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December 23rd, 2013
03:29 PM ET

A Christmas apology, and the seeds of hope

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - This week we celebrate Christmas, and as a Christian, I want to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that this season has become about fights over manger scenes on public property, about complaining when clerks say, “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” about rampant commercialism and faux persecution.

I’m sorry that Christians in the United States can be so entitled when we’ve long enjoyed majority status, when we can be so blind to our own privilege.

It is ironic, really, because in the church calendar, the seasons of Advent and Christmas call us to reflect upon and celebrate what Christians believe was the most radical act of humility of all time - the incarnation.

The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus.

The word incarnation literally means “to make into flesh” and refers to the apostle John’s teaching that “(t)he Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

“No one has ever seen God,” John explains, but Jesus “has made him known.”

In other words, if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus -

Jesus, who was born as an oppressed minority in an occupied land,

Jesus who was an immigrant,

Jesus, who surrounded himself with the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the “untouchables,”

Jesus who was criticized by the religious for hanging out with sinners,

Jesus who treated women with dignity and respect,

Jesus who taught his disciples to love their enemies, to give without expecting anything in return, to overcome evil with love,

Jesus who suffered,

Jesus who wept,

Jesus who - while hanging on a Roman cross - said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood put it this way: “The historic Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ does not simply mean that Jesus is like God. It is far more radical than that. It means that God is like Jesus.”

It means that God suffers, God forgives, God fellowships with the poor, God cares for the sick, God loves His enemies.

Even as a lifelong Christian, I struggle with doubts about God. I struggle to make sense of the violence in the world, the violence in the Bible, the violence in my own heart. I don’t have all the answers.

But even when there’s nothing left to my faith but a little seed of hope, that hope is in the incarnation, in the radical teaching that God loved us enough to become like us, and that when God wanted to show us what he was like, God showed us Jesus.

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Christmas • Faith • Holidays • Opinion

soundoff (2,872 Responses)
  1. AverageJoe76

    Why didn't Shaggy and Scooby ever stumble upon the Holy Ghost in any episode? See.... ?

    NOW..... if that's not enough to shake your faith in God, then apparently, nothing will.

    December 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Fred

      Those meddling kids!!

      December 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  2. Reality # 2

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Back to the topic-

    Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

    As per most contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

    http:// http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing/talking from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

    "Mark's gospel, the most historical of the four gospels, does not even mention the event.

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 269-272, "The historical yield of the Lukan infancy narrative in respect to the birth of Jesus is virtually nil.

    Matt 1:18-25: , pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

    "Lüdemann [pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

    Then there are these additional conclusions:

    Professor Bruce Chilton

    "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

    Professor John Dominic Crossan

    "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

    "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

    I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

    "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:

    Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
    Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
    Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
    Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

    And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    "And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva”

    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

    Conclusion: Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

    December 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  3. AverageJoe76

    I have never been attacked, molested, or crooned by an invisible being. Aaaand by Golly, let's keep it that way!

    Ghosts. Y'know.... if you ever seen one, you gotta ask, "so how'd YOU escape the 'Heaven/ Hades' system of processing?"

    "You give me hope, foul spectre! That I too, will oneday break the system of Heaven and Hades and terrorize the living"

    Yeah... so that's why I don't believe in ghosts, either. All of it sounds stupid.

    December 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  4. AverageJoe76

    C'mon CNN! The same ol' article up for days......

    Here's a good article. "Why does the smartest animal on the planet still fear invisible beings?"

    December 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • rud

      even the average mind can understand the meaning of change or evolution,what people thinks invisible can be seen if explained to them,One person said i believe only what I can see exists,then he is ask ,can you see your brain,He said no,soo you dont exist.

      December 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        That's just wordplay. I could see my brain if I really wanted.

        December 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • den

      God is not invisible,because you look at the mirror and you can see a part of him.after the big bang 13.7 billon years agonthe first matter formed,then billon of years later the stars and planets,then life forms,then humans ,then you.wait a minuet,you cel pon is ringing ,your visible girl friend is calling you.,She is calling me because we are going to get married,but she is a part of God,never mind , i am too.

      December 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        I hope there wasn't a message in there for me, cause I missed it.

        December 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Mike Webster

      One obvious explanation is that there are, in fact, invisible beings to fear (or, depending on the specific beings in question, to worship); and that the smartest animal on the planet still perceives this reality accurately.

      December 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        In your scenario, how would those individuals with "special sight" ever know whether or not they are deluded? What test could those people perform to know that they are actually seeing something real instead of something imagined?

        December 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  5. Vic

    Recurring note for recurring misunderstanding:

    I believe Rachel Held Evans is being apologetic to all people for "all the involved parties," Christian and non-Christian, for the irreconcilable differences and overreaching. She is NOT being apologetic for being a Christian.

    December 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Science Works

      What ever Vic – but the big question for you/creationists is when will you join the MAJORITY ?

      December 30, 2013
      Public’s Views on Human Evolution

      http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/

      December 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • devent

      after heated discussions between the believers of God and the atheist ,it becomes clear that we are all part of God,After the big bang,the creation of everything in our universe has evolved into what we are now,our faith diferrences is just nothing but a part of evolutionary change as we are task by Him through His will to resolve this,we are just begining to understand the true reality of our existence.No religion is wrong from the first civilization up to the present and the future,because that is part of the divine process that He is guiding through His will as reflected in history

      December 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Science Works

        Do not forget the talking snake ?

        Walking the Walk: What Sharks, Honeybees and Humans Have in Common

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223181953.htm

        December 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • toquide

          yes ,who will forget about the talking snake,suppose you go back in time and tell the primitives in those times not to forget to charge his IPAD and cel phones.what would he answers you

          December 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Science Works

          the talking donkey might know but i doubt it.

          now think back when it took all night to charge the cell phone – it had a separate case for the battery. Used to carry one !

          December 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Now you know why the women should be serving tables at the sunday mornin' feasts and NOT speakin'.

      December 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • Vic

        I myself advocate the role of women on every level including the Presidency.

        December 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
      • lol??

        I myself duct tape dem wimmin's mouths shut. Sage advice for the cruel.

        December 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  6. Santa Claus

    Stop this nonsense!! You are all going to make me loose my job.

    December 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  7. Confusious

    Arguing all day with Christians/atheists (same mindset) all day is not good for the soul.

    December 30, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • interathestian

      OOOOHHHH!!!! How Christian/atheist of you.

      December 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  8. Paula

    Today is the 6th day of Christmas.
    Yes, the 6th day Christians stole from the Romans/Greeks/Germanians/Celts/Buddhists/Mithra/Zeus/Martians.

    December 30, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Salero21

      If you agree with me that atheism is Total stupidity I'll agree with you 100% on that. Therefore there is no need at all to go around with silly-ninny articles like this. Pretending with all pretense that she can apologize on behalf of all of us. That's so ridiculous!!

      December 30, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Science Works

        Getting forgetful in your old Sal – you forgot smiley ?

        December 30, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • Science Works

        *old age*

        December 30, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Salero21

          Whaaat!! Another piece of Evidence of the Total stupidity of atheism!!

          December 30, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Science Works

          Sal – the majority and there is nones too !

          December 30, 2013
          Public’s Views on Human Evolution

          http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/

          December 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
      • Billy

        There's certainly one thing more stupid than the over 40,000 Christian sects of insanity and that's Salero21! 🙂

        December 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • Salero21

          Whatever you say Billy goat!

          December 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • doobzz

        "Pretending with all pretense"

        LOL!

        December 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
      • neved

        the atheists are Gods people ,they are here today to be a participant of a process of change.Evolution requires challenges from the the opposite faiths to highlights its defects and weakness,Traditional religions are becoming obsolescent because scientific philosophy and discoveries had made them irrelevant to modern mindset,they are focusing in the doctrine of pure faith without reason to justify their antiquated beliefs,take for example a high school student taking up biology subjects where evolution of life forms are scientifically explained,and when this student goes home,his parents who are devout religious people lectures him on creation.He is confused but he has to pass the exams,so he silently rejects the ideas,then on sundays their church services further add to their confusions,so either they become schizoprenics or atheists,this phenomena is real to the point that statistically theism is steadlily going down,The latest survey showed that the Phillipines tops theistic countries at 94 percent,next is Chile 88 percent ,the US with 84 percent amd eastern europe with only 15 percent.and this trend will accelerate in the coming years.Thats why responsible church leaders understand this problems .I believe that evolution of faith is neceesary,In the past ecunumical counsels were called to change or rectify the enterpretation of the gospels in the catholic doctrines.But the rate of change was soo fast that even the result of vatican 2 has become obsolete even before it was implemented,so it s now the responsibility of church leaders of all religions and denominations to address this paramount challenge.There must be a paradigm shift in their dogmas to conform to scientific advances.It should be more of a scientific theology

        December 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Salero21

        I think you people can tell by now that I'm a troll who pretends to be Christian! 😀

        December 30, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
        • nev

          Jesus at his time was a troll,thats why he was crucified,but he gives his life to humanity for people in his time to have a religion.God then through His will,guided the Roman empire to make christianity its official religion, Now God again to change or evolve religion are sending trolls ,and you are one of them.Remember He is not a magician,but the methods are scientific,so its through evolution.Theolgy or religious belief must change through scientific process because we are now in the age of science,in the past there was no science yet

          December 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • Salero21

          I worship at the altar of myself. There is no one better than I! 😀 😀 😀

          December 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
  9. Madtown

    The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus.
    -------–
    Interesting concept. If it's "love for humanity", how come God didn't come into each of the societies and cultures of the world in existence at this time? That way, all of humanity would know the message of love, rather than just 1 small region in the middle east.

    December 30, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  10. Live4Him

    @WASP : so your god can violate physics now, correct?

    Read up on Aristole's 'Unmoved Mover' theory.

    @WASP : (hint: energy CAN NOT be created NOR destroyed)

    Perhaps you should study this further. energy/matter cannot be created nor destroyed in a natural environment. Nothing prevents their creation/destruction in a supernatural environment.

    @WASP : 2) energy is what creates matter, not god.

    So, what happens when you combust gasoline? It creates the energy to move the automobile forward. Thus, matter and energy are interchangeable.

    @WASP : 3) time has no beginning, nor an end;

    According to the Big Bang theory, neither matter, energy nor time existed in the singularity. It was only after the Big Bang that they came into existence.

    December 30, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Principium cuius hinc nobis exordia sumet,
      nullam rem e nihilo gigni divinitus umquam."

      – Lucretius

      December 30, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • lol??

        Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
        Perhaps I had a miserable youth
        But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
        There must have been a moment of truth

        For here you are, standing there, loving me
        Whether or not you should
        So somewhere in my youth or childhood
        I must have done something good

        Nothing comes from nothing
        Nothing ever could
        So somewhere in my youth or childhood
        I must have done something good

        Read more: The Sound Of Music – Something Good (Maria And The Captain) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

        December 30, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Doris

      "Theologians have often welcomed any evidence for the beginning of the universe, regarding it as evidence for the existence of God … So what do we make of a proof that the beginning is unavoidable? Is it a proof of the existence of God? This view would be far too simplistic. Anyone who attempts to understand the origin of the universe should be prepared to address its logical paradoxes. In this regard, the theorem that I proved with my colleagues does not give much of an advantage to the theologian over the scientist." –Vilenkin

      Nothing in the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin paper suggests a beginning from “absolute nothingness”. In fact, the opposite is true. The authors write, "What can lie beyond the boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event."

      December 30, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Doris : –Vilenkin

        And this is a quote from Vilenkin:

        [I]f someone asks me whether or not the theorem I proved with Borde and Guth implies that the universe had a beginning, I would say that the short answer is “yes”.

        So, you just proved my point. 🙂

        December 30, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Doris

          I never said this universe didn't. My point is that beyond that is conjecture. Therefore your statement:

          "According to the Big Bang theory, neither matter, energy nor time existed in the singularity. It was only after the Big Bang that they came into existence."

          is inadequate and too limiting to reflect latest theory. You need to qualify it with "for this universe, beyond which there are other possibilities".

          December 30, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • dorisday

        you limit our concern to our present universe,the one who evolved 13.7 billion years ago, the God in our universe has no name yet, From now on i am christianizing him as DORIS

        December 31, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Salero21

      That "energy/matter cannot be created." Really!! Now that's some atheistic Total stupidity. It's too late for that, GOD CREATED!!

      December 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Billy

        "God dun it" when there is no current answer. Now that's total stupidity.

        December 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • WASP

      @HIM: i don't know why i even bother explaining things to ignorant christians on here, it's always the same thing.

      1) if energy can not be created nor destroyed, then it doesn't require a "supernatural" anything to create it. it means that energy is eternal.
      2) your understanding of phjysics is truely limited if you think burning fossil fuels equates to energy in the sense of how the universe operates.
      2A) energy can not be destroyed, matter can be destroyed..........otherwise atomic bombs wouldn't go boom.
      atomic bombs work of the principle of shattering the bonds that hold atoms together unleashing the energy stored inside the atomic structure of those atoms. the protons,neutrons and electrons that comprise those atoms aren't destroyed, they are flung off as various other forms of energy; i.e. heat,light, radiation, kinetic.
      3) we know within nano-seconds of what happen "after" the big bang, the term sigularity means prior to that point we don't know.
      here is a better hypothesis than "GOD DID IT WITH MAGIC"; energy being in the basic building blocks of everything was in balance inwhich we see everywhere in the natural world seeks to be. a slight shift in the balance triggers an explosion of energy being flung outward in every direction. seeing the universe apparently seeks balance, otherwise everything would be radioactive, the only logical conclusion would be for that energy to begin attracting to each other; thus giving rise to matter.
      matter is simply energy in solid form, you're energy,i'm energy, the fracking sun is energy. we are all and everything built from protons,neutrons and electrons, coincedence i think not.
      we can follow this back by disassembling.......we everything to it's basics to understand how the universe would have looked prior to the"big bang". it was all energy.
      4) energy in a closed system, mind you that can not be created nor destroyed (1st law of thermodynaics) will only convert from one form to the next (E=MC2), i know you will attempt to use the 2nd law of thermodynamics to argue, however that one as it states only covers kinetic/potental energy, not thermo,light,radiation,ions, etc etc etc.

      no god was ever needed, if there was a god required wouldn't you think it would have been one of the gods created long before your god? say like CHAOS, god of all and nothing.
      yours is simply the newest flavor that used mur/der and conquest to spread it's "beliefs".

      December 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • ven

        In the beggining it was pure energy,to find the absolute explaination of our creation is beyond the power of our intellect at this time,What is important in evolution is harmony,meaning the best and most logical,acceptable and workable solution in our times of existence is the answer to our needs.Its the adaptibility to a changing condition that God has willed and guided,looking back in time ,all religious faith had worked and serve their purpose,Its diversity of existence widens human knowledge and experience.,but today is a reckoning,we have reach a critical point of evolution for us to improve or change our faith to conform with evolutionary reality.The advent of advance scientific knowledge has subjected traditional faith to extreme dogmatic stress,It is now the obligation of all concerned humans,the thests,atheists,agnostics,free thinkers and all of humanity to get together and become active netizens and partcipate in the global resolution of the problem.We will be all guded by Him.

        December 31, 2013 at 2:50 am |
  11. Live4Him

    @Dandintac : The Bible is NOT evidence!

    Why do you claim that you cannot observe the Bible?

    @Dandintac : the Bible does NOT say that God created time, or matter, or energy. It does not say that God created these things anywhere in the Bible!

    As I referenced earlier:

    Genesis 1:1-5a In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (MATTER). Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” (ENERGY). God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness(TIME). God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”

    @Dandintac : Regarding the law of excluded middle–it is YOU who are committing this fallacy! I don't violate this principle because I'm not the one who claims God exists–you do.

    You don't even know what the law means, do you?

    @Dandintac : On the one hand, you are claiming that God is all-powerful. On the other hand you are claiming we have free will. By insisting that we have free will, you are admitting that God is not all-powerful.

    Where is the evidence that God exercised his power and denied us free-will? There is none. Instead, there is evidence that he GRANTED us free-will.

    Genesis 1:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free (i.e. free-will granted) to eat from any tree in the garden;but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

    December 30, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      The ex-nihilo interpretation of Genesis you espouse was not the way in which the early Christian church read it.
      It was only after theologans began to fuse Greek creationist philosophies with the Bible in the 2nd – 3rd century that the Christian "prime mover" was depicted as the extra-dimensional Creator of all things from nothing.

      December 30, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Doc Vestibule : The ex-nihilo interpretation of Genesis you espouse was not the way in which the early Christian church read it.

        Logic fallacy : Non sequitur. You've given a conclusion without ANY evidence.

        December 30, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • sam stone

          you speak in non sequitors quite often, lie4him

          pull the crucifix out of your nasty garden

          December 31, 2013 at 5:40 am |
    • Dandintac

      “Why do you claim that you cannot observe the Bible?”

      I did not say that. You have a talent for twisting the words of people, including the Bible, and claiming they say something they do not actually say. I said the Bible is not evidence. I certainly CAN observe my Bible–and I can observe The Odyssey by reading them. But The Odyssey is certainly no evidence that Hermes, Poseidon or Hera exist, and the Bible is no evidence for your God either.
      ________________________________________________

      “Genesis 1:1-5a In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (MATTER).”

      WRONG! The Bible says the “earth”–not matter! There is a big difference. There is no evidence to indicate that the author (whoever they may be) thought they were referring to anything other than the immediate sky above and the Earth under their feet.
      ________________________________________________

      “Let there be light,” (ENERGY).”

      WRONG! Once again, you put words in people’s mouths. There is no evidence that the author intended anything other than the meaning of the word light. Furthermore, it’s quite clear they mean actual light, not all forms of energy by what they say next–separating it from the dark.
      ________________________________________________

      “…and he separated the light from the darkness(TIME).”

      WRONG! There is nothing here to indicate that anything other than the day/night cycle is being referred to! I’m sure there were words for “time” that could have been used, and it was not!

      You are getting creative with your scripture. You are carving down that square peg of a Bible to fit the round hole of your argument, and it’s obvious.

      And it gets worse. You are trying in vain to use the Bible as evidence, without providing us any reason to take it so. As I said earlier, The Odyssey is not proof of the Greek gods. Books are not proof of anything.
      ________________________________________________

      “You don't even know what the law means, do you?”

      Very condescending of you, and you are wrong, but I’ll get to this later since you go on at greater length in another post.
      ________________________________________________

      “Genesis 1:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free (i.e. free-will granted) to eat from any tree in the garden;…”

      Why should we take this as a granting of free will other than eating fruit from a garden? I’m sure you are taking it symbolically, but this is still really thin evidence, especially stacked against the arguments me, Sam, and others have made against free will if an all-knowing, all-powerful god exists. And once again–why should we take the Bible as evidence for anything?

      December 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  12. Live4Him

    @Dandintac : There actually IS evidence that the God of the Bible, or an all-powerful, all-good, all-knowing God does not exist.

    Why not stop talking about all this evidence and present this so-called evidence?

    December 30, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, It is presented many times daily by various commenters. Evolution and the Big Bang primarily show that the creation myth is not correct. Geology and logistics show that the Noah story is not correct. The scientific method is the same as that used to invent technology such as GPS, internet, computers, vaccines, etc. etc. which you do believe in so there's nothing wrong with the evidence.

      December 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Dandintac

      I'm trying to post a reply, and it keeps screening it. I'll try pieces at a time–this is quite lengthy.

      CASE AGAINST GOD PART 1

      Evidence that indicates an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing God as described in the Bible does not exist. Especially one described as “objectively real”, “exists everywhere”, “all-merciful”, and a God of “perfect justice”, and that this god loves and cares about his followers, and listens to and answers their prayers, and finally that nonbelievers are punished by banishment to Hell after death, described as an “unquenchable fire“ by Jesus himself.

      This is not conclusive evidence of course, after all, we cannot prove the negative, but taken together, I think it offers a compelling case that the God described above does not exist. I will use the Christian God for this exercise, although many of these objections could be applied to any god claim.

      1) God’s apparent non-existence. It is often claimed that “God is everywhere”. Yet even after thousands of years of trying, Christians have been unable to demonstrate any hard verifiable evidence of God’s existence. It gets worse. If god is all-powerful, he knows what would persuade us. If he is all-powerful, he could do so easily. I can provide a whole list of things that would persuade me. And if he is all-good, he would provide this evidence, rather than punish non-believers for their honest and rational skepticism. Therefore no such god exists.

      December 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Dandintac

      CASE AGAINST GOD PART 2

      2) The absolute failure of intercessory prayer. Multiple studies have demonstrated that prayer fails to work. They have even done studies where multiple religions were studied, and all compared to a control group. Prayer failed to show any statistical improvement in outcomes for hospital patients. Furthermore, believers who are amputees probably don’t even bother to pray for their limb to grow back. Why not? We all know it doesn’t really work at all.

      3) The apparent mythic roots of the Christian religion. The Jesus myth bears many similarities with other gods in the Mediterranean area, such as Horus, Mithra and others–such as the virgin birth, birth on the solstice, number of disciples, his resurrection, and so on. This is compelling evidence that Jesus is either a myth, or at best, he was a Jewish rabbi who was executed by the Romans, and who’s actual story probably bears almost no resemblance to the reality beyond that, but was embellished and mythologized in the decades following his death through word of mouth retellings. If we were talking about any other god, we would not hesitate to call it a myth.

      4) The absolute absurdity of the Jesus Story itself. Christians hate for it to be told this way, but substantively, this is the story. Perfect God created mankind flawed, and hates us for that so much, that he blames Adam and Eve’s biggest mistake–”eating from the tree of knowledge” down to their distant descendants, punishing them by burning them forever. But, there’s a way out! He’ll send his best son (who is really himself) to save them! This son will be a blood sacrifice to create a loophole so that all-powerful God somehow finds it within himself to forgive men for their imperfect nature. So Jesus becomes a scapegoat. Think please. What kind of parent would torture their best child (“only son”) in order to be able to forgive the other children? It doesn’t make a lick of sense and is patently absurd on the face of it. Christians have NEVER been able to give a logical account for this.

      December 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        WOW so many terrible parts to the argument..I don't know where to begin... There are more DISIMILARITIES between Jesus and Horus and such than there are similarities! Reread those myths! Second.God NEVER hated us.....apparently you have never looked into the Bible.....SIN had to be paid for....we can NOT pay it sufficiently against such a Holy God and still get to heaven..only ONE is capable...that is Jesus..He is perfect....its not a loophole at all..again...wages of sin is death..period.

        December 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Of course they are not identical, but there are all too many similarities, and they cannot be just dismissed so easily. It's ridiculous to demand that they must be identical otherwise the argument has no force.

          Kermit–are you a parent? How about a parent of a teenager? If you have young children, I guarantee you that there will come a time when you will need to forgive them for something. I know–been there–done that–with four of them. When that time comes–do you think you could forgive them without demanding a blood sacrifice first?

          Would you choose your best child, and allow him or her to be slaughtered–and then, only then, could you find it within yourself to forgive your other children who were actually worse?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:04 am |
        • kermit4jc

          YOur anaology is terrible..its useless..IM NOT The JUDGE of life! This is for ETERNITY..not earthly stuff...our argument is moot

          December 31, 2013 at 2:01 am |
        • Dandintac

          "This is for ETERNITY..not earthly stuff..."

          Kermit,

          And that makes it all good? What kind of monster would burn someone for all eternity just for doubting his existence? Would you do that to YOUR children? Or anyone else? This is incredibly evil. I don't except this excuse. It is illogical, irrational and immoral, to blame an entire species for the crimes of distant ancestors, and it is also illogical, irrational and immoral to heap the blame for some people on to the shoulders of an innocent man and kill him for it. There's simply no excuse for this, and if I had been alive at the time, and could have stopped the execution of Jesus, I would have been duty-bound to at least try. People should take responsibility for any of the wrongs they do–there's no need to have an innocent man "pay for our sins" in a blood sacrifice. It's stupid and immoral, and illogical.

          December 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          first of all fire is mostly used as a symbol of judgement. I don't think there is fire in hell....whatmakes it hellish is that one would live eternity with NO hope, NO peace and NO joy..for those ONLY comes from God who OFFERS it as a gift. Second.its pathetic to ask MEif Id do this ot mychildren..IM NOT Holy and Just and God....that is irrelevant///third...bame an entire species for distant relatives sins> I have NO clue where you get that crap from..that certainly is UNBIBLICAL..the Bible states we ALL sin..fourth..YOU are not Just..YOu are not morallyperfect..to YOU it may seem immoral and evil..but GOD did thisoutof LOVE for US....Jesus went willingly! Heknew he was to die..anbd He knew that ONLY He was capable ofpaying for the sins...you worry too much of "justice" that you become UNGRATEFUL to someone who is saving you....Fifth...lets take responsibility and pay forour own sins? then we ALL go to hell..period. that what you want?

          December 31, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Kermit,

          I know this softer version of Hell is the new meme among Christian apologists, but by invoking such, which as far as I can see is purely a tactic to deal with the morally repugnant concept of Hell, you ignore multiple passages in the Bible that refer to Hell as a "burning lake of fire" like in Revelations, or an "unquenchable fire" in Jesus' own words. You also ignore 2000 years of Christian tradition and understanding. So you really have no basis for this kinder, gentler version of Hell you are attempting to use to evade the argument I presented of Hell's gross, fundamental immorality.

          Second, it is fundamentally, and profoundly unjust to provide infinite punishment for finite crimes. Especially thought crimes–unrelated to any actual deeds in our life. This basic injustice should be patently obvious. So if you insist on making this claim about god–that of Hell and eternal punishment, you must drop the claim that God is also all-good and just. He is NOT. You should not be holding God to a lower standard than we hold ourselves. If it's pathetic for you to demand a blood sacrifice in order for you to forgive your children, then it is vastly more so for a supposedly perfect being to do the same.

          This entire doctrine is bizarre, and the obvious product of highly supersti-tious iron-age minds who had been used to providing blood sacrifices to propitiate their gods for many centuries, and could not allow for the concept of surrendering the concept entirely. So they invented a way of keeping the concept, while excusing themselves from having to kill ("sacrifice") any more of their children or highly valued livestock. This is the most likely explanation.

          The idea that a perfect being would require a blood sacrifice as payment for the imperfect way he himself made us, in order to save us from him and his unjust judgment and infinite punishment for thought crimes, is so illogical and patently absurd I cannot see how anyone can actually believe it, unless they have either been brainwashed all their lives, or else they just have never really thought about it.

          "lets take responsibility and pay forour own sins? then we ALL go to hell..period. that what you want?"

          Again, it is profoundly unjust to demand infinite punishment for finite crimes–and thought crimes to boot! If there is an all-good, just god, he would not do this. He would punish us in proportion to our actual deeds. He would not punish rational thought. Again, I will take responsibility for my actions–I have no problem with that.

          January 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          SOFTER version of hell????? Appaently you dontthink this through! NO hope..NO peace..NO joy..for ETERMITY!! THATS not a soft version....you will be in ANGUISH for ETERNITY..and NO hope to change that!!! AS for "finite crime" you forget that consequences do NOT refer to the crime itself..but to WHOM it is done....you fail to notice that eveninthe US laws! If I threaten to beat a dog....I may get a slap on the wrist,,a warning...if I threaten to beat up my neighbor..I may get a citation..POSSIBLY jail time....if I threaten to beat up President Obama...I will have the SWAT team all over me and will DEfFNITELYT see jail time! GOD is an INFINITE God....sins done against HIm will deserve INFINITE consequences!

          January 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          THSI an all loving and JUST AND INFINITE God does repay the consequences porportionately

          January 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "SOFTER version of hell????? Appaently you dontthink this through! NO hope..NO peace..NO joy..for ETERMITY!!"

          Oh–so your insistence that it's not fire is just a debating tactic–it IS a horrible torture. Oh–that makes it so much better and more just!

          Hell–eternal agonizing punishment–is never justified, and always evil. Patently so. This is why many of the more clever Christian apologists have tried to soften it up, by saying it's just annihilation of the soul, or "separation from God". Then they can try to justify it by saying "it's what the atheist wants" (NO–we want hard evidence!)

          Torturing someone for eternity is monstrously evil–for ANY reason! You try to justify it by saying that God is infinite, therefore he is enti-tled to punish people infinitely. But this is wrong! Not all humans are equal. A judge is in a higher position than a janitor, but that doesn't mean the janitor gets punished more due to the inequality of the judge and judged! Your efforts to justify the monstrous evil of the Hell concept is pathetic. There is no justification for it! Unless you have some new argument you haven't used on this point, you may as well give it up.

          And worse–you are trying to claim that this is consistent with an all-good nature! This is part of why religion is so evil. It makes people–probably decent people in other circu-mstances–able and willing to justify the most obscene horror in the name of their God.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          then stop torturing yourself..God tortures no one..thats UNBIBLICAL..hell isNOT a place where God tortures..it is UNFOUBNDED>>.again the anguish is from WITHIN YOU...YOU rejected hope..YOU rejected peace..YOU rejected joy.....thus YOU will suffer the consequences of having NONE of those things! Your argument is not based onANYTHING in the BIble..but based on yoruignorance

          January 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "then stop torturing yourself.."

          Oh Kermit! I'm not torturing myself! Thanks for your concern though. I already have joy, peace, and hope, or at least as much of those things as I want or that a human can expect. Probably more than you do I would wager. It was harder when I actually believed in god, heaven and hell. But now that I feel confident these are human constructs designed to control people, it has given me a great deal of peace.

          As far as being "unbliblical"–you need to read your Bible. Torture seems quite within the god character's nature.

          And Kermit–you do not know any of this you are claiming–you have the conceit of knowledge–not knowledge itself. Knowledge comes after skepticism, not before it. It comes after scrutiny, examination of evidence, testing that evidence, and seeing whether that evidence holds up after testing by others who have every motive to see the claim fail. Knowledge does not come from indoctrination and "faith".

          Your "knowledge"–your religious convictions–are a giant, quivering house of cards. I say this because you STILL have not produced any evidence at all.

          January 4, 2014 at 12:50 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ooooohhhhh...so you ASSSUMED I took all this at point blank with NO questions? Talk about conceit of knowledge!!! I DO know all of this cause I do know God.I have a close personal relationship with God..something that YOU cannot convince me of otherwise! THAT would be conceit to think you can. As for peace joy and hope..what YOU have is temporary and not in full as what GOD would give...when the end times come...you aint going to have any of it..cause God will withhold it entirely...plus you get it from without....people,. things....I get it from within..from GOD...of which it is pure and uncorrupted...what you have wont last,.

          January 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          By the way..I haven't even begin to give evidence....so don tbe s oarrogant to think its shaky..its not for MYSELF..I MYSELF have ALL the evidence I need of Gods existence..IO have NO faith He exists! I have KNOWLEDGE..huge difference..in fatc..NOWHERE does the Bible even mention of faith in Gods existence...only In His PROMISES

          January 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
    • Dandintac

      CASE AGAINST GOD PART 3

      Having huge problems trying to post this part. Trying smaller sections to try to find what words are the hang-up.

      5) The Huge Problem of Evil. Never easily explained away by Christians. God is all-powerful. God is all-good. Just look at the horrible evil in the world–and much of it caused by God himself. If evil exists, then God can either do nothing about it, or chooses to allow it, in which case he cannot be called “all-good“.

      December 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        Evil exists cause of man..NOT God..man makes CHOICES...and because of MANS choices...he does evil...don't blame others...don't blame God

        December 31, 2013 at 1:56 am |
        • sam stone

          kermit, an omniscient god means no free will

          but,by all means, keep on trying

          December 31, 2013 at 6:26 am |
        • kermit4jc

          youre the one grasping at straws to disprove God...youwill ignore all aspects pertaining to this and merely say Godisonly human like us and is bound by time and space and thus does things the way WE do.....THAT is creating God in our image as some have accused US of doing.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • sam stone

          I am not trying to disprove god

          I just do not see any reason to believe

          You are the one grasping at straws with your "he died for us" drivel

          December 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Not at all..I know God personally..i don't trry to grasp at anything....God says it..god shows it..

          December 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • sam stone

          you know god personally?

          wow.....ask him why the fvck he could not forgive everyone without having his son whacked

          ask him how, if is message is so clear, how there are so many followers with different view of him

          ask him why he feels infinite punishment for finite crimes is just

          ask him why he is such a pr1ck

          December 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • sam stone

          man said it, you attribute it to god

          look up "confirmation bias"

          December 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Which of my comments you referring to when you say "man said it, you attribute it to God"

          December 31, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "Evil exists cause of man..NOT God..man makes CHOICES..."

          Kermit,

          Was the Black Death all man's fault? How about the earthquake in Haiti, or the Asian Tsunami? The Black Death wiped out over 200 million people–I think that was half the world's population in the 1300s. Over 70% of London died. People were dying so fast, they couldn't bury them fast enough, and in some cities bodies were laying around rotting. And it was a horrible death, hitting everyone.

          If God is ALL-POWERFUL, then he is also ALL-RESPONSIBLE. An all-powerful, all-knowing God necessarily means that we cannot possibly have free will. God has all of it.

          Furthermore, let's assume for the sake of argument that we do indeed have free will. If you know someone is going to do something terrible–shouldn't you try to stop it? I would have tried to stop the Nazis from committing the Holocaust if I had the power of God, and I certainly don't claim to be all-good. And what about the claim that God answers prayers? Don't you think there were a lot of good, decent people desperately praying to God in those Concentration Camps? Where was the all-good God who answers prayers? I guess God couldn't pass up the opportunity to give the Nazis that golden opportunity to exercise their free will. Or maybe they were praying to God to let them do all that, and those are the prayers that God answered–those of the Nazis.

          December 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YOU sre coming from the assumption that we should all live eternally here on earth!! NO dying!! The FACT is..we ALL die a PHYSICAL death....no matter what age or how...death is death...you also seem too focused on HERE and NOW..rather than future...eternity..there is a reason for ALL things thathappen..God is ALL knowiong..He knew what kind of effect the holocaust would have in the future of people..you dont....you talk about all powerful..yet ignore ALL knowing

          December 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • Dandintac

        "YOU sre coming from the assumption that we should all live eternally here on earth!! NO dying!! "

        NO–I make no such assumption, because I don't believe in gods, or eternal life. In fact, YOU are the one assuming we will live forever–is that not correct? Except in some sort of blissful paradise after we "die".

        Furthermore–even if we allow for the necessity of death, this does not mean that there has to be suffering. An all-good, all-powerful God should be able to allow for an existence without suffering. Suffering is a worse evil than death itself.

        The fact is this: the universe that we observe has both good and evil–or in other words, good things happen and bad things happen. People do both good and bad. This all makes no sense if we were in a universe with all-good gods intervening and answering prayers. It makes perfect sense if there were no such all-good, perfect gods answering our prayers.

        We never see intervention. The Jews in the concentration camps prayed hard–make no mistake about that! But God did not intervene and stop the Holocaust, or any of the other monstrous evils perpetrated by man or nature. Therefore an all-good God who intervenes and answers prayers does not exist.

        January 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dandintac

      CASE AGAINST GOD PART 4

      Let's see if this rewrite works:

      6) The Huge Problems with the Bible itself. For-ged books, contradictions, inconsistencies. We don’t have the originals–just copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of translations of copies of copies of copies of translations of copies… There are many passages that are absurd or impossible, and there is no guide to say what is metaphor and what should be taken literally, allowing believers to come up with their own individual interpretation–in which case–how can anyone say what is true about it? What kind of all-knowing, all-powerful god who cares about his message getting out would have such a flawed book? Why would he even need a book to begin with? He’s all-powerful–right? His book should be imprinted in all of our minds and in our DNA. Then no one would doubt, and no one would have it wrong.

      December 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        That does not work..we have copies of copies of MANY aincient history..you wanna go by THAT silly NON historical standard..might as well dismiss MOST of ancient history

        December 31, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • Dandintac

          Kermit,

          Don't think that everyone accepts all historical texts at face value. We accept ancient histories provisionally. We look for corroborating evidence. We don't take them on "faith". We don't tell people they will burn in Hell forever if they don't believe, and that they must reorient their entire life around them. We also examine the claims that are being made–are they huge, extraordinary claims, or mundane everyday phenomena?

          Example. I'll buy Pliny the Younger's account of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius 2000 years ago. I have actually walked the streets of the ruins of Pompeii. There's a huge amount of corroborating evidence for Pliny's account. We also knew exactly who he was, and we have other letters of his, and know that he is reliable. He also does not make extraordinary claims. He does not say that some people levitated to escape the ash for example.

          I do not accept The Odyssey as historical fact. True, Troy existed, and so did the ancient Greeks. But I do not buy the Syrans, or the Cyclops, or the Hydra, or Poseidon, etc. Those are extraordinary claims without any corroborating evidence to support them. This is where I place the Bible as well.

          December 31, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          we don't takeit on faith either..but ALSO with corroborating evidence as well..Bible has LOADS of evidence..in FACT...to say Bible isn't true..might as well say Homer NEVER wrote anything.and never even existed!!

          December 31, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Kermit,

          If you don't take your faith on faith–then speak for yourself. I can't count the number of times Christians have told me: "Nothing can shake MY faith!" There is almost no corroborating evidence outside the Bible for Jesus' life and deeds, or his divinity, relationship to God, or his "dying for our sins". There is no corroborating, objective, testable evidence for the existence of a God.

          in FACT...to say Bible isn't true..might as well say Homer NEVER wrote anything.and never even existed!!

          This makes no sense. To say one story is not true is not equivalent to saying another author never wrote anything. This is like saying Gilgamesh isn't true, therefore JRR Tolkien never wrote the Lord of the Rings. Your statement makes no logical sense whatsoever.

          January 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          First of all....I have NO faith God exists..I have KNWOELDGE of it.....second....The reason this comparison of Homer VS BIble makes no sense to you is...you have NO clue about historical studies...how people deem history as truth or fiction. History doesnot throw the baby out with the bathwater as you people seem to do. We have MORE evidence for the Bible and whats in it..than we do of Homer and what he wrote. Yet it is consensus that Homer existed and wrote Illiad etc etc..thing is..when it comes to the BIble...skeptics use a double standard....they change the standard of historical criticism...its hypocricy..wen same standards used to show Homer existed and all are used on the Bible..we have overwhelming evidence. yousayu thereis almost no evidence for Jesus life outside the Bible..apparentlyyouhavent read the historians Jospehus, Tacitus pliny...etc etc..just to name a few that areout there.

          January 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "First of all....I have NO faith God exists..I have KNWOELDGE of it"

          This is even worse–because at least when someone says "faith"–it at least carries with it the tacit admission that they do not know, but believe without evidence. Instead, you are claiming not just to believe–but to KNOW something you cannot possibly know, and you have no justification for even believing, let alone claiming to actually know. The biggest question of all–and you, Kermit, know all about it. Excuse me if I think you're full of it–especially when you STILL have not provided any hard evidence.

          "The reason this comparison of Homer VS BIble makes no sense to you is...you have NO clue about historical studies"

          No, YOU are the one who has no clue. Your analogy STILL fails–you have not improved it one bit. You quite literally do not know what you are talking about. I have studied history. I suspect I may know more about it than you do. Historians do NOT take every ancient text at face value, and they do NOT accept supernatural accounts as fact. Otherwise, they would be saying that the Greek Gods Aphrodite and Hera are real–how do we know? Well, this ancient text says so!

          As far as Tacitus and the other scholars you mention, they are not first-hand accounts. We don't even know how far removed they are from eye-witness accounts–they are totally hearsay. Second, they provide no evidence of Jesus divinity, or the resurrection, or redemption, or the existence of God. They are why I think it probable that there was a Jesus, although that may not have been his exact name, but they do not represent evidence for any of the supernatural claims, nor for the existence of a god. Therefore they cannot count as extra-Biblical corroboration for the religion of Christianity. Sorry–you'll have to do better.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you lnow what? Believe what you want..if YOU think IM ful ofit...GOOD>..that's YOUR problem..not mine...I don't base my life on what YOU think...I base MY life in good hard facts as well..thing is too..I do NOT want ANYONE to believe God merely cause I say so or prove it..in fact...NO man proved God to me.WHY should I expect to do the same for others? GOD proves Himself..why don't YOU look at HIM? WHY must youdepend SOELY on what WE say? I think it is rather naïve to go about it that way...I knoiw cause I expreinced Gods presence in my life..I seen His works...I seen his healing in my life and lives of others..miracles...too many to mention as I been a Christian for 25+ years....YOU want HARD evidence for God..WHY don't YOU ask HIM yourself? IT is MUCH more than ANY man can ever give you. If you insist on ME doing it..youre making another excuse to not believe..and that is your problem

          January 2, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
    • Dandintac

      CASE AGAINST GOD PART 5

      7) The huge numbers of Gods and religions, and the geographic distribution of them. What kind of all-powerful, all-knowing God would allow billions of people to grow up in ignorance of his revelation? How can Christians explain the billions of people who were raised Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, and how rare it is for them to convert? This is evidence that people are indoctrinated into their religion, and keep the religion of their society–they do not mass convert because one religion is right. There have been thousands of god beliefs. What kind of all-powerful god would allow this? Especially if he was torturing people in the afterlife for their non-belief–and yet we call him all-good?

      8) The Horror of Hell. What kind of all-good God would torture ANYONE for all eternity? And just for the horrid crime of not believing? I know Christians lately have been trying to soften up Hell to get around this, but when they do, they ignore the Bible, and they also ignore thousands of years of doctrine and precedent, as well as what the vast majority of Christians believe.

      9) The illogic of an all-powerful god. Think of what it means to be “all-powerful”. This means that there is absolutely NOTHING that God cannot do. Sooo–can he create another God? One that is more powerful than he is? A weight so great he cannot lift it? One can get a headache real quick trying to come up with questions like this–and I’m sure you will dismiss it out of hand. But the truth is–once you start demanding absolutes as characteristics of your God, then the universe can get really weird indeed.

      10) The use of coercion indicates that Christians are playing with a weak hand. All too many Christians, if they can get away with it, will not hesitate to punish the unbeliever. Christian coaches will kick young atheists off the team. People will phone in death threats. Christian families will kick atheist children out of their home and disown them. The church lost it’s best argument when they were no longer allowed to literally burn people alive if they didn’t believe. But they still use the good ole Hell claim to coerce people. Ask yourself. If someone told you that Bigfoot exists, and when you say no, they tell you will burn forever for your lack of faith. Is this a sign of a strong claim? Or a weak claim that has to use threats to keep people in line?

      December 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        Very weak arguments...biollions of other gods..because GOD allows MAN to make CHOICES....God isnot puppet masterand number 9 your argument is silly about allpowerful God..its called using REASON....LOGIC..your logic is silly..it begs the question..as for hell..people CHOOSE to go there..its a terrible place cause people REJECT Gods peace, joy and hope....He OFFERS them to us..and those who REJECT don't get it...

        December 31, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • Observer

          kermit4jc

          "GOD allows MAN to make CHOICES...."

          NOT always. He gave NONE to all the babies and fetuses when he KILLED everyone of them on the face of the earth with his torturous flood..

          December 31, 2013 at 2:04 am |
        • kermit4jc

          AGAIN terrible argument..youre making ad hom now..that does NOT apply to your original argument of why there are billions of gods..BABIES don't make up a god..etc ..so the argument is usless

          December 31, 2013 at 2:07 am |
        • Observer

          kermit4jc,

          You not only FAILED MISERABLY to address my comment, you mixed me up with someone else.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:12 am |
        • Dandintac

          Kermit,

          People are born and raised in their traditional religion, and it is inculcated all around them throughout their life. Many have no idea about Christianity at all, and are told that they will go to hell if they do not believe in their culture's religion. How is that a choice? It is not–it is brainwashing. And it is practiced by many religions. What kind of all-good, all-loving God would send people to Hell for this reason?

          I reject your notion of religion as a simple choice, as if we were picking out a brand of Peanut Butter at the local grocery store. If one brand had a label that said "buy this brand or else you will burn in Hell"–would that be a good marketing tactic? Would it be a moral marketing tactic?

          We believe either because we are indoctrinated–usually as a child, or else we are persuaded somehow. I find converts are usually people who were vulnerable, and responded to religion on an emotional level, not a rational one. Most people are in the religion they were indoctrinated into as children, and stay there.

          If God is all-knowing, then he knows what would persuade every skeptic. If God is all-powerful, he would do so. If he was all-good, he would not punish people for remaining skeptical in light of the absence of any evidence. Therefore such a god does not exist.

          December 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          So you say CULTURE is more important than truth?????? GOD SHOWS evidence of His exiatance..we are NOT to believe cuse someone else believes.....we are to have a PERSONAL relationship with God..Jesus talks about those who name drop "LOrd Lord didwe not cast out demons in your name?" And Jesus says he will turn to them and say "I never KNEW you" ONe has NO excuse! ANd some DO believe cause theywere "indoctrinated" and that's unfortunate.....I believe BECAUSE I met God..NO man proved God to me..no man will disproveit either...again its about a RELATIONSHIP..if one TRUKY desires to know personally the TRUE God..He will make Himself known..if one merely wants to know a god exists and try to be moral.....that's all he will get....and you now play blame game...skeptics have no excuse...there is evidence..skeptics CHOOSE to deny it

          December 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "So you say CULTURE is more important than truth??????"

          No, not exactly. I'm saying culture is the greatest determinant regarding what belief system people follow. If you were born in India, you would probably be a Hindu and we would be arguing about the existence of gods like Vishnu or Kali. This cultural diversity is inconsistent with an all-knowing, all-powerful God who cares about whether his message is getting out accurately to all the people. If there is a god with these attributes, there should not be a plethora of gods and religions–diversified by culture and geography. Again, this god claim that you make (all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good)–is inconsistent with the world as we observe it.

          "skeptics have no excuse...there is evidence..skeptics CHOOSE to deny it"

          What evidence? You still haven't provided any! There's not even anything to deny beyond your unsupported claims, and I have given 10 good reasons why we should not just accept your god claims. Please provide some hard, verifiable, testable, evidence for this god. You still haven't done so–going back to my 1)–believers have been trying to do this for 2000 years, and still they cannot do so. I'm still listening and waiting.

          January 1, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Yes..so people use culture as an excuse..I follow it ONLY cause myparents did..or my society....I said God made himself clearlyknown..people CHOOSE to go by culture..than by evidence

          January 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "Yes..so people use culture as an excuse.."

          Kermit–you have failed again. You cannot account for the geographic and cultural distribution of religion. For you to ignore it and say everyone chooses it is to ignore not only practical realities on the ground, but it is also saying that all of these billions of people are ignoring evidence. Is it just possible that maybe you are ignoring evidence of THEIR god?

          Your position is incoherent given the God claims that you make. Let's review this again, because it's important, and you have ignored it:

          God KNOW what would convince everyone. Every skeptic, every follower of other religions, every follower of the wrong brand of Christianity. He's all-knowing, so he knows how to do this–can we not agree on this point?

          God is all-powerful also, so it would take just a sliver of a thought–the slightest glimmer, and we could all be persuaded. Can you not agree to this also?

          So God COULD persuade everyone quite easily. Clearly he does not do so. Yet you claim that everyone who does not follow YOUR religion, possibly YOUR particular brand also–will suffer eternal torture in Hell–YET! You also claim he is all-good.

          If you cannot see the obvious dissonance embodied in these incompatible claims, then we are both wasting each other's time.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you get my response to your last one? don't know if it posted or not

          January 2, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
  13. lol??

    Killin' and lyin' is excitin'.

    December 30, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • lol??

      24/7 of me doinit tells ya so.

      December 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  14. lol??

    Satan got bored.

    December 30, 2013 at 2:00 am |
  15. TM1156

    Please...do not apologize for "we" Christians. Apologize only for yourself as a Christian. Your continual insistence on using the first person in a plural sense lumps all Christians together, and that is not fair. It only serves to condemn those who don't interpret God's Word as you do, while putting on an appearance of self-examination and inclusion.

    December 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • New thoughs

      Yay! Someone gets it. Now if we (as in all people) could just do away with labels.

      December 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • His panic

      Very well said TM!! Just who does this lady thinks she is? Well that's what happens when people who fake it, don't know what else to do. They fall victims of the seasonal anxiety, hysteria and even Panic. Those who do in Fact Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic.

      December 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • Phil

        amen guys

        December 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • Observer

        His panic,

        Heavily religious countries (like in South America) several times have had massive panics during sporting events, etc..

        Get real.

        December 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • His panic

          You are very confused and ignore that being religious or Catholic/Muslim etc. IS NOT the same as Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son. As an atheist is very "convenient" for your set of ideologies which BTW includes communism, to confuse roman-Catholicism with Christendom. Atheist always rub elbows with the catholic church because of a socio-economic convergence in certain ideologies. There is not much difference between ones and the others.

          So your futile and useless attempt at confusing the issues fails miserably, fell flat on the face. Can you see beyond your nose?

          So what I have been saying stands on it's own feet. Those who Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic.

          December 30, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • lol??

          Get a new schtick, Moby. His panic is socie yesterday.

          December 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • Observer

          His panic,

          Your first error was to base your comments on claiming that I am an atheist when I'm agnostic. Everything went downhill from there.

          December 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • lol??

      "Wegodians" has already been taken.

      December 30, 2013 at 2:03 am |
  16. Dale

    I feel so much different since I have received Christ into my life. Before I felt alone and had an emptiness inside. But now I feel His presence in and around me. The emptiness has been replaced with a deep sense of peace and satisfaction. Thank God for Jesus Christ our Savior. God bless.

    December 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      For me, that change came when I left Christianity and found a path that made sense to me, that offered me true peace and taught me love beyond anything I had ever known.

      Personal experience is always subjective. I'm happy you found something you needed. Not everyone does. And those of us who do, don't always find it in the same place.

      December 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I wonder how many cult members and believers in other gods/religions have said the exact same thing. Good feelings are no indication of truth. Enjoying heroin does not make it an uplifting or proper activity.

      December 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Damocles

      Well, I've always been an upbeat type of person. I've had my rough patches but with a little personal work and some much appreciated support from friends and family when I needed it, I got through those times and even managed to learn a thing or two.

      December 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Dale,

      That's the Serotonin that you are feeling. Sorry–it does not count as hard, objective evidence. I'm glad you are feeling good, but please consider that there are many things that can cause this good feeling that you have.

      The God claim is the biggest claim ever. Please provide hard, objective, verifiable, testable, repeatable evidence that this being exists. Otherwise, there's no good reason why any rational person should believe, and those of us who are skeptical are justified in saying that this is a delusion.

      If I told you that believed Superman really exists.
      You try to suppress a laugh, but then you ask how I know.
      I reply, "well, I feel His presence in and around me. The emptiness has been replaced with a deep sense of peace and satisfaction."
      Would this fly as evidence that Superman exists? Would you be justified in laughing out loud and telling me that I'm deluded?

      December 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  17. Toph

    It is the 21st century and Humans here still argue about 1st century gods?!! WHOAH. Get a life people, if you want to acknowledge something larger than yourselves, use the Universe, don't make up stories about some silly god who grants you eternal life! Lol, talk about gullible...

    December 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      So, you admit that you've had 20 centuries to come up with hard evidence to prove that God doesn't exist. And yet you still don't have any? So you must resort to this mockery to carry your argument? Well have fun with your gullibility.

      December 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        L4H, You've had this answer before but you seem to have forgotten. The believer is the one making the claim (of a god) so they are the ones that need to provide the evidence. It is extremely difficult to prove a negative. Do you have proof that Vishnu does not exist (other than you chose a different god) – you don't, yet you don't believe in Vishnu. Same with atheists and all gods including yours.

        December 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • Phil

          Santa, The evidence is clearly there. He created the heavens and the earth. You just choose to play blind man and try to get others to play with you. Funny how you have so few takers. I wonder why that is? lol

          December 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Phil,
          As I implied in the other post, modern knowledge explains the universe, species, and more without the need for a supernatural cause. The creation myths are incorrect; they are the credentials of a god. Therefore the personal gods of all religions do not exist.
          There is no evidence for a god and unfortunately it is you who has chosen to play blind man.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
        • Phil

          Sorry Santa, I think you'v been up in the North Pole too long. Thats just drivel.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Damocles

          @Phil

          Ok, so let's not blind ourselves and look at the natural world around us. Is there beauty? Certainly. Pain and suffering? Yep. Many, many instances of the strong surviving and the weak being tossed aside? Definitely. Love? Ehhhh... sometimes. So, if you were to observe the natural world with the notion that something had to create it, what would be some of the things you could say about that something?

          December 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • Phil

          Damocles, well lets start by admitting that He is far more powerful than we are. If you want ot learn about God's attributes, than I suggest you pick up a Bible and read it. He hasn't left us without written revelation, in addition to His awesome creation.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • Damocles

          Good grief, can any of you just answer a question? I'm asking what you, Phil, can deduce from a creator by looking around. Close the book and put it aside for a moment.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Phil,
          Do you believe that the bible is literally true. If so you must reject evolution, cosmology, geology, and more. Which in turn must mean that you reject scientific method. Yet here you are using the internet, a computer, you probably have satellite TV, drive a car, have been on a plane, had a vaccine – those and more are the product of scientific research using that same method.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT at all..evolution is in fact wrong!

          December 30, 2013 at 2:02 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Phil, the bible is demonstrably wrong in many, many ways (unless you invoke magic which could make any outlandish claim true-–like the strong nuclear force arises from invisible unicorns flapping their wings). Since the bible is proven to be wrong in many ways, how do you expect a person to come to its pages expecting to find truth about the universe?

          December 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • Phil

          Santa and capt. Stating that the Bible is wrong, doesn't make it wrong, just as stating that God doesn't exist doesn't make Him go away. You are both deluded by godless men with whom you happily agree, and in whom you have placed you trust. Will they stand with you on judgement day, or will you stand alone and give an account for your rejection of God, His Word, and His creation?

          December 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Phil, I am not concerned in the least about being "judged" by some being who is both invisible and undetectable. Just like you. I am as concerned about your god judging me, as you are ocncnerned about being judged by Allah or Thor or Odin. You don't believe in them and they have not been proved to exist, so you don't care about those gods. That's how I feel about your god.

          You cannot prove your god exists, and from where I sit, he is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant. When I can detect your god-–by any verifiable means at all--then, and only then, will I be concerned about how he might judge me. Until then, I will worry about your god as much as you worry about the gods of other believers of other gods: NONE.

          And yes, many of the stories in your bible can be proved to be completely wrong. Unless you believe in magic, and then what does any fact or belief matter? It can all be explained by magic.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          No it doesn't, but the evidence does. I have mentioned some of that evidence, primarily evolution, Big Bang, and geology which show that Genesis is not a factual account of creation.
          Delusion is belief in something in spite of evidence to the contrary. Evidence for the bible not being true has been presented, whereas you have no evidence for the bible being true except your circular "logic". So it is you who is deluded.
          There will be no judgement day – we'll all be worm food.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          "The evidence is clearly there. He created the heavens and the earth"

          Saying it don't make it so, Phil

          As usual, Christians have a hard time telling the difference between knowledge and belief

          December 30, 2013 at 3:40 am |
        • sam stone

          "Damocles, well lets start by admitting that He is far more powerful than we are"

          Nonsense. You have not proven that "he" exists

          You might as well have started by saying "well, lets start by admtting i am right"

          Is this the best argument you have?

          Another imbecile christian tries to play smart

          December 30, 2013 at 3:45 am |
        • sam stone

          While we are at it, Phil, your empty proxy threats are laughable, as is "judgement"

          December 30, 2013 at 3:48 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          kermit, Have you or anyone you know ever had more than one flu shot? If evolution were not a fact, you wouldn't need more than one. DNA clearly shows evolution is a fact. The fact that humans have domesticated animals clearly shows that evolution is a fact. I know you don't want to see, but just pointing out that the evidence is compelling.

          December 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT evolution as touted by secularists! There is an evolution of dogs to be sure...but they are ALWAYS dogs..always HAVE been dogs..and they came from NO other animal!! I forget micro or macro....I believein evolution WITHIN a species....that's evident for sure..NO man came from a common ancestor as an ape....its not been shown...its wild dreaming is all....

          December 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • sam stone

          Wild dreaming? Like a savior that rose from the dead, Kermit?

          go home, boy, and get your fvcking shinebox

          December 31, 2013 at 6:22 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Sure its wild....so what? Its wild that God would love us enough to pay for our sins even as we are sinners..in other words..God didn't wait for us to "clean up" He cared enough to pay the consequences for us. THAT is wild..would you done the same?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • sam stone

          Sin is a religious concept that is only applicable to believers

          An omniscient god means no free will

          A god who would punish people for what he knew what they were going to do before they did it is a vindictive pr1ck

          Tell us how an omnipotent god can sacrifice anything

          Did jeebus have a bad weekend for your "sins"?

          December 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • Phil

        Live4Him, amen. Toph, so let me understand this awesome godless logic of yours. As time passes, God goes away? Is that it? Wow, your thoughts are just to deep for many of us to grasp. lol

        December 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          No, as time goes by our knowledge increases, particularly in the last century, and as our knowledge increases we have natural explanations for the universe, species, earthquakes, tsunamis, thunder, lightning, etc. All phenomena that our ancient ignorant ancestors could not explain and attributed to a supernatural cause and invented a god to explain. We don't need ancient superstitions anymore although many have trouble leaving them behind.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
        • Phil

          So how do any discoveries by man concerning His creation make God go away? You are saying nothing. Just mindless babble.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          The discoveries by humans show that the creation myths of all religions are incorrect and as I said before they are the credentials of each religion's god(s). Therefore creation myths such as Genesis are not factual and as they are the foundations of religions, the personal gods as described by them do not exist.
          A god pre-Big Bang is one of many possibilites but there is no evidence to support a god since then.
          You can't provide any reason why you believe in your god over, say Vishnu; you cannot prove that Vishnu does not exist. Yet you're not a Hindu.
          I believe in one fewer gods than you.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • Damocles

          The discovery that lightning is a giant static discharge and not a deity's wrath, the discovery that germs and viruses cause sickness and not demons or a deity's wrath, the knowledge that earthquakes are caused my shifting plates and not a deity's wrath, the findings that love is a chemical reaction (which does not cheapen the experience at all) and not due to a deity at all.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • Phil

          Santa, you trust in Santa and Darwin. "The Darwin myths are incorrect." Thats all your doing; stating that in which you have placed your trust, or that which you have rejected. You actually think that you are making a point, when you are only stating that which you believe. Not many takers for you.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Phil, if you knew even 2% or 3% of the FACTS we KNOW and have repeatedly DEMONSTRATED are completely and totally accurate about evolution, you'd not be saying such ridiculous things as you do. Darwin had the vision of evolution (change over time), and EVERY SINGLE FACT we have learned about genetics, geology, fossils, and every other branch of science confirm his hypothesis. Sure, Darwin guessed wrong in some ideas he had, but the principles he envisioned have been proved millions of times since he has died. In labs across the globe that do real-time, actual experiments with living cells and organism and genetics PROVE evolution every second of every day in almost every country.

          Do you enjoy struggling in that tar pit where you find yourself and your views these days, dinosaur?

          December 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Phil,
          Evolution is accepted by the vast majority of scientists. This is the introductory list from the Berkeley site:
          Fossil evidence
          Homologies
          Distribution in time and space
          Evidence by example
          Darwin may have not understood the whole story but in the 160 or so years we have discovered so much more, including DNA which also supports evolution. Neither Darwin's original theory and the subsequent theory of evolution are not myth, unlike the Genesis stories.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          SO what it is accepted by majority? It just means the majority is wrong on this one.....don't be silly to assume that majority ALWAYS means truth

          December 30, 2013 at 2:03 am |
        • Phil

          Damocles. Let me help you out a bit. First of all "natural disasters" may or may not be a result of God's wrath. Just because we have begun to understand a little bit of how lighting and thunder and other phenomenon work, that does NOT mean He does not use creation today to bring about His purposes. In fact, much of the book of revelation has yet ot be fulfileed, inwhich he will darken the sun, the moon, the stars will fall from heaven...etc. No, He hasn't gone away, and He will still use creation to bring about His purpsoses when He so chooses.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Neither Darwin's original theory nor the subsequent theory of evolution are myth, unlike the Genesis stories.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
        • Phil

          Santa and Capt. As I stated before, you are just stating where your trust lies, in man. Better, in the teachings of mostly godless men. You start with a premise; there is no God, then you look for reasons to support your premise. Your faith, and do not decieve yourselves you are operating in FAITH, is in the speculations of godless men. Is that wise?

          December 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • Damocles

          I felt a disturbance in the force, as if a million brain cells cried out and were suddenly silenced. I feel something terrible as happened.

          Alas, we hardly knew them and they were hardly used.

          You are unsure on whether or not natural disasters are deity driven? Seriously? Wait, are you one of those 'deity sanctioned murder isn't really murder, it's justice' types?

          December 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Phil,
          You are just stating where your trust lies, in the teachings of Bronze Age Middle Eastern nomadic goatherders, you look for reasons to support your premise. There is no evidence to support what the ancients thought about creation and natural phenomena. Modern knowledge offers observable, repeatable evidence; modern technology includes powerful computers to analyze vast quantities of data to model the universe, examine DNA, etc. etc. No evidence supports your or any creation myth.
          I'm perfectly happy to accept the fact that I will be wormfood when I die – in fact how else will the elements in my body get recycled for reuse by other animals.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Phil

          Damocles, more of nothing from an atheist. I shouldn't be suprised, and I'm not. ..sigh

          December 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • Damocles

          Is it wise to trust in something absolutely, to the exclusion of everything else? Of course not. Is it wise to put some trust in a doctor? Yes. Is it wise to put some trust in scientists who can demonstrate how some things happen? Sure. I would ask of anyone to show me the proof, or the research they have done, on any claim that they might make.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yes, Phil, when someone tells me that something invisible and undetectable exists, I doubt it. NO ONE can provide me any visible, detectable evidence that god exists. All I ever get is just words in books. That's it. Now if those words in those books could be proved, ....well.... that'd be one thing. If many of those statements can be PROVED false (like the flood) then I stay skeptical.

          You would do the same thing if I claimed to own a house and you wanted to buy it. You'd want proof. No more or no less than I require of you when you make claims about your god. What proof can you offer that can be verified independently? What's that? None? You see, Phil, I require the same proof from god believers that you would require from someone you were making a large purchase from (independently verifiable). When you can provide me the same proof for your god that you would require from someone selling you a house, then I'll consider what you have to say.

          Until you can provide me the same amount of proof you'd require of someone selling you a house, you'll just have to consider me a lost cause who considers your torture-loving god to be a complete and total azzhole.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Damocles

          The reason why I asked that is that a few on here have stated that natural disasters are a deity's way of offing people it doesn't like and that's ok because it comes from a deity. I just wanted to know if you felt that way, helps me get a feel for how future conversations are going to go. Yeah, the beginning was maybe unnecessary, but so is the whole 'ooo you're going to be judged' thing.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Phil

          Santa, indeed. I have been very forthright about my beliefs. I believe God Almighty created the heavens and the earth! I believe He sent His Son to die for my sins. I don't try to hide my "beliefs" behind false statments atheists use all the time such as, "facts", "knowledge", "evidence", "science"...etc, when all your really talking about is godless speculation. You are not being forthright! Your faith is in the teachings of godless men. You tell me its based on "repeatable evidence", ok when you can repeat the creation of your own universe, then I will listen to you. Until then, I trust in the Creator of this one.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          The proof that you own the house would be your doc-u-ment – the ti-tle.

          The proof that Phil has is his doc-u.ment – the Bible.
          Just as you have to read the doc-u.ment to as-certain ownership, you have to read the Bible.

          Phil you're a saint/son of God
          God Bless you greatly my brother.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • Damocles

          @Phil

          Oh, so it is proof you require? Let's say that Santa says 'ok, just created a whole new universe'. What then?

          December 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • Phil

          Damocles, let me be clear. YES! I believe God can, and at times does use His creation...storms, floods, hurricanes, and many other "natural disasters" to accomplish His will. As I stated, this is certainly not always the case. But He can and does use creation in this way. Read the book of revelation and see what lies in store. The greatest disasters are yet to come. Remember, the God of love is also a God of judgement and wrath. And just becuase thats not popular to say any more, does NOT make it any less true.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Damocles

          @JB

          While that is clever to a certain degree, what you are doing is ascribing validity to any and all books ever written. While I would love for some of the books I've read to be true, that doesn't make them so, no matter how loudly I would proclaim my wishes.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • Phil

          Jesus Beloved, great post. Thank You for your kind words also, may the Lord bless you as well.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • Damocles

          And you can tell the difference between a deity disaster and a non-deity disaster how, exactly? Do you believe that the deity disasters are never wrong in that they only kill those that deserve it, or do you think it's necessary for some innocent blood to be shed as long as the ends are met?

          Again, just asking.

          December 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Phil
          You believe that a god created the heavens and the earth! You believe that god sent its son to die for human sins. All you're really talking about is speculation.
          Evidence shows that the bible creation myth is not correct. Why do you selectively reject science?

          What false statments? You live in the modern world, presumably you went to school. You have been presented with an overview of the evidence that points away from the biblical account. Do you really believe that the universe was created in a few days, that one man was created in one day from mud, then the omniscient god suddenly decided that its "creation" would be lonely, so decided to use the rib of said man to create a woman. That is just beyond belief.
          Clearly we can't recreate a universe, but we can track back to within a few nanoseconds of the big bang: we can model the first stars, the first light, the creation of the solar system, the addition of the moon, the creation and delivery of other elements such as metals, etc.
          In addition to the other list I gave which supports evolution, with DNA we can trace our ancestry back through apes, mammals, etc. through fish and before. Also male DNA is slightly different from female DNA.
          Evolution, science in general is taught at college, creationism is not. There's a reason for that – there's evidence for the former and none for the latter.
          If it's repeatable that you want, then clearly the bible is not for you.

          December 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          JB, Phil's doc.ument is worthless because we can't prove that the god within it exists. My doc.ument (t!tle) for my house is worthwhile because we can all prove the house exists with no problem at all.

          So, get it straight: My doc.ument says that I have ownership of something we can all prove exists by all sorts of verifiable methods. Phil's doc.ument says that he has ownership (sort of) of something that no one can ever prove exists at all.

          January 1, 2014 at 10:09 am |
      • Dandintac

        L4H,

        There actually IS evidence that the God of the Bible, or an all-powerful, all-good, all-knowing God does not exist. And that's pretty good considering it's dam-n near impossible to prove a negative, except under strict conditions (like saying exactly where he is to be found and what physical aspects he would have). Asking someone to prove God does not exist is like asking someone to kick a field goal–on a field where there are no goal posts. Even in spite of this though–there are indicators that this god does not exist.

        December 30, 2013 at 2:00 am |
      • sam stone

        You're one to speak of gullibility, Lie4Him

        December 30, 2013 at 3:38 am |
      • WASP

        @LAUGH@HIM: "So, you admit that you've had 20 centuries to come up with hard evidence to prove that God doesn't exist. "

        so how's it going on proving odin, ra, shiva, etc etc etc gods don't exsist HIM?
        when you can show me proof they don't exsist, then i will show you mine that your god doesn't exsist, until then you are just a ignorant and a blind follower as those that followed all the other gods throughout human history.

        December 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • sam stone

        kermit: how is that tailbone doing?

        December 31, 2013 at 6:28 am |
        • kermit4jc

          HAHA,..you think tailbone is vestigial? Apparently you know nothing of anatomy....it is NOT useless one bit! I suggest you look up spme anatomy site or such and get actual knowledge of the tailbone.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • RB

      Acknowledge creation, yes, but more importantly acknowledge the creator.

      December 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
      • Dandintac

        Please provide some hard, verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence that such a Creator exists.

        Sorry–arguments from existence, special pleading, The Bible, and arguments from ignorance don't quality as the evidence required to back up such an extraordinary claim.

        December 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        No I do not acknowledge creation. Calling the universe creation is loading the statement with the presupposition of a creator. A presupposition without any basis in fact. The universe seems to have emerged from a singularity. The origin or cause of this event is unknown. It might have been just one of innumerable universes springing out of a multiverse, it might have been simply the natural outcome of a reality greater than ours, it might be the result of something no one has ever considered and it just might have been the intentional act of a creator god...in either case we have no way of knowing and no reason to pick the one we like best.

        December 30, 2013 at 6:06 am |
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About this blog

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