home
RSS
July 18th, 2013
03:14 PM ET

`Six Types of Atheists' study wakes a sleeping giant

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - They were trying to prove a simple point: That nonbelievers are a bigger and more diverse group than previously imagined.

"We sort of woke a sleeping giant," says Christopher F. Silver, a researcher at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. "We're a bit overwhelmed actually."

Silver and his project manager, Thomas Coleman, recently released a study proposing six different types of nonbelievers - from strident atheists to people who observe religious rituals while doubting the divine.

The study clearly struck a chord, particularly among triumphal atheists and uneasy believers. Articles appeared in in Polish, German, Russian and Portuguese, Silver said.

Here on CNN.com, our story "Behold, the Six Types of Atheists" garnered about 3.14 gazillion hits and thousands of comments.

Half the fun seemed to lie in atheists applying the categories to themselves, kind of like a personality test.

"I guess I'm a 1-2-4 atheist," ran a typical comment.

Other commenters questioned the study's categories, methods, and even the religious beliefs of its authors.

Silver and Coleman agreed to answer our readers' questions via email from Tennessee. Some of their answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q: Several readers asked how you came up with your six categories of atheists? 

A: In a sense we let the participants inform our theory.

The categories were devised from a series of 59 interviews conducted with people nationwide who don’t believe in God. Participants were asked to define various terms of nonbelief as well as their own religious views.

We also asked participants to tell us their stories and how their religious views have changed over time. We found the most commonly repeated stories and descriptions and formed them into types.

We then used those types in the survey portion of the project. Each of the six categories proved to be statistically unique in a wide array of psychological measures.

Q: @PaulTK asks: Are atheists limited to the six categories your study proposes?

A:  We suspect that further research exploring people who don't believe in God will certainly expand the number of categories and fill in more details about the six we've named.

For example, we found that the Intellectual Academic Atheist type may produce a 7th type reflecting those who are more "philosophically orientated" versus those who are more "scientifically orientated."

Our study also gives some evidence that individuals may not believe in God but still identify with religion or spirituality in some way.

Q: @JessBertapelle asks: Can people fit into more than one category? 

A: The typology of nonbelief is fluid. Based on our interviews, we suspect people transverse the various types over the course of their lives. Since we did not conduct a longitudinal design (a study conducted over time tracking the same people) we are unable to validate this assumption.

For those of you who found yourselves agreeing with multiple positions, you may find characteristics that you identify with in all types but there is likely one type which is your preference.

Q: @Melissa asks: Why isn't there a category for "closet atheists"? 

A: This is an excellent question. Many of our interviews were done in strict confidence where the participant’s own parents, spouses, or children had no idea they were participating in the study. One participant hid in the back of her closet because she did not want her parents to discover she is an atheist.

But while there were plenty of “closeted” participants, they didn't agree in how they describe their religious views. That is, they ranged across a variety of our six types.

Q: stew4248 asks: How is this any different than religious divisiveness?

A:  There is vast diversity among religious believers, but it's unclear if such diversity exists within nonbelief.

We do know that the Antitheist category has much in common with religious fundamentalism. Likewise the Intellectual atheism/Agnosticism type has a lot in common with intellectual theology, although they are clearly not the same.

Q: How did you find the participants for the study?

Participants were recruited through nonbelief communities across the country. They were recruited face-to-face, through snowball sampling (participants sharing the study with friends), and through the Internet.

Project manager Thomas J. Coleman III is well known in the atheist community because he is suing the Hamilton County (Tennessee) Commission for their involvement in divisive sectarian prayer at meetings. His reputation helped locate “closeted” atheists to participate.

The regional breakdown of participants is presented on the project website.

Q:  A number of readers have also asked about your own religious affiliations, if you don't mind. 

Christopher F. Silver answers:

I was born and raised in the rural South to a deeply religious Methodist family. In my hometown everyone was Christian.  As was the case for many in our study, during college I was introduced to people from different cultures and ideologies. I was interested in studying different faith traditions and why people believe.

In many respects, research for this was a selfish enterprise for me. There is nothing more transformative than sitting with someone as they share their life story with you. Today I consider myself an agnostic in the real philosophical sense. The more I learn, the more I recognize the extensiveness of my ignorance.

Thomas J Coleman III answers:

My mother has been active in the Methodist church as a choir member and pianist for most of her life. My grandparents were very active in the church and went every Sunday. Growing up, I would often go as well.

But for me, “religion” was always something that other people did. I prefer to identify as a secular humanist.

Silver and Coleman would like to point out that their study was supported and conducted in collaboration with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Department of Psychology and the Doctorate in Learning and Leadership

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Faith • Nones

soundoff (4,594 Responses)
  1. eqgold

    Not the nicest God. More of a mean God really. Oh wait, it's a fantasy God. Never mind.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • justageeker

      Not a fantasy. A theory. Like the theory of evolution or the big bang theory. All theories and each is equally amazing and at the same time hard to believe.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • the tooth fairy

        Would Santa Claus be considered a theory also? We've all heard of him, but none of us have actually seen him.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • justageeker

          Come on. We're talking about our origins not a known story. We do not know our origins so who's to say who is right or wrong?

          July 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        Wrong – a theory can be tested.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • justageeker

          How exactly was the big bang 'theory' tested? As far as I know they are still trying to 'test' with colliders but haven't come to any conclusions one way or the other.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          The theory makes predictions that can be tested.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • justageeker

          That's not a very good answer. A believer will tell you the same thing. That you'll know for sure when you die. That's the ultimate test.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • ME II

        You are confusing to definitions of "theory".
        1) the colloquial usage:
        a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation
        b : an unproved assumption : conjecture

        2) the scientific usage:
        a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena

        July 19, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • ME II

          "two definitions" not "to definitions"

          July 19, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • justageeker

          I'm not confusing them. Believing in any theory of where we came from is plausible since we simply do not know for sure.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • ME II

          @justageeker,
          plau·si·ble
          Adjective
          (of an argument or statement) Seeming reasonable or probable.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • justageeker

          @ME II – So do you think it is reasonable or probable that all you see around us appeared from nothing as the leading scientific theory suggests? Maybe we did but it sure is hard to believe and certainly not something that can be proven beyond a doubt or it wouldn't be a theory anymore...it would be a fact.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • ME II

          @justageeker,
          1) I don't think there is an accepted scientific theory of the origin of the universe, yet.
          2) "I don't know" is a rational response to such questions.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • justageeker

          That's my point. I'm willing to say I don't know which means I cannot say for sure who is wrong and who is right. Unlike the trolls who rail on believers a believers who rail on non believers.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • ME II

          @justageeker,
          "I'm willing to say I don't know which means I cannot say for sure who is wrong and who is right. Unlike the trolls who rail on believers a believers who rail on non believers."

          While I commend the sentiment of 'no one knows for certain', that did not appear to be your point at all.

          "[God is] Not a fantasy. A theory. Like the theory of evolution or the big bang theory."

          Equating the concept of "God" with well-substantiated and tested scientific theories is just inaccurate.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • justageeker

          @ME II – And I would argue it is valid simply because the big bang theory has not been proven without a doubt to be true. Perhaps one day but not today.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • ME II

          @justageeker,
          1) Science does not deal is certainty nor "proof".
          2) Science does not deal in the supernatural.
          3) If you equate .01% probability with 99.99% probability, since neither is 100% certain, then I'd like to play poker with you some time.

          Apologies for the wiki/pasta:
          "The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that describes the early development of the Universe.[1]"

          This model makes predictions that can be tested which include, among other things, the CMB radiation and the receding in all directions of all distant celestial objects, both of which are verifiable and the tests for which are repeatable.

          While this evidence does not make the Big Bang model a certainty, it does make it much more likely than any other model of "the early development of the universe" that has been suggested.

          If you disagree, please present your evidence or cite your sources.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • justageeker

          @ME II – Discussing odds is another subject for another day and as far as poker goes I'll play anyone any time or any amount my bankroll can afford 🙂 I do play the odds there and not try to donk my way to a win with some one outer on the river!

          We're drifting away from the intent of my original post which is simply to say that no matter how hard it is to believe in however it is a person chooses to believe we got here, we are here. I find it simply amazing and refuse to dog on anyone for their beliefs just because I can't fathom their explanation of how we got here when no one knows for sure.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • ME II

          @justageeker,
          Your original point seemed to equate belief with scientific theories. I maintain that such an comparison is not in any way correct.

          Believe what you like, but don't equate such beliefs with valid, tested, scientific theories.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • justageeker

          @ME II – I don't equate ALL beliefs with ALL scientific theories. Just the one of were we created by a God or did we arrive here from nothingness? I equate just those two as equally unbelievable and amazing theories...as far as this discussion goes.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • ME II

          I am unaware of any scientific theories that claim "we arrive here from nothingness"
          There is speculation and hypotheses on the ultimate origin of this universe, but I know of no accepted scientific theory that answers that question.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • justageeker

          @ME II – From Hawking and his grand design..."Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist". And..."Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing". Those are his attempt to explain how the big bang could even start from singularity. Probably the most widely known theory as well.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • ME II

          Hawking's idea has not been tested much less accepted as a scientific theory. He may be right, but he may be wrong. Unlike the actual theory/model you originally mentioned Evolution and Big Bang, which are well substantiated.

          July 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  2. Knuckles Nuclear

    Dr. Andrew Newberg a neurobiologist has done research and study that shows that the inclination for spiritual belief is literally hard-wired into the human brain. From a scientific viewpoint this might have provided an evolutionary advantage. But it also shows that just as we have other "non-rational" (not necessarily irrational) behaviors such as love, the desire to work cooperatively, art, and music, this is just another thing that people have as part of their personality.

    I know you can list tons of atrocities done throughout history because of religion but you can also list the same amount done from so-called acts of love. But we can't take that out of people either.

    It's only human.

    You can google for more info on Newberg . There are various articles, interviews, and videos online, and a couple of books he's written on the subject.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • William Demuth

      So is murder, reproductive predation, lying, and we even have some indications cannibalism is.

      All we are asking is that people evolve, and leave our primitive natures in the past

      July 19, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • Knuckles Nuclear

        Murder, reproductive predation (had to look that up!), lying and cannibalism are behaviors a human being can and does do. But they are not actually part of the brain's structure. I can obsessively get up and constantly flush my toilet but there are no nerves or connections created through evolution to give a strong inclination to do that.

        You can argue and fight with people about their particular beliefs and find them either antiquated or irrational. Individually, a person can decide not to have spiritual beliefs just like they can choose never to love, but you will never get the vast majority of humanity to be atheist. We just aren't designed for it.

        July 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  3. Jason

    We're ALL athiests. Who here worships the Sun or Mountain Gods? We're ALL athiests to one God or another.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      But everybody knows that Quetzlcoatl is real.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Kev

      Okay, so you have atheists who are also theists?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • William Demuth

      Jason

      Atheism is to refute ALL Gods

      One can not be a partial Atheist, unless we create a Metrotheist category

      July 19, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Jason

        I'm just loosely quoting Richard Dawkins.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      "I worship the sun, but I pray to Joe Pesci."

      George Carlin

      July 19, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        'Cause Joe seems to be a person that can get things done.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Philip

      "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."...Stephen F Roberts

      July 19, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  4. Keith VanZandt

    If any christian can answer this question without any double speak then I will believe. Why if 'god' knows everything that has happened and everything that is going to happen is 'he' going through the rigamorole of pretending you have FREE WILL. In my understanding if you know the outcome of something that makes it preordained. If it's preordained then you can't change it therefore there is no free will. Bring it.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Right on Keith. Christians call god Alpha and Omega...beginning and end. So where did free-agency go?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • bostontola

      Keith,
      As an atheist, I don't think pre-knowledge of the future affects free will. If I look backward in time and know the choices you made, I know them but didn't affect them. If god knows what will happen but doesn't intervene, then I think it's still free will.

      That said, I don't believe in god or free will, so its just a hypothetical discussion.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Hello

        I find your rejection of god encouraging, but your rejection of free will intriguing and potentially troubling.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Russ

      @ Keith: if you're serious, there's been tons written on this stuff. one of the most famous essays is Martin Luther's "Bondage of the Will." Check it out.

      And note: the biblical definition of freedom is obedience (sin is slavery), not the American definition (either option is ok).
      along those lines, even Sartre recognized that suicide was not a faithful "freedom."
      but that's the underlying question, isn't it? upon what basis do you define being truly 'free'?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • justageeker

      I don't know the answer but from what I understand if someone or something knows everything then they know all paths possible so perhaps that's the answer. People are free to choose the paths they take but a God knows all paths? I don't know.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Vic

      That is illogical.

      God knows what man did, does and will do because He is Omniscient but He DOES NOT predestine/cause man to do what man does. Man chooses to do what he does by his "Free Will" which God gave/gives him.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:33 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Explain how divine omniscience and human free-will are not mutually exclusive.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • Vic

          I already did!

          Only Predestination and Free Will are mutually exclusive!

          You don't choose who you are and what you look like, for example, that's Predestination, but you choose what you do, that's Free Will, which God DOES NOT interfere with (gives and honors,) even though He foreknows everything!

          July 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          If a god were to know everything it would know your choices so that is not free-will.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • justageeker

          @In Santa we trust – So if I give you a choice to choose the number 1 or the number 2 you don't have free will? I know for sure you will choose one of them or not make a choice at all which is still a choice. And if you choose randomly then 33% of the time if I say you will choose number 1 I will be right so did I alter your free will in some way because I chose correctly hen? Even if I somehow 'know' for sure what you'll pick each and every time how dos that alter your free will exactly?

          July 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • ODD BALL

      You question brings up a few points there keith. 1. IF you truely believe in no god and u embrace the atheist idea to heart, then WHY DO U WANT TO KNOW? 2. Did you come on this forum to bash those who believe different or did u have a real agenda....cheers!

      July 19, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @bostontola...dang you are argumentative. Why not pick a side and stick with it? You're just one of those contrary people that argue silly semantics and annoy the h*ll out of people that are actually trying to say something. LOL!

      July 19, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • bostontola

        No harm intended, just stating my perspective like everyone else. I appreciate many of your points.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • JimK57

      Interesting question keith. Do animals have free will? I can predict my pet's reaction, does that mean she lacks free will?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • jim

      If you love something set it free and it comes back to you then it loves you too. Yes he knew the result and made a plan to reunite us with him through His son. There is a great book called the bible that tells all about it. By making a statement like this shows ignorance on the topic and an opinion based on hearsay.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Logic led me to atheism

        "an opinion based on hearsay" an a response from "jim" based on arrogance

        July 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Keith: here's a link to another famous piece on it (w/ free study guides):

      Jonathan Edwards "Freedom of the Will" (of which Princeton ethics professor Charles Ramsey said: “This book alone is sufficient to establish its author as the greatest philosopher-theologian yet to grace the American scene.”)

      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/07/19/free-study-guides-for-understanding-jonathan-edwards-freedom-of-the-will/

      Again, if you're serious with your question, why not read the experts?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Kev

      You mean like when a parent who knows their teenager real well and would know what the outcome would be if their child makes certain bad choices, but decides not to stop the teenager from making those choices, perhaps as means to teach that teenager a lesson. Does that decision not to intervene take away the accountability of that teenager? To paraphrase Stan Lee "With great power (i.e. free will) comes great responsibility".

      July 19, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Jay

      Keith,
      Some people misunderstand the fact that when the Bible speaks about "the beginning" as in Genesis, they think is referred to as the beginning of God. God is self existent. The 'beginning period' is related to the creation period and the beginning or creation of man. As for the Alpha and Omega, think of it as God saying to man, I am everything, I am life, from the beginning of your creation to the end of your existence. Of course there is more than that to it. Is just simply faith. Is not just a simple belief as of believing on the Easter bunny or the unicorns. Faith is knowledge of Him that created you. The more you know Him, the more you believe in Him. But everything starts with the simple notion of I believe that you exist, and I am created by Him. He will show you and guide you the rest of the way until you get to "know / believe " who the Alpha and the Omega is.
      When a father is teaching a kid on how to ride a bike, he helps him get on the bike. Pushes him, holds him and then he lets go of him but he never takes his eyes of from his kid. He has never taken his eyes away from you Keith. He is forever watching but ready to pick you up if you stumble on your bike and even if you fall, he is quick to run after you and pick you up. Just trust Him.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:56 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        You have no evidence of a god, no evidence that a god created the universe. If a god can be "self-existant" why can't a universe?

        July 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  5. alloy555

    Some one posted Hitler was a Christian. UM NO. Read the biography of Bonhoffer on the New York's best selling list. Hitler hid behind it to pacify his agenda, actually the Confessing Church fought it, and many were executed.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Hitler "hid behind it?" I mean, when someone hides, how do you know they are hiding if they aren't caught. Did someone point to him, while he was alive and say, "oh look! He's hiding behind christianity, but he's not really a christian!" Just because a book is published doesn't mean that it's an absolute fact. Take the bible for example...

      July 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Doobs

      Oh, please. The RCC at best looked the other way.

      Keep trying to rewrite history though.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Lawrence

      If Hitler wasn't a Christian, why was he so obsessed with eliminating Jews, the perpetual Christian bogeymen?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • Philip

        Good point!

        July 19, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • skytag

        Obviously you haven't studied the history of that period in German history or you wouldn't be putting forth such an idiotic argument.

        July 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • Ben

          Lawrence was right when he said "perpetual" Christian bogeymen, and not only specific to Hitler's Nazi Germany.

          July 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • bostontola

      When Hitler bombed Guernica, the RCC abandoned the Spanish people, who more than any other defended the church. Cowardice and self preservation. There are still many in Spain who loathe the RCC for that.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Peter

      It is totally possible that Hitler pretended to be a Christian in order to get the millions of Christians in Germany at the time to go to war. However, in the end you still have millions of German Christians running around Europe trying to kill all of the Jews.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • JimK57

      Even if he claimed to be a christian, does it matter? We should judge people by their actions not their belief systems.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Janica

      Um, no. It's well documented that Hitler was Catholic.

      “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of
      the Almighty Creator.”

      [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]

      Gott Mit Uns
      God is with us
      (On Nazi belts)

      Nice try.
      Perhaps when jerky people stop trying to conflate Hitler with why atheism is bad, people will just let that monster go. But it was idiotic posts that are flat out lying like "The Doctor" below that keep bringing Hitler up, and lying for Jesus is breaking the 9th Commandment.

      Many more publications out there. Form your opinion from many books, not just one. And that included the Bible.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      Seriously? Hitler was a Christian and that is an undeniable fact. Just because Christianity in the United States threw him under the bus and claimed he was evil doesn't mean he wasn't Christian.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • lol??

        The Kennedy and Bush clans didn't have many problems with Hitler. Holywoodians, either. Saying he was a Christian is way over the top, if you know anything about fruit, fruitcakes.

        July 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        lol?? he was a definitive Christian no matter what revisionist history book you look at. You should actually get your head out of the Bible once in a while.

        July 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  6. William Demuth

    Curious, so I want to ask a question.

    Once we find Alien life, do the religious make up stuff to justify it, or do they just admit they were foolish all along?

    July 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • NorthVanCan

      That's easy. Make up stuff of course. That's what they are good at.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • lanceburch

        Why would alien life eliminate the possibility of a god?

        July 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Colin

          It won't, but it makes their Bronze Age Bible even more parochial. Once again, the failure to eliminate the possibility of something is not evidence of its existence.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Jason

          Because God created man in his own image. If another intelligent species were to be found, it would turn religion upside down. Read about the Vatican views on ET life.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • louis

      How would the existence of ALiens disprove God?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • skytag

      I don't know, but it will be fun to watch them try to convert aliens to Christianity.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • louis

        We may not have to as this alie race may not have fallen as the human race did or God provided them another means of salvation

        July 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • skytag

          I guess that means we were an early, failed effort by God, and he had more success on some other planet.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • jesus christ

          louis get off the internet . go to church.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • lol??

        Jesus died ONCE in human form. That negates any hope of salvation for aliens. If they exist, which I don't believe, they won't be friendlies. They be jealous. Or hungry.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Livingontheedge

        Per "skytag":
        "I don't know, but it will be fun to watch them try to convert aliens to Christianity"

        Maybe the aliens will have fun trying to convert you to Christianity".

        July 19, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • William Demuth

          I hear Christians taste like chicken?

          July 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Colin

      Well William, based on how they reacted to evolution, abiogenesis, modern cosmology and every other advance of knowledge sich Bronze Age Palestine, what do you think? Just look at the asinine comment from "vic" below. For so long as they buy into the argument science cannot explain X, therefore the Judeo-Christian god exists, there will always be an unflipped rock for their god to hide under.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • lol??

        Colin, where did you come up with Judeo-Christian?? Shotgun wedding?? Forced matrimony?? Unfaithful couplings??

        July 19, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • lol

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judeo-Christian

          July 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • eqgold

      Make up stuff of course. When you live in a fantasy world, it's easy to make up whatever story you need when things change. No problem!

      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • JimK57

      Does not change my belief in a creator and an afterlife one bit.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Kev

      That would depend on what religion you are referring to since not all religions believe the same thing when it comes to life on other worlds or even sentient life on other worlds, and perchance if that sentient life out there is human or even humanoid, it may even verify those beliefs. After all how is the proof of highly intelligent life in the form of whales, ravens, octopi, or other primates put an end to religion here on earth?

      July 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  7. louis

    Two points. 1. I keep reading comments from people asking for scientific evidence for God's existence. If God is the creator of all things then he also created "scientific evidence" and would not be adequate to explain or even show God. The atheist is assuming science comes before God and should be sufficient in itself to capture God. But it is really the otGr way around; God created everything and science is dependent on him. Science exists because he keeps it and everything in continued existence. Think about it. 2. The saying "there are no atheists in foxholes" exists for a reason; namely because it is moste

    July 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Reality

      Why would your god allow the following:

      Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

      1. 300,000,000 approx.
      Smallpox

      2. 200,000,000 ?
      Measles

      3. 100,000,000 approx.
      Black Death

      4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
      Malaria

      5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
      Spanish Flu

      6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
      Plague of Justinian

      7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
      Tuberculosis

      8. 30,000,000[13]
      AIDS pandemic

      9. 12,000,000 ?
      Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

      10. 5,000,000
      Antonine Plague

      11. 4,000,000
      Asian Flu

      12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

      July 19, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • louis

        So because people die then there is no God? That makes no sense. Also christians believe in the afterlife. Try again

        July 19, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Based on the biblically-stated preference for its chosen people wouldn't an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent god be able to protect said chosen people; or maybe chosen not to create the viruses and bacteria that cause these problems?

          July 19, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • sam stone

          if christians believe in an afterlife, why are they so determined to stay here? Should they not be offing themselves left and right to go see their savior?

          July 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Reality

          Obviously, your god is not merciful or benevolent !!!

          July 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • Gurgyl

        Population control.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • rabidbunny

        population control.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Agnostickids

      First of all, your typos are appearing in odd places with odd timing.

      Second, how do you know there aren't Atheists in fox holes? Do you have your finger on the pulse of the entire world?

      Third, where on earth do you get that god created science? So he um...decided to wait until just a couple hundred years ago to improve the living conditions of people in the developing world? What about people in the non developed world...why don't they have science to help them?

      Please think before you write. If you are able to think.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • louis

        Sorry about the typos. I was trying to type this on a Kindle and it wasn't going to well.

        I'm not saying that all Atheists turn to God in dire straights. Obviously, many people die defying God. I'm just saying that most people that claim not to believe, probably second guess at the end.

        When I say God created "science", I don't mean that God created the term "science" on a specific date in time. I mean that he created all of the physical universe and the laws that govern it thereby making the ability to measure and speculate about the natural universe (Science) possible. It's like the creation trying to validate and prove its creator.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • aldewacs

          "Obviously, many people die defying God. "
          That statement SOOO exposes your bias – ie "there IS a god to defy".
          I know that this is hard for a bible whacker to grasp, but Atheists don't even give a second's thought to any of the thousands of advertized sky fairies. It/he/she just doesn't register. They have long ago explored that possibility (often at the behest of annoying religious prodding) and discarded it as a waste of time.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • aldewacs

          "Obviously, many people die defying God. "
          That statement SOOO exposes your bias – ie "there IS a god to defy"...
          I know that this is hard for a bible whacker to grasp, but Atheists don't even give a second's thought to any of the thousands of advertized sky fairies. It/he/she just doesn't register. They have long ago explored that possibility (often at the behest of annoying religious prodding) and discarded it as a waste of time.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • aldewacs

          Aaarhhh this darn button ...

          July 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • skytag

      More fact-free religious mumbo jumbo, yet another desperate attempt to rationalize the fact that there's no evidence of any kind whatsoever to support what you believe about God.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • skytag

      "The saying "there are no atheists in foxholes" exists for a reason"

      And here it is: Nothing motivates people to believe in a God more than a need to deny unpleasant realities. There are few places where this is more true than foxholes. Here's another saying: "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." For all their claims about the power of God and answering prayer, every believer in battle puts his faith in his fellow soldiers, weapons, and ammunition when his life is on the line.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Peter

        That saying exists because some moron made it up, and for no other reason than that.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  8. NorthVanCan

    I like Santa more than God.
    At least Santa gives you stuff.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Doobs

      The christian god is like the aunt who gives you underwear as a gift.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yeah, that's atheism. The worship of stuff.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • Doobs

        Hello, liar.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Atheist believe only in the natural, the "evident", that which can be measured. This is sometimes called secular materialism. AS George Carlin might put it "stuff". So it makes perfect sense that you would put more faith in Santa because he brings you "stuff" rather than God who is the giver of life.

        July 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • Which God?

          @ Dill Beacon. My parents gave me life, god didn't. You aren't much more than a sloppy apologist for your religion and faith

          July 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Doobs

          I see that you are still a liar and a coward, Bill.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • sam stone

        yep, that's it, the worship of stuff

        July 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  9. louis

    Two points. 1. I keep reading comments from people asking for scientific evidence for God's existence. If God is the creator of all things then he also created "scientific evidence" and would not be adequate to explain or even show God. The atheist is assuming science comes before God and should be sufficient in itself to capture God. But it is really the otGr way around; God created everything and science is dependent on him. Science exists because he keeps it and everything in continued existenc Think about it. 2. The saying "there are no atheists in foxholes" exists for a reason; namely because it is moste

    July 19, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Illusive

      1. Circular logic (Prove god logically, without fallacies, and that would be good as well), science is observations and discovery, and as far as observed and discovered, god has yet to be the answer for...ANYTHING.
      2. Obviously you don't do your research, there are thousands of atheists in foxholes, many armed service members actually have "Atheist/ FSM" on their tags.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • jesus christ

      you're confused

      July 19, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      http://militaryatheists.org/atheists-in-foxholes/

      July 19, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  10. Vic

    Until someone can create a single bit of matter and a single living cell, out of nothing, the onus/burden of proof is on atheists!

    July 19, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • bostontola

      It happens all the time, that's how black holes radiate. Read up on it.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • William Demuth

      Ah, so things exist, which clearly indicates a Transgendered Frankengod cobbled together from the corpses of dead Gods by Bronze Age simpletons created it all?

      Logic seems perfect to me, if I suspend all reason and conduct myself as a sheep

      Alas, I wont.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Once again, atheism is a negative statement that describes only what one does NOT believe.
      Saying that I don't believe in gods doesn't mean that I believe in the big bang theory or that I've a hypothesis about abiogenesis.

      There is a Chinese creation myth that says the ancestors of mankind were the fleas and lice on the body of the God Pan Gu.
      In the beginning, Pan Gu escaped from the great universal egg by cracking it open with a broadaxe. The light part of the yolk floated up and became the heavens while the cold, hard part stayed below to form earth with Pan Gu standing between them like a pillar to keep the separated. When He died, His breath became the wind and clouds, His voice thunder, His eyes the sun and the moon, his beard and hair turned to the stars in the sky, His blood the water. His veins became roads and his muscles fertile land.

      If you must invoke a supernatural agent, your explanation is myth.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Can you show that God can do it? All current life comes from other life, as with current science making life by using the building blocks that already exist.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Wraith

      Um, no. Just because it cannot be done with current technology does not mean it cannot be done. Just because something escapes our understanding, it does not automatically mean, "god did it."

      July 19, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • louis

        you miss the point. You would have to do it with NO "technology". You would have to do it with Nothing.

        July 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • EPaul

      Congratulations – you've managed to post the most ridiculously hypocritical statement of the year while accidentally disproving your own belief in the process. Saying that one thing (humans) will never be able to create what YOU consider life from nothing is contradiction to invention something more complex that can. You religious people will never get that a paradox is not a valid hypothesis to any experiment/question!

      July 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • EPaul

        *inventing

        July 19, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • louis

        Not sure why this would be a contradiction; acknowleding something outside of space and time able to create something from nothing. Also, you are assuming that I am "inventing" God. That is a big assumption on your part since you nor anyone has ever provided evedince that God does not exist, and spare me the argument that the burden of proof lies with the believer because both sides are making a definative claim.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • t2vodka

      Why? I mean, if you ask me, no one is responsable for what you believe but you. It is on you to figure out what you are going to believe. I'm came to my conclusions through my own research and my own thought process. That is why when people ask me if they should be an athiest I just say, " well, that is something you will have to figure out on your own."

      July 19, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • skytag

      It's just one dumb thing after another with you, isn't it?

      For millennia disease was blamed on evil spirits because science hadn't yet identified the real cause is bacteria and viruses. The inability of science to explain something is not proof "God" is the answer.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Illusive

      Shifting the burden of proof....that's a logical fallacy. People saying "God exists" have the burden of proof, people saying "I don't believe you" don't.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Odds

      I'm afraid not, Vic. The burden of proof always rests upon the positive. It can never be otherwise because, by definition, there can be no proof of a negative. The "proof", in the case of the negative, is the complete lack of evidence in support of the positive assumption.

      And be careful the conditions you place upon belief, Vic. If science does eventually create artificial organic life (an increasingly likely scenario!), you'll have to do some serious backpedaling to justify your continued belief. Better if your conditions hinge upon proof of God rather than proof that God's omnipotent powers aren't so omnipotent after all! Keep searching! I believe I've heard it was Albert Einstein who said "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right, but a single experiment can prove me wrong." Find empirical evidence of God and you'll have made at least one believer, I can assure you!

      July 19, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      You have no basis for your delusion.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  11. Aeneas

    I suspect most Americans are Deists....which in and of itself carries several variations The short list is strict Deist; no involvement by God in daily things (wind the clock and let it tick down), Christian Deist; believeing in the goodness of Jesus Christ and following his ways, but not acknowleding his divinity (same could be said for any number of historical figures), and those Deists who believe God does intervene on occasion in the world.
    Personally, I am convinced there is a God, and that any man who tries to tell you what he thinks (modern), is trying to sell you something.
    In the end, we will all know with certainty.
    In the meantime, try to do things that help life, and not tear it down.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • bostontola

      There are many deists but not most. Many of the founding fathers were deists. Most Americans are Christian, very far from deists.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • William Demuth

      Um, a minor correction

      If I am correct, no one who is dead will ever know anything.

      When the end comes, it is indeed the end.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • jesus christ

      thank you

      July 19, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  12. tom

    formula for the chances of a constructive discussion about God:

    Each of these are factors or stumbling blocks that gum up any discussion about religion. Tally the number of positions on each topic, multiply them together and divide 1 by that number. Those are the odds that any two parties will come to some sort of agreement in a discussion about God.

    your God vs my God: Are you talking about God as defined by (insert name of religious text here) or more generically as the one "creator" (for lack of a better word)? Is God anthropomorphic –large man with a white beard floating in a cloud or is he/she/it more abstract, like "the Force". Does he really get jealous? Does he have moods? Or is he more magnanimous –treating all equally. Is your understanding of God complete or a work in progress? How much more advanced is God than man? –like a ant to a human? –infinitely so? What is the ant's capacity for comprehending a human?

    subjectivism vs objectivism: Unless you are infallible, you must agree that your perception of reality is but a model, and your model may not agree with the next guy's model. And then there is objective reality beneath it all, the existence of which most (but not all) accept. (See The Matrix.) Do you believe that just because you cannot sense something, that means it is not real? Does God "live" in the subjective world or the objective? Neither? Both? Is the subjective world less real than the objective world?

    literal vs metaphoric: Do you take the hard line that your religious text is literally true or do you interpret it as metaphor? Was the universe created in seven days? How many hours were there in a day back then? Is the creation story in Genesis a metaphor for the Big Bang? Are there any inconsistencies in your religious text? Can a religious text have inconsistencies and yet be divinely inspired?

    religious experience vs egotistic fantasy: Have you ever had a religious experience? Has Pat Robertson ever had a religious experience? Have any of the pedophilic Catholic priests in the news ever had a religious experience? Is there any way to know whose religious experience was real and whose was an egotistic fantasy?

    personal qualifications: Has your mettle ever been tested? Do you have any scars on your face? Has the pain you've experienced in life been mostly real or imagined? Would your friends describe you as grizzled?, a hot house flower? Are you 11 or 72? Have you been privileged all your life? Ever went hungry? Been married, had children? Do you attend equestrian events or clean toilets on the weekends? Are you closer spiritually to PeeWee Herman or the Dali Lama? What is your capacity for critical thinking? Do you question your understanding at all or just let your minister tell you what to think? Has your former religion hurt you in some way? Are you being emotional or objective?

    relevance: Given the sheer scale of the universe, does what I think even matter? Given the awful posting tools and reviewing tools here, how quickly this article will grow cold, and the probability that only 3 people in the world will even read this post, why bother?

    I'm omniscient, so I put the numbers in a spreadsheet and here is the result in scientific notation: 7.326124E+3204. Just thought you would want to know.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Bri.

      Tom, I read your reply, and since you wondered if anyone would, I thought you should know. I did. I chatted with my twin brother who is also a non-believer like me and your post is both informative and insightful. You made me realize three things. 1. I wish I was as smart as others. 2. I'm glad I'm not as dumb as most. 3. I'm glad people like you exist and take the time to post.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • elronmackenzie

      Second reader of your predicted three! That was a great post and a well-stated response by Bri. I wish I had written both.

      July 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  13. halfbakedlunatic

    'god' is an idiotic idea promoted by immoral people to control and pacify the weak minded.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lol??

      So the wurld chooses Sodominian demobocracy. That'll work.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      @lol?? – try pounding your fist on the keyboard next time, it might produce a more coherent statement.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  14. Edmund_Dantes

    Jesus is based on the legend of Mithra. All of the major christian holy days derive from other belief systems. Easter,Halloween and Christmas all started in pagan beliefs incorporated into Christianity as the Roman Catholics conquered foreign lands. These are all easily researched FACTS. Any theologian can confirm for you. Any Christians here want to try to refute that?Go ahead,look it up.I'll wait.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • lol??

      The RCC, gubmint approved an used, did not invent Christianity.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • Edmund_Dantes

        I didn't say they created Christianity,I'm saying Christ was based on Mithra. I said the rcc created several of their religious days from pagan beliefs incorporated as they conquered

        July 19, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • lol??

          If Peter was the first Pope, the chances are that the church at Rome was 90% Jewish. Paul addressed the Romans as Gentiles .............................................Does not compute.....

          Rom 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Janica

          Computes completely. Because you don't like or don't approve of the RCC doesn't make what Edmund said any less true.
          And, yeah, the Catholics pretty much formed Christianity. Sorry to burst your little bubble.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • lol??

          Janica, then you formed Adam?? You are a Universalist Muslim.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • kerfluffle

      My atehiesm is based upon the oegend of Mothra. And Rodan.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • kerfluffle

        *atheism

        derp

        July 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Heretic!
        Mecha-Godzilla is the One True Monster.

        July 19, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Knuckles Nuclear

          Mecha-Godzilla is a false god! He was obviously constructed by man!

          Believe in the one true mutated giant dinosaur! All hail Godzilla!

          July 19, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Roman Powell

      + In hoc signo vinces!

      July 19, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • jesus christ

      love it, lol

      July 19, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  15. lol??

    Fact/2

    "The National Academy of Science (U.S.) makes a similar point:
    Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence is so strong.[22]............" wiki

    fact/2

    July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • bostontola

      lol??,
      Good point, people frequently confuse evolution with the various theories of evolution. Evolution is a directly observable fact, the theories are getting tested and refined.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • NiceOne

      So a body of scientists says that the scientists are right then? It's like big tobacco saying tobacco is safe, without the deadly side effects (you hope).

      July 19, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • bostontola

        Silly analogy. Scientists are motivated to disprove and correct theories, they are rewarded for it. Tobacco companies are rewarded for lies. Opposite motivations.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • NiceOne

          So we had a "big bang" from an inert "mass". Doesn't that go against the theory of thermal dynamics? That's science, right? Or did they disprove that one?

          July 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  16. bostontola

    Atheists are less than 2% of the US population. Christians make up more than 75%. If I were in the 75% group, I'd be unconcerned about 2%ers. Comments on this board by Christians reflect fear. You folks need to grow a pair.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • lol??

      2%/2=bossy 1%ers

      July 19, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • bostontola

        I could argue the numbers but the point is valid (on both sides).

        July 19, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • William Demuth

      They are terrified of us.

      They fear we will do to them what they did to the Jews.

      Luckily for us, the price of natural gas HAS been dropping 🙂

      July 19, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • lol??

        they??

        July 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • William Demuth

          They

          The followers of the cult of Abraham

          The indoctrinated

          The ignorant and afraid little creatures who fear the dark and are in denial of their own mortality

          July 19, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • lol??

          Billy, you tryin' to seduce the bride and give her a cheatin' heart?? Don't expect to be blessed for such behavior.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • William Demuth

          Blessings aren't worth the Toilet Paper they are printed on.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • lol??

          Billy, that sounds strangely familiar. Oh,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, that's right, Esau, and his descendants, the Herodian Dynasty. Everybody wants to be a daemonian hero, a mediator.

          July 19, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  17. Doctor

    Reasons why atheism is horrible and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    – Atheists do not have any morality, are heartless, soulless and cold.
    – Atheists grew up in a bad family, not being loved and abused.
    – Atheism was brought upon during the French Revolution, one of the most evil time of history.
    – Communism – evil system created by atheists!
    – Atheists cannot prove God does not exist and how Earth was created.
    – No atheists contribute to charitable causes, unlike Christians, due to atheism beliefs in Darwinism.
    – Atheism making you agree with mass murder leaders like Stalin, Mao, Pot, Mussolini and even Hitler!
    – Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith and belief.
    – Countries with high rate of atheism = high suicide rate (Nordic nations).
    – Atheists tries to convert (young) people into their evil belief over the internet.
    – Atheists believe in evolutions, and want us to act like animals.
    – Atheists bash Christianity based on Jewish scriptures (Old Testament/Torah) and organized religion, and tend to ignore or forget how amazing, loving, friendly, supportive, and excellent the most influential person who has even walked on Earth, Jesus Christ, was. Christians found hospitals, universities, science, etc.
    – Atheists do not believe in Jesus Christ; therefore they must hate their neighbor and enemy. Remember the Sermon on the Mount?

    Atheists are minority in the U.S. and the world no matter what "secular" sources and polls voted by few thousands of people tells you that were made up by silly atheists dreaming about making America more atheist, unbiblical and unGodly than what it actually is. More than 90% of Americans believe in God. Period! Christianity is the world's largest religion, and the main religion in the western world. Christianity grows dramatically and goes global....

    July 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • kerfluffle

      Christianity is not the world's largest religion you nutter.

      yeesh

      July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Chris

        Actually it is...

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups

        July 19, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • bostontola

      Don't be afraid, it'll be alright.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • William Demuth

      Hevensent returns as a Doctor now?

      Perhaps the kind with a bone thru her nose, shaking a chicken wing?

      Your God is dead, and your religion is following suit.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • kerfluffle

        but...but...prayer changes things maaaan...

        July 19, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • Jesus

          Prayer changed me from a goat into a human!

          July 19, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • skytag

      What a load of malarkey.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • skytag

      Popularity of a belief is not evidence it's true.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      You know this is unadulterated garbage, right? Your handle should be "I'm not a doctor, don't trust me."

      July 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Atlien

      actually Hitler was a devout CHRISTIAN. look it up.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • elronmackenzie

      Wow. That might be the most ignorant, intolerant, judgmental, misinformed thing I've ever read. And with Chris Matthews out there, that's saying something.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • sj4iy

      Spouting enough nonsense? Atheists don't need to be "told" to be moral, nor do we try to "recruit" others. My kids are wonderful, and I've never contemplated suicide. I'm quite tolerant of other's beliefs, be they Christian, Buddhist, Shintoist, Muslim, etc...and yes, I've know all of those. Feel free to talk to actual atheists before you make a bunch of stuff up.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • jesus christ

      you're a terrible unreasonable and fake human.. grow up.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • skytag

      "Atheists do not believe in Jesus Christ; therefore they must hate their neighbor"

      More proof religion makes people stupid.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • skytag

      "Atheism was brought upon during the French Revolution"

      Anyone who believes every human in history before the French Revolution believed in God is too stupid be be allowed out in public without adult supervision.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • JoeS

      If you don't believe in God, you are an absolute idiot. There is a God in heaven and He communicate with men up to this day.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        God speaks to people all the time.
        In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
        Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9, 6 and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
        Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
        Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
        God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
        Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
        Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
        Lashaun Harris threw her 3 young kids into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • aldewacs

          ... strong indications that you don't HAVE to be crazy to believe in a god, but it helps ... and it's dangerous.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • jesus christ

        if you believe in god you are delusional . the church is filled with losers who are psycho and confused.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • sam stone

        Gee, Joe....you are very articulate....for a 2nd grader

        July 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • ANCampbell

        Where was he/she when I was asking him/her to guide me in the direction of believing in him/her? Where was he/she when I wasn't sure if I believed in him/her or not? Sorry, but this statement is false. There is no God and he/she doesn't speak to people.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • skytag

      Hitler didn't kill anyone during the period when the Nazis ruled Germany. It was his followers who did the killing, and most of them were Christians.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • steveincny22

      Wow!! If Doctor is not a troll then he is the most stupid person on the planet

      July 19, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • sam stone

      doctor: how incredibly brilliant. now, punk, go eat your sidearm

      July 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • ANCampbell

      “Reasons why atheism is horrible and unhealthy for our children and living things:
      – Atheists do not have any morality, are heartless, soulless and cold.
      – Atheists grew up in a bad family, not being loved and abused.
      – Atheism was brought upon during the French Revolution, one of the most evil time of history.
      – Communism – evil system created by atheists!
      – Atheists cannot prove God does not exist and how Earth was created.
      – No atheists contribute to charitable causes, unlike Christians, due to atheism beliefs in Darwinism.
      – Atheism making you agree with mass murder leaders like Stalin, Mao, Pot, Mussolini and even Hitler!
      – Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith and belief.
      – Countries with high rate of atheism = high suicide rate (Nordic nations).
      – Atheists tries to convert (young) people into their evil belief over the internet.
      – Atheists believe in evolutions, and want us to act like animals.
      – Atheists bash Christianity based on Jewish scriptures (Old Testament/Torah) and organized religion, and tend to ignore or forget how amazing, loving, friendly, supportive, and excellent the most influential person who has even walked on Earth, Jesus Christ, was. Christians found hospitals, universities, science, etc.
      – Atheists do not believe in Jesus Christ; therefore they must hate their neighbor and enemy. Remember the Sermon on the Mount?
      Atheists are minority in the U.S. and the world no matter what "secular" sources and polls voted by few thousands of people tells you that were made up by silly atheists dreaming about making America more atheist, unbiblical and unGodly than what it actually is. More than 90% of Americans believe in God. Period! Christianity is the world's largest religion, and the main religion in the western world. Christianity grows dramatically and goes global....”
      Wow…I’m completely taken back by your comment, doctor. I hope you don’t claim to be a Christian after you’ve written this!!!!
      Atheists have lots of morality and we know what’s right and wrong. We have bigger hearts than that of Christians (your comment proves this to be true) and we aren’t cold-hearted people. I suppose you are right about the ‘souless’ part since we don’t believe in a soul, lol.
      My family was a very loving and good family. My mother and father were both in my life as a child and I was most certainly not abused by my parents or anyone for that matter. Again, your assumption is wrong.
      Atheism has been around WAY before the French Revolution. Let’s just say we are all born atheists and are told to believe in a God. As a baby you have no idea who or what a God is. How can you believe if you don’t know who or what this thing is? We are trained at a young age to believe in this thing you call God. If no one ever brought up God or religion to a child and that child grew into an adult, that child would not believe in the fairy tales.
      Atheists have their own minds and don’t need mind-manipulation by people such as Stalin, Mao, Pot, Mussolini or Hitler. We develop our own opinions and views on different subjects.
      Atheists aren’t mentally ill...we are very intelligent people. We have no ‘faith’ because we cannot just believe in something we have no proof of. Definition of faith: firm belief in something for which there is no proof. I cannot believe (or have faith) in something for which there is no physical proof.
      I don’t know of any atheist who has attempted suicide nor had any suicidal thoughts. I certainly haven’t had any suicidal thoughts and haven’t attempted suicide either.
      To each his/her own on a person’s religious beliefs…I don’t try to ‘convert’ any persons believing of Gods and religion. I’m respectful of other’s beliefs/religions and I expect the same in return.
      Evolution is proven to be true. There is evidence of this all around you and has been for millions and millions of years. You did indeed come from the monkey species. Have you taken the time to actually look at how they handle themselves when it comes to offspring, relationships, arguments, etc.?
      Christians did not ‘find’ science…science was always here. We do not bash Christianity; it’s actually quite the opposite – Christians bash Atheists. Christians are supposed to follow the bible in its entirety; not just partially be it the old or new testament.
      You are actually wrong with this statement: “Atheists don’t believe in Jesus Christ; therefore they must hate their neighbor and enemy”. Jesus Chris was indeed a man that walked this Earth; however, he was not all powerful and is NOT the son of your God (who doesn’t exist). His mother, Mary, wasn’t a virgin as we all know how babies are made.
      Christianity is NOT the world’s largest form of religion, atheists are coming out more and more these days as we are not ashamed of our beliefs.
      …And you, sir, are a moron.

      July 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  18. Agnostickids

    Christians need to belong to a community. They need a group to validate who they are. Church is a HUGE social structure that provides that to generation after generation of sheeple.

    Agnostics and Atheists prefer to experience life individually or at least without the collective agreement that christianity enforces.

    Sociologically, christians are fading away because as a culture, we are becoming more and more unique; intent on individualism as opposed to group judgement.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Well the Bloods don't want em.

      Perhaps can the religion and start a bowling league?

      They can call themselves The Pinheads.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • aldewacs

        Damn you. I laughed out loud and now they're all staring at me.... 😉

        July 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • bostontola

      Humans are social animals, much like their ape cousins. People range in their need for community, you may not need it, but that is not an atheist thing.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Thank you for proving my point bosontalalala

      July 19, 2013 at 10:54 am |
      • bostontola

        What?

        July 19, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  19. Doctor

    Sooner or later all atheists will convert to Christianity when getting sick or retired close to death. Don't fool yourself now

    July 19, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • bostontola

      You'll believe anything if you think that.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • snowboarder

      lol! and you base that assertion on exactly what?

      July 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Agnostickids

      And your proof for such a statement...is....?

      July 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Nah, but with the med smoke laws I might become a Rastafarian

      July 19, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Perhaps the only thing more absurd than believing that an ancient Palestinian rabble rousing rabbi was the Son of God is believing that Haile Selassie is His 2nd coming.

        July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • William Demuth

        But the faith has more practical benefits my friend!

        Alas, I can not do the dreads thing, and I would seem pale if I went to church, but I can pass the dutchie.

        July 19, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • ANCampbell

        Heck yeah, me too!!

        July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • vaccine man

      And christians become more atheist, when they are sick and go to the doctor, or when they take their kids to get vaccine shots or medical care. Where is your god then?

      July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • skytag

        There is no god, not when I'm healthy, not when I'm sick, not when my kids are sick. Any other dumb questions you'd like to ask?

        July 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • skytag

      Yet another believer spouting fact-free fairytales to keep reality at bay.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Jim

      Actually it's the opposite. If you were a True Christian you wouldn't go to a doctor when you have health problems – try just praying it away and let us know how that works for you...

      July 19, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Doobs

      Isn't lying a sin, "Doctor"?

      July 19, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • jesus christ

      you'll see.. go to church loser

      July 19, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • exCatholic

      I'm retired and not a Christian. There goes another of your carefully thought-out theories.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      Apparently, you've fooled yourself, doctor

      July 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • ANCampbell

      Where is the proof that this comment is even remotely true?

      July 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  20. ed dugan

    I am an athiest and maybe you have noticed that lately there are a growing number of articles about us and strong support from fellow athiests. The latest polls show we are growing in numbers and chirstians are shrinking in numbers. I wonder why?

    July 19, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • snowboarder

      education and accessibility to information.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • darren

      thanks to social media...and the fact that good ideas and better thinking become dominant over time.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • skytag

      Atheists are increasingly willing to speak out because the power of believers to persecute us is declining.

      July 19, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      It's the Dawkins Spring, not dissimilar to the Arab Spring but for we Atheists.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Atheists are mentally ill

      Atheism is actually declining.

      http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/global-study-atheists-decline-only-18-world-population-2020

      August 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
      • photografr7

        That's like saying the number of people who practiced Judaism in Nazi Germany declined during WWII. It's not safe admitting you are an atheist in America. If you want to be a proud atheist, you would be more welcome in Great Britain or Australia than the 50 States. Telling an employer you are an atheist is like asking, "Where's the exit?"

        August 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Advertisement
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.