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'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists
Some atheists may ask questions on the Internet that they wouldn't have asked in church.
August 1st, 2012
12:03 PM ET

'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists, agnostics and other doubters of God, who of course don’t have bricks-and-mortar churches in which to congregate.

We see this phenomenon in motion every day on the CNN Belief Blog, where atheists/agnostics/humanists are among the most zealous commenters.

Recent string of posts around the question of “Where was God in Aurora?” (such as this and this) drew especially large waves of comments that show atheists are using the Internet to commune with one another and to confront religious believers in ways that they don’t usually do in church.

Atheists and other secularists have offline organizations that stage in-person meetings - the Secular Student Alliance has seen its number of campus chapters quadruple in the last five years, to 368 - but the Internet has probably played a bigger role in the rise of the so-called New Atheism. The movement’s adherents evangelize their godlessness, just as many religious folks evangelize their God, often taking to the Belief Blog to do so.

“A lot of millennials who are coming of age have found that the Internet is a fantastic place to talk about their doubt,” says Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance. “Before the Internet, there was no place for young people to do that. The only place to go was really church, and that wasn’t always a welcoming place.

“But they can go online and discuss these ideas without being judged by friends and families,” Galef says.

For closeted atheists, the Internet’s anonymity is a big draw. A coalition of national atheist groups recently launched a program to transition doubting clergy to lives of open atheism by first having ministers come out anonymously in a closed online community.

Plenty of other atheists, though, are using the Internet to connect with real, named people through Facebook and other online social networks.

“It’s the ability to access a larger community, particularly for people growing up in religiously conservative areas,” Galef says. “There is nobody they can point to to discuss their atheism or their doubts about the Bible or their morality, and the Internet provides that.”

On Sunday, a guest piece from a Colorado pastor argued that it’s possible to reconcile the idea of a sovereign God with the existence of evil and tragedy. The post has drawn 4,239 comments as of Wednesday morning, largely from atheists.

One of those comments - a letter from God penned by an atheist commenter named Colin - caught fire online. Here’s how his letter opens:

"Dear Christians:

"God here. I thought I would take the time to personally explain my absence in the Aurora shootings. While I was at it, I thought I would also explain my absence during every murder, massacre and crime that has ever taken place in world history, and in every war, in every famine, drought and flood.

"You see, I do not exist. I never have. Did it really make sense to you that I would create an entire universe with billions of billions of planets and wait about 13,700,000,000 years just so I could focus on a few Jews from Palestine about 2,000 years ago while ignoring the rest of the 200,000,000 people on the planet at the time? Did I make those few Jews or did those few Jews make me?"

The letter has been posted on reddit, where it attracted another 1,000-plus comments. (Warning: The reddit comments includes foul language.)

The vast majority of comments come from sympathetic atheists and other secularists (the discussion is reddit's atheism thread), a striking example of such folks doing church without God online. Many of those comments are deeply personal, confessional and poignant.

Here are five of the best ones. Some respond to Colin’s letter from God, others to the Colorado pastor who wrote for the Belief Blog last weekend.

1. CarbonEmitter

"I grew up religious and decided to be agnostic (as an) undergraduate. Even though I am now in my late 20s, I still feel slightly guilty because my parents try to ram religion down my throat. My mom converted to my dad's religion (from Christianity to Islam) right before having a double lung transplant in 1995. They are now super-religious and attribute her miraculous recovery to her conversion.

"Reading posts like these remind me of how ridiculous religion is and help relieve my guilt. Thank you /r/athiesm."

2. tazadar

"I like what Carl Sagan said about reassuring fables.

" 'The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.' "

3. RyGuy2012

"You know, it really irks me to no end to read the article from the pastor, as he claims to not have an answer for why God didn't prevent the Aurora shooting, but then claims to know for sure that God is there when people come to lend their support and sympathies for the shooting victims.

"I just can't wrap my mind around this logic. Like, the pastor must find some other explanation why people are good and do good things. It can't be that people can just be good on their own. Because, apparently (our) natural normal state is to be completely uncaring and disregarding? It's just such a very sad and low opinion to have of your fellow man.

4. funfetti_cookies

"Of course, he says that. You have to scare the people before giving them a reason to listen - "I held her hand as she died." What a great way to start your article. Also don't forget to mention Columbine so people remember that tragedy as well, but then go on to explain why God still exists and this is all part of his plan. Religion is nothing more but a scare tactic to control the masses.

5. ConstipatedNinja

"I don't share this much, but I was raped twice by my pastor when I was 6. And by I don't share this much, I mean that even my own parents don't know (as a side note, he's long since dead, so there's no sense in bringing it up). I had to sit in the same room (with) him for three hours every Sunday while he told everyone - including me - how a decent human being should act. I had to for four entire years before my family moved to a different state.

"When it first happened, I had no idea what was done. I was too young to understand. ... It's indescribable. You're told all this time about this ever-loving being that made you and has planned out your entire life. You're told that he'll protect you when you need it. You're told that if you're good, then he'll be good to you. So obviously, I wasn't good. I wasn't good enough. I was created and the creator of all things looked down upon me and decided that I was a bad egg. Do you know how rough that is for a 7-year-old? I still have problems with self-esteem. …"

That comment, which has been truncated above, provoked an outpouring of sympathy and support on reddit, including this comment:

rumpelstiltskin1

"This stuff is why I love Reddit. Yeah we are a room full of strangers but when it comes down to it we're a community. I love reading the stories of others and reading the heartfelt replies. I love that anyone can express themselves honestly and it will be well-received here (usually). And although this one is a little cheeky, I love that I can learn valuable life lessons of self-acceptance and being able to move on from a guy named ConstipatedNinja. Thank you for sharing your story, and I admire the willingness to share such a personal story; it's truly inspirational."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Colorado • Violence

soundoff (4,699 Responses)
  1. Colin

    For those who are interested, here is my full letter. The introduction is different because I have it saved in word and tailor it to the particular discussion in point.

    Dear Christians:

    God here.

    The reason I was absent in Aurora, as well as World War I, World War II, the Holocaust and every single man made or natural disaster in human history is very simple. I do not exist.

    The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smited all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    August 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • sam

      Haha, congrats, Colin. You got their attention, I guess.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks Sam

      August 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Kudos indeed. With as much noise as there is here, it's nice to see a cogent argument get recognized, rather than lost in all the bickering. Congratulations Colin.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Thanks for that Colin. Way to make the obvious...well obvious and highlighting how common sense is anything but.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks GOPer. I was so encouraged to hear how the internet has drawn out we non-believers and allowed the free exchange of ideas that were once taboo. I had often suspected that the internet would be deeply inimical to the various superst.itions we call religion, but it is great to have some data to underwrite that gut feeling.

      We need to continue to help youg Christians, Jews, Muslims etc. elevate themselves out of these silly beliefs they were inculcated with when they were too young to know any better.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey AtheistSteve, thank you. Always nice to hear from a comrad in the same trenches -:).

      August 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Colin

      Hey mate ! Congratulations ! 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Colin: Absolutely awesome...thank you for the highlight of the day. 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Which God??

      Very nice Colin. I enjoy your well thought out posts.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • vgnsnr

      Excellent. I just made a copy of that for myself. So true.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Chris

      The truth that we cannot escape is that we can neither prove nor disprove God's existence.

      I choose to love God with all my heart in as much as I can understand that. And I choose to love my neighbor. This is God's greatest commandment, according to the Bible, so that is where I choose to focus my energy.

      That choice has helped me to become a better man, husband and father. That choice has helped me learn to forgive and be forgiven. That choice has helped me embrace love not hate.

      I speak only for myself and not all "Christians". I am FAR from perfect and do not profess to have answers to most of the questions posed on this blog. I will only say, for me, that my choice to believe in God has vastly improved my life.

      Colin – I enjoyed the candor n your letter and respect you for sharing what is on your heart. Both sides are passionate yet one of us is wrong. And when the day comes that we both find out for sure, I hope I am remembered for being someone who, because of his belief in God, helped in some small way to make this world better place.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Neerav

      Hi Colin,

      As someone who does believe in God (i.e. an Absolute/Ultimate Reality) and shuns formal religion, I loved your letter! Mind if I copy it on Word and keep it for myself? Everything you said is so true of organized religion and our beliefs/beliefs systems. Thanks for speaking the truth – it may not necessarily be a spiritual truth, but a one that is great nonetheless.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • joel

      Colin, I didn't know you were God. According to atheists you don't exist. Sorry but I cannot accept your letter as you are not real.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • HumanistJohn

      Thank you Colin. I hope you don't mind I posted that to facebook and gave you full credit.

      August 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Adam C

      Congrats Colin. It's good to see non-believers getting recognition in the quest to open people's eyes.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Remarx

      Hey Colin,God hear.
      Just wanted to officially declare you a pathetic loser. I feel sorry for your children.Just start buying them Xanax now... Look, "good vs evil" has,and always will exist.To deny this is idiotic.There's a force which drives these two powers,call it what you want. We know which side you're on. Now go put on mascara,call yourself "raven" or whatever you goths do and PLEASE,do not procreate. Thanks.

      Much Love, J.C.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Colin

      Remax – it is "God here." "Hear" is a present tense verb involving the ear. The rest of your diatribe is too tedious to respond to

      August 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Eric

      @Chris,
      But we can disprove the claims in the bible.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • raenil

      Considering the fact that you are not God and don't know the mind of God how do presume to speak for him? Colin, life is VERY short. You're spending so much time trying to disprove something that you can't. Seems like you're in a no win situation.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Vance

      It certainly makes one think.. Well written..

      August 2, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • tcp

      Well, it certainly fits neatly into your belief system. I think I actually prefer the CNN excerpted version. Your full post is entirely too full of itself and only serves to belittle rather than educate. Rise above the muck people. Oh, and quit congratulating people for getting a friggin' post quoted on an obscure little CNNdotCOM piece...it's pretty sycophantic and dare I say....RELIGIOUS...

      August 2, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • cicadasystem

      @Raenil

      This is a false statement often claimed by the religious but never backed up.

      August 9, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  2. TAB

    If you don't believe in God why would you ask such a question. If you believe in God you know not to ask such a question. And just because we have the internet doesn't mean we know everything about religion. I don't know about this generation. I see a lost of respect and love for one another.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Love? Don't make me laugh. Christians have their boots on the throats of those they deem undesirable, and you call it love?

      If you want that kind of love, go to Penn State.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      " If you believe in God you know not to ask such a question." Herein lies the problem – you have just defined both a fundamentalist and a lemming.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      We love gay people. They just need to do what we tell them.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • silmaril

      "If you believe in God you know not to ask such a question. "

      This is religion in a nutshell. Don't question, just believe. If you start to ask questions, doubts might creep in and you might come to realize that your rock solid belief is simply built on wishful thinking. Can't have that.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Which God??

      @ TAB. ...." If you believe in God you know not to ask such a question." You mean I can't question his lardship for all the inconsistancies he wrote in his little book for fools? I thought he gave us free will? So he takes it away when we want questions aswered?

      August 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Remarx

      He wants to believe but some girls broke his heart or some bully beat him up when he was a kid so now he's out to crush everyones hope and faith.Pray for him.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • raenil

      @ William Demuth. Any Christian that has his "boot" on the neck of anyone else probably isn't a Christian to begin with. The responsibility of a Christian is simply to convey the message of salvation to an already condemed world. Not to force anyone or hurt anyone. Anyone that says otherwise has an axe to grind against God. By the way, more people have been killed in the name of atheism than that of religion. And that's the truth.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • steven harnack

      Jayzuz, after Colin you guys just seem so DUMB! Remarx, in a battle of wits you're an unarmed man, all you can come up with is feeble insults. That's a fine testament to your faith,eh?

      August 7, 2012 at 2:34 am |
  3. cavediver

    The article come across to me as branding atheists as a sort of new religion.... get it straight... I dont need a bunch of people reaffirming my position.... All Religion is made up garbage that has been used to lead humanity around by the nose. People like me have sat for years on the sidelines – 9/11 changed that for many of us.... we realized the brainwashed zealots WILL kill you if they are unopposed. you can oppose them 1 of 2 ways.... pick up a weapon and go toe to toe with them...and ultimately acomplish nothing but assure that the cycle will never end.... or...or you can try and make people stop and THINK about the docines they are throwing their weight behind.....

    August 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      That sounds like the plot of Mass Effect.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • cavediver

      lol because i used the word zealot right? ... .

      and yeah im a bad typer: *accomplish* doctrine*

      August 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually, just make them kill each other.

      Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel. These are places where we can get the cults to slaughter each other in mass.

      It's been my theory for several decades, and it works wonders.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • cavediver

      William... If violence worked, they would have wipedeach other out a looog time ago. No is battle must be fought in the mind....It is there that it will be won.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why make them kill each other? It's their right to express their beliefs, no matter how retarded, so wouldn't it be better if they did it peacefully?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The notion that atheisim is a transference of belief from God to the ungodly is a common theme here from the theist posters.

      Many cannot accept the literal definition of atheism – a disbelief or denial of God – as opposed to a belief in the nonexistence of God.

      On the other hand, what is the appropriate word for the communal meeting place of a group of people with similar opinions on metaphysics? English offers only words like religion or church.

      In the absence of a better word, I have no objection to the word 'church' in the statement: "The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists".

      August 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well no.

      What they are doing (trying to teach lies in school, terrifying the old, indoctrinating the ignorant) is immoral

      Why when one hears of the KKK or Nazi's messing with kids minds, everyone screams to put an end to it, and why when one hears of Muslim extremists, we have a hissy fit, yet we continue to let the deviants poison our culture and do nothing.

      Have you ever listened to some of the puke they push?

      We have an obligation to stop it by any and all means

      August 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • silmaril

      That they compare atheists on the internet to them being in a church shows they don't really get it. Just because people gather to discuss things does not make the location where it happens a "church" – even if that discussion is about religion. If an evangelical goes on the internet does that make it his church?

      The word church has specific religious connotations as to it being a place to worship god(s). To say atheists have a church is to imply that they are religious, when the defining fact of being an atheist is that we're NOT. The internet can be viewed as a gathering place for people of many differing views and people who share common views tend to congregate together. A church may be one type of gathering place but not all gathering places are churches.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Adam C

      Writers that describe atheists in the same terms as evangelicals are either oblivious or motivated. Those that are oblivious do so out of ignorance. They simply think that non-belief is another form of belief. Those that are motivated know that one of atheism's talking points is that it is not a religion, and thus they are trying to attack that point. They change the definition of the word religion, church, belief, etc. in order for their view to make any logical sense whatsoever.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Jugger75

      "Going to church makes you a Christian about as much as standing in a garage makes you a car."

      August 2, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • lou

      Am of the mind of using ridicule or simply ignoring deity worshipers since reason is beyond them

      August 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  4. Eric G

    I still think CNN should give us our own show. 9-12 on Sunday mornings would be good.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      With that hot chick who works with Wolf Blitzer as the hostess.

      They broke out a new glass table to accentuate those legs.

      Now she is worthy of worship!

      August 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Call it "Reality Check".

      August 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Eric G

      "Reality Check"

      Like that.....

      Are you listening CNN?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jesse

      With that hot chick who works with Wolf Blitzer as the hostess.

      Did you mean Jeanne Moose?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Eric, You can catch Atheist Experience ever Sunday live on the internet. Well worth watching. One of the main hosts was in seminary and left. Listening to the christians call in and try to debate is entertaining to say the least. Matt Dillahunty, the shows main host has zero tolerance for ignorance. I'd love to hear someone like Rainer call in, just to hear him put in his rightful place.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Truth: Big fan of Matt. Love the show, but we need something mainstream.

      CNN!!!!! You have my email!!!!!!! Let me know who I need to pitch the idea to!!!!!!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Adam C

      I'd definitely watch. I bet that would get a lot of great ratings and hype.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  5. MennoKnight

    And the church is growing in the developing world faster than any other time in history.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Preying on the weak.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Then we better add KY Jelly to the food baskets we send them

      Otherwise all the little boys will be waddiling like ducks

      August 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Adam

      "The" church? THE church???? What the heck are you talking about Menno? Are you claiming the conversion of Western Europeans to Islam, AND Mormons in Africa, AND Scientologists around the world as coups for the same thing? You understand the irreconcilable fact that these are mutually exclusive, right? And that they do not suggest a convergence on any point of theology, but in fact the opposite?

      The only thing that theists all share is the propensity to presume knowledge where they have only pious hope, which, as we all should realize, is a species of evil.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • sam

      Which church?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • silmaril

      The church of getting people to turn off their brains and believe things without evidence? That church? I don't see that as a positive thing nor something to crow about.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • lewax00

      Pretty sure he's referring to the "The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists, agnostics and other doubters of God, who of course don’t have bricks-and-mortar churches in which to congregate." line, in which case the "church" he refers to is the Internet.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  6. indogwetrust

    It would be worth it to post 10000 comments if it meant just one person opened their eyes and stopped believing in fairy tales.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Right on!

      At least here we cant be burned at the stake like they used to do and like some would still like to do.

      Now is the time to usher in the Age of Reason!

      August 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Maybe 2012 will be the beginning of the end for organized religion.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Be it social pressure or fear, MANY apparent theists actually don't believe at all.

      They just fear the believers. Fear of losing a job, fear of losing custody of ones children, fear of being beaten up, harrased and even murdered are all quite legitimate.

      We are in fact the majority

      August 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today

      Honey Badger Dont Care wrote:

      "At least here we cant be burned at the stake like they used to do and like some would still like to do."

      Hey don't underestimate the fundamentalist agenda. The spirit of Carrie's mother is alive today in America.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  7. ME II

    @Dan Gilgoff,
    I can't speak for anyone else, but the reason I started frequenting the CNN Belief Blog was to attempt to correct the misuse and / or misunderstandings of science, primarily the much incorrectly maligned Theory of Evolution.

    I suspect that Creationism, along with it's latest incarnation Intelligent Design, and the effort to get it into the science classroom, has done more for the "New Atheist" movement than the Internet or any other single issue. If you want to call proper science standards / education an evangelism, then perhaps your analogy is correct.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Your probably right about that. The idea of someone trying to sell creationism to my kids is maddening.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • BRC

      @ME II,
      I started reading these blogs because of an interesting article, and for a long time had no intention to post anything (internet arguments accomplish less than nothing). But I could only watch people posting "for" the side of theism (they could have been trolls, or true believers who knows) say absurdly mind bendingly wrong things for so long before I cracked and had to respond. I know it doesn't do anything (like I said, you don't even know that the eople believe what they're typing), but sometimes it's cathartic. Other times they are maffeningly frustrating in how ignorant and thick headed the comments can be, but what are you gonna do. It's a way to pass the time.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well 9-11 and the roasting of the innocents was a factor as well.

      Plus the collapse of the economy made the whole lip service to "Happily Ever After" seem somewhat gauche as well.

      Isn't it ironic that so many spent their days reading a several thousand year old book, whilst it never occured to them to read the details of their mortgage or their student loan contracts? It seems Jeebus does indeed work in mysterious ways!

      August 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      It was probably some story about the Westboro Baptist extremists or the like that first brought me to this blog but like you I keep returning to defend scientific integrity as well as promoting critical thinking and skepticism. As a former Catholic I'm well enough versed in the other point of view to truly recognize the incredible gullibility that faith instills in its followers.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Jesse

      Sarah Palin drove me here. Until she hit the scene, I had no idea that creationists even existed.

      Thanks Sarah!

      August 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Steve, you are the reason I first came here. I'd like to think that we have advanced enough in this world to see what needs to be done in order to keep humanity going. With so much information at our finger tips it is hard to comprehend how people remain so stuck in what I feel is the ignorance of christianity. I do not think it is so hard to comprehend why the bible was written the way it was when you can look back over the last century and see the changes in the modern world. The men who wrote that book did not have the same tools at their hands as our society does today and thus their understanding was sub-standard and in accordance to the day and age the book was written. I do not feel like I need a supernatural force in my life do be a decent person and live a good life. The internet has given Atheists an outlet that we might not have otherwise had.
      I still say that John Lennon had it right back in the 60's when he wrote Imagine but I also believe the Hippy Movement was what started us on the path to where we are today.
      I can be quite the bitch on here at times but don't appreciate being told how horrible I am for not believing when that judgement is totally off base. I do believe that outlandish claims require scrutiny and should be backed with solid evidence. From what I have seen there is no evidence to support the stories of the bible and in fact after reading them, they are almost worse than the original Grimms Fairy Tales. I refuse to believe in a god that would order innocent children stoned to death or the oppression of women or demand idolization or use a threat of eternal torture, when said god is not portrayed in the book it apparently dictated as being so good.
      It bothers me that christians will use their book to defend denying other people equal rights, especially when those people are doing no direct harm to society. I believe that people should be free to do as they wish providing that what they do is not harmful to society. There are bigger issues in this world to resolve and if we continue to fight over who is right or wrong, those issues will continue to remain unsolved and we in turn fail to progress.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • William Demuth

      TruthPrevails 🙂

      I am digging you today!

      You single? You bring the smarts, and I will bring the good looks.

      The world needs our children 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      WD: How flattering. 🙂 However, AtheistSteve is my main troll-mate for life. When we met I was still questioning my beliefs...Steve introduced me to a whole new world of information and put a different perspective on things for me.
      I did raise an interesting 18 year old without a belief and have been told by Prism how horrible I am for doing so because apparently I denied her eternal life. I did not feel it was my place to force religion down her throat and I encouraged her to take a Comparative Religions class in the her last year of high school. She came back after that course and told me she didn't believe in a god but either way I would never have changed my love for her. I say she's interesting because she's a typical teenager-bratty, know-it-all but I didn't once forget who I was at that age. She is off to college in a few short weeks. She's as open minded and straight forward as I am...it drives her good pagan Dad crazy. When she tried pot, it was me she spoke to; when she had her first beer-it was me she told; etc. I believe an open line of communication is necessary in raising children and as much as she can be frustrating, she is also proof that Atheists can raise good productive kids.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • the voice of reason

      Oh wow.....I'm not alone (wife, too). We raised a amazing daughter who just got her master's on the way to her phd before 28. Says she's a "cultural christian" Celebrates the holidays w/out the doctrine. She has friends who are Muslim and Hindi. She's an al-around highly intelligent young woman who likes helping people. Went to a high school with a student body that was composed of all religions, as well as a good number of atheists. The only negative comment she received in school was an evangelical xtian who said she would burn in hell. She's presently in Asia doing her research on her thesis.

      I'm glad to see others have done the same, especially with daughters. She's our only child, and with her....we hit the lottery 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  8. indogwetrust

    This makes me cry tears of joy. Congrats brothers and sisters.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Rational Libertarian

    Of course atheists don't confront believers in churches. I spend my Saturday night/Sunday mornings drinking booze, watching p.orn and/or reading Joyce.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • William Demuth

      You should try church.

      I you like chubby chicks, the pickins are easy.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I occasionally go around Christmas to sing carols and appreciate the happy ambiance which is lacking from churches for the rest of the year.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Huebert

      A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read Ulysses for over a year. I read the first couple of chapters and, to me, the writing style is maddening at points. Is it worth the work to get through the entire book?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yes, incredibly worth it. There's a trick to making the stream of consciousness easier to understand, read it aloud. Trust me. Maybe you should read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man first. It has stream of consciousness, but it's easier to get through.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Huebert

      I was afraid that you would say that. Thanks for the tip though I'll try reading it aloud when it gets difficult.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • sam

      @Heubert – read it loudly in varying accents and see how the neighbors handle it.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Have John Cleese and Eric Idle read it to you

      (Please video tape that!)

      August 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @sam

      " read it loudly in varying accents and see how the neighbors handle it. "

      LOL !!! 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Huebert

      Thanks to all of these suggestions I predict I will have quite a bit of fun with this book now. 😀

      @Will
      Sadly Eric Idel no longer returns my calls.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  10. Ransom

    Lol this is so true!

    August 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Irene

      ROFL you are so wrong.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ransom

      Atheists flock to the internet as tho the internet is their savior or church!

      August 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Says the guy who posts under about ten different names.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Ransom

      Lol so do many of the atheists who think the internet is their church.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • God is not real

      Atheists use the internet as a ways of discussing what they think and stories with those with similar interests.

      Like anyone looking for a good discussion, ours just happens to be about our lack of religion.

      There is no real-world gathering for Atheists whatsoever, and the internet gives us a way of finding others with similar mindsets to discuss.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Huebert

      Ransom is a troll he also post under the name Unknown. Please do NOT feed him. He just cr@ps all over the board and he might follow you home.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Which God??

      Ransom, you are so looney!

      August 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  11. Matt

    These are the best comments? They don't really say anything theologically or philosophically constructive. Nor are they anything but personal opinion responses to an article that demands a philosophical response. If these are the best, I hate to see the worst.

    I've also never understood the issue with theodicy. We have three options:

    (a) God doesn't exist. Good and evil are consequently relative (a controversy, I know. However, in my studies of ethics, I have failed to find any objective basis for ethics that leads us to the ethics we all seem to want to have, or which we have a right to demand conformity to from others.)

    (b) God is a divine policeman who tyrannically enforces God's will on mindless, will-less automatons in order to ensure that nothing evil happens. Ironically, if we are demanding this type of God, we are demanding the very type of God whose behavior we would all find deplorable in any human parent.

    (c) God allows us freedom of will, with the result that we can choose good or evil.

    God's omnipotence is compatible with (b) or (c). The only reason anyone would claim it is not compatible with (c) is that he or she is still dealing with an exceedingly-simplistic conception of what "power" is (i.e. the ability to enforce one's will upon others). Christ's power was not to overcome evil with tyrannical will (why would he die on the cross, if that were so?) but to overcome evil without resorting to evil so to do. Many atheists complain that religion is all about fear, and then turn around and complain when it isn't all about fear!

    The promise is something far greater than that evil never will happen–it is that it can all be undone without resorting to force, violence, and tyranny. Evil happens, and God is omnipotent. It happens because we have free (and fallen) will, and God is omnipotent because God can bring about an ultimate good that undoes all evil while respecting human freedom. After all, If everyone is fighting fire with fire, the building will still burn down.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • hitch

      wow, well said Matt.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      So if there is an objective standard of good and evil, as defined by some deity, how come absolutely no one can agree on what that it, how come it varies so much from culture to culture, and how come is evolves so much over time?

      And point (c) only takes into account evil that is willful. It does not address the issue of an omnipotent, omniscient god allowing horrible natural disasters to occur. Why would an omnipotent, omniscient being allow the plague to wipe out a significant portion of his creations? Unless you want to argue that such a deity would definitely not be omnibenevolent.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Matt

      Hi -Matt...

      " The promise is something far greater than that evil never will happen–it is that it can all be undone without resorting to *force*, *violence*, and tyranny."

      Isn't the 'promise' of believing in Jesus the Christ that died for one sins... for those that *don't believe*... isn't 'that' an 'inferred' 'Argumentum Ad Baculum' type of argument...?

      If one does not simply believe that Jesus is Savior and died for our sins, etc... then... here comes the old 'believe or burn' forever in eternal torment argument.

      Which in essence, no matter how you pa-rse it *is* an extremely *violent* act by an all-loving creator, yes...?

      Is this the point where you say, that yes... even God will allow you to burn forever, as he gave you 'free-will' or we did it to ourselves ...? 😯

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Matt

      The isssue is with predeterminisim.

      Either the outcome is inevitable or it isn't.

      If God's victory is eminent and absolute, then even the shooter was acting directly towards Gods plan.

      Theists can not have it both ways.

      For a predetermined theology, Christians seem to have a desire when someone does something like this, but it seems apparent if God exists, the shooter merlely did what was required.

      Or God is a lie and the shooter is just crazy.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Your scenarios also don't address the fact that an omniscient and omnipotent deity would necessarily know, before creating a being, whether or not it would be infinitely tortured for a set of decisions made in a minutely finite amount of time. Creating something that you allow to be infinitely tortured is the worst possible form of sadism. Better not to create said being at all.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Adam C

      Matt, religion and logic don't mix. You're better off just saying "You have to take it on faith." Most people will recognize that for the cop-out that it is, but you may still catch a simple few in the net.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • JW

      Matt-

      Who created god? Why did anyone have to die on the cross – doesn't god make the rules? If not, who did?

      August 2, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  12. Reality

    Scrolling through the early 21st century with that famous prayer:

    The Apostles'/Agnostics' Creed 2012 (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.)

    August 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Voice

      Please expand on this Reality.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Vice, Reality may be able to expand on a reality, but alas not this reality, because he is not a member of it.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Reality

      The Agnostic/Atheist Review of the Major Religions:

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      Bottom line: Religion no longer matters, therefore this blog is no longer needed.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Reality

    The end of religion, quick and to the point. Tis mind boogling how easy this is to do!!

    August 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Reality

      Ooops, make that "mind-boggling".

      Added details available.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Thomas

      lol@boogling

      August 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  14. Jill

    Rainer Braendlein, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

    So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

    Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

    Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

    Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

    And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • mike

      exactly what I was thinking

      August 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  15. J.W

    I am going to have to do something drastic if they don't start showing my posts.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Irene

      But J.W you don't have much of a post to show anyway.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Realist

      Irene,

      J.W is a good guy. He was using self-deprecating humor there.

      ----------------–
      J.W,

      You are appreciated!

      August 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • J.W

      Thank you Realist! Too bad you don't work for CNN Belief Blog, or you could put my posts in stories lol

      August 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Irene

      You are thusly deprecated.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W.

      I hear Batman is showing at four at the Cinemaplex.

      That may be your last "shot"

      August 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • J.W

      Shut up William I know you appreciate me too

      August 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W. you are one of our small victories.

      Your rejection of the church increases with each post.

      Soon you will admit you know the whole thing is baloney

      August 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • sam

      Hang in there, JW. Your time will come.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • J.W

      Well William you are right I do reject some traditional church teachings. I think that everyone has experienced things in their life that causes them to believe certain things. Obviously what you have experienced caused you not to believe in God and for me it is the other way around. If I have a reason to change that belief I am always open to that. But you should be glad Christians like me exist. I am kind of what LinCa was talking about yesterday I think. There are now becoming more liberal Christians trying to change things from the inside. Soon many of the more conservative groups may learn the error of their ways and we wont have issues like this anymore.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  16. ME II

    @Dan Gilgoff,
    I appreciate the attempt. An article on the use of the Internet by Atheists and the growth of Atheism was a good idea. However, I don't think the analogy to church and evangelism is accurate. The main difference being that Atheism is not a belief system, it is a lack of belief. Atheist are not trying to save anyone's soul, because they don't think souls exist (at least for most Atheists, I think.)

    August 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • God is not real

      given the fact that there is no evidence to suggest the existence of a soul, i would doubt that many atheists believe in them.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @God is not real,
      That's what I was trying to say. Perhaps I wasn't clear.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • God is not real

      You were clear, I was merely expanding while agreeing with you.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Cq

      Yes, while the only thing that technically defines one as an atheist is the lack of belief in gods, most are rational enough not to believe in things like reincarnation which doesn't require a god.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Kuta

      No, just convince everyone they're version of reality is the only one that's right.

      Of course, no proof to that effect.

      No dogmatism here.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  17. toad

    Thank you for this, Dan Gilgoff! Atheists are first of all narcissistic.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Cq

      Yup! Richard Dawkins is known for his tan and expensive, shiny suits. 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Realist

      toad,

      Narcissistic? Who thinks that they are so SPECIAL that an almighty super-being "loves" them intensely and wants nothing more that to spend eternal bliss with them?

      August 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • joseph8th

      If the Internet is a "church" for us atheists, then where is the preacher? Where are the aisles and the pews? Where is the top-down social organization? Where is the dogma passed down from on high? Where is the belief?

      Your analogy is erroneous and insulting. The Internet is not a church for atheists, because atheists could never create the kind of horizontal, open-minded community we have on the internet in any church. The Internet is the ANTI-Church for atheists, and religionists like the OP don't get to dictate the terminology of atheists, anymore.

      Religious privilege goes too far in our society... but it don't go that far, dude.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      toad: as opposed to those who think they speak for god?

      August 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Voice

      Dawkins does affect a certain persona. He's also a bit of a coward in the face of significant opposition.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Which God??

      A real Toady! Wow. Never met a narcisstic atheist, but lots of self righteous people like you. Did you comment make you feel superior and a bettet man? Yep, you're a toad alright, to your god, and every other crumb who feels good putting others down. Must be how you get your kicks too.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Cq

      If the internet is a "church" for atheists then it's also a church for Trekies, sports fans, role play gamers, and thousands of other groups that share a special interest. Even Christians have their own forums, but most probably wouldn't consider them to be "churches", right? We atheists tend to have an interest in religions and the reasons why their basis in the supernatural isn't valid, so we come to places like this to discuss these interests with others.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      Dawkins is a coward? As opposed to theists who fall to their knees, begging for salvation?

      August 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Voice

      Yes sam, he is a coward. And an occasional apologist for pedophiles. Are you an admirer of him?

      August 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      how is he a coward? in terms of an apologist for pedophiles, i thought he was an atheist, not a catholic

      August 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • silmaril

      Who is more narcissistic – someone who thinks they're simply a small speck in a huge universe, or someone who thinks the all-powerful creator of the universe loves him, takes a personal interest in his welfare, and answers his prayers?

      August 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • the voice of reason

      Dawkins wife is hot, too. She used to be on Doctor Who with Tom Baker. Her character was Romana. Best book he wrote on where we came from is "The Ancestor's Tale". DNA proves evolution.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    Atheism is a crime against the human reason, it is a kind of intellectual suicide.

    God gave us our reason to draw the conclusion: Creation/Creator. Reason should be a sword for us which helps us to fight against our sinful body which wants to live separated from God. Body tells us: Forget God! Reason tells us: There is a God. So the reason motivates us to seek for deliverance, so that there is no more need to listen to the body's voice. Yet, Atheists pervert that sword, and use it to commit suicide. Sad!.

    Hence, if someone questions this simple conclusion, he violates his own mind or reason.

    Atheists only try to escape the reality. They know that Christianity would cost something, and beside they don't want to be disturbed, when they commit their evil deads. They simply ignore the one who disturbs them.

    Finally, this will lead to the destruction of their soul.

    Yet, dear Atheist, you are still invited to join Jesus Christ. He loves you, he wants ot set you free, and make you happy. He will bear your heavy load and burden.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • God is not real

      I have 2 big discrepancies in your post:

      1. Reason does not point to God

      2. it is ironic that you think Atheists are trying to escape reality, when in fact that very fact is what religious folks are doing themselves. Using a book, and a all-powerful God, to explain everything going on around them without actually knowing why or how it works.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Eric G

      Hello my friend. We have not exchanged comments in a while, so I hope this message finds you well.

      Your comment of "God gave us our reason to draw the conclusion: Creation/Creator." is logically flawed. As "reason" was the driving subject of your post, I thought I should point out that the statement above is making several claims of fact without supporting evidence. You must first provide verifiable evidence that your God exists before you can attempt to claim knowledge of the acts or intentions of that God. Again, as "reason" is the basis of your argument, I thought that you may want to address these issues, as they clearly show that your post has very little to do with reason or logic and very much to do with your opinion and unsubstantiated belief system.

      Please take this opportunity to correct these errors and re-post your comments. I look forward to a friendly and rational dialog.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Realist

      Rainer Braendlein: "Atheists only try to escape the reality. They know that Christianity would cost something, and beside they don't want to be disturbed, when they commit their evil deads [sic].

      Listen, kid, I don't know what depraved mental image you have of atheists, but I, for one, do not commit any "evil deads[sic]. Not to toot my own horn, but just fyi, I am a loving, thoughtful, concerned parent and grandparent, who obeys civil law precisely, pay my taxes, contribute to charities, look out for my neighbors; and although I am older now and not up to it, I volunteered for most of my life with school and youth-oriented organizations.

      I don't believe in a god or gods.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Cq

      Aren't supernatural elements, like super-powered heroes (Jesus) and magical realms (Heaven), part of the fantasy genre? We atheists may appreciate a good fantasy story like anyone else, but we never confuse them with reality. Superheroes, magic, and horror monsters aren't real, whether they appear in religious belief, or from the imaginations of modern fiction writers.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Voice

      Fortunately the blind do not band together as atheists do and reassure each other that there is no such thing as sight. Perhaps if they did they would also come to blogs like this one and try to convince the rest of us. The blind are not so pathetic.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      Sorry, Rainy, faith (by definition) places belief above reason. For that reason, IT is intellectual suicide.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Eric G

      I do not require reassurance, only verifiable evidence. But, funny how you would use that example of "Banding together" to "reassure each other", because that is exactally how I would describe church.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      Voice: Sounds like theists.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      Rainy: You are invited to join Jesus Christ. Do you have tall buildings where you live? Or a firearm?

      August 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Mitch

      @Ranier
      I will keep trying to get some sort of answer from you.
      !. There are about 2 billion people that declare themselves as christian and about 5 billion others. You and others say that those that do not accept jesus as their saviour can not be accepted into gods grace and heaven. What happens to the 5 billion that don't accept your version of god? You also have a very bad opinion of the RCC and their 900 million, where do the fit into your delusion?
      2. There are so many different gods in so many different story books with so many different creation myths and the religious latch onto one of these stories and believe and become obsessed to the point of blind faith. So if you believe in karma, the seven paths, jesus christ, theogeny, magic underwear, the 72 virgins for martrys, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever, they (the gods) are just a part of the stories written by authors right here on earth. The atheist sees these stoies as pure fiction, we do not actually have to reject any god in particular, we just do not have to believe the story book in which that god was created. Why is your god story any better than all the others?
      3. I can feel free and loved and lead a moral life without the guidance of some fictional deity, you can too, try it, why not?

      August 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Which God??

      Hey Rabid Rainey, give it a rest. Your logic stems from your holy butt. Use exlax, you'll think clearer.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Eric G

      Hello my friend. It's been a long time !

      Just wanted to say a quick 'hello' as it is always good to see you on here.

      I hope that life is treating you well, and all is good.

      Take care, my friend !

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • derp

      "I am a loving, thoughtful, concerned parent and grandparent, who obeys civil law precisely, pay my taxes, contribute to charities, look out for my neighbors; and although I am older now and not up to it, I volunteered for most of my life with school and youth-oriented organizations"

      That pretty much describes every Atheist I know.

      If christards are so morally superior, then why are the more christians in in prison than atheists, both in total and as a POP.

      Why do the bible belt states have the highest teen pregnancy rates, obesity rates (gluttony) , and divorce rates?

      It must be that superior christian value system.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • J.W

      That is not the real peace2all! It is an obvious fraud.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Mitch

      Not too long ago RAINER opened a post with the comment that atheist were cowards, didn't justify the statement, just wrote it. Of course it is the same guy that hasn't got the cojones to answer his critics with a logical response; he may of course respond with some quote from a 2000 year old book that his critics think is a joke. Who is the coward Rainer?

      August 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @J.W.

      Hi -J.W...

      Hello my friend. Yes, if fact it is me. With all of the 'moniker' stealing, I decided to get a pass-word protected 'moniker.'

      So... rest assured, I am 'Peace2All' and... I am also the one who has always appreciated your 'sense of humor', remember...? 😀

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • J.W

      Wow it really is you. Yeah Luckily I have not been a victim of that yet. I am not extreme enough I guess. lol

      August 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "God gave us our reason to draw the conclusion" Just an assertion...nothing more.

      "Atheists only try to escape the reality. They know that Christianity would cost something" Funny...from your perspective I would think being an atheist and risking torture forever our immortal soul far is more costly than merely following the sheep who attend church.

      "Finally, this will lead to the destruction of their soul." And as mentioned in both of the above this is just an assertion...nothing more. There is no reason to believe a soul exists any more than there are reasons to believe God does.

      The entire premise of Christianity is to first convince people that they are doomed and then to offer the magic ticket to salvation. It is manipulation on a staggering scale given the number of adherents it has duped.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      At least Rainer has given up on complaining about the pope. Nobody cared for or about those posts.

      This one at least got a reaction.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    Thank you CNN for posting an article that merely demonstrates an atheist's struggle and point of view and not once did I have to read some nonsense about a god.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • the voice of reason

      Greetings Voice.! Hadn't seen you in a while. I've been busy in the real world:-)

      August 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  20. The Truth Fariy

    Congrats to you Colin!

    August 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • BRC

      Surprised it took this long for an article to call on one of his posts.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • hitch

      surprised too! usually they dont pick out posts from trolls.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • J.W

      I guess I feel better if it took Colin this long to get featured. There is hope for me after all.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • derp

      When you are a silly myth believing chhristard who has no response whatsoever to an intelligent poster who repeatedly reveals the ridiculousness of christardianity......

      ........ call them a troll.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Ozzy

      @hitch, obviously you don't read many of Colin's posts, about as far from a troll as you can get.
      @derp, while we obviously share a lack of belief in religion, referring to christians as christards, etc. lacks class, and does little to improve the overall image of non-believers.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • ME II

      @Ozzy,
      Well said.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • hitch

      To repeatedly copy and paste opinions from oneself to objectively get on the nerves of others who do not share one's belief nor ideas is troll-like. Rarely does Colin post subjects worth debating.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks Truth Fairy – do you have a sister called "Tooth"? Thanks also BRC, derp and Ozzy and ME II.

      Hitch, the reason I often post the same comments, or various adumbrations of them, is that the audience changes.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • derp

      "@derp, while we obviously share a lack of belief in religion, referring to christians as christards, etc. lacks class, and does little to improve the overall image of non-believers"

      I've never been accused of having class, and I'm not about to start now.

      I think they are mentally retarded. So I call them christards.

      If you don't like it, stop reading when you see the screen name derp.

      When they stop trying to force their silly outdated myths into every facet of my life, I might start playing nice. As far as I'm concerned, FVCK THEM!!

      You can play nice if it makes you feel better.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
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About this blog

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