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Study: Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief
An exhibit of Rodin's "The Thinker."
April 27th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Study: Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief

By Becky Perlow, CNN

(CNN) - When was the last time you sat down and questioned your decision to believe in God?

According to a new study, that simple act could decrease your religious conviction – even if you’re a devout believer.

In the study, published Friday in the journal Science, researchers from Canada’s University of British Columbia used subtle stimuli to encourage analytical thinking. Results from the study found that analytical thinking could decrease religious belief.

“Religious belief is intuitive - and analytical thinking can undermine intuitive thinking,” said Ara Norenzayan, co-author of the study. “So when people are encouraged to think analytically, it can block intuitive thinking.”

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

Some of the more than 650 Canadian and American participants in the study were shown images of artwork that encouraged analytic thinking, while another group was shown images that were not intended to produce such thinking.

One of the images used to trigger analytic thinking was of Rodin’s statue “The Thinker.” A previous study showed that such images improved performance on tests that indicate analytic thinking.

In addition to the artwork images, the religion study used other stimuli to promote analytical thinking.

After exposure to such stimuli, researchers gauged participants’ religious beliefs through a series of questions. Subjects who had performed analytical tasks were more likely to experience a decrease in religious belief than those who were not involved in such tasks. That included devout believers.

“There’s much more instability to religious belief than we recognize,” said Norenzayan, noting that life’s circumstances and experiences, from traumatic events to joyous occasions, can lead people to become more or less religious.

“Religion is such an important part of the world and we have so little understanding of it,” he added. “So regardless of what you think about religion, it’s important to understand it because it’s so important in the world.”

Norenzayan is quick to mention that the experiments did not turn devout believers into total atheists. But he speculated that if people habitually think analytically, like scientists or lawyers do, it would lead to less religious belief in the long run.

Robert McCauley, director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Culture at Emory University, and author of "Why religion is natural and science is not," found the study particularly interesting because he thought it was difficult to make even a minimal change in religious belief.

“It’s not likely you would argue someone out of a religious belief very often because they don’t hold those beliefs on argumentative or reflective grounds in the first place,” said McCauley, who believes religious beliefs rely primarily on intuitive thinking.

Analytical thinking alone does not necessarily lead to a decrease in religious belief, emphasized Norenzayan.

“There’s a combination of factors [as to] why people become believers or nonbelievers - this is only one piece of the puzzle,” Norenzayan said, explaining that his team doesn’t think analytical thinking is superior to intuitive thinking.

“It makes the story we need to tell about religion and religious belief all the more complicated,” said McCauley. “That’s what great scientific research does – ask more interesting questions.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science

soundoff (3,468 Responses)
  1. Russ

    Of course it does. Duh! Intuitive thinking is what makes people believe they will win the lottery, just as they believe there is a God and Heaven. Critical, analytical thinking requires logic and facts to back up your statements.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Russ

      using my handle does not help the conversation in replying to me.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  2. Tensai 13

    Of course, critical thinking undermines religious delusion! Why do you imagine the religious extremists try to control access to education or even demolish it altogether. Especially anathema to the religious are theories that directly highlight and confront the absurdities of god belief such as – Evolution.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  3. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    My Revelation to all Humanists
    written by Plain ol' Dreamer

    I feel a compelling want to tell you about some verses in Gospel scripture. Is it not written to above all things to seek firstly the "Kingdom of God". This said, have you ascribed to doing so? Where does one look to or towards in order to find that which we are told to seek as scripture does declare one to do?

    Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    The Gospels have within its' writings their precepts as to just where the Kingdom of God is located! Do you know of the whereabouts and exact location of God's Kingdom Domains? I've searched the Gospel writings and have found a single verse telling all who have found it as to the true and literal location of God's Kingdomly Domains!

    Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside you.

    I take Luke 17:21 quite literally and so should all who believe in One God and His One Son of perhaps oodles upon oodles of otherly Sons and Daughters too numerous to really expound upon! Christ is special because he was born to take upon his being the sins of those who were and then were also and of times yet to come! God's Kingdoms being inside us and within our ownliness bodies can also be associated with another verse of scripture ,,,,,

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    The just above verse does tell much more than just glimpsing over it could proclude! Our being labourers with God may well seem to give us all an equal footing with God and his aspirations for our betterment's sakes! His being our husbandry may well regard God as having a firm footing in our conceptions of childbirthing beyond mere genetic understandings! But in the aboveness verse, the very understanding that we or our bodies are God's buildings may well inspire one to disavow such a claim due one's foresightedness sakes and lacking of rationalisms' of credible resources. Yet, as I see things, we, our bodies are not only God established and God created buildings for the benefits of the Godly who reside inside of us, but are for our benefits for learning and understanding the precepts of "Fractal Cosmologies"!

    See,,,,,,, http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html

    We have seen that which our bodies are made up of and they are of cellularized structures not "unlike" stellarized structures in outer space places! These stellarized structures are yet a work-in-progress and our body-like buildings are a progress in the works!

    These words are revelations of my Faith as to my Godly understandings regarding the Kingdom Domains of God, his Sons and his Daughters and all forms and mannerisms of Life-ever-lasting principles and principalities of progressives!

    Analytical thinking is but an anal-lyitical depositorium for fractured members of maniacal contrivences such as guns but not roses! Truth be told fully, an analytical mind is beyond the passivities of the common hybrids in today's allotted and upcoming generations! One needs to be of stupidity in these days wherein all one thinks about are numbered pleasentries! I say lower the marriage age to when one comes into being pubescent! Oh, I keep forgetting people are too young to have such ongoing manifestations of the lewed kind!

    The town fryers are beside themselves and do so need to re-think their being role-modeled as the diasperium compendium of analytics' consortiums! Free-thought does ever degrade the general populace of teeny wieners until they become fluential whiners! The treasuries of the richly engulfed portionalities want only for their namesakes to be but tally whackers of indescent exposures duplicities of varagated compliancies! All Trees need to be shaken ever so violently in aired' timeliness and when wantoness befalls all generations to justify all allotments to be the distiliants' amalgumations!

    I see God's eyes whenever I look into the eyes of the homeless! I see His eyes ever looking back at me whenever I know I can't help due my own living arrangements! He sees me whenever I look upon the faces of indignations! He knows my faults and infidelities! I see God's eyes whenever my brother asks me take him to the store for his liquor! I see God's eyes whenever I look at anyone who has problems and they are having a hard time! In God's mercies does God allow us all to live Life as one is capable of doing so! I saw God the other day in passing! He still does Love the lot of us and He ever will!

    DeeCee1000, wrote me on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm, "Really? So when we see real human beings suffering, we should think about your "god"? I thought your "god" was supposedly in "heaven". Does your "god" actually suffer what millions of starving babies suffer on a daily basis? Or is your "god" in his heavenly bliss? Which is it? Inquiring minds wanna know!"

    I see God suffering in His residency, the buildings which are our bodies! I see in other's faces of forlornments, God's heartaches! I see in your words the bitterness of your living a life unworthy for Godliness Beings! I know well my brother's needs for alcohol and yet I am his ride to the liquor store! I cry in repentence for my sins mostly all the Time I am alone and in silence to I tell our God to be merciful to me and my soul when I become deadened to this world! I am torn between the matters of humanists and matters of Godliness issues! Yes "our" God does very much suffer as we do when millions of starving babies suffer the dues of their country or nation! In Life's fairness does mankind commit the unmentionable sins!

    Observer wrote to me on Friday,April 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm, saying, "Plain,,,,, If there is a God, he must know the sincerity in your heart and spending all your time crying is not going to convince God of what he already knows. Think about the fact that God might prefer that you spend your time exploring the wonderful world that you believe he gave to you to use. It's hard to believe that God would enjoy watching you so upset."

    Oh Observer, if only you really knew me and my sinfulness past! I committed Acts against my only brother when he was but 2 or 3 years young and I in my sinfulness did do to his body! I did tell him a good many years ago of my sins against him! He was bitter with me when I told him! Our parents now deceased, we cling to each other! I in my ever repentence to him and he in his needs for me to be our money tree! You see Observer, I had a nervous breakdown when I was 33 years of age! My job back then was that of a concrete finisher! My employer wasn't taking out my taxes and such and then I so stupidly did fill out what I thought was a tax form but yes it was,,,,, a 1099 form for a sub-contractor which I was not! I totally lost my senses of reality back then! I have been a ward of the U.S.A.'s social security disabled list since then!

    When our Mother Mary and our Father Joseph did pass on, I was left holding the bags of prosperity due my monthly check coming! My brother has not worked for a good couple of years! He has physical disabilities but he has no proof, hence he cannot collect anything except food stamps! I do so love this country I was born in! She has been ever so kind to my needs and I will ever love her, this country of my birthed and nakedness sakes! Some here may call me a user of socila security's wantonness but I tell you all, I was deranged for many so many years before I was finally given the most righteous medication for my condition! At over $800.oo for a 28 day supply, I would not be able to afford it if it weren't for Humana prescription drug insurance and medicare and the great state of Florida all chipping in for my medication needs!This is why I cry in my aloneness times and why I sense a need to be apart of socialisms' here upon this blog provided by CNN for the ways and means for practically anyone to share their Life and their thoughts with!

    April 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • momoya

      DUDE QUIT USING THESE BOARDS AS YOUR PRIVATE SH!T DUMPING GROUNDS YOU FVCKING PIECE OF EXCREMENT!!

      April 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      momoya,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.,.,,..

      Why are you persecuting my REAL THOUGHTS? Do you see me being critical of your assumptions' manecalling ways?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      namecalling not manecalling 🙁 🙂 🙁

      April 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • momoya

      That big block of useless sh!t is all over my screen.. Post like a normal person.. Nobody reads it anyway.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      mane-calling is just fine,,,,LoL,,,, I am a hairy fella,,, 🙂 🙁 🙂

      April 28, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      momoya,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.,.,,..

      I have faith that there are many more people/humanists than just you out in the net reading my postie toasties! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      April 28, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  4. Faithful

    I stand with Jesus Christ. He is my all in all. He is the way the TRUTH and the LIFE. (John 14:6) When it comes to rationally thinking through things, one has to have faith to renounce his beliefs. Jesus Christ is the only one that makes sense when it is truly thought all the way through. We, as humans, will never understand the ways of God because His thoughts are higher than ours. I would rather put my trust in Jesus Christ than in sinful man to give me forgiveness for sin and a purpose on this earth.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • chuck

      what is your opinion of the Mormon church?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Faithful

      Chuck,
      My opinion, which rests on the Word of God the Bible, is that the Mormon church is not Christian. It is a cult of Christianity. It does not believe what the Bible really says about Christ.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • chuck

      Thank you for the answer. I am Christian. I don't think the Mormon church is Christian, either. And I cannot vote for Mitt Romney. Tell your friends to research the Mormon church. I believe they are a cult. And I don't want a cult member as president.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      All religions are cults...

      April 28, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Faithful

      HotAirAce,
      A cult is a religous group that derives from a parent religion (such a Christianity), but in face departs from that parent religion by denying (explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the essential doctrines of that religion.
      Christianity is not a cult. In face when "chase the elephants down" when analyzing Christianity, it is the only one that makes sense to explain the world. It really does. That is why it is not a cult.

      April 28, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Faithful, you should use a dictionary rather than making things up. All religions are cults – you just don't want to recognize the negative connotations of your particular cult so that you can pretend your cult is better than all the rest. You are in a cult!

      April 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Faithful

      HotAirAce,
      What do you mean I am in a cult? Why do you believe this?

      April 28, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • AGuest9

      "Faithful
      HotAirAce,
      A cult is a religous group that derives from a parent religion (such a Christianity), but in face departs from that parent religion by denying (explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the essential doctrines of that religion. Christianity is not a cult."

      Since you are referring to christianity, rather than catholicism, you're referring to a cult, by your definition. The churches that refer to themselves as "christian" are, by-and-large, protestant, which have broken away from the catholic church originally founded by James, Peter and their followers.

      April 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  5. chuck

    Spend 15 minutes analyzing the Mormon church. Seriously. Not only will you not vote for Romney, you will demand the United States invade utah and restore democracy. Do a wiki search of Parley P. Pratt, Mitt Romney's great grandfather. You won't believe it.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  6. Ricky L

    OK, Dee Cee.....and here is my definition (or description) of God.

    Every last atom in the universe, every conscious and unconscious thought, every bit of physical and spiritual being, every particle of pain and joy.....and much more.....Evolution is a gathering of those forces, a uniting of the whole.

    God needs me as much as I need God. Without me he/she is incomplete.

    That's where we're all headed. Everyone gets on this boat. In an act of free will.

    Then.....just like a plant, an insect, an animal, a planet or a star......the universe will do it again.

    Ain't it fun?

    April 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  7. Triston Jacobsohn

    SOME CRITICAL THINKING: If when walking in a forest you see the letters H-E-L-L-O carved into a tree, you know someone was there before you because alphabet letters don't just happen. They are part of the alphabet code, and code indicates intelligence. So, who designed the DNA code? This code is far superior to any man-designed code. It took decades just to read it.
    We can store information on paper, cassette, hard drives, etc, but DNA is written in chemicals. Who designed the DNA code?
    The ultimate hypocrisy is SETI telescopes pointing at the stars, searching for some non-random radio pattern as signs of intelligence, or archaeologists searching for a pottery shard that might indicate intelligent civilization, yet the most complex sign of intelligence is within our own DNA, and some won't acknowledge an intelligent designer.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • momoya

      We don't know..

      .... oh, sorry, were you wanting Zeus or Apollo or something or other... um no.. .. we don't know.. sorry.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • mandarax

      ...and yet another demonstration of religious conclusions defaulting from poor analytical thinking. It kind of hurts to read.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  8. Veritas

    I think this study needs to be reworked. For me the more I think about and ponder the workings of the universe from the microscopic level to the astronomic level the more I am convinced that there must be a creator, a divine intelligence behind all of this. Which, of course, leads me to the realm of the religious. To deny the possibliity of a Supreme Being is not scientific,nor is it open-minded, nor is it logical. It is arrogant.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • mandarax

      Thank you for demonstrating that poorly developed analytical thinking leads directly to accepting religious belief.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • momoya

      Why is it arrogant to come to a different conclusion than you?? Why should we believe in a god who cannot be proved to exist?? Why isn't math belief and chemistry belief debated and argued about in books and lectures?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • err

      Just the stagering mathmatical impossibility that a single strand of human DNA evolved over several million yrs should be enough.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • err

      Its arrogant because you are basically saying you have absolute knowledge that there is no one in the universe known or unknown that has absolute knowledge. Making yourself a god. Which is what you dont beleive in so how does that work.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • momoya

      For what, and why?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Andrew

      I'm not denying the possibility of anything... I don't deny the possibility that I'm a brain in a vat, that unicorns actually exist, or that an asteroid the exact shape of Sonic the Hedgehog is heading straight for us. These are all "possible". But do I actually believe any of those are true? No.

      It is POSSIBLE for a god to exist, but believing it does in lieu of adequate evidence is silly. I have not been convinced of the evidence, so, like unicorns, I don't believe it to be true.

      That is at the heart of an analytic mind, because I base it on a simple question of falsification. It is simply impossible to prove something doesn't exist, I cannot prove a unicorn doesn't exist... because I cannot search each and every place in the universe simultaneously. But, since all it'll take is a single unicorn to prove they do exist, belief is withheld till proof of the positive. Same goes for god.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • momoya

      @err

      Nobody is claiming to know everything about the universe.. We don see evidence of gods, unicorns, or leprechauns, so we just say that they don't exist.. But who knows if there's a planet out there on the other side of the universe with unicorns, you say?. Who cares? Exactly.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • mandarax

      Try billion, err. And it isn't appropriate to calculate probabilities in retrospect. Consider the following sequence:

      a;ldka[ ijadfoa ojvoiadf ngoihiok nb;kbn[oiinikuyh8n-9lkoinfpoadaom

      That is me randomly hitting my keyboard. Now, what is the probability of me typing that exact sequence of characters? Staggeringly low, and yet I did, and yet it is random. Think about it.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • CRC

      You are absolutely correct. As an electrical engineer I think very logical and analyticaly. There are so many things about this world that scream out the fact that there was a creator who fit this very intricate world together 6000 years ago. It is impossible to deny the creator (Jesus Christ) just by the simple analysis of what He has created which is exactly what the Bible tells us. Those who disagree with this are uninformed and can only think inside the box that has been created in the current scientific vacuum which is known as arrogance and delusion. I am truly blessed to have been chosen by the creator and saviour of mankind. To all who disagree, don't even bother to respond because what you have to say is meaningless.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • momoya

      One wonders why you bothered to come on here and just intellectually mas.ter.bate as you did, then.. You know that there's no evidnece for your god but you'd rather stick your fingers in your ears and you're proud of it.. You worship a disgusting god who won't just tell everybody what he wants but will punish them cruelly if they get it wrong.. That's just stupid.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I would be very concerned about anything designed by someone who believes some god put the Earth together 6,000 years ago, not to mention one that is closed minded...

      April 28, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • AGuest9

      Meanwhile, err, the religious claim that they DO arrogantly attest to personally knowing something in the universe that does have absolute knowledge!

      April 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  9. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS AND THINKERS: Part II- more basics:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

    April 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Veritas

      You put out a lot of facts, but never cite any sources. Where did you get this information? My guess is you probably made it up. If you had any CREDIBLE sources for this you would have cited them.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Really

      Then again, some atheists like non-thinking too.

      Cut. Paste. Repeat. Same as the prayer troll.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • err

      I dont think the socialist rag of the NY times is a credible source for Historical Theological advice.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • chrism

      The City of David excavations and Tel Dan Stele have already proved Israel Finkelstein wrong about King David, Jewish settlements were found in Goshen Egypt. To quote Crosson or Ehrman as fact is silly. These are opinions and there are many leading scholars who have said otherwise. And none of these would ever claim Jesus' teaching were from other writings. Seems contradictory anyway since you claim he was illeterate how could he have learned the saying which were not prevalent in the culture. No, even those who deny the historicity like Schweizer have concluded the teachings were novel. And they are obviously so saturated and interwoven with the old testament they are not from another human culture. Even so of course God created all humans and His laws are in people's hearts. It is not surprising there were some things in common. Since the trinity is clear in the gospels including Jesus' teaching to baptize in the name of Father Son and Holy Ghost it makes little sense to claim others added this later. And as far as private revelation it is not in any way a requirement of faith. god doesn't need embellishment from anyone claiming false visions. Yet who are you to spay no one has even seen a vision or apparition. Since many have seen the same I clouding children at Fatima and many at the miracle of the sun there the burden of disproof would be on you.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Really

      The New York Times is socialist? Really? How quickly people forget which paper was so closely juiced in with the W administration that they actually helped cover up the Valerie Plame scandal.

      I guess they are incompetent socialists.

      When you wake up from whatever right-wing drug you are on, you will find that the real driving force of news selection and presentaation is profits – that is why all news has gotten so shallow and flashy, and depth reporting is vanishing. Even the clearly biased news providers like FOX are that way because there is big money in not only biased viewpoint, but totally childish name-calling, just as Rush Limbaugh also found.

      It's not really about politics. It's about money.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Interesting

      Well chrism, you are totally unclear on the concept with your "burden of unproof" assertion, but you did prove the study correct.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  10. chrism

    Guess sometimes people miss the forest for the trees.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • momoya

      I have also heard that the early bird gets the worm.. Pass it on.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  11. Al

    Hallelujah!! Hip Hip for science!!! End mythology and humans have a chance.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  12. Chad

    actually, I am 100% convinced of the exact opposite, if people approached their faith more analytically, it would strengthen it.

    To many Christians harbor a hidden, unexpressed fear that "it might all just be made up", that's why so many, over so many centuries react so violently to "scientific challenges". Reactions like that are usually caused by a fear they might be wrong (atheists that react with anger at the mere mention of Christianity suffer from the same thing, a fear that they might be wrong..).

    One of the best things a Christian can do for example, is dig into the historicity of Jesus Christ, or dig into the origins of the universe, or life on earth. Read Francis Collins, C.S. Lewis, F.F. Bruce, William Dembski, William Lane Craig. I've never read Aquinas, but I will..

    April 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blah, blah, blah. More of the same drivel, piled higher and deeper.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Al

      Those guys are not providing you analytical arguments. They are providing you emotive arguments that you buy into because you want to, not because they rise to the level of reason.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Chad,

      Dug deeper and using said references , this is the result:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      April 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Al "Those guys are not providing you analytical arguments. They are providing you emotive arguments that you buy into because you want to, not because they rise to the level of reason."

      =>you can only say that because you have never read anything by any of them 🙂

      Craig is 50-0 in debates with atheists, including Lawrence Krauss. Richard Dawkins is so terrified of him, he refuses to debate him

      April 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • momoya

      I'm familiar with all of those, Chad, and they were very helpful to me as a christian.. Now that I've worked through the logic myself, I see how absolutely absurd it all is.. If there was "proof" or even good evidence or good logic to support Christianity, it would be known and obvious.. You don't have to write books convincing people gravity exists or math works.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Russ

      @ AI: actually, Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" is considered a classic in analytical philosophy... secular or religious.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • momoya

      Chad, you moron, debates aren't "won.". They're a learning experience.. Craig is an excellent speaker and presenter and he does as good as any god believer can, but he's not winning his debates.. Pay closer attention–not just to waht you want to hear.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Colin

      Indeed Chad, so you would agee that we have no idea of what Christ said or did, other than in the broadest terms. The first gospel, Mark, was written about 35 to 40 years after Christ died. We have no idea who its author was (the myth that grew up in the middle of the Second Century – that he was a companion of Peter the Apostle is widely accepted as being just that – Christian myth) but it is very unlikely that he ever met Jesus.

      The author of Mark wrote in Greek, was highly educated and was likely at least 25 when he wrote. This would mean Jesus was dead for at least a decade before this author was even born! Jesus and his Apostles spoke Aramaic and Jesus’ apostles were all poor fisherman in an age where only the very, very wealthy could afford to learn to write in their own language, much less Greek!

      So, he had to base his stories on what Jesus said and did on word of mouth and, perhaps earlier written accounts that no longer exist. As stories are told and retold by those early Christians who obviously had a vested religious interest in magnifying the feats and life of Jesus, the stories got bigger and bigger, to the point where started to be credited with magic and miracles.

      The likelihood that any Gospel writer got the story of Jesus correct in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small. All Gospels after Mark – Matthew, Luke and John have to overcome an even greater gap between Christ dying and them putting pen to paper – about 70 years in the case of the person who wrote John.

      This is why the 4 gospels contradict themselves in so many ways. It is also why I have never understood how Christians can not only unquestioningly believe the claims of supernatural powers contained in them. It would, literally, be like taking the word of a committed member of the Branch Davidian cult that David Koresh ascended above the flames at Waco, when this cult member wasn’t even born when Waco happened, was totally committed to the spread of the cult and wrote in Chinese.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Ah, "reality", the master of copy and paste, the person who responds to every factual challenge by cutting and pasting some unrelated nonsense on another topic 🙂

      @reality "He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of Jerusalem"
      @chad "if that's true, then you would have to explain how a movement based on on a resurrected Jesus could have survived in the face of a dead body near by.. 🙂

      April 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • momoya

      LOL Chad, "movements" are hardly ever chronicled correctly by the historians.. The gospels were written at least half a century after the events and its as easy to write one word as another..

      April 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Reality

      From: Will the Real Jesus Stand Up?
      A Debate Between William Lane Craig
      and John Dominic Crossan

      By: Ron Maness

      edited by
      Paul Copan

      Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998, 179 pages

      Crossan noted:

      "When I look a Buddhist friend in the face, I cannot say with
      integrity, "Our story about Jesus' virginal birth is true and
      factual. Your story that when the Buddha came out of his
      mother's womb, he was walking, talking, teaching and preaching (which I
      must admit is even better than our story)-that's a myth. We have
      the truth; you have a lie."

      I don't think that can be said any longer,for our insistence that our faith is a fact and that others'
      faith is a lie is, I think, a cancer that eats at the heart of Christianity" (page 39).

      April 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Reality

      As noted previously, the references used to update the Apostles' Creed:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      Continued below:

      April 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Colin: you're mistaken on your dates here.
      For example, John 5 demonstrates firsthand knowledge of pre-diaspora Jerusalem (70 AD). See the pool of Bethesda.

      Also, all of the Gospels display incredibly accurate knowledge of the statistical usage of names (varied by region & decade) – something uniquely verifiable in the last decade of NT scholarship. And something ONLY someone with firsthand knowledge could have done. Someone "making it up later" would have used the wrong regional names and/or modifiers. See Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses." Or the below video...

      And there is an embarrassing abundance of manuscripts in comparison with any other ancient text.
      Here's a recent interview w/ Daniel Wallace w/ a few such scholarly examples:
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

      video on statistical study of ancient names by region & biblical accuracy:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5Ylt1pBMm8&feature=player_embedded

      April 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Reality

      10.The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      Continued below:

      April 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

      April 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Continued from above:

      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      April 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Al

      @Chad, BS.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Al

      @Russ thanks for pointing that out. Also note that Craig says he's never read Aquinas.

      @Craig, it's "Too many Christians harbor...", not "To many Christians harbor...". Just letting you know for your next debate.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Chad

      @Colin "Indeed Chad, so you would agee that we have no idea of what Christ said or did, other than in the broadest terms."
      @Chad "absurd of course, we have more first hand evidence for what Jesus said and did than of any other person in ancient history.. that's just fact..
      Biblical scholar F. F. Bruce has said "the evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning...It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians."

      ===========
      @Colin "IThe first gospel, Mark, was written about 35 to 40 years after Christ died.:
      @Chad "well within the lifetime of thousands of people who personally were with Jesus.
      As well, a fact curiously passed over by all atheists is that the Gospel of Mark is NOT the earliest manuscript,
      Pauls letters date as early as 15 years after the resurrection of Jesus.

      ===========
      @Colin "but it is very unlikely that he[Mark] ever met Jesus."
      @Chad "Always cracks me up when atheists speculate like that.. what evidence do you have that he never met Jesus?
      (Now, remember, "Well Chad, you never proved he did meet Jesus, so that means he didnt", that's a fallacious argument. What data do you have that proves he never met Jesus?

      ===========
      @Colin "The author of Mark wrote in Greek, was highly educated and was likely at least 25 when he wrote. This would mean Jesus was dead for at least a decade before this author was even born!"
      @Chad "if Mark was 20 years old when Jesus died, and wrote the Gospel of Mark 40 years later, he would have been 60 years old. pretty basic math... 🙂
      ===========
      @Colin "Jesus and his Apostles spoke Aramaic and Jesus’ apostles were all poor fisherman in an age where only the very, very wealthy could afford to learn to write in their own language, much less Greek!"
      @Chad "another amusing argument I hear.. Especially when I chat with the lady that cleans our offices every night.
      Really fantastic women, from Honduras, works 2 jobs, has 4 kids, one in college. She never even finished high school yet speaks spanish and english fluently. Bilingual, imagine that! I have 3 degrees, 2 of which are masters, yet I speak only 1 language.

      ============
      @Colin ".... stories got bigger and bigger, to the point where started to be credited with magic and miracles...."
      @Chad "in the 15 years that elapsed from his resurrection to the first of Pauls letters? Pretty short period of time 🙂

      ============
      @Colin ".The likelihood that any Gospel writer got the story of Jesus correct in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small."
      @Chad "another amusing assertion.. based on what do you say that? Talk about pure speculation 🙂

      April 28, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Chad

      @reality "He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of Jerusalem"
      @chad "if that's true, then you would have to explain how a movement based on on a resurrected Jesus could have survived in the face of a dead body near by.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya "debates aren't "won.". They're a learning experience..
      @Chad "that's what the losers say anyway 🙂

      One merely has to read the score card at commonsenseatheism dot com (50-0)
      or
      Google "how to beat william lane craig" and you'll see dozens of sites purporting to tell one how to do it..

      50-0

      read it and weep 🙂

      April 28, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Chad

      @Al ""Too many Christians harbor...", not "To many Christians harbor..."

      =>ah, yes.. hmm.. I wish I could claim that English was my second language...

      April 28, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • momoya

      Chad, you don't understand the purpose of a debate if you're really dealing with "score cards.". Debates aren't won or lost, they're buffets.. They are buffets of ideas.. You take as much as you want of whatever dish and leave whatever you want of another–except you've got to follow your own principles.. Craig is a good debater, but he has never presented anything that even borders on "substance," and you know it as well as I.. If Craig were as good as you imply, the god debate would be over..

      You see, you assume that there's all sorts of forces and powers against you, but there isn't.. People really do want to know if there is a god and what he wants.. If there were good arguments, there'd be only Craig's religion.. But they aren't good.. I've listened to at least 8 or so debates with Craig.. He's good.. No question.. But his arguments suck, and that's the honest truth if you are evaluating them critically and weighing the arguments fairly..

      I've been on the other side.. I know what it's like rooting for the apologist, but it just isn't solid.. I know.. I spent almost two decades pouring over every argument I could find.. I WANTED to find evidence or really good arguments, but there just wasn't any.. It killed me!! I mean it really turned me inside out for almost seven years.. The arguments for god don't hold up.. There's no sense to them when you take back all the layers of fluff.. It's philosophy, that's what it is and where it belongs.. Don't try to make it more and act as if it can be demonstrated sound and true.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya "The arguments for god don't hold up"

      yer a hard case, no doubt...

      did you listen to Craig debate Dominic Crossan? or Ludeman?
      Analytically, he just simply destroyed both, it was embarrassing..

      you might consider reading Francis Collins The Language of God

      Or, as Craig always points out, there are two ways to know Jesus, analytically, and personally.. You could always just ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He did for me.

      April 28, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Really-O?

      @momoya – regarding your ongoing give-and-take with Chad.

      While you may find discussions with Chad entertaining (I admit I have engaged Chad many time in order to quote-mine), they are not only pointless (as clearly Chad does not want to learn), but pointing out his nonsense may verge on being unethical as it seems clear he suffers from some sort of cognitive deficit. I humbly recommend you move on to more fertile soil for your intelligence.

      That said, I can't restrain myself from exposing the foolishness of Chad's "William Lane Craig nut-hugging"...one should not conflate eloquence (which Craig posseses) with reason.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE80p6i8Sug
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jXu8vIlAoA
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OGEC4UK770

      April 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...sorry for the sequence break.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jXu8vIlAoA

      April 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • AGuest9

      You keep bringing up Francis Collins. He uses his position as a pulpit. It's sad, really, and is dragging science down in this country because of one poor man's personal (albeit deluded) beliefs.

      April 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Aw, look. Isn't it ridiculous? Let's photoshop "god" into a scientific diagram. You folks are REALLY reaching now, aren't you?

      April 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  13. toadears

    Yes! I think it's much more important to believe in the temporary and mankind who in the 600 trillion, zillion years of life on this planet still can't stop killing each other with bigger weapons and/or make their own sammich.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • momoya

      lolwut?!?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  14. abcontador

    I have to admit that when I find out someone is religious I do start to question their intelligence.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Oblong Bobby Biffles, One-Legged Tap Dancing Champion

      Ditto. And I usually suddenly discover that I am late for an appointment, and sorry, but I have to be going now.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Al

      Too funny. I know how you feel. But, then I realize I used to be one of them...

      April 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Liz

      Dang! You guys are idiots. Kinda mean spirited. And I mean that in as nice a way as is possible. I love (real) Christian people. They are messed up but they wrestle with their motives, make it a point to consider others, try to do it better each day. At least that what my church people do. Maybe you all are going to the wrong places?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  15. Russ

    Study author: "Religious belief is intuitive."
    If that's how you define religious belief (excluding reason at the outset), that's why you're getting these results.
    Faulty premise leads to self-fulfilling prophecy.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    If anyone cares to notice, b4bigbang is a sham.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • momoya

      He doesn't seem any more misguided than the average christian, what gives?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, not much "gives", mono.

      Don't bother about it.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • momoya

      I know that he will lie for his god at the drop of the hat, but that's pretty much par for the course with these guys.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  17. Ricky L

    "Well then, how did you feel before you had no existence as a human being? Were you mad, angry, scared, sad? All those billions of years before your human mind formed, how did you feel about not having existence as a human being?"

    What does that have to do with my comment?

    It was a joke with an easter egg filled with logic in it. Where's the appreciation?

    April 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • momoya

      Ricky, I just read your reply about believing in self or man or god or nothing or whatever, and it was so retarded.. Of course you can believe in self and others and god and other gods and other ideas!! What kind of moron only believes in one thing?!?!

      April 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Still to scared to answer my questions eh? Afraid you'll have to think about it and answer it honestly? C'mon now. It's not THAT hard to do! You. Can. Do. It ! ! !

      April 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  18. AGuest9

    The headline is neither new, nor earth-shattering.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  19. VoiceOfReason

    Analytical thinking can decrease belief in the man who lives in the clouds. Y'think? I'll go you one further...

    If you even have the capacity to think analytically, you probably haven't considered religion beyond puberty.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  20. Mike R

    Religion and science are helpful tools in describing the world we live in, one is limited on the physical aspects, where as the other, is limited in the spiritual.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • momoya

      What "spiritual?".

      April 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Mike R, so if you're commenting about this article, are you saying that spirituality is intuitive?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Mike R

      Animals, like us, have instinctive behavior carried by our DNA. Spiritual reason never involves matters of the physical world, only the morals and ethics that shapes the actions of humanity, or what makes us human. What we focus on is what we ourselves will ultimatly become; if the physical world is what governs you, you will go back to it. If the spiritual world is what you focus on, that's where you will be headed towards within this life (or the next?). We are not suppose to know what happens in the afterlife, if we did, evolution wouldn't be able to do it's job properly by teaching us our lessons.

      April 28, 2012 at 1:20 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.