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The End, again? If it is, we thank you for your time
This time around, there are no RVs or signs carrying the "awesome news" of the end of the world.
October 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

The End, again? If it is, we thank you for your time

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - In case you are reading this, might we suggest you read really fast?

The world may end any minute now, if the latest doomsday prediction is on target.

We realize October 21 didn’t get the shout-out that May 21 did, so our apologies if this comes as a surprise. But if you had heard the complete message the first time, you would have known.

“The warning is out,” Dennis Morrell, 44, of Jacksonville, Florida, reminded us a couple of days ago. “There’s nothing else you can do.”

Earlier this year, and with the backing of the Christian broadcasting network Family Radio, billboards touting May 21 as Judgment Day dotted the landscape. RVs plastered with the fateful date crisscrossed the country as believers wearing T-shirt announcements and waving fliers sounded the alarm.

That was to be the day when a select 2% to 3% of the world’s population, predetermined by God, would be raptured up to heaven. Everyone else, the story went, would endure months-long judgment amid chaos, destruction and unspeakable suffering. A massive earthquake would ravage the land, bodies would be tossed about and terror would reign for the duration.

Five months or exactly 153 days later, it was said, the world would disappear – which brings us to today.

This was the schedule laid out by God’s word in the Bible, the faithful said. It was the plan deciphered and shared by Harold Camping, now 90, the founder of Family Radio, based in Oakland, California.

Camping, who has an engineering degree, had spent more than 50 years combing through his Bible and crunching numbers embedded in scripture. Sure, he’d made a similar end-of-the-world prediction for September 6, 1994, but who hasn’t been tripped up by biblical verses? With additional studying, calculations and new signs that would be revealed later, he said earlier this year that he had no doubts this time around.

“I know it’s absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true,” he told CNN before May 21. “If I were not faithful that would mean that I’m a hypocrite.”

Problem is, May 21 came and went, and the world remained the same. Soon the billboards disappeared. The T-shirts and hats worn by believers got tossed. The RVs were quietly parked, tucked away in storage yards, possibly sold.

Camping came forth, two days later, with an explanation - and his last news conference. October 21 would still be the end, he said, but a “loving and merciful” God had opted to spare humanity the five months of turmoil.

A couple of weeks later, Camping had a stroke. He is said to be recuperating at home after a hospital and rehab stay and has only made a handful of radio addresses in the months since. Family Radio declined our requests to interview him.

Fred Store, a 66-year-old retired electrician and longtime Family Radio listener, dedicated seven months of his life to sharing the “awesome news” that was the May 21 message. He led a caravan of believers, five RVs strong, on a tour of the United States for Family Radio. He was in Boston in May when he expected to be raptured up to heaven.

When nothing happened, “We were caught by surprise. ... But we realize now that it’s very possible that we misunderstood some of the things we thought were true,” Store said this week from his home in Sacramento, California, where he has put up a number of caravan friends.

“I believe that October 21 is the end, and I trust in God. Whatever way he chooses to end things will be perfect.”

On the Family Radio website, the May 21 events, or nonevents, have been clarified.

“What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what he wanted to happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished. ... For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world is under God’s final judgment,” the statement reads.

As for that massive, body-flinging earthquake anticipated by believers, well, it turned out to be less literal.

“We always look at the word ‘earthquake’ to mean the earth, or ground, is quaking or shaking violently. However, in the Bible the word ‘earth’ can include people as well as ground. ... Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened. All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the Earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken.”

No one was raptured on May 21, but that’s just because “universal judgment” will come on the last day. “The elect” or “true believers” are still guaranteed their day of rapture, and everyone else will be “annihilated together with the whole physical world.”

For Paul Anatiychuk, 36, of Charlotte, North Carolina, the way this played out has been a relief, a blessing. A husband and father of two children, ages 8 and 9, he wasn’t sure if his own family members would be saved. The thought of leaving them behind on May 21, to suffer what would come over the next five months, troubled him.

“God tortures them while we’re hanging in the clouds?” he said this week. “It didn’t completely fit.”

Now, Anatiychuk said, he can take solace knowing that when he’s saved, sinners will simply die.

“Of course (the world) has to be destroyed and burned up by fire,” he said. “But it’s going to be very quiet.”

Finding a way to save faith, and face, is part of the process when a prophecy fails, said Lorenzo DiTommaso, an associate professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, who has been studying apocalyptic worldviews for a dozen years.

He said those who become disillusioned aren’t quick to talk, and the rest find a new way to spin what has transpired.

When nothing happened on May 21, Camping was left with a choice, said DiTommaso, whose book, “The Architecture of Apocalypticism,” is scheduled for publication next spring.

Camping could have admitted he was wrong. He could have said the calculations were off and needed further analysis. Or he could have spiritualized the apocalypse, which is exactly what he did, DiTommaso said.

That tack, that way of looking at the apocalypse, has a long history, he said, and dates back to early Christian theologians. Tyconius, in the late fourth century, took this approach, as - more notably - did Augustine in the early fifth century.

Augustine “preferred to understand the millennium predicted in the Revelation of John in spiritual and metaphoric rather than literal terms,” DiTommaso said. He “sought to diminish the emphasis on hard calculations.”

The obvious advantage of this sort of interpretation for a man like Camping, who has prided himself on his numbers, is that he can “divorce himself a little bit from the fact that he was so darn wrong.”

What Camping will say - if anything - come Saturday, assuming there is a Saturday, is anyone’s guess.

But DiTommaso said a new explanation, perhaps a new doomsday date, may be on the horizon. It would be just another in a long line of end-time predictions across the ages.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another attempt” by Camping, he said. “If he were an artist, this is his masterpiece, his life work.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • End times

soundoff (2,353 Responses)
  1. Republicans for Voldemort

    Chad, thanks for marching with us. So glad to have you on our team.

    October 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Would that be the same team that features HeavenScent and "Run & Hide Herbie"? What's their combined debate record – about 100 losses and 0 wins?

      October 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Less Paul

      For the uninitiated, Voldemort is the Dark Lord in the Harry Potter series.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Less Paul, your screen name is brilliant.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Less Paul

      Thank you. Well, my guitar abilities are not on the same plane as my more famous cousin Les, but I can make loud noises with the best of them, and stamp my feet too.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  2. Vizion

    I earlier mentioned the annoying continuous refering to "bronze age beliefs" by Atheists because of the fact that there are many people who would call themselves Christians, who don't just get their information from the Bible, there have always been Christian mystics that claim spirit communion and divine inspiration, in fact America might not even exist in the form it does today without them, for instance John Dee and Francis Bacon in the 16th cent' in the late 17th cent' came Jakob Boehme, then in the 18th Cent' Emmanuel Swedenborg and Jakob Lorber in the 19th Cent' Allan Kardec's Spirit book, the Book of Mormon and The Oahspe Bible were Channeled, in the 20th cent' there were countless channeled works published, the most impressive are the Urantia book and the Christian Spiritualist's Zodiac messages. of course, fundamentalists will say they are being influenced by Demons but I think there are parts of the Bible, that sound more Demonic than anything in the works I have mentioned,

    October 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And how many of these books have been independently verified as being 100% true? 50% true? 25% true? 0% true? I think the answer is that none of them can stand up to much scrutiny by independent modern day investigators.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • *frank*

      The Abraham and Isaac story is about as demonic as it gets...god got so turned on by it he eventually graduated to doing it on his own kid. The christian god's like a serial killer progressing from practicing on stray cats to strangling prostitutes. Really charming stuff!

      October 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow. You believe everything you're told, don't you, except anything that has evidence or can be verified?

      October 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • John Richardson

      When someone publishes a peer-reviewed, valid channeled proof of a significant mathematical theorem, I'll be impressed. "Channeling" speculative opinions on all but unknowable topics just doesn't cut it.

      I think some "channelers" are just naive about how the brain works. I used to write poetry and there were certainly times when I felt more like the stenographer than the actual author, so automatically did things sometimes flow. But you don't need the supernatural to explain any of this.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Negev

      @Chad:

      The claim under discussion was: "But you cant argue that he didnt tell us exactly what the deal was." Sorry, I should've quoted that also. Again, there is no verified evidence that the god of the Hebrews was/is real, nor that it wrote or inspired anything.

      October 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Negev

      *sorry, wrong slot...

      October 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Are we looking forward to the end of time to happen or come closer? Or Are we to look forward to doing all that might delay it to further more? Do you think that if we stood against all the elements that bring the end of time closer...such as our negativeness recorded(pollution&poverty) and so on...?
    The more we cast unjust and hatred the closer the end of time comes closer by our intentions and doings...the more we overcome those reversing our att-itudes to more positivity and productivity to more later she will become..since all are results of our actions...!

    Do you think it's worth to try such change to seed hope and settle fears? Or you do think that is not what you are looking for and rather speed up all that brings end of life closer because that's what you are looking for it to prove some belief or in some disbelief ??
    Will we all become group A or divided into A & B ? Well will not that drive both to some conflict each wants to impose his wants on all..? So as it seems there is nothing as Peace in life or death...! And only thereafter there will be those who will enjoy all the peace...after this home world of ruin...

    Allow me to Quote;

    Sahih International
    Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure (10:11).
    Their call therein will be, "Exalted are You, O Allah ," and their greeting therein will be, "Peace." And the last of their call will be, "Praise to Allah , Lord of the worlds!" (10:10).
    ---
    And those who believed and did righteous deeds will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein by permission of their Lord; and their greeting therein will be, "Peace!" (14:23).

    Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? (14:24).

    It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. (14:25).

    And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. (14:26).

    Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in worldly life and in the Hereafter. And Allah sends astray the wrongdoers. And Allah does what He wills. (14:27).

    Have you not considered those who exchanged the favor of Allah for disbelief and settled their people [in] the home of ruin? (14:28).
    ----
    Unquote:

    October 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Stanley

      Allow me to Quote:

      Blah blah blah blah blah meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Blah blah blah blah blah more meaningless cr-ap with no evidence

      Unquote.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Or do you have avoidance to opposite to that?

      October 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Muneef

      Or do you have avidance to opposite to that?

      October 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Stanley

      I have avoidance of your delusions.

      October 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well I too have avidance of your disbelief..with out proof...!

      October 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      We have accepted and believed in the words of our holy book and which we think of as our proof... But you have nothing as a proof except presumptions of some scientists or some others who know the truth by heart but have no solid proof to convince the masses therefore stick to regulations...!

      October 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sharon4

      Muneef, state one piece of testable evidence that conclusively proves that the god that you believe in exists.

      References to your holy book don't count unless you can conclusively tie them to modern events with specific dates down to a day-date, because they will pretty much be circular or unverifiable, or just normal happenstance.

      Remember, extraordinary claims such as you are making require extraordinary evidence. I suspect you have no real evidence.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Eric G

      Hello Muneef. I hope all is well and that you and your family are safe in these troubled times in Yemen. My thoughts are with you, my friend.

      Unfortunately, we will always be divided. Believers and Atheists world views can never again be made to co-exist. Verifiable evidence has made a reconciliation impossible. "Faith" is no longer required.

      The "end time" is coming. It will be here in about 5 billion years, when the Sun runs out of hydrogen and becomes a red giant. Of course, thanks to evolution, any creature alive on earth at that time will be as different from it's human ancestors as we are to our primordial cousins from which we evolved.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Mirosal

      I guess Muneef can't find any evidence in the babble .. I mean bible, so he thinks it's in the Koran??? WOW... using another religious book to find answers ... yea that's smart. He's reading a book written by someone who wandered the desert, probably suffering from heat stroke, saw apparitions, heard voices, and thought it was all real in his delusional state. islam is as real as christianity or judaism. And let's not forget that this mohammed guy consumated a marriage to a CHILD ... yea, let's all follow the ped-o-phi-le ... they have all the right answers about life

      October 24, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Muneef

      Well what I can say other than Peace;

      THE ROLE OF RELIGION

      A Christian thinks, "There will be peace if all people embrace Christianity". A Muslim thinks, "There will be peace if all people embrace Islam". This is an erroneous notion. Why do people in the world fight ? Why do Catholics and Protestants fight ? Why do Saivites and Vaishnavites fight ? Why do brothers fight among themselves ? The heart must change. Greed and selfishness must perish. Then alone there will be peace in the world.

      People merely talk of religion. They are not interested in practicing it, in living it. If Christians lived by the Sermon On The Mount, if the Buddhists followed the Noble Eightfold Path, if the Muslims truly followed the teachings of the Prophet, and the Hindus shaped their life in accordance with the teachings of the Lord, of saints and sages, there will be peace everywhere.

      Peace, to be lasting and constructive, must be achieved through God. There can be no peace without the Lord or God. God is Peace. Root yourself in Peace or God. Now you are fit to radiate peace.

      http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displayrightsection&section_id=1342

      ----
      IMPACT OF POLITICS AND SOCIAL REFORM

      The 'peace' that prevails today is the peace of fear and the peace of preparation. Ignoring the sincere advice of men of wisdom, the great nations of the world are intent upon demonstrating their destructive strength. That way lies war, not peace.

      Self-styled enlightened men started interfering with the customs and manners of people, in an effort to civilize them. The people lost their old moorings, and the reformers could not offer new, sound ones. Masses of people drifted away into chaos. How can blind men lead other blind men ? 

      ""You must first acquire the Supreme Knowledge of the Reality. Then, and then alone, can you lead another in the right path.""

      You can elevate others only if you have elevated yourself. This world can be saved only by those who have already saved themselves. A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners. One realized sage can do more for the promotion of peace than a thousand missionaries preaching and disputing, day in and day out.
      http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displayrightsection&section_id=1342
      ---–

      October 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Eric G.
      Long time no see...how are you dear..we are fine where we are as all the fun is in the capital city and my worries are for my lonely mother and two married sisters with children who are living in the capital and refuse to come down from the coolness of the top of the mountains into our hot seaside city...but what to do that is their choice...

      About the matter my only resource is my Holy Book which I take it and accept it as the Words of GOD..other than that I would not trust or accept as a final word...
      The book says one that date the sun and the moon will be attracted to each other into become as one...it mentions that gravity will be lost and mountains will flow on the air as clouds beside many things mentioned but what the use if i am not to use my Holy Book's words as reference...because saying that is like saying shut up but in a polite way...!

      October 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Muneef

      Eric G.
      Maybe I should not need to quote for you the verses since it annoys the Satanists 😉
      So please take the link ;
        
      Surat Al-Qiyāmah (The Resurrection) – 
      http://quran.com/75

      October 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they are unable [to keep] from what they earned a [single] thing. That is what is extreme error.

      October 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  4. tim

    I WANT THE RAPTURE TO HAPPEN! AND I DON'T BELIEVE!
    just take these morons out of the world i live in!
    please get camping to leave his stolen money to doctors without borders.
    he won't need $100 million when he is worm food.
    and i i want to see the medical report on this stroke. i think it's another stroke of his wallet.

    October 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    "Its like I always say, we're all gunna die"

    October 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  6. Chad you are doing GREAT!!!

    The Believers!

    October 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Weise

      Agreed!

      October 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Chad, you are such a stud muffin!

      Not much upstairs, but, oooooh Chad!

      October 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nice try, Chad. Too bad you're so lame.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Christians united

      Chad has ofcourse done a great job in presenting the gospels.Thank you Chad.

      Can you now focus your attention on what matters to you?-The Almighty God, creator of the universe.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      Chad, we're so glad you're on our side.

      October 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  7. How come ...

    ... Chad's fan club members all post once or twice to cheer Chad on and then disappear forever? Have they all been raptured? Or are they all Chad under different screen names?

    As I said, some things may always remain a mystery ...

    October 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I choose answer b.

      The evidence supports my theory that Chad is about 18 years old and a virgin.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Clock is ticking

    Although no man knows the day or hour, every second that passes , every breath that is taken by a mortal is one step closer to that day of reckoning with creator God.

    October 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Your Brain Isn't Ticking

      You are merely getting closer to death and oblivion tick by tick. Google "Pascal's Wager" and do some reading before you post more rubbish.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Threats of this sort motivate to move in the opposite direction. Why would I want to worship a god that hates his own creation?

      October 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  9. GAW

    Camping's reading (And the reading by many other Fundamentalists and Evangelicals) of the Book of Revelation is flawed. It assumes that the text is referring to future events soon to take place in the 21st century rather than events directly relevant to the audience of the original text. Many of today's interpreters place the text alongside the newspaper/internet and force it to say what it was never intended to in the first place. And when a prediction fails or an interpretation no longer fits it is then revised to fit a whole new scenario.

    October 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • John Richardson

      It's not just MANY fundamentalists and evangelicals. Misreading revelation as imminent prophecy pretty much defines what christian fundamentalists and evangelicals, as well as groups like the jehovah's witnesses and other "end time" obsessors, are all about.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  10. John 3:16

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    October 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Just Sayin...

      'cause we know that an omnipotent creature couldn't do the saving without needing a brutal scapegoat sacrifice.

      -just like those earlier supersti-tions that the Christians copied that golden oldie from. Same stupid and gory tune, different name.

      Just sayin...

      October 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • All Day Long

      John 3:16... 61:3 nhoJ... John 3:16... 61:3 nhoJ

      Backward, forward, or upside down... it makes NO difference how you say it, or how many times you say it; there is NO verified evidence of its truth.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • All Day Long

      trying again...

      ɾoɥu 3:16 '61:3 uɥoɾ

      October 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • All Day Long

      oooh, this is fun:

      ˙ǝɟıl lɐuɹǝʇǝ ǝʌɐɥ ʇnq ɥsıɹǝd ʇou llɐɥs ɯıɥ uı sǝʌǝılǝq ɹǝʌǝoɥʍ ʇɐɥʇ 'uos ʎluo puɐ ǝuo sıɥ ǝʌɐƃ ǝɥ ʇɐɥʇ plɹoʍ ǝɥʇ pǝʌol os poƃ ɹoɟ

      October 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • All Day Long

      Tom,

      it won't let me post the link... but try googling flip. m o r e t r i c k s. com

      October 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Friend, it is not wise to quote the verses about the love of God to bunch of circus clowns which frivolously amuse themselves by it, making jokes of what is holy and sacred.......Jesus spoke of the love of God to those of humble and seeking hearts. But in the presence of pharisees, mockers, scoffers, cynics and unbelievers, He spoke words which exposed what's in their hearts, and of warnings of judgment to come. See what He said just after John 3:16.

      "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed...."
      Once a Christian, when told that those were sayings of Jesus, argued that these were verses from O.T. When shown that they were in John 3 ch. he walked away without words, in disbelief.

      See how much today's Christianity is out of touch and out of balance?

      To tell to the mocking crowd of the Love of God ONLY, is like throwing your treasure in the pig-pan! If you want to tell them about it, you can't tell them one without the other, lest their blood be found on your hands....

      October 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      P.S. the post above was meant for "John3:16"

      October 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Stanley

      Yeah, Prism, that love from your god. Today many more innocents killed in an earthquake, and god does...wait for it...wait...absolutely zero. Fsck-all. Nada. Thanks for showing the love, god. I suppose not.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • All Day Long

      PRISM,

      There is simply no verified evidence that your book contains the words of a supernatural being. Quoting it as such is useless.

      October 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Stanley, all the sorrow and misery that we as human beings experience, is the consequence of sin of humanity. The creation itself is cursed becaue of the evil that's walking upon it. God gave us the Way of salvation in Christ Jesus His Son, but He didn't promise to take us out of this world, nor did HE promise to free the Creation from the curse, TILL HIS APPOINTED TIME. If this is the reality that you find hard to swallow, and causes you to stumble, you should examine yourself WHY? Maybe it is becaue the bitterness and pride that's in your heart.

      ------–
      All DayLong,
      I agree that "quoting' is an useless thing, because human opinions are cheap, and come dime-a-dozen... But the Word of God is living and powerful, and is like a two-edged sword, cutting through all facade and pretence, going straight to the human heart, exposing what's in it.
      That's what the Words of Christ are doing also to you..... And how you respond, and the words you say about Him, are going to be the witness for – or – against you, and by them you will be judged on the Day of your appointment.
      You will find out that it DOES MATTER how you respond to the words He spoke.
      It's better than you take time to examine yourself NOW, then REGRET LATER that you didn't!

      That's all I've got to say to you, and you do what you will with it!
      Good evening!

      October 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It always disgusts me how some christians think it's the best thing ever that a man was tortured to death so that they won't be held responsible for their own actions. If I have done something so horrible that it requires a murder to atone, then I should be the one to pay the price. That's what accountability is all about.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • All Day Long

      PRISM... "That's all I've got to say to you, and you do what you will with it!
      Good evening!"

      Wow! I have been DISMISSED by PRISM! Isn't that Special?!

      Prism, I do not believe that a single word of the Bible - Old Testament or New - is the word of a supernatural being.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      AllDayLong
      I think you are most likely smart enough to know that truth does not depend on whether someone believes it or not, being still the truth, subjected to no man's opinion. So does not the fact that Jesus Christ came to this world, sent by the Father, our Creator, to declare Him and explain Him to mankind. And it is so, whether you believe it or not.

      God has put in every human heart (including yours and mine) something of Himself, that by that "Something', we would understand the difference between right and wrong, and be aware that to us, human beings, there is more then what meets the eye, and that we have something in these earthly vessels of ours, that's beyond this earthly life. Every human being is born with this knowledge deep within him/her.
      But when a person silences the voice of their conscience on which this knowledge is written, and because of Pride, puffed up knowledge and the love of sin and "Self" that's in their heart , they BECOME numb, even dead to it.
      That's where many people are, as yourself, and others – as it is evident on these blogs.

      So it really changes nothing whether you believe what Christ Jesus said, and the things I said to you here. It still remains the truth.
      But it is apointed to every (hu)man to find out and face this truth one day, becaue we all have that Day of our Appointment pending..... God who created us and gave us life did not leave us in the dark, to find out when is too late. But for those who shut His voice now, will not be held guiltless. Then whose fault is it? His who gave and called, or the ones who refused to hear and silenced His voice?! Th answer is really obvious!

      October 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Seriously?

      “God has put in every human heart (including yours and mine) something of Himself, that by that "Something', we would understand the difference between right and wrong,”

      It’s not a god –it’s your DNA, that has evolved to know. No magical being needed.

      “But when a person silences the voice of their conscience on which this knowledge is written, and because of Pride, puffed up knowledge and the love of sin and "Self" that's in their heart , they BECOME numb, even dead to it.”

      The problem with your analogy is even without a god people still do what is right, they are loving and caring and contribute great good to society.

      “So it really changes nothing whether you believe what Christ Jesus said, and the things I said to you here. It still remains the truth.”

      No, it only remains your version of the truth but it’s not reality, it’s all in your head. There is no hell, there is no god.

      Time to take your meds now.

      October 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "But it is apointed to every (hu)man to find out and face this truth one day, becaue we all have that Day of our Appointment pending..... God who created us and gave us life did not leave us in the dark, to find out when is too late."

      Indeed, Ra the Creator has let it be known that each of us will face Ma'at upon death, where he will judge our lives by weighing our hearts against a Shu feather.

      Or do you believe in different mythology?

      October 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  11. GAW

    @ Chad At least someone else sees the growing trend among the Atheists who post here. Sadly they are giving atheists a bad name but then I have to understand that most of them are expressing a popular form of it which often lacks the civility of truly academic discussion found in Universities and societies.

    October 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      Perhaps before you cast aspersions on atheists you should read some of the gems from people like Heaven Sent, Adelina, Herbert, Right Turn Clyde or any number of christian posters. You will find that there is very little civility from either side. You'd be surprised how much anger has been thrown my way, simply because I ask for proof.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  12. Portland tony

    WHY DO YOU GUYS PUBLISH THIS CRAP. NO WONDER YOUNG PEOPLE TURN AWAY FROM RELIGION WITH YOU GUYS PUBLISHING WACKOS'S PREDICTIONS!

    October 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  13. David Johnson

    The funny part, is that these failed predictions will probably hurt listeners and donations for awhile. But I predict within a year or so, market share will be right back up there or better.

    My wife once had a cat. We also had a pellet stove that gave off colorful little sparks. These sparks fascinated that cat, beyond reason. Twice, we had to take the cat to the vet, when it "attacked" the glass that contained the combustion chamber. They say cat's brains are the size of a walnut. I finally took it to the pound.

    Evangelicals are like that cat. No matter how many times they get burned, they still run right back. OUCH!

    Cheers!

    October 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I gotta agree with Tom. Poor kitty.

      October 24, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  14. Vizion

    My post at 1.31pm was supposed to go here !

    October 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Vizion

      Argh ! And this is in the wrong place aswell, 🙂

      October 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  15. Vizion

    That last post of mine came up in the wrong place.

    October 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Vizion

    To Reality, what you say is very true, but all these different religions have a more spiritual, mystical side to them, If I had been born a muslim I would have become a Sufi, if Jewish I would have studied Kabbalah, if Hindu, I would have only worshiped Krishna and if Buddhist, actually I think I might have been happy with Buddhism, except the part about transmigration of souls to and from animals, even Catholics have their monks and Nuns, as it is I was Christened into the Church of England, went to a C of E Primary School and came out thinking like an Atheist ! Then I grew up and started to teach myself about the history of all religions to the present day, after 20 years of searching I would if I really had to call myself something, be a Christian Spiritualist/Gnostic/Mystic, there is truth in all religions, if you look past the obviously twisted manmade bits.:)

    October 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Vizion

      This was a reply to Reality, who left a post at 11.05 in reply to my earlier post, and thanks Chad for repling to John Richardson, saved me the bother, but you should not say the Dali Lama says you will reincarnate as a Cochroach if you don't reach enlightenment, that's not true.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • John Richardson

      What's your problem with transmigration of souls to and from animals?

      October 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder that, too. I want to come back as one of my cats-they're fed better than a lot of people and get the best veterinary care possible.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Answer

      @Vizion

      You are working on PURE assumptions! No one person will be born as YOU at any other time in any other time frame.
      You are the product of YOUR DIRECT PARENTS! You would NOT inherit the same virtues of body shape / frame / mannerisms and thought patterns which brought/ reared you! You are just an absolute f-u-c-k-i-n-g idiot!

      No matter what you happen to want "that you will be another SAME YOU in another lifetime or place of origin" – you will NOT BE. You will NOT EXIST AS THE SAME YOU. Idiot.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  17. Noel Ledge

    Read the bible – Matthew 24:36 – No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Therefore, if the Christian worldview is true, Christians should not be worrying about this issue, because anyone claiming to know is a false prophet.

    October 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Noah Tall

      *Anyone* claiming that they know *anything* about an imagined supernatural realm and its occupants is false.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Noel Ledge

      You said: "Read the bible – Matthew 24:36 – No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

      Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

      Hmm... Jesus may not have known the day or the hour, but He did predict a 1st Century return. How can the Messiah and God incarnate be wrong? Can you think of a reason?

      A number of New Testament passages indicate that Christ was supposed to return before his generation had died. This would have been sometime in the first century AD.

      First, there is the testimony of Jesus himself, who explicitly stated that some of his disciples would not die until Jesus inst_ituted the Kingdom, and that his generation would not pass away until all his prophecies of the end of the world had been fulfilled:

      Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

      Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

      Jesus' speech in 24 and 25 was given, when He was alone with His disciples.

      Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
      In this discourse, Jesus makes a number of assertions about the fate of his disciples. One of the signs of the end would be the persecution of his disciples:

      Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

      While tradition records that the disciples were persecuted and martyred, this was not followed by the return of Christ, as he promised. Would they die for a lie? Apparently... Or at least for something they were told and believed. LOL.

      Jesus instructed his disciples to hurry because the time for preaching before his return was relatively short:

      Mathew 10:23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

      Hmm... Seems like 2000 years and change, would be more than enough time. Even if you slept in and stopped for coffee. Let's see, Liar; Lunatic; or Lord. Or, the one I like, Fictional.

      Hell, a carload of Jehovah Witnesses could have gone through every structure in Israel in a weekend.

      The Apostle Paul, too, seemed to think that Christ would return for his generation:

      I Thessalonians 4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
      Note that Paul twice uses the phrase '...we which are alive and remain...'.

      This seems to preclude the theory that Paul was speaking of some far future generation. Paul made a similar assertion in First Corinthians:

      I Corinthians 15:51,52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

      Note that Paul said that '...we shall not all sleep...'. In other words, he expected that at least some of his generation would not see death.

      Again, there is nothing in the text to indicate that Paul was speaking about some far future generation.

      Paul reiterated his belief in a soon return of Christ in the Book of Romans:

      Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

      And John:

      1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

      The other New Testament writers had similar thoughts about the iminence of Christ's return:

      James 5:8 Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

      I John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. WoW! Obama wasn't even born...How can this be???

      I Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

      The Apocalyptic Book of Revelations repeatedly has Christ saying that he would return soon:

      Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly....

      By no stretch of the imagination can 2,000 years be considered 'quickly' LOL

      And, to say That a thousand years is like a day to the lord, is dumb. A thousand years is not like a day to humans. An almighty god would certainly understand what "quickly" would mean to humans.

      Jesus was wrong. His prediction caused His disciples to believe He would be back "soon". Jesus has been really busy being really dead, for the last 2,000 years.

      According to historian Charles Freeman, Early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death. When the second coming did not occur, the early Christian communities were thrown into turmoil." – Wikipedia: Freeman, Charles. The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and Fall of Reason, p. 133. Vintage. 2002.

      Cheers!

      I know believers will want to "spin" this. YOU MUST! I will help you by giving you a laundry list of theological gymnastics that believers use:

      Believer's Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just plain magic.

      I'm sure one will work! LOL

      But, the verses say what they say. It is what it is. Liar, Lunatic or Lord... Or a myth.

      Cheers!

      October 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I guess Chad doesn't think it's name-calling or worse to tell someone she/he is going to hell for not believing in every word of the bible...or maybe he thinks he gets a pass because he's just telling us all the "truth".

      October 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  18. Reality

    Still waiting!! "St. Paul" got it wrong 2000 years ago and H. Camping follows in his misguided footsteps.

    Added observations:

    H. Camping is insane as was JC. JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

    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 John's gospel 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/Utah, 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?

    October 23, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  19. Possum

    So, is this the time Camping and his Culties drink the spiked Kool-Aid? How many rounds of this kook does it take for the suckers to get a clue and get a real life? Camping will probably die very soon – to fulfill his own Ego's need to experience some self-made delusional rapture effect. Hopefully, when he goes, he just goes out with a whimper and doesn't fuel his Camping Cult with a fire and brimstone lunatic raving/sermon from his death bed. What a snake oil salesman!! Begone, already!

    October 23, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Rori

      Camping is the same as every single prophet since the beginning of man-kind : making up stories.

      Stories about a being up in the sky, about a being down below, about the origin of mankind, about water changing into wine, about eternal peace if you do what the priest tells you, about eternal hapiness if you do what the rabbi tells you, about 70 virgins waiting for you in heaven if you do what the imam tells you...

      This prophet decided to tell a story about what happens if you didn't give him money and spread his nonsense : you'd die on October 21st.

      All the stories are totally made up, so that you give them what they need : attention, power and money. And, big surprise, his story was shown false. That's where he made a mistake... unlike the other religious people, he made up a story that could be proven false. Most religious people are smart enough not to do that.

      It's all a scam. Saw

      October 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      weise, yeah, he's brilliant. He alienates anyone who might possibly be persuaded that Christianity isn't lost to fundamentalist extremism.

      Good going.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Chad, if you see anyone "killing a baby" be sure to call 911 right away.

      Try doing the same thing at an abortion clinic and see how far it gets you with the cops.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ * f *
      Perhaps yours is far less then mine, since you couldn't grasp the whole content of the original post I responded too, and errors in it.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PRISM, you're a dolt.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  20. Vizion

    You outspoken Atheists all seem to use the same language when mocking believers, like refering to " magic sky faries","Iron or Bronze age beliefs," etc. So much so, a person can write "noodly appendages of FSM" and we all know what they're refering to ! Seems to me you are all singing from the same hymn sheet, are you sure you have not been as indoctrinated just as much as you say some fundamentalists are ? A truly open mind would wonder just why lt is we claim to automatically, intuitively know the difference between right and wrong, even if we sometimes choose wrong. I don't think evolution adequately explains this. We would probably all be a lot happier if we all lived by pure instinct like animals do.

    October 23, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • HellBent

      " A truly open mind would wonder just why lt is we claim to automatically, intuitively know the difference between right and wrong, even if we sometimes choose wrong. I don't think evolution adequately explains this."

      A truly open mind would study the reasons behind our morals – not just say 'I can't explain it so god must have done it'. I think its the believers who don't question the reason for our morals. You say you think evolution doesn't cut it – but have you ever bothered to read any studies about the evolutionary basis for our system of morals? There are a few different theories out there that have been studied and backed with evidence. Using god to fill in gaps in knowledge didn't work for our ancestors when trying to explain the tides and it shouldn't cut it for any reasonably open-minded person now.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • kimsland

      You speak like an agnostic.
      I do like that, because you're not far from atheist, and the insignificant miniscule possibility that religion (and which one?) may be right is so far fetched fantasy, only a fool would agree to it.

      As for saying similar things as other atheists do all the time, I'm not totally sure what you mean?
      Most atheists try to help religious people by showing them that religion is just not normal, it doesn't even follow the animal kingdom (subnote, Not sure why? But religious people feel that animals don't have souls, I feel this is also a bad idea of religious beliefs too)

      Anyway, your last point about living happily under instincts only.
      I somewhat agree. Its true that humans have instincts (ironically just like all animals) Laws do help us control most of these instincts, but I can tell you one extremely instinctive relevant point, children are NOT born religious, they are instructed and pushed into being religious (usually through fear) This itself must tell you that religion is just not normal.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Chad

      Well said Vizion
      In all the time I have been on this board, I have encountered only 2 atheists that would dialog with out reverting to name calling ('BRC' and 'Q').

      The fact that the rest always deteriorate into (or just immediately begin by) name calling says a lot about the confidence they have in their positions.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • kimsland

      Yes and just as much so, I have ALSO seen many religious people name calling in their posts.
      I try to disregard those immatures, but I note that generally its the religious believers that do this disgusting judging without cause all the time.

      Another good reason to be WAY open to be atheist. Wow every post is helping you here.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hellbent, your post is excellent.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Reality

      Why we are the way we are:

      "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today
      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      October 23, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • GAW

      @ Vizion I agree with much of what you have just said however I don't think that being Outspoken is a bad thing. We all have the right to voice our views and these posts are for that very purpose. I do agree that many of the Atheists (New Atheists in particular) do appear to use the same cliches, phrases, arguments, recycled posts and uses of intimidation in order to draw many to their side. Their approaches differ very little from their Christian Fundamentalist counterparts. "If we have the truth we have the right to intimidate and bully you and make you feel like a 2nd or 3rd class citizen until you become one of us" They cant fully live with the idea of agnosticism because when all is said and done If you're not with us your against us! But in the end we have to admit that these New Atheists need religion very much. it fuels their agenda and gives them something to do rant about on the internet for for 4 hrs on a Sunday.

      October 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Vizion

      To Hellbent, I have read what some biologists have to say about the possible evolution of morals and although I think few people believe in a God simply to fill the gaps, many people make up unprovable hypothethies just to fill a few gaps. To Kimsland, I probably sound like an agnostic because I used to be one, in fact I even went through an Atheist phase, till I realised there is a little more to the subject than a few ancient Scriptures. I believe all children are born with an innate godconsciousness, unique to humans, which is why they are so easy to mold, unfortunatly most organised religions have become so altered by humans to give themselves power over others, one has to rebel against it before you can search for the truth and what could be more farfetched than life in the first place. whatever the answer is it has got to be far fetched even mindless evolution is a bit far fetched, and Tom Tom the pipers son. What came first the moral code or the social and family expectations ?

      October 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      We are a social species and social species always have rules that limit intraspecies mayhem. If the workers of two different ant colonies meet up, it's open war. But those same ants live peacefully with their own kind for their whole lives. How much evolution did you ever actually study before you decided that evolution can't explain it? (For the record, I my self don't think evolution explains ALL of it, at least not directly, Humans have the capacity to expand their circle of empathy to include others in ways you don't see ants doing it. You DO however see dogs doing it, at least to some extent. You also see humans failing to do it. So don't feel too smug and special, eh?)

      October 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Coming up with hypotheses to fill gaps in knowledge is how science advances. Those hypotheses are then tested and either survive or don't survive those tests. Saying "it's not completely explained; therefore, we need to assume god just made it this way" is a true failure of rationality. That's not name calling. It's a proper critical assessment.

      October 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Scott - other

      @ GAW: “these New Atheists need religion very much. it fuels their agenda and gives them something to do rant about on the internet for 4 hrs on a Sunday” That’s like saying a patient needs cancer because it gives them something to do

      October 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @Kim: " I note that generally its the religious believers that do this disgusting judging without cause all the time."
      =>such a strange sentiment, I see it all the time. Why in the world do you care if a Christian says you are going to Hell if you dont accept Jeus Christ as your savior? Why does it bother you? Why do you find it disgusting?
      The Dalai Lama thinks your going to come back as a co ckroach because you didnt attain enlightenment. Do you find that disgusting?
      What is it about Christianity that triggers an atheist so much?
      The answer is, we all know deep down that Christianity is correct, that's why it's so threatening.

      @Tom "some of the most dishonest, least compassionate people I've met have been fundamentalists."
      Nonsense, Google "Christian relief agencies" – tens of thousands. Google "Atheist relief agencies" ~50.
      QED

      October 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Scott - other

      I try to communicate as clearly as possible, so if someone else has coined a good term I will use it. “Sky fairy” is a very clear description of how I see your god, although if you would like creativity I can start referring to it as “d!ckless vaporware”. Also what part of “bronze age” isn’t a fair description of the period most of your rules were written (e.g. 10 commandments).

      I also find it pretty funny (along with quite hypocritical) for a group that’s been using the same concepts and terminology to start complaining that others aren’t being original

      October 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @John "Saying "it's not completely explained; therefore, we need to assume god just made it this way" is a true failure of rationality."

      =>another one I see a lot of, and it completely ignores a couple critical facts:
      – "Science can never explain why the laws that the universe obeys exist" – Leonard Mlodinow (co-author of "A Briefer History of Time" with Stephen Hawking. NOTE: He explicitly says that science STARTS from the laws.. Not that "its a gap in our scientific understanding". Science can NOT EVER explain it. Science starts from that point.
      I have never encountered an atheist that would acknowledge what Mlodinow states as true. Never. What does that say about the confidence they have in their position?

      – Science has said that an external "uncaused cause" is REQUIRED to explain the origin of the universe. It isnt a gap, its a requirement.

      I've never seen an atheist confident enough in their position that they were willing to acknowledge those two facts..

      October 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • i wonder

      Chad: "The Dalai Lama thinks your going to come back as a co ckroach because you didnt attain enlightenment. Do you find that disgusting?"

      How do you regard that idea, Chad?

      How would you react if the Dalai Lama wanted to run the country (yea, the world) according to it?

      October 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Scott - other

      @ Chad: “Google "Christian relief agencies" – tens of thousands”. Yes and almost every one of them serves up a big helping of evangelizing and guilting to any one that accepts the relief without joining the Christian club.

      America is one of the richest countries in the world and about 80% is Christian. So if Christians were even half as companionate, half as giving and half as noble as they like to pretend to be, there wouldn’t be any hungry or homeless or orphans in the whole country.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "The answer is, we all know deep down that Christianity is correct, that's why it's so threatening."

      Only the ignorant think this way because if they can't explain it – then it's a god. The issue with christianity is it's beliefs are no longer relevant today and by wanting to continue to live in the bronze age you hold humanity back. We don't need christianity to be a moral and just people.

      October 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Father Time

      @Chad ..."The answer is, we all know deep down that Christianity is correct, that's why it's so threatening."

      No, son, we know nothing of the sort... deep, shallow, or anywhere in between. It is just another fantasy, in a long list of them, dreamed up by people to explain the as yet unexplained.

      October 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I often use "bronze age mythology" to describe christianity because it is indeed bronze age mythology? What else should I call stories about the god and heroes of the Hebrew middle east during the bronze age? I give it the same respect I give any mythology (except the Romans, who totally stole theirs from the Greeks).

      October 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Comparing the number of "religious relief agencies" with the number of "atheist relief agencies" is hilarious. What a numbskull. How many secular relief agencies are there, Chad? You continue to blather on as if I had said I were an atheist, when I have done no such thing.

      Do you think your declarations that others have no argument actually mean anything when you have no idea what you're talking about?

      October 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom: "How many people were tortured to death during the Inquisition?"
      =>Looks like somewhere between 5 and 10 thousand (total, across all Inquisitions – Spanish, Medieval, Portuguese, etc..)
      So, that would mean that abortions murder as many children in 3 days, as died in the TOTAL of ~600 years of Inquisitions.

      @Tom: "How many women were executed as witches in Salem?"
      =>Looks like about 25 total, that would be about the number of unborn children murdered every day in 11 minutes.

      @Tom "Really, Chad, you're unbelievable simple-minded."
      =>so, looks like we have 7% of the total wars attributed to religious causes, a further 10, 025 during the inquisitions and salem witch trials.
      compared to:
      – the murder of unborn children 1.21 million/year
      – Deaths under Stalin/Pol Pot/Communist regimes: somewhere north of 50 million

      October 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "The answer is, we all know deep down that Christianity is correct, that's why it's so threatening."

      What an amazing line of pretentious BS. I think the reason you say things like this, Chad, is because you suspect that atheists are correct and this frightens you. I think that the lack of evidence is starting to erode your belief, and rather than investigate what is real, you just cling more tightly to the delusion that makes you happy.

      October 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom: "How many secular relief agencies are there, Chad? "
      =>Looks like less than 50 (being generous)

      compared to thousands of Christian relief agencies..

      October 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Father Time

      @Chad,

      The compassionate, humanitarian actions of Christians are praiseworthy. The supernatural fantasies are not.

      October 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tal "I think the reason you say things like this, Chad, is because you suspect that atheists are correct and this frightens you."
      =>that doesnt really line up with what we all see on these boards. The atheist posts are overwhelmingly personal in their attacks. The underlying cause, I believe, is fear. The emotion under anger is always fear.

      October 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I wish the believers would get together on their diagnosis of believers! HeavenScent says it's ego, Chad says it's fear, and who knows what "Run & Hide Herbie" thinks. If I was to be so stupid as to listen them, I would be very confused. Perhaps one day they will all finally learn atheism is just a logical realization that that their god, or any god, is not likely to exist, not a symptom of any illnes or character flaw. I "pray" that they, and all believers, grow to where they can admit the non-zero probability that they are wrong, and are able to shed their childish tribal superstitions.

      October 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      “The atheist posts are overwhelmingly personal in their attacks. The underlying cause, I believe, is fear. The emotion under anger is always fear.”

      Huh, I always thought anger is the primary protective emotion, designed to protect us from harm or from loss of something of value. It has nothing to do with fear as you are trying to portray it. You want to believe its fear so you can continue to believe in your delusion without being challenged. I would say your need to believe in a god represents your own insecurities of dealing with the reality of life. Your religion rules you through the use of fear – if you don’t obey your god – you go to hell. You might need a god to behave in this world but many don’t need that control mechanism in their life.

      October 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, you are truly delusional.

      "that doesnt really line up with what we all see on these boards. The atheist posts are overwhelmingly personal in their attacks. The underlying cause, I believe, is fear. The emotion under anger is always fear."

      Is this why christians are always saying that atheists just don't want to be held accountable? Or that they are responsible for the failing morals of society? I have been called all sorts of names on these boards, Chad, both personally and as an atheist. I think you are (as usual) seeing what you want to see and ignoring the rest.

      I have no doubt that your god is an invention, Chad. There may be some evidence someday that some god or supernatural power exists, but the odds are very much against it being your god, Chad. Your religion isn't even the oldest continuously observed on the planet. That honor goes to the hindus.

      No god, including yours, has ever traveled anywhere that a human didn't take him. Why did it take your god 1500 years to cross the ocean to the Americas, waiting for humans to build boats and create a system of navigation that allowed them such a journey? Is the god that created the universe so feeble that he can't make it across an ocean by himself? You can make all the excuses you want (fred often does) but it doesn't change the fact that to the rational mind, your god makes no sense. It is not the belief that you are right that brings us here. It's the obvious truth that you are wrong.

      October 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think we can all agree that wars and atrocities generally have more than one cause. However, we can take this simple truth from all the numbers posted here:

      Humans kill each other. Christianity is not an effective deterrent.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I am looking back at this post of mine and wondering if Chad gets all his exercise from jumping to conclusions:

      I don't wonder about it because it is apparent to me that nearly all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, have a moral code that has been internalized due to social and family expectations. It has little to do with a belief in a supreme being; in fact, some of the most dishonest, least compassionate people I've met have been fundamentalists.

      -----

      Chad proceeded to haul out statistics about charities and war and abortion to try to provide some sort of "proof" that my statement was false.

      Yet none of his statistics did anything of the sort, since I didn't state that all Christians lacked compassion. I stated only that some of the least compassionate and loving people I'd met were fundamentalists. Unless you know all the people I've met, Chad, your statistics are meaningless and I stand by my statement: while not every Christian or every fundamentalist I've met is a hypocritical, hateful, and sanctimonious jerk, the most sanctimonious, hypocritical and hateful people I've known have been fundamentalists.

      You and HS have only served to reinforce this fact.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Chad

      None of the secular efforts come with strings attached. The Christians use the opportunity to proselytize. They have found that people listen better if they are starving and you are holding a can of pork and beans. The Christians also do their charity work to please their god, which they believe will reward them in an afterlife. Non-believers do their good deeds to help their fellow man.

      Evangelicals are not doing their deeds because they want to help people. They are doing them, to kiss their saviors behind.

      By the way, Chad. There is no evidence that Jesus ever actually existed. The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      October 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Chad, you are such a liar. While I am technically not an atheist, I don't believe in anything like YOUR god and certainly wouldn't worship it. So I qualifier as a non-beleiver, and I have on several occasions acknowledged the possibility of an "uncaused cause" and just recently in another discussion with you that EVERY theory will have to acknowledge some basics, some laws, some initial conditions that just are or just were. The difference between the scientist and someone like you is that the scientist wants to leave it at that which their theory absolutely needs and no more. You on the other hand want to make the further leaps and says that there was an uncaused cause, it was divine, it was conscious and personal and was in fact the god of the bible, ie the guy who ordered the slaughter of the Canaanites. The series of leaps from "some things remain a mystery and may remain so forever" to it was jolly old genocidal Jehovah all along is, as I stated, a huge failure of rationality.

      And we see similar failures of rationality with all the Pascalian wagers placed on this board. With all the consciousness of other religions with the Muslim and Mormon and other issues that get raised every day, you would THINK that Christians wouldn't need to have it explained to them over and over again that it's not a two horse race between your conception of Jehovah vs atheism. You can be right up to but not including the key tenets of, for instance, the Jehovah's Witnesses and you would, according to those same tenets, lose the bet just as surely as atheists would. The repeated long lines of leaps from "maybe there is something genuinely spiritual or divine" to exactly YOUR conception of the god of the bible are just insane, Chad. And you seem utterly blind to their absurdity.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Talulah "Is this why christians are always saying that atheists just don't want to be held accountable? Or that they are responsible for the failing morals of society? I have been called all sorts of names on these boards, Chad, both personally and as an atheist. I think you are (as usual) seeing what you want to see and ignoring the rest."
      => What I said was that The atheist posts are overwhelmingly personal in their attacks. Which is true. Not all of them, there are a few that arent, but the majority are.
      I'm sure you've been called names by Christians, however, the majority of the Christian posts are NOT name calling. Just pick any page at random and count up atheist negative and Christian negative. The facts are right in front of you.

      October 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • B-b

      Chad, the posts responding to yours are so negative because you are such a stupid twerp. It's nothing personal. Really.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Chad B-b actually has it exactly right. You are arrogant in your ignorance, repeatedly trot out the same insipidly misconceived arguments and general show no intellectual integrity or ability to grow and then cry like a baby over the fact that people call your behavior exactly what it is. If you don't want to be called a liar, stop lying. It's that simple.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • weise

      @Chad-You are absolutely brilliant in presenting the Truth!

      October 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      One more time, explicitly for Chad's benefit: 70% of abortions in the USA are had by believers!" This makes abortion substantially a believer problem – a problem they can signficantly reduce by simply following their cult's rules.

      Chad, get back to us when 0% of abortions in the USA are had by believers.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • *frank*

      chad has fail in his dna

      October 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @HotAirAce: "One more time, explicitly for Chad's benefit: 70% of abortions in the USA are had by believers!" This makes abortion substantially a believer problem"
      =>That is 100% true apparently, I found several articles saying the abortion rate among Christian was approximately the same as the population as a whole.
      Terrible, terrible, terrible.
      1.1 million dead children a year, unfathomable.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Gary Hung

      Thousands upon thousands of innocent people dead from cancers and natural disasters.
      Thousands of limbs amputated and "god" has never made even one grow back.
      Yet stupid, gullible, arrogant Christians actually still believe in foolish ancient supersti-tions claiming a loving god that is involved in their day-to-day lives and cares about them personally.
      Now that is "unfathomable" for you.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom "So, Chad, calling anyone who doesn't follow your fundamentalist doctrine immoral isn't name-calling, huh?"

      =>I would definitely say that someone using that word is engaging in name calling.
      =>I went back 10 pages in this post looking for someone using that word, found only 2 people: you and "godpot" (atheist).
      =>I never said that Christians dont name call, what I DID say, was that the vast majority of name calling on these boards is by atheists. Which is true. You cant deny that.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I most certainly can. You went back all of 10 pages? Please, don't make me laugh. Go back 10 months and get back to me your statistics, since you love them so much.

      You and people like you think the world is simple–just black and white-because that's either all you choose to see or because you're all of about 20 years old and think you know all there is to know about life.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom "Do you have any idea of the number of them that would have resulted in infants born with gross abnormalities? Infants that would have died within hours of birth? Or would have required heroic medical interventions to keep them "alive" though hardly living?"

      =>"In the United States, 9 out of 10 abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks (first trimester) of pregnancy. Most of these are done within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy."

      "Half have had at least one previous abortion"

      "Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents"

      The data shows an extremely small percentage of abortions are performed due to abnormalities in the unborn child.
      The long waiting lists of couples waiting to adopt children in the US refutes your foster home argument.

      October 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And what of the fathers of these children, Chad? Why aren't you on your high horse about them? Where are they, the fathers of these Christian women who abort their fetuses?

      You're such a hypocrite.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Chad, what is unfathomable is that so many believers completely ignore their cult's rules and, dare I say, commandments!

      Each cult's superstitions fail to control its members so I must assume your god is very weak (if it does exist at all and the probabilty of that is very low). Either way, if believers really wanted to stop the vast majority of abortions in the USA, it's in their hands – no changes in laws or help from atheists required.

      October 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom "Women who end a pregnancy because of economic situations or family obligations do so for perfectly legitimate reasons"

      =>Killing a baby because it's inconvenient? You think that's legit? Really?

      October 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Lol

      Lol your "awesome" God killed millions and millions of innocent babies lol!

      October 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Eric G

      Regardless of your position on this topic, I find two inescapable truths contained within it.............

      1. Your god does not hate abortions. You hate abortions and are trying to hide behind your god.
      2. If you are a man, your opinion on this matter is irrelevant. You can give input, but the decision belongs to the woman.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, until you are the one "inconvenienced" by pregnancy, it is not your position to judge. Do you think that a ra.pe victim who finds herself pregnant was "inconvenienced"? Do you think that a single mother supporting two other children is 'inconvenienced"? You certainly have a low opinion of women, if you think that nine months of losing the right to determine what happens to her own body by the demands of supersti.tious strangers is an "inconvenience."

      October 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      I wish the believers would get together on their diagnosis of believers! HeavenScent says it's ego, Chad says it's fear, and who knows what "Run & Hide Herbie" thinks..."

      But their blindness is caused by pride and the love of sin that's in their hearts. That's what Lord Christ said. He knows human hearts!

      October 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • *frank*

      You have the cognitive ability of a russet potato.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      frank! I take exception to that! That's an insult to russet potatoes.

      October 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ * f *
      You said that I "have the cognitive ability of a russet potato".

      Perhaps yours is far less then mine, since you can't grasp the whole meaning of the content of the original post I responded too.
      But what's this to you?.... Worry about your miserable self! Even an existence of one russet potato is more useful, and honorable in this world then own wretched existence! And when I say this, believe me, it's not to insult you...
      But you know that already, that what I told you is the truth....! Your soul knows it very well!

      October 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • *frank*

      My bad. Prism, you have the cognitive ability of a stale Jack-in-the-Box french fry that was eaten by a mangy cross-eyed seagull, digested, crapped onto somebody's windshield, and dried by the sun into a stinking greenish crust.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PRISM, what you "told" was your belief, not facts. You can believe as you wish. The fact that you think only your beliefs are valid says more about you than frank or russet potatoes.

      You don't know truth. You can't handle the truth.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PRISM, you and your pals believe that those who don't believe exactly as you do love to "sin" as you call it. In reality, most people live lives that are filled with the same things as your life is. They're not out murdering others or robbing people or committing other crimes. Stop acting like you are somehow more worthy and holier than everyone else and maybe you'd have a chance at convincing people that you're not only concerned about the sins you imagine they've committed.

      Oh, forget it. Why even bother. Your whole life is devoted to telling everyone else they're going to hell. What else do you ever do, anyway?

      October 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • chad

      @Tom: "those who don't believe exactly as you do love to "sin" as you call it. In reality, most people live lives that are filled with the same things as your life is. They're not out murdering others or robbing people or committing other crimes. Stop acting like you are somehow more worthy and holier"

      There's an old saying that "Christians arent perfect, they're just forgiven".
      I know there are Christians that feel they are living "righteous" lives, but in reality 100% of humans sin. Everyone. Christians and non-Christians.
      You'll find typically that a persons life is transformed after becoming Christian, but that transformation process for most of us is very slow, we ALL sin and fall short.

      In any case, any discussion of who is leading a "better" life, or who is sinning "less" is completely irrelevant. It DOESNT MATTER how many sins you commit, once you commit ONE, you're done, you've broken the entire law with the smallest single transgression.

      Christian theology says that the ONLY way to be reconciled with God is thru the atoning blood of his blameless Son.
      That's it, no other way.

      So, when a Christian talks about sin, it's with the realization that I am sinning as much as you are. The only difference is that I have been forgiven and you havent yet.

      Christians talk about sin because they want you to see the estranged condition you are in, not to point out how much better they are doing.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Oh Puhlease

      " It DOESNT MATTER how many sins you commit, once you commit ONE, you're done, you've broken the entire law with the smallest single transgression."

      There's that loving god again. Jaywalk and you get the death penalty.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • chad

      @ Oh Puhlease "There's that loving god again. Jaywalk and you get the death penalty."

      At first glance it can appear unreasonable, however we need to remember the sequence of events:
      – Due to the disobedience of one man, our entire world was changed and humans became estranged from God
      – God isnt "really good", or "pretty darn good", He's perfect
      – God owns this entire reality and the people in it. When you and I harm another human, we are harming God Himself really. We are all held accountable to our thoughts and actions towards everyone else.
      – So, when you and I harm other people, something needs to be done about it. God cant just allow that to happen to someone under his responsibility without taking some action.
      – If God took corrective action on everyone, we would all be wiped out, because there is NO ONE that doesnt harm another human in some way.
      – God, being patient, and loving us, has come up with the only real alternative to wiping us out. A scapegoat.
      – If you acknowledge that scapegoat, and your need for it, your penalty is paid by another.

      thats it.

      October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Oh Puhlease

      – Due to the disobedience of one man, our entire world was changed and humans became estranged from God
      If a grandfather punished his grandson because of the problems of the father, we'd call that an abusive grandfather

      – God isnt "really good", or "pretty darn good", He's perfect
      We clearly have different ideas on what is "perfect:

      – God owns this entire reality and the people in it. When you and I harm another human, we are harming God Himself really. We are all held accountable to our thoughts and actions towards everyone else.
      Again, that whole death penalty for jay walking thing. Seems you've avoided that. You're still saying if we do even the tiniest thing to disobey this deities rules he'll torture us forever if we don't follow his other rules for getting back into his good graces. That's pretty much the definition of an abusice parent

      – So, when you and I harm other people, something needs to be done about it. God cant just allow that to happen to someone under his responsibility without taking some action.
      Since your god is apparently omnipotent, he can just allow it to happen. He's god. He can do whatever he wants. You're contradi.cting yourself. He could certainly choose not to eternally torture people who don't happen to guess from his ambiguous text what exactly it is that he wants.

      – If God took corrective action on everyone, we would all be wiped out, because there is NO ONE that doesnt harm another human in some way.
      This is a direct contradi.ction to what you just wrote aboe. Either he takes action or he doesn't. Please make up your mind.

      – God, being patient, and loving us, has come up with the only real alternative to wiping us out. A scapegoat.
      He's god. He can come up with any alternative he wants. If he was really loving, he wouldn't torture his creations for something their distant relative did. Or becuase his creations didn't worship him in the way that he supposedly wanted. Again, an abusive parent fits this mold much better. If he's god and he's actually loving we could simply just choose not to wipe us out. Unless your god isn't omnipotent and is bounded by some other rules.

      – If you acknowledge that scapegoat, and your need for it, your penalty is paid by another.
      And if you don't? Or if you haven't heard about this scape goat? Or if you haven't interpreted your particular version of a highly edited and translated text in just the right way? Eternal torture.

      October 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • MoiAussi

      I love to sin. It's delicious.

      October 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • chad

      Oh Puhlease

      – Due to the disobedience of one man, our entire world was changed and humans became estranged from God
      If a grandfather punished his grandson because of the problems of the father, we'd call that an abusive grandfather
      =>Due to the actions of the "grandfather", this world we live in, and our natures were corrupted. Prior to that act humans were "simple minded" so to speak, not knowing the difference between good and evil. After that act we know the difference between good and evil and well all choose to do evil.
      So, we arent punished for the act of our grandfather, but we are born into a reality that is corrupted because of him. A child is born into the environment of his parents in the same way (good/bad/rich/poor). It may seem unfair, but that's the situation.

      – God owns this entire reality and the people in it. When you and I harm another human, we are harming God Himself really. We are all held accountable to our thoughts and actions towards everyone else.
      Again, that whole death penalty for jay walking thing. Seems you've avoided that. You're still saying if we do even the tiniest thing to disobey this deities rules he'll torture us forever if we don't follow his other rules for getting back into his good graces. That's pretty much the definition of an abusice parent
      =>Hell is eternal separation from God. He doesnt torture us, we are tortured by the knowledge of what could have been, but will now never be (at least that's my view).

      – So, when you and I harm other people, something needs to be done about it. God cant just allow that to happen to someone under his responsibility without taking some action.
      Since your god is apparently omnipotent, he can just allow it to happen. He's god. He can do whatever he wants. You're contradi.cting yourself. He could certainly choose not to eternally torture people who don't happen to guess from his ambiguous text what exactly it is that he wants.
      =>Jesus Christ made a plea for exactly that same thing in the garden at Gethsemane, mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he cried out, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine"
      This (a scapegoat) is the way that He has decided. that's it.

      – If God took corrective action on everyone, we would all be wiped out, because there is NO ONE that doesnt harm another human in some way.
      This is a direct contradi.ction to what you just wrote aboe. Either he takes action or he doesn't. Please make up your mind.
      =>it's not a question of taking action or not, it's just a question of when. I should have said " If God took corrective action on everyone IMMEDIATELY, we would....."

      – If you acknowledge that scapegoat, and your need for it, your penalty is paid by another.
      And if you don't? Or if you haven't heard about this scape goat? Or if you haven't interpreted your particular version of a highly edited and translated text in just the right way? Eternal torture.
      =>my personal belief is that you must reject it. The Bible says that Jesus preached to the dead for the time He was dead. I believe that to be ALL dead, not just the people who had died up to that point. So, if you have never heard of Him, you get a chance after you die to reject Him. That is my reading of scripture.
      But, if you reject Him here (as you are doing), eternal separation.

      October 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Chad,

      If you don't get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach by the idea of this evil monster god that you have created, and if you look forward to worshipping such a beast for eternity, there is little hope that reason and realism will get ever through to you. I can only hope that you do as little harm as possible with these bizarre notions.

      October 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Oh Puhlease

      -So, we arent punished for the act of our grandfather, but we are born into a reality that is corrupted because of him. A child is born into the environment of his parents in the same way (good/bad/rich/poor). It may seem unfair, but that's the situation.

      So why doesn't your all-powerful god just uncorrupt it. He punished adam and eve. We are still living that punishment. If a parent has the ability to make their child's situation much better and doesn't, isn't that abusice?

      ~

      -Hell is eternal separation from God. He doesnt torture us, we are tortured by the knowledge of what could have been, but will now never be (at least that's my view).

      The whole point is that we don't even know if god exists. So we're tortured by the knowledge that we should have guessed differently. But your all-powerful god could reverse this and stop the 'mental' (not that there would be a difference) torture but doesn't. A father who has the ability to stop the constant pain of his children but doesn't is abusive.

      ~

      -Jesus Christ made a plea for exactly that same thing in the garden at Gethsemane, mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he cried out, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine"

      So you are a polytheist? Anyway, you're basically saying that its gods will that people be for to be eternally tortured. Which is fine, but then your god is abusive. He could stop our suffering, but chooses not to. And you're analogy is a poor one since jesus' suffering (how does an omnipotent god suffer, btw, or have fear?) was temporary. That's nothing compared to what your god has in store for those who don't worship him.

      ~

      -L dead, not just the people who had died up to that point. So, if you have never heard of Him, you get a chance after you die to reject Him. That is my reading of scripture.
      But, if you reject Him here (as you are doing), eternal separation.
      So, 70-some odd years to get it right, or suffer forever. Presumably those who have already died know the answer to the quiz ahead of time. Either way, that's not a very loving god, now, is it?

      October 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • chad

      @Oh Puhlease "So why doesn't your all-powerful god just uncorrupt it. He punished adam and eve. We are still living that punishment. "
      => I dont know. He could have just let Adam/Eve die w/out any children I guess and started off again with 2 others. I dont know, you can ask Him.

      "If a parent has the ability to make their child's situation much better and doesn't, isn't that abusive?"
      => if you have grown children (as I do) you'll understand the dilemma a parent faces when watching a child make the wrong decisions. You cant direct everything in their lives, they have the ability to make their own minds up, they have free will. All you can really do is try and point out the danger, and love them no matter what. At the end of the day you do your child no favors if they never have to live with the consequences of their actions, it's how they learn.

      To my mind, the most terrifying thing about God, is that He lets us live with the consequences of our actions. That's why we need to trust Him (and not ourselves) in all things, He reaches out, we respond.
      We cant trust our human nature, it's bad for us.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Oh Puhlease

      => I dont know. He could have just let Adam/Eve die w/out any children I guess and started off again with 2 others. I dont know, you can ask Him.

      -Yeah, he could have done a lot of things. Any number of things. But he continues to let the children suffer for the actions of a parent. That's abusive. I don't need to ask him why he lets children suffer for the actions of a parent to know that it's abusive

      ~

      => if you have grown children (as I do) you'll understand the dilemma a parent faces when watching a child make the wrong decisions. You cant direct everything in their lives, they have the ability to make their own minds up, they have free will. All you can really do is try and point out the danger, and love them no matter what. At the end of the day you do your child no favors if they never have to live with the consequences of their actions, it's how they learn.

      -That's a truly awful an.alogy since the punishment is etern,al. There is no room for learning. It's just suffer ... period. You allow your kids ot fail so that they'll do better next time hopefully – but in your god's case there is no next time.

      I have kids, so here's the better an.alogy. I set up rules for my kids to live by. I don't tell them what the rules are, but just make some v.ague and contrdi.ctory statements as to what the rules might be. Then, if they don't follow the rules that I set out for them, I di.sown them and make sure they're punished. Guess what, if anyone finds out that I did this, someone makes sure I get locked up for a very long time, and rightfully so.

      ~

      To my mind, the most terrifying thing about God, is that He lets us live with the consequences of our actions. That's why we need to trust Him (and not ourselves) in all things, He reaches out, we respond.
      We cant trust our human nature, it's bad for us.

      -It's hard to trust anything that sets up such unclear rules and uses extortion to get their way. I'd much prefer to trust reasoning and logic than some ancient, murky, contradi.ctory, morally questionable text.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • chad

      Well, we're probably at the end of this back and forth. I do feel like you at least tried to dialog, so that's great.

      Here's what I leave you with, regarding "I don't tell them what the rules are, but just make some v.ague and contrdi.ctory statements as to what the rules might be"
      I dont have great answers when it comes to why we get stuck with a situation that we didnt create, I dont like it much myself, but that IS the situation. But I will say that "the rules" you refer to cant really be argued as being va gue and contrad ictory. It's all laid out in extraordinarily clear and detailed form in the OT. No one could argue those rules are va gue or contradi ctory, that's just impossible to argue.

      When you meet Him, I guess you can try and argue that He wasnt forceful enough in proving that He exists. But you cant argue that he didnt tell us exactly what the deal was.

      October 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Negev

      @Chad: "No one could argue those rules are va gue or contradi ctory, that's just impossible to argue."

      Do you mean rules like: Do not wear clothing made of mixed fabric? Do not eat dairy and meat together? Rapists must pay 50 pieces of silver and marry their victims?

      Or do you mean rules like: Do not kill. Do not steal. Treat others kindly....rules which were introduced and were in effect long before these Middle Eastern desert tribesmen pronounced them (and eventually learned to write down)?

      So, we come back again to the fact that there is no verified evidence that the Hebrew Bible, or its sequel, or its offshoots, is the word of a god.

      October 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • chad

      @negev
      I'm not sure what your point is.. the rules are specific and do not contradict, that was the original challenge. You may think they dont make sense, or that other similar societal rules predated those found in the bible, but neither of those objections were under discussion, I made not claims about either.

      October 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Negev

      @Chad:

      The claim under discussion was: "But you cant argue that he didnt tell us exactly what the deal was." Sorry, I should've quoted that also. Again, there is no verified evidence that the god of the Hebrews was/is real, nor that it wrote or inspired anything.

      (dang, it's hard to find the start of this thread!)

      October 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What I object to, Chad, is your claim that those who are not religious or at least religious according to your narrow definition, "Love to sin." There is no evidence that those who are Christian sin any less or love to do so any less than anyone else. There is no evidence they are "better people" because they believe in a god. There is no evidence that belief in a god or a religion is required for a person to live a moral life.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • chad

      @Tom: What I object to, Chad, is your claim that those who are not religious or at least religious according to your narrow definition, "Love to sin."
      =>I never made that claim, in fact, I said "In any case, any discussion of who is leading a "better" life, or who is sinning "less" is completely irrelevant. It DOESNT MATTER how many sins you commit, once you commit ONE, you're done, you've broken the entire law with the smallest single transgression."

      Perhaps (again) you have been reading someone else?

      October 24, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • chad

      @negev: "there is no verified evidence that the god of the Hebrews was/is real, nor that it wrote or inspired anything."
      =>well, I could respond with the usual
      – origin of the universe
      – fossil record
      – Jewish history
      – The Bible
      – Life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ

      but, instead, let me pose a question: What would you consider to be verifiable evidence?

      October 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That could be. You seem to believe that Christians of your stripe are better people than are those who don't worship according to your view of Christianity. My experiences have led me to conclude that this is not the case at all.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Eh, never mind. I don't really care that much about your views as long as you leave others alone to live their lives as they see fit and don't pretend to know what's best for people you've never met and couldn't care less about.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • chad

      @Tom "You seem to believe that Christians of your stripe are better people than are those who don't worship according to your view of Christianity."

      =>when have I EVER said anything like that?? I challenge you to provide evidence backing it up.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a laugh. You contended that proof of such was found in statistics of relief agencies and how many were secular vs. how many were Christian.

      Really, chad, you're tiresome.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • chad

      Tom: "some of the most dishonest, least compassionate people I've met have been fundamentalists."

      Chad: "Nonsense, Google "Christian relief agencies" – tens of thousands. Google "Atheist relief agencies" ~50."

      Tom "You seem to believe that Christians of your stripe are better people than are those who don't worship according to your view of Christianity."

      sigh.. As you can see, I presented the statistic to refute your statement about Christians..

      October 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Less Paul

      Chad, I'd like an agency that provides relief from Christians and their proselytizing.

      More, seriously, though, many of the major relief organizations are non-religious; no affiliation is specified. And now, one of the best funded charitable organizations, one that is making a big positive difference in Africa (after years of Christian missionaries making life more miserable while not fixing anything), is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill G is not religious.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are such a complete dolt, Chad. Your statistics refuted nothing at all. You can't read and you won't think. Go blow.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Get it through your thick skull, Chad. Contributing to charity doesn't make anyone a "good person" and it certainly didn't absolve the fundies I have met of their sins of pride, ignorance, and hypocrisy. You seem to think citing statistics about charities will prove that what I stated about the fundies I have met is false. How stupid are you?

      You truly are delusional.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Less: ", seriously, though, many of the major relief organizations are non-religious; no affiliation is specified. And now, one of the best funded charitable organizations, ... is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

      =>Bill is doing penance for all those crappy operating systems he fostered on us!
      Just kidding.. 🙂
      completely agree, the Gates have really taken philanthropy to a new level with this "Giving Pledge". Kudos to them for giving back to society.

      " after years of Christian missionaries making life more miserable while not fixing anything"
      =>absolute utter RUBBISH. In addition to preaching the Gospel, which is the greatest gift that can be given (life), staggering sums of $$ have gone into education, food, developmental assistance, health care, etc, etc, etc.. utter rubbish, back it up with some data.

      October 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Chad

      Tom: I recommend anger management classes.

      October 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.