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My Take: Why some people hate God
March 8th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

My Take: Why some people hate God

Editor's Note: Bernard Schweizer is an associate professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn. He specializes in the study of iconoclasts and rebels, including the controversial writer and public intellectual Rebecca West. His third book is “Hating God.”

By Bernard Schweizer, Special to CNN

There’s a lost tribe of religious believers who have suffered a lasting identity crisis. I am referring to the category-defying species of believers who accept the existence of the creator God and yet refuse to worship him. In fact they may go so far as to say that they hate God.
 
No, I’m not talking about atheists. Non-believers may say contemptuous things about God, but when they do so, they are simply giving the thumbs-down to a fictional character. They may as well express dislike about Shakespeare’s devious Iago, Dickens’ scheming Uriah Heep or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch who stole Christmas.
 
For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins - spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws.
 
But someone who truly believes in God’s existence and yet hates or scorns him is in a state of religious rebellion so perplexing as to strain our common understanding of faith to the breaking point.
 
Although these radical dissenters could steal the thunder from the New Atheists, they have remained almost unknown to date.
 
When it comes to God-hatred, a collective blindness seems to settle on us. First, we lack a generally agreed-upon name to refer to this religious rebellion. And anything that doesn’t have a word associated with it doesn’t exist, right?
 
Well, in the case of God-hatred, this principle doesn’t hold because the phenomenon does exist whether or not there’s a name for it. And in any case, I’ve ended the semantic impasse by naming these rebels and their stance once for all. My chosen term is misotheism, a word composed of the Greek root “misos” (hatred) and “theos” (deity).
 
Why do I care so much about them? They strike me as brave, visionary, intelligent people who reject God from a sense of moral outrage and despair because of the amount of injustice and suffering that they witness in this world.
 
At the same time, they are exercising self-censorship because they dare not voice their opinion openly. After all, publicly insulting God can have consequences ranging from ostracism to imprisonment, fines and even death, depending on where the blasphemy takes place (Ireland, for instance, imposes a fine of up to 25,000 Euros for blasphemy) and what God is the target of attacks (under sharia law, being found an enemy of God, or “mohareb” is a capital offense).
 
But I also care about these rebels because they chose literature as their principal medium for dealing with their God-hatred. I am a professor of literature, and the misotheists’ choice of literature as their first line of defense and preferred medium endears them to me.
 
Literature offered them the only outlet to vent their rage against God. And it was a pretty safe haven for doing so. Indeed, hardly anybody seems to notice when God-hatred is expressed in literature. Such writers cleverly “package” their blasphemous thoughts in works of literature without seeming to give offense in any overt way.
 
At the same time, these writers count on the reader’s cooperation to keep their “secret” safe. It’s like a pact between writer and reader.
 
Zora Neale Hurston could write that “all gods who receive homage are cruel” without anybody objecting that “all gods” must necessarily include the persons of the Christian Trinity.
 
Or Rebecca West could write that “something has happened which can only be explained by supposing that God hates you with merciless hatred, and nobody will admit it,” counting on the fact that, since nobody will admit it, nobody will rat her out for blasphemy.
 
There lies, in a sense, the awesome, subversive power of literary writing, something that had worried Plato 2,400 years ago when he required that all poets be removed from his ideal “Republic.” Interestingly, though, while guardians of propriety have put Huckleberry Finn on the list of proscribed texts because of its liberal use of the N-word, few people have declared Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God" or Shelley’s "Prometheus Unbound" or West’s "The Return of the Soldier" as forbidden texts because of the underlying misotheism of these works.
 
And even where the misotheism is overtly expressed, as in Elie Wiesel’s "The Trial of God" or in James Morrow’s "Godhead Trilogy," literature offers an enclave of religious freedom that is vital to the human spirit and its impulse to free itself of any shackles, even the commands of God.
 
I refer to the story of misotheism as “untold” partly because misotheism tends not to be noticed even when it hides in plain sight. Another reason why the story of misotheism is “untold” is that nobody has bothered yet to draw the larger lines of development over time, beginning with the Book of Job and ending up with utilitarianism, philosophical anarchism and feminism. That story in itself is quite engrossing, but again it is not a story that has really ever been presented.
 
So I am doing quite a bit of connecting the dots, unearthing overlooked connections and making distinctions such as proposing a system of three different types of misotheism - agonistic (conflicted), absolute and political. Misotheism in its various manifestations is a dark, disturbing and perplexing strand of religious dissent. But at the same time, it is an attitude toward the divine that shows just how compelling belief can be.
 
If people continue to believe in a God they find to be contemptible, then belief is such a powerful force that it cannot be simply switched off on the basis of empirical data. Thus, in the last consequence, the study of misotheism is a testament to the power of belief, albeit a twisted, unconventional form.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bernard Schweizer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Books • God • Opinion

soundoff (1,730 Responses)
  1. Mattski

    I believe there's a whole realm of the physical universe that we do not yet understand and cannot yet see. We already know of places in the universe where our laws of physics break down, so there's clearly some larger set of laws that we can't even define yet. Theoretical physicists openly speculate that ours might not be the only universe, nor the only physical domain. I believe when we learn to percieve, measure, and interact with this larger set of physical reality, we might learn some greater truths about our beginnings, about God, and perhaps life outside our physical realm. I don't think God is some kind of intangible, amorphous thing that we cannot percieve and must accept on faith alone. I believe there is a tangible, provable truth to our beginnings, and it may involve more than just molecular luck. We just haven't discovered it yet.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  2. Apocatequil

    love me....please.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  3. Apocatequil

    I am Apocatequil
    +

    March 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  4. Morty

    If I were raised to unequivocally accept the existence of God and to fear the eternal repercussions of non-believing, then I may declare myself a Misotheist. Everyday, we see incredible human atrocities that shake us to our cores, and yet some people dogmatically affirm that God is great. Is it not more reasonable to assume that a higher being takes a "hands-off" approach to our existence? If we believe this, then there should be no penalty for hating it. We do not understand "His" intentions, but we hate what we perceive around us. If there were to be a penalty for hating an ethereal Being, then don't you think the Being should have either stated his intention to test us or made earth the eden-like paradise it once supposedly was?

    March 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Dan

      He has stated his desire to test us. Read the Bible.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'He has stated his desire to test us'
      and why does he need to do that? doesnt he know?

      March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      Which Bible? there are lots of translations. And there's lots of other things in the bible, too. Some of it's really awful stuff.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  5. Johnny B

    God was created by the human race so they would not feel so small and insignificant with evertything happening around them. It made them feel safe that there was this omnipotent being who controlled everything and was an explanation of what was happening in the cold, cruel world. I have a problem with the phrase "it was God's will, it cannot be explained". Tell that to a parent who watches their child die from disease. Tell that to a victim of pedophilic abuse by a Catholic priest. Tell that to a wife who's husband was killed in an MVA. Don't tell me that God has a plan for everything. Most of what happens is chance, luck, and trying to avoid situations that may cause harm (I know, accidents can happen).

    March 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  6. Peter in Seattle

    How aboujt this: God is not a him or a her, but an it. There is no being "up there somewhere" controlling things. We co-create our own lives by every decision we make at each moment of each day. Look at the world – do you think we are all void of our part in the mess? Take your power back. Believe in God and believe in yourself, and take responsibility for your own life.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  7. Fatima

    http://catholic.cephasministry.com/masonlst.html

    March 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Fatima

      The essence of the Third Secret of Fatima is that Satan has entered the Catholic Church, bringing with him agents to occupy highest positions in the Church. Here are the revelations by the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ through Veronica Lueken as a voice box:

      "How I warned and warned that satan would enter into the highest realms of the hierarchy in Rome. The Third Secret, My child, is that satan would enter into My Son's Church." (Our Lady through Veronica, May 13, 1978.)
      "Satan, Lucifer in human form, entered into Rome in the year 1972. He cut off the rule of the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI. Lucifer has controlled Rome and continues his control now." (Our Lady through Veronica, September 7, 1978.)
      "I say this evening, as your God, that on that date, as promised at Fatima, satan entered My Church upon earth. He brought with him his agents - and satan himself, the deceiver of all mankind - sat in on Vatican II and maneuvered all the outsiders to come in and distort My doctrines and distort the truth ... You will speak out and say that satan is in the Church, My Church upon earth. He knows his time is growing short." (Our Lord through Veronica Lueken, June 18, 1986.)
      "Yes, My child, even with Vatican II, it started out with the best resolves, but then satan took over the scene. And with his agents he reached into the highest professions, the highest league of the Hierarchy, until, it saddens Me to say that many priests are now on the road to perdition and taking many others with them." (Our Lord through Veronica Lueken, July 25, 1985.)
      Editor's Note: For additional information see http://www.cephasministry.com/world_church_black_magick_pope.html
      These are confirmed by at least another source: The Blessed Virgin Mary's words to Father Don Stefano Gobbi:

      "I am weeping because the Church is continuing along the road of division, of loss of the true faith, of apostasy and of errors which are being spread more and more without anyone offering opposition to them. Even now, that which I predicted at Fatima and that which I have revealed here in the third message confided to a little daughter of mine (i.e. Sister Lucia) is in the process of being accomplished. And so, even for the Church the moment of its great trial has come, because the man of iniquity will establish himself within it and the abomination of desolation will enter into the holy temple of God." (To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons, No. 362, September 15, 1987, p. 572.)
      "The black beast like a leopard indicates Freemasonry; the beast with the two horns like a lamb indicates Freemasonry infiltrated into the interior of the Church, that is to say, ecclesiastical Masonry, which has spread especially among the members of the hierarchy. This Masonic infiltration, in the interior of the Church, was already foretold to you by me at Fatima, when I announced to you that Satan would enter in even to the summit of the Church. If the task of Masonry is to lead souls to perdition, bringing them to the worship of false divinities, the task of ecclesiastical Masonry on the other hand is that of destroying Christ and his Church, building a new idol, namely a false christ and a false church." (To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons, No. 406, June 13, 1989, p. 649)
      (Source: To The Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons, 12th English Edition,1991, The Marian Movement of Priests, Rev. Albert G. Roux, P.O. Box 8, Francis, Maine 04774-0008. Also available in many foreign languages.)

      This is the prediction of a combined forces of Communists and Masons gradually taking control of the Church and ultimately succeeding in installing an Anti-Pope who will be a henchman of the coming Anti-Christ. Then, it will be the completion of the mystery of iniquity.

      "The Black Beast is also Masonry which has infiltrated the Church and attacks it, wounds it, and seeks by its subtle tactics to demolish it. Like a poisonous cloud, its spirit seeps in everywhere, to paralyze faith, extinguish apostolic ardor and produce an ever greater alienation from Jesus and his Gospel." (To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons, No. 267, June 29, 1983, p. 391.)
      Please see other messages given to Father Gobbi on the Huge Red Dragon, The Beast Like A Leopard, and the Beast Like a Lamb.

      In this article we present some concrete evidence of the infiltration of Masons into highest levels of the Church except the Papal throne (so far, not yet). Virtually in all messages to true seers throughout the world, Pope John Paul II has been called "The Pope chosen by God." Our Lady calls him "He is my Pope" "The Pope of my light" (To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons, No. 359, August 13, 1987, p. 564) and She asks all the Priests to support him and defend him (To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons, No. 162, October 17, 1978, p. 225.) Our Lord in December 6, 1996 Message given to John Leary called him "My Pope":

      Jesus said: "My people, I have sent you Pope John Paul II as the pope for the end times. He represents Me on earth and he is living the message to go out aud teach all nations. His faith is strong and resolute as the Holy Spirit guides what he is to say. He is My authority on earth and he guides My Church on the right path. Some have hesitated to recognize him as that authority, since they wish to follow their own agenda, which is not always in conformity with Church teachings. I tell you, My pope is following My Will for you and you should listen and follow what he tells you. Many want to change the traditions of the Church, but you should not listen to those who believe only in change for its own sake. My words are forever, and should not be changed or misinterpreted. Let Me guide you on your path to heaven, and do not waver by listening to today's false witnesses." (John Leary, Prepare for the Great Tribulation and the Era of Peace, Vol. 5, 1997.)

      Our Lady has warned repeatedly on the as-sas-sination attempts against Pope John Paul II. She said:

      "As I directed you before, Lucifer seeks to remove your Vicar, so that the Chair of Peter will be empty. Confusion then will abound ... And then, without your prayers and acts of penance, will come ... the end!" Our Lady through Veronica Lueken, October 2, 1979.)
      "Unless you pray for your Vicar Pope John Paul II, he will be removed from among you. And if this takes place, there will be far worse sacrilege committed in the city of Rome and the parishes throughout the world ... When Pope John Paul II is removed, the Church shall be divided among itself. United it will stand, divided it will fall." ( Our Lady through Veronica Lueken, March 18, 1983.)
      The Papacy has been an obstacle for the election of the Anti-Pope. Thus, Lucifer wants to remove Pope John Paul II from the Papal throne before the Anti-Christ can be revealed. This is indicated by 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-10:

      "For unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of the iniquity already worked: only that he who holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: him, whose coming is according to the working of satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish: because they receive not the love of the truth that might be saved."

      March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  8. DAVYI

    Jez,

    You are a mindless tool!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  9. hater

    I'm an athiest. My question is why do all who have faith believe those who don't are evil?? I don't have faith towards a diety but I consider myself a good, honest, caring person. I've never commited a crime against anyone, I've never blatantly lied, or hurt someone for personal gain (although I have secretly wished for specific persons to be hurt, but never dead), I didn't need religion to teach me how to be a good person. I grew up on the streets of hell's kitchen in nyc during the 80's. homeless and parentless at 13 and not once did I even think of resorting to crime as a way of survival. I just don't get it. Why am I "evil" in the eyes of those who have faith?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Dan

      Believers actually believe that both unbeliever and believer are evil. The only difference is that the believer realzes it and is learning to trust him for salvation.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Dan

      PS...You state that ayou have never blatantly lied. Have you ever considered that you might be lying to yourself - even blatantly perhaps.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      Dan, that's kind of a throw away post script. I imagine he has thought of that and decided that he wasn't lying to himself. Pardon my assumption of gender. It's like going up to a random stranger and asking, "Are you sure you're not an awful person?" Um..yeah. Pretty sure. Thanks for asking though.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Also a Believer

      Why do you think that we all believe that you are evil? That's painting with a broad brush. I am a Christian. I am well educated and I came to Christ of my own volition and not because of my family beliefs. I have spent many years studying, and I still continue to research various faiths and atheism regularly. I do not believe that you are evil. Who am I to decide what is evil? That is above my pay grade.

      If you choose to reject God I do feel sad for what I believe may happen to your soul, but that is between you and God. It seems to me that Hell (where it is believed that those who reject God will spend eternity) is one of the most loving things that God created. He loves us so much that He is willing to give us what some of us desperately want – to be separated from God, or Hell. No person can "talk you into" following Christ and accepting Him. He is waiting for you with open arms, but if you reject Him that is your choice and I don't believe that it makes you evil. I believe that it will lead to you being given exactly what you want – to live eternity separated from God. He loves you so much that He will give you want you want even when it breaks His heart.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  10. Jez

    Amazing how people can believe that through luck we happen to have enough land to live on. This was no mistake, God provided this world with the necessities for our survival. It is foolish to not believe there is a God on so many levels.

    John 1:3 says, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made". The Creation of the world is the greatest miracle. God created all things – matter, life, and our own souls.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • vtrollsky

      @jez
      Jez you are christian (for the sake of discussion) because you happened to be born into a christian family. There is nothing amazing about it. If you were raised in the middle east you'd believe in islam. If you were raised by a biologist and a physicist you'd be an athiest.

      if god provided the world with necessities for our survival why then did he make 70 percent of the world salt water and the majority of the planet to hot or cold for humans?

      March 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      Nothing that you're saying makes any sense. I don't think any atheist would say that the world and people evolved out of a mistake. Collisions of atoms happened, forces interacted to create certain challenges, resulting in other interactions to deal with those challenges. What you call God, could just be called the Laws of Thermodynamics. I've heard semi-convincing arguments for the existence of God, but you're just not seemingly capable of it.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      Amazing how people can believe that through luck we happen to have enough land to live on.'
      What on earth is this drivel? It that supposed to be an argument for creation? That we happen to have enough land? lol.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Jez, you should probably read up on the "anthropic principle", and particularly the comments by Roger Penrose about it . What you are referring to is within that principle. It is not evidence for a god. It really is just a tautology (think self-fulfilling truth) wherein, in essence, that we are here to observe means that the conditions to support us must exist. No proof for the existence of a god is within that whatsoever.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  11. vtrollsky

    This article is drivel and it would seem the author believes in a creator. Contrary to what the op hints at, powerful belief in something false can absolutely be "switched off" with "empirical data". The Roman Catholic church used to tell us the world was flat and put Galileo in jail for saying otherwise. (they now agree it is round) He seems to think it's somehow more admirable to hide your contempt for god/religion in literature as opposed to speaking out honestly. Covertly disguised criticism of god or religion in literature was born of fear for ones life and nothing more.

    The thinly veiled stab at "new atheists" Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins is uninformed. Christopher Hitchen's is an Anti-thiest (hopes religion isn't true) and Dawkins is a scientist. There is nothing new about their ideas. They both take inspiration and get their moral outrage at god and religion from the very literature the op cites. Voltaire, Jefferson, Epicurus and Thomas payne among others. Fortunately, today they can do so honestly and forthrightly without fear of retribution. Dawkins and Hitchens also don't "spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating god flaws." They spend time shedding light on the devastating impacts of religions on our world.

    "Although these radical dissenters could steal the thunder from the New Atheists, they have remained almost unknown to date."

    I again disagree here. There are plenty of famous believers such as CS Lewis that lost their faith during periods in their lives and wrote famously about it. I'm not an atheist I'm an anti-theist. I don't hate god. It's irrational to hate something which there is no scientific evidence for. It would be like hating Santa Claus as the op did point out. I'm also not arrogant enough to say god doesn't exist for sure. I do however despise religion in all forms. Because of how it corrupts and retards our species and acts as an enabler for awful decisions not based on rationale. I'm certainly glad that I'm not so indoctrinated that I can see the problems and hate god yet still believe in him anyway.

    Here is modern religion doing it's work in America full on crazy with a side of nuts. That women is an attorney too.

    Mike wallace interview w/ WB Church
    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday/index.html#/v/4571502/westboro-baptist-church-leader-on-fns/?playlist_id=86913

    March 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  12. Jolnir

    Any article that begins with the false assertion that there's only one god doesn't even get me past the headline. Unless it's to look for the comment box, obviously. Let's establish a new journalistic best practice, i.e. there's LOTS of different gods and this silly jesus cult is only one (tied for most destructive, but still only one).

    March 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  13. ninetailedfox

    Editor's Note: Bernard Schweizer is an associate professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn.
    Teachers shouldnt be this ignorant. I aced English, I could probably teach better, and at least I would teach Greek and Norse legends, and not the BuyBull.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  14. ninetailedfox

    I could turn around and claim Christians hate my gods and goddesses, for claiming that billions of gods and goddesses are false, yet their "jeebus" is true.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  15. ninetailedfox

    I dont hate god, just those that claim to speak for god. However, the Abrahamic three is a destructive faith that needs to be wiped off the planet. I happen to believe in the gods and goddesses those wrecthed christians deem as false. They hate god by making up a bunch of rules, and breaking every last one of them, and by worshipping a fictional man/god that never existed.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Ron

      Thank you ninetailedfox. I'm in this boat with you.
      May the Goddess and God bless you!

      March 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  16. HereIAM

    like the "NO GOD" crowd, They are funny pulling their skewed understanding into the discussion. No human that I have ever met had the ability to perceive all things, calculate all possibilities, sum up all probabilities, experience all nuances, figure all variables, and understand all things, Its called infinity, space X time into a dimensional flux of uncalcuable proportions. And then you have a short little ape slighty more intelligent than a monkey stand up a declare creation Godless. You people are indeed funny for now. I have a feeling that you won't be very happy however when you realize that not everyone thinks your hilarious. I doubt if even i will be laughing.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'I have a feeling that you won't be very happy however when you realize that not everyone thinks your hilarious. I doubt if even i will be laughing.'
      Its ok, we are laughing at you, not with you.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Rob

      This "short little ape" simply says that I refuse to believe claims without evidence. All kinds of people of a variety of religions make claims about divine beings, but I have yet to see the evidence. So it's logical for me not to believe. I don't have to have infinite knowledge to make a justified assessment about the hypothesis that a god exists.

      It's rational and perfectly justified to refuse to believe in claims without warrant or evidence.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      You recognize infinite possibilities in the universe but arrogantly proclaim that you won't be laughing in whatever afterlife awaits (if any) as if you or anyone else could possibly know? Jerk.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  17. Bob

    Actually, I given it a lot of thought. So, a lightning bolt hits the primordial sludge, specific amino acids are created, they are close enuf together and of the correct type to form a chain that just happens to form a protein that just happens to fold into the right kind of protein that can join with the same kind of protein that happens to be real close by. Eventually, after a few millions of these 'just so happened to be in the neighborhood' proteins get togethere a cell wall forms and you've go this little ball (single cell) floating around in a rather caustic soup (according to some scientists). So, what does the little cell decide to do, create DNA first, or maybe a flagellum. Oh, wait, the cell doesn't have a brain. Cell brainlessly 'decides' to split in half–wait, I don't have any DNA, life sure is full of problems. Anyway, sorry, I just can't see it!!! The only premise on which it stands is the premise that 'God does not exist, so it must've happened this way, or something like that. On another note, I just gotta agree with Plato on the 'infinite regression' thing (Alien begets alien, begets alien ad-infinitum–also, thay all, down through the eons developed (evolved a better term???) to such a degree that they all were able to create space travel that could navigate the vast distances of the universe. When are we gonna get there???? Don't bother tellin me about wormholes–they were only created so that Capt. Kirk could go where no man has gone before.

    PS: As Sgt. Barnes said to 'Red' in Platoon, "Everybody gotta die sometime, Red." Thank God for death. Could you imagine a would (this one) where all of the 'evil', 'wicked' people never died, and had no reason to 'repent' (turn away, reject). You think the universe was created out of chaos (not you in particular, just thems that does), think about the chaos you'd have if there was no death. The Bible says, "men's hearts turn cold due to lawlessness!" Think how that would work if nobody died. All men would eventually become wicked. God has the death of children covered. His mercy well certaintly extend to the innocent that have died unjustly.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Q

      Please update your understanding of abiogenesis, the RNA-world hypothesis, etc, etc. Not only are you arguing from incredulity, you're arguing from an outdated ignorance. You could start by reading Szostak...

      March 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      So are you trying to suggest that there must be a god else we would never die?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Ituri

      If I were to compare your knowledge on the development of organisms and life to your knowledge of reading, I'd say you're at a third grade level and can't write in cursive at all.

      Educate yourself. Your vast oversimplification and layman's interpretation of the chemical processes that led to life are laughable, and your conclusions based on that bad knowledge are just as bad.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • DAT

      I want to have a talk with god's parents and tell them they better tell little god to stop playing with his humans or he is going to go blind.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  18. Ituri

    Btw, those angry people are often fighting against an entire lifetime of reinforcement on those religious ideas, meaning they've invested a LIFETIME in the relgious lies they're finding to be so absurd. Its hard to let go when you've invested so much, even when its a proven lie and total bunk that you bought into for so long.

    I should know, I've had the pleasure of a religious upbringing, and its something I'd never force on my own children the way it was forced on me. We've reason to be angry, being indoctrinated from birth into frivolous, unsubstanciated beliefs.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • TheOverlord

      Indoctrination is a powerful force and one that many people will never have the ability to overcome... no matter how at odds they are with what manifestly would be (if god actually existed) a vengeful, murderous, unforgiving, judgmental, dictatorial, demanding, sadistic and mute god.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Tammy

      Sounds like you should just be mad at your parents for the way they "forced" it on you, not at "GOD" who really does exist, your parents just possibly didn't allow you to make up your own mind. Don't hate God for that.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  19. Terry

    You can't hate something that does not exist. Grow up people.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      If people believe something, it does exist in a sense. I hate to pull a bill clinton here, but it just depends on how you want to define "exist." I can hate abstract ideas. There are several philosophical traditions that I might dislike enough to hate. They exist with the same legitimacy as God does.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • TheOverlord

      I'm an atheist and I agree with the original post but I also agree with the idea that God does exist, if only metaphorically. There is little doubt that religion and belief in god changes perceptions and actions of true believers (and those of us caught up in the aftermath) so in a sense it exists. It's not real, like a rock or a pencil but is metaphorically powerful nevertheless. This power religion has is a prime reason many atheists feel compelled to counter the effects religion has on our society and the dangers it poses to scientific and secular progress.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Me

      Atheist here. Without worshipping there is no "god".

      March 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  20. Jez

    Ok, here is the proof that everyone here truly believes in God. If this article was about the tooth fairy you would not get replies other than sheer jokes about her existence but in no way would you get such serious and numerous replies. EVERYONE here believes in their heart of hearts there is a God. They just want to argue with someone to through discussion to help them believe or believe again.

    People don't be dumb the very fact your heart beats and the Sun shines with no batteries or electrical plug should give you plenty explanation of God's existence. The planet Saturn has a perfect hexagonal shape that scientist still have yet to explain. The greatness and power of the oceans and the fact the waters remain tamed despite its unspeakable ability to destroy this world should also explain his existence. Claiming God is not real and denying his power is extremely foolish and when you die you will know of his existence but it will be too late.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Q

      @Jez – How did you manage to stuff so much BS in so few lines? From the claim that atheists/agnostics must actually believe simply because they see fit to refute theist's magical claims to the flawed apophenia argument from design to the incorrect notion that the hexagonal Saturn pole has yet to be explained and then closing with a standard Pascal's Wager. Well done!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'EVERYONE here believes in their heart of hearts there is a God'
      You are kidding me right? It seriously has to be amongst the most ridiculous ideas going. A magical all powerful being with supernatural powers watches over the whole of creation and will punish those that dont fit its idea of good behaviour. Yeah, secretly I believe that must be true, lol.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • DAT

      "the sun shines with no batteries" What in the #@$% is that?

      is that my kid on the other computer?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'is that my kid on the other computer?'
      You surely do not want to admit your kid could be that daft?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Normon

      @Jez,
      "The planet Saturn has a perfect hexagonal shape that scientist still have yet to explain. "
      FYI, I think they call that fluid dynamics: http://news.discovery.com/space/saturns-north-pole-hexagon-mystery-solved.html

      March 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Sally

      um, they believe there is a god, because they are arguing that there isn't one?

      That has got to be the most ridiculous leap of logic I've ever heard.

      They're arguing because they believe that religion is pretty essentially evil, and the root of much human suffering and slaughter in this world.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      Umm..This gets replies because people think it's important, not necessarily because they believe in God. Your claim is specious. The sun doesn't run batteries, it's true. That fact doesn't mean there's a god. Lots of things happen in nature that are "perfect." Ever see a fractal? They're more likely a proof for a universal mathematical constant rather than "intelligent design."

      In short, you could be right about God existing, but your severe inability form a coherent argument makes you somewhat unconvincing.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Nancy

      Lack of proper respect for other peoples belief systems, and over-religiousness in this country is the problem.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Tom

      Land of the opinionated, and home of the extreme!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jim

      If I travel back in time and show a caveman a lighter they have no way to explain it other than magic and that I must be a divine being. Now show someone from 1990 a ligheter and they know this is a lighter. Just because we do not currently have the intellect to understand why things work does not mean that there must be a higher power.

      Jez Arguement = Fail.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Josh

      I argue against child abduction. Therefore I believe in it.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Jez

      All of the replies prove my point even further. A man only attacks when he feels threatened. You all are threatened within yourself its a battle within your heart. Read below and may it touch your heart to be saved from the devastation course you are currently on:

      John 1:3 says, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made". The Creation of the world is the greatest miracle. God created all things – matter, life, and our own souls.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Josh

      @Cedar rapids

      Its not about good behavior.
      Its about people actually acknowledging and accepting him.
      Just wanted to say that.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Me

      No not me, I am an atheist.

      Really the Sun does not use batteries... Really!!!!!!! REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!! It is uses hamster power, that how it really works or is nuclear fusion? :p
      Just because we do not know something at this time in history dose not mean it is "god".
      For Saturn, it is caused by winds, gases & how the polar region intertwines, NOT god... look up "earth's polar vortex"

      March 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • DAVYI

      And so the fairy tale continues...............

      March 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      "A man only attacks when he feels threatened. "

      Oooo, yeah, about that. You're not being attacked, you're being disagreed with. It's sad that you don't know the difference.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Jez – All of the replies prove my point even further. A man only attacks when he feels threatened. You all are threatened within yourself its a battle within your heart'
      ah so which god do we really believe in in our hearts of hearts? ganesh? vishnu? I mean its just as valid right?

      March 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Its not about good behavior.
      Its about people actually acknowledging and accepting him.
      Just wanted to say that.'
      A list of commandments suggests otherwise, and the rest of the book that apparently contains guidelines and rules also does.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • cincykid

      Most people can only believe using the 5 senses. Faith consists of having a sixth sense- one of spirit. God is a spirit and one can only worship Him in spirit. To those that cannot understand this, the heart is hardened. faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. One only needs to witness and experience miracles done in the name of Christ through "average" christians to see the tremendous power of God. Many are being healed of diseases, problems of addictions, family problems, etc in the name of Jesus. It just doesn't get reported, but it's happening. Many of us are so caught up in this carnal world and its influence, that healing cannot take place. WHY? UNBELIEF. Even Jesus wasn't able to heal in His hometown due to unbelief. The Holy Spirit needs to move in a person's heart to believe in God and His reason and purpose. In fact, in Revelation, it's stated that man was created for God's pleasure. He loves all. But He doesn't force one to return that love. That- free will and choice- was the greatest ability that He gave to us. Read all about it. This is all in the bible.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Tammy

      You are right Jez, and it never ceases to amaze me that so many people blame God for things that PEOPLE do. For the other natural disasters that happen, God uses things to bring people to him, when they have no where else to turn and no one else to blame his hope is that they turn to him and he will lift them up and heal them. People have come to God out of the worst situations, God uses all things for his good. Maybe after people get all their screaming out they will look up and feel the presence of God, he is with us always, even until the end of the earth. He is a good and patient God so he can take anything people want to dish out but in the end he is still God.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'He is a good and patient God'
      yeah the OT god begs to differ.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Bella

      Said well JEZ......Ignore the ignorant ccomments. You didnt go all religious, you were just telling people to open thier eyes.
      Fear will make you say stupid things....just dont buy into it. It will be these same people crying for Gods help when a family member ends up ill.
      Damn hipocrites.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'You didnt go all religious, you were just telling people to open thier eyes.'

      'Ok, here is the proof that everyone here truly believes in God'
      'EVERYONE here believes in their heart of hearts there is a God'
      'and the fact the waters remain tamed despite its unspeakable ability to destroy this world should also explain his existence'
      'Claiming God is not real and denying his power is extremely foolish and when you die you will know of his existence but it will be too late'

      Yeah you are right, he didnt go religious, lol.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      ' It will be these same people crying for Gods help when a family member ends up ill.
      Damn hipocrites.'

      Nope, sorry, didnt resort to wailing and gnashing of teeth whilst my father-in-law was dying of cancer. Other people did I am sure but in the end it made no difference.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      I'm fascinated that people think just because they pray for something, and it happens, that it was the prayer that did it. Maybe it did. I don't know and neither do you. These also tend to be the people who say that sometimes God's answer is no. Then it doesn't really matter if I pray then does it? If there is a God, and its only reason for coming to someone's aid is *other people* praying, then that's a little bit messed up. I might even be convinced that miracles do happen, but there's no reason at all to think that faith is the cause. Correlation does not equal causation.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Mojojuju

      Where you see miracles, those of us with no religious upbringings see unanswered scientific mysteries. It might be hard for you to imagine, having been brought up in your faith tradition, that someone can't "feel" God in their being.

      I wasn't raised with any religion, so I just...don't...feel that. I don't understand why people could think there's a God any more than I could understand why people thought there was a Zeus. Actually, the latter is more understandable, since there was less understanding of the world in ages past.

      What can I say? I feel nothing, just curiosity. Maybe it makes you feel good to think that people all can sense God in some way, but the fact is, not all of us can, or really need to.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Ernest

      What does "god have to do with an electrical plug? Thats science my friend. Just like most things in the world can be proven with science. YEt theres still little evidence of anything that the bible says happened. Which by the way the bible was written by how many people? Any one person can write a book and say god told them too. Difference is the bible was written by numerous wackjobs that couldnt even keep their stories straight. I do beleive in a higher power, but christianity has it seriously twisted

      March 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Timmy

      But the Tooth Fairy is real, dammit!

      March 9, 2011 at 1:42 am |
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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.