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October 28th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Study: Thinking of God can dampen motivation but help resist temptation

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - It’s become an increasingly hot topic of debate between atheists and religious people: Is belief in God helpful or hurtful?

A study published Thursday by the American Psychological Association suggests that believing may be a little of both.

According to the study, simple reminders of God have both positive and negative effects on people’s motivation. The report, which focused primarily on students, found that religious reminders both diminish a person’s desire to complete personal goals and improve a person’s ability to resist temptation.

Researchers are calling the report,  "Divergent Effects of Activating Thoughts of God on Self-Regulation," the “the first empirical evidence” of its kind.

“Our lives are literally replete with reminders and symbols of God,” wrote researcher Aaron Kay of Duke University in an e-mail to CNN. “Our success at work, school, or even athletics depends on more than just skill. The beliefs we adopt – or are exposed to even if we don’t consciously adopt them – may impact how we pursue our goal.”

The study tracked 353 college students in six experiments that attempted to test how the idea of God can influence people’s motivations. Believing in God or any other spiritual power was not a requirement for the study.

In one experiment, researchers told the students the test they were taking would gauge their career success and then asked students whether they believed God had a hand in that success.

Each student was given a “warm-up” exercise in which they had to create sentences using words. Half were given test with religious words, while the other were given non-religious words.

The test had each student "form as many words as they could in five minutes, using any combination of specific letters,” reported the study. The number of words produced was taken as a gauge of motivation.

Of the students who believed in an involved God, the ones who participated the God-related word game fared worse than those who used non-religious word. There was, however, no difference among those who did not believe in an involved God.

Kay summed up the findings this way: Imagine two students, one believes her grade depends on how hard she works and the second believes that her grade is determined by whether the professor asked questions she knows.

According to Kay, the research suggests that someone who thinks part of their grade is out of their control would not study as hard as someone who believes they are in complete control.

“[This belief] can diminish a person’s perception that he or she – and he or she alone – has complete control over his or her outcomes,” wrote Kay. “From a motivation perspective, this is very important, since beliefs in personal control are key components of motivation.”

To test temptation, half of the students read a passage about God and half read a passage unrelated to God. “Participants who said eating healthy food was important to them ate fewer cookies after reading a short passage about God than those who read a passage unrelated to God,” reported the study.

“Basically what we found was that when people think about God, it seems to help them resist temptation,” said Grainee Fitzsimons, professor at Duke University. “It is the mindset that he is always watching and judging that motivates people to behave well.”

The findings were first published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science • God

soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. RightTurnClyde

    I one does not understand (or believe) in God then he has to go with what he's got .. shrinks, studies, professors, white papers, popular opinion. Not much to hang your hat on .. but it will have to do.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  2. Amen

    Ah I know what we should do.. lets all sit in a musty old room and read the verses of a book written by a 2000 yr old bronze age goat herders.. God will make sure progress will find its own way to us.. Ah the infallible logic..

    November 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  3. fred

    Ummm
    You do not believe because you cannot say with a sincere heart "God if you are there I am sorry for my unbelief can you help me I want to believe".
    That is pride. You are the best proof of all because you cannot and do not deny yourself.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Ummm

      “You do not believe because you cannot say with a sincere heart "God if you are there I am sorry for my unbelief can you help me I want to believe".
      That is pride. You are the best proof of all because you cannot and do not deny yourself”

      Wow you are one really arrogant person. You can’t say you’re sorry to something you don’t believe in. It’s not there, it’s a man made concept with absolutely no proof. The proof your god doesn’t exist the millions, upon millions ,upon millions of unanswered prayer s that happen every day. The voices in your head, the loving feeling you get from believing in your deity is created by your brain, nothing more. People need to understand the power they have within themselves, to love themselves for whom they are and for their fellow human beings, they don’t need a crutch of a god to do that.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • open24hours

      Ummm: "People need to understand the power they have within themselves, to love themselves for whom they are and for their fellow human beings."

      I've never seen this. It simply doesn't exist. Just a figment of your imagination; I do not concur with your modern-but-no-better-than-ancient-goatherder imaginary tripe religion. Stop pushing it on the rest of us. Go love Stalin for who he was, or moreover, go love anyone you "pridefully unforgivingly resentfully" mock for who they are. You are the first member, and first departer from, your own made-up path. Hypocrite.

      November 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • fred

      Ummm
      Did Moses have a crutch or a staff.............it was a staff that overpowered all the gods of Egypt. King David loved the Lord and had a large Kingdom, he did not need a crutch as the Lord was his salvation. Jesus did not need a crutch he died on a cross because He was doing the will of the Father. The words of Jesus from the cross before the executioners was "father forgive them for they know not what they do".
      Ummm it is not a crutch to anyone I know

      November 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • realist

      fred stop relying on fantasy stories that people have passed on and changed over the years. God is a security blanket for them when they fail or do something wrong. Don't rely on a mythical creature in the sky to improve the situation but instead change what you want changed by yourself. Give it another 100 or so years and people will start to realize this life is all we got and we are in control of our destiny.

      November 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • fred

      realist
      In reality I doubt 1 hour of prayer and worship every day could be any worse than someone who plays an Xbox or watches a ball game. If you are correct in pulling yourself up by your own boot straps is the best and you are also correct that there is no God then what is the difference? I just think I am communing God (that is what prayer and worship are) but in effect just thinking in my own head. End result is the same if there is not a God. Next time you see someone watching tv tell em to stop wasting time this is the only life they will have

      November 2, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      I have one difference for you fred: Fun.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Ummm

      "I've never seen this. It simply doesn't exist."

      Of course you wouldn't based on the negativity of your post, but it does exist. If we took your poor example then the world should be in negative chaos but it's not, that is the proof it's there.

      November 2, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Ummm

      "End result is the same if there is not a God. Next time you see someone watching tv tell em to stop wasting time this is the only life they will have"

      The problem is fred the xbox playing person doesn't create their own church, try to dictate social policies, use it as a way to spread intolerance and hatred of those that are different than them, no. That is the huge difference in your analogy. If christians kept it in their homes on their couches like you suggest then this would be a better world. But I do agree to many people are wasting their lives in front of the TV, it contributes to poor health and obesity, especially in children. Throw out your TV!

      November 2, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • jkvt1028

      Christianity does not spread hatred. In fact, Jesus' main two teaching points (which are in the Bible repeatedly) are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. He does not say to be intolerant or to hate anyone. He says to love with all your heart. He says to spread His love to ALL nations. This does not sound like the "hatred" or "intolerance" you say you see in Christianity. Hatred comes from prideful people, not God or people who live the life that Jesus calls us to live.

      God bless.

      November 2, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Ummmm

      "Christianity does not spread hatred."

      All you have to do is read many of the comments of this blog to see that is not true.

      November 2, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • jkvt1028

      Christianity does not spread hatred. People who say and do things out of hatred and use Christianity as a shield are not true Christians. Jesus' direct commandments: Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. The rules are simple. Live by these rules and accept Jesus Christ as your savior and you are living a Christian life. If you do not follow these simple rules, you are no closer to the kingdom of God than the atheist who denies His existence. There is no room for hate in a Christian life.

      God Bless.

      November 2, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Ummmm

      "There is no room for hate in a Christian life."

      Says you, but it doesn't make it so, that's the point.

      November 2, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • jkvt1028

      I didn't say it. Jesus did. That's the point. If people are spreading hatred, that is not the work of Christianity, that is the work of prideful people who claim to be Christians. They are clearly not living their faith. Just because some police officers are corrupt and they abuse their position does not mean that "Police departments condone and spread corruption." It means that flawed people displayed their flaws while in a cop uniform. The same can be said for "Christians" who spread hatred. They are not true Christians because they are not following the teachings of Christ. Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the requirements of being a Christian.

      God Bless.

      November 2, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Peter

      "They are not true Christians because they are not following the teachings of Christ. Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the requirements of being a Christian."

      That is not all there is to following the teachings of Christ, you have to follow ALL the rules, not just a few. The bible is God's rule book on how you are to love him, you can't just pick and choose which ones you want to follow. Unless you continually repent for choosing to break those rules then you are not a true Christian and you will burn in hell.

      November 2, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • jkvt1028

      Peter – this is the beauty of Jesus' teaching. He was able to simplify what it means to be a follower of God through Christ. Directly from the gospel:
      Mt 22:36 “[Jesus], which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, ’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

      All other commandments and laws will be followed if you follow Christ's two great commandments. No hate. Love God, love your neighbor. That is the life of a true Christian.

      God Bless.

      November 2, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Peter

      "All other commandments and laws will be followed if you follow Christ's two great commandments. No hate. Love God, love your neighbor. That is the life of a true Christian."

      You are wrong even Christ said he was here to full-fill the laws of the bible and we are to follow them all.
      1. Matthew 4:4; "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
      2. 4:7; "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."
      3. 4:10; "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."
      4. 4:17; "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
      5. 5:16; "Let your light shine so before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
      6. 5:17; "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets."
      7. 5:17; "I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (The Law and Prophets)
      8. 5:18; "; till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."
      9. 5:19; "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;"
      10. 5:20; "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and P ha ris ees you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
      11. 5:22; "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment."
      12. 5:22; "And whoever says to his brother, ‘Ra ca!’ shall be in danger of the council.’ (Note: Ra ca means ‘empty head’)
      13. 5:22; "But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire."
      14. 5:23,24; "Therefore if you bring your gift to the al tar (worship God), and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift."
      15. 5:25; "Agree with your adversary quickly while you are on the way to him, lest your adver sary deliver you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny."
      16. 5:27,28; "You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
      17. 5:29,30; "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." (Note this is a place where Jesus teaches about hell being a physical place)
      18. 5:31,32; "Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adu ltery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adu ltery."**19:1-12; Note that the teaching on divorce is expanded to explain further that ‘All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given.’ and that ‘He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.’
      19. 5:33-37; "And you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swea r falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footsto ol; nor by Jer usa lem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one."
      20. 5:38-41; "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two."
      21. 5:42; "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away."
      22. 5:43-48; "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies,"
      23. 5:43-48; "bless those who curse you,"
      24. 5:43-48; "do good to those who hate you,"
      25. 5:43-48; "and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,"
      26. 5:43-48; "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in haven is perfect."

      November 2, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Peter

      Part II

      27. 6:1; "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven."
      28. 6:6; "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
      29. 6:7; "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words."
      30. 6:8-13; "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner therefore pray:"
      31. "Our Father in Heaven."
      32. "Hallowed be Your name."
      33. "Your kingdom come"
      34. "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
      35. "Give us this day our daily bread"
      36. "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
      37. "And do not lead us into temptation"
      38. "But deliver us from the evil one."
      39. "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen"
      40. 6:14; "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
      41. 6:15; "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
      42. 6:16-18; "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
      43. 6:19,20; "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."
      44. 6:21; "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
      45. 6:22; "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light."
      46. 6:23; "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
      47. 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other."
      48. B. "You cannot serve God and mammon." (Money, wealth or property)
      49. 6:25-32; "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?"..Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more cloth you, O you of little faith?..."Therefore do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."
      50. 6:33; "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
      51. 6:34; "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things."
      52. 6:34; "Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
      53. 7:1-4; "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."
      54. 7:5; "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
      55. 7:6; "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
      56. 7:7-11; "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."..."If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?"
      57. 7:12; "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Jesus made no claim that this was the fullness of what He taught, but it is often taken out of context and presented as such)

      November 2, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Peter

      Part III

      58. 7:13,14; "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
      59. 7:15; "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."
      60. 7:19; "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
      61. 7:21; "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."
      62. 7:22,23; "Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
      63. 7:24,25; "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock."
      64. 7:26,27; "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
      65. So now we find ourselves at the end of Jesus’ famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’ text. Do we find that Jesus said we are to simply follow the ‘golden rule’, or do we instead see that Jesus told us to do many things? These are the beginning of the words God gave to Him to tell us. Note that the matter divides on two things: hear Jesus and do what He said, or, hear and don’t do, so the matter is of doing what He said. Hearing and doing what He said meets the imperishable end result. To be a disciple of Jesus is to hear and do what He said to do!
      66. 8:1-3; "When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed."
      67. 8:5-14; "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." Note the faith of the centurion in the authority and power of Jesus Christ and of his submission to the will of Jesus. As Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such a great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
      68. 8:22; "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
      69. 8:26; "Why are you fearful, of you of little faith?"
      70. 8:28-33; "Go." The demons acknowledge the person of Jesus as the Son of God and asked, ‘Have You come here to torment us before the time?’ Demons know that they must submit to His will and that their time of torment is coming. Jesus is able to deliver man from even demon possession.
      71. 9:1-8; "Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven" .."Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" – then He said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."
      72. 9:9; "Follow Me."
      73. 9:12; "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Did Jesus teach the total depravity of man?)
      74. 9:15; "Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast."
      75. 9:16; "No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
      76. 9:22; "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." (Her faith was that she could only touch the hem of His garment that she would be healed. Again, her faith was in His power and ability to remedy her problem.)
      77. 9:24; "Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping." (Is death but sleep?)

      November 2, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Peter

      Part IV

      78. 9:27-29; ""Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes saying, "According to your faith let it be to you."
      79. 9:38; "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
      80. 10:5; "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But as you go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Gospel to the Jew first and then to the Gentile.)
      81. 10:7-10; "And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Ez. 40; Is. 65; Rev. 20?)
      82. "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food." (Later on this was changed, so it was time specific and directed to the twelve.)
      83. 10:11-15; "Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city."
      84. 10:16; "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
      85. 10:17-20; "But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
      86. 10:21-23; "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."
      87. 10:24-26; "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house ‘Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." (Here Jesus calls His disciples to be like Him and that we are not to fear, but to look to His example by faith in Him.)
      88. 10:27; "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light,"
      89. 10:27; "and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."
      90. 10:28; "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
      91. 10:28; "But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
      92. 10:29-31; "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
      93. 10:32; "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven."
      94. 10:33; "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven."
      95. 10:34-36; "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household."
      96. 10:37-39; "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
      97. 10:40-42; "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

      November 2, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • jkvt1028

      Peter, I appreciate your efforts in spreading the word of God. This is a crucial part of being a good Christian: spreading the gospel and the good news. The great thing about Jesus' teachings is that all of the laws and commandments from the Bible, many of which you just posted, will be followed by someone who loves God with all of their heart, all of their mind and all of their soul; and if they love their neighbor as themselves.
      In order to truly love God with all of your heart, mind AND soul, wouldn't that require you to find out how he wants us to live? This requires a lifelong search for what God is calling us to do. The Bible is the first place to start as God lists very clearly the morals and values we, as believers should live by. What I am demonstrating is the fact that their is no place for hatred within a life of a true follower of Christ. Jesus so eloquently described this with his two great commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor. This is obviously not where one's spiritual journey ends – surely being an active follower of Christ requires a deeper relationship with God that cannot be achieved through merely reading this one Bible verse. But, this is where our journey to God through Christ begins; and if a life through Christ begins with these two commandments of love, how then can one spread hatred and claim to follow Christ?

      God Bless.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • jkvt1028

      You also have to understand that truly studying the Bible does not mean that we read every line and then literally go out and act it out. This is what extremists do. This is why we get groups like radical Muslims who read the Qur'an looking for certain messages and then act them out violently. We also find groups of Christians who search the Bible for affirmation of what they already think, turning to hatred and violence instead of looking for information and a deeper relationship with God. If you truly study the Bible, understand that some meaning is changed through translation or time and study what the overall message is, it is one of love. It shows us God's tremendous love for his people and also the way in which he wants us to love our fellow brothers and sisters, bringing them closer to Him.

      God Bless.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Ohplz

      "If you truly study the Bible, understand that some meaning is changed through translation or time and study what the overall message is, it is one of love. It shows us God's tremendous love for his people and also the way in which he wants us to love our fellow brothers and sisters, bringing them closer to Him."

      So that means you'll vote to allow gay people to marry since it's all about love.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  4. catholic engineer

    Actually, thinking of God has created a great deal of success. First, you have the descendants of Calvin, whose material wealth is a sign that they are of the "Elect". By default, poverty is a sign of God's punishment. We have the Prosperity Gospel. As one diamond-studded woman evangelist explained, "God wants us to have nice things." Then we have some Protestants who sell indulgences: " Send me a check and God will richly bless you." God has also helped the atheists. People like Richard Dawkings can, instead of doing science, can produce thin diatribes against religion and make a fortune on book sales.

    November 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Proud American

      Poverty is not a sign of God's punishment. You are insane, and should stop spreading your idiocy.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  5. md2205

    Why would belief in G-d make a person less motivated? A person has to accomplish in this world. That is what He created us to do. We have to work to make the world run, and to make the world better. We have a lot to get done in this world. We have so many good things to do to help others. We need also to make a living, and for that we have to try. G-d will give us the success in everything we do in every area, but we are the ones who have to try. This is what Jews recite kiddush on Friday nights about. For G-d created the entire world in six days, and on the seventh He stopped His act of creation and began maintaining. So to, we work for six days and on the seventh we rest, as G-d requested that Jews rest as He did on the seventh day. G-d stopped creating that day, and on that day, Jews also do not do any work that has to do with creation, meaning, that involves a creation of energy. That is why Jews do not turn on the electricity on the seventh day.

    November 1, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Free

      Some believers leave their fate completely for God to decide, while too few take the old saying "The Lord helps those who help themselves" to heart. Many of the frantic rapture-ready also appear to have given up hope for their having a future on this planet, and seem entirely unconcerned about issues like overpopulation, the environment and poverty.

      November 1, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Free

      Too often, as well, believers will label something as being "in God's hands now" when they are entirely capable of doing something about it, but don't have the motivation to actually do it, see?

      November 1, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  6. James

    Planking is over I Present to you: http://tebowing.com

    October 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Truth

    What if you are wrong? And in the end you, who dont believe in God, stand before a very real God to give an account for your eternal life...
    One thing about media is that media mostly announces the bad things that go on in the world, barely the positives.
    God's main commandments is to love one another like yourself, and to love him with all you have.
    All of the other commandments such as thou shall not steal and stuff are pretty obvious things that people should not do.
    THE PURPOSE OF HUMAN BEINGS IS TO REPRODUCE AND LIVE.
    HOW CAN WE LIVE WITH ALL THE HATRED, KILLING,ADULTRY, STEALING, AND FALSE IDOLIZATION?
    THE TEN COMMANDMENTS MAKE SENSE! IT KEEPS HUMANS LIVING.
    most people dont believe in God is because they have never seen God. they cant fathom such a creator.
    but if you HONESTLY try christianity out you will FEEL the power of God, our Father.
    Our father that does not control us, but loves us like a father, he hurts when we hurt, and he wants the best for us.
    WHY ARE WE HIDING AND RUNNING FROM THE MOST LOVING PERSON THAT EVER LIVED?
    just because we cant fathom a spirtual eternal life after life on earth, doesnt mean it exists.
    Believing ghosts and spirits all tie into hell, and heaven.
    For all of you that have actually FELT REAL PAIN will not want to go to hell, where PAIN is FOREVER, and it is never LOST. its a constant renewal of agony.
    Heaven is constant happiness where EVIL, HATRED, and bad does not exist.
    before you harden your hearts.
    just think of what you would answer to God if he asks you: what did you do that makes you worthy of being in heaven? to be in such a powerful presence, where TRUTH is, where the most scary and strong men shut up, and obey God.

    October 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Truth... problem appears to be more with the fact we have so many gods all of whom are real to the adherents...and all are these gods are also the "real one" to the believers. I do not disagree with your sentiments even though I am an atheist. I do not however believe that there will be a god who teaches love on one hand, but hands out eternal suffering with the other if you chose not believe in him... cant see why that would be so important to this supposed ultimate being..Most religious people like to identify with one religion or other, and this is a source of pride to them which is fine, but it seems to develop into a superiority complex later and causes friction between them. If, how ever, we all thought that we were Human beings first.. not worried about which god, or not, we believe in, whether you are gay, straight black or yellow.. then we stand a chance of peace. I know it is not the only source of anger in the world but it is a large part of the issue.

      October 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Free

      Truth
      "What if you are wrong?"
      At least I can feel good about living my life without being a bigot, forcing myself to deny the logical and embrace the illogical, or supporting clergy, many of whom are already richer than I and the rest of "the 99%." Really, you are discounting just how long a long shot you're happening to be right actually is. There are the odds of any gods being real to begin with, then the odds that yours is the correct god, then the odds that this god feels about atheists as you do, and then the odds that this god supports the kind of fate for us that you support.

      October 30, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Then God will have achieved his goal of deceiving me into trusting what nature tells us and not blindly following some book despite the facts and logic.

      October 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "THE PURPOSE OF HUMAN BEINGS IS TO REPRODUCE AND LIVE."

      according to who? your bronze aged book? Actually, the fact that mankind has overproduced is effecting how we live today. Maybe if your bible didnt encourage mass population growth, we as humans would have a better chance of survival. Maybe we would be able to feed everyone on this planet. But its ok...keep blindly following. Its easy.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Entil'za

      "Maybe we would be able to feed everyone on this planet."

      We already have that ability. But most of the world just doesn't care.

      October 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • fred

      EvolvedDNA
      We have so many gods because people have always carved god in their own image. This is a people problem not a God problem. As an atheist you lack perspective of existence through the lens of a spiritual being which we are. Man is both a physical and spiritual bieng. You may want to take a look at yourself and see why you deny a large part of what it is to be man. This problem can be corrected even if it is based on DNA which may have left spiritually challenged.
      With a balanced perspective (spiritual and physical) it is clear throughout history that man carves god in his own image. Man rejects the God that is in favor of the god man can control and design. Basic problem is that if God is who He says He is man is really not in control and God demands some things we prefer not to do......so we create a god that suits our lifestyle.
      You have done the same in the creation of your god. Your god is the unknown force behind existence, the Greeks had a central stone for the unknown god. Your god is the truth as you chose to see it from time to time. Your god is a truth that changes based on what you conceive to be the common good. Even your good is not an absolute good but that which feels good for the time. This pattern is consistent with the all peoples of recorded history that carved gods to their liking. Given this belief in no god or the unknown god and the great totem pole of the atheist collective you will not experience any greater peace than we currently have in this world. There is no basis for your conclusion in this regard thus you have faith that Atheism will produce a better and more peaceful world than any god based ism. Your faith in nogod (should I capitalize that ?) is perhaps every bit as strong as my faith in God. We are both men of faith yet that does not mean there would more or less peace between us.

      November 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Ummm

      “We have so many gods because people have always carved god in their own image.”

      So you just scraped your own bible with that statement, since on in gensis it states. God created man in his likeness. LOL! Then you have to take the Jesus story that your god created his son as a man. LMAO! So take what you just wrote and apply it to yourself

      November 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  8. really?

    A word game that gauges motivation levels?

    October 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tony Dgee

      A believers motivation is high and shaped by a strong sense of purpose in life, their motivation is rooted in the scriptures as evidenced by those high performers.

      October 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Free

      Tony Dgee
      I think that the finding here is that non-believers have a higher motivation because they realize that they have to make it in the world by themselves, whereas believers are like the dependant adult children we unfortunately have in society. 30 years old, still living with their parents, and depending on their advice and support every day. Isn't it time to grow up and not be a "child" to anyone?

      October 31, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Tony Dgee

      Where in this article does it corelate motivation to 30 something 'believers' living with parents?
      This article claims that a word game can gauge motivation levels, which is absolutely false on many levels, motivation is shaped by a strong purpose in life and not those that claim they are a product of chance.

      October 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Free

      Tony Dgee
      The argument is that believers are willing to let God steer their lives whereas we nonbelievers recognize that nobody is controlling our lives specifically but ourselves. So, in a sense, believers really are like live at home adult kids who aren't really taking responsibility for their lives like we who understand that we don't actually have a divine parent to help us along. That's why issues like the ailing environment, world hunger, and overpopulation are largely ignored by many Christians; instead of taking responsibility for these problems they leave them up to God to solve one way or another. Isn't that just a cop-out?

      October 31, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Tony Dgee

      So we move from the word game study on motivation to your own hypothesis of why believers lack motivation, indulge me and I play along...
      So, in your opinion a person who believes in a higher power lacks motivation? How on earth did you come to that conclusion? everthing I see around is quite the opposite, believers seems to be that much more motivated as they have a strong sense of purpose in life. I have seen high performers who are believers in different walks of life from people who are in academics to people in the entertainment and in sports.
      If you do a study on who is out there at the frontlines fighting poverty, helping the poor/needy it is the believers. Believers who are driven with a very stong sense of compassion are out there on mission trips.Believers are far more motivated to perform than those that are here by chance.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • really?

      "Believers are far more motivated to perform than those that are here by chance."

      What proof do you have?

      November 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • really?

      Proof?-For starters you, because you can't use a different handle to begin with.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Free

      Tony Dgee
      I think that the argument boils down to nonbelievers not believing in God, but in chance which they know they can't depend on to act favorably, so they do all that they can to bring about positive change for themselves. Believers, however, do believe in God and sometimes depend on him to make the favorable changes instead of doing it themselves. Thus their lower motivation to take matters into their own hands. It's like they believe that someone is secretly buying them lotto tickets and that, one day, a winning ticket will just show up on their doorstep.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  9. Sheik Yerbouti

    I'm a little tea pot, short and stupid.

    October 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      Alice in the Wonder Land.

      October 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Master Moulder

      We won't argue that you are Yerbouti.

      October 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  10. Carlito Swagger

    The problem is that God is not a mere mindset that makes us resist temptation. God is real. God is a being that we fear, that is why we resist temptation

    October 30, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • AGuest9

      It's frightening that people actually believe this stuff is real, and are busy indoctrinating others.

      October 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Al

      Prove God is real, and maybe more people will consider it more than just a mindset!

      October 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Madtown

      I don't fear God. I'm told God created me, and loves me. What's to fear?

      October 31, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Free

      Madtown
      And if God created everyone, even those of us who don't believe in him, then we have nothing to fear either, now do we?

      November 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  11. Jeebus

    religions are myths and cults ... they cause delusions and deviance from reality

    October 30, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • Muneef

      Hmm.

      But those who disbelieved – their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but finds Allah before Him, and He will pay him in full his due; and Allah is swift in account.24:39

      October 30, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • claybigsby

      muneef...keep quoting books written by arabs. The fact that you put your trust in man is feared more than the religion you try and promote.

      October 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  12. Amen

    Too much motivation? too much drive to achieve what you want? Wanna make nothing of your life? We know how to change it..

    Think god! Think a lot about god and become the dump no one ever wants to be around..

    October 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Muneef

      Why all that? Or are you intending to become an Angel on Earth?? Why not be of a combination that does not go or do where and what is of the wrong doers as specified in the Holy Books "commandments"...while still be not dump and can gain respect of whom you know and deal with...such as truth,honesty and so on of such Posativties...how much charm the smile does and how much warmth and tenderness does a kind word leave....!

      We do not want to be with out such senses of faith and belief to become as robots "Soulless"...? We do not want to reach this level of disbelief "Morals & Conducts"...

      Check out this video on YouTube:

      Tragic Accident at Foshan (Guangdong)
      October 13, 2011, the Guangzhou-Foshan, Foshan Huangqi Hardware City in a car accident, a girl was hit by a truck, the passers-by no one bit of help, then another body from a car run over, around 18 people passing no one come to the rescue, until the 19th that is found after it propped scavengers. Disregard for the lives of people who chilling, a scene that makes the hairs standing, have cold blood!
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo0_Yup17yc&w=640&h=360]

      October 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  13. Muneef

    Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. 2:268

    He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding. 2:269
    ---–

    Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. 16:90
    -----

    Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. 29:45
    -----

    O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. 2:168

    He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know. 2:169
    ----

    O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.7:26

    O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe. 7:27

    And when they commit an immorality, they say, "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has ordered us to do it." Say, "Indeed, Allah does not order immorality. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?" 7:28

    Say, [O Muhammad], "My Lord has ordered justice and that you maintain yourselves [in worship of Him] at every place [or time] of prostration, and invoke Him, sincere to Him in religion." Just as He originated you, you will return [to life] – 7:29

    A group [of you] He guided, and a group deserved [to be in] error. Indeed, they had taken the devils as allies instead of Allah while they thought that they were guided. 7:30
    ---

    October 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Muneef if I have told you once I have told you ten times, no one reads your stupid posts! You are wasting space on my precious blog mister!

      October 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Reality

      And yet again, we come to save Muneef and his sister and brother Muslims:

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!! (developed by yours truly based on the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self- cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      October 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      Hmm.
      So milk-sheikh and father ? some thing are one person..who now says he needs unlimited space?! We normally say that space is in the heart of man, if he has space in heart he can give space to many,but if he has no space in heart,he will have no space close to him even to his closest family and relatives and would rather want to take the space of all livings...!!

      Any way whom ever you are that GOD shoots you up into the wide space so you would get plenty of that unending space to satisfy you greediness... And those words will be read only by those of understanding and who take heed but not your type...Sheikhy Stevens...

      October 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      BAD Muneef, BAD!

      October 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      Seems the words had burned the Tribe of Satan... Haha all the space became so small unabling them to make for the run... 😉

      October 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      Who is bad? You are calling Quran Verses Stupid ignoring what I am trying to reflect through it in it's own wordings what is supposed to be right and what is wrong...?!

      Read my post and read Reality's post and tell me which will benefit you more although both took nearly similar space? which of them makes much sense? But of course and religious quotings you consider as poison because you want to be deafening and blinding your self from recognizing the existence of GOD the Creator of the universe...!?! Where ever you head you will find GOD and GOD loving people so get used to it...
      You are running and running away but you can't run away from your self....!

      October 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      No Muneef, you are just irritating Bad!

      October 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      You're running and you're running
      And you're running away
      You're running and you're running,
      But you can't run away from yourself
      You must have done something wrong
      Why you can't find the place where you belong
      Every man thinketh his burden is the heaviest
      Who feels it knows it, Lord
      You're running and you're running
      And you're running away
      You're running and you're running,
      But you can't run away from yourself
      You must have done something wrong
      Oh why you can't find the place where you belong

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn7X3iN48lU&w=640&h=360]

      October 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      Irritating Bad...?!
      Wonder Why I did not use that on you when I find in your posts that you are rejecting GOD and making jokes about it?
      I was minding my own business as the rest of you what ever comes to my mind which to me is considered as a piece of art that gave to it all my precious time of my sleep... And rather than ignoring my post you would rather leave all and come to mine to call it stupid and taking all the space there is....??? OMG you must have felt like I had taken all the air you breath leaving you gasping for air as a fish out of water....!! Am I irritating you more because I say the truth...? Well the truth is always treated like that...!

      October 29, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      GOD is never foolish it is you who just has made foolish out of him self in a country that is supposed to respect opinions of others and granted the world freedom of exprission and speech....which you have just showed your disagreeing to it...!

      Leave what you do not like and take what you like with out getting on the way of irritating others...

      October 29, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Dang Muneef, you are getting all excited. I am just busting your balls man, chill out. Hey I like me some Bob Marley and religion is still stupid. Sorry, but it is. But seriously bro, too many words. That is what irritates me.

      Peace

      October 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      Lazy reader... Or You must be short sighted and hate using glasses..? Well buy your self a robot to read for you...!
      Any way those were picks of verses from different sura's...I know they look long but they are not once you have read them you would want to read more... It is the evil in man who makes them to look as long or non understandable to read...or would even make you feel like sick...!

      October 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      Hmm.

      And try to keep out my balls from the subject..!

      October 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      @Muneef
      I read one of your posts once. It was SH_IT. that is why I don't wade through that garbage any more. For the record short sighted means not taking all things into consideration. In terms of EYES I am NEAR sighted while others might be FAR sighted. As for your balls, that is good advise. Let's not go there. You seem to get too excited.

      October 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well Mr.Sheikh.
      Am beginning to like chatting with you...sorry that you didn't like one of my postings once but that doesn't mean all will be the same although am not sure which post you are referring to or when... But to tell you the truth earlier I was not as aware as now with choices...

      Any way nice talking to you and hope you come across some thing that would change you mind into reading more...and thanks for the sight informations... As I find my self as well less bothered or interested with reading since I started using glasses for my readings, lazily or getting tired easily...

      October 29, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      @Muneef

      I like chatting with you too sir! Just understand I don't believe in Gods and Demons, so reading that stuff is not interesting to me, but TALKING one on one DOES interest me. That is what I enjoy. And I know I am a ball breaker, can't help myself LOL.

      Peace

      October 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sheikh.

      Great..but now tell me you do not believe in GOD,Angels,Holy Scriptures and Messengers?! well then you do not believe in Adam &Eve.
      Don't tell me you do believe that we were Apes who came by mere coincidence,evolved with out a creator,reaching to this stage and completely stopped evolving ...?!
      It's not getting into my mind that I am some dirt that evolved with out a creator and has no purpose to serve in life...do you?
      I would rather stick to GOD,Adam&Eve...that makes me feel more human with more important role in life...

      Thanks man although think this way we will not have much to talk about since each rejects beliefs of the other...!

      October 30, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Muneef

      Sheikh.
      It is that what we should believe in;

      To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. 2:284

      The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." 2:285

      Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. "Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people." 2:286

      October 30, 2011 at 7:59 am |
    • Muneef

      But those who disbelieved – their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but finds Allah before Him, and He will pay him in full his due; and Allah is swift in account.24:39

      October 30, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Reality

      Reducing the space required to save Muneef and our sister and brother Muslims with a PowerPoint slide:

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:

      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

      October 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      @Muneef

      I do not believe in GOD, Angels, Holy Scriptures and Messengers.

      I do NOT believein Adam and Eve. That is just silly Muneef.

      I DO believe we evolved, not from Apes but from a common ancestor. There were many branches of humannoids but we were the most successful in the end. We evolved randomly.

      What makes you think we are not still evolving?

      Peace

      October 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sheikh.

      Either you are joking or serious about that but to me I find this is just science fiction made on assumption nothing else...as said before this is a "Mirage" where you will never find waters...!! The whole life on earth is just a Drop of Water, out of which all life grow from earth...!! Any way have your belief and I will have mine...and that's all about it really although would wish that you are guided to GOD but as we are told that we can't guide to GOD whom we love or care for and that only that GOD guides whom he wills...!
      But let me comment saying if this is literacy to you then I say thank GOD we are of the illiterates...!

      October 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • chawanna

      This is so true!!!!

      October 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Reality

      Back to some of the basics:

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

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

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

      Current crises:

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

      October 30, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Anon

      Ram a koran up your @$$.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  14. Sheik Yerbouti

    Hey everyone, Santa Claus is about three quarters down on the page. I already wrote him my Christmas wish. You should too! It is a wonderful secular pagan ritual we can all enjoy!

    October 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  15. Brad

    Hmm. The religious students created more words from non-religious words than from religious words, and it was interpreted that they had less motivation when they saw religious words. Seems dubious to me. Especially since I don't think most religious folk would ascribe success/failure in a trivial exercise like this to God. Couldn't it be that other issues came up in the students minds when the saw the religious words – why are they including religion in this study, some religious question they've been thinking about?

    Also, they're not saying the religious students had lower motivation IN GENERAL than the non-religious students. Important distinction.

    October 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Al

      30 year olds who still live with their parents have less motivation too, and for the same reason. All that "Jesus take the wheel" mentality breeds adults willing to leave their future to what turns out to be chance instead of taking responsibility for their lives. It's sad, really!

      October 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • clay

      You're misinterpreting the phrase "Jesus take the wheel." It's not about doing nothing, it's about hanging in there when life just really sucks. And why? Because Christ is with you. Even if you don't believe in him and that he died for you, he still loves you.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Ummm

      "It's not about doing nothing, it's about hanging in there when life just really sucks. And why? Because Christ is with you. "

      No, it's all in your head. It's your own personal power that is doing that – don't sell yourself short. You have that internal strength to get through tough things that happen to you in this life. No one needs a crutch to do that.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • fred

      Ummm
      You do not sell yourself short when you believe in Christ. To the contrary you now have a view from the perspectrive of God as well as the pespective of the non believer. It is the non believer that is at a disadvantage because of a personal choice to limit what he or she will choose to look at. Why would someone make a choice to close off an entire part of their being. More than 95% of all people in the U.S. have a balanced view that includes acknowledging the spiritual and physical side of life. Cutting off an entire part of life makes little sense and comes about due to DNA (spiritually challenged people actually cannot sense anything outside of self) or choice which is often based on pride (even those who hate God because of some physical or emotional abuse overcompensate in a pridefull unforgiving resentment). Both of these causes of blindness can be corrected if one is willing. Are you willing this morning ummm?

      November 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • clay

      @Ummm
      You're right, no one needs a crutch. You could make it perfectly fine without it. For a clear definition of "perfectly fine," go over to the article about the London Cleric resigning and see haw many perfectly fine people are posting in all caps, touting their personal beliefs as facts, and making fun of us for believing something we believe is factual.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Classic

      fred: "Are you willing this morning ummm?"

      Sounds like we have Brother Fred's Traveling Salvation Show here!

      November 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Ummm

      “Why would someone make a choice to close off an entire part of their being.”
      Because it doesn’t exist it’s all in your head, the part you think that is talking to you is your own brain, nothing more. People have this great need that is instilled in them since they were young that they are special, but the reality is your not. The problem is that instead of accepting reality understanding your true self you have to believe in a deity to keep that feeling of being special alive as an adult. It’s like when people talk about their hearts and the loves of their lives, that too is all based in the brain, your heart really has nothing to do with it. It’s all in your head.

      “because of some physical or emotional abuse overcompensate in a pridefull unforgiving resentment”

      LOL! You have to tell yourself that in order to feel good about using a crutch of a god in your life because you can’t truly cope with the reality of living on this planet, dealing with others that don’t view life as you do. You have absolutely no proof that statement is true, it is just another lie you spew to try to support the nonsense you have told yourself. . Please provide the proof that backs up your statement.

      November 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Al

      clay
      If someone asks somebody else to "take the wheel" don't they mean that they can't handle the job and defer to someone better suited? Why would you ask anyone else to take the wheel if you're doing fine driving by yourself? It just doesn't make any sense.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Free

      fred
      In the modern sense of the term, things can affect us 'spiritually' just by touching us on an emotional level, without any supernatural forces being implied. An atheist then can justly describe an encounter with a pod of whales, for example, as a spiritual experience while still understanding that he doesn't have an immortal soul. So, again, it all lies in ones head.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • fred

      Free
      I can watch a pod of whales (did that by the way this week) and perhaps have the same emotional experience as an atheist. Then a mental note of thanks to our Father for such a creation, the time and fortune of being able to be there at the right time. I imagine the atheist thinks great day caught a break lucky me. The difference would be my thanks are directed towards a living God that has given me more than I deserve. Before my conversion my thoughts were mostly caught up in the moment, there was no God, so all the thoughts and feelings would be contained internally or with others around me. Today I give God the glory for such fortunate days not luck or self. It creates a constant sense of thankfulness and respect for God. I cannot see how that could negatively impact the world but only add value to it.

      November 2, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Free

      fred
      If we're both having the same level of emotional response to the same stimuli then such reactions are purely part of being human and the only difference is that you imagine that God is behind it all, right? There is also nothing preventing an atheist from feeling a constant sense of thankfulness, either. Personal good fortune can be appreciated by anyone, just as tragedy can bring grief. At least we atheists do not have to sort out our conflicting emotions over the paradox of both coming from a God who supposedly loves us. Doesn't such turmoil negatively impact the world?

      November 2, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • fred

      Free
      "At least we atheists do not have to sort out our conflicting emotions over the paradox of both coming from a God who supposedly loves us. Doesn't such turmoil negatively impact the world?"
      You suggesting atheists do not sort out conflicting emotions on right wrong / good evil or use some other measuring stick. You are not Borg or Vulcan dealing with pure logic. At best you would be more like Spock given your exposure to Western culture and having a human mother. You may attempt to logic as the Greeks yet must on occasion hear the voice of Paul when he reminded them of the difference between manmade idols and the living God.
      Most likely good will come by remembering how wicked people can be and how easy for us to turn into a mob that would crucify Christ and burn Jews. How can any evil come from what Christ said? Turmoil on an individual basis that is different from that of an atheist may be in loss of faith. Once you know Christ turmoil enters when faith fails and you doubt. I recall that when God was not in the picture for me this 'turmoil' did not exist because others gods were not real to me. I do not experience 'turmoil' today when faced with Jews, Buddhists, Witches etc. Santa Clause is of a different sort all together. Even when I did not know or care about other gods there was a difference between Santa Clause and beliefs in gods. I am surprised and doubt atheists equate Santa and God. To the extent they do makes me wonder what is really at work here and perhaps I had a heart for God long before I acknowledged there was God.
      What I am saying is that there is something far greater than Zeus behind this world we can see and measure in scientific terms.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:06 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.