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March 17th, 2011
12:55 PM ET

TIME: How our brains predispose us to believe

Psychologist Jesse Bering is best known for his often risqué (and sometimes NSFW) Bering in Mind blog for Scientific American, which examines human behavior — frequently of the sexual sort.

But he's also the director of the Institute for Cognition and Culture at Queen's University in Belfast and his new book, The Belief Instinct, examines an entirely different subject: why our brains may be adapted to believe in gods, souls and ghosts.

Read the full story about our brains and belief on TIME.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. T-party

    of course we are intelligent curious. All previous primitive civilizations that we have studied American Indians,Ancient Siberians,South American Natives,ancient Asians,all show signs of worshiping a higher power

    March 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      That higher power they worship is what we. Muslims call Allah,(God).
      That higher power choose and sent messengers,inspired them scriptures to teach us, what was that for?

       Al-E-Imran sura 03:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      It is not (the purpose) of Allah to leave you in your present state till He shall separate the wicked from the good. And it is not (the purpose of) Allah to let you know the Unseen. But Allah chooseth of His messengers whom He will, (to receive knowledge thereof). So believe in Allah and His messengers. If ye believe and ward off (evil), yours will be a vast reward. (179).

      March 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • AlltheProofYouNeed

      Man is Gods creation. You will need no more proof of God, then to look in your mirror. You will not evolve. you are finished.
      You are the on;y creation that has a spirit. You are the only creation that can commune with God. You are a unique creation

      March 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  2. Mr. Sniffles

    That was just a joke, Muneef. Happily married, good family, no regrets. They get to cultivate themselves – I am not their master and they are not my servants. It's 2011, not 610.

    March 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mr.Sniffles.

      You are the lord/master of your house and family... But that does not make them your slaves but make of you their protector ... Any way the verse means that the way you treat your wife the way she would become to be... May God bless us and our families.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Muneef

    http://mycatbirdseat.com/2011/02/william-cook-“we-the-forgotten-people-of-the-united-states…”/

    March 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Reality

      There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam..........................

      March 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      I thought she was an angel when I married her, but she turned out to be evil incarnate.

      March 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mr.Sniffles.

      Funny you got that right,I fell into the same t-rap...but got to live with my destiny having four kids togather...women were and are Hard Es-sential luxury that men of Adam...had to pay the dues for it gladly....That is Life and Women were created to be the Sp-ice of Life for men whether positively or negatively depends on our cultivation of the tilth...!

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad). (223).
          

      March 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Qadr sura 97:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power. (1) Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is! (2) The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (3) The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. (4) (The night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn. (5)

      March 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  4. Muneef

    http://mycatbirdseat.com/2011/03/william-a-cook-what-does-it-profit-a-congressman-to-retain-his-office-but-suffer-the-loss-of-his-soul/

    March 19, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Reality

      There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam.

      March 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      By reading the explanations of the 99 names of God (Allah) you would know who you are dealing with and how to understand him clearly.

      99 Names of Allah
      AN EXPLANATION OF THE PERFECT NAMES AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

      It is not possible to perfectly translate the 99 names of Allah from their original Arabic into English. However, here are some fairly close explanations.

      "He is Allah (God), the Creator, the Originator, The Fashioner, to Him belong the most beautiful names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, do declare His praises and Glory. And He is the Exalted in Might, The Wise. (Quran 59:24)

      "The most beautiful names belong to Allah (God): so call on Him by them;..." (Quran 7:180)
      http://www.faizani.com/articles/names.html

      March 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  5. Reality

    Actually, there are a number of people directly responsible for "ManGodity" aka Christianity. One of the most overlooked is Pontius Pilate. He could just as easily sent Jesus to the salt mines and then there would have been no sacrifice for your sins. Hmmmm, a religion based on the whims of a Roman procurator??? Maybe we should rethink the importance of the crucifixion and concentrate on the Beat-itudes!!!!--–

    March 19, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Frederica

      Reality, both the Jews and Romans revealed what humanity would to a sinless person. You'd abhor your sinfulness if you were an honest person. The fact you feel nohing about the suffering and death of God's Son reveals the seriousness of your depravity. Hell is fit for mankind.

      March 19, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Reality

      Saving over 3.5 billion lost souls in less than 57 words, Priceless:

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslim souls:
      There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam

      Saving 2 billion lost Christian souls:
      There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity

      Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      Added details upon request.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  6. b4big bang

    Here's the quote re Einstein's belief:
    In 2007, in an interview with Benjamin Wiker, Flew said again that his deism was the result of his "growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe" and "my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source." He also restated that he was not a Christian theist.[25]

    March 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  7. b4big bang

    Actually I got the idea that Einstein was a Deist from Wikipedia I seem to recall. If Einstein was indeed an atheist rather than a Deist I (and Wikipedia) stand corrected.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @b4big bang

      Hey there -big bang...

      I found this quote of Einstein. Just putting it out there as another statement of his to offer some additional perspective.

      "You may call me an (agnostic)... I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an atti-tude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

      –Albert Einstein

      Peace...

      March 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  8. b4bigbang

    bp said
    "Think about it, if you wanted to convert aethiest then wouldnt you have to go about it in a way that makes sense to them."
    I suppose that if any athiests are looking for their kind of evidence (of the existance of a Creator) then maybe they should look into the way Einstein, Flew and other great thinkers arrived at their belief.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • bp

      Thats not evidence thats just saying go read those guys opinions about god. I get enough of that from HS honestly. I want fact: 2 + 2 = 4 sort of fact. At the end of the day its not attainable cause igod was never there in the first place.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • NL

      b4bigbang-
      What beliefs of Einstein are you referring to? His atheism?

      March 18, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • NL

      b4bigbang-
      "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

      "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

      "Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being."

      Albert Einstein

      I can give you lots more quotes, but I think you get the idea. It has always been an outright lie that Einstein believed God was actually real. Bearing false witness aside, it really boggles the mind that Christians continue to spread this BS. So, b4bigbang, do you even bother to check any of the things Christians like to spread around, or do you just open up wide for anything they shovel your way?

      March 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • LJ

      NL, I think the reason some believe he did have some faith is he did say things about having a soul.

      "True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness." Albert Einstein

      It's the soul part of what he states that can be used toward an argument of being spiritual in some sense, not necessarily Christian. The premise for most religions is whether you believe you have a soul or not.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      The premise for most religions is NOT "whether you believe you have a soul or not." There are psychological as well as philosophical definitions of "soul" that do not have to include religion as being necessary for it (they generally do not exclude it either). Indeed, when modern scientists speak of the soul outside of this cultural and psychological context, they generally treat soul as a poetic synonym for mind.

      As such, your attempt to reinject religion into Einstein's atheism/agnisticism fails.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • NL

      LJ-
      "I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."

      "Immortality? There are two kinds. The first lives in the imagination of the people, and is thus an illusion. There is a relative immortality which may conserve the memory of an individual for some generations. But there is only one true immortality, on a cosmic scale, and that is the immortality of the cosmos itself. There is no other." Albert Einstein

      So that would be 'soul' as in personality, not immortal spirit destined to some afterlife.

      I believe that you can be 'spiritual' when things move you emotionally, like music, art and, in Einstein's case, the majesty of nature.

      "Both deism and traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic theism must also be contrasted with pantheism, the notion attributed to Baruch Spinoza (d. 1677) that the deity is associated with the order of nature or the universe itself. This also crudely summarizes the Hindu view and that of many indigenous religions around the world. When modern scientists such as Einstein and Stephen Hawking mention 'God' in their writings, this is what they seem to mean: that God is Nature." Victor J Stenger

      March 19, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  9. sealchan

    Perhaps a God that we can't escape and one that we can't prove is escapable is the best God for our psychology.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • sealchan

      ...and if so, then if He is real then He would hide Himself for that very reason!

      March 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Those who's egos refuse God is the reason you don't/can't know Him. Only when you humble yourself to read His letter He wrote All of us (the Bible) will He unveil Himself to you.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  10. bp

    Hey HeavenSent what makes Muneef's scriptures/belief any less wrong that yours? Muneef I ask you the same question as well?

    Obviously both your gods cant be true....so which is it? How about neither?

    March 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Muneef

      bp.

      His creator and my creator and the creator of all universe is God Almighty who has all the beautiful names what ever we call him to be....We call God Allah while others called him All-ahem and so on...

      If HeavenSent was annoyed from my comments is because I said that this verse of his is wrong and here it is:
      Psalm 58:3
       3 Even from birth the wicked go astray; 
         from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.

      For which I have quoted for him a verse from the Quran about the subject speaking that mankind was given a choice and here it is;
      Al-Insan sura 76:
       Lo! We create man from a drop of thickened fluid to test him; so We make him hearing, knowing. (2) Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving. (3).

      Another one was that when one of his verses that stated Jesus and God in heavens and that they created all creations, and in the next one about Jesus and God being one...
      Revelation 4:11
       11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, 
         to receive glory and honor and power, 
      for you created all things, 
         and by your will they were created 
         and have their being.”

      Deuteronomy 4:39
       39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      bp.

      Al-Ikhlas sura 112:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)

      March 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • bp

      Quoting scriptures proves that you can quote scripture nothin more. It's a book written by man nothing more unless you have evidence.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Isaiah 44: 6-8, 24; 45:5-10, 18, 21-22

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bradley

      The de-vil can quote scripture too.

      Prov 11:14
      14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
      But in the multi~tude of counselors there is safety

      Prov 27:17
      7 As iron sharpens iron,
      so one man sharpens another.

      When we share our thoughts and ideas we are sharpening each other. We bring our own perspectives to the discussion. We are looking at the same scripture through these different perspective. It's why when you only quote scripture and don't share your thoughts that you become stagnate in your study of God's word. We all need to read his word but we need to share our thoughts to make sure we understand the complete truth.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • bp

      HS my argument is still valid, quoting scripture proves nothing. you cant use something flawed to prove something is correct.

      Honestly I should go grab the fFying Spagetti Man bible and just start throwing scriptures out there to counter your scriptural arguments. You see how that wouldn't prove anything? Same applies to your little black book you call the bible.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      bp.

      Our scriptures or say our Holy Books are our law that we live by just as the laws your forefathers has made for you to live by, Therefore they are for me the enough for a proof for which I need no other proof.

      While for some who disbelieve, they will get to see their proof but mightbe when it is too late to repent or when no repentance is accepted by God from man...

      March 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I tried to post twice after your last post. Both my posts are being denied by the mod squadders on this site.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Al-Kahf sura 18:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Qur'an all manner of similitudes, but man is more than anything contentious. (54) And naught hindereth mankind from believing when the guidance cometh unto them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord unless (it be that they wish) that the judgment of the men of old should come upon them or (that) they should be confronted with the Doom. (55) We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve contend with falsehood in order to refute the Truth thereby. And they take Our revelations and that wherewith they are threatened as a jest. (56) And who doth greater wrong than he who hath been reminded of the revelations of his Lord, yet turneth away from them and forgetteth what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. (57) Thy Lord is the Forgiver, Full of Mercy. If He took them to task (now) for what they earn, He would hasten on the doom for them; but theirs is an appointed term from which they will find no escape. (58) And (all) those townships! We destroyed them when they did wrong, and We appointed a fixed time for their destruction. (59).

    March 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Who is Allah? He is an impostor.

      Woe to each sinful impostor. (S.45, A.7)

      Allah claims to be the Truth (S.20, A.114), but Allah lies.

      Jesus Christ, the Word of God (Revelation 19:13), is the Truth (John 1:1, 14; 14:6). This Word (Hebrews 4:12-13) reveals that false gods, idols, involve demons (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; 2 Chronicles 11:15; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21; Revelation 9:20).

      Thus, Allah is a demon, or demons, and Muhammad was a prophet of a demon (or demons).

      The Quran attributes itself to the religion of Abraham, calls Abraham a man of Truth, and teaches people to follow the religion of Abraham.

      And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him we chose and rendered pure in this world: and he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous. (S.2, A.130)

      (Also) mention in the Book (the story of) Abraham: He was a man of Truth, a prophet. (S.19, A.41)

      Say: "Allah speaketh the Truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith: he was not of the Pagans." (S.3, A.95)

      So, even though the Quran tells people to "follow the religion of Abraham," in hypocrisy it denies the religion of Abraham.

      They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (to salvation)." Say thou: Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, (S.2, A.135)

      Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was Upright, (S.3, A.67)

      Most who call themselves Jews and Christians are false and are not truly Jews and Christians (Psalm 81:15; Romans 2:28-29; 2 Timothy 4:3; Revelation 2:9). Nonetheless, Abraham's religion was and is certainly Jewish and most profoundly Christian. Jesus said,

      "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:56-58; see also Exodus 3:14).

      The religion of Abraham, the Hebrew (Genesis 14:13), was both Jewish and Christian, because he is "the father of all those who believe" (Romans 4:11). True Judaism and true Christianity is actually the same religion, the religion of Abraham. Yahweh, the God who gave Moses the Torah (Exodus 24:12), the God who has a Son (Psalm 2:7-12), is the God who appeared to Abraham. Genesis 12:1, 4, 7; 15:1, 2, 4, 6, 7-8; 17:1; 18:1, 13-14, 17, 19-20, 26, & 33, all name Yahweh ("the Lord") as the One who spoke with Abraham, and it is this God that true Jews and true Christians worship. It is not Allah, the god of the Quran, to whom Abraham gave worship, but rather the Lord God, Yahweh.

      And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord [Yahweh] and called on the name of the Lord [Yahweh]. (Genesis 12:8; see also Genesis 14:22; 22:14).

      "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22), and it is the Jewish Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings salvation to mankind (Genesis 15:6; Matthew 4:4; James 1:21). This is the religion of Abraham, both before he died and after (Luke 16:19-31).

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Araf sura 07:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Lo! my Protecting Friend is Allah Who revealeth the Scripture. He befriendeth the righteous. (196) They on whom ye call beside Him have no power to help you, nor can they help you, nor can they help themselves. (197) And if ye (Muslims) call them to the Guidance they hear not; and thou (Muhammad) seest them looking toward thee, but they see not. (198) Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant. (199) And if a slander from the devil wound thee, then seek refuge in Allah. Lo! He is Hearer, Knower. (200) Lo! those who ward off (evil), when a glamour from the devil troubleth them, they do but remember (Allah's guidance) and behold them seers! (201) Their brethren plunge them further into error and cease not. (202).

      March 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

      Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, (Revelation 1:4)

      "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)

      The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8)

      We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, . . . (Revelation 11:17)

      And I heard the angel of the waters saying: You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. (Revelation 16:5)

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Muneef/Heavensent ... you two sound like two wizards pointing wands at each other trying to see who has the more powerful.. lets see who gets zapped first..

      March 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSend. U.R.

      with all and full respect;
      You know that your used name is dear to my heart,for having been a believer in God the Creator of the whole Universe he has all the beautiful names that we know or do not know,I believe that God starched his hand to mankind in love,sending among them his prophets and messengers to warn and guide to righteous,am not told to force belief or religion upon people of any faith or of non faith, am a mere reminder and Warner to my self and whom my want to know and judge their senses life is a spiritual challenge,life is a maze and only if make use of the heavenly codes that could be found in All Scriptures of God that was relaid upon mankind from prophets&messengers from Adam to Noah to Abrahim to Musa to Issa to Muhammed which many obviously seem to Ignore !! God in his Quranic verses told us not to ignore The Elder Scriptures of Knowledge(Elm Al-Kitab),Wisdom (Al-Hikma) & justice (Al-Furkan). All those within Torah Musa,Zabor Dawoud,Angeel Issa out of which brewed out of it the soul thing of pure faith that God was not not begotten,God is Single and not Plural,God has no Mistress,God has  No Begotten Son,God may Chose Any as Sons from his creations with out need to beget sons through the means he created for mankind to increase population...All Prophets and Messengers spoke the Words of God as he put his words to their mouths....they were the words of God...
      Now please read with me the verses even if for general informations only;

      Rebuilding the first house of worship on earth in Mecca;          
      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower. (127) Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful. (128) Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, Wise. (129).

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous. (130) When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds. (131) The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him). (132) Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have surrendered. (133) Those are a people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do. (134).

      God had sent to us those who Abraham has asked from God to send;
      God has sent After Abraham, Musa or Moses from Among and tongue of his people,then the Messiah Issa the son of Mariam from among and tongue of his people and finally Muhammed from among and tongue of his people;

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you, who reciteth unto you Our revelations and causeth you to grow, and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that which ye knew not. (151) Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me. (152).

      Al-E-Imran sura 03:
      Allah verily hath shown grace to the believers by sending unto them a messenger of their own who reciteth unto them His revelations, and causeth them to grow, and teacheth them the Scripture and wisdom; although before (he came to them) they were in flagrant error. (164).

      Others being Jealous from the House of Abraham for the knowledge bestowed upon them;  
      An-Nisa sura 04:
      Or are they jealous of mankind because of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them? For We bestowed upon the house of Abraham (of old) the Scripture and wisdom, and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom. (54) And of them were (some) who believed therein and of them were (some) who disbelived therein. Hell is sufficient for (their) burning. (55).

      About Jesus the son of Mary inherited all the knowledge of the scriptures and powers by God.  
      Al-Maeda sura 05:
      When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than evident magic; (110) And when I inspired the disciples, (saying): Believe in Me and in My messenger, they said: We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered (unto Thee). (111).

      God had laid down upon Jesus believers a table spread with food from heavens for eternity but with a hard warning; 
      Al-Maeda sura 05:
      When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if ye are true believers. (112) (They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. (113) Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. (114) Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. (115).

      God inquiring from Jesus if he had said words mislead followers of his path;  
      Al-Maeda sura 05:
      And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I had ever said it, then Thou wouldst have known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden? (116) I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things. (117) If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them (lo! they are Thy slaves). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, the Wise. (118) Allah saith: This is a day in which their truthfulness profiteth the truthful, for theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they are secure for ever, Allah taking pleasure in them and they in Him. That is the great triumph. (119) Unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is therein, and He is Able to do all things. (120).
                    

      March 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSend.

      You se the difference between us is that you call God God and call Jesus the Lord....!
      While we call God Allah as the Lord and consider messengers of God as sheepereds of faith...it is them shepherds who will meet us on resurrection each will lead his own followers in to the stand of judgment day...as our intercessors but the final word is for God if to admit to any levels of Pradises satisfactions or Hells punishments.

      We say God is our lord,while some of you say Jesus the lord is God, or say the Jesus the
      Lord is the begotten Son of God ?? By saying such things you have deserted the submission belief and faith of Abraham for some thing you produced and not by the Son of Mary..

      March 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSent.

      My ancestors might have followed the message of Noah,might have followed the message of Abraham,might have followed the message of Moses,might have followed the message of Jesus, but in the end they became to follow the message of Muhammed....
      Strange that you believe in the evolution of Animals and Mankind but do not want to accept the Evilution of Religions...and that's why we remained separated becoming more divided...with each others and among our selves growing in to too many branches every generation evolves....?!

      March 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSent.

      Or maybe because your books tells you that Arabs are decedents of a Slave (Ismael) from a Slave mother (Hagir)? For which you should not take any of the words of their book even is right and true ? Eeeeeegggggoooo.
      Genesis 16:2
      Genesis 16:3
      Genesis 21:12

      March 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Muneef,

      Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Anaam sura 06:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Yet they ascribe as partners unto Him the jinn, although He did create them, and impute falsely, without knowledge, sons and daughters unto Him. Glorified be He and high exalted above (all) that they ascribe (unto Him). (100) The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a child, when there is for Him no consort, when He created all things and is Aware of all things? (101) Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He taketh care of all things. (102) Vision comprehendeth Him not, but He comprehendeth (all) vision. He is the Subtile, the Aware. (103) Proofs have come unto you from your Lord, so whoso seeth, it is for his own good, and whoso is blind is blind to his own hurt. And I am not a keeper over you. (104) Thus do We display Our revelations that they may say (unto thee, Muhammad): "Thou hast studied," and that We may make (it) clear for people who have knowledge. (105) Follow that which is inspired in thee from thy Lord; there is no God save Him; and turn away from the idolaters. (106).

      March 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  12. Biffy

    Shouldn't the article be "How the Brainless are predisposed to believe in God"?

    March 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • sealchan

      Or "How the brainless believe in Love or Free Will"...

      March 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  13. Muneef

    What appeared to them was what their brains Predisposed to them to believe !?.

    An-Nisa sura 04:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger – they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. (157) But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. (158).

    March 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bad fig,

      Proverbs 16:4
      Jeremiah 17:9
      Colossians 1:16
      Psalm 58:3
      Revelation 4:11
      Proverbs 17:11
      Deuteronomy 4:39

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSent.

      Thank you for the Good & Bad Figs....

      March 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Now here are the Figs and will tell you which are Right and Which are Wrong ones;

      Proverbs 16:4  (Right).
      Jeremiah 17:9 (Right).
      Colossians 1:16 (Right).
      Psalm 58:3.      (Wrong). Mankind was given choices to make and take.
      Revelation 4:11 (Not Clear) since it reflects as if was addressed to both rather than the creator (God) alone !?!.
      Proverbs 17:11 (Right)
      Deuteronomy 4:39 (Wrong) since it states that Jesus and God are one,but Right if was saying God is one and no other...

      March 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSent.

      Al-Insan sura 76:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Hath there come upon man (ever) any period of time in which he was a thing unremembered? (1) Lo! We create man from a drop of thickened fluid to test him; so We make him hearing, knowing. (2) Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving. (3)

      March 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Muneef, even Allah read who is the true messiah in John 1 and John 14 and told you to follow Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of ALL.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      Muneef, when you say "Deuteronomy 4:39 (Wrong) since it states that Jesus and God are one,but Right if was saying God is one and no other...", you do realize that Deuteronomy was written centuries before the birth of Jesus and says nothing about him.

      March 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslim souls:
      There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam

      Saving 2 billion lost Christian souls:
      There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity

      Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      Added details upon request.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Muneef, even Allah told Muslims to follow Abraham and that the Messiah would be born into the world (Emmanuel, God with us) Jesus Christ is everyone's Lord and Savior so we ALL are to follow Him.

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1. John 1:14, Hebrews 4:12-13, Galatians 3:8.

      Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! Deuteronomy 6:4 (Zechariah 14:9)

      Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord: and besides Me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:10-11 (Isaiah 44: 6-8, 24; 45:5-10, 18, 21-22)

      He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. (Proverbs 10:17)

      Those who go astray from the word of God, are not in the truth, and are not saved; and their words are words of deceit, as Psalm 119:118 declares,

      You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.

      God rejects all those who stray from His word. It does not matter what the subject matter is. There is no salvation for any who heed not holy writ, as Psalm 119:21 proclaims,

      You rebuke the proud, the cursed, who stray from Your commandments.

      How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. (Proverbs 1:22)

      Their complacency will destroy them (Proverbs 1:32).

      Christ said,

      Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

      Life is had "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (i.e. Genesis to Revelation). It is trust in the word of God that saves, as James exhorts,

      Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

      It is the word of God that saves (e.g. Luke 8:11-12). It is the word of God that must be believed (e.g. Genesis 15:5-6; Romans 4:3). If you are directed away from faith in the word of God, whatever the issue, this can lead to the destruction of your soul.

      Ecclesiastes 12:5 Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [shall be] in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

      Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

      Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

      Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

      Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

      Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

      Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

      He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36, 1 John 2:3-5).

      Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)

      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." Romans 1:18-32

      They will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth (Matthew 8:12; 22:1-14; 25;14-30; Luke 13:28).

      Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Mirage is one of what our brains predispose us to believe it is water !?.

    Al-Noor sura 24:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are as a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one supposeth it to be water till he cometh unto it and findeth it naught, and findeth, in the place thereof, Allah Who payeth him his due; and Allah is swift at reckoning. (39) Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light. (40).

    March 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Reality

      No mirages in the following synopsis;

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      March 19, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  15. Don

    Since I don't believe in any of those things (god, spirits, ghosts, etc.), it is clear that by counterexample humans are not predisposed to believe in god.

    March 18, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Ferdinand Calypso

      When we grow to our fullest potential, I expect simple reasoning power to see past the lies, but brainwashing is brainwashing.
      The human brain is lacking in several areas. The author of the article / book is just trying to sell books. CNN religious bookstore is ludicrous and lame. Great for trolling, though.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Don

      You said: "Since I don't believe in any of those things (god, spirits, ghosts, etc.), it is clear that by counterexample humans are not predisposed to believe in god."

      Humans are predisposed to create and worship gods. Note all the gods from the past and the ones we have in the present.

      But, the really problematic part of man's love of gods to theists, is that man is not predisposed to worship any particular god.

      Babies are born atheist. Mom and Dad and Society program the god into the them. You can train a young child to believe in any god you like. The parent's religion and the society that a child grows up in, are the 2 biggest factors in what religion the child will embrace when grown.

      One of the most compelling reasons for rejecting god, is the fact that there are so many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.).

      Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
      Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps He does not exist.

      Why would the Christian god leave room for confusion? If He exists, wouldn't He want everyone to know He exists and is the one true god?

      1 Timothy 2: 3 – 5 says the Christian god does desire this:
      3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
      5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

      1. If the Christian God existed, this fact would be obvious.
      So obvious in fact, that EVERYONE, or nearly everyone would believe in His existence. There would be only worshipers of the one true Christian god.

      2. The Christian God's existence is not, in fact, as obvious as we would expect, if he existed.
      This fact is evidenced by all the different religions, plus us nasty atheists.

      3. Therefore, the Christian God does not exist.

      Cheers!

      March 18, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Scriptures prove otherwise ...

      Proverbs 16:4
      Jeremiah 17:9
      Colossians 1:16
      Psalm 58:3
      Revelation 4:11
      Proverbs 17:11
      Deuteronomy 4:39

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Magic

      HeavenSent,

      "Scriptures prove otherwise .."

      I'll just bet that you don't believe anything that comes out of the Middle East today... why believe anything that those primitive old codgers said?

      March 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Magic, God is in control. All has been written. You just don't have eyes to see, nor ears to hear His truth.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Don

      David, the fact that theism must be taught shows that humans are not predisposed to god-belief. Further, the fact that there are atheists drives the nail in all the deeper. Humans have no predisposition toward god-belief.

      March 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  16. David Johnson

    Bering said: "I am by no means saying that religion is a bad thing nor that religious people are less intelligent. That's been the primary problem with the new atheists. They take an elitist stance that religion is for fools and the gullible."

    WoW! This is so weird. I was just saying to the wife this morning, about how religion is for fools and the gullible...

    Cheers!

    March 18, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Ferdinand Calypso

      I salute you, sir! Cheers!

      March 18, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Tamerlame

      It IS for the gullible and those without defenses against it. And they will be told they need it, too. Fools is too simple a word for it.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      It is far more elitist to think you are one of God's special people, and that everyone who does not agree with you shall spend eternity being tortured.

      March 18, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Just another 1 John 3:8.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Joe

      Heaven Sent everyone is a sinner so according to your worthless snippet of scripture you too will be destroyed. Duh!

      March 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Reality

      1 John 3:8 (New International Version, ©2011)
      8 "The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work."

      Historical Jesus studies have been afoot for only about 200 years. Before that the lack of education and communication in the global world prevented a thorough review of this fellow Jesus so called son of God.

      Blind faith based on the musings of a few elderly gentlemen of the first and second century CE, and promulgated by a few "elite", white male Europeans is no longer acceptable. Please review the following before making any more judgments.

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

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

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

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

      5. Josephus on Jesus http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

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

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

      Actually, there are a number of people directly responsible for "ManGodity" aka Christianity. One of the most overlooked is Pontius Pilate. He could just as easily sent Jesus to the salt mines and then there would have been no sacrifice for your sins. Hmmmm, a religion based on the whims of a Roman procurator??? Maybe we should rethink the importance of the crucifixion and concentrate on the Beat-itudes!!!!

      March 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, I'm still waiting for your response to the following scribed by men, inspired by the Holy spirit, authored by God.

      Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Surely, you don't take Genesis 2:7 seriously? Do you?

      Psalm 8:8: ". . . whatsoever passeth through the PATHS OF THE SEAS." How did David (the writer of Psalms) know, over 2,000 years ago, there were "paths in the seas"? David probably never even saw an ocean!

      Ecclesiastes 1:7: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the water cycle of condensation and evaporation in 1000 B.C.?

      Job 38:19: "Where is THE WAY where light dwelleth?" How come Job didn't say where is THE PLACE where light dwelleth? Because light is always moving. How did Job know something in 1500 B.C. ?

      Ecclesiastes 1:6: "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again ACCORDING TO HIS CIRCUITS." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the wind traveled within circuits? How did he know with their so-called limited knowledge thousands of years ago?

      Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. What Moses wrote in 1490 B.C. written thousands of years ago, by men with such limited knowledge?

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, I find it quit interesting that you always use back up supported by others that also have no eyes to see nor ears to hear. It must be a "group" thing you've got going. Jesus truth stands for eternity. All stones will tumble to the ground.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Magic

      HeavenSent,

      Just because you don't credit The Watchmen, Nick Goggin, Darwin Fish and the rest of your zealot cronies from whom you copy/paste, doesn't mean that you have a leg to stand on with this complaint.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Magic, I have credited the sites as true believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Just because you don't have eyes to see, nor ears to hear as you walk around spiritually dead, dry bones never to check Truth. You own that you don't go back to previous articles to read what I've blogged. The above read the Bible as do all practicing Christians who are faithful servants. Thank you for reminding other true followers of Jesus Christ to check in with the above sites from time to time (SMILE).

      And you? What's your excuse for not knowing the word?

      1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

      1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

      1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

      1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

      1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

      1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

      1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

      1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

      1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

      1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

      1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

      1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

      1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

      1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.

      1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

      1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

      1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

      1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

      1 John 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

      1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

      1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.

      1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

      1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

      1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Reality

      From Professor Gerd Leston's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416 notes: "Anyone who is in search of the historic Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. This verdict is a consensus among New Testament scholars."

      R. Bultmann
      E. Kasemann
      Earl Doherty
      Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
      Alvar Ellegård
      G. A. Wells
      Gregory Riley
      Robert Eisenman
      John Dominic Crossan
      Robert Funk
      Burton Mack
      Stephen J. Patterson
      Marcus Borg
      Stevan Davies
      Geza Vermes
      Richard Horsley
      Hyam Maccoby
      Gerd Theissen
      Bart Ehrman
      Paula Fredriksen
      Gerd Lüdemann
      John P. Meier
      E. P. Sanders
      Robert H. Stein
      Karen Armstrong
      Albert Schweitzer (The Quest for the Historical Jesus)
      Mahlon Smith
      Karen Pagels

      March 20, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  17. Po

    If anyone had a god that actually did stuff, wouldn't that be great? Too bad there's nothing like that going on.
    Spiritualism and Mysticism had perverted s-ex and both gave birth to Religion in a fiery conflagration of horror tales and terroristic intentions. Your gods will kill you and do something with your "souls". And you can't do anything about it because you have no idea what these mysterious "gods" really want you to do. Constant fear and paranoia are not healthy unless we're talking common-sense stuff. No made-up superbeings need apply.

    March 18, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Po

      Wow, I typed that too fast. Maybe if everyone reads it too fast they won't notice....

      March 18, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh,

      1 John 3:8 at it again.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  18. Reality

    It is called the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in religion.

    to wit:

    "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam." J. Somerville---

    March 18, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Those that have no eyes to see, nor ears to hear, do circuit tour spewing babble to the dry bones.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, HeavenSent and his/her other "red-neckers" suffer from a severe case of the Three B Syndrome which has no cure inside their "bible box".

      March 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, you have never commented on the following scriptures. I'd like to read your comments to:

      Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Surely, you don't take Genesis 2:7 seriously? Do you?

      Psalm 8:8: ". . . whatsoever passeth through the PATHS OF THE SEAS." How did David (the writer of Psalms) know, over 2,000 years ago, there were "paths in the seas"? David probably never even saw an ocean!

      Ecclesiastes 1:7: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the water cycle of condensation and evaporation in 1000 B.C.?

      Job 38:19: "Where is THE WAY where light dwelleth?" How come Job didn't say where is THE PLACE where light dwelleth? Because light is always moving. How did Job know something in 1500 B.C. ?

      Ecclesiastes 1:6: "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again ACCORDING TO HIS CIRCUITS." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the wind traveled within circuits? How did he know with their so-called limited knowledge thousands of years ago?

      Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. What Moses wrote in 1490 B.C. written thousands of years ago, by men with such limited knowledge?

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Reality

      HeavenSent,

      Your choice of "thumptations" has basically been vitiated by the New Torah for Modern Minds which has been noted to you many times in the past but once again for your perusal:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument."

      March 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      EGO means to Erase God Out. That's why Jesus told us to stay humble. Notice his very 1st commandment.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSent.

      Allah is an Islamic name for God the Creator: 

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay? (87).

      Al-E-Imran sura 03:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto you and that which was revealed unto them, humbling themselves before Allah. They purchase not a trifling gain at the price of the revelations of Allah. Verily their reward is with their Lord. Lo! Allah is swift to take account. (199) O ye who believe! Endure, outdo all others in endurance, be ready, and observe your duty to Allah, in order that ye may succeed. (200).

      Al-E-Imran sura 03:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      It is not (the purpose) of Allah to leave you in your present state till He shall separate the wicked from the good. And it is not (the purpose of) Allah to let you know the Unseen. But Allah chooseth of His messengers whom He will, (to receive knowledge thereof). So believe in Allah and His messengers. If ye believe and ward off (evil), yours will be a vast reward. (179).

      March 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  19. Frederica

    The psychologist has left out the effects of the Holy Spirit's working. Humanity's reasoning cannot fathom everything that is happening in our universe, even within ourselves. Creatures need humility before the Creator God.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • NL

      No, I think he is actually arguing that the Holy Spirit is just an articulation of some organic process within the human brain. That it's actually like an illusion when we perceive this as some 'other' presence. It's just our minds playing tricks on us, as they sometimes do, right?

      March 18, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • Frederica

      NL, the Holy Sprit is too real and too consistent throught history and in our current world to swallow your fantasies. There is a spiritual realm and there are evil spirits working against humanity. Then there are angels in battles – there are a far more things going on than you realize, NL. You need to humbly ask God to see the truth, read the Bible, and start serving God instead of serving pathetic self. Every natural human is a slave to one's own sin.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Query

      Is there anything you can show us in the real world? Anything at all? We simply need some sort of uncontrovertible evidence to know that what you say is true.
      How do we know you're telling us the actual way in which your "god" works? How does what you believe match up with the bible? And what do you do about the parts that contradict each other? How do you get around that stuff?

      March 18, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • Mischa

      What more people need is the humility that comes from realizing that our brains are not much better than an animal's and that we should be more accepting of other people's foibles because everyone has foibles.
      Too many religious people like Frederica act like "their shlt don't stink" because they have the "secret god that does nothing".
      Get your "god" to do something, Fredrica, CW, etc. or admit that he doesn't really listen to you.
      Saving a puppy's life is not as useful and helpful as other things that never seem to happen, ok?
      Call your god. Ask him / she / it to "fill us with the Holy Spirit" or "Bring us to Islam" or whatever your kool-aid flavor is....
      ...that would get rid of us real quick, wouldn't it?

      March 18, 2011 at 2:59 am |
    • doctore0

      Blah blah humans can not fathom the universe blah blah, need the wizard in the sky.

      Comon, thats so primitive...

      March 18, 2011 at 4:51 am |
    • Po

      But we are not "before" any so-called "Creator God" as far as I can see.

      Try coughing him up. I hear some of you have eaten him. The taste is said to be unreal. Seriously, if you can't show us what you are talking about, why don't you just go to Africa and dig a well? If you strike water, you are allowed out of the well. If not, well, well, well...

      March 18, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Tamerlame

      Where is your humility Frederica? You are arrogant, prideful. You speak without knowledge. You are a natural.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • NL

      Frederica-
      I noticed that you completely avoided my question about our minds playing tricks on us. Interesting.

      You say there is a "spiritual realm." Is this the same as the spiritual realms in Buddhism? The same spiritual realm that exists in shamanism and Native American beliefs? How about Australian aborigines, or the Muslims who believe in Jinn? Isn't it likely that all these peoples are just expressing the same feeling of 'otherness' in a different way than Christians do? I know the argument: They are actually also experiencing the (Christian) spiritual realm, but misinterpreting it. Isn't it more likely that everyone has the same feeling, but that they frame it differently in their respective religions or cultures, like we do other things?

      I've read the Bible, but have you read the Iliad, or any other mythology? What makes the Bible any different than any other ancient collection of morality tales, or any other religion's scriptures? I suspect the only reasoning you can offer is that you happen to believe it's true, and that the others are false. Personal opinion only, right? On the same level as stating that Italian food is better than Chinese. Face it, there's good Italian food and bad Italian food. Same with Chinese and every other kind of cooking. There is good Christian practice as well as bad. Good Taoist practice as well as bad. Even bad atheist practice to go along with the good. The type of cuisine matter less than the quality of the food, right? Religion matters less than the result: Living an ethical life. Perhaps your own pride is clouding your judgment here, eh?

      March 18, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • ScottK

      @NL – "about our minds playing tricks on us." You make a good point. A friend of mine recently quit drinking because he knew he was drinking too much and the doctor said he needed to quit and something he said stuck me the same way your comment did. He said "I just have to know that my brain is lying to me" and he went on to elaborate that 20 years prior he had quit smoking and had realized back then that his brain was lying to him and was able to quit cold turkey.

      Frederica, your brain is addicted to feeling more important in this universe than you are and is LYING to you to keep that feeling going. Heading to church on Sunday gives you your next fix with the Priest telling you how important you are to God and that you will get to live for eternity in heaven, which is whatever you want it to be... talk about an ego stroke. I almost wish religious addiction would leave visible track marks so we could see who were the most whacked out.

      March 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Frederica, ignore those that have no eyes to see, nor ears to hear, spiritually dead, dry bones. bad figs.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Rinzin

      Who created Mr. or Mrs. God

      March 19, 2011 at 6:41 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Rinzin,

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1. John 1:14, Hebrews 4:12-13, Galatians 3:8.

      Amen.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  20. bp

    Nice to see some logical thinking in here for a change. Though not nearly as funny. Im curious thogh if any christians can actually add some scientific evidence to their claims other than just quoting the bible. Speaking for myself I have no problems with religous people I just like to have someone logicallya argue it for a change. Think about it, if you wanted to convert aethiest then wouldnt you have to go about it in a way that makes sense to them. O course Im sure we'll just get some bible quotes thrown our way and how we all wil burn in hell blah blah blah blah blah.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Those that don't have eyes to see, nor ears to hear, teach and give seminars.

      Amen.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:39 am |
    • Po

      @HeavenSent
      You mean like Jesus Christ Himself? I guess you just don't get it, do you? You are a flaming hypocrite and it really shows.

      March 18, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Don't feed the trolls, Po

      March 18, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Po, po, pitiful po.

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1. John 1:14, Hebrews 4:12-13, Galatians 3:8.

      Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! Deuteronomy 6:4 (Zechariah 14:9)

      Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord: and besides Me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:10-11 (Isaiah 44: 6-8, 24; 45:5-10, 18, 21-22)

      He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. (Proverbs 10:17)

      Those who go astray from the word of God, are not in the truth, and are not saved; and their words are words of deceit, as Psalm 119:118 declares,

      You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.

      God rejects all those who stray from His word. It does not matter what the subject matter is. There is no salvation for any who heed not holy writ, as Psalm 119:21 proclaims,

      You rebuke the proud, the cursed, who stray from Your commandments.

      How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. (Proverbs 1:22)

      Their complacency will destroy them (Proverbs 1:32).

      Christ said,

      Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

      Life is had "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (i.e. Genesis to Revelation). It is trust in the word of God that saves, as James exhorts,

      Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

      It is the word of God that saves (e.g. Luke 8:11-12). It is the word of God that must be believed (e.g. Genesis 15:5-6; Romans 4:3). If you are directed away from faith in the word of God, whatever the issue, this can lead to the destruction of your soul.

      Ecclesiastes 12:5 Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [shall be] in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

      Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

      Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

      Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

      Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

      Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

      Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

      He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36, 1 John 2:3-5).

      Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)

      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." Romans 1:18-32

      They will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth (Matthew 8:12; 22:1-14; 25;14-30; Luke 13:28).

      Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)

      Amen..

      March 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.