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. Peter

    Atheism is not what sank the USSR. What sank the USSR is the bankruptcy of their centralized economic system, corruption, and the continued arms race with the United States. The arms race didn't help the US any either–our national debt quadrupled in the years from 1981-1993 and set us on the path we're on now.

    Imagine the USSR under Communism, but having the Russian Orthodox Church as a full, willing partner with Stalin. I don't see much difference.

    Ask Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin what Christianity has done for the advancement of science.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • rhymeskeema

      Then ask Mendel, Bacon, and Descartes.

      November 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Leni

      I'm talking about the moral, ethical and social decline of the USSR, not the financial, although a strong case could be made that their financial collapse is tied in with their thematic Atheism, just as Christianity set the standard for American prosperity. To reiterate my original post; Christian based societies are hands down the most, civilized, advanced and evolved ones in existence, while Atheism as an organizational principle for a society has proved disastrous.

      November 10, 2011 at 12:53 am |
  2. Lexagon

    The movie is "An American Werewolf in London." Way to vet your stories, "Editors".

    November 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Peter

      There was also a film called "An American Werewolf in Paris" in released 1997, which, although not directed by Landis, used characters created by Landis for the earlier film, so they're not *completely* wrong.

      November 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  3. Mike A

    It's been my experience that most so-called Christians' deep held beliefs are based on rote learning and nothing more. They have not read the entire bible, studied theology, or examined the origins of their religion. Atheists tend to be more educated, inquisitive, and skeptical.

    I started my life as a churchgoer, but never found a reason to become a Christian. I'm sure that most "Christians" would have been Muslims if their parents had been followers of that religion.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Leni

      But, Christianity is foundational to Western civilization. You don't have to be particularly religious to see that Christian based cultures are far and away the most fair, civilized and advanced in existence. Keep up with all this Post Modern relativism and see where it leads. The USSR after 7 decades of official atheism is a good modern example.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Peter

      In any case, the government should not be in the business of either promoting or banning religion.

      Politicians (just as anyone else) should be free to practice whatever religion they want (not limited to just any kind of Protestantism), although I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the first atheist president–we'll probably have a Muslim president first (no "Obama is secretly a Muslim" cracks here please).

      What politicians should *not* be doing is throwing around their religion to get votes, or, for that matter, pushing legislation that affects the entire population of heterogeneous faiths (or lack thereof) based on a narrow interpretation of their own personally held beliefs.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  4. ___.__

    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

    Christianity is based on a fear of death.

    November 8, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Mark A

      Religion is and has been the number one cause of war (see current events), death (the crusades anyone ?) unjust punishment (witch burning) and I could go on and on.. It seems that those not involved in religion dont end up in the history books too much because their views were not forced on others. Admitting you were a non-believer a few hundred years ago would get you burned, hung, maimed, etc. It is no wonder that Christianity is the number one religion. Its soldiers scared our ancestors with intimidation and death.

      Religion is the poison of the world and has caused more damage to human life than the black plague, Hitler, and all wars combined. Convert or die... Our ancestors had to consider this choice. A loving god would never allow that. Since there isnt one, it happened. Who knows what happens when we die. If it makes you feel better about life them believe what you want but DO NOT FORCE IT ON ME.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Leni

      I'm really scared for the US, floundering financially, politically and ethically, now there seems to be a concerted movement to throw out Christianity, THE key, foundational component of western civilization. Want to see what official, state sponsored atheism looks like, check out the USSR, after 70 years of it. We're watching the fall of the American Empire!

      November 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Leni

      @Mark A; If by religion you're referring to Judeo Christianity, you're dead wrong. Josef Stalin, Mao tse Tung, Pol Pot, to name just 3 famous atheists murdered hundreds of millions of their own people.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Leni, kid, learn the difference between communism and atheism before displaying your idiocy for all to see on a CNN comment board.

      Just a quick recap:
      Communism: State insi.tuted ideology to impose atheism in order to have the complete authority over the people. The men you have pointed out, although are avowed atheists are also communists and killed in the name of communism, not atheism

      Atheism: A rejection of religion and a disbelief in god. No one has killed in the name of atheism (Like I said above, the men you mentioned killed in the name of communism, which is different).

      Hopefully this helps!

      November 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • fred

      Interesting you would separate the belief of an atheist from the heart of a murderer yet not separate the belief of a Christian from the heart of a murderer. This is why Jesus focused on the heart of man, this is why the temple of God is in man’s heart in Christianity not the 4 walls of a temple as with the old Jewish thoughts.
      The Christian movement was not about getting larger numbers as you suggest from the Jewish population. The Christian movement was about the grace of God. We are saved by grace not by works. The chosen people looked forward to the promised land and the hope. They demanded a King like the other tribes had rather than God who was with them. Always looking to the outside never the heart. Perhaps it is hereditary as when Jesus came they were looking for a King, a man like David on the outside. Instead the king of the “Jews” as Pilate nailed above Christ’s head was all about the heart. You separate the heart of the murderer from the atheist but, Jesus says if you hate your brother in your heart you have committed murder. Jesus said if you lust in your heart you have committed adultery. Jesus says the mouth betrays the true heart of what is inside a man.

      Hitler, Stalin etc. revealed who they really were with their hate speak against the religious. Atheism is about what is inside a man. The heart and the man are not disconnected. Faith is not by works yet faith reveals its self through works. A man who builds his house upon the foundation of God has an everlasting foundation because God is everlasting. An atheist who builds his house on the foundation of man will only last as long as the man.

      So what’s with George Bush going to war, was that from his faith or something separate from George? Let’s see he asked for a day of prayer and fasting before America reacted to 911. Congress shut that down and atheists cheered. We will never know what would have been the results if America stopped for one day to ask God for help. This much for sure America would not be the same from that day forward as we made a choice man over God. There once was Nineveh where the King listened to the voice of God and asked the people to repent and turn to the Lord. The people were saved until they slipped back into their old ways 150 years later.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Oy fred,

      Always the stalker I see. And you have completely read that wrong and your iditoic posts thereafter makes no sense and is just painful to read, really.

      First and foremost, I was making clear to Leni that her as.sertion that atheism is doing so much harm to the world is a fallacy and pointing out her examples of how this is true are because of communism, NOT atheism.

      The heart of a murderer, or as I like to call them, murderers come in all shapes and sizes, they can be christians, jews, muslims, atheists, etc... What any atheist will tell you is the true problem with religion is that it causes good people to do bad things.

      I'm pretty much going to ignore your dumb christian speak because you have no idea what you're saying, you just repeating sh.it your pastor or whatever says because it sounds wise.

      lastly, the idea that you somehow decided that a day of prayer would have done something differently after 9/11 is so dumb it leaves me breathless? Not only do you have NO basis to back it up, but our good buddy Dubya could have however long he wanted and still invaded Afghanistan and then later Iraq, and considering he spoke with god and was told to do so, I'm imagining that a 24 hour chat with god would have resulted in the same thing. Fred, learn, PLEASE! to stop making baseless and stupid as.sertions, you evolved a brain for a REASON! (that reason being to use it instead of actively try and fight it and become a mindless zombie like your buddy jesus)

      November 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Leni

      @Chuckles, Whoa Nellybelle, idiocy???? I'm deeply insulted, you've sullied the name of Leni! Anybody who doesn't acknowledge the correlation between the ideology of Communism and Atheism, and that these two philosophies are inextricably intertwined at their moral, ethical and practical core, (even the definition you provide of communism states it, dummy!), can only be, well, Chuckled at!! PS: I'd tone down the superciliousness a bit if I were you, you're coming across as one of those pompous, opinionated, know-it-all windbags that everybody avoids at parties, har har!

      November 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • eyesopened

      Christianity is based on freedom, and death is based on fear, this is where the the difference between one believing in the fact that they are in fact scared to die. and we all know that everyone has a certain amount of fear some less or more but the truth is it exsists. and that is the greatest lie or at least what the enemy of your soul wants you to believe. and thats 1st that your not scrared and 2nd that he dosent exsist. So Yes I do agree that faith should not be managed by mankind and forced on people but instead embraced inorder for it to do what it does best bring peace and joy to the heart of the individual, and this speaks for its self and it diffenitly does not speak judgementaly.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Solid reply, I did, in fact, chuckle to myself when reading it. You do have a way with words. Then again, you still fail to grasp that being an atheist in no way implies that you are a communist and that makes all the difference. The ideology of communism may rely on atheism as a tenant, but it's not mutual. To use Stalin, Lenin, Mao or Kim Jong-Il as examples of atheism is ignoring their goals of living in a specifically communist state, not specifically and solely atheist.

      I would also like to say that I'm actually generally the life of the party, because contary to this blog, I generally stick with fun facts and jokes. For instance, what did the fish say when he ran into a wall underwater?

      November 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  5. Atheist and free!

    Christians beleive Christ is the path to Heaven, Muslims believe that Mohammad is the path to heaven. Hindus don't believe in heaven and believe that we are re-incarnated over and over again. Other religions spew other nonsense. Here's my nonsense. We are a simply another species that walk upon this planet. Alebit one that has trampled over the planet but that's it. Jesus doesn't love you he's dead. Don't pray for my soul when I die, i'm dead. I won't be in heaven or hell or be coming back in another form, I will cease to exist. Our species will be going to go extinct one day as well, just like 95% of all species that have walked this earth, but the cycle of life will continue.

    November 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • fred

      Science is just beginnig to scratch the surface of what is passed on in the evolution of life. Since recorded history man is aware that something more exists outside of our lifetime. Beyond the DNA we see today something is being transferred from generation to generation as we cannot escape the sense we are not alone and continue to believe in that which cannot be proven. A few atheists, that do not have known issues that cause their rejection of religion, present a trait that may or may not represent an adaptation that could actually help the species survive. Someone may find out in a million years as the process of natural selection continues.
      On the other hand God may well have in place a process of natural selection your trait does not allow you to recognize. To the extent you cannot simply sense God as the majority of population does there is the Bible, the Word of God. The pattern in the Bible is clear and anyone that searches the Bible with an open mind will see it. Then there is the fail safe method, simply ask Jesus into your life and sincerely ask Jesus for help. Interesting that God so loved the world he has given everyone the opportunity and time to find eternity.

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


      HA! You might not be able to see it but I've actually been laughing at your response for a solid minute now. Are you suggesting that atheism is a genetic trait?!

      Good luck with that one, I'm sure everyone, believer and non are going to agree with you (and when I say "agree" I mean "laugh you out of the room with one of the stupidest comments of the day")

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

      We generally cannot prove how a sociopath acquired the lack of indifference yet a small percentage of the population have this. Autism is now seen in varing degrees. The ability to "see" God includes many physical and emotional responses. We went from being able to see blood cells to maping DNA and soon something smaller will be found. Atheists may be spritiually challenged as a result of emotonal and biological factors.
      Atheists may have a religeous orientation from birth that predisposes them to be less subjective. As always my proof is from the Bible. Look out here comes the hate speach: Our Bible says atheists and christians cannot marry. Yieks !

      November 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  6. Jeff Williams

    I don't like big hairy spiders in a dark room. Or big hairy people in a dark room.

    November 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  7. J.W

    Atheists are afraid because they spend their life in a cave of darkness, and if they escape that they have to swim through the swamp of misery, and if they get out of that they must go through the forest of doom and gloom, and then they must survive the desert of hopelessness. But Jesus brings hope to the desert, peace to the forest, happiness to the swamp, and light to the cave.

    November 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Disney


      ... and they all lived happily after. Amen

      November 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Atheists are afraid because they spend their life in a cave of darkness, "

      Seriously, where do all the christians get this crap from...oh that's right you're brainwashed into believing it so you can have faith in your god. Well guess what liar it's not like that at all, no darkness, no misery, nadda. I am an upstanding member in my community, I am leaving this world better than when I first entered it, I have helped people when no one was there to help them. Just because you believe in your religious nonsense doesn't make you more moral or better than anyone else. It's time to put your arrogance in the gutter where it belongs.

      November 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • J.W

      I don't know why I am arrogant. I just enjoy living in the field of pretty wildflower with beautiful mountains and flowing waterfalls in the background like I do with Jesus.

      November 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "I don't know why I am arrogant."

      Overbearingly assuming about Atheist. DUH! What you wrote about Atheist was a lie based on personal opinion, and not facts.

      November 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Me

      Athiests are shrouded in the darkness of hopelessness and defining their lives as meaningless. You cannot believe in nothing and live with hope and meaning in life as the only true hope and meaning comes through a belief in something greater than yourself. It ultimately boils down to selfishness and narcissism and is a refusal to hold yourself accountable to anything other than yourself. Such a sad state to live in. I have lived both sides and can tell you that unbelief is true misery.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Asklepios417

      When did Jesus ever say he was going to bring peace to the forest ?

      Or happiness to the swamp ?

      November 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Asklepios417

      And it isn't a swamp, by the way.

      It's an endangered wetland.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Athiests are shrouded in the darkness of hopelessness and defining their lives as meaningless. "

      That's a lie the lives of atheist are not meaningless or hopeless, that is you trying to justify your choice in believing in a god. What proof do you have that backs this claim up your own prejudices. LOL!

      November 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "only true hope and meaning comes through a belief in something greater than yourself."

      Uh DUH moron...it's called leaving this earth a better place than when you entered into it – no god needed for that.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • JoeM

      Methinks HAHAHA doth protest too much. You can cover a truth with lies, but truth will out you in the end, HAHAHA. (No, I'm not laughing at you, it is just the arrogant name you chose.)

      November 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Methinks HAHAHA doth protest too much. You can cover a truth with lies, but truth will out you in the end, HAHAHA."

      No, it's just to prove the brainwashing you christians have regarding others that don't believe as you do, now that is arrogance!

      November 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • cykill

      everything you just said is complete nonsense.

      November 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Moraitenor

      JW, how would you know all those conditions that atheists supposedly go through? Are you a closet atheist, just posing as a christian.
      You can tell us all about Jesus and your god, fine, believe what you like and claim that atheists don't know your god.
      But don't make up stories about atheists and how they experience life. According to your own hatefilled statement you're on your dog's [sic] side. So, don't blab about something you don't know anything about. Amen, Yours truely, the anti-Strich

      November 9, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Allen Gingrich

      YOU are why I don' believe in God. I just couldn't stomach you people projecting your religion and beliefs on me.

      Actually, I'm quite content living without God. Quite content, indeed!

      November 9, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • ConA

      It takes real courage to walk through this uncertain life without a parent or a crutch. After death you go to sleep-there is probably nothing after, but maybe you try to do good things while you are here because that is right, then you die. If there is a God, he gave us a brain. Maybe he wants us to to the best we can and to grow up. We aren't doing very well, messing up the Earth and overpopulating it and hurting each other instead of solving things together. We are selfish control freaks, afraid of death and walking all over each other. If there is a God, he is probably very disappointed.

      November 9, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • J.W

      I don't really think this by the way. I just wanted to see what comments it would generate.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Biff

      All the arguments for and against Christianity aside (and I am a believer), only one of us will be able to say , "I told you so."
      Only God can do miracles...and many of you are in need of one.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • ThinkForYourself


      I don't fear the swamp or the cave or any of that other stuff – just the ROUS's – you know, the Rodent Of Unusual Size.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  8. White Lotus

    Mohammed and Shakyamuni were actual historical people, and there is some evidence that Jesus was an historic personage, too. Not at all in the same league with the Tooth Fairy.
    Note that there are options other than Christianity and atheism, which is more like anti-theism, in the US, at least. It isn't all about the old white man with the long beard (kid and bird included) or fighting with same.

    November 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Chris Hitch

      "Mohammed and Shakyamuni were actual historical people, and there is some evidence that Jesus was an historic personage, too. Not at all in the same league with the Tooth Fairy."

      I am agnostic and I too am not denying that these people could have existed. I don't think that their existence is the problem. The problem is when you start applying Tooth Fairy-like stories to their existence. To be clear Moses did not part the Red Sea, Jesus did not come back to life, the Earth was not created 6000 years ago, a talking snake was not involved in our origin, and the first woman was not created from the rib of the first man. That these historical figures existed is not the problem, it's the fantastical events and fairytail accomplishments that are the problem

      November 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • cykill

      ...and adam did not live to be 930 years old...

      November 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Mike A

      There was NO person named Jesus. Jesus’ real name in pre-exilic Hebrew was Yehoshua or in the Second Temple period Yeshua or Joshua. When the English rendered the Latin IESVS from the Greeks who translated the Semitic name Yeshua they came up with Jesus (Yehoshua became Yeshua became Iesous became Jesus), and that name stuck. But his real name in his own language was Yeshua, which was a very good name in the Hebrew tradition. It meant – “Yahweh (God) is savior (helper)”.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  9. Asklepios417

    John Landis mentions Zombies as the currently fashionable type of monster.

    One unintentionally funny film from long ago was "The Last Man on Earth", with Vincent Price in the starring role.

    The monsters in that film were zombie-vampire hybrids. (Bush warned us about those in one of his State of the Union addresses.)

    They were funny because they were so weak, slow and stupid. Vincent Price had only to wave one of his skinny arms, and four or five of them would collapse and fall over. (Not at all like the monsters in Alien, Pandorum or The Descent).

    Zombie films have made a lot of progress since then.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  10. Normon

    Atheist are terrified by only one thing: AAtheists.

    November 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Free

      What's that? An atheist in AA?

      November 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Or maybe it's a Fonzie thing (for those of us old enough to remember...)


      November 7, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Asklepios417

      An AAtheist would be somebody who doesn't believe in Atheism.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Actually, I think it would just be a theist – its a double negative.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  11. Rosemary

    I think the whole conversation is a bit ridiculous... it's not religion... it's not atheism. One isn't better than the other. We should all be allowed to believe and practice what we want without being insulted or offended by others that don't believe as we do. It's called basic respect. There are bad people everywhere just as there are good people everywhere. During the religious wars there were both religious people and non religious people helping the perscuted. During wars that have had nothing to do with religion the same has happened. It really depends on the character of the individual. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish who the good guys are and who the bad guys are especially if the only info you're getting is one sided. Look at us now... in so far as history goes this probably isn't one of our best time periods but there are a thousand mitigating factors around the world that are making each and every country behave as it is. From Africa to South America and I would say that all religious points of views are covered when you are talking about the majority of the world. So how about we stop blaming religion or atheist and start taking a good hard look at ourselves, the examples that we set, how we raise our children, what values and morals we are passing on to them and let's stop worrying so much about who our neighbor prays or doesn't pray to.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "So how about we stop blaming religion or atheist and start taking a good hard look at ourselves, the examples that we set, how we raise our children, what values and morals we are passing on to them and let's stop worrying so much about who our neighbor prays or doesn't pray to."

      Hmmm....why don't you take a good hard look at the gay issue, how christians are imposing their view on it so they can block the civil rights of others.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Free

      We are all free to believe as we wish, but if we choose to base our political decisions, especially decisions that affect everyone, on a particular belief system then we should expect those beliefs to be fair game for criticism, yes? All too often one gets labeled a 'hater' simply because they are bold enough to openly question beliefs, or give an opinion as to how sound or rational those beliefs are. The level of 'respect' that many wish to have afforded their beliefs is basically the same as rendering them taboo of any criticism, and we should never be afraid to question each other's beliefs, should we?

      November 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Nonimus

      In the US anyway, you have the right to believe what you want, but not the right to not be ridiculed for that belief.
      We are required by law to respect everyone's right to there own religion (within limits), but we are not required to respect that religion.

      Different countries attempted multiple resolutions against defaming religion, "Combating defamation of religions," which in some versions would actually legitimize blasphemy laws in some Islamic countries. In order to protect freedom of speech, we must be willing to accept or endure some insults and offenses to our beliefs, whatever they may be.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Free

      Yes, and it amounts to having the right to have our own beliefs about someone else's beliefs. I certainly never hear many believers rise to the defense of cult leaders', polygamists' or jihadists' rights to believe in what they wish, to 'respect' their beliefs, and many would be offended if someone were to suggest that they did not have the right to call believers from other mainstream religions and denominations 'sinners' simply because they have different beliefs than they do. It really does seem rather hypocritical of them to want respect for their beliefs, but not wanting to afford that same respect to all others.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Terry

      Rosemary – Please take the blinders OFF. If you really believe .........."There are bad people everywhere just as there are good people everywhere ................" there is little hope that you will pass anything useful to the next generation. Yet, you then go on to say ..... "It really depends on the character of the individual. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.......". I fact, what you call "good" and I know as 'not so good', exists in every individual. And that's simply the nature of the beast.
      Wake up and see nature, Rosemary! You are missing out on the beauty that is built into the reality of nature. It may not fit nicely into the weird little purse in your mind in which you've stuffed everything else, but that's just the way it is.

      November 8, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Chris VC

      @ Rosemary – "One isn't better than the other. We should all be allowed to believe and practice what we want without being insulted or offended by others that don't believe as we do. It's called basic respect."

      I fundamentally disagree with that opinion. Some ideas, philosophies, practices, behaviors, morals, ethics, etc. ARE better than others, and some are downright harmful. Giving implicit validation (quiet tolerance) to these things is what causes them to persist as problems.

      Blind tolerance, or basic respect, should, by no means, be any person's default position on an issue. To disagree (with conviction) is almost always going to offend the "other" person, but it has to be. It's a part of the learning process.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Average Joe

    Saying the word "God" in any sentence other than OMG

    November 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  13. eyesopened

    The truth is awsome! everyone has the curse of athieism with in them. Its called the flesh, and this needs no brainwashing.We all know or have or are guilty of having all of the same thoughts and feelings, maybe some worse than others but still the same as we all go through this life the the same just different experinces. humans are all guilty of desire, and if A person desires to reject Jesus and embrace the world or someother god this person IS no different than me, Just because I chose to believe in Jesus as my sin bearer, absoultly does not them less as important then I. Heck there are people that choose not to believe in any thing and still cant stand eachother. So we can stay away from blaming religion on this one or not having religion. The truth is what exisits in the individule by way of conscience, think of it as a faith mechanizm it is geneticly flawed, yet we all have one whether we admit it or not thats where its counter part comes in the lie.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Wow

      You need to go back to school dear, what an abuse of the English language. Please tell us English is not your first language with those spelling atrocities.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Wow2

      Please tell me you "Wow" are not so inhumane that you are going to sit there and judge someone about their use of grammar. Instead of belittling someone, why don't you get out and help someone. I can only guess that you are not sitting on your high and mighty throne being the absolute perfect being in this world!

      November 7, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Commenter

      Atrocious spelling and grammar aside, this @eyesopened post is absolutely inane, with not one cogent thought.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Wow3

      '"Wow" are not so inhumane that you are going to sit there and judge someone about their use of grammar. Instead of belittling someone, why don't you get out and help someone. I can only guess that you are not sitting on your high and mighty throne being the absolute perfect being in this world!"

      You just sat on your high and mighty throne in your response, so now insert foot into mouth and choke on it.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Did you just say that atheists are genetically flawed because they don't believe in any god?

      November 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Observer

      "the curse of athieism with in them."

      Others might have the curse of ignorance in them.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Free

      "everyone has the curse of athieism with in them."
      Yes, unless you believe in all gods being real, then everyone is an atheist to one degree or another. The only real difference between the average believer and a self-described atheist is that the believer is atheistic towards thousands of gods for various reasons, while we include their God for many of the same exact reasons.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • skytag

      "Just because I chose to believe in Jesus as my sin bearer"

      You choose to believe this because you like this narrative better than the alternative. You choose to believe a fairy tale because it offers you comfort. I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with are believers who consider themselves superior to atheists or those who have chosen to embrace a different narrative, or who feel they have some God-given mission to impose their religious values on the society in which they live.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      What a jacka/ss you are, eyesopened. Why don't you man up and carry your own sins? Why are you such a coward that some poor schmuck had to be tortured to death so that you don't have to be responsible for your own actions? People like you disgust me.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Maya

      Speak for yourself. You may have a guilt complex, but don't assume that everyone else does or that it is in any way natural.

      Frankly, I think it is pretty sick that if a person did think they were guilty of sin that they would so gleefully allow another (in the case of Christians, Jesus) to bear the burden of it. That kind of thinking is immoral and anti-social. There is nothing righteous about it. It is just a figurative human sacrifice, a more palatable version of the literal human sacrifices that came before it. After all, it is much easier to cast all of your sins upon a scapegoat and allow it to suffer and die for you than to take responsibility for your own shortcomings.

      November 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  14. mark

    I am not Religous but I love the delicious naivite of the Atheists in that religion causes all problems.
    Comrade Stalin was a devout Atheist and killed over 30 million people! Moa Tse Tung 40 million re-reducated or killed?? N'est Pas??
    There is Evil everywhere, religion has done both in this world and so has Atheism.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "Comrade Stalin was a devout Atheist and killed over 30 million people! Moa Tse Tung 40 million re-reducated or killed?? N'est Pas??"

      Oh fun let's play this childish game shall we.....now what's your definition of religion? LMAO!

      History is full of uncounted massacres by armies carrying a religious banner, though most such episodes were in ancient times with much less efficient killing technology and microscopically smaller populations. The number of religious exterminations of entire villages throughout history is innumerable. Alexander the Great is estimated to have executed a million. 11th century Crusades killed half a million Jews and Muslims. Genghis Khan's massacres of entire populations of cities probably totaled a million. The Aztecs once slaughtered 100,000 prisoners over four days. An unknown number, probably in the millions, died in the Devil's Wind action in Colonial India. Up to four million Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims died in post-Colonial India. The Ottoman Empire massacred two million Armenians over the years. Franco's Spanish Civil War killed a hundred thousand. A million have died in Rwanda, half a million in Darfur. And Christian vs. Muslim violence has obviously dominated our headlines for a decade, totaling somewhere in seven figures.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Chuckles

      I guess if we're talking about being "terrified" I'll have to vote for mark making two egrecious errors and using those as a foundation on why religon is less evil. Error #1, believing for some reason that atheism automatically equates communism. That's a one way street kid. Communism uses atheism as a way to as.sert power over the masses so they won't answer to any authority except the central governing policy, however Stalin nor Mao killed in the name of atheism and they didn't target the religious, they targeted everyone.
      Error #2 is simply trying to hold proof that "atheists" in your definition at least, are as capable as comitting evil acts of religion. That doesn't exactly help the religious cause of "yeah, we're evil but you're worse!". If you actually read a well reasoned atheist argument about evil in religion the difference between common evil that happens regardless of faith it is the fact that religion generally will promote points that are evil and will make good people do evil in the name of god. Get it?

      November 7, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Chad

      "History is full of uncounted massacres by armies carrying a religious banner"
      =>"In their Encyclopedia of Wars,[2] authors Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod attempt a comprehensive listing of wars in history. They doc ument 1763 wars overall, of which 123 (7%) have been classified to involve a religious con flict."

      7%, that's it.
      93% of all wars did NOT have any religious cause.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad the Moronic yawps again.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, we all know that people kill people. What we can learn from all this is that religion does nothing to deter these behaviors, and in many cases encourages them.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Observer

      "93% of all wars did NOT have any religious cause."

      That's only the OPINION of the authors. The definition of "religious cause" is purely subjective.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • HellBent

      It should be noted that Chad got that from wikipedia. The wiki reference to that book doesn't even give a page number. Here's the disclaimer you'll find on that wiki site:

      his article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
      It needs additional citations for verification. Tagged since June 2009.
      It may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Tagged since July 2009.
      Its introduction may need to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines. Tagged since July 2009.
      Its neutrality is disputed. Tagged since September 201


      Is that really the best you can do, Chad?

      November 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Chad

      You do realize that your assertion has placed you in a position where you are actually denying that a book says something that it says?

      Here's the book:

      what terrifies an atheist, data.. that terrifies them..

      November 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Maya

      That would be a fine argument IF Stalin and the like had killed for atheism. Stalin and Mao killed those people because they were paranoid, totalitarian ideologues obsessed with power. What they did had absolutely nothing to do with atheism. As I like to say, NO ONE has ever killed in the name of "no god."

      November 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • HellBent

      Thank you Chad, I'm well aware the book exists. I never stated otherwise. I question the quote. I would want to be able to see what the authors used as a criteria – it would have to be subjective – of what is a religious war. You've still provided no page number. Grade schoolers learn that, when referencing a text, one provides page numbers when quoting directly.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • JeramieH

      > Comrade Stalin was a devout Atheist and killed over 30 million people!

      Stalin breathed air too. Maybe anyone who breathes air is responsible for wars.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  15. El Flaco

    I do not believe that supernatural beings – Yahweh, Allah, Christ, Satan, God, Krishna, etc. – actually exist. What scares me, in order from the most terrifying to the least, are:

    1. Global Warming

    2. American Conservatism

    3. Poverty

    4. Ignorance

    5. Disease

    6. Tyranny

    I'm not afraid of death, which is nothing.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • DeeNYC

      Nothing scares me more than priests. Or religious politicians, like George W. Bush who consulted with God who told him to invade Iraq.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Maarit

      Totally agree with you El Flaco!!!!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • jimbo

      The number one thing that scares me is over population which is the reason you have a list. I agree with everything on your list.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Terry

      El Flaco – I like your list of the figments Yahweh, Allah, (Jesus) Christ, Satan, God, Krishna, etc. (a.k.a. supernatural beings), to which Budda, Mohammed, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and all the others can be added.

      My ranking of terrifying things is a bit different:

      1. Global Warming............Earth impact by a meteorite the size of the Rose Bowl.

      2. American Conservatism .........# 2 is O.K, for this

      3. Poverty ................... (caused by #2)

      4. Ignorance ........(caused by #2)

      5. Disease ..........(my # 3)

      6. Tyranny..............again...........#2 is in-play here

      I'm not afraid of death, which is nothing.
      Nor am I afraid of death. The nothing-ness of an individual's death is simply the default option of the universe.

      It's the billions of humans on earth that carry around a head full of notions and "beliefs" with zero basis other than fear and stupidity that scares me.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Brendan

      Yawn. More atheists being egotistical nut-jobs? Shocking!

      It's really cool and hip that you fear American Conservatism more than tyranny, poverty, and disease. One might even say such a ridiculously dogmatic and illogical stance was ignorant...and seeing as it is a greater threat than poverty, do you not think laws should be established against it? If you do, isn't that tyranny? If you don't, then you're going to allow something worse than poverty, tyranny, disease, and death run our country? You're quite the intellectual! I would vote for you in a heartbeat!

      November 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Moraitenor

      8. the dentist, root canal without anasthesia (happened to me when I was younger), LOLOLOlolol

      November 9, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  16. Pati

    The poor atheist that thinks you buy your way to heaven is so very much out in the cold. He should read the Bible it say's "The way to heaven is through believing in Jesus Christ" It is a much better way to believe than what he is practicing.

    November 7, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Huh? An atheist generally doesn't think you can buy your way into anything that doesn't actually exist.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      Pati, your statement makes absolutely no sense. Since you obviously have no idea what you are talking about, here's a clue: Atheists don't believe in god and they don't believe in heaven.

      I have no interest in your heaven. When we die, we're gone and I have no problem with that. You are the one who somehow thinks that you will live forever if you perform some pointless activities and swear your "soul" to a being that has no proof of existence. You are the one who is trying to buy your way into a non-existent heaven.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Free

      By "buy" I assume you mean the idea that heaven is the reward for being a good person, that a person's good deeds won't get them into heaven. Granted, there are likely a lot of philanthropists out there who make a great show out of giving away what amounts to them as loose change, but they could just as easily have just spent the money on something frivolous, so their contribution still goes into making the world a better place, right? There are also celebrities whose endorsement of various causes might make a cynic speculate that they are actually being self-serving, but they are still aiding something that a lot of people consider a good thing for the world while other stars spend their time feeding the tabloids. So, you have to ask yourself which is spending their time on this planet better?

      Christians who are 'saved' are supposed to bear 'good fruits' as well, right? Charitable donations and church work to benefit the community and I know that, in the ideal situation, the urge to do this would come naturally to someone who has accepted Christ, right? But there are plenty of rich people and stars who just as naturally want to use their wealth and stardom to do good in this world, as well as just ordinary people with more limited means and talents who do the same. What sets them apart from your Christians is that they do good for the pure sake of wanting to help others, not just to please some god who they imagine will punish them otherwise. Indeed, much of Christian charity seems more aimed at baiting people into a situation where they have to be exposed to conversion tactics in order to receive the aid they need, which clearly marks it as being a selfish aim, and not something 'given'. Heaven is a selfish expectation for living a good life that you should be living anyway.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • The One True Steve

      Poor Pati .... doesn't realize there are 38,000 or so, different denominations of Christianity. Each one says their way, is the only way to Heaven ... Its not enough to accept Jesus ... you have to follow the right rules, 38,000 choices. Choose wisely or you burn in Hell for all eternity ...

      What denomination of Christian are you? How do you know you chose correctly?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  17. Seth Hill of Topanga, California

    Well, I'm an atheist. What terrifies me? Fundamentalists of any faith passing laws that I can't practice my atheism. I don't have any problem with any religious people, as long as they don't curtail my rights.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • HAHA

      Who says you can't "practice" atheism? When, in fact, you are allowed to. You get up, go to work (hopefully), come home, and go to bed. You may add some food and entertainment in there as you see fit. How can you "practice" something that doesn't require you to do anything? You don't believe in anything you can't see, touch, or taste. No one is stopping you from existing. That's all atheists do.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "You don't believe in anything you can't see, touch, or taste. No one is stopping you from existing. That's all atheists do."

      Hey look another brainwashed christian. So atheists can't experience the joy of loving and having relationships, helping others according to your stupid response.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • skytag

      "You don't believe in anything you can't see, touch, or taste"

      The sad thing is that believers such as yourself see yourselves as superior to atheists because you believe in things for which there is absolutely no evidence.

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

      November 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chris Hitch

      what terrifies me is when people in power pass laws the stifle advancements in science that could cure untold diseases in the name of religion.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  18. Johnny 5

    I'm an athiest and people terrify me. People are the real monsters of this reality and not the made up devil. I take responsibility for my own actions and place no blame on deities for my mistakes or positives. Be a good person because you should and not because you are trying to buy your way into heaven. Values are for everybody not just theists.

    November 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  19. Atheist

    You would kill babies to solicit an inch of faith.

    The idea that you would even think of such a thing is a good example of how mentally ill religionists truly are.

    November 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Todd in DC

      Naw, I kill babies when there is nothing good on TV. Ask me what I did when "The Tick" was canceled.

      November 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Which version of the Tick? I thought the cartoon was much superior to the live action version.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  20. Christopher M

    "What terrifies an atheist?

    To be neglected.

    They would kill just to solicit an inch of attention."

    You would kill babies to solicit an inch of faith.

    November 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
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About this blog

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.