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Where was God in the Philippines?
A flood survivor is surrounded by debris on the Philippine island of Leyte.
November 11th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

Where was God in the Philippines?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country. Meanwhile, many people are asking: How should we make sense of such senseless death and destruction? Was God in the whirlwind itself, as the Bible hints, or present only in the aftermath, as people mobilize to provide food, water and shelter?

These questions may not be new, but we keep asking them, perhaps because the answers remain so elusive.

For many Americans, a paradox sits at the heart of their thinking about natural disasters. According to a survey taken after 2011's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most Americans (56%) believe that God is control of everything.

But more Americans blame hurricanes, earthquakes and other storms on global warming (58%) than on an angry and punishing deity (38%), according to a 2011 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night," institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.

"They’re thorny theological issues."

READ: Typhoon Haiyan: Survivors in Philippines face grim struggle as death toll rises

The Bible's Psalm 107 says that “For (God) commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. ... He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground."

But, as the poll shows, most Americans have moved past the idea that God causes natural disasters, wrote Stephen Prothero, a frequent CNN contributor, in a 2011 column.

"When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists," Prothero said as he rode out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. "Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates."

For atheists, storms like Haiyan are proof that God doesn't exist, author and activist Sam Harris said.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary," Harris said after Japan's tsunami. "Take your pick, and choose wisely."

God may or may not be in withering storms, but many religious leaders say they sense a divine presence in the aftermath, as people across the world mobilize to lend a hand.

Rabbi Harold Kushner is one of the most famous names in the realm of theodicy, a branch of theology that tries to explain the unexplainable: why a good God would allow bad things to happen.

After Japan's tsunami, Kushner called nature "an equal-opportunity destroyer," making no distinctions between sinners and saints.

But Kushner, author of the bestselling book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," said he sees God's hand in the resilience of people whose lives have been destroyed and in the "goodness and generosity" of strangers who donate and pray for the survivors.

READ: How to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan 

That still leaves a tricky question, though: Why do humans suffer, sometimes terribly, in the first place?

There's no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and best-selling author.

"Each person has to come to grips with that," Martin said. "It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful."

Muslims, on the other hand, see stormy trials as tests from God, said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

"Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need," Syeed said.

Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose native country remains in Haiyan's path, said such storms remind us that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment.

"This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them," Hanh said.

Stephen Prothero, Jessica Ravitz and Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Asia • Atheism • Belief • Bible • Buddhism • Christianity • Death • Ethics • Faith • God • Islam • Judaism • natural disasters • Philippines • Prayer

soundoff (3,827 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    God was invented, in part, so that people would have something to blame.

    November 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

      I don't think God was invented so that people would have someone to blame, but rather to explain. Not many people (primitive) are willing to blame an alleged omnipotent being.

      November 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

        Richard Dawkins.

        November 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry, that was meant for "L" who said that atheists blame God (and never seem to say nice things about it).

      How about: God was invented, in part, in hopes that it would be effective to try to appease something.

      November 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

        I could see that (appeasement). My guess is that explanation came first but was quickly followed by appeasement, offerings and human and animal sacrifices like those in the Bible.

        November 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  2. Logical default

    Dude, god totally has a plan. I swear. It's just taking thousands of years for this all powerful guy to do something good for the world he created. LOLZ

    November 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Look dude, every day you spend in the grave makes your life in the flesh SHRINK as a percentage of yer total existence This cannot be changed, no matter what the dreamers and schemers running the gubmint tell you.

      November 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Nance

        What does the government have to do with this?

        November 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Logical default

          They suck, just like religion.

          November 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  3. tony

    If the Bible was on-line and allowed comments, it wouldn't survive.

    November 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • AE

      There are online Bibles that allow comments. Should I worry?

      November 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

        Yes, you should start cracking people's heads open and feast on the goo inside.

        November 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  4. tony

    When bad things happen, the reigious paraise god for the those who survive, as though he helped them escape. Which of course means that he did not help those who did not escape, but had the power to do so, and didn't.

    That seems to be a proof of either the non-existence, or non-niceness, of god. Either way, prayer is pointless ans worship seriously misplaced.

    November 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • L

      That's something they believe not something they know. Two very different things.

      November 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • tony

        And your point is?

        November 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • L

          It's not based upon their actual faith. It's based on THEIR opinion. People have opinions. Get over it.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • rayz on

      Science and medicine have proven the "miraculous" power of placebos.
      One need not believe in god to believe in the power of prayer,
      (though getting on board with the delusion may help with its effectiveness).

      November 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  5. tony

    L, go to L.

    November 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  6. L

    So atheists blame God for the bad yet what do they do when something good happens? Nothing. For the bad, they need a reason to attack believers with. For the good, they keep quiet and say nothing but when something bad happens, all aboard the blame game!

    November 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Sara

      Please ahow a specific example of an atheist blaming god. Next you might want to show a Christian blaming Shiva.

      November 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

        C'mon, don't fall for such obvious trolling.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • L

        They do it all the time thinking when something bad happens to human beings, God cannot exist. Or "If God exists, he is a cruel murderous god that allows bad things to happen to us" or "if there is a god, he doesn't care". Yep, seems to me like blaming yet it was nature that did it not God. Most people think God as a genie that grants your every wish. That's not the point of prayer.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Sara

          If someone thinks god does not exist they cannot blame him any more than they blame trolls for a bridge collapse. Again I ask for a specific example (you seem to be implying they are here) of an atheist blaming god. Just past a link to one single example.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • L

          Go to any news site about this story and allows comments. You will see it instantly. Take Yahoo! for an example. Atheist trolls always stalk that site.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Sara

          L, OK, in other words you can't find an example. Got it.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "thinking when something bad happens to human beings, God cannot exist."

          Would that not be blaming the lack of God for bad things? So that is exactly the opposite of blaming God as you posit. I am an atheist and I do blame the lack of God for all the bad things that happen to people. I understand that if there was the defined God so many religious persons claim that was so onderful and caring and knew each and every one of his creations and had the power to help those in need, then it would be fair expect that deity to actively work to protect his people. So when little children and babies are killed in a storm or die of starvation I accept that sadly, without a God we must look to ourselves to make the changes needed to protect those innocents. We have only time, unforeseen occurence and ourselves to blame for the tragedy that befalls many every day.

          November 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • L

        I gave you an example. Go to Yahoo! and find the story. I saw more negative comments from atheists than I did anyone else.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • Sara

          We are not discussing "negative comments" but cases of atheists blaming god, per your. original claim. If you've surveyed the responses in that kind of detail you ought to be able to provide an example.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Nance

          Then link it to the specific article. You're the one who is using wholesale generalizations.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • L

          Look at the quote posted by AE. Instead of blaming the actual cause, people need a reason to blame God because they can't accept what actually happened. It's like a man blaming God for the death of son because another human being took his son's life. They blame God because they can't accept the situation as it is.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Sara

          OK, I have to agree with theoriginalcommenterwho called you a troll. No one can be repeatedly this v.ague by accident. You can't point to a quote here, you can't specify or link to what you are talking about on yahoo and you make a va.gue reference to an AE quote. Either you didn't take that 6th grade class on citations or you're trolling and the latter is looking more and more likely.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • OTOH

          L,
          "It's like a man blaming God for the death of son because another human being took his son's life. They blame God because they can't accept the situation as it is."

          Uh, then it's like thanking "God" when another person saves your son from a burning house, or some such. You can't accept the situation as it is.

          Hey, it's you believers who say that your "God" controls *everything*.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I think I figured out what L means when he says atheists blame God for bad things. You see, "L" here believes they are their Gods representative on earth so when atheists tell "L" and the other religious zealots that all prayer does is waste time that could have been spent helping those in need, they feel like we are attacking them and by proxy their God that they imagine as real. Atheists know that the zealots are real and do have an effect on this planet and are often blocking reasonable reform that could help billions of people world wide based on their belief that an invisible sprite they pray to will be angry if they put latex on their pen.is or if they have s e x out of wedlock.

          November 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Sara

          @Just,

          I agree their may be some displaced indignation...they feel attacked and don't want to admit to themselves it's personal and so push it onto god...but I don't think it's a conscious rationalized view. If t were they would really need to be pantheists for the claims they make to make sense.

          Beyond the displaced indignation I think is a failure on the part of some Christians (probably not most, but those who say this stuff) to be able to get inside the world view of someone who doesn't have a god belief. The folks who say this stuff (again, not even a majority of Christians) seem to come from fairly limited backgrounds where they have had little exposure to those who think differently. Cognitive complexity is really not their strong point.

          November 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @L,
      "So atheists blame God for the bad..."

      No.

      November 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      L
      It is a standard response to the believers who thank god for their survival.
      No one ever comes out of the rubble saying. "god tried to kill me and missed."

      Try counting all of the people who thank god, and compare it to any who blame god...once you tally the numbers, by all means, post your data.

      November 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Troll Spotter

        You do the same. DICK

        November 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      You're probably a worshipper of the mass-murdering, biblical God.

      .......... aaaaaaaaand I'm betting you've accepted his mass-murdering as described in the bible, and glanced right over that. Yet, atheists are only clinging to the bad things.

      November 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • sans

        Interesting how mud slinging seems to fit into most conversations, more interesting when it is people basing their beliefs whether they believe in God or not on their own ideas ,still based on more man made ideas, the belief in a superior being is difficult when people only have imperfection to base any ideas on. Religion has been a racket using God and his word to profit and gain, and not as Christ demonstrated. By doing so it has caused many to reject a seemingly brutal God , when all this confusion is based on inaccurate information. For Example mankind, clergy taught that bad went to hell and good to heaven. Yet Jesus taught resurrection not going to a place of torment. He taught peace tolerance,treating others as you wish to be treated and he never said he was his father but was his son. No trinity, another lie that's been promoted to add to the confusion. Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his time they were fleecing the flock not helping them.So please get your facts straight God can not lie Christ did not lie. But mankind is believing other people rather than using their own mind taking others word for what they believe. A true Christian is a foot step follower of the things Christ taught and do the things Christ taught them to do by his example in dealing with others. Its time those who profess to be Christians really look for themselves and act in a manner that one who claims to love God and Jesus Christ would approve. And those who choose not to believe , God has always allowed free will and no one has the right to take that or argue against it. A discussion is just that and act ting childish is what it is. God will act and has power over life and death and will act righteously in His own time. And what's worse stopping all life in the beginning or answering the question as to mankind knowing right and wrong for themselves and allowing time for them to realise that they can't rule themselves. Just as a parent might do to allow a child to realise by experience. Jehovah God has the ability to resurrect and as it states in His word "there will be a resurrection of righteous and unrighteous " so we may suffer now but by who's hand? Mankind has let greed pride materialism, prejudice , the idea that one country is better than another, me first, and I'll do what I want no matter who I walk on to rule the world. So atomic bombs ,nuclear weapons, games that train your children to kill violence for entertainment, to rule. I hope that if nothing else what I write makes you think. None of this is my own idea, but is what is actually in the bible which is Jehovah's word may He grant you to have understanding

        November 14, 2013 at 1:43 am |
  7. tallulah13

    No offense, but your numbers would be perceived as unreliable because you have already entered the fight. A neutral party is needed so make both sides happy. Not that I think anything but total capitulation would make live4him happy.

    And as you said, this is not a representative sample group.

    November 13, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Sara

      I'm sure they would be percieved as unreliable; I was merely stating that I believe I could, if I chose to, do it reliably (in a consistent rule-based manner that didn't favor one side inherently). Even my biases would even out...just because I think L4H is an idiot doesn't mean I don't think half the atheists on this board are self-centered fanatics. Fortunately I also don't think they are representative.

      November 13, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Nance

        When she proclaimed lol?? as uplifting is when she jumped the shark credibility-wise. Yes, I realize she was talking about a couple of posts that were fairly innocuous for lol??, but she isn't so stupid as to think lol?? is actually uplifting, at least I didn't THINK so....

        November 13, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Sara

          Yeah, using anything LOL?? says as evidence of any actual position is pretty silly.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • ME II

          @Nance,
          "jumped the shark"

          Interesting idiom, haven't heard that one. What's it mean?

          November 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Sara

          ME II,

          It was originally a reference to the Happy Days episode where the Fonze did a ski jump over the shark, and was used in reference to shows that were dying and did something crazy and overboard to boost ratings. Now people often just use it to refer to people who say outlandish things. I think L4H was not really trying to use an outlandish statement for effect, so not really jumping the shark in the original sense, but the saying has evolved, especially as adopted by a younger generation that may not even have seen the Fonze episode.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

        I've never met anybody in my entire life who wasn't a self-centred fanatic.

        November 13, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          That's a shame, you run in a tough crowd. Or you have only met afew people and have very bad luck.

          November 13, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Nance

        I would also like to know why this quote, "Ben NJ : Steve, one day you’ll be loved", which seems to imply that Steve is unloved at the present time, is considered "uplifting". Seems rather hateful to me.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Sara

          Yeah, her interpretations are so biased I don't know whether it's funny or sad. I suspect she's surrounded by a strong enough bubble of ignorance that she'll never actually see how frighteningly irrational her thought pattern is and so will never really feel the pain of conflicting thought.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  8. AE

    "But as I visited the sick, injured, grieving, and homeless, I also saw hope reminiscent of the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. I saw it in the outpouring of aid and donations from the American people, and in the faces of our troops, who were simultaneously tough, professional and tender. I saw it in the response of people of every faith, uniting to help. And I saw it in the Haitian people, crying, suffering, and hurting, but also resilient and determined to rebuild."

    Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan

    November 13, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

      That's simply human compassion and determination. There's no indication of any involvement by God or any other god.

      November 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  9. AE

    "The historical Buddha described life as teeming with suffering – conflicts and disappointments, mishaps and disasters – and that the only action that made sense in the face of all this suffering was loving kindness."

    Kathy Wesley

    November 13, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Sara

      One of the difficulties is that determining what counts as loving kindness is dependent on thousands of other premises, so we will still come to a potentially infinite number of best answers.

      November 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  10. AE

    "Where is God? God is with the suffering and the dying; with those who show compassion and offer aid; with those who comfort the fallen."

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie

    November 13, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'AE' contains an instance of the Selective Evidence fallacy. -a gross and disgusting case of it, I have to say.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      November 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • Troll Spotter

        Another idiot response.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • AE

        “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."

        – Mr Rogers

        November 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      That is a lie from the rabbi.

      I offer aid, and there are no gods with me, so FAIL

      November 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Troll Spotter

        So you make the claim that there is no God? So where is your proof of this statement? You made the claim, now back it up with proof. GO... I will wait.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        I did not make that claim. I simply said there are no gods with me.
        If you think there is, by all means show YOUR evidence. Only a foolish troll would want someone to try to prove a negative.
        As far as anyone can show, there are no gods with anyone, but by all means, provide your evidence.

        November 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Opposing View

          You got that right – God is "not" with you. He's with the people of God. For the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. And they'd don't come any more evil than you…

          As for proving a negative, people prove negatives all the time. Every time you prove that a positive is untrue, you're proving a negative. How simple-minded can you get…

          November 14, 2013 at 12:13 am |
      • AE

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-centered

        November 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Is that supposed to mean something AE?

          If you have a point to make , just make it. Trying to put a label on someone is not a point.

          November 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • AE

          I see God in the aid you offer. Thanks for helping.

          November 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          No you don't.
          You see it in the same way that you see no tigers around me, because I carry my lucky anti tiger charm with me.
          Your delusion does not mean there are gods, so you cannot say you see them in my assistance. What you see is my humanity...no gods required.

          November 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • AE

          Your delusion does not mean God does not exist. Just because you don't see or accept the evidence does not mean that others can't or won't.

          November 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Mine is not delusion. I accept any evidence presernted if it is valid. You have noe yet you cling to the belief, even when faced with the flaws and inconsistancies in the bible.
          When faced with no actual evidence, evidence that your bible is wrong, yet you steadfastly cling...that is delusion.
          Not believing due to lack of foundation and evidence is prudent, not delusion. I will change my mind in sufficient eviednce ws presented, and if your god wanted me to believe, he/she/it would kknow what would be required by me as evidence.

          You clearly do not understand the word delusion when you try to apply it to me.

          November 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • AE

          Stick to what you know, yourself. You've been wrong about me too many times in this post.

          November 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          AE, is that me?

          November 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Khan

      That is fine Rabbi but why create suffering and than be with the suffering ?

      November 21, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  11. Andrés Venezuela

    The answer to that question: http://t.co/odxF4pRz8U

    November 13, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Funny ... a JH site...no answers there.

      November 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Troll Spotter

        You are nothing more than a self centered troll. You always scream SHOW YOUR PROOF that there is a God, yet your loud mouth can't prove that there is not. Member of the science community my A s s. You are nothing but an instigator.

        November 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  12. Live4Him

    @Sara : Where do you get the idea that atheists treat people poorly?

    Just read the comments on this blog space. Group them into two categories: uplifting / hateful and Christian / Atheist and compare the results.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Is there a particular reason you prefer to split your replies off from their original threads?
      To the readers of this blog, it look as though you're trying to pull statements out of their original context.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Doc Vestibule : Is there a particular reason you prefer to split your replies off from their original threads?

        Yes. It is usually one of the following:
        1) When the post gets too long, it is hard to follow.
        2) When I have a point I desire to bring out (different than the original thread).
        3) When the thread is falling too far down in the page or previous page

        November 13, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • ???

          Or you're afraid of getting busted stealing your employers resources by having to search for the particular thread.
          Copy/paste is easy for later postings.
          Call it what is is.
          Doc hit the nail with making it appear out of context. Because that's exactly what it looks like yo those of us who are not stealing from our employers.

          November 13, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Sara

      Live4Him, if that's your idea of how science is conducted it goes a long way to explaining your views on evolution, geology and physics.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • James

      Live4Him
      Sure, if you consider fantasy to be "uplifting". Some of us live in the real world, however.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Lie4Him
      If you promise not to be deceitful we will be nicer to you, try.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Live4Him

      Well, I went through most of page 27, categorizing every post and came up with this list.

      Uplifting / Christian : 8
      Hateful / Christian : 3
      Uplifting / Atheist : 0
      Uplifting / Atheist : 25
      Others: 8

      November 13, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        And there is no bias to your opinion at all.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • Charm Quark

        Lie4Him
        Stupidity in proofreading is Uplifting, how exactly?

        November 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        So by your own analysis it's 25 to 8 ... Atheists are more uplifting.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • Live4Him

          Good call-out on the Type-o. Here's the list:

          Uplifting / Christian : 8
          Hateful / Christian : 3
          Uplifting / Atheist : 0
          Hateful / Atheist : 25
          Others: 8

          Uplifting / Christian
          lol?? : God is perfect in his fairness. Jesus is life and life IS fair
          lol?? : yet not the wisdom of this world
          jknbt : So this is to challenge you to seek out the True and Living God.
          Ben NJ : Maybe God had a bigger plan
          Ben NJ : I know good will come from this
          Ben NJ : Colin, I will still pray for you.
          Ben NJ : Steve, one day you'll be loved

          Hateful / Christian

          L : I guess they get a sick twisted feeling when they degrade another human being.
          Ben NJ : ohh.. boo hooo
          Ben NJ : Keep reading Potter my friend..

          Uplifting / Atheist

          Hateful / Atheist
          Agnostickids : he drowned everything and everyone on it.
          truthprevails1 : Off your meds again???
          Tom, Tom, the Other One : God was invented
          Doc Vestibule : Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest
          Science Works : No gods/devil required .
          James : Try reading it!
          Doc Vestibule : God is a child killing monster comes from a reading of the Old Testament
          Brainwashed christians : you bible is about as far from reality as a superman comic.
          Wow : we only question what you have invented.
          James : are you guys so greedy for what God's offering that you'd put up with this kind of abuse?
          Youtube – Neil DeGrasse : you have just shown another side of your "christianity."
          Youtube – Neil DeGrasse : You are not much of a Christian
          truthprevails1 : Or maybe just maybe god is a figment of your imagination
          Colin : I would invite any Christian who still, despite ALL evidence to the contrary, believes that when they pray
          AtheistSteve : atheists don't blame that which we don't believe exists for anything.
          Youtube – Neil DeGrasse : never has an amputee ever regrown a limb
          truthprevails1 : some of left our imaginary friends behind with childhood
          truthprevails1 : You're an idiot!
          Colin : I'll think for both of us.
          Doc Vestibule : Adding to Colin's data set
          James : what if magic is more powerful
          AtheistSteve : Just not any that involves some imagined universal overlord
          Wow : what kind of father would put these people thru such a violent and painful death
          Colin : Feel free to join them

          Others
          Science Works : you know the bellybutton where the cord was cut from
          Tom, Tom, the Other One : that person can at least be free of that means of hiding the evil
          AtheistSteve : we dispute are unfounded beliefs
          lol?? : Some things appear to never change, in the short term.
          Sara : And countries with high atheist populations, like those of Scandinavia
          Sara : The babies' actions have lead to events that will cause them to be killed?
          Youtube – Neil DeGrasse : Christians and Muslims have more in common than they care to admit.
          Ben NJ : So what you say I can't prove, you also cannot prove.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Lie4Him
          Comedy gold. The discerner of all that is true, take a bow and pat yourself on the back or wait for Topher to accommodate you.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          My posting regarding prayer studies and the comparative morality of countries with a high percentage of non-believers are not hateful.
          I am not attacking or disparaging anyone or anything.
          Facts are sterile, neither vulgar nor sublime.
          That you find them "hateful" is an indicator of your own persecution complex.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Live4Him
          It seems that your apriori belief regarding the mindset of atheists is hindering your ability to correctly interpret what you read.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:24 am |
        • Colin

          you have a very broad view of "hateful". If you define a lack of belief and a preparedness to question those who believe as "hateful"well, by definition, most atheist posts will be hatefull. HEll, I challanged Christians to evaluate the validity of prayer and you classified that as "hateful".

          November 13, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Sara

          Live4Him, Please explain how these are hateful rather than just a difference of opinion/interpretation? It seems to me that you are interpreting any statement that even questions your god as 'hateful'.

          Agnostickids : he drowned everything and everyone on i
          Tom, Tom, the Other One : God was invented
          Doc Vestibule : Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest
          Science Works : No gods/devil required .
          truthprevails1 : Or maybe just maybe god is a figment of your imagination
          Colin : I would invite any Christian who still, despite ALL evidence to the contrary, believes that when they pray
          AtheistSteve : atheists don't blame that which we don't believe exists for anything.
          Youtube – Neil DeGrasse : never has an amputee ever regrown a limb
          Wow : what kind of father would put these people thru such a violent and painful death

          November 13, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

          It's interesting how you compiled your list.

          Here's one you forgot (Christian/Hateful) – "Maybe God had a bigger plan, maybe he wanted to bring 10,000 + wonderful and graceful Filipino people into paradise and away from you atheist a$$H0L3$…. #justsayin #godisgreat #AngatingDiyosaymabuti", to which I responded "you have just shown another side of your 'christianity.'"

          For the amputee statement, that's a note that with all of the miracles claimed of blind being made to see, people being made to walk, cure of diseases, that no amputee has ever regrown a lost limb. That's a challenge to the Christian list of miracles, all of which happen even these days without divine intervention, with the exception of an amputee growing a lost limb. It shows the limits of the supposed miracles, which in turn cast doubts upon all of them.

          As for the others on your list, I'll let readers review the comments for themselves and decide whether they believe they are hateful or argumentative. Seeing how I've chastised several atheists' posts at times as being sociopathic, and even my reference to Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebuking Richard Dawkins for being "articulately barbed" in his responses to believers, I think my case is clear.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Nance

          That you think lol?? is uplifting shows your cognitive dissonance.

          November 13, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "jknbt : So this is to challenge you to seek out the True and Living God.
          Ben NJ : Maybe God had a bigger plan
          Ben NJ : I know good will come from this
          Ben NJ : Colin, I will still pray for you.
          Ben NJ : Steve, one day you'll be loved"

          How are these "uplifting"?

          November 13, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • Sara

        Live4Him, I realy can't tell if you tuly don't get it or are just playing dumb. The only way you can measure the behaviors of patheists vs Christians is with a representative sampling, which is not to be found here. Furthermore, you can't just look at talk because it is Christians who think "uplifting talk" and communal prayer valuable. Atheists are far more diverse in their beliefs, and usually prefer action to talk. And when looking at talk there is a strong school of thought that supports including challenges to irrational thinking. Read up on Albert Ellis.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • This

          is Classic L4H and the LIST !

          November 13, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Sara : The only way you can measure the behaviors of patheists vs Christians is with a representative sampling, which is not to be found here.

          Sample sizes can vary from small to large. Thus, we CAN use those posting on the blog as a representative sample, albeit it would be limited to atheists who comment on blogs vs. Christians who comment on blogs.

          @Sara : you can't just look at talk because it is Christians who think "uplifting talk" and communal prayer valuable.

          Psychologists, psychiatrists and those in the social industry also think that encourgaging others builds up the community. Tearing down others only degrades society.

          @Sara : Atheists are far more diverse in their beliefs, and usually prefer action to talk.

          Actions do speak louder than words. How many Atheist organizations went to those in need with Katrina? How many Christian organizations went to those in need for Sandy Hook? How many secular help organizations were founded by Christians vs Atheists? (Note that secular doesn't equate to atheist, but neutrality.)

          BTW – identifying 'irrational talk' without providing evidence is only degrading talk. So talking about 'irrational talk' is meaningless unless you provide evidence along with the reasons that you've deemed it irrational.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • Sara

          Live4Him,

          Live4Him: "Sample sizes can vary from small to large. Thus, we CAN use those posting on the blog as a representative sample, albeit it would be limited to atheists who comment on blogs vs. Christians who comment on blogs."

          We are talking about representativeness, not sample size. You referenced atheists in general, not atheists who post on blogs. Your sample is of atheist posting on a single story an d not even representative of the CNN site, let alone all religious blogs or all blogs. More importantly, most atheists never post on a belief related blog at all so looking at blogs will not be representative.

          "Psychologists, psychiatrists and those in the social industry also think that encourgaging others builds up the community. Tearing down others only degrades society."

          If you are talking about addressing people as whole beings in a one on one context, yes. But I challenge you to find the mental health professional who doesn't support challenging Naziism or other discriminatory belief systems in society. This is not a clinical setting but a discussion of ideas and ideas need to be challenged. That doesn't mean I support every rash statement made by any Christian or atheist, but you can't call challenging of ideas "hate".

          "Actions do speak louder than words. How many Atheist organizations went to those in need with Katrina? How many Christian organizations went to those in need for Sandy Hook? How many secular help organizations were founded by Christians vs Atheists? (Note that secular doesn't equate to atheist, but neutrality.)"

          You are conflating a discussion of atheists now with atheist organizations. Atheists do not generally feel the need to have atheist organizations and donate through secular organizations of different types. Atheism isn't an ethical system or social system, it's just a simple opinion on beliefs about gods.

          "BTW – identifying 'irrational talk' without providing evidence is only degrading talk. So talking about 'irrational talk' is meaningless unless you provide evidence along with the reasons that you've deemed it irrational."

          See above. You are not properly conceiving of what an atheist is and despite having had it pointed out before are continuing to speak as though atheists are a social or ethical group which, for the most part, they are not any more than aunicornists are. You are further turning the discussion then to what atheist organizations do which has very little, if anything, to do with what individual atheists do. This is irrational thought.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Sara

        Again, you are going to have a lot of data to pick through if you look at real action.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Sara

        First, you can look at charitable giving, but you need to remove all church specific donations and figure out what actually goes to help people and not pay for the chaplains salary and church roof.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • Sara

        Then you have to account for the recent data that found wide-spread lying and exagerration among Christians regarding how much they really donate compared to what they claim to donate.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Sara

        So you are talking about not phone surveys that ask what people donate but actual evidenced donations. Working with real data is a lot trickier than you think. Don't forget that you also need to count tax dollars that each group is willing to pay as these go to support social services, so anything one gets as a deduction from taxes has to be adjusted for...you get out of paying taxes (helping through the government) by making donations.

        Come back to us when you have some data.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • lol??

          Live4Him explained the methodology, scope, and criteria. What are you talkin' about?? You try it.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:45 am |
      • tallulah13

        Your obvious bias negates any validity your accounting may have. The only reliable numbers would come from a neutral accountant, and I don't think you'll find a neutral party on this blog.

        November 13, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Sara

          I might be able to do it, but since the sample is not remotely representative of either Christians or atheists in general it seems pretty pointless.

          November 13, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  13. Agnostickids

    For god so loved the world, that he drowned everything and everyone on it. Remember the noah's ark story? Oh, yeah, he's STILL doing it.

    What a loving god he is!

    November 13, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  14. lol??

    God is perfect in his fairness. Jesus is life and life IS fair..

    November 13, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Off your meds again???

      November 13, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      God was invented, in part, to ensure that there is always justice and fairness – at least in your beliefs and imagination. You should be suspicious when the guarantee depends on an afterlife where the books are actually balanced.

      November 13, 2013 at 8:45 am |
      • lol??

        wiki,
        "..........Euthyphro misses the astonishment, and merely confirms his overconfidence in his own judgment of religious/ethical matters.............."
        Paul,
        1Cr 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

        November 13, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Science Works

      lol??

      Here is one for you , you know the bellybutton where the cord was cut from Mum harbors over 2500 bacteria, how many are new forms of bacteria ?

      November 13, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  15. L

    How can "non-belief" save humanity(by leaving religion behind) knowing how many atheists act towards another human being? If they treat people like crap now, without religion they would do the same exact thing they are doing now. I guess they get a sick twisted feeling when they degrade another human being.

    November 13, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      History suggests that religion doesn't restrain people from evil, that in fact it has been used to justify evil. Whatever side of the Euthyphro dilemma you may take, if you think God wants you to do something, then it must be good and it must be done. If someone has realized that there are no gods, then that person can at least be free of that means of hiding the evil that some people want to do.

      November 13, 2013 at 8:38 am |
      • lol??

        wiki,
        "....................Euthyphro misses the astonishment, and merely confirms his overconfidence in his own judgment of religious/ethical matters.................."

        November 13, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Atheists treat people with the same levels of compassion and goodwill as any other group. What we dispute are unfounded beliefs and unsupported claims of supernatural influence. People are not the target...bad ideas are. If your beliefs are so fragile that any dissenting views are interpreted as hateful attacks then that's your problem, not ours.

      November 13, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      “Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries - Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands - all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious. These associations say nothing about whether atheism leads to positive social indicators or the other way around. But the idea that atheists are somehow less moral, honest, or trustworthy have been disproven by study after study.”

      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      November 13, 2013 at 8:44 am |
      • Science Works

        Doc

        And look what came out of Australia 12 Nov. 2013

        Evidence of 3.5-Billion-Year-Old Bacterial Ecosystems Found in Australia

        Nov. 12, 2013 —

        From Science Daily News

        No gods/devil required .

        November 13, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • lol??

          Idiotic medicine required. Your confidence is overblown.

          "A NEW strain of a deadly antibiotic-resistant superbug is causing panic among staff at Royal Perth Hospital.

          The WA Government has confirmed that 98 patients have been detected with the T90 variety of Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci at RPH since May.

          But the real number of VRE cases could be higher because the Government would provide figures only for the latest strain of the bug......................"

          http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/super-bugs-plague-royal-perth-hospital/story-fnhocxo3-1226719175099

          November 13, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

          @lol??,

          You're right, you have cited a perfect example of modern evolution, an example which I have stated here several times as proof of evolution for those who want to know what something evolved from and to.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • lol??

          Not evolution. They are designed to mutate and do it well.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

          No, that's what evolution is, a mutation which gives an organism an advantage over another. You should read more on what evolution is.

          November 13, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • lol??

        The Vikings lived off the Europeans and now the US is their fortress. They have money to play their social games. Some things appear to never change, in the short term.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Nance

          Could you get anymore left field?

          November 13, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Sara

      Where do you get the idea that atheists treat people poorly? In fact, studies show atheists are more likely to be motivated by compassion:

      http://www.livescience.com/20005-atheists-motivated-compassion.html

      And countries with high atheist populations, like those of Scandinavia, or with a history of atheist leadership, like australia, have citizens electing governments that are much more supportive of their fellow human beings.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • dillonb1950

        Don't provide these whack jobs with actual EVIDENCE...they aren't interested in seperating truth from fiction.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • L

      Want a brutal atheistic country where people can die for any reason? North Korea is a perfect example of a brutal atheistic rule. Many don't worship any type of Deity. They worship their leader who they consider a "god". Atheism doesn't seem good when it has power.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • lol??

        That's the problem with mob power. The psychopaths look like gud leadership to em. Alwayz pushin' the envelope is a trait of crooks and progressives. That plane will crash and burn.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • Joey

        North Korea is not atheist, they are supposed to worship the head of state as a god, and that would make it a theocracy.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • George

        Atheism doesn't have power there, totalitarian political ideology has power there. The promotion of atheism is the dictator's way of keeping religion from competing for power. Atheism is not the problem, totalitarianism is.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • lol??

          "............For decades North Korea has been one of the world's most secretive societies. It is one of the few countries still under nominally communist rule................."
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15256929
          Christians pray to the Father. The communers from the Frankfurt School destroy fathers so their socie takeover of the family is made easier. The helpmates end up being bullies and it's bye bye family.

          Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Joey

          He doesn't push atheism, he pushes being worshiped as a god, and North Korea is therefore a theocracy.

          November 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • L

        Except most of the population are atheist. Atheism is dangerous when mixed with power. Atheism IS the problem.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • L

        In fact, the country executed 80 people for watching tv and some for having bibles for all the world to see. Atheism is very dangerous when mixed with political power.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Religion is a dangerous thing to mix with political power as we've seen throughout history. In general, governments shouldn't be about promoting or discouraging people's beliefs. They should acknowledge no belief regarding gods.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • lol??

          The educratist system in americult uses Bloom who went ga ga over the Frankfurt School. 60 milllion dead and not a thing a father could say about it.
          Dangerous, fer sure.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • L

          The same thing can easily be said about atheism and how atheistic communism was responsible for the deaths of millions of religious believers. Stalin and Mao, the most evilest leaders to ever rule, causes millions to die making it the most brutal time in the past century. All done by 2 atheist men.

          November 13, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Joey

          I would argue that the people with bibles were killed for worshiping the wrong god, they should have been worshiping the head of state, at least according to the laws of North Korea. That is one religion killing the members of another religion, and no atheists were involved. In fact the leader of North Korea would probably kill atheists since they wouldn't consider him a god.

          November 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No point in arguing with L. L has already decided what L wants to believe. Facts only get in the way of what L wants to believe.

      November 13, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  16. jknbt

    here's something for you humanists & agnostics to think about....I have been reading & trying to digest your opinions about god....you people have invented a false god who is really pretty ugly. then you have rejected or renounced him. your concept of god is that of a horrible being who kills children and rejoices in sending calamity. THIS IS NOT THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD THAT YOU ARE (NOT) WORSHIPING. THIS IS A MONSTER OF YOUR OWN INVENTION.

    where did you get this concept of god? maybe a piecemeal reading of selected scriptures? Rather it is mostly arising out of your subconscious. I would not want to worship or serve the god you have designed either.

    So this is to challenge you to seek out the True and Living God. He is not like anything that your unregenerate minds can conceive of. Jesus is His Name. Have you heard of Him? He is the likeness and image on earth of the Heavenly Father who you do not know.

    One of the objections to your false god you are rejecting is that he kills children. So look in the gospels and learn about Jesus. He loves the little children, and they love him. He does not kill them. Neither does the Father in Heaven.

    Think about it. You humanistic/atheistic/agnostic/apostate people are as far from the True and Living God as a frozen pig on the dark side of the moon is from this pc I am typing at right now. Time to get turned around, folks. Repent!

    November 13, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • James

      It's the same God as is in the Bible, dude.

      Try reading it!

      November 13, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The idea that God is a child killing monster comes from a reading of the Old Testament – in context, of course.
      Do you remember reading how Moses reacted when the innocent first born sone of Egypt lay dead?
      In 2 Kings 2:23, God sends bears to maul a group of children becuase they poked fun at a prophets baldness.
      In Hosea 13:16, God promises to kill all the infants in Sumeria as well as rip open all the pregnant women.
      1 Samuel 15 tells us about how God command the violent death of every man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey in Amalek.

      It is a very long list of brutality in the Old Testament.
      Now, the Christian sequel to the Torah has a much mellower God, seemingly more concerned wtih offering redemption than spending His days and nights smiting villages, and yet there are still examples of violence.
      Becuase God disliked the snooty atti/tudes of the women of Zion in Isaiah 3:18, He destroyed all their jewelry, fine clothes, make up and mirrors, made all of them bald and rotten smelling and then, as the coup de grace, killed all the men they cared about.
      Even Christ Himself remind His followers several times that unrelenting eternal torture awaits those whose disobey Him (Luke 12:5, Matthew 10:28, John 15:6 etc.)

      November 13, 2013 at 8:37 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Doc Vestibule : Hosea 13:16, God promises to kill all the infants in Sumeria as well as rip open all the pregnant women.

        You seem to have a problem with comprehending the words in Scripture. Lets take a look at the passage in Hosea as an example. God is NOT saying that HE will kill them, but that their actions have led to events that will cause them to be killed. Since they have rejected God, God won't intervene in upcoming events (i.e. an invading army) and they will be left to their fate. By this example, we can see that you apriori beliefs hinder your ability to correctly interpret what you read.

        Hosea 13:16
        The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Sara

          The babies' actions have lead to events that will cause them to be killed? Really?

          November 13, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          God takes personal responsiblity for the fate of those people.

          "“But I have been the Lord your God
          ever since you came out of Egypt.
          You shall acknowledge no God but me,
          no Savior except me.
          I cared for you in the wilderness,
          in the land of burning heat.
          When I fed them, they were satisfied;
          when they were satisfied, they became proud;
          then they forgot me.
          So I will be like a lion to them,
          like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
          Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
          I will attack them and rip them open;
          like a lion I will devour them—
          a wild animal will tear them apart."

          – Hosea 13:4

          November 13, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • lol??

          Feminits and their Baal god like killin' babies. What's the gripe??

          November 13, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Brainwashed christians

      and you bible is about as far from reality as a superman comic.

      November 13, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Wow

      Arheists have invented nothing. we only question what you have invented. If what you say is true about god then why does he allow so many people to suffer? why?

      November 13, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Sara

      jknbt, you'd do better to actually address the individual points made relative to baby killing that to make silly blanket statements suggesting people read the bible.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Neo Atheist

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iNoM14t-ZM&list=PL1DA0C8985FAE1C22&index=55

      Yeah, god doesnt kill children.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • George

      All you're doing is highlighting some of the many contradictions to be found in the Bible.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • jknbt

      HEY DOC VESTIBULE....thanks for a perfect example of what I am saying....you have quoted scriptures you found on a highly selective reading search that seem to teach a child-killing god.....your highly biased and predjudiced negative take on YOUR god makes you misread the scripture. Sorry, but you missed it, bud. I wouldn't want to worship the monster you consider god, either.

      All the passage you have quoted says is that since the northern tribes have failed to keep true to Jehovah God, & that therefore their children will have to live with the consequences.

      We all have to live with the consequences of our parents' choices. That's what makes growing up so hard for everyone. Children of alcoholic parents, for example, have to learn how to cope with their parents' disease and how not to repeat the mistakes of their bad choices in the next generation. God does not punish teenagers because their parents are drunks. They do have to live with the consequences of their parents' alcoholism such as lost income, DUI or DWI convictions, parents in prison on intoxication-manslaughter charges, etc, etc, etc.

      Yes, God does let people and families live with the consequences of their actions. That is all the passage you quote is saying. God is going to let the invaders hurt the northern tribes because they rejected Him. All this scripture passage says is that God allows evil to happen to people who rebel against Him. How does that make God a baby-murderer?

      So why did God not intervene to stop it all? Because life is about lessons and consequences. Everyone has to live with the consequences of their actions. This includes the children of families. The main lesson in the passage you quoted is just that. God can intervene to rescue, but He only does that for people in obedient fellowship covenant with Him. He spared Jerusalem from destruction after the invaders that wrecked the north fought their way south. King Hezekiah and his kingdom were spared. You did read that part, didn't you? Look it up.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        You and Live4Him are both making the same assumption – that God's only role in those tragedies is inaction.
        But that simply isn't the case.
        God specifically says that He is intervening not to save anyone or to spare misery, but to INFLICT despair and misery.
        "So I will be like a lion to them,
        like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
        Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
        I will attack them and rip them open;
        like a lion I will devour them—"

        Note the repeated use of "I" – that is God talking saying what He is going to proactively do – not allow to happen, not let humans do to each other.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • jknbt

          HEY DOC– that passage was written 2700 years ago in cryptic, difficult to read Hebrew....the style of writing back then would allow the meaning (interpretation) to say that "inaction equals action, since it in itself is a form of action". God "acts" by allowing nature, including human nature, to take its course. In this case, assyrian warriors rampaging through northern israel.

          If the passage you quoted was part of a newspaper article written yesterday, I would probably take it like you do. Remember that the Bible was written between 1500 b.c. to 100 a.d. There are many different literary modes and styles of writing. The Bible was written by jews, for jews, about jews, and ultimately about a jewish God and Saviour. Yep, you have to step delicately trying to bring those ancient truths into our modern western secular world. You have missed the cultural context, literary context, and scriptural context. This leads you to an incorrect interpretation. God is not the author of evil. He does allow it. There is a big difference.

          To interpret the passage your way, one would have to envision a crazed god who stands up off his throne, takes the escalator down to northern israel, and then goes about on a wild killing spree. That god would slit the throats of babies and butcher pregnant women just to teach a lesson. This is what you are saying. This of course did not happen. It is blasphemous for you to say it happened that way.

          God is not responsible for the actions of murderous soldiers on a killing spree. He did not personally do this. Therefore the frequent use of the personal pronoun "I" has to be taken in context. God judged northern israel by allowing the evil to happen. This does not make God directly responsible.

          You are trying to read and interpret the scriptures with a carnal, unregenerate mind devoid of the Holy Spirit. Friend, this makes your interpretations prone to error. See 2 Peter 3:16-17 (or the whole chapter for that matter). This problem has come up before. Be careful that your misinterpretation of the scriptures does not lead to your destruction.

          November 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  17. Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

    "Muslims, on the other hand, see stormy trials as tests from God, said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances."

    What do you know, just like Christians.

    " 'Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need,' Syeed said."

    What do you know, again, just like Christians. Maybe it's simply that Christians and Muslims have more in common than they care to admit.

    November 13, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • James

      If your father, uncle or someone else in your family "tested" everyone that they loved like God supposedly does, you all would vote to have him thrown out of the family, right? Well, unless he happen to be wealthy. Tell me, are you guys so greedy for what God's offering that you'd put up with this kind of abuse?

      November 13, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

        I don't see any evidence of God, or any god, so there's nothing for me to in envy. I have noticed that religions have borrowed and tried to claim human compassion as their own, but as atheist we understand that religions took this compassion in it's form of moral beliefs and incorporated them into their code of conduct. There are some philosophical beliefs within religions that are interesting (I really like the rich man and the camel passing through the eye of a needle), but we don't need the religion to incorporate the compassion. I don't think you'll be able to understand that because you can only see things through religious eyes, but having been a Christian and now an atheist, I can see both.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  18. Ben NJ

    Maybe God had a bigger plan, maybe he wanted to bring 10,000 + wonderful and graceful Filipino people into paradise and away from you atheist a$$H0L3$…. #justsayin #godisgreat #AngatingDiyosaymabuti

    November 13, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

      Alas, you have just shown another side of your "christianity."

      November 13, 2013 at 7:38 am |
      • Ben NJ

        ohh.. boo hooo..

        November 13, 2013 at 7:47 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

          You are not much of a Christian, and I would know, I was one.

          November 13, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Or maybe just maybe god is a figment of your imagination and you in turn need to be educated outside of the church to understand and fully grasp what causes natural disasters.
      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Stephen Roberts

      November 13, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • Ben NJ

        I understand fully what causes natural disasters and we should focus on that instead of blaming "God" that doesn't exist in your eyes or "Where was he?" If you don't believe in Him anyway, keep Him out of it and stop insulting Him. There are some things that neither you or I can explain in this world but I know good will come from this and those suffering now will be helped and healed. Bottom line let's pray and hope for the best for these people

        November 13, 2013 at 8:01 am |
        • Colin

          Ben, the Philippines is a heavily Catholic nation. No doubt many of the dead prayed as the storm bore down on them. Many of the parents whose little children were torn from their arms and dashed against trees surely prayed for God’s mercy. Alas, their prayers were ignored, as they always are.

          They actually did an experiment with sick people in Australia in the 80s. 5 groups of 500 people with different ailments of different severities were isolated. The 5 groups were split as follows

          A. For the first group of 500 sick people, Christian volunteers prayed to God that their condition would improve.
          B. For the second group of 500 sick people, Muslim volunteers prayed to Allah that their condition would improve.
          C. For the third group of 500 sick people, Australian Aboriginals performed traditional ceremonies to their ancestral spirits that their condition would improve.
          D. For the fourth group, Hindu volunteers prayed for their recovery.
          E. The fifth group was a control group for whom no prayers, chants or other supernatural imploring occurred.

          Similarly, researchers in the USA traced the social development of three major issues in recent history for which millions and millions of Christians have prayed in an effort to affect the outcome:

          A. Abortion
          B. Gay rights and gay marriage
          C. School prayer

          In the first experiment, none of the five groups did any better than the other four. Improvements were randomly distributed across all groups. In other words, Christian prayers work no better than doing nothing, or to praying to Allah, Brahma or some Aboriginal ancestor spirits.

          In the second, the Christians continued to lose and continue to lose to this day. Despite millions and millions of prayers, the anti-Christian position continues to make strides and the Christians keep losing and being pushed further and further back.

          Then we have the famous Benson study from Harvard University. Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School tested the effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.

          The patients, meanwhile, were split into three groups of about 600 apiece: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was a possibility.

          The study looked for any complications within 30 days of the surgery. Results showed no effect of prayer on complication-free recovery. Zero. No connection whatsoever. In other words, yet another scientifically rigorous study found prayer to be useless. There has NEVER been one that found that it worked.

          Finally, the horrors of the terrorist attacks of 9-11 are probably still very familiar to most people. The first plane hit the North Tower, entering the building on the 91st -98th floor. There were approximately 1300 people at or above the impact zone. You may recall the horrific sights of people jumping to their deaths. Indeed, one of the first firefighter casualties is believed to have been struck and killed by a jumping victim.

          Recordings reveal how virtually all of these 1300 odd victims prayed for help. Film shows jumpers blessing themselves before plunging to their deaths. And yet every single person on or above the 91st floor died. Many died horrific, painful, burning deaths as their prayers (and those of their loved ones on the ground) were ignored. Below the 90th floor, virtually everybody survived, whether they prayed or not.

          It is clear that prayers were, once again, shown to be utterly impotent and useless. A person’s chances of survival were dictated by something as random as their location in the building when the plane hit, not by whether they prayed.

          I would invite any Christian who still, despite ALL evidence to the contrary, believes that when they pray, a being that created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, reads their minds and will intervene to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to answer them, to consider the following.

          Line up every amputee in the World. There must be a few million. Pray to the Christian god that just one of them grows a new arm or leg and see what happens. We know the result. You could line up millions of Christians to pray their heart out for decades and not one limb would re-grow.

          Prayer will fail. It will fail 100% of the time – always and forever, for the simple and obvious reason that there is no (Hindu, Christian, Muslim or other) god there listening to you. It only ever “works” when the outcome was going to occur anyway, like a cancer going into remission, a person recovering from a serious, but curable illness, or a person below the 90th floor of the North Tower escaping the 9-11 disaster.

          It reminds me of the gambler who went to Vegas for the weekend. He decided to pray to God that a 4 would come up every time he rolled a die.

          Apparently God answered his prayer about once every six times -:)

          November 13, 2013 at 8:06 am |
        • Ben NJ

          (What if prayer is more powerful that what your eyes and brain can actually see?)
          Colin, I will still pray for you.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:13 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          First atheists don't blame that which we don't believe exists for anything. We merely point out the disparity of a deity that is supposed to "love" us that simultaneously allows thousand to suffer and die but saves a scant few with "miraclulous" intervention. As for insults, something that doesn't exist cannot be insulted, only those who believe feel this. Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:12 am |
        • Ben NJ

          Steve, one day you'll be loved….

          November 13, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawson

          And that's the simple truth of it, never has an amputee ever regrown a limb – something that would truly be creating something from nothing. Not once.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:12 am |
        • truthprevails1

          We're not the ones blaming god here, unlike you some of left our imaginary friends behind with childhood. You made a very inept, uneducated assumption about why this disaster happened, making one wonder if you truly do understand or comprehend what causes natural disasters.
          Presently there are numerous Secular charities in the midst of the disaster, doing actual work. So set aside your useless praying because it doesn't do one iota of good and donate or do something useful for these people. They don't need your prayers, they need help!
          It's funny watching you fools defend something that even you don't have evidence for, it's like defending Santa or the Easter Bunny after they fail to leave gifts...futile!

          November 13, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Ben NJ

          Did you not get enough Christmas gifts as a kid? How do you know I'm uneducated fool. You have no proof that this perfect world and universe came from absolutely nothing. So what you say I can't prove, you also cannot prove.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You're an idiot! How do you know my husband AtheistSteve isn't loved?? I happen to love him and so do MANY other people...a terrific man that you could only wish to be near as good as!
          I have no proof that this world came from nothing nor do I state that. I do state that science has sufficient evidence for the Big Bang and Evolution that totally debunk the creation myth (this is part where the education comes in to play). I do care that what I believe is based on evidence and there is no evidence for your god or any god. You on the other hand claim god did it and yet, you fool, you have no evidence of that but yet you claim it. The burden of proof lies on the one making the claim, not the one asking for the evidence.
          I only state you sound uneducated because of your original comment, had you not sounded uneducated it would not have been assumed.
          Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? You seem to be looking for a battle that, as is well seen by the responses to your craziness, is a lost battle.
          Before sounding like a child again do some research. Evilbible.com is a great start to show you how bad your belief system really is.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:36 am |
        • truthprevails1

          We're not the ones blaming god here, unlike you some of left our imaginary friends behind with childhood. You made a very inept, uneducated assumption about why this disaster happened, making one wonder if you truly do understand or comprehend what causes natural disasters.
          Presently there are numerous Secular charities in the midst of the disaster, doing actual work. So set aside your useless praying because it doesn't do one iota of good and donate or do something useful for these people. They don't need your prayers, they need help!
          It's funny watching you fools defend something that even you don't have evidence for, it's like defending Santa or the Easter Bunny after they fail to leave gifts...futile!

          November 13, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Colin

          Thanks Ben, and I'll think for both of us.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:18 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Adding to Colin's data set:

          The John Templeton Foundation funded a 10 year, $2.4 million dollar study involving 1,800 cardiac patients to measure the effectiveness of intecessory prayer.
          The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.
          Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.
          Over the longer term, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

          A 1997 study at the University of New Mexico, involving 40 alcoholics in rehabilitation, found that the men and women who knew they were being prayed for actually fared worse.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • James

          Ben NJ
          And what if magic is more powerful that what your eyes and brain can actually see?

          May Harry forgive you!

          November 13, 2013 at 8:20 am |
        • Ben NJ

          Jimmy!! (James), What if God and Science went together, and magic and technology went together? Keep reading Potter my friend..

          November 13, 2013 at 8:25 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          Ben
          There is plenty of love in my life. Just not any that involves some imagined universal overlord.

          November 13, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Wow

      what kind of father would put these people thru such a violent and painful death just to bring them home? and then completly destroy everything leaving the survivors with nothing but immense suffering? I think you are confused about who the a$$H0L3 really is.

      November 13, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Colin

      Feel free to join them

      November 13, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  19. jonasacorda

    Reblogged this on Jonasacorda's Blog.

    November 13, 2013 at 5:35 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.