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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. JDV

    Poor kids – you dont have to 'turn' if you dont want to – please excuse my jihadi

    July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  2. Alias

    Athiests are not a distinct segment of society. We are not a subculture. Trying to put athiests into 6 groups is exactly like puting everyone into 6 groups. It is a pointless exercise by young and inexperienced 'researchers'.
    CNN should not have given this credibility by posting it once, not mention twice.

    OH, I almost forgot – all gods are a myths, the bible is flawed, and anyone who dissagrees is willfully ignorant and too insecure to let go of their happy thoughts and face reality. Take that you poopheads!

    July 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      They actually refer to their subjects as being from the "atheist community,

      July 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      ...and the respondents were largely pulled from atheist internet forums. So while not a representative group of the nation's atheists, by any means, they make up a subculture in the same way that "soccer fans" or "active Republicans" might.

      July 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Active atheists, perhaps. Those who are actively disbelieving in whatever it is believers believe in.

      July 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Active disbelief? If a Christian used that expression, we'd spend the rest of the day reading about how atheism isn't active.

        July 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Reread our comments, Bill. We're talking about a subset of atheists.

          July 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Niiiice!

      But you forgot the [sarcasm] at the end. Good twist though.

      July 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    There are so many folk who are certain that their God, their church and their interpretation of their holy book is the One Truth... what unmitigated arrogance!

    Who is to say that Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, or Zaramama aren't true gods?
    How can the Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, New Testament, Quran, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or Revelation X be dismissed as Holy Books since they all claim to be The Truth?
    If you're a Bible adherent, how do you know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

    And which Bible translation is the inerrant one?
    American Standard Version, American King James Version, Amplified Bible, An American Translation, ArtScroll Tanakh (Old Testament), An American Translation, Berkeley Version, Bible in English, The Bible in Living English, Bishops' Bible, Catholic Public Domain Version, Children's King James Version, Christian Community Bible, English version, Clear Word Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Contemporary English Version, Concordant Literal Version, A Conservative Version, Coverdale Bible, Darby Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Revision), EasyEnglish Bible, Easy-to-Read Version, English Jubilee 2000 Bible, English Standard Version, Ferrar Fenton Bible, Geneva Bible, God's Word, Good News Bible, Great Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, The Inclusive Bible, International Standard Version, Jerusalem Bible, Jewish Publication Society of America Version Tanakh (Old Testament), Judaica Press Tanakh (Old Testament), ia E. Smith Parker Translation, King James 2000 Version, King James Easy Reading Version, King James Version, King James II Version, Knox's Translation of the Vulgate, Lamsa Bible, A Literal Translation of the Bible, Leeser Bible, Tanakh (Old Testament), The Living Bible, The Living Torah and The Living Nach. Tanakh (Old Testament), Matthew's Bible, The Message, Modern King James Version, Modern Language Bible, Moffatt, New Translation, James Murdock's Translation of the Syriac Pesh.itta, New American Bible, New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New English Bible, New English Translation (NET Bible), New International Reader's Version, New International Version Inclusive Language Edition, New International Version, New Jerusalem Bible, New Jewish Publication Society of America Version. Tanakh (Old Testament), New King James Version, New Life Version, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard Version, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Quaker Bible, Recovery Version of the Bible, Revised Version, Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, Revised English Bible, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, The Scriptures, Simplified English Bible, The Story Bible, Taverner's Bible, Thomson's Translation, Today's New International Version, Third Millennium Bible, Tyndale Bible, Updated King James Version, A Voice In The Wilderness Holy Scriptures, Webster's Revision, Westminster Bible, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible, Wycliffe's Bible (1380), Wycliffe's Bible (1388), Young's Literal Translation?

    If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • neutrality77

      Because writing almost two pages on a blog about a subjective topic in an authoritative tone isn't arrogant? Not only are you more arrogant than who you accuse to be, but your string of logic almost wreaks of Communist propagandist from eastern civilizations. Almost to the 'T'.

      You believe in what you want and leave what I believe alone. I'm doing very well in life and I thank God everyday for providing for me.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

        At least you're admitting your believe is subjective.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        A lengthy list is not an "authoritative tone", though it is admittedly long winded.
        Lengthy and long winded to prove a point – that there have been countless gods and religions throughout history, none any more or less credible than any others.
        The avow with certainty that one's faith is The Truth is to ignore the reality of moral relativism.

        I do not begrudge anyone the comfort of religion, but I can't say as I'm a fan of those who would use their faith as a tool to rationalize the condemnation of this and that from a fiery problem.

        The great problem with religions (any of them) is not that they are negative in and of themselves but that they are necessarily devisive and sectarian.
        The Old Testament, for example, is a rule book for ancient Jews – but many of those once common sense rules no longer apply to the modern world. We can safely sow two crops in one field or cook pork thoroughly enough to avoid trichinosis.
        Religion, like people, has evolved based on the laws of Darwinian evolution in that different environments have brought about different religions.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • sam

        Thanks for stopping in to whine about being left alone.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • curt

      Ignorance is being an atheist and believing that everyone that thinks God exists follows a religion or believes religion has good intentions for humanity, Atheists are a joke. They just want attention. Clearly.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I certainly do not believe that all deists are theists, but all theists are indeed deists.
        Effective cooperation is a learned skill and the successful religions recognize this. Christianity reveals this truth about ourselves most poignantly in the character of Jesus Christ. His message is one of peace, charity, modesty and forgiveness – the traits most important to develop when living in a society.
        But the character of Jesus is not unique – He is an example of an archetype in mythology.

        Any proposition that relies on faith can and will be twisted by unscrupulous individuals for their own gain. Its just far too easy to manipulate those who are willing to suspend critical thinking and accept something without evidence.

        "It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics."
        – Robert Heinlein

        July 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • curt

          Again I don't believe in religion,

          I believe in God. If i was an atheist I would not worry about taking advantage of other people for my own benefit since I would have nothing to loose... Again I don't listen to what religious books say they all have been twisted, but some things are common sense.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • skytag

        Complete rubbish.

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

      Doc
      How is your nonbelief any less arrogant given you simply believe in one less God than I do?

      July 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • snowboarder

        lol! because yours must obviously be the real one.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • fred

        Snowboarder
        The fact mankind since the beginning of recorded history has filled that great unknown with belief (or unbelief) based on faith without proof makes "The Real One" self evident.
        Your godlessness is based on an image of why we exist just as I have an image of God as to why we exist.
        Our image of God or an empty void is a reflection of our Promised Land.

        Why in the name of "The Real One" would you set your foundation on a void given all observable life reflects the opposite?

        July 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • skytag

          "Your godlessness is based on an image of why we exist"

          Utter nonsense. I have no such image. I am secure enough in myself to admit I do not know how we came to exist. But what I do know is that in my 58 years I've seen nothing to suggest there is any higher power controlling anything, responsible for anything, listening to anyone, or answering anyone. Furthermore, my studies of history also fail to reveal any reason to believe such a higher power exists.

          "The foundation of your agnostic delusion is the same as my belief. We have faith in something that cannot be known by man"

          More nonsense. My lack of belief in a god no more requires faith than my lack of belief in Santa Claus, alien abductions, or leprechauns, or monsters hiding under my bed. If I see no evidence of something's existence I draw the obvious conclusion that it doesn't exist. No faith required.

          July 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'fred' is an instance of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          July 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      I think you left out a few thousand gods.

      July 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  4. evoc

    'Hi, mom, I'm an atheist.' still better than 'Hi, mom, I'm a hermaphrodite.'

    July 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      chances are your mother knows,...wait are you trying to say transsexual you know theirs a difference right?

      July 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I'm pretty sure that if a child were born a hermaphrodite (which is the only way to be one) the mother would already know...

      July 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khoSNERaCt0&w=640&h=360]

      July 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        sorry wrong spot

        July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  5. ShawnDH

    If only athiests would come to their senses and start believing ancient Middle Eastern fairy tales are real and worshipping a Communist carpenter who lived 2,000 years ago makes perfect sense.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      hay his not just a communist and a carpenter but a vagrant, wino, witch and a hell of a golfer

      July 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khoSNERaCt0&w=640&h=360]

        Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
        Matthew 19:21 ESV

        July 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • neutrality77

      Wait, I didn't know Obama was a carpenter?

      Clearly you have no idea what the communist party is all about. Thank you for demonstrating to the world how ignorant you are of both Obama's political views and my religion. My religion (Christianity) wholeheartedly believes in free will. We are given the ULTIMATE freedom to choose our own fate. So before you decide to comment incoherently about matters in which you hold no educated thoughts on, you may want to go back to sitting around smoking dope in your parents basement.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • sam

        Oh look, another stellar example of christian behavior.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "We are given the ULTIMATE freedom to choose our own fate. " lol

      "Follow us or DIE! Horribly, horribly, horribly!! Can't you see what ULTIMATE freedom looks like? Now choose! Our God or an eternity of suffering and pain, I mean, it's your choice...!"

      July 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • Complectus

        I don't want any mindless sheep to follow, but if you don't I'm going to send you to a place to be tortured mercilessly forever and ever and ever where you will scream and cry in unending agony. But hey you don't have to follow me at all. I'm giving you the freedom of choice. – Christian god

        You don't have to pay us a "protection fee" but you got a nice store there. Be a shame if something were to happen to it cause you didn't pay us that fee. Not saying it would mind you, but hey you never know right? – Mafia

        Spiritual mugging!

        July 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  6. Greenspam

    And on the 7th type He rests!

    July 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  7. Honey Badger Don't Care

    It was stated earlier that, “The only truly rational belief system is agnosticism.” This is a false statement. Gnosticism deals with knowledge; Gnostic meaning with knowledge and agnostic meaning without knowledge. This is not exactly a belief.

    Atheism/theism deal with a belief statement. Theists believe in a god figure and atheists do not believe in a god.

    Saying that the only rational belief is to be agnostic is incorrect.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  8. NorthVanCan

    Religion must confuse children. On one hand reality says this and on the other religion claims imposable acts.
    What's wrong with giving them a chance to decide ? The't going to do it anyway. Kinda like the Dems moving the country forward in the face of GOP opposition .

    July 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Dems are equally as bad as the Reps.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • NorthVanCan

        Dave, if you look at the economy and Bin Laden, reality says Dems are better.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

          I fail to see how (admittedly, the Bush regime was especially poor).

          July 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • neutrality77

          So that is your metric on determining which side is better? No wonder we're in such bad shape. You can't even tell we're in over our heads, let alone being offered help by the right. So sad. I'm just glad I'm intelligent enough to take care of me and my family no matter how badly you and your ilk screw everything up.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • sam

          Watch out guys, we now have an incident involving the use of 'ilk'. Shit just got real, the right winger is getting defensive.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Complectus

        Oh dems as bad as repubs? Where is your proven evidence of this so that you can believe in it? ... .... actually I think we have that by just the last 6 months alone!

        July 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

          Where's the evidence to the contrary?

          July 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Taking the Bait

          Ok, I'll bite.

          Are the democrats as bad as the republicans?

          Well, let's do a history study, shall we?

          Democrats – Responsible for the Jim Crow Laws
          Democrats – Voted to keep slavery in force.
          Democrats – Responsible for the KKK
          Democrats – Tried to filibuster against women's rights.
          Democrats – Voted 54% to approve equal rights for women as opposed to the Republicans who voted 82%.

          And this all says what? Democrats are not necessarily as "liberal" as they want to come off. Neither the GOP or the Democrats have a clue of how to fix this country.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • .

          Bait, have you got an example LESS than 50 years old?

          July 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • OTOH

          Taking the Bait,

          Those Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) are now Republicans, a switch which began in the Eisenhower days and was fairly complete by Reagan's time.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • neutrality77

      Hahaha... You said forward. How did that work out for Detroit? So arrogantly blind you can't even see your own kind eating yourselves.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Dearly devoted NVCan...

      I was born by parents who were in a way but Gentiles in that their philosophies on and about Life and religions were never handed down to me. Dad was a devoted drunkard and my mother did try her best to ease my petty views when I was growing up. I never attended any church meetings in my youth nor did my parents. I knew about God and Christ Jesus from other parents children I was friends with but paid religion a never-thought.

      In ny early adult life I was still not religious. Only as my trials and tribulations within my then unsteadied adulthood made me to consider there is a God and Christ Jesus is the begotten Son of God's conception... To my bereaved desires, God and all of God's sons are as real to me as the sun unwaveringly sets and rises up each and every day since our galaxy was long ago established...

      July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Francisco Decastro

    Look at picture #18. Kathy Griffin looks scary as heck. It seems like it is a monster.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Complectus

    I kind of like the warhammer 40k gods. They at least interact with their "chosen." Besides, big pappy Nurgel is a god that gets stuff done!

    Seriously though, if there is no proof, I can't really believe in something. Republicans are about small government and family values! When they try to make all those new officials and laws to get all up in a ladies baby parts.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  11. Skeptimist

    For most of us the God concept comes easy.
    It can arise from something as simple as the good feeling we get from being kind to a stranger.
    Nothing wrong with that.
    It's only the theological embellishments that get complicated – or the political and economic exploitations that get offensive.
    I respect the contributions that agnostics/atheists (etc.) have made to poking holes in the nonsense.

    Meanwhile, we can have even more fun exploring our slippery grip on reality by looking into the bizarre phenomena revealed in studies of quantum mechanics.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      Theological embellishments don't get complicated, they get ridiculous. And I don't understand how the concept of god is found in the feeling you get from being kind to a neighbor. That feeling is a reaction in your limbic system, telling you it's a good thing for you to do.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  12. Mike Mazzla

    everybody is an atheist.. there are just some admit it and the rest who are too scared to or just want to play the game

    July 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      There are obviously genuine believers out there. That statement is as odious as the 'no atheists in foxholes' BS.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Henryo

      And now, leaving the fantasy world of Mike Mazzla, we rejoin reality...

      July 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Mickey...

      God has "learned" to trust mankind even those who dare deny His being. As long as God's deniers are righteous; He nor us faithful ones can find faultiness upon deniability's yearning summations...

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

        So what you're saying is there's no real reason to beilieve. Thanks!

        July 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • skytag

        More claims with no rational reason to believe them. Yawn.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  13. Siddhartha

    If Atheists think they are going to make the world a better place with anger...perhaps they ought to look up the word, "hypocrisy."

    Why not be agnostic and get on with your life, letting other people live theirs, not worrying all day and night that someone is out to get you.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • NorthVanCan

      It has something to do with people strapping bombs to their chest and raping little boys confused about the world thanks to a mutilated genital .

      July 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Siddhartha

        So you think that forcing people to NOT believe in anything, on a discussion board, is going to change that? How about living by example?

        July 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

          Who's forcing anything?

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

          What cracks me up the most is, if you give kids science and education (free from religion) everything makes sense. It all falls into place and the ycan help shape the future based on logic and reason. Religion cant do any of that.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • dsangiovanni

          Yeah, everything goes in place..and fell apart when they continue asking...and this where did it come from or was created ?.. Then they do not have an answer ....and some one will say: Science will figure it out some day...

          July 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • skytag

          No one here is forcing anyone to do anything, but I have an issue with people living their lives and expecting others to live their lives according to a lot of beliefs for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Are you agnostic about Skeletor?

      July 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Just don't be paranoid Huh?

      Ignore what you see everyday and wish REAL hard?

      What puke! That's how 3000 people spent a morning in September trying to learn how to fly with 20 minutes notice.

      Only a SIMPLETON thinks he is safe from these lunatics.

      Religion is the singular most likely reason we die as a SPECIES, and only a fool would deny it.

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

        Ah, name calling, the resort of a frightened person that knows he or she is wrong. Good luck with that William.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Watch a few corpses due face plants after jumping off a 100 story building to avoid burning to death in an inferno created by religious zealots and we can talk.

          You are an apologist, lulling fools into complacency.

          Religion is NOT passive, it is an active evil that is destroying our world a bit more each day, and I for one do not intend to be passive.

          Attempt to forcefully instill your beliefs in me or mine, and I will cram them down your throat at the point of a bayonet.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Voice of Reason

          Willy, why do you keep deferring to 9/11? Were you there? Do you know anything about it other than what the media fed you with pictures? I mean, geez, you're kinda sounding as extreme as the terrorists that committed that heinous act.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Voice of Reason

          I was in NJ

          My mom was at City Hall

          July 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • skytag

          Name-calling is also a sign someone is frustrated by people who refuse to be honest or rational. It's intellectually dishonest of you to suggest there is only one reason people resort to name-calling, but based on your comments honesty is not very important to you.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Jessk

        Em...no, it seems like technology is doing a good job of destroying not only the human race, but the Earth. Let's look at the atom bomb. Let's look at global warming. Let's look at biological warfare. The list can go on and on.
        I don't follow religion, but it seems to me, WD, that you spend a lot of time condemning religious people while thinking you're actually helping the human race yourself...and yet, I don't see how your anger is doing anything good...

        July 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • William Demuth

          So religion provides stability?

          How silly.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Voice of Reason

          What good are you doing in the world Willy? Just wondering...

          July 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Mainly making more Atheists.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Voice of Reason

          No Willy, you're making people realize that angry Atheists aren't what they want to hang out with. Atheism isn't bad, but you're a bad example.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Voice of Reason

          Then why is your faith being flushed like a used tampon?

          You thumpers are failing faster than you care to admit.

          A few more turns of the calendar and your belief system will take it rightful place in History, and fade from Modernity forever.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Voice of Reason

          Ah, willy...I don't believe in religion. Yet I don't need to stereotype myself to justify some sort of fury that others like to hide behind....

          July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • William Demuth

          If you do not refute it, you are complicit.

          You can help round them up, but at the end, you go into the chamber as well.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Jenifer is a family name

          William D, get a real job and shut up. You're as hateful as any Islamist I've ever heard of.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • ME II

          @William Demuth,
          "If you do not refute it, you are complicit.
          You can help round them up, but at the end, you go into the chamber as well."

          This is as bad a statement as any terrorist. You are as dogmatic as any "true believer", though not for atheism, but nationalism that you call.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Voice of Reason

        Silence from Willy...he must have self imploded. Sad.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Dude, upgrade to LTE4, your service, like your belief system, appears to be obsolete.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Voice of Reason

          Silly willy, I have a macbook pro...I hardly need to upgrade. LOL!

          July 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • William Demuth

          A Mac. It figures.

          The hardware of simpletons.

          I guess the Apple Clown is a Demi God for you?

          July 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • Jenifer is a family name

          William D, you're just a provoker and a bully. Name calling, attacking people and now insulting someone for the computer they have. Wow, I agree, you're not the kind of atheist I'd like to be around at all. Jerk.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Jennifer, you do understand parody don't you?

          In truth, few of us care. We are just doing this because we have already drowned all our hamsters.

          Besides, Apple was created by SATAN, so he could give it to Adam and Eve.

          By using a MacBook, you are tempting our Savior Jeebus.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • lionlylamb2013

        Sired William D.

        Temptations towards people willingly wanting to shun any and all issues of religiosities are quaintly considered conversation pieces by the religiously devoted... God may well love the ungodly more then their godly gardened whose epicenters of rationalisms are their religiously constrained pitfalls for many religions have become divisional and are negatively subjugated thru their own indifferences leaving the heavenly gate wide open...

        July 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Oh Insightful Imperial Aerosol King, you disembowel me with you dissuasions.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • skytag

          Do you write this pseudo-intellectual word salad yourself or do you have an app that just combines big words together to form this drivel?

          July 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • Voice of Reason

        That's nice, I was near the Empire State building along with my two sisters and best friend...and yet I'm not acting like a Patriot freak on a discussion board...interesting...

        July 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Sunflower2

      I know WAY more angry Christians than I do angry atheists....

      July 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • Voice of Reason

        I don't, so who is right sunflower? See, you actually need to know a little bit more about your home town before you decide you know everybody in the world...

        July 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • skytag

      If believers weren't so bent on passing legislation based on their religious beliefs I would be relatively happy to ignore them and their delusions.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Sit by the river and let everything come to you.

      July 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  14. NorthVanCan

    I have proof Santa exists, (train set, bike, remote control car).
    God on the other hand, I have nothing to show.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • curt

      Atheists have problems, they feel they have to talk down to God, like God has to prove he exists to atheists.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • William Demuth

        Nah. but if God would stop by I would gladly prove to him I exist

        Probably freak him out don't you think?

        Then I would turn him in to the Italians, so they could kill him again.

        The key is the use of a fourth nail, in the forehead, so he STAYS dead.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • curt

          Are you mad at life?

          July 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Nah, just at Christians.

          Otherwise, it's a great world.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • curt

          Why do atheists always tie religion into believing in a creator that most people call God since we don't know what it is...

          I guess your hoping it's Satan still.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Huh?

          What else would ya cal it?

          And if your fantasy characters were real, me and old Satan would be tight

          Jeebus on the other hand would fill me with an overwhelming desire to Ho slap the fool.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • curt

          God gives you freedom of choice in life.

          Money isn't everything either, you will die one day, then what will happen? Better not hope your judgement by God

          July 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • curt

          Not to say your a bad person, but I certainly think if you have no faith you will make poor decisions in life.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • sam

          curt, you're ridiculous. Faith does not let you make better decisions.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • curt

          My opinion is atheists feel no guilt for say ripping off other people, or even killing them, since they have no fears of repercussions.

          Sure the decision may have not have any effect in this life, it may even make you richer, but there may be consequences int he end that you are not aware of.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • curt

          I imagine atheists make the perfect Capitalists as they don't feel bad for making money off the backs of others. I imagine all world bankers are atheists.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • Alias

          The editors will delete this soon, but historically a lot of bankers are jewish.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • William Demuth

          So the Vatican Bank is run by us now?

          Perhaps we should bounce the Pontiffs check?

          July 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • sam

          curt, now you're just showing how much of a delusional jackass you are. The 1940s called and they want you back.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • William Demuth

        When I die I will rot and be forgotten

        As will you.

        I suggest you deal with it, it's than thing you can't escape for long called reality

        July 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Diogenes

          Why deal with it? According to your way of thinking it really doesn't matter one way or the other.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        I'd be glad to talk to God on my level, but He's stupid and just wants to talk about football players and Duck Dynasty.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Dre

      Creation itself (humans, animals, the universe, declare that there is a 'Creator'. Just like those toys you mentioned didn't get there by 'chance', so is the world and the universe. There are too many complexities (like DNA) for it to be random. It takes more faith to be an atheist, than it does to believe in the God of the Bible.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • greeny

        Geeze, I guess we should just put down our text books and scientific instruments and go back to foraging for food and communicating through grunts. Don't embrace the unknown....research it and look for real answers.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • curt

        No one here is saying religion has anything to do with believing in God.

        That's where atheists are WRONG. I do not believe in the bible, it has been twisted and changed even it was based off of something of importance.

        The Kuran is actually suppose to fix the bibles mistakes, But I think that has been tampered as well. I'll stick to believing in God without sticking to any book that was written or recorded by humans. We all played the telephone game where we memorize a phrase then pass it on to another person, then when the phrase comes out its nothing like what it was intended to be.

        That being said I believe in God, I don't believe in religion, and I am not an atheist.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

        Stick to rapping, Dr.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • No Dice

        What athism requires is not faith but empirical evidence to the contrary. We require proof of a creator god which has never been forthcoming. All we are told comes from a 2,000 year old book and we are expected to believe all contained within without confirmation or evidence – what you call faith. Science does not have all the answers but it at least strives for incontrovertable proof.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • curt

          Little do you mention all the bad things that science has created, Birth defects, gene defects, etc, etc.

          God certainly did a better job creating the universe then science can do at anything.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • curt

          Science takes credit for trying to interpret what God has created (yet of course there theories are always wrong or never proven, even after proven, often changed when found out to be false (because scientists are wrong all the time and think they are right)

          July 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • curt

          I believe in God but I truly think earth is the devils playground. That is if you do the Devil's bidding you can become wealthy, although who knows for how long or how eternity will be.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        "Creation itself (humans, animals, the universe, declare that there is a 'Creator'" I asked my dog about God and he said "Arf." I asked some humans and they said God or Allah or The Flying Spaghetti Monster was the only Creator. So I said to the universe "Sir, I exist!" 'However,' said the universe, 'the fact has not created in me any sense of obligation.'

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

        Creation itself (humans, animals, the universe, declare that there is a 'Creator'. – No, it doesn't.

        Just like those toys you mentioned didn't get there by 'chance', so is the world and the universe. – (Trying to respond to your convoluted sentence structure) No, they didn't get there by "chance," and no reputable scientist would claim that they did. But you wouldn't understand that.

        There are too many complexities (like DNA) for it to be random.- Not so.

        It takes more faith to be an atheist, than it does to believe in the God of the Bible. – No, but it does take more effort, thought and study.

        July 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  15. Red Team

    I don't care what people believe because that is their personal business. But when you start demanding other people follow your beliefs or else is when I have a problem. Both atheist and the religious have people like this in their respective movements and such zealotry regardless of the message should never be tolerated. It doesn't matter who right you think you are because you're wrong the second you try and impose those beliefs on someone else.

    July 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • tony

      Here we go again. Atheists don't have any beliefs that they could impose.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Siddhartha

        @ tony...then why are you arguing?

        July 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

          You don't see the difference between arguing and imposing? It would be imposing if atheists said we have to teach kids in school that there is no god. That's not the case, though, all that's asked is that we do not teach them or influence them with any religion.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • William Demuth

          He is stating we resist others imposing beliefs, but do NOT try (at least so far) to legislate away Christianity

          Like live and let live

          But remember the song, lest we be forced to give in a cry of live and let die.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

        But there have undoubtedly been attempts to enforce state atheism in the past in some country, mostly with disastrous consequences.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Perhaps we can improve? I am willing to try.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • UncleBenny

          Yes, and that was done for purely political reasons because the state in question did not want people looking to any higher power. It had nothing to do with atheism and everything to do with power.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • tony

          I think you mean they tried to eradicate religious beliefs.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

          First of all, that's quite an assumption to make. But, secondly, what would it matter? These slipperly slope arguments have not legs what so ever. Sure, one day a group of people might try and take away people's right to religion, but no one is right now, especially here, due to the 1st ammendment. By your logic, we should also ban the use of any type of robots. After all, they might one day rise up and destroy humanity.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

          William Demuth

          You'd actually ban religion?

          UncleBenny

          I never said otherwise.

          AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

          I'm neither assuming or arguing for anything.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

          Nor.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • William Demuth

          Ban religion? No

          Just require it to be sold as any other product, and hold its distributors accountable.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • aldewacs

          If truth in advertizing laws were made to apply to religions (and they SHOULD), they'd be escorted out of town and straight to jail.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • tony

        misuse of nouns. Hence failure to accurately communicate

        July 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      I don't think there are many atheists trying to impose their will. Yes, they will argue if given the opportunity, but the only time you see them become agitated is when religious people try to impose their beliefs on them via public works: government, schools, etc.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Down under

        Amen to that! heh, heh ...

        July 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Even though they undoubtedly exist (look at the comments here some days for proof), I imagine the number of atheists who wish to force atheism on others is far fewer than the numer of religious people who wish to do the opposite.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Thinker...

        Unfortunatly I would guess that is because there are less atheists than believers. I would guess that the need to force your view on others has little to do with religion or its lack. Those that are zealots and get converted tend to be zealots for their new cause. For examples see some of the posters here who wish to force others to stop being religious; they mostly seem to say they grew up quite devout.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      So, would I be wrong if I imposed my belief that no religion should be given primacy over others or involved in our government in any way on you all? Since it is already the law of this country anyway and allows you to worship freely as long as you don't break our laws about human sacrifice?

      July 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Aene

      Completely agree. I wish Democrats and Republicans would abide by this.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • lol??

      The Cold War and East-West conflict had to be fake. The enemy was just buyin' time while trainin' the children. Tricky.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Chuck Anziulewicz

    When people ask me if I believe in God, all I can say is, "Sorry, my antenna just doesn't pick up that frequency."

    July 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  17. Saint Peter

    Make room for God in your domain and perhaps He will make room for you in His.

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

      Perhaps? Well then why don't you make room for all the other gods in your domain?

      July 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • John

      Which version of God? Allah or the Christian God? How do you know your version is the right one? Do you have any more evidence for that than Muslims do for Allah? No you don't. They're all equally false.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      OK, but he'll have to sleep on the couch, my apartment is fairly cozy.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • tony

      www????????+god.con

      July 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  18. JJ

    Christians, a question. Aren't all non-Christians all in the same boat from your perspective? I mean whether you're a Muslim, atheist, Hindu or Jew, aren't all we billions of non-Christians going to burn in the eternal lake of fire as one happy family together? Will atheists just be burning in hotter flames or something?

    July 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • fred

      JJ it's even more exclusive than you think.

      Christian churches spend millions on travel to places that are 95% Catholic (think Mexico & Costa Rica) because despite the fact that these people have known and prayed to Jesus their whole lives, they still aren't going to heaven because they didn't say the magic "Jesus save me" chant.

      Just rediculous.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Doug

      Um... no? This isn't the Middle Ages – we don't burn unbelievers anymore; nor do we ask God to.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Red Team

      My perspective is it only matters if you are a good person. Primarily because no real deity could hold someone accountable for not believing if they never heard of the deity in the first place. Secondarily I think with all the nasty things done under the banner of Christianity that if someone refused to believe because of all that I think that is on the church. And finally its rather presumptuous to decide on who God would let into Heaven and just the same I would not put words in the mouth of a deity I might have explain myself to later.

      July 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        " I would not put words in the mouth of a deity I might have explain myself to later." This is not a problem for most "Christians" because they know they are not going to meet any deities. Put any words you like in Jesus' mouth and He will NEVER contradict you.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  19. fred

    Religion and God were created to keep order in society. If you think the middle east is damgerous today, just think back 2000 years. There were people who had wealth, and those people needed a way to ensure order in society, Just think if they said "hey folks.. it's a free for all.. cause once this life is over that's all there is!" It would be chaos. So they invent a place where "the poor will be rewarded" to keep them content. Telling them "oh you're reward is in the next life" and "don't steal this or kill because the wizard in the sky is watching and you'll be punished by him even if nobody saw you do it".

    I have to admit it was a good idea to try to keep the poor from wanting more.

    July 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I'd imagine the Middle East was one of the few places in the world safer 2,000 years ago. There were fewer AKs and IEDs at least.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • fred

        People were more than capable of taking lives before they had guns and IEDs. Especially if you give them no incentive to get to the afterworld. Anything you can take or steal is yours – there are no repercussions. So you need either 1) Religion or 2) a dictator to keep people from anarchy.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Thinker...

          You forgot laws and morality. Those things did exist then just as they do now. Granted the laws back then were rather more draconian than the laws today in the first world. Bout the same in places that use Sharia though. Good old religious law keeping people form anarchy!

          July 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "hey folks.. it's a free for all.. cause once this life is over that's all there is!" It would be chaos." Why would anyone say that? Are you trying to be POE-tic? Any actual atheist would tell their people "hey folks, this is the only shot you have at enjoying life so don't screw it up! The best way to be happy is to make others so."

      July 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • fred

        Most people would see it your way. But there were a large number of people just trying to survive who might intrepret the lack of God as a get of of jail(he-ll) free card.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          fred, you are merely inventing a straw man and assigning it all your fears and frustrations without actually having a single shred of evidence that your scenario could even remotely be valid. I do not believe people would act that way as we have a long history of humans working together in social groups for survival relying on each other and taking care of sick and injured and protecting the weaker child bearing females in the group. This evidence goes back at least 45,000 years to ancient cave art and remains and tools and burials they have now uncovered. Their morality was socially derived meaning those groups that supported their social groups survived whereas those who only looked out for themselves died off. Since there still is about 5% of people who do not share the production of oxytocin in the brain, which has been called the empathy chemical, on stimulus which means they would feel nothing after stealing a childs candy because they are chemically unable to relate to the child and all they can think about is that they now have the candy. Those are the people who I believe cause 80% of the worlds stress, problems and trauma and often start or continue cycles of abuse that churn out more non-empathetic persons. This is the true battle the world needs to fight, stop the cycles of abuse and that 5% will eventually disapear.

          July 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Bible Clown©

          There are a lot of psychopaths who find it very convenient that other people believe in restraint, and many of these people become preachers or priests. Religious people seem to be victimized a lot.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Thinker...

          Actually there is a form of proof that people don't need the treat of heaven or the bribe of hell to be moral; the ancient mesopotamians did it just fine. Their version of the afterlife was a dry dust black nothingness that EVERYONE went to regardless of class or virtue.

          That doesn't mean they didn't have a powerful priest class though. According to their beliefs humans were made to be the slaves of their gods and the priests for some reason were given the ability to determine what the gods wanted.

          July 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • alliewines

      Why spread the falsehood that religion invented morality?

      July 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • aldewacs

        Indeed – many of them don't even practice moral living... although some try.

        July 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Votes.

        July 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • fred

      fred
      The issue is very simple and revolves around the concept of Spirit. There either is or is not something more to man than organic matter reacting to organic stimuli as a result of an accidental universe which on its face is nonsense.

      The foundation of your agnostic delusion is the same as my belief. We have faith in something that cannot be known by man, cannot be measured and cannot be proven by scientific method.

      See we have something in common besides "fred"

      July 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  20. noitall

    I'm not here to convince anyone. He's real to me. If you choose not to believe, that's your right. If He wants to convince you, that's His right; otherwise, I love you whether you believe or not.

    July 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Marky Mark

      More people should take your example and just shut up and be kind to their neighbor.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • lol

      As an atheist, thank you for your common sense.

      July 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      i love hieratic Christians, they need more people like you

      July 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.