home
RSS
My Take: With Olympics, we yearn to be like gods
August 11th, 2012
11:00 PM ET

My Take: With Olympics, we yearn to be like gods

Editor's Note: Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt.

By Joseph Loconte, Special to CNN

(CNN) The ancient Greeks, especially the frugal Spartans, would probably balk at the commercialism that saturates our modern Olympic Games. And it’s doubtful that either badminton or beach volleyball would satisfy their appetite for blood-and-guts competition.

Yet we share something with the Greeks every time we assemble for this great athletic contest: a desire to transcend the politics of the moment and reach beyond the ordinary limits of human achievement. That desire has been on full display during the London Summer Games.

Begun in 776 BC, the Olympic Games soon became so important to Greek life that conflicts between participating Greek city-states, which were constantly squabbling with one another, would be suspended until after the games. The great historian Thucydides described one such scene in his classic history of the Peloponnesian War.

“The whole gathering at the festival was terrified that the Spartans might arrive under arms…and it was thought that there would be a crisis,” he wrote. “The Spartans, though, fell quiet and let the festival pass without incident.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

So, too, today, as nations put aside their political differences to compete in London. Why? And what makes us interrupt our daily routines to join this provocative world of triumph and tragedy?

Surely it’s not merely to see records shattered, which happened plenty this year, including Michael Phelps’ record for the most number of medals won by a single athlete.

The competitors who capture our hearts are those who achieve greatness because of their sacrifice, humility, and what the Greeks called arête, or heroic courage. No Greek Olympian achieved honor either by shrinking from adversity or by feeding his personal vanity. Then and now, glory seems the proper reward for the Olympian who embodies the classical virtues.

Think of the triumph of American sprinter Jesse Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Nazi Germany, deep in the grip of racist ideology, directed its hatreds not only at Jews, but at all non-Aryans. Imagine the shock to Nazi Party elites when a black American, the son of a sharecropper and grandson of slaves, stared down fascist propaganda, bested his rivals and took home four gold medals.

Hitler was furious, but tens of thousands of ordinary Germans at the stadium that day cheered him on.

Although just a boy at the time, I remember how a 17-year-old Russian gymnast named Olga Korbut captured the world’s affections at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Cold War tensions were simmering, but the “sparrow from Minsk” enthralled the West not only with raw talent, but with charisma, innocence and contagious joy.

Olga Korbut almost singlehandedly shattered the Western stereotype of the Soviets as stoic, unfeeling automatons.

Or think of Manteo Mitchell, the American sprinter in London last week who said he was just “doing my job” when he completed a 400-meter relay knowing he had broken his leg long before the finish line. He couldn’t bear the thought of letting his teammates down; he soldiered on. “The only way he would have stopped,” said Coach Danny Williamson, “is if the leg had fallen off.”

This is why the Olympic Games retain such a powerful hold on our moral imagination: We get to see what human nature is capable of in its nobler moments. We witness something so remarkable that it shakes us loose from our preoccupations and prejudices.

Such moments reveal what Christian writer C.S. Lewis called “our inconsolable secret,” our universal longing to bridge a gulf between our ordinary lives and this extraordinary life set before us.

What is this longing, this nostalgia for a world that exists outside of our actual experience?

Recall that the original Olympics were awash in religious imagery. The games were dedicated to Zeus, the chief of the Greek gods. Priests were on hand at every event, offering sacrifices and benedictions. Victory wreaths were made from olive trees, considered sacred.

In the minds of the Greeks, the heights of human achievement were somehow linked to the divine: when athletes won glory, they stood in the presence of the gods.

It is easy for us, as sophisticated and secular people, to dismiss this thinking as the childish projections of a superstitious age. But perhaps the Greeks were onto something.

Perhaps, in all their striving, they revealed a stubborn truth about the human predicament. For there seems to be something common to societies and civilizations everywhere, lodged in our DNA, that reaches anxiously for another world: a community defined by strength, courage, justice, and love.

As Plato described it in The Republic: “The city we have founded, if we have built rightly, will be good in the fullest sense of the word.”

The Olympic Games help awaken in us the desire for this city, what Christian thinkers such as Augustine called “the city of God.” In the Christian story, the tragedy of the human condition is that each of us is forced to live outside of this celestial home.

We are cut off from the grace and beauty and love of God. We may view his city from afar, but we cannot enter. We may think we belong there, but we are treated as strangers.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

This sense of alienation and longing is hinted at in other religious traditions: in Buddhism’s attempt to escape the cycle of suffering, for example, or in Islam’s description of paradise, where the righteous “shall have all that they desire.” Each admits that something has gone terribly wrong in our world.

In the Christian hope, man’s tragic plight is overcome by God himself. We are given a promise that God would take on human frailty and make a way back to his sacred city. “I will bring them back to this land,” God announced through the prophet Jeremiah. “They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”

Is it possible that every time we rise to applaud our Olympic champions, we anticipate this final homecoming?

If so, then Olympic glory is a faint picture of divine glory: to be welcomed back into the heart of God, accepted, approved, honored and blessed.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joseph Loconte.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: God • Opinion • Sports

soundoff (606 Responses)
  1. Matt

    lets face it – non of the athletes deserve their medals – somewhere along the way a coach made the difference. Someone built a really good training facility. Someone provided uniforms. If you are an athlete that won a medal at these olympic games, you didnt earn that medal – someone else did. Thats why when you get back to the US I am putting into law that you must hand your medal to another citizen for them to wear for a day. No one deserves to keep these medals – I like to spread the medals around. Just becausee these athletes won the medals, all US Citizens should get their fair share of the pride. Its the right thing to do.

    Barry

    August 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • chris

      you were never any good at sports were you

      August 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • disgustedvet

      You are 100 % correct.It's the "liberal " thing to do. Heh,heh,heh.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Goksu Uctas had her home in Turkey destroyed by an earthquake when she was nine. Even though she lived in a tent in a refugee camp for a year, she continued training in her sport, without facilities, without sponsorship, without uniforms. This year, at age 22, Goksu Uctas became the first gymnast from her country to qualify for the Olympics. She may not have won a medal, but qualifying was as good as a medal for her. I think she has earned every ounce of glory she derives from this.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  2. cole

    that was smart of Romney to grab this Ryan fellow as a VP, people are so stupid that one thing there minds can handle is a pretty face. look how that god awful Sara Palin really wooed so many people, because " i like her she's pretty!" already there are waves of letters from folks coming in , just stupid.

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

      Stupid and disgusting. It clearly illustrates the mentality of the US population. All marketing, they fall for the gimmick.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  3. disgustedvet

    There was NOTHINGNESS. Then SOMETHING went " BANG " and the NOTHINGNESS became EVERYTHING . You can believe in that because it is "scientific " . Scientists are people just like those who believe . But "scientists " are smart and believers are not . And a few hundred years ago "scientists " thought the Earth FLAT.

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

      scientists are students of the biological, and believers are students of the spiritual. are not both necessary to come to logical conclusions? survival of the fittest does not dictate a fireman jumping into a burning buiilding..

      August 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Griswald Clan

      You are officially dumb.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So what you are saying is that because you don't understand (nor does it sound like you wish to understand), astrophysics must be a bunch of hooey and your god is real. Wow. Are you trying to say that your personal ignorance is proof of god?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you need to read the big bang theory a little closer. you obviously have only the most elementary understanding of it.

      who made god? you have trouble believing the universe was always here, in some form or another, but have no trouble believing yahweh was always here. see the flaw in your 'logic'?

      "And a few hundred years ago "scientists " thought the Earth FLAT."
      yep. but here's one of the most beautiful things about science - it can admit it was wrong. something religion can NEVER do, because god is 'perfect'. science simply says: from all the evidence gathered, this is how we think it works. now scientists know the earth is not flat. so they changed the definition. yet the bible says the earth is flat - how can that be? we know it's not, so we know the bible (and therefore god) was wrong. even when they knew it was wrong, no one changed it - the bible STILL says the earth is flat.

      see a difference between science and religion? there's many more. open your mind, leave the cult, think for yourself. read the introduction in any high school science book - congratulations, you just learned more useful information than if you had read the entire bible.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Lol, actually it was the church that thought the Earth was flat, and scientists that said otherwise were excommunicated or tortured and killed. The same church thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. It took Scientists to finally get them broken of these ancient beliefs.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • chris

      good thing true believers don't listen to any corrupt or false church

      August 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      all cult members think they are the "true believers". my god is real, but all those thousands of others aren't. LOL.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Mikey

      That's factually incorrect – scientists do not BELIEVE what you posted, nor has anyone ever presented that as a serious Theory.

      Firstly science isn't about belief, it's about observation and theory. Belief belongs properly in the realm of religion. If you "believe" in any scientific theorem, then you are sadly confused. That's not to say we can't have a great deal of confidence in the correctness of Theories, in fact we can. But that's different than BELIEF.

      Secondly, the Big Bang theory does not advocate that there was ever "NOTHINGNESS". Rather it advocates a singularity existing before the current space-time bubble exploded forth from it. That singularity had within it all of the energy in the universe. That's not nothingness, rather it's the very opposite. Only an idiot would believe in creation ex-nihlo, which is what you have put forth as scientific theory, which it is not; it's a fairy tale that even the most ardent faithful would not believe, because everybody knows you can't get something for nothing.

      There's no free lunch.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • disgustedvet

      Booga-Booga-Booga. What a bunch of suckers . You been TROLLED .

      August 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  4. chris

    SMH at atheists not appreciating the article because God is credited. the olympics shows the light of a magnificent city, even if for only a month. It is not about bowing down before God, it is about improving your life and those around you. the idea is not foreign to true believers of God, or to good minded atheists. so if there is a problem on either side, the religious or the atheist, the problem is apparently within yourself, and not because of this article.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "so if there is a problem on either side, the religious or the atheist, the problem is apparently within yourself, and not because of this article."

      you have a very narrow minded view.

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

      ^nobody believes that, not even you. re-word before i consider you

      August 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you think that if someone has a problem with this article, they actually just have a problem with themselves? you're ignorant, arrogant and narrow-minded.

      i have a problem with any article that supports a cult. christianity is a cult, like all religions. when a 'cult' is accepted by society, it becomes a 'religion'. when there are no more cult members to worship, a religion becomes a 'mythology'. cults are bad for you. they warp your thinking.

      for instance, the bible says to kill g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working on the weekend. the bible approves of slavery. the bible says a woman that is r.aped must marry her r.apist. the bible has unicorns, satyrs, dragons and c.ockatrice. there are talking snakes and talking donkeys in the bible.

      the journalist in this article quoted the bible, the same book that has all the above ridiculousness, but it's not up for criticism? wrong.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • chris

      you bore me with your generalizations. you're just mad because what I said is true, and you are jealous that a greater thought could come from "the other side" of the argument as you choose to see it.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  5. Jose San Antonio

    I wouldn't say, God like, but Olympics brings out the best athletes in all of us. It's achieving a goal against one another. It's about human mind and bod, not magic or witchcraft.

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

      And yet, human will is the most "magical" power of all. In a naturalist's world, all things are acted upon by other things. In other words, according to physics, things always take the path of least resistance. Yet, life does not, especially human life. We struggle and strive to live and thrive and improve ourselves and our situations. There is no logical explanation for this effort we have. We are agents that act, and not "acted upon." Seems pretty "magical" to me. 😉

      August 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • chris

      i agree with sam, the human spirit is nothing less than a magical force.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Lynaldea

      amen samstubbs. 🙂

      August 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • chris

      :):);)

      August 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, Jose. The Olympics are one of the great HUMAN experiences. There is nothing magical or supernatural about hard work and desire.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Kangaroo Court

    Is not all athesim predicated upon the notion that reason and ratrional thought are the sole conduits through which we can obtain knowledge in this World? I accept that they are very useful, but why the sole sources? Why are intuition and faith so quickly dismissed?

    August 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Observer

      “It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

      – Mark Twain

      August 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • samstubbs

      I have thought the same thing many times! Subjective experience, in my opinion, is equally relevant to my life as the external objective evidence readily observed by science. Well said!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I have no problem with intuition. However, before I put faith into something, I'd like to know that it exists and is worthy of faith.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Kangaroo Court

      Is not the human mind the most complex thing we know of in the entire Universe? If the human mind believes in god, and most do, does that suggest there might be something to it?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • samstubbs

      But if you "know something" it isn't faith...

      August 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Not really. Just as we have vestigial remains of our evolutionary past in our bodies, religion is the vestigial remains of a time when we were fairly ignorant about the natural phenomena that control our world.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • samstubbs

      @Kangaroo! I agree completely!! Since the very earliest evidence of mankind, there have been religious symbols and significance as well. (Burial mounds, symbolic pictures, etc.) Clearly spirituality is natural to human instinct.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "Why are intuition and faith so quickly dismissed?"

      they aren't dismissed quickly. they are dismissed after careful, rational thought. fairy tales aren't true. grow up.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, the natural instinct to have influence over the unknown. It doesn't prove the existence of anything supernatural. It just proves that humanity fears and will try to bargain with that it does not understand.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • samstubbs

      And yet, there's also no rational reason to believe that such things don't exist. There are a lot of things we cannot understand. Why are spiritual ideas less valid? How often do "coincidences" have to happen to no longer be logically considered "coincidence."

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

      Kangaroo Court and samstubbs, you both nailed it.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I get that you really, really want to believe in some supernatural force guiding the universe, Sam, but very few thing happen that don't have a logical explanation. And yes, coincidences do occur, but there is no reason to as.sign supernatural significance to them.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • samstubbs

      Well, Tallulah, that is your choice, and I certainly don't think of you as less of a person for this. But I could turn the statement back around.

      You are choosing to "not see" in the same way that I am choosing TO "see." Either way, there is no logical way to determine Divine providence or not, so I fall back on my intuition and feelings. And my intuition leans towards the existence of spiritual things.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sam, you could turn it around, but it would make no sense. There is evidence for what I believe. There is none for yours. I seek the truth, and truth cannot be found in a place where people believe in something simply because they want to.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • samstubbs

      You have evidence for the non-existence of God? Well, then let's hear it.

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

      (Also, that's a pretty big assumption to say that you are "seeking for the truth" and I am not. I simply accept my own subjective experience as evidence as well, and you do not. Just because my methods and ideas are different from yours, does not mean that yours are superior.)

      August 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • samstubbs

      Well in any case, it's been a rather invigorating discussion. I'm heading out for a bit, best wishes to all.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sam, humanity has worshiped literally thousands of gods throughout history. The majority of them have been discarded, as humanity learned the reasons behind the natural phenomena that they once feared and attributed to supernatural beings. I suspect that religion maintains it's foothold because that last fear, death, remains a mystery.

      There is no evidence to support the existence of any god, therefore there is no rational reason to believe in any god. If verifiable evidence surfaces to prove that indeed a god exists, I will believe. Until such time, I will continue to believe in things which are tangible and proven. If you have proof of god, provide it. The world has been waiting for thousands of years.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Kangaroo Court

      You said, "Why are intuition and faith so quickly dismissed?"
      Intuition is an "educated guess". Intuition is guided by perceived patterns (whether real or not). Intuition yields accurate information only if the pattern actually represents reality.

      When driving in traffic, my intuition is a pretty decent predictor of the behavior of other drivers. This is not because I'm gifted in mind reading, but simply because I interpret the (mostly unintended) signs the other drivers give. Subconscious analysis of the signs will yield fairly reliable predictions. My "intuition" is correct only because I uses patterns and prior knowledge to predict future events.

      If no prior knowledge is present, or perceived patterns are not representative of reality, intuition fails, miserably. Millions of people use their intuition to pick the numbers for the lottery. Even if intuition provided actual knowledge for only a few gifted people, they would clean up every time. If intuition yielded factual information, lotteries would not exist.

      August 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Answer

      Why do you interpret the letter "A" as "A"? And how do you see that letter?

      Patterns.. taught and re-taught til you recognize it. Til you say it properly. Til you can distinguish it from B.

      The letter A is not a complete form.. in your computer it is a subset of DOTS – painted on your monitor as it is REPRESENTED in binary for you fools to get the information. Learn something today and then quit being an idiot.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • samstubbs

      Actually I'm an Asian Studies major, with an emphasis in Religion and Philosophy. As for the "thousands of gods" that you mention, I think that they are merely the "thousands of interpretations" of interactions with the divine. One thing that constantly astounds me, is how SIMILAR many religious beliefs are, not the opposite. I have no problem acknowledging that our understanding of the Divine is limited, and many cultures have interpreted that connection differently, but I also believe that they are no less valid experiences.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Curious

      samstubbs – How does one interact with "the Divine". If we speak to it does it speak to us? Interaction requires action by both parties. Why isn't "the Divine" direct, plain, or strong in this regard?

      August 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  7. gary

    Olympics is tremendous waste of money. God is pretend.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • chris

      i see your ideology as pretend.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  8. Lynaldea

    The difference between believing in the tooth fairy, santa claus, or a pink unicorn, is that we do have have psychical evidence for it, other than our parents handing out present, money, or putting a cone on a horse. Point being? One reason why I believe in God is because the beauty and love I receive, albeit within my mind and flesh, cannot be portrayed otherwise by a man or woman, therefore, "it", exists. The evidence is there.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lynaldea

      * physical

      August 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lynaldea

      Mankind cannot see another man or woman create the beautiful universe, the stars, miracles, ect, happen, so therefore, it is not the same as humans to create santa claus, yet see our parents and family give us presents, or see the toothfairy put money under our pillows; God is within the things that the cannot physical see, but it is surely there.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I don't see any supernatural force influencing anything in this universe. There certainly isn't any proof of such a being. Therefore I chose not to believe. The world is no less beautiful and my joy is not reduced by that lack of belief.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Lynaldea

      " One reason why I believe in God is because the beauty and love I receive, albeit within my mind and flesh, cannot be portrayed otherwise by a man or woman, therefore, "it", exists. The evidence is there. "

      So, your physiological states of beauty and love that are so intense, you label as coming from God. That's cool.

      Your subjective experience of beauty and love, no matter how intense, or powerful it feels to you, doesn't necessarily = evidence or proof, however.

      But, I applaud you for attaining such emotional states. You must be quite the loving person to be around.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Kangaroo Court

      Tallulah13 – how can you reject the evidence for god and yet accept the evidence of quantum mechanics. Does the latter not predict things much more bizzare, counter-intuitive and magic-like than anything in the Bible?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Lynaldea

      tallulah, just because you do not believe, why do certain people make such a big deal, and/or, are against ones that do believe. Why can't they both exists without conflict?

      Further, I agree that the world is not less beautiful, or your joy is no less without belief... However, for the ones that do see more beauty and more joy, why is that such misleading, or false, evidence for those that do not believe?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Answer

      "One reason why I believe in God is because the beauty and love I receive, "

      -Nice quip, but as usual – all religious people are just a bag of useless empty emotional plea-bargainers.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lynaldea, that is certainly the ideal, but you'll have to get the believers to play along.

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

      For the sake of brevity ...

      All you religious people should just type out this short phrase to tell others that you're just nuts..

      "Please.. oh please .. I beg you to understand my stupidity." <<– should help you out rather nicely.

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

      Answer, useless? As if non-believers are any more useful than a person who believes in anything, and in this case, a God. Are we not are trying to live, in any way we can?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Kangaroo Court

      Answer, and are not atheists simply assuming that reason is the only path to truth? Ever had a gut feeeling or emotion that turned out to be correct?

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

      Answer, you're already at an offensive stance and a "useless" one at that, even within your philosophy; to me, religion will not go away, it is as inevitable as mankind needed oxygen to live. It is that your're saying in your regards, any believer ought to tell the world that they are already at a loss, but will explain themselves regardless. And thats immature.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Kangaroo, all of science is changing, growing and self-correcting. Quantum mechanics is a very young science. We'll see where it leads.

      On the other hand, religion has existed for as long as humans have existed, and there is not a single shred of evidence to indicate that ANY of the gods ever worshiped actually existed as supernatural enti.ties.

      Can you see the difference?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Kangaroo Court

      Of course. However, if one looks at the latest developments in scientific thought, they all seem to necessitate our leaving common sense at the door, so as to speak. Relativity and time flowing at different rates, quantum physics and the observer affecting the outcome of experiments, multiverses with entire universes popping into existence.

      In light of this, how can any atheist possibly say with confidence "there is no god" based on intuitive thiking that has let them down in each of the above developments. I would have sworn that Shrodingers Cat could not be both alive and dead if I trusted solely that sort of logic.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Lynaldea

      Tallulah, you're correct in that the idea of gods, or a god, have been around since mankind has existed, and that quantum physics is young. However, in the case of religion, if everyone is talking about the same thing, yet choose to believe in different gods, or a god, within that realm, isn't that evidence of itself? Quantum physics attempt to define the world around us, on a physical realm, that is ever changing and adaptable; and so is the philosophy of religion, and/or the belief in gods, or a god. I believe they are very similar, except for one thing. Quantum physics can be attempted to be calculated and identified through numbers and words, ect. Whilst, religion and the belief in god, or a god is calculated by means of physical, and more intuitive evidence; that being through means of visually observing the creation of the universe, the stars, miracles, ect. Further, science will never be able to explain all that which is strives to explain, it is impossible. Religion, or the belief in god, will forever remain to it's goal, and that is the belief itself will remain, regardless of numbers, or scientific words.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lynaldea? Why are there so many thunder gods? Why were those gods made obsolete when humans figured out the real cause of thunder? Gods are little more than humanities way of attempting to gain influence with the unknown. To simplify "If I worship this thunder god, he won't strike me dead." Or "if I worship this god, I won't really die. I will live forever in paradise."

      August 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Hmmm

      That is evidence of nothing!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Lynaldea

      Tallulah, science can only explain so much. The primary goal of the science realm is to figure out the world around us mainly by means of physical observable evidence. In other words, if science cannot explain in within these terms, then it is claimed that it does not exist, and this is obviously false. Lets take dark matter for an example, we know it is there, we can sort of see it, yet we cannot establish an agreeing, scientific measurable magnitude of its purpose within our universe, yet we agree; it is almost a ghost that we can see. Like dark matter, God exists, we can't see it, him, she, visibly/physically, yet what we can see what God has created; us, mankind, the universe, ect, is beautiful and magnificent.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Lynaldea

      It is with hope that you will answer my question with honesty; Have you ever studied the history, science and philosophies of religion in particular, ancient civilizations?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lynaldea, there is no evidence that such a god exists, and for you none is needed. You have simply created in your mind the god that you want to exist. Congratulations. You have invented your own mythology.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "Like dark matter, God exists, we can't see it, him, she, visibly/physically, yet what we can see what God has created; us, mankind, the universe, ect, is beautiful and magnificent."

      Why do you have to place a God in this scenario? And by the way, just because you believe in the supernatural you do not have the market on beauty and magnificent. That is in the eyes of the beholder. No God needed.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Answer

      "Tallulah, science can only explain so much."

      Science in every aspect pushes the bounds and then god recedes down in the ladder of "the unknowable". This is a fact that you losers will never accept because your god is your precious creation. To be refused and rejected because you are delusional is what hurts you the most.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Answer

      "There is beauty looking at a rose.. but why the thorns?"

      August 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  9. dreamcandyy

    ......

    August 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  10. Robert Brown

    What do you imagine is the motivation of folks who try to spread the good news? Even when the son of God walked the earth there were those who saw the things he did and still did not believe. He told them he did not come to judge them for their unbelief, he came to save them. His judgment is reserved until the last day. While you have this life, you have the opportunity for peace, now and forever. John 12: 37-50

    August 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • gager

      All that nonsense about Jebus is just anecdotal.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I have no idea what their motivation is, unless it is self-aggrandizement. Some people just like to tell others how to live. This is why you get politicians and groups trying to legislate things that are really none of their business - such as birth control, gay marriage or as.sited suicide. All of these are private choices that are best made by the individuals that are directly effected.

      Fact is, unless you can prove your god exists, you are simply trying to recruit other people into a cult, probably because there is safety in numbers.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      May I suggest that it is out of concern for you.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect that it is out of concern for yourself, Robert. Until you can prove your god exists, all you are doing is attempting to perpetuate the cult that you have chosen to believe in. If the most people believe in your cult, it must be the true one, right? If you have enough believers, you don't have to provide actual proof.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  11. servantofTHEWORD

    The belief and knowledge of God and His Son,Jesus Christ...and following His commandments...make us more God-like...not the Olympics.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      A-well-a, everybody's heard about the bird
      Bird, bird, bird, b-bird's THE WORD

      August 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Colin

    We need more Christians on this blog. We atheists are gaining a virtual monopoly. We're almost down to just Chad, HeavenSent and the occassional transient drop-by. It's becoming boring.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No kidding. I guess those "my way or the highway" christians chose the highway.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • georgiahull

      This writing is interesting yet much of it's "logic" is flawed and perhaps mis-guided. The notion that humans are "cut off from God" is quite an assumption. And it is not a defining concept or intention of Christian philosophy or practice. This article completely forgets about the enlightened message of Jesus of Nazareth. The writer writes about Christian theology using the old testament only. Perhaps it is because there is another agenda going on in this CNN article. Transhumanism anyone?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @georgiahull

      " This writing is interesting yet much of it's "logic" is flawed and perhaps mis-guided. The notion that humans are "cut off from God" is quite an assumption. "

      The notion of 'God' is an assumption.

      Peace...

      August 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I don;t care if they're here. I just want them to keep their crazy ideas out of my kids' schools!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  13. Hmmm

    Are we not Gods already? After all, did we not create God in our own image?

    August 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  14. TheVocalAtheist

    "The only road to intellectual growth is to find out you have been wrong all along."

    The Vocal Atheist

    August 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      easier to be a sheep and keep the wool pulled over your eyes. baaaaaaaaaaah goes the christian.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  15. Bob the Cat

    ROFL. This logic is so not logical.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  16. B

    I cannot believe the people on here when a story about, or related to God comes up. I'm not trying to sway anyones way of thinking on the subject, but have some respect for each others beliefs. You all don't have to be so closed minded as to believe that you are right and that is the only way there is.... Let everyone believe what they want to believe

    August 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @B

      Your whole post defines close minded. Can't you see that?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      we don't have to have respect for beliefs that are crazy and destructive. i will respect you - but i don't have to respect your beliefs. i can give my opinion. and you can give yours.

      also, if christians didn't try to shove their beliefs down everyone's throats, christianity likely wouldn't have so many critics. when's the last time you had a muslim knock on your door to try to convert you? when's the last time a taoist had lobbyist in washington changing our laws to match their own religious dogma? when's the last time you had to see religious propaganda from a non-christian religion on your money or in your courts?

      we don't have to respect the ideas of people that are in a cult. cults aren't healthy. cults are bad. they warp your mind and take away your ability to reason.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Answer

      Do you see Sikhs' trying to convert you to wearing a turban?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Sam Harris: Ditch Religion

      @B, Sam answers your question pretty well.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA53vCC_MIk&feature=relmfu

      August 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Sam Harris: Ditch Religion

      Here it is embedded.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA53vCC_MIk&feature=relmfu

      August 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • chris

      i agree.. people shake their heads at the idea of a city of God. if you want to stay stuck in a static lifetime, then by all means throw rocks at others beliefs. atheists can be just as close minded as catholics. the olympics creates a transcendent city in whatever venue it is placed at, magnifying the cultural and artistic aspects of it. whatever way you choose to see it, it shows flashes of a magnificent city.. and magnificent residents are the outcome of such inventions. but you can choose not to live there one day, if you like.

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

      also, b, sam harris is a nerd. he doesnt explain anything so i would guess the person who posted his video should remove his mouth from one sam harris' testes

      August 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  17. Bootyfunk

    "Olympic glory is a faint picture of divine glory: to be welcomed back into the heart of God, accepted, approved, honored and blessed."

    no, it's not. the author of this piece does humanity an injustice by attributing the hard work, dedication and excellence of each athlete to a god that doesn't exist. instead of giving credit to a fake deity, how about we give all the credit to the where it's due: the athletes.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Answer

      I'd would like to know of the prayers of the losers within the Olympics ... apparently their god has forsaken them. XD

      August 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    there are unicorns in the bible. also dragons, satyrs and c.ockatrice. and talking snakes and talking donkeys. oh my!

    August 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  19. TheVocalAtheist

    Put on your thinking caps kids.

    Try and think back when you were a child and the very first time you heard your brother or sister or an older friend tell you that Santa wasn't real. How did you feel? Do you remember? You didn't want to believe it did you? I know I didn't. I fought that thought for as long as I could but as time passed and I didn't see any Santa and I thought about it and finally concluded that there was no Santa. The same went for the Easter Bunny, The Sand Man, The Tooth Fairy, the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and GOD. They exist only in the mind of the believer, nowhere else. Don't you think it is time to grow-up and get on with life?

    August 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well said.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  20. MagicPanties

    I believe in God and our savior, Jesus Christ.

    August 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      I thought you believed in pink unicorns?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • gary

      Xtianity is myth and folklore from 2 millennia ago from a region that is still near stone age today ... still SO whacky.

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

      and you vocal atheist probably ride pink unicorns on their heads.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @mydogbill
      "and you vocal atheist probably ride pink unicorns on their heads"

      That's a pretty intelligent statement there doggy.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Advertisement
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.