July 15th, 2013
02:50 PM ET

Behold, the six types of atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

(CNN) - How many ways are there to disbelieve in God?

At least six, according to a new study.

Two researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that atheists and agnostics run the range from vocally anti-religious activists to nonbelievers who still observe some religious traditions.

“The main observation is that nonbelief is an ontologically diverse community,” write doctoral student Christopher Silver and undergraduate student Thomas Coleman.

“These categories are a first stab at this," Silver told the website Raw Story. "In 30 years, we may be looking at a typology of 32 types.”

Silver and Coleman derived their six types of nonbelievers from 59 interviews. We're pretty sure we've spotted all six in our comments section.

1) Intellectual atheist/agnostic

This type of nonbeliever seeks information and intellectual stimulation about atheism.

They like debating and arguing, particularly on popular Internet sites.


They're also well-versed in books and articles about religion and atheism, and prone to citing those works frequently.

2) Activist

These kinds of atheists and agnostics are not content with just disbelieving in God; they want to tell others why they reject religion and why society would be better off if we all did likewise.

They tend to be vocal about political causes like gay rights, feminism, the environment and the care of animals.

3) Seeker-agnostic

This group is made up of people who are unsure about the existence of a God but keep an open mind and recognize the limits of human knowledge and experience.

Silver and Coleman describe this group as people who regularly question their own beliefs and “do not hold a firm ideological position.”

That doesn't mean this group is confused, the researchers say. They just embrace uncertainty.

4) Anti-theist

This group regularly speaks out against religion and religious beliefs, usually by positioning themselves as “diametrically opposed to religious ideology,” Silver and Coleman wrote.

“Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental,” the researchers wrote. “The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

Anti-theists are outspoken, devoted and – at times – confrontational about their disbelief. They believe that "obvious fallacies in religion and belief should be aggressively addressed in some form or another.”

5) Non-theist

The smallest group among the six are the non-theists, people who do not involve themselves with either religion or anti-religion.

In many cases, this comes across as apathy or disinterest.

“A Non-Theist simply does not concern him or herself with religion,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “Religion plays no role or issue in one’s consciousness or worldview; nor does a Non- Theist have concern for the atheist or agnostic movement.”

They continue: “They simply do not believe, and in the same right, their absence of faith means the absence of anything religion in any form from their mental space.”

6) Ritual atheist

They don't believe in God, they don’t associate with religion, and they tend to believe there is no afterlife, but the sixth type of nonbeliever still finds useful the teachings of some religious traditions.

“They see these as more or less philosophical teachings of how to live life and achieve happiness than a path to transcendental liberation,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “For example, these individuals may participate in specific rituals, ceremonies, musical opportunities, meditation, yoga classes, or holiday traditions.”

For many of these nonbelievers, their adherence to ritual may stem from family traditions. For others, its a personal connection to, or respect for, the "profound symbolism" inherent within religious rituals, beliefs and ceremonies, according the researchers.


The authors of this study have graciously agreed to field questions from our commenters. If you're interested, please post your question below or tweet it to us at @CNNBelief. 

We'll take the best questions to the authors and the Q&A will be posted in a follow-up article. 

Please try to keep your questions related to the study itself.

Daniel Burke

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Holidays • Lost faith • Nones • Spirituality • Trends • United States

soundoff (9,518 Responses)
  1. Penalty

    So I was raised by good parents, they were kind to each other, didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't swear, always supported me, and never abusive. Here's the catch, they took me to church 3 times per week for 18 years then paid for me to go to a Christian university. Somewhere along the way I realized that religion and science didn't really jive, and my faith was shattered. So now I'm pretty much of the opinion that we are just smart animals, nothing more. No spirit, no soul. But it is incredibly difficult to step back and try to reform your own beliefs after being taught a certain way for so long by people that you love and respect.

    The question that I always come back to is: what is the penalty for being wrong? So if there is no God, and I spend my entire life "serving" something that doesn't exist, what is the penalty? The penalty is that I've wasted a significant portion of my time on earth. Hopefully I would do good to other humans along the way but ultimately it would have been a waste of time and perpetuate the lie to future generations. On the other hand, if I say there is not enough evidence to support the existence of God, and live as an atheist, but God somehow does exist, would the penalty for not serving God be eternal "hell" in the afterlife (if indeed such a thing existed).

    So which penalty is worse? Wasting your time and perpetuating a lie (God doesn't exist but you live as a theist) or eternal "hell" (God exists but you live as an atheist). Its kind of like someone making you call a coin flip for a reward/punishment but making you wait til death to see whether it was heads or tails, whether you called it correctly, and whether you get a reward or punishment.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:25 am |
    • faith

      wait. how u live?
      how bout who u r, first?

      July 18, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • skytag

      When you have religious beliefs you can end up making decisions that aren't in your best interest if later you realize isn't all a delusion, such as the person you marry.

      If by some odd chance there is a God, when you meet him ask him why, if it was important to believe in him, did he ensure there was no evidence of his existence.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • faith

      seeing as science proved there ain't no god, how u live don't mean nothin

      July 18, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      @ Penalty: look up "Pascal's Wager". Essentially it's a logical fallacy to as-sume it's an either/or situation. What is there is a god, but this god actually values people who use their brains instead of blind faith? What if there is a god but there is no hell? the possibilities are endless. You can see that your religious upbringing was based on the fear of Hell – a horrible thing for a child to be exposed to.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:47 am |
      • Saraswati

        Exactly. Essentially it stems from having a very limited idea of the possible logical options (I'm going to guess you didn't major in anthropology, geography, philosophy or comparative religion and have never lived in a country where a third option dominates). If you think the only two options are atheism and Christianity then sure, Pascal's Wager might. make some sense. But the reality is an infinite number of possiblilities exist, including an infinite number in which believing the Christian stuff and following their religion will damn you to a type of hell. You can't use this as the basis of descision making.

        July 18, 2013 at 8:35 am |
        • Saraswati

          The "you" here refered to the OP..sorry for any confusion.

          July 18, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Woody

      "........ there is not enough evidence to support the existence of God......." – Penalty

      There is NO credible evidence to support the existence of a god. IF a god existed, why would this god eternally torture people for simply not paying any attention to him/her/it (atheist, agnostic, indifferent)? Is this god, who supposedly created the entire universe with the snap of a godly finger, such a megalomaniac that IT has to be continually praised and worshiped by every single inhabitant of one small planet, or IT gets really upset? The entire concept is preposterous.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • My name is Stats 101

      Pascal's wager sets up this false dichotomy. It's not really, "Be an atheist or believe in God," because there isn't just one valid religious alternative to atheism. There are thousands.

      For instance: What if a God no one on Earth knows about is the one true god, and he's going to send anyone who worships any other god straight to hell? The only people going to heaven would be Atheists, and the safest bet would be to not worship anyone.

      July 18, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • JJ

      Pascal's wager. You are assuming there are only two outcomes of not believing in a particular deity, the vindictive blood thirsty, brutal psychotic Christian god. You were indoctrinated from birth to believe this way by your parents who were indoctrinated by theirs, etc., etc. If this particular god does exist then no one is safe anyway. Not even Christians.

      July 18, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • fintastic

      If god did exsist, I don't think it would appreciate someone hedging their bets.

      July 18, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Penalty

      Thank you all for your replies.

      July 18, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • crackwalker

      The entire notion of hell is nonsensical.

      Fear is the mindkiller.

      July 18, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • tommy

      Pascal's wager redux!

      July 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Edward

      Penalty, you don't need to fear hell. Read my post on page 74.

      September 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |

    who cares whos an atheist? I think atheism currently is the largest group of people who are insecure about there beliefs or lack thereof. I base this on how articles such as this bring atheist out of the wood work.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:21 am |
    • Brandon

      Now lets try it the atheist way and use deductive reasoning instead if spewing nonsense from your mouth hole! The largest segment of atheists are young, technically proficient, and educated. So they tend to be heavily represented on... Can you guess? The Internet!

      July 18, 2013 at 5:01 am |
      • Ism schmism

        Here is some more deductive reasoning. The percentage of people who have one opinion over another is irrelevant to the goal of proving if something "exists" or not.

        July 18, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • skytag

      That's about the dumbest reasoning I've heard in a long time. The insecure people are those how have to believe in an imaginary friend to avoid having to deal with unpleasant realities.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:15 am |
    • Saraswati

      Sure, because Christians never comment on stories about Christians.

      July 18, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  3. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    Categorizing we atheists is like trying to herd cats 🙂 Hip cats, but cats none the less...

    July 18, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      You think herding Atheist is bad, try to get all of the different denominations of Christianity on the same page at the same time. I think we can all agree on the Lord's Prayer....after that it can become a WWF cage match. 🙂

      July 18, 2013 at 3:22 am |
      • OTOH

        " I think we can all agree on the Lord's Prayer."

        Heh. Not really.

        - Paul of Tarsus didn't even know about it. He said we don't know how to pray.

        - Catholics and some Lutherans don't say the "Power and the glory..." phrase at the end.

        - Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons don't say it at all, and some Pentecostal Christians have their own adaptation of it.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  4. Pat Grant

    Several of the groups mentioned are just anti-Christian bigots.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • Mike the Massacred

      just remember we arent so much judging the individual, because ignorance in this case does no harm. The "religion" and how it controls people is what concerns us.

      Although i wouldnt mind educating a few of y'all. But logic seldom permiates the he-who-seeks-God's skull

      July 18, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      It's not just christians, it's all religion. Christians feel the most persecuted because they are the ones we see trying to use their 2000 year old out-dated book to dictate how others should live and thus they tend to be the ones getting called out the most.

      July 18, 2013 at 6:24 am |
  5. owl905

    Can't say if there's zero, one, or all sorts of supreme beings in something as vast as the Universe. But it doesn't take more than a high school diploma to know this: With what our species knows about the Universe now, if any of the current major religions were to start from scratch and pitch their interpretation of what we are, how we got here, the rules of conduct, and what our lives mean ... they wouldn't get 20 feet or 20 seconds of credibility.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • skytag

      You'd think, but you might be surprised. If the narrative is appealing enough there will always be a market for it.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • Butters

      Right, I think that's one of the points Penn Jillette made in his book.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:19 am |
  6. Tim Brown

    The article misses secular humanists, who tend to be less aggressive and value doing good for good's sake.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Um no. I'm a secular humanist. Humanism is a worldview. One that combines morals, human rights and codes of behavior. Atheism isn't part of it or even required. Some humanists describe themselves as spiritual but not religious.
      My atheism deals with one question and one question only. Do I believe a god exists. No means I'm an atheist. Yes would mean I was a theist.

      Jerry DeWitt sums it up nicely. "Skepticism is my nature.
      Free Thought is my methodology.
      Agnosticism is my conclusion.
      Atheism is my opinion.
      Humanitarianism is my motivation."

      July 18, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  7. cfraph

    7) A Teaist

    This group claims to largely follow Christian principles by vehemently viewing religion as a guiding principle in all things, such as politics.

    They are a marginalized group of society and somehow manage to infiltrate the government to impose their religious views, by invoking fear.

    They tend to be uneducated and very vocal about irrelevant and outdated issues.

    This doesn't mean their confused. They just embrace ignorace.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:36 am |
  8. Mike the Massacred

    Jesus Christ never existed. Get over it. He is just the protagonist to an archetypial[sp?] story that has been retold/refashioned/recasted since the Egyptians erected the Great Pyramids.

    The Bible, Quaran, and Torah[sp?] are fables. Although, Revelations is definitely a brutal book.

    There are 2 excellent ways to persuade masses to do your bidding, first (and easiest) get in control of drug trade (people love their vices) or secondly, pitch a new religion (pay us money and youll have an awesome life AND "after" life).

    I would suggest dropping religion, but the individual human is weak. He/She NEEDS a "voice" of reason or trust, akin to a security blanket. I pass no judgement, after all, i am NOT a Christian 😀

    July 18, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • Jay

      I think HeyZues existed, but come on; whoever proclaims themself or allows others to believe that they are the son of god has got some narcassism issues. I imagine alot of drugs being used by his "followers" as well.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • ODD BALL

      How odd, even richard dawkins admitted jesus existed. So whos right?

      July 18, 2013 at 5:26 am |
      • AtheistSteve

        Actually Dawkins admitted only that Jesus may have existed but that he would have been nothing more than a simple man. No reason to believe he was anything more than that. Not a god or demi-god or endowed with supernatural powers.

        July 18, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  9. Muhammad Junaid

    I recommend to study Quran (an Islamic book) with your concentration I 100 % know that you will know the importance of relgion and All six types of people will get their answer, they will get something which remove their confussions

    July 18, 2013 at 2:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm fairly certain I'm not confused just now. I'm puzzled as always that people can be enthralled by a God that doesn't exist outside of books, often just one book, and people's imaginations. The answer I have for you and your dilemma is for you to look to the well-being of your neighbors and family as the thing that deserves your devotion.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • Tevii

      Im fairly certain Ive read it cover to cover as well as the bible. And because of that I know they're nothing but stories. ancient comic books. Those who think otherwise, only do so because they want to, not because it truly means anything

      July 18, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Butters

      I worked with a Muslim gentleman once. He was very kind and seemed like he was quite content with life in general. Occasionally we would talk about scientific inaccuracies in the Christian Bible and Quran. He was 100% certain that there were 0 scientific inaccuracies in the Quran but what I gleaned from our discussions is that it takes an incredible amount of irrational and illogical excuses to make the Quran seem scientifically accurate. Usually matters that require an absurd amount of faith to believe in have a proportionately absurd luck of evidence for, IMO.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • Mike the Massacred

      Islam, LMFAO!
      ask me why.

      July 18, 2013 at 3:02 am |
  10. SebastianGrey

    Why all the labels? Do we not all share the same name alone?

    July 18, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  11. Counter this argument please

    There are an estimated 7.77 million species classified as animal on earth (Mora et al. PLoS Biology 2011). Of these, humans are the only species to possess a spirit (popular theistic belief). Therefore, if humans are the only species to possess a spirit, then they are also the only species to possess an afterlife. So when members of the other ~7,779,999 species of animal die, their existence ends. Yet humans are exempt from this scenario since they possess a spirit. Are humans extraordinary for possessing a spirit? Or are humans extraordinary for having evolved an intellect capable of imagination, imagination that can synthesize the concept (but not the existence) of a spirit? To me the roots of a theism stem from the human imagination as an attempt to explain phenomena that contemporary science could not and to attenuate the fear of mortality. I see the utility in having comforting thoughts of religion and/or an afterlife, perhaps it could improve your psychological, emotional, or physical health if it reduces your stress and/or anxiety. But ultimately, when we die, we die and decay like every other life form. We are relatively intelligent, but just because we can imagine an afterlife, doesn't mean we will experience one.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • Athy

      How do you prove that we possess a spirit? Your argument fails already.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:06 am |
      • Counter

        Actually my argument was that a "spirit" is a figment of human imagination.

        July 18, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • Chedar

      How sure are you to think only human possesses a spirit. Ever own a dog? All sentient being that is currently alive just have their consciousness that took rebirth in the wrong body. And I am an atheist.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:08 am |
      • Counter

        At what point during mitosis of stem cells is the dog's "spirit" created? Does it start with the sperm or the egg? Is it 50/50 from each? Is it divided amongst the litter of pups equally? And how would you quantify that? What would be your positive and negative controls?

        July 18, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • skytag

      How do you know chimpanzees don't imagine an afterlife and believe they're the only specie to have one?

      July 18, 2013 at 2:12 am |
      • Counter

        Are you asking me how can I prove a negative? Chimps have the verbal skills of a pre-speech human infant. You think an organism which does not have the mental capacity to speak the word "afterlife" has the ability to conceptualize it as well as contemplate whether it is exclusive to their species? I don't know what the cognitive threshold for this type of thinking is but I'm sure my toddler wouldn't be able to explain the concept of afterlife to me either. Even if chimps could imagine the afterlife, just like humans, does that mean it exists?

        July 18, 2013 at 2:44 am |
        • skytag

          I wasn't being serious. I was just trying to illustrate that if evidence, reason and logic don't have a place in these kinds of discussions then how can you conclude anything you can imagine isn't real?

          July 18, 2013 at 2:50 am |
      • Holy Labels Batman.

        Assuming that you're not being glib and are in fact curious about the cognitive state of chimpanzees: Morgan Freeman actually covered this in an episode of Through the Wormhole (silly name for a show, but it's actually decent). An experiment involving a pair of yellowed framed glasses with blacked out lenses demonstrated that chimps were not able to conceive of the the states of other beings in an abstract way, which logically would be a prerequisite to conceive of a god person/chimp thingy. (for more info on the experiment go look up the episode)

        Also on an unrelated note, leave it to psych majors to conclude that the least vocal version of their "types" must obviously represent the smallest cross-section of the population. By that logic, neutrinos must be super rare.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Human thought seems to center around having models and systems of explanative or predictive power. These do not have to be true in order to serve their purpose. Some persist beyond their usefulness even when better things come along, particularly when they have reinforcement mechanisms that help them persist: e.g. promise of an afterlife for good or ill.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:52 am |
      • Counter

        I agree with you. I guess the selective pressure of understanding scientific truth has not yet overcome the reward system that religion offers for the majority of people.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:15 am |
  12. Chedar

    In the age of quantum mechanics, particle physics and evolutionary biology. You guys still believe that a creator created you?

    July 18, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • Tom Wilson

      Makes you wonder how slow some people are LOL. Hey, we just recently found the God particle! People, why is the Christian Religion getting a smaller portion of the population all the time? Does this mean the average Joe is getting smarter n smarter? Why is the percentage of Christians going down and the percentage of atheists going up?

      July 18, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • devin

      Let me think?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? YES

      July 18, 2013 at 2:05 am |
      • skytag

        You do realize believing something doesn't make it true, right?

        July 18, 2013 at 2:20 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          I don't think devin is very old. He comes across as rather child-like in most of his posts.

          July 18, 2013 at 5:37 am |
        • skytag

          You could be right. He does sound pretty young.

          July 18, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  13. Craig

    The "anti-theist" isn't necessarily against the idea of God. They are more likely against the ideas of organized religion...and often with good reasons. If you take even a casual look at the teachings of Jesus, supposedly the founder of the "Christian Church" and the compare that with the dogma and teachings of those religions, you'll be hard pressed to find parallels. Jesus said "love one another" and the hard core Christians say "Hate the LGBTQ" community. Jesus said help the sick and the poor, and much of the "Christian Church" is about building huge, impressive buildings and paying televangelists millions. Jesus, according to the Bible, apparently one got mad once...when he tossed the money lenders out of the temple. Yet, the Christians of the Right Wing more or less give the rich a free ride on everything from taxes to corruption.

    In short, the anti-theists may be uncertain about God, but they tend to be real certain about his fan club!

    July 18, 2013 at 1:58 am |
  14. Salero21

    Atheism is stupidity in Full bloom.

    July 18, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      Salero21 is stupidity incarnate.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Observer

      You are still doing a lousy job as a troll.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Athy

      And he can't improve. Ignore him.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • Observer


      Ignoring faith's nonsense seems to be pushing her/him even further off their rocker.

      July 18, 2013 at 2:02 am |
      • Athy

        And that can only be good.

        July 18, 2013 at 2:08 am |
  15. mdsmithson

    We are temporary visitors in a world created by a Zealous God, we have an opportunity to seek him and get to know him.
    Our own broken nature is our own worst enemy. Intelligence, Wealth, and Popularity in this world will only distract you from seeking God.

    The good news is God has sent his Son to pay for our sins, so that anyone who believes in him and walks with him will have everlasting life.

    Seek Jesus Christ!

    July 18, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Kindness


      July 18, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Athy

      How do we seek a dude that's been dead for 2000 years? We can't even find his bones. Get real.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:40 am |
      • Kindness

        All i have is my testimony. I asked christ to show me the truth . Sit back by yourself and ask Jesus christ to help you overcome your immersion in this temporal world with all its desires and fleeting rewards. Ask Christ to show you the truth. Pray aloud and ask christ to come in to your heart and lead you to the truth. Read the word of god without a preconceived notion about it being a fairy tale. I will pray for you tonight . And in the future
        I care about you. Athy.

        July 18, 2013 at 1:55 am |
      • Athy

        Pray all you want, it can't help. How would your god (assuming for the sake argument that he exists) even know who I really am? You religies never fail to amaze me with your childish stupidity.

        July 18, 2013 at 2:15 am |
      • skytag

        "All i have is my testimony."

        Why should I take your word for anything?

        "I asked christ to show me the truth"

        What evidence did you have Christ exists and is aware of any requests you make? It sounds like you wanted to believe he exists before you had any reason to believe he exists, which would inject a big bias into your perceptions and how you interpret events you think of as evidence he exists.

        "Sit back by yourself and ask Jesus christ to help you overcome your immersion in this temporal world with all its desires and fleeting rewards."

        Why would I make a request of something I see no reason to believe exists? I might as well ask Santa Claus for something for Christmas.

        "Ask Christ to show you the truth."

        You can't handle the truth. That's why you wanted to believe in God in the first place.

        "Pray aloud and ask christ to come in to your heart and lead you to the truth. Read the word of god without a preconceived notion about it being a fairy tale."

        Which "word of God?" The Bible? Which translation? The Book of Mormon? The Torah? The Koran? Any of hundreds of other works various religions hold to be sacred writings?

        Everything you advocate is based on the preconceived notion that Christianity holds the truth and that Jesus is real, as opposed to some other non-Christian religion and its deity.

        "I will pray for you tonight . And in the future"

        It's your time to waste. There is no evidence that any prayer ever uttered in the history of the world has been answered by any supernatural being. And what good will praying for someone do even in your mind? What exactly do you think God will do in response to your prayers that he wouldn't have done otherwise? Please be specific.

        July 18, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      We are temporary visitors, but there is no evidence of a god.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:42 am |
      • devin

        But there is evidence, in fact, the entire created universe SCREAMS t hat there is a being infinitely superior to ourselves who has caused us to be.The irony here is that you realize this, you have just chosen to suppress the evidence.

        July 18, 2013 at 1:55 am |
        • Athy

          What's that evidence? No bible quotes, please.

          July 18, 2013 at 2:19 am |
        • skytag

          If you think the universe is screaming at you you're delusional. Feel free to present some of your evidence.

          July 18, 2013 at 3:01 am |
      • Greygower

        Religion is for weak-minded people who are incapable of reasoning. It provides them with easy answers to the unanswerable and makes them feel special because they are included in the Magic Fairy Club of Faith. They pretend to have a relationship with God, but they are just deluded children. To live in the modern world of science and sill revere a 2,000 year old book as anything but a best-selling fantasy is just plain crazy.

        July 18, 2013 at 1:55 am |
    • skytag

      Why should I spend any time or expend any effort seeking something I see no reason to believe exists? Do you spend much time seeking leprechauns or Santa Claus?

      July 18, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • cedar rapids

      'We are temporary visitors in a world created by a Zealous God'

      why? whats the point? why would a god create this world and everything on it? I mean at least the norse had the heroes gathering for the final battle of the gods but today's deities seem to have no reason for the system.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  16. Tom Wilson

    A little Bible Study here...

    Jesus is quoted many times in the Bible saying that a believer can ask for anything through prayer and receive it. He even goes so far as to say that mountains and trees can be thrown into the sea simply by praying for it. This is clearly a lie, and can be proven to be a lie by any believer. Simply pray for me to be converted to Christianity right away. Or better yet ask God to move the mountains behind my house. He could make a lot of converts that way. If I’m converted today, I’ll post a public apology on my web site and devote my life to kissing God’s ass. If I’m not converted it would only be fair for you to apologize and devote your life to kissing my butt.

    Here are the quotes from Jesus that proves that he lied:

    1) And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (Matthew 21:21-22 NAS)

    2) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 NAB)

    3) Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:19-20 NAS)

    4) Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. (Mark 11:24-25 NAB)

    5) And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-13 NAB)

    6) And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NAB)

    7) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 NAB)

    8) It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. (John 15:16 NAB)

    9) On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. (John 16:23-24 NAB)

    A lot of Christians ignore what Jesus actually says in the Bible. They also tend to add things to the actual words to make them say something else. If you honestly and truthfully read these quotes, without adding to them, it is very easy to see that Jesus is not saying that God will think about your prayers. He says God will grant all your prayers. Clearly, God doesn’t grant all prayers and this proves that Jesus was a habitual liar.

    July 18, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • mdsmithson

      I will pray that you continue to seek the truth, and have faith when your mind fails to understand HIS Glory.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:20 am |
      • skytag

        Another one of the brainwashed chimes in.

        July 18, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Athy

      Did Jeebus ever say anything that was quoted directly in the babble? Did Jeebus ever say anything that was quoted anywhere? Did Jeebus ever say anything? Do we have recordings? Film clips maybe? Signed statements? A collection of lost notes?

      July 18, 2013 at 1:23 am |
      • richard

        You can find anything on youtube.....except for sightings of any deity.

        July 18, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • faith

      excellent stuff bro. that's y i bolted, man. god did not do what i told him at least 57,500 times. (i kept a prayer journal.)

      i was praying for good stuff, too, like asking him to reveal to my neighbor's wife y she's be happier with yours truly.

      the thing i dislike more than anything about gawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwd is this. the more i yielded (i got tired out) what i deserved to get in prayer and what i was demanding of the big guy for my future, the less i cared. and the more he refused to obey me, the more he would make me like him (as he is in his heart). talk about betrayal! made me nicer, more helpful, more patient, u no, all that puke. disgusting and vile.

      don't worry about god answering your prayers. we don't come close to meeting his conditions. but, if you want to move a mountain, i'll lend u the shovel he gave me

      god speed john glen

      July 18, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      How many times a day do you feel the need to post this circular nonsense? The bible is not proof of anything.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:41 am |
    • Skeptimist

      Objectively, those scriptures do seem, uh...counter-intuitive?
      But so too are Relativity and Quantum Physics to name just
      a few of the things that mystify most of us..
      Could it be that Jesus had the handle on the Multiverse and
      science has only begun to start catching up?

      Let us continue having fun with our brains,
      remaining ever mindful of Hamlet's advice:
      "And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
      There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

      Now, my personal quibble with the "approved" scriptures is that they
      omit any acknowledgement of the Divine Sense of Humor.
      No damn wonder we take ourselves so seriously.
      I compensate by contemplating the delightful Ho Tai,
      also (mistakenly) known as the "Laughing Buddha".
      He now sends me off to peaceful sleep each night, singing
      the old favorite, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".

      July 18, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  17. Phelix Unger

    This is for those who believe or don't believe. Remember to look up. For those who aren't sure, you guys and gals look up as well. Why you might say should we all be looking up?
    Well, were already here.

    July 18, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Athy

      Look up? How do you know it's up?

      July 18, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • lol??

      Run to your window, fling it open, and scream, "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!!"

      July 18, 2013 at 1:12 am |
  18. Cute...

    "They like debating and arguing, particularly on popular Internet sites.


    Mod -1 Flamebait.

    July 18, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  19. Greygower

    There are as many types of religions as there are people who claim to be religious. No two people think exactly the same way about religion and neither do any two atheists think alike. There may be categories though.

    July 18, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  20. Kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    July 18, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Observer


      "The world denounces truth...."

      Nope. Only liars.

      July 18, 2013 at 12:39 am |
      • Kindness

        Read slower.
        Trust self, and lose all; trust God, and win all.
        I pray you observe whats needed for you to win all.

        July 18, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Athy

      Well, heck, Kindness. Why give us the short version of your sermon? Let it all hang out. Give us the unabridged version.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • JimK57

      Follow your truth and do not let anyone change your direction.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:14 am |
      • Athy

        Your truth ain't my truth. One is false. I'll take mine. Bring on the fire and brimstone.

        July 18, 2013 at 1:26 am |
        • Kindness

          I will pray for you anyways. I used to feel the same way once. Im happy now . I tell the truth to you.

          July 18, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • Athy

          Please don't waste your time praying for me. I don't need it, and it won't make a difference. Besides, how would your god even know who I am? You religies never fail to amaze me with your childish nonsense.

          July 18, 2013 at 1:37 am |
        • skytag

          "Im happy now"

          Kindness, I don't doubt for one second that you're happier now, but it's not because you've found "the truth." It's because you've embraced a comforting fairytale that wipes away all the unpleasant realities of life.

          No death, no injustice, no permanent separation from loved ones who die, an all powerful friend to protect you and make your life better, what's not to like? How could you not be happier believing this fairytale? But it doesn't have to be true to make you happier, you just have to be willing to believe it.

          July 18, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      I'm trying to remember what handle you used to use to post this.

      July 18, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • skytag

      What a load of religious babbling. Absolutely none of it is based on any facts or evidence.

      July 18, 2013 at 7:27 am |
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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.