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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. Lance

    Physicists will tell you (as a fact) that there are multiple dimesions beyond the 3 physical ones and time.

    Physicists will also tell you that two particles can be linked and effect one another BUT the two particles need not be next to each other. They can seperated from each other by literally light years of distance and STILL be able to effect each other immediately and physicists still can't figure it out yet.

    The question is NOT whether there are other dimensions and the ability to effect things (at least at molecular level) without regard to space and time (given effects at distance regardless of the supposed speed of light limit), this is fact. The real question is whether an intelligence (God, aliens, spirits) could have the ability to manipulate these things and operate in a way we would label "supernatural".

    November 18, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  2. Mike

    As an atheist, what I fear most is werewolves with freaking laser beams on their heads. Either that or an alien invasion, because logically humanity stands no chance. Then again, if the aliens are just coming to cull the population to a more maneagable size, then I welcome our alien overlords.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  3. Splinter48708

    [Dons flame resistant suit]

    Here's what terrifies an atheist, folks. They are on the hospital table and as they die, they hear a voice saying "ARISE" and are greeted by an angel who takes them upstairs.

    Then, they are brought before the very God that they denied the existence of until their dying breath. their life is displayed for him to see as well as others. The person realizes with a final clarity that the being he denied is about to deny them entrance into Heaven or Paradise. The movie ends and the voice from the Throne asks one question: "Is [his/her] name written in the Book of Life." Another angel will say, "No, Lord. It is not."

    Then, an eternal sentence is pronounced...and the person gets a one way ticket to a very hot place.

    This is what they should fear...

    OK, go ahead and flame me, if you desire to...:P

    November 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Joseph

      Let's play "devil's advocate" (no pun intended) for a minute and assume some truth to this spiritual belief you Christians claim. I have a few questions that I'd like any Christian to feel free to answer.

      1. If God is merciful and loving, why would he condemn us to an ETERNITY of hell for a few years of disbelief? (To put this in perspective, imagine a court system that sentenced you to 90 years imprisonment for jay walking – would you call that court merciful?)

      2. If God created us; to include our curiosity and desire to understand the world around us, why does he expect us to believe something with 100% certainty based on 0 facts?

      3. If God created everything, doesn't this mean he created sin, the devil, and generally everything which is evil in the world?

      4. How is it that every time science and religion clash (historically speaking), eventually religion has the give way to science and never the other way around?

      5. If Christians are right, how do you explain every other religion in the world? And for that matter, Catholics or various denominations amongst Protestants? And if they are all wrong, and the only interpretation that is right is yours, does this mean your interpretation is also wrong when they use the same argument?

      I await your answers eagerly.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • God2

      No, that's what terrifies a believer.

      Atheists don't believe that stuff. If it were to happen, it would be a complete surprise, thus – no prior knowledge, no prior fear. Probably some mad confusion in the instant and then a significant amount of disgruntlement. (Because obviously it wouldn't make any sense as reasonable jurisprudence – see the other comment.)

      But that's a purely logical argument and poorly suited to the religious. Here's a better nugget:

      Atheists are afraid of having themselves or their children gunned down by a self-righteous religious wacko who thinks the voices in his head come from a divine source. Religious people have been known to blow themselves up to kill heathens, or van bombs, or jet aircraft, or lots and lots of IEDs and guns. Religious people are SCARY.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Danno

      Why would I fear something that you just completely made up?

      November 18, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Amon RA

      Splinter:

      When the dead are judged, it is the feather of the goddess Ma'at that their hearts will be weighed against. If hearts of the deceased are as "light as a feather", they will be granted eternal life in the Duat. If their hearts do not "measure up", the soul of the deceased will be consumed by Ammut. This judgement occurs in the "Hall of the Two Truths", Maaty.

      This is what you should fear....

      November 18, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Lifz

      @Joseph

      1. God is merciful and loving, but He's also just. He allots a lifetime to afford you the chance to find your way to Him, with overwhelming evidence in nature and everything around us point us to our creator. He even came to earth to tip the scales! He presents The Bible as written word for further help. If you knew the punishment for jay walking regardless of how merciful or not it seemed to you, and decided to do it anyway, it's hard to sympathize with the decision to go forth with it. Wouldn't it be safer to just not jay walk? Consider this point: if atheist are right, Christians have nothing to lose, if Christians are right, atheists have everything to lose.

      2. Because He created us with a free will, not to be robots that mechanically worship Him. He wants us to choose to love Him.

      3. Again, free will in play, evil made its way into the world by selfish choices. God created free will, that free will chose sin. As sad as it makes Him, he allows us to choose sin just as freely as he allows (longs) for us to choose Him.

      4. That statement is as flawed as it is broad - look up apologetics. Christians (real Christ-followers) don't look at it as much as religion vs science as they do faith in the supernatural. Further, sometimes miracles happen that science just can't explain!

      5. This is an extremely tough question but one which requires a one word answer: faith. Yes, I understand followers of other various religions have just as much faith as a Christian. My faith and my personal relationship with my Savior sits in my very core and I just know, with a shadow of doubt, that God is real, living, all-powerful, and LONGING for our choosing Him. It's something that needs to be experienced, and not something that can be proven scientifically - hence the many verses in The Bible about faith. That is, and always will be a key stumbling block that non-believers will stub their toes on. One cannot be a believer, by definition, without faith.

      I appreciate your non-derisive approach, even if you stand firm on your non-belief. Many just want to argue rather than dialogue and it's nice to meet someone who has some serious tough questions with which to start a conversation rather than demean that which he does not agree with.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Mirosal

      I don't buy your little take on "free will". In religious circles, you talk about it, but it doesn't exist. If you do what this "god" wants, you get paradise. If you don't, you get an eternity of suffering. That's not free will, that's coercion. "do what I say or else..." Just how many "leaders" have said that and enforced that throughout history? On point number one ... you said "overwhelming evidence in nature"> Ok then, spell this evidence out, in detail please. and #3 .. faith in the "supernatural" ... ummm.. this is the 21st century, not 17th century Salem. Just that statement alone would have people scoff at you. So according to you, the supernatural exists?? There's a $1 million CASH prize from the JREF if you can back that up with solid empirical evidence. But then again, religion and evidence are opposite ends of the spectrum. Look into history, and see just how churches reacted when legitimate science contra-dic-ted what was taught by the church. Before you start, you should know I spent over a decade trapped inside a religious education. I know what your little book says, and it is neither a history nor a science text. Just because your book says that the book is true, does not make it so.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • Lifz

      Hmm, I think my last comment was too long, I'll try again.

      November 18, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • TXJim

      @Lifz... well said.. But let me expand a little on #4 from Joseph.

      Joseph said:
      4. How is it that every time science and religion clash (historically speaking), eventually religion has the give way to science and never the other way around?

      Not true Joseph. Science frequently gives way to religion. How many times have doctors said: "You only have x months or years to live. The person goes on to live for 3 or 4 or more times that long. God is the giver and sustainer of life, and until he is ready to stop giving anyone life, that person will live.

      The science/religion debates are laughable at best because scientists don't really know. Their standards they come up with to prove things that happen aren't measurable and they are agreed estimates of what has happened in the past or what will happen. What we call supernatural is just God's way of doing his work, we have tried to come up with a scientific explanation of God's work to help us understand what happened.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • HellBent

      "You only have x months or years to live. The person goes on to live for 3 or 4 or more times that long. God is the giver and sustainer of life, and until he is ready to stop giving anyone life, that person will live."

      That's your evidence of science bending to religion?!? HA. Here's a clue – medicine, especially predictions based off of incomplete knowledge – isn't exact. No divine intervention is required for doctors to guess wrong. Do you also think science bends to religion when the weatherman says it will snow and it doesn't?

      Here's why religion needs to bend – because science is actually based on evidence rather than myths. While it may be hard to understand, our knowledge of the world has actually evolved over the last several thousand years so many of the ancient understandings of the way the world works – and written into religious text – are obviously and verifiably wrong.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • tallulah13

      No, I won't flame you. I'll simply ask you for proof.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Chuckles

      The greatest thing that saddens me about Lift and TXJim's posts are that they see incongruities and insert their own opinions as facts in order to complete the circle.

      To use free will as a tool to explain both why evil exists (not Satan mind you, who exists separate from our will) AND why we must use it in order to be "good" is just so sad to me. You first do not see the inherint evil in eternal suffering for a minor transgression (namely disbelief), add on top of that your willing acceptance for a life sentence in prison for jaywalking (with the analogy given), well lets just say I was blown away.

      You say evil exists because god gave us free will, but most of the evil that occurs (disease, natural disasters, etc....) has nothing to do with humanities collective will, it's just nature.

      Lastly, and this is the part that makes me cry out in pain when I read it, Tim's denial about how science vs. religion works. First and foremost Tim, when a doctor gives an estimated time for a person to live, its not finite, it's based off of experience keeping in mind most people generally follow the rule but not all. When a person lives longer than the estimated time the doctor gives, it doesn't mean that "science" is wrong or religion, by default, is right. It means the doctor miscalculated, your story has nothing to do with either science or faith and was an egregious use of the red herring fallacy.

      Furthermore, either you don't understand scientific method or refuse to accept it, either way, just because you don't understand it, again, does not mean that god makes sense and takes its place by default.

      The only true statement you made is that the whole science vs. religion debate is laughable. Religious insti.tutions make grandiose and false claimes about historical events or "miracles" that aren't miracles at all, science has been able to wrap each one up as false, hoax or true but because of natural laws that have no need of a diety.

      If you want to have faith that there is a god, he's the one from the bible, he's a christian god and he's specifically your sect of christianity, fine, go ahead, have a grand ole time. However, all I ask is that you don't let this faith interfere with national politics or scientific method, in the end it hurts everyone and helps no one. Religion mixed with politics or muddling up science is, for these atheist anyway, one of the most terrifying things of all.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      You said” don't let this faith interfere with national politics or scientific method, in the end it hurts everyone and helps no one”
      -There must always be a counter balance. Just as the politics of Iran is off balance because it is consumed by religion so to would our country become off balance if we were a complete godless nation. You may think that sounds good but history shows it never is. God was no dummy that is why he put two trees in the garden, that is why your Ishmal and Isaac duke it out to this very day. Look around you and nature confirms balance requires opposite forces. So go hug a Christian today.
      You said ”You first do not see the inherint evil in eternal suffering for a minor transgression”.
      -This thought is inconsistent with the Bible. Jesus will judge with perfect justice. Further Christians are told not to judge since we do not have the capacity. If nothing else simply look to the last two criminals hanging by Jesus – it does not take much to get into paradise while no comment was made about the other criminal who mocked to his dying breath. Eternal fires are reserved for satan and his demons. Other eternities are based on what a person did with what they were given. Is Adam in hell, we are not told but what we know is God himself made a blood offering. God made the first kill in the garden and covered the sin of Adam and Eve. Yes, this pointed to the cross but it was also a statement that God will make atonement.

      November 18, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  4. Dave - Grand Rapids

    What apparently really terrifies this Landis guy is honesty and humility. Claiming that God does not exist (something he cannot possibly know for certain) appears to be his own personal statement of faith. What hubris! Who should we be most terrified of – those who are afraid of others who have religious beliefs or those who are so philosophically inept that they claim to be irreligious while all the while spouting some of the most intolerant dogma you'll hear in our times. Landis represents a religious system (set of beliefs, usually shared by a group, and adhered to with conviction) which he cannot even comprehend, and which appears to be heavily pushing a certain agenda. Don't worry about evangelicals – worry about this crowd which Landis represents.
    As an evangelical Christian, I would be condemned for saying I was terrified of Muslims (as some have been). But this guy gets to say effectively the same thing – and he'll be considered a hero for it. Hubris meets duplicity. Good luck with that.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Seth Pascal

      by calling yourself an evangelical christian, you have already displayed your own hubris.

      They call it "faith" because it's not "knowledge"

      November 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • YSNR

      May you be touched by the FSM's noodly appendage and know the truth. Pasta be upon Him. Ramen.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • God2

      Any particular doctrine's views on the supernatural (Christianity of any sort, for instance,) is wholly unsupported by any factual evidence.

      And you seem to miss the whole point of Atheism. "A" (latin root = no, or not) – "theism" (doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe).

      Atheists don't claim to know everything or everything – that's retarded – nor does Atheism connote a positive theory of the impossibility of the supernatural. It's just an affirmation that yes, indeed, there's no evidence to demonstrate any of the wild claims of all these silly religions. All of them. Especially yours, if you're reading this and getting offended. Your God is no more real to me than Zeus or Odin.

      Atheism is a categorical dismissal of your claims to know something about a deity, but it doesn't have anything to do with any of the traditional cultural values inculcated alongside those crazy religious notions. Those values are also wholly secular, and the Theist doesn't have any claim over them.

      November 18, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Chris

      Thought for the day:
      Atheists have never attacked or harmed others based on their -lack- of belief.

      Religious folks,on the other hand...just sayin'.

      November 18, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey, Dave? So using logic and observable science is egotistical? Then what do you call the belief that you're so special that the supernatural creator of the universe has made a perfect place for you to live forever, if only you tell him you like him best?

      November 18, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Brad

      @God2 "Those values are also wholly secular, and the Theist doesn't have any claim over them." No, we don't lay claims over values that are wholly secular. We wonder if the non-theists' moral values are entirely situational and contrived. We are relieved when they resemble our own, but wonder if that could change at any time. AtheistSteve recently said "I would have difficulty living with my decision after watching 5 men perish knowing I could have saved them by sacrificing just one." But why is that, and will it always be so?

      November 18, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  5. Bman

    If there is a God, he is the source of the Truth. So, our opinions and religions would be pretty unimportant at that point. So, those who believe in God should be less inclined to promote their beliefs. However, if you don't believe in god, then You are in charge. Since everyone else would also be in charge, they should be less inclindes to promote their beliefs. So, let's just make-up, hug, and live together already.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Seth Pascal

      we already are living together...

      can i still get that hug?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  6. Phil

    What scares this atheist (me)? Pool drains. I've been afraid of them as long as I can remember. I'm 38 and still scared.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • pockets

      What scares me? Having a man ( The President of the United States ) with his finger on a button, who believes in the supernatural, (god). That is incredibly frightening. Nothing is more frightening than that. Think about it. An invisible diety being constantly referred to, or prayed to, that does not exist. Scary indeed.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I hope their are several atheists around a believer prez to keep him (or her) from listening to his gods.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • cynner

      And I thought I was the only one....

      November 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • mike

      @pockets: So, what scares you is that someone who believes everyone on Earth was created for a reason, and who believes that all live is sacred, is given the power to choose whether or not to bring about the extinction of the human race. And this scares you more than it would if the person with the power over extinction was someone who believed that human life was an accident representible by the 0.000000000000000000000000001% chance that some chemicals could combine in just the right way, at just the right time, with just the right frequency to eventually give rise to sentience. Sure. That makes total sense. It definitely makes sense to give that power to someone who believes he has no stake in the future of humanity (past his own death) than to give it to someone who believes he's accountable to a higher power for his deeds in life.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Think Again

      mike, a person who thinks that he/she is sending these humans back to "God" and thinks that he is fulfilling some gobbledygo-ok "prophecy" is MUCH scarier, than one who thinks that ending these lives is the end, period/full stop.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • God2

      @ pockets

      I think it's safe. Obama strikes me as a closet atheist. He just seems like too nice a guy to be religious. And frankly, there's no way to get elected president without pretending to be some kind of christian.

      November 18, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  7. CrazyClergy

    Trouble with logic and reason is they can explain away anything, including our own existence. Problem with Christians is there are those that behave badly, problem with Science it can only study things in the now (Observation), problem with Atheism is morality is based on Judeo/Christian values. Wow, I guess it just shows that without the ability to value, respect and like people there just is no reason to exist! I guess that is why there are so many suicides! People have lost the ability to like each other!! Shows in comments of people who are supposed to be Americans and sound like verbal Taliban!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Trouble with logic and reason is they can explain away anything, including our own existence."
      That would be rationalizing, not scientific reasoning.
      "Problem with Christians is there are those that behave badly."
      The problem with Christians is that they accept preposterous notions without questioning. This is called 'faith' and they believe it to be a virtue.
      "problem with Science it can only study things in the now (Observation)"
      Things in the now can provide a window to the past (fossils) and/or a glimpse into probable futures by extrapolating trends.
      "problem with Atheism is morality is based on Judeo/Christian values."
      Morality is based on a convenant humans make with each other to live in communities. It is why morality has existed in varying forms since well before the Abrahamics came to play.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • DK

      You (as well as most people) don't understand exactly how a computer works, yet you still use one everyday and rely on it. Someday man may be able to explain the origin of our Universe without "God" playing a role. All amazing things we didn't understand at one point were viewed as magic or a miracle. It's just a matter of time before our existence and universe can be explained.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Dale Netherton, Farmington, Iowa

    The fear God tactic is what is supposed to keep the believers in line. Atheists don't have to contend with that which doesn't exist and therefore are only terrified of that which creates a rational fear. What religionists fear and are terrified of is that the nonsense that have been chanting for most of their life is really nothing more than myths and they've wasted their lives swallowing them. If a religionist had to stand on their own with only their own mind to justify what they have been accepting as common belief they would be terrified if they thought all around them rejected what they thought was believed by all.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Byakuren

      No one, as far as my family and close friends go, are motivated by fear. We do good because it is the right thing to do, not because we are under threats.

      I live under the conviction that truth, justice, charity and all the good stuff is what Heaven is made of, so to speak.

      November 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Bill

      We dont believe because of fear we do because of love. Only non believers think it is fear because you donot understand.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  9. olympia

    There are very few things in life that are irrefutable. Science is often consider irrefutable, and then new findings arise.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Que?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • J.W

      Hay muy pocas cosas en la vida que son irrefutables. Ciencia a menudo se consideran irrefutables, y, a continuación, surgen nuevos descubrimientos.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Chuckles

      No hablo espanol

      November 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Odd, I always thought one of the hallmarks of scientific theories was falsifiability.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Gumby

      No one considers science "irrefutable". That's just a strawman dishonest Christian fundies like to use when they attack science for what it does best – revising its theories as we get new and better information. They attack science for adapting to new information, while they claim a moldy old book is perfect and contains no errors. LOL.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Myths

      Nonimus, you are incorrect. It is indeed understood as a sphere, an idea that is reinforced in many early images of the earth in Christian churches. A good example is the apse mosaic of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy (ca. 546 CE).

      November 17, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Get Real

      Myths,

      The ancient Hebrews were great storytellers, but they sucked at art (I guess *all* images were considered graven), so we do not have any representations about what they thought about the earth's shape.

      The Greeks and Romans espoused a spherical Earth long before the 500 CE date of your apse, so it is not unusual that their artists would have picked it up.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  10. SomeGuyInNC

    It's funny. I used to consider myself agnostic, but I recently came out of the closet as an atheist. For two reasons: One, there is no reason to believe in the existence of a supreme being until irrefutable evidence of that existence arrives – and, being a person, I can always change my mind once such evidence is presented. Two, I don't need (nor does anyone else) a god to be a moral or ethical person. There is no value added by having a god in my life, so it may as well not exist.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Gumby

      Good for you! Reason is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

      November 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Myths

      Very rationalist of you. But of course, the real cosmos is one step beyond human human logic.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  11. tensai13

    I think we should look for answers in the theory of evolution as to why it is that humanity is infllicted with magical thinking to such an extent that even brilliant people cannot escape the trap of religious delusion. Professor Richard Dawkins has put forward one interesting hypotheses which illustrates the advantages of gullibillity for the survival of human children in a dangerous environment in our earlier evolutionary history. That is – if your mother told you not to swim in the lake because a monster lived at the bottom and would eat you – a doubting child would win the Darwin Award very quickly.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Chris

      While I agree with that,wouldn't it be predicated on 'mother' knowing WTH she was talking about from the start? That's the main issue I have with religion(s)- God said this-and-that...because,um, Joe the Plumber in Ohio said so! Yeah,that's it!

      Really? When people say stuff like that,I'm thinking "why don't you go OccupyYourLocalUnemplymentOffice" or something? lol

      November 18, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  12. tensai13

    Jesus save me, from your followers! – about sums it up.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  13. 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. 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!

    but i am also afraid of heights and spiders.. ohhh needles too! not so much death, i have no problem with death! i accecpt death as freely as i accecpt life – for its part of it, one who thinks they are accecpting of life but not death has much to learn!

    November 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • the_truth_speaks

      There you go again Hippo: can do no wrong or just repent for the act later on and its still ok!

      The truth is its not OK! Christians do fall to sin and wrong doing but the aim is to master sin and wrong doing. To reach to a place when you are able to overcome it. Sin is mastered by following Christ Jesus who was the perfect example of a man not overcome by sin. Christians do not repent like you spend money (blindly). Repentance is done with acknowledgment and commitment to overcome sin, through Christ Jesus (following his teachings) every step of the way. It is not ok to sin, buddy. And repentance is no advocate of sin.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • hippypoet

      once again, can you prove that jesus was what he claimed to be... or did anything besides die like a few thousand others did! if you can not, then your whole statement smells like jesus did after the stabbing, sh!t.... unless he didn't eat at the last supper, just got drunk on his own blood, which is just nasty!

      November 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • J.W

      Trust in God. He will save you from heights, spiders, and needles. You might as well just go live on top of the empire state building, and buy a tarantula as a pet. It is probably good that you are afraid of needles though, so you wont shoot up.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i am sorry J.W but i don't believe there is a god of any kind... if there was a god, why would such a so called all powerful being allow for the treatment of its creation by its creation... the argument of free will is an old and tired one... if the existence was true and the laws put in place to honor such a creature were equally upheld by god then i would have been punished a long long time ago and so would have the majority of people...believer or not! I see nothing in this world that requires a god figure nor anything that would show one has ever existed.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • J.W

      But it has been said on these blogs that there are people of different beliefs who are all moral people. I don't think that God needs to punish people who are moral just for not believing in him. As far as there being free will, in my opinion we do have free will. I personally would not want God to use me as some sort of puppet.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i don't mean being punished becuase i don't believe but because i take his name in vain all the time, i lie, i have stolen, gambled, cheated, i have done everything on the list of things not to do, all but kill... i am saving that for a rainy day... and as far as free will, i have heard you religious folks say that god has a plan for us all... ok so a divine plan AND free will... so we have the power to say yes or no but our overall destiny is set in stone? And if god knows all, then how can the evils of this world exist alongside gods existence? How can people committ these things and not end up like that of the city of Sodom? It doesn't add up. If there is a god, please tell me what the people of Indonesia did to deserve there fate? Please tell me, because without god, things make sense, with god – all i see is a child who just so happens to be god while also being a complete di-ck with a magnifieing gl@ss in his hand... we are the ants – now is that something worth worshipping?

      November 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • J.W

      We all do things that are wrong at time, although I don't really agree that gambling is wrong, unless you constantly lose all your money and can't feed your family. I think that most people are good people, we just have different ideas on how to do things. I think that there are some people who are truly evil, whose entire mission is to use and take advantage of other people. As far as why they can continue to do things that they do, I am not sure about that. As far as God planning out our life I have never believed in that really. Even throughout the Bible free will seems to exist. It does not really seem to support predestination as far as what I see.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      so you J.W believe that god controlled the wave that killed nearly half a million people who did nothing, ever, just lived on a coastline... you believe in a god that kills without cause or reason? you believe in a god that does these things and will hold you accountable for all your lifes wrong-doings when you die... if free will is a "gift" from god then i say we ask that freak psycopathic killer why, why the fuk do you do the things you do and yet hold us to a fine point of right/wrong.... do you think thats over the top? i am sry... i may given the chance if god is real and i find myself infront of that creature of low standings i may just go ahead and attempt an @ss@ssination – it would be worth it... just like i would have to Bush when he was pres because all the things that IS hes fault and then made them worse, left it to Obama and then LETS the people blame Obama for his fukups! sounds kinda parallel to me! if god created us, then all this evil is his fault, and yet no blame on him for that – "cause we have free will".. if we are the creation of the creator, then it falls to the creator when something goes arye! So again, if god exists, then its nothing more then a child with a magnifieing gl@ss and he is a complete di-ck!

      November 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • J.W

      I have never really agreed with the concept of a literal hell. I think that the references to hell are talking about the practice that was once used of sacrificing humans by burning them, and if we were evil we might suffer the same fate as those human sacrifices

      November 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • hippypoet

      J.W , you did a good job at not answering the main part of my questions... do you believe your god caused the wave that killed nearly half a million innocent people.... or how about your god allowing the genocide that takes place west africa every other day! this is your god's will, so if that creature of spite truly does exist, i will gladly go to hell just to not see that monsters face, i may spit on it if i ever saw it!

      November 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • J.W

      By wave do you mean the great flood of the OT? I do not think that God necessarily causes all the bad things in the world that happens. I think some people just are evil, and that is the cause of much of the injustice in the world. I do not think that that is God's will. It is the will of humans so it is just what happens. I suppose God could take control of every human and use them as his puppets, but would that be any better?

      November 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Bill

      @the truth speaks ...... AMEN!! very well said!

      November 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • hippypoet

      the tsunami a few years ago.. not the great flood.LOL wow, i didn't think that was going to come up. you again avoided the horror in africa, do you really believe that a just god would allow for such actions against those that are devout...mass genecide like every other 2 days!!!... you can claim free will and by so cover all of the human actions done to the world but how can say that god is real and controls nature when nature has killed more purely innocent lives then anything in history ever... if god was just and comp@ssinate why send the wave that killed 300 thousand, why create the plague that killed nearly 75 million in the middle ages when nearly everyone was a VERY devout believer.... WHY????? if god exists, i say again, it is nothing more the a complete di-ck with enjoys watching his creation suffer and the irony is the believers claim it is god that made them suffer and then believe more then before as a precaution to the next suffering.... thats insanity! thats ignorance of the true cause and reason which only ends up driving the believer further into the delusions that it has been plagued with and suffers currently! its sick, it is the cancer to society and the cure is knowledge! the more to know this to be true the safer the world will be. Inshort, there is no god, or one worth worshipping!

      November 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  14. the_truth_speaks

    Does evil exist in this world?

    November 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Get Real

      Sh!t Happens. People do harmful things. If that's what you call "evil", then yes. If, however, you are positing some kind of supernatural ent-ity, then no, there is no evidence of this.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • the_truth_speaks

      Ok get real! I like the fact that you agree that evil is nothing good for mankind. And that It doesn't show love.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Of course. But the conscious decision to harm others does not exist as some supernatural force. It exists in the minds of human beings. The devil didn't cause the Holocaust or 9/11, Hitler and Bin Laden did.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Ray Martinez

      You're an idiot.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Ray Martinez

      Just to be clear – I meant that The_truth_speaks is an idiot. So lame. Arguments that make no sense. Believing in fairy tales. What the hell is the matter with you? I have seen a Pink Unicorn – in my backyard. He talks to me – tells me he is the only Pink Unicorn. Prove it isn't true. That way I can use your argument against your wild ass beliefs in a way that you can understand.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  15. Tadatadah

    I liken non-atheists to the little people in the locker in the train staion in the movie ' Men in Black '. They would immediately begin worshipping whoever opened the locker once they found out their name, without knowing anything else about them.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  16. Juan Youseff Etuhu , Atheist

    Samuelv 15:3 "The Lord Almighty says, "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

    November 16, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Vernon Episcopalian

      Quoting snippets of scripture without any context, historical or otherwise, is a favorite tactic of some Christian fundamentalists. You have more in common with them than you may realize.

      November 16, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • God

      in what context can you put that verse to make it ok?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • stardust

      The scary thing about that is that there are people who actually believe that an extra-universal alien who'd command humans to slaughter children and commit genocide against another people is worthy of adoration and our allegience. Such irrational and unethical thinking puts us all at risk.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • todd in DC

      Not the cattle! Some of my best friends are cattle. Cattle and I have an emotional bond unlike any other.

      Please spare the cattle!

      November 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Conky2012

      You can never put that into a context that will be good, because it is an evil verse. It is hilarious to be alive in 2012 and believe that the bible is the true word of god. Hilarious and primitive. A Christian will argue to no end, without even making a real point, just because they were raised into believing in Christ to the point where non believers become frustrating. Sadly, whenever the public actually gets real knowledge on whats going on in space, this religion will mosty likely fade out.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      No. The cattle, too.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • fred

      We serve a living God that spoke the universe into existence. We serve a living God that speaks to us through his Divine Word. We serve a living God that spoke to us through his only begotten Son Jesus. This God has done so we may have life and live it in the fullness of his glory.
      What is remarkably striking is this contrasts with the absolute and impersonal “first cause” of the philosophers and evolutionists those atheists cling to which is the product of early Greek antiquity. Talk about old outdated thinking you attack the Bible then cling to your gods. How is it you cannot see the contrast between light and darkness, life and death?
      You would cling to this philosophy of the Greek society founded upon pederasty as if it were your bible. How enlightened we are and how we express ourselves by terms like “first cause” as the force of creation. This god is silent and cannot speak (a man made idol). This god is unknown and the Greeks even have a monument dedicated to the unknown god. This god cannot explain why you were created or your purpose. This god claims nothingness as the foundation of life and nothingness as the end result of creation. This darkness is embraced by atheists as believers embrace the light of life. Contrast so great yet meaningless to those who themselves embrace the philosophy of death while rejecting the living God displayed throughout all creation over all know time. Nowhere in this universe can a man go without witnessing the wonder and awe of creation that hangs on a thread in a cold dark vacuum. The first astronauts looking upon the earth quoted Scripture as from that perspective we get a glimpse of God. How enlightening had they quoted from the bible of the atheist when the power went out on Apollo. Cold empty nothingness all around me so it was in the beginning and so it will be for all time.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • the_truth_speaks

      Juan,

      What would the world be like if the Hitler had conquered it?

      November 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Alsayr

      That has to do with the Fallen Angel/Nephilim/Hybrid issue. God didn't destroy the world because of men. He did it because in Genesis 6 the giants; who were from fallen angels mating with earth women. He destroyed the world because of this. Dame issue with these folks, bad DNA line that had to be removed, they were destroying God's creation. You would find most of the answers in the book of Enoch; had it not been ripped out, by the Catholic Church. Google, booke of Enoch, your answers are there.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  17. Dustin

    If God does truly exist, I would almost certainly assume his motto is more "be excellent to each other," and live life morally right, than this current system (imposed by MAN), which uses fear as it's primary method for instilling belief. I mean come on, what would Jesus do?

    Certainly not oppress people for their beliefs.

    November 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  18. anon

    to SFBaysailor: The loch ness monster, UFO's, yeti and Chupacabra should not be discounted. Why is it so unbelievable that they exist. If you are an atheist, then the possibility of UFO's is that much more tangible, isn't it? These things have had enough evidence presented and eye witness accounts along with photography to safely make the assumption that there is indeed something to it.

    Do any of you love your family? Prove it. And don't tell me you go to work and pay the mortgage because anyone can and does that all the time.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Right Thinker

      To anon:

      No true Christian would acknowledge these blasphemous pagan falsehoods you cite as anything but the work of the devil. Shame on you for encouraging this nonsense. Pray for your soul and trust only in the word of the LORD!

      "My soul finds rest in God alone: My salvation comes from Him."
      – Psalms 62:1

      November 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • abc123

      Eyewitness accounts and photography do not make very good evidence. That's more hearsay than science.

      November 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Kevin

      "No true Christian"...

      No true Scotsman fallacy, look it up. The problem: There are 33,000 Christian denominations. Dozens of recognized versions of the Bible with hundreds of translations each, not all saying exactly the same thing. If you pose the same set of theological questions to 2,000,000 Christians you get roughly 2,000,000 unique answers. And the reason why is becuase the very concept of religion is plastic, moldable; we take what we want from it and discard the rest. So what is a true Christian? It's pretty much whatever you want it to be. So I can say with confidence that a true Christian would, in fact, acknowledge these "blasphemous pagan falsehoods". Any Christian that disagrees is too close minded, too indoctrination, too dogmatic to understand the very simple reason why... Truth, so far as religion is concerned, is in the eye of the beholder.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Joe T.

      as kevin so well puts it (despite the fact that chiding a religious person for a logical fallacy is like being angry that the rain is wet):

      "And the reason why is becuase the very concept of religion is plastic, moldable; we take what we want from it and discard the rest. ... Truth, so far as religion is concerned, is in the eye of the beholder."

      exactly – people pick and choose bits and pieces of whatever faiths, ideas or memes help them build the picture of their god in their minds, the parts that *feel right*; brick by brick they're just building a spiritual alter-ego of their own selves, we create god in their own image;

      Some of us just pick and chose none of it, discard it all, because, why bother? seeing our own reflection just in't that fascinating – theres a whole wide real world around us full of the amazing.. god would kinda dumb it down a little..

      November 16, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • chefdugan

      Anyone who attends church regularly and believes the bible is the word of God has already abrigated their right to speak since they have let other people do their thinking for them from the day they first entered a church. The are merely a herd of sheep, all blathering the same BS.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Right Thinker

      To Kevin:

      Horse manure! History is full of the proud and vainglorious who have twisted the words of the Almighty to suit their whims. Truth is in the eye of the beholder? Truth is in the eye of Almighty God and nowhere else. It is men who have "taken what they want" and "discarded the rest" that embark on religious crusades, and pogroms, and persecution of their neighbors, and who practice their pedophilic filth and perversion in the Houses of the Lord because their false idols of personal vaingloriousness tell them that everything they're doing is somehow acceptable, because they're doing "what they feel is right", instead of doing what they are told. When they pray for forgiveness, "surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it." – Job 35:13

      November 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "No true Christian would acknowledge these blasphemous pagan falsehoods"

      @Right Thinker – please google the No True Scottsman Fallacy. You just committed it.

      Also, don't you think your god should have been a little clearer in communicated what Absolute Truth actually was? Perhaps your deity isn't so powerful after all.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • the_truth_speaks

      Anon, I clearly see that you totally depend on this world's system for help and deliverance. When it fails as it is currently and you're cornered you, I'm sure the tought of God will cross your mind.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Gerry

    Your premise is that the existence of of "ghost" proves the existence of a "god"??????
    The is quite the quantum leap!!!
    (I don't expect you to "get" the"pun")

    November 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • anon

      Okay, well how then can ghosts exist (theoretically) but God NOT exist? How is this possible?

      November 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • todd in DC

      Anon, prove ghosts exist, then we can talk.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      This has got to be the dumbest conversation I have ever heard.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  20. anon

    There are right now literally millions of accounts of ghost sightings. Both historical accounts, and photographs have been taken. It stand to reason, or course that the vast majority of these are fake or the result of hallucination. I would like for one of the atheist "thinkers" on here to help me with a math problem since I have the gall to believe in God and am therefore not too bright: What is the mathematical probability that EACH AND EVERY one of these accounts, photographic and otherwise are fake? Remember now, we are talking about many accounts throughout the centuries, possibly millions. Including the ones unreported in history like things I've heard from friends throughout the years, and odd things I've seen myself.

    Do you people realize that it only takes one, ONE of ANY of these accounts to be true to prove your atheist no beliefs to be completely and totally WRONG? And I'm not even talking about all the other supernatural subjects out there some claim to have seen or experienced, ONLY the ghost accounts.

    If I were an atheist, I think I would be afraid of ghosts.

    November 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • What IF

      anon, "Do you people realize that it only takes one, ONE of ANY of these accounts to be true to prove your atheist no beliefs to be completely and totally WRONG?"

      Has one been proven to be true? Do tell. You will be famous. 🙂

      November 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • SFBaySailor

      Anon – at one time, millions of people believed that the earth was at the center of the universe. At one time millions of people believed that the sun was pulled in a chariot across the sky. How many thousands of UFO sightings do you think are reported each year? How about Yeti, the Lock Ness Monster, or the Chupacabra? If we follow your logical fallacy of argumentum ad numerum to its conclusion, these things must exist as well.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Matthew

      Let's make a dinstinction between fake and induced hallucination. Then we'll talk. There is credible evidence that suggests that a lot of ghost sitings can be explained using infrasound-sound that is too low to be heard, but can be felt. The human eye vibrates at 18 hz or so, and so if you get infrasound at that tone, it is possible to induce hallucinations.

      It stands to reason then that some ghost sitings were not faked, but rather a result of hallucinations. Drugs can cause these, as well as infrasound, as stated. The chance that every one of the reported sightings is fake-probably somewhere near a billion to one. (give or take a few encounters). The chance that some are fake and some are actual hallucinations induced by environmental factors that can (or cannot) be determined by science at this time-a lot higher.

      It does take only one encounter to prove someone wrong you are correct. But the burden of proof is on you, not us. You made the claim that ghosts exists, I didn't. Now prove it.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • anon

      Yes folks believed these things about the Earth, and the sun and chariots. I understand that as we moved out into space and actually SAW the shape of the Earth and how it rotated that these beliefs changed. But how does science disprove God simply because we are able to record the age of objects, or see down into the miscroscopic level and simply have better understand of their function?

      Incidentally, the bible does speak of the Earth being a sphere in several passages. I haven't bothered putting them on here since I figured few had bibles, or the desire to so much as look at one, but if you would like, I can go ahead and do that.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • i wonder

      anon,
      "how does science disprove God..."

      I know that hearing, "We don't know (yet)" is not a very satisfying answer, but that's the way it is. Until and unless we do have proof for something, the fall-back / default position on this (or any) matter is NOT that it IS true, until further notice.

      When we make up an hypothesis for something, we sort of have to *pretend* that it is true in order to investigate and amass facts. We must be very careful not to get so caught up in that hypothetical state that we take action as if it really is true.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Jillicentix

      wait, what do ghosts have to do with god? Because they are both supernatural? So are vampires, technically. Are you saying that if ghost and god exist, then so do vampires? werewolves, loch ness mosters, and aliens all exist because one of them might exist? that's silly.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @anon,
      "...the bible does speak of the Earth being a sphere in several passages."
      If I remember correctly, it is described as a circle, not a sphere.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      There have also been tons accounts of alien abductions and mermaids. This does not mean they are true – it means that those who believe in them are likely very gullible.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bill

      You want proof? study what happen at Fatima and not the cute hollywood version. over 70k people witnessed the miracle of the sun dance and some of the people that witness it were hundreds of miles from the area. Some of you need to open your hearts not your minds. Go to these places where the Holy Mother of God has appeared go as a skeptic that is fine but just go. For one thing is true for those who believe in God no proof is needed for those who don't no proof will suffice. But one thing I do know is that when people are alive those who are non believers go through as you are now buy on your death bed it is hard to be an atheist.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • NHTK - 111

      When one finds himself in the hospital after a car accident, and he sees himself laying there, with all hospital personel trying to revive his lifeless body, and when hears them talking, calling each other by names, and when he is revived, he can tell all what as done to him, knowing each one of their names, because he was out of his body, and seen it all... When he tells all things that happened to him while he was out off his body, and the journey his soul took,, you'll have no problem to be convinced that this man is speaking the truth. But most of you here would still mock him and tell him he's delusional. But we know who is REALLY delusional, don't we, LOL!

      November 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Josh

      People are so Black and White about these things, Yes probability would say that "Ghosts, spirits, energies" exist. But since when does that mean an afterlife (it could) or a omnipresent being (god(s)) exist? There are many possibilities that could explain them (not skeptically), for example...they could be seeing into another universe, people could leave an "energy" when they die (a fingerprint if you will), it has also been shown (most are probably faked/ tall tales, but same logic applies) that a persons will/mind manifested these things. There are unlimited possibilities and you are all so blinded by the extremes. It's the same thing with many other legends/ tales like phoenixes for example are in dozens of ancient tales from across the word (Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian (American and Arab/middle eastern).

      November 18, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • NHTK - 111

      Josh,
      There are really no maybe's ... but if they are, they are only there for those who have not yet found.... There is only one truth about things we're talking here about.... There are no multiple choices...
      Seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened to you. Look into your own heart.... There are things imprinted on it, that if you let go of your own pride , and don't allow your intellect get in your own way, you'll begin to see...Man's pride inspired by his intellect, (which should be called puffed up knowledge instead), and his own abilities are his biggest stumbling blocks... There are things that no human being can understand by his/her own intellect itself. Those are things of heart and soul. If you ever loved, truly loved someone, so strongly that surpasses understanding , you will KNOW that this kind of love is eternal. See, that is something God gave us so we would recognize His work in our lives , and be drawn to him, to seek to know Him more... Just don't dull your heart, like some did, till they have caused d their own souls to 'flee' from them .
      GO to library and get some books of C S LEWIS to read them. This man knew all things many are struggling with today, but he did not shut his heart toward Lord Jesus Christ. He is blessed now forever in His presence. I hope you'll take to heart what I've written in this post....

      November 18, 2011 at 3:02 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.