September 22nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?

Editor’s note: The new documentary "Hellbound?" explores Americans' ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.

My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell

Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is "Crazy For God."

By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN

Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.

And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which the 9/11 extremists originated – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

What a pair George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden made! On the one hand, an American president who was a born-again evangelical with a special "heart" for the state of Israel and its importance to the so-called end times, and on the other hand a terrorist leader who believed that he was serving God by ridding the Arabian Peninsula of an American presence and cleansing the "defiled" land of Palestine of what he believed were “invader Jews.”

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So whether you're an atheist or not, the issue of who's going to hell or not matters because there are a lot of folks on this planet – many of them extraordinarily well-armed - from born-again American military personnel to Muslim fanatics, who seriously believe that God smiles upon them when they send their enemies to hell.

And so my view of "hell" encompasses two things: First, the theological question about whether a land of eternal suffering exists as God's "great plan" for most of humanity.

Second, the question of the political implications of having a huge chunk of humanity believe in damnation for those who disagree with their theology, politics and culture, as if somehow simply killing one's enemies is not enough.

What most people don't know is that there's another thread running through both Christianity and Islam that is far more merciful than the fundamentalists’ take on salvation, judgment and damnation.

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Paradise, which Muslims believe is the final destination of the society of God’s choice, is referred to in the Quran as "the home of peace"

“Our God,” Muslims are asked to recite, “You are peace, and peace is from You.”

Since Christianity is my tradition, I can say more about it. One view of God - the more fundamentalist view - is of a retributive God just itching to punish those who "stray."

The other equally ancient view, going right back into the New Testament era, is of an all-forgiving God who in the person of Jesus Christ ended the era of scapegoat sacrifice, retribution and punishment forever.

As Jesus said on the cross: "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally. This is the less-known view today because fundamentalists - through televangelists and others - have been so loud and dominant in North American culture.

But for all that, this redemptive view is no less real.

Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge. And according to brain chemistry studies, taking revenge and nurturing resentment is a major source of life-destroying stress.

For a profound exploration of the madness caused by embracing the “justice” of “godly” revenge and retribution, watch the film “Hellbound?”

The film shows how the "hell" of revenge thinking, and the resulting unhinging of some people’s brains through their denial of human empathy, leads them to relish the violent future of suffering that they predict awaits the “lost” in hell.

Do we really want to go back to a time of literalistic religion. Wasn’t 9/11 enough of an argument against retributive religion?

We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frank Schaeffer.

My Faith: Hell is for real and Jesus is the only way out

Editor's Note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN

As a pastor, my job is to tell the truth. Your job is to make a decision.

When controversies over biblical doctrines arise, it’s a humbling opportunity to answer questions about what the Bible teaches without getting into name-calling and mudslinging. Near the very top of the controversial doctrines is hell.

What happens when we die?

Human beings were created by God with both a physical body and a spiritual soul. When someone dies, their body goes into the grave and their spirit goes into an afterlife to face judgment.

But death is not normal or natural—it’s an enemy and the consequence of sin.

Think of it in this way: God is the source of life. When we choose to live independently of God and rebelliously against God it is akin to unplugging something from its power source. It begins to lose power until it eventually dies.

The Bible is clear that one day there will be a bodily resurrection for everyone, to either eternal salvation in heaven or eternal condemnation in hell.

Christians believe a person’s eternal status depends on their relationship with Jesus and that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Our lives are shaped by the reality that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

What does Jesus say about hell?

Jesus was emphatically clear on the subject of hell. He alone has risen from death and knows what awaits us on the other side of this life. A day of judgment is coming when all of us — even you — will rise from our graves and stand before him for eternal sentencing to either worshiping in his kingdom or suffering in his hell.

The Bible could not be clearer: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

These are not just obscure Bible verses. In fact, Jesus talks about hell more than anyone else in Scripture. Amazingly, 13% of his sayings are about hell and judgment, and more than half of his parables relate to the eternal judgment of sinners.

Keep in mind that Jesus’ words come in the context of the rest of Scripture, which says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Furthermore, he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

God is far more loving, kind and patient with his enemies than we are with our enemies.

What does the rest of the Bible say about hell?

The Bible gives us many descriptions of hell including (1) fire; (2) darkness; (3) punishment; (4) exclusion from God’s presence; (5) restlessness; (6) second death; and (7) weeping and gnashing of teeth in agony.

A common misperception of Satan is that he’s in a red suit, holding a pitchfork at the gates of hell. But Satan will not[j1]  reign there. Hell is a place of punishment that God prepared for the devil and his angels, and it’s where those who live apart from God will, according to Revelation:

. . . drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.

At the end of the age, the devil will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Hell will be ruled over by Jesus, and everyone present — humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice.

Jesus says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these will go away into eternal punishment.”

Is there a second chance after death?

The Bible is clear that we die once and are then judged without any second chance at salvation. As one clear example, Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”

We live. We die. We face judgment. Period.

How long does the punishment last?

Some argue that the punishment of sinners is not eternal, a view called annihilationism. This means that after someone dies apart from Jesus, they suffer for a while and then simply cease to exist.

Annihilationism is simply not what the Bible teaches. Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus speaks of those who “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Grammatically, there is no difference here between the length of time mentioned for “life” and that for “punishment”; rather, there is simply eternal life and eternal death.

Am I going to hell?

The good news is that the closing verses of the Bible say, “Come!” Everyone is invited to receive the free gift of God’s saving grace in Jesus. Jesus is God become a man to reconcile mankind to God.

He lived the sinless life we have not lived, died a substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. He endured our wrath, rose to conquer our enemies of sin and death, and ascended to heaven where he is ruling as Lord over all today. He did this all in love.

The stark reality is this: either Jesus suffered for your sins to rescue you from hell, or you will suffer for your sins in hell. These are the only two options and you have an eternal decision to make.

My hope and prayer is that you would become a Christian.

Have you confessed your sins to Jesus Christ, seeking forgiveness and salvation?

If not, you are hellbound, and there is no clever scholar who will be of any help when you stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. You’re not required to like hell as much as you need to believe in it, turn from your sin, trust in Jesus, and be saved from an eternal death into an eternal life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Devil • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. readplz

    The God existens proof is In Quran. Just read it. You can find it transelated on the web.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • Hamid

      Everyone is the prisoner of his own experiences. Qur'an needs an understanding with careful minds. Common people or non-muslims will always think it in the wrong way because they want to disapprove it. Many times Christians were unable to prove the today's Bible.
      For details you can see the debate between
      DR. ZAKIR NAIK and DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL at youtube.com
      Dr. William Campbell was unable to answer the questions posed by Dr. Zakir Naik. Dr. Zakir Naik mentioned many (many) scientific mistakes and others, which tell us that this book is edited and not the word of God completely. When Dr. William Campbell tried to find scientific mistakes then Dr. Zakir Naik slaped on his mouth using his explanation about the misunderstandings.
      Today's Bible isn't the word of God but part of it may be the word of God. Qur'an is the last and final message of God which was revealed at Final messenger HAZRAT MUHAMMAD PEACE BE UPON HIM.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:30 am |
    • Hamid

      When a person like you have nothing to say. I allow him to speak like this because otherwise he will fell down to touch his tongue to the mud.
      You people never come to dialogue but to pose questions and never want to listen answers.
      So, you are the real extremist people.
      Go to your bath tub and try practicing to die from today................

      September 24, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  2. abab

    Neither of the 2 different takes on this website are correct. See HellTruth.com

    September 24, 2012 at 5:11 am |
  3. TheDeuce

    Hmmm... an eternity of hell and damnation for <100 years of life (or far far less in some cases)? Yep, that makes sense.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:10 am |
  4. ElDorado786


    I'm posting videos cuz I believe this guy in video have already addressed matter so watch it if you want

    September 24, 2012 at 5:09 am |
  5. ElDorado786


    September 24, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  6. Daniel Cayman

    Anyone who believes in magical sky beings deserves what they'll get...nothing

    September 24, 2012 at 5:05 am |
    • Satan

      Doooh!! word!!! Now go back to sp.a.nking it to ch.i.ld p.o.rn dirty muslims

      September 24, 2012 at 5:08 am |
  7. adnann

    This is the Muslim response to the film "Innocence of Muslims" who insult the Messenger of Allah!!!

    I am a Muslim,
    I'm proud to be Muslim,
    because history proves ..

    It was not Muslims who started the first world war.
    It was not Muslims who started the second world war.
    It was not Muslims that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs.
    It was not Muslims who killed 200 million North American Indian.
    It was not Muslims who kill 80 million Indian South America.
    Not Muslims Kill 90 million aboriginal Australia.
    It was not Muslims who took the 180 million people of Africa as slaves and then discard 70 percent of those who died to the Atlantic ocean.
    It was not Muslims who colonized Indonesia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Chechnya, Syria and the other "..
    It was not Muslims who started the case of Poso, Ambon, Maluku and Papua.
    Not defame Muslim Iraq with weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be just a figment.
    Muslim is not a greedy seize the Middle East oil fields.
    It was not Muslims who likes to insult the prophet and other religions.

    And I'm proud of ..
    Although Islam has never shouted shouted as a peaceful religion, but Muslims never attacked anyone whom.
    Although Islam has never shouted shouted rights and tolerance, but the tolerance of Muslim
    than "HAM Swordsman" Americans are racist to blacks,
    than the French headscarf ban,
    Swedish than banning Adhan,
    than swiss prohibiting the establishment of mosques.

    That the majority of Muslim tolerance
    Courageous Muslim minority.
    But there is no tolerance to disobey GOD Almighty.
    Muslim is not a greedy dog with lust colonize.
    Muslim is not a greedy pig lust scorched earth.
    Muslim is not a monkey cunning that always spread slander.
    Muslims never make enemies and
    Muslim HARAM run from the enemies.

    Sorry broadcast is sent to Facebook or Twiiter you. We were insulted by the extraordinary, then we lift these facts and to defend our religion. Allahu Akbar!

    September 24, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • TheDeuce

      Mate – here's a hint: I don't give a care in the world about your religion. Quit being so narcissisticly self-centered and self-absorbed. You want to be a Muslim? Go be one, and leave the rest of us who DON'T alone. The world does not revolve around you or your religion (or Christianty either, for that matter).

      September 24, 2012 at 5:13 am |
    • Darketernal

      Don't feel proud even one bit, your so called prophet was a military dictator that you are following, a murderer and a child predator who together with their followers killed millions of people with all the wars that Islam started the middle east is a gigantic mess thanks to Muslims, thanks to Islam men have an excuse to beat their wives to a pulp, the world trade center collapsed as a result of Islam, ww2 is over, but thanks to Islam war continues for thousands of years, in other words Mohammed is WORSE then Hitler.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • Hamid

      everyone is the prisoner of his own experiences. These non-muslims are talking because of the lack of knowledge but when they are asked for a dialogue then run away.
      As you can see the dialogue between
      Dr. Zakir Naik slapped on the face of Dr. William Campbell using his strong explanations about ISLAM and Dr. William Campbell was so much confused to answer and with apologies he said, I accept that there are many scientific mistakes in Bible but I'll not accept ISLAM. These are the people who are illiterate that when everything is visible and they don't want to accept it just for this reason: We worked hard to disapprove the Qur'an but they always won. ahhhhhhhhhh, no no no, i am right. Bible is correct. how can i be defeated... Such people have an extra layer of illiteracy on their brains.
      ***must watch at youtube.com*** DR. ZAKIR NAIK vs DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL and decide yourself

      September 24, 2012 at 5:41 am |
    • Hamid

      When a person like you have nothing to say. I allow him to speak like this because otherwise he will fell down to touch his tongue to the mud.
      You people never come to dialogue but to pose questions and never want to listen answers.
      So, you are the real extremist people.
      Go to your bath tub and try practicing to die from today................

      September 24, 2012 at 6:36 am |
  8. Rehan

    Dear Fellow Gentlemen & Ladies,
    I believe we all are human beings irrespective of the fact that which religion we belong. So as normal human we have right to live on this earth with whatever belief we have in our mind about God(Allah). No one must not be ridiculed by any one. We the Muslims belong to religion of peace Islam and its the latest or most modern religion in the world. We believe in all Prophets sent by Allah and Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as the last prophet confirms the authority of Jesus Moses and Daud and all. Jesus we are taught in Quran is the one of the greatest prophets sent by Allah on earth. So we Christians and Muslims are cousins we have only one difference that christian believe that Jesus was the Son of Allah which is according to Quran is not right. I ask 1 question to all Christians how can God has only one son and we all humans having no of sons. God almighty who has all the powers in Universe keeps only one son. Since Islam is the latest and the most modern religion so we must respect it and also because both Muhammad(Pbuh) and Jesus(pbuh) are the offspring of Ibrahim (pbuh). So lets dig out the reality study both Quran and Bible. We get life once so we must know which religion is right and folow it so we are rewarded in heaven. Regards

    September 24, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  9. abdulla

    Patience and Peace.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:03 am |
  10. readplz

    9/11 wasnt a reiligous war, because the targets had nothing to do with any religion,it was against the U.S system, they wanted the system down. WTC dosent represent any religious thing,otherwise the could attack in italy,which they never done or the could attack churches which they never done also.
    Heaven and Hell are real. The god, Jesus and Muhammad told us about them, so you should believe in. Thats what you call faith,otherwise you have to check your faith.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:02 am |
    • Hamid

      9/11 was an inside job. Many scholars proved it. But some politicians tried to prove that USAMA BIN LADEN has done this. This was only because of the politics.
      America is going down and down and of course it will touch its tongue to the earth. We are ready to defend ISLAM.
      As you can see the results of Afghan War, Our mujahadin have no fear to defend their true religion. And we welcome all the non-muslims for a dialogue to disapprove ISLAM. But before this, you should watch these dialogue
      After careful listening of this dialogue, a christian will surely accept ISLAM if he/she has a some percent of literacy.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:48 am |
  11. Aamir Dabeer

    Islam is the reglion of peace,"" We are not the good muslim if we do not respect of other reglions"", we are respects others reglions and expecting the same from others, making this kind of movies or other stuff,shows that they have no respect of other reglions speically ISLAM. SO PLS USE YOUR MIND FOR POSITIVE THINGS.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  12. Rogs

    I'm not opposed to the idea of God; I believe in his reverent power and I'm closer to a Christian than an agnostic, but I've always grappled with this idea of 'Hell'. Will my friend, who is a devout muslim and one of the most peaceful, righteous disciplined people I know, have to suffer eternally in the lake of fire and sulphur because he believes in the wrong God and comes from a family of proud muslims? I mean, this is eternal damnation; no opportunity to learn your lesson or be redeemed, you suffer ceaselessly for all eternity, I'm not sure anyone deserves that, maybe a few; Hitler, Stalin etc. but even then eternity still seems a very long time. I cant be the only person who believes in an all-loving God but isn't convinced he would sentence his creations to eternal suffering. We have names for people on earth who torture; sadist; evil; monster. The idea of God overseeing the eternal torture of millions doesnt sit well with me, I'm just a little unsure with this whole hell concept.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:59 am |
    • Hamid

      then you should watch dialogue between
      Dr. Zakir Naik slapped on the face of Dr. William Campbell using his strong explanations.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:57 am |
  13. Will

    Humans are imperfect – living temporary linear lives. We can't comprehend existence in another dimension where time does not exist. Everybody's judgement is just as personalized as each of our lives here on Earth is. If you align your heart to the frequency of love compassion forgiveness then this is what you will receive in return. If you advocate fear hate etc then that is what is in your heart and it is what you will receive in return. It is perfect justice.

    God is love, love is the perfect law – and faith in love is all that is needed for salvation.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:56 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      If humans are imperfect and cannot comprehend that which is transcendent and timeless then how is it that you can say anything whatsoever about it?
      Yes we are limited in our knowledge and imperfection is the norm in reality but what makes you so sure that a perfect and all knowing entity exists? Your speculation is without justification.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      Did you hear the one about tjhe ass hole canadian that minded its own F'n business?

      September 24, 2012 at 5:30 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      You won't it thinks it is so much smarter than everyone else and that everyone needs to hear its bull sh it. (if it was that smart its own country would pay attention to it. Canada doesn't.)

      September 24, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • Hamid



      September 24, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Obfuscation Hamid. If you can't explain in your own words the issue I raised why should I visit some other site.
      Again if the ways of God are so far beyond our understanding then how is it possible to say anything whatsoever about his intent? This is typical of arguments from theists. Whenever we point out some nonsensical problem in scripture the goto response is always that God's ways are beyond understanding but wherever if suits their purposes they are completely clear on what God wants. You can't have it both ways and think you're being rational.
      Oh and fuck off captain asshole/ Dodney Dipshit.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:53 am |


    September 24, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • Satan

      Except you cannot prove a god exists so your tirade is for nothing and when your camel screws you to death you will cease to exist.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • TheDeuce

      Just as I thought – it is "Muslims vs. Americans," not "vs. Christians." Nothing like being under-educated, is there? Enjoy the dirt! (PS – hate to tell you mate, there is no hell, so no, no one is going to be punished anywhere, it's all just going to go black one day, and no, there aren't 100 virgins waiting for you, either. Enjoy the darkness!)

      September 24, 2012 at 5:23 am |
    • Hamid

      God exists, for athiest
      go to
      if you'll have some percent of literacy, you'll learn that God exists.
      for CHRISTIANS
      go to
      and all other religions can visit, http://irf.net

      for clear justification please watch
      Dr. Zakir Naik slapped on the face of Dr. William Campbell with his strong explanations about ISLAM.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:03 am |
  15. karate gopu

    Richard Simmons is more gay. he is a dog and he is idiot.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  16. Aiyoob

    Actually Majority of Jews and Christians are became skeptic due to worldly education which says just worship goddess of science. They have fade up from religion, why,sorry to say. because their books of bible both New and Old Testament having thousands of contradictions, discrepancies, and also have not conformity modern scientific facts. As science progressed however it became clear that there were discrepancies between Biblical Scripture and science. It was therefore decided that comparison would no longer be made. While Holy Book of Islam Qur’an did not contain a single statement that was assailable from a modern scientific point of view, why because its in the same state as it was came from sky by Gabriel towards Muhammad (saw), these are words of a famous writer of the book' The bible Quran and Science"’s Doctor Maurice Bucaille (France). He processed over the Pharaoh's (Mernaphtah) mummy in 1980's. Miracle of Quran is it, that it is in the same state as it was 1400 years back, how, since the last 1400 years, devoted Muslims are used to memorize this Holy Quran in their hearts, so this process has been continuing last 1400 years. So at this time there are 10 million memorizers of Quran in the world. And its a unique book in the world, which is to be read 5 times everyday among 1.8 billion Muslims, in every mosque of every country in the same Arabic language in which it was revealed. Many Doctors, astronauts are surprised after reading it, amazingly they ask who told to an illiterate Prophet Muhammad 1400 years before that baby form in the womb of the mother in this way, as our modern science tell us today with help of many new equipments, who told him about theory of big bang, which we find in Quran...many more scientific secrets and many prophecies like pharaoh’s remnants, like expansion of universe, like defeat of Roman Empire's then their victory's prediction (Edward Gibbon writer of Fall and Decline of Roman Empire) is witness of this prediction of Quran, after Quranic prediction in 617, Romans got Victory over Iranian Zoroastrians in 627, and Quran told the same 10 years period of their regaining of the land. Many more truths we find there in Quran. While basically its book of guidance, Book of Making strong belief, in God, dooms day, in Hell and Paradise in unseen angels, in messengers and prophets of God. I don't know how long I could write article in the views ...any how I do not mean to disgrace or disappoint someone. Everyone having right of expression. But the books of our past intellects provide us knowledge. so I would like to quote here Maurice bucaille's book http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Quran-Science-Scriptures/dp/0935782494. Many educated people going to embrace Islam like maurice bucaille, Tony blairs sister in law Lauren Booth, cat steven and many more why because they knew and concluded that there will Hell and paradise And God will judges among weak and strong. Amazing story of Pharaoh is also lying in bible's exodus, but this book just said, pharaoh followed Moses and his tribes, they crossed the red sea, while pharaoh sink downed and died. while Quran tell us last dialogue between pharaoh and God, when he was sinking in sea, he repented and cried, I became believe in Lord of Children of Israel, the God said Ah now its too late, before thou was rebellion of God, Now I will just save thee in thy body up to dooms day, so dear friends his body was found from kings valley of Egypt, in 1898, and Brit Archaeologist found it not Muslims, and they affirm this body is body of that pharaoh which fought with Moses. So why we say Quran is a marvelous book of God, if anyone would try to read it without bias and prejudice, and if he want to know the right way, God willingly he will find the Truth...as chaplain Stess American chaplain of bible with his 2 ministers friends found this truth in 1992. http://www.islamtomorrow.com. Regards. Muhamamd Aiyoob.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:53 am |
  17. Great distraction

    At some point, we have to admit what religion really is. It is a delivery mechanism for controlling people and collecting their money through a scheme of punishment and reward. It plays on human's innate fear of death and what might possibly happen afterward. The truth is that nothing happens after.

    Your body and mind are made of matter. That matter is configured in a system that is capable of sustaining and replicating itself as long as the many parts of the system work together to extract chemical energy from the environment. You stop eating, you die because of lack of energy. You stop breathing, and the lack of oxygen stops your cells from metabolizing energy from the food you have eaten. You are exactly the same as all other forms of self sustaining and replicating systems in the universe. The only difference between you and a worm (other than size) is that you have evolved to be smart enough to fool yourself into believing you are something more.

    Most religious leaders already know there is no such thing as god, but they are more than happy to take your money in exchange for a story about a magical Santa Claus like creature that is all knowing, all powerful and all loving; except when he isn't. Every religion on the planet is riddled with contradictions and interpretations that any person who studies them would see that the whole thing is an elaborate sham.

    The real question is: How do we rid ourselves of this mental virus? It will take a long time and a lot of effort, but humans will eventually see that despite the threats of eternal damnation or immediate death, religion is a tool that has long since lost it's usefulness to the species.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:53 am |
    • TheDeuce

      I don't think it is a control mechanism (although it certainly can be exploited as such) so much as it is a naturally arising result of early humans' attempts to understand the world around them and deal with the tragedy of death. Death is the one feature of life which touches every single person everywhere in the world, and its effects understandably had measurable psychological impacts on early humans as our race developed – both physiologically and sociologically – over time. One day I think we'll move past religion as we come to embrace the actual nature of our existence, but many people simply are not ready to face up to that yet, so it is going to take time. Likely a lot of it, measured in hundreds, if not thousands, of years. We'll get there, though! Unless a meteor or nuclear annihiliation or sea level rise or global warming and the resulting lack of food and water (or some combination of the preceding) end the debate first. What a crappy time to be alive.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • Hamid

      If i am right you are an atheist, please visit
      and must watch dialogue between DR. ZAKIR NAIK and DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL at youtube.com
      DR. ZAKIR NAIK slapped on the face of DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL using his strong explanations about ISLAM.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  18. Satan

    2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

    2:193 And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah

    2:216 Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.

    2:244 Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower.

    5:33 The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:52 am |
    • Religion is a lie

      If one believes in hell, then one believes in Satan. If Satan punishes "bad" people in hell for all eternity, then Satan is doing something that "good" find appealing..punishing bad people. Ergo, Satan is good...for punishing the bad people. So, how do the mental midgets who believe in this stuff not see the inherent silliness of it all?

      September 24, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • truth be told

      Satan will not punish anyone, it is without authority and will be subjected to its own personal private hell just as anyone who goes there will.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  19. Rizwan

    I dont understand why people involved in other peoples life.. why wont we ignore each other if someone is practicing islam thats his concern or if some practicing other religion like christions or budhist or communist then leave them respect them as human..Freedom of speech doesnt allow any one to disgrace there beloved or Disgrace there emotions, Religion, culture, norm, values. There would be no war in this world if we understand humanity. Why we dont think of being human first... Give respect take respect World should think of it before we destroy this beautiful world with our own hands.
    (May Allah bless whole world)

    September 24, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  20. Ali Ahmed

    In the Name of Allah, The most Gracious, The most Merciful.
    say: "He is Allah, The one (and Only One).
    "Allah the Eternal(the Ever Enduring), the absolute (and Alone);
    "He begets not(has no descendents, no children, none), nor was He (ever) begotten;
    "And there is none like (or comparable) unto Him,"
    if u believe in Allah and believe all his books and messengers and angels and the day of judgement and you also believe the pre-happenes and the things that u didnt see like hell or predise then you will be safe from hell fire if Allah is welling. at the end if you dont believe your creater, the creater of the heavens and the earth then surely you will go to hell..

    September 24, 2012 at 4:47 am |
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About this blog

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