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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. Fred

    Yeah, every time there is a religious topic, the anti-religion trolls pop up to rant and vent. Too gutless to do it in "real life," there is the anonymity of the internet for them to hide behind. I see them on here bragging about how smart they are and how stupid religious people are. Are you really so pathetic that you have to resort to a third-grader's argument to prop up your self esteem?
    Well, I've had my say. Go back to your spewing and your "I'm so smart!" posts.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I do it in "real life" also. Ignorance and stupidity must be challenged, and they don't come more ignorant and stupid that religionists.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Than, sorry.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fred, you may have a point. For the sake of diversity, do present your arguments for faith. You are invited.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Makes me wonder what Fred gets up to in 'real life'.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      How do you know what people do in real life?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Timothy

      Hopefully he's not gutless enough to proselytize people in "real life"

      August 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Fred, i just have to laugh at your gutless comment. I'll have the debate with you anytime, any place.

      You will lose, and resort to "well you just have to believe, and take it on faith", just like the rest have done IN PERSON.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  2. Jim Beranis

    What is most curious is how the non believers flock to the faith blogs apparently more so than those of faith do!

    August 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why is that curious?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Its on the front page of CNN.com..

      We didn't "flock" anywhere..

      Believe me, it is almost painful to watch all the brainwashed lemmings attempt to defend their belief in a mythical sky-fairy, but even more painful to watch them say that atheists are the ones that have a screw loose!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  3. therealpeace2all

    Reblogged this on peace2alldotme and commented:
    therealpeace2all
    @foffe1

    So... Love, forgiveness, returning good, etc... Just sprung into existence as qualities of the human race after Jesus came along ?

    Peace...

    August 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  4. Jacob H.

    I like Ingmar Bergman's description of God. It is the simplest, and most poetic.

    "Everything alive is God. Even the cruelest of things."

    (From Fanny & Alexander)

    August 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Tonyn

      God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

      Voltaire

      August 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Answer

      God is the joke.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      A comment referencing Bergman. That just brightened up a bad week.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  5. WorkInProgress

    Actually, I do not care if you agree or disagree. I do not care if you insult or mock me. I do not care if you reject me or my God. I am far from mad or upset. And yes, I agree that people need to take responsibility for their mess, but that will never happen.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Can't figure out what you're doing here if you don't like it, everybody's mean, etc. Maybe you just want to fight? Kinda looks like fighting.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Answer

      It's great to mock the hell out of these religious retards. Puts them into their place and makes them think.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Orem

      Make them think, but they'll always be a few steps behind. Pity them.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "And yes, I agree that people need to take responsibility for their mess, but that will never happen."

      WorkInProgress'

      You are talking about the bible right?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  6. Jon

    For argument's sake, let's say there is a God. And let's assume he is all powerful and all that like the Bible says. Now, we can reach 2 possible conclusions. He either in fact doesn't exist and all the tragedies of the world are just bad events that happen once in a while over time. Or the more exciting conclusion, God just really doesn't like Colorado. Either way, if you live in Colorado, you should be a little worried.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      I say he doesn't like CO. And I get it.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tonyn

      Wow, that was DEEP...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Tonyn, just like every village needs an idiot, every blog needs a buffoon. Thanks for taking the reigns.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      First Tonyn can't stop talking about getting stuff rammed in throats, now you want it deep, too?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tonyn

      I will take the reigns anytime...by the way, I am an idiot like...Gandi, Martin Luther King, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, Newton, Lincoln, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Decartes, Spinoza, Kant...I could go on forever...the point is that you consider me an idiot because I don't buy your self-rightous hogwash...you are a screaming crybaby with an intellectually infantile position...you have the universe figured out...through the power of YOUR intellect ...YOU can dispel the darkness surrounding humanity...YOU know the truth...and anyone who disagrees with you is just wrong, wrong, wrong...did your mother let you stay up late tonight?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      What they were other intelligent being(s) who tried to manipulate a lesser developed planet – they surely could have made up the fact that they(he/she) created the universe just to make us do whatever they needed at the time.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      I meant 'what if'

      August 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  7. foffe1

    Increasing violence an economic melt-downs in our societies are the result of an atheist mentality where every individual decides for himself what is right and what is wrong. Christian values such as loving unconditionally, forgiving generously and returning good for evil has to be taught to our children at an early age. As opposed to violence, greed and immorality being taught on TV, video games and music. Replace the self centered ideology of (what's in it for me) with the Golden Rule.The family is the building block of society. When it fails, so does society. People need to get reacquainted with God and get on their knees and learn to pray again. Isn't it ironic that as more churches have become empty and torn down, more prisons have been built and filled. To paraphrase a scripture: We are reaping what we have sown.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • TomPaine

      Um, my guess is that the vast majority of people participating in the violence, greed, and immorality you described would claim to be Christians.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      So if we atheists get the blame for prisons filling up, will you also give us the credit for the fact that the violent-crime rate has dropped steadily for the last quarter-century?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Observer

      You are right that MANY Christians need to start practicing the Golden Rule.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Increasing violence an economic melt-downs in our societies are the result of an atheist mentality "

      Would you care to prove your assertion with some facts or do we just take your word for it?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Etalan

      Hundred of people die in 3rd world country because the christian in those country are killing anyone who don't accept their religion, , or are gay. Those christian are fund by the very christian of the united stated. Those donation come from people like you who preach love and god, donate money to church, the church donate those money to other christian in those nation that kill hundred of non-believer. Religion of love

      August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      ..."has to be taught to our children at an early age."

      Yes, while they still believe in Santa, fairies, and 'magic'.

      Get them brainwashed early, so you don't have to lose this argument later on down the road, when they can think for themselves ehh?

      I mean, it happened to you, why not pass the ignorance on to your spawn.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @foffe1

      So... Love, forgiveness, returning good, etc... Just sprung into existence as qualities of the human race after Jesus came along ?

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • foffe1

      Advice to all atheists: You can choose to humble yourselves or be humbled by God. You have been told.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      foffe1.. the unconditional love of what you speak.. would that include gay folks.. or is unconditional still conditional on thinking as you do..

      August 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Don't pray in our schools. We won't think in your churches.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Christian values...uh huh. Because that's done an awesome job alienating the hell out of everybody so far. BUT, you go ahead and blame everything on those heathens if you want. It's convenient, makes you feel better. Don't be looking in any mirrors.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Wow, foffe, you are god's sentinel. You'd think the almighty could handle that for himself.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Eric

      @EvolvedDNA yes it would GOD loves them and christians do to. The act is the sin not the person. We all are guilty of sin of all sin for whoever breaks any part of the law is guilty of breaking the entire law.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @foffe1

      You never provided me of any proof for your assertion, why?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @foffe1

      " Advice to all atheists: You can choose to humble yourselves or be humbled by God. You have been told. " 😯

      Way to answer our questions/comments to you, with a total 'Non-Sequitur'

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • foffe1

      Must have struck a nerve as the demons are coming out of the woodwork.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Deeeeeemons lol. foffe, you need a bigger tin hat, the one you have is too tight. YOU BEEN TOLD.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @foffe1
      "Must have struck a nerve as the demons are coming out of the woodwork."

      No, that's what happens when you talk like a fool.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      foffe you clutch those pearls as tight as you can.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @foffe1

      " Must have struck a nerve as the demons are coming out of the woodwork." 😯

      LOL !!! Yet... once again... way to NOT answer anyone's questions/comments Mr. Non-Sequitur.

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      foffe, the demons are coming. Quick, run to your church, grab your crucifix and bible and recite The lord's prayer until I let you know the coast is clear.

      Whatever you do, don't stop chanting till you hear from me.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      We live in a SECULAR country. Thank you,

      August 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  8. Salero21's god

    RSR:

    Bingo. Your observation in #2 is Hitchens-like. I will remember that and use it against the armies of god.

    Thanks for that.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  9. RichardSRussell

    The caption on the picture reads: "Some atheists may ask questions on the Internet that they wouldn't have asked in church."
     
    (1) Ha! Yeah, like atheists spend a lot of their time in church!
     
    (2) You know how you can tell the difference between education and indoctrination? It's whether the person at the front of the room invites questions. How many churches have YOU ever been to where the minister periodically asks "Any questions?"?

    August 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Eric

      Funny to buy the theories of another without doing your own study could be concidered indoctrination.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  10. Puzzled in Peoria

    It seems that the thing that makes atheists the angriest is that God doesn't meet their standards. He doesn't reveal himself to everyone the way they want him to. He can't be proved by reason or logic. And he doesn't act the way they think he should. Christians can't prove God exists and he won't fit into atheists' box of how they think he should behave, so they conclude he doesn't exist. Sorry. He's God. He makes the rules. Atheists don't.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Uh...atheists don't believe in god or so I heard, so...how does something that doesn't exist fail to meet expectations?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      No, the thing that makes us atheists the angriest is religionists trying to use the power of government to force everyone else to conform to their own idiosyncratic, parochial (and, might I add, ignorant) belief systems.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Etalan

      I think you just make up some rule for god... and the sad part is that you didn't know that you did it.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Timothy

      God killed 1 million Ethiopians in one day (2 Chronicles 14.12-13) so he certainly does do whatever he wants.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      Christians can't prove God exists and he won't fit into atheists' box of how they think he should behave, so they conclude he doesn't exist.

      Thanks. My assignment for my Summer Session class was to find an example of a non-sequitur for class tomorrow. Good job.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      PIP..which god though made the rules...and how do you know

      August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • foffe1

      Funny how those who require signs and miracles are the first to refute them.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      You framed the issue improperly. Atheists are not angry but I relish pointing out the many inconsistencies in your religion.

      It seems the armies of god are angry at the non-believers. So angry, in fact, you threaten non-believers with eternal damnation. Now that is a lot of anger for supposed "love thy neighbor" mindless zombies.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Answer

      It's called "projection of anger". These religious rejects project their own overloaded hatred onto others and label them off as belonging to their opponents.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Things that can't have logic or reason used on them tend to get used by the powerful to control the not so powerful. So if there is a god...I guess ok to be glad he didn't make everyone gullible?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • silmaril

      Almost like he doesn't exist, isn't it?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  11. Timothy

    Whenever a Christian woman is annoying you, drop a little Timothy 2:12 on her.

    "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet."

    The God of the universe wrote this book and it says I don't have to listen to b****es.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • mjbrin

      lol

      August 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  12. Bob the Cat

    LOL, the belief blog bigots are trolling.

    meow

    August 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  13. REPEATREPEATEREPEATREPEATER

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    soundoff (1,920 Responses)
    WorkInProgress
    Why is it that the majority of hate, anger, insults, ridicule, name-calling comes from the atheists on these sites? It sure doesn't sound as if you are very happy.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Salero21's god
    WIp, we learned it from our religious brothers and sisters. The only difference is that we won't kill you based on your beliefs.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    One one
    What could be more insulting and hatefull than preaching that non-believers deserve to burn in hell for not believing as Christians do ?

    August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    RichardSRussell
    For those who foolishly assert — utterly contrary to the definitions and all available evidence — that atheism is a religion, I herewith share many colorful refutations of that viewpoint that I have gleaned thru the years, giving credit where it's due when known:

    "Saying atheism is a type of religion is like saying peace is a type of war." —Clark Adams

    "If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby." —Aphilatelist

    "Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." —Don Hirschberg, 1996

    "Atheism is a religion the same way “off” is a TV channel."

    "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a s¢x position." —Bill Maher

    "If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease." —Clark Adams

    August 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Colin
    I don't know the author to attribute it to, but I have also heard "If atheism is a religion, then medecine is a disease." I personally like that one because it is pregnant with the implication that religion is a disease that needs to be cured.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    TR6
    Atheists on the web are not like church; but, Christians are like communists

    In North Korea :
    They tell you what you must believe
    They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
    They tell you every other kind of Communist is bad and non communists are evil in carnet.
    They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of your life if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

    I Christianity:
    They tell you what you must believe
    They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
    They tell you every other kind of christianity is bad and non christians are are evil in carnet.
    They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of eternity if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

    August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    TR6
    Oops, wrong topic; but, still just as true

    August 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    therealpeace2all
    @TR6

    LOL !!!

    Peace...

    August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    Salero21's god
    TR6:

    Bravo. And as Hitchens pointed out, at least in North Korea you can obtain freedom by dying. In Christianity, the fun is only beginning. You are under the celestial dictator's rule for eternity.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    WorkInProgress
    Well, take it or leave it, you have that choice.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    WorkInProgress
    Colin – Yes, and the Bible tells us there will be false prophets, and sadly many people fall for them. I also believe that Satan is alive and well, the master of deceit and lies and you can see his handiwork in the world today. It's truly sad, when people are led astray.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Colin
    I think you missed my point, WiP. I am saying that your personal experiences with your god is no more credible than those of others who have had similar, genuinely held internal "experiences" with their own god, ghosts or other supernatural beings.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    BamaDaniel
    Uh huh Colin because only their God exist, they know by faith

    August 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    WorkInProgress
    I'm not denying their experience, but it certainly doesn't sound as if those experiences came from God, and to know that you would need to have an understanding of God and the Bible.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    OOO
    WLP,
    So only your experiences can be interpreted as coming from God because you have to know god to know, and you know god. Do I have that right?

    August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    Jack
    This whole article rubs me the wrong way. Why are we even talking about atheism in light of the Aurora incident? It has absolutely nothing to do with atheism. Atheism does not comfort and console the friends and family of lost ones – I find it tactless that people are using this story to attack religious beliefs.

    In Christianity, this world is not everything, obviously. We believe that the soul of a good and loving person transcends material death – there will be justice in the afterlife. We also have freewill, and as a consequence of having free choice, bad things will naturally occur. If God removed every possible bad thought, bad action, evil, etc., then freewill would not exist and people would not have a choice to do right or wrong. If there is no evil there can be no good. God gave us freewill because He wanted us to have the ability to love and do good.

    I'm sorry, but atheists can't have it both ways.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    BamaDaniel
    God could make the world perfect and we would be none the wiser,right?

    August 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    Salero21's god
    the fact that you claim to know what your god wants shows you to be a fraud and a charlatan. At best, you engage in wish thinking which is nowhere near truth.

    And I assume the god you refer to is the judeo-Christian god, not one of the other 10 thousand or so that humanity has believed in. You just think you've got the right one.

    That is the pinnacle of arrogance.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    sick of christian phonies
    Great! Another christer with all the answers! All these years I've spent wrestling with weighty questions, and I could have JUST ASKED JACK! D'oh! You should be able to pull in the big bucks now that you have the answers for us, Jack, like Jim Baker and the rest of the frauds!

    August 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    hang3xc
    You believe all that crap to comfort yourself and children. It's scary to think that when you die, it's over. Anything is better than that. You should just man up & believe it. The world was here for billions of years without you. Were you in heaven then or did you simply not exist? You will again, soon, simply not exist. It will be the same as before you were born, nothing to be scared of. Grow up

    How come everyone gets to a certain age and suddenly acknowledges the Easter Bunny & Santa Claus don't exist, yet they continue to cling to religion and god, which is much more ridiculous than anything else you've ever believed in.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    Cynn
    "Internet as church..." Does the writer not understand atheism? Church by definition is associated with "worship", "god", "divinity", "christianity" etc. And the Internet has always been a forum for a diverse range of issues.

    I really detest lazy thinking and writing which also shows up in abundance on the internet.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    uponthisrock
    Wow! Could I ask just oneof ten billion questions that prove there is indeed proof of God.
    The Sun is 93 million miles from the Earth. No human can explain where it came from without making a fiction story out of it.
    The Sun lights our path in life, without light you can't do anything. Zilch. The Sun prevents us from knowing what "real" darkness is as no man has ever seen true darkness. It heats and lights the whole Earth. At 93 million miles away it's placed just right to heat your fanny and not to freeze to death and cools your brain so as not to die of heat exhaustion. It is timed to the second day in day out for who knows how long. Never mind trying to explain God> He has given us enough proof of His existence to make the mind go bananas. There are not enough libraies in the World to hold the information about life on this Planet, yet it would be a good start for any naysayer to read Psalms 104. Read it slow like someone was speaking to you personally. See if that helps you to then ask "How do I get to know this God?"

    August 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    BamaDaniel
    Solomon wrote that ,he was a man ,one that worshipped many gods .God didn't write one word,so according to you man explaining the sun being here by gods action is a fiction story

    August 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    Clara
    uponthisrock, what a crock of nonsense you just posted. Everything you've said falls directly into the std anthropic principle and it's essentially a tautology. The system being observed containing the observer contains the conditions for it to be what it is. Duh.

    But you also have to ask, why is e.g. Jupiter so inhospitable to humans and so far away, such that we can't just go there and grab valuable resources or expand there? Guess your god screwed up, yet again. And that's before we even get into natural disasters, diseases, and flaws in the human body.

    Care to try again? Careful, though; we've heard your sh!t before. Too many fscking times.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    Rick James
    You do know that you we have an elliptical orbit, right? We are closer at some points than we are at others, right?

    August 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    sick of christian phonies
    You are an idiot. The sun wasn't placed at exactly the right distance so it could support us; life evolved on this planet precisely because of its proximity to the sun, in the life supporting "goldilocks" zone. All in the luck of the draw.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    ArthurP
    Rick James

    Not only that but if you go too far north you can "freeze to death" and in a matter on minutes.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    sick of christian phonies
    Here's a more telling bible quote for you: numbers 31:17-18 (god speaking)- "And now slay every male, even of the children, and put to death the women that have carnally known men. But the girls and all the women that are virgins save for yourselves."
    THAT is the kind of barbaric, primitive "god" you bow to.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    RichardSRussell
    Let's play your silly game. Let's pretend that the existence of conditions favorable for life on Earth can ONLY be explained by divine intervention. How come it was YOUR God — and not any of the other 5000 invented by human beings thru the centuries — who's the only one who could possibly have done it?

    August 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    hawaiiguest
    @uponthisrock

    That was hilarious. Please post more, it's good entertainment.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    therealpeace2all
    @uponthisrock

    Basically, another version of a 'cosmological' argument.

    Just because the universe is the way it is... and... there is 'balance' it doesn't automatically mean...'God did it ' !!

    Complexity doesn't infer or = God

    Peace...

    August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    Rick James
    Arthur, it would seem like "God" loves us so much he could freeze us just to prove it. I'm sure good parents do that with their children...

    August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Rick James

      Flag this troll

      August 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  14. WorkInProgress

    Why is it that the majority of hate, anger, insults, ridicule, name-calling comes from the atheists on these sites? It sure doesn't sound as if you are very happy.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      WIp, we learned it from our religious brothers and sisters. The only difference is that we won't kill you based on your beliefs.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • One one

      What could be more insulting and hatefull than preaching that non-believers deserve to burn in hell for not believing as Christians do ?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Rick James

      We are happy as happy can be, if only the religious kept their Bible out of the public realm...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      The majority of it? You sure? Seems like maybe you're cherry picking.

      ...oh oops you're good at it, tho.

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

      Christianity teaches that all of mankind deserves to be damned, but God chooses to save some.
      Only ignorant, uneducated Christians who deserve to burn in hell pretend to be better than non-Christians.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Brandon, how 'bout give up your silly belief in a god who does stupid stuff like torturing people forever and ever? The god of the bible is stupid as fvck–too stupid to be taken seriously, and you know it.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Why? It's because whenever we say something calm and reasonable, like "There's absolutely no evidence for the existence of God.", you INTERPRET it as hate. This is your problem, not ours.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      @Salero21's god
      I won't kill you based on your beliefs either.

      @One one
      The same ones who tell you that God loves all sinners and has paid the price for those sins if you will only believe.

      @Rick James
      I certainly don't see a whole lot of "happiness" from the atheist side. I see a lot of hate-mongering and name-calling.

      @Alpa Chino
      I haven't been here that long, so I can only speak from my limited experience, no cherry picking necessary.

      @ Brandon
      name-calling doesn't make you appear any more intelligent

      August 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      no dear Russell, I know hate when I see it

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

      Work in progress... I couldn't agree with you more. If people are true atheists then so be it. I would not beat anyone up for their beliefs. I am a disabled adult, from a seizure at a young age. I am the mother of a beautiful daughter who battled bone cancer at the age of 14, but has been blessed with remission for 4 years now. I am the mother of a handsome adult man, whose father we buried when he was only 5, and he fell apart after my dad died from Leukemia when he was 12.... I could go on, but my faith in Christ will not change. I will endure loss, suffering and pain in this imperfect world, where we are given our own choices. I choose to love my neighboor, and I do my best not to ever demean anyone for their belief systems including atheism, etc... try being kind, not ridiculing, and hold on to your own belief system, while respecting others <3

      August 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Yeah, wip knows how to ID hate – it's called 'when people disagree with wip'.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      So...based on your limited time here...you get to make big generalizations. Ok. Good plan. Just checking.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Answer

      Simple fact: religious retards hate dealing with rejection. They are rejected simple because of the lack of evidence and that ticks them off.

      They expect to be given time and space, for them to convince you, through the use of emotional blackmail so you can convert to their whiny religious ways.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • NorthVanCan

      People are angry at the stupidity and suffering that goes on around the world as a result of people believing that some god is in control . It would make sense if we took responsibility for the mess we have made and clean it up.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      This same old empty observation. Your contempt is palpable christard, as is hopefully is mine. You Christian diarrhea is sprayed upon us daily from every venue of media, and yet you still can't understand why we get angry at your ridiculous beliefs.... No no no WE are the malcontents that refuse to fall lockstep into your parade... So of course we must be unhappy and angry at the "good" Christians who post here. I pity you and hope for the day when humanity grows beyond the need for religious superst.itions.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • silmaril

      Yes, it's the epitome of hate for an atheist to say to a theist "I don't believe you, and here's why." or perhaps "This belief of your seems illogical, can you provide some evidence that allows it to make sense?".

      The thing is, societies have long given a pass to nonsensical stuff if you claim it's religious. In any other area, a person is free to question another's beliefs and ask for evidence to back them up. Religion is has been given a special, privileged exemption to inquiry. Many people are now starting to question that privilege and are calling attention to religion's glaring failures of logic and reason. I see that as a good and healthy thing. If your beliefs can't stand the light of scrutiny, what value do they have explaining how the world really works?

      August 3, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  15. RichardSRussell

    For those who foolishly assert — utterly contrary to the definitions and all available evidence — that atheism is a religion, I herewith share many colorful refutations of that viewpoint that I have gleaned thru the years, giving credit where it's due when known:
     
    "Saying atheism is a type of religion is like saying peace is a type of war." —Clark Adams
     
    "If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby." —Aphilatelist
     
    "Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." —Don Hirschberg, 1996
     
    "Atheism is a religion the same way “off” is a TV channel."
     
    "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a s¢x position." —Bill Maher
     
    "If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease." —Clark Adams

    August 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Colin

      I don't know the author to attribute it to, but I have also heard "If atheism is a religion, then medecine is a disease." I personally like that one because it is pregnant with the implication that religion is a disease that needs to be cured.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Tonyn

      Athiests sure try to ram their positions down other people's throats with a zeal that can only be described as "religious".

      By the way, Colin, you don't choose what star you are born under...you choose to be an athiest...see the difference?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I personally was born under ALL of them. So were you. So was everybody.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Colin

      Obviously, but how is that at all germane to the point I made – that any random trait can be chosen and four of five notorious people listed who had it to suggest that the trait was the source of their notoriety? For example, all 19 of the 9-11 terrorists had black hair. Did that make them terrorists?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Tonyn, you are back? Your posts have been shredded and you exposed for the charlatan clown you are.

      Go rub some rosary beads. You fake god is fake waiting for you.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Tonyn, you keep talking about ramming and throats like maybe you hoping for something.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tonyn

      It is germane to the argument because athiesm is not a "star sign", it is not having a certain hair color...it is a philiosophical decision...it is a belief system, just like any other...Mitt Romney chooses to be a Morman...he does not choose to be of the male gender...Every great mind in history has had the opportunity to choose athiesm...very, very few have...why?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Answer

      Tonyn

      Garbage in – garbage out. Typical drivel from religious retards.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Tonyn asks "Every great mind in history has had the opportunity to choose athiesm...very, very few have...why?"
       
      Proportionally speaking, intelligent/educated people are much more likely to be atheists than folks of average or below average intelligence, and MANY of them are. Why?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Tonyn, the blog buffoon, posts a false premise. That is, he knows with certainty whether the great minds in history chose atheism. What he fails to mention is that many were afraid, upon fear of death or incarceration by the armies of god, to publicly display their lack of belief.

      That is the real issue but the christards are not genuine enough to grant you that.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Tonyn, ask Galileo....(who was in fact a devout christian)...Even as a Christian he was threatened with death for stating FACTS about the solar system.

      Your church doesn't care about truth..only holding on to influence and power. (Just ask Galileo)

      Another "flat earth because the Church says so" lemming. I pity your ignorance.

      You weren't born, and the next day said, "hey, I'm going to be a Christian!!"...Nope. someone TOLD you what you were before you even had a chance to comprehend any of it. Your parents more than likely.

      Don't knock those of us that see past the BS of it all, just because you are too blind to see the truth.

      You are just as blinded by ignorant faith now as the church was when dealing with Galileo. And, of course, you are just as wrong for doing it now as they were then.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Colin the quote about religion being a desease was great.

      Faith based religion is a parasitic Meme infesting humanity, Logic and Reason are the cure.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Tonyn

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but atheism is merely a stance on a single claim. Just like you know nothing about the persons belief system if they say "I'm a theist", you can't tell anything about a person when they say "I'm an atheist". Other labels define more of the person. Like Christian, secular humanist, Hindu, naturalist, that kind of thing.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • deano

      If atheism is a religion, then Bill Maher is their Messiah.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • sybaris

      Tonyn – "you choose to be an athiest"

      You are born devoid of knowledge of any god so it would be more accurate to say that after exposure to gods and religions that you choose to remain in the default mode.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  16. TR6

    Atheists on the web are not like church; but, Christians are like communists

    In North Korea :
    They tell you what you must believe
    They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
    They tell you every other kind of Communist is bad and non communists are evil in carnet.
    They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of your life if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

    I Christianity:
    They tell you what you must believe
    They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
    They tell you every other kind of christianity is bad and non christians are are evil in carnet.
    They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of eternity if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

    August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • TR6

      Oops, wrong topic; but, still just as true

      August 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @TR6

      LOL !!! 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      TR6:

      Bravo. And as Hitchens pointed out, at least in North Korea you can obtain freedom by dying. In Christianity, the fun is only beginning. You are under the celestial dictator's rule for eternity.

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

      Well, take it or leave it, you have that choice.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @WorkInProgress

      Hey -WIP...

      "Well, take it or leave it, you have that choice."

      Choice...? You mean the Christian 'Argumentum Ad Baculum' argument, about the after life ?

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Answer

      –quote–
      WorkInProgress

      Well, take it or leave it, you have that choice.
      –end quote–

      To summarize: "I would love it if you would TAKE IT. I would then like you better now that you are one of us braindead cretins. I would then recognize you as a lunatic like myself. Thus you can help me with my delusions. Because I can't think for myself. So I beg you to take it. If you reject it – it means you are being mean to me and my delusions. And I won't forgive you for treating me like the dog that I am."

      August 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • ScottCA

      TR6 Well said and points out the fallacies of logic behind faith based religions.
      Quite witty and amusing as well.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • pssst

      TR6,

      Yes, a good one.

      p.s. if you have a chance to use it again, you might want to fix "in carnet" to be, "incarnate".

      August 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  17. WorkInProgress

    Colin – Yes, and the Bible tells us there will be false prophets, and sadly many people fall for them. I also believe that Satan is alive and well, the master of deceit and lies and you can see his handiwork in the world today. It's truly sad, when people are led astray.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Colin

      I think you missed my point, WiP. I am saying that your personal experiences with your god is no more credible than those of others who have had similar, genuinely held internal "experiences" with their own god, ghosts or other supernatural beings.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Uh huh Colin because only their God exist, they know by faith

      August 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      I'm not denying their experience, but it certainly doesn't sound as if those experiences came from God, and to know that you would need to have an understanding of God and the Bible.

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

      WLP,
      So only your experiences can be interpreted as coming from God because you have to know god to know, and you know god. Do I have that right?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @WorkInProgress

      Hi -Wip...

      " I'm not denying their experience, but it certainly doesn't sound as if those experiences came from God, and to know that you would need to have an understanding of God and the Bible. "

      So... Understanding your God and the Bible = Everyone elses experiences and religions, etc... are wrong...?

      And... you *know* this how, *exactly* ?

      And... please don't use your 'circular argument' anymore.

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      Wow, Colin is harsh. Wonder if he's gay? That would explain the blasphemous animosity. But as to where was God in Aurora, he was watching with much sadness as one human, whom he had, likely, given up to his own foolishness, decided to slay numerous people wasting their time in the middle of the night watching a gory movie. I was always taught that God will only do so much with rebellious people before he lets them go as they will, which I believe happened here.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Oh man. Can't take anybody seriously who starts the satan thing. Just can't.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      @Those who fail...

      Wow. You fail. Now he's gay. Cause you know, gays are evil...I love your logic. Makes me think your logic in pretty much every other area is suspect too. I hope you get the meds you need soon.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      ThoseWhoFail, know how I know Colin is not gay? He isn't a Catholic priest.

      And instead of being proactive, your god allowed the carnage by "giving up" on the killer. Another cop-out answer which answers nothing.
      Why don't you admit you have no answers, it is all made up, your religion, gentle Jesus meek and mild, the bible, all of it.

      Save yourself the mental contortions day after day. You don't have to live as an abject slave.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Observer

      Those Who Fail History,

      Maybe God failed all the victims because he was too busy peeping into the bedrooms of gays looking for sin.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      The shear act of sodomy is sin. Look up the origin of the word. It's named for a city in the Bible that was destroyed by fire and brimstone. The fact that it's named after a city that was destroyed tells me that its nothing to be proud of.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Those Who Fail History,

      Speaking of looking things up, look up the word "sodomy" and then you'll realize that millions and millions of HETEROS engage in it. Ooops.

      What did the Bible say was "the sin of Sodom and her daughters"?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Those Who Fail History....just failed history. It's like dividing by zero.

      Fail, you need to read the bible, son! Even I know that's not what that story was about. Shaaaaaame.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      "The shear act of sodomy is sin."

      Catholic priests sure like it. with young boys to boot.

      some religion you have there.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      @LOL
      "A wide range of beliefs and practices is found across the world among those who call themselves Christian." Wikipedia's page on Christian
      Don't know how I suddenly joined the Catholic Church but Scientologists are also technically Christians I believe

      @Alpa Chino and @Observer
      Didn't realize that was the case. But as I believe being gay is a learned and encouraged mentality rather than a natural thing, I am not entirely wrong.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Those Who Fail History,

      Milllions of gays insist they were born that way. When did you decide to be hetero?

      Please list your credentials as a mind reader to prove that you know the backgrounds of millions of gays and know they are lying.

      We'll wait.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Learned mentality...damn, someone out there is making people be gay, making them want to get picked on and discriminated against?? That's some powerful influence.

      You believe wrong again, time to do some more reading.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  18. Jack

    This whole article rubs me the wrong way. Why are we even talking about atheism in light of the Aurora incident? It has absolutely nothing to do with atheism. Atheism does not comfort and console the friends and family of lost ones – I find it tactless that people are using this story to attack religious beliefs.

    In Christianity, this world is not everything, obviously. We believe that the soul of a good and loving person transcends material death – there will be justice in the afterlife. We also have freewill, and as a consequence of having free choice, bad things will naturally occur. If God removed every possible bad thought, bad action, evil, etc., then freewill would not exist and people would not have a choice to do right or wrong. If there is no evil there can be no good. God gave us freewill because He wanted us to have the ability to love and do good.

    I'm sorry, but atheists can't have it both ways.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      God could make the world perfect and we would be none the wiser,right?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      the fact that you claim to know what your god wants shows you to be a fraud and a charlatan. At best, you engage in wish thinking which is nowhere near truth.

      And I assume the god you refer to is the judeo-Christian god, not one of the other 10 thousand or so that humanity has believed in. You just think you've got the right one.

      That is the pinnacle of arrogance.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • sick of christian phonies

      Great! Another christer with all the answers! All these years I've spent wrestling with weighty questions, and I could have JUST ASKED JACK! D'oh! You should be able to pull in the big bucks now that you have the answers for us, Jack, like Jim Baker and the rest of the frauds!

      August 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • hang3xc

      You believe all that crap to comfort yourself and children. It's scary to think that when you die, it's over. Anything is better than that. You should just man up & believe it. The world was here for billions of years without you. Were you in heaven then or did you simply not exist? You will again, soon, simply not exist. It will be the same as before you were born, nothing to be scared of. Grow up

      How come everyone gets to a certain age and suddenly acknowledges the Easter Bunny & Santa Claus don't exist, yet they continue to cling to religion and god, which is much more ridiculous than anything else you've ever believed in.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Michael

      We're talking about atheism in light of Aurora because to atheists, it is offensive that people would turn to a 'Grand Hoax' (and I say that as an agnostic) when there are loving fellow human beings...or that people are not capable of goodness or of overcoming hardship without someone holding their hand. Can you not see how that is offensive to someone who does not believe in God? It is a comfort when someone can hold your hand through tough times, and no one would begrudge another person fantasies in order to cope with a difficult situation, but with a very public tragedy like this there is obviously a huge outpouring of human sympathy and community, so why turn to the imaginary?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      @Michael: If there's a God or not, isn't it comforting to hope in something rather than believe there's nothing? As an atheist, how do you comfort someone? (As an honest question) Cause I always here "He's in a better place" but that's a Christian answer at its roots. So what would an atheist say to comfort someone in a case like this?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Observer

      "He's in a better place" is the way for Christians to say that the world God made for them isn't too good.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      Yeah but that's beside the point. If you were comforting someone, as an atheist, what or how would you comfort them? Anyone with a religion would say that bad things happen but good things will come, to generalize it. But what would an atheist say?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Observer

      "What would an atheist say?"

      "I'm sorry. I care. Can I help you?".

      So you needed a book to tell you? Ridiculous question.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Those Who Fail History observes that Christians can comfort the bereaved by saying "'He's in a better place', but that's a Christian answer at its roots. So what would an atheist say to comfort someone in a case like this?"
       
      Well, I sure wouldn't be trotting out Christian theology. According to the Bible, only 144,000 people in all of human history are going to heaven, so what are the chances that the dear departed is one of them? Probably the only lucky ones would be 144,000 innocent newborns who died 5 minutes after they were born. You know where the rest — including your dead friend — are going according to Scripture, don't you? Yeah, REAL comforting thot, there, ace.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      lol Seriously, I'm not asking anything like prove there isn't a God. I'm asking a question that will come up or has come up in our lives. What would an atheist say to comfort someone? I see a lot of evasive and Christ-bashing but not a lot of on-topic answers.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Observer

      Those Who Fail History,

      Guess you either missed my answer or are trying to pretend it didn't exist.

      Get serious.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      Ok. I hear ya but would you really say that to someone who's in tears over the fact that they lost their son so suddenly or are you just trying to shrug the question off?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Those Who Fail History,

      It's rather pathetic that you wouldn't try to console someone by saying "I'm sorry. I care. Can I help you?".

      August 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Those Who Fail History

      o.O My bad I read that wrong. My bad.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Cynn

    "Internet as church..." Does the writer not understand atheism? Church by definition is associated with "worship", "god", "divinity", "christianity" etc. And the Internet has always been a forum for a diverse range of issues.

    I really detest lazy thinking and writing which also shows up in abundance on the internet.

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

      Kinda got the feeling the writer thinks veeeeery little of atheists.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  20. uponthisrock

    Wow! Could I ask just oneof ten billion questions that prove there is indeed proof of God.
    The Sun is 93 million miles from the Earth. No human can explain where it came from without making a fiction story out of it.
    The Sun lights our path in life, without light you can't do anything. Zilch. The Sun prevents us from knowing what "real" darkness is as no man has ever seen true darkness. It heats and lights the whole Earth. At 93 million miles away it's placed just right to heat your fanny and not to freeze to death and cools your brain so as not to die of heat exhaustion. It is timed to the second day in day out for who knows how long. Never mind trying to explain God> He has given us enough proof of His existence to make the mind go bananas. There are not enough libraies in the World to hold the information about life on this Planet, yet it would be a good start for any naysayer to read Psalms 104. Read it slow like someone was speaking to you personally. See if that helps you to then ask "How do I get to know this God?"

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

      Solomon wrote that ,he was a man ,one that worshipped many gods .God didn't write one word,so according to you man explaining the sun being here by gods action is a fiction story

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

      uponthisrock, what a crock of nonsense you just posted. Everything you've said falls directly into the std anthropic principle and it's essentially a tautology. The system being observed containing the observer contains the conditions for it to be what it is. Duh.

      But you also have to ask, why is e.g. Jupiter so inhospitable to humans and so far away, such that we can't just go there and grab valuable resources or expand there? Guess your god screwed up, yet again. And that's before we even get into natural disasters, diseases, and flaws in the human body.

      Care to try again? Careful, though; we've heard your sh!t before. Too many fscking times.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Rick James

      You do know that you we have an elliptical orbit, right? We are closer at some points than we are at others, right?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • sick of christian phonies

      You are an idiot. The sun wasn't placed at exactly the right distance so it could support us; life evolved on this planet precisely because of its proximity to the sun, in the life supporting "goldilocks" zone. All in the luck of the draw.

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

      Rick James

      Not only that but if you go too far north you can "freeze to death" and in a matter on minutes.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • sick of christian phonies

      Here's a more telling bible quote for you: numbers 31:17-18 (god speaking)- "And now slay every male, even of the children, and put to death the women that have carnally known men. But the girls and all the women that are virgins save for yourselves."
      THAT is the kind of barbaric, primitive "god" you bow to.

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

      Let's play your silly game. Let's pretend that the existence of conditions favorable for life on Earth can ONLY be explained by divine intervention. How come it was YOUR God — and not any of the other 5000 invented by human beings thru the centuries — who's the only one who could possibly have done it?

      August 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @uponthisrock

      That was hilarious. Please post more, it's good entertainment.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @uponthisrock

      Basically, another version of a 'cosmological' argument.

      Just because the universe is the way it is... and... there is 'balance' it doesn't automatically mean...'God did it ' !!

      Complexity doesn't infer or = God

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Rick James

      Arthur, it would seem like "God" loves us so much he could freeze us just to prove it. I'm sure good parents do that with their children...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      or, consider that in perhaps 5 million years or so, the sun will burn itself out and explode thus cooking every planet and every living creatire in our solar system.

      Some design. What a bumbling goofball phony god you worship.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Science is super hard, I guess. Too hard for some.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • please be kidding

      uponthisrock...I hate to break this to you...but the moon was once much closer and is getting further away every year...plus the sun is getting older and will one day become a red giant that will eat most of the solar system. We won't get into star formation or anything like that because I don't think you would grasp it well, but, your god is pretty mean for putting us on a rock around a sun that is going to die, and giving us a moon that's leaving.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.