looking back at me in the mirror! I appreciate your sense of humor! We don't have to be serious ALL the time!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "Do you do anything in the name of your unbelief for your fellow man, or do you hide behind something."

      Anglican, atheists tend to do things because they are the right thing to do, not to score supernatural brownie points. Of course, you completely blew off what Eric G. actually said. People often use their religious beliefs to hurt other people who don't worship as they do or act as they want. You know this is true. As for the rights of atheists to comment on the subject of faith, anyone with a computer and the ability to refrain from profanity can comment CNN's message boards. Wacky.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G...
      Sorry make that good to HEAR from you!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Angican,, the reason that believers run soup lines etc is two fold.. firstly religions come together in one spot, Churches. Mosques etc so its easier to get the message out or to organize, so to speak. I bet that atheists work at these soup kitchens as well.. The other is it gives religions a chance to show how good they are.are and hopefully get converts to the cause. The fact is atheists are not a group or even organized in the same way. People often mention it is as easy as herding cats! Those that I know, my self included, give to charities..yes religious ones of course, and to any other cause. Helping each other is very strong evolutionary trait .. those early humanoids that did not cooperate and help, would have died out as we need each other to survive. We are the result of evolutionary cooperation.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Anglican: I would never accuse you of harming others. I am asking if you agree that some use their belief as a method to justify horrific acts?

      As for the charity......... w w w dot hopeforautismmi dot com can use your support. You can make a donation in the name of whom ever you choose. We have many events planned this year and are already starting on the Haunted House!

      January 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @stevetherealone: I called my people and asked them to get you some people.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G.
      @stevetherealone: I called my people and asked them to get you some people.
      ----------
      So I get your rejects?

      January 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • me

      Anglican
      as far as i can tell i have done no spewing of arrogance and negativity. i was just simply pointing out that you argument could be passed either way. i have no negativity at all towards christians, or any other religious peoples for that matter. but it does seem that the christians in here have plenty of negativity for me. besides if there were no atheists in the supposed belief blog then what fun would it be. infact i would imagine there wouldn't really be any posts, unless you guys jsut wanted to simply post that you believe. oh and by the way i do have a belief, i just believe god does not exist. so can i stay and talk in the belief blog then? or is it only for believers of god? oh and which god?? is there a onlybelieversinchristiangod blog??

      January 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @stevetherealone: I keep the pretty ones. Is that a sin?

      January 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G,

      Perhaps not! Do I get the capable ones?

      January 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @stevetherealone: Well, I guess that depends on what "capacity" you require. They all have great personallities.

      January 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G,

      Are we still talking about contending the the ti-tle?

      January 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Anglican

      @me. So you just do this for fun. What do you worship? I know it my not be a god, BMW, Hedge Funds. Maybe the Jets. What do you believe in? I am sure you took physics. What about a formula?

      January 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Anglican

      Eric G. My issue here is that you bring up our ( the faithful's ) faults, but you can not deny that there is good is done. I can do nothing about the past, I can only impact the present.

      January 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Don

      Anglican, this atheist happens to volunteer his time with a local Optimist club.

      What do YOU do?

      January 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • me

      anglican

      Where did i say anything about doing this for "fun"? and if by "doing this" you mean having a discussion, then i guess in some sort of way we are all "doing this for fun", its not like were getting paid or winning any sort of awards for it. i would have supposed i am posting in here for the same reason you were... to have a civil discussion and see what others think. It would seem tho that you are in here simply to hurl judgments at those you likely disagree with and have only a few simple facts about. like your question "what do you worship?.... Hedge funds, The Jets" assuming that i must worship something and positing that if it i do not worship god i must then has to be money, capitalism, or sports or some other terrible thing. so quick to judge and assume. Furthermore, of course i have taken physics. my work and education is in architecture so i have taken a number of physics classes. not sure how that is relevant but there it is. there are ways of discussing what you believe and understanding what others believe without jumping to slander, judgements, and demonizing them. we shall leave those tactics to Fox-news.

      January 24, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Eric G

      @Anglican: You are ducking the question. Do some believers use their religion to justify hatred, bigotry and violence? You do have an effect on the past. By not accepting and admitting that believers have hid behind their faith to justify horrific acts against humanity, you are allowing it to continue in the future. Please stop doing the "holy two-step" and answer the question.

      January 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Eric G,

      How are yo today? I hope all is well! Let jump in this. The answer to your question is is obviously YES! Now in saying that:

      1. Your question can certainly be applied to atheists as well
      2. You cannot hold us accountable for what others have done
      3. I cannot hold you accountable for what other atheists have said or done, either!
      4. What is your point about violence by believers?

      January 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  8. myklds

    @Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger..I'm pretty amused how a one-liner blog "explains exactly my perspective and way of life, word for word." Most Probably you've watch the live interview, your one hell of a fan.

    @NL..Yeah you're right but maybe, I wonder what kind of "stress" that drove Jared Loughner to "murder" at least 6 people including a 9 yr. old girl and wound at least 13 including a good congresswoman of Tucson Arizona?

    NOT maybe but certainly, because he "don't trust God."

    And what drove Mohamed El-Kamouny and two others to "murder" at least 7 people (6 Coptic Christians and 1 Muslim guards)in the January 2010 incident outside a church in the southern town of Naga Hammadi.
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/17/man-sentenced-to-death-for-http://www.cnn.com/2011killing-christians/
    /WORLD/meast/01/16/egypt.death.sentence/index.html

    NOT perhaps but definitely because he the murderer believes that "there's no God but god".

    Ricky is nothing but a washed-up "so called" comedian that desperately needs some attention.

    January 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, Ricky Gervais is quite popular and successful. Don't worry, he gets plenty of attention, most of it positive.

      Your disapproval does not equate to his being "washed-up" and "so-called".

      January 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      I didn't say that every murderer was under extreme stress. Only that extreme stress can affect people enough that they would do what would be unthinkable to them at times of low stress, when they are able to function completely rationally.

      January 24, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  9. Neonix

    @ Don

    You seem to have a problem with Christians using hell as a motivator to get you to consider afterlife. Doesn't that seem sensible? If we said:" Don, come to church or else the Devil will make you rich and famous.", would that convince you to listen to a sermon or two?

    Seriously, Atheism in no less inviting. What happens in your religion (and it is a religion) The circle of life?

    Consider:
    1.>If there is no God, then there is no purpose to life. We're just an accident,4.5 billion years in the making.
    2.> If God isn't real then my life has no value, because ultimately something will take my place anyways. In fact, survival of the fittest suggests that we should kill a few of the weak to strengthen to human race overall.
    3.>If God isn't real then life is finite and we should live it up while we're here. If it feels good, do it. Do some drugs,drink heavily. I may hurt people in the process, but that's ok. It's about me and my joy.
    4.> If God isn't real then life isn't sacred. It's something to be manipulated or discarded. So if having fun results in an abortion or two.

    It may sound dramatic or extreem, but it's a reality we all live in. Like it or not, the vast majority of this reality occurs around luke-warm christians and atheists.

    January 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Sorry, atheism is not a religion. Atheism is the abscence of belief in a god or gods. For what you are claiming to be true, I would need to believe (without evidence that I believe) that I have an abscence of belief. I do not believe in Oden for the same reason I do not believe in pink unicorns. There is no evidence to support the existence of either. You are 99.9% as much an atheist as I. I just believe in one less god than you.

      Your points are made from a point of view of faith. If you found out that your god does not exist, would you live your life in the manner you describe?

      January 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Don

      Atheism is not a religion, bubba. And there is no afterlife.

      2. Does not in the least follow from 1, so the rest of your drivel cannot follow either. So since you have a flagrant non sequitur, I suggest you start learning how to properly reason. Especially with your belief that we have the right to not be emotionally hurt, and your belief that a woman loses her self-ownership when she's pregnant, and that somehow atheism entails "social darwinism".

      January 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      First ,as others have pointed out, atheism is not a religion any more than being bold is a hair style. If you believe that belief in god stops you from murdering and inflicting harm on others, then there cannot be any religious folks in Jail? Also ..oh yes, the Catholic church has had a problem recently I think..something about priests and children?
      As an atheist I find the world a beautiful place, I marvel at evolutions wonders, the understanding we have of the universe and our place in it..the way the stars form, burn out and produce the heavy metals that are found in the earth, our bodies and all life. The fact that the iron in your blood and mine, was forged in the hearts of ancient suns is truly magnificent . Compare that to "god did it" and the murder and mayhem that is the Bible and the Quaran, upon which many try to forge society.

      January 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Neonix

      Well, my last response is being moderated, Most likely because I used the A_ortion word. Regardless, religion is defined as a set of beliefs. You need to believe in the absence of God, you cannot prove it. You also cannot prove the absence of an afterlife, you take it on faith that you end up as wormfood.

      The remark about priests and children is remarkably ignorant. I would love to show you a list of atheistic offenders. Wanna compare statistics?
      Also, nobody ever argued that that stars die. However, nobody has ever seen one form. Star births are theorized to occur over an immensly long timespan. So you don't know how they form, you theorize their formation.
      Also, explain how you get the rest of the periodic table, because you cannot get past iron without intelligent intervention. That's been tested.
      Next, prove evolution. You cannot prove that the bones in the ground ever produced anything outside of their own genetic limitations. The links in the human chain that have been proven have largely been hoaxes (like the pigs tooth that they used to build an entire pre-human) or they are fragment bones that are inconclusive (Like Lucy. How can you build an entire human sub-species of a jawbone and a few ribs?) It's theory, and I follow your's quite closely. Nothing has swayed my faith yet.

      January 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It is so very tiring when religious people claim that atheists want to behave as self-indulgent children, simply because they aren't afraid of burning for eternity.

      I am human. I live in a society with other humans, and humans have created codes so that they can live together without anarchy. These codes are ancient and are based on common sense: Don't kill, don't steal, don't lie; it's all common sense! Also, most humans possess a sense of empathy, allowing them to understand if they can suffer, others can suffer, too.

      I was raised with very little religion, but with a deep understanding that my actions have consequences. Therefore, I consider my actions and the effects that they will have on those around me. I don't wish to be hurt, therefore I don't hurt others. I don't like to be lied to, therefore I don't lie. Very simple.

      I have many atheist friends and you will never find a nicer, more honest bunch. If you ask me, the more dangerous, selfish person is the one who depends upon supernatural threats and rewards for their morality.

      January 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      You cannot get beyond iron with out Intelligent intervention.. that's been tested?? really by who and how was it tested?. Heavier elements than iron are also formed in the supernova of stars. This debris then coalesces into clouds that then form other stars or planets. this can be detected by looking at the light coming from the distant universe.. possibly beyond heaven! Stars are seen in the early stages of birth, not sure what you are on about. Sorry, your total lack of evolutionary understanding would make it impossible to explain how DNA is being used to trace our ancestry.

      January 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Tallulah13,

      you mentioned …I don’t hurt others because I don’t wish to be hurt; I don’t lie because I don’t want to be lied to. You do these things…don’t hurt others and don’t lie to others, for yourself. Why not do it because you choose to love your neighbor for their own sake?

      January 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Don

      Atheism is not a system of beliefs, bubba. So it can't be a religion.

      The life-cycle of stars is quite well-established, as is evolution.

      This: "The layer of strata is dated by the fossil index and the fossil is dated by what layer of strata it's found in. That's also cyclical reasoning." is a lie put forth by the fraud known as Kent Hovind. There's a reason why most creationist sites disown him, Neonix: he's a fraud. A charlatain. He has no clue as to what he's talking about. Ken Hamm from Answers in Genesis pretty much can't stand Hovind. So why are you using Hovind's lies? And don't even get me started about the lies from the ICR, such as Gish's bullfrog nonsense.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Catholic Mom: No, I do not try to be a decent person for myself. Frankly, I have been penalized for my integrity, but I would rather do the right thing than be unjustly rewarded for taking advantage of others.

      I try to be a decent person because it's the right thing to do. I know it is the right thing to do, because I can empathize with others. I don't like to be hurt or lied to, therefore it follows other people don't like to be hurt or lied to. I can make the association that lying to someone or causing them pain is not a good thing to do. Thus humans find morality. I'm amazed that you can't comprehend this.

      What I don't understand is why those who identify as religious need a book to tell them right from wrong. Can they not discover this from their own experiences? Is your humanity contingent on the promise of a reward or the threat of punishment?

      January 24, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  10. Neonix

    @ Eric G.
    Your question:"Is it moral for someone else to accept responsibility, guilt and punishment for your crimes?"
    Answer: No. It is not moral for someone to take responsibility for my crimes. However, my post wasn't about someone, it was about God incarnate. God is the only judge who determines my eternal judgment. Hence God is the only one who can set conditions for my redemption. If God offers me redemption through his son, (who passionately desires me to be redeemed and gave his life in an effort to make that possible) then I will take his gift. He wasn't forced into it and it doesn't make me any less moral. As I said, my dept was paid when I abandoned my criminality and changed my life to serve to the only purpose worth serving.
    Somehow I have the feeling that you're trying to draw a parallel between Christ taking the sin of the world and a mere man taking blame for my crime. There is no such parallel. The two are quite different. I'd be happy to explain them if you have any more questions.

    January 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Thank you for your offer to explain. I welcome your response. If your god is the only one who can offer this service of redemption, what authority do you give to secular judgements against your crimes? If your god will forgive your sins and crimes, what moral obligation do you have to the rest of humanity? In logical honesty, if you claim that only your god has these powers, you will first need to provide verifiable evidence as to it's existence. After you have provided verifiable evidence to support your claim, you will then need to provide verifiable evidence that your god has authority that must be respected above all others. To make claims without this evidence is dishonest as there is no factual basis for others to reference. In other words, you cannot be absolved of your responsibility of guilt because you say so, you must provide evidence to support your claim. To do so is immoral and dishonest. Would you agree?

      January 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Neonix

      Q1.> If your god is the only one who can offer this service of redemption, what authority do you give to secular judgements against your crimes?
      Answer: I give all due authority to athesecular ruling body to judge me on earth. (I.E. U.S. Court system..etc)
      Mathew 22:21:"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s."

      Q2.>If your god will forgive your sins and crimes, what moral obligation do you have to the rest of humanity?
      Spread the news of his grace and forgiveness and perform good deeds in the name of his son.
      Mathew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"

      Your last question is assuming I prove guilt and the absense of guilt. I can no more do that than you can prove that you love your family. We assume with the benefit of the doubt, that you care for your family, in the same way that you should trust that God has forgiven me. If you doubt my sincerity, i would point you to the written promise on which I base my confidence.
      Such as:
      Proverbs 20:22
      Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.

      Micah 7:18-19
      Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

      Matthew 26:28
      This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

      Mark 2:5
      When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

      Mark 11:25
      And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

      Luke 23:34
      Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

      Acts 2:38
      Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

      Ephesians 1:7
      In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

      Pick a chapter, any chapter. They all focus on this principle.

      January 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Sorry, that is a circular argument.

      January 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Neonix

      I'm not trying to be aggressive, but I honestly need you to point out my reasoning flaw. My whole belief is based on the bible. You're saying that because there is no physical evidence of forgiveness that it doesn't exist? You know that nobody can prove the existance of God, so I certainly can't have him call you to confirm my argument.

      But then...there are many things that atheists proclaim to be true that cannot be proven. Look at the fossil record for instance.
      The layer of strata is dated by the fossil index and the fossil is dated by what layer of strata it's found in. That's also cyclical reasoning.
      My religion believes in a creator, atheism believes that the universe started from nothing, effectively breaking several laws of thermodynamics. Yet you still take it on faith that the universe is billions of years old and that dinosaurs roamed millions of years ago.
      Why am I the idiot and the atheist is the refined, educated, evolved man of science?

      January 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Your understanding of evolution and dating appears to be based on what you have been told by some of the fundamentalist universities or creation museums? There is enough information in DNA evidence that the need for any fossils is becoming redundant. Is it possible that some aspects of evolution, cosmology etc will change over the coming years of course. Science, by its very nature, is self correcting..Atheists have no input any more than you do as to what started the universe. We have no idea, just hypotheses . A giant invisible unicorn sneezing the universe into life has as much credence at this time as as god creating it.

      January 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Neonix: "Why am I the idiot and the atheist is the refined, educated, evolved man of science?"

      First, I have not attacked you or called you names. I am trying to gain a better understanding of your method of reasoning and have been as polite as I am able. If you are attempting to play the "victim believer" role, I am immune.

      Second, my line of questioning has not approached the scientific discrepencies between evolutionary theory and creationist theory. I am interested in your religions claim of moral superiority and the logic and facts that support it. I would be happy to discuss evolution vs. creation with you in a civilized manner, but there are other posters in this thread whos qualifications far outweigh my own. I do need to make a comment about what you are attributing as an "atheist claim". Atheists claim that no verifiable evidence exists to support the theory of a gods existence. Atheists do not make claims about the fossil record. That would be a paleontologist. I am not a paleontologist, but I am reasonably sure that their thoeries are supported by verifiable data.

      Third, and back to our original topic....
      The reason your argument is circular is that you are using a reference (the bible) as evidence to support your theory that your god exists. To do this, you must validate your evidence by presenting verifiable evidence that your reference is accurate. To claim that you believe your god exists because the bible says so and the bible is true because it is the word of god is a circular argument. You have provided no verifiable evidence to support either of your claims.

      On a final note, I would ask you to ponder the following. Science makes no absolute claims unless the evidence has been verified and tested. Science leaves itself open to new evidence to support or disprove all theories. Religion makes claims of absolute knowledge with no verifiable evidence presented. It seems you think we atheists are in some kind of conspiricy with scientists to prove that your god does not exist. Not true. It just happens that the scientific theories work without that variable. Your "god theory", for lack of a better term, requires it's own evidence and carries it's own burden of proof.

      January 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Don

      Using the bible to prove the bible really doesn't work, Neonix. You need some real evidence, not "the bible says it's the word of god, and god wrote the bible" circular garbage.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Anglican

      Don. What do you believe in? Do you write textbooks? Do you do research or do you simply read the works of others.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Anglican

      Don........ Just as I thought.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Don

      Ah, Anglican–what was your point? Did you even have one?

      Didn't think so.

      January 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  11. Neonix

    Concerning the large volume of blogs about hell.
    Imagine a person commited a crime against you. This person was caught by the police and had to stand before the judge.
    The criminal says:" I am sorry for all the pain that I caused and wish to be forgiven." The judge believes him and sets him free. How would you feel, as the victim of the crime? Betrayed? Offended? Twice the victim? Anyone would.
    It is for this reason that simply being good isn't enough. Everyone has done something wrong and the amount of harm it causes is felt by the victim alone. By saying that you are generally a good person, you admit that you are guilty of crimes against others, but don't consider your crimes worthy of being punished.
    Hell exists because you owe a debt to someone for what you did no matter how small YOU consider it to be.
    Now here's the kicker. Most people get annoyed when you say something like:" Jesus died for your sins."
    It sounds dramatic and banal. That's because you view Jesus as a man and you wouldn't grant any single human the respect that he demands from you.
    Jesus didn't just die for the human race. He took an uncomfortable vacation to the very hell we speak of. He fell into it's depth, burned in it's fire and was tormented for the crimes he accepted blame for (all of them). Fortunately for everyone, he wasn't just a man, but he was also bestowed with the most radiant power, heartstopping glory and fear inspiring presence that anyone could ever imagine.
    We lost our dominion over earth in the garden and we gave it to the serpent. Christ retrieved it for us from hell. That is why we say:" In the name of jesus christ". It's not just a saying, it invokes something powerful for people who are real followers of his teachings. It's also why we don't take his name in vain, because it is an insult to the most generous sacrifice in the history of the universe.

    Imagine you where sentenced to burn to death. Now imagine a complete stranger stepping out of nowhere and saying:" I'll take his punishment. Set this man free." How thankful would you be? The difference between you and me is....I believe that man exists and he already set me free.
    When people deny Christ, they are effectively saying:" Oh Jeez man. I appreciate the offer, but I don't mind burning to death."
    We won't force to say this, but we'd like you to think about it.

    That is why hell is important. I don't know how to better explain it.

    January 23, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Eric G.

      I have a questions about the moral implications of your "Jesus died for our sins" and Hell claims. If you believe that Jesus did die for your sins, is that a moral act? If you commit a crime, someone else can take the blame for your actions and serve your punishment for you. They can never take responsibility or guilt from you. Nor should they. Where is the morality in asking another to take not just the punishment, but the actual guilt of your actions from you?

      January 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Neonix

      That is a fair question. I will try my best to answer.
      Being responsible for your crime is the only justice. If you commit the crime, you deserve the punishment and if you have morality, you will seek to redeem yourself by taking full responsibility. Now here is a philisophical question. What is the punishment and who decides it?
      I believe that one way we can satisfy justice, is with genuine regret and a sincere desire to be redeemed. You are not abandoning your responsibility or sense of guilt. You are abandoning your criminality and making a sincere change for the better. That pays your debt, at least in God's eyes. The victims may not agree, since they rarely see the difference between justice and vengeance.

      January 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Neonix: Sorry, but that is not what I asked. Is it moral for someone else to accept responsibility, guilt and punishment for your crimes?

      Society decides what is a just punishment, as it always has. If a terrorist kills 50 people because he believes his god demanded it, he is only doing what his god requested and thus will not be guilty of a crime. Would he go to hell?

      January 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Don

      Actually, the real reason that hell is "important" is because it's the last resort tool of those who have no intellectual argument. It is a tool used to terrify little kids and people who should know better. It's emotive extortion. Terrify people long enough with some post-mortem bad place and they'll internalize it. But some will grow up and grow out of believing that nonsense. Some will reject such a worthless piece of garbage attempt to scare people into believing.

      It has no place in rational discourse.

      January 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Neonix

      @ Don
      "It has no place in rational discourse."
      Then feel free to leave the discussion, or at least be objective and not spiteful.

      January 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • NL

      "When people deny Christ, they are effectively saying:" Oh Jeez man. I appreciate the offer, but I don't mind burning to death."

      I find it interesting how this idea so closely parallels Christian tales of selling ones' soul to the devil. Just switch Jesus for the devil, and heaven for some earthly reward and it's basically the same plot, right?

      Well, the fire is only conjecture and the offer only comes at a price: Recognizing Jesus as the master instead of the devil. Sounds OK until you start believing that means denying scientific discovery and rational thinking if it contradicts the bible, supporting a corrupt clergy out of religious loyalty, denying people legal rights or something else equally unsupportable outside of accepting this price.

      Jesus and the devil then appear to be just competing salesmen offering similar products, but an atheist isn't interested in paying either price. Why, because the products are just packaging as far any anyone can really tell. Just empty sounding and feeling boxes wrapped in promises that can only be peeked into after you've died.

      January 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Don

      I am objective, and I'm not spiteful, Neonix. Feel free to grow up and act like an adult, rather than a terrified child.

      January 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Actually, when atheists "deny Christ," they are not saying "I appreciate the offer but I don't mind burning to death." We quite literally believe it's an empty offer because the person threatening to do the burning doesn't even exist. It's not that we reject the offer, it's that we do not believe there is any offer to be made.

      But even so, how can the claim that Jesus' sacrifice was the greatest ever made possibly stand up? Death for him was merely the return trip back to heaven. And if he spent those three days between death and resurrection burning in he'll, well, that's pretty small potatoes compared to the supposedly eternal burning anyone else has to endure. Every human being who has ever died to save others made a far greater sacrifice, sine none of them (unlike Jesus) could know with absolute certainty that heaven would be their destination, and any of them who were non-Christians are supposedly going to eternal he-ll regardless.

      January 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I always did shrug at the supposed sacrifice of Jesus. As if millions upon millions have not suffered far more than he ever did. So many people have given their lives to help others. Frankly, Jesus' "sacrifice" is not impressive at all.
      All I have to do is think of the little boy that drowned when he was trapped in a flood in Australia with his little brother and insisted that they rescue his little brother first even though he had a long standing fear of drowning.
      THAT is true sacrifice and love as worthy as any other ever noted. More than many.

      January 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Neonix,

      You said, ‘Jesus didn't just die for the human race. He took an uncomfortable vacation to the very hell we speak of. He fell into it's depth, burned in it's fire and was tormented for the crimes he accepted blame for (all of them). Fortunately for everyone, he wasn't just a man, but he was also bestowed with the most radiant power, heartstopping glory and fear inspiring presence that anyone could ever imagine.'

      The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.
      In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.
      "The gospel was preached even to the dead.” 1 Pet 4:6. Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him, and not to burn in its fire.

      January 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Al-Tawba sura 09:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers. (23) Say: If your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your wives, and your tribe, and the wealth ye have acquired, and merchandise for which ye fear that there will be no sale, and dwellings ye desire are dearer to you than Allah and His messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah bringeth His command to pass. Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (24)..

    January 23, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Veritas

      Well, that's a bunch of bullcr@p if I every saw one.

      January 23, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Neonix

      @Muneef
      Matthew 5:13–16
      "You are the salt of the earth.... You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

      People of faith should certainly be friends with non-believers. You should lead by example. Why would you tell people that they need to belive in your God but you make no effort to be his example in their life?

      Is it truly a Muslim virtue to exclude non-believers from your personal life? How do you approach people you want to join your faith? I am deeply curious about this.

      January 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      It speaks of the wrong doers who totally reject belief and not those who are astray and need guidance...

      January 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      For example if you have a brother that disbleifs in all Good and Right becoming a wrong doer by such acts as spreading corruptions,terrorism and you failed to straighten to righteous ! What would you do? Join him or reject him or fight him??
      The Prophet of God Noah had given his son up when he rejected the faith of his father and refused to board the Ark!?
      Prophet and Messenger of God Luka has given his wife up because she did not listen in full belief when was told not to look back but she did and was gone cursed with the rest of the wrong doers who favored earthly pleasers over faith !?

      January 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      For example if you have a brother that disbleifs in all Good and Right becoming a wrong doer by such acts as spreading corruptions,terrorism and you failed to straighten to righteous ! What would you do? Join him or reject him or fight him??
      The Prophet of God Noah had given his son up when he rejected the faith of his father and refused to board the Ark!?
      Prophet and Messenger of God Luka has given his wife up because she did not listen in full belief when was told not to look back but she did and was gone cursed with the rest of the wrong doers who favored earthly pleasure over faith !?

      January 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  13. Veritas

    Theism offends the intellect

    January 23, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  14. abc123

    Hitler use evolution as an excuse to kill off a race. So? People use science and religion as an excuse to kill off a race. Human deviant behavior is the smartest explanation. So Native Americans, Africans, and Egyptians need Prozac too? Religion is part of a culture. Other cultures believe in things that is ridiculous to us. Does it make me angry enough to argue with them. No. I let them live however they want to and please with. This is atheism vs Christianity argument is silly. It is like I am arguing with Buddhists about their beliefs been stupid. People on both sides need to grow up and get a damn life.

    January 23, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • abc123

      ^some people used science and religion for their harmful actions.

      January 23, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • Don

      Hitler did not use evolution as an excuse.

      January 23, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • NL

      The English saw themselves as a superior people long before Darwin. Long before evolution was thought of rising and powerful cultures have seen themselves as superior. The Romans, the Greeks. You may as well ask if Americans feel that they have 'evolved' into the most successful people on the planet.

      January 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  15. John

    Uh oh, Mark From Middle River...you played the Nazi Card! That's a logical fallacy known as Argumentum ad Nazium. Tsk tsk.

    January 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Nathan

      Oh no, mark is going Glenn Beck on our asses!

      January 23, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  16. bu

    Religion = DISEASE of the mind. Be part of the cure! ...not the plague.

    January 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      You know hitler called Jews, gypsies and many others a "plague".

      I think his folks call thier idea of a cure, Die Endlösung

      Bu, is your idea of a cure to rid the world of the "plague" of religion of the same line of thought?

      January 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  17. Muneef

    For those who are still bored and want to know about the last and final Rasoul Allah(Messenger of God)?

    http://www.rasoulallah.net/v2/index.aspx?lang=en

    January 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Muneef.. why did god need a messenger...he could have waited till we all had Blackberrys and sent out a massive text? now that would get even my attention...

      January 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Evolved DNA.

      Well we do have blackberries in our inner soul,mind,heart,hearing receiving signs and messages but unfortunately we seem not to believe it ignore it as to not felt,thought,seen or heard and that's why God had to send messengers to warn and remind...the only man who has received and acknowledged those signs and messages was Abraham who has became Prophet rather than being a messenger....

      January 23, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Muneef
      How come the master of the universe, the so called creator, the top cheese, the numero uno only manages to get in touch with one guy.And what proof do you have that that person was even mentally stable? Can you think what would happen to day if one guy had the same experiences..he would be classed a loon.. not run off and start a religion.. although there are a few that slipped through the net..Scientology and Mormons to think of a few. God is myth invented by men.. i hope that humanity gets that message before the god wars destroy civilization, Religions are basically death cults..how can you embrace and respect life when the belief is that the only salvation will come after death?

      January 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Evolved DNA
      Every Prophet and Messenger of God was accused of being a madman...
      Have you read what he brought as only by that you may judge.
       
      An-Najm sura 53:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      By the Star when it setteth, (1) Your comrade erreth not, nor is deceived; (2) Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire. (3) It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired, (4) Which one of mighty powers hath taught him, (5) One vigorous; and he grew clear to view (6) When he was on the uppermost horizon. (7) Then he drew nigh and came down (8) Till he was (distant) two bows' length or even nearer, (9) And He revealed unto His slave that which He revealed. (10) The heart lied not (in seeing) what it saw. (11) Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he seeth? (12) And verily he saw him yet another time (13) By the lote-tree of the utmost boundary, (14) Nigh unto which is the Garden of Abode. (15) When that which shroudeth did enshroud the lote-tree, (16) The eye turned not aside nor yet was overbold. (17) Verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord. (18).

      Al-Qalam sura 68:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Nun. By the pen and that which they write (therewith), (1) Thou art not, for thy Lord's favour unto thee, a madman. (2) And lo! thine verily will be a reward unfailing. (3) And lo! thou art of a tremendous nature. (4) And thou wilt see and they will see (5) Which of you is the demented. (6) Lo! thy Lord is best aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is best aware of those who walk aright. (7) Therefor obey not thou the rejecters (8) Who would have had thee compromise, that they may compromise. (9) Neither obey thou each feeble oath-monger, (10) Detracter, spreader abroad of slanders, (11) Hinderer of the good, transgressor, malefactor (12) Greedy therewithal, intrusive. (13) It is because he is possessed of wealth and children (14) That, when Our revelations are recited unto him, he saith: Mere fables of the men of old. (15).

      January 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Something

      "Every Prophet and Messenger of God was accused of being a madman..."

      The reason for those accusations is that they *were* madmen... either that or they were lying, or were seriously mistaken in their perceptions of reality.

      January 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Dear, Not only Prophets and Messengers of God alone were called as Madman or a Bewitched but many unto this day are thought of like that when they remind or warn us whether it is global warming or any similar dangers....
      Beside many of scholars,inventors,men of knowldge were put to fire as being witched...how many of them were thought mad or up normal and were locked up??
      Any one calls for righteous and peace is considered boring and weak? Any one standing up calling for violence and wars is considered exciting and strong...!?

      January 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      Something
       "There is a fine line between genius and insanity"

      January 23, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Muneef

      Prophet of God Noad was called a mad man as well;

      Al-Mumenoon sura 23:
      And We verily sent Noah unto his folk, and he said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other god save Him. Will ye not ward off (evil)? (23) But the chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved, said: This is only a mortal like you who would make himself superior to you. Had Allah willed, He surely could have sent down angels. We heard not of this in the case of our fathers of old. (24) He is only a man in whom is a madness, so watch him for a while. (25) He said: My Lord! Help me because they deny me. (26) Then We inspired in him, saying: Make the ship under Our eyes and Our inspiration. Then, when Our command cometh and the oven gusheth water, introduce therein of every (kind) two spouses, and thy household save him thereof against whom the Word hath already gone forth. And plead not with Me on behalf of those who have done wrong. Lo! they will be drowned. (27) And when thou art on board the ship, thou and whoso is with thee, then say: Praise be to Allah Who hath saved us from the wrongdoing folk! (28) And say: My Lord! Cause me to land at a blessed landing-place, for Thou art best of all who bring to land. (29)

      January 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  18. Muneef

    For those who are bored and want to know who is Allah?

    http://knowingallah.com/V2/index.aspx?lang=en

    January 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  19. tom

    When i die, if it turns out that there is a heaven i will ask God if all this fingers crossed behind backs, persecution of other people and general evil acted out in his name impressed him. If so I will happily go to this so called Hell. At least its warm there and by all accounts there will be some pretty cool people to spend all eternity with.

    January 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  20. Rachel

    I think that Ricky Gervais is a funny person... so it saddens me to hear that he is an athiest. From what I heard in the interview clip he was a christian but had fallen away because of the way he grew up. God created people so they can live and exist on their own... Yes some people have struggles and it is hard for them to understand why but God is not going to guide you through everything.. If he knows that you are strong enough he will let you do it on your own... but he will and does help people who need it. I have a friend who I have known since I was a child. Her and her husband both were athiest and would not even allow a bible to be brought into there home or you could not speak of God in their home. They were nice people but they were set in their beliefes. Well, 5 years ago she was diagnoised with lung cancer and found god in the process. Over the past 5 years she has batteled 5 different forms of cancer with the last she is currently undergoing chemo for. Though all of this time her failth has not faultered. Im sure she has had her moments of why me but her failth in God is still strong. If you think about it... she had been an athiest for over 30 years and only found god 5 years ago and her faith is that strong... It shows you that Gods love is massive. It honestly makes me sad that people misunderstand religion and think of it as either damnation or salvation and if you are good you go to heaven and if you are bad you go to hell. God will forgive the bad if they truly are sorry for what they done... we are all children of god. Just think of it like this, if you have children and your child does something bad... are you going to never forgive them and condem them for ever... NO you wont you will punish them and they wil be sorry (in most cases) and you will forgive them... this principal is true with god... he will not turn his back on you... Also. with Ricky Gervais' situation... it seems to me by hearing his comments that he takes everything religious and literal... for example he doesent believe that the world and every thing was created in 6 days... People need to realize that the bible is confusing and you cannot take everyting literal. There are alot of metaphors... the world and people being created could not have just been a random happening... The human body itself is so perfect and works so perfectly in maintaing existance it had to be designed... BY GOD... I will pray for all non belivers, not just Ricky Gervais, that their veils will be lifted and they will finally be able to see the truth... God Bless you all...

    January 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Don

      Yeah, I've heard that story before. Why is it you christians are never original? You think that telling the same old story with different characters will somehow mean something other than the fact that you have nothing but emotive pleas.

      January 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Yeah Don , not like your side does not sound like a broken record.

      To be honest each of us on both and all sides have posted things that we beleve is revolutionary, clever and enlightened. The fact is that most of those here are smart, educated and blog battle tested. Most of us have heard all arguments and heard all the, thought to be clever, statements.

      Most folks of faith have heard all the atheist comments and I am sure they have heard all of our arguments. If you really feel that you have heard the same story before it is more than likely that you have. If you feel that it's only one side doing the same regugitation of preivous thoughts then you truly are fooling yourself.

      January 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      and Mark from Middle River..See, an atheist would say why would god give people cancer in the first place and put many lives in turmoil. From what Rachel is saying he gives you cancer in the hope that you come to him and thank him for a cure, or in case you die, he accepts you into heaven. Sorry if we sound some what skeptical. As for your heaven answer nice try but again, like the bible it is open to insert anything to fit the situation. Catholic mom says the answers are all in the bible but you say it is what ever you want it to be..

      January 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Evolved DNA,

      I think you misunderstand me. I have never said that all the answers are in the Bible…for if everything were, the Books would be too many for the whole world to hold!

      What I have said is that the Paraclete was promised to the Church and He would reveal the fullness of Truth as we can bear it.

      Since God knows what is best for us…He may allow you to have a disease and only God can take something we consider ‘bad’ and make a 'good' out of it.

      January 23, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Don

      Actually, I'm not fooling myself. Any repet.ition from the atheists is solely in response to the repet.ition from the theists.

      January 23, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • civiloutside

      Rachel, just a couple of things. First, your friend developing and maintaining faith through her troubles says a good deal about her, but says nothing at all about god's love. I think you've drawn the wrong conclusion there.

      Also, it doesn't quite work to use the perfection of the human body as evidence of god's design in the same post where you describe a friend's struggle with cancer. Cancer is an error in the reproduction and life cycle code of the body's cells that turns those cells into the instrument of their own body's destruction. Clearly there is something quite imperfect in that mechanism.

      January 24, 2011 at 11:33 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Advertisement
About this blog

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