home
RSS
Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew
The American Atheists' president acknowledges that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir.
March 1st, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – The billboard wars between atheists and believers have raged for years now, especially around New York City, and a national atheist group is poised to take the battle a step further with billboards in Muslim and Jewish enclaves bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.

American Atheists, a national organization, will unveil the billboards Monday on Broadway in heavily Muslim Paterson, New Jersey and in a heavily Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood, immediately after the Williamsburg Bridge.

“You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” the billboards say. The Patterson version is in English and Arabic, and the Brooklyn one in English and Hebrew. To the right of the text on the Arabic sign is the word for God, Allah. To the right of the text on the Hebrew sign is the word for God, Yahweh.

Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said the signs are intended to reach atheists in the Muslim and Jewish enclaves who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.

“Those communities are designed to keep atheists in the ranks,” he says. “If there are atheists in those communities, we are reaching out to them. We are letting them know that we see them, we acknowledge them and they don't have to live that way if they don’t want to.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Silverman says the signs advertise the American Atheists’ upcoming convention and an atheist rally, called the Reason Rally, in Washington next month.

Atheists have long pointed to surveys that suggest atheists and agnostics make up between 3% and 4% of the U.S. population. That number increases when Americans unaffiliated with any religion are included. The Pew Center’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that 16% are unaffiliated, though only a fraction of those are avowed atheists and agnostics.

Silverman acknowledges that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir.

“People are going to be upset,” he says. “That is not our concern.”

“We are not trying to inflame anything,” he continued. “We are trying to advertise our existence to atheist in those communities. The objective is not to inflame but rather to advertise the atheist movement in the Muslim and Jewish community.”

The billboards will be up for one month and cost American Atheists, based in New Jersey, less than $15,000 each, according to Silverman.

Mohamed Elfilali, executive director of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, laughed when he learned the Arabic billboard would go up in the same town as his office. He says he’s surprised that someone is spending money on such a sign.

“It is not the first and won’t be the last time people have said things about God or religion,” Elfilali says. “I respect people’s opinion about God; obviously they are entitled to it. I don’t think God is a myth, but that doesn’t exclude people to have a different opinion.”

But Elfilali bemoaned the billboards as another example of a hyper-polarized world.

“Sadly, there is a need to polarize society as opposed to build bridges,” he says. “That is the century that we live in. It is very polarized, very politicized.”

The Brooklyn billboard is likely to raise eyebrows among Jews, in part because Orthodox Jews don't write out the name of God, as the billboard does.

“It is an emotional word, there will be an emotional response," said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future. "People will look at it in a bizarre way. People won’t understand why someone needed to write that out.”

To get around the prohibition, Jews usually use only one Hebrew letter in place of the word. In the Torah scroll, though, the word is found and it is pronounced Adonai, which means “my master.”

Rabbi Serge Lippe of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue was more dismissive than outraged about the billboards.

“The great thing about America is we are marketplace for ideas,” he says. “People put up awful, inappropriate billboards expressing their ideas and that is embraced.”

But Lippe acknowledged that there are a lot of agnostic and atheist Jews. A recent Gallup survey found 53% of Jews identified as nonreligious. Among American Jews, 17% identified as very religious and 30% identified as moderately religious.

“When you have two Jews in the room, you have three opinions,” joked Lippe.

American Atheists have used the word “myth” to describe religion and God on billboards before. Last November, the organization went up with a billboard immediately before the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln tunnel that showed the three wise men heading to Bethlehem and stated “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate Reason.”

At the time, the American Atheists said the billboard was to encourage Atheists to come out of the closet with their beliefs and to dispel the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season.

The Christmas billboard led to a “counter punch” by the Catholic League, a New York-based Catholic advocacy group. The Catholic League put up a competing billboard that said, “You Know It's Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus."

Silverman says his group’s billboard campaigns will continue long into the future.

“There will be more billboards,” Silverman says. “We are not going to be limiting to Muslims and Jews, we are going to be putting up multiple billboards in multiple communities in order to get atheists to come out of the closet.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Islam • Judaism • New York • United States

soundoff (5,946 Responses)
  1. Peggy

    Something is on the horizon. I don't exactly know what it is but it is quite interesting with all this talk about religion and the debate about the existence of God or Gods.
    My Atheist friends are great people. We share some core values but not spiritual ones. I think they are correct. Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of disbelief in spiritual powers, given some knowledge that I have.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Maya

      Knowledge? What knowledge? Biases and perceptions are not knowledge.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Something is on the horizon." Sounds just like every doomsayer for the past 2000 years or more... "The end of the world is coming!! Can't you tell!! It's obvious since these Romans are so evil and attacking us Christians!!" "It's the end of the world! Jerusalem is falling! 71 AD will never come!!" "Aghhh. The world is ending, Armeggedon is here, with the Nazi's running wild in Europe we will never see the 1950's!!"

      The only thing on the horizon that is guaranteed is another doomsayer predicting mankinds demise. If you all work very hard at it by hating your fellow man and pushing for these religious wars you just might actually be right some day. Thats the problem with self fulfilling prophecies. If the prophet wasn't right today his followers will work hard to make sure it comes true tomorrow...

      March 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      How do you know that it is knowledge, and not something else? We are infamously terrible at self-verification.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  2. amust

    The choice is to believe in the Unseen, like we do for so many things.
    we believe in 'mind' but we never see it, we only feel that it is our mind and not some chemical activity in the brains;
    we believe in air but we never see it, and do not understand why we need air to live.
    we drink water but never know why it is kills our thirst.
    likewise, we do not see ALLAH aka as Yahweh, GOD, RAB, Bhagwan but we believe HE is there as one who is JUST.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • momoya

      Some things are testable, yet invisible to the eye (air). Some things are not testable, and invisible to the eye and any other piece of equipment you might have at your disposal (unicorns/god). Your welcome.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • NG

      Air and water are scientifically provable God is not

      March 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Fred

      There are many things that are testable, not proven, yet science keeps believing and looking for them, i.e. dark matter, the Higgs boson, etc. Why is it an atheist can take the word of a scientist on a scientific principle which has not been proven, the aforementioned PLUS evolution (which I personally believe may be true, but not proven), yet when the experts in the field speak of God (theologians) somehow they are not believed? It's an opinion – a belief, no more, either way. When atheists start respecting religious belief, I will start respecting atheists.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Patrick

      Religious beliefs are not based on the empirical, observable world. Scientific theory is. If you can't understand the difference, you are probably already lost to indoctrination.
      If you shed the things you can't possibly know, you still have a basis of things you do. Build on that. Free yourself.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by 'amust' contains the Argument from Ignorance fallacy as well as multiple instances of Composition fallacies.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      March 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      ???

      You are not even trying. High school kids could answer some of these questions. We don't know why we need air? ADP!

      GED courses are your friends.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  3. jryan

    I need a Christian to tell me there is a God about as much as I need an atheist telling me there isn't. You both annoy me.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Senor Coggs

      Bada – Bing. Exactamundo!!

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Kafir

      If you're not a theist, by default, you're atheist. (This is regardless of whether you're an agnostic or a gnostic)

      March 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  4. MorefromMO

    I don't believe in aetheists or their message. They can go to H*ll.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • NG

      That's how they feel about god, except of course they don't believe in a magically-horrid afterlife as retribution.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Ed

      I'm an atheist, it doesn't mean I'm a bad person or that I wish anyone harm, I just don;t believe in God, Santa, Tooth Fairy, etc. Oh and I don;t believe in hell either, sorry.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Atheist

      Iv'e been through HeII before, was much like any semi-run down town Michigan has to offer, but I'm sorry, I'm not moving there from my own personal Heaven in Carmel, California.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Patrick

      And that is why there are billboards like this going up around the country.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  5. NG

    I'm putting up a billboard that says if you don't believe in the Tooth Fairy and give me money to help propagate the worship of her, you will go to hell.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  6. BuffaloHoosier

    A scientist tells God " Ok God, we have created man. we don't need you anymore". So God says "Ok, let me see you do it". So the scientist bends down to pick up some dirt, God stops him and says " Get your own dirt". God created all of us, atheist or not, He loves all of us, atheist or not, He sent his only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, atheist or not. We are all part of His creation.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Ed

      Thats cute. Silly, but cute. You do realize that the entire premise of your little proverb is based on the assumption that:

      A. God is Real
      B. God Created Everything
      C. Atheists care about God

      March 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Maya

      Prove it.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Kafir

      Claims without evidence can be dismissed without argument.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • joe

      Nicely said.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  7. Edric

    When did the United States go from Freedom OF Religion to Freedom FROM Religion?

    March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Maya

      The latter is implied in the former. If you have the freedom to believe anything EXCEPT not believing, the right is meaningless.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Kafir

      Well said, Maya.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Dave

      1776.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • joe

      The fact that atheists go to such extreme lengths to prove their disbelief in God does exactly the opposite.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Really???

      When they spawned obnoxious Atheistic prosthelytizers that want everyone's religion repressed.
      Sorry Atheists... WE have a right TO our religions.
      My side yard is visible for 2 blocks down the street & I am an artist...Hmmm maybe I can create a shrine for myself. My own property, my religion, right? Maybe I could encourage EVERYONE in my area to express THEIR religion. I can see it now..... houses with stars, crescents, crosses, spirit wheels, ying yang symbols, suns, pentagrams, ankh, lotus. Beautiful............A kaleidoscope of religious expression 😉

      March 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  8. Andy M

    The esoteric teachings suggest that God is the sum total of all life, forces, energies, and even matter of our universe. It could be said that God doesn't exist, and yet there is nothing but God. Maitreya, the World Teacher who is emerging into the everyday world to work with humanity and lead us into a brilliant new, peaceful civilization, is here to show us the way forward. Surprisingly, he will find interest in both atheists (who wish for a better world in general) and those more religious minded folks who seek the spiritual paths and truths and will recognize that Maitreya comes as a representative of God in these modern times.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Kafir

      If I define my toaster to be god, then maybe I won't need any other gods to worship. But at that point, the label of god becomes rather meaningless, same as when you apply it to some random dude.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  9. semanticlover

    As an atheist, I am very respectful of those who choose to believe – I do not attempt to change their mind or minimize their religion. However, I would like to point out that there is a significant difference between saying I do not believe in god, and I do not believe there is a god. I spend more time explaining that than one could imagine. The closest I come to being a "believer" is in the laws of physical nature. And no, I do not believe there had to be a "lawyer" to create said laws. If so, I suspect it would be more of an argument for the existence of a "devil". Enjoy the discussion everyone. Try to keep it civil.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Ed

      I completely agree, atheists aren't "evil", most people I know are just like me and just don't choose to believe theres a magical being in the clouds that controls our lives.

      Try putting some faith in your fellow man, and in yourself, and not an imaginary deity, and we may stand a chance of making the world a better place for everyone.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  10. Eric

    Dear CNN: Please, for the love of whatever you find sacred or important, stop putting religious articles on your front page.
    Thank you.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  11. No atheists in foxholes

    Anyone who has seen and experienced death knows that there is more to the universe than what atheists espouse. I wonder if any of these atheists have ever left their comfy ivory towers before and seen the realities of life.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • joe

      Most of the religious in fox holes are Muslims praying to Allah. Does that make Allah the one true God and the Koran his word?

      Think before you speak.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Patrick

      Anyone who says there are no atheists in foxholes has never been an atheist nor in a foxhole.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Adam

      Firstly, there are atheists in foxholes (=freethoughtblogs . com / rockbeyondbelief). Secondly, you have, necessarily not experienced death. If you had, you would not be here. You can make no claim about the persistence of consciousness after death until you are dead. Please report back when you are dead. Thank you.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

    • This speaks well of the hygiene, personal habits, and good taste of foxes.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Shaun

      you mean the reality that no evidence for god has ever existed?

      your statement that no atheists exist in foxholes is insulting to the many atheists that proudly serve in this country's military.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Maya

      Really? I think I know some soldiers who would disagree with you.

      "Anyone who disagrees with me is just ignorant" is not an argument. Please try to actually contribute something next time instead of spouting arrogant ramblings.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Mark

      Those who have experienced death, are no longer around to tell us anything. As for atheists in fox holes, there are lots of them. One of the most famous being, Pat Tillman.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    Ok now I know most atheists are live and let live and couldn't care less about what other people believe, but whenever you get defensive and wonder why "theists" often call atheism just as much a religion as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc look at things like this. This is textbook proselytizing, that's all it is.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • derrick

      I'm the case of Muslims and Jews, atheism would save lives and stop a 1000 year war.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Patrick

      Jeremy, it is true what you say.

      The issue for many atheists is that they have escaped a life where they were indoctrinated at a young age, usually starting as a young child. Once they are able to escape the ideology, they can have resentment for the indoctrination and, if further abuse was involved, for the further abuse.

      Many atheist, like me, do not come from a theist background, so we see these billboards and we feel a little taken aback also. I know that using "myth" is supposed to soften the message, but it is forceful. I prefer the billboards that stated "I can be good without god."

      March 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Dean

      You say that as though proselytizing were a bad thing. 🙂

      If you believe that truth is good, and falsehood is bad, then you want to speak up and encourage truth - knowledge of truth, acceptance of truth. Some call it evangelizing, some call it proselytizing. But think of it as truth-seeking and truth-holding and truth-defending.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Maya

      If it were proselytizing, the purpose would be to convert others. That is not the point of these billboards. The point of these billboards is to reach out to closeted atheists. It is only by being open about who we are that we can fight the marginalization and bigotry. If we act as if we have a reason to be ashamed, they will continue to treat us as if we should be ashamed.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Really???

      It IS prosthelytizing when you put the three wise men on a sign & tell people to try something else than their religion. That was a direct mockery & attempt to convert during a religious festival. Atheists were open about mocking the Christians because they were confident of their pacifism during that season of peace..
      Face it, the only reason they did not aggressively prosthelytize Muslims on that sign is Atheists are just not brave enough to mock Islam in the same fashion. They saw what happened to those cartoonists! They also knew if they went too far with the Jewish community that sign would not be up for long either. Atheists are just trying a soft sell approach this time.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  13. Ryan

    As an Atheist, I frown on this because one of the huge arguments atheists have is for religious people to stop throwing their religion down our throats and making everything about God. Atheists IMO are above trying to change peoples beliefs, let people believe whatever they want to believe as long as it doesn't interfere with my life, which in many ways Religion does on a daily basis but no need to blast the Atheist belief or non-belief on anyone else.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Patrick

      Well, as an atheist I understand the concern that young children will be indoctrinated into an ideology and not taught to make choices for themselves and to be independent. At the same time, the vitriol that atheists like me carry around is hard to get rid of, as we are generally considered on par with rapists, from an ethical standpoint. Being an atheist, I am sure you can see the problem with that.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Maya

      You are missing the point entirely. No one's religious beliefs are changed by billboards. A devout Jew or Muslim isn't going to see that billboard and decide they don't believe in God anymore, and everyone knows that. These billboards are meant to reach out to closeted atheists. We want to stop being treated as inferior, and that isn't going to happen if we sit in the corner or hide. The situation is NOT live and let live. It is "don't openly disagree with religion or object when it is imposed upon you, and we'll leave you alone." That isn't good enough anymore.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Really???

      Sorry Maya, as a Christian I felt I was being prostelytized at Christmas by Atheists. I also did not think it was anyone's place to MOCK my religion during a religious holy season. I do not mock others for their beliefs. If you choose to believe there is no God it does not make me want to whisper in your child's ear that there IS one. So why do Atheists want to announce where my child can't avoid seeing, that there isn't one? There is one thing you need no God for....To be hypocrites. It is clear some Atheists can do that perfectly well for themselves.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  14. YeahOk

    "God is outside of time and space. The universe, on the other hand, is not."

    And you have proof of this I'm sure.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • YeahOk

      Sorry, this was suppose to have been a reply. (Not this one, this one is a reply 😉 )

      March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Jason

      Not sure who replying to, but that is more of a philosophical question which of course cannot have proof, it is more of something to be pondered. Everything we know of has a cause, so take the universe for example.

      The universe could not have caused itself, it has a beginning. It is bound by time and space. That would be event-event causation if it could, which does not happen in our universe. Something cannot cause itself. The conclusion then is that something outside of time and space, outside of our universe must have caused the universe. And this creator must have had the power to do so, and this creator must have also existed forever. Otherwise it would have had a creator, who must have had a creator, etc... if you adhere to the fact that outside of our universe things must also have a beginning and an end. In order for anything to exist, this can't be true however. It all must come back to one creator who had no beginning. There is logical evidence, by the way, to suggest there was a beginning of the universe, which adds to this argument.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Kafir

      Logical evidence is an oxymoron unless it is tautologically provable on paper. If it's not, you need to engage in the scientific process to test the theory. About the only things provable on paper are mathematical concepts and syllogisms.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  15. Will

    I would only be impressed with this if it was done in Israel or a predominately Muslim nation. As far as I am concerned its a waste of meaning if done here and a little cowardice IMO.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Kafir

      Atheism is a worldwide movement, and likewise, putting up such ads it IS done in other countries, such as israel.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  16. HispanicMan

    The Big Bang theory is a joke. If it were true, where did the energy that caused this Big Bang to occur come from?

    March 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Drew

      That's why the big bang theory doesn't rule out a creator

      March 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • momoya

      Nobody knows yet. Kind of like you don't know where your god came from. Must we make up magical sky daddies just because we can? Just because you've filled in the answer box doesn't mean you are correct–especially when neither you nor anybody else can prove god exists.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • derrick

      That's the same question one would ask about god. Who created him? Atheists look for answers. Religious people just say gave faith. In what I might ask?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @Derrick.... God, The Almighty, never had a beginning. Always was, always will be. He is the Creator of all things. Plain and simple. So simple that many refuse to believe it.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Billy

      It came from behind your ear! Actually the cool thing about science is that you don't necessarily need an answer to everything to move forward with questions. Read up on brane theory and other newer thoughts which could be a source for pondering. The point is you can't just discount an concept simply because you don't understand it. Same with God. It could be that some intelligence created the universe. But if it were to be true, that intelligence would likely exist outside the parameters of our universe, therefore have no influence on us. Even the concept of "influence" may not exist to it because existence could be so fundamentally different. We have 3 dimensions and time, and some possible mathematical dimensions, then it gets very iffy for our little brains to understand. To just assume that there is some dude looking over us is just as presumptive as assuming we are completely alone. Best to just say, "I don't get it" and hope to find more answers in the math... So I digress – It is the math telling us that everything is moving away from everything else. This leads us to wonder what happened when everything was on top of everything else. Concepts like up or hot or later don't really work anymore. This is where we search the numbers for answers, instead of labelling things "big bang" "creation" or whatever...

      March 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Patrick

      The current scientific consensus states that there was nothing before the Big Bang. Even time began at that point.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Kafir

      Claims without evidence can be dismissed without argument. Now, if you had devised a way to test your theory, then we could talk.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  17. Camson

    I hope one day you'll join us, and the world will live as one.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    • Mmm ... shot for being a famous man caught up in an odd boy's fantasy. Why do highly visible atheists go out in such unpleasant ways?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  18. John

    Atheists and the religious are agnostics. None of us really know. The only thing we do know is that we are cheating dishonest liars.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • momoya

      Gnosticism and agnosticism deal with knowledge (spiritual)
      Theism and atheism deal with belief (in god)

      Most atheists are also agnostics because the terms are not mutually exclusive. I don't believe spiritual knowledge is availabe, so I'm an agnostic; I don't believe in god, so I'm also an atheist.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Patrick

      YES! I am so glad to see people other than me make this point. Thanks to you both!

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  19. Independent Mind

    What am I?
    I am a unit of awareness; that I know (no pun). I think I am a soul trapped inside this outer physical body and I hope that me, as a soul, will continue to be a unit of awareness long after the death of this physical body. I think this because of a few validating experiences I've had in my lifetime. Do I have proof of what I think? No. Do I think there is a GOD or some supreme being? I'm not really sure; I'm not convinced either way. I am not a religious person. I do not believe that going to church or practicing rituals will "save" me. I reject religion. I do not believe the stories written in the Bible. I do not believe there is a hell but I hope there is a heaven. So what am I? Would you call me an Atheist?

    March 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Dean

      An atheist says, "there is no God." Since you more or less admit to not knowing, and leaving the door open to the possibility, then you are more of an agnostic.

      A true atheist has to be omnipotent. If I say "there are no such thing as purple rocks with pink spots," then I have to know that no such rocks exist in the entire universe. For an atheist to insist that God doesn't exist requires that he is omnipotent, in order to be qualified to make such a statement. As such, that atheist is claiming that he......is God, essentially. I love the irony. 🙂 "God doesn't exist, but I have to BE God to make that claim."

      March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Dean

      Sorry, just realized a mistake. I mean "omniscient" (all-knowing), not "omnipotent" (all-powerful.)

      March 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Patrick

      Let's flip that logic::

      "A theist says, "there is a God." Since you more or less admit to not knowing, and leaving the door open to the possibility [of no god], then you are more of an agnostic.

      A true theist has to be omnipotent. If I say "there is such a thing as purple rocks with pink spots," then I have to know that such rocks exist in the universe. For a theist to insist that God does exist requires that he is omniscient, in order to be qualified to make such a statement. As such, that theist is claiming that he......is God, essentially. I love the irony. 🙂 "God does exist, but I have to BE God to make that claim."

      March 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Maya

      I can't prove that there isn't a God because it is impossible to prove a negative. I also can't prove that multiple gods don't exist, or that unicorns don't exist.

      I know that the Judeo-Christian God doesn't exist. How do I know that? An omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent being is logically impossible. Actually, even omnipotence is logically impossible (something that some Catholic theologians recognized, but that was later ignored). If you want to know WHY, I recommend infidels.org, which contains some very good arguments showing that God, by the common Judeo-Christian definition, cannot logically exist.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Really???

      Religious...because you do believe in something beyond the physical world. Unaffiliated...because you are not attached to a particular religion. Only 1.6 of the 16.1% describing themselves as unaffiliated to a particular religion are actually atheist(Believe in no Deity) and only 2.4 are agnostic( Need proof of the existence of a Deity). However, you DO believe in a Deity, from your description of yourself. You are fairly normal in gaining a sense of belief from life experiences. Studies indicate that there is an age progression in belief... That as young adults we draw away, questioning, & then reverse that trend as we gain maturity.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Independent Mind

      Agnostic! Yes! I think "agnostic" best describes me!

      March 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  20. bizza

    well...i am atheist. Being that I don't believe in any god, I am not part of any "group" that has anything to do with there being or not being a god. This means that because I am an atheist I am grouped along with the actions of this national atheist group? I think not. Because of this, I really don't participate in any type of discussion or debate with anyone, atheist or not, about religion or a god. And to the person who made reference to a "cult" being created by potheads...that honestly has to be one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard anyone say. Even if you were joking, or trying to infere something, you failed, in an epic manner. also, dd....what are you talking about? why would you think jihad would be any different for us than you? They don't care if you are religious or not, if you aren't islamic, you deserve to die. ok, i have wasted enough of my time here...just had to say a couple things in response to some of the ignorant comments made above. peace!

    March 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
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
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.