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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. 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!

    Addition:

    Everybody having some knowledge of history, must admit that atheism, Catholicism and Islam have caused infinite sorrow for the mankind. It is high time that we get rid of all that nonsense.

    July 13, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Bible Clown

      "Thus, in the course of time their brain becomes hash" Apparently this has already happened to you. Get a life. Saying stuff doesn't make it true.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Muneef

      Rainer B.
      You said;
      "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".

      My comments;

      From Quran verses below we understand that who ever eats food is a human being and can not be immortal nor an Angel or a God....
      Verses clearly states although Angels or Holy Spirits might come looking like humans but you will not see them eating nor they need to eat human food nor will they need to use "Rest Rooms"... 
      don't tell me that the Bibles did not mention any thing like that?
      -----

      [5:75] The Messiah, son of Mary, is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still de-via-te!
      -----

      [21:7] We did not send before you except men whom we inspired. Ask those who know the scripture, if you do not know.

      [21:8] We did not give them bodies that did not eat, nor were they immortal.
      ----–

      [25:7] And they said, "How come this messenger eats the food and walks in the markets? If only an angel could come down with him, to serve with him as a preacher!"
      -----

      [25:20] We did not send any messengers before you who did not eat food and walk in the markets. We thus test you by each other; will you steadfastly persevere? Your Lord is Seer.
      -----

      [11:69] When our messengers went to Abraham with good news, they said, "Peace." He said, "Peace," and soon brought a ro-ast-ed calf.

      [11:70] When he saw that their hands did not touch it, he became sus-pic-ious and fearful of them. They said, "Do not be afraid, we are being dispatched to the people of Lot."
      -----

      [51:24] Have you noted the history of Abraham's honorable guests?

      [51:25] They visited him, saying, "Peace." He said, "Peace to you, strangers!"

      [51:26] He asked his family to prepare a fat calf.

      [51:27] When he offered it to them, he remarked, "Do you not eat?"

      [51:28] He har-bo-red fear of them. They said, "Have no fear," and they gave good news of a knowledgeable son.
      -----–

      July 13, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Muneef,

      you should not refer to the Koran. The Koran is just a concoction of Muhammad. He has copied parts of the Bible and added on some own ideas, moreover he removed, what did not fit into his concept.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Muneef

      Rainer B.
      Of course that is it otherwise what other excuse do you have to disbelieve?  But were you there when Muhammed was quoting from your Bible  "changing & adding" have you seen him or did your bible tell you that? Who did you decided to believe taking his word for it against the words of The Quran...? What ever the case was, Muhammed & The Holy Quran were there for a reason a reason of correcting yours where ever you went wrong in understanding or misinformed of...and that is the truth brought down by God's Messengers "Angels/Humans" to us mankind...as guidance for our salvation by becoming on to the Streight Path of the Righteous...
       
      Maybe you need to read more about the Messenger before reading the Quran this will widen your understanding more rather than making wild guesses beating the Bush;
      http://rasoulallah.net/v2/index.aspx?lang=en

      July 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • think for yourself

      Rainer, your "god" wants to burn the 70% or so of the current world population that does not have blind faith in "him", for all eternity. That's about 4.8 billion people, and doesn't include the billions of others that "he" has supposedly burned already.

      Let me fix your last statement: Everybody having some knowledge of Christianity, must admit that it has caused infinite sorrow for mankind. It is high time that we get rid of all that nonsense.

      July 14, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  2. gloriaphelan

    Bachmann and Palin share fundamenta­l character flaws - both have a propensity toward making snide, petty comments about those with whom they disagree, neither does her homework before making public comments regarding important social and historical events, and neither is mature enough to accept responsibi­lity for her own mistakes, failures, and shortcomin­gs. http://bit.ly/qCiGXh

    July 13, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Gloria... Do you feel that maybe that is found on the Atheist side as well. Or even, how many politicians who do not make snide remarks about those that disagree with them. Just listening to Boehner, Biden and Obama you will find constant sniping at those that believe differently. So in order of power, I do believe that is number 1,2,and 3 in power of our country. I think that using your negative example... Bachmann is looking more presidential every day. 🙂

      July 13, 2011 at 5:41 am |
    • Bible Clown

      You could say that about most people. I even make snide remarks from time to time myself, not that that is a bad thing in a horrible den of iniquity like this message board.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Scott

      Sounds like another Bush

      July 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  3. Peace2All

    I actually watched the whole interview by Piers with Bill Maher, and thoroughly enjoyed the show.

    He makes his points... a lot of which I am in basic agreement with, and... he (IMHO) is darn funny !

    Regards,

    Peace...

    July 13, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      A 6.9 Atheist and now is saying that he is unsure. I remember a few years back on his HBO show he sounded more sure of his views and now is making distinctions between religious and "super"religious.

      ~sings~ Someone's moving to the middle ... Someone's moving to the middle. 🙂

      Ahh... there is hope. Militants and Radicals take note.

      Thanks Peace. I was not going to watch the video until you recommended it.

      I'Chaim

      July 13, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Bible Clown

      Why is it so important to you nuts that everyone has to believe what you believe? Maher's not going to start believing in god all of a sudden just to make you happy.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Why is it so important to you nuts that everyone has to believe what you believe? “

      While I would be happy to hear that Maher has accepted God, it is the part about the “super”religious and a much more tolerant Bill Maher than I have observed in the years I have watched him.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Mark from Middle River

      Hey buddy...
      You Said: "A 6.9 Atheist and now is saying that he is unsure. I remember a few years back on his HBO show he sounded more sure of his views and now is making distinctions between religious and "super"religious."

      Hmmm... You may be right to an extent here, Mark. And, from really watching the interview...and... his show pretty often, I'm not so sure that he is "moving toward the middle."

      His 6.9 out of 7 rating scale is basically quoting Dawkins from one of his books that even he is 6.9 out of 7 as to disbelief in God. Can't really make it a 7, because you can't prove a negative... in other words, no one really knows, but he is about as certain as one can be without 'claiming' as a 'fact' that there is no God.

      I also think his comments are about the "super-religious" were aimed at the evangelicals.

      So, with that said... I enjoy Maher and his commentary, and... I believe him to be funny. I hope that I didn't mis-lead you with my -opinion/s-

      I'm curious to hear your response after you watch the full 1 hour interview. (Not just a 'clip' from the interview).

      Hope that you are doing well, Mark.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 13, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  4. Reality

    Only for the those interested in a religious update: (as noted below for those who may have missed it)

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482
    "New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

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

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

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

    Current crises:

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

    5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current crises:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

    July 13, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  5. George

    I believe that God enjoys a pipe of fine ganja each night before pigging out on some sweets, having a good laugh at his ridiculous creations, and then heading off to bed.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  6. toni

    it's dumbd for someone to say they don't believe in science. without science, sending messages to one another will not be possible. understanding magnetic field has helped us to have tv, phone, computers, etc. even as you breath oxygen and release co2 for energy, biological explanation is at work. whether you are a believer or not, people don't go to church to have heart surgery. are there a lot of things that cannot be explained? yes. however, they don't go to church for chemo. Science rocks!!!

    July 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  7. Christ Follower

    I am a and when I say I am a Christian, I'm not shouting I am saved, I'm whispering I get lost! That is why I chose this way. When I say I am a Christian, I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need someone to be my guide. When I say I am a Christian, I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on. When I say I am a Christian, I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and cannot ever pay the debt. When I say I am a Christian I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are too visible but God believes I'm worth it. When I say I am a Christian, I still feel the sting of pain I have my share of heartaches which is why I seek His name. When I say I am a Christian, I do not wish to judge. I have no authority. I only know I'm loved.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • The Dude

      You follow the figment of someone elses imagination...nothing more.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Your opinion dude.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Christ Follower

      Dude,
      I have a personal relationship with Christ! It's changed my life!!!

      July 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      Strange! The Bible teaches us that the whole world has been deceived (Rev. 12:9) and if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived (Matthew 24:24). Confused? Please read all the pages and articles of our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

      July 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Whooping Wally

      Nice plagerism Christ Clone. Do you have any original thoughts, or do you just parrot cliches? That shallow piece of drivel is all over the internet.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • gozer

      If you are a Christian, you are certainly far lost.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Hey, I need advice from time to time myself, but I consult the living instead of some hypothetical sky person. Whatever works, I guess. You're the one saying "I've failed. I'm lost," while I feel fine.

      July 13, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  8. Robert Hagedorn

    Adam and Eve? For a surprise, do a search: First Scandal.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  9. FOOLS

    Aethist are hilarious because yo all IN FACT BELEIVE IN A GOD and more than one I might add.....just not the Christian one.. You beleive in Scientism – YOU BELIEVE THAT Physical science will discover and give us all the answers we need. Science is god. You beleive in Humanism – Man is the measure of things, the highest being; his own god. Gen. 3:5 – "you shall be like God." Man is god. You beleive in Intellectualism – By logic and rational thought, man can figure everything out. Epistemological belief-system. Reason is god. Shall I go on?....in actuality Aetheist have MORE GODS than Christians.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I believe in science. I do not believe science will give us all the answers we need, let alone all the answers we want, and I don't believe that those answer it does give will always be given on a timely basis. I believe in humanism. I do not believe humans are the measure of all things. Neither science nor humanism is a god or in any way divine,

      July 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • colin

      Ironic that the greatest insult you can hurl at we atheists is that we too believe in god(s). It is tantamount to saying "look, you're just as bad as us."

      Needless to say, you are very wrong. Science is a method – a way of arriving at facts and models to describe facts. Science assumes notthing to arrive at reality. Religion assumes reality and arrives at nothing.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • colin

      Has anyone figured out why theists tend to make a word or two per line in their postings in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. It is not as though the meaning changes.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • swin

      John Richardson,

      Why would you believe in something that you admit does not give you all the answers? And then, why would you criticize someone who believes in something that they feel does give them all the answers?
      Doesn't make sense to me.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Artist

      Interesting christians are obsessed with finding the answers. I do not worry myself about what I cannot control. When I die I will deal with what happens....if anything happens. Why must I consume myself with how the universe was created? If I was a scientist or it pertained to my field or life, I can see being consumed with certain questions regarding the universe. I do not fear god or the gods. If he or them wish to torment me in the afterlife then so be it. A god that requires a person to have fear is not a god worthy of worship. The christian god is as evil as the Devil scapegoat he created. Faith in their christ masks the core of their man made god, fear. When you rule with fear, rebellion is to follow at some point.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @swin I value science for all the many answers that it DOES give us. Why would I reject something just because it isn't some sort of magical truth machine that spits out all the correct answers the minute you want them? Nothing of the sort exists or ever will. So I go with what has done the best job by far in producing truly reliable answers. And I criticize those who believe that they DO have a magical truth machine because they are deluded fools happily accepting falsehoods as truth.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • swin

      John Richardson,

      I too value science. I have teaching degrees in physics and earth science. In some cases, the reality of science sticks around until another scientific reality takes it's place. I also am impressed by the limitless nature of the universe we live in. From air, earth, fire, and water to Dalton's atomic theory to all the myriad subatomic particles today, we seem no closer to the smallest part of the universe. And then go the other way, what we once thought were stars in the distant heavens later turned out to be whole new galaxies. I don't doubt the scientific reality of the universe. What I don't accept is that it is the ultimate reality. When you consider not just the incidence of life but also that man has the 'awareness' of his life, when you consider the intangibles as love, loyalty, honor, courage, forgiveness, and respect, these are things that are just as real as the wooden desk I am writing on, but they have no explanation in the scientific realm.

      Many people who are neither believers nor scientists claim that there is a contradiction between theology and science. This is absolutely not true. God created an orderly and predictable world for us to live in and he then gave us the mathematical, logical, and scientific skills needed to understand that world and live in it. One does not preclude the other, rather, each one is enhanced by the other.

      July 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • toni

      science is not a belief. it is an inquiry of things. some of it will be theories that are base on enough facts, and some will be nothing but facts. an example is the big bang theory. it has some facts in it. the galaxies are expanding, being observed from satllite images. will they completely know evrything about? maybe not.

      July 12, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • sean vina

      your mistaken. "god" is the idea that you can get answeres from no evidence. science is the idea that you can get an answere from arithmatic.
      unlike religous people, if there is no evidence for something, then a "scientist" doesnt belive it. Take for instance earth revolving around the sun. For hundreds of years, many people saw evidence that suggestic it, but it was just a theory. Once galileo looked up through the telescope and saw the evidence, its became fact.

      July 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Scott

      God gave us pain, science gave us anesthetics.
      God gave us sickness, science gave us antibiotics

      Which one is more worthy or worship?

      July 12, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @colin

      You asked: "Has anyone figured out why theists tend to make a word or two per line in their postings in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. It is not as though the meaning changes."

      It fools many of us non-believers into thinking the comment is from god.

      Cheers!

      July 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @swin

      You Said to -John Richardson..." This is absolutely not true. God created an orderly and predictable world for us to live in and he then gave us the mathematical, logical, and scientific skills needed to understand that world and live in it. One does not preclude the other, rather, each one is enhanced by the other."

      Are you stating this as a strong 'belief' of yours, or are you trying to claim the above as if it is 'absolute fact'...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 13, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • Q

      "When you consider not just the incidence of life but also that man has the 'awareness' of his life, when you consider the intangibles as love, loyalty, honor, courage, forgiveness, and respect, these are things that are just as real as the wooden desk I am writing on, but they have no explanation in the scientific realm"

      While they don't have definitive cause and effect explanations in the same way we understand most physical sciences, what we do know is that human behavior is a complex emergent property of physical biological/biochemical mechanisms and that these behaviors can be affected by changing the biological/biochemical parameters. We know that drugs and traumatic brain injuries do affect the expression and perception of the behaviors you mentioned. We also know that altruism is not unique to humans but has evolved in many different forms in many different species. We also know that while the degree may be unique, other species also exhibit self-awareness in a temporal framework. In other words, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that while humans are a unique species, we are not so unique as to warrant anthropocentric claims which would remove us from the same evolutionary processes having produced the rest of extinct and extant biodiversity. For all the honorable traits mentioned, we also bear any number of physical and psychological vestigial traits which manifest with deleterious consequences, from our propensity to violence to our cravings for sweet and fatty foods.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • John Richardson

      @swin I'm not sure what fight you are picking. When I say I believe in science, I'm not saying that I'm not open to believing other things, But I do note that facile "proofs" of god often involve invoking an ignorance about how things work that science keeps filling in. Love may seem beyond explanation. But my point with respect to love is that if it is proof of spirit, then at least a whole lot of social animals have spirit, contrary to orthodox Christian teaching. But science can explain a lot of what is going on in all social species. Humans understood a lot about the stars and other heavenly bodies, at least their positions and cycles, etc, first in large part because they are remote, even on ancient models. It's easier to be objective about things far away. Human emotion is the hardest thing to be objective about. So it'll be the last thing well understood even in a rudimentary "Ptolemaic" way. But understanding IS coming.

      July 13, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  10. The Dude

    Bill is ok, but a tad too egotistical.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eqKb5ViN_Q

    July 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  11. Christ Follower

    How about a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land.”

    July 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • colin

      How about a quote from Carl Sagan -"The believer's mind is like an iris. The more light you shine on it, the more it will withdraw and contract."

      July 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Colin.
      A fine one really but works finer on non believers when you bring them the light of Truth...

      July 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      But as to to the C/Follower the quote as it seems that every land their eyes fall on becomes the promised land for their invasion...

      July 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  12. swin

    When I want to rewire my house, I get a book that tells me all everything I have to do. I read it, study it, and then follow its directions. When I'm done, I turn on the power and the lights work. As a result, I believe in that book.

    Then I read the Bible and study it. It tells me everything I need to do to make my life work – to give it joy and meaning and fulfillment. It also tells me why things I've done in the past and keep on doing today don't bring joy and fulfillment. I find that when I follow that book, life works, and when I don't, life doesn't work. As a result, I believe in that book.

    I'm not trying to convince you. I can't transfer my experiences to you. But neither can I explain love or devotion or honor or self-respect to you. That does not make them less real. Can I go up to a convicted murderer and convince him that if he just loved himself less and loved others more than he would be more happy as a result? What common ground do we have? It's like the court sentencing date when the victim is allowed to speak out to the criminal – do you really think he cares? Your reality and his are not the same. I can't say anything to you to convince you there is a loving God. I can only tell you that in my personal life I have found all the proof I need beyond any doubt. I can say to you that I wish you had the same belief and I could tell you just how much this opens up your life to an infinite number of possibilities, but this could very easily turn into my trying to convince you, which I can't. I can only ask that you accept and respect my belief and know that it is important to me. I, in turn, will do my best to do the same to you. Just remember, your reality and mine are not the same – just as much as my belief makes no sense in your reality, your belief, or lack thereof, makes no sense in mine. Let us both accept this and go on. No criticizing, arguing, or cajoling will cause one of us to go over to the other side. Only the events of life that can change our view of reality can do this.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Reality

      The Old Testament and some the god-approved atrocities:

      To wit:

      •Exodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.

      •Numbers 31: After killing all men, boys and married women among the Midianites, 32,000 virgins remain as booty for the Israelites. (If unmarried girls are a quarter of the population, then 96,000 people were killed.)

      •Joshua: ◦Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed.

      ◦Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon ("larger than Ai"), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. "He left no survivors."

      ◦Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000]
      ◦TOTAL: if Ai is average, 12,000 x 9 = 108,000 killed.

      •Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed.

      •Judges 3: ca. 10,000 Moabites k. at Jordan River.

      •Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon

      •Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed.

      •1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle.

      •David: ◦2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.

      ◦2 Samuel 10: 40,000 Aramean footsoldiers and 7,000 charioteers killed at Helam.

      ◦2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.

      •1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall.

      •2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties.

      •2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000.

      •2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans

      •TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Old Testament/Torah.

      The New Testament has only one major atrocity, that of god committing filicide assuming you believe in this Christian mumbo jumbo. Said atrocity should be enough to vitiate all of Christianity.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • The Dude

      I do the exact same thing, but I use the Satanic Bible.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • John Richardson

      So who have you smitten lately?

      July 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • swin

      REALITY

      My post was at 6:22 and yours was at 6:29. There is no way you could have read my post, considered it, and then composed your reply in 7 minutes. In short, you had your ammunition prepared and ready to shoot at the first person available. All I asked for was acceptance of one's belief and offered the same in return. You, however, want a fight. Go elsewhere, for I will give you none.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • colin

      Swim, but do you dispute what he said, or just resent the speed with which he said it? We all have bibles, and his quotes seem pretty spot on to me.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Reality- "The Old Testament and some the god-approved atrocities"

      And what was the problem again?

      July 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "•2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans"

      God approved?? Are you implying that God thought it was a "good" thing? I hope not because there is nothing in the scripture that would support that.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • martini paul

      Well said. I was a long time atheist. Once God revealed himself to me I knew He existed as surely as the sun. Proof? Can't give any except my expression of faith. No one goes to the father exceot through the son. Science is not needed. Nor logic. Strange how this arrangement allows even the least of us to gain salvation. No phd necessary!

      July 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • swin

      Martini paul

      I too was an atheist until the age of 33. I can write these things and know that you'll understand when others can't. How do you explain to someone an experience where everything in your life that you believed in and trusted and thought true breaks down completely? How do you explain to someone what it's like to look into a mirror and not see yourself through your own eyes but through the eyes of God? How do you explain what it's like to feel loved and be forgiven, knowing you deserve neither?
      And regarding the Bible, how do you explain a book that you may have read many times before, that suddenly seems to be written just to you – a book that reveals everything about who you are and everything that God wants you to be?

      The reason I wrote my post was that i saw that immediately the discussion would become argumentative and confrontational. I just asked for acceptance and respect. Notice that one of the first persons to reply gave me neither.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality.

      Why did you not carry on with statistics on how many Palestinians were killed since 1948 to date...isn't that religious too?

      July 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • martini paul

      swin: I was 53 when I was baptized. The most surprising thing was the feeling, or knowledge, of being undeserving. I still feel there must have been some sort of divine typo error. . . May God be gracious to you and bless you -

      July 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @martini paul Pardon my bluntness, but if you feel undeserving of the eternal bliss you assume you've snared for yourself, it's because you are and, indeed, are destined for no such thing. If you ALSO feel that others are undeserving of eternal damnation, you are once again correct and maybe, just maybe will turn away from worship the monster of a god you have tried to ingratiate yourself to.

      July 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • martini paul

      John Richardson: If you are an example of a atheist then I'm damn glad I'm a Christian.

      July 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • swin

      John Richardson,

      I would like to know whether you feel you were deserving of the love your parents gave to you and all the sacrifices they made for you. Are you deserving of the loyalty and trust that your closest friends have in you? If you are married, are you deserving of the gift that another person gave to you, which is their future, their happiness, their destiny, and their very life? If you are a parent, are you deserving of the responsibility to raise and guide another human being through this world? If you answer yes then I do not envy your narcissism. If you answer no, then tell me, as you've told 'martini paul', that there is no bliss in having received these gifts.

      July 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • swin

      John Richardson,

      No one can receive a greater gift than the unconditional and 'undeserved' love of another. No other gift can even approach it in its ability to affirm life, provide joy, and offer the best chance for a fulfilling life.
      If you do not feel you have received this gift from a 'God' then I hope that you have received it elsewhere – even if you don't deserve it (and none of us do), you really do.

      July 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • migunbog

      the nazis believed the same about mein kampf...a book written by a series of people on skins and papyrus with no original copies, translated by tired monks hunched over tables lit by candles and supervised by a clergy with ulterior poltical motives....thats like saying a comic book shows real life. the bible is not much more...lots of blood and gore, a few perrtinent philosopohical sayings...but a master guide for life...sorry

      July 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Scott

      Then I read the Bible and studied it. It told me all kind of conflicting things, it said god's people had done horrible things at god's command, it said god had done some horrible things too. I found that when I followed that book my life was miseralbe and that is one of the many reasons I don't believe in that book.

      Have you actually read the first 5 books?

      July 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @swin
      @Martini paul

      As you have mentioned, "personal revelation" only works for the person who has had the experience.

      The strange part, is that every other believer of other gods, also get revelations from their god. How do you know theirs is false and yours is true?

      Curious in Arizona

      July 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Scott

      You said: "Then I read the Bible and studied it. It told me all kind of conflicting things, it said god's people had done horrible things at god's command, it said god had done some horrible things too. I found that when I followed that book my life was miseralbe and that is one of the many reasons I don't believe in that book."

      Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.

      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives, Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant.

      How do you know you have interpreted the bible correctly? Are you special?

      Cheers!

      Have you actually read the first 5 books?

      July 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Reality

      Muneef, Muneef, Muneef,

      Peruse the following:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.
      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden, the Muslim, was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      July 13, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Muneef

      Scotch.
      You will believe in the Holy Books the date you are sober...

      July 13, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Blessed

      @ Swin and Martini Paul,

      I too am walking in your shoes. I have lived a life without God in it. I too have recently turned to God and his words and find that my life is much more amazing. I now value the little things in life and dont sweat the small stuff. God says that he will call his people to him and the rest will remain blind to him and the truth of his ways till the second ressurection. This that you are experiencing I would bet is "The Calling of God". Remember not all will be called at this time so arguing with those that dont see will be pointless and in fact going against Gods final plans which are taking place. One day they will see and they will know and then they will have a decision to make and its their decision not ours. Only thing we can do in this life is just to pray for them and let God handle everything. No I dont think all is worthy of God, but God is a forgiving God. Turn to him and let go of our transgressions and be like God and we will be written in the book of life! I dont expect everyone to understand what these guys are saying, but until you have been touched by God and have been allowed to understand the bible and all its contents then you will never understand what we and countless others have experienced!! Peace to all and God bless!

      July 13, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  13. Reality

    A prayer reiterated for Bill and any other "apatheist" out there:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    July 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • swin

      Do not lump Christianity and Catholicism together – they are not the same. This comes from someone who was raised a Catholic, became an atheist, and later became a Christian. I say this only because of the possibility that you are judging Christianity based on knowledge you may have of Catholicism.

      I will use one of the examples you gave, that of turning wine into blood. Jesus never did this. In ancient Jewish law, the Jews were forbidden to drink the blood of any animal that they were to eat. We now know how important this practice is for health reasons. Jewish beliefs had evolved to the point where they believed that to drink the blood of any living thing was to take the very essence of that living thing into your own being. When Jesus said to his apostles to take and drink of this for this is my blood, he wasn't actually turning the wine into his blood. He was telling his apostles that to follow him they had to take the very core and nature of Jesus' existence and make it their own. If the apostles themselves believed that the wine was the blood of Jesus, to a man they would have refused to partake of it. They may not have known completely what Jesus meant but they did know he was using an analogy.

      You do seem to have some knowledge of one fact in history. Around the year 300 AD, the emperor Constantine of Rome caused the early Christian Church, which had been buckling under persecution and atrocities, to be joined into the Roman Empire and to meld together with Roman paganism/polytheism. The result was that Aphrodite became Mary who became a god in her own right, Appolo became Jesus and the many Roman gods became the saints. The Roman emperor became the head of this church and called himself (forgive spelling) the pontificus maximus, or just 'Pontiff' for short. To show a line of succession for this position, Rome decreed that the first pope was Peter and moved him to Rome, when there is no evidence that Peter ever left Israel – and since he was not a Roman citizen, it is very doubtful that he ever did.

      I believe the early Christian church accepted this arrangement, not out of belief, but out of convenience and what they perceived as necessity. Before long, however, the distinction faded and eventually the Church of Rome was born, not to be challenged in its false beliefs until Martin Luther came on the scene. Henry VIII challenged the authority of the Roman Church more so than its belief system.

      So again, I want to repeat – I don't know your situation or the reason for the beliefs you have. I just want to state again that Catholicism and Christianity are not the same – don't judge one by the other.

      For a more detailed expose of the church of Rome, read the book 'Roman Catholicism' by Loraine Boettner. Just be advised, however, that in exposing the history of the church of Rome, Boettner never investigated the heresies in his own belief in Calvinism. The truth, it seems, never comes completely from man but from God.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Don't bother he is an Atheist attacking every living thing that bows to God...
      He thinks that Atheists are the Angels of heavens and that Religious are the demons of Hell...

      July 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Scott

      @swin: Like it or not Catholicism is the parents of Protestantism. Why do you hate your parents so much?

      July 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482
      "New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

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

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

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

      Current crises:

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

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 13, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  14. Muneef

    Why things are not right in this world,what is missing;

    [5:65] If only the people of the scripture believe and lead a righteous life, we will then remit their sins, and admit them into gardens of bliss.

    [5:66] If only they would uphold the Torah and the Gospel, and what is sent down to them herein from their Lord, they would be showered with blessings from above them and from beneath their feet. Some of them are righteous, but many of them are evildoers.

    [5:67] O you messenger, deliver what is revealed to you from your Lord – until you do, you have not delivered His message – and GOD will protect you from the people. GOD does not guide the disbelieving people.

    [5:68] Say, "O people of the scripture, you have no basis until you uphold the Torah, and the Gospel, and what is sent down to you herein from your Lord." For sure, these revelations from your Lord will cause many of them to plunge deeper into transgression and disbelief. Therefore, do not feel sorry for the disbelieving people.

    [5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Why things are not right in this world:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • colin

      Muneef – Reality is spot on there. You can't deny any of this happened. Pretty violent mob, you Muslims, wouldn't you agree?

      July 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      So only Muslims do such things...believe me all those operations were financed by the......to dark spot Islam with statistics since their statistics are much more longer and heavier whether they were religious or non religious but the only thing here I have no time or the organized nature of Reality to gather such statistics for all through history...
      The problem is that some look to others Backsides but not to their backside...

      July 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality.

      Come on man you have done much more than all of that all through your American modern history starting with the Red Indians until today....?! Or just as a short cut take it from 911 to date....?!
      The difference here that some make it with formal armies with heavey weapons,technologies and the skies while others make it with informal armies with light and medium weapons have only the grounds...who in such case should lose more lives and suffer destruction ...?!
      The types of Justice are Three (1) One that uses One eye. (2) One that uses Both eyes. (3) One that is totally Blind..!
      Guess you are the first "One Eyed" sitting on the top of your pyramid or tower...of tyrants;
      --

      [28:38] Pharaoh said, "O you elders, I have not known of any god for you other than me. Therefore, fire the adobe, O Hamaan, in order to build a tower, that I may take a look at the god of Moses. I am sure that he is a liar."

      [28:39] Thus, he and his troops continued to commit arrogance on earth, without any right, and thought that they would not be returned to us.

      [28:40] Consequently, we punished him and his troops, by throwing them into the sea. Note the consequences for the transgressors.

      [28:41] We made them imams who led their people to Hell. Furthermore, on the Day of Resurrection, they will have no help.

      [28:42] They incurred in this life condemnation, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be despised.
      -----

      [40:35] They argue against GOD's revelations, without any basis. This is a trait that is most abhorred by GOD and by those who believe. GOD thus seals the hearts of every arrogant tyrant.

      [40:36] Pharaoh said, "O Haamaan, build for me a high tower, that I may reach out and discover.

      [40:37] "I want to reach the heaven, and take a look at the god of Moses. I believe he is a liar." Thus were the evil works of Pharaoh adorned in his eyes, and thus was he kept from following (the right) path. Pharaoh's scheming was truly evil.

      [40:38] The one who believed said, "O my people, follow me, and I will guide you in the right way.

      [40:39] "O my people, this first life is a temporary illusion, while the Hereafter is the eternal abode."
      ---–

      Atheists think they are the future God's of humanity with out which humanity wouldn't have lived of developed into what it is today..

      July 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Scott

      @Muneef: So your only responce is "they did it too"? Grow up

      July 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Reality

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.
      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden, the Muslim, was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      July 13, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Muneef

      Scot.

      How do you suggest I do that? What would have been the best answer for you? Think Jesus said some thing about not to stone some one for a sin unless all are free from sins....

      July 13, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  15. Scamtannehill

    Piers do your homework It looks as if you are phoning it in. Your facts about Bill Maher were all wrong and it makes for some real odd questions. Go back to your desk and fire your research team if you have one. Remember your audience base is no longer 14 year old kids locked in their rooms.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  16. mfhpr

    Here's a religious freak's take on the economy:

    Bachmann jumped on Obama for mentioning the NFL lockout, implying that he'd rather focus on sports. How stupid is this woman?! Or is she simply pandering to those brainless nuts that will follow? Does she really have no idea of the billions in revenue cities and small businesses depend on that will be absent if there's no NFL season? Take your head out of your bible and stop listening to the voices in your head, Michele!!!

    July 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  17. Mayflower

    Religion: you either get it or you don't. If you've never had a spiritual experience there is absolutely no point in trying to explain it to someone who hasn't. It's like trying to explain how salt tastes to someone who had never tasted it. The only word to describe it is salty, but that makes no sense unless you've had it.

    I personally don't care what religion Bill Maher is, or isn't, or how he feels about a god he's never really tried to get to know. I do have a serious problem with people justifying their own beliefs at the expense of others. Don't believe in God if you choose, but don't marginalize and mock those who do. For all the bad organized religion is responsible for, there is much good which goes unnoticed.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I've had numerous "spiritual experiences". The issues arise in their interpretation. You can attempt to cram the experience into the thought framework of some religion you were brought up in or acknowledge that sort of approach is based on making a bunch of unwarranted assumptions and that if you are really going to learn anything from spiritual experience, it's best to suspend as many assumptions as you humanly can.

      July 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Scott

      So why doesn't god (who loves everyone and wants everyone to go to heaven) not give everyone this "experiance" you talk about?

      July 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Scott

      You asked: "So why doesn't god (who loves everyone and wants everyone to go to heaven) not give everyone this "experiance" you talk about?"

      Because, they are deluded. These "experiences" are reported by believers of every god. If the Christian god was the only god, how could this happen? Delusion. LOL.

      Christians claim their god is Omnipotent ( all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all good).

      1.If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.
      The bible says He does:

      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2. If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3. If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 68% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      July 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  18. martini paul

    Why do people who profess to believe only in intellect, reason, objective realism, etc. seem to have such anger management issues? Perhaps man is not a completely 'reasoning' animal and does not, and can not, live by logic alone.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @martini paul

      You said: "Why do people who profess to believe only in intellect, reason, objective realism, etc. seem to have such anger management issues? Perhaps man is not a completely 'reasoning' animal and does not, and can not, live by logic alone."

      We are not Vulcans. LOL.

      A freethinker is one who forms opinions on the basis of science, logic, and reason and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any dogma. It does not mean that don't have emotion. Believers of magic, are very frustrating to us.

      Cheers!

      July 12, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Unclesac

      Perhaps the anger you describe stems from the frustration with the stranglehold the religious nuts have on the lives of all who inhabit this planet. Gone is true Liberty (in America) when we must pay our debts with currency emblazoned with babble about trusting an imaginary skydaddy. Americas Pledge of Allegiance was tarnished and made exclusive by adding "under god" to suit the self serving religious and anti-communist aims. The Pledge once unified all who called America home, now it excludes those who don't or won't worship a diety. This makes me angry.

      The anger you observe is perhaps growing. Growing from an increasing number of people who understand the true meaning of freedom....something which anyone who worships a diety cannot possibly fathom. I hope the angry will eventually unite and have true freedom in America and, with time, perhaps the world. Those who grow angry have no choice but to oppose those who wish to smother true freedom in the name of their god. This manifests itself as apparent anger management issues it is true. Anger in this case is certainly justified, as the faithful have manacled mankinds progress in more ways than we can count. I,for one, wish to have mankind free itself of this dogma and achieve our full potential.

      The Christian nation many apparently seek is no different than the one that oppresses the Iranian people. Left unchecked, a Christian nation would (and indeed has throughout history) digress to the same level. I stand squarely in opposition of that.

      Why such a diatribe about your anger question?

      I am a veteran of two wars, three if you count the cold war. I have seen all that religion and its obsolete ideas causes from a much closer vantage point than most can imagine. I have seen the absurd excuse for a society that muslims have created for themselves. This experience has given me a lens through which I looked upon my homeland when I returned home. I can now see all too clearly equal absurdity in religious America. So some get angry when religious people try to impose their will upon society in the many ways they seem to be fond of. Well founded anger in my estimation. Well founded indeed.

      I therefore stand on the side that says religion in general has– and must have - no future. For the good of mankind it must be cast off as so much rubbish.

      July 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      'people who profess to believe only in intellect, reason, objective realism' Who are these people? Prison guards? Slaughterhouse workers? Please define your terms before debating.

      July 13, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • SHRIKE

      @Unclesac – Brother, from one Cold War, Gulf I, Somalia, Bosnia, & Gulf II warrior to another you and I are "On the same sheet of music". HOOAH

      July 13, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  19. Patt

    on your face, religious nuts! if you start exercising logic there couldn't be false finding with what bill says!

    July 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  20. Kevin D.

    Bill needs to brush up on what he is. Atheism doesn't mean without religion, it means without god. It means he believes there is no god. So it doesn't really matter if he isn't spending time thinking about religion, that's pretty obvious if he doesn't believe in god.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Free

      Tell me, do you spend time thinking (and reassuring yourself) about how astrology doesn't really work, or is that just something that you keep in the back of your mind, like how Dracula is really just a folk tale?

      July 13, 2011 at 8:34 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.