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When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs
The Branch Davidians, a religious sect led by David Koresh, clashed with federal agents in 1993 in Waco, Texas.
April 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - An angry outburst at a mosque. The posting of a suspicious YouTube video. A friendship with a shadowy imam.

Those were just some of the signs that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, accused of masterminding the Boston Marathon bombings, had adopted a virulent strain of Islam that led to the deaths of four people and injury of more than 260.

But how else can you tell that someone’s religious beliefs have crossed the line? The answer may not be as simple you think, according to scholars who study all brands of religious extremism. The line between good and evil religion is thin, they say, and it’s easy to make self-righteous assumptions.

“When it’s something we like, we say it’s commitment to an idea; when it’s something we don’t like, we say it’s blind obedience,” said Douglas Jacobsen, a theology professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Yet there are ways to tell that a person’s faith has drifted into fanaticism if you know what to look and listen for, say scholars who have studied some of history’s most horrific cases of religious violence.

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“There are a lot of warning signs all around us, but we usually learn about them after a Jim Jones or a David Koresh,” said Charles Kimball, author of “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Here are four warning signs:

1. I know the truth, and you don’t.

On the morning of July 29, 1994, the Rev. Paul Hill walked up to John Britton outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, and shot the doctor to death. Hill was part of a Christian extremist group called the Army of God, which taught that abortion was legalized murder.

Hill’s actions were motivated by a claim that virtually all religions espouse: We have the truth that others lack.

Those claims can turn deadly when they become absolute and there is no room for interpretation, Kimball says.

“Absolute claims can quickly move into a justification of violence against someone who rejects that claim,” Kimball said. “It’s often a short step.”

Healthy religions acknowledge that sincere people can disagree about even basic truths, Kimball says.

The history of religion is filled with examples of truths that were once considered beyond questioning but are no longer accepted by all followers: inerrancy of sacred scripture, for example, or the subjugation of women and sanctioning of slavery.

If someone like Hall believes that they know God’s truth and they cannot be wrong, watch out, Kimball says.

“Authentic religious truth claims are never as inflexible as zealous adherents insist,” he writes in “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Yet there’s a flip side to warnings about claiming absolute truth: Much of religion couldn’t exist without them, scholars say.

Many of history’s greatest religious figures – Moses, Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed – all believed that they had discovered some truth, scholars say.

Ordinary people inflamed with a sense of self-righteousness have made the same claim and done good throughout history, says Carl Raschke, a theology professor at the University of Denver in Colorado.

The Protestant Reformation was sparked by an angry German monk who thought he had the truth, Raschke says.

“Martin Luther’s disgust at the worldliness of the papacy in the early 1500s inspired him to become a radical revolutionary whose ideas overturned the entire political structure in Europe,” Raschke said.

So how do you tell the difference between the healthy claims of absolute truth and the deadly? Scholars say to look at the results: When people start hurting others in the name of their religious truth, they’ve crossed the line.

2. Beware the charismatic leader.

It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Japanese history. In March 1995, a religious sect called Aum Shinrikyo released a deadly nerve gas in a Tokyo subway station, leaving 12 people dead and 5,000 injured.

Two months later, Japanese police found Shoko Asahara, the sect’s founder, hiding in a room filled with cash and gold bars. Kimball, who tells the story of the sect in “When Religion Becomes Evil,” says Asahara had poisoned the minds of his followers years before.

Asahara demanded unquestioned devotion from members of his sect and isolated followers in communities where they were told that they no longer needed to think for themselves, Kimball says.

Any religion that limits the intellectual freedom of its followers, he says, has become dangerous. “When you start to get individuals who are the sole interpreters of truth, you get people who follow them blindly."

Charismatic leaders, though, often don’t start off being cruel. Jim Jones, who led the mass suicide of his followers in South America, was a gifted speaker who built an interracial church in San Francisco that did much good in the community. Few people at the beginning of his ministry could predict what he would become.

As time went on, though, his charisma turned cruel as he tolerated no questions to his authority and became delusional.

“Charismatic leadership is important, but in healthy religions, there’s always a process where questions are encouraged,” Kimball said.

Weaning followers away from corrupt charismatic leaders and bad religion can take years, but it can be done if one knows how to speak their language, says Ed Husain, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt will often deploy imams to reach out to young men in prison who have adopted “Islamism,” or extreme forms of Islam sanctioning violence against civilians, says Husain, who has written about Muslim extremism.

These Muslim clerics know the Quran better than the extremists and can use their knowledge to reach extremists in a place that logic and outsiders cannot penetrate, Husain said.

“The antidote to extremism is religion itself,” Husain said. “The problem is not to take Islam out of the debate but to use Islam to counter Islamism.”

3. The end is near.

In 1970, an unknown pastor from Texas wrote a book called “The Late, Great Planet Earth.” The book, which linked biblical prophecy with political events like Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, predicted the imminent return of an antichrist and the end of the world.

Author Hal Lindsey’s book has sold an estimated 15 million copies and spawned a genre of books like the “Left Behind” series. Many people are fascinated by the idea that the heavens will open soon because the end is near.

That end-times theology can turn lethal, though, when a follower decides that he or she will speed up that end-time by conducting some dramatic or violent act, says John Alverson, chairman of the theology department at Carlow University in Pittsburgh.

“A religious terrorist mistakenly believes that God has ordained or called him or her to establish the will of God on Earth now, not gradually and not according to the slow and finicky free will of other humans,” Alverson said.

Yet this impulse to see God’s intervention in human affairs now and not in some distant future can also be good, he says.

There are vibrant religious communities that teach that political and economic injustice must be addressed now. Liberation theology, for example, was a movement among pastors and theologians in Latin America that called for justice for the poor now, not in some future apocalyptic event, Alverson says.

“Hope is a good breakfast but not much of a supper,” Alverson said. “We can’t just live on the hope that justice will happen; we have to actually experience justice from time to time so that our hope can continue.”

4. The end justifies the means.

It was one of the biggest scandals the Roman Catholic Church ever faced, and the repercussions are still being felt today.

In January 2002, the Boston Globe published a story about Father John Geoghan, a priest who had been moved around various parishes after Catholic leaders learned that he had abused children. It was later revealed that Catholic officials had quietly paid at least $10 million to settle lawsuits against Geoghan.

Kimball says the Catholic scandal revealed another sign that a faith has turned toxic: Religious figures start justifying doing something wrong for a higher good.

 “The common theme was trying to protect the integrity of the church,” Kimball said of some Catholic leaders who covered up the crimes. “You get all of these rationalizations that we can’t let this scandal bring the whole church down, so we have to pay off this family and send the priests off to rehab.”

Religion is supposed to be a force for good. Still, it’s common that everyone from suicide bombers to venal church figures finds ways to justify their behavior in the name of some higher good.

Those rationalizations are so pervasive that religious movements that avoid them stand out, scholars say.

Jacobsen, the theology professor from Messiah College, cited the civil rights movement. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow activists renounced violence, even as they were attacked and sometimes murdered.

“They were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed in, but what’s incredible is, they practiced not retaliating when they suffered violence,” he said. “Those people really believed that God created everyone equal, and they were committed to the point of death.”

In some ways, it’s easy to say we would never adopt a form of religion that’s evil. But when we use the word “evil” to describe those who kill in the name of their faith, we’re already mimicking what we condemn, Jacobsen says.

In his new book, “No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education,” Jacobson writes that calling a religion evil is dangerous because “bad or wrong actions can be corrected, but typically evil needs to be destroyed.”

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

“To label someone or something as evil is to demonize it, putting it in a category of otherness where the rules of normal life do not apply, where the end often justifies almost any means,” Jacobson writes.

And when we do that, we don’t have to read about radical imams or look at angry YouTube videos to see how easy it is for someone to drift toward religious extremism, he says.

We need only look at ourselves.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Culture wars • Egypt • Fundamentalism • History • Islam • Jesus • Leaders • Moses • Muslim • Quran

soundoff (3,810 Responses)
  1. oOo

    kim (April 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm)
    "Most of the engineers at work joke about attempts to explain away the unknown because the explanations break down into abstracts that make about as much sense as the bible. Most of us are agnostic and put atheists in the same camp with fundamentalists. You don't know what you don't know period and at the extreme is personal belief that has you hooked by subjective "causation""

    kim (April 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm) to Richard Cranium
    "Exactly what is wrong with the two possibilities presented: we are spiritual having a physical experience or physical having a spiritual experience. Reality is one or the other."

    kim (April 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm) to hawaiiguest
    "No, thank you for the demonstration of the atheist mindset that must constrain all information to a single box of hammers. My apologies if you lack capacity to understand abstract thought."

    douchebag deluxe!

    May 1, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • faith

      hawaiiguest

      The answer is "who gives a shvvvet, it's irrelevant to absolutely everything".

      prove it.

      forgot. u can swear.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Still completely STUMPED?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • kim

      o0o
      Having trouble sleeping with the knowledge our science and the bible rest on belief and not evidence that meets mans standards?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Observer

      kim,

      The biggest difference between science and the Bible is that science has verifiable, REPRODUCIBLE results.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • kim

      o0o
      Perhaps a little C.S. Lewis will help you get some sleep:
      "My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. Just how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? … Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. (Mere Christianity, 45-46)"

      May 1, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • kim

      Observer
      Faith in God also produces reliable results. The area where science and faith are the same is that area where we attempt to answer why does anything exist at all. Science spins down the quantum gravitational phase and the bible moves into hope of a promise.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • tallulah13

      CS Lewis' opinion is relevant only to CS Lewis, and to those who value his opinion.

      Personally, I don't get my opinions from other people. I get my opinions from my own observations and considerations. I've never much cared for letting others think for me.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Observer

      kim,

      As an agnostic, I agree that there is no proof for or against the existence of God. It is statements like "Faith in God also produces reliable results" that I disagree with. Prayers are sometimes "answered" and sometimes "not answered", proving nothing.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • tallulah13

      Faith in god produces nothing but emotional satisfaction to the believer. If it produced "reliable results" then no child would die of cancer.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • biggles

      Fools. At least try to be completely honest. Won't find him being a phony. He is so easily knowable. He is such a blessing to know. To experiment with drugs, many will accept others' opinions on how good they are. A little experimentation suffices.

      That's why the arguments against his existence are so pathetic. Find out for yourself. Like the god-hating Nazis don't like to feel good. Like feeling good is all there is to Jesus. Absurd! What b....s. If god isn't real but you think he is, you would be sick. If he's real, god can convince you. If he's not, what are you so worried about? Intellectual integrity? Give me a break.

      He will even help you give up whatever it is that blocks you from the joy of walking with him. Ask Jimmy Carter. Ask Korn's Welch. For Pete sake. At least be honest.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:08 am |
    • Science

      And look who shows up.......... playing with kimmy ...........biggles........cool couple ?

      May 1, 2013 at 5:43 am |
    • The real Tom

      Korn sux. What a pantload of dreck from the usual source. Really, you people just ask for ridicule and scorn.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • oOo

      LOL. No, "kim", no trouble sleeping – I compiled those quotes from your posts to show:

      a) you don't seem to understand the agnostic component to mainstream atheism; and

      b) you were quite hypocritical when attempting to call out someone else for attempting to pigeon hold possibilities when you did so glaringly (middle post). Still can't figure out which possibilities you left out – even based on the way you dealt the cards? I'm sensing from your other replies you may never get it. Sigh...

      May 1, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • oOo

      ( pigeon-hole )

      May 1, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  2. Chad

    Despite its public persona as a Christian church, Jones was in fact an atheist who intentionally adopted the guise of an Evangelical Christian preacher in an attempt to destroy the Christian religion and replace it with Communist ideology.

    - Jones, Jim in conversation with John Maher. "Transcript of Recovered FBI tape Q 622.

    Why are so many others here desperately trying to cast an atheist who infiltrates a Christian church with the express stated desire of deconverting all Christians to atheism as a "religious leader".

    April 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      #28: As soon as you make an ass of yourself break the conversation into a new thread. That way all the newcomers (see #25 on how they are waiting to have their souls saved) will not bother to read back and see how ignorant you are.

      (for anyone not paying attention Chad has already posted this multiple times on this thread and keeps trying to repost it away from the old threads where his really poor logic became obvious each time...flip back in the comments to see variants of this comment over...and over...)

      ==========
      Gospel of Chad:
      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See #1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.
      6. No atheist has ever read the bible. I mean, obviously, they’d be Christians if they had, right? OK, so a few have proven to me – OK, multiple times – that they have read the bible. See #11 (just lie).

      Free will:
      7. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      8. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future. (On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm)

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      9. A determinist cannot believe that humans can change. This would, of course, mean that nothing can change. Which would mean…oh…crud…better put my head back up my ass.
      10. A determinist cannot believe in punishing people for crimes. This is because…well…it doesn’t matter. Just keep repeating it.

      Telling lies:
      11. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      12. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      13. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over.
      14. In particular don’t forget that whatever someone says you can respond with “What investigation have you done into…”. Especially good is to ask what investigation was done into the truth of the God of Israel. When the non-Christian comes back to ask how much research you did to prove other gods aren’t real answer “I don’t need to do any because I proved the God of Israel is real and that negates all other gods”. When asked how you proved that repeat the words “empty tomb” over and over until divine light shines on the souls of the heathens.
      15. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.
      16. Consider asking completely nonsensical questions that can’t even be understood, let alone answered. Best yet include something the person didn’t say as a premise. For example, you might ask an atheist opponent “You say you like murdering small children on Wednesdays, could you explain how this fits with your beliefs about string theory?” Then when your question is ignored accuse the person of avoidance and make up wild hypotheses as to why they are avoiding you.
      17. Above all else keep asking questions while avoiding answering any yourself.

      Science, math and psychology:
      18. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      19. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #11.
      20. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #19 on ignoring anything else.
      21. Infinity = all finite numbers according to the Chad. Thirty or forty years of constraint is the same as eternal torment.
      22. Rehabilitation and deterrence are the same thing. Yep…convincing a drug addict not to use drugs in case they are shot dead and getting them off the addiction would be the same by my wondrous Chad logic.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      23. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      24. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice. Best yet is to post a link or reference a book which actually says the opposite of what I’m saying and just assume no one will look at it.
      25. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      26. I will personally save all those mentioned in # 25 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.
      27. Phrase everything as if it’s a lecture so you look like you know what you’re talking about. See #23 about atheists being idiots and #24 about people not reading anything you post you’ll see that the silly atheists will fall for it every time. In particular they won’t look back to the earlier part of the discussion to see how I’m contradicting myself. This is very well aided by another tactic:
      28. As soon as you make an ass of yourself break the conversation into a new thread. That way all the newcomers (see #25 on how they are waiting to have their souls saved) will not bother to read back and see how ignorant you are.
      29. If someone points out to you that citing Wikipedia is not an adequate source for the discussion at hand you can always find a good undergraduate philosophy paper to cite instead.
      30. Never question another Christian no matter how incorrect or offensive their position.
      31. Just remember that you can define a term any way you want and you are always right!
      32. And if you don’t feel like arguing anymore and have only a few weak arguments in your bag of tricks, just end your comment with “Case closed.” That ought to convince anyone that you’ve made your point.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      You have presented reasonable proof of your claims.

      Now how about talking about all killings commanded by God? 900 people is nothing by Bible standards.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Akira

      “There are a lot of warning signs all around us, but we usually learn about them after a Jim Jones or a David Koresh,” said Charles Kimball, author of “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

      I suggest you take it up with this author, and look up the many, many, MANY other books and websites (besides Wiki, for I KNOW you haven't read the books that Wiki cites, you've only cut and pasted) if you disagree so vehemently with the description of "beware of a charismatic leader" who used techniques he learned as an ordained Christian minister as a way of achieving his agenda.

      As somebody, I think it was Tasman, said: delve deeper.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • ..

      "Why are so many others here desperately trying to cast an atheist who infiltrates a Christian church with the express stated desire of deconverting all Christians to atheism as a “religious leader”.
      =>Except nobody really is. The person making the big deal about it, as though Jim Jones is a typical atheist, is you, Chad. Atheists don't give a damn one way or another, but that hasn't stopped you from trying to equivocate Jim Jones with atheist behavior, have you?? That’s the equivocation fallacy of YOUR argument.
      Your argument:
      Jim Jones is bad
      Jim Jones is an atheist
      Therefore atheists are bad
      HISTORY calls Jim Jones a religious leader, doof. If you are so offended, Sherman, get in your Wayback Machine and change it. Or just drop it, because you're really starting to look retarded.

      May 1, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • faith

      when did god last command someone to kill someone and who was it and why?

      it is a profound miracle that pages and pages and pages appeared with ink on them out of nowhere describing jesus christ before paper, ink and mankind existed. like the universe. what are the chances?

      what are the chances of one human eyeball forming mixing all the cells?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Observer

      faith

      "when did god last command someone to kill someone and who was it and why?"

      Read the Bible, If it doesn't give dates and names, that isn't my problem. Did the Bible lie when it quoted God commanding all the killings for various reasons?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • faith

      not observant one bit,

      an apology is in order. i don't mean to lead people on. i know i'm an unusually attractive individual, one others find difficult, if not impossible to resist. I get it. i do.

      honestly, i haven't done anything consciously to draw you and answer, among others, to become school girl obsessed with me. in fact, you are so utterly repulsive to me, i'd prefer outer darkness than to allow you near me.

      i know this will come as crushing news and for that i do apologize, but again, i assure you nothing was done intentionally to cause you to lose control.

      therefore, please honor my desire to stay way, way, way away from the slightest hint of you. is that too much for you to bear? because if it is, there are a number of very secure hospital/prison settings where you might be more in command of your libido.

      in other words, BEAT IT

      if i ever change my mind or want you input, i'll let you know.

      best

      May 1, 2013 at 3:59 am |
    • The real Tom

      faith, are you trying to censor others who don't agree with you? How positively Christian of you.

      What a little twerp.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:34 am |
  3. .

    “What nearly everybody in my life had misunderstood about Satanism was that it is not about ritual sacrifices, digging up graves and worshipping the devil. The devil doesn't exist. Satanism is about worshipping yourself, because you are responsible for your own good and evil.”
    ― Marilyn Manson

    April 30, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • biggles

      Marilyn has a point. He does perfectly fine all on his own. If he ever started actively worshiping Satan, well, it wouldn't be pretty and neither is he. We're taking charlie manson ugly

      May 1, 2013 at 5:43 am |
  4. Secular humanism

    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-the-id-ego-and-superego-in-psycholog.html

    *heavy sigh*

    April 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Akira

      Vedy intereeeeeeeesting...

      April 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  5. Utter Nonsense Is What Religion Is.

    Kim is a moron.

    April 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • kim

      Any more on that?

      April 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  6. The problem of evil

    “God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they've got to be free.
    Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (...) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.”

    ― C.S. Lewis

    April 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • faith

      I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else

      April 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Ahahahhhahhhahahahhahaha!

      Oh, wait. You're serious, aren't you?

      April 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • faith

      how was work today tom?

      busy?

      what did u do?

      April 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Quite a bit, actually. I just finished about two hours ago–at 9 pm. And you? Did you manage to earn your keep?

      April 30, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • faith

      you don't care to say tom, i c. not surprised.

      and you observer? what do you do?

      answer got awfully quiet suddenly

      how often does tom work, one wonders? don't bother to say, tom. 1 day per month? she's here 24/7 minus a few hours once in a while. observe and noanswers, too. 24/7 minus bathroom breaks

      April 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Whenever I am on, you seem to be too.

      Got a question for you:

      Should all abortions be prevented or do you support abortion?

      May 1, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • faith

      r u ready 2 discuss skull collapsing?

      May 1, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Stumped?

      May 1, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, look, another dolt who can't tell time.

      If you're so @nal as to concern yourself with my work, faith, go back and check the times I posted. I know you have to look at a clock face to figure out the hours, but since you're obviously obsessed and unemployed, you have nothing to lose.

      As to my career, you can guess. If you think I'm going to tell you, you're even more retarded than anyone thought.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:38 am |
  7. Chris

    I'm not normally A person who responds to this but is there not enough intolerance in the world. is their not enough room for one to be a good christian and also believe in science I'm an intelligent person and I don't find a problem with either just a problem with the extreme left or extreme right or with either trying to exert there twisted values on everyone who don't believe exactly the way they do end then commence to berating them for it!

    April 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Akira

      "I’m not normally A person who responds to this but is there not enough intolerance in the world."
      You want more intolerance?? Really??

      April 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • atomD21

      Chris, there is absolutely room for people to find a happy balance between their faith and using the brains in our heads to discover how the natural world and universe works. The problem is, those people (myself included, at least I think so) are not the loud ones in the group. The more zealous among us are getting the attention and thus typecasting all in the same belief system as more of the same. Be it some atheists claiming anyone who believes in God is stupid or some Christians claiming all atheists are amoral or evil people, anyone with an ounce of rationality knows not all members of a group are the same as the more public among them.

      May 1, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  8. solex

    The problem is that religion can live in a vaccuum while everything else cannot. REligion requires no proof and no accountability. While I am sure there are "true believers" out there, I am also sure the vast MAJORITY of religious cults (and yes – ALL religions are cults) are in it for the own benefit and no one else's.

    There was a case where a preacher impregnated his secretary and then when she threatened to tell his wife, he murdered her. HIs defence? It was "God's Will" that she be silenved so he could carry on his ministry – more of that "I know what God is thinking" nonsense.

    Make no mistake religious people, it's NOT "God's Will". It's YOURS. That you would blame god for your bad behavior to me is the most single demonstration of self-interest and rationalization EVER.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  9. Golly

    After reading the article I couldn't help but think about this recent case that I read first in Huff Post – 4/25/13 (AP):

    ======
    SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean police on Thursday arrested four people accused of burning a baby alive in a ritual because the leader of the sect believed that the end of the world was near and that the child was the antichrist.

    The 3-day-old baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay near the Chilean port of Valparaiso on Nov. 21 and was thrown into a bonfire. The baby's mother, 25-year-old Natalia Guerra, had allegedly approved the sacrifice and was among those arrested.

    "The baby was naked. They strapped tape around her mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board. After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive," said Miguel Ampuero, of the Police investigative Unit, Chile's equivalent of the FBI.

    Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large.

    "Everyone in this sect was a professional," Ampuero said. "We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree. "
    =======

    You know it's just one more of those over 40,000 Xtian sects.

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    April 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Akira

      I said this before: what a horrific thing. These followers had to be under a mass delusion.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  10. On top

    I know the truth you don't

    - Every time John Blake writes he believes he knows the truth

    Beware a charismatic leader

    -John Blake has a great fan base in this blog. Beware!! and most of these sound militant.

    The end is near

    -John Blake' 'end is near' drumbeat only attracts non-believers to evil

    The end justifies the means.

    -John Blake continues to write poorly researched articles, hoping that the end justifies his fiendish agenda

    April 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Akira

      You do realize that this is not John Blake's list, but one that is addressed by Charles Kimball in his book “When Religion Becomes Evil”, right?
      And that several other scholars and authors comprise the rest of the article, right?

      My goodness.

      This sounds like Chad. Is this you, Chad?

      And what, precisely, is John Blake's "fiendish agenda?"

      April 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • .

      Reading comprehension is hard, just like logic. Right, Chad?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Observer

      lol.

      Chad, or whoever wrote this drivel, had to change their names because their reference to loons would include them.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  11. Oh My God(dess)

    This list basiclly summed up all religion everywhere.

    Then all 3200+ of us had to say why it was right or wrong.

    Hilarious!

    HAHA!

    April 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  12. kim

    Richard Cranium

    Mother Teresa did not exist? The materialistic approach is a belief. You are pushing your belief to the extent you cannot even acknowledge there was something very spiritual in this person. If I need to prove to you she was spiritual and had spiritual gifts then I would be the one with a problem.

    You said it yourself: "Other than the energy that we haven't yet been able to define that is life, there is nothing that shows life energy exists without the corporeal." Your belief is showing not your logic.

    Sorry to burst your bubble but science cannot and has not bothered to disprove the bible. It is individuals with belief agendas that drag science into personal expression of faith.
    There is no proof as to where ancient oral traditions originated before it took written form so you cannot claim to know where they came from.

    One of us needs reading glasses as Fred said the miraculous parts of the bible were silly.........

    You said: I have watched fred on here for a long time and if you had seen much of his nonsense from the past, you certainly would want to distance yourself.
    Well I don't have the bandwidth for case study on Fred but on this post he sounds well balanced and honest while your agenda is very clear.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • kim

      Great just lost my balance and need to learn how to work this reply .............please ignore post.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • sam

      Today's belief blog is brought to you by the letter A, as in 'agenda'. Use it in a sentence: "Kim is an authority on everyone's agendas."

      Fight the good fight, kim! Come on in like a n00b and get taken in by the long time crazies and their rhetoric, and then defend it! Throw in a healthy dose of passive aggressive pseudo-intellect bullshit, too, that always makes the medicine go down easier.

      I don't know what we did before you got here.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Kim, what you call spiritualism can also be called fanaticism. It's a very human trait. It's not just limited to christianity, and it's not divinely inspired. And if you think Mother Teresa was a good person, then your definition of "good" is scary indeed.

      While certain portions of the bible reflect the politics and the geography of those who created the oral tradition, certainly there is nothing at all to indicate that any of the supernatural events of the bible occurred. It's just like every other mythology: The supernatural is used to explain natural events that are not understood, and tales are embellished in every telling.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:04 am |
    • Science

      Kim.........according to phyisics there is no fairy for you to go meet...There is a source I can post !

      May 1, 2013 at 5:34 am |
    • Science

      kimmie follow the link..................cool science !

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/29/new-film-examines-science-vs-religion/#comments

      May 1, 2013 at 7:25 am |
  13. kim

    o0o
    Thales (the father of science) was the first to give explanations of natural events without the use of supernatural causes. Quote from Wikii.

    I think that you and hawaiiguest want to argue terms because you know exactly what I am speaking about. But let me save you some trouble since I doubt you will drop the issue:

    su·per·nat·u·ral :

    /ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/

    Adjective
    (of a manifestation or event) Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

    Noun
    Manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin.

    Synonyms
    preternatural – unearthly – weird – miraculous

    April 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • sam

      Congrats, you're wiser than anyone else in here. Thanks for setting everyone straight. Way to go. Amazing.

      Oh, and btw: your agenda is no better than anyone else's. Thanks for pretending it is, though.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • oOo

      kim: "Most of us are agnostic and put atheists in the same camp with fundamentalists."

      Do you not see a large agnostic component to mainstream atheism, kim?

      kim: "Exactly what is wrong with the two possibilities presented: we are spiritual having a physical experience or physical having a spiritual experience. Reality is one or the other. "

      Not enough is known to restrict the possibilities to the two that you presented, kim.

      I guess I'm not surprised that you continued to stand by dictionary terms when considering the known and unknown universe, kim. No problem. But I can't help wonder if that want for "pigeon-holing" is what lead you to leave out other possibilities than the two you presented. And you're an agnostic?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • kim

      Sam
      Sockpuppet, your mumbling

      April 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • kim

      o0o
      ok, what is another possibility?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • sam

      @kim – it's 'you're', Mrs. Dictionary.

      You're beginning to sound like good old HeavenSent, you little poe.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • oOo

      Goodness, kim, if you divide the cards the way you did, you have two more possibilities, right? But personally, I would go as far to say we don't know enough to divide the cards the way you did.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  14. Akira

    Chad:
    Sorry, the page changed.

    In 1964, Reverend Jim Jones became officially ordained as a minister of the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ.

    Why would he do that?

    April 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Chad

      I decided, how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church. So I consciously made a decision to look into that prospect. - Jim Jones

      April 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Whgich is what people said in the first place: that he used religion. He was also a Christian Ordained Minister, which definitely qualifies the Reverend Jim Jones as A CHARISMATIC RELIGIOUS LEADER
      Which was your whole premise: that he was NOT.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Chad

      that's the equivocation fallacy of your argument.

      your argument:
      Jim Jones is bad
      Jim Jones used religion
      Therefor religion is bad

      that is a fallacious argument since "religion" wasnt a motivation of Jim Jones. Religion didnt cause him to do evil. He wasnt doing evil to promote the spread of religion, he was doing evil to curtail it.
      He was atheist.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Akira

      That is NOT my argument.
      That is what you THINK I've said, but that's dishonest, because I never said that.

      I merely point out where he qualifies to be a "charismatic religious leader".

      You were proven wrong in your initial post with your assertion that he wasn't a religious leader; many people said that he was used religion; no one EVER said, nor have I, that he BELIEVED in God.

      He died an atheist. True.

      He was, however, a religious leader that used religion to further his agenda, which is why he has, and will, go down in history as a religious leader. The fact that he was an ordained Christian Minister adds to this, whether he believed or not.

      He used religion to forward his agenda. As has been stated by some posters all along.

      And PLEASE show me in any of the posts where I have said religion is bad. Your assertion is a bald faced lie that YOU are attributing to me.
      I haven't.

      April 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • ..

      Actually, Chad, Jim Jones fits the second item on this list perfectly, which is "beware of the charismatic leader". And he IS considered a religious leader whether you like it or not, fool. Choke on it.

      April 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @Akira "That is NOT my argument."
      @Chad "indeed, you did not say those exact words in this thread. I apologize for implying you did.

      If you consider an atheist who infiltrates a Christian church with the express desire of deconverting all Christians to atheism a "religious leader", there isnt much I can say to correct that is going to correct that..

      April 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Chad,
      I have never said anywhere that "religion was bad". I have said that religion is divisive, can you honestly say it isn't?

      Jim Jones used religion as a part of his "ministry", and this articles is about religious extremism, which he definitely was.
      IMO, he used religion as a sort of reverse psychology endeavor.

      I think he wasn't a leader of any sort, atheisic or religious, but a manipulative freaking monster.

      And double dot is right, #2, as written, definitely includes JJ.

      If you think that I agree with JJ at ALL, wither in his ministry or how he went about achieving that, there's nothing I can say to correct that...

      April 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chad says:
      that's the equivocation fallacy of your argument.

      your argument:
      Jim Jones is bad
      Jim Jones used religion
      Therefor religion is bad

      And you wonder why people call you a liar.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Science

      Chad follow the link cool science !

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/29/new-film-examines-science-vs-religion/#comments

      May 1, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  15. Macc

    It all starts with gathering with people of like minds. The evil begins when you elect a leader. The most civil church I attended had 3 preachers. They picked a topic then sat in front of the church with Bible in hand and had a discussion on the topic. The church had only 30 some odd people, so there wasn't alot of power to fight over.

    April 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  16. bright

    All religion is evil.

    April 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  17. That's right all you pansy-assess who worship and sacrifice babies on the altar of abortion... Hit report abuse until the comment disappears.

    We can't handle the Truth. You Baal worshippers are led by the same demons that led those thousands of years ago-congratulations for being used you heathen scu.m. Just like those who dip Ishtar eggs in the blood of babies sacrificed in fertility rituals-murderers!

    April 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Golly

      Whaaaa??? Christians have the most abortions in the U.S.

      After reading the article I couldn't help but think about this recent case that I read first in Huff Post – 4/25/13 (AP):

      ======
      SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean police on Thursday arrested four people accused of burning a baby alive in a ritual because the leader of the sect believed that the end of the world was near and that the child was the antichrist.

      The 3-day-old baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay near the Chilean port of Valparaiso on Nov. 21 and was thrown into a bonfire. The baby's mother, 25-year-old Natalia Guerra, had allegedly approved the sacrifice and was among those arrested.

      "The baby was naked. They strapped tape around her mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board. After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive," said Miguel Ampuero, of the Police investigative Unit, Chile's equivalent of the FBI.

      Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large.

      "Everyone in this sect was a professional," Ampuero said. "We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree. "
      =======

      You know it's just one more of those over 40,000 Xtian sects.

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

      April 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • sam

      Find a nice comfy orifice to jam your bullshit hyperbole. Folks like you are nothing but attention whores.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      beware of those who capitalize "truth"

      April 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  18. JImh32

    CNN's religion coverage is really just appalling. There's no other way to put it.

    You'd think that in an article addressing religious violence there would be at least one example of Muslim Jihad – considering the over 20,000 jihad terror attacks since 9/11 alone (including just last week) http://www.religionofpeace.com

    But no, not on CNN! This network is so hell-bent on towing the politically correct line on Islam that we get examples of a Pro-Life Christian, some Tokyo cult nobody's ever heard of Hal Lindsey, and some Catholics – while ignoring the gigantic Islamic elephant in the room.

    You know CNN has it wrong, when even an uber-Liberal wing-nut like Bill Maher admits that equating Muslim terrorism with other religions is absurd political BS!

    April 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • sam

      OUTRAGE!!!!1!!

      April 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Cnn has to deflect the fact that the Boston bombing was radical Islam in action

      The msm's unholy trinity-Islam, Abortion, and Hom.os.exuality

      April 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  19. fred

    Is there a single atheist out there willing to step forward and admit they agree with Stephen Hawking in that science has not yet proven there is no god needed to explain the creation of our universe?

    Hawking is an atheist but exhibits intellectual honesty by freely admitting we hope to someday prove there is an alternate explanation to our existence. Although completely rejecting god his hope is that someday science will arrive at a unified theory.

    April 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Everyone

      Fred is as dishonest a conversationalist as you can find.
      For this entire discussion, and the lies, misrepresentation, and dodges that fred will use, look at

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/24/opinion-the-appeal-of-islamic-radicalism/comment-page-1/#comments

      Don't bother to actually get into this discussion, because fred doesn't care what's actually been said, only what he can twist to fit his agenda.
      Martin Luther would be so proud of him for lying for Jesus.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      fred
      I have said it many times...we do not know.

      Are you now willing to admit that your bible is false, created by men, and the god described in the bible as well as most of the stories are impossible?

      April 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Observer

      There is ZERO proof that if the world was created by some intelligence, that it was God.

      It could have been created by Zeus, a committee of zombies, or the Three Stooges before they came to earth.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Science

      Fred ...........Knows all aboit Prof. Higgs........next !

      April 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • fred

      Richard Cranium

      "Are you now willing to admit that your bible is false"
      =>I don't know since not one historical fact from the Bible has ever been disproven.

      " created by men"
      =>yes the various books are created by men and the assembly was orchestrated by men. Most of these men if not all believed their experience with God and recorded or assembled their revelation of God accordingly.

      "the god described in the bible as well as most of the stories are impossible?"
      =>the miraculous parts ( speaking the known universe into existence, virgin births, talking snakes, resurrection etc) are impossible foolish nonsense if the world is only physical and some of us just happen to be having a spiritual experience.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam

      Same old boring BS from you, fred. Go get a better hobby.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      Are you saying that you agree science has not to date provided acceptable evidence how our universe came into existence?
      As to Zeus or the Three Stodges take your pick but they and their like are not the "no god needed" Hawking or others are referring to . We are simply looking at natural vs some super natural causation. Should super natural causation be confirmed I don't know of any scientist (absent belief on faith) who speculates what that would be since it is assumed not to be of matter or energy that we are familiar with.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Reality

      To be fair to fred:

      Only for the newbies:

      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.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sihkism.

      Added details have been previously given and are also available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      April 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • fred

      Reality
      What difference would it make if we had a birth certificate for Abraham like we have for Obama in 6,000 years? We all know the political system is corrupt and agenda driven. The writings of the Hebrew carried down intact to the Dead Sea Scrolls (don't forget atheist claimed the early books of the bible were made up prior to that point) speak to the accomplishments of Abraham as will the Obama library. You assume that in 6,000 years the morals and values of those looking at the agenda driven total rewrite of history in progress will be as they are today.

      If it turns out existence is simply spiritual with the present a little more than a brief encounter with the physical you will grasp what Jesus was talking about as well as how is it possible Adam and Eve did not realize they were naked while in Gods presence.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Everyone

      As I said. Fred is a dishonest little tard that cannot actually address anything at all. Nothing but dodges, misrepresentations, and sometimes flat out lies.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yeah hawaii
      I just wanted to see the answer. Basic lunatic who thinks he lives in the virtual bible world.
      He will never grasp reality.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • kim

      Most of the engineers at work joke about attempts to explain away the unknown because the explanations break down into abstracts that make about as much sense as the bible. Most of us are agnostic and put atheists in the same camp with fundamentalists. You don't know what you don't know period and at the extreme is personal belief that has you hooked by subjective "causation"

      April 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      fred: science has not yet proven that there is not a 5 foot squirrel driving a 54 mercury circling mars. doesn't make it true

      April 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • kim

      Richard Cranium

      Looks like Fred had a very logical reply to your post. Your agenda is showing.
      Exactly what is so great about your position that "you don't know" vs. Fred who said "I don't know"? Exactly what is wrong with the two possibilities presented: we are spiritual having a physical experience or physical having a spiritual experience. Reality is one or the other. You are physical with zip spiritual experience (at the moment) and Fred you assert is spiritual with zip physical experience. I think you confirmed his position.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive concepts, as they both answer different questions.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • oOo

      " Reality is one or the other. "

      Not enough is known to restrict the possibilities to the two that you presented, Kim.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      The problem with those two possibilities is twofold

      1) The spiritual has not been demonstrated to even exist, as well as the term "spiritual" being a very ill-defined word.
      2) You're presenting a false dichotomy.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • kim

      sam stone
      What? Natural is that which our scientific laws are presently limited by and anything outside of that boundary would be "super natural". If you cannot get your head around that perhaps you are a programmer familiar with standard binary. You have a zero or a 1 (+or-) which is natural or not natural in this case. The squirrel seems to be in your head not Fred.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      You can have that conversation with your English teacher. We just don't know what is behind creation as a whole and it ok for some to have faith and others to reject the beliefs presented by others. The facts do not support God and do not support a position that there is nothing outside the observable (natural)

      April 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • oOo

      " Natural is that which our scientific laws are presently limited by and anything outside of that boundary would be "super natural"."

      Kim, when you want to trim a single eyebrow hair, do you grab the largest pair of scissors in the house? That's what you doing with your description of the universe. You're assigning attributes to the unknown for which you have no knowledge to do so. Drop Webster's and think a bit more. Anything outside the boundary of what is currently known is simply current unknown. Hokus-pokus words like "super" are meaningless in describing the unknown.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      It's not even a conversation, it's just a fact. Belief (theism/atheism) and knowledge (Gnosticism/agnosticism) are two different things. To not admit that is to engage in an equivocation fallacy.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      The spiritual has not been demonstrated to exist? Mother Teresa and millions of others are very spiritual. You want to constantly split hairs ..........what are you a barber?

      April 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Science

      Kim............the ghost of xmas past ? Poof goes the dragon

      Engineering 'Ghost' Objects: Breakthrough in Scattering Illusion

      Feb. 19, 2013 — A team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to "engineer" ghosts.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090643.htm

      April 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      Did you just ignore the fact that it is a very ill-defined word as well? What you mean when you say "spiritual", and what someone like a southern Baptist preacher means when he says "spiritual" are two very different things. Since this site mainly deals with religion, I'm using it in the religious sense, but it is still ill-defined.
      You're being really disingenuous right now you know.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • kim

      kim

      o0o
      Thales (the father of science) was the first to give explanations of natural events without the use of supernatural causes. Quote from Wikii.

      I think that you and hawaiiguest want to argue terms because you know exactly what I am speaking about. But let me save you some trouble since I doubt you will drop the issue:

      su·per·nat·u·ral :

      /ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/

      Adjective
      (of a manifestation or event) Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

      Noun
      Manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin.

      Synonyms
      preternatural – unearthly – weird – miraculous

      April 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      kim
      spirtuality has not been shown to exist. There are many who claim to be spiritual, but that does not mean they are.
      Show me how you can verify a spirit.
      Other than the energy that we haven't yet been able to define that is life, there is nothing that shows life energy exists without the corporeal.

      furthermore, science has disproven much of the bible, fred simply won't acknowledge it.
      Next, there is no indication whatsoever that any gods were involved in creating the bible, while reality shows many of the bible stories were stolen from previous cultures.
      and then he mentions the miraculous parts...delusion gone wild...no evidence of it whatsoever, and you claim his response was logical...that is hilarious.

      I have no agenda...just trying to assist in erradicating ignorance since it is the root of all religion.

      I have watched fred on here for a long time and if you had seen much of his nonsense from the past, you certainly would want to distance yourself.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • kim

      Science
      An optical device is not supernatural it is natural as is the illusion.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      Spiritual awareness is not limited to religion however it does normally manifest itself in conjunction with spiritual centers that have beliefs in common. The object of belief is not the issue I am addressing.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      You keep using the word spiritual, but have still not even defined it. You seem to merely be using it as a synonym for "funny feeling people get", which really doesn't seem to be even close to any kind of colloquial usage.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      kim: i am just supporting fred's statement

      April 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Science

      Kim

      Spirits == Moonshine whiskey .

      Have a great day

      April 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • oOo

      kim, do you not see a large agnostic component to mainstream atheism?

      April 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • oOo

      " Reality is one or the other. "

      Not enough is known to restrict the possibilities to the two that you presented, kim.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      Fred lets his faith dictate his reality....um delusional

      April 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • oOo

      I guess I'm not surprised that you continued to stand by dictionary terms when considering the known and unknown universe, kim. No problem. But I can't help wonder if that want for "pigeon-holing" is what lead you to leave out other possibilities than the two you presented.

      April 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • sam

      fred is so lucky to have new friends! Or sockpuppets, whatever.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      kim
      Atheist agnostic...I got tired of explaining the difference. One can be both by the way.

      I personally believe that there are nergies in the universe that we have not yet fully detected nor defined, and I find comfort in the fact that we do not know.

      I know the god described in the bible is an impossibility.
      Furthermore, there is no indication that there is any sentience to any of the energies except for life, which seperates us from the chemicals and electricity that make us up, and the sentient annimal typing on my computer. We need to do much more to learn what the universe is and what is in it. To a$$ume that any creature that exists outside of anything is absurd, and offers no testible theory, so cannot be taken seriously by science.

      It is mathematically a possibility, but so is the " we are inside of a giant dust particle, on the end of a flower being held by an elephant named Horton, and we will only be discovered when we all yell in unison, and have Jojo yell "yop" to punch through to the other side". I do not think that is true either, but again...it is a possibility

      Atheist or agnostic...i got tired of explaining....it's easier to say atheist.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • kim

      kim

      Richard Cranium

      Mother Teresa did not exist? The materialistic approach is a belief. You are pushing your belief to the extent you cannot even acknowledge there was something very spiritual in this person. If I need to prove to you she was spiritual and had spiritual gifts then I would be the one with a problem.

      You said it yourself: "Other than the energy that we haven't yet been able to define that is life, there is nothing that shows life energy exists without the corporeal." Your belief is showing not your logic.

      Sorry to burst your bubble but science cannot and has not bothered to disprove the bible. It is individuals with belief agendas that drag science into personal expression of faith.
      There is no proof as to where ancient oral traditions originated before it took written form so you cannot claim to know where they came from.

      One of us needs reading glasses as Fred said the miraculous parts of the bible were silly.........

      You said: I have watched fred on here for a long time and if you had seen much of his nonsense from the past, you certainly would want to distance yourself.
      Well I don't have the bandwidth for case study on Fred but on this post he sounds well balanced and honest while your agenda is very clear.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • kim

      sam
      Put a sockpuppet in it

      April 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      You're really making less and less sense with every post.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing with an update:

      The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      April 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      how is that?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      "Mother Teresa did not exist?"
      I didn't see anyone saying that.

      "The materialistic approach is a belief. You are pushing your belief to the extent you cannot even acknowledge there was something very spiritual in this person."
      Materialism is a philosophical position based on the fact that we have never known a supernatural event to occur or a supernatural being to actually exist.

      "If I need to prove to you she was spiritual and had spiritual gifts then I would be the one with a problem."
      Who asked you to prove that? Also, you still have not even properly defined your usage of the word "spiritual" other than as a synonym for "funny feeling".

      "Sorry to burst your bubble but science cannot and has not bothered to disprove the bible. It is individuals with belief agendas that drag science into personal expression of faith."
      Right, individuals dragged their agenda to manipulate the geological column to not support the idea of a global flood.
      An individual with an agenda made it so that evolution completely contradicts, and actually disproves the idea of Adam and Eve.
      An individual with an agenda hid all the archaeological evidence that we would expect to find from 1 million + Israelites leaving Egypt and wandering the deserts in the middle east for 40 years.

      Do you really need to ask how you're not making sense?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      You said "1) The spiritual has not been demonstrated to even exist, as well as the term "spiritual" being a very ill-defined word" and I said "Mother Teresa does not exist?

      You said: "Materialism is a philosophical position based on the fact that we have never known a supernatural event to occur or a supernatural being to actually exist." – Books and movies are filled with such events. Like an ostrich that hides its head in the sand are you? Now, that is a myth because we have observed the behavior. We have observed the behavior of spiritual people so you should know that spiritual behavior exists.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      Wow you really are just dishonest.
      Not only are you completely misrepresenting what I said, you are also completely ignoring that you still have not even defined "spiritual".
      Books and movies are filled with claims of supernatural occurrences that have not been verified to have actually occurred, or it's some kind of personal experience that would in no way be able to be confirmed.

      Seriously, are you saying that the "spiritual" exists because there's movies and books about what people claim? Seriously?
      Are you just a poe?

      April 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      An unbiased scientist would need to make a whole bunch of assumptions if he or she were to put Noah's ark to the test. The assumptions alone would discredit the study because now the scientist is simply testing out his story against his evidence. An individual with bias could ignore the foundation of the story of the flood and eliminate all its key assumptions including god then test the result. Nonsense.

      Eve or Ḥawwāh (sounds like your names sake) the mother of lfe and Adam (man or mankind) were created by God. These hominins were complete so what would evolution have to do with it unless you wish to insert the Hominidae into the story but then again you are adding to the story what is not there.

      I am not aware of any real numbers of peoples from 1300BC why can't we find any ?

      April 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      No, thank you for the demonstration of the atheist mindset that must constrain all information to a single box of hammers. My apologies if you lack capacity to understand abstract thought. It is not my intent to be insulting.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Utter Nonsense Is What Religion Is.

      kim and fred are dumber than a sack of hammers.

      April 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      Don't try to ignore your own dishonesty. You're the one making all kinds of assumptions and avoiding even defining certain words you've used. You're the one avoiding actually responding to the points of my posts.
      You're just as pathetic as fred is. Would you like the list of 10 or so threads where freds dishonest tactics (very reminiscent to your own dishonest tactics) are pointed out?

      April 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      This Fred must have dumped you for Cranium. Talk about obsession.
      You are obviously stumped or just cannot get yourself to acknowledge Science does not prove the bible wrong on the flood or evolution as to Adam and Eve. Do you even understand evolution and it limits of applicability? Do you even understand that science does not know and thus cannot reproduce the state of the earth at the days of Noah? As the populations in 1300 AD around the area of Egypt if you had some valid information that would be a good starting point.

      April 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      This is truly pathetic.
      kim, you really just can't actually address anything can you. You post some incoherent nonsense and you think it "proved" that a global flood happened (even though the geological column doesn't support that notion), and you think that Adam and Eve existed as it states in the bible (even though we can trace the genetic history of humans to a small population in Africa, not two people).
      You're just trying to jump around to as many points that you can to avoid actually addressing anything or defending your positions.
      Am I going to need to keep a running total of threads that showcase your complete dishonesty as well?

      April 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • kim

      hawaiiguest
      You have a problem with concentration and focus. Let us just narrow it down to the flood. Tell me where I said the flood happened. All I said was science cannot the story without a bunch of assumptions. The first assumption is that there is no god which invalidated the flood story completely. Why go any further because science cannot prove or disprove god so it is a non starter. Let us assume we are dumb biased scientists and say lets ignore the god part of the story so we can get down to some testing. Where does the water come from? oh, it bursts from the ground, the sky and all around the boat. Wait the atmosphere cannot support that much water unless we change the dew points and topography. Not enough water, no remnants of a flood 3 billion years later, no ark, not enough pitch in the location and the those giraffe are to tall for the boat.
      Tell me Ḥawwāh at what point do your scientists just begin to laugh at themselves?

      April 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @kim

      And you, kim, seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. You're going off on a huge tangent when I merely said that the geological column does not support the idea that a global flood happened, no matter how you would assert that it did. I said absolutely nothing about where the water came from, or the ark, or anything. I only stated that the geological column does not support that assertion.
      Is this really fred? It's the same tactics with a more aggressive stance.

      April 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • WOW

      kim: "Eve or Ḥawwāh (sounds like your names sake) the mother of lfe and Adam (man or mankind) were created by God. These hominins were complete so what would evolution have . . . " LMAO!

      April 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred, The biblical creation myth has been proven not to be as written in the bible – some parts disproven others almost totally discredited. There is very little history in the bible that has been proven. Most of the rest is just unproveable but pretty unlikely. Looks like you're sharing your c&p with Chad.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • fred

      kim
      Looking over your thread you flat out said you are agnostic and that you cannot possibly know what you don't know. You should not have agreed with my logic because the haters on this board know that I am a Christian. So, they are attacking you not because of what you say but because you agreed with a Christian. The hate for others is often very obvious.

      Your summary that "The facts do not support God and do not support a position that there is nothing outside the observable (natural)" seems fair.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa we Trust
      Well I have not started to cut and paste yet but we seem to have the same discussions over and over. Not sure what you believe is proof that the creation story is any worse than causation being simply a gravitational quantum phase. I also agree with the conclusion that oral tradition dates cannot be established in the old biblical stories so there is no proof one way or the other who had the idea first. You are correct in that very little of the history can be proven or disproven and unlikely events are a main theme.
      I just do not understand how your hope in the unknown being anything other than supernatural is any more valid than my hope in the unknown being supernatural. Neither of us have evidence for causation that is acceptable to the scientific community.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Reality

      For those interested in the rigorous historical a-nalyses of sayings and ways of the historical Jesus where said a-nalyses, based on the number of scriptural attestations and the stratum or time period of their "recording" and/or the content of the NT passages, separates the actual utterances of Jesus from the embellishments and fiction, (see for example http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf and http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf and the studies of Professors Crossan, Borg, Ludemann and Fredriksen as published in their many books. There is also a list of contemporary NT scholars and their studies posted at earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm .

      Then there is rational thinking. For example:

      The physical resurrection (aka Easter) of anyone does not compute scientifically or theologically i.e. Heaven if it exists for one thing is a spirit state as concluded by Aquinas. Also, the scriptural reports don't "jive" with respect to the required attestations.

      Paul erred about the second coming 2000 years ago. It "ain't" going to happen now or in the future either again because there is no place for those bodies to go. And Earth is going "bye-bye" with next astroid collision and/or in few billion years when the Sun goes "boom".

      May 1, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • fred

      Reality
      I note the difference between the hope science will discover there is no god and my hope in discovering God is the difference between life and death. You speak of no resurrection, no future and a hope that the sun will go cold. Now can you understand why we try and bring you into Christ who was the light

      May 1, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Reality

      fred,

      o WHERE WAS YOUR GOD(S) WHEN THE FOLLOWING TOOK PLACE:
      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      And where was your god/christ when at " least 75 million people on three continents perished due to the painful, highly contagious disease (Black Plague). Originating from fleas on rodents in China, the “Great Pestilence” spread westward and spared few regions. In Europe’s cities, hundreds died daily and their bodies were usually thrown into mass graves."

      May 1, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • the AnViL™

      ctrl+c / ctrl+v (because that's all this is worth)

      "there are a few people who've made careers out of debunking the paranormal and supernatural. james randi for instance.

      claims of esp, telekinesis, clairvoyance, astrology, faith healing, and homeopathy to name just a few, have all been scrutinized repeatedly in the past – never once has any testing verified any of these supernatural or paranormal claims. each and every one – firmly debunked.

      people used to attribute sicknesses and disease to demons. louis pasteur wasn't intent on debunking these ideas when he discovered bacteria, it just happened as a natural course of his work.

      people used to attribute the rising and setting of the sun to gods. galileo, kepler, and copernicus didn't set out to debunk this idea – it just happened through their discoveries.

      by way of the scientific method – these ideas were debunked – unintentionally.

      science doesn't set out to debunk the supernatural in its search for understanding of particle physics, cosmology, biology, etc... it just happens – and for a good reason... there is nothing supernatural.

      a person can try to be reasonable and claim the existence of the supernatural is possible – but seriously – how probable is it? i suppose if there had been just one instance of the verification of any claim of the supernatural – it might be considered good evidence to support the possibility of other claims for the supernatural or paranormal. hasn't happened yet – and based on experience – there's no good reason to believe it ever will.

      i feel it's important to note that no one can posit the existence of a god without invoking the supernatural – it is impossible.

      ...and just because there may be no way to test a supernatural claim – doesn't give that claim an ounce of validity.

      i think it's great for people to keep an open mind – but not so open all their intelligence falls out." – the AnViL™ 2013

      May 1, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Kim
      There are many parts of the bible that have been disproven by genetics, physics, various biologiies, physics, quantum physics, etc, etc, etc.

      You have not said what your definition of spirituality is.
      Of course Mother teresa existed....but there is no reason to think there is anything more to it than she was a very nice person...show anything beyond that...you can't because it is YOUR belief that has blinded you. You THINK there is more to it, but have no evidence of more.

      Again, I said nothing about what I believe and what I know...i easily keep the two seperate.

      I believe that the energy that is life has not yet been defined and I believe that we are a focal point for that energy.
      I know that there is a difference between the chemicals and electrictiy that make us up. That is self evident

      See the difference...I believe, I know.
      Fred and many religious cannot seperate the difference. They claim the bible is truth...it is not.
      If they say , as many of the people I deal with," I believe ...I do not know why I believe, I just do."..I have no problem with that.

      It is the self righteous, pompous fools like fred who claim to know, that it is truth, that everyone else will burn in hell for eternity because they don't have the same radical, unprovable, outlandish claims that fred has.
      For once I would like fred to admit there is the chance that he is wrong...as any atheist would.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Science

      Fred plesae folloow link belloe...............cool science................read all comments then make your comment ok ?

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/29/new-film-examines-science-vs-religion/#comments

      By the way fred you have seen this too ..................in short...............facts work best for teaching children !

      Evolution wins hands down ..........time for god(s) to get the HELL out of the way................so humanity can evolve !

      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      May 1, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Science

      Oops you know fred................the damn thumb got in the way..............below

      May 1, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • fred

      Richard Cranium

      "fools like fred who claim to know, that it is truth, that everyone else will burn in hell for eternity For once I would like fred to admit there is the chance that he is wrong"

      =>ouch, you have me mixed up with someone else. I believe hell is reserved for Satan and his demons which is made clear in the Bible. I believe good and evil will be separated which is made clear in the bible. I believe Jesus is the way the truth and the life. I believe Jesus was the Christ who was the full radiance of the glory of God. The glory of God was on many men over the years but on Jesus that was the full radiance of the glory of God.

      =>there is no doubt in my mind that I often get the details wrong or at a minimum remain in conflict with various denominations even my own. There are very smart people out there who can debate philosophy and theology but run when the elephants enter the room.
      This is not what you want to hear as I suspect you want to know if I can admit that I may be wrong about God. I cannot deny the presence of God. I cannot deny the very real presence of God because God simply is. The revelations and manifestations of God are very clear. I like the way Kim put it "existence is physical with some having a spiritual experience or existence is spiritual having a physical experience." I believe existence itself is spiritual and this world is a miracle of creation that our soul is experiencing. The Bible reveals Gods plan to redeem souls that have lost their way in this physical illusion. What I have just said that is not written in the Bible has a good chance of being right or wrong I don't know which it is but it is how I feel at the moment.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • fred

      science
      Ok, so the egg (dinosaur) came before the chicken. Note the natural bias to find a connection rather than unbiased observation. Regarding prior post ME-II seems to have his bias in check as to creation while you are off in left field getting a wedgeie as you well deserve for attempting to paint the creation institute with the broad brush of misinformation.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  20. lol??

    The A&A's are a really odd bunch. They insist the catholic and mormon churches repent but refuse to apply that to their servants.

    April 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Trolls like you are an even stranger bunch.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • lol??

      r cranium, Christians are naturals at being fishers. The A&A's work so hard at copycattin' that all they end up doin' is polluting a belief blog.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      yeah lol...that's the stuff. Starnge posts from a strange troll.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.