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My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy
A woman prays in church. Many Christians say they can audibly hear the voice of God.
December 29th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

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And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

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This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (7,767 Responses)
  1. Closet religions

    They should do a piece for those of us who were part of those closeted alternative religions where you have a wierd personal experience or two and then try and sweep the whole thing under the rug. And you can't/wont tell a soul about it save the uninterested readers of belief blog.

    January 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      We all have weird experiences. It's nice to know you don't need to chalk them up to "gawd done it!"

      January 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  2. PerfectTruth

    Why Atheists Must Get Saved First To Find the Proof They Seek…

    The system which God designed for man to be saved (the system of having "faith" and "believing") is one of the most amazing and unique systems ever created. And what makes the system so unique is that, it's not just a system to save those who want to be saved, but is also a system to separate the sheep from the goats, to separate those who are of God from those who are of the devil. In other words, God designed the system so that no person would be able to lie, cheat, steal, or otherwise scheme their way into heaven. That no person would be able to get into heaven by only "pretending" to be a believer, when in their heart they knew they were an unbeliever. That no person would be able to get into heaven by only "pretending" to love God, when in their heart they knew they loved the devil and the ways of the devil. God designed the system to automatically weed such people out, to separate them from the sheep, and to route them straightway on to hell. And that is why the system is so amazing…

    Most atheist think they are so smart. Many even think they are smarter than the rest of us are. But the reality is, they are deceived fools, who are just as dumb as can be and are on their way to hell. In fact, they're even too dumb to realize that fact. The reality is, not one atheist will be saved. The system has been designed to weed out all atheists and unbelievers. For example, the most basic tenant of salvation is that a person must "believe" first. That is why Jesus stated, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Belief is the first requirement. Without belief you will not be saved. Therefore, that stops all atheists in their tracks right there, because they are unable to believe. And why is it that so many atheists today are unable to believe? Is it because they are born skeptics? Answer: No. God is not to blame for their delusion. It's because they have a weak mind and have believed too many lies told by Lucifer, lies which they wanted to hear. Now Lucifer has them deceived. And to free themselves from those lies and to come back to the truth is a difficult journey that few are able to make. And unless they're able to make that journey back and to start believing, they will not be saved. Belief is a requirement set up by God. And if you cannot muster up enough strength within yourself to believe in God enough to get saved, then not only will you not be saved, but God won't even deal with you. Instead, he'll allow you to continue on deceived, to continue on to hell, where Lucifer will be waiting with open arms to show you the proof you seek. And once in hell, you'll become a believer then. But by then, it'll be too late…

    Most atheists spend their whole life running around saying they need undeniable proof that God exists before they can believe. But what most atheists fail to realize is that the kind of proof they're seeking is something only God can provide them with. And in order for God to do that, you must get saved first. That is how it works. God does not deal with sinners. He will not show you the proof you seek beforehand. For example, I am someone who is truly saved. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God exists. Understand, I'm not just saying I "think" he exists, or that I "assume" he exists. I'm saying, "I know with absolute certainty" he exists. And that is a conviction and a truth an unsaved person or atheist cannot know. I know what I know because I have seen certain things and have witnessed certain things and have experienced certain things (things shown to me by the Lord), things both natural and spiritual, that are beyond this world and beyond your imagination, things that have utterly convinced me of the truth. And if you had seen and experienced the same things I have, you'd be convinced too. There are many things I could mention but to provide you with an example, I have seen glimpses of eternity, I have seen glimpses of the world beyond, I have even seen demonic spirits from the pit of hell. In fact, I've even talked to some of them and had conversations with them and I can tell you word for word what they had said. For example, there was this one particular encounter I had with a devil I had met once (that devil knew I was truly saved) who tried to taunt me by saying, "Oh yeah, buddy, you're coming down, you're coming down…" (in reference to me coming down to the pit). I told that devil, "No I'm not. I'm not coming down there." And that was a real conversation I had with a devil I had met. So I know for a fact that they are real, terrifyingly real. And once you've met one demon from the pit face to face, trust me, you'll have no desire to go to hell to meet more. It will utterly convince you of the truth. And note, my experience of meeting that devil only happened AFTER I got saved, not beforehand. And it was the Lord himself who allowed me to have that experience to utterly convince me of the truth – the truth that demons are real and so is God. Which only proves my point – that you have to get saved first before God will show you the proof you need to be convinced. And trust me, I am now utterly convinced, and there is no doubt left in my mind. So I now look upon atheists as the biggest fools in the universe, because I know what lies ahead, I know the terrors that awaits them. I also know that someday they'll learn the same truth that I now know (but unfortunately for them, they'll only learn it in hell) and by then, it'll be too late….

    My main point is that, if you're someone seeking undeniable proof of God in this world, then you must get saved first to find that proof. Because you'll need God to show it to you. And he won't do that until you are saved. And if you refuse to do that and to get saved first, then you'll find out in hell. God will not waste his time with you. If you're someone who is too arrogant and too proud and too deceived in your mind to muster up enough strength and faith in God to believe in him enough to get saved first (by following Acts 2:38), then God won't show you anything, he won't reveal anything to you. Instead, he'll just allow you to continue on deceived, to stay an unbeliever, and to continue on to hell where Lucifer will be waiting with open arms to show you the proof you seek. And that is how the system of God works. It's been designed by God to separate the sheep from the goats, the believers from the unbelievers. And as you can see, it truly works. God designed the system that way with belief being required because he knows that the true sheep has no problem with believing first, has no problem with following the scriptures and doing what the scriptures say. In contrast, all devils and goats and people who hate God and who love the devil more, have a huge problem with it. Thus, the system is easily able to weed such people out and to route them straightway on to hell where they belong…

    PS – And before you do it, I already know that many atheists will respond to my post and waste time making jokes about my encounter with the devil – while ignoring everything else I had said. Don't ignore the other things I had said but take it all seriously as it can save your soul. Otherwise, you may end up in hell only to find out I'm right…

    January 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Niknak

      Too long, too boring.....

      January 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • JWT

      "Deceived fool" – I can see where you are coming from at least.

      January 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Perfect Truth", but all of your assertions are either unfounded or falsehoods. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The god you describe is immoral. Punishing people for the aburd system he set up is rediculous. I wouldn't worship that god even if he did exist....thank goodness your god doesn't.

      January 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No verifiable proof for god exists, that's why the believer insists that you must first believe in god and live by faith and become fully indoctrinated into existing with those brain states-–so that you'll believe by self-hypnosis and brainwashing. But that method can be used to believe in anything. The fact is that there is not one single tiny bit of verifiable evidence for any gods at all. None. So, then, god is invisible and undetectable. God is so invisible and undetectable, his existence is completely irrelevant. It doesn't even matter if god exists, his existence doesn't do anything that affects the world. The universe exists exactly as if there was no god. So who cares if he exists?

      January 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • PerfectTruth

      To Niknak… The truth of how to be saved is never boring. If so, then rest assured, you won't be bored in hell…

      To Blessed… Not to worry. Your destination is already hell. So you don't have to worry about worshipping that God. Nor would he even want someone like you worshipping him anyway. He's already got a billion angels who are worshipping him. And they're doing a much better job of it than you could do…

      To Moby… Jesus Christ is all the verifiable proof you need. And Jesus Christ was not invisible, he was a real man who was also the Son of God. So if you can't believe in him then feel free to continue on to hell where Lucifer will be waiting to show you proof. As for your statement "there is not one single tiny bit of verifiable evidence for any gods at all" – if you believe that nonsense, then it is clear you have no clue what a god even is. And if you have no clue what a god even is, then it's not possible for you to know if one existed or not. Thus, you're not even qualified to be in the conversation. So learn some truth and then get back to me...

      To "JWT", "hal 9001", "Blessed", "Moby" – and all the other fools and unbelieving atheists who want to add themselves to the list…

      Please say hello to the devil I met once you arrive in hell (which I can assure you will happen. It's only just a matter of time.)…

      January 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry "PerfectTruth", but "God", "Christ" and the "devil" are all elements of mythology, therefore all of your assertions to date are still either unfounded or falsehoods. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PT, why don't you off yourself now, and come back and tell us all about what heaven is like. When you do, I'll be happy to listen.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @ Perfect Truth

      LOL, you don't understand what verifiable evidence is. It has to be able to be independently verified. Not some mythical character like Snow White in a fairy tale book. What kind of "good" and "loving" being allows people to be tortured for all eternity anyway? Sounds like the most evil character ever imagined. Can you think of a more evil being than one that allows eternal torture? Sounds like you worship an azzhole.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • PerfectTruth

      To "hal 9001"… It is obvious you've been watching too many science fiction movies. I guess we should have known that and realized that by your name. This is the real world and not your personal fantasy or a science fiction movie. And here in the real world, God truly exists (or didn't your parents explain that to you? If they didn't, then they didn't raise you right). Don't believe this is the real world where God truly exists? Simply flip over any $1 bill and notice what it says right across the back. Written by the Federal Government it says, "In God We Trust". Thus, every one dollar bill in the world calls you a liar. So for you to think everybody else in the world is wrong but you're right, you're delusional. Try getting away from science fiction movies once in a while to allow your head to clear…

      To "Moby"… You don't even believe in gods. So you're not even qualified to be in this conversation. So stop trying. All you could even offer is just nonsense and personal opinion. So why waste my time with you…

      January 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "PerfectTruth", but, even though the word "God" is printed on certain currency, "it" is nevertheless, an element of mythology, and nothing more in the real world. Therefore all of your assertions to date have been either unfounded assertions or falsehoods. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      LOL, so any government who prints up money, with anything that they want on it, can make a god? ahahahahahah!!!

      Seriously, Perfect Truth, you are as stupid as they come. I give you logical reasoning, and all you can say is that I believe the wrong thing so you won't deal with my clearly superior ideas that you can't argue against? LOL!

      January 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to hell, you are as immoral as your god.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      Longest Pascal's wager post I've seen... Next time just write, "why not believe just in case we're right?" Keep your immorality short and sweet.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • jesus

      The problem with your theory is most atheists are ex believers. They woke up and broke the chains of brainwash only to see how off rocker religious nuts are.

      July 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  3. Lori

    Edison did apparently believe in a "Supreme Intelligence," in which respect he was a typical 19th century deist. "I do not believe in the God of the theologians; but that there is a Supreme Intelligence I do not doubt."

    January 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      There may be a creator, but the god you believe in does not exist.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  4. Lori

    One of Einstein's most famous quotes on the subject of science and religion is: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

    The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in 'Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.'

    January 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Niknak

      So?
      If Einstein could not prove his various theories then I would dismiss those just as I dismiss that quote by him.
      He could not prove that, and neither can you prove your god.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Einstein consistently said he did not believe in a personal god, and that covers all religions.

      January 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Bet

      Here's another famous Einstein quote:

      "There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."

      What's your point?

      January 2, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  5. Bob

    Hey snowy did you almost attend seminary?

    January 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Niknak

      Would attending a Madras school be held in the same esteem for you Bob as attending seminary school?

      January 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Bob

      If you are referring to the arts schools I would probably hold them a bit higher.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Niknak

      No, the Madresses are the religious schools for Muslims.
      And I suspect each and every religion has their own version of seminary school.
      My question was do you hold all schools of other religions in as high esteem as you hold seminary, even if those other religions are contradictory to xtianity?

      January 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Bob

      Niknac
      I really don't hold any seminary or other school in high esteem. Most are just religious and don't really teach a relationship with God. As for other faiths there is one way through Jesus that's it.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  6. Bob

    Hey you atheists must have a real problem with this blog because its one of the educated scientists of your own saying something to the effect that Christians may indeed hear from God. Wow that must hurt.

    January 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • the AnViL

      try reading the article, bob.

      if you do – you'll see that isn't at all what ms.luhrmann is stating.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Niknak

      Doesn't hurt at all.
      If she can't prove her hypothesis, then it is just as unfounded as your god one.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Not at all Bob, she would have to demonstrat what she says is possibly true, otherwise there is no reason to think it is god. Personal experiences that can't be verified are just that, personal. I give them no more weight than people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, you shouldn't either.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Butterfly

      I disagree. Criticisms amongst scientists happen everyday. There is nothing particularly special about this case. If she is making claims and says the research has been done, then everybody should demand that the work be verified.

      What's interesting to me is that you are ready to defend her research – work that all but claims the proof of god – and yet deny any deeper inquiry, claiming god unprovable. Forgive me, but this sounds like a double standard and has confirmation bias written all over it. To me this is intellectual dishonesty.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      See Bob we don't give atheists unquestioned authority on anything anymore than other people, unlike the religious who put their faith in the unfounded claims of others and are devestated when they find out one of their leaders are a fraud.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      She's "publishing" her opinion on an open religious blog, Bob. Perhaps if this article was peer reviews and published in an actual scientific journal, I'd give it credence. But as she is interviewing evangelicals for her study, her conclusions are biased from the start. Hardly a reliable scientific method.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • End Religion

      First, her field sounds dubious to me.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_anthropology

      Second, she asserts a couple times as fact events purported in the bible, which is a known fraud. Makes me wonder how scientifically she approached any aspect of her "research."

      January 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  7. Bob

    Back to topic of this blog
    From the beginning God wanted to talk to us He wants to walk us through our daily walk and help us. We have so much more than they had in the Old Testament. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, can you imagine what that must have been like? Humans ruined it for themselves by sin or separation from God. In Jesus God gave us the ability to hear from Him again but the Bible says we have to search with all our might. Sometimes I wonder if its more about us going beyond the flesh and that's why it takes so much because I know that in my life and others God was always there, saved or not. We may not have recognized who it was until we got saved but once saved it became clear that what the Bible says that we couldn't even know God unless He first called us becomes apparent. My only regret in coming to the Lord was that I didn't do it sooner, I didn't know He was that good and loving and had already accepted me and made the way for me to be His. He was calling me from childhood and fear kept me away. To all who are on the wall thinking they are not good enough to start this great journey and want to wait to clean up first, I say come just as you are. He already knows all there is to know and is calling you, don't let the lies that you have to clean up first or you have to do it by yourself first allow you to stop experiencing one of the greatest life changing experiences there is. We are the sheep He is the Shepard He helps us in every way, He cleans us up, He makes the daily provision for what ever it is we need. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He will also remove any addiction and bondage or situation that you need help with. WE are not alone we don't have to do it by ourselves and He loves us with a everlasting love, HE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.

    January 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: how do you reconcile the concepts of free will and an omniscient god?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Athy

      Man, what a pile of crap. Bob, can't you think logically at all?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • snowboarder

      bob – that is a fanciful story, but is based on nothing but ignorant supersti tion.

      how anyone in the modern age can fall for the absurd notion of original sin is unbelievable.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Sam interesting question I do believe we have free will but I also believe God knows how we will answer. Now if you want to go into a back and forth on this Im not really interested.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Wow snowy what qualifies you to know the truth?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Free will and omniscience are not reconcilable. It's silly to claim both.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What qualifies YOU, Boob?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "From the beginning God wanted to talk to us He wants to walk us through our daily walk and help us."

      What's stopping him Bob, why does your god play so coy? Oh that's right you claim he talks through prophets but you are concerned about reveling them. That does not sound like a god who wants to talk to us, that sounds like a god who is hiding.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: fair enough

      January 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      plenty of disappointed amputees running around...

      January 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Lori

    I have an ex brother in law who was the same way he thought he WAS Jesus– but that is not religion nor is it God–Mentally ill is thinking you are Jesus, following Jesus and God is a belief

    However, I ask you do you think Nostradamus was crazy? What about Edgar Caycey

    January 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • snowboarder

      crazy? more likely deluded.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      you can add those who feel they speak for god to the ranks of the mentally ill

      January 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  9. snowboarder

    i can honestly say that i have sat at the dinner table with jesus. you see, my brother in law had a psychotic break and decided that he was the most recent incarnation of jesus. he already had the long haired hippy look going for him and went out onto the streets preaching. he even managed to bring home a few followers. thankfully we were able to have him involuntarily committed to a mental hospital where the doctors medicated the jesus out of him.

    it certainly gives one insight into the origins of religions.

    January 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Chad

      What investigation have you done into the God of Israel that has led you to deny His existence?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Bob

      That is a interesting story do you know the Apostles had a girl that followed them every where that would constantly call out,
      Act 16:17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."
      Act 16:18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.
      Wouldn't it have been nice if you had understood what was happening and had the discernment to understand your brother and really help him rather than sending him to his doom among the educated of the world that haven't a real clue as to what is going on. Yet you want to call Christians delusional.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Niknak

      Hey boarder,
      I forgot the name they have for it, but this happens so often in Isreal that the authorities named it.
      Xtian fundies go there to see the sites and many of them go crazy like your brother and think they are jefe us.
      They overstay their trip and run out of money and just wonder the streets "preaching."
      Then the Isreali government has to get in touch with their family members to come and talk them down and take them home.
      I hear it is really funny when two of them by chance run into each other and have a "jeebus off" in the street.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      chad: what research have you done into the flying spaghetti monster that you can deny HIS noodly appendage?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • snowboarder

      chad – i spent my entire young life in parochial school, nearly attending seminary, and though i enjoy the communal feeling of religious association, the doctrine is empty and absurd.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Niknak

      Hanging Chad,
      What evidence do u have that your imaginary friend exists?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad

      You ask for reasons for belief that are not also conclusions. Can you provide me with an example? What is one of the reasons for your belief that is not also a conclusion?

      You ask for something that would be considered proof for god that would not also be coercive. Can you provide me with an example? What adequate proof is not coercive to the person who understands the proof?

      thanks.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @snowboarder "i spent my entire young life in parochial school, nearly attending seminary, and though i enjoy the communal feeling of religious association, the doctrine is empty and absurd"

      => "the doctrine is empty and absurd"

      what does that mean? What specifically?
      In any case, that wasnt the question. The question was what investigation have you done into the God of Israel that has led you to deny His existence

      January 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      snowboarder, you could write Chad fourteen books with a chapter detailing every second of your investigation into the god of the bible and Chad would simply sh!t all over it and dismiss it and ask the same question again as if you hadn't given him anything. He's a liar fvckwad, and I am soooooooooooooo glad that he is an example for his god and his belief set.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Chad - you're always referencing an empty grave. What empty grave was that?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "What is one of the reasons for your belief that is not also a conclusion?"

      =>Sure, here ya go:
      -Reason: resurrection of Jesus as the best explanation of the empty tomb and the belief on the part of the disciples that they had personally met a physically resurrected Jesus. See "The Resurrection of the Son of God" - N. T. Wright
      -Conclusion: Jesus was resurrected by God

      – Reason: our universe had a beginning, it has not always been here - borde guth vilenkin theorem proving that our universe had a beginning.
      – Reason:
      - every thing that begins has a caause
      - our universe began
      - therefor, the beginning of our universe had a cause
      – Conclusion: this supports the theistic premise that God created the universe

      January 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "You ask for something that would be considered proof for god that would not also be coercive. Can you provide me with an example? What adequate proof is not coercive to the person who understands the proof?"

      @Chad "I can prove to you that I am real, if you will come to my house and meet me.

      that is proof that is not coercive, you have the option not to come to my house."

      your welcome!

      January 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, have you figured out that contraception isn't murder?

      Dumbfvck.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      You failed miserably.

      Your conclusion that jesus was resurrected from the dead is also a reason for your belief. How stupid of you not to notice.
      Your proof of you being real is most certainly coercive as a rational person would not be able to disbelieve. How stupid of you to make such a silly mistake.

      Try again.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad is such a dumb fvcking idiot. He demands what he himself can never offer, and doesn't see his own shining, huge hypocrisy every time he types.

      EVERY "reason" you just gave, Chad, is also a conclusion, you fvckwad. How dare you complain that the reasons you're given are not reasons but conclusions?

      EVERY proof that is legitimate proof is coercive. If it is actually proof, then there's no denying it. That's what proof is; that's how it operates. Proof IS coercive in that it takes away your ability to believe something else.

      Holy sh!t but you're a dumb azzhole.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Niknak

      I hope this doesn't get me booted from the board, but can we all refrain from calling each other rude names?

      Hanging Chad is delusional, and his logic is non existent like his sky fairy, but do we really need to call him names in addition to debunking his myth?

      January 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Chad

      You can always go further back on the empty tomb (I notice you didnt mention the origin of the universe conclusion).

      N.T. Wright has an exhaustive study looking at all of the reasons which support the conclusion that Jesus was resurrected from the dead as an explanation for the empty tomb. I'm more than happy to post excerpts, just say the word!

      January 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Please list the contemporary, non-biased, non-biblical accounts of Christ's resurrection, Chad. Please cite the archeological evidence that supports this claim.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @chad

      We don't know if the universe began or not. We can't look back far enough to tell. Even if our universe did "begin" that doesn't prove any god at all. It does seem likely that our universe began, and it seems likely that it began by "budding" off from another "universe-like" reality, but nobody knows, so we don't make that claim. And since we don't know if it began, or if it did what caused it, we don't say that it was done by some big invisible magic sky wizard with magic spellz.

      Your problem, Chad, is you jump to your conclusions as if there's no other alternative. The empty tomb CONCLUSION might be just another story that got inserted into the christian mythology. The universe might be one of trillions of other universes or it might have separated off from another universe. You just go around assuming that "big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz" is an appropriate answer to any and all questions. And that, Chad, is fvcking stupid.

      You ask for reasons, and then disregard them because like your own reasons, they're also conclusions. You refuse to give proof that is "coercive" without realizing that all proof is coercive. (Who cares whether coercion was used to get somebody to look at the evidence; if the evidence isn't coercive, then it's not proof). You're specially pleading when it comes to any of your conclusions, and then not evaluating fairly any thought processes that you don't agree with apriori, and yet that's exactly what you accuse everyone else of doing. You are the best possible example of a hypocrite and a liar that I have ever witnessed.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Niknak

      Sadly Moby, hanging Chad is neither of those things. Sad because being a hypocrite or a liar means one has to have an adult level ability to think logically.
      Chad is just a person who so desperately wants god to exist that he closed his mind to any and all forms of adult reason.
      He is exactly the kind of person who would be a follower of some charismatic religious scammer like Jim Jones or David Koresh, and end up being led to the grave just like those people were led.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "Please list the contemporary, non-biased, non-biblical accounts of Christ's resurrection, Chad. Please cite the archeological evidence that supports this claim."

      =>Jesus deniers are a strange bunch...
      Can you name any serious scholar that claims Jesus didnt exist?

      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[5][6][7][8] and biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[9][10][11] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[12][13] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[14][15][16] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[17][18][19][20][21] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal as sent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.

      [5] Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0391041185 pages 2-5
      [6] Christopher M. Tuckett In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus edited by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 122-126
      [7] Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-2
      [8] Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages ix-xi
      [9] In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (who is a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
      ^ Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies existence) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
      [10] Michael Grant (a cla ssicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
      [11] Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
      [12] Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
      [13] James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
      [14] The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
      [15] Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
      [16] The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
      ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
      [17] The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303
      [18] Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29
      [19] James Barr, Which language did Jesus speak, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1970; 53(1) pages 9-29 [1]
      [20] Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament by Stanley E. Porter 1997 ISBN 90-04-09921-2 pages 110-112
      [21] Discovering the language of Jesus by Douglas Hamp 2005 ISBN 1-59751-017-3 page 3-4
      ^ Jesus in history and myth by R. Joseph Hoffmann 1986 ISBN 0-87975-332-3 page 98

      January 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Ah – ha ha ha. Chad evades the question – is wasn't about existence Chad – it was about his supposed "resurrection". Duck and run. LOL.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "We don't know if the universe began or not. We can't look back far enough to tell.
      @Chad "
      It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning - Alexandre Vilenkin (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

      =====
      @Moby "Even if our universe did "begin" that doesn't prove any god at all. It does seem likely that our universe began, and it seems likely that it began by "budding" off from another "universe-like" reality, but nobody knows, so we don't make that claim. And since we don't know if it began, or if it did what caused it, we don't say that it was done by some big invisible magic sky wizard with magic spellz."
      @Chad "your "budding" reference is to the multi-verse hypothesis, two points:
      1. the multi-verse hypothesis merely pushes the problem of the "what caused that" back on step, it still exists. What created the multi-verse?
      2. The multi-verse claim is as equally super-natural as the claim that the God of Israel created our universe. "super-natural" means non-natural, which applies to anything that is not a part of our current universe. Indeed as Paul Davies puts it:

      For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.

      — Paul Davies, A Brief History of the Multiverse

      =====
      @Moby "You ask for reasons, and then disregard them because like your own reasons, they're also conclusions."
      @Chad "not at all, as one can see by comparing my reasons here and above, with your "reasons", I have clearly provided such as you have not.

      Your "reasons", clearly you provide no supporting rationale for drawing the conclusions you have done.
      @Moby
      1. The bible's god is not tenable
      2. The bible makes a lot more sense for what it is (book of stories/myths) than what christians claim it is
      3. The physical evidence does not support the biblical claims nor any god concerned with human affairs.

      =====
      @Moby " You refuse to give proof that is "coercive" without realizing that all proof is coercive"
      @Chad "not at all, I can prove to you that I am real, if you will come to my house and meet me.

      that is proof that is not coercive, you have the option not to come to my house.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, you don't understand how evidence works. You think that the entire idea of a concept is validated if just one portion of the idea is plausible according to some related evidence anywhere in the chain of causality. You fail to recognize that EACH LINK in the chain must be absolutely verified without exception. Sure, some links can be assumed, if there's enough solid links there to justify that assumption, but having one link that looks solid (even though it's made of Styrofoam) does not make the entire chain strong enough to hold the weight you place at the end.

      That somebody named "Yeshua" existed at some point in the historical record at the approximate place and within the approximate era does NOT mean that every single idea in the bible is correct and your god as you suppose him to be is real. How stupid are you?

      Yes, hundreds of prophets existed at the time frame involved. Yes, a few of them were crucified. Yes, some of them had their bodies removed from their graves or their grave sites were misreported to their followers. Yes, people have hallucinations in stressful situations. Yes, people hear voices talking to them and assume it's of universal importance instead of just some rational anomaly that's perfectly understandable and explainable. Yes, many ancient cultures had myths that were changed and rerecorded to "fit" some of what we find in the bible.

      NONE of it adds up rationally to a god as described by you or the average christian. And you, with your lame attempts to make it so, only further prove the power of confirmation bias and religious indoctrination and psychological brainwashing into a specific mind set. That's all you prove, because it's all you have. Of course you don't see it and think that you're right and all others are wrong. That's one of the symptoms, and you have them all.

      Now that's reasoning and writing to be proud of, folks.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, you quoting one person proves nothing. We can't see past a certain barrier in past time, so we have no idea if the universe "began" or not, or what may have caused it to begin. To assume your god began it is the height of irresponsibility when there are so many other unexplored options.

      Yep, the multiverse raises more questions than it answers, like all scientific discoveries do. The answer "big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz" is stupid and the answer "we don't know but let's continue to do tests and make measurements" makes a lot more sense

      All "reasons," Chad, are also conclusions. That you're too claim not to realize this fact makes you a liar or an imbecile. Which is it?

      Proof, itself, IS coercive. That's what proof does and is. Whether or not you force me to observe that proof is a completely different matter. We're not talking about coercion to observe a proof, we're talking about proof. Proof IS coercive, or it's not proof. The "option" of not looking at the proof has nothing to do with the fact that proof is ALWAYS coercive.

      Don't dig yourself deeper into your own stupidity, Chad. Follow the evidence. Respect the logic.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Chad

      – we have the entire bible as evidence 🙂 NONE of which (10's of thousands of events, places, people) has ever been disproved.
      – body removed? By whom and for what reason? That was the earliest recorded Jewish polemic, AND was the initial reaction of His followers upon finding the empty tomb. However that hypothesis was refuted and abandoned decades ago as it can not explain the origin of the disciples belief that they had witnessed a resurrected Jesus.

      – "Hallucinations"? another theory refuted and abandoned decades ago due to the number and variety of appearances. To single persons, groups, persecutors, non-believers. At various times and in various circu mstances. The disciples were not expecting or anticipating a resurrected Jesus and as such are terrible candidates for a hallucination.
      Group hallucination is an unknown phenomena, never observed..

      As you can see, taking into consideration all of the evidence, the rational man is certainly justified in believing that the God of Israel is real, and Jesus Christ is His Son.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, lots of interesting and magic-loaded stories haven't been disproved. That doesn't make them true. If you had any courage and discipline, you'd follow the facts instead of your apriori belief and confirmation bias. But you're too scared to actually look at the evidence. You'd rather bluster and fuster about as if everything points the way you want it to.

      You're boring and you offer nothing that a fundy muslim couldn't for his position.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Chad

      what facts are you talking about?

      "the bible is stupid" is not a fact...

      January 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad: You didn't provide the evidence I asked for: The proof that Christ was resurrected. All you did was list scholars that believe Christ lived. As for the bible, it is rife with contradictions and has no value as evidence. No one knows the actual authors, and there are no collaborating contemporary, non-biblical sources or archeological sources to back up the supernatural events described.

      You're a dreadful hypocrite, Chad, and when dismiss the reasoning of others, it only makes you look like a childish fool.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "You didn't provide the evidence I asked for: The proof that Christ was resurrected. "
      @Chad "perhaps I didnt read your request carefully enough, knowing you for a serial "Jesus denier" I posted the scholars refuting that position.

      As for evidence that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the following facts are agreed upon by the vast majority of historians today:
      1. Jesus was buried in a tomb
      2. On the third day following that burial the tomb was found empty by a group of His women followers
      3. Following the discovery of the empty tomb, many people(believers, skeptics, and persecutors) in various situations (groups of people and singly), reported witnessing a physically resurrected Jesus
      4. those people believed that so firmly that they were willing to die for the truth of that belief.

      The only explanation of those agreed upon facts that has sufficient explanatory scope is that God raised Jesus from the dead.

      January 2, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Bob

      Chad – "we have the entire bible as evidence 🙂 NONE of which (10's of thousands of events, places, people) has ever been disproved."

      Ah hah, hah, lol. oh my. People don't set out to disprove Harry Potter either.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  10. Lori

    If I say to you now– it is 7:01 pm– If I tell you that in the next 24 hours there will be a report of a train crash and this comes to pass and I post this for you to see then will you think it is worthy?

    January 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • snowboarder

      va gue predic tions are not prophecy. they are the words of a fraud.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There are thousands of rail accidents every year. Can you predict a time or place?

      January 1, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  11. Lori

    What proof would you like?

    snowboarder
    nonsense. my description stands as stated. those who purport divine knowledge are either delusional or charlatans.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    Niknak
    Lori, when you come back with some verifiable proof of your imaginary friend, then we will listen to you.
    Until then, your god is just an unfounded hypothesis.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • the AnViL

      lori – stop spamming the forum – learn to hit the reply button.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Niknak

      Verified tangible physical proof.
      You know, the kind of proof science gives us when it proves hypothesis' that it claims.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  12. Lori

    A prophet is a gifted person who knows of the future–if they are accurate, the mental patient would be the person who cannot cope with what the prophet knows–

    snowboarder
    the only difference between a prophet and a mental patient is simply the gullibility of those who surround them.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |

    January 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • snowboarder

      nonsense. my description stands as stated. those who purport divine knowledge are either delusional or charlatans.

      January 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Niknak

      Lori, when you come back with some verifiable proof of your imaginary friend, then we will listen to you.
      Until then, your god is just an unfounded hypothesis.

      January 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  13. Lori

    Why truly why can you not simply discuss without anger and attacks--why?

    Sue
    Lori, the glitch is not your only problem. You have some bugs in your necktop computer too.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |

    January 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      You're not discussing, you're making unfounded statements. Do you believe in psychic animals that can predict the results of elections or sports events? What verifiable proof do you have that a prophet is able to foresee anything? What differentiates them from a "psychic" animal?

      January 3, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  14. Lori

    If you knew of a prophet would you rant at them, or be open minded enough to listen????????????

    January 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • snowboarder

      the only difference between a prophet and a mental patient is simply the gullibility of those who surround them.

      January 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  15. Sue

    Funny to watch Bob twist and turn and dodge and squirm here without answering requests for proof directly, Fairly typical of the religiously deluded. Let's expose Bob for what he is:

    So those modern "prophets" that you know of, Bob, you can't cite the name of even one? Come on, bring the name forward, and present your proof of that person being a prophet.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Niknak

      Sue, you are wasting your time trying to get anything useful out of Bob.
      Or any fundie for that matter.

      January 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  16. Lori

    My computer has a glitch again on comments but I am back from a small holiday jaunt–so glad you posted a reasonable posting- so much nastiness from athiests here– true anger directed towards people who simply feel different, but truly I ask- if you were once a believer, what possibly turned you away so much to be so angry today?

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers
    Bob,

    I was a believer but I did something that people like you don't like, I asked honest questions. I got "answers" like the ones you give. I made me realize you don't have real answers. You claimed there are prophets today. All I asked was who they were.

    If I don't show your thoughts respect it is because they don't deserve respect. Your prophets are false and your theism is weak.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |

    January 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Sue

      Lori, the glitch is not your only problem. You have some bugs in your necktop computer too.

      January 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  17. Lori

    Hi Blessed,, so glad you posed a good thought to respond to. Besides all the banter that happens here it is a good place for a reasonable discussion when people wish to be reasonable and not nasty and angry–

    . I am back from an outing–do you really want to ask the questions and get answers?

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers
    Bob,

    I was a believer but I did something that people like you don't like, I asked honest questions. I got "answers" like the ones you give. I made me realize you don't have real answers. You claimed there are prophets today. All I asked was who they were.

    If I don't show your thoughts respect it is because they don't deserve respect. Your prophets are false and your theism is weak.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Lori,

      I am not looking for answers from someone who can't or won't figure out the "reply" button. It is not your computer. It has been explained to you countless times. It is an "ID 10 T" error.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  18. Bob

    Well with the arrival of Tom there can be no doubt about what the intent is of the atheists

    January 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Athy

      Just what would that intent be, Bob?

      January 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Sue

      Bob, what is own your intent here? Surely, your all-powerful sky creature doesn't need you to do its marketing for it.

      January 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Bob, Tom speaks for Tom. I speak for me. That's the wacky thing about atheists. We're just a bunch of individuals, united by a single thread: We don't believe in the existence of any god. It amazes me how some christians just can't grasp this incredibly simple concept.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Athy

      I'm not sure religies can grasp any logical concept, regardless of its simplicity.

      January 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
  19. PeterVN

    As the great quote says,

    "Religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the cowardly, and the stupid, and for those who would profit from them. "

    May we have less religion in 2013. I see hopeful signs that America is trending that way.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  20. kevbox

    Bob, lay off dissing JWT. Anyone can trivially see what Christians are "up to", and that ain't anything to boast about.

    January 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.