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February 15th, 2013
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, February 15, 2013

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:


Parish priests of Rome's diocese attend a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Paul VI Hall on February 14, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

CNN: Pope Benedict addresses priests of Rome
Pope Benedict XVI addressed parish priests from the city of Rome on Thursday, in what is likely to be one of his final public appearances before his resignation from the papacy at the end of the month. The meeting with the parish priests focused on Benedict's experiences from the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s, which examined the Roman Catholic Church's relationship with the world.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Photos of the Day:

Buddhist ascetics splash cold water over themselves at the end of their 100-day austere Buddhism training to pray for peace in the world at Nose Myokenzan Betsuin temple in Tokyo on February 15, 2013 on the anniversary of Buddha's death.

Pope Benedict XVI (L) leads the mass for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent, the forty-day period of abstinence and deprivation for the Christians, before the Holy Week and Easter, on February 13, 2013 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican.

Roman Catholics raise religious items while a priest blesses them after mass in observance of Ash Wednesday outside a church in Manila on February 13, 2013, two days after Pope Benedict XVI resigned.

Enlightening Reads:

New York Times: Don’t You Be My Valentine
While much of the world celebrates Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Pakistan’s religious political parties are exhorting the country’s youth to celebrate a “day of modesty” instead. On Tuesday, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, a major religious party, condemned Valentine’s Day in Peshawar for encouraging “immodesty” and threatened to shut down any celebrations if law enforcement agencies failed to take action first.

New York Times: A Laboratory for Revitalizing Catholicism
If there is any place that captures the challenges facing Catholicism around the world it is Brazil, the country with the largest number of Catholics and a laboratory of sorts for the church’s strategies for luring followers back into the fold. Reflecting the shifting religious landscape that Pope Benedict XVI’s successor will contend with, Brazil rivals the United States as the nation with the most Pentecostals, as a Catholic monolith gives way amid a surge in evangelical Protestant churches.

Religion News Service: Catholic migration, and why the next pope should be Brazilian
In the days since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, talk has turned toward who the next pope should be, and where he should be from. Like most previous popes, Benedict hails from Europe. But as he often lamented, the church there suffers through a steady decline. Meanwhile, Catholicism is booming in Africa and predominates in Latin America. A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life study of the global Catholic populace brings the church’s southern migration into high relief.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Black Market for Jewish Grave Sites Grows on Web
A black market in Jewish graves is hiding in plain sight on the classified pages. Defunct Jewish burial societies have been selling cemetery plots at bargain basement prices through classified ads on Craigslist and in the print edition of the Forward — even though New York and New Jersey state laws bar these sales.

Huffington Post: St. Malachy Last Pope Prophecy: What Theologians Think About 12th-Century Prediction
After Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, those familiar with a 12th-century prophecy claiming the next pope will be the last questioned if Judgment Day is quickly approaching. Scholars, theologians and churchmen, however, all treat this "prediction" as fiction passed off as reality. The "Prophecy of the Popes" is attributed to St. Malachy, an Irish archbishop who was canonized a saint in 1190, according to Discovery News. In his predication, dated 1139, Malachy prophesied that there would be 112 more popes before Judgment Day. Benedict is supposedly the 111th pope.

Religion News Service: House passes bill to give disaster relief to religious groups
The House Wednesday (Feb. 13) overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice that keeps federal disaster money from religious groups.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'
Joshua DuBois, director of President Obama’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2008 until he stepped down last week, discusses his plans for the future.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Colbert for pope? The surprising standards for the next Catholic leader
With Pope Benedict XVI announcing his resignation on Monday, the leaders of the Catholic Church will soon meet to select the next person to lead the ever-changing church. While it is likely that they will pick another voting member of the College of Cardinals – the 118 Catholic leaders younger than 80 will vote on who should lead the church – the standards for who can become pope are remarkably loose.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. Nope

    argh

    February 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • OpinionTater

      lol

      February 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  2. Nope
    February 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • ET the Extra Testicle

      you is teh fail

      February 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  3. Nope

    ok, this one.

    February 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  4. Nope

    argh but, i cant see this one

    February 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  5. Nope

    but i can't see this one.

    February 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  6. 100 million year old crocodile

    Prehistoric shark captured on film for L4H

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mneDhOtVEQw&w=640&h=360]

    February 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  7. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

    Something to go with tonight's beautiful sunset.
    It's "Intermezzo", Opus 118, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms
    The pianist is Arthur Jussen
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wo4IPNMzWQ&w=640&h=360]

    February 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • lol??

      I had a shirt like that.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That was a lovely treat, Arch. Thanks for posting.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Nope

      I just see a black box.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • THE TRUTH

      The truth has not been revealed to you.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • OpinionTater

      The truth is that you shouldn't worry about what other people post.

      February 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  8. Bill Deacon the Zealot

    I feel sorry for you Bill. Your idiot parents had you indoctrinated at such a young age that there is no chance for you to be rehabilitated.

    February 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Morris

      Don't forget a fool says in his heart there is no God, now that would mean you!

      February 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Anybody who could speak with their hearts would be pretty strange, anatomically speaking. I don't know about being a foll, though.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      *fool.*

      February 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Morris
      "Don't forget a fool says in his heart there is no God, now that would mean you!"

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  9. Like it

    "A man should be as vigorous as a panther, as swift as an eagle, as fleet as a stag, and as strong as a lion, to do the will of his Creator."

    February 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • meifumado

      Yes, I would for my mother and father ( my creators )
      To think that there is a supernatural being that created me would be delusional.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Reuben

      As a created being I feel very blessed not delusional at all. I believe God created me in his own image.
      I am very thankful to my parents for raising me up and showing me all the love and care.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      So god only works for the winners with looks, ability, and charm? How interesting.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  10. meifumado

    If christians know that jesus was a jew and he did not eat pork, Why do they?
    Should they not do as jesus did?

    February 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Reuben

      You have so much time to ponder over the foods that Christians eat/don't eat? How does an answer to that question answer anything pertinent to your life?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • meifumado

      Great non answer. I could really care less truth be known.
      I'm Just pointing out the the stupidity of christian's as they say they try to live like jesus yet most eat pork.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • nope

      The entire historical ban of pork led to this event:

      "When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

      Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

      He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region."

      The only reason pork was banned was so Jesus could do this. Kind of amzaing, hu?

      February 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Reuben

      I asked you how pertinent an answer to a question of what foods Christians eat is to your life was, and your retort is your evaluation of how stupid Christians are in eating pork?

      Let me rephrase this for you, in other words, telling yourself Christians are stupid for eating pork makes you feel better?

      February 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Why do you ask? Cotton candy machine broke?

      February 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • meifumado

      BTW I love pork!

      February 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • meifumado

      I repeat ,jesus was a jew who did not eat pork so therefore if you want to live like jesus you would not eat pork.
      Do you not understand?
      And Said I could really care less, I'm just throwing something out there.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Jacob

      Read Mark 7:15

      February 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Nope

      Jesus also lived in the Middle East, spoke Hebrew and wore sandals.
      Do I have to do that too? Did He jump through hoops for you? Do you want me to?

      February 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Nope

      Jesus never ate corn. Why do you?

      February 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  11. End Religion

    Who could guess a religious person would do such a thing?
    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/15/plea-ex-rep-jackson-hid-750k-in-campaign-funds-for-personal-use/

    February 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • ShakingOffResponsibility4Him

      Easy. Launder ($); rinse (confess); and repeat.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Jacob

      Read Matthew 7:21

      February 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • meifumado

      @Jacob

      And?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Jacob

      Read the chapter and come back with questions

      February 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Akira

      @meifumado: he's saying the Jackson Jr. is not a true desciple.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  12. lunchbreaker

    A scanning electron microscope survey was initiated to determine if the previously reported findings of “dinosaurian soft tissues” could be identified in situ within the bones. The results obtained allowed a reinterpretation of the formation and preservation of several types of these “tissues” and their content. Mineralized and non-mineralized coatings were found extensively in the porous trabecular bone of a variety of dinosaur and mammal species across time. They represent bacterial biofilms common throughout nature. Biofilms form endocasts and once dissolved out of the bone, mimic real blood vessels and osteocytes. Bridged trails observed in biofilms indicate that a previously viscous film was populated with swimming bacteria. Carbon dating of the film points to its relatively modern origin. A comparison of infrared spectra of modern biofilms with modern collagen and fossil bone coatings suggests that modern biofilms share a closer molecular make-up than modern collagen to the coatings from fossil bones. Blood cell size iron-oxygen spheres found in the vessels were identified as an oxidized form of formerly pyritic framboids. Our observations appeal to a more conservative explanation for the structures found preserved in fossil bone.

    Citation: Kaye TG, Gaugler G, Sawlowicz Z (2008) Dinosaurian Soft Tissues Interpreted as Bacterial Biofilms. PLoS ONE 3(7): e2808. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002808

    February 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Alias

      your point?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • .

      Lunchbreaker is posting this to L4H. Who insists that this is soft tissue. To support her theories of.......whatever they may be that day.
      Thank you, lunchbreaker.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      You are wlecome dot.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    True. Ideas have lead to the deaths of millions. Otherwise, God is harmless.

    February 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • truth be told

      The idea of atheism has been used by so called atheists to brutally torture and murder more innocent peoples in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ truth be told

      You mean, other than that time god killed every living thing on the face of the earth, don't you?

      February 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • truth be told

      I mean exactly what was said. Divine justice is the execution of a sentence on criminals and does not enter into the equation. Atheist Joe Stalin reportedly murdered over 60 million by himself, more than could have been on earth at that time. We can name atheist Stalins victims lets have you name one of the criminals from Noahs day.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor cap'n. You really are dumb, aren't you?

      February 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @tbt – Please site your source for the 60 million number. I have researched this and the highest estimate including the possible 20 million who died of famine came to 30 million. This is of course a huge number, 10 million killed in civil war and purges, another 20 million from famine, but just randomly doubling that number to sound more important just makes you look like a lying fool.

      February 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ tbt

      It's your accusation. You provide the source for your numbers.

      February 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."

    "The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it."

    – Robert Heinlein

    February 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Nope

      ~ that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery.

      We don't pray for God to do our will. We pray that we may do God's will. God doesn't have a self-esteem problem and our prayers make Him feel better about himself.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Akira

      God doesn’t have a self-esteem problem and our prayers make Him feel better about himself.
      Did you mistype this?

      February 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "and our prayers make Him feel better about himself."

      Wow. If there's a god out there, he must be incredibly annoyed at how religious nuts have portrayed him.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • David

      "God doesn't have a self-esteem problem and our prayers make Him feel better about himself."

      That takes the cake of the stupidest post today. Your god has to feel better about himself, that means it has self esteem issues, but it's ok your god is a man made concept not reality.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Nope

      I don't think so. I'm trying to say that worship isn’t vapidly stroking God’s ego as though God has low self-esteem and created us to remind him how great he is.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Nope
      Then why is jealousy the frist and foremost characteristic of the Christian God?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Nope

      > Then why is jealousy the frist and foremost characteristic of the Christian God?

      Is this the same kind of jealousy that causes man to sin? Or is it describing a different type of jealousy?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, if prayer makes God feel better about himself, can't that be construed as a self-esteem problem?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • ME II

      "God doesn't have a self-esteem problem and [we don't pray to] make Him feel better about himself."
      I'm assuming.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Nope
      Well, according to the 10 Commandments, your God is jealous enough that he would send someone to Hell for, say, having a poster of The MIghty Thor on their wall.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jerry Fallswell

      God does not have to cast you into hell you have done that yourself. Heaven is never gained by works that you can or cannot do. You either accept the grace of God by faith alone or you do not, what you put on your wall is irrelevant. God has chosen those who He will keep and has graciously extended His offer to all mankind. It is the fool that has chosen to reject the offer of God.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Akira

      @Me II:
      "“God doesn’t have a self-esteem problem and [we don't pray to] make Him feel better about himself.”
      I’m assuming."

      This is why I asked him if he mistyped it. He said no.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Nope

      ~"“God doesn’t have a self-esteem problem and [we don't pray to] make Him feel better about himself.”
      I’m assuming."
      yea.

      ~Well, according to the 10 Commandments, your God is jealous enough that he would send someone to Hell for, say, having a poster of The MIghty Thor on their wall.
      nope. 1. he forgives. 2. love god and love others. if putting a pic of thor prevents your from doing this. take it down.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • End Religion

      "God does not have to cast you into hell you have done that yourself."

      In a world filled with stupid religious rationalizations this has to take the cake. If you want to pretend dude invented the universe, and dude sets up rules to follow his path or burn in hell, then at least give dude the credit for sending us to hell. If it is our choice, then I choose to sin, ask NO forgiveness, and NOT go to hell. Is that possible? not with your twisted logic, I'm sure.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Jealous, like keep yer mitts off my bride!

      February 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Party bigots.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Nope

      ~ "God does not have to cast you into hell you have done that yourself."

      Jesus has conquered hell, too. If you still hate him, I guess you have to go to hell's hell.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Nope

      ~ "God does not have to cast you into h.ell you have done that yourself."

      Jesus has conquered h.ell, too. If you still hate him, I guess you have to go to h.ell's h.ell.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Akira

      ~”“God doesn’t have a self-esteem problem and [we don't pray to] make Him feel better about himself.”
      I’m assuming.”
      yea.

      I'm curious, P: why didn't you clarify this when I asked you the first time?

      February 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Nope

      God doesn't have a self-esteem problem and (we don't pray because we think) our prayers make Him feel better about himself.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Nope

      God doesn't have a self-esteem problem. And (it's not like we say) our prayers (to) make Him feel better about himself.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Nope

      (Do you think) God does ( ) have a self-esteem problem? And (you just think) our prayers make Him feel better about himself?

      February 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Akira

      Eye roll.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • REPOST!!!AND AGAIN!!!!

      lulz

      February 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  15. Brother Maynard

    Van Hagar sez:
    "Scientology is worthy of simple dismissal because it is clearly a hoax–its history, its leadership, its tactics–its a business in the guise of a religion, no ands, ifs or buts about it."
    Uh not to Scientologists it is isn't. I challenge you to go up to a Scientologist and show the illogical irragional meaning of his church and see the passioin that comes out of him defending it.
    Not much unlike you do your Chrisitanity.
    Xtians are atheists to all other religions.

    February 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Nope

      > Xtians are atheists to all other religions.

      Maybe to some or most. But not ALL.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Nope sez:
      "Maybe to some or most. But not ALL.'
      Fair enough prove me wrong
      Name one other religion that ALL Christians will aggree is a TRUE religion

      February 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you're a Bible adherent, how do you know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      February 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Nope

      ~ Name one other religion that ALL Christians will aggree is a TRUE religion

      God is the God of all. Not to just those that subscribe to a particular religion.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • At Nope

      Nope.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Nope

      >If you're a Bible adherent, how do you know whether Catholic, Easter...
      >...or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      Which one shows you how to love God and to love others as you love yourself?

      February 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Nope

      >If you're a Bible adherent, how do you know whether Catholic, Easter...
      >...or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      Pray to God and ask Him. If he gives you the wrong answer that is His fault, not yours.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Nope sez:
      "~ Name one other religion that ALL Christians will aggree is a TRUE religion
      God is the God of all. Not to just those that subscribe to a particular religion."
      I rest my case ... you cannot
      Xtians are atheists to ALL other religions

      February 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Nope

      > Xtians are atheists to ALL other religions

      No. Some religious people believe God has a plan for all of His creation. Not just 1 particular, religion.

      Look at Unitarians. 🙂 They probably believe Christians and Jews both worship God.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Dope ( yes I did that on purpose because this is probably the stupidest thing I've read ) sez;
      "Pray to God and ask Him. If he gives you the wrong answer that is His fault, not yours."
      Are you acutally telling me that an perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god has faults? can make a mistake ?
      Also if how in the world would anyone know that that answer you recieved from GOD for a prayer you prayed is the wrong answer?
      Bro Maynard: Please Lord give me the numbers to the power ball
      God: No prob 34 65 77 86 1 34 and the powerball is 7
      Bro Maynard goes to 7-11 and buys a lotto ticket w/ those numbers
      Power ball night numbers are: 4 13 72 11 18 22 and the power ball is 2
      C'MON !!

      February 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Nope

      "Bro Maynard: Please Lord give me the numbers to the power ball
      God: No prob 34 65 77 86 1 34 and the powerball is 7"

      He's God. Not a magic genie.

      You may only pray for yourself if it will benefit others.

      If it is your will, not his will, for you to win the lottery – he probably won't give you those winning numbers.

      But, if you want to win it, try it.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Nope sez:
      > Xtians are atheists to ALL other religions
      No. Some religious people believe God has a plan for all of His creation. Not just 1 particular, religion.
      Look at Unitarians. They probably believe Christians and Jews both worship God."
      Nice dodge. My original statement was
      Xtians are atheists ... you come on and take one type of Xtian ( Unitarians ) and apply that as a retort to my statement
      Again I stand by my original statement

      February 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Nope sez:
      "He's God. Not a magic genie.
      You may only pray for yourself if it will benefit others."
      Wow ... Nope you are truly one of a kind
      So now Majic Genie's are more powerful than god. SERIOUSLY
      Uh and I WAS praying for myself ... "dear lord give me the winning powerball numbers?"
      AND it is well known that lotto winners give alot of their winnings to charity ... hence "benefitting others"
      ( god would know this because he is omniscient ... OH wait ... is he ? )

      February 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Nope

      a. did you try the playing the numbers yet?

      b. maybe god doesn't need you to win the lottery. maybe that would be the worst thing that ever happened to yo.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • End Religion

      Ad Hoc Hypothesis
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSwnVCJ4Y00&w=640&h=360]

      February 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Nope

      Nice box, 'endOFreligion'

      February 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Akira

      I see it just fine, "Nope".
      Apparently the apparatus you are using to post doesn't allow you to see "The New Jesus Timeline, Part IV."

      February 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Nope
      February 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      Nope, in case you're still having trouble, its basically a video about the timeline of Jesus' supposed life, however the important part of this particular one in the series is that it contains a Monty Python sketch that makes fun of you, or rather, religious people's habit of continually mutating their argument for any absurd possibility. If you want to see how witless you are you could got to youtube and find "the parrot sketch" to see yourself in action!

      February 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    We are making progress: "We actually agree here. All religions (Islam, Christianity, Atheism, Humanism, etc.) are created by man, who can and will corrupt the original teachings."

    Live4Him, perhaps we can agree:

    Concepts of God based on things that exceed or are exceptions to what we can know exist are only imagined – created by man.

    February 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Eric G

      They are welcome to their conceptual god. The problem seems to be that their belief is never benign.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • lol??

      You'll be OK(fer now, maybe) if ya keep yer mitts off the bride.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  17. Live4Him

    @ME II : Also, if this discussion is silly, it is because your logic is faulty, which is all I was attempting to point out

    What is silly is that you want to claim that you've got the answer (i.e. God doesn't exist), but you cannot (or will not) answer questions surrounding the underlying premises. So, you either are a fool, a coward, or are just playing around – and I suspect the latter. And I don't have time to waste on silly games.

    The logic isn't faulty, since it was organized into a decision tree layout. This means that you cannot answer subsequent questions until the first one is satisfied. There are only three POSSIBLE explantions for the existance of this universe: it's always been here, it came about by natural means, or it came about by supernatural means. However, you skipped / eliminated all three questions addressing this issue. This means that it is silly to discuss the other questions entirely.

    In essence, you gave the answer to a math problem on a test, but were unable / unwilling to show your work.

    February 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Eric G

      Supernatural means is a false premise. Please provide verifiable evidence of something supernatural.

      You are suggesting a undefined variable.

      You still lose.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • ..

      "See previous answer"...if the previous answer was "NO" then there's your answer.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tommy

      I'm with Eric, there are only two options until you can prove that something supernatural exists.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm with the others. "Supernatural" is not useful if there are no examples of supernatural things. Are there, Live4Him?

      February 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "...you want to claim that you've got the answer (i.e. God doesn't exist)..."

      I never claimed that "God doesn't exist". You are trying say that He does and I don't think you have sufficient evidence.

      "The logic isn't faulty, since it was organized into a decision tree layout."

      "There are only three POSSIBLE explantions for the existance of this universe: it's always been here, it came about by natural means, or it came about by supernatural means. However, you skipped / eliminated all three questions addressing this issue."

      You are claiming that it is supernatural, I simply don't agree that you have shown that to be the case. I don't know the answer.

      Please, recall that this began with your claim of evidence, i.e. 'There is no current natural explanation of ... therefore the suppernatural is necessary' (paraphrased, obviously. I can't find the exact wording right now,) which I maintain as fallatious.

      "In essence, you gave the answer to a math problem on a test, but were unable / unwilling to show your work."

      I gave no answer. I wasn't even taking a test, at first. You are the one who made a claim, in which the work shown was, I think, wrong.

      (p.s. why are you not using the reply feature?)

      February 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "...skipped / eliminated all three questions addressing this issue. "
      Sorry, if you are referring to "See previous " then that meant "No" as the previous answer.
      I did that because the questions were based on a "Yes" to the previous question.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Tommy

      Live4Him, if you were out camping in the woods, and in the middle of the night your campsite was raided and some food was missing would it be logical to think that Bigfoot was behind it?

      February 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,

      I didn't realize you were focused on the last few questions. If that is the case, perhaps I can expand on them.

      "4) Which Supernaturalist view has the best explanation for the beginning MET? Name? : Not sure.

      5) Is this Supernaturalist view consistent internally? Yes or No : No

      6) Is this Supernaturalist view supported by external evidence? Yes or No : See previous

      7) Does this Supernaturalist view address all the relevant issues? Yes or No : See previous

      8) Will this Supernaturalist view change how I view this world? Yes or No : (Unsure what this even means.)"

      4) Not sure. (Not sure if any are "reasonable" ones, but not sure which is "best" unreasonable one)
      5) No
      6) See previous
      7) See previous
      8) (Unsure what this even means.)

      4) Which has the best explanation?

      How about "None". I don't think that 'God spoke and it was so' is a "reasonable explanation". I have yet to hear any "reasonable" supernatural explanation, unless you consider extra-universe explanations, such as Branes, multi-verse, etc. as "supernatural". If that is the case then I will re-phrase.

      5) Is this Supernaturalist...

      If I did not pick an explanation, then how can I comment on this one.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " The logic isn't faulty, since it was organized into a decision tree layout. " How it was organized has no bearing on whether the language of the questions, and thus the questions themselves, is logical.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : Sorry, if you are referring to "See previous " then that meant "No" as the previous answer. I did that because the questions were based on a "Yes" to the previous question.

      What did you answer for the first three questions? unknown , no, and no. Therefore, you don't know any answers. So, you cannot claim that my answer lacks justification unless you can point to a flaw in one of those three questions. You haven't, but continue to insist that the conclusion is wrong. So, it is silly to continue – since you're just playing games.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @midwest rail : How it was organized has no bearing on whether the language of the questions, and thus the questions themselves, is logical.

      Care to support your statement? Where are they illogical?

      February 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Live4Him: Look, you are probably a very nice person, but you need to sit out a few rounds.

      You can't ignore questions about the logical validity of your posts and be taken seriously.

      You need to provide evidencial support for your supernatural claim, or go take a nap.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : I didn't realize you were focused on the last few questions

      The last questions have nothing to support them without answers to the first three questions. At least one of the first three questions MUST be affirmative before proceeding to the other questions.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • .

      How can you not GET that the way you phrased your questions, and the absolutes of your choice of answers (yes or no) is the problem here?? You're being intellectually dishonest in your phrasing, and when you are dissatisfied with the answers, accuse others of playing games? No WONDER people do not want to talk to you!

      February 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • clarity

      DieHardStupid4Him (to ME II): "What did you answer for the first three questions? unknown , no, and no. Therefore, you don't know any answers."

      That's right, dingbat. That's the point – and neither do you. You stupid little "tree" was faulty from the start since you ASSumed to know everything there is to know about nature – which you don't.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "...you don't know any answers. So, you cannot claim that my answer lacks justification unless you can point to a flaw in one of those three questions."

      Yet again, just because 'we don't know,' that doesn't lend any credence to your assertions. Your claim must stand on it own.

      Assuming you answer would be 'yes' for 1 and 2, what is your answer for:
      "3) Does Supernaturalism currently have 'reasonably certain' explanation for the beginning MET? Yes or No"

      ... and please show your work, or in this case evidence.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • clarity

      ( Your stupid little "tree" )

      February 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Eric G : You can't ignore questions about the logical validity of your posts and be taken seriously. You need to provide evidencial support for your supernatural claim, or go take a nap.

      This statement just goes to prove that you don't have a philosopher / scientist background. In these disciplines, one doesn't simply raise QUESTIONS, but rather provides empirical evidence why one (or more) premise is faulty. Nor does one argue "lack of definition". Instead, one starts with a basic understanding of the terms and provides empirical evidence that weakens or falsifies one of the premises.

      For example, when evolutionists claim that dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago, I don't advance the claim that they didn't define "dinosaur", "millions" or other common terms in a dictionary. Nor do I ask them to prove that they actually lived. These are the silly games that some of my oppoents want to use. Instead, I provide empirical evidence that refutes that claim. I point out the dino soft tissue and the scientific studies that indicate that DNA (and its aggregate: soft tissue) cannot survive more than 10,000 years. Hard evidence and not my opinion. Whoever wants to be takes seriously by me will do similarly.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Care to support your statement? Where are they illogical? " Please show where in my post I said they were illogical. I merely refuted your statement that the manner in which they were arranged MADE them logical, which it does not.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Akira

      ME II:
      This is what happens when you try and answer honestly...
      I guess the whole thing was predicated on you answering "yes" to the first question; I would wonder what the whole point of it was.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Eric G

      Ah, more assumptions...........

      You must provide verifiable evidence of something supernatural before you can insert as a viable possibility.

      You cannot logically ask for an answer to a question containing an undefined variable.

      It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks. You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get *NOTHING*! You lose! Good day sir!

      February 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "At least one of the first three questions MUST be affirmative before proceeding to the other questions."

      So, If I can rephrase it and correct me if I'm wrong:

      1) If MET has a beginning (B) then there is either a natural (N) or non-natural (S – supernatural) explanation.
      B -> (N or S)

      2) There is no natural explanation
      ~ N

      Therefore, the non-natural explanation must be true.
      S

      Providing the premise 1 is true, for the moment, then I would agree that the logical form is valid. However, while the form is valid you have not shown that premise 2) is actually true. This is why I keep returning to the appeal to igonrance. You seem to be attempting to state that since don't currently know a natural explanation premise 2) is assumed true. Which is incorrect.

      What I'm saying is simply, that we don't know whether there is a natural or non-natural explanation. Assuming there was a beginning, which I don't think is certain btw, then either N or S must be true, but we don't have sufficient evidence nor reason to know which is true, yet.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @. : How can you not GET that the way you phrased your questions, and the absolutes of your choice of answers (yes or no) is the problem here??

      When debating, it is easy to remain obscure and appear to understand the issue. It is only when confronted with absolutes that a position must be taken. So, it seems to me that it isn't the questions, but that others are unsure about their beliefs and the underlying evidence of those beliefs.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I'm amazed that, after Live4Him has presented such silly arguments as "If the bible can be seen, then everything in it is true, there are still some idiots here who think it is possible to hold a logical debate with her. (Newcomers are excused, of course.)

      February 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Cherries

      L4H, you do not have a background in science and philosophy, either. This is blatently obvious by your self-absorbed need to constantly crow that you do. Give us the are a science you have your degree in. I don't believe for a moment that the education you claim is at all accurate. Of course, it really doesn't matter. You will lie about it.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      Mary Schweitzer dino "soft tissue" DNA/biofilm issue.
      10/2012 – Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat?
      http://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/dinosaur-fossils-found-with-hot-red-meat/
      http://www.reasons.org/articles/structure-of-dinosaur-collagen-unravels-the-case-for-a-young-earth (christian old earth web site)

      "Schweitzer’s research has been hijacked by “young earth” creationists"
      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaur.html

      "DNA has been recovered, however, from samples much more than 10,000 years old (Poinar et al. 1998), even more than 300,000 years old (Stokstad 2003; Willerslev et al. 2003)."
      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC371_1.html

      February 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • .

      You were not trying to debate; you were trying to state an absolute yes or an absolute no, without any room for the unknown, which is what ME II and everyone else is trying to point out! Taking a stand on something is fine and dandy, but that theory, (and your little answer tree) is blown clear out of the water if something unknown is thrown into the mix, which question one clearly was, to some people. ME II's mistake is that he tried to engage you in honest debate by answering your absolute answer tree; giving a choice of 2 answers when there is a possibilty of a third one is not debate at all. That the your test couldn't proceed after answer one being YES is testament to this.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : So, If I can rephrase it and correct me if I'm wrong:

      You're correct.

      @ME II : then I would agree that the logical form is valid.

      Good, then we're making progress.

      @ME II : However, while the form is valid you have not shown that premise 2) is actually true.

      We have shown it is true by eliminating the other options as viable contenders. I think what is tripping you up here isn't the answer (i.e. supernatural), but WHICH supernatural. And this latter wasn't addressed at this point in the decision tree. You only have THREE choices. As you've so apptly put it, B or N or S.

      @ME II : What I'm saying is simply, that we don't know whether there is a natural or non-natural explanation.

      Scientists don't look for a certainty, but the most likely. It is impossible to eliminate ANY options without the gift of omniscience – which none of us have. So, shy of certainty, the most likely answer is supernatural (i.e. non-natural if the first time is giving you a problem).

      @ME II : Assuming there was a beginning, which I don't think is certain btw

      It is a near certainty that our time has a beginning. Thermodynamics proves that time is a one-way arrow. Since it never turns back, it indicates that there was a beginning. Likewise, the Big Bang also indicates that MET breaks down in the singularity (i.e. no matter, energy or time). What intrigues physicists today is the possibility of an "alternate" time – i.e. a time beyond the singularity. This alternate time would not have to conform to our laws about MET. Could this be the "universe" that God lives in? I don't know. It is well "beyond my paygrade."

      Regardless, there is almost no physicists who questions the beginning of this universe's time. The String Theory (and it's alternate versions) are attempting to define this "alternate time", but...

      BTW – I'm heading out for today. Maybe another day, we can continue this further.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker: Sources

      DNA could only survive 10,000 years in Temperate environment
      Lindahl, T. 1993. Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA

      DNA could only survive 100,000 years in icy environment, but other proteins such as collagen probably completely degrade in less than 30,000 years
      Poinar, H. N., Höss, M., Bada, J. L., and Paabo, S. 1996. Amino acid racemization and the preservation of ancient DNA. Science 272:864-866
      Smith, C. I., et al., 2001. Neanderthal DNA: not just old but old and cold? Nature 410:771–772.
      Willerslev, E. and Cooper, A. 2005. Ancient DNA. Proc. R. Soc. B 272:3–16

      February 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Oh for Pete's sake, first it's DNA can't survive more than 10,000 years then we get to the temperate climate condition. If anyone wants a nice summary that accurately quotes these same sources in an appropriate context rather:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1634942/

      February 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Oh, got it, looks like this is the Christian version:

      http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Compelling-Evidence-Creation-Flood/dp/1878026097
      http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/

      Looks like all L4H's arguments are in here.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, Why do you quote outdated studies to "prove" your point? Actually that's a silly question to someone who bases his beliefs on centuries-old myths. You've been told before that the survival for DNA is no longer considered to be limited to 10,000 years.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "We have shown it is true by eliminating the other options as viable contenders"
      You cannot have shown this because we don't know all possible contenders.
      Yet again, just because 'we don't know' a definitive natural explanation currently, does not mean that others are true. (appeal to ignorance)

      "You only have THREE choices. As you've so apptly put it, B or N or S."
      Actually I said if B then N or S, but we cannot answer N or S, yet.
      You need to affirmatively shown one or eliminate the other due to contradiction. (Contradiction is the only way logically, that I'm aware of to "prove" a negative.)
      You have not done that.

      "Scientists don't look for a certainty, but the most likely."
      I disagree. While science is always tentative, "most likely" is not sufficient.
      "Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." (http://ncse.com/evolution/education/definitions-fact-theory-law-scientific-work)

      February 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • TrollBlaster

      I believe only a troll of the highest order like L4H would cause Saraswati to forsake Pete.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • OpinionTater

      Live4Him said, in part, "Nor does one argue "lack of definition". Instead, one starts with a basic understanding of the terms and provides empirical evidence that weakens or falsifies one of the premises."

      NO NO NO NO NO

      You must DEFINE your terms FIRST, or no one will agree on what any of the terms mean you brain-damaged yak!

      Define your terms! You use words with multiple or indistinct meanings and refuse to define them? Saying that everyone must already know and so no one has to define anything? You are ridiculous. A pathetic troll. I'm glad I don't know you.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Doobs

      The logic isn't faulty, since it was organized into a decision tree layout.

      LOL! That's like saying "I'm not disorganized, see, I have colored folders."

      March 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      February 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • just wondering

      That poor lifeless sob that calls itself jesus must do nothing from the time it gets up but wait to copy/paste its bs. I wouldn't have believed a human being could be that involved with anything but an anonymous blog. What a loser!

      February 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • .

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things = just wondering

      That poor lifeless sob that calls itself "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things = just wondering" must do nothing from the time it gets up but wait to copy/paste its bs. I wouldn't have believed a human being could be that involved with anything but an anonymous blog. What a loser!

      February 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I ran across another blog were this "Jesus" claims he created a bot, that actually auto posts anytime "athiesm is not stuff" posts.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • just wondering

      Then why doesn't jesus/ hal /etc respond until they are up in the am?

      February 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  19. myweightinwords

    A discussion in my office sparked this question:

    What is more evil/selfish: A person who inadvertently causes harm to many around him/her because they are so wrapped up in self they can not see/do not care about the pain they cause or someone who purposefully chooses to cause harm to one person because it brings them pleasure?

    February 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well, the latter includes evil ideation and intent along with harm. I'd say that's worse.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Tom, does the answer change if the one being harmed purposely chooses to be harmed?

        February 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Thoughts

      The second one because it fits the definition of a bully, but usually if it's bringing pleasure to the person it's a big indicator that they are someone who is very insecure. They have to belittle others in order to feel good about themselves. I can tell from personal experience that when someone is wrapped into themselves really focused on their jobs, it's very likely that are really not trying to intentionally harming anyone and it shouldn't be taken seriously. Plus, if you do take it too seriously, then you need to look at what you are projecting into the situation, maybe it's your own insecurities clouding your judgments.

      Bullying is a huge issue in our society and it's spreading into the workforce.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Is the first person so dense that it cannot be expalained to them the harm they are doing?

      February 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Lunchbreaker,

        The specific individual who sparked the conversation doesn't seem to care. He is the kind who is really blind to anything outside of his own world view, and he sees everyone colored by his own perception.

        As an example, he walked into a conversation I was having with a Hindu coworker a while back. We were discussing a holy day celebration that included fasting, and how he was on his second day. Ten minutes later, the shmo says "Let me take you to lunch. You need to eat."

        That is, of course, a very mild instance. Many of the others aren't as mild.

        February 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tim

      "Tom, does the answer change if the one being harmed purposely chooses to be harmed?"

      Have you been reading "The New Earth" book? 😉

      February 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      myweightinwords- Is it harm if the victim wants it? I think it still is, consensus is that the will to be harmed is pathological, a kind of evil in itself. So the person committing the act is still doing evil, only now, also, by participating.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        That would kind of explode into a whole other discussion about pathology and whether evil exists outside of a mental state...and so much more psychology (I do love me some psychology).

        So how about the level of harm?

        Does the choice of which is more evil change if we are talking only of mental anguish? Or if we mean only physical pain?

        What happens if we say that the harm caused is fatal?

        February 15, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Tim

      "As an example, he walked into a conversation I was having with a Hindu coworker a while back. We were discussing a holy day celebration that included fasting, and how he was on his second day. Ten minutes later, the shmo says "Let me take you to lunch. You need to eat.""

      I see that as a sarcastic joke. Yes they can be harmful in some ways but what you have to ask yourself is the choice you used to take it so negatively. I think your distaste for this person has been building for a while so now you see everything they do as negative, but you are choosing to do that. If I was to call you a bit*ch right now, you choose how you are going to take it. You can laugh because you know I am kidding, you can choose to not react at all, you can choose to get upset because I choose that word. You are going to choose how you take it, not me. So now ask yourself why are you choosing to dislike this person and why are you choosing such negative responses. I know this is quick and not reality but I merely am discussing communications issues with different personalities, but we can choose to control our side of it.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Tim,

        He didn't mean it as a joke. He was serious. And honestly, I hardly ever see him. He's a manager in another department. I just have a couple experiences with him and in all he behaves as though he is all that matters.

        I wasn't even a part of the conversation that prompted me to ask the question here. I overheard it.

        The add ons after the original question are all mine though.

        Particularly as someone who likes to explore the psychology of pain and who is admittedly a bit of a masochist.

        February 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      In the end, harm is harm. It's like the difference between murder and manslaughter. I would say that atleast with the second person, they know thier wrong and understand why they are punished if they are. The first person will just flash thier persecution complex and wonder why they are being punished.

      It reminds me of my sister in law. My wife and I are letting her stay with us temporarily, because she is we tod ed and can't get her sh!t together. She shows no grat itude, is the most inconsiderate house guest I've ever had. I have had to b!tch her out a couple times about her rude behaviour and ghetto att itude, and she complains that we are being mean to her, and goes and cries to daddy. 23 and she's "telling on us" to her dad. Sorry about that, little bit of venting there.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Akira

      I would say that the second person is more likely to be labeled evil; I also think that someone who finds pleasure in harming one person is unlikely to be able to stop at one.

      My MIL is rather like the first person (and your co-worker) she is a rather vapid person and quite thoughtless, but she means no harm. Knowing this about her, she doesn't cause me any.
      Some of her actions have caused some of my family members some hurt, but as they realized she has no malice behind her acts, they have learned not to take her too seriously.
      We just call her out on it, and hope that she learns something from it.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Doobs

      Your second scenario actually sounds like the Jebus crucifixion story. Purposefully killing a willing person because it brings pleasure to you.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      more evil/selfish is a construct of perspective. Scripture tells us repeatedly that all have fallen short of the glory of God and that not one is good, not one. We like to accuse the other guy of being worse than us but tain't so.

      February 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  20. Doc Vestibule

    Is talking to God any more or less crazy than talking to Thetans?
    To a Scientologist, becoming "clear" is spiritually/emotionally analogous to a Christian being "born again".
    Is is OK to mock someone who believes in talking to invisible alien spirits but not someone who speaks to an invisible Creator?

    February 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Why do you feel a need to mock at all? More to the point (at least from my perspective) is why do you think scientology and Christianity (or Judiasm) is on the same playing field?

      February 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Akira

      I should think all religions are on the same field...

      February 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Akira: Can all religions be right? No.
      Can all religions be wrong? Yes.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Akira

      Eric G.:
      I just thought it was amusing that Van Hagar dismissed Scientology in such a manner.
      I also find it even more amusing when the different denominations of Christianity do not considers each other Christians.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Eric G : Can all religions be wrong? Yes.

      We actually agree here. All religions (Islam, Christianity, Atheism, Humanism, etc.) are created by man, who can and will corrupt the original teachings.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Scientology is worthy of simple dismissal because it is clearly a hoax–its history, its leadership, its tactics–its a business in the guise of a religion, no ands, ifs or buts about it. Akira...what denominations are you referring to? I've yet to meet any baptist, methodist, charasmatic, presbyterian, lutheran, etc., who claims that those not within their denomination is not a Christian.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • David

      " I've yet to meet any baptist, methodist, charasmatic, presbyterian, lutheran, etc., who claims that those not within their denomination is not a Christian."

      I know many people that have been kicked out of Churches, especially the Catholic church.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tommy

      I have met plenty of baptists that don't consider people who are catholic to be christian.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Toby

      "its history, its leadership, its tactics–its a business in the guise of a religion,"

      So are all other religions, they are all businesses disguised as religion.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Akira

      As my fellow bloggers have already provided the answers, I need add nothing more, VanHagar.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Perhaps "mock" was a poor choice of words – "Dismiss" would be more appropriate.
      Is Mormonism a true religion? Their history reeks of being a hoax – and yet they are more legitimized in the realm of religion than scientology.
      I don't care what the religion is – in my opinion, anybody who charges a fee for salvation is a con-artist.
      All shamans should be considered thus until they prove otherwise.

      As for Christianity and the "no true scotsman" fallacy – it is rampant amongst the various denominations.
      Topher has said that anybody who claims to be christian and yet does something he considered un-christian is NOT a Christian.
      I need look no further than my own parents – my father is Catholic and my mother Protestant. They had to have a secular marriage because neither of their churches would perform the ceremony since neither was willing to convert.
      The priest and the pastor both said that the marriage was doomed to failure. When they celebrated their 40th anniversary, my mother said she'd love to go laugh in that pastor's face were he still alive and kicking.

      The general point is that most religions claim to have a monopoly on The Truth and Salvation – but since they are all predicated on unprovable, supernatural propositions, a detached, outside observer would consider them all equally (in)valid.

      Why should a tale of a man living in the digestive tract of an aquatic creature for three days and exiting unscathed be thought of as more valid than the story of a man who translated ancient writing with magic seer stones?

      February 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @VanHagar, the most obvious example of Christian dervided sects not being accepted are Mormons and Christian Unitarians.

      Here, btw, is a flier from a group that recently canvassed my neighborhood all about how Catholics aren't real Christians:

      http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0071/0071_01.asp

      February 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Ah! The legendary Chick Tracts.

      And this talk of scientology "clearly" being a hoax: I guess it's just too bad for scientologists that the founder of their faith was not born in obscurity 2000 years ago. They would have been a legitimate religion if that had been the case.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Doc, I think we can agree, at least, on one thing. You say: "I don't care what the religion is – in my opinion, anybody who charges a fee for salvation is a con-artist." I agree–without exception (and hence my take on scientology). I don't dispute that there are some christian pastors who demand of their congregants that they pay money–that is a poor reflection on them, not on Christ's teachings or his divinity. For those of you who want to compare Christianity to scientology, go ahead–that's a reflection of your bias and intellect, not mine.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • OpinionTater

      VanHagar, you cannot claim divinity when there is no proof of it.
      When the RCC sells indulgences, it is showing the world proof that there is no god and that your Jesus has zero power to change anything one way or the other and is likewise worthless.
      Blinded by emotion? Gosh, what part of "blinded" didn't you get? Emotion is not proof of anything, so don't bother bringing it up again. Yes, I've seen your BS before.

      February 15, 2013 at 7:29 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.