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Ex-pope breaks silence, denies cover up
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, left, greets Pope Francis during a March meeting at the Vatican gardens.
September 24th, 2013
02:05 PM ET

Ex-pope breaks silence, denies cover up

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Retired Pope Benedict XVI says he never tried to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, breaking his post-retirement silence to address one of the greatest threats to his legacy as a church leader.

In a lengthy letter published in La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, the former pope answered theological and moral arguments from Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian atheist and mathematician who had written about Benedict in 2011.

Earlier this month, La Repubblica also published a letter to its atheist editor from Pope Francis, Benedict's successor.

Since his retirement on February 28, Benedict has mostly stayed out of the public eye, living in a converted monastery behind St. Peter's Basilica and keeping his promise to steer clear - at least publicly - of church business.

Benedict's new letter, coming on the heels of Francis' blockbuster interview published last week, makes for a remarkable week for papal communication. Most modern popes have been fairly inaccessible - to the media, at least.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

In Benedict's letter, published Tuesday, the former pope said: "As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation. But I never tried to cover up these things."

Benedict, who now has the title "pope emeritus," also said that even though sociologists have determined that the percentage of priests accused of abusing minors is not markedly higher than other professions, that's "not reassuring" for the church.

Critics answer that it's the not just the crimes but the coverups that made the church's response to sexual abuse so scandalous.

"Over a clerical career that lasted more than six decades, we can’t think of a single child-molesting bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian that Benedict ever exposed," said Barbara Dorris of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Before he was elected pope, Benedict, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which assumed responsibility for handling priest abuse cases late in his career.

As pope, he issued revised guidelines in 2010 making it easier to remove abusive priests from the ministry, apologized for the "shame" the scandal brought on the church and met with victims, including in the United States in 2008.

Critics like SNAP dismissed those moves as too little, too late.

In the United States alone, nearly 17,000 people have come forward with abuse claims, and the church has paid $2.6 billion in settlements, therapy bills, lawyers' fees and expenses related to removing priests from the ministry, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

MORE ON CNN: Can Pope Francis make his vision a reality?

In Tuesday's letter, and on past occasions, Benedict has decried the "filth" of sexual abuse in the church. But, the emeritus pope said, it is not "specific to Catholicism." He also chided Odifreddi for neglecting the good the church has done.

"If you do not remain silent about evil in the Church, we must not, however, be silenced even by the great shining path of goodness and purity, which Christian faith has traced through the centuries," Benedict said.

Pope Francis said in April, in one of his first statements as pope, that the church must take "decisive action" regarding cases of child sexual abuse and protecting children.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Crime • Media • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Rape • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (2,421 Responses)
  1. Topher

    Madtown

    "Sure, as long as you've been exposed to it. If you're one of the unlucky many humans who haven't, then I guess you have no standards to live by."

    You don't need to be taught lying is wrong. Or theft. Or murder. Or adultery. God's laws are written on your heart. Plus you've got the Creation and a conscience so that you KNOW He exists and so will be without excuse on Judgment Day.

    September 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey T, thx for the nice words earlier.

      September 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Oh Topher, you did understand the point of my true Hollywood stories right? I am pointing out just how random things are. No god has a hand in all of that stuff happening or not happening. That is just how it happened and the rest is up to me and others concerned to deal with it.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Topher

        No problem, dude. Are you doing OK?

        September 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          One day at a time T.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Topher

          Honestly, dude, I don't know what I could possibly do, but if there's anything ...

          September 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Topher: Really?? A child grows up and witnesses that Mom is a thief who makes her money via the sex trade. Now unless that child is saved from witnessing that, the child does not stand much chance at having any better morals. Dysfunction is dysfunction and children learn what they see, very perceptive...if we do not teach them right from wrong, they can't possibly be expected to learn it on their own, otherwise they'd live on their own at an early age and wouldn't need us. Morals existed much earlier than christianity did, tribes had to get a long and work together.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Sorry Apple, hit the wrong reply button.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Topher

          truthprevails1

          "Morals existed much earlier than christianity did, tribes had to get a long and work together."

          Than Christianity? Sure. Longer than God? No. And isn't it interesting that there's never been an atheistic tribe?

          September 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          No one understands how the brain works. Some people live through the worst and come out wonderful. Others live through paradise and come out scum bags. Who knows? Not me.

          We are animals. We are imperfect.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Topher, Why do you think there has never been an athesistic tribe? You have a history of EVERY tribe that has EVER been?
          Seriously?

          My family could be considered a tribe, and we are atheists.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Topher: Given that the bible is the first book we have that speaks of the god you believe in, it is safe to say that man before Christianity did not know of your god. As for Atheistic tribes, the term Atheist only applies to a disbelief in gods; it does not pertain to any other set of beliefs a group or person may adhere to. It is amazing that before christianity was around we had many other beliefs that didn't know of your god and instead believed in others gods, this alone shows that morality does not come from christianity. However, if you feel that you require religion to be a moral person (because otherwise you might go on a murderous rampage), then feel free to hold on...some of us are not so weak and are capable of holding good moral standards without the crutch.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Topher

          truthprevails1

          "Topher: Given that the bible is the first book we have that speaks of the god you believe in, it is safe to say that man before Christianity did not know of your god."

          No. There's what, 39 books in the Old Testament, all of which were around before the New Testament.

          "However, if you feel that you require religion to be a moral person (because otherwise you might go on a murderous rampage), then feel free to hold on...some of us are not so weak and are capable of holding good moral standards without the crutch."

          I never said that. An atheist can be a moral person. I'm just saying in your worldview you can't explain it. It's just your opinion what is right and wrong. It's in the Christian worldview that you have God to set the standard — someone higher than man.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I just read this... fascinating stuff: http://ffrf.org/publications/freethought-today/item/13492-the-pirahae-people-who-define-happiness-without-god

          September 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, the Christian god has terrible morals. The first step in becoming a Christian is to let Jesus take your punishment, which is immoral.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • G to the T

          Topher – "And isn't it interesting that there's never been an atheistic tribe?" You confusing a belief in god with a belief that god is the source of morality. Most early religions had no moral component. They only dealt with what you needed to do to keep them happy (i.e. rituals). Morality (or its more proper label "ethics") was for philosophers, not priests.

          Belief in god can be explained by a comibination of agenticity and pattern recognition giving a false positive. From an evolutionary standpoint, belief in god/supernatural makes complete sense. If there's a rustle in the grass it could be the wind (no agency) or a lion (agency). It's safer (and therefore evolutionarily advatangeous) to err on the side of caution and believe "something" caused it rather than it having "just happened". So I wouldn't be surprised if there were no truly atheist tribes, but I'm pretty sure there were many tribes who's beliefs would seem very strange (and possibly even foolish) to you indeed.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • Sara

          I think both the religious and secular communities need to keep in mind this distinction between religion and ethics. One of the biggest mistakes atheists make is answering "what is you're religion?" with "I'm an atheist." But because Christianity (and most modern religions) have blended ethics and metaphysics, that answer implies you have no ethics (and possibly no beliefs regarding reality). It's a non-answer that makes it look like one's main role in life is opposition to god. If you're a Buddhist utilitarian SAY SO. If you are a rights based secular humanist SAY SO. If you are an idealist unitarian or neutral monist panpsychic EXPLAIN. Tell people what you believe and stand for, not what you don't. Most people don't really give a crap if you believe in god as long as you are for something and about something. If you live somewhere they do, for God's sake (or whatever...) move the heck to civilization.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher, the Christian god has terrible morals. The first step in becoming a Christian is to let Jesus take your punishment, which is immoral."

          He makes the offer, it wasn't forced on Him. He couldn't have possibly shown more love for me than what He did. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

          September 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          ""Topher: Given that the bible is the first book we have that speaks of the god you believe in, it is safe to say that man before Christianity did not know of your god."

          No. There's what, 39 books in the Old Testament, all of which were around before the New Testament."

          September 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          oops,
          As I said the bible and the OT is part of that.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Sara

          Topher,

          "He couldn't have possibly shown more love for me than what He did."

          As someone else recently pointed out, Jesus is an infinite being who had one bad weekend. In the grand scheme of things it was hardly much of a sacrifice knowing full well it was going to be over in a couple of days and he'd be in heaven living the good life. Most of us would give a few days out of infinite joy to help others...at least anyone I'd hang out with would.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Religion and belief are separable. There could, let's imagine, be a God together with people with justified true belief in it, all of whom are entirely disinterested in it.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Topher

          Sara

          "As someone else recently pointed out, Jesus is an infinite being who had one bad weekend."

          What blasphemy!

          "In the grand scheme of things it was hardly much of a sacrifice knowing full well it was going to be over in a couple of days and he'd be in heaven living the good life."

          It was the only sacrifice that could be made. You needed a God/man to be sacrificed. First, the Bible tells us that there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood. Second, you needed someone whose life was perfect (spotless like the lambs in the OT), thus He had to be God. Third you needed it to be a man as He would need to be a descendant of Adam (Christ is called the Last Adam) to represent fallen man. And your crack about having a "bad weekend" involved Him defeating death and rising from the grave. Have you actually read the torture He was put through? And He did this all for YOU, Sara. How dare you mock Him?

          "Most of us would give a few days out of infinite joy to help others...at least anyone I'd hang out with would."

          But you couldn't have. You've sinned. You wouldn't meet the standard required.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Joey

          It is not all that impressive when you consider the fact that Jesus was on HGH at the time of crucifixion.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Sara

          Topher,

          The point is, I would be willing to, and so, I hope, would you. Thrn how special is the sacrifice?

          September 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • OK fine

          Topher
          There is so much you do not understand about peoples understanding about "GOD". Many early civilizations had a human as a god figure, look up early Egypt or the early American civilizations, their god was a human embodiment of their god not some airy fairy mystical god.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Topher

          OK fine

          "There is so much you do not understand about peoples understanding about "GOD"."

          I understand that all "understandings" that are anti-Biblical, anti-Jesus Christ are wrong.

          "Many early civilizations had a human as a god figure, look up early Egypt or the early American civilizations, their god was a human embodiment of their god not some airy fairy mystical god."

          So what? They were wrong.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, we still haven't heard about why your so-called "intelligent designer" put those vestigial legs in the whales and designed the vertebrate eye with a reversed retina. Do you intend to give us some answers soon?

          September 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "Topher, we still haven't heard about why your so-called "intelligent designer" put those vestigial legs in the whales and designed the vertebrate eye with a reversed retina. Do you intend to give us some answers soon?"

          I gave you LOTS of answers last night and one or two today on whale legs. I find the evidence for vestigial whale legs EXTREMELY lacking. There's no photos of any legs. Scientists believe those bones are there to support organs, thus not only are they not legs but they aren't vestigial. It's an atheist's fairy tale ... hoping our belief they were legs will somehow break our faith in God. It's pretty ridiculous. But feel free to believe it if you want. As far as the eyes, you contend the eyes are "wrong." Except they work just fine. And in your worldview them being wrong is just your opinion.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Topher just demonstrated an interesting fact about those who rely on faith over reason. When push comes to shove, they will excuse a dilemma rather than acknowledge and answer it.

          The question, Topher, that you won't answer because you can't, is: Why did your "intelligent designer" make animals with parts that don't work and that they don't use or need?

          Biology perfectly proves the facts of evolution, and while it does not disprove a "designer," it certainly shows that such a designer would be either incredibly stupid or purposely tricking observers of the natural world into thinking there is no design. What an azzhole designer?!?

          September 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "Topher just demonstrated an interesting fact about those who rely on faith over reason. When push comes to shove, they will excuse a dilemma rather than acknowledge and answer it."

          What's to acknowledge?

          "The question, Topher, that you won't answer because you can't, is: Why did your "intelligent designer" make animals with parts that don't work and that they don't use or need?"

          The eyes work. There's nothing vestigial. So ... it seems like your problem, not mine.

          "Biology perfectly proves the facts of evolution, ..."

          It does no such thing. First of all, show me the proof then. I've been waiting for 3 days now for someone to demonstrate the change in kinds it takes to prove Darwinian evolution. Still haven't gotten any. 'Course then you've got the little problem of science saying it can't be tested or repeated ... thus not science. Again, sounds like it's your problem.

          " and while it does not disprove a "designer," it certainly shows that such a designer would be either incredibly stupid or purposely tricking observers of the natural world into thinking there is no design."

          Blasphemy and ridiculousness. Wasn't it Hawking that says the universe appears to be designed? So you're contention is that the universe began as nothing and exploded and became something (which defies the first law of thermodynamics) and from an explosion we get order (which NEVER happens) and I'm supposed to believe that? WOW, do you have faith. I'm kinda jealous.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • OK fine

          Well you certainly have the chrisrtian mindset that the 5 billion people on earth that laugh at you or do not believe in the christian god as you do and about 90% of actual christians that believe your late earth creation is delusional. Jesus, joke, just go to any science channel or website and try not to drool on the keyboard as you disbelieve whatever you find there,

          September 26, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, your answer is totally unacceptable. But, what can we expect from you? It almost seems that you're proud of your ignorance. Not only are there photos of whale legs, there are actual skeletons in museums that clearly show them. Go see the blue-whale skeleton in the Monterrey Aquarium sometime. And they don't support organs. That was one theory put forward some years ago, but has been debunked. Naturally you quickly picked up on it to support your foolish belief. And do you honestly think vertebrate eyes are "intelligently" designed? Really, really?

          September 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "Topher, your answer is totally unacceptable."

          Why? Because you said so?

          "But, what can we expect from you? It almost seems that you're proud of your ignorance."

          Because I find no interest in how eyes work?

          "Not only are there photos of whale legs, there are actual skeletons in museums that clearly show them. Go see the blue-whale skeleton in the Monterrey Aquarium sometime."

          Where's the link? Or are you just making things up?

          "And they don't support organs. That was one theory put forward some years ago, but has been debunked."

          Apparently not according to the stories I read last night.

          "Naturally you quickly picked up on it to support your foolish belief. And do you honestly think vertebrate eyes are "intelligently" designed? Really, really?"

          Yes, I do think they were intelligently designed. Why shouldn't I believe so? God Created everything.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
        • Topher

          I'm currently doing a google search "Monterey Aquarium whale skeleton legs" and I'm getting nothing. Lots of stuff about this aquarium, even lots of stuff about whales, the whale skeleton they got from a dead one washing up on a beach and a bunch of stuff about whale worms. But nothing about legs. And the photos I've seen so far I haven't even seen the bones down in that region. So if you know of something specific for me to look at, I will. Otherwise ...

          September 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • Athy

          Oh, shit, Topher. Do I have to lead you by the hand to do simple Internet searches? Just google something like "whale skeleton" and follow the links yourself. My eight-year-old grandson can do it, why can't you? And you really think the vertebrate eye was intelligently designed? Wow. Unbelievable. Are you really proud of your ignorance?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Are you interested in vestigial bones in whales, Topher? Simply google "vestigial bones in whales".

          September 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "Do I have to lead you by the hand to do simple Internet searches? Just google something like "whale skeleton" and follow the links yourself."

          You said to specifically look up the evidence at that aquarium. But so far nothing. Now you want me to search more generically. Do you have something with evidence or not?

          "And you really think the vertebrate eye was intelligently designed? Wow. Unbelievable. Are you really proud of your ignorance?"

          Name calling won't win the argument in your favor. So ... put up or shut up. Where's the evidence?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • Topher

          Tom, Tom, the Other One

          "Are you interested in vestigial bones in whales, Topher? Simply google "vestigial bones in whales"."

          No, that was last night's topic. Every article I found said it was bunk. Now this guy says some aquarium has proof. Yet nothing is coming up on google.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I never thought there was any question about it, Topher. Here's an article I picked up just now:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492145

          September 26, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Here's another:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1482506/

          September 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
        • Athy

          I googled "vestigial whale legs" and got over 400 hits. Some contain photos of museum whale skeletons. Most articles discuss the support the whale legs give to evolution, Topher, so you probably don't want to read those. It might spoil your ignorance. I mentioned the Monterrey Aquarium skeleton as one a person can see for themselves if they live in the area. I didn't say it was in a web site.

          Still waiting for your explanation as to why the vertebrate eye is so poorly designed. Of course, someone like you may not consider it poorly designed, but my grandson can easily see its shortcomings. Can you?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "Still waiting for your explanation as to why the vertebrate eye is so poorly designed. Of course, someone like you may not consider it poorly designed, but my grandson can easily see its shortcomings. Can you?"

          I don't think it is poorly designed. It works, doesn't it?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Regarding vertebrate eyes, I did thesis work on the neurochemistry of vertebrate eyes and pineal glands. The pineal is interesting – very eye-like and, in fact, almost makes it to the same level of complexity as the eye in some vertebrates. The designer waffled a bit on a third eye for vertebrates, it seems.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • Athy

          Of course it works, Topher. But if it were designed like an invertebrate's eye (an octopus, for example) or like a digital camera it would be a lot more sensitive and wouldn't have a blind spot. You do realize that, don't you? And why do you think all vertebrate eyes have that same inefficient design? I don't expect you to answer that last question, Topher. You're several grade levels short of handling that one.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "Of course it works, Topher."

          THEN WHAT ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT?!

          "But if it were designed like an invertebrate's eye (an octopus, for example) or like a digital camera it would be a lot more sensitive and wouldn't have a blind spot. You do realize that, don't you?"

          I just don't really care. It means ... a whole lot of nothing.

          "And why do you think all vertebrate eyes have that same inefficient design?"

          No idea. Either God had a reason for it or it could have been a result of the fall. Either way, it proves nothing.

          "I don't expect you to answer that last question, Topher. You're several grade levels short of handling that one."

          You sure are whiny tonight. You doing OK?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          You need to be alone for awhile, Topher?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • Athy

          I'm not complaining. I already know the answers. I just wanted you to admit you don't know, which you essentially have done by saying you don't care. Nice dodge, but pretty obvious. I'll challenge you with more tough questions later, so be prepared.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • Topher

          Guys, I know we enjoy throwing barbs at each other, and I know for whatever reason you reject God. But I beg you to look into it. None of us are promised another day. God gave you Creation (so you KNOW we aren't just some cosmic accident) and a conscience (that tells you He exists.) You know you've not been perfect. You've sinned. But God has loved you anyway and stepped away from His throne in order to take the punishment you deserve. It's an incredible act of love. And if you repent and put your trust in Him, He'll save you from the wrath that is to come. Please, reject it if you must, but don't let another day go by without knowing what you are rejecting.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Amen Topher

          September 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • Dippy

          The ones that have resorted to personal attacks and demeaning language have lost.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "I'm not complaining. I already know the answers."

          You think you do, I'll give you that.

          "I just wanted you to admit you don't know, which you essentially have done by saying you don't care."

          Well, I don't. Sorry.

          " I'll challenge you with more tough questions later, so be prepared."

          Bring it on, dude. Not sure how much longer I'll be on tonight ... but who knows. You should know however that since even science says evolution isn't true you're not going to sway me with any of it. It takes too much faith. You'd be better served discussing specific things in my faith. These are things I've studied and we can have more indepth discussions on.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Athy

          You can't support your creationism by answering my questions, so you revert to preaching. Well, I appreciate your concern, Topher, but there's no way I'll ever believe there's a god, any god.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • Athy

          I don't get why you say science has disproved evolution. Most scientists believe in it. Stay away from those creationist web sites and read some real science.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "I don't get why you say science has disproved evolution."

          The scientific method says something has to be testable and repeatable. How can you do that with something that supposedly happened millions of years ago ... and that takes millions of years for results?

          "Most scientists believe in it."

          I don't know about most, but I'll give you secular ones surely do. The problem is there's no proof. Where's the change in kinds?

          "Stay away from those creationist web sites and read some real science."

          That's a logical fallacy. Besides, both sides of the argument has the exact same evidence. It just depends on your presuppositions how you interpret that evidence. And I happen to like my creationist websites. 🙂

          September 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • Athy

          Of course you like your creation web sites, they support your erroneous beliefs. Maybe they can help you answer my whale-leg and vertebrate-eye questions. Ha, ha, that was a good one, wasn't it?

          September 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It would be good for you, Topher, to branch out in your reading. Maybe one day you can help put a stop to the spinning of lies by your fellow Christians – the Creationists. It is an embarrassment to hear lies spread by good people who don't know that they are telling lies.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • Topher

          Tom, Tom, the Other One

          "Maybe one day you can help put a stop to the spinning of lies by your fellow Christians – the Creationists. It is an embarrassment to hear lies spread by good people who don't know that they are telling lies."

          What lies would those be?

          September 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Topher, evolution is not a thing that has happened in the past, it is a principle, a process, an ongoing expression. It is the most proven branch of science. Yes, there are undoubtedly some flaws, but each day the knowledge grows by incredible leaps and bounds as genetic research and medical tools are brought to bear on the places where we know less than we would like to know.

          You are more than welcome to get an applicable degree and help discover portions of the evolutionary process that we do not understand properly, and prove how we can refine our understanding in that area of biology or biological history. But to say you don't believe in it, and that it can be proven wrong, is basically like saying that you don't believe in math and numbers can be proven wrong.

          Numbers are concepts just like change-over-time is a concept and change-in-biological-life-over-time is an entire system of concepts that help to properly explain the genetic data and the fossil data and the ages and epochs throughout our planet's history. If you can come up with a better system of concepts to explain all the known facts of biology and fossils and dna, then please, please, please do the entire world a favor and show us what you got. You'll be more famous than Einstein ever thought about.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • redzoa

          In the furthest streak on the right side, if you look close, you can see a tiny speck of blue. That's our planet as viewed from 3.7 billion miles away. Whenever I look at this picture, I'm reminded how ridiculously anthropocentric creationists are. Then I remember ours is one star of ~300-400 billion in the Milky Way. Some galaxies have just a fraction of that; other galaxies have trillions of stars. Multiply this number of stars by the estimates of at least 100 billion galaxies. All those stars and planets, yet the creationists are certain ours is the sole purpose for the creation of the entire universe.

          September 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
        • Athy

          Nice try, captain, but it's well over Topher's head, way beyond his reach. I just enjoy making a fool of him. It's real easy. Heck, he does most of the work himself!

          September 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Madtown

      God's laws are written on your heart.
      ---–
      NO! That's not what you said on the previous page. You went into detail suggesting that God's standard is contained in the bible, and is absolute. Now God's standards are written on everyone's hearts. You're so all over the place, you have no idea if you're coming or going, if you're moving sideways or backward.

      September 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Topher

        God's laws ARE contained in the Bible ... as in they are in there. But if I never read a single word of it, I KNOW a god must exist. All I have to do is look at Creation and see how well things are designed and know there must be a designer. And God gave you a conscience that is screaming at you that yeah, He exists.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Joey

          I would argue that the universe is not designed all that well.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Athy

          How do you explain the poor design of the vertebrate eye, then?

          September 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          OK, I'll bite. What's wrong with the vertebrate eye?

          September 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Madtown

          You said: "God's standards are contained in the bible". Now you're trying to wiggle out of the logical problem that exists with the FACT that not all of God's creations are aware of the bible. You have an interesting definition of the word "standard". Are you a standup comedian by trade? If not, consider it.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "You said: "God's standards are contained in the bible"."

          Right.

          "Now you're trying to wiggle out of the logical problem that exists with the FACT that not all of God's creations are aware of the bible."

          That's certainly unfortunate. But I don't know what you're getting at. Those people know those things are wrong, but that didn't stop them. And they will still be judged for breaking those laws. Where's the problem?

          September 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Athy

          The retina is backwards. Incoming light must pass through three layers of nerves and reflect off the back of the eyeball before entering the light-sensitive cells (rods and cones) to be detected. The light-sensitive ends of these cells point back toward the back of the eyeball. The outputs of the cells enter the nerve layers for processing before the signals enter the optic nerve which, since this occurs in front of the retina, passes through the retina to exit the eyeball and go to the brain. This produces a blind spot in our field of vision. No engineer, even an unintelligent one, would ever design a digital camera this way. Why would an "intelligent designer" design an eye this way? It is perfectly explained by evolution, by the way. But, since you don't believe in evolution, Topher, you must have a more logical and believable explanation. Let's hear it. Remember, we're talking about vertebrate eyes here. Let's focus (sorry about the pun) on that eye design, Topher. Just give us an explanation as to why your so-called "intelligent designer" made the eye this way. What advantage does that design have over invertebrate eyes which were "designed' correctly?

          September 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • Joey

          The problem is that if god had bothered to let them know about Jesus they could have believed in Jesus repented of their sins and gone to heaven. However, god didn't see fit to let them in on that little secret, like he did the people who lived on the other side of the world.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Topher

          " Just give us an explanation as to why your so-called "intelligent designer" made the eye this way."

          I have no idea WHY it was made this way. Eyes work, so who cares?

          "But, since you don't believe in evolution, Topher, you must have a more logical and believable explanation. Let's hear it."

          You were the same guy who nearly soiled himself last night over "vestigial whale legs" and wanted to know how I'd explain them ... how they'd destroy my faith and how they'd explain evolution was true. Turns out though that there's no whale legs. The bones are there to support reproductive organs. And thus they certainly aren't vestigial, either.

          Why do you hate God so much? Why do you keep looking for "gotcha" elements to complain about Him?

          September 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Athy

          Congratulations, Topher, that's precisely the answer I expected from you. You don't have a clue, do you?

          And whales really do have vestigial legs, even if you don't want to believe it.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Athy

          And I can't hate god because he doesn't exist. Can't you get that simple concept either?

          September 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, why do you hate Thor so much that you have to keep inventing false gods like Jesus just so that you can deny him?

          September 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          "Congratulations, Topher, that's precisely the answer I expected from you. You don't have a clue, do you?"

          About the eyes thing? I don't and I don't care.

          "And whales really do have vestigial legs, even if you don't want to believe it."

          Apparently there aren't. Not one story that I found provided proof. You were there in that conversation. You didn't provide any either. Every story I saw said those bones were there to support organs. Go do a google image search. All computer animation and graphics. No one actual photo. One person sent me a link to a supposed photo of a whale being gutted and a man holding a bone ... look at it. It looks nothing like a leg. And if the bones have a purpose then that means they aren't vestigial by its very definition. Sorry dude, I don't have faith in it like you.

          "And I can't hate god because he doesn't exist. Can't you get that simple concept either?"

          You do hate Him. You know He exists otherwise you wouldn't be fighting so hard against Him.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher, why do you hate Thor so much that you have to keep inventing false gods like Jesus just so that you can deny him?"

          I don't hate Thor. I never saw that movie.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Sara

          Topher,

          "You do hate Him. You know He exists otherwise you wouldn't be fighting so hard against Him."

          I guess everyone who fought against communism knew that the inevitability of the global revolution was true or they wouldn't have fought so hard against it?

          September 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Madtown

          That's certainly unfortunate. But I don't know what you're getting at.
          ------
          Wow man, you really don't?! Again..........you said "God's standards in written in the books of the bible", and without those defined standards then morality is just an "opinion", because it's not based on God's standards. But.................not everyone has access to the bible, or even the knowledge that it exists at all. So, a standard that's relavent to everyone can't be dependent on the bible, 'cuz the bible is not available to everyone. This is grade-school level logic.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • Athy

          I googled vestigial whale legs and found many articles and photos of whale skeletons with their vestigial legs and pelvic girdles. Why don't you try again? And your claim that their purpose is to support the reproductive organs is preposterous. Whales live in water (I assume you know that) and therefore don't need support for anything. The water provides the support through buoyancy. Are you equally ignorant about fundamental physics too?

          And how the fuck would you know my feelings about your silly god?

          And we're still waiting for your explanation about vertebrate eye design, Topher. I've got a hunch we're not going to get it.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          God's standards ARE in the Bible. But guess what? You don't have to have read the Bible to know those things are wrong. God gave you a conscience that screams out. You know He exists and you know lying and murder are wrong. So when God judges you (And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:) you will have no excuse. You won't be able to say, "God, I didn't know! I never read the Bible! And Dawkins said you weren't real!" God will say you DID know. And you broke His laws anyway and thus will be given what you deserve.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Joey

          That joke about not seeing the movie is just further proof that you hate Thor.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Joey

          Wow Topher, your stupidity makes me sad.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • Madtown

          You don't have to have read the Bible to know those things are wrong
          -------–
          So, we CAN indeed have standards of morality without the bible. Good, glad you've come around to this realization. There is hope for you! Of course, this is not what you said earlier, but as I've said before...you're all over the place.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "So, we CAN indeed have standards of morality without the bible."

          YES! Selective reading much? Atheists can be moral people. They just can't EXPLAIN it in their worldview. Because in that worldview it's just an opinion.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Joey

          Of course, atheists can only be moral because god wrote his standards on their heart, right Topher?

          September 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          all anyone can offer is their opinion. gopher. folks like you just try to legitimize theirs by attributing it to god

          you are a coward

          September 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, we still haven't heard about why the so-called "intelligent designer" put those vestigial legs in the whales and designed the vertebrate eye with a reversed retina. Do you intend to give us some answers soon?

          September 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Dippy

          "sam stone/all anyone can offer is their opinion. gopher. folks like you just try to legitimize theirs by attributing it to god/you are a coward"

          Sam Stone = internet tough guy! Changing his name from Topher to a slur name Gopher? That is the type of behavior 12 year olds resort to. And the fact that these "reasonable" atheists turn a blind eye to your sick behavior and jump on Topher because he believes in God? All these hostile posters are evidence that people need God in their lives. There is obviously something very big and grand missing from their lives.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
        • Madtown

          YES! Selective reading much? Atheists can be moral people. They just can't EXPLAIN it in their worldview. Because in that worldview it's just an opinion.
          ---–
          You really are this dense! Part of me thought you were a pretty effective troll. Sure they can explain it, with as much validity as can you. Their opinion = your opinion. Remember, one does not need the bible to formulate a standard for morality. You said so, after initially saying the opposite. You were against the notion before you were for the notion. Selective reading?! You're the pot calling the kettle black.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • Sara

          I don't think Topher can let himself understand. If he accepts that a secular ethical system can make sense, his maim reason for rejecting it falls.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Of course, Sara. Reality begins and ends with Topher's God and Saviour. Everything that he can believe has to be consistent with that.

          September 27, 2013 at 4:44 am |
        • sam stone

          Dippy: When Topher/Gopher stops evading tough questions, he will be Topher again. Until then, he runs and hides like a Gopher. If that bothers you, too bad

          September 27, 2013 at 9:09 am |
        • sam stone

          Also, Dippy, I have no issue with people having faith. Gopher claims KNOWLEDGE, and then uses this supposed knowledge to blather empty proxy threats. He is not here to discuss, he is here to preach. He can go fvck himself

          September 27, 2013 at 9:18 am |
      • Joey

        So Topher why did the people who lived in the Middle East 2000 years ago deserve to know about Jesus, but the people who lived in South America didn't deserve to know about Jesus?

        September 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          People in South America don't know about Jesus? How did they have World Youth Day?

          September 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • Joey

          They didn't know about Jesus for 1,500 years.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • Joey

          During which time not believing in Jesus would get you sent to hell, at least according to Topher.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Joey

          My favorite part of World Youth Day is that it lasted a week.

          September 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Mine too. This should settle the discussion though I know atheists are loath to abandon their favorite arguments:

          Catechism (Vatican II)

          847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

          Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.

          cf. Lumen Gentium 16

          September 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation."

          It's good to know that those ancient Mayan and Incan priests who would eat the hearts of their human sacrafices will be seeing you in heaven then...

          September 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • OK fine

          BD
          I would like to have a conversation with you on the place of religion in the USA, not today, but in the future, understand I am talking about religion not just christianity but the freedom of all religions. A few points for you to consider, a religion that allows bigamy and minor females to be married at the age of twelve, religions that consider women as subservient and can be killed for disgracing their family, a religion that the wife of a deceased man can be thrown on the funeral fire of her husband, etc. Freedom of religion has always been tempered by the laws of the states and the country. The state prevents these extreme measures from happening and will prosecute those that commit these crimes. But your cult defends the practice of defying the states ability to make laws that apply to all of the people, why is that BD, are you so superior to everyone else?

          September 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • OK fine

          BD, forgot to mention, devotees to a religion who deny their children medical attention and are criminally accountable. All these conditions occur based on one religious belief or another. I would be satisfied if you would just admit that your chosen obsession wants to control a whole lot of people that do not believe in your dogma or god,

          September 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • OK fine

          BD. If you care to respond I will have time to be on the blog around 10:00 AM Friday as I have a meeting with a client in the morning or you could just set another time or duck hard debate as you often do.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • Beavis

          BD: "blah blah blah...cf. Lumen Gentium 16"

          what is Lumen Gentium 16? I think these new light bulbs I bought say somethings about Lumens on them.

          Butthead: huh huh ... huh huh... he said Gentium...hu huh..

          September 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Billy

          Sheez, BD, Joey did ask what Catholic theology would say about how these people would fair. One might have a better chance at wanting to follow the way of Jesus if "God" had placed them in a different time and place. Read Joey's post again, please.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
        • Billy

          that is Joey *didn't* ask what Catholic theology would say about how these people would fair.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Joey

          Yes, god sends Jesus to forgive the sins of the world, but doesn't bother to tell the majority of the people in the world about it. It makes perfect sense if you try not to think about it.

          September 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I just had several cardio tests conducted on me... there is nothing written on my heart...

      September 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Snow

      Can't understand something? Magic daddy-o did it with a snap of fingers..

      no evidence for that? well there is no evidence against it either.. so it must be true..

      That sum up your entire faith, T?

      September 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • Topher

        Nope.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • OK fine

      Topher
      So sad that all other God myths but yours about a small group of ancient Jews would control what you think today, Do you have a Yamaka wear it, back to the start!

      September 26, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • Topher

        OK fine

        "So sad that all other God myths but yours about a small group of ancient Jews would control what you think today, Do you have a Yamaka wear it, back to the start!"

        Why would I wear a Yamaka? I'm not Jewish ... at least not religiously.

        September 26, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • Athy

          It's "yarmulka.' Shouldn't religious people know this? The Yamaka is a religious text. You don't "wear" it. Your ignorance is truly appalling.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
      • OK fine

        Thank you, sorry I am truly ignorant, comes from relying on Wiki, although I have worn a beanie. Mea Culpa, where is Dippy. I am devastated. Thank Mars, I do not own a fire arm.

        September 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • OK fine

          Athy. I have discovered over time that having a rational debate with Topher or Live4Him is futile. You could go to any christian apologetics web site and find what they claim to be rationalisation. Not an original thought in their heads.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • Athy

          I know, OK. I just enjoy making a fool of Topher. It's so damn easy, I should feel guilty. But, just between you and me, I don't.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • OK fine

      Topher ....Can I open up your mind to other possibilities other than your god became dominant to all the other gods that mankind created. I am a Dionysus fan and Flying Spaghetti Monster fanatic, to each his own. Jesus and his daddy are just so boring, behave or burn for eternity, no thanks, party on. Beer volcano rocks, heaven or hell.

      September 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
      • Topher

        OK fine

        "Can I open up your mind to other possibilities other than your god became dominant to all the other gods that mankind created."

        No.

        "I am a Dionysus fan and Flying Spaghetti Monster fanatic, to each his own."

        I'm personally an agnostic on the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

        "Jesus and his daddy are just so boring, behave or burn for eternity, no thanks, party on. Beer volcano rocks, heaven or hell."

        You clearly have no understanding of the Gospel. That's not what it says at all.

        September 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      Again, Gopher confuses KNOWLEDGE with BELIEF. This is common among christians. Or, at least those on this blog.

      Then he blathers more empty proxy threats.

      Topher/Gopher is a coward in that he is good with others taking the punishment he feels that he himself deserves.

      This has nothing to do with morality.
      This is nothing but subservience

      Topher/Gopher.....your preaching does more harm than good

      Get back on your knees like a good little slave

      September 27, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  2. Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Old Man: Mr. Stotch? I know what you're thinkin'.
    Mr. Stotch: Who are you?
    Old Man: I came to talk you out of it. You need to just accept that your son is dead...and not try to bring him back.
    Mr. Stotch: Bring him back? Wha-what are you talking about?
    Old Man: I know you're thinkin' of puttin' him up there, in the Indian burial ground up that road. You're thinkin' if you bury his body there it'll come back to life. Sometimes dead is better.
    Mr. Stotch: Indian burial ground?
    Old Man: It's been done before, what you're thinkin' of. The Nelson boy, back in '85.
    Mr. Stotch: You're saying if I dig up my son's body and rebury him at the old Indian burial ground, that-
    Old Man: Don't do it, Stotch! What comes out of the ground ain't the thing you put in. The Indians knew that, that's why the stopped usin' it when the ground went sour. I'm just here to talk you out of it. [heads for the door] Don't bury your son's body at the Indian burial ground, Stotch! The one that's right up over there, by the Andersons' barn. Sometimes, dead is better.

    September 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Is that from Pet Sem or the parody on So. Park?

      September 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Sea Otter will (mostly) only quote South Park...

        September 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Newt

          they mostly come at night... mostly.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Now Apple understand Otter.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Joey

        I'm pretty sure that is the South Park episode where Butters has to fake his death to infiltrate a sleep over the girls are having.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          I saw the way you were looking at me. Scissoring me with your eyes.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Joey

          I don't even know how they could do that unless they like scissor or something. Or my other favorite, Scissor me Timbers.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  3. Atheist

    Dear CNN,

    I hate religion, but that is all I ever talk about. And you haven't posted any stories on a religion for quite awhile! Sure, you have posted lots of other stories on various subjects, but I don't like to talk about those topics. Can we please get a new story that I can hate on? I've posted over 1,000 posts on this one.

    Thanks,
    The atheist

    September 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Gerald: Don't have any change. Don't have any change. Dammit! All right, you want change? Here. [reaches into his left pocket and tosses some change off to his left] There! There's some change. All right, a little bit. [reaches into his right pocket and tosses some change off to his right] There you go. Take the change. [leaves, but stops himself] Oh wait. Wait, now I don't have any change left for the bus. Hold on. Can I just get back some of that change, please?
      Bum 12: Change, sir?
      Gerald: Can I have just a little change for the bus, please? I need a little–anybody have some change? Change? Got any change? [Randy follows Gerald through his binoculars] Change. Change? [Randy lowers his binoculars in horror]
      Steven: What happened?
      Randy: [closes his eyes] He's become one of them.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Do remember Faux Atheist, your God believes lying is a sin does he not? Or are you just trying to be facetious?

      September 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • Atheist

        What did I lie about? I think about religion and God all day long. That is why I post on here ALL THE TIME.

        September 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Believer

      This is a blog for believers, right. Give us stories for people who believe. Believers in one, all, or any god, or maybe Sasquatch, or faeries, or retirement. There are so many things believers believe in, it just takes a good story and it'll be believed. Please tell us a story so we can believe some more.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Akira

      You don't think that Catholicim qualifies as a religion? 1.2 billion Catholics may disagree with that.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
      • Atheist

        I hate Catholicism! It totally is religion!

        September 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Akira

          Okay...and this is a story pertaining TO Catholicism, which makes your statement "And you haven’t posted any stories on a religion for quite awhile!" kind of a false statement, don't you think?

          September 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Atheist

          2 days ago!

          September 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  4. Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

    My gosh, of course there is a cover up. All of these cases through the years and no one knew anything? This goes back to Pope Leo X during Martin Luther's time, where he would enjoy little boys (nude) jumping out of cakes (when in Rome, do as the Romans do?).

    An admission by the church would open the Vatican itself to investigation. The financial damages would be crushing.

    This is just damage control. If they can clean out the pedophiles, after several decades they'll be good as new. Look at all the past atrocities committed by the Church that we just mention and then pass by, because those happened a long time ago.

    September 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      So, things that happened a long time ago should be forgotten? The bible is from a long time ago, so you may have a point.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        No, they should not be forgotten, but their impact is no longer felt strongly because the people that were affected, as well as whatever outrage that may have existed, are all long gone. We are essentially disconnected from those events except through printed word. A few decades is nothing to a religion that has existed for millennia, and in that time the people affected by the pedophiles and the associated rage will be less; it's a waiting game.

        September 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • Billy

          Are you suggesting that people search youtube for that expression or do you despise Tyson?

          September 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • Billy

          Gosh – sorry – I should have checked first and I haven't see this one yet – I will definitely check it out.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  5. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    @Topher – "In a secular worldview, morality is subjective. So you can't really say something is right or wrong, only that you have a preference for one or the other."

    I think the long and short of the religous argument is that people like Topher are really lying, cheating, murdering r a p i s t s who just don't act on those urges becuase they believe they will be punished by an invisible being if they do, so maybe we should just be thankful that they do believe that or Topher would try to r a p e my four year old.

    I myself don't believe in God but do believe in other humans right to live unmolested so regardless of whether there is some divine creator or not, it doesn't matter to the morality I subject myself to and thus I do not even have the urge to abuse others and am motivated to help others be as happy and content as they can be on this amazing planet. I find the reward of being moral is the feeling I get when I help someone else, the feeling I get when I'm being selfless is a far greater and substantial reward than any promises in some cloudy afterlife. But, I guess that is just me and we will still need some form of imaginary scary punishment or ridiculous reward to illicit good behavior from those like Topher here who wouldn't hesitate to steal from his grandmother to buy heroin if he didn't think God existed...

    September 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Exactly, if the only thing keeping Topher from hurting other people is a belief in some nafarious god...I honestly hope he stays a believer.

      September 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Just,

      As a former pastor you may remember how Jesus took 2 of the commandments to the nth degree. Speaking on hate = murder and lust = adultery. He did that to show us the condition of our heart, so while you may never literally commit the act, you have, and do, think those thoughts.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • Joey

        Yes, and that is one of many reasons that the Bible is absurd. Thoughts do not equal actions, never have and never will.

        September 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        I believe any human can be taught human morality without any belief in God. I believe humans have a form of both chemical and emotional morality that has evolved from the social interactions and protections the human species has relied upon for survival for hundreds of thousands of years. I believe religion has usurped that morality and attempted to claim it as its own for its own survival, not for mans. This is obvious to see by asking a Christian where they think there morality is conceived and then asking a Muslim or Hindu where their morality is conceived. While all three will say their God/gods are real and the morality is derived from their God alone, the others do the same. So either all three religions are correct and all the Gods exist, or none of them are right and morality comes from somewhere completely separate from any religion. This is what I believe. As a pastor I did believe we had a patent on truth and righteousness, but once I took the blinders off my eyes and got out and experinced more of the world and the incredible kindness and humanity of people from around the globe regardless of their religion, I saw that it was not any imaginary ghost like spirit, but the metaphorical human spirit that supports true morality. True morality would say that regardless of who an invisible being has told you to kill, killing is still immoral. Religion has tried to own morality so that it can break the rules when it's convenient for it to do so, but morality without religion is morality without any loopholes.

        September 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          It really depends on how you define morality, situational, subjective, justification. Do no harm, or even love your neighbor as yourself. If you can truly do that without God, more power to you. For me, there are honestly some people that are difficult to love.

          September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "there are honestly some people that are difficult to love."

          I agree its difficult, but not impossible. Even the most repugnant humans deserve some measure of empathy just based on the fact that we share the same DNA as humans and we should all recognize that it was possibly just chance and circvmstance that kept us from being that guy. Now i'm not saying that you have to invite everyone over to your house for dinner to show love, but rather you can show love by simply respecting others until they show they prove by their actions that they no longer deserve that respect which they can only do by disrespecting and harming others. The only thing we should not tolerate in intolerance.

          It often feels as if the golden rule to Christians is either "Do unto others as they have done to you" or "Force others to treat you as you want to be treated." which completely perverts the original intent of "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." If Christians actually lived by Christs example this would indeed be a far better country, but the fact is they do not and follow some amalgum of self-righteous contempt masquerading as Christian pity for the non-believers, even going so far as to be haughtily contemptuous of other brands of Christianity as false Christians. It is one of the saddest things about religion and reminds me of the mythical Ouroboros that had to contantly eat itself to keep regenerating itself in some sick form of self-canibalism.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          True

          September 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Robert, you shouldn't love those people that are difficult for you to love, unless you have some reason to love them, anyway, and if you do, then man up and get on with it and quit whining.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        Thinking about eating ice cream doesn't make me fat. Thinking about hate doesn't kill anyone.

        September 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Susan,

          Anger can lead to action.

          September 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
        • sam stone

          Robert: When it does lead to action, that is when it becomes bad. Did you ever question your family's belief, or did you fall to your knees when instructed?

          September 27, 2013 at 8:57 am |
      • niknak

        So when you see a child you get se xually aroused Robert Brownstreak?
        I bet you will say no, and I will believe you as I don't know you.
        But it proves a point that all people think bad things when they see another human being.

        You bought off on all this "sin" bull, not the rest of us.
        Own it all, but stop trying to make us go along with it.

        September 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • niknak

          all people DON'T think bad things....
          Sorry, typing fast.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Niknak,

          You could be right. There could be people who don't get angry. There could be people that don't look at others with lust in their heart. I need forgiveness because I have done those things and more. So, while there could be people who have never had a sinful thought, I am more than a little skeptical. I believe in the total depravity of humans. There are none good, no not one. If you say you are without sin, then you are a liar.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        God is insanely maniacal to judge people for thinking something but controlling their urges and not doing the action. Stupid god.

        September 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          There is humanism, then there is righteousness. Something no flesh is capable of.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          By definition?

          September 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Biblical definition, yes.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yep. God is an azzhole and unrighteous by even his own standards. Believers give him a pass because they're all for "might makes right" and subjective morality-–at least when it comes to god.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      As I understand Christian theology, Robert, the real concern regarding judgment is what you are, for which you are judged. You may or may not do things, conventionally thought of as sins, that are a product of what you are – a sinner. Perhaps that is too Lutheran for mainstream Christians. Not so?

      September 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Tom,
        Correct, and the key is to be found guilty and be judged now, in the flesh. If you can reach the point where you can agree with God about sin now, you will not be judged for sin later.

        September 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Check this out to learn a little more about where real morality is generated...

          http://www.wimp.com/trustmorality/

          September 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          wow, sin.....got to be pretty frightening stuff for those who believe in that tripe

          September 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Just,

          Enjoyed Ted & oxytocin. Thanks

          September 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Topher

      Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "I think the long and short of the religous argument is that people like Topher are really lying, cheating, murdering r a p i s t s who just don't act on those urges becuase they believe they will be punished by an invisible being if they do, so maybe we should just be thankful that they do believe that or Topher would try to r a p e my four year old."

      I've broken ALL of the 10 Commandments. But you're wrong about WHY I don't go around harming people. It's because I love Jesus Christ. I understand what He went through to pay for my sins.

      "I myself don't believe in God but do believe in other humans right to live unmolested so regardless of whether there is some divine creator or not, it doesn't matter to the morality I subject myself to and thus I do not even have the urge to abuse others and am motivated to help others be as happy and content as they can be on this amazing planet."

      That's great. BUT if your worldview is true, someone is going to come along and say that his morality is that it's OK to molest people and harm them. It makes him happy to do so. And obviously you'll disagree, but that's just your opinion. Look at the history of man. Look at how much evil we are capable of. A world without a higher standard-giver is absolutely frightening to me.

      "I find the reward of being moral is the feeling I get when I help someone else, the feeling I get when I'm being selfless is a far greater and substantial reward than any promises in some cloudy afterlife."

      Those things SHOULD make you feel good. But they won't help you on Judgment Day.

      "But, I guess that is just me and we will still need some form of imaginary scary punishment or ridiculous reward to illicit good behavior from those like Topher here who wouldn't hesitate to steal from his grandmother to buy heroin if he didn't think God existed..."

      Again. Good behavior won't help you.

      September 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Topher
        Does Ja/pan frighten you?
        Their culture has managed to exist for thousands of years without a dictatorial deity.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • Topher

        Doc Vestibule

        Does Ja.pan frighten you?

        Why should it frighten me?

        "Their culture has managed to exist for thousands of years without a di.cta.torial deity."

        So there are no Christians in Ja.pan? Maybe I don't understand your point.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Topher
          Of course you misunderstand the point, you alswys do.
          The point is that LONG before any christians ever went to Ja pan, they thrived without your god. They didn't need your god to have civil laws, and a thriving society, and neither does anyone else.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A 2008 poll of the Ja/panese populace showed that 1% of the population are Christian. The majority of their citizens have no religion with the remainder claiming either Shintoism or Buddhism as their belief (neither of which have a dictatorial God who issues commandments).
          For some 500 years, the Shugunate banned Jesuit/Christian missionaries from coming to the islands.
          You say you're scared of a world without a "higher standard giver" – and yet the Ja/panese culture has done just fine without one since its very inception.

          September 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "Again. Good behavior won't help you."

        I see. So you worship a God who will torment me for eternity just because the worst thing I did during my few tiny moments on this planet was not believe in him? What a sick pervert he must be that he needs to hear my eternal screams as payment for me not recognizing him as my universal sovereign and high king. Every knee shall bow or he will cut off your legs, sounds just like the guy you would want to be freinds with...

        September 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  6. palintwit

    Whenever I think of trailer parks, I think of Sarah Palin. Whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I think of trailer trash. Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of tea party patriots. Whenever I think of tea party patriots, I think of nascar. Whenever I think of nascar, I think of assault weapons. Whenever I think of assault weapons, I think of trailer parks. Whenever I think of trailer parks, I think of Sarah Palin. Whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I think of trailer trash. Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of ....

    September 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Billy

      LOL. Excellent.

      September 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  7. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Bible Absurdities

    Jacob displays his (and God's) knowledge of biology by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats. 30:37-39

    God (or an angel) praises Jacob for his fancy genetic work in 30:37-39. 31:11-12

    Jacob wrestles with god and wins. God changes Jacob's name to Israel to signify that he wrestled with God and "prevailed." 32:24-30

    Unable to beat Jacob in a fair fight, God dislocates Jacob's leg. 32:25

    God begs Jacobs to let him go, but Jacob says, "Not unless you bless me." So God blessed Jacob and Jacob let God go. 32:26-29

    "What is thy name?" (God didn't know Jacob's name.) 32:27

    God renames Jacob for the first time. God says that Jacob will henceforth be called Israel, but the Bible continues to call him Jacob anyway. And even God himself calls him Jacob in 46:2. 32:28

    September 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  8. Apple Bush

    To be clear, the issue around my personal problems is not the affair, it is the lying. Trust. That doesn't change business to personal. Deceiving someone is ethically and morally wrong.

    Therefore, all Christians are ethically and morally wrong in lying to children about God.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      And for letting another take their just punishment, and for teaching love for all, but then call anyone who disagree fools and swine.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • ugh

        Letting another take their punishment? It is more like an adult pushing a child out of the way of a car, and the adult saving the child gets hit by the car.

        September 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Only if that adult is the one who started the car on the path to hurt the child in the first place.
          Didn't god create the hell that he threatens you with, then claims to save you from that hell that he created?

          Its like a school bully. He doesn't want to hurt you, but you won't obey him. Damn you for making him make you hit yourself in the face because you won't give up your lunch money..

          September 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  9. Doris

    L4H: "Unless... you acknowledge that God's laws are right."

    God's laws??? Objective truth is the claim – the alleged "truths" directly from God.

    The theist reads words from a book where the key story comes from unknown authors wrote millenia ago. Where is the pure objectivity in that? Some might say they receive such "truth" directly – God speaks to them. If that's the case, they should step up and demonstrate such a "truth". Ah, but the pattern so far is that it's not readily apparent to their audience, so the audience is asked to believe. Hmm – let's see – that puts the audience back into an obviously subjective position with the presenter. Objective truth from the Abrahamic "God"? Please. Get real.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If "objective truth" comes from the Christian god, than "objectively" slavery, genocide, r@pe and abortion are perfectly acceptable.

      September 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Doris

      Correction: "... from unknown authors and was written millenia ago."

      September 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    @LIve4Him

    You may be right about my wife. And you are right, I do think there are gray areas in ethics and morals, no question. In THIS example only though, there is LOTS of gray to negotiate. Sometimes, the only appropriate response is "I am sorry". That is universal.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Alias

      Even the bible knew personal ethics are different from business ethics.
      Family obligations differ from obligations to your friends.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Apple Bush : Sometimes, the only appropriate response is "I am sorry". That is universal.

      Some historical societies would not forgive any wrongs done to another, but you want to claim it is universal. Again, a closet Christian. You're following Christian teachings, even if you deny it.

      Luke 11:3 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • Apple Bush

        No, the Bible is following ME. I am just doing and saying what comes naturally. Ethics and morals certainly pre-dates any old dusty books.

        September 26, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Sara

        "Some historical societies would not forgive any wrongs done to another, but you want to claim it is universal. Again, a closet Christian. You're following Christian teachings, even if you deny it."

        You're hysterical. The options are belonging to either a few societies that may not incorporate apology, or following Christian teaching...which you imply by that statement is the only one that does?!?! Do you even think before you write stuff here?

        September 26, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  11. Apple Bush

    I apologize, I don't recall who made the statement "...why should we care what Stephen Hawking thinks..."

    Uh, because he is really smart? Um...because he is a pioneer in black hole research. Because he is a total badass that deserves actual, deserved respect for his contributions to science and humanity?

    September 26, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Madtown

      Hawking should be seeking out Topher. Topher knows God's standards, how God operates, and what God thinks.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Apple Bush : I don't recall who made the statement "...why should we care what Stephen Hawking thinks..." Uh, because he is really smart? Um...because he is a pioneer in black hole research.

      Being an expert in astrophyics doesn't make him an expert in all things. Since the topic being addressed was human consciousness, he wasn't an expert. So, he should be disregarded until his area of expertise arises.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • Apple Bush

        He is very definitely an expert. You are incorrect. Interdisciplinary science is essential to the incredible work he has done over his historic career.

        September 26, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  12. Alias

    Once again ai would like to refer the close minded christians to this: http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-09-26/

    ask yourself why this is funny to so many people-

    September 26, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  13. Henryo

    People posting on this particular article – still – have to be the loneliest people in America. I mean, this article is OLD and most of the comments now, are just silly. You're all trying so hard to get someone fired up for your entertainment.

    Sad. REAL sad.

    And yes, I know, I'm commenting as well, but it's only because I noticed when I was checking old comments. My only comment is an observation. A sad observation.

    If you're all so lonely, go out to a coffee shop. Join a book club. Join a gym. Get a job...lots of options are available.

    September 26, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Topher

      Henryo

      What is your position? Christian, agnostic or atheist?

      September 26, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • Alias

        It says volumes about you that those are the three options your world view allows.

        September 26, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • Topher

          They aren't the only options, just the three most likely on these message boards.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Actually there are at least 3 Pagans that frequent these boards, and a few Muslims, and probably a bunch of others that get lumped into one of your three categories, even though they don't apply.

        It isn't like we start each post with, "Hi, I'm Natalie. I'm a 45 year old Pagan and I believe X"

        September 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • OKfine

      Really, Henyro, you are a few decades behind. I can go to the coffee shop, library or anywhere there is Wi-Fi and post on this blog. Why do you presume that everyone is holed up in some hovel when they post, are you projecting your own situation?

      September 26, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  14. Alias

    http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-09-26/

    even dilbert kows how stupid this is

    September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  15. Reality # 2

    What is up at CNN's Belief blog?

    Fewer and fewer topics.

    Has CNN decided that religion is no longer news worthy because the atheists have finally made their case?

    The Huntington Post people don't think so as their religion blog continues with numerous diverse topics and a lot of traffic.

    September 26, 2013 at 7:38 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I agree, right now in fact, there is a great article about Stephen Hawking and his assertion that we may be able to transfer our brains to computers, thus achieving life after death. SO many implications.

      September 26, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        You'd think the religiously minded would be interested in something like that.
        If we can transfer consciousness out of these meat machines we inhabit, does the "soul" go too?

        September 26, 2013 at 8:22 am |
        • Live4Him

          Why would we be interested in Hawking's fantasy?

          September 26, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • doobzz

          It's at least as plausible as yours, Lie4him.

          September 26, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • Topher

        Meh. I'd say heads in jars like on Futurama is more likely. But that won't happen either.

        September 26, 2013 at 9:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Oh it's all purely conjecture – just a thought exercise...
          The quest for immortality in this plane of existence keeps going –
          Right now there are cryogenically frozen bodies waiting for the day when medical science can not only cure whatever it is that ailed them, but also somehow thaw a body frozen in liquid nitrogen in which all the fluids have been replaced...
          If we posit that souls do indeed exist and that one day these bodies will be revived, how would it work?
          Would the souls of frozen people reside in the bodies while frozen? Would they get shuffled off to limbo until permanent death occurs? Would they be whisked off to Heaven or Hell, but then whoosh back into the revived body?
          Or would the revived meat machine be soulless? Being soulless, would it be capable of committing sin? Would God ignore prayers that come from a soulless body? Could said body earn a new soul?

          September 26, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Topher

          Doc

          I don't believe those bodies will ever be revived. They are dead now and those souls have gone on to judgment. I mean, this isn't Scooby-Doo where the ice block containing a Viking melts and then chases the gang around while groovy 70s music plays. 😉

          September 26, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog...
          Of course those people-cicles will never be revived – I just think the idea raises some interesting questions.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:43 am |
      • Sara

        I think panpsychism vs emergentism would be more relevant to religious and secular audiences alike, but I somehow doubt we'll ever see it.

        September 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Henryo

      Perhaps CNN is tired of the constant trolls, bullying, provoking and psychosis that turns people inside out on these boards.

      Perhaps CNN is finally aware that by fostering these sociopaths, it's making the world a worse place to live in. I applaud CNN for dropping down on topics that allow the sickest people in our society to run others into the ground.

      September 26, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        And who are the sociopaths?

        September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        If someone is "run into the ground" over comments on a blog maybe they shouldn't read them. I would also reccommend they get thicker skin.

        September 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  16. Apple Bush

    The joyful myth and eager messenger;

    Stained glass soars to the rafters;

    Surely God is here, and yet this house is empty;

    No salesman can close;

    Lovely building full of lies, heard less prayers than cries;

    Babies raped and priests zipping up their pants;

    This is what Jesus witnesses from His lofty perch in that glass;

    Abuse the sheep and pay the tithe;

    Fill the tray and please don’t stay;

    Such a lovely cathedral, such a vile torture chamber.

    September 26, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Tim

      How little we know what God has in store
      As daily he blesses our lives more and more.
      I’ve lived many years and I’ve learned many things,
      But today I have grown new spiritual wings. . .
      For pain has a way of broadening our view
      And bringing us closer in sympathy, too,
      To those who are living in constant pain
      And trying somehow to bravely sustain
      The faith and endurance to keep on trying
      When they almost welcome the peace of dying. . .
      Without this experience I would have lived and died
      Without fathoming the pain of Christ crucified,
      For none of us knows what pain is all about
      Until our spiritual wings start to sprout.
      So thank you, God, for the gift you sent
      To teach me that pain’s Heaven-sent
      ~H. Rice

      September 26, 2013 at 2:26 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Tim, that poem is ridiculous.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:07 am |
      • nope.

        @Tim
        nope.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:48 am |
  17. Apple Bush

    You will try to take it away from me.
    You will change the way it feels to deceive me.
    You will change the way it smells to cheat me.
    You will change its size to confuse me.
    You will change its color to steal from me.
    I will keep it.
    I will not be deceived or cheated.
    I will not lose me sense and be a victim.

    September 26, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • Tim

      Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:36 am |
      • nope.

        @Tim
        nope.

        September 26, 2013 at 3:41 am |
  18. Apple Bush

    When my wife cheated on me, did I ask God for help? No. I improved myself and I am learning to forgive her and see all the sides. It takes quite some time and patience.

    When I quit drinking, did I ask God for help? No. I just stopped with my own will power.

    When I lost four family members in the span of a few months, did I ask God to help me through it? No.

    Why? There are no gods. You are on your own. Dig in and deal with it.

    September 26, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Atheist

      You are so awesome. Keep tooting your own horn; I'm dancing to your music!

      September 26, 2013 at 1:10 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Atheist, what you call tooting my own horn is intended to demonstrate that a god is not needed to master your life. It takes LOTS of work. I have a long way to go to catch up for the bad shit I have done. I am just trying.

        September 26, 2013 at 1:23 am |
        • Apple Bush

          I can see why you would say that though.

          September 26, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • Tim

      Psalm 147:3

      He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

      September 26, 2013 at 2:37 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Sure. That's why your imaginary friend leaves innocent, brokenhearted children to die. Could you try to quote from a book that isn't 2000 years old please and one that is actually based on evidence or are you incapable of reading anything else?

        September 26, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "18.Don't appeal to mercy to God the Father up in the sky, little man, because he's not at home and never was at home, and couldn't care less. What you do with yourself, whether you are happy or unhappy– live or die– is strictly your business and the universe doesn't care. In fact you may be the universe and the only cause of all your troubles. But, at best, the most you can hope for is comradeship with comrades no more divine (or just as divine) as you are. So quit sniveling and face up to it!"
      – Robert Heinlein

      September 26, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  19. AE

    God is good even when people are not.

    September 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      Pretty easy to be good when you only exist in the minds of believers

      September 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • AE

        He really exists. Even when the same 5 or 6 continually deny him on here day after day after day... he still exists.

        September 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Your God, you mean? It most likely does not exist because it is a god and no gods are evident.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • sam stone

          Well, that's sure convincing.

          Thanks for dazzling us with your reasoning ability.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • sam stone

          there is an invisible toad named harry (but his friends call him zap-zap-2) who created the world and will judge all from his lilly pad heaven. even if there are those who deny it, He still exists.

          see how easy that was, AE?

          September 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • AE

          You got any credible people talking about this zap-zap-2 I can check out?

          September 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • Meredith S.

          There's one or two.

          FSM is real. There are many poor souls who contrived a story about him and sacrificed everything to make sure everyone heard about what a good cook she is.

          September 25, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          how do you determine credibility when it comes to "god", AE?

          do you have credible people talking about the god of the bible

          god is personal, and no one's view is any more credible than anyone else's

          September 26, 2013 at 3:56 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Once again child, your visions don't count as evidence. Could you provide the SCIENTIFIC data that shows your god exists?(don't use some creationist, theological crap...they fail like you did grade 3)

          September 26, 2013 at 4:49 am |
        • AE

          There are a lot of credible people who believe in God. Scientists, world leaders, inventors, artists, doctors, professors, etc.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          ae
          They may be credible, until they talk about any gods. Then the credibility starts to go away.

          September 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      On the basis of a tautology (see the Euthyphro dilemma).

      September 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • AE

        No dilemma. God is good, that is His nature.

        September 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Then is good arbitrarily whatever God defines it as being – even genocide?

          September 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
        • AE

          No, that is how we define it. God is the source of what is good.

          September 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
        • M MURDOCH

          "Tom, Tom, the Other One
          Then is good arbitrarily whatever God defines it as being – even genocide?"

          especially genocide

          September 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          AE, is it a property of God that God is a source of good only?

          September 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
        • AE

          He is holy and pure goodness. Like pure light, no darkness at all. Darkness ceases to be in His presence.

          September 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

          September 25, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • AE

          He created darkness, but it will pass away. Stay in the light.

          "Again, I write a new commandment to you, which is true in him and in you; because the darkness is passing away, and the true light already shines. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in the darkness even until now. He who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no occasion for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and doesn't know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."

          September 25, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          so, AE, you know the nature of god?

          you are delusional

          September 26, 2013 at 3:59 am |
        • sam stone

          god is this, god is that

          you are a pompous moron, AE

          September 26, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • Joey

      That seems like nonsense to me because if god was good even when people are not he wouldn't have drowned the whole world at one point.

      September 26, 2013 at 12:47 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.