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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. philberta

    who cares if there's a GOD...?? not provable except in your own experience and in your own mind.
    live as though you'll die and be dead forever....that way, you'lll be very alive and might even do something good.
    practical idea and also shows you're open to whatever comes in....but proselytyzing and saying you have to read the bible and that YOUR way is the only one...is beyond help...if we lived by the bible we'd all be smiting each other and having 7 wives...give it up people....live right,,,,,live and let live....that's all you need to do...and enjoy what the planet offers us...

    November 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  2. What terrifies an atheist?...

    ZIPPER!!!

    Not to their mouths but to their buttholes.

    November 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Tom

    So who here has "the truth"... Can anyone say that they KNOW 100% without a dout... Anyone? If you say you do you are lying to yourself and everyone here... Priests don't Know the mind of God and scientists don't know the truth otherwise discoveries would end. What if " God" represented an highly advanced civilization and we are an "experiment"? Would we be told? Look at how "advanced" (lol) our science is... we can create so much... re-engineer life... on the verge of being able to create life... yet look at our world... how un-civilized we are! Who is to say what we can do in 100 years, or 1000, or even 10,000! Who is to say that "God" is'nt so far advanced the he is beyond our comprehension? We have to have faith... whether we believe in God or we don't... because WE DON'T KNOW! It just comes down to what you believe. Would it help the atheists out there if " God" said "Hey, play by my rules and after the "experiment" I will bring you back to life and you can live on this planet in peace"? Just to "keep it simple stupid" I wold suggest READ the bible and look for your own meanings... and remember, it is a collection of 66 differnt books. I don't believe it is to be taken literaly and iIdon't believe that you should allow others to interpret its meanings for you... read it, keep an open mind and look for messages to improve your own life and well being. What have you got to lose?

    November 12, 2011 at 5:13 am |
  4. Steve-O

    When a two teams play each other and both sides claim that God was on their side. Who's side is he really on? Only one team wins, so did God side with the winning team?

    November 12, 2011 at 3:42 am |
  5. rationalendeavour

    god is a horrible idea, just an Authority you can always Appeal to. A ready-made QED for any terrible thing you want to think up and do to your fellow man. No society is as heartless, cruel, impoverished, ignorant, and hopeless as one under the heel of a deity. "God" is just the worst in humans, distilled and made into a cause.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  6. A man with no name

    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.

    Thats my favorite bible verse next to Jermiah was a bull frog. He was a good friend of mine, for a few dollars he'd share his wine.

    November 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Delmar

      "We... thought... you... was... a... toad!"

      Love it! 🙂

      November 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  7. Les

    God is a creation of humans – without humans God could not exist. The Bible starts with an untruth – "In the beginning . . . "it could not have been the beginning as apparently God already existed, so where did God come from, what was God's origin. God is being created and evolving along with humans and at some time in the future humans will develop heaven (eternal life etc etc) and all those other things considered so desirable.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • J.J. Hemingway

      Simply put I believe without God-Humans would NOT exist. For those who choose not to believe–that IS your choice. But for me I've had peace in my life and in my heart and unconditional love–thanks to Jesus Christ. The way I look at it–if I an correct about God-when eternity comes I will have everything to gain and those who don't believe will have everything to lose. I choose to believe! In even says in the Bible-to those who are perishing-it IS foolishness. We shall see.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You are certainly welcome to your belief, but since there has never been any proof of any god, your belief has no basis in reality.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • twiddly

      Hey JJ, I believe that if you don't hop on one foot for the rest of ;your life, you will go to hell for all eternity.
      So, you'd better start hopping; why chance it?

      November 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  8. rob

    I often tell people I believe in God out of fear of retaliation. And often I convince myself there's a God out of fear of damnation. The only way I would truly consider believing in God is if I knew I was going to heaven either way. Otherwise God is, at best, a father with a gun who isn't afraid to use it. We laugh at Westboro Baptist church, but they're the only church being honest with the true nature of Christianity. All the other churches are sugar coating God's wrath.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • rationalendeavour

      I always tell the bible-pushers that ring my doorbell that if god were real, it would be our moral duty to find a gun big enough to STOP him. I'm going to borrow your "father with a gun" line, too. Hope you don't mind. Because that hits the nail on the head. "God" is transparently an excuse made up by human beings to justify all of their worst impulses – group dynamics, exclusion, prejudice, and arbitrary control. If that creature were real, it would be a nightmare, not a father-figure.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    What a mundane article. Yawn.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  10. Robert

    Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

    2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
    with words without knowledge?
    3 Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
    4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
    5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
    6 On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
    7 while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy?
    8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
    9 when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
    10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
    11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
    12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
    13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
    14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
    15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.
    16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
    17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
    18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.
    19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
    20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
    21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!
    22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
    23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
    24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
    25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
    26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
    27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
    28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
    29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
    30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?
    31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
    32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
    or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
    33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?
    34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
    35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
    36 Who gives the heart with wisdom
    or gives the mind understanding?
    37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
    38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?
    39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions
    40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in a thicket?
    41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?

    Job 38 (Easily one of my favorite chapters of the whole Bible)

    November 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • What If

      Robert, Yes, interesting poetry.

      So is this"

      Imagine there's no Heaven
      It's easy if you try
      No hell below us
      Above us only sky
      Imagine all the people
      Living for today

      Imagine there's no countries
      It isn't hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people
      Living life in peace

      You may say that I'm a dreamer
      But I'm not the only one
      I hope someday you'll join us
      And the world will be as one

      Imagine no possessions
      I wonder if you can
      No need for greed or hunger
      A brotherhood of man
      Imagine all the people
      Sharing all the world

      You may say that I'm a dreamer
      But I'm not the only one
      I hope someday you'll join us
      And the world will live as one

      -John Lennon

      November 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Or how about this, from "Cat", by Kliban

      "Love to eat them mousies
      Mousie's what I love to eat
      Bite they little heads off
      And nibble on they tiny feet."

      November 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Robert

      It's a shame John Lennon was murdered. The Bible is crystal clear, though, that we will only be One under Christ Jesus. There is no other way, truth, or life apart from Jesus.

      "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations." Isaiah 42:1

      However, "Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone." 1 Peter 2:7

      Finally, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

      November 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      The beautiful people. The beautiful people. It all comes down to the size of your steeple.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Peter

      Wonderful tyhat it is one of your favorite passages, big friggin deal, FART

      November 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Peter

      Wonderful that it is one of your favorite passages, big friggin deal, FART

      November 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Shawn Davis

      Robert,

      Glad you enjoy your faith in the Christian religion - whichever variant of it you follow. I'm probably just as happy living as someone who doesn't believe in the supernatural - gods, demons, angels, ghosts, easter bunny, whatever. I think we're likely both good people all the same.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  11. Robert

    People scare atheists, yet they refuse to recognize human sin (instead blaming all evils on 'religion'). It is intellectual laziness at its finest.

    November 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Robert
      Faith in intellectual laziness.

      November 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      in = IS

      November 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Huh?

      "People scare atheists"

      Lying is a sin moron.

      November 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Robert

      "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." 1 Corinthians 1:20-21

      "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight." Isaiah 5:21

      November 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • What If

      Robert : ""Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight." Isaiah 5:21"

      Look in the mirror, son.

      November 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Robert

      @ what if I agree my own haughtiness should not go unjudged. However, I would never set my intellectual abilities over the creator of the universe, or deny his existence. Yet I always see atheists bragging about their IQ, highlighting their reliance on science, and generally putting down people of faith as inferior. Remember, "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" Certainly not me!! That is where faith comes in.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The problem with that, Robert, is that there is no proof that any god ever existed. Therefore, you appear to be abdicating your responsibility to be a thinking adult to a fictional character. To those who look at facts, your "faith" looks terribly hollow.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Peter

      Sin is the yoke religions use to scare people.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Robert

      I think the facts strongly suggest a creator. "In the beginning was the Word" (i.e. Greek for that which gives order and meaning to the universe).

      November 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Which facts Robert? The fact that you don't know exactly how the earth was created, so rather than study or wait for answers, you give up and credit god?

      November 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Robert

      Well, according to Atheists the earth wasn't created, which is also impossible to verify. I will most certainly credit God with creating and sustaining the universe.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Semantics, Robert. The earth was formed. No god needed. Your personal ignorance may be reason enough for you to believe in god, but it really doesn't cut it for people seriously looking for the truth.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • J.W

      My personal view is that there had to be a cause and effect. According the the big bang theory everything in the universe at that point was contained in a singularity, and there was nothing outside of that singularity. Since the only thing believed to exist was hydrogen and energy, it doesn't seem to me like there could have been a chemical reaction, maybe I am wrong about that. I know that the laws of our universe as of now did not have to apply then, but I think there still would have been a cause and effect. But there was nothing within the universe to actually cause what happened. That is why I think there needed to be a creator. I know that does not prove that there it is the God of the Bible if it is true, but I guess that is another discussion. I know we have the scientific theories of how everything in the universe formed after that, but if the universe went for so long without everything being here, what was the cause of everything forming?

      November 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Robert

      "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:3

      "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." Hebrews 1:2

      Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Mathew 28:18

      Now, I know Bible verses irk the Atheist, but there is no clearer revelation or definition of our beliefs. Hence, we quote from the Bible, all while keeping our faith in God.

      Peace.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Brad

      Hi @Robert

      None of this will be accepted if the the basic premise isn't accepted – that God exists. And you are talking, in the main, to people who proudly claim to accept nothing without proof (or maybe nothing extraordinary without extraordinary proof). As for me,

      Sola scriptura
      Sola fide
      Sola gratia
      Solo Christo
      Soli Deo Gloria

      November 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That's what it comes down to, Robert and Brad. Proof. What is wrong with asking for proof? Why do you think intellectual honesty is a bad thing?

      November 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Epimetheus

      Intellectual laziness? Religion is the lynchpin of intellectual laziness. It is where reason goes to die. How much more intellectually lazy can you be than to believe the pure and unadulterated–often untelligible–ramblings of the Bible? The religious foul and ruin this planet because they forsake it in search of some mythical, pie-in-the-sky heaven. If people want be religiously deluded, so be it, but they need to keep their insanity out of my government and life.

      November 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Brad

      tallulah13, I can't offer you proof that God exists. I don't believe anyone can. As Kierkegaard pointed out, an attempt at a posteriori justification of a transcendent God's existence would leave us waiting forever for a complete description of the proof.

      November 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And there's the problem, Brad. Why should a rational adult believe in a god that has no proof of existence? Why should a rational adult abdicate their common sense to an organization that claims (again without proof) to speak for this god. Why should any rational adult accept at face value a claim that if made about anything other than religion, would be scoffed at as a lie?

      November 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • VFD271

      God bless you, brother. The Bible will speak for itself and soon we will meet when our Lord returns. Stay strong against the wiles of the evil one and He who is faithful will see you through! Soldier on Brother!

      November 12, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  12. ne14fuun

    A nice piece by Penn Jilette.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-10-28/penn-jillette-ten-commandments/50978982/1

    November 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Brad

    As a non-atheist with indeterminate IQ I have no idea what terrifies an atheist.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • GodPot

      But as a non-atheist you must know what scares you more than anything, right? The fact that atheists might be right and all the excuses you made for the "imperfect" priests and pastors, the money you gave, the countless Sunday mornings you sacraficed, the stress you accepted by trying to meet a deities excpectation but always falling short and the people you discriminated against due to their lack of faith in your deity is what scares the crepe out of Christians.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you for your honest as.sessment, Brad. Personally I think it's foolish premise to begin with. Different things scare different people. It has very little to do with religion or lack thereof.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  14. Truth

    I don't believe in Athiests.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ironically, atheists are often atheists because they believe in truth. Not you, dear. The real truth.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  15. Brad

    As an atheist, what scares me the most is religion. an example might be George Bush invading Iraq because "god" told him to do it. / my IQ was 129 when tested at age 16, no idea what it is now, may have gone down for all i know, but i have to beleive that smarter people tend to be atheists, they have more critical thinking and tend not to rely on blind faith as much. > Just look at the REPUBS running for POTUS ! Most of them will outright LIE to get what they want, then they get so used to doing it, they beleive their own lies. Look at H. Cain, Rick Perry, Romney, Gingrich, Bachman.... i wouldnt trust a damn one of them to tell me the truth about anything... As an atheist, i dont beleive "god" will strike me down if i lie, or have no morals, but i do have to live with myself, i like to think i am a good person...

    November 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  16. DJL

    As an intelligent atheist/agnostic person (my IQ is over 130), I fear humans. The majority of them are stupid (the average IQ of my fellow Americans is only 100), lazy (the difficult thing to do and the correct thing to do are usually the same thing) and tend to fear mythological tyrants.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Dan

      I'm assuming you also like the smell of your own farts

      November 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Joseph Pujol (Google him)

      Backatcha Dan,

      Isaiah 16:11 King James Bible

      "Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab"

      November 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  17. J

    Atheists are afraid of death..there are no atheists in fox holes.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @J
      "there are no athists in foxholes"
      What a contemptible lie!

      November 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • BigJ

      @J: Google "military atheist." Also, the idea that belief in god is a stress response is a pretty good argument against the existence of god.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chaos

      "the idea that belief in god is a stress response is a pretty good argument against the existence of god."

      Your logic is impeccable.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Johnny

      I've seen a fox hole... really hard to fit in one. Probably on account of the foxes being small.

      By the way, good job on the original thought, bro.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Why is it that christians play fast and loose with that "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness" commandment? Do they think their god will high-five them and say "nice lie!" when they go to meet him?

      J, I'm not afraid of death. Sorry to disappoint. I don't want to die - it's a natural reaction. But were I in a situation where my life was in peril, I would be more inclined to be thinking about how I could get OUT of that situation than waiting for a fictional character to help me.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @J
      And how would you pass your Kobayashi Maru?
      Stopping to pray isn't in the StarFleet manual.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      What a ridiculous thing to say. been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Still an atheist.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  18. PhobiAtheists

    Atheists terrify themselves.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      That was an amazingly lame comment. Did you think of it all by yourself?

      November 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  19. SoJax

    Like John Landis, I am also an Athiest. Like him, people scare me more than anything. I remember the original Halloween movie keeping me awake for a couple of nights because it was a human that was doing awful things. The movie reminded me of the news so it was much too real. The Exorcist was creepy, but didn't even come close to Halloween for me. Jeffry Dahmer turned out to be a real life version of Hannibal Lechter. That was scary! BTW, those of you that believe in God, thats your faith. As long as you don't try to push it on me, I respect your faith. All I ask is the same in return.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • fred

      "As long as you don't try to push it on me, I respect your faith"
      I get it ! The Bible says we are to go out to all the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ so all my be saved and come to the glory of God. You will respect my faith as long as I intenionally disregard it. But, if I do that neither of us will get to heaven. Huuuummmmm your confusing me. If one of us is right to begin with our odds are 50 / 50 that someone goes to heaven verses a zero probability if I follow your advice. Do the math

      November 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • GodPot

      Well fred, you are wrong again. But only because the truth is that if you don't follow my instruction to stand up as you are reading this, pat yourself on the stomach three times while jumping on one foot, you will never get into a little place I like to call "Hevin" which will be way cooler than your "Heaven" so if I am right you have a chance of getting into Hevin where it's really happening, but only if you followed my instructions above, and come on, do you really want to take the chance I'm wrong? ...

      November 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • J.W

      Is that the same fred? That didn't sound like something you would say.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      J.W., I believe that there is a fake fred afoot.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • J.W

      I wish people wouldn't feel the need to come into what should be a serious discussion and do something so childish as to steal other peoples names

      November 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No kidding, J.W.

      Even if I disagree with what a person is saying, that person has the right to say it and have their own words be considered in the context of their other statements. Those who steal the names of others are tiresome children with nothing to say for themselves.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      JUST KIDDING! LOL!

      November 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  20. hippypoet

    i believe we atheists fear one thing in general – the effects of yesterday. We take responiblity for our actions and know that it was us making the choices and living the outcomes of said choice... its the nuts that claim divine intervention if it was good, if it was bad – it was the devil, or just the devil's influence. Here is my conclusion – this makes all atheists, in the most basic foundamental state of actions, better humans for we understand what we are really doing and the possible effects it may have on others.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • hippypoet

      By this logic – it also states that religious nuts are nothing but tools of society, they have been given the slack of its ok, now they hung themselves with gods will/divine plan – equals in religious eyes – can do no wrong or just repent for the act later on and its still ok!

      There is your answer to what terrifies an atheist... if any other non believer would like to add or change something i have said, by all means....but i think i hit the nail on the head!

      November 11, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Brad

      "Atheist" is not synonymous with "moralist". Understanding what you are really doing and the possible effects it may have on others doesn't mean that you might not choose to do something that is harmful to others.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      On the other side of the coin, history proves that religion isn't an effective deterrent to harmful behavior, either.

      In my opinion, you stand a better chance of not harming others if you consider what you are doing, instead of following blindly what you are told. So many christians refuse to look beyond what their leaders tell them, and that kind of slavish behavior leads to all sorts of tragedy.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Brad

      @tallulah13

      True indeed – the problem is following blindly the dictates of people who have been given authority. All such people deserve the closest scrutiny. They should always be held to the highest standards. They should always be the first to be held to account when what they teach and say brings about harm to others.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Brad, those that do wrong should be held accountable, no matter if they believe in a god or not. We are all responsible for our own actions. However, feel free to point out the hypocrisy of those who claim to have been given authority. Religious people have not been given authority. They simply have claimed it for themselves by mob rule.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:57 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.