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North Carolina getting a state religion? No.
North Carolina legistators are fighting over a church and state issue.
April 4th, 2013
02:06 PM ET

North Carolina getting a state religion? No.

By Eric Marrapodi and John Blake, CNN

(CNN)– Politicians often declare that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but a group of representatives in North Carolina wants to add a new wrinkle to that argument.

They want North Carolina to be able to make its own laws establishing religion.

Two Republican representatives in North Carolina filed a resolution Monday that would permit the state to declare Christianity its official religion and reject any federal laws or court rulings regarding how the state addresses the establishment of religion.

Critics say the resolution violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee that government will not prefer one religion over another. But a supporter of the resolution said it is about protecting another freedom.

The resolution reads in part, "The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize Federal court rulings which prevent the state, its public schools, or any political subdivisions in the state from making laws respecting the establishment of religion."

Rep. Carl Ford, the resolution’s co-sponsor, told the Salisbury Post the resolution's intent is to support county commissioners in Rowan, North Carolina, who routinely end their invocations at public meetings with "In Jesus' name, amen."

A Rowan County resident filed a lawsuit against the county in March saying that she was not a Christian and that evoking Jesus in a public meeting sends the message that county commissioners favor Christians.

“We’re not starting a church. We’re not starting a religion. We’re supporting the county commissioners in their freedom of speech,” Ford told the Post.

Ford did not respond to interview requests.

By Thursday afternoon, the resolution was dead.

Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, said, "the bill that is getting so much attention is not going to move. It's dead."

Shaw said it would probably be referred to committee but would not come before the legislative body for a vote.

When asked why it was not moving forward, Shaw said the legislation did not accomplish what the legislators who had submitted the resolution had hoped for it.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington-based organization that aims to protect religious liberty, said Ford's argument is “phony.”

“That’s quite a bizarre argument,” Lynn said. “They’re trying to say that the state of North Carolina has the right to trump the U.S. Constitution, that we have the right to decide what religion gets preferential religion in our state.”

David Graham, an associate editor for The Atlantic Monthly, said the North Carolina resolution signals the revival of the states' rights “nullification” theory: a legal argument invoked as far back as the 19th century that claims states have the right to void, or nullify, federal laws they oppose.

During President Obama’s presidency, conservatives have claimed that states could ignore duly passed federal laws dealing with health care and gun control, Graham wrote in a blog post for The Atlantic.

Courts don’t buy the nullification theory, Graham said.

“Nullification has repeatedly been ruled to be incorrect,” he said. “States don’t have the right to invalidate federal laws.”

The nullification theory won’t die, though, because it serves a purpose, Graham said.

“It’s good politics for the people proposing it,” he said. “If people are upset that the federal government is keeping them from praying at a City Council meeting or changing the way they get health insurance, a politician can say, 'This is wrong and I’m going to take a stand.' ”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Courts

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soundoff (2,110 Responses)
  1. mamajudy

    If they are so unhappy with USA..just succeed with Texas they deserve each other.... we dont need them

    April 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      secede

      April 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Succeed in seceding maybe? 🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Really-O?

    Chad posting as "Rachel" –

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/richard-dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/comment-page-10/#comments
    Starting ~September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm
    Busted – September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    ...I'm back.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  3. *

    The slasher/comment deleter has been hitting this forum.

    Please take a minute to write to Belief Blog Editor – eric.marrapodi@cnn.com
    or
    Twitter: @EricCNNBelief

    He is aware of the problem (so you don't need to go into great detail, unless you want to), but he does not seem to be rectifying it. Perhaps a few more reminders might spur him on...

    April 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Peter

      Well he did Chad a favor because he was starting to look really stupid.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  4. WASP

    @believer:
    "oh, so I'm assuming you DO believe in Love. Keep in mind the "Action" of love you speak of, is only a mere thought, a response to a situation. Does that thought have any physical properties? No. Can you physically describe the characteristics of a "thought"? No. All can be said is that it's a chemical make up in our brain in which "thoughts" are stored in. Can you open up one's brain, look at the fluid and see one's thoughts?? No....But you still believe in it, don't you?? So then why can't you have a little "faith"? That is all God wants you to have. He is not asking you to figure out his great plan. Instead, just "believe" in him and you will be rewarded beyond comprehension......"

    RESPONSE:
    1)Does that thought have any physical properties? No.
    1A) ummm yeah thought does have physical properties otherwise we couldn't measure and observe brainwave activity in various situations such as a coma patient.
    2) Can you physically describe the characteristics of a "thought"? No.
    2A) ok thought is when stimuli introduced to the body triggers synapses in various parts of the brain to send signals in response to the stimuli. i.e. if you hear a car horn your brain immediately triggers the nuerons needed to stop your body from moving out of fear of death.
    3)Can you open up one's brain, look at the fluid and see one's thoughts?? No
    3A) nope don't need to open them up, just hook them up to a machine or place them inside a CAT scan.

    you know nothing of science yet preach the bible. LMFAO

    April 5, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      "All can be said is that it's a chemical make up in our brain in which "thoughts" are stored in."

      Surely such ignorance must take considerable effort to maintain.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Chad

      cant imagine how an atheist who doesnt believe in free will can simultaneously believe in "love".

      what is "love" if not based on choice?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "cant imagine how an atheist who doesnt believe in free will"

      Putting words in people's mouths again, eh? Why are you so deceitful?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You're hung up on semantics and your own perspective of what love is. Also, you're not applying the same reasoning to other emotions and behaviors. Just because I don't believe in free will doesn't mean that I don't use the labels and terms afforded by my society to discuss such concepts.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Tom

      "what is "love" if not based on choice?"

      I think there are many who would dispute your opinion about love being a choice. It may be a choice to sit and watch TV but it's not a choice when your heart strings are played by the starving children they show you to illicit donations. It's called empathy and it's what normal humans use to conect with others, to walk a mile in their shoes and yes, to love someone.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "what is "love" if not based on choice?"

      What a nitwit..."love" is an amalgam of emotions and, while emotions can be cultivated by intention, they are are not dependent upon choice (does one choose fear when charged by a grizzly?).

      April 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "what is "love" if not based on choice?"

      Love is not a choice, it is an emotion. Emotions are not based on choice, we can choose how to respond to emotions but we can't choose our emotions. It is your type of flawed thinking that makes bible "morality" possible.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad posting as "Rachel" –

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/richard-dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/comment-page-10/#comments
      Starting ~September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm
      Busted – September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      April 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      One has to wonder to what Chad is referring when he uses the term "love" – does he mean romantic love; friendship; altruistic love; compassion? Nitwit.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: where do you think i don't believe in free will? atheist simply point out that how you christians constructed your god as being Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent. now let's take each one by one.
      -Omniscient: adjective
      1. having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
      (PROBLEM) if your god knows everything you can't do anything he hasn't already seen before you were ever born.
      -Omnipresent: adjective
      1.present everywhere at the same time: the omnipresent God.
      (PROBLEM) if your god is everywhere then there is literally nowhere you can do anything and him not see, even in your head.
      -Omnipotent: adjective
      1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
      2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.
      (PROBLEM) if your god has all power, then if he has a single stray thought, a slight sneeze or any other quirk then everything would be destroyed. god made mistakes, thus he has human traits; thus he can have a stray thought and wammo were all gone.

      love is the simple culmination of basic animal instincts inside a far more complicated mind.
      so yes it would be logical for any atheist to understand and accept love seeing we can test it by a persons actions.

      if your god is real then he knows everything you will ever do, think or say.....thus the idea of choice in religion is merely an illusion, not a physical thing seeing god set things up how he wanted them, not how you would like them.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Please answer my simple question: Would you ever, under any circu.mstance, enslave another human person?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Does Chad every realizes how foolish some of the things he posts are before he post them?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Chad

      "Love is not a choice, it is an emotion"
      "emotions can be cultivated by intention, they are are not dependent upon choice"

      =>A. since atheists dont/cant believe in free will, "love" is nothing different than the experience of "hot" or "cold"
      B. in that view, love is not freely given as a choice, it is merely a sensory response.

      authentic love requires free will

      April 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "authentic love requires free will"

      Does "authentic fear" require fee will? Nitwit.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Where do you get the Idea that atheist don't believe in free will?

      April 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      'Does "authentic fear" require free will?' ... I hate typos.

      Just asserting something does not make it true or reasonable, but there's no reason to assume Chad understands this.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad has a unique view of many things. His God is unique to him. It's not surprising that his understanding of atheism is unique to him.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Many of Chad's arguments disintegrate without simplistic (mis)characterization.

      How tight was your shot group at your last practice?

      April 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Science

      Chad can not understand biology MAYBE ?

      April 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Please answer my first question. A simple yes or no will suffice.

      As for you other comment, being an atheist in no way implies whether you beleive in free will or not. It all comes down to two areas. 1. If a person believes in fate or destiny. Apoligetics like yourself believe everyone has a fate, that god can see everything which immediately disqualifies them to believe in an idea like "free will" when it's only an illusion. Only by believing that there is no set destiny can a person understand the concept of free will

      2. The other side to the coin, and this is what saraswati argues. is that free will is an illusion because people are controled by instinct and have 0 control of their own decision making faculties. We can pretend like we decided to take a left, or a right at the intersection but that decision had already been made, in our heads, 20 feet before that, and it was only our consciousness catching up to that fact.

      In both cases, the believer is the only way who does not have free will and if they believe they do, they don't understand the concept. Only an atheist who rejects destiny and fate and questions the neuroscience behind decision making in the brain can choose free will.

      But you don't understand that.

      You're still going to bulldoze ahead like what I just said made no sense because you're bad at reading and/or really good at ignoring truth in favor of lies.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @WASP " where do you think i don't believe in free will? "

      =>all atheists deny the existence of the soul, and believe that humanity exists as a result of impersonal mutation and natural selection forces resulting in complex organisms we see. That view is determinism, and all atheists are determinists.
      In that view, the electrical signals in your brain that comprise your "consciousness" are 100% resultant from particle interactions, all obeying the laws of that universe, and all following interactions that were deterministically set in motion at the origin of our universe.

      Atheist view "choice" as an illusion resulting from the complexity of the particle interactions. Much like weather forecasting remains difficult for us. Weather is entirely deterministic, it is difficult only in that we simply dont have the measuring or compute capacity to predict it currently. Atheists view our entire existence in the same manner.

      there is no choice in determinism (atheism).
      love requires choice

      April 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Where do you get the Idea that atheist don't believe in free will?"

      =>it is logically impossible for an atheist to believe in free will.

      if you do, you simply havent thought thru your position and it's implications well enough..

      April 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Regarding Chad's April 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm response to Wasp...

      Some many sweeping generalizations and baseless assertions in one post! Wow...just wow!

      April 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      no, like Lucy, Chad likes to move the football.

      'Perhaps love is motivated by chemicals – pherenomes, etc.'

      Chad ==> You mean attraction – I wasn't talking about that – I was talking about concepts like 'agape'.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "it is logically impossible for an atheist to believe in free will."

      ...and there's another baseless assertion.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      It really is silly how Chad intermingles philosophy and empiricism willy-nilly. Is this dishonesty, ignorance, or a bit of both?

      April 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hello Really-O? Determinism decreed that my groups would be on the order of 3.5 – 4 inches horizontal at 300 yards last week. Some tweaking is still needed before this cartridge is ready for prime time, but it's looking pretty good.

      In his thinking about determinism, I wonder if Chad has given any thought to the complexities of critical behaviour in systems that are undeniably deterministic? Our rich and complex experience of reality could be based on that kind of complexity, that plus our lack of foreknowledge of where determinism is taking us. I'm not sold on determinism, but I'm not sure if we could tell the difference.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      FREE WILL

      Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors. Factors of historical concern have included metaphysical constraints (for example, logical, nomological, or theological determinism), physical constraints (for example, chains or imprisonment), social constraints (for example, threat of punishment or censure, or structural constraints), and mental constraints (for example, compulsions or phobias, neurological disorders, or genetic predispositions). The principle of free will has religious, legal, ethical, and scientific implications.[1] For example, in the religious realm, free will implies that individual will and choices can coexist with an omnipotent divinity. In the law, it affects considerations of punishment and rehabilitation. In ethics, it may hold implications for whether individuals can be held morally accountable for their actions. In science, neuroscientific findings regarding free will may suggest different ways of predicting human behavior.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Cherries

      Chad is cofusing the concept of the Biblical free will and the actual free will to make out own choices. Chad is being intentionall dishonest once again. Free will is NOT, and I repeat, NOT owned by the Bible. Stop being a punk, Chad.
      And I am a Christian; but YOU are deliberately using the concept of free will disingenuously, and you are WRONG.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

    • Increasing belief in free will
      So now a new question starts to arise. It appears that a belief in free will may make people smarter, better at learning, better on the job, more ethical and more helpful to others. If more people believed in free will it appears the world would be a better place. So maybe we should be putting more energy into a question of greater utility than whether free will is 'real' or not, and trying to work out how to get more people to believe in free will? Unfortunately, a lot of activity in science and religion seems to be working in the opposite direction.
      I am reminded of a conversation recently with neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner, just after we had jointly given a talk on emotional regulation at Columbia business school recently. 'You know' Kevin said as we walked out of the building, 'I remember what happened when I told a friend years ago that we have the capacity to change ourselves. Just this one idea seemed so foreign to her, and it seemed to have an enormous impact on her thinking. This one basic idea needs to be taught widely. It's so fundamental, so simple, yet amazingly the majority of people may not know it'. I can distinctly remember the moment in my mid teens when I had a similar insight, and I know this realization changed who I am as a person, in dramatic ways.
      In the business world, our organizations and inst i tutions are being run by people who have been academically trained, as engineers, accountants, lawyers, or analysts. They are taught to believe that the world is subjective, that with enough data they can solve any problem. I proposed that many as a result tend to be reductionists at heart, who believe that talent is innate and people can't change: that we don't have a lot of free will. Is this, just perhaps, part of the reason we have so much dysfunction in our financial, education, health and legal systems? Is it time to do something as fundamental and seemingly unimportant as rethink our philosophy of human nature?
      As philosopher Theodore Zeldin once said 'when will we make the same breakthroughs in the way we relate to each other as we've made in technology?' I hope that a better understanding of how the brain functions can be part of that solution.
      David Rock –Why believing in free will is good for you.

      Sam Harris disagrees-Read Free-will

      April 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

    • "It appears that a belief in free will may make people smarter, better at learning, better on the job, more ethical and more helpful to others. If more people believed in free will it appears the world would be a better place."

      Looks llike smart people believe in free will
      🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Chad

      "Some many sweeping generalizations and baseless assertions in one post! Wow...just wow!"

      =>a lot of atheists have that reaction, the reason is they simply are not familiar with the broader implications of their atheist/deterministic/materialist position.

      Not surprisingly, they just dont do much thinking about what they actually believe. They are pretty much entirely focused on mocking and ridiculing theists. The ultimate irony being that the very thing they base their criticism on (that theists are in essence "believing without justification"), they are most guilty of themselves.

      materialism In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually occurring states of energy and matter

      Determinism is a metaphysical philosophical position stating that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. "There are many determinisms, depending upon what pre-conditions are considered to be determinative of an event."[1] Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse motives and considerations, some of which overlap. Some forms of determinism can be tested empirically with ideas stemming from physics and the philosophy of physics. The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism). Determinism is often contrasted with free will.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Cherries

      => Chad, you are dishonest at debate. You make sweeping generalizations that do not apply to all people, and then get you panties in a wad when the same is done to you. You are EXTREMELY poor at proselytizing, and indeed, do our cause more harm than good.
      Stick to streetcorner proselytizing.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Cherries

      "Some many sweeping generalizations and baseless assertions in one post! Wow...just wow!"" Do you not get that YOU are the one who said this, but you are GUILTY of doing the same exact thing? You are really BAD at this Chad. Have a nice day, sport.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Chad

      "Free will is NOT, and I repeat, NOT owned by the Bible"

      =>the only people that can logically believe in free will are those that believe in theism.
      atheists/materialist/determinists can NOT logically embrace the notion of free will, there simply is no justification for it in the atheist view.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      "it is logically impossible for an atheist to believe in free will."

      Not true at all. I, and many others, have a constant experience of free will. This experience can be repeated and tested. This evidence trumps any logical argument you might come up with.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Cherries

      "Some many sweeping generalizations and baseless assertions in one post! Wow...just wow!"

      Chad, sweetie...YOU are the one who said this...it was reposted because you do the same thing....just wow.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      And there you have it...Chad's April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm post on materialism and determinism explicitly indicates that he is discussing philosophy, yet he (either out of ignorance or dishonesty) uses those arguments to trespass on empiricism (e.g. "philosophy argues x and y conditions are contradictory, therefore x and y cannot exist in the natural world"). I'll say it one more time...nitwit.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Chad

      If you, as an atheist, believe in free will, you need to seriously consider HOW you believe you actually have it.

      Once you start investigating the implications of your belief system, you'll see that atheism leaves no room for free will.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Cherries

      Chad, I will repeat: free will isn't a Biblical concept. Free will existed far longer ago than the existence of theology. If you cannot see this, you need to take the blinders off. Free will AS IT PERTAINS TO YOU is Biblical. It isn't the norm for the jillions of people who have never even heard of the God of Israel.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "B. in that view, love is not freely given as a choice, it is merely a sensory response.

      "authentic love requires free will"

      Define "authentic love"...

      April 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and, once again, more copy & paste from Chad. Does anyone think Chad is capable of reasoned argument without using the words of another?
      .

      April 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Not true at all. I, and many others, have a constant experience of free will. This experience can be repeated and tested. This evidence trumps any logical argument you might come up with."

      🙂
      no

      as an atheist, you believe that the complexity of the particle interaction is creating the illusion.
      As TTTOO put it: In his thinking about determinism, I wonder if Chad has given any thought to the complexities of critical behaviour in systems that are undeniably deterministic? Our rich and complex experience of reality could be based on that kind of complexity, that plus our lack of foreknowledge of where determinism is taking us.

      now, I doubt you understand what she wrote.. but believe me, it supports what I am saying.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chad

      "Free will existed far longer ago than the existence of theology."

      =>no
      free will doesnt exist outside of theism.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "there simply is no justification for it in the atheist view" or on any view, I would think. Chad needs to believe in God, and then believe that God knows that he has free will, and then believe that God is truthful in telling him that he has free will (does he believe it tells him that?). Are any of those beliefs justified?

      April 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad – "...but believe me, it supports what I am saying"

      Uh...no, it doesn't. Nitwit.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      So now your argument is that love and free will "prove" your god? That's even more pathetic than your normal arguments.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      As an afterthought, and this may be obvious to most people, free will could be true and it may not be possible to arrive at a justified belief in it.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "free will doesnt exist outside of theism."

      Yet another baseless assertion. Keep 'em coming. Dance, monkey, dance.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad – "...but believe me, it supports what I am saying"
      @Really-O? "Uh...no, it doesn't. Nitwit."

      =>try reading it 15 or 20 times..

      April 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hey, belief blog forum! Another blanket party for Chad on "north-carolina-getting-a-state-religion-no/comment-page-16". Oh, wait...that's nothing new...never mind.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Please reconcile the idea that if a god does exist and already knows what you are going to do before you do it, how can you have free will if you are set on a path that you must follow?

      April 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "try reading it 15 or 20 times"

      Unlike you, I only had to read it once. I do, however, accept and understand that your intense training in dishonesty, combined with your biblical infallibility goggles and narcissism, make it unlikely you'll understand TTTOO's intent and nuance. You're forgiven (but not by your deity).

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One – If I actually do misconstrue your post, please let me know as I'm always open to honest edification.

      ...conditions seem ripe for a post from Rachel. Hahahaha!

      This thread is becoming too long to manage.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Rick

      Chad
      I don't know. Saying that you "choose" something implies that you used logic and reason to weigh the options before settling on the one that made the most sense, right? "Love" so very often has little to do with logic and reason. I don't know why I love my favorite hockey team. They're only average on paper and I don't even like their uniform colors much, but I love them all the same. The Christians I admire most are the ones who admit that their faith doesn't make sense, but they love it anyway.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Sarah

      @chad – =>it is logically impossible for an atheist to believe in free will.

      if you do, you simply havent thought thru your position and it's implications well enough..'

      LOL

      This is like saying "Hey, people who have never been to the ocean will disolve in sea water which is proven because they have never been in sea water before, so it must be that they would disolve."

      it's hard to believe humanity was able to evolve such stupidity, and all in one person named chad. simply amazing.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: there isn't anything logical in your bible nor in your debate style.
      you argue from a dishonest stand point of "using" logic" when your arguements make no logical sense.

      logic follows a simple straight line path.........point A leads to conclusion B.
      -knowing everything about what your child will ever do nullifies it's "free will" because you know that it will mark on your walls at age five then lie about it. he in that situation had no option but to follow the plan you set forth.
      -understanding free will is a form of chaos,controlled reactions to an uncontrolled enviroment is logic

      a perfect being couldn't make an imperfect product because it wouldn't know how, otherwise it isn't perfect.
      now that is logic.

      a machine can produce the same chair flawlessly each time because it knows nothing else, a human has lots of imperfections, thus we make imperfect products by hand.
      i know the next thing you will say is, but man made machines, yes however we built machines that built machine removing the original flaws we placed in them.
      yet again logic.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Rick –

      Good points. Why does Chad claim to "love" his country?

      April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @WASP, Rick, Chuckles, et. al –

      With all due respect, when you treat Chad as a peer, you only encourage his nonsense. Derision and ridicule are the appropriate responses to Chad's posts. I will say I envy TTTOO's ability to weave a tapestry of ridicule and reasoned argument.

      Cheers

      April 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      In his cut-and-paste Chad did accidentally leave off this part:

      I'm not sold on determinism, but I'm not sure if we could tell the difference.

      Which is why I added a bit later that it may be the case that free will is true, but it may not be possible to arrive at a justified belief in it.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Chad

      "Please reconcile the idea that if a god does exist and already knows what you are going to do before you do it, how can you have free will if you are set on a path that you must follow?"

      =>We experience time in a serial form, past, present, future. While we can slow the pa ssage of time with respect to a fixed reference point we can not stop it, nor accelerate it.

      The same is not true of God, whom exists outside of time and space. God can see the future, the results of the choices we make of our own free will.
      There is not past/present/future for God, there is only now. He is timeless.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One – Thanks for confirming that I, not Chad, understand the intent of your post. Cheers.

      @Chad – Suck it.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: " Determinism is often contrasted with free will."
      you messed up when you posted the definition. the very first line saids " doctrine". we have no doctrine, no bible, no guildines.
      rules negate free will.
      1) i would freely smash you into the ground on a good day for fun; however the law prohibits my free will to do so.
      1a) the bible prohits your actions in the very same way. just with far more "vicious" punishments.

      on the whole determined thing, we understand that we have no idea where this universe is heading or what it is doing most of the time. there is no set goal for athiests other than to try and understand our surroundings.
      religion presents a half ass idea of how everything will go from start to finish. your "destiny" "fate" was DETERMINED by your god. nothing is determined nor destined for me that i don't choose myself.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Blanket part for Chad, page 16...party for Chad, your page is ready"

      April 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "There is not past/present/future for God, there is only now. He is timeless."

      I believe Chadwatch called this the "Magic Mike" theory.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? @Tom, Tom, the Other One – Thanks for confirming that I, not Chad, understand the intent of your post. Cheers.

      =>:-)

      no.. try reading what she said a couple hundred more times.. it will be a good investment on your part.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Science

      So chad ..................................was it present back then...................... LOVE does strange things .

      Skulls of Early Humans Carry Telltale Signs of Inbreeding

      Mar. 18, 2013 — Buried for 100,000 years at Xujiayao in the Nihewan Basin of northern China, the recovered skull pieces of an early human exhibit a now-rare congenital deformation that indicates inbreeding might well have been common among our ancestors, new research from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Washington University in St. Louis suggests.

      No god*s( required )

      April 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      What chad is trying to say is that if atheists believe in basic deterministic advancement of life and species which has a finite connectivity that is defineable and verifiable even if it is the butterfly flapping it's wings in the rainforest that ultimately causes a super storm to hit the gulf coast, that means those people evacuating were just reactionary actors, not having any freewill at all. What the ignorant chad is missing is the fact that even though events around us are happening based on unmanaged determinism, we still do have free will when it comes to deciding to stay in that home about to be hit by the super storm. We can weigh the evidence and make a judgement call based on that evidence which is the definition of free will. No one who stayed and died in Katrina was fated to do so

      free will – Noun: The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

      Only when adding God to the mix do we lose free will, or at least most peoples definition of God, which claims to already know everyones fate and we have little to no ability to change it.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      all the philosophical "isms" are inevitable dead ends in search for the 'truth' of existence. Like both Thomas Aquinas and Friedrich Nietzsche, they belong in the philosopy department.

      It is entirely possible to:
      1. disbelieve in any deity AND
      2. make independent day to day choices that materially impact one's experiences

      without subscribing to one 'ism' or another that have only have relevance in a philosophy class.

      I do think that death is deterministic and it is the end of our consciousness. Call that determinism if you like. I don't care.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Have you pretty much resigned yourself to constantly telling people to read everything again until they agree with you? That's the only back up you give to any statement you make any more. Do you really think that's going to fly here? If you want people to agree with you all the time, go preach at your church.
      It's just getting really pathetic to watch you continually dissolve into more and more irrelevant idiocy.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Chad

      "Which is why I added a bit later that it may be the case that free will is true"

      =>there is no way for free will to be true in the atheist view 🙂

      that's why you didnt put that claim in your original post, and why what you said in that post (April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm) supports my statement that atheists can not believe in free will.

      The great atheist conundrum is how in the world to reconcile their experience with their belief?
      Their experience says free will exists
      Their belief says it cant possibly.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Regarding Chad's, "no.. try reading what she said a couple hundred more times.. it will be a good investment on your part."

      Will you look at the brass balls on Chad?! Faced with a statement from TTTOO declaring Chad misconstrues TTTOO's own words, like a five year old sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling "nah nah nah nah nah...I can't hear you", Chad doubles-down. I believe that is obtuseness personified.

      You really are a nitwit, Chad.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      "While we can slow the pa ssage of time with respect to a fixed reference point we can not stop it, nor accelerate it."

      It is impossible to slow time. It always moves at 1 second per second, we might perceive that time to feel faster or slower but our perception does not change reality. Only certain celestial events effect time. 1 is where time does get warped is around a blackhole, but considering no human has ever got even remotely close to a black hole big enough, it has no bearing on us. The second that I can think of is a perosn orbiting earth at an accelerated rate to the point where if they were to orbit the earth a high speeds for years they might be able to experience a millisecond more than the average human on earth.

      Also, please answer my other quesiton please

      @Really-O?

      I mean of course your right but I find it funnier that when Chad tries to blanket statement something along the lines of "atheists are doody heads" it's easy to point back to say, this thread and say, "actually you're the doody head, some atheists are perfectly civil."

      April 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hey, Chad! I guess Tom, Tom, the Other One doesn't understand the intent of his own words. You slay me, Chad...really, you do!

      April 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Free will is the subjective experience of an objective physical phenomena.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mass Debater

      What chad is trying to say is that if atheists believe in basic deterministic advancement of life and species which has a finite connectivity that is defineable and verifiable

      It is Chad's usual love of semantics.

      He does posit that many people who post here, don't have thoroughly worked out philosophical arguments about the 'true nature of existence' when they state that they don't believe in God.

      I think this assessment is accurate.

      It is also a true statement that the philosophers don't either and certainly don't have a concensus. The 'true nature of existence' being an elusive quanti!ty – except of course to those who say "God did it".

      Which is of course why "42" is as good an answer as any.

      It is possible to live and live meaningfully without a fully wrought philosophical argument for existence.

      But then of course someone will say, well that's "pragmatism" and drag out even more unnecessary "isms".

      Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice. Important positions characteristic of pragmatism include instrumentalism, radical empiricism, verificationism, conceptual relativity, and fallibilism. - wikipedia

      April 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles –

      I have no reservations stating Chad is a doody head. You may quote me.

      Cheers

      April 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad's approach to justification of his belief in his ill-gotten God of Israel (appropriated, he might say "liberated", from its true adherents – religious Jews) usually involves stuff on his fine-tuned Universe, the historicity of his Bible, and an assortment of ideas about evolution. Where in all that is justification for any of this:

      "The same is not true of God, whom exists outside of time and space. God can see the future, the results of the choices we make of our own free will.
      There is not past/present/future for God, there is only now. He is timeless."

      April 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      So really this all comes down to chad redefining "free will" to mean what he wants it to mean and not what the actual definition says it is.

      In chad's mind atheists cannot enojy any of these things: Free will, love, empathy, joy, excitement and enlightenment.
      However he imagines atheists can ONLY feel: Depression, anger, hate, frustration and confusion.

      The fact is the problem is with chad who doesn't actually know any atheists and assigns them traits like you would an imaginary troll who you claim is 15 feet tall with grey leathery skin and the brain the size of a peanut and then waits for you to prove him wrong like it's our job to convince him of our altruism.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TTTOO

      it's always about 'origins' with the Chad.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Come on, Chad...I know it's uncomfortable trying to create posts with the supervisor of helpdesk support popping in-and-out of your cube all day long, but you're getting your ass kicked here...you should be able to cobble together some copy & paste nonsense. Hahahaha!

      .

      April 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "It is impossible to slow time."

      =>sigh...
      "time is relative" is news to you? amazing.. but then.. not really..

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

      April 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...wait for it...wait for it...and there it is! Dance, monkey, dance.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mass Debater "So really this all comes down to chad redefining "free will" to mean what he wants it to mean and not what the actual definition says it is. In chad's mind atheists cannot enojy any of these things: Free will, love, empathy, joy, excitement and enlightenment. However he imagines atheists can ONLY feel: Depression, anger, hate, frustration and confusion."

      =>good example of how limited some atheists ability is to follow an argument..
      not even sorta-kinda-close.

      #1: what is free will
      Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors
      That is THE definition, there is no other.

      the key is "unconstrained"

      contrast that with determinism/materialism (see definition above), they are diametrically opposed, irreconcilable notions.

      #2 do I believe atheists feel that they experience emotion?
      yes

      but, "emotion" in the atheist view, is the same as the sensory experience of hot or cold. There is no free will, no choice in the equation.

      #3 what is "love"
      For love to be authentic, there must be a choice. It must be freely given.

      #4 can an atheist believe in free will
      if an atheist believes in free will, it is an irrational belief for which there is, by definition, no possible way to justify it.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chad

      "appropriated, he might say "liberated", from its true adherents – religious Jews"

      =>such nonsense 🙂
      you crack me up.

      refuted before, reposted here:

      =====
      So, your statement that somehow Christian sacrifice is different than Jewish sacrifice is 100% incorrect, here is why:

      A. Blood sacrifice as atonement for sin began in the Old Testament
      For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” Leviticus

      B. These sacrifices were temporary, and needed to be repeated every year by the priesthood.

      C. The object being sacrificed was to be without blemish.
      You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God Deuteronomy

      D. Just as God provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac, God promised to provide Himself a sacrifice for our sin.
      Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
      and though the LORD makes[c] his life an offering for sin, Isaiah

      In summary, the entirety of the OT points to the need for God to Himself provide a perfect, permanent atonement. That is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ
      "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" – Rev. 1

      That is why there is no further need for sacrifice for the atonement of sin. As Jesus said on the cross ““It is finished” John

      It is no coincidence that Jesus was crucified on the same exact spot where Abraham offered his son Isaac thousands of years earlier. In both cases, God Himself provided the sacrificial offering.

      It is also no surprise that the early Christians continued to worship in the Jewish temple/synagogues and considered themselves, and were perceived as, a Jewish sect.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      More baseless assertions from Chad. Hey, Chad...can you provide a single authoritative reference that precisely supports any of the assertions in your April 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm post? Of course you can't.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If chad were an authentic Christian he'd know that his words here are naught by sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. Let the reader understand. Also, chad does not have an authentic understanding of free will.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Chad

      You seem to have two responses...
      1. "can you provide a single authoritative reference that precisely supports any of the assertions"
      2. "more copy & paste from Chad. Does anyone think Chad is capable of reasoned argument without using the words of another"

      🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I knew you couldn't, Chad.

      "...dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!"
      -–Patches O'Houlihan

      April 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      There are plenty of mechanisms provided for by science that allow an atheist to believe in free will. I don't think any of them are sufficient, but that's simply my determination.

      For a determinist, it is perfectly reasonable that a person holds the beliefs he does because he can do nothing else–not having the free will to believe otherwise.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • ?

      "Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors
      That is THE definition, there is no other.

      the key is "unconstrained"

      contrast that with determinism/materialism (see definition above), they are diametrically opposed, irreconcilable notions. "

      No, the key words are at the end based on certain factors. There are constraints that come from 'certain factors' Does that in anyway say that you are free from all constraints? Nope.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      So in your tiny little world, materialism and determinism are the same thing? That's more stupid than normal from you.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "There are plenty of mechanisms provided for by science that allow an atheist to believe in free will. I don't think any of them are sufficient, but that's simply my determination."

      =>this ought to be good 🙂
      such as what?

      April 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      W provide an authoritative reference for your claims, if they exist. Or, you could just continue to pretend that the person asking for the authoritative reference is doing something wrong. Your choice. Oh wait, it isn't. You can't help but demonstrate that you only have your own opinion.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "There are plenty of mechanisms provided for by science that allow an atheist to believe in free will. I don't think any of them are sufficient, but that's simply my determination."

      =>such as.. what?

      April 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...still waiting on that authoritative source, Chad. Hahahahahaha!

      April 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Indeed, time may be relative, but we can no more manipulate it than slow the earths orbit.

      You made the claim that man could slow time but neither stop it nor accelerate it, I disagree and yet you have not provided evidence to prove that man has been able to literally slow time.

      Tsk tsk

      Also, please whenever you feel like getting around to it, please answer whether or not you would enslave another person and what circu.mstances it would be under.

      Thanks!

      April 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, I'll start answering your questions when you start answering mine. (Or you could do your own research). As for now, why don't you provide some authoritative reference for the claims that Really O is asking you to provide? From my perspective, I'd rather you not answer my questions and continue being a colossal azzhole.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hey, Chad – Moby makes a good point...are you compelled to be a dishonest douche or is it a choice?

      April 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Pauline

      Chad
      Well, you don't provide any authoritative references that support your assertions, and you really do post the exact same things most of the time. In the later you are more like Reality than any other commenter here. Sorry, honey, but you really aren't very interesting.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      I'm with Really-O and others here. Love is an emotion, like fear or happiness and requires "free will" no more nor less than any other emotion.

      While I don't believe in anything I call free will, you yourself pointed out in our very first discussion on this topic that many atheists do believe in it. What is needed for Christianity, the libertarian version, is no more than a knee jerk justification of feelings of praise and blame innate to humans – no god needed for our human irrationalities.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "I'll start answering your questions when you start answering mine. "

      => you posed a question somewhere to me? Perhaps you could be so kind as to point out where that was?

      🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • ?

      "For love to be authentic, there must be a choice. It must be freely given."

      For a God to have perfect foreknowledge means there is one possible outcome, not two, three, or ten, potential outcomes. There is only one. And that outcome is absolutely certain. There is no doubt, no room for change. One single outcome only. With that in mind it means free choice is out of the question. Perfect foreknowledge is not the cause of the constraint – it IS the constraint. Free will then becomes incompatible with perfect foreknowledge. For a God to know the future, means it has to have perfect foreknowledge. So the questions you have to ask yourself is it possible for there to be any outcome other than the one that is foreknown?

      April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Indeed, time may be relative, but we can no more manipulate it than slow the earths orbit. You made the claim that man could slow time but neither stop it nor accelerate it"

      =>lol
      actually, what I said was "We experience time in a serial form, past, present, future. While we can slow the pa ssage of time with respect to a fixed reference point we can not stop it, nor accelerate it."

      what's amazing, is that you are always the one accusing me of distorting what people say 🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No. If you want to continue to lie to yourself and believe that you've answered all my questions in the past, then do so. It's exactly what I expect of you.

      I do hope, however, that you continue to dodge the issue before you now and prove yourself a liar and an azzhole once again to Really-O and the others asking you to supply some sort of support for your ignorant claims. Don't do it, Chad. Keep up the great work you are so good at. Keep on proving the sort of person you are and the sort of behaviors we should expect of Christians like you.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • I'm the best

      This whole thread has been hard to read because no-one seems to be listening to one another. Chad, if all atheists were materialists then you would be right, what everyone else is saying without actually saying it for some reason, is that this is not true. Some atheists believe that it is possible to have free will because of something that is not yet discovered, be it some kind of quantum state or some type of energy that permeates our universe. An eather if you will. A completely materialistic atheist will come to the conclusion of no free will possible.

      What you're not getting, that everyone else is trying to say, is that even if your God is experiencing time differently than us, if he knows the voice your going to make then you never had the free will to make it in the first place.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chad

      what question have you ever posed that I didnt answer?

      you guys are crazy irrational..

      April 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chadikins

      Pfff, I am only one of many who (rightly) accuses you of distorting the truth and put words in other peoples mouths. Yet here we are, you say, "While we can slow the pa ssage of time with respect to a fixed reference point " - Please explain how we can slow time down with respect to a fixed reference point.

      Go on show us how to slow time down.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "you guys are crazy irrational" – Nice sweeping generalization, Chad.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @?

      Correct. If the bible is "true," then there is no free will, even for god; therefore, according to Chad, god is incapable of true love since he has no choice in the matter. Similarly, humans have no free will either, since events can only occur as god knows they will occur.

      If bible true, then no free will at all. No love at all. God simply is and nothing matters, ever, not at all, not one bit.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      too many to count, Chad, but do keep lying to yourself and us. I prefer it that way.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Beth

      "sort of behaviors we should expect of Christians like you."

      I would not call this poster a Christian with amount of dishonesty and lying they do, they bring shame on Christ.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Here's a question I've asked close to 10 times now. Would you, under any circu.mstances ever enslave another human being?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @I'm the best "if all atheists were materialists then you would be right"
      @Chad "They are, by definition.

      materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions

      ====
      @I'm the best "what everyone else is saying without actually saying it for some reason, is that this is not true."
      @Chad "the reason they dont want to say it is true, is because if you arent a materialist, then you believe in things that are non-material, like God.

      ====
      @I'm the best "Some atheists believe that it is possible to have free will because of something that is not yet discovered, be it some kind of quantum state or some type of energy that permeates our universe. An eather if you will. A completely materialistic atheist will come to the conclusion of no free will possible."
      @Chad "not at all, quantum physics is not incompatible with materialism.. not sure how you ever got that..

      Look, it is very simple. If there is no soul, if all there is in the material universe, then all we are is the deterministic interactions of the particles that make up our bodies.
      that's it.
      that's what atheists believe.

      ========
      @I'm the best "What you're not getting, that everyone else is trying to say, is that even if your God is experiencing time differently than us, if he knows the voice your going to make then you never had the free will to make it in the first place"
      @Chad "utter nonsense.
      If time travel were possible I could beam forward and experience the future, that wouldnt obviate free will.
      right? pretty simple example..

      April 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Michelle Shocked no one gives a sh!t about your born again crazy mixed up idiot beliefs beatch! No one wants to know about your confused seksual past either beatch! shut your insignifcant trahp - no one cares!

      Before we leave the subject of love, please let the record note that Chad was Pauline'd.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Man, people love Chad

      April 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, I just asked a Jewish colleague if he believed human sacrifice might be acceptable to God if the human was without blemish and was provided by God. He was fairly emphatic in giving that one a "No". Would you like to me to pass this on to a rabbi?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Rick

      I don't really have a problem with a character who experiences all time at once, and can be reading what we did during our lives at some instant that we would perceive as being in the "future". The problem occurs when you try to insist that this being is intelligent and existed before time did, or maybe even invented it. How can an intelligent being form a thought without any time to do it in? That makes about as much sense as saying that you're so old that you were using the internet before computers were invented.

      The other problem is with God's role as miracle worker. Any time-travelling character who simply observes what happens could know how people will turn out, but God supposedly intercedes in some people's lives, performing what are known as "miracles" which serve as proof to those persons of God's presence in their lives. That's like saying that you're going to do an experiment on cheating where you give both people the same test, but you only slip one of them the answers to cheat off of. And this is an experiment that God is supposedly running, right? Who will end up believing in me and who won't? Well, what kind of investigator picks who he wants to pass the test and gives them help? It just doesn't make any sense.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • nope

      "Man, people love Chad"

      nope, it's called entertainment, everyone is seeing how fast Chad can spin before he explodes or runs away because he's always wrong.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @I'm the best: "if all atheists were materialists then you would be right"
      @Chad "They are, by definition.

      Again, a big no. All you did was define materialism. There's nothing in atheism that requires it, although a lot of atheists are materialists. On the other hand so are a lot of Buddhists and even some Hindus not to mention many scientists and modern scientists and philosophers who consider materialism an oversimplification at best and usually more akin to an illusion.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • snopes says

      nope is true

      April 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "you guys are crazy irrational.."

      This from the guy who thinks love requires free will and that atheism inherently a) denies free will and b) is by definition materialist.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @TTTOO

      You are of course correct. Jewish tradition states that a human life is the most precious thing and in a pin.ch you can break just about every law god has given in order to save a life. Sacri.fi.cing a human is pretty much out of the question (killing someone that's not jewish, that's fine, but sacrificng one to god is a big no no).

      Christians decided to flip the scr.ipt because their leader was cru.cified which kind of kills the idea that their leader was godlike, so they make up a co.ck and bull story about an empty tomb, jesus tro.mping around waving at a couple of people and then taking the express to heaven. Pretty it up a bit to say he sacrificied himself and that since he was god, he can change the rules and voila, jewish tradition be dam.ned!

      April 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually, I like Chad. I can see how his God humbles him. There may be something genuine at work there

      April 5, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I wonder if Chad can provide a reference to an authoritative source supporting his assertion that all atheists are materialists? Don't bother, Chad, you can't. Atheists simply are skeptical of or, perhaps, deny (we've all sat through Chad's hackneyed "strong vs weak atheism" tosh) the existence of deities; this in no way compels other beliefs (I could deny the existence of all gods, but believe in ghosts, for example).

      April 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati "This from the guy who thinks love requires free will and that atheism inherently a) denies free will and b) is by definition materialist."
      @Chad "it does, it does and it is.

      feel free to attempt a refutation of any of those 3..

      April 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really-O?

      I think my favorite thing about the whole "strong vs. weak atheism" bit is that, yeah most of us are weak atheists in that when push comes to shove most of us will agree that there is a possibility of god existing (the same way the Loch Ness monster might exist, or dragons) but chad focuses in on the term "weak" and thinks that it somehow strengthens his argument.

      Poor, deluded chad. Can't even answer a simple yes or no question.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "feel free to attempt a refutation of any of those 3.."

      I and others have already done that over and over. You can't just keep up making up your own meanings of words that already exist and then asking people again and again to disprove your definition. If you define love in your own unique way, no one can refute it but we know what it is emotionally and biologically and it has nothing to do with free will.

      It seems like you just make up new definitions to suit whatever argument you want to make until you are basically talking about some imaginary world that no one but you lives in. Good luck conning anyone into travelling down the rabbit hole.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Regarding Chad's April 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm reply to Saraswati –

      No true Scotsman much?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati – "It seems like you just make up new definitions to suit whatever argument you want to make"

      Ding, ding, ding!!! Winner! Nail on the head!

      April 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Materialism does not = determinism. End of story. If you would like to present anything other than the constant reassertion that it does, that would be nice. But then again that would require you to actually answer a point.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Come on folks! Chad's just a sad little man...and quite a ninny, at that. When you engage him, in his warped little Chad-mind, he sees it as validation. Ridicule is the proper response, I do declare!

      April 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      We are using two different definitions of free will. I am calling the subjective experience of the ability to make choices "free will". You seem to think that free will means that our choices have no physical bases. Is this correct?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati "This from the guy who thinks love requires free will and that atheism inherently a) denies free will and b) is by definition materialist."

      @saraswati " and others have already done that over and over. You can't just keep up making up your own meanings of words that already exist and then asking people again and again to disprove your definition.

      @Chad "lol, these are the definitions, which I use consistently, commonly accepted by the world.. what in the world are you talking about?

      you wouldnt be pulling a @GOPer, @moby and just accuse me of something that you can't prove, just to try and dodge the hole you placed yourself in.. would you?

      Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors

      materialism In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually occurring states of energy and matter

      Determinism is a metaphysical philosophical position stating that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. "There are many determinisms, depending upon what pre-conditions are considered to be determinative of an event."[1] Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse motives and considerations, some of which overlap. Some forms of determinism can be tested empirically with ideas stemming from physics and the philosophy of physics. The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism). Determinism is often contrasted with free will.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "We are using two different definitions of free will. I am calling the subjective experience of the ability to make choices "free will". You seem to think that free will means that our choices have no physical bases. Is this correct?"

      @Chad " I have no idea what you mean when you say "our choices have no physical bases"
      "free will" means the objective ability, merely pretending we have free will, when we dont, is just dellusion.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad, I called you on not defining atheism, not materialism. You are just dodging by repeating the one definition you have a handle on.

      Free will, btw, is defined many ways and if you were remotely familiar with the field of philosophy you would know that there are hundreds of books on this topic. There's a reason it says "often" contrasted with determinism – because it isn't always. I happen to agree that the main use by Christians in non-deterministic, but it isn't the only use, even for Christians.

      You're getting tiresome and boring frankly. You have a few good debating skills but they are buried so deep in your biases that you can't even see when you are being evasive to the point of dishonesty. Keep at it if you want but you're lying to yourself more than any of the other people here who can see right through you.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "all atheists are determinists."

      More lies from Chad.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati "I called you on not defining atheism, not materialism."

      =>lol
      A. I never defined atheism on this thread
      B. The definition of atheism is not really up for debate (strong/weak you folks are one of the two)
      C. The fact that atheists MUST believe materialism/Determinism to have a logically coherent position isnt really up for debate either. As you have seen in this thread, no one is denying that they are materialist/determinist (not withstanding TTTOO comment that I'm not sold on determinism, but I'm not sure if we could tell the difference")
      D. The definition of free will is clear (the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors), weather it exists is debated. Compatibilists merely try and redefine the term so that they can say they have free will because that is what they know by experience.
      E. If you were indeed calling me out for "defining atheism you NEVER would have started it by saying
      You can't just keep up making up your own meanings of words that already exist and then asking people again and again to disprove your definition.
      I have never tried to "redefine atheism"

      🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      By saying, "All atheists are determinists" and "all atheists are materialists" ect... you are redifining the term atheist by assigning properties that aren't inherent in the word itself.

      THAT is how you are trying to redefine atheist and THAT is what Saraswati was pointing out. You nitwit.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "By saying, "All atheists are determinists" and "all atheists are materialists" ect"

      =>lol, that's like claiming that 'all theists believe in the supernatural" is somehow redefining the term.
      no

      Easy to prove me wrong though, simply demonstrate how a person can be an atheist and not be a materialist/determinist 🙂

      cue name calling..

      April 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Everyone

      LOL Look at Chad's cut and pasts on materialism and determinism. He has undermined his own argument. Materialism definitionally excludes the metaphysical, and according to Chad, determinism is a metaphysical philosophical position.

      @Chad

      Will you ignore this?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Chad(Rachel), how are those workouts going? Still no thigh gap?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "The fact that atheists MUST believe materialism/Determinism to have a logically coherent position isnt really up for debate either."

      Of course that is "up for debate". It is only in Chad's limited little Chad-mind that things are so back-and-white [again, my example of someone who denies the existence of gods, but believes in ghosts (a non-materialist atheist, if you will)]. And why does Chad continue to conflate materialism and determinism?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Wrong-o, being a theist is, "Belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal..." Since god is supernatural, then yes all theists believe in the supernatural, that's in the defintion, you can't change that.

      Since atheism is a rejection of that belief it in no way has written in the definition that atheism also must include determinism and materialism, that is you connecting the two and then demanding that we accept your new, redefined definition.

      Furthermore, I'll answer your questions when you can answer mine. Will you ever, under any circu/mstance, enslave another human being?

      Also, if god is outside of time and can see your entire life's path, then how, as a christiain, can you have free will if its impossible to deviate from the path before you? To deviate from this path would mean god loses his omniscience, so pleaes, tell me how you can have free will and still live in a world of destiny and fate.

      cue the dishonesty and more ignoring my post because the answers are too hard.... 🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Saraswati

      “A. I never defined atheism on this thread”

      Blatant lie (and many here know I use that word with great hesitation).
      @Chad “since atheists dont/cant believe in free will”

      “@I'm the best "if all atheists were materialists then you would be right"
      @Chad "They are, by definition.”

      “B. The definition of atheism is not really up for debate (strong/weak you folks are one of the two)”

      Right, not much up for debate and doesn’t include any of the crap you’ve added onto it.

      “C. The fact that atheists MUST believe materialism/Determinism to have a logically coherent position isnt really up for debate either. As you have seen in this thread, no one is denying that they are materialist/determinist (not withstanding TTTOO comment that I'm not sold on determinism, but I'm not sure if we could tell the difference")”

      I am an atheist by the definition of almost everyone here and I am not a materialist. Neither are most atheist Buddhists. I know you know I’m not a materialist as we’ve discussed it at length (you may not have remembered who was in the discussion, but I doubt you forgot the whole discussion). Not sure if the lack of insight on Buddhist traditions is just ignorance or, given I mentioned it earlier in this same conversation, another act of dishonesty. If it really is ignorance try picking up a book that isn’t about Christianity.

      “D. The definition of free will is clear (the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors), weather it exists is debated. Compatibilists merely try and redefine the term so that they can say they have free will because that is what they know by experience.”

      Again, nothing is so clear when hundreds of books are written to debate it. You just want a single definition to suit your ends.

      “E. If you were indeed calling me out for "defining atheism you NEVER would have started it by saying
      You can't just keep up making up your own meanings of words that already exist and then asking people again and again to disprove your definition.”

      I would and did. I’m sorry you are incapable of an honest debate. I had high hopes for you early on as I love debate and challenge and you have a few good insights and arguments. You will never get out of your little box as the wall hold you too tight.

      Our early debates were fun but you’ve not only added nothing new but actually regressed in what appears to be some sort of desperation. Have fun in your own personal wonderland.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @Hawaii "Will you ignore this?"

      =>well, tell you what I'll do.. I'll give you a chance to look up the term "metaphysical", then you'll (perhaps..) see how your statement Materialism definitionally excludes the metaphysical is completely inaccurate..

      April 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati "I am an atheist by the definition of almost everyone here and I am not a materialist."

      =>that is logically incoherent. If one accepts the supernatural (is not materialistic), by what are you rejecting the reality of the God of Israel? By what are you rejecting the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Science

      Someone said chadie likes ORIGINS.........................well chad no god(s) required........... didn't you know that ?

      Best Map Ever Made of Universe's Oldest Light: Planck Mission Brings Universe Into Sharp Focus

      Mar. 21, 2013 — The Planck space mission has released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe, revealing new information about its age, contents and origins.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321084221.htm

      April 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Really Chad, you could get some basic ideas with about 10 minutes of googling. Since we've discussed this before and your ears (eyes) were clearly closed I'm not going to humor you. Look it up. Read a book. Read two books. The world of possible views of reality is not nearly as small and limited as you think. And no, I'm not going to do your thinking for you – it hasn't worked so far.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I do believe in his April 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm post Chad has changed his definition of supernatural from "not within our universe" (yes, I know those aren't his words precisely) to "not material". Another fluid definition. Who'da thunk it?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Let the failing begin!

      April 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati,

      I couldnt find anything reconciling the two positions either...

      April 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Really-O, yeah, Chad's definitions are definitely based on convenience to his end goal. Like many people who know their one little area of the universe well he's come to assume he knows everything well. He seems to lack a basic general education in linguistics, anthropology, psychology among other core fields that would take a few years to develop but I hardly see him taking a few years out of his pontificating to catch up.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Uh...let the flailing begin.

      ...on second thought, "let the failing begin" is also accurate.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      I've yet to see anyone who falls for Chad's nonsense. He's a dolt – why argue with him?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Saraswati,

      semantics, origins and 'the empty tomb' == Chad.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @GOPer –

      "The empty tomb! I win!" Funny stuff.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Come on, Chad...time to bust out some data (I do love how you misuse that term).

      April 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I just like how Chad was prefectly fine responding to me when he thought he could point out where I was wrong, but right as the tough questions came out he went back to ignoring me.

      His reasoning is something most like haughty like "I can't debate with something who doesn't understand" or my personal favorite "read the bible, then we can talk".

      The saddest part about this is of course that chad is so sure of himself that he fails to understand that true learning comes from admiting that you know nothing. This is why chad will never learn.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Chad(Rachel), how's the weight loss program working for you? Still no thigh gap?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles,

      Chad has said before that he's here essentially only to save souls. That doesn't really bother me, btw (what I think someone with those premises should do) but it means you aren't really looking at people with a priority on self-reflection and intellectual growth.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • JMEF

      Chad
      Please, Chad, I am a deist and would like you to allow me to have free will, would that be possible, Chad?
      Chad = sophistry derived from solipsism.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      Chad's here to "save souls"? What? Anticipating they'll behave like Chad is one of the main reasons I stay away from evangelicals.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "I've yet to see anyone who falls for Chad's nonsense."

      I'd like to think not, but then I'd like to think no one would fall for Jim Jones or Li Hongzhi either...you never know with people.

      "He's a dolt – why argue with him?"

      I don't think he's quite a dolt, at least not the way I think of that term. He has a strong knowledge in a limited area and can put the ideas together and present them better than the average person. His main failing is that his blinders are so thick he can't see where he's being inconsistent either in his use of terms, his selection of arguments to tackle, or his evaluation of strong versus weak evidence. Like most people doing this he can't see his own participation in these acts of self-deception...at least I like charitably to think he can't.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think Chad's irrational hatred for atheists has made him lose contact with reality.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      I think you're being overly charitable.

      Cheers

      April 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      I agree that "dolt" was a poor choice.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Question

      Has anyone noticed that when Chad is absent so is fred.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Question, I hadn't noticed but I'd be kind of surprised if they were the same person. If they're both absent now they might both be driving home from work at the same time?

      April 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Tallulah

      I think you're right but to delve a little deeper, I think he fears us more than hates us. He has divulged growing up in a house without faith, so we have a motive of rebellion right there. He chose faith and has to constantly defend himself whenever he gets together with his family because apparently they also think he's as much of an ar.se as we do. At this point he's afraid that he really might be wrong but can't turn back to atheism or even secularism so he runs the opposite direction and takes a harder line against any atheist.

      Poor chad, his life must be very very difficult.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati "His main failing is that his blinders are so thick he can't see where he's being inconsistent either in his use of terms,"..

      =>well, if that were true, then it would be extremely easy to demonstrate how,
      for example, you could show me how to reconcile non-materialism and atheism.

      when the response to all of those is "well, you're to stupid" or "this has all been explained to you before" (when it hasnt), or "I have better things to do with my time" etc, etc.. the reasonable person is certainly justified in believing that you actually can not make the case you are claiming, and are just avoiding it..

      April 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles, He'd probably be better off just picking a less restrictive brand of theism.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      What I find funny is, if Chad's endgame is to convert and same souls, he's probably the worst prosteltyzer the religion has seen in a long while. His mix of dishonesty, and delusion is enough to drive a secular person atheist but I think the funniest is unlike Topher or Fred who come to the board to use the chance to preach the word of god specifically, Chad spends his days just trying to refute atheism itself, which is the worst way to convince someone to agree with you.

      It's the same reason why Bush won in '04 and Obama won in '12. You might get some people to agree with you but trying to convince someone you are right by showing them they're wrong is the worst way to go.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Austin

      "you could show me how to reconcile non-materialism and atheism."

      Atheists are usually materialists of some sort, rejecting the idea that there exists anything independent of the workings of matter and energy. Materialism often entails atheism unless a person believes in a purely physical god, but atheism does not entail materialism. It may be hard to believe in a god in a materialistic philosophy, but an atheistic philosophy need not be materialistic.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "the reasonable person is certainly justified in believing that you actually can not make the case you are claiming, and are just avoiding it.."

      Assume away Chad. I'd argue any reasonable person will assume that someone who can't google various combinations of the words immaterialist non-materialist and atheist and have at least the start of an answer in 10 minutes or less is either shockingly lazy of a bit of a twit. Enjoy your dark little rabbit hole.

      And yes, knowing what I know of you I expect you to cherry pick comments by the few other people out there who also think these things can't be reconciled and come back here and post the quotes without references as universal "facts" about the issue. Have fun.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Since atheism is a rejection of that belief it in no way has written in the definition that atheism also must include determinism and materialism, that is you connecting the two and then demanding that we accept your new, redefined definition."
      @Chad "wrong..
      since atheists reject a creator, they have no option but to posit a natural "cause".
      since atheists reject a creator, they have no option but to reject the existence of the soul
      since atheists reject a creator, they have no option but to view the universe as impersonal, and entirely governed by physical laws only.
      since atheists reject a creator, they have no option but to view all living organisms merely products of the natural world, entirely governed by the physical laws.
      Therefor, all atheists are materialists and determinists.

      ====
      @Chuckles "Will you ever, under any circu/mstance, enslave another human being?"
      @Chad " I will not"

      ====
      @Chuckles Also, if god is outside of time and can see your entire life's path, then how, as a christiain, can you have free will if its impossible to deviate from the path before you? "
      @Chad "try and re-read your statement a couple times to see where the glaring flaw in your reasoning is.. I made it bold to help you a bit..

      April 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @Austin "but an atheistic philosophy need not be materialistic"

      =>nice cut and paste from http://atheism.about.com/od/philosophyschoolssystems/p/materialism.htm

      however, you forgot one part.. you need to do more than state that they arent irreconcilable, you need to demonstrate how 🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      What, no cut and paste stupidity to avoid it? Instead, you want to pretend like metaphysical is compatible with materialism?

      "
      1

      : of or relating to metaphysics

      2

      a : of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses

      b : supernatural "

      So Please, enlighten us to the twisting, turning stupidity that puts the metaphysical as compatible with materialism. Unless of course you're just going to keep dodging like you usually do.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "you need to do more than state that they arent irreconcilable, you need to demonstrate how"

      Pot, meet kettle.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • nope

      "entirely governed by physical laws only."

      nope

      April 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • .

      "And yes, knowing what I know of you I expect you to cherry pick comments by the few other people out there who also think these things can't be reconciled and come back here and post the quotes without references as universal "facts" about the issue. Have fun."

      I realized he does this too but then I just have fun with him by doing it back to him, the more it goes on it shows how lame his arguments are because he's not really using his brain with all the cutting and pasting from websites that agree with his warp sense of reality.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You GOTTA love chad!! He makes Christianity and its effects look far more absurd than any atheist I've ever run across.

      Again, THANKS chad!!! I really, really, really appreciate your efforts. You're the best!!

      April 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh look, Chad mysteriously disappeared after being shown, once again, to have no idea what the fuck he's talking about.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      What you posted is only some of the by products the religious mind associates with atheism. Being an atheist is not equivalent to being a determinist or being a materialist, sometimes it's incidental but not necessary. Has Saraswati has stated multiple times, you can be an atheist Buddhist ... this means you have the atheist aspect (no belief in a god or gods) and the buddhist aspect (belief in nirvana, samsara, karma, etc...).

      That is how you are trying to redefine atheism and failing miserably. but by all means, go on, keep at it, trying to make sweeping generalizations and see how far that gets you in the real world eh?

      "@Chuckles "Will you ever, under any circu/mstance, enslave another human being?"
      @Chad " I will not""

      - FINALLY I get an answer from you. This, of course, harkens back to an earlier back and forth. Apparently you have more morality than your own god does. Bravo! You've proven your own god is immoral.

      "@Chuckles Also, if god is outside of time and can see your entire life's path, then how, as a christiain, can you have free will if its impossible to deviate from the path before you? "
      @Chad "try and re-read your statement a couple times to see where the glaring flaw in your reasoning is.. I made it bold to help you a bit.."

      - Thanks for bolding it, now you want to explain how your magic character doesn't fit that? This is about as productive as talking to a child at a fake tea party, who is explaining their imaginary friend to you. When you ask a question about what sort of tea the imaginary friend is drinking, the child goes "No! Mr. Geewillikers doesn't like tea! Everyone knows that!" . So please Chad, tell me how god, who you believe can exist outside of time and space, can also be omnipotent and omniscient but still somehow not see your future. This should be good.

      Also I'd appreciate it if you stopped moving the goal posts, its hard enough keeping track of what your god can do (Is all powerful, but can't stop evil, death, satan, etc..., is omnibenevolent but thinks your a sinner, blames you for adam and eve, etc.. and all that jazz). So tell me about your friend chad, what are the rules. Can he see your fate or not?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "you need to demonstrate how"

      Follow your own advice.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      What is your objective definition of free will then?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Being an atheist is not equivalent to being a determinist or being a materialist"
      @Chad "A. Yes it is
      B. Feel free to attempt a refutation (a refutation means you show how they can co-exist,and no.. "they can co-exist" doesnt qualify )

      =====
      @Chuckles "You can be an atheist Buddhist ... this means you have the atheist aspect (no belief in a god or gods) and the buddhist aspect (belief in nirvana, samsara, karma, etc...)."
      @Chad "If you are an atheist that believes in the supernatural, then how are you discounting the reality of the God of Israel?

      Dicey line you try to straddle there 🙂

      =====
      @Chuckles "Apparently you have more morality than your own god does. Bravo! You've proven your own god is immoral."
      @Chad "LOL
      no
      society is vastly different now and that is precisely why.

      =======
      you havent quite got hold of the "God exists outside time and space"
      it is standard Judeo/Christian theology
      keep trying...

      April 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      "Feel free to attempt a refutation "
      That's kind of hard when you, being the dishonest little ass you are, selectively respond to posts, and even then don't actually address points and merely reassert your position. Try being honest Chad, then maybe you would actually see that people have refuted it already, and that even you refuted it yourself.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "What is your objective definition of free will then?"

      =>"Mine"?
      Free will is a well understood and simple concept.

      Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors. – Wikipedia

      Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

      Free Will 1. voluntary choice or decision
      2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

      April 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Choice is the common thread in all that, Chad. What does it mean when someone is said to choose something? Perhaps you go with Zermelo's concept of choice?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad's god neither has free will not allows it.

      Chad cannot offer one single solitary refutation of this fact.

      Cha cha cha..

      April 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Chad

      "What does it mean when someone is said to choose something"

      =>didnt realize you struggled with the concept, here you go:
      Choice consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them

      April 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      So now, the same question for "select" in that definition, moron.

      I envision the day when inability to process logic is measured in "chads." Oh, you svck at argumentation? What's your chad level? Level .8342?!?! Holy crap, you need to hit the books!!

      April 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      I experience " a capacity to choose a course of action from among various alternatives". Therefor I believe in free will. There is no conflict between this belief and atheism.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Chad

      I guess you mean "selecting"?

      it's synonymous with "pick"
      here ya go:

      Select To take as a choice from among several; pick out.
      v.intr.
      To make a choice or selection.
      adj.
      1. Singled out in preference; chosen: a select few.
      2. Of special quality or value; choice: select peaches.
      3. Of or relating to a lean grade of beef.
      4. Careful or refined in making selections; discriminating.
      n.
      1. One that is chosen in preference to others or because of special value.
      2. (used with a pl. verb) Chosen or preferred items or people considered as a group. Often used with the.

      you have heard of a dictionary?
      no?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "I experience " a capacity to choose a course of action from among various alternatives". Therefor I believe in free will"

      =>as an atheist, you dont believe in anything other than the material, natural world.
      you only "believe" in free will because you have never thought thru your position..

      see above determinism/naturalism

      April 5, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Why is a belief in the super natural necessary for a belief in free will

      April 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Why is a belief in the super natural necessary for a belief in free will"
      @Chad "without a soul, you are simply a collection of particles which interact in a 100% deterministic manner. That interaction dictates everything, including the electrical signals in your brain that you interpret as emotion, pain, etc..

      you see how insane atheism is?

      the reasonable person simply recoils at the notion of not having free will.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Two things:

      1) Particles are not completely deterministic, ever hear of the Heisenberg uncertainty principal, or the double slit experiment?

      2) Weather or not my will is actually "free" by your definition has no bearing on my experience of free will. And either way it is totally unprovable, so I really don't see why it matters. I choose to believe that my will is free, because that is how I intemperate my experience, I could just as easily choose to believe that I am part of some great universe sized machine, but either way my experience remains the same. Free well makes for an interesting philosophical debate but ultimately it has no effect on me or anyone else.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      dogs have a consciousness – they clearly dream. Surely dreaming is evidence of a consciousness.

      They learn.

      They choose. Call a dog. Watch it decide whether to obey you or run off and make you chase it.

      They know when they have been bad.

      Do dogs have a soul? Do they have free will?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Imagine circular Chad on a frictionless racetrack.... never mind. I'm sure you know that defining a term as its synonyms doesn't really get you anywhere, Chad. So, what is choice, Chad?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Anybody else want popcorn? This should be priceless.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Particles are not completely deterministic, ever hear of the Heisenberg uncertainty principal, or the double slit experiment?"
      @Chad they are on a macroscopic level, quantum indeterminacy can be ignored for those events.

      the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets...so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion" - Stephen Hawking

      "Quantum physics might seem to undermine the idea that nature is governed by laws, but that is not the case. Instead it leads us to accept a new form of determinism: Given the state of a system at some time, the laws of nature determine the probabilities of various futures and pasts rather than determining the future and past with certainty - Stephen Hawking

      ====
      @Huebert "Weather or not my will is actually "free" by your definition has no bearing on my experience of free will. "
      @Chad "indeed, ignorance can be bliss..

      At least until you meet reality.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "Dogs have a consciousness – they clearly dream. Surely dreaming is evidence of a consciousness.
      They learn. They choose. Call a dog. Watch it decide whether to obey you or run off and make you chase it. They know when they have been bad. Do dogs have a soul? Do they have free will?"

      @Chad "yes they do.
      And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. - Genesis 9

      atheism can not explain that, can it..
      Free will, learning, choice, etc simply dont make any sense if you are simply a collection of particles which interact in a 100% deterministic manner. That interaction dictates everything, including the electrical signals in your brain that you interpret as emotion, pain, etc..

      atheism is utterly irrational.. few if any atheists actually understand the implications of their belief.

      “Do people have free will? If we have free will, where in the evolutionary tree did it develop? Do blue-green algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behavior automatic and within the realm of scientific law? Is it only multicelled organisms that have free will, or only mammals? We might think that a chimpanzee is exercising free will when it chooses to chomp on a banana, or a cat when it rips up your sofa, but what about the roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans—a simple creature made of only 959 cells? It probably never thinks, “That was damn tasty bacteria I got to dine on back there,” yet it too has a definite preference in food and will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better, depending on recent experience. Is that the exercise of free will?

      Though we feel that we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets. Recent experiments in neuroscience support the view that it is our physical brain, following the known laws of science, that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside those laws. - Stephen Hawking

      April 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Chad

      As an atheist, do you realize what you believe?

      Do you realize that you do not believe in free will? That you are merely a collection of matter interacting in a deterministic manner? That interaction dictates everything, including the electrical signals in your brain that you interpret as emotion, pain, etc..

      do you realize what you believe?

      “Do people have free will? If we have free will, where in the evolutionary tree did it develop? Do blue-green algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behavior automatic and within the realm of scientific law? Is it only multicelled organisms that have free will, or only mammals? We might think that a chimpanzee is exercising free will when it chooses to chomp on a banana, or a cat when it rips up your sofa, but what about the roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans—a simple creature made of only 959 cells? It probably never thinks, “That was damn tasty bacteria I got to dine on back there,” yet it too has a definite preference in food and will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better, depending on recent experience. Is that the exercise of free will?

      Though we feel that we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets. Recent experiments in neuroscience support the view that it is our physical brain, following the known laws of science, that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside those laws.For example, a study of patients undergoing awake brain surgery found that by electrically stimulating the appropriate regions of the brain, one could create in the patient the desire to move the hand, arm, or foot, or to move the lips and talk. It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.” — Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design

      April 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Rick

      Chad
      If free will is actually an illusion, it's a pretty convincing one that affects believer and non-believer alike.

      April 6, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      haven't you also quoted Stephen Hawking to support your arguments for the existence of God?

      At some level our thoughts are indeed reduced to electrical impluses in fatty tissue, nevertheless such notions as beauty, hope, love (in forms beyond reproductive necessity), anger, jealousy, greed and choice empirically exist within and do so without requiring a deity. "How so?", is really the essence of your question.

      My answer is simple. "I don't know." The empirical evidence of their existence is sufficient for me and any attempt to rationalize them leads us right back to the philosophy department and the futile souce of the 'truth of existence'.

      Atheism and self-awareness are possible without requiring either the existence of God or a belief in God.

      Just ask a dog.

      I always liked this bumper sticker: "Dog is my copilot"

      It mocks, and is satirical and instructive, all at the same time.

      April 6, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Chad

      @GOPer, "haven't you also quoted Stephen Hawking to support your arguments for the existence of God?"
      @Chad "lol
      nice attempt at false analogy
      A. Hawkings doesnt believe in God
      B. Hawkings DOES believe in a fine tuned universe (he just cant explain why the universe is fine tuned)
      C. Hawkings DOES NOT believe in free will (he just cant explain why we all actually do experience free will)

      Hawkings is great in both free will and fine tuning, because it shows his commitment to naturalism, and how that commitment simply can not answer fundamental questions.

      ======
      @GOPer At some level our thoughts are indeed reduced to electrical impluses in fatty tissue, nevertheless such notions as beauty, hope, love (in forms beyond reproductive necessity), anger, jealousy, greed and choice empirically exist within and do so without requiring a deity. "How so?", is really the essence of your question. My answer is simple. "I don't know." The empirical evidence of their existence is sufficient for me and any attempt to rationalize them leads us right back to the philosophy department and the futile souce of the 'truth of existence'."
      @Chad "ah, the atheist belief in spite of all evidence to the contrary 🙂
      what you articulated is known as "cognitive dissonance", that is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas (atheism, free will) to both be true.

      =======
      @GOPer "Atheism and self-awareness are possible without requiring either the existence of God or a belief in God"
      @Chad "cognitive dissonance! with out that ability in humans, atheism would never have gotten anywhere 🙂

      April 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Akira

    Quite the bigot, aren't you, lol??
    If you're wondering why you get deleted, it could be phrases like this:
    "Yes,listen to your les*bo leader, Saraswati."

    "Quit poopin’ in your own messkit and fouling up the threads."

    Take your own advice. It isn't you quoting scripture that fouls up the threads. It's everything else that you type.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Saraswati

      Hmmm...missed this one. I've been standing up for lol?? and asking people not to delete the comments. I still stand by that but ya know...there's only so much time in the day. I also tend to think that with his fake hillbilly speak lol?? is quite likely some sort of troll with too much time on his hands so I guess I'll go back to just ignoring him.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Candy-O

      @Saraswati, what makes this especially awful is that it posted that directly after you posted in defence, then had the utter gall to quote you exactly in the next post....and there was a post saying what a hypocrite it was, which was also deleted.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  6. skytag

    Too funny. Too bad we don't have an election a month or two away.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  7. John Nice

    NC wants to mix religion / politics I say let em! Needs a good Muslim in their state capitol- oh it's Christianity! One religion as good as the next! That separation of church / state is just a lot nonsense anyway

    April 5, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  8. sweenbass

    When it comes to matters concerning all of the books that people consider to be "holy" (Bible, Koran, Gita etc...)

    Are there some interesting stories in those books? Some stories are & some are not. the ones that you think are interesting may not be the ones that interest me but that's personal taste.

    Do those aforementioned books contain philosophies that people can use to help improve their lives & the lives of others? Of course that is true of all those books & more

    When it comes to questions of a spiritual nature (A deity, A life force or soul, existence after natural death etc...) however, the best that those books can do is speculate. That is because they were written by people.

    Some people wish to hang their spiritual hat on a speculation that one of those books offer. I do not.

    Is there a spiritual component to the universe? I don't know.

    I have not read anything in any of those books that convinces me that the speculations described there are anything but that.

    That is why i refer to myself as an agnostic

    April 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I agree with nearly everything you said including this.
      "Is there a spiritual component to the universe? I don't know."

      Perhaps this is just me being nitpicky about terms. Theists believe in a god. Atheists do not believe in a god. It's a binary proposition...you either are or are not a theist. Neither is making a claim of "knowing", merely "believing" and both fit into the category of agnostic until they cross the line and say they "know".
      The only way to be a bad atheist is to believe in a god just as the only way to be a bad theist is to not believe in a god.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Pauline

      @ AtheistSteve
      What do you call the millions who simply KNOW that God's out there, talk to him, and know exactly what he wants?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Saraswati

      AtheistSteve,

      I think the distinction between "knowledge" and "belief" is largely a false one as they are both words that evolved to describe mostly psychological states (yes, I have studied epistemology and still believe this). So for me there is little difference and "agnostic" is the term most palatable to the general public.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Pauline

      @ AtheistSteve
      What do you call the millions who simply KNOW that God's out there, talk to him, and know exactly what he wants?

      Those I consider gnostic theists. To claim knowledge of something means having the burden of proof placed upon them. I'll address saraswati here too. The 2 words are meaningful and separate. Knowledge is a subset of belief. You could define knowledge as "justified true belief" wherein if it were discovered to be false the result would be worldview altering. Simple belief however is not bound by the same rigorous standard and as a result could just as easily be true or false.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Science

      choice........... fairy in the sky or the sky daddy does either have proof ?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Rick

      Saraswati
      In theory, we can only ever be agnostic about a lot of things, but when we choose to live our lives without fearing vampire attack, for example, we are choosing to jump on one side of the fence, right? If you think that vampires could be real then that knowledge doesn't do you any good unless you take steps to protect yourself from them.

      Someone can say that they're agnostic about the existence of God, but unless they are worshipping him regularly they will be counted as a nonbeliever. So, for practical purposes, there are no agnostics. There are believers and there is everyone else, including those who haven't made up their minds yet to fully commit to believing. The way Christians see it Jesus is like a cure; you can take it, or not. Thinking about taking it won't save you any more than refusing it outright.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Rick
      Yeah a cure. First they try to convince you to imagine that you're sick and then they try to convince you to imagine they have the cure. Convenient eh?

      To be clear I am a strong atheist. The most difficult position to refute is the deistic one. An absent non-interfering creative force is inherently unknowable. But the specific god claims of religions are not limited to that. Each has doctrine that is susceptable to scrutiny. Much, as was pointed out by sweenbass, centers on written accounts. logical inconsistencies refute all such examples. Am I agnostic about Zeus? No
      How about for the claims of the Abrahamic god. No...and for the same reasons.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Saraswati

      @AtheistSteve,

      I agree that defining the terms is an interesting intellectual exercise, and in that context I, too, usually go with something like "justified true belief". But I have two issues with really using this. First I'm a linguistic pragmatist and I don't think that's the context in which the words developed or were generally used. Second, this falls down in practice where justified is highly subjective in most contexts and truth in an absolute sense can be proven only in very limited contexts.

      None of this is a huge deal to me except that I do think it's easier to stick with the terminology with which the common person is familiar. In that context "atheist" and "agnostic" have very specific meanings to the average person already. Much as "anemia" doesn't mean literally "without blood" many terms we use in every day language don't have strict meanings that are hooked up to their roots.

      Anyway, I argued this all a few months ago with Cheesemaker for quite a while and I'm pretty comfortable with people using the term "atheist" to describe themselves if they feel more comfortable and aren't too pushy with people already using it in a different sense in common usage. I stick to "non-believer" as more neutral – again a practical and diplomatic rather than strictly logical issue.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Rick

      AtheistSteve
      Well, there is a thing. Call it immorality, selfishness, or just plain dissatisfaction. Whatever it is that brings people down instead of building them up. That's what everyone has to overcome, right? What makes you unhappy is about as personal as what makes you happy, and there are enough self-help books out there for everyone to find help, but religion would like to monopolize on all of it. Religion is self-help on a massive, organized way if, you know, Dr. Phil went around telling people that listening to anyone else would only make you crazier.

      Being unknowable, the deistic position may be the most difficult to refute, but I can't see it as being very satisfying. An "absent non-interfering creative force" is just as good as the naturalistic view of the universe, except worse in that an intelligent being could choose to make contact with you if it wanted to. So a deist is forced to believe that it's not that the universe simply can't make contact, it's just that they aren't interesting, or important enough to get it's attention.

      They can start off with a kernel and say that some super-powered being could exist out there... somewhere... but that's like saying that there's something out there called "love". Fine, but once you start personally articulating what "love" is and let your ego lead you to believe that this must be how everyone else sees it too, then you open yourself up to ridicule, because people really do see things differently. We all have consciousness, we all see beauty, we all feel guilt, and a bunch of other things. That's the kernel that religions all tap into and try to convince people that it's much more than just something simple that we all share. Religion divides.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Pauline

      AtheistSteve
      The biggest mistake that anyone can make is assuming that everyone should see things the way they do. It's chronic with a lot of believers, but I think we atheists forget this sometimes as well. In a lot of ways it's like cultural preferences. You might have grew up in a house full of Blues music, or come to love the Blues later in life, but it would be silly rile against anyone who isn't a fan. There are a lot of people who just aren't fans of how we see things. That's the reality of it.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Spped Read

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JJmDavBXrw&feature=player_detailpage

    April 5, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  10. Cynthia

    You, I hate those atheists' banners and advertisements. But for this and only this reason like that in this article that I cheer the atheists. I want a group of Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists to also "pray" at the end of the town meeting ending with "in the name of Krishna", or "name of Bodhisatwa" , or "frying spaghetti meatball".

    Even if there is only one pastafarian in the town meeting, he/she would have the right to join in the doxology of the meeting.

    April 5, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • ..

      Get your mommy to explain it to you, lol??.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  11. Russ

    @ CNN: I had a lengthy thread with Saraswati yesterday on the first page of comments for this article – an ongoing conversation. there was no language or any of the like. why is it completely gone today? not just singular comments, but in its entirety?

    April 5, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good morning, Russ. You might try Eric Marrapodi, editor of this blog: eric.marrapodi@cnn.com. Sorry to hear that it's a continuing problem. Saraswati seems to be a particular target. I suppose it's because she (he?) is one of the more logical and even-handed (fairly criticizes both believers and nonbelievers) people who post here.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • .

      That wasn't a conversation – you were getting your butt handed to you. You should be glad it's gone, it'll give you more free time to cry about something else.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TTTOO

      Saraswati is a she.

      Yes, there are a couple of posters who are waging a campaign to have threads deleted when particular individuals participate.

      One I contributed to on the "persecution" thread (along I think with many other threads) was deleted (ironically I thought) on the "Christian persecution" topic earlier in the week.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Go N.Carolina

    Ranked # 5 for Academic R&D intensity.
    Use that God given talent!
    🙂

    April 5, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Why would God favor one state over another? Perhaps every state needs a sub-population of poorly-educated people who will spend all their free time on their knees praying for the state.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Rick

      Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
      Calvin Coolidge

      Persistence and determination are personal traits, and not "God-given" gifts, right?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:05 am |
  13. In God we trust
    April 5, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • God bless America

      In God we trust!

      April 5, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • *

      In God We Trust circa 1956
      Const.itution circa 1776

      Difference in time=180 years.

      No god needed!

      April 5, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Pauline

      Putting that on our money is a very recent thing, made fashionable due to Cold War paranoia. That time has passed, and we may some day decide to switch back to the way our Founding Fathers intended our money to be.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Ticktockman

      E pluribus unum. "Out of many, one" Much better, more inclusive slogan.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  14. Reality

    By the laws of the federal government (Consti-tution's Commerce Clause) , marijuana is an illegal drug. The citizens of Oregon and Washington disagree and have made marijuana legal so one assumes that states still have a lot of power.

    Making Christianity the religion of NC is analogous to having a state bird or flower. Nice but so what?

    And it is just as likely that the majority of North Carolinians given all the facts would vote positively for the following:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    April 5, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Reality

      Oops, make that Colorado and Washington.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  15. Sacmar

    I'm sad to say that I live in North Carolina. We have our first Republican governor in 30 years. I consider him a moderate compared to some of the others, so I voted for him even though I'm a Dem. Maybe the rest feel like it's a good time to try this crap. I think I'll talk to my hubby about moving.

    April 5, 2013 at 7:30 am |
  16. Charlotte, NC

    U liberals want gay marriage, abortions, birth control, weed, etc. why not have an official state religion?!!!!!! If you don't like it, don't move here! I'm sick of u liberals, leave us alone in the South! We don't come to NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, sfo, etc trying run stuff. Just leave us alone! That is my point! I treat all with kindness. But these liberals are trying to destroy our state. They need to leave!!!!

    April 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • WASP

      Hey charlotte, nice to meet you i'm hickory. 🙂
      proud liberal that loves my country, doesn't need a god and believes all humans are equal. don't like it get over it.
      i served my country for 8 years in the army, mixed marriage with beautiful children and love my pot.

      just a heads up, your conservative, war-mongering, bible thu/mping, repessive ideals are soooooooooooo 2000 years ago. lmfao

      April 5, 2013 at 7:24 am |
    • SpellChecker

      Religion is a joke, get over yourself. You say we should leave yet the rhetoric you spew sounds just like the clerics in the middle east. Perhaps you should move over there and join right along with the crazies in denying rights and hating on people different than you.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • sam stone

      how did this become a "liberal" thing, bubba? i am a conservative living in the rust belt and i think we should have marriage equality and legal weed.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • PaulH

      Charlotte, NC
      You obviously haven't moved out because you don't have a state religion, so why ask us to leave now?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • the AnViL™

      probably a troll – but i gotta say – this pretty much typifies a LOT of people here in NC.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Cynthia

      Let the state religion be Pastafarian.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      Charlotte: If indeed you are a real poster and not a troll, gay marriage, abortions, birth control, & weed were not mentioned in the Constitution. However the Constitution is very clear about where it stands on religion:

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." That is the very first amendment. This it the thing our founding fathers determined was most important when creating the government of this nation.

      See how that works? What North Carolina is proposing is blatantly unConstitutional and therefore not legal in this country. Those who are trying to pass this resolution are simply wasting taxpayer money on in an effort to win votes from a certain demographic.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  17. Believer

    Do you believe in “Love”?
    Well, can you smell Love?
    Can you hear Love?
    Can you taste Love?
    Can you feel Love?
    Can you see Love?
    Hmmmm, but you say you believe in Love, right?
    Guess what? God IS Love. And Love IS God.
    So if you believe in Love, then chances are, you have the ability to believe in God. Sadly however, you CHOOSE not to. It's all about CHOICE.....

    April 5, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • JWT

      There is no need to choose to try to believe in any of the gods.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • WASP

      @believer: love isn't a thing that can be quantiifed; however it can be judged by actions.
      if a speeding car was heading toward your child would you:
      A) watch impassively and pray for god to save your child.
      B) allow your child to get ran over.
      C) rush out and protect your child while putting your own life in danger.

      love is placing yourself in harms way to save another, it's truthfully insane if you think about it logically however love is judged by actions thus can be measured based on how much a person would be willing to sacrifice themselves for another in the same situations.

      your god fails in action and evidence.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Believer

      Prove to me there is no God.... Can you?????? No you can't. Period. End of statement. But I know, you'll talk circles all you want and make yourself sound like some "scholar", but truth and fact is, YOU CANNOT PROVE THERE IS NO GOD. So yes, it IS about choice. And I choose to have faith. It costs nothing, and I use very little energy. So agree or not, (which is your human right) it's still a CHOICE. You don't even need a high school diploma to figure that out.....

      April 5, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • JWT

      It would be a choice to try to believe. The actual belief is not in and of itself a choice. I believe in any of the gods in exactly the same way that I believe purple leprechauns live on and rule the planet mercury. Which is also how much ay of the gods are relevant

      Nothing wrong with you believing of course but that means nothing to anyone else.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Mirosal

      typical buy-bull thu'mper rhetoric ... "I can't prove my claim so I dare you to prove the negative" .. It doesn't work that way. YOU made the claim. It isn't up to anyone to prove it wrong, it's your job to back up your claim with credible evidence. You have to prove your "god" is alive and well. Your claim, your proof. Or, are you just going to draw cirles all day long like a good little 2nd grade child?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • WASP

      @believer: prove to me ALLAH, RA, ODIN, SET, and ALF aren't real.
      then i will disprove your god. lmfao

      April 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • sam stone

      there is no free will with an omniscient god

      April 5, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • sam stone

      Prove to me there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster.... Can you?????? No you can't. Period. End of statement. But I know, you'll talk circles all you want and make yourself sound like some "scholar", but truth and fact is, YOU CANNOT PROVE THERE IS NO FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER.

      See how easy that is, believer?

      Yeah, "talking circles" thing.....damn that logic and reason.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Believer

      @WASP: "if a speeding car was heading toward your child would you:
      A) watch impassively and pray for god to save your child.
      B) allow your child to get ran over.
      C) rush out and protect your child while putting your own life in danger.

      love is placing yourself in harms way to save another, it's truthfully insane if you think about it logically however love is judged by actions thus can be measured based on how much a person would be willing to sacrifice themselves for another in the same situations."

      oh, so I'm assuming you DO believe in Love. Keep in mind the "Action" of love you speak of, is only a mere thought, a response to a situation. Does that thought have any physical properties? No. Can you physically describe the characteristics of a "thought"? No. All can be said is that it's a chemical make up in our brain in which "thoughts" are stored in. Can you open up one's brain, look at the fluid and see one's thoughts?? No....But you still believe in it, don't you?? So then why can't you have a little "faith"? That is all God wants you to have. He is not asking you to figure out his great plan. Instead, just "believe" in him and you will be rewarded beyond comprehension......

      April 5, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Rick

      Believer
      Some people are absolutely convinced that they've been abducted by aliens too. Can we "prove" that it didn't happen? Not when they insist that alien technology can keep them hidden from us. So we are in the same position with them as we are with folks like you. We can't "prove" that you're wrong, but we can look at your case for believing in what you do and just not accept it based on how unconvincing it is. If you want to convince us, find something to do that yourself.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Believer

      awwwwwwww, what's wrong? NONE of you can physically disprove, just like I can't prove. Darn. So I guess there are no winners, huh? That's ok with me. I STILL believe in One God, The Father, The Almighty. And I'm proud to believe that, regardless if any of you believe or not. Again, that is "your choice"........

      April 5, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Believer

      Rick, what you stated, makes a lot more sense and is more rational, then what these others have said. Thank you. But I enjoyed the conversation with everyone nevertheless. But no matter what proof or lack thereof, I firmly believe in "Choice". ....I will leave all of you with this however. "Deny my Father and he shall deny you".........

      April 5, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Believer, you believe in something that you are unable to define completely. That's fine, we all do. But you aren't willing to examine the parts that are defined. Your God is involved in your world. Acts in it and leaves traces of its actions, I presume. If that's right, why can't you show any of that to a nonbeliever? Is it because God hides itself from nonbelievers, like faeries do?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • the AnViL™

      "YOU CANNOT PROVE THERE IS NO GOD"

      lol

      no one has to do that. know why???

      because there's no gods. that's why.

      you fail.

      and

      tolerance of religious idiocy – THIS RIGHT HERE.... has got to end – and it is.

      enough is enough

      April 5, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Believer

      @Tom Tom: "Believer, you believe in something that you are unable to define completely. That's fine, we all do. But you aren't willing to examine the parts that are defined. Your God is involved in your world. Acts in it and leaves traces of its actions, I presume. If that's right, why can't you show any of that to a nonbeliever? Is it because God hides itself from nonbelievers, like faeries do?"

      Faries? That is always so funny when people write that. LOL......Anyways, I can't show any of it to you because no matter what i say or describe, your mind has already made it's decision....people like yourself will hold their hands over their ears when God speaks, as well as, they will hold their hands over their eyes when he shows. Yet, they will still insist that God doesn't exist......

      April 5, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Believer

      @ The Anvil: Aren't you the famous WWF wrestler??? I thought you were dead?.....BTW, God loves you either way. You just say the word and God will be there.......even if it's not until your hour of death....."SEE", do not just watch....."Listen", do not just hear.......

      April 5, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • the AnViL™

      Believer spittled:


      @ The Anvil: Aren't you the famous WWF wrestler??? I thought you were dead?.....BTW, God loves you either way. You just say the word and God will be there.......even if it's not until your hour of death....."SEE", do not just watch....."Listen", do not just hear.......

      never paid an ounce of attention to wwf – can't stand that bullshit. not at all surprised that you're so well versed in it, though. fairly typical of rednecks.

      your imaginary man in the sky is as petty and vindictive as you are.

      your imaginary man in the sky exists – but only between your ears – and that's a flat fact.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Believer

      @ Tom, Tom: "....Your God is involved in your world. Acts in it and leaves traces of its actions..."

      You are absolutely right. And that is because I "choose" (there's that choose word again) to let him into my life. None of you feel, see or hear God, because you do not let him in to yours. Instead, you spend more time and energy in denying his righteousness.....Funny, because right now as I type this, I know my faith is being tested. And it is up to me and my CHOICE to continue to spread his word and continue to have faith, no matter how much you people think I'm a waste.... I am not forcing ANY of you to believe..........

      April 5, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • sam stone

      choice does not exist with an omniscient god

      April 5, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Believer
      You are correct in that you aren't forcing anyone to believe, just as nobody is forcing you to disbelieve.
      I'm just trying to understand what motivates someone to keep drinking the Kool-Aid.
      I don't uderstand steadfast religious faith. Once a proposition has been accepted on faith (meaning despite a lack of evidence), that proposition can no longer be examined reasonably.
      Only once in my life have I been presented with incontrovertible evidence of something only to have my mind completely reject it and see the opposite of what was there.
      But once I took a second look, the truth I didn't want to admit became apparant.
      The proof before me meant that my entire worldview and way of life had to change, and that was a frightening proposition.
      I could have continued along in denial and rationalized some way to keep things static, but chose not to.
      Whether there is another plane of existence (ie: a spiritual realm) cannot change the fact that we live in the natural world. This corporeal reality is all we can experience with any certainty, thus we should strive to make this MeatSpace meaningful by increasing our understanding of it without worrying about the supernatural, which is by definition unprovable.
      What comes after death? There are countless ideas, none more or less credible than the other. Soon enough, we'll all find out for ourselves – so why fret about it?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      Humans have worshiped literally thousands of gods throughout history. Gods always share the values of the culture that invented them, only travel where humans take them, and never emerge independently in two unrelated places at once. The christian god took 1500 years to simply cross the ocean to the New World. He couldn't get there until Europeans accidentally "discovered" it. Why do you suppose it took so long, believer? It's almost like he didn't know it was there.

      As for love, it's very sad that you need a god to be able to love. Most humans (and apparently animals) are capable of love without a framework of superstition. Maybe someday you will be able to love without the delusion of a higher power. Good luck.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Believer

      Hmmmmmmmm CNN seems to keep blocking my posts. And sadly, I'm agreeing with some of you people in these posts that aren't being displayed...... I guess I know CNN's real agenda.......

      April 5, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Believer,

      Look over your post for any of these:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN Belief Blog/WordPress automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      -
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      x.xx…
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      April 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • WASP

      @believer:
      "oh, so I'm assuming you DO believe in Love. Keep in mind the "Action" of love you speak of, is only a mere thought, a response to a situation. Does that thought have any physical properties? No. Can you physically describe the characteristics of a "thought"? No. All can be said is that it's a chemical make up in our brain in which "thoughts" are stored in. Can you open up one's brain, look at the fluid and see one's thoughts?? No....But you still believe in it, don't you?? So then why can't you have a little "faith"? That is all God wants you to have. He is not asking you to figure out his great plan. Instead, just "believe" in him and you will be rewarded beyond comprehension......"

      RESPONSE:
      1)Does that thought have any physical properties? No.
      1A) ummm yeah thought does have physical properties otherwise we couldn't measure and observe brainwave activity in various situations such as a coma patient.
      2) Can you physically describe the characteristics of a "thought"? No.
      2A) ok thought is when stimuli introduced to the body triggers synapses in various parts of the brain to send signals in response to the stimuli. i.e. if you hear a car horn your brain immediately triggers the nuerons needed to stop your body from moving out of fear of death.
      3)Can you open up one's brain, look at the fluid and see one's thoughts?? No
      3A) nope don't need to open them up, just hook them up to a machine or place them inside a CAT scan.
      4)....But you still believe in it, don't you??
      4A) you have no physical proof nor interaction with any god at all, yet you still believe in it.
      5)Instead, just "believe" in him and you will be rewarded beyond comprehension......"
      5A) ok lend me as much money as you can and you will get a great reward for your trusting me later. 🙂
      even if later is when you are dead and don't know nor care of anything anymore.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • skytag

      You choose to believe in God, and in a particular God narrative (your religion of choice) because you like that narrative better than the alternatives. The choice is not based on anything rational. It's not a choice made because it does the best job of explaining any evidence or data, it's just what appeals to you most, almost entirely because you were born in a culture where Christianity is the dominant religion. Had you been born in a country where another religion was dominant you'd be just as faithful an adherent to that religion.

      I look around, see no reason to believe in anything one could reasonably call a god and conclude there is no god. You look around, see no reason to believe in anything one could reasonably call a god and choose to believe one exists anyone, simply because you find it comforting. That's certainly your choice, but get off your high horse thinking it makes you superior to more rational people.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • skytag

      Lame, lame, lame. Love is the name we give to an emotion people feel and that produces clearly demonstrable behavior in people.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  18. Science

    Here is where the discussion should be ? Not with some outdated fairy.

    Can Synthetic Biology Save Wildlife? From Re-Creating Extinct Species to the Risk of Genetically Modified Super-Species

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402182502.htm

    April 5, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • Austin

      Amos 3:7
      Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

      He promised His followers, "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses...." Acts 1:8

      “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” Galatians 6:7

      April 5, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Thai Researchers Discover 100-Million-Year-Old Crocodile Fossile

      How old is it ?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwD_hjq_V7U

      April 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • sam stone

      Austin: God will certainly be mocked. Your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck. Everything created for his glory? Sounds like a egotical little fvck you bow to. Good enough? Had to knock up a virgin to get people to buy into his entrapment schtick. Get back on your knees and beg like a good little slave

      April 5, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • tallulah13

      Austin sure knows his bible. If only he'd put that much attention into learning real skills. He really might have made something of himself.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • lol??

      Clean up the restroom walls, then take care of the nuclear waste, science.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  19. Nodack

    Republicans wanting to declare a state religion and Democrats wanting to ban Big Gulps belong to the same group.

    April 5, 2013 at 6:25 am |
  20. veep

    We're feeding the ignorance of people.

    It's not good.

    April 5, 2013 at 6:20 am |
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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.