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July 12th, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Bill Maher explains his 'apatheism,' apathetic atheism

Comedian Bill Maher sits down with Piers Morgan to talk about growing up Catholic and becoming an "apatheist," an apathetic atheist who just doesn't think much about religion.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Content Partner

soundoff (1,340 Responses)
  1. pastor ken

    God is love. Why does that divide?

    July 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • mike

      Why does it divide? Easy. Which god are you talking about?

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Because the god of the bible most certain is not loving, despite what the gospel of john might claim.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • DJL

      1. Because every society that comes along invents their own god(s).
      2. A benevolent being (especially one in a position of power) would not seek worship and praise; only someone w/low self-esteem or an over-inflated ego does, which makes most (all?) gods tyrants. Why would anyone worship a tyrant?
      3. Certain political parties pander to certain conservative groups' misinformed notions (gay marriage, women's rights, etc.) simply to get elected, while the rest of the time they're voting for the rights of a small percentage of the population.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • CajunGal

      Then why do so many people have a bible in one hand and a gun in the other?

      July 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Chris

      I suppose it depends on your definition of "love" or "loving." Here's how I view it. God desires nothing more than to have a healthy, happy perfect relationship with man. Man chose to walk away from that perfection because he thinks he knows better. Well it upsets God, but because He respects man's free will, He lets man do what he wants. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out because we're not perfect.

      So we are given the opportunity to come back to God and say, "I fouled this up. Let's do this your way" But there has to be a sacrifice. That's to show we are sincere and not just coming with crocodile tears. So God sends Christ to be sacraficed for the sins of mankind. As the perfect sacrafice, God and man can be reunited.

      My viewpoint is, just because He allows bad things to happen, doesn't mean He doesn't love mankind. Anymoreso than a parent letting their child burn their hand a bit on a stove to teach them not to touch it. And sometimes He sends punishment (i.e. Sodom) because His children need discipline. Discipline doesn't equate to a lack of love. In fact, I'd argue that those who don't discipline are showing a lack of love.

      Just my dollar and a quarter.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Corbijn

      Love isn't God and God isn't Love. Love is a neural-chemical sensation all animals have developed for socialization. Sometimes it's just for mating, sometimes it creates a cohesion for a group, sometimes it creates deeper connections. Humans don't have a monopoly on the concept of love, they just made it conditional.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Doomguy

      Anubis is love. Ask the furries, they know, they have plenty of pictures to prove it lol!

      July 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Chris: What you say would make sense if those who deserved punishment actually got the suffering. But that is not what happens. What did the people of Ja-pan do to deserve the suffering of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation? Would a good, loving parent hold your little brother's hand over the stove to teach you a lesson? Either your God's judgment is a little out of whack or his aim needs some work.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • kaycngatto

      @chris
      You equate natural disaster and violent death and being disposed of in the fires of hell for not fulfilling god's mandate to a child learning a lesson from burning himself from the stove. By that logic auschwitz equates to detention for first graders.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @stevie- "Because the god of the bible most certain is not loving, despite what the gospel of john might claim."

      1. No one said God was only love.
      2. It's not the Gospel of John. You got the wrong book.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Chris

      @Frogist – First, let me preface with the statement that I don't know the entire mindset of God. And beware anyone who says that they can. I cannot explain why terrible things happen. I personally don't even believe God actually sent the hurricane. I just trust in His wisdom. That's what faith is. Sorry, I wish I could give a better answer.

      @kaycngatto ...I didn't mention natural disasters or violent deaths at all. I also didn't mention Hell. I don't believe in the fiery inferno that is the common idea of Hell, because that rendition is no where in the Bible. It was made up by Dante. What I -do- believe is that those who do not come to repentence spend eternity separated from God. I can only imagine that as a place without hope. But that place is a choice WE make. It's not God's choice. He desires all to come to repentence. By rejecting Him, we CHOOSE that. And because He gave us free will to make that choice, then we have to endure the consequences of our decisions.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  2. FU

    Bill Maher is god...oh wait...

    July 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Karen Burck

    Watch Bill Maher's movie – "Religulous" – it will give you a better understanding about religion. Awesome movie.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Lycidas

      It will give you a better understanding of how Maher views religion.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lycidas: Either way it's hilarious. And I love the Jesus guy. The only one to stump Bill Maher with his water analogy.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I need to go an asee the whole thing, I've only got to see bits and pieces of it.

      Oh heck, I like listening to Maher. I hate when his show goes off for the season. He has some of the most interesting political and social conversations on his show. I mean, he had Ann Coulter this past week on his show. He tries to get all sides of an argument that's for sure.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Artist

      Frogist

      @Lycidas: Either way it's hilarious. And I love the Jesus guy. The only one to stump Bill Maher with his water analogy.
      ----
      I loved it and some of the religious nuts remind me of myself when I was one. LOL

      July 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- Do you even know what he is referencing or are you guessing again?

      July 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  4. Mordechai

    Atheists are not apathetic, but downright pathetic. Agnosticism is one thing (however thickheaded – or ignorant – one must be to not discern with certainty that this world is the handiwork of a Creator), but really – how can anyone claim to know for a fact that there is no higher power in the universe? Who could have possibly conducted such a thorough review of all of existence to be able to arrive at such a conclusion? Religion involves an element of faith, but atheism even more so!

    July 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I don't state for a fact that there is no god. I don't personally know any atheists that do. But I do not question the existence of god(s) just as I can't prove leprechauns don't exist and don't question their existence. Atheism is simply a lack of belief.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Rebecca

      And how can you assert that there is? You can't. That's why it's called FAITH. Please do not force your thickheaded, ignorant beliefs on me...and I assure you, I will do the same.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Cleareye

      All religions are absurd, and that includes the religion of atheism. No one actually knows what , when or why the universe came into being.
      The solution is to accept that fact and look forward to a great advenure.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • DJL

      "... how can anyone claim to know for a fact that there is no higher power in the universe?" There's no proof or even any tangible evidence for the existence of any of the thousands of gods that man has ever invented. If you cannot prove that something exists, then, to the best of human knowledge, it doesn't exist. To simply accept and blindly worship something, because a bunch of primitive, bronze age men say to is simply foolish. (BTW, a benevolent leader wouldn't seek your worship and praise; only a tyrant does.)

      July 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • UncleM

      Believing BS doesn't make it true.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • brian

      @Mordechai
      Atheism is simply believing in one less god than you do. And by extension, you would presume to NOT believe in all the other gods man has created throughout his existence.
      Ask yourself, what is more likely to exist, an jolly man who has the ability to overnight gift packages to all the good children in the world once a year if they believe in him and are good or an omnipotent world-maker that seems to want you to worship it for lack of self-esteem, promising a reward for you if you are good. Oh wait, maybe your god is an adult version of Santa?

      July 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • c

      "...the handiwork of the Creator". Does that include Hitler, Stalin, Mao and all the other mass killers since the beginning of time? Does that include all of the killers who killed in the name of God like Bin Laden? Does that include all of the killing done in the name Islam, Christianity and many religions on the face of this earth.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Thomas

      And you believe there is a god because someone told you to. What kind of proof is that?

      July 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Dave

      >>how can anyone claim to know for a fact that there is no higher power in the universe?

      Prove it and then we will all shut up!

      Still waiting...........

      July 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Dave- Unless I am mistaken, I don't believe anything could co.nvince you there is a God. So you being unable to believe isn't evidence that there is no God.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  5. Duderino

    Just a couple questions for religious people.

    Of all the thousands of religions that humans have created, why is the one you believe in the right one? Because you and your family believe in it?

    Food for thought – Scientology and Mormonism are relatively new and have many followers but most of us consider them ridiculous. The only reason major religions seem reasonable to people is that when they were created mankind didn't know about the world around them and believing that an all-powerful being that is similar to us created everything seemed like a good answer. And thousands of years of the tradition of religion working its way into every facet of our culture has a large effect on how we, as a society and at a personal level, perceive things. When you grow up with religion everywhere it just seems natural to believe but if you had never heard the word "god" or "religion" before and someone came up to you and told you that a man in the sky created the universe in 7 days and a dude in sandals went around turning water to wine and coming back from the dead, wouldn't you think it was a tad ridiculous?

    July 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • brian

      we would get along famously.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Fred

      I find that a lot of folks get really caught up on the whole Creation story. The key to "salvation" as I believe it is the Jesus lived and died, that he died for all sin, and that he is the son of God. I realize that this is still hard for a lot of folks to swallow, but it is what it is.

      As far as Scientology goes, what you have there is not a "religion". The people who lead that group KNOW it's not the truth and that's where the problem lies. Another thing to remember is that you cannot have Scientology's flavor of "salvation" without buying their materials and going to their "auditing". While I believe that mainstream Christianity has really twisted the idea of what money is to be given to it, etc. The core belief requires no money, only faith.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      No ancient book has better survived, than the Holy Bible. The Bible is trustworthy. Consider that from the very beginning Jesus was accompanied by the disciples. They have written down big parts of the Bible and were eyewitnesses of Jesus works: He raised people from the dead, he made blind people seeing, he made paralyzed people walking, etc..

      I am fully convinced, the living God has visited the good old earth and revealed his Glory.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Duderino

      I respect your viewpoint and the fact you can discuss this without resorting to name calling but I do have to repeat my original question. Why is your religion the right one as opposed to the thousands of other ones humans have created?

      And if you look back through history, Christianity has been used to gain enormous amounts of wealth and power. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Christianity was started as a way to control the lower class but I would say it certainly evolved to suit the purpose of kings and clergy who could use it to control their people.

      I believe the Bible started out as a book of myths that promote (mostly) good morals, which I respect, but when people started taking it literally and were willing to dedicate their lives to it, greedy people noticed and twisted it into their own way of gaining power and money.

      I'm in no way bashing religious people but I think everyone should question their beliefs at one point, if only to reaffirm them.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Duderino

      That last post was directed at Fred if that wasn't clear.

      @Rainer – The Bible is popular no doubt but that doesn't make it true. The same way that Justin Beiber is popular but doesn't necessarily make good music. Saying the Bible is right because the Bible says so is circular logic.

      Everything you mentioned is complete hearsay from thousands of years ago. I would hardly call that evidence.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rainer
      "No ancient book has better survived, than the Holy Bible."

      For the sake of argument, we'll say that The Tanakh is the original bible. It was compiled in 450 BCE.
      The Iliad and the Odyssey were written 350 years before that.
      The Epic of Gilgamesh pre-dates the Old Testament by a millenium and a half.
      Sorry, but your assertion is false.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Fred

      @Duderino: It's just the answer that works for me. It's a tough thing for me sometimes because part of that belief is that if you don't believe that you go to hell. I don't want that for you, or anyone, and it seems really harsh, it's not something that I can reconcile in any easy digest way except to say that it's entirely possible that I'm wrong. I can accept that you don't believe what I do, I don't have an overarching need to be right, or beat people up with it (although I think maybe I've forgotten that a little in some of my comments). A relationship with God is ultimately a personal decision and no one else is accountable for it, but you.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Duderino

      @Fred – Man, so everyone who lived before Jesus and the other 99% of all humanity who believe in something else will go to Hell? I just can't see how a merciful being could let billions and billions of souls burn for eternity just because they didn't fully devote themselves to worshipping Him.

      The way I look at it is we could be the only life in the universe. Probably not but the conditions that create life must be incredibly rare so we could be the only intelligent life in the whole, infinite universe. I'm just grateful every day that I got the chance to live, even for the short time we have, and I just don't need a religion to believe life is special. It's hard to accept that what "we" are, are just chemical reactions going on in our brain but man, I'm still content with knowing that if anything had gone slightly different in the history of time we wouldn't exist and everyone who lives is just so lucky. I wish I could believe I'd go to a Heaven for the rest of eternity but sadly I can't rationalize to myself that, that is true so I'm happy just knowing I got the incredibly rare chance at life.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Duderino

      Man, any other people who want to respond? I'm genuinely interested in how religious people answer these questions to themselves.

      And I'm bored at work.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  6. Kim

    To all these people who believe in god, all I can say is prove that your 'friend living in the sky' exists it or shut up about it.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • a2rjr

      Try this, Prove that God who created even you doesn't exist?

      July 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      I could just as easily say prove that God doesn't exist or listen to it.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @a2rjr and @Andrew

      Saying 'prove that god doesn't exist' is an un-testable, un-verifiable statement and thus is pretty much meaningless. The burden of proof here is on the claimant. As Carl Sagan put it, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chris

      I've said this before, and I'll say this again. If you could prove it, it's not faith. It doesn't take much "faith" that gravity exists. The point is, believing in something beyond your own senses and beyond your own logic.

      Those who believe that science and human reason can and will eventually explain everything remain staunchly athiest. Those who believe that man will never know everything but trust in a divine creator remain staunchly religious/spiritual.

      Asking either side to prove it is ridiculous.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Fred

      There's more proof that a creator being exists than that it doesn't. It really just comes down to whatever answer works for you. And maybe this is my own form of apathy speaking, but I just fail to see the point in beating people over the head with God. If you are so blinded that you can't look at the world that surrounds you and realize that something created it, there's not thing one I can do to change that.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Brian S.

      The burden of proof is ALWAYS on proving something does exist... as there is an infinite list of things that don't exist, and a very finite list of things that do exist. That is if you want to prove it exists in "objective reality". If you just want to believe it "metaphorically" and "subjectively and personally" that is fine... but in that case why would you argue with other people about it. Just keep it to yourself.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Dave

      >>Try this, Prove that God who created even you doesn't exist?

      In the same vain... Try this: Prove that the Easter Bunny does not exist...

      July 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Dave- How about; you prove that God was an invention of man. Plz cite who created God, when they did, where they did, with what background references they used to create God and why. Plz give your evidence that directly answers each.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  7. Fred

    Bill Maher is occasionally funny. In the same way that a broken clock is occasionally right. He's been on this anti-religion kick for a while now because of that movie he made, and hey, good for him. He parlayed that into a couple of bucks and an interview on the "Not Larry King Show". He's not breaking any new ground here, people have been against God from the very beginning of time. "Every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall confess."

    July 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bobbi

      Actually, Bill Maher has been a non-believer for a very long time....long before his movie was even a thought in his head.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Fred

      I think it's possible that you missed my point.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • I_get _it

      Fred, ""Every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall confess."

      These are the desires and demands of an ego-maniacal, tyrannical monster - much more like something that your "Satan" character would say.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Fred: Sounds like you're saying he's only on Piers Morgan because of his movie which seems a little ridiculous since it came out 3 yrs ago. Not to mention the fact that he has been a comedian and a renowned host of Politically Incorrect and Real Time for something like 10 yrs. If you want to discredit him because you don't like that he rejects your religion, trying to belittle what is obviously a successful career just seems kind of small.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Lin

    Isn't this the same guy who went to all the trouble of making an entire MOVIE for the sole purpose of mocking religion and insulting religious people? That doesn't sound like someone who is apathetic.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Cleareye

      He's an entertainer by trade. Religion is obviously funny, particularly when you can pick and choose what you show.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Brian S.

      He's got to make money somehow. You know... the same way Falwell, Robertson, and all those straight-laced true believers make money. **(Intended to be read with sarcasm).

      July 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  9. Salvador

    It's OK until the day you die. Then try not believing what you see.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • max

      And of course you KNOW what he'll see, face it nobody knows what they'll see for certain.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Stevie7

      One can't see or believe anything if one doesn't exist.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ max

      No no, let him believe he knows, after his passing and he's facing Odin in Valhalla he'll feel awfully foolish when he's told he didn't live a good warriors life.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Kev

      oh really? what if you die and you go 'up there' and see that it was the god of islam that's up there....and not 'your' god? what then? then i guess you're screwed too! (ps. you might want to start believing in all available gods just to be safe)

      July 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • JC

      @Salvador, your statement proves that at least some believers claim to believe in God because they fear the repercussions if they don't. If there wasn't the threat of eternal suffering in Hell looming over your head, would you still believe? Perhaps not.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Corbijn

      There is an old saying Mark Twain has on this lines of this, I don't know it verbatim. Someone asked Mark Twain if he was afraid of suffering after he died because he was an Atheist. Twain said he didn't remember suffering or anything before he was born so he was ok with his decision.

      It's ok to enjoy a garden without the concept that gnomes and fairies inhabit it.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Salvador

      Dream on. It's not fear of hell, I've been there and back. If you don't believe I can't change that.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Pale Moon

    How is it that this footnote introduces him as "Comedian Bill Maher"? He's never been remotely funny and he easily translates to nothing more than an overly obnoxious, smug, little twerp with a ver big mouth. There's nothing funny about him, his spreading of chronic political misinformation, or his vulgar, pompous views on the religous values of others. I can not understand why anyone would find this guy entertaining.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Laughing

      I think you need to get a sense of humor then.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Salvador

      Atheist? Now that's funny!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • VoipOfReason

      You are Bill's target demographic. You should watch his show, it is pretty entertaining.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • MAD COW

      I find him quite entertaining regardless if I agree or not with all his opinions and jokes.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Interested48

      You don't find him funny because you need to develop a sense of humor and an open mind. Not only is he hysterically funny, he's intelligent and usually right on about whatever he's talking about. You just don't happen to be of that political persuasion; which is fine, but that doesn't mean that he's not funny or not smart.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Corbijn

      Oh that's just good old Jew hatin' talk there "Pale Moon".

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • JPopNC

      In the movie Bill supposingly does an "interview" with Creationist Ken Hamm, but it is readily apparent Maher edits Ken Hamm's replies tremendously and depicts Ken as someone who can hold a toe to Bill, and that is totally wrong. Ken is well educated and would go toe-to-toe with Bill any day. It's just a shame bill is so insecure that he couldn't reflect the true conversation that took place.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • GodPot

      "nothing more than an overly obnoxious, smug, little twerp with a ver big mouth" say's the accused of the accuser. You have been called out for your faulty logic and your miplaced loyalty in the hollow shell that is organized religion and you don't like it. To bad you can do nothing more than hurl insults since your God's have no power.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Cleareye

      He happens to be not only very funny, but very smart. He actually has the ability to see the truth in all its unpleasant rawness. No point in pretending that some daddy figure will cover your mistakes. Live your life as you like and don't follow mirages.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  11. Dave

    Religion is for the scared and fearful. Fear of god has been mans way of controlling people since the dawn of time. Scared sheep. BAHHHHH to you.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • kells

      who sound confused and am sure you are a confused person

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Salvador

      Wrong...fear of God is not a controlling factor but a freedom from this world. Fear of God is recognizing how awesome God is. Fear of God is knowing that there is no one or anything more powerfull. Fear of God is knowing what is just and fair. Fear of God is Love for the creation of all that exists beyond God. If you don't understand this then you have no fear for you do not know who God is!!!!!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Fear of God is Love.
      --
      Isn't fear = love the message an abusive parent gives to their child?

      July 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • JPopNC

      Scared sheep? Genuine Christians are anything BUT scared sheep. They travel to war-torn nations to provide aid, food, medical treatment, build homes, and other humanitarian functions. Thousands of Christians are killed every year BECAUSE of their faith, but they never renounce it. Doesn't sound "scared" to me...sounds pretty brave if you ask me.

      What would you do if someone put a gun in your face and told you they were going to kill you if you don't claim there is a true God? You'd probably pee yourself and go along with whatever they say wouldn't you? Go ahead...say it...."baaaahhh"

      July 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • GodPot

      Fear is complex. It can be abused, and most often is, by people who want to control you. It can also be used properly and be a benefit to mankind such as the fear of putting your hand on a hot stove will keep you from injury. However, the stove can be proven, as can the resulting burn if you did not have the proper fear of it. HeIIfire cannot be proven, so religion is akin to someone running around saying your house is on fire and you must give them money so they can save you when you did not know you had a house and you see no smoke or fire, just a frazzled, red in the face, froth on the lips con man trying to separate you from your wallet.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • GodPot

      @JpopNC – "Genuine Christians are anything BUT scared sheep. They travel to war-torn nations to provide aid, food, medical treatment, build homes, and other humanitarian functions." Which can be and is done by many people with no religious motive whatsoever. Whats your point? That Christians care about people as much as other people do? Hooray!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Artist

      Salvador

      Wrong...fear of God is not a controlling factor but a freedom from this world. Fear of God is recognizing how awesome God is. Fear of God is knowing that there is no one or anything more powerfull. Fear of God is knowing what is just and fair. Fear of God is Love for the creation of all that exists beyond God. If you don't understand this then you have no fear for you do not know who God is!!!!!
      -----------–
      I am confused....which god do you speak of???????????

      July 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • JPopNC

      To stevie7: No, the "Fear of God" is not the same as an abusive parent. However there has to be a respectful fear for any good parent. A good parent sets boundries and specific punishments if those bounderies are broken, and any child with an ounce of respect for their parents should dread whatever punishment to be given when they break the rules. Same goes for the court system. You wouldn't take standing in front of a judge lightly would you? I'd hope not...there should be a respectful "fear" of what will be your punishment.

      The same goes for God, and why shouldn't it? He made the rules in the first place. We break them, we should respectfully fear his punishment, but unfortunately for us our indiscretion isn't breaking a lamp or running a stop sign, it's usually total disrespect of Him overall and in doing that we generally break ALL His rules. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever used His name in a wrong fashion? We all have!

      The Good News though is that even though God is a vengeful and just God, He still loves us very much...agape love, God's love. And because of that, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be a sacrifice for all our sin, yours and mine, and He is willing to take us back in if we truely, in our heart, want Him to take us back. Just like any loving parent would...no matter what we have done in our lives. A parent's love never fades.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @JPopNC
      --
      A respectful parent would not sit idly by and watch their son or daughter get tortured for eternity if they could do something about it.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @JPop
      "What would you do if someone put a gun in your face and told you they were going to kill you if you don't claim there is a true God?"

      You're correct – most people will lie to save their own skins.
      That is how Christianity has spread – by the sword and the gun.
      Saint Thomas Aquinas dubbed the doctrine of forcible conversion "cognite intrare" – or 'compel them to enter'.
      Those that resisted were slaughtered. If you'd like to know more, just go visit your nearest Native American reservation.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  12. ComeAgainBaltoMD

    RELIGION=MAKE BELIEVE

    July 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  13. Margaret Gardner

    religious preferences aside, why does anyone care what Bill Maher or any other "celebrity" thinks?

    July 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • larsonst san diego

      I do, he is thoughtful and not a make-believer

      Go Bill!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Chr

      Its not about caring what he has to say...its about him being interviewed and talking about his life.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Margaret Gardner: Maybe cuz you like to know what your fellow human beings think about certain things. Kinda like why you just commented on a blog. Would you prefer to ignore their opinions 'because' they are celebrities?

      July 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Dave

      Bill Maher makes people think... and I can think of nothing better. 🙂

      July 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  14. Kristi

    maher makes me ashamed of the human species...

    July 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • twiddly

      I'm ashamed of you, Kristi.
      Do you still believe in santa claus? The tooth fairy? Perhaps leprechauns?
      There is just as much evidence of their existence as of whatever god you might profess to believe in.
      Organized religions are just large cults that exist only because children are brainwashed to believe.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • VoipOfReason

      So I guess, Free thought, logic & reason, are also things that make you ashamed of the human race?

      Go back to watching Glenn Beck and/or Fox.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Interested48

      Maybe you should join the human species and not live in fantasy land!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    Anyway, atheists must become apathetic in the course of time, because their brain dissolves gradually. No organ, working against itself, can keep on existing.

    July 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Keith

      "atheists must become apathetic in the course of time, because their brain dissolves gradually."

      it's science.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Dolce21

      Totally agree with you in all sense!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • brian

      what? spoken like a truly mindless sheep. stand on your own and think for yourself, read books about the opposite viewpoint to get a better understanding of the whole picture and maybe form a more reasonable and educated portrait of man in his brief and messy existence.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Christians' brains dissolve over time. No organ that continues to delve deeper and deeper into a fantasy land, can survive.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • oh yea?

      lololol someone who believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny in the sky is talking about 'brain decay'

      lololol

      July 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Brian – "form a more reasonable and educated portrait of man" This is impossible for the unreasonable and uneducated.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Bob – "No organ that continues to delve deeper and deeper into a fantasy land, can survive." It's like they live in their own D&D game where they battle the evil forces of the unbelievers to someday lay claim to the lands promised them by their Dungeon Master. And to make it even more mysterious, they havn't heard from the DM in over 2000 years, so there have been false DM's trying to control the game since almost before the original's DM's body was cold. "Yeah, I'm a lvl 17 Christian with a full suit of God armor and wielding an Atheistbane two-hand battle bible..."

      July 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Rainer Braendlein

    From leprosy to AIDS, from Catholicism to atheism.

    Atheism, Catholicism and Islam come out of the same woodwork. They do not acknowledge God's rank. In different ways they try to undermine God's rule:

    Atheism degrades God to a nothing, which has no ears and no eyes. The reason, which tells them, there is a creator, they use to deny the creator. Thus, in the course of time their brain becomes hash, because it works against itself.

    Catholicism appreciates a ridiculous man, a mere human being. This human being presumes, he could hold Christ's office as head of the worldwide Church. A man competes with Christ. That is outrageous. The pope cannot save me, but solely Jesus Christ.

    Islam degrades Jesus to a mere creature. Muhammad allows little Jesus to teach a bit. That was it. Furthermore Muhammad condems everybody, who says, Jesus is the eternal Son of God or a person of the Trinity. This wicked Islam makes people desperated, because it withhelds the Deliverer, whom the people need so urgently.

    Become a Christian! Read the book "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer!

    Atheism is the worst of all maladies!

    July 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Atheism is the worst of all maladies!"

      With all due respect (and not because of Maher here), apathy is the worst of all maladies.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • GodPot

      You are both wrong, an addiction to the belief that you know who made the universe is the worst of maladies.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Brad

      *condemns

      July 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Brad – It could have been worse if he had misspelled it "Furthermore Muhammad condoms everybody"

      July 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • austin

      Boo.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Kevin Walker

      With a nod to Charles Dicken's Christmas story, I believe "Ignorance and want" are the greatest maladies, but especially ignorance.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • DAVYI

      You are nothing but an ignorant bigot.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bill C.

      "he reason, which tells them, there is a creator"

      Your other sections were clearly coming from faith, but if you claim reason is on your side, you really need to support an assertion like that. And hopefully with something better than First Cause (God just existing is no more or less likely than the universe doing so).

      Argument from design actually has something to it, but it's also an argument against omnipotence.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • JPopNC

      Rainer: beautifully put!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • i wonder

      Rainer and Lycidas,

      How much time do you spend reflecting on the gods of ancient Egypt - Ra, Osiris, Seth, Horus, etc., etc.? Are you apathetic toward them? Why? They were worshiped for longer than 4000 years by a huge number of people. Yes, that's even longer than the god of Abraham has been the popular god.

      Read "A God Against the Gods" by Allen Drury

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Interested48

      Atheism is living in reality!!!!!!!

      July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • JC

      @JPopNC, did you read Ranier's statements? If that gibberish makes sense to you, you're either a genius or a fool. I'm guessing the latter.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "How much time do you spend reflecting on the gods of ancient Egypt – Ra, Osiris, Seth, Horus, etc., etc.?"

      Quite a bit actually. You should see some of the the pieces they have at the Israel Museum. It's interesting how the religion of the Egyptians effected the Levant.

      "Are you apathetic toward them? Why? They were worshiped for longer than 4000 years by a huge number of people. Yes, that's even longer than the god of Abraham has been the popular god."

      Before Abraham...duh. Who would think otherwise? I even know about Göbekli Tepe and that was ancient before the egyptians. What's your point?

      July 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • i wonder

      Lycidas,

      My question was, do you feel apathetic toward these ancient gods? They seem to be interesting from an historical and cultural viewpoint, but that's about it. What is to prevent the god of Abraham from eventually going the same route?

      July 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "What is to prevent the god of Abraham from eventually going the same route?"

      Don't know...no one has shown me any reason to think it would.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  17. elaine kilshaw

    I am an Atheist that means I do not believe in one of the historical gods, which I believe amounts to about 2000.
    Bill Mayer talks for most of us. Piers Morgan if he believes in a god he is not very nice because he would give all his wordly goods to help stop 30 thousand children dying a day. Bill Mhyer is my god because he is real and isnot delusional as most religions are. I was born an atheist and I will die an atheist. Thanks Bill Mahe rom us in the UK.r

    July 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • xactomundo

      Bill Mayer is a TV talk show host who bangs actresses and models and writes shi**y pop songs. I think he also wrote speeches for LBJ...

      July 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • o^o

      Bill Maher was 14 years old when LBJ left office.
      He does not write pop songs. I think you are confusing him with Joh Mayer.
      I think you are just confused.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  18. R

    The term Maher used to describe Bachman and Palin was disgusting. But since he is talking about Republicans, its OK.

    July 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      And the terms evangelicals have used to describe Democrats are nice? Get a thicker skin, or be quiet.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Dave

      I didn't hear his comment but I doubt it was disgusting enough for those two loons...

      July 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  19. Lycidas

    I always like to listen to Maher. I don't always agree with him but he has at least thought out why he feels the way he does.

    July 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • JW

      I agree. I am a Christian but I agree with many of his political views.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @JW- I do as well and he even surprises me a little at times. Last year during the Gaza Flotilla mess, Maher brought the topic up. I groaned within, thinking he was going to trash Israel. Instead he trashed Hamas..hard. Like he said, if any other nation was getting missles shot at them from another nation...no one would say a word about that nation defending itself. If Quebec was shooting into the US, we would bomb them to kingdom come. Israel however holds itself back from what it could really do and they get co*ndemned for it.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      One thing to bear in mind is that Maher considers ALL religion absurd: when asked if he was more afraid of Christian fundementalists or Islamic, he stated Islamic because they were " even more backward than the Christians". He is an equal opportunity offender.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  20. Frogist

    omg I love Bill Maher. He's hilarious. And I think I agree with him that if you're not super-religious, we're on the same team. I think a lot more believers look at things that way than people realize. Or would look at it that way if they could see past the prejudiced image of non-believers that the devout believers have been disseminating. I suspect most people are at the stage that Bill describes where he didn't really go to church anymore and didn't think too much about it rather than the opposite Christian nation image that some believers are pushing. And I think that instead of focusing on the one difference, we would get more done if we focus on the similarities.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:56 am |
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About this blog

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