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First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards
A billboard criticizing Christianity is going up in Charlotte, North Carolina, host city of the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
August 13th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - A prominent atheist group is using next month's Democratic National Convention to take aim at the presidential candidates' religion, putting up billboards targeting Mormonism and Christianity in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sponsor of the ads.

"Religion is silly and religion has components that are inherently divisive. … There is no place for any of that in the political system,” he said.

The billboards go up Monday in Charlotte and will stay up for a month at a cost of roughly $15,000. The Democratic convention runs September 3-6.

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

The billboard targeting Christianity features an image of Jesus Christ on toast and this description of the faith: "Sadistic God; Useless Savior, 30,000+ Versions of ‘Truth,’ Promotes Hates, Calls it ‘Love.’ ”

The billboard targeting Mormonism lambastes - and, Mormons would say, distorts - specific Mormon doctrines: "God is a Space Alien, Baptizes Dead People, Big Money, Big Bigotry.”

The Mormon billboard features a man in white underwear, a reference to special Mormon garments.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Both billboards feature the line "Atheism: Simply Reasonable."

American Atheists had wanted to put the anti-Mormon billboard in Tampa, Florida, to coincide with the Republican National Convention there later this month. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is a Mormon. When no billboard company in the city would lease the group space for such a sign, Silverman said the organization decided to focus solely on the Democrats in Charlotte.

“Presidential conventions are for ideas, not ideology - platforms, not platitudes," Silverman said. "If a person believes stupid things, we have every right to question his or her judgment, and that directly impacts how the nonreligious voter votes.”

CNN Belief Blog: Atheist leader hopes to mobilize closeted nonbelievers

Some religious leaders said the billboards showed a misunderstanding of how faith works.

"That billboard makes the most common high-school error when it comes to atheism," wrote the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, in an e-mail to CNN. "It's not arguing against the existence of God, but against religion. The American Atheists need to go back to school on this one."

Martin also questioned the language used on the billboard: "And as for 'promoting hate' they're doing a bang-up job themselves with that billboard."

Terryl Givens, a Mormon professor at the University of Richmond, called American Atheists "petty and vindictive."

“If this example of adolescent silliness is what atheists mean by being reasonable, then neither Mormons nor other Christians have much to worry about," he said of the billboards. "When atheists organize to serve the poor and needy of the world, they will be taken more seriously."

CNN Belief Blog: Unbelieving preachers 'come out' as atheists

It's not the first time the American Atheists group has released in-your-face billboards. Earlier this year, the group put up two billboards in heavily Muslim and Jewish enclaves in New Jersey and New York bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.

“You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” the billboards said. At the time, Silverman said the signs were intended to reach atheists in Muslim and Jewish areas who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.

In addition to the billboards, Silverman said his group plans to stage protests at both conventions.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (7,477 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things !

    August 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example; Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine–year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      August 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Observer

      @Atheism,

      Tell us how atheism is bad for living things like petunias.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • truth be told

      @observer
      How bad off can you be?All that was already explained to you. Short term memory loss or just stupid to the bone?

      August 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hilarious. The fvcktard is calling Observer stupid.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      How about posting the list of mindless lies about atheists so you can pretend you can support the nonsense? The crosses next to them should be turned to make X's to denote the lies.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • truth be told

      Do not have a 'mindless" list to post but the main post here says it all in one sentence.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      You know the mindless list I'm talking about. It has all those X's twisted to look like crosses.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • WASP

      @prayer: prayer only proves how narassitic religious people are seeing they believe that an all-powerful, omnipoent being listens/cares strictly about them and agrees with everything they think and feel.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • SImran

      In a small Texas town, a new bar/tavern started construction of a building to house their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening, with peti.tions and prayers. Work progressed, however right up till the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

      The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

      The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the buildings demise in its reply to the court.

      As the case made its way in to court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, 'I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  2. therealpeace2all

    I'm *sincerely* curious. I've never had a believer answer this question with any argument that's in the realm of believability let alone factually:

    How do you *know* that the Bible is *literal* word of God ?

    Peace...

    August 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, the silence is deafening.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Tried twice to post my reply...not working...??

      August 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's working but you probably included words that won't pass through the filter. There's a long list of them and maybe some kind person will post them for you. For example, though, your post will be kicked out if you have any word with the letter combination of t i t. Like superst it ion.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Depends upon what you mean by "literal".
      Certainly God didn't have the original manuscripts written in English, but we know that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant because God says that he will preserve his word forever.
      There are presentation errors in various Bibles (i have one at home that i had to correct), but these presentation errors don't cause wrong teaching, plus the fact that they're always found and corrected later (like i did with my Bible).

      August 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Working through it now...It was, however, lengthy but good...tx

      August 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @b4bigbang

      Hey -bigbang...

      " we know that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant because God says that he will preserve his word forever. "

      Again, question is... How specifically do you and other believers *know absolutely* that the Bible came from and is inspired by a God, vs. 'just' made by humans...?

      Peace...

      August 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      b4, you mean you know the bible is infallible because the bible says so. You know there's a god because the bible says so and the bible cannot be wrong because the bible says it is infallible.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      How is it that we believe what is written in the Bible? Is this a correct restatement of your question?
      The answer of course is that we believe it by faith.
      Signs do follow in order to confirm its truth.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, no, that's not my question. My question is: how do you know that the Bible is the inerrant word of God? Do you have any independent verification? Or is it: the Bible is the inerrant word of God because the Bible says that God said that the Bible is the inerrant word of God?

      Makes Clinton's "depends on what "is" is" look downright forthright.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4

      ", but we know that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant because God says that he will preserve his word forever."

      That's just circular reasoning.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      You both know we've been through all this many times before re the whole circular reasoning thing.
      The Bibliological view is that the Bible transcends mere human logic.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @b4bigbang

      Hi -bigbang...

      " How is it that we believe what is written in the Bible? Is this a correct restatement of your question? "

      If... somehow you actually didn't know what I meant by the question 'literal' word of God vs. inspired by/from God vs. 'just' man-made, my apologies.

      " The answer of course is that we believe it by faith. Signs do follow in order to confirm its truth. "

      And, again... how specifically do you *know* that the Bible is from God, vs. 'just' man-made...?

      Peace...

      August 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      therealpeace2all: "And, again... how specifically do you *know* that the Bible is from God, vs. 'just' man-made...?"

      The Bible makes the assertion that it is infalable and that it is inspired by God [literally 'God-breathed'] and not merely man-made.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Corr: infallible (proving that unlike God, I am fallible).

      August 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'b4bigbang' is an instance of a fallacy of Circular Reasoning.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      August 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4

      Add in special pleading.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4

      An entire argument built upon two fallacies proves absolutely nothing.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      So that's it? Same old fallacy-calling?
      Doesn't bother me one bit.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Btw, I'm not arguing a position, I'm proclaiming the truth.
      I realize that you reject it, but that has no effect on me.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4big

      You are asserting something that you cannot demonstrate as truth. Big difference, and really completely useless. All you're doing is being self-serving, and preaching to the choir.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      "You are asserting something that you cannot demonstrate as truth. Big difference, and really completely useless. All you're doing is being self-serving, and preaching to the choir."

      It's not my job to demonstrate it as truth, that's God's work. If there were no God then I'd be self-serving [or maybe serving my 'religion'], but I believe there IS a God.
      As for "preaching to the choir", sure there are some believers here that read these words, but also a lot of unbelievers as well.
      I, in fact, was an agnostic until I heard and read the Gospel.
      That's pretty much how everyone comes to Christ....

      August 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      Reading the gospel being how people come to Christ.
      That's a fucking lie and you damn well know it. Most people are Christian because they were born into it. Just as many Muslims were born into it. A persons religion is more about where they're born than anything else, and your disingenuous post shows how little you care about what is actually true.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      No need for vulgarity nor anger Hawaiiguest.
      Your idea that most people are born into it may be true in certain geographic areas today, but your comment is inaccurate in that it avoids addressing the fact of the many people who have converted apart from local or family tradition.
      I myself am an 'only' convert in my family.
      Also, the African-immigrant janitor where I work told me that she was a minority Christian in her village. She said most of her village, and in fact her entire family are Muslim.
      But to address your comment additionally, I'll inform you that, yes, God does in fact honor his word by saving family members of believers.
      Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Back from dinner...Lengthy post not going through...
      Internal Evidence: It says it is...believe it or not...
      Internal Evidence: Jesus, that 'good moral teacher' authortatively taught that it was, authoritatively quoted it, bound His hearers to its authority, fulfilled it in various ways, acknowledged its historicity (Adam and Eve, Noah, flood, Abraham, Law from God to Moses, Jonah, etc). If His various uses of it are not true, including the prophecies He applied to Himself as the foundation of His coming, then He a liar and lunatic, but not a good moral teacher of any sort...

      Internal Evidence: Prophecy
      External Evidence: The life, death & resurrection of the Historic Person of JesusNotReligion...

      August 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      Oh yes because you own personal, highly limited experience in converts would of course be indicative of the world at large. So let's just discard the actual numbers.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I suppose your point Hawaiiguest is that there's no 'miraculous conversion' by a god involved, it's merely a case of family or community religious indoctrination.
      You're correct insofar as you're discussing mere religion aspect of it, [ie, 'Christianity'].
      However, it is each individual's own personal responsibility to appropriate the Gospel knowledge in a saving way or to file it in the back of their mind and go through life as a nominal [in name only] 'Christian'.
      An illustration of my point would be to read the testimonies of several Latino men who were born Catholic, raised Catholic, became drug addicts and gang members, then heard the Gospel as young adults, renounced their anti-social ways and became Christians.
      One such book is 'Run Baby Run' by Nicky Cruz.
      There are others I can't recall the t itles.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Also, btw hawaiiguest, the statement you made is not your own vast personal experience either.
      I've read it before on one of the atheist websites.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      Actually, I'm just going by the anthropological, and historical evidence. It is just a fact that people are most likely to be the religion of that specific culture.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      That's fine Hawaiiguest. If your point is that that's all there is to a person's belief [ie, it's just a cultural-religion thing devoid of any spirit], then I disagree.

      The spiritual reality behind the phenomenon you point out is that there are invisible principalities and powers over the various geographic areas, as well as powers over certain cultural belief-systems.

      These powers have the task of ensuring that the population in question adheres to the particular dogma that applies to them.
      It [the Satanic power] is generational, it attempts to mimic the Holy Spirit, and it is quite powerful.

      This applies to all false doctrines, including the so-called 'scientific-materialism' [the philosophy that begets modern atheism].

      August 16, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  3. Atheism is just wrong

    Join American Atheists! Join NAMBLA! Join Stormfront! Strange appeals to the fringes of humanity.

    August 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      Better yet, get on your knees and be one of the hordes of snivelling sycophants begging for salvation!

      August 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Tina

      Nice one, Sam.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • jimmer

      "Join NAMBLA!"

      Join the catholic church.

      Oh wait, they are the same thing.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • jimmer

      "Join NAMBLA!"

      Join the catholic church.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  4. andy

    I don't care that people spend the money and time to put up these posters; if that's how they want to contribute to the election, then let them exercise their right to do so. However, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), and I feel upset that they blatantly lie about our religion. Comments on internet articles don't do much to change the world, but I feel it's important that people know what we really believe before they take it upon themselves to preach to the world why our religion is stupid. If seeing the anti-mormon advertisement in this article was anyone's first "encounter" with Mormonism, then I encourage you to visit Mormon.org. I only say this because the website is designed to present our beliefs clearly. If you're going to make a judgement about us, the least you could do is see what WE say we believe, and not just what other people say we believe.

    August 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Huebert

      Please tell me, what about that sign is factually inaccurate?

      It was my understanding that Mormons believed that god lived on the planet Kolob, and I know for a fact that Mormons preform proxy baptisms for the unbaptized dead.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  5. Dude

    "When atheists organize to serve the poor and needy of the world, they will be taken more seriously."

    There are many athiests working to serve the poor. However, they do not advertise it for two reasons:
    1 – They don't feel the need to show off like religious groups do.
    2 – No one would financially assist an openly atheist group, no matter what kind of humanitarian work they do.

    August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      I'm sure whenever a Christian shows up to help a friend move he say's "Well, if I weren't a Christian there is no way I would be here right now, thank my God he commanded me to help out the needy..."

      I have yet to hear any atheist friend tell me "There is no God you fool, so I don't have to help you move, no one will punish me for eternity if I don't, Hah ha ha ha ha!!"

      August 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      2 – No one would financially assist an openly atheist group, no matter what kind of humanitarian work they do.

      Aren't there plenty of atheists that would donate to an atheist charity?

      August 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      I do.
      Atheists Helping the Homeless in Austin
      the Red Cross
      the SSA.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  6. Dennis

    Fred, imagining a deity rather than working through the solution to a problem is not an "answer". It's weakness, laziness, and/or poor thinking skills.

    August 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. Independent Thinker

    I don't care which way you believe, I do, however, have these 2 questions: How did random carbon and protein atoms get organized and evolve from in-animate object to living animate object without divine intervention? Where did all the mass in the universe come from, and what initiated the "big bang" (which is a theory)? I see some of you saying how science proves this and that, but the 2 fundamentals of the universe and life are just theory, not proven, and science itself contradicts these theories. Believe what you will, but those that believe in God or the Creator are no more stupid than those that don't believe. If faith and religion help keep people doing and living in a good and righteous way, what harm is there?

    August 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • oneworld2

      What harm? read a history book.
      And where did your god came from?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No harm, as long as they don't insist others must do so or that others must live by their beliefs. No harm in believing that some god made the universe as long as one acknowledges that it's a belief and not a fact.

      Not knowing how or why /= must be a god.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Because religion does not make a good person. So why do we need a God to be good and a God to be a creator?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • oneworld2

      The bang is a fact...that why the universe is still exspandin...the only part they don't know ore can proof is what was there before and was it the only explosion.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @INdependent Thinker

      Research what a scientific theory is, you obviously have no idea. After that, then talking about other things would be worthwhile.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Thinker,

      To the question of how it (the universe, life) started.

      Science answers "I don't know, let's try and figure it out."

      Religion answers "My god did it"

      These are not the same and implying they are equaly vaild is dishonest.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @Independent Thinker,

      you asked "How did random carbon and protein atoms get organized and evolve from in-animate object to living animate object without divine intervention?"

      Search "J. Craig Venter" and "FIRST SELF-REPLICATING SYNTHETIC BACTERIAL CELL" You'll find that researchers are now essentially able to answer your question experimentally, not just theoretically.

      Then you asked "Where did all the mass in the universe come from?"

      The recent experimental evidence of the Higgs boson takes a large step towards answering that question as well. First, we need to understand what comprises the mass of the universe. Once we know that, we can start working on where it all came from. You can get really hung up on the philosophical argument about how everything must come from something, but if you conclude mass came from god, then you have to keep going and ask where god came from. It's a bit of a silly circular conversation at that point.

      Frankly, I see nowhere that science is contradicting itself in any of this.

      And I agree that people can believe what they want. I respect that. The danger comes from what they DO with that belief. The entire problem is that it doesn't end with personal belief. It NEVER ends there. These two passages explain why:

      "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." – Mark 16:15

      "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." 2 Tim 4:2

      See the Christian deity commands you to spread this garbage to everyone you can. Conversion has always been central to the major religions. Of course Christians will always say that they just spread the word and it's the Holy Spirit that does the conversion. My friends, this is absolutely splitting hairs. Their goal is still conversion, and I don't care for that mentality one bit.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      Independent Thinker: I am under the impression that personal belief is the most true. To that end, I think that everyone should decide what god is (or isn't). I find churches (or anyone who purport to speak for god) persumptuous

      August 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Patty

      Ok so you don't understand the workings of something and automatically you think a god did it? Ya know, it's perfectly ok to say you don't know The fact that people are trying to impose their relgious beliefs in regards to laws in this country shows how dangerous it can be. I also want to address this guy who says let the atheist gather and do this or that, christians will do this only if they can impose their views on someone...sermon for a sandwich.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Confused face

      I think the Luxembourg Navy has a better chance against the US Navy than ol' Independent Thinker has against the mountain of facts and articulate responses he just received.

      Let go of the silly notion of god.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Primewonk

      In science we don't prove things, we explain things. Proofs are for maths and ethanol.

      In science, a theory is as high as it gets. Theories never get "promoted" to fact or law. Theories exist to explain sets of facts and laws.

      It is hard to argue with what you wrote, because what you wrote is based in lies. Lies that have been told and retold to fundiots, like yourself, over and over.

      Your post is an excellent example of what happens when you get your "sciency" sounding information from the "pastor Dave's" of the world instead of actual science sources. Yhe problem is that "Pastor Dave" is as big of a science idiot as his minions.

      Seriously – do any of you wack-job nutters ever crack open a science journal?

      August 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Dude

      You need to read the dictionary. "Theories" are explanations for facts. Please learn what words mean before trying to use them.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  8. Chad

    I dont understand how atheists can make statements like "sadistic god", "useless savior", "promotes hate", "30,000+ versions"
    when they have made no attempt to gain a biblical understanding of the motivations for the actions they are decrying..

    The reason you dont hear me yelling at buddhists, or hindus, is I dont have a sophisticated enough understanding of what they believe, to have an intelligent discussion on it.

    Why do atheists feel comfortable critiquing something they dont know anything about?

    August 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      It is statistically proven that Atheists and Agnostics know more about religion and the bible then Christians.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Huh?

      Many of the posters have told you they are former xtians and one is actually a former minister.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • oneworld2

      Because atheist actually have read the bible and not just pressed i accept.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Huebert

      I was raised in the church and was an active member for years before I realized it was all make believe. I feel as though i know enough about Christianity to thoroughly critique it.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      Why do you feel comfortable claiming your belief is the absolute truth when you have not investigate those you dismiss?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Translation of Chads post:

      "They haven't blindly accepted my thought process and interpretation, which if taken as the only way to think, will prove that the bible is moral and good and true."

      August 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chad

      while I have on occasion encountered an atheist that has some familiarity, the VAST majority of atheists come up with questions like this.. they simply have no clue, just latch on to a particular word or verse and run with it.

      @AverageJoe76
      Question For The Faithful: If when we die, we're supposed to go to either heaven or hel_l. If that's the case, what is a ghost? How'd they escape the process for being sent to one of two destinations? Is there a process flaw with the shipment of souls?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "I was raised in the church and was an active member for years before I realized it was all make believe. "

      =>what precisely did you find to be make believe?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      "=>what precisely did you find to be make believe?"

      The God part.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Colin

      Chad, your version of "Biblical understanding" appears to be little more than accepting what it says wholeheartedly and then being a complete apologist for where it is obviously wrong.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • oneworld2

      Lot's of bible events has only one eye witness, why would you trust on there word and belief a crazy story like that.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Chad

      details..
      these generalities dont do any..

      give me details, what specifically do you believe make the bible "make believe"

      specifics.. if you can.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      While I AM an Atheist, I don't like these billboards at all. Having said that, I think what they are trying to say is that there are many ways to interpret the books of the major religions. That's one of their strengths, and one of their weaknesses. Believers can read into it whatever they wish in order to justify their actions and opinions. Unfortunate. So the comments on the billboards are as much about what can be gleaned from the books as what can be OBSERVED from many of the readers.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" ( or Israel ).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Smithsonian "The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient"

      =>to make that statement, you must think the bible claims the earth to be quite young?
      where do you get that from?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Colin

      give me details, what specifically do you believe make the bible "make believe"

      The entire human race begining with one man and one woman about 6,000 years ago
      A demon possessed, talking snake
      A man living in a whale's belly for a few days
      A talking donkey
      People living to be 300, 400, 500 and more years old
      A rock giving water
      A man walking on water
      Graveyards opening up and the dead rising en mass
      demons being driven out of people and into pigs
      water turning into wine
      angels slaying the first born
      rivers turning to blood
      levitation
      people telling the future
      a cup of oil buring for days on end
      leperosy being cured by words alone
      cities tumbling due to the sounds of horns
      a woman turning into a pillar of salt
      fetuses jumping for joy in the womb
      animals from all over the planet lining up to walk onto an ark
      said animals being tended by a small family for about a year
      a worldwide flood

      Need I go on?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "=>to make that statement, you must think the bible claims the earth to be quite young?
      where do you get that from?"

      The Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex and Chad thinks it's smart enough to go toe to toe with them.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Huebert

      "what precisely did you find to be make believe?"

      The existence of god.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      I don't get it Chad. I ask a legitimate question, and I'm ridiculed for it? Asking where the ghosts go, and why they're not in heaven or h_ell is legitimate.

      You're intolerance to a basic question is the reason most of us have moved on from religion. Most the people I look up to, that told me to trust the book, don't know the answers either. And so.... we search for the answers ourselves. But there are no CONCRETE answers. Yet, people are just supposed to fall in line on the Jesus-Train.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Colin
      I've got some great responses over the years to some of those things.
      For example:
      A demon possessed, talking snake – The Garden of Eden existed with its own set of physical laws.
      People living to be 300, 400, 500 and more years old – Once again, magic garden. Once expelled, mankind's lifespan steadily decreased. Please disregard the increase in average life-span over the last 200 years. *cough cough*
      A rock giving water – All rocks contain water
      A man walking on water – Jesus wasn't a man, he was GOD
      demons being driven out of people and into pigs – demons cannot be expelled into nothingness. They need a host body in order to die and be dispatched back to the Pit
      people telling the future – Look at all the prophecies from the OT fulfilled in the NT! The NT authors couldn't possibly have had ulterior motives.
      a cup of oil buring for days on end – It was Gerin Oil (google it)
      leperosy being cured by words alone – You don't believe because you don't know the words
      cities tumbling due to the sounds of horns – they were very big horns in in the sky
      a woman turning into a pillar of salt – metaphorical salt
      fetuses jumping for joy in the womb – fetuses are people too! Being innocent, they know godliness when its near

      August 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bizarre

      colin,

      Don't forget: In Numbers 5, The LORD said to Moses:

      16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had se.xual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having se.xual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse —“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

      August 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Bizarre

      p.s. unless you like the KJV better:

      22 and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot. And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Dude

      This atheist has 14 years of christian education. Don't tell me I don't know the bible or what it means.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @TheVocalAtheist "It is statistically proven that Atheists and Agnostics know more about religion and the bible then Christians."
      @Chad "incorrect, a Pew research poll on religion in general, (with only ~30% of the questions having to do with the Bible) showed atheists new more. That demonstrates atheists have a broader knowledge of religion in general, but says nothing about bible knowledge specifically.

      =======
      a few of colins:

      @Colin "The entire human race begining with one man and one woman about 6,000 years ago"
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??"

      @Colin A demon possessed, talking snake
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??, remember, the serpant of the garden didnt take on snake form until it was cursed.."

      @Colin "A man living in a whale's belly for a few days"
      @Chad "that's the only one on your list that I agree is extremely difficult to understand how it could have happenned"

      @Colin "A talking donkey"
      @Chad "does the bible specifically say that? That the donkey had vocal chords?"

      @Colin "People living to be 300, 400, 500 and more years old"
      @Chad "we dont even know why exactly people age.. why is it unreasonable then?"

      @Colin "A rock giving water
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??"

      @Colin "A man walking on water, Graveyards opening up and the dead rising en mass, demons being driven out of people and into pigs, water turning into wine"
      @Chad "all miracles.. I guess you are rejecting any and all miracles out of hand...?

      @Colin "animals from all over the planet lining up to walk onto an ark, said animals being tended by a small family for about a year, a worldwide flood"
      @Chad "where does it say that in the bible? remember, the word translated as "earth" can also be translated land.

      ======
      @Smithsonian "The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient"

      =>to make that statement, you must think the bible claims the earth to be quite young?
      where do you get that from?

      August 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dude "This atheist has 14 years of christian education. Don't tell me I don't know the bible or what it means."
      @Chad "so what caused you to turn away?

      August 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "@Smithsonian "The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient"

      =>to make that statement, you must think the bible claims the earth to be quite young?
      where do you get that from?"

      That was a direct quote from the Smithsonian, now be a good dumb Christian and go ask them.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      So essentially you decided to be completely disingenuous. Why did you even bother to reply to Colin?

      August 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Wally

      I studied Christianity and participated in the religion for 30 years but when you actually study it by not listening to the preachers, the more you realize it's a work of fiction, there is no existence or proof of a god.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • toad

      You're quite a contortionist Chad. Genesis? Even Origen was less literal-minded and he castrated himself to keep himself from sin.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • ummmmm

      "@Colin "A rock giving water
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??""

      Exodus – 5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • ummmmm

      "@Colin "A talking donkey"
      @Chad "does the bible specifically say that? That the donkey had vocal chords?""

      Numbers: Then the LORD gave the donkey the ability to speak. "What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?" it asked Balaam.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • ummmmm

      "@Chad "where does the bible say that??, remember, the serpant of the garden didnt take on snake form until it was cursed..""

      Genesis – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

      August 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • ummmmm

      "@Chad "where does the bible say that??, remember, the serpant of the garden didnt take on snake form until it was cursed..""

      Genesis – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" .

      August 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Colin

      Chad said –

      @Colin "A man living in a whale's belly for a few days"
      @Chad "that's the only one on your list that I agree is extremely difficult to understand how it could have happenned"

      If anybbody ever doubted the ability of religion to dumb people down and accept the most preposterous of nonsense as true, please dwell on that statement for a moment.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chad

      "@Colin "A rock giving water
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??""
      @ummmmm "Exodus – 5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel."
      @Chad "I guess you meant exodus 17... so, does that mean that splitting the rock caused a stream behind the rock to come forth with water?"

      =========
      "@Colin "A talking donkey"
      @Chad "does the bible specifically say that? That the donkey had vocal chords?""
      @ummmmNumbers: Then the LORD gave the donkey the ability to speak. "What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?" it asked Balaam.
      @Chad "to me, the fact that Balaam didnt immediately consider himself as having gone insane thinking that the donkey was actually talking "a la Mr. Ed", is evidence that the "communication" occurred as:
      There is no doubt that Balaam’s donkey spoke to him. The question that arises is whether the donkey was suddenly given the power of speech, which would also mean she was given the power to reason because she answered Balaam’s questions, asked some of her own, and carried on a rational conversation. While it is certainly possible that God granted human powers to the donkey, it’s more likely that He opened her mouth and spoke through her.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • ummmmmmm

      "@Chad "I guess you meant exodus 17... so, does that mean that splitting the rock caused a stream behind the rock to come forth with water?""

      Where does it say that in the bible. I can make up things too, no there were more rocks behind it, there was no stream.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Colin

      Chad, out of curiosity, why didn't you simply answer "it was a miracle" to my whale's belly example? You used that "get out of jail free" card for many of the others, why wouldn't it work here?

      August 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "If anybbody ever doubted the ability of religion to dumb people down and accept the most preposterous of nonsense as true, please dwell on that statement for a moment."

      theist: How was the universe created? We know for certain that it must have had an external trigger?
      atheist: We dont know..

      theist: How was life on earth created? We simply have no explanation, all of our attempts in the abiogenesis realm have failed?
      atheist: We dont know..

      theist: Why is the universe fine tuned for the building blocks of life? why do natural laws exist at all?
      atheist: We dont know..

      theist: Why does stasis and rapid change dominate the fossil record, when we know that the odds of having multiple, interrelated and dependent genetic changes all occur within the same short interval is essentially impossible?
      atheist: We dont know..

      theist: why was the tomb empty? Why were so many people completely convinced of seeing a resurrected Jesus?
      atheist: We dont know..

      theist: why are you so comfortable saying "we dont know", when we know that SOMETHING must exist outside our universe to have triggered the formation"
      atheist: We dont know..

      If anybbody ever doubted the ability of atheism to dumb people down and accept the most preposterous of nonsense as true, please dwell on those statements for a moment

      August 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • ummmmmmm

      "God granted human powers to the donkey, it’s more likely that He opened her mouth and spoke through her."

      No, that means the donkey still spoke.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: @Colin "The entire human race begining with one man and one woman about 6,000 years ago"
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??"

      @chad: young earth theorists preach that, not atheists. they are they "ones" that desiphered that number from the bible.
      "The Bible provides a complete genealogy from Adam to Jesus. You can go through the genealogies and add up the years. You'll get a total that is just over 4,000 years. Add the 2,000 years since the time of Jesus and you get just over 6,000 years since God created everything"

      @Colin A demon possessed, talking snake
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??, remember, the serpant of the garden didnt take on snake form until it was cursed.."

      @chad:"And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life"
      this point i kindof agree/disagree if you look at torah it names the serpent and her name is lillith.

      @Colin "A man living in a whale's belly for a few days"
      @Chad "that's the only one on your list that I agree is extremely difficult to understand how it could have happenned"

      @chad: agreement between atheist and theist, now i've seen everything, lol

      @Colin "A talking donkey"
      @Chad "does the bible specifically say that? That the donkey had vocal chords?"

      @chad:numbers 22:28 "And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"
      so he is correct it saids, god gave the donkey the ability to speek.

      @Colin "People living to be 300, 400, 500 and more years old"
      @Chad "we dont even know why exactly people age.. why is it unreasonable then?"

      @chad:genesis 5:5 "Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died"
      deuteronomy 34:7 "Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."
      genesis 9:29 "29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died."
      we do know through science that people age due to damage to DNA over time or we have a predetermined gene that depicts how long we will live, excluding accidents ofcourse. so it may be possible that people lived 400(+) years, however our discoveries of ancient civilations has shown they were lucky to make it to adulthood, much less over 100 years of age.

      @Colin "A rock giving water
      @Chad "where does the bible say that??"

      @chad:"
      Exodus 17:6 ESV
      "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel"
      that is where it said water from a rock.

      @Colin "A man walking on water, Graveyards opening up and the dead rising en mass, demons being driven out of people and into pigs, water turning into wine"
      @Chad "all miracles.. I guess you are rejecting any and all miracles out of hand...?

      @chad: miracles are merely natural events, that people believe unlikely to happen..........but still happen.
      a boy that falls through the ice is thought dead due to being under the freezing water for more than 3 hours, yet is revived........family thinks it's a miracle; science explains it was due to the extreme cold of the water that it protected his brain from being damaged due to lack of oxygen, kindof like how a bear hybernates it slowed his body down so slow we couldn't detect heartbeat until after he had warmed.

      @Colin "animals from all over the planet lining up to walk onto an ark, said animals being tended by a small family for about a year, a worldwide flood"
      @Chad "where does it say that in the bible? remember, the word translated as "earth" can also be translated land.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • ummmmmmm

      atheist: How was the universe created? We know for certain that it must have had an external trigger?
      theist: My invisible friend did it.
      atheist: How was life on earth created? We simply have no explanation, all of our attempts in the abiogenesis realm have failed?
      theist: My invisible friend did it..
      atheist: Why is the universe fine tuned for the building blocks of life? why do natural laws exist at all?
      theist: My invisible friend did it..
      atheist: Why does stasis and rapid change dominate the fossil record, when we know that the odds of having multiple, interrelated and dependent genetic changes all occur within the same short interval is essentially impossible?
      theist: My invisible friend did it..
      atheist: why was the tomb empty? Why were so many people completely convinced of seeing a resurrected Jesus?
      theist: My invisible friend did it.
      atheist: why are you so comfortable saying "we dont know", when we know that SOMETHING must exist outside our universe to have triggered the formation"
      theist: My invisible friend did it.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • invisiblefriend

      Father forgive them for they know not what they do

      August 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Again with the "something has to exist outside" when it is merely a hypothesis proposed, instead of a universally accepted necessity. More dishonesty Chad, then again, everyone expects that from you now.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Again with the "something has to exist outside" when it is merely a hypothesis proposed, instead of a universally accepted necessity. More dishonesty Chad, then again, everyone expects that from you now."

      =>:-)
      well, if you have been able to find any cosmological theory that DOESNT require a force external to our universe (other than the utter nonsense of "our universe has always been here", then please let me know 🙂

      cue more accusations of dishonesty

      August 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Colin

      theist: How was the universe created? We know for certain that it must have had an external trigger?
      atheist: We dont know..

      We do not "know it had to have an external trigger." Why do you see the fact that our knowldge is limited as a reason to jump up and say "haha. The Christian God must have done it"? Explain that rational to me.

      theist: How was life on earth created? We simply have no explanation, all of our attempts in the abiogenesis realm have failed?
      atheist: We dont know..

      Not "failed. We are not there yet, but our understanding grows every day. That is like saying the Wright Brothers "failed" because they did not fly to the moon. Once again, why is it that whenever we reach a limit to our current knowledge you feel you can simply insert your god as the answer?

      theist: Why is the universe fine tuned for the building blocks of life? why do natural laws exist at all?
      atheist: We dont know..

      Again, we reach a limit to our knowledge. Again, Chad decides his god therefore is the answer. In fact, god is not even an answer, it is a retreat to magic whenever the questions get hard.

      theist: Why does stasis and rapid change dominate the fossil record, when we know that the odds of having multiple, interrelated and dependent genetic changes all occur within the same short interval is essentially impossible?
      atheist: We dont know..

      Not so, no evolutionary biologist claims that.

      theist: why was the tomb empty? Why were so many people completely convinced of seeing a resurrected Jesus?
      atheist: We dont know..

      It wasn't All four gospels give different versions of this myth.

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the two Marys and Salome to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them.

      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb. There is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at them a face like lightning. There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them Jesus has risen and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. No earthquake, no angels, no young man in robe, no guards. Instead, two men are there in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No angels, earthquakes, men in shining uniforms or guards are mentioned. She gets Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

      theist: why are you so comfortable saying "we dont know", when we know that SOMETHING must exist outside our universe to have triggered the formation"
      atheist: We dont know..

      No, we don't know it must have had an external trigger at all.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Begging the question fallacy.
      What does it matter if I myself haven't come up with something else? It doesn't matter.
      There's a reason you are accused of dishonesty so often Chad, and that's because you are. I guess you really liked it when Martin Luther said it was okay to lie for Jesus.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Chad, Chad, Chad, Chad, CHAD! Show some integrity, man.

      You just walked away from a thorough intellectual ass whooping by LinCA and Rufus T. Firefly. Now, exactly as predicted by Tom Tom the Piper's Son, you have skulked away and begun another thread, recycling the same material that just got debunked. At least get some new material, Chad.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Chadwatch: In some ways, Chad is a bit like a serial murderer (I know, I know. Don't worry your heads into a funny shape; I have a reason for saying this.) He goes on a tear about an issue, like 'relative morality'. When his arguments peter out and amount to less than nothing, he retreats to another article and comment board for a specific period of time, rants about another issue, such as "evolution", and when that run is done, he moves on to another topic. Like a serial killer (I watch far too much crime drama), he has a cycle of a certain number of hours or days before he surfaces and addresses the topic he started with.

      The trick is to determine how long the cycle is for each topic so...well, that's where I lose it. There's not much anyone can do to head off an attack of the Chard.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin “No, we don't know it must have had an external trigger at all”
      @Chad “your argument fails not because of what we don’t know, but what we do know. That is precisely why in any serious discussion on cosmology the possibility that there was an internal trigger just isn’t part of it.
      Course, if you have any feel free to inform us (hawaiiguest just usually calls me a liar at this point).

      ============
      @Chad “all of our attempts in the abiogenesis realm have failed?”
      @Chad “Not "failed. We are not there yet”
      @Chad “again, your argument fails not because of what we don’t know, but what we do..
      Criticism of Abiogenesis
      While the experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and others who have built upon his work show that life may have arisen from a primordial soup, that possibility remains theoretical. There is no evidence for pre-cellular life on Earth; what's more, critics of the RNA world hypothesis point out that the experiments that support the concepts were conducted with biologically created RNA. RNA can act as both a template for self-replication and an enzyme for carrying out that process, but these findings have been carried out in controlled laboratory experiments. This doesn't necessarily prove such delicate actions could happen in the seas of the ancient Earth.
      For reasons like these, the RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and a ssembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created .

      ================

      you should listen to WIlliam Craig debate Bart D. Ehrman on the empty tomb (or perhaps not, if you are determined to retain the errors you currently embrace...)
      http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/p96.htm

      one thing I enjoy more than anything else, is listening to the leading authorities on both sides present their case..
      One would think that everyone would have the same desire to know the truth, but only enough I find that is rarely true..

      August 16, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Smoking Gun with a hair Internal Trigger

      "@Chad “your argument fails not because of what we don’t know, but what we do know. That is precisely why in any serious discussion on cosmology the possibility that there was an internal trigger just isn’t part of it."

      "The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is a proposed elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics. The Higgs boson's existence has profound importance in particle physics because it proves the existence of the hypothetical Higgs field—the simplest of several proposed mechanisms for the breaking of electroweak symmetry, and the means by which elementary particles acquire mass. A Higgs particle can be produced in a particle collider by taking two particles smashing them together at very high energies. The exact process depends on the details of the particles used and the energy at which they are collided. But in any case the probability of producing a Higgs boson in any collision is always expected to be very small with only 1 Higgs boson being produced per 10 billion collisions."

      August 17, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Chad

      " Higgs boson ... the means by which elementary particles acquire mass."

      which of course has nothing to do with the creation of the universe 😉

      Higgs boson describes how particles might acquire mass, particles pre-existing is required.. in other words, this is a process that occurred during and since the rapid inflationary period known as the big bang.. It doesnt say anything whatsoever about what happened "before" the big bang, it explains how mass appeared shortly AFTER the Big Bang.

      read.. do some reading...

      Scientists hope to discover the invisible Higgs field because the theory of its existence is foundational to the proponents of the Big Bang, the most typically accepted explanation for the origin of mass and space. Those who embrace the idea that the universe came into existence through rapid expansion during conditions of extreme density and heat, that planets and life resulted from the Big Bang, and that matter obtained mass because of a cosmological collision anticipate the discovery of this “God particle.”

      August 17, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Mass Debater

      "Higgs boson describes how particles might acquire mass, particles pre-existing is required.."

      Please explain to us Chad, what a particle with absolutely 0 mass is, or rather, whether a particle with 0 mass is.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Chad, i'm not sure if you just don't understand what we are talking about when discussing the origin of mass, since you seem to think there is a state of existence that you can have pre-mass, or if you are purposefully trying to obfuscate the truth behind the discovery of Higgs Boson. For understanding it goes right to the core of understanding universal origins. To explain it simply with what we now know about higgs boson physisicts can now say "Yes, something can come from nothing, it's our deffinition of nothing that is flawed." It verifies the concept that a particle can pop into existence in what seems to us as empty space with a readable mass where no particle had existed before, which is exactly why some refer to it as the God particle. Now, you can keep claiming that it's your God that is there in the dark matter of what we would consider empty space and that the particles that pop into existence are being sent by magical spirit creatures just for our benefit, but seeing as how we have been able to reproduce this effect and study it, it seems far more likely to be just another aspect to the nature of the universe and requires no sentient being directing it's traffic.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mas s Debater "Chad, i'm not sure if you just don't understand what we are talking about when discussing the origin of mass, since you seem to think there is a state of existence that you can have pre-mas s, or if you are purposefully trying to obfuscate the truth behind the discovery of Higgs Boson. For understanding it goes right to the core of understanding universal origins. To explain it simply with what we now know about higgs boson physisicts can now say ""

      @Chad "sorry.. no.. you REALLY should start getting in the habit of looking things up first..

      In short, HB explains how (after the initial creation of matter), that matter obtained ma ss. If the Higgs boson didn't appear, then particle physics couldn't explain why anything in the universe has ma ss, filling a large gap in the Big Bang model, as w/out HB particles would just be "zipping around the universe"

      At the moment the universe began all particles existed in symmetry and were massless and were all zipping around at the speed of light. All particles in the universe were perfectly distributed across the universe. All the forces of nature had the same strength and all matter particles had the same m ass (zero) There was no gravity because there was no way for gravity to act on a universe of perfect symmetrical distribution of mas sless matter.

      Then the higgs field switched on in the first trillionth of a second and broke that symmetry, broke the perfection, like someone at a dinner party picking up a glass and ruining the symmetry of the table arrangement and it was this, this falling into disordered a-symmetry which meant that some particles took on mass and some didn't. Gravity now could do its stuff, pulling on particles of different masses and from that we get structures and ultimately the galaxies, stars, planets and us.

      It was imperfection and disorder that made the universe as we know it possible. There is an irony here, existance owes itself to disorder and imperfection and not the other way around. If the universe had remained symmetrical then nothing would have mass and would be just a perfect, symmetrical soup of mas sless particles. The breaking of symmetry was a vital stage for existence

      The really important thing to remember is that matter existed first. HB has NOTHING to do with some kind of explanation of how all the the matter in our universe came from nothing.

      I am absolutely CONTINUALLY shocked at how little investigation atheists do prior to proclaiming triumphal judgements
      simply amazing..

      August 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Chadwiki

      When I want the real stuff I go to Scientific American. It's a little above my grade level, but worth the effort.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      You continually nit-pick about the details of what is known scientifically about evolution and cosmology (which is quite a lot), yet you never have been able to provide even a vague or general answer as to how your "supernatural orchestration" would work. You provide no answer whatsoever, and yet you dance all around the issue, trying with all your might to avoid having to admit your real answer, which is:

      Because God is magic.

      And magic by it's very definition does not fall within natural laws or the realm of science. With all your bluster and bluff, and all your cutting and pasting the carefully selected words of scientists, and all of your adopted science vocabulary, you are still simply arguing that it's all the result of magic. That's no good – magic is right out as an acceptable explanation.

      You are making the same old god of the gaps argument, only you've narrowed that gap to tiny fissures. You are still just arguing that everything in the universe – every event, every particle of matter and anti-matter – is the result of the supernatural magic in those tiny gaps.

      This is why you're not actually talking about science, Chad. Proposing magic as part of any explanation disqualifies you from scientific debate.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "The really important thing to remember is that matter existed first. HB has NOTHING to do with some kind of explanation of how all the the matter in our universe came from nothing."

      "mat·ter/ˈmatər/Noun: Physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass"

      So, you are saying "matter" existed first, then HB gave the magic matter mass thus making HB just a secondary effect? But you agree that it's the HB that gave matter it's mass? So by definition matter requires mass to be matter, and yet you claim it existed before it became matter. I also read scientific American, and I believe you are completely confused as to what their theory of the HB is, since the articles I have read make it very clear that you can't have matter before you have mass and you can't have mass before the HB gives mass to the matter. Much like there is no gravity without mass, there is no matter without the HB.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chad

      I should have said "particles existed first" to be perfectly clear..

      Again, the key point being that HB has nothing to do with the creation of that which makes up the universe.. It has to do with operations on that which makes up the universe immediately after their creation (by an external force).

      At the moment the universe began all particles existed in symmetry and were massless and were all zipping around at the speed of light. All particles in the universe were perfectly distributed across the universe. All the forces of nature had the same strength and all matter particles had the same m ass (zero) There was no gravity because there was no way for gravity to act on a universe of perfect symmetrical distribution of mas sless matter.

      Then the higgs field switched on in the first trillionth of a second ....

      HB has NOTHING to say about particle creation.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Chad

      I should have said "particles existed first" to be perfectly clear..

      Again, the key point being that HB has nothing to do with the creation of that which makes up the universe.. It has to do with operations on that which makes up the universe immediately after their creation (by an external force).

      At the moment the universe began all particles existed in symmetry and were ma ssless and were all zipping around at the speed of light. All particles in the universe were perfectly distributed across the universe. All the forces of nature had the same strength and all matter particles had the same m ass (zero) There was no gravity because there was no way for gravity to act on a universe of perfect symmetrical distribution of mas sless matter.

      Then the higgs field switched on in the first trillionth of a second ....

      HB has NOTHING to say about initial particle creation.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Chad

      Rufus: Does science concern itself with the trigger necessarily associated with the particle creation? Does it concern itself with asking the question of what was the source of the material that comprises our universe?

      You continue to claim that that topic is outside the realm of science (which studies only the natural universe), and therefor is "magic".

      You seem to be the only one that considers the topic "magic"..

      August 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      No, Chad. I've never said that the possibility of something external to our universe is automatically magic. I am saying that your idea of a supernatural being that exists outside of space and time, who possesses a consciousness and an ability to "fine-tune" the entire universe using only his own supernatural will constitutes magic. This is where all of your tedious arguments ultimately lead. This is what you are ultimately arguing for, right?

      August 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Chad

      well Rufus, if you find it disconcerting that the external force is referred to as "God", feel free to call it "Mike"

      🙂

      August 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "There was no gravity because there was no way for gravity to act on a universe of perfect symmetrical distribution of mas sless matter."

      There is no such thing as massless matter. There are massless particles and anti-particles such as electrons and quarks and anti-electrons and anti-quarks which then brings us to the theory part that depending on your physicist may opt for M-theory or membrane theory as the particles interact in the first 3 dimentsions out of the 11 hypothetical dimensions theorized by some physicists of space allowing for interaction with HB that gives them definable mass and thus brings the strings or waves of particles and anti-particles together and turns them into matter.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      @Chad "well Rufus, if you find it disconcerting that the external force is referred to as "God", feel free to call it "Mike"

      I didn't refer to any name, but if Mike is what you want to call the hocus-pocus element of every single one of your arguments, that's fine. "Magic Mike" will work just fine.

      It doesn't avoid the issue that you're trying to dance your way out of, which is that all of your arguments utterly fail in any scientific or rational forum because they incorporate magic as a fundamental part of the explanation. You have to face up to the fact that no matter whose work you quote, no matter what terms you use, you are never actually discussing science as long as you are relying upon magic for any part of your explanation.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, I have given it some thought, and I have to admit that you have finally inspired me. I think referring to your supernatural force as Magic Mike is hands-down the best idea you have put forward on this blog. It changes nothing in the meaning of your arguments, but substituting "Magic Mike" makes it clear just how ridiculous your arguments really are.

      A typical Chad comment from above:
      @Chad: "Again, the key point being that HB has nothing to do with the creation of that which makes up the universe.. It has to do with operations on that which makes up the universe immediately after their creation (by an external force)."

      Same comment, but the childish absurdity of your argument is made much clearer using the new terminology:
      @Chad: "Again, the key point being that HB has nothing to do with the creation of that which makes up the universe.. It has to do with operations on that which makes up the universe immediately after their creation (by Magic Mike).

      Brilliant. Thank you, Chad.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Chad

      rufus, there are innumerable sites with information on HB, why not do some reading then come back?

      for example, try this one, it is a very easy read:

      How is the Higgs boson related to the Big Bang?
      About 13.7 billion years ago, the Big Bang sent mas sless particles and radiation energy zooming
      through the universe. Scientists theorize that fractions of a second later, part of the radiation energy
      congealed into the Higgs field. When the universe began to cool, particles acquired ma ss from the Higgs field, slowed down and began to bunch up to form composite particles and, eventually, atoms.

      Or this:
      http://www.insidescience.org/?q=content/physicists-detect-new-heavy-particle/724&track=AW

      there are many...

      as you read, you will notice a common thread.. namely that HB was immediately AFTER the universe began. As such, it is no where discussed as a possible trigger for the creation.

      For theories on the creation, see Big Bang, MultiVerse, and Genesis 1.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Umm, thanks Chad for those reading recommendations, but I didn't say anything about Higgs Boson. This is another one of your diversionary tactics (or maybe you just simply can't dissect an argument – which actually might explain a lot).

      What I am addressing is your tedious semantic arguments about, well, most anything, that are all just desperate attempts to show that whatever is not entirely understood is the work of Magic Mike.

      Why is everything the way it is? Because Magic Mike wanted it do be that way and He fine-tuned the universe so it would happen.

      Why does the universe exist? Magic Mike.
      Why is there life? Magic Mike.
      Why do new species evolve? Magic Mike.

      This is really what you're getting at, right? Your pseudo-intellectual debates are all just an attempt to obscure the simple fact that all your arguing is that Magic Mike wanted it that way and he did it with his magic. Right?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Umm, thanks Chad for those reading recommendations, but I didn't say anything about Higgs Boson. This is another one of your diversionary tactics (or maybe you just simply can't dissect an argument – which actually might explain a lot).

      What I am addressing is your tedious semantic arguments about, well, most anything, that are all just desperate attempts to show that whatever is not entirely understood is the work of Magic Mike.

      Why is everything the way it is? Because Magic Mike wanted it do be that way and He fine-tuned the universe so it would happen.

      Why does the universe exist? Magic Mike.
      Why is there life? Magic Mike.
      Why do new species evolve? Magic Mike.

      This is really what you're getting at, right? Your pseudo-intellectual debates are all just an attempt to obscure the simple fact that all your arguing is that Magic Mike wanted it that way so he made it happen with his magic. Right?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad is all smoke and mirrors. He goes on and on and on but at the end of the day it's all because of Magic Mike.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  9. AverageJoe76

    Question For The Faithful:

    If when we die, we're supposed to go to either heaven or hel_l. If that's the case, what is a ghost? How'd they escape the process for being sent to one of two destinations? Is there a process flaw with the shipment of souls?

    August 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Chad

      what makes you think that Christians believe in ghosts?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Chad

      What's the Holy Ghost?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chad

      Read Joel 2 and John 14-16

      August 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Chad, seriously? So christians will believe that the ancients saw legitimate ghosts/ spirits/ angels/ demons, but none today? I don't get how you formed that rebuttal. It's about spirit-U-ality. 'Spirit"s in there. Not liquor. Casper.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Chad

      hmm, no. try again..

      August 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Chad, then obviously you pick -n- choose. Because the ancients saw spirits. Angels. Heck.... Moses saw God, face-2-face!! But it's a 'no-go' with ghosts, huh?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad:
      defintion of spirit-1.
      a. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.
      b. Incorporeal consciousness.
      2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.
      3. Spirit The Holy Spirit.
      4. A supernatural being, as:
      a. An angel or a demon.
      b. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon.
      c. A fairy or sprite.
      5.a. The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings: Though unable to join us today, they are with us in spirit.
      b. The essential nature of a person or group.

      defintion Incorporeal-: not corporeal : having no material body or form

      defintion of ghost-: the seat of life or intelligence : soul
      2: a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
      3: spirit, demon

      if you believe in angels/demons/ holy spirit/ god etc etc etc you believe in ghosts, non-corporeal beings not exsisting on our same plain of exsistance. the fun part of religion is you also believe in magic and aliens aka extra-terristrial; you can't claim you don't believe in magic because what "god" did to create the universe from nothing qualifies as magic, plus seeing he was born/created on earth he would qualify as an E.T. i love fun with words. lmfao

      August 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  10. Michael O'Brien

    I love this quote " When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

    August 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  11. JesusNotReligion

    To all Athiest's who say they have no faith that God exists because of a lack of evidence and that the burden of proof is on us "idiots" who must be "mentally ill" for believing in a n adult "fairy-tale":
    When you look at a Rembrandt do you "reason" and say, "What a wonderful accident"?

    When you read an extraordinary piece of Literature like Shakespeare do you "reason" to yourself, "It took 80 Billion years but all these thoughts, letters and characters finally made their way into the nicely bound book".

    When you listen to Mozart do you "reason" within yourself that what you are listening to was due to some "random chance process"?

    When you YOURSELF write a Post herein, do you expect us to "reason" and "believe" that what you thought out and wrote simply came out of thin air – or do you not expect that you will be recognized and understood as an intelligent being who, though we can not see you, you are really out there somewhere?

    Why don't you all use the same "reasoning" when you look at the world (intelligent design/ creation with form and function) around you? My "friends", YOU INDEED HAVE FAITH BUT IT IS "UNREASONABLE"...In fact, you all have more faith than us idiot followers of JesusNotReligion...and if we're "idiots" what does that make you? Please consider this post the next time you go to a Museum or listen to your favorite piece of music...My apologies for any typos...I really did type this and I'm only human...

    August 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gee....how do you make the logical leap from a creator to a "God"?

      August 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really galls you that none of what you've posted is proof that a god did anything, doesn't it,JNR?

      August 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      It is as you are saying that something created us, therefore jesus died for your sins.

      how logical is that?

      welcome to the non-sequitor club. we may not make sense, but we like pizza

      August 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      CREATION IN ANY FORM IS COMMUNICATION OF AN INTELLIGENT BEING; SEEN OR UNSEEN...
      JesusNotReligion

      August 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When I see a Rembrandt, listen to Mozart, or watch a Shakespeare play, I see human creation. I know from seeing the manuscripts that human hands and minds created these works. The proof they were made by people is obvious and provable.

      That we don't yet know how the universe was set in motion does not mean that it "must have been" some invisible being. There are scientific explanations for the development of much of the natural world. That we don't know everything yet, and may not ever know everything, is not a reason to conclude that "god did it".

      Why is it you believers can imagine some giant fairy building a man out of dust, but you can't imagine ANY OTHER POSSIBLE causes for the existence of the universe?

      August 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CREATION IN ANY FORM IS COMMUNICATION OF AN INTELLIGENT BEING; SEEN OR UNSEEN...

      Oh? Says who? You?

      You can believe that if you want. You don't have any proof that it's a fact. Why do you keep stating things like this as if they were?

      August 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      JesusnotReligion,

      If you accept the idea that absolutely EVERTHING is designed (rocks, plants, animals, planets, stars) "design" becaomes meaningless because there in then nothing to compare "non-design" to.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • ME II

      @JesusNotReligion,
      How do even know about Jesus if Not for Religion?

      August 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @No Truth, Just Claims

      Hey -No Truth...

      " If you accept the idea that absolutely EVERTHING is designed (rocks, plants, animals, planets, stars) "design" becaomes meaningless because there in then nothing to compare "non-design" to. "

      I agree... and, interestingly enough, in an even broader context, there is nothing for REALITY/LIFE, etc... to *contrast* to.

      The 'one' is all there is.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @JesusNotReligion,

      I can paint, play an instrument, and write a story. That's one reason why I appreciate the works of people who do it so much better than I.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Why is it that you can not see that YOU HAVE FAITH in the work of some "Scientist" that you don't personally know. You are simply BELIEVING that his/ her work (and subsequent "writings") is reliable, flawless and objective evidence? You didn't do the research – YOU'RE JUST "BELIEVING" IT...I trust the Bible, its Author through men of His choosing, its Prophetic material written 450-1000 year+ BC, all fulfilled in ONE Historic Person (Jesus) – NOTE: Most of these said prophecies (300+) can no longer be fulfilled for one "historic reason" or another. Bottom Line: You have FAITH IN SOMEONE! INCLUDING YOUR OWN "REASONING" SKILLS THAT YOU DON'T SEE ARE NOT AS "OBJECTIVE" AS YOU WOYLD LIKE TO "BELIEVE" THEY ARE? (Caps for EMPHASIS not loudness)...JesusNotReligion...FaithNotFiction...

      August 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @JesusNotReligion,
      Science is reproducible, testable, and verifiable.
      Most claims in science, by the time I hear about them anyway, have already been independently verified. Additionally, if I still don't trust the results, I can, given the abilities, education, and resources, do the research myself to confirm or disprove the claims.
      That is not faith.

      Religion, on the other hand, is not testable in any objective, reproducible way. It is either believed or not regardless of any evidence.
      That is faith.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      You really don't see the hypocrisy in your words, do you? Why in the world would we not believe in your God if it was real? Why?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • joe

      The funny thing is atheists worship government, people, money, materialism ect. So actually you're all idol worshipers and are completely ignorant of it.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @joe

      Sorry there little joey, worship if for the religious.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • ME II

      @joe,
      "atheists worship..."
      Sorry, but how exactly do atheists "worship" anything?
      And, even if they did "idol worship" is only "bad" in your opinion. If you're going to attempt to insult someone, at least, make the effort to be insulting.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      JNR, writing in caps doesn't make your as sertions any more powerful; in fact, it makes you look desperate.

      I don't have "faith" in what science shows; I can read the studies, look at the data, see repeti t ions of the experiments or studies that either support or contradict the results. It isn't 'faith' that I have, it's evidence. You don't have any evidence of a god. There could be one, but you haven't shown any studies that back up your belief.

      That's fine. You don't have to, as long as you stop insisting that you "know" god is real and exists and that it created all things. You believe that. It isn't fact. It's faith.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you know what atheists do, joey? How do you know they all do it?

      I know some Christians who worship money and goods and some who don't. I know some who are complete ass wipes and some who are among the finest humans I've ever met.

      I know some who believe that gays are evil and others who are gay.

      How many atheists do you know?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      There's no problem in believing in intelligent design. The problem lies in the rules created in association with the 'Intelligent Designer'. This is where imagination goes wrong. It's been forced into reality with little to stand on except, "look at how grand the mountains and oceans are....... they must've been made by God". That's fine, but keep it right there -- go no further. Any other statements are merely organized assumptions that attract more followers to your 'concept of God'.

      I've seen this as man's arrogance. It has to be. Mankind has been dominant in the animal kingdom so long, it believes it's seperate from the reality around him. And when man dies, he goes to a grand place to reward him for living or punish him for not folowing the rules. Humans, you'll be recycled. Your atoms do not get destroyed. They're reconfigured into something else. Everything in the universe is recycled. Nothing truly dies.

      Can I get an Amen?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Jesusnot Religion,

      "Why is it that you can not see that YOU HAVE FAITH in the work of some "Scientist" that you don't personally know."

      This is one of the most dishonest arguments theists throuw around. Words like "faith" have more than one meaning and usage and you are conflating the 2 in an effort to claim science and religion are equally "just a claim you have to accept or reject" with the same amount of foundation. You know this is dishonest and yet you and your ilk continually do this. This type of religious dishonesty actually helps bring people to our side of rejecting religious claims as unproven assertions.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I don't have faith in a scientist I don't know and I don't need to.
      The nature of the scientific process precludes faith.
      That unknown scientist had to meticulously doc/ument every step of his experiments to test their hypothesis.
      If I am so incllned, I can repeat those experiments to see if the hypothesis is sound and the results reproducible.
      No faith required.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      Average Joe: I agree. As I stated to someone earlier, they appear to make the leap from "something created us" to "therefore, jesus died for your sins"....they do not follow

      August 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      "COMMUNICATION" IN ANY FORM, SUCH AS CREATION or LANGUAGE, "THEORETICALLY" EVIDENCES AN INTELLIGENT BEING...But you all can respond by proving that theory wrong...
      The "theory" of evolution is not based on repeatable, observable "Science"...That's why it is called a THEORY (more CAPS! I must be desperate:-))...I'm not saying that all you athiests believe in the theory of evolution, but many of you do from what I have read...
      JESUS is declared to be the "Word (Gk. Logos) made flesh" (John 1:1)...Great minds like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates (which I am sure you all respect from one degree to another) all understood that it is irrational and illogcical for there to be "thought", "logic" (Gk. "Logos") and even "communication" without an absolute Source behind it ALL.
      Some of you only addressed part of my post...some in goodwill, most NOT SO MUCH...All I would ask is that you use the same "Literary testing principles" on the Bible that you would use for ANY literary work of antiquity, and perhaps the FAITH that you are all irrationally evidencing will be re-directed towards/IN JesusNotReligion...Like the once "mocking thief on the cross" who BELIEVED in Jesus BEFORE there was ever a man-made "Religion" that domesticated Him for their own personal gain and power trip over humamity...WAKE UP! (Caps for DESPERATE LOUDNESS on your behalf)...

      August 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @JesusNotReligion
      "'COMMUNICATION' IN ANY FORM, SUCH AS CREATION or LANGUAGE..."
      How is "creation" a form of communication?

      "The 'theory' of evolution is not based on repeatable, observable 'Science'..."
      Incorrect. "Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." (http://ncse.com/evolution/education/definitions-fact-theory-law-scientific-work)
      There is plenty of evidence to support the Theory of Evolution.

      "All I would ask is that you use the same 'Literary testing principles' on the Bible that you would use for ANY literary work of antiquity,..."
      Any ancient literary reference to magic/supernatural/etc., e.g. gods in the Iliad and Odyssey, is discounted as myth or legend, why is the Bible any different?

      August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      ME II...What I mean is "Historical" works of antiquity...Eyewitness accounts/ reporting, which, for example, "Luke" (a Physician, not one of th 12 Apostles) wrote his Gospel an d the boof of "Acts":
      Luke 1
      "1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

      I disagree with how you and your posted link are broadly redifining the word "theory"...If you choose to believe that you definitely have more faith than me...

      You honestly don't see how "creation" (something that possesses verifiable "form & function") communcates intelligence

      August 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      I do apologize for typos. Working on my Tablet. No mouse. No spellcheck. Very frustrating. I've already lost some posts that would have converted the most staunch athiest...Though it truly is not my repsonsibility to convert anyone – no more than it is the reeponsibility of a King's "Ambassador" sent to present a "Peace Treaty" to His soon-to-be destroyed enemies with "Terms of Surrender" prior to His coming...JesusNotReligion

      August 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • ME II

      @JesusNotReligion,
      You said, "What I mean is 'Historical' works of antiquity..."

      Is that not the very thing in question? Whether or not the Bible is, in fact, "Historical"? Why should we compare the Bible to 'other historical docu.ments' when its "historical" nature has not been determined? Hence, my statement about references to magic/miracles/supernatural ususally indicating a non-historical docu.ment, i.e. the Bible is not "Historical" in nature.

      You said, "I disagree with how you and your posted link are broadly redifining the word 'theory'..."

      From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
      "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. "
      (http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/evolution/qanda.shtml)

      National Academy of Sciences:
      "Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses."
      (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6024&page=2)

      The NAS goes further to clarify:
      "The contention that evolution should be taught as a 'theory, not as a fact' confuses the common use of these words with the scientific use. In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accu[.]mulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science. They are understandings that develop from extensive observation, experimentation, and creative reflection. They incorporate a large body of scientific facts, laws, tested hypotheses, and logical inferences. In this sense, evolution is one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have."

      You said, "You honestly don't see how 'creation' (something that possesses verifiable 'form & function') communcates intelligence"
      What do you mean by "creation"? An act of creating a painting for example might be viewed as a form of communication, but I don't see how the exsistence of the universe, as "creation", communicates intelligence, no.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      ME II...Here is my last word to you on this. Read a very short book called "More Than A Carpenter" by Josh McDowell or any of Lee Stroebel's books if you are of any goodwill. Thanks for the oppoertunity to somewhat dialogue. I've the links you've posted. JesusNotReligion

      August 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you post misinformation and outright lies, JNR, you can expect to be addressed with scorn.

      I'm not even going to dignify your posts with a lengthy reply, but start here: look up the word THEORY as it used in science, as opposed to the way it is used in casual conversation. It is beyond obvious you don't have even a whiff of a clue as to what that definition is.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • ME II

      @JesusNotReligion,
      Not sure if I offended you or not. My apologies, if that is the case.
      I have not read Stroebel's books but have seen some of his videos themed after those books, "Case for Christ", "Case for faith", etc., and have to say that I'm not too impressed. As with many apologetic approaches the main thrust seems to be selectively choosing events or conditions that seem to lend support while ignoring or minimizing things that don't. Admittedly, most people do the same thing for whatever position they are taking. But for the Bible to be granted a status of "historically accurate", I would think it needs to be exhaustively determined to be accurate historically. In other words, if it is proven beyond a doubt that 99% of its history is true, I still wouldn't accept the last 1% of its history as true, based solely on the rest being true. That last 1% most still stand on its own.

      Basically, in my opinion, the believer views every historical event portrayed accurately in the Bible as lending credence to the rest of the book. Whereas the non-believer views the rest of the book as lending discredit to the historical portions of the Bible, whether verifiable or not. The truth, I think, is neither. Each portion must stand on its own.

      Whether there was a Jericho or not lends no credence to the story of it being felled by a trumpet (if that's the right story/city). Likewise, whether or not Jesus walked on water in the Sea of Galilee adds/detracts not one bit from the possibility of there being a person born named Jesus, or there being a Sea of Galilee, for that matter.

      As for the books, I have noted them, and may read them as time permits. Likewise, if "you are of goodwill" (whatever that was meant to imply) you might find "Why Evolution is true" by Jerry Coyne to be informative.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • jimmer

      I just farted

      Thanks god!

      August 17, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      ME II...No offense taken.. Gracious post on your part. I disagree with your reasoning, but gracious nonetheless...Book also noted...Though, in all sincerity, At 51, I have read my share of Pro-Evolution books...Watched videos (oooh, my age is showing), but not only am I convinced of Jesus' power and presence in my life with the witness of His Word, I am also convinced that "Evolution" overlooks where the "INFORMATION" came from that is clearly coded in Mankind and Creation.
      If you looked at matter like looking at a CD, that's just one fiew...but what about all that information loaded onto that CD? There is no way to explain that away with some "accident" theory...No way...You will differ, I'm sure, but I am just about done working with this particular BLOG...Perhaps we will meet up on another. i am dealing with Observer right now on the front page ofvthis blog...page 53...C'Ya...JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  12. god is imaginary

    If heaaven existed, what are hospitals for?

    August 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • jimmer

      Hospitals are for all the atheist soldiers that apparently are no longer in Foxholes.

      There would be theist soldiers in hospitals, except that they don't need hospitals because god takes care of them and they never get injured. Only atheist soldiers get injured.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  13. jimmer

    Remember how sad you were when you found out there was no Santa Claus.

    That's why people still believe in god.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Andy

      Actually, Santa Claus was based on a real person.
      Despite thousands of years of searching there's still not a shred of evidence that any God has ever existed.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  14. tim young

    Sam and Huebert have a great day

    August 16, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Huebert

      You as well.

      August 16, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • sam stone

      you too

      August 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  15. pam

    People can worship rocks if they want, just don't throw them at me. Keep religion out of politics. History has already proven the results are disastrous

    August 16, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  16. tim young

    I feel sorry for all of you who make unkind statements against GOD. I am saying with this with love and kindness to the non believer.
    (JESUS)
    Matthew 12:36
    But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • sam stone

      timmy: your empty proxy threats are laughable.

      also, atheists cannot hate a being in which they do not believe. perhaps a logic class should be in order

      August 16, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Feel sorry all you want. We don't give it a second thought. To us your god is imaginary and all your dire warnings are utterly meaningless. You might just as well be saying that we're all going to make the naughty list and end up with coal in our stockings for all the good it will do. Remember it is only believers who fear the awful wrath of your God. We are unimpressed.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • sam stone

      timmy: you do realize that quoting from a book to people who do not accept the validity of the book is only sooo effective, don't you?

      August 16, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Huebert

      I feel sorry for you. You only get a few years to be alive and you are wasting time trying to please an imaginary friend.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Chris

      Seems to me that all of the Christians on here are being friendly and tolerant, while the atheists are mocking their beliefs. Class act guys. If you don't believe, don't mock others who do, that's just petty.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • joe

      Hey sam, just wondering why you name call something that does not exist(in your own mind). Wouldn't that be insanity.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Huebert – I agree with you. We burn out so quickly, like embers. I'd rather search and get it wrong, then to settle with what feels so wrong in my gut. The biggest problem is, they've never met, seen, talked, or touched their imaginary friend yet they'll do anything for him.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      joe: what am i name calling?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  17. saggyroy

    What is wrong with our wiring that we have created god(s)?

    August 16, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • sam stone

      we are tribal.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Not much...there is simply a gap between what we know and what we don't know. People cope with that gap differently. Some fear it and turn to religion. Others embrace it and seek to close the gap through learning.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      We are social animals and thus we assign motive and social traits to everything around us ("Good morning, Mr. Sunshine"). So perhaps we attribute everything we don't understand or can't explain to an invisible person and then go about establishing a story and rules about our relationship to him. Maybe it's our way of trying to socialize with the inanimate universe.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Rufus

      Exactly. Mankind have given the universe a human face.
      In an effort to grasp the unknown we have anthropomorphized that which we don't understand. The vast emptiness of space seems less foreboding if we imagine a father-like creator. The finality of our mortality is less threatening if we believe our essence somehow continues and the cold, impartial cosmos is imbued with purpose and meaning if it all appeared with intent. But all that is just wishful thinking. There is no justified reason to believe our place is in this universe is any more significant than say my pet cat. It is pure ego to raise ourselves above anything more than bright apes.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Joe

      Rufus & Steve,

      Yes.

      Ol' man river,
      Dat ol' man river
      He mus'know sumpin'
      But don't say nuthin',
      He jes'keeps rollin'
      He keeps on rollin' along.

      Ol' Man River, The Man in the Moon, The Man Upstairs... same, same.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • jimmer

      "Ol' Man River, The Man in the Moon, The Man Upstairs... same, same"

      Santa, Bigfoot, leprechauns, unicorns, tooth fairy, Harry Potter....

      Same same.

      Except for Santa. I think he might actually be real. I saw him at the mall, and there were presents under my christmas tree. So at least there is SOME evidenced of Santa.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Simran

      @ Atheist Steve,
      Well said. The concept of diety and religion started somewhere in the Paleolithic Age, about 50,000 yrs ago. It is believed to be one of the cultural universals alonside art, music and language. The most distinctive feature in the Gargas caves are the 230 handprints, made in the ice age, and some as long as 28000 years ago. Our ancestors placed their hands against the wall and blew paint over the hand to form the image. The prints span all ages, from children to adults.Investigations have shown the caves were not inhabited by our ancestors but yet they continued to venture down deep into the caves, and leave indelible records of their visits. Some of these caves could be regarded as mankind's first churches!

      August 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Fear of the unknown. It's not hard to imagine the horror man experienced throughout history with things he couldn't explain. Comets, eclipses, maybe even aliens. Better to tell the kiddies, and anyone that will follow, that I've been sent from the All-Father to pass on his message. Fear motivates more than love, I think. And that fear is part of our survival wiring. When it translated into fear of invisible things, that's when we started going downhill.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  18. ANTANAS

    Labas gerbiamas drauge.Man malonu ,kad zmones domisi religija.As esu vienas is daugelio zmoniu kuris turejo tiesiogini rysi su Jesumi Kristumi .Mano misija sioje planetoje zeme yra padeti naslaiciams vaikams,invalidams.Todel as ir ikuriau karito kompanija jungtineje Karalysteje ir pavadinau SOS HELP NOW LTD.Dar siais metais pradesiu statyti globos namus NASLAICIAMS VAIKAMS,TAIP PAT LIGONINE.STATYBOS VYKS UZ MANO ASMENINIUS PINIGUS.NORECIAU ,KAD IR MANO PAVYZDZIU PASIELKTU IR KITI TURTINGI VERSLININKAI.JAESUS Kristus bus yr yra amzinai mano sirdyje .managering director antanas.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:02 am |
  19. truth be told

    @observer
    This has all been explained to you, if you did not have the mental capacity to understand the first time why would you have the mental facilities to understand now ?

    August 16, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • sam stone

      tbt: what an intellectual and spiritual inspiration you are too all. now, cvnt, f off

      August 16, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • truth be told

      When confronted with Truth it does not take long for the so called atheist to degenerate to vulgarity and filth.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:55 am |
    • sam stone

      It doesn't take long for so-called christians to engage in self-congratulatory piety.....the "Truth", indeed. tbt, you are a pompous jacka$$....as far as vulgarity, consider those who claim to speak for god.

      now, b1tch, pull the bible out of your rectum

      August 16, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • saggyroy

      "When confronted with Truth it does not take long for the so called atheist to degenerate to vulgarity and filth."

      Another version:

      When confronted with Truth it does not take long for the so called xtians to degenerate to using the sword.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • sam stone

      the truth is no one knows any more about god than anyone else.

      fvcks like tbt just like feeling superior.

      pettty punks worship a petty punk god. tbt is yet another example

      August 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

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

      August 16, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Confused face

      @tbt,

      speaks in the manner of Yoda morphed with Spock. Both beings as real as his fake god. Figures.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • jimmer

      "When confronted with Truth it does not take long for the so called atheist to degenerate to vulgarity and filth"

      Suck my dick.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Emperors Tailor

      This has all been explained to you, if you did not have the mental capacity to understand the first time you were shown my magnificent invisible cloth why would you have the mental facilities, or the fashion savy to understand now ?

      August 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changeth things

    August 16, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example; Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Dude

      Studies have shown that people who know they are being prayed for do worse when recovering from surgery. So, prayer not only does NOT help, it is detrimental to actually accomplishing good.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:17 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.