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Capsule containing Pope John Paul II's blood heading to Mexico
August 10th, 2011
07:49 AM ET

Capsule containing Pope John Paul II's blood heading to Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff

MEXICO CITY (CNN) - A capsule containing the blood of Pope John Paul II will be flown to Mexico next week and displayed in more than 100 locations across the country, officials announced Tuesday.

The blood - drawn in a hospital before the pope's death in 2005 - will be on view in Mexico until mid-December, the country's Catholic Bishops Council said.

A collection of relics connected to the former pope and a rendering of his face copied from a mold taken after his death will also be part of the display, officials said.

"In the perception of a Mexico plunged into terror, pain, hopelessness, anguish, vengeance and rancor as a result of insecurity and violence ... the veneration of the relics will be an opportunity for the baptized and people of good will to turn their eyes to God," the Rev. Manuel Corral, the council's public relations secretary, told reporters.

In their journey around Mexico, the relics will travel more than 22,500 kilometers (13,980 miles). They are scheduled to arrive in Mexico City on August 17 and will go on public display August 25.

Nearly 84% of Mexicans say they are Catholic, according to the country's 2010 census.

The former pope - who became a saint in May - developed a close bond with Mexican Catholics and travelled to the country on five papal visits. Church officials trumpeted the relics' impending arrival with a statement titled, "John Paul II returns to Mexico."

"Pope John Paul II as much in his words as in his history has always been a pilgrim of peace," said Bishop Victor Rene Rodriguez Gomez, the bishops council's secretary-general. "The visit of the relics will give us a chance to reflect on these ideas."

"It is the moment to pray for peace," he added.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Mexico • Pope John Paul II

soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Faith

    Seriously, Catholics should give up their stupid idolatry. This is what happens when people refuse to read the Bible. Such capsules must not have been produced in the first place or smashed in the Old Testament way.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Sue

      "Seriously, Catholics should give up their stupid idolatry" -same applies to adherents of all religions. There's no god, so get on with the one life you have and live a good one.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Read what Gerald said,....'read Acts 19 where people wanted to have Peter's shadow fall on them or touch Paul's handkerchief and they were healed. Then there was the man who was thrown in on the bones of Elijah and was resurected. Of course the woman who touched not Jesus but the hem of his garmet and was healed. You can deny them all you want and think they are silly but they are in the Bible'.
      Nothing more need be said for true Bible believers....

      August 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Faith

      Sue, there is an inerrant Book called the Bible on Planet Earth – the most profound item which claim to be the Word of God and is proven to be so. Everyone must pay attention to it. Some Catholics are deadly wrong, according to the Bible.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Where you from Faith?

      Some gulag in Korea? Some convent in some country thats name ends in stan?

      I read your postings and I am unsure if you are trying to be insulting or funny?

      Maybe the ChiComs have you locked up, like your an Asian Charles Manson Cult Leader?

      In any event, you make little sense with your posts!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Martin T

      CatholicMom, the bible also says you should be subserviant to me, we should kill unruly children, that slavery is just fine, and so on. Also, there is NO evidence that any of what you stated ever happened OTHER than the bible. One would think that something so miraculous would have warranted some mention in the history books/writtings other than the bible. Such nonsense is just is just the foolish wishes of the mentally weak.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Sue

      Faith and ReallyStupidCatholicMom, the way you keep referencing that book of errors and evil known as the bible is circular. The bible is not a proof for itself, and it has been thoroughly debunked and the stories in it are both unoriginal and worthless.

      What needs to be said for bible believers, those ignorant twits, is "Get over your disgusting, cowardly god delusion and live the short life that you have well. No old man in the sky is going to save you."

      August 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • gerald

      God should give up his idolatry too I guess.

      Psalm 72:14] From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
      and PRECIOUS is their blood in his sight.

      August 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      The Bible is true because the Bible says it's true? Does this go for all books? Because if so, I'm going to go find me some Hobbits!

      August 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  2. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    Viewing his blood. How satanic....will they drink it to. I have to chuckle all the mindless sheep walking past a vile of blood going oooohhhh ahhhhhhh. lol Meanwhile behind the closed curtain, a priest is r a p ing a little boy.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Only blood from human deities are acceptable drink – at least up to this point.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    There are at least four enemies of mankind:

    Papacy, atheism, Neopaganism, Islam

    People, belonging to one of this wicked beliefs, hate the humble and loveable Jesus from Nazareth. They hate Jesus, because they know, he would not allow them to continue their evil life-style, being greedy for power, honour and riches.

    In Jesus the deity and the humanity are united (but not mixed) in a perfect way.

    The Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is/are the only one, worthy being adored.

    How do the four wicked beliefs deny Jesus Christ:

    Papacy: The pope presume, being had of the Church. Thus he denies the real head Jesus Christ.

    Atheism: They simply say, there is no deity and thus there is no Jesus Christ.

    Neopaganism: The Nazis tried to establish a Nazi-Jesus according to their imagination of a Germanic Jesus. They wanted Jesus to be a proud lord and ruler, that means a typical German. By that they denied the true Jesus, who is humble and loveable Jew.

    Islam: They accept the existence of a God. However the impostor Muhammad has stricly prohibited to believe that God has a eternal partner (Son). Muhammad even says there is no worse sin than to believe in Jesus Christ (evidence by several suras in the wicked Koran). Muhammad says, everybody, who believes in Christ, will end up in a hell of fire.

    Conclusion: Wicked people are very skilled to invent a religion as smoke screen for their malice.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!
      Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil!

      August 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Martin T

      I disagree completely. There is only ONE true threat to our world, RELIGION! Enough Said

      August 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Ranier says "By that they denied the true Jesus, who is humble and loveable Jew"

      So Jesus is still a Jew? The whole Christian thing never happened?

      Are you sure you weren't a failure out of the Lebensborn program? Like your test tube got to much saurkraut in it? You do seem to be a REALLY bizzare mix of racisim, ethnocentricisim and paranoid delusion.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • John Richardson

      That's "Sieg! Heil!"

      August 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • John Richardson

      'Zeig' is the short form familiar imperative of the verb 'to show'. 'Sieg" means 'victory"

      August 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    Its great to see Rainer Braendlein is back warning the world about the Muslims

    Being half German myself, it always fills me with a terrifying sense of nostalgia when one of my Aryan brethern comdemn others for not being Christian enough. You see I have seen what comes of Christians demonizing other religious groups

    It brings to mind the question, Based on what Hitler did, if you could have killed him back in the 1920's, would you be moraly justified?

    If you believe the answer is yes, then how in good conscience can you tolerate Its great to see Rainer Braendlein is back warning the world about the Muslims

    Being half German myself, it always fills me with a sense of nostalgia when one of my brethern comdemn others for not being Christian enough.

    It brings to mind the question, Based on what Hitler did, if you could have killed him back in the 1920's, would you be moraly justified?

    If you believe the answer is yes, then how in good conscience can you tolerate Rainers comporable speech now? What this man says is the same rhetooric that brought us 30 million dead, which included almost a million children being gassed.

    August 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @William Demuth

      Das ist wirklich Demut (humility), daß Du zugibst ein halber Deutscher (German) zu sein!

      By the way, you need to read some books about history. Hitler murdered the Jews, because he thought, they would contaminate the German blood. Hitler was a racist. He wanted to breed perfect Germans. The Nazis had houses were SS-men were forced (or maybe they did it voluntarily) to copulate German women in order to get perfect Germanic children.

      The Jews refusal of the Christian faith was not the reason for Hitler's murder-actions. Hitler murdered also Christians.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @ Demuth

      Do you actually know, what brought the idea of building concentration camps to Hitler's mind?

      Hitler was impressed by concentration camps ot the Muslim Turks, where the Turks had mistreated Christians.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hallo Rainer

      Ich glaube, was-Willie ist Hinweis darauf ist, dass Sie so verteufeln andere Konfessionen des Christentums mit einer solchen ferver, anders als Martin Luther die Version, dass Sie die Anzeige einer extremistischen Haltung, die möglicherweise schaffen konnte den Zeitgeist Klima eines Hitler-Mentalität sind.

      Ihre Überzeugung, dass andere Religionen so absolut falsch, und doch Ihr ist 'die' nur " richtige ', ganz und gar kurzsichtig ist, und zeigt Ebenen der Unwissenheit auf Ihrer Seite sind.

      Sie haben nach "heiligen Rechtfertigung" für "nuking" Die Muslime als auch genannt, da sie (satanischen Hosts) sind, und jeder sollte "nuke" sie mit "Hingabe".

      Es ist diese Art der Rhetorik, die Sie wie ein Verrückter Wahnsinniger erscheinen lässt.

      Regards,

      Peace ...

      August 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wieder einmal die Seelen der acht Millionen schreien vengenance gegen die falschen Propheten Jesus und tthe Armee von Zombies, die in seinem Namen zu töten.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Peace2All

      Have a look on history: Once upon a time there was a peaceful Christian Empire, called Byzantium. However the loveable Byzantium was attacked by several sides: By pagan Germanic tribes, by the pagan superpower Persia and the Muslim Arabs.

      Byzantium had just overcome it's biggest enemy Persia and was totally exhausted (628 a. D.) Yet 629 Muhammad assaulted Byzantium without any reason. It was an aggressive satanic assault. Seemingly Muhammad had deceived the Byzantine emperor, because the assault came "unexpected". The Muslim soldiers also slaughtered a lot of Christian civilians. Furthermore they prohibited Christianity and forced the people to convert to Islam.

      Assumed the Turks will assault Europe, I will cast nukes on them or at least I would encourage everybody, who has the power to cast nukes on attacking Muslim Turk soldiers.

      Nevertheless I love my Muslim neighbours, but I condemn their false belief.

      Peacy, you should realize that Islam is a pure war-religion!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Yes... yes... Rainer, you have said this all before. Atheism, and any other non-Luther protestantism religion, especially the Catholics, & Muslims are all 'wrong' and ("satanic")... your's is "THE ONLY RIGHT AND TRUE ONE."

      Same day... same postings... same myopic -Rainer- hyperbole and rhetoric.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Hey

      I say the next time a Turkish Muslim martyrs themselves we give them Rainer Braendlein.

      I know the Turk would be do 72 virgins, but he is the only one this blog has got.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • I Don't Speak German

      Hey, I enjoy a debate. Can someone translate the German parts into English, please?

      August 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I Don't Speak German, my post means

      Once again, the screaming souls of the eight million cry out for vengenance against the false prophet Jesus and tthe army of zombies that kill in his name.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  5. tbreeden

    Maybe we can sprinkle the Pope's blood over the US congress.

    August 10, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  6. 10 signs you are funda atheist

    1. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.
    2. You think that it is possible to talk meaningfully about "good and evil" "right and wrong" when criticizing the sins of Christians while simultaneously subscribing to the notion that neither sin nor good and evil exist as ultimate categories but only as personal and social constructs.
    3. You think that human beings are merely the products of blind, uncaring, evolution but when it comes to human reason (a product of the same process) we can believe in it without question!
    5. When you use a historical point to prove Christianity is false, history is objective truth. When a Christian uses historical evidence to prove you false, history was written by subjective men and therefore cannot be trusted.
    6. You insist that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", then claim that Jesus never existed.
    7. You accuse Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, and stupid.
    8. You think atheists are treated like second-class citizens. Then you spend most of your day belittling Christians and other religious people on CNN.
    9. You think "freethought" and "thinking for yourself" automatically means adopting an atheist viewpoint

    –from the web

    August 10, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • J.W

      This is gonna get like a million replies I am just waiting for it lol

      August 10, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • gerald

      Kudos.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • 10 signs you are funda atheist

      10. You adamantly refuse to recognise the historical fact that "scientific atheism" was both a foundational philosophical position and an actual policy of the Soviet Union and other atheist states from the time of Lenin on, and responsible for massive persecution, torture, suffering, humiliation and death far in excess of the numbers of the "victims" of Christianity

      August 10, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Peace2All

      LOL !!! This is actually quite funny ! Even if this caricature is off, but still funny. 😀

      I guess we now have our own official "top 10 list" for us. I feel honored. Although, I'm an ~agnostic... agnostic/atheist, but still funny nonetheless.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      You still don't get it do you?

      Athiests don't blame God for anything, because he dosen't exist.

      They blame the evil in the world on CHRISTIANS and other cult members.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Atheist

      1. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.
      –We don't blame him for those, we just point out that if he was real he would be responsible for these. Theists just point out the good things, we try to help them realize that their god isn't good.

      2. You think that it is possible to talk meaningfully about "good and evil" "right and wrong" when criticizing the sins of Christians while simultaneously subscribing to the notion that neither sin nor good and evil exist as ultimate categories but only as personal and social constructs.
      –And as personal and social constructs, what christians and catholics have done in the past is wrong. Don't you think it's wrong to kill people based on faith? Holy wars anyone?

      3. You think that human beings are merely the products of blind, uncaring, evolution but when it comes to human reason (a product of the same process) we can believe in it without question!
      –.....yes?

      4.
      –you missed #4

      5. When you use a historical point to prove Christianity is false, history is objective truth. When a Christian uses historical evidence to prove you false, history was written by subjective men and therefore cannot be trusted.
      –That's because we have geology and science to back up our history that has been proven over and over again throughout the years, you have one book, that has not been proven by anything.

      6. You insist that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", then claim that Jesus never existed.
      –He probably existed, but just a good person trying to make the world better, no son of god. Or maybe just a con man, I don't know, I wasn't there.

      7. You accuse Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, and stupid.
      –I try not to do that, but when someones only argument is "nuh uh! I'm right, it says so in this book!" It gets frustrating. Especially when you have tons of evidence against what they're saying.

      8. You think atheists are treated like second-class citizens. Then you spend most of your day belittling Christians and other religious people on CNN.
      - The overall minority is almost always a second class citizen to the majority. I'll stop feeling like a minority when theists help put an atheist into political office.

      9. You think "freethought" and "thinking for yourself" automatically means adopting an atheist viewpoint
      - If you do it right, it does.

      10.
      - You missed # 10

      –from the universe

      August 10, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Atheist

      10. You adamantly refuse to recognise the historical fact that "scientific atheism" was both a foundational philosophical position and an actual policy of the Soviet Union and other atheist states from the time of Lenin on, and responsible for massive persecution, torture, suffering, humiliation and death far in excess of the numbers of the "victims" of Christianity
      - So now the history that isn't in your book is factual? But even if this is true, I'm pretty sure the catholic church along with christians backed the whole nazi thing. My point is, this was just done by people, not specifically motivated by religion.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Reality

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

      Should I 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

      August 10, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Atheist

      also, another point on number 10, I doubt the death toll from Lenin and the soviet union even compare to the atrocities from the Catholic church during the dark ages...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

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

      Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      August 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Oh, I think you'll find that most atheists freely admit that Stalinism and its various children advocated a state policy of atheism and killed an obscene number of people. What you will also find (at least in the West), is that most of us think that this was a very bad thing. But the problem with these people wasn't that they were atheists. It was that they believed it was right and proper to enforce their view about a personal belief through violence and government coercion. And that, my friend, is a mindset that is just as likely to happen among the religious as the nonreligious.

      Furthermore, the numbers are more a product of the vast populations of those nations and the tools available for killing than because religious believers would have been more restrained.

      What we do here, though, is an entirely different kettle of fish. There is a vast and fundamental difference between saying to someone "change your beliefs because I have convinced you that they are wrong," and "change your beliefs or I will kill you." Religious and nonreligious insti-tutions have both at times taken the second tactic, and both of them were wrong for doing it. This is why I think the American system is better – the government is supposed to stay out of the argument altogether, and let the arguments play themselves out. It may take longer, but the end result will be more true and nobody has to die to prove their point.

      Mostly, I try to stay out of the "who killed more of who" debates, though, for a couple reasons. 1) neither "side" is totally clean, and 2) it has nothing at all to do with whether one side or the other is right about the existence of god. If atheists are right, then god doesn't exist regardless of how many people were killed. If Christians (or Muslims, or Hindus, or pagans) are right, the their god(s) exist regardless of how many people were killed.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Oh, I guess when I say "the results are more true," what I mean is that they are more genuine. Someone who becomes a Christian because they have thoroughly hashed out the perspectives and concluded that it is true is more genuinely a Christian than someone who converts out of fear of what will be done to them by other people if they don't. Similarly, someone who hashes out the arguments and concludes god does not exist is more genuinely an atheist.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Martin T

      Atheist – Thank you for your post, it was PERFECT!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Martin T

      I agree that Atheists have killed a lot of people, but NEVER in the name of Atheism. Now how many Christians/Muslims have killed in the name of GOD/their religion? Just asking.......

      August 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Civiloutside

      Excellent, per usual !

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Magic

      Wow, @Atheist, Stevie7, Colin and Bobinator, you all have done superb refutations of this list. Thank you!

      I don't have time right now to expound on the whole list - and you guys have done such a great job anyway - but just a short comment on #1:

      "1. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society."

      When atheists make remarks about "God", we are referring to "the supernatural being which you call God and the claims which you make about 'him'". It's pretty clunky to have to say that each time, so we take a shortcut and just say, "God". I usually use quotation marks around it to emphasize that, but many don't.

      Maybe we need an acronym to use in these instances, such as, Y.A.G. = Your Alleged God, or "Y.I.G. = Your Imagined God", or T.A.G. = This Alleged God".

      August 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Frogist

      @CivilOutside: Thank you for that! That's the first time I think I've ever heard any atheist actually say "Stalinism... advocated a state policy of atheism..." and "neither 'side' is totally clean." I am actually shockingly pleased to hear it because so often I think believers want to take the hard-line, schoolyard tactic of "atheists killed more people" just so they remain "cleaner", because they think non-believers are saying their "side" is totally clean by criticising the concept of religious warfare. But it's just not so. It's not about who is bloodier. It's about recognizing what causes us to want to force our views at gunpoint on another. And, sadly, about the irony of committing murderous acts thinking they are moral and sanctioned by God. I am really grateful for your post.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Ok, number (1) is completely, just plain stupidly and/or ignorantly wrong.

      Number (2) is a little complicated. 'Sin' is a god-drenched term and not used for that reason. But yes, we do perceive much WRONG in the world, including wrongs done by people who consider themselves the arbiters of absolute good. But here's a clue: almost NOBODY believes that killing is absolutely wrong, as some subset or other of the standard exceptions, ie acts during times of war, executions for at least some crimes, the unborn, euthanasia, even self defense are credited by almost everyone. THAT is why we reject "absolutes". But even when the morality even of killing is relativized to the specific circu-mstances, certain killings like witch burnings, pogroms against the Jews, atrocities in religious wars, etc, etc are still clearly wrong. Hence, no contradiction in (2).

      Number (3) is really dumb. The fact that evolution itself is blind and uncaring doesn't mean we can't be in awe of its products, which aren't "merely" anything. Sharks and cheetahs and jellyfish and conchs and daffodils are all awesome in their own way, and evolution itself is amazing, even if evolution itself doesn't think so because it doesn't THINK. But even with these corrections, you are still wrong. Human reason is admirable, but not infallible. Never heard a non-believer claim otherwise.

      Number (5) may have some merit, but it's a game both sides play. The problem is that history is indeed history, It has to be reconstructed either from physical evidence (archaeology) or texts. Physical evidence is great for some things, much less so for others and since we are generally talking ruins or even scraps that aren't even coherent enough to be called ruins, there is a lot if interpretation. Texts would solve this if (a) there were extant texts for all historical events, which there obviously are not and (b) those texts that do exist were guaranteed to be the true, the whole truth and nothing but the, and this of course is also not even close to being the case. So history has to be deduced by some following the preponderance of evidence, and that itself can change over time as new things are uncovered and better interpretations are developed. In any case, the preponderance of evidence says that most of the bible is horse hockey.

      Number (6) is clearly true for some non-believers, but most of us think that there is at least some historical basis for Jesus. The problem again is that how many of Jesus's purported acts can be deemed ficti-tious before Jesus himself as he is portrayed is deemed ficti-tious? This is true of all historical figures and especially those around whom grandiose claims have been made. If Aristotle's works turn out to have really been authored by multiple people, even if there was someone with (the original Greek version) of the name Aristotle somewhere early on in the process of the writing and compiling of these texts, is that person REALLY the same person as the Aristotle we think of as the Unique author of the entire mass of writings? Or is it better to say that the Aristotle we've been taught about is actually a fiction who got his name from this one fellow who really existed but did nowhere near as much as has been attributed to the Aristotle of popular imagination?

      Number (7) is largely true, though "foaming at the mouth" is over the top. Oh, and Christians are indeed very often judgmental and very often stupid. Just the facts!

      Number (8) is also largely true because reality vindicates what atheists and other non-believers do. There IS some nast prejudice against atheists, less so than before, but it's still there. And atheists and other non-believers decry this AND denounce those inordinately responsible for it, ie the dwindling but still entrenched Christian majority.

      Number (9) has some merit. I particularly detest the term "free thinker". It meant one thing for pretty obvious reasons back in the day, but really should be a more general term for anyone who resists adhering to any monolithic viewpoint or ideology imposed either by the majority or by those in power. Christians who continued to believe in the face of stiff communist sanctions and propaganda and the ever popular sentiment that it's best not to rock the boat deserve to be considered "free thinkers". But religion itself has a horrid history of intellectual imposition up to and including death to non-beleivers and has always also extolled faith over empirical inquiry AND rationality. With such a history (and continued modern reality), it is hard to think of MOST forms of religiosity as having anything to do with THINKING at all, let alone for oneself.

      August 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  7. a person of the Name

    @ nonimus doing anything outside the bible is not Truth, its mans version of the truth but not truth its self.

    August 10, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  8. a person of the Name

    @ rainer amen brouther!

    August 10, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  9. a person of the Name

    Is there any other Christians that find this odd and mildly distrubing?

    August 10, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  10. William Demuth

    For a paternity test, or DNA to compare against the bung hole scrapings of Latino Altar Boys?

    I actually liked him as far as Popes go (much better than the current Nazi)

    Alas a charismatic cult leader is actually more dangerous than a mundane one.

    August 10, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    There is a great misunderstanding: People assume, faith would be necessary, in order to become able to believe in any creator of heaven and earth. St. Paul says in Romans Chapter 1 that the creation is a clear evidence for the existence of a creator. The mere existence of any creator can be grasped by the natural reason without any faith. Denying the existence of any creator is a crime against reason.

    For people, using their reason:

    Everybody could ask this unknown creator, who is evident by his works heaven and earth, for a revelation of his name.

    By a revelation (impact of the Holy Spirit, who causes faith) someone becomes able to recognize that there is certain Creator and his name is Jesus Christ.

    August 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer

      So... I'm guessing from this and other postings that you have made... you don't like Catholicism much...?

      They have the 'wrong' brand of Christianity, eh...?

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Peace2All

      Actually Catholicism (RCC) has nothing to do with real Christianity. Strictly speaking, it is a cult.

      What is the basic problem of the RCC?

      Answer: The pope displaces the invisible Christ. The pope is the head of the RCC. In contrast the head of the true Church is Jesus Christ.

      Practical consequences: In the RCC you cannot find the Holy Spirit or Christ. But the presence of the Holy Spirit is the crucial attribute of the true Church. The lack of Spirit causes that a Catholic hardly can be a true believer, because there is no impact of the Spirit within the RCC.

      Conclusion: Most Catholics are disbelievers, because the Holy Spirit has never teached them about their sinfulness and the gospel and the sacramental baptism.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Martin T

      Ahem, you do realize that the "cult" you call the Catholic Church is the original Christian Church and that MOST of the teachings you follow came out of that cult? Just saying.. is all...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      LIke the mormons are to christians, the christians are to the jews.....a cult

      August 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    There are at least four enemies of mankind:

    Papacy, atheism, Neopaganism, Islam

    People, belonging to one of this wicked beliefs, hate the humble and loveable Jesus from Nazareth. They hate Jesus, because they know, he would not allow them to continue their evil life-style, being greedy for power, honour and riches.

    In Jesus the deity and the humanity are united (but not mixed) in a perfect way.

    The Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is/are the only one, worthy being adored.

    August 10, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • gozer

      Atheism, insofar as it is rational lack of belief, is in no way an enemy of mankind. However, all religion and all other superst-ition, since it represents suspension of reason and in some cases, willful avoidance of what we have learned about our universe and our planet, is truly the enemy of humanity.

      The sooner humans get past the two dominant problem-causing supersti-tions, Christianity and Islam, the better. These idiotic beliefs should have no place in a modern world.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Yeah, Jesus sure would hate the wicked way in which I design life-saving equipment for a living. Or the wickedness of hugging my children and my wife and telling them I love them every day. Or the truly vile way I instruct those children to treat others with kindness and respect. Perhaps he hates my wicked reading habit? Or the wicked way in which I don't do drugs and don't go out on drinking binges? The wicked way in which I have never struck someone in my adult life?

      I'm not saying I'm perfect. Far from it. But seriously... Just what the heck do you think we atheists do with our lives?!

      August 10, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @gozer

      Up to the Reformation by the Christian Luther, Germany had no cost-free public shool-system. First the Potestant Christians established cost-free shools in Germany.

      Before Luther started to destroy papacy, obviously nobody was strong enough to fight the pope's backwardness.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Colin

      Civiloutside – good points. I find it amusing how theists react upon learning I am an atheist. they look at me like I am some kind of weirdo. I explain that 90% of my "morality" is probably identical to theirs and that, to the extent we differ, I am probably more "live and let live" than they are.

      In my experience, most atheists have a pretty similar outlook to liberal theists, we just don't buy into he supernatural elements of their faith.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer

      Come on dude with the baggin' on atheism, cr@p. You 'know' that... that is absolutely ridiculous and absurd.

      @Civiloutside/Colin/gozer... Good points, per always.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • gerald

      Had you read Bendict XVI's Jesus of Nazereth you would not say such foolish things. But you would rather remain ignorant and bear false witness.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • gerald

      By the way it was the Catholic Church who coined the words Trinity and hypostatic union that you are so fond of.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I'm going to bet you've never actually met a Pagan and known they were Pagan.

      "People, belonging to one of this wicked beliefs, hate the humble and loveable Jesus from Nazareth. They hate Jesus, because they know, he would not allow them to continue their evil life-style, being greedy for power, honour and riches."

      What, exactly is this evil lifestyle you refer to? And power? I'd certainly like some of those riches, but then only enough to live comfortably, pay my bills, travel a little...the rest of it I'd give to various charities.

      You should maybe find out what people actually believe rather than forcing upon them whatever notions you have of what they believe.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Nonimus

      I find it interesting that your so-called enemies list only human beliefs and not Satan. And further more, couldn't you reduce your list to just one, all beliefs not like Rainer Braendlin's?

      August 10, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • gozer

      Yeah, Rainer, we know how well those Christian child se-xual abuse insti-tutes, err, schools, have worked out. Take your sick religions and shove them.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      Rainer Braendlein, you are bearing false witness, not loving your neighbors, and judging. In DIRECT violation of Christ’s instructions. Why has Jesus not healed your heart of all this hate? I thought He was the answer.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    Pope Gregory VII. was one of the first men, mixing politics with religion. Like Muhammad he filled the world with blood, in order to increase his earthly power, honour and riches. Muhammad and the pope used religion as smoke screen for their malice:

    Dictatus Papae (by Pope Gregory VII., the Antichrist)

    (Extract)

    8.That he alone may use the imperial insignia.

    9.That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet!!!

    10.That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.

    11.That this is the only name in the world.

    12.That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.

    19.That he himself may be judged by no one.

    That is without limit: This papal laws are still valid! It’s only that the secular powers are too strong at the moment and the pope cannot behave like he wishes to behave. I hope the US will recover economically, othewise the papal monster will seize rule again.

    Joke: “I believe in God, the Pope, the Allmighty!”

    August 10, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  14. Nonimus

    Relics always seemed kind of silly to me not only from my own point of view but also from within the view of the church.

    "The former pope – who became a saint in May "
    I didn't think he was declare a saint yet, only Beatified or 'Blessed John Paul'.

    August 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Nonimus

      Hello, my friend...

      " -Relics- always seemed kind of silly to me not only from my own point of view but also from within the view of the church. "

      Well, from a 'marketing' point of view, what better way to continue to get more mileage and pesos, from PJ Paul, than to continue a roadshow of relics from a 'mouth piece' of God...? Especially, the whole 'blood' thing which or course somehow hits the transubstantiation buttons for a lot of these Catholics.

      Not to mention, just the continues perpetuation of the RCC's tentacles into the populace, especially during these times of insecurity for some who are really frightened and seeking something... supernatural to give them hope.

      So, while it may seems kinda' silly from 'our' points of view, when I look at it from the RCC's point of view, it seems quite clear and reasonable, given some of their goals and outcomes (IMHO).

      Peace brother...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Peace2all,
      Hello, always good to hear from you.

      Yeah, I suppose they have to do something since the indulgences market dried up.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • gerald

      Anyone who does not believe in relics has not read Acts 19 where people wanted to have Peter's shadow fall on them or touch Paul's handkerchief and they were healed. Then there was the man who was thrown in on the bones of Elijah and was resurected. Of course the woman who touched not Jesus but the hem of his garmet and was healed. You can deny them all you want and think they are silly but they are in the Bible.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Hello, Nominus and Peace2All,

      The point the article made, "The former pope – who became a saint in May " struck me as an ‘off statement’ also. Saints are not ‘made’, they are recognized. Pope John Paul II is on his way to perhaps becoming recognized as a Saint. Right now he is recognized as being ‘Blessed’…

      One comment here about Rainer Braendlein…if he has any Truth of Christianity in him, he came by it through the Catholic Church…just as any protestant does. They pick and choose what they want to hold dear to their hearts but they stand outside the Church and walk away without the fullness of Truth.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • J.W

      "if he has any Truth of Christianity in him, he came by it through the Catholic Church…just as any protestant does. They pick and choose what they want to hold dear to their hearts but they stand outside the Church and walk away without the fullness of Truth."
      I am a good Christian and I completely disagree with this. I have come to believe what I believe from listening to various viewpoints, both within and outside the church, and discovering for myself what the truth is, and I have never been Catholic.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Peace2All

      @CatholicMom

      A big 'shout-out' to CMom !! Hope that you are well. Haven't heard from you in awhile...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Peace2All,

      Yes, it has been a while. Nice to stop by and still see you and a few familiar faces.

      It has been an unusual summer…first the cold wet start of it and then the heat and then storms…seems I had to run around and unplug everything every week or so…just disruptive to our regular routine…but we got the hay up without a drop of rain on it…so our record is now 5 years in a row of putting up good hay.

      So sad what Texans have been going through with drought, and other places with flooding.

      I hope you are safe, sound, and happy wherever you are.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • J.W

      I live in Texas. We are lucky we have a couple of large lakes close to where I am at. I have heard that Texas was trying to make a deal to buy water from OK too.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Civiloutside

    Was he named a saint in May, or just beatified? I thought the sainthood thing was still to come.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Colin

      Just beatified. Before he was, I wrote the following:

      "Right now, Pope John Paul II has been put on the path to sainthood by Pope Benedict XVI. Normally they would have to wait years from his death to begin the process, but, bowing to Polish political pressure, the Pope has started the process early. So the hunt for miracles is on.

      I will make a prediction. In fact, I will bet London to a brick that; (i) in their search for two miracles, they will quickly find them, just like George Bush’s underlings, under pressure, found “slam dunk” evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; and (ii) the two miracles will both be medical “miracles”. The type that lurk in the shadows. No severed limbs will re-grow, no angels will appear to raise the dead. Nothing clear and unambiguous. Just good, old fashioned cures perfectly explicable by medical uncertainty."

      I hereby make the same bet. The second miracle will come quickly and will be nothing more convincing that a medical recovery.

      Dear god you Catholics are gullible.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Stevie7

      I'm sure once another PR crisis hits the church that the sainthood movement will pick up serious steam.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  16. Colin

    Ten signs you are a Catholic.

    1. You believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when he elects to speak “from the chair” on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. geocentricity, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine. You also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by your “infallible”, god-conversing popes.

    2. You reject the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local god(s) and heralding the incorrectness of Catholic beliefs.

    3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated. Official Church literature still dictates a belief in this nonsense.

    4. You disdain native beliefs as “polytheist” and somehow “inferior” but cannot explain (i) why being polytheistic is any sillier than being monotheistic. Once you make the quantum leap into "Wonderland" by believing in sky-fairies, what difference does if make if you believe in one or many?; nor (ii) why Christians believe they are monotheistic, given that they believe in god, the devil, guardian angels, the holy spirit, Jesus, many demons in hell, the Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, the archangel Michael, and thousands of saints, all of whom apparently make Earthly appearances periodically, and all of whom inhabit their life-after-death lands with magic-sacred powers of some kind.

    5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees or the 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf (or the dozen or so other slaughters condoned by the Bible). You also like to look to god to for guidance in raising your children, ignoring the fact that he drowned his own – according to your Bible.

    6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that we now all know never happened.

    7. You criticize gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Moses, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.

    8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.

    9. You will totally reject any scientific breakthrough that is inconsistent with your established doctrine, unless and until it is so generally accepted as to back you into a corner. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).

    10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”. The fact that, if you ask for something repeatedly, over and over, year after year, sooner or later that thing is bound to happen anyway, has not even occurred to you. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

    11. You accept the stories in the Bible without question, despite not having the slightest idea of who actually wrote them, how credible these people were or how long the stories were written after the alleged events they record occurred. For example, it is impossible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, as Catholics believe. For one, they record his death and events after his death. In fact, the chance of the Bible being historically accurate in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small.

    Heavens, I could not fit them into ten.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • JA

      wow dude seriously. its not hard to copy and paste. i've seen this many times. you athiests are the biggest trolls of all.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Colin

      JA – two points, (i) yes you have, because I regularly post it; and (ii) I see you have no issue with what I said, just the fact that I said it.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • gozer

      Thanks for posting that again, Colin.

      Seems the remaining Catholics still need to be reminded of their idiocies, but fortunately their numbers are declining despite their opposition to birth control.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Colin

      Thanks Gozer.

      You know, I think I'll actually miss them. Like when the nerdy kid it was fun to pick on at school left town.....

      August 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Colin

      Hello my friend...

      Ahhhhhhhh always love your top 10 lists. You can post them regularly... I think they are worthy of reposting. I'm leaning towards why top 10 reasons being gay is bad list as the most funny, but this Catholic list is pretty close.

      This list, if you were to tweak it a bit could fit 'all' of them. You could make a "10 reasons you know that you are a 'fundie'" 😀

      Anyway, brother... Always applaud your work.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • JA

      10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.

      9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.

      8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.

      7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus – Muhammad says, "kill innocent people and yourself if you love me." Jesus Christ said, "I'll die for you because I love you").

      6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another – As if evolution isn't the biggest fairytale of them all.

      5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power – But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.

      4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.

      3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.

      2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.

      1. Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe - there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God

      August 10, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Colin

      Hey Peace – your wish is my command.

      JA- Will respond after lunch.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Laughing

      @JA

      I'll let Colin have his turn but I just had to say,.....bahahahahahaha

      I don't think you know what atheism is or at least you don't understand some of the debates you've found youself in.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Nonimus

      @JA,
      So many things wrong with your statements, not certain where to start....
      How a simple one, what is your basis for the following:
      "scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power"

      August 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • JA

      dont worry Laughing i like to start debates, it gives me humor on a long boring work day. Let's have fun!

      August 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • JA

      @Nominus

      dont freak out dude, i just copied and pasted, you guys get so worked up.....keep'em comiing though *grins*

      August 10, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • JASS

      .

      August 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Laughing

      @JA

      I hear that, you might find me posting on this blog alot in recent months because of that same reasoning.

      Like I said, I think I'll let Colin answer because this was clearly directed at him, but I will address your first point. Atheist do not believe in religion and god by extension. There is a disbelief in god but most atheists say they don't believe in god, not outright deny his existance. In any case, when an atheist blames god for all the horrible things in the world, it's to bolster an argument that the christian god (or any other man made god for that matter) does not exist or else he wouldn't have allowed these things to happen. Evil happens in the world because evil happens, atheists don't blame god for it, but just point out that if your god exists and we're wrong, then he has a lot of explaining to do.

      Does that make sense to you?

      August 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Stevie7

      "scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power"

      Can you post a link to this study, because I have seen many others that put the odds significantly higher.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • JA

      haha all this typing gives me stomach pains, i think i better go take a pope

      August 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • J.W

      The origin of life is something I have been doing alot of reading on lately. I have read about a couple different theories. One is called abiogensis and the other involves RNA. Unfortunately I am not that good at science so I have trouble with some of it. I think if you look up the probability it will be skewed toward the belief of the person writing the article.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • J.W

      Oh I found the scientist that said the odds were 1 in 10^40. Sir Fred Hoyle.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • fred

      JA
      The Bible says all these things will happen. When the A team (Athiests ,Agnostics and Biblical Antognists) circles around you just remember they prove the Bible true by their very words and actions (as least how unbelievers will react when confronted by the truth).
      @Colin you only posted 10, Luther posted 100 on the door of the church.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Here's my crack:

      10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.
      -You can't blame something that doesn't exist.

      9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.
      -I don't think the creationist standpoint dehumanizes anything. I do think it's highly narcissistic and without any scientific basis.

      8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.
      -No one takes evolution at face value or because Darwin said so. There's this thing called the scientific method – something about repeatable findings and, get this, an understanding that existing theories are subject to change (gasp!)

      7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus – Muhammad says, "kill innocent people and yourself if you love me." Jesus Christ said, "I'll die for you because I love you").
      -Try reading the OT. There's whole lot's of divinely-condoned killing.

      6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another – As if evolution isn't the biggest fairytale of them all.
      -Again, scientific process. Verifiable findings. And we don't just say the bible is full of fairy tales, we apply that to all religiously based creations myths.

      5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power – But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.
      -Can you cite your study? I've seen many others that put the odds of life far higher, thus negating your last statement.

      4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.
      -This seems valid – the hypocrisy on this comes from both sides.

      3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.
      -How, exactly, is anyone trying to invalidate the laws of thermodynamics? How is cause and effect being ignored?

      2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.
      "While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth" Huh? How do you figure that? Holy illogical leap, batman. And concepts of good and evil can easily be defined as human (or hominid) created concepts that are necessary for forming civilizations. Evolution easily explains the development of human concepts of good and evil.

      1. Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe – there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God
      -What are these eternal, unchanging truths that you refer to? Why must there be a purpose?

      August 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > The Bible says all these things will happen. When the A team (Athiests ,Agnostics and Biblical Antognists) circles around you just remember they prove the Bible true by their very words and actions (as least how unbelievers will react when confronted by the truth).

      Another intelligent statement. Let me show you why you're wrong.

      – Water is wet.
      – The sun shines light upon us.
      – There are three Gods who sit in judgement of our souls.

      So, by water being wet, using your "logic" the statment "There are three Gods who sit in judgement of our souls." must also be proven true right?

      I have a second question for you. Shouldn't you have figured this out already?

      August 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Hoyle's work is sketchy at best and has been largely debunked by recent findings. His works can easily be seen as trying to stretch. The Drake equation, which has a much wider acceptance (especially since its an equation for which one can plug in one's own values). Given recent findings of earth-like planets suggests that we are not in the least special.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Stevie7

      As for the-bible-predicts-that-these-things-will happen, if I predict that people will disagree with me, then when people disagree with me, am I therefore right in everything other thing that I say?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Colin

      JA- I had to split my answer in three, as I exceeded what I think is a word limit

      10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.

      Anybody who “blames god” is not an atheist. We do not believe it even exists. How can a non-existent being be culpable for anything? When an atheists says “why would god do that, or why god would let that happen,” the question is usually posited to show some internal inconsistency in theistic beliefs. For e.g., if an atheist asks “If god loves us, why does he allow so many to burn in hell?” we are not saying he is an S.O.B. we are saying that the notion of a loving god doing so is internally self-contradictory and, thus, likely wrong.

      9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.

      I, personally, don’t feel insulted or dehumanized that creationists think we came from some kind of sky-fairy. I think it is sad that, in the 21st Century, most major newspapers still carry astrology columns and that the Bronze Age mythology of Adam and Eve is still seen as true by about 40% of the country, but things are changing slowly, as the inevitable forces of science and reason pry open even the most firmly closed of creationist minds.

      As to our coming from “slime,” well our evolution from primordial, prokaryotic organisms from the Pre-Cambrian is a fact. As to it being an “accident,” that is less certain. It is entirely possible that the coagulation of nucleotides, lipids, complex carbohydrates and, ultimately proteins, required to form simple life, is a natural aspect of their electro-magnetic and structural properties. We have seen quite complex organic chemicals, including all five nucleotides required for DNA and messenger RNA formation (A,G,C,T and U) form spontaneously in “the lab” in conditions that mimic the conditions on Earth during the late Hadean Period (about 3.5M years ago).

      My own view is that we will ultimately create life in the lab in the not too distant future. Another dark crevice where your Bronze-Age sky-god lurks will have been illuminated by the penetrating light of science and knowledge, and he will have to slink off to his last remaining hole – that of the origin of the Universe.

      8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.

      Dawkins and Darwin are both regularly questioned in their respective fields. That is how science works. They propose a theory and if a better theory is later discovered that trumps it, they are discredited and science moves on. There are no sacred cows in science and even the most credible of scientists are subject to constant peer review and criticism. In this way, the strongest views rise to the top. Contrast this against religion, where views from 2,000 years ago sit dusty, untested and unmodified on the moldy shelves of the theists’ minds. For example, you yourself still think, in the 21st Century, that the World began six thousand years ago with a talking snake.

      7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus – Muhammad says, "kill innocent people and yourself if you love me." Jesus Christ said, "I'll die for you because I love you").

      Heard of Norway?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • J.W

      Oh I dont know anything about Hoyle I was just doing research online about it and came across his name. So what is considered to be the most likely process of life occurring?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Colin

      JA -continued

      6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another – As if evolution isn't the biggest fairytale of them all.

      To get a gauge of just how inane that comment is, here are some areas fundamentalists must ignore, any one of which proves beyond rational argument that, not surprisingly, the World did n¬ot start about 6,000 years ago at the behest of the Judeo-Christian god.

      First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor (likely) wiped them out.

      The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles; fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

      The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

      A Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships bigger than the D Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the Arc.

      Secondly, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another, independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large forests (in the case of coal) or tiny marine creatures (in the case of oil). That’s why they are called fossil fuels. Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this (nor for why most of it was “given to those suicidal Muslims”).

      Thirdly, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see are galaxies whose light left home 13.7 billion years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny silent witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

      Fourthly, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims.

      Fifthly, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed. It acts as yet another fatal blow to the “talking snake” theory.

      Sixthly, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babble (the creationists’ explanation for different languages). Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

      Seventhly, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

      I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics, even large parts of medical research (medical research on monkeys and mice only works because they share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs).

      In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of acc.umulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders were wrong.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Colin

      JA Continued

      5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power – But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.

      That is simply not true. The reason life evolves is that small random changes accu.mulate over time. That is the key. The confusion (or, at times, deliberate obfuscation) comes from two vital roles played by chance in evolution.

      The first is the likelihood of survival. An organism that is more suited to its environment is more likely to survive and pass on its genes. A slightly faster lion, taller giraffe or better sighted hawk is more likely than its slower, shorter or more myopic brethren to live long enough to breed and pass on its genes. No rocket science here.

      The second role chance plays is that the very characteristic possessed by the parent that gave it the edge is more likely to be inherited by the child. Once again, no surprise here. One look around you will confirm that children tend to favor their parents.

      In neither case, however, is anything certain. It is not certain that the faster lion will outbreed its less endowed siblings. It might, for example, be killed as a cub by marauding hyenas or die of disease or drought. Nor is it certain that its speed will be passed on to its offspring. Some tall parents have short children, some fast lions, slow cubs. However, the chances of an offspring inheriting the advantageous trait of its parents and passing it on to its children are slightly better than for those that do not have the advantage. A fitter, more prepared athlete is not guaranteed, but certainly more likely to win a given athletic event than his more portly compet.itors.

      So far, easy. But here is the key. The way in which any child will differ from its parents will generally be small (such as eye color, height etc.) but, given enough time and enough generations, and provided some external element is selectively favoring specific traits, the differences will add up. Over thousands of generations, so much cu.mulative change builds up that the great-great-great etc. grandson will be so different from its great-great-great etc. grandfather as to amount to a new species.

      If, for example, a dog breeder only ever allows the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, after many years of such selective breeding the resultant dogs will differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity from their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed. No one set of offspring will differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original dog, which will be quite different in appearance.

      In point of fact, this has happened. They are called Greyhounds and they differ considerably from the original Sighthounds from which they were bred. Likewise, when the trait chosen was ability to smell and track, one result, after many generations, was the Bloodhound, while selective breeding for the ability to herd sheep has resulted in the Collie and German Shepherd (note the name).

      All breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely (but not certain) that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in either the Middle East or Manchuria some 10,000 years ago. In any event, every last one of them, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the cu.mulative result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.

      While there has not yet been enough time for different dog breeds to amount to separate species as opposed to breeds, that is just a matter of degree. Given enough time, and many thousands of years are generally required, the added up effects are so great that breeding and producing viable offspring with the original breed is no longer possible, and thus the new species emerges. The first signs of this can already be seen in dogs. The ability of a Chihuahua to mate with a Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound, absent artificial insemination, is probably approaching the theoretical at this point, regardless of which breed is the female.

      Evolution is, in fact, a work in process, as dog breeders all over the world, along with horse breeders, wheat farmers, rose growers and all other professions that depend on the traits of plants or animals to make their living, selectively breed for desired traits. Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the competi.tion if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs.

      4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.

      I, personally, do not consider fundamentalists as hateful. It is a little hard to respect many of their opinions, but I do not extrapolate fundamental personality flaws from this – just a lack of education and a (likely) unfortunate upbringing. I remain convinced that even the most closed minded of fundamentalist can have his mind opened, if we atheists are patient and respectful. I agree that sometimes we are not.

      3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.

      If you mean that we counter creationists arguments that evolution runs counter to the second law of thermodynamics by saying that that law only applies to heat transfer and randomness in a closed (gaseous) system, well, that is true. I don’t know what else to say.

      2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.

      Sorry mate, I can’t follow that one.

      1. Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe – there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God.

      Agreed to an extent. But the desirability of a god does not make it real, it just helps explain why we maintain the fiction. I personally, get a lot of joy from this life and do not need the hollow promise of immortality to enjoy it.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > 10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.

      Religion is not God.

      > 9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.

      We don't feel insulted by the suggestion that we were designed. We just think it's an unsupported claim. Which it is. Whereas we may not like the idea that we're just like the animals, but there is evidence to support it. I prefer to live in reality and make decisions based on what has been proven, not what I'd like to think.

      > 8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.

      Actually I do. I don't know about other people. Just because it holds up doesn't mean we didn't question it.

      7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus – Muhammad says, "kill innocent people and yourself if you love me." Jesus Christ said, "I'll die for you because I love you").

      You can't seem to understand that there are similarities between everyone. Comparing two groups' on the basis of faith is valid. Even if you don't like it.

      > 6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another – As if evolution isn't the biggest fairytale of them all.

      It's called evidence. You'd know this if you did had a baseline study of the topic.

      > 5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power – But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.

      Wow, so much wrong I'll have to write quite a bit.

      1) The chance of life is not fully understood because of the following...
      1a) We don't know for certain how life started on earth.
      1b) We do not know all the forms of life that can occur.
      1c) We do not know how many planets there are in existence.

      Let's say you're number is correct, which is a complete fabrication by Christian apologists, but let's say it's right. If there are 10^40,000 planets, the chance for life occuring is very good. In fact, you might even say it's a certainty. It's like the infinite number of monkeys on infinite number of typewriters.

      Second of all, evolution isn't random. Again, your lack of knowledge of the subject is what is allowing you to make ignorant and silly posts. Random mutations occur, but are filtered by natural selection. A lion with bigger muscles will in fact get more food then a lion who doesn't. That's not random.

      You really need to get yourself an education.

      > 4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.

      Based on their actions. You pass judgement based on who they are. There's a difference.

      > 3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.

      Actually it can't. I can't define a closed system as a system where energy is coming in. I can't define it as a peanut butter sandwich. So you're wrong.

      > 2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.

      Name me a piece of evidence that points to a creator. And no, not knowing how something occured isn't evidence. And no, comparing a watch to a living being isn't valid either.

      > 1. Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe – there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God

      Atheism doesn't have to explain anything. That's where you're wrong. And an explanation isn't worth crap if it's not true. This shows your true colours. Atheism cannot tell me what I want to hear so I'll reject it. Why is your life so much worse if there's no cosmic reason for you existing?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • J.W

      So if we want to find out how many fossils were not preserved we need to estimate the amount of fossil fuels produced by each fossil, then collect the fossils that are remaining in the earth, then measure the amount of fossil fuel still left in the earth. Perhaps there are more transitional fossils that have never been found, or that were not preserved.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • J.W

      So at first the only life was single-cell organisms correct? How did organisms become more complex? Once single-cells combined to form multi-celled organisms, how did those organisms get more complex to form organisms that had a brain and more complex parts? I am just trying to learn. You people are obviously more knowledgeable than me.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ Colin

      You never disappoint

      @JW

      Same reason atoms grouped into molecules which got larger, the bigger the thing is, the better chance it has to survive. Multi-cell organisms have a better chance of surviving in an environment over single-celled organisms

      August 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Colin

      A J.W., might I recommend a series of Cds produced by The Teaching Company. You can listen to them in your car. There is one called "Biology-the Science of Life". The first dozed CDs (each 30 mins long and a very easy listen) cover the formation of life. It gives answers to your questions (to the extent we have them). Wait until it goes on sale though (price drops every few weeks from around $250 to $90)

      August 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Colin,

      Why am I not surprised at your statement… ‘…Like when the nerdy kid it was fun to pick on at school left town.....’? Why would anyone like to be a bully?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • J.W

      After the first multi-cellular organisms, algae forms, then sponges, mollusks, fish, the first verabrae, etc. How do the cells combine in a certain way? Why did some cells become brain cells, some nerve cells, some bones, etc?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • J.W

      Ok Colin I will try to find that. I see the evidence of evolution to an extent, there are just things I am missing that I dont understand how it all could have happened. Like I see how earlier primates became what we are today, but I have a hard time grasping it when you get to the earlier mammals and before that.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Colin

      @ Catholic Mum – in short, because I was 12.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Colin

      JW – I agree, mate. It is a beguiling field. It gets even more startling at the cellular level. When you listen to the tapes on how the DNA molecule is stripped apart and how a small ensemble of enzymes goes pirouetting down the spiral staircase in a perfectly orchestrated ballet of replicating agents, it is hard not to think that a cosmic choreographer is responsible for the entire performance.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Colin,
      You still have fond memories of it though.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Colin

      CM – A mere analogy.

      In point of fact, the kid was picked on for being gay – and later turned out to be gay. I so regret it. I can't imagine the hell we put that poor kid through, as he denied something he knew in his heart was true. As one gets older, one realizes just how cruel kids can be. I cannot even conceive of discriminating against a person today based on their $exual persuasion.

      But then again, I'm not a Christian.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • fred

      Stevie7
      Bobinator,
      See you agin change the base of the argument to prove your point. The Bible says the A team will scoff and mock Jesus and his followers. You (the A team) scoff and mock Jesus and us foolish Christians. You have proven the Bible true on this point. Don't change the argument.
      The Bible says you (A team) cannot know God because you reject and deny Jesus. By your posts alone it is clear you do not know God. Note the period, do not change the argument.
      If you can agree on these two simple examples then we can begin to go through many more and at each level increase the level of compexity unitl one of us no longer understands. Look at the discussion on this thread and how we argue over the orign of the universe yet don't understand the simple statement "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God"

      August 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • J.W

      I have read that certain conditions existed when life first formed. When the earth first formed it was extremely hot then it cooled down, and that is when molecules started to combine to form living organisms. Is there a way that the same conditions could be recreated in a lab, in order to recreate how the first organisms formed?

      August 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Colin

      JW – We can make an educated calculation of the likely temperature, atmosphere, oceanic conditions and overall environment on the post Hadean Period Earth.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Fred. Allow me to point out the flaw in your logc. You see, Darwin always said his theories would be controversial. You, the C-Team (Christians, Creationists and Clowns) reject them. Therefore Darwin was right and evolution is a fact.

      Second, most evolutionary biologists agree that you cannot know evolution without a basic foundation in history, geology, biology and physics. therefore, you will never know evolution.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @fred,
      "The Bible says you (A team) cannot know God because you reject and deny Jesus. By your posts alone it is clear you do not know God. Note the period, do not change the argument."
      I agree with what Colin said, but would also add that your argument is still wrong because the reason the "A team" cannot know God is because He likely does not exist and how does one reject someone that doesn't exist.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Atheist

      I have no doubt that life can be created in a lab. The problem is the probability of life occuring is still very low even with the right conditions. When the Earth was first created, there was enough room for this life to happen in at least one location somewhere. Whereas in a lab, there's probably only about a square foot or two for this life to happen.

      It will happen eventually, it just needs to be done enough for you to catch that one time that it does happen.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • fred

      Colin
      You do not seem to get what I am saying and cannot even agree on one statement from the Bible without jumping to another argument. So lets put the Bible, my God and your god in the trash can for a moment. When you create your world without any influence from gods past or present would you allow only good (as Colin sees it)?

      August 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Frogist

      Wait I'm part of the A Team?! ooh can I be B A Baracas! I'm afraid of flying and I drink milk... apparently I also come from cow farmer stock... thanks for that Colin.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • J.W

      It would probably help atheists alot to be able to create an organism in a lab from nothing. They could disprove the whole idea of creationism.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • fred

      Frogist,
      You are doing pretty good, Colin has not yet started creating the world and has already downgraded me to the C team

      August 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said "You are doing pretty good, Colin has not yet started creating the world and has already downgraded me to the C team"
      You are welcome to join the A-Team.

      August 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @J.W.

      As I understand it, scientists are getting even closer to doing that very thing. It is just a matter of time before it will happen.

      "When" not "if"

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Fred

      I'm with @LinCA on this. I 'second' the motion to allow you to join the "A" Team !

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA,
      Hey, I used to coach football and there is a reason I am on the C team. Besides you guys need someone to practice against before the big game.

      August 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Fred: – I am afraid this thread is running our of gas, but if you are still around, here is my response. You said

      "Colin
      You do not seem to get what I am saying and cannot even agree on one statement from the Bible without jumping to another argument. So lets put the Bible, my God and your god in the trash can for a moment. When you create your world without any influence from gods past or present would you allow only good (as Colin sees it)?"

      I think I got what you said and neither of us quoted one line from the Bible, so I don't know what you mean about that. Second, I have no god, but I am happy to put my views to the side for this discourse.

      To your question.

      In my World, there would be no gods, no supernatural, no reincarnation, no astrology, no churches, no synagogues, no mosques.

      No poor ignorant Pakistani would have his guts ripped out by a bomb for worshipping Allah in the wrong manner, no teenager from Mississippi who got pregnant would have her life ruined by some self-righteous simpleton who believes a collection of cells has a soul, no Palestinian would have his land stolen by a Jewish “settler” who believes some sky-god granted him the land.

      We would respect other humans and other species, reduce our consumption of the world’s natural resources, level out and reduce our population and train our children in the ways of science. Zoos would be regarded as barbaric as 14th century prisons, and we would subordinate our own desires for immortality to the cold hard reality of an uncaring Universe in which every species on the planet lives in a narrow 7 mile wide soap film below which there is 1,000 degree magma and above which there is the near absolute-zero vacuum of outer space.

      In the grand scheme of things, we are tiny, temporary and temperamentally tepid. As history has shown, the slightest imbalance in our pencil-thin gold-fish bowl can do in 99% of the planet’s species at the blink of a geological eye.

      We should put down our gods and pick up a science book. Or put another way, we should stop dreaming and start acting. Disseminate what we know and, more importantly, the methodology by which we achieved it. We have to accept that, despite how hard it might be, despite our own desires for someone to look to in time of need, come end of the day, it is all up to us to survive as long as that big ball of hydrogen we call a sun allows us to.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • fred

      Colin,
      That sounded more like a wish list than a world created by Colin. What I was getting at is you have a hit list against God and or his followers which implies God (if He exists) can be improved upon. It appears you believe in too possibilities a cold hard universe or God who does not exist. I assume you believe good and evil have a metaphysical component thus I cannot think of a better system that allows good and evil to dance for 10,000 years and 20 billion people. Certainly a cold universe could possibly create order from chaos in the physical but there does not seem to be a logical basis for the existence of metaphysics in a cold universe. Since we have balance in the metaphysical realm between good and evil together with lack of chaos there must exist a force outside of that cold hard universe. We can only argue God exists for if He does not exist that leaves the cold hard universe without a force outside of itself. This would result in disequilibrium and chaos between good and evil which has never occurred in 10,000 years.

      August 11, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Colin

      Fred – I do not think "good"or "evil" has any more a phsical presence than "happy" or "sad." Claiming that [the Christian] god must exist due to "good" and "evil" being in balance for 10,000 years is as meaningless as me claiming Krishna must exist becuase the World's ying and yang have been in perfect balance for 13,700,000,000 years. It is meaningless drivel.

      How heavy is the wind? Do smiles have a soul? Is love purple?

      Silly.

      August 11, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Stevie7

      The human constructs of good and evil are easily describable from an evolutionary standpoint. Ethics and morality are necessary for a species to form a civilization, and we see rudimentary understanding of these concepts in other species – just not as refined. No deity is required.

      August 11, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • fred

      Stevie7
      Colin,
      Thanks Stevie7 so that would have been about 10,000 years ago not 13,700,000,000 as Colin indicated. Evolutionists will agree that man did not have a large enough cavity in the skull to allow for awareness until about 10,000 years ago based on the only skull fragment found to date. To assume any year beyond that (given Neanderthal has now been debunked as in our line) is pure speculation. There is no evidence and there are no facts beyond that fragment. . Suddenly out of now where it appears man developed awareness, consciousness’, "soul". Gosh, looks like science is finally closing in on the myth that God (or some causation outside of our cold universe) breathed the image of __ into man.
      Colin since I cannot prove God can we at least agree He (or the force behind our cold universe) is purple?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @fred,

      I have no idea where you're getting your information. Evidence suggests that apes, elephants and dolphins may all be self-aware. Awareness hasn't sprung up out of nowhere. And a wide range of mammals show altruistic tendencies.

      August 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • fred

      Stevie7
      Regarding self awareness in other animals the mirror test is "logically invalid because negative results are uninterpretable"

      Darn that internet

      August 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @fred,

      Perhaps you should try to understand what you're reading, rather than just copying and pasting. Since you clearly just got that from wikipedia, why not paste the sentence after that as well – "Prosopagnosiacs, for example, may fail the test despite having the ability to report self awareness" So, the statement is just saying that the test isn't good because there are likely MORE self aware animals than the test will catch. Also, did you notice that you copied something from wikipedia that had no citation? Nice work. Try again.

      The mirror technique is still used throughout the scientific community and thus is concerned a valid, if incomplete, test.

      August 12, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  17. Bo

    At the risk of being criticized: This is blatent idolatry of the worse kind. Did anyone notice the word "veneration" that's another word for "worship" for those who don't know.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You are right, that is idolatry.

      What is the reason for the many heresies of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC)?

      The pope has stolen Christ's office as head of the Church. Christ is the teacher of the true Church. Christ is present in the true Church by the Holy Spirit.

      For the pope has displaced Christ and the Spirit, the heresies in the RCC increase year by year. The RCC has a lack of a divine teacher: The Holy Spirit.

      The RCC is not teached by the Spirit, but by popes, who are greedy for honor, money and power. Thus, the RCC is ruled by incarnated devils.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    Why do we call the Middle Ages dark age sometimes? What made life so unpleasant during the dark age?

    There are two reasons: The impact of the pope and the impact of the Muslim Arabs (Saracens).

    August 10, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      After Gregory the Great (the last good pope) the wicked papacy was established by the criminal emperor Phocas (emperor of the Roman Empire or Byzantium, 602-610 a. D.). Phocas made the Roman See the highest on earth. After wicked papacy was established, the papal office corrupted more and more in the course of time.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      After a while the popes not only presumed to be the bishops of all bishops, but they even claimed to be higher than the emperor.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Have a look on wikipedia and you will see that from 1076 onward the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (a former pope had made Germany the successor of the Roman Empire) just were called merely kings, because they were submitted to the pope-emperor.

      Now hang on to your had: For 666 years the Pope was the Super-Emperor of the whole Western World up to 1742 a. D., when Germany got an secular emperor again (Emperor Karl VII.)

      One of the darkest periods of history lasted 666 years.

      Seemingly this date 666 is identic to the number of the beast 666, which is mentioned in the Revelation.

      Free Churches should stop to mind about the meaning of 666.

      From 1076 to 1742 a beast ruled the world. 666 years long the world was tortured by a beast.

      God prevent us from a further papal rule. It is yet enough that he rules his club of predators (child abuse).

      No mix of politics and religion! (of course, it is fine, when a state-ruler beliefs in Christ, but a state-ruler he should have no higher rank within the Church)

      August 10, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      The Dark Ages were named such because the Church ruled with an iron fist. The Roman Empire has just fallen (ironically, after adopting Christianity). Religion was law and anyone not complying with faith was brutally punished. Scientific inquiry was quashed. Enlightenment was banned. Human advancement was prevented.

      This is one of the reasons the Founding Fathers wanted to build a country where the government was of and by the people instead of any brand of religion.

      And Gregory the “Great” wasn’t so great.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  19. The Bobinator

    Honestly, if looking at a man's blood in a vial somehow makes you think more about your spiritual side, you've got problems.

    This worship of "things" was one of the first clues I had that allowed me to critically examine what I believed.

    I'm an atheist now because of that critical examination.

    August 10, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Frogist

      That's interesting. I'd like to know how the worship of "things" lead you to your atheist position.
      I actually understand how seeing the Pope's blood could have an impact on one's spirituality. In a way it's like touching a moon rock. It makes you feel closer to the events of the moon landing. It makes it more real and makes you contemplate the universe in a more fathomable way because you can be so close to a part of it you never thought you would be able to. I suspect seeing the Pope's blood, something that was literally a part of him, would make you feel closer to the Pope and think about his spirituality, and as a consequence, yours.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > That's interesting. I'd like to know how the worship of "things" lead you to your atheist position.

      It didn't lead me to atheism. It lead me to question an aspect of my faith. It changed my mindset from accepting what I was told unconditionally to questioning what I was being told and verifying it. Think of it like a pebble in a pond with the ripples going out.

      > I actually understand how seeing the Pope's blood could have an impact on one's spirituality. In a way it's like touching a moon rock. It makes you feel closer to the events of the moon landing. It makes it more real and makes you contemplate the universe in a more fathomable way because you can be so close to a part of it you never thought you would be able to. I suspect seeing the Pope's blood, something that was literally a part of him, would make you feel closer to the Pope and think about his spirituality, and as a consequence, yours.

      I don't know. I guess you and I look at the world differently. I personally wouldn't care if I saw a moon rock. It's just a rock. Just like all the other meteorites that exist and not siginifigantly different from rocks that we have here. Now, the study is interesting. What it contains, etc.

      I never understood the link people have between events and items. Is Cal Ripken's 3000th homer ball really any different then his 2998th? Of course not. But people like to think they have something special and unique. So they build up this value for an item that really is meaningless.

      The pope's words and actions, if anything, should inspire people to their faith. Not his blood. The blood is meaningless.

      At least, that's my take on it.

      PS: I don't think much of the pope's words or actions btw. 🙂

      August 10, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • J.W

      I am not Catholic, so I dont care about the pope. But as a Christian, I can even see what Bob is saying to an extent with Jesus. I always direct my prayers to God and concentrate more on God. I still recognize Jesus as being divine just like any other Christian, but I dont think that Jesus wanted us to worship him as Christians do today. I look at Jesus as more of a human embodiment of God, as if God took human form in order to show us how we are to live.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Laughing

      @ The Bobinator

      You really don't care about moon rocks insofar as you think they are just rocks? You're right that the interesting study is what's inside of them, but you don't find it the least bit interesting that a rock that's been probably flying around in outerspace for maybe close to millions maybe even billions of years landed on earth and you could actually touch history? Alright, maybe I'm a nerd but I for sure think that outer space is awesome and just getting to touch something from outer space I think is pretty cool

      Then again I guess you could make the argument that every rock on Earth is technically space rock at one point or another when we first formed so I guess I continually get my wish every second I take a step, but lets just say for arguments sake that rocks that didn't form on earth are pretty neat.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      Laughing, I'm with you. There's a lot of information about the moon in that rock, and even if there wasn't, the simple fact that humanity left earth and stood upon the moon to get it makes it amazing.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Space is interesting. Learning about what "space rocks" contain is also interesting. I don't feel my interest increase because I see a moon rock or because I can touch it. I guess that's just me. 🙂

      August 10, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Laughing, I'm with you. There's a lot of information about the moon in that rock, and even if there wasn't, the simple fact that humanity left earth and stood upon the moon to get it makes it amazing.

      Which occured despite you holding or not holding the rock. Why is that event more meaningful because you hold a rock?

      August 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Peace2All

      @The Bobinator

      Hey -Bobinator...

      I certainly understand where you are coming from on one sense. I believe what @Frogist was implying (she can correct me if I'm off base here), is that 'usually' there is 'something' 'someone' etc... in our lives that will inspire 'awe' 'wonder' 'curiosity' etc... Emotions that are valued regardless if someone is a fundie, or an agnostic-atheists like ourselves.

      Yes, I'm aware that for me... I'm with @Laughing in that one of those things that would 'trigger' that sense of 'awe' for me, might be a moon rock, or a sunset, etc... Some would slap the label on as 'spiritual' some wouldn't.

      I don't know what it might be for you that elicits those emotions of 'awe' 'wonder' extreme 'curiosity' etc... But, most have those moments, and of course we don't have to ascribe 'supernatural' meanings to them.

      Everyone, believer, and non-believer get their in their own ways. (IMHO)

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • J.W

      Oh I didnt know Frogist was a girl.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Stevie7

      I can definitely see Frogist's point of view. Reading about the space shuttle is interesting, but seeing an actual space shuttle at the Smithsonian is special. However, a container of a dead person's blood is still really weird to me.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Laughing

      @Stevie

      My kneejerk reaction is to agree with you because a container with a dead persons blood is indeed incredibly creepy. Then again, I've seen Lenin, Mao and Ho Chi Min perserved bodies which I found both repulsive and fanscinating and would definitly see it again if I get the chance.

      @Bobinator
      As tallulah put it, it's cool to know that man has made it to the moon and brought back proof of it. We did it regardless of me touching the rock or not and doesn't take away from the coolness factor, BUT getting to touch history is a pretty rare occurence, it's sort of like getting goosebumps walking around in Jerusalem because you know that the city has been around for an incredibly long time and that certain paths have had people walking around on it for thousands of years. Sure, it's just a road, but as a history nerd, it's also exciting to try and imagine yourself say 3,000 years ago and you could still be standing in the same place as another person. In american you can't really do that, everything you see now just go back say, 500 years and everything was just grassland, no historical significance in anyway.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • J.W

      I thought it was weird one time when I was walking through a museum and there were a bunch of shrunken heads. I was like 400 years ago or so that person was actually alive. That was a real persons head.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Let me try it this way.

      I give a religious person a rock. I say "It's a rock, I found it in my yard." Their response will be probably "Pfft, so what."

      I give you the same rock. I say "This is a rock from the pathway Jesus walked when he was alive." Their response will be "Wow, that's really cool."

      The rock itself doesn't have any unique properties. We just happen to place a value on it based on our subjective value of worth. That's the point.

      Now, I can understand sitting in an old lunar module, experiencing what the astronauts would have, because that's new information and allows you to appreciate the facts. You think about something with more depth.

      I don't see how a vial of the Pope's blood helps someone be more spiritual. It doesn't provide any additional information for the person. It's just a vial with some liquid in it. The only awe they will experience is from the abstract value they place in it.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Let me put it this way. Would people travel around the world to see the Pope's toenail clippings? How about some of his hair? No? What about his toothbrush?

      Why aren't these just as inspiring? They're no less personal.

      The reason is because people place an intrinsic value on items. And if you're going to do that, you have to realize that they're not really connecting you to the person, they're just something that you find interesting. 🙂

      August 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Bobinator

      Just a question, do you have any "spritual" experiences? Not in any sort of religious sense, but Peace2All put it pretty succinctly with the idea that a sunset can bring you a moment of awe, but it's just our planet revolving away from the sun for 12 hours. I mean, if you distill everything down to "what tangible information does this thing give me" then I think you're missing something.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • J.W

      The problem is that they think that the pope is equal to Jesus. They feel like if the pope contradicts Jesus then the pope is right.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Laughing, I've seen Lenin (dude's looking a little green these days), and fascinating, but yeah, definitely weird.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @The Bobinator

      " I don't see how a vial of the Pope's blood helps someone be more spiritual. It doesn't provide any additional information for the person. It's just a vial with some liquid in it. The only (awe) they will experience is from the abstract value they place in it. The reason is because people place an intrinsic value on items. And if you're going to do that, you have to realize that they're not really connecting you to the person, they're just something that you find interesting. "

      I am in basic agreement with you. And, my point being again, whether or not someone experiences 'awe' from a 'moon rock' or 'PJ P's blood'... basically the 'same' bio-physiological reactions will be happening inside each person that creates the emotion of 'awe.' Same parts of the brain will light up on an FMRI 'image.'

      So, basically, we 'all' attach in general some meaning or 'coding' to people, places, events, things, etc... that will create the myriad of 'emotions' that we experience.

      For the 'fundies' it could be the 'shroud of turin' ... for guy's like you and I, it could be many things that create those same emotions of 'awe' and 'wonder.' For me, I get all warm and fuzzy at quantum physics. We may just have different 'triggers' that fire those emotions within us.

      Peace brother...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Martin T

      Well said Bob, and I like the way you articulate your position. Keep up the good work.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      J.W
      Your statement,… The problem is that they think that the pope is equal to Jesus. They feel like if the pope contradicts Jesus then the pope is right.’
      That is not at all what Catholics believe! The Pope is the successor of Peter, not Jesus. If a Pope contradicted Jesus, Jesus would be right.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Bobinator: Hi! Thanks for responding. I was more interested in your personal story of what triggered your move towards atheism from contemplating the worshipping of objects. But I understand this is a public forum and that might be difficult to express. I'm just curious. No worries!
      Also I think the reponses from others to your post explained what I was trying to say pretty well. It is about the feeling of inspiration or awe. And I kind of agree with Laughing and Peace2All that there must be something you have experienced that brings you that moment of the "warm and fuzzies". 🙂

      I actually disagree with you in that I believe a lot of extra information is gleaned from touching or approaching an object that you have only read about or heard of. Much like people who have only seen pictures of Van Gogh's paintings in books, have a whole new understanding of his work when viewed in person. The actual pieces of data about his life, his medium, his technique are brought into a sort of convergence that creates new emotional information. A new connection and understanding seems to happen. I think you mentioned that sort of feeling when you talked about sitting in the lunar module. So I think you understand that feeling of being inspired. You personally just wouldn't feel that for a vial of some dead dude's blood cuz that's not your thing. I might not either. (Of that we're totally in agreement.)

      I also think you're wrong about the whole toenail clipping/toothbrush thing. There are people who would probably be as inspired by that as the blood. It's a matter of how much you're into that subject matter. That's why museums are significant. The recent John Lennon exhibit in NYC had the bag the hospital gave to Yoko Ono of John's things after he was shot. It's just a paper bag. But it evokes emotions and memories that are easier to reach if you are in front of it and realize the gravity of that moment encapsulated in a brown shopping bag. It sounds silly. But it can be a moving thing.

      And I think it does connect you to the person in your mind which for most of us is all we will ever have. Of course John Lennon or JPII or Neil Armstrong won't ever know us personally because we saw their stuff. But that's not what the experience is about. And it doesn't make it less inspirational in increasing our interest in that subject.

      Also I agree that the whole vial of blood thing is a bit weird. As is seeing preserved bodies. I never think the person in the coffin looks like they're just sleeping. It's all a bit creepy to me! LOL!

      August 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Bobinator: Don't mean to go on... but I think that's why art can be so powerful. It forces us to consider many concepts, memories, emotions all in one confined space and time. It somewhat artificially creates that inspirational feeling (and others) that we naturally, but rarely, get in real life from real objects and experiences, but with the purpose of highlighting an idea. At least when it's good.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  20. Reality

    A recommended posting for all the locations of said viewing of JP's blood:

    Saving those who suffer from the Three B Syndrome (Bred, Born and Brainwashed in their religion)

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.

    August 10, 2011 at 7:59 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.