July 18th, 2013
03:14 PM ET

`Six Types of Atheists' study wakes a sleeping giant

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. Ron

    Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ....Jesus (Mathew 11:28)

    July 24, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Isn't that what those pedophile priests say to the young boys?

      July 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • Ron

        We can see where your mind is.

        July 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          It's not my mind that mol'ested young boys!

          July 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Bacon is good! ... EnjaySea (15:23)

      July 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
      • tallulah13

        At long last, a gospel that can be trusted!

        July 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • skytag

      This prove you can quote Bible verses. Are we supposed to be impressed? Is that more impressive than someone who can quote the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or the Torah?

      July 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  2. Ron

    I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. ...Jesus (John 11:25)

    July 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Ken Margo


      July 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Angry Agnostic

      What on earth compelled you to parrot Bible verses? The Holy Spirit? Furthermore, did this strategy yield the desired effect? Is this how you fulfill your Christian duty to disseminate the truth?

      Did Jesus ever say any of this? Of course he did, because it's in the Bible, and we all know that everything in the Bible is true because the Bible says the Bible is true and that's all the proof Christians need. Well, only if its KJV......

      July 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Ron

        Angry, oh boy. I wouldn't know where to begin with you. lol

        July 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
        • Angry Agnostic

          Well find a place to begin with me! I realize my last comment must have came across as condescending, especially with, I fully admit, my use of strawmans, but if Bible verses were enough, you wouldn't need people like WL Craig and Dinesh running around trying to revive and modify arguments defeated long ago.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • Ron

          Angry, ok, let me try to help then. LIsten, you don't have to be so angry. I was angry and frustrated before I received Jesus as my Savior. Now I have peace and joy inside. The more you run from Him, the more you resist Him, the more frustrated you will be. Jesus died for you. He loves you. Receive God's forgiveness through Jesus. He is aaaaaawwwwwesome!

          July 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @ron................Why do you have peace and joy? Give us some examples of how Jesus did it for you.

          July 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Don't eat with your mouth full. ... EnjaySea(27:7)

      July 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • skytag

      Yet another Christian simpleton.

      July 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Ron

    I am the light of the world...he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness. ....Jesus (John 8:12)

    July 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Are you a flashlight?

      July 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Don't look at me in that tone of voice. ... EnjaySea(1:6)

      July 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  4. Ron

    I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me. ...Jesus (John 14:6)

    July 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Yes. Tough luck for the millions of native Americans and others who never heard of him.

      July 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
      • Ron

        You are worried about others? Or are you seeking to justify your own rebellion? The others do NOT concern you or me, that is God's business. What is your concern is your response to the gospel. That, you will account for.

        July 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • jazzguitarman

          Well I openly reject the so called gospel and you’re silly and immature attempt to put the fear of a so called hateful ‘god’ into me. And don't start with the BS that when one is on their death bed they change their POV.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          In other words, don't point out things we feel uncomfortable answering...indeed have no decent answer for....

          July 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • Observer


          "You are worried about others? The others do NOT concern you or me, that is God's business."

          It must be pretty frozen inside your heart to not care about millions of people who had no shot at heaven no matter how good they were. Without any doubt there were many who practiced the concept of the Golden Rule far better than you appear to have.

          It's easy to see how you support a God who torturously killed EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby, and fetus on the face of the earth.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • Ron

          Observer, let me help you out here. Lets see, you reject the gospel because not everyone has heard it, is that right? Do you really expect people to believe that is the reason? I don't believe you. I don't believe that you are concerned about the eternal well being of anyone. I think you are rebellious and seeking to justify yourself.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Observer


          "Observer, let me help you out here. Lets see, you reject the gospel because not everyone has heard it, is that right?"

          Wrong. I reject it because I've actually read it.

          Unlike CHRISTIANS LIKE YOU, I actually care about people. I don't write off millions (billions?) of people by saying that's their problem if they happened to be born supposedly in the wrong place or time.

          Have you ever heard of the GOLDEN RULE? It's what the "law and the prophets are all about". Look it up. You'll be shocked what it says.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Ron

          Observer, still sticking with the self-righteous approach? lol wow You may have actually convinced yourself of your own self delusion. Thats scarry.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • Observer


          Obviously you don't follow the Golden Rule. Anyone who cares so little about billions of souls says a lot about themselves and from here, that doesn't look too good.

          Consider getting a heart implant.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • Observer

          – Galations 5:14 “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

          – Luke 6:31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”

          – Matthew 7:12 “Treat others as you want them to treat you. THIS IS WHAT THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS ARE ALL ABOUT.”

          July 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • Ron

          Sorry Observer, you can't just qoute the parts you like. You seem to believe the "golden rule". Good for you. But if you reject Jesus as Savior and Lord and then try to quote the Bible to others, somehow my friend, you don't have much credibility. Sorry. You are rebellious. Interesting though. You are a self-righteous rebel. lol

          July 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Ron.....................Observer can quote a boat load of stuff from the bible (good and bad) So i wouldn't want to go toe to toe with him. He'll have you running home to mom.

          July 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • Observer


          No one believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose what they like and ignore the rest. That's why there are so many Christian hypocrites who pick on gays or delude themselves into claiming that the Bible opposes abortion.

          July 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • skytag

          @Ron: "Observer, let me help you out here."

          You are clearly too much of a simpleton to help anyone.

          "Lets see, you reject the gospel because not everyone has heard it, is that right?"

          Wrong. His point was obvious to anyone who can still think for himself. Since that obviously wouldn't include you I'll explain his point.

          Christians would have us believe God loves all his children. At the same time, the Bible clearly states a condition for salvation that much of the world's population over the course of human history could not satisfy. If accepting Jesus is the only way to salvation then everyone who has ever lived and not heard of Jesus were not or won't be saved.

          Quoting Bible verses in a discussion like this makes you look like a simpleton. They are not magic incantations that will cause anyone here to suddenly make anyone here buy into your delusions. Atheists aren't atheists because they've never heard a Bible verse, you twit. I was a Christian for four decades. I've read the Bible from cover to cover and much of it more times than I can count. Back when I was a Christian I could quote scripture as well as most Christians. So the notion you can convert people to what you believe simply by spouting some Bible verses is just foolishness. If you think you are serving God by making Christians look foolish, far be it from me to stop you.

          July 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Don't believe what you read in the Bible. ... EnjaySea (45:45)

      July 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • The Author of John

      Do you want to go to heaven? All you have to do is believe in Jesus. And die, of course. That's why there's no evidence that heaven actually exists, 'cos no one has gone and returned. Ya just gotta have faith, but don't worry. I wouldn't lie to you.

      Except, of course, I never actually met Jesus. He died before I was born, but I thought as long as I was plagiarizing the book of Matthew (also written after His death), I'd just add this whole 3:16 part in because those silly jews don't think Jesus was actually the messiah (who cares if he didn't really fulfill all the required prophecies. We need a messiah to get this religion off the ground, so why not invent one?). I also don't want to tell you my name, because how could you possibly believe this book was divinely inspired if you knew that it was written by someone with a personal agenda?

      So anyway, believe in Jesus if you want to get to heaven. Because our religion needs all the followers it can get, and you look pretty gullible.

      July 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Ron

    Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. ....Jesus (John 3:3)

    July 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      So we should die then?

      July 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • Ron

        Ken, your not real spiritual are you? oy. Jesus is referring to being born again now, in this life. We all die. We must be born again, or born from above to enter the kingdom of God. Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God. We need to acknowledge our need of God's forgiveness. That we are sinners. And be willing to repent, and receive His gift of eternal life through faith in Christ. When we receive His forgiveness and His gift of eternal life, then we are indeed born again.

        July 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          How do you know who a sinner is? Is George Bush a sinner? He killed thousands of innocent Iraqis that did nothing to us!
          Is Newt "Three wives" Gingrinch a sinner? He calls himself a christian. What about the westboro Baptish church. Are they sinners? They celebrate the deaths of American soldiers. All the people I just mentioned are Christians JUST LIKE YOU. And you wonder why people don't blindly follow you.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • Ron

          Ken, are you a sinner? Don't concern yourself with the rest of the world (you sound like Observer). You will not give an account for the rest of the world. But be assured, you will give an account for you.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Ron....................Married wife, 2 kids, don't drink, smoke or do drugs. Have been working since 16. I'm now 50. Do you think I'm a sinner?

          July 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      If God created the universe, then he was probably killed in the explosion. ... EnjaySea(1:1)

      July 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm not actually interested in the "kingdom of God". I'm not interested in an afterlife at all, but if I'm going to be stuck with one I'd much rather go to Valhalla. It sounds much more fun. The good news is that there is just as much evidence that Valhalla exists as there is evidence for heaven.

      July 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  6. Rachel

    Why do atheists care what Christians believe? You say that Christians live in a fantasy world, yet we live our lives happy. You guys constantly attack Christianity while arguing that we preach our beliefs on to you. Yet, it makes more sense to try to preach about God and salvation then to preach that there is nothing. What do you even stand for then? Is it so wrong to want to believe that there is something else other than this? You argue that believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus and unicorns. Yet your argument is flawed since those can be proven not to exist. Man will never prove or disprove the existence of God as long as they are alive. Christianity is based on faith. So what are you arguing for? Is it because science is more logical to you? Science does not disprove God. We are evolving, and we are much smarter than we were centuries ago. No, I do not believe in the Adam in Eve story, I believe the OT was written as an effort to make primitive people understand that simply "God created man." I will not discredit those who believe it, however, because I have no proof of it. I wasn't there. It's just my belief, yet I show respect.

    Many atheists say that when they die, they hope to just leave a better world for those they leave behind. So, to the atheist, a better world is a world without a God. Does preaching how God does not exist make you better? Does it make anyone better? Does the world seem to be heading in the right direction with the decreasing amount of Christians? I mean, God was taken out of schools years ago. Would you say that our children our heading towards a more meaningful and moral life? Or is that not important to you? Parents let their kids be “who they want to be” which basically means “they are too busy to lead them in the right direction.” Where else will these kids obtain morals and values? As many times as you can say that kids do not need the Bible to have values, I will say is that it helps. I am 23 years old and was raised Catholic, and my convictions stand firm. Even some atheists agree that religion is good to instill values, if just for that. So who cares if I believe in God. Jesus’ main message was to love one another, regardless of whether they are atheist or from another religion. Who cares if I try to live based on what Jesus taught? Why are you so desperate to change that? I would imagine that it would get tiring to constantly argue that there is no God. Wouldn’t your time better be spent helping humanity rather than putting up atheist monuments near Christian ones? Or are you simply still looking for an answer? I really do not understand it. All I know, is that it takes courage in today’s world to be a Christian, and to stand up for what you believe in when it's unpopular. Respect those who do, just as Christians should respect atheists. Your point would be much better respect and understood if you just focused more time on humanitarian efforts rather than being anti-Christian.

    July 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Why do Christians care what atheists believe?

      Why has the Christian Church historically scoured the earth looking for people to convert to their religion?

      Why do Christians think their dogma should shape the way public schools educate my children?

      Why do Christians think that every politician in this country is required to be Christian?

      Why do Christians arrogantly claim that it's impossible to be moral without believing in their deity?

      Don't pretend your are a victim, when it is the Christian Church that has been victimizing, persecuting, and marginalizing non-Christians for 2,000 years.

      I don't post here to change the minds of Christians. I post here to offer alternatives to those who are as yet undecided.

      Don't like it? Don't read it.

      July 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Don't forget this............................. Why do Christians think their dogma should shape the laws?

        July 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • ME II

      Many Atheists are simply trying to counter-act the influence of Christians in their lives, such as science in science class, gay marriage, stem cell research, women's choices on reproduction. While it may seem to you that they "preach that there is nothing", what they are often doing is simply pointing out beliefs that are portrayed as fact, which can impact the laws with which we live, e.g see above.

      For example, you say, "Yet your argument is flawed since [Santa Claus and unicorns] can be proven not to exist."
      How exactly can they be "proven" to not exist? Because they are stories? That proves nothing.

      July 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Oh, and while we're on the subject...

      Crosses are ugly, did you know that? Crucifixion was a method Rome used to execute people! What gives Christians the right to erect hideous 40 foot tall crosses on hilltops, despoiling natural vistas, all across America?

      How would you like it if every hilltop in America had a 40 foot tall guillotine on the top? Wouldn't that be pretty!

      Don't get me started!

      July 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Aimee

      Amen sister. I love the way you defended us believers and you are right on point. God bless

      July 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • Aimee

        well Enjay. the cross is a symbol of what Jesus had gone through to save you from your sins and they are beautiful. Jesus dying for your sins is the greatest gift you will ever receive. God bless you too. Even though you may not believe He loves you too

        July 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • niknak

        Yeah Shaimee, because you believers are under such attack.

        Hey, when will your believers start having your houses of myth start paying their fair share of taxes?

        Us non believers are tired of having to pay more to subsidize your various myths.

        July 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Aimee...............Please educate me. Why would he die for my sins when I wasn't even born yet? How can he sacrifice for people 100 years from now? 1000 years from now? Please don't tell me to read the bible. It's a book, no more no less. I want YOU a person that has read the bible to give me YOUR logical reason why we should believe.

        July 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • niknak

          She won't be back Ken.
          She is just like most believers, they only want to have a discussion with others who share their delusion.

          July 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • niknak

      And the best part is Retched, you won't even be back to follow up your cut and paste paragraph you posted.
      I have seen it before, here and on other blog sites of this nature.
      Your anti atheist rant is not original, just like your myth.

      July 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • L

      It's not a matter of caring about belief. It is a matter of caring about truth. I don't particularly care if you personally believe that the world is flat. But I want to live in a world where people generally know that the world is not flat, and where science and knowledge can advance without having to overcome religious obstacles.

      Unicorns are extremely unlikely, but not absolutely disprovable. It is always possible that there could be a unicorn somewhere we never looked. God, on the other hand, is everywhere, according to some definitions. He should therefore should be detectable everywhere, and God's existence would be provable or disprovable if someone could offer an authoritaive definition.

      The only real impediment in disproving the existence of God is that the word is so poorly defined that we can't really be sure if we're talking about the same thing. If "God is love," for example, then I would agree that God exists because I believe that love exists. On the other hand, a God who is all-good, all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, and eternal definitely does not exist, because bad things happen sometimes. QED

      July 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Concepts discussed in root post generalized past the point of usefulness.

      July 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Maani

      Rachel: You are well-named. Bless you. You are obviously brighter and more mature than your 23 years would otherwise tell. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, humility, and righteous indignance. Keep the faith. Agape.

      July 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • skytag

      "Why do atheists care what Christians believe?"

      I can only speak for myself. I value truth. If there is no god, which is what I believe to be the case and would be consistent with all observable evidence, then Christians are spreading lies, fairytales, myths, whatever you want to call it. You can't make me feel bad for standing up for the truth.

      In case you haven't notice, Christians, and other believers are frequently not content with just believing their myths and fairytales. Because they delude themselves into believing they know what their God wants they often seek to impose those beliefs on others. This is well documented throughout history, whether its the Spanish Inquisition, blue laws forcing businesses to close on Sundays, anti-abortion laws, laws prohibiting gay marriage, prayer in schools, religious persecution and so on.

      I'd be a lot more willing to accept your need for delusions to be happy if you weren't using those delusions to control other people's lives. This is why Christianity is so heavily targeted in these discussions. We don't have any laws in this country that pander to Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus. In American the Taliban is known and the conservative Christian right.

      July 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • skytag

      "You say that Christians live in a fantasy world, yet we live our lives happy."

      In my experience Christians may be a little happier because of their delusions, but they aren't as happy as they want everyone to believe. For all the time and energy they expend praying, reading scriptures, attending church, Sunday School, Bible School, whatever, that aren't all that much happier. They get lots of divorces, cry a lot when loved ones die, fight tooth and nail to postpone going to that better place they claim is waiting for them, can get pretty obnoxious when their beliefs are challenged, get angry, and so on.

      I accept that you might prefer a pleasant lie to a harsh truth, but atheists believe the truth will set you free, even if the truth isn't as pleasant as we would like.

      July 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I don't know if truth can set people free, except free from some particular lies perhaps. The truth is what it is. It's sometimes accessible, some times not. Sometimes what you'd like to know, sometimes not.

        July 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Rachel

      I think it's important to see the general idea of what I am trying to say. Not just comment on individual statements. First of all, I am not arrogant in the least. I said there are things I agree with and things that I don't agree with, but that I show respect. The same can be said about many atheists, since they believe in science, which is constantly changing, being updated, being proven wrong, and being proven correct. What was proven 50 years ago is not the case today. Second, I am young at 23 years old, but it does not diminish my credibility or my opinion. I live in the real world, am in graduate school, and I work. I think I can say my opinion; I am not some stupid kid that has no life experience. Third, the reason I say that Christians are generally happy is because usually on these kinds of boards, I see Christians proclaiming their faiths and atheist says we are "delusional" and living in a fantasy world. I am not delusional. I am human and I have logic. Of course I've had my doubts, but I have remained a Christian. I am not arrogant to say that I am right and you are wrong because, like I said, God will never be proven or disproven. I understand when atheists say that they do not believe in God and rely on science and what can be proven. Of course I understand. I just do not get why this arguments gets so heated on how “crazy Christians are”. Many of you love to focus on the negative of the Catholic church’s history, not the positive. Most love to mention Westboro Baptist church. I cannot speak for the radicals, and I do not know why they do what they do. From personal experience, and I think we can all agree, anything in extreme is bad, including an extreme Christian. Westboro, corrupt Catholic priests, crusades, etc. do not change my beliefs in God or Christ. That clearly is not representative of what Christianity is supposed to be. We can all see that I hope. If you took the time, you could see all the positives that Christianity (and Catholicism) has done too. But of course, no one likes to focus on the positive. Either way, I am not about to change my beliefs based on the past decisions of corrupt leaders. Yes, I still believe that being raised in church instills values. It’s not crucial, but it helps. Someone said that if I were raised in other countries, I would practice Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. I can’t say whether that is true or not, I don’t have the judgment to answer the “what if’s?” This is the life I was given though, and obviously, Christianity is a choice. Furthermore, it’s not an argument that supports what I am trying to say. That’s what I mean when saying that Christians are generally happy. You ask us all these questions that we do not know the answers to, but we still live our lives. Many us of us remain optimistic and hopeful. I may be wrong, but I see more comments from atheists on these boards than anyone else, and most are aggressive and spiteful. Are you trying to convince us to be more like that? It doesn’t help your case, it only pushes me closed to Christianity. Christians (and other religions) use their religions and beliefs to argue politics (“to control other people lives”). What do you expect? If we have certain beliefs, of course that’s the case we are going to argue. You have your beliefs, and that’s the case that you argue, as well.

      I am not trying to convince you. I am not arguing that God should stay in school (though I think it could help, I agree that there is too much diversity of among cultures, religions, etc to bring back such a system). I am not even trying to generalize all atheists in saying that they are aggressive towards religion. All I am saying is that though it may seem appealing to comment on every single post about how Christians are delusional and this and that, maybe humanity would fair better if we just respected one another. Have a conversation about our difference respectfully, not necessarily just attacking each other. I am guilty of becoming aggressive too (in my head, since this is my first post ever). I get heated when I see all these comments attacking my beliefs. I just feel like anything that is said is simply said to injure and to silence the other side, not to discuss. Christian cannot prove God. Atheists cannot disprove God. Christians cannot prove that there is a hell. So who cares? I don’t care if you’re atheist, muslin, scientologist, Satanist, etc. I show respect. And if in the end, my beliefs are in fact fantasy, then at least I was kind to those I knew and those I didn’t know, and I lived happy being faithful and positive. I would hope that that in itself is a positive for Christianity.

      July 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • EnjaySea

        I'd be interested to read your comment, but I don't have a free 15 minutes lying around. If you'd be willing to write something more concise, and cover a few hundred less points at a time, I'll give it another try.

        July 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Maani

        Rachel: Will you marry me?

        July 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  7. mdwesterngrl

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
    – Epicurus [341–270 B.C.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I will answer it for them. Read the bible. All the answers are there, listen you will believe, you will hear his voice, he will speak to you. eternal salvation (you get the point) etc etc etc. yawn yawn yawn

      July 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • niknak

        Wow, for a minute there I thought you had gone over the dark crazy side.
        But then got to the end and saw you were just mocking them.

        July 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  8. bostontola

    Maybe I'm an unusual atheist. My level of disbelief varies with the topic:

    I'm as certain that the big religions' gods and beliefs are all man made, as I am that the earth orbits the sun.

    But I'm less certain that there is no god of any form, but I believe that to be true (if there is one, it doesn't seem to matter much).

    I'm less certain of the fundamental atheist defining principle that there is no god, than I am that the big religions are balderdash.

    July 24, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I agree to a point. The problem as I see it is in the definition. I disagree with any and all definitions of any of the many gods that exist today. I am certain that if we discover that there is a "god" or "gods',any definition we currently use will prove insufficient.
      Trying to define something we do not even have any evidence of its existance is where much of the arguments come from.

      July 24, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Heliocentrism? HERETIC!
      Please turn yourself in to your friendly neighbourhood inquisitor. They should be listed in the yellow pages.

      July 24, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        Heretic, theretic, everywhere a tic tic.

        July 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  9. palintwit


    July 24, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  10. skytag

    @Vic: If you want to believe something badly enough you can convince yourself of almost anything, because when you want to believe something you evaluate potential arguments and evidence through the lens of a very strong bias. You accept evidence supporting what you want to believe and reject evidence that's inconsistent with what you want to believe. You conclude arguments are valid or invalid based on whether they support what you want to believe, not on whether their logic is sound or not. This phenomenon appears in religion, politics, economics, even science, although when it happens in science we call it bad science.

    Given the total lack of any objective evidence for God's existence, the only reason someone would do what you suggest and devote time and energy to prayer, reading the Bible, and so on is that he wants to believe there is a God. As soon as he wants to believe there is a God he is no longer someone seeking the truth, he's someone trying to convince himself that what he wants to believe is true.

    Mormon missionaries often quote this verse from the Book of Mormon:

    Alma 32:27
    "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than a desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

    This is pretty much exactly what you're saying. What this verse is really saying is that you should allow your desire to believe color your interpretations of fact, evidence, and events until you can convince yourself to actually believe.

    At this point I won't invest time or energy seeking God for the same reason I won't invest time and energy digging up my yard seeking buried treasure, traveling to Ireland seeking leprechauns, or traveling to the North Pole seeking Santa Claus: Until I see some evidence any of these exist I see any of these pursuits as a complete waste of time.

    July 24, 2013 at 4:44 am |
    • Vic

      We are all biased, one way or another, I concur. However, there are things that escape our bias and get to our hearts and minds if not our belief.

      How about resonance?! That's what happened to me when I heard about Jesus Christ. I was not seeking Him, yet, hearing about Him resonated with me and got my attention, long story short, got my belief in Him.

      July 24, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • tallulah13

        So basically, you heard a story you liked and decided to believe that story, regardless of the fact that no evidence actually supports that story. How very human of you.

        July 24, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • skytag

          Yep, typical conversion story.

          July 24, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        When I was young, Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" resonated deeply with me.
        The tale of the Man from Mars trying to make sense of humanity (especially s.ex, love, and religion) struck a deep chord in my adolescent psyche.
        The book has obviously resonated with a great many people since there is a real life Church of All Worlds inspired by it, even if I never grokked the fullness of their devotion to a sci-fi novel.
        Just beause something elicits emotion, that doesn't make it factual.

        July 24, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Doc – I read every Heinlein book I could get my hands on when I was a kid... they were all in the public library by mid-70's early 80's... "The Moon is a harsh mistress" and 'The number of the beast" are my all time favorites. Excellent use of the word "grok."

          July 24, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I've got a bookshelf full of Heinlein!
          My kid turns 7 next month and we're gonna start on the juveniles like Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Red Planet, etc.
          I've lost count of how many copies of Stranger I've loaned out and never got back – but I can't begrudge it since that's how I got my first copy.
          Now that I look at my office bookshelf, I see that I've got "I Will Fear No Evil" and "The Number of the Beast" right in front of me. 😉

          July 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Citizen of the Galaxy, Starship Troopers (the original, not the horrible movie... probably not a good choice for a 7 year old), Tunnel in the sky, The door into summer and Orphans of the sky... all great books. I read all of those before I was 15.

          July 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • skytag

        Every religion is a narrative or belief system if you will, based on premises that cannot be proven. Christianity is a collection of narratives that have a few common elements. Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, the gods of the ancient Greeks, Hinduism, and thousands of other religions man has created over the course of human history all have their own narratives.

        People who embrace one of those narratives do so because they find that narrative to be the most appealing out of all the narratives they have a chance to seriously consider. Not because any evidence supports it, but because they like what it tells them. Christianity offers a particularly appealing narrative.

        It tells you you'll never really die and that loved ones who die go to a place more wonderful than you can imagine where you'll get to see them again one day. It claims to wipe out all injustice because if justice isn't served in this life God will enact it in the next. It tells you that no matter how many mistakes you make, how many bad things you do you can avoid any and all eternal consequences for this simply by believing something, with no penalties, no retribution, no sacrifices, nothing; just believe in Jesus and all is forgiven. Righteous living is optional because salvation is a gift, not something you earn be living righteously.

        It tells you a being powerful enough to create the universe from nothing is your friend, that he listens to your prayers, watches over you, protects you and your loved ones, and so on, like having your own personal Superman on steroids. What's not to like?

        Yet it gets better. To make the Christian narrative even more appealing there are hundreds of variations from which you are free to choose to ensure you get one tailored to your personality and lifestyle. There are denominations that condemn homosexuality and denominations that marry gays and admit them into their ministry. There are those that require significant sacrifice in the way you live your life, such as the Amish. There are those that are heavy on ritual, such as Catholics and Mormons. There are those that preach strict Sabbath day observance and those that are happy if you'll just show up for services on Sunday morning. There are some in which people handle snakes and speak in tongues. There are some that prohibit the consumption of alcohol and tobacco and others that don't.

        Christianity isn't a religion, it's a religious smorgasbord, ideal for the church-shopping crowd, people who want all the benefits of the core narrative but want to be able to pick and choose how and to what extent they have to incorporate it into their daily lives. Some Christians are part of no denomination whatsoever. This ability to pick and choose is a major reason Christianity is so popular, this and the fact that it offers so much while asking so little.

        So you heard one of the Christian narratives and it appealed to you. Shocker. Still isn't evidence any of it is true.

        July 24, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • niknak

          I agree that there are tailored versions of each of the big myths to fit your personal choice, but the vase majority of people did not choose.
          The vast majority, and I am talking in the high 90 percentile range, are only in their respective myth because of birth, not choice.
          Very few people actually examine them all then make a choice.
          That is why it is so funny when the xtians come here and say how theirs is the correct myth, since none of them were anything else except that.
          Had they been born in Saudi Arabia they would be muslims and think the bible was wrong.
          Same with a person in Saudi Arabia, had they been born into a xtian home in the burbs here in the US they would think allah was some made up bull.

          July 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Wow, you devote a lot of time and energy to this (4-45 am?). all I know is I was in a dark place ,in a deep hole of despair,drowning in hoplessnes,I asked God if he was there,would he help me? He did, I healed, I learned, I grew as a person,father, husband and friend. He is with us even if we do not know it and he is ready to catch us as we fall if we will reach out our hand .

      July 24, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • skytag

        You healed, you learned, you grew. The operative word here is "you." God didn't do any of this, you did. That said, if you believed there is a God and he as "there for you" that could certainly have aided you in digging out from your hole. The placebo effect is well documented.

        July 24, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Skytag, obviously you are completely satisfied with where you are and have NO desire to go anywhere else.If this is satisfactory and comfortable for you then maybe this is where you should be .

          July 24, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • skytag

          @lngtrmthnkr: "Skytag, obviously you are completely satisfied with where you are and have NO desire to go anywhere else.If this is satisfactory and comfortable for you then maybe this is where you should be ."

          Reality is not dependent on my satisfaction level with it. Nevertheless, it's where I should be. If you can't cope with the real maybe a fantasy is where you need to be. It's not ideal, but it's better than having you snap and do something rash and destructive.

          July 24, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • niknak

        Instagram, why is it that you believers all have the same "evidence" for your believe that always involves some personal revelation that can never be verified?
        If you god was real, why does it hide itself and reveal itself the way you all claim?
        And the people who follow allah or shiva or Buddha all say the same thing, that their god revealed themselves to them in the same way, yet you say their gods don't exist.
        But we are to believe you, that your revelation is proof that yours does.

        Mass delusion does not prove that god(s) exist, regardless of how much the deluded believe it to be true.

        July 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  11. skytag

    @Vic: "Observer and Ken Margo, you have a problem identifying with the God proclaimed by existing religions but would believe in a different God. That's fine. A very good start. That the first step in making sense. Here is what you do, and I am being honest for there is no other way to do it:"

    I would be happy to believe in God if I saw any reason to believe he existed. You believe because you want to believe, not because there is any objective reason to believe.

    "Try to talk to Him one on one in private in any way or fashion you feel comfortable with, privately, and ask Him what you want to know, and see what happens. Don't rush, just wait within reason, and I hope you will be inspired."

    I "talked to God" for nearly 40 years and nothing ever happened. I prayed. I read the scriptures; I've read the Bible from cover to cover and many parts more times than I can remember. I attended Sunday School regularly and have even been a Sunday School teacher. I donated tens of thousands of dollars to my church. I genuinely believed and did all the things I was supposed to do, but after 40 years of it I finally got to the point I couldn't keep rationalizing why nothing in the real world supported anything I believed. Maintaining a delusion in the face of all evidence to the contrary is a lot of work. I finally got to the point I just couldn't do it anymore and accepted the obvious.

    Sorry my delusional friend, but if 40 years of that wasn't enough to come up with any evidence or for Jesus to "touch" me or some such thing then obviously God doesn't care if I believe in him or not, so why should I care? Because some intellectually challenged guy on the web who wouldn't know a logical fallacy if it sat on his lap says so? In your dreams.

    July 24, 2013 at 4:18 am |
    • Vic

      Obviously skytag, you can outtalk me no matter what I say. But know this, you may have not not fallen from Grace regardless of your stance. Many Christians believe that once you are saved, always saved. God saves us not because we are any good nor because we love Him but because He loves us. What goes around comes around, you might end up believing again. I can not keep up with the evidence I see of God, everywhere. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

      Best of luck.

      July 24, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • Ummmm

        " God saves us not because we are any good nor because we love Him but because He loves us."

        No, you're god doesn't which is why it need the excuse to have a son come to earth, because it couldn't just love you. Duh!

        July 24, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Vic

          John 3:16,17

          "16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

          Scripture Is From:

          New American Standard Bible (NASB)
          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation


          July 24, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Ummmm

          ""16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.""

          That's because in your religion your god does NOT love you for who you are, you have to love and worship it's son otherwise you don't get to go to heaven. So your original statement that your "god loves us" is false.

          July 24, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • Emerald

          "John 3:16,17"

          The book of John is a fake. Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

          July 24, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • skytag

          Vic, quoting the Bible is utterly pointless in a discussion of this nature. Doing so just makes you look lame.

          July 24, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • skytag

        "Obviously skytag, you can outtalk me no matter what I say."

        In other words, I can articulate the flaws in your arguments but you can't identify the flaws in mine. That's why you never try, instead you just keep regurgitating your religious beliefs over and over again as if repeating them enough will make them true. Gee, if you're right and God is on your side why can't you do any better than that?

        Faith does not equal truth, regardless of what you've been brainwashed to believe.

        July 24, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Pete

          "God is on your side why can't you do any better than that?'

          For the same reason so many Christians fail on a daily basis, their god doesn't exist. Think about it, if the belief in their god was as powerful and life changing as they claim, then why do millions and millions of Christians fail so much. That's what so funny about religion. They claim it's a life changing experience, that their god is so powerful yet history has repeatedly shown it does no such thing because let's face it if they truly followed the teachings of their Christ, this world and specifically America would be a very different place. Now wait for it people....the excuses will begin.

          July 24, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Vic

          Well, I believe I already did but that's not the point. Plus, I speak out of conviction and parroting!

          July 24, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • Vic

          Well, I believe I already did but that's not the point. Plus, I speak out of conviction and not parroting!

          July 24, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • skytag

        "But know this, you may have not not fallen from Grace regardless of your stance. Many Christians believe that once you are saved, always saved. God saves us not because we are any good nor because we love Him but because He loves us. What goes around comes around, you might end up believing again."

        Zzzzzzzzzzz. There is no God. Your fairytales are completely wasted on me.

        July 24, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • skytag

        "I can not keep up with the evidence I see of God, everywhere. I guess it depends on how you look at it."

        You see what you want to see, and you have an agenda, which is to confirm what you want to believe and justify years of commitment to those beliefs. That hardly makes you an objective observer.

        I, on the other hand, am completely objective. You show me any rational reason to believe God exists and I'll be happy to believe it. I am not invested in atheism. In fact, any suggestion it was easy for me to accept that I'd been taken in by a fairytale for four decades couldn't be more wrong. I wasn't looking for an excuse to give up my belief in God or to abandon the comforting narrative if offered. I left all that because and only because I simply couldn't keep rationalizing something for which there was clearly no evidence and didn't match what I saw in the real world.

        It's not my fault you people can't deal with unpleasant realities. As soon as you hear about someone who abandoned his Christian beliefs and became an atheist you make up a bunch of baseless stories to explain it so you don't have to deal with the truth. The truth here is that I simply couldn't keep deluding myself.

        I wasn't "mad at God" before and certainly not after making the change (how can I be mad at something that doesn't exist?). There were no events in my life that precipitated it. No one did anything to me, there were no personal tragedies, none of that. It took place gradually over the course of a couple years as I progressed from being open to questioning what I believed and analyzing it objectively to realizing there simply was no basis for any of it.

        That's the truth. If you can't handle the truth and need make up fairytales about me to avoid having deal with that truth, that's your problem, not mine.

        July 24, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Observer

      If there was any real proof that the God of the Bible existed, I would accept it. But that also applies to proof that the world was created by a committee of zombies, Zeus, the Three Stooges or any of an infinite number of possibilities. Based on what the Bible advocates and the supposed actions of God in it, there is a good chance that those other options could involve much nicer and kinder creators.

      August 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  12. nostod

    Every person has the right of choice to believe or not to believe in God. Faith by definition is believing in something that defies explanation,

    In order to assert that in fact God does not exist one would have be everywhere at once in the universe and God was not there (omnipresent,).
    Likewise one would have to have all knowledge and in that knowledge God was not any part of that knowledge ( omniscient).

    The only quality an atheist asserting there is no God lacks is omnipotence.

    This type of "atheist" believes in a god it is just himself or herself.

    America has sown to the wind and now will reap the whirlwind

    God have mercy on our wicked souls

    Every human will believe in God, some will just believe to late

    Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess

    who is John Galt?
    atlas shrugged

    July 24, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • redzoa

      I don't have to be omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent to reasonably conclude leprechauns, unicorns and Santa Claus do not exist. Yes, I could be wrong, but the overwhelming lack of any physical evidence to support their existence provides sufficient foundation for my position. The same can be said for the existence of god(s) in that there is no supporting physical evidence indicating its/their existence, whence the need for "faith." However, when we look at the history of god belief among various cultures, there is considerable evidence that they are human fabrications to explain the unexplainable. For the same reasons you don't believe in Zeus, Brahma, or any of the other gods that have come and gone, atheists reject your preferred deity as well.

      Here's a question to ponder though . . .

      While I must concede that I might be wrong and your preferred deity might actually exist, can you too admit that you might be wrong and your preferred deity very well might not exist?

      July 24, 2013 at 2:13 am |
      • Bubba

        Yes...there is a possibility that God does not exist. Mankind has been incorrect on many "facts" before; flat earth, center of universe, etc..
        I postulate one theory though; a Living God, who gave us Free Will, would not manifest, nor declare, Himself. Because, if He did so, undue influence would be applied in direct violation of Free Will. Thus, we can only address this issue with faith, which by definition, lacks empirical evidence.
        God does exist, and He does come to those who open themselves to Him. Please do not let the poor behavior of those who claim to know Him stop you from seeking Him. The invitation does require effort and faith, and this is where most will fall short.
        Good physical health requires actual effort, before we see results, yet no one seems to argue that the health benefits of a healthy lifestyle are mythical. Those who know God experience Him, and the evidence is just as real. However, few actually obey God, thus few receive the blessings. Kind of like the overweight people who claim that excercise and eating healthy just does not work for them.

        July 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • skytag

      More proof religion makes people stupid. I don't believe in God, vampires, Santa Claus, leprechauns, monster under my bed, talking horses, unicorns, elves, and a thousand other things, all for the exact same reason: I see nothing whatsoever to suggest any of them exist.

      Your argument, which is a common one among believers, is nothing more than a desperate attempt to avoid admitting something consistent with all the evidence because you just don't want to believe it. Your belief in God is based on nothing more than a simple desire to believe a comforting narrative because the alternative is to believe harsh realities about your existence.

      July 24, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      Humans have worshiped literally thousands of gods throughout the course of history. There is no evidence that any one of them exists. Therefore, it is insane to claim that the christian god is the "one true" god. Perhaps someday, evidence that a god exists will surface, but the odds of that god being the christian god are so slim as to be non-existent.

      July 24, 2013 at 2:23 am |
      • skytag

        Something believers refuse to address when you point it out to them is the fact that much of the reasoning they use to support their religious beliefs can be applied equally well to almost any other set of religious beliefs, including some that are inconsistent with their beliefs.

        July 24, 2013 at 4:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      " If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my a.ssertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my a.ssertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and enti.tle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

      – Bertrand Russell

      July 24, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  13. skytag

    @Vic: For the sake of argument, let's suppose the universe was created by an all powerful being who had existed for an eternity extending into the past in emptiness of the nothingness that was before he got bored and created the universe with its 170 billion or more galaxies and trillion trillion stars.

    Let's further suppose this being, which we'll call God, focused his attention on this planet, terraformed it to sustain life, and then created the life on it.

    My question to you is, how does any of this prove the Christian understanding of this god is correct? For example, how does it justify believing this God has a son named Jesus Christ? How does it prove Christians have it right and everyone else has it wrong? How does it prove there was a flood that wiped out all but eight souls?

    How does it show this God didn't move on to some other planet after getting the ball rolling here? Can you prove that orbiting a few thousand of those trillion trillion stars there aren't other planets on which he has also created life? After all, according to the Bible he was so disgusted at one point with the human race he created he wiped out all but eight of them with a flood. Could it be the reason he stopped performing miracles after performing them for thousands of years was that he gave up on us and left to try again on another planet?

    You claim people don't answer your questions, how answering some of mine?

    July 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Vic

      In short:

      It takes a human to know one.

      I spent a great deal of my life searching for the Truth about God. I started simply with looking around, and by sentience, it was evident to me that there is a God who made all of this. Then, over two decades of searching for the Truth, I researched and studied mainly the basic principles and some of the details of all major ideologies, and I came to the conclusion that man can not redeem himself from God's judgment on his own based on proclaimed scriptures. That's why the Salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY thing that made/makes sense to me. That coupled with what I observed in a lot of Christian believers, being ordinary people, sinners like I am, yet having faith in God and His redemptive Grace, I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior in a moment of clarity over a prayer. I have been constantly compelled by the Holy Spirit in so many ways to this day. I find revelation and joy in believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

      One of the first compulsions was to study the Bible. I have been doing that ever since. Now, I have found a lot of Truth of what I have been studying, enough to make a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior, while feeling the presence of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. True sensations to me. In the meantime, I have come across scripture that I still don't understand. The way I look at it is that the Bible might have scribal, translational and/or interpretational errors about certain details but the general narrative about God is clear enough and matches my sentience. That's why I don't worry too much about the details while having a firm Faith and understanding of the redemptive Grace of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      Regarding God's interventions and revelations, as I mentioned many times before from what learned and believe, those varied throughout different Time Dispensations, according to His Will.

      I have learned from scripture that it only mentions creatures in the heavenly (angles and so) and earth (man, animal, plants, etc.) realms, the beginning and end of time of relating to earth, and the narrative of God's mission and revelations revolve around man.

      When it comes to terraforming, to sustain a humanlike life you need an atmosphere that contains enough oxygen and an ecosystem that recycles it (i.e. soil, plants and water) like on Earth. Earth has a very sophisticated electromagnetic shield that protects us from the solar and cosmic rays. Earth is at the right distance from the sun with the right gravity to support life conditions (habitualness.) Earth is the only known celestial object to have organic material in its regolith!

      Also, the Anthropic Principles reveal God's design for sustaining life. This Universe is intricately designed and fine-tuned (Anthropic Constants are accurately measured) to enable Life here on Earth.

      Given all of that led me to believe that life only exists on earth, and we are bound to earth by design.

      July 24, 2013 at 12:07 am |
      • skytag

        "I spent a great deal of my life searching for the Truth about God. I started simply with looking around, and by sentience, it was evident to me that there is a God who made all of this."

        As my master's advisor used to say: The obvious is difficult to prove and often wrong.

        It used to be "evident" to people the world was flat and that the sun revolved around it. Believing something is evident proves nothing. Claiming it was "by sentience" is just stupid.

        "Then, over two decades of searching for the Truth, I researched and studied mainly the basic principles and some of the details of all major ideologies, and I came to the conclusion that man can not redeem himself from God's judgment on his own based on proclaimed scriptures."

        First, people come to false conclusions all the time. It seems to be your trademark. You wouldn't recognize valid logic if it bit you in the behind. The Bush administration came to the conclusion Iraq had WMDs. Claiming you, who clearly has a very poor grasp on the principles of logic came to a conclusion proves absolutely nothing.

        Second, by your own admission you have not examined the teachings of all religions, or even all of the teachings of the major religions. So all you can legitimately claim is that based on your imperfect partial understanding of some the world's religions none of those particular religions seemed to be true.

        "That's why the Salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY thing that made/makes sense to me."

        The fact that something "makes sense" to you proves nothing. The only thing that makes sense to me is that there is no God.

        You are astoundingly arrogant. Apparently you believe only Christians have looked around and sought the truth, or you believe the overwhelming majority of people who have ever lived on this Earth have lacked your superior ability to discern it when they were looking for it. Both are arrogant. You compound that arrogance in believe you're incapable of being wrong.

        I'm not even going to waste my time exposing the foolishness displayed in the rest of your comment. You won't have the courage to address anything I say anyway. Suffice it to say everything you have here is purely subjective belief. No logic, no facts, no evidence. You start with a lot of "it seems to me" and end with a lot of a lot of wholly unsupportable claims Christians memorize and regurgitate on command like trained parrots.

        I have not only studied but taught logic. I have not only had to come up with countless mathematical proofs in the course of earning two degrees in mathematics, I have spent many, many hours examining the proofs of students to determine their validity. What is clearly evident to me is that you're desperately trying to make it seem as if what you believe is the product of sound logical reasoning when in reality you have no grasp on the principles of logic. You haven't proved anything here, you're just too dumb to realize it.

        July 24, 2013 at 2:15 am |
  14. Vic

    Atheists always posit that Christians are non-pragmatic and don't employ logic. Well, simply, that's not true.

    Many time on this CNN Belief Blog, I posed fundamental questions, and I received no answers.

    Here are some examples:-

    – Where did matter come from?

    – What is the first cause of the universe and life?

    – Can someone create a single bit of matter?

    – Can someone create a single living cell?

    – Can science animate matter?

    – Can science reverse engineer/recreate/continue/resume evolution?

    – How does evolution explain male and female?

    Being pragmatic, science has not been able to answer any of the above questions and so many more. All what's out there is the science of how some, but not all, of what already exists works, which is epic, wonderful, miraculous, and I personally pursue and advocate, but, first and foremost, is not how things came to be!

    Now, being logical, when we look at all the hypothesis out there, God comes across as the most logical explanation to answer the above questions and the so many more.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I fail to see how making up an answer is the most logical answer. Note that science develops over time. i.e. centuries ago there were many questions related to illness that science couldn't answer. Mankind would answer these questions saying the causes were evil or some other out of this world type of myth. But science was able to pinpoint the cause.

      Science will never be able to answer all the silly qustions mankind has (such as what happens to us after we die), but in no way does that mean the logical default answer is a so called 'god'. Also, which 'god'? The Muslim 'god'?

      July 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • skytag

        "I fail to see how making up an answer is the most logical answer."

        Obviously there is no rational reason to believe that. Vic is so desperate to make it seem his beliefs are logical that he frequently just claims they are even when anyone who actually understands logic knows they are not.

        July 24, 2013 at 2:46 am |
      • TG


        Though science has been placed on a pedestal by many and has brought to light many revelations, has it really been able to answer life's basic questions, such as why we die, or as you proposed "What happens to us after we die". Without the Bible, these questions will remain qualifiedly unanswered.

        With the Bible, we begin to grasp who our original forefather is (Adam), and his rebellion in a garden that set off a chain reaction (Gen 3:1-6), causing all his offspring to receive imperfection from him, and thus from the cradle we walk on the road to the grave.

        A lawyer in the 1st century C.E. wrote that "through one man sin (from the Hebrew chattath meaning "to miss", missing the mark of perfect obedience) entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned."(Rom 5:12)

        Now we know why we die, but what happens to us after we die ? Just as before a product was made, it did not exist, so likewise before Adam was formed from "the dust of the ground", he did not exist. In fact, in pronouncing judgment against Adam, God said: "For dust you are and to dust you will return."(Gen 3:19) Adam returned back to "dust", again becoming non-existent, just a product that is thrown into trash dump and eventually breaks down.

        And science cannot tell if there is any hope of coming back to life (though there is the scientific thought of cryogenics), but the Bible establishes that many who have died over the millennia of man's history can receive what is called a resurrection (Greek anastasis, meaning "a standing up again" to life).

        An ancient man some 3,600 years ago asked: "If an able-bodied man dies can he live again ?" The man, whose name was Job, was deeply concerned as to whether he could come back to life in the future, but he was confident that he could, by saying: "All the days of my compulsory service (or death) I shall wait."(Job 14:14) He was fully self-assured that our Creator, Jehovah God would remember him at an appointed time and bring him back from the dead.

        September 12, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • niknak

      But science has answered enough of them that you go to a doctor who uses modern medicine, derived from science, instead of using a faith healer and leaches.
      In fact, science lets you and I communicate over the internet, whereas your religion is still stuck in the stone age where it was made up.
      But go ahead and keep using the advances of modern science and still cling to your fairy tales, I am sure it works for you.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Mark from Middle River

        Amazing that science is more like Religion in that while science can heal it continues to discover new and more powerful ways to harm. In fact, Religion and science have walked hand and hand throughout history to do some of the greatest deeds ever known and some of the worst deeds which even today scare us.

        July 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Mark, stop embarrassing yourself. You do the same thing in every post, and you fail almost every time. Just because you think you can "flip" an issue doesn't mean you can. Just because you want there to be a comparison between two "sides" doesn't mean that there necessarily is where you want it to be.

          The issue being discussed above was methodology. Science uses measurement and verifiability. Religion uses stories (myth) and threats (believe or else). For you to start talking about harm because of or through either of them is just being stupid. You should be asking why religion uses scientific advances and knowledge all the time (electricity, chemicals, etc) and why science doesn't use any of religion's "advances." Isn't that the better question?

          July 24, 2013 at 12:07 am |
        • bk0099

          well he is kind of right, but it's more apples and oranges than apples to apples. the major difference being that science doesn't say anything is wrong or right, just that it is.

          July 24, 2013 at 1:23 am |
        • skytag

          Religion and science didn't do those things, people did. That would be, according to Christians, God's greatest creation.

          July 24, 2013 at 2:27 am |
        • TG

          @Mark from Middle River

          Factual science and the Bible are compatible, but religion has often suppressed the facts when science was found to be at odds with it. For example, from the time of 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, the earth was viewed as the center of the universe, called the geocentric theory, with the sun and planets revolving around it. But a Polish man named Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) developed an alternative theory, called the heliocentric theory, whereby the planets, including the earth, revolved around the sun.

          This idea of a moving earth that was not the center of the universe, would have far-reaching consequences. Less than a hundred years later, Italian Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) using the telescope, made observations that convinced him that the Copernician hypothesis of an earth revolving around the sun was true. But the Catholic church, which accepted the geocentric theory, rejected Galileo's views as heretical and forced him to recant. Religious errors has caused church theologians to deny scientific truth and it was not until 360 years later, in 1992, did the Catholic church clear Galileo.

          Today, the religions of Christendom display a similar disrespect for the truth of the Bible, by giving preference to scientific theories, such as the Catholic church accepting evolution. Over 30 years ago, the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences (at that time, a body 70 scientists) said: "We are convinced that masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and the other primates beyond serious dispute."

          The Bible however, says: "Know that Jehovah is God. He is the one who made us."(Ps 100:3) And king Solomon wrote: "The hearing ear and the seeing eye – Jehovah has made both of them."(Prov 20:12)

          October 8, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • TG


        Has science really been a panacea for mankind, its savior ? Has it solved the mystery of sickness and eventual death ? There has been a promise to eradicate cancer over the last 40 years, but medical science is almost nowhere closer than when they started.

        Why has science lagged behind the Bible in knowing that the earth is "hanging upon nothing", as seen at Job 26:7, some 3,600 years ago ? It has been only recently that this was the case, especially during the Apollo 11 mission (July, 1969) when the astronauts could see that the earth had nothing visible holding it in place.

        Also, why has science lagged behind in grasping that the earth is round, for the Bible some 2,700 years ago identified the earth as a "circle" at Isaiah 40:22 ? Though Pythagaros (570-495 B.C.E.) suggested that the earth was round due to the moon being round, yet it was not welcomed until the last few hundred years, but many felt that the earth was flat.

        Too, why has the Bible been able to identify that we have within us a "blueprint" or set of instructions that determines who we uniquely are, some 3,000 years before the discovery of DNA in 1953 ? At Psalms 139, the man David was inspired to write that "your (God's) eyes saw even the embryo (comprising 56 days) of me, and in your book all its (the human body) parts were down in writing (our DNA), as regards the days when they were not formed (before becoming a fetus), and there was not yet one (complete organ) among them."(Ps 139:16)

        The Bible is not a science book, but when it touches upon the subject, it has proven to be accurate, often long before science establishes it so. Does this not give a basis for examining the Bible more closely ?

        September 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Vic.................Why does god have to be the logical (default) answer? Why don't YOU give us a logical answer? To blindly answer god is not logical or smart.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • Vic

        Sentience and this universe and life in it are evidence of design and creation, hence Designer and Creator, let alone testimony throughout the ages of the Scriptures!

        July 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Vic you can believe what ever you want. It won't change anything. Judging by the angry reactions of religious individuals like yourself over gay marriage. Obviously the majority thinks your religion means nothing.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
        • jazzguitarman

          Ken, how can you say the majority think Vic's religion means knowning. That clearly isn't true in the USA. Sadlly the vast majority of Americans believe in a so called 'god' and over 60% identify themselves as Christians.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • Vic

          I am not sure I follow; I was never angry about that!

          July 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Jazz.......................You've seen how religious individuals prayed that Obama would lose.
          You've seen how religious individuals prayed against gay marriage.
          You've seen how religious individuals prayed against abortion
          The lists go on. If religious beliefs were in the majority, none of these things would have happened. Majority wins. Religion loses.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • TG

          @Ken Margo

          Yes, religion has prayed in behalf of certain candidates and against others, as well prayed and protested against gay marriage and abortion. However, these religions or churches of Christendom have always meddled in the political arena. And the Bible exposes such ones as part of a false religious "harlot", and given the name Babylon the Great (Rev 17:1, 2, 5), as ancient Babylon was the prototype in peddling false religion that has now extended to the ends of the earth.

          In the Bible at Revelation 17:2, it says that this false religious "harlot" commits both physical and spiritual fornication with "the kings of the earth." Hence, the churches (as well all the other religions on the earth, with the exception of the one true religion) have enmeshed themselves with the political rulers, with some running for political office, such as Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson Sr. for president of the US in the 1980's.

          The Bible shows that the one true religion is "no part of the world" (John 15:19), remaining politically neutral, and these has ' beaten their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning shears, learning war no more.' (Isa 2:4) These then are not involved in protest rallies, nor prays for or against any political candidate, but rather it prays for God's kingdom (Matt 6:9, 10), a heavenly government, to bring total peace to the earth, removing all national boundaries, sin, sickness and death and raising "meek" ones to perfection to enjoy living on a paradise earth forever.(Ps 37:11, 29)

          And the "harlot", Babylon the Great, has an "expiration date", for in the near future, this religious monstrosity will be annihilated.(Rev 17:16, 17)

          September 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Vic......................Are you saying you're for gay marriage?

          July 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • niknak

          I agree that those things have carried that day Ken, but the sad fact is the vast majority of this country still clings to their god myth.
          We are the only country on earth that has a large percentage of it's citizens who think the earth is only 6k years old.
          And they are getting worse not better the more science advances us the more they regress into the stone age.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        • TG


          Yes, the religions of Christendom have said that the earth is just 6,000 years old. This, however, does not line up with either the Bible or accurate science. In the Bible at Genesis 1:1, it says: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Hence, the earth is basically the same age as the "heavens" or universe, being billions of years old.

          The churches have also misunderstood the six "creative" days seen at Genesis 1, stating that each "day" was just 24 hours long rather than what the Bible rightly presents of each "creative" day as being several thousand years long.(see Gen 2:1-3 and compare with Hebrews 4:1-10)

          Thus, you are right in disagreeing with anyone who says that the earth is just 6,000 years old, for the churches have never been able to provide any real evidence that we are the product of a Supreme Designer, whom the Bible identifies as Jehovah.

          September 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
        • Kenrick Benjamin

          Vic- Don't worry atheist will tell you that they are ignorant as to whence the came and yet still claim that God don't exist.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • jazzguitarman

          Kenrick; I came from my mother womb. You appear to be dropped from outer space (and landed on your head!).

          July 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • Observer

          Kenrick Benjamin

          " Don't worry atheist will tell you that they are ignorant as to whence the came and yet still claim that God don't exist."

          The difference seems to be that atheists are using science and logic and all believers have is a 2,000-year-old book full of non-reproduceable stories that go against all the laws of physics.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
        • Kenrick Benjamin

          Atheist- Prove me wrong.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Kendrick..................I'm pretty sure we all came from our mother's womb. Unless you're a test tube baby. (That's another story)

          July 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Observer

          Kenrick Benjamin

          "Atheist- Prove me wrong."

          No one can prove God exists or doesn't exist. Prove you are right. Ooops.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Observer...............You can't prove a negative. So the onus is those that believe god exists to prove it. But you know what they'll do. They'll talk about matter, the universe and oxygen as proof.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Observer

          Ken Margo

          "You can't prove a negative"

          No argument, While logic and all the rules of science and math offer a strong rebuttal to the God in the Bible, there's still the possibility that another nicer, kinder, more caring, less vain, and less brutal God could exist.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
        • TG


          Rather than "all the rules of science and math offer a strong rebuttal to the God in the Bible", these make an overwhelming case for there being a God. For example, what math was used to calculate the capability of dragline silk from an orb weaver spider that is lighter than cotton, yet ounce for ounce stronger than steel, tougher than kevlar (used in bullet-proof vests), that if the silk were 0.4 inch thick with strands 1.6 inches apart and enlarged the size of a football field, could stop a jumbo jet in flight, that is flying at an average speed of about 600 mph ?

          And how did a man named Job who lived some 3,600 years ago say that the ' earth is hanging upon nothing ' (Job 26:7), since even over a thousand years later, Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that the earth, along with all the universe was attached to crystalline spheres, composed of an eternal substance he called ether, reasoning that the heavenly bodies had to be affixed to something, or else it will fall ?

          It was until Isaac Newton (1642-1727) proposed that a force called gravity could be a way of holding up all the starry heavens, that it could be accepted that all heavenly bodies are without any visible means of support. And it was not until July 1969, with the Apollo 11 mission, that the astronauts could see for themselves that the earth was not held up by anything tangible.

          Or, how did a man named Isaiah, some 2,700 years ago, know that the earth was round, or "circle" (Isa 40:22), since even later there was the thought that the earth was flat ? Pythagoras (582 ?-500? B.C.E.) postulated that the earth was round some 200 years later, due to seeing the moon as round and could see the shadow of the earth on the moon as well when it was quartered. However, most did not accept this supposition.

          Later, science confirmed that the earth is suspended "upon nothing" and that it is indeed a circle. Who should receive the credit for revealing this far in advance of scientific knowledge ? The Bible says: "You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”(Rev 4:11)

          September 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Kenrick Benjamin

          Vic-What is this the old bait and switch.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Observer...................................."While logic and all the rules of science and math offer a strong rebuttal to the God in the Bible, there's still the possibility that another nicer, kinder, more caring, less vain, and less brutal God could exist."

          If that god existed, I would worship him with all my heart.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • TG

          @Ken Margo

          There is a God that exists exhibiting the qualities of a "nicer, kinder, more caring, less vain, and less brutal God". The churches have taught that (1) the soul is immortal, but the Bible teaches that the soul is mortal and dies.(Eze 18:4, 20) and (2) that since the churches believe the soul is immortal, then when a person dies and is "bad", that God send their soul to a fiery "hell", to burn and be in torment forever.

          However, the Bible teaches that when a person dies, then, they as a soul, die and is in the grave, awaiting a resurrection from the dead. They become non-existent, and those who are in God's memory can come back from the dead to have an opportunity for life on a paradise earth.

          At Ecclesiastes 9, it says: "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten."(Ecc 9:5) And Jesus Christ said that “the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs (or God’s memory) will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”(John 5:28, 29)

          And of God, whose name is Jehovah, an apostle of Jesus Christ wrote that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) How can this be known ? By what we see around us in the creation, for our Creator, made us to see in color, not just black and white, to have a series of senses that allow us to thoroughly enjoy life, such as the capacity to feel very minute things with our fingertips.

          For example, at the end of our fingertips, are about 2000 touch receptors with such sensitivity, that allows us to feel something as little as 75 nanometers high, a nanometer being 1/1000th of a micron, and in which a human hair has the diameter of 50 to 100 microns.

          Or being able to hear a bird tweet or chirp, or the wind rustling through the trees, causing us to relax more when perhaps we have a had a stressful day, perhaps lowering our blood pressure. Proverbs 14, says that “a calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”(Prov 14:30)

          The Bible establishes that God is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment.”(Ex 34:6, 7) Jehovah God prepared the earth for “meek” or humble, teachable individuals to live on it forever that has been transformed into a paradise, like a garden of pleasure.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @KenPric..................................No this isn't bait and switch. It's your head spinning because you have no answers to backup your nonsense when faced with logic and reasoning. I guess we won't see you for awhile.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • Vic

          Folks, chill out. LOL!

          If you can not explain the origin of the universe, matter and life, the onus/burden is on you to dispute what we Christians already explained that God is by proving otherwise!

          July 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Observer


          Zeus created it all. Prove me wrong.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • TG


          There is the simple recognition that Zeus, considered god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods in ancient Greece and corresponding to the Roman god Jupiter, is a mythological god, the same as Hermes. Greek culture at the time recognized no single truth or code, allowing for a wide range of thought about the world. They produced no sacred written texts like the Bible or Quran. Many were philosophers, and originated the mythological stories that abound about their gods.

          Therefore a reasonable person rightly grasp that Zeus was just a figment of the ancient Greeks imagination, a way to salve their conscience as to how they perceived the "world" came into existence. Thus thinking individuals rejects this view and instead looks for what really is "the truth".

          For example, what about the "fundamental building block of a cell", a protein ? What are the odds of a protein arising by chance ? It has been calculated as one chance in a million billion. Yet, for a cell to survive requires three complex molecules, (1) DNA (dioxyribonuleic acid), (2) RNA (ribonuclueic acid), and (3) proteins. If the odds are this great for a protein, how high does this "raise the bar" when DNA and RNA are factored in (and remember that there is more to the cell than just these three), for a cell to arise at random ?

          When a car is manufactured, it is composed of about 15,000 different parts. Has any car come into existence by itself, for that matter, has a single part arose by chance, such as a steering wheel ? Is not a car the invention of a human mind and put together on an assembly line by skilled individuals.

          A cell though, is far more complex than even the most complicated car. Michael J. Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said in 2006: "Science has now advanced enough to have uncovered the foundation level of life. And much to our surprise, scientists have found functional, complex machinery at the molecular level of life. For instance, within living cells there are little molecular “trucks” that carry supplies from one side of the cell to the other."
          "There are tiny molecular “sign posts” that tell these “trucks” to turn left or right. Some cells have molecular “outboard motors” that propel the cells through liquid. In any other context, when such functional complexity is evident, people would conclude that these things were designed. We have no other explanation for this complexity, claims of Darwinian evolution notwithstanding. Since it’s been our uniform experience that this sort of arrangement bespeaks design, we are justified in thinking that these molecular systems were also intelligently designed."

          Therefore, if a car requires a mind to conceive and build, does not logic tell you that life is the product of a Supreme Designer, one who took great pains and extraordinary power to bring the universe and life into existence ?

          September 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          No Observer..........Allah created the universe. Remember he got the better of the christian god on 9/11. Allah 1 Christianity 0

          July 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, No the onus is on you to provide evidence of a god and that that god created the universe and all in it. Science provides most of the answers to what you ask – Big Bang, evolution, etc. Before the Big Bang (if there was a before the Big Bang) we don't know, but that does not mean a god did it. I doubt that we would even consider a god as a reasonable explanation if our ancestors hadn't explained natural phenoma as signs from gods; we now understand that thunder, floods, droughts, eclipses, etc. are not signs from gods, so the religions that evolved from those superstitions have no valid basis.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • TG

          @In Santa we trust

          Does the acceptance of the Big Bang theory and evolutionary theory by many leading scientist make these true ? Does just because many in scientific circles accept a theory make it a scientific fact ? Does not the word theory mean "speculation or idea formed by speculation" ? (Microsoft 2005 Reference Library) How much faith can a person place in something that has been speculated instead of established as certain fact ? Does not this give evidence of gullibility ?

          That the earth and all heavenly bodies has no visible means of support is established fact. Yet, some 3,600 years ago, a man named Job was inspired to says that God "is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing."(Job 26:7) How could Job know this as fact some 3, 500 years in advance of science recognizing this as a truth ?

          Or of the earth being a "circle" ? How was a man named Isaiah able to write down that "there is One who is dwelling above the circle of earth" ?(Isa 40:22) Even though a Greek named Pythagoras suggested the earth was round some 200 years later due to the moon as well sun being round, it was not until more modern times that it has become established as fact. Until not so long ago, it was felt that the earth was flat. Hence, how could Isaiah be aware of this in advance of science proving this as true ?

          Or how was a man named David, a simple shepherd at one time some 3,000 years ago, able to specify that we are formed by means of a set of detailed instruction within our DNA, that makes each of us unique, saying: "Your (God's) eyes saw even the embryo (up through 56 days after conception) of me, and in your book (the instructions in DNA) all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one (organ) among them" ?(Ps 139:16) How could David know that we are formed by means of explicit instructions, since science did not discover DNA until Francis Crick and James Watson did in 1953 ?

          Though many ridicule the Bible, should not these three instances cause a person to reconsider their view of there being no God ?

          September 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
        • Vic

          OK Observer and Ken Margo, you have a problem identifying with the God proclaimed by existing religions but would believe in a different God. That's fine. A very good start. That the first step in making sense. Here is what you do, and I am being honest for there is no other way to do it:

          Try to talk to Him one on one in private in any way or fashion you feel comfortable with, privately, and ask Him what you want to know, and see what happens. Don't rush, just wait within reason, and I hope you will be inspired.

          Best of luck.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
        • TG


          There is marked divergence of thought on who God is, from being called Allah by Muslims to being nameless by the churches of Christendom, to the Jews having replaced God's name with G-d, to the Hindus worshiping millions of gods.

          The churches teach that God is a mysterious trinity. According to this teaching, “the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.” It is held that the three “are co-eternal and co-equal.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia) Muslims believe that God is called Allah, a word that is a contraction of Al-Ilah, Arabic words meaning “The God" (It appears in the Qur’ān some 2,700 times). These reject the trinity as also do Jews. Hence, what is the truth about God ?

          Moses told the nation of Israel just before they entered the land of Canaan in 1473 B.C.E.: "Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah."(Deut 6:4) And when asked by the scribes as to which commandment is the greatest, Jesus began by quoting from Deuteronomy, saying: "The first is, ' Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah."(Mark 12:29)

          And on the night before his death, Jesus prayed to his Father, saying: "This means everlasting life, their (his loyal disciples) taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ."(John 17:3) Jesus clearly identified that his (and ours) Father is "the only true God", distinguishing himself from him by saying "and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." Thus, the Bible establishes that the true God is Jehovah, his "only-begotten Son" is Jesus Christ (John 3:16), and that the holy spirit is Jehovah's active force.

          At Isaiah 44, Jehovah says to the Israelites: "For I shall pour out water upon the thirsty one, and trickling streams upon the dry place. I shall pour out my spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your descendants."(Isa 44:3) Just as streams of water nor blessings is a person, so neither is God's holy spirit, but rather that which can be ' poured out ' upon different people to accomplish the work assigned by Jehovah, empowering them to do so.

          At Joel 2, God says: "after that it must occur that I shall pour out my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy."(Joel 2:28) This was fulfilled initially on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E.(Acts 2:4) Hence, it need be noted that God says "my spirit", denoting ownership of the "holy spirit", an active force that comes from Jehovah and in which he used to create the universe and all life.(Gen 1:1, 2)

          September 29, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • Kenrick Benjamin

          Ken-Don't get mad, go to God he can help.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • Observer

          Ken Margo

          "there's still the possibility that another nicer, kinder, more caring, less vain, and less brutal God could exist."

          If that god existed, I would worship him with all my heart."

          It would be nice if it turned out that it was another God who actually believed in the concept behind the Golden Rule and judged everyone based on performance rather than whether or not they believed in something he refused to prove.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • TG


          There is a God who judges a person by their "performance", of whether or not they put on the "new personality", that is patterned after Jesus Christ.(Col 3:9, 10) Naturally, these have to "put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his (God's archenemy, Satan's) deceptive desires."(Eph 4:22)

          The churches have failed in this regard, not putting on the "new personality" and Golden Rule into practice (Matt 7:12), for had they done so, then the two world wars would have never occurred. In fact, they would have ' beaten their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears ' and as a result, "they will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore."(Micah 4:3) But they have not done so and for a fact, the churches, as well the rest of the religions of the "world" have been the ones fomenting hatred and strife, even among themselves.

          Only the one true religion has succeeded in becoming peacemakers, having ' beaten their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears '. These honor our Creator, Jehovah God, by showing genuine or agape love, love that is self-sacrificing. These ones have shown by their "performance" that they have put down implements of warfare and symbolically transformed them into implements of peace, implements for agriculture.

          For example, during the war in the Balkans in the 1990's, Serbian and Croatian were at each others throats, murdering one another. Many grew up in this environment and thus developed hatred rather than love for each other. However, after a careful examination of the Bible, some changed their hatred into love, so that Croat became a brother to a Serbian and vice versa, having ' beaten their swords into plowshares'. These came to love the God of the Bible, Jehovah and each other, forming a bond of genuine peace.

          September 30, 2013 at 8:30 am |
        • Ken Margo

          @Vic............Ok I'll play along. I'll talk to an invisible person. I'll make sure I'm alone when I do it because I don't want people to think I have a screw loose.

          What did god say to the people that prayed for Obama to NOT be reelected. I guess god ignored their azz.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Sentience, this universe, and the life in it are not evidence of design; you choose to interpret it that way. There is no evidence of a god, or that it created anything.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @KenPric................................Help me do what? You what god could do. Make Mark Sanchez a better quarterback. Turn back the clock on Jeter, Rivera. Help the Knicks beat the heat and give me 6 winning lottery numbers. I'll be happier than a po'rn star during an or'gy.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • Vic

          LOL! I love the sense of humor you people have. LOL!

          July 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
        • Observer

          Ken Margo,

          Apparently, God is a Democrat. On the day before the election 4 years ago, Sarah Palin assured everyone that "His will will be done".

          July 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "If you can not explain the origin of the universe, matter and life, the onus/burden is on you to dispute what we Christians already explained that God is by proving otherwise!"

          I pity you. This is just sad. Just because you make up a story you claim explains something doesn't mean it's the real explanation. Furthermore, the idea that others have to disprove your wholly unsupported claims is laughable. That's not how it works. When you propose a theory the onus is on you to prove it, not on others to disprove it. I could make stuff up all day long you can't disprove, but that wouldn't prove any of it was true.

          Where did you learn to reason like this? Were you home schooled by fundamentalist Christian parents who didn't want you in an environment where you might learn critical thinking skills?

          I have offered countless well-reasoned, logical explanations here explaining a wide range of behaviors and phenoma, none of which you've been able to refute. In fact, mostly you just completely ignore them so you don't have to deal with them.

          I've even offered an explanation for how the universe came into being, but you won't even acknowledge it because you can't disprove that either.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Now Vic thinks we're funny. Vic you keep believin' If that is what keeps you on the straight and narrow more power to ya. Fortunately in this secular country we have choices and my choice is different from your choice. That's ok because my goal is the same as your goal. To be the best person I can be.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
        • Vic

          Folks, science ventures into the physical only, and will always advance in that. I know that first hand. What people used to attribute in the past to acts of God and then science explained are actually physical phenomena, and in reality they don't conflict with the concept of God. We are talking about something completely different here, that is the Origin/First Cause after which everything was set in motion and automatic.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, Presuming a "First Cause", there's no evidence that a god is that, or that it was your god. If you believe that a god can be eternal then logically so could a universe.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Vic


          This entire blog is not enough a space to discuss the matters of existence, the Origin and what evidence we have and not. I am not sure what we disagreed upon in the past but I can tell you that things like the Big Bang, the Multiverse, etc. are theories at best, and the Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are in a direct collision course when it comes to the Black Holes, and Gravity is the show stopper for a Unified Field Theory, and so on and so forth. If you think about it like I do, that the metaphysical is behind the physical, you would easily see that the concept of God and Science are compatible.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • TG


          In proving your case of a God, is it not vital that a person give sound detailed evidence. What you have presented is that "Sentience and this universe and life in it are evidence of design and creation, hence Designer and Creator, let alone testimony throughout the ages of the Scriptures". Does this really prove that there is a Creator ? No, just a statement.

          Much more in depth information needs to be brought "to the table" to convince others, especially those who reject the Bible and God. For example, if in a court case, the defense says that "this man is innocent", but provides no solid information to establish this as truth, will the prosecution buy into it, since they feel that he is guilty ?

          To demonstrate that there is a God to individuals that discard the Bible and the notion of a God, it has to be approached from a different prospective, from their viewpoint, what they will accept and not what you believe as fact, based on the Bible. In many cases, the Bible cannot be used at all, only physical evidence along with thought-provoking questions that hopefully leads a person to a right conclusion.

          The apostle Paul used such reasoning at Acts 17, with the Jews using the Hebrew Scriptures because they consented to this (Acts 17:1-13), but with the Athenians, using what they accepted of veneration to an "Unknown God", reasoning from that viewpoint.(Acts 17:22-31)

          October 1, 2013 at 7:51 am |
        • Observer

          God is a theory that contradicts all the laws of nature.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
        • TG


          How is God a theory that contradicts the laws of nature ? First off, where did the laws of physics or nature originate ? Any laws that we are to follow are written and implemented by the rulers in the country we live in. Are we to believe that the physical laws that we under command of came about by accident ? Do not atoms follow a strict set of physical guidelines, such as magnetism ? This one law requires that opposites charges attract and like charges repel. This never changes and can be "banked on" at all times.

          For example, some birds use earth's magnetic field as their navigational aid when migrating, such as the Arctic Tern. It flies between 25,000 and 30,000 miles a year (the equivalent of circling the globe), breeding north of the Arctic Circle yet spends the northern winter in the Antarctic. How is it able to differentiate between the north pole and the south pole, to know which direction to fly ? How are birds able to acquire the capability to use earth's magnetic field to navigate precisely ?

          To test his theory out about birds using the earth's magnetic field as a guide, some 25 years ago Swedish scientist Thomas Almerstam studied birds flying over an iron-ore mine in Norberg, Sweden, that had a magnetic intensity 60 percent above normal. He noted that the strong magnetic field disoriented some low-flying migrators. The birds were said to "land nervously and go around in circles before taking off again."(French magazine L'Epress)

          Also, how do sea turtles navigate ? Biologist Kenneth Lohmann of the University of North Carolina in the United States, quoted in National Geographic News, says that “It seems they inherited some sort of magnetic map.” Research indicates that the turtle may determine its position by detecting the angle and intensity of the earth’s magnetic field. This amazing ability enables these tiny, defenseless hatchlings to embark on their 8,000-mile migration around the Atlantic, “and they do it alone without following other turtles,” says Lohmann.

          What does logic and reason tell us here ? Did a GPS device originate at random, that is an aid to homing to a specific location ? Does not logic dictate that both birds and turtles somehow acquired this "skill", not on their own or by evolution, but that a Master Designer created them with this marvelous navigational ability just as a GPS was designed by a mind ?

          October 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Vic

          Ken Margo,

          I agree, I operate under the premise that everybody is at 100% Free Will. No problem there. I only share what I believe as and without any imposition nor judgement, and I do not wear it on my sleeves.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • Vic

          I S w t,

          God is metaphysical, infinite and eternal in generation (Creator.) This universe is finite physical matter (creation) that can not be eternal!

          July 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Vic


          Like I mentioned before, God is metaphysical and outside the realm of this physical existence and its time, and He is not subject to them.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • TG


          The churches have made God metaphysical, teaching that he is a ' 3 persons in one Godhead mystery '. God is outside the realm of physical existence, for king Solomon said to the nation of Israel at the inauguration of the temple: "But will God really dwell on the earth ? Look ! The heavens, yes, the heavens of the heavens, cannot contain you; how much less, then, this house I have built."(1 Kings 8:27)

          But is God unknowable, a mystery that cannot be understood ? No. The apostle John wrote: "No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father's side is the one who has explained him."(John 1:18) God's "only-begotten Son" Jesus Christ (John 3:16) explained details of his Father, Jehovah God, when he walked the earth.(see also Matt 11:27) And the prophet Isaiah wrote: "Search for Jehovah while he may be found. Call to him while he is near."(Isa 55:6)

          Because they are in total harmony, Jesus said that "I and the Father are one."(John 10:30; see also John 17:22 as well as Matt 19:5) Jesus is God's chief spokesman, being called "the Word" (John 1:1) or "The Word of God".(Rev 19:13) Though God is not subject to time or decay, living forever (Ps 90:2), and is outside the realm of physical existence, he "stoops down to look on heaven and earth."(Ps 113:6) Jehovah is always approachable, for he is "the Hearer of prayer."(Ps 65:2)

          October 8, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          That's very interesting Vic. How did you learn about any of the attributes of this God that show that it is (primarily, I suppose) outside of our space and time? Is it outside of reality as well?

          July 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • TG

          @Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Some consider God as a myth, a figment of one's imagination, outside of reality. But is this consistent with reality ? For example, the homes that we live did not come into existence accidentally, but were the intent of a builder. Everything that we use, from a simple toothpick, to a toothbrush to a computer to the car we drive all required a mind to conceive and bring to reality. The operating system that runs our computers had to be carefully designed and built to function properly (at least hopefully).

          Yet what of the ecological systems that complement the earth, allowing life to exist and be enjoyed, from (1) the water cycle of evaporation and rain to (2) the carbon and oxygen cycle of plants producing oxygen that humans and animals need and giving off carbon dioxide for the plants to (3) the nitrogen cycle that causes the production of proteins ? If everything we use required a mind to conceive and manufacture, then what of the eco-systems that are far more complex ?

          What then does logic and reason dictate ? That just as all the products we use came into existence through a mind, these being consistent with reality, so likewise of not only the earth with its marvelous ecological systems, but all the universe by which we keep time, from the passing of one day to the passing of one year allowing to keep track of time, that all these diverse, but harmonious systems are the product of a Supreme Designer for the benefit and enjoyment of mankind. The Bible names this one as Jehovah God.(Zech 12:1)

          October 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
        • Observer


          "Like I mentioned before, God is metaphysical and outside the realm of this physical existence and its time, and He is not subject to them."

          Yes. Just like Zeus and all the others.

          July 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, You're just making it up! You have no evidence of that or any of your "god did it" stuff. Not very logical.

          July 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "Sentience and this universe and life in it are evidence of design and creation"

          They are not evidence in the sense of conclusive proof. Your answer is just one possible way to explain them, not the only way to explain them.

          The word "evidence" is often misused. Strictly speaking, evidence is something that is only consistent with some theories propose to explain some event or phenomenon. That is, it helps narrow down the number of viable theories, and it's considered evidence for those theories.

          However, the fact a piece of evidence is consistent with a proposed theory is not proof that theory is correct. A piece of evidence can be consistent with multiple, contradictory theories that just happen to have that particular piece of evidence in common.

          For example, suppose your dog died. Possible explanations would be that he died of an undiscovered illness, he was poisoned, he died of old age, he was shot, another animal killed him or he was hit by a car. You examine the body and see no signs of any physical trauma. This is evidence he was not shot or killed by another animal or a car.

          It's consistent with the other possibilities, but it is not enough to determine which of those other possibilities was the actual cause of death. So this piece of evidence narrows down the number of possible answers, but doesn't determine which is the correct answer.

          Suppose your dog was only two years old. That would eliminate one of the possibilities, that he died of old age, but wouldn't tell us which of the other explanations is the correct one. Now, if we both of these pieces of evidence. Now we have a two-year-old dog with no signs of physical trauma. At this point we can logically conclude only two of the possible explanations listed could be the correct explanation. But we still don't have enough evidence to know which of those is the real answer. That would require a necropsy (an autopsy performed on an animal).

          Finally, any facts that do nothing to narrow down the possibilities are not evidence. It's a fact the sun rose the day your dog died, but that fact doesn't suggest any of the possibilities is any more likely than any of the others, so it's not evidence.

          The point here is that a piece of evidence being consistent with a theory is not proof that theory is correct. Applied to your argument, sentience may be consistent with your theory that it's the product of design, but it's not proof it's the product of design. Ditto for the existence of life.

          As for the existence of the universe, its existence is not evidence for any theory explaining it over any other.

          July 24, 2013 at 3:33 am |
        • skytag

          All of those testimonies are nothing more than people stating something they believe. Such testimonies would never be allowed in a court of law because the people offering them have no direct knowledge of the relevant matters, but are only sharing beliefs unsupported by any facts or evidence. The fact that a lot of people believe something is not proof it is true.

          July 24, 2013 at 3:43 am |
        • skytag

          In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: "If many believe so, it is so." — Wikipedia

          As I have said previously, you're understanding of the principles of logic is virtually nonexistent.

          July 24, 2013 at 3:46 am |
        • skytag

          @Kenrick Benjamin: "Vic- Don't worry atheist will tell you that they are ignorant as to whence the came and yet still claim that God don't exist."

          Yes we will. We may not know the answer, but there is no evidence your explanation involving God is the correct one. Anyone can make up an explanation. The only reason I don't have an explanation to give you is that I refuse to just make one up and claim that must be the real explanation.

          That said, I have on occasion come up with alternate explanations for the creation of the universe as an intellectual exercise, and have even shared one of them here:

          I say technologically advanced aliens from another dimension created a new dimension here and implanted in our empty dimension a device that triggered the Big Bang.

          There, now I've explained the origin of the universe, and we both know you can't disprove my explanation. The fact that someone can make up a theory does not mean that theory is correct. If you people still had two brain cells you could use to think for yourselves you'd know that.

          July 24, 2013 at 3:58 am |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "Folks, science ventures into the physical only, and will always advance in that. I know that first hand. What people used to attribute in the past to acts of God and then science explained are actually physical phenomena, and in reality they don't conflict with the concept of God. We are talking about something completely different here, that is the Origin/First Cause after which everything was set in motion and automatic."

          The cases to which you refer in which scientific explanations replaced religious explanations prove conclusively that believers can credit a god for things we eventually determine have no supernatural cause. They prove that your "if you can't explain it God did it" argument is fatally flawed.

          If believers have been wrong in the past when they claimed God did something, they could be just as wrong in claiming God did something else, such as create the universe. Logic is not your friend.

          July 24, 2013 at 5:00 am |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "but I can tell you that things like the Big Bang, the Multiverse, etc. are theories at best, and the Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are in a direct collision course when it comes to the Black Holes, and Gravity is the show stopper for a Unified Field Theory, and so on and so forth."

          You telling me something doesn't make it true. Come on, Vic, you have littered this discussion with countless examples of the worst logic imaginable. Why should any intelligent, thinking person give any credence to what you say?

          In any case, even if what you claim is true scientists can discard old theories and pursue new theories when the old ones don't pan out. That is the nature of science. What you people do when your theories don't pan out is make excuses to avoid admitting you were wrong.

          "If you think about it like I do, that the metaphysical is behind the physical, you would easily see that the concept of God and Science are compatible."

          You are one slow learner, seemingly incapable of understanding that I see no reason to think about anything the way you do. Thinking the way you do means consistently relying on the worst, most fallacious logic imaginable. You think like a really dumb person with very poor reasoning skills. Why would anyone in his right mind want to think like that? I know I don't.

          July 24, 2013 at 5:10 am |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "Like I mentioned before, God is metaphysical and outside the realm of this physical existence and its time, and He is not subject to them."

          Over time religions have resorted to characterizing God is increasingly abstract, incomprehensible, and not subject to the laws of time and nature. They've done this so they can just make up anything they want about him to answer challenging questions about him.

          Once you characterize God as eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, not subject to or constrained by the laws of nature you can claim anything you want about him. In other words, you can fabricate explanations and excuses at will because nothing in them has to conform to any facts, evidence or logic. How convenient.

          July 24, 2013 at 5:30 am |
      • jazzguitarman

        Ken, NicNak covered much of what I was going to say. Yes, Christians have been losing on the social issues but this is due mostly to the courts. Take Abortions; More restrictions bills passed since 2009 than in the decade before that. SSM is still illegal in most states and court's rulings doesn't change those law (at least yet).

        So I don't agree those with social views like us are in the majority. Without the help of the courts we would be on the losing end.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Jazz...............A win is a win. Just like religious people would rejoice if the rulings went their way. The anti abortion rulings have been overturned one by one. (North Dakota was the most recent) Recent polls show the majority of Americans favor abortion and gay marriage. Like other civil rights, the tide is turning.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • TG

          @Ken Margo

          Yes, the tide is turning on religion in many areas, such as in the US and on which of August 27, 2013, a federal appeals court in Arizona ruling against an anti-abortion law. Yet, this is to be expected, for the Bible foretold that genuine love would be decreasing in our time period in which Jesus Christ said that "because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number (including those who profess to be religious) will cool off."(Matt 24:12)

          Lack of love turns families into havens of division, infighting, bitter squabbles, abusive battle fronts, which is now a common occurrence. Even within the churches, there truly a lack of love, for the Bible also says that many would be "having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power."(2 Tim 3:5)

          And the last book of the Bible prophetically pointed to the gradual depletion of religion, that is false religion, by its members at Revelation 16, which says: "And the sixth one (of seven angels) poured out his bowl (symbolizing God's anger) upon the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun."(Rev 16:12)

          The Euphrates river was that which served as a watery protection for the ancient city of Babylon over 2,500 years ago, with its various canals that cut through the city. However, its waters were diverted by Medo-Persian king Cyrus on October 5, 6, 539 B.C.E so that the city fell to them. Its watery boundary failed to keep it safe.

          Likewise, modern day Babylon the Great (Rev 17:5), in which all false religions find their home, is seeing its "waters" drying up, with its waters meaning "peoples and crowds and nations and tongues."(Rev 17:15) Many are leaving the religions around the earth, and some are finding the one true religion that will remain forever.(Micah 4:1-4) The world wide empire of false religion, Babylon the Great, has an "expiration date" in the near future, never to exist again.(Rev 17:16, 17)

          September 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Observer

          Abortion shouldn't be a "Christian" issue since that word wasn't in the Bible. Just wishful thinking. God sure didn't care about fetuses.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • TG


          Causing the death of an unborn child is in the Bible, for in the Bible at Exodus 21, it says that "in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed upon him without fail according to what the owner of the woman may lay upon him; and he must give it through the justices. But if a fatal accident should occur, then you must give soul for soul."(Ex 21:22, 23)

          Even when unintentional, causing "a fatal accident" was punishable by death, showing that the life of an unborn child has as much value in God's eyes as one that has been born, being one and the same to him, for he "is the source of life."(Ps 36:9) Also of the need for individuals to recognize this, being careful to preserve life rather than be the cause of the loss of life.

          Even the misuse of blood was punishable by death under the Mosaic law, with it to be used only for atonement.(Lev 17:10, 11) God's sacred view of life and of blood has not changed.(Acts 15:20, 29; Mal 3:6)

          That our Creator, Jehovah God is deeply interested in a child before it is born, David in the Bible said: "Your (God's) eyes saw even the embryo of me (up through 56 days after conception), and in your book all its parts were down in writing (our DNA), as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one (complete organ) among them."(Ps 139:16)

          September 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @observer.......god didn't care about fetuses. Republicans don't care about babies. A perfect match.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Observer

          Ken Margo,

          Many Republicans do care when it comes to babies. They adamantly don't want to give them financial support if needed.

          July 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Observer..................You say many. I don't see it. From Romney on down these people want to cut and gut all programs that people need to help their families. That doesn't sound like people that care about babies to me. My theory is this. If you want them to be born you have to help them. That doesn't sound so hard to me.

          July 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Observer


      Neither science nor religion can PROVE the answers to any of your questions.

      Come back when you can PROVE anything about God.

      Who created God?

      How did God make EVEYTHING out of NOTHING?

      No answers for you either.

      July 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • Vic

        God Almighty, the Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit, the Creator of everything, is not created but eternal in generation, metaphysical and outside the realm of this existence and its time and not subject to them.

        As for how God created things is of the Divine realm that we are not allowed nor made capable to know.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • Observer

          Yep. You have zero proof, too. So the default answers do not have to be "God". Matter could have always been, too.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • niknak

          But Vic, people like you said that about lightening, and earthquakes and solar eclipses, yet science did figure those out.
          Everyday science unravels a bit more of the how and why we are here, and you take advantage of those discoveries when you visit the doctor or use tech like we are now.
          I know you will never let go of your stone age myth, but it is getting ridiculous for you believers to find any ground to stand on as science keeps crushing your myth.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Nik.....................People like vic are shrinking. The world is passing them by day by day. The frustrating thing for vic is, there is nothing he can do about it.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • niknak

          I wish I could be as optimistic as you, but I feel like we are living Mark Twain's A Conn Yankee in King A's Court, where the main character thinks he has the religious people beaten but they come back and go right back into the stone age.
          Countries like Norway are on the right path, but there are just too few of them.
          The Middle East is going back so far the stone age would be an advancement. Africa is following them. The Asian countries are all paper tigers and will crumble into lawlessness, cats and dogs living together, it's a huge mess.
          Not to make light of it, but people like Vic seem to be getting crazier and more violent as science keeps pushing them into a corner.
          I hope you are right, and the Vics of the world pass on and leave us to advance, but I doubt it.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Nik......................I can understand your concern. The real threat is the way republicans are trying to suppress the vote. Which is the reason people need to register so they can vote these people out. You vote out republicans, you can stomp this religious nonsense into the ground.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "God Almighty, the Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit, the Creator of everything, is not created but eternal in generation, metaphysical and outside the realm of this existence and its time and not subject to them."

          More unsupported claims. Standard Christian gobbledygook there is absolutely no rational reason to believe. Well rehearsed, but it proves nothing. You just need to believe this so you can avoid dealing with the question, "Where did God come from?"

          "As for how God created things is of the Divine realm that we are not allowed nor made capable to know."

          How convenient. So for all your faith, prayer, and scripture study you don't actually have any more of a clue how the universe was created than anyone else. You believe God did it, but you don't have a clue what he did, so in point of fact you don't know any more than any of us how the universe was created.

          Religion clearly makes people stupid.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          "As for how God created things is of the Divine realm that we are not allowed nor made capable to know."

          And yet you claim to know that a god did it.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • skytag

          @niknak: "Not to make light of it, but people like Vic seem to be getting crazier and more violent as science keeps pushing them into a corner."

          I agree. The more science can explain, the more people reject these myths and legends the more desperate the ones who still cling to them become.

          "I hope you are right, and the Vics of the world pass on and leave us to advance, but I doubt it."

          Religious charlatans will always have a willing audience in people who'd rather hear comforting fairytales than a harsh truth. That's a major appeal of religions. They tell their followers comforting fairytales in which they'll never really die, when loved ones die they go to a better place where they will see them one day, there is always justice in the end, they have an all powerful friend who will control the elements for them, protect their loved ones, and so on. Better false hope than no hope at all, right?

          July 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • Vic


          I have everything to do with science, love it, and advocate it to the core. Meanwhile, the more I dig into science, the more it reveals God to me!

          July 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          In Santa we trust

          "As for how God created things is of the Divine realm that we are not allowed nor made capable to know."

          And yet you claim to know that a god did it.

          Santa you win the award for pointing out someone contradicting themselves. 🙂

          July 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "I have everything to do with science, love it, and advocate it to the core. Meanwhile, the more I dig into science, the more it reveals God to me!"

          As usual, you are confused. Science doesn't "reveal" God to you, you choose to interpret what you understand about science in a way that supports what you want to believe about God. If science "revealed" God then it it would reveal God to everyone, which it obviously doesn't. It only "reveals" God to people who are already convinced he exists.

          July 24, 2013 at 5:37 am |
        • TG


          There is God Almighty who is the Father and who gave himself the name of Jehovah, for he told Moses in 1513 B.C.E.: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ' Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. ' This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation."(Ex 3:15)

          However, the Son, Jesus Christ is his real son, having been created, for Jesus himself told the congregation in Laodicea, to write: "These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God."(Rev 3:14)

          The apostle Paul called Jesus "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation".(Col 1:15) And Jesus made a clear differentiation between himself and his heavenly Father, telling the Jews: "What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me. If anyone desires to His will, he will know concerning the teaching whether it is from God or I speak of my originality."(John 7:16, 17) Jesus used the Greek particle e, meaning "or" to separate himself from his Father, God.

          Jesus furthermore showed that he worshiped the Father, telling the Samaritan woman: "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know.....the hour is coming, and it is now, when true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him."(John 4:22, 23) Jesus included himself in worshiping the Father with the Jews.

          And on the day of his resurrection, Jesus told Mary to "be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ' I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God."(John 20:17) The apostle Peter wrote in about 62 C.E that "he is at God's right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him."(1 Pet 3:22) Hence, Jesus is as Peter said: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."(Matt 16:16)

          September 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • TG


        Can anyone prove anything to anyone unless his mind allows it ? The door to the mind can only be opened when a person decides to examine something, especially when the information is meaningful and solidly founded. Are there not many things that cannot be seen, felt, touched, but there is evidence of their existence.

        For example, black holes in the universe cannot be seen or felt or touched, but by the effect they have on stars, it has been deduced that they exist. That also is true of dark matter and dark energy, but they are almost undetectable.

        Astronomers came to realize that gravity alone is not sufficient to hold galaxies together, that they should fly apart with gravity alone as their "glue", such as the Andromeda galaxy, with astronomers recognizing that it seemed to be rotating too fast, so they began to add force to their mathematical formulas and computer models. Today astronomers measure how much dark matter a cluster of galaxies may have by observing how the cluster bends light from more distant objects.

        Only then did they reach the point whereby the galaxies held together. In fact, one astronomer basically said that the words "dark matter" and dark energy" means "we really don't know what they are." These two big unknowns – dark matter and dark energy – are estimated to make up about 95 percent of the universe.

        Is it reasonable to be adamant that just because dark matter and dark energy are undetectable, they don't exist ? And what about black holes ? These too are verifiable only by their effect on stars and neighboring stellar objects, as the one in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, that is able to cause stars close to it to swing around it quickly in an elliptical orbit, such as S0-102 every 11.5 years and S0-2 every 16 years.

        So can it be "proven" that God exists ? Only if a person is willing to reason on the evidence, rather than summarily dismissing it. And the evidence is impressive, to say the least.

        September 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Johnny Smith

      If God "created" humans than who created God? If you are going to claim that God has always existed then why not the universe?

      What makes the Christian God real and not the thousands of other Gods?
      Why do you mock people who believe in Zeus but throw a hissy fit when your Christian God is mocked?

      Religion is a tool to control people and keep them oppressed.

      July 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • Vic

        I don't mock anyone; that's not how I operate. I follow the Golden Rule to the best of my ability.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • skytag

          You may not have mocked people in the strictest sense, but you obviously have no problem with being condescending.

          July 24, 2013 at 5:40 am |
      • Ken Margo

        Vic answer HIS questions.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Vic

          Oh.. I already did above a while back but here it is again & more:

          God Almighty, the Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit, the Creator of everything, is not created but eternal in generation, metaphysical and outside the realm of this existence and its time and not subject to them.

          As for how God created things is of the Divine realm that we are not allowed nor made capable to know.

          Science shows design and this universe and life in it are "Prima Facie" evidence of God.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Good ol Vic duckin and diving.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • Athy

          Man, what a cop out. Vic doesn't even try to answer the question. Just throws it over the transom to the "other side" and claims he won. Typical religie.

          July 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          If the world were full of "Vic"s. there'd be no science. He demonstrates zero respect for the most basic of logical structure and reasoned argumentation.

          July 24, 2013 at 12:14 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Vic, how does science show design and therefore some god? Please provide a reference to just one scholarly article published in a reputable scientific journal that successfully concludes "some god(s) did it."

          July 24, 2013 at 2:40 am |
      • TG

        @Johnny Smith

        Just as astronomers must use deductive reasoning to determine whether something exist, so likewise must anyone regarding whether God exists. For example, in the 1930's, it was postulated that something besides gravity was needed to hold the galaxies together, which was confirmed in the 1980's. It was eventually named dark matter.

        In 1998, researchers analyzing light from a special kind of supernova, or exploding star, found evidence that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating ! At first, the scientists were skeptical, but evidence soon mounted.

        Naturally, they wanted to know what form of energy was causing the accelerating expansion. For one thing, it seemed to be working in opposition to gravity; and for another, it was not predicted by present theories. Appropriately, this mysterious form of energy has been named dark energy, and it may make up nearly 75 percent of the universe !

        Consider this: According to current estimates, normal matter accounts for about 4 percent of the mass of the universe. The two big unknowns—dark matter (estimated at 22 %) and dark energy (estimated at 74 %)—appear to make up the balance. Thus, about 95 percent of the universe remains a complete mystery !

        Hence, if dark matter and dark energy were discovered by deductive reasoning, what does it take to decipher that there is a Supreme Designer ? A willingness to give serious thought to the evidence, just as astronomers and theoretical physicists. Had they dismissed the evidence, would they have uncovered the mystery regarding what most of the universe is composed of ?

        September 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @vic.............................You can always go back to the beginning of time and make up anything you want. Why don't you show us how things are happening TODAY that proves god exists. I'm sure there is something you can refer to that can prove your point?

      July 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • Vic

        Science shows design and this universe and life int are "Prima Facie" evidence of God.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • Athy

          Science shows no such thing.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
        • TG


          Just as a person has to have a sincere desire to find something, such as looking for a specific tool or information and searches everywhere to try and locate it, so likewise of being desirous of establishing how life originated.

          Many are unwittingly the pawn of atheists, agnostics, evolutionists, astronomers, or accept whatever is spoken or written down in a book or online article, considering it authentic without seriously considering if it is true or has merit because it is popularly accepted.

          Hence, what does science show ? For example, in answering our children's question of Where do babies come from ?, if we tell them the truth, then it a known fact that life come from life, from our parents, not life from non-life. Scientists are at times reluctant to admit this fundamental truth, that life originates from life, when it comes to how all life came into existence.

          Consider this Fact: Protein and RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules must work together for a cell to survive. Scientists admit that it is highly unlikely that RNA formed by chance. The odds against even one protein forming by chance are astronomical. It is exceedingly improbable that RNA and proteins should form by chance in the same place at the same time and be able to work together.

          Thus the question arises: What takes greater faith—to believe that the millions of intricately coordinated parts of a cell arose by chance or to believe that the cell is the product of an intelligent mind ?

          A businessman, when asked why he believed in an intelligent Creator, gave this thoughtful reply: "It takes a girl in our factory about two days to learn how to put the 17 parts of a meat chopper together. It may be that these millions of worlds each with its separate orbit, all balanced so wonderfully in space—it may be that they just happened. It may be that by a billion years of tumbling about they finally arranged themselves. I don’t know, I am merely a plain manufacturer of cutlery. But this I do know, that you can shake the 17 parts of a meat chopper around in a washtub for the next 17 billion years and you’ll never have a meat chopper.” Therefore, what about the far more complex cells that make up our bodies ? Accident or design ?

          September 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Vic, just because you repeatedly assert that this is prima facie evidence does not make it true. It merely means you don't understand what the term means.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • skytag

          This is just a claim. Anyone can claim anything if he's claims don't have to be subject to any kind of logical or evidential scrutiny. And the "God doesn't want us to know" think is a nice touch. How convenient.

          July 24, 2013 at 5:53 am |
      • Ken Margo

        You have no clue huh?

        July 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • skytag

      @Vic: "Atheists always posit that Christians are non-pragmatic and don't employ logic. Well, simply, that's not true."

      Allow me to clarify: you don't use valid logic. There are many forms of fallacious logic. If you use any of them your argument is not valid and your conclusion is worthless.

      "Many time on this CNN Belief Blog, I posed fundamental questions, and I received no answers."

      Questions aren't logic. They aren't even bad logic, they're just questions.

      "- Where did matter come from?
      – What is the first cause of the universe and life?"

      The bad logic behind this and your other questions is the assumption that if there is no scientific explanation then God must be the answer. Frankly, that's just stupid. As I've pointed out, there have been instances in the past where people explained phenomena with spiritual answers, only to have those explanation later debunked by science. We no longer believe disease is caused by evil spirits, for example.

      The fact that someone can't answer a question is not proof your speculation is the correct answer.

      Keep in mind that I could make up answers for your questions, and you couldn't prove I'm wrong. For example, aliens from another dimension created a new dimension here and implanted in our empty dimension a device that triggered the Big Bang. Prove me wrong. You can't, and you know it. Just because you can make up an answer doesn't mean it's the correct answer.

      "- Can someone create a single bit of matter?
      – Can someone create a single living cell?
      – Can science animate matter?"

      These prove nothing.

      "- Can science reverse engineer/recreate/continue/resume evolution?"

      This is a stupid question. Seriously. It proves nothing. Can science reproduce millions of years of evolution taking place across the surface of the planet in some lab? No. So what?

      "- How does evolution explain male and female?"

      Not all species have both genders. Individuals in some species can change genders.

      Sequential hermaphroditism (called dichogamy in botany) is a type of hermaphroditism that occurs in many fish, gastropods and plants. Sequential hermaphroditism occurs when the individual is born one sex and changes sex at some point in their life. They can change from a male to female (protandry), or from female to male (protogyny). — Wikipedia

      Protandrous hermaphrodites refer to organisms that are born male and at some point in their lifespan change sex to female. Protandrous animals include clownfish. Clownfish have a very structured society. In the Amphiprion percula species, there are zero to four individuals excluded from breeding and a breeding pair living in a sea anemone. Dominance is based on size, the female being the largest and the male being the second largest. The rest of the group is made up of progressively smaller non-breeders, which have no functioning gonads.[3] If the female dies, the male gains weight and becomes the female for that group. The largest non-breeding fish then sexually matures and becomes the male of the group. — Wikipedia

      If you don't know what a clownfish is, watch Finding Nemo.

      It seems perfectly reasonable that hermaphroditic species could evolve into species with distinct genders over time.

      "Being pragmatic, science has not been able to answer any of the above questions and so many more. All what's out there is the science of how some, but not all, of what already exists works, which is epic, wonderful, miraculous, and I personally pursue and advocate, but, first and foremost, is not how things came to be!"

      The inability of science at the moment to explain something neither proves God did it, nor does it prove science won't be able to explain it at some point in the future. People like you in the past often chose to believe God did something science couldn't explain at the time, but could explain later.

      "Now, being logical, when we look at all the hypothesis out there, God comes across as the most logical explanation to answer the above questions and the so many more."

      Utter nonsense. God is not a "logical" explanation for anything. It's a copout explanation. Don't know why something happens? God is the answer. Claiming something is the logical answer doesn't mean you've used logic. You haven't actually used any logic here at all. All you've done is ask some questions and then claim that since science doesn't have the answers the logic answer is God. It's a truly idiotic argument. I'm sorry if you can't see that. Maybe you should try taking a class in logic sometime. Speaking as someone who has taught logic in college, your logic is atrocious.

      July 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Vic

        I never posited nor alluded to the notion of diseases inflicted by the devil, demons, etc. I am sure you have me confused with someone else.

        Anyway, science will always make progress in explaining physical phenomena, as always, but will never be able to venture into the metaphysical nor explain the origin of everything, aka first cause.

        And, BTW, I design logic.


        July 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          What logic do you design?

          July 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Vic

          Digital Logic.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @vic..................If you used the same religious logic to doing your job, would you have a job? In order to design logic one must deal with facts. If you used the same thought process to your job as you do your bible, your programs would crash and burn. In the bible there are as'sumptions made and accepted as true. You cannot use that logic to do your job.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          If you design logic, you surely would know that designing and debugging that also requires logic; you don't exhibit any such skill in your religious posts – very little in the bible would pass a logic test. Or would you see a bad branch as the work of the devil?

          July 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
        • Austin

          you can not use unbelieving logic to explain how God prophetically reveals His word. and also how He delivers the spirit of revelation. this defies logic and this is why we call Him supernatural.

          I have proof , and it's too bad you don't listen or believe. this is why you need the light to shine in you heart in the face of Christ. you need your own salvation. It is not natural.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • TG


          It is true that many are limited on explaining or cannot explain many scenarios found in the Bible. In fact, many who are very religious are unable to provide "proof " of a Creator, but just say that faith is needed to grasp this. Is that necessarily the case ? Why have the churches often been unable to give forth something of real substance to show that we are the product of a Supreme Designer ?

          What "proof " do you have that is substantial in your case for God ? And remember, to convince someone that does not accept the Bible, the Bible cannot be used, such as that "He delivers the spirit of revelation". Rather, evidence apart from the Bible must be presented in both a factual and logical way, perhaps asking viewpoint or tactfully probing questions.

          The apostle Paul, when speaking with the Athenians at the Areopagus reasoned with them without citing from the Hebrew Scriptures (commonly called the Old Testament), but rather used what they were familiar with, (1) given to the fear of deities (Acts 17:22), and (2) and an altar inscribed ' To an Unknown God '.(Acts 17:23)

          From these two points, Paul was able to make his case for there being a one true God "who made the world and all things in it."(Acts 17:24) He reasoned with the Greeks, helping them to draw a logical conclusion (Acts 17:29), rather than making a blank or blunt statement. Can you do the same ?

          September 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "I never posited nor alluded to the notion of diseases inflicted by the devil, demons, etc. I am sure you have me confused with someone else."

          No, you're the same stupid person I've been trying in vain to reason with for days now. Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension. I never said you posited that. That said in times past people just like you did posit that. People who, like you, would claim "God did it" anytime they needed to explain something their science couldn't explain.

          You're not a very honest person for a Christian. You know I have a valid point here, but to avoid acknowledging it you resort to a straw man argument, and straw man arguments are intellectually dishonest. Typical Christian hypocrite. In fact you know full well I and others here have made several valid points you've deliberately ignored because you don't have the integrity to acknowledge it when someone else has refuted your horribly flawed logic.

          "Anyway, science will always make progress in explaining physical phenomena, as always, but will never be able to venture into the metaphysical nor explain the origin of everything, aka first cause."

          I agree. Unfortunately that doesn't make any of your claims true.

          "And, BTW, I design logic."

          Digital logic is not argumentative logic. You may be an expert in the former, but you are wholly incompetent at the latter.

          July 24, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • skytag

        @Austin: "you can not use unbelieving logic to explain how God prophetically reveals His word. and also how He delivers the spirit of revelation. this defies logic and this is why we call Him supernatural."

        This is a copout. You can't even demonstrate there is a God, or if there is, that he reveals anything. This is just a lot of convenient rationalizing. You've created a God so incomprehensible, so unlimited you can essentially claim anything you want to say about him. How convenient.

        "I have proof , and it's too bad you don't listen or believe. this is why you need the light to shine in you heart in the face of Christ. you need your own salvation. It is not natural."

        And it's not real. All of your "proof" is limited to perceptions locked in your head where nothing can be objectively verified. It's all private to you, so the rest of us have no way to verify that the reasoning process used to conclude something is "proof." As a mathematician I don't consider something to be proof just because you found it convincing.

        Furthermore, history offers amble evidence that what goes on in people's heads need have no connection to reality, so your word isn't enough to convince me about something this important.

        July 24, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      – Where did matter come from?

      That's an easy one, Garlak, a giant invisible galactic sized worm digests dark matter and poops out star dust.

      – What is the first cause of the universe and life?

      Trick question, there was no first cause because Garlak the giant invisible worm has no begining and no end.

      – Can someone create a single bit of matter?

      Garlak can.

      – Can someone create a single living cell?

      Garlak can.

      – Can science animate matter?

      Pixar can...

      – Can science reverse engineer/recreate/continue/resume evolution?

      Your mother did.

      – How does evolution explain male and female?

      Because the game of baseball requires a pitcher and a catcher, and life has been pitching and catching for billions of years.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
      • Vic

        I love the humor. LOL!

        July 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          But do you understand how it points out that your god is no more real than Garlak?

          July 24, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Tedward

      Vic, I have to say, you must be pretty stupid. Argument from ignorance does not a valid argument make. You might want to research that a little before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Here, let me help.

      – Where did matter come from?

      I don't know.

      – What is the first cause of the universe and life?

      I don't know.

      – Can someone create a single bit of matter?

      I don't know.

      – Can someone create a single living cell?

      Depends on the definition I think. Cloning might qualify here...which would make the answer yes. But I don't actually know for sure.

      – Can science animate matter?

      Again, going to go with I don't know.

      – Can science reverse engineer/recreate/continue/resume evolution?

      I don't know. I suppose one day we'll find out.

      – How does evolution explain male and female?

      I'm not an evolutionary scientist, so my stock answer here is going to have to suffice. I don't know.

      Being, to use your term, pragmatic about it, I admit my ignorance and posit that the answers to any and all of your questions have absolutely no bearing on whether or not I believe in a god or gods.

      July 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
      • Vic

        I know a great deal how much I don't know!

        July 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Jim P.

      Nope, not even close. Deciding that because someone says "I do not know" means your answer must be right is fallacious.

      Asking "why" about some things is a meaningless question. "Why are we here" presumes there has to be a reason, there does not. "What is our purpose in life" is the same thing: Null question as it presupposes there has to be a purpose. Might as well ask 'Why is there blue" and assume because someone cannot answer it, your answer "Becuse God made it." has any bearing,

      "God" is a catch all for things you cannot explain or do not know and invoking a deity simply pushes the question back. "Why is there a God" would be just as vaid a question and the usual answer "because He is." answers nothing.

      July 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, saying "god did it" is intellectually lazy and completely illogical. It is the recourse of someone who does not have the means of finding honest answers, or who is not interested in honest answers.

      You are no better than the ancient Greeks who looked at lighting and invented Zeus to explain it.

      July 24, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • Saraswati

      I just scanned through this and can't believe people are wasting their time on this discussion. This Vic guy asks a bunch of questions, a fair portion of which already have scientific answers (seriously, the male female issue is one you can research in about 20 minutes). For the rest we don't know and Vic says voila...magic! What the heck is there to discuss?

      By the way, Vic, if you really want to do this without sounding silly focus on the idea of sentience, which arguably is NOT necessary for evolution, but only the existence of something that mimics sentience. The rest of this stuff is just fluff and if you think describing god as outside the laws is an answer you are in far too deep for objectivity.

      July 24, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • GRush

      Vic...I have been reading your posts and I am right there with you. In all of the scriptures, just as what was done to Jesus, the Bible states again and again that Christians will be persecuted for their belief in the Lord. Jesus' own people persecuted him, even AFTER they fully believed in him. In the end, rest assured that those who believe in the Lord and his promise will have eternal life. What is to become of all we currently know (i.e., the earth) is also foretold. Without being calloused or cold, let the non-believers have what is to be left of it Hold true to your faith, hold true to your love of the Lord, and do not let your heart be troubled or swayed.

      July 24, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • TG


      It is true that posing questions is a basis for examination with regard to how all things originated. But, is it not also important to provide complementary details that give sound evidence of a Creator. For example, it could be asked – Concerning the earth, for example, why does it tilt just the right amount of 23.45 degrees for the seasonal changes ?

      Why is our moon 1/4 the size of of the earth, since all other known planets have moons that are comparably small in relation to its host planet ? If our moon were smaller, the gravitational effects would be weaker, affecting earth's tilt, the tides, and even the weather. If the moon were larger than it is, then the tides would be stronger, climatic changes would be greater, causing the tilt of the earth to perhaps be greater than 23.45 degrees.

      Without our moon, the earth would wobble like a top from 0 to 85 degrees, creating catastrophic conditions. Earth’s tilt of 23.45 degrees as a result of our moon's gravitational pull causes the annual cycle of seasons, moderates temperatures, and enables a wide range of climate zones. “Our planet’s tilt axis seems to be ‘just right,’” says the book Rare Earth—Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe.

      Supplying complementary details gives substance and hopefully will cause a person to reevaluate his or her stand against there being a Supreme Designer of the universe, whom the Bible names as Jehovah.(Isa 42:5; Zech 12:1)

      September 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  15. niknak

    Just popped my third brew, a fine IPA from Two Brothers, got some great tunes bumpin' on the stereo, and have a few minutes to do some Christian bashing!!
    Because that is what us atheists just love to do, bash some Christians!

    Where are all the fundies?
    All these atheists all up in your board, talking smack about your magic man, dissin' the boy, and you are nowhere to be found.
    At least come back with some babble quote, about how we will all burn in the fiery pit if we don't find jeebus.

    Hello McFly.

    Come on out fundies, and give us some of that old school religion.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • niknak

      Yeah, just what I expected.
      You believers are all full of fire and brimstone when you are preaching to the choir, but when a real non believer heretic is in your grill calling you out on your sky fairy myth, all I get is nothing but crickets.

      Your god is as mute as you are.

      July 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • GRush


        Regarding the comment as to why "us Christians" do not comment, we know when "evil" abounds and have been taught to avoid evil as a peril to our salvation. Comments that engage "evil" do not benefit our spirituality or our salvation.

        Romans 12:21 (KJV) – Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

        1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV) – Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

        July 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  16. skytag

    One of my biggest issues with religion is that it teaches people that if you believe something hard enough it must be true even if facts, logic, and evidence say it isn't. Religions teach this to their followers because they know they have absolutely no evidence, so they have to incorporate something into their doctrines their followers can use in response to the obvious question, "What's your evidence?"

    It's bad enough this exists in religion, but to make matters worse that attitude spills over into other areas, such as politics, and for lay people, even science.

    I was out mowing my lawn earlier today and my neighbor came over to chat, as he often does. The conversation rambled, as it usually does, and at some point it got around to the mathematical concept of infinity. So at one point I told him there are actually different degrees of infinity, in the sense that some infinite sets are bigger than other infinite sets. For example, there are more irrational numbers than rational numbers. He basically acted like I had no idea what I was talking about. When I said I could prove it he said, "You could prove it to you, but not to somebody else."

    I have a BS and MS in applied mathematics, and three years toward a Ph.D. in mathematics that was derailed by a divorce. My neighbor never even attended college, while I've taught mathematics in multiple colleges, but instead of saying, "Oh really?" he's acting like I don't know what I'm talking about so he doesn't have to admit someone might know something he doesn't know and wouldn't understand.

    Politics is really bad for people clinging to beliefs even when the facts prove what they believe is wrong. I think religion promotes this behavior by teaching people that somehow it is better to maintain your faith in something at all costs than admit you're wrong when the evidence doesn't support your view.

    Faith. It's all about faith. Facts, reason, evidence, logic, these things are for the weak-minded who can't just know everything and don't understand that if you just believe something hard enough it must be true.

    July 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • bostontola

      So where do you stand on the Continuum Hypothesis? Just kidding.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  17. meh

    Please. All atheists are, whatever they label themselves, are people who have some sort of anger issue with God, that they blame God for. Plain and simple. They can choose to be angry or not, it is up to them.

    July 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Do you believe in Leprechauns? No? Then you obviously must hate them.
      See how little sense your statement makes?
      Probably not.

      July 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Atheists are no more angry at your "God" character than you are angry at Zeus, Lex Luthor or Gargamel.

      July 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Now wait a minute there Knot. My anger with Gargamel is justified. I mean really....such a mean insufferable creature....always so mean to my friends.

        July 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Observer


      Wake up! The ONLY people who can have anger issues with God are believers. Talk to them.

      July 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bearing false witness is on your top 10 no-no list isn't it?
      Lying about atheists fits that bill.

      July 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • 1984

      This is utter nonsense. I don't have any more problem with him than Darth Vader. But...the religious fan clubs are very problematic. I do however attack the so called good god with his loving morality, as a way to point out to believers that they are in fact looking up to an absolute tyrant.

      July 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jim P.

      Which "god" are we supposed to be angry at? There are and have been thousands of them in human history.

      Oh, I bet you mean *your* version of god, right? All the others of course are just fiction but yours is the real one eh? Sorry, I'm no madder at him/her/it/they than you are at any non-existent being.

      Are you angry at Zeus? How about Allah or Krishna? You are atheist about them, right? You will probably go so far as to state you are absolutely certain none of them exist in any way whatsoever despite tens of millions of people believing in them at one time or another.

      July 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • skytag

        Good point. I'm really made at Ra, the Egyptian sun god because it's so hot here in Florida. But I really Thor since I saw that movie about him.

        July 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      When an atheist says something like "Why doesn't your god stop hunger?", we're not saying "We believe in God and we're gosh darned angry with Him that he doesn't stop hunger!"

      What we're actually saying is, "If a god existed then it would stop hunger, and that's yet another reason why we're not convinced a god exists."

      Do you see the difference?

      July 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Athy

        I don't think meh sees much of anything. He seems to be a bit mentally challenged.

        July 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • TG


        Many people reason that way, that "if a god existed then it would stop hunger", as well as the suffering that goes on around the earth. And there is some validity behind this, for when we see individuals in great need, many feel compassion and a wish to help them where possible.

        Most though have no grasp of why things such as hunger, disease, hate, rottenness in people are there and allowed to continue, wanting these to be dealt with now. Many feel that protesting against such wrongs will perhaps open a door to a "fix", even if that "fix" is only with a "band-aid". However, without consulting the Bible, they are left without a sound answer, but continue to "grasp at straws".

        Please consider this: In the Garden of Eden, as seen in the Bible book of Genesis, not long after the creation of man and woman, an issue arose that affected everyone, for a rebel angel called into question God's right to rule, by asking Eve: "Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden ?"(Gen 3:1)

        God had established that one particular tree was his own, the "tree of knowledge of good and bad".(Gen 2:17) The rebel angel (later called Satan, meaning "resistor") raised the issue of universal sovereignty, of whether God (whose name is Jehovah) had the right to set moral standards for his creation of man and woman who were made in his "image".(Gen 1:26)

        Who was watching this issue being raised ? Not just God, but hundreds of millions of other angels, for man and woman were the first and only material creation that had been formed with a conscience (meaning "co-knowledge").

        Hence, these angels may have also wondered if God "really" had the right to rule or would rule properly over his creation. How would this issue be settled ? Time and lots of time, with God allowing the first rebel angel to have control of mankind.

        With Satan in command of mankind, moral conditions have went from "bad to worse", culminating in our time period that is full of hunger, disease and rottenness in people. God has allowed over 6,000 years to pass since the first man's creation, but also has an "appointed time" to remove all bad conditions in the near future and make way for a paradise earth for "meek" ones.(see Prov 2:21, 22; Rev 21:3-5) At that time, the issue of universal sovereignty will be settled once and for all.

        September 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • skytag

      More evidence religion makes people stupid. Believers tell themselves these silly fairytales to keep reality at bay. I'm an atheist. It would make no more sense for me to be mad at God than it would for you to be mad at Santa Claus or leprechauns. There is no god, so how can I be mad at something that doesn't exist?

      July 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      meh, you really are clueless. Do you have anger issues with XYZ? Oh, you don't know what XYZ is? Well it is the same for atheist. One cannot be angry with something they feel doesn't exist.

      BUT I do agree that some atheists are angry. These are typically the ones raised by a religious family. While I understand the nature of this anger they need to move on.

      July 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • niknak

        Question for you Jazzaxman,
        I am switching over from piano to guitar and will be trying to play mostly jazz pieces, along the lines of Bill Frissel and some bossa from guitarists like Baden Powell.
        Do you recommend using a pick, or finger style to play jazz?
        I have gotten different advice, but from musicians who did not play specifically jazz music.


        July 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • jazzguitarman

          Well, I'm going to assume that you have some knowledge of music theory since most pianist do. (If not playing jazz will be hard). I recommend one play chords using their thumb and one play melody lines using a pick. I practice using Band In the Box. If I’m trying to learn the chords I just have the bass and drums going. When I’m trying to learn the melody I include the piano.

          Now, playing solo jazz guitar is the hardest of all. That might be confusing to a piano player since playing solo is very common. So my advice is to learn how to play with another guitar player or piano player (i.e. someone that can carry the harmony), before trying solo jazz guitar (where one would use a fingerpicking style since one has to play harmony and melody).

          July 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • niknak

          Yeah, I do have some chord theory and can read music, although it seems most guitar is in tab. No worries, tab is pretty easy to work with.
          I have been practicing with both pick and finger style, and neither feels very comfortable yet.
          Soloing will be in the future as I am just trying to make my fat fingers get these dang bar and drop chords down.
          Never really thought about how the piano keys have so much room for error as they have so much surface area.

          Thanks for the advice.

          July 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • redzoa

          @niknak – Just wanted to add that there is always the option of using a thumbpick. There's a wide variety out there, e.g. Herco, Bumblebee, etc. The advantage is the ability to play fingerstyle chord progressions, but then you can quickly switch to using just the pick for faster "up-down" single note runs. Alternatively, many players will use their thumb and index/middle finger for faster "up-down" single note runs.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • niknak

          Thanks Red, I had not heard of one of those before, but just looked it up on youtube and saw some great clips of guys using them, Really cool.
          I have been using my thumb in that manner, but with one of those it does seem to give a huge advantage with those base strings over just a thumb.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • TG


      How can atheists have an anger issue with God if they do not believe that he exists ? Some are (or were) atheists because of religious hypocrisy, who attended church only to find out that the religious instructors were immoral as well as because they were taught this in school (especially in a university), such as Dr. Irene Hof Laurenceau who practices orthopedic surgery in Switzerland. She accepted what her professors were teaching concerning evolution. However, from a careful examination of the Bible as well as the complex construction of the knee, she later became convinced that a Creator exists.

      She said that "beginning in the late 1960's, scientists began to understand the knee's intricate mechanism more clearly. They found that our knee does not only bend on a single axis like a hinge. Rather, it both rolls and glides – an ingenious combination that gives the knee a greater range of movement, enabling us to walk, skate, and do a host of other things. For some 40 years, researchers have tried to design an artificial knee. But the complexity of the human knee makes it difficult to duplicate. Moreover, compared with our knee, artificial products have a relatively short life span....Our knee, of course, is made up of living cells that are constantly renewed. To me, the knee testifies, not to the blind processes of evolution, but the wisdom of God."

      British theologian and historian Alister McGrath explains why some are atheists: “What propels people toward atheism is above all a sense of revulsion against the excesses and failures of organized religion.” Religion is often seen as a factor behind wars and violence.

      August 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  18. sam

    Agnostic is not atheist. Bothers me to be lumped on like that

    July 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      I am an agnostic atheist. The two terms are not mutually exclusive.

      July 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • sam

        They are fairly mutually exclusive. Atheists as a broad term do not believe in the existence of any deity while agnostics hold that the truth of said existence cannot be known therefore to disbelieve is just as flawed as believing.

        I'm interested to hear your stance in defining agnostic atheism.

        July 24, 2013 at 2:35 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          Then you misunderstand what atheism is. Atheism is the rejection of theist claims. I am agnostic with respect to having clear or certain knowledge about the existence or non-existence of a god or gods but reject the unsubstantiated claims of theists. I do not believe any of the proposed gods of mankind exist but I make no claim to know for certain that a hypothetical god or gods is impossible.
          There is a clear distinction between saying "I do not believe a god exists" and "I believe no god exists,"
          An example of this reasoning might be demonstrated using a jar of gumballs. Without either person knowing for certain if someone points to the jar and says "There are an even number of gumballs in the jar" should I believe them? No. And since I don't believe them does it follow that I'm making the positive claim that there are an odd number of gumballs? Again no.
          Thus I'm agnostic about the unknown quantity being odd or even but I'm a dis-believer toward the unsupported claim of the amount being even.

          July 24, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Agnostics and atheists do share one important attribute in common however: we're not convinced that a god exists. Certainly believers must see both groups as two versions of the same thing.

      July 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • skytag

      Agnostics would be atheists if they weren't afraid to take a firm stand. If there were any reason to believe there is a god someone would have found it by now.

      July 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • EnjaySea

        I'm not afraid to take a firm stand. I just don't have enough data to take a firm stand. I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with not having an answer to every question.

        I do agree however, that the stunning lack of evidence to support a god makes it at least, "fantastically unlikely" that there is one, but I'm fine leaving it at that.

        July 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • skytag

          What's your stand on Santa Claus, leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, vampires, and monsters under your bed?

          Of course there's no proof God doesn't exist. But it's pretty obvious to any open-minded thinking person that if he did exist there would be some indication of it. I'm not saying there would be burning bushes or flashy miracles, but there should be something.

          For example, if there were a god and this god answers prayer and guides people as Christians claim, wouldn't you expect all religions to have certain beliefs in common? Yet if you look at all the religions men have created there is absolutely nothing they all have in common. They can't even agree on whether there is one god or multiple gods. Furthermore, if the Christian teachings regarding salvation and necessity of accepting Jesus as your Savior is so critical, why have the vast majority of the worlds religions not contained that doctrine?

          If God answers prayer, why is there no objectively verifiable evidence any prayer ever uttered has been answered? Why is all the "evidence" personal, where it can't be subjected to external verification? It's all locked in people's heads, and we know people can convince themselves to believe a lot of things that aren't true.

          If God can change people's hearts, why didn't he change Stalin's or Hitler's, or that of any other brutal dictator before he murdered millions?

          The list of questions for which believers have rationalizations but no good answers supported by any evidence is quite long. They can usually come up with something to rationalize these things since people have been designing their religion for a long time, consider this:

          "Occam's razor ... is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In other words, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one." — Wikipedia

          Now, which hypothesis requires the fewest assumptions to answer all these questions? The one where there is a god and different explanations have to be crafted to answer them, or the one that has a single, simple answer for all of them: There is no god.

          Why is there no evidence of God? There is no God.

          Why didn't God change Hitler's heart? There is no God.

          Why are there so many religions and nothing on which all of them agree? Because there is no God to inspire and direct the people who created them.

          If the unborn are so precious to God, why does he allow millions of them to die every year in miscarriages and spontaneous abortions? There is no God.

          See how that works? Sometimes the simple answer is the correct one, and this is one of those times.

          July 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • skytag

          "I'm not afraid to take a firm stand. I just don't have enough data to take a firm stand."

          It's not possible to have data showing God doesn't exist. However, there is a mountain of data related to science and history and no matter how carefully you sift through it there is nothing in it to suggest there is a god.

          "I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with not having an answer to every question."

          Funny you should say that. I absolutely agree, but a primary reason people make up gods is to have answers to questions they can't otherwise answer. Why does it rain? Why does it not rain and give us droughts, and why does it rain too much sometimes and cause floods? What causes hurricanes and earthquakes? Why do people get sick? Why are some people sociopaths? What created the universe? What happens to you when you die?

          Historically people have tended to come up with answers for these questions by postulating some spiritual influence. American Indians danced to make it rain. Evil spirits made people sick. Natural disasters were God punishing people for displeasing him. Satan causes people to do bad things.

          Over time scientific answers have often replace religious ones, but never the other way around. An important trait of atheists is that they can make peace with not having an answer for everything. It's the believers who credit God or Satan for everything they can't explain because they have to have answers for all those questions.

          July 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          Um... hello? skytag... I'm an atheist. I don't believe in god. I'm just like you. You're preaching to the choir.

          I'm taking the same stance that Dawkins does. He grades belief in god in a range all the way from "absolutely sure there is", to "absolutely sure there isn't", and even he doesn't put himself all the way over at the "absolutely sure there isn't" level. So if you're saying I'm out of touch with reality because I'm not even more radical in my beliefs than Richard Dawkins, well, sorry, I can't help you there.

          And to answer your question, I disbelieve in god with the exact same intensity that I don't believe in Santa.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          Okay, wait, wait, before you pounce... Not the "exact same" intensity of course. I'm absolutely sure there is no Santa as described in folklore, but only frightfully sure there is no god, as described in the Bible.

          And incidentally I often hear atheists say that it's impossible to prove the negative, but that's not strictly true. I can prove that there are no vanilla milkshakes currently raining down on Miami by calling a friend of mine in Miami and verifying that there are indeed no milkshakes.

          The problem with the god/creator myth is that there is no way to go back in time to check how the universe was created, and no way to search the entire universe for additional evidence. So I'm stuck with using common sense, and my common sense tells me there is no god. And that's as good as it gets.

          (This is a first. I've never had to justify my atheism to an atheist before. Interesting exercise.)

          July 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • TG


          One thing that mankind has is the ability to use logic, to be able to reason, to draw a proper conclusion based on evidence, a capacity that animals who are governed by instinct do not have. For example, in 1998, when astronomers were carefully scrutinizing the Andromeda galaxy, something was amiss. It was spiralling too fast for gravity alone to keep it from flying apart.

          After some more thought, they postulated that something else had to be the "glue" that held, not only the Andromeda galaxy together, but all the universe, with its untold number of galaxies. Astronomers looked at the available evidence and concluded that really there must be some sort of "cement" that binds all the universe together, for the evidence was staring them in the face.

          They labeled two "things" as the support – dark matter (estimated to make up some 22% of the universe) and dark energy (estimated to make up some 74 % of the universe and accelerating the expansion of the universe), and in which from these numbers (96 %), that only about 4 % of the universe is visible, with the vast majority unseeable and undetectable.

          Does common sense tell you to discard the evidence of a both a force and matter simply because they cannot be seen or detected, but the evidence is overwhelmingly compelling in their favor ? Where did the "cement" as well as the visible part of the universe come from ? What does logic or "common sense" dictate ? A lawyer once wrote: "Of course, every house is constructed by someone", but concludes that "he that constructed all things is God."(The Bible book of Hebrews 3:2) And the Bible also gives his name as Jehovah.(Isa 42:8)

          September 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
        • TG


          Is there a"stunning lack of evidence to support a god" ? Let's examine this from a molecular level. For a cell to survive, at least three different types of complex molecules must work together – DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid) and proteins.

          Since a protein molecule can have anywhere from as few as 50 or as many as several thousand amino acids bound together in a highly specific order, what are the odds of say, a protein with 100 amino acids coming about at random ? It has been calculated as about one chance in a million billion.

          And this is just for a protein. What about the DNA, our set of instructions that makes up who we are, and the RNA to also come about at random at the same place and time and survive outside of a cell ? And it should be noted that proteins are involved to make RNA and RNA is required to make proteins. So, how could either one arise by chance, let alone both ?

          Now, let's change to our earth, its location and size. It is great interest that our solar system (and earth) is located between spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, some 28,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. Why ? Because here, it is called the galactic habitable zone and contains just the right concentrations of chemical elements needed to support life as well being away from dangerous radiation.

          What about the size of the earth ? If the earth were slightly larger, having a stronger gravitational force, it would prevent hydrogen, a light gas, from escaping at a specified rate, building up in our atmosphere and eventually rendering our planet lifeless.

          If slightly smaller, gravity would be less, causing surface water and oxygen to escape and again making the earth barren of life. Too, it need be considered why Jupiter is where it is and its size, for it's huge size (mass) has a strong gravitational effect on meteors and asteroids going near it, causing them to either be absorbed by it or deflecting them away from the earth. Just an accident for earth's safety ?

          From just this brief glimpse, what can be determined ? That life could not of have arisen accidentally, but is the intentional product of a Supreme Designer, whom the Bible reveals as Jehovah.

          September 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • jazzguitarman

        I label myself agnostic instead of atheist since I don’t have a definition of a so called ‘god’. I.e. I cannot say something I cannot define does not exist. But if you asked me if I felt the Christian god as defined by Christian exist or not, I would say NO, that ‘god’ doesn’t exist. But maybe there is some type of ‘god’ (power), man cannot define that does exist.

        July 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
      • TG


        Many are not so sure that there is no god, like being half-way. Some see what exists around us and lean perhaps in favor of a "God", whereas others lean the other direction. Either way, an agnostic (coined by Thomas Huxley in 1869 from the Greek word agnostos meaning "unknown") feels that maybe God does not care or they don't care about God.

        The many who become full fledged atheists have failed to seriously examine everything around us, from the smallest microbe to the largest star and galaxies, that show a precision unmatched by humans. Where does organization come from ? From an accident ?

        What house is an an accident, especially one well organized ? Our bodies are a precisely arranged set of organs that are run by our incomprehensible brain, sending out the proper hormone or signals at just the right time or when there is a need. Our body is regulated by our DNA, our set of instructions that tells the various parts of the body how to function. What value is computer without an operating system ? None.

        Hence, what does logic dictate ? That we are the product of a Supreme Designer who not only created the human body, but gave us a set of instructions for us to function well and enjoy life, and especially life in a paradise earth, such as our touch receptors in our hands.

        The human hand has a particularly refined sense of touch. According to Smithsonian magazine, researchers found that our hand can detect a dot just three microns high. (A human hair has a diameter of 50 to 100 microns.)

        However, by “using a texture rather than a dot, the researchers found the hand can detect roughness just 75 nanometers high”—a nanometer being one thousandth of a micron! Such remarkable sensitivity is attributed to about 2,000 touch receptors in each fingertip. Evidence of a loving Creator ? Yes.

        September 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Agnostic is not atheist."
      True. Gnosticism and agnosticism are about knowledge. Theism and atheism are about belief. They are not mutually exclusive (as pointed out by others).

      Whether you choose to believe, or not, based on the available evidence, or as the case may be despite a complete lack of it, is the realm of theism. Atheists tend to come in two flavors. Those that don't believe in god(s) (weak atheism), and those that believe there are no gods (strong atheism). You may even be both at the same time. You can, in the absence of even so much as a shred of evidence, simply not believe there are any gods, like most people will not believe Loch Ness houses a monster, or that the Tooth Fairy is real. While these creatures may have a non-zero possibility to exist, there is no reason to believe they do. A belief in them is unreasonable. You can at the same time be strongly atheistic about gods that are impossible to exist. Contradictory attributes commonly attributed to the christian god, for instance, make it outright impossible to exist. A belief in it is not only unreasonable, but irrational.

      The complete absence of any evidence in favor of any gods, makes everyone agnostic, whether they will admit to it, or not. Some simply choose to believe the fairy tales they were fed as a child and claim to have knowledge of their favorite god. Funnily, these people tend to be strongly atheistic regarding every other god.

      You said, "Bothers me to be lumped on like that"
      Try not to let it.

      July 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • sam

        I have to say very well put. Though, I must ask where do I fall on the theism scale since they are in your words semi-unrelated? I neither discount any particular religion nor do I embrace any particular belief. I don't have a belief on the situation one way or the other, my grounding in the question of any God or gods comes from the lack of evidence for or against. I don't believe that deities exist nor do I not believe that deities exist.

        I suppose you could call me aatheist as well as atheist. It is my belief that atheism is as unfounded as any theism. That's why I don't think we should be lumped in with atheists. To me atheists are guilty of the same flawed thinking as many theists. That's why I have trouble with lumping agnostics in with atheists. My stance is firmly rooted in not having beliefs one way or the other. I'm Switzerland in this debate, just slowly shaking my head as the world blows up around me.

        July 24, 2013 at 2:28 am |
        • LinCA


          You appear to be operating under the assumption that somehow the positions for and against gods are equal. They are not. Not by a long shot. Just because gods either exist, or they don't, doesn't mean that both options each have a 50% likelihood of being correct.

          The Tooth Fairy either exists, or she doesn't, yet you'll be hard-pressed to find adults that believe she does. The lack of evidence for her, and an understanding of how her story came about, make genuine belief in her rather silly, and exceedingly rare among adults. The case for gods isn't any different, yet belief in them is rampant.

          Belief in gods is rampant, not because the case for their existence has any merit, it doesn't, but because humans have an uncanny ability to delude themselves, and be deluded. Beliefs in gods is rampant because of indoctrination, fostered by those that stand to benefit from a flock of sheeple. Only through ignorance, though, can the flock be maintained. And hence, the modus operandi of every religion is to indoctrinate early, and control the flow and content of information.

          There is a very strong, and inverse correlation between education levels and religiosity. The freer a society, with better education, and the easier access to information and different views is, the less religious it will become.

          You said, "It is my belief that atheism is as unfounded as any theism."
          You are free to believe whatever you want, but what you say is equivalent to saying that a non-belief in the Tooth Fairy is on equal footing as a belief in her. I'd consider that pretty silly, but to each his or her own.

          If there is no evidence to suggest a phenomenon or creature is real, the default position is to not believe it is. So, even strong atheists (those that believe there are no gods) have a far stronger case than any theist, by virtue of holding the default position.

          You said, "My stance is firmly rooted in not having beliefs one way or the other. I'm Switzerland in this debate, just slowly shaking my head as the world blows up around me."
          It sounds to me that you would rather be classified as a apatheist.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        Sam I would say that you're just dodging the question. If I ask " Do you believe in god?" the reply "I don't know." is evasive. I'm not asking what you know but just what you believe. Knowledge is a subset of belief. There are many things we don't know but still believe. Such as I believe there is organic life somewhere else in the universe. However there are infinitely more things we don't believe without knowing simply due their apparent unlikelyhood like say dragons or unicorns. And unicorns aren't really that far a stretch if you discount any supernatural abilities. But we recognise that such creatures are the product of someones imagination, not based on physical evidence.
        The main point is that atheism can't exist in a vacuum. Being a theist means believing a god or gods exist...in fact it's an absolute requirement. Anything else is atheist meaning not-theist.

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