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September 14th, 2013
08:01 AM ET

Hey atheists, let’s make a deal

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - Famed atheist Richard Dawkins has been rightfully criticized this week for saying the “mild pedophilia” he and other English children experienced in the 1950s “didn’t cause any lasting harm.”

This comes after an August tweet in which Dawkins declared that “all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

Dawkins is known for pushing his provocative rhetorical style too far, providing ample ammunition for his critics, and already I’ve seen my fellow Christians seize the opportunity to rail against the evils of atheism.

As tempting as it is to classify Dawkins’ views as representative of all atheists, I can’t bring myself to do it.

I can’t bring myself to do it because I know just how frustrating and unfair it is when atheists point to the most extreme, vitriolic voices within Christianity and proclaim that they are representative of the whole.

So, atheists, I say we make a deal: How about we Christians agree not to throw this latest Richard Dawkins thing in your face and you atheists agree not to throw the next Pat Robertson thing in ours?

Now I’m not saying we just let these destructive words and actions go—not at all. It’s important for both believers and atheists to decry irresponsible views and hateful rhetoric, especially from within our own communities.

(Believe me. There are plenty of Christians who raise hell every time Robertson says something homophobic or a celebrity pastor somewhere says something misogynistic.)

READ MORE: Why millennials are leaving the church

But what if we resist the urge to use the latest celebrity gaffe as an excuse to paint one another with broad brushes?

What if, instead of engaging the ideas of the most extreme and irrational Christians and atheists, we engaged the ideas of the most reasonable, the most charitable, the most respectful and respected?

Only then can we avoid these shallow ad hominem attacks and instead engage in substantive debates that bring our true differences and our true commonalities to light.

It’s harder to go this route, and it takes more work and patience, but I’m convinced that both Christians and atheists are interested in the truth and in searching for it with integrity, without taking the easy way out.

Pope Francis took a step in that direction this week with a letter in a Rome newspaper responding directly to questions posed by its atheist director and inviting respectful open dialog between nonbelievers and Christians.

READ MORE: Why millennials need the church

So, yes, Richard Dawkins is an atheist. But so are authors Greg Epstein and Susan Jacoby. So is my friend and fellow blogger Hemant Mehta. So is Sir Ian McKellen. So is ethicist Peter Singer, who may or may not be the best example.

And yes, Pat Robertson is a Christian. But so is Nelson Mandela. So is acclaimed geneticist Francis Collins. So is Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. So is Barack Obama. So is Stephen Colbert.

And I'm willing to bet that the same collective groan emitted by millions of Christians each time Pat Robertson says something embarrassing on TV sounds a lot like the collective groan emitted by millions of atheists when Richard Dawkins rants on Twitter.

Still, in the end, it’s not about who has the most charismatic or generous personalities in their roster, nor about who has the most “crazies.” It’s about the truth.

So let’s talk about the truth, and with the people who most consistently and graciously point us toward it.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" and "Evolving in Monkey Town." Evans blogs at rachelheldevans.com, and the views expressed in this column belong to her.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Faith

soundoff (5,916 Responses)
  1. Non Christians - 1,000,000 | Christians - 0

    Christians are like children trying to hold onto their beliefs in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Get over it. Christians have lost every single argument in this forum. Hello? The writing is on the wall.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Athy

      But they can't read it.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  2. chadbenz

    It's not an Atheist/Christian thing, it's simply the debate climate of today. Other than that... Christians have never played fair, and now you're going to take the high ground? No thanks.
    "As tempting as it is to classify Dawkins’ views as representative of all atheists, I can’t bring myself to do it.
    I can’t bring myself to do it because I know just how frustrating and unfair it is when atheists point to the most extreme, vitriolic voices within Christianity and proclaim that they are representative of the whole." You're right. That's a silly thing to do. But who do you consider the vitriolic voices? I bet you a lot of Christians would DISAGREE. What if I quote Bill Donohue? Is that a vitriolic voice to you? So should I cater my attacks to YOUR views on Christianity? RIDICULOUS. You must accept that there a lot of Christians that take silly stances (not just representatives saying things) and they will get attacked for those stances. Sorry if you feel that you're being painted with a brush in the process.

    Gay marriage, birth control, abortion, church/state separation, MORALITY... All these issues are muddied with Christian NONSENSE. Let's make a deal, if your only justification for something is based in faith, keep it away from politics. The culture war is inevitable, I'm sorry, it just is. Christian attempts to play nice come too little too late. You didn't feel like playing nice before, and it just comes off as insincere when you try now. You understand that right?

    "Still, in the end, it’s not about who has the most charismatic or generous personalities in their roster, nor about who has the most “crazies.” It’s about the truth." SURE. Let's see the evidence for Christianity then. That's the only way that atheists will take Christianity seriously, evidence. Christian apologetics insult our intelligence.

    You're very nice, but your deal is silly. I can no more stop other atheists from attacking Pat Robertson than you can stop people trying to equate atheism to Stalin-ism.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  3. lewtwo

    Pat Robertson & that bunch of nuts in westboro ... the pillars of your faith.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:06 am |
  4. kati

    Athies r afraid they will lose their minds if they ask Jesus to become real to them. They don't trust themselves.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Athy

      Yeah, right, Kati. You are absolutely right. How did your sharp mind see that truth? I'm truly impressed.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • NorthVanCan

      Atheists aren't much into loosing their minds.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Christians are afraid that if they use their brains and examine their religion, they'll realize it's nothing but a childish fairy tale...

      September 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • heehee

      I... I.. am? You're right... I am so terrified of Jesus... Why oh why can't I just feel the love? I'm going to go cry into my pillow.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:06 am |
      • kati

        Hate to break it 2 ya, but they have said it more than once. After all, athies r convinced that all believers r deluded. Indoctrinated. Brainwashed. They demand verifiable evidence to the max for proving god is, but they will not engage in the simple scientific experimentation that proves he is right here

        September 15, 2013 at 12:20 am |
        • Doris

          "but they will not engage in the simple scientific experimentation that proves he is right here"

          lol – and what that might be, dear?

          September 15, 2013 at 12:28 am |
        • heehee

          no, you're right. all of my atheist friends have expressed their fear of Jesus. Why, just this weekend I got together with my friends and locked the doors. We told reassuring stories to keep our minds off Jesus. I can feel the madness creeping in. It haunts me. Please. please stop reminding me of Jesus's love for me. I feel that if I hear it one more time, I will break and have to give in. I would give in, if not for the FEAR. Fear of madness. Oh, the horror, the horror.

          September 15, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Doris

      That's pitiful. The only man I count on to be real is the hubby. Jesus, Carlos, Juan and that other guy with the mustache are just outside only to get the weeds up, fertilize and keep the shrubs and grass trim. There's no need for any funny business with that crew – it's strictly a professional relationship.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Mike

      Actually, kati, my mind became quite clear when I finally admitted to myself that I don't need Jesus to become real. No chance of losing it. As far as Dawkins, he speaks his mind. However, he does not speak for me. My view is simply this: there is no supreme being. no cosmic deity. Nor is there an evil being. Good and evil exist simply because we as humans have embellished them, and through history have looked for an inexplicable reason to justify their existence. Let's face it, as long as there are people, there will be good and evil.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  5. Proverb 16,3

    I think that we all need to learn to communicate how we feel in order to reach some understanding. We should all have respect for each other's views and stay open!

    September 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Respect is earned. Willful ignorance, should never be respected. It lowers the collective intelligence.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      • zeyn2010

        Well said!

        September 15, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • heehee

      Simply stating my view is seen as disrespect by most religious people. Now what?

      By the way, I usually don't state them in person, unless someone comes to my door.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  6. Chuckles

    I completely agree with this article, lets not use a single person's views as representative of the whole. That's not fair to either side and detracts from the issue at hand.

    Let's discuss the actual beliefs laid out in the bible and discuss the pros and cons shall we? Let's discuss how the bible for christians (or Torah for jews, koran for muslims, bhagava gita for hindus, etc....) has preached something that you can't find in any other religion or society and betters that specific belief.

    It comes down to numbers folks, Christians don't seem be better in anyway compared to atheists, jews, muslims, ect... It's a simple fact. The religious choice of a person in no way gives that person a leg up in life compared to the nonbeliever. In fact, if we judged by just numbers alone, you have a better chance of going to prison if you're a christian, or ending up homeless, etc... but I'll be magnamonious and concede it has more to do with numbers than percentages.

    So, Rachel Evans (author), I will definitely take your deal and just stick with christian dogma, care to explain all the crazy horrible things that your bible does?

    September 14, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  7. NorthVanCan

    All indications point to religion being man made nonsense and no Gods exist or ever existed. We are talking about thousands or millions of indicators. Verifiable, provable indisputable fact. Even with just a half backed education anyone can clearly see the insanity of believing impossibilities.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  8. Mythbuster

    All Christians are liars. They claim to know the truth, which is based on their opinions. Christians need to be called out for their lying ways.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  9. Reality # 2

    And again: ( the CNN Headline News features a topic and the comment traffic increases ten fold )

    It is very disturbing that religious affiliation, narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    Now where does Ms. Evans fit in the "randomness of birth" listing ?. As per online bio, her father has an administrative position at Bryan College. And Bryan College?

    "Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee . It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an inst-itution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview."

    Now we know, why she is the way she is i.e. brainwashed in the theological and historical flaws of Christianity.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  10. Femfilly

    As an atheist, I care about the terribly rude things that christians say to me and about me than the things celebrity christians or atheists say.

    Being told on a regular basis that I'm going to hell (not really that troublesome because I don't think it exists), that my marriage isn't real because it didn't happen in a church, that I have no moral code and am dangerous, that I can't volunteer with certain organizations (BSA for one), and that each of these people are praying for me to change my mind is what has shaped my view of christianity.

    I do not think it's fair to discount the sway that these figures hold over their flocks. And their are arguably more christians leaders saying inflammatory things than there are atheists. I think people in positions of power should choose their words and messages more carefully.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  11. Proverb 16,3

    God is Good!!!!!!

    September 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      God???

      September 14, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Athy

      From some of the stories in the bible, he doesn't sound all that great.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Your god may be good, but a lot of other people's gods are pure evil...

      September 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Mythbuster

      God killed everyone on earth, except Noah's ark. You are a lying liar.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Greg scott

      ....and imaginary.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • No one

      I believe the words you are looking for are
      Allahu Akbar

      September 15, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  12. Tile Guy

    I don't recall wars, terrorism and oppression in the name of no god, just christians, muslims, and others. So honestly, this entire article holds no water. Atheists want to be able to live free of the thought and behavioral oppression that seems to come with the turf of religion. Atheists have to try harder, because "god" is a default in our particular world, and so they have to squawk louder to get their point across. I'm not an atheist, but I see a lot less negativity coming from those wishing to live quietly without a religion than those screaming about this abomination or that transgression against some god's law, trying to force their own beliefs on others. So to the author, welcome to the other side for a change.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • sybaris

      Actually no belief in any god(s) is the default. You are born without knowledge of any of them.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
      • Steve

        While that's true, I do think there may be a genetic predisposition that makes people susceptible to belief systems (rational or otherwise). A tendency to go along with the crowd, to accept what your parents accept, to allow authority figures to set dogma, could be an adaptive advantage; certainly, once such a pattern was created, it would be a reproductive advantage to go along with it.

        A lot of our belief systems can also be explained as the pattern-seeking behavior of the brain, postulating something supernatural to explain anything otherwise unexplainable.

        September 15, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Bob

      Well spoken. And while I am not an atheist, but an agnostic, I avoid bringing up religion in polite company due the abuse and insult suffered by those who do not drink the kool aid and blindly believe in a god. I don't push my beliefs on you, don't push your beliefs on me.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      History 101:

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      September 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
  13. atroy

    Rachel held Evan's what?????

    September 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • wakeup333

      Whatever it was, look at her face. She's lovin' it!

      September 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  14. Forgetaboutatleast

    There is not one xtian on earth that can prove the existence of god. Therefore, they have zero credibility. Every single untruth they espouse must be challenged.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • TERRY

      The "proof" is on the other side of eternity. Is there anyone on earth who can prove the existence of galaxies billions of light years away? Not directly, but through pictures of light from billions of lightyears away. Yet you don't question that. If you're right and there is not God of the Christian Bible, ok, then I become a pile of fertilizer when I die. I become nothing and I'd not be even aware of my wrongness. But if you're wrong, you'd know for sure, you see what I'm saying to you? The price you pay for being wrong is an eternity more than the price I'd pay if I'm wrong. If I'm wrong, I'd not be conscious of my error, but you would be consciously burning, literally.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
      • sybaris

        By the same token you would say a picture of your Jesus is not proof yet words written by people who never saw this alleged god man is evidence enough for you.

        So really, which is more credible.......... pictures of galaxies that can be taken on any given night 365 days a year or something written about someone who allegedly lived 2000 years ago by anonymous persons?

        Willful ignorance is NOT a virtue.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • E.

        Your belief is that your god created us and instilled in us the human characteristics of doubt, skepticism, and curiosity. Then he left no proof of his existence, in fact leaving several signs that the bible is flawed and he is a human creation. However, if we do not believe whole-heartedly and have absolute faith at all times, we will burn in eternal hell fire. What about forgiveness. Your god is a jerk.

        September 15, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      • Forgetaboutatleast

        Invoking Pascal's Wager is not a valid argument. It's just fearmongering. Epic fail.

        September 15, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • RootieKazootie

        You are enormously confused. Science is supported by evidence- pictures of galaxies are evidence, just like when your eyes see the sun in the sky– that is evidence that it's day. Pictures of galaxies are almost exactly the same. You can dispute or question the evidence, but still it is evidence of something.

        Religious belief is simply not evidence based. It is just whatever you think in your head- based on God knows what.

        September 15, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Mal

      Our evidence is the exact same evidence you evolutionary atheists present. I'm not talking about the assumptions made based off the evidence. No, I'm speaking of the evidence itself. Example: you see the Grand Canyon and say it was carved our over the course of millions of years. We see it and say that it was the result of a catastrophic event – namely, the Great Flood.
      We are looking at the same evidences and arriving at different places, though I would say the evidence is more consistent with the Christian claim and know you would say the opposite. Point is, we Christians listen to what you atheists present as truth based on the evidences, but we largely do not get the same considerations when presenting cold hard science. And we do present cold hard science.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
      • Bob

        An example of your "cold, hard science? And the bible doesn't count. I'm waiting.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
      • Angry Lice

        You muppet. You saying you're looking at the same evidence and arriving at different places is like saying a house burnt down not because a candle fell over but because the easter bunny got angryand torched the place. The evidence is more consistent? Your fairy tale book says the earth sits on four pillars, has four corners, and that the stars are fixed in a dome. What was that you were saying about being consistent?

        You present cold hard fairy tales, not science.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
      • sybaris

        The grand canyon carved by noahs flood?

        That really doesn't wash, no pun intended.

        There are structures on the earth that if exposed to the forces that carved the grand canyon would not be here today.

        Barringer Crater for one...........absolutely no signs of water erosion yet it pre-dates the alleged biblical flood.

        You really can't keep moving the goal posts to make things fit. It becomes a dishonest game in order to support your belief.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  15. seafoodwatch

    Why don't we give some of the Muslims from the middle ages Nobel Prizes.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • GWH

      The Arabs contributed a lot to science and math, specifically our numeric system. The smart ones did, anyway.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • Mark

        I noticed you used past tense. And seafoodwatch makes a good point if he is talking about the Peace Prize, lmao

        September 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • FYI

      seafoodwatch,

      They are dead. Not even Galileo and Newton have "Nobel Prizes".

      "Q: Is it possible to nominate someone for a posthumous Nobel Prize?
      A: No, it is not. From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation have stipulated that a Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Nobel Prize. This happened in 1996 when William Vickrey died only a few days after the announcement of the Prize in Economics.

      Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice: to Dag Hammarskjöld (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931)." –http://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/nomination_faq.html

      September 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  16. isprosperityteachingbiblical

    Many comments ask for proof of God yet they don't need proof for scientific theories, theories treated like fact but are yet still theories, i.e evolution and big bang THEORY. My question is if evolution is real why are there no fossils of anything partly evolved, nothing ever found of millions of years of remains is ever part of 2 things partly evolved. I believe when this is all over God will show that religion and science are actually in agreement, just science is missing a lot of pieces of the puzzle and have made many incorrect assumptions.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • donna

      Evolution is an ongoing process- all fossils represent evolution "in progress." So it's all "partly evolved." I think you don't understand what evolved means. It's not a goal, things just constantly change.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Those 'theories' are accepted as fact because there's a mountain of evidence supporting them... On the other hand, virtually all religious dogma has been proven to be pure fiction... Talking snakes?? Seriously, grow up.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
      • zach

        "TIME FOR YOU TO GROW UP." HE SAYS. HMMMMMMMMM. The thing I hate the most about atheists, is that they can't accept defeat. When Christians believe in something, it makes them so angry that if they find any little possibility or puzzle piece, they have to scream it out loud and share it in the most extremely rude way possible. The worst one is when atheists tell people to grow up. Beleiving in god is not childish, buddy. It's accepting that we move on after we die. If god is childish, then believing we used to be monkeys, the universe was once a dot with nothing else existing, giant dragon like creatures who can only be shown to exist by pieces of bone that a bunch of guys in lab coats put together, and believing that the universe never ends is BEYOND CHILDISH! I wish atheists could just live and not constantly make fun of people for believing in something that could actually makes sense if you believe in it. You people all want proof of beleifs. You think "This monkey looks a lot like a human, so we must have used to be monkeys even though they exist today!" There is proof of God, you just have to look for it instead of studying useless stuff nobody cares about like how rocks are made. Ghost stories, the bible effecting spiritual things, the fact that we have life, and life can't just disappear. When we die we aren't just erased from existence never to do anything again. Let's just all get along and stop being rude to each other, but atheists have a hard time doing that because they don't believe in consequences when they die. When you're lieing there on your death bed, when you're ready to find out, and you can't take the pain anymore, you better hope God is real.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • heehee

          a guy typing in all-caps chides someone for screaming.

          you gotta relax, guy. for a post on an unmoderated board it was pretty mild. Yours isn't much better respect-wise.

          September 15, 2013 at 12:12 am |
        • Athy

          Wow! It's almost impossible to believe that there actually are people like you, zach. But, disgracefully, there apparently are.

          September 15, 2013 at 12:13 am |
        • Oopsy

          Don't look now but your smug is showing.

          September 15, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Forgetaboutatleast

      Is gravity an unproven theory? Seriously, your logic is extremely fallible.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • mike

      time for a science refresher class, actually look up what 'theory' actually means because you seem to not know it's definition. There are books, encyclopedia, libraries FILLED with evidence for evolution and the big bang theory and not one single ity bity shred of evidence ever that a magical old man lives in the clouds...

      September 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
      • Dippy

        Its, not it's.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
      • zach

        Hey a Mike buddy, hate to break it to ya, but there are a ton of books and records dating back to before all this science junk, that are full of proof of religion. One of them was the best selling book ever! And don't say the bible just states things, because theories do that to. What proof can there possibly be that says a magic force pulls us towards things? There's no proof of any science, it's all just assuming and jumping to conclusions. Why can't you guys just believe that there really is a force beyond or comprehension out there that makes unbelievable things happen? You guys can't fully explain many things either. If the moon is a chunk of Earth, why is Earth so perfectly round? If evolution is real, why do Monkeys still exist today? If the big bang theory is true, what existed outside the universe? Christians can explain science with religion too. Heaven exists outside the universe. Life is removed from the shell or body when we die, monkeys are so much like us because God didn't want a superior species to exist with all these dumb idiot creatures who can't do anything. All atheists want is proof. There used to be no proof that Earth was round. I guess that means that Earth was flat back then huh? Or maybe it was round, but we hadn't found any proof yet. Same is going on here. Humans think they are so advanced and smart, but the people back then did to, and they thought that all evidence led to Earth being flat. Now being think they are so smart and that all evidence leads to no God. Someday Jesus will return, then we will know for sure God is real. Scientists think that they are so smart, if they find enough evidence, what they believe is true. That's only because (metaphorically speaking) they are so much farther up the latter than people back then, that they don't relies how much more of the latter they have left.

        September 15, 2013 at 12:16 am |
        • Oopsy

          Its shocking the number of times that you use pretzel logic. You just keep twisting, and twisting until you make the argument work for you. Not very good arguments either. Terrible actually.

          You are right about one thing, we still have more to learn. But still having more to learn is not evidence of a God. Sorry....

          September 15, 2013 at 12:32 am |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          You really don't read much, do you zach?

          September 15, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • Athy

          Zach, your comment is so far off base it isn't worth responding to. Just go on a believe what you believe, you're beyond help.

          September 15, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • WolfRayet

      You have no idea what your talking about, and your idea of a Scientific Theory is all wrong. Go and learn something before you open your mouth and sound as stupid as you do now.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • huh?

      Parly evolved? There's plenty of partly evoled fossiles. That's how we can tell what the ancestors of our modern day beings are. Sheesh.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
      • Athy

        All fossils are of "partly evolved" organisms. Evolution is a continuous, ongoing process. I don't think the creationists really understand that.

        September 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Disciple of Eris

      I would like to point out that religion itself Evolved.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • RootieKazootie

      You have so little idea what you are talking about and are so confused and irrational, that it is barely worth responding.

      Science is not based on "proof", science is based on evidence. When your eyes see the sun in the sky, that is evidence that it is daytime. When a telescope and camera show us galaxies billions of light years away, that is evidence of the age of the universe. You can dispute or question the evidence (you can claim it is not daytime and everything is an illusion), but you have to have other evidence to do so rationally.

      Religion is not evidence based– it is just based on the thoughts in your head and they come from God knows where.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:37 am |
  17. GWH

    This entire article is rubbish and can be safely discarded without much afterthought. It makes no argument; proves no point; and actually kind of makes me respect Dawkins a bit more. Rachel, you have failed.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • alan

      right! I feel awful that I gave this article a view. Money is being made off of me reading this hogwash. I was duped.

      September 15, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  18. wilbie

    As an atheist I can't wait for the afterlife...i'll get to strike up a conversation with Andy, Jody, Emma, Brad, Ian, among others. Kathy Griffin, not a fan, kind of hoping she gets saved.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Glenn Parker

      Yeah...about that. The only "conversation" you will have will be in your own mind thinking about what an idiot you were.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  19. Eddie Nugroho

    People will not changed their point of view through discussions in forums such as this. They may change through their experience of other people's good or bad behaviour... So, just do good to your fellow human being and you may change his or her point of view by observing your deeds.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Forgetaboutatleast

      That is not true. Forums like this provide many opportunities for people seeking answers that cannot be found at church. They are relevant and very helpful.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
  20. MV

    Are the things that Dawkins said factually incorrect or not? Is it factually incorrect to say that not many Muslims have won Nobel prizes?

    Does anyone actually think Dawkins was defending pedophiles? Strike that – does anyone with critical thinking skills actually think Dawkins was defending pedophiles?

    Truth matters. It's a vastly false equivalency between Dawkins and Pat Robertson.

    September 14, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Mark

      Someone would have to be awfully, awfully thin-skinned to think that Dawkin's remarks were outrageous, whereas Robertson's are designed to offend, and that cheap shot preacherman knows it.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • wakeup333

      Dawkins was correct saying the world's Muslims have won fewer Nobel prizes than Trinity College. Google his comments. He has the figures. Even subtracting "peace" prizes from both groups, Trinity still won more Nobels than the world's Muslims. It's outrageous he's been slammed for telling the truth.

      September 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
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About this blog

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