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Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter
In 140 characters or less, Christians seem to be spreading love and joy more than atheists.
June 28th, 2013
08:02 AM ET

Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) - Christians tweet from the heart, atheists from the head, according to a new study.

The study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tapped Twitter as a research tool and compared the messages of Christians and atheists.

The conclusion: When they are limited to 140 characters or less, these researchers say, believers are happier than their counterparts.

Two doctoral students in social psychology and an adviser analyzed the casual language of nearly 2 million tweets from more than 16,000 active users to come up with their findings, which were published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The team identified subjects by finding Twitter users who followed the feeds of five prominent public figures. In the case of Christians, those select five were Pope Benedict XVI, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and Joyce Meyer, an evangelical author and speaker.

In the case of atheists, the five followed feeds included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Monica Salcedo and Michael Shermer - the latter two respectively being a self-described “fiercely outspoken atheist” blogger, and a science writer who founded The Skeptics Society.

With the help of a text analysis program, the researchers found that Christians tweet with higher frequency words reflecting positive emotions, social relationships and an intuitive style of thinking – the sort that’s gut-driven.

This isn’t to say that atheists don’t use these words, too, but they out-tweet Christians when it comes to analytic words and words associated with negative emotions.

Christians, they found, are more likely to use words like “love,” “happy” and “great”; “family,” “friend” and “team.”

Atheists win when it comes to using words like “bad,” “wrong,” and “awful” or “think,” “reason” and “question,” said Ryan Ritter, one of the students behind the study.

While not perfect – for example, this sort of word examination can’t account for sarcasm – word choices, Ritter and his colleagues argue, reflect something about a person’s mindset.

An analytical thinker (atheist) is more likely to be skeptical or critical, for example, whereas an intuitive thinker (Christian) is guided by emotion and certainty.

Based on previous studies cited by these researchers, analytical thinking may "diminish the capacity for optimism and positive self-illusions that typify good mental health."

Likewise, mentions of social connections, which they say are often provided in a “tight-knit moral community,” suggest stronger relationships among Christian tweeters and are, they add, often an indicator of happiness.

The takeaway, Ritter wrote in an e-mail, is “not that religion is associated with more happiness, per se, but why?”

“If we can understand the factors that facilitate happiness (e.g., increased social support), ideally we can use these insights to increase well-being for believers and nonbelievers alike,” Ritter said.

But the Twitter study doesn’t fly with everyone.

After reading an article about the study on Pacific Standard magazine’s website, Richard Wade, an advice columnist for the blog Friendly Atheist, called it “useless and misleading” and based on “sloppy research.”

He wrote, “The take away for most lay people is ‘Atheists are unhappy people.’ … How do you quantify ‘happiness’? How do you quantify ‘analytical thinking’?”

“Even in their acknowledgments about the possible biases in their study, the authors still use absurd and meaningless terms like ‘militant atheist,’” he added. “This study suffers from the same negative stereotypes about atheists that most of society has, and it has simply reinforced that prejudice with more muddled thinking.”

Ritter, who happens to describe himself as a happy atheist, said in hindsight he wishes they hadn’t used the word “militant” and that no ill will was intended. They simply wanted to describe those who have “extremely negative attitudes” when it comes to religion.

“I am a friend of the atheists! My response to Richard would be that he should apply the ‘principle of charity’ when interpreting other’s research (i.e., that it’s possible we’re NOT incompetent,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“This is not an assumption; this is the pattern we observed in the data.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Technology

soundoff (1,317 Responses)
  1. Salero21

    Though Love is still Love nonetheless therefore I want to remind all atheist that atheism is stupidity in Full bloom. 😀 🙂 😉

    June 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Reality

      The flowering of rational thinking based on thorough reviews:

      Summarizing for the new members:

      The Apostles' / Agnostics’ 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.)

      June 29, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Ah but Solero.. believing in an alien "god" who punishes you if you dont believe, and had to have some one sacrificed for some totally obscure reason to save the critters he created in the first place is normal in your view is it? If it is, you are hardly qualified to discuss stupidity as you appear to be to immersed in it to be objective.

      June 30, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Woody

      ".........atheism is stupidity in Full bloom." – Salero21.

      Yeah, and believing an ancient Guy in the Sky story, for which no supportive evidence has ever been produced, reeks with intelligence. Right!!!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • light

      @Reality
      below is one of the proofs,just remeber this verse was 1400 years ago when no one knows about it

      He creates you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after the other, in three darkness. (39:6)

      The amniotic sac contains a fluid that fills the amnion to protect the embryo from desiccation and shock. This substance is a kind of cushion that absorbs shocks, balances exerted pressures, prevents the amniotic membrane from adhering to the embryo and enables the fetus to change position in the uterus. If the fetus could not easily move in the said fluid, it would remain idle as a mass of flesh and would likely suffer injuries leading to various complications.

      The fetus in the mother’s womb is a fragile thing. If it were not protected well, heat, cold, temperature variations, impacts or even the mother’s sudden movement might kill it or cause it irreparable damage. The three zones within the mother’s womb protect the fetus against all sorts of dangers. These are:

      1- The abdominal wall,
      2- The uterine wall, and
      3- The amniotic sac.

      With the level of knowledge at the time, this information could not have been available. The fetus continues to develop in the dark of these three regions. The amniotic sac contains a fluid that fills the amnion to protect the embryo from desiccation and shock. This substance is a kind of cushion that absorbs shocks, balances exerted pressures, prevents the amniotic membrane from adhering to the embryo and enables the fetus to change position in the uterus. If the fetus could not easily move in the said fluid, it would remain idle as a mass of flesh and would likely suffer injuries leading to various complications. Equal distribution of heat enables the fetus to be at a constant temperature: 31°C. We observe that our Creator has designed everything perfectly in its minutest detail, satisfying all the requirements of our body and protecting it against the dangers lurking in the outside world.

      It was also said that verse pointed to the fact that during the stages of creation we passed through three different phases of development. According to this view the three veils of darkness refer to:

      1- The fallopian tubes: Either of the paired oviducts that extend from ovary to uterus for conduction of the ovum in mammals. The sperm, having fertilized the egg, proceeds on along the fallopian tubes. The zygote during this journey begins to divide and reproduce itself.
      2- The uterine wall: The stage during which the embryo hangs on the wall.
      3- Amniotic sac: The sac fills with a fluid that surrounds the fetus. The next step of evolution calls for a longer period of development.

      A glance at the outward aspect presents a uniformity of sight. But were we to dwindle to the size of a tiny cell and explore the environment, we would see how different these chambers were. The first dark space is reminiscent of a monumental tunnel with respect to the cell. The second compartment is a dark forest where no light penetrates, and the third compartment reflects the dark depths of the sea.

      There are three interconnected layers or three spaces through which the fetus passes. God knows whether the reference is to one or to the other. And there are three stages through which the embryo evolves. The three stages in question are:

      1- The pre-embryonic stage: This stage is called the “first trimester.” As the cells multiply, they get organized in three layers; this process takes two weeks.
      2- The embryonic stage: Basic organs begin to emerge from the cell layers. This stage is referred to as the “second trimester” extending from the second week to the eighth week.
      3- The fetus stage: The face, hands and feet appear and the human figure is formed. This is the “third trimester” that extends from the 8th week until birth.

      Our shaping up takes place in stages, in each of which new evidences emerge. Data relative to embryology have been acquired only in the recent past. Neither before the descent of the Quran, nor in the course of the millennium succeeding it can you find such information available. The Quran indicated the composition of the semen, from a drop of which man was created. The Quran coined names that describe the development stages of the embryo; namely hanging to the wall of the uterus (alaq), succeeded by the chewed lump of flesh (mudga). Thus the Quran uses terminology based on the positions the fetus assumes. There was no source before the Quran which asserted that the muscles were made after the formation of bones.

      To assert a scientific fact, a scientific background is a must. It is on such a foundation that other data can rest, which, in turn, calls for advanced microscopes and micro cameras. At the descent of the Quran, there was no such scientific background or such instruments. Nobody of sound mind can come forward and say that the information in the Quran was a result of fortunate coincidences.

      We created the human being in the best design. (95:4)
      Then turned him into the lowliest of the lowly. (95:5)
      Were they created of nothing or were they themselves the creators? (52:35)

      June 30, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • light

      Woody

      Read this:

      Do not these disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were an integrated mass, which We then split, and from water We made all living things? Will they not believe even then? (21:30)

      With power did We construct Heaven. Verily, We are expanding it. (51:47)

      On that day We will fold the heaven, like the folding of a book. Just as We initiated the first creation, We will revert it. This is Our promise. We will certainly fulfill it. (21:104)

      See how these verses of Quran is talking about the the very beging of the universe ( Big Bang theory),and also the present of it which is expansion,and the end of it when all the universe retutns back to the first mass.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • light

      He has let free the two seas meeting together. (55:19)
      Between them there is a barrier which they do not transgress. (55:20)

      A famous French oceanographer, J. Cousteau, gives the following account as a result of his studies in water barriers: “We studied the assertions by certain researchers about barriers separating seas, and noticed that the Mediterranean Sea had its own salinity and density and housed autochthonous fauna and flora. Then we examined the water of the Atlantic Ocean and discovered features entirely different from those of the Mediterranean Sea. According to our expectations, these two seas that merged in the strait of Gibraltar should present similar characteristics in terms of salinity, density and other properties. The two seas presented different features even though they were adjacent. This greatly puzzled us. An incredible barrier prevented the two seas from coming together. The same sort of a barrier had also been observed in Bab Al-Mandab in the Gulf of Aden connecting with the Red Sea.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Woody

      "light", the only things the Quran, the Bible or any other religious writings PROVE, is that someone wrote and printed a book. You have a convoluted idea of the definition of the word "proof".

      June 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Woody… Why are atheists like yourself always such pathological liars? Answer: You have to lie, because if you told the truth you'd have no argument…

      Jesus Christ is all the proof we need. And he was very real. So to state otherwise and to say there is no proof is only clear evidence of your lack of intelligence. You merely prove the statement is correct: That "atheism is stupidity in Full bloom."…

      June 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Believers lie when then claim that there is proof of god. If there was proof of god, we'd not debate whether or not he exists. We don't debate the basics of math or chemistry because the proof is in the practical application. So many people believe in so many different gods and in so many different doctrines and dogmas because there is no proof for any one of them. It's all opinion and conjecture.

      June 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      There are proofs in mathematics, but not in Chemistry. In chemistry we just have observed evidence, just as in claims for gods existence. The only difference is that chemisty's observations are shared and relaiably predicatable...better, strong evidence. But you can't tell a person who heard god speak ( or saw a leprauchaun or threw a penny in a well and had the wish come true) that they don'thave evidence. They do. It's just not very good.

      June 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • LIGHT

      @ Woody & Cpt. Obvious

      what kind of proofs you need?

      @Saraswati

      What is the proof that 1+1=2

      You all must know that we are not your enemies, or we are attacking you.

      Every thing is plain as day but you are struggle for nothing

      June 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • the license you have granted

      The evidence is good, it's just not accessible to you.

      June 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So your god is arbitrarily damning people by denying them access to proof of his existence? Hm. This smells like more believer BS to me.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @LIGHT, It depends how far back you want to go. There are many versions depending on where you want to start...just google it.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The evidence for math and chemistry is in their application. When you pick up one apple, and then anther apple, suddenly you have two apples. Same thing with adding two chemicals; you always get the same chemical reaction. If god was that knowable, we'd debate his existence and will as much as we debate that 1+1=2 and that burning straw turns it to smoke.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • _

      If God was a process you could write equations for what he'd do. But it's just the reverse, he can see what you'll do far in advance, before you even know it or have given it a thought. He knows how you'll die, and what you'll do all your life.

      What they said in the bible, is the truth.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • light

      @
      Cpt. Obvious
      When you pick up one apple, and then another apple, suddenly you have two apple.

      this is your way to proof? this is your way of thinking? that is why you are an atheist.

      On the same line with your way of thiking can you tell me how we can proof that 1+999=1000.

      Also tell me how can i carry 1000 of apples in my hands.

      What you did is just an invitation to laugh.

      See now how you can proof something like that:

      The number "1" is the main element of all numbers.

      Or it is the fact for all numbers the number "1".

      The fact of number 2 is 1 and 1.

      The fact of number 3 is 1 and 1 and 1.....etc.

      So instead of saying 1 and 1,we are saying 2,instead of saying 1and 1and 1 we are saying 3,instead of sayind 1and 1and1and1..............we are saying 900.

      All what we did is just putting different names for the numbers to be easy for us to use,but number "1" is real fact for all.

      This is the difference between us and you.

      This is the difference between using the brain and stop using it.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      So my comment was removed and the offensive one from "light" remains? I am torn between thinking it's a glitch and thinking that CNN is deliberately removing posts that insult christians while silencing atheists. If the second is the case, then shame on CNN.

      What I said to Light (in different words) is that his/her comment made no sense, and that to accuse someone of not using a brain while not making sense yourself was certainly hypocritical.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • fintastic

      @Nicetry..... Lies for jeebus... that's all you are.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Salero21

      I am an ignorant troll............ ignore me.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  2. PR

    Some read "happiness" when they might read "delusional" instead.

    June 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • lively and courteous discussion

      The bible vastly understates God, but it's what we have.

      June 30, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • fintastic

      ignorant, delusional and happy.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  3. Frank

    Good study. Surprising this analysis was done by an 'atheist'. Althought the result of this study is not surprising at all. Browsing through some of the comments here non believers don't seem to be happy and sound miserable 9 out of 10 times. That doesn't mean 'these'non believers represent atheism.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Trinka

      You have overlooked a large part of this: they think certain words as having negative connotations, and completely overlook the context and content of said texts.
      This study is inherently flawed because it ignores that.
      Of course atheists are not going to write things such as "God is love" when they don't believe in God. "Love" is one of the words they use to denote positivity...and if Christians write "atheists don't believe in God", well "believe" is another words they assigned to be positive, even though it was used in a negative manner here.
      A non-sequiter of a study, actually. Perfectly useless.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Frank

      Take it up with licw about the categorization. .

      Ritter is an atheist himself he might see something of value coming from a non-believer such as you.
      Once you have successfully got Ritter to agree with the irrelevance, notify the media.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  4. Virtuoso

    Oh good stuff. You know, there's a word for relationships where obedience and "love" are achieved through the threat of great punishment (hell): Abusive.

    June 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Proud Atheist

    Well, the only reason that the Christian society is happier, is because they hide behind their beliefs and shelter themselves from the world. They pretend that everything's okay, that 'God' will make sure it's okay. Atheists are a bit unhappy, because we see the world for what it really is. We see the starving children, the fatherless children, the citizens crying out. We don't believe that it will all magically get better. We believe in the cause to put ourselves out there.
    "Two working hands, can do more than that of thousands clasped in prayer."

    June 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Saraswati

      They're only happier when they are the dominant culture:

      http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/01/04/0956797611427045.extract

      June 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Excellent post/observation. There's a cost for thinking critically.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Tim

    "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
    - George Bernard Shaw

    June 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  7. Ron

    This is news? To a godless world I suppose it would be. lol Of course, those who honor their Maker are going to be much happier and at peace than those who are in continuous relbellion against Him. Another story which states the obvious.

    June 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Christians aren't happier than atheists, they just tweet using more positive and "happy" words. Remember a drunk may appear happier than you, but that doesn't mean that he is.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Ron

      Sorry Capt, but it seems youv'e managed once again to get it perfectly wrong. lol

      June 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you read the actual study you'll see that it didn't study Christians or atheists but people who follow Christians on twitter and people who follow atheists on Twitter. They then selected 5 figues from each group that they deemed to be representative and drew conclusions about the whole group. The problems are that

      1) atheism isn't a community or ethical system and as such, only a tiny subset of atheists care about the question of gods existence. Most people who don't believe in the Easter Bunny don't follow famous a-easterbunnyists on twitter. The issue just isn't as central to most atheists lives as all that.

      2) the atheists who do care enough to follow a famous atheist on Twitter are generally not going to be representative. Since most people who don't believe in gods don't care about this topic, you mostly only find people who live in the middleof an oppressive Christian community or whose families reject them due to their lack of god-belief that interested. Neither I nor anyone I know would follow an atheist on Twitter. These folks who do usually have had issues that make them understandably less happy.

      3). This study only used English speakers where we already know that in less Christian dominated European countires Christians and atheists are equally happy.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    This is godly fear (Hebrews 12:28)

    June 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      This is godly beer He Brews 12:28

      June 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Ron

      Richard, you may need a new cranium. lol

      June 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  9. children of Israel

    Religion is pure evil, and Christians are devil (2nd Kings 23:5) worshippers of other gods. The truth is what the world hates, and God hates Esau. The state of Israel are Satanists, Israeli's who came from Russia / Poland (Hebrews 1138). Are you lost sheep or goats? *Genesis 3:5 and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. *Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; *John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken? (Psalm 82:6)

    June 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  10. children of Israel

    All the praise and glory goes to the most high God (Jeremiah 22:18)

    June 29, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  11. jason

    Christians are happier than atheists eternally also !

    June 29, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Another hypothesis since there is no evidence to support this.

      June 29, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • jason

      but there is dick you just choose to ignore the Truth.

      June 29, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • sam stone

      jason: jeebus is waiting to fill your cheeks with his truth. if you have a sidearm, show some guts and go meet your slavior

      cowardly fvck

      June 29, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      jason
      What is this evidence of which you speak?
      Since no one has ever been able to produce such evidence of any of the thousands of gods, I would like to hear what you have.
      I am not blind to truth that does not exist.

      June 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Proud Atheist

      Can you prove this?

      June 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think what jason is trying to say is that christians are happy because they have decided to ignore reality in favor of a pretty lie.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  12. children of Israel

    John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men out to worship. *Mark 10:33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: *Matthew 12:18 I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. *1st Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. (*Psalm 106:37-38*). (These are Hamites Africans *Genesis 9:18 and Ham is the father of Canaan.) The American Black slave is a descendant from the God of Jacob & the Star of Jacob is Christ (Psalm 77:15) *Exodus 11:7*

    June 29, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • rick

      does posting scripture make you feel all godly, children of israel?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 29, 2013 at 5:45 am |
    • Science

      So the sock puppet(s) are teaching BAD sh-it ! (bad bible )

      June 29, 2013 at 6:38 am |
    • factchecker.org

      Both claims are false.

      June 29, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Science

      Protest at the Good News Club Spectacular

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OwIGrEQhEk

      June 29, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • factchecker.com

      both claims are Truth

      June 29, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Roger that

      Science,

      I like the analogy in the video. The guy says, "if you knew there were bandits down the street that were going to shoot your son, would you warn him?" In other words, he is warning you about hell. If you think about it, who is the bandit that is going to shoot your son? That's right, God. God is the loving bandit down the street that is going to shoot your son if your son does't worship the bandit. I don't understand why anyone would want to worship something so evil and immoral.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      But Roger, there isn't any proof that your god (or any god) or satan or heaven or hell actually exist. All you have is a book that was cobbled together from old myths and edited by men who had a personal stake in what was included in that book.

      Warning people about hell is no different than warning people that saying "Bloody Mary" three times in front of a mirror will conjure that particular spirit.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Science

      Hey RT life is a blast when it is the truth.............not some crap coming from the pope and the bible bout the

      fear of a hell.

      Science Daily: Your source for the latest research news and science breakthroughs – updated daily

      Origin of Life News

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/fossils_ruins/origin_of_life/

      June 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Roger that

      tallulah13,

      I know that and you know that. I'm not acknowledging the existence of a god. I'm pointing out that the god that they claim exists is evil.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      My apologies, Roger. I read your response wrong. Sorry.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  14. ilikestealingducks

    I am a ninja. I steal underpants and eat the souls of babies.

    June 29, 2013 at 1:45 am |
  15. Reality

    Summarizing for the new members:

    The Apostles' / Agnostics’ 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.)

    June 29, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  16. R.M. Goodswell

    I can believe this......Being in the minority can change the overall tone of ones life. Knowing that the majority (Christians here in the states) can pull some crazy crap and make policy that by law, they shouldn't be able to is in the back of my mind at least.

    Frustration whether its the above, or economic (when you work for an agency operating within a budget and watch it shrink while seeing the demands for results come faster and expecting ever more you tend to be less jovial.) takes its toll.

    June 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  17. Life without God

    I used to have a strong faith in God. I wasn't miserable with my idea...just the oposite.

    The idea that there was no God was my worst fear. One day I decided to face my fears. I imagined, right along with John Lennon that there was nothing up there. Nothing anywhere...No God, no devil, nada..zippo.

    Once you think a thought you can't un-think it. I'm not afraid anymore, and neither am I blissfully happy.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Dippy

      Why would realizing the truth make you unhappy? Maybe you could start believing some other nonsense to make you happy.

      June 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • QuoteCity

      How did you have a strong faith in God, yet at the same time have a big fear that He doesn't exist?

      June 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • maximo

      indeed, the Truth will make you free

      seek the truth with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul and never stop!

      perhaps your earlier belief in God was on a false god?

      God is much bigger than what is often presented by modern Christians in the west

      June 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The truth is often uncomfortable, and some people prefer to ignore it. I can see how someone who fears death and clings to religion in a vain effort to subvert that inevitability would be terrified of the truth.

      Personally, knowing the truth brings me a great deal of peace. Ceasing to exists makes a lot more sense than a patently false promise of eternal life.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • QuoteCity

      "The good news is not that you can possess the truth, but that the truth can possess you, making you real and making you free…. perhaps for the first time."

      June 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • QuoteCity

      "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

      It is easier to deny our sins, than deny ourselves.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • My blue friend

      No, someone with weak faith ditches God.

      Someone with strong faith says to release the lions, no interest in rejecting God.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Life without God

      Faith can be useful, but when it comes to ideas with no evidence, ever, it's a negative factor to be dismissed. I admire your unflinching courage to consider the lack of evidence and do away with your useless faith. Great work!

      June 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • fintastic

      Where is your evidence for god??.. if you make a claim that god exsists, you must provide the evidence. . Get it?

      July 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  18. Todd

    They may be confusing negativity with amused sarcasm.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  19. Ben

    Listen to George tell it like it really is.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo

    June 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Colin

      Let some dead unfunny guy do all your thinking for you.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, Colin. That was a fairly succinct description of christianity.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Colin

      No, that is an observation against the moron that does not think but rather posts some tired old video. By the way Carlin is long dead and in hell, Christ is alive and ruling the universe. Sorry you can't see the difference.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      Oh come on, Colin. That's just silly. At least we know George Carlin actually existed.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  20. USMC1371

    Sure they are happy to spread their love it's just another way for them to cheat on their spouse.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
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About this blog

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