home
RSS
November 5th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Rick Perry’s long faith journey culminates in presidential run

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.

Austin, Texas (CNN) – Rick Perry’s new church is not like his old church.

At his new church, several hundred worshippers showed up in jeans on a recent Sunday to listen to high-decibel Christian rock from plush stadium-style seats.

The crowd, mostly under the age of 40, raised their hands to Jesus in between sips of freshly brewed coffee from the java hut in the lobby.

Outside Lake Hills Church – situated on 40 acres about half an hour’s drive from downtown Austin – a dozen sheriff’s deputies managed the Sunday morning traffic rush.

Back in town at Perry’s old church, a graying, neatly dressed crowd of several dozen gathered for services in a stately sanctuary, singing old hymns and reciting communal prayers from hard wooden pews.

There is no java hut at Tarrytown United Methodist Church – and not nearly enough traffic to justify sheriff’s deputies.

Perry’s jump from Tarrytown to Lake Hills mirrors some of the big recent changes in American Christianity: From cities to suburbs, from a formal mainline worship style that relies on liturgy to a more casual evangelical approach that’s all about connecting to Jesus.

The Republican presidential candidate’s 2007 church switch also may mirror something much more personal: The culmination of Perry’s journey from a mainline Protestant upbringing to an evangelical-flavored faith built on close relationships with Baptist preachers and giving public testimony about God.

How Mormonism helped shape Mitt Romney

Politically, his faith evolution creates an opportunity for Perry to connect with the evangelical voters who constitute the Republican Party’s base at a time when some say he’s the only candidate who stands any chance of derailing Mitt Romney’s bid for the GOP nomination, even as he has fallen behind Romney and Herman Cain in the polls.

Perry speaking at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum in October.

The Texas governor has made his faith a centerpiece of his presidential campaign in ways both overt and subtle – hardly the first time he has enthusiastically mixed religion and politics.

At a time when Americans have grown accustomed to hearing public officials invoke a kind of generic national religion that’s sensitive to diverse faith traditions and nonbelievers alike, Perry has often gone a big step further, telegraphing a distinctly Christian message.

For instance, when Perry lent his signature to a Texas ballot initiative to constitutionally ban gay marriage – an effort that didn’t even require the governor’s endorsement – he did so on a Sunday from inside an evangelical Christian school.

Opinion: Why Perry needs Palin

And the four-term governor often speaks of a culture war between the nation’s Christians and secular humanists, who he says are trying to stamp religion out of the public square.

“America is going to be guided by some set of values - the question is going to be whose values,” Perry said in a speech at Virginia’s Liberty University in September. “I would suggest … it is those Christian values that this country was based upon.”

Now, as he wages an uphill battle for the Republican nomination, Perry is emphasizing his Christian commitment even more than in the past, trying to line up support from conservative Christian leaders and religious voters nationwide.

Some friends of the governor say he sees his presidential quest as a kind of mission from God.

Rick Perry talks to CNN's John King

“He said he didn’t want to do it, but he felt the Lord was calling him,” says Kelly Shackelford, who recently heard Perry discuss his campaign with religious activists.

“His wife and him were both reluctant,” says Shackelford, an influential conservative activist in Texas. “But as Christians, when you know you’re called to do something, there is no doubt, no hesitation. You just do it.”

“In those days, the churches were full”

Rick Perry grew up in tiny, isolated Paint Creek, an unincorporated farming community on the dusty plains of central Texas.

Paint Creek “was on a farm to market road where they had this Methodist church on one end and a Baptist church on the other and the school in the middle,” Perry’s wife, Anita Perry, told CNN.

For Rick Perry, “life revolved around school, church and – for most boys – the Boy Scouts,” he wrote in his 2008 book, “On My Honor.”

Paint Creek’s Baptists dominated local government and imposed a strict moral code, prohibiting school dances and Halloween carnivals, reasoning that carnival games were tantamount to gambling.

“The school board was nearly all Baptist, and they drew up a dress code every year that was very concerned with hair and short pants and exposing too much skin,” says Wallar Overton, a childhood friend and Perry’s neighbor in Paint Creek.

Overton’s parents, who were Methodists, once held a prom in their house to get around the school’s ban on dancing.

Wallar Overton, Perry’s childhood neighbor from Paint Creek, Texas, says Baptists dominated local government and imposed a strict moral code.

Bud Adkins, the current pastor at the community’s Baptist church, calls such bans “pretty characteristic. That’s how everyone in the area grew up.”

“A lot of parents just felt that dances were where bad things took place,” Adkins says. “Drinking and fighting and carousing and things you shouldn’t be doing.”

Perry said his family was active in both churches when he grew up in Paint Creek in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Perry’s campaign declined interview requests, but his religious friends say his early exposure to both Methodists and Baptists initiated him into the two main branches of American Protestantism – mainline and evangelical.

Mainline Methodists tend to stress good works, while evangelical Baptists focus on personal relationships with God.

“It’s a mix of looking out and looking in,” says David Barton, a Texas-based evangelical activist who has been close to the governor for 20 years. “And it’s why [Perry’s] comfortable in so many different settings, whether it’s a Catholic or a Hispanic or a black church.”

When Perry was growing up in Paint Creek, there was a Methodist and a Baptist church. Only the Baptist congregation survives.

Perry has spoken in scores of Texas churches since becoming governor in 2000, including visits to black churches for Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the arrival of news that President Lincoln's had ended slavery.

Perry’s ties to Texas’ black and Hispanic communities are largely built around faith-related issues such as abortion and gay marriage, on which polls show minorities tend to be more conservative than whites.

Though Perry attended the occasional Baptist revival in Paint Creek and appears to identify as an evangelical today, Overton says the governor was raised squarely in the Methodist church, attending Methodist services and Sunday school, taught by Overton’s mother, every week.

“Baptists taught doctrine,” Overton says. “My mom taught Christianity. ... Her God was a loving God.”

Years later, when Gov. Perry actively supported the death penalty and cuts in government programs for the poor - positions that clashed with the more progressive stances of the United Methodist Church - some fellow Methodists speculated that Paint Creek’s cultural conservatism shaped the governor more than his church did.

“This was a pretty good Bible Belt when we grew up,” says Adkins, who is a few years older than Perry and grew up in Rochester, about 30 miles away. “In those days, the churches were full and the parents were really conservative.”

Going evangelical

When Perry landed back in Paint Creek in the late 1970s, after college at Texas A&M and a four-year stint as an Air Force pilot, its small-town ways helped provoke an identity crisis for the future governor.

Then 27, Perry had been around the world flying huge C-130 cargo planes for the military. But in 1977, he found himself back on the family farm helping his dad.

After a lifetime of structure – Boy Scouts, the Corps of Cadets (a Texas A&M program similar to ROTC), the Air Force – Perry was adrift, struggling to find a path in the face of a wide-open future.

“I was lost, spiritually and emotionally, and I didn’t know how to fix it,” he told Liberty University students in his September appearance there.

Anita Perry, who was dating Perry at the time, said he “came home and all of a sudden he kind of had this world of independence.”

“He went to farm with his dad, who had been farming successfully for many, many years,” she says. “He didn’t really need Rick to come in and tell him how to do the farming.”

For someone who had served as an aircraft commander, the move home felt like a demotion.

“I came back into my old room. I swear to God I know mother cleaned it, but it looked exactly like it did the day I left,” Perry said at a May fundraising event for a Christian prayer rally he helped organize.

“It had my football number on the door, and it had the all-star football game program still stuck on the bulletin board,” he said. “It was an eerie moment for me to move back home.”

Perry says that he found resolution, while still 27, by turning to God.

“My faith journey is not the story of someone who turned to God because I wanted to,” he told students at Liberty, in what has become a mainstay of his speeches to Christian audiences. “It was because I had nowhere else to turn.

“I spent many a night pondering my purpose, talking to God, wondering what to do with this one life among the billions that were on the planet. What I learned as I wrestled with God is that I didn’t have to have all the answers, that they would be revealed to me in due time and that I needed to trust him.”

At other public appearances, Perry has said his soul-searching ended when he realized “I’d been called to the ministry.”

But that turned out to be a call to enter politics. “I’ve just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was going to have,” he said at the May fundraiser. “I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will.”

While being “born again” is considered an important milestone for many evangelicals, Perry isn’t known to describe his experience in 1977 Paint Creek in such terms.

As his wife puts it, “He’d already found Jesus because he had been baptized.”

“I don’t know really how to classify it,” she says of her husband’s experience. “I wasn’t in on that with him. … But I think he found the answer he needed.”

Church with the Bushes

Despite the evangelical overtones of Perry’s life-changing encounter with God, he and his wife joined a Methodist church when they landed in Austin in the mid-1980s, continuing his mainline childhood tradition.

Perry had been elected a state representative as a Democrat from a rural West Texas district in 1985. He was following in the political footsteps of his father, who was a county commissioner at the time.

In 1990, after switching to the Republican Party, Perry was elected agricultural commissioner, his first statewide office. Later, one of the capital’s other prominent families – the Bushes – joined the Perrys at Austin’s Tarrytown United Methodist Church.

 alt=

The Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin, where the Perrys attended until 2007.

George W. Bush was elected Texas governor in 1994, and he, Laura and their two daughters began attending Tarrytown.

By that time, Tarrytown had gained a reputation as a conservative alternative to Austin’s First United Methodist Church, which is right next door to the state Capitol and boasted high-profile Democratic attendees like Ann Richards, the governor of Texas from 1990 to 1994.

During the 1990s, the Perrys and Bushes were among the worshippers who made a tradition of distributing Holy Communion during Tarrytown’s Christmas Eve services. The Perrys also helped lead confirmation classes as their two children prepared to be confirmed in the church.

Perry was elected lieutenant governor of Texas in 1998, inheriting the governor’s office two years later when Bush left Austin for the White House.

Jim Mayfield, senior pastor at Tarrytown from 1988 to 2006, says the Perrys generally kept a low profile at the church.

“We weren’t close, but it was very cordial,” he says. “They attended worship, and that’s about all they did.”

Perry and then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush attended the same Methodist church in Austin.

At the same time, Perry was forming close relationships with evangelical pastors across the state.

“I’ve known the governor in a personal way for 20 years, since he was agricultural commissioner,” says Ed Young, a prominent Baptist preacher based in Houston. “I see God’s hand leading him and working in his life.

“He has grown in his faith,” says Young, who regularly talks and visits with Perry. “During crises, we look in every direction, and more and more the governor has looked up. Not in some pious God-told-me way, but in humility.”

In 2007, when the Perrys moved to a rented house in West Austin during a governor’s mansion renovation, Young encouraged them to check out an evangelical-style church a protégé had started nearby.

That congregation, Lake Hills, has been Perry’s church home ever since.

For some of Perry’s evangelical friends and supporters, his jump from a mainline to an evangelical church was a sign of spiritual growth.

“Lake Hills is a very strong church, and I’ve seen him get stronger in his faith,” says Shackelford, the conservative Texas activist. “Methodist churches are all over the spectrum. One could be really strong and conservative and the next one could be liberal.”

Anita Perry, meanwhile, says she misses her old church, Tarrytown.

“I miss those traditional hymns,” she told CNN during a recent campaign visit to Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian school in South Carolina.

“The contemporary music [at Lake Hills], you know I hear it and I hear the beat. I hear the words, but I don’t know the words,” she says. “I didn’t grow up in that church; I grew in a traditional church.

“So that transformation for me was hard,” she says. “But I’m truly able to bring something back from the message [at Lake Hills] when I walk out of there.”

Pastors and presidential politics

In late 2004 as Election Day approached, polls showed the country about evenly divided between Perry’s political ally, President Bush, and Democratic challenger John Kerry.

Perry was worried. He headed to a dry creek bed somewhere outside Austin and called his friend James Robison, a Dallas-based televangelist.

“I’m out here in the middle of nowhere, a place so remote I'm surprised I get a cell signal,” Perry said, according to Robison. “I’m sitting down by myself, and I want to pray about the direction of the country.”

Robison had been friends with Presidents Reagan and Bush and had fielded many calls from Gov. Perry. The Baptist preacher said he was moved to learn his state’s chief executive was spending a day alone in the wilderness, praying.

For Robison, the call was “strictly spiritual.” But it could also be seen as evidence of Perry’s effortless fusion of faith and politics.

Perry, center, at a memorial for the crew of the space shuttle Columbia in Lufkin, Texas, in 2003.

In Austin, Perry’s political fans and foes alike say that fusion is best reflected in his track record on abortion.

Since taking office in 2000, Perry has signed laws mandating parental consent for minor girls who want an abortion, slashing state funds for Planned Parenthood and requiring a woman seeking an abortion to first view a sonogram of her fetus. (A federal judge recently issued an injunction effectively blocking that law’s enforcement.)

Supporters say the record testifies to Perry’s faith-based commitment to life.

“He has passed 20-odd pieces of pro-life legislation,” Shackelford says. “He was vilified by the media for it, and he didn’t stand his ground [just] because it was a good policy position. It really all emanated from his faith.”

Critics say the governor has overstepped, compromising women’s basic health care in the name of ideology.

They note that state funding for Planned Parenthood was barred from going to abortions even before he cut it. And they say the sonogram law Perry signed requires doctors to read biased information to women seeking abortions.

“As governor of Texas, Rick Perry has pursued a single-minded agenda: Take away women's health care, destroy Planned Parenthood, and block women's access to safe abortion care,” the Planned Parenthood Action fund wrote in a recent petition drive.

More recently, Perry has become an outspoken advocate for religion in the public square and a vocal opponent of those who don’t believe in God.

“The life of the secular humanist has a depressing end,” Perry writes in “On My Honor.”

“All their possessions will be left behind, and the only thing that will matter is what God thinks of their life in the face of eternity.”

Elsewhere in the book, which tracks what Perry calls a secular war against the Boy Scouts, he characterizes evolution as an inherently atheistic idea.

“Even if one goes along with the atheists’ argument that life evolved from previous forms,” Perry writes, “where did the previous forms come from?”

Many scientists and believers would no doubt disagree with the governor. Polls show that tens of millions of Americans back evolution and also believe in God.

Perhaps Perry’s most audacious religious gesture as governor came in August, when he organized a prayer rally in the stadium where the NFL’s Houston Texans play. The event came a few months after Perry had proclaimed three days of prayer for rain in Texas amid the state’s long drought.

Robison, who helped launch the Christian Right in 1980 when he organized a meeting between then-candidate Reagan and pastors in Houston, says he approached Perry with the idea for the rally late last year to confront what Robison said was a national moral crisis.

“I simply said that we don’t seem to call for prayer anymore, and I referenced the biblical book of Joel, when he calls a solemn assembly after locusts had stripped the crops,” Robison says. “I said to the governor, ‘No one’s called a solemn assembly.’

“I was surprised when he called one,” Robison says. “There just are not many leaders who do that.”

The August prayer event, called “The Response,” was financed by the conservative evangelical American Family Association and was intended to acknowledge that, in Perry’s words, “America is in crisis.”

Perry at The Response prayer rally in Houston.

"We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism and a multitude of natural disasters," Perry said in the run-up to the rally, which organizers said drew 30,000 people.

Billed as a “day of prayer and fasting,” it also involved dozens of conservative Christian leaders whose support is coveted by most of the Republican White House hopefuls.

But Perry's aides insisted The Response had nothing to do with presidential ambitious.

Aides say that calls for Perry to consider a White House run came only after other big-name Republicans, like Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour, announced they would not run. And that happened after Response planning was already well under way.

Skeptics argue that Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, had to be at least pondering a White House run since late last year.

Either way, the prayer event created a major political opportunity for Perry. Intense media coverage allowed him to broadcast his Christian commitment to a national audience just one week before formally launching his presidential campaign.

Perry’s Christian messaging could be especially important because Romney, the perceived Republican frontrunner, is a Mormon. Many evangelicals don’t consider Mormons to be Christian, and flaunting his faith could be a way for Perry to distinguish himself.

Last month, a Baptist pastor who introduced Perry at a major conservative gathering stirred controversy by calling Mormonism a cult. Perry has said he disagrees.

Hours with the faithful

In the months since The Response, Perry’s courtship of national Christian leaders has intensified. With Romney locking up support from much of the Republican establishment, Perry is working overtime to shore up his party’s socially conservative base.

Just a few weeks after the Houston prayer rally, roughly 200 religious leaders from across the country, mostly evangelicals, descended on a San Antonio-area ranch for the chance to meet Perry and his wife.

Over the course of a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning, Rick and Anita Perry talked up the governor’s record and took questions from the audience. James Dobson, founder of the evangelical group Focus on the Family, served as moderator.

Robison, one of the attendees, said the Perrys talked to them for six or seven hours.

“People who were there were stunned,” Robison said. “I’ve spent time with lots of candidates, and I’ve never seen one take that much time.”

Another attendee, Christian activist David Lane, said one audience member asked Anita Perry what people would be most surprised to learn about her husband.

“He’s more spiritual than you probably think,” Texas’ first lady responded, according to Lane. “He reads the Bible every day.”

For the Texas-based pastors and activists in attendance, that was hardly news. But to scores of others who were just getting to know Perry, it was reassuring information.

“As governor, people are not asking you, ‘Tell me when you came to the Lord,’” says Shackelford, who has known Perry for more than a decade. “The people you hang out with every day already know.

“But now he’s running for president,” Shackelford says, “and all of a sudden there are these Christian leaders meeting him for the first time, and they want to know: How did you come to know the Lord? What was your journey?”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders • Politics • Rick Perry

soundoff (3,096 Responses)
  1. tony

    God ! Save us of the Perry! I believe you can do it.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  2. Rich

    Brother Cain also heard god...I wonder what god said about him fooling around with at least 4 employees?1:30 pm we will hear more

    November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  3. jdh1975

    Perry is a slick slime-ball.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  4. claybigsby

    Samsword is the epitome of pascal's wager.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  5. hippypoet

    NOW RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – HE-MAN....he has a better list of previous jobs then all the other runners – HE-MAN is the master of the universe – hes a shoo-in!

    November 7, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  6. Drewski

    CNN should provide equal time to a column called "Non-Belief Blog". This blog would be the opposite of Belief Blog. Reason and common sense would prevail. About "The Reponse" rally, shouldn't God be cool with a couple of well meaning and sincere prayers? Exactly how many prayers are needed to get a response? I think he's holding out for a better contract.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Ran

      Yes!

      November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      RAN, do you like other films from the "Criterian" collection? Samurai is the greatest... also 7 samurai is great....i have nearly all the samurai films from the collection. They are by far the best ever made in that genre!

      November 7, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  7. jimbo

    Three things can explain this; Perry must have been eating some moldy bread just like the prophets, Perry is lying, Perry is crazy.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  8. hippypoet

    Electing a person based on beliefs alone just doesn't make sense! But why should sense even count, i mean you people believe that you are special and get to life forever compared to all the other creatures on this planet – such arrogance and pride – as the old saying goes, this will be your downfall!

    November 7, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • scott

      everyone believes in something. I believe in God because normal and common sense just does not work. Like people who continue to buy things when they have not money.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  9. hippypoet

    every christian is a supremacist and having to a certain degree the "Napoleon complex" Most monotheistist beliefs are in general ones that preach supremacy over other gods that are "actually fake" anyway! its just silly! Now tell me why you or anyone would want a supremacist with a Napoleon complex as your president?

    November 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Mike-Bell

      Not just Christians. You would be stereotyping by not including others of faith or professed non-faith. After all didn't our current President delight in having Roman Pillars to his honor?

      November 7, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      i am not above stereotyping, however i did say most monotheistict beliefs... some don't preach that they are the best, infact those that don't preach it ask that the followers go and learn about other faiths in order to better understand there own.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  10. Pastafarian

    I find articles like this to be extremely disturbing. Keep your damn faith in imaginary sky creatures to yourself. It has NO PLACE in politics. God did not create man. It was the other way around. How could any semi-intelligent person not see this???

    Sorry, but no matter how badly you want something to be true, it doesn't matter. There is NO reason whatsoever to believe in any omniscient being – no matter how much you want to.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • dont ask

      hahahahahaha. "imaginary sky creatures"....that's priceless. I think the quote you are looking for is one by Steven Hawking. "Science does not deny religion, it just offers a simpler alternative." Religion only existed in the past to explain things for which the science had not been discovered yet. Once a scientific explanation exists, there no longer is the need for the religious belief. Much of what is said in the bible can be explained by science now, after thousands of years of discovery, but then again american is way behind in science and math education....can you guess why?

      November 7, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  11. JOE

    His presidential run was inspired by his father's new cornerstone drink that's in the family for generations. What's that new family drink called? Its called "nig*ger-head" on the rocks!

    November 7, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Sharon

      Wow grow up. You must have not learned that in school that emotional Maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  12. Rich

    The venom comes from snakes that hear gods voice in their head

    November 7, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • steve

      The only venom I see here is coming from the atheists.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Nate

      steve: After centuries of Christian spew about a vicious murderer of a god, and all the inquisitions and other hate crimes, Christians have it coming. So drink your venom and be thankful it's not worse, azzhole Christians.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  13. cory

    really, so God told you a plan? how is he doing? i havent seen him in a while. do you even listen to yourself when you talk?! your an idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  14. Rich

    The venom comes from snakes that hear gods voice in their head to run for office and other nonsense

    November 7, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  15. BobZemko

    I am on a mission from Satan to never vote for anyone that talks to God.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  16. why

    Why do some beings hate the God of the Bible so much to spout so much venom on these blogs?

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

      Because a lot of horrible things have been done in his name.

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

      sry, but the question of "why" belongs now to the atheists due to the lack of need for such a question by the believers.

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

      How does one hate something that does not exist? You probably hate leprachauns and fairies. You deluded fanatics always try and demonize those who do not think like you.

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

      i mean come on... i thought it was a matter of faith!
      LOL faith in nothing, heart in a blender....etc.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Clarence Hemeon

      Why? Because people who believe in the bible demand and insist that people conform to the words written in this book and believe they are right and everyone else is wrong.

      That's why.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • source

      May the think tank and leadership gain wisdom and understanding from the Almighty God.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Because the God of the Bible is as real as Spiderman. Plus we get pretty sick of being told we're going to hell for not believing in your mythical higher power.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Bob

      Seems like you and your god are the hateful ones, what with threats of eternal torture for "sins" of a short mortal life, and similar horrors throughout your evil storybook a.k.a. bible.

      Quite the ass-hole of a god that you've created for yourself, why.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • why

      That is why y'all need to read Proverbs 1:5 and seek wisdom in the word of God.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      Did you happen to check out the topic of this article? It's about a person who believes that god is telling him to run for president. Since there is no proof of any god, you have to wonder if this guy is sane or just using the blind faith of believers like yourself to gain power.

      Atheists don't hate god, because the very definition of atheist is a person who doesn't believe in god. Hard to hate what doesn't exist. However, your fantasy-based religion does exist, and those of us who actually care about the future of this country have every right to speak out against it being used in public policy.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • dont ask

      and you need to read Steven Hawkings "A Brief History of Time" and seek wisdom in the word of Science.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • jonathan

      I refer you to Bobzemo and Revernd Perry... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • oopsy

      sorry, but Steve Hawkings is a mortal and his wisdom goes to the grave with him.
      C'mmon guys you are smarter than that (or) are you?

      November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      i prefer the universe in a nut shell but thats me...also give the theory of relativity a chance – its a good one!

      November 7, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • dont ask

      sorry to tell you oopsy, but science will live on always. And unlike religion, has room for growth and new wisdom to prevail. Many great scientists are dead, but their wisdom is the key to new and developing scientific discoveries. We all need to start somewhere.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      There's these things called books, oopsy, and this thing called the internet. People die, yes, but their words and thoughts can live on with little or no difficulty. Also, science is a living thing. It changes as more is learned, it is self-correcting and will update itself.

      You bible is dead. It doesn't accept change, it provides nothing but happy promises and dreadful threats, neither of which have any proof. There is no proof of your god or any god. You may find comfort in your religion's fairy tales, but those of us who desire to learn the truth will go with the system that is actively providing it.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • oopsy

      I feel very sorry for you that you have to rely on mortals and their finite wisdom to define your destiny and faith.
      Know that NO mortal has infinite wisdom either learned or otherwise on Cosmos/life to categorically deny the existence of the Almighty God.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • dont ask

      "Science does not deny religion, it just offers a simpler alternative" (S.H.)

      November 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • HellBent

      Know that NO mortal has infinite wisdom either learned or otherwise on Cosmos/life to categorically deny the existence of Zeus/Krishna/mermaids/leprachauns/invisible-pink-polka-dotted unicorns.

      The above statement would be equally as pointless, fyi.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      @Why and Oopsy

      Mortals are all we are and all we know about. Wisdom of man is the wisdom passed down through the
      ages.Added to with each passing generation.
      Immortals such as your God or any of the other gods are myths. Created by the imagination of men and NEVER been shown to exist....EVER or ANYWHERE.
      You may choose to believe such but you are basing your belief on ZERO substantiation. Getting a non-believer to buy into the bull you're peddling would require a heck of a lot more than the fairy tales of your Bible.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @AtheistSteve "IImmortals such as your God or any of the other gods are myths. Created by the imagination of men and NEVER been shown to exist....EVER or ANYWHERE. You may choose to believe such but you are basing your belief on ZERO substantiation."

      =>Proof:
      1. The scientifically required necessity of an uncaused cause at the origin of the universe

      2. The phenomenal preciseness of the “big bang” expansion which was required to allow stars/planets to form. The fact that space and time were created at that cosmic singularity. (And God said, "Let there be light")

      3. The fact that the universe obeys laws, and that science by definition, "starting from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God". – Leonard Mlodinow

      4. The fossil record which shows millions of years of stable species, then an explosion of necessarily mutations, all occurring at the precise necessary time required for complex organisms to develop, and ALL escaping fossilization

      “the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      5. The historical evidence of Jesus Christ “Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who was regarded as a teacher and healer in Judaea,[18] that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and that he was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[19] Critical Biblical scholars and historians have offered competing descriptions of Jesus as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.” –Wikipedia

      6. The historical fact that hundreds of people believed they witnessed the resurrected Jesus and were willing to go to their death saying that.

      7. The demonstrated historical accuracy of the biblical narrative in all accounts, the Gospel of Luke alone has hundreds of verified historical accuracies.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Why is it a.ssumed that we hate something we do not believe in?

      @Chad: get back to your sandbox little boy!!! you have no place amongst the adults right now!

      November 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      @Chad

      Nothing you copy/pasted is "proof" of anything ...let alone your God.

      1) Even if the universe required a cause then why is an unknown natural cause less likely than your unknown supernatural cause? FAIL

      2) The Big Bang was an massive explosion resulting in space and time...nothing more and the fact that matter precipitated out of it is no more than happenstance. If it had not happened we wouldn't be here to talk about it. FAIL

      3)No point in ever trying to disprove God than there is to disprove unicorns. You can't prove a negative. FAIL

      4)Evolution would stand on its own simply based on DNA. No fossils required. FAIL

      5)Historical evidence of a man existing is hardly noteworthy. No historical proof of miracles is the issue. FAIL

      6)Only shown in the Bible which by not providing ANY evidence for miracles cannot be relied upon in this case either. FAIL

      7)Many fanciful stories and myths throughout history have actual places and people depicted. Authors are bound by their experiences, but that doesn't mean we should believe in the existence of made up creatures like Kraken, Cyclops, Pegasus or Spiderman. FAIL

      November 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @TruthPrevails "Chad: get back to your sandbox little boy!!! you have no place amongst the adults right now!"

      =>I'm always amazed at what atheists consider a data driven refutation of a claim to consist of..

      November 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Truth "Even if the universe required a cause then why is an unknown natural cause less likely than your unknown supernatural cause? FAIL"

      =>there was NOTHING prior to the singularity expansion, NOTHING. Hence, any "natural" cause is by definition impossible.
      Time and space were created at the singularity expansion event. Thats what science says, so by definition there needs to exist a prior "uncaused cause". That's not my assertion, it's Einstein/Hawkings, everyone. Now, you can argue that that doesnt mean its the God of Abraham, but you cant argue that an uncaused-cause is a requirement.

      @Truth "2) The Big Bang was an massive explosion resulting in space and time...nothing more and the fact that matter precipitated out of it is no more than happenstance. If it had not happened we wouldn't be here to talk about it. FAIL"
      =>wrong, the odds of the "explosion" occurring as it did to allow cooling and formation of planets/stars are so phenomenally remote that it is essentially impossible. You're argument is akin to saying "see that watch on the ground? It just happened to come into being that way, otherwise it wouldnt be there". makes no sense.

      @Truth: "3)No point in ever trying to disprove God than there is to disprove unicorns. You can't prove a negative. FAIL"
      =>nice avoidance.. the point was this, science CAN NOT EVER explain why the universe follows laws. The laws are necessary preconditions for science to even exist. So, why does the universe obey laws?

      @Truth "4)Evolution would stand on its own simply based on DNA. No fossils required. FAIL"
      =>wrong, DNA is astonishing evidence FOR God, He created the complex, efficient “information system” which encodes life. Remember, Darwinian gradualism has been universally discarded by evolutionary biologists due to a lack of fossil evidence. What IS seen is millions of years of stasis (no change) followed by the sudden appearance of new fully formed species. Do you realize that we share 35% of our DNA with a Tree?

      @Truth "5)Historical evidence of a man existing is hardly noteworthy. No historical proof of miracles is the issue. FAIL"
      =>My claim was not of miracles, rather of existence, cause of death, and claims He made during his life. I accept you concede that point as you didnt attempt to refute it.

      @Truth "6)Only shown in the Bible which by not providing ANY evidence for miracles cannot be relied upon in this case either. FAIL"
      =>my claim was that hundreds of people believed that had witnessed a resurrected Christ, again, I accept you concede that point as you didnt attempt to refute it.

      @Truth: " 7)Many fanciful stories and myths throughout history have actual places and people depicted. Authors are bound by their experiences, but that doesn't mean we should believe in the existence of made up creatures like Kraken, Cyclops, Pegasus or Spiderman. FAIL"
      =>Ah, but none of those authors actually claimed they were real, at the same time providing an enormous amount of accurate historical context that could be fact checked later on to demonstrate honesty and attention to detail.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Nate

      Chad is fscking stupid and deluded. He can't help it himself. Chad, get help from a shrink, seriously.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      We've been through this song and dance before but I just want to bring up a couple of things that you really are missing and don't understand that you refute your own statements.

      First, when you say Einstein/Hawking came up with specific things that supports your point, it's not holy writ, they could be wrong, so disagreeing with them doesn't make me wrong.

      Second, We don't know if there was nothing before the big bang, we just know that right before the singularity the universe expanded astonishingly quickly and the laws of the universe and everything was born from that point on.

      Third, talking about odds of something happening or not happening is inconsequential because they did happen, clearly. You can bi.tch and moan all you want about the outrageous odds of something happening, but if it's already occured, then the odds, regardless of how big they are, have still occured. Get it? – and to refute your point before you make, just because it DID happen does not point to god being the only reason why and therefor god exists, that's shoe-horning god into something that has no need for god nor makes any logical sense

      fourth – on evolution, if you concede that we share our dna with other flora and fauna, you concede that we at one point shared that dna long ago. If god, genesis and so on are correct, we shouldn't share ANY dna with anything else, because we were created completely separately from the rest of the animal kingdom. The dna proves our relationship to everything and the fossil record gives us 1 piece in a billion piece puzzle in how that happened. To try and refute the fossil record because its incomplete is grasping at best.

      Lastly, the authors of the greek myths and the accounts of seeing craetures we know don't exist were as real to them as god is to you and to everyone else who read the stories. It was not uncommon for people to believe in the cyclops, or the sirens until christianity took over, outlawed that belief and as.serted its own. To dismiss other beliefs in favor of your own is not only chauvinistic by definition by utterly idiotic.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • illuminate

      Chad- you are amazing....
      Thank you!

      November 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles " We don't know if there was nothing before the big bang, we just know that right before the singularity the universe expanded astonishingly quickly."
      =>not true, since our space and time was created at the "big bang", there was by definition nothing prior to it.

      @Chuckles "Third, talking about odds of something happening or not happening is inconsequential because they did happen,"
      =>LOL not true at all. as an illustration. You open the door of a room, in that room is 100 monkeys, a table, a chair, a typewriter, and next to that typewriter is a stack of papers upon which is typed out neatly the complete text of War and Peace.
      Now, in evaluating how that text got there, you are saying it's irrelevant that the odds of the monkeys actually doing it are 1 in 2 to the power 1billion, and the odds of a human having done it and left the room are actually about 1 to 1? It doesnt matter what the odds are in relation when seeking to determine the cause?

      @chuckles ""but if it's already occured, then the odds, regardless of how big they are, have still occured. Get it?"
      =>nonsense argument as I pointed out earlier. you cant come upon a watch in the forest and say "No, that wasnt dropped by someone, it came together by a random occurrence of molecules, other wise it wouldnt be there."

      @chuckles "fourth – on evolution, if you concede that we share our dna with other flora and fauna, you concede that we at one point shared that dna long ago"
      => God uses DNA to convey information, understanding HOW God did it doesnt mean He is not the driving force behind it. How in the world did we GET DNA in the first place?

      @chuckles ". If god, genesis and so on are correct, we shouldn't share ANY dna with anything else, because we were created completely separately from the rest of the animal kingdom. "
      =>false, see answer above

      @chuckles "Lastly, the authors of the greek myths and the accounts of seeing craetures we know don't exist were as real to them as god is to you and to everyone else who read the stories. It was not uncommon for people to believe in the cyclops, or the sirens until christianity took over, outlawed that belief and as.serted its own"
      =>the fact that people believed all kinds of things doesnt imply anything about other beliefs. If I once believed the earth was flat, is my belief now that the earth is round somehow tainted due to that? nonsense..

      November 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      @Chad

      Revealing the fallacies in your arguments is pointless since you dismiss facts in any case.
      But to highlight your ignorance in regards to probabilities take this example.

      All snowflakes are unique and distinct. No 2 are alike. That's because the way water crystalizes follows a particular set of rules but the process of snowflake formation can vary at many points along the way. In fact there are more ways in which a snowflake can form than there are particles in the universe. That means that the likelyhood of any one particular snowflake forming is vanishingly close to ZERO. Thus by your reasoning if the probability of a snowflake forming is practically zero then no snowflakes are possible. Tell that to me the next time you are shovelling a few million of them. You need to educate yourself far far away from William Lane Craigs pseudo-scientific babble.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Chad: there is a reason I said what I did. You come on here and pretend to have a clue but you fight the battle like a child does. You can't possibly expect us to buy your story when you fail to make any sense. Fairy tales are for children and until you grow away from those fairy tales, I will treat you like you are 5. You get what you deserve in this world and it's not just Atheists who will tell you you're stupid, it's anyone who see's how moronic and immature you sound...some christians will; some muslims will...

      November 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Second you are wrong about what lies beyond our universe. We have no idea what is outside the boundary of our universe and probably never will. It is beyond our observable horizon. Plus all long range views are also looking into the past to earlier and earlier periods of time WITHIN our universe. That it came into existence from a singularity says nothing about the medium into which and from which it arose. There may be an infinite number of universes(multiverse). I repeat the idea of an unknown natural beginning is far and away more reasonable than an unknown supernatural cause. You are postulating an intelligent creator without any justification whatsoever. Well except for your religious beliefs of course, which have no basis in demonstrable fact.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @AtheistSteve "All snowflakes are unique and distinct. No 2 are alike. That's because the way water crystalizes follows a particular set of rules but the process of snowflake formation can vary at many points along the way. In fact there are more ways in which a snowflake can form than there are particles in the universe."
      =>True

      @AtheistSteve "That means that the likelyhood of any one particular snowflake forming is vanishingly close to ZERO, Thus by your reasoning if the probability of a snowflake forming is practically zero then no snowflakes are possible. "
      =>False, the likelihood of a snowflake forming in a PARTICULAR pattern is virtually zero. The probability if it forming if conditions are amenable (temp, humidity) are 100%.
      That's the thing about statistics, you need to apply them properly.

      so, riddle me this. What are the odds that 100,000 snowflakes will all simultaneously form to an identical pattern?
      That's the same odds as a watch spontaneously forming out of available matter, punctuated equilibrium and the big bang occurring such that life would be possible.

      @AtheistSteve "You need to educate yourself far far away from William Lane Craigs pseudo-scientific babble."
      =>LOL
      he is 50-0 in debates with atheists.. what in the world are you basing that on??
      At some point, do you ever just say to yourself.. "self, I just dont have any data..."

      November 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Chad

      AtheistSteve "You are postulating an intelligent creator without any justification whatsoever."
      =>"The fact that the universe obeys laws, and that science by definition, "starting from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God..... I sometimes wonder what causes these laws to exist". – Leonard Mlodinow co-author with Stephen Hawkings of "A Briefer History of Time" in an interview with NPR

      November 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Chad, are you going to change your name and post comments complimenting yourself and pretend people are cheering for you again tonight?

      November 7, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Oh my god, Chad. I just read the enitre post. You did it again – you posted a compliment to yourself under "Illuminate". You insecure fool.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Colin

      Of course chad had to cheer himself on, no one else will.

      @Chad
      Kid, you're still not getting it are you? You postulate the idea about a watch being created in the middle of the forest with someone as the creator, but you're not using the analogy right. I don't immediately conclude that the watch, through random occurrence appeared, I as.sume that the watch was dropped. However if I go further and look up part numbers, who the owner was, etc.. and if the we then learn that the parts should not technically exist, nothing is accountable for and yet the watch exists, but the chances of being created are near zero, what do you say then? Oh yeah, god must have done it.

      Same with the monkeys creating war and peace, if that did happen, would you still scoff, bring up odds and say that it isn't possible? Look around chad, we exist, a single cell appeared on this planet and evolved into all forms of life we know today. To talk about odds of it happening and not happening are irrelevant, sorry if you think the odds are so astronomical that its impossible, keep in mind that you feel better with infinite regression, the most illogical fallacy there is (that god created this universe and then god had to have a creator, because lets get real, you're supposed to have me believe that a creator so complex that he can create the universe just appeared? The odds are astronomical? I mean, its like if a whirlwind went through a junkyard and created a 747.....)

      You have also still failed to understand the concept of what the universe was like prior to the big band. We have no idea but to infer nothingness is still thinking in our universe terms when all of that didn't exist. Like Atheiststeve pointed out, there are multiverses out there, it could be anything, not just nothing.

      As for your evolution question, chad......give up, seriously, you're asking pointless questions that have no bearing a) on the theory itself and b) are important to answer. How did we get the DNA? it evolved from the single-cell organism, that's it, no god needed, no life altering answer, it just is.

      "the fact that people believed all kinds of things doesnt imply anything about other beliefs." – Is that a real statement? do you not understand the idiocy thats in this? If they believe in something, I think its a pretty strong indicator of their beliefs....numbskull.

      Chad, your issue is you keep trotting out the same tired arguments as if they haven't been answered and then decide that god is the only way to answer your questions. They're not, I can promise you that. You also believe that by asking questions, they are automatically legitimate and good, I can again as.sure you, they are not. Asking WHY the universe obeys laws is not a good question nor does it need answering. The universe follows laws because it does, that question and its answer won't solve what was the universe like pre big bang or during, it won't answer how life came to be on this planet, it won't answer how to go faster than the speed of light, it answers nothing except making you believe that the only possible answer to that question is a god must exist. Well, chaddy boy, if you can show me in the bible (the only source you have that tells you about god) where is says that god exists outside of time and space, that god runs the universe which is why the laws of the universe exists, and many other questions, I'll be more inclined to listen......

      November 8, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      @Chuckles

      I thought that was a great post however this typo really pleases me:

      "You have also still failed to understand the concept of what the universe was like prior to the big band."

      I can't help but appreciate the concept that the universe was created by Benny Goodman or Duke Ellington.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Talluah

      Typo? I really did ask the existential question what was the universe like before The Duke?

      November 8, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Team righto

      @Chad-Bravo! Bravo! you deserve a standing O!

      November 8, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Chuckles

      @chad/team righto

      Pathetic.....really, just patheitc.

      November 8, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Chad

      Chuckles “Same with the monkeys creating war and peace, if that did happen, would you still scoff, bring up odds and say that it isn't possible?”
      =>Now at least you’re starting to acknowledge that the odds of the universe “just happening” are as remote as 100 monkeys banging out War and Peace. -0-

      Chuckles “Look around chad, we exist, a single cell appeared on this planet and evolved into all forms of life we know today. To talk about odds of it happening and not happening are irrelevant”
      =>I wish I could somehow publish that statement. It is the DEFINITION of “faith in something despite the presence of all evidence to the contrary”
      Indeed, it takes FAR more faith to be an atheist, than a Christian for you are believing that which is impossible to demonstrate.. And you seem blissfully unaware of the leaps you make.. odd that..

      People are atheists NOT because of the data, but because they are willing to sieze ANY alternative (no matter how far fetched) to the God of Abraham. They are atheists because they are determined NOT to believe in God.

      Think about it, why have you embraced a position that is logically IMPOSSIBLE to prove (it’s impossible to prove a negative). It’s a completely illogical position.

      Chuckles “the most illogical fallacy there is (that god created this universe and then god had to have a creator, because lets get real, you're supposed to have me believe that a creator so complex that he can create the universe just appeared?”
      =>The God of Abraham has always existed. Remember, time was CREATED at the big bang, this whole idea of before and after didn’t exist before it.
      Chuckles “You have also still failed to understand the concept of what the universe was like prior to the big band. We have no idea but to infer nothingness is still thinking in our universe terms when all of that didn't exist. Like Atheiststeve pointed out, there are multiverses out there, it could be anything, not just nothing.”
      =>current accepted
      Chuckles “As for your evolution question, chad......give up, seriously, you're asking pointless questions that have no bearing a) on the theory itself and b) are important to answer. How did we get the DNA? it evolved from the single-cell organism, that's it, no god needed, no life altering answer, it just is. “
      =>there’s that faith again, “don’t ask why or how, it just is” BTW, single cell organisms HAVE DNA, and need it to reproduce.. D’OH!

      Chuckles “Asking WHY the universe obeys laws is not a good question nor does it need answering. The universe follows laws because it does”
      =>There’s that faith again. It’s just amazing.

      Chuckles “if you can show me in the bible (the only source you have that tells you about god) where is says that god exists outside of time and space, that god runs the universe which is why the laws of the universe exists, and many other questions, I'll be more inclined to listen......”
      Psalms 147:4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
      Isaiah 46:9-10 [9] Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. [10] I make known the end from the begin- ning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
      1 Peter 1:20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
      Ephesians 3:6, 8-9 [6] This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. ... [8] ... I am ... to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, [9] and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Chad

      Poorly formatted and I missed one point, here it is again..

      @Chuckles “Same with the monkeys creating war and peace, if that did happen, would you still scoff, bring up odds and say that it isn't possible?”
      =>Now at least you’re starting to acknowledge that the odds of the universe “just happening” are as remote as 100 monkeys banging out War and Peace. -0-

      @Chuckles “Look around chad, we exist, a single cell appeared on this planet and evolved into all forms of life we know today. To talk about odds of it happening and not happening are irrelevant”
      =>I wish I could somehow publish that statement. It is the DEFINITION of “faith in something despite the presence of all evidence to the contrary”
      Indeed, it takes FAR more faith to be an atheist, than a Christian for you are believing that which is impossible to demonstrate.. And you seem blissfully unaware of the leaps you make.. odd that..

      People are atheists NOT because of the data, but because they are willing to sieze ANY alternative (no matter how far fetched) to the God of Abraham. They are atheists because they are determined NOT to believe in God.

      Think about it, why have you embraced a position that is logically IMPOSSIBLE to prove (it’s impossible to prove a negative). It’s a completely illogical position.

      @Chuckles “the most illogical fallacy there is (that god created this universe and then god had to have a creator, because lets get real, you're supposed to have me believe that a creator so complex that he can create the universe just appeared?”
      =>The God of Abraham has always existed. Remember, time was CREATED at the big bang, this whole idea of before and after didn’t exist before it.

      @Chuckles “You have also still failed to understand the concept of what the universe was like prior to the big band. We have no idea but to infer nothingness is still thinking in our universe terms when all of that didn't exist. Like Atheiststeve pointed out, there are multiverses out there, it could be anything, not just nothing.”
      =>current accepted theory by cosmologists from observing that the universe is expanding in all directions and cooling, is that it at one point had infinite mass/heat, the singularity. A multiverse STILL must have a beginning or it faces the problem of the infinite regress. God ALONE does not face that problem.

      @Chuckles “As for your evolution question, chad......give up, seriously, you're asking pointless questions that have no bearing a) on the theory itself and b) are important to answer. How did we get the DNA? it evolved from the single-cell organism, that's it, no god needed, no life altering answer, it just is. “
      =>there’s that faith again, “don’t ask why or how, it just is” BTW, single cell organisms HAVE DNA, and need it to reproduce.. D’OH!

      @Chuckles “Asking WHY the universe obeys laws is not a good question nor does it need answering. The universe follows laws because it does”
      =>There’s that faith again. It’s just amazing.

      @Chuckles “if you can show me in the bible (the only source you have that tells you about god) where is says that god exists outside of time and space, that god runs the universe which is why the laws of the universe exists, and many other questions, I'll be more inclined to listen......”
      =>Psalms 147:4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
      Isaiah 46:9-10 [9] Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. [10] I make known the end from the begin- ning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

      1 Peter 1:20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

      Ephesians 3:6, 8-9 [6] This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. ... [8] ... I am ... to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, [9] and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Oh joy! More word vomit!

      First and foremost, acknowledging the odds is something I've done and will do, but like I've said previously, the odds become irrelevant once that action has occured. If something only happens 1:1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 x10^1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 and it happens, are you going to say it's still impossibe because the odds are so huge? I hope this illustrates the point, but let me drive it home for you. The chance of you existing is 1 in every human being that has ever existed and will ever exist. Atronomical odds right? and yet here you are, so are you going to tell me that since the odds of your specific individual existance is so huge that it takes great faith for you to have come into existance? NO! Because you do exist, so the faith is erased.
      I wish you would understand these, but I have a feeling its going to shoot right over your head.

      Second, my faith, and yes I can admit a faith in something, in evolution and our origins is BECAUSE the evidence points towards it, not to the contrary. That's not blind faith my friend, nor is it illogical and ill conceived faith, it's just trust that the evidence presented is concrete and solid and points towards the correct answer. Get the picture?

      Also, I love you're little sentence about why people become atheists. Just like every other stupid believer who comes on this board saying what atheists believe in, your take is that we actively choose to reject god, but how do you actively reject a non existant thing? I dont, everyday, actively choose to reject santa, but by your definition thats exactly what I'm doing. I don't cling to outlandish theories in a vain hope to escape god, I stick with theories that make more sense, even if its counterintuitive sometimes, then the iditoic ramblings of a 2,000 year shepherd.

      Next, a multiverse is only one theory and in a way you are correct that infinite regress can be found within, but I don't think the multiverse is true, holy writ and infallible, its just a possibilty. God, conversly, has to deal with infinite regress a lot more than anything else. You try to use logic to show holes in current theory and then do an about-face when confronted with the same problem with god because he's supposed to wrap up that paradox so its not for you to think critically, which is iditoic in the extreme chad.

      Moving on, why do I need to ask why the first organism had dna? What answer will that provide me? At most, god does exist because we find active evidence proving there was some sort of divine hand in the origin of life, which then leads us on the hunt for more evidence of that same gods existance throughout the fossil record and most likely will lead us to prove that the god of abraham is STILL man-made, but there is some other supernatural power out there. Unless of course, you can show me in the bible where it says "and then god created a single-celled organism which evolved over millions upon millions of years, etc...."

      It also takes no faith to accept that the universe as law when I see unbroken laws everyday. Gravity always as.serts the same amount of force on me and at no point am I squished into the ground or untethered from earth to fly around. We also know this is how gravity works because earth is spinning and so on and so forth, not some supernatural beng operating somewhere and keeping a finger on the gravity thing for all time. Again, if you disagree with this, prove the only thing that makes gravity stick to a 9.8 constant is god keeping his finger on the button and back it up with evidence, or else you're just making baseless claims and still gettting angry at other people for backing up their claims with hard evidence when you can not.

      Lastly, your quotes literally did NOTHING. Where in any of those quotes does it say god exists outside of time and space? Where does it say that he runs the universal laws and keeps them in check? No where buddy, try again and this time stick to the question at hand.....

      November 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chad

      Chuckles and Chad walking through the woods, they find a watch on the forest floor:
      @Chuckles “Nice watch, I needed one”
      Chad: “it belongs to someone, shouldn’t we turn it in to lost and found?”
      @Chuckles “Nah, it just materialized out of a random chance alignment of all the necessary molecules, no one dropped it”
      Chad “Ah.. that’s not likely, isn’t it more likely that someone dropped it?”
      @Chuckles “IDIOT, I already told you that no one dropped it”
      Chad “how could it be there then.. “
      @Chuckles “Look, is the watch there”
      Chad “yes..”
      @Chuckles “so that proves it, it materialized”
      Chad “no.. it was probably dropped”
      @Chuckles “IDIOT, no one dropped it”
      Chad “how do you know that? It’s fantastically unlikely that it just materialized”
      @Chuckles “what a stupid irrelevant question to ask. Look, since we know it wasn’t dropped, the odds are irrelevant regarding materialization, its there isn’t it??? The odds against it materializing become irrelevant once it’s happened”
      Chad “but how do you know that happened? How does it being there support materialization any more than someone dropping it, especially if someone dropping it is infinitely more likely?”
      @Chuckles “IDIOT, I already told you no one dropped it!”
      Chad “sigh….”

      @Chuckles “how do you actively reject a non existent thing?”
      =>that’s an excellent question, how DO you do that? Why are you an atheist and not an agnostic? You’re the one actively rejecting the existence of God.

      @Chuckles “Moving on, why do I need to ask why the first organism had dna?”
      =>because it had to? Seems like a good question to ask..

      @Chuckles “It also takes no faith to accept that the universe as law when I see unbroken laws everyday. Gravity always as.serts the same amount of force on me and at no point am I squished into the ground or untethered from earth to fly around.”
      => ai yai yai that’s a weird argument. Gravity can exist and not squash you.. it all depends on the amount of gravity. The fact that your not squished doesn’t break the law of gravity..

      November 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @chad

      Thank you! Seriously, I appreciate you, you've finally uncovered your ignorance enough to let me show you why you're so horrifically wrong that I can finally help educate you.

      You're little scene you gave me is patently false because I don't imemdiately jump to the conclusion of materilization, but I guess since this is how you learn, lets go:
      Chad and Chuckles are walking in the woods
      Me: Hey cool, a watch, I wonder where it came from
      Chad: stupid question, it came from god, but I guess if you want to get more specific, someone probably dropped it
      Me: you're right, lets check to see if someone is missing a watch
      - Chad and Chuckles head to town, post signs and after no success for many weeks, decide that the person who dropped it probably isn't around. For sh.its we check to see if we can get a dna print off the watch, but low and behold the only prints are chads and chuckles'. We take it to a watch maker, he concludes after many hours of research, double checking, peer review, that the watch should, by all means, no exist. The parts are not accounted for, there is no record of this watch anywhere, the only likely conclusion is that it came into being somehow, someway.
      Me: I guess it must have just appeared
      Chad: Pshhhh, the odds of that happenening are so low that watch can't exist, since the odds are so high, it must be god, miracle! God has truely blessed us with his divine wisdom in giving us a timepiece!
      Me: Well, I don't see how this proves that it was god, or what the purpose was, there's probably a better chance that it materialized before god appeared, set a fully functioning watch down in the woods and disappeared
      Chad: It IS god! Don't believe me? Then how can you explain why watches tick? HUH!? This watch ticks, thus god is present and made this watch. Furthermore, the odds of your as.sertion are so big that it can't be true. I can't give you an answer that is any more believeable, but it was god, case closed!

      Secondly, still don't actively reject god, I disbelieve in the notion of god. I say you spend as much energy disbelieving in zeus as me, and I use the same amount of energy to also not believe in god. Now you tell me, how does it feel to suspend all logic and reason and act like an idiot for the sake of social acceptance and the promise of cookies after death?

      I will actually sincerely apologize for this last question, "Why do I have to ask why the first single-cell organsm had dna", solid question to ask. However, this question has nothing to do with evolution other than it the most cosmetic sense that dna worked because it everything else didn't. Ya dig?

      Exactly, because I'm not squished means that gravity is sticking to the constant. You intiial question of why does this occur, seems trivial and stupid both on its face and more in depth because you seem to imply that this question a) should be asked and b) the only possible answer is god and specifically the god of the bible is sitting there making sure every nanosecond, of every day, of every year, of every millenium, ect.... making sure that gravity sticks to this constant.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Chad

      We're getting closer 🙂

      this captures it well:

      "Chuckles: I guess it must have just appeared
      Chad: Pshhhh, the odds of that happenening are so low that watch can't exist, since the odds are so high, it must be god, miracle! God has truely blessed us with his divine wisdom in giving us a timepiece!
      Chuckles: Well, I don't see how this proves that it was god, or what the purpose was, there's probably a better chance that it materialized before god appeared, set a fully functioning watch down in the woods and disappeared"

      =>and that is precisely where you go wrong. You're willing to accept the impossible(that it materialized) on faith, whereas I accept that the uncaused cause (the God of Abraham) as having deposited it.
      Certainly enough for me to have demonstrated that your belief system is based on a vastly higher degree of faith/improbability than mine 🙂

      Chuckles "Secondly, still don't actively reject god,"
      =>then you arent an atheist by definition.
      Look, you cant argue that, if you want to change the definition of the word talk to Webster. "atheist, one who believes that there is no deity"

      =>I cant puzzle out what you're trying to say with "this question has nothing to do with evolution other than it the most cosmetic sense that dna worked because it everything else didn't."

      November 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Chad

      oh, and I actually positively deny that zeus is real. But I dont have the burden of proof so I dont spend any time on it. God has the burden of proof, as He has said He is the only God and all others are fake.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad,

      I'm happy that we're starting to reach a level of understanding, but you must first realize that a) I am not willing to accept the impossible, however I am willing to accept the highly improbable if there's evidence enough for it. My above little song and dance I wrote doesn't reflect the mounds of evidence that we have in which I would favor over god, who does not have any evidence of exisiting, so I posit that since you believe that it would make total sense that god would appear in the middle of the woods, drop a watch and then disappear and it actually being possible shows me the delusion in which you have caught yourself in. I know the situation above is ridiculous because nothing can just materialize, but by your standards, that's totally possible. Good job chad!

      Must I post a definition of atheist for you? I mean, zeus knows how many times that's been posted on these boards? It comes down to semantics here chad, I don't actively reject god, I just don't believe in religion. Do you see the difference? Agnosticism and Atheism are two separate things and I can be both. I reject all things religion because even if there is a god out there, I'm fairly certain that nobody in the history of the world has gotten it right so far. I also will never fully reject the possibility that there is no god in this universe because I have no reason to, I have a greater reason to believe there is not but to be fully sure or unsure that god exists/does not is setting yourself up to be wrong. I know your tiny, unevolved brain probably just exploded from the mental process used to separate the two terms, but I hope at least a bit still remained to actually comprehend it.

      The evolution question was poorly written, was I was trying to say was your question of WHY dna is dna and not something else is again, irrelevant to the conversation and a red herring. DNA works because it works and it is a conduit for different species to spread their genes through. To me my knowledge at the present, we have no idea and won't really ever know, what primitive dna looks like because we do not have any way of getting a blood sample from millions of years ago. If you can, please let the science community know, I'm sure they would love to get their hands on a dna sample from the primordial ooze to see what it looked like. I can, using evolution, predict that early forms of dna are probably primitive and less complex and gained complexity over time as species did.

      This last statement is so ridiculous it actually made me laugh out loud and I have to repeat it again, "oh, and I actually positively deny that zeus is real. But I dont have the burden of proof so I dont spend any time on it. God has the burden of proof, as He has said He is the only God and all others are fake."
      Now chad, I don't expect you to see just how idiotic that statement is, you've proven yourself to be immovable when it comes to stupidity so I'll just leave you with this, I positively believe that god is not real, but I don't have proof to prove otherwise so I don't spend any time on it. Zeus on the other hand has been proven real, he said so himself and he said everyone, all the other gods in other cultures are fakes.....

      November 9, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • fred

      Chad
      You have plenty of proof that Zeus was not real. In Acts 14 the Greeks of Lystra thought Barnabas was Zeus and tried to worship him. Barnabas ripped his clothing declaring he was human not a god. Now, Chuckles like the Greeks needed to be approached on the basis of reason. They all then realized Zeus was not real.
      1 Paul appealed to the evidence around him that God created all things
      2 Paul spoke of Gods kindness in providing all their needs
      3 This God is different than the statues and idols they worshiped in vain that are empty vs. the living God
      In Romans 1:19 Paul said:"God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. "
      Chad you Paul and Barnabas on your side !

      November 9, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      Fred, the Greek texts of mythology disagree with your book of mythology. Why should we believe yours but not theirs, when yours gets so much else wrong, and contradicts itself. And the Greek gods had way better parties than yours.

      I'll see you at the sacrificial altar though. Your god does seem to like people doing the bloody stuff more than the Greek ones did. Will you be doing a sheep this week?

      November 9, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • fred

      Dr.
      That is the difference between the living God and myth of Zeus. Blood sacrafice ended almost 2,000 years ago when Christ paid the final price. Full atonement of sin in the perfect lamb of God. When Jesus said "it is finished" he said it all. The curtain was torn that separated the people from the Holy one of Israel. All the years of sacraficial systems and ceramonies through the priests was over no longer needed. Man was now ready and the temple for God was within man not the 4 walls and purple cloths only the priests could see behind.
      God has always moved among a people that welcome him. In the past man carried God symbolically in an ark now God through the Holy Spirit endewells every believer.

      November 9, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      Like the good Dr. has pointed out, using your book to refute someone elses book when both have the same historical significance, outlandish claims and religion is probably the dumbest thing you can do. Now, if you can show me why Zeus is false and god is real through something else other than your book saying so, I'll give you more of a chance.

      You also have it completely wrong with jesus by the by. If jesus really officially fulfilled the law then two thins would be true that are not so in todays world. 1. The revelation would have already come and gone and it would be the end of the world and 2. people would not have to follow anything in the bible because its already been fulfilled, Leviticus? Nope, 10 Commandments (found in both leviticus and deuteronomy I believe), yeah, they don't count either.

      Also, Jews didn't symbolically carry around god in the ark of the covenant. They carried around the tablets of the 10 commandments, you know....the covenent (hence the name ark of the covenant), and it had as much meaning to them as transsubstantiation does to good christians who, by doctrine, have to believe they are legit eating and drinking christ, which is whackier in your opinion?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Ok, so the Catholics and some of their offshoots expanded on what Jesus said communion was all about. This does not effect core doctrine any more than Mitt wearing supercharged underwear effects the core doctrine. Paul and Peter had two different thoughts when the chruch first started out. They came to grips with keeping the Gospel message straight and not adding a bunch of man made rules to the simple message of Christ. As things would have it we today end up with a bunch of rules, regulations and traditions that were never part of the simple message. All I am saying is turning wine into blood and wearing special underpants is a distraction not a stumbling block to eternal life.
      As to Zeus, if your internal bias against religion is such that Zeus and God are on the same level there is nothing anyone can say.
      Not sure what your trying to say about Jesus and the second comming. The signs Jesus specifically stated would appear prior to the End of Days have not happened. His specific warning as to the temple related to 70AD and did happen (yes as always there is the camp that says this was not written before 70AD and was inserted.) which was a separate warning.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Chad

      Chuckles “god, who does not have any evidence of existing”
      =>Nonsense, now you have to read thru the entire cut and paste evidence list 
      1. The scientifically required necessity of an uncaused cause at the origin of the universe. The universe is expanding in all directions and cooling. Going backwards there was a point in time when the universe had infinite heat and density. Prior to this singularity there was nothing. Not “something”, nothing. Matter and time were created at that point of rapid expansion. By definition whatever caused this expansion could not have itself had a prior cause (the infinite regression problem). Whatever caused it must have always existed. That is what physicists call the “uncaused cause”

      2. The phenomenal preciseness of the “big bang” expansion which was required to allow stars/planets to form. The fact that space and time were created at that cosmic singularity. (And God said, "Let there be light"). It didn’t just randomly explode, rather it expanded in such a precise manner that an infinitesimal change would have rendered a universe where matter was so spread out no formation of stars could have possibly occurred.

      3. The fact that the universe obeys laws and that science by definition relies on that which it can not explain: "Science starts from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God". – Leonard Mlodinow Co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of A Briefer History of Time.

      4. The fossil record which shows millions of years of stable species, then an explosion of necessarily mutations, all occurring at the precise necessary time required for complex organisms to develop, and ALL escaping fossilization
      “the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      5. The historical evidence of Jesus Christ “Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who was regarded as a teacher and healer in Judaea,[18] that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and that he was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[19] Critical Biblical scholars and historians have offered competing descriptions of Jesus as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement.” –Wikipedia
      6. The historical fact that hundreds of people believed they witnessed the resurrected Jesus and were willing to go to their death saying that.
      7. The demonstrated historical accuracy of the biblical narrative in all accounts, the Gospel of Luke alone has hundreds of verified historical accuracies.

      8. Stolen from William Craig:
      1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
      2. Evil exists.
      3. Therefore, objective moral values exist. (Some things are evil!)
      4. Therefore, God exists.

      @ Chuckles “I posit that since you believe that it would make total sense that god would appear in the middle of the woods, drop a watch and then disappear and it actually being possible shows me the delusion in which you have caught yourself in. I know the situation above is ridiculous because nothing can just materialize, but by your standards, that's totally possible. Good job chad!”
      =>wonder if you realize that you just acknowledged that nothing can just materialize (you had been saying before rather vociferously that it WAS possible, because after all it was there wasn’t it..). Then you go on to say that I say it materialize.. but I didn’t say that, I said God put it there, that is different than just materializing, which you now acknowledge is impossible.
      So, if you have now acknowledged that materializing was impossible, how did it get there?

      @ Chuckles“Must I post a definition of atheist for you? I don't actively reject god, I just don't believe in religion. “
      You aren’t an atheist then, you’re a believer in humanism.
      Atheist: “One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.” – Free Online Dictionary
      humanism1. A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.

      @Chuckles “DNA works because it works and it is a conduit for different species to spread their genes through”
      =>definition of faith in the absence of data right there.

      @Chuckles “I positively believe that god is not real, but I don't have proof to prove otherwise so I don't spend any time on it. Zeus on the other hand has been proven real, he said so himself and he said everyone, all the other gods in other cultures are fakes.....”
      =>upon what are you basing your positive belief (you slipped up there in acknowledging atheism requires a positive disbelief in a diety

      November 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Chad

      missed the tail end of that last post

      .. deity BTW) that God does not exist? You cant say that it’s a lack of evidence, that isn’t sufficient for a positive disbelief (it would be sufficient for agnostics, but not atheists). What data do you have that Zeus is in fact real

      November 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Fred

      If you really believe what you just wrote, you should know the original message of jesus always and forever was supposed to be for jews and jews only. It's the implied message as it is in the 10 commandments when it says "thou shalt not kill" it would have been redundant to say "israelites" but that's who it was for only. If you really want to follow jesus and not the rules that Paul set up as christianity, become a jew for jesus, they're probably the only real christ followers outt here.

      Again, explain to me (without the bunk bible) why god and zeus are any different?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @chad

      If I were dead, I'd roll over, and then I'd roll over again.

      The sh.it you copy and pasted are all observations that do NOT point towards god and is NOT proof, it's your opinion and inference. Please learn what proof is before copy and pasting this sh.it again.

      Secondly, nothing can just materialize, however if you actually read what I (and many others write) we don't know what the universe was like before the big bang, and with the warp of time, space and all natural laws, the big bang becomes a special case where the impossible can become possible. Yes, as you have pointed out, this takes some faith to believe in (not sure why you or any other believer thinks that just because I don't believe in god, I am utterly devoid in having faith), but the faith I have is based among evidence and reason that points towards the possible answer but my faith does NOT blind me to other possibilities, yours does which is the problem chad. As for the watch problem, its so hypothetical it's really not worth much more to pursue because you are right, I think it highly imporbable a watch would appear from nothingness, and since that has never in the history of the universe as we know it, to have happened, to discuss what I would do in that event is moot.

      As for your definition in atheist, sadly I think you're missing something, the term God and god are muddled but have two separate meanings. When it says that as an atheist I disbelieve in God, its because I reject religion and God (in this case, the god of abraham), where as I still am open to the possibilty of there being a god, or supernatural diety. You are right though, I am also a humanist, see how I can be many things and not just one thing like an atheist? We're learning so much (and when I say "we" I mean "you")

      "@Chuckles “DNA works because it works and it is a conduit for different species to spread their genes through”
      =>definition of faith in the absence of data right there."
      Well first, like I said above, I am allowed to have faith, and secondly there is data, loads of it. Ever hear of mendle, or genetic engineering or really anything have to do with genes and dna and how dna from two individuals helps create a third with genetic traits inherited from both sets of dna either as dominant or recessive. Honestly, if you don't understand dna or genetics, I'm not the person to teach it to you, but chad, there is evidence and just because you ignore it doesn't make it disappear.

      Oh chad, is english your first language? I hope not, because trying to use a "positive disbelief" as the basis for your arguement is very sad indeed. To say I positively affirm that I don't believe in god, is the same as saying I don't believe in god, it does not change the meaning of the sentence in any way, shape or form. Moving forward you ask why I don't believe in god? Well I'm fairly postive (there's that word again) I've told you time and time again that the ambiguity and falsehoods in the bible, scientific breakthroughs and natural phenomonon all point towards the god of abraham to be a man-made invention, as well as all other gods that have come before and after him (except zeus of course, he's totally real)

      I (and along with a great many other atheists) bring up zeus for many reasons, but lets see how you like to argue theology with someone else whos god you believe is completely false because its so obvious.

      First and foremost, Zeus is real beacuse of the great many books that have been written about him as well as the stories told by the ancient greeks. You can get a glimpse of zeus everytime there is a thunder storm. Not only are there a lot of eye witness accounts of Zeus coming down from Olympus and talking to people, I personally have spoken with Zeus himself. I even posit my belief in the ancient greek religion makes more sense than yours because the Gods do everything. Why does gravity exist, well that beacuse of the god of gravity (Gravitius) makes sure it keeps us glued to the grown, but not to much that it would mash us into the ground (How precise Gravitus is!). Why hasn't the earth fallen out of orbit, well thats because Atlas is holding it up! Duh! Now how are you going to tell me differently? Are you going to use the bible? well my book is as acceptable as yours and equally as historical AND I have many different sources to back up my claims, more than your puny book. Science? Nope, my gods exist outside of time and space. Is it because your god said hes the one true god and all others are fakes? Well Zeus told me that you're actually worshipping Hades (that jealous ole Hades!) and he's trying to steal power from Zeus in gaining more supporters, he is even promising you life in the Elysian fields after death! I guess the only thing you got on me is more people believe in yours than mine, but we both know that even if 99.99% of people believe something to be true it doesn't make it true (See the earth being flat) so I guess the numbers game doesn't help.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      The biggest flaw in your argument that Zeus and God are of the same fold in your statement:
      “I personally have spoken with Zeus himself”
      This is what Paul and Barnabas were pointing out “look we are men just like you not gods”. This is real here and now we are alive you are alive! It is a living God, look at the provisions before you (a festival was in progress). Look to the creation all around you it is alive not some statue or carved idol in your hand. The priest from the Zeus temple was going to sacrifice a bull to Paul and was rebuked.
      The difference is Greeks on the spot recognized Zeus was not real. How easy for man to give up what is not real.This is contrary to the God of Abraham around now forever (some argue only 3,400 years).
      All the other gods you point out were of no use when gravity, lightning etc were scientifically proven. This too argues for God and nothing to date overshadows “In the beginning God created”. Evolution, physics etc cannot counter this. Science may explain some details of creation or matter but never the creator.

      Zeus is the son of Cronus who was born of Uranus the son and husband of mother earth. Clearly Zeus is but formed from the earth that spun from perhaps a big bang. God is very different from this as God did not come from the earth God created, was before creation. As we view back in our universe we see untold billions of years before Zeus yet still we cannot reach or comprehend beginning. Why because God (unknown ) has no beginning as science speculates. Science prefers their bible version “in the beginning something”. Something (God) is better than nothing (Zeus)

      November 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      First and foremost, greeks didn't just give up zeus on the spot, they were converted first by the romans on pain of death and later when the romans converted to christianity, there were still pagans, no one just looked at their beliefs, decided they were silly and changed.

      In any event, you don't know Zeus like I do, we've spoken, I've also spoken AND boned Hera and that was for sure real. Since Uran.us and Ga.ia both are real too, when I look around I see Gaia, Zeus's grandmother, I don't know about this god you speak of, I mean I get to TOUCH god whenever I feel the ground, you just touch his "creation", you poor soul, not knowing what god actually feels like.

      You'r really going to use the science angle to disprove the greek gods? Silly freddy! Science is just proving the greek gods exist! Lightening is formed by electricity which zeus controls and throws down at earth. Gravity, like I said is created by Gravitius, how do you think we got the word gravity?! It's right there fred! Open your eyes!

      I have Uran.us, the powerful creator of the Ti.tans and Zeus and is a very powerful diety who has existed before time began. Whenever you look through a telescope, you'll see ura.nus still creating new stars and galaxy and the scientific theories (I mean they're just THEORIES after all) favor Uran.us and zeus and the rest of the gods who have created and maintained this world, it would behoove you to stop praying strictly to Hades or soon Zeus is going to strike you dead with his lightening.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Chad

      so many problems with you not understanding the bible..

      @Chuckles "If you really believe what you just wrote, you should know the original message of jesus always and forever was supposed to be for jews and jews only."
      =>that is completely incorrect, Jesus preached FIRST to the Jews, then later (after the resurrection) the Apostles were commanded by Jesus to take the Gospel to the Gentiles

      Matthew 15:24 , Jesus said "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel"

      Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

      @Chuckles " If you really want to follow jesus and not the rules that Paul set up as christianity, become a jew for jesus, they're probably the only real christ followers outt here. "
      =>Christians are adopted Jews, adopted into the family of Jews. Since we now live under a new testament, we no longer have to keep the law that was put in place under the old testament.
      As Jesus said on the cross "It is finished", referring to His earlier statement that "He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill them"

      November 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @chad,

      Nice deflection, you can't answer anything I directed at you, so you point out some problems with my comments to fred! Bravo Chad! (Oh shoot, sorry, I'll leave that cheer for you later when you congratulate yourself on a job well done)

      I guess zombie jesus did preach for everyone, although it looks like everyones failed because theres still a solid amount of jews around, so apparently jesus' message was lost on a hefty amount of people because he thought he could play the part of messiah and didn't convince that many people.

      Also, you might like to pretend you're an "adopted jew" but please, I beg you, go to your church tomorrow and or just talk to any christian and call them an adopted jew, see how they react and then report back here, I would love to hear the reaction you got. Oh yeah, I can say personally on my end, being born a jew, no christian is accepted as a jew, adopted or otherwise.......bummer.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles: "First and foremost, Zeus is real beacuse of the great many books that have been written about him as well as the stories told by the ancient greeks"
      =>which book? Is the book internally consistent? Does it have credibility as a narrative that actually occurred, if so why? What historical information is correctly detailed that gives us confidence that the author was scrupulous in his/her record? Are we sure we have what the author originally wrote, or is our latest manuscript just a couple hundred years old?
      Not all books are created equal, each needs to be scrutinized.

      @Chuckles "... there a lot of eye witness accounts of Zeus coming down from Olympus and talking to people"
      =>What witnesses? Do we have accounts of that? Did they write it down? Do we have those original manuscripts, are we confident that they wrote it down accurately, is it internally consistent, historically accurate?

      @Chuckles "Why hasn't the earth fallen out of orbit, well thats because Atlas is holding it up! Duh!"
      =>if there is a claim that Atlas is holding the earth up, that can be verified pretty quickly from outer space... which of course we know isnt true, unless you are positing that Zeus is invisible, then ok.

      It's all about critical examination and data.
      now, I know you're going to laugh all of this off, but the reality is we trust some books and dont trust others PRECISELY because their contents have withstood the test of time and proved themselves to be accurate.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Of course I'm going to laugh at you! You demand the same scrutiny that you reject when applied to the bible!
      You asked me which book? Well not only do we have Homer's Odyssee and Iliad which gives us a description of this historically accurate places, but its withstood the test of time AND been verified to have been written during that time period, which means all the contents must be true as well. The authors all have mentioned real places, and real people, considering thats about as much as the bible has, I think its safe to say that they're equally valid as well.

      There have been so many witnesses and they're all consistant, for the most part, I mean Zeus can transform into pretty much anything and look like anything so who cares if people describe him differently, thats how its supposed to be, because thats how zeus wants it!

      With Atlas, he's there, you just have to have faith. The same way that garden of eden or shangra-la exists. We should be able to quickly verify these places from space as well and yet no sign of them..... whatever, Atlas exists and if you can't see him, its only because you're not looking hard enough, give me evidence that he's not there.....there, now the burden of proof is on you to show me that atlas, zeus, etc.. does not exist. SHOW ME ATLAS DOESN'T EXIST.

      Lastly, The Odyssee has withstood the test of time longer than your puny bible, I think it's time we go back to that story, because its older so it must have more significance AND must be truer, I mean, why would it still be around if it wasn't true chad?

      November 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Team righto

      @Chad-. Your posts are always ausgezeichnet, Excellent, Excellente!
      God bless you Chad!

      November 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Bob

      team r., dunno where you get that conclusion about chad from, unless you forgot a sarcasm tag.

      Chuckles totally destroyed chad's weak "arguments", by my read. Differ if you choose, but I'd like to know why.
      And Rick Perry still has plastic hair.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Chuckles “There is as much evidence for the events portrayed in the Odyssey being true as the events in the Bible” [paraphrase mine]

      Oldest manuscript:
      Odyssey: 10th or 11th century AD (fragments from 300BC)
      Bible: 150 BC

      Written:
      Odyssey: ~1100BC (estimates vary widely)
      Bible: 1300 BC—80AD (dated exactly)

      Witnesses to the events portrayed (real historical people as witnesses)?
      Odyssey: One, Homer (author)
      Bible: Millions of Jews during the exodus/conquest of Canaan, etc.., hundreds of people witnessed the resurrected Christ, 44 authors.

      Was it written to portray a god as a real enti ty or was it intended by the author to be a fictional story:
      Bible (God): yes – was written as a non fiction book
      Odyssey (Zeus): no- intended to be fiction by the author

      Good read here, a comparison of the literary styles of the bible vs Homers works.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odysseus%27_scar_%28Auerbach%29
      “History versus legend: The Odyssey is told like a legend – it is a little too convenient, too streamlined a story, and its characters are all "clearly outlined" men with "few and simple motives." In the Bible, reality is represented more like history – filled with ambiguity, confusion, and contradictory motives.”

      The Iliad and The Odyssey were not sacred texts. They were not written to be.
      The bible was written as a history of Gods interaction with mankind.

      November 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @Fred: "This too argues for God and nothing to date overshadows “In the beginning God created”. Evolution, physics etc cannot counter this. Science may explain some details of creation or matter but never the creator. Zeus is the son of Cronus who was born of Uranus the son and husband of mother earth. Clearly Zeus is but formed from the earth that spun from perhaps a big bang. God is very different from this as God did not come from the earth God created, was before creation. As we view back in our universe we see untold billions of years before Zeus yet still we cannot reach or comprehend beginning. Why because God (unknown ) has no beginning as science speculates. Science prefers their bible version “in the beginning something”. Something (God) is better than nothing (Zeus)"

      Much better said than mine..Which is why no one takes Zeus seriously. On the other hand the God of Abraham will endure forever 🙂

      November 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @chad

      HA! So you're telling me, to paraphrase, that since in our culture we don't take the book seriously that it shouldn't be taken seriously? I thought we already talked about numbers game and lots of people believing in something doesn't make that something true?

      I had a couple of favorite parts though,
      1. You somehow knowing the authors intentions of both Homer and, essentially the Council of Nicea's. First, that you presume that what homer wrote as well as older manuscripts dating back to ancient greece about zeus was supposed to be fictional is downright silly and culturally chauvinistic. If you can find something written by homer where it says , "please don't take me seriously, this is supposed to be a fictional story" I'll eat my shoe.
      2. That you concede that the bible was written to be deliberately as sacred and holy is something we both agree on, and yet you having been armed with the knowledge still read the bible as completely, 100% true without bias.....astounding chad, really astounding mental gymnastics you did there.
      3. The fact that you say the characters in the bible are more nuanced than characters in the odyssee is, well, it makes me wonder if you've every actually read the bible. You try to find nuance, real world subtlety in people portrayed in the bible but what do we really see? We have some quick stories about Abraham traveling around with sarah every where, occasionally screwing stuff in the name of good, almost killing his son in the name of god, selling his wife up the river a couple of times in the name of god, sounds awfully predictable and robot like to me, and yet you have odysessus, a constant lost hero trying to make his way back to his wife penelope and struggling with his own morality, journeys, trials and ultimate success. Odysseus shows the real underlying spirit of humanity, the bible shows abraham, isaac, moses, joseph as robots, slaves to gods will. I'll stick with the odyssee, it sounds a lot more true to me personally anyways.
      You also haven't explained any of my other points and copy and pasting the chi.t fred wrote shows that you have no original material at all and that you think fred actually had a point, which is basically as.serting his own cultural chauvinism and dismissing zeus for god because the bible tells him to. That's opinion and last time I checked opinions are like as.sholes, everyone has one. So, once you can show me, you can prove to me why your bible has gained the right, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary that god is real, that your bible should be taken any more seriously than other religion other than just because you believe it should be and so do others, I will freely worship zeus and not make any rules I expect you to follow based on my opinions on zeus, I suggest you and your cronies do the same and keep religion out of politics. Thank you and good night.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckkes " You somehow knowing the authors intentions of both Homer ..... If you can find something written by homer where it says , "please don't take me seriously, this is supposed to be a fictional story" I'll eat my shoe."
      =>no fiction book ever says that 🙂
      I pointed out the text analysis that person did to juxtapose it with the authenticity of the biblical narrative.

      @Chuckles "That you concede that the bible was written to be deliberately as sacred and holy"
      =>CONCEDE?? The Bible was written as sacred text, entire groups of people dedicated their lives to faithfully reproducing it over thousands of years. The Bible itself claims to be scripture. What in the world ever led you to believe I had to be forced to concede that the authors of the bible knew they were writing about GOD when they were doing it?
      For crying out loud, a great many books start with "The word of the lord...".
      Have you never read it?
      Yes, it was deliberately written as sacred and holy, and it makes that claim throughout.

      @Chuckles "The fact that you say the characters in the bible are more nuanced than characters in the odyssee ..."
      =>well, if you scroll up, it wasnt me saying that, i was quoting another.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      You're right I suppose, the bible doesn't say anything about how it should or shouldn't be taken seriously, I guess only non-fiction both has to show their bonafides in order to prove the validity of the material its presenting and not asking the reader to just go with it, or "have faith it's right"..... Weird how that works I guess.

      Firstly, telling me thousands of people have faithfully reproduced it over the years does not contribute to the validity of the bible, it just shows the bible has fooled a heck of a lot of people. As for saying, and a I quote, "Yes, it was deliberately written as sacred and holy, and it makes that claim throughout." , wow chad, and here I thought we first started this because you were appalled I would take something by just its word and a scientist telling me to believe it and yet here you are saying it makes complete sense to take a 2,000 year old goat herder on his word because he says so in his book.... Chad, that is really fantastic logic, honestly bravo, I think you might have ripped a hole in the universe with all the twists and turns it took to get to this moment.

      Lastly chad, when you quote someone the way you did, namely using it to bolster your argument, you give up the right to disown it because I make a good point that refutes the original statement. If you didn't agree with the quote or feel you can't defend it, then don't quote it in the first place, or does that not compute?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Chuckles "You're right I suppose, the bible doesn't say anything about how it should or shouldn't be taken seriously, "
      =>starting to think you never actually read the bible.. Have you?
      The bible takes itself EXTREMELY seriously, it refers to itself as scripture, it refers to the authors as having received the words they are writing from God Himself. It warns against changing even the smallest part of it.

      Have you ever actually read it?

      @Chuckles "Firstly, telling me thousands of people have faithfully reproduced it over the years does not contribute to the validity of the bible"
      =>Well that's a crazy statement. Job #1 in evaluating the reliability of anything is to figure out if we have the original text or not. If you dont, then what are you evaluating?

      @Chuckles "As for saying, and a I quote, "Yes, it was deliberately written as sacred and holy, and it makes that claim throughout." , wow chad, and here I thought we first started this because you were appalled I would take something by just its word and a scientist telling me to believe it and yet here you are saying it makes complete sense to take a 2,000 year old goat herder on his word because he says so in his book"

      =>I have no idea what point you are making with "I would take something by just its word and a scientist telling me to believe it " what book are you talking about? No scientist ever told you to believe the Odyssey..

      what I said was that the Bible was written as non-fiction, it was written as scripture, it was written to convey the words of God, it is internally consistent in making that claim. The authors specifically claim to be writing the words of God.
      The Odyssey never makes that claim, it never claims to be scripture, it's a story. The textual analysis points to that conclusion as well.

      @Chuckles "Lastly chad, when you quote someone the way you did, namely using it to bolster your argument, you give up the right to disown it because I make a good point that refutes the original statement. If you didn't agree with the quote or feel you can't defend it, then don't quote it in the first place, or does that not compute?"
      =>I pointed out that it wasnt I that said it. I havent read the odyssey so I cant personally make a case that it was written as fiction, I'm relying on the hundreds of critical examinations of it that state it is fiction with some historical facts thrown in.

      It's Greek mythology. If you can find 2 billion people that believe Zeus is a real god based on it, I"ll promise to read it 🙂

      As to your point of the characters in the Odyssey being more "real" than the characters of the Bible: get real, that's nonsense, find me one scholar anywhere that believes that.

      November 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • illuminate

      Kudos Chad! and yet again you have established your intellectual prowess in arguing is far superior.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Chuckles

      Have I finally got the infamous "don't call me names" chad to start personal attacks?! Win!

      For my first point, I would like to ask, where exactly does the bible say at the beginning or end that it is all true and gives it's bonafides like a good non-fiction story should? Fiction can take itself very seriously too chad, in it's content it can say that it is all truth and divine, but if the beginning and end don't have a forward and appendix explaining it's proof, its research and so on, it's sort of hard to take it seriously, don't you agree?

      Apparently we're not reading the same book, because you labor under the delusion that I have not read the bible, which version are you reading (because there are SO many) so I can see if yours has what I'm searching for.

      "Well that's a crazy statement. Job #1 in evaluating the reliability of anything is to figure out if we have the original text or not. If you dont, then what are you evaluating?" – Initially you didn't say 1000's of people checked the reliability over the years, you said reproduce. It's not so hard to be given a text and told to replicate it exactly, you don't have to do research to see if its true to write it down bud. If you want to talk about reliability, I think yuo're ignoring the little thing that if someone tried to check the reliability or the veracity back in the day and found anything deviating from the "party line" they were branded a heretic and social outcast, best case senario was usually getting run out of town...... now you tell me if you were threatened under pain of excommunication and death, does that count as actually, unbiasly checking the reliability? I also left out the people, such as yourself, who find the bible so completely true, they enter in on bias and start extrapolating and inferring to make sure the bible fits in with reality even when theres no trace of that inference. When you want something to be true bad enough, you'll find a way to make it so when the material is so ambiguous and easy to interrpret so many different ways, its not shocking to find so many people agreeing with the bible even when they disagree amongst themselves, everyone sees what they want to see.
      I suppose I am guilty of this as well, refusing to believe the miracles that the bible says have happened, but considering I have yet to see a true, bonafide miracle in my life like the ones that happened all the time in the bible, I think my skepticism is slightly more healthy than your unwavering naive belief. Call me crazy

      My next point about showing you your words that a book is telling you to believe in something. You consistantly say I have to suspend rationality and belief in order to go along with subjects like the big bang and evolution because they are outlandish, but I accept them because a scientist tells me to. The difference of course is a scientist isn't saying, "here's a theory, believe it or die, you have to trust me on this", they provide evidence and sources, and they have the disclaimer that parts of theories are subject to change in light of new evidence. You however don't see your own hypocrisy in greater depth when you say that the bible was deliberately written to be sacred and holy, without ANY sourcing and you take the word of people who lived a really long time ago who also can not provide you with anything more than "eye-witness accounts" which have undoubtedly been changed, tweaked or even just falsly made up in order to cement their point.
      If we want to go back to the Odyssee, so you're telling me that something holy and written as scripture has to say it is in order to make it true? So does that mean the Book of Bokonon should be taken seriously? I mean, it says a lot that it should be, right?

      "It's Greek mythology. If you can find 2 billion people that believe Zeus is a real god based on it, I"ll promise to read it " – Didn't we go over that playing the numbers game is useless? Have you read the Koran? If not, then by your logic shouldn't you considering there are more people who are muslim than christian. What about the Analects and the Tao de Ching? Since china houses around, I want to say, 1/4 of the worlds population, do those stories not deserve to be read? What about the fact that the Odyssee has survived for centuries, longer than the bible, by your logic, shouldn't a story that has withstood the test of time and is still reproduced and discussed today deserve to be read?
      Like I said before chad, if you're going to quote someone who is supporting your arguement, they become your words and its on you to defend them and not slink back to the ad populem fallacy of saying smarter people than you have discussed it so it must be true. Smart peole can be wrong chad and if you rely solely on others to make your point and not have the knowledge to defend it yourself, then that my friend is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty.

      "As to your point of the characters in the Odyssey being more "real" than the characters of the Bible: get real, that's nonsense, find me one scholar anywhere that believes that."
      Define real exactly? The characters in the Odyssey provide depth, human character, wants, needs, emotions. Who knows how many of these people that Homer wrote about existed and what ones are fantasy? Same can be said of the bible, which also includes some real historical figures (possibly) and more likely mix in fantasy characters in order to drive the point home, like angels, demons and the like.

      Oh, and continuing your own little cheering squad is truely pathetic, it really is chad. If you want to be taken seriously, don't try and pat yourself on the back, it just makes you look even dumber.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • illuminate

      It amuses me when this little paranoid brain goes bonkers over my 'agree with Chad' posts. Chad is probably not even online right now.
      Once again – Chad you are simply brilliant!

      November 11, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad/illuminate

      Is it so wrong of me to have faith that only one person believes in the drivel that he's posting rather than think that another person a) actually thinks that chad is making good points and good enough points to post and b) go to the 62nd page of an almost defunct article for a conversation that has nothing to do with themselves other than to cheer on a stupid post?

      But ok, go on, pretend like you're different people, makes no difference to me. You can make up 100 handles to cheer yourself on, still doesn't make you any more right or rational.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles “Have I finally got the infamous "don't call me names" chad to start personal attacks?!”
      =>Where did I do that?

      @Chuckles “For my first point, I would like to ask, where exactly does the bible say at the beginning or end that it is all true and gives it's bonafides like a good non-fiction story should? “
      =>so.. you have never read it have you, I was wondering why you were dodging that question.
      How EXACTLY do you propose to critique that which you have never read? Atheistic intellectual dishonesty at its best. As for the Bible being written by the authors as bona-fide scripture

      2 Samuel 231 Now these are the last words of David. 2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
      And His word was on my tongue. 3 “The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
      ‘He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God,

      Jonah 1:1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:

      Ezekiel 16 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices 3 and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites;

      2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

      2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

      1 Peter 1:25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
      And on, and on, and on, and on.

      Again, how in the world do you feel like you can critique that which you have never read?

      Intellectual dishonesty is dishonesty in performing intellectual activities like thought or communication. Examples are:
      – the advocacy of a position which the advocate knows or believes to be false or misleading
      – the advocacy of a position which the advocate does not know to be true, and has not performed rigorous due diligence to ensure the truthfulness of the position
      – the conscious omission of aspects of the truth known or believed to be relevant in the particular context.

      @Chuckles "Firstly, telling me thousands of people have faithfully reproduced it over the years does not contribute to the validity of the bible"
      Chad “Well that's a crazy statement. Job #1 in evaluating the reliability of anything is to figure out if we have the original text or not. If you dont, then what are you evaluating?”
      @Chuckles “Initially you didn't say 1000's of people checked the reliability over the years, you said reproduce” It's not so hard to be given a text and told to replicate it exactly

      => Well, actually it is incredibly difficult, which is exactly why so many ancient texts get corrupted over years, examples of course abound. It’s a common atheist nonsense argument that the text HAS been corrupted, so Christians don’t know what they are reading. The bible is one of a kind when it comes to being uncorrupted”

      @Chuckles “If you want to talk about reliability,I think yuo're ignoring the little thing that if someone tried to check the reliability or the veracity back in the day and found anything deviating from the "party line" they were branded a heretic and social outcast”
      =>so all of your “reliability” arguments are essentially “is the bible true”. The answer is yes. If you have any specific questions on whether or not something is real you can detail them and I’m happy to try and answer.
      =>yes, the inquisitions were terrible things, and organized religious inst itutions have done terrible things over the years. That however does NOT mean that the bible is not true (An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it)

      @Chuckles “I think my skepticism is slightly more healthy than your unwavering naive belief. Call me crazy”
      =>your skepticism is NOT based on any understanding of the position of which you are skeptical. That right there is the most damming accusation I can make against you. (see the definition of intellectual dishonest – the advocacy of a position which the advocate does not know to be true, and has not performed rigorous due diligence to ensure the truthfulness of the position)

      @Chuckles “"It's Greek mythology. If you can find 2 billion people that believe Zeus is a real god based on it, I"ll promise to read it " – Didn't we go over that playing the numbers game is useless? “

      =>unlike you, I don’t propose to critique something that I haven’t read, which is why I said that if you found that many people I would read it (note I didn’t say that many people made it real, just that I would read something that I have not read yet). This whole thing got started because you claimed there was as much support for Zeus as there was for the God of Abraham. It’s a nonsense claim that no serious scholar on the face of the earth would attempt to make.
      Numbers don’t make something real, something is real or it isn’t.

      If you want to believe in Zeus, go right ahead. I will not attempt to talk you out of it. My goal is to have people see the truth of the bible and I’m not going to do that by attempting to disprove all the other “gods” out there.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @chad

      Oh Jesus H. Christ chad, is english not your first language? and Hypocrisy I name thee chad! The guy who has already admitted to not reading the Odyssee AND critiquing it! But you are wrong, champ, I have in fact read the bible and if you could suss out where I mentioned that a bible, in its content (a.k.a. all the sh.it you quoted at me) can say that its true all it wants, but to make something non-fiction, the author, at the beginning and the end usually has a forward and an appendix with multiple sources to back up the material its presenting. Then again, keep quoting at me from your book, mind if I do the same? The Book of Bokonon has a whole bunch of cool tid bits to live by AND a creation story and since I'm a Bokononist, you have to take me seriously, now will you wait here why I go touch my feet with another bokononist, its a holy ritual.

      As for the bible being true – again, you have yet to prove it and fall back into pointing out that the bible mentions real places and some real people. The book fallen angels is about the civil war and talks about specific people during the civil war, like Lincoln, and Grant and Lee, now do you think Fallen Angels is also true down to the letter? Chad, learn how to critically examine something without falling into bias. This is why you are so wrapped up as a christian aplogetist that you trip over yourself trying to prove other holy books are wrong that you can't see the wrongness in your own bible.

      "see the definition of intellectual dishonest – the advocacy of a position which the advocate does not know to be true, and has not performed rigorous due diligence to ensure the truthfulness of the position) " -HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, you're shi.tting me right? This is a prank correct? I mean here you are, trying to prove, among other things, that the bible is true down to the letter, even after you know about the council of nicea and that whether the bible was originally written by god, it was revised and edited during that time. you try and prove genesis fits perfectly with evolution and the big bang even with all the glaring contradictions and falsehoods that genesis presents just so you can make sure the bible still sounds truthful? Chad, I can now only as.sume that if you can't look at the arguements you're making against me and apply them to yourself then you're either a much bigger idiot than I could have ever thought, the most intellectually dishonest person on the planet or you're a troll. It must be one of the three of those, because I don't want to live in a world with a person like you actually believing and convincing others of the ridiculous as.sertions you make on a daily basis.

      "If you want to believe in Zeus, go right ahead. I will not attempt to talk you out of it. My goal is to have people see the truth of the bible and I’m not going to do that by attempting to disprove all the other “gods” out there." Now now chad, this is the sadddest part. If you would really allow me to believe in Zeus and go forth in peace then you're goal should coincide with that belief right? namely to not try and make me see truth in the bible that clearly isn't there. I also bring up Zeus and the ancient greeks because your dismissal of them as being ridiculous and worshipping false gods is what you will be seen as in the future, even if that future contains a different prevailing religion instead of atheism. You fail to see just how ridiculous it is to hold on so tightly to the bible and the belief in god and the bible and yet your easy dismissal of ancient greek paganism, or roman paganism, or scandinavian. By not being able to prove why your god should be taken any more seriously than any other god out there you're basically putting your fingers in your ears, stamping your feet and yelling "LALALALA I'M RIGHT LALALALA"

      It's just so sad that at this point you've been able to fool yourself into reconciling modern 21st century science with ancient hebrew nomadic life. I would laugh if I wasn't crying so much at your inepti.tude.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • J.W

      OK I guess I can go eat lunch now. I have just been waiting for your response to that Chuckles. lol

      November 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Chad

      The bible isnt true because it doesnt have an appendix?
      really?

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

      Chuckles, lets do this, I'll pick a book for you to read on why the Bible is true. You pick a book for me to read on why it isnt. We both read and come back in 30 days with a book report.

      deal?

      November 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • why

      Superb posts by the believers and Chad.
      'It' needed a myth to be pitted against the Bible?.The premise for its argument in itself seems nonsensical.
      Good for you believers , you kept the argument going and trounced the poor digression.

      Chad, on another note I was curious to find out if you had a favourite book in the Bible?

      November 14, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  17. Rich

    Nice try Rick but W used that one....

    November 7, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  18. wearejustparticles

    the first part of this story sounds a lot like the Jones cult

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

      Time for the purple Kool-Aid.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  19. Collin

    Sigh – hate to break it to you, but I don't think God cares for earthly politics.

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

      nope... he is way too busy running for relection for MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE....right now his running mate is He-man, they meet bi-weekly at castle Grey Skull for cookies and beer to go over progress.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  20. dont ask

    When god told Jesus to lead his people, he didn't try to take over the Roman Empire. Mr. Perry, I think you have misinterpreted gods word. That seems to happen a lot with these religious folks.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • jonathan

      That's Reverand Perry to you son. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 11:15 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75
Advertisement
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.