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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. Justin Gant

    Accurate information? Info, lets be real, you and I both know you are not equipped to discuss this topic with me so you send me to a website with circular logic. What happenend is, I just made you question everything you thought was true, you were so certain and sure of what you believed in and with a couple of paragraphs that I thought of while I was bored at work, just shattered your entire reality, so you send me to the website that influenced you. Pathetic.

    August 3, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • mitch

      Religions have served to impede knowledge, foster fear and dependancy, and are responsible for much of the war, oppresion, and misery that have beset the world.

      Religions have managed throughout human history to have a solid grip on the minds of their congragations; what they learned was almost always what the church wanted them to hear, total control. Now that people have the technology to communicate with all peoples and all cultures, we can see that the religions and dictatorial governments are losing their grip on power. The Arab Spring is an example and it is not surprising that the thing that the powerful want to restrict/ban is the internet and social networking. Even in open democratic countries it was difficult for atheists/agnostics to express their views, but now that we have a platform, it is just a matter of time that the religions fade away, just like the old myths have done. Don't be frightened, the world will be a far, far better place when the churches and temples are just intresting artifacts.

      August 3, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Jesse

      Justin

      You are so for off-base it’s hard to know where to start with you. I can however assure you that you didn’t rock any atheist’s foundation with your uninformed opinions. They have all been posted and thoroughly shredded many times over.

      August 3, 2012 at 7:26 am |
  2. Justin Gant

    So this info guy needs someone else to explain what he believes in for me. Typical. just pick a line of my post you don't agree with and tell me where I am missinformed.

    August 3, 2012 at 5:30 am |
  3. Higgs-Boson Baby

    I'm with Zentanith. I came to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through reason, experience, and faith. It was not an overnight realization. I struggled internally, and battled with this over a period of many years. Trying to prove or disprove the existence of God is a moot issue. Whether Jesus was just a human being, the Son of God, or an alien will always be open to debate. Read the words of Jesus (now proven to be a real historical figure) in the New Testament. I don't believe His words could have been entirely made-up by the Church or a clever fictional writer. They are too pure, altruistic, wise, beautiful, and intelligent for a mere mortal to have thought up on his/her own.

    August 3, 2012 at 5:22 am |
  4. Justin Gant

    How much value does the athiest place on human life? If I was athiest, logic would tell me that my life or anyone elses life is no more valuable than a grain of dirt. I mean evry law is based on some religious creed, so why obey any law since what they are based on are not grounded in reality. I'm no psychiatrist, but I would assume that the guy who shot up the movie theatre has that same reasoning. If you read Batman comics, that is pretty much the Joker's reasoning, that life is just a big Joke. Having said that without a belief in God man would have no reason to evolve as a species. If the first humans divided into 2 groups, one group athiest the other believers, who would develop faster? Logic tells me the belivers would, simply because God gives purpose to there existence, so the would build homes that would turn into tribes that would turn into cities and so forth. Where the athiest group would spend their existence satisfying their base needs and wondering how the hell did I get here?

    August 3, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • TrueStory

      Justin Gant you are totally correct dude. I mean where would we be in this world without worshipping the Sun (Jesus) which revolves around this flat world? All the modern medicine, space travel, and mathematics of the world is all irrellevent when we can just sit back and let the holy spirit drive us the rest of our lives. Not a worry in the world. Any questioning or free thinking against that is a Sin. Just look at all the great its done: Thousands of wars, genocide, the halting of stem cell research, mass suicide, separatism, racism, and many other great spiritual things that this character count wont allow to even be typed here

      August 3, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • Gabriel Malakh

      @Justin Gant

      Amen! Spoken with true insight!

      1 Corinthians 1:18-21
      18 For the speech about the torture stake is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is God’s power. 19 For it is written: “I will make the wisdom of the wise [men] perish, and the intelligence of the intellectual [men] I will shove aside.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not get to know God, God saw good through the foolishness of what is preached to save those believing.

      1 Corinthians 2:11-16
      11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man that is in him? So, too, no one has come to know the things of God, except the spirit of God. 12 Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by [the] spirit, as we combine spiritual [matters] with spiritual [words].

      14 But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually. 15 However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.

      August 3, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • WASP

      @gant: yeah we have seen such a great example of the value of life from religion throughout history. selective sight must be such a great gift for you, seeing and believeing that humans require a reward/punishment system to be good. i quit needingt o be rewarded/punished when i was a child..................guess it just takes others longer to grow up. if you want to see the difference between atheists value of life and religious value of life, just look at the statistics for people in prison for violent crimes; and don't give me that bull about converting while inside prison.

      August 3, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  5. Justin Gant

    I get criticized for saying this, from my athiest friends, but I am one who believes we are the only lifeforms in this vast vast universe. Think about this for a moment, if we were any closer to the sun, we would burn up, if we were any further from it we would freeze. We just happen to be in this perfect spot for life to flourish and even then life wouldn't be a certainty. If you believe in evolution, so many things must go exactly right for us humans to evolve from a fish, the odds of this happening are so inconcievable that its an impossibility, yet here we are. I mean an athiest scientist explanation of how we came to be is just as or more fantastic as anything written in the Bible. Darwins theory of evolution is just a regergetation of the 7 day theory in Genesis. Athiest accuse religious people of being narrowminded and yes a lot of them are, but all athiests are narrowminded.

    August 3, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • Info

      Justin Gant,

      You are so misinformed and misled... it's hard to know where to start.

      IF you even care about reality;
      Maybe start here:
      http://www.huecotanks.com/debunk/genesis.html

      It might be a lot to read... and certainly not as easy and mindless as your "goddidit", so it's doubtful that you will bother, but it could happen.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Higgs-Boson Baby

      We are a product of our universe, therefore the universe is likely abundant with life (even life that thrives in conditions alien to our cozy, astronomical position). We are nothing special. I believe this will be proven correct in the not too distant future.

      August 3, 2012 at 5:40 am |
  6. Gabriel Malakh

    For those who claim they don't believe in God, they don't realize that they contradict themselves. Because if you didn't believe in God, you would not care about what happened in Aurora. Those who don't believe in God claim they came into existence by means of evolution or by accident. So basically, "YOU HAVE NO PURPOSE!" But it's interesting how you live your lives with purpose. You eat, sleep, take care of yourselves, go to doctor when you're sick so you can feel better, you go to school to get an education, you strive to be your best, but, "YOU HAVE NO PURPOSE!", you say. When someone close to you gets hurt or die, why does it hurt, why get angry, why are you upset over what happened in Aurora? You don't even know those people. You must have forgotten, your belief is, "THEY HAVE NO PURPOSE!", so what if they die?

    Please explain, where did your capacity to love and experience emotions come from if you have no purpose, if you don't believe in God who created you in his likeness, with the ability to "Love"?

    1 John 4:7,8
    7 Beloved ones, let us continue loving one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born from God and gains the knowledge of God. 8 He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.

    Genesis1:26
    26 And God went on to say: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.”

    August 3, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • mandarax

      What a bizarre attempt at logic...

      August 3, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Agnostic

      Epic Fail

      August 3, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      By this logic, no pagan, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, or any of the other billions of people who have existed on this planet that were not christians have ever felt any emotion....

      Only the koolaid drinkers that believe in the 'christian god' have privy to emotions?

      Forgive me, but the dribble you spewed is as ridiculous as the notion of an all powerful, mytholigical sky-fairy.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Manda

      " if you don't believe in God who created you in his likeness"

      Classic.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • WASP

      @GAB: you want to know my purpose in life? here let me inform you. MY OFFSPRING. my purpose is to try and make this world a better place for him because i can sit and see how well religion is making the world a horrible place just by turning on my television.
      RELIGION= SEPERATION
      ATHEIST= UNIFICATION

      August 3, 2012 at 6:10 am |
    • Mr Godd

      But if you don't believe in the Invisible Pink Universe-pooping Unicorn, then who do you think pooped us all out of His Invisible Pink Butt?

      August 3, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  7. Reality

    Only for the atheists and agnostics out there:

    The Apostles'/Agnostics' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    August 3, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Gabriel Malakh

      @ LOL@"WhereWasGod"; @mandarax; @Agnostic; @Manda

      Guess what? All the pagan, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, or any of the other billions of people who have existed on this planet that were not christians believed in "a" god, though not the "true" God. But funny how all you avoid answering the question on where emotions come from since you believe your forefathers were parasites, created in a bowl of molecular soup. I wonder who seasoned you with emotions? Care to explain? Or, are you still stuck on stupid?

      Psalm 92:5,6
      5 How great your works are, O Jehovah!
      Very deep your thoughts are.
      6 No unreasoning man himself can know [them],
      And no one stupid can understand this.

      Proverbs 1:22
      22 “How long will YOU inexperienced ones keep loving inexperience, and [how long] must YOU ridiculers desire for yourselves outright ridicule, and [how long] will YOU stupid ones keep hating knowledge?

      Psalms 14:1,2
      1 The senseless one has said in his heart:
      “There is no Jehovah.”
      They have acted ruinously, they have acted detestably in [their] dealing.
      There is no one doing good.

      2 As for Jehovah, he has looked down from heaven itself upon the sons of men,
      To see whether there exists anyone having insight, anyone seeking Jehovah.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • WASP

      @gab: if you wanted to know where emotions come from all you have to do is ask.
      emotions are the culmination of basic animal instinct combined inside a higher developed brain. love is the most fun one;
      love is the combination of: territorism, drive to proporgate your genetic coding, need for survival displayed as strength in numbers. these simple instincts we even mistake as emotions in..........say your dog. your dog doesn't "love" you it uses you as a means to get fed and stay dry, it accepts you as the pack leader ensuring it's survival, and yes given a chance or if you show weakness your dog will try to oust you as alpha and take over "your" territory.

      i hate it for all you folks with the need to feel special, but you're not; you're just an animal like the rest of us. deal with it

      August 3, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  8. Kindness

    kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    August 3, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • jungleboo

      Oh, honey, you do go on! Waaaay too self impressed...

      August 3, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      1 Corinthians 7:1-4
      "1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

      1 Corinthians 14:34
      "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."

      August 3, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Jim

      Wow! Another copy-and-paste troll!

      August 3, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Gabriel Malakh

      For those who say they don't believe in God, please explain to us how we came to exist? Evolution or do you have another explanation? Please, if you're going to reply, please, use some sound logic or don't bother. My goal is to understand you, not to past judgement. Thank you!

      August 3, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Gabriel Malakh, There are plenty of science books out there that answer your questions. If you're interested in logic, go read. Look at the evidence and use logic to find the truth for yourself. We did our homework for ourselves... why don't you go do the same?

      August 3, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Get help while there is still time

      it's "pass" judgement. And as they said, do your own homework. The fact is, when you are done, you may find we don't know all the answers yet. H'owever saying "oh god did it", is the biggest cop-out of all time. Saying "we don't know everything yet", is far more honest. Demanding an answer, when there isn't one, is acting like a two year old.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • ScottCA

      There remains no evidence to support the hypothesis that there is a god.
      Thus the null hypothesis remains the most logical postion to hold.

      There is no need to envoke the existance of any god to explain anything.

      Envoking the existance of a god, answers nothing, it only pushes the question up one level and epands the simple question of how the universe was created into a complicated series of questions. How was god created? How did god create the universe? How does god control the universe when it appears to function and evolve perfectly fine on its own by the laws of physics, how does god make immaterial souls interacts with the material world?

      Occam's Razor states that the simplest answer is most likely the correct answer. In this case the simplest answer is that there is no god.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      No.

      Next.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  9. erasmus

    Godfrreenow, really! Your going to quote from the Bible,and on top of that, one verse only? Your not an an atheist at all, your a false Christian, you must be, for thats their modus operandi, misqoute one verse of the Bible, then persecute!

    And to think, all I'm asking is, CAN ATHEIST DEFINE "GOOD"!? WITHOUT SAYING "I THINK", or " HE/ SHE SAYS"?

    August 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      you are all over the place. Like a nitty christard, or someone scared to face the truth that your religion is founded on lies. I have built sandcastles sturdier than your religion.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Really erasmus,

      how can a concept like 'good' or 'bad' be material without thought? By definition, concepts exist only as thought.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Good:
      The state of the world when religious ash-hats finally realize that a 2000 year old work of fiction is just that, a work of fiction.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Jai

      Good or bad is in the eye of the beholder. In nature there is no good, bad or evil. It is a concept humans came up with, and cannot be defined.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • mandarax

      I think non-believers tend to say "I think..." or "To me..." because they are honest and self-aware enough to realize that their definitions are subjective opinions. They are not quite arrogant enough to assume their personal understanding is precisely in line with the omniscience of the most powerful being in the universe. You can only get that level of self-importance from believers.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Erasmus, I was merely showing you the short-sightedness of your comment about teaching your children about stealing. Even though I teach my child that fighting is not good, I still qualify it by saying "unless someone is trying to hurt you." This is pretty basic human understanding that you seemed to fail to grasp. The other posts which did answer your question were also trying to educate you on the danger of over simplifying good and bad and that they are in fact subjective factors. We do have a social contract though where most humans agree about what is bad for survival versus that which is bad for survival. I say "most" because even the bible condones slavery and murder of women and children if god commands it. Such a moral standard we should find appalling by today's standards, yet millions of christians explain this away and justify this kind of behavior.

      As to being a false christian, I don't pretend to be a christian, so I'm not sure that really makes sense. However, I am a former christian, I grew up in a christian home and spend 13 years in a christian school. At one point, I was a believer. However, when i became a man, I put away childish things. At some point, you must choose to be willfully ignorant or evolve your consciousness to see the light of reality. Nobody will force you, but we will welcome you with loving arms when you finally free yourself.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • ScottCA

      Morality was not created by religion. Morals come from a form of logic called Moral calculus, involving if then clauses.

      The golden rule existed long before the bible and was written by the greek philosopher Pittacus (c. 640–568 BCE)

      The human mind has evolved an innate moral sense and empathy, that has enabled us as mamals to cooperate with eachother, thus giving us an evolutionary advantage. Our concept of good and evil is an extention of this evolved moral sense of right and wrong.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Cq

      Wasn't it a "HE/SHE" who originally gave the Christian definition of "good" recorded in the Bible? Everyone gets their sense of what is good from human opinion, as far as we can say for sure.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Gabriel Malakh

      @GodFreeNow

      I did, there all based on theory! All stuck on stupid with all their foolish reasonings so they can continue to collect grant money from the government to fund their empty researches. Interesting how many of your scientist are starting to come to their senses and admitting that intelligent design played a role in our existence.

      But let me share just a few scientific facts with you, based on observation.

      Genesis 1:3-5,14-19
      3 And God proceeded to say: “Let light come to be.” Then there came to be light. 4 After that God saw that the light was good, and God brought about a division between the light and the darkness. 5 And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a first day.
      14 And God went on to say: “Let luminaries come to be in the expanse of the heavens to make a division between the day and the night; and they must serve as signs and for seasons and for days and years. 15 And they must serve as luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth.” And it came to be so. 16 And God proceeded to make the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for dominating the day and the lesser luminary for dominating the night, and also the stars. 17 Thus God put them in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth, 18 and to dominate by day and by night and to make a division between the light and the darkness. Then God saw that [it was] good. 19 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fourth day.

      As you've been observing all your life, using these "LUMINARIES", that are perfectly in place, with pinpoint accuracy, to calculate your daily activities, you mean to tell me, that it was all an accident? I know you're more intelligent than that.

      Another scientific observation:

      Genesis 1:20-25
      20 And God went on to say: “Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens.” 21 And God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul that moves about, which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters in the sea basins, and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fifth day.

      24 And God went on to say: “Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind.” And it came to be so. 25 And God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good.

      I ask you again, observing life for as long as you've been on earth my brother, are these not the facts? Dog's give birth to dogs, elephants give birth to elephants, whales give birth to a whales, and so on and so on. Scientific facts, intelligent design!

      And believe me, you don't even want to go into discussing DNA. Our DNA, is the most powerful "Super computer" in the universe. That's if you understand how the DNA functions.

      You see brother, many scientists are trying to get glory for themselves, that's why they do everything they can to say that God does not exist, and come up with all sort of foolish theories so they can take the credit for discovering what God has set in place. Unfortunately for them, they've been failing miserably.

      Ecclesiastes 3:10,11
      10 I have seen the occupation that God has given to the sons of mankind in which to be occupied. 11 Everything he has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart, that mankind may never find out the work that the [true] God has made from the start to the finish.

      Another interesting point! The same way those dummies back then, so called "educated scientist" thought the world was flat, while all along, God explained the earth is sphere, hanging upon nothing.

      Job 26:10
      10 He has described a circle upon the face of the waters,
      To where light ends in darkness.

      Isaiah 44:22
      22 There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell,

      Interesting point brought out in that verse, "Stretching out the heavens." How could they have known, without the use of the technology we have today, to not only know that the earth is hanging upon nothing, by means of gravity, but to know just as astronomers confess, that the universe is expanding/stretching?

      Only the creator, Jehovah God, can explain it to man using his word the Bible.

      If you truly want to know the truth, remove the bias you have in your heart for the Bible, and examine it for yourself, just as a genuine scientist would, who is truly looking and searching, not for his own glory, but for true wisdom and knowledge.

      Proverbs 1:7
      7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge. Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised.

      Proverbs 9:10-12
      10 The fear of Jehovah is the start of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Most Holy One is what understanding is. 11 For by me your days will become many, and to you years of life will be added. 12 If you have become wise, you have become wise in your own behalf; and if you have ridiculed, you will bear [it], just you alone.

      John 17:3
      3 This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • Info

      Gabriel,

      This is what the Bible says the Earth looks like:

      http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/images/genesisearth.jpg

      Read the link in reply to Justin Gant's post - if you really want to know accurate information. Doubtful that you will. ** sigh**

      And yes, we have read your Bible... for many years.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:34 am |
    • WASP

      @eras: ok let me take a crack at it; let's see...................i don't want to die to i don't kill = good
      i don't want my things stolen, so i don't take other peoples things = good
      i want help when i'm in trouble so i help those that need help = good
      i want my children to respect me, thus i respect them = good

      see how easy it is to calmly answer your simple question.
      if you don't want it done to you..................DON'T DO IT TO OTHERS. life is so simple religious folks amaze me, by how complicated they make it.

      August 3, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "I did, there all based on theory! All stuck on stupid with all their foolish reasonings so they can continue to collect grant money from the government to fund their empty researches. Interesting how many of your scientist are starting to come to their senses and admitting that intelligent design played a role in our existence."

      It's impressive, really, how every single phrase in this paragraph is misinformed or dishonest. Absolutely incorrect in every way (including grammar!).

      August 3, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  10. Atheist

    Love the Christian, hate the Religion.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      This one I like.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • jungleboo

      I'm late to the party again, but that's a humdinger!!

      August 3, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  11. Karl Kognition

    I dislike the use of the phrasing along the lines of, "The Internet is the atheists' church." This is incorrect in its implication that atheism is like a philosophy/religion. It has nothing but a disbelief to a claim of the existence of a concept due to much lacking evidence. Yes, there can be communities that are atheistic from their majority, but they worship nothing and hold no dogma. They would say that claims must be evidenced for belief in that claim to be warranted. With good evidence comes good certainty. With bad evidence comes bad certainty. A claim with better certainty will be held over others with less because that claim often produces good predictive models of reality.

    Another thing to clear up: atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive terms. There can be gnostic theism: belief to the claim of certain knowledge that a deity or deities exist; agnostic theism: belief without certainty of a deity or deities; gnostic atheism: belief in the claim with certainty there is no deity or are no deities; and agnostic atheism: disbelief in any deity or deities due to the inability to the inability to know with enough certainty through with the lack of evidence the existence of a deity or deities.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I agree with your premise that atheism is not a religion.

      Nevertheless, the thoughts expressed by atheists here are nonetheless philosophical in nature. Call it irreligion if you like, but at a certain point it becomes indistinguishable from religion. That is the point made here.

      If you subst.tuted the words 'meeting-place' for 'church', would you have the same objection?

      Einstein said:
      The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.

      Looking at many posts here, Einstein is quite evidently accurate in this statement.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Karl Kognition

      To add, saying you are agnostic tells one nothing of one's knowledge claim; it only says one cannot know. The question is, do you or do you not belief in a deity or deities? If yes, you are a theist, whic means you know. If not, you are an atheist, which, means you do not know. Answering, I don't know, means you disbelieve.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Karl,

      I'm not sure if you're asking me or the world in general, but I am happy with my answer.

      I simply don't believe in God. So by definition, I am an atheist, but that's only important to me, it shouldn't matter to anyone else.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The problem with the use of the word "belief" in the English language is that it means more than one thing.
      If someone says to me, "Is your puppy, Lorenzo, outside ?". If I just let him out, and am relatively certain he really is outside,
      most likely in the barns, playing with his foal buddy, then I (could) say, "I believe so". That means I have relative certainty he actually not in the house. It's a rational, evidence based statement.

      When a person of faith says, "I believe in god(s)", it's a completely different use of the word. They are NOT, in any way the same thing. In the world of faith, theologians say that reason can lead to faith, but never to certainty, or it's not "faith". If it were certainty, no faith is needed, AND it's no longer a "belief" system. In a belief system, such a Christianity, faith is a (capritiously), granted "gift" of the spirit, (which they call a "virtue"). This sort of "belief requoiresat some point one to abandon reason and make the "leap", (of faith). The only questions remaining, are, a.) where do you choose to abandnon reason, b.) why does one do the, (what is the motivation for) "leap".

      It's the careless use of language that has all the undies in a bunch, here, (as well as a complete lack of knowledge of what religion actually says).

      August 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Karl Kognition

      I hope you realise you have just used two terms, faith and belief, and have shown the definitions have not change. Religious people have faith their belief is true. It is still using the same meaning of belief; a belief that requires evidence. Having faith in a belief is taking the claim as truth before the evidence shows this. They still use an evidence based system as they have faith their belief will be evidenced to themselves after they die.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • albie

      you nailed it - i was going to write something similar

      August 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Exactly Karl. They USE it the same way, but their OWN (theological) system actually tells them, it's not the same, and cannot be used the same way. The trouble is, most believers really know nothing about their own faith systems. When you pin a theologian against the wall, (such as WLC), they admit, it's not about "evidence", but about a spirit-given whatcha-ma-callit...whatever that is.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Woops that was me, I forgot to sign in to my new name.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Cq

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      OK, we meet on the internet to discuss what we believe, but how many people meet at a church to discuss their beliefs? From my experience as a once regular church-goer, you're mostly told what to believe. Same goes for Bible-study. I've been to a few of those too and, while there was "discussion", the point was to get the acceptable interpretation of the verses being studied. Most were happy being told what to believe. That's definitely not my experience since becoming an atheist.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Cq, Well said. I would add that to gain respect in a religious insti.tution, you need only excel at one subject, which is theology. However, the most respected in atheism are those who excel at not only theology, but the also sciences, history and other religions and philosophies.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Karl Kognition

      Hi -Karl...

      You Said: " Having faith in a belief is taking the claim as truth (before) the evidence shows this. They still use an evidence based system as they have faith their belief will be *evidenced* to themselves *after* they die. "

      If I may join in here with the conversation you have going with my friend, @Bucky Ball...

      The point that I would add is... that having *faith* that your *belief* will be *evidenced* by Christians as *true* (after)... they *die*

      just doesn't *mean* or = *Fact* yes, ?

      Yes... It is certainly *possible* that Christians views of the after life are 'true' but, there is no way to *absolutely KNOW* this before you 'die.'

      When it comes to words like 'faith', 'beliefs' etc... when it comes to religion, especially concerning after bodily death, it is impossible to know, IMO.

      Good discussion !

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 3, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Gabriel Malakh

      @Info

      So this is your finale response for a person who has read the Bible for many years? And studied under the feet of educated men! No wonder you are without words. God informed us of people like yourself.

      1 Corinthians 3:18,19
      18 Let no one be seducing himself: If anyone among YOU thinks he is wise in this system of things, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written: “He catches the wise in their own cunning.” 20 And again: “Jehovah knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.”

      But Jesus did make an important point:

      John 6:44
      44 No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him;

      August 3, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Cq

      GodFreeNow
      I'm not sure that they excel in those fields, but they certainly appear to have more knowledge of them than their believer counterparts in the ongoing debate here. Many believers think they know everything they need to know about science, their own religion and everyone else's, but they usually get all of their information from Christian sources. Why they would assume to be getting an accurate interpretation of things from a source that firmly places itself as an opponent to them is beyond me. It's as if these Christians have never heard of the term "Propaganda" before.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  12. a12yearold

    that's weird, i thought people could meet and talk in any building they wanted to, even if it wasn't a church, and even if they thought their Daddy was a no good son-of-a-you-know-what for having lied about the existence of you-know-who, and what he did with the you-know-the-other-who. that's weird.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  13. lou

    I have two sons and both will about the bible .....when i teach them mythology

    August 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @lou

      What ?

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • lou

      will learn about the Bible,Koran,and any of the other religious texts....all under the scope of mythology.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @lou

      Thanks for the clarification.

      Peace...

      August 3, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  14. Doug

    I do not believe in Atheism so there for it must not exist. There is no proof to what they do not believe in so there for what they do not believe in does not exist so Atheism does not exist.

    At least as Christians we have the Bible the word of GOD and its word is truth.
    The Bible has called out many thing that has come true like Israel would become a nation again and it has.
    The New World Order (one world government) and the upcoming digital currency (mark of the beast) where we will forced to take the microchip or be put to death. Its not far off now.
    So many scoffers marching around saying "will never happen".
    Silly unbelieving people. When you do this happen remember the BIBLE told you so. It will tell you what to expect next as well. As things move along they will get much worse.
    Many people only cry out to God most times seconds before they die. Its something I guess, but why not start today.
    Get a Bible and read it cover to cover with a open heart. Its not going to hurt you at all. Get the one with the built in study guide so it explains everything you are reading.

    JESUS LOVES YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

    August 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The existence of a thing does not depend on whether or not anybody believes in it. So, your first statement is just stupid. As to your personal certainty, there's plenty of Muslims or Hindus who are just as convinced that their religion is right and yours is wrong. What if you had been born and raised in the MIddle East and indoctrinated with Islam? Do you know why there is only ONE math and ONE chemistry and so on, but many different religions? Because in ideas that have real-world meaning, we can determine which is true and which is false. It's either a sound mathematical concept or it's not. We can't do that with religions because there's no way to determine who is right and who is wrong. That's why a Muslim terrorist and a Christian snake handler will use the same math and chemistry.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Doug

      Hi -Doug...

      " Silly unbelieving people. When you do this happen remember the BIBLE told you so. It will tell you what to expect next as well. As things move along they will get much worse. "

      I'd love to hear some more of your specific prognostication's according to the Bible.

      I'm listening.

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Cq

      Doug
      People have believed in thousands of gods throughout history and prehistory. People have also stopped believing in 99.99% of those gods, and they did it without having to "prove" that those gods were never real. People just realized that there really wasn't any factual basis to believe that they were real, and many of us have also realized this about God. We're just not convinced by the available evidence, or the apologetics that lamely trys to argue that it's better to believe than not to. If changing our opinion matters to you, then it's up to you to bolster the case for God, not us. 🙂

      August 3, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  15. the voice of reason

    Since the term "retard" is no longer in use by most, maybe we can change that to "Christianchallenged"?

    August 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Calling yourself 'the voice of reason'?

      It has been my observation that the very ones here who claim reason, intelligence, knowledge, rationality and all kinds of smarts, are the ones displaying most degrading characters! It is obvious that they are missing something!
      So it must be the envy and malice that wells up in them so that they call The Others belittling names! Go, figure!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Generalize much, PRISM 1234, or is this merely a display of passive/agressive tendencies?

      Have a nice evening.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      No, actually I'm very straight- to- the- point!

      August 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Lisa

      @the voice of reason

      Don't you mean "reality-challenged"?

      August 3, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Lisa

      @PRISM 1234
      I find the people who tell others that they deserve hell pretty degrading. Compared to calling people obnoxious names, wishing people slow, eternal torture is the sign of a really sick mind.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • BG

      Well then, Lisa. I bet you don't approve of @the voice of reason trying to equivocate Christianity to mental retardation.

      Do you?

      August 3, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Lisa

      @BG
      Well, I use to be a believing Christian and I don't think my intelligence has changed since I stopped being one. I did educate myself in Church history, other religions and in science, which probably is responsible for my turning, but, no, I don't appreciate the "retard" crack.

      August 3, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  16. Aaron

    Firefly,

    I don't think I'm a science oriented person, I know I'm one. Learning so much about science and how much we don't know about it fascinated me. It made me want to dig deeper and ask questions... most of which we can't answer. That's all I was saying... we know how to formulate certain medications, but don't know why certain drugs have certain effects on the body. Studying pharmacology I saw that when I searched for the "mechanism of action" of a certain drug... it says, for example, hydrocodone is an opioid pain reliever, yet the exact way it works is unknown. It was just discovered with trials and trials of drug research accidentally.... Being in the pharmacy field just opens my eyes to other things. Science can never disprove God... no one can. I'm can't prove God exists through facts, but I believe in God.. what you believe is your own decision.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Cq

      Aaron
      Science may never be able to answer some things, but isn't it better to admit that we don't know the right answer than just accepting the most popular one floating around at the time?

      Depending on where you lived, a few thousand years ago someone just like you would have been arguing for the belief in Zeus, Ra, or some other god based on our inability to disprove they existed, and they would have believed that these gods existed just as strongly as you believe God exists.

      Actually, we still can't "prove" that any of these other gods don't exist either, but that didn't stop people from not believing in them any more. People like yourself, most likely. So, if you can bring yourself not to believe in other gods without any proof that they absolutely don't exist then why is it so difficult to understand how others can do the same for your God?

      August 3, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Another baseless claim.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • TR6

      Doesn’t seem to have done anything for the Aurora victims

      August 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jai

      Atheism is the default for kids, it's religion that teaches them not to question everything that is harmful.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  18. GodsPeople

    It's actually very simple. God absolutely was there in Aurora. So was the Devil. The Devil took their lives, but God took their souls and gathered them unto Him. The only time the Devil wins is when people choose against God, and when they do, they risk being banned from the Heavenly Kingdom. The Devil did not win in Aurora.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I will ask you what I've asked people before, What differentiates your claim you just made from someone making the claim that aliens influenced this man to kill those people and it was because of another race of good aliens that only 12 died instead of 50? Without evidence, your claims have equal weight.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Chad

      Evidence for the God of Abraham:
      1. The origin of the universe
      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
      3. The origin of life on earth
      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.

      remembering that: "I dont know" for the first 4, and "Jesus never existed" for #5, is not a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "refuting" any of the above.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There is no proof that God exists. There is no proof that it doesn't.

      People choose to believe or not believe. That is their prerogative.

      There is no monopoly on truth.

      What we can agree on is that humans have developed the concept of morality. We have created the concept of right and wrong.

      No one knows what happens when you die, so ...
      – Live well.
      – Be generous.
      – Be throughful.
      – Be remembered well.
      – Leave a legacy.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, don't be stupid. Of course "I don't know" is a valid answer. Why does gravity work how it does? Nobody knows. There is no answer, other than "I don't know." And just because you have something you're claiming is an answer, doesn't mean that it is.

      Your statements 1-4 don't say anything at all about any god in particular, though you could suggest a "first cause" or "deist" type of god if it helps you. But that a s sumption doesn't do anything useful for anybody, so it's just a "feel good" answer for one's own personal preference.

      Statement 5 is not proved and there's no reason to think it actually occurred. When we can't prove it, the logical response is skepticism and disbelief.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Moby Schtick –

      Same old hackneyed Chad-nonsense. Why bother?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • the voice of reason

      #4 is easy to explain, if the conditions that something lives in do not change, so nothing HAS to change. Conversely, like hitting roaches with bug spray doesn't kill all of them. And no, they don't change overnight into other kinds of bugs. There are also a number of dramatic changes in the past. I would recommend Richard Dawkins "The Ancestor's Tale". Very informative. Ya can't fight DNA.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, As you know, all of those have been answered by myself and other people in another post. Time to study up and get some new material. As I said, even people who believe that aliens are influencing them or life make similar claims. Those who believe aliens influenced life on this planet have very similar claims about evolution and the universe as you (with the exception of the Jesus stuff)

      August 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jen

      Exactly. Why can't we answer 'i don't know'? There was a time that the existence of lightning was thought to be evidence of god, until the real cause of how it occurs was discovered. If we still hadn't discovered the cause, people could still say now, 'this is evidence of god'. But it's not. You seem to think everything should be solved by now. So what causes autism??? Come on....it's 2012... You should know this. Oh wait...I know....autism is caused by God! Let's just fill in 'caused by god' for everything we do not know. Makes life easy.

      I think we can all agree that the sheepherders from 2000 years ago were less educated than the average pre-schooler today. My three year old told me she saw a monster the other day. If you polled most three year olds most of them would confirm they have seen a monster. All those three year olds can't be wrong can they?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • @ I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      – Try to leave the world a little better for your having been in it

      August 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Jen –

      Well said.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "Evidence for the God of Abraham:
      1. The origin of the universe
      "
      How, exactly does the origin of the universe provide evidence for your god? And remember just saying "how could it be anything else" isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      You said, "2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life"
      How, exactly does the fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life provide evidence for your god? And remember just saying "how could it be anything else isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      As a bonus, how, exactly did you get to the statement that there is such a thing as fine tuning of the universe. And remember just saying "just look at how finely tuned it is, how could it be anything else" isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      You said, "3. The origin of life on earth"
      How, exactly does the origin of life on earth provide evidence for your god? And remember just saying "how could it be anything else" isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      You said, "4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record."
      How, exactly does Punctuated Equilibrium provide evidence for your god? And remember just saying "how could it be anything else" isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      As a bonus, how, exactly did you get to the statement that there is such a thing as Punctuated Equilibrium. And remember just saying "I have some obscure website that says so, so how could it be anything else" isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      You said, "5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth."
      How, exactly does the empty tomb, or stories of witnesses provide evidence for your god? And remember just saying "how could it be anything else" isn't a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "establishing" anything.

      Your claims establish exactly jack-shit. Unless you show direct evidence of your god, or conclusively establish how your god could be the only explanation for all these, all you have is a bullshit story, no better than that of the Tooth Fairy.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      – Try to leave the world a little better for your having been in it.

      Sure, I like that one a lot. Thanks!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @LinCa,

      I'm sure you know you are responding to Chad? He's probably pasted the same text multiple times already in this topic.

      He cannot see past the notion that because he believes in something everyone else should believe in it too.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Evidence against the god of Abraham :
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZY2eeozdo8

      August 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      1. God could not have "acted" BEFORE she created spacetime, as that is a meaningless statement.
      2. The universe is not fine tuned. To 80 decimal places, the existence of life in this universe, life will occur at "0" percent of the time.
      3.. Biochemists know fairly exactly how life began,. They can not create viruses, and have just last weak created a beating heart.
      4. Punctuated equilibrium is debunked :
      http://forknowledge.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/punctuated-equilibrium-the-cambrian-explosion-and-falsifying-evolution/
      See above. There can be be no "proof" for faith. (see above).
      5. The bombers who flew the planes into the Twin Towers had unshakable faith they were correct, as did the people who, in good faith, executed the Salem witches.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      should say "can now create viruses"

      August 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • LinCA

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      You said, "I'm sure you know you are responding to Chad? He's probably pasted the same text multiple times already in this topic."
      Thanks. I'm well aware of Chad, and yes, he's posted his garbage multiple times. It's the first time (that I've seen) that he's preempted some of the answers. I figured I'd turn that around on him.

      You said, "He cannot see past the notion that because he believes in something everyone else should believe in it too."
      So, that would make him a pretty typical, run-of-the-mill believer then.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @LinCa,

      yup. My experiences with Chad are that after tedious repet.tion of "what happened before the big bang?" and on changing the subject to the present one – being the inherently paradoxical notion of a 'loving God' – that eventually his response will be to tell you to read the bible whether you are familiar with it or not.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • mandarax

      With regard to Chad's ongoing obsessions, don't leave out Punctuated Equilibrium. That's one of his most favorite-est Jesus-provers. A famous evolutionary biologist argued that all evolution is not gradual, therefore Jesus.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • mandarax

      I went out of the country for six weeks and never looked in on this blog. I have returned to find that Chad is posting the same half-truths, the same tired dodges, and same cut-and-paste drivel as ever. Perhaps he is actually a bot created by some fundamentalist programmer.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Realbuckyball thanks for the video history lesson in regards to the evolution of the belief in yahweh as a monotheistic god. It really highlights the foolishness of the christian belief system and explains much in regards to the bible. Thanks for the historical knowledge.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Chad

      @LinCA “How, exactly does the origin of the universe provide evidence for your god? “
      @Chad “trigger must have come from something outside our universe, that’s reality.. deal with it 🙂 “

      ===========
      @LinCA “How, exactly does the fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life provide evidence for your god?”
      @Chad “again, you have a choice.. believe the watch you found just happened to get assembled in perfectly working order by a completely random collection of molecules, or look for the designer.”

      ========
      @LinCA “, exactly did you get to the statement that there is such a thing as fine tuning of the universe.”
      @Chad “if I remember correctly, we’ve done this before.. please try and do some reading this time.. it will help you not look so foolish..
      Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires"

      ==========
      @LinCA “How, exactly does the origin of life on earth provide evidence for your god?”
      @Chad “again, you have a choice.. believe the watch you found just happened to get assembled in perfectly working order by a completely random collection of molecules, or look for the designer.”

      ============
      @LinCA “How, exactly does Punctuated Equilibrium provide evidence for your god?
      @Chad “again, you have a choice.. believe the watch you found just happened to get assembled in perfectly working order by a completely random collection of molecules, or look for the designer.”

      ========
      @LinCA “exactly did you get to the statement that there is such a thing as Punctuated Equilibrium.
      @Chad “if I remember correctly, we’ve done this before.. please try and do some reading this time.. it will help you not look so foolish..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium
      http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/PUNCTUEQ.html
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/5/l_035_01.html
      and on, and on..

      wow.. a bit surprised, certainly not your best effort..

      do some reading!!

      August 3, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Sim34

      Chad
      Still copying-and-pasteing that exact same comment Chad? You're kinda turning into your side's version of "reality", except that your arguments get shot down every time.

      August 3, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Creationists always talk about finding a watch and seeking it's maker. I've never once found a watch, so why do fundamentalists keep stumbling across them all the time? Who leaves all these watches laying around, jeesh?

      New creationist argument: If there is no God, who keeps losing all these watches?

      August 3, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You are really grasping at straws, aren't you? Your entire argument boils down to, "because I choose to believe so".

      Why didn't you say that from the start? Why don't you just put on your big boy pants and say that. It's not like we don't already know it.

      You said, "trigger must have come from something outside our universe, that’s reality.. deal with it"
      Yet another unsupported assertion. "Something on the outside must have done it, so poof, my god did it".

      In other words, you have absolutely no connection to your imaginary friend, other than your own unsupported beliefs. Unless you assume it is your imaginary friend that kicked it off, there is no way to get there. Starting off with your assumptions of a designer, and that that designer is your imaginary friend, is circular and hence illogical.

      Simply asserting, as you do, that it must have been a creator, is an argument from ignorance.

      You said, "again, you have a choice.. believe the watch you found just happened to get assembled in perfectly working order by a completely random collection of molecules, or look for the designer."
      Again, there may, or may not have been a designer, but unless you start off by assuming there was one, you can't get there.

      You haven't established anything (other than, of course, that you have poor reasoning skills). You fail, miserably, at establishing how what we know means that there must be a designer, and even more how that designer must be your imaginary friend.

      Simply asserting, as you do, that it must have been a creator, is an argument from ignorance.

      You said, "if I remember correctly, we’ve done this before.. please try and do some reading this time.. it will help you not look so foolish.."
      You remembered that we did this before, but you seem to have forgotten that you didn't have a logical answer the last time. Unsurprising.

      You said, "Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires"
      That the universe has to be suitable, or "fine-tuned" to support life, is a big, fat duh. We wouldn't be around to know the difference otherwise. But you jump to a conclusion, because you wish "fine tuning" to imply that there was something doing the tuning. And a second unsupported assumption that the "tuning" was done by your imaginary friend.

      The fact that the universe is as it is, and that any of a multitude of aspects of it appear to be "just right" or "finely tuned" for life doesn't in any way mean that it was intentionally set that way. The fact that it is as it is doesn't imply intent, and doesn't in any way establish a creator.

      Simply asserting, as you do, that it must have been a creator, is an argument from ignorance.

      You said, "again, you have a choice.. believe the watch you found just happened to get assembled in perfectly working order by a completely random collection of molecules, or look for the designer."
      Again, there may, or may not have been a designer, but unless you start off by assuming there was one, you can't get there.

      You haven't established anything (other than, again, that you have poor reasoning skills). You fail, miserably, at establishing how what we know means that there must be a designer, and even more how that designer must be your imaginary friend.

      Simply asserting, as you do, that it must have been a creator, is an argument from ignorance.

      You said, "again, you have a choice.. believe the watch you found just happened to get assembled in perfectly working order by a completely random collection of molecules, or look for the designer."
      I realize that you believe that means there must have been a creator, but you have established nothing (other than you tendency to use arguments from ignorance).

      Again, simply asserting, as you do, that it must have been a creator, is an argument from ignorance.

      You said, "if I remember correctly, we’ve done this before.. please try and do some reading this time.. it will help you not look so foolish.."
      You may want to take a critical look in a mirror. So far, all you have established is ignorance. Yours.

      You said, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium
      http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/PUNCTUEQ.html
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/5/l_035_01.html
      "
      Of course, none of these sources establish a link between observed phenomena and a creator. Even less your particular one. Fluctuation in the rate of change doesn't establish that there was a creator.

      Again, simply asserting, as you do, that it must have been a creator, is an argument from ignorance.

      You said, "do some reading!!"
      May I suggest you take your own advice? But please, this time do it for comprehension.

      August 3, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Cq

      Rufus T. Firefly
      I've never found a watch before either, but I've also never heard of any watches breeding new generations like the creationist analogy tries to make a connection to. People made the original watch, and they make all new watches. This isn't how living organisms replicate, so it's a silly argument for them to make.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Chad

      You have two arguments:

      1. @LinCA "You said, "trigger must have come from something outside our universe, that’s reality.. deal with it"
      Yet another unsupported assertion. "Something on the outside must have done it, so poof, my god did it"."

      you can either find something ELSE outside our universe that triggered it,
      or buy into the whole "the entire universe arose from nothing, triggered by nothing.. it just poofed into existence,
      or accept that the God of Abraham did it, as described in the bible.

      =====
      2.@Chad "Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
      @LinCA “How exactly did you get to the statement that there is such a thing as Punctuated Equilibrium.
      @Chad “if I remember correctly, we’ve done this before.. please try and do some reading this time.. it will help you not look so foolish..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium
      http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/PUNCTUEQ.html
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/5/l_035_01.html

      @LinCA "Of course, none of these sources establish a link between observed phenomena and a creator. Even less your particular one. Fluctuation in the rate of change doesn't establish that there was a creator."
      @Chad "?? You said PE didnt exist, I showed it did, you then said "well... that doesnt mean God did it" 😉

      lol

      PE is a fact

      August 4, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      @Chad: Nobody knows the origin of the universe, and the fossil record indicates that evolutionary change occurred at a variable rate...therefore....JESUS IS LORD!!! SEE I PROVED IT!!! HA HA YOU LOOK SO FOOLISH!!!

      August 4, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      Let me see if I can dumb it down for you. Your basic argument goes something like this:
      "I don't know why the sun comes up in the morning AND I believe in a god THEREFOR my god must be responsible that."

      This asserts some god without establishing in any way how this god did what it is alleged to do. It doesn't in any way establish whether it did anything at all, or even less that there is such a god. It's the basic ignorant theist "argument". But, once science showed how the motion of the planets around their axis and around the sun provides a far more reasonable explanation, the "god makes the sun rise" fell out of fashion.

      The exact same argument was/is used to "prove" some god did it, whatever "it" is, for everything humans couldn't/can't explain.

      The "argument" only works for people that have a limited knowledge AND have a tendency to believe in gods. It falls flat for anyone who has the ability and the willingness to use rational thought and logic. The "argument" relies on ignorance.

      The same "argument" is used to "prove" creationism, or "intelligent design". It relies on the ignorance of the audience of basic scientific principles for acceptance. The main proponents of ID are probably smart enough that their "theory" doesn't hold water (they may repress those thoughts) but they rely on the ignorance of the general public to get sufficient traction for their "theory". Their ulterior motive is to gain acceptance for their religion, not their "science". They subvert and abuse the democratic process to push their religious agenda.

      The "argument", when taken to extreme, relies on science not (yet) having provided an answer. And while science may not (yet) disprove the "argument", there is no reason to believe it is true. There is no rational case to be made in support of it.

      For the "argument" to have merit, you (the theists) have to make that case. You have to provide a plausible explanation of your god, and how caused the phenomenon you claim it caused.

      I understand and accept that you are not able to shed you delusion, but it doesn't provide any support for your "argument".

      August 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  19. Just call me Lucifer

    Ah yes... the perpetual arguement with idiots. There is a god because the bible says so. Religion is proof that humans are doomed as a species... and the sooner the better.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • James

      Ah, they actually believe that we're doomed, and actually are hoping that we go extinct sooner than later. Sick, eh?

      August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  20. erasmus

    Dear firefly, per your reasoning, if I have a child and say please don't steal because it is not good, and the child says well dad its good for me, I must leave him alone by your reasoning, because its subjective right? Well, good luck with that reasoning in front of a judge, not even an "atheist" judge will stoop that low! I mean, judge says why did you steal, and the unbeliever screams out, because it felt good to me! , oh well in that case your free to go!! Wow! You could of atleast quoted Webster's, imean "atheist" do read dictionarys! I take that back, dictionarys are too black and white!

    August 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      you are still on here spewing your idiocy? Amazing. Don't you have bible study to attend?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      "Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;" -Proverbs 6:30

      Even the writers of the bible could understand this thousands of years ago. You should be embarrassed that you do not.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Jen

      So if your child asked a person with an abundance of food to give a piece of bread to a starving child, and that person said no, then your child would be bad if he or she stole the bread to give to that child correct? After all, stealing is stealing. It's black and white isn't it? That child is bad as you can not apply subjectivity to the situation.

      Ummm...if you want to make a plural, please add 'ies' and drop the y. It's dictionaries, not dictionarys...

      August 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Salero21's god

      Erasmus is not the brightest christbulb on the tree.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
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About this blog

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