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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. Wayfaring Stranger

    Psalm 14
    King James Version (KJV)

    14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Observer

      The Bible also says to kill anyone working on the Sabbath. What is your point?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Point proven: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger,

      The fools were the ones who followed God's commands to kill anyone working on the Sabbath.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      You'll soon see who the fool is.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Damocles

      For the love of.... do you look at what you type? 'We'll soon see who the fool is'. You sound like a little kid that just got beat up on the playground and is running home to get his older brother.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Observer

      – Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery Hell.” [Jesus]

      Ooops.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Damocles.......i'm insulted from such a brilliant atheist as you with your childish insults. maybe you should look at what you just typed buddy.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Damocles

      Good heavens Wayfaring, when did I ever mention I was an atheist?? I'm just a human telling a fellow human that what he wrote seemed kind of childish. Are you saying that anyone that doesn't agree with you is the enemy. I could be the most pious SOB in the world. That still isn't going to stop me from pointing out things that seem childish.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      In logic: FALSE implies TRUE. This means that if you being with a false assumption, you can make anything appear to be true.

      Your comment is a quote from a book that I do not recognize as delivering Truth. It is a book of propaganda. And, there are many, many other people on this planet who regard that book with similar disdain. So, if you want to have a rational discussion, let's base it on only things that are Truth that pass scientific tests.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • joe

      "The fool hath said in his heart, God is not a toothbrush. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."

      There. I just wrote that on the back of my napkin from Starbucks. If I bury it in the ground and it's discovered two thousand years later, will people start the "Church of the Toothbrush"? I wonder...

      August 2, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • vancouverron

      Joe...Where can I send my donations to the "church of the toothbrush?" Does it have tax-free status yet?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • joe

      @vancouverron

      Make a one-time donation to your local public school and you're in! All members create their own certificates and the only requirement to remain a member is to continue living your life the best you can.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      And God said, go out on the internet and show everyone the hate that seethes in your heart. Never forgive, for that is a sign of weakness, and be sure to call people 'fools' because they really like that. Believing in God seems to have just made you all angrier.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  2. FifthApe

    "Internet as church for atheists"

    Wrong – the internet if where religion comes to die. Its where the bronze aged myths can be exposed for the barbaric nonsense that they are.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Salero21's god

      Yes.

      The Internet = religion's graveyard.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  3. Adam

    I've never in all my years heard hate defined as a disagreement with someone.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Cathy is using his belief in his imaginary friend god to speak out against gays. It is not merely a disgreement, it is trying to impede on the equal rights of people. While he is well entitled to free speech, he deserves scrutinized and called out for his hate. Intolerance of intolerance is a good thing.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Chris

      Haven't you heard? "There's a war on Christianity"

      LOL!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Adam

      So being against abortion qualifies as hate as well under your definition. Interesting.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Observer

      Adam,

      Since the Bible never mentions abortion, why do Christians pretend it does?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Adam: You can be against abortion all you wish but that is not what this article is about, nor does your opinion change the facts. When you use your belief to deny equal rights or tell another person what they can and can't do with their bodies it is hate. What a person does with their body-be that abortion or whatever, is not your business...they are not directly affecting your life! Who a person choose to love is not your business...once again they are not directly affecting your life. Abortion is not illegal, nor is being gay...so try being against the things that are against the law instead of the things that directly affect a persons legal rights. Your buybull can't be used in a court of law, so what it has to say has no pertinence in society.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Haven't you heard? "There's a war on Christianity" LOL!" They have been saying for twenty years that within five years, all churches will be shut down by "the government." Apparently every "athiest" is in on this except me, and I'd like to know how to sign up for the war. It's so hard to join up that it's almost as if it was just some nut's fantasy . . .

      August 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  4. Reality

    Putting the kibosh on religion :

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

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

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

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

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

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

    Added details available upon written request.

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

    e.g. Taoism

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

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

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

    August 2, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  5. Adam

    It's a shame that many people misunderstand the moral argument for God's existence. Most people think the argument is rooted in theists living moral lives compared to unbelievers. But that is not at all what the argument is. The argument is that if God does not exist, no one can live morally because morality does not exist. The argument is that if morality exists, God must exist.

    Hopefully these people will catch on because there is a lot of offense taken (and rightfully so) under the argument when it's misunderstood.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • mitch

      @Adam
      Ridiculous assumption that humans can not be moral without a god, how arrogant.

      Read...The Impossibility of God....Martin and Monier...or many of the other texts on the subject, gaining knowledge is what advances the human condition not god.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • joe

      So what came first? Morality or God? If God, then where did God get its morality? If morality, then what? Who defines morality? God? Which God? You see, you're ideology makes absolutely no sense.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Atheist

      There is no morality. There is only consensus and opinion, and the world has been operating on that since civilization began. Civilization is not going to crumble tomorrow if we recognize that.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Adam

      Mitch, you're one of the people misunderstanding the argument.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Adam

      Joe, God and morality are both eternal since God is eternal and God is the source of goodness. God exists, he is all good, so both are eternal. No logical problem there.

      But you're getting ahead of yourself. We can go down that path later. The first point is acknowledging morality's existence. If morality exists, God exists, no matter which came first.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • joe

      Adam, you last comment is delusional. Morality is defined by the people. Morality's boundaries are defined by the civilization and culture. No where in the Bible does it read "God created morality". And nothing is finite. The truth is, you know absolutely nothing about the god you believe in, other than the stuff you've made up yourself and the bits and pieces you've read about in the Bible. That's just some malarkey you made up and your willfull blindness to believe your own bs is scary.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Salero21's god

      if today it were proven that god definitively did not exist, are you saying you would then turn to lying, cheating and murder? Then you are a sick person who should be shunned. Y society.

      If you are moral solely because the celestial dictator is watching, what kind of morality is that? That is sucking-up. You are then a fraud.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • joe

      And another point, Adam: What you're doing right now is EXACTLY what people that speak for god have been doing for thousands of years. You make things up to prove a point or push an agenda. You claim to "know", but you don't. You just make things up like your "god and morality" bit. Don't feel bad. All people from all religions do what you're doing. And that demonstrates a perfect example of how man creates god and how man forms god into what they want.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Damocles

      @Adam

      I said this on page 25 but I'll repeat it here. If your god is all everything he simply can not be just all good. Everything is everything... good, bad, ugly beautiful and everything inbetween. It can't be any other way. Your deity would either be insane or neutral.

      This is demonstrated in your 'love the nazis but hate what they did'. You can't have it both ways. What you are doing is giving moral equvilancy(sp?) to the killers. You are, in effect, saying that we shouldn't hate what they did, but try to understand their point of view. This now allows any person who can convince you of his or her morality to be your master.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • FifthApe

      "The argument is that if morality exists, God must exist."

      Total garbage. Nothing but a baseless assertion.

      But it does beg the question – which god?

      And we all know the answer to that one. It's *your* version of god. None of the others invented by humans. I always get that right. 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Tyler

      I can teach a monkey to be "moral"

      August 2, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • mitch

      @Adam
      I understand, you have a point of view based on your belief and faith in a god, but my belief is there is not one, just to many out there to accept just one. Do a little reading..
      Death of God...Gabrial Vahaanian
      The God Delusion...Richard Dawkins
      The Death of God...Altizer and Hamilton
      God is not Great...Christopher Hitchens
      God is Dead...Nietzche
      The Evolution of God...Robert Wright
      The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster...Bobby Henderson
      Manmy, many, more.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Si Adam, without a belief in your imaginary friend god, you'd be out killing and raping? Morality is not dependent on a belief in a deity and if you are doing moral good only due to your belief, then you need to locate the number of a good mental health professional and ask to be medicated, you clearly are a danger to society otherwise.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Theist

      I agree with Adam. If morality were merely a social construct, then nothing is objective and we have no basis to use 'ought' language. If someone wanted to carve out a baby for their own sadistic pleasure, without objective morality, all one can say is they don't 'like' that action, but cannot say he 'ought not to do that'.

      Nietzsche realized the gravity of godlessness and how it removes all objectivity, including morality:

      "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him-you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. - from Parable of the Madman

      August 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      Well, I don't believe that god will punish me; it never punishes anyone else. I think we may have mentioned before that god was totally powerless against a man with a gun in a movie theater? I have to find a better basis for my ethics and morals than "god might kill me." Mine are based on respect for my fellow humans; we are all that matters. There are only people, animals, and the inanimate; some animals matter but most are just biomass with little awareness. I choose to believe in people, even the nasty ones who want to see their boss boil me in a lake of fire etc etc just to teach me a lesson. You crazy people are the only hope for this planet, so stop pretending to see the ghost and start fixing problems.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  6. richunix

    Steven,

    Religion has always relieied on the fallacy “argumentum ad ignorantium” or Shifting Burden of Proof” . By using this same argument, you cannot say that unicorns do not exist nor can you claim souls exist unless some can claim they do not. The list would go on with the same for all GODS, either it be the GOD YALWEH or the GOD ZEUS, HERA, RA or even the GOD AN. However I find nothing wrong with religion when used in the betterment of mankind, I find fallacy when it used as the language of hate. Religion is as old as man himself, it has grown and changed. To those that choose to believe, please continue so and enjoy your belief, share it with your family and friends, but most of all be happy. To those that use it as a weapon of power and hate, remember the historian and moralist John Dahlberg:

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Hence why religion is used by those who wish to maintain power.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    August 2, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Adam

      How is simply thinking a certain behavior is wrong qualify as hate? I disagree with the Nazi philosophy but I don't have to hate the Nazis. I can choose to love them despite this. I would imagine the same would go for you. I'm sure one of your parents has probably given you some guidance you disagree with. Must you hate them in response simply because you disagree with them? Is it necessarily true for people against abortion to hate the people who have had them?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Steven

      In that last statement though, arent Athiests doing the same thing as Believers? It comes down to simple faith on both sides. That is all there is to it. I believe in an afterlife but you do not believe it in, both of us, however, have to use faith for the basis of our beliefs simply because an afterlife cannot be proven or disproven.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • richunix

      Adam,

      I would entertain your agruement, if it wasn't so lame. But then Fools, need only have the foolish to follow.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Adam

      Rich, how about looking in the mirror if you want less hate in the world. Also, I'm sorry to see you have no real argument back, only insults.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Damocles

      @Adam

      Yes, I most certainly disagreed with my parents quite often, but I think disagreeing on a curfew is just ever so slightly different than murdering 6 million people, wouldn't you say?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Fundamentally no. We'd like to think that six million people are more important than a six year old's bed time but both situations intersect at the point of willfulness, self seeking, rebellion and anger. So, at their root, a child's rebellion against her parents is no different than a tyrants rebellion against all mankind.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I disagree with the Nazi philosophy but I don't have to hate the Nazis." I wouldn't bother to waste time hating them, but I would feed them all screaming into a woodchipper. Find a better example than Nazis.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      Here's a great example of why you crazy believers need to be controlled, Ayn Rand-style: " So, at their root, a child's rebellion against her parents is no different than a tyrants rebellion against all mankind."
      This crazy christer thinks Hitler exterminating thousands of Jews is no different from a child angry at mommy. Please tell me he isn't allowed to vote or drive?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  7. Mark Yelka

    Religion is not like a benign tumor in many cases. While sometimes it can be like a freckle or a cute mole, in all cases it is an aberration. It isn't part of the fabric of reality and is not harmonious with truth. If it were based on truth, then it would be a universal constant and we'd find the same religion in all places. But, we don't.

    Religion is frequently like a cancer that spreads and destroys healthy tissue. While sometimes it can be cut out, in many cases those that recover from it need to go through extensive treatment leaving scars over their lives. And, all too frequently, the cancer of religion causes death... not just to the person infected, but to those around them who resist being taken over and are caused to suffer at the hands of those infected by religion.

    It is better to live a healthy life in harmony with real truth.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Questions

      What is truth?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      Truth refers to hypotheses which are communicable, verifiable, and reproducible. Truth is subject to being amended when new contexts arise in which Truth is shown to fail these three conditions.

      This is the very short definition of Truth. For a better understanding of what Truth is, just research topics such as the scientific method or scientific truth.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Damocles

      So truth is fluid, it evolves or de-evolves as we do the same? What is true today might not be true tomorrow. Tomorrow might very well have a godface in the sky and a bunch of scared people.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • WASP

      @questions:
      -defintion in websters dictionary of truth:a archaic : fidelity, constancy b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance
      2a (1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true c : the body of true statements and propositions
      3a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality

      -defintion of reality:the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them:

      -defintion of faith:a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
      2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
      3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

      August 2, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      @Damocles Yes, truth is fluid. It would be arrogant to stand by an "old truth" when new evidence arises to show that there is a flaw in an hypothesis. This is a good thing. It means we are allowed to learn and grow as our understanding of the universe improves. Religion seems to prefer small, well-contained minds. The universe is so much grander than any religion will allow.

      Note also that while truth is subject to change, such change is all about incremental refinement that doesn't typically throw out "old truth." For example, suppose the truth were that water is a liquid. This truth was defined by someone who did not experience cold weather. When it is discovered that water freezes to a solid at 0 degrees Celsius, then that is ADDED to the body of our knowledge about the Truth of water. Then, we we discover that air pressure affects the freezing point of water, we further amend our knowledge about the Truth of water.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Damocles

      Yes but whether or not that person knew about other states of water is irrelevant. Our truth of water exsists in 3 forms is irrelevant if someone else knows there are really 5 states of water. It very nearly breaks down to this: we can't really know the truth until we know everything.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      It is not necessary to know everything. Truth is mostly about "utility" (that knowledge translates into something useful). We strive to learn more truth because we wish to learn more useful things.

      The problem with religion is that it seems to be opposed to learning (and that Truth evolves with learning) because such learning undermines its foundations. So, religion wants Truth to be absolute. I'm content to live and learn and grow in my understanding of the universe and to relegate religion to the dark, fearful, and power-hungry places of the mind.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      If the "truth" changes then it wasn't the truth.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  8. vic

    Im not a believer, and I don’t want to fight or belittle or convince anyone who is a believer. I really respect people and their beleifs, as long as their beliefs are not forced on me.

    I was raised as part of a big religious community, Im not saying which one because the point is moot, the structures are all the same for most religions so it does not matter. Male dominated, segregating and indoctrinating their youth, political power, the list of similarities goes on.

    I took me years to re-program my mind from the stuff I was forced to listen to as a kid. And subsequently, I believe that the teachings, made me waste half my life hating myself and feeling worthless, insignificant. And mind you this was a major religion, not considered a cult, but the tactics they employed were cult like tactics, for some reason major religions are enraged when you even insinuate that they are cults, but thats what they are in my mind, cults.

    As a kid, they put you in a room, force you to say the same things over and over, scare you and tell you not to question anything, just believe. And before anyones says things have changed, I disagree, they still do this to kids, and they still scare them with damnation, demons and the paranormal. And it works, humans are more afraid of what they cant see than what they do.

    I think this kind of religion teaching is child abuse, I had no choice when I was a kid. I tried to ask questions and was yelled at or intimidated into silence. I was told that certain types of people and activities were bad. I was told that their was a hell under my feet waiting for me to slip up and go there. This is wrong, how can they legally do they do this to kids?

    The heads of church’s are powerful, and they use their flocks like armies to shape their view of the world, there interpretation of morality. In the past, if you were not part of some group you were shunned, so it was join or not be part of the community. That’s why I believe atheists are banding together on-line. For years non believers were shunned, and know they have peers and a voice. For centuries you could be intimidated into joining religious, groups, even if you did not believe. But now we have others to talk to who feel the same way, in some cases common stories of abuse that span all religious beliefs.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Veritas

      Indoctrination of children is the very foundation of all these idiotic theistic religions. Without it they would not exist. And also, why should we not be allowed to question and even ridicule religious beliefs? They are only beliefs after all, and not even very personal since they were all invented by others; it is no different than questioning someone's political standpoints.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • mitch

      @vic
      I can give only one example of a church that has as part of their dogma that parents are obligated to baptise their children and raise the children within the doctrines of the church and that is the RCC, there maybe many more. I can imagine this being a common practice, if you know, educate me.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • vic

      I'm glad you agree with my indoctrination comments, I really think it's something people should talk more about. And get this, I believe in religious training in public schools, but in this way. I think there should be classes in religion in public schools that introduce them to all world religions, and they should also talk about non-belief and let kids know that ultimately, when they grow up, that it will be there choice. When I was a kid, they never even talked about other religions much less non-belief. Had I known about that, had I been armed with a diverse base of knowledge, I think it would have made it much easier for me. But of course people just want prayer in school, not discourse over world religions, belief systems and archetypes of power. I think kids would start to connect the dots, and find out that most of these organizations are just wealthy power structures with their own political agenda.

      FREEDOM OF RELIGION SHOULD APPLY TO CHILDREN AS WELL!

      And by the way, I said that I don’t want to ridicule beliefs, you of course are free to do what you want as It should be. But I do want to encourage civil discourse over this issue, because that is the last thing religious groups want us to do, talk to each other.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • vic

      Mitch, most religions have the same kinds of rituals, rights of passage, religious training for their youth. The environment may be different, but the guiding principles and goals are the same, they need to keep the children in their system’s in order to perpetuate what they have built. And with all due respect, I am not going to mention any religions by name, because that always starts a fire storm, which goes nowhere. So I might suggest you do what I did, and educate yourself. Because at the end of the day, I am just throwing ideas out there, you of course do not have to agree. So the idea of educating you sounds too much like what these religious leaders do. I want to advocate people walking their own path, not being diverted into one that has been created for them or being sucked into someones interpretation of belief or non-belief.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      These comments shed a negative light on religious education. From the religious perspective, another view exists. We know that people are willful and tend towards sin. Left unchecked, sin abounds. Thus, formative instruction is needed to instill, if not virtue at least the desire for virtue, into young hearts and minds. Sometimes, the desire to rebel is strong enough that young people stray anyway. They call themselves "enlightened" or "free" when really they are just submitting to their sinful nature, which appears rewarding. Sometimes they return. At it's root, religious education is about discipline. Whether externally applied or internally modulated, without discipline, there is no freedom, there is only chaos. Good luck in your chaos! When you are ready to embrace discipline, freedom awaits.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      I made my folks stop taking me to church when I was twelve. I used to get up and walk out when the sermon got crazy. "God puts money in your bank account if He likes you!" "God saves The Right People from cancer!" They were glad to leave me home. Religious people don't take to being questioned, and if they say Jesus was a white man from Indiana, you better agree.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  9. Ed

    While I do not completely understand the presence of evil in the world and why God does not intervene in certain situations such as with constipated ninja. The one thing that I do know is that He does live. I didnt not grow up in church nor did I come from a active christian home but there was a time in my early teens when I made a rare appearance at church. I was not looking for God and was not there because I wanted to be but was being made to attend this particular Sunday night. I would most likely agree with most of these comments if it had not of been for that Sunday night. On that evening, while I was not looking for God he was looking for me. That night God spoke to my heart and for the first time I realized it was real! He showed me I was a sinner and in need of forgiveness. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior the next day. I did not do this because I had to but because He dealt with my heart and gave me that invitatation to come to him and receive the free pardon of my sins. I cannot explain to you what it is like to have the God of the universe forgive you of your sins and then give you the Holy Spirit to live with in you to bear witness that your are one of His children. While I may not be able to answer questions that only God can answer this I do know, that he saved me. My life changed that day not because I was looking for a change or I was weak minded and needed something to believe in but because I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I may not know much but this I do know, that HE lives and He lives in my heart today!

    August 2, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Veritas

      Mental illness...

      August 2, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Veritas

      All this regurgitated christian vomit is so tiresome. Always the same tired nonsense about "sin", etc etc etc.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      You said you "know" something. Hmmm. What does "know" mean? This is one of the most abused words by religionists. To "know" something requires that the matter at hand be communicable, verifiable, and reproducible. You must be able to communicate what you mean by knowing in a way that everyone can understand and follow. Your message must be verifiable by someone who is a skeptic. Your knowledge must be testable and repeatable. No, I hardly think anything about gods qualifies as something for which you can use the word "know." You should use the word "believe." It has no requirements for rational thinking.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Randy

      Ed, how do you differentiate your "knowledge" that God lives from a delusional belief that God exists?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • joe

      Ed, you're confusing the word "know" with the word "believe". All that malarkey you just wrote is nothing more than childhood fantasy that you created for yourself.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I am happy to welcome you, my brother to the feast of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. It is good to know the Lord.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " My life changed that day not because I was looking for a change or I was weak minded and needed something to believe in but because I accepted Christ as my personal Savior."
      It's all in your mind; people who convert to Islam say the same kind of things. Maybe if you'd had more experience as a child, it wouldn't have seemed so new and exciting to you. Good luck; talking about it is a good first step to understanding it.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  10. Veritas

    Theism is so childish.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  11. Scott Shifferd Jr.

    Where was atheism and agnosticism? Where was morality without God? James Holmes was an agnostic. He rejected God. We've all done evil whether hate, contempt, or neglect. Only fearing the just wrath of the God who is love can change this world.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • JWT

      Being a good and moral person has never required any form of god.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:22 am |
      • Scott Shifferd Jr.

        Not even if God is virtue and the personality thereof?

        August 2, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Damocles

      Fear is not respect. Someone or something that has earned my fear has not earned my respect. Do you fear or respect the person with a gun to your head? If you are offering me a terrorizing god, then I politely refuse.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:22 am |
      • Scott Shifferd Jr.

        You don't think evil people should fear justice?

        August 2, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Observer

      "the just wrath of the God who is love"? Do you mean the God who set up the original rules and gave us a long list of reasons to kill people such as unruly children?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Theone3434

      You bring up James Holmes because it fits your narrative regarding Agnostics and violence...however, you fail to mention Anders Beivik (the Norway killer) that killed far more under the name of a Christian God (77 people killed). You see, anyone can pick and choose an example to fit their story...should I even mention the German guy??

      The fear of God does not persuade people to be "good"...it is the individual's own mind that does so.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:32 am |
      • Scott Shifferd Jr.

        You do know that for someone to be Christian then they would have to follow Christ?

        August 2, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • John

      Agnostics don't reject God, they just accept the fact that they don't know. Theists and atheists are very simply vain and arrogant.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:33 am |
      • Scott Shifferd Jr.

        Knowing something that someone else does not make one arrogant, but not knowing something because someone chooses not to know is careless, lazy, and immoral.

        August 2, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Morality doesn't come from your imaginary friend. Animals don't have a god and they show moral behavior. You christards don't think about how moronic your statements are. The Aurora monster was a christard. To be agnostic would only mean he didn't claim with 100% certainty that a god exists. You need to put the buybull down and use a dictionary.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Observer

      Scott Shifferd Jr.

      "You do know that for someone to be Christian then they would have to follow Christ?"

      What does that mean? For instance, does it mean that they pick on gays while ignoring the bigger problem of Christian adulterers? Does it mean picking on pro-choice people by pretending the Bible actually mentions abortion? Or is it just following whatever version of Christianity that you believe in?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Steven

      @truthprevails – The Aurora Monster was an agnostic per his own online profiles.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Observer

      Scott Shifferd Jr.

      "Are you an Israelite?"

      Irrelevent. It is the SAME God in both Testaments, isn't it?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Randy

      A life of fear is the only good life. Gotcha. "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees."

      August 2, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Agnostics don't reject God, they just accept the fact that they don't know. Theists and atheists are very simply vain and arrogant."
      I'm pretty sure there's no god, but to be absolutely sure, I would have to be able to search the entire infinite universe to be sure it wasn't hiding somewhere. Technically that makes me an agnostic, but I have enough faith in gravity and momentum to bet on the rest of the universe being physical as well. See, I have to 'prove' there's no god to make you happy, but you can just say "There He is, I see Him" and how can we argue? I really believe you do see visions and hear voices; try Prozac©.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  12. Leo

    As a Christian, I fully welcome those non believers, as they are here to test the faith of men and women everywhere. I ask that they test everyone, and if they win it just means we are closer to the end!!

    August 2, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Vance

      Oh that's rich. Non believers are here to "test" those of faith. I love it. Sigh.....

      August 2, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • mitch

      @Leo
      Are you one of those christians that believe in order to achieve salvation you must accept jesus as the pathway to god and heaven? That will take care of about 2 billion people, so what happens to the other 5 billion that are not intrested in your many different christian cults? An answer would be appreciated, so many christians seem to have tunnel vision when it comes to anything beyond their beliefs.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Zaechariah

      You're setting up a scenario (a made up one no less) where you can't lose. I understand you have the conviction that the world will come to an end, and the chosen people (you christians...well at least some of you christians) will be taken into heaven while us heathens experience different levels of torment and suffering, essentially hell on earth. Now.... let me ask you this.... Do you have any bit of tangible evidence that this will happen? It is important to focus on the burden of proof when talking about religious beliefs that have consequences for non religious people. You are making the claim that a supernatural being exists and has jurisdiction over our lives, and if you want to be taken seriously by rational thinking adults, you need to have at least one bit of evidence for the existence of god. I wouldn't be the first to say that a country of people that think the world is just going to end soon, is at danger of creating a self fulfilling prophecy. If the world is going to end, then who cares about the economy! The division of wealth! Securing a future for generations to come by supporting alternative energies, and so on.
      It pains me every day to hear, and read people saying "The end is near, repent!" because the only possible outcome of that is ignoring real life issues. We have the world around us, the rocks, trees, air, water, planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, evolution, you name it. All the things that I listed are demonstrable, and have mountains of evidence for their existence. Now the religious add one more thing to the world we live in, and that thing in your case is a creator, manager, an alpha and omega of sorts. But you base your belief on what evidence? Why do you believe what you believe?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Oh that's rich. Non believers are here to "test" those of faith. I love it. Sigh....." You see, it is a story being told in the mind of God, and not a real universe at all. We are all just objects on stage, not real people. That's why so many Christians are doing time for murder and theft, I guess. Leo, I guess you fail the test by seeing us as things or enemies instead of your fellow men and women; see ya in Hades.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  13. Steven

    I find it ironic really at how vicious both sides get. The point was made earlier, you cannot prove God exists but on the flip side, you cannot. Believers put their faith in the belief that there is a God while others put their faith in the belief that there is not a God. You cannot truly prove either side. I believe something happens after death but I do not trash Athiests who say nothing happens. I do think both sides need to take a step back and realize this is a no win debate. Do not have it since logical comments on both sides are being lost in the flood of negative and pointless attacks on the other. Its time to grow up everyone. Some believe and some do not; start learning to play nice with each other.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Steven

      My apologis, i meant to say you cannot prove he does exist and you cannot prove he doesnt.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • Damocles

      I agree. I don't really have 'faith' in my beliefs, they just are, nothing more or less. I just like to talk about it because something I learn today will lead me down a path tomorrow. Life is a journey, I just hate to see anyone sell it short.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • One one

      It's not that simple Steven.

      Believers are constantly trying to push belief in god into the public space. Why ?
      "in god we trust" printed on the dollar bill. That's millions of pro-belief messages distributed to the public by the government. Why ?
      National day of prayer. Why ?
      "one nation under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Why?
      The 10 commandments displayed in public places. Why?

      It's not OK for one group of people to push their unwelcome supernatural belief system on the rest of the public who do not share their beliefs.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • Damocles

      @ one one

      These things you mentioned are not forcing you to believe. Even a person with a gun can't force you to believe in anything. Now are these things tedious? Indeed they are. Is it necessary to have 18 churches on a city block? Good grief, no. Do any of these things make me say 'well gee whiz I've been wrong all this time'? Not at all.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • One one

      @damocles, so please answer this; what is the motivation behind pushing all These pro-belief messages out into the public space ?

      August 2, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Damocles

      It doesn't really matter what the motivation behind it is. I think both sides have a problem understanding the whole free speech thing. Everyone has the right to say whatever and everyone has the right to disagree. Words on a piece of paper do not threaten me. A wild-eyed fanatic, who is willing to do what his beliefs tell him to do, threatens me. You absolutely can not fight the belief itself, only what is done in the name of it. I would scorn an atheist fanatic with the same vim and vigor I would scorn a believer fanatic.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • One one

      @damocles. Nice attempt to dodge the question, But it does matter. They are all attempts to promote religion using government instruments paid for by the public. It's illegal. If you kept your religion private and out of the public space, there would be less pushback.

      I know it's difficult for those who have had it their way for so long to understand.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Steven,

      If it just came down to everyone believing what they want and then leaving each other alone I think most atheists would be fine with that. But look around and see how many messages are directed at you invoking god as the reason, cause, motivater for decisions that are made and proposed each day. There was a gov't official who was being recommended for the Sec. of Energy who had stated, that we don't need to worry about global warming because god promised he would not destroy the world again in the bible (not to mention he was wrong about what the bible says). This type of thing gets swept under the rug because it has been taboo to talk about religion AND people think it is "just a belief, what's the harm". Beliefs don't exist in a vacuum, they have consequences.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Damocles

      @one one

      I didn't dodge the question, I answered it. I said the motivation doesn't matter. Just because someone is motivated to do something, doesn't mean I have to allow it. I don't tell the person who is motivated to punch me in the face 'oh, well since you are motivated, its ok then'. I pick and choose my fights. You cant go crying over every commandment poster you see hanging up. You can't raise a stink solely for the purpose of getting others to smell it.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • WASP

      @damo: "not even a person with a gun can force you to believe"
      i will disagree with you on that point and so does history. the conquestidors and their missionaries forced at sword point and torch most of central and south america to "believe" in god because they believed god was on their side. slaves brought out of africa and other nations were forced into believeing in god by threat of death or beatings. the christian doctrine of "forced submission" to their god hasn't changed, it is still taught, go spread "the word of god", only their tactics have changed. they use redicule and threats of eternal pain and torment to coerse doubters back in-line and to push their need to spread their word.
      so yes if your life is at stake or that of your children, you will believe...........or they get rid of you and teach it to your children, children are easier to mold then once they become adults those lessons are hardwired into them and passed down by those brainwashed adults to their offspring.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Damocles

      @WASP

      You are confusing saying with actual doing. Yes, I would say anything to protect me and mine, that does not mean I actually believe it. Maybe if I had said a person with a gun can not make you TRULY believe in anything?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • ganamede

      Show me some proof one tiny little bit of evidence that there is a god ........ that's right you cant because he does not exist no matter how much you people want to believe in your fairy tales it does not make it true.

      I believe in what i can see touch smell hear and what i see is a lot of religious bullshyte it is a tool to control the weak minded
      there is so much evidence against the bible but you people refuse to open your eyes and look i used to think religion was fine they do not bother me i do not bother them however this is not the case.

      Everyday you see something else showing religious hate and bigotry and i am getting sick of it my tolerance for stupid is gone its time we as a people stamp out religion i think its held the human race back long enough.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • WASP

      @damo: they don't have to make you TRULY believe they just have to make you fearful enough of losing something dear to you to make you teach your children, whom will teach their children and eventually they WILL truly believe. it has been done in history and it has been attempted with me. i wasn't always atheist, nor was i always christian, at one point in my life i was pagan; the whole trying to find answers stage in life; from the instant others found out i was pagan the assaults and threats were almost none stop. "devil worshipper" "your going to burn in hell" you know those kind of things to attempt to PUSH you inot believeing for fear of being unaccepted, humans have a need to be accepted and to be acknowledged, most when that is threatened they will conform to have that comfortible feeling back, me it pushed me to search for answers, thus leading me to the most logical conclusion, there is no god not a single one due to the fact it has no power of it's own creation nor over the enviroment it so called created.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Steven

      No offense to ganamede (sorry if i misspelled your name) but prove to be he doesnt. The problem is so blatant on both sides and a poster above hit the nail on the head. He stated thiests and athiests are arrogant. Why would someone say this? Because look at what we are doing to one another; childish fighting. I do not reject the notion of separation of church and state, I do welcome it and yes as stated I am a believer. All debates become pointless when when people put emotion and attacks behind their points. Attacking believers does nothing as faith is a very deep and very personal aspect for billions of people on thr planet, however, attacking non-believers because they simply do not want to believe in an afterlife is plain riduclous and outright cruel. People really should take a step, take a deep breath, and understand your faith is your own. What you choose to believe in... Thats your right in the United States. I do understand the point made about God being put everywhere, I do, however one must be careful to not come off as "attacking". There is a difference between debating and childish name calling and fighting and unfortunately based on the comments (some not all!) it appears messages on bith sides have gotten muddled.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Damocles

      @WASP

      Mmmm good points. Any lie repeated often enough becomes truth.

      All I can do is teach my kids the best I can. I want them to question just about everything that comes their way, science, religion, politics. Its only by questioning that we grow as humans. At the end of the day, I can only hope that they see any lie for what it is.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • rational minnesota

      Steven, Steven, Steven...
      To say that you can't prove that god exists or that god doesn't exist is a ridiculous statement. There is no proof of anything – only evidence to support conclusions. There is NO evidence for the existence of god. None. Zero. So the logical conclusion must be...?
      You "believe" something happens after death? Why? What evidence could possibly support that conclusion?
      Then to top it off, you say that logical arguments on both sides get lost?
      Name me one logical argument from the "god exists" side. Not "I believe," "the bible says," "I know." None of the tired, old, debunked creationist nonsense. I want an argument supported by real, testable, verifiable, falsifiable evidence and above all not littered with logical fallacies.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Randy

      Atheism is not a belief that God does not exist, though some atheists might make that claim. Atheism is, at its most universal, a rejection of God claims based on the evidence (or lack thereof). Rejection and denial are different. Rejection is, when faced with the claim that I have a house on Jupiter, requiring evidence before accepting the claim as true. Denial is not only rejection, but an assertion that the claim is false. It is a lack of belief. If you understand the difference between "innocent" and "not guilty," that is the difference between "I believe there is no God" and "I do not believe in a God." Of course, given the "if you're not with us, you're against us" philosophy of most religions, I don't fully expect you to understand this. But, maybe there's someone out there who's exercising rational thought who is on the fence regarding their religious experience and will recognize the burden of proof and atheism for what they are.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • WASP

      @damo: correct me if i'm wrong, but you are the type of believer i can enjoy having a discussion with. i enjoy debating and attempting to learn new information from people in all walks of life. i just enjoy knowledge. yes i do agree edcuation does help aid everyone to see through someone elses lies, just so long as they are willing to admit that they see the lie; some see the lies, but do like the 3 monkeys, they cover their eyes to the action, cover their ears to the sound and cover their mouth when asked.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Damocles

      @WASP

      Oh, I never said I was a believer.

      To quote one of my favorite book heros: I am a Seeker of Truth.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      I can prove He doesn't exist: Twelve dead in a movie theater in Colorado. Now, you prove He exists by saying that other people WEREN'T shot, right? I win again. You guys are easy. Seriously, God never does anything, and He leaves it up to you grannies and codgers to claim it's just part of the plan.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  14. Damocles

    Am I all alone now?

    August 2, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • Steve

      Not al all, for surely God is with thee.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Damocles

      How do you, Steve, know that god is surely with me, Damo?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      As long as you have intestinal bacteria, you are never alone. (mad scientist laugh)

      August 2, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  15. Kebos

    It's simple really. God or gods do not exist. To contemplate it is a waste of time.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • Kebos

      And to add one more point to that, anyone who believes in the "man in the sky" has to be viewed as one not dealing in the real world. So, for example, politicians and leaders who say they take their orders from a god should be removed from their position of authority.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • Damocles

      I agree but I don't agree. Yes anyone who claims they are driven by what is essentially a voice in their head should be looked after, but a person who simply says 'I believe in something' has done nothing wrong.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You are practicing blind faith

      August 2, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  16. Earthling

    It's not doubt when there is no reason to believe.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:15 am |
  17. Tatu

    Hi. I do not believe in gods either.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • Damocles

      Yes, but why don't you believe?

      August 2, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • mitch

      People do not believe because gods are just story book characters, so many gods in so many story books with so many creation myths and the religious latch onto one of these god stories and become obsessed to the point of lack of reason and blind faith. So if you believe in karma, jesus christ, the seven paths, the theogeny, vishnu, magic underwear, the 72 virgins for the martyr, dianetics, the FSM, whatever, they (the gods) are just part of the story written by the human authors right here on earth. The atheist/agnostic see these stories as pure fiction and/or unreliable history at best, atheists do not have to reject god in particular, but simply don't believe ANY of the stories that created the god in the first place. Why is your god story any more believable than all the others, could it be you were brainwashed by those that make a handsome living out of selling the story/religion?

      August 2, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Damocles

      @mitch

      I don't believe I've put my beliefs in any of my posts. I was merely asking why tatu said he/she didn't believe. Not all of the stories are 'pure' fiction, some have a kernel of truth in them and then get overblown as time passes.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • mitch

      @Damocles
      Quite correct your posts indicate to me your wish to question, be agnostic if you like, to what faith in a god is all about. The thing is many religions have that kernel of truth, not anyone in particular and many are certainly overblown. All you have to do is see the obscene wealth flaunted by some of these cults, you might deduce that profit is more important than salvation.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Damocles

      @mitch

      Oh no doubt many are in for the $. I used to say that I don't like religion, but I sure wish I had invented it.

      What troubles me is that people have that idea that good/evil spring forth from a 'creator' of some type. They refuse, sometimes innocently, sometimes blatantly, to see that good and evil spring forth from one source: humans. It is this refusal to see that leads to all sorts of complications.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • mitch

      There is dogma in all religions that I take issue with but the most agregious is found in the christian religion. The idea that some god figure, jesus, died for our human sins and all that is required for salvation is to confess your sins and accept jesus as you saviour to me is obscene. Could be a whole lot of defrocked priests in heaven, I'll take a pass.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  18. Michael B

    This whole "where was God" thing has been tackled by theologists centuries ago. Was it Saint Thomas Aquinas who said "the presence of evil in the world no more disproves the existence of God, as the presence of clouds in the sky disproves the existence of the sun."

    August 2, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • bob.bob

      The clouds and sun are scientific phenomenon that besides their visual presence can be proven, explored, etc. God cannot be proven or explored and has no visual or detectable presence by any known method. Furthermore, the bible stipulates that god would have the power and the moral compass to prevent things like aurora, so the fact that these events exist makes a strong case either for a very sadistic god or for no god at all.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:58 am |
    • Damocles

      Evil in the world could be used to say that god is evil. Which of course he would be if he truly was 'all everything'. Yet again a problem I have with believers. If your god is everything then he is everything you believe to be good and everything you believe to be evil. You can not have your deity and eat its flesh as well.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  19. Terri

    If all the dogma and profiling were put aside, We'd all be better off as a human race. Jesus was considered the prince of peace by his followers. He was a very good man who loved everyone and hated violence, arrogance, and corruption. Even if you don't believe in any particular religion, he still was very much a hero and a role model who tried to save lives and got crucified for his efforts. He's a reminder that sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions when there's so much intolerance in the world. As far as the stories in the bible go, it's how they're interpreted that makes them real or not. Some of them are the result of dreams and visions and some are historical accounts witnessed by ancient people and recorded. Some are simply insights and words of wisdom. Just like any eye-witness account of todays events, facts can change slightly depending on who's telling the story. That happens with today's media all the time. It's not easy to wrap our minds around how something like mass murders can happen .You can't always believe everything you read. Especially when people are scared, confused, and emotional. Who among us has ever had a dream that seemed real when we woke up or who have woken up in a cold sweat from having a nightmare after a traumatic event? That's very normal. The people in ancient times talked about life in their times and today's people talk about life is like in our time. Someday, someone may look at people's blog entries and comments on social media media sights and wonder what the hell was wrong with us.

    August 2, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Jesus was a liberal d.ouche. Now I must sleep.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • Damocles

      I don't really doubt that there was a man named Jesus who lived a long time ago. Did he do good things? Most likely. Did he do bad things? Depends on who you would ask back then.

      You hit the nail on the head when you talk about how things are interpreted. What one person sees as a divine call to strap on a bomb, others see as allegory. This is one of my issues with religion.

      Yes, I often have dreams and nightmares, however they shouldn't be considered divinely inspired by any means.

      I know why bad things happen, because people do bad things. It doesn't get any easier to understand. No deity is necessary for people to do good or bad, its just done.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "man named Jesus who lived a long time ago. Did he do good things? Most likely. Did he do bad things? Depends on who you would ask" There is an apocryphal story, removed from the Bible by Christians, that says he 'withered' one of his playmates as a child.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  20. Damocles

    @snowdog

    Look, friend, if you want to turn off your brain and not think, thats totally fine and believe me, it works for you. There are those of us, believers and non-believers alike who like to think, to push the boundaries of what we are. You are more than welcome to close your eyes, plug your ears and scream 'lalalala' all day long.

    August 2, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " close your eyes, plug your ears and scream 'lalalala' all day long." I think it's 'Trolololo' now.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
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About this blog

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