Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures
August 11th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures

By Jim Kavanagh, CNN

People tend to become less religious as they become more educated, right? Not necessarily, according to a new study.

After analyzing data from a large national survey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist Philip Schwadel found that people actually tend to become more religious - by some definitions, at least - as they further their education.

“It all falls down to what you consider to be religious,” said Schwadel, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “If it’s simply attending religious services, then no. Highly educated people are not less religious; in fact, they’re more religious.”

“But if it’s saying the Bible is the literal word of God and saying that only one religion is the true religion, then they are less religious,” he continued.

Schwadel used data from the highly regarded General Social Survey, a cumulative and nationally representative survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago biannually since 1972.

Social scientists rely heavily on the “gold standard” General Social Survey, which provides cumulative data collected regularly between 1972 and 2010.

His study will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Review of Religious Research.

Schwadel found that with each additional year of education:

- The likelihood of attending religious services increased 15%.

- The likelihood of reading the Bible at least occasionally increased by 9%.

- The likelihood of switching to a mainline Protestant denomination - Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian USA or United Methodist - increased by 13%.

Respondents to the General Social Survey were asked whether they believe in God without any doubts; with various levels of doubt; whether they have a different concept of God or a higher power; or whether they didn’t believe in any such thing, Schwadel said.

“With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’” he said. “But you are relatively more likely to say, ‘I believe in a higher power.’”

The findings makes sense to D. Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College in Massachusetts and author of “Faith in the Halls of Power,” about the growing evangelical Christian elite.

“The more educated a person is in their faith, the more cosmopolitan they are in their religious outlook,” he said. “They’re worldly in the very best sense of the term. They rub shoulders with people of different kinds of faiths every day and as a result they have different visions of what it means to express your faith in the public square.”

“They’re more open-minded, but here’s the thing: They’re no less faithful.”

But a leading voice for atheists says the study’s finding about education increasing certain measures of religiosity may be less straightforward than it appears.

“There are plenty of people who go to church who are not believers,” said Ed Buckner, former president of the group American Atheists. “They go for all sorts of reasons. I don’t mean that they’re all frauds and deceptive, (but) they go for social reasons or (because) that’s what’s expected of them by their families or their peers. Sometimes they go so they can sell more insurance.”

“But there are a lot of atheists in the pews, or at least people who are not committed to and probably haven’t even thought about and examined carefully the religious views that are being expressed in that church.”

The finding that highly educated people gravitated toward mainline Christian denominations suggested class dynamics at work, Buckner argued.

As people become more educated, he said, they move into the middle and upper middle class. “And as they do so,” he said, ”they move into more establishment situations regarding the society, which means they join the churches that are the churches of the elite, or at least of the middle class.”

But Schwadel said respondents were discussing their actual beliefs, not just churchgoing habits.

“What it all says to me is that religion matters to people of all education levels in the United States,” he said. “It’s just that, depending on your level of education, you behave and believe differently.”

So why the widespread perception that intellectuals are less religious, even largely irreligious?

Academics are at least moderately less religious than the general public, Schwadel said.

“When we see these trends, we tend to exaggerate them,” he said. “Most people see a trend and they think everyone’s like that.”

Lindsay thinks there’s more to it than that.

“There has been a concentrated effort by a cohort of very smart people who treat religion as the panacea for the simple-minded,” he said.

Bucker disputes that.

“Do we think that anybody who doesn’t agree with us is an idiot or a fool? Well, some of us do think that,” he said of atheists. “But I don’t think it’s systematically true of everybody in the movement.

“… I mean, I do think they’re wrong. Anybody who believes that there is a sky god out there who is going to do anything good or evil for us, basically anyone who thinks the universe cares about us, is making a mistake,” he continued. “In the words of Richard Dawkins, they’ve been deluded.”

But some people’s religious beliefs are “deeply held and carefully considered,” Buckner said. “And I also realize that some atheists’ lack of religious beliefs are pretty superficial and they haven’t thought things through.

“I have a lot more respect for a religious person who has really considered this, thought it through, read some books that disagree with their point of view and still accepts that position than I do for somebody who just unthinkingly rejects any particular point of view.”

Lindsay said the study could help break down some of society’s religious barriers.

“It’s a problem of perceptions because it fuels the idea that there’s some kind of deeply entrenched culture war where smart people are opposed to religious people, when in fact it’s far more complicated than that,” he said. “And in fact, the old divisions between deeply religious and irreligious probably don’t apply.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Education • Polls

soundoff (1,651 Responses)
  1. American Rebel

    So why are there so many stupid people believing in make believe deities?

    August 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • AndyB

      Not everyone who is religious is stupid. Not everyone who is atheist is smart. Stop being a jerk.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  2. Tripp

    I dont think CNN did their homework 100%. The only reason educated people goto church is for business. They dont beleive the dogma. They want your contact info for potential customers. Nothing more.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Trip- you are guessing a little bit on what they believe or not believe.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • C from Iowa

      Tripp, As an educated person who regularly attends church, I can disprove your theory without even looking beyond my own experience.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  3. ummm

    This is rubbish and the more "educated" one's know this....it is the less educated one's that fall for it...look at the south and you can see it...there was a study already that disproves this whole "movement"..good try though.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • danny

      Ouch! Some of us southerns have advanced degrees in engineering and mathematics and are on your side.

      August 25, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • AndyB

      Your comment is extremely prejudiced against religious and southern people. There is no dichotomy of stupid religious southerners and educated atheist northerners. Despite certain correlations, all of these categories intermix.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  4. Gpenn

    Yes, lets base a broad statement on one study with no supporting evidence. Way to go CNN.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • C from Iowa

      You don't consider the information from peer-reviewed scientific articles that draw from a well-respected national data source (General Social Survey) to be supporting evidence?

      August 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  5. Lila

    "by some measures", so basically it's going to be a bull study because "educated" is defined in a questionable manner. BTW wasn't this silly study up last week?

    August 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  6. Ricky

    Why are we here? Nobody knows!

    August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  7. you

    Oh I don't know. I think the people that leave that brainwashing establishment are much smarter then those that stay. More people have died in the name of "god" then anything.. how can these people not realize that?

    August 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Obviously what you think doesn't go very far without any information to back it up.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • deb

      I popped over here to comment but you'd already said it!

      August 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Marc Benarrous

      Oh really look at this article not done by someone in Nebraska...it states the opposite...

      August 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • YBP

      There's so much information to back up this statement that it would fill a library. So go there, open your mind, and learn.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Sean

      I'm smarter than many of my "atheist" friends even though I strongly believe in God, and I have other atheist friends who are smarter than me. Soooo where do we go from here?

      August 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics


      I'm smarter than many of my "atheist" friends even though I strongly believe in God, and I have other atheist friends who are smarter than me. Soooo where do we go from here?

      To the nearest pub.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  8. martog

    Many of the comments here confuse God and Religious. God may or may not exist, no way to prove or disprove it. But religion is all manmade and obviously exists. So, many people can believe in God without being religious, or of any particular religion/faith. You don't have to have religion to have god, but you do have to have god to have religion.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Anne

      not at all. Several varieties of Buddhism are atheistic.
      It is fully possible to be religious and believe that there is no God.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • yooperbubba

      That is exactly right. I dont go to church, I don't consider myself religious at all. Yet I do think that there is a higher power and a "god". I think that if someone believes in God that is great. Yet the whole aspect of religion has been so polluted since the day man made it. Did it not say in the bible that god said dont worship me. Than why do people go to church once, twice, three or more times a week. Also, there is no reason or logical excuse for a priest, father, or whoever is in charge of your religion to be wearing a Mr. T start up kit and drive brand new cars and everything else. Religion is a "belief" that gives people a sense of belonging and somehow gives them a sense of well being and path to follow. If there was a true religion, why is there thousands of different religions and who is to say which one is right? Plus how many religious people you know are "good christians" on Sunday and azzholes the rest of the week!! My opinion is just be a good person in your life here on this planet. If there is a place after death, you will go there because you have been a good person, not because you went to church on Sunday.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • sensitive bunch

      This big world spinning around with billions of people on a it with billions of stars organized in a way that makes it so we actually exist is enough evidence for me that god exists. It's all factual information. I can see it with my own eyes and know a higher power created this universe. It's simple.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • CNNBlogger

      hmmm......OK, so, your'e saying that God may exist, since there's no way to disprove that God doesn't exit. OK, so far so good. But, you go on to say that ALL religion is man-made. That's bad logic, my friend.

      If God may exist, then there's the possibility that religion is NOT man-made, but created by God; such as the example of God handing Moses the "law" in the form of conversations, dream or whatever other means God used to communicate with Moses.

      It's convenient to say that "God may exist", but religion is man-made. However,it's a flawed argument in the most logical sense.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • CNNBlogger

      Correction to my earlier post. I wrote: hmmm......OK, so, your'e saying that God may exist, since there's no way to disprove that God doesn't exit. OK, so far so good. But, you go on to say that ALL religion is man-made. That's bad logic, my friend.

      I should have said: "...since there is no way to PROVE that God doesn't exist.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  9. Shirley

    I believe it is whatever 'floats your boat' and for many that means an affirmation that explains everything, which requires faith for the unexplainable and approval from others that is so.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • YBP

      Yes, until someone in his boat starts opening fire on other people in their boats, and the waters run red with the blood of the freethinkers. I've jumped ship myself. I'd advise otheres to do the same.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Goose

    Isn't this article old? I swear I read this like 2 weeks ago... Is CNN recycling stories now?

    August 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Marc Benarrous

      This story is rediculous. There are many studies out there that state the more intelligent a person is the less religious. This article states otherwise. I think it's BS. People with higher IQ's dont believe in God.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Lila

      Yes this a recycled article.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  11. Righton

    I always wonder why that atheists read these religious articles and then have to comment. If you hate religion so much, then don't read about it. Save yourself the angst of having to "correct" what us idiots believe. I follow the same principle when I see articles about Justin Beiber. I know I won't care about anything that is in there, so I just skip it.

    Here's another thing for all you "more intelligent" people that think religion is stupidity personified: Never argue with an idiot. Someone might see you and not know who the idiot is.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • YBP

      It's all about knowing your enemy. I don't know why you don't understand that. I think you do. And it's pretty clear who the idiots are as far as I can tell.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • ummm

      that's smart...fight for more ignorance...yea, that makes a lot of sense....if the Atheists, agnostics, or Deists didn't read this bull, you would be complaining that we didn't do our research....LOGIC FAIL...seems about right for the "religious" 🙂

      August 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Anne

      article about religious behavior and belief is not the same as religious article.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Steve Brinkhoff

      I read it because you can hardly get elected dog catcher without kissing the ring in some fashion. The religious will be the death of all of us.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  12. Brad

    If those who are more open-minded stay in church, then why is the church still so closed-minded?

    August 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  13. Josh

    This article fails to mention there IS a high correlation between scientific education and atheism. A Ph.D. in childhood education for instance would not be likely to influence someone's faith, whereas a natural scientist's background would. Scientists are the people observing and considering natural phenomena on a daily basis, whereas most advanced degrees are in areas that focused on man-made constructs (IT, sociology, education, music, accounting, fashion, etc). If your entire reality is well-seated in the heart of a world created by man, you might easily think that highly structured world–created over millennia by vast numbers of inquiring minds–implies the universe. The metric of "education level" is meaningless with the diversity of educations possible. Additionally, advanced degrees are often awarded in areas like seminary studies, where consideration of non-religious viewpoints is implicitly discouraged by underlying dogma.

    August 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Jackie

      I am a scientist and through my interactions with my fellow scientist, I do see many of them that are atheist but I also see many of them that are religious. I personally believe in God and am a Cristian. I have chosen to become a Christian because though my work, I see God's hand everyday. My work mostly focuses on the processes that occur with the cells of our body. The more and more I study, conduct research, and attend seminars on other's reasearch I become more and more convinced of my God. Our bodies are so complex and so fine-tuned even to the cellular level that I believe that life could not have arisen randomly but instead was God designed and He guided the processes to occur. I believe in the big bang theory and evolution, which most people believe is anti-Christian, but if they really took the chance to look at it and study it they would see that Science and Religion don't conflict. The big bang theory has been explored and most details are known to scientist except one VERY LARGE detail: What gave the vast amount of energy needed to create the universe? The bible says that God is Spirit and basically describes him as energy. Why couldn't he be the source of the energy? I believe He was. Much evidence has been found to give credence to evolution but why couldn't evolution be a God designed process. Yes it says He created the Earth and all thats in it in seven days but the bible also says that God's concept of time is different than ours. His day could have been millions of years. The order in which God created everything in the bible, actually goes along with the evolutionary timeline with birds and sea animals created first, land animals created second, and humans created last. In fact, how beautiful of a process for God to chose. I am a scientist and a Christian-yes, we do exist!

      August 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Nate

      Re-Jackie's response to Josh's comment:
      "The order in which God created everything in the bible, actually goes along with the evolutionary timeline with birds and sea animals created first, land animals created second, and humans created last. In fact, how beautiful of a process for God to chose. I am a scientist and a Christian-yes, we do exist!"

      I'm very incredulous about the validity of your claim of being a scientist who works with cells (I'll assume you meant to say you are a cellular biologist). For starters, sea creatures predated birds by hundreds of millions of years. All flying animals evolved from land animals to the best of our understanding (save flying fish which don't really fly). That's covered in Biology 101.

      Additionally cells are far from perfect and calling cellular homeostasis "fine-tuned" would be dishonest if uttered by an expert. You suggest that there is divine guidance in cellular homeostasis yet cellular functions are far from perfect or logical. One of the major killers in the US is cancer and there are countless other cellular maladies that you would be familiar with if you were a cellular biologist as you suggest. If cells were perfect there wouldn't be much cause to study them for the last 100 years and I suspect that, were you a real scientist, you'd realize know this.

      August 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • TheAnt

      What Jackie where do you find you figures most scientist in fact the number is higher than normal. Plus only about 8 percent of the world is atheist that being said your comment doesn't make sense.

      In fact most scientist will always say there is a designer in all things.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • John

      I am an engineer by training and work daily with other engineers and scientists. My experience has been that my coworkers and I tend to be more religious than most people. It is difficult for someone who has studied the universe as described by physics, chemistry and biology and to believe that the universe, and everything in it, is all the result of some random explosion and that there isn't a creator. Yes, we all want to be able to observe and measure in ways that we can prove this thing or that. But when presented with the order that we find in the universe, and the perfect balance we see, I can not help but believe that there was or is some intelligence behind its design.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • What?

      Jackie...you do realize that whomever wrote the Christian creation myth wasn't actually there when it supposedly happened, right?

      "It is difficult for someone who has studied the universe as described by physics, chemistry and biology and to believe that the universe, and everything in it, is all the result of some random explosion and that there isn't a creator."

      I don't understand how anyone with a degree in science...you know...where things are tested with hypothesis, etc. could believe in an invisible man in the sky...something that can absolutely NOT be proven scientifically. "Faith" is the complete opposite of science.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • ummm

      LOL....how come all the Christians keep having these logic fails?...this tells a lot about the thinking that comes with the extremely religious....they fail to grasp basic logic and understanding.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Anne

      reply to TheAnt-

      Most people in China are atheist and they account for significantly more than 8% of the world's population....

      August 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jackie

      To nate:
      I am a graduate student recieving my PhD in Cancer Genetics. So yes, I understand about cancer. The fact is, and you can ask any scientist who studies cancer, cancer is actually a rare occurence, at the cellular level. If you think of all the cells in your body and that fact that cancer arises from only one allows it to be considered a rare event. But unfortuantely disease does happen. It wasn't originally in God's plan but neither was sin, nor does God cause disease but he does allow it to happen. Much of the cause of cancer today is from our environment. The vast number of cancers are sprodic, meaning that the mutations that caused the cancer were not inherited bur rather occured after decades of living. The mechanism of homeostasis is beautiful, complex, and screams of intelligent desing. However, the way we have shaped the world often exposes us to mutagens. Cancer is a human created event.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  14. TheyNotHim

    Religion is big business, not a spiritual pursuit. Just another way to organize, control, and direct a segment of wealth.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • AGuest9

      .. as well as the population.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  15. Anjin

    This article suggests, to me, that religious people who are educated are more likely to read anything, be it a bible (something most christian zealots can't/won't/or aren't able to do) or the most recent Glenn Beck book. However, I doubt they are able to justify their beliefs anymore effectively than the good old fashioned regular religious folks, simply due to the fact that religion is a crutch for those who would rather play pretend then accept the true nature of the Universe.

    August 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Wes

      Thats not that the article says at all Anjin, it says that with more education, people tend to be more open minded to different ideas, including religion. All your response shows is ignorance because others refuse to believe YOUR "true nature of the Universe."

      August 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • brad

      Anjin, I'm curious. Have you been able to justify slavery? Darwin observed that some varieties of ants enslave other varieties. Isn't this the the true nature of the universe? Should we allow people to starve as nature would? As Stephen Jay Gould, the Harvard evolutionist said: "Morality is a subject for philosophers, theologians, students of the humanities, indeed for all thinking people. The answers will not be read passively from nature; they do not, and cannot, arise from the data of science. The factual state of the world does not teach us how we, with our powers for good and evil, should alter or preserve it in the most ethical manner."

      August 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • me

      I am a well-educated, (3 years post-grad so far,) high IQ, (99.9th percentile, 150 IQ,) person, and while I wouldn't consider myself "religious," I am smart enough to know that I'm not bigger than God. While I am far more intelligent than the average person, I'm not arrogant enough to rule out the possibility of a creator and I'm not stupid enough to think that science has or can reveal everything there is to know about the universe. When I meet a person who has completely ruled out the possibility of a god, I assume that person is closed-minded to further experience and too dogmatic in his or her faith in science.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  16. Mark Wakeford

    WOW? So whats the point here? Educated people are Intelligent? Anyone that has any
    "BELIEFS" is a Moron. Do you know what a belief is?? Accepting an idea as true or fact with NO basis OR proof. THIS make people STUPID!!! No matter how high their education. Education breeds morons. Just look at our President and all HIS friends.

    August 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • WhySoSerious

      Was the third grade hard for you?

      Belief (n): Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.

      I see no mention of "proof or evidence" anywhere. A belief is an inference on one's perception of reality. In essence, everything is subjective to some degree. This piece simply says that more education incites more openness to potential explanations of our universe.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • me

      You seem to be confusing belief and faith. I can believe many things that are true and scientifically proven–for instance, I believe the world is round. Faith is accepting the unproven; however, that isn't stupid in itself. It is wise to look beyond your own small life.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  17. rob

    Here's my theory. More educated people tend to be higher on the socio economic ladder. They have more time and money to contemplate and be introspective. They also leverage their relationships into success. I'll call it 'networking'. The congregation is provides a great opportunity for networking. They also like to provide structure and discipline to the family unit. The Church is a great place for that. So, you see. They are not really more religious. I believe they just 'use' religion as a means to an end. And it ain't spirituality.

    August 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Do you mean that the religious people who just happen to advertise their business on the back page of the church bulletin aren't doing it because they are good people, and want to help the church by providing a service to the faith community, without any expectation of additional business? How horrible! So, that means when the local bank advertises... GASP, money-changers in the Temple!!!

      August 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  18. Golem

    Picture twins before birth resting peacefully in the womb of their mother. Their mouths closed, fed with no effort on their part through the tube entering their navels, warmed by the fluids of the embryonic sac, they feel completely at peace and secure. They can't possibly conceive of a more comfortable or different way of life.

    Allow them now, if you will, the gift of consciousness. Assume that they are aware of their surroundings, and imagine that they begin to consider their future. They recognize changes taking place around them, feel themselves descending, and start to debate what is going to happen to them.

    The brothers each have strongly opposing views. One is by nature an optimist, the other a pessimist. The first is a believer, the second a skeptic. The believer is certain that another life awaits them after they are expelled from their present home. "I can't believe," he says with assurance, "that God would have put us here for nine months, cared for us, nurtured us, and allowed us to grow and develop without any purpose. There must be some greater plan that we still do not know. Our presence here could only have been preparation for a more glorious life to follow. It's impossible to think that all we can look forward to is total oblivion."

    His brother, however, is much more of a realist. He despises wishful thinking and unsupportable expectations. For him, faith – as Marx would put it – is no more than “an opiate for the masses." "There you go," he says disdainfully to his twin, "confusing your hope with truth. The obvious fact is that everything that gives us life – the womb we live in, the cord from which we are fed, the security of our sac – is only here. Once we leave this place, we must die."

    The believing brother again tries to make his case. He suggests that once out of the womb, they will be able to move even more freely. He talks about the possibility of other ways of getting food. He shares his dream of a kind of independence that goes beyond their present imagination. But unfortunately he cannot put it into words. Lacking any contact as yet with life as it's lived on earth, he is stymied when his brother puts down his views as impossible and asks him to defend his ideas with concrete examples.

    So the twins come ever closer to their destined meeting with birth, separated by drastically different opinions about their fate. The believer is confident he will not only survive, but be even better off than he was before. The skeptic morosely awaits the collapse of his world in the coming down of the final curtain.

    Suddenly, the water inside the womb bursts. There is a pushing and pounding. The twins realize that they are being forced from their home. The traumatic moment is here. The believer is the first one to exit the wall. His twin brother, still inside, listens attentively for any clue from the other side. With grieving heart, he takes note of a piercing cry coming from his brother.

    "So I was right after all," he tells himself. "I just heard my poor brother’s scream of death." And at that very moment, a joyous mother and father are congratulating each other on the birth of their first child, who has just made his presence known by his cries of life.

    What appears like death when viewed from one perspective is in reality a higher form of life. Death and rebirth are synonymous; one leads to the other.

    August 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • AGuest9

      That was the beginning. In the end, you are all alone. I've been there, twice. It was more of a curiosity than a fear. It happened so fast, truthfully, I didn't have time to consider it. Everything disappeared. Then I woke up to the cardiac team, and the stout nurse who had been doing compressions. I said something like – "Heh, twice I beat death."

      August 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Maybe death was just sizing you up.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • reACTIONary


      August 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Gandalf

      That is a well written story.

      August 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Leo

      Nice fable, Mother Goose. So let's imagine that your fictional fetuses have adult intelligence and language to describe and understand concepts like death. Even a fetus can hear and sense things from the world outside the womb. Fetuses react to music, voices, and motion. Those are evidence of an outside world.

      When you come up with some direct evidence of an afterlife, let the world know. Until then... work on your fiction-writing. You could write a book if you keep it up.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Lycidas

      Of course to go with the story...they would not know what music really was or any of the other stimuli from beyond.
      One could say that we feel stimuli of the beyond such as hope, faith, compassion...etc. We don't know all there is to know of those things and yet they are very real to us.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • brad

      I enjoyed your allegory, Golem. To go a bit further with it, the non-believer would probably not believe in the existence of his own mother because he can't observe her or calculate her.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Yes, Lycidas, I scared him, so he let me go.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You scared "him"?? You must be mistaken, Death is a hot young looking goth chick.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Reality

    As we "thu-mp" along with rational thinking, conclusions and reiteration to counter the millennia of false and flawed religious history and theology!!!------––

    Part 7: The Real Jesus- 101

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

    August 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      If God is dead, who's this living in my soul?

      August 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Reality


      Soul or simply evolved intelligence? Hmmm?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      God (any of them) never existed so can't be dead. Organizations claiming god(s) exist should be "dead" as in, out of business, other than perhaps providing entertainment as astrologers attempt to.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • brad

      "Soul or simply evolved intelligence? Hmmm?" How did that initial cell, which by chance came into being under perfect conditions, get the instinct to survive? How did dumb matter produce intelligence? It takes intelligence to produce intelligence.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • brad

      @ Dave Davis

      I don't think you have a soul. You ARE a soul. But apparently some people think that they are just bodies.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Soul. Isn't that like mind, aether, other things that don't exist?

      August 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • What?

      "Dave Davis

      If God is dead, who's this living in my soul?"

      Ummmm. You have someone living in your soul? Wait...you HAVE a soul? Can you prove such a thing exists, much less a supernatural being having taken up residence there?

      "It takes intelligence to produce intelligence."

      No. It doesn't. If said "intelligence" exists, where did IT come from? Who created god? Someone or something must have creating it, right? After all, "it takes intelligence to produce intelligence."

      August 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tripp

      @brad...You have NO proof of that statement that it takes an intelligent designer to produce intellegence. There is more biologic and geologic evidence to support otherwise. Saying "god made it" is not only non-scientific but also borders on the insane.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  20. Iceman

    The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar
    Thanks for your response.

    You said: "I can no more find a solution to save this world’s dire straits it has now found itself in and I sense that nobody will ever find a final cure. Tis so sad that future generations of children here in the United States of America will bare the brunt of its’ recently forefathered National Debt upon their shoulders. So sad. So sad."

    Lionly- Do you know what is the more sad truth? That many people today have access knowledge to the solution to our problems but consider it to be fraught with inaccuracies, contradictions, and myths. So much so that the majority of mankind remain in a "blind" and /or apathetic state of mind.

    On the other hand, nearly eight million people from 230 lands, have spent 1,604,764,248 hours spreading this message, this solution, in 537 languages. Perhaps, in the future you may have a chance to hear and learn what that solution is.

    Until that time, keep up your excellent work, or hobby of meeting and conversing with people here, from whom we can learn and grow a lot. Just as 'Iron sharpens iron, so too the man (or woman) can sharpen the face of another.'

    August 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • What?

      Appreciate the concern, don't appreciate the pity for those who don't know the "truth". It's condescending.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
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About this blog

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