November 2nd, 2011
10:24 AM ET

What terrifies an atheist

(CNN) -  Famed filmmaker John Landis brought the world "An American Werewolf in Paris" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller," but nothing scares him more than people.

In this video the avowed atheist, tells CNN's Nima Elbagir why he thinks “we make stuff up” about monsters, religion, and the devil.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Movies

soundoff (2,057 Responses)
  1. AGuest9

    Nothing. I find it so ironic that those people who claim to know god are so afraid of death. If you believe that you are going to paradise, why are you so afraid of it???

    December 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  2. Sherm

    not all Christians are hell-bent on converting non-believers, and not all Non-Believers feel the need to grind on God-Fearing Folks. Both camps have wrestlers and the quiet ones. Perhaps the quiet among us, will do more elevating of spirit in the long run... thankfully there still exists courage among the fearful, graciousness within the rich, and conviction amidst the skeptical.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  3. Tom Paine

    The movie was "An American Werewolf in London," not Paris. And religion is silly.

    December 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • fisherman


      Just to calrify, there is a movie AMERICAM WEREWOLF IN PARIS as i have enjoyed the movie a coupel times

      December 2, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • fisherman

      Just wanted to correct my spelling (couple)

      December 2, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  4. drschwarz

    I'm not certain of many things, but I'm fairly certain that whether or not God exists can be neither proven nor disproven. So some Christians need to quit pretending like they "know" God exists; similarly atheists need to get off their high horse and quit acting like they "know" he doesn't exist.

    If you want to believe in God, there's nothing wrong with that; it's no more wrong than choosing to believe in liberal or conservative ideas. In both cases, you may have some reasons to believe what you believe, but you can't possibly "know" for sure that you're correct. And if you did pretend to "know," I think Socrates would just want to cry.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • drschwarz

      I'd also like to add that Christianity doesn't require a Christian to "know" that God exists. Jesus once said to Thomas: blessed are those who have seen and believed, but more blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.

      What Jesus is saying is that it's perfectly alright to not be certain about God. One of the very things that makes faith meritorious is the fact that it's just that: faith. There's no courage or trust required to say "I believe 2 + 2 equals four," because you know that to be true; you'd just look ridiculous if you even said that. It does take some trust and courage to say "I believe in God" or "I believe in _________" when you acknowledge that you don't actually know for sure.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Beilnda

      Oh, "God" exists alright, but the puny mind of Man can scarcely conceive of that which Created the Universe and all life within. It would be like trying to model 1000 years of global climate change on a TRS-80 computer when it takes a modern 16,000 processor supercomputer a week to process the data. So....what's a poor old goat-herdoer to do? Create God in Man's own image! The bearded sandaled dude most definitely does not exist. But higher planes of existence and eternal awareness certainly does. Personally I have a cosmic freak-out when I try to contemplate infinity. Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question" is genius in this arena...it's a short story that will blow your mind about impermanence and eternity. And you meet God in the end.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  5. Jimmy

    In realism, hell was a dump in Jeruseleum, called the valley if Hindon, Jesus (Which was an old day Jimmy Swagert) did the sermon on the mount, up in the heavens (on top of the hill away fromthe dump, the dump smelled like fire and brimstone(Sulfur), and nobody has ever heard god talk to them, if you do then you are schizoid!
    athieism is truly Freedom! All of the entrapment of religion is just Bicameral thinking (BY Jaynes READ it)!!

    December 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  6. MacAbides

    What scares an atheist (such as me)? Answer: To be insufferably stuck in some confined space (like an stalled elevator, for example) with a Pentecostal halfwit re-spewing a crapload of pseudo-theology previously spewed from the 5-toothed mouth of a self-deluded, self-educated preacher who figured out a way to pay the bills by selling fire and brimstone.

    December 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  7. What terrifies an Atheist?


    November 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  8. May I. know

    "That explains all the civil rights being denied to non-Christians."


    Until you can mention at least one example to back-up your claim. You are presumed lying.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  9. wisdom4u2

    John Landis doesn't know Christ Jesus...plus he's a jerk! To talk about Michael Jackson like he does shows what a bigot he really is. I hope I get to witness him when he falls to his knees as he faces Christ Jesus! He knows not what he speaks of.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Typical Christian response: I can't wait to see someone suffer under the iron fist of god's wrath. Luckily I get to choose between worshiping a violent tyrant, or worshiping the beauty of life on earth with my family and friends.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • olmc

      Yes, this is sadly a typical Christian response. No one will come to God from statements like that.

      "atheism is not a spontaneous development but stems from a variety of causes, including critical reation against religous beliefs, and in some places Christianity in particular. Hence believers can have more than a little to do with the birth of atheism. To the extent that they neglect their own training in the faith, or teach erroneous doctrine, or deficient in their religious, moral or social life, the must be said to conceal rather than reveal the authentic face of God and religion." Gaudium et Specs 1965.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  10. wisdom4u2

    "What terrifies an atheist"? THE TRUTH.....DERRR

    November 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      What terrifies Christians? Their imaginary deity, and his violent minions. And the church is more than happy to keep stoking their fears, because it causes billions of dollars annually to flood into their coffers worldwide.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Doncha Know

      "What terrifies an atheist"? THE TRUTH"

      No, that would be YOU, who is so terrified of reality and the truth that you have to escape into your fantasy to get through life. That's ok, I guess, if it gets you to sleep each night, but DO NOT proclaim it as fact.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  11. Johnny 5

    We fear nothing for we are truly free.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I'm still afraid of ghosts.....

      November 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      You are not free. You are all slaves to sin and you all hate the light.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Peter

      "You are all slaves to sin and you all hate the light."

      You are the one without light there is no sin, there is no god.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • fred

      Ah, finally your truth exposed. Get rid of God so there is no sin ! What wrongful thing do you know in your heart is so wrong that you must get rid of God to continue doing without guilt?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Peter

      What wrongful thing do you know in your heart is so wrong that you must get rid of God to continue doing without guilt?

      What the F&# K are you talking about, because there is no god your comment makes absolutely no sense. What thing in your life that made you go insane that you needed to create an invisible friend?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  12. J.W

    Atheists are afraid of me and my total awesomeness, dudicality, and tubularity.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Nope, just ghosts

      November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • J.W

      Oh I will have to work more on my greatness then.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Actually, I'm afraid there are more like you... one is already too many.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:53 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.