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November 17th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Pope Francis was put on laundry duty

Opinion by Chris Lowney

(CNN) - Every day, millions of Americans perform a task that epitomizes Pope Francis’ leadership style: They do the laundry.

I came to that somewhat surprising conclusion while talking to Jesuit priests who lived with the future Pope, then known as the Rev. Jorge Bergoglio, during the early 1980s. At the time, they were young Jesuit seminarians, and he was their “boss,” the rector of their 100-member community.

“He was very demanding when it came to studies,” one of them told me. “Do what you’re doing and do it well,” he used to say.

But the rector wanted the budding Jesuits to learn from people, not just from books.

“He used to send us to the opera and also have us clean the seminary bathrooms, because he wanted us to be adaptable to all kinds of situations.”

The seminarians all did volunteer work in poor communities, and one of them remembers Bergoglio telling them that “closeness to the poor is important for the formation of a priest’s heart.”

His mantra at the time was: “You’re going to learn from these people before you teach them anything,” the young Jesuits recall.

But when I asked these Jesuits what they learned from Bergoglio about being a good leader, the first memory they shared wasn’t a memorable speech or policy initiative.

Instead, they recalled Bergoglio doing the laundry.

Bergoglio used to stress that the seminarians were a family, and each person had to do his share of the chores to support the other family members.

Even though Bergoglio was their superior and carried a heavy administrative and teaching load, he also chipped in, taking the role of community laundry man.

Any seminarians awake at 5:30 in the morning could find him down in the basement, pitching bales of laundry into balky, 1980s-style industrial washing machines.

Why has that image stuck with them for more than three decades?

I suspect it’s because Bergoglio was embodying three vital leadership principles that every good parent instinctively understands, but that too many managers and executives forget.

Don’t tell us you value us, show us.

Many managers talk about respect, but treat team members more like tools than human beings. If you want to win the confidence and trust of your team, demonstrate in deeds that you value them.

Your corporate headquarters may not have a laundry machine, but I’m sure you can come up with some other way to demonstrate your concern for the team.

Don’t ask us to make sacrifices that you are unwilling to make.

The economic environment is harsh for organizations of all sorts. In order to survive, managers often ask sacrifices of their team members, whether it's shouldering a larger proportion of health insurance costs, working longer hours, or forgoing raises.

Most workers can accept these realities, except when managers exempt themselves from the sacrifices they ask of others. Too many chief executives, for example, get rewarded with lavish bonus increases even while slashing staff and cutting benefit packages for subordinates.

They ought to show some Bergoglio-style leadership. If they are going to ask the team to make sacrifices or take on extra chores, they ought to demonstrate their own willingness to sacrifice alongside them.

Send the message that you’re here to serve us, not that we’re here to serve you.

Soon after his election, Pope Francis said that “authentic power is service,” a simple yet profound vision. Those seminarians who remember him doing the laundry at 5:30 in the morning saw that vision in action: He is here to take care of our needs.

Too often, managers send the opposite signal. They squeeze information and labor from subordinates, as juice from a lemon. But they show little interest in recognizing and developing the talent and potential of their teams, or in ensuring that their basic needs are met.

Granted, doing the laundry will remain a pretty tiresome task, and family members will continue to strew dirty clothing here and there, oblivious to how it later becomes clean.

But launderers can take at least a little solace that they are disseminating some important lessons about life and leadership, and in at least a few cases, those lessons will be remembered.

Chris Lowney is a former Jesuit seminarian and one-time managing director of JP Morgan & Co. He is author of “Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads.” The views expressed in this column belong to Lowney. 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Argentina • Business • Catholic Church • Christianity • Ethics • Leaders • Pope Francis

soundoff (704 Responses)
  1. Live4Him

    @Colin : Second, One cannot “choose to believe” something. That has to be an honest conclusion drawn from the facts.

    At last we agree! The Christian belief is an honest conclusion drawn from the facts!

    November 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ok..this should be good. What "facts" do you have that could possibly lead to a conclusion that christianity is correct?

      Understand, any "facts" you have will require proof, and must ONLY apply to your christianity. If any of your "facts" can be applied to ANY other belief, they will be thrown out accordingly.

      November 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sire R.C....

        Is it not written, "Seek First the kingdom of God.."? Why is it that theists and their non counterparts say here this thing or there that thing when the point is made to firstly seeking the whereabouts of God's kingdom domains..?

        November 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          It is also written "Call me Ishmael"

          The fact someone wrote it down does not lend anything to its credibility.

          November 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Oger

      False information = bad decision-making = false results = more false information
      Feedback loop of cognitive bias makes things worse, not better.

      November 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Colin

      Good afternoon, L4H. I am about to go offline. Be back in about 30 mins. In the menatime, what are these supprting facts of which you speak?

      November 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Here are the premises that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

        Natural Origins or Supernatural Origins?
        __ a) Matter, energy and time exist. Where did they come from? There are currently not naturalistic explanation
        that only has supporting evidence for this issue.
        __ b) Life exist. Where did it come from? There are currently not naturalistic explanation that only has
        supporting evidence for this issue.
        Therefore, this implies some supernatural being or event is necessary.

        Which supernatural being or event answers the above issue?
        __ a) Multiple religions address the creation of life, but only three begin with the creation of matter, energy
        and time.
        __ b) Given the Biblical account that begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
        __ c) Given no other religions (other than the Abrahamic branches) begins with the creation of matter, energy and
        time,
        Therefore, only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the basic issues.

        Did the Judaism God Do It?
        __ a) Given accurate transmission of the Jewish Bible,
        __ b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37) in the Jewish Bible
        Therefore, the God of the Jews is a viable contender.

        Did the Islamic God Do It?
        __ a) Given inaccurate transmission of the Koran Bible,
        __ b) Given the factual inaccuracies (i.e. members of the Trinity)
        __ c) Given the lack of specific prophecies in the Koran
        Therefore, the God of the Muslims is not a viable contender.

        Did the Christian God Do It?
        __ a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
        __ b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
        Therefore, the God of the Christian is a viable contender. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is
        the better answer.

        November 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • Sue

          L4H, claims of "prophecies" are bogus unless you can quote some with actual precise dates in the prophecy, pre-event, and then show that the claimed events later happened on those dates.

          Your claimed "prophecies" do not do that, and so we can summarily reject your claim in that regard as complete and utter bullshit. Much like the rest of your post.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Sue : claims of "prophecies" are bogus unless you can quote some with actual precise dates in the prophecy, pre-event, and then show that the claimed events later happened on those dates.

          Sure, no problem here. Ezekiel 37 (written before Christ with extant manuscripts dating prior to 70 AD) prophesied the nation of Israel being dead so long that "her bones were dried up" and then returning to life. Furthermore, when she was reborn, she would inhabit the Promised Land. This was fulfilled in May 1948.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • Sue

          L4H, no, you get a complete fail on that. Your prophecies DO NOT CONTAIN OR OTHERWISE PREDICT THE EVENT DATES. That's the point. Anyone can predict something, and enough stuff happens over time that they stand a good chance of having their predicted event happen.

          You are welcome to try again with other prophecies, but so far, you get a giant fail whale and I fully reject your claim for the bullshit that it is.

          Do you get it now?

          November 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Lie4HIm
        Back to the lies. Your first statment. Things exist so there must be a creator. FALSE.
        You have been shown this is flawed logic over and over and over, yet you keep trying.

        "Therefore, this implies some supernatural being or event is necessary."
        "Therfore , this implies the force is the guiding enrgy of the universe"
        "therefore this implies that we are in the matrix"
        "Therefore this implies, that we are in a petry dish on some alien scientists lab table"

        ALL just as valid as your statement. And all equally flawed because matter , time and the universe existing, does not imply anything.

        November 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Richard Cranium : Things exist so there must be a creator. FALSE.

          Where did you read THAT statement? My first premise was that since there is no natural explanation for matter, energy and time, there must be a supernatural explanation. Are you arguing that there is a definitive natural explanation for these?

          November 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Sue

          L4H, your argument there for your god can be summarized as argument from ignorance. It doesn't hold water.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Lie4Him
          You posted this false statement"
          __ a) Matter, energy and time exist. Where did they come from? There are currently not naturalistic explanation
          that only has supporting evidence for this issue.
          __ b) Life exist. Where did it come from? There are currently not naturalistic explanation that only has
          supporting evidence for this issue.
          Therefore, this implies some supernatural being or event is necessary.

          That boils down to (without creating a straw man) things exist. in your case, life, matter, energy and time. You then say we don't have logical eplainations, then your make THE WILDLY FALSE leap to the existance of these things implying a creator.

          You said, things exist, that implies a creator...that is FALSE LOGIC. It implies nothing of the kind.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Sue : your argument there for your god can be summarized as argument from ignorance. It doesn't hold water.

          Not quite. The argument of ignorance presupposes a conclusion without any evidence. The only missing evidence here is on the naturalist side. The Biblical side provides a solution – God created the heavens and the earth : Genesis 1:1.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Richard Cranium : in your case, life, matter, energy and time. You then say we don't have logical eplainations, then your make THE WILDLY FALSE leap to the existance of these things implying a creator.

          Not quite. You're missing a key piece of the argument. There is no definitive NATURALIST explanation. Since there is a SUPERNATURALIST explanation, then we have evidence that supports that choice.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Sue

          L4H, no, you really need to look up argument from ignorance. Just google it or something. You clearly don't understand the term.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Lie4him
          "You're missing a key piece of the argument. There is no definitive NATURALIST explanation. Since there is a SUPERNATURALIST explanation, then we have evidence that supports that choice."

          In other words, we have no way of determining it scientifically, so we'll make it up (supernatural).
          Do you read this nonsense before you post?
          Show how there is a supernatural.

          What you have done in logic and scientific terms is, we do not know, science does not know, so let's make something up ( the supernatural) and we'll use that since a made up reason is better than no answer.

          How many times do you have to be beaten before you behave?

          November 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • Terry

        A bit of site googling demonstrates that 'Live4Him" has copied and pasted the same "arguments" for his crazy god beliefs at least 5 times in the past few months. It's his same old nonsense, and fails to make any case for his crazy god beliefs, just as it did previously.

        November 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Ben

          Great catch, Terry. L4H is caught in his spamming. And hereby PWNED. What a loser.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Live4Him

          Of course! When you have a winning argument, why give it up (especially when one asks the same question)?

          November 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Terry

          L4H that is a very disingenous, cowardly statement that you just made, and you are being unethical in making it. Your argument is neither "winning", nor even valid, as the comments above clearly show.

          Your claim otherwise is simply a lie. You are a coward.

          November 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Terry

          L4H that is a very disingenuous, cowardly statement that you just made, and you are being unethical in making it. Your argument is neither "winning", nor even valid, as the comments above clearly show.

          Your claim otherwise is simply a lie. You are a coward.

          November 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  2. zulu

    I am born Hindu..Choose Atheism. But I like Pope Francis. He is a good person with good heart. I feel he is restoring my faith in humanity....I hope he continues what he is doing now..

    November 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  3. Colin

    There are some pretty fundamental objections to Catholicism that are hard to get around. Now before some believer rants back at me that I am evil, an “angry atheist”, or going to burn for all eternity in hell, please take the time to actually read and cogitate the objections.

    If you have a disagreement with a point I make, post it. However, if you only object to the fact that I said it, please understand that I do not buy into the whole “it is immoral to be skeptical of the Catholic religion” nonsense. Secondly, if you feel I am "woefully ignorant of the Catholic faith" or have misrepresented it, point out where.

    1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point in our evolution from Hom.o Erectus, gave us eternal life and, about 200,000 years later, sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Greco-Roman Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies. One would have thought that a visitor from the creator of the Universe would visit (or at least mention) the millions up millions of Chinese and other Asians, all the people spread throughout North and South America, the Australian Aboriginals, the ancient Europeans or the Subsaharan Africans. Instead, his entire visit and his entire Holy Book, the Bible, is 100% concentrated on the Jews. It seems obvious beyond any rational doubt that the Jews made God in their image and not vice-versa.

    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as coveting their neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze Age and Greco-Roman Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.

    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Catholicism does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Catholicism. To the extent we reject Catholic morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Catholic – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

    9. When backed into a corner, Catholicism admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. This is probably the “mother of all understatements”. In any event, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Catholic based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.

    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Faith is not belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    November 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Phil

      Definition of faith:

      Heb 11:1 – " Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen".

      November 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Colin

        Was kinda hoping for a bit more, but thanks Phil.......

        November 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • UriNation

      I'd rather go through my short mortal life believing, than spend my immortal eternity wishing I had believed. If it turns out there is no God/no after life, then won't know the difference, will I?

      November 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Colin

        A few flaws in that reasoning. First is that it assumes there are only wo choices, the Judeo-Christian god – God – or nothing. Not so. There have been literally thousands of gods man has believed in. A small sample includes:-

        Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac and Zaramama

        Second, One cannot “choose to believe” something. That has to be an honest conclusion drawn from the facts. I could not “choose” to believe in the Hindu god Shiva or Leprechauns, for example, as that would make no sense. What I can do is SAY I believe or PRETEND to believe. But going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief.

        Third, in estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation the likelihood of a negative outcome and the gravity of that negative outcome must be performed. Here is where proponents of the your view (called "PAscal's Wager" by the way) say they have a leg up, as an eternity of perdition must be valued very highly.

        However, if the concomitant likelihood is close to infinitely low, it balances out to close enough to zero to be ignored. Given that the evidence for the existence of the Judeo-Christian god is zero, much less for the vindictive personality you posit he has, the likelihood must be valued close to zero. If one were to take the believer’s approach, one should live about a mile down an abandoned coal mine to avoid a very, very unlikely, but fatal meteor impact.

        When extrapolated to the extreme of a god, the math becomes meaningless. For e.g., if I posited a god a billion times more vengeful and gruesome than yours, would you drop your belief in God and run over to my super-god based on your Pascal’s Wager logic?

        November 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Akira

        Pascal's Wager?

        November 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Didn't even try to disguise it.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • bostontola

      Great summary, I'm a bit disappointed that there isn't 1 cogent counter argument.

      November 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • devin

      With the realization that you yourself have never once castigated or maligned a Christian on this sight, I would be more than happy to cogitate your objection with civility.

      1.As with a number of your points, you are imposing human concepts and capabilities on the creator. A basic tenet of the Chrisitan faith is that God does not exist in space/time/history, he functions wholly independent of it. As a result, your time dilemma is moot.

      2. Omniscience. Again, you are equating the human with the divine in terms of ability.

      3. I believe in the doctrine of annihilation. Scripture continually contrasts those who have eternal life with those who don't have eternal life. Perhaps the most quoted Bible verse ( John 3:16) portrays this clearly, " For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that whoever believes in Him should not PERISH but have EVERLASTING life. When it comes time for you to die, and it will come soon, you will either continue in a state of eternal life or you ( your soul) will cease to be.

      4. "Mythology and discredited". This is purely subjective and we will just disagree.

      5. Ah yes, the Judeo/Christian borrowing from other traditions story line. Perhaps sometime we can consider each and every example in order to expose the fallacies. Not today.

      6. Contradictions, outdated facts, and support of barbarous acts. Learn to read the bible in its historical grammatical context, without your preconceived penchant for finding error, and perhaps it will take on a new light.

      7. I'm Protestant, no comment.

      8. This is simply your opinion, not fact. There are numerous biblical scholars who accept the individual authorship of the gospels.

      9. You obviously exist in a vacuum of naturalism. Your dependence on rationalism is your only device. This is not the case for those who utilize faith.

      Just to clarify:" Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." God's words not mine.

      I trust i was mannerly enough for you.

      November 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Terry

        Quite a stretch there, devin, to go from "we can't understand god" to your claimed belief that such a being exists. "We don't know" sure seems the more honest and gutsy answer.

        That said, though, I also disagree with your throwing away of human concepts such as omniscience. Further, I think that even what you see as limited human logic abilities are quite robust and testable. You accept them as a framework for arguing and debate, but not for examination of your beliefs. I think that's pretty suspect, and makes your beliefs rather thinly supported, to say the least.

        November 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • devin

          Ask any neuroscientist, neurologist, or neurosurgeon and they will tell you the understanding we have of the human brain is minsucule in relation to that which we DON'T KNOW" about it. And yet, they all have one in their skulls.

          November 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Paul

      1."1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies..."

      So far so good...

      "13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe)"

      This is where you start to go down hill. What one believes about the age of the earth, does not determine whether someone is a Christian or not. But if one believes that the universe is actually 13.7 billion years old, there are some incompatibilities with scripture (mainly Genesis 1 where God says "It is good" at the end of each creation day, and Romans 5:12 which says death is a result of sin.)

      "Instead, his entire visit and his entire Holy Book, the Bible, is 100% concentrated on the Jews. It seems obvious beyond any rational doubt that the Jews made God in their image and not vice-versa."

      The Jews were the ones that acknowledge Him. The rest were chasing false Gods. Noah was the one who found God's grace before the flood came. Noah's descendants chose to follow God. Then starting with Abraham, God made a covenant with the Jews. The rest of the people were still worshiping false gods.

      November 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Paul, it's interesting that the One True God used tribal warfare to overturn its inanimate competition (false gods). Why doesn't One True use violence and genocide to overcome its competition now?

        November 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Paul

      "3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence..."

      He hasn't withheld any evidence. In fact, He's made His existence plain to you.
      "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Romans 1:20

      You have no excuse for not believing in God. His creation testifies to His existence.

      "All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me."

      Yes, He does love you. God doesn't want anyone to perish (2 Timothy 3:9), so that's why He sent Jesus to take your punishment for you. If you accept that gift, then you won't have to suffer the penalty.

      "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

      November 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Mojo Jo

        Here comes another "just read the bible as evidence" fairy tale believers. I just read "Rudolph the red nose reindeer," which proves the existence of Santa Claus.

        November 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
        • Paul

          Read my post more carefully. The existence of the universe is evidence of God's existence.

          November 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
        • redzoa

          "The existence of the universe is evidence of God's existence."

          Non sequitur. The existence of the universe is evidence of universe's existence; however, it does not follow that said existence is evidence per se (or even prima facie evidence) of any casual agency, let alone your preferred causal agency.

          November 18, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  4. Soiled underwear

    It most of been good to wash pedo priest soiled underwear...!

    November 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  5. Calgon, take me away!

    Ancient Chinese Secret, huh? ;-/

    November 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Calgon, take me away!

      Hah? Hanh? I do laundry, it's a necessary task if you intend to re-use clothing, as I often do.

      Today is laundry day. Nothing clean. You bring ticket I give clothes.

      November 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  6. Lionly Lamb

    Do I have belief in a God of long ago being the Originator of Creationism..? Yes I do... Do I believe that the absolute ‘Allness of Nothingness’ is God's Spirit wherein anyone's body the nothingness that is a part of our body’s being is of God’s Spirit..? Yes I do… Therefore nothing material can ever escape God’s Nothingness Spirit. From the outer reaches of Spatial Nothingness and even far into the innermost depths of Atomized Nothingness Realms, God’s Holiness Spirit will forever dwell apart and within us all…

    November 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  7. Lionly Lamb

    Living one's Life here with resounding regularity of moral equality and apart from Godliness ideals is of little difference regarding one living a holistic Life... Having faith in there being an Afterlife is but a difference of one's ideological perspectives... Theist or not, Life is…

    Within any Natural Realm there are mechanical variants of atomized diversities… The Biologic Diversities around the multitudes of atomized symmetries in machined likenesses are deceptively Fractal or look similar in their appearances whenever telescopically or microscopically viewed…

    November 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Alias

      I will never tire of your perverted anograms and under lying kinky innuendos.

      November 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      God so commands all orbital velocities, inwardly from the lowly atoms and even outwardly toward issues of all that is made celestially orbital... Our humanoid embodiments of orbital atoms are merely adorning buildings being structured just so to be inhabited by godly generations on a scalar dimension unequaled within the outward depths and breadths of spatial reciprocity...

      November 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  8. Alias

    Religions unite people and give them an assumed moral authority over others.
    This does not mean any gods exist. Mohamed did unite his people with the words he claimed to have been given from an angle. Was there ever an angle? Who cares? That does not change the fact that mohamed conquored a large area and then brought unity and relative order with his new religion as a guiding force.
    Christianity did the same in Europe. That dioes not prove jesus was a god, but it did have enough control to allow the dark ages to last for centuries.
    History shows that religion has been able to bring unity and a sense of purpose to people all across the globe. It has been a valuable tool for controlling the masses since the beginning of civilization. Aside from that little Dark Ages thing, it has allwoed for order and advancement.
    My question is,
    Do we still need it?

    November 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I don't feel qualified to answer your final question, but I would like to point out that Hitler and plenty of people and ideas just as horrible have united people. Something need not be good to "unite"

      November 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Sara

      We will need shared beliefs and values, whether or not they qualify as religion. Unfortunately, without a common enemy I picture fragmentation remaining. What we probably need to unite is contact with a hostile alien race.

      November 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • Bob

        "hostile alien race" – that'd be the tea party!

        Cheers.

        November 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Gary

          Good one bob. Almost choked on my coffee when I read it and started laughing.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Angelic angles or angular angels..?

      November 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Caritas

      A lot of mis-assumptions in your post. First, and most important, religions ( at least the Christian religion, does not give adherents an assumption of moral authority over others. As the most recent pope, Francis said when asked to define himself, it is that he, and we all, are sinners – no better and no worse than anyone else. We do have a duty to love each other and all humankind, even in our brokenness.

      Second, the "dark ages" if by that you meant the post-Roman period in Europe, is a historicization that has found its way into popular culture – Originally the term characterized the bulk of the Middle Ages, or roughly the 6th to 12th centuries, as a period of intellectual darkness between extinguishing the "light of Rome" after the end of Late Antiquity, and the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. Increased recognition of the accomplishments of the Middle Ages (including the birth of engineering, social benefits such as universities , hospitals and the beginnings of corporations and labor guilds, as well as science, (all under the Catholic Church) has led to the label being restricted in application or avoided by serious historians. As to the question, does religion have "use' it is harder to answer if you view it as simply a social construct and form a material perspective, but certainly it has great meaning and potential for good in human affairs to the millions of people who base their lives, families or societies on it.

      November 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        History (Manifest Destiny and the expansion of Europe to the New World) seems to disagree with your analysis as do the fundamental teachings of Christianity itself. The Christian god supposedly judges all souls and Christians have been notorious for colonizing and dominating people of other faiths. Christianity deserves the dark stain of its shame over its evil acts of the past.

        November 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sired Alias...

      Religions of every variability are ways for most all humanoids to seek comfort in times of individual disarray and social disparagement...

      November 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    For the record, I am the real Bootyfunk. The troll posting as me is not me but a troll who admires my work. Don't believe the troll who posts as me.

    November 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Likewise with me booty.
      It is ovbious to regulars anyway, since you normally have far more coherent, poignant things to say. When it does it, just emal daniel.burke@cnn.com with the time and subject it posts on, Daniel will block the punk, who will then create a new email address and come back in, but all of the trolls posts will disappear. Continue to do it anytime you see it...Either the troll will stop, or daniel burke will get sick of it and actually do something about it.

      November 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • Sara

        It might help to snag the comment id when you send the info. But yeah, the fakes are usually pretty obvious.I

        November 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  10. bellaterra66

    I like this Pope whether or not he makes official changes. Official changes mean little, just as the rules, regulations and laws mean little. This Pope is personifying the tenor of The Gospels: God loves and forgives all of us, in every situation. The rules and regulations and laws (of The Church) are secondary. (Let's not be stupid. I am NOT saying that we can do whatever we want without consequences. I am not suggesting that we do everything we want, whenever we want, to whomever we want.)

    Matthew 22:36-40 - New International Version (NIV)

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Jesus spent his whole life showing that love was above Jewish law. And this is what the Pope is saying and exhibiting: real love is above any law.

    November 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      When this pope comes out with full disclosure, punishment for the offenders and compensation for the victims of the $ex abuse consipiracy, then I will have respect for him. Until that happens, he is just as guilty of the cover ups as his predecessors.

      November 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Caritas

        I think that is all in work and going forward. Strong policies on background checks, quick removal from ministry and policy changes are already a feature of most archdiocese – look it up on their websites if you doubt this . Some of this stuff has to work its way through the courts but the majority of the offenses are confined to a certain small group and period in history. Just not appearing in the popular media, who is continuing to flog this moribund horse, and with those who do not want to acknowledge this change. I think this pope is going to bring longed-for cleansing of his church.

        Doctrinal changes are a different matter. Doctrine is not a matter of the convenient or "what's trending now" or they would have dropped the sixth and seventh commandments a long time ago. 🙂 And that can be a good thing.

        November 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Janica

          Small amount of people in the past? No. It is still going on. Look up snapnetwork.com.

          I am glad there are more stringent policies in place, but this problem had not gone away by any stretch of the imagination. It happens worldwide. Don't be willfully blind.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • LookandSEE

      He did say, "If you love Me, keep the Commandments" John 14:15

      November 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • bellaterra66

        He didn't say, 'If you don't keep The Commandments, you are going to Hell."

        November 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Oger

          If you love Hogan's Heroes, keep the commandants.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    i'll like this pope a lot more when he actually makes changes instead of just talking.

    November 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • lol??

      Does he do diapers or fill up landfills with disposables??

      November 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • Gibberish, thy name is lol??.

        Why doesn't anything you ever say make sense?

        November 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Stop stealing my name troll.

      November 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  12. jack

    How about baking treats to share with the office? Sure, I see staff people do that – but what about managers? What about The Boss?

    November 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I refuse to work for someone else.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • lol??

      The A&A's claim the race is almost a half million years old but they're still arguin' about, Who's the Boss. In modern management the Boss insulates himself from his underworld underlings. If something goes wrong he won't have to commit suicide like in the Far East.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        almost nothing you write ever makes sense.

        stay classy.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • lol??

          Thanks for the positive affirmation about nothing.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Alias

          We should all use Bootyfunk as a standard of class. LOL!

          November 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • doobzz

      Managers don't bake stuff and bring it to work. They might stop at a bakery and bring in donuts once in a while, but they don't actually make anything.

      November 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  13. lol??

    The body of Christ has a proper name and it's (spiritual) Israel. God only has one bride, not split, replaced, raptured, reformed, incorporated, Romanized, Constantinized, Egyptianized, Russianized, Americanized, socialized, televised, or insti*tutionalized. How could it not be spiritualized?? for the bride has been properly prepared, trained, adorned, and

    "Jhn 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

    November 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Gibberish, thy name is lol??.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • LB

      What on earth are you trying to say? You may want to read Dr. Pepper 10:2 and 4. Might help you clarify things a bit for you.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  14. LB

    Sure are some angry posts out there, folks. I don't know if you are referring to me as that "L" person but it's not me and I am most definitely not a troll. I have no idea who "L" is. My only purpose in posting what I did was to point out some good in the world today. These are bad times and I think we should all try to see the good out there, no matter how minimal it may appear to be, and work together to help make things better for all of us, no matter what you believe or perhaps don't believe. Am not a very religious person and definitely not a bible thumper. I've seen a lot of hatred in my life and what it does to yourself and those around you. It just eats you up. Life is short and, for me, it's getting shorter. I would just hope someone out there would take what I posted to heart and think about it for a minute, It may or may not change the way you see things. That's your choice to make.

    November 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • I wasn't taking about you

      Can't follow a thread?

      November 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  15. mary2378

    The pope has NEVER said it is sinful and evil to be g.ay.

    November 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Colin

      I agree. The only book that makes such a ridiculous and nasty assertion is the Bible.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • John P. Tarver

        Catholic clergy has been gay historically and I don't see what you expect the Pope to say about them.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          But then most Christian leaders and their adherents have been gay historically.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          Of course.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the pope NEVER said it was not sinful or evil to be g.ay.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • lol??

      Why does anyone have to not say what a gay never said while in a parade nay saying all the way to Hizzoner's office??

      November 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • John P. Tarver

        Why do you care??

        November 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • lol??

          Why do you not say I don't care??

          November 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Gibberish, thy name is lol??.

          Are you stroking out? Your posts get more illegible every day.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Sara

      Mary, he does not think being gay is a sin, but that having a gay reltionship is. It is part of the catechism.

      November 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • John P. Tarver

        Marriage is one man and one woman for a lifetime, like Newt.

        November 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Maddy

    Crickets are chirpin' the water is high
    There's a soft cotton dress on the line hangin' dry
    Window wide open African trees
    Bent over backwards from a hurricane breeze
    Not a word of goodbye not even a note
    She gone with the man in the long black coat.

    Somebody seen him hangin' around
    As the old dance hall on the outskirts of town
    He looked into her eyes when she stopped him to ask
    If he wanted to dance he had a face like a mask
    Somebody said from the bible he'd quote
    There was dust on the man in the long black coat.

    Preacher was talking there's a sermon he gave!
    He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved
    You cannot depend on it to be your guide
    When it's you who must keep it satisfied
    It ain't easy to swallow it sticks in the throat
    She gave her heart to the man in the long black coat.

    There are no mistakes in life some people say
    It is true sometimes you can see it that way
    But people don't live or die people just float
    She went with the man in the long black coat.

    There's smoke on the water it's been there since June
    Tree trunks unprooted beneath the high crescent moon
    Feel the pulse and vibration and the rumbling force
    Somebody is out there beating on a dead horse
    She never said nothing there was nothing she wrote
    She gone with the man in the long black coat.

    November 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Angry Christian

      So ignorant that she posted her stupidity twice.

      November 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • LB

        I agree with you completely.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Angry Christian

          She posted Dylan, and she did it TWICE.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          Maddy is angry Christian. Look another troll like bootyfunk.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • JED

          Why do you say that ? She has never presented as angry....disagreement with a person does not equal anger ....

          November 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Angry Christian

          I am most certainly NOT Maddu, you heathen devil worshiper.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  17. Maddy

    Crickets are chirpin' the water is high
    There's a soft cotton dress on the line hangin' dry
    Window wide open African trees
    Bent over backwards from a hurricane breeze
    Not a word of goodbye not even a note
    She gone with the man in the long black coat.

    Somebody seen him hangin' around
    As the old dance hall on the outskirts of town
    He looked into her eyes when she stopped him to ask
    If he wanted to dance he had a face like a mask
    Somebody said from the bible he'd quote
    There was dust on the man in the long black coat.

    Preacher was talking there's a sermon he gave
    He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved
    You cannot depend on it to be your guide
    When it's you who must keep it satisfied
    It ain't easy to swallow it sticks in the throat
    She gave her heart to the man in the long black coat.

    There are no mistakes in life some people say
    It is true sometimes you can see it that way
    But people don't live or die people just float
    She went with the man in the long black coat.

    There's smoke on the water it's been there since June
    Tree trunks unprooted beneath the high crescent moon
    Feel the pulse and vibration and the rumbling force
    Somebody is out there beating on a dead horse
    She never said nothing there was nothing she wrote
    She gone with the man in the long black coat.

    November 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  18. Peter

    With religion, you're either in on the con or just another rube. The pope is the con-artist-in-chief. Everything he does is a PR stunt to attempt to maintain the narrative that there is such a thing as an afterlife & that religion is a thing of value while the church takes your money.

    November 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Alias

      Religion does have value.
      That is why there are so many and why they have lasted so long.

      November 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        value or brainwashing?
        thinking for yourself when you've been taught not to is no easy feat

        November 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Alias

          I do think for myself.
          That is how i can see the value of community and support from neighbors in difficult times.
          Most religions support this stuff at the local level.
          You are the one who needs to think before posting.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          you are in the cult, that's why it's hard for you to see clearly.
          religions take a lot more money than they give out when they "help."
          religious communities value their own.
          want to know the most divided time of the week in the U.S.?
          sunday mornings.
          go to the south and go to a church.
          you will see whites in a white church, blacks in a black church and latinos in a latino church.

          take your own advice and think it through.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          Bootyfunk is what I call a "delusional atheist" who thinks the reason he left is the reason why everyone believes. Meaning, every person believes for the same reason he did. Very delusional and typical for atheists to believe.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "Bootyfunk is what I call a "delusional atheist" who thinks the reason he left is the reason why everyone believes"
          +++ hahaha. you could not be farther off base. lol.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Alias

          @Boootyfunk
          All wrong. You make incorrect assumptions and than argue from a position of ignorance.
          I am an atheist. I have not benn to church in many years. However, that does not keep from seeing the things that go on around me.
          Churches support local communities. That does not mean there is absolutely no prejudice or problems within these churches, but it does mean that they do have value.
          If religion had no value, it would not have lasted for the last 4,000 years.
          Stop hating for a minute and try to think.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          and now you're the one making assumptions. did i say church had no value? nope. but you keep putting words in my mouth and then get on your high horse.

          religion does have value - but not as much value as detriment.
          and at the end of the day, people are taught to believe a lie - but i suppose you think that's valuable?
          the truth is always more valuable.

          yes, churches often feed the homeless - one of the things i like best about churches - but often the price of that bowl of soup is a sermon. in other words, they're trying to recruit.

          and churches support local communities? yes, if you fit in and believe what they believe. i knew an Indian couple that went to go live in a small town in Texas. 99% of the people there are christian. how supported do you think the Indian couple felt? supported? lol. they were practically run out of town by the christians? so where was their community support? instead they got told to go back to the middle east, that islam is evil, that they were terrorists. all by the christian community.

          so perhaps you should think it through before you type. religions often help people of the same religion - and terrorize people that aren't. and EVERYone in the town is part of the community, not just the christians.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Alias

          @Bootyfunk
          You are so full of hate you cannot think clearly.
          I said NOTHING about the bad things christians do. Why do you keep talking about them as if it were a rational arguement against what I said?
          Religion does have value.
          You accused me of being in a cult, you were wrong.
          You accused me of over looking the bad things christians do. Again, wrong- and totally irrelevant.

          ONE MORE TIME! If religion had no value, would it have lasted for so long??

          November 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "You are so full of hate you cannot think clearly."
          +++ another bad assumption. i'm full of love, even for you, brother. come out to hawaii and i'll teach you to surf.

          sorry for accusing you of being part of the cult.

          you accused me of saying religion had no value when i did not.
          "You accused me of over looking the bad things christians do. Again, wrong- and totally irrelevant."
          +++ not irrelevant at all. you are bringing up that church has value but don't seem able to discuss the bad parts. to have a full discussion, you must discuss both sides of the story. you haven't. i have. read back.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "ONE MORE TIME! If religion had no value, would it have lasted for so long??"
          +++ do you realize what a terrible argument that is? you're saying because something has lasted a long time, it must be valuable. do you think the same about slavery or r.ape? or dictators? that is an ignorant argument and a fallacy. lots of bad things last a long time. why do you think that if somethings is around for a certain amount of time that makes it a good thing?

          November 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Alias

          Okay Bootyfunk.
          Where did I say religion as a whole was a good thing?
          I said it had value. I clarified for you that it does good things at a local level.

          BTW – Slavery was around for so long because it was good for the slave owner and the cheap labor benefitted scociety. Dictatorships can be one of the most efficient forms of government. (That means they get things done). Now, please read this next part carefully: This does not mean I support either one, nor does it mean there are not potential bad things associated with them. We live in a complicated world. Most thinng have good and bad parts. Religion can have bad parts. Religious people can do bad things – in groups even. However, You hve not posted a single valid point against the fact that religion does have value.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "Where did I say religion as a whole was a good thing?
          +++ i never said you did. again, you're putting words in my mouth.

          "Slavery was around for so long because it was good for the slave owner and the cheap labor benefitted scociety. Dictatorships can be one of the most efficient forms of government."
          +++ not much value for the slaves. not much value for the poorest in the dictatorship.

          now you're backtacking, lol. so when you said religion has value it's similar to saying slavery had value? you make terrible arguments.

          but it still shows your argument is a fallacy. you said religion has value, proven because it's been around a long time. it's a stupid argument that something has value because it's been around so long. very stupid. right?

          "If religion had no value, it would not have lasted for the last 4,000 years."

          you're equating time to value. bad "logic".

          November 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Alias

          I am saying slavery had value. Just not to the slaves. People who work hard for very little benefit the people they work for.
          Dictarorships also have value. IF the dictator cares about the people they rule your comment about the poorest of the poor is misguided. History is not so full of examples of this happening for very long, but that does not change the fact that having one person in absolute power can get things done. We still do this today in times of war because it increases our chances of winning. There are also countries run by Kings (a form of dictatorship, depending on what political science book you read) that are our allies and doing as well for their people as congress does for ours.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Peter

        You're making the argument of numbers, & its a fallacy. Can millions who think the same thing be wrong? The answer is yes, & there's no reason to believe otherwise. Humans have no magic detector of truth, or else there would be no conflict because we all knew the truth. You also disregard previous ancient religions that existed before christianity, & had done so for longer that christianity has been in existence presently. By your argument, we should be hindu.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Alias

          I did not say there was a god.
          Please reread my post.
          I said religion had value. They frequently perform useful services at a local level. There is value to that.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          they also frequently cause pain at a local level.
          you seem to want to give them credit for the good, but not the bad.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Alias

          Open your eyes and your mind Bootyfunk.
          Stop accusing me of saying false things.
          I never said churches were all good. If I thought they were, i might belong to one.
          The original post said religion has no value. This is a stupid thing to say and i dissagreed. That does not make me religious. It means my eyes are open and I can think for myself. Pull your head out of your ass and try looking around sometime.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "Stop accusing me of saying false things.
          I never said churches were all good."
          +++ YOU need to stop making false accusations. when did i say you said that?

          November 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Alias

          @Bootyfunk

          "Stop accusing me of saying false things.
          I never said churches were all good."
          +++ YOU need to stop making false accusations. when did i say you said that?

          I'll type slowly so you can follow along. I said religion had value. You claimed my statement was incorrect because religious people do bad things. (This next part takes some logic so brace yourself) By making that part of your arguement you are implying a connection between what you said and what I said. That would mean that you think I think religions are all good. Otherwise, your statement about the bad things would be totally irrrelevant and have nothing to do with the discussion. See? By replying to me and typing a counter arguement, a rational and thinking person will see those impliocations as things you have said. Have I lost you?
          Try googling "logical fallacies" and see why I laugh at most of your posts.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          now i'll go slow, moron.

          " I said religion had value. You claimed my statement was incorrect because religious people do bad things. "
          +++ please show me where i said that. where did i say your statement was incorrect? i even gave an example of religious value, but i guess you missed that. so again WHERE DID I SAY RELIGION HAD NO VALUE?

          November 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          Alias, your lack of logic is astounding, eclipsed only by your ego.

          "By making that part of your arguement you are implying a connection between what you said and what I said. That would mean that you think I think religions are all good."
          +++ hahaha. here's a perfect example of your idiocy. i never claimed religions are all evil and i never claimed you think religions are all good. this is YOU making ANOTHER assumption.

          seriously, stop trying to look smart. it's not working for you.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Alias

          @Bootyfunk:

          I said:Religion does have value.
          That is why there are so many and why they have lasted so long.
          You replied:value or brainwashing?
          thinking for yourself when you've been taught not to is no easy feat

          Now you want to know where you said WHERE DID I SAY RELIGION HAD NO VALUE?

          Go ahead. Attack me again and call me stupid.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          scroll back. you're the one that started with the name-calling, not me. so don't try to play that card.

          i didn't say religion had no value. read my other posts. i said it can bring members of that religion together - but i also said it keeps people outside that religion apart. you just keep making your assumptions though.

          going to work. we could go on and on about this, but it actually seems like we half-way agree. religion has value and detriment, though i believe it is more heavily weighted toward detriment while you think the opposite.

          take care, Alias, no hard feelings here. smooches.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Why don't you just quote Bootyfunk's actual words to prove that he said what you claim he stated?

          November 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Peter

        There is no value that comes out of religion that is not actually an aspect of humankind itself, & requires no divinity to account for it. To mis-ascribe it to religion is to shortchange the individuals of their own accomplishments & abilities, & further perpetuates the notion that such a thing as afterlife, divinity, supernatural & paranormal phenomena exist. Religion keeps humankind gullible, deliberately & maliciously so.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          nail on the head.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Alias

          Once again somone is reading things into my post that i did not say, and arguing against those false things.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          when you don't like what someone says, your favorite defense is to say they didn't understand you. lol, you're a joke.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Sara

          "There is no value that comes out of religion that is not actually an aspect of humankind itself"

          Of course nit, because religion is a subset of what makes up humanity. But that does not mean that the benefits of religion historically could have existed without that subset. Religion may offer fewer benefits today, but that doesn't negate its historical necessity.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Oger

          Religion is a delusional subset of the collection of ideologies humans sometimes take to ridiculous lengths.
          Ideologies are one thing, but delusional ideologies are pure poison, creating people who's minds are distorted by the brainwashing to some degree. This gives a delusional cognitive bias to the victim.
          It's not just a type of ideology, it's a false ideology built upon lies, delusion, and irrational thinking and is nothing but a big con game, a sociopathic type of ideology that damages a person's ability to see reality clearly and to process it rationally.

          You could say it's a subset of all delusional ideologies. Maybe I should have just said that in the beginning. Too late now.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Sara

      Peter, that's a massive oversimplification of the role of religion in human societies. All communities have had religions, including Nomadic tribes with no formal churches. There's well over a century of research on how religions originate, function in society and the individual psychology involved. Making stuff up from your intuition isn't contributing to world knowledge...it just sounds silly.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        I don't see how anything you wrote disagrees with anything he wrote. His oversimplification is merely clarified by the addition of your further explanation.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Sara

          No.

          "With religion, you're either in on the con or just another rube."

          This assumes there is a "con" or deception. This means a conscious and intentional misleading.

          "The pope is the con-artist-in-chief. Everything he does is a PR stunt to attempt to maintain the narrative that there is such a thing as an afterlife & that religion is a thing of value while the church takes your money."

          This assumes the pope doesn't believe these things (or misuses the term 'con').

          Yes, some religions involve cons, but historically most do not. I disagree with the major premise of what Peter wrote.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yes.

          A con/rube dynamic can be beneficial in certain circ.umstances. as in a similar manner, some parasites are beneficial to the host. Nothing you said disagrees with anything Peter said, you just wish he was wrong.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Sara

          Captain Obvious, you said nothing I said "disagrees" with anything Peter said. I said most religious people are not involved in a con. I'm not sure whether you misunderstand the word "con" or the word "disagree" but either way I think I'll stick to conversations that take place in standard English. If you learn it, get back to me.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Again, you have said nothing that disagrees with Peter. Yes, as you claim, many religious folks are the rubes and are not "conning" anyone intentionally.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          And your rude tone is unjustified, Sara. I have not been rude to you.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Sara

          Obvious, his statement assumes that there is always a con (read the original). It also assumes that anyone at any time who was religious is a 'rube' when that belief might have been the height of sophistication at the time...might even be today in a well enough constructed religion.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Sara

          Obvious,

          You wrote: "Nothing you said disagrees with anything Peter said, you just wish he was wrong."

          I take your assumption of my motivations as insulting. Not to mention bizarre, since I can't imagine why, if here were right, I would care.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          My analysis cannot confirm your findings. I agree with both your initial response and Peter's original post and find no discrepancy. Rubes abound in religion, and many times the religious ideology is very helpful to the rube.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I was not intentionally rude, Sara, as should be obvious, but I will apologize for presenting my assumption as I did. Will you apologize for your INTENTIONAL rudeness to me?

          November 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Sara

          Obvious, I think it is normal and productive social behavior to return rudeness with rudeness.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          That seems an immature outlook to hold, but I'll respect it if it's yours. Again, I was not intentionally rude to you, and you appear incredibly oversensitive to be enjoying a blog like this one.

          But, going by your own childish morals, do you find it appropriate to apologize when another person has apologized to you, or do you only use the t!t-for-tat rule when it allows you to be nasty to another person?

          November 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • Peter

        "Making up stuff up from your own head ... is just silly," you make my point for me. All faith is a decision to not question further, based on assumption that an absurdity that originated from the human imagination with no evidence to support it is true. Was religion useful for community & culture forming? Yes. It is also, however, a primary cause for why so many cultures are in conflict with each other. Its destruction historically outweighs its benefits. We can honor the religions of our cultures by treating them as works of art. Placed on a well lit shelf, nostalgic to look at, but a purely symbolic illustration of universe. Believing any of the make-believe as reality is literally delusional.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • Peter

        All proselytizing religions do so for the purpose of manipulating masses into giving them wealth & power, & there is no reason to believe otherwise. Don't think the guy running the 3 card Monte isn't a con artist just because he bought a homeless guy a hotdog from the hundred dollars he just took from you.

        November 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Sara

          OK, if you're going to troll it's less obvious when you stay a few points ahead of idiocy. Also repeating the same thing over and over in different words is a tip-off.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Sara

          1. Rudeness and disagreement need not go together.
          2. Rudeness does not help your cause if you intend to convince people of the veracity of your position.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Sara

          Obvious, They need not go together, but as I pointed out above, you were quite rude yourself so I wouldn't get too self righteous. Trolling, also, is rude, btw, and it deserves to be called out when it reaches such a recognizable form. He's messing with people and that is rude and obnoxious in itself.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I was not rude to you, Sara, and where you feel that I was, I have apologized. I find it bizarre how readily offended you are. People have different ideas, and presumably, that is why you are here; there's no need to get snarky just because someone disagrees with you. Would you really be here if everyone agreed with every idea you posted?

          November 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Sara

          Obvious, I am actually very difficult to offend. Even such a rude statement as you just made implying that I am overly sensitive bothers me little, though many would quite reasonably be quite upset. I really can't tell over the internet if you are truly this socially inept and unaware of how rude such comments are or if you are just playing dumb. Either way, this conversation is unlikely to reach a satisfactory resolution and is pretty uninteresting at this point. And no, I do not feel I need to beat around the bush with someone who has said I am both primarily motivated by wishful thinking and too easily offended.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Thank you for your honesty, Sara. I hope you enjoy the blogs.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Sara

          Ah, I see now I am also being called immature and childish for having a different conception of social regulation than you have. For someone who wants to call others rude you have a real winner way of going about it.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I explained my perspective on the matter exactly as you have explained your perspective on the matter. I find you to be overly sensitive and rude and too immature to engage in appropriate decorum. You have been intentionally rude and never apologized; I was (apparently) unintentionally rude once, and I have apologized.

          You are welcome to judge me and my ideas however you wish and to whatever degree you find appropriate for yourself exactly as I am welcome to do the same with your ideas.

          Enjoy.

          November 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Oger

          I see "captain obvious" is more like a "captain pouty-pants". This is the real world, captain. You don't get to set the rules.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Boring troll is boring. I'd tell you that I'm rubber and you're glue and all that sort of thing, but you didn't even bother to say what you disagreed with, so...

          November 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  19. LB

    I find this Pope refreshing and sincere. He seems to be just like all of us. Boy, that sure is quite a 180 degree turnabout from the last Pope. It's about time the Catholic Church have a man like this as its head. I really believe most of the leaders of the so called Christian churches and mega churches could learn a lot from him. Particularly humility, self sacrifice, and most of all, tolerance.

    November 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      LB, the people you speak of are not even Christians. They are thieves and snake oil salesman. You compare them to the pope? The pope is just another figure head for an evil empire anyway. There is no truth in your post that I can identify.

      November 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • tc

      Agreed and its so interesting to watch atheists get angry about it all. What's there to be angry about? Some people that is their life – so sad.

      November 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        tc, you accuse atheists of being angry? Why? I would say quite the opposite.

        November 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • tc

          There are always a handful of angry atheists on articles about religion and its just childish and old

          November 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          Don't shatter an atheist's lie they think is true. They hate that.

          November 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • This is a troll....

          "L", who changed his name yet again. How FUN that the Christian troll thinks he'a so sneeeeeaky, lmao

          November 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          I'm not this "L".

          November 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Matt

          I'm an atheist and I'm angry. I hate that religion is forced down my throat. Our money says, "In God we trust." Every president that I can think of says, "God bless America" after every major speech. So, yes, I'm mad as hell!

          November 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Angry Christian

          Nobody cares, Matt. You've set your course to "hell".

          November 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          oh, don't be silly. i'm a very happy atheist. i do get mad when i think of my brothers and sisters wasting their lives in the various cults (christianity, judaism, islam, buddhism, taoism, etc.). i want people to throw off their mental shackles and think for themselves. religious brainwashing is very powerful - otherwise, how could adults be made to believe in an invisible sky fairy?

          November 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          You're still an atheist and can believe it freely. You are more delusional than Christian fundies are and that's sad. That's your fear speaking not logic or reason, Matt. Nothing is being "forced" down your throat. That is a lie YOU created.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          this is ultra-hilarious coming from someone who posts as: Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          LOL! your moniker says it all. we don't have evidence? hahaha. seriously? are you a troll?

          November 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Roger that

        Christian's are such a happy bunch.

        youtube.com/watch?v=PSJt-LHMNRY

        November 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Angry Christian

          I am happy. Except when I'm angry.

          November 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Roger that

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

        November 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Roger that,

          ROTFL!

          You'd think that this would generate a round of "wacko!" "psycho!" and worse comments, but here's a site where folks are actually defending and agreeing with him:
          http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/04/baptist-preacher-responds-to-viral-sermon-where-he-told-a-member-hes-not-worth-15-cents/

          **sigh** 🙄

          November 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • tallulah13

        I suspect that there are fewer angry atheists than there are angry christians, but it's funny to watch the christians lie about things they don't like or understand. It underlines the basic hypocrisy of so many christians in this country: They are commanded not to lie, yet they pretend that the laws of their god don't actually apply to them. If their god is real, they'll end up in hell with the atheists.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • devin

          Seeing that the worlds population is now 7 billion and change, and of that number roughly 2 % are atheists, the statement " I suspect there are fewer angry atheists than there are angry Christians" is a stroke of mathematical genius.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I think the percentage of atheists versus believers is higher than the number you provide, and I also think the important point (perhaps implied by tallulah) is that per person, there is more anger on the side of the theists than the nonbelievers. In other words, the ratio of angry believers to not angry believers is greater than the ratio of angry atheists to nonangry atheists. .

          November 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • devin

          Captain

          Sometimes the verification of facts is more precise than " I think.". As for the ratio thingy, I was aware of the implication, I just couldn't pass up such a good opportunity to yank his chain.

          November 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          yank away

          November 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      this pope has had some nice, if ambiguous, statements about g.ays. but he didn't say g.ays are to be accepted. according to church doctrine, it's sinful and evil to be g.ay.
      the pope said atheists get to go to a heaven they don't believe in. i guess it's nicer than telling us we're going to hell...
      the pope said child molestation in the church won't be tolerated... anymore.

      the pope has said a few nice things, but he has not affected actual change, he has not changed church doctrine. he's a nice guy, but he hasn't actually done anything. i'll give him credit when he changes doctrine, not just pays lipservice.

      this pope also came out and reaffirmed women are NOT equal to men and cannot be priests. he has done nothing to stem the tide of molestations in the church.

      words are nice, actions are better.

      November 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • tallulah13

        This pope is nothing more than a diversionary tactic. He goes out and makes nice, while it's business as usual at the church.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • doobzz

          ^this

          November 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • str8whtguy

      I'm an agnostic, bordering on atheism, but I genuinely like this guy. Sure, Catholic doctrine is out-dated and in some cases counter-productive, but this pope is at least taking some "baby steps" to truly help and accept all people. He seems to have taught by example, which is what I try to do with my 7-year-old daughter every day.

      I wonder if he still washes his own undies...

      November 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        it's 2014. time to take adult steps. again, he hasn't actually changed church doctrine. he's said a few flowery words, but he's done nothing.

        i suggest you teach your daughter not just to talk but to take action.

        November 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • JJ

        Agnostic bordering on atheism? What does that mean? Do you lack a belief in a deity or do you have a belief in one or more deities?

        November 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  20. Reality # 2

    All well and good, but it does not change the fact that Francis I suffers from a severe case of the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in the historical and theological flaws of Christianity !!

    Added details available upon written request.

    November 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

      For atheism, you feed the lie yourself. You make your own "reality".

      November 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • doobzz

        LOL! You mean like talking donkeys and the "sun standing still"?

        November 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          You mean like not having the evidence proving mankind exists without a creator and the questions have been answered? Something exploded randomly thus creating everything we see. Seems like a religion to me. A religion that deserves ridicule!

          November 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • doobzz

          No, I mean like talking donkeys and the "sun standing still". LMFAO!!

          November 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Why would your god allow the following:

        Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god (or did they all die as martyrs?)

        Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

        1. 300,000,000 approx.
        Smallpox

        2. 200,000,000 ?
        Measles

        3. 100,000,000 approx.
        Black Death

        4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
        Malaria

        5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
        Spanish Flu

        6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
        Plague of Justinian

        7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
        Tuberculosis

        8. 30,000,000[13]
        AIDS pandemic

        9. 12,000,000 ?
        Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

        10. 5,000,000
        Antonine Plague

        11. 4,000,000
        Asian Flu

        12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

        November 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Greatest Flaw of Atheism-they have no evidence backing up their claims

          Humans aren't immortal. Whether your "morals" deny that fact it's true. It's sad yes but every human has his/her time to die. Even animals die. It's a natural part of life for everything that can breathe. Why doesn't non-belief swoop in and save the day? Hmm? Non-belief doesn't exist.

          November 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Yes all humans die but why does your god make it a horrible, painful process for so many when she/he or it could easily allow us to die peacefully in our sleep.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

        November 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Reality #2...

          A singular universe is a scientific lie brought about thru mixed and still yet young educated rationalisms... Our Cosmos is littered full of celestial universes... So much so it will take us practically forever to map out our universally contained cosmos with much certainty... Our Cosmos being filled with all manner of celestial universes is but one Cosmos within a vast sea of multifaceted cosmological universes...

          November 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Reputable references please to support your multiple universe claims.

          Regarding the Gib Gnab:

          o "In the 1930s, theoretical physicists, most notably Albert Einstein, considered the possibility of a cyclic model for the universe as an (everlasting) alternative to the model of an expanding universe. However, work by Richard C. Tolman in 1934 showed that these early attempts failed because of the entropy problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase.[1] This implies that successive cycles grow longer and larger. Extrapolating back in time, cycles before the present one become shorter and smaller culminating again in a Big Bang and thus not replacing it. This puzzling situation remained for many decades until the early 21st century when the recently discovered dark energy component provided new hope for a consistent cyclic cosmology.[2] In 2011, a five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies and spanning 7 billion years of cosmic time confirmed that "dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds."[3][4]
          One new cyclic model is a brane cosmology model of the creation of the universe, derived from the earlier ekpyrotic model. It was proposed in 2001 by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University. The theory describes a universe exploding into existence not just once, but repeatedly over time.[5][6] The theory could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the "cosmological constant", and which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model."
          A different cyclic model relying on the notion of phantom energy was proposed in 2007 by Lauris Baum and Paul Frampton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7]"

          November 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • tc

      It doesn't matter what you believe or what you think others believe becasue you cannot prove anything regarding a spiritual world nor is absence of physical evidence proof. So you are just as delusional as everyone else

      November 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • tc

      You are just as delusional – no evidence to support your position. Let us know when you find evidence of your position – the atheist flawed logic of absence of evidence does not work with scientific minds.

      November 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.