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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. Dyslexic Dog

    Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies. Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Also the average life of a star is 10^17 years. The average life of a black hole is 10^100. That means, to 80 decimal places, the answer to the "fine tuning" is ZERO. There will be no life in the universe, for the entire life of this universe. THAT is not "fine tuned".

      August 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      All of which, of course, leads to the sci fi fiction idea that he/it's a time traveler or alien with some sort of prime directive.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • fred

      realbuckyball

      I do not understand your fine tuning comment. The life span of stars or black holes are independent of the fine tuning required for the speed of expansion at point of singularity (big bang) and accelerated speed of expansion caused by dark energy. These two main forces upon our universe allowed the formation of stars and black holes in the first place. That fine tuning event is what caused Hawkings to advance his multiverse theory in order to maintain his position that no god needed.
      Fine tuning on the organic level relates to the virtual impossibility of building blocks such as carbon 13 and the other 741 conditions required for higher life forms to exist. You can claim someday we will figure it out unfortunately facts show that as time goes on we discover greater not fewer reason why God is required.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  2. Atheist Hunter

    Asking for proof of God from a Christian perspective is like [though not completely] asking for proof of Tomorrow. That is because both God (John 4:24) and Tomorrow are not physical or material things. Therefore proof of them cannot be given in a physical way, so how would an atheist prove Tomorrow? If they had an answer for that then maybe the theist could give them a suitable proof of God. Furthermore, like Tomorrow God may not be experienced, though like yesterday, God can be. So would experience be a valid proof for the atheist, like the experience of yesterday? The atheist must come to terms with this which they in my experience they have never done. When the atheist asks for proof of God, I rather think this is just a rhetorical exercise rather than actually attempting to gauge in a truth finding dialogue.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      So your whole theory of god revolves around him being a complete abstract? I thought he was, tangible, sentient, among other things.

      Oh yeah, also, "tomorrow" is the term we give to an event that happens in the next 24 hour time period. It's not a state of being, or a thing, it's simply a way for us to talk about a future present.

      You're going to need to a do a lot better than that.

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

      Still intrested in your opinion of what becomes of the 5 billion people that may not have the same concepy as you, that would include atheists? Got an opinion?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      The point, you idiot, is to to drive home the point, that believers believe a bunch of junk with absolutely no evidence! We don't tolerate this in any other domain, and there is no reason to tolerate it any longer for religion. Let me be clear – you have every right to believe whatever you want, but if you bring your silliness into the public domain, expect to be challenged – to "put up or shut up!" The days of "nice people don't talk about religion in public"are over!

      August 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Confused face

      Well, how about this. Your god seems to have been fond of miracles 2000 years ago. So, why doesn't he restore all the limbs of all amputees ate once? This would be a miracle (as he is accustomed to performing) and one that he seems ok with granting to lower life forms such as starfish.

      It should be very easy for your god to perform this miracle. He has never done so. I wonder why?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      Asking for proof of Harry Potter from a believer’s perspective is like [though not completely] asking for proof of Tomorrow. That is because both Harry Potter (JK Rowling verse 1) and Tomorrow are not physical or material things. Therefore proof of them cannot be given in a physical way, so how would a Twilight fan prove Tomorrow? If they had an answer for that then maybe the believer could give them a suitable proof of Harry Potter. Furthermore, like Tomorrow, Harry Potter may not be experienced, though like yesterday, Harry Potter can be. So would experience be a valid proof for the Twilight fan, like the experience of yesterday? The Twilight fan must come to terms with this which they in my experience they have never done. When the Twilight fan asks for proof of Harry Potter, I rather think this is just a rhetorical exercise rather than actually attempting to gauge in a truth finding dialogue.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Sorry AH, that's called "Special Pleasding". It's a well known logical fallacy.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Special Pleading

      August 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • mitch

      @AHunter... Perhaps you should look in the mirror to find your boogie man...

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

      August 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      “believers believe a bunch of junk with absolutely no evidence”….ditto to the atheist
      1) There is no soul claim the atheist
      2) There is no God claim the atheist
      3) A frog, a rat and a man have the same meaningful purpose in existence
      4) A frog, a rat and a man encounter the same eternity after death
      5) The universe, earth and man are a product of chance
      6) There is no higher authority than man himself as to morality
      7) All believers are wrong and only atheists have the one true faith

      August 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      buckyball,

      AH has no use for logic - he has a "fillin' in his hoart" - that's all he wants.

      AH cannot defend his assertions - they are not even his - they are copy/pasted from various blogs and Christian apologetics web sites.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      1) There is no soul claim the atheist
      2) There is no God claim the atheist
      3) A frog, a rat and a man have the same meaningful purpose in existence
      4) A frog, a rat and a man encounter the same eternity after death
      5) The universe, earth and man are a product of chance
      6) There is no higher authority than man himself as to morality
      7) All believers are wrong and only atheists have the one true faith
      Repeating the claims proves nothing. You have offered no arguments.
      1 + 2. The is no evidence for a soul or god.
      3. Meaning is found and individual, and every person you ask will say something different.
      4.Rats and frogs and humans encounter nothing after death.
      5. The Anthropic Principle is debunked everywhere, by many people.
      6. Anthroplogy has explained where morality comes from.
      7. Essentially "Argumentum ad Populum", fallacy.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      As usual fred you demonstrate your inability to read for comprehension and to think logicially:

      1) There is no soul claim the atheist – Wrong! Believers claim there is, atheists merely ask for proof.
      2) There is no God claim the atheist – Wrong! Beleivers claim there is, atheists merely ask for proof.
      3) A frog, a rat and a man have the same meaningful purpose in existence. Wrong – a believer straw man argument.
      4) A frog, a rat and a man encounter the same eternity after death – Wrong – more believer straw men.
      5) The universe, earth and man are a product of chance. – Wrong – atheists believe these objects come about becuase of very understandable physical processes – no god(s) required!
      6) There is no higher authority than man himself as to morality – Wrong! Beleivers claim there is, atheists merely ask for proof.
      7) All believers are wrong and only atheists have the one true faith. Wrong again! Atheists are (way more) likely to better understand how the universe was created and is evolving, while theists cling to their childish unsupported beliefs.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • fred

      Mitch
      “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
      =>I dismiss all other possible gods because:
      1) All other gods were made or created from that which existed. The God of Abraham always was and always will be creating our known physical world from that which did not exist in our 4 dimensions.
      2) All other gods are manmade whereas God is not made of the things man can imagine.
      3) Having had a personal experienced God exactly as foretold in the Bible I can verify those experienced claims as true.
      3) God answered my prayer not any other higher power.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Hey AH, Elmer Fudd is looking for you. He said you promised to go huntin' wabbits. He said were no good at that either.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • fred

      o realbuckyball
      “1 + 2. The is no evidence for a soul or god.”
      =>Correct, so atheists cannot claim there is no soul or god simply no evidence
      “3. Meaning is found”
      =>without known purpose for existence meaningfulness cannot be determined
      “4.Rats and frogs and humans encounter nothing after death.”
      =>no evidence exists
      “5. The Anthropic Principle is debunked everywhere, by many people.”
      =>Argumentum ad Populum fallacy
      “6. Anthroplogy has explained where morality comes from.”
      =>If correct they run counter to natural selection and self preservantion as man has created their own weapons of total inhalation of the species.
      “7. Essentially "Argumentum ad Populum", fallacy.”
      =>correct, atheists practice exclusive faith that all other religions are wrong thus they are just as wrong as Christians that have the only true faith. Atheism exposed.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns
      “There is no soul claim the atheist – Wrong!”
      =>What then do atheists call self awareness outside of the known physical boundaries that incorporates space and time without presence? Do you not sense that who you truly are exists apart from your physical? What do you call that?

      “There is no God claim the atheist – Wrong!”
      =>Why do atheists find it necessary to straddle the agnostic line rather than simply say they are agnostic?

      “ A frog, a rat and a man encounter the same eternity after death – Wrong “
      =>How are your eternities after death different from one another?

      “ The universe, earth and man are a product of chance. – Wrong“
      =>These objects did not come about by a very understandable physical process to the best of our current knowledge. This is an argument of faith by the atheist that physical explanation is discoverable. All evidence points to one fact which is the more we know about the origin of our physical world the greater becomes the fine tuning required for existence, the more remote becomes probability of other human life forms and the greater is the power and vastness of the unknown. Technological discoveries in the last 200 years argue against the atheist position that no god needed.

      “6) There is no higher authority than man himself as to morality – Wrong! Beleivers claim there is, atheists merely ask for proof.”
      =>Proof is that goodness or what is good cannot be agreed upon by two parties without agreement as to a higher authority. This is why Jesus said only God is “good”.

      “theists cling to their childish unsupported beliefs.”
      =>41% of scientists hold onto unsupported beliefs. Your atheist faith is far more exclusive than the Sanhedrin of Jesus time.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  3. Erasmus

    I estimated the 3%, but I willing to hear anything to prove different

    August 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • ME II

      @Erasmus,
      "I estimated the 3%, but I willing to hear anything to prove different"
      I as.sume this was meant for me (ME II).
      My question was meant to point out that any real knowledge that you have about the 3% of the universe is likely either experiential or you learned it from some scientific source. Contrary-wise, what have you every learned, about that 3% of the universe that we know about, from religion?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  4. Dyslexic Dog

    Atheist Hunter must be tired from all his cutting and pasting ...

    August 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      He threw his tantrum. Now he has gone into his room and slammed the door.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      must be time for his meds.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • ScottCA

      He was a reminder of the frightening power of the faith based religious delusion. And their inability to use logic to hold rational discourse.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  5. Erasmus

    Scientists know about/discovered about 3% of the known universe. (and that # is on the generous side)
    So can the unbelievers please prove that God can not be proven through the other 97% still extant?

    August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • ME II

      "So can the unbelievers please prove that God can not be proven through the other 97% still extant?"
      No.
      How do you know about the 3%?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • cavediver

      cavediver

      Soooooo ... God goes from quite the hands on emotional, 'toughlove' myopic dictator that he was in the old testament ...seemingly ignorant about the rest of tthe world..nevermind the universe- to a cosmic, ever patient (big bang and evolution here) ent.ty that hides on the frontiers of our knowlege to test the faith of modern man?

      what happened to the naked displays of anger..the raising of the dead, feeding hundreds of people with 2 baskets of fish and a loaf or two of bread ( this miracle we could use right here)

      Copied and pasted from the first time asked:)

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

      So let me get this straight, since science has not discovered 97% of the univers, that means god exists?
      Is that your argument?
      Is that why you believe in magic instead of hard science and fact?
      Then you are exactly what the people who run organized religion have been praying for.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • cavediver

      Amazing how God seems to know roughly ... what we do....
      Thing that gets me.... This god Flooded the world ..killed everyone, has cause pagues , destroyed cities, commanded his chosen to slaughter woman and children, take slaves...ect..... And people wonder why he didnt stop a killer in Aurora? really? he wasnt there and they ask how do we know we wont find him out there in the universe......? its practically in Neon .....

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

      The burden of proof is on the believer not the disbeliever.
      The null hypothesis is the rational starting poiint. One can never prove that something does not exist. Just as you cannot prove that the flying spafhetti monster is not flying around the second moon of jupiter right now. The burden is to prove that something exists. That is why the rational starting point is the null hypothesis.

      The null hypothesis in this case is that there is no god. The faith based relious hypothesis is that there is a god. So present us with proof and we will immediately accept that position. But there is no proof that there is a god. Thus the logical position remains the null hypothesis. There is no God.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • cavediver

      Exactly Scott:)

      August 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Atheist Hunter

    They that deny a God destroy man's nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.

    FRANCIS BACON, Essays

    August 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • ME II

      When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord does not work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips

      August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • OOO

      Francis Bacon is correct A.H. We are base and ignoble creatures.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • mitch

      AHunter
      Just intrested in your opinioh of the 5 billion or so people that do not or ever will accept your , I assume, christian god, this number includes all atheists and agnostics?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  7. Atheist Hunter

    Atheism is a disease of the mind caused by eating underdone philosophy.

    AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

    August 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • ME II

      Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. Isaac Asimov

      August 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Which God??

      Austin O'Malley sure put a lot of deep thought into that statement. (heavy sarcasm). He thinks like you, AH.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  8. Atheist Hunter

    Sometimes when I'm faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there's a cook.

    RONALD REAGAN, Speaking My Mind

    August 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • ME II

      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 Richard Dawkins

      August 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • OOO

      Not sure what this has to do with the beginning of the universe. There is no evidence of a cook there.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      The quote above just shows RayGun was delusional, not that there is a god.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  9. Atheist Hunter

    By night an atheist half believes in God.

    EDWARD YOUNG, Night Thoughts

    August 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ME II

      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? Epicurus

      August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  10. Atheist Hunter

    It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.

    CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 25, 1924

    August 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • OOO

      Well, I didn't really think much of C.C. anyway.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • ME II

      There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages. Richard Lederer

      August 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Atheist

      Then he must have had a hard time understanding why Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Thomas Paine were all greater than him.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Augustus Carp

      Didn't Dorothy Parker ask on hearing of Calvin Coolidge's death "How could they tell?"

      August 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  11. Reality

    Putting the final kibosh on religion :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Added details available upon written request.

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

    e.g. Taoism

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

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

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

    August 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Atheist Hunter

    I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

    GEORGE H.W. BUSH, news conference, Aug. 27, 1987

    August 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Of course, any thinking person knows that he was/is wrong. To be right, someone is going to have to prove there is a god – any one of the 1,000s of alledged gods will do.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Atheist

      Separation of church and state: one of the founding concepts on America.
      The words "Under God": added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942. I say again, 1942.

      Maybe you'd be happier in Iran.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Atheist Hunter

    To be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to recieve all the great truths which atheism would deny.

    JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Mar. 8, 1711

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

      Oh really? It doesnt take faith to form your world view on facts and evidence. I really hope religious people get help for their delusions.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • ME II

      Who?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • @Me Too

      many Christains give athiets a lot of evidence to support their unbelief by all of the hypocrisy shown daily in a public forum like in the USA ... 🙂 it wasn't meant to be that way but it is..

      August 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  14. Atheist Hunter

    Fervid atheism is usually a screen for repressed religion.

    WILHELM STEKEL, Autobiography

    August 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • ME II

      But I thought religious fanaticism was just a screen for repressed Atheism...?!?!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Clyde M

      Luckily, that's simply not true. It's something religious people tell themselves to feel less threatened.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  15. WASP

    @AH:"because christians don't bother them and won't physically fight back."
    that is a load of crock. the most vio-lent people i've met in my life were p1ssed off christians. the moment you back them into a corner logically they are cur-sing and throwing their arms, puffing up to try and get you to back down........if not out right thre-atening you with bodily harm. they burn crosses in peoples yards and spray graffity against this group or that. christians are so peace loving then why fight so hard against something that doesn't effect you? i.e. same gender marriage.
    why get angry and accuse others of attacking you?
    oh and your whole "go attack the muslims" thing............you forget we did go attack the ones that attacked us. so shove it, if you chirstians would keep your beliefs to yourself and think critically about if something is better for the whole of humans instead of thinking about what you want then we atheists wouldn't have a reason to try and back you off our toes, now would we?

    August 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      WASP..........sounds like you've got the klan and Christians mixed up. It's probably the cross thing. Same gender marriage does personally affect me. I turns my stomach! Then go to a mosque today and protest! Men holding hands and prancing around in front is children is good for no-one!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Klan is Christian...that is a FACT. You really need to get over your perse cut ion complex

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

      It doesn't hurt my children. But then there's no question my children are much smarter, kinder and more successful than your children.

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

      @AH: i don't think those guys blocking black kids from entering their school were wearing any bed sheets; i think i remember a governor that called in the national guard to force the local police that were following the mayors orders to keep the black kids out of his school, to let them in........so i'm certain those people weren't wearing sheets either, i know the picture the police were in uniform.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Christians have always been at the front fighting freedom and liberty for those different than them. Christians are the ones that point the finger at the few and blame the few for their problems. #1 greates threat to our liberties and freedom is from Christians.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      From AH's post I am guessing he is Clown Bro dude, Ransom etc. Has the same lacking ability to be witty and is quite boring.

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

    Quoting Ray Comfort! Priceless.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Yes he can make a atheist studder. Priceless!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Mrs. Gloria Teasdale

      AH,

      Rufus T. Firefly is studder than you!

      August 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Atheist Hunter

    If it evolves, God created it!

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

      Who created God?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Which God??

      Aparently your evolutionary growth has beeb stunted. You god doesn't like you very much. He must have taken away you ability to reason as well, you seem to be lacking in that area s well. All you have is this 'faith.'

      August 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Which God??

      Apparently your evolutionary growth has been stunted. Your god doesn't like you very much. He must have taken away your ability to reason as well, you seem to be lacking in that area. All you have is this 'faith.' Blind at that.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  18. Atheist Hunter

    ― Ray Comfort, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Cant Make Him Think

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

      @AH: what evidence? please show me if you have such a thing.........and no your old mistranslated,corrupted book doesn't count as evidence.

      i know atheists have time and again shown evidence as to "no god" but you folks refuse to remove the blinders.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Jim

      That's true about creationists, like him. What's banana boy Ray up to these days, I wonder?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • ME II

      Evidence?
      Like the Croco-duck argument that Ray Comfort came up with?
      Or, the "evidence" of the banana?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Which God??

      AH, you are using Ray in a debate? What, are you sitting on his bannana?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  19. Atheist Hunter

    “Atheists don’t hate fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns because they don’t exist. It is impossible to hate something that doesn't exist. Atheists — like the painting experts hated the painter — hate God because He does exist.”

    August 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • HanzJager

      Wrong again as usual. You have to be a troll. I don't hate god exactly for the simple reason he doesn't exist. I do hate religious fanatics and religion in general. They most certainly do exist. And I hate you. Not dislike... hate. Simple enough for your limited brain?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Atheist

      How do I hate something that doesn't exist? I don't. I'll tell you what I do dislike: people that are governed by fear and emotion rather than reason (non-atheists).

      August 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Which God??

      You do realize, Ah that you now have to PROVE your statment that god does exist, and you can't use your babull to do it, nor ask rhetorical questions, or use deflection. Got it?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  20. Erasmus

    Rough estimate, but generally speaking,
    Scientists know about/discovered about 3% of the known universe. (and that # is on the generous side)
    So can the unbelievers please prove that God can not be proven through the other 97% still extant?

    Its funny, If you ask an unbeliever who the best scientist in the world is, you would get names as numerous as the sands of the sea?
    Yet you ask a Christian who is the best person in the Bible, and it would be unanimous?

    Hebrews 13:5

    August 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Greg Linden

      Can you prove that Thor doesn't exist? Or Aries? How about Shiva? If there's one thing we know is that we'll always invent new gods, enjoy the one you believe in today. Worshippers of the gods yet to come will consider you a primitive.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • cavediver

      Soooooo ... God goes from quite the hands on emotional, 'toughlove' myopic dictator that he was in the old testament ...seemingly ignorant about the rest of tthe world..nevermind the universe- to a cosmic, ever patient (big bang and evolution here) ent.ty that hides on the frontiers of our knowlege to test the faith of modern man?

      what happened to the naked displays of anger..the raising of the dead, feeding hundreds of people with 2 baskets of fish and a loaf or two of bread ( this miracle we could use right here) ?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • WASP

      @era: let's have some fun with words shall we?
      do religious people believe in magic? yes
      do religious people believe in aliens? yes
      why because they believe in something not born on earth that made everything in the universe in a matter of days; no i will not accept the "new age interprtation of a day" it reads 6 days then he rested if he was so powerful he could have made his prophets understand what a year is and what a day is and how long it took him to do this as how humans understand time.

      next flipside of your question: " what if the other 90%; as another poster on here stated is where we find god"
      1) your funny for incorrectly resighting what you have read on here.
      2) what if you search all of known space and still find no god? then what? thought god was on a mountain, he wasn't there. thought god was in the sky, searched he wasn't there. thought god was in outer space/time searched wasn't there........so where do we search next?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Clyde M

      1) Technically, we've discovered 100% of the known universe. That's what "known" means.

      2) The number you are citing is not how much of what we suspect the total universe to be that we've "discovered," but how much of that we think is made up of visible matter–i.e., matter we can see via our current means and technologies. The remainder we suspect to made of exotic forms of matter (dark matter) or energy (dark energy) that we currently cannot observe directly (though we suspect is there because we can measure its observable effects on visible matter and energy).

      3) The onus is not on disbelievers to prove there is no god. I am an atheist and I make no claim other than to say "I disbelieve YOUR claim." I have no burden of proof to prove there is no god (at most my burden would be to prove that I actually disbelieve your claim since disbelieving your claim is the only claim I've made myself). The burden of proof is on those making the positive claim, not on those denying it.
      Besides, if there is no god, it is still impossible to prove there is no god, even if we'd "discovered" 100% of the universe. It is impossible to prove anything does not exist, especially when that thing is granted unlimited magic powers and even if we scanned every atom in the universe and found no evidence someone would say "that's because his magic is tricking your instruments but he's actually in this room right now."
      I mean, how *exactly* would you propose disproving the claim that there is a magic, invisible, intangible unicorn dancing three feet behind you at all times? You couldn't. You know there isn't. For me to claim there is such a thing is silly. Yet, because I've said it cannot be detected by definition but is still there, you have no way to prove what I say wrong.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Atheist

      Oh, the old "you can't prove it ain't so" turn-around. Well, you can't prove I don't have a million dollars. Wanna buy a bridge?
      Let me explain how simple logic works, since you seem a bit lost here: Things exist when you prove they DO exist, not when you can't prove they don't. Do you not understand the difference?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.