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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. Jennifer

    It's curious how virulent atheists are when confronted with the religious.

    Just as most atheists live peacefully with their fellow man, so do most religious individuals live peacefully with their fellow man. The problem is not religion. Without religion, the same atrocities would happen...the instigators would simply use different wording.

    Live and let live. If someone chooses to believe in a god, yet lives their life peacefully with the rest of humanity, it's none of your business what his beliefs are. If someone chooses not to live peacefully with his fellow man, then address the problem – they may coat it with clever words of religion, but the root of it is hate or insanity or lust for power...and all of those feelings strike at the heart of some atheists as well.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • John

      On average, around the world, the less religious a country is the more peaceful it is.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Jennifer

      Really? So China, which during it's revolution saw the death of somewhere between 20 and 67 million individuals, is such a lovely, peaceful country? How about the USSR, before the end of the Cold War? I hear living there was like living in...err...paradise. Yes, that's it.

      It is NOT religion that makes people act like monsters. It is simply the way some people are.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Bozobub

      Jennifer, note the words "on average". You aren't refuting his point at all.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Jennifer

      That is because "on average" there are far fewer atheist countries than there are religious countries.

      The two examples I gave reveal that atheist countries are just as likely to perpetuate horrors as religious countries. Atheism does not bring peace and enlightenment and good feeling towards all men simply by the virtue of not believing in a god.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Geo

      Not to mention, how do you figure that both China and USSR are not religious...you mean the are not evangelical christians...

      Check your facts, most wars and world wide atrocities throughout history have been in the name of some kind of religion\god...

      August 2, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Jennifer

      Geo – check YOUR facts. The USSR cracked down on all religious organizations while in power. It was founded by an atheist who inflicted horrors on the Russian people. The Chinese revolution was even more revealing. Mao Dezong was not only an atheist, he was determined to purge every last vestige of Chinese culture he could find...including the religion.

      And how about North Korea? There's another excellent example of a country that does not follow a god. They're nice and peaceful and sweet and light, right?

      August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • mitch

      @jennifer
      Repeat
      I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dimiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. Stephen F. Roberts

      We see the religious as the hypocrates they are. Let them keep their views out of schools and politics and perhaps they would be tolerated a bit more by non-believers. The above statement holds more truth than the religious can come up with.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • mitch

      @jennifer
      Every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in criminal law, every step to the dimunition of war, every step toward the better trearment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been cosistantly opposed by the organized churches of the world.
      Bertrand Russell

      August 2, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • cavediver

      Jennifer the Soviet Union and China had/have all the elements of religion...infactthey are were.are religions after a fasion. all of it is about control and power and the fear of losing that control. Betray the state get imprisoned and/or killed....betray just about any religion at some point in it history and you will get: banished, killed ,burned , tortured, and be threatened with damnation in the afterlife.... no difference.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • cavediver

      oh one more thing....Lenin and most of his party DID have the best interest of the people in mind....Stalin how ever, was a bully, psychopath and power mad as they get...he shoved Lenin aside and took control... the Soviet state clamped down on churches, not because of god (in truth they could have cared less) but because the churches could have bypassed all the censors in place..been a meeting place of opposition. Same with Mao ... same kind of man. none of them set out to target the religious particularly.. ANYONE who could challenge the state fell...

      August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • More Religion, More Murder

      I just posted this on the next page, but here's some information for you with references.

      Murder rates are lower in more secular nations and higher in more religious nations where belief in God is deep and widespread (Jensen 2006; Paul 2005; Fajnzylber
      et al. 2002; Fox and Levin 2000).

      And within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon (Ellison et al. 2003; Death Penalty Information Center, 2008). Furthermore, although there are some notable exceptions, rates of most violent crimes tend to be lower in the less religious states and higher in the most religious states (United States Census Bureau, 2006).

      Finally, of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries, and of the eight cities within the United States that make the safest-city list, nearly all are located in the least religious regions of the country (Mercer Survey, 2008).

      From: http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

      August 2, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Jennifer
      The leaders to whom you refer may have striven to eliminate traditional religions from their societies, but that is only so that they could re-direct people's faith to their own cults of personality.
      They effectively put themselves in the Godhead position in order to exercise the same kind of persuasive control that shamans do (albeit to an extreme and often violent degree).
      Don't forget that a number of these dictators had religious educations. For example, Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary.
      Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  2. tkogrady

    I don't know why the concept of like-minded people congregating should be surprising. Humans, by nature, are social creatures. So it's not surprising that the concept of "communion" would be shared by both believers and non-believers. It's more surprising that people of faith think that people coming together to share ideas, thoughts or feelings should be the exclusive domain of a church or religion. It's ironic that Sunday morning in America is the most segregated time – people divide up and hang out with like minded (or similar looking) people. I think it's refresing that the internet can help break that down – let people of all faiths, colors, genders, etc. find a common place to "commune."

    August 2, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • WASP

      @tko: looooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeee it. lol that was very well said.................and correct

      August 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  3. DPGW

    It's such a nonsense argument (I do, however, consider myself an athiest but so what....). No one is ever going to know "the truth" until they die. So what's the point of debate? Just really a waste of time...
    Want to make the world a better place? Write your own bible and read it every day. On a piece of paper write: "Try not to be an a $$ hole today". Follow your "commandment" and everything should work out just fine...saves the religious a lot of time, effort and money as well....

    August 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • DC1973

      The world would be a much more pleasant place if everyone just lived by the "Don't be a d!ck" doctrine, don't you think? I certainly do.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • realbuckyball

      You can't be serious. You're not going to "know" anything when you die. Your brain will be dead. Better figure it out now.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  4. JW

    The internet is a positive place to express views on religion due to its anonymity. Unfortunately, there is incredible peer pressure in the world to express a believe in god and to attend a church of some kind. I think that a substantial percentage of churchgoers actually have doubts, but are unwilling to express them because they do not want to lose friends, or adversely impact their social or business standing. Anyone with an ounce of sense must know that their church cannot be the only "true" church. Could god, an all knowing, all powerful, all loving being present such a vauge message to mankind that at any given time, the vast majority of people are wrong in their beliefs? It defies logic – unless god is not logical.........

    August 2, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  5. disagreement

    I wonder how many athiests volunteer at local soup kitchens/homeless shelters vs. Christians. I bet you the latter wins that one.

    If anything, true Christians care about the suffering of those less fortunate.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Adam

      Having fun with conjecture?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • richunix

      I do all the time and I even give to Christian, Jewish and Muslim Charties. I don't need a belief to be human and to show human compassion.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • DC1973

      True Christians? Those would be the ones saying that gays deserve to die, right? Or the Salvation Army, which wants to feed and clothe every poor person except the gay ones and their children?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • JW

      No one is saying that christians are not good people, just misguided in that they have all the answers and that everyone else is wrong.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • deidramt

      I have fostered families for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter for the last 5 years. Not because I need to prove that I am worthy of some special place after I die, but because they are less fortunate than I am and I can do something about it. If the families that I foster are of a faith, I will accept that faith and join in the celebration of their faith. I do not belittle others their faith, but I do ask that those of faith do not belittle my lack of.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • myweightinwords

      You might be surprised. Atheists, Pagans, Muslims, etc all volunteer at soup kitchens I've volunteered at. Local food banks too.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • WASP

      @disagreement: here is the funny thing about that very statement you made.
      religious people require some kind of reward/ punishment system to ad them in being good........mind you the fail more than atheists at said task;however atheists just are nice becuase. atheists have no reward for being good, other than our own warm and fuzzy feelings we get from knowing we helped another human or animal that needed it. lmfao i stopped needing rewards for good deeds and threat of punishment when i was 5.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • realbuckyball

      So what ? Does that mean, you get to cook up a got to create a result you find convenient ? Essentially the argument is irrelevant.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Joe

      I remember in high school when they decided you need 20 hours of community service to graduate and my fellow seniors were in panic. I laughed having been credited with over 500 hours of community service by that time and told them it can easily be done in 2 weeks. Guess they were too busy reading their Bibles while I was out doing what they only talked about. Just so you know many atheists spend the time you do in church in the community helping someone. Yet you say you are superior. When was the last time your priest said "don't come to church next week but spend that hour doing something for the needy." or did he more likely say "Put more money in the collection plate." Religion helping people get rich of the sheep for 10,000 years.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • ArthurP

      On most Sundays I read the Bible to a group of blind old ladies who live in the old folks home at the end of the street. The Christians that used to do it would pass the hat at the end. These women are poor and it would embarrass them. So now I do it.

      Funny you never hear of Christians volunteering to read Darwin to them on the other days.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  6. Manda

    This may be a little cliche, but it sure seems to apply here:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?

    To my knowledge, no believer has ever provided a satisfactory answer to the "trilemma" without going into some slippery and hard to follow just-so stories that have nothing to do with the actual Bible.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • justme

      evidently you have not discussed this with Jehovah;s Witnesses since they can and would be glad to answer your questions. you do not even have to wait for them to visit. you should go to jw.org or watchtower.org to learn what the bible really teaches.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • DC1973

      justme, I thought you took your "Michael is really Jesus and our prophet is always right even when he's wrong" Watchtower crap and left?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • justme

      if you want to discuss this further i will check back later but be serious and sincere and those questions will be answered. at least they were to my satisfaction when i was a pagan teacher evolution in the 60s

      August 2, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • justme

      DC, i keep trying to leave but there seems to be so much need and i really am going to work. later

      August 2, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • MJB

      Sorry but that is REALLY easy to debunk. Just take a freshman critical thinking class in college and the logical flaws will make it fall apart.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Bozobub

      Sorry, jmustme, the Deists have a much better answer: "God allows these things, because God created the universe, then let it run its course. God is completely unknowable and alien to a limited existence like us.

      Who are YOU to dictate what morality is to Deity, hm? Even if Deity does personally interfere with reality, how do you know Deity doesn't afflict us for Its amusement?

      The simple answer is: You don't. You just prefer to believe in what YOU call a "good and loving" Deity. You cannot, however, properly explain why God *must* be so, even if God exists!

      August 2, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Manda

      If it's easy then debunk away....

      August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • MJB

      Sigh...really?!?

      Is God willing to prevent evil (YES/NO, phrasing requires that both are viable options), but not able (NO)?

      Then he is not omnipotent. (logic flaw, statement 1 has nothing to do with statement 2)

      Is he able (YES), but not willing? (YES/NO, phrasing requires that both are viable options)

      Then he is malevolent. (logic flaw, statement 3 has nothing to do with statement 4)

      Is he both able (YES) and willing? (YES/NO, phrasing requires that both are viable options)

      Then whence cometh evil? (logic flaw, statement 5 has nothing to do with statement 6)

      Is he neither able (NO) nor willing? (YES/NO, phrasing requires that both are viable options)

      Then why call him God? (I'm getting bored)

      August 2, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Manda

      It appears you are misunderstanding the structure. The first part of each statement (Is god willing...) is a conditional phrase, not the question. The second part (but not able?) frames the question. The conclusion is thus directly related. If someone is not able to do something, then the defining requirements of "omnipotent" are not met, regardless of intent (the willing part).

      August 2, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Manda

      But you do score points for being a condescending ass with your dramatic sighing and boredom.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • MJB

      Sorry to offend you, but there is no logical flow.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  7. ScottCA

    Theology is not a feild of study, it is a practice of self delusion, in which one seeks further and further complicated delusions to support what they wish was true, rather than exploring what is actually true.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Shhhhh. Tomorrow is payday, and they haven't figured that out yet.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • LinCA

      Theology is the discussion of the fabric, the cut, the colors and patterns of the emperor's new clothes.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Bucky

      LOL... "Sunday" is payday too !

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Hey peace, I see you decided to protect your good name also. (Have you seen any posts from "fake Bucky" ? )

      August 2, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Bucky

      Yes... actually, while no one had taken my 'moniker' like they did yours, I decided it was a good thing to go ahead and do.

      Hey... visit my 'blog' and leave me a message.

      My old friend here from the blogs.. @BG even stopped by.

      BTW-Still haven't heard back from you after sending that email to your CNN belief blog address. Are you not getting them... or haven't checked...? Or saw it and haven't responded yet ?

      Re: 'fake' Bucky... No... haven't seen a post by him. Although I did see a post by 'realbuckyball' that was in 'black' and I wasn't sure if you forgot to log in or... it was 'fake' bucky.

      The post was actually very funny about er... some people not being able to see their own 'event horizons' LOL !! Was that you, I hope ? Sounded like something you would have written.

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  8. Joe

    The silliy part about the arguement of science vs. religion is that religion doesn't allow for change or need for proof. A religious person will reject 2+2=4 if that meant their god doesn't exist. No amount of evidence would make them change their mind. However, the beg science to prove that they are right and regect everything they say because 2+2=4 and god doesn't exist. They are trolls looking to start arguements not debate. The funniest part is that if religion had proof of god than their faith is meaningless. Yet they try to use science to prove the existance of god, very incorrectly but they try and call it science. So if you need to prove to yourself and others that the Grand Canyon proves the great flood or think Creationism is science and should be taught in school than you do not truely believe in God and are a lie unto yourself..

    August 2, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  9. deidramt

    Perhaps we should all believe in the Native American religions. I mean, they have a great flood (like Noah) and many exodus trials (like Moses).

    If you feel good in your faith, fantastic. I feel good in the fact I am a good person, and I don't need a mythical being to tell me that I did the right thing. I did the right thing becuase it was the right thing to do. I scare the religious people that come to my door because they never take me up on my offer and look frightened when I do ask. My proposition: I will invite you in and listen to what you have to say, if you give me the same respect to listen to what I have to say. Why run away? Why be scared? If you are so secure in your faith that you would pander to me, then why is listening to my insight so frightening?

    August 2, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • richunix

      Nicely put.....

      August 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • MJB

      Just be careful not to define "good" in terms of any theological context which is, of course, impossible.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      MJB, please back up your statement. Why is it impossible to define good without "theology"? Are you insinuating that no one in the history of humanity knew right from wrong until theologists came along?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • deidramt

      I define "good" as being what is morally and ethically acceptable in my society, America. The trap with this being that what I may find "good" could be considered "bad" by others, this pitfall comes from the social norms that you are raised with. I donate money to charities that will help those less-fortunate than I am, regardless of race, creed, belief, or even species. If a person is short a few dollars in the checkout lane at the store and I have that available, I will gladly give it. I don't do this because I feel I will be tortured if I don't, I do it because I have the capability TO DO it and it is just the right thing to do.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  10. nihil

    All religion and spirituality is mental illness. People believe there is an invisible superman called god out there, they believe in people being resurrected from the dead, they believe when they pray, this superman in heaven will grant them their wishes, they imagine god favors the faithful, imagine they are chosen, they imagine god hates the unbelievers (and the gay people) and that shall be put in hell for eternal punishment ... religious people believe all such nonsense and then they wonder as to why someone can commit atrocities ...

    August 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Chad

      Let me guess

      you have made no attempt to determine if any of the bible is actually true or not.

      You reject that which you know nothing of..

      right?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • MJB

      So...you are basically saying believers are crazy and therefore someone shoots up a theater?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • John

      According to scientific polls the more people know about religion the less likely they are to believe in it.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "you have made no attempt to determine if any of the bible is actually true or not."
      Like a dude building a wooden boat that holds two of every animal? A boat barely big enough to fit an average petting zoo? And rains that flood the entire surface of the earth in 40 days? You mean those things in the bible?

      Anyone who believes anything from the bible as literally true should have his or her head examined.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Chad

      @John "According to scientific polls the more people know about religion the less likely they are to believe in it."

      =>source?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad and MJB, logic isn't really the strong suit for either of you, huh? How you jump to those conclusions from what was written is just bizarre.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • just sayin

      Chad

      Let me guess

      you have made no attempt to determine if any of the bible is actually true or not.

      You reject that which you know nothing of..

      right?
      ----–

      And if you want to know the origins of your bible, look to the Sumerians. Please don't tell me you actually think the bible is true and real stories. lol

      August 2, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Joe

      As the majority of the Bible is opinion there is no proof needed. Funny that one person's opinion from 2000 years ago will be held in regard today is laughable but hey you do it. Theology has shown that Paul did not write all of his letters and in fact written after the cities were destroyed. Hey if you are going to fake a letter why not do it when no one is around to cry foul? Archaeology has never found the existance of your Jesus but you use that in your favor as you claim that would negate your belief. Much of the Bible claims first hand experience when no one existed or would have existed to write the story. However, they also have no evidence of a large group of people wandering the desert for 40 years nor cross reference of the freeing of slaves as would exist if it happened. You can't have an account of day 1 when there was in actually no day considering it is the measurement of a non-existant earth revolving around a just made sun. If the great flood was of any credited acount why is it not written in the first person? So plenty of research has been done to prove the Bible lacks on all parts of fact. But you are a faith so you will ignore the fact and continue to accept the Bible as being what all the evidence says it is. After all faith is the acceptance of something without proof even rejecting of proof to the point of meeting your means.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "Like a dude building a wooden boat that holds two of every animal? A boat barely big enough to fit an average petting zoo?"
      @Chad "really? Are you sure of that? How big was the ark?

      =========
      @LinCA "And rains that flood the entire surface of the earth in 40 days? "
      @Chad "are you sure of two things? If so, please provide references for:
      1. world wide global flooding (please note to do this in the original Hebrew, as the word "eretz" can be translated as "land").
      2. when did this actually happen?

      =========
      @LinCA "Anyone who believes anything from the bible as literally true should have his or her head examined."
      @Chad "quite a broad statement.. guess you like that kind of baseless thing...

      August 2, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Lux

      @Chad. Very little of the historical content of the bible is true. That is well-known fact.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Bozobub

      The Bible gives *exact* dimensions for the size of the Ark, Chad. Instafail. Look it up yourself. =)

      Unless a "cubit" is a significant fraction of a kilometer, no dice.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Chad

      @just sayin "And if you want to know the origins of your bible, look to the Sumerians. Please don't tell me you actually think the bible is true and real stories"

      =>other than that text string which you grabbed from infidels.org, do you have any research whatsoever that demonstrates the Hebrew biblical narrative was derived from sumerian stories?

      now, the answer is of course no, you dont.
      because there isnt any.
      which is precisely why no serious theological debate between theists and atheists (there are dozens every year) EVER includes this argument. A serious atheist historian wouldnt try to make that case, because it cant be made..

      🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Chad

      @Joe "As the majority of the Bible is opinion there is no proof needed"
      @Chad "mmm, actually, you have to have proof to demonstrate that it is an opinion, and not fact.. right?
      unless you have accepted the fact that a prepositional bias against it is a perfectly valid starting point.. "guilty until proven innocent".. make sense.. not..

      =======
      @Joe " Funny that one person's opinion from 2000 years ago will be held in regard today is laughable"
      @Chad "actually, bible authored by 40+ different people, over the course of 1500 years..
      didnt know that.. did you?
      😉

      ========
      @Joe "Theology has shown that Paul did not write all of his letters and in fact written after the cities were destroyed.
      @Chad "really? source?
      never heard that.. you must be plugged into research that hasnt been published yet.

      ======
      @Joe "Archaeology has never found the existance of your Jesus but you use that in your favor as you claim that would negate your belief."
      @Chad "nonsense on both counts,
      The historicity of Jesus refers to the analysis of historical data to determine if Jesus existed as a historical figure, approximately where and when he lived, and if any of the major milestones in his life can be confirmed as historical events. This task is distinct from determining the historicity of specific portrayals of Jesus in the Christian gospels. [1][2] The study of the historicity of Jesus thus addresses the key questions regarding his existence rather than the historical verifiability of specific teachings, character traits or supernatural acts attributed to him, or theological issues regarding his teachings or divinity.[2][1]
      Virtually all modern historians agree that Jesus existed, and the theories of his non-existence are now seen as effectively refuted.[3][4] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[5][6] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[7][8][9] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.

      =====
      @Joe "Much of the Bible claims first hand experience when no one existed or would have existed to write the story."
      @Chad "what??? what you are saying makes no sense..

      =====

      joe,.. your statements display a lack of even the most basic secular historical research.
      and yet you make them so confidently.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Chad

      @Bozobub, I guess you missed the question.. here it is again
      1. how big does the bible say the ark was
      2. how many animals does the bible say were in the ark?

      I know you folks dearly love to mock and criticize with out having to do any research at all.. but really??

      August 2, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Keeping It Real

      Chad,

      Here's one article on the authorship of Paul's letters (there are quite a few):

      "A.Q. Morton completed an a'nalysis of these Epistles. 1 He assumed that Galatians was written by Paul, and did a computer study of the style of the remaining letters using that epistle as a reference. His computer found that only Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Philemon matched the precise writing style of the author of Galatians. He assumed that the remaining 8 were written in the name of Paul by persons unknown.

      Most liberal scholars of New Testament theology believe that:

      - Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Philemon, Galatians, Philippians and 1 Thessalonians were written by Paul.

      - Colossians may have been written by Paul.

      - 2 Thessalonians and Ephesians probably were not.

      - 1 and 2 Timothy and T'itus were definitely pseudonymous (written by a unknown person, passing the writings off as Paul's.) They were written 35 to 85 years after Paul's death. Although such a writer would be considered a forger today, the practice was quite common in the 1st century CE, and was considered acceptable behavior. "

      http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_ntb3.htm/ (read the whole page for more explanations)

      August 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad is doing backflips to try to make absurdities appear logical and rational.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  11. Erasmus

    Previously, one named “Colin” posted a comment quoted below (I have significantly shortened):

    "Dear Christians: God here.
    ……You see, I do not exist. I never have. “

    Is it just me, or isn’t this a blatant oxymoron. Pitiful ! If this “Colin” is an Athiest, they have really lowered the bar. Atleast Madalyn Murray O'Hair “read” the Bible.
    Seems that this a forum prone to lean towards scientific fact, so riddle me this:
    Is liquid mercury wet?................................That will tell you if God was in Aurora!

    Hebrews 13:5

    August 2, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • DC1973

      What? What do those two things have to do with each other?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • cavediver

      Like just about every theist you blew past everything between here and You ...lol well at least you gave us yet another fine example of willful ignorance.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • lefty

      it's called sarcasm

      August 2, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      ummm, cause it's a liquid in that form?

      Riddler, you think if we understoodd what you're attempting to convey, so far as an epiphany of the natural world pointing to God's awesomeness, we'll somehow go "Ahhhh..... I guess there's a God afterall...." ?

      Atheist, agnostics, and humanists already know the universe is way more awesome than what your average bear.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Jamie

      Waa, waaaaaaaa.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Chad

      He's pointing out that mocking something you have made absolutely no attempt to understand, is in itself quite a comment on the mocker.

      Very interesting question, is "liquid mercury wet", the answer isnt obvious. which is precisely his/her entire point. The question of "was God in Aurora" isnt obvious, it takes some investigation.

      but, for all you atheists out there, dont let that stop you. After all, investigation carries with it the danger that you might get exposed to the truth 😉

      August 2, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • cavediver

      Chad, did you read Colin's post? Care to set him ( and the rest of us atheists) straight on the points he made?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • BaJeezus

      lol, if god is real, he's certainly an a***ole.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Chad

      @cavediver "did you read Colin's post? Care to set him ( and the rest of us atheists) straight on the points he made?"

      @colin: "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"
      @Chad "what is the complaint here? God took to long? Made to many planets? I dont understand.. Are you saying that if something doesnt materialize into existence in a completely formed state, that proves God wasnt the creator?
      Nonsense...

      ======
      @colin " 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?"
      @Chad "that's a variation on the "If God is real, He would just write His name in the sky so that every human on earth would know immediately"
      but, again, that's nonsense.. If God chooses to reconcile a fallen world through the person of Jesus Christ, who are you to say that's the wrong way to do it?

      It also demonstrates Colins complete lack of understanding as to the purpose of raising the Jewish nation, insti tuting the law, and the need for the sacrificial atonement of Jesus on the cross..

      it's amazing that a person could feel empowered and justified in mocking something that they have no familiarity with.

      "I dont need to understand your viewpoint to mock it"

      what type of person makes such a statement???

      August 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • cavediver

      @ chad Gratz... you reduce everything down to strawman arguments? to which your answer is : nonsense! thats it?? im an atheist and i could have given a better rebuttal than that......

      August 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @cavediver "you reduce everything down to strawman arguments? to which your answer is : nonsense! thats it??

      @Chad "Strawman? How?"

      ======
      @cavediver " im an atheist and i could have given a better rebuttal than that......"
      @Chad "then, by all means, please do so."

      August 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • cavediver

      @chad

      Strawman here : colin said this :" 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?"

      you did not refute his statement directly – you instead converted the above to this: "that's a variation on the "If God is real, He would just write His name in the sky so that every human on earth would know immediately"

      You couldnt counter with anything related to his statement, so you converted it to something unrelated – easily dismissed...and did so with : nonsense!

      I would have countered: Colin's statement with: God has many names...how do you know im focused on palestine exclusively? ridiculous ..truely but it does leave me an out..... and its more relevant to his statement.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @cavediver "Strawman here : colin said this :" 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?"
      you did not refute his statement directly – you instead converted the above to this: "that's a variation on the "If God is real, He would just write His name in the sky so that every human on earth would know immediately"

      @Chad "ah.. ok, it's only a strawman if the argument it is converted into does not accurately reflect the initial argument.
      Since my restatement does in fact capture exactly what Colin was highlighting, it cant possibly be a strawman..

      =======
      @cavediver "I would have countered: Colin's statement with: God has many names...how do you know im focused on palestine exclusively? ridiculous ..truely but it does leave me an out..... and its more relevant to his statement."
      @Chad "??
      A. The God we are talking about has only one name, the God of Abraham.
      B. God in fact DID focus exclusively on Palestine 2000 years ago as Colin noted, there was nothing inaccurate in Colin observing that.
      C. The point that Colin is making, and that you are missing, is that Colin thinks it's crazy that the God of Abraham, if he created the entire universe, entire world, and all the people in it, would engage ONLY with a small group of people in the middle east.
      That is precisely the objection that atheists always make.. "why would God only engage with this small bunch, He should have painted His name across the sky so that everyone would see it"..

      read it again and you'll see my re-phrasing is indeed very accurate. And Colins/atheists complaining about the method of engaging with humanity is nonsense, as I said above

      August 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  12. DPGW

    Outstanding piece with outstanding comments. Glad to see there's somewhat intellegent people left in the world. I was beginning to have my doubts...

    August 2, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  13. AverageJoe76

    Being agnostic makes the most sense. If believers can't confirm exsistence of God, then atheists cannot confirm non-exsistence of God. Seriously, nobody knows. No mortal can convince me either way. If God exsists, he ain't in the business of advertising his whereabouts. Man will realize more about himself as we go forth into the future, and one of those 'things' we'll realize is we've driven ourselves crazy with our fascination of a supreme being. There's no punishment nor reward. There is just what has been; Exsistence. And this may be in a cycle to large for human comprehension. The best answer to 'Is there a God?' is "I don't know". Because, guess what? You don't know, and everybody KNOWS they don't know. 'Mysterious ways' my a$$.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Geo

      You are correct that currently no one can prove the no existance of god. What we can do is prove the impossibility of the so called "miracles" of god. And the impossibility of most of his book. These arguments alone do not prove the non existance, but sure as hell push the pendulum of believe away from the existance side...

      August 2, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Adam

      An Atheist need not make any positive claim of the non-existence of God, only acknowledge to himself that it is likely there does not exist any supernatural agent, and to go about living as is there were none. Atheism, in this way, is merely the sounds that reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious dogma.

      A Theist's position MUST rest upon a positive claim regarding the nature of the universe, and one which presupposes the existence of a supernatural agent, who's will and intentions are then up for debate.

      One position is unequivocally and inescapably irrational. The other need not be at all.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Geo

      So based on the logic of "cannot prove the existance\non existance of god" then it is ok for people to believe in Thor, Zeus, and all of the other mytholocial figures...It is odd that we dont ever see anyone rallying against the disbelief in Thor...

      August 2, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • richunix

      Food for thought

      Burden of Proof

      From X, which is the assertion, is not yet disproved. Therefore, X.

      This is a Fallacy. X is unproven and remains unproven.

      Examples:

      (1)Of course God exists. Has anyone ever proven otherwise?

      (2)Of course pink elephants inhabit Mars. We don't see them because they blend in. Can you prove otherwise?

      (3)Of course Santa Claus exists. No one has ever proved, to my knowledge, that Santa Claus does not exist. And if one were to fly to the North Pole and say: Well, look, there's no toy factory there. A believer could argue: Well, Santa Claus knew you were coming and moved his operations to the South Pole. So you fly down to the South Pole. No Santa Claus factory, toy factory there. So the believer would say: Oh, he moved it back up to the North Pole.

      (4) Of course leprechauns exist. Has anyone ever proven otherwise?

      (5) Of course ghosts exist. Has anyone ever proven otherwise?

      (6) Of course yellow polka dotted aliens exist. Has anyone ever proven otherwise?

      (7) Of course X exist. Has anyone ever proven otherwise?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • ScottCA

      Richunix, well said. Logic is the cure for Parasitic meme of faith based religion that infects humanity.
      Education and knowledge will free us from these ancient lies.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • illusive

      Very well spoken, another excellent answer to " Does god(s) exist?" is "Does it matter?"
      Agnosticism is a wonderful state of being, some just go a bit further to an idea called "Apatheism", in essence "My life would not change either way" (whether such beings exist or not)

      August 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Geo and richunix – I understand where you're coming from with the examples of Thor and Santa, but all in all, they fall into a realm of 'wasted energy'. Our brains, amazing as it is, falls victim to a 'loop' (almost like a computer) when posed with these type questions. Most of us force-feed it an answer to end the 'loop'. I've decided that those 'loop-questions' take up too much processing power unless I'm actually going to dedicate time to figure it out (which would be a pathetic waste of life, but, oh well). So basically, I've leaned more towards an atheist viewpoint, but I also hold onto the great fact that 'I don't know', simply because there's no way for me to research this physically. I'm just being as honest as I can be.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      "You are correct that currently no one can prove the no existence of god. What we can do is prove the impossibility of the so called "miracles" of god. " LOL! ! !

      Eyes they have but they do not see, ears they have but they do not hear.....because the god of this world has blinded them and made them numb so that they can't discern reality! -The Word of God
      It takes a fool to think that man's lame science has proven that all that exists came into existence by some bizarre cosmic accident! But there are many fools in this world, it's evident!

      August 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Geo

      Average Joe, here is the real crazy thing. 99% of christians or any other religious faction for that matter, if asked the question "If I could provide you with 100% concrete proof that God does not exist would you still believe?", the answer would be yes. From, that I do understand the stance of not wasting your time on the argument.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Geo

      prism, perhaps the jury is still out on the big bang debate...although the higgs boson discovery provides further evidence. But I think that is not irrational to think that, based on science, a person (jonah) cannot live inside the belly of a fish for three days. A man made boat can house two of every animal species on earth, and that people cannot fly (ascending into "heavan") But, go ahead and laugh at us being the irrational ones..

      August 2, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @PRISM 1234 – The quote your using was first penned by the hand of a human. The reason you believe them, is due to a littany of reasons, but my assumption is that you were TOLD it was the hand of God. Thusly, if George Lucas wrote a book in the Bible, there would be a wookie in Egypt named "Woses", and Jesus would be named "Luke Sky-something".

      August 2, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @illusive – I agree. Thanks

      August 2, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Well, friends, while debating is still going on, the Day in Court is still pending. Then we will see who's the one having the last word.
      Good day to ya! 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  14. Ricky

    God gave the Human race dominion over all the earth and Adam give that authority to satan. US government decided that they don't want God in public schools and other places and when desaster strikes we ask where is God. God gave us free will to chose his salvation or to continue on the inherited parthway of death eternal. God recommends that we chose life through Jesus christ because of his love for US.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      you sound like Sarah Palin. You say a lot of words that don't actually mean anything.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • WASP

      @ricky: again, which god? and your "god" doesn't even have a name to be called by...........well unless your a jehovah witness or jewish.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • richunix

      OK, let start with GOD (German word from the 6th century) So you should read as GOD=YAWAH ‘YAHWEH gave the Human Dominion”, so what’s wrong with ZEUS…me I like the Sumerian GOD AN. What is boils down to, once you remove the mystic of the tile “GOD”, he deity becomes no greater or lesser than those deities that preceded your belief. SATAN is from the Hebrew HA-SATAN and is an angel of YAHWEH to preform YAHWEH bidding (as we know WE ARE not, nor can ever be Angels, your Bible). The amount of “provable evidence out ways your “Pie-in-the-sky” proof. I do not need to disprove what does not exist, as I need to disprove that unicorns do not exist.

      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 10:32 am |
    • Jamie

      How then do you explain all the secular countries and cities that enjoy free health care, low crime rates, higher standard of living, higher education and much, much higher levels of happiness. Look it up. Nevermind, I know you Christians have this thing against facts and evidence. It's like kryptonite for you folks.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • JW

      Satan is just an excuse for someone doing something wrong. "The devil made me do it" takes away personal responsibility. And what does the word "wrong" mean outside of a religious context? Taking some action which adversely impacts someone else. What could be simpler. We don't need god to tell us that.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  15. Dyslexic Dog

    in this modern world with information freely available, religions can no longer hope to filter what children see and hear. That's why som many people (like me) are brought up sort of believing the fairy stories because it's what our parents tell us and what we hear in church. As soon as we get out into the world and get an education with actual facts and science and technology, we realize what hocus pocus religion is and we realize that there is no god.

    Probably why religious folk are trying so hard to push their quackery into schools and why religious universities try to keep young adults trapped in the god delusion with education based on mystical beliefs rather than actual fact.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  16. imABeliever

    This blog should be renamed to the Unbelief Blog.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Gary

      So I take it that you don't like to have your ancient way of life challenged by a modern and highly evolved perspective?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  17. christinalongart

    I'm an Atheist and feel bad for all the cranky atheists out there barking online about their frustrations with religion-working themselves to exhaustion trying to take faith away from true believers-waste of time!

    But I hope you come to understand that everyone just cant handle the world the same way and sometimes (Faith, God, and All that Stuff) have been a successful way for SOME people to heal through tragedies for a long time. Whats the point of crushing someones hopes and dreams because I dont believe in hopes and dreams? Come on Atheists what do you expect these people to do in such a horrible situation? People should have the right to grieve. I wont be at the Church but hey, we do what we can.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • WASP

      @christina: i can applaud you for such a reasoned post; and in the same turn point out that the articule is a religious member stating that atheists are religious due to the fact we congregate on the internet, which humans seek out like minded people naturally.
      so the articule was merely his way of taking apop shot at us and pocking at the hornets nest to get things going..................and truth be told some just enjoy the discussions.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • BU2B

      We care because the religious use their beliefs as an excuse to hate others and pass legislation based on this hate. i.e. gay marriage, contraception. Things that do not affect them whatsoever.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  18. brussell

    False doctrine, false churches , and false prophets is what has brought Christianity to it knees. It warned of this in the Bible. However, instead of forcing yourselves on everyone to make them believe what they do not want, you must exercise faith. Your actions will be judged by the others who do not believe. If you persecute sinners you and your church will be persecuted, see where I'm going with this?? Christians, it's time to show yourselves as a shining example to follow, do not condemn sinners, that is Gods job not yours. As he said: "Vengeance is mine I shall repay".

    August 2, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • DC1973

      So which one is the unfalse one, brussell? Out of the hundreds of religions on the planet right now, which one is *the* one? Be careful how you answer, lest you, too, perpetuate a false doctrine.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Gary

      Oh, but he loves you unless you don't love him back, then he'll make you burn in hell. Yeah, that's a loving god. Doesn't handle rejection too well, does he?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  19. Will

    This may have been discussed already as there are thousands of comments, but.... It seems that the main argument is that because God did not intervene and stop what happened, it is evidence that God does not exist.
    If you had the ability to intervene and stop "evil" in everyone's life, what would you have done to stop what happened in Colorado?
    Then.... If you had the ability to stop someone from cheating or lying, what would you have done to stop it from happening?
    (The movie "Minority Report" comes to mind)
    When does intervening in free-will become denying free-will?

    August 2, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Lux

      OK, so if he's a hands-off god then why does he get credit for saving the survivors or people winning awards, etc.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • TJX

      If god is all-knowing, then free will is an illusion anyway. Thus the christian god cannot logically exist AND have it so that free will exists in the truest sense.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  20. Omar

    When Jesus returns in all His glory every atheist, agnostic, and humanist will get on their knnes and praise God. They don;t WANT to believe so they can live their sinful lives. But just as in the days of Noah, these people will suffer for their willful disobedience.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Geo

      In the "days of noah" the packed a boat, not even as big as modern cruiselines with two of every animal species in the world. Currently there are over 5 million different species, and over 98% of all species that have ever existed are extinct. These are the type of things that you religious people accept as facts. The rest of us just choose to accept that the whole thing was a group of stories designed to govern the people of their time. Then people discovered science.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • TR6

      Actually I’m a much better person as an atheist then I ever was as a Christian. Back then if I did wrong all I had to do was pray about it and I was off the hook.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • ArthurP

      Speaking of Noha and the Flood:

      In Genesis 6, God tells Noah to bring two of all living creatures including (as is logical) several of all birds. The King James translation makes it slightly more flowery, but the meaning "two of each" is still clear.

      In the next chapter, Genesis 7, God directly contradicts himself. Instead of two of every animal, male and female, God tells Noah to bring seven of every clean animal – although this is also read by many as seven pairs. How can one bring seven of some animals if he is already only bringing two of all animals? Genesis 7 also contradicts God's statement in the previous book by stating that instead of two of all birds, seven of all birds were to be brought.

      Which of course proves once and for all that God is really a woman as she does not really contradict Herself She merely changes Her mind which we all know is a woman's right.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Shawn

      I'm with TR6. I don't know many religious people that practice what they preach. Humans don't need atheism to sin. If anything, religion is used to justify immoral behavior. Most of the atheists I know, have become so, on moral grounds. They were tired of the child molesting, centuries of violence and the undeniable mind control and chose to stand up for what is right.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I am not an atheist nor agnostic (though I have agnostic leanings to be fair)...and while I have much in common with those you would call "humanist" I don't think that label fits me quite well.

      I believe what I do based on my life's experience, within Christianity and outside of it. What I can say without guile or anger or remorse is that if the bible turns out to be true, and the god of Christianity is real, I will stand by my life: what I've learned, how I've lived, who I've loved: with faith that I have live a good life...and if that isn't enough for him, well...I wouldn't want to spend eternity with him anyway and he is undeserving of my praise.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • STARK

      Why is it that you guys assume that we don't know the difference between right and wrong just because we don't believe in god, or the same god you do? Sin is only made up to make people feel guilty. And I think it's guilt that makes people do things they shouldn't. How many times have you heard people say "I am going to hell anyway, so I might as well do it." Some stuff people consider sin is just crazy. Is me listening to anything other than gospel music hurting anybody? Is my understanding of quantum physics and evolution really hurting anyone? True, it might cause someone to loose their faith, but if this is all it takes, it was never that strong in the first place.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |
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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.