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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. WASP

    i'm amazed that theists, not all but most can't figure out it's science not god that has made their lives better.
    think about it for a few minutes, what kind of world would we be living in, let's say if everyone had just accepted that "god did everything and his will be followed"
    -galileo never would have created the telescope, to view the stars; he would have just accepted we were the center of everything.
    -pastuer hadn't figured out his milk-maids couldn't catch small poxs and tested his theory, children would still be dying of small pox.
    -the black death would still be coming around every hundred years of so to kill off a huge portion of the human population narrowing the gene-pool, if we had just accepted that it was demons that made us sick, instead of studying that microscopic oganisms were invading the body due to unsanitary conditions.

    the list goes on and on about all the lovely things science not any fairytale god has ever done to help do anything. i'm not so worried about where we came from as to where are we going. religion is more focused in the past, science more so on the future so be thankful scientists everywhere choose to do more than say" god did it and leave it at that"

    August 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      They put in their bifocal contacts, sit in their air conditioned homes at their metal alloy desks, and use a microcomputer linked via hundreds of satellites in space to type about how science can't be trusted...

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

      They also believe in evolution, even if they don't know it. Every day, they use antibiotics, which are chosen by whether they do or do not have resistance, (yet), to various evolving bacteria.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • @Me Too

      I can tell you that the bibles says from 2000 years ago that the children of the world are wiser than the children of the kingdom...al th escienties you are talking about are children of th eworld.... from 2000 years ago Jesus speaks this into the record of hil time here on the earth... your representations only confirms what he has said...
      you and all athiest shoudl hire me to stop the Christian bulling in this country... 🙂 sadly they are out of order with God...

      Christinaity was never meant to be this way... we began as sheep.. and not goats... Sheep are better Christians every day than goats.. 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • .

      It is in answer to the prayers of the faithful that we have this glorious science and no thanks to you atheists. Maybe you can help me out, I can't think of a single original contribution to science that an atheist has made. Can you? Maybe an improvement, perhaps, but the great minds were men of faith.

      1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.
      2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
      3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
      4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
      5 Yea, how (Book of Mormon, Helaman, Chapter 12)

      August 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • @Me Too

      Christianity was nevr meant to come in the form of shoulder pads as Christaisn use today to force their beliefs on others...

      they are so much out of order...

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

      It is amazing to you and I Wasp, but not to them.
      I work with fundies, and have brought this very same argument up to them.
      They just laugh it off because of course it was god working thru all those scientists that brought all these miraculous advancements to mankind.
      I have found you just can't have an argument based on logic with people who are illogical.
      Even when science figures out how everything came into existence, the fundies will still go with their stone age fairy tale.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • niknak

      See Wasp?
      As eveidenced by the fourth responder to your original post.
      This is whom we are dealing with. As backwards as backwards can be.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Not a single scientific idea came from an atheist?
      Ever hear of Watson and Crick?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Well Mr. ".", how about Einstein ? Idiot. Do you have a GPS in your car ?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Please explain how they "prayed" for something they didn't know about. How is it your mean god had to wait ror the correct number of prayers. Your god is a mean jerk.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  2. namestartwithg

    i hope susan lucci remembers to change the bateries in the "universal" remote the mayans left a post-it on the fridge lol

    August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  3. TR6

    If you can insist that god has a master plan that is unfolding exactly as he designed AND AT THE SAME TIME insist that god does not interfere with anyone’s free will. You might be a christian

    August 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • TR7

      If you can insist that God is perfect love and forgiveness, but at the same time insist that if you make the mistake of believing the wrong detail He will punish you agonizingly for eternity you might be a Christian.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • .

      God does have a master plan. I see this question a lot and thought I would talk a little about it. If there is a God, why is the world such an awful place? Why does he allow bad things to happen? The fault isn't God's, it is ours. The whole thing can be understood in Deuteronomy 28. I will just quote the first verse here, "1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
      2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God."
      Before Moses was taken, he called Israel together and gave them God's vision for the earth. Chapter 28  of Deuteronomy is actually a summary of Deuteronomy which is a long sermon by Moses.  God's original intent was for Israel to conquer the whole earth and then rule it in righteousness. Eventually the prince of peace, Jesus Christ, would be born and reign over the earth in justice for ever.
      That never happened. Why? Because Israel sinned and instead of worshipping God Almighty, they worshipped Idols and actually became worse than the pagans they were supposed to rule over! So God had no choice, but to give the earth a new plan based on our rebellion from him – he called Nebuchadnezzer and Babylon to take dominion over the earth and then a succession of other pagan peoples which brings us to today. But, the promises to Israel are still in effect. He caused the reformation and again brought light and knowledge to the earth in preparation to restore Israel to its rightful place. In Daniel 2 he speaks of a little stone rolling forth and filling the whole earth and this time it will never be taken away. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and if we will repent and return to God, he will return to us! This is really abbreviated to not take too much space. If you would like to know more about this little stone, you can go to mormon.org.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • ME II

      " if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:"

      And yet, isn't it supposedly impossible for man to live up to God's standards?
      "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Rom 3:23)

      So, it's our fault that we can't do what God made it impossible for us to do. Is that about it?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • @Me Too

      I'm a Christian and I belive that the overwhelming majority of Christins today in Americ a that are the most obnoxious and confrontational persons are wastign all of theif time on the handfull of unbelievers in this country while the entire world of others all across the globe are ignored....

      but that just the way of our ignorance of God who promised to lead us and guide us ito all the truth...
      we that is most Christians would not even follow God... 🙂 🙂 beginning with Matthew 5 :10-12 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • .

      Difficult, not impossible. God wants us to be like him; 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (New Testament, Matthew, Chapter 5). He has also promised us all that he has. You think that being perfect like God should be easy?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • @Me Too

      @ ME II ... that's why the new Testament came into effect...Jesus fulfilled the law for us ans we now are free to follow him by his spirit which is given to them who truely believe...we have to be more willing to obey him to be led by his spirit...

      since we are really busy now forcing our beliefs down other peoples throats we will not likely know what he wants us to really do.. 🙂 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  4. .

    38 But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head. (Book of Mormon, Helaman, Chapter 13)

    August 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • ..

      Really?!? That's written in a book? a MAGIC book? Well, it must be true, then. I will proceed to change my life.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • gager

      If ye is the same as you, please use you.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  5. AverageJoe76

    If people would cut the fear out of their faiths, they'd get up enough balls to ask some hard questions. right now, I believe the faithful are a scared bunch. Scared of retalliation from God, or scared of being outcast by their family/community, or just plain ol' scared of the universe without God. IDK. But, let's say the Biblical God is true; where do I fit? I never asked for my imagination to be wild, or my curiosity to not be sedated. This is me, it's how I was constructed. God should know that I would need more than just one book to get me to worship. More than one book to answer my questions. I need some physical evidence to prove God is real. There are many like me! Our brains have asked some of the same questions. Doubted the same information! This God would create us as curious creatures to have us perish because we couldn't adhere to this 'convincing evidence' in some ancient text?!? ........... then my natural path was H_ell to begin with. And I curse this dimension for such wicked rules, and an even more wicked creator. I may as well begin to burn ants with a magnifying glass for not looking up at me, and acknowledging my presence. That is how it feels.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      AverageJoe76.........If you lived in Syria maybe you would be scared yourself. You're so tough cause you're so spoiled.
      Where do you fit? You sir are lost. God talks about you in the Bible, under those who refuse to believe no matter what. But just remember, EVERY knee will bow, guess what, that you too buddy. You'll get all the physical evidence you need, believe me! And you're right, he knows from the beginning who will accept and who will reject him. Spew your curses, they'll seal your fate. That's you're problem. You are your god! Get rid of your god complex and then try.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Confused face

      AverageJoe:

      Don't believe that Atheist Hunter clown. He does not know. None of us do. He is a fraud, just like his god and his religion. Think for yourself. Breathe the fresh air. You do not have to live like an abject slave in fear for your whole life.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Atheist Hunter insists "believe me!" I don't think so. Not for a minute.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Confused face & Average Joe..........Yes, take advice from someone who admits he know nothing and calls himself confused face. That sounds like a plan leading to hell to me! An there is no fresh air to breath in hell, so yes breath it now while you can or before Iran sprays us with mustard gas. BREATH!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Rufus T. Firefly............or maybe we will all listen to the firefly and follow his opinion. You guys go ahead, I'll stick with a plan with a happy ending and nothing to lose. Good luck with it!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • TommyBlackflag

      AtheistHunter, you clearly don't get it and you clearly don't want to. I can almost see the fanatic glaze in your eyes from here. The central point of this post is the question; If god made us free-thinking individuals with the capacity for doubt and reason, why would he sentence us to damnation for exercising these abilities? I know you don't have an answer for that beyond the usual smoke and brimstone scare tactics. Don't you realize that hollow threat just doesn't work anymore?

      "Religion is simply a device to keep the poor from murdering the rich." – Napoleon

      August 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Confused face

      Yes! Yes! The only way someone knows if there is fresh air to breathe in hell is someone who has been there. Atheist Hunter has been there and back. He is either deluded or Satan.

      Average Joe, either way, is he really someone you want to take advice from?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      TommyBlackflag......no buddy you don't get it. Cause he sent to Word to show you the way of escape from Satan's trap he has laid. If you reject the word because you choose evil then you made the choice to go to hell, not him. Why do you believe books other men have written that are proven flawed, but the bible which none of you can prove as flawed you deny. Napoleon is full of it, the world is full of religion and there's never been more murder than today, ask syrians.

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

      Atheist Hunter,
      " there is no fresh air to breath in hell, so yes breath it now while you can or before Iran sprays us with mustard gas. BREATH!"

      Anyone who doesn't know the difference between "breath" and "breathe" (not once, not twice, but THREE times) is too stupid for consideration of any other of his/her opinions.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • WASP

      @AH: happy ending? really? have you read revalations? it is anything but a happy ending. everyone that isn't in your cult burns forever and you get your free-will; you folks are so proud of spouting off about; stripped away so you can spend the rest of eternity worshiping the very thing that just sent some of your family to he11 because they didn't believe enough to please him.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • niknak

      Of course they are scared. Religion is based on fear. Hate to stereotype, but most religious people were raised in houses where fear was very prevelent. Not just in the religion, but in how their fathers treated their mother and them.
      Religious people, especially white christians are a very violent group. it is all tied together in their stupid "faith."

      August 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Atheist Hunter – The way you keep imposing your imagination into H_ell with your 'descriptions', and your visions of what the last day will be like, this is the same 'fantasy BS' that ruins the faithful's credibility. Y'all take it WAY to far. Now y'all know who's going to h_ell (because you were deputized by the Lawd). YOUR REPRESENTATION HURTS YOUR FAITH MORE THAN STRENGTHENS IT. People like you, give rise to people like us. Ask yourself, WWJD?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Atheist Hunter, you say "Yes, take advice from someone who admits he know nothing and calls himself confused face."

      I would rather take the advice of a rational person willing to admit his limits, than some zealot who believes he knows everything. I find it so disturbing for some people to believe there some kinda Jesus-Sheriff or something.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  6. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/atheists-threaten-suit-over-citys-emblem/?cat_orig=us

    This is for all the atheists who ask how you infringe on our rights! This is just one example of many!

    August 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • John

      The article is a classic case of Christians imposing themselves on others.
      The FFRF is absolutely correct in doing what they are doing.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Atheist Hunter
      What exactly do you do to atheists if you catch one ?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Atheist Hunter is Chad. Apparently, when he catches one he stuns them with verbose irrationality.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Why don't ya'll go picket outside of a mosque then? Have their symbolism removed? Scare???? They believe in a god. Why don't you tough guys attach them like you attack Christians. Are you scared of the god of war? Why to you pick and chose which god you fight? Are you scared Allah's followers are radical enough to give you worse than you send. No atheist attack Christians because christians don't bother them and won't physically fight back. Go try to rip something off a mosque, I dare you!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      Ah how cute...somebody has a persecution complex. Poor poor little christian me. The lions in the zoos are hungry..make yourself useful sheep.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • niknak

      F&uck god.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • TR6

      @Atheist Hunter: “Why don't ya'll go picket outside of a mosque then? Have their symbolism removed? “

      Typical christian with the typical christian persecution complex exagerating again. Please give examples of atheists picketing outside of a church demanding that their symbols be removed from the church.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Why do we pick on Christianity rather than Islam? I was beat in the head with Christianity, so that's what I know most about to dispute. Satisfied? I don't know characters from the Quran. But my argument is not just for Christiananity or Islam, but for man; why have we driven ourselves insane over an unanswerable thing? Religion is stress and stress is a mess.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  7. Irenaeus

    It amazes me, that when such articles are published, the outpour of atheists and agnostics who flood the internet with their comments in order to refute the idea of God, Christianity, Judaism, and/or Islam. Isn't it a waste of time for these atheists and agnostics to even express a thought on something they do not acknowledge or believe in? Let's angle the subject a little differently. If an article were to be written on eating healthy and exercising, would the fat, lazy people jump all over the in-shape, atheletic, healthy people for carrying such a belief in a healthy lifestyle??

    August 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You analogy betrays your bias in equating religion to a healthy lifestyle.
      What if you flipped it around?
      What if obese, lazy, unhealthy people were espousing the virtues of their life choices. Do you think athletic, health conscious people might have something to say?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • cavediver

      Yeah...we should sit back and shut up.....because its worked out sooo well for us in the past.... no my friend..the religious cant be trusted with our well being much longer....you people are too fixated on the afterlife, some are even trying to promote the armaggedon thing because Jesus cant come till that happens......

      August 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Just as the faithful are excited to tell everyone the 'gospel', we too, would like to share our gospel. My gospel is: "Release your brain from these unanswerable questions. It's like SPAM for your brain, and it can eat up a tremendous amount of processing power."

      August 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Irenaus, you might as well just make your analogy about very bad people criticizing very good people for being very good. Your self-serving bias would be just as clear.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Just as the faithful are excited to tell everyone the 'gospel', we too, would like to share our gospel."

      We must remember that when someone calls Atheism is becoming a Religion and Atheist lose their ever loving mind.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • niknak

      As a matter of fact they would.
      As evidence by every time the government tries to make restos and other food outlets serve healthier food, the fat and lazy protest.
      We, the atheists, are tired of you, the religious, trying to promote your faith are fact and make us believe in what you believe.
      And don't even try to say you don't, as I get visited by the various faiths trying to get me to join their stupid religion.

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

      Irenaeus
      " Isn't it a waste of time for these atheists and agnostics to even express a thought on something they do not acknowledge or believe in?"
      The people who participated in the Civil Rights Movement didn't believe in the things they opposed either, right? Christians who oppose evolution don't believe in it. Do you see what I mean?

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

      Oh Professor Doc Vestibule, what a wonderful moot point you make. However, the argument remains that atheists and agnostics adamently comment over a subject they do not believe in, unless you can say they have a belief in what they do not believe, which couild reason that they Beastie Boy their right to comment against religious notions on the CNN Belief Blog. Would you suppose they would rather this page be called the Unbelief Blog?

      And cavediver, my friend, my friend that I can not see so you must not-exist. I do not intend to demean you, however, there is much you do not understand, so maybe it is best you sit back and worry your little mind with something other than the "religious." To make a statement as "the religious can't be trusted with our well being much longer" - If you live in America and a good majoritiy of other countries, then religion certainly holds no presence over your well being. And such broad statements: "....you people are too fixated on the afterlife, some are even trying to promote the armaggedon thing because Jesus cant come till that happens...." To group all as one is a misinterpretation on your part of what you feel you know. Do you think of tomorrow even though you are only in today? I know many persons of various religions and while their present life leads towards their spiritual life after death, it is not a fixation. As for your "promotion" of armaggedon theory – I read CNN and what worries me more than the "religious promoting armaggedon so Jesus can come" is the nuclear warfare within Iran, North Korea, or Russia. and I can promise you, those countries could cause an armaggedon and they certainly do no believe in doing it to promote Jesus' second coming.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • TR6

      @Atheist Hunter:” Atheists are pros at twisting the Word of God. You are all SAD”

      "Now, therefore, kill every male among the little ones”

      I’d say your god is the twisted one. When is it ok to murder the “little ones” of a defeated enemy? Sounds like a genocidal war crime to me. Or have I taken it out of context?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Irenaeus
      I'm not sure I quite follow the specifics of your rambling diartribe, but if you'd care to see some of teh reasons why atheists engage theists, see my posting on page 28 of these comments.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  8. ScottCA

    The bible is no place to look for moral guidance, as is illustrated, when god commands moses to commit genocide, and the ra pe of children. Moses is told to kill all the men and women, but save only the little girls too young to have slept with a man yet to ra pe. "Now, therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him; but all the women-children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

    Yahweh by the bibles account is a genocidal murderous r a pi st.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      ScottCA.........to get rid of the evil nation, like america, to preserve the moral virgins who were worthy to become wives in a Godly nation. Atheists are pros at twisting the Word of God. You are all SAD!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      theist Hunter,
      And how'd that work out for y'all ?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      theist = atheist

      August 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Scott. I would disgree. Maybe if you stopped at the Old Testament...which many Atheist often do. As a Christian, I am under a new covenant and in the same Bible I find scriptures such as John 8 , which teaches a basic lesson on Faith and obligation. There are other moral testimonies in the Bible, are we meant to ignore the ones of peace and forgiviness and only focus on those you speak of as if they do not exist.

      Try this, I have discovered that some Atheist are like the Rev Terry Jones and Bin Ladens of the world, in that they choose to only have us focus on the Scriptures that their interpretation of the Bible, the Torah, The Koran, they feel validates their previous hate. If you look upon the Bible as details of how to hate then you are free to join those in history that did the same.The rest of us will commit to the details of peace and forgiveness.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Murder is Murder and Genocide is Genocide. Your advocation of murder and genocide, in the name of a non-existant god, is the only immoral and detestible stance being stated here. There is no evidence of gods existance.

      Your attempts to justify murder in the name of god, would give license to the 9/11 attacks on the world trade centre in the name of god. It would give licence to the killing of 350,000 people during the inquisition. you would give licence to the daily buring of witches around the world in the name of god. The genocide of countless people in the name of god.

      If you wish to find evil, look no further than your own mirror, as you advocate murder and genocide based on delusional voices from a non-existant god.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Mark you are commiting the logical fallacy of confusing what you wish would be true, with what is known to be true.
      There is no evidence of god and there is no need to invoke gods existance to explain anything.

      Envoking god does not answer anything, it simply pushes the question up one more level and complicates things with further questions. The simple question of how the universe was created (already given a working theory by Astrophysics) is expanded through the envocation of the existance of god into : How was god created? How did god create the universe? How does god control the process of the universe when they appear to function perfectly on their own according to the laws of physics? How does God make immaterial souls interact with the material world?

      Occam's Razor states that the simplest answer is usually the correct one. In this case the simplest answer is: There is no God.

      There is no evidence to support the existance of god, thus the null hypothesis remains most likely correct that there is no god, and this is the logical postion to hold.

      I will conclud with a quote from the brilliant psychologist steven pinker in regards the stupidity of faith based religion:

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

      August 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      But Mark, are you not picking and choosing as well? If one must pick and choose to highlight the good parts, then how can it be that the entire work is perfect?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Further more, Mark, you cannot envoke Yahweh as your choosen God, and then pick and choose which parts you wish to envoke and which you wish to ignore. you don't get to pick only the parts you think are good to claim as truth, and ignore all the bad. Yahweh is described as a genocidal, vindictive, murderous, child rapist. Which really goes a long way in explaining the historical crimes of the christian church, and the continuing child rapists that infest christian churches.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Murder is Murder and Genocide is Genocide. Your advocation of murder and genocide,”

      Scott, and I am guess you are addressing me, you do not hear me denying the Old Testament. While you say that I am advocating murder and genocide, my response is going to be John 8, in that since Jesus stated “who” is allowed to carry out the laws of Moses... the same Bible effectively puts a end to the Murder and Genocide if the old law, that you mistakingly feel us Christians are still under. Maybe you gripe should be with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

      Sorry, but you are fighting a battle with a John 8 Christian … A person with sin and must fight towards forgiveness every day.

      Scott, if you wish to find hatred might I suggest that you look at your own mirror. Read John 8, Scott. I am not saying that it will open your eyes and you will be back-flipping through the church like John Belushi in The Blues Brothers... but it might help you see that there are moral lessons in the Bible.

      Also, do you have proof to your claim of God's non-existence? Many Atheist make this claim but fail to offer us proof.

      Thanks dude 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”But Mark, are you not picking and choosing as well? If one must pick and choose to highlight the good parts, then how can it be that the entire work is perfect?”

      Hi Rufus. In my response, a few seconds ago to Scott, I state that I am not denying the other parts, such as the Old Testament. Scott declaration was to “deny” the parts of Forgiveness and peace and detail the Bible as having no moral guidance. This is simple reasoning. All I had to do, to show his statement as false, is show the moral lessons. I did that with John 8 and down in flames went Scott.

      I have been on the Blog for over a year and a half now and I have even heard Atheist state that the Bible is a good book with many great moral stories but that they consider it a work of fiction. I can respect that but Scott is not like that, in that his blanket statement was to deny something that even other Atheist have found in that book. Scott has hatred and all we can do is confront it. And I had ahour to spare to do it. 🙂

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

      What you don't understand Mark of the River, is that we don't have to offer any proof that god does not exist, because we are not the ones offering it up as a fact. YOU ARE.
      It is your responsiblity to provide the facts that support your hypothesis of gods existance. If you can't, then it is to be considered false.
      gods existence is not considered fact because I can't provide evidence to the contrary.

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

      Mark from Middle River
      If the Old Testament is so passé, why do Christians like to cherry pick verses from it to support their arguments? Seems rather convenient to be able to deny all the horrible parts of Jewish scripture, and embrace all the parts you can employ in your own faith, doesn't it? Do you think that the Jews or Muslims do this with their holy books?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow Scott. Calm down there dude.... See Rufus, this is the “down in flames I was speaking of”

      Scott, stick with your original topic..well take a deep breath ...maybe walk away from the keyboard and try to collect yourself. The multiple post are like a prize fighter swinging wildly.

      >>>”Further more, Mark, you cannot evoke Yahweh as your chosen God, and then pick and choose which parts you wish to evoke and which you wish to ignore. you don't get to pick only the parts you think are good to claim as truth, and ignore all the bad. “

      Sigh....., so now you are telling me what I can and can not believe or interpret when I read a Bible. I must believe your interpretation and you throw a temper tantrum if I do not. How are you different than Bin Laden and Rev Terry Jones? You want us to fasten onto a part that validates your interpretation and then when we say our interpretation you cry about it.

      Check out John 8, Scott. They asked Jesus the same basic line of questioning. He did not deny or ignore the old law …. he just told us who are Christians who can enforce it.

      Time to lay that Hatred down dude.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Mark's 4th Grade Teacher

      Mark,

      You have been on this blog for a year and a half... and I've lost count of the number of times you have been advised that the plural of 'atheist' is 'atheists'. I do not think that you are very capable of learning.

      You say:
      flames, lessons, parts, Christians, testimonies, scriptures... why on Earth do you say 'atheist' when you mean more than one of them?!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>>What you don't understand Mark of the River, is that we don't have to offer any proof that god does not exist, because we are not the ones offering it up as a fact. YOU ARE.”

      Hi NikNak. Check the page, at August 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm... it was Scott that made the claim of a God's Non-existence. Seeing as how Scott post, I guess somewhere in his mind he heard me make a claim first and he was responding. I think its because he is not judging each person as he meets them and just prejudging all of us faithful based on ones he has met in the past. He basically thinks that we all speak with one voice. Not like there are many denominations within Christianity:)

      So, I stand by my request for the person making the claim so violently to present his proof.

      Gods Non-existence is not considered fact because I can't provide evidence to the contrary. 🙂 neat how that now works against Atheist now.

      Cool post though NikNak

      August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Seems rather convenient to be able to deny all the horrible parts of Jewish scripture, and embrace all the parts you can employ in your own faith, doesn't it?"

      John 8 ... You acknowledge but you know Jesus view on who can carry out such. That's why we are Christians, follow Christ. 🙂

      Come guys... I got 15 mins before I gotta bounce to work.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Ms Le.... My Fourth Grade teacher. I will work on it 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      There are indeed some worthwhile moral parables in the Bible, along with some horrible atrocities. This is also true of A Tale of Two Cities. The difference is that people are not insisting that all of our behavior and the laws of our country should be modeled after parts of A Tale of Two Cities. There are no magic books.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • ScottCA

      A lot of wasted talk about what you wish to be true in your delusional mind, and nothing about what is actually true.

      There remains no evidence of god. the rational position still remains the null hypothesis.

      You are commiting the moralistic fallacy, believing what you feel should be desirable is truth, instead of examining what really is.

      The null hypothesis is still the rational and most likely conclusion. There is no God.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Your position sums up to. Yahweh was only a murderous, genocidal, child rap ist, back then. Now he really is a nice guy and won't do that stuff. Now he just demands your complete illogocal obediance or he burns you in hell for eternity in hell with endless adistic tortures.

      You still have no proof that god exists. Everything in the universe can be explained without the need to envoke any god. In fact science is now exploring what existed before this universe, and exploring what ies beyond it, including other universes. The lies of your ancient beliefs are not imaginateive enough to capture what really is out there.

      There are other dimensions beyond the 3+1 space/time dimensions that we inhabit. going theory places us on a 3+1 dimensional brane, and there are most likely other branes in what is estimated to be at least 23 other dimensions.
      See M thoery. If you doubt the existance of multiple dimensions simply have a look at your nonstick frying pan. The crystals used to created that surface form in a pattern that can only occur if the crystals exist in multiple dimensions. Those crystals exist outside our 3+1 dimensional space.

      Steven hawking has announced that we now believe the riddle of creation to be solved. Time is a dimension that under sufficient conditions will like all dimensions allow passage forward and backward, such as in the conditions shortly after the formation of the universe. Thus the rules of evolution can doctate the initial state, allowing the universe to spontaniously create itself. Steven hawking even said that purhaps we should patient the universe and charge everyone royalties for their existance. See his lecture on the TED . C O M website about it

      There is no god.The null hypothesis holds, until disproven.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • ScottCA

      A few examples of immorality in the new testiment:

      "I'll start with a Jesus quote from Matthew:
      "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." – Matthew 10:34-37

      This same quote is mirrored in Luke.

      My 2nd example is god condoning brutal blood sacrifices and immoral scapegoating (his son/self at the crucifixion) for an 'original sin' that even most theologists agree probably did not actually occur.

      My 3rd example is the totalitarian nature of god who punishes 'thought crime' and demands faith in Jesus (without providing evidence) which, if questioned, results in an eternity of torture and horror. Some love, huh?"

      August 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • TR6

      @Mark from Middle River:“the same Bible effectively puts a end to the Murder and Genocide if the old law, that you mistakingly feel us Christians are still under”

      Typical cafeteria Christian. Jesus said to follow the law of the old testament ALL OF IT. He also said the most difficult path is the one that leads to heaven. Pretending that you are no longer bound by the law of the Old Testament is the easy path to hell

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."Matthew 5:17-19

      "Heaven and earth will disappear before the smallest letter of the Law does." Luke 16:17 (CEV)

      What part of “UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH DISAPPEAR” don’t you understand?

      August 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • TR6

      @Mark from Middle River: “Gods Non-existence is not considered fact because I can't provide evidence to the contrary.”

      In exactly the same way that the easter bunny’s, big foot’s and UFO’s “Non-existence is not considered fact because I can't provide evidence to the contrary.”

      Kind of puts your god in perspective, on equal footing with the easter bunny

      August 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  9. cavediver

    Thak you Imagine:) a very wise man that john Lennon.... reason cut down by lunacy..reoccuring theme with us:((

    August 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • cavediver

      and id like to say THANK you also ...blew the reply button as well - and *J*ohn ...yeah i r gud:)

      August 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  10. Al Freeman

    If there is no God – than everything is allowed.

    And, really, the weak has no right to survive. (Best regards from Nietzshe... and his followers...)

    August 2, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why do you as/sume that if people stop fearing supernatural punishment that nihilistic anarchy will reign?

      August 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • derp

      Christianity, by design allows everything.

      You have rules that you aren't supposed to break. But you are destined to break them because the magic sky wizard made us all sinners. So it's ok, go ahead and break the rules. Just say you are sorry, and all is good.

      It is the most completely and utterly lacking false sense of morality ever foisted upon the human species.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Look to history and you will see that everything is actually allowed, and at many times religion was on board with the worst of it. "God" has not created a world where atrocities are not allowed. It is up to us to responsibly manage our own behavior and create a benevolent society where atrocities are not allowed.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • cavediver

      Ahh yes the Fear Monster....a favorite tool of churches.

      Heres how i see the world minus religion: you can throw Race out the door ...all will be base on reason: scientific principles function exactly the same in Paris as they do in Bangkok.....no reason for borders to exist...why fight when there no differences....to keep the tyrants out of the mix, we go to a true democracy – one person, one vote.... disaster relief improves, education improves, rights improve and maybe , just maybe everyone can have apiece of the good life....

      pipe dream i know...too many greedy fools with sabotage any attempts to see my vision through ...but just to actually let you know how the mind of a typical atheist works.... our morals have nothing to do with God...

      August 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Al, with god, anything is possible.

      See how easy your ridiculous argument is to refute?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Morality is not based in the bible. Morality stems from a system of logic called "moral calculus" containing if then clauses.

      (If I am a person and I wish to be treated well, and other people are persons, then they must be treated well. If person A = x, and x = good treatment, and person B = x then person B also = good treatment.)

      The golden rule was not created by the bible. The golden rule predates the bible and was written by the Ancient Greek Philosophier Pittacus (c. 640–568 BCE).

      The human mind has evolved an innate moral sense that enables us to more effectively work together in groups. This innate moral sense benefits our genes by enabling us to benifit as mamals from the help of our family and friends in gathering food, protection, and child raising. For the most part our evolved moral sense is in agreement with the logic of moral calculus, but not entirely, because genes are not interested in the logic of fair play, they only pass on information that enables them to pass into the next generation. Thus we evolved irrational taboo reactions to many things. this reaction served a purpose when we lived in the wild, but now hinders our ability to rationally discuss many matters. Thus understanding Logic and moral calculus helps us rise above our human nature. Our increasing intellects and improving social systems are enabling us to expand our sense of empathy, to include more people and even animals. The excellent book "The expanding circle" by peter singer discusses this trend in our evolution.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Imagine

      @cavediver:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iSwhHMxDh4

      August 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Imagine

      @cavediver:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iSwhHMxDh4

      August 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Al Freeman

      You said, "If there is no God – than everything is allowed.

      Yup. Your fellow believers were acting on their god given morals when they stoned a couple to death.
      See: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/02/world/africa/mali-couple-stoned/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

      If you really want to do whatever you want there is no better justification than religion.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • ME II

      @Al Freeman,
      "If there is no God – than everything is allowed."
      If there is a God – then everything is justified.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • John

      @Al Freeman, James Holmes is Christian and therefore believes God will forgive him for these murders and he will go to heaven.

      Please explain how religion improved this situation, because it seems to me that with religion, everything is allowed.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Cyprus

      Criminals overwhelming consider themselves to be religious. The amazing thing about religion is that everyone preaches that people need to follow it, but very few are actually following it. People just read the bible and hand pick what applies to them (you eat shrimp don't you? You probably don't stone adulterers either) or they commit a sin and then ask God for forgiveness. I might have SOME respect for Christians if they actually followed what it says in the bible, but the vast majority do not.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • ScottCA

      @Imagine Can you believe that Christians have had the nerve to sing john Lenons song, and change his words to "all the people living under one religion as one" Nothing can be more insulting to the memory of John Lenon than singing his song like those christians do. John knew that faith based Religion was a dangerous divisive force that needed to be stopped by logic. Those Christians who warp his song and dishonor john lenons memory are appauling and beyond contempt.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The song Imagine sums up the Atheists desires very well. That is the promise of a world guided by logic, rational thought, and empathy for eachother.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Sadly, the old J.Lennon isn't imagining now. And he's got eternity to face it!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  11. ScottCA

    Christianity's one chance at survival will be for the meme to evolve past the requirement of faith, and abandon its rooting in the bible. It will have to abandon the existance of god, and refocus itself into a philosophy of discovery and rational examination of the world. But by this time it will no longer be christianity, but will have evolved into a higher form of religon, more similar to buddism than anything else.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Whether or not you're a believer, the Bible is arguably the most important piece of literature in the history of mankind.
      Some very intelligent and well meaning people (like Thomas Jefferson) have tried to move Christianity in that direction, but they inevitably fail.
      Keeping the books in their entirety is important. They provide enormous insight into the mindset of ancient cultures whose influences have echoed through the ages.
      But you'll note that the oldest and most influential global branch of Christianity (Catholicism) has steadily been moving away from Biblical literalism...

      August 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • WASP

      @doc: correct me if i'm wrong but didn't pagan roman get their beliefs from an israeli born miracle man? that would make jewish faith the original and oldest "christian" religion correct? so it would go jewish faith, islam, catholic, protestant, jehovah witness, mormon..........the last two i'm not certain which came first, lol.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Wasp
      You are correct!
      I see the Old Testament as an apocryphal history of the Semitic people.
      The Dead Sea Scrolls show us that the narrative has remained virtually unchanged for all this time, which gives the modern world a rare glimpse into their cultural history.
      I think Beowulf does the same for anglo-saxon culture and their heroic ideals.
      That doesn't mean that God or Grendels are real.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The bible belongs in mueseums and history classes as a study od mythology just as the belief in Zues, and Thor are now discussed so should the belief in Yahweh and Allah be recorded as the mythologies they are.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Yep, just go on and wish it were so.... But you can't wish Christianity away.... Christ Jesus and His Kingdom will be there when your weeping, desperate, lonely and desti'tute soul will be in Hell ions of time. You belittle His people, throw insults on them for speaking the Name of Christ Jesus, but you'll hear the echo of their voices throughout eternity, being tormented for rejecting their words to you. You will not be able to avoid that appointment, and your soul KNOWS IT. That's why you throw insults, because you are driven by satan whose servant you are, and restlessness of your soul! No psychologist will ever tell you this, but God knows you better than any psychologist! And His people have understanding He gives them! You can put up facade, but what's inside is what the reality is!

      August 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  12. ArthurP

    Ever notice that when the pious are going door to door spreading their message they never seem to believe that the Lord will protect them from the barking dog in the yard.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • deidramt

      What you fail to understand is that the people that choose to have that barking dog in their yard to deter people from trespassing are unwilling to hear the Word of the Lord, their Savior!

      August 2, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • ArthurP

      So what has that go to do with bring in the Word of the Lord to them. To not do it is to commit one of the over 660 sins mentioned in the Bible. So that must mean that God sets you up to sin ... interesting.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @deidramt

      "What you fail to understand is that the people that choose to have that barking dog in their yard to deter people from trespassing are unwilling to hear the Word of the Lord, their Savior! "

      Well... apparently that could be a valid reason to have a "barking dog" in the yard to deter unwanted and unwelcomed bible thumpers.

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • ScottCA

      Diedrant, what you fail to understand is that there is no evidence to support the existance of god. And there is no need to envoke the existance of god to explain anything.

      Evoking god does not answer anything, it just pushes the question up one level and complicates the question further. The simple question of how was the universe created (already presented with a working theory in astrophysics), is expanded by the envocation of the existance of god into: How was god crteated? How did god create the universe? How does god control the universe when everything seems to function perfectly on its own by the laws of physics? How does god make immaterial souls intereact with the material world?

      Occam's Razor states that the simplest answer is most likely the correct one. In this case the simplest answer is: There is no God.

      The null hypothesis is that there is no god, and since there is no evidence supporting the existance of god, the null hypothesis is the logical position to take. There is no God.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • deidramt

      I was being facetious by trying to give the viewpoint of those that will not venture into said yards with said dogs.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @deidramt

      *Sorry*... my sarcasm detecter malfunctioned on your post.

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Cq

      deidramt
      How about Christians who have barking dogs? Are they unwilling to get the proper message from the Mormons, or the Jehovah's Witnesses?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  13. More Religion, More Murder

    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 11:35 am |
    • ArthurP

      US population is about 78% Christian , US prison population is about 75% Christian
      US Population is about 16% Atheist/Agnostic/Don't care, US prison population is about 0.2% Atheist/Agnostic/Don't care

      So the facts tell us that the religious people in the US commit more crimes per capita than the non-religious by a really, really wide margin.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • ScottCA

      Arthur that finding would likely corelate with the finding that atheists are better educated and have higher IQ's than the majority of Religious. With increased intelligence comes less faith based religon, thus leading to a lower representation of Atheists in prison, due to their higher education and intelligence.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • ME II

      @ArthurP,
      Not sure, as I don't know what your source is, but could one reason for your numbers be the conversion of inmate upon entering prison and/or the activities allowed to believers, e.g. "church" on sundays?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Simple Logic

      For someone who I'm guessing believes in science, you clearly missed one of the most elementary of lessons: correlation does not imply causation.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  14. gateway

    RyGuy2012 – "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.
    I had the same thoughts when I read that article: he basically said that the shooter chose to be evil, but the people that expressed sympathy did it because God told them so.
    So if something bad happens, the humans are to blame, but if something good happens, we have to thank God!

    August 2, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • niknak

      Yes gateway, that pretty much sums it up.
      And they can change that at any time if they want.
      That is the beauty of religion. Since it is based on mystacism, it can be changed or reinterpreted at a moments notice to fit whatever it is you are trying to define/describe/rule/control etc.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  15. Geo

    Your beliefs absolutely do not have the right to shape the life that other individuals live. And, yes as you enjoy the right to believe whatever you want, the rest of us also enjoy the right to point out the factual discrepancies in your belief system.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • niknak

      And we have to, everyday.
      The more we look the other way when the fundies preach and push their views on the rest of us, the more they feel emboldend to push further.
      It is complete bull that we have to "respect" their beliefs.
      The fundies are putting forth a hypothesis for how things are they way they are, but they have zero proof to support that.
      Yet we are supposed to sit back and let them have their made up theory based on nothing except some 2000 year old goat herders campfire stories because it is their "faith."
      F that!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  16. Geo

    People are right this country has freedom of religion. You are welcome to believe in whatever "higher power" that you want, be it God, or the flying spaghetti monster (of which I believe have a lot in common). But it needs to be said that your religious freedom STOPS where my personal liberties begin.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • niknak

      That is the problem Geo, it doesn't stop.
      They, the religious, have to have you and me believe in what they believe in order for them to feel that they are in fact right.
      If you believe that 2 plus 2 is 5, then when confronted with evidence that you are wrong, you have to either admit you are wrong or you have to get the other guy to believe that is it in fact 5.
      Across all religions this is the case, with Islam being where christianity was 1500 years ago.
      And if given their druthers, christianity would go right back to being just as ugly and repressive as islam is today.
      Don't think for a minute that the pope would not want to go back to the days when he was the most powerful man in the world.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  17. Geo

    People keep saying, "just let people believe what they want, stop persecuting people for religious beliefs". Well that is all fine and good, if religion stayed where it should, within the personal realm. Unfortunately religion does not. Religion oozes itself into every crevice of our society. It shapes laws around the world (surprisingly in the USA, especially with the whole separation between church and state thing), it molds education and never for the positive (see states who want to include creationism in their science curriculum), and it constantly infringes on others personal rights.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • ScottCA

      Right now Christian Fundamentalist are fighting for the right to teach over 1 million young girls in America that they must always be obediant to men. Right now Christian groups have eroded the protective laws and right to proper medical care of children in America for so called "Faith healing alternatives" that place children at risk. Right now countless people remain blind and dying because christian groups have held back Stem cell research that could have saved countless lives in America. No other single area of health care research is as promising as stem cell research for saving lives, and christians have once again held science back in the darkages, killing countless people.

      Allowing people to remain ignorant and believe in lies, leads to irrational political decision based on those lies that hurts everyone.

      Leaving the faith based religous alone is not an option.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  18. Geo

    God Hates Facts!!

    August 2, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  19. ScottCA

    It takes roughly 20 years for faith based religons to raise a true believer. It takes roughly 20 minutes for a person to be freed from those religous lies by Atheism. Faith based religon doesn't stand a chance.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Manda

      I'm not sure it's that easy. Part of the 20 years of indoctrination brainwashes people into some very illogical ways of thinking. It actually takes some pretty serious deprogramming to help people see the assumptions they have been convinced to never ever question.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • realbuckyball

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12rP8ybp13s

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

      As n Atheist, I would like to point out that the danger is from faith based religions. As Faith requires one to believe even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It is this supression of logic and reason that is the root of faith based religions danger.

      There are more advanced forms of religion that are not as dangerous. These religions are more philosophies than traditional religions. They encourage people to examine the world rationally and come to logical conclusions about the world around them. One such less dangerous relgion, would be Buddism. I believe most Atheists would agree that such enlightened philosophies that do not require faith, are not a particular threat to anyone.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  20. zee

    Here are few words from a non-biased Muslim. The truth is I am also sick and tired of many muslims telling us that Allah is responsible for every thing we see. Indeed in Quraan He has a clear disclaimer that he is not responsible for misconduct of people. He sent us here with free will and clear guidance. He also send his messengers with rules and regulation that will keep us straight and will punish those who will try to hurt others. We disregarded those rules and see the results in shock. This concludes my statement for a simple and straightforward mind. Those who love to probe and criticize my lecture continues,
    Last week I was reading Quraan with some friends.
    The Ayah was last one of second chapter.
    " La yukallihullahu Nafsan Illa wusaaha-–"
    Many mullahs translate that this Ayah means that Allah will not burden any soul more than he/she can handle.
    I asked my friend, then why In the same Ayah, Just few words later Prophet Muhammad(SWS) and his companions (RTA) are praying " O Allah, do not put on us a burden, we can not handle.

    Why?
    Why Muhammad did this prayer? Please think about it and let me know. This discussion continues. I will be back.

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

      No such thing as a non-biased anything. you're either biased or non-biased. period.

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

      I appluad your courage in comming forward and questioning your faith based religons beliefs. It is the first step in logically freeing yourself from those lies. Continue your quest for knowledge and use logic and reason as your guide through the darkness. Logic is the lantern that will illuminate your discoveries.

      The answer to your question as I am sure you are begining to know, is that Allah, like all gods, does not exist.

      Once more I applaud your bravery in questioning what you have been likely fed as truth since birth. Good luck in your quest for truth.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:07 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.