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July 4th, 2011
11:22 AM ET

Atheists explain flying ad campaign

On the Fourth of July across the U.S., American Atheists are taking to skies with a flying banner ad campaign.

They will be flying over busy holiday hot spots like beaches and parks with banners that read: "Atheism is Patriotic" and "God-LESS America."

Some pilots balked and would not fly the banner ads. 

Justin Jaye of Fly Signs Aerial Advertising, told the Belief Blog last week,  "I've been in this business for 20 years and I've never run into so much resistance on people flying," Jaye said. "I've had pilots who are actual atheists who said, 'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest.'"

In the video above, Rick Wingrove from the Virginia chapter of American Atheists explains to CNN's T.J. Holmes more about the campaign and why they picked the Fourth of July.

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Content Partner • Faith • TV-CNN Newsroom • United States

soundoff (1,760 Responses)
  1. Evan

    I believe in God because I believe the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an undisputable fact for the following reasons:

    Fact #1 Jesus was crucified, died, and buried.

    1) Christ's crucifixion is mentioned by Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Jewish Talmud, etc.

    2) Virtually every scholar agrees with this. Even the highly skeptical Jesus Seminar admitted that Jesus death is an indisputable fact.

    3) Christ's death and burial is mention in a pre-NT creed Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. Most scholars place this creed within 5 years of Christ's death, some within 18 months.

    4) While usually the Gospels record brief snapshots of Jesus' life, the crucifixion and burial is smoothly laid out in each of the 4 Gospels with no contradiction.

    5) Joseph of Arimathea, the man who buried Jesus, is unlikely to be a Christian invention, given the fact that he was a member of the Jewish court (the Sanhedrin) than condemned Jesus to death.

    6) If Jesus were not buried in a tomb, you would expect there to be different accounts of what happened to His body, yet virtually every early Christian believed that Jesus was buried in a tomb, even the heretical Gnostics. There is absolutely no evidence for any competing view.

    There are many reasons to believe that the crucifixion and burial of Christ is true.

    Fact #2 Jesus tomb was found empty a few days later.

    1) 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, which is a pre-Pauline creed that dates within 5 years of Christ's life, implies an empty tomb.

    2) The account of the empty tomb lacks legendary additions that are found in most mythical accounts. In the Gnostic Gospel of Peter, a false Gospel written 150 years after Christ by the heretical Gnostics, records a 5 mile+ tall Jesus who walks out of the tomb with a flying cross behind Him! Compare this to the humble description of the empty tomb in the Gospels. It simply says that the boulder was moved aside and that Christ's burial clothes were lying there with no evidence that they had been tampered with.

    3) Women were the first witnesses to the empty tomb. According to Jsoephus, womens' testimony was so worthless in 1st century Palestine that it wasn't even accepted in court. If the disciples made up the empty tomb, you would have expected more "reliable" witnesses, such as a well-respected rabbi. Why would the disciples say that women were the first witnesses unless they really were?

    4) The Jewish leaders said that the disciples stole the body. This requires an empty tomb. Why would the Jewish leaders, the enemies of early Christianity, affirm an empty tomb if it was no so?

    5) Most scholars believe that early Christian preaching began in Jerusalem in around AD 30. Most also agree that Jesus was buried in a tomb in Jerusalem. It takes 40 to 50 years for a body to decompose, even longer in a tomb. Why would the disciples start preaching that Jesus had risen from the dead if His body was still in His tomb? Would the Jewish leaders have brought forth the body to disprove this? A short walk to the tomb would have disproven Christianity. If the tomb was not empty, wouldn't the disciples start preaching in Galilee or somewhere where people had no access to the tomb?

    There are many more reasons to believe in the empty tomb. In the words of Jacob Kremer, an Austrian specialist in the resurrection, “By far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements concerning the empty tomb.”

    Fact #3 Many people saw Jesus after the tomb had been found empty.

    1) Jesus appeared to at least 550 people, at one point 500 people at one time, and He appeared to groups of people on multiple occasions! Anyone who holds the "hallucination theory" must believe in the impossible idea of "mass-hallucinations".

    2) The Gospels provide multiple, independent attestations of Jesus appearing to people. The Gospels don't just record the same thing in regards to the post-burial appearances, but different, non-contradicting accounts given by multiple people. If the disciples made up the Resurrection, we would expect either 1) the same story or 2) contradicting accounts. In the Gospels, we don't have any of these. Rather we have different, non-contradicting details about this event, implying these appearances were witnessed by actual people.

    3) Jesus did not just appear to His followers, but skeptics and even His enemies.

    4) The disciples teacher had died. Nobody, especially not the disciples, ever suspected a dying, let alone rising, Messiah.
    Where did the disciples get this radical idea from?

    5) In the words of Philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig "Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyone’s rising from the dead to glory and immortality before the general resurrection at the end of the world. All the disciples could do was to preserve their Master’s tomb as a shrine where his bones could reside until that day when all of Israel’s righteous dead would be raised by God to glory". How did the disciples get such a radical concept of Resurrection unless it actually happened.

    There are many more reasons to believe this post-burial appearances of Jesus. Even Gert Lüdemann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”

    Fact #4 The disciples started the Church as a result in belief in the Resurrection.

    Anyone who denies the Resurrection must answer the following two questions:

    1) Where did the Church come from?

    2) Why would the disciples give their lives up for something that they knew was a lie?

    N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “that is why, as a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.”

    Virtually every attempt to Naturalistically explain away these facts has failed. There is no better explanation for these four facts that the Resurrection itself.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Evan

      Sorry, Sparky. Jesus may well of never have existed.

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean.

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:

      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31

      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32
      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".

      I'm sure you will apply Evangelical gymnastics to these verses, but taken literally it would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

      Here is some more:

      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
      Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      An interesting note:

      "The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Source Wikipedia
      Hmmm...

      If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true?

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.

      Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (68%) than who are (32%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • LinCA

      @David Johnson

      Don't forget that those 32% are splintered over some 34,000 different denominations. Each and every one of these splinter cells knows the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or so they claim.

      They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • The Scoop on Evan

      Evan is a high schooler blazing with the indoctrinating of his upbringing, without enough education to know how very faulty is his logic or how inaccurate are his "facts." His dates and assertions will be wild, so much so that he is actually inventing them as he goes. His supporting evidence will be either virtually absent or totally invented (Christianity has not helped his honesty).

      He is young and naive, completely unquestioning of anything he was told. He will distort and lie to defend his words. He is young, with all that goes with it.

      You don't need to debunk him: is own words do that magnificently.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Evan

      You said: "Anyone who denies the Resurrection must answer the following two questions:

      1) Where did the Church come from?

      2) Why would the disciples give their lives up for something that they knew was a lie?

      N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “that is why, as a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.”

      Response to #1: Why did the people start to worship Mithra, Ra, Zeus, Horus etc.? People like to worship gods. The New Testament was written to show that Christ was the Messiah (Gospels) and to establish the Church.
      Because the church exists and existed, does not mean Jesus was a demigod. Unless, you believe Mithra and company were real. LOL

      Response to #2: Josh McDowell gives us only 2 options. The disciples died for a lie OR The disciples died for the truth. These 2 options are not collectively exhaustive. There is another option. The disciples could have been believers, because they were deluded. Muslim terrorists give their lives for a delusion all the time.

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • David Johnson

      @The Scoop on Evan

      I didn't know that. I assume you are sure of this, or you wouldn't have posted it. I won't debate with people I know are underage. Thanks for the heads up!

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Evan,

      Amen! Tell it like it is! We Christians must stand up against those who are trying to destroy Christianity and impose their beliefs on CHRISTIAN AMERICA/

      July 6, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • David Johnson

      @LinCA

      Yep. And this brings up another problem: Why couldn't an all knowing, all powerful, all good god, produce a bible that is not ambiguous?

      The fundie claim that the bible is inerrant, is not possible, if so many people interpret it differently.

      I think, the Christian god does not exist.

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Godless loves you, Evan

      Below is from a post Evan made on page 14:

      Jaqueline Hyde: "it's safe to say that Evan does not earn his living in any field that requires logic"

      Being a high-school student takes alot more thinking than most jobs.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Godless loves you, Evan

      I truly feel for Evan. Understand that Evan is, by his own admission, a high schooler. Now consider what his upbringing must have been to produce a kid who believes this. Think of the kind of parents so overwelmed by fear of the real world and obsessed with Jesus that they feel they must shelter Evan absolutely and indoctrinate him so fiercely against reason and facts and science.

      I feel for you, Evan. Crushed in a repressive upbringing, striving for your parents' attention by being a model of devout Christianity.

      Evan is almost certainly the oldest child of his family. His parents are cold and strict, and they neglect him somewhat due to their religious fervor. He is struggling to earn love from parents unable to give it, from parents distracted by religion. They do not see him for what he is, only for if he obeys and conforms. He is not allowed to associate with non-Christian kids, and cannot relate to them anyway due to the crush of religion on his upbringing.

      Think of the kind of upbringing that would have a high schooler arguing religion here with long, detailed posts instead of calling of texting or hanging out with friends, or playing sports, or practicing guitar, or all the other things kids should do.

      Believe it or not, Evan, some atheists here came out of that same nightmare. I hope you find a bit of room somewhere in your life to find who you are, to shed a bit of what you were told to be . . . even if you stay religious.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Joe Blow from Idaho

      You said: "We Christians must stand up against those who are trying to destroy Christianity and impose their beliefs on CHRISTIAN AMERICA/"

      Yes, you must. Cling to your delusions for all your worth. Time is not on your side.

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Evan

      David Johnson,

      "Jesus may well of never have existed"

      Virtually every Biblical scholar would disagree with you. Even the radical Jesus Seminar does not doubt that the Gospels are based off of a real person. Even the talk-show "The Atheist Experience" has commented that it is indeed very likely that the Gospels are based off of a real person.

      F.F. Bruce says it best "It's not historians who propogate the Christ myth theories".

      "There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person"

      1) Who do you believe wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer, right? The only reason we believe this is because Greek tradition associates these works with him. Other than that, there's no evidence that Homer wrote these works, yet few, if any scholars, question their authorship.

      2) Matthew, although he was a disciple, quite frankly, never did too much in the Gospels. If the Church were tyring to win converts, wouldn't they have associated this Gospel with a more out-going disciple, like Peter? Also. Mark and Luke probably didn't even meet Jesus personally, although tradition has it that Mark recieved his information from Peter, and Luke stated himself that he had interviewed people from Jesus' life. If the Church were trying to win converts, wouldn't they have attributed this work to eyewitnesses rather than just reporters?

      "Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology"

      1) There is no evidence that any Jew was aware of these myths, let alone the uneducated disciples who lived in the remote region of Galilee.

      2) Atheists often exagerrate how similar the Gospel accounts are with pagan myths. Search "got questions Jesus myth" on Google and click on the first hit.

      "There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE"

      That's a pretty ignorant statement. Jesus is mentioned by Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Jewish Talmud, pre-NT creeds, etc.

      1) Josephus actually mentions Jesus in two places.

      2) The Testimonium Flavianum actually quite accurately matches Josephus' normal writing style, suggesting that the interpolations, if there were any, were minimal.

      3) Virutally no scholar questions the authenticity of the other writers.

      4) How do you know it was just hear-say? How do you know every historians mention of Tiberius Caesar wasn't just hear-say? How do you know the Normans descriptions of William the Conquerors exploits weren't just hearsay? How do you know Alexander the Great's four generals account of him aren't just hear-say? Ancient historians were not stupid; they did not just accept things with no information.

      "Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead"

      You falsely assume that only contemporary sources can record history accurately, The truth is the historian seldom has that luxury. There is no contemporary evidence for Alexander the Great (most of what we know about come from his four generals after his death). There is virtually no contemporary evidence for any ancient battle, either. Often, historians do not have primary evidence, or what they do have reveals very little.

      "Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean"

      1) Jesus wasn't a politician. In fact, the Jews expected a politcal Messiah. How did the disciples get such a radical concept of a Messiah unless Jesus was really how they described Him?

      2) Philo was a theologian/philospher. Aristotle was also a philospher, yet this man never wrote a word about his supposed student Alexander the Great. Are you going to tell me Alexander the Great never existed?

      3) Evidently, the disciples were aware of Philo. John called Jesus "the Word" (Greek: Logos), a term heavily used by Philo to describe the thing that made God known.

      "We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus"

      1) We also don't have anything written by Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, Charlemagne, Genghis Kahn, etc. Are you going to tell me they never existed?

      2) You can actually walk into Jesus' tomb, yet that doesn't seem to do much for you.

      "Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus"

      Incorrect. One of the first mentions we have of Jesus was 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. Most scholars agree that this is a pre-Pauline creed that most place within 5 years of Christ's life; some within 18 months. There is also a passage in the Mishnah which may have been written while Jesus was still alive. It records how the "sorcerer" Yeshu ha Notzri (which translates Jesus of Nazareth) was crucified not the eve of the Passover.

      " that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others"

      They're mocking Him. It's quite clear in context.

      "Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded"

      Actually, that is completely false. The historian Thallus (who wrote around AD 52) and Phlegon (early 2nd century) records this eclipse.

      "How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities?"

      I agree: Matthew 27:53 is weird. Nobody is quite sure what Matthew means here. Dr. William Lane Craig suggests that this is possibly an apocalyptic vision.

      Nonetheless, even if this is wrong (in whatever it is referring to), that doesn't meant he Resurrection never happened. A source does not have to be inerrant to accurately record history. In fact, it is the job of a historian to sort out fact from fiction in sources.

      ""The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Source Wikipedia"

      1) Wikipedia is not an accurate source. Ask any school teacher.

      2) Just because one account is wrong does not mean Jesus' account is wrong. You can't simply "outweigh" a historical statement because it has been wrong in other places.

      "If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true?"

      I'm guessing you haven't even read my post and just copied and pasted something off of your computer. The crucifixion is undeniable. Event the Jesus Seminar admits that Jesus was probably crucified. The crucifixion is mentioned by Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Talmud, etc.

      "Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans"

      Jesus is write when He says "'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." (Luke 16:31). Atheists have more than an intellectual problem. They don't believe because they don't want to. All the evidence in the world will not convince. That's why Friedrich Nietzsche and Thomas Nagel are my favorite Atheists philosophers: at least they admit ths. The truth is the Resurrection of Jesus is better historically accounted for than historical events we take for granted. If the Bible did not claim to be the word of the living God, virtually everybody would treat it as a historical sources.

      I notice you did not take the time to refute a single one of my arguments. Perhaps you didn't read my article? Or perhaps you did, but cannot refute my arguments? In shorts, your argument is weak and historically bias.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Q

      With all due respect, I was under the impression that most scholars believe "Homer" is a composite of multiple authors writing under the same pseudonym. I believe it's the same textual analysis that has been used to argue for multiple authorship for many, if not most, books of the bible. But nonetheless, there simply is no legitimate evidence for the resurrection of JC. All the eyewitness accounts simply don't comprise a real case, first, given an overwhelming bias to propagate the story, second, because eyewitness testimony is notoriously fallible and third, because there is simply no basis in any objective reality to accept the special pleadings for this magic. It's historical fiction, mixing real events with fabrications. In the end, what drives faith in the resurrection is simply the fear of one's own inevitable passing and the vain hope that believing in the right belief will translate into immortality.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Pedantic Digression

      Q is quite correct. There is no academic certainty that Homer was an individual. The Iliad and the Odyssey both were told by singer-poets who traveled around and made their living singing tales to courts around Greece. They were not written down for many years, possibly centuries. Each teller was free to adjust and adapt any tale, because there was no standard version.

      There are some indications that the stories went through a revision by some individual, as they are different from most stories of the era: Iliad does not tell the whole tale of the Trojan War, but a short crucial section of it, of only days. The beginning and end of the war is left untold. Characters are far more developed as a result. And interestingly enough, though the audience is Greek, both tales have the Greeks pursuing an unjust war for a bad reason, and behaving badly. The Trojans are more virtuous.

      That redefining individual would be pretty much what we call Homer, though he certainly did not invent the general story line, and those after adjusted it as well. Homer is in part a collective. But Homer the blind bard is probably like King Arthur – a tiny kernal of truth and a lot of legend.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • tallulah1o

      A thought keeps nagging at me about pretty much every god that humanity ever believed in: Why is it that no god ever traveled further than the humans of that time? Why is it that the peoples of every populated land mass had their own set of gods until human travel allowed word to spread?

      Why did the christian god wait 1500 years or so to make it to the new world? God, apparently unable to spread the word about his own existence, is forced to wait until humans discover navigation and ocean-worthy boats to get to the Americas. Apparently this jealous god was content to let the civilizations of South America worship their own sets of gods because he was dependent on people to tell his story.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Rhonda

      Evan, I applaud your sincerity and your effort in representing some of the evidence for the existence of Jesus. Don't take it personally if many of the people who post here can only hear their own voices.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Rhonda

      @God Loves You Evan
      The personal attack you unleashed on Evan betrays the fact that you have no intelligent reply to his articulate argument. Are you capable of refuting Evan's presentation or not?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Rhonda

      @Joe Blow From Idaho
      Atheists impose, Christians impose. Let's stop imposing and just respect one another's right to make decisions based on the best light each has.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Rhonda

      @Pedantic Digression.
      You are such a show off. Is your knowledge an end in itself, or is it a way to deeper understanding of something that matters?
      Don't waste a sharp mind on rabbit trails.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Rhonda

      @ Tallulah1o
      The human penchant for seeking the divine could be about trying to make sense of mystery. It could also be an innate homing device for a creature created in the image of the Divine. It is certainly universal.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Evan

      Q, Pedantic Digression

      "I was under the impression that most scholars believe "Homer" is a composite of multiple authors writing under the same pseudonym"

      I've not heard a single Homeric scholar who believes that. I have a copy of "The Iliad" sitting on my text. The 50 page introduction makes it quite clear a man named Homer was the author. Now, they do say that The Iliad had been performed for centuries beforehand by singers, but few, if any, scholars doubt that it was a single man who put the words on paper in around 800 B.C.

      "there simply is no legitimate evidence for the resurrection of JC"

      Um, did you even read my post because you haven't refuted a single argument?

      "given an overwhelming bias to propagate the story"

      All historians are bias. Roman historians wrote with Roman biases. Greek historians wrote with bias towards the Greeks. Even Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion" has an agenda. Bias writers is not a legitimate reason for rejecting a source.

      "because eyewitness testimony is notoriously fallible"

      The problem is often all a historian has is eyewitness testimony. The Bayeaux Tapestry: all eyewitness testimony. The writings of Alexander the Great's four generals: all eyewitness testimony. Just because something is an eyewitness account is no reason to reject it.

      "there is simply no basis in any objective reality to accept the special pleadings for this magic"

      1) So what did happen on Easter Sunday if not the Resurrection? You have not refuted a single one of my facts placed above, and it's not enough to say "The Resurrection didn't happen because we know it didn't" (that's a circular argument). The fact is no explanation accounts for the above facts better than an actual Resurrection.

      2) How do you know miracles cannot happen? Is it because you, in your limited experience, have never encountered one? This is special pleading. Is it because you know miracles cannot happen because they never have? This is begging-the-question. Norman L. Geisler rights:

      "[David] Hume speaks of 'uniform experience' [you call it 'objective reality'] in his argument against miracles, but this either begs the question or else is special pleading. It begs the question if Hume presumes to know the experience is uniform in advance of looking at the evidence. Fow how can we know that all possible experienc will confirm naturalism, unless we have access to all possible experiences, including those in the future? If, on the other hand, Hume simply means by 'uniform experience' the select experiences of some persons (who have not encountered a miracle), then this is special pleading".

      C.S. Lewis writes:

      "Now of course we must agree that...if there is absolutely 'uniform experience' against miracles, if in other words they have never happened, why then they never have. Unfortunately, we know the experience against them to be uniform only if we know that all reports of them are false. And we can know all reports of them to be false only if we know already that miracles have never occurred. In fact, we are arguing in a circle".

      "It's historical fiction, mixing real events with fabrications"

      1) Do you have evidence for this? The facts I have provided above are historical facts agree upon by scholars and I have given a number of reasons why they believe this. This is a weak argument with absolutely no weight to it.

      2)You appear to be saying "Most accounts of miracles are false. The Resurrection is a miracle. Therefore, the Resurrection is false". This is a logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Division. It's like saying "The university is 700 years old. Therefore, all the staff and students are 700 years old". This is obviously false. You can't attribute a quality of a group to an individual account. Like how the census says the average family has 2.2 children. No family actually has .2 of a child. Simply because most accounts of miracles are false does not mean the Resurrection is. Norman L. Geisler writes:

      "Hume does not really weigh evidence for miracles; rather, he adds evidence against them. Since death occurs over and over again and resurrection occur only on rare occasions at best, Hume simply adds up all the deaths against the very few alleged resurrections and rejects the latter...But this does not involve weigh evidence to determine whether or not a given person, say Jesus of Nazareth...has been raised from the dead. It is simply adding up the evidence of all other occasions where peole have died and have not been raised and using it to overhwlem any possible evidence that someperson who died was brought back to life".

      July 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Evan, look at them squirm! You supply "facts" as they, the Atheist scientists supply "facts" and "Absolutes" and they can't stomach it! An Atheist’s only reprieve is their love and demand of "facts"...Yet when presented some, they hiss like kitty cats at a raging pit-bull at their window! God-Haters, your scientific "facts" on gravity and quantum mechanics again, please? None any better written and convincing than these facts listed here! And again, I ask of the Atheists in this forum, WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR? Why are you trying so hard to scathe and do battle with faithful persons? What is it that you'll WIN? Do you know? So friggin' ignorant...

      July 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Evan

      Eldensword,

      we should be nice to Atheists, my friend. They are human beings after all. God still cares about them.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Agreed. It's difficult to see a child playing in traffic and not want to react swiftly and passionately! I do need to chill since these children ELECT to do so with years behind them and adult minds...So sad...

      July 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Evan

      Are you at least 18?

      Curious in Arizona

      July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Eldensword

      I'm not squirming. I don't debate with underage people. They should follow their parents wishes.

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Dave, with all respect...because you have been very cool to debate and to read. Evan's age should not matter on this board. I could see if we were on an Adult triple X board, then I could see the not wanting to talk to Evan. The thing is the boy appears to have a respectful response with your side, and lacks the "flame war" rhetoric that we have seen posted here for almost a year.

      For the non-flame war replies and post alone, I think you should speak and talk with him. Or do you want to go back to HeavenSent?

      July 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Q

      @Evan –

      "I've not heard a single Homeric scholar who believes that. I have a copy of "The Iliad" sitting on my text. The 50 page introduction makes it quite clear a man named Homer was the author. Now, they do say that The Iliad had been performed for centuries beforehand by singers, but few, if any, scholars doubt that it was a single man who put the words on paper in around 800 B.C."

      If you cared to examine, you will find considerable disagreement over the actual "authorship" of any product of oral tradition be it Homer or the various books of the OT. The NT is also subject to this criticism...

      "All historians are bias. Roman historians wrote with Roman biases. Greek historians wrote with bias towards the Greeks. Even Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion" has an agenda. Bias writers is not a legitimate reason for rejecting a source."

      Not reject out of hand, but to appreciate motivations. In this case, the clear motivation to elevate a moral philosopher into a divine supernatural being akin to the myths surrounding any notable leader or deity.

      "The problem is often all a historian has is eyewitness testimony. The Bayeaux Tapestry: all eyewitness testimony. The writings of Alexander the Great's four generals: all eyewitness testimony. Just because something is an eyewitness account is no reason to reject it."

      Again, not reject out of hand, but to place in the context of both motivation and the notorious fallibility of eyewitness accounts (again, eyewitness testimony is notoriously weak. Ask any of the hundreds convicted on eyewitness testimony and then exonerated with a simple DNA test). This is particularly relevant for those accounts cloaked in antiquity.

      "1) So what did happen on Easter Sunday if not the Resurrection? You have not refuted a single one of my facts placed above, and it's not enough to say "The Resurrection didn't happen because we know it didn't" (that's a circular argument). The fact is no explanation accounts for the above facts better than an actual Resurrection.

      2) How do you know miracles cannot happen? Is it because you, in your limited experience, have never encountered one? This is special pleading. Is it because you know miracles cannot happen because they never have? This is begging-the-question. Norman L. Geisler rights:..."

      1. You've provided no "facts", just reference to scriptural accounts for the resurrection. And you would lecture me on circular reasoning? One might equally ask what best accounts for the actions of the 9/11 terrorists or the Heaven's Gate cult? It is certainly not logical to presume validity of a person's/group's beliefs simply based on the strength of this person's/group's convictions.

      2. I do not know miracles cannot happen. I do however have the capacity to rationally place an alleged miracle in the context of all the available empirical evidence. Could it have happened? Sure. Could invisible, magical leprechauns live under your bed? With the same probability of a dead guy coming back to life. You are attempting to exempt your preferred magical event from the total weight of empirical evidence against a dead person coming back to life. You may want to reexamine the definition of special pleading.

      "1) Do you have evidence for this? The facts I have provided above are historical facts agree upon by scholars and I have given a number of reasons why they believe this. This is a weak argument with absolutely no weight to it.

      2)You appear to be saying "Most accounts of miracles are false. The Resurrection is a miracle. Therefore, the Resurrection is false". This is a logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Division. It's like saying "The university is 700 years old. Therefore, all the staff and students are 700 years old". This is obviously false. You can't attribute a quality of a group to an individual account. Like how the census says the average family has 2.2 children. No family actually has .2 of a child. Simply because most accounts of miracles are false does not mean the Resurrection is. Norman L. Geisler writes:..."

      1. Again, you've not provided facts supporting a resurrection, but rather references to stories which combine historical events and magic. When stories combine historical facts (e.g. locations, people, etc) and then add magic (e.g. dragons, trolls, resurrection, etc) they are commonly referred to as historical fiction or mythology. Mine isn't an argument. It's a statement based on available empirical evidence regarding any and all zombie stories. Again, I don't think you're in a position to suggest my "argument" is weak.

      2. I'm stating that there is no legitimate empirical evidence to support any claims of a supernatural miracle and did not make your alleged logical fallacy. Whereas I offer that all alleged miracles are either natural events or fabrications, you would pick and choose which ones to ascribe to supernatural causation and again are engaging in special pleading.

      With respect, you choose to believe your preferred miracle simply because you desperately hope you might enjoy the same miracle. All of your "facts" are little more than the cards from which you've chosen to build your house and they simply collapse under the weight of all available empirical evidence with respect to the prospect of human beings rising from the dead...

      July 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Eldensword

      People are people – Age throws you off too huh? God throws you off, age throws you off...Would it matter if Evan was a woman then? The kid has guff getting in here and standing up for his right to believe and all you can say is you won't volley? He's getting bashed at every turn by hateful voices because his parents loved him enough to share with him a story and idea that COULD guide him to betterment and he wants to share it? Even if religion is fantasy, it's an active mechanism around you. You don't like fossil fuels, right? But they are a necessary evil at this time until other answers present themselves and become practical? So somehow in your teensy, tiny little brain, you Atheists don't see the working mechanism of FAITH and the people that carry it that surround you? It is a n active mechanism and support function and you’re trying to chip away at it? You should never be an engineer, captain or be put into any team of any kind since the basic concept of “critical structure” escapes you! Some of the religious types get mad and so blind and ignorant that it drives me nuts too. Evan is not one of them. There are dozens of sharp, faithful ones in this forum trying to reason with the likes of you. When it comes to insults, as I am guilty in this posting, we build walls. Since "facts" are all you have and you claim to want or have an open mind, why not spend your whole life gaining as many theories as possible and be open to full exposure of the "facts" as you get them? Why, as an Atheist, come to any CONCLUSION? Is that really necessary? Or by definition shouldn't you shut the F$%& up and let people be what they ever they may be? No one has a gun to your head, forcing you to believe (Yet, although millions of Muslims are thinking of you, American, every day…). However, just like we would not deface the scribing on an ancient Egyptian tomb, we would not change what was written in our history as it was, not as the small little egotist may want it to be. Sorry, I went off on taking God out of our texts books and other state affairs. Different subject! Just fired up, that’s all. Back on task though…Evan, great job in representing yourself! Listen to the haters just long enough to know they are hissing and booing and insulting because they’ve made a decision. They woke up and decided they shall not bow. They shall not yield. They shall not bend to God. Can you imagine how scared they must be? Outnumbered? Forsaking the only truth? Bashing God? They make terrible Atheists! True Atheists don’t FIGHT to make a POINT about the existence of God! These folks are fighting, kicking and screaming about him! And since everyone is concerned about age here – I’m middle aged – Rich – Kids – All the American Dream stuff and I owe it all to my loving, forgiving, wise God in Heaven. It will all perish, as will my body. I can choose eternal death, or choose to at least shoot for something better. What kind of a moron wouldn’t at least TRY?

      July 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Ok, I stand by my last post but the flame-rage-hate thing has got to go! I know. I do not represent any particular religion. I don't belong to any church. There is a higher truth. I will defend anyone of faith, any day. But as you can read by my passion, I live by a different set of rules. I would encourage anyone who’s ever had a doubt, just ask. Keep asking. The answer is bigger than all of us and it’s more important than any petty argument from any man or woman. Love is an element beyond quantum theory and particle physics. Compassion isn't necessary, in fact, in nature all around us it is a lack of compassion seen as the survival tool of the top of the food chain. We stand apart from all of that and are meant to. We’re also meant to observe that fact and digest it along with many others. It’s endless. Just look at things from every possible angle before jumping someone's crap for believing in a bigger truth. You probably aren't 80 years old yet, so you haven't weighed all of the information. None of us could have.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • BG

      @ Evan

      Good job. Stand fast for what you believe in, but consider the larger picture here as well. It ain't you, personally, or for that matter any individual believer that they object to. If you voted their way you'd be a fine, upstanding citizen.

      @ Elden

      Well spoken. I used to write similar thoughts here, but not to your articulate and sincere level. For me, sadly, I've regressed to the basic finger-in-the-wind responses to them. The problem is the larger picture enveloped by this incredibly trite battle posed here. I mean that – it's posed to camouflage a far more insidious goal – marginalizing the resistance of Christianity to enhance and enable a multicultural liberal agenda. Don't believe me? Watch the rants from the atheists in objection.

      Once you get by the "exactly what do they want" aspect of their offense, it becomes clear. It's anti-Christianity, wrapped in the guise of atheistic objection. Problem is their offense is not universal. It's directed unilaterally and transparently at Christianity because this, as they rationalize, is the religion that is the most 'dangerous' to them. Witness their disproportionate response to the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and similar threads. It seems they're not in the business of universal theological condemnation, preferring instead to apply domestic political pressure through personal attacks on, and denigration of, their opponents. It is -selective- rather than universal, and is therefore -bigotry- as opposed to philosophy.

      So what do liberals really want?

      http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/011146.html

      @ Dave

      I'm disappointed in you. You're not the man I thought you were. It only took one short ad-hom for you to have fallen on your face. Congrats on your abject failure.

      July 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from Middle River

      At first, I was jazzed that someone actually was using facts to debate.

      I was disappointed when I was told Evan was not an adult.

      I have strong feelings about parental interference. I love to debate, but I won't challenge the beliefs that the parents have worked so hard to instill.

      I won't debate this. It is just part of my morals – that I am not supposed to have. Hmm....

      Cheers!

      July 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • BG

      @ David

      Jesus Christ on a bike. All this time you've been pedaling your crap on this blog and you -just now- realize that there are minors in here? Think you might have talked with a few, even inadvertently, over the past many months? Now Evan comes along and offers what is probably the most (well..ahem..) cogent argument you've seen in months and you dismiss it because it's... what? Juvenile? Hardly.

      Yeah, right, Dave. "I'd better watch what I say because there's kids in the room." Nice to know that you can grow a conscience. Pffft. Who do you think your constant diatribe and taunts are going to affect more easily, kids or adults? I only take swipes at atheists who have grown enough to serve up their own special blend of hate. You've been serving up this crap to the general blog population for long enough to realize, probably with intent, that your work would likely fall on young ears.

      So if it really bothers you that much, maybe you (like most atheists in here) should re-evaluate your approach.

      July 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Eldensword

      BG – Thanks, I really didn't catch on to that. I appreciate you laying it out in that way. It IS Christianity that fuels their fire. I see it now. The agenda just fits so perfectly into the idea of the Great Deception. Ironic. They're pitching an idea and supporting those of faith by filling in for and playing the role of, a story that is over 2000 years old. It was predicted and written in the very book they hate and despise. Did any of them read the Bible and decide to fill these roles? Unlikely, right? So, in their attempts to cast stones and deceive, they are pushing foreword...PROOF that Prophecies can come true and that by design, our lives are a faith-based system of challenges and rewards. Fascinating...

      July 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Eldensword

      WHOAH....I just read though that site provided by BG above. Holy...Hell. That is a dangerous breed of monkey. A special breed....Scary. Stand fast, believers. Get ready for a fight.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  2. Odessa

    Atheism is the worst sin in the universe because it is ignoring God the Creator consciously. A lot of legal things in America are simply sinful and downright evil. Nothing except for Christianity provides salvation to mankind. All other religions and ideologies don't deserve to have advertisements.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Wow another bigoted Christian. It is people like you that make people turn away from Christianity. Well that and the use of their brain.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  3. ***dude***

    Wow, the atheists and believer can say what they want, but the bigtime blogging shows that passion is really strong on the topic.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  4. GloriousEagle

    I loved seeing the atheist banners. I also enjoyed watching the interview.

    I am hopeful that the situation will equalise in the US – I live in the UK where atheists aren't unusual and I was shocked at how atheists are treated in america. One example that comes to mind is what George Bush said about atheists – about how they shouldn't be considered citizens.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Rhonda

      How are atheists treated in the USA?

      July 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Spiffy

      With disrespect and hate.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Clarifying

      Glorious Eagle – "what George Bush said about atheists – about how they shouldn't be considered citizens."

      Just to clarify, that sentiment was attributed as having been said by the elder George H.W. Bush in an interview when he was running for president in 1987 or 1988. It has never been confirmed; but Mr. Bush, Sr. has never denied it either.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:27 am |
  5. James Vlisides

    It is interesting that the counter signs and banners flying high in the sky, pasted on local cop cars, and painted on the sides of our barns, money, and schools reading "God bless America" receive no flack –as being "in your face" as some commentaries have said. Even further, no one complained when the songs wailed "God bless America" repeatedly in various public venues –despite its blatant Christian bias and exclusion of the diversity that not only makes up the majority of our citizens, but also the most essential and fundamental identifier for an American: intellectual, physical, and spiritual freedom. Now of course our freedoms are constantly infringed upon by various invasive marketing, laws, etc. -but the necessity of placing America's freedom in the hands of God is not only ignorant, but rude and divisive –especially on a day that celebrates our freedom from a ruling tyrant (i.e., Britain). Instilling God as a founding father only diminishes the freedom our ancestors fought for, in favor of crowning a new tyrant (i.e. God). Atheism may not be the correct answer, but it is good to slowly balance the scales of the propaganda being flown in the sky.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Eldensword

      James, your comment pretty much sums up the deep, deep mental anguish felt by the large majority of Atheists. So much hate...All of you have this mountainous terror of authority. God, the idea of God and the love felt by billions isn't even remotely close to tyrannical. You small ignorant, hate-filled monkeys only see the lies of mankind swimming in the words before you. God, please Bless America! These humans know not what they are actually asking for...A nation without sovereign guidance and moral obligation founded by a perfect system of faith as you've intended...They've never seen and cannot imagine such a meaningless existence! There as children. My favorite thing to do is talk to you in front of them. – Although, I should be doing it in the privacy of my room. I couldn't resist in this case...Thank you for the billions and billions of faithful that far out number these hopeless, Godless clowns. I say "billions" because any faith in any idea that is bigger than MAN is better than being stupid enough to believe that this world is a byproduct of static electricity and amino-acids at the right time and the right place which then flourished into hundreds of millions of species with unnecessary “tools” for survival such as beautiful, endless color arrangements, deep, meaningful love, taste and imagination. Box of rocks much? At least Agnostics are undecided, they’re the smart ones!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Eldensword

      "They're" as children...I see it...sheesh

      July 6, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  6. jdhartlv

    If not faith in God then faith in what, our government? When a person believes in nothing what is their incentive to do what is right, even when no one else is around. Does faith, and love help keep our family's together even when things are going bad. How does someone who calls them self an atheist define love.
    And yes I realize religion is used to often in an excuse for war, and often used sway people by most of our useless politicians. That's why it is important to know the difference between what is true and what is false. The greater fear should not be faith in God, but the lack of.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • God

      We believe in LIFE dum dum.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Spiffy

      So the only reason you obey any laws is the fear of spending eternity in hell? Seems like a horrible belief system to me. A faith that is based on fear is one that will create crazy people.

      So you get love from belief in a supernatural being?

      Why should we fear lacking faith in God?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Consider:

      If you found out, that there was absolutely no god, would you suddenly stop loving your family? Would you run out and ra_pe and plunder? Would you be no more than an animal?

      I bet you wouldn't change a bit. You would still love. You would still not want to see people hurt.

      We are moral. We do love. It is part of our evolution. We learn our morals at our mother's knee.

      Cheers!

      July 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      If there is nothing in this world but what we make of it, then let us make good.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Eldensword

      jd – It's like trying to teach a monkey to build a rocket ship with these folks. – Although I struggle with your example myself. What is "good" and "bad" without a system of judgment and reward? The apes will chime in and have absolutely nothing meaningful to say of course. Other than insult after insult...Remember any bullies in school? They're failing so they become a distraction and try to bring everyone down to their failing level? That's what we're dealing with here. Look at it like this maybe...Without the protection and infrastructure surrounding them, their thoughts on a Godless life would be completely different. You know that, I know that...Billions of other humans know that...THEY just don't get it. Yes, without faith in something larger (than mankind’s answers for themselves) by the majority, there is only a collapse to follow. You know those rich liberals that live in gated communities patrolled by cops with guns that lobby to get rid of guns? It's like that. They have a confused sense of reality due to a separation from it. One week in Beirut, Somalia or Compton would change everything. Love and goals and hope for a future are all faith based. They just have serious authority issues and can't come to terms with the idea of humility and humble works. Listen to them! They think Steven Hawking this or Charles Darwin that about the truth of our existence…Flippin’ nuts. They think we’re crazy? “Poof!” here’s a star? Actually “Poof!” here are trillions of them? It’s a fairy tale that God created them but it’s NOT a fairy tale that they popped (obviously I know it took billions of years to form them but time is relative so, POOF) into existence to from absolutely NOTHING? Wait, the argument from that is that we don’t know what the Big Bang was YET, but we will? Exactly! They have faith that one day they will know our ultimate beginning and ultimate end. FAITH: It’s everywhere you want to be. No, they wouldn’t “not love their families” or “not commit crime” without God. Without God, they just wouldn’t be doing anything.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Scott

      Hey Eldensword: If it's so unbelievalble that something so fantastic as a star could have popped into being out of nothing, how much more unbelievable is it that a fantasticaly more fantastic thing (god) just popped into being?

      July 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Yeah Right

      Or Superman popped into our culture
      Or Zues popped into our culture
      Or WonderWoman popped into our culture

      Or better yet Harry Potter popped into our culture.

      I know...aliens didi it! After all we were created by aliens that visited during the Egyptian era and the Romans. Come on now Stonehenge is just one big compass!

      July 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So if believers both fear and have faith in their chosen Sky Daddy, why are 72% of the abortions in the USA had by believers? If believers don't follow their cult's rules, why would you expect others to?

      July 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • BG

      @ HotAirAce

      Um.. maybe because believers comprise 80% + of the American population? And they're admittedly imperfect?

      You're crap's getting old. You need new crap.

      July 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @BG

      The only crap here is the unwillingness of believers to defend their behaviour. Sure I harp on abortions by believers but abortion is one of the two major public issues believers, especially christians, are fixated on – the other being gay rights.

      We're not talking slight imperfections here – we are talking major breaks with a cult's stated values and expected behaviours. If they can't adhere to their beliefs on something as important as abortion, their credibility is pretty much zero. If their god can't influence them on something as important (at least to them) as abortion, I think it is safe to say "he" is powerless and of no use.

      To also seek to criminalize abortions and non-sanctioned thinking about religion is the height of hypocrisy. To be a self-proclaimed champion of freedom of speech and religion is also hypocrisy in the extreme.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Scott – It's the perfect storm isn't it? Your question is why everyone is in here pushing and pulling, right? "But, WE WANNA KNOW and we wanna know NOW!" – That's the problem, right? I believe I made it clear that by "popping into existence" I of course respected the accretion theory and time itself. Relatively speaking, to us, it was slow, like the creation of Harry Potter and his influence on today's culture...But time is relative to the observer. So to a star (if a star could observe) Our Harry Potter culture "popped" into existence. I know someone out there can follow this...Anyway, not to be insulting, I'm turning over a new leaf here. We're faced with this dilemma. It IS a dilemma because of two things that I can think of. – The aforementioned "We WANNA Know, NOW!" ego of man issue and the "We won't know NOW because we're not worthy" or "I'm a church-goer so I'm going to put my intense BS trip on every non-believer" message that we get from zealot morons. It never ceases to amaze me that we all face the same core problem. If you’re a pigmy tribesmen in Africa or a Millionaire CEO of a multinational corporation, you’re gonna die. You’re going to end. You won’t know when. You won’t know how. So, why is it that a person that does not believe there is an after life could get even remotely passionate about any single subject? That’s one for the books. I’d love to hear an answer that would knock my socks off here. It’s an equal opportunity question, be deep and considerate. Again, your future is eternal nothingness once your life is gone, right? Making your time here seemingly ultra-high level, super important and every moment would be critical to enjoy as much of it as you can, right? Or, the other side of that – Go completely crazy without regret? Either way, any one person that whole-heartily believes there is nothing for them beyond this life would not spend 2 seconds in this forum arguing with “crazy”, “faithful” people. The “crazy” “faithful” people however, feel a potential eternity in their hearts. They see a star hanging in the sky and see an obvious “fact” that God is beyond their realm of understanding and that’s OK. They are loved and promised something bigger than any man or human governing body can give. I’m not getting into who’s right and who’s wrong. I’m asking you, why choose absolute and permanent death over a potentially, permanent life when neither decision is technically slathered in “facts”? Is it really necessary to make a decision that COULD affect your existence so rashly and blindly? Whether it’s buying a car and being forever in debt because you didn’t’ examine all potential information and affect on your finances or deciding NOT to bash the IDEA of God for just a while longer…You don’t have to decide to hate God or those that love him. Wouldn’t it be logical to remain open to every single possibility even if it is considered unlikely? Isn’t that the luxury of the Atheist? No decision necessary.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Eldensword

      And to the other posters regarding abortion and other "clunky" and "misshapen" subjects regarding the SMALL picture – Its unfortunate that the hypocrisy of man through temporary and personal decisions stands as your best example of why Y-O-U should choose eternal death. It seems so defeatist. "Well, other people are doing THIS, so I can't possibly elect to do THAT". You let small, monkey-like creatures control YOUR quest for the ultimate truth? Whether that truth is that we exist because of the intention of a Creator or because of unknown, alternate, strictly scientific happenstance...Both origins beg for further study. What human-being capable of reading this would intentionally choose to just fold their arms and give up on any alternative, complete, factual account if given the opportunity? What is the opportunity? Time! Why decide to waste your precious, limited time criticizing those of faith. Why not dedicate each second to further study of all potential answers? Ask and ye shall receive brother. Not in the way you DEMAND. Just keep asking. When that door opens, you'll feel it, know it and it will be FACT. It will be as factual as anything can be. The warmth, the truth and the love encompasses you. Your plight to stand apart and alone...To need no one...That is a series of layers of culture and worldly assumption. It's the ego, not your true nature to hate the idea of God. You hate authority. You hate "empty" promises because you've been battered by stupid man. Step out of that box sometime. Breathe the free air of the man not ruled or governed by man. Don't decide, imagine! Imagine what it must feel like to be alive in any form you can think of, living in any world or environment you would like. Sure sounds crazy huh? Actually, crazy is deciding that death is enough. Crazy is deciding that you have been presented ALL information ever, and that your brain in its current state has processed every single answer to every single question possible. Fold your arms and build a wall to all possibilities? Sounds pretty Looney Tunes to me…

      July 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Eldensword

      Yet another, this time long-winded, variation of the thoroughly debunked Pascal's Wager.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Eldensword

      @HotAirAce – Yet another short, empty response from a human with a short, empty life. You could be the King of Earth for 80 years and to me, it would be a short empty life so save the "You don't know my life" rebuttal. Typical human...so sure of yourself...so puffed up with pride...

      July 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  7. Joe Blow from Idaho

    America is a Christian nation. So take your signs and go to China. Or better yet, take them to the middle east and see how you do. These signs are not designed to make people question their beliefs. The only reason for them is to be as "in your face" as possible. Way to win people to your side.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "America is a Christian nation. So take your signs and go to China"
      ----------
      Looks like your education skipped over many of the reasons why we became a nation and either glossed over or distorted the first amendment. This is not a Christian nation, it was founded explicitly to NOT be a Christian nation, no matter how much you wish that to be the case.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Robert

      America is a republic with separation of church and state, so lunatics like you can be kept in check.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      People like you are exactly why we need a const-itutional amendment declaring that America is a Christian nation and eliminate this debate once and for all.

      The first amendment was enacted to protect churches from government and was intended not to favor any particular Christian DENOMINATION over another.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Joe- time to go back and take a history class, my friend. If you want a theocracy, why don't you check out how well that tends to work in the middle east.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Stevie7

      A theocracy? No. Laws and governance informed by Christianity? Yes.

      Also, we need to close out atheism before God's judgement comes on this nation any more that it already has. This is why we need the Christian Amendment.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • God

      How the h3ll are you going to "close out" atheism? With guns?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Well if the Christian Amendment criminalized atheism, then people would be arrested for distributing atheistic literature and participating in atheistic demonstrations in much the same way as the Comstock Laws worked or as the communists were outlawed.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Joe Blow From Idaho

      You have a serious "reading for comprehension" problem or are just plain stupid! How many times do you have to be pointed to the true history of the formation of your country to understand it is *not* a christian nation! Way smarter people than you, inclduing your very own Founding Fathers, disagree with you, and no amount of wishing and praying and foaming at the mouth will change the facts. But your behaviour is consistent with people that are members of cults that have their very own Sky Daddy – you are living in your own little (and shrinking) world, with you own rules of logic and evidence.

      And one more time, atheists have not trampled on or taken away any rights! Requesting that various levels of government follow the constitution and the law, and gaining the support of the Supreme Court, is a perfectly legal use of due process. Practices that once were accepted because of religions powerful but unwarranted and influence on society that have been declared illegal were never rights! The fact is, the bible thumpers have lost pretty much every legal challenfe – get over it, or mount a constitutional challenge of your own.

      Re: theocracy: no / christianity: yes / close out atheism, you are laying out an intolerant trend that makes me believe you are ready to tear up the 1st Amendment, as long as it is your beliefs that are declared the state's belief. You, nor anyone believing in imaginary beings, should be trusted to this area.

      And finally, you neglected to explain how a change in the current abortion laws would have a greater effect than the solemn beliefs of your cult. Face it, your god and your book of tribal myths has zero, none, nada, zip power – it's all a fairy tale from ignorant desert dwellers with even more ignorant ('cause they pretty much refuse to believe scientific facts and evolve in the area of human rights, to mention just a couple of areas stifled by religion) modern date sheep.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Awww, Joe! I think you are just trying to get us non-believers worked up.

      Cheers!

      July 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes, I think he's messing with us 'cause he wants to go from (my words) "the greatest nation on earth, the home of the free" to a country who's laws are dominated by (one certain) religion (but let's not call it a theocracy, wink wink) to a police state where certain thinking (atheism!) would be banned. And he thinks this would be progress!! And we're supposed to believe that changes in laws, rights and freedoms would stop there?

      What is amazing to me though is that it's us damned unpatriotic atheists who are putting up the fight against his "Master Plan"!! Where are all the right wingers that like to believe they are the true protectors of the constitution?

      July 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • wwajdblogger

      Thank you Joe Blow from Idaho for pointing out the obvious! As a Christian nation, we must constantly be vigliant against those who would take Christ out of America. American Jesus would not allow these kinds of signs. American Jesus would shoot those signs down with a missile grnade made in the good ole USA!

      http://www.whatwouldamericanjesusdo.com

      July 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @David Johnson and @HotAirAce

      Just keep poking this CHRISTIAN NATION in the eye, and you will get a reactionary response that will set your movement back decades. This majority CHRISTIAN NATION will not sit by and watch you destroy it. There will be a Christian Amendment, just ask the American Center for Law and Justice. And a whole new crop of right-thinking Americans are poised to swoop into Congress in the next election.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Joe Blow From Idaho

      My money will be on the ACLU and the Supreme Court. I will be watching with glee as the various christian cults squabble for supremacy while the other believer cults join with us atheists to prevent your amendment. Unfortunately your religious extremism will have a damaging effect on American society and it's economy, but I assume you prefer living in a country that will resemble Afghanistan, poor, war torn and shackled by manmade tribal mythologies.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • BG

      Well, it'd still beat living in Canada with you, Ace. At least in America we have our limits on being annoyed by angry, whiny leftist pus sies like yourself. (The limitation is strictly social and cultural, of course. Nothing's written down...)

      You really should put a disclaimer on you little snit-fit paragraphs telling American that you're just another Canadian suc king at the ti t of your socialist nanny-state.

      July 6, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @BG

      Thanks for yet another fact based contribution – NOT! Your attacks on me and Canada are just another indication you do not have an intelligent response to questions about Blow Joe's desire to turn your country into a police state, not to mention displaying your ignorance of Canada. It's a good thing I and many Canadians have some knowledge of the USA, and many American friends, otherwise if we were to form an opinion of the USA based on your statements, the USA would have one less ally. But who needs friends in the real world when you've got a sky daddy looking after you?

      July 6, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @BG

      You chastised John Richardson below for not having a complete set of data re: the number of church attendees in Germany – for daring to extropalote from his actual experience. Have you ever been to Canada, have you been to every part of Canada, have you actually experienced any of the aspects of Canada you are being critical of? Or are you just another ignorant hypocrite?

      But let's leave the bullshit of religion and name calling behind for a minute...

      In previous conversations, you've positioned yourself as a champion of freedom including religion freedom allowing parents to have their children unnecessarily cut upon. Since you have not taken Blow Joe to task for his stated desire to place limits on American's freedom of speech and access to medical care, I must assume you agree with him. Please explain this apparent contradiction.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • BG

      @ HAA

      "You chastised John Richardson below for not having..."
      I chastised Richardson because he was trying to be omniscient.

      "Have you ever been to Canada, have you been to every part of Canada, have you actually experienced any of the aspects of Canada you are being critical of?
      You misunderstand. The "aspect" of Canada I'm critical of is you. I'm sure your country is perfectly beautiful. Government's f'd up, but if it works for you, great.

      "Since you have not taken Blow Joe to task..."
      Over all the past many months, when have you -ever- known me to respond to either obvious trolls or blatantly zealous believers?

      July 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @BG

      It is clear that not even you can comprehend the stuff you write...

      You criticized Canada in numerous ways in two posts, yet claim that you were only attacking me. You apparently have never been to Canada nor experienced anything first hand about Canada, so have absolutely no basis for your criticism, yet feel justified in criticizing someone else for the terrible crime of extrapolating on an actual visit to Germany. You then refuse to critizcize Blow Joe because he is either an obvious troll or a blatantly obvious believer (it should be interesting to see Blow Joe's reaction to your labelling), yet you are a self-desrcibed troll (targeting atheists). And you compound your unwillingness to stand up to Blow Joe by accusing atheists of making excuses not to converse with others. What is astonishing, is that you managed to accomplish this mess of inconsistency and hypocrisy in about the last 24 hours.

      Personally, I think you don't have the personal guts to take a position counter to the believers, or the honesty to admit when atheists are taking the right position. You are a troll and someone not worth holding a conversation with, but I will not fall into your "there they go again, refusing to continue the discussion trap" so I look forward to continuing to poke holes into your bullshit laden posts.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  8. CW

    GOD "BLESS" AMERICA!!!!...nuff said.

    Well the Atheists are so blind they can't see. All this "burden of proof" stuff....These folks aren't any different than any of the people that stood and watched Jesus do miracle after miracle but still didn't believe.

    In all seriousness....its your choice....repent, ask God for forgiveness. Follow God...you won't regret it.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      I think I will regret it, All the time worshiping Jesus will make Ba'al angry with me and he might cause a flood in Louisiana because I ignored him, Ba'al is a very jealous God.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Laughing

      @JohnQuest

      No No No, you got it all wrong, Zeus really wants you to believe and is very jealous, but not as much as his wife! (You should see what she did to the last person that zeus shtupped!), You can worship this B'aal all you want, but once you die Hades is going to be very angry with you.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Pedro Martins

      @ CW

      God would make me see it if I was missing out. Haven't heard a thing from him.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Free

      CW
      The Roman Emperor Vespasian, a pagan, the Buddha, Muhammad, and numerous other people are all also reported to have performed miracles. Tell me, do these claims of miracles push you to believe in these other religious traditions?

      July 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CW

      You said: "Well the Atheists are so blind they can't see. All this "burden of proof" stuff....These folks aren't any different than any of the people that stood and watched Jesus do miracle after miracle but still didn't believe."

      Too bad no one wrote about those miracles except the Gospel authors. Whoever they were...

      Cheers!

      July 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Scott

      No I'm not like the people that saw jeasus do mirical after mirical. I haven't SEEN!!! any body doing any miricals. Come on christian, put up or shut up. "if you have the faith of a mustered seed". "With god all things are possible". "If you but ask it in my name"... I'm one mirical away from devout christian. You christians are all talk and no walk.

      July 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Scott

      OK, I'll admit Howard Camping and his 80 million dollars profit in 2 years for just a load of hot air is pretty amazing. but in the end he was still all tease and no please

      July 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  9. Pedro Martins

    Atheists have nothing to prove. If someone proposes a concept, the burden of proof is on their side. Imagine if I just randomly start proposing random, unfathomable concepts and just demand people prove them. Makes no sense. You come up with a god, you must prove its existence; I have nothing to do with it. Science fill in the blanks of knowledge, but makes no unfounded assumptions about the blanks it can't (yet) fill in. It's called being humble (isn't it a christian virtue? use it!).

    July 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • JW

      Science does not prove there is no God. And if you claim that someone else's believes are ridiculous, the burden is on you to prove that.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @JW

      You said: "Science does not prove there is no God. And if you claim that someone else's believes are ridiculous, the burden is on you to prove that."

      No, as the believer is the one making the extraordinary claim, it is their responsibility to offer proof.

      Science has found no evidence of god. Indeed, they have found no use for one either.

      Each day, science tosses another shovelful of dirt into the god myth's grave.

      Evolution has destroyed the Creation story and the entire bible is based on its being true. LOL

      Your god is no more real than Santa...or do you proof otherwise?

      Cheers!

      July 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      @JW: The burden is on us to prove that your beliefs are ridiculous? What an interesting, if useless, take on the burden of proof. You have no rational reason for believing them over leprechauns, Santa Claus, or The Mighty Thor. Therefore, they are ridiculous.

      As for science, although it has never disproved a god, it's also never found any real evidence of one. Science isn't in the business of proving things impossible, that's just not what it does. It can, however, say that there's absolutely no current reason to believe something.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ JW

      You are right that science does not prove there is no god, however it does disprove a lot of the miracles attributed to the christian god (among others) and some other beliefs about mysteries of our origins. In fact, it would seem that most mysterious can be solved using science rather than attributing it as a miracle of god and calling it day.

      It's not a ridiculous claim to say that god doesn't exist and you don't need proof to make it. The onus still relies on the believer to show the more ridculous claim of an omnipresent being that is everywhere at once and takes a very deep interest in every individual of the planet.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Pedro Martins, would you still be a Christian if you found out that Adam and Eve never actually existed?

      July 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Pedro Martins

      @JohnQuest

      I don't know, since I am an atheist and not a christian and cannot conceive how it must feel to reason coherently and be religious at the same time. On the other hand, if I were a christian, the kind of reasoning that would lead me to abandon religion after learning that Adam and Eve never existed would have prevented me from being a christian in the first place, so I don't know how to answer that question.~

      (Anyway, was the question purely hypothetical or did I come off as a christian?)

      July 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Pedro Martins, my apologies that was meant for JW.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Pedro – The discussion isn't about proving or disproving. It's about the rights of free Americans. You have the right to believe or NOT believe. But here's the thing...If we want Crosses, Stars of David or Satan's face up somewhere to display our faith, we have just as much right to do that as you do to request it to be removed. Where does that leave us all? FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED!! God Bless America! You do not reserve the right to REMOVE a statement or symbol of faith, science or any other idea because of your small minded fears or selfish agenda. May we come into your home and REMOVE your belongings? Do they bring you comfort? Did you earn those items? We fought for and earned our right to display any object or statement of faith. Our fore-fathers added their faith to our state legislation writings, so what? No one is telling you what to believe. We have a history and we will defend it AS IS. You will NOT be removing anything from it. If you succeed on some small level, it will be temporary. We reserve the right to keep our history as it was written, God and all. In this forum and with words you faithless carry yourselves with such high regard…There is a great big universe out there just waiting to squash you…

      July 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  10. Donodron

    @lgM – The question is how or why did the matter that formed the initial building blocks of life exist in the first place. Maybe they always existed, maybe there was a creator being, or maybe something else, but the answer to that question is not provable and therefore requires requires attribution based on belief.

    July 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Scott

      Why does it need "attribution" to anything? Why can't we just wait and see, or not see? Why isn't "we don't know yet and might not ever know" good enough?

      July 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Donodron

      Ignoring the question isn't good enough because the answer fundamentally impacts the purpose of life. How people should be living their lives is fundamentally different depending on whether or not God exists. So, I suppose attributing our reason for physical existence is not necessary to make it through life, but it is necessary if anyone wants to understand life.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Hazel

      If you assume there's a "reason" for life existing, then you have already made a grievous error.
      There is no "reason" when everything follows physical laws, just as there is no evidence of any "intelligent" pattern to anything in the known universe.
      All those pretty stars in the sky do not spell out words from your god. Essentially random distribution of matter/energy does not a god make.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Donodron

      @Hazel: I disagree, there is a "reason" when everything follows physical laws. Defining or determining that reason is the purpose of philosophy. Even stating that what exists now has always existed in some form and that it randomly changes over time is providing a reason for why the universe is ordered the way it is. "Essentially random distribution of matter/energy does not a god make," but it does beg the question of its origin.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      What makes you think there is a "Reason" that we are here? All indications is that we are nothing more than a product of our environment (this Planet, this solar system, and so forth), much like cancer is a product of it's environment (our bodies, this planet, and so forth).
      I chose the comparison with cancer because, for all intent and purpose we (humans) are a cancer on the planet, don't believe me consider the following:

      We are, (more than anything else on this planet) harmful to the planet.
      We are changing it to fit our needs and using valuable resources and producing nothing the planet can use.
      The planet can live without us but we cannot live with out it.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Donodron

      JohnQuest, I'm thinking bigger than humanity; the questions I was referring to are why does matter exist or where did physical laws originate. Because humans are matter and follow physical laws, we are included in the question, but really these are philosophical or spiritual questions that directly impact humans but do not depend on the nature of human existence specifically.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Donodron

      You said: " I'm thinking bigger than humanity; the questions I was referring to are why does matter exist or where did physical laws originate. Because humans are matter and follow physical laws, we are included in the question, but really these are philosophical or spiritual questions that directly impact humans but do not depend on the nature of human existence specifically."

      If the expansion and the contraction of the universe happens, especially if it happens multiple (billions?) of times, each time a different set of physical laws could be created. The only attribute that would be needed for this to occur, would be gravity. Suns, planets etc would not need to be formed. Just expansion and then contraction, over and over until random chance "created" the physical laws which gave us our universe. If the universe contracts yet again, it may not create a universe like ours, for a very long time.

      Looking at life on the planet, it is apparent that life evolved to fit the conditions of the planet. The planet was not created to fit the life.

      You seem to be skirting the first cause argument. Are you asserting that there must have been a creator, a first cause?

      Curious in Arizona

      July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • John Richardson

      "I don't know" works like a charm in these cases!

      July 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    Jerusalem: Plenteousness within your palaces!

    Atheism: Emptiness within your cottages!

    July 5, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • John Richardson

      Last time I was in Germany, your churches looked pretty empty! And yes, I saw a lot of them. They were of largely historical interest, of course.

      I did live for awhile in a nice little cottage, an authentic WW2 Gartenhaus with electricity but no running water ...

      July 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • BG

      @ Richardson

      "Last time I was in Germany, your churches looked pretty empty!"

      What'd you do, take attendance at all the German churches? You're an ass.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • John Richardson

      You don't need to count heads to notice that a large building is almost empty. Nice architecture, though! Oh, and the preachers spoke really, really clearly. Nice when you are still learning the language. So these places were by no means entirely useless!

      Anyway, don't take my word for it. You can look up how few Germans attend church regularly. It's quite heartening to see!

      July 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Oh, I should note that I spent most of my time in and around Hamburg, which I understand now is majority unbeliever! Is that progress or what?

      July 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • BG

      @ Richardson

      You need to go -into- a building to see who's in it. Read all you want about their national demographics; it's irrelevant to the people who are actually in the church. Further, 'demographics' are regularly skewed based upon the author(s) interpretations or goals. I don't care if you took a year long tour of Germany and took up residence in a Gewurztraminer winery. Your perceptions, maybe much to your surprise, sorry – do not qualify as empirical data, let alone fact.

      So congrats – you're still an ass.

      July 6, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • JohnR

      Hey BG! And here I thought you were minimally literate enough to figure out that if I speak about how the preachers speak, I must have gone into the buildings! My mistake! Your still so busy angrily lashing out that you don't even try to think. But hey, you wouldn't be you if you did, eh? And we'd all miss the REAL BG ... Well, maybe some would ... Have a swell day!

      July 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • BG

      Well, John, I just figured that historical tours don't count. I mean, why would you go to so -many- actual religious services in so many churches across the country? I know. It must have been a girl.

      Sorry about that. My bad.

      July 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  12. Monday Mike

    We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows. ~Robert Frost

    July 5, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  13. DoomsdayKitten

    Patriotism is patriotic. Atheism is atheistic. Don't mix the two notions. I don't try to call fire "crunchy" or water "intelligent." It's using an adjective on something where the term doesn't belong necessarily.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      An atheist can be patriotic. Water cannot be intelligent, not fire crunchy. Patriotic atheists can do something like this – the adject ive does not apply universally, but it certainly applies here.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  14. JohnQuest

    Ephraim, What you say might be true, however I don't think we are talking the same language. What do you mean by "God" and "existence"? It seems to me that the two terms anti-thetical in relation to each other.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @JohnQuest

      1 = 3 and 3 = 1 (scope: heaven)

      July 5, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  15. Robert Landbck

    "There is proof that your religion is false and deliberately misleading. As an atheist, I don't have a "faith without proof", I have a position that is iron-clad" . Atheists who make such statements are only partially right, but make the same error of presumption that the religious make and have fallen into the same TRAP. The presumption is that no literal proof of God, one that meets Enlightenment criteria of scrutiny is possible. That may have been true for most of history as we know it, but history has changed it's mind.

    The first ever viable religious conception capable of leading reason, by faith, to observable consequences which can be tested and judged is now a reality. A teaching that delivers the first ever religious claim of insight into the human condition that meets the Enlightenment criteria of verifiable, direct cause and effect, evidence based truth embodied in experience. For the first time in history, however unexpected, the world must contend with a claim to new revealed truth, a moral wisdom not of human intellectual origin, offering access by faith, to absolute proof, an objective basis for moral principle and a fully rational and justifiable belief! 

    The tragedy for humanity will be if existing religion and theology, skepticism and atheism have all so corrupted and discredited the very idea of God, to re-imagine, discover and experience just how great this potential is?
    http://soulgineering.com/2011/05/22/the-final-freedoms/

    July 5, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • The Bobinator

      If you have proof you don't need to dance around it like you do at that site.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • David Johnson

      I went to the sight, read the intro and table of contents.

      I see nothing that would lead me to believe there is anything new.

      Cheers!

      July 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  16. Colin

    I am an atheist and I do "follow Dawkins" in that I have accepted his plea to be more vocal about my non-belief.

    I find religion (as opposed to the morality that most religious people follow, in theory at least) to be counter-productive, and somewhat harmful. If religious people, who readily see the flaws in and reject the gods of, all other beliefs, could only see that the supernatural elements of their own beliefs are every bit as silly and implausible as the rest, we could go a long way toward finally freeing ourselves from our Bronze Age sky fairies.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Donodron

      Looks like atheists now share the evangelical label with Christians. World religions aren't the only ones "pushing" their beliefs on others anymore or saying that other beliefs are wrong. I guess we're all "intolerant" now.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Donodron
      You said: "Looks like atheists now share the evangelical label with Christians. World religions aren't the only ones "pushing" their beliefs on others anymore or saying that other beliefs are wrong. I guess we're all "intolerant" now."

      Colin in spot on. To not be vocal now, to not stand up for the const_itution, would be pure folly. The Christian Right, through their puppets the Republican Party are seeking to establish a Theocracy with Jesus at the head. Since Jesus doesn't exist, guess who would really be calling the shots.
      I admire and am thankful for Colin and other freethinkers.

      Cheers!

      July 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Donodron

      @David – First, questions of Jesus' existence aside, I think everyone would agree that he wouldn't physically rule over America even if a theocracy was somehow established. This sounds at best like an exaggerated fear and at worst like something approaching a conspiracy theory.

      Secondly, I've seen a lot of people call religious individuals intolerant while they are stating that God does not exist which in itself is intolerant to the core beliefs of many religions. I'm not saying that you or Colin are necessarily doing this, but my post was a reaction to the general trend of hypocrisy that I've observed.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Hazel

      Donodron, I am here as an anti-theist. If religious people did not have religions that commanded people to convert others and to spread their religion with the sword, I would probably spend more time looking at kittens on the internet.
      I am here to tolerate what seems tolerable and to fight against those things that should be fought by any self-respecting citizen of the USA.
      To point out the fraudulent claims of religion only seems "intolerant" to you because you are a believer. As a victim of fraud and purveyor of same, you are a victim/perpetrator. Your lack of objectivity is your weakness and your failure but not necessarily your fault, if you get my drift.
      I am against fraud of all sorts, not just religious fraud. I am intolerant towards crimes of this sort. I freely admit my bias against dishonesty and proudly wear this badge for all to see. You cannot shame me with my honest disgust at dishonesty, and you would be a fool to continue doing so.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Donodron

      Hazel, pointing out where you disagree with any religion is intolerant, I applaud that intolerance and wasn't trying to suggest it's a bad thing. People should stand up and speak out for what they believe. However, I have seen too many atheists or anti-theists try to spread their beliefs (or worldview, philosophy, etc) while condemning people of faith for spreading their own. I'm not trying to "shame" you specifically for arguing, but don't call me out as a "perpetrator" of my beliefs without including yourself in the same category.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  17. peter veitch

    all Americans and everyone in the rest of the world are also godless, the religious are merely deluded I to imagining that they "have a god" , as there are no gods, they are also godless, just blissfully unaware of this.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  18. Zaphod

    I encourage fellow atheists to speak out about their non belief, but I do not follow Dawkins. He is an anti-theist. He and his followers attack religion, which is counter-productive.

    I am an honest and moral person, a valued member of my community. I treat other people with different philosophies with respect, and strive to be a positive example.

    I am godless in America.
    Atheism is patriotic, because the separation of church and state exists to protect people of all faiths, and none.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Donodron

      Your argument for atheism being patriotic is like saying that negative political campaigning is patriotic because free speech is protected whether it's positive or negative. Atheism and negative campaigning are both inherently permitted in America by the Bill of Rights but that doesn't make either patriotic.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Eldensword

      As a true believer in a bigger picture, although not as cookie cutter as some, I wanted to say that THIS is the single most intelligent Atheistic post in the forum. To actively seek out against folks that believe in a loving God which technically makes them a "better person"? Could people really be that stupid? Here is this mechanism whether created by man or by God that calms the masses and makes them pay their taxes...You'd have to be dumber than a box of rocks to pull at that string! If you don't believe, fine...But what are you fighting for??? To win...WHAT?? If you are from nothing, and will become nothing by your own right – Then don't confuse yourselves or your message with being FOR something as large as the collapse of faith! There is just no way you Atheists (The God bashing ones) could be any more insane...Zaphod, I am not directing that at you of course. I completely respect your statement and choice.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  19. Reality

    Third place and gaining as we type and fly our banners:-––

    As noted at http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    o"Religion >>Adherents

    Christianity 2.1 billion

    Islam 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million

    Chinese traditional religion 394 million

    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million
    Judaism 14 million
    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000"

    1.5 million Conservative Jews and there rabbis have concluded that Abraham, based on lack of text and architectural evidence, probably did not exist. Therefore Christianity, Islam and Judaism have no foundation and fail as religions moving irreligious, atheists and agnostics to the top of the list.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The most forceful weapon of the evildoers has ever been to make people believe that they would not exist.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Atheism seems to be harmless, I just say: "There is no God!" Any danger? Yes, there is a danger.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Aidan

      I will say halleluja to that.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The sin of an atheist is not damped down.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Atheists finally grow evil.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Jesus, the sole Redeemer!

      July 5, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • tallulah13

      Oh yes Rainer! Rational thought is very dangerous to blind faith. If people realize that the bible is simple bronze age fairy tales, they'll stop giving all their money to churches and stop doing everything their pastor/priest tells them to! How dangerous for the church. And how terrifying for you to realize that since there is no god, you won't live forever!

      July 5, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @tallulah13

      How ignorant you are! You need the faith, caused by the Spirit.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      What faith? What spirit? Please provide evidence that any god, ever, existed.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • JW

      Where have you gotten these numbers from? I have found statistics saying there are 150 million atheists.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Reality

      JW,

      The reference was so noted. What is yours?

      Note: the number on the list is for the combined number of irreligious, agnostics and atheists.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Eldensword

      tallulah13 – Please provide proof that God does not or never has existed – Thank you – Not much for a volley aye 'ol chap? Reality check, it's just as C-R-A-Z-Y to think of a "fictional character" that created life as it is to think that it popped into existence from nothing. The difference is, as by the numbers provided, billions don't need mankind's "facts" to fog their connection with the truth. Keep trying to fog it up, Foggy Foggerson...Bottom line? You're lost and you want the masses to be lost with you. Ask and ye shall receive.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • tallulah

      Eldensworld: The proof that there is no god is that in the history of humanity, there has never been any proof that any god ever existed.

      Of course there is always a possibility that there is a supreme being. There is also the possibility that a herd of pink unicorns is dancing on the surface of the sun. There is equal proof for both of these scenarios.

      If you have verifiable, irrefutable proof that there is a god, please provide it. The world has been waiting a veerrry long time.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Eldensword

      What binds atoms together (Besides the Force, Luke!)? What determines the frequency of said atoms to represent specific materials? What then determines how each material object affects each different object around it? A tree is wood arguably? That wood consists of the same atomic / carbon base of that of the ground to the best of our knowledge, correct? So the tree goes into the ground but its atoms are never mixed with or confused with that of the soil? And the example is endless, the wheel is connected to the car but not. There is a detectable level of static electricity and gravity that separates every pre-determined type of material. Did you know that your fingers never actually touch you other fingers when you snap? It’s on a quantum level, but technically, we are not touching the ground in the traditional sense. String theory tells us that objects are what they are throughout the Universe because of a set of material instructions that resonates and transcends time and space. Wood is wood on Thasious 5 as it is on Mars and Earth – Same for Iron and bone and so and so forth. They are separate to the best of our layman’s understanding thus far. Can you agree that if we are technically not touching anything, that we are suspended in space, relatively speaking? A bit fringe, I know but certain circles would back this idea up. Proof of God and miracles is and always will be in the eye of the beholder my friend. If the above information is not sitting well with you, makes you uncomfortable or you just flat don’t understand it then further study may be needed. Do you need to prove that by playing with plutonium rods, you’ll get sick and die? Not now, but someone did. Now there’s proof, right? When would coming to any early conclusion on God or any other theory, lead you to proof? Is it really possible for YOU to CONCLUDE that there is no greater picture than the one in front of you at this time? What if you were compelled to play with plutonium rods in 1946 to see if they would kill you? You hadn’t and even refused to read the report, written in German, of Dr. Harry Daghlian Jr. dying from extreme radiation poisoning the summer earlier. We, on the outside looking in, having read the report, know what the conclusion will be. You on the other hand never took the time to learn to read German or even read the report. You’re going to die earlier than you should and more painfully because you folded your arms and went your own ignorant way. Those of faith see you playing with plutonium rods. In their minds and to the best of their extremely flawed ability, they are screaming, panicking and pleading with you to stop. So they preach, they try to give you the language that they understand which to them, and me is instructions on how to not be dead forever (or back to the analogy, dead from rad poisoning). It is living or not living for most of us. I have proof of God but it is in a language you haven’t learned yet. That sounds so exclusive and high and mighty, I’m sorry for that. I am no better than you. I’m a dumb human for sure. You’re challenge and demand of proof is to…humans. That’s your first mistake. Humans are dumb as rocks. Ask for proof humbly and respectfully from an outside source. You keep going to the focus group for further study and hitting dead ends. Mankind is a dead end. Look for the proof in a new light, not your typical, egotistical, meat bag way. You’re a design, brother. You’re loved, dummy, deeply. The proof is in all of your thinking, breathing, calculating existence. Don’t give up, don’t stop playing with plutonium rods, just learn a new language. You’ll get the right instructions to protect yourself while being an idiot on a rock that may lead to a greater existence. You want a recipe book that details all scientific knowledge, all versions of every religion and it’s theoretical purpose and endless examples of God and endless incalculable love as proof? You got it! You’re using it right now! The internet is absolute proof that we couldn’t be further from an accidental happenstance. We celebrate the Father by mimicking his every knowable move. We use our imaginations and create every day, from nothing, something with intention and love. Of course, there I go again…Seeing things in another language ;).

      July 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  20. Odessa

    Can atheists say anything true or constructive? The answer is no.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • Athiest

      Except, you know, science,

      July 5, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • David

      Yes, by beginning to blow the lid of off what was the original Ponzi scheme. Trade your money and your mind for what "might" lie beyond the sacred veil.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • nondescript

      So, which one, in your opinion, is not true, that there are godless Americans or that atheists are patriots? Or perhaps you objected to Rick's statement that he is a veteran who has fought for this country, and wishes to be treated equally. Actually, that statement sounds like it is true and constructive.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • JohnQuest

      2+2=4 I think that is a true statement, as opposed to some guy about 2,000 years ago who was fathered by a God and born of a virgin that could walk on water, raise the dead, and one day will come back from the dead and take over the world.

      Now which of us can't make a true statement?

      July 5, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Beloved Odessa!

      July 5, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      The answer is that people like you are the very reason that this group feels the need to advertise. You are blindly discriminating against people who don't believe as you do, and that goes against the very foundation of this country.

      What did you provide here that was true or constructive? Your hypocrisy is showing.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Felix

      Oh, yes Odessa, we can say things that are true and constructive! Here's one example of each:
      True fact: Gods do not exist
      Constructive proposal: Let's abandon the idea of Heaven and let's make a better world for all people HERE and NOW!
      For extra credit, another constructive one: Muslims and Jews (or Catholics and Protestants, or Shias and Sunnis), stop killing each other! Put your beliefs aside, we're all members of the human race!
      Let me know if you need more examples, our non-belief makes us pretty handy with true and constructive statements, as we're not bound to wishful thinking.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Adam

      That was neither true nor constructive, Odessa.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Donodron

      @Felix: I disagree with Odessa, but it's interesting that you can't prove your "true fact" and the your first proposal being constructive is debatable.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • D

      @ Athiest – It's not as if science is the sole provenance of atheism. The individuals behind the world's greatest scientific discoveries have included atheists and followers of various religions alike. Neither perspective somehow prevented them from producing objective, relevant work in their fields.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      @D
      And yet, as science has progressed, there has been an undeniable movement, especially among scientists, further and further towards atheism, implying that science supports atheism, and is therefore a primarily atheistic venture.

      Furthermore, although the religious have certainly produced a large portion of scientific work (at least in the past), it seldom has anything to do with their religion and is, if anything, suppressed by religions everywhere.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      As I sit here reading these terrible reviling words being directed at our God and at His people, it reminds me that God loves people. I mean, He REALLY loves people. Even all those who hate Him so much. If ever there was need of proof that God both exists and is soon to return, I believe that the non-believers themselves are furnishing a plenty of it. Unbelief is one of the signs of the end-time. Another sign is that people will be lovers of their own selves, blasphemous, arrogant, murderers of parents, truce-breakers, haters of those who do good, heady and high-minded, without natural affection, and will say"where is the sign of Christ's return, for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they have since the beginning...."

      July 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Dave Davis There has always been disbelief. So much for yet another "sign of the end times".

      July 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      @Dave Davis
      As I sit here reading these terrible reviling words being directed at The Might Thor and at His people, it reminds me that The Mighty Thor slays Frost Giants. I mean, He REALLY protects us from the Frost Giants. He even protects all those who hate Him so much. If ever there was need of proof that The Mighty Thor both exists and keeps us safe from the Frost Giants, I believe that the non-believers themselves are furnishing plenty of it. Unbelief is one of the signs of Ragnarok. Another sign is that people will be lovers of their own selves, blasphemous, arrogant, murderers of parents, truce-breakers, haters of those who do good, heady and high-minded, without natural affection, and will say "where is the sign of Ragnarok, for since The Mighty Thor fell asleep all things continue as they have since the beginning...."

      July 6, 2011 at 4:15 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.