home
RSS
'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. Tonyn

    In trying to think of a list of the most influential and famous athiests in history, I am becoming a little disturbed...by the way: athiest and agnostic are NOT synonyms...there is a BIG difference...I just keep thinking that the top four most influential have to be:
    1. Nietzsche
    2. Lenin
    3. Freud
    4. Stalin

    Any problems with this list?

    August 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Rick James

      I feel that there is a point somewhere, but I'm not sure where....

      And just because they are no synonymous does not mean they are mutually exclusive either.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Should we take 50 pages and list the most brutal Christians to ever live?

      Do you really want to go there?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Yeah, big problems, but you won't be dissuaded. You seem to be impressed with history's superstars as a proof of something. Megalomaniacs who wreck their surroundings are no different from the Aurora creep. They just searched long and hard for fame and personal gratification in politics arenas. So what?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Colin

      I expect it would take little effort to come up with the four most influential Virgos, Capricorn or Geminis in history an imply a causation between their star sign and their notoriety.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Colin

      Hmmm... I'm thinkin' bro, from @Tonyn's idiotic posting that it's time for one of your famous "Top 10 most 'influential' Christians lists"yes ? 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Colin

      Peace, you read my mind, dude. I'll get cracking on it....

      August 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tonyn

      It is clear that the greatest thinkers in human history have overwhelmingly come to one of two conclusions:

      1. That there is some sort of creative force present in the Cosmos. Or,
      2. That the ultimate nature of reality is simply unknowable.

      None of these great minds would try to ram Biblical dogma down your throat...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Silly.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  2. matt

    The internet will be the death of god.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Fictional characters cannot be killed..they never existed.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • cestlavie3

      Funny, Nietzsche said something similar, but only he died.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • jungleboo

      The reason your post is absolutely correct is that the Internet is, hands down, the most brilliant achievement ever conceived and launched by any organism on the planet. Instant communication worldwide, as if it were the single mind of mankind itself. It is indeed a wonderful world, and the old, archaic, wretched ideas that used to force people into compliance are "over and out!"

      August 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • cestlavie3

      I'm wondering, what's the source of all this animosity towards Christians? Granted, there are those (me) who at times can be hypocritical, appear self righteous, and often negligent in extending the love that Christ requires. However, as a general rule, more hospitals have been built, starving people fed, homeless given shelter, orphans taken into families, etc... in the name of Christ than any other source. Add to that the fact that there are countless numbers of Christians who are the kindest, humblest, most compassionate human beings on the planet.

      So what gives? Why such vitriol? Actually, these questions are all rhetorical, I already know the source.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Matt I sincerly hope so. Faith Based religion needs to go the way of the dodo. Faith based religion is a parasitic meme feeding off humanity.

      A big step to drving faith based religon out of society will be taxing relgion. They need to start taxing these con artists, who enrich themselves by peddleing ancient lies, about what they would like to be true, rather than what is true.

      It is time to start Taxing the churches.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  3. Spijder

    I see the main failure of humanity rampant in both sides of this argument. A deep disdain for those who are not like oneself and the impulse to force one mode of thinking and one only on everyone. None of this makes me optimistic for our species ever not being ironic in our definition of humanity.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tonyn

      Bingo!!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • ArthurP

      No it is deep disdain for people who want to legislate their beliefs on and thereby restrict the freedoms of everyone else.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  4. Svenska

    The main problem with atheism is there is no justice.
    If there is no God then there is no judgement, there will be no judgement day.
    I can't live with people getting away with S**T.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Then let's do away with all courts and our justice system since according to you they are superfluous.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Svenska

      You said, "The main problem with atheism is there is no justice.
      If there is no God then there is no judgement, there will be no judgement day.
      I can't live with people getting away with S**T.
      "
      Please, please, please keep believing in your imaginary friend. I fear for the people around you if you suddenly lost that faith.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Colin

      And an eternity burning in hell, a punshment an infinite times worse than the death penalty, imposed on millions of people throughout history (according to Christianity) is your idea of "justice". Dear god man, even Hitler didn't come close to such cosmic barbarity.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @svenksa,you stupid

      August 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • ArthurP

      That is why we have jails. So they spend a portion of their oh so limited life deprived of society before they are turned into worm food.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Svenska, you're not thinking to deeply, are you. Is that how you have been taught while under their influence?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Clara

      So you think inventing a deity for which no evidence can be shown is a better foundation for morals and a system of justice? That's pretty bizarro.

      The Golden Rule pre-dates Christianity and is a far better foundation for morals. You should check it out. No god required, & nor does one exist.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • O.o

      Yes because atheists eat babies.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Rick James

      Tell that to the 95% of inmates who are religious.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • hang3xc

      I thought religion is about forgiveness? If you "can't live with people getting away with S**T", you can't be very religious.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tonyn

      If there is no "higher authority" of any kind ...no matter whether you call it God or by some other name...the only reason it is not OK for me to blow your brains out on the street and take your money is because I might get caught. I think if this were true I might vote Republican...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • jungleboo

      @tony. You are out in left field without a glove. Stick to your religion. We will all be safer in the long run.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Tonyn

      " If there is no "higher authority" of any kind ...no matter whether you call it God or by some other name...the only reason it is not OK for me to blow your brains out on the street and take your money is because I might get caught. " 😯

      What an absolutely idiotic thing to say ! Good christ... the stupidity sometimes by some posters here is absolutely mind-boggling !!!!!!!!!

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Which God??

      "I can't live with people getting away with S**T" But I take a Svenska every day, wipe, and get away with it.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  5. georgex

    This is a question which is difficult to answer for Christians who always want to find some grace in tragedy. There is no grace there and this was simply a horrible event. But I think it is wonderful that the Internet allows many doubters to express their views here as we become a more open society. In the past they didn't have the chance to meet or discuss their views and felt a bit isolated. Today there are organizations for non-believers such as http://www.secular.org that have meetings and interesting projects and just good conversation..
    Personally, I don't think we can blame God for these killings anymore than we should give him credit for the survivors. He seems to stay out of almost every human event. He doesn't do much that I am aware of.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • John

      But people like to use survivors of tragedy to rationalize their faith!

      Are we to deny them of this idiotic reasoning?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      Actually, it's not very difficult at all. As it has been said, God has given us free will, meaning we are allowed to make choices that could directly affect another person. God does not promise us a life without pain or suffering, and since Satan is the Prince of this Earth right now, there will be much more evil before the end.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  6. Fritz Hohenheim

    Good article, and for a change it was an article that was newsworthy on this blog. Thanks

    August 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  7. Joshua Ludd

    Funny how a god being there but allowing the death of numerous people while others escaped unharmed and still others suffered the death of friends or life changing injuries turns out just the same as no god being there at all.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  8. Karen

    I do not believe in god...but I am the most kind hearted person I know. I have worked with the elderly ever since I've been 15. This is my calling in life. I work very hard, do not place judgment upon people and live a very peaceful life. I do not think since you don't believe in god that that makes you damn to burn in hell or any less of a person than other believers. I base my own personal beliefs on what I think a good person is, and I do not need a religion to mold me into that. No disrespect. I'm just saying I am just as good of a person as you are.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You go Karen!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Every Sunday, my schedule permitting, I read the Bible to a group of blind old ladies at the old folks home down the road. They prefer that I do it because the chaps from the church that used to do it would pass the hat at the end and the poorer ladies just don’t have the money give and it made them feel really bad.

      No I am not religious.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Karen

      That's an amazing thing to do. Not because of the religious factor, but you're making those ladies day. Good people exist without religion to guide them.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      While I applaud you Arthur I have to ask if you have tried reading them something different? I'm sure they requested the bible but did you ever try to offer suggestions for other readings?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Nope. It is their Sunday Bible reading group and yes I will even read them the really good parts which is something the church people never did.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  9. Joshua Allen

    Dear atheists:

    This is God. I hope you are doing well (although I know that some of you are not). Let me say first that it’s ok to doubt me. Many have doubted me throughout the history of the world and I’ve watched people try and figure me out only to give up and then say I don’t exist. That is a fair thing because at least they tried. But I’m going to tell you why most of you don’t believe in me:
    “Everything you have been told about me is wrong”
    Yes. I can see and do anything I please. But bear in mind I also gave YOU the ability to say and do whatever you wish. You think I want to waste my time controlling every little thing that every human on the planet does? For my sake, I could turn a galaxy into a big bowling alley and have some fun blowing up stars! What about your personal autonomy? Kind of defeats the purpose of autonomy doesn’t it? What happened in Aurora is not because of something I did or didn’t do. It was something one of you did. In fact every killing in history has been a result of something you all did and chose to do. If you truly believe that I do not exist, well then the blood of humanity is on your hands. I’m an easy target to scapegoat because I’m not out trying to convince you to believe in me. That is your personal choice and I respect whatever you choose. But if you don’t believe in me, then stop blaming me when something bad happens or something doesn’t go your way. Also I would appreciate it if you stop making fun of people that find some comfort in believing in me. You may think it’s ridiculous, but I implore you, let them have their comfort because it helps them get through their hard times.

    Lastly, I beg you, please do some research on me and actually talk to more people besides your local congregation about why they believe. You might be surprised about what people are saying about me.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Dear god, there is no proof that you exist therefore I will not even consider your post.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • God

      @Joshua Allen, stop impersonating me. It is blasphomy and I will send you straight to hell if you do it again.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Unclever.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Rick James

      Dear God,

      I've seen the world you've created. And I've looked at what you've done in the past and present. And all I have to say is, "Is this the best you could do?"

      Sincerely,
      An Atheist

      August 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Boring God. As with everything, you are a day late and a dollar short. You are not even original.

      Not just on this post, but in your whole made-up bible story. You see, the legends were around for thousands of years before the Jewish goat-herders decided to make up their own fairy tale.

      You cannot get anything right. It's ok. You don't exist so it doesn't really matter what you say.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Susan

      Does this mean God doesn't have a plan? I hear people use the phrases "free will" and "God has a plan" but don't see how they are compatible. If man has free will, God can't have a plan. If God has a plan, then man can't have free will.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  10. ScottCA

    I will let this quotation from the brilliant Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker sum up my stance:

    "The problem with the religious solution [for mysteries such as consciousness and moral judgments] was stated by Mencken when he wrote, 'Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.' For anyone with a persistent intellectual curiosity, religious explanations are not worth knowing because they pile equally baffling enigmas on top of the original ones. What gave God a mind, free will, knowledge, certainty about right and wrong? How does he infuse them into a universe that seems to run just fine according to physical laws? How does he get ghostly souls to interact with hard matter? And most perplexing of all, if the world unfolds according to a wise and merciful plan, why does it contain so much suffering? As the Yiddish expression says, If God lived on earth, people would break his window."

    August 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      A belief in a god is intellectual insanity.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Very well said Voice of Reason.

      Faith Based Religion is a Parasitic Meme infecting humanity, as both the brilliant philosopher Daniel Dennet and Richard Dawkins have called it.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  11. ArthurP

    It is amazing to us outsiders that it appears that the people of the United States would rather elect a President who's platform would consist only of the disillusionment of the legislative branch and the conversion of the office of the President to an inherited theocratic office rather than vote for an nonreligious candidate.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Huh?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Stay outside

      August 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  12. Rick James

    Looks like the Christians are starting to feel the heat.....the Internet is like a "church" for atheists like the university is a "church" for professors. The reason "church" was used as a slight to atheists. Christianity and other religions are trying to have their final hurrah before reason wins out. I say, "Let them." It will be a Brave New World once people start to give up texts of people who didn't know the Earth was round.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      Isaiah 40:22 (NKJV)
      22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
      And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
      Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
      And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • jungleboo

      @ Workinprogress: Your God's a man?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      I do not believe Him to be a "woman."

      August 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Women are not as great as men. wip's just following along. That's why he has to quote "women" like they're a weird thing.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  13. Colin

    Can a Christian please help me? I am having trouble distinguishing the third example of circular reasoning from the first two. Perhaps you can explain the difference.

    “I believe Obama is a great man because his biography says so, and the reason I believe his biography is that it is about Obama, who is a great man.”

    “I believe David Koresh was a wise and great prophet because the Branch Davidians wrote a book saying he is. I believe that book because it was inspired by David Koresh, a wise and great prophet.”

    “I believe God exists because it says so in the Bible. I believe the Bible because it is the inspired word of God.”

    August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Rick James

      It's quite sad that the only "proof" the Bible has is itself.

      Colin, did you see the article? CNN's got their eye on you bro...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually Rick, can you (or anybody else) give me the link to the Reddit article they reference. I am apparently technologically incapable of getting there myself. I found reddit, but got no further.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      The proof is given when you put your faith in God and that is really all that can be said. I don't believe God is true simply because a book says so, but upon reading the Bible and searching for the truth, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was given ample proof.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Rick James

      Colin, I read the post, and it was awesome as hell.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @WorkInProgress

      Please share your ample proof with us please.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks Rick, I was so encouraged to hear about the inroads the internet is making into Christianity. They can't burn the internet, mate.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      Dear "Voice of Reason", my proof is personal, within me. Things became much more clearer, as the song goes, "I was blind, but now I see."

      August 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      I said ti earlier...when the debate is over, and the "believers" have lost...they play that final card...

      "you just have to have faith"...

      They do it every time..and never ceases to bring a chuckle out of me.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Colin

      Work in Progress – David Koresh and Charles Manson had innumerable personal experiences telling them they were the messiah, while Mark Chapman had experiences telling him he was Holden Caulfield and a certain kid in Aurora, Colorado, was recently pretty sue he was the Joker from Batman.

      Thousands of people also believe they have had personal experiences with angels, sprits, “presences” or ghosts, with aliens who abduct them or with devils that torment them. I think you will agree that the internal, subjective experiences people honestly believe they have are not at all probative of external reality, no matter how comforting to, or involutarily experienced by, the believer they are.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      LOL@"WhereWasGod"
      I didn't consider this a debate. I know that I cannot change your mind and it is not my place to. We will all see in the end.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Rachael N Johnson

      Jehovah's invisible qualities are perceived by the things he made. (Just as Koresh's invisible lunacy was percieved by the things he did lol)

      August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      wip thinks faith is about knowing the secret handshake. Got to have faith to get faith. Only people who can really taste the kool-aid are the people thirsty for kool-aid.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  14. veilsofmaya

    Christianity is baed on authoritative sources of knowledge rather than reasoned arguments. On the other hand, the internet is decentralized and values criticism based on reasoned arguments over authoritative sources. Your analog fails to take this into account.

    For example, the samples you quoted represent summarized criticisms of Biblical claims which are supposedly based on the authoritative word of God rather than reasoned arguments.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      Dear "Voice of Reason", my proof is personal, within me. Things became much more clearer, as the song goes, "I was blind, but now I see."

      August 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @WorkInProgress

      Funny how that works, works. I once believed but I can now see.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      Perhaps you do and perhaps you don't.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • veilsofmaya

      Work, care to criticize what I actually wrote?

      Specifically, it's unclear how "my proof is personal, within me" address my criticism of the author's conclusion.

      And this proof that you speak of, it wouldn't happen to be of God's supposed authority, would it? Nor is your claim to "personally" know this to be true represent a good argument. As such, it's unclear how your reply is actually relevant to the issue at hand.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  15. Truth

    Why do atheists comment on BELIEF blog?! I thought you don't believe in God or you do it secretly?

    BTW If us religious people stopped comment here and enterteining the evil people, then would have been bored.

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

      You don't think atheists BELIEVE things?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @"Truth"

      Look at a coin. One side is belief. The other side is the lack of belief.

      One cannot exist without the other. Non-belief (atheism) is the reverse of the coin.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • jungleboo

      @Truth. Reasonable people come here to express their ideas about the foolhardiness of irrational people. The general hope is that those who are on the fence (reasonable/irrational) will have an epiphany and realize that the greatest part of being human is our Rationality. The religious folks who ditch reason are being asked to face their error and begin to use their minds. A scant 500 years ago Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for suggesting that the earth was not the center of the Universe. You people are finally losing your grasp on the necks of thinking people. Thank God. ; )-

      August 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I've never had cancer. Why do I give money to the ACS? Could it possibly be because I'm not 100% blindly self-interested?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  16. Bob Foss

    Atheists are lucky they live in a country where they are not executed. Not that some wish they were, but they should consider themselves very, very lucky Americans put up with that.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • TR6

      By the same token US christians should be very happy they are not in Egypt

      August 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Trunk

      All atheists living in Christian majority countries live in freedom. Christians are tolerant.
      However atheists are spoiled...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      We love this country and we are going to fight tooth and nail to restore it to its rational self.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Trunk

      You have way to much junk in that trunk, Trunk

      August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Rick James

      What if you didn't? Would you try to redo the Spanish Inquisition? I'm sure Jesus would approve...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bob,

      so we should feel 'lucky' that in a country that was founded, in part, on the principle of freedom to exercise (or not exercise) religion, we are not pursued by bigots with guns.

      Ok. I feel lucky. Do you feel lucky? Well do ya?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  17. Todd

    Calling atheist conversations "church without God" rubs me the wrong way. You're not worshipping or venerating something (which is a vital part of church!) by just talking about and debating your lack of faith. Christianity permeates American society to such a degree that you can't blame atheists for seeking out these discussions online – but that doesn't mean they're worshipping something or going to church.

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

      Atheism is a religion and want members. Get over yourself your idiot.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • John

      Well said. Christians often try to rationalize their own irrational faith by trying to equate it to that of non-believers. For example claiming that atheism or science requires faith, which obvious neither does. Calling online forums "church" seems to be in the same vain.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      No Pippi, you are the idiot. You don't know what you are talking about.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • TR6

      Christians want to believe atheism a religion because in their hearts they know they are wrong. They are ashamed of their religion and want to drag atheists down to their level

      August 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  18. Your Religion Might Be Bullshіt If...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtX_R-V5Cws

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

      This is great!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • The Dude

      That was nice. Thank you.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  19. Kuiken

    We'll give atheists the internet, and we keep our faith in public. Good deal?

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

      As long as you keep it out of politics!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Pippi

      What happened to first amendment... freedom of religion and speech??

      August 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      We will allow you to keep your faith in your homes and your private schools and of course your houses of worship BUT we will not allow you in the public forum AND we take the internet, deal?

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

      Pippi:

      It has be altered to mean freedom of Christian religion and Christian speech.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      @John; "As long as you keep it out of politics!"

      You're the ones that keep bringing up with your goofy parades and constant whining.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • LinCA

      @was blind, but now I see

      You said, "You're the ones that keep bringing up with your goofy parades and constant whining."
      While you have the absolute right to freedom of speech and religion, that same right is available to everyone else. That means that your right to religious freedom ends where it meets that of anyone else.

      While you are free to believe whatever bullshit you like, stupidity isn't illegal after all, you have no right to expect anyone else fall for that nonsense, too. your right to religious freedom doesn't give you the right to cause anyone else to do, or not do something.

      Any argument based on religion is not valid in a rational discussion. Secular law has to be establish on rational discussion. Religious arguments have no place in that discussion. You are free to place additional restrictions upon yourself, if you feel your imaginary friend requires that. But your delusion can't give you additional freedoms, not available to everyone else.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  20. One one

    Believe or burn for all eternity.

    What kind of " free will " is this ? Is this really want you want to teach your children ?

    What to believe ? A 2000 yo book of myths? A member of clergy who has a financial interest in YOU buying what he tells you ?

    He promises you eternal life, but what evidence does he offer it is real besides his book of myths ?

    August 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Turnrosa

      Why not start to believe, be loved, faithful and ev. enter kingdom of heaven and paradise, rather than living an evil life like Satan?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Pippi

      One One... you forgot to take a nap today didn't ya?

      Bible is 100% truth and is proven. Google and you'll find answers.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      Hmmm, the same God that gave His only Son to die on the cross for everybody's sins so that all who put their faith in Him will be eternally saved? You mean that God? I'm so glad to be on His side.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • TR6

      @Turnrosa: “Why not start to believe, be loved, faithful and ev. enter kingdom of heaven and paradise, rather than living an evil life like Satan?”

      I am much better loved and am no longer evil now that I have left the church. And if heaven is populated by the kinds of Christians I’ve met on this blog, I can guarantee it will not be “paradise”; but, will be very much like North Korea (communism is just another kind of religion)

      August 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      workin progress.. why would a god need to do such a stupid thing. why did he need to send "his son anyway... why not come down him self... Could he not come up with a better plan or get a better author who was less ambiguous than the one he hired. which holy book is correct any way the bible or koran The cross just satisfies the blood lust that is inherent in religions...got to have a good killing..more impressive than a goat...This the same god who stands by and allows African children to starve to death, and allow disease to rack the bodies of millions..,glad you are on his side..hes useless and needs some help by the sound of it.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • One one

      For god so loved mankind that he said "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."
      Gen 6:7

      August 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      workin progress.. why would a god need to do such a stupid thing. why did he need to send "his son anyway... why not come down him self... Could he not come up with a better plan or get a better author who was less ambiguous than the one he hired. which holy book is correct any way the bible or koran The cross just satisfies the blood lust that is inherent in religions...got to have a good killing..more impressive than a goat...This the same god who stands by and allows African children to starve to death, and allow disease to rack the bodies of millions..,glad you are on his side..hes useless and needs some help by the sound of it.

      First of all, I will never claim to understand the mind of God, nor can I answer your questions. It sounds as if you need to ask God.

      And perhaps we should question the PEOPLE that allow those children to starve to death. We all know that there is plenty of food.

      Are you the type that denies God's existence but blame Him for all the suffering?

      And since you

      August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • One one

      @workinprogress: it's a myth.

      According to the myth, Jesus was innocent but his dad had him killed to pay for the "sins" of the "guilty".
      Is it moral for the innocent to pay for the "guilty".
      What kind of morality is that ?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      And perhaps we should question the PEOPLE that allow those children to starve to death. We all know that there is plenty of food.

      their Christian

      and um i do believe in your god i believe in all Gods and Goddesses,..but your is an @ssh0l3 who comment a significant amount of suffering to gain followers

      August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      @One one
      According to the myth, Jesus was innocent but his dad had him killed to pay for the "sins" of the "guilty".
      Is it moral for the innocent to pay for the "guilty".
      What kind of morality is that ?

      Before Jesus came to Earth, people sacrificed lambs for their sins because sins must be paid, just as if you get a ticket for speeding or commit some other crime. And it was told from the beginning that there would be a perfect lamb that would pay the price for all of our sins, which was Jesus. Is it moral to allow sins to go unpunished?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      @Sam Yaza
      apparently your Gods and Goddesses are not doing much better...where are they?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      workinprogress.. If your god is real, which you think he is,and he is merciful which you claim he is.. why are you surprised when folks call your bluff on such an obvious problem. Of course there is food, and African kids starve because of nature.. drought, disease of crops. over population. If there really is a god you can see how evil he is..to abuse the most innocent and refuse to assist. if you want to continue to love this alien good luck but he has nothing to offer the human race.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
Advertisement
About this blog

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