June 14th, 2012
12:40 PM ET

My Take: More doubts about God doesn't mean religion is weakening

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When it comes to doubt, sometimes a little skepticism is in order.

As CNN's Dan Merica reported earlier this week, a recent Pew Research Center survey sees doubt rising sharply inside the millennial generation. Between 2007 and 2012, this survey says, the portion of young Americans (those 30 and uner) who say they never doubt the existence of God dropped sharply between 2007 and 2012, from 83% to 68%.

This report has stirred up a chatstorm in the blogosphere, with 2600 comments and counting on Merica's Belief Blog post alone. But does this data really say what many atheists want it to say? Is American religion really heading for a fall?

Look carefully at the survey question. What this data is tracking is the percentage of young people for whom doubt has never creeped into their faith. I don’t know about you, but most of the religious people I know experience both doubt and faith over the course of their spiritual lives. So the fact that more than two-thirds of young people say they have never doubted God’s existence seems to me evidence of America's extraordinary religiosity, not its disbelief.

That suspicion is supported by the fact that this same Pew survey found that millennials who identify with a religion is not declining. Moreover, according to Pew's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, only 3% of millennials are atheists.

The takeaway, it seems to me, is not that religion is declining in America but that it is changing. Or, to paraphrase my Boston University colleague and sociologist of religion Peter Berger, what is shifting here is the how of religion. In short, doubt is a part of the spiritual lives of more young people than it has been in the past.

I have been spending way too much time lately with Google’s Ngram Viewer. This website allows you to see how prominent certain key words are in books published in various languages from 1800 forward. It’s also possible to see how these key words match up against one another over time.

I searched the Ngram database for the words “faith” and “doubt” in American English from 1800 to 2008. Here’s what I found:

For much of the nineteenth century, “faith” won out over “doubt.” But as Biblical criticism, evolutionary theory, and comparative religions started to chip away at traditional understandings of Christianity, “doubt” ran past faith in the late 1880s. For roughly the next century, the two terms tracked rather closely. During the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, however, faith bypassed doubt.

What matters here is not the horse race. More significant is the fact that, since the late Victorian period, doubt has become part of the landscape of faith in America. To see doubt as a denial of faith is to misunderstand how most Americans live their religious lives.

The fact that doubt is now a part of faith for a significant minority of American believers strikes me at least as a sign of faith’s maturity, not its demise. Perhaps, like the millennials themselves, American religion is growing up.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Faith • Polls • Trends • United States

soundoff (1,804 Responses)
  1. Jakob

    Yuck. This article leaves a bad taste in my mouth. That's a very nice track of "doubt" and "faith", but aren't we begging the question? If you have a mind that thinks, I think it's your duty to figure out whether or not theisms are real or fantasy. I'm not talking about sociology, I'm talking about true or false; because if one side is correct in their claims, anyone who isn't a christian will burn forever after they die (which is quite a claim for having no evidence). To take a sociologists view of the question is to miss it entirely, and it should be no consolation to your faith if 100% of the society believes it or if 0% does.

    The internet and college educations are changing for the better the way we learn. On youtube, you have privacy. You don't have to worry about what your parents think, what your church buddies think, what your preacher thinks, etc. You have yourself and the arguments. Theism only persists through our culture because of it's indoctrination of children. No sane person would accept the claims of any theism on face value (which is all you get).

    Stephen Prothero ought to read up on some Joesph Campbell and Karen Armstrong, and stop writing soft-hitting dribble like this article. Doing a clever little word search on 'doubt' and 'faith' is nonsense compared to the logical arguments that underpin atheism and our (thank god) secular society. I've been to plenty of church services where the preacher attacks doubt as an enemy to one's faith, and I think I can see quite clearly through the smoke and mirrors that Prothero employs to talk about doubt as if it is really just a part of faith.

    I really don't see why this article deserves the "atheism" tag, because atheism is not mentioned once. "Atheists" are mentioned twice, where the presumptuous Prothero thinks he can speak for them. This article is a clever deception, written for believers. Good job, hope you do some real journalism in your free time.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • patrick

      He knows he must use reason to convince atheists and he tried but came up short.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ri


      To be frank, your understanding of theism is superficial and one-sided. If you want to be respected in a philosphical community, you have to give credit to both sides. You paint a black-and-white picture of what I believe, (Christianity which makes me question how qualified you are to make the claim) then you say, "our (thank god) secular society." You don't disprove that there is a god here? I think in your heart, you are confused. I pray for you.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Bad Religion

      at Ri: I don't think he is painting a black and white picture, i think you are missing the point he is trying to convey which is to take a step back and when you look at religion from a logical perspective there is no justification for it and everything religion rests up on is again simply just face value with nothing of substance. It is you who, if we believed it ever did any good, we should "pray" for.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  2. Snoob

    Ngram viewer... now there is some science I can believe in.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  3. Deanna

    Religion should be like taking a dump: something best done in private.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bad Religion

      I like that!

      June 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  4. JC

    What we have here is failure to communicate. First of all belief in 'God' is not "religion" in and of itself. Religion is a more complicated perspective of perception usually involving an organization of two or more people. And any time you have two or more people, some form of control is involved and I doubt if 'God' gets in on the process that ensues. As Annie Lennox put it "Some of them want to use you. Some of them want to get used by you". The problem grows exponentially with the size and true spoken or unspoken intent and/or agenda of the organized religion. Belief in God isn't what we should be looking at as that is simple enough to take care of itself. It is organized religion in all it's formats that needs to be at the very least questioned with a high degree of skepticism.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  5. GenericMan

    I think Religions exists in part because many people need it in their lives. The need is only psychological and that could be attributed largely to culture and tradition, which seem to be changing drastically.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  6. whatajoke

    re·li·gion noun \ri-'li-j?n\
    A mass human psychosis that usually results in participants believing in incredibly silly crap and acting like total retards.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • baj4q

      You can no more prove that than someone can prove God's existance. First, you seem to have the same type of blind faith in your beliefs as the staunchest of Religious Fundamentalists. Second, why would you have someone else deny their truth to accept yours? Why must you take jabs at those with beliefs that differ from your own? That is a sign of insecurity in what you believe, just as it is with religious fundamentalists. You and they are not very different.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Bijouandbucky

      Wow! I'm an athiest, too. But why all the anger, resentment and name calling. Sounds like someone has repressed rage. Go see a talking doctor!

      June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Scott

      LOL. Well said. Religious belief is the supression of reason and logic - this cannot be an intelligent act.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Scott

      In reply to baj4q
      You cannot disprove the existance of the spagetti monster that orbits Jupiter
      Or Zues, or Aphrodite, or Ra, or Krishna, or Thor or Jehova or Allah... etc(add all imagined deities here).
      The logical burden of proof lies in the claim of existance. to believe in something witout proof is irrational.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • whatajoke

      It's because religion has caused nothing but pain and death. How many people have been slaughtered for believing in some magical being???

      Nothing but a bunch of cults. They should be considered a terrorist group

      June 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • whatajoke

      religion is actually a personal relationship with stupidity...in its favor, it does provide a constant stream of laughter and embarrassment

      June 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • True believer

      God is real, if you are not convinced for what the Bible, The Torah or Talmud and even The Coran presents perhaps Stephen Hawkins mathematical explanation should convince you. He can account mathematically for an enormous amount of raw data in explaining the so call Big Bang, what he has not been able to do is show action for the bang reaction. Wonder my foolish friend no more God did push the bang button. Now allow His Holy Spirit quench your doubts, accept Jesus as your savior and repent. And sin no more God is righteous

      June 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • baj4q

      @Scott–If you believe in the big bang theory and the existance of black holes (as I do), then you also believe in something that in only theorized, but not proven. I do not believe that to be irrational. I beleive that at one point in time nothing existed, and now a universe exists. God is my theory. If you don't believe that, fine, but I do. And I would never hurt anyone or discriminate against or even insult someone who didn't share my beliefs. Can you say the same?

      June 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Scott

      In reply to baj4q.

      Belief in god is not a theory. It is an Hypothesis.

      There is a very fundamental difference. A theory must start as a hypothesis that can be tested by predicted results and the results must be in keeping with those predictions and be independantly replicatable by other peoples experiments.

      The moment someone finds a result that is not in keeping with theories predictions that theory is debunked and abandoned as wrong.

      I can make a hypothesis that a flying spaghettti monster is now orbiting jupiter, can you disprove me???? Well of course you cant but it doesnt make it true. Just because you can't disprove the spaghetti monster hypothesis doesn't make it a theory. Because there is no confirmation of predicted evidence, and that evidence has not been independantly and repetatively confirmed as predicted by other people.

      I believe you will learn a lot by exploring the topic of logic and scientific method further. I suggest reading some books on the topic. You have come far enough rationally to be asking questions, thats a good sign. Keep up the mental exercise. Best of luck in your studies.I wish you well.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      True believer, have you read any of Stephen Hawking's books? He is very consistent in saying "No god required!"

      June 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  7. whatajoke

    delusion |di'lo?oZH?n|
    an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder: the delusion of being watched.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  8. whatajoke

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ri

      Thank you, you prove a great point. That those who attempt to dissprove that there is a God, help reinforce the blatant fallacies of their claims. In short, I give glory to God for your post, praise the lord!

      June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Tom

      Amen to that 🙂 More harm has been done in the name of religion than good and no, I do not need to believe in god to be a moral person. Secular humanism is as valid a belief system (and far better in my view) than any other system.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • JC

      Thanks god(aka whatajoke) for your infinite ability to wisely rule over the masses and so easily pass final judgement on those who displease you.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • whatajoke

      Go on continuing to believe in your magic man in the sky.

      If there really is a god... I hope he has a good excuse for being suck a di ck

      June 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • imrepostingthis

      I'm re-posting this....

      June 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • baj4q

      whatajoke–I respect your beliefs and I respect you for having the courage to express them. But the point I've been trying to make is that what we beleive is shaped and molded by our life experiences and all of us aren't going to beleive in the same things. Religous Fundamentalists believe that we should all believe the same things. You seem to take a similar approach to your views. You can share your views and make intelligent arguements without insulting those that don't see life the same way as you. You can't see the world through the eyes of someone else or think with their brain. There is room on this Earth for all of us, whether you think it was created by God, or whether you believe there was nothing devine about it's creation.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Bad Religion

      whatajoke: yes, yes, yes, yes! so right on so many levels.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  9. Jason Dean

    Whatever helps you sleep at night, Mr. Prothero.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  10. lets be honest

    "So the fact that more than two-thirds of young people say they have never doubted God’s existence seems to me evidence of America's extraordinary religiosity, not its disbelief."

    Or they are giving the answer they feel like they should give if they are true to their faith. No religious person goes their whole life without ever once doubting the existence of a god. Even if its just for a moment during a tragedy.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom

      I think it is very sad for a religion if its' followers never doubt any of the tenets of the religion. I mean really, you would rather be blind sheep than actually thinking for yourselves? Doubt is natural and healthy,

      June 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Greg s

      I guess that depends on how old these teenagers were I never began to doubt until I reached my upper teens, The more ive studied the bible and the prophecy's the less doubts I have today.
      Its true if the Lord just showed up and appeared on the White house Lawn and Said Im God, Obey me. There are a lot that would but he pretty much did that 3000 years ago and still folks blew him off. took to worshiping idols and just flat dis-obeyed his laws. So were we are today is the result of what was done before, The Lord Listens, we have complete free will, He helps but how he helps is strictly by his rules and there rules we don't completely comprehend.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Raz

    Doubt is a normal part of faith. Many of the great theologians had doubt at sometime in their life.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  12. bvilleyellowdog

    Yawn – the fraud is about over.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • JDM

      Agreed, my friend. If I have any "faith", it's the "doubt" of GOD being real will continue to grow, and that eventually, probably sooner rather than later, this cancer to society called "religion", and GOD, will soon be all but a fringe "belief".

      June 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  13. Jack

    All Atheists! ... Please view video #2 @ ... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Snoob

      For what? More mindless brainwashing? Or is this video laced with fear to get me to believe? Sorry, but some of us can think for ourselves.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • fofo

      bs propaganda.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • JDM

      Seriously, videos like that make my skin crawl. I just can't stomache that kind of misinformation being fed to people.

      Question: Why is it called faith and not fact? Hmmm, because the religions of the world, and even god, can't prove god exists? Great god you got there. He's all powerful but can't, or won't, prove he exists; he would rather play a game with his followers and let you believe he may or may not, and if you don't, send you to Hell to burn for eternity. Pretty loving and caring god you got there, who no doubt has a major ego and self-esteem problem.

      If he does happen to exist I would certainly rather burn in hell than be a part of that dudes BS.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  14. AverageJoe76

    I believe when it comes to God, nobody knows anything. So it's always 'if there's a God'. There is no evidence either way. NONE. Absolutely NONE. If there was, we wouldn't be blogging about it. There would be ONE religion (because the evidence would be indisputable). I can't see why we burden ourselves with stating 'we know', when we know squat. It is that, 'a burden'. It starts to drive you crazy when you think you 'know' what God wants. Because ultimately, you're just talking to yourself, trying to pretend it's coming from some outside source. When it's just you......... silly goose.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Goose66

      And thus, the elucidation of "faith."

      June 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bijouandbucky

      You say there is absolutely no evidence either way that God exists or does not exist. There is no incontrovertable proof, but as far as evidence goes, there is lots of evidence that the world turns without God being the great spinner, etc.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • showsumcards

      Are you are saying that God has not "evidenced" himself in the lives of others. I can assure you that in the case of miracles, God's work is more real than what ever the world chooses to believe. If you want to see Gods work, you have to pray, believe and ask Him to reveal himself to you. If you are ever blessed enough to have the Divine Creator reach out and touch your life, it wont be too soon. Its always nice to have a little help from the other side of reality, the world you have choose not to see.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Ri

      You said
      "there is no evidence. If there was, no one would be blogging about it." Hold it right there, pardner! If you are so convinced that is not a God, why do you feel the need to post here? If you are sure, beyond a doubt, why would you write this? Romans 1:19 says that we are all born with an understanding that there is a God. It isn't rocket science. Look around you. How could a world as perfect as the one you and I inhabit come about by some odds of probability?

      June 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Bijouandbucky – But that is what you can perceive. We didn't know about dark matter for a very long time. Now we do. Would if we begin to understand energies outside of this dimension; and find out something assists gravity as being the 'great spinner'? Just saying....... I don't know....

      June 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @showsumcards – If God wants to reveal himself to me, I shouldn't have to ask. I mean, who's the Creator here...? I shouldn't have a need to 'summon' God. Nor should I even need to go through this guessing game on whether he's real or not. Obviously, if God wanted to be found, we wouldn't be debating. Otherwise, we've been driving ourselves batty about something we'll NEVER be able to confirm. Never.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Ri – I blog to see where my global brothers and sisters are on this topic. I've eaten up lots of processing power thinking about 'What God Wants'. I will never find out, so I'm done asking. If God exsists, and he wants me to know, he can hit me up on my cell, or give me a 'Paul-riding-to-Damascus' moment.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  15. patrick

    Besides all this belief in god, what is this concept of a human soul? People don't realize that this concept is not based in science.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Scott

      You're essence or concious self is very much a subject of science and there are some insightful books on the topic, worth reading. It is still a young area of discovery, but already we know quite a bit on how conciousness emerges from the interactions in the brain.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • patrick

      Yes Scott, but a consciousness that survives the body, that is not science.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Greg s

      Not based on science, Science changes every day, it might not be the same next year as it was today and its not the same today as it was 10 years ago. Even scientist cant agree when it comes to God. There are those who believe in God and those who do not. Most do not but not all. Some very prominent scientist believe in a God, Because those who study physics say the Universe is just to blasted complex and perfect to be random. 1 trillionth of a point more gravity and it would explode one trillionth less and it would collapse. Atheists like to use Science as an anvil to crush religion on but it only works on those who have no clue of what there talking about.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  16. ourbedofnails

    What we have today is The God Of The Gaps. Today's God presides over two species of supporters: idiots who think the Holy Bible must be taken at face value and literal truth, and those who worship God based on the leftovers in the book: stuff which hasn't been proven false yet.

    But,. please, how can anyone anymore take seriously the idea that the universe was created by a magical sorcerer?

    June 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Rev Micheal

      God created everything..Its so obvious and yet hillarious that you cant see that

      June 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • freinmugenheight

      Who says that if you are religious you have to view God as some magical being? I know that there are a lot of people who believe God is this mystical being with magic-like abilities, but I view it differently, as do many others. I view God as the pinacle of intellegence. I don't believe he snapped his fingers and the universe was made. He set into motion events that would culminate th creation of the universe, hence the Big Bang Theory, the idea that the earth is 4 billion years-old Darwinism do not contradict my faith. I believe the Bible to be true, but I also believe it to be written by a people with much less understanding of science than we possess now, hence not everything in it should be taken at face value. In other words I feel like science and faith don't need to butt heads. To completely deny such concepts as evolution, the age of the earth and the universe and other well-proven scientific theories is foolishness. But to think we understand enough about the universe to discount the possibility of a God is equally foolish. Our understanding of the universe has evolved over time, the problem is people's faith has not.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  17. TruthHurts

    1) Atheists do not want to eradicate Christianity like you implied. They are just another group of people who don’t subscribe to your thoughts.

    2) The Ngram stats show NOTHING. You are measuring something that has NO RELEVANCE to your point and trying to make it fit. They believed ice cream caused polio in the 1930s, see how ridiculous it sounds when you take to stats, link them together and try to make a new one.

    3) The reason people will tell other people they are “Christian” who actually aren’t is twofold.
    A) They are afraid to doubt something they have been told their whole lives is true. The unknown is scary. This is why people stay in their same home towns for most of their lives.

    B) They are afraid of public ridicule and backlash. If you think that’s insane, why do we question the President’s religion? Why was it a big deal that Kennedy was catholic, Obama might have been Muslim and currently Romney is Mormon?

    All I ask is do some homework and use that thing between your ears and try to look at things on an unbiased platform before you write something like this. Not only will it help you become more open minded but it might even help you strengthen your argument.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  18. Jack

    All of you are welcome to ... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • God

      Spam is a mortal sin. Begone.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  19. junior

    Are you able to prove what I dreamt?

    June 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • God

      Yes...and you are a naughty, naughty boy. You should be ashamed.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Smukers

      @God – -so many of you folks are so talented with your humor. You should be on stage or be writers! I get more chuckles than I could imagine!

      June 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  20. QS

    "Religion" and "growing up"....they just don't seem to go together, do they?

    When I think of "growing up", I think more of it on the level of – as children we may have believed in Santa....then we grow up.

    Why so many people consciously choose not to apply this same simple logic to the concept of "god" is still something I will probably never understand.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • mique

      Santa and the tooth fairy do not threaten to lovingly burn you in hell if you do not believe. That might have something to with your ponderance.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • QS

      Good point mique – fear of death does seem to be a big motivator for a lot of people, doesn't it?

      Actually...fear of not knowing what happens after death would be slightly more accurate.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • dawn

      We are living a genuine fairy tale. Look at the cosmos. It is ridiculous that any of it happened. We are all neanderthals in the school of understanding how it came about. I think it takes more intelligent thought to wrap your brain around the fact there could be a God and that our conscience is a living creation that can live without the host body. I don't think belief is the result of a mushy, childish brain but an intelligent one who will not shut out the possibility. And what defines "existence"? If Santa lives in the hearts and minds of us all, does he not exist?

      June 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • cucotx

      I think it's because most people cannot help themselves.

      We live in a very uncertain and ever changing world. As Sentient beings, the human mind continuously wrestles with a never ending series of questions, most of those dealing with survival. I think that any manifestation from deep our minds invariably manifests itself as a question. Whenever our psyche does not understand something, or is worried about how to handle some real or perceived problem, it poses a question. It does so in the hope that someone else or something will have a satisfactory answer. The mind hopes that the answer to its question will allow it to put the current worry of survival to rest. As soon as it does, it happily moves on to the next perceived survival issue. There is never a shortage of things to worry about, e.g, the hungry bear at the camp site, trouble with teenage son, health issues, and on and on ...

      Since most questions from a fearful ego do not have a rational answer, or are really problems outside our control, our conscious minds have learned to construct the belief that a higher being is there to help it answer all its questions.

      The ultimate question for the mind to worry about is death. Since the mind is built to help us survive, it will not accept the idea that it will one day die. So it even invents the belief in an after-life through a convenient God and associated religious cult.

      So, yes. We humans are really troubled creatures.

      So, deal with it. There is no God.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • QS


      1. to have actual being
      2. to have life or animation

      No dawn, Santa would not exist just because some of us may believe in him in our hearts and minds....and nor does any version of god.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.